Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Man Booker Prize Winner 2012

Hilary Mantel is the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2012 for her novel Bring Up the Bodies

By 1535 Thomas Cromwell, the blacksmith's son, is far from his humble origins. Chief Minister to Henry VIII, his fortunes have risen with those of Anne Boleyn, Henry's second wife, for whose sake Henry has broken with Rome and created his own church. But Henry's actions have forced England into dangerous isolation, and Anne has failed to do what she promised: bear a son to secure the Tudor line. When Henry visits Wolf Hall, Cromwell watches as Henry falls in love with the silent, plain Jane Seymour. The minister sees what is at stake: not just the king's pleasure, but the safety of the nation. As he eases a way through the sexual politics of the court, and its miasma of gossip, he must negotiate a truth that will satisfy Henry and secure his own career. But neither minister nor king will emerge undamaged from the bloody theatre of Anne's final days. In Bring Up the Bodies, sequel to the Man Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel explores one of the most mystifying and frightening episodes in English history: the destruction of Anne Boleyn.

Bring up the Bodies is the sequel to the award winning Wolf Hall, there is one more book left in this trilogy. More award winners to come perhaps?
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Monday, October 15, 2012

Bullying Awareness - You're Not Alone

In the aftermath of the tragedy that was Amanda Todd, there is a void. We all have questions, we all want to know how something like this could have happened. The sad truth is, it happens every day, all over the world.

For those of you who don't know, Amanda Todd was a young girl who was bullied relentlessly until she finally took her own life. Her cries for help went unanswered; she was surrounded by so much cruelty and hate, until finally she could take it no longer.

You can find Amanda's story here:

While it is too late for us to help Amanda, there are still countless young girls and boys who are struggling with being bullied every day. They need a voice. They need to know there are people they can talk to, help they can find. They need to know about people who have been bullied, who have survived. They even need to know about the ones who didn't make it.

At any time, youth can call the Kids Help Line, a 24/7 hot-line for ages 20 and under: 1-800-668-6868

For real-life stories, and information on how to stand up to bullies, go to the Canadian Red Cross site: Stand Up to Bullying

Another helpful site is Bullying Canada:

The Sylvan Lake Library won't be silent about this epidemic that is sweeping across our youth. Bullying is not something natural, it is not something that just happens. Bullying is not something that kids should have to "deal with". We can do something to help. It is our responsibility.

Here are some of the resources we have available at the library. If you or someone you know is being bullied, battling anxiety and depression, or having suicidal thoughts, these materials may be of use.

"Speak", by Laurie Halse Anderson: "Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth." - Farrar Straus Giroux

"By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead", by Julie Anne Peters: "Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she’s determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for “completers”— www.

While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she’s waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she’s made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won’t give up. And it’s too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life…isn’t it?" - Hyperion

"Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories", by Megan Kelley Hall, Carrie Jones, and more: "Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the "funny guy" into the best defense against the bullies in his class.

Today's top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal." - HarperTeen

"It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living", by Dan Savage: "Growing up isn't easy. Many young people face daily tormenting and bullying, making them feel like they have nowhere to turn. This is especially true for LGBT kids and teens who often hide their sexuality for fear of bullying. Without other openly gay adults and mentors in their lives, they can't imagine what their future may hold. In many instances, gay and lesbian adolescents are taunted - even tortured - simply for being themselves.

After a number of tragic suicides by LGBT students who were bullied in school, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage uploaded a video to YouTube with his partner Terry Miller to inspire hope for LGBT youth facing harassment. Speaking openly about the bullying they suffered as teenagers, and how they both went on to lead rewarding adult lives, their video launched the It Gets Better Project YouTube channel and initiated a worldwide phenomenon. With over 6,000 videos posted and over 20 million views in the first three months alone, the world has embraced the opportunity to provide personal, honest and heartfelt support for LGBT youth everywhere.

It Gets Better is a collection of expanded essays and new material from celebrities, everyday people and teens who have posted videos of encouragement, as well as new contributors who have yet to post videos to the site. While many of these teens couldn't see a positive future for themselves, we can. We can show LGBT youth the levels of happiness, potential and positivity their lives will reach if they can just get through their teen years. By sharing these stories, It Gets Better reminds teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone - and it WILL get better." - Dutton Adult
"Odd Girl Out: the Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls", by Rachel Simmons: "When boys act out, get into fights, or become physically aggressive, we can't avoid noticing their bad behavior. But it is easy to miss the subtle signs of aggression in girls--the dirty looks, the taunting notes, or the exclusion from the group-that send girls home crying.
In Odd Girl Out, Rachel Simmons focuses on these interactions and provides language for the indirect aggression that runs through the lives and friendships of girls. These exchanges take place within intimate circles--the importance of friends and the fear of losing them is key. Without the cultural consent to express their anger or to resolve their conflicts, girls express their aggression in covert but damaging ways. Every generation of women can tell stories of being bullied, but Odd Girl Out explores and explains these experiences for the first time. Journalist Rachel Simmons sheds light on destructive patterns that need our attention. With advice for girls, parents, teachers, and even school administrators, Odd Girl Out is a groundbreaking work that every woman will agree is long overdue." - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

"Why Do People Bully", by Adam Hibbert: "Forever a common problem in all sectors of life, this book takes a look at what bullying is and why some people become bullies. The book describes how bullies operate and provides some useful practical tips and techniques on coping with bullying. It also includes case studies and quotes from people with experience of bullying." - Hodder Wayland Childrens

"My Time as Caz Hazard", by Tanya Lloyd Kyi: "Caz thinks she has a pretty good reason when she punches her boyfriend in the face, but she gets expelled anyway. Moving to a new school, she is told she is dyslexic and sent to special education classes. Caz tries to fit in and get by while suffering the taunts and abuse that others throw at the students in her class. Her friendship with Amanda leads her into new territory -- shoplifting and skipping school. Coupled with her parents' impending separation, her life is spiraling out of control." - Orca Book Publishers Canada

"Hear Me Out: True Stories of Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia", by T.E.A.C.H.: "A project of Planned Parenthood of Toronto, this collection of personal accounts of sexual self-discovery by volunteers in the organization's peer-based T.E.A.C.H. program (Teens Educating and Confronting Homophobia) is remarkable for the diversity of social, economic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds represented. The 20 stories included demonstrate the wide spectrum of gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, transsexual, and questioning young-adult experiences. The settings may be Canadian, but the well-written accounts show the universality of the experience, including the dangers associated with being different and the widespread failure of schools to protect young people from homophobia and transphobia. An important and emotionally powerful collection that is sure to encourage thought and discussion." - American Library Association

"Fat Kid Rules the World", by K.L. Going: "His name is Troy, but to the world--and in his internal dialogues--he is the Fat Kid. Really Fat. Almost 300 pounds of sweating, unhappy insecurity. Then out of a moment of despair comes magic. As Troy considers whether to splatter himself on a subway track, Curt MacCrae, a charismatic punk rocker/homeless kid/dropout, comes along and stops him. For the price of a meal, Curt befriends Troy, and he sees something under all those layers: a potential musician, a friend, and someone with the ability to see through life's bull. First-time novelist Going has put together an amazing assortment of characters. Troy is the ultimate fat kid, the kind whose every move, every thought is predicated on what it is like to wear a coat of blubber. Curt, as thin as Troy is fat, is a combination of Kurt Cobain, Ratso Rizzo, and a fairy godfather. He sprinkles Troy with the dirt and grime of punk rock and brings out the prince hiding inside the weight (to the book's credit, Troy doesn't get any thinner). Equally well drawn are the lesser characters, including Troy's father, a former Marine with an innate sense of what kids need. The narrative could have been tighter in places, but this is an impressive debut that offers hope for all kids--dross transmuted into gold." - American Library Association

Bullying can be almost impossible to escape. At times, it can seem like there is no end in sight. At the end of the day, all we can do is find someone to confide in, someone to share your story with. There are people out there who want to help, the trick is finding them.
The Sylvan Lake Library wants to help in any way we can. We have services and materials available for any age group. We want to break the silence. We want Amanda Todd, and the millions of teens like her, to know that we support you. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Canadian Library Month

October is Canadian Library Month. To celebrate we are having a contest.

How many famous first lines from novels can you identify? Pick up your ballot at the library.

We will draw six winners on Wed, October 31.

You could win one of three one-year family Library memberships or one of three Sylvan Lake Film Society passes.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

2012 Governor General's Literary Awards Shortlist

The shortlist for the Governor General's Literary Awards has been announced.
The five finalists for English language fiction are:
Siege 13

Tamas Dobozy for Seige 13
Not yet in Parkland Regional Library system.
Dr. Brinkley's Tower
Robert Hough for Dr. Brinkley's Tower
When a rich American doctor decides to build a gargantuan new radio tower in a tiny Mexico border town, fortunes change overnight. Yet not all for the good - word of the new prosperity spreads, and Corazon is overrun by the impoverished, the desperate, and the criminal-minded.
The Headmaster's Wage
Vincent Lam for The Headmaster's Wager
Percival Chen is the headmaster of the most respected English school in Saigon. He is also a bon vivant , a compulsive gambler and an incorrigible womanizer. He is well accustomed to bribing a forever-changing list of government officials in order to maintain the elite status of the Chen Academy. He is fiercely proud of his Chinese heritage, and quick to spot the business opportunities rife in a divided country. He devotedly ignores all news of the fighting that swirls around him, choosing instead to read the faces of his opponents at high-stakes mahjong tables. But when his only son gets in trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, Percival faces the limits of his connections and wealth and is forced to send him away. In the loneliness that follows, Percival finds solace in Jacqueline, a beautiful woman of mixed French and Vietnamese heritage, and Laing Jai, a son born to them on the eve of the Tet offensive. Percival's new-found happiness is precarious, and as the complexities of war encroach further and further into his world, he must confront the tragedy of all he has refused to see.
The Juliet Stories
Carrie Snyder for The Juliet Stories
Not yet in Parkland Regional Library system.
The Purchase
Linda Spalding for The Purchase
In 1798, Daniel Dickinson, a young Quaker father and widower, leaves his home in Pennsylvania to establish a new life. He sets out with two horses, a wagonful of belongings, his five children, a 15-year-old orphan wife, and a few land warrants for his future homestead. When Daniel suddenly trades a horse for a young slave, Onesimus, it sets in motion a struggle in his conscience that will taint his life forever, and sets in motion a chain of events that lead to two murders and the family's strange relationship with a runaway slave named Bett. Stripped down and as hard-edged as the realities of pioneer life, Spalding's writing is nothing short of stunning, as it instantly envelops the reader in the world and time of the novel, and follows the lives of unforgettable characters. Inspired by stories of the author's own ancestors, The Purchase is a resonant, powerful and timeless novel.

The five finalists for English language non-fiction are:
A Thousand Farewells
In 1976, Nahlah Ayed¿s family gave up their comfortable life in Winnipeg for the squalor of a Palestinian refugee camp in Amman, Jordan. The transition was jarring, but it was from this uncomfortable situation that Ayed first observed the people whose heritage she shared. The family returned to Canada when she was thirteen, and Ayed ignored the Middle East for many years. But the First Gulf War and the events of 9/11 reignited her interest. Soon she was reporting from the region full-time, trying to make sense of the wars and upheavals that have affected its people and sent so many of them seeking a better life elsewhere. In A Thousand Farewells, Ayed describes with sympathy and insight the myriad ways in which the Arab people have fought against oppression and loss as seen from her own early days witnessing protests in Amman, and the wars, crackdowns, and uprisings she has reported on in countries across the region.
The Pursuit of Perfection
Not yet in Parkland Regional Library system.
Into the Silence
Wade Davis, for INTO THE SILENCE
A magnificent work of history, biography and adventure. If the quest for Mount Everest began as a grand imperial gesture, as redemption for an empire of explorers that had lost the race to the Poles, it ended as a mission of regeneration for a country and a people bled white by war. Of the twenty-six British climbers who, on three expedtions (1921-24), walked 400 miles off the map to find and assault the highest mountain on Earth, twenty had seen the worst of the fighting. Six had been severely wounded, two others nearly died of disease at the Front, one was hospitalized twice with shell shock. Three as army surgeons dealt for the duration with the agonies of the dying. Two lost brothers, killed in action. All had endured the slaughter, the coughing of the guns, the bones and barbed wire, the white faces of the dead. In a monumental work of history and adventure, ten years in the writing, Wade Davis asks not whether George Mallory was the first to reach the summit of Everest, but rather why he kept on climbing on that fateful day. His answer lies in a single phrase uttered by one of the survivors as they retreated from the mountain: "The price of life is death." Mallory walked on because for him, as for all of his generation, death was but "a frail barrier that men crossed, smiling and gallant, every day." As climbers they accepted a degree of risk unimaginable before the war. They were not cavalier, but death was no stranger. They had seen so much of it that it had no hold on them. What mattered was how one lived, the moments of being alive. For all of them Everest had become an exalted radiance, a sentinel in the sky, a symbol of hope in a world gone mad.
Leonardo and the Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci's transcendent painting The Last Supper defined the master artist. Until now, no one has told the full story behind its creation. Political events weighed on da Vinci and all of Italy during the time of the painting's conception and creation, as his patron, the Duke of Sforza, unleashed forces leading to a decades-long series of tragedies known as the Italian Wars. Sforza was overthrown by French forces in 1499, forcing da Vinci to flee Milan with the paint on The Last Supper barely dry. The Last Supper ensured Leonardo's universal renown as a visionary master of the arts.
What We Talk About When We Talk About War
The longstanding Canadian self-image as a country of cooperation, compromise, and peace has come under direct challenge in the early years of the 21st century by a right-wing party seeking a more robust sense of national destiny; a challenge reflected in the Conservative government's rapprochement with the United States and Israel and rejection of more multilateral stances in foreign policy, as well as rejecting the traditional values of "discussion, negotiation and compromise" domestically. Displeased with these developments, activist and journalist Richler reflects on the transformation of Canada's self-image through an analysis of the narratives that "Canada has used in order to talk itself into, through and out of the war in Afghanistan."

The five finalists for poetry are:
Monkey Ranch
Julie Bruck, for MONKEY RANCH
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.
Li'l Bastard
David McGimpsey,  for LI’L BASTARD
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.
The New Measures
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.
Any Bright Horse
Lisa Pasold, for ANY BRIGHT HORSE
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.
Sailing to Babylon
James Pollock, for SAILING TO BABYLON
Not yet available in Parkland Regional Library system.

Further categories are Drama, Translation, Children's Literature (text), Children's Literature (illustration), French Language Fiction, French Language Non-Fiction, French Language Poetry, French Language Drama, French Language Translation, French Language Children's Literature (text), and French Language Children's Literature (illustration). The finalists for these categories can be found at The Governor General's Literary Awards site.

The winners will be announced Tuesday, November 13. 

"The Canada Council has partnered with Indigo Books & Music and CBC/Radio-Canada to celebrate the GGs. Indigo’s loyalty programs, plum rewards and iRewards, are offering the chance to win a trip to Ottawa to attend the Governor General’s Literary Awards ceremony at Rideau Hall November 28th. Details of the contest will soon be available on Indigo Books & Music’s website. CBC/Radio-Canada invites book lovers to participate in an online quiz about the English language finalists on CBC Books and about the French language finalists on Radio-Canada’s Zone d’écriture to win 2012 GG books and a Sony Digital Book reader." GGBooks,

Giller Prize Shortlist 2012

The Giller Prize shortlist was announced on October 1, 2012. The five finalists are:

Image of 419
Will Ferguson for his novel 419
A car tumbles through darkness down a snowy ravine. A woman without a name walks out of a dust storm in sub-Saharan Africa. And in the seething heat of Lagos City, a criminal cartel scours the internet looking for victims. Lives intersect, worlds collide, and it all starts with a single e-mail: “Dear Sir, I am the daughter of a Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help...”
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Alix Ohlin for her novel Inside
When Grace, a highly competent and devoted therapist in Montreal, stumbles across a man in the snowy woods who has failed to hang himself, her instinct to help immediately kicks in. Before long, however, she realizes that her feelings for this charismatic, extremely guarded stranger are far from straightforward. At the same time, her troubled teenage patient, Annie, runs away and soon will reinvent herself in New York as an aspiring and ruthless actress, as unencumbered as humanly possible by any personal attachments. And Mitch, Grace's ex-husband, a therapist as well, leaves the woman he's desperately in love with to attend to a struggling native community in the bleak Arctic. We follow these four compelling, complex characters from Montreal and New York to Hollywood and Rwanda, each of them with a consciousness that is utterly distinct and urgently convincing. With a razor-sharp emotional intelligence,Insidepoignantly explores the manifold dangers and imperatives of making ourselves available to, and indeed responsible for, those dearest to us.

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Nancy Richler for her novel The Imposter Bride
When a young, enigmatic woman arrives in post-war Montreal, it is immediately clear that she is not who she claims to be. Her attempt to live out her life as Lily Azerov shatters as she disappears, leaving a new husband and baby daughter, and a host of unanswered questions. Who is she really and what happened to the young woman whose identity she has stolen? Why has she left and where did she go? It is left to the daughter she abandoned to find the answers to these questions as she searches for the mother she may never find or really know.

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Kim Thúy for her novel Ru
 In vignettes of exquisite clarity, sharp observation and sly wit, we are carried along on an unforgettable journey from a palatial residence in Saigon to a crowded and muddy Malaysian refugee camp, and onward to a new life in Quebec. There, the young girl feels the embrace of a new community, and revels in the chance to be part of the American Dream. As an adult, the waters become rough again: now a mother of two sons, she must learn to shape her love around the younger boy's autism. Moving seamlessly from past to present, from history to memory and back again, Ru is a book that celebrates life in all its wonder: its moments of beauty and sensuality, brutality and sorrow, comfort and comedy.

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Russell Wangersky for his short story collection Whirl Away
From critically acclaimed and award-winning writer, Russell Wangersky, comes a new collection of short fiction. Everyone has something they're good at: one particular personal skill that they use to keep their lives moving forward when their worlds suddenly become difficult or near-impossible. For some, it's denial; for others, blunt pragmatism. Still others depend on an over-inflated view of self to keep criticism and doubt at bay. In his new short story collection, Whirl Away , Russell Wangersky-author of critically-acclaimed fiction and non-fiction including The Glass Harmonica, Burning Down the House: Fighting Fires and Losing Myself and The Hour of Bad Decisions - looks at what happens when people's personal coping skills go awry. These are people who discover their anchor-chain has broken: characters safe in the world of self-deception or even selfdelusion, forced to face the fact that their main line of defense has become their greatest weakness. From the caretaker of a prairie amusement park to the lone occupant of a collapsing Newfoundland town, from a travelling sports drink marketer with a pressing need to get off the road to an elevator inspector who finds himself losing his marriage while sensuously burying himself in the tastes and smells of the kitchen, these are people who spin wildly out of control, finding themselves in a new and different world.

The winner will be announced Tuesday, October 30.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Food For Fines

Food for Fines at the Sylvan Lake Library

Help support the local food bank while you decrease your library fines.
For every non-perishable food item you bring into the library from October 1-8, the library will waive $2 from existing fines.