New Books and Records

Millpond Staff Picks: November

Myah’s Picks
Book: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
In this psychological thriller, readers follow Rachel, a middle-aged woman who takes the same train into town every morning. Through the routine-manner of this commute, Rachel has become familiar with the various things she sees every day on the train – including a couple who live in a house near the tracks. Rachel views this couple, “Jess and Jason” as she calls them, as perfect. She wishes that she could live their lives. Until one morning when she sees something startling. Now, everything has changed and Rachel decides that she must get involved. Finally, Rachel has a reason to be a part of their lives and more than just the Girl On The Train. This book was impossible to put down! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, complete with plenty of twists and turns. A must-read for any lover of psych-thrillers!

Record: Blood Sugar Sex Magik – Red Hot Chili Peppers
This album is one of my favourite RHCP albums. From the clean guitar lines to the emotional lyrics of ‘Under the Bridge’ to the amazingly funky single, ‘Give It Away’, this RHCP masterpiece is a staple in my collection.

Mark’s Picks
Book: Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
Seeing that politics has been taking over our conversations and curiosity both here in Canada and south of the border, Best Laid Plans offers a provocative and entertaining behind the scenes look at Canadian politics. The main character, a political aide trying to exit politics all together is tasked with running one last campaign. The reluctant candidate, with virtually no political experience gets elected despite their minimal efforts. The result is sheer hilarity and offers a sharp, satirical look at politics in Ottawa. A nice signed copy by the author is definitely a nice collector’s item.

Record: Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake – Small Faces
Small Faces generated some of the most memorable rock music, not to mention paving the way for so much amazing music to come later. Lead singer Steve Marriott (formed Humble Pie with Peter Frampton), Ron Wood (continued with Faces, bringing in Rod Stewart as lead singer, then on to The Rolling Stones), Ronnie Lane (continued writing and recording with Faces, wrote and recorded with many rock legends such as Pete Townsend), Kenny Jones (drummer with Faces, then on to replace Keith Moon with The Who). Definitely a short, but powerful run and legacy. Worth exploring the entire discography.

Griffin’s Picks
Book: Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O’Neill
This book is a drift from what i usually like to read. I am a non-fiction book lover but I have read ‘Lullabies for Little Criminals’ a couple times now. Heather’s book comes from inspiration of some real-life dark places to tell the tale of humanity, love and family. When it comes to quality Canadian Literature, Heather O’Neill is always my first recommendation. My first read of Heather’s work was actually in high school… I was not much of a reader beck then. I often read summaries of books i had to read from Sparknotes or other sources to pass most english classes. Reading O’Neill’s books is something i never had to skim through. This book will show you how gripping her work can be!

Record: Key Markets – Sleaford Mods
The Sleaford Mods always remind me why i love punk music so much. Their raw and unapologetic approach to music is always inspires me to create. I’m always energized when i listen to these guys. This album is not my first listen to Sleaford Mods but it IS a very necessary part of their discography. This is an imaginative, interesting and thoughtful album; despite them sounding like some UK blokes yelling in your ear to a stripped down jam session. I highly recommend this album to anyone interested in breaking into the deceptively large universe of punk music

Colin’s Picks
Book: Blue Note: The Album Cover Art Forward by Horace Silver
As a relatively new listener of jazz – one of the most striking impressions of the genre and its most iconic record label was the amazingly inventive and interesting record covers. This book captures many of the most well-known album covers in full 12 inch colour. You get a sense of how the art evolved through the years. You also get to enjoy these beautiful art pieces without having to spend a fortune on the vinyl!

Record: The Crane Wife – The Decemberists
This is was the first Decemberists album I ever heard sometime in the mid 2000s, and probably still my favourite. They do the folk-rock old timey thing way better than any of the similarly themed bands that came later, and have some seriously creative songwriting. I am also a sucker for a good narrative in a song, and they provide plenty – wrapped up in foot stomping seashanty-like tunes. I have two other Decemberists records and the pressings sound fantastic. Give it a listen and pick it up.

Tyler’s Picks
Record: Blurred – Kiasmos
House is the first true genre that I have really enjoyed. This EP is a somewhat ambient and soft house/techno. It has a lot of pad and a solid beat that’s nice on the ears. The album also includes a couple of remixes with one being by Bonobo. So if you’re into easy to listen to electronic and solid beats this will be a good one to give a listen.


Millpond Staff Picks: October

Myah’s Picks
Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
A fascinating retelling of the life of Henrietta Lacks and how she has impacted science to this day. Her cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951 and were the first ‘immortal’ human cells grown in culture. Her cells, known as HeLa cells, are still alive today, even though she’s been dead for over 60 years. This account of her story and how her cells have led to numerous medical breakthroughs throughout history is a must-read. Explore the cloudy borders that separate science and ethics.

Record: Fair Warning – Van Halen
An all-time favourite – Van Halen’s fourth LP, Fair Warning, is complete with awesome riffs, iconic lyrics and tunes you can’t help but sing along to. Hearing ‘Unchained’ come through the speakers immediately leads to my best rockstar impression!

Mark’s Picks
Book: Barney’s Version by Mordecai Richler
After reading The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz in high school, I was hooked by Richler’s writing. He had an amazing ability to write in almost as a stream of consciousness and capture the happiness, sadness, and despair of the characters he created. One of the few authors that can evoke tears from the reader, both from laughter and sorrow. Barney’s Version did just that through the multiple accounts and narratives of the life and times of Barney Panofsky. Definitely one of the most colourful, entertaining, yet complicated characters in Canadian literature. Worth the read.

Record: The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo
The Country Rock sound is like a soundtrack to my youth. Could not get enough of it as I ventured into music at a young age. I have just recently binged on as much as I could find: a great rock/documentary, Echoes in the Canyon, and a PBS multi-part special, “Country Music”, carefully and creatively chronicled the Byrds, along with so many others as they crafted beautiful music that crossed over from rock to country. Awesome.

Liam’s Picks
Book: Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques
The Redwall series was made into a TV show when I was very young, when it was taken off air I remember my brother and me wanting to know more! And that’s when we discovered these phenomenal, well written books. If you’d like to read a great work of fiction that’s just fun and enjoyable, these books are for you!

Record: Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered
This album is a compilation of demos that were originally planned to be on the fantastic album To Pimp a Butterfly. Kendrick takes the world of hip hop, and combines it with free soul Jazz while exploring political and philosophical themes. If you take the time to listen to the lyrics it’s a very poetic and beautiful album. **fun fact I have the CD version of this and it is stuck in my car CD slot and I have only been able to listen to this for 2 years…still love it**

Colin’s Picks
Book: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I think I picked up this book after reading a couple of Malcolm Gladwell’s first books (The Tipping Point and Blink). It is written by a former wall street trader and is full of interesting examples of how limited we are in predicting the future. The idea of a ‘black swan event’ is a highly improbably event, which turns out to be true, based on the story that it was widely believed all swans were white, because all swans that had been observed were white – until black swans were discovered in Australia. He argues that these highly improbable, unpredictable events are responsible for many aspects of life. If you’re at all interested in prediction, probability, and words like ‘fractal randomness’ this gem is for you, it’s really a great read!

Record: M83 – Saturdays = Youth
This was my entry into m83’s wonderful world of synthesizer-infused drama; this one being particularly reminiscent of a montage in an 80s coming of age movie. A track from this album was on a snowboard movie that came out in 2008 which was the first I’d seen in like 20 years (and incidentally was a major way of discovering music back in the day) – so for me it always reminds me of snowboarding. After finding this album, I dug deep into some of m83s earlier records which are all awesome (some even better). Check out the song ‘We Own the Sky’ for a sample – epic, dramatic, maybe a little over the top, but perfect for gazing out at the falling leaves and reading about fractal randomness.


New Fall Hours