Linden MacIntyre & Alison Pick finish off the fall season of the Grimsby Author Series

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The fall season of the 2017-18 Grimsby Author Series was closed out by two nationally celebrated literary figures (and Author Series veterans), Linden MacIntyre & Alison Pick. Both were at the Casablanca Winery Inn on a blustery November Monday to speak about their latest books, and impressed the audience with their deeply personal and moving talks about how they came to write them.

Before the authors arrived, there was a definite cozy feel in the air as series-goers made their way in from the cold to the Christmas tree lit room. Everyone was excited to hear our distinguished speakers and we all quickly settled in for another fantastic night. Trius Wines was our wine sponsor for the evening and shared with the audience a medium-bodied, slightly rich and fruity 2016 Chardonnay, and a medium-bodied 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon with a red currant and blackberry finish. Truly a delicious selection!

 

Alison Pick

When Alison Pick last visited us she was on tour promoting Between Gods, a compelling memoir that dealt with the discovery of family secrets, and the struggle, exploration and ultimate reclaiming of her Jewish heritage.

In her latest work Strangers with the Same Dream, she continues this journey of discovery and understanding by delving into recent Jewish history in the Middle East. This is a stirring and powerful novel that provides a profound and emotional context to what was one of the most tumultuous events of the 20th century: the establishing of the Kibbutz in 1920’s Palestine that eventually lead to founding the modern country of Israel. Split into three narratives, we discover the intimate accounts of three pioneers whose ideals and dreams are confronted with the harsh realities of what they were trying to accomplish. Alison expertly and beautifully illustrates their overlapping perspectives to create a riveting, unapologetic and captivating book you won’t be able to put down.

On Monday, she gave an emotional and candid speech about the journey that led her to writing this story, and explained to us how it was instrumental to her own self discovery after converting to Judaism. Alison spoke eloquently and with passion and it was a wonderful experience to hear this talented author explain the process in her own words.

 

 

Linden MacIntyre

Linden MacIntyre has visited the Grimsby Author Series many times, and was back Monday night with a fascinating book about a man who harbours dark secrets, and his son’s quest to unravel them. Spanning three decades, The Only Cafe follows this mysterious character from atrocities committed in the Lebanese civil war in the early 1980’s, to the mid-2000’s where he disappears and is presumed dead after a dramatic explosion on his boat, to 5 years after that, when new evidence is discovered that appears to confirm his death. It is at this point his son begins his investigation to find out who his father was, and when he meets the equally mysterious, and possibly nefarious, Ari, who may hold the key to piecing it all together. In this novel Linden drives home the point that what we have done in the past never truly stays in the past, because it continues to affect the lives of everyone involved now and into the future – however big or small. When you try to suppress or hide it, it can come back to haunt you in ways you would have never imagined.

Linden’s depth of experience as a CBC journalist has given him the distinct ability and insight to fully set the scene for this kind of international drama. He manages to make the fallout his main character experiences feel real because he saw the devastation of the civil war in Lebanon for himself. Giving the audience, at times, a devastatingly raw account of his time there, we were able to catch a glimpse into how the author used his wealth of experience to create an incredibly vivid and true-to-life story.


Thanks to everyone who attended the first leg of the 2017-18 season, we had a blast with all of you, and we can’t wait to see you in the New Year! Ticket packages for the Winter 2018 session are still available, so if you’re looking for some seriously excellent stocking stuffers, make your way down to the Grimsby Library (or our website) to purchase yours before they’re gone. Perfect for the literature lover in your family!

At the end of the night door prizes were raffled off from our fabulous sponsors, which included items from Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Lifelong Learning NiagaraTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to The Peanut Mill and Forks Road Pottery  for providing our guest speakers with their lovely gifts.

A BIG thank you as well, of course, to Linden MacIntyre & Alison Pick for an inspirational and engaging evening, and for staying afterwards to sign copies of your books for the crowd. We had an amazing time, and it was the best possible way to conclude the fall season of the 2017-18 Grimsby Author Series!

 

We love our sponsors!

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Grimsby Library welcomes MCpl Kevin Wadden for Memory Project Event on Sunday, November 12

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MCpl Kevin Wadden will be the guest speaker for this year’s Memory Project presentation at the library.

The Memory Project gathers the stories & experiences of Canadian veterans in an effort to preserve them for future generations. Visit www.thememoryproject.com to learn more about this important initiative.

GRIMSBY PUBLIC LIBRARY
2 PM | FIREPLACE LOUNGE | DROP-IN | FREE

Memory Project sepia ogoA third generation member of the Canadian military, Kevin Wadden has led an exceptional life. After joining the military at age 17, he served for 22 years before retiring as a Master Corporal in 1999. His diverse career included service in the Canadian Armed Forces, United Nations Armoured Corps, Air Force and Army.

During the intensity of the Cold War, Mr. Wadden supervised 22 welders and machinists in northern Norway. In the 1980’s he served as a peacemaker in Cyprus. Peacekeeping in Cyprus is one of Canada’s longest and best-known overseas military commitments.

Mr. Wadden’s link to the military remains strong. He is a member of the Canadian Association of Veterans in United Nations Peacekeeping, Niagara Chapter, and shares his experiences as a Memory Project speaker through Historica Canada.

Kevin Wadden’s career is one that many Canadians can only imagine. Learn about a soldier’s life at home and abroad from an accomplished veteran with a rich experience in the Canadian military.

Register now by visiting the Library or calling 905.945.5142 

Preserve family memories at the Grimsby Library in our Media Lab: These workshops will show you how

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Did you know that you can transfer your old VHS home movies, photo negatives, pictures, and slides into digital format FOR FREE at the Grimsby Library? Why send your valuable family memories away (and pay all kinds of money) to get someone else to do it when our Media Lab is available for do-it-yourself preservation any time during open hours?

Want to learn how? We have FREE workshops happening this November so you can learn how to use our equipment and make sure your memories don’t fade away in the future! Register today for the following programs:

 

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9 | 7 PM
Please register now at the Library

Do you have a pile of old slides and negatives sitting in the attic or the back of your closet? Breathe new life into them by learning how to digitize the images with this workshop at the Grimsby Public Library.

Using our Epson v500 scanner, you can make high resolution digital copies of your slides so you can easily print them or archive the results.
Visit the Library or call 905.945.5142 to register today.

 

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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 23 | 7 PM
Register now at the Library

Preserve your family videos for generations to come by learning how to record your VHS tapes to DVD or digital file format in this fantastic workshop. We’ll show you everything you need to know using our free-to-use VHS/DVD recorder and software program & how to share on social media!

Visit the Library or call 905.945.5142 to register today.

Fall Let’s Talk Science Workshops at the Grimsby Library: Tin foil boats, yoga & more!

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Let’s Talk Science is back at the Grimsby Library this November for 2 new workshops. One is perfect for kids and tweens, and the other is great for the whole family: kids, teens and parents included! Register now (20 spots each)

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boat►Tin Foil Boat Challenge + Marshmallow Challenge
Tuesday, November 7 | 7 – 8 PM | Studio 
We challenge you to create a tin foil boat that can hold the most marbles without sinking. Then, try to build the tallest struc-ture using only 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of string, and masking tape to support a single marshmallow. Ages 9 – 14
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►The Science of Yoga + Muscle Slides
Tuesday, November 14 | 7 – 8 PM | Fireplace Lounge
While doing yoga poses, experience muscle contractions, equilibrium and flexibility. We’ll also investigate how muscles work at the microscopic level. All Ages

 

 Visit the Library or call 905.945.5142 to register.

Glenn Dixon & Linda Spalding mark the mid-fall season of the 2017-18 Grimsby Author Series

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Thank you to everyone who attended the second evening of the Grimsby Author Series last Monday, October 23. It was another fantastic night filled with laughter, conversation, talented authors, great books, wonderful wines, food, and friends. Cave Spring Winery was our wine sponsor for the evening and they brought a delectable selection for us to sample: an off-dry, medium-bodied 2015 Riesling VQA Niagara Peninsula with fruit and citrus undertones, and a full-bodied 2016 Gamay VQA Niagara Escarpment with a complex nose and hints of black cherry, caramel and cracked pepper. So good!

As the doors swung open, the excitement in the air was palpable as series goers got ready to welcome our two authors for the evening Glenn Dixon & Linda Spalding. While each author came with two very different books, each one brought warmth and humour to the chilly October evening with engaging talks that delighted the crowd.

 

Glenn Dixon

Glenn Dixon was first up to speak about his latest book Juliet’s Answer, which you could call a romantic memoir, of sorts. When he set out to write it however, a highly personal account of his love-life was not exactly his intention. Originally, it was meant to be an empirical study of love around the world and an in-depth look at how different cultures view and act love out. What it turned into is this fascinating and singular personal journey of love in just one city. The scene of perhaps the most iconic romance to ever exist: Verona, Italy. It is here where letters to Romeo’s ill-fated Juliet flood into Verona every year from wistful, heart-sick writers and dreamy teenagers, and where Glenn comes to the end of a painful chapter in his own life.

When he arrived in the picturesque city of Verona to do investigate the ‘Letters to Juliet’ phenomenon, he had just written a letter himself (and received a response) after a long-fought romantic struggle. Glenn decided to volunteer answering letters from others to pay it forward, do a little research, and maybe also quench his curiousity about the history of the world-famous love story. Working with the group of dedicated women who painstakingly answer these letters, Glenn found that to produce honest and thoughtful responses to the strangers who wrote them, you have to look unapologetically inward. This resulted in him learning more about his own heartbreak than anything else, and is what he recounts to us in this beautiful and unflinching story.

As an English teacher for over 20 years Glenn has a way with speaking to a crowd that makes you sit up and pay attention. He is funny, but vulnerable, honest and insightful, but does not get bogged down. He speaks (and writes) with a finely honed clarity. It was a real treat to hear him tell his story, and we hope his next writing adventures bring him back to the Grimsby Author Series one day soon!

 

Linda Spalding

Linda Spalding was our second author of the evening, and had an altogether different story to tell. Rooted in her own family history, A Reckoning takes the reader into a world long before the civil rights movement in America, into the lives of a slave-owning family in the 1800’s who are on the brink of ruin. A companion book to her Governor General’s Award winning  work The Purchase, this tale follows the story line of the main character’s family years later, and that of one of the slaves working on their farm. As the repercussions of the civil war and abolitionist movement begin to affect their lives, each journey is rife with hard decisions, hard truths, and hard looks at the state of society in one of the most tumultuous times in American history. Linda masterfully guides us along the roads they take and sets them against the backdrop of a beautiful country that is on the violent brink of change.

Linda has an innate ability to pack a punch. As she passionately describes events taking place over 150 years ago she manages to hold a mirror up to contemporary society and the legacy the past leaves on it. Her intense interest in the story of slavery in North America is in fact personal. At a young age, she had the painful revelation that her father (a prominent civil rights lawyer who was involved in one of the country’s most famous court cases to end racial segregation in schools), and thus the author herself, are descended from slave owners. The exploration of her ancestors in these two books, and her attempt to reconcile the divergent actions of her past and present family, have lead the author to write out their fictionalized history as a way to understand and to hold them to account.

Linda spoke about her book with the same passion she wrote it with. She is a strong, natural story teller, and her wit is as sharp and quick as the way she captures her characters. It is with this humour and insight that she invigorates her stories, adding impact to her character’s experiences. A truly powerful book from a powerful author.

 

As the evening drew to a close, door prizes were raffled off from our fabulous sponsors, which included items from Cole’s FloristsObjects to Desire, Stacy Heidman of Steeped TeaElipsis Day Spa, Lifelong Learning NiagaraTheatre Aquarius, and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. A big thank you to all of these contributors, and to Cave Spring Cellars, The Peanut Mill and Forks Road Pottery  for providing our guest speakers with their lovely gifts.

A wonderful night and a great way to mark the mid-point of the fall season of the Grimsby Author Series. See you next month for the last event of 2017 on November 20 with Alison Pick and Linden MacIntyre!

 

 

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Maureen Jennings will be at the Grimsby Library December 8
P.S. Tickets are now on sale now for our ‘At the Library’ event with Maureen Jennings. Get your tickets online or at the Library now! Learn more here: Ticket Information

 

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Your Microbiome… Learn what it is (and it influences weight loss) at Grimsby Library!

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TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7
6 PM | FIREPLACE LOUNGE | FREE

Join Grimsby Medical Associates’ in-house dietitian, Monika Urbanski, for an exploration of how our gut bacteria influence our weight and how we influence our gut bacteria. We’ll begin the evening with a documentary film, followed by an insightful conversation. Learning how the body works when losing weight will give you a whole new perspective on the process!

Visit the Library or call 905.945.5142 to register.

BOO! Halloween is creeping up… that means spoOoky fun at Grimsby Library

The Grimsby Public Library is gearing up for one spooky day this Thursday… We have both our annual Halloween BASH! with the Art Gallery for older kids, and a spookily fun Story Time in the evening for your little ones.

Each event will have (nut-free) candy and crafts, and they are the perfect way for kids to get together and try out their Halloween costumes! Check out details below, and get ready for a ghoulishly good time:

 

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Spooky-Buddies-packshotTHURSDAY, OCTOBER 26
3:30 – 5 PM | Ages 5 – 12

The Library & Art Gallery are brewing up another Halloween Bash for kids ages 5 – 12 including a spoOoky movie and ghoulish seasonal crafts. Kids can give their Halloween costumes a practice run, make decorations to take home, munch out on some nut-free treats, all while watching the movie Spooky Buddies.

Register for this program now by visiting the Library or calling 905.945.5142

 

Halloween Story Time

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26
6:30 – 7:15 PM | FREE | Ages 2 – 5

Boo! Enjoy a fun-filled and spoOoky story time, creepy colouring sheets. Wear your costume, and snack on some delicious nut-free treats!