Snack in the Stacks

We love that people love our library. We love that they come in and feel at home, and comfortable. Sometimes we have to remind people that keeping their shoes on is probably a good idea (you don’t know the things this floor has seen), or wake someone up when they’re snoring exceptionally loudly, but we’re okay with that. We love that you are comfortable here because it means we’re doing our job of being a safe and welcoming space for you. On rare occasions though, someone makes themselves a little more at home than we’d appreciate.

Today we ran into an example. A staff member was out in the stacks, looking for a book. Sometimes books stray from their spot on the shelves, out to seek adventure in the grander library. Perhaps a fiction book chooses to dally in the non-fiction section for a time to see what true wonders exist. Or maybe a juvenile book has had enough of everyone treating him like a kid, and wants to go see what the adult fiction world is like. We know this, and have devised many clever ways of finding them.

Our book sleuth was out and about trying to track a wayward book today, and when she came to the shelf where it should have been, she spotted shells of sunflower seeds on the floor. Curious, she followed the trail, and eventually came to its end with a small mound of them at the end of the stacks and a few scattered on top of the books on the bottom shelf. She knelt and peered under the shelf that they were sitting beside, and what she found came as something of a surprise. She spotted something glinting in the darkness, full of silver and promise. She tugged on it, and out came a piece of aluminum, which, once fully excavated, proved to be an empty chip bag of some sort. She bent down again and looked, and came back out with several used Kleenexes. Again and again she delved into the depths of the under-shelf, coming up with something each time, until around her was a mini treasure trove of empty snack receptacles, complete with Bear Paw wrappers, chip bags, chewed gum, and other unidentifiable recyclables. Finally, in her last deep dive, she came up with gold, the book she had sought.

It was, in the end, too ironic not to share.

Fed Up




















Yes, please make yourselves at home. But not like, HOME, where you leave your dropped leftovers on the floor and hope your dog eats them. The type of home where you’re still kind of a guest and put stuff in the trash where you’re done with it. THAT kind of home.

Reading Challenge – Book With a Movie Adaptation

Head Librarian:

Agatha Christie - Murder on the Orient Express

I have watched two versions of the movie – the BBC version from 1974 and also the latest.  As most anyone will say if asked, the book is usually better than the movie.  It must be quite difficult to make a movie of someone’s brain child and deliver the emotional impact and understand the characters the same way the author does. A book can also deliver so much information regarding the thoughts of the characters that a movie has a hard time inserting into a script.

The book itself is a wonderful read – if you haven’t read it and mystery is one of your loves, then Murder on the Orient Express is a must.  Agatha Christie delivers, as always, a mystery in which the reader rarely sees the true conclusion before the denouement at the end.  All the characters in the story are important and each one has a unique role.  Hercule Poirot, as a character, is truly unique.  Christie has imagined a man with a profound impact on the reader and with all his quirky traits and his finicky ways we are still very much aware of a very intelligent man who also has a passion for the truth. The story is set in Europe and Hercule Poirot finds a seat on the fabulous and famous Orient Express. While on the train, a man is murdered in a way that seems to demonstrate extreme hatred.  Circumstances indicate that the murderer is on the train.  As the story progresses Poirot spends time with each passenger and uses his talents to learn their stories.  Soon it will be impossible to pinpoint anyone that might be capable of the act of murder. I will not spoil the story for anyone who wants to read the book – and I highly encourage you to do so.  

The 2017 movie version is a good movie to watch.  Good actors and props that bring out the setting of the era create the right ambience on the whole.  However in comparing the movie to the book I must admit I found it lacking.  The script took liberties with the actual story, and the ending left me sputtering “that is not the way it’s supposed to be!”  But you will have your own experience and will make your own judgement.



Assistant Librarian:

I admit, I take great pleasure from reading books and then subsequently tearing apart their movie adaptations. It’s fun to watch the story come to life, and it’s almost as much fun to pick apart how it failed to do it adequately (most of the time--I know, I know, sometimes they get it right.) I chose to read Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple. The movie was set to come out in May but has since been pushed back to October. Oh well, it’s nice to be ahead of the game for once.

The book was hilarious, cleverly written (mostly in email and letter format, but done well), and I enjoyed that it dealt with anxiety in a real way even though the book was a comedy. I felt it was well balanced.


Favourite quotes include:

“I can feel the irrationality and anxiety draining my store of energy like a battery-operated racecar grinding away in the corner. This is the energy I will need to get through the next day. But I just lie in bed and watch it burn, and with it any hope for a productive tomorrow. There go the dishes, there goes the grocery store, there goes exercise, there goes bringing in the garbage cans. There goes basic human kindness.” 

Although she doesn’t seem to think highly of Canadians:

“One of the main reasons I don't like leaving the house is because I might find myself face to face with a Canadian.” 

If you enjoy contemporary comedic stories I’d recommend it. I can’t wait to see how the movie adaptation bungles it.

As always if you want to join in on the reading challenge feel free! We do monthly draws for those who participate. Check out the pdf explaining it all here: 

Reading Challenge – Author That You Have Never Read Before

Head Librarian:

Dan Brown – Inferno

Dan Brown’s books have been very popular for several years and some of books have also become very popular movies.  Brown’s character Robert Langdon has been portrayed by Tom Hanks in The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and Inferno. I have watched the movies Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons more because of my husband’s interest, than my own.  I found that I enjoyed them quite well.

For my 2018 Reader’s Challenge I decided that I would read one of Dan Brown’s books for myself.  I have to confess that I am not generally a fan of the “Bestsellers” as a general rule.  I have this little cynical voice that rebels against the idea that a book is a “bestseller” before it has ever sold to single person.  In this case, Dan Brown’s books have truly become bestsellers once on the market.

With my little cynical voice silenced, I read Inferno.  It really was a very good story. The action is quick, the characters are interesting, and the plot held my attention.  I enjoy it when a book I’m reading is set someplace I don’t know and the author gives enough detail that you feel you have had a window to that location.  Brown’s detail is certainly not lacking.  I will admit that at times I felt some of historical details seemed a bit too much at times and slowed the story down.  However the story is based on the art, architecture and culture of the renaissance era so it was important to impart that to the reader.

All in all, I am glad I chose this book.  I think there is a good chance that I will read more books by Dan Brown and I will certainly recommend his books to those of you who love a really good story line with action and adventure, but you are looking for more than a James Bond flavor.


Assistant Librarian:

This wasn’t a terribly hard category for me either, though I admit that I picked a book off my To Be Read pile that I just hadn’t happened to read any other books by her yet, instead of picking an author I’d been actively avoiding. I tackled Lauren Graham (not literally, I just read her book), the actress who plays Lorelai in Gilmore Girls, but more importantly in this context, an author. I started with her biography, Talking as Fast as I Can, because it promised me insider info on the show and its return to Netflix, and the book was wonderful. Lauren is clever, down to earth, funny, and a great writer. It didn’t tell me nearly as much about behind the scenes Gilmore Girls as I’d have liked, but the rest of her life was so entertaining that I hardly noticed. I now very much want to read her novel, Someday, Someday Maybe, and also hopefully meet randomly and become best friends. One of two isn’t bad though.

What Is Your Reader Type?

What kind of reader are you?

Many of us love to read, but we often go about it in very different ways. So many different ways, in fact, that there are too many variations to fit nicely into a neat little list, or one simple blog post. But what the heck, it’s fun to try, so I’ve created a few categories that touch on some reading style differences in order to find my own reading type acronym. It’s like the Myers-Briggs of reading, but significantly less scientifically valid since I made it up this morning over a nice cup of coffee. In an effort to make it appear more official, I have made it into an inforgraphic. 

What Kind of Reader Are YouDisclaimer: I make no promises yours will form something that can actually be pronounced as a word. If you need another vowel, I suggest moving to the impulsive reading style.


As for myself, I am a laser-focused, eclectic, polyamorous, impulsive/researcher, devourer reader. LEPIRD. A badge I will wear with pride, though it will confuse every single person that sees it as it is a made-up acronym.

Reading Challenge - Young Adult

Head Librarian:

Lately winter has been exceptionally windy and cold, perfect weather for squirreling away with a few books and a cup of tea.

Today I am reporting on my first book for our Reading Challenge.  I have completed Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.  I told you there were dragons and so there were.  Dragons as dragons in all their winged glory, and also dragons who can shrink themselves into human form.  Seraphina is the daughter of a human male and a female dragon who lived much of her life as human.  However, Seraphina believed that she was the only one and hid the scales that went around her waist and down one arm.  She was afraid of what might happen if anyone knew.  She was an amazing musician and could enthrall her audiences when she performed.  But there another part of her that she didn’t know how to live with.  She was haunted by visions of other people, and memories from her mother who had died when she was very young.  In her visions she saw people similar to herself.  Were they real?  Did she want these visions breaking into her daily world? Could she stop them?  Did she want to? Her world is on the brink of a war between human and dragon.  She has been engaged by the royal family to help find information about others like herself.  Maybe they could be of help in stopping a war.  

Seraphina’s experiences can provide a glimpse into someone’s world when they different from everyone else.  She experiences both prejudice and acceptance.  She needs to find a way to view herself as a whole instead of 2 different selves.  Her adventures are heroic, and she grows into new courage and confidence.  She is required to accept and believe new ideas and concepts which will open her mind allow her to use her full capabilities. 

It is a great adventure story, and some of my preconceived notions of dragons were turned on end in a most imaginative way.  I thoroughly enjoyed Seraphina so much, that I have just finished reading the second book that completes the story – Shadow Scale.  I highly recommend both books.

Picture of the book Seraphina.P

Plus, it looks like this when it catches the Sunshine. We're sold. 

Assistant Librarian:

I decided I'd tackle the reading challenge too, and I chose to start with YA as well, though it's not much of a deviation for me. I enjoy the dystopian genre so I picked up The Selection by Kiera Cass and somehow lost a day of my life. I read it within 24 hours, which means if nothing else it was highly entertaining. The book follows a girl chosen to participate in "the selection", a process where the prince tries to find his princess through the romantic magic of reality TV. It had all the cheesy YA dystopian tropes I know and love (but done well), plus the additional bonus of the reality TV angle (though they clearly don't take their reality TV as seriously in this dystopian world, the cameras managed to miss all the juicy stuff). It was enjoyable, but the story felt shallow. I got to the end and it didn't feel like an ending at all. So many things were just hinted at, they weren't even explored enough to be called a sub plot, and the end was anti-climatic. I know elements will be expanded on in the next books, I just didn't feel like enough of the ground work was laid in this first book. I'll pick up the next book (or as I will call it, the rest of the first book) because I'm a sucker for these things, and I want to see how this pans out.

Reading YA wasn't outside of my comfort zone, so it was nice to start of easy. Some of the other categories will expand my horizons differently.

Reading Challenge

Welcome to 2018!  A brand new year of reading!

I have looked at umpteen reading challenges over the years and never chosen to participate.  Partly it was an attitude of “I just want to read what I like, and I like a lot of books”.  But this year we at Jake Epp Library made up our own reading challenge.  We have listed 12 ideas for you and you can do it in any order.  It is one book a month. If you are not a huge reader and find that daunting, just pick 6 of the categories for this year.


Since I was part of creating our challenge I figured I should actually participate.  I hope you do too.  And I hope you will share some of your discoveries with us as well. In fact, for anyone who takes the time to give us just a couple of lines of feedback on what you have read the previous month, we will enter all those names in a draw.  On the 4th of each month someone will win a book. All the information is available on our website, or you can pick up a paper copy at the library.  We can even email it to you.  Drop a line at [email protected].

One of the challenges is to read a Young Adult book, and I chose this for my first challenge.  Over the last few years as I have ordered and catalogued books for our collection I have been intrigued by many of the stories written for teens.  I have chosen a fantasy entitled Seraphina, written by Rachel Hartman.  Our copy of the book is checked out right now, but I found it on eLibraries Manitoba so I am reading it on my iPad.  I am enjoying it so far and the only thing I am going to say is…… it has dragons!

Stay tuned and later in the month I will give my review of this book.  Now it’s your turn.  Get the list, pick a book, and find some gems that you might never have read on your own.

Online Face-Lift

“The library is more than just books.” If you haven’t heard this before, you haven’t talked to a librarian in a while. This is the current mantra of many a librarian. We have a number of other resources, we’re a community space, and we offer programs and services that range from educational to entertaining. Sure, it’s one thing to say it, but chances are you tuned out halfway through that sentence and skimmed to the end (it’s okay we won’t tell.) It’s much better to show it, it’s more interesting, and it’s harder to skim a picture.

With this in mind, we’re branching out in our social media. We’d like to show you what we are, instead of just telling. We’ve been on Facebook for a while, we do that blogging thing every now and again, and now we’re tackling Instagram! I know, I know, we’re late to the game but now that we’ve arrived we thought we would let you know. Follow us to see the daily life of the Jake Epp Library, in pretty picture format. If you take photos in the library, tag JakeEppLibrary in it, tag the location as Jake Epp Library, or use the hashtag #JakeEppLibrary. We'd like to see library life from your perspective too!

instagram post

We’ve also changed our website. You'll find it at the same place as normal (same url), just the look has changed. You may have noticed that it looks a bit different and more colourful. We’re hoping this new version will be easier to use and navigate (there’s a search function!), and have more information on it. Let us know how you feel about the switch, and if you see anything that looks not quite right, let us know that too.

Come see what we have to offer.

Things I Learned From Participating In a 24 Hour Reading Marathon

Things I Learned From Participating In a 24 Hour Reading Marathon:

TBR stackImpossibly Ambitious TBR stack

  • First and foremost, I am overly ambitious and incapable of choosing between books. Hello impossible to-be-read pile.

  • Turns out, I can get up at 7 in the morning on a Saturday and even function, if by “functioning” you mean remain in bed and read.

  • People will assume it’s for charity, because why else would you be doing this, and if you don’t rush to correct them they might make you breakfast in bed.ill-gotten breakfastill-gotten breakfast

  • Headaches are minor annoyances that I don’t actually notice while reading, only when I stop reading and walk around the house to get a cup of water or something. If I never get up to get a cup of water, I never notice I have the headache. (Flawless logic.)

  • You can’t actually survive all day by drinking only coffee.

  • The only thing more satisfying and enjoyable than reading all day is posting about it on instagram with pretty filters, so even though you’re sitting around in the same position all day, you’ve documented it well enough on social media that your life looks very glamorous.

  • Some graphic novels are not, in fact, faster reading than normal novels, because if you just skim over the pictures and only read the text nothing makes much sense.

  • Orange snacks and library books don’t mix well.

  • Related note, turning pages with your elbows slows down reading considerably.

  • 24 hours is a long time, and I am not in college anymore. Even drinking an energy drink couldn’t make me last through the night (I managed-ish until 3 a.m.)

  • Structural integrity is important for blanket forts. If you make one that is tenuous,Blanket FortSadly Snackless Blanket Fort be sure to bring extra (non-orange) snacks so you don’t have to risk going in and out.

  • Shoveling M&Ms into your mouth every time you doze off after 1 a.m. is not an effective way to wake back up (you may in fact fall right back asleep, now you’re just asleep with a mouthful of M&Ms, which can’t be safe), nor is it going to help you feel very bright and cheery in the morning.

  • I have an addiction. Hello, my name is Aubrey, and I’m a bookaholic. Not only did I pick up a book the very next morning, the second I woke up after reading 20 hours straight the previous day, I’ve found myself reading significantly more since the marathon. Perhaps because I just whet my reading appetite, or perhaps because I took out over 30 library books and can’t decide which one of my babies to return without reading so I’m just trying to get through them all.

Overall experience: 10/10 would deprive myself of sleep, socialization and proper nutrition to read all day again. Highly recommend the experience.

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.

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