Charlotte Gray and Emma Donoghue at the Grimsby Author Series

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This past Monday we kicked off the 18th annual Grimsby Author Series! We were delighted to launch our highly anticipated Fall 2019 season with authors Charlotte Gray and Emma Donoghue. It was so exciting to see another full house out for a fantastic night of books, wine and great conversation. Reflecting on the nearly two decades we have been running the Series, it’s great to see how the number of attendees has increased since the early days at Grimsby’s old pump house. From its beginning, sponsor Sue Tallman remembers “how cozy and intimate it was. There was only a handful of us then.” 18 years later, the series has grown with care and commitment resulting in 250 tickets purchased this last season within 48-hours for another sold out program. “I need to stop telling people—I can’t save anymore seats!” says Rita Cipriani who, along with her partner Tony, attended the evening in a group with over a dozen guests.

Many of those who come to the Author Series stumbled upon it by chance while checking out books at the Grimsby Public Library. Jane Scholer, who has been a faithful supporter of the series for five years made the discovery in just that manner. “This event has changed the way I read, I now ask questions as I read a book that I never would have thought to ask before,” says Scholer. Each guest has their own agenda for why they attend the Grimsby Author Series, and we are so grateful to our community. Without the never-ending demand, the Series would not be the colossal success that it is today, with all funds supporting programming, collections, services and special events of the Grimsby Public Library.

Charlotte Gray

Charlotte Gray is one of Canada’s most-loved writers of history. Along with her talent of delving into the past, Gray has honed the practice of merging genres to fulfill the audience’s demand of historical murder mystery. In doing so, her research and tenacity has successfully incorporated women back into Canada’s history. In her newly released work of non-fiction, Murdered Midas, Gray dives into Canada’s mining past while painting the menacing landscape upon which the murder of Sir Harry Oakes takes place. With only four sentences of archival material containing the voice of Oakes, Gray relied on multiple former research outlets and historians to capture a glimpse of her main character and develop him though other people’s perceptions.

When facing questions from the audience regarding the shady past of Sir Harry Oakes, Gray does not waver in her ability to present historical accuracy; the satisfaction of the audience accomplished. The Grimsby Author Series is proud to have finally welcomed Charlotte Gray upon the launch of her most recent book.

Emma Donoghue

September 2016, Emma Donoghue attended the Grimsby Author Series with her novel The Wonder. We are ecstatic to welcome her back three years later with her new release, Akin. Although, as she blatantly admits, she might only be back for one of the Series’ signature handmade mugs… Either way, we are honoured to bask as she speaks with an engaging cadence. Donoghue, eager to educate in all facets of her life, brings together two unlikely characters as they learn to bridge their generational gap. Noah Selvaggio, an 80-year-old widower, and Michael, his 11-year-old great nephew must come together as they maneuver through arduous family discoveries. Donoghue herself concedes that Noah derives from her own aged soul, possibly with a few more naps.

Donoghue colourfully illustrates each character and demonstrates why the movie made from her novel Room was awarded Best Motion Picture in 2016, and why in the Spring of 2020 it will also make its way to the Canadian stage as a theatrical production.

Thank you

Thank you to Charlotte Gray and Emma Donoghue for sharing their phenomenal work with us and remaining afterwards to sign copies. Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included outstanding donations from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. Thank you to all of these contributors along with The Peanut Mill, and Monique Mulder-Wallace Pottery for providing our guest speakers with their lovely gifts, as well as our wine sponsors for the evening, Malivoire Wine Company. Last but not least, a huge thank you to Epic Books of Hamilton for coming to sell books!

This post was written and the photos were taken by the Grimsby Author Series new volunteer blogger Teanne Teeft. Thanks for all your hard work and welcome to the GAS family!

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July Book Reviews | Grimsby Library Summer Raffle

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We received over 150 submissions in our July summer reading raffle! Here are just some of the mini-reviews you left us on the ballots. Get some reading inspiration from your fellow library-goers below, and find most of them in the library’s online catalogue. Thanks to everyone who participated and contributed!

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald
“A good-paced, easy-to-read and follow mystery. Great for summer!” – M.C

Saga: Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan 
“Lives up to the hype. Great artwork by Fiona Staples from Alberta.” – D.F.

Slammed by Colleen Hoover
“Such a cute book. I can’t believe this is her debut! It’s perfect. Has romance, but not to steamy.. lots of tragedy and drama. I know I’m biased because I love CoHo books so much but this one was just too cute and I loved the ending” – A.B.

Saving Sophie by Ronald H. Balson
“An absolute page-turner. If you enjoy a thriller, with a bit of history thrown in, this is for you.” – S.D.

The Summer of Sunshine by Susan Mallery
“Light, predictable but engaging book about fraternal twin women finding love in unusual places” – D.F.

The Moon and Back by Karen Kingsbury
“Love story about 2 people who lost their parents in the Oklahoma City bombing” – J.V.

One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan
“A book about family and friendship. How important it is to trust and share your stories. My first time reading this author – won’t be the last!” – J.M.

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina MacDonald
“A good paced, easy-to-read and follow mystery. Great for summer!” – M.C.

In a Cottage in a Wood by Cass Green
“Its about a woman who stumbles upon a bungalow in the woods and the house quickly becomes her worst nightmare” – M.G

The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner
“Family brought together by DNA ancestry kit. Beach house in Provincetown brings them together.” – M.M.

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
“How to combat shame and feeling life we are “never enough”. Very inspiring self-help book!” – E.N.

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
A wonderful book that gives you a glimpse of what its like to be a Muslim in today’s world, especially a visible Muslim woman. Also loved the way the love story played out. Had me craving to read more and more. I didn’t want it to end!” – A.H.

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys
“A great summer read. An unexpected inheritance leads Eve to uncover family ties, end her marriage and become a different, stranger person.” – D.F.

The Little Shop of Found Things by Paula Brackston
“Good book. A bit of magic.” – P.B.

Cafe by the Sea by Laura Dave
“Wonderful story about the isles of Scotland.” – S.B.

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris
“Wow! The ending was amazing! A girl goes missing. 12 years later she reappears… or does she?” – J.M

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
“Not her best book. Enjoyed the first half, but got a bit unrealistic toward the end.” – K.M
“A group of strangers went to a “luxury” retreat, but found out the woman running it is crazy and drugging them. It was very far-fetched” – M.H.

The Reality Bubble by Ziya Tong
“Best non-fiction I’ve read this year. Scary, educational, mind-boggling and totally fascinating. Loved it and learned such a lot!” – S.D.

Passionate Readers by Pernille Ripp
“One teacher’s story about teaching kids to read versus teaching kids to love reading.” – J.C.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
“Rothfuss creates a magical world, in-depth characters and riveting plot lines. Couldn’t put it down” – T.A.

I’ll Push You by Patrick Gray
“Loved this inspirational story of true friendship and life challenges.”

I Found You by Lisa Jewell
“Good story. Suspenseful” – P.B.

Under the Table by Janet Evanovich
“Funny, a good summer read.” – P.W.

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
“This book encourages girls to believe they can change the world. Stop living in fear of being judged for who they are and embrace achieving their goals” – L.W.

The Runaway by Harlan Coben
“Suspenseful, intriguing, well written. A “can’t put it down.” – L.A.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
“Loved it! A little romance, a little history and a bunch of mystery!” – C.D.

At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham
“Interesting read set in the Yukon during the Gold Rush” – M.F.

A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Edvardsson
“A legal thriller that keeps you guessing!” – D.F.

Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
“The ultimate book on all things yoga! A great place for me to start on my dream to be a yoga teacher.” – H.B.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
“Amazing and twisted story. Suspenseful from beginning to end.” – T.B.

Judas by Astrid Holleeder
“Astrid’s Brother Will was a famous criminal who made life unbearable for his family until Astrid got the courage to testify against him” – A.G.

Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen by Alison Weir
“A new twist on the tragic life of Katherine of Aragon. Excellent insight into her persona.” – N.S.

Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Essays and Swear Words by Kimberly Harrington
“A fun and lighthearted novel about the trials and tribulations of motherhood and working in/outside the home.” – J.J.

The Guilty Party by Mel McGrath
“Too dark and disturbing for me. Wouldn’t want these people as friends.” – D.F.

Explorers of the Nile by Tim Teal
“A fascinating account of 19th century explorers such as Stanley and Livingtone, and the hardships they endured as they searched for the source of the Nile.” – A.S.

 

 

 

 

Fun at the 2019 Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair! / Grimsby Library

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What a wonderful afternoon at the annual Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair at the Grimsby Public Library! Last Friday, June 7 the library is threw open its doors to the community for this fun event chocked full of family friendly activities and games. Kids played inside and outside the library as they made their way through our amazing Play Project Parkour course, played giant board games and got creative with chalk graffiti nearby. They planted seeds, painted story stones, hunted for letters in slime, read-along a story walk, tried their hand at knitting, learned about sport safety with author Sue Irwin and how to recycle with Waste Management Niagara, experienced green screen magic with nature-themed photo shoots, watched balloon twisting, read with the Therapy Tails Dogs dogs, and so much more!

The Phelps Homes Building Literacy Fair also marks the launch of kids summer programming at the Library, so everyone got to take home information and newsletters about the TD Summer Reading Club for children ages 0-12 and the R.E.A.D. summer tutoring program. Thanks to Phelps Homes Ltd. for once again generously sponsoring this library event! Check out photos from this event below:

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This event is made possible through the generous sponsorship of Phelps Homes, Ltd. and the participation of many organizations in our community, including: Waste Management Niagara, Sue IrwinNiagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, Fun School of Music, Nelles Manor, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Play Project ParkourLiteracy and Mathematics Academy, Niagara Children’s Centre, Therapy Tails Dogs, and Needlecrafters Club.

Two-time Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan visits the Grimsby Author Series

Last Wednesday, May 1, was the last night of the spring 2019 Grimsby Author Series and we were thrilled and honoured to bring to our stage two-time Scotia Bank Giller Prize winner Esi Edugyan. We couldn’t think of a better way to finish the season, and as guests rushed in the doors, met up with friends and grabbed a sample glass of Pengo Pally Saison Beer from Bush Pilot Craft Brewery, we knew it was going to be a night to remember.

This event saw our guest author Esi Edugyan sitting down in conversation with Grimsby’s own local author Laurie Petrou, which is a bit of different format than what we are used to at the Series. From the moment these two authors sat down across from each other it was clear this discussion was going to allow us to dig a little deeper than usual. In responding to Laurie’s thoughtful questions and keen insights, Esi provided us with an in-depth glimpse into how her Giller Prize winning book Washington Black was written and how it feels to be nationally recognized twice for the most prestigious literary fiction award in Canada.

We discovered Esi’s love of research and interest in historical science, practices and instruments, and how this shows up in the beautiful details of her books. We learned that Washington Black, while directly dealing with topics of racism and subjugation, is really a story of the psychology of the people experiencing it, from either side, and the real human consequences when massive societal change alter the rules. We heard about how she felt about her main characters, and what she was trying to convey to the reader with the choices they make or the questions they ask. Esi’s writing style is deeply engrossing and the way she explores these weighty topics leaves the reader with a important and unique perspective. Capped off with a reading from the book and many questions from the audience, this evening was truly special and a perfect end to the spring Grimsby Author Series.

Thanks so much to both authors for visiting the Series and having this wonderful discussion with us, and to Esi for sharing her book and staying afterwards to sign copies for eager fans. Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Bush Pilot Craft Brewery for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts, and to Epic Books of Hamilton for coming to sell books!

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Shelley Wood and Andrew Pyper at the Grimsby Author Series

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Last Monday we hit the mid-season mark of the Spring 2019 Grimsby Author Series. On this sunny spring evening we were so delighted to welcome our two guests, Shelley Wood and Andrew Pyper, to the Casablanca Winery Inn. Our wine sponsor for the evening, Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery, provided delectable selections for us to sample from their Fancy Farm Girl line including their rich Flamboyant Red and their crisp and fruity Frissonesque Sauvignon Blanc. With a great glass of wine in hand, a packed house and two amazing authors, we knew it was going to be a night to remember!

Shelley Wood

Shelley Wood was up first and provided the audience with a heartfelt reading from her new novel The Quintland Sisters. Beautifully written, expertly researched and now a national bestseller, this book is a fictionalized account of the 1934 Dionne Quintuplet sensation. The story of 5 girls born on a single night to one woman blew up all over national and international media, and turned their lives into a spectacle. Reading the news clippings and accounts from the time, you find that they are all from the harsh perspective of a spectator; someone from the outside looking in. Shelley wanted to shift that lens to by creating a character who was an insider, someone who loves these kids for who they are, and not for the exhibition they became. What follows is not only an account of the first few years of the quintuplets’ lives, but the beautiful coming-of-age story of Emma, the fictional nurse Shelley created to love and take care of them. As she writes in her private journals, Emma gives us a view into the madness, heartache and human element that is often left out of the public story.

Andrew Pyper

Up next we welcomed Andrew Pyper for his fifth time at the Grimsby Author Series to speak about his chilling latest novel The Homecoming. It is a book about family secrets and false memories. It is one of those stories that you think you have pegged from the beginning, only to have the author skillfully pull the rug out from under you with a completely unexpected twist. Andrew’s writing skills build palpable tension while weaving a complex yet page-turning narrative. In The Homecoming, the reader along with the characters themselves think they know the whole story. For the characters, what unfolds is their terrifying and shocking realization that everything they ever thought to be true about their family, is not. Andrew is a prolific writer in an industry saturated with thriller novels, but over and over again he finds a way to break the mold, and this book is no different. His writing is as sharp as his delivery on stage is hilarious, and we’ll welcome him back any time. Go Leafs go!

 

Thanks so much to Shelley and Andrew for sharing their wonderful books with us and staying afterwards to sign copies for eager fans. Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Trius Winery for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts, and to Epic Books of Hamilton for being coming to sell books!

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Meridian Comic Book Day at the Grimsby Library: photos!

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Thanks to everyone who came out for Grimsby’s annual comic con at the Grimsby Public Library! Meridian Comic Book Day is all about celebrating a love of comics, graphic novels as storytelling mediums, as well as the wonderful artwork that goes with them. We had so many amazing artists share their work with us including Patricia Storms (who also serenaded us with her ukelele), Loc Nguyen, Keith Grachow, Chris Sanagan and Jason Lapidus from Group of 7 Comic, Zavian Lashington, Greg Hyland, Sean McCarron, Jordan Da Costa, Lindsay Bisland, Chloe Perrin and Abby Nickerson. Mike Cope from Copetoons was there as well to skillfully lead our comic drawing workshops to a full crowd of eager amateur artists.

More guests included Cosplay for a Cure, Cinderella and her Prince, Anna from Frozen, mascots from Blessed Trinity and GSS, Xtreme Collectables, Niagara Children’s Centre, Nate Van Lindt with his DIY comics, and Doctor Who’s telephone box! All of these amazing artists and contributors, along with our dedicated team of volunteers and our wonderful sponsors at Meridian Credit Union in Grimsby, made this Meridian Comic Book Day one for the books!

So many kids dressed up for the event this year and we were so impressed with all the amazing superhero (and villain) costumes we saw!  Check out photos from the event below:

 

Iain Reid and Anna Porter at the Grimsby Author Series: Spring 2019

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We’re back! This past Monday we were at the Casablanca Winery Inn again to kick off the spring 2019 season of the Grimsby Author Series. In a first for our Series, we skipped the coldest months of the year, and are now holding 3 events in March, April and May. Remembering those frigidly cold and windy winter nights from years gone by, we were happy to see everyone’s slightly less frostbitten faces again in warmer temperatures. We couldn’t think of a better way to say hello to spring and a whole new season of great reading than with the two authors we brought to our stage on Monday night, Iain Reid and Anna Porter. With delightful refreshments from Calamus Estate Winery, a packed house and an excited buzz in the air, the mood was set for a fantastic night.

Iain Reid

Iain Reid was thinking about becoming a fiction writer for a while. As a critically acclaimed non-fiction author, his first two books One Bird’s Choice and Truth About Luck featured himself as the protagonist. After speaking with someone about both of these books, and learning that their friend had read them, but didn’t like the main character (him), the idea of fiction-writing really started to take hold. He fulfilled this dream in 2016 with his first novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things. This book has now been published in more than twenty countries, with Oscar-winning screenwriter and celebrated director Charlie Kaufman now creating a movie based on it (in fact, filming had begun that very day in upstate New York). A pretty good start.

Following suit, Iain Reid’s latest mind bending thriller Foe has been selling out on shelves all across the country, and feature film rights have been acquired. An eerie, haunting and bizarre tale of a couple secluded from society, the theme of confinement in the book is reflected by both the size of the book and the fact that most of the action takes place within the walls of their house. Short and sweet, succinct and powerful, that’s how Iain Reid likes to write. Whereas some books are big and more like a thanksgiving meal – developing over time, his are short – more like a special sauce that has been reducing all day on the stove and the first spoonful tastes just perfect.

Anna Porter

What better way to finish the evening than with Anna Porter? You could say that this author’s life, as well as her new memoir In Other Words, celebrate all things to do with Canadian literature – what a perfect a match for the Grimsby Author Series! The book, which has been called “A love letter to Canada’s authors and creative agitators…” gives readers a backstage pass to the Canadian publishing world, where we meet the biggest names in our country’s literary scene. It was her grandfather who originally sparked her love of stories, and it’s amazing to see how far that love has taken her.

Speaking in the same captivating style she writes in, Anna’s talk was full of anecdotes about her extraordinary life in Canada which started when she scored her dream job at McClelland & Stewart in 1969. She was lucky enough to be hired by Jack McClelland himself (which she suspects was due to her truly inventive resume). After being put to the test reading all 15 of the ‘Canadian Library’ over a weekend, he was impressed enough to put her exactly where she wanted to be: reading manuscripts for one of the biggest publishing houses in the country. During her time there, and later as co-founder of Key Porter publishing company, she has worked with the likes of Farley Mowat, Leonard Cohen, Peter C. Newman, Margaret Atwood and Margaret Laurence (who she considers a national treasure). All the time Anna was writing her own novels, and in a perfect story arc, has become an award-winning author in her own right. It was truly a pleasure to have this Canadian publishing legend come and share her stories with us.

Door prizes were raffled off at the end of the night which included fabulous items from our sponsors Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Special Effects Art ShoppeTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill, tMac Pottery and Trius Winery for providing our guest speakers with their wonderful gifts. We very happily welcomed back Epic Books of Hamilton as our book sellers as well, it was great to see and work with you again!

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