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July 2013

On your marks, get set, BUILD - Lego at the library

July 27, 2013 | Alison | Comments (0)

The future engineers are at Albert Campbell on Friday afternoons!  Library staff put out the blocks and different Lego books and wait to see what happens. 

Dozens of excited children arrive with thier parents filling the library with the sounds of blocks clicking together and discussions about how this project is going to work.  As one child abandons a project, another picks it up and works to improve the design.

This is a program that rarely ends on time.  Once the blocks are out they stay out until there's no one interested left in the department.

At the end of the day, the books are gone and these creations are left.

Blue art Caged Librarian eating monster Castle day 2

For more information call the branch at 416-396-8990 or drop by Fridays at 2 pm.


Snapshots in History: July 23: Remembering E. Lynn Harris

July 24, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)

On July 23 and beyond, take a moment to remember the life of a deceased, popular American authors named E. (Everette) Lynn Harris (Born: June 20, 1955; Died: July 23, 2009).  E. Lynn Harris, born in Flint, Michigan, was one of the more successful African-American and gay authors of his time with ten consecutive books making it onto the New York Times Best Seller list. Harris’ novels often depicted African-American men who were either gay but chose to hide their sexual orientation or who deemed themselves to be heterosexual but also had sex with women. Consider the following titles for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

No one in the world 

No one in the world / E. Lynn Harris and RM Johnson, 2011. Book. Adult Fiction.

This novel was co-authored between RM Johnson and E. Lynn Harris and published following Harris’ death in 2009. Cobi Winslow is a successful African-American attorney who was adopted by a well-to-do family. Fate intervenes and Cobi meets his long-lost, jailed twin brother Eric. Cobi and Eric’s parents left a will that will complicate Cobi’s life. Add to that Cobi’s desire to keep his homosexuality private as well as his relationship with Tyler, a state senator. However, Cobi is blackmailed by one of Eric’s cellmates requiring money to pay off a drug debt or else…

Also available in Large Print format.   



In my father's house

In my father’s house  / E. Lynn Harris, 2010. Book. Adult Fiction.

Bentley L. Dean III is heir to a financial empire and about to marry a woman of similar social standing when Bentley reveals to his father that he is gay. Consequently, Bentley is disowned by his family so he moves to South Beach, Florida and establishes a high-end modeling agency for males and females. The agency is contracted to provide models for an exclusive party. Bentley’s 18-year old protégé Jah enters a closeted relationship with African-American movie star Seth Sinclair who is married. Bentley begins to reconcile with his father after the latter’s nearly fatal heart attack. Bentley’s professional dilemma involves his desire to keep his modeling agency afloat with business from Seth Sinclair but can he do that without compromising his integrity and also protecting Jah?

Also available in Large Print format.  




Mama dearest 

Mama dearest / E. Lynn Harris, 2010. Book. Adult Fiction.

Those familiar with E. Lynn Harris’ work will recognize the recurring femme fatale character, actress Yancey Harrington Braxton, who is trying to revive a stalled career. Things get interesting when Yancey’s recently incarcerated show business mother, Ava Middlebrook, seeks revenge on daughter Yancey for having testified against her at her trial. Add to the mix Yancey’s long-lost daughter, Madison, given up for adoption years ago and now Yancey’s competitor. Find out how things turn out…

Also available in Large Print format.  




Basketball Jones

Basketball Jones / E. Lynn Harris, 2009. Adult Fiction.

Aldridge James “AJ” Richardson is a kept man with a MBA. AJ is in a relationship with rich NBA star Drayton “Dray” Dexter Jones. Insinuations about AJ compel Dray to marry ambitious Judi Ledbetter who soon becomes pregnant. All of a sudden, things are getting a little crowded for AJ.

Also available in Audiobook CD and eAudiobook formats.

Go! On an adventure

July 20, 2013 | Alison | Comments (0)

Schools out but the young people in your house are still hungry for answers to all of their "Why" questions.  There are a number of different fun ways to find that information for them.

Cat in the hat knows a lot about that  Hooray for hair - cat in the hat Now you see me - cat in the hat




The troublesome Cat and his "Thingamajiger" help Sally and Nick answer questsions they have about the world around them in the series The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about that.  The books talk about a large number of things that are interesting to children and are written  for younger readers.  They can usually be found in with the beginning reader books.


Why oh why - cat in the hat Inside your outside - cat in the hatOh say can you say - cat in the hat




The cat shares more information to older readers in his learning library series. These books give answers in the same fun way, but they are a little longer.  Unfortunatly, it isn't easy to find all the books in this series because it can be found all over the children's non-fiction section.  If you want the book about deserts, it will be with all the other desert books.


 Magic School Bus gardenMagic School Bus habitatsIf the Cat isn't for you, try Miss Frizzell and her Magic School bus.  For years, Miss Frizzell has been answering the questions of her students by taking them on field trips in her special bus.  A large number of these books are done with large pictures and a small number of words to help children understand.




 Magic school bus chapter 2Magic School Bus chapter
For more adventurous readers, there are a growing number of Magic School books done as chapter books.  These books give more information, but don't have the same colour pictures as the original books.






Companion guide penguinsCompanion guide OlympicsFans of the Magic Tree House series with Jack and Annie will love the companion guides.  These books give extra information to answer questions not easily answered in the Tree House adventures.  Learn more about the facinating places that Jack and Annie visit.  The books are written with the answers to questions that Jack and Annie had during their adventure.




National Geographic - tigers National Geographic - castles
Adults know that National Geographic is a great source for information and increadable pictures.  National Geographic Kids does the same thing for children.  Like the Cat in the Hat and Magic School Bus, National Geographic has books for different ages.  They have information on anything you might wonder about and some things you never thought to wonder about.

Snapshots in History: July 16: Remembering Alex Colville

July 17, 2013 | John P. | Comments (1)


(Credit: Canada. Wartime Information Board, 1941. Contributor: Alex Colville)
(Digitization of Poster at: Toronto Reference Library Baldwin Room
-          Call Number/Accession Number: 1939-45. Industrial production. Item 10. L)

On July 16 and beyond, take a moment to reflect upon the contribution of David Alexander “Alex” Colville (Born: August 24, 1920 in Toronto, Ontario; Died: July 16, 2013 in Wolfville, Nova Scotia). The official website of Alex Colville noted that his paintings “bear more affinity to the American Precisionists of the 1930s than to photo-realism”, supported by many sketches and studies which helped to create an abstract, geometric base before the actual drawings were created from a live model and proportioned according to plan. After this, a painstaking and laborious painting process would commence with the application of thinned paint to a primed wooden panel. At the conclusion of the painting process, transparent lacquer would be applied to seal the opaque surface.

During World War 2, Colville enlisted in the Canadian Army under the auspices of the War Artist Program, served in the European theatre of war, and established himself as an important war artist. Colville’s work is exhibited in a variety of locations including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Cape Breton University Art Gallery, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Musée National d'Art Moderne and the Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou in Paris, France, the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, Germany and the Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover, Germany.


Consider the following titles for loan from Toronto Public Library collections about Alex Colville and his work:


Alex Colville: diary of a war artist / Alex Colville; Cheryl Lean and Graham Metson (compilers), 1981. Book. Adult Non-Fiction. For additional copies to borrow, click here.

Those interested in the importance of Canadian war art in World War 2 and Alex Colville’s connection thereto should consider examining this book. In 1982, Mr. Colville donated his remaining wartime drawings and sketches to the Canadian War Museum to join the museum’s War Art Collection. To view online representations of some of Mr. Colville’s war art, click here


Alex Colville return

Alex Colville – return / Tom Smart and Alex Colville, 2004. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Art curator Smart focused on Colville’s work for the preceding 10-year period, highlighting 18 paintings, print, and selected preliminary drawings. Smart offered the reader a biographical sketch of the artist’s influence and life and emphasized Colville’s practice of magic realism. This book paid attention to favourite subjects, composition, technique, and recurring themes of doubling, ordering, longing, and morality. Smart did not hide differences of opinion that he had with Mr. Colville.



Alex Colville the observer observed

Alex Colville: the observer observed / Mark A. Cheetham, 1994. Book. Adult Non-Fiction. (Series: Canadian biography series.)

Cheetham offered the reader a look at Alex Colville’s political conservatism that included criticism of government support for the arts through the Canada Council for the Arts that the author argued indirectly aided Colville by supporting Canadian public art galleries in which his artwork is displayed. Colville was known for critiquing other contemporary artists and their work.



Colville / Alex Colville; David G. Burnett and Art Gallery of Ontario, 1983. Book. Adult Non-Fiction. For more copies to borrow, click here.

The Art Gallery of Ontario produced this 1983 exhibition catalogue of Alex Colville’s work displayed at the AGO.

Snapshots in History: July 11: Remembering the Oka Crisis

July 11, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)







(Credits: Clips from CBC Television’s The National – 1990)



On July 11 and beyond, take a moment to remember the Oka Crisis that began on July 11, 1990 from a land dispute between the town of Oka, Québec and the aboriginal Mohawk community of Kanesatake over the expansion of a golf course and residential development onto land that had been traditionally used by the Mohawk people as a sacred pine grove. A previous land claim filed by the Mohawk people in 1986 had been rejected by the Government of Canada’s Office of Native Claims for not meeting legal parameters. A court decision that allowed the golf course construction to go ahead
was matched by the erection of a barricade blocking access to the land. The aboriginal people were not consulted about the proposed golf course expansion and neighbouring residential development. Oka’s Mayor Jean Ouellette asked Québec’s provincial police force, the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), to intervene at the barricade, offering the claim that there had been criminal activity at the barricade. The Mohawk people, using the oral Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy (or the Great Law of Peace / Gayanashagowa) as a guide, asked their women in their roles as the caretakers of the land and the “progenitors of the nation”, whether the weapons cache of the Mohawk warriors should stay in place. The Mohawk women replied that weapons should only be used if the SQ fired first, and in a defensive manner. The SQ responded with an emergency response team that deployed tear gas canisters and flash bang grenades. It is unclear which side fired first but gunfire ensued for 15 minutes with one resulting casualty, SQ Corporal Marcel Lemay, who later died after a bullet entered his body on the left side in an area not protected by his bulletproof vest.

Aboriginal people from across Canada and the United States joined the Kanesatake Mohawk people in solidarity. Ensuing blockades and barricades on both sides escalated the conflict, including the blockade of the Mercier Bridge by Mohawk people from the nearby territory of Kahnawake. The federal government’s proposal to purchase the land in question to prevent the expansion of the golf course was not an acceptable solution for the Mohawk people as the responsibility for the land remained outside of aboriginal control.

Tensions escalated in nearby Châteauguay between the Mohawk and non-aboriginal communities. The SQ was now assisted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP); 14 Mounties were injured on August 14, 1990. The government of Québec requested military aid from the government of Canada under the auspices of the National Defence Act. The Royal 22nd Regiment (the “Van Doos”) took over control of three blockades on August 20, 1990 and closed the gap between the Mohawk blockades to five metres. On August 29, 1990, the Kahnawake Mohawks ended their blockade of the Mercier Bridge after negotiating with Lieutenant-Colonel Robin Gagnon of the Van Doos regiment. The Kanesatake Mohawks were not pleased at this development and their protest continued well into September, culminating in a Mohawk warrior setting off flares left by Canadian Forces personnel. Canadian Army soldiers responded by turning a water hose on the warrior. Other Mohawk warriors responded in kind by launching water balloons. On September 26, 1990, the Mohawks of Kanesatake laid down their weapons and took them apart, then threw them into a fire, followed by the ceremonial burning of tobacco and a final return to the Kanesatake reserve. The SQ and Canadian Forces did detain and arrest some Mohawk people.

The Oka Crisis was a watershed moment in Canadian history and for Canadian indigenous people standing up for their rights. Whatever one thinks of the Oka Crisis and how it was handled on all sides, much has been produced to document this event. Here are some items about the Oka Crisis that are available for loan from Toronto Public Library collections:



  Oka a political crisis and its legacy

Oka: a political crisis and its legacy / Harry Swain, 2010. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

The author, who served as deputy minister of Indian and Northern Affairs from 1987 to 1992, offered a 20-plus year look back at the Oka Crisis and the key players involved in the crisis, including Québec’s then-Native Affairs Minister John Ciaccia, then-Québec Premier Robert Bourassa, then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, then-federal Indian Affairs Minister Tom Siddon, and then-Chief of the Defence Staff General John de Chastelain. Swain noted that health and socioeconomic conditions for Canadian aboriginal people are disgraceful. The Indian Act must be replaced. The government of Canada must commit to legitimate and lasting reform in order to achieve real reconciliation with aboriginal people in Canada.


The Oka crisis: a mirror of the soul [1st ed.] / John Ciaccia, 2000. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Ciaccia served as the provincial Native Affairs minister at the time of the Oka Crisis. In fact, Ciaccia had written a letter of support for the Mohawk people of Kanesatake, citing their unfair and unjust treatment over the lack of consultation and compensation for disappearing land, especially for something like a golf course.


People of the pines: the Warriors and the legacy of Oka / Geoffrey York and Loreen Pindera, 1991. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Then-Globe and Mail reporter York and then-CBC Radio reporter Pindera offered a detailed account of how the Oka Crisis started, escalated, and finally ended. Some reviewers at the time such as John Goddard of The Toronto Star (“Mohawk crisis: Necessary fight or battle of bravado?”, Toronto Star, October 29, 1991, F13) were concerned that while the authors intended to convey sympathy for the Mohawk people, the resulting portrayal of the individuals in the book might not engender sympathy from readers.


Consider the National Film Board documentaries on the Oka Crisis written, directed, and produced by Alanis Obomsawin:

Kanehsatake: 270 years of resistance [DVD] / Alanis Obomsawin and Wolf Koenig, c2006, [1993].  DVD. Documentary. Adult Non-Fiction.

This National Film Board of Canada documentary won 18 Canadian and international awards, including the Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association and the CITY TV Award for Best Canadian Feature Film from the Toronto Festival of Festivals.

Obomsawin’s documentary was historically important because it provided an alternative viewpoint to the mainstream viewpoint of the Canadian government protecting the status quo. Obomsawin and her film crew joined the Oka encampment to provide a first-hand account from the aboriginal perspective. CBC rejected airing the documentary so the world premiere occurred on the United Kingdom’s Channel Four, and its North American premiere at the Toronto Festival of Festivals.


Alanis Obomsawin: the collection = Alanis Obomsawin: la collection [DVD] / Alanis Obomsawin, 2008. DVD. Documentary. Adult Non-Fiction.

This National Film Board compilation includes three documentaries by filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin: Kanehsatake: 270 years of resistance; Rocks at Whiskey Trench (75 vehicles containing aboriginal women, children, and elderly were stoned by angry residents from LaSalle as they tried to leave the reserve); and, My name is Kahentiiosta (a female Mohawk participant at the Oka Crisis standoff).



Intergenerational Programming: Weaving Memoirs on the Web

July 9, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)

Weaving Memoirs on the Web is an intergenerational program that pairs high school age students with knowledge of computer technology (and who are seeking volunteer hours for graduation) with older adults who have stories and knowledge to share and tell (and who may or may not have knowledge of computer technology). The student volunteers will help the adults to tell their stories by helping each adult to set up a personal blog using the Blogger platform. The program is being offered this summer at the Albert Campbell (496 Birchmount Road) and Morningside (4279 Lawrence Avenue East)  branches. Here are the program schedules at both locations (Click on the program series titles below for additional information):


Albert Campbell:

Weaving Memoirs on the Web (Series 1) – July 10, July 16, July 24, 31 (1:30 to 3:00 p.m.)

This program series runs on Wednesday afternoons (beginning on July 10) for four (4) weekly sessions with the exception of the second session on Tuesday, July 16 from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Participants are expected to attend for all four (4) sessions.


Weaving Memoirs on the Web (Series 2) – July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20 (10:00 to 11:30 a.m.)

This program series runs on Tuesday mornings (beginning on July 30) for four (4) weekly sessions. Participants are expected to attend for all four (4) sessions.



Weaving Memoirs on the Web (Series 1) – July 12, July 19, July 26, August 2 (3:00 to 4:30 p.m.)

This program series runs on Friday afternoons (beginning on July 12) for four (4) weekly sessions. Participants are expected to attend for all four (4) sessions.


Weaving Memoirs on the Web (Series 2) – August 9, August 16, August 23, August 30 (3:00 to 4:30 p.m.)

This program series runs on Friday afternoons (beginning on August 9) for four (4) weekly sessions. Participants are expected to attend for all four (4) sessions.

Snapshots in History: July 3: Remembering Franz Kafka

July 4, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)

On July 3 and beyond, take a moment to remember Franz Kafka (Born: July 3, 1883 in Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary; Died: June 3, 1924 in Kierling, Austria), an influential Czech-German-Jewish writer whose writing in the original German (also translated into English and other languages) was filled with examples of alienation, psychological or physical cruelty, endless bureaucracy, and inexplicable transformations. Following his training as a lawyer, he worked for an insurance company but began to write short stories in his spare time. Most of Kafka’s work was published posthumously, mainly of account of the refusal of Kafka’s friend Max Brod to burn Kafka’s manuscripts (as per Kafka’s request) upon his death. Despite being the literary executor of Kafka’s estate, Brod had previously told Kafka that he would not accede to his request to destroy his manuscripts. Brod held Kafka’s writing in high regard and sought to have them published. Most of Kafka’s work was published following his demise.

Consider the following selected titles by Franz Kafka for loan from Toronto Public Library collections:


The metamorphosis

Metamorphosis [Bantam classic ed.] / Franz Kafka, 1981. Book. Adult Fiction.

After disturbing dreams, Gregor Samsa wakes up and finds himself transformed into an insect. His family feels horrified and disgraced; Gregor in turn feels alienated from his family and society but gradually comes to accept the transformation. Feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and isolation come to the fore in this story.

See also: eBook (2000), eBook (2004), eBook (2005), eBook (2009), eAudiobook (2011), eAudiobook (2011).

See also: Audiobook CD (2003)



The trial

The trial [Definitive ed.] / Franz Kafka, 1968, c1946. Book. Adult Fiction.

Joseph K., a respected bank employee, is arrested suddenly and surprisingly and is confounded by the situation of defending himself against a charge about which he cannot find out anything. He also does not know who his judges are and his trial drags out for a year until he is executed. Was he guilty? If so, of what? Beware of blind and bureaucratic totalitarianism.

See also: eAudiobook (2011).

See also: Audiobook CD (2007).  




The castle  

The castle / Franz Kafka, 1998. Book. Adult Fiction.

In one of Kafka’s incomplete novels, K., an underappreciated land surveyor, undertakes a futile and incessant attempt to gain access to the castle. K. is not accepted in the village and he is not able to go home.

See also: Audiobook CD (1998).    




The man who disappeared America

The man who disappeared (America) / Franz Kafka, 2012. Book. Adult Fiction.

Kafka’s first (and incomplete) novel focuses on 16-year old Karl Rossmann who was compelled by his family to leave for the United States, following his seduction by a female servant. Karl befriends a ship’s stoker but meets up with his uncle, Senator Jacob, who abandons him after Karl seeks out a friend of his uncle without first seeking his uncle’s permission. Karl becomes mixed up with two drifters named Robinson and Delamarche who take advantage of him but Karl finds it hard to get away. Finally, he escapes the drifters after having landed a job with the Nature Theatre of Oklahoma.

See also: eBook (1996)


Want to learn more about Frank Kafka himself? Then consider borrowing the following title from Toronto Public Library collections:


Franz Kafka the poet of shame and guilt

Franz Kafka: the poet of shame and guilt / Saul Friedländer, 2013. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Historian Friedländer focused on Kafka’s ambivalent relationships with family, friends, lovers, Judaism, and his own physical being. The author alleged that Kafka was homosexual despite acknowledging that Kafka was only involved with women in a romantic sense. On the one hand, the book touched upon Kafka’s melancholy but also accounted for his socializing with friends, frequenting nightclubs, and flirting with women. Undoubtedly, Kafka was a complicated individual.

Snapshots in History: July 2: Remembering Nostradamus

July 2, 2013 | John P. | Comments (0)

On July 2 and beyond, take a moment to remember one-time apothecary/physician and seer Michel de Nostradame or Nostradamus (Born: 14 or 21 December 1503 in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Provence, France; Died: July 2, 1566 in Salon-de-Provence, Provence, France) whose predictions and prophecies have generated a great deal of interest over the centuries, regardless of whether one accepts them as having any validity or not.  Nostradamus was best known for developing prophecies organized in quatrains published in his work “Les Prophéties“ (or The Prophecies, in English). The first installment was published in 1555 with 353 quatrains. The second edition with 289 additional verses was published in 1557. The third edition was published purportedly in 1558 with 300 new quatrains but these quatrains are now only accessible through the 1568 omnibus edition that contains 1 unrhymed and 941 rhymed quatrains, grouped into “centuries” of 9 sets of 100 and 1 set of 42.

Nostradamus supported judicial astrology as a means of forecasting future events by calculating planetary and stellar bodies in relation to the Earth and the quality of events occurring thereon. Some astrologers in Nostradamus’ time criticized judicial astrology as a premise for predicting future happenings. Apparently, Nostradamus’ disdain for astrologers was expressed in his writings of the last quatrain in his sixth century of writings. (Click here for an English translation of the sixth century of Nostradamus’ writings and pay close attention to quatrain 100.)

Many of Nostradamus’ predictions deal with natural and human-made disasters (i.e. floods, earthquakes, plagues, wars etc.). Some have credited Nostradamus with predicting the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler (both deemed to be “anti-Christ” in nature), the Great London Fire of 1666, and the September 11, 2011 terrorist attacks in the United States. Some skeptics suggest postdictions (i.e. predictions after the fact or retroactive clairvoyance) whereby modern-day supporters use the vague wording supplied by Nostradamus to make his words fit the events rather than the other way around. However, Nostradamus has followers who believe that his prophecies carry weight. What do you think about Nostradamus and his prophecies? The fascination about Nostradamus continues in the publishing world, on the Internet (including many personal websites), and in the mainstream media, including this 2011 article on Business Insider.

Whatever you might think, consider these selected titles for possible loan from Toronto Public Library collections if you are interested in learning more:


The prophecies a dual-language edition with parallel text

The prophecies: a dual-language edition with parallel text [English and French] / Nostradamus; translated by Richard Sieburth; historical introduction by Stéphane Gerson, 2012. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Award-winning historian Gerson and award-winning translator Sieburth teamed up to provide readers with a newly-translated and edited English version of Nostradamus’ prophecies. Emphasis is placed on the poetics of the quatrains.



Nostradamus how an obscure Renaissance astrologer became the modern prophet of doom

Nostradamus:  how an obscure Renaissance astrologer became the modern prophet of doom [1st ed.]  / Stéphane Gerson, 2012. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

Despite the wording of the book’s sub-title, historian Gerson sidestepped the debate on whether Nostradamus’ quatrains can predict the future or whether said quatrains are vague and subject to interpretation. Instead, Gerson filled a gap by exploring the life and legacy of Nostradamus and, naturally, the effect that his quatrain verses have had on the world’s culture. Read the assessment by Kirkus Reviews



Nostradamus & the third antichrist Napoleon Hitler and the one still to come

Nostradamus & the third antichrist: Napoleon, Hitler and the one still to come / Mario Reading, 2011. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

A total eclipse of the sun is due to occur on March 24, 2034. The author (a Nostradamus scholar) contended that Nostradamus used this event to predict the coming of a third Anti-Christ.



Nostradamus bibliomancer the man the myth the truth

Nostradamus, bibliomancer: the man, the myth, the truth / Peter Lemesurier, 2010. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

The author, also the author of The Nostradamus Encyclopedia: the definitive reference guide to the work and world of Nostradamus, contended that Nostradamus was an ordinary individual using the rather ordinary technique of bibliomancy whereby one selects randomly chosen excerpts of randomly selected books to offer foresight of happenings to come. The author contended that out of some 6,000 prophecies made by Nostradamus, only a small number have come true.  


Nostradamus the good news

Nostradamus: the good news / Mario Reading, 2007. Book. Adult Non-Fiction.

The author re-examined the prophecies of Nostradamus to find glimmers of a positive future, suggesting good news for most of the continents, especially Africa where an emergent leader will serve as an agent of restoration and renewal. Following the conclusion of a horrible epidemic, peace will be in place for many years. A new world order will emerge due to a change in how democracy is perceived. 



If you are interested in documentaries about Nostradamus, then consider the following DVDs for borrowing from Toronto Public Library collections:

The lost book of Nostradamus [DVD] / James Lurie, Kreg Lauterbach et al., 2008. DVD. Documentary. Adult Non-Fiction.

Recently uncovered cryptic predictions are discussed as are prophecies about some of the Popes, the Middle East crisis, and the apocalypse. This program was broadcast on the History Channel.

The Nostradamus files [DVD] / James Lurie, Kreg Lauterbach et al., 2009. DVD. Documentary. Adult Non-Fiction.

This 2-disc DVD set includes “The lost book of Nostradamus” and “Nostradamus: 2012”, programs that were broadcast on the History Channel.


If your preference is for fiction reading, then all is not lost. You too can weave Nostradamus into your world of reading with the following fantasy novels by Scottish-Canadian author Dave Duncan:


The alchemist's pursuit

The alchemist’s pursuit / Dave Duncan, 2009. Book. Adult Fiction.

Mystery, fantasy, and historical fiction fans alike might relate to this third novel in an alternate Renaissance Venice. This time, an ill-tempered Nostradamus, battling ill-health, accepts a sizeable commission to find a serial killer who strangled three women, all of them prostitutes. Once again, he is helped by his trusted apprentice Alfeo Zeno. Donna Violetta Vitale, courtesan and friend of Alfeo, implores Nostradamus to predict and stop the next murder. After the fourth victim is stabbed to death, Alfeo escapes death by a whisker with the help of a magical cat. An added complication results when Alfeo is retained by the mother of the prime suspect of the murders to prove her son’s innocence. 



The alchemist's code

The alchemist’s code / Dave Duncan, 2008. Book. Adult Fiction.

In an alternate Renaissance Venice setting, Nostradamus accepts a commission from the Council of Ten to determine the identity of a spy by decoding intercepted, ciphered messages. Once again, Nostradamus elicits the help of his apprentice (and swordsman) Alfeo Zeno. Together, they employ a mixture of the occult, deductive reasoning, and investigation to solve the case. 



The alchemist's apprentice

The alchemist’s apprentice / Dave Duncan, 2007. Book. Adult Fiction.

The setting of this inaugural novel in this fantasy series is an alternate Renaissance Venice. Facing suspicion at a gathering of noblemen when one is poisoned after predicting an uneventful day, Nostradamus charges his apprentice Alfeo Zeno with solving the murder and exonerating himself. Fantasy and mystery fans alike should find common ground in this novel.

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