The Top ‘Overdue Finds’ of 2018

The Edmonton Public Library officially launched our Overdue Finds podcast on April 24, 2018. There have been over 20 episodes since then, and the show has been downloaded more than 10,000 times from listeners not only in Edmonton but all over Canada and in 25 other countries.

We've been lucky to have many great EPL staff members, as well as local artists and writers appear on the show to share some of their favourite hidden gem books, movies, music and games. So we reached out to all of our past guests and co-hosts, and asked them to share their own top "Overdue Finds" from 2018 that you can borrow from EPL's collection:

428: Shibuya Scramble (Playstation 4)

"428: Shibuya Scramble originally came out in Japan in 2008 but was only translated into English in 2018. It is a totally wacky visual novel where you rotate between five different characters who are total strangers to each other but all get embroiled in a mystery in Tokyo’s face-paced Shibuya neighbourhood. As the player, you have to solve the mystery by jumping back and forth between each character’s narrative, including jumping back and forth in time. Depending on your choices, there are over 90 possible endings. Unlike a lot of visual novels, this one uses live action stills and actors rather than animation. Oh yeah, and one of the characters is dressed as a giant cat the entire time!"

Nancy Sheng (Associate Manager of epl2go and guest on Episode 21 - Best of 2018)

Blackkklansman (dir. Spike Lee)

"Spike Lee's most recent film, BlackkKlansman (2018), is my overdue find of the year. With an exceptional cast, including Adam Driver (Star Wars) and breakout star John David Washington (Ballers) in the central role, this film is subversive, compelling and feels very relevant for right now. Set in the 1970s and based on the amazing true story (check out the book in our catalogue) of Ron Stallworth, the first black detective at the Colorado Springs Police Department who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan, the film uses historical narrative as a lens to examine issues of racism, identity, freedom of speech and law enforcement - in a similar fashion to crime dramas like In The Heat of the Night. Perhaps one of the most surprising things about the film, though, is its use of humour amongst the undercover police team. It feels real and poignant, and adds both levity and great weight to their mission. Also, it's the 1970s and there are karate kicks and fashion worth watching. This is a movie sure to spark debate and discussion; it stayed with me long after I finished it."

Amie Wright (Librarian and guest on Episode 5 - Comics are for Everyone!)

Calypso by David Sedaris

"My overdue find would be Calypso by David Sedaris on audiobook. Reading David Sedaris is a delight, but listening to him read takes it to another level. The audiobook is nice mix of live and studio recordings. Calypso has all the hallmarks of Sedaris’ work - strange humour, surprise insights and memorable characters – but to me this collection turned inward, exploring his family dynamics and personal relationships by pivoting around the death of his sister by overdose, making it his most poignant and personal yet."

Carla Iacchelli (Associate Manager of our Mill Woods Branch and co-host on Episode 17 - The Evolution of Archie)
Calypso is also available as a book and eBook

The Idiot by Elif Batuman

"My pick for 2018 is a fiction book – The Idiot by Elif Batuman. I’m very bad at explaining why I like the books I like (beyond saying, “…..I like it!” like a librarian version of Ralph Wiggum), and this one will be even harder since it doesn’t have an action-y plot. It’s about a young woman’s freshman year at Harvard in 1995, and everything she learns about language, writing and love in the early days of email. It’s philosophical but accessible, sly but poignant.

And if that doesn’t entice you, maybe these two points will:

  • It was nominated for a Pulitzer prize
  • The book jacket colours have inspired me to redecorate my guest bedroom"

Camilla Fita (Community Librarian at our Whitemud Crossing Branch and co-host of Episode 19 - Surviving the Holidays)
The Idiot is also available as an eBook and downloadable audiobook

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (dir. J.A. Bayona)

"Just when you thought there was absolutely no way anyone could possibly dream up another reason to return to Isla Nublar, island of dinosaurs… enter dinosaur activists! That’s right, folks! The heroine from our last movie has turned away from evil capitalist theme park empires and now works for a not-for-profit organization dedicated to saving the dinosaurs from the impending eruption of Isla Nublar’s no longer dormant volcano. And hunky Chris Pratt is along for the ride because, you’ll recall, the last movie asked us to believe that his best friend and pet was a trained velociraptor whom he left behind on the island at the end of the last movie. We must save Blue!

Thankfully, an eccentric billionaire agrees that ALL THE DINOSAURS MUST BE SAVED, and he enlists Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard to round up ALL THE DINOS because this non-existent plan can’t possibly fail! Shockingly, it totally fails because it turns out the eccentric billionaire’s assistant is actually an egomaniacal murderer who double-crosses his boss and hijacks the dinos to sell to billionaires on the dino black market. Every evil billionaire stereotype you can dream up is on the scene, vying for the chance to take home the genetically modified Indoraptor. 

It’s amazing. I laughed. I screamed. I cried. It had absolutely everything I want in a movie."

Laura Winton (Associate Manager of our Lois Hole Library and guest on Episode 12 - Pop Culture Confessions Part 4: Television)
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is also available on Blu-Ray

Just Kids by Patti Smith

"Just the best memoir of Patti Smith's life with Robert Mapplethorpe that anyone could've ever hoped for. I felt transported to the gritty streets of NYC in the late 60s, and as though I could've been walking the halls of the Chelsea hotel bumping into Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and being in the audience at Max's Kansas City watching shows myself. It was a vivid, compelling and one of the few books I will read again – and I never re-read books. I just LOVE this book!"

Kim Bates (Librarian and co-host of the first 15 episodes of Overdue Finds)
Just Kids is also available as a downloadable audiobook and eBook

Kill or Be Killed Volume 3 by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

Kill or Be Killed Volume 4 by Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips

"Of course, start with V. 1 & V.2 (all in our collection). The art is top, top notch. A story of a young man’s struggle with the demon that grows out of having to survive and exist in a seemingly unjust and unsatisfying world. Both a thriller and a story of vigilantism – this is an adult graphic novel that is human, in all of our complexity."

Suzuanne Burwash (EPL's Volunteer Program Coordinator and guest on Episode 19 - Surviving the Holidays)

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertelli

"Leah on the Offbeat (the sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) follows the (mis)adventures of Leah Burke as she struggles to come to terms with love, prom and goodbyes. Fun, funny, and at times, painfully honest, the book is a great read for those who love relatable, frustrating characters, snappy dialog, and charming plot lines. Alertelli’s writing is fresh, engaging, and sucks readers into a world with memorable characters they’ll remember long after the last page has been read."

Natasha Deen (Writer and guest on Episode 4 - Read Local with Natasha Deen)
Leah on the Offbeat is also available on eBook and downloadable audiobook

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

"My personal overdue find library book has to be The Library Book by Susan Orlean. The Library Book is a page-turner and a delight for people who love books and libraries, part memoir, part true crime mystery, part love letter to The Los Angeles Public Library and all it contains. In investigating a fire that raged through the library in 1986 (destroying or damaging over 1 million books), Ms. Orlean takes us browsing through history and memory for a thoughtful and fascinating read about books, the places and people who house and care for them, and also those who would seek to destroy."

Jana G. Pruden (Reporter at The Globe and Mail and guest on Episode 11 - True Crime)
The Library Book is also available on eBook and downloadable audiobook

Meet Me in the Bathroom by Lizzie Goodman

"This oral history of indie rock from 2001-2011 is a brick, but also fascinating reading for anyone who obsessed over the Strokes' first album or wondered just how much cocaine bands in New York really do (hint: a lot). Goodman's book covers everyone from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to LCD Soundsystem to Vampire Weekend, and in the process connects some key dots about how the music industry transformed, fell apart and rebuilt itself in the age of the Internet. The best line, however, comes from outside the city, courtesy of the Hives frontman Howlin' Pelle Almqvist: 'A musical movement is a style of pants.'"

Michael Hingston (Writer and publisher, and guest on Episode 18 - Let's Go Exploring with Michael Hingston)

Pasta, Pane, Vino: Deep Travels Through Italy's Food Culture by Matt Goulding

"Part travel book, part memoir, part food porn, Goulding’s most recent Roads & Kingdom takes a close look at the food culture of Italy through the story of its food-obsessed people. Worth reading for the Anthony Bourdain Foreword correspondence alone, this book is sure to inspire serious food cravings – it took every ounce of will power I had to not order pizza at midnight on a weekday after getting lost in Goulding’s quest for the perfect Neapolitan pizza.  And his writing is supremely entertaining: “Over the past three thousand years, Palermo has been passed around like a giant doobie among history’s most fiendish conquerors". What’s not to love about that?"

Kyle Marshall (Community Librarian at our Lois Hole Library and guest on Episode 19 - Surviving the Holidays)

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

"I was puzzled when this book was released in July, as the world Novik cultivates is a deep, stark winterland touched by very real, raw magic. As her previous book Uprooted took influence from Slavic myth and history, this story takes place in a dreamlike world detailed with Jewish and Nordic culture. I overcame my confusion and read it on the beach, but now would be the perfect time for Edmontonians to take cold comfort in the wintry beauty of these pages."

Courtney Loberg (Artist and Library Assistant, and guest on Bonus Episode 1 - Comic Expo interviews with Courtney Loberg & Jeff Martin)
Spinning Silver is also available as an eBook and downloadable audiobook

Voice Lessons for Parents: What To Say, When To Say It and When To Listen by Wendy Mogel

"I really recommend this one on audio, specifically given the subject. It’s organized by ages and topics in a way that really makes it accessible and useful. I’ll come back to this again and again as it is an useful tool for cultivating relationships with kids through communication. The only caveat or caution is that it does seem to be more focused on kids who are neurotypical and the author makes references to different approaches depending on gender."

Angelica Thompson (Manager of our Riverbend Branch and guest on Episode 7 - Selective Ignorance & Missing Muffins)
Voice Lessons for Parents is also available as an eBook and downloadable audiobook

Voodoo Hypothesis by Canisia Lubrin

"Voodoo Hypotheses is a dissection of the black construct as set by a system that paints black people as inferior and violent. Canisia Lubrin's voice is essential reading as a torch held up to illuminate the hypocrisy of the ruling class and an exploration of restorative possibilities."

Rayanne Haines (Writer and guest on Episode 15 - Back in Shepherds' Time)

White Boy (dir.Shawn Rech) 

"You've probably heard of the movie White Boy Rick, which stars Matthew McConaughey, but this documentary on the same story goes into quite a bit more detail on the real life case of Richard Wersche Jr. who, at the age of 15, became an informant for the FBI. The documentary examines the flawed US legal system and corruption in Detroit during the 1980s at the height of America's war on drugs. The film with Matthew McConaughey is great, but this documentary gives you so much more on the legend of White Boy Rick."

Bryce Crittenden (EPL's Senior Marketing Consultant and co-host of Overdue Finds)

You Were Never Really Here (dir. Lynn Ramsay)

"You Were Never Really Here is a thriller starring Joaquin Phoenix as a vigilante badass who tracks down missing girls. The movie by Lynne Ramsay, based on Jonathan Ames’ novella of the same name, is compelling, visually striking, and the soundtrack perfectly heightens the tension and inner turmoil of Phoenix’s character."

Allison DaSilva (Librarian and Analyst for EPL, and co-host on Episode 16 - Books to Film: Halloween Edition)

Subscribe to EPL's Overdue Finds podcast to get new episodes bi-weekly! 

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Edmonton Public Library