Director's Message - March

Feb. 28, 2022 Rachel Dick Hughes

Spring is coming, and the days are getting warmer and lighter. And yet I know we are all feeling the heaviness and weight of the conflict and upheaval rocking the world right now. We hope you are finding healthy ways to cope. If you do need help, please reach out. Our local Addiction and Mental Health Clinic can be reached at 403-361-7277, and a wide range of resources is available at Alberta Health Services’ “Help in Tough Times” page. 

One of the ways many of us cope with situations beyond our control is to immerse ourselves in another world through books. Studies have shown that in times of stress, people tend to re-read books they have enjoyed before, particularly as children. Reading a captivating story where the outcome is not in doubt and where any evil is defeated by good can be relaxing and soothing.

Here are some favourite comfort reads from our staff:

  • Anne of Green Gables is my top choice. I love the way that Marilla, Matthew, and Anne (and even Rachel Lynde) are transformed by the love that they find as a family. It reminds me that daily acts of caring really matter.
  • Another favourite series from childhood is the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, featuring some marvelous characters like Reepicheep the mouse.
  • I also enjoy re-visiting a series with a strong setting or cast of characters that gives you a sense of familiarity. My top choices are Louise Penny’s books set in Three Pines or Iona Whishaw’s books set in a small rural community in the BC interior.
  • Books that re-imagine well-known characters are fun too. I enjoy Laurie King’s Mary Russell series featuring Sherlock Holmes and other fan fiction or something like The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner.
  • A patron recently recommended the audiobook Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James. In this story, a young girl growing up in a bookstore encounters fictional characters like Anne of Green Gables and Alice from Wonderland in real life and is even able to follow them into their fictional worlds. This is a charming read suitable for ages 10 and older.
  • Carmen enjoys listening to the Harry Potter series on audiobook to help her go to sleep at night. They’re beautifully narrated, and Libby has a wonderful sleep timer feature that allows you to set it to play for only a set time.
  • Marion likes Beautiful Joe by Marshall Saunders. This book was originally published in 1894 and is based on the true story of a Canadian dog.
  • Tammy’s choice is also an older book: Andy Russell’s Adventures with Wild Animals, a book that was given to her when she was a teen. Sometimes a book is special because of the way it came into your life.
  • Catherine's choice is not a book, but the movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice because of the transformation of Mr. Darcy from aloof to completely in love.

What are your go-to comfort reads? We would love to hear from you. And we hope that spring brings good news and many good books your way.

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