Library Moments: July 2014 Online Book Club

the shipping newsSherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: Hello, I’m Sherrill Sherwood from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.

For the month of July we are celebrating Canada with our Online Book Club choices. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny, Hominids by Robert J. Sawyer, Death Benefits by Sarah N. Harvey and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx were all chosen for their Canadian setting. While reading can take us to places we’ve never been, it can also give us a glimpse of familiar territory through new eyes.

Bessie Sullivan, Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about one of the titles we read.

how the light gets inBessie Sullivan, County Librarian: How the Light Gets In by Quebec writer Louise Penny is her ninth mystery to feature Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Christmas is approaching, and in Québec it’s a time of dazzling snowfalls, bright lights, and gatherings with friends in front of blazing hearths. But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Most of his best agents have left the Homicide Department, his old friend and lieutenant Jean-Guy Beauvoir hasn’t spoken to him in months, and hostile forces are lining up against him. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Mystified by Myrna’s reluctance to reveal her friend’s name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world. Louise Penny is always highly regarded and if you like cozy mysteries you will love all the stories that take place in Three Pines.

hominidsErin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: I read Hominids, the first book in the Neanderthal Parallax series by Canadian sci-fi author Robert J. Sawyer. The Neaderthal Parallax opens in the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory in Sudbury, Ontario where – impossibly – a mysterious figure has appeared in the sphere of heavy water at the centre of the observatory. Even more impossibly, he’s the member of a species that went extinct 30,000 years ago – he’s a Neanderthal. In the world of Hominids, a portal has opened between our Earth and a parallel Earth where Neanderthals became the dominant species and an advanced civilization. Ponter Boddit, a Neanderthal quantum physicist accidently opens the portal during a quantum computing experiment gone wrong. On many levels Hominids is very engaging, from the setting, to the ideas of how an advanced Neanderthal society still relying on hunting and gathering would work, to Ponter’s experiences in the strange world – our world – that he’s trapped in. The writing can be very choppy in places, and some of the characterizations are flat, but the novel is worth reading for the description of the world where Ponter comes from. This is the first part of a three part series, I’ve already started the second book, Humans, and Hybrids is the third. All are available at HCPL.

death benefitsSherrill: In Death Benefits by Sarah N. Harvey, Royce is having a bad year. Not only has his mother dragged him across the country in order to be close to her elderly father Arthur but he’s also recovering from mono. When he convinces his mother to let him finish the school year by correspondence, he’s left feeling isolated and lonely, and spends his time watching TV and plotting ways to get back to his friends in Nova Scotia. Before his plans can be implemented, his grandfather has a small stroke. Suddenly Arthur needs more care than Royce’s mother can provide and, after a couple of hired care aides quit, Royce is pressed into service. Looking after a ninety-five-year-old, especially one as cantankerous, crafty and stubborn as Arthur,is a challenge. However, as Royce gets to know the eccentric old man he gradually comes to appreciate that his grandfather’s life still has meaning. Even if Arthur himself seems to want it to end.

Anyone can participate in Haliburton County Public Library’s Online Book Club, by choosing to read one or more of four books selected each month. After close to two years in existence, the club now boasts 76 members. To join, look for the Social Media links on our homepage at www.haliburtonlibrary.ca. Click on the “g” for Goodreads and it’ll take you right to the Online Book Club page. That’s it for this week’s Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.

*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM July 27th – August 2nd, 2014.

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