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New Books in Favourite Series

by Betsy - 0 Comment(s)

Bridgertons: Happily Ever AfterBridgertons: Happily Ever AfterSum of All KissesSum of All KissesJulia Quinn first introduced readers to the Bridgerton family in a light and humourous 8-book romance series. The books allowed readers to follow the tribulations of eight alphabetically named siblings (Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory, and Hyacinth), while enjoying the London background and a fairly substantial set of characters around whom the stories came to be told, including the formidable and forthright Lady Danbury, the definitely unmusical Smythe-Smith family, and the mysterious gossip columnist Lady Whistledown. All of these characters eventually take center stage in their own right in other books, and indeed the Smythe-Smith clan eventually does get their own series. This 'easter egg' (or crossover) effect allows readers to catch up with characters with whom they are familiar and have an affinity, while allowing new readers to start up a series. A prime example of this is the use of a particularly horrid romance novel that is either passed around or which all of the characters seem to end up reading and discussing.

This fall Ms. Quinn's two new books will present readers with either a visit back to not only all of the Bridgertons, but their mother, Violet, with an additional epilogue intended to answer potential questions or tie up any possible loose ends from each of the original eight books in The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After, and yet another unlikely couple will meet up at a Smyth-Smith wedding (one of the three from The Lady Most Willing), in The Sum of All Kisses, under the stern and amused eye of Lady Danbury. August is ReadaRomance month, and Julia Quinn's post will be added to the R-A-R site, which has posts by 93 contributing authors, on August 25th.


StormbreakerStormbreakerRussian RouletteRussian RouletteYounger readers will be familiar with Anthony Horowitz as the author of the Alex Rider series. We first met Alex in Stormbreaker, when officers came to his school to tell him that his guardian and uncle, Ian, had been killed in an auto accident. Alex initial suspicions about his uncle's death will set him on a chilling and dangerous path as an MI6 operative and into a life of danger, one that eventually spanned nine books and four graphic novels, with Alex as a teenage secret agent dealing with spies and a life that seemed ever more out of his control.

This fall, Mr. Horowitz is set to release a prequel to the series called Russian Roulette: the story of an assassin, in which readers will get the backstory of Yassen Gregorowich, a boy who will grow up to be Alex's mirror image, and become the man who kills Alex's father.

Are there authors that you wish would revisit a character or a series that you really like, or that reintroduce moments from earlier efforts into their books in a particularly enjoyable way?

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout

by Jan S - 0 Comment(s)

A House in the SkyA House in the Sky By Amanda LindhoutOne book that is getting a lot of buzz is a memoir by Canmore resident, and journalist Amanda Lindhout. In August 2008 Lindhout was abducted and held hostage for 15 months. At the time, her abduction was in the news and her plight became a political debate about whether the governments should pay ransoms for citizens held hostage in foreign countries. A House in the Sky, is Amanda's memoir about what she experienced during those months.

A House in the Sky starts with Amanda's childhood living in Sylvan Lake with her mom and brothers. As a young girl she becomes fascinated by the exotic places and pictures found in old copies of National Geographic magazines. What started as a means of escape from a less than perfect home life, becomes a passion for travelling that takes Amanda throughout the world.

It is during her travels that Amanda becomes a freelance journalist and decides to travel to Somalia. In Somalia, while on her way to visit a refugee camp Amanda and four others are taken hostage by a group of fundamentalists. For 460 days Amanda endures horrific conditions and both physical and mental abuse at the hands of her captors.

The book is about more than just the abuse suffered by Amanda; it's about her spirit to survive and not give into the despair of her situation. Throughout her ordeal and in the years that have followed, Lindhout maintains her belief in the goodness of people. She writes about her feelings now towards the people that abused her and she expresses an understanding for their actions. That stayed with me after I finished this book and it's why I couldn't pull myself away from her story.

Through the non-profit organization that she founded, Amanda Lindhout has worked to improve conditions in Somalia epecially in the area of education for women. And despite everything she has been through, she has even gone back to Somalia to do humanitarian work. A remarkable woman and a remarkable book.

A House in the Sky will be released in September and you can currently place holds on both the book and bookCD.

20,000 Books Under The Bow was a HUGE success!

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

This past Saturday, The Calgary Public Library Foundation organized their 20,000 Books Under The Bow Book Drive in order to help with the Library's flood recovery efforts. Clearly Calgarians love their library – more than 200,000 items were donated at locations across the city, well above and beyond everyone’s expectations!

Over 150 fantastic Calgary Public Library volunteers worked tirelessly all day on Saturday (and some through the rain) to run the project – sorting donations, packing and moving boxes, and giving Calgarians more information about how they can help support their library at this time. These donated items will be collected by Better Worlds Books and proceeds will help restock collections lost and damaged in the flood.

A huge THANK YOU goes out to all the volunteers who made this day such a great success, and of course THANKS to everyone who stopped by their local library to donate books and support their library.

If you are interested in helping out, cash donations can still be made at calgarypubliclibraryfoundation.ca and 20,000 Books Under the Bow T-shirts can still be purchased at goodread.myshopify.com online.

Check out more coverage of the 20,000 Books Under The Bow project here.

Foxy. Manga.

by Laura C - 0 Comment(s)

Kitsune at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto

Once you've started to read a few manga (Japanese comics) you begin to notice some trends: repeated symbols, plot-lines, art styles, etc. One of these is the motif of the kitsune (fox spirit). The kitsune is associated with numerous Japanese myths and legends and is at home in many fantasy manga series.

In Japan, good kitsune are most famously associated with (and companion to) the shinto diety Inari Okami, the god of foxes, fertility, rice, tea, sake, harvest, industry (among other things). There are over 30,000 shrines dedicated to this deity in Japan, the most famous (and main shrine) being the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. This is one of the featured locations in the film Memoirs of a Geisha.

The fox is present in many different aspects of Japanese culture. For example, if you're a sushi fan, you'll recognize the name Inari Zushi (taking its name from the deity); these deep-fried tofu packets resemble the shape of a fox -- and just happen to be a favourite snack of the kitsune (and mine, as well). Find out more about mythology by doing a search in the Gale Virtual Reference Library found in our E-Library.

In manga, there is no end to allusions of the kitsune/fox spirit. Try some of these:

Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto is one of the library's most popular manga series. It's an adventure series whose title character's great dream is to become Hokage, the greatest ninja of the leaf village. To do this he will have to learn to tap into the fearful power of the nine-tail demon fox which has been sealed within him... but first, he has to pass ninja training.

Foxes are not usually referred to as "good" creatures in Japanese mythology and it is not unusual for Japanese foxes to have many tails; they can have as many as nine. The more tails a fox has the older and more powerful it is.

The nine-tailed fox in Naruto is definitely a force to be reckoned with!

Inu Yasha by Rumiko Takahashi is a romantic/adventure series starring Kagome, an average school-girl transported to ancient Japan through an old well. There she discovers that she is the reincarnation of a priestess who once protected the powerful Shikon jewel (which has the power to grant its possessor their wish). When the jewel shatters, scattering pieces across Japan, Kagome must team-up with half-demon Inu-Yasha to reclaim all of the pieces before they fall into the wrong hands.

There are a number of kitsune in this series, including their adorable traveling companion Shippou. But, the most important reference is actually the shikon jewel. The jewel is a common symbol of the kitsune and some tradition even suggests that if you return the jewel to a kitsune it will grant you a wish.

Kamisama Kiss by Julietta Suzuki is the story of high-schooler Nanami who after saving a stranger from a dog is given his home to live in. As she has recently been abandoned by her father and homeless she accepts the gift only to find out that the home she's been given is not a house, but a decrepit shrine and she has become the new earth deity. She works hard in her new role -- and begins to have feelings for her new companion and protector, the fox-spirit Tomoe.

This story essentially twists the elements of the Inari Okami myth with his kitsune companion and turns it into a fun and frolicking romantic-comedy.

Spice & Wolf by Isuna Hasakura is the story of Kraft Lawrence, a 25-year-old traveling merchant who, while traveling through the town of Pasroe, discovers the stow-away wolf/girl named Holo (the wise-wolf) in his cart. She happens to be Pasroe's harvest goddess. Believing that the town no longer has use for her she convinces Lawrence to take her with him on his travels in an attempt to return home.

Despite writing Holo as a wolf instead of a fox, the author seems to have taken elements from several kitsune myths to create her character, including: her wisdom, her ability to transform into human form, and her association with the harvest.

Berg Fashion Library

by Dieu - 0 Comment(s)

Have you ever wondered about the origins of the Barbie doll?

Or where the phrase “blondes have more fun” came from?

Are you curious about the history of Soviet Russian clothing or want to read about Japanese street and youth fashion?

Any of these questions and more can be explored in the Berg Fashion Library, a new award-winning online resource now available in the Calgary Public Library’s E-Library. Access is available with your Calgary Public Library card in the Arts & Music, Encyclopedias and History & Geneology pages of the E-library.

The Berg Fashion Library contains in-depth content spanning several disciplines from anthropology, art history, fashion, cultural criticism, history and sociology.

Images from the Berg Fashion Library image bank:

Traditional Japanese bridal clothingTraditional Japanese bridal clothing Japanese street fashionJapanese street fashion

Content includes:

  • Lesson plans for teachers and lecturers free of charge
  • Full text collection of Berg Fashion E-books
  • Links to E-journals
  • Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress & Fashion which includes articles and over 2000 searchable images
  • Extensive colour image bank
  • Classic and modern writings on fashion
  • Browse feature to search by themes, period, place, textiles and materials and much more.

What you can do:

  • Save articles, images and searches
  • Print and email content
  • Share via social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.

You can also view selections of vintage clothing patterns taken from the Commercial Pattern Archive (CoPA). The Commercial Pattern Archive database contains patterns from 1868 to 2000, and although the Berg Fashion Library only highlights a small selection of images from this database, it is a good place to start for those of you who want to recreate that 1960s Mad Men inspired outfit you've always dreamed of.

MissesMisses" and Women"s One Yard ApronsMisses' and Women's One Yard Aprons

Summertime Barbecue with E-Books

by Pam - 0 Comment(s)

Ah, the sun is shining. There is no better way to celebrate the short summer than with a backyard barbecue for family and friends. Are you looking for some new recipes to explore? Are you tired of trying to turn cookbook pages with gooey fingers? Why not download some of Calgary Public Library's great e-books on grilling to your favourite device.

Whether you are a beginner or just want to improve your skills, you'll find everything you need to know in "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen, author of the Barbecue Bible. You'll learn exactly how grilling is done with 100 step-by-step techniques. Not only will you learn to grill the standards like steak, hamburger and chicken, but you'll quickly expand your horizon with information on grilling foods like tofu and fruit.Cover of The Garden and The Grill

There's nothing better than combining the two summertime passions of gardening and grilling. Karen Adler does exactly that in her wonderful book "Gardener and the Grill: the beauty of the garden meets the sizzle of the grill". Imagine taking your freshly harvested vegetables straight to the barbecue and grilling them to perfection. Absolute deliciousness! Included in this great e-book are tips on grilling, a griller's pantry of sauces and rubs and one hundred vegetarian recipes. Enjoy!

You can find audiobooks through the OverDrive link on Calgary Public Library's website. Did you know that you can filter your search to your device by clicking on Device Type and selecting what you use. The results will bring up the audiobooks that are compatible with that device. Remember that to use audiobooks you have to download OverDrive Media Console first. You'll find lots of excellent help available in downloading audiobooks at OverdDrive Help.

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