I am writing to you this month on a beautiful sunny day. The robins are singing, it feels like spring, and there’s a sense of anticipation as winter fades away. The library is getting busier, and we have enjoyed welcoming back familiar faces as well as our many new members. Since memberships became free in January, 367 residents of our community have signed up for brand new library cards!
Our programming is ramping up too, with Spring Break programming in April including a special all-ages Titanic program with historian Larry Robinson, and a full suite of Adult Learning courses through the SAIL program. We are looking forward to a busy summer and hiring student staff to help us provide literacy-based fun for school-aged children and teens in July and August.
This spring brings another change as I am headed off on maternity leave at the end of April. The Library Board is very pleased to announce that they have hired Anayo Ugboma to serve as Director of Library Services in my absence. Anayo comes to us from Hinton Municipal Library, where he has been the manager since 2019. His vision for the library’s role in community aligns beautifully with the Library Board’s vision and direction, and I expect the library will thrive under his leadership.
Here are a few last book recommendations to leave with you:
- The Windsor Knot and All the Queen’s Men by S. J. Bennett. What’s more charming than a cozy British murder mystery? A cozy British murder mystery in which the Queen of England is a few steps ahead of the authorities in uncovering the culprit. These books are a lot of fun, and I am looking forward to more.
- I listened to an audiobook adaptation of a graphic novel for the first time with The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. I was skeptical that the story would work on audio, but the author did a wonderful job of painting a picture for the listener. This book was meditative and restful and would be the perfect thing to listen to on a peaceful morning walk.
- A patron recommended A Measure of Light by Beth Powning. This novel follows Puritans immigrating to the new world in search of religious freedoms. The author does a good job of immersing you in a tumultuous period in history through the life of one woman and her family.
- I was surprised to get my hands on a copy of the very popular novel The Maid by Nita Prose. This mystery features a quirky protagonist who gets caught up in a murder plot at the hotel where she works. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine might enjoy this title.
- In anticipation of her new book coming out, I read NoViolet Bulawayo’s novel We Need New Names. The book follows a young woman growing up in Zimbabwe through her subsequent immigration to the United States. The author had me rooting for the protagonist to find her way to happiness. I’m struggling with her new novel Glory, which is a kind of Animal Farm style response to the revolution in Zimbabwe that ended Robert Mugabe’s rule. The premise and storytelling are interesting, but I am having a hard time getting into this one.
- Isabel Allende’s newest book Violeta delivers what we have come to expect from the author: a sweeping historical tale told from the perspective of one compelling character. It covers 100 years of life in Chile, beginning with the Spanish Flu and ending during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Long Petal of the Sea is still my favourite of her books, but this novel is worth a read.
- The mildly resentful middle child in me felt celebrated and vindicated by the novel The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow. The first half of the book is a faithful retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of Mary, the overlooked middle sister. In the second half of the novel, Mary begins to find her own way, very much alone in the world. This was a lovely, charming read.
As I say goodbye for now, I want to wish you the very best in this upcoming year. May your life be enriched by connections, new friendships, a stronger sense of community, and of course, terrific books.