Long Weekend

The library is closed today, and hopefully, everyone is out doing fun family/summer things. Can you believe it’s August already?

If you’re thinking about the week ahead, we still have plenty of interesting programs happening at the library. Download this August calendar to see everything. You can sign up for any of the programs that require registration the week before the program

Happy August! Enjoy the long weekend and we’ll see you at the library tomorrow!

Courageous, Beautiful Books from Keanu Reeves?

X Artists’ Books is a new independent press, co-founded by Keanu Reeves, which aims to publish “courageous, beautiful, artist-centered books which fit between genres”. Their ideals encompass all things “x”:

X is a connection, a multiplier, a kiss, a proxy. X is a signature, a mark; it stands for treasure, uncharted territory, the core of infinity. X is mysterious and surprising. X attracts and repels; X learns from correction. X marks the spot.

No word yet on how they will find these books, or if Reeves will be hands-on in helping to select books and authors, this sounds like an interesting group. While the bigger publishers are becoming inundated with possibilities, it’s up to the smaller, independent groups to really weed out some of the mix and continue to publish books that might not make the cut now in other places.

Mental Health above Wealth

Author Sherman Alexie recently released a memoir entitled YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME about his often troubled relationship with his mother, who passed away in 2015. While it’s been almost two years since her death, Alexie has been delving deep into her memory, their relationship, and his struggles, even more now that he has been on tour.

In a heartfelt Facebook post this week, Alexie wrote a long explanation to his fans as to why he won’t be continuing his tour, and why it is so necessary for him to take time to work on his mental health in the upcoming days. He writes,

Dear readers and booksellers and friends and family, I am sorry to disappoint you. I am sorry that I will not be traveling to your cities to tell you my stories in person.
But I will be writing.

When I told Diane, my wife, about my mother’s ghost and about my plans to cancel so many events, she said, “Maybe it’s your mother taking care of you from Heaven.”

“Maybe,” I said.

“But I think it’s probably your subconscious taking care of the rest of you. I think it’s probably you being a good mother to yourself. You are mothering you.”

I think more people should be open and honest about times when they need to step back and deal with things in a more productive way. While I’m sure Alexie’s absence from bookstore signings and talks will be noticed, I’m also sure that his fans will understand his need to step away. As more and more of the world’s young and talented have difficulties walking away from the spotlight when they need it most, this is a refreshing change. We wish him the best of luck, and all the time he needs.

 

Judge a Book by its Cover

Home reno star Chip Gaines is ready to release a memoir in October called CAPITAL GAINES: SMART THINGS I LEARNED DOING STUPID STUFF. And one of the unique things about this book is that he let his potential readers and fans choose the cover. Not exactly super interesting, but what makes this kind of fun is that he picked the one that got the LEAST number of votes.

You can see a fun interview on the Today Show where he makes the big reveal, and also shows you the ones that weren’t chosen.http://on.today.com/2vxLB2o

Now, if you choose to read books because of the cover, you might be inclined to pass this one by. It’s not the most flattering of all of the covers–some were well posed and well lit. This one was a spontaneous moment, but Gaines felt like it was also the most honest, which is something he wanted to convey to his fans.

Maybe this is a good lesson for celebrities in the future. We don’t care about photoshopped perfection. Fans are fans because we feel like we want to know more about our favourites—warts and all. Let’s see if this cover is a bad move, or if Gaines knows what his fans are truly looking for!

 

It’s Almost August!

It’s hard to say what happened to July, but it’s almost August. While many of you are making plans for back to school, a lot of people are still looking for things to do with the kids. Don’t worry, we have no shortage of fun planned for August.

  • Lots of drop ins (Lego, storytimes & crafternoons)
  • Une Heure de Conte en Francais every Friday morning
  • Art Through the Ages adult & teen craft mornings
  • Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum visit
  • Regular storytime
  • another fun National Film Board screening!

A lot of the programs need registration, but anything that says “drop in” means just that… drop in anytime! And of course, we have our regular I Spy, our TD Summer Reading Club (have you seen the great flower boxes yet?), Book Buck Bingo for Teens, and Adult Summer Reading.

There’s plenty of time to get your library fix in. Hopefully, we’ll see you in August!

Shortcuts

Artist John Atkinson has taken some of the world’s best known books and given them a twist–book covers with a brief spoiler filled with humour. Books like MOBY DICK ( Man vs. Whale. Whale wins.) and WAR AND PEACE (Everyone is sad. It snows.), are reduced to two simple thoughts. But aren’t they brilliant?

I’m not sure the abridged versions would hold up as Coles notes for teens who don’t want to read the books, but they’re not wrong. And Atkinson’s simple line illustrations and milky colours make these absolutely hilarious. You can see a fun collection of the books at this link.

Can you think of your own versions of classic books that could be told in two brief statements?