Category Archives: Miscellaneous

A Collection of Love-ly Books

Well, here we are, mid-February already! I know it’s been cold and windy, but every day we are just a bit closer to spring. Spring means sunshine, flowers, and the start of wedding season! Cue the bells!

Holidays like Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day are all big moments for wedding proposals, so there is a good chance that you might be receiving a save the date sometime in the near future (or maybe you’re the one sending them out… in which case, congrats!)

Now, the library loves love (have you seen our romance collection?), so don’t you worry, we have your back when it comes to all things weddings! Here are just a few of our newer titles to get you started:

knot  The Knot Yours Truly: Inspiration and Ideas to Personalize Your Wedding by Carley Roney

A great choice for those who want every detail and aspect of the wedding to be just as special and unique as the couple tying the knot! You’ll find lots of inspiration in these pages.



stonefox Stone fox bride : love, lust, and wedding planning for the wild at heart by Molly Guy

If you’re a fan of non-traditional, uber-personalized weddings, this book is a great place to look for advice and reassurance when the planning gets to be too much!  Less focused on how to actually plan a wedding, the author shares some personal stories and rounds it out with some beautiful images that are sure to get your imagination and creativity flowing.


Equally wed : the ultimate guide to planning your LGBTQ+ wedding by Kristen Ott equallyPaladino

Looking for some help with the step-by-steps of wedding planning? Palladino has you covered, walking you through the latest wedding trends and providing some sample budgets (US prices) to help you get a sense of how much your dream wedding could cost!



The wedding book : an expert’s guide to planning your perfect day–your way by Mindy weddingWeiss

Weiss walks you through just about everything in this multi-tasking title, from announcing the engagement–including whom to tell first and what to do when someone isn’t happy about the news–to getting to the altar, from planning a honeymoon to preserving the bouquet when you return. It includes lists, schedules, budgeting tools, and timelines.


newlywed The newlywed cookbook : cooking happily ever after by Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore

Who amongst us doesn’t like the sound of no-fail recipes? This book aims to help you get the most out of those wedding registry appliances, and comes filled with lovely pictures and tasty recipes, just for two. It also includes a helpful “Kitchen and Pantry Basics” section towards the back, so it’s easy to make sure your kitchen is well-stocked and ready to go.


marthastewart Martha Stewart’s newlywed kitchen : recipes for weeknight dinners & easy, casual gatherings

Looking for more cooking inspo? You can’t go wrong with a little help from Martha Stewart herself. She’s got you covered from quick dinners to brunches to parties of all kinds!


So there you are, just a few places to get your walk down the aisle started! Of course, this just barely scratches the surface of what we have available, so make sure to come in and have a look or scan through our online catalogue!

Wishing you a happily ever after,


1968: Remembering a Year that Shook the World

Cover image for 1968

We have reached the 50th anniversary of one of the most tumultuous years of the 20th century, with many events happening across the globe that helped shape the world we live in. 1968 has often been characterised as a year of painful transition, revolt and chaos, with post-World War II youth of the West finding their voice and demanding change from what they saw as a corrupt and unjust establishment amidst a background of war and revolts brewing all over the globe. Winnipeg Public Library has plenty of material for those interested in learning about or remembering the important events that marked the year.

Cover image for Trudeaumania : the rise to power of Pierre Elliot Trudeau

In Canada, 1968 saw the implementation of Medicare laws, and the growing protests in Quebec in favour of independence from the rest of the country, which would culminate in the FLQ Crisis two years later. This was also the year Pierre Trudeau was elected Prime Minister, and his personal appeal to wide swaths of Canadian society (notably the younger generation) would coin the term “Trudeaumania.” Robert Wright’s recent book Trudeaumania: The Rise to Power of Pierre Elliott Trudeau chronicles the phenomenon while also trying to correct some of the myths and over-simplifications surrounding the election that started his 15 years as Prime Minister of Canada. Like John F. Kennedy in the States, Trudeau’s appeal was a mix of personal charisma and strength of conviction (skillfully wielded through his televised appearances), but even then, the author notes, he only won the Liberal party leadership by a slim majority and the Liberals won the election with 45.5 percent of the popular vote against relatively weak opponents (Conservative Robert Stanfield and Tommy Douglas of the NDP). Wright credits Trudeau’s lasting appeal on his pragmatic policies that he implemented to fight for a Canada that was unified (in direct opposition to Rene Levesque’s sovereignist movement), modern and multicultural.

Image result for vietnam war ken burns Cover image for The odyssey of Echo Company : the 1968 Tet Offensive and the epic battle to survive the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War reached its peak in 1968 and its effects were felt globally, with movements both for and against the involvement of the U.S. military spreading all over the world.  (Canada became a safe haven for thousands of Americans seeking to avoid the draft, while at the same time hundreds of Canadians volunteered in the U.S. army to fight in Vietnam.) The recently released documentary The Vietnam War (both the DVD series and companion book) produced by the always-excellent Ken Burns is one of the best retrospectives of this grim conflict. Both the book and the 10-part DVD series are filled with testimonials from survivors from all sides who took part in the conflict, on the battlefield or on the homefront, and they offer not only their memories but also reflections on how the conflict has changed them fifty years later. It is highly recommended for those interested in a fresh, introspective look into this not-so distant part of history.

The odyssey of Echo Company : the 1968 Tet Offensive and the epic battle to survive the Vietnam War by journalist and author Doug Stanton is the account of a platoon from the American 101st Airborne Division fighting for survival during this campaign. Through the author’s narrative, you follow Stan Parker from his humble childhood as a son of an itinerant ironworker to his experiences in Vietnam and his return home. Stanton captures the loyalty and camaraderie of infantrymen as well as the very dark and desperate fighting that occurred, and the psychological wounds that men like Parker had to quietly bear in the years that followed.
Cover image for The plot to kill King : the truth behind the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.  Cover image for "R.F.K. must die!" : chasing the mystery of the Robert Kennedy assassination
In addition to the war overseas, American society was being fractured along multiple lines as it had not been since the Civil War a century ago. Racial violence erupted in multiple cities, along with large-scale street protests. 1968 was also a year marred with the assassinations of two great figures of American politics. Martin Luther King, minister and activist in the Civil Rights movement against the racial oppression of African-Americans was shot in Memphis on April 4th. King’s death led to burning and rioting in 30 US cities prompting the mobilization of National Guard units to restore civilian control and order. The result was thousands of arrests and at least 39 dead and large-scale destruction throughout the Unites States. On June 5th, barely two months later, Robert Kennedy, younger brother of the slain president, was murdered during a campaign rally in Los Angeles, ending the hopes of millions who saw in him an heir to his brother’s political legacy and re-shaping the American election.
Cover image for Playing with fire : the 1968 election and the transformation of American politics
The death of RFK was just one part of the story of one of the most tumultuous elections in U.S. history, one that echoes to our present political climate and its excesses. Writer and TV host Lawrence O’Donnell has recently published Playing with fire : the 1968 election and the transformation of American politics, a detailed history of this pivotal electoral campaign that saw several strong contenders from both party fight not only to unite their own fractured parties, but also a fractured nation rocked with riots and protests. The book tells how Richard Nixon managed to win despite his  opponent’s initial lead through skillful use of the media (aided by Roger Ailes, future CEO of Fox News), promising to bring peace in Vietnam “with honor”, and the splintering of the old Democratic party during its national convention. Though the author does not hide his partisan bias, this is still a well-researched history told in an easy to read style.
Cover image for Apollo 8 : the thrilling story of the first mission to the Moon

In a more hopeful conclusion after a year marred by much violence and rancor, the end of 1968 also saw the first manned spacecraft, Apollo 8, to travel and orbit around the moon, paving the way for Neil Armstrong’s voyage a year later.

Jeffrey Kluger’s Apollo 8 : the thrilling story of the first mission to the Moon takes us from Mission Control to the astronauts’ homes, and the race to prepare an untested rocket for an unprecedented journey that made the dream of setting foot on the moon seem within reach practically overnight.
Much more was happening in the world that year: the Communist world was convulsing under the Prague Spring uprising and the Cultural Revolution in China was at its height.  Planet of the Apes and 2001: Space Odyssey were released in movie theaters.
What will you remember 1968 for?

I Think I Can: Books for Lion-Hearted Kids


The mind is a powerful thing. It can convince us to indulge in that salted caramel chocolate cake “just this once.” It can persuade us to splurge on that killer pair of Manolo Blahnik’s. It can even coax us into jumping out of an airplane with little more than an oversized umbrella to help us land safely on the ground.

And so why not harness that power, and use it to our advantage? Why not take the reins, and as Beyonce says, “run this motha.”

I recently listened to an episode of Lewis Howes’ incredible podcast, School of Greatness, in which he interviewed Danica Patrick, the first woman on record to win the IndyCar circuit. This woman is an absolute beast. She is a trailblazer for women in motorsports, with much of her success being credited to her mindset and mental focus.

“You are creating your life day by day with your thoughts. Think positive things. Believe in yourself. Have great reasons for why you’re doing what you’re doing,”

And so our attitudes and beliefs are incredibly important. Not only do they influence how we see the world, so too do they influence the outcomes we experience.

I can totally relate to this in terms of my health. Before I had my two kidlets, I was big into running, dancing, ultimate frisbee, and swimming. And then I became a parent, and my free time….wasn’t so free anymore. I had to get creative with my workouts, and I resisted the temptation to play the “I’m too busy to workout” card. In fact, I started to think about my fitness in relation to my kids. I thought, you know what? I want my kids to witness me prioritizing my health, pushing myself hard, fueling my body with healthy food, and overall, being a strong, passionate, and fierce woman! I want to inspire them. And I want to influence them to be as courageous as they can be!

And so when I’m not lacing up my runners, I take as many opportunities as I can to read books with my kids that encourage them to be bold, to believe in themselves, and to have hearts like lions!  Here are just a few of the gems that we’ve enjoyed lately:

Sheila Rae, The Brave by Kevin Henkes
Sheila Rae is very brave when it comes to thunder, dogs and stepping on cracks. She thinks her little sister, Louise is a scaredy-cat. But Sheila Rae has to face fears she didn’t know she had when she gets lost and it is up to Louise to save the day.

The Dark by Lemony Snicket
Laszlo is afraid of the dark. It usually lives in the basement, although it also lurks in closets and behind the shower curtain. Every morning Laszlo says hello to the dark, hoping that the dark would stop visiting his bedroom at night. One night the dark speaks to Laszlo and leads him to the cure for his fear.

Flight School by Lita Judge
A young penguin may not have exactly the right body for flight, but he has the “soul of an eagle.” Eager to enroll in flight school and learn what it takes to soar, he is not discouraged. Fortunately, the other birds are so taken with his determination they do what it takes to make his dreams come true.

When Lions Roar by Robie Harris
A young child is overwhelmed by frightening sensory experiences: roaring lions, cracking thunder and more. He sits down and tells them, “go away!” and when he opens his eyes he sees calm and beautiful images: mommies and daddies, flowers.

Max the Brave
by Ed Vere
Max is a fierce kitten. Unfortunately not everyone knows this and they dress him up in pink bows! What are they thinking? Max, however, is on a mission. He will catch a mouse and then everyone will know how brave he is!


— Lindsay Schluter

Tiny Windows

“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams.  They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”

-Neil Gaiman

When I first started creating book displays at our branch I decided to start with a Shakespeare display. It didn’t take long to figure out that  Shakespeare might not be a popular choice.   I checked with more experienced staff to find out which displays had been successful (or not) in the past, and learned that the display that stood out as being the most memorable failure was a short story display – the books in the display just languished on the shelf.  Interestingly, that had been my next choice!

As an avid reader of short stories, I couldn’t quite understand how they could be that unpopular. I started poking around online and realized this wasn’t a local thing, as the short story has had peaks and valleys, never seeming to be able to stay in the limelight.

Concise, with an economy of words, the short story presents a unified, decisive moment. In an increasingly frantic, plugged in world, where people don’t have the time to commit to a novel at the end of a busy day, the short story seems to fit the bill perfectly.  Short stories also provide an easy avenue to try out a new genre.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, or if you are already sold and just need some new recommendations, here are some titles from the Winnipeg Public Library to get you started:

“And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave.”

– from “The Pit and the Pendulum”                                                        


Best known for his short stories and poetry, Edgar Allen Poe was one of the earliest American short story writers. Full of thrilling psychological suspense, and no small dose of the macabre, once you have read one of Poe’s stories you are not likely to forget it. Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Great Tales and Poems, and Poe: Poems and Prose contain Poe’s most popular tales such as “The Pit and the Pendulum”, “The Tell Tale Heart”, and “The Cask of the Amontillado”, to name a few.  The Raven and Other Poems is also available as a graphic novel.

MunroA Canadian favourite, Alice Munro’s stories centre on the ordinary lives of men and women in the towns and countryside around Lake Huron. Her first work, Dance of the Happy Shades, won the Governor General’s Award.  Runaway, her bestselling collection,  “is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises”.  In her more recent collection, Dear Life, the last four stories of the collection are autobiographical, written about Munro’s childhood; in her own words “autobiographical in feeling, though not, sometimes, entirely so in fact.”

Illustrated ManIf you are not generally a science fiction fan, here is your chance to delve into the genre with one of it’s finest authors. Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man is a family favourite at my house, the stories so vivid they can have you thinking for hours afterwards – read “The Velde” and tell me you aren’t getting the shivers! In The Martian Chronicles, man has ventured to Mars, but all of the problems on earth seem to have followed him. Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales is a fantastic collection of Bradbury’s best stories.

BerryWendell Berry is my personal favourite short story author, so I couldn’t leave him off this brief list. Drawing from his first-hand experience as a farmer and small farms advocate, Berry writes eloquently about community as well as our relationships with one another and with the land. Fidelity, a collection of five stories, brings us to the community of Port William, and into the lives of the people there.  Hannah Coulter is a beautiful short novel, which centers on our heroine Hannah, who, while growing old, gives the gift of recounting her life in all its fullness.

Eden Robinson is an acclaimed novelist and short story writer from the Haisla First Nation. Her novel Son of a Trickster was a finalist for this year’s Giller Prize.  Traplines, her debut collection, contains three short stories and one novella, “four unforgettable stories told with icy clarity and great heart”.

O'ConnorGuy De Maupassant and Flannery O’Conner are short story greats that shouldn’t be missed. The Necklace, Guy du Maupassant’s most famous tale, tells the story of the middle-class woman whose desire for wealth ends in disaster. Flannery O’Connor’s Everything that Rises Must Converge is a collection of stories that “encompass the comic and the tragic, the beautiful and the grotesque”.

If you would like to share short stories in a group setting, the West Kildonan Library has a 55+ Short Story Book Club where you can listen to short stories and discuss them (find the details here).



Anywhere But Here: Your Grab-and-Go Guide to Not Going Anywhere At All


Living in Winnipeg, particularly during the month of January, you may have experienced that intensely sobering moment when you look up and realize that you’re a really long way from everywhere. One good shake of the head and you can begin to rationalize our cold climate by living with a thought like, “well, I guess there’s no risk of tsunami”. Or maybe you’ve straightened yourself out with an “at least we don’t get terrifying earthquakes”. Perhaps even a very sensible “there are 520 crazy spiders in Australia and most of them can and will kill you”. These are all definite perks to our geographical location and, don’t get me wrong, I’ve (rather courteously) laughed at my share of “at least there’s no mosquitos in winter” jokes.

Being a short jaunt from the longitudinal center of the 2nd largest country in the world is a very fine thing but it also means we’re a rather punishing road trip away from just about anywhere else. Granted, we do live in a city that embraces it’s never-ending winters with similarly never-ending skating trails, snow sculptures, ice palaces, twinkly lights galore, and frozen maple syrup on a stick. But there’s a limit to how much ice-cold sugar a person can stomach – literally. As well, one can only stand so many family, friends, and coworkers regaling us with heady accounts of warm places with sandy beaches, turquoise waters, non-stop mojitos, and green plants. Green, they say. When you take all those varied, idyllic, and far flung locations coupled with our very snowy and very cold winters (so long, Polar Vortex, please never come back), you’ve got a recipe for daydreaming and wanderlust. So what’s a library worker to do when marooned in the inhospitable middle of wind-chill warnings, ever-growing snowbanks, and a weather forecast that simply reads “ice crystals”? Escape into a book, that’s what. Here are a handful of excellent trips to take somewhere else without spending a single hot cent!

Literary Fiction – when conventional fiction genres just don’t cut the mustard.

Looking to immerse yourself into a world kind of like yours but actually not yours at all? Try a trip into Literary Fiction, where it could be real but it’s really not. If you want something that allows you to sit back and fully immerse yourself in a book look no further. As an introductory trip into literary fiction try a stopover in Naples (circa 1950) with Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, the first title in The Neapolitan Novels series. The novel follows Elena and Lila, two young girls with a complicated friendship and the transformation of their postwar city, which shapes them both in turn.

I’m not going too far in theme or geographic location when I next recommend a title that is not at all new to our shelves but entirely underappreciated. We’ll travel slightly north-east from Italy to gallivant around the rural countryside of Ukraine (NB not “the Ukraine”, just “Ukraine”). Everything is Illuminated is the first novel by Jonathan Safran Foer in which two stories unfold.  One story focuses on Jonathan’s travels to Eastern Europe to track down the woman who saved his Jewish father from the Nazis during Word War II, while the other follows the history of a family living in Trachimbrod, a small Ukrainian shtetl. While devastatingly sad, it also has a distinct element of magical realism and a healthy dose of humour from Jonathan’s Ukrainian translator, guide, and enthusiastic consumer of American culture, Alexi Perchov (who also serves as narrator for much of the book in exquisite, hilarious, perfectly broken English).

This is all without even mentioning Alexi’s depressive grandfather or their family dog, along for the ride, named Sammy Davis, Junior, Junior. For those who enjoy the book and, really, for everyone else, too, the 2005 film adaptation of the same title is perfectly cast with Elijah Wood as Jonathan, and Eugene Hutz, famed gypsy-punk front man of band Gogol Bordello, as Alexi.

Science Fiction – When reality is just too bleak, jazz it up with some science!

If you’re a fan of Douglas Adams (anyone else heartbroken that BBC America unceremoniously canceled Dirk Gently after a mere two seasons?) and want something similarly witty and dry and sci-fi-ish then Matt Haig’s Humans is a good place to start. An alien sent to earth using the body of a human scientist (who has recently discovered a little too much) gets a crash course in being human and all that entails. The tone is hilarious and watching the alien learn more about humans, a seemingly crude and grotesque species with curiously undeveloped technology, is a completely engaging read. For those of you who are already fans of Haig, get on the list for his newest novel, How to Stop Time, about a centuries-old, time-travelling history teacher.

Most of my favourite books have an element of absurdity to them and the next science fiction pick doesn’t stray too far from the theme. Borne by Jeff Vandermeer starts you out right in the thick of it with a giant flying despotic bear named Mord who has been driven insane by the biotech organization that created him. Why create a flying bear? Why make it a giant? These are all questions that, sure, one would like answered but the real focus of the story is on Rachel, a scavenger who finds a creature (stuck to Mord’s fur) with a fantastic ability to grow and learn. Might not make your Dystopia-to-Visit list in the real world but it’s certainly a fascinating escapist read.

Non-Fiction – Longing for an adventure to brighten up those evenings that begin around 4pm?

 Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton is a fantastically heavy tome that compiles a wealth of information about places you never knew existed, things you didn’t know happened, and weird parks that you’d sell your first born child to visit. Okay, so maybe it’s not quite all that radically persuasive but it’s a definite winner if you’re looking to waste some time on a long, snowy, bitter-cold afternoon. Caveat lector –  it’s one of those books that’ll have you interrupting everyone around you mid-sentence with a “Yes, right, your retirement/baby/world domination plan/engagement announcement is very important- but did you know this…”

For a book that will convince you that your home is probably the safest place around, try any book ever written that recounts a trek through the tropical rainforests of the Amazon. Nothing has made me want to stay put exactly where I am more than reading The Lost City of Z by David Grann. Following in the (highly questionable) footsteps of literally hundreds of people who died in a plethora of differing ways while attempting the exact same journey, David Grann traces the journey of the famed explorer/adventurer Percy Harrison Fawcett (aka PHF – essentially the Lebron James of Victorian exploration). Fawcett famously disappeared in the Amazonian rainforests, along with his son and son’s unfortunate best friend, in the early half of the 20th century after an intense amount of media fanfare leading up to and during the expedition. There are creepy crawlies, and horrible history, and all sorts of sleuthing going on in this one.

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan takes us to another place that you wouldn’t really want to be – in the grips of a perplexingly terrifying and unnamed illness. Okay, so maybe a trip to the epilepsy ward of a New York hospital isn’t quite what you had in mind when escaping from winter into a good book but this read is a real rollercoaster. It follows the true account of Susannah, from New York Post reporter, breaking stories, conducting interviews, enjoying life in her 20s in New York, through the onslaught of a completely unpredictable illness that plagues her with seizures, psychosis, and renders her essentially catatonic. While you can grab a copy of this book at your local library, I would also recommend looking into the eBook version – as I did – and listen to it via Overdrive.

So if you’re pinching your pennies nickels (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?), deathly afraid of air travel, or just wistfully staring off as far into the distance as the current blizzard-like condition will allow, there’s a book at the library waiting for you. Even if you’re not looking for greener pastures, there are countless adventures you can wade into. What have you been reading to escape winter? Share your favourites with me in the comments.


Planning to be Spontaneous


“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are…”

J.K. Rowling

These days, even though our entertainment choices are so diverse, it seems as though we’re constantly being steered towards a minor variation on the same old thing. Once you look up a book on Amazon, view something on YouTube or stream a movie on Netflix, you’re given a list of recommendations based on that choice, whether you want it or not. This is fine, sometimes, but can get pretty dull.  It also makes being impulsive and spontaneous a bit of a challenge.

Conversely, being faced with the overwhelming selections coming at us thick and fast can mean that we retreat to the comfort zone of what’s familiar. It’s difficult to break away from the tried and true, and as someone whose comfort zone begins in the tried and ends in the true I know whereof I speak. But the new year brings new resolutions, and one of mine is to start making different choices. Notice I didn’t say better choices, just different ones. When making a change experts sometime say to take baby steps. Just one small shift can make a huge difference down the road. With that in mind, why not start making new choices at the library?

Here’s something easy to do: think of any 3 digit number. Let’s say 814. Thanks to Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey, the inventor of the Dewey decimal system, that number could take you to something like Roxanne Gay’s book, Bad Feminist, which contains fascinating essays written on a wide variety of topics. This technique will work on any 3 digit number combination, and if you want to get fancy you can add a decimal point and more numbers.

If you’re like me and you like structure in your spontaneity, you could choose to do what Phyllis Rose did, and read every book on a library shelf. In her book The Shelf: from LEQ to LES Phyllis relates her reading adventures, and what she discovered along the way, about translations, authors who stop writing and herself as a reader.


Another way to free your mind from the usual is to deliberately look at something you don’t like. Take Shakespeare, for example. Not a writer that everyone loves, but his works have endured for hundreds of years for a reason. Try something from the No Fear Shakespeare collection, which includes character summaries, modern English translations and explanations throughout the text.


Or  the next time you reach for something to read or to listen to, try something by an author whose name falls alphabetically just before or just after your usual choice. Or you could take the first book off of each shelf in a bay of shelves, or books by authors whose names start with vowels or double consonants, or books that have been translated from another language, or books with red covers. There’s really no wrong way to open your mind to new possibilities, the hardest part is deciding where to begin. Join me in my plans to be spontaneous, and see where your choices take you.


Ukrainians in Canada

Ukrainian Canadian Pioneer Experience Display

On now until February 15 Journey to Canada: Ukrainian Immigration Experiences 1891-1900 is a large panel exhibit at the Millennium Library (fourth floor) featuring the early period of Ukrainians on the Canadian prairies.

The exhibit chronicles experiences arriving in a new land, setting up temporary settlements and then constructing homes, churches, and communities. This first wave of Ukrainian immigration is retold through photographs, documents and early narratives.

Local History Room Display Ukraine

Be sure to pick up a copy of our Ukrainian Canadians search guide to help find more information about this topic and browse through the many items in our Local History Room and the rest of our collection.

The display is sponsored by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council and was created by the Kule Centre for Ukrainian Folklore at the University of Alberta.

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Dauphin Manitoba

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Dauphin, Manitoba.
Source: The Rob McInnes Postcard Collection , Winnipeg Public Library’s PastForward: Winnipeg’s Digital Public History            


We look forward to having people drop by!



Books-to-Movies, 2018 Edition

The New Year has kicked off, and with it a new list of books being made into movies this year! I thought I would compile a list of the upcoming releases to give our readers a chance to read the book before the movie. (If you’ve already read the book, I hope you’re looking forward to seeing the movie on the big screen and comparing it to the book.) I’ve divided the list by genre so that there is something for everyone, but don’t be afraid to try something new. Enjoy!


 playerone   Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Set in a futuristic society where humanity’s only escape from the desolate, unfriendly world is a virtual utopia called OASIS, teenager Wade Watts has studied the puzzles and intricacies of the game and hopes to unlock the clues laid by the OASIS creator who promises power and fortune to those who can unlock them. The film is directed by Steven Spielberg and judging from the trailer features some fantastic special effects.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

I have written about my love for Jeff VanderMeer’s writing in a previous blog post, so naturally I have to include the film adaptation in this list as well. I hope the film will do the book justice! A biologist, a psychologist, a surveyor, and an anthropologist are sent out to explore an area known as Area X. We are not given much information regarding Area X, simply what the narrator, the biologist, tells us. VanderMeer ratchets up the suspense and dread throughout the novel to its shocking conclusion, which luckily to the readers isn’t a conclusion at all as there are two other books in the trilogy afterwards.


fiftyshades  Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

The last book in the trilogy takes place after Christian Grey’s big announcement, and we see Christian and Anna living blissfully until someone from their past threatens their happily ever after. The movie promises to be romantic, steamy and passionate and is, naturally, being released on Valentine’s Day. If you haven’t read the first two of the trilogy, you’ll want to start with those before reading this one.


Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Though this could be considered a romance, as well as a comedy, I have opted to put it in general fiction, a place where you will find the novel in the library catalogue. Rachel Wu is meeting her boyfriend of two years’ family for the first time in Singapore, a family which her boyfriend has been very secretive about. Is he ashamed because they are not wealthy? Quite the opposite, he hails from one of the wealthiest families in Singapore where opulence and luxury are the norm. They’re not just rich, they are crazy rich.


peterrabbit   The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

The trailer for the movie has touted some controversy and groans from the audience for appearing to be nothing like the book. There is, however, still a protagonist called Peter Rabbit (voiced by Late Night host James Corden) and of course a Farmer McGregor chasing him out of his garden. Read the beloved picture book that began the series before you bring the kiddies to the remake, nostalgia abound!

Young Adult

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

This classic novel of one young girl’s journey to find her father who is trapped by “The Black Thing” is sure to bring in people of all ages, not only for nostalgia’s sake but also the A-List cast which includes Oprah, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. Be sure to delve into the classic before you head to the cinema.

 everyday  Every Day by David Levithan

A fascinating concept for a book, the protagonist, known simply as “A”, wakes up in a different body every day. One such body is a boy named Justin and there A meets Justin’s girlfriend Rhiannon and forms a connection with her. This connection leads them to find a way to be with Rhiannon every day no matter which body they find themselves in. It is a book and film which can explore many issues pertinent to the present day, and reminds us that love is love.

Graphic Novel

Black Panther

Yet another entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther the film is naturally getting a lot of hype, and fingers crossed the film does the comics justice. If you’re unfamiliar with the character, the library has plenty of graphic novels to get you up to speed on who/what/where/when and how is Black Panther and his secretive nation of Wakanda.


spiderweb   The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

I find it interesting that they chose to make the most recent entry in the Lisbeth Salander series into a film when they have not continued with the English version of the other two in the series. Nevertheless, the book and movie continues with hacker Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist as they tackle yet another mystery together. Though not penned by the author of the original Millennium trilogy, Lagercrantz continues delving into the story and history of Lisbeth Salander. If you would like to watch the rest of the trilogy on film you can borrow the three films from the library with Noomi Rapace in the lead role, they are absolutely phenomenal.


Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

This upcoming spy/thriller stars Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton who play spies on opposite sides. Lawrence plays Dominika Egorova, a spy trained to seduce the enemy. Edgerton plays a Nate Nash, a CIA operative who handles Russian Intelligence. Their attraction to each other, and Dominika’s having been forced into becoming a “sparrow” leads her to choose a double life, working for the CIA and working for Russian Intelligence, a choice which has deadly consequences. A fast-paced thriller that is action-packed, and which stars the incredible Jennifer Lawrence is sure to bring people to the theatres, but I assure you, the book is just as good.

Historical Fiction

 guernsey The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

A writer looking for inspiration learns of a book club in Guernsey created during the German occupation as a way for the townspeople to get together without arising suspicion. Written as an epistolary novel the book features the protagonist’s correspondence with a native of Guernsey as she learns of and speaks to those in the society. The movie stars Lily James in the lead role, along with Matthew Goode and Jessica Brown Findlay.

Are there any book-to-movies coming out you’re looking forward to seeing that I haven’t mentioned? Let me know in the comments below. Happy reading and viewing!



2017, I’m SO over you

The end of the year is a time for reflections and resolutions. Often, whether I  want to or not, I find myself asking what what’s been working for me and what hasn’t during the past year. What can we do to improve our quality of life, to improve our bodies, minds, and spirits to make the next year our best yet? I’m a self-proclaimed self-help book nerd, and what’s why I thought compiling a list of my favourites was a good way to send off 2017. Happy New Year and wishing you all the best in 2018!


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson

Why I loved it: No-nonsense advice about how to give less f***’s. I love the way this guy writes. While you’re reading you’ll feel as though you’re having beers together and he’s giving you his very honest, sometimes hard–to-take perspective. He doesn’t sugar coat, and that’s why this book is great.

My biggest take away: No matter what situation we’re in, there will always be problems to solve, it’s just a matter of picking the situations and problems we want to solve.


A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson

Why I loved it: I am a HUGE Marianne Williamson fan. I could go on and on about her. But for the purposes of this blog…She was born a Texan, raised Jewish, then turned Atheist, she studied acting, philosophy and almost became a cabaret singer in New York. Then she took ‘A Course in Miracles’ and had a spiritual awakening of sorts. These are her revelations about how we can experience miracles every day. A book full of spiritual reflections and advice without being preachy!  Amen.

My Biggest Take Away: A miracle is when a shift in perspective occurs.


10% Happier by Dan Harris

Why I loved it: Dan Harris was your run of the mill big-city reporter with an affection for cocaine when he started interviewing religious leaders for his job. After interviewing the likes of Deepak Chopra and The Dalai Lama he very skeptically tried meditation. He found out that it actually made him about 10% happier and gave him an inner peace he never knew he had, all without losing his career driven edge.

My Biggest Take Away: Meditation is awesome and it works.


7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra

Why I loved it: Deepak Chopra is the bomb. There’s a reason he’s as famous as he is, and this book is a good example of that. Here he explains seven spiritual laws in lamens terms.

My biggest Take Away: Karma! Karma, karma, karma.


You are a Badass by Jen Cincero

I haven’t actually read this one yet, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? My sister raves about it, so I’m confident it will be great. Have you read it? What are your favourite self-help books?





Snow on Snow

“Snow had fallen, snow on snow”. In the Bleak Midwinter, Christina Rosetti


One of the more insidious and effective ways that “the holiday spirit” gets to us is through seasonal music. You can’t escape it. There’s no agreement as to when the “season” begins. After Halloween, surely. PROBABLY after Remembrance Day, right? But when? December 1st? The first Sunday in Advent? Grey Cup? Whatever you use to define the beginning of the holiday season, there’s no doubt that we are reaching the “peak cheer” zone this week.

The holiday season for me is all about traditions, and I like to listen to the same handful of albums year in and year out. They connect me to Christmases past and fill me with warmth and good feelings. Are any of these on your favourites list?

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi


I remember watching this tv special even back before you could record it on VCRs, so you had to plan ahead to make sure you didn’t miss it. I still try to watch it at least once a year with my daughter, although it’s clear that it doesn’t hold the same meaning for her. Maybe that will change once she sees the live action version of it, currently playing at Manitoba Theatre for Young People.

The Bells of Dublin by The Chieftains


I often think of this album as the Christmas album for people who hate Christmas albums. It shies away from the more well known carols, and opts instead for songs like The Rebel Jesus, The St. Stephen’s Day Murders and Past Three O’clock. At various points during the album you can hear long medleys of various carols played in a live setting, and it really creates the impression that you are eavesdropping on a bunch of talented musicians jamming and having a great time, in the tradition of a Celtic kitchen party.

Christmas by Bruce Cockburn


I would include this album EVEN IF I didn’t feel a certain obligation to have some Canadian content in this list. Even though this album came out in 1993, it is the most recent addition to my regular rotation, joining the others just a few Christmases ago. I like the folksy, upbeat treatment most of the songs on this album get, especially Mary Had A Baby, I saw Three Ships and that most Canadian of Christmas Carols (No, not River by Joni Mitchell, you guys), The Huron Carol.

James Taylor at Christmas by James Taylor


You know, sometimes you just want to hear a schmaltzy Christmas album, and James Taylor doesn’t disappoint. He kicks things off with Winter Wonderland and gamely works his way through many contemporary classics, like Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Jingle Bells, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and the problematic Baby It’s Cold Outside with Natalie Cole. It’s not all tinsel and marshmallows, though. We get a lovely rendition of In The Bleak Midwinter towards the end, one of my favourite traditional carols, and one that feels like it was written especially for our part of the world.

What are some of your perennial favourites, and have you found any interesting new ones this year? Let us know in the comments below.