Vikings Talk – Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.”
– Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor and Park  

Join us in the library’s magazine section at lunch on Wednesday, December 3rd when Vikings Talk discuss the unlikely love story of two misfits, Eleanor and Park. If you enjoyed the hit book The Fault in Our Stars or just need a good old fashioned love story, this is the book for you. The library has 22 copies of it and we cannot keep it on the shelves so pick one up today or put one on hold! Everyone is welcome!

 

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Ocean at the End of the Lane – A Double Review!

The following two articles were written by K and B, members of North’s Bibliophile blog. They couldn’t decide who enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s book more so they both submitted a review. Thanks K and B! You can also check out more Bibliophile articles here

Lettie’s Ocean

Are you a fan of fantasy books? Perhaps you seek the thrill of an adventure, or wonder of the magic that could be masked behind our daily-lives?

If so, say no more. In Neil Gaiman’s newest novel, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, readers are exposed to the past of a boy’s life that appears ordinary at first glance, but grows into something much more mythical as otherworldly beings rise to threaten his life and the world’s existence.

The story follows a middle-aged man who finds himself returning to the site of his old house, in which he had spent memorable years of his childhood in. With time to spare, he decides to take a spin around to survey the area. What catches his attention is an old farmhouse around the corner.

This farm, he vaguely remembers, belonged to an old childhood friend.

As he ponders about her, old memories return to him, of a time when he was just a young boy, when his life seemed dull yet mellow. It was the presence and death of an opal miner, a towering man with a weakened disposition that would lead him to meet such a girl. That girl, she was wise beyond her years. She was strong, standing steadfast against the face of danger. She was caring, vowing that she would keep him safe. She was Lettie, the one and only.

I enjoyed this book most of all on account of how lovable the characters were. There is also the mystery of the pond, which Lettie insists is an ocean, but that is up to the reader to determine. While reading this novel, it brought me back to my own childhood, where I would stay up at night just to finish a good old fantasy book.

If you’re looking for fantasy, but want something that fits your reading level, try this one for size. It’s a rather quick read and gets more and more interesting as you progress through it.

Are you a fan of fantasy books? Perhaps you seek the thrill of an adventure, or wonder of the magic that could be masked behind our daily-lives?

If so, say no more. In Neil Gaiman’s newest novel, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, readers are exposed to the past of a boy’s life that appears ordinary at first glance, but grows into something much more mythical as otherworldly beings rise to threaten his life and the world’s existence.

The story follows a middle-aged man who finds himself returning to the site of his old house, in which he had spent memorable years of his childhood in. With time to spare, he decides to take a spin around to survey the area. What catches his attention is an old farmhouse around the corner.

This farm, he vaguely remembers, belonged to an old childhood friend.

As he ponders about her, old memories return to him, of a time when he was just a young boy, when his life seemed dull yet mellow. It was the presence and death of an opal miner, a towering man with a weakened disposition that would lead him to meet such a girl. That girl, she was wise beyond her years. She was strong, standing steadfast against the face of danger. She was caring, vowing that she would keep him safe. She was Lettie, the one and only.

I enjoyed this book most of all on account of how lovable the characters were. There is also the mystery of the pond, which Lettie insists is an ocean, but that is up to the reader to determine. While reading this novel, it brought me back to my own childhood, where I would stay up at night just to finish a good old fantasy book.

If you’re looking for fantasy, but want something that fits your reading level, try this one for size. It’s a rather quick read and gets more and more interesting as you progress through it.


There is a clear reason why The Ocean at the End of the Lane was praised as one of Time Magazine’s best books of the year for 2013.  Impeccably written, Neil Gaiman introduces us to the fragility of childhood and the adversities one must overcome at a young age.

 photo ocean3d_zpsd0cb2935.png

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one of Neil Gaiman’s most emotionally uplifting books to date.

The story begins with a middle-aged man who drives nonchalantly back to his childhood home to attend a funeral.  He has not returned in years. Immediately, he is drawn to his vaguely familiar surroundings–there is a farm to the right which belonged to the Hempstocks, and a secluded pond at the end of the lane.  It is here that the unnamed man has a sudden epiphany about a friendly girl named, Lettie Hempstock, and that she commonly referred to the pond as her “ocean”.

A flood of past memories soon wash over him, and the man retrospectively recounts his childhood as a young boy with explicit details.  He has an abusive father, a vexatious sister, and a dreadfully scary sitter, Ursula Monkton, who looms over his every move and daily activities. What is possibly most unique about The Ocean at the End of the Lane is that it is not afraid to stray away from realism.  The Hempstocks can be referred to as seemingly mystical introverts who use “magic” to shine light against the persistent dark creatures who try to overtake the world.

Ursula Monkton, being one of these creatures, somehow emerges into the real world and tries to make the young boy as miserable as possible.  Taking on eerily various forms, she stalks the boy and randomly appears out of nowhere to detract him from his slivers of happiness.  His loyal friend, Lettie Hempstock, is one of the only characters who understands and provides him genuine kindness during difficult situations.  Lettie serves as his companion through the dark and cruel things the young boy bears witness to, and helps to overcome these challenges.

As absurd as the fantasy aspect of the book sounds, it reveals a great deal of the human condition–how childhood memories inevitably shape our lives and remain with us forever. Every struggle and adversity of a child who vies to find his purpose in life is reflected in one of Neil Gaiman’s most fascinating reads to date.

It takes readers back to their own childhood and how we have coped with our personal fears and uneasiness.  This is must-read for everyone interested in the struggles and vulnerability of a child and the emotional feelings associated with it.  While not a fairly lengthy book, it has a lasting impact which is likely to stay vivid in reader’s memories for years to come.


Source image: http://s831.photobucket.com/user/8ftmusic/media/afp/blog/20130618/ocean3d_zpsd0cb2935.png.html.

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It’s NanoWriMo Time!

nanowrimothe following article was written by a BNS student who writes for our student library blog, the Bibliophile. Thanks for your contribution, Z.L.! 

NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writing Month, is an annual event that challenges participants to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.

To give a sense of how much that is, here is a list of novels with roughly 50,000 words: Brave New World, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Great Gatsby, The Notebook, Of Mice and Men and Fight Club.

Sounds crazy? Over 300,000 writers worldwide participated in 2013. NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever even thought of writing a novel.

There are no restrictions on genre or topic, and quality does not matter. What matters is that writers end the month with a complete first-draft of a novel. The goal of NaNoWriMo is to get people writing and to encourage them to finish.  To ensure this, there is an online community to track your progress and to exchange ideas and words of encouragement to fellow writers.

So, to everyone reading this: I challenge you to write a novel in a month. Join Burnaby North’s NaNoWriMo club or register for free at http://nanowrimo.org to get started.
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Vikings Talk – Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

Come join us for our first Vikings Talk of the Vikings Read 2014-15 season!

This time we will be discussing Sally Gardner’s award winning book, Maggot Moon. The story focuses on Standish Treadwell whose only friend Hector has suddenly disappeared after they have made a dangerous discovery. Now it is up to Standish and a small group of rebels to expose the Motherland.

We will meet in the magazine section of the library at lunch on November 12th so bring your lunch, grab a friend, and join us!

Want to learn more about Vikings Read? Check it out here and here.

Want to learn more about Maggot Moon or see how many copies we have? Click here.

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