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Getting Around Calgary by Bike

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

The wheels on the bus go round and round. The wheels on the bike do, too!

I participated in Calgary Public Library’s Living Library recently, and met a “book” who has lived in Calgary without an automobile for almost 10 years. Even more amazing: he lives that way by choice. His daily mode of transportation? His bike, of course!

Throughout European cities, you can spot women peddling to work in high heels. In Japan, it’s more common for someone to steal your umbrella than your bicycle. There are hundreds of millions of bicycles on this planet – when was the last time you rode yours?

Join us on Thursday June 3, for a free talk about biking in Calgary. Gary Beaton, bicycling advocate, explores the trials and the joys of bike commuting in a city that’s not recognized as being particularly bike-friendly.

Explore more! We’ve got lots of books about bicycle maintenance, city maps to help you plan your trip, and even cook books to help you plan your perfect post-peddling picnic.

The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I just finished reading this classic novel. For some reason, when I was younger, I thought that anything written by Hemingway must necessarily be dense and difficult. It was just the way people said, “Hemingway” – as if his writing is inaccessible to the masses, or that only a certain kind of reader could enjoy his work.

A few days ago, I found a copy of The Old Man and the Sea on one of our sale tables. Slightly stained (I suspect that the previous owner had a penchant for tomato sauce) and dust-jacket discarded, this slim blue book nevertheless gave me a fabulous read! The story is so simple, but the characters are compelling. Why didn’t I read this story years ago?!

I can almost smell the raw tuna and rotting sardines; can almost see the fresh trail of blood in the water; can almost imagine Santiago’s wrinkled face and timeworn hands, as he struggles to reel in the catch of his lifetime.

The Calgary Public Library identifies books that are undisputed classics. The next time you’re visiting your library branch, why not check out what’s available? Ask our reference staff for help choosing your next great read!

Creative Conflict

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

It’s a fact of life that there are as many different opinions as there are different people. So, when you work, live or spend time with someone whose views are not your own, how do you manage?

Conflict Management Consultant Michelle Phaneuf believes that effectively managing differences can drive creativity and productivity. Find out more by joining us from 12 – 1:30, on Wednesday May 26th. This program, like all of our programs, is free to join! Bring your lunch and learn new skills!

Spend Less! Tackling Consumerism and Advertising

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Money is slippery stuff! After paying the rent, and buying the groceries, most of us have to pay pretty close attention to where the remainder of our paycheck goes. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I operate outside of the confines of a budget. That doesn’t mean I spend like a millionaire. Rather, it means that if someone asked me how much I spent per month on groceries, entertainment, and so on, I would have no idea. I only know that I continue to swipe the plastic, and make the payment. Swipe the plastic, and make the payment…

Are you spending on what is truly important to you? Or, are your frittering away your hard-earned dough on items that are unnecessary and unimportant? Learn how to become an educated consumer, by joining us on Tuesday, June 1st. Staff from Momentum, a Community Economic Development organization, will facilitate this presentation.

If you’re wondering about cost, you’ll be glad to know that this program – like all programs at the Calgary Public Library – is free of charge!

Payback, by Margaret Atwood

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I’m always excited to read the Massey Lectures. It’s an intellectual treat, to which I always look forward. Topics have ranged from human development to economics, to imagination, to libraries.

Right now, I’m reading Margaret Atwood’s Payback. In five chapters, Atwood discusses the concept of debt, and how its deeply embedded place in our consciousness ensures that it constantly figures in our religions, our literature, and our culture at large.

This is not a book about the mortgage crisis or about debt in this decade. Rather, it’s a broad examination of debt as a cognitive construct, and a psychological motivator.

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys non-fiction, and for those who are particularly interested in psychology or religion.

I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced, by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Although I typically don’t read biographies, there was something about the title of this book that made me very curious. After all, how many 10 year old divorcees do you know?

I read the book (with teary eyes) in only a few short hours, and I was riveted.

Right off the hop, I’ll admit that I was skeptical about the authorship. While reading, I continually wondered which words, thoughts and ideas actually sprang from the heart of little Nujood, and which were the creations or recreations of co-author Delphine Minoui. However, the truth is that for me, it ultimately didn’t matter.

Nujood’s is a wrenching, heartbreaking story. Although the divorce that she so badly wants is eventually granted, there is no justice in this story’s end. How could there be? Though Nujood has been hailed as a hero, and has won international acclaim since her ordeal, I can’t help but think that children like her may never wholly recover from the traumas that they suffer - no matter whether they eventually claim to be happy or not.

Nevertheless, Nujood is a reminder of all that can be achieved with steadfast determination. What an impression this little girl has made on me!

For a tale you won’t soon forget, I recommend I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.

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