Staff Picks for the 2019 Reading Challenge

Are you taking our 2019 Reading Challenge? So are library staff all across the city. In honour of World Poetry Day on March 21, we decided to ask them about their favourite books for the category, "A non-prose book". Plus April is National Poetry Month! We're describing a non-prose book as "any book that doesn’t have typical sentence and paragraph structure." If you have already read a non-prose book, any of these titles can be used for the Reading Challenge category "A book recommended to you by library staff".

Poetry and Novels in Verse:

Kara picked: 

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess

Why did Kara pick it?

"I read it in 2017 because it was Canadian. Macy McMillan is one of the more memorable characters I have encountered recently. The author uses the non-prose format, along with different fonts, to illustrate how Macy communicates (her internal monologue, when she signs to people, and when she uses her voice). Macy's relationship with her older neighbour, Iris (she of the rainbow goddess fame) is charming yet bittersweet, as Iris is starting to forget things. Macy also has to deal with her mother's impending wedding. While she likes her mom's boyfriend, she wonders how she will like changing from a two person family to a three person. After the wedding they will also be moving to a different house. Macy isn't sure she is ready for all the changes coming in her life. I love books with well written, realistic portrayals of family, and this book just hit all the right spots for me!"

What other categories could you use it for?

  • A book by a Canadian award-winning author


Sheila picked: 

The Lost Words

Why did Sheilah pick it?

"We have it in our collection as an adult book but it is up for both a Kate Greenaway award (illlustration) and Carnegie (writing). It was written because Oxford announced it was removing some words from their Children's Dictionary to make room for New words. Being removed were a lot of words related to nature - dandelion, bluebell, otter, fern, etc.
It is full of astonishingly beautiful paintings and poetry (called spells in the book) about the "lost" words."


Reagan picked: 

The Sun and Her Flowers

Why did Reagan pick it?

"After seeing the hype about this collection, I happily devoured this book of poetry. So much so that I bought her first collection as well, Milk and Honey and proceeded to lend it to everyone and anyone who wanted to read it. It really sparked a renewed appreciation for non-prose style writing. It's concise, easily digestible (even for non-poetry lovers) and really gives you an opportunity to do some big picture thinking about relationships, family, immigration, and self-love."

What other categories could you use it for?

  • A book by an author in a visible minority


Amy picked: 

The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One

Why did Amy pick it?

"It's about feminism, resilience and standing your ground. It also discusses issues of misogyny and rape culture. I picked it up because I enjoyed The Princess Saves Herself In This One. This one's a bit heavier. Both are poetry and have fairy tale elements woven in, but not quite as many as you may initially think. I'd recommend this book to older teens (16+) and adults."


Myrna picked: 

Motherland, Fatherland, Homelandsexuals

Why did Myrna pick it?

"Her poems are weird, hilarious, surreal and sad."


Diana picked: 


Why did Diana pick it?

"I remember liking it because of the rhyming scheme. It wasn't until I was older, that I came to appreciate the imagery of the quatrains and double meanings of the individual words. Now, considering the many meanings of words and how they've changed, the Rubáiyát can be read and discovered anew."

What other categories could you use it for?

  • A book in translation.


Other Non-Prose Books:

YOLO Juliet

Why did Alice pick it?

"A fun, silly take on Shakespeare told entirely in texts and emoji. Quite light and irreverant."

Farm to Chef

Why did Reagan pick it?

"I have read and made recipes out of this beautiful and rustic cook book (the food just screams to be served in a red Le Cruset dish!). Being a proud, local Leslievillian, we decided to host our wedding reception at Ruby Watch Co, Lynn Crawford's restaurant right here in the city. It was a special evening with Lynn cooking for us and taking pictures and signing this cookbook for my husband and I. The recipes are simple and delicious and the pictures are fantastic!"

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