Book Talks: The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

The suspenseful, provocative novel The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman is set in 1950s Quebec. While the French and English tolerate each other with precarious courtesy, Maggie Hughes’ English-speaking father has ambitions for his daughter that don’t include marriage to the poor French boy who has captured Maggie’s heart. Pregnant at fifteen, Maggie’s parents force her to give the baby up for adoption and get her life ‘back on track’. The baby, a girl, is raised in Quebec’s underprivileged orphanage system. The insecure existence at the orphanage takes a tragic turn when, along with thousands of other orphans in Quebec, she is declared mentally ill as the result of a new law that provides more funding to psychiatric hospitals than to orphanages. Withstanding terrible treatment at the nuns’ hands, she finally earns her freedom at seventeen. Maggie, now married to a businessman eager to start a family, cannot forget the daughter she was forced to abandon and goes in search of her long-lost daughter. A heart-wrenching story inspired by true events, The Home For Unwanted Girls can be requested through the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally aired in July 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM

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Book Talks: The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

28256439Are trees social beings? In his international bestseller, The Hidden Life of Trees, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. The author also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland. You can request The Hidden Life of Trees: what they feel, how they communicate: discoveries from a secret world through any branch of the Haliburton County Public Library. After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

*Originally aired in July 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.

Book Talks: 300 Reasons to Love Havana by Heidi Hollinger

34466935Discover the colourful soul of Havana with internationally renowned photographer Heidi Hollinger in the book 300 Reasons to Love Havana.

Heidi Hollinger first travelled to Havana in 1988 and has been returning often for almost 30 years. On every trip to Cuba’s capital, she visits Selene, her adoptive grandmother. She truly knows the city intimately.

Like Heidi, you’ll be dazzled by Havana—the city’s endless visual feast will blow you away. She’ll introduce you to Cuban women draped in colours and standing in doorways; to barefoot children playing soccer in public squares; and to the peanut vendor who calls out “Mani” (peanuts in Spanish) and offers his wares in a white paper cone. Heidi’s expert eye captures the extraordinary beauty of the Baroque and Spanish Colonial architecture, which bears witness to 400 years of history, the vibrancy of Cuba’s music, the country’s new cuisine, the rooftop terraces, the thrill of getting around in vintage cars, the top shops and restaurants, and the loveliest areas to visit. The stunning photos in 300 Reason to Love Havana will have you walking and dancing in the streets of Havana, Cuba before you’ve even booked a ticket.  

300 Reasons to Love Havana by Heidi Hollinger is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally aired in June 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.

Book Talk: Trans like me: conversations for all of us by CN Lester

What does it mean to be transgender? In Trans like me: conversations for all of us, author CN Lester takes readers on a measured, thoughtful, intelligent, and approachable tour through the most important stories around the trans community. Lester examines the impact of media portrayals of trans people and issues – from Caitlyn Jenner to parenting – including the way language impacts our understanding of those stories, where society is in terms of progress, and lays out the work that still needs to be done to fully affirm gender-diverse voices. Lester provides a cultural survey, urging readers to go beyond gender binaries. Trans like me explores the ways that we are all defined by gender ideas whether we live as he, she or they, and how we can strive for personal authenticity in a world that tries to force us into limiting categories they may just not fit.

Trans like me: conversations for all of us by CN Lester is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library, and is part of the Rainbow Collection.

*Originally aired in August 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.

Book Talk: Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang

36500380In Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang, Jim the chimpanzee is grumpy for no good reason. It’s a beautiful day, all his friends are having fun, and as each asks Jim why he is so grumpy, he gets more and more… well… grumpy!

Finally, when Jim has had enough, he shouts at his friends, and then feels really bad about his behaviour and himself. But when he runs into Norman, who clearly has reasons to feel out of sorts himself, Jim realizes that maybe he just needs to take a day to be grumpy. And that’s okay.

Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang, is an adorable picture book that tells us it’s okay to feel our feelings. Grumpy Monkey is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally aired in June 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.

Book Talk: The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

The White House is the home of the President of the United States, the most guarded, monitored, closely watched person in the world. So how could a U.S. President vanish without a trace? And why would he choose to do so? Hailed as “the publishing event of 2018”, an unprecedented collaboration between President Bill Clinton and the world’s bestselling novelist, James Patterson, The President Is Missing: a novel is a breathtaking story from the pinnacle of power. Full of what it truly feels like to be the person in the Oval Office — the mind-boggling pressure, the heartbreaking decisions, the exhilarating opportunities, the soul-wrenching power — this is the thriller of the decade, confronting the darkest threats that face the world today, with the highest stakes conceivable. The President is Missing can be requested in regular print, large print and as a book on CD through the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally aired in June 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.

Book Talk: Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez

Scarborough is a low-income, culturally diverse neighbourhood east of Toronto, the fourth largest city in North America. Like many inner-city communities, it suffers under the weight of poverty, drugs, crime, and urban blight. Scarborough the novel employs a multitude of voices to tell the story of a tight-knit neighbourhood under fire, among them a black artist harassed by the police, a West Indian restaurant owner struggling to keep it together and a Muslim school worker who witnesses first-hand the impact of poverty on education. Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez offers a raw yet compassionate glimpse into a troubled community that locates its dignity in unexpected places: a neighbourhood that refuses to be undone. This novel is one of ten titles nominated for 2018’s Evergreen Award. Read one or all ten titles and cast your vote in September at your branch of the Haliburton County Public Library.

*Originally aired in May 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.