Author Archives: winnipegpublibrary

What odds about Newfoundland lit?

The charm and beauty of this island is worth the long journey to get there. There are many writers and poets who live there, some who ‘come from away’ and fall in love with the place and many who grew up ’on the rock´. While there is much diversity in the stories and writing coming from Newfoundland, there are also some striking similarities.  The challenging weather (Manitobans can relate) and the remoteness of this place often come through in the narratives. And of course there are the many figures of speech Newfoundlanders employ which add a particular flavour.

If you are looking for some travel advice, Newfoundland and Labrador Book of Musts by Janice Wells will have some insider tips for you. The secret to travelling in Newfoundland is to be open to adventure, talk to locals and they will tell you the best trails to hike, fish to eat and pubs to gather at.

While you are flipping through the Book of Musts, you should also check out The Great Atlantic Canada Bucket List by Robin Esrock and Scenic Driving Atlantic Canada by Chloe Ernst. These books will help you plan your trip out east.

As most of my family lives in Newfoundland, I’ve spent many childhood summers visiting this magical place. Now that my parents have moved back, I continue to visit often. I’ve read my fair share of books by Newfoundland writers – both fiction and non-fiction. Here are a few newer books that will spin you a yarn and maybe have you yearning for more.

Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
Hooper’s newest book is a gorgeous story told mostly from the perspective of 11 year-old Finn that examines rural outport Newfoundland in the 1990s after the collapse of the fishing industry. Families in these small communities were relocated by the government. Finn and his sister Cora create imaginary worlds on the island and their parents take turns working off the island in the Alberta oil fields to survive. 

Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles
This is a new release that I recommend you get your hands on. The book follows 3 main characters who are from the bay (small remote towns) and their intertwining lives in St. John’s (among townies) in the thick of February weather. The book centres on a restaurant and touches on foodie and chef culture in Newfoundland. Coles is deeply inspired by the #MeToo movement and confronts issues of racism, homophobia, sexism and class that shape contemporary Newfoundland society.

Wildness by Jeremy Charles
Speaking of Newfoundland food and food culture, this brand new cookbook is coming to our shelves soon. The recipes highlight local fare and have stories by the chef along with them.

February by Lisa Moore
This is another heart wrenching story of a Newfoundland woman who is tough as nails. The story follows Helen O’Mara, a woman dealing with the grief of losing her husband when the Ocean Ranger oil rig sinks in a February storm. This historical event is one that many Newfoundlanders remember vividly. Moore also has a newer book of short stories Something for Everyone, released in 2018, which has been well received.

Galore by Michael Crummey
This is novel which crosses multiple generations of Newfoundlanders living on a remote island called “Paradise Deep”. Crummey uses magical realism to explore the deep connections to ocean, land and inhabitants. You will likely need to use the family tree provided by the author but it is well worth losing yourself in this novel. 

Son of a Critch: A Childish Newfoundland Memoir by Mark Critch
It feels right to end this list on a funny book, as for all the difficulties of living in Newfoundland there is a collective sense of humour that is so unique. Mark Critch, of This Hour has 22 Minutes, has written a memoir that taps into this.

For your next good read I recommend you look all the way east to some of the fine writers hailing from Newfoundland. Yes b’y you best believe that Newfoundland lit is worth caring about!

– Kim

Delicious Desserts

“It’s the finale. It’s the last impression. A bad dessert can ruin the meal.”  ~ Anne McManus  

No pressure, right? A lot of people are intimidated by desserts, preferring to cook a savoury meal, rather than bake something. Me, I’ve always preferred baking to cooking. I loved my Easy Bake oven, when I was a child and I was also known as the cookie monster in our family. This year, I’ve been attempting to make classic desserts that I’ve never tried before, like Crème Brûlée and my most recent attempt, Macarons.

Perfect Patisserie by Dr. Tim Kinnaird, shows you how to make the three different types of meringues – French, Italian or Swiss. I went with the Italian meringue, where the egg white is whisked with a hot sugar syrup. My first attempt wasn’t too bad – I did manage to get the “feet,” the tiny little bubbles on the edges of the meringue, but some of the shells were hollow. I learned a few things this month: 1) I need to work on my piping bag skills. 2) I don’t like macarons enough to try making them again.

Sandra made a bread pudding from an old cookbook she had at home, but also did some on-line research and discovered that this dessert is a staple in a lot of cultures. The Pioneer Woman, Martha Stewart, Anna Olson all have recipes on their websites for this comforting dessert, but Sandra says the Bon Appétit one is the best.

Food52 Genius Desserts is a great cookbook for experienced bakers to try. Prasanna liked this book so much she is considering buying it for her birthday. She tried the Pistachio Millionaires Shortbread, but found it a bit too salty, with 3.5 tsps of Kosher salt. (We all thought it was fine!) She also made the Coffee Cardamom Walnut Cakes.

Sweet Laurel: Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts by Laurel Gallucci was the perfect cookbook for Deb’s family, since they have a lot of dietary restrictions.  The only sweeteners that her daughter can tolerate are honey and dates and she was ecstatic with the Alfajores. The Vegan caramel in the recipe is one she will use for other recipes as well. It’s quick and easy to make and tastes really caramel like. The orange pistachio loaf was a really good breakfast loaf – not too sweet.

Lynda and Maureen experimented with Slow Cooker Desserts by Roxanne Wyss and Lynda admits she became a little obsessed with it. The Warm Brownie Pudding is cooked right in the slow cooker. It was quite good although not as chocolate-ty or saucy as similar recipes she has made in the oven. The French Lemon Cake had a lovely fresh flavour that comes from fresh lemon juice and the zest of one whole lemon. The texture from baking in the slow cooker is similar to a pound cake rather than fluffy like when it is baked in the oven. It is baked in a 7″ spring form pan supported by a ring of tin foil to keep it off the bottom of the slow cooker.

Cathi chose Betty Crocker’s Sheet Pan Desserts for a couple of reasons. She is always looking for recipes that will work at the lake when resources are more limited but sometimes the numbers are not! This book has recipes that serve a number of people and are straightforward in terms of ingredients. This also applies to Treat Day at work and being made in a sheet pan makes transport easy. She also likes desserts, like the Gluten-free Rocky Road Bars and the Chocolate Truffle-Topped Caramel Bars that can be a little bite to go with sherbet, which is nice and light after any meal, and makes it complete.

Harriet tested out a couple of recipes from Simple Desserts: the Easiest Recipes in the World, on dinner guests, with mixed results. The Mango Pistachio Puff Pastry Rolls turned out really well and were delicious. The mangos were so sweet and tasty, after twenty minutes in the oven. She was a little disappointed with the Chocolate truffles, which ended up being granular in texture. The recipes are all really simple, with six ingredients or less, and also use a lot of pre-made products.

Cathy found Modern Baking by Donna Hay to be a little confusing, since it jumps from cup measurements to weighted measurements and had some very complex recipes. There were a few quick and easy ones, too, like the Chai Bundt cake, which mixes all the ingredients together in one bowl. She also tried the Goji Coconut Bliss Balls, which are like an energy ball, full of almonds, coconut, and dates.

The Vintage Baker by Jessie Sheehan is the result of collection, testing, and tweaking hundreds of heirloom recipes gathered from vintage baking booklets, resulting in a blend of nostalgia and modern-day baking. Jackie was intrigued by the idea of cookies with potato chips in them, so she had to try the Butterscotch – Potato Chip Balls and she wasn’t disappointed. They were DELICIOUS! This recipe is definitely a keeper, as well as, the Black Bottom Banana Dream Bars.

Tatiana would like to buy Jenny McCoy’s Desserts for Every Season. She ran out of regular flour while she was making her Cherry Pie, so she substituted in some peanut flour and was really happy with the results. It made the dough very pliable and she plans on making all of her pie crusts with peanut flour, from now on. It was also her first time making a lattice topping, which turned out great. The Rice Krispie Granola Bars were also a success.

Happy Baking!

Carole

Gotta catch them all: The 1990s are back in Detective Pikachu

POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU Photo credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

It is often the case that when a remake of a much beloved character is made, there is both fear and consternation as to the fate of the character. Will the film honour the work of previous writers and do justice to the character; or, will they decide that a new updated version requires a complete rewrite, changing both the tone and essence of the character?

When I heard there was to be new version of Pikachu, and a live action version to boot, I was highly skeptical. Often when animation is rendered into a live version, something tends to get lost in translation. This is because different mediums have varying needs and restrictions from other formats. What you can get away with in a comic or manga just doesn’t work on-screen.

Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when the trailer came out. It’s loosely based on the Nintendo game, Detective Pikachu (hence the title), but don’t be fooled. This isn’t a film for little kids. Judging by the trailer, this film is a bit of a nostalgia piece for those 90s kids who first played Pokémon as trading cards or on a Game Boy. As those kids have grown up, so has Pikachu. Pikachu has gone from being a one-dimensional fighter into a full character with hopes, fears and, most importantly, a voice (courtesy of Ryan Reynolds of Deadpool fame). When Pikachu meets Tim, the only person who can hear him, they set out on journey that leads them to uncover a plot that will change their world.

Sounds good, huh? But if you’re anything like me, you either need a little more backstory or you simply can’t get out opening weekend to see it. So for those that are waiting until after May 10th, take a gander at the original Pokémon to help you along. We have the graphic novels, Beginner Readers, and chapter books (often found in both English & French), the TV shows and the video games to kick start the love of Pikachu. For those who want to take the next step, there is manga for teens and adults, as well as graphic novels and art books that teach you how to draw manga.

So, dust off your Pokédecks, (or whip out your Pokémon Go app), and see what you still need to get, because you still gotta catch ‘em all.

Happy hunting!

~ Katherine

Mental Health Information at the Library

This week is Mental Health Week and yes, even here at the Library, we’re encouraging everyone to #GetLoud about mental health awareness and supports.

We’re working to do our part by making crisis and support information available at all of our locations – and downloadable too.

If you’re looking for mental health services in Winnipeg or looking to learn more about specific mental health conditions we recommend visiting our Mental Health and Addictions Info Guide. We’ve brought together basic information, books, and research resources about a range of topics, with plans to add more.

One great feature of the Info Guide is the shortcuts to finding books in our collection. In each section of the Info Guide you’ll find a link to a list of titles in our catalogue. The titles below are just a sample of titles you’ll find across all of these lists.

And remember: we are always happy to help you search for information. Be sure to be in touch.

~ Monique

It’s Time to Read: Fox

Dear Readers, please join us this as we read Fox by Margaret Sweatman.  An appropriate book, we thought, as this May marks the 100th Anniversary or the Winnipeg General Strike.  The time and place in which Fox takes place.

fox 2Margaret Sweatman is a nationally recognized and critically acclaimed author who hails from Winnipeg.  I am looking forward to her interpretation of the strike, as the back of the book describes Fox as “historical and postmodern fiction.”  Postmodernism being an especially amorphous descriptor, which intrigues me, because we tend to think of history as something so concrete.

As always, we’d like to hear your thoughts for the podcast.   Let us know your thoughts on Fox, or the Winnipeg General Strike, or postmodernism.  You can let us know on our Time to Read Facebook group, our website wpl-podcast.winnipeg.ca, or by writing to us at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca.

general strike book

For a less postmodern take on The Winnipeg General Strike check out a talk by historian and author Michael Dupuis—The  Winnipeg General Strike: Ordinary Men and Women  Under Extraordinary Circumstances.  The talk is based on his book by the same name and takes place at Henderson Library on Tuesday, May 14 from 6:30-8 pm.  Registration required.

And don’t forget, the latest Time to Read podcast episode, in which we discuss all things poetry, is available today!

~Alan and the rest of the Time to Read team

Fun with Fungi

Mushrooms are a funny thing, being at once loved, and feared. When they pop up in stories, they can be both life-saving and life-ending (or at least mind-altering, and I’ll leave it to you to decide if that is good or bad).

Whatever your thoughts on mushrooms, there is no doubt that fungi are currently enjoying some time in the spotlight, much to the delight of mycophiles everywhere.

From the cute to the dangerous to the useful, here are a few resources from the Winnipeg Public Library collection. Don’t worry, they won’t take up mush-room!

 

meganblog1Super Powders: adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms for energy, beauty, mood, and well-being

by Katrine Van Wyk

Natural remedies for various physical ailments are well known; now hitting the scene are supplements—made from berries, mushrooms, herbs, and other plants—that can help the body (and mind) adapt to stress. These “adaptogens” work towards restoring balance, enhancing focus and stamina, boosting energy, and improving mood. In Super Powders, health coach Katrine van Wyk takes 20 adaptogens and describes what they are and how to use them. She might recommend goji berries for mood, astragalus for immunity, reishi and moringa for anxiety relief.

This appealing book reveals everything you need to know about adaptogens and how to get started.

 

meganblog2

Mushrooms of the Northwest : A simple guide to common mushrooms by Teresa Marrone

Hundreds of full-colour photographs with easy-to-understand text make this a perfect visual guide. Learn about more than 400 species of common wild mushrooms found in the Northwest states of Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. The species are organized by shape, then by colour, so you can identify them by their visual characteristics. Plus, with the Top Edibles and Top Toxics sections, you’ll begin to learn which wild mushrooms are edible. The information in the book, written by Teresa Marrone and Drew Parker, is accessible to beginners but useful for even experienced mushroom seekers.

 

meganblog3Mushroom cultivation : an illustrated guide to growing your own mushrooms at home by Tavis Lynch

Mushrooms are popping up everywhere! On restaurant menus, in grocery aisles, at local farmer’s markets, and not just the ubiquitous white buttons we’ve seen for years. What once were exotic are now almost commonplace—shiitake, chanterelle, cremini, enoki, the list grows longer every year.

Understanding how mushrooms grow is crucial to successfully cultivating them, and Mushroom Cultivation offers comprehensive instruction both on how mushrooms grow and how you can cultivate them yourself to enrich your soil, speed up your composting, and even suppress weeds.

 

meganblog4The Beauty  by Aliya Whiteley

Somewhere away from the cities and towns, a group of men and boys gather around the fire each night to listen to their stories in the Valley of the Rocks. For when the women are all gone, the rest of your life is all there is for everyone. The men are waiting to pass into the night.

The story shall be told to preserve the past. History has gone back to its oral roots and the power of words is strong. Meet Nate, the storyteller, and the new secrets he brings back from the woods. William rules the group with youth and strength, but how long can that last? And what about Uncle Ted, who spends so much time out in the woods?

Hear the tales. Watch a myth be formed. For what can man hope to achieve in a world without women? When the past is only grief how long should you hold on to it? What secrets can the forest offer to change it all?

Discover the Beauty.

 

meganblog5The Mushroom Fan Club by Elise Gravel

In this children’s book, Gravel takes us on a magical tour of the forest floor and examines a handful of her favorite alien specimens up close. While the beautiful coral mushroom looks like it belongs under the sea, the peculiar lactarius indigo may be better suited for outer space! From the fun-to-stomp puffballs to the prince of the stinkers—the stinkhorn mushroom—and the musically inclined chanterelles, Gravel shares her knowledge of this fascinating kingdom by bringing each species to life in full felt-tip marker glory.

 

meganblog6The Mushroom Hunters: On the trail of an underground America by Langdon Cook

Within the dark corners of America’s forests grow culinary treasures. Chefs pay top dollar to showcase these elusive and beguiling ingredients on their menus. Whether dressing up a filet mignon with smoky morels or shaving luxurious white truffles over pasta, the most elegant restaurants across the country now feature an abundance of wild mushrooms.

The mushroom hunters, by contrast, are a rough lot. They live in the wilderness and move with the seasons. Motivated by Gold Rush desires, they haul improbable quantities of fungi from the woods for cash. Langdon Cook embeds himself in this shadowy subculture, reporting from both rural fringes and big-city eateries with the flair of a novelist, uncovering along the way what might be the last gasp of frontier-style capitalism.

 

If these titles whet your appetite for more mushroom knowledge, consider taking a peek at the documentary Know Your Mushrooms on our streaming service Kanopy, or see what we have on the mushrooms of Canada!

Happy reading,

Megan

Across the World

When I was in university I had a professor who travelled to India regularly. He inspired me so much with his stories that as a young twenty-something I purchased the Lonely Planet guide, slung on my backpack, and boarded a plane for India. I am not a globe trotter, but of the places I have been able to visit, India definitely remains one of my favourites. The history and beauty, combined with the hospitality of the people I met on my travels, definitely left its mark. And I won’t even get started on the food, which was beyond incredible (thankfully living in Winnipeg we have access to some excellent Indian food!).

*I had a view of the Taj Mahal as good as the one above thanks to the directions in my handy Lonely Planet India guide.  Who knew my 2 star hotel/hostel would have an uninterrupted view from the window (besides the folks at Lonely Planet)?

A number of years after my trip I picked up A Fine Balance, by Canadian writer Rohinton Mistry. Because I enjoyed travelling through India so much, and also love historical fiction, this seemed like a really good fit. In all its thickness, A Fine Balance was still too short—I never wanted it to end. It quickly became one of my favourite books. Mistry catapults you into a fictional 1970s India, during a time of political turmoil, where you witness the lives of four ordinary characters become intertwined. Beautifully written, with vivid images, it is a heart wrenching novel. It is definitely a book to read with a handy supply of Kleenex. When I find an author I like I tend to ‘read through’ a number of their books, and this was no exception. Family Matters and Such a Long Journey, both set in Bombay, as well as Tales from Firozsha Baag, are also fantastic reads.

A few years later a friend and I were talking about books, specifically about ones set in India. She gave me a number of titles she enjoyed, and among them was What the Body Remembers, by Shauna Singh Baldwin. Set in the period of the brutal 1947 Partition, ‘Shauna Singh Baldwin’s debut novel is immaculately researched, bringing to life a troubled time in Indian history from a rarely seen perspective.’ I found this excellent book (In 2000, What the Body Remembers won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in the Caribbean and Canada) introduced me to a time of history, albeit through its fictional story line, that I sadly knew very little about.

Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri’s stunning debut collection of short stories, unerringly charts the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations. In stories that travel from India to America and back again, Lahiri speaks with universal eloquence to everyone who has ever felt like a foreigner. I enjoyed these powerful and often sad stories, and went on to ready The Namesake, The Lowland, and then another collection of stories, Unaccustomed Earth, also by Lahiri.

 

A Suitable Boy, a novel by Vikram Seth, was published in 1993. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation. At 1488 pages this was another thick read, and although I didn’t enjoy it as much as other books I had read set in that period, I still appreciated the breadth and complexity of the story.

The White Tiger is on my radar as a book to definitely read soon. It is the debut novel of author Arivand Adiga and won him the prestigious Man Booker Prize. The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India’s caste society.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

~Kristie

 

Green it. Mean it.

Just in time for the week of Earth Day, Winnipeg Public Library is introducing a new series Green it.  Mean it.  The goal of the series is to offer practical advice you can use to make better choices for the environment.  How can I make my home more energy efficient? What renewable energy options, like solar, are available and how can I use them at home?  How to xeriscape your yard? We’ll also be talking about zero waste living and green friendly food choices.

To kick off the Green it.  Mean it. series, we’re running four programs in May and June.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Electric Vehicles

Learn what’s available, what’s coming, which one is right for you, and where and how to charge it up! Presented by Robert Elms of the Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association.

River Heights Public Library
Thursday, May 23 6:30–7:30pm
Call 204-986-4936 to register
Or register online

Henderson Public Library
Monday, June 17 6:30–7:30pm
Call 204-986-4314 to register
Or register online

 

Vermicomposting

Learn to compost indoors with vermicomposting. Use red wriggler worms to change household organic material into nutrient rich worm manure. Fertilize and enrich garden and potting soil while reducing the amount of waste you send to the landfill. Presented by Green Action Centre Winnipeg.

Munroe Library
Thursday, May 23 6:30–8pm
Call 204-986-3736 to register
Or register online

Osborne Library
Monday, June 10 6:30–8pm
Call 204-986-4775 to register
Or register online

 

Bees and Urban Beekeeping

Bees are critical for agriculture and a healthy ecosystem. Learn about bee biology and behaviour, what to plant to help the local bee population, and what to consider if wanting to get into beekeeping yourself. Presented by Beeproject Apiaries.

St. Vital Library
Tuesday, May 14 7–8pm
Call 204-986-5628 to register
Or register online

 

Low Waste Living

Could you live your life without producing any trash? That’s the goal of being a zero-waster! Discover more about this low-waste lifestyle from people who actually practice it. You will learn how to make less garbage and find out which resources are available to help. Presented by Zero Waste Manitoba.

St. James Library
Tuesday, June 4 6:30–8pm
Call 204-986-3424 to register
Or register online

You can also register in person at your nearest library!


Don’t forget to check out our upcoming info guide, Green Choices.  The guide will provide you with information from print and online resources to help you make environmentally sound choices.  You’ll find things like:

 

Climate of Hope by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

 

 

Climate of Hope: how cities, citizens and businesses can save the planet

By Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope

 

 

Climate Justice by Mary Robinson

 

 

 

Climate Justice: hope, resilience and the fight for a sustainable future.

By Mary Robinson

 

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power by Al Gore

 

 

An Inconvenient Sequel: truth to power: your action handbook to learn the science, find your voice and help solve the climate crisis.

By Al Gore

 

 

drewblog4

 

Bikes vs Cars a documentary found on our Kanopy streaming service.

 

 

Look for the guide in June and keep your eyes open for more green stuff.

~ Drew

 

Foreign Films, Lives Like Ours

I’m going to let you in on the best kept secret in pop culture: there is a place that makes films and TV series reflective of our daily lives, but with none of the “punch up” of drama or the exaggeration of sitcoms. Next time you are looking for something new and different to watch, an Asian film or TV series is a great bet.

There are numerous areas of Asian films: Korean, Japanese live action and anime, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Mainland China–all with rich and unique traditions and styles. They all share a tendency to make more films and television shows about daily life as it is than any other medium save literary novels.

It’s an intimidating field to try to navigate, and there are still many quality productions not in translation, but with streaming and home video, this avenue is more available than ever before. The library has a great selection in these areas and I hope here to provide some welcoming starting points or entertainment for just one night when you are looking for a break from your usual preferred watching!

moodforlove A frequent critic pick for best movies of the 21st century, In The Mood For Love offers a look at two individuals who live in the same apartment block, their spouses are having an affair and they are attracted enough to each other to consider having one themselves. This simmers at the back of their minds as they go to work and eat dinner, unsure of how they’d feel about themselves should they decide to do what they want, until finally a choice is made. A real slow burner, like a mystery that only comes together when you have the full puzzle.

 

yiyi Another one on a lot of critic’s best of the 21st century lists is Yi Yi. This film steeps itself in the minutiae of life: caring for sick relatives, trying to learn a new skill at school, but blossoms to an epic due to the number of character story-lines in the film. It’s breathtaking to learn about a whole family instead of just a few members. The beating heart is a middle class family of four, it’s a difficult year for them that begins with a wedding and ends with a funeral, and each of them deal with the events in a different way. This film is a rare beast, about daily life, but breathlessly exciting, almost like a thriller.

wayhome A Korean film, The Way Home is perhaps the smallest scale film on this list, dealing with only two characters for almost the entire story. A grandson stays with the grandmother he has never met for one summer. He has a real chip on his shoulder and while his grandma does her best to accommodate him, he isn’t sure he wants to make any effort to see past her being mute and living far away from any technology. If you are looking for a movie that will leave you grinning ear to ear, here it is.

 

likefather Japan provides us with Like Father, Like Son, an excellent introduction to acclaimed director Hirokazu Koreeda. An upper-class couple discover their young son was switched at birth with a working-class couple’s child. The father has a distant relationship with his son, so he’s determined to “switch” the children back to the birth families… permanently. This one is a real tear-jerker.

 

corner Anime helps round out our list with In This Corner of the World, a drama that depicts daily life during World War II for one woman who has recently entered into an arranged marriage and moved to a town right by Hiroshima. The film is full of researched details about life at this time and features a strong emphasis on the different bonds between people. Looking for an inspirational watch about staying true to yourself in the face of hardship? This is the one.

 

onceupon We also have some excellent books that can help you navigate these unique cinematic traditions beyond just the slice of life genre: Once Upon a Time in China, and Contemporary Japanese Film being the most aimed at those unfamiliar with Asian film and featuring the widest variety.

 

Happy viewing and a very happy everyday life to you!

-Cyrus

Spring fiction

Spring has sprung and the new fiction shelves are blooming with a heavy crop of new novels. Here are a few to get you started, or you can view the full list of New Titles for the last 3 months in our online catalogue.

In dog we trust
by Beth Kendrick
When Jocelyn Hilliard is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry and never expected to be living the pampered life in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges.

The bird king
by G. Willow Wilson
Fatima is a concubine in the royal court of Granada, the last emirate of Muslim Spain. Her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker, has a secret: he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as threatening sorcery. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls?

Queen Bee
by Dorothea Benton Frank
Beekeeper Holly McNee Kensen quietly lives in a world of her own on Sullivan’s Island. Her mother, The Queen Bee, is a demanding hypochondriac; to escape the drama, Holly’s sister Leslie married and moved away, wanting little to do with island life. Holly’s escape is to submerge herself in the lives of the two young boys next door and their widowed father. When Leslie returns to the island, their mother ups her game in an uproarious and theatrical downward spiral. A classic Lowcountry Tale–warm, wise, and hilarious.

Bunny
by Mona Awad
A darkly funny, seductively strange novel about a lonely graduate student drawn into a clique of rich girls who seem to move and speak as one. Samantha Heather Mackey couldn’t be more different from the other members of her master’s program at an elite university. A self-conscious scholarship student, she is repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort–a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other “Bunny.” But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation from the Bunnies and finds herself drawn as if by magic to their front door. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into Bunny world, the edges of reality begin to blur.

The snakes
by Sadie Jones
Driving through France, recently married Bea and Dan visit Bea’s brother at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. When her parents make a surprise visit, Dan can’t understand why Bea is so appalled, or why she’s never wanted him to meet them; Liv and Griff Adamson are charming and rich. Maybe Bea’s ashamed of him, or maybe she regrets the secrets she’s been keeping… Tragedy strikes suddenly, brutally, and in its aftermath even Bea with all her strength and goodness can’t escape.

The elephant of surprise
by Joe Lansdale
Hap and Leonard are an unlikely pair–Hap, a self-proclaimed white trash rebel, and Leonard, a tough-as-nails black gay Vietnam vet–but they’re the closest friend either of them has in the world. Amidst the worst flood East Texas has seen in years, they save a young woman from a mob hit, only to find themselves confronted by an adversary who challenges their friendship.

The paper wasp
by Lauren Acampora
Once a bright student on the cusp of a promising art career, Abby Graven now works as a supermarket cashier. Each day she’s taunted by the success of her former best friend Elise, a rising Hollywood starlet. When Abby encounters Elise again at their high school reunion, she’s surprised and touched that Elise still considers her a friend. Ever the supportive friend, Abby becomes enmeshed in Elise’s world, even as she guards her own dark secret and burning desire for greatness. As she edges closer to Elise and her own artistic ambitions, the dynamic shifts between the two friends–until Abby can see only one way to grasp the future that awaits her.

Danielle