Dating Horror Stories

“We’ll find a match for you!”
-every dating site on the Internet

Dating Apps

Dating horror stories. Everyone has at least one, often the first (and usually the last) meeting with that special someone you never, ever want to see again. But just as tragedy is comedy plus time, after a while those epically awful encounters can mellow into an amusing anecdote. For example, back in my mild youth, I went on a date to the Red River Ex. My date was sweet and charming and determined to show me a good time by treating both of us to every single ride, the faster and higher the better. Determined to be a good sport, I ignored my natural inclinations to remain firmly on the ground and went on the rides. Unfortunately for both of us, my date’s generosity also extended to the food trucks, before we went on the rides. I’m sure you can imagine what happened next, and it wasn’t an invitation for a second date. I’ve sometimes wondered what my date’s version of the evening’s events sounds like, but I’ve never dared to find out. Some things should remain a mystery.

But what if you were literally dating someone from a horror story? Given the theory that there’s someone other there for everyone, even some of the most legendary monsters in literature should be able to find their perfect mate and what better way to do that than by joining a dating website? And, if they did, what might their dating profile look like? Read on to see…

draculaby Bram Stoker

  • DOB: 1897 in Rumania
  • Turn Ons: bare necks, formal evening wear
  • Turn Offs: Italian food, watching the sunrise
  • Favorite music: the children of the night… what sweet music they make!
  • Seeking: someone whose love will never die

One date with me will seem like an eternity!

 

henry viii wolfman  by A.E. Moorat

  • DOB: not really sure, but I’ve been around since ancient Egyptian times
  • Turn Ons: the full moon, long walks in the forest
  • Turn Offs: barbershops, silver bullets
  • Favorite music: Van Morrison’s Moondance
  • Seeking: Someone who likes the thrill of the chase

If you like the nightlife then I’m the one for you!

 

Dr Jekyll  by Robert Louis Stevenson

  • DOB: 1886 in London
  • Turn Ons: mixed drinks, chemistry experiments
  • Turn Offs: hangovers, people who are afraid to be themselves
  • Favorite music: depends on my mood
  • Seeking: someone who appreciates me for who I really am

I’m full of surprises, you never know who you’re going to get!

 

Who could resist one of these faces? Or their stories! Just imagine dazzling your friends at your next get together with grand and glorious tales after a night on the town with one of these guys. But you won’t find profiles like these on any old dating website. To see more dating horror stories check out the display at the St. James Library, and swipe right…if you dare!

-Lori

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What’s New in the Local History Room?

This fall, the Winnipeg Public Library is proud to be a partnering with The World Remembers organization by hosting an electronic display of names in the Local History Room. This is part of a nation-wide act of remembrance and commemoration of the men and women who died a century ago during the First World War.

The World Remembers is a non-profit company based in Toronto whose sole purpose is to build and facilitate The World Remembers project.

The ongoing project began in 2014 by displaying, for one minute starting on October 15th and ending on November 11th, the names of everyone killed in the conflict in 1914, and repeating the process the following years.  The World Remembers organization displays the names of those soldiers who died in World War 1 so that people not only remember these fallen soldiers but honor these shared histories.   The monitor screen set up in the Local History Room shows a continuous loop of the names of soldiers killed in war in 1917. This display will end on November 11th and will display more than 661,800 names of soldiers who lost their lives from UK, Canada, France, Germany, the US, Turkey, Belgium, Australia, the Czech Republic, Italy, New Zealand, Slovenia, China and the former British Indian Army.  This display will also be running simultaneously at other organizations (libraries, schools, and universities).

Here are the locations of the schools, cities, libraries, museums and other groups that are presenting The World Remembers names display.

If you are interested in finding a specific individual whose name will be displayed, you can search the TWR database here and find out at the exact day and time it will come up.

There is also a book display set up near The World Remembers display for those interested in learning more about the First World War.  Come and have a look.

-Louis-Philippe

Frightfully Good Reads

darkandstormy

October is such a wonderful time to come to the library. Not only is it Canadian Library Month and filled with programs for those of all ages, but October is the prime month where all you horror fans (or closet horror fans) receive the attention you deserve! Halloween allows us to promote some of our less-advertised collection of thriller and horror books. Reader Services staff at the Millennium library have created a wonderful display, as can be seen in the picture above and offer plenty of creepy books that will frighten, unsettle and give goosebumps to many readers. Therefore, in honour of the creepiest month of the year, here are just some authors whose books you can sink your teeth into, just be sure to leave the lights on…

Stephen King

doctorsleep

What horror list would be complete without the horror master who has written many, many (long) but amazingly creepy and unsettling books. With a recent adaptation of part 1 of his novel IT in theatres and receiving rave reviews (you should go see it, it is fantastic!), check out the source material which is just as good, though clocking in at over a thousand pages, leave yourself some time to read it. There are a few holds on this title so you may have to be patient, but if you are wanting a King fix right away, here are some more excellent and creepy books by him: Salem’s Lot, Mr. Mercedes, Doctor Sleep, Pet Sematary, Cujo, The Mist… and the list goes on. For all King titles, check here.

Joe Hill

heartbox

As the son of the horror legend Stephen King, Joe Hill had some big expectations

 

for his writing career, and he did not disappoint. Check out The Fireman about an epidemic which leads people to internally combust, and Heart-Shaped Box the story of a rockstar who purchases morbid items and finds himself owning a suit containing an old man’s spirit that will do his bidding, the suit arrives in…a heart-shaped box. Naturally, chaos ensues.

Richard Matheson

hellhouse

Did you enjoy the film I Am Legend with Will Smith? No, well you will most definitely enjoy the source material then (remember to take “based on….” With a grain of salt in movies). With all its twist and turns, you’ll be sure to keep the pages turning of this book by the venerable Richard Matheson. The author that brought us the haunted house tale Hell House and many excellent short horror stories will be sure to have you staying up late and listening to every creak you hear from your home, terrified to get out of bed.

Josh Malerman

birdbox

Josh Malerman does not have many novels out, however his novel Bird Box  which I just finished is a fantastic read! I read the review on a blog I frequent and thought the premise, just as the reviewer did, was incredibly unique. Something is causing people all over the world to go crazy; the catch though, is no one knows what this thing looks like because all who have seen it end up dead. The solution, block all the windows, bar the doors and when going outside do so blindfolded. Intrigued? I certainly was. The terror and suspense are excellent and it will have you turning pages, anxious to know what happens.

 

Scott Smith

ruins

A classic horror beginning to a surprising and unconventional novel, Smith’s The Ruins is an excellent read. University students vacationing in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula come across Mayan ruins covered in vines, once they venture to these ruins, however, villagers block their way back and prevent them from leaving. The reason? Well, you will have to read this book to find out. Those who are squeamish may have to skip certain parts of the book as it can be a bit gory, but if you can get past that, this is an excellent horror novel that had me rapidly turning pages, and itching to finish it.

If you are wanting a collection of supernatural/haunted houses/monster stories, Ellen Datlow has edited fantastic horror compilations which can be found here.   nightmares

If these authors don’t strike your fancy, and you like something more traditional and classic, we have Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to fit your bill. (Interestingly these are all “creatures” from Universal Monsters which starred Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Lon Chaney, Jr., now revamped with the most recent The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, which you can place a hold on.)

Happy Reading!

Aileen

#FitMama

Sure, we all know it.  Exercise is good for us.  But life is busy, and sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to go to the gym.  Exercise becomes yet another thing on our “to do” list that we need to squeeze in, right after our dentist appointment and right before getting the groceries.

But what if we looked at exercise as an opportunity to set an example for our kids?  What if we chose to exercise as a means of exemplifying a healthy lifestyle, so that our kids could follow in our footsteps?

Before I had kids of my own, I was big into long distance running.  There was nothing better than waking up on a beautiful Saturday morning, and tearing up the pavement for hours on end, with a good set of tunes on my headphones.  Once the kidlets arrived, however, my workout routine changed.  All of a sudden, I was struggling to squeeze in a quick 20 minute workout, and feeling guilty for taking any time at all for myself.

But then I realized something.  If I let exercise take a backseat in my life, my kids will do the same.  I started to see exercise as an opportunity.  An opportunity to teach my kids that exercise should be a priority, no matter what.

So nowadays, I try to ensure that my kids see me lace up my running shoes as often as possible.  I tell them about my weekday workouts at the dinner table, and I invite them to join me for a bike ride on weekends.  Play time often includes wrestling matches, dance parties, and running races around the tree.  I ask the kids to help me carry heavy things, and I point out how incredible it is to be able to use our muscles.  I make a point of commenting on how strong my son and daughter are, and I applaud their ability to jump, skip, and fly through the air.

We stay active, and I am reassured that my kids will grow up understanding that exercise is simply something we do every day.  And why would it be any other way?

If you’re looking for a little inspiration on incorporating exercise into your family life, check out these amazing books, available at the library:

The busy body book: a kid’s guide to fitness
by Lizzy Rockwell
Lizzy Rockwell explains how your bones and muscles, heart and lungs, nerves and brain all work together to keep you on the go. Kids walk and skate and tumble through these pages with such exuberance that even sprouting couch potatoes will want to get up and bounce around–and that’s the ultimate goal.

Oh the things you can do that are good for you!
(Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library)
The Cat in the Hat explains the importance of eating right, staying active, and getting enough sleep.  Also includes fun suggestions for children to increase their activity throughout the day, plus a few healthy recipes for parents to prepare for their hungry broods.

You are a lion! : and other fun yoga poses
by Taeeun Yoo
With simple instructions and bright, clear illustrations, award-winning artist Taeeun Yoo invites children to enjoy yoga by assuming playful animal poses. And she sparks their imagination further by encouraging them to pretend to be the animal – to flutter like a butterfly, hiss like a snake, roar like a lion and more.

Wiggle
by Doreen Cronin
For energetic toddlers (are there any who aren’t? ), here’s a book that invites them to wiggle along with the story. Told in rollicky, wiggly rhyme that begs to be read again and again, Doreen Cronin’s latest romp will have toddlers wiggling, giggling, and then (hopefully) falling into bed, blissfully exhausted!

Watch Me Throw the Ball
By Mo Willems
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.  Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.  Gerald and Piggie are best friends  In Watch Me Throw the Ball!, Gerald is determined to teach Piggie that ball-throwing is serious business… but Piggie is just as determined to have serious fun.

~ Lindsay

 

 

 

Think Big Thoughts

Up here on the fourth floor of the Millennium Library we’re having fun finding books about philosophy – including the philosophy of…just about anything!  Come join us to see what we have on show or let your mind wander through some of the titles below.

The Story of Philosophy
by Bryan Magee

“The Story of Philosophy, Revised and Updated gives you the information you need to think about life’s greatest questions, opening up the world of philosophical ideas in a way that can be easily understood by students and by anyone fascinated by the ways we form our social, political, and ethical ideas.”

What Philosophy Can Do
by Gary Gutting

“How can we have meaningful debates with political opponents? How can we distinguish reliable science from over-hyped media reports? How can we talk sensibly about God? In What Philosophy Can Do, Gary Gutting takes a philosopher’s scalpel to modern life’s biggest questions and the most powerful forces in our society–politics, science, religion, education, and capitalism–to show how we can improve our discussions of contentious contemporary issues.”

Tsawalk: A  Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview
by Richard Atleo

“In Tsawalk, hereditary chief Umeek develops a theory of “Tsawalk,” meaning “one,” that views the nature of existence as an integrated and orderly whole, and thereby recognizes the intrinsic relationship between the physical and spiritual. Umeek demonstrates how Tsawalk provides a viable theoretical alternative that both complements and expands the view of reality presented by Western science. Tsawalk, he argues, allows both Western and indigenous views to be combined in order to advance our understanding of the universe.”

A Philosophy of Walking
by Frédéric Gros

“In A Philosophy of Walking , leading thinker Frédéric Gros charts the many different ways we get from A to B – the pilgrimage, the promenade, the protest march, the nature ramble – and reveals what they say about us.”

The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy
by Michael Patton and Kevin Cannon

“In The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy, Michael F. Patton and Kevin Cannon introduce us to the grand tradition of examined living. With the wisecracking Heraclitus as our guide, we travel down the winding river of philosophy, meeting influential thinkers from nearly three millennia of Western thought and witnessing great debates over everything from ethics to the concept of the self to the nature of reality.”

-Monique

 

Welcome to the new Writer-in-Residence

This week, Jennifer Still started her term as the 28th (wow!) Writer-in-Residence at the Winnipeg Public Library. You may already have met her, if you came to check out her collaborative reading & art piece at the Millennium Library for Nuit Blanche this past Saturday.

Jennifer is an award-winning Winnipeg poet who has served as a mentor to many emerging writers as the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture and at The University of Winnipeg. She’s also an editor for Canada’s longest running poetry journal, CV2.

Writers of all genres and all experience levels are welcome to submit manuscripts to Jennifer for review and feedback. See our website for more information about how to submit your writing.

I asked Jennifer to name a few of her favourite inspiring titles, and she responded with this list of “beautiful and brave books that give me courage, insight and endlessly spark my imagination”:

 

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke – a slim correspondence between Rilke and a young poet, essential reading for anyone curious about the pursuit of writing

Madness, Rack, and Honey by Mary Ruefle – wildly imaginative and poetic lectures on writing, some only three lines long!

Killdeer by Phil Hall – a sharp, tender, insightful poem-essay of the poet’s journey with his craft

Emily Dickinson: The Gorgeous Nothings – the first published reproductions of Dickinson’s handwritten “envelope” writings.

~ Danielle

Haunted by the Ghost(writer)

The ghostwriter in its natural habitat. Source: http://ow.ly/bepV30fwVZp

Have you ever walked by a shelf in the library and wondered how on earth a particular author has managed to write so many books? *cough* James Patterson *cough*

Before you start to feel like you’re falling behind in the face of such output, though, let’s consider the figure lurking in the dark behind the big name: the ghostwriter, a skilled writer who will do a significant amount of wordsmithing while signing over credit to the person whose face and name will be attached to the book/email/social media post.

Ghostwriters are nothing new to the publishing industry, and can be called in for a number of different reasons. Perhaps, like Tom Clancy, the author has simply become too popular to keep up with demand. Another example of this situation is George Takei, who has a ghostwriter for his Facebook posts. Other times, a ghostwriter will work with someone whose expertise may lie in another area (think politicians or businesspeople). While they may have the insight and information to share, it is the ghostwriter who polishes and presents it to the public!

Ghostwritten Books

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
As this creepy series became popular, it spawned a number of spin-off series as well, and R.L. just couldn’t keep up with the demand. Cue the reinforcements! A number of authors contributed to the series to ensure young readers could stay up late into the night, reading books that would make the hair on the back of their neck stand up.

The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

Recognize the name Peter Lerangis? Known for penning some of the books from the 39 Clues series, as well as the Seven Wonders series, Lerangis wrote a number of well-known titles from The Babysitter’s Club, as well as some of the Sweet Valley books, usually credited to Francine Pascal.

Many of V.C. Andrews’ books were ghostwritten, H.P. Lovecraft did a stint ghostwriting for Harry Houdini, and even Ian Fleming had some help with the James Bond books!

 

Ghostwriting Books

With so much power behind the scenes, it’s not surprising that some authors have turned the tables to explore the world of ghostwriters themselves. Here are just a couple:

Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff

Jenni loves her job as a ghostwriter – it satisfies her insatiable curiosity about people. It also means that she can hide behind the stories of others and not think about her own life too much. But when Jenni starts work on the memoirs of a survivor of the Japanese internment camps in Java, striking coincidences force her to examine her own past.

Ghosted by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall

Mason, a struggling writer, comes in from the cold after five years of drifting. His childhood friend, Chaz, a small-time gangster, loans him an apartment and finds him a job selling hotdogs. But instead of getting his act together, Mason digs himself even more deeply in debt to Chaz.

Then Mason has a bright idea. He’ll find the cash to pay Chaz back by becoming a ghostwriter of suicide notes, a fitting use of his talents. The trouble is that Mason is hard-wired to rescue people, and no one needs rescuing more than the suicidal.

 

Are there any authors here that surprise you? Or maybe someone I missed that you think is worth a mention? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading,

Megan

Fall is full of great titles!

My main responsibility as a collections librarian is to buy adult nonfiction for Winnipeg Public Library’s 20 branches. Publishers release catalogues of forthcoming titles three times a year: winter, spring/summer and fall. This year’s fall catalogue is chocked full with great titles that will be released just in time to spend time reading a good book before the hustle and bustle of the winter holidays.

Below is a brief list of titles accompanied by the publisher’s annotations that I’m looking forward to reading the most this fall.

Bollywood KitchenBollywood Kitchen: Home-Cooked Indian Meals Paired with Unforgettable Bollywood Films by Sri Rao

Indian cuisine and Indian cinema (known as Bollywood) share much in common – bold colors and flavors with plenty of drama. But to the uninitiated, they can seem dizzying. Let Sri Rao be your guide. As one of the only Americans working in Bollywood, Sri is an expert on Indian musical films, and as an avid cook, he’s taken his mom’s authentic, home-cooked recipes and adapted them for the modern, American kitchen.

In this book you’ll find dinner menus and brunch menus, menus for kids and menus for cocktail parties. Along with each healthy and easy-to-prepare meal, Sri has paired one of his favorite Bollywood movies. Every one of these films is a musical, packed with dazzling song-and-dance numbers that are the hallmark of Bollywood, beloved by millions of fans all over the world. Sri will introduce each film to you, explaining why you’ll love it, and letting you in on some juicy morsels from behind the scenes.

 

BookshopsBookshops: A Reader’s History by Jorge Carrión and translated by Peter Bush

Jorge Carrión collects bookshops: from Gotham Book Mart and the Strand Bookstore in New York City to City Lights Bookshop and Green Apple Books in San Francisco and all the bright spots in between (Prairie Lights, Tattered Cover, and countless others). In this thought-provoking, vivid, and entertaining essay, Carrión meditates on the importance of the bookshop as a cultural and intellectual space. Filled with anecdotes from the histories of some of the famous (and not-so-famous) shops he visits on his travels, thoughtful considerations of challenges faced by bookstores, and fascinating digressions on their political and social impact, Bookshops is both a manifesto and a love letter to these spaces that transform readers’ lives.

 

godGod by Reza Aslan

A fascinating account of religion’s origin and a call to embrace a deeper, more expansive understanding of the divine from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zealot.

More than just a history of our understanding of God, this book is an attempt to get to the root of this humanizing impulse in order to develop a more peaceful, universal spirituality unencumbered by the urge to foist our human characteristics upon the divine. Whether you believe in one God or many gods or no god at all, God: A Human History will transform the way you think about the divine and its role in our everyday lives.

 

Inner Life

The Inner Life of Animals Love, Grief, and Compassion — Surprising Observations of a Hidden World by Peter Wohlleben

Through vivid stories of devoted pigs, two-timing magpies, and scheming roosters, The Inner Life of Animals weaves the latest scientific research into how animals interact with the world with Peter Wohlleben’s personal experiences in forests and fields.

Horses feel shame, deer grieve, and goats discipline their kids. Ravens call their friends by name, rats regret bad choices, and butterflies choose the very best places for their children to grow up.

In this, his latest book, Peter Wohlleben follows the hugely successful The Hidden Life of Trees with insightful stories into the emotions, feelings, and intelligence of animals around us. Animals are different from us in ways that amaze us—and they are also much closer to us than we ever would have thought.

 

river

The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks

The River of Consciousness reflects Oliver Sacks at his wisest and most humane, as he examines some of the human animal’s most remarkable faculties: memory, creativity, consciousness, and our present, ongoing evolution.

Before his death, Sacks personally collected into this one volume his recent essays, never before published in book form, which he felt best displayed his passionate engagement with his most compelling and seminal ideas. The book, lucid and accessible as ever, is a mirror of his own consciousness, discovering in his personal and humane interactions with others, unique insight, and fresh meaning.

  • Phil

Pride & Prejudice 2.0: The Expanded World of Jane Austen

 

Book

Ever notice that when you’re feeling a bit low you have a tendency to reach for something that is comfortable and familiar? Lately, that means a trip into the world of Jane Austen for a bit of a pick me up. Yet every time I pick up one of the six texts, I find myself asking the same question, what happened next? Our heroes and heroines found their partners; there was a big wedding, lots of happy tears, but then what? Did they live happily ever after or did they separate? Did any of the supporting characters find a partner or were they doomed for spinsterhood? Now Jane Austen did answer a few of those questions in letters to family and friends, but I prefer reading about the adventures that occurred after the books end. Thankfully, where Jane Austen has failed me, many great writers and fans of her work have taken it upon themselves to pick up the stories where they left off. Here are a few of my favourites.

ColonelsThe Three Colonels: Jane Austen’s Fighting Men By Jack Caldwell brings together Colonel Fitzwilliam (Darcy’s cousin), Colonel Brandon (Sense & Sensibility) and introduces Colonel Buford. Brandon is happily married to Marianne, while Fitzwilliam and Buford pursue Lady Anne and Caroline Bingley respectively. But when the men are suddenly recalled into active service in the aftermath of Napoleon’s escape from exile, will love triumph over war? I found this book to be a wonderful read and somewhat hilarious in the fact that a new character had to be created to partner with Caroline. For any of you who have seen Lost in Austen, the film gives several new twists, including presenting Caroline as a lesbian, thus justifying her insistence on Darcy’s wealth and position over the man himself.  It just goes to show that anything can happen in these newer interpretations.

AssemblyAn Assembly Such as This By Pamela Aidan for the time, presents Darcy’s perspective regarding the events in Pride & Prejudice. The first of a trilogy, I found Pamela’s insight into the mind of Darcy to be rather refreshing. His emotions for Elizabeth and turmoil over the presence of Wickham take on a clarity that has not been seen before. Duty and Desire focuses on the time that is never spoken of in the book, which concerns Darcy’s struggles with his attraction to Elizabeth, while also taking care of both Pemberley and his social engagements in London.  While the novel may read like a swashbuckling adventure, I must admit, it was quite enjoyable. These Three Remain picks up with Elizabeth’s rejection of Darcy’s proposal, leading Darcy to self-reflect and become a better man due to her refusal.  When Elizabeth appears at Pemberley, Darcy feels as if he has been offered a second chance, but when Wickham threatens Elizabeth’s happiness, it is up to Darcy to find a way of making things right. While Pamela stays pretty close to the text, she manages to shed new light on characters and situations which answers the question as to what else was happening.

Rock starFitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star By Heather Lynn Rigaud, as the title suggests, takes the reader away from the Regency period and places Darcy and Elizabeth in the middle of the modern world. Darcy is the guitarist for Slurry, the newest all male rock group to take the world by storm. Elizabeth is the lead singer for Long Borne Suffering, the new opening female act for Slurry. But Slurry’s bad boy image may prove to be too much for the new girls on the block, unless some new understandings are reached. Since we are in the modern world, only the names and circumstances reflect the actual text. But I found the text to be a nice light read, as opposed to the above trilogy, which basically asked if the core of Pride & Prejudice could endure a complete transplant. It can, which proves that the heart of a good story can survive just about any major change.

ZombiesPride and Prejudice and Zombies By Seth Grahame-Smith, despite its title, is probably the most faithful to the original text. What would happen to our well-sung heroes if they were presented with a new challenge that altered the society in which they lived but did not affect its mentality? In a nutshell, Seth added zombies to the world of Regency England. Yet despite their undead presence, society refuses to yield its moral stance on marriage, good manners and changes within the social classes. What’s a girl to do when she and her sisters can slay a small zombie army yet still be criticized for the society that they keep? While this may not be the most imaginative version of Pride & Prejudice, it is certainly highly entertaining. If you feel that you need a lighter version of this story, take a look at the graphic novel, or better yet the new film with Lily James (Downton Abbey’s cousin Rose) and Sam Riley (Maleficent’s Diaval).

This list is by no means exhaustive, so type in Jane Austen or Darcy, books or films in the search engine and find yourself in a world that moves just a bit slower then our own. Happy Reading! (or watching as the case may be).

  • Katherine

One Thing Leads to Another

So many books, so little time.
― Frank Zappa

There are a lot of great things about working in a library, but one of the best is having someone recommend a book. There’s nothing like the expression on someone’s face when they hand you a book and open the conversation with: “You have to read this!” The one thing that’s better than reading a good book is talking with someone about a good book, and the conversation only gets better when you don’t have to worry about spoilers.

For the past couple of years there has  been an annual Reader’s Salon blog post with submissions by library staff for the best book they’ve read that year. While I always enjoy reading the blogs my co-workers write, I look forward to this particular post with special anticipation. I make a point of prioritizing reading as many of the titles as I can, and I find that reading just one book from that list leads me into all sorts of intriguing directions. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few of the books I’ve discovered after reading some of the selections from the post Our Gift to Readers, posted December 7 2016.

After reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr I picked up The Cellist of Sarajevo by Stephen Galloway. This book also personalizes the tragedy of war by telling the story of civilians that must try to survive in a war zone. Don’t make the mistake that I did of reading this book in a public place. I had a very kind and concerned stranger ask me why I was crying, and in response all I could do was hold up the book.

Light                                                        cellist

Many of you know Katherena Vermette through her book of poems, North End Love Songs. I loved her novel The Break, as well, but did you know that she’s also written some terrific books for children? Each one has a unique message for young and not so young readers alike. The one that is the mostly timely for this time of year is The First Day. It’s part of the Seven teaching stories series, and tells the story of Makwa, a little boy who who is frightened about starting a new school. Not all of us have to worry about facing the first day of school anymore, but all of us need to find courage in dealing with scary situations.

As an Ethan Hawke fan from way back I was so pleased to discover that in addition to his many other talents he can also write. Rules for a Knight led me to try and find other books about leading a more examined, mindful life. I found How to Walk and other books by Thich Nhất Hạnh to be tremendously helpful in this endeavour. As in Ethan Hawke’s book, the principles are stated and illustrated in a way that stays in your mind and gets into your heart.

rules                                                         how to

I did my best to read Every Heart a Doorway slowly, to make the magic last as long as possible, but like all stories it did eventually come to an end. However, after finishing it I was delighted to discover that Seanan McGuire has written a number of other books, and that there’s a sequel to Every Heart a Doorway, Down Among the Sticks and Bones. Seanan McGuire also publishes under the name Mira Grant, but that’s a topic for another blog.

downevery

 

This isn’t a complete list by any means, as I’m still in the midst of reading and waiting to read a number of the other titles from that post. As always, I’m very curious as to where that will lead me. To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins, it’s a dangerous business to open a book, there’s no telling where you’ll end up.

-Lori