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January 2013

Where to Get It: Urban Fiction

January 10, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (2)

Are you looking for a gritty read? Something with a little urban flavour that is both sexy and dangerous?
If you haven't already, you may want to try out some urban fiction. Some of the covers may seem a little racy, but, hey, if you've already flipped through 50 Shades of Grey, I'm sure you can handle it...!

Here are some titles where women run the show:

Urban1 Urban2 Urban3

And a few with men at centre stage:

Urban6 Urban7 Urban8

While there are a number of urban fiction titles available for hold, there are still a lot of these books available pretty much only as paperback at the library. This means that you may have to try your luck at your local branch by browsing the paperback section by author's last name. If you happen to be in the Cedarbrae branch, drop by our second floor display by the elevator: we have an area dedicated to urban fiction and we include paperbacks that you may not otherwise find through a title search.

Would you rather get your fix on your iPad or Kobo? Don't forget the eBook titles you can check out too:

Urban4 Urban5

Want to know more about this growing genre? Check out dedicated websites like StreetFiction which includes new authors and titles for adults and teens.

If you are looking for urban fiction for younger readers, you may want to check out the Kimani Tru imprint or Bluford High series. As with other urban fiction titles, many of these can be picked up in the teen paperback browsing areas of your local branch.

Still looking for more urban fiction ideas? Check out previous book suggestions.


Playing the Name Game

January 8, 2013 | Soheli | Comments (0)

With all the buzz about Will and Kate's upcoming royal bundle of joy, it's no wonder the entire world seems to be obsessed with the little one's gender and, of course, all the baby name possibilities.


Surprised Baby
"You're gonna name me WHAT?!"

Naming a child always seems to be a pretty important decision for parents-to-be. Do you go traditional and perhaps offer the child a name in honour of other family members? It seems the British royal family may very well go that route; many young royals have been named after other famous relatives.


Many traditional names also reflect not only respected relatives, but religious and cultural values. Names that may seem very uncommon in some places will be quite typical in others. In Toronto, we're diverse enough to come across all sorts of names all the time, and it's often interesting to see how different cultures treat the naming process.

For many groups, there are important naming ceremonies for babies, often done shortly after birth (although sometimes it can be weeks or months!) which include singing songs, feeding the baby particular foods, and a number of other things that are usually done to wish the new child a long and prosperous life.

If you're thinking of baby name ideas yourself or are just curious to see if your own name is listed, check out some name guides available at the library. You can come come in to a branch and browse, or try a few here:

Babynamesmadeeasy Himynameis 

There are many, many more name books available. You can also check out the origins of some Canadian names or the origins of many last names in the English-speaking world.

Babycenter also offers some suggestions when deciding on a name for a little one. Some things you may want to keep in mind:

Baby Names That Go TogetherConsider how your baby's name may sound out loud and even how it sounds with other names in your household. I remember reading an anecdote about a mom who had a baby girl and named her Ella - a lovely name in its own right, certainly. However, her first son's name was Sam, and she was constantly calling the two of them together: "Sam and Ella, let's go!" Say that out loud a few times and you can probably see that having your kids sound like a bacterial infection isn't ideal.

Really think about using 'cutesy' or kitschy names. Sure, naming her Holly when your family name is Wood seems like a good idea now, but think about your darling girl's feelings ten years from now. It might be a better idea to leave the wacky names for your beloved pets (or at least just celebrities..!)

Beyond Jennifer & Jason...Ultimately, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to choosing a name, but it can't hurt to checkout different options and resources to get some ideas.

Do you have an interesting or unique name of your own? Does it have a significance or special meaning behind it? Share it in the comments!

Learn to knit or crochet

January 6, 2013 | Erin | Comments (4)

Recently a friend asked me for advice on how to go about learning to knit. As has probably not escaped anyone who reads this blog regularly, my hobby of choice is knitting (I'm the author of the posts here, here, and here). I was flattered to be considered an authority on the subject and was happy to oblige.

Since sweater season is decidedly upon us, and the learn-to-knit itch seems to strike most at this time of year, I thought I would share my advice with all of you.

First, a reminder that the library offers lots of programs across the city where you can learn to knit. At Cedarbrae, ours is held on Monday evenings from 5:00 - 7:00pm. See details here.



There are lots of great books out there to help you learn too. As with many subjects, the Dummies series is a good place to start. 

Knitting for Dummies is available in regular print, large print and eBook formats too.





Any of the books in the Teach Yourself Visually series are good too. What is especially great about this series is the variety of titles. Everything from the basic beginner tome pictured here, to circular knitting (a great advance technique for hats and other rounded objects), sock knitting, and colour knitting. Even knitting AND crochet together.




Speaking of crochet, a great new beginner's guide called First Crochet has just been published.  



As with most crafts, many Youtube videos are available if you're that sort of a learner. Some are better than others though. Often DVDs are still your best bet.


There are also a lot of great blogs and websites out there. Here is a list of some of my favourites. TECHknitting is one of the best. It is an amazing resource. As TECHknitter herself states, "30 years of tricks want out of my mind and into yours." Her tutorials are simple to follow yet thorough, and are accompanied by great illustrations. She also has some videos, like this one on buttonholes:


Her index of tutorials is permanently in my bookmarks toolbar.

Happy crafting!

Film Fridays

January 3, 2013 | Erin | Comments (0)

Join us on the second Friday of the month for critically acclaimed and Oscar winning films.

Curl up to a good film and escape the winter chill.


Upcoming films:

Jan 11 - The Company Men Company_men



Bobby Walker is living the proverbial American dream: great job, beautiful family, shiny Porsche in the garage. When corporate downsizing leaves him and co-workers Phil Woodward and Gene McClary jobless, the three men are forced to redefine their lives as men, husbands, and fathers. Bobby soon finds himself enduring enthusiastic life coaching, a job building houses for his brother-in-law that does not play to his executive skill set, and perhaps there is more to life.




Feb 8 - The Whistleblower



When Nebraska cop Kathryn Bolkovac accepts a U.N. peacekeeper position in postwar Bosnia, she discovers a deadly sex trafficking ring. Risking her own life to save the lives of others, she uncovers an international conspiracy that is determined to stop her, no matter the cost. With masterful acting and a heart-racing plot, an acclaimed film inspired by actual events.






Mar 8 - ContagionContagion-Theatrical-Poster-Marion-Cotillard


Soon after her return from a business trip to Hong Kong, Beth Emhoff dies from what is a flu or some other type of infection. Her young son dies later the same day. Her husband Mitch however seems immune. Thus begins the spread of a deadly infection. For doctors and administrators at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, several days pass before anyone realizes the extent or gravity of this new infection. They must first identify the type of virus in question and then find a means of combating it, a process that will likely take several months. As the contagion spreads to millions of people worldwide, societal order begins to break down as people panic.



Please note that most films are rated PG or 14A.
Cedarbrae Library also offers movie nights for children and teens for more family friendly viewing.

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.