Thousands of Canadian-authored kids and YA books


Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2016 Fiction Preview

Book Cover Tears in the Grass

"Really?" some sad cynic somewhere might be saying as he contemplates just how many books appear on our Most Anticipated lists. "How can anybody possibly be that excited about so many books?" To which we'd reply, "But have you met the people behind 49th Shelf? Have you met our community members, the most avid supporters of Canadian literature?" If you have, you'll know that CanLit enthusiasm, as ever, abounds, and we're so pleased to be part of the movement. So here are some  of the best books you're going to be reading this spring. 


In Cathy Ace's latest Cait Morgan book, The Corpse With the Garnet Face (April), the foodie sleuth accompanies her husband to Amsterdam to solve a mystery in his family tree. Tears in the Grass (March), by Lynda A. Archer, is set in Saskatchewan and it confronts a history of trauma, racism, love, and cultural survival. There's lots of buzz already for Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (February), by Mona Awad, which is a novel that hilariously skewers our body-obsessed culture. The latest by Todd Babiak is Son of France (March), the sequel to Come BarbariansThe Pharos Gate: Griffin and Sabine’s Missing Correspondence (March), by Nick Bantock, is the final volume in a love story that’s been celebrated by readers for 25 …

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Most Anticipated: Spring 2015 Poetry Preview

Best Canadian Poetry 2014

Okay, it's January, and it's freezing (at least where I am), but we're looking ahead and we're calling it spring. All month long, we've been highlighting the books we're excited about that are coming out this spring: see our kids' books, fiction and non-fiction previews so far. Last, and far from least, is our poetry list, which gives us so much to look forward to. 


It's a new year, but let's not forget the old one yet. The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2014, edited by Molly Peacock and Sonnet L'Abbé, is out now, and it's beautiful. Un/inhabited (January), by Jordan Abel, who won last year's Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for The Place of Scraps, questions the use of politically or racially charged language in 91 pulp western novels found on Project GutenbergThe Tongues of Earth (April) brings together the best of Mark Abley's poems from the 1980s to the present and includes about 20 new poems. In Madhur Anand's debut collection, A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (April), the poet illuminates and celebrates the intersection of poetry and science and the ways they can mediate our discovery of the world and our place in it. And Limbinal (April) is a new collection by Oana Avasilichioaei, where "linguistic limbs fold and migrate, a distant border politi …

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Most Anticipated: 2015 Kids' Books Spring Preview

January is a fine time for looking ahead, and for scoping out the scene on the forthcoming reading year. Spoiler: it's going to be a good one. Throughout the month, we'll be sharing titles of books you're going to be falling in love with, beginning with kids' books.

On your marks; get set; GO!!!


Picture Books

Giraffe Meets Bird

Hooray for us! We've got a new picture book from Caroline Adderson, Eat, Leo! Eat! (April), illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, about a clever Nonna who convinces her grandson to eat his lunch using the power of story (and the power of pasta). In Ready, Set, Kindergarten (February), by Paula Ayer and Danielle Arbour, a young girl readies herself for the big adventure that is school. Award-winners Carolyn Beck and Francois Thisdale team up for That Squeak (May), the story of a young boy grieving the death of a friend. In Giraffe Meets Bird (May), Rebecca Bender shares the origin story of the animal friends whose adventures have been captured in her two previous acclaimed books. 

Book Cover King of Keji

Brandee Bublé (younger sister of the singing Michael) releases her f …

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Most Anticipated: Spring 2014 Poetry Preview

Last but not least in our 2014 Spring Preview is the Poetry List, and it's the longest list of them all. We're willing to bet that you won't make it though this list without highlighting a title or two for pre-ordering. Happy reading, everybody! 


Book Cover Why Poetry Sucks

Acclaimed Métis poet Joanne Arnott's latest collection is Halfling Spring (February), illustrated by Leo Yerxa; it is described as a playful exploration of online love. A new anthology, Why Poetry Sucks (March), edited by Jonathan Ball and Ryan Fitzpatrick, scrutinizes Canada's avant-gardes for signs of humorous life—and even finds some. Polari (April) is the latest by the award-winning John Barton, the title referring to the historic coded language that allowed gay men to assert their personal and shared identities; Barton's poems similarly communicate a sense of history, politics, and aesthetics. Doug Beardsley's Swimming With Turtles (March) is a poetic travelogue of a sailing trip through Caribbean, Mexican, and Pacific waters.

Book Cover As If a Raven

andrea bennett's debut is Canoodlers (April), poems about contemporary …

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Most Anticipated: Spring 2014 Kids' Books Preview

There are so many exciting books being published in the first half of 2014, and we've been rounding them up over the past few weeks. This week's picks are books for young readers, though their general appeal extends to readers of all ages, of course!


Picture Books

Book Cover If I Wrote a Book About You

How lucky we are that Caroline Adderson writes books for everyone! Her new collection of short stories will be available to adults soon; emerging and middle-grade readers can read her Jasper John Dooley series and many other award-winning books aimed at this age group; and now she's got a picture book, Norman, Speak! (April), illustrated by the equally talented Qin Leng.

Astounding ABC (January) is a neat alphabet book featuring items from Toronto's Aga Khan Museum's collections. Stephany Aulenback, who is known for her work in McSweeneys and other magazines, as well as for her popular blog, Crooked House, has written her first picture book, If I Wrote a Book About You (May), illustrated by Denise Holmes. 

Music is for Everyone (May) is the second book by singer-songwriter Jill Barber; it' …

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Most Anticipated: Spring 2014 Fiction Preview

"Spring" of course, is a relative term (except when it isn't—that whole business of the vernal equinox and all) but we live by aspiration here at 49th Shelf, and therefore the spring publishing season begins right now. There are so many exciting books forthcoming in the first half of 2014, and we'll be rounding them up over the next few weeks. First up is fiction, where it's immediately clear that we've got so much to look forward to. 


Pastoral (February) is a new novel by André Alexis, a modern take on the age-old genre. Hysteric (March), by Nelly Arcan, has been translated into English by David Homel; it is described as "a chronicle of life among twenty- and thirty-somethings, a life structured by text messages, missed cell phone calls, the latest DJs and Internet porn." In Waiting for the Man (April), by Arjun Basu, a New York advertising executive starts listening to the voice in his head with surprising and sensational results. We like the sound of Greg Bechtel's Boundary Problems (March), a collection that "vibrates on the edge of meaning, as carjackers, accidental gunrunners, small-town cabbies, and confused physics students struggle to wring meaning from the strange events that overtake them." And those of us who loved his last novel are looking fo …

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Books We're Waiting For: Spring 2013 Preview for Kids and Teens

Book Cover Oy Feh So

The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley is a new teen novel by celebrated author Jan Andrews, the story of a young man caught in the foster care system who with a new placement finally glimpses the possibilities of change. Saskatchewan writer Robert Currie's latest is the YA novel Living with the Hawk, a tale of a family torn apart by experiences that read like news headlines. Rachelle Delaney's new novel is The Metro Dogs of Moscow, the follow-up to the much acclaimed The Ship of Lost Souls. Cary Fagan is back with two books, the picture book Oy, Feh, So?, illustrated by Gary Clement, about siblings who push the limits of their imposing relatives' Sunday visits, and also the novel Danny Who Fell in a Hole about a boy who finds himself stranded at the bottom of a giant construction hole.

Book Cover Where Do you Look?

Alma Fullerton's Community Soup is her second picture book, and the first she has illustrated, about a group of Kenyan school-children working together to harvest the vegetables they have grown. Children's literacy advocate Joyce Grant releases her first picture book, Gabb …

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