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.
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!
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.
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.
On March 8th, Canada recognizes International Women’s Day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and girls, and raising awareness of the work left to be done.
On March 1, the United Nations recognizes Zero Discrimination Day, promoting equality before the law. The UN encourages citizens to speak out so that everyone has equal opportunity to achieve their dreams. This year the theme coincides with discrimination faced by women and girls in all their diversity.
Picture book authors and illustrators amaze me -- in very few pages and with minimal words they are able to address subjects that are real, are powerful and often the messages contained in them are so helpful for parents, caregivers and teachers trying to help their children understand. As this pandemic sets in to its second year I am thrilled that there are some picture books that capture the way the world is for us today.
Since I spend a lot of time reading, I often come across books that I would like to talk about in this column, but for whatever reason the opportunity just doesn't present itself. With that being said, the following are ten mini reviews for ten completely random books. There are some hits, and some misses, and hopefully one or two will pique your interest.
This month we are celebrating the many achievements and contributions made by Black Canadians who have helped shape Canada into the culturally diverse and compassionate place it is today. Often overlooked is the fact the Black Canadians were enslaved here too. Black History Month is an opportunity for the majority of Canadians to learn about the experiences of Black Canadians in our society and the vital role this community has played throughout our shared history.