“Food” for Thought!

We’ve reached the beginning of March, and the winter weather is still upon us – the perfect weather for cozying up and indulging in those wonderful comfort foods. March celebrates World Agriculture Day, Tea for Two Tuesday, and national holidays celebrating peanut butter, frozen food, popcorn, chips and dip, waffles, and more. With so many holidays for such scrumptious foods, why not curl up with a yummy book as well?

This month’s book display, Food for Thought, features a vast array of books about food – from cookbooks, to fiction, to works discussing the culture and history behind food. There is something for everyone who appreciates the deliciousness of foodstuffs.shelves of books from the food for thought display

If you’re looking for fiction, we have wonderful food-related works by brilliant women writers (March 8th is International Women’s Day after all!), such as The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood, Simple Recipes, a collection of short stories by Madeleine Thien, Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, and Chez Moi by Agnes Desarthe.

Need your Food Network, celebrity-chef fix? Food Media : Celebrity Chefs and the Politics of Everyday Interference by Signe Rousseau explores the rise of the celebrity chef and how they influence everyday eating, and features chapters written by chefs like Jamie Oliver, Rachel Ray, and Nigella Lawson. You could also explore the lives of famous chefs like Julia Child (My Life in France), Betty Crocker (Finding Betty Crocker), and Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential).

You can also explore topics such as food as revolution (Southern Food and Civil Rights: Feeding the Revolution; Edible Action: Food Activism and Alternative Economics; Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took on the Food Industry), cooking (Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat; Chinese Home-Style Cooking; A History of Food in 100 Recipes), and the dangers of unhealthy eating (Fast Food Nation; Food Inc; Cooked.).

No matter what your reading preference, we have something on the menu for everyone! Come check us out in the Redpath Library hallway on the main floor.


This book display was created by our Graduate Student Reference Assistants, Lindsey Franks and Virginia Larose.

Black History Month at McGill

Throughout February, the McGill Community joins many others in celebrating Black History Month.

The 2020 celebrations across the University, city and country encompass many themes. A common thread throughout this year’s themes is exploring the past in order to understand the present and build a better future.

Black History Month aims to celebrate and centre Blackness throughout the history, the present, and the future of McGill and beyond.

McGill’s theme for this year is Rooted, an exploration of the rooted past, present and future of Black history and communities. There are many events happening across campus and in collaboration with organizations across the city of Montreal, where the theme for this year’s 29th edition of Black History Month is “Ici et Maintenant! / Here and Now!” celebrating the voices and activism of young people from the African diaspora.

Poster for Montreal’s “Mois de l’histoire des noirs”, by Lucky Odige

Canada’s Black History Month theme is inspired by the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent. “Canadians of African Descent: Going Forward, Guided by the Past” is represented by the sankofa bird, an important symbol of the African diaspora that represents the need to reflect on the past in order to build a successful future.

Every February, Canadians are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present. The 2020 theme for Black History Month is: “Canadians of African Descent: Going forward, guided by the past.” This was inspired by the theme of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).

This year’s programming will also honour Toni Morrison in light of her passing on August 5th, 2019. Toni Morrison was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon (1977) brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 1988, Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Beloved (1987); she gained worldwide recognition when she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Her contributions to literature and politics

Toni Morrison (February 18, 1931 – August 5, 2019)

The library has created a LibGuide highlighting parts of the collection that support and expand on these themes. This new LibGuide will be a place to find information on all future Redpath Book Displays, from bibliographies to YouTube videos.

In support of the powerful keynote address at McGill’s Black History Month Opening Ceremony, titled “Rooted: Locking Black Hair to Human Rights Activism,” by Professor Wendy Greene of Drexel University, we present a collection of titles exploring the specific experience of Black hair and its ties to culture and identity.

Professor Wendy Greene of Drexel University, delivering her keynote speech at the opening ceremony of Black History Month at McGill

Find books that form the traditional canon of Black literature, as well as new contributions by contemporary Black authors, both American and Canadian. Keep an eye out this March as we add “Dear Black Girls,” by McGill’s Equity Education Advisor, Shanice Nicole (Yarde), to the collection.

Shanice Nicole Yarde, Equity Education Advisor (Anti-Oppression and Anti-Racism), author of upcoming book “Dear Black Girls”

We hope you will enjoy these resources as we celebrate, reflect on and honour Black History at McGill.

You Won’t Get Puzzled if You Map it Out

Nestled in the passageway between McLennan and Redpath, a new arrival is finally bringing cartographers to the table (literally). That’s right, a new puzzle is here! What’s special about this puzzle is that it’s no store-bought piece. This one is custom-made, using a scan taken from the McGill map collection. The puzzle is located at the typical spot, the De-Stress Station, along with the original map it’s based on being shown-off right next to it.

This particular puzzle features a soil map of Australia, completed in 1960 by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Division of Soils. This is the first of what is hoped to be many puzzles made from content in the McGill map collection. If you’re interested, come and take a peek! If the student record is anything to go by, it won’t be long until this puzzle is complete.

While the map collection may not be the most well-known part of the McLennan Library, we still like it. After all, we’d be lost without it.