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"at your library" in the north island eagle: booklists: we could use a laugh

As I mentioned here, I'm posting three of these columns each week until I'm caught up.Booklists: We Could Use a LaughI have one last booklist for you before I write about other things for a while. As the pandemic enters its second year, we could all use more humour in our lives, so here’s a list of funny books. Of course humour comes in many different flavours. A book that makes you laugh 'til you’re gasping for air may leave your friend totally cold – or worse, may offend them. Use this list wi...
Tags: Travel, New Orleans, Terry Pratchett, John Kennedy, Moran, What I'm Reading, Sedaris, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, My Writing, Brosh, At Your Library" Column, David SedarisA, Tina FeyEssays, Allie BroshA, Neil GaimanTwo


"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


"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: 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


"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


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


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


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


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


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


what i'm reading: ghosts of gold mountain, the epic story of the chinese who built the transcontinental railroad

Ever since reading, in 2006, The National Dream and The Golden Spike, Pierre Berton's books about the building of the Canadian railroad, I've been interested in the Chinese railroad workers. Two details stuck in my memory: Chinese workers retaining their food traditions (and the racism and abuse they encountered over this), and that they went on strike. I was excited to know that these underpaid, undervalued, and abused workers organized themselves to fight back.So when I saw a very positive r...
Tags: Travel, New York, California, Stanford, China, US, Sacramento, Cisco, History, Canada, Labour, New Orleans, South America, North America, Stanford University, Chang


a reading plan for 2021: big stacks of nonfiction, plus some fiction, and series for mind breaks

2018: Titles and reading projects that were languishing on my List.2019: The year of the biography. The first time I created a reading plan for the year.2020: I liked having the 2019 plan, and created a new plan for 2020.In each case, I read many titles from the plan, and many off-plan -- enough that I feel I've accomplished part of a goal, but not so much that the goal became a chore. For 2021, I consulted The List, and selected sub-lists of nonfiction, fiction, and YA. Add to that the authors ...
Tags: Travel, New York City, Personal, Gotham, Cia, Janis Joplin, Malcolm X, Rebecca Solnit, Kinzer, What I'm Reading, Stephen Kinzer, David Wallace, Laura K, We Like Lists, Donald Westlake, Sidney Gottlieb


what i'm reading: never cry wolf by farley mowat

I have read many essays and op-eds by Farley Mowat, the legendary Canadian naturalist, but until now, had never read any of his many books. (He was incredibly prolific.) When visiting Russell Books in September, I noticed a copy of Never Cry Wolf and picked it up. I'm so glad I did! It's a short, easy-to-read book that would appeal to any nature lover, not only wolf enthusiasts like me.Never Cry Wolf: The Amazing True Story of Life Among Arctic Wolves, first published in 1963, chronicles three...
Tags: Travel, Environment, Wolves, Manitoba, Wolf, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Mowat, Farley Mowat, Russell Books, Animals (other Than Dogs, Keewatin Barrens, Northwest Territories Farley


how do you read? in which my reading habits unexpectedly change

Librarians like to ask readers about their reading habits. How do you read?What format do you most prefer? Do you have a secondary format? These days, most avid readers have found a use for e-books -- travel being the number one reason -- but generally prefer print. But some people read only e-books, and some only print.Many people listen to audiobooks in their car or during their commutes, often listening to one book and reading another. Some people are audio only, especially now that most au...
Tags: Travel, Henning Mankell, Allan, Ontario, John le Carr, George Smiley, Wallander, Martin Beck, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Becoming A Librarian, Donald Westlake, Per Wahloo


the post of orphaned notes

Like many writers, especially those of us who grew up before the digital age, I keep a notebook. I use it to capture ideas, capture thoughts about I'm reading, take notes on experiences, and take notes on various activist or community meetings I attend. I've learned that I have to make notes while I'm thinking of something, because I am unlikely to remember the thought at another time, out of context. Before the digital age, I carried a small spiral memo pad with me almost all the time. These da...
Tags: Travel, Greece, US, History, Meta, Jfk, Shakespeare, Southwest, Gregory, Tom, William Styron, Calif, Fulton, John Steinbeck, Lauren Groff, Gina


what i'm reading: beaten down, worked up: the past, present, and future of american labor

Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor by Steven Greenhouse is exactly what the subtitle says: a history and analysis of the rise, decline, and re-emergence of the labour movement in the United States. Although the context is American, the lessons in the stories easily apply to Canada, and perhaps globally, to labour movements everywhere. Greenhouse covered labour issues for The New York Times for more than 30 years. It's obvious that the research for Beaten D...
Tags: Travel, Florida, New York, Activism, Obama, Mexico, Kaiser Permanente, White House, US, America, Los Angeles, History, Earth, Chicago, Canada, United States


what i'm reading: our inner ape: a leading primatologist explains why we are who we are

When I scroll through my ridiculously long book list, the name Frans de Waal appears again and again. I read reviews of his books, they sound appealing, they go on the list -- and there it ends. This has been going on since the 1990s, and now in 2020, I had yet to read one of his books. Finally, my reading plan (originally here, with updates here and here) put de Waal back on my radar. At Russell Books in Victoria, I found two of his books, and I put two more on hold at my library. I've read o...
Tags: Travel, Africa, Victoria, Darwin, Lolita, Peter Paul Rubens, Waal, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Frans de Waal, De Waal, Kidogo, Russell Books, Animals (other Than Dogs


what i'm reading: all my puny sorrows by miriam toews

I've just finished reading All My Puny Sorrows, the haunting, heartbreaking, hilarious, and life-affirming 2014 novel by Miriam Toews. It's difficult for me to write about fiction. I don't like to describe plots, because for my own reading, I hate knowing plots in advance. I really enjoy letting the story unfold the way the writer intended. So I generally end up writing about themes -- which for many readers is not at all helpful.All My Puny Sorrows is about the family love, especially the bon...
Tags: Travel, Mental Health, Canada, Margaret Atwood, Winnipeg, Toews, Miriam Toews, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Canadian Culture


what i'm reading: love: possibly roddy doyle's best book

Love, the latest novel by Irish writer Roddy Doyle, is a miniature tour de force. It's a story where seemingly nothing happens, nothing that you could really call a plot. Two men who have known each other a very long time, but haven't seen each other in many years, are having a pint at a pub. It's familiar Doyle territory. Roger Rosenblatt, reviewing Love in the New York Times, writes:When I tell you that Roddy Doyle's new novel, "Love," is about two 50-ish men talking well-oiled talk in a pub...
Tags: Travel, New York Times, Doyle, What I'm Reading, Roddy Doyle, Laura K, Roger Rosenblatt


it's national read a book day: let's play the page 56 game

 In honour of National Read A Book Day, grab the book you are currently reading or the last book you read. Open to page 56, and find the sixth sentence on the page. Type the line in comments, plus the title and author of the book.I'll start:-- What?Roddy Doyle, Love (2020)When we last played this game on wmtc in 2008, we had one of the longest threads ever on this blog... now wiped out. I continue to hope. Perhaps foolishly, but I can't live with the thought of thousands of comments being lost...
Tags: Travel, Meta, What I'm Reading, Laura K, We Like Lists


what i'm reading: a new plan

As I've mentioned many times, I keep a running List of books. The List dates back to the mid-1980s. It's not a complete list of books I've read. I wish I kept track of every book I read, but because I didn't start this at the Beginning of Time, I can never start it. The List is also not a to-read list. If it were, I would be too overwhelmed to read a single word. The List is all the books I hear of or read about that sound interesting and attractive to me. The List is the universe of books that ...
Tags: Travel, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, What I'm Reading, Roddy Doyle, Laura K, Arnold Rampersad, We Like Lists, Laura Ingalls Wilder Caroline Fraser, Dorothy Herrmann, Bob Dylan Galileo


wmtc "what i'm reading" posts to celebrate black august 2020

I thought Black August was something newly created by Black Lives Matter, but it turns out it has existed since the 1970s. I'm sorry I haven't heard about it sooner, and I thank the Movement for Black Lives for bringing it to my attention. Black August commemorates the rich history of Black resistance. Revolutionary moments such as the Watts Uprising, Haitian Revolution, Nat Turner Rebellion, Fugitive Slave Law Convention, and March on Washington all happened in August. Also, many of our revolut...
Tags: Travel, Human Rights, California, Washington, History, Muhammad Ali, Toni Morrison, Black Lives Matter, Edward, Black, Civil Liberties, Zadie Smith, James Baldwin, Jackie Robinson, Fred Hampton, Marcus Garvey


what i'm reading: how to be an antiracist by ibram x. kendi

How To Be An Antiracist is an important, powerful, thought-provoking book. With unflinching precision, Ibram X. Kendi defines the roots of racism and explains how we can work to eliminate it.The structure of the book is disarming: the explanatory chapters are interwoven with the story of Kendi's personal journey from racist thinking to antiracist thinking.Yes, the author is Black, and he has had racist thoughts, and has engaged in racist behaviours. He spares no mercy for himself as he looks ba...
Tags: Travel, Human Rights, US, America, Ohio, Martin Luther King Jr, What I'm Reading, Bigotry, Laura K, Kendi, Ibram X Kendi, Election Fraud, Kenneth Blackwell, Antiracist Kendi


rotd: "systemic racism" is redundant

Revolutionary thought of the day:"Institutional racism" and "structural racism" and "systemic racism" are redundant. Racism itself is institutional, structural, and systemic.Ibram X. Kendi, How to be Antiracist [Author: laura k]
Tags: Travel, What I'm Reading, Bigotry, Laura K, Revolutionary Thought Of The Day, Ibram X Kendi


what i'm reading: political graphic nonfiction: this place: 150 years retold

This Place: 150 Years Retold, foreward by Alicia Elliott.In keeping with my posts about political graphic nonfiction, here is a quote from This Place. The book is an anthology of 10 stories by 10 or 11 writers and illustrators. Each writer prefaces their story with context, including something about their personal connection to the material. Chelsea Vowel begins her preface to "kitaskinaw 2350" like this.Dystopian or apocalyptic writing occupies an enormous amount of space in contemporary story...
Tags: Travel, History, Graphic Novels, Indigenous Peoples, Jason Kenney, What I'm Reading, Laura K, Bunner, Youth Books, Alicia Elliott, Chelsea Vowel, Indigenous Canada MOOC Reading, Paul Bunner



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