Check out these new Manitoba Reads at the Library!

We’re getting ready to welcome you back in person in our stacks, starting on Monday, September 21st! It’s an ideal time to discover some of the new local reads that have recently arrived in our collections.

Cover image for The planes, legends and innovations of Canada's aviation heritage

Newly available in the Local History Room collection, The Planes, Legends and Innovations of Canada’s Aviation Heritage, is a richly-illustrated and instructive read for aviation fans and local history enthusiasts alike. Published by the Royal Aviation Museum of Western Canada, it highlights the pioneer days of aviation in the prairies and northern Canada in the first half of the 20th century. From modest beginnings (the first airplane flight in the province was in 1910 by one Eugene Ely), the next two decades would witness the birth of many innovations and legendary “bush pilots” who would use the new technology to explore and bring supplies over the vast expanses of the Canadian North. The book also covers little-known aspects of passenger and military aviation that took place in Manitoba.

Faces and Places: Trailblazing Women of Manitoba is a history book that promotes visiting the places, seeing the faces, and remembering the stories of Manitoba women who have made Manitoba’s history. Starting with Broadway’s well-known monuments and then going through various city neighborhoods, the book provides walking tour itineraries where we can explore and discover murals, plaques, former homes and other symbols left behind as the legacies of these pioneering women in various fields from politics, arts and sports. The book not only covers locations in Winnipeg but throughout Manitoba as well.

Winnipeg, Minneapolis, Saskatoon, Rapid City, Edmonton, Missoula, Regina, and Tulsa have long been sites of Indigenous place-making and resistance to settler colonialism. Settler City Limits: Indigenous resurgence and colonial violence in the urban Prairie West frames cities as Indigenous spaces and places and examines how the historical and political conditions of colonialism have shaped urban development in the Canadian Prairies and American Plains.

A new edition of Candace Savage’s Prairie has recently been released. It’s an excellent guide to the biology and ecology of the prairies for everyone who wants to know more about the dazzling natural variety of the prairies. As stated in the book: “Until recently, they were also one of the richest and most magnificent natural grasslands in the world. Today they are among the most altered environments on Earth.” This revised edition features a new preface along with updated research on the effects of climate change on the prairie landscape. Sidebars throughout highlight various grasslands species, tell fascinating natural history and conservation stories, and present Indigenous perspectives about the prairie and its inhabitants.

Cover image for Growing up north

To conclude with a local biography, Growing Up North by Morris Bradburn is a fascinating account of the author’s experiences growing up in Oxford House, a small community in northern Manitoba. The youngest of seven, Bradburn shares some history of the fur trade, and about his family and childhood. He tells of learning to speak English and later having to go to school in southern Manitoba. He also shares difficult memories about abuse he suffered as a child and his process of healing through faith.

We are looking forward to welcoming you back through our doors on Monday!


Veggies galore!

Everyone knows that eating more vegetables is good for us. We know they make us feel good, and they are good for our health, but sometimes we need motivation to prepare them. Winnipeg Public Library is here to help! Whether you pick food from your garden, support a local farmer, or pick them up from your grocery store, fruits and vegetables are in season. And we have tons of vegetable-inspired cookbooks to get you motivated.

If you’re not in the mood for another iceberg lettuce salad or steamed greens with a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper, these cookbooks are for you. They are loaded with great ideas for preparing those healthy greens:

I recently made a ‘cheese’ sauce out of carrots and potatoes. And it was amazing! If you really want to get into it and prepare vegetable-centered meals these hearty cookbooks will satisfy all taste buds:

And can you say BBQ?!

The free ebook “Amazing Waste” was created by a group of students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is filled with 50 recipes and ideas for reducing fruit and vegetable waste. (See our Green Choices Guide for more inspiration on how to support the Earth.)

And on the topic of ideas to support the Earth, we have excellent videos on gardening, including seed saving! Yes please. I’m already thinking of what to plant next year.

Whatever vegetables you choose to eat and/or grow, now is definitely a great time to explore and enjoy delicious options.


Back-to-School in a Pandemic

As parents across the province gear up for September, some parents are looking forward to sending their children back to school in person, and others may be planning for virtual instruction or homeschooling.

Whether you opt for in-person or virtual instruction, or homeschooling, remember to give yourself (and your kids, and their teachers!) lots of grace. Pandemics are stressful and hard: the uncertainty of what will happen next, decision fatigue, and the fear of yourself or your loved ones getting sick all contribute to stress. Stress can show up as meltdowns, an inability to concentrate, or physical complaints. Many resources and strategies exist to help with stress, like these:

The Seed and Sew Voices of Your Village podcast, by Alyssa Blask Campbell, is also a useful resource for dealing with emotional intelligence as a parent and as a teacher.

Below are some strategies your family might find helpful:

  • Making a “chill zone” in your house or learning space.
    This would be a comfortable space with tools they can choose to use to help them get their mind off their emotions briefly, to make space to process them without interruption. Those tools may look like fidget tools, books, drawing supplies, or something as simple as a set of index cards with instructions for a solo game of “I Spy”. Can you see 5 yellow things from where you are?
  • Grounding exercises
    Examples include 5-finger breathing (trace your hand with a finger – as you travel up a digit, breathe in! As you trace down, breathe out) or 5-sense awareness (5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste). These are good strategies for encouraging mindfulness and calming emotions.
  • Supporting a sense of agency
    Kids respond to having a sense of agency. If you can tell that they’re getting upset or frustrated with a task, you can ask them if they want to work on it now or spend some time in the chill zone first. You can model the use of the zone, too – tell them that you’re taking a 5-minute timer and after that time has passed, then you’ll be able to try the task again. When going back to a potentially frustrating task, or fighting the temptation to procrastinate, the Pomodoro Technique – where you work for 20 minutes intensively before taking a 5-minute break – can be very useful.

It’s natural to be worried about how living through this process will impact your family in the short term as well as on a longer scale. There are so many things that you cannot control, and that’s okay. The important thing is to do the best you can with what you have.  


Stranger Things

Have you ever thought about becoming a hermit? You know, just turning your back on modern society and living off the land in a remote location? Actually it sounds pretty terrifying to me. A three day camping trip is about the extent of my “communing with nature”. After that, I start to think about the emails piling up back home.

In all the ways our lives have become more complicated since the COVID-19 pandemic began back in March, there are some areas where our lives have actually become simpler. We’ve altered many of our habits these past few months, whether by design or by necessity, and we are discovering new and possibly better ways to live our day-to-day lives. With this forced “simplification” we’ve all experienced this year, we thought our next book might resonate with our readers.

In September, the Time to Read Podcast book club is reading The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel.

Finkel meets and interviews someone the media dubbed “the last true hermit”. His subject, Christopher Knight, walked away from his life and disappeared into a remote part of the Maine wilderness in 1986. He was just 20 years old. Since that time he built a camp, lived off the land (and off of occasional break-ins for essentials in nearby camps and cabins), and kept to himself. His arrest and reluctant return to society is documented, and Finkel gives us a sympathetic sketch of a gentle yet quietly troubled man. Kirkus Reviews calls it a “thoughtful, honest, and poignant portrait”. Along the way the book explores the nature of the relationship between the individual and society, while at the same time ponders the meaning of happiness and fulfillment in the modern world.

I think we’ll find a lot to discuss in this month’s pick. Look for the episode the first week of October. In the meantime, our latest episode on Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers is now available here or wherever you find podcasts.

Until next time, make sure you find….Time To Read.


Chadwick Boseman (November 29, 1976 – August 28, 2020)

Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display.

Ryan Coogler, Marvel

On August 28, 2020, the world received the very sad news that Chadwick Boseman had passed away from colon cancer at the age of 43, the same day that Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech in Washington in 1963.

The outpouring of grief that came with the news of his passing reflects the positive impact that he had on many – young and old – during his life and throughout his career.

He played many roles as an actor. His first role was in television in 2003 in an episode of Third Watch. His first starring role was as Jackie Robinson in 42: The Jackie Robinson Story, that told the story of when Jackie Robinson broke the professional baseball race barrier to become the first African American major league baseball player. From this starring role, he went on to play many more.

In the film Marshall, he played the role of Thurgood Marshall, the crusading lawyer who would become the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battled through one of his career-defining cases.

In 21 Bridges, he played the role of Andre Davis, a NYPD detective thrust into a citywide manhunt for a pair of police killers after uncovering a massive and unexpected conspiracy.

In Get on Up he became James Brown in a film that chronicled the musician’s life as he rose from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history.

And as King T’Challa/Black Panther in Black Panther, he was the wise and kind ruler and protector of Wakanda, a technologically advanced African nation. Black Panther was also in Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: End Game.

He also played Levee in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (forthcoming) and Stormin’ Norman in Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods, a story about four African American veterans who return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide.

He said:

When you are deciding on the next steps, next jobs, next careers, further education, you should rather find purpose than a job or a career. Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you.

Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman connected us to his purpose. And for that we’re grateful.


Shiny and New: Our Latest Non-Fiction for Adults

In the last 3 months your library has added 1211 new (print) non-fiction titles for adults – if you count all the copies that’s thousands of individual books – and there is a wonderful range of topics and authors to choose from. Find a sample below.

You can place a hold/request to pick up any of these  19 different library locations. For more information about library services during COVID-19, please visit our guide. Have a question? Give us a call at 204-986-6450 or submit a question online.  As always, we’re here to help.

Oh – and I almost forgot! Have you seen the library’s new MEGA guide for readers? Called Your Next Great Read, you’ll want to bookmark it and visit it often for a ton of reading suggestions for adults (including for non-fiction books), supports for book clubs, information about our podcast Time To Read (we are on our 31 episode!), plus our new Five-in-Five service where you can put our librarians to work creating a book list tailored just for you.

Happy reading!


Five Things a Day

Did you know that helping your child develop early literacy skills can be as simple as doing these five things every day? Talk. Sing. Read. Write. Play!

Babies’ brains are amazing. Right from the moment they are born, they are soaking up the world around them. In the first three years of life in particular, there is a huge growth in the number of synapses in a baby’s brain, which makes this an important time to start laying the groundwork for future learning.

You can learn more about early brain development in our Early Literacy Info Guide.

Five Practices, Six Skills

Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play are known as the five early literacy practices, and these in turn support the six early literacy skills.

PracticeWhat you can do at home
TalkTalk to your child about what you’re doing and what you see around you; for very young children, respond to their coos, babbles, and facial expressions.
SingSinging and rhyming help children learn letter sounds and breaks words down.
ReadReading with someone they love is best way to help them become readers. Let them choose books and turn pages as they are able.
WriteTalk to your child about their scribbles and drawings; point out words as your go about your day.
PlayPlaying pretend helps children think symbolically and learn about the world around them.

Here we provide tips on picking books to support each of the five practices.

The five early literacy practices listed above support the six early literacy skills:

SkillWhat it means
Print motivationinterested in books
Print awarenessnoticing print and understanding how books work
Letter knowledgeknowing letter names and sounds
Vocabularyknowing a variety of words
Phonological awarenessability to break works into smaller sounds
Narrative skillstells stories, understands order of events

More information is available on developing the six skills.

Children learn best when spending time with the people that mean the most to them, so focus on having fun and positive experiences involving literacy activities, and you’ll be doing the best thing possible to encourage your child to be a lifelong learner and reader!

For more information on how to Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play every day at home, head over to our Early Literacy Info Guide.


Your Next Great Read

Winnipeg Public Library staff love to read, and we love to help readers find great books!

We’ve put together a wide-ranging collection of resources – “Your Next Great Read” – to connect you with something you’ll enjoy, whether you’re an avid reader, a seasoned genre fan, or just beginning to explore. It also features tools for readers and book clubs.

Each guide includes a brief outline of a genre, from romance and thrillers to cookbooks and true crime, and features curated lists of staff picks, books to try if you’re just starting to discover a genre, award winners, and Canadian or local authors to check out – plus links to find more in our catalogue, and websites that offer in-depth information for avid readers.

The seven guides are:

  • Tools for book lovers – links to great resources to inspire your next reading adventure
  • Fiction – encompasses the broad genres of literary, historical, and inspirational fiction
  • Non-fiction – focuses on non-fiction for personal interest including biography & memoir, cookbooks, self help, true crime, history, social issues, and science
  • Local authors – an introduction to works by local writers, whether they live down the block or a few provinces over
  • Mystery & thriller – solve the mystery of which book to read next with this range of mysteries and thrillers to suit every interest
  • Other-worldly fiction – discover “speculative fiction,” or the genres of horror, science fiction or fantasy plus all the multiple blends between them
  • Romance – explore one of the most popular fiction genres, with a wide variety of subgenres and categories

Still haven’t found anything that appeals to you? Try our new “Five in Five” service! Click on the online form, tell us a bit about what you like (and don’t like) to read, and you’ll receive a personalized list of five books suggested by library staff based on your tastes & preferences within five days.

Twisted Sisters

“Our blood is the same, we just use it differently.”
― The Sisters Brothers

This month, the “Time to Read” podcast bookclub will be saddling up their horses and hitting the trail with The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt. DeWitt’s reimagining of the Western follows Eli and Charlie Sisters, (the titular brothers) as they travel to Sacramento in 1851 to murder a prospector, accused of stealing from the brothers’ employer. On the way, the brothers have a series of misadventures and bicker about everything from their horses to questioning their shady lifestyle.

The novel won numerous awards including the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, as well as being short-listed for the Man Booker, Scotiabank Giller, and Walter Scott Prizes.

DeWitt was inspired to write the novel after picking up a Time-Life book on The California Gold Rush at a garage sale.

The novel was adapted into a movie starring John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix in 2018.

In the meantime, please give a listen to our latest episode on Walter Mosley’s Charcoal Joe, now available here and wherever you find your podcasts.

Until next time, make sure you find….Time to Read.

-Trevor and the “Time to Read” podcast bookclub.