You are here: Home > Blogs > Library-Connect
Off Line

Library Connect banner

Fish, by T J Parsell

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

Since visiting the Calgary Remand Centre some time ago, as part of a Calgary Public Library outreach initiative, I can’t help but think seriously about people who for whatever reason, end up incarcerated. This is especially the case now that our conservative government has voiced intentions to build more prisons, and write tougher laws. How many of the Canadians who say “lock ‘em up and throw away the key” have ever set foot inside of a prison?

I just finished reading Fish: A Memoir of a Boy in a Man’s Prison, by T J Parsell. Truthfully, it was the literary equivalent of the proverbial car crash, from which you just can’t look away. Although I was aghast at what Parsell was forced to endure, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the book. It’s the story of young Tim, who goes to prison at only 17, and is repeatedly sexually assaulted by other inmates. Not only that, but the inmates flip a coin to determine who will “own” him. Tim finally makes a friend who seems to care about his well being, but then is transferred to another prison, never to see him again. More than merely a horrific tale of violence and abuse, this memoir is a reflection about youth, identity, manhood, and power.

What’s most unsettling, however, is the fact that Tim represents just one of thousands of cases in America, and in Canada, too. In Parsell's words:

Most people who want to be tough on crime don’t care what happens to inmates. But they should care, because 95 percent of all prisoners are eventually released back into society, indelibly marked by the violence they have seen or experienced.

I recommend this memoir for those who work in criminal and social justice, social work, psychology, and gender studies.

Check out the author’s blog, here.

It Gets Better, edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

It Gets Better is a collection of short letters and testimonials written by gays, lesbians, transgendered people, and their allies. I’ve been waiting to get my hands on a copy, because I’ve heard a lot about it already, and because so many of my friends and loved ones are gay.

It Gets Better is a response to a series of troubling incidents (mainly in the United States) wherein young gay individuals have taken their own lives, or been killed, as a result of being gay.

When I was a high school student, the occasional utterance of “hey, faggot!” was as severe as it got, but these days, we hear of disturbing amounts of taunting, bullying and even torture of gay individuals – many of them in their tender teenage years.

If you know a gay teen who may be struggling to overcome self-doubt, anguish, loneliness, or isolation, then recommend this book to him or her. It’s not a catch-all solution to bullying, but it just may offer a bit of comfort to a young person who doubts that things can or will get better.

The Life Audit, by Caroline Righton

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

I am halfway through this new book, and already I’m ready to audit my life. Seriously. I’ve formatted a spreadsheet, and each cell is as hungry for data as I am for change. I can’t wait to colour-code, prioritize, and file in alphabetical or numerical order. Am I a “library” type or what?!

In fact, I was ready long before I picked up the book. Lately, I’ve been feeling over-committed and asking “where does the time go?!”. I manage my routines, but I have the vague sense that they’re not optimal; that I could accomplish more and enjoy a fuller (repeat: “fuller”, not “busier”) life, if I only re-jigged some of my patterns.

The Life Audit promises to help me do just that. Its premise is that once you do a thorough, brutally honest examination of your existing routines, you can assess how much time is left over for doing the things that you love to do. Moreover, you can determine if the activities to which you currently devote your time are even worth that time, and whether you can combine or eliminate tasks, to ensure that you do only what’s truly important, rather than what you feel is merely obligatory.

Surely you would have to be a bit obsessed to record everything you eat, wear and do on a daily basis. But, even a week or month of recording may be enough to shock you. For instance, you may realize that your closet is jammed with 456 items of clothing, but you reach for the same black sweater at nearly every occasion. Or, you may think that you have a shortage of spare time, but yet realize that you’re watching 13 hours of television per week. Personally, I do not own a television set. I’m the 456-items-of-clothing type.

Ultimately, when you finish your audit, you’ll have an accounting of what you’ve been doing each day, with details about where, when and with whom. You’ll have a picture of the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the money you spend, the moods you’re in, and the goals you have for the future. It is this very personal reckoning which will serve as your motivation, when you begin crafting the life you really want to live.

Pencil? Check. Paper? Check. Excel spreadsheet? Check.

Now for the hard part: the honesty!

Check out The Life Audit and other such titles, by browsing section 646.7, next time you’re in your local library.

Legal Guide for the Visual Artist, by Tad Crawford

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

If you are a person who makes paintings, prints, sketches, drawings or sculptures, then check out this new book!

Author Tad Crawford explains the business of art, and goes on to explore copyright and permissions, contracts, taxes, grants, and more! There are even chapters on how to resolve disputes and approach museums and galleries.

Pictures are worth 1000 words, the old cliché goes. But, pictures can also be worth thousands of dollars. Protect your work and impress your clients with a thorough understanding of your rights and obligations as a creator.

Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Accessorizing

by Katherine - 1 Comment(s)

A feast for the eyes! I was inspired just by flipping through a few pages of this neat new book.

Let potter, writer and designer Jonathan Adler show you how to use what you’ve already got in order to create tablescapes and pillowscapes. Learn to style consoles, shelves and mantles, and make the most of screens, mirrors and artwork, too. A series of visually arresting photographs will help you to understand the basics of rhythm, scale, proportion, colour, content, shape and tension. I found myself saying “Oooohhh…..I want that!” at almost every turn! Why would I need a giant gold chair in the shape of a hand? Ask Jonathan Adler, the man who’s convinced me. What I like most is that all the accessories featured within are distinctly modern. This is not the book for those who love French Country style. Rather, this is the book for fans of zebra print, ecclectic artwork and bright colours. Check it out if you believe that more is more!

Need a new look? Put this book on hold today, and be inspired!

Say “Ahhhhhhhhhh…………….”

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

A new book caught my eye this afternoon: “The World’s Best Massage Techniques: The Complete Illustrated Guide”, by Victoria Jordan Stone. It features innovative bodywork practices from around the world, and includes lots of helpful images.

And now…I’ve got plans for the weekend! I’m going to grab my guy, light some candles, and get ready to have my meridians thoroughly stimulated! “Ahhh….”

This book covers Swedish, Thai and hot stone massage techniques. It also discusses Shiatsu, Tantsu and Lomi Lomi. I’ve never even heard of some of these, but I’m excited to learn more!

If you’ve got an interest in massage (and who doesn’t love a good rub-down?!) then drop by your local library and browse section 615.

234567891011Showing 37 - 42 of 74 Record(s)