Bessie Sullivan: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan 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.
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. You don’t even have to read from a particular month’s selection you can simply go online and make comments about books and reading in general.
July’s online book club theme is the titles that are being featured on Haliburton County Reads: The summer sessions. Haliburton County Reads: The summer session is a show that is modelled after Canada Reads here on CanoeFM. It features five works by Canadians that are championed by local readers. The title that is left at the end of the five weeks is the book everyone in Haliburton County should read and will be the title we use for our One Book One Community campaign that will take place starting in September. The titles are: All my Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews defended by Anne-Marie Borthwick, Fifth Business by Robertson Davies and defended by Greg Roe, Punishment by Linden MacIntyre defended by Jenn Watt, The Masked Rider by Neil Peart defended by Sean Pennylegion and finally Up and Down by Terry Fallis and defended by Angus Sullivan.
This week on Library Moments, Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning, and I will each tell you about a title we enjoyed from this month’s selections.
Sherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: The Masked Rider, Neil Peart’s travel memoir of thoughts, observations, and experiences as he cycles through West Africa, reveals the subtle, yet powerful writing style that has made him one of rock’s greatest lyricists. As he describes his extraordinary journey and his experiences — from the pains of dysentery, to a confrontation with an armed soldier, to navigating dirt roads off the beaten path — he reveals his own emotional landscape, and along the way, the different “masks” that he discovers he wears. “Cycling is a good way to travel anywhere, but especially in Africa. You are independent and mobile, and yet travel at people speed — fast enough to travel on to another town in the cooler morning hours, but slow enough to meet people: the old farmer at the roadside who raises his hand and says, ‘You are welcome,’ the tireless women who offer a smile to a passing cyclist, the children whose laughter transcends the humblest home.” Neil Peart is the drummer for the rock band Rush.
Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Robertson Davies’ classic Fifth Business takes us through the life of Dunstan Ramsey, a retired schoolmaster revisiting his life after being cast aside in the school newsletter as being nothing more than a doddering old man. Far from it, Dunstan recounts his life starting with a winter evening and a fateful snowball and continues with a cascade of events including his rebirth after being injured during the battle of Passchendaele, his quest to canonize a saintly woman, a mysterious magician and his entourage, and butting heads with his best friend and enemy Boy Staunton for whom ambition trumps all. As Dunstan reflects on his life he discovers that he is the thread that ties their fates together, though what fate awaits them proves to be a surprise.
Robertson Davies is a Canadian Literary heavyweight, and the Deptford Trilogy – of which Fifth Business is the first installment – is often listed as Canadian Literary canon. Published in 1970 the novel is still popular and was number 40 on the American Modern Library’s 100 best novels of the 20th century. But does this 20th century novel really hold up to 21st century reading? You’ll have to tune in to find out!
Bessie: Up and Down by Terry Fallis features David Stewart who on his first day at Turner King realizes that the world of international PR is a far cry from his previous job on Parliament Hill. For one, he missed the office memo on the all-black dress code; for another, there are enough acronyms and jargon to make his head spin. Before he even has time to find the washroom, David is assigned a major project: devise a campaign to revitalize North America’s interest in the space program. The pressure is on, and before long, David finds himself suggesting the most out-of-this-world idea imaginable: a Citizen Astronaut lottery that would send one Canadian and one American to the International Space Station. Suddenly, David’s vaulted into an odyssey of his own, navigating the corporate politics of a big PR agency; wading through the murky but always hilarious waters of Canada-U.S. relations; and trying to hold on to his new job while still doing the right thing. This is a very funny book that at the same time takes on some big topics, like, agism, homophobia and terminal illness. The reason David has changed jobs and moved to Toronto in the first place is to help his sister support their dying mother.
To join the online book club, 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. Haliburton County Reads: The Summer Session airs every Wednesday at 6pm and every Friday at 11am until August 7th. 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 26 – August 1, 2015.