Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Great Canadian Bucket List

Most people have a bucket list.  Robin Esrock has compiled a new book, The Great Canadian Bucket List: one of a kind travel experiences. 

I have noticed that Canadians are most proud of our country when we are somewhere else.  Our nationalistic pride rises to the top when strangers tell us how beautiful Canada is.  Robin Esrock has spent years visiting every province and territory in Canada to compile this list.  There are too many adventures to condense them here but they include: visiting old growth forest in British Columbia;  hunt for dinosaurs in Alberta; check out the Hermetic Code in Winnipeg; visit the many historic attractions in Southern Ontario and Quebec, and experience the maritime’s unique historical and seaside communities.  Included in this book are many 10 best lists for further adventures, like destinations for aboriginal culture, hiking locations, the spookiest places, and more.  And everywhere, regardless of the activity, stunning scenery.  He even suggests visiting Rider nation and maybe figuring out what’s with the watermelons.  

This book is a great motivator.  It challenges the reader to stop thinking of travel destinations as only being to the south, and start thinking east, west, and north.  Maybe even in our own back yard.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

For today’s recommendation I’m turning to an entry on the scrlreads blog.  Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole is recommended by Elaine in Winkler for anyone who is looking for a love story that is a bit unusual.  The story is written in letters spanning two continents and two world wars. 

In 1912, twenty-four year old Elspeth Dunn, a newly published poet from the remote Isle of Skye, receives a fan letter from David Graham, a college student in Illinois. (Elspeth has never been off the Isle of Skye.)  She replies and begins a correspondence in which they share their favorite books, experiences and eventually their hopes, dreams and secrets.  Over time, their friendship blossoms into love.  Soon David enlists as an ambulance driver on the western front, and Elspeth can only wait.  Fast forward to 1940 and Elspeth’s daughter Margaret falls in love with a Royal Air Force pilot. Her mother warns her of the dangers of falling in love during wartime.  After an air raid, Elspeth disappears and Margaret has only one letter as a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

This is the story of two women who loved deeply and persevered during times of great adversity. 

Kid Pickers by Mike Wolfe

The TV show, American Pickers has many fans.  Mike Wolfe, the star of the show, has authored a new book for kids, titled Kid Pickers.  In this book it’s easy to see what a fabulous and fun learning activity picking can be.  

This book doesn’t encourage kids to accumulate old stuff for the sake of accumulating.  Mike Wolfe encourages kids to be discerning pickers and find items that excite them.  It’s not about the money.  He offers suggestions for places to go picking, how to document finds, places to do research, and the importance of rarity, condition and age.  He also makes suggestions for how to care for picks, display collections, and repurpose items.  Wolfe encourages families to spend time picking together.  He also stresses the importance of picking etiquette (like always asking permission), and offers suggestions for how to stay safe while picking.  This book fosters imagination and creativity.  

I think most of us are secretly pickers at heart.  This is a great book for anyone wanting to foster a love of history in children, but let’s face it, we all love to find “rusty gold” as Mike Wolfe calls it.  In the library stacks, this book is gold in its own way.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

We all know seniors who do not fit into the preconceived notions we have of what one should or should not do at a certain age.  One such literary character is Allan Karlsson, the hero of The 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson.

Allan is a resident in a nursing home.  An hour before the birthday party to celebrate his 100th birthday is about to begin, he decides that he still has lots of living to do, and he’d like a little more control over his vodka consumption.  It isn’t easy escaping from the old folks home, especially when you really are not one to put too much thought into making plans.  So Allan climbs out of the window of his room, steps into the flower bed, and embarks on an adventure.  Wearing a brown jacket, brown trousers, and brown bedroom slippers, this fugitive stays one step ahead of the police, and a cast of interesting characters.

Allan, an explosives expert, has certainly led an interesting life.  In Forrest Gump fashion, he has been involved in many of the significant explosive events (literally) of the past century.  Allan Karlsson shows us that it’s never too late to start over.