September is here, and I don’t know if our staff have ever been more excited about the start of a new slate of programs. It has been a joy to welcome people back into the library this summer, particularly all of the children and volunteers from our Summer Reading Program. There is a fresh energy and buzz in the library these days, and we have a lot to be excited about!
Our early literacy programming will be led by two relatively new staff members this year. Brandi Hayman started with us in January and will be running Toddler Time and Together Time Tales. Leonor Ortega started in April and will be running Twinkle Babies and ABC Kids for preschoolers. Brandi and Leonor will bring a lot of fun and creativity to these programs and had a great start this summer with Mother Goose in the Park. We’re so glad to have them on board.
Watch for more elementary school and teen programming coming this autumn, along with a variety of book club opportunities for adults, both online and in person. We are also planning a few one-off events for adults, including a reverse election forum where local agencies and non-profits showcase their work to election candidates and the public. More details will come soon.
We are also looking forward to our celebration on September 30th in honour of National Truth and Reconciliation Day. The library will showcase local Indigenous artists and accept donations in support of the Adult Literacy Program at Old Sun Community College.
Now if you’re looking for some great books to see you through this autumn, I have some suggestions:
- My favourite of the summer was The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. This was recommended to me by a patron and was a complete delight. It features residents of a seniors living facility who solve crimes, staying a step or two ahead of the local police. The characters are terrific, and the plot is a lot of fun. A follow up book will be coming out this autumn.
- If you enjoy strong characters, I would also recommend The Son of the House by Nigerian-Canadian author Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia. The book begins with two women locked in a room together, both victims of kidnapping. They share their stories with one another to pass the time, and before long you realize they are deeply connected. This book was very well-written and immerses you in life in rural Nigeria and Lagos.
- What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad tells the story of a young migrant boy who ends up washed up on a beach in the Mediterrean. Alternating chapters tell the stories of the boy and a local girl who tries to help him. This book left me sleepless with its vivid and painful depiction of the lonely plight of refugees.
- My historical fiction pick this month is The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton. The novel is based on the life of Geertruida Truus Wijsmuller, a Dutch woman who risks her life to help Jewish children escape Nazi Germany in the days before the Second World War. The story is told through the perspective of “Tante Truus,” and two teenagers in Vienna: a Jewish boy named Stephan Neuman, and a Christian girl named Zofie-Helene whose mother edits a progressive newspaper. The story is slow to build but enthralling as danger closes in.
- For a lighter read, I enjoyed The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg. Doris is a 96 year old woman living in Stockholm. Her story is told through vignettes featuring different names in the address book she was given as a little girl, stories that she passes on to her great-niece. This is a sweet, light story about coming to the end of life, tying up loose ends, and the relationships that matter. You might need to keep the tissues handy for this one.
We hope to see you in the library this autumn, whether you are browsing for your next great read, meeting friends old or new, or joining us for a program.
Take care, everyone.