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  • Nov 13 - Words In Beige - Why beige? Isn’t beige boring, un-flavourful and well um … boring?
  • Nov 2 - Little Mosque on the Prairie - Join the creator an evening of humour and storytelling at the Central Library
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    Book Club in a Bag

    Off the Shelf: The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam

    by Jasna - 0 Comment(s)

    But which wager? The Headmaster’s Wager, by Vincent Lam is designed around wagers. As the stakes rise while the story unwinds, the novel’s tension grows in our fear that ever more reckless wagers could destroy the effects of past bets. Percival, the headmaster, is good at winning. Or is he blind?

    The Headmaster’s Wager is situated in South Vietnam before, during and after unification. Percival, or Chen Pie Sou, is the son of a father who left his family in China to search for the Gold Mountain. (In Calgary’s Sien Lok Park is a statue marking the journeys of Chinese people to the Gold Mountain of Canada.) As a lonely young man, Percival unexpectedly wins the girl of his dreams, because he has access to his father’s home in Cholon, near Saigon. Although all is not well, Percival does become the wealthy proprietor of a school for learning English. His neighbour, then teacher, then friend, Mak, ably assists Percival in administering the bribes needed for every official and many unofficial transactions.

    War starts as a distant event, concerning only the Vietnamese. As American military officers gradually populate the sophisticated gambling clubs in Saigon, Percival finds new sources of income, again ably assisted by Mak.

    Percival’s family life falls to pieces. Only deep love for his son, Dai Jai, fulfills his familial yearnings. So, how can he let Dai Jai be conscripted into the South Vietnamese army? Against the wishes of his mother, he sends him to Shanghai, that is, he returns his son to his home. Which is not safe a fact that takes years for Percival to understand. This is a man who can read mahjong tiles, cards, and gamblers’ faces, but he cannot actually hear the sounds of war and revolution, even when they explode on the radio newscasts and outside his own door.

    Possibly, it is Percival’s skill in gambling that is indeed the most useful in the fluid moments of history. He knows fear, and he knows how to master it at the moment when everything is on the table.

    Judith Umbach

    "Summer. Read." Contest Wrap Up

    - 0 Comment(s)

    Have you caught yourself saying "Where has the summer gone?" We have! It's hard to believe we've already come to the final week of our Summer. Read. contest. We’ve had great participation in the Summer. Read. program, and we hope that you’ve enjoyed exploring new reads, DVDs and CDs at the Calgary Public Library.  You still have one more week to participate, so let us know what you’re reading, and enter to win great prizes including our Grand Prize, a Google Nexus 7 tablet.

    As a final bonus prize, everyone who enters this week will also be entered to win a copy of The Power Trip by Jackie Collins. From the book’s summary:

    A luxurious yacht in the Sea of Cortez, a birthday cruise for one of the world's most beautiful women and an invitation no one can refuse. The Power Trip- take it if you dare. From Hollywood icon and mega-seller Jackie Collins comes a thrilling new novel, The Power Trip , set on a state of the art luxury yacht off the coast of Cabo San Lucas.

     

    So are you clinging to the lazy, hazy days of summer, or are you longing for the cool, crisp days of autumn?  Here are some reading suggestions to help you out:

           

    We also want to know what you thought about Summer. Read. 2013.  Loved it?  Have some ideas for improving it?  Please share your thoughts with us by completing our quick survey.

    About Summer. Read.

    Discover new books that will keep you reading all summer in our Summer. Read. contest for adults!

    To enter:

    1. Check the weekly theme every Wednesday, either at your local branch or right here online

    2. Borrow a new (to you!) book, DVD or CD from the Library that fits that theme.

    3. Fill in the online ballot to tell us what you're reading (or watching, or listening to) and enter to win one of five 32 GB Google Nexus 7 Tablets, and weekly prizes of leather-bound journals and Calgary Public Library tote bags. You can also enter by filling out a paper ballot at your local branch. Good luck!

    Summer. Read. Week 9 — Be

    Summer. Read. Week 9 — Be

    - 0 Comment(s)

    Our final theme for Summer. Read. is ‘BE.’  Unplug and explore the new you.  BE the answer to yourself or to others. BE someone, BE somewhere, BE the dream, or BE the change in your own or someone else’s life.  Get answers to all your desires and aspirations right here at your Calgary Public Library. You can find these answers in various formats — books, DVDs, CDs, and even e-books. 

    Rediscover or challenge yourself, explore somewhere new or find out how others have realized their dreams, with the following books from our collection:

          

    For some thought-provoking, intricately-woven, and insightful stories that will inspire you to ‘BE,’ here are some newly-released works from our fiction collection: 

             

     

    About Summer. Read.

    Discover new books that will keep you reading all summer in our Summer. Read. contest for adults!

    To enter:

    1. Check the weekly theme every Wednesday, either at your local branch or right here online

    2. Borrow a new (to you!) book, DVD or CD from the Library that fits that theme.

    3. Fill in the online ballot to tell us what you're reading (or watching, or listening to) and enter to win one of five 32 GB Google Nexus 7 Tablets, and weekly prizes of leather-bound journals and Calgary Public Library tote bags. You can also enter by filling out a paper ballot at your local branch. Good luck!

    Summer. Read. Week 8 — Grow

    Summer. Read. Week 8 — Grow

    - 0 Comment(s)

    "Do you know, in Sanskrit the root of the verb to be is the same as to grow or to make grow?"

    This quote comes from the action-packed, blockbuster movie My Dinner with Andre. The point that the character Andre is making is that in some cultures the act of growing is an essential part of life. Or, as a milk commercial from a few years ago put it: “Always grow. Grow all ways.” The lesson we can take away is that to be as fully alive as possible we must grow.

    The Calgary Public Library has an almost limitless selection of materials that can assist you in growing in a number of different ways.  Whether you are interested in growing a garden, financial security or your muscles, the library has material that can help you out, like the following:

                        

     

    And once you have your personal growth taken care of, then you can think about helping your kids grow too with books like: Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow and Don’t Lick the Minivan: and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say to My Kids.  So grab a book, pour yourself a big glass of milk, and grow.

     

    About Summer. Read.

    Discover new books that will keep you reading all summer in our Summer. Read. contest for adults!

    To enter:

    1. Check the weekly theme every Wednesday, either at your local branch or right here online

    2. Borrow a new (to you!) book, DVD or CD from the Library that fits that theme.

    3. Fill in the online ballot to tell us what you're reading (or watching, or listening to) and enter to win one of five 32 GB Google Nexus 7 Tablets, and weekly prizes of leather-bound journals and Calgary Public Library tote bags. You can also enter by filling out a paper ballot at your local branch. Good luck!