Weekend Picks

National Indigenous History Month

Embrace the responsibility to connect to the stories and shared experiences that help us better understand who we are as Treaty People.

Stories

Kuessipan

Two childhood friends from the same Quebec Innu community begin to realize that they face very different futures.Based on the novel by Naomi Fontaine (Innu Nation) | Starring  Starring Sharon Fontaine-Ishpatao (Innu Nation) & Yamie Grégoire (Innu Nation)

The Lesser Blessed

Larry, a 16-year-old Tlicho Indian, lives in the small northern town of Fort Simmer. He has a crush on his classmate, Juliet Hope. Larry’s past holds a variety of terrors—his father is abusive and he once had an accident that nearly killed him. When Johnny Beck, a young Métis from Hay River, moves to town, things heat up, for better or worse.

Based on the novel by Richard Van Camp (Dogrib Tłı̨chǫ of the Dene Nation)

Indian Horse

Saul is a great native hockey player who overcomes racism in the 1970s then ultimately becomes tempted by alcoholism.

Based on the novel by Richard Wagamese (Ojibwe). Film Cast 

Real Life

nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

On August 9, 2016, a young Cree man named Colten Boushie died from a gunshot to the back of his head after entering Gerald Stanley’s rural property with his friends. The jury’s subsequent acquittal of Stanley captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice. Sensitively directed by Tasha Hubbard, nîpawistamâsowin weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.

Directed by Tasha Hubbard (Cree)

Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian

The evolution of the depiction of Native Americans in film, from the silent era until today, featuring clips from hundreds of movies and candid interviews with famous directors, writers and actors, Native and non-Native: how their image on the screen transforms the way to understand their history and culture.

Directed by Neil Diamond (Cree)

Indigenous Cinema at the NFB 

Weekend Picks

Pride Picks Vol. II

Get things started this weekend with some picks, then join the watch party for Saturday Church with Teen Services Librarian, Celeste, and Outloud St. Albert.

Registration is open! 

We Were Here

‘We Were Here’ is the first film to take a deep and reflective look back at the arrival and impact of AIDS in San Francisco, and how the City’s inhabitants dealt with that unprecedented calamity. It explores what was not so easy to discern in the midst of it all—the parallel histories of suffering and loss, and of community coalescence and empowerment.

Reaching for the Moon

In 1951, New York poet Elizabeth Bishop travels to Rio de Janeiro to visit Mary, a college friend. The shy Elizabeth is overwhelmed by Brazilian sensuality. She is the antithesis to Mary’s dashing partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Mary is jealous, but unconventional Lota is determined to have both women at all costs. This eternal triangle plays out against the backdrop of the military coup of 1964. Bishop’s moving poems are at the core of a film which lushly illustrates a crucial phase in the life of this influential Pulitzer prize-winning poet.

Laurence Anyways

The story of an impossible love between a woman named Fred and a transgender woman named Laurence who reveals her inner desire to become her true self.

 

 

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

Still having trouble concentrating long enough to read a full novel?  Well here are a couple of great anthologies, containing short stories from some of the greats, as well as a riveting podcast from the U.K.

Murder on the Railways contains stories from Agatha Christie, Elmore Leonard, Leslie Charteris, Ken Follett, Maeve Binchy, Roald Dahl, Ruth Rendell, and many more.  For railway buffs, it doesn’t get better than this, and for the general mystery lover, you’ve hit the jackpot here!

The Television Detectives’ Omnibus brings us stories from the likes of Orson Welles, Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, Margery Allingham, Colin Dexter, Dorothy L. Sayers, and more.  Each story is a gem in itself, bringing to life, so succinctly, some of our favorite sleuths.

I’ve been listening to a podcast called SHEDUNNIT (shedunnitshow.com) recently and find it very interesting.  Caroline Crampton, the creator of the series, discusses the golden age of detective fiction. Each new installment deals with a different topic, whether it be a particular author, themes in detective fiction, or the reconstruction of a real life crime.  

There are at least a couple of stories in each of the anthologies that earn 5 daggers.  The SHEDUNNIT podcast is a definite 5 daggers!

Joanne gives this book 5 stars out of 5!
Joanne gives some of the stories and the SHEDUNNIT podcast 5 daggers out of 5!

Weekend Picks

Pride Picks

Our fabulous film collection is all about Pride! Here are a few flicks to get celebrating this weekend. Stay tuned for more Pride Picks and how you can celebrate throughout the month.

Rafiki

Kena and Ziki long for something more. Despite the political rivalry between their families, the girls resist and remain close friends, supporting each other to pursue their dreams in a conservative society. When love blossoms between them, the two girls will be forced to choose between happiness and safety.

The Normal Heart

The story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.

A Fantastic Woman

Marina’s life is thrown into turmoil following the death of her partner. Mourning the loss of the man she loved, she finds herself under intense scrutiny from those with no regard for her privacy.

Weekend Picks

Asian Heritage Month Picks

We wrap up this run of amazing films with a selection of picks from Central Asia. Until next year, we hope you continue to enjoy the variety of films from our eclectic and always growing collection of Asian films.

A headstrong young girl in Afghanistan, ruled by the Taliban, disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.

The Polygon

The Polygon shines a light on the village of Sarzhal in East Kazakhstan, situated only 18kms from the perimeter of the former Semipalatinsk Test Site, that was home to over 600 nuclear detonations. Between 1949 and 1991 the Soviet Union detonated 116 above ground bombs, whose massive radioactive mushroom clouds were witnessed by thousands of innocent and unsuspecting Kazakh villagers.

The Kite Runner

After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble.

Weekend Picks

Asian Heritage Month Picks

This long weekend, we go west for some picks to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in Canada. Enjoy these choice West Asian flicks!

Capernaum

Zain, a 12-year-old boy scrambling to survive on the streets of Beirut, sues his parents for having brought him into such an unjust world, where being a refugee with no documents means that your rights can easily be denied.

Arab Blues

Selma, a psychoanalyst, deals with a cast of colorful new patients after returning home to Tunisia to open a practice.

The Insult

After an emotional exchange between a Lebanese Christian and a Palestinian refugee escalates, the men end up in a court case that gets national attention.

The Cave

Deep beneath the surface in the Syrian province of Ghouta, a group of female doctors have established an underground field hospital. Under the supervision of pediatrician Dr. Amani and her staff of doctors and nurses, hope is restored for some of the thousands of children and civilian victims of the ruthless Syrian civil war.

 

Tuesday Afternoon Book Club | June Selection

Akin
by Emma Donoghue

Print | eBook

Additional book club kit copies are available at the Adult Information Desk.

This Library led book club meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 2:00 PM via Zoom.

Please register here to discuss Emma Donoghue’s novel Akin, a brilliant tale of love, loss and family.

A retired New York professor’s life is thrown into chaos when he takes his great-nephew to the French Riviera, in hopes of uncovering his own mother’s wartime secrets. Noah is only days away from his first trip back to Nice since he was a child when a social worker calls looking for a temporary home for Michael, his eleven-year-old great-nephew. Though he has never met the boy, he gets talked into taking him along to France. This odd couple, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, argue about everything from steak haché to screen time, and the trip is looking like a disaster. But as Michael’s ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family’s past, both of them come to grasp the risks that people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew. Written with all the tenderness and psychological intensity that made Room a huge bestseller, Akin is a funny, heart-wrenching tale of an old man and a boy who unpick their painful story and start to write a new one together. (Publisher)

Further Reading

About Emma Donoghue

About Akin (including a personal note by Emma Donoghue)

A Chatelaine interview

A Waterstones Blog interview

A Guardian book review

A Washington Post book review

An Irish Independent book review

An Irish Times book review

Discussion Questions

Historical background on Nice, France

Excelsior Hotel, Nice – history

About Odette Abadi (co-founder of the Marcel Network)

Washington Post article about the Marcel Network

 

WATCH & LISTEN

An Appel Salon (Toronto Public Library) video interview

A CBC Books video trailer

Interview by Shelagh Rogers on CBC’s The Next Chapter

Interview by Tom Power on CBC’s Q

 

Weekend Picks

Asian Heritage Month

This week we put the spotlight on some stellar films from East Asia to celebrate Asian Heritage Month in Canada!

Burning

Deliveryman Jongsu is out on a job when he runs into Haemi, a girl who once lived in his neighborhood. She asks if he’d mind looking after her cat while she’s away on a trip to Africa. On her return she introduces to Jongsu an enigmatic young man named Ben, who she met during her trip. And one day Ben tells Jongsu about his most unusual hobby…

The Cave of the Yellow Dog

The little nomad girl, Nansal, finds a baby dog in the Mongolian veld, who becomes her best friend – against all rejections of her parents. A story about a Mongolian family of nomads – their traditional way of life and the rising call of the City.

Norwegian Wood

Set in the 1960s, high school student Toru Watanabe loses his only friend Kizuki after he commits suicide. Toru, now looking for a new life, enters a university in Tokyo. By chance, Toru meets Kizuki’s ex-girlfriend Naoko in the university. They grow close because they both share the same loss. As Toru and Naoko grow even closer, Naoko’s sense of loss also grows. After Naoko’s 20th birthday, she leaves for a sanitarium in Kyoto. Watanabe, devastated …more

The Farewell

A headstrong Chinese-American woman returns to China when her beloved grandmother is given a terminal diagnosis. Billi struggles with her family’s decision to keep grandma in the dark about her own illness as they all stage an impromptu wedding to see grandma one last time.

Tokyo Sonata 

Ryûhei Sasaki is keeping a secret from his wife, Megumi and his two teenage sons. Even though he leaves the house every day, he’s not really going to work. He’s going to an employment office. He recently lost his job due to outsourcing, but is determined to find another position, all while supporting an old friend who is also out of work. But when Megumi accidentally finds out Ryûhei’s secret and doesn’t tell him, her trust in him, and their marriage, suffers.

Seniors Book Club | June Selection

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Print and eBook Options

This Library-led drop-in book club meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 2:00 PM via Zoom.

Book Club Kit copies are available for participants upon request from the Adult Information Desk (780-459-1682).

Register to drop-in and discuss this quirky new novel by the bestselling Swedish author of A Man called Ove.

Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths. As police surround the premises, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people. (Publisher)

FURTHER READING

Author Biography

Author website

A New York Times interview

A Pen America interview

A Bookweb interview

A Kirkus book review

A Washington Independent book review

A USA Today book review

A Read It Forward essay on Backman’s work

Discussion Questions

WATCH & LISTEN

Fredrik Backman video interviews

Netflix series coming in 2021

 

 

Murder by Milk Bottle
by Lynne Truss

Truss’ second Constable Twitten Mystery is a combination of “The Keystone Cops” meet “The Carry-On Gang” in a performance in an old English panto!  It’s a complete and utter silly farce!  Some might find it TOO silly, but one cannot help but laugh at many of the antics that take place during the August Bank Holiday weekend of 1957.

Truss’characters are more like caricatures than personages.  There’s Constable Twitten: painfully naive when it comes to matters of the heart; Inspector Steine: self-absorbed and totally oblivious to what’s going on in his own station house; and Sergeant Brunswick: the bumbling and dim-witted officer who cannot see the “forest for the trees”.  Only Mrs. Groynes, the police station charlady is a fleshed-out character and yet we know that she is not what she seems to be!

When three seemingly unconnected people are murdered by being bashed over the head with milk bottles, it’s up to this bumbling lot to solve the murders.  Their unorthodox methods are worthy of great guffaws but would certainly not be sanctioned by either Morse or Gamache!

Illustration of 3 bloody knives, with only 3 of them coloured in. The other two are just grey.
       Joanne gives this book 3 daggers out of 3!