Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Disaster Preparedness by Ron Brouhard & Crystal Kline

During the past weekend, we’ve become very aware of how quickly disaster can strike.  Those of us who have seen many blizzards in our lifetime know how to cope with those, but what if the power goes out during a blizzard.  There are all kinds of disasters that many of us are ill prepared for.  The glow from the natural gas fire near Otterburne could be seen many miles.   How would we cope with days of no power, or no heat.  The disastrous fire at a care home in Quebec, and train derailments, are 2 other kinds of disasters that could test our preparedness.

A timely new book in the library is Disaster Preparedness by Ron Brouhard, and Crystal Kline.  This duo takes us through the steps involved in being prepared for a disaster.  Topics include:  Making a plan and stocking up supplies; being financially prepared and having quick access to important documents and medical information; securing your home if you must evacuate quickly; how to manage your resources if you find yourself in the middle of a disaster, and finally how to respond following a disaster.

The authors are Americans, but their advice is applicable to all of us.

Maeve's Times

Maeve Binchy had many loyal fans and has been sadly missed by her readers since she passed away in 2012.  But a new book reminds us of why she was such a popular author and what it was about her books that readers so enjoyed.  A new book, entitled Maeve’s Times is a collection of her newspaper articles written for the Irish Times.

Maeve Binchy began her career as a teacher.  She used her holidays to travel to, and work in, interesting places.  Her writing career began when her father submitted one of her letters to the local paper in Ireland, (after cutting off the “Dear Daddy” bit.)  The editor of The Irish Independent first recognized her writing talent.   In 1968 she began her employment with The Irish Times as the “women’s page" editor.  She later became the paper’s London editor before returning to Ireland.  She penned a number of bestselling novels and enjoyed a huge loyal readership.

In Maeve Binchy’s books the reader always has a sense of being right there with the characters in the middle of the action.  Her newspaper articles are the same, and readers will enjoy her storytelling once again.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Northwest Passage by Stan Rogers as seen by Matt James

There are some books that bring back wonderful memories.  Such a book arrived at the library a few days ago, and immediately reminded me of the Winnipeg Folk Festival back in the mid 70s.  That was the first time I ever heard Stan Rogers sing.  He was a talented musician and song writer, and had a deep rich voice that one could listen to for hours.  His tragic death in an airplane fire in 1983 was such a loss.

But his music lives on, and now the book Northwest Passage, recalls the words of one of Stan Rogers' best known songs.  In this beautifully illustrated book, Matt James has woven together the words of the song, Stan Rogers' own journey, a history of the search for a Northwest Passage and the Franklin expedition.  The search for the Northwest Passage continued for several hundred years, and many men lost their lives in the quest.  The fascination with the fate of the Franklin expedition has become deeply rooted in Canadian’s collective psyche.  

This new book was recently awarded a Governor General’s Award.  The combination of fiction, folklore and history is sure to please readers of any age.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Orr: My Story by Bobby Orr

One of the most popular sports books this winter is Orr: My Story, by Bobby Orr.  Bobby Orr is still considered by many to be the greatest ever to play the game of hockey.  We know about the Stanley Cups, we can watch video of his greatest moments on the ice, and we can read about the trophies and statistics.  Some of the records he set, still stand today.  But he has never written a memoir, authorized a biography or spoken to journalists about his past.  That’s what makes this book so special.

We have never had a glimpse into how he got to the NHL, and who helped him; inspired and taught him along the way.  What was it like for a shy small-town kid to step onto the ice as a professional hockey player and into the glare of the media.  What were the circumstances of his leaving Boston, and how it felt to be betrayed, and left in financial ruin by the man he trusted so completely.

But this book isn’t just about the past.  Bobby Orr has views on the state of today’s game, and how he feels about youngsters getting into the game.   As a parent and grandparent, he believes he has lessons worth passing on.

Favourtie Christmas Stories from Fireside Al

Most of us read a story or book once, and then put it aside.  Some have a favourite classic that we may have read in school, and then enjoyed again as an adult.  But there is something timeless in classic Christmas tales and poetry, and we don’t mind reading or listening to them again and again.  Many of these favourites can be found in Favourite Christmas Stories from Fireside Al.  Any of us who listened to Alan Maitland read these stories aloud will no doubt hear his voice in our heads, but even if not, this is a wonderful collection.

I have so many favourites in this collection I can only mention a few.  The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth is a timeless tale.  No Christmas collection would be complete without Dickens and in this collection we find Christmas at Fezziwig’s Warehouse.  Stephan Leacock, Thomas Hardy, Dylan Thomas, and W. O. Mitchell are just some of the authors whose works are found in this collection. 

I hope you either read an old favourite, or discover something new, or something old that is new again this holiday season.  And Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at the South Central Regional Library.