Library Moments: Bestseller Lists

Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator:  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.

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Bestseller lists are an easy way to look for the next great book to read. I like to look at Amazon Best Sellers, not only for ideas for myself but to see if there are any titles that we should put in the library collection. There are many other bestseller lists of course; the Toronto Star, the New York Times, and the Globe & Mail, to name just a few.

Today on Library Moments, Nancy Therrien and I will each talk about a book that jumps out at us from all of these lists.

34912895Nancy Therrien, Programming and Community Outreach Coordinator:  The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah has been near the top of the New York Times bestseller list ever since it came on the market in February 2018. The novel tells the story of Ernt, a Vietnam Vet with PTSD and a wicked temper, his beautiful hippie wife Cora, and his 13-year-old daughter Leni, who is just trying to keep the peace in their household and fit in with a new crowd every time they move.


When the family is willed a plot of land in Alaska, they pick up and move again, hoping this will be their salvation. Despite the remote area, there is a tight-knit community spirit and the neighbours are helpful and welcoming. Leni even meets a boy her age and they develop a strong friendship. Unfortunately, the unforgiving harshness of the Alaskan wilderness and the profound isolation during the long winter nights cause Ernt to become unhinged and highly volatile, endangering the entire family.


The Great Alone is a story of wilderness survival and resilience, the insidiousness of emotional and physical abuse, and about finding love amidst it all. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

30257963Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: Canadian author Jordan B. Peterson’s new title 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos is #1 in Amazon Bestsellers Rank as of this writing. The celebrated psychologist’s answer to “what does everyone in the modern world need to know?” uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street. He answers why the ancient Egyptians worshiped the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods and what dreadful paths people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful. Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world’s wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules For Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers.

While the fact that a book is on a bestseller list doesn’t guarantee that you will like it, it is a good readers’ advisory tool and worth the look. If the library doesn’t have a bestseller title that you would like to read, please request it for our consideration to purchase. That’s it for this week’s Library Moments, thanks for listening  here on 100.9 Canoe FM.

*Originally aired in March 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM

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Library Moments: High Holds March 2018

Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: 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.

All of us at the library aim to put books in the hands of our patrons in a timely fashion. Sometimes there are waiting lists for popular items. When there are over four people at a time waiting for an item, we see this through a report that we run called the High Holds list. From that report we determine if more copies of those items need to be purchased.  Today Nancy Therrien and I will each talk about a book from March’s high holds list that is of interest to us, as well as to Haliburton library patrons.

34128675Nancy Therrien, Programming and Community Outreach Coordinator:  The Boat People by Sharon Bala is on the high holds list and has been the most frequently borrowed CBC Canada Reads contender at the Haliburton County Public Library during the past two months.

The Boat People is a novel about the arrival of a ship-load of Sri Lankan refugees in Canada, their treatment upon landing, and the circumstances that caused them to leave their homeland. It is told in the alternating perspectives of Mahindan, who is a refugee with a young son, Priya, his inexperienced lawyer, and Grace, a refugee board adjudicator of Japanese-Canadian descent.

Here’s the publisher’s description:
When the rusty cargo ship carrying Mahindan and five hundred fellow refugees reaches the shores of British Columbia, the young father is overcome with relief: he and his six-year-old son can finally put Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war behind them and begin new lives. Instead, the group is thrown into prison, with government officials and news headlines speculating that hidden among the “boat people” are members of a terrorist militia. As suspicion swirls and interrogation mounts, Mahindan fears the desperate actions he took to survive and escape Sri Lanka now jeopardize his and his son’s chances for asylum.

The Boat People is a powerful story that was inspired by the arrivals of two ships on the coast of BC, the Ocean Lady in October 2009 and the MV Sun Sea in August 2010, carrying over 550 Sri Lankan refugees. It discusses the human side of the Sri Lankan civil war and raises serious questions about how welcoming Canadians truly are to immigrant and refugee newcomers.

The Boat People by Sharon Bala is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: Longtime readers of the Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton don’t keep coming back for the fresh plotting. The outline is nearly always the same: a stranger comes to a tiny fictional village in the Scottish Highlands, speedily becomes wildly unpopular, and is murdered. The fun lies in the way Beaton depicts the different annoying, conniving, villainous victims. There is also the Highlands scenery to enjoy, along with a great deal of humor and the engaging series star, Sergeant Macbeth, who is unwillingly thrown into the murder investigations when he’d much rather be fishing or hiking. In Death of an Honest Man, the latest installment in the series, the stranger is a retired London banker who insults everyone he meets. He is found in a peat bog, stabbed to death. Macbeth has a whole village of suspects on his hands but this time the mystery deepens when Macbeth’s detested superior, Detective Chief Inspector Blair, turns up as one of the possible killers. A Booklist review declares Death of an Honest Man satisfying for both established and new Macbeth fans.

Other recent items from the high holds list include; The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson; The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks; The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn and Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson.That’s it for this week’s Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.

*Originally aired in March 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM

Library Moments: Fiction About Real People or Events

Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: 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.  

Although it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between fiction and nonfiction, especially in the hands of a skilled author, just remember this – if it reports the truth, it’s nonfiction and if it stretches the truth, it’s fiction. Today Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each describe a title that, while fiction, is based on a real person or event.

35876524Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: When you read the blurb on the book jacket for White Houses by Amy Bloom, you would be forgiven if you thought that it was a nonfiction memoir or biography. White Houses is a fictionalization of the real life relationship between Lorena Hickok and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Hickok – affectionately nicknamed “Hick” was a reporter who covered FDR’s presidential run, but resigned from her post at the Associated Press when her friendship with a Eleanor began to affect her impartiality. She moved into the White House and worked in the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, and became an integral part of the Roosevelts lives. Much of what we know about Hickok and Roosevelt comes from correspondence between the women archived at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. The letters between the two reveal what was surely a close and intimate friendship, one that many scholars believe was also romantic. It is also thought that many of the letters exchanged between the two were destroyed. We can’t say in absolute certainty what the exact nature of the relationship between Eleanor and Hick was. We weren’t there in their private moments, and weren’t inside their hearts and minds. Amy Bloom takes the deep affection found in the language of their correspondence and imagines the relationship from Hick’s perspective, creating a fictional account including what those tender moments may have been like between them.  I think the most compelling thing about White Houses is what some of the poorer reviews fault it for – Amy Bloom has taken something that many have reported on as salacious and using empathy and imagination has probably brought it closer to the truth – a deep love between two powerful women in a time and circumstance that would challenge anyone’s relationship. Whatever their private moments entailed, Eleanor and Hick were two formidable women with a keen interest in social justice and integral involvement in FDR’s New Deal, and both ahead of their time accomplished great things. I like to read these kinds of fictional books alongside their nonfiction source material. White Houses would be great paired with the digitized collections found online at the FDR library, or with Empty Without You, Roger Streitmatter’s annotated compilation of 300 of Eleanor and Hick’s most intimate letters. Fictionalizations of history, while they still need to be treated as fiction, can humanize historical figures and allow us to empathize with them across time.
15818107Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: The Orphan Train Movement was a supervised welfare program that transported orphaned and homeless children from crowded Eastern cities of the United States to foster homes located largely in the countryside of the Midwest. The orphan trains operated between 1854 and 1929, relocating about 200,000 orphaned, abandoned, or homeless children. This relocation of children ended in the 1920s with the beginning of organized foster care in America. Christina Baker Kline’s novel Orphan Train is an unforgettable story of friendship and second chances that highlights this little-known but historically significant movement in America’s past. Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both. Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.
Reading fiction books or watching movies based on real people or events can bring a level of understanding to a topic that may not be reached in any other way. Many movies these days are marketed with the phrases “based on a true story” or “inspired by real events” – this catches people’s attention. That’s it for this week’s Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.

*Originally aired March 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.

Library Moments: March Online Book Club

Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Hello, I’m Erin Kernohan-Berning 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.

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The theme for March’s Online Book Club is experimental fiction. Experimental fiction goes outside the bounds of traditional literary fiction, might cross genres, and may incorporate non-prose elements for dramatic effect. Selections for March’s online book club include a book that incorporates eerie pictures, another that bends space and time, a book that prompts the user to visit online content, and a book that is a book about a book about a film about a house that is a labyrinth.

On this episode of Library Moments, Sherrill Sherwood and I will each talk about one of this month’s online book club selections.

Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: The summary of Night Film from author Marissa Pessl’s webpage reads: On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years. For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family seems more than just a coincidence. What makes this novel unusual is that there are screen shots of hidden websites, there are blog postings and anonymous user comments, and sprinkled throughout these illustrations there is a secret, very discreet bird symbol. If you download the Night Film Decoder app and scan the illustration that has this bird symbol, you will get extra content on your tablet or phone. The author explains that ideally you will read the book, and if you want to continue the experience, that’s when you find out about the app, and you can get additional content in that way. But it is not something that you need to do while you’re reading the book so you can still get that immersive reading experience, without interrupting it with technology, unless you want to.

9460487Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian:  In Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, a box of strange old photographs and a family tragedy lead sixteen year old Jacob to a mysterious orphanage where he discovers his grandfather’s tall tales weren’t so outlandish after all. Well, they were outlandish, but also true. He finds an invisible boy, floating girl, and a headmistress that turns into a bird at Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Ransom Riggs peculiar fantasy novel was inspired by his collection of vintage photographs. The book contains 44 photographs from various collections. The photos lend a creep vibe to the novel – Riggs having come to realize that all pictures of children from 80-100 years ago are universally creepy in some indefinable way. The photos serve as inspiration, plot device, and atmosphere.  

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 go online and make comments about books and reading in general. Just go to haliburtonlibrary.ca  and click on the “g” for Goodreads. That’s it for this week’s Library Moments. We hope we’ve inspired you to experiment and try reading something a little bit different from what you usually would. Thanks for listening here on 100.9 CANOE FM.

*Originally aired March 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.

 

Library Moments: Try It Again Part 3

Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian:  Hello, I’m Erin Kernohan-Berning 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.

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When people think about “making”, most think about something new and high tech like 3D printing or laser cutting. But while those things are really, really cool, and certainly add to “making” as a whole, “making” is so much more than the high tech gizmos we keep hearing about. In fact, “making” can be incredibly low tech – and is probably something you’re engaged in already!

Today on Library Moments, Noelia Marziali and I will talk about something that is “making” that you might be doing already.

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Did you sow seeds for your garden this year?  Congratulations!  You’re a Maker!

Noelia Marziali, Community of Making Animator:  Have you planted a garden, cooked dinner, fixed a leaky faucet? You’re a maker. Have you picked up a hammer, scribbled a note on a piece of paper, fashioned a pair of duct taped sandals? You’re a maker! What I love most about the Maker Movement, is the way it celebrates learning by doing across an enormous spectrum. From knitting to soldering to that science experiment you’ve made in your fridge, anything goes. When I watch a laser engraving a piece of wood, I think of the chisel. When I see a 3D printer building up a form layer by layer, I think of hand-built clay pot. Debating the virtues of low tech or high tech making is beside the point. At the heart of making is to choose for yourself how you wish to express an idea or produce a product. So look around you and spot all the making going on right under your nose, then roll up your sleeves and get making!

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Bake something yummy recently?  Congratulations! You’re a Maker! 

Erin: We have a wide variety of books on making in the Haliburton County Public Library. The usual suspects about circuits and programming are all there. But did you know that we have books about building your own tiny house or garden shed? We also have books about making things that we might buy everyday, never thinking about how they came to be – how to make bacon, crackers, pickles, and beer.  From going off-grid to home décor, we have books to get your living space the way you want. We have books on making clothing. And heck, if you want to build a hovercraft we have a book on that too. Making isn’t about high tech or low tech. It’s about going from idea to thing, in whatever manner you use to get you there.

Do you have a skill you want to share with the Haliburton Highlands? Get involved in our Try It Fair as an exhibitor!  Visit haliburtonlibrary.ca or follow us on Facebook for details, or give Noelia a call at 705-457-2241.

That’s it for this week’s Library Moments. Thanks for listening here on 100.9 CANOE FM.

*Originally aired in March 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.

Library Moments: Try it Again Part 2

Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian:  Hello, I’m Erin Kernohan-Berning 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.

pexels-photo-413879.jpegWe are in the thick of planning for our Try It Fair on May 4th, and are looking for exhibitors to showcase their skills so that others can try their hand at something new. Today on Library Moments, Noelia Marziali and I will tell you a bit about Try It! And how you can get involved!

Noelia Marziali, Community of Making Animator:  To tell you about the Try it Fair, I have to mention a term coined “The Maker Movement”. Back in 2005, publisher Dale Dougherty launched MAKE magazine which provided a catalyst for a tech-influenced, DIY community that became identified as The Maker Movement.

A year later, The first Maker Faire was held in the States. This event is part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new.  Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators and more. These events have exploded globally since and in 2017 alone there were over 190 independently organized mini faires.

Last December, HCPL and community partners launched Haliburton’s very own Maker fair. We called ours The Try it Fair! It was an exciting showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.

emarts-emarts-68775-unsplashThe Try it Fair! had everything from 3D printing to body art to drumming to horseback riding to fly tying.

So this May join us at the Haliburton Highschool’s athletic complex for Try it Again! We are expanding by offering outdoor space – So all you kite or drone aficionados come on out. Not to worry if you have a particularly messy demonstration like concrete mixing or a loud demo like fog horns. Maybe you need a bit of height and space (unicycles and stilts come to mind). Whatever it is, we can accommodate you. We invite the Makers of Haliburton to show and tell and try something new.

I bet you’re bursting at the seams with ideas now. To be an exhibitor call Noelia at 705-457-2241 or visit www.haliburtonlibrary.ca and link to our Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest pages.

That’s it for this week’s Library Moments. Thanks for listening here on 100.9 CANOE FM.

*Originally aired in February 2018 on CANOE FM

Library Moments: February Online Book Club

Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Hello, I’m Erin Kernohan-Berning 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.

The theme for February’s Online Book Club is Canada Reads – and the Canada Reads 2018 theme is One Book to Open Your Eyes. The selections are:

The Boat People by Sharon Bala

American War by Omar El Akkad

Precious Cargo by Craig Davidson

Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Today on Library Moments, Sherrill Sherwood and I will each talk about one of the 2018 Canada Reads selections.

 

Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator:  One morning in 2008, desperate and broke while trying unsuccessfully to write, Craig Davidson plucked a flyer out of his mailbox that read, “Bus Drivers Wanted.” That was the first step towards an unlikely new career: driving a school bus full of special-needs kids for a year. Armed only with a sense of humour akin to that of his charges, a creative approach to the challenge of driving a large, awkward vehicle with a rowdy gang of kids and unexpected reserves of empathy, Davidson takes us along for the ride. He shows us how his evolving relationship with the kids on that bus, each of them struggling physically as well as emotionally and socially, slowly but surely changed his life along with the lives of the “precious cargo” in his care. Precious Cargo: my year of driving the kids on school bus 3077 is his account of the extraordinary story of that year and those relationships. It is also a moving, important and universal story about how we see and treat people with special needs in our society.

 
Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: In Forgiveness, author Mark Sakamoto tells the stories of his paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather, both who experienced extraordinary hardships during World War Two. Ralph McLean grew up in the Magdalene Islands in eastern Canada, and lied about his age to serve in the war. As a soldier deployed to Japan, McLean was captured and held as a P.O.W. enduring years of torture, starvation, and a journey on a hell ship with his friends and countrymen dying all around him. Mitsue Sakamoto was living a comfortable life in Vancouver with her family, but that all fell apart once the Canadian government started interring Japanese-Canadians – her family were forced to move to a labour camp in Alberta, and lost lost everything after the community centre housing all of their possessions burned down, having to start all over again.

Decades later, when Ralph’s daughter, Diane, and Mitsue’s son Stan meet and fall in love, Ralph and Mitsue – despite the horrible circumstances they overcame during the war – become the best of friends. Mark, Stan and Diane’s son, wrote Forgiveness as a tribute to them. Forgiveness takes the reader through the lives of Ralph and Mitsue, and through the difficult times in Mark’s own life. Throughout, Mark meditates on what it really means to forgive. There’s a very powerful passage near the end of the book where Mark shares his experience sitting in the Mackenzie King’s War Room, the realization that this is where men sitting around the same table would have made decisions including the ones that sent his grandfather to war and his grandmother into an internment camp. Jeanne Beker is defending Forgiveness by Mark Sakamoto. In her words “Forgiveness sheds light on a shameful chapter in our history, but it also shows us that healing is possible with tolerance and compassion. The message for Canadians is a timely one. Forgive in order to move forward and never, ever forget.” Some of you may remember Forgiveness from one of our past Evergreen award lists – even if you’ve read it already, it may be a good time to rediscover this book – plus we also have Forgiveness as a Book Club in a Bag for your book club to enjoy!

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 go online and make comments about books and reading in general. Just go to haliburtonlibrary.ca  and click on the “g” for Goodreads. That’s it for this week’s Library Moments. Thanks for listening here on 100.9 CANOE FM.

*Originally aired in February 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.