All posts by Claire

About Claire

Claire is an Information Assistant at Vaughan Public Libraries. Avid cooker, concertgoer, coffee drinker, TV and movie watcher, washi tape enthusiast, and unabashed fan of romance in all its varieties (even Hallmark movies).  |  Meet the team

How I Got My Cooking Groove Back: Part One


Nothing is more exciting to me than a brand new cookbook. The bright colours, fun fonts, and bold graphics designed to appeal to the senses do their magic, and I’m entranced. Often, I end up doing a lot of cookbook window shopping, as it were. You know, instead of mall walking my way past an endless barrage of likely too small crop tops and entirely optimistic spring florals, I take home beautiful cookbooks after a shift and fantasize about making dishes I will most likely never make. Like the episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai and Rory discover how depressing window shopping actually is, I have decided I should put a limit on the amount of cookbook fantasizing I subject myself to. In its place, I will make a concerted effort to find food writers who are targeting their work to the everyday cook who just needs some inspiration to provide sustenance for themself. The food delivery app has become an addiction for me. On top of the unfair deal often struggling small businesses and restaurants get when they sign up for these apps, it’s just not as healthy to eat out all the time. The main culprit is the lack of detailed knowledge about what goes into the food. A segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver brought this topic to mind for me. The percentage apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash take from the cost of delivered items is large. So, a lot of places end up charging you more than you would pay if you came to pick up the food in person. To boot, delivery drivers are under a lot of pressure to deliver on time or faster to ensure they retain their five-star rating, resulting in more reckless driving or cycling (for those who use bicycles or motorbikes in metropolitan centres). Of course, most of us who use these apps will most likely keep using them from time to time, but it’s time to get back into a cooking groove! (Like the legend that is Angela Bassett in this classic film.) By the way, Angela Bassett did the thing. What follows are the books that are giving me inspiration and energy on my quest toward culinary adventure and achievement. In a nutshell, I’m looking for not too complicated ingredients that are not too hard to source, as well as design and photography that succeed at making the food look absolutely scrumptious. Come along on my journey friends.

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One eRead Canada 2024


This year’s choice for the One eRead Canada campaign is Hotline by Dimitri Nasrallah. First, a little bit about One eRead Canada. It’s a yearly initiative started by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) to promote digital literature and eAudiobooks (electronic audiobooks) as formats for reading. For that reason, every year, one book by a Canadian author is made available as an eBook (in English and in French) and an eAudiobook with no restrictions on access, no need to place a hold, and no waiting lists for the month of April. For us at Vaughan Public Library, that means you can download it on the OverDrive website, through the Libby app, on Hoopla, and on Cantook Station. The eBook will also be instantaneously available in French (translated by Daniel Grenier) on these platforms. For Francophones with an interest in the audiobook, it’s being offered through “Service québécois du livre adapté (SQLA) from Bibliothèque et Archives nationale du Québec (BANQ), and in English and French from Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA), and National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS).”1 One eRead is also a national book club, author events included, to facilitate a nationwide conversation about the work. CULC’s intent is also to stimulate a dialogue around the importance of access to such digital content. You may have noticed that not every eBook is available for instant download on apps and websites like Libby and Hoopla. Publishers negotiate with vendors and libraries to determine things like how many simultaneous uses of an eBook will be permitted, how many digital copies will be available, and what restrictions there will be on use. The cost of these resources is an ongoing issue that libraries have been dealing with for quite some time. Part of the purpose of the campaign is to encourage awareness around the need for fair pricing. I could digress here…ad nauseum, but suffice it to say, libraries are constantly having to prove the worth and justify the cost of the essential services, resources, and programs we provide. Fair pricing for eBooks and eAudiobooks would go a long way.

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Canada Reads 2024 In Review


It’s over! The yearly competition to determine which book penned by a Canadian author is ‘the one that all Canadians need to read right now’ has concluded and a victor has been chosen. If you’re not familiar with the format, here’s how it breaks down. Five luminaries on the Canadian cultural scene decide to “champion” one of 15 longlisted books in a debate that’s broadcast over radio and televised across the country. Between March 4-7, daily debates took place, with a round of voting to eliminate one of the books at the conclusion of each discussion. Long-running host Ali Hassan was at the helm, acting as moderator and throwing in a few puns along the way. The theme for this year was an interesting one: Which work is the “one to carry us forward.” Carry us forward to where, you might ask. Fans of Jeopardy (such as myself), may be familiar with last year’s Canada Reads winner and overall excellent human, Mattea Roach. Roach was a formidable competitor on the classic quiz show and now holds the title for “most successful Canadian competitor” in the history of Jeopardy. Roach selected Kate Beaton’s graphic novel, Ducks, as their fighter in the ring. The true account of Beaton’s time working in the oil sands of Alberta and the complicated relationship the writer had with her gainful employment are conveyed through skilled illustrations. It was the first graphic novel to be honoured by the Canada Reads title. Check out one of Roach’s epic wins on Jeopardy here for a taste of their excellence. Turning to this year, the ‘great Canadian book debate’ was in its 23rd iteration, and this year’s contenders chose some intriguing reads. Here are the titles with their corresponding champions:

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