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Beach Reads with an Asian twist

April 30, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (3) Facebook Twitter More...

This May, as we celebrate Asian Heritage Month in Toronto, we highlight books that reflect the variety of cultures, customs and traditions of Asians, both in their native countries and abroad.

There are many very well written, serious books about issues in many of these countries. But there is also lighter fare that still shows us what life in many countries around the world can be like.

As the weather (finally!) starts to warm up, you may be looking forward to some fun, light reads you could sit out on the patio with, or take along if you're on a beach vacation.

Here are some beach reads with Asian Heritage Month in mind.

Crazy, Rich Asians
by Kevin Kwan, 2013

A juicy, gossipy novel that is a fun read. It's all about - you guessed it - some extremely elite and wealthy Asians. The families in Kwan's book are all about high fashion, exclusive parties, and some pretty serious rivalries.

Five Star Billionaire
by Tash Aw, 2013

In a similar vein as Kwan's book, Five Star Billionaire follows five characters as they make their way towards fame and fortune in the bustling city of Shanghai. Tash Aw really sets the scene, making the city and its people come alive.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan  5 Star Billionaire by Tash Aw

Girls of Riyadh
by Rajaa al-Sanea, 2007

Although this is an older book, it's still worth a quick read if you haven't picked it up. It tells the story of some of the most hidden women in the world and reads like a Gossip Girl novel set in The Kingdom.

Cutting Loose
by Nadine Dajani, 2008

Cutting Loose is a fun, easy read about three young women who cross paths in sultry, sleek Miami and find that sometimes letting go is the best way to find who you are.

Painted Hands
by Jennifer Zobair, 2013

Described as The Namesake meets Sex and the City, Painted Hands introduces us to Amra and Zainab as they try and balance their cultural backgrounds with demands of their professional jobs.

Girls Of Riyadh by Rajaa al-Sanea  Cutting Loose by Nadine Dajani  Painted Hands by Jennifer Zobair

Have another beach read set in an Asian country or featuring Asian characters? Leave a suggestion!

If you're looking for more Asian Heritage Month reading suggestions, be sure to check out our previous list!

A City of Languages: Remembering International Mother Language Day

February 22, 2014 | Soheli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Yesterday, February 21st, marked International Mother Language Day. It's an annual observance of the diversity in cultures and languages we have around the world. Although this holiday may fly under the radar for many, it is an important date for lots of Canadians, particularly Bengali-speaking ones.

The United Nations describes IMLD as "the date [that] represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh."

It was a pivotal event: having their native language recognized was, for many Bengali-speakers, something worth fighting for. Today, each February 21st, or 'ekushey February', International Mother Language Day is a solemn, yet proud celebration. Thousands of Bangladeshis visit the Shaheed Minar, a symbolic monument, to offer flowers and remember those that died for the right to speak their native language.

Shaheed Minar

In a city like Toronto, where non-official languages are spoken almost just as much as English, just imagine how important language really is! It's a huge link to who we are, again, as the UN notes:

"languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage."

For a lot of younger newcomers, in Toronto and different parts of Canada, there can often be a real struggle between maintaining fluency in native languages and adapting to our official languages. Do you speak another language other than English (or French)? In what ways is this language important to you?

Learn more about language and its place in our lives with some titles from the library:

Lang1  Lang2  Lang3  Lang4

And, of course, don't forget that we carry lots of materials in other languages too - check to see what's available in your mother tongue!

 

Warm up with some hot reads

January 7, 2014 | Erin | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Cold to hot

 

Here are some picks from several varieties of romance novels to help you do just that:

 

General Romance:

True love   IndexCARX4E2R

 

Urban Fiction:

Desperate hoodwives Zane

 

Paranormal Fiction:

Lover mine Archangel's kiss

Erotica (a.k.a. similar to Fifty Shades of Grey): 

Bared to youErotica

 

2013's best books?

December 19, 2013 | Erin | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

There is a whole slew of lists out there proclaiming to be the definitive one. Which is the best? You be the judge. Here are links to the lists, and a sample book from each.

 

                The New York Times 

  15796700Also available in eBook format

 

                Publisher's Weekly

  160

 

                The Atlantic

SedarisAlso available in audiobook,

large print,

eBook and eAudiobook

 

                The Independent

 The-casual-vacancy-by-jk-rowlingAlso available in audiobook,

large print and eBook

 

                Library Journal

  PanopticonAlso available in eBook format

 

                Goodreads Choice Awards 

  MalalaAlso available in audiobook,

large print, and eBook

 

                Indigo

 18170143Also available in audiobook

and eBook

 

                Amazon

DAN-BROWNAlso available in audiobook,

large print, eBook,

and eAudiobook

Are there any you don't see on a list that you think should be? Personally, I'm a little bummed that The Ocean at the End of the Lane didn't make it onto any of the big-name lists. It was by far my favourite read of the summer.

Ocean_at_the_End_of_the_Lane_US_CoverAlso available in audiobook,

large print and eAudiobook

Do you have a business idea?

September 24, 2013 | Erin | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

If you're thinking about starting your own business, you might want to consider coming to hear Carla Langhorst, creator of the website Small Business Solver, speak at Cedarbrae Branch on Saturday Oct 12 from 2:00-3:30 pm.



Get_startMs. Langhorst will help you answer the question "Will Your Small Business Idea Fly?" In other words, is it marketable, profitable, and does it make sense for you?

Her talk is a part of Small Business Month at the Library. Check out other programs happening around the city here.

You might also want to apply for the Business Inc. course offered jointly by the library, the city, and the Toronto Business Development Centre.

IndexThe library of course also has many items available to borrow on the topic of entrepreneurship.

Not to mention the help that our Recommended Websites and Databases can provide. Looking for up-to-date market info and cutting edge information? Check there.

 
EDB0114EDB0132 EDB0177

Join the TD Summer Reading Club!

June 30, 2013 | Yvonne | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


Untitled
SRCHeadline-en

I remember counting down to the last days of school until finally…school's out for the summer! Summer for me as a child was filled with ice cream trucks, sandboxes, picnics, barbeques and trips to the library. Yes, you heard me correctly. Trips to the library. That's because every summer for as long as I could remember I had participated in the Summer Reading Club at my local library.

MagnifyingglassThe TD Summer Reading Club keeps kids reading throughout the summer and the best part is the program is completely FREE. Children of all ages are welcome. This year the theme is GO! and every child gets a free activity booklet and passport. A sticker is awarded for every book read. Collect all nine stickers to get a certificate and be recognized on our wall of fame.

The official Cedarbrae Library TD Summer Reading Club rules are

 

  1. Starting July 4, you can report on one book once a day
  2. You must bring your passport and the book you have read (if possible) in order to report.
  3. Books must be at your reading level.
  4. You must be able to answer questions about the book you’ve read.

The book reporting hours will be: Rocket

Monday to Friday: 10 AM – 12 PM, 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM

Saturday: 10 AM- 12 PM, 2-4 PM

So come by, register to pick up your free activity book and passport and join us in a great summer of reading fun! Let's Untitledjoin the club!

 

 

 

Advice for first time homebuyers

June 26, 2013 | Erin | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

House-KeyA year ago, almost exactly, I bought my first car and found that there was so much information to consider when buying a used car that I was inspired to blog about it. Now my fiancé and I just bought our first house. Yeah, you could say it's been a busy year (did I mention we're getting married in Sept too? Yikes!). 

Now, a house is a bit more of an investment than a car, indeed it's probably the biggest investment you'll ever make. So while I hope you find this list of resources helpful, it is by no means exhaustive. Hopefully it will help you as you meander through the highs and lows of becoming a home owner.

 

1) Educating and orienting yourself:

What are REALTORS, brokers, and agents and how are they different from one another? This site has a pretty good explanation.

Learn about the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS) on the Toronto Real Estate Board's website. Their site in general has a lot of information and is definitely something you will want to check out, especially information on the current housing market and the B.R.A. There is similar, less Toronto-specific, information on the Canadian Real Estate Association website

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is the place to go for information on buying a home, mortgage loan insurance, renting a home, maintaining a home, and renovating a home, as well as available programs and financial assistance. The most helpful page I found was their step-by-step guide to buying a home.

Downsview-library-01

 

Sometimes the library also hosts programs, like the information session for first-time home buyers at Downsview Branch on Oct 9 at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

There are of course also a plethora of books, databases, recommended websites, and magazines on the topic.

 

Canadianrealestate         Buying and selling a home for canadians for dummies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) The fun part: finding houses to view! 

In addition to classifieds and other ads, there are two websites that allow consumers to access most listings on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS):Saving money

Realtor.ca and Zoocasa

 

3) Figuring out your financing and putting in offers to purchase.

This real estate blog has a great outline of the steps involved in submitting an offer.

It's always a good idea to keep on top of real estate related news. You can find older articles not available on newspaper homepages through the library online here.

Remember that there are many closings costs that you might not have considered. I know I didn't!  

 

Happy hunting!

Sri Lankans Without Borders is looking for creative writers!

June 22, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Are you a Sri Lankan-Canadian with a desire to write? We've got an exciting opportunity for you to team up with an established author and get started!

SLWBlogo
First: a little background about the organization that is making this happen:

"Sri Lankans Without Borders is a growing not-for-profit network based in Toronto that provides Canadians of Sri Lankan origin with opportunities to connect, build and lead initiatives that promote dialogue and cross-community engagement in  the Sri Lankan Canadian diaspora..."

SLWB is about connecting Canadians that trace their origins back to Sri Lanka and helping them grow, create and better the communities they are part of.

To support this mission, the Cedarbrae branch will be pairing up with SLWB to offer Pen Pals: a creative writing workshop to help grow and nurture creative writing skills. We'll be having this in our Learning Centre on the afternoon of Saturday, July 6 from 1:30-4:30 PM.

You'll get the benefit of working with Koom Kankesan, author of the funny and insightful Panic Button, as well as a new book, The Rajapaksa Stories. You'll have access to the library computers, refreshments and a wide variety of library resources to help support you in your work.

Did I mention all this is for free?

If you've got more questions, or are ready to register, be sure to contact the SLWB directly. You can get in touch via email (info@slwb.ca) or call Amra, the program coordinator, at 647-924-9443.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Show Your Pride!

June 20, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Pride_toronto_logo
This year we celebrate Pride beginning tomorrow, June 21 to June 30, with the annual Pride Parade taking place on Sunday, June 30th at 2 PM, starting at Bloor St E and Church St in downtown Toronto.

Although the Pride Parade tends to take centre stage, don't forget that there are many events going on throughout the city celebrating LGBT issues.

On June 21st, in Scarborough, East Metro Youth Services will be hosting a Pride BBQ for all ages. It starts at 4 PM, so if you're in the Cedarbrae area, be sure not to miss it!

We've also got a new booklist up to celebrate new fiction and non-fiction works, including the latest book from author Shyam Selvadurai, who also wrote the memorable Funny Boy (still relevant after almost 20 years!) and Cinnamon Gardens, both featuring a young, gay character against the backdrop of upheaval in Sri Lanka.

If you step into the Cedarbrae Branch, be sure to check out our Pride book display, highlighting books for children, teens and adults and selected by our librarians.

If you're looking for great books for kids that talk about LGBT families and issues in fun and informative ways, check out our Rainbow Families board on Pinterest for more ideas.

If you're wandering around downtown (near Yonge/Bloor), you can always pop by the Yorkville Branch, that houses a pretty large LGBT collection, with new items of interest displayed prominently.

Happy Pride, Toronto!

 

 

Even After Father's Day

June 17, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Hope you all had a great Father's Day -- whether you were the lucky dad getting pampered, or the kids planning for the perfect day!

Father's Day isn't just about one day of celebrating, of course: our dads are often big influences on us every day. They're the ones that will pick you up when you're down, support you in spite of it all... and probably have a really cheesy sense of humour.

One of my oldest memories of my dad is riding on the New York subway when I was very young; we would make up nonsense stories and tell jokes the whole way to my babysitter's house, before he left for work or school. Our subway rides weren't particularly exciting maybe, but they were definitely part of how I think of my relationship with my dad: one filled with a love of stories, laughter, and, well, a lot of long commuting!

If you're interested in picking up some books in your post-Father's Day haze, here are a few, with two famous fathers thrown in! The books I've highlighted below are all specifically about dads and daughters, but there are lots of other fiction books about father-son relationships too.

MrShakespearesBastardTheSweetGirlProfessorsDaughterThe10thCircle

I most recently read The Professor's Daughter, and really enjoyed its mix of great writing style, and thoroughly engaging story of family and obligation. The Tenth Circle is fast-paced, one of Jodi Picoult's better books (in my opinion!), and includes graphic book style segments throughout the chapters. Mr Shakespeare's Bastard is about Shakespeare (obviously...) while The Sweet Girl tells the tale of Pythias, Aristotle's witty daughter.

Have any fun stories about your dad, or a great dad in your life? Or read a book that showcased a particularly memorable father figure? Share with us in the comments!

Welcome! This blog is written by the Cedarbrae Library staff and we want it to become a place where you can find out what's going on in the branch and in the community. But not just that - we plan to write about all things we might find interesting.

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.
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