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January 2023 Staff Picks

David’s Pick: Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton

Cover image for Ducks : two years in the oil sandsAn astonishing graphic memoir of Beaton’s time working in the Canadian Tar Sands in the early 2000s, which explores and connects themes of environmental destruction, substance abuse, the collapse of regional economies, and social isolation. The subject matter is tough and unsparing, but the way Beaton tells the story and the images that convey it are perfectly judged and compelling.

Linda’s Pick: Astra: A Novel by Cedar Bowers

Cover image for Astra : a novelA wonderful debut novel in which we get to know quirky young Astra as her life unfolds chapter by chapter, revealed to us through the eyes of the people she interacts with.


Natalie’s Pick: Karen Dalton: in my own time (DVD)

Karen Dalton: In My Own Time (2020) - IMDbKaren Dalton: in my own time (2020, dir. Nick Cave) is a documentary featuring the tragic legacy that was blues / folk-singer Karen Dalton. Dalton became renowned in the 1960s in New York with her gritty, soulful voice and unconventional lifestyle. Dalton was raised in Oklahoma, with Irish and Cherokee heritage, and was a mysterious performer. She was idolized by Bob Dylan and Nick Cave, but resisted success and also fell prey to addiction. The documentary is a sad, yet honourable tribute to this influential singer.

Sonia’s Pick: Night Lunch by Eric Fan with Pictures by Dena Seiferling

Cover image for Night lunchThis gentle narrative about tummies being filled in the night is guaranteed to enchant readers with its luminous illustrations and onomatopoeic word choices. Just like the soulful animals who visit owl’s night lunch cart, the reader will leave this story feeling warm and full of the goodness found within it.