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 32 - Goosefeather
How do YOU feel about honking like a goose for people? If you’re very comfortable, perhaps you are our next guest!
Meet Naomi Steinberg, storyteller and author. There are no spoilers, just enjoy the voyage… *HONK!*
Episode 31 - Sea & Cedar Storytime
Enjoy your literary adult storytime with these Sea & Cedar magazine readings!
- Storyteller Spirits & Tuesday’s Tide by Heather Hendry
- Hedgerow & Moss by Allie Picketts
- Flame Girl by Jann Everard
- Snake Spur Road by Karl Sturmanis
- Planting Onions by Zoe Dickinson
- Pop-Up Grebe by Christine Lowther
- Spell for Skookumchuck Narrows by Anne Hopkinson
A limited number of PRINT copies are also available for purchase! Email email@example.com to place an order (for pick up only at any VIRL branch). Cost is $15 + GST per copy.
Episode 30 - The Great Debate: eBooks vs. pBooks
Do paper (or “pbooks”, if you will) have a place in this world anymore? Will reading an ebook lead to buying unneeded items on the internet and generally ruin your health?
Nathan and Darby duke it out. Can they come together on the topic, or will the excitement of the debate rhetoric prove to be too much? Find out on this impassioned episode.
Episode 29 - Jan Zwicky reads & talks philosophy and climate change
Spurred on by our special guest, Nathan reflects on whether he is “award winning” for a brief, awkward moment. Then Quadra Island dwelling and Order of Canada winning poet (and lovely human being) Jan Zwicky does a special reading of her essays and poems. From this, she dives into a discussion with Darby about climate change and accepting the mess we seem to be in. If you’re feeling stressed out about climate change, chill out with some exquisite poetry and feel admiration for the boundless energy of nature in this moment.
If that still doesn’t work, Jan and Darby suggest growing garlic and making garlic scape pesto, which is very good on pizza. You can get started with our Vancouver Master Gardeners’ help here. Failing the garlic cure, you should get chickens.
Episode 28 - Romance Recipe with Ruby Barret for Pride Month
Casey talks full-on romance with Ottawa based bisexual author Ruby Barrett. She is the author of The Romance Recipe, a queer rom-com featuring Amy and Sophie possibly adding the non-FDA approved ingredient of “love” into their restaurant food. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “a down-to-earth queer romance”.
This episode was recorded at our live Pride Month event with Ruby Barrett.
Check out some other LGBTQ2+ reads here on our Pride Month page. Queer books are great to read all year round!
Episode 27 - F This
Not for sensitive ears! There are a lot of words that start with different letters, but mostly “F”. Get ready to feel like a kid looking up bad words in the dictionary! (Tee hee.)
Nathan talks about all of the books with the eff word in the title. Apparently this kind of title is helpful to us all. Also profitable!
And then there is some profanity trivia for you!
Episode 26 - Sea & Cedar Storytime
Nathan gets to reuse his accordion rendition of our theme to welcome you to this second special episode of Sea & Cedar magazine readings! It’s like a literary adult storytime for you, really.
- Orca Cafe by Anna Russell
- West Coast Mornings: the view by Chris Lihou
- Tracks by Deborah Graham
Episode 25 - From School to Sky
Does your family have war stories? Are they shared or unspoken? Join blues musician George Halpern for his father’s action-packed war story from his book From School to Sky: Joseph’s Tale of War.
This event was originally at the Nanaimo North Branch in early 2023.
Episode 24 - Win Free Books for Life with Library Trivia Vol. 2!
Nathan quizzes Darby on such topics as:
- what kind of library is an osmothèque?
- detective or dancer?
- Shakespeare word, or not?
- and many more…
YOU could win FREE BOOKS FOR LIFE! Please redeem your prize at your nearest branch.
Episode 23 -Best Books Read in 2022 & What Is Time?
Nathan and Darby talk about books (again) and important topics like “what is a new year anyway?” We may or may not be late with this segment about our top picks from 2022 (though we are totally early for Nowruz/Persian New Year, so there!).
Our top picks:
- GENERAL FICTION: A Funny Kind of Paradise by Jo Owens -Victoria author
- TOP SERIES: The Rockton/Casey Duncan series by Kelley Armstrong -Canadian author
- Start at the beginning with City of the Lost
- BEST MYSTERY: The Verifiers by Jane Pek
- HISTORICAL FICTION: Everyone Knows Your Mother is a Witch by Rivka Galchen
- DUAL LITERARY FICTION & TOP BOOK CLUB PICK: The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
- GRAPHIC NOVEL MEMOIRS:
- Adrift: the curious tale of the Lego lost at sea by Tracey Williams
- The Pocket: a hidden history of women’s lives, 1660-1900 by Barbara Burman
- Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
- Outer Order, Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin
Episode 22 -Something to Talk About (*woof*, *meow*)
When Nathan gets a bee in his bonnet, he really goes all the way. Listen to him talk about phone booths and “computer phones”. Yes, this is library related, really. Don’t get Nathan started again. Please.
Darby brings you 5 books to talk about. They are book club approved! Or you can just think about them really hard by yourself.
- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
- Women Talking by Miriam Toews
- Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder
- When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
- The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline
Episode 21 -Sea & Cedar Storytime
Nathan is inspired to procure an accordion to welcome you to this special episode of Sea & Cedar magazine readings! It’s like a literary adult storytime for you, really.
- Steelhead! by Jess H. Brewer
- The Long View & Youth is an Absence by Diane Massam
- Hockey Fights by Miles Hayes
- Cedar Psalm III by Allie Picketts
- Back Road Bonanza, Solstice Ceremony, & Raining Glory by Neall Calvert
Episode 20 - Library Trivia
Nathan tests your library trivia knowledge and then lets you self-evaluate to assign your own points. Listen in to hear what prizes are on offer.
Episode 19 -Kicking ASSpergers with Jeremy Tolmie
Longtime library employee Jeremy Tolmie talks to Librarian Dalia about his life and his book called Kicking ASSpergers: One Meltdown at a Time. Find his book on his publisher’s website, Jeremy’s website, or in the library catalogue.
Jeremy Tolmie has written three previous books—Living with Asperger’s Syndrome, Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Living on the Autism Spectrum. His goal in sharing his story is to inspire hope in others with autism, and their families.
He resides in semi-independent living in Nanaimo, British Columbia.
Episode 18 -Short Fiction for Your Busy Ears
We hear ya… Summer can be a busy time and we have some local short fiction to squeeze in while you do something else. Meet winners from the 2022 Islands Short Fiction Contest! They are here for you.
Stories included today:
- The Grimathonian Monster written by and read by Mira Vickers, 1st place in the junior category
- The Push written by and read by Lillith Stoyko-Lang, 1st place in the youth category
- Read-a-like: The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
- Revenge of the Butterflies written by and read by Linnea Wiggers, tied for 3rd place in the youth category
- Servant of the Ants written by Cody Alexander and read by Nathan, 2nd place in the youth category
- Bear written by and read by Robert Bowerman, 1st place in the adult category
- Read-a-like: Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
You can read all of the winning stories here on the Islands Short Fiction 2022 Winners page. Thanks to all of the talented writers who shared their work for the contest!
Episode 17 -Live vibes for I Am Everything In Between with Sydney Sunderland
Get right into the live vibe of this event from Pride Month at Courtenay library with author Sydney Sunderland. I Am Everything In Between highlights kids who don’t fit into stereotypical gender ideals. The book is published by Rebel Mountain Press in Nanoose.
Episode 16 - Favourite Picks from Volume One Bookstore in Duncan
Kendra talks with Vivi and Catherine of Duncan’s amazing bookstore, Volume One. Get ready for some deep-dive recommendations!
Their favourites for adults:
- Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard (non-fiction)
- Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (fiction)
- Bluebird by Sharon Cameron (fiction) ~on order
- People Change by Vivek Shraya (non-fiction/essay)
Their favourites for children:
- The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson (picture book)
- Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney (picture book)
- Bluebird by Sharon Cameron (YA fiction) ~on order
Nathan suggests you check out Broombusters.org to assuage your invasive species guilt for loving the Miss Rumphius book.
Episode 15 - Fine Crimes
Are fines fine, or are fines not so fine? Does fining lead to… crime? Find out with Nathan and visit the dark world of library fine crimes. (Did you know that VIRL has no overdue fines for children’s and young adult materials? And we’re trying it out for adult materials too in 2022!)
Darby shares some fine thrillers (with crimes in them):
- The Kill Club by Wendy Heard
- Read alike: Kristen Lepionka’s Roxanne Weary series
- Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
- The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham-Jones
- City of the Lost by Kelly Armstrong
- Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan
Episode 14 - Visiting Notting Hill for a queer romcom + audiobooks to delight your ears
Sooke Librarian Nathalie interviews Victoria-based author Hayden Stone. He is definitely a book-ish person and talks about favourite real-life bookshops along with the fictional one he created for his character Aubrey. You can find his queer romance book An Unexpected Kind of Love for sale or in our catalogue. (Apparently it has a lot of kissing and steamy bits.)
Casey tells us about some great full cast audiobooks, which are awesome because there are multiple narrators and it’s a bit like a radio play. (Nathan should probably not lie down if he’s listening to an audiobook, unless there is a lot of yelling in it.) Download the Libby App on your phone or tablet here so you can get listening.
- Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- available in eAudiobook and CD audiobook
- Greenwood by Michael Christie
- available in eAudiobook
- A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
- available in eAudiobook
- Sadie by Courtenay Summers
- available in eAudiobook
- Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
- available in eAudiobook and CD audiobook
Episode 13 - Take a break from busy with poetry by Kamal Parmar
Settle in, maybe in a meditation seat, maybe reclined on your couch, and give yourself a little break to listen to some poetry.
Kamal Parmar is Nanaimo’s Poet Laureate and the author of numerous books of poetry. Parmar is also a writer creative non-fiction and has published multiple books in North America, India and the United Kingdom, with topics including childhood memories of India, her impressions of Canada and her experience caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s disease.
Episode 12 - The Gift of Adversity with W'ren & company*
On Sunday November 28th from 2-3:30pm we will be conducting a virtual (Zoom) screening of the documentary film Dance with Disease: The Gift of Adversity, which will be followed by a Q&A by the filmmaker. Here are some details about the film and creator:
Following W’Ren’s life-changing 2016 diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, he turned to filmmaking as part of his healing journey. Dance with Disease: the Gift of Adversity explores various people’s stories of hardship, and their grace and gratitude in the face of adversity.
Here is a link to the event and you’ll find the poster attached: https://virl.bc.ca/event/gift-of-adversity-film-screening-and-qa/
Here’s a link to the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbBH2luO7F
*contains some swearing in the context of the guests’ journeys
Episode 11 - The Haunting of Vancouver Island & Also Of Your Bedside Table
BOO(k) to you!!!
Casey shares some Spoooooooky Booooooooks:
Tell us what YOUR favourite spooky tales are!
Then Darby had a more lighthearted conversation with Shanon Sinn of Victoria, BC about his uniquely spooky and well-researched book The Haunting of Vancouver Island: supernatural encounters with the other side. Be scared and informed! These ghost stories can be “teachers of history”.
Put a hold on it here or find it at your local bookstore -odds are Shanon has visited them to stock the book.
The MMITS crew are also fans of the Nanaimo Museum like Shanon is!
Check out his twitter and #FolkloreThurs (Folklore Thursdays) from our convo, too.
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:
- The SLAP test (see graphic below)
- If you like the SLAP test, you will definitely like the CRAAP test. (And we are just so enjoying these tools for being discerning about information!)
- The Social Media Lab at Ryerson University with a free speaker series
- Some academic articles about rumor, gossip, and urban legend (you’ll need your library card #).
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!
- Hanna Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin, like the 90s movie You’ve Got Mail
- We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
- Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
- YA contemporary title, and worth reading!
- The Unquiet Dead by Ausma Zehanat Khan, the first in a Mystery series with Detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Ghetty
- Seven by Farzana Doctor
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:
- Alyssa Cole
- Alexandria Bellefleur
- Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
- Brown Sisters books by Talia Hibbert (they end up with men but 2 of the 3 of them are queer probably, says Wilsner)
- Rachel Spangler who has a few books at the library already
- You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson (YA)
- Higher by Roz Alexander
- She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen
- Sweet and Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley
- Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler
Casey tells our listeners about her blog called Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian, and five very recent Canadian queer and trans books:
- Polar Vortex by Chani Mootoo
- My Art is Killing Me by Amber Dawn
- Little Blue Encyclopedia (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante
- A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
- The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya
Tell us what your favourite queer Canadian books are! Or request a topic by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
- Skye Falling by Mia McKenzie
- Summer Fun by Jeanne Thornton
- The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
- Accidentally Engaged by Farah Heron
- 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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
- The Victorian and the Romantic by Nell Stevens
- My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead
- Banned Book Club by Hyun Sook Kim (graphic novel)
- Book Love by Debbie Tung (comic/graphic novel)
- A Girl Walks Into A Book by Miranda Pennington
- Bookworm: a memoir of childhood reading by Lucy Mangan
- Barking with the Big Dogs by Natalie Babbitt
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:
- In Our Own Teen Voice and In Our Own Aboriginal Voice
- Ghost’s Journey by Robin Stevenson and Breaking Boundaries: LGBTQ2 on Coming Out and Into Canada
- I Am Ready by Michelle Sylliboy
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?):
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
- 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)
- Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
- Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
- 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:
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!