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Friday, December 20, 2013

Digital Books and More to Enjoy over the Holidays!

The library may be closed over the holidays, but you can always visit our online collections!

Stay cozy and warm inside while delighting in free music, magazines, eBooks, eAudiobooks, and more – all available through your library website with your library membership.

There are hundreds of popular fiction and non-fiction downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks available from the ORL eBooks collection.

Hungering for more eAudiobooks? Check out OneClickdigital, our newest collection featuring thousands of popular eAudiobooks.  It is a great way to find books to listen to while you are travelling to see family.

Catch up with the latest in politics, business, entertainment and wit your favourite hobbies by checking out the digital magazines available from Zinio for Libraries.

These collections may require the creation of an account to use the service or an initial software set-up. Learn how to get started with these collections on the eResources Help page of the ORL website.

But that is not all! There is more!

If you would like to enjoy books with your kids, check out the TumbleBook collections. There are no waitlists and the books play right in the browser of your computer. TumbleBookCloud is great for tweens and teens. There are even quite a few books for high school Language Arts curriculums -- just in case you have a teen who wants get a head-start on their school work over the break. The TumbleBook Library for Kids features animated, talking picture books as well as puzzles and games, based on books in the collection. The TumbleBook Library for Kids collection can even be enjoyed on tablets and mobile devices. 

Ready to explore the online collections? You can find quick links to access some of these collections right on the ORL homepage. You can also discover these and all the other online collections the ORL has to offer by clicking on the “View all Digital Resources” button on the library homepage, .

Enjoy your holidays – we can’t wait to see you when the library system re-opens on January 2nd!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bring Up the Bodies - Perfect for a Cold Winter's Night of Reading!

On a cold winter’s night there is nothing quite like leaning back in a comfortable armchair beside a glowing fire and reading the kind of book that is almost impossible to put down.

 Bring Up the Bodies (2012) by Hilary Mantel is that kind of book. It is the sequel to Wolf Hall (2009), a brilliant work that won the prestigious Man Booker Prize. The author, a remarkably gifted novelist with few peers, continues the compelling story of Thomas Cromwell, the lowborn man who rose to become one of Henry VIII’s closest advisers. The hero of the story, a historical enigma with a vague background, is fleshed out by Mantel as a boy who fled his father’s beatings to fight for the French, study law and become fluent in French, Latin and Italian.

 Three years earlier Cromwell helped Henry annul his marriage to Katherine so he could marry the younger Anne Boleyn--a direct challenge of the church’s power that set off a tsunami of religious, political and societal turmoil that reverberated throughout 16th-century Europe. But Anne has committed two unforgivable errors: she has failed to give the king a son and grown gaunt and shrewish. He wants to be rid of Anne and it is up to Cromwell to give the king what he wants.

 Bring Up the Bodies, like its predecessor, is written in the present tense. It is an excellent choice because telling the story in the active tense allows the events to unfold before us. This approach ratchets up the tension and heightens the suspense with every page: all it takes is one wrong move and all could be lost.

 This novel more than stands on its own. It might even be a more compelling read than the award-winning Wolf Hall. Mantel does not just make Cromwell powerful but sympathetic—a remarkable feat for a character described in the first volume as “like a murderer”. And she accomplishes it without violating the historical record. Bring Up the Bodies just might be the best historical novel of 2012.  
Review by Peter Critchley from the Vernon Branch

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas is for Kids, and Kids love Books!

 Snowy days and Christmas cheer await families this year!  In “When It Snows” by Richard Collingridge, you will discover the magic of snow by following a boy and his teddy bear on a wondrous snowy adventure to a surprising place. “Santa Is Coming to Canada” details his cross-country visit! In the fractured fairytale, “Santa Claus and the Three Bears” by Maria Modugno, Santa plays the role of Goldilocks with hilarious results!  Join young Zoomer in “Zoomer’s Out-of-This –World Christmas” by Ned Young as he celebrates the festivities with a goofy space family.  If your preschoolers are doing a Christmas show at school, you may wish to read “The Perfect Christmas Pageant” by Joyce Meyer. In this book, Hayley, the Hippo, when asked to direct the annual Christmas pageant for Everyday Zoo, has one challenge after another. Christmas carols are lots of fun to sing!  Try the junior kit “Frosty the Snowman” by Steve Nelson in which children can sing along to a CD, while looking at the beautiful illustrations in the picture book. Great for road trips!  If your kids like to make their own Christmas gifts and cards, have them get into the Christmas spirit by using  The Duct Tape Book:  25 Projects to Make with Duct Tape” by Jolie Dobson and “A Christmas Drawing Wonderland” by Jennifer M. Besel.
      Snow and penguins unite in “The Chilly Little Penguin” by Russell Punter where Perry the Penguin, who lives at the South Pole, tries to get warm! Perfect for beginning readers, while chapter book readers will enjoy “The Life of Ty: Penguin Problems” by Lauren Myracle, which follows mischievous Ty, a second-grader, as he becomes a big brother! For older children, a new Transformer book called “Switching Gears” by Ryder Windham will have them loving robots! Teens will enjoy “Winter White” a Belles novel by Jen Calonita where Izzie enjoys the magnificent Cotillion Ball in Emerald Cove. So get warmed up with a good wintery book!

Recommendations by Linda Youmans, Youth Collections and Systems Librarian for the ORL

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review: Tapestry of Fortunes

Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg.

For those looking for a nice gentle read - look no further (well, you will have to eventually I suppose...) I would not consider this book to be something that has the capacity to truly impact your life or cause a great and wonderful shift in your perspective; but it does serve to tease out that knowledge that we all know deep-down...but too often chose to ignore: That we must make the most out of our life. This latest book by author Elizabeth Berg takes readers on a journey filled with quirky characters, glimpses of Americana, and a detour down that road some never travel; but many wish they had!

This story is narrated in the first person by the character Cece (a talented motivational speaker and amateur fortune-teller) who has found herself at a major cross-roads in her life. Grieving her recently deceased best friend Penny (who may or may not still speak to her at times); Cece finds the courage to make changes in her life that she had long put-off. In doing so; she finds her fortune is not the money in her bank account or the abundance of heirloom quilts she covets; but in the people she learns to love.

Review by Diana McCarthy, Falkland Community Librarian

Friday, November 22, 2013

Book Review: The Rosie Project

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

Graeme C. Simsion is a New Zealand-born Australian author, screen-writer, a playwright, and data modeller. He recently won the 2012 Victorian Premier's Unpublished Manuscript Award for his book, The Rosie Project.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It was extremely amusing and clever.  If you a fan of  TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory” you’ll most likely enjoy this novel.   Don, the protagonist, is wonderful portrayal of someone with Asperger’s.   He is a brilliant scientist, but hapless at social interaction embodying the essence of an “Aspie” who is utterly unaware of his tendencies.  Determined to find a wife, Don constructs a 16 page questionnaire to avoid actually dating.  “The Wife Project” is derailed when Rosie Jarman walks in with her “Father Project”.  As Don narrates the book in first person, the reader gets to share in his challenges of learning to live in an ordinary world, where he must navigate many situations that unsettle his scientifically calculated approach to daily existence.  Don has several talks/debates with himself about changing his plans/schedule as Rosie infiltrates his life. According to his questionnaire, Rosie is not a successful candidate for the “Wife Project” yet he is intrigued and a friendship forms. This novel is a wonderful evocation of two very different people developing a relationship and how they accommodate each other’s uniqueness.  The Rosie Project” is about recognizing yourself, and valuing who you are, while also recognizing your capability to change when necessary.

This review was written by Naomi Vancaillie, community librarian for the Peachland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dan Brown's Inferno - Perfect with Pasta and Merlot!

            Dan Brown’s latest novel: Inferno delivers an intriguing mix of art, history, suspense and drama. Set in Italy (at least for the bulk of the novel) the story begins with Dr. Robert Langdon awakening in a strange Italian hospital with no memory of how he got there or why there is a spiky-haired leather-clad woman hell-bent on killing him. With the help of a beautiful and brilliant young doctor; Dr. Langdon manages to escape and slowly begin putting the pieces of his last few days together. Armed with precious few physical clues, vague images of a silver-haired woman standing beside a blood-red river filled with corpses, and a quickly gathering group of unknown persons attempting to capture or kill him – the adventure begins.

            As with Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code; Dan Brown weaves a tale using clues hidden in and around famous literature, artwork and architecture. I found the story more interesting than his most recent: The Lost Symbol, but not nearly as engrossing as The Da Vinci Code. But if you are looking for a story that will entertain you, teach you some interesting history, and leave you mostly-guessing to the very end – try this one! Grab a cup of cappuccino (or a nice merlot,) enjoy a great pasta dinner, and then pick up this book to enjoy during your carbohydrate crash! And if you have a computer or tablet –keep it handy so you can take a peek at the venues and other works it references.

            And don’t forget that the library currently has a Quickread copy of this title as well as more copies available for regular hold. We can also help you find a great pasta recipe if you want to try something slightly more authentic than boxed pasta and sauce from a jar J

Review by Diana McCarthy, Falkland Community Librarian

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Gift That Keeps on Giving! Tablets and eReaders for Christmas this Year

The Gift That Keeps on Giving!

With Christmas approaching, are you thinking about giving the gift of gadgets?  eReaders (such as the Kobo Touch or Sony WiFi) and tablets (such as Apple or Android tablets) were popular gifts last year, and that trend will probably continue this year. Whether you are thinking about your retired mom, your jet-setting brother or a hard-to-buy-for teen, a gadget that allows access to all the treasures the library has to offer is sure to please!

The Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) offers thousands of eBooks for loan on various devices.  Here are some eBook tips from Reference staff at the Kelowna branch:

  • If you are shopping for a device, check that it is compatible with library eBooks.  Visit for a list of compatible devices  
  • Make sure your library card is up to date.   Please visit or phone your local branch to check the status of your card.   Branch location information is available on the ORL website ( )
  • For instructions on how to download eBooks to a particular device, email us at or visit our ‘eResources Help’ page ( on the ORL website

Choosing which eReader or tablet is best for you is a personal decision.  Library staff cannot make specific model recommendations, but they can suggest where to look for consumer/purchasing information.  Contact your local branch for help finding consumer reviews and advice.

When it comes to deciding between an eReader and a tablet, here are some points to consider. 

You may want an eReader if:
  • You will only be reading books (and not magazines or newspapers)
  • You want something lightweight
  • You plan to do a lot of reading in the sun
    • eReaders have less glare than tablets
  • You want longer battery life
    • eReader batteries can last from two weeks to a month, much longer than tablet batteries (which may last only up to a week)
  • You want to save money! ($100-$150 for an eReader versus $200-500 for tablets)

A tablet may be the way to go if:
  • You want to access a variety of applications
  • Digital magazines (the Zinio magazine collection, available via the ORL website)
  • Email
  • Video
  • Games
  • Apps (including different eBook apps)
  • You want a larger screen size

Most electronics stores will have different eReader/tablet models you can test drive.   Some things to look for: 
  • Which device is easiest to navigate?  Which device has the easiest on-screen keyboard to use?  Is one device’s touch screen more responsive than another? 
  • Which device gives you the best options to change the print/font size?
  • Which display screen looks the best?  Do you get too much glare from one screen?  Is another screen too dark?  What options are available to change the screen display?

Any questions?  Email us at, contact your local branch, or call our Kelowna Reference Department at 250-762-2800, Ext. 1416.  

by James Laitinen, Reference Supervisor, Kelowna Branch, Okanagan Regional Library



Friday, November 8, 2013

Book Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

                This is the fifth book for young adults written by this Australian author and recipient of several awards, prizes, and honours (including a very long stretch of time on the New York Times Bestseller List.) Markus Zusak grew up hearing stories of Nazi soldiers marching Jews through his mother’s small German village;  and set out to tell a story that would simultaneously educate and evoke a wide range of emotions from the reader…and it certainly delivers.

                Set during World War II and narrated by Death (as tired and frustrated a narrator as there ever was); the story follows a young girl and her struggles to find her place in a new foster family. Liesel Meminger arrives in Molching as a malnourished young child who has recently witnessed the death of her only brother and has been left to foster care by a mother who can no longer care for her. As Liesel finally begins to find her place in her new family and community, an unexpected visitor arrives with the power to destroy her and her new-found sense of home. Hiding a Jew in your basement is just not something good German families do – but none-the-less Liesel and her family open their home, their hearts, and their paint cans to this young man.

                Studded with moments of humour, sadness, and joy; this book will open your eyes to sides of Nazi Germany you may never have imagined. Though written for young adults; I found that many of the concepts, themes, and situations in this book are geared more towards an adult level of comprehension.  I would not consider this a “light” read, or one that will leave you with a sense that “all is right in the world”- but it is an excellent story that will make you very glad to have spent the time and effort! Stop by the library branch to reserve a copy today. You won’t be sorry!
Review by Falkland Librarian Diana McCarthy

Watch for the movie being released this Christmas! Which did you prefer - the movie or the book?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

These Tales Will Haunt You!

People are drawn to horror stories in much the same way as they are to the chaotic scene of a major car wreck. It is a terrible attraction that most people find impossible to not take at least a fleeting glimpse of the crash scene.

The most compelling tales of horror are equally hard to resist and Joe Hill’s NOS4A2 (2013) is a perfect example. This story slides you along as if you’re driving too fast in a rusty old wreck of a car on a dark, twisty road, with bald tires, no lights and hardly any brakes.

Victoria McQueen, otherwise known as the Brat, discovers she has the singular knack of finding lost things by focusing on the object in question while riding her bike, a Raleigh Tuff Burner. She is subtly carried away into a world that appears to be real as her own, accessed by the Shorter Way Bridge, a gateway that ceases to exist as soon as Victoria crosses back into our world with the found object.

Victoria does not understand her abilities and as she grows older she happens upon a woman with a bag of Scrabble game tiles she uses to divine answers to questions such as the ones Victoria asks. But the woman’s answers are less than satisfactory and it appears Victoria may well be in for some harrowing moments, particularly with Charles Manx.

Manx is the villain of the piece and arrives from a place called Christmasland, an astounding amusement park full of possibilities with as much light and happiness as a dark, stone prison cell.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013) by Neil Gaiman is a “slim and magical feat of storytelling genius” according to a recent review in The Library Journal.

The protagonist, an artist, returns to his childhood home in the English countryside to recover his memory of events that nearly destroyed him and his family. At that formative time the suicide of a stranger opened a gate for a murderous spirit who disguised herself as a housekeeper. The evil spirit won over the boy’s sister and mother, seduced his father and marked the boy for death if he ever told anyone the truth.

The plot rapidly evolves from reminiscent to scary to life-threatening and the protagonist, the anonymous narrator of the story, seeks the help of a warm and welcoming family of witches at a neighboring farm to combat the evil forces that are unleashed by his return.

Boneshaker (2009) by Cherie Priest is a novel written for the young adult audience. But it is an
immensely entertaining tale that will entertain adult readers of all ages.

Zombies, steam-powered technology, airships, pirates and mad scientists are all elements of the tightly-crafted story and the characters are as compelling as the intriguing plot.

Mad scientist Leviticus Blue creates a machine that accidentally decimates Seattle’s banking district and unearths a vein of blight gas that turns everyone who breathes into the living dead. Sixteen years later Briar, the mad scientist’s widow, lives in a poor neighborhood outside the wall constructed around the uninhabited city wasteland. Life is difficult and challenging for the widow, especially one saddled with a ruinous reputation. But she and her son Zeke are surviving, at least until Zeke impulsively decides that he must redeem his father’s reputation.

The Queen of Spades (1834) is a classic tale of terror by Alexandr Pushkin, one of the great Russian writers. It is a psychologically complex short story that probably still remains unsurpassed in all of Russian fiction.

Hermann, an ethnic German, is an officer in the Imperial Russian Army. He always watches other officers gamble but never plays himself. One evening a fellow officer, Tomsky, tells him about his grandmother, an elderly countess, who lost a fortune at cards and won it back with the secret of three winning cards.

Hermann, obsessed with learning the secret, confronts the 87-year-old countess and demands she tells him. She refuses, he brandishes his pistol to scare her and she dies of fright. When he attends the funeral of the countess, and passes by the coffin, he is terrified when the countess opens her eyes and steadily gazes at him.

Later that night the ghost of the countess appears before a shaken Hermann and she imparts the secret of the three winning cards. Hermann takes his entire savings to a salon where wealthy men play for high stakes.

Peter Critchley is a librarian at the Vernon library. All these titles and more are available at your Okanagan Regional Library

Friday, November 1, 2013

Try a New Author - Darynda Jones

Darynda Jones

Meet Charley Davidson aka The Grim Reaper. She is also a PI who solves cases because she can talk dead people. She is also pretty good at putting clues together and she is one tough cookie. In the first book First Grave on the Right she meets Reyes, who has a huge secret; one that might get Charley killed. This series is edge of your seat suspenseful while being a laugh a minute. It has already won lots of awards and if you like Paranormal Romantic Suspense this is a great series for you. Ms. Jones also writes a Young Adult series (that is a good series for adults too) with the first in the series being called Death and the Girl Next Door.
Recommended by Annette from Mission Branch

Monday, October 28, 2013

Speaking from Among the Bones

Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley

                A missing organist, ghostly sightings, a buried Saint, and an eleven-year-old amateur sleuth with a penchant for poisons…This and more you will find in the latest offering by Alan Bradley. Flavia de Luce (chemistry genius, youngest of three sisters, and fearless adventurer) once again falls headfirst into a murder mystery in her hometown of Bishop’s Lacey. While seeking clues and traipsing the countryside on her beloved bike Gladys; Flavia meets a bevy of intriguing and mysterious characters. These characters and a number of strange happenings help her to put all of the pieces of this murder mystery together. The story is told from Flavia’s point of view and has the insights and humour only a young girl can find in the everyday! Set in 1950’s England this book offers all the best parts of a good murder mystery without the foul language and situations that can accompany stories set in modern-times.

                This is the fifth Flavia de Luce novel written by Alan Bradley and is every bit as strong and well written as his first: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Published in 2009). If you loved the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew books as a child (or perhaps you still do), or if you are looking for a good murder mystery that will make you smile, laugh, and shake your head in wonderment…look no further. Flavia de Luce delivers it all! To accept delivery you need only visit your local library (or a bookstore) for copies of these wonderful titles. They are available in CD Audiobook, Hardcover, Large Print, or E-book.

                Alan Bradley and has had a long and varied career working in Radio and Television; and has taught Script Writing and Television Production courses at the University of Saskatchewan. He currently lives in Malta and has been nominated for, and won, numerous awards for this series of books. So support another talented Canadian author and give Alan Bradley’s books a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Book Review by Diana McCarthy, Falkland Branch

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Try a New Author - Elizabeth Peters

Elizabeth Peters:

Meet Amelia Peabody. Victorian England gentlewoman who decides to use her inheritance to see the world. The only problem is her trip is cut short when she gets to Egypt and meets Emerson. He is crass, loud and everything Amelia can’t stand in a man. They are perfect for each other. The fact that he is an Egyptologist and Amelia has fallen in love with the country doesn’t hurt either. One of my all-time favourite series. Start with Crocodile on the Sandbank.


Recommendation by Annette at the Mission Branch

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bones of the Lost - Mummified Dogs and Murder!

Kathy Reichs has released another novel in her TemperanceBrennan series entitled Bones of the Lost. This series now stands at 16 published novels (plus one “E-Short” that has just recently been released.) FYI: E-Shorts are novels that can only been downloaded onto an e-reader or other device and/or read on a computer…no paper copies are available. For those who haven’t tried this author before I encourage you to give it a chance. And if you already read and enjoy the stories…what are you waiting for?? And don’t forget about her Virals series for young adults!

This story features a hit-and-run murder of an anonymous girl in a shady stretch of town, smuggled mummified dogs, a serious murder investigation by the American army on foreign soil, some issues with ex’s, and a web of connections that will leave you still trying to get it all straight in your mind once you finish the book! It is an enjoyable read that will make you smile, laugh, and feel a bit sad all within minutes.

The library has copies of this title available as a Quickread, as a regular hold, and in Audio format.

Review by Diana McCarthy, Community Librarian, Falkland Branch

Monday, October 7, 2013

Try a New Author - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon

The first book in her Dark Hunter series is Fantasy Lover or if you are into Manga try Dark Hunters, Vol 1. This series highlights a different character in every installment and even though the basic plot is the same each book is a treat to read. Basically each book has a character who is either a Dark Hunter (Vampire that doesn’t drink blood), Were Hunter, Dream Hunter or God. Each has trials to get through to meet the love of their life. The books have lots of angst, humour and sex. This is another series that should not be missed if you are a Paranormal Romance reader.

Recommended by Annette at Mission Branch

Thursday, October 3, 2013

October is Small Business Month in BC and at the Library!

It's Small Business Month and you won't believe all the resources we have available at the library to help your small business succeed!
Let's start with books! Our reference staff have put together the following booklists:
Human Resources
Business Communication

As a part of Small Business Month, we are featuring some of the ORL’s online resources that can entrepreneurs may find useful. 

All resources discussed below can be accessed by ORL patrons through the “View all Digital Resources” button found on the ORL homepage, .

Looking to get your business off the ground and need some guidance on how to write a business plan to seek out funding? Check out the Business Plans Handbook; it offers a wide collection of sample business plans and business plan templates from everything from bakeries, to specialty clothing stores, to photography studios.

To find a sample business plans,
·         Search through all volumes of this series using the search box underneath the cover image of the handbook, or, 
·         Click on one of the listed volumes to browse through its contents.

You can find full-text articles on business news and management from the following magazines in the Canadian Business and Current Affairs index: 
·         Canadian Business 
·         Report on Business Magazine
·         The Canadian Manager

For a refresher on how to search through CBCA by publication, check out last month’s blog post.

Do you want to read your magazines in full colour print-like layout? You can find these magazines, which focus on how Canadian issues affect businesses and entrepreneurs, in the ORL’s Zinio for Libraries collection: 
·         BCBusiness Magazine
·         Profit

If you are new to Zinio for Libraries, check out this helppage on the ORL website on how to get started.

Finally, here are some helpful links: 

We hope you have a successful Small Business Month!

Monday, September 30, 2013

A New Season - It's Hockey Time!

The advent of fall marks the beginning of a new season, one that promises to delight millions of Canadians from coast to coast. The 96th National Hockey League season opens at the beginning of October and the wealth of fiction and nonfiction material about our national game can sometimes be just as compelling and entertaining as the actual play.

Indian Horse (2012) is powerful, gripping tale by Richard Wagamese the National Post lauded as an “unforgettable work of art.” Saul Indian Horse, the protagonist of the story, lies dying in a hospice high above the clamour and strife of a big city.  As he lies on his death bed he embarks on an extraordinary flight of imagination back through the life he led as a northern Ojibway.

Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family, is sent to a residential school where he finds salvation on the ice as an incredibly gifted hockey player. But Saul also battles the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, the callous and cruel racism and the soul destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement. And it all unfolds against the stark beauty of northern Ontario, all rock, marsh, bog and cedar.  
This October also marks a different kind of hockey and literary milestone. It is the thirtieth anniversary of the release of The Game (1983), a timeless classic work of nonfiction by the former great Montreal Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden. The book, widely acknowledged as perhaps the best nonfiction hockey book ever written and lauded by Sports Illustrated as one of the top ten sports books of all time, transports you to the heart and soul of the game.

 It includes vivid and affectionate portraits of the team’s characters—Guy Lafluer, Larry Robinson, Guy Lapointe, Serge Savard and coach Scotty Bowman among them—that made the Canadiens of the 1970s one of the greatest hockey teams to ever face off in history. But what sets the book apart is that Dryden also reflects on life on the road, in the spotlight and on the ice to produce a work that offers you a singular, inside look at the game of hockey. The latest edition, published in 2005, includes black-and- white photographs and a new chapter by the author.
Coincidentally, during the same month in 1983 another accomplished Canadian writer, Roy MacGregor, published The Last Season, hailed at the time as the best novel ever written about our national game. Felix Batteriinski, the protagonist of the novel, grew up in Northern Ontario where hockey provided one of the few avenues of escape from a live of grinding poverty. But Felix escaped and eventually cracked the Philadelphia Flyer line-up as an enforcer.

 The seasons passed and Felix, now in his thirties and at the end of his playing career, decides to accept a position as player-coach of a Finnish hockey team. When a controversial play destroys his comeback Felix comes face to face with his obsolescence and tragically descends into disillusion and despair.
Cold-cocked: On Hockey (2007) by talented West Coast author, professor and born-again hockey aficionado Lorna Jackson is a sardonic, passionate nonfiction work about hockey written with a sportswriter’s energy and discipline and the wit and cynical eye of a cultural critic. It explores the game of hockey--once called by poet Al Purdy a “combination of ballet and murder”--through the eyes and heart of a woman.

The author, unlike most other authors of hockey books, pays her own money to watch hockey. And the book, deadly serious and urgent at times, is a timely reminder that it is the fans that own the game and ultimately will determine its fate.

The Antagonist (2011) is a sharply written, fiercely funny novel by acclaimed Canadian author Lynn Coady. The book, shortlisted for the Giller Prize two years ago, tells the tale of Gordon Rankin, “Rank” to his friends, a hulking player cast as a goon by his classmates, hockey coaches and especially his own tiny bitter father. Rank, who actually fears his own strength, gamely lives up to this role until tragedy strikes.
Rank disappears--the only way he knows how to escape--and almost twenty years later he discovers Adam, an old trusted friend, has published a novel mirroring his own life. He is cut to the quick by the betrayal but through a series of unanswered emails to Adam that covers his early years in small town Canada and his aborted college career the ex-goon finally confronts the tragic true story he’s spent his entire life running away from. In short, he needs to tear himself apart before he can put the pieces back together. 

Reviews by Peter at the Vernon Branch

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Try a New Author - Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum is the girl next door. She bought lingerie for a big department chain but got laid off so, of course, she went and blackmailed her cousin into giving her a job as a bond enforcement agent. She doesn’t know what she is doing which makes for a really fun ride. The fact that she has 2 men in her life that she can’t choose between and she has a “partner” who is larger than life but wears teeny tiny outfits and has huge hair adds to the appeal. And then when you add the Merry Men – hilarity ensues. Wait until you get to book # 9; To the Nines but you will want to start with One for the Money. P.S. if you saw the movie the books are much funnier. Great Mystery series.

Recommended by Annette from Mission Branch

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Prize Finalists Galore!

The fall always brings some wonderful shortlists of Book Prize Finalists! We have most or all of the finalists for these prizes in the library or on order so that you can decide for yourself who should win!

Hilary Weston Writer's Trust of Canada Prize for Non-fiction

Scotiabank Giller Prize

The Man Booker Prize

National Book Awards

Let us know in the comments below who you think the winners should be!

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Calculated in Death" - This Formula Never Gets Old!

Calculated in Death by J.D. Robb (one of many Pseudonyms used by Eleanor Marie Robertson [better known as Nora Roberts of Romance Fiction acclaim]) is the most recent publication in the “In Death” series. After 35 stories in this series one would think the formula should be getting “old.” Amazingly, not so!

New York City homicide Lieutenant Eve Dallas takes us through the ins and outs of murder for greed. With the help of her Billionaire husband, her NYPD partner, her friends, and other NYPD officers, the perpetrator(s) are brought to judgement. The backstory of Eve Dallas and that of her husband Roark adds a personal interest level to these well-written and crafted plots.

Her detective partner “Peabody” is a delight – her story as a “Freeager” is illuminated in such a way that Peabody takes your breath away with her “everyman” views on life and death.

Lighter than some, more intense than other mysteries - there is a lot to recommend this series to mystery/suspense readers.

Nora Roberts is a prolific author who has been writing for over 30 years. Last year she published 5 full-length novels and so far this year has released this title and has another set to come out later on this month…So whether you want romance fiction or mystery fiction – this may be the author for you!

P.S. the Okanagan Regional Library has copies of nearly every book written by this author – stop by today and give one a try!

By Carol Stratton and Diana McCarthy from the Falkland Branch

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Try a New Author - Janny Wurts

Janny Wurts

The first book in her Wars of Light and Shadow series is The Curse of the Mistwraith. The series is about 2 brothers; one with the power of light and the other with the power of shadow. It is an excellent series but not for the faint of heart as the vocabulary is quite advanced and her sentence structure is very complex. The plot is multi-layered and there are a number of characters however the plots and characters mesh together to make a brilliant tapestry. This series should not be missed if you are a Science Fiction/Fantasy fan or a fan of long term character development.

Recommended by Annette at Mission Branch

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall Programs at the Library Enrich Your Children's Lives!

Now that your older children are back to school, preschoolers want to learn too!  Libraries have wonderful FREE programs for babies to five year -olds which have significant benefits.  Storytime attendance can assist children with becoming successful readers and learners.  In addition, helping their ability to listen, sit still and be independent from their parents is an asset.  Colours, letters, shapes, and a larger vocabulary through hearing stories in books, singing songs and doing fingerplays, will all strengthen crucial skills that they need to succeed in school! Fingerplays and stretching songs build strength and coordination in kids. The socializing aspect of storytimes is great for both the children and their parents. It prepares the children for entering school by significantly decreasing social and separation anxiety.  Another positive result, for the family, especially fathers, is that these library programs are one of the few occasions where they can meet other parents and chat afterwards. Many long-term friendships have blossomed from these programs! 

So, why don’t you check out some of the wonderful programs for children at your local library? Series of programs will be starting in September. If you have a beautiful bundle of joy between a newborn to eighteen months, Babytime is the program for you! Featuring songs and fingerplays, Babytimes can be found in Kelowna, Mission, Peachland, Rutland and Westbank branches. For slightly older children between eighteen months to 3 years, we offer Toddlertime, with stories, flannelboards, puppets and lots more at Kelowna, Mission and Rutland Branches.  Preschoolers (ages 3-5) will love our thirty minute storytimes incorporating all of these elements, at Kelowna, Lake Country, Mission, Oyama, Peachland, Rutland and Westbank. Our largest library, Kelowna Branch also has a successful school-aged program called Lego Builder beginning on September 26 with registration required.

Check the ORL website at: for specific days and times at the branch nearest you!

Help prepare your preschoolers for school by joining us and enriching their lives!

by Linda Youmans, Youth Collections / System Librarian for Okanagan Regional Library

Friday, September 6, 2013

Find Great Newspaper and Magazines Articles in the Canadian Newsstand & the Canadian Business and Current Affairs Index

For the month of September, the ORL is featuring two eResources: the Canadian Business and Current Affairs Index (CBCA) & Canadian Newsstand.

You can find articles from some of your favourite newspapers and magazines in CBCA & Canadian Newsstand -- both eResources are searched at the same time. Many of the magazines and newspapers in these collections offer the full-text of the article and access to back issues.
Learn about currents events, business, and politics in magazines such as:

·         The Economist
·         Maclean’s
·         Newsweek (Global ed.)

Keep informed with Canadian Newspapers such as:
·         Globe and Mail
·         National Post
·         Vancouver Sun

Along with the many more magazines and newspapers that are offered, you can find also find journals for literary reviews, and peer-reviewed scholarly publications from the sciences and social sciences.
You can check out CBCA and Canadian Newsstand by clicking on the ‘View all Digital Resources’ button, on the ORL’s homepage. From there, you can find the links to CBCA or to Canadian Newsstand, as well as find all of the other eResources that the ORL has to offer. Be sure to have your library card handy, you will need to sign in with your library card barcode number and PIN.

For the month of September, you will able to find the link to access CBCA and Canadian Newsstand in the Check this out! box on the ORL’s homepage.
Once you’ve signed in, click on the Publications link near the upper left hand corner of the page. This will bring up a list of all the publications in the CBCA & Canadian Newsstand databases. Then, type the name of the magazine or newspaper you want to find into the search box.

Clicking on the title of the publication from the results list will bring you to the Publication Information page. On this page you can…
·         Click on “view most recent issue” link next to the title of the magazine or newspaper, to get to the newest articles right away
·         Check out the full-text coverage period
·         Search within the publication for specific articles.
·         Or, browse articles by issues or year (just click on the year/issue you are interested in)
Check it out today!


Each month, the ORL will be featuring one of its eResources. Library membership gives ORL patrons access to a wide range of eResources that can be accessed from home and in the library. These eResources can be used for reading and enjoyment, to help you with your research needs, or to learn new things.

Bring the library to your home today!



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back to School Books for Kids!

Fall brings cooler weather and exciting times reuniting with school friends! Packed with colourful pictures, preschoolers will be excited to learn their 1,2,3’s in “My First 100 Numbers” by Tick Tock books.  In “September Sneakers”, a Calendar Mystery by Ron Roy, panic strikes four grade one students when, on their first day back, Goldi, the school hamster they have been taking care of,  goes missing! For beginning readers, in “Listen Up, Larry” by Karen Poth, Detectives Bob and Larry investigate the reason why Junior isn’t getting good grades.  Chapter book graphic novel fans can join the Lunch Lady, a secret crime fighter, on a class trip to an art museum in the hilarious book called  Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.

Public libraries and school kids go hand-in-hand.  When twelve-year-old student, Kyle, wins  a contest to stay overnight in the new town library, which was designed by his hero, a famous game maker, Kyle has to solve an amazing mystery! Check out his adventures in “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” by Chris Grabenstein. Avid young history fans will be mesmerized by the facts in “A History of Just About Everything” by Canadian authors, Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky. Kids of all ages will learn how to solve word problems by answering question in “Bedtime Math:  A Fun Excuse to Stay Up Late” by Laura Overdeck. A great way to learn Math!  James Patterson gets an A+ for writing “Middle School:  How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli and Snake Hill”!  While reading his book, young adults will chuckle at the hijinks during summer camp!  Another middle school survival book, part of a non-fiction series, is “Cultivating Positive Peer Groups and Friendships” by Adam Furgang. Staying positive in school and having great friends is really important. This book will help!

Don’t forget about Fall storytimes,  for babies to age five, starting in September in all 29 branches!  Fun school-aged programs can be found at many branches too. Check our website: for more details.
By Linda Youmans, Youth Collections/System Librarian

Friday, August 30, 2013

Game of Thrones - Toss on Some Chain-Mail and Grab Your Sword! Book Review

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

                For those who enjoy a good epic storyline filled with murder, revenge, kings, noblemen, fantastic beasts (both of the animal variety and human), and a fantasy world at the brink of war; this book is for you! This first book in the series A Song of Ice and Fire will spark your imagination and keep you entertained for hours.

                Published in 1996, this book has received much critical acclaim including number one on the New York Times Bestseller’s list in July of 2011. For those who may have already enjoyed reading this series or who perhaps aren’t interested in embarking on a lengthy reading mission; HBO has made a television series based on this book and subsequent books from the series. Season one is available for purchase now (or to borrow through the Okanagan Regional Library system) and Season two is set to be released for purchase later this month.

                This book is told in the third person limited point of view (geek-speak for: this story is told by an invisible person who cannot access all of the thoughts and feelings of each character) with a good balance of dialogue and description. The layout and style is easy to navigate and after a few pages and a bit of imagination you fall easily into the book’s clever plotlines. Though the book is entertaining and accessible, I would not recommend it to all persons. Many of the situations in which the characters are thrust can be a bit disturbing for those seeking a more genteel read. It is a work of fiction so if you can keep this in mind it will help smooth over some of those rougher spots.

                So toss on some chain-mail, grab your sword, and head to the library to take a peek at this popular title. This title is available in the following formats through the public library: Book, Audiobook, DVD, and E-book.
Review by Diana McCarthy, Community Librarian for Falkland Branch

Monday, August 26, 2013

Try a New Author - Donna Andrews

Donna Andrews: 

Meg Langslow is a blacksmith. Yes that is what I said; a blacksmith. Poor Meg is always a bridesmaid and never a bride until she meets the dressmaker’s son. Then all bets are off. This is another of those series that are funny and edge of your seat suspenseful and not to be missed. Start with the first book Murder With Peacocks.


Recommendation by Annette at the Mission Branch

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Try a New Author - Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child:

Agent Pendergast is a mystery wrapped in an enigma surrounded by questions. He seems like a modern day Sherlock Holmes but what exactly is he? He is very rich, very reserved and very very good at solving mysteries as an FBI Special Agent. The series begins with Relic.

Mystery – Action – Adventure.

Recommendation by Annette at the Mission Branch

Friday, August 16, 2013

Beach Reads - Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World

The number of books that may be suitable for nonfiction aficionados to read on a beach is not extensive compared to works of fiction material. But Cod: A Biography of the Fish ThatChanged the World (1997) is certainly an exception. The work, by Canadian author Mark Kurlansky, is an engaging, vivid volume that chronicles the immense impact and influence the cod fishing industry has had on the human race.

 Kurlansky masterfully traces the relationship of the cod industry to such historical eras and events as medieval Christianity, international conflicts between England and Germany, slavery, the molasses trade and even the dismantling of the British Empire. It is not a lengthy read and the accurate scientific information is conveyed in a highly entertaining style.

Review by Peter at the Vernon Branch

Monday, August 12, 2013

Beach Reads - Azincourt

Azincourt (2008) is a remarkable and action-packed depiction of the legendary battle of Agincourt in 1415 by Bernard Cornwell, acclaimed author and master historical novelist. The battle, fought on St. Crispin’s Day and immortalized in Shakespeare’s Henry V, is the first major battle ever won by the use of the longbow--a weapon developed by the English. The longbow enabled the English to win a brilliant and unexpected victory at Agincourt and dominate the European battlefield for the rest of the century. 

 It is  breathtaking, finely researched tale told from the various viewpoints of nobles, peasants, archers and horsemen. Cornwell breathes life into the relentless fighting, the anguish of an army crippled by disease and the incomparable bravery of the English soldiers. No other historical novelist has so mastered the details of warfare in centuries past.

Review by Peter at the Vernon Branch

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Beach Reads - The Cold Dish

The Cold Dish (2004), the first novel in the Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson, is a breezy and stylish mystery. The series, recently popularized by an award-winning A&E television series, begins with the discovery of a corpse of Cody Pritchard, a much-disliked young man. The title, of course, refers to revenge, and Longmire, the veteran sheriff of Absaroka County in the Bighorn Mountain Country in Wyoming, would rather drink beer than investigate. But he is far from the usual loner cop and

 He dispatches Deputy Victoria Moretti, a brittle and profane cop transplanted from Philadelphia, to the scene. They soon discover someone killed the young victim with a .45-70 buffalo rifle–an unusual weapon that unfortunately is fairly common in rural Absaroka County. Soon another corpse turns up and Longmire, with the help of Moretti and his best friend Henry Standing Bear, doggedly solves the crime.

Review by Peter at the Vernon Branch

Friday, August 2, 2013

Beach Reads - Silver Girl

SilverGirl (2011) a novel by Elin Hilderbrand, is beach reading at its best–a moving story of loss, friendship, love and forgiveness. When the Feds nab Meredith Delinn’s husband Freddy for orchestrating the largest Ponzi scheme in history, she finds herself under investigation. She flees New York for Nantucket and the comfort of her closest friend, Connie, now profoundly lonely after the death of her husband and the estrangement of her daughter.

 The lifelong friendship of the two women fell apart three years earlier and their grief brings them back together. Much of the novel is told in flashback as Connie and Meredith work through their crisis. But the talent of the author keeps these memories resonant and alive as the present day.

review by Peter at the Vernon Branch