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Free Science Events in Toronto for February 2016

February 2, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Science and Technology Department of North York Central Library compiles a monthly calendar of free science and applied science events in Toronto. Applied science includes health, gardening, pets and food; all subjects found in the department's collection. Here is the February calendar (PDF).

February's highlights include:

Toronto Public Library also offers many free science and applied science events:

At the library, February's highlights include:

Can't attend a program or want to read more about the topics covered? Try some of these books:

Respiratory   Spider silk   Ice carving 101   Spark

Good germs, bad germs   Winter blues   Cut your energy bills now   Teach yourself visually Excel 2013


Slavery, Antislavery and Resistance in 19th Century Toronto

February 1, 2016 | Carrie | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Many Canadians are unaware that slavery existed here during the colonial period and that a number of prominent families in the Town of York (as Toronto was called until 1834) were slaveholders.

Upper Canada's first lieutenant governor, John Graves Simcoe attempted to abolish slavery in the colony but faced resistance from members of his legislative assembly, many of whom were slave owners themselves. He was able to pass a compromised version of his proposed legislation in 1793 which allowed for gradual abolition of slavery and prevented the further introduction of slaves into the province.

Toronto was also an important terminal of the Underground Railroad and became a hub of abolitionist activities. St Lawrence Hall was an important meeting place of the abolitionist movement and hosted the famous "North American Convention of Colored Freemen" in 1851.

The North York Central Library is excited to have Karolyn Smardz Frost on Wednesday, February 17 for her program entitled "Slavery, Antislavery and Resistance in 19th Century Toronto."  This seminar explores the experiences of the enslaved in the early Town of York,  and describes the resistance mounted by African Canadians against both slavery and racial oppression up to the time of the American Civil War.

Karolyn Smardz Frost is the Harrison McCain Visiting Professor at Acadia University, Nova Scotia, and a Senior Research Fellow for African Canadian History at the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University, Toronto. She was formerly the Bicentennial Visiting Professor for Canadian Studies (2012-2013) at Yale University. Smardz Frost won the Governor-General's award for English language non-fiction in 2007 for "I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad".

What: Slavery, Antislavery and Resistance in 19th Century Toronto

When: Wednesday, February 17 from 7:00-8:00 pm 

Where: North York Central Library, in the Concourse

For more information and to register: Please call the Society and Recreation Department at (416) 416-395-5660

Check out the other Black History Month programs happening at branches across the city during the month of February.

If you would like to read more about the history of blacks in Canada, check these out:

  The Promised Land   Black canadians   Ontario's African-Canadian Heritage   Black refugees in Canada
  I've got a home in a glory land   Underground railroad   Race on trial   The Underground railroad

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl and More New Books Hot Off the Presses

January 29, 2016 | Maureen | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

When it comes to reading, I’m in no hurry. I love that new book smell as much as the next guy, but I can wait. The book I’m happily immersed in now was published 164 years ago -- I’m sailing aboard the Pequod, keeping company with mad Captain Ahab, on his mission of vengeance to destroy Moby Dick, the whale that devoured his leg. For those of you who like to stay ahead of the curve in your reading, here are some books hot off the presses. This post’s for you, brave explorers of the uncharted seas of the written word! As I write this, the books I've featured below haven't been released in Canada yet -- some will be released very soon, some within the next month or so. But you can reserve them – or, as we say in the library, place a hold on them. I've reserved several, including Mona Awad's debut novel, 13 ways of looking at a fat girl, which takes aim at our culture's obsession with appearance. Bonus: Lizzie, the main character, grows up in "Misery Saga" aka Mississauga.  So step right up, folks, get ‘em while they’re hot!

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
A Doubter's Almanac
A girl's guide to moving on
At the edge of the orchard

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad. Release date: February 23.

In her brilliant, hilarious, and at times shocking debut, Mona Awad simultaneously skewers the body image-obsessed culture that tells women they have no value outside of their physical appearance, and delivers a tender and moving depiction of a lovably difficult young woman whose life is hijacked by her struggle to conform. As caustically funny as it is heartbreaking, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl introduces a vital new voice in fiction. The Globe and Mail described it as "...horrific and funny, bleak and uplifting – grapples with ideas of self-worth, friendship, sexuality, and the lengths we will go to find beauty in the mirror".

A Doubter's Almanac by Ethan Canin. Release date: February 16.

Milo Andret is born with an unusual mind. A lonely child growing up in the woods of northern Michigan in the 1950s, he gives little thought to his own talent. But with his acceptance at U.C. Berkeley he realizes the extent, and the risks, of his singular gifts. California in the seventies is a seduction, opening Milo's eyes to the allure of both ambition and indulgence. The research he begins there will make him a legend; the woman he meets there--and the rival he meets alongside her--will haunt him for the rest of his life.

A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber. Release date: February 23.

A mother and her daughter-in-law bravely leave their troubled marriages and face the challenge of starting over. Leaning on each other, Nichole and Leanne discover that their inner strength and capacity for love are greater than they ever imagined. An inspiring novel of friendship, reinvention, and hope.

 At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier. Release date: March 15.

A riveting drama of a pioneer family on the American frontier. James and Sadie Goodenough have settled where their wagon got stuck - in the muddy, stagnant swamps of northwest Ohio. They and their five children work relentlessly to tame their patch of land, buying saplings so they can cultivate the 50 apple trees required to stake their claim on the property. But the orchard they plant sows the seeds of a long battle. James loves the apples, reminders of an easier life back in Connecticut; while Sadie prefers the applejack they make, an alcoholic refuge from brutal frontier life.

Cometh the hour
The assistants
The association of small bombs
The good liar

Cometh the Hour by Jeffrey Archer. Release date: February 16.

Cometh the Hour opens with the reading of a suicide note, which has devastating consequences for Harry and Emma Clifton, Giles Barrington and Lady Virginia. This is the penultimate book in the Clifton Chronicles and, like the five previous novels, showcases Jeffrey Archer's extraordinary storytelling with his trademark twists.

The Assistants by Camille Perri. Release date: May 3.

A wry and astute debut about a young Manhattanite whose embezzlement scam turns her into an unlikely advocate for the leagues of overeducated and underpaid assistants across the city. The Assistants speaks directly to a new generation of women who feel stuck and unable to get ahead playing by the rules. It will appeal to all of those who have ever asked themselves, "How is it that after all these years, we are still assistants?"

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan. Release date: March 22.

When brothers Tushar and Nakul Khurana, two Delhi schoolboys, pick up their family's television set at a repair shop with their friend Mansoor Ahmed one day in 1996, disaster strikes without warning. A bomb--one of the many "small" bombs that go off seemingly unheralded across the world--detonates in the Delhi marketplace, instantly claiming the lives of the Khurana boys, to the devastation of their parents. Mansoor survives, bearing the physical and psychological effects of the bomb.

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle. Release date: February 2.

Veteran con artist Roy is a born liar—and when he meets wealthy widow Betty online, he knows she’s an easy mark. In no time at all, he’s spinning his web of duplicity and betrayal around her, even moving into her lovely cottage. He’s sure his scheme will be a success. He’s done this before. A stunning and suspenseful feat of storytelling, The Good Liar unravels the past of a man who lives to deceive.

The high mountains of Portugal The life of elves The Nest The north water


The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel. Release date: February 2.

With this highly anticipated new novel, the author of the Life of Pi returns to the storytelling power and luminous wisdom of his master novel. The High Mountains of Portugal is a suspenseful, mesmerizing story of a great quest for meaning, told in three intersecting narratives touching the lives of three different people and their families, and taking us on an extraordinary journey through the last century. 

The Life of Elves by Muriel Barbery. Release date: February 9.

Seven years after the publication of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery returns with a lyrical novel about the quest for enchantment in a world that seems to have forgotten such a thing ever existed. Maria lives in a remote village in Burgundy, where she learns that she has a gift for communicating with nature. Hundreds of miles away in Italy, Clara discovers that she possesses a stunning musical genius and is sent from the countryside to Rome to develop her preternatural abilities. The Life of Elves tells the story of two children whose extraordinary talents will bring them into contact with magical worlds and malevolent forces.

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. Release date: March 22.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a 19-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs’ joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are but months away from finally receiving.

The North Water by Ian McGuire. Release date: March 15.

A 19-century whaling ship sets sail for the Arctic with a killer aboard in this dark, sharp, and highly original tale that grips like a thriller. "A fast-paced, gripping story set in a world of gruesome violence and perversity, where 'why?' is not a question and murder happens on a whim: but where a very faint ray of grace and hope lights up the landscape of salt and blood and ice. A tour de force of narrative tension and a masterful reconstruction of a lost world that seems to exist at the limits of the human imagination." --Hilary Mantel


What is not yours is not yours
What lies between us
Why We Came to the City
Wreck and Order

What is Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi. Release date: March 8.

From the award-winning author of Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox comes an enchanting and thought-provoking collection of intertwined stories. Playful, ambitious, and exquisitely imagined, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret--Oyeyemi's keys not only unlock elements of her characters' lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side.

What Lies Between Us by Nayomi Munaweera. Release date: February 16.

In the idyllic hill country of Sri Lanka, a young girl grows up with her loving family; but even in the midst of this paradise, terror lurks in the shadows. When tragedy strikes, she and her mother must seek safety by immigrating to America. There the girl reinvents herself as an American teenager to survive, with the help of her cousin; but even as she assimilates and thrives, the secrets and scars of her past follow her into adulthood.

Why We Came to the City by Kristopher Jansma. Release date: February 16.

Five years after their college graduation, the fiercely devoted friends at the heart of this richly absorbing novel remain as inseparable as ever: editor and social butterfly Sara Sherman, her troubled astronomer boyfriend George Murphy, loudmouth poet Jacob Blaumann, classics major turned investment banker William Cho, and Irene Richmond, an enchanting artist with an inscrutable past. A warm, funny, and heartfelt novel about a tight-knit group of twentysomethings in New York whose lives are upended by tragedy.

Wreck and Order by Hannah Tennant-Moore. Release date: February 9.

Decisively aimless, self-destructive, and impulsively in and out of love, Elsie is a young woman who feels stuck. She has a tumultuous relationship with an abusive boyfriend, a dead-end job at a newspaper, and a sharp intelligence that's constantly at odds with her many bad decisions. An autodidact who prefers the education of travel to college, Elsie uses an inheritance to support herself as she travels to Paris and Sri Lanka, hoping to accumulate experiences, create connections, and discover a new way to live.

Your Brain on Exercise: How Physical Activity Can Improve Your Mental Well-being

January 22, 2016 | Jeannette | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

We all know that regular exercise is good for your health. But did you know that it also benefits your brain?

Studies have found that physical activity plays an important role in brain health and recovery.

Psychology Today explains that exercise increases blood flow to the brain which improves cerebrovascular health, releases neurotrophic factors like BDNF which stimulates the growth of new neurons, metabolizes glucose and lipids which brings nourishment to the brain and finally, it improves white matter integrity.

Another study found that light resistance training, like weight training, may also slow the age-related shrinking of some parts of the brain.

Join us at the North York Central Library to find out more about how exercise can improve mental well-being. The presentation will explore how the brain responds to exercise to prevent and manage symptoms of depression. It will also include best exercises and foods to stay mentally healthy.


What: Your Brain on Exercise: How Physical Activity Can Improve Your Mental Well-being

When: Wednesday, February 3rd at 7 – 8:15 PM

Where: North York Central Library, in the Auditorium

For more information: Call the Science & Technology Department at (416) 395-5649


In the meantime, here are some books about the benefits of exercise for the brain:

Exercise and the mind   Exercise for mood and anxiety   Healthy brain, happy life   Spark

Here are some books with activities and foods to keep your brain healthy:

The brain training revolution   Exercises for brain health   Mindfull   Power foods for the brain

And here are some exercise DVDs that are good for your health and your brain:

30 minutes to fitness   Maximum strength overload with Skip Jennings   Strength and stability training for the back and core   The tone every zone walk

There are also exercise e-videos, from Hoopla, that you can access from home with your library card:

The firm   Jillian Michaels beginner shred   Mari Winsor pink ribbon pilates   Richard Simmons sweatin to the oldies 4


York Woods Branch to Host Sister Souljah’s Just BGraphic's Life Series Conference

January 14, 2016 | Aleks | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Sister SouljahYork Woods Branch is very pleased to be hosting Just BGraphic’s Life Series conference taking place on Friday January 15, 2016. In a shared commitment with Toronto District School Board, JBG will be holding this workshop for students and teachers in grade 9-12 as a learning experience for the students. The goal of the conference is to foster creativity, leadership and promote ethical citizenship.

The conference is full.

It will be centered on Sister Souljah’s bestselling book “The Coldest Winter Ever. Her novel is credited with helping to popularize urban literature, a genre that first began during the Black Power movement. In an intimate discussion setting with Sister Souljah and her books, she will share her stories, life lessons and wisdoms on concepts such as poverty, sexuality, stereotypes, family and community. Through hip hop pedagogy, drama, poetry and presentations, the youth will be able to engage in conversations on a different level.

With a degree in American History and African Studies, Sister Souljah decided to take her inspiration overseas. Her accomplishments are extensive as she worked to build a medical center for families in Bindura, Zimbabwe and worked with refugee from Mozambique. A student activist, she organized and financed a cultural camp which included a skill building curriculum for 200 children of homeless families. She is also a community activist organizing rallies against racially motivated crimes, police brutality and the miseducation of urban youth.

  The Coldest Winter Ever 

Midnight- a gangster love story Midnight and the Meaning of Love A deeper love inside A moment of silence  

Food Junkies

January 8, 2016 | Carolyn | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...


Public domain image courtesy of Pixabay


Foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt can be hard to resist. A study published in 2015 found that " highly processed foods, which may share characteristics with drugs of abuse...appear to be particularly associated with food addiction” and suggested that they're intentionally designed to promote addictive behavior. The study also included a list of the most addictive foods. I must share my weakness for delicious (but high fat) cheeses with many other people; cheese is number ten on the list.

Are you concerned that you may be dealing with a food addiction? You can use this test* (PDF)based on the Yale Food Addiction Scale, to find out more. But while self-assessment is a good place to start, its also important to get professional advice.

On Tuesday January 12 at the North York Central Library, you're invited to attend a talk on food addiction. The speaker is Dr. Vera Tarman, an accredited addiction medicine specialist with a special interest in food addiction. Dr. Tarman is the author of Food Junkies: the truth about food addiction. She will discuss her book and provide practical, evidence-based advice for dealing with this problem. 

If you have resolved to change your relationship to food in 2016, attending Dr. Tarman's presentation would be a great place to start! 


Food Junkies: the truth about food addiction

Here are more resources for information on food addiction and related issues:





Date: Tuesday January 12, 2016

Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: North York Central Library Auditorium


 * This test is from the Food and Addiction Science & Treatment Lab at the University of Michigan.

Exercise Your Talents in New & Exciting Ways

January 4, 2016 | Ann | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

Exercise titles available at North York Central Library
The above image is licensed by under a Creative Commons license which permits the free use of the image.

The holiday season for 2015 has drawn to a close. Consider the next signpost to appear over the horizon on the proverbial road through life that reads, "Exercise." This is a daunting suggestion right after a delirious period of holiday binging and relaxing. 

The interesting aspect of this word is its dual nature--it can either describe a "thing" or an "action." An exercise, for instance, conveys a static description of tasks to be completed whereas the phrase to exercise reflects a dynamic expression of movement.

When the static state awakens into dynamic motion, this is what Robert Pirsig, an American writer and philosopher, defines as the concept of Quality (or the Metaphysics of Quality (MOQ) in his later works). Much like a resting muscle fiber anticipates a jolt of electricity to leap into action, this qualitative point represents a brief opportunity to leap into new terrains of thought and creativity. The concepts of past and future are stored as static memories and planned goals, respectively. The present moment is a small window in time to act, create, and live in full alertness.

Pirsig contrasts this dynamic state with its opposite--a busy mind occupied with regrets over past actions or anxiety over future situations yet to unfold. In other words, the mind is not focused on the present moment:

“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone.”

“In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame. On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”

Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Also take a moment to listen to a special (1974) interview by Connie Goldman with Robert Pirsig on CBC.  

The best way to appreciate this philosophical concept on Quality is to crack open his book, The Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and escape with him and his young son on a journey through the world of metaphysics. 

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Here are more life-affirming titles on philosophy for exercising the awakening mind:

Use philosophy to be happier: 30 steps to perfect the art of living Heads up philosophy The weight of things: philosophy and the good life The consolation of philosophy
  Philosophy: all that matters The best things in life: a guide to what really matters The cartoon introduction to philosophy, 1st ed. Stoicism and the art of happiness

For some readers who prefer a quick "pick me up" on self-motivation instead of longer detailed discussions on philosophical concepts, the psychology section offer suggestions on how to view the world in a fun and positive light:

Positive psychology for overcoming depression: self-help strategies for happiness, inner strength and well-being    One simple idea: how positive thinking reshaped modern life The positive dog: a fable about changing your attitude to be your best Kiss that frog: 12 great ways to turn negatives into positives in your life and work
A life worth living: contributions to positive psychology   Lift: becoming a positive force in any situation Pursuing the good life: 100 reflections on positive psychology Hardwiring happiness: the new brain science of contentment, calm, and confidence

Once the mind is awakened to think beyond the mental sludge of everyday schedules, projects, and routines, consider expending this energy in new inspirational ways. The authors listed below have documented their own adventures in the world:

Long way down Climbing the seven summits: a comprehensive guide to the continents' highest peaks Golf freek: one man's quest to play as may rounds of golf as possible for free The adventures of Henry Thoreau: a young man's unlikely path to Walden Pond
Backpacking with the saints: wilderness hiking as spiritual practice Zen and the way of the sword: arming the samurai psyche Solo, yet never alone: swimming the Great Lakes What I talk about when I talk about running - a memoir

If you are ready to delve into a new terrain, learn the latest skills to be competitive in today's job force, or improve your current skills but do not know where to start, the Toronto Public Library website offers a superb selection of databases with a wealth of information. Some useful topics include: 

Ancestry Library Edition
Business Writing
Business Writing
Career Cruising
Career Cruising
Chilton's Auto Repair
Chilton's Auto Repair
Learning Express Library
Learning Express
Mango Languages
Mango Languages
Study Skills Success
Study Skills Success

Ancestry (In-Library use only) is a popular genealogy resource that includes U.S., Canadian, European, Australian, and New Zealand records. Specific topics include census, birth, marriage, death, immigration, military records and more. Ancestry offers a great opportunity to access records essential to building your family tree.

Business Writing offers an opportunity to sharpen your writing skills in various forms of business correspondence such as writing letters, reports, and emails. This resource would benefit those who plan to work in a business environment and need to communicate effectively to clients and staff.

Career Cruising enables you to preview a career and see whether this profession suits your personality. The career guidance resource offers career profiles and links to relevant Canadian college and university programs and also includes a Canadian Job Search section.

Chilton's Auto Repair is a useful database for looking up repair manuals, maintenance schedules, service bulletins and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) test prep quizzes. If Robert Pirsig could repair his own motorcycle with Zen-like grace, imagine an increase in self-confidence while changing the oil or replacing the brake pads on your vehicle. 

Learning Express Library offers practice tests and answers for all ages. LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, SAT, GED, Canadian citizenship practice test, TOEIC, TOEFL iBT, math, grammar, writing and more are available here. This is a chance to practice writing the entry tests and determine how prepared you are before applying. For those who just enjoy testing their many skills, this would be a good resource to use. is a new database that offers over 3,500 video tutorial courses led by experts on web design, software development, photography, business skills, home and small office, project management, 3D + Animation, graphic design audio, music, video editing and more. This resource requires the creation of a personal account which will allow you to track your progress through your tutorials and offers certificates of program completion that you could proudly post on your LinkedIn account.

Mango Languages offers an opportunity to practice and converse in new languages or to improve your spoken English. The online "cue cards" provide audio and visual interaction with the interface to develop these skills effectively. If you want to feel more confident conversing with people in a different country, this resource will help you on your way.

Study Skills Success offers high school and college student skills on how to do research, write term papers and essays. This database also offers practice tests with answers.  If your aim is to improve your studying skills, then this resource will nicely dovetail with your goal.

Enjoy the New Year by living every single second in the present. Inspire yourself to exercise your talents in new and exciting ways each and every moment in life.

Climbing a Literary Mountain in 2016 (Because it's There)

January 1, 2016 | Maureen | Comments (2) Facebook Twitter More...

Years ago I resolved to make no more New Year’s Resolutions. They’re impossible to keep, so what’s the point in setting yourself up for failure year after discouraging year? My resolution to make no more resolutions is the only New Year’s resolution I’ve ever kept. Until now. So many people participate in this yearly self-defeating ritual that I’m starting to feel left out! And how can I argue with the poet Robert Browning, who said, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.”

For inspiration, I went online and searched for people’s New Year’s reading resolutions (food and exercise resolutions being a guaranteed path to failure.) The most common reading resolution was to read more, and many people quantified it. The humblest goal was to read one book in the coming year, and the most ambitious set the target at 125 books, with lots of numbers in between – 20 books, 25, 30, 50, 75, 85, 100. People seem to fancy round numbers when it comes to reading resolutions. Quite a few people aimed to read 52 books in 2016 -- one book per week.

My online wanderings acquainted me with a character I'll call the literary mountain climber -– a reader whose mission it is to read the entire works of an author in the coming year. Some of the authors these literary mountain climbers were determined to conquer included: Charles Dickens, Ishiguro Kazuo, Agatha Christie, J. R. R. Tolkien, and William Shakespeare.

Some readers saw individual books as literary mountains to be climbed and conquered in 2016, such as Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, and Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. At 643 pages, the experimental Finnegans wake is seen as one of the most challenging reads in English literature. Publishers Weekly calls Infinite Jest brilliant, hilarious, but also a bloated dirigible that few will have the stamina for. Hats off to you, Toronto readers – 79 of you have reserved the print copy, and 56 of you have reserved the eBook version -- perhaps heeding the warning in the Library Journal Review that this book (at 1079 pages) is not for the weak-wristed.

Finnegans Wake Infinite Jest Moby Dick

Size wise, Moby-Dick is the smallest of these literary mountains, at 602 pages. But it is my literary Mount Everest. I was defeated by this novel of Captain Ahab’s obsession with the white whale about 20 years ago –- I made it to chapter four. My New Year’s resolution for 2016 is to read Moby-Dick. I'll start from the beginning again. But don't hold me to it -- It's a New Year's resolution, after all!


 Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

Infinite jest by David Foster Wallace.

Finnegans Wake by James Joyce is available only as a regular print book.

Free Science Events in Toronto for January 2016

December 29, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

The Science and Technology Department of North York Central Library compiles a monthly calendar of free science and applied science events in Toronto. Applied science includes health, gardening, pets and food; all subjects found in the department's collection. Here is the January calendar (PDF).

January's highlights include:

The Toronto Public Library also offers many free science and applied science events:

At the library, January's highlights include:

  • January 12: Food Junkies: The Truth About Food Addiction, at North York Central Library. Dr. Vera Tarman will discuss her book which focuses on the experiences of people coping with various forms of food addiction, and provides readers with practical information grounded in medical science.
  • January 25: Could Life Exist on Other Worlds?, at Annette Street branch. Using what we know about life on Earth, Lauren Hetherington explains how life could exist elsewhere in the universe and how we can look for it.
  • January 26: Arduino Meetup, at Scarborough Civic Centre branch. Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. Come and meet like-minded open-source advocates, chat and create with other makers.
  • January 27: Meals on a Budget, at Leaside branch. Learn how to prepare meals on a budget, shop for deals, and minimize waste. Participants will create their own money saving strategies and take home sample homemade goods.
  • January 29: The Drug Discovery Process: From Benchtop to Pillbox, at Don Mills branch. Ever wonder how drugs evolve from basic ideas to medical treatments and why the process is so long? In this talk the transition of a scientific finding to clinical trials will be discussed, answering questions such as who pays for drug development and how do we know these drugs are safe?

Can't attend a program or want to read more about the topics covered? Try some of these books:

Wonders of the winter landscape   Invasive plants   Mr. Jefferson and the giant moose   Food junkies

Life beyond earth   Arduino for beginners   The affordable feasts collection   The future of drug discovery


The Best Cookbooks of 2015

December 24, 2015 | Jeannette | Comments (0) Facebook Twitter More...

It's that time of the year again. I'm back with another post about the best cookbooks of the year. 

Just like the 2014 and 2013 posts, below are some of the best cookbooks of the year chosen by various sources (click on their name to view the full list and the reviews):


The Cuban table   How to cook everything fast   Indian for everyone   My kitchen year

Bon Appétit:

Bien cuit   The food lab   Near and far   New sugar and spice

The Globe and Mail:

A girl and her greens   The food of Oman   Olympia provisions   True north


The broad fork   Lucky Peach presents 101 easy Asian recipes   Mamushka   Zahav


Milk bar life   Oyster   The Larousse book of bread   Brodo

Do you have an e-reader, tablet or smart phone? You can read some of this year's favourite in e-book format:

The gluten-free revolution   My pantry   Gjelina   This is Camino

The NoMad cookbook   Sweet goodness   Tacos   The chili cookbook

The Mission Chinese Food cookbook   Root to leaf   At home in the whole food kitchen   The baking bible

Happy reading, happy eating, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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