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2016 Aurora Awards Winners Announced

August 17, 2016 | Book Buzz | Comments (0)

The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association announced the winners of its annual Aurora Awards on Saturday. 

Daughter of no nation

Best Novel:

A Daughter of No Nation by A.M. Dellamonica
eBook

Toronto author, A.M. Dellamonica is this year's winner for the second entry in her Hidden Sea Tales series, about a young woman with connections to both Earth and Stormwrack, a colourful parallel world of sailors, pirates and adventure.

 

 

 

Inheritance of ashes

Best YA Novel:

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet
eBook

The land has been ravished in a terrible war but the evil God has been defeated. Now sisters Hallie and Marthe wait on their family farm to see who will return from the battle. Marthe's husband has not come back, but another veteran arrives seeking shelter. Is the farm safe? Is the war truly over?

 

 

Waters of versailles

 Best Short Fiction

Waters of Versailles by Kelly Robson
eBook

This novella is available as an eBook. It is also included in the anthology, The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, volume 10, currently available at the Merril Collection.

 

 

 

Lady paranorma

Best Graphic Novel

The Lady ParaNorma by Vincent Marcone

Based on Marcone's short film, this is a stunningly beautiful, nearly wordless book about a woman who communicates with ghosts. Check out the book trailer to get a sense of the work.

 

 

 

The Association presents awards in a number of other categories including art and fan-created works. The complete list of winners is available on the Aurora website.

You Are Being Watched: Books about Artificial Intelligences

July 28, 2016 | Andrea | Comments (4)

Earlier this week, a cherubic spiky-haired robot named Ludwig made his debut at a Toronto retirement home. Designed by a team of U of T researchers, he can carry conversations and analyze speech patterns to help detect Alzheimer's disease. Ludwig's creators are hopeful that after a trial period, the artificial intelligence can be fine-tuned for eventual mass production.

Whether this is a stepping stone into a Jetsons-esque future filled with robots to cook and clean and care for us, who can say for sure? It is certainly fun to speculate, though. We often imagine AIs (artificial intelligences) as villainous in fiction, perhaps reflecting how humans strive to create technology to improve our lives, but also struggle with a deep-seated anxiety about machines supplanting us. In Neil Gaiman's new book of collected non-fiction, The View from the Cheap Seats, there's a thought-provoking piece in which he discusses three questions at the heart of speculative storytelling: the ones that begin with what if, if only, and if this goes on. Last month, an AI called ALPHA defeated an experienced pilot in an air combat simulator. If this goes on… well, we've seen the movies.

"Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history," Stephen Hawking and a group of fellow scientists told us. "Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks." Fiction allows us to explore "cautionary worlds" and consider real life implications and consequences. For example, "You are being watched" is the unsettling warning that opens each episode of Person of Interest, a cerebral sci-fi drama about all-seeing machines that index, order and control our lives. Over the course of its five-season run, the show masqueraded as a standard procedural while digging deep into themes of surveillance and sentience, slowly escalating into a war between two artificial superintelligences and their human agents.

In the June series finale, our ragtag team of protagonists made one last effort to destroy Samaritan, the ruthless ASI bent on razing civilization to protect it. But saving the world requires sacrifice, and not all heroes emerge unscathed from the battle. Here are more stories where you can get emotionally invested in AIs and the characters who fight for or against them:

Alex and Ada Vol 1 by Sarah Vaughn and Jonathan Luna  Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson  Speak by Louisa Hall  Zer0es by Chuck Wendig


Alex + Ada, Volume 1 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn  

Want to read about sweet and supportive robots instead of sinister ones? This graphic novel is the unlikely love story of a lonely human and an android.

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson  

"With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon," tech mogul Elon Musk warned us. Both he and Hawking have signed an open letter calling for responsible oversight to maximize the societal benefits of AI. But as readers snug in the safety of our imagination, we don't want to avert the scenario in the title of this novel — we want the action and thrills of a machine takeover. (Steven Spielberg was previously attached to a film adaptation, but the project was delayed, possibly because Skynet put a stop to it.)

Speak by Louisa Hall

Embark on a literary voyage similar to Cloud Atlas, spanning centuries and featuring a cast that ranges from a 17th century Puritan to Alan Turing to a "babybot."

Zer0es by Chuck Wendig

Five hackers find more than they bargained for in the depths of cyberspace when they are recruited by the government to work on an off-the-books project. 

 

Classic novels: 

2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke  I, Robot by Isaac Asimov  The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick  Neuromancer by William Gibson
      

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Astronauts aboard the Discovery One begin to suspect that something is amiss with HAL 9000, the AI running the spaceship's systems.

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

This collection of short stories examines the relationship between humans and robots, and the applications (and loopholes!) of the Three Laws of Robotics. 

The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick

Person of Interest is based on the same premise as this short story: what if a machine were able to predict and prevent crimes before they occur?

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Hailed by many as the definitive cyberpunk novel, this dystopic conspiracy thriller inspired and informed a great deal of modern science fiction, including The Matrix.

Know Her Value: Books about Female Spies

May 24, 2016 | Andrea | Comments (1)

It's been a tough month for Peggy Carter. The intrepid secret agent has never backed down from a challenge: she fought beside Captain America during the Second World War, continued to fight nefarious cabals and workplace sexism through two seasons of her own television show, and eventually became one of the founders of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. But being fictional, her existence is subject to the decisions of studios and networks. Her latest appearance on the big screen was a muted affair, as audiences who watched Captain America: Civil War can attest, and then the news broke that ABC cancelled Agent Carter. Viewers immediately launched a petition calling for Netflix to rescue the show, and though its future remains uncertain, it was a grand adventure while it lasted. 

Agent Carter herself once stated, "I know my value. Anyone else’s opinion doesn’t really matter." That said, many fans share the opinion that the Marvel Cinematic Universe should better acknowledge the value of their heroines, namely by giving Black Widow her own movie. Until we next see these ladies onscreen, follow their adventures in espionage on the page:

Operation SIN Agent Carter by Kathryn Immonen and Rich Ellis  Black Widow Forever Red by Margaret Stohl Black Widow Vol 1 The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson and Phil NotoBlack Widow Vol 2 The Tightly Tangled Web by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto Black Widow Vol 3 Last Days by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto

Operation S.I.N.: Agent Carter by Kathryn Immonen and Rich Ellis

Peggy teams up with Howard Stark to investigate alien technology, and to nobody's surprise, Hydra is involved. Despite featuring Hayley Atwell on the cover, this graphic novel does not tie into the TV show.

Black Widow: Forever Red by Margaret Stohl

Assassin. Agent. Avenger. Black Widow aka Natasha Romanoff has worn many masks, and in this young adult novel you'll see her in yet another role: mentor to a teenage protégé.  

Black Widow Volume 1: The Finely Woven Thread by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto

"I've got red in my ledger," Natasha admitted in The Avengers. "I'd like to wipe it out." These graphic novels chronicle her exploits as she atones for past sins and goes undercover in Russia to expose a worldwide conspiracy, crossing paths with Hawkeye, Iron Man and the Winter Soldier along the way. The story continues in Volume 2: The Tightly Tangled Web and Volume 3: Last Days.

More women in spy fiction:

At Risk by Stella Rimington  Girl in a Box by Sujata Massey  Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen  Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal
         

At Risk by Stella Rimington 

Rimington, the first woman to serve as Director General of MI5, went on to write an ongoing series of spy thrillers starring counter-terrorism agent Liz Carlyle.

Girl in a Box by Sujata Massey

Rei Shimura accepts an assignment from the CIA to go undercover in a Tokyo department store.


Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

The first in a series of cozy mysteries, this fun whodunit introduces readers to Lady Georgiana aka Georgie, who is 34th in line to the throne and doing her best to make her own way in 1930s London while carrying out covert missions for the crown.  

Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante by Susan Elia MacNeal

The latest Maggie Hope title brings our resourceful heroine to the White House. She is posing as Churchill's typist while he negotiates an American alliance, but when Eleanor Roosevelt needs her help, Maggie finds herself drawn into another dangerous plot.

Non-fiction: 

Fair Game by Valerie Plame  Femme Fatale by Pat Shipman  Liar Temptress Soldier Spy by Karen Abbott  Spy Princess - The Life of Noor Inayat Khan by Shrabani Basu


Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House by Valerie Plame Wilson

Despite being redacted by the CIA, this memoir offers a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of the leak that ended Plame Wilson's career as an intelligence officer. She has since co-authored a series of spy novels, the first book being titled Blowback

 

Femme Fatale: Love, Lies, and the Unknown Life of Mata Hari by Pat Shipman

History has painted different pictures of Mata Hari, labelling her hedonist, harlot and heroine. Discover the complicated truth in this biography. 


Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott

Like your history served narrative-style with a side of scandal? Read about the extraordinary lives of Belle Boyd, Emma Edmonds, Rose O’Neale Greenhow and Elizabeth Van Lew.


Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan by Shrabani Basu

A descendant of Tipu Sultan, Inayat Khan proved her mettle when she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during the Second World War. She continued to spy for the Allies as a Special Operations Executive agent before her career came to a tragically early end.

Devil's Due: A Daredevil Reading List

March 18, 2016 | Andrea | Comments (0)

The second season of Marvel's Daredevil drops on Netflix today. If you're reading this just after emerging from your binge-watching rabbit hole, you should probably get some sleep. Luke Cage doesn't premiere until September, so you have time to train for your next superhero-streaming marathon!
 
If you're new to the television show, Daredevil is the alter ego of Matthew Murdock, a blind lawyer who moonlights as a crime-fighting vigilante in the battle-scarred New York City of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Expectations are high for the sophomore season, and the heat in Hell's Kitchen has been turned up correspondingly. Matt must contend with lethal assassin Elektra Natchios, who happens to be his former flame, and Frank Castle, the Punisher, whose ruthless approach to dispensing justice comes into conflict with Matt's tactics.
 
Looking to delve into the source material from which the show is adapted? Read up on the comics! Check out the Man Without Fear's daring exploits and uneasy alliances in these graphic novels:
 

Daredevil Visionaries - Frank Miller, Volume 2 Born Again by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli Welcome Back, Frank by Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon and Jimmy Palmiotti Daredevil Volume 1 by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin


 
After Frank Miller took over writing duties on the Daredevil comics in 1981, he introduced readers to the deadly and driven Elektra. This volume contains Issue 168, where she makes her first appearance. Also popping up is a host of other regulars in the Daredevil mythos: the Kingpin, Bullseye, Matt's mysterious mentor Stick, and the ninja cabal known as the Hand.
 
 
Born Again by Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli
 
In one of Miller's darkest storylines, Daredevil's crime lord nemesis, the Kingpin, discovers his identity and sets out to systematically destroy him. This 1986 title is noted for its bleak themes and for David Mazzucchelli's striking art (Miller and Mazzucchelli went on to collaborate on the iconic Batman: Year One). Will audiences get to see this arc played out onscreen — possibly in Season Three?
 
 
The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank by Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon, Jimmy Palmiotti
 
Previous incarnations of the Punisher have appeared in various film adaptations, and now there are plans to give this fan favourite character his own television spinoff. Fan speculation was stoked when an early promotional image for Season Two recalled a panel from this Garth Ennis/Steve Dillon/Jimmy Palmiotti volume, where Daredevil and the Punisher engage in philosophical as well as physical bouts. In the sequel, Punisher: War Zone - The Resurrection of Ma Gnucci, the matriarch of a crime family demolished by the Punisher returns to exact her revenge. Actor Jon Bernthal, who plays the new Punisher, tweeted a picture of himself holding the book, presumably part of his homework for the role. Cue more intense fan discussion and theorizing!
 
 
Daredevil Volume 1 by Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin
 
Want more swashbuckling heroics and less grit and darkness? Mark Waid's writing combined with the art of Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin resulted in bright, dynamic and fun storytelling.
 
 
This is by no means a comprehensive list! Writers Brian Michael Bendis and Ed Brubaker both turned out well-received runs during the recent history of Daredevil comics. In addition, the Merril Collection carries the earliest stories dating back to the character's 1964 debut. The classic series, penned by Stan Lee and compiled in Daredevil Masterworks, can be read in the library. The adventures were wackier and the Man Without Fear was once of a sunnier disposition — he even wore a yellow costume!

 

Simon and Schuster to Launch Salaam Reads

March 4, 2016 | Soheli | Comments (16)

Major publisher, Simon & Schuster, recently announced plans for Salaam Reads, a children's imprint that will be the first to focus on Muslim stories and characters.

With growing movements like #WeNeedDiverseBooks, this comes as a much needed progression for a large publishing house. This will be the first major imprint of its kind. Executive editor Zareen Jaffery commented:

"Our aim with the Salaam Reads imprint is in part to provide fun and compelling books for Muslim children, but we also intend for these books to be entertaining and enriching for a larger non-Muslim audience.”

In a diverse city like Toronto, this is a welcome development as we find more and young readers searching to relate to characters in the books they're reading. Consider the impact and popularity of Ms. Marvel, the first Pakistani-American Muslim female teenager to headline her own Marvel series. Not only are titles featuring Muslim characters compelling for a growing audience, but they sell too. This is in direct contradiction with some of the general notions that diverse books don't necessarily make money for publishers because people don't buy them.

Canadian children's author, Rukhsana Khan, who is best known for picture books including Big Red Lollipop and King for a Day, is one who is excited about these upcoming changes. It took nearly a decade for Khan to find a publisher to take on her first title, Bedtime Ba-a-a-lk. “To write it as a Muslim story changes the whole perspective," Khan notes in a recent Macleans article. "It goes outside the mainstream. People in publishing are open-minded, but I think they worried about the audience.”

Ms Marvel

Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel - just your average teenaged, gum-popping superhero. No big deal.

Toronto Public Library consistently works to include diverse and representative books for all ages and abilities in its collection. However, with a large-scale publisher on board, it definitely makes our job selecting high-quality items a little smoother. Here are some examples of fiction titles we already carry focusing on Muslim characters and experiences.

Books for Adults and Older Teens

  

  

  

In The Language of Miracles
Rajia Hassib, 2015

Painted Hands
Jennifer Zobair, 2013

Ms. Marvel
Willow G. Wilson, 2014-2015

American Dervish
Ayad Akhtar, 2012

The Harem
Safia Fazlul, 2012

The Submission
Amy Waldman, 2011

American Taliban
Pearl Abraham, 2010

Boy vs. Girl
Na'íma bint Robert, 2010

Skunk Girl
Sheba Karim, 2009

Fashionably Late
Nadine Dajani, 2007

I Dream of Microwaves
Imad Rahman, 2004

Books for middle-school aged kids and younger teens

 

 

The Garden of My Imaan
Farhana Zia, 2013

Many Windows
Rukhsana Khan, 2008

Ask Me No Questions
Marina Tamar Budhos, 2006

Does My Head Look Big In This?

Randa Abdel-Fattah, 2005

 

Books for younger kids


Nabeel's New Pants: an Eid Tale
Fawzia Gilani-Williams, 2010

My First Ramadan
Karen Katz, 2007

The Best Eid Ever
Asma Mobin-Uddin, 2007

The Hundredth Name
Shulamith Levey Oppenheim, 1995

Salaam Reads has several children's books already in the works. Based on a New York Times article, some of the upcoming titles include:

Salam Alaikum, a picture book based on a song by the British teen pop singer Harris J.

Musa, Moises, Mo and Kevin, a picture book about four kindergarten friends who learn about one another’s holiday traditions.

The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand by Karuna Riazi, about a 12-year-old Bangladeshi-American who sets out to save her brother from a supernatural board game.

Yo Soy Muslim, a picture book by the poet Mark Gonzales.

 

Salaam Reads is set to officially launch its first list in 2017. 

Best of 2015: Staff Members' Favourite Reads 1

December 17, 2015 | Book Buzz | Comments (7)

Enchanted

Alyson:

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)

Alyson really liked The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld for its unusual, lyrical, fairytale-like way of describing a terrible place.

An unnamed death-row inmate narrates a story about life on death row in a rundown prison he calls "the enchanted place", focusing on a woman researching the life of another prisoner in an attempt to commute his sentence even though the man wants to die. The author herself has worked as a death-row investigator.


At the water's edge

Erin:

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
While her husband, Ellis, and his friend try to find the Loch Ness monster in an attempt to win back his father's good graces, Maddie is left on her own in World War II-era Scotland.

Book of speculation

The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
Audiobook
eAudiobook
eBook
Large Print
Talking Book (restricted to Print Disabled patrons)
Simon is a librarian, who receives a mysterious old book from a bookseller. The book tells the story of a traveling circus and appears to be connected to his family. Does this book hold family secrets? Why do so many women in his family drown and could his sister be next?


March 2
MCE:

March. Book Two written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; art by Nate Powell
The second volume in the civil rights leader/congressman's graphic book memoir covers the Freedom Rides and March on Washington. It's an incredibly moving series.

 

 

Rest of us just live here
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
eAudiobook
eBook
A lovely YA novel about a group of teens who are not among the "chosen ones". While other high school students in town are fighting with or falling in love with vampires or trying to save the world from the undead, Mike and his friends are just trying to finish high school with their friendships and dignity intact.

 


We have always lived in the castle

Paula

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
eAudiobook
eBook
A haunting story about two sisters living in a town where everyone hates them since four members of their family died of arsenic poisoning. Merricat, Constance and Uncle Julian coast along trying to avoid the town folks until a visit from cousin Charles changes everything.

 


Related posts:

Scary Stories Part I

October 23, 2015 | Lynn | Comments (0)

This is the first part of two part blog on scary stories. This blog post will focus on classic scary stories while next week’s blog will focus on newer and still scary books. This time of year people are gearing up for scary parties, kids are getting ready to go trick or treating and some of us like to curl up with a scary book. Classic scary stories are a great place to start as these are the inspiration for today’s horror storytellers.

FrankensteinMary Shelley’s Frankenstein

This original telling of the monster created by science and lightening was published in 1818. This was Shelley’s most famous work and has served as inspiration for movies, books, graphic novels and cartoons and hopefully will continue to do so. Frankenstein has been scaring children and adults for years and is considered a classic monster along with the Mummy and Dracula.

 

DraculaBram Stocker’s Dracula

This is considered to be, by some, the real story of Count Dracula, without any teen angst in sight. Written in the form of letters, this story recounts dark interactions with this vampiric nobleman, deep in the forests of Transylvania.This straight forward piece of horror fiction has inspired authors such as Anne Rice and L.J. Smith who have continued to create vampires to scare readers.

 

The ravenEdgar Allen Poe’s The Raven

Poe wrote horror fiction in serial form and experienced some success while alive. Like many, his genius was better appreciated with his death and many of stories continue to appear in popular culture today.  His stories such as “The Raven”, “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” continue to be popular, especially around this time of year. His tales were full of mystery and macabre moments to make readers uncomfortable.

 

The legend of sleepy hollowWashington Irving’s The legend of sleepy hollow

This tale of a headless horseman seeking a replacement for his own lost head scares children every Halloween. From the same author of Rip Van Winkle, this tale of bullying, ghosts and fear set in Sleepy Hallow, 1790. A lovelorn teacher hopes to win the hand of a young maiden, but another is determined to marry her and get her fortune.

 

 

H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu  Cthulu

H.P. Lovecraft was a recluse who lived in Rhode Island and produced horror stories that were appreciated after his death. Lovecraft did not spend a lot of time in school, but rather at home with his mother, aunts and grandfather who encouraged reading. The precocious child devoured stories and then learned to tell his own scary stories in pulp magazines. He never achieved much commercial success in his lifetime, but he has many fans who appreciate his contributions to horror.

                                           

Dr Jekyll and Mr HydeRobert Louis Stevenson’s Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

From the man who brought us Treasure Island we get this scary tale examining the duality of man. A respectable doctor by day and an evil monster by night terrorizing Edinburgh through a chemical formula. Both personalities begin to fight with each other and Jekyll is forced to remove himself more and more from society causing great concerns among his friends.

  

Planning a getaway

January 23, 2015 | Lynn | Comments (0)

By this time of year you may be looking to get away for a while and gazing at travel sites looking for ideas of warmer climates to visit. Perhaps you are looking to visit some warm islands or a warm country. Or perhaps you are thinking of crossing an ocean for a trip. Or maybe you do not wish to take such a trip, but would like to imagine yourself doing such a thing. We here at the Toronto Public Library can help with all these scenarios. We carry travel guides to help decide where to go, we have an online language learning program besides language learning kits, and we have travelogues for those who prefer to travel from the comfort of their arm chairs. Whether it’s to plan a trip for 2015 or read of someone else’s travels, please check out the amazing materials on offer here at the Toronto Public Library.

Travel Guides

Great books to help decide where and when to venture into the world, just keep in mind that it is always best to contact places directly for current prices, opening hours and in case there are renovations.  

Frommer's easy guide Hawaii.  2015  Fodor's Spain 2015  Frommer's easy guide Costa Rica 2015

Frommer's easy guide Hawaii 2015

Learn from a local where to stay, where to eat, where to surf and what to avoid.

Fodor's Spain 2015

Discover the land that brought Tapas to the world, fine wines and world class museums.

Frommer's easy guide Costa Rica 2015

Touted as an inexpensive warm getaway Costa Rica has beautiful forest, volcanoes and ecologically protected areas to explore.

eTravel Guides

These are eBooks that you can download onto your devices and use without looking like a tourist always looking through a book, but a local simply using their phone.  This is an area that is growing in popularity and as such the books are being better designed for easier use.

Boston 2013  Eyewitness travel Top 10 Paris the best of everything  Eyewitness travel Montreal and Quebec City the 10 best of everything

Eyewitness Travel Boston 2013

See where the Tea Party took place, visit Fenway Park and the museums.

Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Paris the best of everything

Learn when to visit the Louvre, watch traffic from the top of the Arc de Triomphe and where to get the best pain au chocolat.

Eyewitness Travel Top 10 Montreal and Quebec City the 10 best of everything

Discover Canadian cities that offer such delights as the Just for Laughs Festival, the Biodome and the Quebec Winter Carnival.

Language learning

It never hurts to learn a few keys phrases before visiting a new country.

  Mango Language learning  Say it right in spanish  In-flight Turkish

Mango Language Learning 

Using your computer at home you can learn key phrases in languages such as French or Pirate.

Say it right in Spanish 

To help you learn how to do more than order a beer in Spanish.

In-flight Turkish

Once you land, you can impress your business counterparts with your new found understanding of their language.

Travelogues

You can always travel the world through other people's eyes safely from home with no security to get through.

   Shenzhen a travelogue from China  I'm a stranger here myself notes on returning to America after twenty years away  On the wonders of land and sea Persianate travel writing

Shenzhen : a travelogue from China

This French Canadian cartoonist has written a number of books on his travels throughout the world and provides humour, insight and travel tips for the reader.

I'm a Stranger here myself: notes on returning to America after twenty years away

What does it feel like to have travelled for twenty years, then return home.  Is it still home?

On the wonders of Land & Sea Persianate travel writing

This group of essays come from a non-European point of view from men and women from the 18th to 20th centuries.  These essays show how the world looked to some.

 

Whether you are looking for a get away or just dreaming about one the Toronto Public Library has many tools to help you realize that dream.

Calling all Whovians

December 19, 2014 | Lynn | Comments (6)

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.

Books

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.

DVDs

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.

eAudiobooks

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)

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!

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

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