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Show Me the Way!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Browse through the “religion” section of a big box bookstore, and you’ll find that the majority of titles are about Christianity and Jesus. There may be a few about Buddhism, but I’m willing to bet there’ll be practically nothing about Hinduism, Jainism, cults, Paganism and those “other” belief systems.

The library can be superior to bookstores because we have a mandate to stock what the public wants to read about, not to stock what sells.

Browse our “religion” section, and you’ll find books about every belief system under the sun. Eastern and Western, old and new, popular and fringe movements – they’re all here! We’ve got sacred books like the Bible, Koran, and Upanishads, and we’ve got a wide range of scholarly commentary about each one. We’ve got lots about atheism, too – published long before the days of “Dawkins-Dennett-Harris-Hitchens” mania. Some of our textbooks are the same ones used in introductory university classes.

If you’re looking for “the way”, then walk right past that bookstore, and come on in to your local library branch!

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.

Have a Nietzsche Day!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Frederic Nietzsche is one of the most famous and important 19th century philosophers. He is concerned with objectivity and truth, morality and Christianity, freedom and power, and much more. Are you ready to cast off the “slave morality” that binds you? Can you conceive of a world wherein tragedy is an affirmative power?

Browse the philosophy section of your local library branch, and have a Nietzsche day!

For the Love of Jesus!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Even though it’s been thousands of years since he lived (or did he?), Jesus remains one of the most intriguing and influential - (dare I say “controversial”?) - figures in Western history. Nearly every aspect of his life has been debated – from whether he lived at all, to what his spiritual, moral, political and theological beliefs may have been. Is “gentle Jesus, meek and mild” really the case, or was Jesus more of a radical figure?

Browse our catalogue for books about Jesus. You don’t need to have a devotional stance towards Jesus to find him fascinating. Read about Jesus because the art, architecture and icons created in his honour are simply beautiful. Read about him because the history of the Western world has been so strongly influenced by Christianity. Or, read for my favourite reason: because the story of a dying and rising god is as old as ancient Egypt!

There’s a whole lot more to the Jesus story than loaf splitting! Check out our religion collection today!

Blessed is he that readeth

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

The Calgary Public Library gives cardholders access to so much! If you’ve never checked out our e-library, take the time to noodle around and see how much is there!

From the e-library, choose a subject that interests you. Then, start exploring databases. You can find newspapers, magazine articles, academic journals, car repair information, a variety of dictionaries and encyclopedias, health information and more!

Recently, I found that we’ve got a King James Version of the Bible in our e-library. I thought that I’d check it out so I could write a witty post, peppered with words like “hath” and “ye” and “giveth”. I was skimming through the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, and what should stand out, but the following line: “Blessed is he that readeth…”.

From our e-library, I chose dictionaries and encyclopedias, and then CREDO, which is one of my favourite collections of reference materials. The screen opens to a basic search, but by selecting “find a book” at the top right, I was able to see a comprehensive list of all of the books in the database. Under “religion” I found the King James Version of the Bible. But if the Bible’s not the book for you, why not check out the Qur’an? Both sacred texts are easily accessible and organized by book or surah.

Imagine: For thousands of years, sacred books were read by only a few, and typically, only by candlelight or natural light. Aren’t you fortunate that you can read them any time you like, on a back-lit screen?

Tell Me About Your Mother...

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Sigmund Freud is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century. His ideas are curious, controversial and contested, even as they gradually become outmoded. One cannot graduate from a Humanities or Social Science program without studying at least a few of his ideas, and those ideas have had such enormous influence on Western thought that everyone ought to read at least some of his work. A basic understanding of Freud increases one’s cultural literacy - and as a bonus, you’ll be able to better appreciate reruns of Frasier.

Freud is about so much more than sex and cigars! He gave us new and compelling ways to think about the structure of our minds. His theories encompass speech, jokes, dreams, phobias, gender, families, religion and more.

Learn more about this giant of psychology by checking out these titles:

Freud: A Guide for the Perplexed, by Celine Surprenant

Freud, by Ruth Snowden

Freud, Women, and Morality: The Psychology of Good and Evil, by Eli Sagan

Civilization and its Discontents, by Sigmund Freud

The Interpretation of Dreams, by Sigmund Freud

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