Weekend Picks

Pride Picks

This weekend we wrap up a run of moving and sparkling picks for Pride. But don’t worry, there’s more learning, fun, and lots of support all year round right here in St. Albert though Outloud and of course our fabulous collection of LGBTQ2S+ books, film and welcoming staff.

Summertime

In 1971, Carole and Delphine meet and fall in love in Paris. When Carole follows Delphine back to her family farm in Limousin, the two find lesbianism and feminism are not as easy in the countryside.

A 14 year old boy, struggling with gender identity and religion, begins to use fantasy to escape his life in the inner city and find his passion in the process.

It’s Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend hasn’t been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the working girl and her best friend, Alexandra, embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor. Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles, including an Armenian family dealing with their own repercussions of infidelity.

Wild Nights with Emily

Explore Emily Dickinson’s vivacious, irreverent side that was covered up for years—most notably her lifelong romantic relationship with another woman.

Tuesday Afternoon Book Club | September Selection

The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt

Print and eBook formats

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

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

Please register here to discuss Donna Tartt’s highly acclaimed novel The Goldfinch.

The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind….Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction.”–Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love–and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate. (Publisher)

Further Reading

About Donna Tartt

A New York Times interview

An Irish Independent interview

Discussion Questions

A Vanity Fair book review

A Guardian book review

The Goldfinch movie information

The Goldfinch (painting by Carel Fabritius)

The Tragic true story of The Goldfinch

 

WATCH & LISTEN

Video interview with Charlie Rose

Other YouTube video interviews

Joanne’s Mystery Picks

Moonflower Murders
by Anthony Horowitz

Horowitz is a master at whatever he sets his hand to doing.  Whether it be creating the TV series Foyles’ War and Midsomer Murders or writing the Alex Rider series for young adults, or creating the intricate and challenging puzzles such as are found in Moonflower Murders.

Moonflower Murders is a book within a book and both present intricately detailed murder scenarios.  Linking the two books is retired publisher Susan Ryeland who once represented the late Alan Conway, author of the fictional Magpie Murders and Atticus Pund Takes the Case.  

When Susan, now living in Greece and working at a hotel, meets the Trehernes, they ask her to help find their daughter, Cecily who has gone missing.  On the Suffolk coast and on the same day and in the same hotel as their daughter’s wedding some years previously, a horrific murder had taken place. Alan Conway subsequently wrote a book about the murder (Atticus Pund Takes the Case) and her parents believe that Cecily found something in the book that exonerated the man convicted of the murder, and has now put her life in jeopardy.  Susan knows that she needs to return to England to help find Cecily.

Moonflower Murders is clever, brilliant, and a wickedly good puzzle.   It most definitely is a 5 bloody dagger read!

Joanne gives this book 5 stars out of 5!
Joanne gives this book 5 daggers out of 5!

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