Steven Galloway Online Chat

April 15, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Steven galloway
You've read the book, now speak to the author!

Online Chat with Steven Galloway
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 7 PM, EDT

Steven Galloway, the author of The Cellist of Sarajevo, Toronto Public Library's Keep Toronto Reading One Book Community Read for 2014, will be our guest, this Thursday in an online chat.

Online chats are a great way to meet and discuss books with their authors and with other readers and you don't even have to put on shoes! Simply log in from home or wherever you have Internet access. It's easy to participate!

If you've never joined a live chat before the YouTube video below will give you a very brief introduction.


It all takes place on the Book Buzz website:

Steven Galloway Online Chat

More Spring Reading Choices from TPL Staff

April 13, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

These are the books that library staff members are anxious to read this spring:

First fifteen lives Girl with all the gifts I was there the night he died Medicine walk Myrealchildren

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North
DK says: I love stories about reincarnation. I don't necessarily believe in it, but it makes for great storytelling. This seems to be a mix of The Time Traveller's Wife and Groundhog Day.
Erin is also waiting for this one.

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
Melanie lives in a cell and although Dr. Caldwell calls her a genius, people seem frightened of her. What is going on here?
Erin wants to find out "what Melanie is".

I was There the Night He Died by Ray Robertson
Sam, a 40-something writer returns to his small hometown and starts an unlikely friendship with 18-year-old Samantha.
JB is drawn to the guitar history and music trivia in the book.

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
A father and son journey into the British Columbia mountains so that the dying father can be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner.
TP thinks it will be an awesome, heartbreaking book.
The Librarian in D Major is also waiting for this one.

My Real Children by Jo Walton
A aged woman in a nursing home recalls two entirely different stories of her life. Which one is her real life?
The Librarian in D Major loves the idea of switching between time and reality; MCE just loves Jo Walton and will read anything she writes.

Queen of the tearling Shotgun lovesongs Us conductors World of trouble

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.
Erin is looking forward to this book that has a "similar feel to Game of Thrones".

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
The story of four friends from a small Wisconsin town, their lives, careers and relationships.
JB is drawn to this "literary, midwesterny" story.

Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
This novel based on the real life of scientist, inventor and spy Lev Termen appeals to both JB and The Librarian in D Major who says she's a big fan of the theremin, one of Termen's inventions.

World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters
The final volume of The Last Policeman trilogy is set just prior to the destruction of Earth by a huge asteroid.
MCE is a big fan of the series and thinks everyone should read it. (The book is currently listed in the catalogue as Untitled Last Policeman 3.)

Related Post:

Staff Choices for Spring Reading

April 11, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Recently some library staff members attended a presentation about spring/summer books. Representatives from HarperCollins Canada, Ampersand, Canadian Manda Group, Publishers Group Canada, and Random House described some of the books that will be released in the next several months. These are the releases we're looking forward to.

Bird box Confabulist Frog music2 Girl who saved the king Inheritance

Bird Box by Josh Malerman
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
In a world where a single glimpse of something can cause madness and violence, a woman and her children must try to find safety--while blindfolded.
PDP and Soheli are excited about this "spooky", "super-creepy" novel.

The Confabulist by Steven Galloway
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
DK: Even though this author is quite prominent for us right now, the hook for me is Harry Houdini. This fictionalized account of his life sounds totally wild!
The Librarian in D Major agrees: Who doesn't like Harry Houdini?

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
For her follow up to the award-winning Room, Donoghue has written a novel based on the real-life unsolved murder of a cross-dressing frog-catcher in 1876 San Francisco.
The Librarian in D Major and JB are anxiously awaiting this one.

The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
A rollicking tale from the author of The One-Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.
The Librarian in D Major says it "sounds like fun" and Elsa is looking forward to an "unpredictable" story.

Inheritance: How our Genes Change our Lives--and Our Lives Change our Genes by Sharon Moalem
Joanna has already started reading this book about genetics and calls it "fascinating" and "written in an accessible way". M. loved Moalem's previous book Survival of the Sickest and can't wait for this one.

Lost for words Love like blood Pearl that broke its shell

Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn
The novel is a behind-the-scenes look at the judging of a literary prize--a prize that sounds a lot like the Man Booker Prize.
TP is looking forward to it "because it sounds so gossipy."
Valerie is "hoping this new novel will be equally as witty" as the author's Patrick Melrose series.

A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick
A man witnesses a murderer draining his victim of blood and becomes obsessed with stopping him.
Vampire-novel-fan Emoke says it "sounds creepy and intriguing".

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
The tradition of bacha posh allows Afghan women to live and dress as boys until they are of marriageable age is explored in this novel.
Emoke says: I have heard of the bacha posh tradition before, but look forward to actually reading a story about it!

Stay tuned! Another list of staff choices for spring will be posted on Sunday.

Related Post:

Allan Stratton Online Chat

April 7, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Resurrection of mary mabel mctavishThis spring Book Buzz, Toronto Public Library's online book club, is part of The Spring eh List Author series hosting a number of online chats with some of the leading authors in Canada.

On Thursday April 10, 7 PM EDT, our guest will be Allan Stratton.

Online chats are a great way to interact with authors. Simply access the chat site from any Internet terminal and type your questions and comments.

Allan Stratton is an award-winning playwright, actor and novelist. Since his first play was produced by the CBC in 1970, Stratton has unleashed a head-turning stream of successful novels, plays and performances on stage. His first novel for adults, The Phoenix Lottery was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.

His latest novel, The Resurrection of Mary Mabel McTavish, will be released on April 12. A rave review in Quill and Quire called it "hilarious". In this novel, you will meet Jack Warner, J. Edgar Hoover, William Randolph Hearst, the infamous Rockettes, some Ponzi promoters, Bolshevic hoboes and tent revivalists.

Allan Stratton has also written a number of noted books for children and teens including:

Borderline Chanda's secrets Grave robber's apprentice Leslie's journal

A Muslim teenager's life is demolished when his father is accused of terrorism. Nominated for The Arthur Ellis Award, CLA Best YA Fiction Award, and the John Spray Award.

Chanda's Secrets
Stratton explores the life of a young woman amid the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was named an ALA Michael L. Printz Honor Book in 2005.

The Grave Robber's Apprentice
This fantasy novel for middle school students was nominated for The Governor General's Literary Award and for the Silver Birch Award.

Leslie's Journal
Revised Edition
The story of a teenager whose first relationship becomes dangerous was selected by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young People.

The chat takes place on the Book Buzz website. Log in and join the conversation.

Special Thanks to:

Canada council

Thanks to Canada Council for their assistance in sponsoring the eh List.


Winter Is Over and Game of Thrones Finally Returns

April 4, 2014 | Kelli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Those of you who have watched the third season of Game of Thrones may still be reeling from fhe events at the Red Wedding.  Well, brace yourself.  The fourth season is ready to begin on Sunday, April 6th and it promises to have many more surprises, twists, turns and shocking events.  If  you are like me and have read ahead, you are probably waiting with anticipation to see how these events will be portrayed in the television series (and to watch our friends and family react).

If you are new to Game of Thrones, you can catch up by watching the previous three seasons.

Season 1 Season 2 Season 3
Season 1 Season 2 Season 3


If you don't want to wait to get the DVDs, perhaps get started on the books. 

Game of Thrones Clash Storm Feast Dance

The books are also available in eBook and eAudiobook formats.  Go to the Toronto Public Library's OverDrive website to find them.

If you have read the books and are waiting, somewhat impatiently, for the sixth book to be published.  George R R Martin has taken pity on us and recently released a chapter from The Winds of Winter called Mercy.  Read it soon as it may not stay available forever.


For more book about the Song of Ice and Fire series (the name of the book series), check out the graphic novels and new book containing quotes from a favourite character, Tyrion Lannister.

Graphic 1 Graphic 2 Wit

Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 by Daniel Abraham

Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Volume 2 by Daniel Abraham

Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister by George R .R. Martin (only in eBook)


If you are looking to immerse yourself even further into the world of Westeros, have a look at these books that were inspired by the series.

Beyond Feast A to Z Philosophy Inside

Beyond the Wall: Exploring George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, from A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons by Daniel Abraham.

A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel

Game of Thrones A to Z: An Official Guide to Accompany the Hit TV Series by Martin Howden

Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than Swords by Henry Owen Jacoby

Inside HBO's Game of Thrones by Bryan Cogman


In case you have not seen it yet, here is one of the many trailers for Season 4:



Meet Ian Hamilton: The eh List 2014

March 30, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Best-selling crime writer Ian Hamilton will be making a number of appearances in Toronto libraries in April:

Ian hamiltonApril 2, 2014, 7 PM
North York Central Library, Auditorium
To register call: 416-395-5639

April 15, 2014, 7 PM
Taylor Memorial Branch
For more information call: 416-393-7660

April 29, 2014, 6:30 PM
Yorkville Branch
For more information call: 416-393-7660

About the Author:

Hamilton's first book, The Children's Crusade: the Story of the Company of Young Canadians, was published in 1970. He did not publish another book until 2011 when The Water Rat of Wanchai, the first book in the Ava Lee series, was released. The resourceful, brilliant Ava Lee is a forensic accountant and martial arts expert who recovers money lost in financial scams.

The Chinese-Canadian sleuth was created in 2009 while Hamilton was recovering from heart surgery. He completed the first draft in less than two months and the next three books were completed within eight months.

Hamilton was recently nominated for a Lambda Award for Best Lesbian Mystery for The Wild Beasts of Wuhan.

Water rat of wanchai Disciple of las vegas Wild beasts Red pole of macau Scottish banker

Two sisters of borneo

The Ava Lee series

The Water Rat of Wanchai
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

The Water Rat of Wanchai is also available in a new edition that includes The Dragon Head of Hong Kong, a prequel to the Ava Lee series.
Regular Print

The Disciple of Las Vegas
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons

The Wild Beasts of Wuhan
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

The Red Pole of Macau
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

The Scottish Banker of Surabaya
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

The Two Sisters of Borneo

5 Books About Assorted Arks

March 28, 2014 | Andrea | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Opening in movie theatres today is Noah, a big screen adaptation of the Biblical story about an all-consuming flood and one man's visionary rescue mission. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, the film stars Russell Crowe as the eponymous ark-builder. But if you're not particularly interested in seeing large scale water damage rendered with a blockbuster budget, perhaps you would prefer sitting down somewhere nice and dry with a book.

  Theark  Babylonsark  Flood  Findley  Sinners

The Ark by Boyd Morrison 

Conspiracies! International intrigue! Secret weapons! The search for Noah's Ark becomes a race to save the modern world in this archeological thriller in the style of Dan Brown, James Rollins and Steve Berry.

Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo by Lawrence Anthony

The true story of a conservationist who fought to save the surviving animals of the Baghdad Zoo. Devastated during the war in Iraq and plagued by looters, the zoo was rebuilt with the help of dedicated staff and soldiers.

Flood by Stephen Baxter

The oceans are rising, and the end is nigh! Fans of apocalyptic fiction should check out this sci-fi thriller, continued in the sequel, Ark.

Not Wanted on the Voyage by Timothy Findley

A provocative retelling of the Noah's Ark tale, melding elements of postmodernism, magic realism and even social commentary.

Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife by Rebecca Kanner

Played by Jennifer Connelly in the new movie but nameless in the Old Testament, Noah's wife is an enigmatic character. This novel attempts to bring her to life, similar to how Anita Diamant's The Red Tent reimagined the story of another Biblical woman, Dinah.


Just Look at the Flowers: Books in Bloom

March 23, 2014 | M. Elwood | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Well, I'm still haunted by last Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead where the instruction to "just look at the flowers, Lizzie" preceded something horrific. I won't go into details.

All the flowers I've been seeing recently have been on book covers. Here's hoping that spring weather arrives soon.

These are some recent flowery additions to Toronto Public Library's collection.


Before we met Boy snow bird Fall of marigolds Kiss and tell Orchard of lost souls

Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse
A woman discovers she may not really know her husband after he disappears on a business trip.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
Inspired by Snow White, this novel tells the story of life in the pre-civil rights era United States.

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
A scarf connects two women, both struggling with tragic loss, living a century apart in New York City.

Kiss and Tell by Fern Michaels
Friends unite against a conman in the latest installment in Michaels' Sisterhood series.

The Orchard of Lost Souls by Nadifa Mohamed
The lives of three women intersect in Somalia in 1987 just prior to the civil war.

Random acts of kindness Seduced by fire Somerset Still life Wonder

Random Acts of Kindness by Lisa Verge Higgins
Three women on a road trip to their hometown make unexpected discoveries about themselves and each other.

Seduced by Fire by Tara Sue Me
A florist explores her submissive side in this erotic novel.

Somerset by Leila Meacham
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
A family saga spanning 150 years of American history.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
A legendary photographer settles in a small town where she learns to view life without a camera lens in the way.

Wonder by Dominique Fortier
Past and present intersect within these three linked stories.

75 flowers Flower of empire Garden of marvels Seven flowers Simple flower arranging


75 Flowers for Cake Decorators: a Beautiful Collection of Easy to Make Floral Cake Toppers for Cakes and Cupcakes by Helen Penman
Even when it's snowing outside you can still enjoy flowers inside...on your dessert.

The Flower of Empire: an Amazonian Water Lily, the Quest to Make it Bloom and the World it Created by Tatiana Holway
The story of a magnificent lily and its impact on Victorian Britain.

A Garden of Marvels: How We Discovered that Plants have Sex, Leaves Eat Air and other Secrets of Plants by Ruth Kassinger
A witty and engaging history of early botanists.

Seven Flowers and How they Shaped Our World by Jennifer Potter
Potter examines seven flowers (lotus, rose, opium poppy, sunflower, tulip, orchid, lily) to discover their impact on the world.

Simple Flower Arranging by Mark Welford
Brighten up your home on even the dullest days with this step-by-step guide.

Use the comments section to complain about winter, talk about gardening and share your angst about The Walking Dead.

Girls On Fire: Feisty Females in Fiction

March 21, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (4) Facebook Twitter More...

March 8th marked International Women’s Day, and the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s Divergent hits theatres today (pssst - need some read-a-likes for that too? We got you covered!). They might not seem particularly relevant to one another, but both highlight the importance of strong females – on a global scale, and in fiction. There are so many great female characters in pop culture that have no problem throwing fists, making waves and getting things done. Here’s just a few that appear in print for your reading pleasure.

Katniss_everdeen_by_patsie-d3gxeulKatniss Everdeen, archer
The Hunger Games trilogy
(read on with Catching Fire and Mockingjay)

There’s almost no way you could have not heard of the Girl on Fire by now. This young archer is no stranger to messy love triangles and family tragedy, but she’s strong enough to take down enemies more powerful than even she could imagine.

This fiery portrait to the left is by artist Patsie.


Girl who fell from the skyMarian Sutro, undercover Resistance courier
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Simon Mawer

The half-French, half-British daughter of a diplomat who is highly trained in sabotage, dead-drops, interrogation practices and well, how to kill, Marian is not one to mess with.

She is recruited to go undercover in wartime France to recover a nuclear physicist who is of deep significance to her superiors – and also happens to be a longtime crush.

Éowyn, shield maiden & neice of King Theoden
Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien
(Read on with The Two Towers and The Return of the King)

Not just a pretty face, Eowyn is a fierce competitor, even donning a male disguise so she can ride into battle. She’s the soldier who killed the witch king of Angmar, so enemies should be on guard.

Lisbeth Salander, computer hacker
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson
(Read on with the Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest)

She’s a fiercely anti-social heroine with a violent history. Pair that with a photographic memory and her elite computer hacking skills, and you’ve got one of the most powerful (but brutal) fictional female characters in recent memory. The Lisbeth artwork on the left, below, is by jsek.

Lisbeth_salander_by_jsek-d4mmg13  Buffy_by_AzhiDahaki 

Buffy Summers, student/slayer
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (graphic novel) created by Joss Whedon

I have a feeling that Buffy and a certain other vampire-loving girl wouldn’t get along. But that’s ok: Buffy is a little too busy balancing the demands of teenage girlhood with protecting humanity on the Hellmouth to make new friends anyway. The graphic novelization of this movie (and later, series) picks up where the last TV season ended, so look for all the titles, beginning with Season 8, Volume I. The Buffy artwork above, right, is by AzhiDahaki.

Emerald/Green, courtesan/assassin
Green Universe series by Jay Lake
(Read on with Endurance and Kalimpura)

She was sold as a child and trained to be a sophisticated courtesan for the pleasure of the Duke. A precious jewel in his collection of beautiful women, she was named Emerald. In defiance, she calls herself simply Green. In her world of political power and powerful magic, Green has become a dangerous woman - and she's made some enemies along the way.

Ofglen, handmaiden
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Not to be confused with Offred, who serves as the novel’s main protagonist, Ofglen is Offred’s neighbour and partner for domestic duties. A fellow handmaiden, Ofglen is secretly part of a rebel resistance aiming to take down the cruel regime that controls their world.

Arya Stark, youngest daughter of House Stark
A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

There’s a fair share of cunning and strong female characters in GRRM’s saga of power and politics, but Arya sticks out as being young, rebellious and able to use all her wits just to stay alive. She’s small but mighty and consistently escapes terrible situations - even if she does end up justthisclose to death.

Arya Stark - by pardoart
 Arya by artist pardoart

Mindy McCready/Hit-Girl, superhero
Kick-ass 2 prelude: Hit-Girl (graphic novelization) by Tom Palmer

If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll understand why I had to include Hit-Girl on this list. She’s not immune to the pitfalls of teenage living, but she’s also anything but your average kid. She’s been trained since she was tiny as a skilled and snarky crimefighter that has to lend the titular Kickass a hand more often than not.

Ellen Ripley, space pilot/warrant officer
Alien (Graphic novelization) by Archie Goodwin

You probably know her better from the popular 1979 film – that went on to spawn several other movies into the 90s – but there’s a graphic novel version of this outer space horror too. Ripley is not only a smart, no-nonsense fighter skilled enough to combat monsters from beyond our world, but she also stands out as being a little older than most of the ladies on this list, proving that saving the world isn't just for teenagers.

Arrow, sniper
Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

In this year’s One Book selection, Arrow is described as a female sniper in her late 20s with big blue eyes and dark hair, but it’s her work ethic that makes her striking. She doesn’t enjoy what she does, but feels it must be done: “Arrow pulls the trigger and ends the life of one of the soldiers in her sight, she’ll do so not because she wants him dead, although she can’t deny that she does but because the soldiers have robbed her and almost everyone else in the city of this gift” (p 12).

Bonus Pick!

In Y: The Last Man, by Brian K. Vaughan, a mysterious plague wipes out every creature on Earth with a Y chromosome (except for one guy and his pet monkey). That leaves a whole lotta women, which naturally gives rise to some pretty fierce Amazonian types as they begin to rebuild a world without men.

I'm sure to have missed some memorable heroines along the way - have a favourite you don't see?
Let us know in the comments!


It's Not Easy Being Green: Green Books for Saint Patrick's Day

March 16, 2014 | M. Elwood | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

These books have already gotten into the spirit of Saint Patrick's Day.

How are you celebrating?

Silent spring Yertle Sweetness Survival of the sickest Tiger shrimp tango

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Survival of the Sickest: a Medical Maverick Discovers Why We Need Disease by Sharon Moalem

Tiger Shrimp Tango by Tim Dorsey

Tyrannia Bubble WhiteGingerthumb Inspector singh Chimera

Tyrannia and Other Renditions by Alan DeNiro

Bubble by Anders De la Mote

White Ginger by Thatcher Robinson

A Curious Indian Cadaver by Shamini Flint

Chimera by David Wellington

In the woods Honor's knight Man came out of a door If you were here Douglas notebooks

In the Woods by Tana French

Honor's Knight by Rachel Bach

A Man Came Out of a Door in the Mountain by Adrianne Haron

If You Were Here by Alafair Burke

The Douglas Notebooks by Christine Eddie

Toronto Public Library has books for every occasion and in many different colours. Please note that staff members do not have the ability to locate books by colour so if you ask us for the book with the blue cover that you read last summer we will not be able to locate it unless you supply author and title information, too.


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

Your comments, posts, messages and creative content are welcome, provided they encourage a respectful dialogue and comply with the Library's mission, values and policies.
Terms of Use