Shakespeare Retold

A recent major international project will see Shakespeare’s plays reimagined as contemporary tales.  Some of today’s bestselling and most celebrated writers are participating in the project.

Jeanette Winterson has started off the project with A Gap in Time, a retelling of The Winter’s Tale.  Shakespeare’s original play was the story of Leontes, King of Sicily, whose insane jealousy results in the banishment of his baby daughter and the death of his wife.

Winterson’s story moves from London, a city reeling after the 2008 financial crisis, to a storm-ravaged American city she calls New Bohemia.  Her tale is one of childhood friendship, money, status,  and technology.  On the one hand there is jealousy, and on the other, redemption and the enduring love of a lost child.

Howard Jacobson has taken on the retelling of Merchant of Venice.  His novel is aptly titled Shylock is my Name and in his version, Simon Strulovitch struggles to reconcile his daughter Beatrice’s betrayal of her family and heritage, as she gets caught up in Manchester High Society, and into the arms of a footballer notorious for giving a Nazi salute in the field.

The most recent is Anne Tyler’s retelling of The Taming of the Shrew, which the author has stated she has always found appalling “and not just because it’s ‘laughably misogynistic’, but “simply illogical”.  She hopes her story makes more sense (“after all, it could hardly make less sense).  What she has penned has been described as a “delightful and flowing read about one young woman’s making her way through a world still fraught with weighty expectations for both sexes.”  Vinegar Hill releases today (June 21).

And we will be looking forward to Margaret Atwood’s taking on The Tempest.  This is an ambitious program that Penguin Random House worldwide launched in the Fall of 2015, under the series title Hogarth Shakespeare.  Why don’t you try a title or two?  See if you can glimpse the bard between the lines!





“serieS uS” readings

series uS readings is looking for serious readers, those that are willing to commit to biG stories full of evolving characters, places and storylines that are captured in booK serieS in  a trilogy, tetralogy , pentalogy, hexalogy or even a ongoing series of over 20 books (See Mysteries below).

I have noticed over several years that summer vacation is the most active time for our serieS uS readers, why not consider some of excellent series..

Historical Romance:

10092857 secret keeper  roses have thorns


amish 1 road unknown  amish crossroads one true path


fool's assassin  Fool's quest   Assassin’s Fate 2017

Mystery : Follow this series with over 20 books so far…

Ellis merchant house ellis armada boy Ellis unhallowed grave ellis funeral boat

to 2016               ellis house of eyes look for more in 2017



Look for the serieS uS tag to follow new and outstanding book series.



Booked for Reading

Are you Booked for Reading this summer?  Our Adult summer reading program is back again.  This summer we offer 5 reading challenges.  Each challenge has a theme and will ask you to read 5 titles.  When completed, bring to the Reference Desk and after checking you have completed the challenge, one of our staff will give you a ballot to complete for a draw prize.  The five challenges are: The Long and the Short of it, Holiday time!, Colour me happy!, Islands in the sun, Islands large or small, Author! Author!

We hope you have some fun and maybe try something new this summer!  Stop by the Reference Desk on the upper floor and sign up soon.

OFTB may 20


noW : First Novel Award

I have always been a champion of supporting new Canadian authors. It is exciting to showcase the

40th Anniversary

First Novel Awards

supported by The Walrus and

Connect to The Walrus First Novel awards


the afterlife of birds   Fat Girl   book of sands

strange do you think this is   seep   back to spring


Become connected to bestsellers

See this week’s bestseller list

New York Times Bestsellers Fiction

To receive a weekly update go to Woodstock Public Library website “find and Good Book and subscribe

Next Reads Newsletters

and select YOUR favorite reading style.


Celebrate Canadian Women Writers

Reading Challenge: Deadline March 8th

Honour the voices of Canadian women by reading a book of their writing. This is a brief list followed by links to longer lists.


Non-fiction: Kim Anderson’s Life Stages and Native Women is a sharing of memory, teachings and story medicine offering ALL readers a chance to understand the path and experience of womanhood in First Nation communities. My personal experience of reading this book as a white woman is the wisdom of tradition ways spoke to me and guided me toward better understanding of transitions in my life.


Ellen in piecesCaroline Adderson’s Ellen in Pieces is a modern telling of a mother who chooses a new life after her daughters have moved out. On my to read list I am selecting this title based on goodreads reviews including “It’s about a character who is like a real-life person. Ellen, the titular character, is imperfect and brash, and the reader gets to experience her life through a series of short stories that all link together. This is an incredible, sad and funny book.” submitted by Alexis.


lemonCordelia Strube made a strong impression with Woodstock audiences at our International Festival of Authors several years ago. Lemon is her offering of an angry teenage girl choosing solitude and a unique path in the face of many “unfair” challenges in her life.

Not yet decided? Here are additional offering that may be of interest.

See the exhibit of Canadian Women Authors located in the DVD area on the Upper Floor at Woodstock Public Library.

BiblioCommons list of books by Canadian Women Writers ( including CBC recommended books)

Canadian Women Writers at WPL

Canadian Women Writers on Wiki









Canada Reads 2016

The Canada Reads 2016 shortlist of titles was recently announced.  This year’s five titles are tied to the theme “Starting Over”.  Extra copies of the titles have been ordered, so place a Hold for the ones that you would like to read.  The titles are:

Birdie, by Tracey Lindberg

Bone & Bread, by Saleema Nawaz

The Hero’s Walk, by Anita Rau Badami

The Illegal, by Lawrence Hill

Minster without Portfolio, by Michael Winter

Tune into CBC March 21-24 to hear the books defended.  Which one do you think will be this year’s winner?  For more info check out