Our Favourite Books

staffpicksfullSometimes the library can seem overwhelming. We have over 80,000 items, and if you aren’t quite sure where to start it can seem daunting. To help you get started, we’ve started a staff picks display. We’ve consolidated our bestselling Canadian books on to one display canoe, and set the other one aside for books that our staff have read and loved.

We have an eclectic staff with varying reading tastes, there’s a good chance you’ll find something right up your ally. Each book lets you know which staff member recommended it; after a while you might start to notice a staff member that happens to have the same taste as you, and gravitate to their picks. Or maybe your reading habits are varied, and you’ll hop around. Either way, we hope you find something that you love, there is nothing librarians love more than sharing the love of a great book!

We have books for all ages on the shelf, so if you aren’t sure where to start, start by taking a look there and see what you find! Anything on the shelf is available for checking out. You can also ask the staff at any time for reading recommendations. We always love to talk about the books we love, and more importantly the books we think you will love.


I Love to Read Month

February is “I Love To READ Month”


February is traditionally the hearts and flowers month, but make sure that you add something about reading to the mix. We are celebrating the wonderful, exciting, fun, and informative pleasures of READING! 


Years of research and studies have proven that good reading skills are important for your education from Kindergarten onward. The same skills will definitely enhance your workplace skills, and it has been proven that the lack of reading skills is linked to poverty and crime.


But February is all about book love. If you have not had a date with a book recently, let us entice you to jump in.  Back for the second year we are hosting “Blind Date with a Book!”  We have chosen a large selection of reading material from all over the library.  We have raided the shelves for fiction, biography, horror, comedy, true crime, classic literature, fantasy, poetry and…..there is too much to list!  These books have been wrapped in plain paper. No title, no author. However, we have identified the Christian Fiction, Young Adult and Juvenile books.


Last year many people had a lot of fun with their “blind dates”, and parents expressed an interest in children participating, so this year we’ve added wrapped books for children to take home. On one side of our bestseller table you will find all the others.  A word or two will provide a genre or a subject heading. 


So take a chance – you could find a new favourite author, you could discover a different kind of book that you have never read before and find out you love it! And go ahead – buy yourself a box of chocolates and indulge with your book date.

Raffle at the Library!

Do you love Dr. Seuss, or know someone who does? Have you always wanted to learn how to paint? Would you love to be able to give someone a Pandora bracelet for Christmas, all for only two dollars?

The Friends of the Library are holding a raffle to help us raise money for shelving, particularly in our Young Adult area to give it room to grow with our readers. Together, they have collected some really fantastic prizes.

There are beautiful literary themed quilts, a natural products prize package, a $400 gift card and gift basket to Chino’s/Sunshine Greenhouse (that’s a lot of gardening and/or gelato), an amazing handcrafted stained glass lamp, an intricate woodcarving, a chance to go behind closed doors at Prairie Oils and Vinegars and get a private tasting session for you and a group of friends, Pandora jewelry, a Paint Night package for two, a baby girl gift basket, and a Reiki session all up for grabs.

Pictured below are just a few of our prizes, come to the library to see them all!Fundraiser

We’ll be selling tickets until the draw, which will be at the Library on December 19th at 11 a.m. That’s just in time to snag some really amazing Christmas presents (or hey, keep the bracelet for yourself, we won’t judge.) Come check it out, all tickets are selling for just $2.


Knitting, Movies, and Games--Oh My! But Seriously Come Check out Our Adult Programs at the Library


Do you like knitting/crocheting, movies, reading, writing, colouring, or playing games? Then we’ve got a program for you at the library! And if you said no to all of those, are you a robot of some sort? Those are extremely enjoyable things. Perhaps you just haven’t given them a fair chance. This month is chock full of opportunities for adults to come and try a new program. Feel free to skim the headings until you find the thing that you love more than all the other things, or read straight through to see all of the amazing events we offer on a repeating basis.



What kind of librarians would we be if we didn’t love to knit? I mean, we love to knit so much, one of us even has the tattoo to prove it (we won’t say which). If you share the love of fiber crafting, join our new knitting club that we’ve lovingly called the Knit-Wits. There will be knitting, there will be chatting, and we are assuming that chatting will involve some level of wit. Any types of fiber crafting are welcome (though there isn’t a whole lot of space for your sewing machine—think portable), and any levels of skill. It isn’t a class, just a club. Bring your current project and enjoy!




We’ve had family movie nights for a while, but this month we’re introducing classic movie nights. In keeping with the spirit of the season we’ll show Arsenic and Old Lace (PG) on October 28th. Movies are always shown on the fourth Friday of the month and while all ages are welcome, check our upcoming events website to see what’s showing that month and what the rating is. We intend to alternate between classic and children’s movies. If free popcorn and movies do not entice you, keep reading.



We talked a few blog posts ago about our drop-in book club. If you’d like to join our next meeting on November 8, stop by and pick up the book we’ll be discussing, “Boy Snow Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi. Book club has a fixed date of the second Tuesday of the month; check out our posters to see which book you need to read for the meeting. Feel free to just show up, no sign up required. We’ve got the book, discussion questions, and a strong desire to talk about our book related feelings. Also, comfy couches.


Want to come chat with an author instead? We have a pretty steady rotation of author readings, another thing to keep an eye out for on our webpage (or Facebook page, we post all our upcoming events there too), and this month is no exception. We’ve got authors of biographies coming to talk about their struggles with infertility (Vicki Olatundun), or with a parent’s dementia (Elizabeth Murray) on October 25. On Nov 15 we have two authors talking about their fiction books, Karen Emilson with “Be Still the Water” and Geralyn Wichers with “Cursed Seed”.



Is writing more your thing? Every November we host a month long event called NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, it’s an event designed to help encourage you to make that happen this November. The goal is 50,000 words and a more or less complete story arch by the end of the month. There are modified goals for younger audiences. We always have a kick off where you can meet other authors in the area, several write ins throughout the month where we provide the coffee and the quiet space, you provide the words, and a wind up party for everyone who tried. The event involves goody bags, free coffee, and celebratory pizza—are you tempted yet?



Who doesn’t like colouring? This event (to the dismay of many children) is for adults only. We supply the colouring pages, pencil crayons, and tea, at what we have dubbed Creativi-Tea time, because we are suckers for word play. We have nice soft music playing, and aim to create a relaxing atmosphere, though you’re welcome to talk to your fellow colourers. After all, half the fun of colouring is showing off your masterpieces. It runs the second Wednesday of the month, and is a come and go as you please sort of event.



Okay, so maybe you have some sort of aversion to moving pictures, find trying to stay within the lines when colouring more stressful than relaxing, love reading but don’t love interacting with people about your love of reading, or … no okay we really can’t think of a reason to dislike knitting. But suppose that somehow you do. We have one more thing for you to try. Games! Card games, board games, word games, any kinds of games. We have two events every month, the first Saturday afternoon of the month and the third Wednesday evening of the month. We have a game guy who comes because he really loves games, and a bunch of people join him. We supply a box full of games, but feel free to bring your own games, and your own game playing buddies.


Our repeating adult events are many, and varied, so why not come try one out today? Check out our upcoming events portion of the website for all the details, and very pretty posters. http://www.jakeepplibrary.com/events.shtml


Essential Skills

Photo courtesy of Plymouth District Library found on Flickr availablethrough the creative commons licensewww.flickr.comphotosplymouth district library5244742145inphotolistIf you have recently decided to enter the job market after a hiatus, you will realize that things have changed. When looking at job advertisements you will see that job descriptions have also changed and may be confusing. One of the items listed in a job description may be: “must have essential skills”. It is important to understand what “essential skills” comprise. The government of Canada has identified nine essential skills that are needed when entering the workforce. These are areas that are used in every job in a variety of ways and levels and they provide the groundwork for all other skills to enable people to grow in their abilities and adapt to an ever changing workplace.

  1. Reading - The ability to understand reading materials in the form of sentences and paragraphs. You use this skill to scan for information, evaluate what your read and integrate information you find from multiple sources.
  2. Document Use - The ability to perform tasks that involve information that is presented with word, numbers, symbols and other visual characters. You use this skill when you read and interpret signs, labels, lists, charts and graphs.
  3. Numeracy - The ability to use numbers and think in quantitative terms. You use this skill when are providing numerical estimates, money math, creating schedules, budgets and analyze measurements and data.
  4. Writing - The ability to write text (this does NOT refer to ‘texting’) and documents. It also includes non-paper based writing such as typing on a computer. You use this skill to organize, record, document and present and request information.
  5. Oral Communication - The ability to use speech to give and exchange ideas and information. You use this skill to greet people, take messages, ask for information, and resolve conflicts.
  6. Working With Others - The ability to work with others to carry out tasks. You use this skill when you become part of a team or work with a partner. You will this skill if you are in a supervisory or administrative position.
  7. Thinking - The ability to process and evaluate ideas and information to reach a rational decision. You use this skill to solve problems, make decisions, think critically, and plan and organize goals and tasks.
  8. Computer Use - The ability to use different kinds of computer applications and other technical tools. You use these skills when you operate a cash register, use word processing software for letters and documents, send email, and create or update spreadsheets.
  9. Continuous Learning - The ability to participate in the ongoing process of acquiring skills and knowledge. You use this skill as part of most jobs, from co-workers and choose to utilize training in the workplace or in other ways.

This summary is based on the list found at the ABC Life Literacy Canada website (http://abclifeliteracy.ca/nine-essential-skills).You can also go to this website - http://www.esdc.gc.ca/en/essential_skills/tools/index.page to find more information and some self-assessment helps.

Photo courtesy of Plymouth District library, available through the creative commons licensewww.flickr.com/photos/plymouth-district-library/5244742145/in/photolist


Reading Doesn't Have to Be Solitary

Reading can be a lonely past time. While you’re reading you have the characters for company, but once the book has ended and you’ve placed it back on your nightstand, you’re often left with a whole lot of emotions and no one to share them with. Sometimes as I’m reading small gasps or exclamations will escape me, and my husband will want to know what just happened. He often gets a skeletal running commentary of a book, along with a short summary of my feelings on the matter when it’s finished. But sometimes, sometimes that just doesn’t cut it. I want to talk to someone who went through the whole story with me, not just the highlights. Someone who felt as deeply as I did about the whole matter. Certain books demand to be felt and discussed, and having finished them with no one to talk to I can feel a sort of void, as if I haven’t fully experienced the book yet.


Photo available through creative commons courtesy of Peter Lubeck. Modified to include text. https://www.flickr.com/photos/peterlubeck/6104403354/ https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode

This is why book clubs were born. You can meet and talk about all the things a book made you feel and think; all the things you loved or hated (sometimes the things you hated make for very interesting discussion). Occasionally you’ll find that someone else felt the exact same thing, and that makes your heart feel as though you’ve found a friend, and occasionally someone felt something opposite, and suddenly you see the book or scene in a whole new light that you never would have otherwise.

To facilitate this sort of interaction, we’ve collected a bunch of book club kits to make life easier. We’ve ordered multiple copies of these books, and collected a sheet of discussion questions to get the conversation flowing. Anyone with a membership can use these books for book club purposes. You can find our complete list of books available in kits here: http://www.jakeepplibrary.com/assets/bookclubCatalog.pdf


Not all books are pictured, for a full list see the link above.

If you find committing to a book club isn’t something you want to do, we have an alternative option starting this October. We’re starting a drop in book club that will run the second Tuesday of the month at seven, and be held here at the library. Every month we’ll post the book that we will be discussing. If you want to read the book (or if you’ve already read it and would like to discuss it) you can come and chat with others about the book. If you don’t want to read that particular book, you can skip it and come next month. Though, sometimes the books we thought we didn’t want to read are the ones that end up surprising us.

How about you—do you feel the need to share your reading experiences? Do you make your friends read it, waiting impatiently for them to finish so you can discuss it? Do you go online and find a book minded community where you can chat with someone about it? Or do you have a book club of your own for precisely this reason?


Book Lovers Day

August 9, 2016

Did you know that today is Book Lovers Day? I found the following information at: http://holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/August/bookloversday.htm


Book Lovers Day

"Date When Celebrated: August 9th and/or first Saturday in November.

Book Lovers Day encourages you to find a place in the shade to relax with a good book.

Book reading is a great hobby. It's an important one, too. Employers look for it on resumes. Reading is educational, informative, and relaxing. It makes us both smarter, and happier people.

Book Lovers Day is a great day to celebrate. Just grab an interesting book, find a quiet, cozy place, and crack open the cover. Celebrating Book Lovers Day in August is pleasurable on the deck, under a shady tree, poolside, or in a cozy hammock. If you fall asleep while reading, that's okay. It's all part of the relaxing benefits of being a book lover."


What a great way to celebrate a day. As true book lovers we really don’t need a special day to enjoy books.  But there are times when we have all needed to conquer a guilty feeling when we grab a day or half a day and just read. 

The pleasure of releasing your mind from work, to do lists, weeding, etc., and just settle into a good book. Immerse your mind in a different time, place and events. We can solve a mystery with a favourite sleuth, travel a faraway country, have a great adventure or explore a brand new universe with a fantasy author.  There is something fulfilling in occasionally being able to read a whole book from first sentence to the final denouement without interruption.  And when you close the book it might need a little wrench to return to your reality with a satisfied sigh.

If you can’t have a “Book Lover’s Day” on August 9th, then maybe you can try for November 5th.  Or better yet . . . just block off a day and call it YOUR Book Lovers Day – and enjoy! 

Happy Reading!

book lovers dayPhoto courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/timypenburg/5020935650/in/photostream/ - modified to include text and used under the creative commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/


Paper Books VS Ebooks

How do you like to read?


I have been an avid reader all my life. As a child I was fortunate to read easily and books were my passport to adventure and travel that could not be accomplished in real life.  My mind was fully engrossed when I was reading and I expect my mother needed to call me twice when it was time to do something else.  I was also fortunate that my parents encouraged reading. 


Time always brings change and the last 50 years have brought about more changes than ever before. These changes include how we read.  Reading a paper book – be it hardcover or paperback – is enriching, instructive, thought provoking, and just plain fun.  And reading an ebook is exactly the same.  While the physical touch is different, it is the act of reading that is as refreshing as drinking a glass of cold water on a hot day and as comforting as a cozy blanket on a cool evening.

ereader painting Mike Licht

Photo available through creative commons, courtesy of Mike Licht https://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/4826939037/in/photostream/

I am not a proponent of either format. I read in both formats. Sitting with a book on my lap is comforting and the act of turning the page is part of the reading ritual.  But because I can access ebooks on a device that travels anywhere has allowed me to read in places where a book does not always work.  And using ebooks allows me to find some books that I cannot find in print.


Whatever format that we choose to use for reading – the great thing is that we READ!


I would be very interested to hear about your love of reading. Has your reading format changed – and how?

Looking forward to hearing your views.




Illustrations Are Not Just For Children


You remember the feeling of reading illustrated books as a child. They were great, they brought the story to life. And cartoons? Those were the best. Entire books of Calvin and Hobbes could be devoured in one sitting. Then somewhere along the way, we transitioned. We didn’t need those pictures to make sense of the stories. We left them behind and moved into the adult world of text only. The thing is, somewhere along the way we started thinking that we’d outgrown illustrations, seeing them as some sort of crutch, instead of as beautiful artwork that can enhance our reading experience. At least, I went that route. Maybe you realized all along how beautiful illustrated adult books are, but I’m just coming back around, and oh boy are there more options out there than I realized.

Comic strips, for example, are not just for children, adult ones have evolved past Garfield into something a little more mature. We have a few new acquisitions in our adult comic book section (Kate Beaton, Hark! A Vagrant -- pictured below), crafted very specifically for an adult audience. It’s quick, intelligent, hilarious reading, touching on topics such as history and politics. Allie Brosh writes a hysterical web-blog turned book that (while applicable to most ages) speaks frequently on the difficulties of adulting when you don’t feel quite like an adult.


Then of course there are graphic novels, which can come in many shapes and sizes. There are the comic books (not just for kids, in fact some are very explicitly not at all for kids, as movie goers found when Deadpool came to the big screen). Ms. Marvel is aimed at a YA audience, but I found to be a great read anyway. We have a selection of popular works turned graphic novel (Wheel of Time, Game of Thrones, or classics such as Pride and Prejudice and The Hobbit) and some that are only in graphic novel form (Sandman by Neil Gaiman, Buffy by Joss Whedon).

Then there are some that you don’t expect to come with illustrations, but somehow those illustrations make them delightful and unique, just adding a little something extra, like this gem sitting in our Biography section, Something New by Lucy Knisley, a graphic memoir about her during the throes of wedding planning.

They’re popping up more and more, across all genres, books that are accompanied by unique illustrations that add a certain something the story wouldn’t otherwise have. If you haven’t yet, pick up a graphic novel, an illustrated memoir, or an adult comic strip. There are lots of beautiful works of art out there that pair very well with their literary material. Have you tried reading one yet?

Choosing Books - New Options This February

Hello internet world! It’s been awhile, and things have changed a tad, so let me catch you up. Life at the library has been exciting, especially for our previous Head Librarian who, you may have heard, won the lottery and ran off into the sunset to enjoy it. We miss her, but when our Assistant Librarian put on her Head Librarian hat we knew that we’d enjoy our new leader just as much. In the whirlwind of excitement, we forgot about this little corner of the world, our blog, where we talk to you. We’ve settled in now though, and we’re excited to be back on our feet blog-wise. Let me introduce myself, I’m Aubrey, the Assistant Librarian. Now. Down to business.

How do you pick your books? Do you wander aimlessly down the genre aisle of your choice, waiting for something to catch your eye? Do you keep a hawk-eye out for anything new by your (extensive) list of favourite authors, even though they never write fast enough to keep you sated? Do you come armed with a list of suggestions from friends, ever trusting in their literary tastes? Or perhaps do you take your advice from the vast expanse of the internet, with their “best books of 2016” lists? Some of you may even ask a Librarian, “Hey, I really liked this one book, can you tell me others that are similar?”

I’m curious. I myself, am an emotional chooser. I have the benefit of seeing many books come across my desk at work, and when I see one that my heart leaps at, I read that one. Of course I’ve got my favorite authors but I read plenty of new ones. Sometimes I’ll take a book home and realize that’s not the one I’m feeling today, so I go back and try again with a different one, until I find the one that my heart wants to snuggle up to with a warm cup of tea. This gives me what I believe to be a relatively diverse range of books, as my emotional book moods are as varied as my general moods. There is a beautiful rainbow spectrum in both that keeps my life interesting.

But I’ve been thinking lately that I don’t pick my choices very thoughtfully, or deliberately, and maybe it would be interesting to try a different way. Here at the library we’ve got two different ways for you to try something new for 2016. We’re not saying you have to stick with it, but maybe it would be interesting to see if you like it.

The first is “Blind Date With A Book”, which is running all February in honour of both Valentine’s Day and I Love To Read Month. You can pick a random book, pick by genre, or browse the subject headings for one that sounds interesting, but that’s the most you’ll get. They’re wrapped up prettily with some fantastic doodling on the front, so you can’t see the name of the book. You’ll have to take a chance. If you hate it, you can stop reading it. If you read it all the way through and want to “rate your date”, we’ll give you the chance to win a prize pack from the library. We love this. We think it’s a fun way to potentially branch out of your normal reading habits, and it can be fun to find something new.

blind date

The second option we’ve got going is something I discovered off of the bookriot site (http://bookriot.com/2015/12/15/2016-book-riot-read-harder-challenge/). They’ve posted a “Read Harder Challenge” for 2016. It’s a thing they do every year, releasing different categories that they challenge you to read a book that fits into it. There are 24 challenges, which means 2 books a month if you want to read the whole list, but some are easy like, “read a middle grade novel,” “read a play,”, “read a book under 100 pages”. Those balance out the ones that may take a little more time, like, “Read a book over 500 pages.” I’m going to take this challenge, because with categories like, “Read a non-fiction book about science” and “Read a book that is by an author from Southeast Asia,” I’m going to have to branch out, and pick my books a little more thoughtfully than normal. I’m really excited to see how this goes, and if you’re interested in joining me on my adventure, take a look at our Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/JakeEppLibraryReadHarder2016/ where you can chat with others considering tackling the challenge. I’ve posted the list of challenges there too so you can see the whole thing.

So let me know, how do you pick your books? And if you come by my corner of the world, feel free to stop by my office and chat books, I can help you find some suggestions to fit the list if you’re wanting to tackle it.

The views expressed in Community Blogs are those of the author, and are not necessarily shared by SteinbachOnline.com

About the Authors

Hi - my name is Carolyn Graham and I am the Head Librarian and I love my job! One of the best parts of my job is that I am the first one to see all the beautiful new books as they arrive. I have always loved to read and my favorite way to relax is with a good book. I strongly believe that having good reading skills is an integral part of all learning. Being able to share good books and authors that I have enjoyed is great fun. Feel free to come and ask for suggestions.

Hi - I’m Aubrey Walker, Assistant Librarian at the Jake Epp Library. I’m a librarian and coffee guzzler by day, a reader and tea sipper by night. Reading and writing (and talking endlessly about both) are passions of mine, so I’m rather lucky to have a job where those things are relevant and important. I’m also the voice behind our Facebook page, and I love connecting with people about books both online and off.

Steinbachonline.com is Steinbach's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.