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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