Category Archives: Book Clubs

It’s Time to Read: I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Welcome, dear readers!  Happy first Friday of the month.  In the past, we’ve celebrated the all-important first Friday of the month by letting you know the latest episode of Time to Read was available to download.  We thought this was a pretty good way to spend your weekend. We were wrong.

What we should have been doing, and what we promise to do from now on, is to tell you what book we’re reading now.  Why? So you have Time to Read it of course!  And then you can let us know what you think. And when we record the next episode we can let you know what we think of what you think. We think that’s pretty neat.

reid For the month of November we’ll be reading I’m Thinking of Ending Things.  A Novel. By novelist Iain Reid.  I don’t know much about it … yet.  But I have it on good authority that it’s good.  Whose authority you might ask? An author I really admire, Heather O’Neill of Lullabies for Little Criminals fame calls it “Addictive.”  Charlie Kaufman of Charlie Kaufman fame is apparently turning it into a television series.  I can only hope he brings on Donald Kaufman to help him out.

But what I’d really like to know, dear readers, is what you think of it.  Did it keep you up at night? Because it was too scary? Or, maybe you couldn’t put it down?  Let us know by email at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca or leave a comment on our website.

And don’t forget to check out our latest episode, in which we discuss The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  Available now.

-Alan and the rest of the Time to Read team

It’s Time to Read: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

Welcome, dear readers! It’s the beginning of the month, and that means a BRAND NEW EPISODE of Time to Read, WPL’s very own podcast! Find it wherever you get your podcasts or on our Time to Read website.

This month, the gang discusses Becky Chamber’s The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet. No worries if you haven’t read it! We tend to chatter about the ideas in the book rather than dissect the plot itself, so please join in anyway. (Honestly sometimes we run out of time to read them all too!)

If you have thoughts on Artificial Intelligence, really long journeys, or lesbians in sci-fi this is the show for you. We also have tangential segments like Nerd Words for Word Nerds and Books You Might Also Like (or something – I keep forgetting what that part is called).

long

Synopsis:

Humans are now just one of many sapient species in the galaxy, and a lesser and weaker one at that. This is the story of a motley multi-species crew on a patchwork ship, trying to make an honest living as tunnelers – making wormholes to connect star systems to one another. When they take on their biggest job yet, connecting a distant and isolated species that is still at war with itself, they each find themselves also on a long journey of self-discovery. With questions of personhood, identity, family and love, this is the story of that journey, as they travel the long way to find a small angry planet.

And if you’ve already read Angry Planet, we want you to tell us – Corbin, hero or villain? Who would you prefer to be stuck in a space capsule with? And what did you think about the surprise hook up?

devilThen, pick up our next read, Devil in the White City : Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson. Sounds good right?!!

And always always you can email your thoughts on the book and on the podcast to us at: wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Until next time, try to find some Time to Read!

  • Erica and the rest of the Time to Read team

 

It’s time to read: Walkaway

Welcome, dear readers! It’s that time at the beginning of the month when you should check your podcast feeds because a BRAND NEW EPISODE of WPL’s podcast, Time to Read is now available wherever you find your podcasts, iTunes, Stitcher, and on our Time to Read website.

This month, the gang talked about Cory Doctorow’s book Walkaway, set in a dystopian/utopian near future. We pondered if we’d be brave enough to walk away from society (spoiler: Alan is not), or if any of us were interested in “uploading” a version of ourselves (spoiler: Kirsten is not.)  And of course Trevor found us a handy-dandy list to discuss (what was the list about? Tune in to find out!)

If you want to get in on the fun, pick up next month’s read, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. Set in a fictional universe, Rosemary Harper escapes her old life (and accompanying secrets) and joins a multi-species crew of a spaceship called The Wayfarer. It’s Erica’s favourite book! So, be sure to let us know what you think of it. Do you agree with Erica? Even better, do you NOT agree with Erica? Email, tweet or facebook us your comments – we really love hearing from you.

Watch for our discussion questions later this month, and you can email your thoughts on the book and on the podcast generally to us anytime.

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Until next time, try to find some Time to Read!

  • Kirsten and the rest of the Time to Read team

It’s Time to Read: Son of a Trickster

It’s podcast day! This month the panel increases to 5 as we invite Monique from Information Services at Millennium to join in on the discussion for Son of a Trickster.

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You can find the latest episode, along with all of our previous episodes in your favourite podcast app, iTunes, Stitcher, or at our website at wpl-podcast.winnipeg.ca.

This month the discussion includes favourite pet stories, whether we think MAGIC IS REAL (or not), and how much vomit is too much vomit in a story. We even get around to discussing Governor General Awards Finalist Eden Robinson’s novel for a bit too.

We hope you enjoy it. Please give us a rate and review on iTunes. A good rating and review really helps to make future readers and listeners find our podcast in the ocean of info out there.

Now’s the perfect time to get a jump on next month’s book. It’s Walkaway by Cory Doctorow. Doctorow writes about a dystopian near future where “Walkaways” are people who leave the default world of tech behind, and live and create in a frontier-like makerspace world where objects are created through 3D printers and group-wiki style decisions. With the recent opening of the ideaMILL on the 3rd Floor of the Millennium Library and the issue of “ghost guns” and 3D printers in the news, Doctorow’s world isn’t that far away from our own.

We’ll send out some discussion questions before we record our next episode at the end of August, but feel free to email, tweet or facebook us your thoughts ahead of time. We love hearing from you and will include your comments as part of the discussion on the show.

Until then, happy reading!

Trevor and the Time to Read gang.

It’s Time to Read: Fun Home

Welcome, dear readers! It’s that time at the beginning of the month when you should check your podcast feeds because a BRAND NEW EPISODE of WPL’s podcast, Time to Read is now available wherever you find your podcasts and on our Time to Read website.

This month, the gang discussed Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

If you’re not familiar with it, Fun Home is the author’s own story of growing up in an unconventional family (they are part-time funeral home operators, hence the book’s punny title), and how she tries to come to terms with her own sexuality and the possibility that her father may have ended his own life. It doesn’t sound like cheery stuff, but a Tony winning Broadway musical was inspired by it, and there is quite a bit of humour throughout. I should also mention that it is written as a graphic novel (a fancy term for comic book) which allows the author to cram in tons of little specific details which make it a good book for repeat reads.

In addition to the book, the gang discusses the Bechdel test (and other pop culture tests) named after the author, and how journal writing has worked (or not worked) for us, among other things.

If you want to get in on the fun,  pick up next month’s read, Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson.

You may be interested to know that we have a SECRET GUEST PANELIST next month, so you won’t want to miss it! Maybe I’ve said too much.

You can email your thoughts on the book and on the podcast generally to us at:

wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Until next time, try to find some Time to Read!

-Trevor and the rest of the Time to Read team

It’s Time to Read: Eleanor and Park

Or why a rose garden by any other name is not a rose garden

Welcome, dear readers! If you couldn’t tell by the title, this blogpost his here to let you know that the latest episode of Time to Read podcast is now available for download!

This month we discussed Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. And since it’s my job to provide a hook, I thought we could talk about titles. The title of a book is one of the first things that grabs our attention, after, of course, the cover–but we all know we shouldn’t judge books by their cover.

Before I even knew what Eleanor & Park was about I had put it on my ‘to-read’ list. For me, the title has a lot going for it. The beautiful three syllables of El●ean●nor juxtaposed with the simple single syllable of Park. Not to mention that it invokes a longstanding tradition in titling romantic tragedies such as Tristan & Isolde or Romeo & Juliet. But, in recording the podcast I discovered that what is a symphony to some (me) is a cacophony to others (one of my fellow podcast hosts). But you’ll have to listen to the episode to get the other side of that debate.

I will, however, give you a sneak peek from the read-a-like section of the podcast we lovingly call “Can you tell me a book you would also like?” Normally, I wouldn’t reveal the title in order to entice you to listen to the podcast, but I think this book is so criminally underrated that I want as many people as possible to read it AND it has a the most hauntingly intriguing book title: I Never Promised You A Rose Garden.

Personally, I think the title alone should be enough for anyone to pick it up. Why would anyone think they were promised a rose garden? And what is meant by ‘rose garden’? But for those of you need a bit more: I Never Promised You a Rose Garden was originally published in 1964 and is a semi-autobiographical novel about a woman working with her psychiatrist to overcome mental illness. And while society still has a long way to go in overcoming the stigma of mental illness, this book does help to illustrate how far we’ve come since the 1960’s.

Of course, I can’t end this without encouraging everyone to read the next selection for the Time to Read Podcast Bookclub. In June we will be reading Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. Without giving too much away, it is an expertly crafted memoir about Bechdel’s childhood relationship with her father, a closeted gay man. So please, check it out and let us know what you think. We can be reached at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca or find our discussion boards on our website at wpl-podcast.winnipeg.ca.

~Alan and the rest of the Time to Read crew

A book club meeting in a bag

I belong to a book club of friends that meets once a month. Members come and go, but the core group has been around for more than 20 years now (!). We’ve chosen books by almost any theme you can think of—prize-winning books, books in translation, genres, books from a certain country or continent—but one thing we love taking advantage of is the convenience of Book Club Kits from the library. You can’t beat getting 10 copies in a bag, plus a Readers’ Guide prepared by library staff.

There are a vast range of titles to choose among in the collection, from recent bestsellers (The Break) to perennial classics (Things Fall Apart) to more offbeat choices such as graphic novels (Fun Home) and non-fiction accounts (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks).

Our adult Book Club Kit collection is one of the most popular here at WPL. We add a few new titles each year, trying to ensure that each one chosen will engage a wide variety of readers and offers a good “hook” or scope for lively discussion.

The Readers’ Guide for each title includes additional material such as discussion questions, reviews, and related books you might enjoy. (Can’t borrow a kit, but still want to get a copy of the Readers’ Guide? Just ask library staff!)

There are also French-language titles; Juvenile and Young Adult books; and Adult Basic Education kits as well.

So if it’s your turn to pick the book, find a title that interests you in our online catalogue, or drop in to Reader Services at Millennium Library for a discussion of which kits are available and what might work best for your club.

Danielle

It’s Time to Read: The Underground Railroad

If it’s the first Friday of the month, then you know what that means! It’s time for the latest release of the Time to Read book club podcast!

Who’s in our book club, you ask? Why, you are! Or at least, we’d love you to be. Your comments, questions, and observations, posted through social media or on our podcast webpage, help guide us through our discussion.  Love the book? Hate the book? We want to hear from you.  Email us at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca.

In this episode, we read Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, a book worthy of lots of discussion, reflection, and commentary. When you first learned about the Underground Railroad as a kid, did you at first think it was an actual railroad? Well, some members of our book club sure did, as did the Whitehead himself. And even after learning more about the actual network of safe houses, smuggled wagon rides, and trails leading slaves north to freedom; Whitehead thought it would be fascinating to explore the idea of the Underground Railroad literally rather than just figuratively. The result is a fascinating and unsettling story of Cora, a 15-year old runaway slave who hops aboard the train and whose story reboots at each station stop in a different state.

Would you like to join our book club? It’s pretty easy: read the book (or don’t, we’ll never know!), and add your comments and questions to the discussion page or on social media. Then download  our latest episode and listen in as this month we talk magic realism, Stockholm syndrome, the trolley problem, and how I don’t like making left turns when I drive.

Up next is Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane – pick up a copy at your local branch and join us, won’t you?! We’ll be posting the podcast of that book club discussion on (you guessed it) the first Friday in May.

Visit wpl-podcast.winnipeg.ca to learn more and you can always email us at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca

— Kirsten and the rest of the Time to Read gang

It’s Time to Read: Middlesex

 

time_to_read_logo_v7c[1]The Time to Read Podcast – Join us anytime

Today (Friday March 2) we release our second podcast episode! Time to Read is our newest endeavor to bring our services to you, wherever you are. It’s a distance book club that you can participate in at your convenience. In your pajamas, on your commute, while working out…

We’d like to thank all of you who have listened and participated so far, through Twitter, the website, and through email. We loved hearing your thoughts and getting your questions to spark our the recorded discussion. I hope you are excited to hear it!

middlesexIn this episode we talk about Forrest Gump, rune stones, Jeff Goldblum, oh yeah, and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. This Pulitzer Prize-winner is the story of a Greek American family and the way their secrets result in a special individual named Cal (an intersex man who had been raised as a girl named Callie. It’s complicated). Expect humor, dysfunction, silkworms, and the American Dream.

We know this is a big book (over 500 pages) to have chosen for our second month, so if you read along, many, many thanks to you!! If not, feel free to wait to listen until you are done reading – because we definitely talk about all of the spoilers.

But in the meantime, pick up the next book we’re reading, The Underground Railroad, and be sure to send us your thoughts so we can talk about them in the next recording, the last week of March. Don’t worry it’s much smaller.

undergroundAgain, March’s book is The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I just finished it and it is amazing. The discussion pages for this and our previous books are open now, or email us at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca.

See all the details about this endeavor at wpl-podcast.winnipeg.ca

 

  • Erica and the Time to Read Team

 

Time To Read: A new podcast for Winnipeg book lovers

Picture of the four members of the podcast team

Find everything you need to know about Time to Read at our new website wpl-podcast.winnipeg.ca

It is with great excitement, dear readers, that we are writing to introduce you to Time to Read – a new monthly podcast brought to you by Winnipeg Public Library. Although, as four book-loving librarians we feel the term podcast doesn’t quite encapsulate what we hope to accomplish with this undertaking.
More than just a podcast, Time to Read is also a book club. Over the course of a month we will read a book and then sit down to record a discussion, all while sharing a few laughs along the way.

But, and here is where you come in future listeners, we don’t just want you to sit idly by while we have all the fun. We want you to read the book along with us, all while sharing your likes and dislikes. We want to know what kept your mind wandering into the wee hours of the morning and what made you angry enough to throw the book across the room. We want you to join us in forming a Time to Read community!

Book cover of Margaret Atwood's Oryx and CrakeJoin us this January as we read our first book Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.  As you read please email your thoughts to wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca.  If you would like to be acknowledged on air, please include your first name and your home library branch.  We would love to give you a shout-out when we release the first episode in February!

We also want you, as listeners, to have input in creating the Time to Read community!  We know Winnipeggers are intelligent and thoughtful people. So, we want to tap into that knowledge. Let us know which books you’d like to read in the future. Let us know what is and isn’t working with the podcast. Reach us at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca.

We hope to hear from you soon
as we all try to find
a little more
Time to Read.

– Alan, Erica, Kirsten, Trevor and the rest of the Time to Read team.