Category Archives: Readers’ Resources

Fairy Tale Spin-Offs

There are so many stories that we’ve heard over and over again where the princess is cursed or held captive by the evil villain, waiting for her prince to come and rescue her, the kingdom is saved, and they all live happily ever after. But what happens when the story gets changed?

Cinder book cover

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

What if Cinderella was a famous mechanic hiding her cyborg hand and foot and an android?  In this version, Rapunzel could be the greatest hacker in the universe who is also in love with a criminal. Red Riding Hood could be searching for her grandma no matter if there are beasts in her way. Snow White could be trying not to let her illness control her while still attempting to help others on the moon. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is an amazing series with fun characters who are trying to save the Earth from Queen Luna.

Princeless, Vol. 1:  Save Yourself by Jeremy Whitley

Princess Adrienne was put in a tower by her father “The 
King” because he wanted a worthy prince to rescue her, but she decides she doesn’t want to be saved by a prince. Instead, she befriends the dragon guarding her tower and goes on a quest to free her older sisters from their towers. She meets half dwarf Bedelia who chooses to help, even going so far as to make Princess Adrienne a real suit of armour. Along the way Bedelia and Adrienne learn how to believe in themselves and trust each other while battling beasts and outwitting those hunting them. This graphic novel is part of a series that is great for children and adults.

Ash by Malinda Lo

After her father’s passing, Ash has to clean up after her step-sisters and her cruel step-mother. She hopes to one day be taken away from it all to start her own fairy tale. One day she meets a real fairy named Sidhean who wants Ash to join him in the fairy realm. But when Ash starts learning how to hunt with the King’s huntress, feelings start to emerge and Ash has to make a choice between love and escape.

Poison: A Wicked Snow White Tale by Sarah Pinborough

Poison kicks off a wicked tale trilogy. Much to her stepmother’s disapproval, Snow White prefers trousers to tight dresses and horseback to parties. When Snow White falls into a deep sleep is the prince more than meets the eye?

~ Jordan



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

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

A good library will…


A good library will bend your heart almost to breaking and then put you back together again.

It’s time for another snapshot of what’s new on our non-fiction shelves. Almost 1,400 new titles were added over January and February–this blog post could have had you scrolling forever!

I love putting these posts together. I head on over to our New Titles lists and then, click, click, click. I skip from page 1 of the results to page 58, 36, 17, 42… new, new, new. In this post I traveled to the body, considered possible joy in being really bad at something–like, seriously sucking–veered into the world of “alternative facts”, was inspired by community organizing, dreamt of summer months in tallgrass prairie, considered the power of patience, spent time with the reclusive Harper Lee and took in the impossibly colourful wingspan of a tropical bird (a perfect salve for late winter).

I think lots of people are feeling a little tired and worn down this time of year. This librarian’s prescription? Come browse the shelves. You never know just what will put you back together again.

Gush: Menstrual manifestos for our times
Co-edited by Rosanna Deerchild, Ariel Gordon, and Tanis MacDonald, GUSH offers menstrual manifestos for our time that question the cultural value and social language of monthly blood loss, with rage, humour, ferocity, and grief, and propose that the ‘menstrual moment’ is as individualized, subjective, personal, political, and vital as the ‘feminist click’. With work from emerging and established writers in poetry, cartoons, flash fiction, personal essays, lyric confessions, and experimental forms, this anthology features the voices of Indigenous writers, writers of colour, writers with disabilities, rural writers and urban writers, representing four generations of menstruators: writers who call down their bloodiest muses.


It’s Great to Suck at Something : The exceptional benefits of being unexceptional
(It’s Great to) Suck at Something reveals that the key to a richer, more fulfilling life is finding something to suck at. Drawing on her personal experience sucking at surfing (a sport she’s dedicated nearly two decades of her life to doing without ever coming close to getting good at it) along with philosophy, literature, and the latest science, Rinaldi explores sucking as a lost art we must reclaim for our health and our sanity and helps us find the way to our own riotous suck-ability. She draws from sources as diverse as Anthony Bourdain and surfing luminary Jaimal Yogis, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Jean-Paul Sartre, among many others, and explains the marvelous things that happen to our mammalian brains when we try something new, all to discover what she’s learned firsthand: it is great to suck at something.


Truth in Our Times : Inside the fight for press freedom in the age of alternative facts
In Truth in Our Times, McCraw recounts the hard legal decisions behind the most impactful stories of the last decade with candor and style. The book is simultaneously a rare peek behind the curtain of the celebrated organization, a love letter to freedom of the press, and a decisive rebuttal of Trump’s fake news slur through a series of hard cases.



Fighting for Space: How a group of drug users transformed one city’s struggle with addiction
It tells the story of a grassroots group of addicts in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside who waged a political street fight for two decades to transform how the city treats its most marginalized citizens. Over the past twenty-five years, this group of residents from Canada’s poorest neighborhood organized themselves in response to the growing number of overdose deaths and demanded that addicts be given the same rights as any other citizen; against all odds, they eventually won.But just as their battle came to an end, fentanyl arrived and opioid deaths across North America reached an all-time high. The “genocide” in Vancouver finally sparked government action. Twenty years later, as the same pattern plays out in other cities, there is much that advocates for reform can learn from Vancouver’s experience.


The Tallgrass Prairie: An introduction
Like a walking tour with a literate friend and expert, Cindy Crosby’s Tallgrass Prairie prepares travelers and armchair travelers for an adventure in the tallgrass. Crosby’s engaging gateway assumes no prior knowledge of tallgrass landscapes, and she acquaints readers with the native plants they’ll discover there.




Late Bloomers: The power of patience in a world obsessed with early achievement
Based on several years of research, personal experience, and interviews with neuroscientists and psychologists, and countless people at different stages of their careers, Late Bloomers reveals how and when we achieve our full potential – and why today’s focus on early success is so misguided, and even harmful.



Furious Hours: Harper Lee and an unfinished story of race, religion, and murder in the deep South
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.
Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case.


Parrots of the Wild: A natural history of the world’s most captivating birds
Parrots of the Wild explores recent scientific discoveries and what they reveal about the lives of wild parrots, which are among the most intelligent and rarest of birds. Catherine A. Toft and Tim Wright discuss the evolutionary history of parrots and how this history affects perceptual and cognitive abilities, diet and foraging patterns, and mating and social behavior. The authors also discuss conservation status and the various ways different populations are adapting to a world that is rapidly changing.


Merry adventures and the spirit of rebellion – Robin Hood

I would say it is highly indicative that when a story has survived about 700 years, it must be pretty good. One of the most well-known English folktales, the story of Robin Hood has managed to resonate with people over hundreds of years and is as popular as ever today. I’ve always loved the adventure and spirit of rebellion it carries, and having tried many different versions over the years, rarely have I been disappointed. From ballads and poems to TV shows and movies, you can find a Robin Hood to suit any preferences. The genres span from aged classics, science fiction, romance, modern mysteries and stories suited for any age range.

Though the legend may have survived, almost all of the details have been tweaked and added to by storytellers over the years. The earliest written versions of Robin Hood, from 1450 on, portray an outright ‘bad guy’. At best, he was a self-interested outlaw with some inkling of sympathy for the poor. His raison d’être (taking from the rich to give to the poor) is nowhere to be found until many centuries later. Robin really only became the hero we know him as today with a few texts from the 1800s, in particular The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle and Ivanhoe by Walter Scott – both very entertaining and enlightening reads.

The more recent versions have changed characters and plot lines in major ways. You can find traditional characters like Will Scarlet, Alan-a-Dale, Little John, Much the Miller, Friar Tuck and Maid Marion in many different variations or not at all.

So where to begin? You can always start with a classic, and there are many adaptations that stick pretty close to older versions of the legend. The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley is one of my personal favourites that has a good mix of old and new. The library has so many different versions of Robin Hood, there really is something for everyone.

Book cover - Stephen Lawhead's book "Hood"

If you’d like a gritty, darker Robin then you can try Steve Lawhead’s King Raven series (beginning with Hood), Angus Donald’s Outlaw Chronicles, or try a paranormal spin on the tale with Debbie Viguié’s Mark of the Black Arrow. Tim Hall’s Shadow of the Wolf is a good option for YA readers who also enjoy a supernatural and dark spin.

The Forest Queen book cover

Where you have adventure, there’s usually a spot of romance. The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest and Lady of Sherwood each have a good balance of both, as do their YA cohorts, The Forest Queen, A Daring Sacrifice and Scarlet.

Legend of Hong Kil Dong book cover

There are many graphic novel versions, including DC Comic’s Red Hood and the Outlaws, Outlaw by Tony Lee and for younger readers, Robin Hood: Outlaw of Sherwood Forest. One of my favourites was The Legend of Hong Kil Dong, a Korean addition aimed at younger readers.

Kids and tweens have tons of options to choose from. Will in Scarlet and The Band of Merry Kids are both historical fiction with a similar feel. If you prefer female main characters, then Hawksmaid, Shadows of Sherwood and Robbie Forester and the Outlaws of Sherwood Street will be right up your alley. Younger readers will enjoy Robin Hood adapted by Annie Ingle. It also makes the perfect read-aloud for these cold winter days!

When talking Robin Hood (at the office water cooler, for example) you’d be remiss not to mention some of the wonderful films. Most enter the ‘hood’ with Disney’s Robin Hood (1973), but Prince of Thieves and Men in Tights are also popular editions. The Adventures of Robin Hood is a fan favourite from 1938 and definitely wins the best wardrobe award. On my to-do list are the BBC series Robin Hood, which seems to fit into that darker, grittier category, as well as the most recent (put your hold on it now!) Robin Hood fresh out of theatres.

Happy reading!


Bite Sized Chunks

Byte: a unit of measurement used to measure data

My mind tends to ramble along a lot of random paths when I think about what I should do for this blog post, and in this case a spelling error led me to find the definition above. In computer terminology, 1 byte contains 8 bits, smaller pieces of computer memory that make up a whole character or symbol. Finding this definition led me down memory lane via YouTube. Back in the 1980s, there was a television series called Bits and Bytes on CBC. The concept was simple, Luba Goy was an instructor leading Billy Vann through the basics of operating a personal computer. Each episode focused on a concept, a byte, if you will, of information.

Fast forward a whole bunch of calendar pages, and we’re still dealing with bits and bytes of input. But while computers have become more and more sophisticated at rapidly working with huge amounts of data, the evolution of the human mind hasn’t kept up in the same way. Our brains still process information in much the same way, which sometimes means taking things one bite at a time, instead of attempting to ingest an oversized lump of input.

Having technology literally at our fingertips that allows us to look for any subject imaginable is a mixed blessing. Asking Siri, Alexa  or Google a question will get you answers all right, but the sheer volume of the responses can be overwhelming. Not to mention that the accuracy and reliability of the source material is often questionable, to say the least. That’s where printed materials are still invaluable as the ultimate source of bite, as opposed to byte, sized chunks of information.

Even if you prefer to gain your information online, this is one book you don’t want to miss. The colors, the texture of the paper, the layout of the illustrations – it works on so many levels.





Short story collections offer bite sized fiction reading experiences that are completely different than full length novels. The glimpses into people’s lives around the world, from a shopping mall to a prison cell all have one thing in common – your view of the world is often determined by where you’re sitting.




This entire series by DK Publishing is the ultimate in giving bite sized chunks of information on a huge range of subjects. The content and format are just the right snack size to be food for thought without causing mental indigestion.



Less is sometimes more when it comes to pictures, too. National Geographic has been providing breathtaking photos that are ideal for a quick visual fix.




So there you go. Luba and Billy got it right, bits of bite sized input are the way to go.



“The scale of the changes that we are experiencing in the climate system is unprecedented.”

These words were shared by Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on Sunday. He said:

Climate change is shaping the future of our civilization. If action is not taken it will take the planet into an unprecedented climate future if we compare it to what has happened during all of human evolutionary history. So the scale of the changes that we are experiencing in the climate system is unprecedented. The scale of the changes that humans would have to implement in order to keep climate change under control is unprecedented.

In 2016, the IPCC was asked to prepare a report on what our world will look like if we reach global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and what we need to do to stop this from happening. This report, released on Sunday, brings together 6,000 studies from numerous scientists (physical and social) from around the world. To say it’s a very big deal is an understatement.

As I watched the release of the IPCC report (available through live video on their Facebook page), I felt shock, fear, sadness, panic, anger – a whole range of negative emotions, really. Even though climate change has been on my mind for a very long time and I worked for an environmental organization for more than a decade, I sometimes find myself temporarily immobilized by the vastness of it, particularly when big news like the IPCC’s report is issued. At the same time though I never stop asking myself what I’m going to do about it and I won’t stop asking myself this question. I know that contributing to proposed solutions will do no harm, but the research shows unequivocally that taking no action at all – remaining on the course that we’re on – definitely will.

Here are some resources to get started with if you find yourself overwhelmed by this recent news or the subject generally, or if you just need some suggestions for what to do next. This list is by no means comprehensive, so if you have suggestions for good resources, please do share them in the comment section below.

Books and films in our catalogue:

To find climate change resources in our catalogue, search for the term climatic changes. We have a number of items in our catalogue on this subject. Here are some more recent additions:

The Seasons Alter: How to Save our Planet in Six Acts by Philip Kitcher and Evelyn Fox Keller

Recognizing that climate change is one of the most controversial issues of our time, the authors break down the science, politics, and arguments surrounding it through everyday conversation in familiar circumstances: an older couple considering whether they should reduce their carbon footprint, a first date with passionate discussion about whether one person can really change anything, and more.


Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future by Mary Robinson

Mary Robinson served as the 7th president of Ireland. In this book she shares her experiences meeting with individuals throughout the world at the grassroots level who are fighting for climate justice. “Mary Robinson’s mission would lead her all over the world, from Malawi to Mongolia, and to a heartening revelation: that an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice could be found at the grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself.”


Climate Revolution.aspxThe Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution: 100 Ways to build a Fossil-free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and still get a Good Night’s Sleep by Mary deMocker

If you’re a parent or guardian this book provides 100 ideas to help you live an environmentally conscious life, promote awareness of climate change, and include the young people in your life every step of the way.




Are We Screwed.aspxAre We Screwed? How a New Generation is Fighting to Survive Climate Change by Geoff Dembicki

“A declaration of resistance, and a roadmap for radical change, from the generation that will be most screwed by climate change.”

The author, a 31-year old journalist, travelled to Silicon Valley, Washington, DC, the Tar Sands, and Paris to find out about the climate change issue and the Millennials who are battling the odds to try to solve this issue.


An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power by Al Gore

Through these two books and films, numerous speaking engagements, and the Climate Reality Project, Al Gore has been raising awareness about climate change for more than two decades. Both of these resources introduce the issue and the challenges involved in addressing it, and call on all individuals to get involved in building our sustainable future.


Being the ChangeBeing the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution by Peter Kalmus

“”How a climate scientist and suburban father cut his climate impact down to one tenth the US average and became happier because of it. Being the Change merges science, spirituality, and practical knowledge to offer a deeply optimistic message: living without fossil fuels is not only possible, it can be better.”



Online information

There is a lot of information online about climate change and the sheer amount of it can be overwhelming. The key is to find information that is credible and backed by science. Here are some sites to start with that are closer to our Winnipeg home:


The Manitoba Eco-Network, a non-profit organization in Winnipeg, has a project called the Climate Change Connection. It’s a great online resource. Check it out.


The Prairie Climate Centre has created The Climate Atlas of Canada, a tool that “combines climate science, mapping and storytelling to bring the global issue of climate change closer to home for Canadians. It is designed to inspire local, regional, and national action that will let us move from risk to resilience.”

David Suzuki has been raising awareness about climate change for decades and a lot of climate change information is available on the David Suzuki Foundation website. This article from July 2018 outlines 10 steps that individuals can take to start making a difference.


To get up to speed with what’s happening in our city, check out the City of Winnipeg’s Sustainability page. Our city is part of a network of municipalities participating in a program called Partners for Climate Protection.  In May 2018, the City released Winnipeg’s Climate Action Plan. To do the same regarding our province, get started with The Government of Manitoba’s Climate and Green Plan.


The IPCC report presented humanity with a crucial, time-sensitive challenge. Let’s take action in small and big ways. Let’s get and remain informed. Let’s share what we find out with others. Let’s remain hopeful. And please connect with us if you need help with finding any information along the way.

– Reegan




It’s Okay to Read YA

I am running through a decaying city, being shot at while I run. I know I am headed to a dilapidated area of a city. I am getting closer and closer. As I approach a large transport truck jackknifes in my path. Robotic animals emerge from the truck, running, trying to chase me down. I get away. I find the house I am looking for.  I enter looking for the machine to get me out of this simulation. As I find it, I feel I am safe. They’ve never caught me here before. I am wrong. Just as I teleport to reality I am interrupted, sending me to an unfamiliar place.

Then I wake up.… This is a dream I have had.

I attribute it to reading and watching too many young adult books and movies. Call it a job hazard!

Young adult books are usually fun, smart, and dynamic. After all they need to grab the attention of young people. Many adults feel embarrassed when reading YA, like there is something wrong with it, or it is somehow inferior to more adult novels. These books are not always full of teenage angst, of twisted love triangles. Teen books are full of characters questioning sexual identity, prejudice, and mental health issues, while using straight forward language.

I will start my recommendations with a book full of teenage angst and twisted love triangles!

A Thousand Pieces of You. I don’t know why this has not been made to a movie yet. I read this book with my Youth Advisory Counsel. It has everything a good movie needs: a beautiful heroine, traveling thorough dimensions, and a juicy love triangle. I would recommend (and have) this book to anyone looking for the next Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or Twilight.


Half Bad is the story of Nathan, born half white magic and half black magic, making him a half-breed who is shunned by both. He must escape his captors, receive his gifts before his sixteenth birthday, and save the girl he loves. With just a hint of teenage angst, this was a book I could not put down.


I’ll Give You the Sun, written by Jandy Nelson, is the story of twins Noah and Jude who are inseparable from birth, torn apart by their mother’s death. Noah struggles with his sexuality, falling for the boy next door.  Jude, struggling with school, meets a new mentor, who may change the course of her life.


Maus I & II are a fantastic and accessible way to learn about the holocaust. In this book Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish holocaust survivor, tells his story to his son.  Maus uses cats (Germans), mice (Jews), dogs (Americans), and pigs (Poles) to recount Vladek’s memories. You can also look for MetaMaus, an in-depth look into the process of writing the book.

What would you do if you found out you were one of Thirteen Reasons Why someone would commit suicide? This is what Clay has to figure out.  It is a beautifully told story of mental health, of trying to see the pain of someone else.



I hope this post will give you permission to pick up a Young Adult book and give it a try! You will not be disappointed.

— Andrea


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

Can you tell me where your Horror section is?

Multiple times a day I receive a question similar to this. If it isn’t about horror it might be about short stories or historical romance or thrillers. I would love to say to our customers “it is just right here, follow me”, however unlike book stores we do not have a section devoted specifically to horror or these other subgenres for many reasons. This is of course not to say that you can’t search for books that are horror novels, you just may have to go about it in a different way. First, you can ask our fabulous library staff who would be more than happy to find books that will scare the pants off you, or, you can browse our online catalogue at the library, on the bus or in the comfort of your own home (as long as it is not haunted).

From our online catalogue you have the power to search for these subgenres that aren’t always on display at the library, and I will show you just how to do so.

I recently finished the excellent horror novel Kill Creek by Scott Thomas. This novel was of a “haunted house” variety and I am interested in books that take place in haunted houses, or books in where a haunted house is an important aspect of the novel. How do I find more books that have haunted houses? Well there are a few ways to find them in our catalogue. One way would be to go into the record of the novel Kill Creek. From that record we see the following information: Title, Author (you can select the author’s name to find more books written by them), Publication Information and finally Subject Term. Beside and underneath “Subject Term” we have the following: Authors – Fiction. Haunted houses – Fiction. Halloween – Fiction.


What is so wonderful about this feature is that the books that fall under these subjects are grouped together by these subject terms. If you select “Haunted houses – Fiction.” you will be taken to a list of books that have been given this subject term.

Now this list is by no means exhaustive. Some older books don’t have these detailed records and sometimes only “Genre” is listed, but it is certainly a start. Following this, you can also look under “Genre” and go to the listing of “Horror fiction.” and find all sorts of different books under the genre horror fiction, for a much broader search result. Or, simply search “horror fiction” in the general search bar, you will get over 1800 items but you can narrow them down using the limiters on the left-hand as is shown in figure 2 below, especially if you wanted further subgenres of horror like vampires, occultism etc. Your choices are endless, but it helps seeing what subject terms we use in our catalogue to be able to find exactly what you are looking for.


General search bar


Fig. 2


Finally, if you really enjoyed a particular book and would like further suggestions of read-alikes, look no further than the book’s record page. Scroll down to the bottom and where the tab says “Novelist Content” simply click on it and voilà, there will be read-alike titles, authors, reviews, etc. Just like having your very own librarian at your fingertips! If you haven’t checked out NoveList, a database we subscribe to and you have free with your library card, do so! There are tons of reading suggestions that will help you find exactly what you are looking for, and with links to our catalogue it makes it easy to find and place a hold on your book.


Of course with anything like this, don’t hesitate to ask staff at your local library, we love to help!