Blog - Library Services Centre

On Jan 12th, the government of Ontario issued new guidelines and restrictions for the province. Having reviewed the new guidelines, LSC already complies with the requirements, and will not be closing.

 

Since reopening in June, we have positioned ourselves to comply with the most vigorous health and safety requirements of the Region of Waterloo public health and the Ontario Ministry of Health, in order to remain open except in the case of a mandatory lockdown, as in the spring of 2020.

 

This has included:

  • Only essential personnel on-site,
  • Screening every employee when they enter the building,
  • Physical distancing of employees inside the building, and capacity limits for all areas of the building,
  • Face covering, cleaning, and disinfection.

As with every announcement of new restrictions, we understand that this will impact the library operations of our clients differently. Please contact Michael Clark if you require a pause to shipping, changes to receiving instructions, or anything other needs you may have during this period.

 

We are here to help in whatever way we can.

 

Stay safe and stay healthy.

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For me, there are few things more soothing than getting lost in a good book and drinking an enormous cup of coffee. So when you find yourself moving to a new city, like I have just done (in the middle of a pandemic, no less‽) I find that reaching for an old favorite and returning to a familiar time and place within a story can be really comforting.

 

This is Where You Belong by Melody WarnickThis Is Where You Belong by Melody Warnick is one of the many titles I will be picking to read over the next month or so. There is a ton of non-fiction out there to support all the feelings that come with moving to a new place. This Is Where You Belong looks at what makes people attached to a place, and what makes somewhere feel like home. It also gives some insight into how you can embrace that “I’m not happy here” feeling that sometimes accompanies a move, and turn that into “I never want to leave!” Along the same lines is Love Where You Live: How to Live Sent in the Place You Call Home by Shauna Pilgreen.

 

Braving the Wilderness by Brene BrownBrené Brown is wise in a most significant way, and since I’m such a huge fan of self-improvement books, I seek hers out over and over again, including Braving the Wilderness. As a research professor who studies courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, she believes that these emotions shape the way we interact with the world and each other. Packing up your life and moving to a city you’ve never been to before, all while starting a new job definitely takes courage. Her flair for storytelling, and sharing her own most vulnerable moments makes it easy to relate and in turn find our own strength to be vulnerable with others. I will definitely be reading this one again for some of Brené’s soulful advice.

 

My New Home by Marta AltesJust like me, children may benefit from a story to help understand tough topics or new emotions. If I think moving away from friends and family is scary, I can only imagine what that would be like for a kid who has only known one place. Luckily there are a ton of books out there about leaving home for a new one. There are so many fantastic titles to choose from but a few of my favorites are My New Home by Marta AltesAlexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean it) Going to Move by Judith Viorst, Bella and Stella Come Home by Anika A. Denise, and Kiss Goodbye by Audrey Penn. And I just know there’s some brilliant guidance in there that even adults (including myself) could use.

 

As a side note, did you know that Tom Hank moved ten times before he was ten? He credits always being the new kid to his developing his kind, unthreatening persona. And why he’s so good at acting, since with every move he had to slip into a new role.

 

Letters from the Country by Marsha BoultonNow, I didn’t move from the “big city” of Toronto to a rural Ontario farm like Marsha Boulton had, but reading about her struggles with adapting to farm life in Letters from the Country is so heartwarming and entertaining at the same. Documenting her experiences and hilarious mishaps through a series of short essay like entries really makes this book easy to pick up whenever I need a good laugh, or put down when I feel like stepping out my front door to explore. Each season on the farm comes with its own set of unique problems for her to solve, and makes me feel like discovering my fancy wine glasses not surviving the move isn’t the disaster I thought it was.

 

Home Again by Michael KiwanukaAt the end of the day, the song Home Again by Michael Kiwanuka I think sums it up nicely. Just like reading, music evokes emotion in all of us and can bring us comfort during challenging times. Having just taken this exciting step forward and settled into my new place, putting on a favorite album really makes things feel like home. And I think most of us can agree, there’s nothing better than music to make the unpacking go by faster!

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu.

 

In 2021, we will be transitioning the Green Memo into the LSC Weekly Update, delivered via MailChimp. If you want to continue to receive our weekly newsletter, and other notifications and updates, please take a second to update your profile.

 

Stay safe!

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Happy 2021!  Here’s to a better year going forward.  However, the year that was wasn’t all bad, so to celebrate, we asked our staff for their picks of the best books and AV from 2020.

 

In The Quick by Kate Hope Day / an astronaut against a pink backgroundMichael C. in Marketing has both a best book and a best movie.  In the Quick by Kate Hope Day is a sci-fi romance in the vein of The Martian and Station Eleven. June, an ambitious young astronaut, finds fiery romance while searching for her beloved uncle’s lost spacecraft and its crew. The Invisible Man, released all the way back in February, is Michael’s choice for best movie.  Directed by Leigh Wannell and loosely based on the H.G. Wells novel, this sci-fi horror features Elisabeth Moss as a woman trying to escape from her abusive former boyfriend, despite the fact that he’s already dead. Is it her trauma or something else haunting her?

 

Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez / a burning pile of garbage with a cityscape on the horizonIn Cataloguing, Shannon O. has had a bumper year of reading and has really struggled to narrow down her choices of the best of 2020.  In adult fiction, her best of the best is Crosshairs by Canadian author Catherine Hernandez, a near-future dystopic novel where a queer Black performer and his allies fight against an oppressive regime and its concentration camps. In adult nonfiction, she chose The Skin We’re In by Desmond Cole, a Canadian journalist and activist who brings to light the racism and inequality he and other members of minorities struggle with in just one year. 

 

Little Women dvd cover / A close up of Saoirse Ronan, a blonde woman in a blue shirtMoving over to Selection Services, manager Jamie Q. had many picks for just about every category, but narrowed it down to these. In the Half Room by Carson Ellis, a picture fiction book about the half things in the half room. Apartment by Teddy Wayne tells the story of an unnamed narrator who invites a charismatic classmate to live with him, but their living situation puts tension on their friendship. Finally, Little Women, the latest movie version of the classic novel, this one directed by Greta Gerwig and featuring Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh, among others. It was a highlight of her pre-lockdown 2020.

 

Midnight Library by Matt Haig / several orange items, including whales, books, and women, passing through small windows as though weaving in and out of the book coverFiction selector Rachel S. says, for adult fiction novels, she has two top picks: Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman. In Bookish Life, the titular Nina is a happy, book-reading loner – until the father she never knew existed dies and she’s expected to meet all her new family members while dealing with her attraction to her trivia nemesis, Tom. She also recommends Midnight Library by Matt Haig

 

The Barren Grounds by David Robertson / four figures walking through snow. Two are children, one is a human sized squirrel, and one is a human bear. Both animals are dressed as humans.Juvenile selector Sara P. has this to say about her selections: “Anyone who knows me well, knows I have a great dislike of squirrels so for me to pick a book for the Best of 2020 that features a squirrel means it must be an amazing story! The Barren Grounds: Misewa Saga Book 1 by David A Robertson is a must-read Canadian middle grade story that brings Indigenous culture, both past and present together within a fun fantasy world. I recently had the opportunity to read to a group of children and I picked up AAAlligator by Judith Henderson and not only was it super fun to read aloud but the kids absolutely loved it. The sign of a great book is when not a peep is heard while the librarian is reading. A unique twist to demonstrate acceptance and a community coming together to help someone in need.”

 

To round up our staff picks of 2020, Carrie P. in HR chose the album Slow Rush by the excellently-named Tame Impala.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu.

 

In 2021, we will be transitioning the Green Memo into the LSC Weekly Update, delivered via MailChimp. If you want to continue to receive our weekly newsletter, and other notifications and updates, please take a second to update your profile.

 

Happy new year!

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LSC will be closed for the holidays from Dec 24th, and will reopen on Jan 4th, 2021 (and be glad to leave 2020 behind). Merrys and happys from everyone at LSC to all of you.

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With the winter holidays looking a little different this year for most people, we asked our staff to share some of their favourite winter holiday books, movies, and music. 

 

cover of The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper / children on a snowhill running towards the sunsetJamie Q., Manager of Customer Experience and Selection Services, chose The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illustrated by Carson Ellis. This juvenile fiction book celebrates the winter solstice and Yule through a poem written by Cooper.  The winter solstice happens every year on December 21st, celebrating the shortest day of the year, looking forward to the days getting longer and lighter.

 

cover of Idina Menzel's Christmas: Season for love / Idina hugging a coat tight to her, in snowfallContinuing in Selection Services, fiction selector Rachel S. and her partner traditionally watch The Sound of Music, the Home Alone movies, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  She notes that there isn’t a lot of Chanukah music by pop stars, but she likes Idina Menzel’s Christmas: Season for Love album, especially the cover of Joni Mitchell’s River.

 

cover of Anna and the Apocalypse / Anna in a school uniform holding a giant candy cane above her head, with zombies in the backgroundNonfiction selector Stef W. isn’t generally into Christmas movies, unless they’re offbeat and funny.  Some of her favourites include Anna and the Apocalypse, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Krampus (2015), and Rare Exports. At some point she will get over her childhood fear of gremlins in order to properly watch the movies. Christmas songs she enjoys include the soundtrack from Anna and the Apocalypse, The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, and Da vet du at det er Jul by Ylvis (yes, that Ylvis).

 

cover of How the Grinch Stole Christmas / the Grinch against an orange backgroundSara P., juvenile fiction selector, had this to say about her picks for 2020:

“Ever since my kids were little, we started a tradition of watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on Christmas Eve while eating “fancy” appetizers (grocery store party pack). My girls love this short movie and even insisted on watching it the one year when my brother and family visited from the US and stayed past the appetizer dinner hour. The girls did not care that family was visiting. The movie went into the DVD player and we all HAD to watch it. We also own the book and will read it repeatedly leading up to the Xmas holidays; it never gets old or boring.

 

Now, I also have a personal tradition that I have had for at least the last 20 years (guessing here) and that is listening to Mary’s Boy Child from the Boney M Christmas album. As soon as Dec 1st hits, that song comes on in my car, my house, and during my run. I still own the CD but now also have the song on my phone for quick access. It is a classic that never gets old or boring to me.”

 

cover of Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White by Saumiya Balasubramaniam / a young girl kneels and plays in the snowCataloguer Shannon O. has spent the year reading everything she can get her hands on – over 450 books and counting. Narrowing down her favourites for children’s picture books, she chose Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White by Saumiya Balasubramaniam; Our Subway Baby by Peter Mercurio; and Snow Falls by Kate Gardner. For adult fiction, her favourite three are Mistletoe and Mr. Right by Sarah Morganthaler; Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur; and In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren .

 

cover of Hogfather by Terry Prachett / the personification of Death dressed as Santa, flying in a sleigh pulled by boarsFrom IT, software developer Mike Q. has a classic Terry Pratchett book as his favourite: Hogfather.  When the Disworld equivalent of Santa, the Hogfather, vanishes on Hogswatchnight, Death takes up the sleigh’s reins – meaning his granddaughter, gothic governess Susan, must unravel the mystery before Discworld loses its entire myth system.

 

cover of Black Christmas (1974) / a woman being suffocated by plastic, inside a Christmas wreath Carrie P. from Human Resources has two movies on her list of winter holiday favourites.  In the original 1974 version of Black Christmas, a group of sorority girls on Christmas break find they’re being stalked by a stranger.  Her second pick is a lighter one: 2015’s A Very Murray Christmas, in which Bill Murray worries that a snowstorm in New York will prevent the audience from showing up to his TV show.

 

cover of Muppet Christmas Carol / Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo and Robin dressed as Victorian charactersLast but not least, Michael C. in Marketing enjoys The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas 2148741, a collection of short essays by 42 secular celebrities, comedians, scientists, and writers on the meaning of Christmas – as it applies to an atheist.  His favourite Christmas movie is, of course, the classic Muppet Christmas Carol featuring Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, and Michael Caine as Scrooge.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu.

 

In 2021, we will be transitioning the Green Memo into the LSC Weekly Update, delivered via MailChimp. If you want to continue to receive our weekly newsletter, and other notifications and updates, please take a second to update your profile.

 

Merry happy!

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Nearly a year ago, LSC announced that we would begin moving away from traditional subject headings that refer to Indigenous peoples in outdated, colonial ways. After some unexpected delays, we are proud to announce that this service will go live in January 2021.

 

As a non-Indigenous Canadian company, LSC recognizes Canada’s colonial history, and how existing library standards continue to subjugate Indigenous Peoples by perpetuating names appointed by settlers. Our headings will use their own self-identified names - for example, Cree is a title appointed by colonizers; the people themselves identify as Nehiyawak.

 

LSC has adapted the list of Indigenous subject headings created by Greater Victoria Public Library. We also acknowledge that the list is a work-in-progress which will continue to grow as we learn more, update or add new headings, and remove outdated and offensive headings. The list is not exhaustive or 100% accurate, but is a trustworthy starting point.

 

Other organizations have started this process as well. We hope that Library and Archives Canada (LAC) continue their work toward building a national standard, made in consultation with the hundreds of Indigenous nations across Canada. When a national standard is available, LSC will adopt those headings.

 

Stage One
All new publications are being catalogued with the new headings. Starting January 2021, any records you receive from LSC of newly published items will contain the new headings as well as the old. This will happen at no additional cost to your library.

 

At the same time, LSC’s cataloguing team will update old records internally with the new headings. This will take time, but will ensure any new purchases of backlist material will contain the new headings. This will happen at no additional cost to your library.


Some libraries will prefer to keep the old headings for a period of time to help educate the public. Each library is different. Should you wish to only receive the new headings, or only want to maintain the old headings, please contact Michael Clark.

 

Stage Two
This stage depends on you, the libraries of Canada, retrospectively updating their catalogue with the new respectful headings. When you make the decision to move forward with the new headings, LSC can help. Each library will be assessed uniquely - from the number of records to update, to the timeline, to the cost. This is open to all Canadian libraries – not just public libraries, and you don’t need to be an existing LSC client. Please contact Michael Clark for a free quotation.

 

LSC is very proud to be part of this movement, which we feel is made in the spirit of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A comprehensive list of the headings is available upon request – please feel free to reach out to Michael Clark with any questions or concerns.

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For several years now I’ve been tracking my reading on Goodreads, and as a result, the site offers me reading suggestions based on what its algorithms think I like, and they aren’t alone. Virtually every service that I use from Amazon to Netflix to Spotify uses increasingly sophisticated algorithms to figure out what I like and make purchasing/watching/listening suggestions based on that information.

 

As much as it disturbs me that they know so much about me, at least I have to make the choice to take them up on their suggestion. Amazon doesn’t just automatically send me stuff because they think I like it, and nobody can force me to watch/listen to something if I don’t like it. But what if they could?

 

QualitylandThis is the situation in Qualityland by German author Marc-Uwe Kling. The book is set sometime in the future where the third economic crisis within a decade has just ended, and upon consultation with Big Business Consultants the country (presumably Germany), decides to change their name to Qualityland. In their view, Qualityland just sounds like a prosperous and quality place. In keeping with the country’s new image, they also require the use of superlative adjectives whether they make sense or not. It’s not enough to call Qualityland a wonderful country. It’s the ‘wonderfullest’ country. A product isn’t good or even great. It’s the greatest.

 

As for the citizens, well they needed a total makeover too. Afterall, you can’t just have ordinary people living in Qualityland. The consultants decided that every boy would be given the surname relating to his father’s job, and every girl her mother’s occupation at the time that they are conceived. If your father/mother is a doctor or a lawyer, you’re laughing. Of course, there also ends up being names like Prisoner and Cleaner, but we don’t need to talk about them.

 

For all intents and purposes, Qualityland is a utopia. A universal ranking system determines your ability to find a job and your social standing.  Finding a partner is automated, and if your ideal match changes, the system will break up with them for you. Self-driving cars just know where you want to go, and you don’t need to worry about shopping for yourself anymore because TheShop (essentially Amazon) can do it for you. See something on TV that you like? Simply tell your Qualitypad (iPad) to order it for you, and boom- it will appear at your door in a flash. TheShop’s algorithm knows what you want without you even having to ask, and it’s automatically delivered to your door.

 

Unfortunately, the system doesn’t quite work for everyone. One day, Peter Jobless (you can guess what his father’s occupation was), who works as a machine scrapper in QualityCity receives a product from the shop that he is certain he neither needs nor wants. I won’t tell you what it is, but I’ll give you a hint- it’s pink, shaped like a dolphin, motorized, and definitely not for children.

 

Peter attempts to contact TheShop to return it, but discovers that this is practically impossible because machines don’t make mistakes. The algorithms are never wrong, and if they sent it, he most certainly must have wanted it. This leads Peter to start questioning the accepted norms, and how things work. Why are humans becoming less human while machines are becoming more so? What ensues, is a quest to meet with the head of TheShop to prove that they did in fact make a mistake and get a refund on the product that he very definitely does not want. The quest is set against the backdrop of an election where the choices are crazy right-wing celebrity chef and a hyper-intelligent, socialist robot.

 

Interspersed throughout the novel are news bulletins, guidebook entries, and of course comments from readers which results in the comment function being closed due to “a large number of idiotic comments”. Sound familiar?

 

The notion that machines can be mind-readers isn’t as crazy as it sounds. My entertainment apps already curate recommended lists based on what it assumes my tastes are, and I’m bombarded with suggestions from Amazon for products I might like based on what I’ve purchased in the past. If Amazon started sending me products based on what they think I want, I can’t even imagine what I might end up with. The problem with these algorithms is that in only ever showing me what I already know I like, I’m never exposed to anything new. The same is true of information, and this is the central point of the novel. If you’re only ever exposed to information and people who confirm your beliefs and opinions, it becomes a vicious circle. Our viewpoint becomes narrow and unchallenged, and anyone who doesn’t share those views has to be wrong.

 

The novel is a brilliant satire full of dark humour. Think 1984 but much more comical. The author has been aptly compared to Douglas Adams and Kurt Vonnegut, and it offers a sharp commentary on capitalism, our dependence on machines to think for us, and celebrity culture. It also challenges the narrow internet bubbles in which we increasingly exist. It’s a novel that I haven’t stopped thinking about and one of those hidden gems that I would recommend everybody read.  HBO also recently announced that Mike Judge (Office Space, Silicon Valley) will be adapting the book into a limited TV series, which is another good reason to pick it up.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter, subscribe to our new YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu.  We also encourage you to subscribe to the weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy Reading!

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So, there was an election south of the border, if you weren’t aware. Little thing, barely mentioned on the news *deactivates sarcasm filter*. Which gets me in the mood for presidents from history and from the world of fiction. And so, to add another distraction log onto the fires of 2020, I plunge into the backlist and think about past and pretend presidents of the elephant in the room.

 

How to Fight Presidents Daniel O'BrienA few weeks back, I mentioned one of my favourite comedy/history books, How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country by Daniel O'Brien. This book, from a former Cracked writer and current writer on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, breaks down the reader’s ability to take every deceased president in a fight. It includes insights like, Grover Cleveland “was 5'11" and 250 lbs of president and his fists were described as “ham-like,” which might be delicious but is probably just scary and painful. He loved hunting and often carried around a rifle that he nicknamed “Death and Destruction” which isn’t a nickname a rifle earns for being pretty.”

 

It is a helpful guide should you ever travel back in time/be confronted with zombie presidents. It might be very important one day to know that you could have definitely taken Millard Fillmore in a fight, a man so hated that upon assuming the presidency after Zachary Taylor died (you also could have beaten Taylor in a fight) his entire cabinet resigned, his party abandoned him, and ultimately caused the downfall of the Whig party. “Please know”, O’Brien writes, “that after his presidency he also formed the Know Nothing Party, a political party that was sort of okay but mostly racist, and during his presidency he causally protected slavery. Because Fillmore wasn’t just boring and a bad president, he was a d**k.”

 

The Bully Pulpit Doris Kearns GoodwinStill on the historical side, but less on the funny is presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. I first came to know Goodwin from her many hilarious appearances on The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. While most know her work from her Lincoln biography Team of Rivals (which Spielberg later used as a source for the film Lincoln), I prefer The Bully Pulpit, her biography of the rise and fall of the relationship between Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft. Roosevelt is one of my favourite US presidents, and Goodwin makes a solid case that Taft is one of the most misunderstood. But the focus of the book is on their friendship, and the betrayal that Taft felt when Roosevelt put his ego in front of that friendship. It is also a fascinating glimpse into the world of the media, the titular bully pulpit, of the time, and seeing the first awakenings of a mass media that has evolved to become all-encompassing in our own time.

 

Hope Never Dies Andrew ShafferOne of the best pieces of surreal fiction in the past few years has been the Obama/Biden mysteries novels Hope Never Dies, and the sequel Hope Rides Again, by Andrew Shaffer. Described by Penguin Random House as "part noir thriller and part bromance", and "a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes with the laugh-out-loud bromantic chemistry of Lethal Weapon’s Murtaugh and Riggs," the books see the democrat duo become a mystery solving team in the streets of Delaware and Chicago. With Biden the President-Elect as of this writing, I wonder if we'll eventually get an addition to the series seeing Kamala Harris join the team, like Rene Russo in Lethal Weapon 3.

 

Superman: President LuthorDid you know that in the world of DC Comics, Lex Luthor ran for and won the presidency back in 2000? The long time billionaire industrialist and Superman villain, an avowed anti-alien racist, who filled his administration with yes-men and people of questionable ability, had ties to corrupt and terrorist organizations worldwide, and is unable to escape his greatest motivation: his hatred of Superman. Eventually, before the end of his first term, his conspiracies and criminal activity while in power are revealed and his is removed from office, becoming a fugitive. I don’t know what made me remember all that. Weird. Anyhoo, Luthor’s term of office is chronicled in Superman: President Luthor.

 

The American President Aaron SorkinI think few could argue that the greatest fictional president is Josiah Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen in The West Wing. And while I am a huge WW fan, I am equally a fan of writer Aaron Sorkin’s previous political foyer, The American President, which starred Michael Douglas as President Andrew Sheperd. If we’re talking film presidents, than you also have to mention Kevin Kline in Dave, Terry Crews in Idiocracy, Harrison Ford in Air Force One, Bill Pullman in Independence Day, and Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact. Digging real deep into the long-forgotten box is a mid-nineties movie called My Fellow Americans, in which Jack Lemmon (fresh off his Grumpy Old Men resurgence) and James Gardner play bickering former Presidents who are the target of assassination, and hijinks ensue.

 

A Ballad of Songbirds and SnakesYoung people should definitely have options about at least one fictional President, that being Coriolanus Snow from the Hunger Games series. Snow, far from being anyone's favourite, having presided over the Games for multiple decades. The recent A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes covers Snow's early life as a mentor and his rise to power. For other less savory politicians, there are likes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in VeepTony Goldwyn as Fitzgerald Grant III in Scandal, and Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood in House of Cards. But I think most people have had enough of unsavory politics for a while. 

 

Which fictional presidents are your favourites? More than that, which fictional characters would you love to see run for president? Send your answers to mclark@lsc.on.ca.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Fictionally Yours,

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Yesterday was Indigenous Veterans Day. Wednesday is Remembrance Day. While we do not close for these dates, we do take a moment to reflect and to remember on the brave and valorous individuals who have fought and sacrificed, across history and the world. May they never be forgotten.

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As much as I hate to admit it, my family is a video game family. As much as I said I would never EVER be “that Mom” who would let their child engage in such a thing, I am that Mom. And as much as this pains me to write this, I myself, have succumbed to the world of video gaming.  Much like many other things, I blame the virus.

 

Mario Kart Deluxe 8My first video game console was the original Nintendo back in the late 80s. I played Tetris and Super Mario every day for months straight. Eventually I got bored of it and moved on to other kid stuff. As an adult, beyond the occasional round of Mario Kart 8, I don’t really play video games. My husband and son are a different story. They have all the games and all the consoles and it drives me crazy. Although, with the current situation, it has made life a bit less boring. And it’s actually been a good way of keeping my son connected to his friends, as he can chat with them while they play online together. Definitely a lot different than my childhood, but for now, it works.

 

Animal Crossing New HorizonsA few months ago, I broke down and bought myself a game. Yes, it’s true.  And even though I have to borrow my son's Switch to play the game, it’s mine, and I LOVE IT! Animal Crossings: New Horizons has been my place to escape to when I want to unwind. I just log on and head into my little island village and tend to my garden and talk to my neighbors (if I want), go fishing, and just escape. I don’t want to say how much time I’ve spent playing this, but it’s been… a lot.

 

As much as I’m enjoying myself right now, I still don’t think I’m a true ‘gamer’ and I’ll eventually get bored of this too, but I do get the fascination with games and can understand how people get hooked. It’s a fun way to pass the time, and right now it’s a great way to connect with other people while being socially distant.

 

Super Mario 3D All StarsNintendo and the Switch are celebrating Mario's 35th anniversary all year long, and have started the celebration by releasing Super Mario 3D All-Stars, which bundles remastered versions of the classic titles of Super Mario 64 (from 1996), Super Mario Sunshine (from 2002) and Super Mario Galaxy (from 2007). Nintendo promises lots more new and nostalgic content over the coming year. 

 

With the holiday season approaching, this is the time of year for the biggest, most talked about titles, as well as the new video game consoles. This year both Microsoft and Sony have new consoles releasing November 10th; the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Of course with the new consoles, there will be new games. While the PlayStation 5 is backward compatible (meaning it can play PS4 games as well), the Xbox Series X is cross-compatible.

 

It features something called ‘Smart Delivery’, which allows the user to get the best version of the game for the console they are playing on. This is very cool, because that means that one game will work on both consoles. The new games coming out for Xbox One and Xbox Series X are being sold as one individual disc, the ‘Smart Delivery’ feature allowing the disc to be played on either console.

 

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold WarOne of the biggest releases for the year is Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. My husband pre-ordered this title, so I’ve been able to see some of the beta gameplay. Shoot ‘em up games aren’t necessarily my thing, but I will say, the graphics have come a long way since the days of my old Nintendo. It’s amazing how real some of it looks. Pretty impressive. And great gameplay from what I’ve been told. Not for the younger gamers, the real-life violence give this game a M17+ rating.

 

Sackboy A Big AdventureAnother beloved series, Little Big Planet is coming back in the form of the most adorable Sackboy, in Sackboy: a Big Adventure for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. From(PCN 4050206; 4050207). Featuring a 3D platform, gamers can play solo or with their friends in Sackboy’s adorable world. This E rated game is a safe bet for families, and did I mention it’s adorable?

 

Cyberpunk 2077Besides these new releases for the new consoles, one of the biggest talked about titles of 2020 has to be Cyberpunk 2077. Previously postponed in both April and September, it was just announced that the release date of November 19 has been postponed yet again, with a new release date of December 10. Game developers say that delays are caused by the challenges they have faced while having to work remotely, and making the game playable across 9 separate platforms. The game does look like it will be worth the wait though, and stars Keanu Reeves as the main character.  

 

This is just a very short list of a longer list of titles coming out this November and December. For the full video game release list check out slist #43578.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy gaming!

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