Search This Blog

Thursday, April 28, 2011

75 Years of ORL Favourite Books

As part of our 75th anniversary celebrations, we challenged ORL librarians to create a list of favourite books from the past 75 years. Selections didn’t necessarily have to be the bestsellers of the year, or the biggest award-winners (though they may be a combination of these things), and they had to have left an indelible mark on society in the year they were published. These are great books to read, both fiction and non-fiction, with a healthy dose of Canadian content.

All of these recommendations are in the ORL catalogue, and it is interesting to note how many of them have been made into movies…many of which you can borrow from our feature film collection as well! Some are also available through BC Library to Go in eBook or AudioBook format – just check BC Library to Go 

1936 – Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
1937 – The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien
1938 – Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
1939 – The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
1940 – The Last Tycoon, F. Scott Fitzgerald
1941 – For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
1942 – Book of Small, Emily Carr
1943 – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
1944 – The Razor’s Edge, Somerset Maugham
1945 – Forever Amber, Kathleen Winsor
1946 – All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warner
1947 – Under the Volcano, Malcolm Lowry
1948 – Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
1949 – Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller
1950 – Kon-Tiki, Thor Heyerdahl
1951 – Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
1952 – People of the Deer, Farley Mowat
1953 – Casino Royale, Ian Fleming
1954 – Lord of the Flies, William Golding
1955 – Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
1956 – Peyton Place, Grace Metalious
1957 – Justine, Lawrence Durrell
1958 – Dr. Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
1959 – Watch that Ends the Night, Hugh MacLennan
1960 – Luck of Ginger Coffey, Brian Moore
1961 – Catch-22, Joseph Heller
1962 – The Golden Notebook, Doris May Lessing
1963 – The Collector, John Fowles
1964 – The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John LeCarre
1965 – The Source, James Michener
1966 – The Fixer, Bernard Malamud
1967 – The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton
1968 – 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
1969 – Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth
1970 – Love Story, Erich Segal
1971 – The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty
1972 – Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth
1973 – Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach
1974 – The Diviners, Margaret Laurence
1975 – Ragtime, E. L. Doctorow
1976 – Lady Oracle, Margaret Atwood
1977 – The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
1978 – The World According to Garp, John Irving
1979 – Sophie’s Choice, William Stryon
1980 – The Bourne Identity, Robert Ludlum
1981 – The Rebel Angels, Robertson Davies
1982 – Monsignor Quixote, Graham Greene
1983 – Shame, Salman Rushdie
1984 – The Talisman, Stephen King and Peter Straub
1985 – Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
1986 – The Prince of Tides, Pat Conroy
1987 – Beloved, Tony Morrison
1988 – A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawking
1989 – The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
1990 – Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
1991 – Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
1992 – Every Living Thing, James Herriot
1993 – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
1994 – Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt
1995 – The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman
1996 – The Cure for Death by Lightning, Gail Anderson-Dargatz
1997 – Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier
1998 – The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
1999 – Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
2000 – The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
2001 – The Life of Pi, Yann Martel
2002 - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Mark Haddon
2003 – The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
2004 – The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
2005  - Saturday, Ian McEwan
2006  - Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
2007 – The Book of Negroes, Lawrence Hill (also published as: Someone Knows my Name)
2008 - Through Black Spruce,  Joseph Boyden
2009 – Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
2010 – Room: a novel, Emma Donaghue            

This booklist is also available in our branches in a hardcopy format for you to keep and read your way through, as well as a booklist especially designed for young readers with 75 favourite children’s stories. Let us know what you think of the selections or other recommendations you have. Happy reading!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Writer's Memories of the Library...

Thanks to Okanagan author Daryl Sedore for his guest blog, where he recalls the influence of libraries in his childhood and perhaps his choice of career as a writer.

Daryl has penned several novels, and interestingly has found using the pseudonym "Jonas Saul" has increased the e-sales of his thrillers ten-fold - check out his blog at to find out more. The ORL is working on getting some of his work in our collection.

Libraries have been in my life since I can remember. Sitting in the corner, book in hand, reading The Hardy Boys and losing myself as the characters weaved through their personal journeys. I can still remember the various layouts of the libraries of my youth. I still recall their smell, the feel of the books, the helpful attendants.
Maybe that has more to do with who I became than I previously thought. Perhaps these libraries inspired me. Today, with ten books written and published of my own and three more due out within the next two years, I wonder how much the rows of books moved me on the inside.
I do know one thing: libraries have given me great joy and for what it’s worth, that alone inspired me to join their ranks. To walk the aisles, glance along the spines and dream of what’s behind the covers. I discovered so many new authors, new journeys and new ideals within the confines of not just the hard covers of books, but also within the walls of my favorite library.
To enjoy seventy-five years of lending books, reading and educating their patrons with the power of knowledge is such an honour. The Okanagan Regional Library should stand tall and be proud as they are still an active member of our society, constantly changing and adapting to not just stay relevant but also to stay ahead of the reading experience as this generation advances into a stronger e-book base.
Great people, easy to get to locations and fabulous events keep the Okanagan Regional Library a wonderful place to visit. I implore you to come out and be a part of library history as they celebrate, “75 Years of Stories at the ORL”.
What a place. What a story. What a dream. What magic. What will you find?
Maybe a memory of your own…