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:
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!
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.
Not 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!
When it comes to displaying non-fiction books, it can get a little tricky. They can often 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!)
- Looking for a good book?
- Do you enjoy Science Fiction, but don’t know what to read next?
- Do you like Alexander McCall Smith’s books, and want to find similar reads by different authors?
- Do you want to learn more about a certain series?
If so, then NoveList Plus is just what you need!
St. Thomas Public Library has a subscription to the online database NoveList Plus – an amazing reader’s advisory database where you can learn about titles, series, authors, and genres, find read-alikes, book reviews and recommendations, discover Award-winners and book lists, check out discussion guides, and much, much more!
You can search among hundreds of thousands of popular fiction and readable nonfiction titles – NoveList has a staff of book experts, including over 25 librarians, who write all the recommendations! You know that you can trust a review from NoveList, and since it’s so easy to use, you’ll be finding new favorite books in no time at all!
The main page is easy to navigate. There is a simple search box on the top, where you can do a search by Keyword, Title, Author, Series, or Narrator.
Along the left-hand side, there are categories you can browse in, including: Audiobooks, Best of 2013, Canadian Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mysteries, Romance, etc. Once you select a category, you can explore some of the titles and authors.
As an example, I clicked the category “Mystery” and selected “Cozy Crime”.
Here we see a short description of what a “Cozy Mystery” is, as well as some books from that genre. One feature that could be helpful is that you can see the “popularity” of each book.
To continue our example, I’ve selected the book “As the Pig Turns”. On this page, you get all kinds of information about the book, including: when it was published, if it’s in a series, a brief description, the pace, the genre, the tone, the writing style, as well as both NoveList reviews and Goodreads reviews. On top of all that, on the right-hand side of the page, we see recommended read- alikes.
Now I want to learn more about the author, M.C. Beaton. So I will click on her name (it is hyperlinked).
We now see a page with all kinds of information about the author, the different books and series she has written, her writing style, etc. A really handy tool appears on the right-hand side of the page: a list of author read-alikes.
As you can see, this is a very powerful database with tons of information! So the next time you have a reader’s advisory question, the first place to start your search should be NoveList Plus!
Give it a try, and let us know how you like it!
Did you know the library lends Kobos? It’s a great way to take a whole bunch of books home with you in one package! We’ve just added two more Kobos to our collection: Best of 2014 and Book Club Picks! Also available are Kobos loaded with General Fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Romance and Science Fiction. Read this for a list of books on each Kobo and our lending guidelines. Check one out today!
Book Lists for our new Kobos
Best of 2014:
The Good Luck of Right Now- Matthew Quick
The Museum of Extraordinary Things- Alice Hoffman
A Burnable Book- Bruce Holsinger
Archetype- MD Waters
The Bear- Claire Cameron
The Deepest Secret- Carla Buckley
Wake- Anna Hope
Trapped Under the Sea- Neil Swidey
The Troop- Nick Cutter
Thirty Girls- Susan Minot
I Forgot to Remember- Su Meck
While Beauty Slept- Elizabeth Blackwell
Doing Harm- Kelly Parsons
The Race Underground- Doug Most
What Should We Be Worried About- John Brockman
The Invention of Wings- Sue Monk Kidd
Raw- Belle Aurora
Still Life With Bread Crumbs- Anna Quindlen
I Shall Be Near To You- Erin Lindsay McCabe
The Kept- James Scott
Careless People- Sarah Churchwell (check)
The Vanishing- Wendy Webb
A Star For Mrs. Blake- April Smith
My Age of Anxiety- Scott Stossel
The Headmaster’s Wife- Thomas Christopher Green
Book Club Picks
The Fall of Giants- Ken Follet
The Day the Falls Stood Still- Cathy Marie Buchanan
Elegy For April- Benjamin Black
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks- Rebbecca Skloot
The Fault in Our Stars- John Green
Wild: From Lost To Found- Cheryl Strayed
Defending Jacob- William Landay
Loving Frank- Nancy Horan
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand- Helen Simonson
Let the Great World Spin- Colum McCann
A Visit From the Good Squad- Jennifer Egan
A Reliable Wife- Robert Goolrick
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children- Ranson Riggs
The Husband’s Secret- Liane Moriarty
Life After Life- Kate Atkinson
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle- Devid Wroblewski
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry- Rachel Joyce
Same Kind of Different As Me- Ron Hall
Cutting for Stone- Abraham Verghese
The Dinner- Herman Koch
The Age of Miracles- Karen Thompson Walker
Wonder- R J Palacio
The Devil in the White City- Erik Larson
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore- Robin Sloane
Graphic novels have, in the past, been regarded as just for children or only about superheroes. In reality their audience is as broad as can be imagined and their content as complex and emotive as any book or film in our library’s collection. In the past decades graphic novels have achieved mainstream success and acclaim for their intricate storylines and compelling, often beautiful, artwork. Below are a few titles worth reading, but the best use of your time would be to come and explore the section yourself and discover a novel or series which captivates you!
Some suggestions from our collection:
Y: The Last Man by Bryan K. Vaughan – This series imagines a world where a plague has destroyed every male human and animal save one man and his capuchin monkey. It follows Yorick and Ampersand’s travels and trials as they struggle to find their place in a world where some support them in their quest to save the human race and others wish to exterminate man once and for all. Illustrated by Canadian Pia Guerra, Y: The Last Man is an excellent and enjoyable series.
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman – Many will be familiar with the protagonist Rick Grimes and his fellow survivors from the popular TV series. Enthusiasts of the show should take the opportunity to delve further into the world of ‘walkers’ and ‘biters’. The graphic novel is illustrated in black and white and provides a story of survival in a place where the most dangerous encounters are not with zombies but with other humans.
Essex County by Jeff Lemire – Award winning cartoonist Jeff Lemire explores his hometown of Essex in this hauntingly beautiful story. In addition to remarkably drawn and inked images, this meditation on family, friends, loss and redemption is one to which many can relate. This genre is perfect for people not interested in science fiction or fantasy, but just looking for a touching book to read.
Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo – This manga is set in Neo-Tokyo in a dystopian future following a nuclear explosion which had destroyed the earlier version of the city and precipitated World War III. The artwork in this series is highly regarded and set a new standard for the manga which would follow it. The storyline is action packed and exciting while also exploring broader themes of social isolation, corruption and power.
Ode to Kirihito by Osamu Tezuka – This manga is new to our collection! It follows Dr. Kirihito Osani as he combats a disease which first deforms, then eventually kills, those who contract it. His efforts leave him infected with the disease and cause him embark on travels around the world. Ode to Kirihito a story which is both gripping and emotionally touching.
Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar – This graphic novel is new to our collection! Superman: Red Son is a reimagining of the classic story where, instead of landing in Kansas, Superman’s rocket ship touches down on a Ukranian collective farm at the height of the Cold War. Instead of being the quintessential American hero, Superman protects and promotes the USSR and socialism. This story provides an interesting twist to a familiar tale.
Right now the St. Thomas Public Library is featuring fiction and non-fiction books about animals. Whether fact or fiction, these books reflect our special relationships with our four-legged friends and lead us to think about what they add to our lives.
Thinking about animals brought to mind a question that I was asked years ago in a job interview at the start of my working career. The question was “If you could be any kind of animal, what would you be and why?” Thoughts of rabbits and deer came to mind but fortunately my cerebral cortex recognized this was one of those trick questions meant to calculate personality. After a brief hesitation, I replied “I would be a fox because they are sly, intelligent, and beautiful.”
Now decades later, I find myself pondering the question “What kind of animal have I become and why?” I am neither a deer nor a rabbit nor a fox. I believe that I have evolved into a Border collie. The reasons for this belief is because I work hard to keep those around me safe. I try to keep friends, family, and co-workers out of harm’s way. I try to move them in the right direction. When I bark and nip at their heels it is for their own good. I am loyal, tenacious, prone to hyper-activity, reliable, and often scratch behind my ears when thinking. I take my jobs and adult responsibilities seriously. I do what I can to prevent bad things from happening. I am the protector and the guardian of my various flocks.
Although I would still like to be a fox, I feel that my Border collie traits are valuable. You may find it interesting to ask yourself the animal questions of what would you be and what are you. The analysis may be surprising and enlightening.
P.S. Come into to the library and discover our “Creature Feature” display. Oh by the way, I got the job. Perhaps there is a bit of fox there.
We’re in the midst of Feedom to Read Week! This week is about celebrating our right to intellectual freedom. As a Canadian citizen, you have the right to read what you like. You shouldn’t have to worry about banned, censored, controversial, or out-of-the-ordinary books. To celebrate our freedom to read, we have displayed books that have been challenged by institutions in the past. Someone didn’t want to allow access to these books, so we encourage you to give them a try! We’re displaying both Adult titles and Children’s and Teens’ titles. Check one out today and exercise your right to read whatever you like!