Most Borrowed eBooks of 2016

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Our most-borrowed eBooks for 2016 are a great mix of brand new titles and some of the best from 2014& 2015.  I was going for a Top-10, but we’ve got too many ties for that to work, so instead I present the Top-7 of the year, as borrowed from our Cloud Library eBook collection!

 We have a three-way tie for 7th place:

When Breath Becomes Air Paul Kalanithi
Smarter Faster Better Charles Duhigg
I Let You Go Claire Mackintosh

 A two-way tie for 6th place:

The Martian Andy Weir
Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert

 A two-way tie for 5th place:

The Illegal Lawrence Hill
All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr

 And the Top 4 are:

#4:  The Widow Fiona Barton
#3:  The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins
#2:  The Nest Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
#1:  Everyone Brave Is Forgiven Chris Cleave

I personally need some new titles to beef up my potential list of 2016 favourite books, and a few of these look like they might hit the mark. So excuse me while I go add a bunch more eBooks to my Kobo, and stay tuned for more most borrowed lists!

Kat

Most Borrowed e-Audiobooks of 2016

oneclickThere is something simply exhilarating about this time of year.  For me it’s the Best Of… lists that permeate the Internet. I eagerly look forward to any list that tells us what others have read (or listened to) and loved.  Assuming you do too,here are our most borrowed e-audiobooks of 2016 from OneClickDigital:

We have a six-way tie for third place:

The Illegal Lawrence Hill
Age of Myth Michael J. Sullivan
The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain Bill Bryson
Extreme Prey John Sandford
The Guilty David Baldacci
Foreign Agent: A Thriller Brad Thor

A two-way tie for second place:

Off the Grid C.J. Box
The Last Mile David Baldacci

And a two-way tie for first place.  On OneClickDigital our most borrowed e-audiobooks of the year are:

Rogue Lawyer John Grisham
15th Affair James Patterson, Maxine Paetro

Stay tuned for more most borrowed lists!

-Patricia

Calling All Writers… it’s NaNoWriMo!

nonawrimo

Apparently everyone has a book in them. But can you write that 50,000 word book in one month? That’s the NaNoWriMo challenge.  Need some help and/or inspiration? We’ve got you covered!

passionfornarrativeA Passion for Narrative, by Jack Hodgins

Canadian writer and teacher Jack Hodgins offers advice, examples, and exercises to help you develop your narrative skills – both writing it, and reading it.

From Where You Dream, by Robert Olen fromwhereyoudreamButler

Butler is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, and this title is a series of lectures that capture his approach to writing, which he teaches in his creative writing class – also known as “Literary Boot Camp,” due to its (and Butler’s) intensity. His method is very prescribed, and some have described it as a bit dogmatic, but his advice has nevertheless been invaluable to many aspiring writers.

writingadviceUltimate Guide to Writing Advice, by signature-reads.com

Or, if those titles are a little too weighty for the approaching end-of-the-month deadline, try the Ultimate Guide to Writing Advice. It’s a free 23-page eBook from Signature Reads, featuring tips on creating an effective writing routine, banishing writers’ block, and insights from 12 award-winning authors.

Looking for help writing a specific genre? Try one of these:

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Writing Mysteries, by Margaret Lucke

Writing Romance, by Vanessa Grant

Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, by Crawford Killian

Writing Historical Fiction, by Rhona Martin

Or, check out our Lynda.com resource for professional video tutorials to help you write, produce, and publish your book! Lynda.com has thousands of video courses and tutorials on a wide variety of creative, business, and technical topics, taught by industry professionals (who are also awesome teachers!). Lynda.com is accessible for free, from home, with your library card (to North Van City residents only though!).

Log in to Lynda.com through nvcl.ca first, and then try one of thlynda_blog_badgeese courses:

 

And what are you going to do after you’ve finished your 50,000-word masterpiece? Get some help navigating the publishing and self-publishing worlds:

selfpublishbootcamp     writingebook     publish    publishamazon    perfectbound

 

 

Also, if you just need some quiet, dedicated writing time during NaNoWriMo, there are even local write-ins you can attend. The closest one to us here on the North Shore is our friends over at Vancouver Public Library Central Branch – check out the sessions they’re hosting here.

Good luck, and happy writing!
Kat

And the Award Goes to……

gillerprizepartysplash

It’s the most wonderful time of the literary year…. Awards season! Earlier this month the Nobel Prize for literature was handed out to folk icon Bob Dylan, followed closely by the Man Booker who went to Paul Beatty for The Sellout on Tuesday the Governor General award for literature was handed out to Madeline Thien,  and now we have the largest literary prize for fiction in Canada just around the corner….The Scotiabank Giller Prize.

The Giller Prize was founded in 1994 by Jack Rabinovitch in honour of his late wife, literary journalist Doris Giller, who passed away from cancer the year before. The award recognizes excellence in Canadian fiction and is in large part responsible for the continued growth of Canadian literary talent. The prize has so far endowed more than three-quarters of a million dollars to Canadian writers from coast to coast. In 2005, The Giller Prize teamed up with Scotiabank to create the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Next Monday, November 7th NVCL will be hosting the 3rd Annual  North Shore Giller Viewing Party in support of the North Shore Writer’s Festival! 

There will be light appies, beverages, literary trivia and raffle prizes. Any funds raised will benefit the 2017 North Shore Writers Festival, co-planned by the North Vancouver District Public Library, the North Vancouver City Library, and the West Vancouver Memorial Library.  For more information about the event please visit our calendar by clicking HERE.

Tickets are just $10 + taxes and fees and are available by CASH ONLY at NVCL’s Welcome tax, or online by clicking here.

In honor of the prize and more importantly the party, I’ve created a list of all our shortlisted nominees so you can get to work reading and placing your bets on who will take home the final purse prize!

 

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeline Thien 

donotsaywehave Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks than surely you’ve heard of local author Madeline Thien’s masterful work, Do Not Say we Have Nothing. Not only did she take home the recent Governor General award, but she’s also been nominated for various other awards including the Man Booker.

This epic sprawling drama  takes us inside the lives of an extended family who’s lives stretch from Mao’s Cultural Revolution to Tienanmen Square and confronts the reader with questions about how art, music, and love for one another sustains humanity through times of horror and genocide. A beautiful read!

The Party Wall by Catherine Lerouxpartywall

Translated from french, Quebquois author Catherine Leroux’s The Party Wall shifts between and ties together stories about pairs joined in surprising ways. A woman learns that she may not be the biological mother of her own son despite having given birth to him; a brother and sister unite, as their mother dies, to search for their long-lost father; two young sisters take a detour home, unaware of the tragedy that awaits; and a political couple–when the husband accedes to power in a post-apocalyptic future state–is shaken by the revelation of their own shared, if equally unknown, history.

Lyrical, intelligent, and profound, The Party Wall is luminously human, a surreally unforgettable journey through the barriers that can both separate us and bring us together.–From the publisher

The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittal bestkindofpeople

What if someone you trusted was accused of the unthinkable? George Woodbury, an affable teacher and beloved husband and father, is arrested for sexual impropriety at a prestigious prep school. His wife, Joan, vaults between denial and rage as the community she loved turns on her. Their daughter, Sadie, a popular over-achieving high school senior, becomes a social pariah. Their son, Andrew, assists in his father’s defense, while wrestling with his own unhappy memories of his teen years. A local author tries to exploit their story, while an unlikely men’s rights activist attempts to get Sadie onside their cause. With George locked up, how do the members of his family pick up the pieces and keep living their lives? How do they defend someone they love while wrestling with the possibility of his guilt? With exquisite emotional precision, award-winning author Zoe Whittall explores issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse.-From the Publisher

The Wonder by Emma Donahue wonder

Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, ‘The Wonder’ – inspired by numerous cases of ‘fasting girls’ between the sixteenth century and the twentieth – is a psychological thriller about a child’s murder. Pitting all the seductions of fundamentalism against sense and love, this book is a searing examination of what nourishes us, body and soul.-From the publisher

Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin yiddishforpirates

Set in the years around 1492, Yiddish for pirates recounts the compelling story of Moishe, a Bar Mitzvah boy who leaves home to join a ship’s crew, where he meets Aaron, the polyglot parrot who becomes his near-constant companion. From a present-day Florida nursing home, this wisecracking yet poetic bird guides us through a world of pirate ships, Yiddish jokes and treasure maps.-From the publisher

 

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl13ways

Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (a.k.a. Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks. Even when she starts dating guys online, she’s too afraid to send pictures. So she starts to lose. She counts calories consumed, miles logged, pounds lost, raw almonds eaten – she even undertakes an epic battle with a Von Furstenberg. But no matter how much weight she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl?-From the publisher

 

Hope to see you on the 7th!

Cheers,

Mikale Fenton

All Hallow’s Read (and Watch)

timeflies

Time flying

Time flies and somehow Hallowe’en has snuck up on me this year.  And now it’s only five days away!  I understand that doesn’t leave you a lot of time to plan what you’re going to read and watch for your Hallowe’en thrills, so without further ado, here are some frightening (and sometimes gory) recommendations to help get you in the spirit:

Before ‘found footage’ horror was a thing, there was Cannibal Holocaust: a 1980s Italian horror film in which a team of documentary cannibalfilmmakers head to South America and are brutally killed.  Initially released as a documentary, the film’s director was arrested on obscenity charges after its release.  Cannibal Holocaust –and several other horror films!– is available to stream from the library via InstantFLIX.

I can’t be the only one who has been waiting years for someone to write a novel inspired by Cannibal Holocaust because debut novelist Kea Wilson has done just that with We Eat Our Own.

A Head Full of GhostsWant less gore and more slowly deepening horror?  Try Paul Tremblay’s Stoker award-winning A Head Full of GhostsThe Possession is a reality TV show which delves into the lives of the Barrett family as they deal with their teenage daughter’s demonic possession.  Don’t let the reality TV veneer fool you: this book will have you utterly creeped out by the last page.

Have a must-watch scary movie or must-read Hallowe’en read?  Please share in the comments below — I’m always looking for new ways to lose sleep.

-Patricia

 

 

 

Mikale’s Fall Picks 2016

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Short, crisp rainy days. Slow-cooked root vegetables spiced with nutmeg and coriander. Crispy home-made bread. Wool sweaters. Tea. Thick books.After a whirlwind summer, there are not enough cliched nouns to describe how much I love and relish the fall season.

This is the time of year where I typically pull-back from my social calendar, take a break from weekend adventuring and settle in for some serious nesting. It also happens to be one of the greatest seasons for literary fiction as publisher’s unleash many of their heavy-hitters for awards season and early Christmas shopping. The only issue I had choosing this fall’s picks was limiting the list to a reasonable number because so many of my favourite authors are releasing new titles, and each book looks so, so good.

And thus begins a new season of glorious hibernation….at least until ski season.

 

The Course of Love by Alain de Bottoncourse-of-love

If we have crossed paths in the past couple of weeks then you’ve probably already heard me raving about this book. It is essentially a cross between a novel and literary essay, as we follow Kristen and Rabih through the ebbs and flows of their long-term monogamous relationship. The story is told in two parallel voices: one follows the two central characters as they navigate “happily every after” and the challenges which blossom after love’s original conception– raising children, adultery, laundry etc.. The other voice  objectively analyzes each of the character’s thought patterns and actions with remarkable clarity and psychoanalytic prowess.  I truly loved this book, and look forward to reading it again–albeit next time on my own copy so that I can scribble in the margins and underline my favorite passages.

wenjack.jpgWenjack by Joseph Boyden

Nearly 50 years after his tragic death, 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack’s story may finally be getting the attention it deserves.  As noted in this recent Maclean’s article,  this year three Canadian artists are using each of their respective mediums to shed light on the Residential School experience using Chanie as their voice and focus. Boyden, alongside Tragically Hip front man Gord Downie and graphic novelist Jerry Lemire,  mobilize the incredible power of narrative and one boy’s tragic story to illuminate this horrific chapter in the history of Canada’s First Nations peoples.  In Wenjack, Boyden has created an imagined re-telling of Chanie’s last hours alive as he runs away from a North Ontario Residential School realizing too late just how far away home is.  Like all of Boyden’s novels, Wenjack is already being touted as a literary masterpiece full of haunting landscapes, imagery and characters.

By Gaslight by Steven Price bygaslight

Back in 2014 Victoria, BC authorSteven Price made literary headlines when his latest novel, By Gaslight caused a highly competitive auction at the Frankfurt Book Fair before being sold for a rumored record-breaking advance. Since then, anticipation has been building among readers everywhere to get a chance to dive into this Victorian period piece and see what all the fuss is about. At nearly 800 pages, it is a spellbinding thriller embedded with dark, poetic imagery and detailed descriptions.

 spawninggroundsThe Spawning Grounds by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

I have been a fan of Anderson-Dargatz since picking up her brilliant debut novel Cure for Death by Lightning many moons ago. Since then, the author has written numerous other beautiful novels which each with a distinct sense of place rooted in our beautiful province and the struggles which erupt as nature and man intertwine and collide. Her latest novel weaves multiple-generational stories of settlement along a fictional river in south-central B.C., not far from Kamloops. The Spawning Grounds has been receiving excellent reviews as an instant BC classic with a supernatural twist.

Nutshell by  Ian McEwan nutshell

Aside from the fact that Ian McEwan is undoubtedly one of our country’s strongest writers, his new novel sounds so fantastically bizarre that it’s hard to resist. Set within a mother’s womb, the story is told from the perspective of what McEwan describes as “a rather old fetus nostalgic about the times when he was small enough to float freely around in the womb” in this Globe and Mail interview, who bares witness to murder, deceit and all other matters of thriller intrigue. Again, impossible to resist.

Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon

moonglowReading Chabon is to read magic. Ever since The Adventures of Kavalier and ClayI have been a loyal Chabon-ist, and felt that his novels sparkle with an electric sense of playful history. In his latest book, Chabon blurs the lines between fiction, memoir and biography as he tells the story of his grandfather, whose life as an engineer, veteran, and felon offers an entree into themes of heroism and imagination.  Although the author tends to obsess over detailed side plots, such as the craft of comic making in the 1940’s in Adventures, and has at times been accused of losing track of the central story, I find these tangents  fascinating.

 

Happy nesting!

-Mikale

Patricia’s 2016 Fall Picks

Hurray!  The weather has turned!  Not feeling it?  Hear me out… Now that summer has fled we can all succumb to the urge to curl up with our favourite blanket, a cute cat (or dog, or…), and a hot cup of tea and read until our hearts content.  (Or until someone needs help finding the soccer cleats; whatever comes first.)  Here’s what I’ll be reading this fall:

The ConjoinedSeptember

September is an embarrassment of riches.  Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow* takes us to 1920s Moscow, where Count Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in the luxurious Metropol Hotel.  Closer to home, Jen Sookfong Lee’s The Conjoined* tells the story of Vancouverite social Dear Mr. Mworker who finds the bodies of her two missing foster sisters while cleaning out her recently deceased mother’s freezer.  In Dear Mr. MHerman Koch, author of The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool, promises to keep us guessing once again.  This time around Koch writes about a novelist who’s obsessed with his neighbour.   My last pick for September is Alain Gillot’s The Penalty Area*, a heartwarming story about an Under 16 soccer team and their downtrodden coach.

The NextOctober

October is usually all about horror.  This year I’ll be making an exception for three books by women writers:  Stephanie Gangi’s The Next tells the story of a Joanna’s search for a happy ending from beyond the grave.  The Comet Seekers* is an ambitious offering from debut novelist Helen Sedgwick; the two main character’s lives are linked via comets.  Finally, Francine Prose’s Mister Monkey* looks like a whole helluva lot of fun. It tells the story of the cast of an off-off-off Broadway children’s musical.

Swing TimeNovember

Plan to make time for the heavy hitters this November.  Zadie Smith and Michael Chabon both have new fiction coming out.  At its heart Smith’s Swing Time* revolves around friendship and music to tell the story of two dancer friends only one of whom has talent. Meanwhile in Chabon’s Moonglow* a grandfather (who may or may not be Chabon’s own) reveals his deathbed confessions to his grandson.

More Big Name AuthorsHag-Seed

 

Several amazing big name authors have titles coming out this fall — so many that I could have spent a whole post just on them:   Emma Donoghue has The Wonder*, a story based on history about an Irish girl who fasts for four months (September).  Not to be outdone, Margaret Atwood has two offerings this fall:  Hag-Seed* is  a retelling of JerusalemShakespeare’s The Tempest and part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series (October) and Angel Catbird* a comic book about a hybrid man-cat-owl (September).  Maria Semple‘s follow up to Where’d You Go Bernadette, Today Will Be Different* is a big-hearted story of a modern woman whose life is a mess (October). And finally, Alan Moore has that last word on what we should all be reading this fall: his doorstopper Jerusalem* (September).

Happy reading!

-Patricia