The Undiscovered Country


“The sun will come out, tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun” (Annie). As of late, there hasn’t been too much sun going around or nice temperatures for that matter; but there is the hope, as Annie says, that things will improve tomorrow. In and of itself, this is hardly a new concept, yet the idea of what tomorrow could bring has led to the creation of some of the finest pieces of literature, including the genre of science fiction. With the film Tomorrowland opening on May 22nd, I began to wonder, what does tomorrow/future hold? If you have the same thought, here are some books that run with this idea.

20,00020,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne is not the sort of tale that most associate with the future. A tale of high seas adventure, it more closely resembles the classic Moby Dick than sci-fi. Yet one aspect allows it to enter the sci-fi lexicon: the Nautilus. Captain Nemo’s famous submersible housed state-of-the-art technology that allowed it to become a terror of the deep. Long before submarines made an appearance, Verne predicted that one day we could travel to the depths of the ocean into a world as unknown as the stars. It is for this reason that Disney included the vessel as part of Tomorrowland’s park. And for the record, the film version with Kirk Douglas is not to be missed.

handmaidThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and vV for Vendetta by Alan Moore both take a darker look at the future. A future where a class system becomes enforced and women become trapped into roles dictated by their biology and status, Handmaid presents tomorrow as something to feared, while futuristic V’s Britain becomes so concerned with safety that its citizens give up their rights and their futures for a feeling of security that is as illusionary as the TV shows they all watch.

braveBoth have elements that Aldous Huxley touched upon in 1984Brave New World (regimented society) and George Orwell in 1984 (Big Brother is watching you). Yet for all the dread and anxiety, there is still the hope that a single individual, whether in a large dramatic fashion, or in small innocuous ways, has the power to subvert the system and create a better tomorrow.

A better world can mean different things to different people. enderTomorrowland presents the idea that a better world can only be created if the brightest minds in the world are sequestered away and given the means and the freedom to redesign the world. Take Ender’s Game, for instance. The children are taken from their homes, trained, and then let loose in a war that redefines the future. Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy has a similar notion that by planting a colony elsewhere, new innovations can lead to a better world back home. Yet Asimov has a tendency to point out that technology has a dark side like any other creation. foundationI, Robot examines the importance of connection between robots and humans, and the fear that lies therein. The film takes things a step further by implying that only technology can see the world objectively enough to make decisions regarding our future and act accordingly; the same theme also appears in Marvel’s new film, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Both films imply that technology is not the answer to the problems of tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what direction Tomorrowland chooses to take on this matter. (Though from the clip I saw, androids are the enemy, yet technology itself appears to go either way.)

According to Walt Disney, “Tomorrowland [is] a vista into a world of wondrous ideas signifying [humanity’s] achievements. A step into the future, with predictions of constructive things to come.” (Featurette) When Tomorrowland was built, Disney was presenting his idea on how the world was moving into the future. Now Disney’s view of the future has certainly changed since his time and I’m sure that our current ideas of the future will alter as time moves on. Books and film take the pulse of the current world and project its dreams, fears and goals for the future. Some ideas work out, others fail; but no matter what tomorrow we face, we can always be sure, that this undiscovered country always has something new to show us (Hamlet 3.1.79 / Star Trek VI).

– Katherine

Morbid Curiosity

Like many reading aficionados, I never have fewer than three or four books sitting on my nightstand, waiting to be read. Recently, my boyfriend looked through the stack of titles and asked me, not entirely joking, “Should I be concerned?” That was when I realized the books I was eagerly looking forward to covered a rather disturbing array of topics: from cannibalism to medical oddities to adventures in the American funeral industry.

Cartoon image of a skeleton in a thoughtful pose.

“Whatcha thinking about?” “Oh, nothing… just skeleton stuff, I guess.”

At this point I should probably reassure you that I am a perfectly happy, well-balanced individual with a largely positive outlook on things – not a closet psychopath. I just happen to be fascinated with things that make humans uncomfortable – the dark, the mysterious, the just plain creepy. Somehow, reading about the macabre from the safety of my own home makes the terrifying a little less so. The scariest things are those which we understand least, and we owe these intrepid authors a debt for exploring the unfamiliar and giving us an opportunity to better know the unknown.

If you’re looking to ease into the world of the squeamish, start with Dr. Mütter’s Cover of Dr. Mutter's Marvels by Cristin O'Keefe ApowiczMarvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz. Practicing medicine in antebellum America, Dr. Mütter had a deep interest in patients who suffered physical deformities and, more importantly, dedicated his life to alleviating the suffering caused by such maladies. In doing so, he revolutionized modern surgery, patient care, and attitudes in the medical field. I highly recommend this insightful study of early modern medicine to anyone who can tolerate descriptions of cleft-palate surgery performed on a fully conscious patient in front of a live audience (seriously).

If you’re ready to delve straight into the world of death and dying, Dr. Judy Melinek wrote a memoir of her path to becoming a medical examiner – the folks who perform autopsies to determine how an individual died. Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner (also available as an audiobook) details her training in New York City … a two year period that started just days before the 9/11 attacks, resulting in a highly stressful yet wholly unique learning experience.

Whether the circumstances of death were mysterious or not, pretty much all Cover of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin DoughtyNorth American bodies end up in the same place: a mortuary. In her memoir, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, Caitlin Doughty explains – with humour and poignant sympathy – what really happens to dead bodies after we turn them over to the funeral home. Further, she presents a compelling argument for Western society to return to the kinds of rituals which provide closure after the death of a loved one, instead of hiding bodies away like something to be feared. Or, if that’s a little too real for you, try Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses by Bess Lovejoy, which looks at the unusual fates of some famous former people.

As fearsome as death is, it always seems worse when people just vanish into thin air – although, few stories are more intriguing. In the mid-1920s, the whole Cover of The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grannworld watched with bated breath as renowned South American explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett entered the Amazonian jungle … and never came back out. Hundreds of search parties have since tried to uncover his fate, and none have been successful – many never returning themselves – in a testament to human fascination with the unexplained. David Grann details Fawcett’s story, and Grann’s own search, in The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (also available as an ebook). For another tragic jungle disappearance, and beautifully researched attempt at solving the mystery, check out Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by Carl Hoffman.

More disturbing than unknown fates are unknown motives – what could drive someone to commit heinous crimes, let alone commit them repeatedly? Serial Cover of The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larsonkillers are well-trod subjects in both fiction and true crime, perhaps because we are desperate for someone to explain to us why these people do the things they do. Even decades, or centuries, after the fact, we still look for answers, despite the fact that the distance of time has made the perpetrators that much more unknowable, the cases that much more unsolvable. And if you think you’re bored with rehashed theories on Jack the Ripper, he wasn’t the only historical serial killer. Consider Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King and The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America  by Erik Larson.

If all this talk of murder and mayhem makes you uneasy, perhaps you’ll find some reassurance with books that look at how we learned to catch these killers, such as The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science by Douglas Starr or The Inheritor’s Powder: A Tale of Arsenic, Murder, and the New Forensic Science by Sandra Hempel.

Finally, lest you think you are alone in your morbid curiosity, Bill James and Cover of The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime by Judith FlandersJudith Flanders will reassure you that society as a whole has long been intrigued by the dark and deadly, in Popular Crime: Reflections on the Celebration of Violence and The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime, respectively. And of course, don’t forget that people weren’t always as scared of dead bodies as we are today – just take a look at The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses by Paul Koudounaris for proof.



Reading for the Long Weekend

The May long weekend is here! A time for gardening, sunning, camping, hiking, partying, sleeping, cycling, reading, and more (Okay some of that is dependent on the weather!). Whatever you have in mind to do this ‘unofficial’ start of Winnipeg summer, I hope it contains some form of rest. Even when we are trying to relax our mind can easily race — overthinking some troubling  issue or another. I find reading is a great way to leave my usual ways of thinking aside, and focus on another, usually more interesting, narrative. Give regular thinking a break!

But what to read this long weekend? I compiled a random set of books (and movies) that contain only two unifying threads: the title has the word ‘weekend’ in it and the item is borrowable from Winnipeg Public Library. As you may discover, having ‘weekend’ in a title doesn’t guarantee a book about relaxing with a mug of coffee and a purring cat in the sun room. Not that that’s a bad thing. ‘Weekend’ is a portal into many interesting worlds.


The Weekend Novelist by Robert J. Ray
“Who doesn’t dream of writing a novel while holding on to a day job. Ray and coauthor Bret Norris can help readers do just that, with this proven practical and accessible step-by-step guide to completing a novel in just a year’s worth of weekends.”

index.aspxWeekend Cooking by Ricardo Larrivée
“Indispensable inspiration for weekend chefs. This welcome edition has 140 recipes, with wine recommendations, dedicated to weekend gatherings…The recipes are straightforward yet allow for improvisation.”

Learn to Play Golf in a Weekend
by Edward Craig

“Anyone wanting to take the direct route to mastering golf will appreciate this professional, no-nonsense book. Complete with straightforward, jargon-free instructions, it leads readers through all the basics of the game with the aim of producing competent players in just two days.”

the_long_weekendThe Long Weekend by Julie Ellis
“A group of old friends, who knew each other during the war, are reunited. They are all, in their different ways, involved in the arts. But when the Hollywood big-shot turns up, full of his success, the others start to ponder what they’ve accomplished or haven’t.”

Llearntodrawearn to Draw in a Weekend by Richard S. Taylor
“Perfect for beginners and leisure artists, this book guides the reader from the most basic shapes and objects through to fully developed and varied projects. Readers will find encouraging advice and instruction for a variety of drawing media, including graphite pencils, colored pencil, Conte, pastel charcoal and more.”

mad_weekendMad Weekend by Roddy Doyle
“Dave, Pat and Ben have been best friends since they were kids. They do everything together, and they all love Liverpool FC. On a trip to see their favourite team in action, they have a few too many drinks before the match. But when it is time to leave for Anfield, Ben is nowhere to be found.”

outdoor_wood_projectsOutdoor Wood Products: 24 projects you can build in a weekend by Steve Cory

“…24 projects for the backyard and garden that can be completed with basic DIY tooling, inexpensive materials, and beginner skills — and that should take no more than a weekend to build. (Some) projects are constructed from reclaimed or recycled wood.”

weekend_handmadeWeekend handmade: more than 40 projects + ideas for inspired crafting by Kelly Wilkinson
“…author Kelly Wilkinson encourages readers to celebrate the joy of crafting, both for the satisfaction of making something by hand, and because the finished items serve as reminders of time taken to slow down and create – no matter the day of the week.”

Wow, this is a long “weekend” title:

The Citizen Kane crash courseindex-1.aspx in cinematography: a wildly fictional account of how Orson Welles learned everything about the art of cinematography in half an hour. Or was it a weekend? by David Worth
“This book brings to life the 60-plus year urban legend of the infamous weekend between Orson Welles and the Oscar winning cinematographer, Gregg Toland (Wuthering Heights, Citizen Kane). Guaranteed to provoke controversy as it instructs and entertains…”

index-2.aspx60 Easy Suppers: enjoy deliciously tasty recipes for midweek meals and relaxed weekend dishes, shown in over 280 step-by-step photographs by Leicestershire Wigston
“These delicious supper recipes are perfect for anyone with a busy life who enjoys good food without effort. Packed with dishes that are both easy to prepare and easy to serve, this is a highly practical book full of recipes. Chapters include vegetable dishes, rice and pasta, pies, fish and shellfish, and poultry and game.”

index-3.aspxA Weekend with Degas by Rosabianca Skira-Venturi
“The nineteenth-century French artist talks about his life and work as if entertaining the reader for the weekend. Includes reproductions of the artist’s work and a list of museums where works are on display.”


index-1.aspxThe Lost Weekend (DVD) directed by Billy Wilder
“The heartrending Hollywood masterpiece about alcoholism, depicting a single weekend in the life of a writer, who cannot believe he’s addicted.”


These last two unfortunately are not currently found in WPL’s collection. But I have made requests that they someday will be. They sound intriguing.

Tthe_long_weekendhe Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan
“Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with a man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn’t know how to get them out. They were trapped, then separated. Now they are alone. Will either of them get out alive? This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night.”

the_lost_weekendThe Lost Weekend by Charles Jackson
“So powerful and understanding that many readers will find themselves riveted to their chairs until the end… A mystery story, a horror story and a revelation of the forces that can move a man; a journey into fear, into the abyss.”


Enjoy your weekend!
– Lyle

A blog post 65 Million Years in the Making

“Now, eventually you do plan to have dinosaurs on your dinosaur tour, right?”
– Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park


It’s cool to talk about dinosaurs again, you guys! On June 12th, Universal Pictures will be releasing Jurassic World. Jurassic World is a direct sequel to 1993’s original Jurassic Park, pretty much ignoring the events of Jurassic Parks 2 and 3. This is probably a smart move, as I tend to remember those second and third movies being sad echoes of Spielberg’s brilliant original masterpiece. I still remember seeing the original Jurassic Park at the Grant Park cinemas. It was the first movie I saw after those theatres converted to digital sound, and I’ll never forget the scene when the T-Rex attacks and the first sign of it was when those cups of water started to shake. The sound was so crisp and clear in the theatre that our seats actually rumbled a bit.

But enough about me and my sudden geeking out about Jurassic Park. Did I mention I was at opening night when they re-released the movie in 3D a couple of years back? And I don’t even LIKE 3D. I even have a Jurassic Park coffee mug.

So to celebrate the 12 year old in all of us, let’s take a quick look at some of WPL’s dinosaur related fiction in preparation for Jurassic World. See you opening night!


Jurassic Park: Michael Crichton

Well it’s probably best to start with the original novel. Arguably Crichton’s most famous novel, it tells the story of a mysterious theme park on an island off of Costa Rica on the eve of it’s opening. I’m trying to stay spoiler free, but is there such a thing as spoiling something that’s 25 years old and has had movies and book sequels spun off of it? Okay, let’s just say there are dinosaurs on the island and stuff happens.


The Lost World: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Best known for creating Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Conan Doyle also wrote a series of fantasy novels. The first one in this series was called The Lost World and followed the adventures of Professor Challenger as he led an expedition to a plateau in the Amazon Basin where prehistoric creatures have somehow survived. This series of books became very influential for other 20th century fantasy writers including Edgar Rice Burroughs and Ray Bradbury.  J.J. Abrams said that The Lost World was one of the inspirations for his TV Series Lost, and Michael Crichton himself paid tribute to it by calling his 1995 Jurassic Park sequel The Lost World.

Dinosaur Summer: Greg Bear

Another homage to Conan Doyle, Greg Bear sets this novel in Conan Doyle’s “Lost World” universe. Dinosaurs are real and have been “domesticated” to the point where they are a part of “dinosaur circuses.” The plot of this novel concerns an expedition to return the remaining dinosaurs from the last dinosaur circus to the plateau in the Amazon Basin where they came from. I’m sure it all goes fine.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Jules Verne

Another scientifically questionable tale ( I guess that’s why they call it FANTASY), this novel is about an expedition to the centre of the Earth that starts through an Icelandic volcano. Now I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure going into a volcano, especially one of those disruptive Icelandic ones, is a bad idea. But guess what? They are okay and there are all kinds of prehistoric things living down there. It’s a pretty fun tale if you just decide to go with it.

Dinosaur Thunder: James F. David

Speaking of “going with it,” Dinosaur Thunder makes Jurassic Park look like a PBS documentary. This book has so many temporal disturbances and alternative timelines it even has a T-Rex living on the Moon, you guys. It’s a pretty high concept thriller, but if dinosaurs are your thing, check it out.

Kamandi Archives: Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby was a giant in the world of 20th century comics, creating (or co-creating) most of the original Marvel lineup including Captain America, The Avengers, and the Fantastic Four. He also worked for DC comics where he created Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth. Kamandi actually takes place in the distant future, after “The Great Disaster” reduces the Earth to a prehistoric state. Granted, there aren’t dinosaurs as much as super-intelligent mutated animals in this series, but it was an excuse to mention Jack Kirby.

Anonymous Rex: Eric Garcia

It seems like I’ve been listing these titles in order of “most plausible” to “least plausible.” If this is the case then let’s finish up with Anonymous Rex, possibly the least plausible of the whole bunch. The idea in this story is that the dinosaurs only faked their extinction and live among humans in latex costumes. Vincent Rubio is one of these disguised Dinos ( a Velociraptor, no less!) who also happens to work as a Los Angeles P.I. The story itself is quite funny and fast-paced, and might be just the thing for a quick backyard read this summer. It even hatched a sequel called Hot and Sweaty Rex. If you read the first one, you might as well keep going.


Sapiens and mortality

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Two nonfiction books that have captured the imagination of readers recently: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande and Sapiens: a brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari provide two different perspectives and prospects of modern humans and where they came from and where they are ultimately going.

Gawande’s vantage point is that of a surgeon and having intimate knowledge of the dilemmas and complications we all must face experiencing end of life care, either directly as a patient or as a family member of a loved one. He cites modern medicine’s reliance or fixation to control things with sophisticated and expensive tests and treatments with often only marginal benefits in longevity or quality of life. 9781400069033This book coincides with a series of provocative pieces like Ezekiel Emanuel’s The Atlantic article “Why I Hope to Die at 75” and Oliver Sacks‘ “My Own Life” in the New York Times. The examples cited by these articles and reinforced in the stories in Gawande’s book is that what really matters to people going through end-of-life care is not so being cured but more being respected and acknowledged as a human being. It is the power of being able to make our decisions and being able to think for ourselves. In philosophy class we called it ‘human agency'; in our everyday lives we should call it respecting our souls.

Harari’s book takes a different tract. Tracing the rapid evolution of homo sapiens within the last 150,000 years he cites a series of ‘revolutions': the cognitive; where we acquire language, use symbols and abstract thoughts, form the basis of religion and morality; agricultural, the scientific, the industrial, followed by the informational and ultimately the bio-technological. The interesting aspect of Harari’s analysis is that the each successive is better than the previous, but thinking about the trade-offs between those ages. Although the agricultural revolution allowed for the creation of surplus in terms of food supply and division of labour, it also allowed for hierarchies, creation of private property, kingdoms and overlords, etc. In pre-agricultural societies there were limited resources for population growth, but the high protein hunter-gathering diet and the internal cooperation needed to secure food produced a better quality of life experience than the slavery and drudgery that was needed to maintain an agricultural society. And in many ways the same trade-off could be explained in the transition from agricultural society to industrial/capitalist society with the Irish potato famine and the Scottish clearances.

9780393317558        9781443422994

Similar books in the style would be Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel and the more recent The Human Age by Diane Ackerman. The thing I find missing in Harari’s assessment of this great sweep of human history is the thing that is so primary in Gawande’s book and the articles by Emanuel and Sacks: that is the primacy of souls, our demand to be respected and to have our own intrinsic dignity upheld. 9780691161570This demand transcends political/ideological divisions: a conservative philosopher as such Roger Scruton in Soul of the World could find common ground with Wilkinson and Pickett’s The Spirit Level. Whatever technological transformation human beings will encounter, the fact remains that we must be aware we are not machines or robots to be manipulated with and marketed to; but we human beings with purpose and intent, bodies with a soul.


Fifty Shades of… 50

Here are some selections from the latest display up here on the fourth floor of the Millennium Library for your reading… errr… pleasure.  Amazing how many of these “50”-inspired titles we found in the collection!
50 Jobs Worse Than Yours50 Jobs Worse Than Yours

“You think your job is bad? Try being a Sherpa, a Saddam Hussein Double (now unemployed), or the person who operates the “It’s a Small World” ride. Satirist Justin Racz has spanned the globe to find fifty jobs worse than yours, so we can all feel better about our own.”
Fifty Dresses That Changed The World

Fifty Dresses That Dhanged the World“Join the Design Museum, the world’s leading museum in contemporary design, on a guided tour of the 50 most important dresses in social history and design. Filled with pages of beautiful clothes, and the famous faces (and bodies) that put them on the world stage -including Wallis Simpson, Jackie Kennedy, Twiggy and Cher and, of course, Princess Di-this fun volume shares fascinating appraisals of what gave the 50 most important garments their iconic status.”


50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology

“50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology uses popular myths as a vehicle for helping students and laypersons to distinguish science from pseudoscience:
•Uses common myths as a vehicle for exploring how to distinguish factual from fictional claims in popular psychology
•Explores topics that readers will relate to, but often misunderstand, such as ′opposites attract′, ′people use only 10% of their brains′, and ′handwriting reveals your personality′
•Provides a ′myth busting kit′ for evaluating folk psychology claims in everyday life”
50 Canadians Who Changed the World

50 Canadians Who Changed the World“From Tommy Douglas, Pierre Trudeau, John Kenneth Galbraith, Naomi Klein, Marshall McLuhan, Stephen Lewis and Roméo Dallaire to Glenn Gould, David Suzuki, Mike Lazaridis, Margaret Atwood, Oscar Peterson, Leonard Cohen and thirty-seven others, Ken McGoogan shows us why and how Canadians move in the wider world as influencers and agents of progressive change. Say hello to fifty Canadians who are shaping the future.” Also available as an eBook.


Fifty Shades of KaleFifty Shades of Kale

“In Fifty Shades of Kale, you’ll discover fifty enticing new ways to enjoy one of Mother Nature’s hottest properties. … With fifty mouth-watering recipes for kale-centric breakfasts, starters, mains, cocktails, and desserts, Fifty Shades of Kale is certain to spice up your routine and show you how to experiment in the kitchen, cook yourself sexy, and indulge without guilt.” Also available as an eBook.


Peace: 50 years of protest

Peace: 50 Years of Protest

“One of the most instantly recognized images in the world–the peace sign–celebrates its 50th anniversary. Miles uses a combination of research and personal recall to recount the evolution of this iconic image.”

The book summaries in this post are taken straight from our catalogue.  Not sure if a title is for you?  When browsing our catalogue simply click on the “Summary” tab found below the main part of the record.  You’ll also find Google Previews and – even better – some suggestions of other titles you may enjoy .





Arts & Crafts (& Projects & Fleas)

Spring is a great time for projects. There’s that wonderful sense of renewal all around us. The snow has melted, buds have started to appear on the trees, the sunshine is just that much warmer, and the days are longer. And longer days mean more hours to fill. And more hours to fill means time to brush off the old toolkit. It’s time to get crafty!

40 Projects for Building your Backyard Homestead

Not sure where to start? Need some inspiration? The library has you covered. Our shelves are filled with great books that run the gamut of crafty, thrifty, creative, and/or sustainable projects. From DIY furniture upcycling, and raising backyard chickens (against the law in Winnipeg but a romantic concept to explore, nonetheless) with 40 projects for building your backyard homestead: a hands-on, step-by-step sustainable-living guide by David Thot, to reinventing your wardrobe with New Dress a Day by Marissa Lynch.

Handmade Gatherings


Having a party? Check out Handmade Gatherings by Ashley English; or try getting your hands dirty with Concrete Crafts by Sania Hedengren. Embroidery and other domestic pursuits can be found in The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Brocket, Jane. There is no shortage of ways to explore your crafty side through the library!

Are you working on a tight schedule? Are there not enough hours in the day to make it in person to the library? Just between you and me, the WPL’s Freading eBook catalogue has an excellent selection of nonfiction books on crafting, homesteading, gardening, and much, much more. Best of all, they’re all immediately ready for download, not a waitlist in sight!

Made by Dad

Spending time with the kids this summer will never be quite the same once you get your hands on Made by Dad by Scott Bedford which is full of fun projects, small and large, that you can make with materials you’ve likely already got lying around the home. When the rain starts to pour, pull those kids away from the screens with Instead of watching TV: 99 activities to help kids unplug by Anna Huete.

If you, like many, consider yourself to be a non-crafty person but still enjoy the idea of the handmade, self-sustaining, made-with-love movement have no fear! Fortunately, we have many capable, highly skilled, and supremely talented crafters right here in Manitoba with many calling Winnipeg home. The truth to this statement is easily confirmed by the sheer number of craft sales that take place throughout the year. Take, for example, this weekend: the Winnipeg Etsy Street Team hosts its seventh Handmade and Vintage Sale (Saturday, May 2) while Third and Bird Market is hosting its 2nd Annual Spring Market from 10-5 (also Saturday, May 2—make a day of it, perhaps?).

Lastly, keep your eyes open, adults and children alike, for the great variety of makerspace programming that the library hosts year round. And don’t forget — you crafty library lovers — that the Knitting Book Clubs at Louis Riel and Fort Garry Library resume their meetings in the fall. Contact your local branch to find out more information regarding these unique, free programs!

What’s your craft of choice?