50 Most Anticipated Books of 2015

The Globe and Mail has just released their 50 Most Anticipated Books for 2015...with more to be added as the year progresses. The list is full of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, debut releases and the latest from familiar authors.

Top of the list is IF I FALL, IF I DIE by Canadian author Michael Christie. This is his debut novel about a boy with an agoraphobic mother, and his first taste of “outside”. Christie is a former pro-skateboarder who won raves with his short story collection The Beggar’s Garden.

21462154 It ends in June (2nd half to come, I suspect), with the first adult novel in 15 years by Judy Blume, called IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT.

blume_bookThere are some great books on this list. If you’re hoping to read some of the best, start at the beginning. The July – December list will be here before you know it.

Book Resolutions!

resolveIt’s the New Year, and that means resolutions. This year, instead of making plans to lose weight or get more sleep, how about making some reading resolutions? A year from now, you’ll be happy you did.

WHY SHOULD I TRY TO READ DIFFERENT BOOKS?

It’s great to have favourite authors or really get into a series, but there are so many other great books out there, are you limiting your reading? Think of it like only eating broccoli with every meal. What about carrots? Kale? Corn? There are so many other options, you might not realize what you’re missing until you try. Reading is all about getting lost, about expanding your horizons, about learning something new about yourself and those around you. Give peas a chance…….

WHAT SHOULD I READ?

Start with non-fiction. Yes, I said it….non-fiction. Not enough people read non-fiction, and it’s fabulous! Find a topic, or a person (celebrity or the latest criminal) and read about their lives. Or read a new type of cookbook. Anything non-fiction will give you a fresh outlook, and it might just refresh your reading schedule.

Once you explore the non-fiction world, you might feel like you need to go back to fiction again, and that’s okay. This time, try a new author. Stand in the aisle where you normally pick books (a favourite author or genre), and reach to a different shelf. Bend your legs, stand on your toes, lean to the side…whatever might make you choose a new book. Exciting, isn’t it?

DISCUSS A BOOK

No, you don’t have to join a book club, but talking to someone about a great book you just read can open you up to new ideas. Maybe that person will have a suggestion as to what you should read next. Or maybe you’ll both have a good laugh over the fact that neither of you figured out who the killer was in the latest murder mystery. Either way, talking about books to other people makes you look well-read (aka super intelligent!), and could lead to a new friendship. Talk to the person in the coffee shop who is sitting alone reading. Talk to someone with a book on the subway. Or just talk to the person in front of you in line at the library…you’ll never know what might happen. Everyone loves to talk about books!

 BUY A BOOK

Of course, we love it when people come to the library to get books. But once in a while, why not buy a book if it is within your means? Books as gifts, people! What could be better?

Make 2015 your year to try new things when it comes to books……new genres, new authors, new places to read, new book clubs…..whatever you can think of. You’ll be happy you did!

Best Books

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You may have noticed the “Staff Picks” on our TV display if you’ve been in the library recently. With everyone doing a Top Ten list, it was kind of fun for us to pick a few of our favourite reads of the year. And it was tricky. We all came up with a few, and I think our list was really quite diverse.

So when I came across this fun interview with Bill Gates about his top picks for the year, I was curious as to what he’d pick. He went with five.  None of them were on our own Picks list, but that’s okay. We’ll forgive him this year.

Start Planning!

We’re more than three weeks away from 2015, but now is the time to start thinking about those New Year’s Resolutions. If you jumble something together at the last minute, you’re more inclined to quit faster, I think.  But what if you took some time to plan—to really plan something—and then hit it full force on January 1st? All of the time you put in might be great motivation, so let’s get planning.

EASIER RESOLUTIONS

Instead of trying to make yourself over day by day, why not work on your surroundings this year? Clean up that clutter, get organized and make your life simple for once. We have a wealth of great books and magazines to get you started on organization. Purchase attractive baskets to put all of your loose bills, schedules and ticket stubs in. Clean out your front closet and buy some nice shelves or containers (at Boxing Day sales!) so that everyone has their own space to put hats, mitts and scarves. Your closet will look amazing, and you’ll save time cleaning up after everyone.

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MORE TIME

 If you want more time to do the things you really care about, you have to make the time. That means scheduling your free time as an important part of your daily activities, not just hoping you’ll get to put your feet up at the end of the day, or finally make it to the gym. Part of making resolutions work is having a way to incorporate them into your life so that you’ll stick with them. You won’t shop for that healthy food if you only have ten minutes to get everything for the week because of a crazy schedule, so really factor in how much you do, and make sure you leave a slot free just for you.  We have some superb books on time management at the library, so drop in to pick one up so you can read it over the holidays. Incorporate one or two ideas and that might be all you need to finally start that art project you’ve been wanting to try!

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BETTER EATING = FEELING BETTER

One thing we all tend to do during the holidays is overeat. That leaves us feeling bloated and upset with ourselves when January rolls around. Pants that you can’t even squeeze into anymore might be good incentive to get you exercising and eating right for a few weeks, but what about when February arrives and you’re sick of veggies and fish? There are so many wonderful cookbooks that come out every month, and we love pouring through them. Make a plan now to research the types of food you’d like to eat (vegetarian, gluten-free, low-fat etc.), and find a book at the library to try. If you have a plan for a new cookbook each month, it might make you excited about making healthy food. Try out each recipe and blog about them or post your creations on Facebook or Instagram. You might get a whole lot of people interested in your idea and sharing recipes!

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Whatever you choose to do for yourself in 2015, stop being so hard on yourself. And save yourself some money by dropping into the library to get the latest books, DVDs, magazines and more. You might even find a fun program to boost your creativity! We have it all at the library.

Forest of Reading®

Forest of Reading® will begin in December, and we’re looking forward to it! For those who have never participated, it’s a great reading program for kids that allows them to choose a winning book. And the best part? All of the books are by Canadian authors or illustrators.

bluespruce2015 Blue Spruce 2015

How does it work? Starting in December, kids can come in and register in their specific reading category (by grade or reading level), and pick up their first book. Then, they have almost five months to read the selections. Each category includes 10 books, and except for Blue Spruce, we ask that kids read at least 8 of the 10 books in order to be able to vote. Because the Blue Spruce category is comprised of picture books, we don’t think it’s too difficult to get through all 10.

express2015Silver Birch Express 2015

I’ll be visiting schools starting in January to talk about the program, but it’s so much fun, we like to get started in December. Once your reader registers at the front desk, they can choose a book to take home to start reading. We’ll give them a brochure to keep track of everything….because it’s a long way until April and voting night.

nonfic2015Silver Birch Non-Fiction 2015

Then, we’ll get ready for voting night! Everyone who has read enough books in their category can vote. We ask them to mark their finished books in our binder so we can keep track of everyone eligible…..just like a real voting night! But the best part? There’s a party, too!

 fiction2015Silver Birch Fiction 2015

Everyone who registers and starts Forest of Reading® can come to the party. There will be plenty of cake, a fun contest, and we’ll announce the winners from our library vote. After that, we send off our list to Toronto to be tabulated with the rest of the province. It’s so exciting!

redmaple2015Red Maple 2015

Once all of the votes are in, the winners will be announced.  This is the only award given to a Canadian author or illustrator that only kids to get vote on, so it’s a big deal for everyone nominated. We’ll be sure to post the final winners in the library as well. Drop in to find out more about this great reading program for kids.

Choose

When I was a kid, the “Choose Your Own Adventure” series was one of the most popular set of books in our school library. If they didn’t have one of the books, I either went to our public library, or convinced someone to get me to a bookstore so I could buy the one I was looking for. It wasn’t just “one” book; each one could be read over and over, each time with a different path and a different ending. These were popular with everyone I knew, and it’s not surprising that they’ve kept up their popularity with young readers even today.

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The creator of the series, R. A. Montgomery, recently passed away at the age of 78 at his home in Vermont. He was a vital part of the series, including the website, and even went forth to create a series of video games that became popular in the 1980’s. I’m sure that the newer books have been written by a number of authors, but Montgomery will always be a vital part of the series, and readers will miss him.

We often get asked for these in the library, or something similar, even today. The outdated book covers aren’t even a deterrent for kids, which is unusual in this day of modern covers. It’s the idea of the this type of reading….being able to move back and forth through a book, making choices like they are a part of the outcome, that draws young readers in and keeps them coming back.  I think an adult version of this would be fun.

Did you read these when you were younger? Or are your children fans of the series?  We’d love to hear what you think!

One Book, One Community!

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Next year, we’ll be participating in the “One Book, One Community” project with all of the libraries in Lanark County. It’s an exciting endeavor that hopes to get people from all five communities reading the same book. We’ll be hosting events around the book, prompting discussion, and encouraging our communities to interact in various ways.

This week, we’re beginning the book selection. You can drop into any one of the local libraries (Carleton Place Public Library, Perth & District Union Public Library, Smiths Falls Public Library, Mississippi Mills Library, and Lanark Highlands Public Library) and fill out a quick ballot for your selection. The theme for 2015 will be AGING, so keep that in mind when selecting a book you’d like to suggest. It doesn’t have to be a Canadian book, and it can be from any genre, as long as it deals with aging in some way. We’re looking forward to seeing what books you suggest, and hope we’ll be able to announce the winning book in the near future. Then, we’ll be getting many copies of the book to make available to the public to read. Keep watching here or at the library for more information as time moves on.

What would your suggestion be for the One Book, One Community project this year?