Tag Archives: Calgary Public Library

A challenge to all Readers …

Earlier in the summer, I wrote and posted this to my blog: Why not read books simply because they’re well-written?

Then I asked Chris Graham, aka The Story Reading Ape, to create three memes that promoted three of the ideas I’d covered in this post: Ask for a meme …

For the purpose of this challenge, I want to focus on the suggestion in one of these memes …

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Why not, indeed?

I recently began following two Facebook pages that were set up for the benefit of Readers. The gist of both sites was an exchange of reading recommendations and a place where readers could find out what they might want to read next. On the one site, there were a lot of rules posted restricting Indie Authors as to how much they could self-promote. Understandably so. However, authors were also restricted from posting links to our own blogs, and I was reprimanded by admin., even though my blog link in question was a list of the best books I had read this past year and not self-promotion at all. I’d apparently over-stepped the limit of one self-promotion post per week on the site. I’ve removed all my previous posts from that site and have stopped posting there altogether. I know, it is their site and they are allowed to make and administer the rules. But, in the meantime, other site members will never see that list of books by other authors I was recommending they consider reading. Not my own books, mind you, but the books of many other fine authors.

Meanwhile, I continue to read posts by other site members in which they’re asking for reading recommendations – and contributing to discussions surrounding reading books written by the same-old bestselling authors or series or genres that the members have already been reading. And no one is asking for something new, something different, something outside of their comfort zone. An author who is new-to-them who will make the reader stand up and take notice and have that reader recommending the author to every other reader they know.

So, this is my challenge to all readers out there … And this includes all authors, as well, because you’re all also readers, right? (If you answer “No” to that, then SHAME ON YOU! You SHOULD be reading. You can’t write well if you don’t read. But that leads us to another blog post: Writer = Reader. And I digress …)

Here’s what I challenge all Readers to do:

1. Discover a new-to-you author. Look for authors who write a different genre than you usually read.

2. Purchase a copy of their book or borrow from the library. (Preferably purchase. I understand if you can’t afford to buy. However, I give you the inimitable Seumas Gallacher as an example of someone who supports Indie Authors by making a point of purchasing one Indie-Authored book a month. That kind of committment is not going to break the bank.)

3. Read.

4. If you enjoyed what you read, tell your friends and other readers. And if you REALLY enjoyed what you read, become a champion of that author. Read more of their books. Follow them on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, their blog. Write a review if you like to write reviews. Post your recommendation to your own blog or social media sites. Spread the word about this new-to-you author as far as you possibly can. (If you want to write a review and don’t have your own blog or don’t like posting to Amazon, contact me about publishing your review on reading recommendations reviewed or this blog.)

5. Write to the author directly to tell them how much you enjoyed their book. Trust me! We love receiving fan mail!!

6. Repeat #s 1-5. Many times.

Simple, right?

I know you’re probably thinking, “It’s easy for her to say. She’s an author who has connections to lots of other authors and knows where to find new books to read. Where the heck am I going to find these new-to-me authors and their books?”

Well, yes, I am well connected, but I have discovered many of the authors I now enjoy reading by watching for listings on Goodreads, Facebook, and mainly through other bloggers. So here’s a list of places where you might consider looking for suggestions on the next great book you’re going to read so you may become part of my challenge!

My blogs (of course):
Reading Recommendations
reading recommendations reviewed
And specific blog posts:
Best Books Read 2016 – Part 1
Best Books Read 2016 – Part 2

And blogs written by many friends who support their fellow authors:
Seumas Gallacher
Sally Cronin’s Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life, Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore
Chris The Story Reading Ape – Authors Hall of Fame
Allan Hudson – South Branch Scribbler
Tricia Drammeh – Authors to Watch
Dylan Hearn – Suffolk Scribblings: Recommended Reads
Anne Logan – I’VE READ THIS
Mary Bailey – 1WriteWay: A Different Kind of Book Review
Happymeerkatreviews

There are many, many more. I leave it up to you, Readers, to discover the best places for finding your own new-to-you authors. Don’t forget the local library, too! Most libraries have websites, and librarians are always eager to create and post lists of books that will be of interest to their patrons. (And, thanks to Calgary Public Library, my first novel, Island in the Clouds, has been listed on two such lists, their Around the World in 14 Mysteries and Accidental Sleuths and my second novel on the eponymously named One Woman’s Island recommendations!)

One other source for discovering new-to-you authors – especially poets, in this case – and even new-to-you music, as well, is Bob Chelmick’s The Road Home. This is 24-hour streaming of Bob’s radio program’s that have long been featured on CKUA Radio. Give it a listen. It’s addicting!! (I’m listening as I write this and just heard one of my favourite authors, Robert Kroetsch, reading his poetry.)

So, off you go! You’ll find a lot of fun in the discovery, but I hope you find even more enjoyment in the reading!

Ready, set … READ!

(No need to comment here that you’re taking my challenge, unless you do find a new-to-you author you’d like to crow about. I always welcome accolades for authors! And if you already review books and authors on your own blog, please include your link in the comments section below.)

Libraries worldwide circulating copies of Island in the Clouds!

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OCLC WorldCat – find copies in a library near you!

Calgary Public Library (and listed on their Around the World in 14 Mysteries and Accidental Sleuths recommendations!)

Bruce County Library System Kincardine Branch, Ontario

Chinook Arch Regional Library System

Dominica Library

Fernie Public Library

Haliburton County Public Library (including Minden Hills Branch)

Lethbridge Public Library

Regina Public Library

Saskatoon Public Library

Sparwood Public Library

The Regional Automation Consortium, Alberta (circulating 20 copies to rural Alberta libraries through the Marigold, Northern Lights, Yellowhead and Peace Regional Library Systems)

(If you know of any other libraries that lend copies of Island in the Clouds, please let me know and I will add to this list.)

Richard Ford – reading all his books from 1976 to present

You may or may not remember that back in March of this year I set out to read all the books written by Gail Bowen and talked about it in the blog post, Reading an author’s complete oeuvre – a suggestion.

That proved to be a very enjoyable task I set for myself, and I’m happy to say that I completed reading all of Gail’s Joanne Kilbourn novels and the four Rapid Reads titles on July 15th. It was great not only to revisit my friend’s writing but to see the development in the characters throughout her series – to really get to know those characters – and also to marvel at the craftsmanship that went into the writing of each of these books. Now I am truly ready for the publication of Bowen’s newest book, The Gifted, which is being released next month.

So, when casting around for another favourite author’s complete oeuvre to read, I decided that there was none better than Richard Ford, My Favourite Living Author.

Favourite Living Author is not an honour I bestow lightly, either! The first to hold that position was Graham Greene. Then he died. Second to be appointed was Brian Moore. But then he died, too. So Ford is only the third author to hold this position in my heart, and I do hope he continues to hold it for a very long time. He can only lose it by dying … or by writing something really awful, but I doubt he is capable of doing that.

So I begin at the beginning with Richard Ford’s first novel, A Piece of My Heart, published in 1976. It’s been a long time since I read this and Ford’s other earlier works. Already I can tell that reading these books will be an antidote for any of the bad writing I’ve had the displeasure to read over this past while. You know, the books you pick up in great anticipation only to put down again after having spent far too much valuable time on them, hoping they won’t be the disappointment you suspect they actually will be. Ford’s writing is perfect in every way!

I see that all copies of his books I have on my shelf are signed (except Women Without Men) and I do have the lot of them! And Independence Day is signed: For Susan, with my gratitude, and with the pleasure of meeting you. *Sigh* Major Author Crush here, folks!

I met Richard Ford for the third time in Calgary last Fall when he was at the Calgary Public Library for an on-stage interview with Aritha van Herk to promote his most recent novel, Canada.

9781443411110

In the meantime, while I’m enjoying visiting with Richard Ford once again, here’s an article for you to read about Richard Ford that ran in today’s Boston Globe.

Infinite patience and a good sense of humour

Dennis has always said that if you want to build a house and live on Bequia – successfully – what you really require are infinite patience and a good sense of humour. And we’ve discovered over these past 20 years that he’s correct.

Since ePublishing and printing my own novel, and after many years spent working with authors and publishers on promoting and selling their books, I’ve come to the realization that these are precisely the same qualities we all need in order to be able to write and publish – successfully. Especially lots of that first bit, I find, goes a long way towards achieving some of the ultra-success part in our careers.

I can’t count the number of writers who have deep-sixed all their writing and publishing efforts by being too impatient with the entire process. The world does not care that you have a personal deadline to meet, that you feel an urgency to see your own work published, or that you feel nothing about publishing will be a success for you (especially regarding book sales) if you don’t see immediate-immediate results.

Remember, folks, this publishing business has always been/likely always will be galacial in the speed that it moves. Just because we now have Internet and expect instant positive results for everything else we do in our lives does not mean to say there will be instant results with every contact we make, every marketing approach we utilize, every method of sales we seek for our book (both e-and-print) – and we should never expect those results, especially those we hope for from posting to various social media, to garner huge sales and untold wealth – even during the first 12 months after publication. Slow and steady wins the race, as far as I’m concerned.

My novel has been available as an eBook for a year (six months for print) and I feel I’m just getting into my stride now with promotion, marketing, and sales – AND I’VE BEEN IN THIS BOOK BUSINESS MY ENTIRE LIFE!!! It was never my intention to try to take the world by storm with this book. I had it in mind that by self-publishing I would have the opportunity to test some of the ideas I had developed as to where this book business is heading and how I might harness that new movement, not only to promote my own book but to encourage reading books in general, thereby promoting books by other authors – my colleagues – at the same time. I’m in the process right now of looking back over what I have accomplished this past year, which ideas worked and which didn’t, all to see if I can develop an even better strategy for promoting the next novel I’m currently writing – and which methods will help me continue selling the one novel that’s already available.

I plan to eventually rewrite and re-post a talk I delivered at Calgary Public Library’ Writer’s Weekend in 2012 – 10 Ways to Kill Your Writing – because I realize I didn’t include this most important rule of all: Kill your writing by being too impatient! As I’ve said above, I’ve seen this happen too-too many times. Please don’t let it happen to you!

So, take your time, listen to, and heed, advice from the experts, relax, enjoy the process of publishing and promoting your book, don’t be in such a rush to take the world by storm … And don’t expect you’re going to make a million dollars immediately – or ever, as a matter of fact – because if you did get into this writing/publishing gig thinking you were going to make a lot – or any! – money then I have a nice bridge I’d like to sell to you.

All you need for gift-giving are books by MORE Alberta Authors!

On December 12th, I compiled a list of Alberta authors, creating a blog post in which I suggested that books by these authors would make great gifts or be enjoyed if borrowed from the library.

Now I’d like to add more books, as well as Publishers, to that list and encourage you to check out these titles as well. There’s something here for everyone! So buy, give, borrow – but, most important… READ!

Books by Alberta Authors of interest to Adults

5000 Dead Ducks by CD Evans and LM Shyba
An Accidental Advocate: a mother’s journey with her exceptional son by Kathryn Burke
Beyond the Rear View Mirror: Navigating the unexpected Detours on the Road of Life by Shelley Streit
Eco-yards: How to Build Them DVD with Laureen Rama
Eco-yards: Simple Steps to Earth-Friendly Landscapes by Laureen Rama
Embedded on the Home Front: Where Military and Civilian Lives Converge ed. by Joan Dixon & Barb Howard
Hearts, Minds, & Vision: Roots of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta
Hope in the Colour of Orange: Dutch Civilian Memories of War and Liberation by Susan Raby-Dunne et al
Horses, ink: A Collection of Horse Cartoons by Dave Elston
Inspiring Life Stories: 100 Years of Calgary Public Library by Brian Brennan
Lifeworth: Finding Fulfillment Beyond Network by Dana and Hal Coulliard
Living in the Wonderful by Marilyn Halvorson
No Guff Vegetable Gardening by Donna Balzer and Steven Biggs
On Toby’s Terms by Charmaine Hammond
A Portrait in Pluralism: AgaKhan’s Shia Ismaili Muslims by Mansoor Ladha
Pulpit and Politics: Competing Religious Ideologies in Canadian Public Life by Dennis Greunding
Searching for Heaven on the Road Through Hell: The Memories of a Brain Tumour Survivor by Claudette Brown
Rest Your Head on the Wind: Tales of Trials, Transformation and the Open Road by Susan Raby-Dunne
A Sky Full of Dreams by Victor Carl Friesen
Wakeful Nights, Stephan G. Stephansson:Icelandic-Canadian Poet By Vidar Hreinsson

Books by Alberta Authors of interest to Children, Tweens and Teens

Birds, Bugs, and Beasts … in verses Apt to Zany by Victor Carl Friesen
Ice Rose by Alison Neuman
Just Because: A Collection of Light Verse and Nonsense by Gwen Molnar
Laurel’s Miracle by Nancy Marie Bell
Leaf by Maxine Spence
Shifters by Halli Lilburn
Sir Princess Petra by Diane Mae Robinson
Toby and His Hospital Friends by Charmaine Hammond

Publishers and some Alberta books they publish for Adult Readers

Athabasca University Press

Dustship Glory by Andreas Schroeder
Kindness Colder Than the Elements by Charles Noble
The Metabolism of Desire: the poetry of Guido Cavalcanti trans. By David R. Slavitt
Working People in Alberta: A History by Alvin Finkel et al
Controlling Knowledge: Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection in a Networked World by Lorna Stefanick
kiyam by Naomi McIlwraith
Voices of the Land: The Seed Savers and Other Plays by Katherine Koller
How Canadians Communicate IV edited by David Taras and Christopher Waddell

CPRC Press (Canadian Plains Research Centre)

Human Ecology of the Canadian Prairie Ecozone ed. by B.A. Nicholson
The Patriation Minutes by Howard Leeson
Agricultural History – History of the Prairie West Series ed. by Gregory P. Marchildon
New Directions in Saskatchewan Public Policy ed. by David P. McGrane
Awakening the Spirit: Moving Forward in Child Welfare ed. by Don Fuchs et al
The Salt Lake Loonie and Other Stories Every Sports Fan Should Know by Brett Matlock & Jesse Matlock
west-words: Celebrating Western Canadian Theatre and Playwriting ed. by Moira J. Day
The Identities of Marie Rose Delorme Smith: Portrait of a Metis Woman 1861-1960 Doris Jeanne MacKinnon
Business & Industry – History of the Prairie West Series Ed. by Gregory Marchildon
Inside the Ark: The Hutterites in Canada and the United States by Yossi Katz & John Lehr
Nenapohs Legends: Memoir 2 – First Nation Language Readers
First in Canada: An Aboriginal Book of Days by Jonathan Anuik
The Science, Impacts and Monitoring of Drought in Western Canada: Proceedings of the 2004 Prairie Drought Workshop by David Sauchyn et al
Managing Changing Prairie Landscapes by Glenn Sutter & Todd Radenbaugh
Changing Prairie Landscapes by Todd Radenbaugh & Patrick Douaud
A Dry Oasis: Institutional Adaptation to Climate Change on the Canadian Plains by Gregory P. Marchildon
620 Wild Plants of North America (Fully Illustrated) by Tom Reaume
Water and Wetland Plants of the Prairie Provinces by Heinjo Lahring
The New Normal: The Canadian Prairies in a Changing Climate by David Sauchyn et al
Defying Palliser: Stories of Resilience from the Driest Region of the Canadian Prairies by Harry P. Diaz & Jim Warren

Chizine Publications

Napiers Bones by Derryl Murphy

Coteau Books

Blood and Salt by Barbara Sapergia

Douglas & McIntyre Ltd.

America, But Better: The Canada Party Manifesto by Chris Cannon & Brian Call
The Energy of Slaves: Oil and the New Servitude by Andrew Nikiforuk
Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests by Andrew Nikiforuk
The Ice Pilots: Flying With the Mavericks of the Great White North by Michael Vlessides
1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half by Stephen R. Bown
Canada At War: A Graphic History of World War Two by Paul Keery and Michael Wyatt

Frontenac House

33 Million Solitudes by Ali Riley
Any Bright Horse by Lisa Pasold
Goddess, Gone Fishing For a Map of the Universe by Sheri-D Wilson
The Rider With Good Hands & Sky Humour by Sid Marty
In This Place: Calgary 2004-2011 photographs by George Webber & text by Aritha van Herk
‘Tis Pity by David Bateman

Goose Lane Editions

GWG: Piece by Piece by Catherine C. Cole
Walls: Travels Along the Barricades by Marcello di Cintio

Playwrights Canada Press

The Forbidden Pheonix by Marty Chan
Mrs. Dexter and Her Daily by Joanna McClelland Glass
Penny Plain by Ronny Burkett
Inspiration Point by John Garfield Barlow
Almighty Voice and His Wife by Daniel David Moses

Thistledown Press

Nobody Cries At Bingo by Dawn Dumont
hearth wild/ post cardiac banff by Charles Nobel
The Sometimes Lake by Sandy Bonny
Gaits by Pauline Dube
more than Three Feet of Ice by Brenda Schmidt
Interwoven Wild: An Ecologist Loose in the Garden by Don Gayton
The Eye in the Thicket: Essays at a Natural History ed. by Sean Virgo
Memoir of a Good Death by Anne Sorbie

University of Alberta Press

The Grads Are Playing Tonight! by M. Ann Hall
Wells by Jenna Butler
Dear Hermes… by Michelle Smith
continuations 2 by Douglas Barbour & Sheila E. Murphy
Imagining Ancient Women by Annabel Lyon
Baba’s Kitchen Medicines: Folk Remedies of Ukrainian Settlers in Western Canada by Michael Mucz
Alfalfa to Ivy: Memoir of a Harvard Medical School Dean by Joseph B. Martin
The Man in the Blue Pyjamas, A Prison Memoir by Jalal Barzanji
Pursuing China: Memoir of a Beaver Liaison Officer by Brian L. Evans
Civilizing the Wilderness: Culture and Nature in Pre-Confederation Canada and Rupert’s Land by A.A. den Otter
J.B. Harkin: Father of Canada’s National Parks by E.J. (Ted) Hart
Culturing Wilderness in Jasper National Park: Studies in Two Centuries of Human History in the Upper Athabasca River Watershed by I.S. MacLaren et al
People of the Lakes: Stories of Our Van Tat Gwich’in Elders/Googwandak Nakhwach’ànjòo Van Tat Gwich’in by Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation & Shirleen Smith

University of Calgary Press

Hearts and Minds: Canadian Romance at the Dawn of the Modern Era 1900-1930 by Dan Azoulay
Always An Adventure, An Autobiography by Hugh Dempsey
A Century of Parks Canada 1911-2011 ed. by Claire Elizabeth Campbell
In the National Interest: Canadian Foreign Policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade,
1909-2009
ed. by Greg Donaghy and Michael K. Carroll
Promoters, Planters, and Pioneers: The Course and Context of Belgian Settlement in Western Canada
by Cornelius J. Jaenen
Cultural Memories and Imagined Futures: The Art of Jane Ash Poitras by Pamela McCallum
The Art of John Snow by Elizabeth Herbert
Happyland: A History of the “Dirty Thirties” in Saskatchewan, 1914-1937 by Curtis R. McManus

Wood Lake Publishing

Cause for Hope: Humanity at the Crossroads by Bill Phipps
Practicing Reverence: an ethic for sustainable earth communities by Ross L. Smillie

Publishers and some Alberta books they publish for Children, Tweens and Teens

Coteau Books

Veil Weavers, Crow Boy and Nexus Ring by Maureen Bush
Outcast of River Falls and Ghost Messages by Jacqueline Guest
Shade and Sorceress by Catherine Egan
The Piper of Shadonia by Linda Smith
Drummer Girl, Run Like Jager and Summer of Fire by Karen Bass

Leap Books

Second Skin, Skinned: Book 2 by Judith Graves
Under My Skin, Skinned: Book 1 by Judith Graves
Spirited, 13 haunting tales ed. by Kat O’Shea

Second Story Press

Dear Baobab by Cheryl Foggo

Thistledown Press

Barnabas Bigfoot – a Close Shave! By Marty Chan

Wood Lake Publishing

A World of Faith: Introducing Spiritual Traditions to Teens by Carolyn Pogue

ABC Friday Reads – Brian Brennan and Lee Kvern

This week, I’m recommending books for your weekend reading pleasure that are written by two Alberta authors who are currently serving as writers-in-residence in Calgary. I have had the opportunity this week to consult with both authors on my own writing, so I wanted to give them a shout-out for making themselves available to emerging writers and so ably helping all of us improve our writing, as well as continuing to write and publish their own fine work.

Brian Brennan is this year’s Calgary Public Library Writer-in-Residence with an office in the Memorial Park Branch. Brian’s most recent books are his own story and the history of the Calgary Public Library.

Leaving Dublin: Writing My Way from Ireland to Canada
Paperback ISBN: 978-1926855745
Published Rocky Mountain Books
Inspiring Life Stories: 100 Years of Calgary Public Library
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1926832-11-1
Published by Calgary Public Library

Lee Kvern is the Canadian Author’s Association writer-in-residence this year and is meeting with writers at Owl’s Nest Bookstore in Calgary. Lee’s most recent novel was published in 2011.

The Matter of Sylvie
Paperback ISBN: 9781926972220
Published by Brindle & Glass

Calgary Public Library – John Dutton Theatre, Central Branch – Nov. 17th, 2012

Register here to attend the NaNoWriMo event organized by Calgary Public Library. I will be speaking about eBooks and Print Publishing, and offering a consideration of both for your own book. My talk is followed later in the afternoon by a workshop on creating character, led by Calgary authors Susan Calder and Garry Ryan. This event is free, but you must register in advance and have a valid CPL card to do so.

Island in the Clouds – *UPDATE* Print Book Launch, Memorial Park Library, June 21st!

Please join me, and some very special guests – including Tom Phillips!, at Memorial Park Library in Calgary, June 21st – also my birthday! – to help launch the print publication of my novel Island in the Clouds! We’ll be serving birthday cake and wine, tea and coffee, and books will be available to purchase, thanks to Pages Books on Kensington.

Place: Memorial Park Library, 1221 2nd. St. S.W., Calgary
Time: 7 – 8 p.m.
No registration required

Alberta Library Conference, Jasper, April 26th-29th, 2012.

Click here to view the complete lists of all books that Alberta Books Canada has on display at the conference being held this weekend. And you don’t need to be an Alberta Librarian to discover the great new books on these lists! There are books that will be of interest to anyone and everyone. So check them out, discover, read, enjoy!

Thanks to the Library Association of Alberta for hosting this conference, and to all the Librarians of the province of Alberta who attend!

Support our libraries! Make sure everyone in your family has a library membership and then borrow print or eBooks, in person or online, attend programs, make use of their facilities. Libraries are the best resource we have! Love your Library!!