Time To Read: A new podcast for Winnipeg book lovers

Picture of the four members of the podcast team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

eMedia @ Winnipeg Public Library: your guide to 24/7 entertainment!

As many of you already know, you have 24/7 access to our eLibrary anywhere in the world with your library card. You can access eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies, music, magazines and more. For 2018, we’re changing things up! Effective January 2 here’s what you will have access to:

eBooks
Downloadable eBooks will continue to be available through OverDrive and new for 2018 – RBdigital. Streaming eBooks are also available from McGraw Hill, Tumblebooks, Bookflix and more.

eAudiobooks
eAudiobooks will continue to be available through OverDrive and new for 2018 –
RBdigital. We will no longer be offering eAudiobooks through Hoopla.

eMovies and TV
Downloadable and streaming movies and TV shows will continue to be available
through Hoopla. Now we’re also offering streaming videos through
OverDrive. Later this month you will have access to our Kanopy subscription. Kanopy offers thousands of documentary film festival movies and feature films especially prized by cinephiles, including the top 50 Criterion Collection titles.

eMusic
Streaming full-length music albums are available through Hoopla. For those with more classical/folk/world/jazz tastes, listen in to our Naxos Music Library.

eMagazines
We offer more than 150 full-colour cover-to-cover issues of your favourite weekly and monthly magazines like US Weekly, National Geographic, Canadian Living, In Touch Weekly, The Economist, Martha Stewart Living and more through both RBdigital (formerly called Zinio), Flipster, and PressReader.

— Barbara

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?

 

 

Brittany

 

Snow on Snow

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

-Trevor

The most wonderful time of the year (for readers)

The end of the year really is a wonderful time for people who love to read!

There are more annual “best of” lists than you can shake a (very large) stick at, but this one holds a special place in my heart. Each year, I ask Winnipeg Public Library staff to name the book which made the biggest impression on them in the last twelve months, and each year I’m enthralled by the variety of titles they send me.

If you’d like to see more staff picks, take a look at our previous lists from 2016 and 2015. Still not satisfied? Check out the Largehearted Boy blog’s list of many, many more year-end book lists.

Fiction of all genres

Derek chose The Wonder by Emma Donoghue because it’s richly told, exploring the moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding care and sickness.

Erica enjoyed Robin Sloan’s endearing books, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore and Sourdough for delving into seemingly small things that can nonetheless elicit great passion (aka geeking out), whether that be books, computers, baking, cheese, or riddles.

Joanne “raced” through The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J. Walker, the post-apocalyptic story of an unlikely hero who sets out on a 500 mile run through the devastated countryside, desperate to be reunited with his family before it’s too late.

Lori sums up the reasons Mira Grant’s Rolling in the Deep became a top read for her in two words: “Killer. Mermaids.”

Madeleine loved Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver for the heroine’s gradual realizations about the way she has treated other people as she relives one day in her life over and over.

Mauri says The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg is a “sweet (but not sappy) story about love, hope, second chances, and the small acts of kindness that can turn friends into family.”

Ann Patchett is one of Toby‘s favourite authors and her writing just seems to get better and better; Commonwealth, the story of two families over five decades, is insightful and beautiful and brilliant.

It took Rémi over 17 years to discover Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books, but this year he finally read Storm Front, the first in the series, which is “a great mix of a detective thriller and a fantasy that’s gritty, witty and just plain fun.”

All varieties of non-fiction

Aileen found that Michael de Adder’s You Might Be From Canada If… brought back memories from childhood as well as, surprisingly, tears to her eyes.

Although The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee can be difficult to read at times, Alan highly recommends it to anyone who has been touched by this pernicious disease.

Brittany found Susannah Cahalan’s memoir Brain on Fire does an excellent job of reconstructing the author’s ‘month of madness’ while suffering from a very rare disease in which the brain attacks itself.

Bryan chose The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen, a “disturbing but also entertaining” tour through the planet’s turbulent history of mass extinctions.

Chris enjoyed Bee Wilson’s Consider the Fork, which shows the evolution of all of our cooking ‘gadgets’ and educates the reader in a fun way on how things have truly changed over the last 2000 years.

What struck Darragh about Kelle Hampton’s Bloom (a brutally honest and emotionally provoking memoir by a mother whose second daughter was born with Down Syndrome) was the power of perspective.

Elke picked Following Atticus by Tom Ryan: the story of a dog and a man who, as friends and equals, conquer both mountains and life’s challenges.

And We Go On [ebook only] by Will Bird was Hugh‘s choice – a memoir of trench warfare on the Western Front that is not for the faint of heart.

Lauren found the collected letters in Letters of Note (edited by Shaun Usher) hilarious to heartbreaking, but every one was a beautiful and authentic piece of writing.

Mary-Ann chose Will Ferguson’s Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw, a collection of fun, entertaining, and educational pieces about interesting places across Canada.

According to Melissa, Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina, a member of ‘Pussy Riot’ the Russian collective famous for their political activism, captures the emotional process of being jailed and successfully advocating for change in the Russian penal system.

Randy says of As a Man Thinketh by James Allen: “This little book is an inspirational powerhouse with its simple, but profound ideology.”

Waiting For First Light, Romeo Dallaire’s powerful first person narrative about dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, brings the experience to life and helped Steve to understand what trauma can do to a person.

For younger readers

Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi was Andrea‘s most memorable book of 2017. The tale of two boys who become connected by a line, it is a story of friendship, struggle and forgiveness–told without a single word.

Jacquie chose the beautiful picture book The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito, illustrated by Julia Kuo, as a great book to share with a child to gently introduce topics of mindfulness and appreciation of silence and stillness in our busy, noisy lives.

Lori thought that she knew a fair amount about Van Gogh, but Deborah Heiligman’s YA biography Vincent and Theo: the Van Gogh Brothers provided some surprising and touching insights about his life, his art, and his premature death.

Terri couldn’t put down Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin – a funny, touching read that tells the story of Riley, a teenager who is coming to terms with what it means to be gender fluid.

And a special mention to Larisa, who published a book of her own this year! Since she had to read it more than 365 times, it definitely became her top read. Berries: 210 Thoughts and Photographs on Life, Love and Light is a book-meditation intended to be the reader’s silent friend, with laconic language and stunning black-and-white photographs.

Happy holidays, and may you never run out of great books to read in 2018!

– Danielle

Tangentially Speaking, not the center of IT

This story begins back when I wasn’t a regular library user. In fact, to be honest, I didn’t think to use the library much at all. I know you’re all gasping, “How could he!,” “What a fool!,” so I’ll give you a paragraph break to catch your breath.

I was young. I was naïve. I was on a mission to complete a sub-list of THE LIST. My goal: to read every book mentioned in Donnie Darko. And before you ask, yes, compiling a list of books to read from a beloved movie or television show is a thing1. People do it for Gilmore Girls. Sometimes a work of art strikes you in just the right way and you end up falling down the rabbit hole2 exploring its references and allusions.

Image credit Keir Hardie (https://flic.kr/p/4x2mqf)

Because of Donnie Darko, I read and watched Watership Down. I started reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Then I started reading it again.  Then I told myself that one day I would be smart enough finish it. My heart skipped a beat when they released Donnie Darko: The Director’s Cut and it featured a commentary track with Kevin Smith. And I would laugh to myself while listening to a soundtrack featuring Echo and the Bunnymen3—did I mention Donnie Darko features a man in a giant bunny suit?

Donnie Darko also put a pair of Stephen King novels on my to-read list: The Tommyknockers and another, the title of which I can’t quite remember at the moment4.

But the main obstacle to my goal, the problem that hounded me for years, was trying to track down a copy of “The Destructors” a short story by Graham Greene. In Donnie Darko the Greene’s story is banned from the titular character’s high school because it is seen to promote vandalism. So too, in my life, did it seem to be banned. I scoured bookstores of all shapes and sizes:  from corporate edifices to fly-by-night street sellers. Graham Green was prolific and I found many of his novels, my favourites being:  Doctor Fischer of Geneva and A Burnt-Out Case. But it wouldn’t be until years later that I was able to track down a copy of “The Destructors.” I found it at a place that doesn’t ban books. I found it, if the opening paragraph didn’t give the ending away, at the library.

Alan

1 Part of what put Atlas Shrugged on my list was Mad Men, but that’s a blogpost for another time.

2 Alice in Wonderland reference AND Donnie Darko allusion!

3 Track 3 on this album.

4 Someday I’ll think of it.

Zombies, Parasites and Killer Mermaids

 

“Every life has a watershed moment, an instant when you realize you’re about to make a choice that will define everything else you ever do, and that if you choose wrong, there may not be that many things left to choose.”

Mira Grant

 

I think that everyone’s life has more than one of these moments, especially when it comes to book selection. That pivotal instant when you reach out to the shelf and tug the book towards you. Do you look at the cover? Flip to the synopsis? Go straight to the last page? In that twinkling of time, do you commit to making that choice to continue with that particular book or do you put it back and walk away, possibly forever? Ultimately only you can decide, and that decision can change your life.

I encountered just such a watershed moment with my first Mira Grant book. I had read and thoroughly enjoyed the books written by Seanan McGuire, most especially Every Heart a Doorway and Sparrow Hill Road. So you can imagine how happy I was to discover that she also writes under the pen name Mira Grant. That initial happiness became tinged with apprehension when I first saw the cover for Feed. The apprehension turned to trepidation, which morphed to misgivings. Generally speaking I’m not a big fan of zombies, and as a dedicated digital immigrant I’m still not comfortable with the whole online newsfeed experience. But something inside me led me to open the cover, and after the first page I was completely hooked on anything and everything that Mira Grant has written.

The Newsflesh trilogy is set in the future, after a virus intended to rid mankind of disease has instead triggered an apocalypse. George and her adopted brother Sean are reporters intent on finding the truth behind what caused the catastrophe, and how to fight the true evil that sustains it. In the words of Seanan McGuire, the series is about: “…blogging, politics, medical science, espionage, betrayal, the ties that bind, the ties that don’t, how George Romero accidentally saved the world, and, of course, zombies.”

               

 

In another take on what happens when science interferes with nature, the Parasitology series focuses on Sal, formerly Sally, and her journey to find out who she really is after awakening from a coma. Her recovery is miraculous, due in no small part to the parasite that was deliberately introduced into her body. But is Sal actually who the world thinks she is? And does she possess the courage to venture through the Broken Doors to what lies beyond?

    

 

My absolute favorite book for 2017 is Rolling in the Deep. It’s more a novella than a novel, but it packs a huge concept into a short space. The story is set on a research ship out over the Mariana Trench, and the character list comes complete with a surly captain, nerdy scientists and opportunistic members of the media, not to mention professional mermaids. Why is this motley crew so far out in the open ocean? To investigate mermaid sightings, of course. But what they find is far from what they expected. Hint: there’s a clue in the title of the post. The story continues in Into the Drowning Deep

 

Granted, choosing to read these books is not enough to change the entire course and direction of my life. But reading them did influence how I view scientific breakthroughs and professional bloggers,  and will definitely impact future travel plans involving ocean cruises. All in all, I’d call that a watershed moment.

-Lori

 

 

 

 

What’s New in the Local History Room?

The Holiday season is upon us and among the new titles that have arrived in the Local History Room collection, we have a very special treat for history fans.

Cover image for Manitoba at Christmas : holiday memories in the keystone province

is an anthology of stories from by and all about how Christmas was celebrated by Manitobans from the earliest Christmas recorded in the days of exploration before the establishment of the Red River colony to the 21st century.  From simple rituals, like a toast while sharing memories of absent families in pioneer times, the observance of Christmas evolved and grew more elaborate as the years passed and different cultures added their own traditions: church services, family reunions, ever-growing street parades and decorated storefronts.  The sights, sounds and smells of Manitoba at Christmas left happy memories which one can re-visit in the pages of this book: visiting Toyland at the Eaton’s store, sharing letters and stories with family in rural Manitoba on Christmas morning, or preparing a concert at a school to be attended by Fraserwood’s entire community.  In darker times, it was a time to hold on to hope: Margaret Owen, one of the featured authors, talks about how during the Christmas of 1941, her family waited to hear news about her father, a POW for several years after being captured during the defence of Hong Kong.  In addition to fun anecdotes, personal stories, great historical photographs and illustrations, the book also contains holiday recipes, for example a vinarterta, a traditional Icelandic layered Christmas cake .
Golden Boys
Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the NHL, Ty Dilello’s Golden boys : the Top 50 Manitoba Hockey Players of All Time, offers us a look at fifty players that have shaped the history of hockey in Manitoba. Featuring detailed biographies that were extensively researched, interviews both past and present, rare photographs and never-been-told-before stories, this is a must for both fans of local sports or those interested in Manitoba’s history in general.  While some of the names included are obvious choices: greats like Jonathan Toews, Andy Bathgate, Ron Hextall and Bobby Clarke, this is also valuable if you are curious about less-well known players like Bones Raleigh (his poetry was reviewed in the New York Times) or Dan Bain (he played and won some of the earliest Stanley Cups in the 19th century), or Terry Sawchuk (best goaler and crowned #1 player overall by Dilello).
agassiz cover

Were you aware that not too long ago, existed a lake so large it could easily have swallowed our present Great Lakes?  Lake Agassiz was an enormous glacial lake that covered a large chunk of the North American landscape between 14,000 and 8,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age.  This is the story that Bill Redekop wanted to explore when he started writing Lake Agassiz: the Rise and Demise of the World’s Greatest Lake.  Born of the melting ice that had covered North America for millennia, Lake Agassiz was a force of nature for 6,000 years. Its story is one of superlatives: inconceivable tsunamis that bored through solid rock; tributary torrents that gouged huge valleys, and colossal outpourings that created a mini-ice age in Europe.  The book is extensively researched and shows readers the “footprint” that Lake Agassiz left all over the prairie provinces (as well as some American states): from remnants of beaches nowhere near bodies of water, to valleys that were formed by retreating glaciers and left as remnants Lake Winnipeg, Lake Manitoba, and Lake Winnipegosis as we know them today.

Cover image for Out of old Manitoba kitchens
Out of Old Manitoba kitchens by Christine Hanlon is the story of the people and the food they prepared by melding recipes, photographs and narratives of its earliest cooks, including the Indigenous people, Selkirk Settlers and first homesteaders. From wild rice to perogies, smoked goldeye to tourtière, one can find a blend of pioneer cuisine dating back to the fur trade and beyond. See how wave after wave of immigration brought with them their own recipes.  This book is a great read for those who enjoy history, good food, and memories of food prepared on the campfire, the hearth and the cast iron stove, from the trails of the buffalo hunt to the outdoor kitchens of the early settlers.
Cover image for The North End revisited
Finally, John Paskievich’s excellent photography book has just been re-published with an extra 80 photographs chronicling the history and transformation of his native neighbourhood from the 1970’s up to the present.  The North End Revisited also contains interviews with the author exploring different aspects of his work  in chronicling the stories of ordinary Winnipeggers from a very special community.
In the fun read  Snacks: A Canadian Food Historylocal historian Janis Thiessen profiles several iconic Canadian snack food companies, including Old Dutch Potato Chips, Hawkins Cheezies, and chocolatier Ganong.  These companies have developed in distinctive ways, reflecting the unique stories of their founders and their intense connection to specific places.  These stories of salty or sweet confections also reveal a history that is at odds with popular notions of ‘junk food.’  Through over 60 interviews and archival research, Thiessen uncovers the roots of our deep loyalties to different snack foods, what it means to be an independent snack food producer, and the often-quirky ways snacks have been created and marketed, like the “Kids Bids” local TV program where children bid for prizes using empty Old Dutch chips bags.
-Louis-Philippe

The Genius and Weirdness of Jeff VanderMeer

It was just this year that I discovered the genius that is author Jeff VanderMeer. Some of you I’m sure are surprised that someone might just be discovering his writing, but I fully admit to doing so. I began by reading his latest novel which was receiving high praise, and was quickly blown away. I read the novel while on holiday at my cottage, relaxing on the beach, and was completely engrossed. My imagination ran wild and when I heard that the first book of his Southern Reach trilogy was to be made into a movie, I quickly picked up that book, and was equally impressed and enthralled. It was no wonder the novel won the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel.

For those who may not be familiar with him, Jeff VanderMeer is a science fiction author. Or, I should clarify; many of his books are science fiction (some can be considered fantasy as well). Now I know what some of you might say, “I’m not into science fiction, it is too spacey for me.” I understand the notion, from television and movies, well-known science fiction focuses on outer space, space exploration and other planets, but many of VanderMeer’s novels take place on earth or a planet like earth (he doesn’t call it earth) with new or different technologies. The literary quality to his writings allow for a larger audience who may not be quick to pick up a book placed under the genre science fiction (these categories and genres can be troublesome as often books blend genres, especially VanderMeer’s works). Many compare his books to H.P. Lovecraft for the weird and horror elements. Because of this, be prepared for descriptive language in his novels, a trait which is common in fantasy novels to help with world-building, or in this case weirdness building. These types of novels may not be for everyone, if you do end up picking up one of his novels and not enjoying the first 50 pages (give it a chance!) please feel free to put it down and try something else, they are certainly not for everyone. But this is also why I enjoyed his books so much, because they are so out of the ordinary.

Borne

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I will start with the first book I read, Borne. The title alone intrigued me, the synopsis compelled me to read it, and the cover art messed with my mind (once you read the novel, you will understand the cover). The book takes place in the future, in a city that was devastated by the experiments of a corporation known as the Company. One such experiment is… a giant flying grizzly bear named Mord (I kid you not!). Mord has destroyed the city and controls those living there using his minions, other smaller bears (smaller than him), to do his bidding. The main protagonist is Rachel, a scavenger who collects the discarded experiments from the Company for her companion Wick. It is on one of these scavenger missions where she finds Borne, an anemone-like creature clinging to the fur of Mord, and takes it home with her. Wick wants to initially run tests on Borne as he believes it is most likely an experiment from the Company and therefore doesn’t trust it, but Rachel refuses, and keeps Borne with her and watches as he begins to grow and learn and… let’s just say events happen from there. The world is so vividly described in Borne and it is unlike any story I have read before, you are sure to be hooked from beginning to end.

The Southern Reach Trilogy

Book 1: Annihilation

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A biologist, a psychologist, a surveyor and an anthropologist head into an area known only as Area X to explore and to discover what happened to the previous 11 expeditions. Told entirely from the point-of-view of the biologist as she is documenting her experience in her journal, we learn about the place known as Area X, and slowly more of what led her to participate in this expedition. This is the first book in the Southern Reach trilogy, and can be read on its own or, if you are wanting to explore the setting of the novel further, you can continue reading the next two books in the series. The book has been made into a movie starring Natalie Portman, which will be released early next year, something which surprised many as the book itself was believed to be unfilmable (once you read it you will understand why).

Book 2: Authority

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This book takes place after the events of Annihilation. Without giving too much away regarding what happens in the first novel we follow the new director of the Southern Reach as he tries to piece together what happened during the 12th expedition.

Book 2: Acceptance

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Wow, this is becoming more difficult explaining the plot without giving too much away. I can say that a new team is embarking on an expedition to Area X and… that is about it! Just trust me and continue reading!

Jeff VanderMeer has written other novels which we have in our collection such as Finch a noir thriller/fantasy novel and has edited and compiled short story collections from steampunk to a feminist speculative fiction anthology with his wife Ann. Find all of Jeff VanderMeer’s books here and let me know what you think of his works in the comment section below.

Happy Reading!

-Aileen

Canada 150 Years, Anishinaabe 13,000 Years

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Source: http://tinyurl.com/ydbvm3f8 Credit: unknown

It’s BookFest this Saturday at Millennium Library – a day packed with engaging and fun content, with a focus on Manitoba-based publishers. This is my second year participating as one of the Library staff offering up “Book Tastings”.  Under the category of “Canada 150+: great reads about our past and present” (2-2:30 p.m.) I’ll be highlighting titles that address the “plus”.  As most people know there is a real explosion of Indigenous literary talent happening right now or, rather, an increase in the acknowledgement and celebration of that talent by so-called mainstream Canada.  About time!  It was difficult to choose just a few titles – a good problem to have. I look forward to highlighting these titles and more this Saturday and beyond.
 

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson. Illustrated by Julie Flett.

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Winner of a 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award.

“When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully colored clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where all of these things were taken away. When We Were Alone is a story about a difficult time in history, and, ultimately, one of empowerment and strength.”

 

Pīsim Finds Her Miskanow by William Dumas. Illustrated by Leonard Paul.

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“In 1993, the remains of a young woman were discovered at Nagami Bay, South Indian Lake, Manitoba. Out of that important archeological discovery came this unique story about a week in the life of Pisim, a young Cree woman, who lived in the Mid 1600s. In the story, created by renowned storyteller William Dumas, Pisim begins to recognize her miskanow – her life’s journey – and to develop her gifts for fulfilling that path. The story is brought to life by the rich imagery of Leonard Paul, and is accompanied by sidebars on Cree language and culture, archaeology and history, maps, songs, and more.”

 

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga

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“…from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.

Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.”

   

A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986. by John S. Milloy

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This classic title has been re-released with a forward by local scholar Mary Jane Logan McCallum.

“For over 100 years, thousands of Aboriginal children passed through the Canadian residential school system. Begun in the 1870s, it was intended, in the words of government officials, to bring these children into the “circle of civilization,” the results, however, were far different. More often, the schools provided an inferior education in an atmosphere of neglect, disease, and often abuse. Using previously unreleased government documents, historian John S. Milloy provides a full picture of the history and reality of the residential school system.”

 

Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal. by Keira Ladner and Myra Tait

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Surviving Canada: Indigenous Peoples Celebrate 150 Years of Betrayal is a collection of elegant, thoughtful, and powerful reflections about Indigenous Peoples’ complicated, and often frustrating, relationship with Canada, and how – even 150 years after Confederation – the fight for recognition of their treaty and Aboriginal rights continues. Through essays, art, and literature, Surviving Canada examines the struggle for Indigenous Peoples to celebrate their cultures and exercise their right to control their own economic development, lands, water, and lives.”

 

Fire Starters by Jen Storm.  Illustrated by Scott Henderson.  Colours by Donavan Yacuik.

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“Looking for a little mischief after finding an old flare gun, Ron and Ben find themselves in trouble when the local gas bar on Agamiing Reserve goes up in flames, and they are wrongly accused of arson by the sheriff’s son. As the investigation goes forward, community attitudes are revealed, and the truth slowly comes to light.”

 

Life Among the Qallunaat by Mini Aodla Freeman. Eds., Keavy Martin, Julie Rak and Norma Dunning

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“Life Among the Qallunaat is the story of Mini Aodla Freeman’s experiences growing up in the Inuit communities of James Bay and her journey in the 1950s from her home to the strange land and stranger customs of the Qallunaat, those living south of the Arctic. Her extraordinary story, sometimes humourous and sometimes heartbreaking, illustrates an Inuit woman’s movement between worlds and ways of understanding. It also provides a clear-eyed record of the changes that swept through Inuit communities in the 1940s and 1950s.”
-Monique W.