Kelly recently enjoyed Writer's Trust finalist Through the Garden. It's a moving memoir about poet Lorna Crozier's long relationship with fellow poet Patrick Lane. Here is Kelly's review:
The Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen Award is best described as the “readers’ choice” of Canadian literary awards. Each year, a list of ten nominees is selected by a committee of librarians and in September library patrons from all across the province can vote on their favourite. The winner will be announced during Ontario Public Library Week in October. Past winners have included A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliot, Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice, and The Last Neanderthal by Clare Cameron.
Kristin recently enjoyed Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley, a debut Young Adult novel that takes on an adolescent's quest for identity. Here's Kristin's review:
Among all the pictures and videos of online meetings, I am often drawn to the background, like a peeping tom, trying to read the sideways titles on the plethora of bookshelves. This also happens to me every time I see a character on a television or movie, holding a book or even better, quoting from one. If you haven’t yet, you may be tempted to now “book stalk” when you are binge watching!
Jennifer recently enjoyed The Library of Legends by Janie Chang, one of the ten titles in contention for the 2021 OLA Evergreen Award. Check out her review:
In this charming tale of hope amidst war, Chang interweaves historical accounts of the Sino-Japanese war (the Asian theatre of war in WWII) with magical realism. She blends the wartime exodus of Chinese university students safeguarding literary treasures with the mythical departure of legendary deities. The story underscores how the war changes China forever.
Audiobooks are having a moment. Global sales have grown 25-30% per year over the past few years and at the library, we've noticed a similar soaring uptake. As popularity has grown, so has the creativity and quality of audiobook production. If you tried listening to a talking book a few years back and decided it wasn't for you, you might want to take a second look at some of the newer releases.
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Karen S recently enjoyed Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig, a brand new novel of historical fiction set against the British home front circa March 1918. Here is her review:
In the final year of World War I, a group of Smith College alumni known as the Smith College Relief Unit went to France to give aid to the remaining residents of destroyed French villages near the front line. Miraculously, every member of the unit made it home safe, both in life and in Lauren Willig’s latest historical novel.
Coleen recently enjoyed A New Day by Brad Meltzer and Dan Santat, a funny children's book about the days of the week. Here is her review:
Colourful cartoon-like appeal abounds in the picture book A New Day, which features anthropomorphic days of the week having their own audition-style competition. Sunday feels underappreciated and suddenly quits, leaving the other days of the week to take on the task of trying to replace her.
The mark of a good novel, in my opinion, is characters that are believably rendered. When it comes to historical fiction, where the stories are often populated by real people, it requires tremendous skill and attention to detail to take the research and surface-level accounts of the historical figure and turn them into a seamless and well-rounded character portrayal. Like Netflix's The Crown, the following books all dip into the dramas of the British royal family in the 20th Century.