Tag Archives: Non-fiction

Instant Gratification with Hoopla

The cover of The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

We’ve all been there: it’s 2:00am, you’re fighting a losing battle with insomnia and decide it’s time to give up and do some reading. But alas and alack! You finished your book earlier that night!1 You don’t worry, though, you know Vaughan Public Libraries has you covered with digital resources. You check Overdrive, but everything you want to borrow is already checked out. While you’d love to learn French, you’re not there yet, so you give Cantook Station a pass for the moment. And because it’s just one of those nights, your headphones are in another room, and bed is too cozy to leave, so an audiobook from AudioBookCloud is out. TumbleBook Library and TeenBookCloud are aimed a little young for your tastes that evening. So your next place to check is Hoopla to see what they’ve got in the Instant Borrow category and… oh! You’ve heard of this The Midnight Library book, and instant borrow means there’s no wait to get it, perfect! And then, suddenly you’re halfway through the book and it’s time to get up for the day. This has happened to everyone, right? I’m not alone? Eh, fine, my readers know I embrace my weirdness.

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Honour Among Thieves

French Netflix poster of season 3 of the Lupin tv show
image via Variety

On October 5th, part three of the acclaimed Lupin series will finally air on Netflix. One of my favourite shows, Lupin is an adaptation of Arsène Lupin by Maurice Leblanc, a classic French story about a world-famous gentleman thief and master of disguise. (Heads up: the show is also in French, but since I’m pro-subtitles even for my native English, I don’t mind this.)

Lupin had me thinking about the allure of gentlemen thieves—criminals with hearts (and motives!) of gold—and I thought it’d be fun to feature media of similar noble crooks.

But first, let’s define the term. According to TV Tropes, a gentleman thief has “…roguish good looks coupled with a breeding and style that manifests as a suave and debonair manner. He’s usually a charmer, too—think James Bond without the government authorization. He steals for the challenge/pleasure of the job and generally avoids violence while restricting his targets to those who can afford the loss.”

While gentlemen thieves are usually male, that’s not always the case. No doubt, several examples of such thieves have jumped to mind, but first, let’s start with some real life representatives of this trope!

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Way Back When: Discovering 1923 in 2023

Well, it’s 2023, which feels like a strange and unwieldy number for a year to be after the neat symmetry of 2022. I thought for today’s post it would be interesting to look at different events that occurred exactly 100 years ago, and feature various books, movies, and resources for you to explore corresponding to those events. For one thing, ‘those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’, and for another…this makes learning history fun! (For me, at the very least, but hopefully for you too). Without further ado, let’s jump right in.

cover of Red Star Over Russie by David King

January | The USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) aka the Soviet Union is established after a period of revolution. Red Star Over Russia by David King has a self-explanatory subtitle; it’s a Visual History of the Soviet Union From the Revolution to the Death of Stalin: Posters, Photographs and Graphics From the David King Collection. I’m a visual learner myself, and this graphic book is eye-catching and eye-opening, and reminds readers of the intersection of art and politics as a revolutionary incentive, as propaganda, and as an art movement in and of itself.

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