Book News Roundup – October 24, 2014

Jessica_Paré-184x300Fabulous celebrities will present at the Giller Prize Ceremony on Nov. 10th! Do you have tickets yet for the North Van Giller Party?

Why you should not feel embarrassed for enjoying Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, and also a Mindy Kaling reference!

F. Scott Fitzgerald conjugates “cocktail,” the verb.

Joan Didion‘s nephew wants your help in making a documentary about his aunt’s life.

Feeling stressed? Try an adult colouring book.

Do we read differently at different ages?

Happy weekend!


Michael’s Autumn Non-fiction Reads

Ordering books is one of my favourite roles as a non-fiction librarian. I get to peruse all the publishers’ catalogues and anticipate all the great material that’s coming our way. Here are a few of the books on order that I’m looking forward to this autumn:

EpilogueEpilogue: A Memoir by Will Boast

Settling his father’s estate, Boast discovers that his dad had another family before marrying his mother. Boast sets out to meet his newly-discovered half-brothers and finds out how little he really knew about his father – revising his views of his personal history along the way.

FlirtingWithFrenchFlirting with French by William Alexander

In his fifties, Alexander decides he has to master the French language – after all, he is a raging Francophile. But the process turns out to be more complex than anticipated…. Part humorous memoir, part exploration of the neuroscience of language acquisition, this promises to be an amusing plaisir.

HowIWonHow I Won the War for the Allies: One Sassy Canadian Soldier’s Story by Doris Gregory

After challenging UBC’s discriminatory policies against women, Doris Gregory joined the Canadian Women’s Army Corp. She crossed the U-boat infested Atlantic, dodged bombs in London, and smuggled herself into neutral Ireland. A war memoir from an unexpected voice.

InnocenceOnTrialInnocence on Trial: The Framing of Ivan Henry by Joan McEwen.

After twenty-seven years in prison, Vancouverite Ivan Henry was acquitted due to lack of evidence. This important story reviews a terrible miscarriage of Canadian justice – and promises to make your blood boil.

TerroristSonThe Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice by Zak Ebrahim

The son of the terrorist who planned the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, Ebrahim was raised in a fanatical home. Yet as he grew older, he rejected the radical hatred that surrounded him. A plea for a humane worldview, published by the TED talks people, this promises to be an interesting read.


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?


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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!


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