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"at your library" in the north island eagle: booklists: hidden gems of historical fiction

Booklists: Hidden Gems of Historical FictionHere’s a booklist you may want to save: historical fiction. This genre brings history to life, by letting readers view it through the eyes of ordinary people. Sometimes there’s a romance or mystery set against a backdrop of an earlier time. Often there’s a mix of historical figures and fictional characters. Beyond the very popular titles, such as Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale and Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace (both terrific reads!) here are 10 title...
Tags: Travel, Boston, New York City, Toronto, Barcelona, United States, Vancouver, Margaret Atwood, Sarah, Tulsa, RCMP, Louis Riel, Calcutta, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian


"at your library" in the north island eagle: booklists: hidden gems of fiction

Booklists: Hidden Gems of FictionHere’s a list of 10 so-called literary novels. These are great reads that will move you, make you think, and maybe make you sad when they end. Here are ten novels that could be called hidden gems.Title: White TeethAuthor: Zadie SmithA big mix of characters of many generations, ages, and backgrounds, all living in northwest London. Friendship, love, war, and just about everything else. One of the most talked-about debut novels ever, written when Smith was only 25....
Tags: Travel, Texas, London, China, New York City, Brooklyn, Smith, San Antonio, Central Park, Atlantic Ocean, Liu, Underground Railroad, McLain, Beryl Markham, What I'm Reading, Laura K


"at your library" in the north island eagle: booklists: meet amazing people through reading

As I mentioned here, I'm posting three of these columns each week until I'm caught up.Booklists: Meet Amazing People Through ReadingIn my last column, I suggested ten travelogues that might tempt you. Today I’m highlighting ten memoirs – great writing by fascinating people with a unique view of the world.Title: Just KidsWho’ll you’ll meet: Patti Smith, poet, musician, storied pioneer of punk rockWhat you’ll find: The art and music scene in 1970s New York City; a warm and loving portrait of frien...
Tags: Travel, Bruce Springsteen, New York City, Paris, Alan Cumming, Patti Smith, Ishmael Beah, Jenny Lawson, Alison Bechdel, Sherman Alexie, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, My Writing, Alicia Elliott, At Your Library" Column


happy birthday to me: in which i arrive at a milestone

I have been alive on this planet for 60 years. I don't know how that happened. It doesn't seem even remotely possible. Yet here it is. I am 60.I keep hearing that getting older sucks. I've been hearing about it for 30 years, but have yet to see it for myself. There are tough things about aging, for sure. Unpleasant things. There's no denying it. But there were tough things at every stage of life. Being a child is not the proverbial picnic, nor being a teenager, nor a young adult. There are alw...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Laura K, Happy Birthday To Me


"at your library" in the north island eagle: happy new year and happy book lists

Happy New Year and Happy Book Lists2020 was such a difficult year. Most of us were not sorry to see it go! Your library is here for you, dreaming of a time when we can open our doors wide and welcome everyone back inside.Do you ever wonder what to read next?Do you ever want to learn about a specific topic but you don’t know where to start?Librarians have lots of tips and tricks to help you find what you’re looking for. For my next few columns, I’ll be sharing lists of books on various topics and...
Tags: Travel, Netflix, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, My Writing, VIRL, Vancouver Island Regional Library VIRL, At Your Library" Column, Amazon At Goodreads, Better Than Food To


"at your library" in the north island eagle: holidays in the time of covid: let your library help (yes, that's how long it's been)

Oh dear, I'm way behind on posting the biweekly columns I write for the local free newspaper. I don't imagine wmtc readers need to read these, but I like to preserve them on this blog.To avoid a barrage, I'll post a few columns each week until I'm caught up.* * * *Holidays in the Time of Covid – Let Your Library Help“Give Library” is back! The Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) stocking stuffer for you. They’re good for everyone on your list, they look great -- and best of all, they’re fre...
Tags: Travel, Port, McNeill, Port Hardy, Laura K, My Writing, Bella Coola, VIRL, Masset, Life In A Small Town, At Your Library" Column, Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center, Sooke Tofino


"at your library" in the north island eagle: book lists: travel the world by book

Book Lists: Travel the World by BookIn my last column, I promised you lists of books on various topics. I’ll highlight ten books in each column. You might want to clip and save them!TraveloguesThe pandemic put all our travel plans on hold, but we can always travel through reading. In the books on this list, talented writers tell amazing stories about the places they visit, and they invite you to come along.Title: My 25 Years in ProvenceAuthor: Peter Mayle, a British writer who lived in FranceWhe...
Tags: Travel, London, Scotland, Pacific, Sam Heughan, Wise, Vancouver Island, Stephen Fabes, William Atkins, Peter Mayle, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, Europe North Africa, Bruce Kirkby, My Writing


bearing witness: 215 tiny skeletons speak to us. canadians must listen.

The discovery, last week, of the remains of 215 children on the site of a former Indian Residential School has sent shock waves through Canada, especially through this province, where the gruesome evidence was found.  The skeletons of the children, some seemingly as young as three years old, were in an unmarked mass grave. For survivors of residential schools, this has almost certainly brought retraumatization, and profound grief and sorrow throughout their communities. For many of us not dire...
Tags: Travel, History, First Nations, Canada, United States, United Nations, Amnesty International, Indigenous Peoples, NHL, North America, British Columbia, Irs, Columbia, Auschwitz, MLA, Kamloops


what i'm reading: there, there by tommy orange

After finishing and marveling over Kate Reed Petty's True Story, I picked up There There by Tommy Orange and had a similar reaction.I don't read a lot of popular fiction, so reading two debut novels back to back, and really enjoying both of them, was a wonderful surprise.What does it mean to be an Indigenous person -- a Native, Native American, First Nations, Native American Indian, an Indian -- in the world today? Not in the pre-contact world romanticized in our imaginations. Not as any of the ...
Tags: Travel, Indigenous Peoples, North America, Orange, Native, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Tommy Orange, Kate Reed Petty


what i'm reading: true story by kate reed petty

Kate Reed Petty's True Story is one of the most impressive debut novels you'll ever read. It is both a riveting page-turner and a narrative puzzle, twisting and turning in on itself, leaving the reader reeling and uncertain. This book is very smart and very compelling. It is also very difficult to write about without spoiling! But don't worry, I hate when reviewers reveal too much, and always do my utmost to avoid that.Begin with an incident. A sexual assault. Think , who was assaulted by Brock...
Tags: Travel, Sexual Assault, Stanford University, Petty, Glen Ridge, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Brock Turner, Kate Reed Petty


what i'm reading: the skin we're in by desmond cole

Alternative title: It Happens in Canada, Too.Desmond Cole's book, The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power may be a difficult book for white Canadians to read. That's exactly why they should read it. Cole documents events most Canadians would call "US-style" racism -- except they all take place in Canada. He uncovers historical anti-Black bias in Canada's immigration policies, ongoing anti-Black racism in its public schools, racism embedded in false historical narratives, and raci...
Tags: Travel, New York City, US, America, History, Canada, United States, North America, Ku Klux Klan, Henry, Underground Railroad, Howard Zinn, What I'm Reading, Bigotry, Laura K, Canadian Culture


rtod: kids are jumping out of windows of burning buildings, so we board up the windows instead of putting out the fire

 Revolutionary thought of the day:What I'm here to talk about is how our whole approach since day one has been like this: Kids are jumping out the windows of burning buildings, falling to their deaths. And we think the problem is that they're jumping. This is what we've done: We've tried to find way get them to stop jumping. Convince them that burning alive is better than leaving when the shit gets too hot for them to take. We've boarded up windows and made better nets to catch them, found more ...
Tags: Travel, Quotes, Indigenous Peoples, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Revolutionary Thought Of The Day, Tommy Orange


north island life: in which we buy a generator (when in rome)

Our new friend Here on Vancouver Island, frequent power outages are a fact of life. Obviously outages happen everywhere, but when high-wind storms come ripping off the Pacific, we're the windbreak. On the North Island, add thousands of acres of tall trees, with instability caused by logging. Add to that a remote region where it may be many hours before work crews arrive, and the source of the outage can sometimes only be located by helicopter. The last outage lasted 30 hours, the one ...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Pacific, Allan, North Island, Vancouver Island, Laura K, Life In A Small Town


the return of a gardenette, plus worms (but no scary pics)

When we moved into our house, the grounds were spectacular. Even in this area where seemingly everyone gardens, the former owners were masters. There were beautifully designed flower groupings everywhere, nine huge raised beds, an herb garden, a large (and locally famous) raspberry patch, a greenhouse, and chickens.It was the perfect house for an avid gardener... but too bad, we bought it!We asked the sellers to remove the greenhouse and the chicken coop (and the trampoline), and we removed th...
Tags: Travel, Personal, Montreal, Ontario, Vancouver Island, Laura K, WormBox, Red Wigglers


subscribe-by-email is going away. bloggers, what are you going to use instead?

Blogger will soon stop supporting the function that allows readers to subscribe to blogs via email. This is occurring because Google is killing Feedburner. Like the deceased Google Reader, Feedburner is very popular, used by millions, but Google has not been updating it, and is now officially killing it.There has been some concern that Google might kill Blogger, but over the past several years, they have been answering Blogger-related questions and upgrading some Blogger features. I am still w...
Tags: Travel, Google, Internet, Meta, Feedburner, Laura K


april 28: day of mourning for workers killed and injured on the job

April 28 is the Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job. The canary is a potent symbol and a powerful reminder. This tiny, fragile bird was the only thing that stood between miners and a suffocating death. The world over, workers are little more than canaries in their own workplaces.No worker should ever be killed or injured because of work, yet it happens on a regular basis. The pandemic has put the spotlight on the many dangers that workers face every day -- but it hasn't le...
Tags: Travel, US, Canada, Labour, Laura K


the concept of intersectionality: what it is, what it's not, why we need it

Women Friendly Cities Challenge After the recent, horrific murders in Atlanta of eight people, six of whom were Asian or Asian-American spa workers, there was a lot of discussion online about the nature of these killings. Were they acts of anti-Asian hatred? Were they acts of misogyny? Were they motivated by the hatred of sex workers, as evidenced from the shooter's statements?  Is there another choice, all of the above?  This is where the concept of intersectionality comes in. This w...
Tags: Travel, Facebook, Atlanta, Feminism, Black, CRENSHAW, Kimberle Crenshaw, Maxfield, Bigotry, Laura K, Combahee River Collective, Mary Maxfield Maxfield


what i'm reading: sometimes you have to lie: the life and times of louise fitzhugh, renegade author of harriet the spy

Until very recently, I didn't know anything about Louise Fitzhugh and had not thought about her at all.  Of course, as a child I read and loved Harriet the Spy, Fitzhugh's iconic and groundbreaking children's book. For a good portion of my life, I dreamed of writing a similar book. Many years ago, when I started writing serial fiction for a children's magazine, I bought a handful of tween books to re-read, and Harriet was among them. But I knew nothing about its author. On my birthday la...
Tags: Travel, New York City, History, Vietnam, Children's Books, Harriet, Louise, Louise Fitzhugh, Brody, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Fitzhugh, Lgbt Stuff, Books About Books, Times of Louise Fitzhugh Renegade, Leslie Brody


george floyd + 1,000 others annually: justice is not possible, but accountability might help

Derek Chauvin, the police officer who murdered George Floyd, was found guilty on all charges. At long last, after millions protested around the country and the world, a police officer was held accountable for murder. Or as one of the memes says, we only had to burn down the country to do it. Between May 25, 2020, the day George Floyd was murdered, and April 20, 2021, the day of the verdict, 640 Americans were killed by police.*In the 24 hours following the announcement of the Chauvin verdict, ...
Tags: Travel, Human Rights, Congress, Washington Post, US, Bigotry, Laura K, Chauvin, Abuse Of Police Power, George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, Ma Khia Bryant Bryant, Law Enforcement Support Office


topsy-turvy land: u.s. states make protest illegal and driving into protestors legal

It seems that state lawmakers in several U.S. states need a refresher course on the First Amendment. It's a very simple amendment, really. Amendment ICongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.While the beloved First Amendment has always been selectively applied -- cue t...
Tags: Travel, Florida, Human Rights, Minnesota, US, America, Indiana, Canada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Aclu, Know Your Rights, Oklahoma, Alberta, Civil Liberties, Manitoba


what i'm reading: the sword and the shield: the revolutionary lives of malcolm x and martin luther king jr.

When I read a review of The Sword and The Shield: the Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., I knew it was a book I'd been waiting for someone to write.  I despise the way Martin Luther King, Jr. has been sanitized and diluted for public consumption. The version of King that is widely celebrated is a pile of sentimental goo that the real King would not have recognized, let alone endorsed. King's radical legacy is reduced to a kind of bland "why can't we all just get alo...
Tags: Travel, Activism, Southeast Asia, US, History, United States, Selma, Socialism, Islam, United, King, Martin Luther King Jr, Henry Louis Gates Jr, Malcolm X, Martin, Joseph


beverly cleary, rest in peace, and thank you

Beverly Cleary, who died last week at the astounding age of 104, was a pivotal figure in the world of children's literature. Her books are treasures; her influence can scarcely be measured.Cleary was one of the first authors to feature young characters who were realistically imperfect. If she was not the first, then certainly she was the first popular, widely read writer who, as The Atlantic put it, "saw children as they are". Before Henry Huggins and Ramona, before Otis and Ellen and Ralph S. ...
Tags: Travel, Atlantic, New York Times, Obits, Ellen, Library Of Congress, Children's Books, Harriet, Nancy Drew, Henry, Ralph, Otis, Louise Fitzhugh, Cleary, Ramona, What I'm Reading


reflections on a year of piano lessons by a dedicated (and untalented) student

The covid lockdown began on March 17, 2020. On March 20, I began piano lessons.I took piano lessons from age 6-10, before switching to violin (a mistake), then quitting. I later resumed piano lessons as a teenager -- a very positive experience that ended when I left home for university. It was always assumed that I would one day inherit our family piano. That didn't turn out as planned, but that magnificent heirloom has stayed in the family, and in a wonderfully random way, I ended up with a p...
Tags: Travel, Music, Personal, Laura K, COVID-19, Pianote, Lisa Witt


roots and icebergs: decolonizing community spaces: a workshop

I recently attended a six-hour workshop called Decolonizing Community Spaces. The workshop was led by two facilitators, one a Native American speaking to us from her traditional territories in Montana, and the other a Filipina-Canadian. About 30 people attended; I believe all were health and service providers in the province of BC. All the other participants raved about how much they learned, and how they will change their daily practices accordingly. I don't know if they were exaggerating, or i...
Tags: Travel, Activism, Montana, History, Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Bigotry, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, Poverty And Class, Information Sciences, Tree of Liberation, Indigenous Solidarity Ottawa, Ways of Knowing Combining Two Ways of Knowingbr


five negatives and five positives of living in a remote region

Everything in life is a trade-off. Everything has pros and cons, advantages and pitfalls, clouds and silver linings. I honestly can't think of anything this rule doesn't apply to, including the Big Life Choices that are the most obvious and clear to us. This post has an additional disclaimer, more like a geographical quirk.  Aerial views really emphasize remoteness. Although we live in what most people would consider a small town -- population approximately 4,200 -- Port Hardy is act...
Tags: Travel, New York City, Toronto, Personal, Vancouver, Ndp, Vancouver Island, Port Hardy, Laura K, We Like Lists, Life In A Small Town


what i'm reading: janis, her life and music

As a teenager and in my early 20s, I was somewhat obsessed with Janis Joplin. I read all the available biographies of her, and took any opportunity to see footage of her legendary performances. I never lost my fascination; I've continued to love Janis' music throughout my life. Reading Janis: Her Life and Music by Holly George-Warren deepened my appreciation of Janis' intelligence and artistry. The book also shifted my adult view of Janis, from a misunderstood, tragic figure, to a joyful, life...
Tags: Travel, Music, Texas, San Francisco, Bob Dylan, New York Times, Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Black, Columbia, Robert Plant, Dylan, Otis Redding, Joplin


very sad news: boomer cannot stay

My heart is heavy. My heart is broken.Boomer cannot stay with us.We can't even foster him while we search for his forever home.One of our dogs is extremely stressed by Boomer's presence. It's causing some behaviours that are intolerable and potentially dangerous, and will only worsen over time.From information from the vet, a behaviourist, and several people with multi-dog households, I've learned that this is not uncommon when a third dog is introduced to an existing pair, especially a male com...
Tags: Travel, Dogs, Personal, Boomer, Kai, Laura K


in which the "no third dog rule" is happily thrown away: introducing boomer!

This handsome boy is Boomer, the newest addition to our family. I saw him a couple of times outside the library, scrounging food. He was quiet and meek, friendly but very cautious. A library regular -- the person who used to have Cookie -- told me folks have been calling him Boomer. Allan and I couldn't agree on a different name, so Boomer he is. He's less than a year old. I'm guestimating seven to nine months; we'll know more after his first visit to the vet in a few days. It's likely that...
Tags: Travel, Dogs, Personal, Allan, Cookie, Diego, Boomer, Buster, Kai, Laura K, Boomer Allan, Diego Kai


listening to joni: #17 and final: shine

Shine, 2007 Shine is Joni's most recent, and likely final, studio album. She came out of retirement in 2007 to release the album, nine years after her previous Taming the Tiger. Shine, which was also re-issued on vinyl in 2020, is a themed collection: the lyrics focus on environmental destruction and endless war. Joni composed some of the tracks for The Fiddle and the Drum, a collaboration with the Alberta Ballet Company, for which Joni served as artistic director.   At the time of the album...
Tags: Travel, Music, Iraq, US, Pink Floyd, Starbucks, Catholic, Joni Mitchell, Dick Cavett, Joni, Les Irvin, Laura K, Listening To Joni, WarnerMedia, Warner Group, Alberta Ballet Company


what i'm reading: the bridge by bill konigsberg -- important, powerful, essential teen fiction

The Bridge, by Bill Konigsberg, is the best YA novel I've read since Eleanor & Park in 2012. Unfortunately, I know that many readers won't go near this book, because of its subject matter: teen suicide. This would be a terrible missed opportunity. It's a great book that both teens and adults -- especially adults who have contact with teenagers -- should read. Yes, it's sad, but it's also hopeful, and it's powerful, and it's necessary.Konigsberg, author of several excellent YA books, approaches t...
Tags: Travel, New York City, Tel Aviv, Mental Health, Eleanor Park, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Königsberg, Youth Books, Safar, Raymond Reddington James Spader, Bill Konigsberg, New York City s George Washington Bridge, Marauch, Ghazi Safar



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