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    Book Club in a Bag

    Canada Reads 2012

    by Jasna - 0 Comment(s)

    Canada Reads is an annual "battle of the books" competition organized and broadcast by Canada's public broadcaster, the CBC

    During Canada Reads, five personalities champion five different books, each champion extolling the merits of one of the titles. The debate is broadcast over a series of five programs. At the end of each episode, the panelists vote one title out of the competition until only one book remains. This book is then billed as the book that all of Canada should read.

    Cast your vote for the books (up to five!) that you'd most like to see on Canada Reads. The panelists will choose which book they'll defend in the February debates from the 10 books with the most votes.

    You can vote once per person. The poll closes at midnight ET on Sunday, October 30.

    Book Club in a Bag

    by Shannon S - 0 Comment(s)

    Did you know there are over 110 Book Club in a Bag titles for your club to borrow at the Calgary Public Library? Our Book Club in a Bag allows your book club to borrow ten copies of a popular book for up to six weeks. They also contain sample reviews and information on how to read a book for discussion, how to lead a book discussion and sample discussion questions. Click on the graphic to see a list of all of our wonderful titles available.

    Now if you don’t belong to a book club but want to see what you might be missing out on – well, you’re in luck! There are some really great books about book clubs. Check some of these out and see what goes on behind the pages!

    The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Fowler

    As six Californians get together to form a book club to discuss the novels of Jane Austen,

    their lives are turned upside down by troubled marriages, illicit affairs, changing relationships, and love.

    Summer Reading by Hilma Wolitzer

    The lives of three very different women--Lissy Snyder, an insecure newlywed and unwilling stepmother;

    her nosey housecleaner, Michelle; and Angela Graves, the head of a local book group--intersect over

    the course of a summer in the Hamptons.

    Reading Lolita in Tehran: a Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

    The author describes growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the group of young women who came

    together at her home in secret every Thursday to read and discuss great books of Western literature.

    *Annotations courtesy of NoveList, a database that recommends fiction and non-fiction books by author, plot, setting and topic and includes book reviews.

    If you want to use this resource for great reads, just click here and log on with your Calgary Public Library card.

    Where Do You Like To Do Your Reading?

    by Shannon S - 0 Comment(s)

    While Calgarians are hopefully not reading while operating a motor vehicle it is surprising to see all the places we do read.

    There is a pedestrian often spotted reading her book as she walks across the Centre Street Bridge – serious multitasking!

    Here are some suggestions for books and the places to read them:

    In Bed:

    How about a cozy mystery like Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief by Dorothy Gilman

    Emily Pollifax, a suburban New Jersey grandmother and part-time CIA agent,

    is sent to Sicily to investigate an ancient document, leading her into a

    deadly confrontation with international arms dealers.

    Or a warm tale of friendship like Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

    Inseparable best friends Kate and Tully, two young women who, despite their

    very different lives, have vowed to be there for each other forever, have been true to

    their promise for thirty years, until events and choices in their lives tear them apart.

    On Vacation:

    Try some frothy fun with Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

    Nothing comes between Becky Brandon and her bargains. Neither act of God nor budget crunch

    can shatter her dreams of wall-to-wall Prada. Every milestone in her well-shopped life (travel, long-lost sister,

    marriage, pregnancy) inspires new vistas to explore in the name of retail therapy. But now Becky faces her

    greatest little challenge yet: her two-year-old daughter, Minnie.

    Or perhaps you could try something light and bubbly and romantic with Hard to Handle by Lori Foster

    When his uncle secretly hires a life coach to get him back into the ring, Supreme Battle Challenge

    fighter Harley Handleman, recovering from the death of his mother and his failure to win the title belt,

    is knocked out by Anastasia Bradley, who teaches him how to live again.

    On the Bus:

    Let your fellow passengers know you’re deep and intellectual by reading Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

    Blends elements of psychoanalysis and Asian religions to probe an Indian aristocrat's efforts to

    renounce sensual and material pleasures and discover ultimate spiritual truths.

    Or if you’re looking for something you can finish during your daily commute, why not try a book of short stories such as Bullfighting by Roddy Doyle?

    A collection of stories set in modern Ireland explores a theme of loss, from a man who remembers

    his early family life while taking daily prescribed walks to a father who considers the impact of his children's pets.

    *Annotations courtesy of NoveList, a database that recommends fiction and non-fiction books by author, plot, setting and topic and includes book reviews.

    If you want to use this resource for great reads, just click here and log on with your Calgary Public Library card.

    Where do you like to read?

    Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction Announced!

    by Shannon S - 0 Comment(s)

    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes is the winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

    Tony Webster, now that he is older, is trying to make sense of some of the ways he has behaved towards other people. He discovers that how he remembers events may not be the same way that others remember them.

    It was one of six titles shortlisted including:

    Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch

    After surviving an encounter with an escaped tiger, Jaffy Brown, a nineteenth-century street urchin, goes to work for Mr. Charles Jamrach, alongside Tim, a good but sometimes spitefully competitive boy with whom he forms a long, close friendship. Years pass and Mr. Jamrach recruits the two boys, now teenagers, to capture a fabled dragonlike creature during the course of a three-year whaling expedition. Jaffy and Tim are forced to confront man's relationship to the natural world and the wildness it contains.

    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

    Set against the backdrop of the great California Gold Rush, this darkly comic novel follows the misadventures of the fabled Sisters brothers, two hired guns, who, under the order of the mysterious Commodore, try to kill Hermann Kermit Warm, a man who gives them a run for their money.

    Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

    The aftermath of the fall of Paris, 1940. Hieronymous Falk, a rising star on the cabaret scene, was arrested in a cafe and never heard from again. He was twenty years old. He was a German citizen. And he was black. Fifty years later, Sid, Hiero's bandmate and the only witness that day, is going back to Berlin.

    Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman

    Lying in front of Harrison Opuku is a body, the body of one of his classmates. Armed with a pair of camouflage binoculars and detective techniques absorbed from television shows like CSI, Harri and his best friend, Dean, plot to bring the perpetrator to justice. Told in Harri's infectious voice and multicultural slang, Pigeon English follows in the tradition of our great novels of friendship and adventure, as Harri finds wonder, mystery, and danger in his new, ever-expanding world.

    Snowdropsby A.D. Miller

    Witnessing the progression of regional corruption in his work as a British lawyer in early 2000s Moscow, Nick Platt rescues two sisters from a purse snatcher and pursues a glamorous romantic relationship with one of the sisters before he is asked to help with a dubious family endeavor.

    The winner receives £50,000 and each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their book.

    Looking for more Award Winning Reads? Why don’t you contact your local library or try NoveList. Did you know that your Calgary Public Library card gives you access to this great database full of ideas for what to read next? If you want to use this resource for great reads, just click here and log on with your Calgary Public Library card.

    *Annotations courtesy of NoveList.

    Books to Change Your Life

    by Jasna - 1 Comment(s)

    Do you remember the book or books that opened your eyes to life as it would be in another time, in another place, or as another person? According to this study, reading fiction increases a person’s empathy towards others. Books, and not only those of the fiction variety, can change our lives, transform our thinking, and inspire us to do amazing things. What are some of the books that have changed your life?

    Although my list is too long to include in full, here are a few that have stuck with me:

    The Book Thief
    Marcus Zusak

    Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II,

    Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl

    whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain

    her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well

    as their neighbors.

    A Fine Balance

    Rohinton Mistry

    A portrait of India featuring four characters. Two are

    tailors who are forcibly sterilized, one is a student who

    emigrates, and the fourth is a widowed seamstress who

    decides to hang on. A tale of cruelty, political thuggery and

    despair by an Indian from Toronto, author of

    Such a Long Journey.


    Marjane Satrapi

    The great-granddaughter of Iran's last emperor and the

    daughter of ardent Marxists describes growing up in Tehran

    in a country plagued by political upheaval and vast

    contraditions between public and private life.

    For more suggestions and personal stories, check out some of the titles below:

    We would love to hear about the books that changed your life! Share your personal recommendations in the comments!

    *Annotations courtesy of NoveList.

    WordFest! October 11 - 16!

    by Shannon S - 0 Comment(s)

    Have you got your ticket to world-class and ground-breaking literary arts programming? I do!

    WordFest runs from October 11 - 16 throughout various Calgary venues - including the Calgary Public Library.

    WordFest features a fabulous array of authors in a variety of events during the 6-day Festival.

    Some of my favourites include Marina Endicott, Guy Vanderhaeghe, Miriam Toews, Lev Grossman, Elizabeth Hay and well, click here for a complete list!

    And don't miss Arlene Dickinson, the CEO of one of Canada’s largest independently owned marketing firms Venture Communications and a co-star on CBC’s hit television series Dragons’ Den when she takes to the stage for WordFest at the Calgary Public Library's John Dutton Theatre on Friday, October 14th!

    See the full Festival schedule or purchase tickets. Hope to see you there!

    Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist Announced!

    - 1 Comment(s)

    There were originally 143 titles submitted from across Canada. These were narrowed down to a longlist of 17. Now we have the final shortlist of 6!

    Here are the titles with links to the Calgary Public Library catalogue where you can place a request on them:

    The Free World by David Bezmozgis

    The Antagonist by Lynn Coady

    The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

    Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

    Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner

    The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje

    The winner will be announced at a gala ceremony in Toronto on November 8, 2011, broadcast on CBC Television.

    Who do you think should win the prize?