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WOW! A Handbook for Living, by Zen Ohashi and Zono Kurazono

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

A Handbook for Living? And, it’s only 150 pages long?

WOW is a neat, deceptively simple little book. It’s full of considered, insightful advice, and yet reading it is effortless. WOW is self-help in its purest form - no anecdotes, personal reflections, or longwinded passages. In fact, WOW is very sparsely written, and really gives the reader a sense of breathing room. Sometimes you'll find an entire page devoted to just one sentence or a black and white picture, and really, this ought to be the case. Why clutter our minds any more than we need to? If you find yourself feeling bored, unenthused, or just “OK”, then pick up this book and get inspired to achieve something. Or have a good cry. Or set a goal. Or tell someone the truth.

WOW is available at your Calgary Public Library.

Gristle, edited by Moby and Minyun Park

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

The meat that you (may or may not) consume is part of a complicated nexus involving human health, the environment, animals, communities, workers, children and more.

In only 126 short pages, a variety of Gristle contributors highlight a huge range of issues and supplement their comments with fascinating (and unsettling!) charts and graphs.

Read this book whether you’re a vegetarian or not. Read this book if you care about sustainable food policy, or if you simply love to eat.

Also, be sure to browse our catalogue. We’ve got tons of literature about meat, cooking, vegetarianism, and health.

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!

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.

One Year to an Organized Financial Life, by Regina Leeds

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

How are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? Have you – like most - veered off course? If you need a source of motivation, check out One Year to an Organized Financial Life, by Regina Leeds.

There are some books that pepper good advice with hokey anecdotes. This isn’t one of them. Instead, every page – really, every page! – includes several sensible, practical tips. One could certainly follow it week by week, but there’s no need. It’s organized so that anyone can readily find relevant information, whether it’s as basic as evaluating your relationship with money, or as complex as playing the stock market.

One Year to an Organized Financial Life is simple, straightforward, and packed (and I use that term deliberately!) with useful information. No pictures, anecdotes, or “filler” material. Check it out today!

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