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ON THE SHELVES: Give yourself the gift of a library card

If you can afford it, purchase new books on summer reading lists and donate them to the school library. (123RF)
Your library is a source of inspiration and entertainment. (123RF)

Take advantage of your free access to books, movies, music and musical instruments

By Emily Blackmore
Special to The Telegram

As December skips along, your mind is likely filled with thoughts of seasonal gift giving, along with visions of sugar plums dancing in your head. Why not do something extra special just for you, and give yourself the gift of a Newfoundland & Labrador Public Libraries library card?

 A library card is free and gives you access to books, magazines, newspapers (online and off!), movies, music, programming and more. When it comes to gift giving, we have a handy guide of our favourite books that we read this year for you.  You can use your brand-new amazing card to check one of these out from your local library or use this list as a gift guide for you or others!

For an inspirational weekend cozy read: Snuggle into the sofa with a blanket and the “Hope Harbor” series by Irene Hannon. Residents of Hope Harbor cope with all of life’s joys and tragedies by helping each other, taking risks and having faith in each other and God.  A heart-warming series that will strengthen your belief in second chances.

For the knitter in your life: Get out your knitting needles and whip up a pair of traditional mittens as you delight in marvelous pictures and patterns in Christine LeGrow’s book “Saltwater Mittens from the Island of Newfoundland.” Our Newfoundland and Labrador Collections librarian still has a pair of mittens that her grandmother knit and she found the pattern in this sumptuous book. 

For the person who loves a steamy romance: “The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang is a contemporary romance that is heartwarming and refreshing. When Stella, who has Asperger’s, hires a male escort to help her practice sex and relationships, neither of them could predict the feelings that would evolve. This book is fun, emotional, and incredibly well written. It sits at the top of the romance heap this year for the staff member who recommended it.

For lovers of strong character development: “Us Against You” by Frederick Backman is the sequel to last year’s Beartown (one of our favourite books of 2017) and deals with a smalltown hockey community coming together and falling apart. This is a book with heart and one of our staff members loved it so much they wanted everyone to know about it.

For middle grade readers looking for magic: “Bob” by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead is a classic tale of magic and friendship between a girl and a small green creature dressed in a chicken suit (we know but stick with us here). Full of fairy tale elements and sweetness, this book comes highly recommended and is perfect to share with your child.

For the true crime lover: The posthumously published last book from true crime journalist Michelle McNamara “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer” is a truly masterful accounting of the Golden State Killer, who terrorized California for more than a decade. True crime fans will devour this insightful and unforgettable book.

For fans of fantasy and myth: “Circe” by Madeline Miller is a much-recommended book at the library that deals with Circe, the witch who looms large in the story of Odysseus. Here she gets her own story, painting her as a more sympathetic character, daughter to the Titan Helios banished to a deserted island by a Zeus threatened by her power. Fans of Greek mythology, complex heroines, and fantasy alike will find much to love about this book.

For the readers of picture books in your life: “Not Quite Narwhal” by Jessie Sima is a heartwarming and adorable book about a young unicorn who is born under the sea and raised by a family of Narwhals. It’s a book about coming to terms with your differences and finding your place in the world. The gorgeous illustrations and sweet text add to this story about the love of family.

For the young adult romance reader: Perhaps you’ve seen Netflix’s film adaptation (which we loved), but have you read “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han? The book is a few years old but the movie has reignited interest in this completely loveable title. Lara Jean is a 16-year-old who writes love letters to all the boys she’d ever loved in a hatbox hidden in her closet. When the letters are sent out to the crushes without her knowing, Lara Jean is suddenly sent into a tailspin that involves a pretend boyfriend, real feelings, and lots of fun drama.

For thrillers looking for their next page turner: “Give Me Your Hand” by Megan Abbott is a mesmerizing psychological thriller about a secret between two friends and how the sharing of that secret can reverberate more than a decade later. This is a book of dark secrets and complex female characters that will be hardtop put down for thriller readers.

We’ve got lots of books in our libraries, all for free with your library card, to keep you warm and well read this holiday season! Drop by one of our branches and check something out to read as the weather cools and sleigh bells start ringing in the snow. And if you haven’t already, get yourself a library book. You can do so online or at the library in person. It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Visit our website at and follow us on twitter at NLPubLibraries for our latest updates and news.

Emily Blackmore is the Lending Services Librarian with the Newfoundland & Labrador Public Libraries.

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