Indigenous Book Club Month

Did you know that June is Indigenous Book Club Month? Perhaps you’re participating with your book club, but even if you’re not in a book club it’s a good time to check out some Indigenous authors! Here are some picks from our collection:

A Series of Unfortunate Read Alikes


Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events has received the Netflix treatment and it’s getting great reviews! Are you a fan of this whimsical series? If you’ve explored the books, the movie, and the current series, here are some similar titles you’ll likely enjoy:


The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner

Twelve-year-old twins John and Abigail Templeton, and their ridiculous dog, are kidnapped by a devious adult set of twins who are after their father’s not-so-genius invention.


Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz Smedry is gifted a bag of sand for his 13th birthday, a strange gift that puts Alcatraz in the path of evil librarians on a quest for world domination! Alcatraz must put a stop to the evil librarians’ bid for power, can he get back his bag of sand and stop them?


Larklight by Phillip Reeve

Art and Myrtle Mumby live with their father in Larklight, a house that travels through space! Join them as they begin a fantastic adventure after Larklight receives a rare visitor, Mr. Webster, and the siblings end up in a battle to save the Known Universe.


The Mysterious Benedict Society

This book puts its characters, as well as its readers, through a series of brain-teasers to see if they are one of the enlightened kids of the world. The most creative and intelligent kids are chosen to complete a top secret mission at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where things are not as they seem!

For more read-alikes, check here!

If you’re looking for a movie or a TV series that has the same feel as A Series of Unfortunate Events, give this list a try! There are even some on the list that adults will enjoy. And remember:

“When trouble strikes, head to the library. You will either be able to solve the problem, or simply have something to read as the world crashes down around you.”

-Lemony Snicket


Bald Eagles in Elgin County

They’re back. I can tell by the line of cars parked along the busy country road. If there are several vehicles parked, but spaced out along the road, there may be one or two big, long cameras pointing out a car window. If there is a cluster of cars parked together, the inhabitants of those cars have emerged and can be seen congregated, and chatting, with their heads turned to the north and their faces angled upwards. Chances are that there is a beautiful bald eagle in the forest, sitting in a massive nest near the tree top. The nest is a bit obscured by all the branches, and one needs to focus to see that distinctive, white head.  If the roadsters are lucky, they will clearly see the other eagle perched on a favoured branch, at the very outside edge of the forest –  a site chosen no doubt to give it clear view of the gawkers at the roadside.  This is the third year that they are have used that nest, a nest that must have been so carefully and skilfully constructed.  The first year, as I was driving to work, I was so surprised to catch sight of such a huge clump of sticks at the top of the forest. Could it really weigh 2000 lbs? How strong can those supporting tree limbs at the tree top be? Imagine sitting up there – the view, the gentle swaying, the frog chorus at night, and being so much closer to the stars.

There are a few sightings of bald eagle nests throughout Elgin County. This site is on Ron McNeil Line, just west of Wellington Road, in the forest on the north side, not far from my home. Soon, the leaves will be unfurled, the view of the nest will be obscured, and the line of cars will disappear. I will still be looking to sky everyday though as I drive by the forest, always hoping to catch a glimpse of a magnificent bird, gliding ever so gracefully into the forest.

Book Suggestions:

Birds of Elgin County by Naturalists of Elgin County

Birds of Elgin County

Birds of Canada ed. David M. Bird

Birds of Canada



Knitting always makes me think of my Nana. She tried many times to teach me knitting but I could never master it. For his Feb 19 - Anne 2sixth birthday, my oldest son received an activity book which included instructions to knit a teddy bear. He asked me to show him how to knit! Me? Teach someone how to knit? By this time, Nana had been gone for many years, so I couldn’t turn to her and ask for help. Luckily, the book had clear photos and simple instructions, I figured it out. The simple instructions for children were just what I needed, I was even able to master the elusive skill of casting off. After I completed the five pieces required to build his bear(he decided early on he didn’t need to learn to knit after all), I put them all together for a pleasant little creature. It turned out so well,  I ended up making many of them to share with our family and friends. My Nana would be proud.

My youngest son discovered Harry Potter this autumn and I decided to make him a scarf with the Gryffindor colours. I found a project online, but it required a trip out to buy the round knitting needles it called for. I had never knit in the round before, so this didn’t seem odd to me until I started knitting. Knitting in the round proved to be awkward and difficult. This is supposed to be a scarf? A long, straight scarf? Why is it looking more like an infinity scarf? Why is there a twist in my knitting? Is this twist supposed to be there? Turns out, it is not supposed to be there! All advice I was given said tear it out, start over. So, I pulled my progress off the needles. Since I was finding it so difficult to work on the round needles, I switched the pattern over to a set of long straight needles, and progress is much faster on this familiar territory.  With my love of knitting sparked again, I intend to learn more about it. The St. Thomas Public Library is the best place for me to go, with a massive selection of books on knitting.

In the knitting section, I found many, many books. I looked through a few which I found to be more complicated than I am ready for. I found one that described with pictures and simple steps that were familiar to me. The title is Knitting for Dummies! Some pages I found helpful are: page 43 where I found a list of abbreviations and short hand; page 63 which describes thumb (or e-loop) cast on; pages 64-67 which teach a basic knit, also called a garter stitch; pages 67-68 where I learned that purling is also a garter stitch; page 73 which shows the basic way of casting off; and pages 61 and 69 which talk about left handed knitting. The other two books I found helpful were actually in the Children’s section of the library. Kids Can Do It Knitting includes instructions for such things as: adding a fringe; making pom-poms;  tassles; a cozy blanket; a rolled brim hat; and a patterned headband. The second children’s book is called Kids Can Do It Fix It. This book includes a section on pages 16-17 for learning how to fix some common knitting mistakes.


Reader to Reader: Share Your Recipe Suggestions

Do you love to cook or bake? Do you read cookbooks? Share recipes?

Take part in our new Reader to Reader initiative featuring COOKBOOKS and share your love of cooking and baking!

Here’s how it works. During the month of November, check out the cookbook display on the main floor near the Public Services Librarian’s office. Each book has a pocket in the front with recipe recommendation cards. Some have been filled out. Others are blank and just waiting for comments from readers. And anytime, you can choose a book from our extensive cookbook collection and make your own recommendation by requesting a recipe card from staff at the circulation desk.

Tell others about a recipe you’ve tried. Was it perfect just the way it was? Was it a dud? Did you make changes? How would you rate the recipe, from 1 (yuck) to 5 (delicious)?

Recipe R2R Comment Card

Some recommendations are already in!!

One reader says the recipe for Cinnamon Buns from Easy Bread Machine Recipes is “Delicious! Worth the time involved!” Recipe rating: 4

For a family celebration, a reader made the recipe for Butternut Squash Lasagna from Giada’s Family Dinners, and “everyone loved it — even more than the regular meat lasagna!” Recipe rating: 5

The recipe for Risotto with Mushrooms and Vin Santo from Molto Italiano is “Absolutely delicious.” The reader also offers tips on some ingredients. Recipe rating: 5

After trying the recipe for Meatloaf from Ricardo Slow Cooker Favourites, one reader has decided not to make this recipe again, because the sauce was very sweet. But all is not lost! The reader also says “I am converted. From now on I will cook meatloaf in the slow cooker!” Recipe rating: 3

Perfect for the fall season, the recipe for Squash and Apple Soup from Leslie Beck’s Healthy Kitchenwas quick and easy to make and tastes great. Substituting pears for the apples also makes a tasty soup.” Recipe rating: 5

Our new Reader to Reader Cookbook initiative is a great way toRecipe R2R Poster

  • discover some new cookbooks and recipes
  • share some of your favourite recipes in a fun, informal way
  • help others steer clear of cooking disasters!
  • benefit from using an already-tested recipe
  • try some new flavours, foods and techniques

Even better, the recipe cards will stay in the books, so by participating, you will be making an on-going contribution, helping to make our cookbook collection an even more valuable resource.

Check out a cookbook today and then tell us and other STPL customers about a recipe you tried.

Ready, set, cook … share!

Featuring Fabulous February Finds

The Adult Department on the main level of St. Thoma Public Library now has THREE book displays: one in the fiction area, one in the Marketplace near the DVDs, and one in the non-fiction section. It keeps our staff (and our customers) busy, busy, busy! What’s featured this February? Nothing but fabulosity!

The MarketplaceBlind Date with a Book Display 2015

They’re back! Blind Date with a Book is in full swing and ready for you to pick our your fate-crossed-read. These books have been selected by library staff to represent the good, the bad, and the unusual. It might be the most amazing thing you’ve read, or it might be a bit of a dud. Ah, the beauty of a blind date with a book – you might read something that you wouldn’t have considered even picking up and fall absolutely in love with it, or you might think “What the heck am I reading?” The point is, you won’t know what book you get until you “Check it out,” and the mystery is half the fun. We just hope you can get past the cheesy book pick-up lines… (They’re books. Cut them some slack. They do the best they can, even with pick-up lines like “You’re good for my circulation.”) Date not working for you? No worries! You can simply return your date and they’ll never call you leaving awkward voicemail or creep you on Facebook.

Adult Fiction

Read it and weep DisplayRead it and Weep Display SignNot everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day in February, and we support those folks! We’re doing something 100% opposite to the lovey-dovey chick-lit that usually appears in February. We have a new library display: Read It and Weep. This display is full of books that will move you to tears, be they happy, heartfelt, indignant, righteous, or horrified tears, we suggest you have a box of tissues with you. Don’t get us wrong – they’re not meant to be depressing. Some of the best books we’ve ever read have moved us to tears! And besides, sometimes you can use a good cry. Books like these open your eyes to certain issues and make empathic readers out of all of us. Give this display a good look. There are some GOOD ones here for sure!

Adult Non-fiction

When it comes to displaying non-fiction books, it can get a little tricky. They can ofteHave you Red this book yet 2015 displayn be too specific and we sometimes run out of books to display! Never good. So we’re relying on an old faithful – displays by colour. This month, we’re going with Have You RED This Book Yet? All of the books on this non-fiction display have nothing really in common, except the colour of the cover. There are books from nearly EVERY subject on this display; You’ll never know what treasure you’ll find on there. It’s interesting to see what kind of themes appear when we just select books based on the colour of their cover. Let us know if you can sense a pattern. (It isn’t intentional, but the book publishing folks would probably tell you it is!)

Are Mystery Books Still a Mystery to You?

IWhodunnitsf you’ve never really delved into the world of the Mystery genre, you don’t know what you’re missing! Indeed, it can be a very frightening place. Where do you start? There are so many series, authors, sub-genres… How do you pick a good one?

Good news! Our “Whodunnit” evening mystery book club is the perfect place to start! This group meets every second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Carnegie Room, lower level. This lively group come out to socialize and/or to expand their reading interests. The mystery books chosen are often from well-known authors, classics, from series; books that will help give you a good foundation of the mystery genre so you can explore the mystery section with confidence. The Whodunnit Book Club meetings often discuss a variety of mystery authors, series, characters, and books, rather than just sticking to one particular type of mystery genre or author. Variety is the spice of life and a good mystery!

The next meeting takes place on Tuesday, February 10 @ 7 PM. We will be discussing “The Winter Queen” by Boris Akunin. Extra copies of this book are available on the Holds/Book Club shelf on the main level of the library, near the Circulation Desk. There is no registration required; just drop-in. Everyone is welcome!

Have questions or need more information? Contact Susan by email at or by phone at (519) 631-6050 ext. 8013.