Halloween Reads 2014

With Season 5 of The Walking Dead finally on the air and Halloween fast approaching, I’ve once again got zombies on the brain.  (Okay, I always have zombies on the brain, but it’s more acceptable to blog about it now.)  If you need a good zombie story to get you through until the next episode airs, why not head to our graphic novel collection for your next read?

I recommend:

empireEmpire of the Dead by George A. Romero

This is director George A. Romero’s first foray into comics.  In it he continues the trend (started in the landmark 1968 film Night of the Living Dead) of combining zombie mayhem and social commentary.  Did I mention there are also vampires?

Afterlife with Archie by Roberto Aguirre-Sacassaarchie

While I was never much of a fan of Archie and his Riverdale crew, I couldn’t put this comic down!  When Hot Dog dies in a hit and run, Jughead looks to Sabrina to bring him back to life.  She does, but Hot Dog will never be the same.  Nor will Riverdale.

daybreakDaybreak by Brian Ralph

You are the protagonist of this story.  Don’t let the cartoony drawings fool you, this story is a thrill ride.  The panels cut off your peripheral vision and create a deliciously tense atmosphere.  It keeps you reading and fighting for survival.

Zombo by Al Ewingzombo

Zombo is a top-secret government experiment — part zombie, part ghoul.  His mission is to save the 33 passengers who survived the crash of Flight 303.  The publishers call it Night of the Living Dead meets Monty Python.  Either way, it’s good fun.


Do you have a favourite zombie comic you’d like to share?  Please comment — I’d love to hear it!


Patricia’s Fresh Picks for October

One of the things I like best about working at a library is seeing new books arrive.  I am an absolutely sucker for being the first to read a library book.  There’s something satisfying about being the first to crack the spine on a paperback, and something comforting about that new book smell.

I’ve sniffed out some great new-to-us books.  Here they are, October’s Fresh Picks:


The Wonder of All Things* by Jason Mott

Ava is a healer and everyone wants a miracle.  Trouble is, Ava grows weaker with each person she heals.  Kirkus Reviews calls it a “creative yet haunting rendering of the mixed blessings of so-called miracles.”


The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King

The author of the contemporary classic Green Grass, Running Water with his first novel in 15 years.  Using his customary blend of native mythology and powerful storytelling, King tells the story of Gabriel, a brilliant scientist who has inadvertently caused mass environmental devastation.


I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached

Attention fans of Persepolis!  This graphic novel memoir is a catalogue of remembrances of growing up in Beirut as conflict between Christians and Muslims was escalating.

Which new book will you read this October?  Tell us in the comments below.

Happy Reading!


*Thanks to NetGalley and Edelweiss for providing ARCs of these titles.

How do you read?

reading-86070_640I used to be one of those people who could only read one book at a time. I would sink my teeth into something and then not let ago until the very end. I would allow myself to give up on a book if I were a quarter of the way through and wasn’t taken with it.

My brother, on the other hand, is one of those people who can have multiple books on the go. A different book for every life compartment: a book at work, a book in the car, a book in the living room, a book for the deck…

I’ve known people who only read the first few chapters of books and then go on to new ones, people who rabidly read through series books, and people who go through reading spurts where they will go through long stretches of not reading anything and then reading a bunch all of a sudden. Then there are the folks who don’t read at all, which I can never really wrap my head around.

In the last few years, I’ve grown more accustomed to having one novel on the go and one nonfiction book on the go at the same time. I find I like to read a chapter of my nonfiction book early on in the day, and savor my novel reading for my commute home and/or my 20 minutes of pre-sleep reading time. Oh, and there is usually a book club book sitting lonely on the coffee table eying me guiltily that I ignore until two days before the meeting, then read furiously every spare minute I get.

What about you? How do you read?


Image via.

Book News Roundup – October 3, 2014

GoneGirlBenStephen King predicts that print books are here to stay.

Acclaimed Canadian writers Monique Gray Smith, Thomas King and Bev Sellars have been named the top three prize-winners of the 2014 CODE’s Burt Award for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Literature. FYI our NVCL Drop-in Book Club will discuss Bev Sellars’ book, They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at An Indian Residential School, on Jan. 21st. You are welcome to join us!

Finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction were announced this week.

Who’s excited to see Gone Girl this weekend?!

Happy Friday!


Image via.


North Vancouver Giller Prize Party

LynnCoadyGillerPrizeBeing from the States originally, I am always struck by how fabulously we celebrate Canadian literature here. The Scotiabank Giller Prize is the perfect embodiment of this. It’s like the Academy Awards for books! I love how authors (Authors!) dress up in beautiful gowns and tuxes and walk the red carpet, just like movie stars. I love the pomp and celebration surrounding books (books!) and reading. And I love that the ceremony is broadcast live to the world, just like The Oscars, so that we can all join in the fun.

And this is why I’m super excited to tell you that we are co-hosting our very own Giller Prize Party here on the North Shore!  The event goes down on Monday November 10th at the Lynn Valley Library Community Room. It will be the perfect opportunity to get gussied up and toast your favourite short-listed author during the livestream of the awards ceremony from Toronto. You’ll also have a chance to win fabulous prizes and listen to locals read passages from their favourite nominated books.

Check out the Giller longlist here and stay tuned for the shortlist, which will be announced on Monday, October 6th. The winner will be announced during the awards ceremony on Nov. 10th at 6pm PST.

You can purchase tickets for our Giller Party ($20 each — all proceeds go to the North Shore Writers Festival) here, and find all the event info here.

See you there!


Image of Lynn Coady and Jian Ghomeshi at last year’s Giller Prize ceremony via

Patricia’s Fall 2014 Picks

We made it!  Now that the kids are finally back to school, life can return to normal.  (Yay!)  Normal for me is reading book blogs and savouring the decision of what to read next.  Will it be a book by an old favourite?  One that’s longlisted for a major award?  Or maybe some non-fiction?  Read on to discover my Fall 2014 picks.


My old favourite for September is none other than Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked.  In Egg and Spoon, Maguire takes on Russian folklore.  I’m looking forward to reading it aloud to my girls.betrayers

I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to finding out the Giller Prize winner this year.  I think the longlist looks amazing (like a checklist of things people could buy me for Christmas even) and the book I’m most looking forward to of the lot is David Bezmozgis’ The Betrayers*. An Israeli politician flees scandal for Yalta, where he must confront the man who denounced him to the KGB.

learnNo fall release resonates with me quite so much as Benedict Carey’s How We Learn. Having recently tried to educate my children at home, wondered if I’m getting it right, and how I could help them better, this title has shot to the top of my TBR pile.  For fans of Outliers and How Children Succeed, this title promises to teach us how to study smarter, not harder.



October’s old favourite had to beat out some tough competition:  John Grisham, Jodi Picoult and David Nicholls* all have new books out this month.  (Click on the author’s names to see the new titles.)  In Some Luck*, Jane Smiley begins a new trilogy.  Beginning in 1920, each chapter tells the story of a year in the life of an Iowa family.

Just in time for Hallowe’en comes V-Wars Volume 1*.  Bram Stoker award-winning author, Jonathan Maberry promises that the vampires in thisasyouwish graphic novel “will be based on creatures that appeared in actual beliefs.”  I guess that means nobody sparkles.

For non-fic this October, I’m going once upon a time to As You Wish, Cary Elwes‘ collection of tales on the making of The Princess Bride.


jennyStephen King’s Revival is out this November!

I’m intrigued by Jenny Erpenbeck’s award-winning novel End of Days*, in which an unnamed woman lives and dies different deaths in each chapter.  It sounds perfect for fans of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.

vodkaNine-year old Lev and his family fled Russia during the 1980s.  In his memoir, A Backpack, A Bear, and Eight Crates of Vodka, he retraces their long journey to America in order to understand himself more deeply.

Happy Fall Reading!  Thanks as always to NetGalley and Edelweiss for keeping me in books!