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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Winners of Vernon Branch Writing Contest!

Congratulations to the winners of the Vernon Branch

Big Orange Tent and Creative Writing Contests!

Enjoy reading the submissions:

1st Place: Greyhound Valhalla by Tom Glenne
2nd Place: Coleman Lanterns and Radio Hockey by Ted Mellenthin
3rd Place: Becoming by Lisa Santos

Short Story
1st Place: Raspberry Pulp by Sharon McLean
2nd Place: Centurion Child by Matt Ingrouille  
3rd Place: Her Name is Hope by Eric Reimer

Kids Categories

Ages 6-8 category
1st place: Annie Hayhurst, age 6, author of Penguins.
2nd place: Ava Tepper, age 8 ,author of The orange tent.
3rd place: Lily Butler, age 7, artist of man-eating bunny.

Ages 9-11 category
1st place: Olive Butler, author of Big Orange Secret.
2nd place: Katelyn Kadach, author of littlest of the little people.
3rd place: Anastasia Wasylinko, author of Unbelievably Orange Adventure.

Ages 12-15 category
1st place: Christy Richards author of Weaver.
2nd place: Sarah Kadach author of orange tent robbery.
3rd place: Elizabeth Vargas author of Reminiscing of a 12 year old.

Thanks to the Vernon Friends of the Library for providing the prizes for this writing contest!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Book Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

     There has been a lot of buzz about The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (2012).  Another first novel, this one's plot is unusual & unpredictable, but ultimately very captivating.
     Harold is a retired sales representative, married, & living a quiet, unfulfilled life in a small English town. He is an ordinary man, one who does not voice his feelings, who plods on whatever life throws his way. A letter from a former work colleague, telling him that she is dying, but wanting to say goodbye, sets the rest of the story in motion. Harold replies. When he goes out to post the letter at the mailbox at the end of the road, he unwittingly, (at first), starts a long journey by foot, without returning home. As the result of a chance encounter, he convinces himself that his 600 mile journey will help his old friend survive. He carries nothing, walking in “yachting” shoes. His journey becomes a pilgrimage, a tale about the journey being more important than the end itself. Along the way he ponders his life, his marriage, his relationship with his son, all of his past. He meets a wildly varied cast of characters who help him see his life in an entirely new light. His voice alternates in the novel with that of his wife, Maureen; we see her struggles as she also undergoes a transformation as the result of Harold's “unlikely pilgrimage”.
     It is a well written story about faith, persistence, hope, redemption, second chances, & opening oneself to the world. The Daily Mail (UK)'s reviewer said “It's a deceptively simple novel about the anguish of regret, the importance of faith, and the redemptive power of love...humorous, moving and of the best books you'll read this year”.
Do yourself a favour & take a walk with Harold.

Diana Inselberg is a retired librarian and resident of Enderby, who has worked at various Okanagan Regional Library branches.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: I am Malala

A few weeks ago I forgot my E-reader at home and had to find a real, live, book to read on my break at work...yes, sadly I have become one of “those” people who regularly use (and really and truly adore) an electronic reading device. I went searching and came across a title that several people had recommended I read: “I am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb (published in 2013.)

What an amazing book! The story takes the reader to some of the small towns and villages of Pakistan; describing the history of the area and it's inhabitants while focusing on the time just before and after the 9-11 attacks in the United States. I was shocked to discover how little I really know about the people living in the Middle East during this time period. It was eye-opening for me to read about the things that they did not have access to, the money for, or even the right to ask for. The main character “Malala” is a young girl whose family longs for stability, peace, and a political climate that encourages education -especially that of females. The story describes their fear, their courage, and their tenacity as they strive to hold on to things that are slowly and methodically being stolen from them by or with complacency of those who should be protecting them.

This book served not only to highlight my ignorance of this part of the world and it's affairs; but made me grateful to live in a country where the concept of personal freedom may not be perfect- but it is a heck of a lot better than millions of others experience! I would recommend this title to anyone who is experiencing good mental health and a desire to become more globally aware. The library has copies available and I suspect you can find this title at practically any store that sells is an excellent read, but it's not for those who can't stand a little sadness in their stories.

Diana McCarthy, Community Librarian, Falkland Branch

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Auto and Small Engine Repair at the Library: Great DIY Resources!

It’s the perfect season to do auto repairs and other tune-ups in preparation for the summer season and the ORL offers two great online resources for customers to explore: Auto Repair Reference Center & Small Engine Repair Reference Center.

Auto Repair Reference Center 

In the Auto Repair Reference Center, you can find coverage of more than 37,000 vehicles from 1954 to 2010. There are thousands of drawings, photographs, and wiring diagrams to guide you.

To find vehicle repair information, you can look by year, name of vehicle manufacturer and model of your vehicle. You can find such information as service bulletins and recalls, repair procedures and diagrams, specifications and more.

You can also find general car care tips, “Auto IQ” videos, and troubleshooting walkthroughs to help you learn about your car. These additional features are found in boxes lined along the bottom of the Center’s page.

Small Engine Repair Reference Center

The Small Engine Repair Reference Center provides detailed repair guides for both routine engine maintenance and for more extensive repairs for such things as motorcycles, lawnmowers and boat motors.

The repair information comes from hundreds of reference books and manuals, and many include photos and illustrations for step-by-step help.

You can easily explore the Center by category, where you can choose the type of engine you need information for, and select the brand, engine type and model numbers.


You can visit each of these Centers through the “View all Digital Resources” button found on the ORL homepage, . They can both be found under the ‘Automotive’ heading and can used at home or in the library, just sign in with your library card and PIN!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Book Review: The Light Between Oceans: Visually Stunning and Emotionally Harrowing

     The Light Between Oceans (2012), a first novel by Australian writer M.L. Stedman, has become a bestseller since its publication last year. Stedman is a lawyer who now lives in London, England.
     This novel is a visually stunning & emotionally harrowing love story with a moral dilemma at its centre. It is set initially on a fictional remote island off Australia in the years following WWI. A lighthouse keeper & his wife, Tom & Isabel, find a boat washed ashore after a storm, with a dead man & 2-month old infant in it. Isabel, childless, has had 2 miscarriages & has just buried a stillborn child. The rest of the novel deals with what happens after they decide to raise the child as their own, a decision which alters the course of their lives & affects the lives of many others. An emotionally complex story, you are made to feel the same inner conflict as Tom & Isabel. I guarantee you will have trouble putting it down.
     Stedman gives detailed descriptions of the inner workings of a lighthouse & what life in a remote lighthouse was like. But it is her creation of very difficult scenarios, with many grey areas, which make the novel so compelling & suspenseful until the end. To her credit, the author has resisted the temptation of resolving the story in an overly tidy fashion.  Every character has had to make tough choices.
     A great first novel & a great read. It is no surprise that Dreamworks motion picture studio is in the process acquiring the rights to the book.

Diana Inselberg is a retired librarian and resident of Enderby, who has worked at various Okanagan Regional Library branches.