"I need a good book," is a common refrain we hear as librarians. It's also one of our favorite questions. While we love to suggest books in person, did you know you can also ask for suggestions from the comfort of your home? Try Book It, our online personalized book recommendation service. We've recently updated it to make it easier than ever. Just answer a few questions and one of our book loving staff members will email you a customized list of items from our collection.
It was the most beautiful sky. Sitting on the bus, working through music for an audition, I looked up in time to watch the skyline before we rounded the bend to the tunnel. Daydreaming with Sondheim running through my head, everything froze in an instant. I looked around at other passengers to see if they witnessed what I had just seen. That couldn't be right. Silence engulfed us until someone took out a phone and made a call home. I didn't have a cell phone. I listened for pieces of information as someone else was listening to a radio.
The summer's soundtrack blares at full volume, "Did you work on math? You know, you need to finish another book. When do you plan on starting?" My child's first day of school is Sept. 10, which translates to roughly 20 days remaining for her to get the job done. Moving at a breakneck pace during the school year, the notion of an idyllic summer flew out the window a long time ago. Working full time necessitates full-time childcare coverage, which translates to day camp, beginning at 8 a.m., and ending at 5 p.m.
Now that we are moving into the second half of summer, it's the perfect time to encourage you to pick up a challenge card and join this year's adult summer reading club. We are fairly certain that the majority of readers have already completed challenges that fulfill our "Escape the Ordinary" theme. Why not win a prize for your efforts? Participants have until Aug. 30 to submit entries in exchange for raffle tickets for the opportunity to win great local prizes.
"Your daughter doesn't sit in the front seat yet?" "No...well, I hadn't really thought about it." "How old is she?" "Eleven." "My daughter started sitting in the front seat around her age, and it changed the dynamic of our relationship." "What do you mean?" "It put us on a level field. When she sat in the back, it was like there was a wall between us, but when she moved up, it became easier for her to have conversations with me. It allowed us to grow closer."
There's a maternal buzz around the office. A trio of expectant moms who work at the library are all due to have their first child within the next few months. Shared stories, flashbacks and recognition from those of us who have been through the ups and downs of a first pregnancy fill the sporadic lulls of our office days. Certain life events are universal with cliches that ring true. "Your life will never be the same." "You won't believe how fast it goes." "You'll never know how much one heart can hold."
"An Untamed State" by Roxane Gay begins as any fairy tale would, with, "Once upon a time, in a far-off land..." And, the expanse between it, and any fairy tale with which you are familiar, is wider than anything you can imagine. Gay takes the Brothers Grimm to an entirely new level.
People often ask for reading recommendations whether I'm on the job or off. It's part of my job description as a readers' services librarian. I haven't read every book I've suggested. For some, it's hard to fathom that you'd be able to suggest a book when you haven't even cracked the cover. Discovery, detective work, serendipity, daily conversations with readers, as well as diligent reading and keeping a close eye on publishing trends are the key ingredients to successful recommendations.
In "Mastiff," a short story by Joyce Carol Oates, a couple who are taking a walk come across some other hikers. After the woman has a brief exchange with them, her date asks why she would bother talking to them; after all, she'd never see them again. She responds by saying that that's the best reason for talking to them.