Category Archives: What to Read Next?

What’s new in the Local History Room?

With the coming of Winter it’s time to have a look at the new arrivals in the Local History Room collection.

Cover image for Rooster Town : the history of an urban Métis community, 1901-1961

A long-anticipated arrival is Rooster Town: The History of an Urban Métis Community, 1901-1961 by Evelyn Peters which is the product of years of exhaustive research into a part of Winnipeg’s history that has re-surfaced after decades of obscurity, thanks to her work.  Rooster Town, which grew on the outskirts of southwest Winnipeg from 1901 to 1961, was one of many Métis communities in Manitoba on the edges of urban areas, and probably the most famous of them all with 59 recorded households at its peak in 1949. Those years in Winnipeg were characterized by the twin pressures of depression and inflation, chronic housing shortages, and a spotty social support network.  Rooster Town grew without city services as rural Métis arrived to participate in the urban economy and build their own houses while keeping Métis culture and community as a central part of their lives.

Cover image for Stolen city : racial capitalism and the making of Winnipeg

Stolen City: Racial Capitalism and the Making of Winnipeg by geographer Owen Toews is a widely-acclaimed new arrival that critiques what he identifies as the emergence of a ruling alliance that has installed successive development visions to guarantee its hold on regional wealth and power.  Through a combination of historical and contemporary analysis, Toews argues how settler colonialism, as a mode of racial capitalism, has made and remade Winnipeg and the Canadian Prairie West over the past one hundred and fifty years. The author gives particular attention to “an ascendant post-industrial vision for Winnipeg’s city centre that has renewed colonial ‘legacies’ of dispossession and racism over the past forty years.”


Cover of Memories of the Moonlight Special and Grand Beach Train Era

In the first half of the 20th Century, the Canadian Northern Railway, later CN, established a train service to the east shores of Lake Winnipeg called The Victoria Beach Sub Division. This rail line opened up cottage country and changed people’s lives forever. Author Barbara Lange offers to take us through a time capsule with Memories of the Moonlight Special and Grand Beach Train EraSixty years after train service to the east shores of Lake Winnipeg ceased, a writer embarked on a journey of discovery. “People remember the boardwalk, concessions, the Moonlight Inn, picnics, the carousel, the dancing pavilion, Daddy Trains, beach romances, Hot Lips ginger beer, bands, Morse code, ice boxes, honey pot toilets, red boards, the Wye, fishflies, bittersweet vine, the Snowshoe Special, and a bygone era when passengers felt part of one big family.”

Cover image for Settlers of the marsh

Settlers of the Marsh by Frederick Philip Grove is actually an old read: first published in 1925 after much resistance, and welcomed with much condemnation from critics, it has gradually become recognised as one of the greatest novel about the experiences of immigrants settling in the Prairies. The story centers on recent Swedish immigrants to Canada, based partly on the author’s own personal experience, taking place in northern Manitoba where settlers like protagonist Niels Lindstedt were hoping to start their own homestead despite inhospitable climate and the arduous work it required. Niels’ attempts to come to terms with his new land and community, and the toll that these attempts take on him are further complicated by his relationships with two very different women. His dreams of domestic happiness married to his neighbour’s daughter, Ellen, being dashed after she rejects him, Niels is seduced by a local widow, Clara, with devastating consequences for all three.

  • Louis-Philippe

Cozy Up with some Royal Happily Ever Afters

As the holiday season is well underway, Hallmark movies and Lifetime romance movies start popping up fervently on our TV screens. The hot-ticket theme that re-occurs almost every year is royal romance, and with the royal wedding having occurred this year, it is no surprise. Lucky for you if you’re a fan of some “Royal Romance” there are plenty of books to choose from. Here are some titles that will help tide you over this holiday season if you can’t get enough royalty on your television screen.


Royal WeddingMeg Cabot

Fans who watched Mia grow up from an awkward 14-year-old to a still awkward adult are in for a treat with Cabot focusing on an adult audience for Mia’s next adventures. Mia’s long-time boyfriend Michael finally popped the question, and Mia (naturally) said yes, but when it comes to planning their big day, they have plenty of interference, from her grandmother, the paparazzi and a politico who wants to depose her father from the throne.


The Royal WeHeather Cocks & Jessica Morgan

Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan provide a spin on the story of Prince William and Kate Middleton in this fun and likable read. Nick is the heir to the British throne and Rebecca “Bex” is an exchange student from America. They meet at Oxford and fall in love. All is not perfect, however, as Bex has to navigate the press hounding their every movement, familial issues (both hers and his), and the possibility of being married to the future King of England. Happily Ever After isn’t easy, it’s a lot of work, will Bex and Nick make it through? Read the novel and find out!


A Princess in TheoryAlyssa Cole

Have you ever dreamed that you are a long-lost princess, or were even promised to a prince? If you answer no to the question, you are just like Naledi Smith, a former foster child who is just trying to balance grad school and multiple jobs. She keeps receiving e-mails stating she is the long-lost betrothed to a prince, but naturally dismisses them as a hoax. Prince Thabiso, the heir to the throne of Thesolo is not a fictitious prince however and is desperate to find his betrothed; he meets Naledi who mistakes him for a pauper, which Thabiso does not contradict, and decides to get to know her before asking for her hand and telling her who he is.  Will their love be able to handle all the secrets? Find out in this steamy novel, the first in the Reluctant Royals series.



The PrinceKatharine Ashe

Miss “Libby” Shaw is determined to become a surgeon, despite the fact that women are not supposed to practice medicine. Her work-around for that ruling? Disguise herself as a man and board with exiled Mediterranean prince and portrait artist Ibrahim Kent, also known as Ziyaeddin Mirza. Though they clash at first, Ziyaeddin not wanting Libby to create a prosthesis for his foot and Libby not able to sit still for a portrait, love finds a way. Also included in this romance novel, a murder mystery, a strong, well-developed female character and of course, true love.

If you love Hallmark movies but don’t get the channel, the library has a nice selection of holiday and heartwarming movies to choose from here.

Happily Ever After and Happy Reading!


What do Instant Pots®, getting into Med school and Frederick Douglass have in common?

A:  They’ve all landed on our shelves in the last couple of months.

Between major publishing pushes and students heading back to school, fall is definitely book season. In September and October we added over 650 new adult non-fiction titles alone. Here’s a taste.

(And remember, you can keep up with our latest titles and place your requests by visiting the New Titles lists off the main page of our catalogue.)

I Love my Instant Pot Gluten Free Recipe Book Cover Image

The “I love my Instant Pot” Gluten-free Recipe Book: From Zucchini Nut Bread to Fish Taco Lettuce Wraps: 175 Easy and Delicious Gluten-free Recipes by Michelle Fagone

“The first cookbook dedicated to non-paleo gluten-free recipes for the hottest kitchen appliance: the Instant Pot – with 175 easy-to-make gluten-free recipes and photographs throughout!

“This book shows you how you can use the hottest kitchen appliance right now – the Instant Pot – to create gluten-free meals that are quick, easy, and most importantly, delicious. With 175 gluten-free recipes and photographs throughout, this cookbook is a must-have for Instant Pot fans who follow a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease, gluten intolerance, wheat allergies, or simply for health reasons.”

Just What the Doctor Ordered Book Cover Image

Just What the Doctor Ordered:  The Insider’s Guide to Getting into Medical School in Canada by Christine Fader

“…this book helps students and their families learn to strategize and prepare for future medical applications now with insights from a pre-med expert and former medical school application reader/interviewer with 20 years of experience coaching thousands of students dreaming of becoming a physician.”

Consolations book cover image

Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words by David Whyte

“With the imagery of a poet and the reflection of a philosopher, David Whyte turns his attention to 52 ordinary words, each its own particular doorway into the underlying currents of human life. Beginning with Alone and closing with Work, each chapter is a meditation on meaning and context, an invitation to shift and broaden our perspectives on the inevitable vicissitudes of life: pain and joy, honesty and anger, confession and vulnerability, the experience of feeling besieged and the desire to run away from it all.”

Space Atlas book cover image

Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond by James Trefil

“In this guided tour of our planetary neighborhood, the Milky Way and other galaxies, and beyond, detailed maps and fascinating imagery from recent space missions partner with clear, authoritative scientific information.” “For this new edition, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his moonwalk, astronaut and American hero Buzz Aldrin offers a new special section on Earth’s moon and its essential role in space exploration past and future.”

Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2019 book cover image

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2019

“The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids digs deeper and offers more specific information than any other guidebook. This is the only guide that explains how to make every minute and every dollar of your vacation count. With advice that is direct, prescriptive, and detailed, it takes the guesswork out of your family vacation. Step-by-step detailed plans allow you to visit Walt Disney World with your children with absolute confidence and peace of mind.”

So Far So Good book cover image

So Far, So Good: Poems 2014-2018 by Ursula K. Le Guin

“Legendary author Ursula K. Le Guin was lauded by millions for her ground- breaking science fiction novels, but she began as a poet, and wrote across genres for her entire career. In this clarifying and sublime collection–completed shortly before her death in 2018–Le Guin is unflinching in the face of mor- tality, and full of wonder for the mysteries beyond. Redolent of the lush natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, with rich sounds playfully echoing myth and nursery rhyme, Le Guin bookends a long, daring, and prolific career.”

Frederick Douglass Prophet of Freedom book cover image

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight

“The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.”

-Monique W.


Motherhood Memoirs

All over the world women are finding their voices. From speaking out against sexual assault to workplace inequalities, we have reached a point where the great disparities among the sexes are being acknowledged and challenged.  Among these voices, we are hearing from mothers. For so long, there has been such a narrow definition of motherhood. A definition that includes only happiness and baby cuddles and lullabies. But what about those for whom this definition doesn’t fit? What about those, who, when they become a mother, find themselves unhappy or struggle with the immensity of this change? Is it any coincidence that now, when women are making themselves heard, we are seeing such a boom in motherhood memoirs?

Recently there is the Giller Prize nominated Motherhood by Sheila Heti. As with Heti’s other writing, this novel blurs the line between fiction and non-fiction as the narrator, a writer in her late 30’s and in a serious relationship, considers having a child. Though this is a huge, life-altering decision, it is rarely given much critical thought, but Heti’s narrator understands the immensity of this decision and carefully weighs her options, wondering if she’s willing to sacrifice her art for a child, and which is more important.

A lighter read, Meagan O’Connell’s And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood Before I Was Ready is a less heady, perhaps more relatable book for new mothers. Based on her experience of pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood, O’Connell does not shy away from the messy, ugly, devastating parts of the topic while keeping her sense of humour intact.

In Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy, Angela Garbes writes about women’s bodies through a mix of science and personal experience. Her book offers fascinating facts about the placenta, the transfer of cells between mother and fetus, and the wonders of breastmilk. Garbes encourages women to trust themselves and ask questions of their health providers, allowing pregnant women and new mothers to make informed decisions.

Two classics in the motherhood memoir genre are Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year and Rachel Cusk’s A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother. Lamott’s book takes the form of a diary of her first year of motherhood. Told in a sarcastic and witty way, Lamott struggles as a single parent but has a community of friends and her faith to help her. Cusk’s book is more thoughtful and philosophical. She writes about sleeplessness and colic and breastfeeding, but also how to navigate this new identity for herself.


Whether you’re a new mother trying to find your footing or a seasoned pro, there is something so satisfying about recognizing your own experiences in someone else’s writing. As women become increasingly empowered to share their truths, I can only imagine the writing that is to come.





Bite-sized reads

Listen, I love epic novels as much as the next bookworm. But sometimes, your life is moving just a little too fast and you don’t have the uninterrupted chunks of free time required to sink into an extended reading experience.

At times like that, short bursts of fiction are the perfect solution. These brief but concentrated novels and story collections (the longest of which barely breaks 200 pages) combine unusual narratives with vibrant language to make every moment you can steal to read count.

The transmigration of bodies by Yuri Herrera is a noirish tragedy with a Romeo and Juliet backstory. Two feuding  crime families with blood on their hands ask a hard-boiled hero to broker peace and arrange for the exchange of the bodies they hold hostage.


Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett focuses on the mundane details of the narrator’s daily experience (from the best way to eat porridge to an encounter with cows) in striking scenes “suffused with the hypersaturated, almost synesthetic intensity of the physical world that we remember from childhood.”

The subtitle of The people in the castle by Joan Aiken is “selected strange stories,” which is a pretty apt description. From dreamlike fairy tales to ghost stories and surreal fantasia, these are indeed very strange stories—but always grounded in characters who feel like absolutely real people.


Things we lost in the fire by Mariana Enriquez brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where past military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory. But alongside the disturbing disappearances, her stories are fueled by compassion for the frightened and the lost.

Moon of the crusted snow by Waubgeshig Rice begins as cell phone service goes out in an isolated Anishinaabe community in northern Ontario. Soon land lines, electricity, and satellites have all disappeared and the community must band together and return to traditional ways to ensure its survival in a post-apocalyptic world.



Books on Film

Movie buff, film freak, cinephile.  Words that pretty much describe me and sum up my love of moving pictures. From cinematic art to bad movies, I love them all! I also really enjoy reading about movies. Happily, Winnipeg Public Library has a great collection of fascinating titles on the art and angst of movie making. The genre has many classics, including Sidney Lumet’s Making Movies, Julie Salamon’s The Devil’s Candy and Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. I’ve read and loved them all but for today, I’m going to give you a sneak preview of some other must-read titles.

We’ll always have Casablanca: the Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie

I grew up watching ‘old’ movies and Bogart was one of my first movie heroes. My favourite Bogie films are Key Largo, The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep and of course, Casablanca. Noah Isenberg’s recent “making of” treatment of the film is a riveting, exhaustive look at one of the most-loved movies from Hollywood’s golden age.  The book traces Casablanca from its origins as an unproduced stage play to cultural icon. Highly recommended!

High noon: the Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic

In this gripping story, Frankel digs into the production of High Noon – the classic western made during the madness of the blacklist era. The book casts a light on the impact of the House Committee on Un-American Activities’ (HUAC) “naming names” investigations in Hollywood and reveals the allegorical impact of High Noon’s take on moral strength in the face of mob mentality. This book really sparked my interest in the film. High Noon is now on my watch list!

Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece

I lost my dog-eared copy of Jerome Agel’s The Making of Kubrick’s 2001 decades ago so I was super happy to check out Michael Benson’s new book on the sci-fi epic – once tagged “the ultimate trip”. Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece is the definitive and detailed story of the making of 2001. Benson describes the amazing collaborative process that created 2001’s groundbreaking visual effects (e.g. the first monolith was a translucent lucite slab) and provides new insights into the personalities of Clarke and Kubrick.

Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood

This book had me at the concept: over 50 years ago, five wildly diverse movies were nominated for the 1967 Academy Award for best picture. The films included new Hollywood visions (The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde), a controversial for the time take on racism (In the Heat of the Night), an old-school Tracy & Hepburn vehicle (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) and a musical flop about veterinary medicine (Doctor Doolittle). Pictures at a Revolution is a new classic with an insightful take on the impact of 60s culture on mainstream movie making.

The Film Club: a True Story of a Father and Son

Canadian writer and film critic David Gilmour made a deal with his 15-year old son: he could drop out of school if he agreed to watch 3 movies a week with his father. Sounds great, right? Whether you agree with a movie-based homeschool curriculum or not, The Film Club is not just a collection of film reviews – it’s a really touching story about the relationship between Gilmour and his smart, funny son Jesse. And, yes, it’s also about the movies they watch together! And their first assignment: Truffaut’s The 400 Blows.

Room to Dream

The three filmmakers who’ve had the biggest impact on my visual imagination are Kubrick, Fellini and David Lynch. I have vivid memories of watching films like 2001, 8 1/2 and Blue Velvet for the first time and leaving the theatre thinking, “the worlds looks different now”. Room to Dream is a unique biography that delves into the art, artistry and life of David Lynch. Here’s Lynch on growing up in the fifties: “It’s dreamy, that’s what it is. The fifties mood isn’t completely positive, though, and I always knew there was stuff going on.” Blue Velvet or Twin Peaks fans know exactly what Lynch is talking about here!

I hope you find the above titles as entertaining and educational as I did, whether you’re just a movie dabbler or a hard-core cinemaniac. And if reading about movies leads you to watch more movies, be sure to check out Kanopy: a fantastic source for streaming film, especially Criterion Collection classics and unexpected cult favourites. Happy screening!



Remembering Canada’s Hundred Days and the End of the First World War

Cover image for The greatest victory : Canada's one hundred days, 1918A hundred years ago, the First World War was coming to an end, after four years of carnage never witnessed before in history. The year 1918 had begun with the Allied armies (also known as the Entente Powers) still locked in stalemate with Germany on the western front with no clear end in sight. Then in the spring, the German army launched its final offensive and although it succeeded in pushing back the British army, it failed to create a decisive breakthrough. This was followed in August by a general counter-attack (now known as the Hundred Days Offensive) by the Allies that would finally break the deadlock of the trenches and force Germany and the rest of the Central Powers to sue for peace by November. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps played a central role in breaking the back of the German army in a series of victorious battles that ended in the French city of Mons on November 11, 1918. The prestige earned on the battlefield helped create a new sense of national identity and Canada had separate representation at the peace conference at Versailles, moving away from its former colonial status toward independence from Great Britain.

Despite involving more men (and more casualties) than the Normandy Campaign of 1944, and despite being the pivotal battle of the First World War, the Hundred Days Offensive has been largely forgotten until recently with the centennial of the First World War bringing renewed interest in its history. For readers who are not familiar with this topic but are interested in learning more, historian Jack Granatstein’s book The Greatest Victory: Canada’s Hundred Days, 1918 is a recommended introduction that is accessible to everyone. It chronicles the march and bloody struggles of the Canadian Corp out of the trenches from Amiens through Valenciennes, the Hindenburg Line, the Canal du Nord, and Cambrai, toward Mons and final victory. Granatstein describes the historical context of the offensive, how Canadians trained constantly beforehand in the use of new tactics and weapons, and were led by General Arthur Currie, likely the best General of the War. Despite being overshadowed by the Battle of Vimy Ridge in the minds of most Canadians, the author convincingly argues that the Hundred Day’s Offensive was Canada’s greatest feat of arms of the First World War.

Cover image for They Fought in Colour / la Guerre en Couleur : A New Look at Canada's First World War Effort / Nouveau Regard Sur le Canada Dans la Premi?re Guerre Mondiale.

Remembering the First World War can be challenging due to the memory of it having faded over the decades, and having been overshadowed by the second global conflict that followed its uneasy peace. Since we no longer have living veterans to relate their stories, our vision of the First World War exist almost exclusively in black and white, whether they be written books or historical footage. The book They Fought in Colourpublished by the Vimy Foundation, attempts to offer a new look at Canada’s experience during the Great War by presenting the reader with colorized pictures, as the people experienced it, with commentary from some of well-known Canadian personalities, including Paul Gross, Peter Mansbridge, Margaret Atwood, and many others.

Cover image for The secret history of soldiers : how Canadians survived the Great War

Historian Tim Cook is a prolific author of Canadian military history who has just released his latest title: The Secret History of Soldiers: How Canadians Survived the Great War This is a welcome addition, providing an intimate look at the daily lives of the men and women who experienced the conflict, as opposed to the more conventional reviews of the war from official records and the distant point of views of politicians and military leaders focused on strategies and tactics. These first-hand stories were mined from the letters, diaries, memoirs, and oral accounts of more than five hundred combatants. They reveal aspects of the life behind the front-lines, a “hidden society” that coped with the extreme hardships of war by creating their own satirical songs, trench art from battlefield debris, newspapers that criticized army life and all kinds of entertainment that took their mind off the war. You learn how camaraderie was built on shared experiences and goals, what motivated Canadians of all walks of life to keep going, and how they kept informed about the war and their families back home.

Cover image for 1918 : winning the war, losing the war

For readers who are interested in an in-depth study of the Western Front in the last year of the war, another new arrival at the library, 1918 : winning the war, losing the war is an informative review of the armies that were facing each other (the inexperienced but vast American army joining the battle-weary but experienced French and British forces against the German). This multi-author work contains ten chapters by some of the best historians of the First World War. It analyzes how armies built from a 19th century model evolved and adapted the lessons learned from past failures and used new technologies and weapons to fight a twentieth century war. The book also covers neglected fronts like Italy and the Middle East where the Austro-Hungarian and Turkish empires were fighting for their continuing survival. It also looks in detail at the war at sea and in the air, and considers the aftermath and legacy of the First World War.


Finally, if you come by the Local History Room at the Millennium branch, you can view a display called The World Remembers 1918 that the library is hosting to commemorate the centennial of the 1918 Armistice. Until November 11, a video monitor will display the names of over 800,000 soldiers who lost their lives in the final year of the war from Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the US, Turkey, Belgium, Australia, the Czech Republic, Italy, New Zealand, Slovenia, China and the former British Indian Army. The World Remembers website has more information about this project and this is the page where names can be searched to learn when they will appear on-screen.


It’s Alive!

It is a famous line most commonly associated with Frankenstein. This line, however, never actually appears in Mary Shelley’s ground-breaking novel. It does appear in the 1931 film version of the novel and has been associated with the story of Frankenstein ever since. This year marks the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and with National Frankenstein Day fast approaching (it’s October 26th FYI) I thought it would be appropriate to showcase books exploring the impact Shelley’s novel has had on horror, science and female horror writers.

frankenstein Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley

A Titan from Greek Mythology, Prometheus created man from clay and stole fire from the gods to give to man. This mythological being is an appropriate comparison to Victor Frankenstein, the creator of the “Monster”, and an apt alternate title to the novel. The original text still haunts readers today, and has never been out of print for the last 200 years. If you haven’t read the original, do so, not only will it frighten and horrify you, but it will also have you thinking and questioning the possibilities and ramifications of science today.

frankenstein2 Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years by Christopher Frayling

In his incredible book (the pictures alone are amazing), Frayling explores the origins of Frankenstein and the lasting impact the novel has had on popular culture. He has included movie stills and posters from the many film versions of the novel as well as photos of Shelley’s original manuscript. It is truly a work of art.

frankenstein3 Frankenstein: How a monster became an icon: the science and enduring allure of Mary Shelley’s creation edited by Sidney Perkowitz and Eddy Von Mueller

As a physicist and as a filmmaker, Sidney Perkowitz and Eddy Von Mueller have compiled essays from scientists, directors, artists and scholars who speak to and dissect the lasting impact of Shelley’s work on the world as well as explore what the future may hold for the legacy of Frankenstein.

frankenstein4 Frankenstein by Dean Koontz

In his five-book series Koontz takes inspiration from Shelley’s original novel and sets his in modern-day New Orleans. The first book in the series, Prodigal Son, follows Deucalian, a mysterious man who teams up with two detectives to solve a string of murders that leads back to a race of killers and their mysterious maker.

Shelley’s novel has inspired many film versions as well as TV series that include the characters from the novel. You can find many of these in our catalogue here.

Frankenstein not only has had a huge impact on popular culture but also on female writers, especially female horror writers. Many of the fantastically frightening horror writers today are women, and we owe many thanks to Mary Shelley for helping pave their way. Some of these award-winning writers are: Carmen Maria Machado, Shirley Jackson, Octavia Butler, Angela Carter, and Anne Rice, just to name a few. You can find all these women in our library catalogue. If you would like more suggestions, and a longer list of female horror writers, this article by Lithub gives you even more names to explore.

Happy Reading!


“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




Scary stories to read in the dark

It’s October and cold, dark days with dreary skies have arrived…  you know what that means—the countdown to Hallowe’en has officially begun.

Short stories are one of the best ways to experience the thrill of horror fiction. Like the bite-size chocolate bars in our trick or treat bags, they deliver just the right amount of delightfully tasty fright.

If you’re new to short, terrifying fiction, start with the classics: Edwardian Englishman M.R. James and mid-century American Shirley Jackson couldn’t be more different in style or tone, but they’re both experts at grounding uncanny weirdness in the ordinary and mundane world.


If you like Shirley Jackson but haven’t tried Kelly Link yet, what are you waiting for? Magic for Beginners is a great place to start if you haven’t gotten the chance to sample her whimsical but deeply unsettling prose before.


Everyone knows Stephen King for his doorstopper-thick horror novels like The Shining and It. But I find his short stories even more frightening as they leave more unspoken, like shadows hovering in the corner of your eye. Whether you choose one of his more recent collections, like Everything’s Eventual and The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, or an earlier selection like Skeleton Crew, you’re sure to sleep with a light on that night.

Not surprisingly, King’s son Joe Hill is a master storyteller as well; check out 20th Century Ghosts for a selection of his early work.

Editor Ellen Datlow discovers and collects some of the best short horror. You won’t go wrong checking out any of the anthologies she’s put together, but my favourites are two excellent collections of modern ghost stories: The Dark and Hauntings.

Are you looking over your shoulder yet?