Your 3rd Helping of Brains

Shaun of the Dead

[Shaun leads the zombies away from the pub to create a diversion]
Shaun: Come and get it! It’s a running buffet!
Shaun: All you can eat!
Shaun of the Dead, 2004

Hallowe’en is fast approaching. Whether you’ll be out with your kids trick-or-treating, or enjoying yourself at a party or social, ask yourself this: “Am I prepared for the zombie apocalypse?” If not, no need to worry. We’ve got you covered. Study these books and movies, and you’ll be fine. Probably.

PlaugePlague World, by Dana Fredsti, is the 3rd and final book of the Ashley Parker series that began with Plague Town and continued in Plague Nation. The zombie plague has gone airborne, and the conspiracy that began it all reaches the boiling point. Having been ambushed in San Francisco, which is now fully engulfed in the zombie plague, Ashley and the wild cards must pursue the enemy to San Diego. There they will discover a splinter of their own organization, the Dolofónoi tou Zontanoús Nekroús, which seeks to weaponize the plague. But that isn’t the worst news. The plague has gone airborne, making it transferable without physical contract. It cannot be controlled by anyone, so reports of the zombie swarm are coming in from across the United States – and across the world.

GraveIn book one of Joan Frances Turner’s The Resurgam Trilogy, Dust, the world is tenuously shared by man and zombie until an artificial plague rids the world of zombies but kills most of the human population as well. Survivors riddled with mutations caused by the plague (called ‘exes’) terrorize the world in book two, Frail, where we meet one of the last surviving humans as she discovers the secrets of the laboratory where the plague originated. Grave is the culmination of this epic tale—the characters must set their differences aside for the survival of their world; Grave promises to end with a bang.

Fall of NIghtFall of Night, by Jonathan Maberry, is the sequel to Dead of Night, bringing back beloved characters Desdamona Fox and Billy Trout as they race against time to quarantine a zombie epidemic while caught in a military strike. Continuing right where the first novel left off, Officers Fox and Hammond, along with journalist Billy Trout, are calling it the beginning of the end. This is the zombie apocalypse. An insane escaped serial killer is infecting Stebbins County with a deadly virus, and now the whole world is watching while Fox, Trout, and the remaining inhabitants of Stebbins fight for their life against…what? The undead?

Girl with all the giftsMelanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.” Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad. You’ll learn in M.R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts that not every gift is a blessing.

Death Warmed OverIf mysteries and bad puns are more you style, check out Kevin J. Anderson’s Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. series. It all starts with Death Warmed Over, where we meet zombie P.I. Dan Chambeau, who works with a human lawyer as his partner. Ever since the Big Uneasy unleashed vampires, werewolves and other undead denizens on the world, it’s been hell for him. His cases now include a resurrected mummy that is suing the museum that put him on display, two witches that were victims of a curse gone terribly wrong seek restitution from a publisher for not using “spell check” on its magical tomes. And Dan must also find out who caused his own death. The 4th book in the series, Slimy Underbelly, was released earlier this year.

FatimaFrom Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez comes Fatima: The blood spinners. A drug called “spin” offers the wildest trip imaginable, followed by its users’ inevitable, rapid deterioration into undead flesh eaters. Despite the side effect, the drug is so popular that the human population is dying out. With no cure to be found, the beautiful, lovesick Fatima may be the only thing standing between the survivors and the apocalypse. Get ready for zombies, mutants, drug lords, and gorgeous women!

Toe tagsCult movie writer/director George Romero, best known for his work on the horror classic Night of the Living Dead,  writes an original horror tale in Toe Tags. Overnight, the world has been turned upside down, and zombies rule the day! It’s up to a college professor named Hoffman, his assistant Damien Cross and his girlfriend to find out  how and why the undead have taken over. But even if they do get to the bottom of the plague, is it too late to save the world?

Looking for a good zombie movie when you’re on the go (from the shambling horde)? Stream something from our hoopla digital service. Choose from many titles, including Cowboys vs. zombies, A zombie invasion, Battle of the undead, Zombies: When the dead walk, and Zombie girl.

– Barbara

What’s Cooking at Westwood? Tea Time!

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

The second year of the What’s Cooking at Westwood Cook Book Club got off to a shining start with an English Tea Party. I polished Granny’s tea service and cutlery and ironed the linen tablecloth. I felt as if I belonged with the downstairs staff at Downton Abbey. One of the members kindly brought china cups and saucers.

The books explained tea ceremonies, etiquette, folklore, and tea growing practices in addition to recipes. Joanna compared a story from Arabian Nights to her tea drinking experience during a recent trip to Turkey.

We samples 3 kinds of savoury puff pastry; chicken and mushroom in Madeira Cream Sauce and Roasted Vegetable with Cheese. Irish Soda Bread was served with homemade apple jelly. We tasted 4 types of cookies; Shortbread, French Macarons, Dulce de Leche, and Pumpkin. We finished with Creamy Blackberry Tarts.

Three new members joined the 10 regulars from last season. I have never participated in a more enthusiastic book club. I anticipate a very interesting year for this book club.

And, yes, tea does taste better when served in a china teacup.

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From Page to Stage: Sherlock Holmes

Winnipeg Public Library and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre have teamed up to bring you new ways to enrich your theatre experience! Interested in the current RMTC production, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily? Join crime writer Catherine Macdonald as she examines the amateur sleuth “template” established by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at the Millennium Library on Tuesday, October 21, at 12:10 p.m. And if you can’t make it to the theatre or the library, try a few of the suggested reads below…

Explore More Sherlock Holmes

First introduced in 1887 by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes quickly became the archetype of the cerebral detective and has inspired hundreds of novels, stories, and dramatic adaptations. We can rest assured that Holmes will continue to be rewritten, remixed, re-interpreted, and re-imagined for the next hundred years.

Explore the Original Stories

holmesThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle. The character of Irene Adler in “A Scandal in Bohemia” was widely believed to be based on Lillie Langtry. That short story and eleven others are brought together in this collection. (Because the book is in the public domain, free etexts are also widely available.)

annotatedThe New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. This massive four-volume edition reprints all 56 Holmes stories together with critical interpretations, historical notes, lavish illustrations, and much, much more for the devoted Sherlockian.

Explore More Drama

brett Jeremy Brett in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes [and various other titles]. Considered the definitive Holmes of our era, Brett portrayed the detective in more than forty episodes for British television. (Also available online via hoopla, the streaming video service WPL subscribes to.)




cumberbatchSherlock. The BBC’s modern-day version of Holmes as a texting, asocial genius has been both critically acclaimed and wildly popular, due in no small part to the charisma of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock.

Explore Works Inspired by Holmes

In a loving act of homage, authors have been inventing varied and creative ways to explain how they discovered “lost” Sherlock Holmes case histories ever since Doyle ceased publishing. A staggering number of these pastiches have been published over the past century; here’s a sampling of just a few.

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, Laurie R. King. In 1915, a retired Sherlock Holmes is quietly studying honeybees when a young woman literally stumbles onto him on the Sussex Downs. Under his reluctant tutelage, Mary Russell proves a deft protégée and a fitting partner in the first of a long-running series.

enolaThe Case of the Missing Marquess, Nancy Springer. This first in a series for younger readers introduces Sherlock Holmes’s (much) younger sister – an engaging and intelligent detective in her own right – as she searches for her missing mother.

Dust and Shadow, Lyndsay Faye. This atmospheric novel pits Holmes against Jack the Ripper as he himself is wounded while trying to capture the East End killer.  

The House of Silk, Anthony Horowitz. Holmes and Watson find themselves being drawn ever deeper into an international conspiracy connected to the teeming criminal underworld of Boston, the gaslit streets of London, opium dens and much, much more.

A Study in Sherlock, edited by Laurie R. King & Leslie Klinger. Eighteen well-known authors from Lee Child to Neil Gaiman provide their own original perspectives and variations on the consulting detective.

Explore More History

Bertie: a Life of Edward VII, Jane Ridley [also published as The heir apparent]. Edward VII (aka “Bertie”) was 59 when he finally came to power and reigned as King of England for only the last ten years of his life. This colourful biography paints a balanced portrait of his life, including his relationships with Lillie Langtry and other women.

Oscar Wilde, Richard Ellman. Ellman’s beautifully written, profoundly researched biography won a Pulitzer Prize and is still considered the standard life of Wilde.

scienceThe Science of Sherlock Holmes, E.J. Wagner. Doyle grounded Holmes’ investigatory methods in the cutting-edge science of his day, and this book uses Sherlock’s adventures to explore the real-life developments in forensic science during the late 19th century, from fingerprints to handwriting analysis.

Explore More Sherlockiana

On Conan Doyle, Michael Dirda. Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Michael Dirda is a passionate Sherlock fan. His highly engaging introduction to Holmes’ creator combines memoir and personal appreciation as well as an insider’s account of The Baker Street Irregulars, the club dedicated to the study of Sherlock Holmes.

A Sherlock Holmes Handbook, Christopher Redmond. This exhaustive reference to the world of Sherlock Holmes gives a full background to the original stories and everything related, including movie and television versions, Victorian era history, and the entire Holmes phenomenon.

bioSherlock Holmes: the Unauthorized Biography, Nick Rennison. “What carefully plotted conspiracy led Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to declare that Holmes was merely a literary invention?” A delightful exercise in mock scholarship tracing the life of Holmes in incredible, imaginative detail.



Children’s Books on Human Rights

humanrightsLast week, Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The committee said Yousafzai and Satyarthi are being honoured for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education”.

Millions of children around the world have no access to education, work long hours under hazardous conditions, or are forced to serve as soldiers in armed conflict. Young and immature, they are often easily exploited, and it is activists like Malala and Kailash that ensure those children have a voice.

Educating children about social justice and human rights allows them to understand the importance of treating people equitably and the responsibilities we all have to protect the rights of others.  By recognizing their own rights, children become aware of how they should be treated by others and how to stand up for these rights.

Books can be a great way to start the conversation about human rights, and Winnipeg Public Library has lots of resources that can be used by children, parents, caregivers, and educators.  You can find a booklist on our website entitled Children’s Books on Human Rights that provides a sampling of some of the amazing children’s books on human rights that you can find at the Library.  But for now, here are some of the highlights:

By Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon

This picture book is a tribute to peace and a celebration of diverse cultures. Forgiveness and generosity are portrayed as essential, and the authors show children creating a more generous and peaceful world.

By Todd Parr

With simple text and playful illustrations, this picture book celebrates diversity and focuses on acceptance and individuality.

By Carol Matas

As Rose begins her diary, she is in her third home since coming to Winnipeg.  Traumatized by her experiences in the Holocaust, she struggles to connect with others, and above all, to trust again.

By Christy Jordan-Fenton

The moving memoir of eight year old Margaret, an Inuit girl who refuses to be intimidated by a cruel nun at a residential school.  Margaret emerges with her spirit intact.

By Eric Walters and Adrian Bradbury

When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. This ancient proverb means that when the large fight, it is the small who suffer most. Here are five very different and personal stories of children caught in a conflict.

By Susan Hughes

Travel to India, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Russia, China, Uganda, and a dozen other countries to visit incredible schools and meet the students who attend them.


My CMHR is not a Museum

In our modern world of consumerist culture, superficial sentimentality and instant gratification, we ask ourselves, how do we eliminate bullying, racism and war? A museum dedicated to Human Rights may help achieve such lofty goals, but in reality we already have such a museum. It is called a library. The price of admission is a free card and it holds every idea in the world. According to the Greater Good, in order to learn empathy, we must practice active listening, look for commonality in others, share in other people’s joy, and above all READ FICTION.

In my dream Library for Human Rights, Canadian women play a prominent role. The foundation of my dream library was laid by Nellie McClung, prolific author, mother of five, and champion of the right to vote for women.

Upon entering the Beatrice Culleton Mosionier Lobby , one would join the circle and watch the Royal Winnipeg Ballet dancing their new ballet Going Home Star, Truth and Reconciliation around the fires that are burning for our missing aboriginal sisters .

DanceoftheBanishedSpreading out from the atrium, like the spokes of a wheel from a Red River cart are the Halls of Fiction. To our left is the Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch Wing for Historical Fiction. Marsha’s new book Dance of the Banished is the story of two teen Alevi Kurds during WWI.  Zeynep and Ali are young and betrothed yet Ali is sent to Canada by his mother to escape the coming war. Zeynep stays behind, writing to Ali in her journal about the changes happening around her. All too soon she is witnessing the destruction of her village and the genocide of her people. Although Ali is sent to Canada for safety, he is accused of spying and is sent to a work/slave camp in Northern Ontario proving that acts of racism are not uncommon in Canada.

MoonatNineTo our right is the Deborah Ellis Wing for Middle Eastern Fiction. Acclaimed for her Breadwinner seriesDeborah Ellis’ latest novel describes the realities of lesbian teens in Iran. Based on real events, Moon at Nine is the story of Farrin, who hides her parents’ political leanings from the authorities since the truth will send the entire family to jail. As Farrin slowly realizes she is in love with her female classmate Sadira, she begins to hide that secret from her teachers as well. Innocent, same-sex love such as theirs is strictly forbidden and punishable by death. When Farrin’s family realizes the true nature of their love, they turn their backs and leave her to her fate, reminding us the power of the many easily and routinely crushes the freedom of a few.

TheReluctantJournalStraight ahead is the Susin Nielsen Wing for Realistic Fiction. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen was inspired by the events of the Columbine High School massacre. Henry is a typical geek – red hair, smart, and slightly overweight.  When he finds himself in a new school, he cannot bring himself to make friends. Henry doesn’t want to talk about IT and his therapist insists that Henry write in his journal. Reluctantly, he does, and we discover that Henry’s older brother was a victim of bullying and has taken action against his aggressor. As the truth about IT is revealed, we are reminded that bystanders are victims too.

By experiencing the effects of human suffering through reading fiction, meaningful change is possible for anyone. My library for Human Rights is a place where everyone has the Freedom to Read , to discuss, to debate, and to reflect. It is a place where we find our similarities instead of pointing out our differences. In times of darkness, we search for the light of truth. Find it in the pages of the next novel you read.


Join the (NFB Film) Club

National Film Board Film Clubs!

Both Millennium Library and St. James Library are currently hosting NFB Film Clubs, showcasing free films from the NFB’s vast collection. Screenings are followed by a short discussion of the film for those who want to take part. Past clubs have had spirited discussions after the screenings, so it is a great opportunity to contribute thoughts and ideas.

Below are descriptions of the films and their respective screening times and locations. Call the specified location to register.

Out of Mind, Out of Sight


Millennium Library, 251 Donald St.
Saturday, October 18 at 2 p.m.

This feature documentary profiles four residents of the Brockville Mental Health Centre, a forensic psychiatric hospital for people who have committed violent crimes. Four patients—two men and two women—struggle to gain control over their lives so they can return to a society that often fears and demonizes them. Shrouded in stigma, institutions like this one are places into which patients disappear from public view for years. Four-time Emmy winner John Kastner was granted unprecedented access to the Brockville facility for 18 months, allowing 46 patients and 75 staff to share their experiences with stunning frankness. Documentary/88 min. Rated PG.

Mighty Jerome


St. James-Assiniboia Library, 1910 Portage Ave.
Thursday, October 9 at 6 p.m.

From acclaimed filmmaker Charles Officer comes the story of the rise, fall and redemption of Harry Jerome, Canada’s most record-setting track and field star. Gorgeous monochrome imagery, impassioned interviews and astonishing archival footage are used to tell the triumphant and compelling story of what Harry Jerome’s own coach called “the greatest comeback in track and field history.” Documentary/84 min. Rated PG. 

Oscar Shorts


St. James-Assiniboia Library, 1910 Portage Ave.
Thursday, October 16 at 6 p.m.

A compilation of Oscar-winning films including:

The Sand Castle, a short animated film about the sandman and the creatures he sculpts out of sand. 13 min.

The Danish Poet, a short animation about a poet whose creative well has run dry and the quest he undertakes to answer some pretty big questions. 15 min.

Bob’s Birthday, an animated short about a wife who plans a celebration for her husband, but underestimates the sudden impact of middle age on his mood. 12 min.

Neighbours, a live action short about two people who come to blows over the possession of a flower. 8 min.

Flamenco at 5:15, a live action impressionistic record of a flamenco dance class given to senior students of the National Ballet School of Canada by two great teachers from Spain, Susana and Antonio Robledo. 29 min.

Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in CanadaStatus-Quo_LG

St. James-Assiniboia Library, 1910 Portage Ave.
Thursday, October 23 at 6 p.m.

Feminism has shaped the society we live in. But just how far has it brought us, and how relevant is it today? This feature documentary zeroes in on key concerns such as violence against women, access to abortion, and universal childcare, asking how much progress we have truly made on these issues. Rich with archival material and startling contemporary stories, Status Quo? uncovers answers that are provocative and at times shocking. Documentary/87 min. Unrated.

Britt Embry

New to the Local History Room

Cover image for The rise of the new West : the history of a region in Confederation Has it been a while since you read something related to Manitoba? Are you looking for something with a fresh angle on a familiar topic? It’s time to take a look at what’s new in the Library’s Local History collection as there have been several exciting new arrivals.

The rise of the new West : the history of a region in Confederation, an updated edition of Conway’s previous work, covers the political and economic rise of the western provinces from the time of the Riel Rebellion up to the first decade of the 21st century and the rise of conservative politics. This is a great read for those wanting to learn about the rise of socialist and unionist movements (culminating in the creation of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation, which would be succeeded by the New Democratic Party), the equally transformative impact economic sectors like agriculture and energy had in shaping politics, and the changing relationship of the “West” with the rest of Canada.

Author Christopher Dafoe has recently published a biography, entitled In Search of Canada, about his grandfather John Wesley Dafoe who worked as chief editor for the Winnipeg Free Press from 1901 to 1944 and became one of Canada’s most influential journalists. The book focuses on his formative years and early journalistic career in the 19th century, with many moves between Quebec and Manitoba, and the unforeseen events that finally led him to Winnipeg. He started teaching in Ontario while both of his parents had never been to school before beginning his career in journalism working for a Montreal newspaper at the age of 17. The book is filled with stories and recollections from those who knew him (including his wife Alice) before he became the man historians remember as well as the personal papers that “Jack” Dafoe left in the family archives.

Vikings on a Prairie Ocean: the Saga of a Lake, a People, a Family and a man is the memoir of Glenn Sigurdson, who lived with his family and ran a fishing business on Lake Winnipeg. Along with describing his personal experiences as part of a fishing family, he gives a portrait of the Icelandic community that grew from the initial 19th century settlers and developed an enduring partnership with the local Aboriginal communities. Sigurdson pays homage to the fortitude of his parents and the pioneers before them in overcoming many challenges and helping shape this part of our province.

Winnipeg’s General Strike: Reports from the Front Lines explores the emergence of two new daily newspapers that covered the strike from opposite sides while existing dailies were shut down. The media coverage from both pro-strikers and pro-establishment, and how it shaped public perception of events, is described in the context of post-World War I Winnipeg where fear of the emerging Communist threat of revolution clashed with workers’ demands for greater rights. The book’s approach to the subject is fresh, easy to read and well illustrated.

Cover image for Saving Lake Winnipeg

Concern about the environment, specifically for the health of Lake Winnipeg, is what motivated water analyst Robert Sandford to write this third in a series of manifestos: Saving Lake Winnipeg. Sandford wants to alert us to the increasing toxicity of the waters of not only Lake Winnipeg, but more and more lakes in Manitoba and the broader Great Plains region. He appeals for immediate action from government as well as business and society in general to combat this threat and prevent the spread of this phenomenon and save Lake Winnipeg from becoming an “open-air sewer.”

Up North: Manitoba’s Last Frontier is a beautiful book of photographs compiled by professional photographer Hans Arnold during an 8 month journey that took him progressively to the most remote parts of our province. The photographs collected in the book range from gorgeous shots of nature and fauna throughout the seasons mixed with signs of human presence like a dam, a road, or an isolated farm.

Summer might be over, and winter is coming, but it is also a great time for readers as fall brings a new crop of freshly-published titles to enrich our minds.