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!





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



Downloadable Christmas Music!

One of the things that always helps to put me in the mood for Christmas is Christmas music. Whether it’s while I’m shopping, or wrapping or baking, having my favourite sing-a-long Christmas songs accompany me during my tasks helps to put me in the mood.

If Christmas music has the same effect on you as it does me, you might enjoy this list of downloadable Christmas songs available from Freegal. Even though you are limited to 5 downloads per week, you can always compile this list into your own Freegal Playlist and stream them.

Perhaps there are songs on this list that you have not heard in a while, or are performed by artists that you had forgotten. Either way, I hope you enjoy this list and have a wonderful Christmas!

1- “The Christmas Song” – Nat King Cole (1961)christmas with nat

2 -“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” – Judy Garland (1944)

3 -“Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” – Brenda Lee (1958)

4 -“Santa Claus is Coming to Town” – Bruce Springsteen (2003)

5 -“All I Want for Christmas Is You” – Mariah Carey (1994)

6 -“White Christmas” – Bing Crosby (1942)

7 -“Christmas Time is Here (A Charlie Brown Christmas)” – Vince Guaraldi (1965)

8 -“Jingle Bell Rock” – Daryl Hall & John Oates (2006)

9 -“That’s Christmas to Me” – Pentatonix (2014)pentatonix that's christmas to me

10 -“Joy to the World” – Michael Bolton (1997)

11 -“O Holy Night” – Céline Dion (1998)

12 -“Last Christmas” – Wham! (1984)

13 -“Christmas Wrapping” – Glee Cast (2011)

14 -“Chipmunk Song” – Alvin & The Chipmunks (1958)

15 -“Blue Christmas” – Elvis Presley & Martina McBride (2009)

16 -“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” – Elmo & Patsy (1983)

17 -“Do You Hear What I Hear?” – Carrie Underwood (2007)

18 -“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Andy Williams (1963)

19 -“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” -Steve Lawrence and Edie Gome

20 -“Christmas Song” – Dave Matthews Band (1998)

21 -“Feliz Navidad” – José Feliciano (1970)

22- “This Christmas” – Chris Brown (2007)

23 -“Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” – Mariah Carey (1994)

24 -“Please Come Home for Christmas” – Aaron Neville & Ann Wilson

25 -“Merry Christmas Baby” – Christina Aguilera

26 -“What Child Is This?” – Charlotte Church

27 -“O Come All Ye Faithful” – Twisted Sister (2006)a twisted christmas

28 -“Cool Yule” – Bette Midler (2006)

29 -“Here Comes Santa Claus” – Elvis Presley (1957)

30 -“Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” – Harry Connick Jr. (1993)

31 -“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” – Perry Como (1957)

32 -“Good King Wenceslaus” – Loreena McKennitt (1995)

33 -“The First Noel” – Crash Test Dummies

34 -“This One’s for the Children” – New Kids on the Block

35 -“Grown-Up Christmas List” – Barbra Streisand

36 -“Silent Night” – Kelly Clarkson, feat. Reba McEntire & Trish Yearwoodkelly clarkson wrapped in red

37 -“Sleigh Ride” – Neil Diamond

38 -“Little Drummer Boy” – The Beverly Sisters

39 -“O’ Little Town of Bethlehem” – Bob Dylan

40 -“Wrapped in Red” – Kelly Clarkson

41 -“Frosty the Snowman” – Willie Nelson

42 -“River” – Barry Manilow

43 -“Jingle Bells” – Dolly Parton

44 -“Christmas in Blue Chair Bay” – Kenny Chesney

45 -“One Wish (For Christmas)” – Whitney Houston

46 -“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” – Céline Dionceline dion these times

47 -“Silver Bells” – Tony Bennett

48 -“I’ll Be Home” – Meghan Trainor

49 -“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – Jimmy Boyd

50 -“Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord” – Boney M.

Okay, just one more because it is one of my favourites…

51 – “Song for a Winter’s Night” – Sarah McLachlan