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Snow... what is it good for?

by Stephen - 0 Comment(s)

It’s been awhile since we have had a truly snowy holiday season like this one. While you are taking some time off with family and friends this year, be sure to take advantage of this winter wonderland while it’s here (and you aren’t trying to commute in it). Here are a few fun titles from the Calgary Public Library to get you in the mood!

Snowmen at Work

Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner

What do snowmen do when we’re all asleep? An awful lot it turns out as we learn about all of the important jobs snowmen do when the sun sets and we’re all asleep. This fun (if also somewhat terrifying) idea makes for a great book to share with the family on a cold winter day. If you like this one, be sure to check out the other 3 in the Snowmen series.

100 snowmen

100 Snowmen by Jen Arena

What’s better than one snowman? How about 100? This is a beautifully illustrated numbers book depicts snowmen sliding, having snowball fights, playing hide and seek and just plain enjoying the snowy landscape. Great for young children, who are beginning to grasp basic addition, this is a fun way to introduce children to math (and snowmen).

On Linden Square

On Linden Square by Kate Sullivan

Stella Mae Culpepper’s winter vacation is off to a slow start as she spends the first morning watching her neighbours going about their daily lives in Linden Square. She recognizes them all, and yet she’s never spoken a work to any of them and they’ve never stopped to say hi to her. All of that changes when a sudden blizzard fills Linden Square with snow. As most children know snow = potential and Stella is soon sculpting and playing in the cold fluffy goodness which her neighbours can’t resist for long, even if they are grown-ups.

Snow Play: How to Make Forts, Slides, Winter Campfires, plus the Coolest Loch Ness Monster and 21 Other Brrrilliant Projects in the Snow.

The title pretty well says it all for this wonderful winter activity book of projects and games to keep children busy during those sub-zero days. Each activity includes colour photos and detailed illustrations to help children (and adults) along. Aimed at older children, young ones will need an adult to help with many of these activities.

Happy International Women's Day!

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

Celebrate International Women’s Day by joining us in our John Dutton theatre for a discussion of how women are creating strong and vibrant communities.

This year, in solidarity with feminists throughout the world (men included!), I give to you a list of some of my recent favourites: writing about women and women’s sexuality.

Self Made Man: One Woman’s Journey into Manhood and Back Again, by Norah Vincent. An interesting examination of the pressures confronting men, from a lesbian point of view. Crass, funny, and insightful, even though the project of chronicling a year as a man was based on deception.

My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies, by Nancy Friday. This book had enormous impact when it was first published, and it’s still popular today. Read it for titillation, of course, but also to realize that you’re perfectly normal and that your fantasies are, too.

The Sexual Life of Catherine M, by Catherine Millet. I included this book here not because of the graphic sexual descriptions it contains, but because it’s a reflection of one woman’s choices. It’s not just sex but choice that’s important to feminism. The choice to marry or not, have children or not, have multiple (and concurrent!) sexual partners or not, and so on. Millet lives life on her own terms.

Our Bodies, Ourselves, by Boston Women's Health Book Collective. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this classic. It's been informing women about their bodies for over 4 decades!

Your local library has all sorts of resources about women’s sexuality: relationships, sexual health, gay/lesbian/trans/queer issues, sexual education and pregnancy, and lots more! Learn to create more safety, intimacy and pleasure in your sexual routines. Learn about who’s doing what to whom, and how.

The Calgary Public Library has resources for everything you’re into!

The Black Water Dragon

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

This post is dedicated to all the South Koreans I know and love. You know who you are, and for everything you’ve given me, I owe you my most sincere gam sa hab ni da.

Happy (lunar) New Year! Today, we enter into the year of the dragon, but not just any old run-of-the-mill dragon. This is the year of the Black Water Dragon – an especially auspicious period that comes around only once every sixty years. According to an article in the Bangkok Post, this year indicates a change, “…but with a measure of calm, sensibility and prudence.”

Interestingly enough, birth rates are expected to rise in Asia this year, because parents will desire children born in this special time. Note to self: buy stock in Korean or Chinese diaper companies.

So, what will you do in this luckier-than-average time? For inspiration regarding travel, self-help, mid-life career change, parenting and lots more, visit your local library branch. Check out our materials on astrology and dragons, too!

In Praise of Indulgence

by Katherine - 2 Comment(s)

I have a Romanian friend who explained to me recently that in Romania, sometimes mothers dress up as Santa Clause because fathers are too exhausted by their drinking and eating binges, to wriggle into a costume and assume the role of a sober gift giver.

Honestly, I want to be that Romanian father, collapsed on the couch. I want to consume way too much, groan about my distended abdomen, fall asleep early and wake up with a headache. Go big or go home? No, I want to go home and go big!

Now, I don’t operate with this mentality every day, of course, but on special occasions I like to let loose.

So with that spirit in mind, here’s a booklist for those who choose to go big!

Celebrating Chocolate: Cakes, Brownies & Bars by Avner Laskin

Seduced by Bacon: Recipes & Lore about America’s Favourite Indulgence by Joanna Pruess

Cheese: Exploring Taste and Tradition by Patricia Michelson

The Ultimate Wine Companion: The Complete Guide to Understanding Wine by the World’s Foremost Wine Authorities by Kevin Zraly

Parade Day 2011

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

This year is a very special year for the Calgary Stampede. Unless you’ve been living in another galaxy, you already know that the Royal Newlyweds, Will and Kate, are coming to Calgary. Yee Haw!

If you’re downtown for the parade, then check out the Central Library afterwards (we open at 1 PM on parade day). Make a stop at our Local History department and check out resources about the Stampedes of days gone by. Pick up some DVDs to watch later on, or some new music for your summer road trip. Grab a novel to read on the beach, or a cowboy themed story for your little ones.

There is a world of information here at Central, so come on down and check it out!

I wonder if there’s a chance I’ll catch his Highness in the stacks…

Ramadan 2010

by Katherine - 0 Comment(s)

August 11th or 12th (depending on one's location) marks the beginning of Ramadan, a religious festival in which millions of Muslims across the world will take part.

Visit your local library branch and learn more!

What do Muslims believe in? Why do Muslims fast? What’s the connection between Ramadan and the Hajj?

The Calgary Public Library has sacred books (like the Koran), as well as a wide variety of commentaries about Islam and issues in the “Muslim world” – if such a thing can be said to exist. We’ve got current statistics and magazines about Islam, too. Or, check out books about Islamic architecture (gorgeous!), or listen to music by Muslim artists.

Check out your local library and learn more about Islam, and every other subject you're interested in!