So you wanna read eBooks…

Are you participating in our Adult Summer Reading challenge (https://guides.wpl.winnipeg.ca/adultsummerreading)? One of the challenges is to explore the library’s digital resources. In this post, you’ll learn about eBook platforms Overdrive and Cantook Station. Both of these can be accessed by clicking on the “Digital Library” button on the library’s home page.

OverDrive is the library’s most popular eBook service and has thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines. Here’s what you need to know about Overdrive:

  • You can borrow 25 items per month
  • Items can be borrowed for 7, 14, or 21 days; express items can be borrowed for 7 days
  • Items can be renewed if there are no holds
  • You can borrow an unlimited number of magazines

OverDrive can be searched by subject, collection, or format. Check out the “Express” collection which is comprised of popular and bestselling titles that are available for immediate check-out.

You can enjoy all OverDrive has to offer with the Libby app. Libby has the whole OverDrive collection in a more user-friendly and attractive platform. Experiment with both OverDrive and Libby to see which one you prefer.

Cantook Station offers French eBooks and eAudiobooks. Here’s what you need to know about Cantook:

  • You can borrow up to 20 items
  • You can have 20 holds
  • Items can be borrowed for 3 weeks

In Cantook, you can look for a specific title or you can browse by recently added, most popular, and on specially-curated topics.

Here are some eBooks to enjoy for your Summer Reading Challenge card. You can find more reading lists and recommendations on the Adult Summer Reading challenge page (https://guides.wpl.winnipeg.ca/adultsummerreading).

On Overdrive, you can find:

On Cantook, you can find:

Happy (e) reading!

Partez à la découverte de la lecture avec le Club de lecture d’été TD!

Que vous ayez envie de découvrir l’espace avec Mon amie la lune, d’acquérir des superpouvoirs avec Albertine Petit-Brindamour déteste les choux de Bruxelles, de comprendre la dure réalité des personnes qui fuient la guerre avec C’est quoi un réfugié?, la différence au travers de Laurent, c’est moi ou encore les dures réalités de l’adolescence avec Courage!, cet été, LISEZ!

Vous pourrez même savourer quelques rencontres avec des auteurs et autrices qui viennent vous offrir des ateliers sur comment une bande dessinée et un livre jeunesse prennent vie en cliquant sur Programmes/vidéos d’auteurs.

Sachez que de nombreux documents sont disponibles en version numérique et physique telle que la série BD Ninn par Johann Pilet et Jean-Michel Darlot (format électronique et en version papier.)

Avec votre code secret, explorez le site Web club TD. Vous y retrouverez des livres électroniques, des blagues, des suggestions de lecture, d’activités et des bricolages; vous aurez même la chance de voter pour votre livre préféré dans le duel des livres. Les activités dans les livrets ainsi que les titres recommandés sont sélectionnés par un comité de bibliothécaires; ce sont des livres que nous avons adorés! Appelez une succursale de la Bibliothèque publique de Winnipeg de votre choix pour recevoir une trousse de lecture et d’activités bilingue gratuite!!

Adult Reading & Digital Library Challenges

Summer gives a chance to slow down a little (the heat encourages a slower pace!). Summer is also a great time to be reminded of the amazing services that your library card gives you for reading, streaming entertainment and more.

To help you dive into summer, we have compiled two challenges to help you get exploring – one for reading and the other for our online Digital Library.

Visit our online Adult Summer Challenges guide and download or print our Challenge Cards. You’ll find themes to challenge yourself – complete the whole card, a row, or choose any of the suggestions to read outside your comfort zone!

SUMMER READING CHALLENGE

Use our online catalogue to place holds for pickup or phone any branch and ask staff for more recommendations. Some titles are available as eBooks and eAudiobooks too. Here’s a few suggestions to get you started:

DIGITAL LIBRARY CHALLENGE

Your library card gives you access to thousands of eBooks, eMagazines, streaming movies and TV shows, music and learning resources. We’ve picked 5 resources to dive into to complete challenges such as exploring Hoopla. Hoopla is a streaming video service with movies, television shows, and music. With your library card, you can borrow 5 items per month and play them as often as you like within your loan period of 3 days for movies and TV and 7 days for music.

Here’s some staff picks to help with your challenges:

Hoopla: Click Browse to browse by collection and to break down collections by genre.

Kanopy: Click Browse to search by collection.   

We’ll share more posts for staff picks to help with your challenges. Don’t forget to visit our Adult Summer Challenges guide too. Leave your own suggestions to complete the challenges in the comments below!

Newfoundland

It was exactly what we had imagined, and much, much more. I’m talking about a family trip that we took a couple of years ago to the easternmost part of Canada, the absolutely gorgeous, awe-inspiring Newfoundland.

While there we went on a hike to Mistaken Point – did you know that the tilted mudstones there are the oldest fossils of complex multicellular life found anywhere on Earth? Yeah, pretty mind blowing. Along the way to the fossils we ate freshly-picked berries that grew along the path: snowberries (they taste like mint Tic Tacs) and cloudberries (they taste like apple pie).

We also went to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, were absolutely astounded at the cliffs and huge seabird colony at Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve, and saw puffins and whales in Bonavista.

Until we’re able to travel there again – and we certainly hope we’ll be able to – Gros Morne, we’re looking at you! – I’m staying connected to Newfoundland through its tourism site and of course, books.

Future Possible: An Art History of Newfoundland: In Future Possible, writers and artists come together to explore the histories and cultures of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the art pieces inspired by both.

Food, Culture, Place: Stories, Traditions, and Recipes of Newfoundland by Lori McCarthy and Marsha Tulk: This one hasn’t made it to the shelves quite yet, but it’s on order so you can place your hold. The authors have been eating the wild foods of Newfoundland for decades and collecting stories along the way – this book brings both together.

The Innocents by Michael Crummey: A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland’s northern coastline. With nothing more than the family’s boat and some knowledge passed down to them from their parents, this story explores their journey together.

The Woman in the Attic by Emily Hepditch. This one’s a thriller about a daughter who returns home to prepare her mother for the move to assisted living. The old saltbox house is in a horrible state after years of neglect. While packing up her mother’s things, Hannah discovers a trap door and the secrets hidden behind it.

Barry Squires, Full Tilt by Heather Smith. It’s 1995 and 12-year old Finbar (Barry) wants to join the Full Tilt Dancers troupe, Irish step dancers in St. John’s. Although Barry’s talent is questionable, he has a lot of support from a diverse cast of characters! If you like this one you can also check out Ebb & Flow and The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by the same author.

If Newfoundland (or any other place for that matter) is on your mind, do a subject search for it in our catalogue. You’re sure to find a range of entertaining and informative reads to keep that fire lit while you patiently wait to visit again.

~Reegan

On the Grill


It’s time to brush up on our grilling skills and create some delectable outdoor dining experiences. Whether you’re the meat-and-potatoes type or a veggie lover, there’s a cookbook in our library catalogue to suit your needs. These titles are sure to inspire you to fire up the barbecue for another season.

Hot Off the Presses

Feast your eyes on some of the freshest grill-related titles in our collection. Get ‘em while they’re hot!


Va-Va-Va-Veggies

Who says grilling has to be all about meat? These colourful cookbooks will give you lots of great ideas for how to get more veg on your summer menu.


The Great Outdoors

If you’re planning a camping trip this summer, we’ve got you covered there too. These titles will help take your campfire meals to the next level.


Beyond Recipes

Need more than just menu ideas? These books offer helpful advice about tools and techniques to get your grill game up to speed.


That’s Entertaining

When we’re ready to invite friends and family into our backyards again, be prepared. With guidance from these books you can throw a savoury shindig to remember.

Happy grilling!

-Wendy

A Tale of Kale

Kale is a superfood, and it’s secret power is tasting bad.

Jim Gaffigan

I said I would never do it again. I promised myself that I would remember what happened last year. I reminded myself before I left the house, and again on the way there. But somewhere along the line I caved, and before I knew what was happening, there it was again. Looking so innocent and pretty, green and leafy and tempting. Then it was time for the first harvest, and everything was still fine. I washed it, patted it dry, then before I lost my nerve I popped a bit into my mouth. Then it all came back to me in a rush, the reason I had vowed to never plant kale again.

I’m not alone in this.

Since being dubbed a “superfood” kale is consumed by the bushel. The term superfood has no scientific basis, it was invented in the 1980s by advertisers to promote bananas, and the term became a a part of our language. The term is generally used nutritionally-dense fruits and vegetables, not processed or refined food, and has become synonymous with healthy eating.

Brings a new insight into the saying you are what you eat.

At one time the go-to power veggie was spinach, and eating your spinach was something of a badge of honour. I think it was seen as highly virtuous food, possibly because it is very nutritious and has a strong taste. Sound familiar? Devoured, by Sophie Egan takes a look at how we view food, and how our eating habits can define who we are and how we view ourselves.

I do like kale’s friends…

I was the kid who always ate her green veggies, and as an adult I’m still trying to make peace with my dislike of kale. I have moved to a point of not loathing it, so that’s something, and I do find that it’s quite tasty on pizza. So perhaps there’s hope for me yet of embracing all of members of the brassica family. For now, that’s a kale, er, tale, for another time.

Hopefully I’ll get here someday.

-Lori

The Huntress

She was known only as die Jägerin (The Huntress), a cold blooded killer for the Nazis. After the war, she becomes the hunted, as a trio of investigators gets a solid lead on her whereabouts. One of these three, Nina Markova, encountered The Huntress during the war, and is one of the very few to survive. In America, 17-year-old Jordan McBride is adjusting to the idea that her widowed father has a new girlfriend, soon to be Jordan’s step-mom. Is it just a daughter’s protectiveness, or does Jordan sense something is not quite right with this new addition to her family?

This month, Time To Read is making time for The Huntress by Kate Quinn. Gaining legions of fans from her bestselling earlier novels, The Alice Network and The Rose Code, Quinn deftly weaves three storylines and three timelines together to tell this story steeped in romance and intrigue, with a healthy dose of historical realism as one of the storylines revolves around an all female Soviet flying regiment whose night bombing runs earned them the nickname ‘The Night Witches’ from the rattled German soldiers below.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this book. In the meantime, why not give one of our older episodes a listen? Our most recent one, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, is available July 2nd.

Until next month, stay safe and make sure you find TIME TO READ. -Trevor

Are they enemies or not?

In my last blog post I covered the “fake dating/fake relationship” trope found in many romance novels. Another favourite trope that I could read many times over is “enemies-to-lovers”. Unlike a “friends-to-lovers” story, the main characters aren’t old childhood friends secretly pining for each other, harbouring unrevealed feelings over the years until something happens that makes them confront the fact that they love each other. In enemies-to-lovers, these are characters who seem to relish getting under each other’s skin. Maybe it’s obvious to everyone around them that the depth of their loathing might be a little too pronounced, that they’re protesting a little too much. Over the story they (albeit begrudgingly) start to see that the other person is not only someone who isn’t the worst, but someone they could love. Sometimes a little enmity can make the sparks start to fly!

All Jacked Up by Lorelei James is one of my favourite examples (which also has an element of a fake relationship). This is book eight in her Rough Riders series, which follows the family dramas and romantic entanglements of several different families throughout many years, but it can be read as a standalone. Keeley McKay is the only daughter of the wild McKay family. Like her brothers in previous books, she isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. She had a wild youth and lived it up in a big city with her best friend AJ for a while before returning to her hometown of Sundance, Wyoming, to open up a physical therapy clinic. She needs a restoration specialist and it looks like her best option is her brother’s best friend and her longtime enemy, Jack Donohue, with whom she has butted heads for much of her life. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for her, Jack has learned that to be considered for a big career-transforming project, he’ll need to act the part of family man. In exchange for his help, Keeley agrees to play his fiancé. It doesn’t take long before their simmering attraction to each other is turned up to eleven and they give in. However, the new development in their relationship doesn’t stop them from picking fights with each other as they both try and fail to deny that their true feelings might be growing deeper then they want to admit. Their red-hot chemistry and banter makes for an enjoyable read that’s hard to put down.

Tools of Engagement is the third book in Tessa Bailey’s Hot and Hammered trilogy. The trilogy centers around the family-owned home renovation business in Rhode Island. Tools of Engagement is about the older sister in the Castle family, who has started to feel sidelined by being relegated to the interior design part of the business and her older brother, Stephen, just ignores her desire to branch out and get more involved in the actual renovation side of the business. On top of that, she’s terrified to let her loved ones know how stressed and anxious she gets about perfection and how worried she is that it has ruined her chances at a happy relationship.

In the second book, Love Her or Lose Her, former Texan Wes Daniels joined the business as a construction worker and immediately started to irritate Bethany with his flirting and teasing. At the end of the previous book she found out that he moved to town to help raise the daughter of his troubled sister. Wes gives up his hard-partying ways in Texas in exchange for construction work and child-rearing. Even though she admires his willingness to help, Bethany still doesn’t trust the younger, cocky cowboy and they take every opportunity to make digs at each other’s expense even as their feelings of lust are steadily increasing. 

Bethany’s issues with her brother over the family business come to a head and she makes the uncharacteristically rash decision to challenge him to a competition—whoever can renovate a house in a given period of time more successfully wins. She bought the rundown childhood house from her sister Georgie’s fiancé baseball star-turned-sports announcer Travis (their story is in the first book, Fix Her Up) and she really has work cut out for her.  What’s more, it’s going to be a reality show.  Wes ends up teaming up with Bethany and they’re forced to reconcile all the conflicting emotions bubbling up between them.  Like the first two books, there is plenty of humour and warmth.  My favourite in the trilogy is Fix Her Up but Tools of Engagement and Love Her or Lose Her are not far behind.

Dangerous Curves by Rose Larkin takes the enemies-to-lovers trope to the fast pace of the racetrack. Lacy McGowen used to be a sports photographer for NASCAR until a deadly event made it impossible for her to continue. She has been playing it safe as a portrait and wedding photographer in LA, afraid to go back to Pittsburgh where the most horrible event in her life happened. 

Before she’s to go on her annual vacation, she is contacted by a friend to help Kip Sellars, a “bad girl” NASCAR driver who has an image problem that needs cleaning up. Lacy is not excited about the job but she really needs funds for her project to help people in need, and she thinks that maybe she can finally confront some of the trauma she has been avoiding. Kip has her own significant traumatic emotional baggage from her adolescence and the two of them definitely do not immediately hit it off. 

Lacy at first tries to improve Kip’s image with appearances, but it becomes clear that isn’t what will help. Lacy then decides to get Kip to volunteer at the homeless shelter she is working with for her passion project which seems to help both of them open up a little, but they still both have so many barriers it’s hard for them to undo the damage their pasts. The clash between the two leads who have more in common than they want to admit makes for plenty of heat as they struggle to work through their hurt and make their way towards each other.

Several more enemies-to-lovers romances to check out are: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston, The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon and Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert.  For more romance recommendations check out the Your Next Great Read: Romance Info Guide.

~Madeleine

Black Romance Novels to Fall in Love With

Romance novels are the best to keep you company as you get ready for summer. They also serve up a happy ending, and their fast-moving plots and vibrant characters will transport you into worlds exciting and pleasant.

I’ve been working on expanding and diversifying my romance reading these past few years, and I’d like to share some of my favourite love stories out there featuring Black characters and written by Black women for you to sink your teeth into.

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa features Lina, a wedding planner who was left at the altar (yikes!), and later falls in love with her ex-fiancé’s brother, Max. This is a fun story of love, family, friendship and Brazilian cuisine.

Forbidden is the first book in Beverly Jenkins’ Old West Series. Rhine is a biracial saloon owner hiding his heritage after the Civil War but can’t bring himself to marry a spoiled white woman instead of the strong African-American woman named Eddy who’s taken his fancy. Breathless and Tempest follow the adventures and loves of Eddy’s nieces, Portia and Regan.

If you’re looking for a great read featuring a woman living with a disability, I would recommend Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. In this funny rom-com, Chloe is tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor Red to help her experience new things. This is the first book in the Brown Sisters series, followed by Take a Hint, Dani Brown and Act Your Age, Eve Brown.

I was just in the mood for a second-chance amnesia romance (really, who hasn’t been in that mood at one point in the past 16-ish months, am I right?) when I picked up A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon. Evie reconnects with her childhood crush, a handsome cowboy named Zach, which would be great if she could remember who she was! Definitely a fun, cute read. I’ll be checking out the second book in this Cowboys of California series, If the Boot Fits, soon!

Alyssa Cole’s newer Runaway Royals series opens with How to Catch a Queen. This series is a spin off of the author’s Reluctant Royals series. Featuring an arranged marriage that (of course) turns to unexpected desire, this book offers a warm and romantic world of dashing young aristocrats hoping to unite ancestral traditions and modern multicultural values. I think you’ll enjoy following Santi and Sanyu’s story!

If American football is your jam, check out Intercepted by Alexa Martin, the first book in the Playbook series. Marlee’s boyfriend is in the NFL and she’s the perfect girlfriend…of ten years! Until she finds out said boyfriend has been cheating on her and she is sure she will never date an athlete again. Enter Gavin Pope, the new quarterback on her ex’s team who she has a past with. Sparks definitely fly!

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory is the first book in the author’s series of the same name, and remains my favourite of the five books I’ve managed to read (number 6 is expected in a few weeks). It features one of my favourite romance tropes, the fake to real relationship, and an interracial couple. After meeting Drew in a hotel elevator, Alexa agrees to be his plus one to his ex’s wedding. The rest is sexy and fun storytelling.

What happens when three smart women get played by one man? They get together and form The Boyfriend Project. This refreshing office-romance follows Samiah, a software engineer, and Daniel as they try to fight their attraction to each other. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the romance aspect of the book, but I especially love how the author, Raffah Rochon, realistically explores the obstacles Samiah faces as a black woman in a STEM field and her determination to pull other black women and girls up the ladder.

How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams features a healthy relationship between Naya, an academic, and Jake, sent to her university to make necessary budget cuts. Content warning: violence in intimate relationships and blackmail/revenge porn.

I hope you all find your happily ever after read!

  • Barbara

Adventures in your own backyard

At this point, it seems the summer of 2021 may become a repeat of summer 2020’s lockdown doldrums rather than the reprieve from pandemic restrictions we had hoped for. Which means it will take extra effort to devise and embark on adventures in our own backyards. WPL is here to help.

From DIY shed building to organic gardening, local hiking guides and gourmet barbecue tips, you can find books in the WPL catalogue on an array of subjects to prepare for the dog days ahead. I’d like to suggest the following books to bring a degree of levity and inspiration right to your doorstep.

The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht is an essential manual for anyone who has ever noticed the strange or annoying behaviours of our urban avian population. For example, the sparrows have been fighting over my neighbour’s bird feeder at such a fevered pitch, their squabbles now spill out onto the front sidewalk. My family refers to these feathered bullies as “street birds.” Kracht employs similarly apt (and somewhat profane) descriptors in this satirical field guide, along with laugh-out-loud observations on a variety of common birds. He includes hand-drawn illustrations and helpful tips for beginner birders. And the great thing about armchair bird watching is how it doesn’t even require a backyard: any porch, balcony, window, or vantage point will do. Pull up a chair, pour a cool beverage, and proceed to scoff at all the dumb birds that pass by.

Maybe dumb birds are eating your freshly-sown grass seed. Or perhaps squirrels are shamelessly raiding your bird feeder? Do deer think your hostas are an all-you-can-eat salad bar? Then you need to consult Squirrel Wars: Backyard Wildlife Battles & How to Win Them by George H. Harrison. If you think your pest issues are troublesome, they can’t be as bad as Lafayette Square, Washington D.C. (directly across from the White House) in the late 1970s. At this time researchers observed 20 Eastern-gray squirrels per acre, the highest density of squirrels ever recorded. Harrison describes how over 100 of these rodents “ate 2,000 of the President’s geraniums, girdled and killed over a half dozen newly planted trees and seriously injured some 100-year-old oaks.” His handbook provides a comprehensive rap sheet of garden pests along with time-tested methods for foiling their destructive behaviours. Even a cursory read through his “War Stories” section provides a morale boost for those of us whose backyards have become battlegrounds with urban wildlife during lockdown.

As the mother of a 14-year-old, my next recommendation comes with a healthy dose of caution and a disclaimer. Backyard Ballistics: build potato cannons, paper match rockets, Cincinnati Fire kites, tennis ball mortars, and more dynamite devices by William Gurstelle. To be honest, I was as stunned as my son was stoked to learn this book existed, let alone was readily available at our public library. With a strong emphasis on safety, this book offers instructions and diagrams for building several incendiary devices. Gurstelle explains the physics behind each project and includes profiles of notable scientists. For the STEM-inclined type, this book may spark ideas for further backyard experiments; think of it as enhanced summer school, the opposite of all the virtual learning kids have endured of late. But remember, we’re aiming for adventures here, not misadventure. Under no circumstances does this recommendation serve as an endorsement for prohibited or inappropriate use of ballistics. Young folks should be supervised by a responsible adult, and please be advised of local laws governing the use of pyrotechnics. In particular, please be aware of any fire bans or windy conditions in your area before striking a match at any time, for any reason.

Welcome to Summer 2021. We may not have regained the ability to travel or enjoy all our favourite activities to the fullest extent, but there are still opportunities to discover new hobbies or begin new socially-distanced adventures from the safety of our own spaces. Even if that adventure involves escaping into a stack of inspiring summer reads, WPL staff are here to serve.

~ Kelly