Summer Spooktacle

Summer is a time of sunshine, sand, ice cream, and s’mores around the campfire. There is nothing quite like sitting around a toasty fire while staring up at the stars, listening to the rustling of the wind in the trees while someone tells a scary story.

If you want to keep the spooky times rolling even after your summer vacation is over (if you ask me, it’s never too early to start getting ready for Halloween!), check out items in the list below, guaranteed to bring that campfire feeling into your home! Maybe leave the fire outside, though.

 The Curse of the Wendigo by Nick Yancey

In book 2 of the Monstrumologist series, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancée to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied?

If you’ve never encountered the Wendigo in your reading, it’s well worth checking this one out. It’s one of the creepiest folkloric creatures I’ve run into in my reading adventures!

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Speaking as someone who recently missed a turn and then found herself driving on a deserted highway surrounded by marsh, and then on a lonely dirt road through endless cornfields, all under a partially cloud-covered full moon, it’s no stretch of the imagination to think that you might see a ghostly figure along the side of the road.

Haunted highways are a classic amongst urban legends. You might recognize some of these popular titles: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown.

In fact, in Sparrow Hill Road, she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom.

If you’re feeling brave, feel free to bring this along as your next road trip read!

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant

Killer mermaids and ghost ships, anyone?

When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses. They didn’t expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn’t expect those mermaids to have teeth.

As a novella, this book is a nice, quick read, perfect for the beach!

And if you enjoy this one, keep an eye out for the next book in the series, Into the Drowning Deep.

Gravity Falls by Alex Hirsch

Twelve year-old twins Dipper and Mabel Pines are off to spend the summer with their gruff Great Uncle (‘Grunkle’) Stan who runs the tacky tourist trap, ‘Mystery Shack.’ The kids uncover mysterious surprises, unsurpassed silliness, and supernatural shenanigans lurking around every corner of the deceptively sleepy little town.

This is a fun series for younger fans of things that go bump in the night, and you just can’t go wrong with shenanigans!

Supernatural

This television series got its start in the folklore and myths that created all of the really great campfire tales. The main characters, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, seek out and fight supernatural forces in an attempt to find their mysteriously missing father and the person or force responsible for their mother’s death. In the process, you’ll meet recognizable characters, some of whom have already appeared on this list, such as the Phantom Traveler and the Wendigo.

These are just a few of the spooky stories we have at the library, so don’t worry horror fans, you won’t run out!

Maybe you’ve got some other favourite tales that you like to share with friends. If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to know what they are!

Happy reading,

Megan

The Wonder of Seeds

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”      ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Seeds are truly amazing. After many years, I still find gardening to be very magical – you plant this little seed and in a few weeks a beautiful plant is growing! August is the most rewarding time of year for the gardener. All of the planning, planting, weeding and watering are finally paying off with fresh veggies. We’ve been enjoying arugula, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, bok choy and kale from our small garden and are looking forward to all of those tomatoes ripening on the vine. There’s nothing as satisfying as being able to walk into your own backyard and pick your dinner! And the magic doesn’t stop there – let some of those plants go to seed and you’ll have enough seeds for next year’s garden, as well as some to share.

Winnipeg Public Library has hosted several seed swaps in the last few years and now we will have a Seed Library at the Osborne branch, in partnership with The People Garden of Sustainable South Osborne. All you have to do is save your seeds from your healthiest plants and drop them off at Osborne Library in November. Not sure how to save seeds? Come to one of our Seed Saving programs at Osborne or Henderson Libraries and learn how: seedsaving. The seed Library will re-open in February and gardeners will be able to come and pick up packets of seeds.

These plants are great for beginner seed savers: peas, lettuce, eggplant, spinach, dill, beans and arugula:

beans

arugula

arugula – notice the yellow seed pods

Winnipeg Public Library also has some great books on the subject:

The Manual of Seed Savingseed saving bk by Andrea Heistinger provides a good overview on the subject.

 

Seed Libraries and other means of keeping seeds in the Hands of the Peopleseed libraries by Cindy Conner is a wonderful resource for anyone thinking of starting a seed library and gives a lot of background on the importance of saving and sharing seeds.

Seed Sovereignty, Food Security  seed sovis an anthology compiled by environmental activist Vandana Shiva and focuses on the work of women from around the world who are trying “to preserve small-scale farming, seed sharing, and local indigenous knowledge.”

The Triumph of Seeds: triumph seedsHow Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, & Pips conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History by Thor Hanson – The title says it all!

 

 

For more information on the Osborne Seed Library click the link below:

Seed Library – Instruction Sheet

Happy Gardening!

Carole

 

Exciting #MYRCA News!

Teachers! Librarians! Parents! There is a big change coming to Manitoba for young readers! Hopefully you are familiar with the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award (MYRCA) where students in grades 5-8 can read from a list of 18 Canadian titles and vote for their favorite. If you are looking for ways to encourage your kids to read independently, MYRCA  is a great way to get started.

For 2017, Manitoba students chose Allan Stratton’s The Dogs as their favorite book. Our kids clearly have good taste as The Dogs has won both Saskatchewan’s Snow Willow Award and Ontario’s Forest of Reading’s Red Maple Award. This September, MYRCA together with Thin Air, the Winnipeg International Writer’s Festival have arranged to have Allan Stratton appear on their main and school stages. Young readers never forget meeting their favorite author, and their energy is palpable. Schools whose students have voted are also invited to a special ceremony when Allan will receive his 2017 MYRCA Award, hosted by Lisa Ferguson’s students from Victor Mager School.

Lately, the MYRCA committee has noted the difficulty in finding appropriate titles for the full range of ages we serve. Students’ reading interests in grade 5 are vastly different than students in grade 8. The same holds true for their reading levels. Having a long list of 18 books, MYRCA selectors have always hoped that there is something on it for everyone, but in reality, there are always a few books that are too “low” for the grade 8’s and too “high” for the grade 5’s.

With this in mind, MYRCA has decided that now is the time to change! Starting in 2019, MYRCA will offer two lists of 10 books each; one for grades 4-6 and one for grades 7-9. In this way we are expanding our readership into grades 4 and 9 and will be offering titles that are better suited to those ranges. The MYRCA voting system will remain the same, with participants voting once if they have read 3 or more titles and twice if they have read 6 or more. Teachers and librarians report this to be very motivating for their students, as many will read “just one more” to get that extra vote. As such, MYRCA hopes to encourage all young people to become readers for life.

Although this change is still a year away, you can still participate in this year’s MYRCA. You can start reading the fantastic titles on the 2018 list of nominees  in several ways. If you like good old-fashioned print books, WPL has all of the titles in hardcover or paperback. For the more technology oriented, you can find most of the titles in eBook and/or audiobook through WPL’s Overdrive app. If you need a great read-aloud for that long summer road trip, you can do that too! Kids are required to have read (or been read to) 3 nominees to be eligible to vote.  Here are the three I would recommend starting with:

Written in verse, Root Beer Candy and Other Miracles  by Shari Green is evocative and deeply moving. While their parents attend a marriage counselling camp, Bailey and her younger brother Kevin are spending the summer with Nana Marie, whom they barely know. Bailey is struggling with anxiety and looks for solace in the strangest of places. She sometimes finds the face of Jesus in her pancakes and a piece of driftwood is certainly a magical mermaid. But the idyllic seaside town has mysteries of its own and Bailey finds herself hoping for a miracle.

 A Boy Named Queen by Sara Cassidy is a short novella about Evelyn who is just as surprised as her classmates when they are introduced to the new boy at school whose name is Queen. The boys in her class tease him but she tries to be nice. What she discovers along the way makes for a great discussion starter about being resilient and staying true to yourself.

 

For graphic novel lovers, The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks introduces us to an Asian-inspired city that has been repeatedly conquered and renamed so many times that the original name has been lost. The divide between the wealthy military elite and the poor population is apparent to Kaidu, a general’s son and Rat, an orphaned Indigenous girl. Together they try to rescue the city in the only way they can. This is the first in a trilogy and is being made into a television series.

 

So, get those kids reading and see you at Thin Air!

-Colette

So very Camp

 

9780590431354[1]One of my favourite books growing up was Gordon Korman’s I want to go home. It’s a hilarious novel about this kid, Rudy Miller, who is sent to summer camp against his will. He spends the entire time trying to devise new and ingenious ways of escaping. One of his schemes is to write a letter home to his parents describing his camp life (filled with exaggerations and lies) with the hope that they will collect him early. Here’s an excerpt:

Dear Mom and Dad,

This place is terrible. Each day I’m subjected to countless atrocities. The food is spoiled and poisonous, and the drinking water is contaminated so there is an outbreak of typhoid. Our cabin collapsed last night in a typhoon, but don’t worry. Only one guy got killed.
It’s not all bad. I do have one friend, named Mike. He’s the one who pulled me out of the quicksand. I have to haul garbage every day, but there aren’t too many wild animals at the dump and I’ve only been bitten twice.
Tonight is really going to be fun. Our cabin hasn’t been fixed yet, so we get to sleep in trees. I sure hope the typhoon doesn’t start up again.
I’ll be safe and sound so long as Algonkian Island doesn’t sink any further.

Your son,
Rudy

P.S. If this letter looks messy it’s because I’m writing it while being chased by a bear.

It’s a little more difficult finding adult novels that deal with summer camp, but here are a few that you might enjoy. SPOILERS: things don’t go well.

The Summer is Ended and We are Not Yet Saved by Joey Comeau

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Okay, let me say right off the top that this book is not for everyone. It’s quite graphic (it’s a horror novel, essentially) about an 11 year old kid who goes to Bible camp. The first part of the novel sets up a lot of the 1980’s slasher tropes but they are interspersed with some lovely correspondence between the kid (Martin) and his mother back home. The second part of the novel devolves into a genre slasher story, albeit one with some creativity and dark humour. Not exactly an adult companion piece to I want to go home, but close.

How to Survive a Summer by Nick White

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This powerful debut tells the story of a film studies graduate student, Will Dillard, who spend a summer at a “gay conversion camp” as a teenager, and how now, almost 20 years later, he is confronted with what happened that summer and how it affected him. (And yes, there is a “slasher film” element to this story as well. It seems you can’t write a novel about summer camp without evoking the image of someone in a goalie mask).

The Mad Cook of Pymatuning by Christopher Lehmann-Haupt

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Maybe I’m just looking for slasher summer camp stuff at this point, but here’s a book recommended by Stephen King, He says: “Warm ’50s nostalgia gives way to cold chills in this tale of a summer camp gone bad. Very bad. Think Lake Lord-of-the-Flies.”  Are there no “feel good” summer camp books? I guess that wouldn’t be very interesting, would it? “Chapter 1: we all had a lovely time, made life-long friends and learned valuable survival and leadership skills. The End.”

All of these books reference the “Summer Camp Slasher” genre in one way or another, and none of it would have been possible without the original, Friday the 13th. If you are at all interested in that franchise and the impact it has had on our pop culture, you should check out Crystal Lake Memories. It’s 400 minutes long and takes you through every Friday the 13th movie. (I know, it’s a bit much, but it does a thorough job.)

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After reading through all these different “reinventions of the slasher novel”, it just made me want to rewatch The Cabin in the Woods, which is a great little take on the “teenagers go camping in the woods” kind of story…WITH A TWIST (of course).

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Enjoy the rest of your summer. Hopefully you make it through!

-Trevor

 

 

 

When I want an audiobook, I get it from the library.

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We’re super happy to share that we have another eAudiobook service for you – RBdigital! So now you can get eAudiobooks from Overdrive, hoopla, and RBdigital with your library card!

Here’s what you need to know about RBdigital:

  • It’s awesome.
  • There are currently close to 350 audiobooks to borrow from it. The entire Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is in that collection! No more Droughtlander as fans wait for Season 3 to start. (Yes, this is a survival tool too.) Plus, there are many other great books by authors like Miriam Toews, Anne Perry, Richard Wagamese, Janette Oke, Ian Rankin, Stuart Woods,  Jojo Moyes, and more.
  • You can borrow 10 items at a time.
  • You can borrow each item for 1-21 days.
  • No holds! The audiobooks available from RBdigital are available all of the time.
  • No late fees! Audiobooks will return automatically when the borrowing period is up.
  • Renewing a book is easy. Some audiobooks can be long (and wonderful), so don’t feel like you need to rush.
  • You can listen to the audiobooks on your mobile device and computer. And it’s easy to get set up. Read on to learn more about how to do that.
  • It’s awesome. Did you see what I did there?

 

We’ve created some step-by-step documents to get you on your way. If you’re using a mobile device, check out this guide: RBdigital app for mobile devices. If you’ll be listening to the audiobooks on your computer, check this one out: RBdigital on your Computer. And (as always) if you have any questions at all, Ask Us!

So exciting!

Reegan (an audio-bibliophile)

 

The “IT” Villain

In the small town of Derry, people are disappearing, children are being murdered. The police believe it’s some sadistic killer who’s turned their sight on the young and vulnerable. In this climate of fear the police impose a curfew, hoping that it will keep kids safe. Parents remind their children not to talk to strangers. Don’t stay out late. It’s only a matter of time before this lunatic will be caught – and eventually life will return to normal. As summer vacation begins, kids are looking forward to a well deserved break. Baseball, firecrackers, horror movies, playing with your friends – this is what it’s all about. But it’s not easy being a kid. Even though school is over, local bully Henry Bowers and his friends continue to hassle their classmates. Unfortunately, there’s a bigger problem and it’s lurking in the sewers. ‘IT’ written by Stephen King, is the story of the Loser Club, a group of kids who band together to defeat a monster and stop its killing spree.

A good antagonist isn’t necessarily evil, it’s more than that. A well written villain, has a plan, they torment, taunt, and manipulate their prey. If they aren’t careful they let their guard down and become its next victim. Stephen King brings us Pennywise the Dancing Clown, a monster who appears as a clown, which allows IT to lure children into a false sense of security, until it’s too late. This novel is responsible for introducing the scary clown, which has become part of pop culture. But why a clown? I think it’s because people either like or hate clowns – there’s no middle ground. Clowns are supposed to entertain us, they make jokes and slip on banana peels. They’re supposed to be silly not scary. You might not think anything is out of the ordinary if you see a clown handing out balloons. But it’s another thing altogether when that clown is hanging out in sewers, offering balloons to children. Once again, Stephen King takes something that’s completely normal and twists it into something horrible.

Even if you’ve never read ‘IT’ you’ve probably seen a picture of Pennywise. If an evil clown isn’t your thing, no problem – there are other reasons you should read ‘IT’. The 80s cult-classic ‘The Goonies’ and Netflix’s hit series ‘Stranger Things’, are heavily influenced by Stephen King and this novel. First of all, it features a group of kids who are the main protagonists. Second, these characters embark on an adventure to defeat a terrible antagonist. It is their camaraderie and love for one another forges a powerful bond which is vital to their success and their survival. The fact that these kids, against all odds, would band together to kill a monster is unbelievable. But it’s also awesome. Is there anyone else, other than a group of childhood best friends, that would set out to kill a monster? (Apparently all the adults are busy.)

Stephen King has written fifty four novels as well as almost two hundred short stories; however, ‘IT’ is one of his best known novels. For more than thirty years ‘IT’ has terrified readers, and coming this September the movie will be released. Come see what the fuss is about and remember, “We all float down here.”

 

For Science!

disappearingspoon.jpgThere’s a misconception that some carry around after tossing their graduation caps and cleaning out their high school lockers that reading about science is boring. And while, yes, the subject matter in the wrong hands can be tedious and dull, some of the best stories come out of scientific serendipity, odd foot notes, and tangential study. One of my favourite genres to read is what some refer to as “cocktail-party science”. Likely, this is intended as a disparaging remark, conjuring up a vision of a 1960s affair where the ladies have long drapey silk scarves that they toss about saying, “Psshaw, science! I don’t even know the meaning of the word!” and the men all have oddly tight-fitting suits and giant cigars stuffed into the corners of their mouths as they guffaw themselves into a thick cloud of smoke.

So, here’s a short (hah!) list of some of my favourite nonfiction (science) authors and titles; the ones that will have you bothering those in your immediate vicinity with bursts of, “Did you know…?” and, “Listen to this…” until they sigh heavily, gather up their things, and find somewhere else to sit/work/live:

violiniststhumb.jpgSam Kean: Look, I’m not even going to pretend that this whole blog post wasn’t initially a thinly veiled love letter to Sam Kean’s writing. He tops out all my lists of accessible, fun to read nonfiction, exploding with facts that I have to read aloud to my cat because my husband has had, in his words, “enough, already”. Kean’s first book, The Disappearing Spoon, covers the curiosities of the periodic table (stay with me), his later books delve into genetics (The Violinist’s Thumb), neuroscience (The Case of the Dueling Neurosurgeons), and coming out this July a title about the most captivating topic of all: air! (Caesar’s Last Breath).

 

 

packingformars.jpgPacking for Mars by Mary Roach. Mary Roach is another science journalist who grabs onto a subject and shakes it until all the fun stuff falls out. She then slams that fun stuff between book covers and makes a million dollars*. If you’re not interested in the details, dangers, and possibilities of space travel, Roach has also covered the topics of digestion (Guts), the alimentary canal more generally (Gulp), sex (Bonk), human cadavers (Stiff), the afterlife (Spook), and, most recently, the history of warfare (Grunt).

 

workingstiff.jpgIf the word “cadavers” up there sparked your interest, you should also check out Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by Dr. Judy Melinek. This title follows Dr. Melinek’s years working as a forensic pathologist (she started her training in New York City just two months prior to September 2001), as well as countless bizarre and fascinating cases of investigating and determining cause of death.

smokegetsinyoureyes.jpgCover image for Curtains : adventures of an undertaker-in-trainingIf you’ll permit me to stretch this macabre topic a little further: there’ve also been a few books written about those trying out employment at crematoriums and funeral homes. Try out The Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty, and Curtains: Adventures in Undertaking by Tom Jokinen which takes place at a local Winnipeg funeral home.

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Okay, let’s lighten things up a bit with a little ornithology: The Thing with Feathers: the surprising lives of birds and what they reveal about being human by Noah K. Strycker. If you’ve ever wanted to cross the threshold into the realm of bird journalism, you’ve found your entry point. It’s a thoroughly engaging, almost poetic look at the lives of our winged friends. But, caveat lector: this one comes with a high likelihood of bombarding those around you with factoids aplenty.

 

wickedplants.jpgWickedbugs.jpg drunkenbotanist.jpg

Want something lighter still? Amy Stewart covers the understated and quietly terrifying world of both plants (Wicked Plants) and bugs (you guessed it, Wicked Bugs). If you’re interested in never taking another hike without incessantly glancing around as though the whole world was trying to take you out, these are books you’ll want to devour. If you’d rather examine plants for their more useful qualities, try Stewart’s The Drunken Botanist for how to incorporate your yard/park/local plant conservatory (don’t try that last one, it probably won’t end well) into your next nightcap.

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If bugs aren’t small enough for you, I suggest you try I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong. Yong examines the world of microbes and their critical importance for all life on earth, both large and small. Thoroughly readable, this study of all the microscopic beings that take up residence in and on our bodies will have you rethinking the concept of ever being truly alone.

 

asapscience.jpgLastly (because I have to stop this rambling at some point), for those who may “psshaw” their way through a discussion of scientific merit, take a peek within the pages of ASAP Science: answers to the world’s weirdest questions, most persistent rumors & unexplained phenomena by M. Moffit and G. Brown. With a title like that, I’m sure it needs further explanation. Based on the successful YouTube channel (AsapSCIENCE), this book covers important topics like if your eyeballs could really fly out of your head when you sneeze and why we tend to hate photos of ourselves, all while using science! It’s also filled with cartoony illustrations to help break up all those darn words. For an ever-so-slightly more sophisticated mash-up of science and graphics, you simply must get your hands on The Infographic Guide to Science by Tom Cabot which is pretty much a never ending picture playground for nerds. It’s chock-full of brightly coloured and immaculately designed infographics starting with the Big Bang and concluding with Artificial Intelligence which, if Hollywood has taught me anything, is truly where we will all meet our end.

I guarantee** if you get a few of these titles under your belt you’ll have ample fodder for your next cocktail party. Would you pick up a science nonfiction title the next time you pop into the library? Have a favourite title I missed? What should I read next? These are all engaging questions.

For Science!

Laura

*This may be both a gross oversimplification and exaggeration

**absolutely not a real guarantee

Love it and List it

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The human animal differs from the lesser primates in his passion for lists.  H. Allen Smith

As I’ve said a time or two million before, I love lists. Long, short, alphabetical, chronological, or numerical, pro or con, to do or already completed. If it’s a series of words or concepts written in a column I’m all over it. The saying at my house is “If it’s not on the list it doesn’t exist.” This doesn’t just apply to shopping, packing and chores, it’s an all-encompassing motto that we use on a daily basis, often several times a day.

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handmaid's tale

 

 

 

 

Is it any wonder that I work in a place that’s built around lists? After all, what’s the library catalogue but a list of all of the items at the library? Take something like The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. When you look up the title you’ll see a list of the print books, audio books, book club kits and critical essays. But the fun doesn’t stop there. You can place a hold on any or all of these items, adding them to your holds list. Or you can create a temporary list, so that you can come back to it after you’ve done some more searching. As if that wasn’t enough, you could also add the title to your list of items you want to read or place on hold at some time in the future. For a list lover, life doesn’t get any better than this.

 

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Sometimes it’s good to have a look at someone’s else list, too. When that moment arises, you can always turn to the WPL website. With a quick click on the search catalogue option, you can see what’s at the top of the Globe and Mail and McNally Robinson Bestseller lists. If you’re looking for award winners there are lists for that too, from the Governor General to the Prix littéraire, all connected to that handy list known as the library catalogue.

 

WPL info guidesJust when you thought you’d run out of library lists, we’ve come up with more! Info Guides are lists (there’s that lovely word again) of links created by library staff to library content and websites on all sorts of topics, from Adult Literacy to Science and Technology. The fun thing about the list of Info Guides is that you can search it or rearrange it according to your wishes – alphabetically, by popularity or by the most recent addition. LGBTTQ+ is one of the newest Info Guides in the collection, with a wide range of information, including recommended reads, local support groups and organizations, and online resources. All of the Info Guides are constantly being updated, so there are new things to check out all the time, and, dare I say, add to a list.

 

And, of course, for the truly dedicated list lovers out there, there are entire books dedicated to lists. Where to go, where not to go, best of, worst of, trivia, the selection is almost limitless. If you can think of it, odds are there’s a book out there somewhere listing it.

 

 

 

 

Lori

What’s New in the Local History Room?

It’s time to take a look at some of the recent arrivals in the Local History Room.

 

Cover image for Riel's defence : perspectives on his speeches

 

 

Though the great waves of unidentified flying objects sightings is behind us, the phenomenon still intrigues to this day. Fifty years ago this year, Winnipegger Stefan Michalak claimed to have had an encounter with a mysterious aircraft that left him seriously injured.  When They appeared: Falcon Lake, 1967, The Inside Story of a Close Encounter was written by his son Stan and UFO researcher Chris Rutkowski. It includes Stefan’s original account of the encounter and relates how him and his family dealt with the government investigation and the extensive media coverage that followed. The book reviews the evidence left at the site, includes copies of transcripts of interviews and reports made at the time by the RCMP and other agencies, as well as tell Stan’s personal experiences and how the incident shaped his youth.

 

Cover image for From the outside in : Jewish Post & News columns, 2015-2016

From the Outside in: Jewish Post & News Columns, 2015-2016 is a collection of columns written by Joanne Seiff for Winnipeg’s Jewish Post and News. These cover a wide range of topics of interest from raising children, social justice to the keeping of religious practices.  The author also includes anecdotes about her personal experiences, notably about moving to unfamiliar Winnipeg from the States and how they adapted.

 

Cover image for The Seven Oaks reader
On June 19th, 1816 an event occurred that had a pivotal impact on the history of what would become Manitoba (even if it has somewhat receded from our collective memory). This was the of Battle of Seven Oaks that broke out between rival hunting parties of the fur trade companies (the Hudson Bay and North West) that were vying for control of the territory.  The Seven Oaks Reader by Myrna Kostash offers a comprehensive retelling of the Fur Trade Wars. The book incorporates period accounts and journals, histories, memoirs, songs and fictional retellings, from a wide range of sources.

 

And to conclude, in The Forks, a Meeting Place Transformed by Sheila Grover you can learn about the early history of The Forks, the fur trade and railway eras, and the transformation from an industrial site into one of Winnipeg’s most popular gathering places. The book also includes a self-guided tour of the historic and contemporary buildings and landscapes. This is an ideal title to learn about how much the Forks have changed, especially in the last decades.

 
Come to the Local History Room and check it out!
 
– Louis-Philippe

Winter is Coming…in July

 

To quote a common utterance in Game of Thrones, “winter is coming”, and from the looks of things, it won’t disappoint. Though many of you, like me, loves to sit on a warm beach, dip your toes in the sand or go swim in one of our many lovely lakes in Manitoba, I will also be glued to my TV screen on Sunday evenings ready to find out what happens to my favourite characters on HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 7. Based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, HBO’s Game of Thrones (GOT) has taken the world by storm. It has raised the bar for production value, being the most expensive series on television, and boasting epic twists and surprises that even the fans of the novels didn’t see coming. Though avid readers are waiting for Martin to finish the next book in the series, those who are also fans of the show have been fortunate to catch a glimpse past Martin’s published novels and see what may be in store through the TV series. As the next season airs, here are some read-alikes to whet your appetite of all things GOT and fantasy.

 

 A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

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If you are a fan of the series, but haven’t read the books, or are wanting to start both the books and the TV series, sink your teeth into the tomes that Martin has written. Be prepared to devote time to these novels as each one clocks in at around 1,000 pages, but be sure to have a pen and paper on hand to keep track of whom is related to whom and how they fit into the grand scheme of things (it can get complicated!). Martin does a fantastic job of world-building and has created such wonderful and unique characters we can love and hate or love to hate. Hopefully, once you are done he will have released his next book in the series and we can all find out what happens next.

 

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

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A classic and game-changer in the fantasy genre, Tolkien’s masterful work contains intricate and vastly thought-out world-building (there are many other books compiled of his writing detailing the mythology and history of Middle-earth), that one would believe this place actually exists (and maybe it does in New Zealand!). This series is one of my personal favourites which I have re-read many times and continuously find something new to love and appreciate. If you’ve already read the series and enjoyed it, try The Silmarillion, it can be daunting but worth it in terms of learning more about the history of Middle-earth, how Sauron came to be and about the first dark lord Morgoth. When you’re finished reading, check out Peter Jackson’s Award Winning adaptation of the books (try and check out the extended edition, worth the almost 4 hour run-time).

 

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

This coming-of-age novel and first book in the series features a young protagonist who is forced to take the throne after his father and brother are murdered. Set in a Viking-like world, Yarvi is heir to the throne but loses it when his father is killed and must embark on a journey to win it back. This novel is also excellent for the young adult reader.

 

Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown

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Set in a futuristic society where Mars is colonized and all “people” are divided into colours and thus assigned their fate in life. “Red” miner (the lowest colour in the society) Darrow is tasked by the group Sons of Ares to infiltrate the “Golds” (the highest in the society) and cause a rebellion which could change the way of life for all and end the enslavement of the Reds. Though some might argue the series is more science-fiction than fantasy, there is world-building and characters are cultivated and explored, especially as the trilogy moves along, and there is much mythological inspiration. Brown’s series has the protagonist maneuver his way from lowly Red to transforming into a Gold. He must form alliances and betray those he considers friends all to help free his people from the slavery and cruel punishments they receive from those higher up. For those who liked The Hunger Games and Ender’s Game, this one is perfect for you too!

 

Queen of the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen

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If you are searching for a strong female character, look no further than Kelsea, a young woman who discovers that she is the heir to the Tearling throne though she has been raised away from the city and the palace. She must learn to rule in fairness and firmness, and contend with those around her who would use her to claim the throne for themselves. She must also deal with the powerful Red Queen who requires Tearling people in payment to her every year to maintain the peace, and discover the powers that she herself possesses. For fans of Daenerys Targaryen, read this series and be swept away.

 

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

The first book in this new series where a young girl who witnesses her father’s execution and becomes an assassin is sure to please GOT fans (Arya Stark anyone?). This fast-paced read features a strong female character, political intrigue, humour, violence and wonderful world-building and will leave the reader hungry for the next book to come.

 

So get out and enjoy summer and the warm weather even if it is just in your backyard or on your balcony, because as we Winnipeggers know, winter is coming (though hopefully not for another few months).

 

-Aileen