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Five Books about Weekends

August 29, 2014 | M. Elwood | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

These books are about weekend getaways. Some weekends are pleasant; others are not.

Long weekend

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Ten strangers are lured to an island where they discover that they are the target of a crazed killer.

The Last Weekend by Blake Morrison
Two couples spend a tense weekend in a remote cottage where old rivalries and conflicts resurface.

The Long Weekend by Veronica Henry
A seaside hotel in Cornwall is the long weekend destination for several families in this engaging summer read.

Osterman weekend The weekend

The Osterman Weekend by Robert Ludlum
eAudiobook
eBook
A television network manager is planning a weekend four couples and is horrified when a CIA agent approaches him with information that one of the guests is a terrorist.

The Weekend by Bernard Schlink
eAudiobook
eBook
Old friends gather at a secluded estate but it's no ordinary weekend. They've met to celebrate the pardon of one of their number--who had been convicted of murder and terrorism.

Enjoy your long weekend!

Subways, Subways, Subways: Fiction

August 25, 2014 | M. Elwood | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Public transit is always in the news so I decided to write about Toronto subways in fiction. Using Google Books, I searched for novels that mentioned specific subway stations. It was ridiculously successful. Dear little Bessarion Station has not made it into a novel yet but practically every other station has. A blog post listing all the books that mention subway stations would be unwieldy to say the least.

While I work on the formatting for that monster post, check out these books. Each involves a subway system in some part of the world.

Acceleration Girls fall down Third rail Baptism

Toronto

Acceleration by Graham McNee
eAudiobook
eBook
Duncan has a summer job cataloguing lost items at the TTC Lost and Found office located at the Bay station. One of the items he finds is a diary apparently written by a serial killer stalking people in the subway system. An award-winning YA novel.

Girls Fall Down by Maggie Helwig
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
After a girl faints on the subway and her friends develop strange rashes, the city of Toronto goes on alert. Is this evidence of a terrorist attack or something else? Photographer Alex is determined to document the city on film and travels around the city on foot and by transit.

Chicago

The Third Rail by Michael Harvey
A sniper is targeting passengers on the Chicago Transit Authority and ex-cop turned private detective Michael Kelly is asked to assist with the investigation.

London

Baptism by Max Kinnings
eBook
Religious fanatics hijack a London subway with plans to kill everyone on board by flooding the tunnel. It's up to blind hostage negotiator Ed Mallory to avert this tragic outcome.

Man in the brown suit Neverwhere Metro 2034 Stalin's ghost

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie
Audiobook
eBook
Large Print
Anne Beddington becomes suspicious after witnessing the death of a man at Hyde Corner Station and follows a cryptic note that has fallen out of the dead man's pocket.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
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eAudiobook
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An act of kindness destroys Richard Mayhew's life and forces him into London Below, a hidden world of abandoned subway stations, sewers and bizarre creatures.

Moscow

Metro 2034 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
A nuclear war has forced the surviving population to live underground where subway stations have become miniature countries. When supplies unexpectedly stop, a small group of Sevastopolskya Station citizens is sent through the Metro to investigate.

Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
Arkady Renko investigates when passengers report seeing the ghost of Joseph Stalin in the Chistye Prudy Metro Station.

New York City

Chasing windmills Gone tomorrow Lowboy Please look after mom All tomorrow's parties

Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde
A chance meeting on a subway car inspires strangers Sebastian and Maria to change their lives.

Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child
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Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
Jack Reacher suspects that one of the passengers on his subway car is a suicide bomber.

Lowboy by John Wray
A schizophrenic teenager on a mission to save the world disappears into the New York subway.

Seoul

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
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Large Print
A family is distraught when its matriarch goes missing at the Seoul Station subway.

Tokyo

All Tomorrow's Parties by William Gibson
eBook
A clairvoyant cyberpunk living in a cardboard box in a Tokyo subway station,  mobilizes his friends to prevent a world disaster. Although part of Gibson's Bridge Trilogy, this book can be read on its own.

Toronto Book Awards Shortlist Announced

August 22, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Toronto Book Awards were created in 1974 to celebrate the diversity of writing in the city. Any type of writing--fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama--are eligible for the prize as are books written for adult, young adult and juvenile audiences. This year the nominees include both fiction and non-fiction.

The 2014 shortlist was announced on Friday, August 22.

The hungry ghosts Kicking the sky The massey murder The stop how the fight for good food Wondrous woo

The Hungry Ghosts by Shyam Selvadurai
eBook

Kicking the Sky by Anthony De Sa
eBook

The Massey Murder: a Maid, her Master and the Murder that Shocked a Nation by Charlotte Gray
eBook

The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis
eBook

The Wondrous Woo by Carrianne Leung
eBook

The winner will be announced on October 16.

Meet the nominees at Yorkville Branch on October 8, 7-8:30 PM.

Read The Book. Watch The Movie

August 22, 2014 | Kelli | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

From the beginning of filmmaking, books have been a source of inspiration for screenwriters. Some of the best known include Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird and Doctor Zhivago.

Quite a number of the movies being released during the summer and fall of 2014 are inspired by books.  If you are like me and like to read the book well ahead of watching the movie, below is a list of the books that should be on the top of your To Read list.

For more books that are going to be, or recently have been, made into movies, read the  Coming Soon To A Theatre Near You  blog post and have a look at our We Recommend: Books To Movies list.

 

100 foot journey Giver smaller If I stay Maze runner Hector and the search

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
When an inexpensive Indian restaurant opens in a small town in the French Alps, the local famous chef, whose restaurant is located across the street, decides to wage culinary war.
eAudiobook

 

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
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eAudiobook

 

If I Stay by Gail Forman
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her family, seventeen-year-old Mia must decide whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.
Audiobook
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Maze Runner by James Dashner
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up in the middle of a maze and with no memories. He soon realizes he must work with the other boys if he is ever going to escape.
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eBook
eAudiobook

 

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord
Hector, a young psychiatrist, decides to take a trip around the world to try to find the secret of happiness.
Large Print

 

Two faces of january Gone girl Best of me Wild Unbroken

Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith
As Chester is dragging a body down a hall in an Athen's hotel, he meets Rydal. Soon Rydal becomes entangled in Chester's sordid life. This suspenseful tale comes to a climax at the ruins at Knossos.

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
When Nick's wife Amy mysteriously disappears on the morning of their fifth anniversary, he claims that he does not know what happened to her. Is he lying? If not, where is Amy?
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Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

 

Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
Two small-town former high school sweethearts meet again when they return to their hometown for a funeral. To recapture their love, they must first confront the choices they made in the past.
Large Print
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Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

 

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Trail by Cheryl Strayed
In the wake of her mother's death and the end of her marriage, Cheryl makes the impulsive decision to hike more than a thousand miles of Pacific Crest Trail all by herself.
Large Print
Audiobook
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Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

 

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Lauren Hillenbrand
During World War II, Lt. Louis Zamperini survived capture and torture in a Japanese prison camp and came home a physical and mental wreck. After being inspired by Billy Graham, he returned to Japan to promote forgiveness and healing.
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Talking Book (Restricted to print disabled patrons)

 

 

Five Tales from the Fairgrounds

August 15, 2014 | Andrea | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

'Tis the season for Ferris wheels and farm animals, Mardi Gras beads and mad food concoctions, sand sculptures and showmanship! The 136th Canadian National Exhibition opens today, and you can check out the schedule of events online. Want to see some snapshots from the Exes of yesteryears? The Toronto Public Library's Preservation and Digitization Team has collected lots of old photos, paintings and other CNE ephemera on a Pinterest board, which you can browse online.

After you tire of making laps around the Polar Express and the Food Building and the warehouse outlets, you can unwind with these books offering different takes on fairs and amusement parks:

 

Devil in the White City Down and out in the Magic Kingdom Joyland St. Peters Fair Wild Ride   


The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
by Erik Larson

The 1893 World's Fair in Chicago is the backdrop of this true story about an architect and a serial killer, and the event where their paths converged.

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow

What could possibly go wrong when death has been cured and you're living in Disney World? Plenty, as this sci-fi satire shows us!

Joyland by Stephen King

A melancholy ghost story/whodunit from the master of horror, set in a haunted amusement park.

St. Peter's Fair by Ellis Peters

The fourth book in the Brother Cadfael medieval mystery series sends the monk detective on the trail of a murderer... who strikes at a summer fair!

Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer

If you enjoy action-packed paranormal romance and quick-witted heroines, take a trip to this abandoned theme park that doubles as a prison for demons.


Previous blog posts on the CNE and its history:
Let's All Go To The Ex
At the Ex: Past, Present and Virtual

Shades of Blue: Memoirs about Depression

August 13, 2014 | M. Elwood | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Robin Williams has tragically lost his battle with depression. As we cope with the sad reality of his suicide, it is clear that greater understanding of depression and all types of mental illness is needed.

This is a list of memoirs written by those who have experienced depression.

Am i sane yet Blue genes Half in love Hyperbole and a half Why not fifteen reasons to live

Am I Sane Yet? An Insider's Look at Mental Illness by John Scully
eBook
International journalist Scully shares his own experiences with depression and PTSD and relates the stories of other patients and treatment options.

Blue Genes: a Memoir of Loss and Survival by Christopher Lukas
Having suffered with depression himself and survived the suicides of his mother and brother, television producer Kit Lukas writes about his efforts to recover and come to terms with his family history.

Half in Love: Surviving the Legacy of Suicide: a Memoir by Linda Grey Sexton
Sexton's memoir describes her own experiences with bipolar disorder and suicidal tendencies and the lasting impact of her mother, poet Anne Sexton's suicide.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened by Allie Brosh
I like Allie Brosh's blog--ahem--alot. Although only part of this book deals with her depression, I've included it because her posts and comics on the subject are powerful, heartbreaking and necessary.

Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live by Ray Robertson
eBook
After recovering from a crippling bout of depression, novelist Robertson wrote this book "to remind myself of all the things that are really important in life".

Love is in the Air

August 11, 2014 | M. Elwood | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

It's a story as old as time--boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy begins a Twitter campaign to get her back and they live happily ever after.

Irishman Jamie Kelly was seated next to Canadian Katie Moreau on a flight from Barcelona to Dublin. They quickly discovered they had a lot in common and were smitten by the time the flight ended. Unfortunately in the chaos of disembarking, the pair were separated and never had a chance to exchange information. Jamie harnessed the power of the Twitterverse in his search using hashtags #findkatie and #loveatfirstflight. His efforts were publicized in Canada where Katie's sister helped reconnect the couple.

Yearning for a vacation romance? Try one of these books:

Carrie goes off the map Dreamboat In the bag
Knight in shining armor Wish you were here

Carrie Goes Off the Map by Phillipa Ashley
Carrie plans to forget her ex-fiance with a European road trip but ends up with an unexpected travel companion--a handsome doctor--after her friend backs out.

Dreamboat by Judith Gould
Large Print
When two friends take a month-long cruise from Athens to Brazil they expect a relaxing vacation, instead they find romance and danger.

The Food of Love by Anthony Capella
An American woman on vacation in Rome is charmed by a handsome man offering her delicious food in this modern update of Cyrano de Bergerac.

In the Bag by Kate Klise
Mixed-up luggage and a spilled glass of wine spark unlikely romances between single parents and their teenagers as they travel through different parts of Europe.

Invitation to Provence by Elizabeth Adler
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Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
Suddenly single Franny Marten is invited to a family reunion in Provence where she discovers dark family secrets and meets an irresistible man.

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
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A woman vacationing in England is visiting an isolated churchyard when a long-dead 14th century Earl appears and asks for her help.

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
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While on vacation in Italy, Lucy Honeychurch is courted by both Cecil Vyse, a socially appropriate mate and George Emerson, a man who challenges and stimulates her. Will she flaunt convention and marry for love?

Summer at the Lake by Erica James
Floriana, Esme and Adam drawn together by an accident, travel to Italy's Lake Como to recover from broken relationships.

Wish You Were Here by Victoria Connelly
A getaway in the Greek Islands becomes romantic when mousy Alice meets a handsome gardener.

Only Using 10% of Our Brains?

August 8, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

All those commercials for ScarJo's latest film, Lucy, got me thinking - what would really happen if we could utilize all our brain power? And is it really as limited right now as we're frequently led to believe?

Lucy's leading premise is that she is able to unlock all her brain's potential after being mysteriously injected with a secret chemical. This allows her super-human abilities and the capacity to transform herself and escape some pretty unsavoury situations.

I can still hear Morgan Freeman's voice murmuring something about how such a huge chunk of our brain is left unused...

Morgan Freeman

But is it really?

Although popular culture has reinforced the idea that we still have so much brain power just wasted, science tells us otherwise. The Skeptical Inquirer points out that brain imaging scans have shown that basically every part of our brain is active - sometimes in smaller ways, but active nonetheless. This can also explain why brain trauma, no matter how minor, can have monumental effects on everything from motor ability to memory.

There are some interesting books that consider all the ways in which our amazing brains work: how our personalities are formed, how we learn, and how we make sense of the world around us. 

Quirk Holmes Brain Sense Brynie  How The Brain Works McCrone  Brain The Complete Mind Sweeney

And - as if there were any doubt - reading is definitely a way to improve your brain power! Psychology Today explains how reading fiction in particular can boost brain connectivity and function. So, happy reading!

Hello, Sports Fans: the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing

August 1, 2014 | M. Elwood | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

League of denial
In 2010, PEN America and ESPN created an award to celebrate literary sports writing. The 2014 award was announced on July 30. It was presented to Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru for their book League of Denial: the NFL, Concussions and the Battle for the Truth, a powerful look at the connection between serious brain injuries and the game of football. It examines the failure of the National Football League to acknowledge and take steps to minimize the risks to its athletes.

League of Denial is available in these formats:

Regular Print
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

DVD
A documentary based on the book is also available at the library.

Finalists:

Collision low crossers Emerald mile Sports gene Their life's work

Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football by Nicholas Dawidoff
eBook

The Emerald Mile: the Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History through the Heart of the Grand Canyon by Kevin Fedarko

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein
eAudiobook
eBook

Their Life's Work: the Brotherhood of the 1970's Pittsburgh Steelers, Then and Now by Gary M. Pomerantz

The Literary War: an Online Discussion Series

July 28, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Sandra martinJuly 28, 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Toronto Public Library has a number of upcoming programs to commemorate the war.

This fall, Book Buzz, Toronto Public Library's online book club, hosts monthly discussions of three pivotal World War I novels in its series, The Literary War. The series will be curated by award-winning journalist and broadcaster Sandra Martin.

 

September:

All quiet on the western frontAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Available as:
Regular Print (translated by A.W. Wheen)
Regular Print (translated by Brian Murdoch)
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Large Print

October:

Three day road
Three Day Road
by Joseph Boyden

Available as:
Regular Print
Audiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

 

November:

Regeneration
Regeneration
by Pat Barker

Available as:
Regular Print
Audiobook
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

 

Each of the books will be discussed throughout the month. You can join in any time and from any place that has Internet access.

Visit Book Buzz to join the discussion. Not a Book Buzz member? Visit our registration page. All you need is a user name and email address.

Sandra Martin will also be making a live appearance at North York Central Library on September 11, 7 PM to discuss poems, memoirs and novels about the first World War.

Call 416-395-5639 to register for this free program.

[Photo of Sandra Martin by Joy von Tiedemann]

Welcome to The Buzz...About Books -- the official blog of Book Buzz, Toronto Public Library's online book club.

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