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A blog on Canadian writing, reading, and everything in between

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Book Cover Skin House

Outsider Books: This is a Party I Would Go To

By Michael Blouin

The author of new novel Skin House on other books featuring outsider perspectives. 

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Book Cover Gather

Seafood and Chorizo Paella, from GATHER: A DIRTY APRON COOKBOOK

By David Robertson

An excerpt from a new book by author of the bestselling Dirty Apron Cookbook.

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Book Cover WORRY

The Books Behind WORRY

By Jessica Westhead

Jessica Westhead recommends books that informed her work as she wrote her new novel, Worry

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BooK Cover Freshly Picked

Freshly Picked: Amazing Food Books

By Jane Reid

A selection of inspiring books just perfect for harvest time. 

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Quick Hits: 6 Books for Teens this Fall

Quick Hits: 6 Books for Teens this Fall

By Kiley Turner

These new books span everything from disability and difference to grief and homelessness – and so much in between. The …

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The Chat with Michael Crummey

The Chat with Michael Crummey

By Trevor Corkum

Michael Crummey was recently longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel The Innocents, a haunting story of …

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Celebrating & Exploring Indigenous Languages Through Literature

Celebrating & Exploring Indigenous Languages Through Literature

By Ian McCallum

Indigenous languages are an important aspect of daily life in Canada. Many provinces, town and city names, landmarks, bo …

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Book Cover A Killer in King's Cover

Reese's Book Club: CanLit Match-Ups

By Kerry Clare

Definitely keep these in mind for your book club and when you're planning your next great read. 

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The Buzz: 5 New Books with Great Reviews

The Buzz: 5 New Books with Great Reviews

By Kiley Turner

Part of the excitement of a new literary season is watching certain books build momentum because of great reviews and bl …

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Book Cover In My Own Moccasins

Great Companions: Because Two Books Are Better than One

By Kerry Clare

New pairs of amazing nonfiction titles about trees, family histories, grief, nature, and more. 

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Outsider Books: This is a Party I Would Go To

Book Cover Skin House

I was told in an interview once that if there is anything that links the characters of my various books together it is that they are all outsiders in one way or another. There is nothing shocking in that of course, but it did come as a sudden realization to me… the author’s always the last to know. The characters in my new novel Skin House are no exception—they are so outside of any situation in which they find themselves that they can’t even find the door. When I look back at some of the books I was reading or re-reading as I was writing this book, I can’t help but wonder what all of these characters would say to each other if placed in the same room. Not to mention the authors. That is a party I would go to. And I don’t go to parties.

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Book Cover Do the Wrong Thing

Do The Wrong Thing, by Malcolm van Delst

This is an extraordinarily vivid and intimate Northern Gothic novel published outside of the “industry” which chronicles Ava Mueller’s struggles to come to terms with her devout immigrant parents. When a high school teacher tells Ava she should write, her world is …

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Seafood and Chorizo Paella, from GATHER: A DIRTY APRON COOKBOOK

Image Seafood Paella, by Dirty Apron

The Dirty Apron Cooking School has taught thousands of Canadians to cook. In Gather, a much anticipated follow-up to his bestselling Dirty Apron Cookbook, David Robertson celebrates the simple pleasures of cooking food for friends and family.

Gather features an enticing collection of 80 delicious recipes designed to be shared, whether on platters or heaped high in big bowls, and served with care, generosity, and a lot of love. From crème brûlée French toast, to a salmon, spinach and fennel Wellington, to beef tenderloin with salsa verde and honey-roasted vegetables, these crowd-pleasing recipes are super approachable and bursting with flavour.

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seafood and chorizo paella

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

4 c chicken stock (p. 200), plus extra if needed

30 threads saffron

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

10 piquillo peppers, seeded, deveined and chopped

2 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp smoked paprika

11/2 c bomba rice

15 mussels, scrubbed clean

15 clams, scrubbed clean

12 prawns, peeled and deveined

12 squid, cleaned and halved

6 oz Spanish chorizo, cut into a

1/2-inch dice

1 c fresh or frozen peas (see note)

1/4 c chopped Italian parsley

kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste

To serve

grated Parmesan

microgreens …

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The Books Behind WORRY

Worry is Jessica Westhead's new novel, a compelling and unsettling story about threats real and imagined—and where one draws the line. Kim Fu calls it "an irresistible novel from its first pages to its devastating end." 

In this recommended reading list, Westhead names titles that informed her work as she conceived and developed her novel. 

*****

In Lands and Forests, a superbly stark and brooding short-story collection by Andrew Forbes, the wilderness is a constant presence. It offers hope to the disillusioned, broken men and women who populate Forbes’ bleak and beautiful stories, and fills them with reverence, peace and awe. But it can just as easily fill them with unease and dread. In Worry, the lake and forest (ha, see what I did there?) is a constant presence as well, offering my characters the promise of a fun, carefree vacation and a welcome break from rules and responsibilities, but also awakening long-dormant grief and fear in Ruth, my main character. Lands and Forests is also adorned with some of the most ravishing cover art (designed by Megan …

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Freshly Picked: Amazing Food Books

Freshly Picked: A Locavore’s Love Affair with BC’s Bounty, by Jane Reid, is an amusing romp through the fruits and vegetables grown in the varied soils and landscapes of British Columbia. The author covers the fascinating history and oddball growing habits of the plants we eat, and includes personal stories of love and affection plus recipes and tips to enjoy the harvest. “Packed with informative, humorous stories that celebrate the fruits and vegetables grown in local fields and orchards, Freshly Picked is an ode to the joys of eating in season,” according to Edible Vancouver & Wine Country Magazine.

Author Jane Reid continues to read and write about eating and growing local food. She is constantly inspired by others. Her favourite books (for now) are described below. 

*****

The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating, by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon

It was the flavour of local harvests that first made me a locavore, but now I know there are multiple reasons to seek out food grown nearby —and this book was one of the first that told me so. The aut …

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Quick Hits: 6 Books for Teens this Fall

These new books span everything from disability and difference to grief and homelessness—for starters. They're important books, and gripping reads.

**

thejusticeproject

The Justice Project, by Michael Betcherman

Publisher: Orca Books

Recommended ages: 12 and up

About the Book

High-school football star Matt Barnes was on the top of the world until a freak snowboarding accident ending his promising sports career and left him with a permanent limp. As he struggles to accept his changed body, Matt becomes depressed and isolated. Instead of college football camp, he faces a summer job at the local golf club. Then by chance Matt lands an internship at the Justice Project, an organization that defends the wrongly convicted. The other intern is his high-school nemesis, Sonya Livingstone, a quick-witted social activist with little time for jock culture. The two slowly develop a friendship as they investigate the case of Ray Richardson, who was convicted of murdering his parents twenty-one years ago. Matt and Sonya are soon convinced that Ray is innocent—but how will they prove it? Unravelling the cold case takes them on a journey filled with twists, turns, deception and danger. It will take dedication, perseverance and courage to unmask the real murderer. Can those same qualities help Matt mov …

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