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    Book Club in a Bag

    Great Graphix: NOT Your Run of the Mill Comics

    by Adrienne - 0 Comment(s)

    Think that comic books are only for teenagers and picture books are only for kids? It might surprise you to see what actually ends up being published as Graphic Novels these days and the complex and mature content that ends up being published as… basically, picture books. Everything from the biology of our DNA to the Bible; from Math Romances to Book Spine Poetry can make it between these pages.

    Here are five subjects you might have never thought would be published as a comic book:

    The Stuff of Life : a Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA by Schultz, Mark

    Think you’ll never grasp the science behind DNA? Even the basics of genetics can sound utterly alien. So who better than an alien to explain it all? Enter Bloort 183, a scientist from an asexual alien race threatened by disease, who's been charged with researching the fundamentals of human DNA and evolution and laying it all out in clear, simple language so that even his slow-to-grasp-the-point leader can get it.

    Manga Shakespeare by Paul Duffield

    I have found these the fastest way to understand Shakespeare’s plays in a 20-40 minute sitting. Get the context complete with actual quotes from the plays – THEN read the texts and you're sailing. Plus they are illustrated in Manga--did I mention that? Start with Romeo and Juliet and then try The Tempest on for size. (It’s set in a sci-fi future!)

    Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto

    Another great graphic novel form that has evolved is the Graphic Memoir, and this is a prime example. Heartbreaking and funny, it details how Marchetto set out and succeeded in “kicking cancer in the butt – in 4 inch killer heels, no less,” managing to keep her optimism, her high end restauranteur fiancé, fashion, humour, support from family and friends, wits AND get married on time in high style to boot.

    Book of Hours : a Wordless Novel Told in 99 Wood Engravings by George A. Walker

    Some events are best described wordlessly. George A. Walker certainly felt this when he chose to chronicle a day in the life of the events of 9/11 in Book of Hours. It’s hard to describe what these black and white illustrations impart but should take you approximately 9-11 minutes to flip through the book and get it.

    The Bible: a Japanese Manga Rendition, Translated by Glenn Anderson, edited by Marie Iida

    Whoever thought you could enjoy the bible Manga style? Well, you can.


    There are many other gems embedded in the Library's Art, Graphix and Children’s book collections.

    Stay tuned next week for five unexpected… picture books!


    by Jasna Tosic - 0 Comment(s)

    "If you produce one book, you will have done something wonderful in your life."

    Jacqueline Kennedy

    Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994) has been an icon for over fifty years. Many of us are familiar with images of the young, perfectly coiffed First Lady wearing stylish outfits, pearls and matching pillbox hats. We have seen her in evening gowns and long gloves; in candid shots playing with her children; and waving from the Presidential motorcade the day that her husband, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated and America’s Camelot era ended. We know that she was the mother of Caroline Kennedy and the late John F. Kennedy, Jr., and that she became known as “Jackie O.” after marrying wealthy Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

    We know a lot about the first part of her life, but who was she when her identity was no longer tied to the men she married?

    She outlived her first husband by thirty years, and her second husband by twenty years. In 1975, widowed and wealthy, with her two children then in their teens, the 46-year old Jackie needed an identity of her own. Journalist Jimmy Breslin gave her this advice: “You should work as an editor. What do you think you’re going to do, attend openings for the rest of your life?”

    Despite her lack of experience, Jackie applied for a job as an editor with Viking Publishing and was hired. She later moved to Doubleday Publishing, and worked her way up to being their Senior Editor. She was enthusiastic about her clients, and their books. She even promoted a book about Marilyn Monroe, mistress of John F. Kennedy, and one about opera singer Maria Callas, a former lover of Aristotle Onassis. Books became her passion, and in the nineteen years she worked in the field, she edited almost one hundred titles.

    The Calgary Public Library has ordered a newly released title about this period in Jackie’s life:

    Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Greg Lawrence

    Other titles which may interest you:

    What Jackie Taught Us: Lessons from the Remarkable Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Tina Santi Flaherty

    The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

    Farewell, Jackie: a Portrait of Her Final Days by Ed Klein

    Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: a Life by Donald Spoto