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Calling all Whovians

December 19, 2014 | Lynn | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

As a fan of Doctor Who, I am looking forward to the Christmas special airing this Christmas Day on the Space channel. This has become an annual tradition in my house as it is for Whovians (fans of Doctor Who) the world over. For the unintiated this series is a popular British television show that ran from 1963 to 1989 and came back to television in 2005 and continues to be popular today. The series is on it's 13th doctor and each fan has their favourite Doctor.  

To help gear up for the special, Toronto Public Library has a substantial number of materials for fans to discover in book form, short stories, DVD, eBooks, eAudiobooks, graphic novels and some books that can only be discovered at the Merril Collection which is housed in Lillian H. Smith branch. I will highlight a few from each format and I encourage fans, new and faithful, to discover the full extent of our collections.


Doctor Who - Shada  The Doctor's lives and times  Doctor Who the secret lives of monsters

Doctor Who: Shada : the Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams

This is Douglas Adams completing the story of Shada, the episode that never made it to air. This is based on Adams' script.

Doctor Who: the Doctor's lives and times

To get the gossip on the man who has saved the Earth countless times from his closest friends and letters, this is a must read.

Doctor Who: the secret lives of monsters

If you are keen to add to your knowledge of the Doctor then this book will provide details relating to the Doctor's enemies.  

Short Stories

Doctor Who short stories

Doctor Who: 11 doctors 11 stories

Short stories brought to you by the leading sci fi authors of the era.


Doctor Who the time of the doctor  Doctor Who the snowmen  Doctor Who the complete fourth series

Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor

This is last year's Christmas special which marked the 800th episode of the series and was a critically acclaimed episode.

Doctor Who: The Snowmen

This is the 2012 Christmas special with some old favourites returning for this special.

Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series

The Doctor and Donna run around time and space encountering Pompeii, Agatha Christie and the universe's largest library.


Doctor Who and the cave monsters  Doctor who and the terror of the autons  Doctor who planet of the daleks

Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters 

This is a novelization of an old episode and introduces the Silurians, a reptilian race who used to dominate the Earth.

Doctor Who and the Terror of the Autons 

This novelization features the Doctor against the Master, the only other Time Lord in existence.

Doctor Who and the Planet of the Daleks 

This is a novelization of the Doctor again battling those he fought in the Great Time War, the Daleks who seek to simply exterminate with great prejudice. 

Graphic novels

Doctor who prisoners of time  Star Trek the next generation Doctor Who Assimilation

Doctor Who Prisoners of Time

This graphic novel features all 11 doctors in their own stories.

Star Trek the next generation, Doctor Who Assimilation, Volume 1

This is fan favourite crossover of two popular franchises, Star Trek and Doctor Who facing off against the Borg and Cybermen. 

Merril Collection

Doctor Who the caves of Androzani  Doctor Who the writer's tale  Doctor Who the infinity doctors

Doctor Who The caves of Androzani

This is the novelization of an 1985 episode where the Doctor must consider saving others at the cost of of one of his lives.

Doctor Who The writer's tale

This book provides an indepth look at a year on the show through the eyes of the head writer and executive producer, Russell T. Davies.

The infinity doctors

This is an original story based on the Doctor that provides the reader with a "what if" reading experience.

Please check out some of the recommendations and as the Doctor would say, "Geronimo!"

Have A Very Hellblazer Hallowe'en

October 22, 2014 | Andrea | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Demons and exorcisms and nightmares, oh my! Premiering Friday on NBC and Global is Constantine, this fall's third TV show adapted from a DC Comics series. Based on the long-running horror title Hellblazer, the show is named after the sardonic sorcerer John Constantine, an antihero who battles the forces of hell with his wits and knowledge of the occult.

Viewers will likely see depictions of events from early in the comics' run. Those first stories, written by Jamie Delano and originally published in the late 80s and early 90s, are collected in the following five graphic novels.

Hellblazer - Original SinsHellblazer - The Devil You KnowHellblazer - The Fear MachineHellblazer - The Family ManHellblazer - Rare Cuts

Original Sins

This volume collects the first nine issues of Hellblazer.

The Devil You Know

Includes the special miniseries "The Horrorist."

The Fear Machine

Constantine becomes embroiled in the machinations of a secret society.

The Family Man

Constantine hunts a serial killer while wrestling with his own inner demons.

Rare Cuts

Compiles various origin stories plus other out-of-sequence issues.

If you find these stories not to your taste, keep in mind that many other writers and artists have taken on the iconic character, among them Garth Ennis and Mike Carey. Try out their work, or check out the first volume of the new Constantine comics, which replaced the Hellblazer title early last year. And remember — the show may air on primetime network television, but the horror comic series is suggested for adults. Reader discretion is advised!

Embrace your inner geek!

September 3, 2014 | Lynn | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

This past weekend was Fan Expo in Toronto, our version of comic con and more and more people are attending every year including women.  Women are starting to read more comics and GN (Graphic Novels) and new readers could be wondering, where do I start?  Here are a few suggestions for the new reader in mind.  Wonder Woman is being redone by DC Comics as a part of the new 52 series, and the story lines are strong and you can visit Wonder Woman’s facebook page here.  This Amazonian princess is up to date with social media.


Bill Willingham’s series Fables continues to entertain audiences with his mix of modern day troubles with our childhood fairy tale characters.  He is releasing Fables: The deluxe edition Book 9 in October.  You may want to start with the first in the series and work up to the current one as the series will not only be wrapping in early 2015, but is being scouted for television or movie opportunities. Fables


The Walking Dead is a super popular television show and it started as a comic.  It is up to volume 20 and is gorier than the version on television.  I would suggest checking out the comic to see why it is so popular and compare it to the television show.


I feel I should include at least one manga and I suggest Fairy Tail.  This manga is easier to read than some and is light in nature making a great entryway to the genre.  We have all the issues up to volume 39, so if you love it, there is a lot to read.  This series has a huge following with a popular wiki here.

Images (1)

I hope these suggestions find you trying new books and checking out more of our amazing collection here at TPL.  If you have any favourites that you would recommend to new readers, please let me know.



The 70th Anniversary of D-Day

June 6, 2014 | Andrea | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, a hard-won victory for Allied forces during the Second World War. Veterans, leaders, dignataries and civilians across the globe gather to commemorate and honour the fallen, both at small ceremonies and international summits. Three hundred and forty Canadians died on June 6, 1944, fighting on the battlefield which came to be called Juno Beach. Here are five books focusing on our nation's heroes and the sacrifices made on that historic day.


D-Day Juno Beach: Canada's 24 Hours of Destiny by Lance Goddard

Part illustrated chronicle and part interview transcript, this book records a momentous battle hour by fierce, fatiguing hour.

Fields of Fire: The Canadians in Normandy by Terry Copp

A military historian takes a closer look at the campaign and analyzes different strategies and tactics.

Juno: Canadians at D-Day by Ted Barris

An ensemble retelling of the battle, constructed from hundreds of interviews with veterans, from soldiers who fought on the Normandy shore to sailors who operated the guns of the surrounding ships. 

Zuehlke, also the author of Breakout from Juno and Holding Juno, is known for his detailed, thoroughly researched historical narratives about Canada's role in the Second World War.

Two Generals by Scott Chantler
A memoir in graphic novel form, this is the true story of the author's grandfather Law Chantler and his best friend, everyday heroes who crossed the ocean and fought in the French campaign together.

Beyond Black and White: Noir Graphic Novels

April 27, 2014 | M. Elwood | Comments (1) Facebook Twitter More...

Recently a customer asked me where the library kept its noir graphic novels. Although I love film noir and have read my share of noir fiction, I was unaware that the genre existed in graphic novels.

It makes sense. Graphic novels are the perfect place to capture the smoke, shadows and betrayal that are typical of the genre.

These are a few of the noir graphic novels in the library system:

100 bullets Blacksad Dark entries Dark rain Fatale

100 Bullets: First Shot, Last Call by Brian Azzarello, writer; Eduardo Risso, artist; Grant Goleash, colorist; Clem Robins, letterer
Individuals who have been wronged are offered a chance for revenge in this anthology series.

Blacksad written by Juan Díaz Canales; illustrated by Juanjo Guarnido; lettering by Studio Cutie
Cynical private eye John Blacksad is the toughest cat in town in this hardboiled series set in 1950s America.

Dark Entries by Ian Rankin, art by Werther Dell'Edera, letters by Clem Robbins
Occult detective John Constantine investigates when supernatural events occur on the set of a reality show.

Dark Rain: a New Orleans Story by Mat Johnson, writer; Simon Gane, artist; Lee Loughridge, grey tones & colour; Pat Brousseau, letterer
Two ex-cons attempt to rob a New Orleans bank as the city struggles to survive Hurricane Katrina.

Fatale: Death Chases Me by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
Nicholas Lash meets and falls in love with a beautiful, mysterious woman with a secret in a book that will appeal to fans of HP Lovecraft and Raymond Chandler.

History of violence Noche roja Richard-starks-parker-the-hunter Scarlet West coast blues

A History of Violence by John Wagner; art by Vince Locke; lettering by Bob Lappan
A small town diner owner finds his carefully constructed identity threatened after he thwarts a robbery and becomes a media celebrity.

Noche Roja by Simon Oliver, writer; Jason Latour, art; Clem Robins, letterer
Nothing is as it appears in this tale of an ex-cop who is hired to track down a missing young woman near the Mexico/US border.

Richard Stark's Parker: The Hunter adapted and illustrated by Darwyn Cooke
Professional thief Parker is set on revenge in this adaptation of a classic novel written by Donald Westlake using the name Richard Stark.

Scarlet by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev; Chris Eliopoulous, letterer
Scarlet's innocence is shattered when corrupt police officers kill her boyfriend. Fueled by grief, she begins a violent mission to avenge his death.

West Coast Blues adapted by Jacques Tardi from the novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette
A man is pursued by assassins after he helps a man who has been injured in a car accident.

Ask staff for additional selections.

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:



Girls On Fire: Feisty Females in Fiction

March 21, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (5) 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!


Best of 2013: Book Buzz Member Recommendations #3

January 18, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Book Buzz is Toronto Public Library's online bookclub. We love reading and we love sharing reading suggestions. The members have selected their best reads of the year.

Interestings 160 Love of a good woman 160 Maus Middlesex

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons
bookbloggersx says, "not really something I'd normally have picked up (book club pick) but really well written with characters that were real and a story that just resonated with me."

The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
Munro's Nobel Prize win inspired forun5_ to read this collection. forun5_ says Alice Munro's writing is "like caviar to the reading palate".

Maus: a Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman
The Complete Maus: 25th Anniversary Edition
Recommended by Mottyl.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Recommended by Mottyl.

Noughts and crosses 160 Please understand me Sea of tranquility Sense_of_an_Ending

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Royal_ says, "The novel left me to stare in awe at the intelligence and creativity of this author. Just the best book I've read possibly in my entire life."

Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David Keirsey
waterlily considers it "one of the books that helped me become authentically me. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in learning about personality types".

Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Recommended by Ali1974.

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
goldy said, "It is not often that a novel both propels me forward and demands me to pause, stop and reflect. This novel did. Over and over." Another member, sam agrees, "I love Julian Barnes' prose, it's so succinct yet it says so much."

Related Posts:

Best of 2013: Book Buzz Member Recommendations #2

January 16, 2014 | Book Buzz | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Book Buzz is Toronto Public Library's online bookclub. We love reading and we love sharing reading suggestions. The members have selected their best reads of the year. It's a nice mix of old and new titles, fiction and non-fiction.

All my friends are superheroes Breeding in captivity Daytripper English girl

All My Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman
thatguyalex says, "It's a short book with a magical realism bent about a guy trying to figure out how to get his wife back on a plane ride. I can't do it justice with an explanation, there are two moments where it just gave me chills (good chills). I loved it in a way that's rare for me and books these days. I like a lot of books, but love few and this one was a wonderful read!"

Breeding in Captivity: One Woman's Unusual Path to Motherhood by Stacy Bolt
Recommended by breathe_and_smile.

Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá
Anonymous Librarian loved this graphic novel where each chapter is an alternate version of the main character's last day of life, each at a different point on his timeline.

The English Girl by Daniel Silva
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
October enjoyed this acclaimed spy novel.

Everything is perfect when you're a liar Fault in our stars February How to save a life

Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar by Kelly Oxford
nancypants says, "It's funny, sweet, relatable and honest. Every page makes me smile."

The Fault in our Stars by John Green
This YA book captured the imagination of many readers this year, including cmc who considers it "a modern take on Romeo & Juliet".

February by Lisa Moore
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
bookworm 101 calls the Canada Reads winner "Beautifully written, haunting, important".

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Recommended by breathe_and_smile.

Related Post:

Books for Adults on National Child Day

November 20, 2013 | M. Elwood | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

National Child Day has been observed in Canada on November 20 since 1993. It commemorates the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The memoirs on this list each tell the story of an unusual childhood:


Abode of love Coming clean Daughter's tale Siberian education
Sisters antipodes

Abode of Love: Growing Up in a Messianic Cult by Kate Barlow
Barlow relates her experiences growing up within the Church of Agapemon, a religious cult.

Coming Clean: a Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller
Miller describes her childhood living with her father, a compulsive hoarder.

A Daughter's Tale: the Memoir of Winston Churchill's Youngest Child by Mary Soames
Soames is the youngest child of Clementine and Winston Churchill; she shares her memories of growing up in an extraordinary family during a chaotic time in history.

Siberian Education: Family, Honour, and Tattoos: an Extraordinary Underworld Life by Nicolai Lilin
Lilin spent his childhood in Transnistria, a lawless region between Moldova and Ukraine that was settled by criminals. His memoir about living among the criminal element combines fact and fiction.

The Sisters Antipodes by Jane Alison
Two couples each with daughters around the same age meet and become friends. Jane Alison's life is thrown into turmoil when her parents divorce and switch partners with the other couple, forever damaging her relationship with her stepsister Jenny.

Graphic Memoirs

For something a little different, try an autobiography that combines text and images:

Funhome 150

Epileptic by David B.
David B.'s family struggles with his older brother's epilepsy, desperately trying any treatment in hope of a miracle cure.

Fun Home: a Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
Bechdel's memoir of a childhood growing up in a funeral home with a dysfunctional family--a childhood that was complicated by her relationship with her closeted gay father and her  struggle with her own sexual identity.

Marzi: a Memoir by Marzena Sowa with art by Sylvain Savoia
Born in Poland in 1979, Sowa gives her perspective on growing up behind the Iron Curtain as Communism begins to crumble.

Persepolis: the Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrape
With simple black and white drawings, Satrape describes her childhood during Iran's Islamic Revolution.

Stitches: a Memoir by David Small
Small's childhood was complicated by dysfunctional parents and a bout with cancer--an illness caused by his doctor father's medical care and worsened by neglect.

If you'd like other suggestions, consult with staff at your local branch.

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