Library Moments: May Online Book Club

Nancy Therrien, Programming and Outreach Coordinator: Hello, I’m Nancy Therrien 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-267523.jpegThe theme for May’s Online Book Club is Goodreads Choice Award Winners from 2017. The Goodreads Choice Award Winners are the most “popular” books as voted by Goodreads members, but are not necessarily literary choices or typical bookclub picks. Voting in 20 categories happens each November, and the winners are announced in December. I personally love the Goodreads rating system to judge whether a broad audience will enjoy a particular book. Today Sherrill Sherwood and I will each discuss one of the winning titles of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards.

33151805Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: In Paula Hawkins’ novel Into The Water, a single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return. With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory. Haliburton County Public Library carries Into the Water in a few formats; in regular print, large print, as a book on CD and also as an e-book.

31409135Nancy Therrien, Programming and Outreach Coordinator: 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 a particular month’s selection. For example, this month, I was unable to read my first choice title: Before We Were Yours: a novel by Lisa Wingate because I am #219 on the wait list for the e-book. Instead, I have chosen to read The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore. Although it isn’t one of the online book club picks for May, it is a Goodreads Choice Award Winner in the category of History and Biography. The Radium Girls tells the story of the young American women who thought they had gotten their dream jobs at the United States Radium Corporation in the early 1900’s. The employees painted radium onto watch dials to make the numbers glow. In between brush strokes, they would point the brush tips by licking them. Back then radium was thought to be a panacea, a magical elixir and cure-all for anything that ails you. Little did the ladies know that the employer-approved practice of “tipping” the brushes to their lips would leach radium into their bodies and slowly kill them in horrific ways. The Radium Girls displayed great tenacity in the face of declining health and ongoing legal battles. Their courage led to life-changing workplace health and safety regulations, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

To check out the Haliburton County Public Library Online Book Club, visit the website haliburtonlibrary.ca and click on the “g” for Goodreads. You can go online and make comments about specific books or reading in general. That’s it for this week’s Library Moments. Thanks for listening here on 100.9 CANOE FM.

*Originally aired in May 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM.

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Library Moments: April Online Book Club

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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The theme for April’s Online Book Club is “The Great Outdoors”. While at this writing I haven’t seen a whole lot of spring-like weather, I know from previous experience it really will arrive. (Really.) The exciting titles chosen for this month all have wilderness settings. They are; Wildwood by Elinor Florence; The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel; The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and Wild Life by Molly Gloss. Today Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about one of the titles.

Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: In Wild Life by Molly Gloss, it’s the early 1900s in the Pacific Northwest, the end of the Victorian Era, and Charlotte Bridger Drummond is a woman out of her time. She is single handedly bringing up her five sons, and writing dimestore novels with plucky heroines to support her family. When a child goes missing in the woods, Charlotte is determined to join the search team and succeed where others have failed. However, eventually she too becomes lost and winds up cold and starving in the wilderness.  Eventually,  she is rescued by a group of creatures that blur the line between animal and human, and as she is assimilated into their family, Charlotte begins to question the differences between wilderness and civilization, and what it really means to be human. Wild Life crosses genres, from historical fiction into science fiction, and, written as a series of Charlotte’s journal entries, features rich descriptions of the Pacific Northwest. Molly Gloss won the James Tiptree Jr. Award – an award for exploring and expanding gender in speculative fiction – in 2000 for Wild Life.

 
34878639Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: The novel Wildwood is about a single mother, an abandoned farmhouse and an epic battle with the northern wilderness. Broke and desperate, Molly Bannister accepts the ironclad condition laid down in her great-aunt’s will: to receive her inheritance, Molly must spend one year in an abandoned, off-the-grid farmhouse in the remote backwoods of northern Alberta. If she does, she will be able to sell the farm and fund her four-year-old daughter’s badly needed medical treatment. With grim determination, Molly teaches herself basic homesteading skills. But her greatest perils come from the brutal wilderness itself, from blizzards to grizzly bears. Will she and her child survive the savage winter? Will she outsmart the young farmer who would foil her plan to sell the farm? Not only their financial future, but their very lives are at stake. Only the journal written by Molly’s courageous great-aunt, the land’s original homesteader, inspires her to struggle on. Author Susan Juby describes Wildwood as “a delight from start to finish and it offers a fascinating look at homesteading in the Peace River region.”

*Originally aired in April 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: 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.

Library Moments: New Book Club Sets 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.

The library’s collection of Book Club in a Bag sets makes organizing a book club easy and affordable. Each bag includes eight copies of a book and a question set to aid your discussion. The loan period for a Book Club in a Bag set is six weeks. Each year there are additions and subtractions to the book bag selection. Today Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about one of the new titles which have joined the 72 strong list of book club sets.

Erin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: In Elementary, She Read by Vicky Delany, Gemma Doyle – no relation to the Sir Arthur of Sherlock Holmes fame – runs her late uncle’s bookshop in New England devoted to the Great Detective, with her dear friend Jayne Wilson running the adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. When Gemma finds a rare magazine containing the first Sherlock Holmes story hidden in her shop, she and Jayne set off to find the owner, but stumble upon her dead body instead. Now the police are looking at Gemma as the prime suspect, and Gemma finds herself in the role of detective in order to clear her name.

Vicky Delaney is a prolific crime writer, and Elementary, She Read is the first in a new series, followed by Body on Baker Street and The Cat of the Baskervilles. The books fall under the cozy style of mystery, with murder rocking the close-knit New England town of West London on Cape Cod. If you like cozies, Sherlock Holmes, bookshop mysteries, or a combination of those, you’ll certainly enjoy Elementary, She Read. And if you like those things AND talking about books with your friends, then you’ll definitely enjoy the Elementary, She Read Book Club in a Bag!

 
25150798Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: In The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, Li-yan and her family arrange their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. There is ritual and routine, and it has been that way for generations. Then one day a jeep appears at the village gate—the first automobile any of them have seen—and a stranger arrives. In this remote village, the stranger finds the rare tea he has been seeking and a Chinese ethnic minority, the Akha people, whose world will soon change. Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, translates for the stranger and is among the first to reject the rules that have shaped her existence. When she has a baby outside of wedlock, she wraps her daughter in a blanket, with a tea cake hidden in her swaddling, and abandons her in the nearest city. After mother and daughter have gone their separate ways, Li-yan slowly emerges from the security and small-mindedness of her village to encounter modern life, while Haley grows up a privileged and well-loved California girl. Despite Haley’s happy home life, she wonders about her origins; and Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. They both search for and find answers in the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond that connects mothers and daughters.

On the homepage of the library website, click Book Club Sets to view all of the bags that your book club can borrow. To inquire about taking out a set, please visit or call the Library Administrative Centre 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 February 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM

Library Moments: January 2018 Online Book Club

Nancy Therrien, Programming and Community Outreach Coordinator: Hello, I’m Nancy Therrien from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.

In past years, the Haliburton County Public Library often published a Staff Picks brochure with our favourite books that we had read during the previous twelve months. In 2017, the paper publication fell to the wayside as we started transitioning to more online content, so we are now showcasing some of the Staff Picks via the Online Book Club.

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Today on Library Moments, Bessie Sullivan and I will each discuss a Staff Pick chosen for Haliburton County Public Library’s January Online Book Club.

31932891Bessie Sullivan, County Librarian:  My staff pick was The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron, this book was actually a surprise as this writer’s previous book The Bear, was not to my taste at all.  The Last Neanderthal is the enthralling story of two women separated by millennia, but linked by an epic journey that will transform them both.

Forty thousand years in the past, the last family of Neanderthals roams the earth. After a crushingly hard winter, Girl is left alone to care for Runt, a foundling of unknown origin. As Girl and Runt face the coming winter storms, Girl realizes she has one final chance to save her people, even if it means sacrificing part of herself.

In the modern day, archaeologist Rosamund Gale works well into her pregnancy, racing to excavate newly found Neanderthal artifacts before her baby comes. Linked across the ages by the shared experience of early motherhood, both stories examine the often taboo corners of women’s lives.

There are two things I learned from this book.  One is that I still have an interest in Anthropology which is what I studied in University before becoming a librarian.  The second thing is that I shouldn’t always give up on an author just because I haven’t liked something of his/hers before.  I guess if it happens more than once, though, it is a clear indication that that author isn’t for you.

 

28269994Nancy Therrien:  Immortal Nights by Lynsay Sands is a Canadian paranormal romance novel, chosen as a Staff Pick by library branch assistant Nicole Dolliver. It is the 24th book in the “Argeneau” vampire series and can easily be read as a standalone novel.

Immortal Nights tells the story of Abigail Forsythe, a university student who has recently lost her mother. Her friend convinces her to embark on an adventure to Venezuela. Though Abigail wanted to see new and exciting places, she didn’t bargain on saving the life of an irresistibly handsome hunk with fangs, and then being hunted down for her efforts. Tomasso Notte is a sexy, Italian vampire, or as he prefers to be called, “Immortal”. He was kidnapped by hunters and then freed by Abigail. He is convinced that she is his life mate, so he isn’t willing to let her go even though they are now both in great peril. Tomasso and Abigail have wild, hot, steamy nights and dangerous days, attending to matters of the heart while trying to evade kidnappers, stay alive, and solve the mystery of the disappearance of other immortals.

Immortal Nights by Lynsay Sands is jam-packed with action, adventure and romance. Though you can start with the first title in the series, A Quick Bite, Immortal Nights works well on its own. Some of the novels in the Argeneau series are based in Ontario’s Muskoka region, and one book even mentions Minden and Haliburton by name. Immortal Nights by Lynsay Sands and other books in the Argeneau series are available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

 

Nancy Therrien: 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 just 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. Thank you for letting us share some of our favourite books with you, and we look forward to sharing more Staff Picks in the future. Thanks for listening here on 100.9 CANOE FM.

*Originally aired January 2018 on 100.9 CANOE FM

Library Moments: December Online Book Club

Nancy Therrien, Programming and Outreach Coordinator:  Hello, I’m Nancy Therrien 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.

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A cruise ship bound for warmer waters.  Photo from Pexels.com

Many people are going on vacation over the winter holidays, so this month’s online book club selections are all related to cruise ships and ocean liners. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is a bestselling thriller, Tiaras and T-Shirts by Muriel Arnold is a true story about life at sea, All By Myself, Alone by Mary Higgins Clark is a mystery set aboard a cruise ship, and The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa is historical fiction set during World War II.

Today on library moments, Sherrill Sherwood and I will tell you about the book club selections we chose.

 

Sherrill Sherwood, Collection Development Coordinator: In Ruth Ware’s The Woman In Cabin 10, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the select guests cheerful as the exclusive cruise ship begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. With surprising twists, spine-tingling turns, and an unforgettable setting, Ruth Ware offers up an intense read. The San Francisco Book Review has described Ruth Ware as “the Agatha Christie of our time.”

 
Nancy Therrien:  Tiaras and T-shirts: A Working Life at Sea is a non-fiction book by Muriel Arnold. She embraced a nomadic lifestyle and found a way to travel the world that most of us only dream of:  by working aboard a cruise ship. She was hired as a “lady purser” aboard the Cunard cruise line in the early 1960s and had a long and exciting career catering to royalty, film stars, millionaires and regular tourists. Muriel describes her training process, her many interactions with the rich and famous, as well as the more routine details of shipboard life such as lifeboat drills, fancy dinners, and reams of paperwork. She also highlights her visits to far off places including North Borneo, China, and Tristan da Cunha.

Anyone who has ever been on a cruise would enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at a by-gone era in shipboard life that described in Tiaras and T-shirts.

Tiaras and T-shirts: A Working Life at Sea by Muriel Arnold is available to reserve at the Haliburton County Public Library.

That’s it for this week’s episode of Library Moments here on 100.9 Canoe FM.  Wishing you and those dear to you a happy and safe holiday season.

*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM