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Zeitgeist: 2015 Through a Bookish Lens

Every year has its preoccupations: cultural, political, and psychic. Here's a snapshot of what 2015 felt like (feels like!), as reflected in recent (and great) Canadian books.


The Geist: Identity Crisis

Every year is strange, but 2015 was stranger. We lurched from angst about wars and injustices to Instagram and its marvelous filters. It was the year of the selfie – and its helpful new stick for optimal posing. The news informed us of refugees, mass drownings, Halloween candy rankings, and the current Chinese headwear fad. Who better to make sense of the state of humanity in 2015 than robots, teenagers, porn stars, and parrots?


Boo, by Neil Smith

Oliver Dalrymple, nicknamed "Boo" because of his pale complexion and staticky hair, is an outcast at his Illinois middle school—more interested in biology and chemistry than the friendship of other kids. But after a tragic accident, Boo wakes up to find himself in a very strange sort of heaven: a town populated only by 13-year-old Americans. Read more.


Fishbowl, by Bradley Somer

A goldfish named Ian i …

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Put a Bird On It

There are times that we at the Canadian Bookshelf miss the non-bookish zeitgeist boat, and so it was only quite recently that we discovered the very funny "Put a Bird on It" sketch from the television series Portlandia. The sketch is clearly onto something, however, and it's not just handbags and lampshades that have been receiving the Put a Bird Treatment lately. Many recent Canadian books have been similarly bedecked, including the usual suspects (avian guides), but also poetry books, memoirs and novels. Bird books, it turns out, aren't so rare after all, but we think they're kind of lovely.

Check out the Complete Canadian Bookshelf Put a Bird on It Books List, with some of our favourite birdish picks featured below:

Book Cover Bedside Book of Birds

The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson








Book Cover The Crow's Vow

The Crow's Vow by Susan Briscoe








Book Cover One Bird's Choice

One Bird's Choice by Iain Reid




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