We have a great summer read for you!

Summer is upon us and that means a double edition of Featured Titles! With 14 Non-Fiction and 14 Fiction titles to choose from, we’re sure you will find a book (or two or … ) to sit back, relax, and enjoy the summer sun with.

Looking for even more great reads? Check out our Staff Picks List for Summer 2019 too.

We hope you have a wonderful summer full of beautiful weather, happy times with family and friends and, of course, great reads!

The Hottest Titles for Spring 2019

The snow has melted, and dreams of lounging in the sun will soon be a reality. What better way to welcome the new season than with a good book or two from our  Spring Featured Titles list.

Non-Fiction

Our topics are, as ever, wide ranging on the Featured Titles List. From a study of animal emotions to a look at how Canada’s past is affecting its future to following Alex Hannold on his free solo climb up el Capitan. We have a true tale of star-crossed lovers in Sicily or you could get the buzz from Meredith May about growing up on a honeybee farm. Hungry for more? There’s the latest from writer and food critic Ruth Reichl (including recipes!) and a behind-the-scenes look at Queer Eye’s Karamo.

Fiction

There are so many great new novels coming out this spring it was difficult to select just seven! “The Stranger Diaries” is a modern gothic novel which will have you guessing at the killer’s identity until the last page. In “If, Then” by Kate Hope Day, small glimpses at another life lead four neighbours to discover something cataclysmic in their small town. A woman suspects her new neighbour was involved in an unsolved murder but will anyone believe her? “Before She Knew Him” is a must read. High school romance moves to an elite university battleground for Marianne and Connell in the award-winning “Normal People” by Sally Rooney. Wilderness survival has never been as thrilling as it is in “The River” by Peter Heller. Or if fantasy mysteries are more to your taste, give “The Binding” by Bridget Collins a try. And finally, once again focusing on the relationship between neighbours, “White Elephant” by Julie Langsdorf is a darkly humoured look at the suburban town of Willard Park as it becomes a battleground.

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Featured Titles – Winter 2019

Our WPL Collections Department staff have waded through reviews, catalogues and blogs, searching out the next must-read titles to share with you. You can browse through their latest selections on the Featured Titles list for Winter 2019.

Fiction Picks

Secret identities. Deception. The theft of people’s scandalous stories for personal gain. Murder. Fashion design. Royals. The topics are wide-ranging and there are definitely novels for every taste on the winter 2019 list.

Non-Fiction Picks

From essays and speeches to Googling that weird rash, seasonal eating to autonomous cars, downed ships and, a popular topic year round, the weather. It was difficult to select just seven titles to feature but we did it!

Happy reading!

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The End of World Comes Close to Home

It took a long time for me to write about Moon of the Crusted Snow simply because I knew that nothing I could write would do the novel any justice. It was brilliant.

I knew Moon of the Crusted Snow would be on my favourite novels list even before I finished reading it. When I finished the novel, I immediately flipped back to page one and read it all over again. I just didn’t want it to end.

Winter is approaching in the remote Anishinaabe reservation in Northern Ontario. One day, people wake up to find the power has shut off. The internet is down. The phone lines do not work. A short time later, the water does not turn on. The community is completely cut off from the rest of the country. Most people in the community assume it’s a temporary problem – that workers will arrive shortly to fix the problem. But no one ever comes.

As the temperature drops and resources dwindle, they discover that the major cities have also gone dark. The power isn’t coming back on. The grid has collapsed. There are no reasons, no explanations and no answers. The modern world has ended.

Fear slowly takes hold of the community. How will they stay warm? How can they stay fed? How long can life continue? It evokes all sorts of questions – how long can anyone survive when everything you once had is gone?

It’s no surprise that author Waubgeshig Rice was the recipient of the Anishinabek Nation’s Debwewin Citation for Excellence in First Nation Storytelling. As I was reading, I could feel the cold in my bones as the winter conditions are described. I could feel the fear in the mothers and fathers when children start succumbing to the elements. I loved that he wrote parts of dialogue in the Ojibwe language and intertwined pieces of First Nations history throughout the story.

My only regret is that Moon of the Crusted Snow is too short. At just over 200 pages, there could be so much more to discover. After I finished reading, my mind kept going back to the people of Anishinaabe and what their community would look like five, ten, twenty years down the road without modern conveniences. I hope that Waubgeshig Rice will seriously consider doing a sequel.

Nothing I can say about this novel will accurately paint a picture of Waubgeshig Rice’s brilliant storytelling. Please pick up this book and discover his story for yourself.

— Lesley L.

Fall Featured Titles

Our WPL Collections Department staff have waded through reviews, catalogues and blogs, searching out the next must-read titles to share with you. You can browse through their latest selections on the Featured Titles Fall 2018 list.

For fall 2018 we have put together a list full of quick reads, emotionally charged experiences, inspiring stories, and books filled with information you never knew you wanted to know. So sit back, relax, and enjoy discovering the books we think you will be excited to read this autumn.

Psst! Don’t forget to also check out WPL staff’s picks and pans on our More Books Please blog.

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Your Perfect Summer Read

Our WPL Collections Department staff have waded through reviews, catalogues and blogs, searching out the next must-read titles to share with you. You can browse through their selections on the Featured Titles – Summer 2018 list.

We hope you have a summer filled with sunshine, blue skies, and can’t-put-down reads.

Psst! Don’t forget to also check out WPL staff’s picks and pans on our More Books Please blog.

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Ready for summer reading

Oh, I love the ease of summer reading.  A summer read can mean different things for each reader. Some people come into the library asking for an engaging romance, some prefer a good thriller and others are drawn to non-fiction – a book that will help them in starting or finishing a big project like completing a deck or fence.  And let us remember that Lin-Manuel Miranda took Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton on vacation a few years ago and look where that led. If you can’t decide what you want to read over the summer months then staff here at WPL are the absolute experts at helping you to find the right thing.

One of the choices on our Spring 2018 Featured Titles list was Feather Thief: beauty, obsession, and the natural history heist of the century.  I was looking forward to reading this book because I so enjoy any book that involves a heist (I blame this on watching Ocean’s Eleven so many times that I have Rusty’s dialogue, food choices and wardrobe memorized) and the added excitement of the thief stealing from the British Natural History Museum made it almost irresistible.  I wasn’t prepared for the incredible amount of work the author, Kirk W. Johnson, had put into interviewing the detective who solved the crime, the museum curators who obviously suffered when their beloved artifacts were stolen, the friends who felt betrayed by the thief’s horrible actions and the time he spent trying to find out exactly what happened.  The book is just amazing – I couldn’t stop telling people about it.  Obsession is exactly the word to describe this crime because, once you read the fascinating history of how these feathers arrive at the British Natural History Museum, you become as attached to their fate as the author was.  It feels like an affront to even imagine that this man – a young American named Edwin Rist – would steal these treasures for his personal use.  I wanted to reach into the book and give him a good shake.  I’m sure this book would captivate any reader; fans of natural history, anyone who likes a tale of quirky personalities or a good British crime story.  It’s so much more than just feathers.

If you are looking for cooking inspiration we have something absolutely gorgeous here on the shelves.  When this arrived cookbook here in the library it was an instant thrill.  It featured the word peach in the title and the book’s publishers had covered it in a kind of soft flocking as if it was soft like a peach.  We actually picked it up to see if it also smelled like a peach – remember the old days of scratch ‘n’ sniff?  It does not smell like a peach.  I’ll save you the trouble of hoping that it does.  The peach in the title does refer to the idea that sometimes simple and perfect is best, especially during the warmer months.  The author, Diana Henry, suggests that you provide a bowl of these perfect fruits in the centre of the table at the end of the meal so that family or guests can enjoy them together.  She provides simple suggestions like this one in How to Eat a Peach and also some so complicated that I’m not entirely sure we would be able to source the ingredients easily here in town.  In fact, in one recipe she provides a website reference so that you can order the items required to complete a pudding.  Although, the rest of the ingredients were so easy to find and the description so incredible I did think of making note of the site’s address.  This is the kind of cookbook that is perfect for summertime reading.  She writes so beautifully of time spent shopping for ingredients, travelling with friends and having those moments inspire her cooking, and the pleasures of preparing a table that you almost don’t have to cook anything – just reading the book is enough.  And, if you do feel compelled to actually use this cookbook for cooking she has provided at least ten wonderful ice cream recipes and you know they will come in handy as the temperatures rise.

Our collection of landscaping and gardening books are almost as exciting to me as those on the cookbook shelves and exactly the thing to provide guidance if you are working on a project for your home over the summer.  DIY Network’s Sara Bendrick has written a book that allows you to personalize your outdoor spaces using inexpensive materials, her unique suggestions (and clever tips for saving money – the book is a fascinating and useful read) and your own hard work.  There are step-by-step, extremely clear instructions and loads of wonderful photographs that take the fear out of attempting simple weekend ideas like making a dry creek bed or something more involved like building a retaining wall or fire pit.  This book isn’t all about stone and concrete though, she also includes wonderful projects involving wood and soil and has helpful tips for things to consider when purchasing different materials for use outdoors.  It’s a truly useful resource but in such a colourful and entertaining package.  She even includes a worm composting bin – this is a book that has something for everyone.

My Lady’s Choosing is the romance novel that I didn’t know I was waiting for.  It is a choose-your-own-adventure novel for adults and it really works!  Surely you remember choose-your-own-adventure books from your younger days or from 2014 when Neil Patrick Harris tried the format with his autobiography.  In this Regency-style romance written by two women in Chicago you have the chance to choose between storylines that have you finding true love with a Scottish war hero, Captain Angus McTaggart (perfect for fans of Outlander), a baronet named Sir Benedict Granville (a touch Mr. Darcy), and the one man you know that you should never choose – Lord Garraway Craven.  The style will take a few pages to get used to but you are soon invested and will just have to hold on to your seat as you follow along and get swept away by the twists thrown at you by Larissa Zageris and Kitty Curran.  They have packed every single romance cliché into their 352 illustrated pages including being forced to work for a mean dowager, visit gloomy gothic manors, dance in packed ballrooms and then add some you might not expect (or maybe you will if you read a lot of romance novels).  It’s a book that keeps you coming back for more because, you can, just choose another path the next time.  If you don’t feel like you wanted to end up in the Scottish highlands with Captain Angus then turn to another page the next time you read and find romance with Benedict Granville.  Such wonderful summer fun in this book from a team of authors that I will be watching closely.

And if you are interested in something a little Chernow-ish we can also help you there.  We will find you a hefty biography about an early American political figure or another inspiring biography to help you enjoy your summer hours or maybe write an award-winning Broadway musical.  WPL is here for you.

-Penny M.

 

Maker Expo 2018

Get your maker on at the 2018 Maker Expo at The Aud in Kitchener on June 2 & 3. There will be 70 exhibitors with awesome interactive activities. Stop by the WPL booth and check out our oh-so-cool augmented reality sandbox. You mold the sand by hand; see the landscape come to life! Or learn about WPL’s Girls Who Code program and how you can help save the world.

Looking for more cool maker projects? Here’s our list of new Maker books (for kids & families) for additional inspiration.

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Our best Spring picks

Our Spring 2017 Featured Titles are here! These picks are some of the best and brightest of recent publications that we think you should know about.

The fiction selection highlights novels that dig deep into cultural history, untold family stories, wars (past and present), migration and self-discovery.  Like us, you may fall in love with a reluctant criminal named Samuel Hawley and his lovely daughter Loo.

The non-fiction line up is a gorgeous selection of must have titles for the curious reader: new recipes, an investigation into the complexity of  modern relationships and loneliness, immigration and assimilation, physics for the layperson, work and weekend culture, and the rags to riches story of Vij and his suitcases of spices.

Have you read some of these picks? Let us know what you think!