Holiday reading or how to change the world one day at a time…

EverydayActivistThe best part about being a school librarian is having school holidays. You don’t get paid for them, of course, but, it gives you some nice time at home with your kid(s), who, if they get bored with you trying to pretend you’re a rock star while accompanying them on the new X-Box 360 Rockband game, might actually give you a half hour here or there to yourself to read. So far this holiday season I’ve finished off The Everyday Activist 365 Ways to Change the World. Compiled by Michael Norton as a one-page-suggestion-per-day way for ordinary people to make a difference in the world, The Everyday Activist wasn’t necessarily meant to be read in one sitting. However, as I purchased the book for my school library, I read the entire book right away to more quickly get it into circulation. Now I can rely on the companion website at, which I will also recommend to my student readers, to follow along. 

As Severn Cullis-Suzuki (daughter of the famous David) points out in book forward: 

“This book is not a blueprint for saving the world… Its point is to show the plethora of ways to create positive change in the world. Its mandate is to get you thinking. It’s not so much a calendar of things to do each day — some of the individual activities could take a whole year to execute – but rather a resource of ideas and examples… to get us out of following the patterns of consuming, working and living in a thoughtless way. The 365-day format is a way to get us to think about things that matter each day.”   

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Life would be a terrible thing without books…

AnneofGreenGables2A quote by L.M. Montgomery I have posted both at my school library and in my home library proclaims: 

“Life would be to me in all respects a terrible thing without books.” – L.M. Montgomery

If you have been following this blog since its inception, you already know that the L.M. Montgomery series of Anne and Emily books are my favourite books from my childhood, and, books that I have re-read many times as an adult. 2008 marks the 100th year since the publication of Anne of Green Gables. There will, of course, be a number of events to celebrate this milestone. One of the most interesting I have seen advertised so far is an event presented by the L.M. Montgomery Institute of the University of Prince Edward Island.  Entitled “L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables & The Idea of Classic”, the event is billed as an “international celebration of imagination and creativity” and takes place June 25-29 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. More information here about the week filled with all things Anne including scholarly discussion, special themed dinners, theatrical productions, guided tours, musical productions, a book launch and more.

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Country Christmas…



Pine trees, their boughs laden with snow,
are our Christmas trees.

Overwintering birds twittering in branches
are our Christmas carolers.

Handmade quilts, sweaters and wooden toys
are our Christmas gifts.

Farm animals nestled in straw in the barn
form our nativity scene.

One bright star shining in the night
is our Christmas star.

Heather Leask Armstrong


Aqua Books to serve its own soup

moving.jpgA little while back I blogged about Aqua Books, the Winnipeg independent bookstore that captured the attention of a certain soup company for use of an Andy Warhol-style logo featuring a red and white labeled soup can. It’s just been officially announced that the bookstore will soon be serving soup as well as other fare at a new location on Garry Street in Winnipeg.  And seeing as how owner Kelly Hughes’ wife Candace Hughes, a Winnipeg-trained and seasoned chef, will be making the soup, it definately won’t be coming from a red and white labeled can.

The move to 274 Garry Street (the former Kam Kong Restaurant) is planned for March 2008. The 8,400 square foot two-storey building will include a 1,200 square foot space for events, the restaurant, called EAT! bistro, and, of course, books. The store’s popular ideaExchange, Free Your Mind, and the Stone Soup Storysellers series will continue. New events, enough to require an events coordinator, are also planned including a reading series inspired by the recently announced Aqua Books Landsdowne Prize for Poetry. With the ultimate departure of McNally’s Portage Place location from downtown, Aqua Books is poised to become an even more prominent literary and cultural fixture in downtown Winnipeg.  The best part – – abundant parking allowing lots of time to browse even more books.  Speaking of which, I’ve already done a lot of my Christmas shopping at Aqua – great t-shirts and great books.  It will be business as usual as far as buying goes until the move, so, check out the lovely soon-to-be-old location while you still can.  Find out more, including ongoing updates on what customers can expect at the new location here


World Aids Day

AidsinAfricaIf you noticed the little red ribbon on Google today, you will know it’s World Aids Day.  More information here.  I recently added the book 28 Stories of Aids in Africa to my library. If you are like me and you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet (it was requested and recommended by a co-worker), today would be a perfect day to check it out. You can find out more about 28 Stories of Aids in Africa here.


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