All posts by Rachel P.

About Rachel P.

Rachel is the Health Literacies Specialist at Vaughan Public Libraries. She enjoys cooking (but not cleaning), travelling, and reading just about anything.  |  Meet the team

November is Osteoporosis Awareness Month

x-ray image of an ankle

Osteoporosis is a potentially debilitating disease that contributes to most fractures in people over the age of 50. This disease leads to low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, which causes an increased risk of fracture. These fractures are most commonly to the wrist, spine, shoulder, and hip. And unfortunately, this disease is often known as the ‘silent thief’ as you can be living with it for years, losing bone mass, without any symptoms until your first fracture occurs. It is estimated that 10% of Canadians over 40 have osteoporosis, or over 2 million people.

Early prevention of osteoporosis is crucial to maintaining good bone health. For this reason, November is Osteoporosis Awareness Month in Canada. Many health care providers and non-profit organizations are working hard to draw awareness to this disease – including us here at the library. Here are some selected resources that you can use to educate yourself about osteoporosis. It should go without saying that if you are concerned about your osteoporosis risk, your first visit should be to your primary care physician.

Continue reading

December Reading Challenge

December Reading Challenge: Read A Book Published in 2022

There are a few reasons why I look forward to the month of December. The holidays, the time spent with family, the time spent at home… and looking at the best of the best from the past year! Once the beginning of the month hits, I start scouring my favourite magazines, websites, and cultural sources to see their yearly round-ups and find out what I might have missed. If you’re a movie or music lover, it’s a bit easier to stay caught up over the course of the year, or to quickly catch up later. But book lovers, like us, have it a bit harder. I’m sure we can all agree that to read a book is a solid commitment that takes just a bit longer than a movie – or even a movie trilogy. To have read all the top books of any given year you need to never choose a book ‘incorrectly’ or read only books from this current year – no time to catch up on last year!

Instead, I like to take a more leisurely approach, and choose my reading material based on what interests me at the time (or whatever the monthly Reading Challenge is). But once December rolls round, you can look at summaries of the year, and choose your reading material based on that. Even better, the holds lists will have gone down and you’re more likely to get the book you want, when you want it.

So with that in mind, our December Reading Challenge is simple – read a book published in 2022! It doesn’t even need to be one of the ‘best books of the year’ (since that is of course very personal and contentious anyways). But if you do want to read something that’s been deemed the best book of the year you have lots of lists to guide your choices.

The cover of the book Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

I’m partial to the NPR Book Concierge, which doesn’t discriminate based on genre and lets you mix and match appeal factors as they recommend one of 403 books published in 2023. For example, if you’re looking for ‘Book Club Ideas’ that are ‘Eye-Opening Reads’ and about ‘Identity and Culture’, the NPR Book Concierge recommends you read Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo, among other choices. This is the Zimbabwean author’s second novel – and her second to be shortlisted for the Booker Prize as well. It’s a fictionalized send-up of the fall of Mugabe, set in an animal kingdom called Jidada. As you can imagine, it’s sort of a folk or fairy tale in the style of Animal Farm. It’s relentlessly satirical but also heartbreaking at times, as you read about reality for the average person living under this totalitarian regime. Other books recommended by the NPR Book Concierge includes Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez and Yinka, Where Is your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn.

Continue reading

October Reading Challenge

October Reading Challenge: Read a book that scares you

What scares you?

What comes to mind when we ask you that? Maybe your mind turns to the horror tropes. Zombies, serial killers, that sort of thing. Or maybe you’re afraid of things that can’t be explained, like ghosts or the paranormal. Some people might turn to the mundane, everyday things that scare them – climate change, insects, heights.

So, what scares you? This isn’t just a theoretical question. For October, your reading challenge is to read a book that scares you. This is done partly in deference to the spookiest of months. But if you’re not a horror fan, you can still participate in this challenge. Just be honest with yourself about what you’re scared of, and then force yourself to read more about that terrifying topic.

As with last month’s challenge, this is another very subjective topic. So we’ve chosen a few books that we think are pretty scary – but as always, feel free to pick something outside of this that more closely applies to you.

Continue reading