Sunday, 30 October 2016

Sunday October 30th, 2016 Monstrous Music and Spooky Sounds

Add extra fun to your Halloween festivities with some spooky music!   You can borrow some now through the online platforms  hoopla and Naxos or visit us to check out some CDs.

 Hoopa is an online collection of music, movies , TV shows, eBooks and eAudiobooks that you can access 24/7.  To get started go to and follow the link.   Create your hoopla account, and you'll be all set to go!  You need to have an email address and set a PIN on your library card. You can also download the free hoopla digital mobile app on your Android or IOS device .
This month Hoopla has added categories  for all your Halloween needs:  music for adults, party music for children, and Halloween soundtracks.  Here are a few of my favourites.

"50 Freaky Halloween Sounds"  is just  that!  From the expected bone-chilling screams, creepy footsteps and creaky slamming door to the macabre eye popper and nightmare noises, this record promises to keep you on your toes all night long.  Each sound plays for about three minutes.  This would be fun to have playing while you give out treats!

On a lighter note, "Drew's Famous Party Singers 57 Kids Greatest Halloween Songs, Games and Stories"  is fun for the whole family.   Teach your kids the hand jive and the Monster Mash, and share the fun of the Addams Family Theme, Jump in Line, and The Candy Man.  This record includes some  short (most less than a minute) sound effects as well.

You'll have sixteen scary movie sound tracts to choose from on hoopla, from classics like Jaws and Poltergeist to Scream 3 and Corpse Bride.  Is is the music or the action that makes movies scary?

Naxos is an online collection of classical, jazz and world music.  You can access it through My Giant Search at Log in with your Library card number and PIN and find "Naxos Music Library" in the list of resources.  Naxos has put together a "Monster Mayhem" collection for the season which gives you over an hour of spooky serenade.   Tracks include Shostakovich's "Hamlet",  Price's "Goblin and the Mosquito", Cowell's "The Banshee" and "Ghost" from Beethoven's Piano Trio in D Major.

If CDs are more your style, we have a variety of Halloween music available for you to borrow in this format as well.  "Wiggly Halloween", "Halloween sing-along", and "Kidz Bob Halloween" are a few favourites.  If you have more classical taste, Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain, Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre and Berlioz's Dreams of a Witches' Sabbath from Symphonie fantastique will give your Halloween festivities extra flair.

Joanna Aegard

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Sunday October 23, 2016 IFOA: Lit on Lour

The Thunder Bay Public Library, along with Lakehead University, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and CBC Radio is pleased to be hosting the 6th annual Lit On Tour Festival of Authors reading on November 1 at 7 pm at the Art Gallery.  This year we will be hosting authors Cordelia Strube, Andy McGuire, Karen Connelly and our very own Amy Jones.  Tickets ($15) can be purchased at the Art Gallery or at the Brodie and Waverley Libraries.

Karen Connelly is the author of ten best-selling books of poetry and fiction, the most recent being Come Cold River, a family memoir in poetry.  In 2017, her new long-awaited novel The Change Room will be published by Random House Canada.  Burmese Lessons, a love story is a prose memoir that chronicles her time in Burma and Thailand in the late 1990’s.

Amy Jones won the 2006 CBC Literary Prize for Short Fiction and was a finalist for the 2005 Bronwen Wallace Award.  She is a graduate from the Optional Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at UBC, and her fiction has appeared in Best Canadian Stories and the Journey Prize Stories.  Originally from Halifax, she now lives in Thunder Bay where she is associate editor of The Walleye.  Amy’s latest novel We’re All in This Together was the title of TBPL’s first One Book, One Community.

Andy McGuire is from Grand Bend, Ontario, and currently resides in Toronto.  He is pursuing an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph.  McGuire’s poems have appeared in Riddle Fence, Hazlitt and The Walrus.  Andy will present County Club, his debut poetry collection.

Cordelia Strube is an accomplished playwright and the author of nine critically acclaimed novels.  Winner of the CBC literary competition and a Toronto Arts Foundation Award, she has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Book Award and long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.  She will present On the Shores of Darkness There is Light.

As always it will be an enjoyable evening of readings followed by a question/answer session with Lisa Laco of CBC Radio emceeing the night.

Hope to see you there.

Barb Philp

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Sunday October 16, 2016 Series Fiction or Spending Time with Old Friends

Looking at any fiction bestseller list, it’s easy to see that among the titles are a mix of books that fall into the series category.  Like tuning in to your favourite television show each week, many readers come back to their chosen protagonists in book after book.  Most genres feature series but mystery, intrigue, action-adventure, and espionage novels dominate the list.  Whether it’s Sherlock Holmes, in his many incarnations through the last hundred years, or James Bond saving the world from the machinations of Spectre, it’s the character that the readers identify with, rather than the action that occurs within a particular novel.  While Rhett and Scarlett are tied forever to pages of Gone with the Wind, a character like Miss Marple can turn up anywhere.

The list of new and upcoming titles destined for bestseller status is no exception with many of the world’s top authors returning with books for the upcoming holiday season.  If you haven’t tried this type of fiction it can be daunting as many of the series run over a dozen titles.  The In Death series by J.D. Robb recently released Apprentice in Death which is number 42 in the series. Most series though aren’t quite such a commitment.  You might find that you favour a particular type of character who can show up in the works of a number of authors.  Ian Rankin’s John Rebus, or Harry Hole by Jo Nesbo or Kurt Wallander by Henning Mankell are all overworked, social inept policemen with hearts of gold but terrible personal lives and are characters I return to as often as possible.

If you find the world of espionage intriguing, you will probably enjoy Order to Kill, the latest Mitch Rapp adventure. The series was created by author Vince Flynn who sadly passed away from cancer but is being continued by Kyle Mills. The tale follows Mitch through the Middle East as he attempts to prevent a terrorist organization from obtaining nuclear warheads stolen from Pakistan.  Jack Reacher will be returning in Lee Child’s new book Night School.  The new novel travels back into Jack’s time in the army when he and his friends, an FBI agent and a CIA analyst were called upon to stop a Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg.  David Baldacci is also back with his Special Agent John Puller series in No Man’s Land, a novel where Puller is forced to retrace a family tragedy that may lead to shocking international consequences.

As a lover of mysteries, I’m happy that many of my favourites are returning in new novels this season. The Trespasser by Tana French is the latest in her Dublin Murder Squad novels. The books feature different members of the Squad as the chief detective of a particular tale but there is a continuity of place and other prior characters play important roles. Author Michael Connelly brings back his most famous creation Harry Bosch in The Wrong Side of Goodbye.  Bosch, now retired from the LAPD after thirty years, has become a private detective and is given the assignment of tracking down someone who may never have existed.  The Obsidian Chamber by co-authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child bring back their long running character A.X.L. Pendergast as missing and presumed dead. It is up to Pendergast’s ward and bodyguard to determine his fate.  These novels are not your standard mystery fare as there is always a strong thread of the supernatural throughout each book.  Finally, John Sandford has released a new Virgil Flowers mystery, called Escape Clause.

Whether the series has just begun or has a few dozen tomes behind it, plunging into series fiction is a great way to spend the upcoming months of more indoor friendly weather.

Lori Kauzlarick

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Sunday October 9th, 2016 Family History @ Your Library

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about your family tree, then the Family History Forum is your chance to get some help from the experts. The Thunder Bay Public Library is holding its third annual Family History Forum at the Mary J.L. Black Branch Library on Saturday, October 15th from 11-4pm. Local genealogist Dave Nicholson will be the host for the day’s activities. This event is intended to bring together family history enthusiasts at all levels. It is an opportunity to learn about new or different information sources, share stories, and get to know the faces of the genealogical community in Thunder Bay.

The morning session will run from 11am-12pm with an introduction to genealogy basics (such as steps to get started and an overview of standard resources). This hour will be particularly useful to anyone who is brand new to the genealogical process.

The afternoon session will begin at 1pm and includes talks from Shawn Patterson (Fort William Historical Park) and Susan Hughes (Thunder Bay Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society). There will be a Q&A session to wrap up the afternoon as well as a variety of door prizes for those in attendance. Light refreshments will also be offered (sponsored by Rose N Crantz Roasting Co).

While commercials for ancestry websites can make it seem as simple as a couple of clicks to find your entire family tree, not all the answers can be found online. Basic family history research techniques include talking to relatives about the stories of their ancestors and working back from the present to the past, one generation a time. The Thunder Bay Public Library works closely with the Thunder Bay Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society as well as with local organizations and community groups with a vested interest in preserving and promoting access to local history and genealogical resources.

The Family History Forum is free of charge and takes place from 11-4pm on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the Mary J.L. Black Branch Library. No registration is required. Connect with this event on Facebook to get updates leading up to the day. Contact Jesse Roberts at for more information or with questions.

Jesse Roberts