So it’s October, and frightfully close to Halloween (may I interest you in our Halloween Spooktacular?), so I figured I’d cover something topical – Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure by Samira Kawash – because whether you celebrate All Hallow’s Eve or not, you’ll likely find it nigh impossible to avoid the sight of candy as the day nears.
While I suppose it would be difficult to make any discussion of candy dull and boring, Kawash does an especially wonderful job keeping the writing lively and inserting a dose of her personality in every chapter as she takes us along the history of candy in North America. The incredulity with which she introduces a rather sophistic argument from a party advertising candy as an entirely wholesome and nutritious food will crack you up, and her exasperation at finding so little information about candy in what look to be promising tomes of histories about food in America is palpable. That being the case, though, she makes sure to write in their defence where it’s due, as when pointing out that information about nutrition was woefully incomplete then, which lets the reader have a better understanding of the times and perceptions. Kawash’s tongue-in-cheek attitude while discussing the history of candy is fitting, and the ambiguities she talks about as to what even constitutes candy, and how arguments for and against candy have at points not made much sense or – even worse – built on the exact same “evidence”, is delightful.
Vaughan Public Libraries is thrilled to host award-winning author Allan Stratton for an author visit October 14th at 3:00pm! In fact, we’re even more thrilled than just thrilled, because we’re going to be having Stratton visit us for two events!
- Author Visit at Woodbridge Library (for which information you’ll find above); and
- Unleash Your Story at Pierre Berton Resource Library, which is a teen event that happens the same October 14, in the evening hours from 7:00 – 11:30pm. Remember to pre-register! (You can find some more info on the Teen Vortex for this event also.)
Stratton has been nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award under the Young People’s Literature – Text category for his new novel The Way Back Home, a teen-adult crossover title, of which he will be doing a fifteen-minute reading. Here is what the novel is about, as taken from Stratton’s site:
Zoe Bird is angry and lonely, bullied by her cousin and disbelieved by her parents. Her only true friend is her granny, whose Alzheimer’s is worsening. When her parents decide to put Granny in a home, Zoe hits the road with Granny to find her long-lost uncle. But there are hard home truths along the way.
Stratton also talks about why he wrote the book on his own site, so you can take a look at that and think about what you would like to talk to Stratton about or ask him in the Q&A session after the reading.
For more of Stratton’s works, take a look through our catalogue.
Vaughan Public Libraries appreciates the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for this reading series.
I don’t think I’ve ever consumed an entire series as quickly as I did this one: The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place. (The Chronicles of Narnia are a very close second, because I inhaled those as well, though in light of a recent rereading, I would have to put the Incorrigibles at the top.*) To be perfectly honest, I only learned of it and picked it up because they’re illustrated by none other than Jon Klassen, but I’m so glad I did!
The series is a delightfully written mystery that will keep you making connections between all the little details Wood drops left and right at every turn, whether it be the mysterious howling on Ashton grounds or the oddly coincidental wolf theme popping up at the bequest of a certain…. A.? Wood keeps you guessing with every book at how things are connected: was it really just a chance ad in the papers that got Penelope Lumley working for the Ashtons? Were the Incorrigibles actually raised by wolves? And what’s with Old Timothy? Just whence does Penelope Lumley’s seemingly infinite pluck come?
I won’t go too much into detail because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but Wood definitely keeps you on your toes and grabbing for the next installment. I personally quite enjoyed the asides, along with the fast pace and wit, but where I think Wood really excels is where this series has something to appeal to a variety of age groups. (The last book in the series, The Long-Lost Home, is set for release next June, and we’ve placed it on order, so beat the lines and put yourself on the waiting list now!)