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Friday, March 14, 2014

At the Library - Just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

At the Library

Westbank Library StaffWelcome to this new monthly column featuring reviews, news and book recommendations from the friendly staff at the Westbank Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library. Our first guest columnist is Sondra Scott-Neeson.

Sondra moved to Peachland nine years ago from Calgary where she worked for the Calgary Public Library for 14 years. She joined the Okanagan Regional Library eight years ago, taking a permanent position at the Westbank Branch in 2009.

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, I’d like to talk about some of my favourite Irish authors.

I’m from a large Irish/Scottish family all in Eastern Canada. St. Patrick’s Day has always been a month-long celebration for our family culminating with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Montreal. I can’t begin to count the number of Irish coffees consumed!

I have always enjoyed reading novels set in Ireland, especially those by author Maeve Binchy. Maeve’s stories about everyday Irish life and people really transport you to that country. I’d particularly recommend Circle of Friends which takes place in the village of Knockglen. It tells of the sins and secrets behind the lace curtains of every villager who lives on Tara Road. The saga continues with other books that feature a cast of recurring characters. Maeve Binchy passed away in 2012 and her final book, A Week in Winter was published a month later. Maeve will be sadly missed by all her fans.

Another Irish author I recently discovered is Patrick Taylor. His Irish Country series is a great hit with readers all over the world. Patrick Taylor was born in 1941 in Northern Ireland and received his medical education there. He won many awards for research into infertility. Patrick Taylor immigrated to Canada in the 90s.  He was encouraged to write stories by his long-time friend, Kelowna writer Jack Whyte. Patrick Taylor now lives on Salt Spring Island.

If you like Maeve Binchy and Patrick Taylor I would also recommend the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr, the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton, and the Judge Deborah Knott series by Margaret Maron.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone and happy reading!

Sondra’s Irish Coffee Recipe
  • Fresh brewed coffee
  • 1-2 jiggers of Jameson Irish Whisky
  • sugar – optional
  • can of real whipped cream

Wet the rim of Irish coffee cup, dip in bowl of sugar to coat rim, add Jameson, coffee, and top with whipped cream.  Enjoy while singing When Irish Eyes are Smiling!

Did you know that the Library also subscribes to some excellent digital resources? For a traditional Irish stew recipe, check out Global Road Warrior. This database, accessed from the Okanagan Regional Library website, is a great way for travelers to learn about other countries. To visit Ireland on this database go to our website at Click on “Web Resources” and then “View all eResources from A to Z” and select “Global Road Warrior.” You will be asked to enter your library card number and 4 digit PIN. Search for Ireland and access the Country Overview, Photo Gallery, Recipes, Travel Essentials and more!


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