Welcome to Meet Me in the Stacks, a podcast for book-ish people. On our show, we take deep dives into subjects that inform, entertain, and enlighten. You don’t have to be an avid reader to find enjoyment in our show, but of course, if you are, you definitely don’t want to miss an episode.

Episode 10 - COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

What does folklore have to do with COVID anyway?  And have you ever wanted to know what the difference between gossip and rumour is?  Why does it even matter?  And how big an X-Files fan is Nathan anyway?

Find out by listening (and using a bit of imagination on what the slides looked like) if you’re concerned about the reptilian cabal that runs the podcast!  On September 28, Memorial University professor John Bodner virtually visited the Comox Valley to talk conspiracy theories all the way from his new home in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.  (John was formerly a Cumberland resident!)  You can see his co-authored book here from our library.  Totally fascinating!

Further reading/reference that you might check out:

Episode 9 - Theremins and Libraries of Things

The episode in which you learn the name to that instrument you hear in all the TV shows but had no idea what it was.  Also, Nathan and Darby talk about Libraries of Things that lend unexpected items.

We talk about:

  • Seed libraries
    • at Nanaimo North, Creativity Commons (Nanaimo),Courtenay, and Gabriola branches
  • Human libraries
  • Tool libraries
  • Musical instrument libraries
  • Puzzle lending
    • shhh….  Nanaimo North has a semi-secret puzzle lending library  (and we’re not sure why we’re whispering!)

What would YOU want to see as a library of things? Cake pans? Keytars? Kombucha SCOBYs? Email us and let us know.

You can visit the Creativity Commons branch to try their Theremin too!

Casey jumps through the sliding glass door to talk Canadian Muslim novels and authors, and hopes these books are mirrors for some of you, dear listeners!

Any others we should know about?  Like maybe some male Canadian Muslim authors?  =)

Episode 8 - Meryl Wilsner on queer romances

“If only we could just read and not go to our jobs and stuff.” -Quote of the episode

Author Meryl Wilsner reads from and discusses their novel Something to Talk About back in June for Pride month.  The book follows Jo and Emma in a what starts as a Hollywood rumour and looks like it might become a relationship.  Meryl answers questions from the zoom audience as well.

Queers romance authors/books mentioned by Meryl:

Casey tells our listeners about her blog called Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, and five very recent Canadian queer and trans books:

  1. Polar Vortex by Chani Mootoo
  2. My Art is Killing Me by Amber Dawn
  3. Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante
  4. A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
  5. The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya

Tell us what your favourite queer Canadian books are!  Or request a topic by emailing us at meetmeinthestacks@virl.bc.ca

Episode 7 - Beach Reads and Tips for Reading More

We’re all about the R&R and slowing it down to get some reading in this episode.  These segments were recorded during our July heatwave, so don’t mind our dewey/Dewey appearance.

Beach reads are different everyone, but Casey tells you about some compelling, light, and totally entertaining books that she thinks are just beachy, whether you’re an ocean, lake, river, or AC kind of reader:

  1. Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie
  2. Summer Fun by Jeanne Thornton
  3. The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
  4. Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
  5. Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Special guest Kelsey from K’il Kun (aka Sandspit) in Haida Gwaii shares her ideas for reading more.  These are her tips:

  1. Replace Screen Time with Book Time
    • Read a book during your morning coffee instead of scrolling.
    • Read during your commute if you’re a bus or train commuter.  Or listen while you drive or walk!
  2. Keep a book on your bedside table so you can read a few minutes before you fall asleep.
    • A non-fiction book might help you still go to sleep on time if you tend to read all night.
  3. Consider alternatives to traditional print materials.
    • eBooks -automatically return after the loan period from your library
    • audiobooks -this is definitely reading too and you can do other things at the same time, like the dishes, or gardening
    • graphic novels -easier for some to get into, quick reads
  4. Start small. Break it down into manageable pieces.
    • Maybe you start by reading for part of your cup of coffee to start.
    • Or read on a screen first, then check Facebook.
  5. Try a SMART goal.  Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-based
    • Example: I will read one fiction book by the end of the month.

Episode 6 - Farm Fieldtrip to the Comox Valley

Jessica takes us for a field trip into her Ask A Local Farmer program series!  Local Comox Valley farmer Arzeena from Amara Farm discusses growing your own food and supporting local food cultivation during and post pandemic.  You might learn something that will help you with your carrot crop or just inspire you to plant something!

Arzeena recommended you check out a book about square foot gardening.  Jessica made a list of the Comox Valley resources mentioned in their conversation.

About the farmer

Arzeena earned her Bachelor’s degree in Crop Science from the University of Guelph and a Master’s in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of London, England. She worked as a CUSO volunteer in Thailand and as a researcher in Jamaica, India, and Bangladesh. She was the staff Agrologist for West Coast Seeds from 1997-1999 and served as the Coordinator of the Richmond Food Security Society from 2008-2012, and in 2010 helped launch the Richmond Farm School. She and her husband moved their family to the Comox Valley in 2012 and run Amara Farm, a 25-acre certified organic farm in Courtenay, BC. In 2018, Arzeena was elected to the Board of the Comox Valley Regional District where she serves as both Vice Chair and Director, Area B.

About the Farm: 

Arzeena and Neil started Amara Farm in 2012 with a dream to grow healthy food for their community. First came the veggies, and then an acre of blueberries in 2014. The farm received its certified organic status in 2015 and has since earned awards such as, the Land of Plenty Award (2018), and the Comox Valley Record’s Best Market Vendor (2019). They have recently started a new project involving the addition of a new orchard full of apple, pear, and hazelnut trees.


Amara Farm Logo


Episode 5 - Books About Books and Askew Creek Co-operative Book Shop

Brace yourself…this one is pretty book-ish.

Metabooks?  Bibliomemoirs?  Reading about reading?  In Talk Bookish to Me Casey tells us about some books about some other books.

Learn all about the Askew Creek Book Shop with Cowichan librarian, Kendra, as she talks to co-op members Diane Cacciato (Gallagher) and Suzanne Anderson!  Diane Gallagher can be found on her website, including info on her new book The Bastard of Saint Geneva. Suzanne Anderson is a writer, publisher, book coach and copy editor and can be found on her website called “The Self Publishing Expert”.

The co-operative book shop was started up in June of 2020 (when everyone thought COVID might be over) and has just closed as of May 30, 2021.  You can find the co-operative on Facebook under their new name of An Island of Books.

Episode 4 -Author Eden Robinson in Laughter & Conversation

Are you a fan of cosy/serious/hilarious/Indigenous culture lit?  Us too!  Author Eden Robinson laughs (a lot) with Darby about her books, Wild Men of the Woods (aka Sasquatches), matriarchal tendencies, and lots more.  This is the audio from our special zoom event on April 23, 2021.

Eden Robinson came to us from her home in Kitimaat Village and is of Haisla and Heiltsuk ancestry.  Darby was at work in Nanaimo and is of Dutch, Icelandic, and mixed British/Irish/Scottish ancestry.  Both like sea stars.

Episode 3 -Local Press Rebel Mountain and 2 Pride 2 Prejudice

Lori Shwydky talks to Darby about Rebel Mountain Press and the diverse titles they’ve been producing as they’ve grown since 2015.  You can find Rebel Mountain titles in our catalogue, including the teen writing anthologies that feature the talented teens of Vancouver Island and our surrounding coastal communities.

Rebel Mountain Press books we touched on:

Casey dishes on Pride and Prejudice re-tellings in our segment, Talk Bookish to Me.  Nathan purports to be writing one called 2 Pride 2 Prejudice (maybe THIS is the COVID novel we’ve been waiting for?):

    1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    2. Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
    3. Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (and two bonus recommendations for romances with queer women: Something to Talk About and The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows)
    4. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
    5. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
    6. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Episode 2 -Storytelling in DND and Talk Bookish to Me: Sci-Fi and Fantasy by Black Authors

Darby talks to Arija about her interest in Dungeons and Dragons (DND).  We answer pressing questions such as… :

  • Is it only playable in a dark basement?
  • Can you make friends playing it?
  • What is it anyway?
  • Is it really about storytelling?
  • Is it pandemic friendly?

Casey recommends some Sci-Fi and Fantasy books you might not know you needed to read by Black authors:

  1. Falling in Love with Hominids by Nalo Hopkinson
  2. The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
  3. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
  4. Rosewater by Tade Thompson
  5. Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Episode 1 -Bob Joseph and 21 Things You Didn't Know About the Indian Act

Bob Joseph is an author and Indigenous relations trainer that wrote the books 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act and Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality. He is a member of the Gwawaenuk Nation.  He spoke with librarian Jessica Humphries following an awesome online event with us with 530 people in attendance on January 28, 2021.

Find his books here from the library!

Find out more about Bob by visiting www.indigenousrelationsacademy.com for online courses and www.ictinc.ca/blog for more information. You can also follow Bob Joseph on Twitter at @wewap.