'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:
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.