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Worst Moms

Not to brag, but I won the cosmic lottery when it comes to moms. My mom is the actual best mother in the history of the known universe. But even with such cause to celebrate her magnificence, I find the Hallmarky saccharine brand of hoopla just, well, gross. If you’re as #done with consumerist schmaltz as I am and looking for a new angle of mother appreciation (or want to feel better about your own mothering), check out these books featuring my picks for top five worst moms in literature:

5.30 Pride and Prejudice5) Mrs. Bennet

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
By Jane Austen
(1813)

Trying  to get five daughters married off before your husband dies and leaves you all penniless would be enough stress to drive anyone to the brink, and I sympathize, truly, but not enough to overlook the hot mess of a mother that is Mrs. Bennet. Mrs. Bennet lacks tact, maturity, and indeed any sense of shame. It’s not like she doesn’t know how to behave, she just doesn’t much care. You think she would, you know, being so worried about her daughters’ futures, but alas, no such luck.

Yikes Level: PERMANENT HAND-SHAPED BRUISE ON MY FOREHEAD FROM FACEPALMING

 

5.30 A Game of Thrones4) Cersei Lannister

SONG OF ICE AND FIRE SERIES (Game of Thrones)
By George R.R. Martin
(1996 - present)

In this series, bad dads outnumber the bad moms by a LOT, but what few there are sure go for gold. First there’s Cersei, the queen, a spoiled, entitled, scheming woman who cares for no one but her children. Unfortunately that motherly love doesn’t do much good in the way of actual parenting; her eldest son is, in a word, monstrous. Maybe he’s born that way or maybe it’s parenting, but we’ll never know, since Cersei refuses to think ill of her precious princeling.

Yikes Level: LOSE YOUR VOICE SCREAMING “SHAME!”

 

5.30 Carrie3) Margaret White

CARRIE
By Stephen King
(1974)

The sins of the fathers – or mother in this case – don’t rest upon the child’s head but they sure can make an impact. Margaret is a glaring advertisement for therapy and forgiving yourself. Consumed with guilt after becoming pregnant at age 17, Margaret takes everything to the fanatic extreme – with a capital F E. Poor Carrie is basically set up for failure between her mother’s abuse and bullying at school.

Yikes Level: ALL THE YIKES

 

5.30 Coraline2) The Other Mother

CORALINE
By Neil Gaiman
(2002)

No, I’m not mom-shaming Coraline’s actual mother. The “other mother” through the portal in the wall is the one you should watch out for. That manipulative, murderous, child-snatching monster is the stuff of nightmares.

Yikes Level: MOM CAN I SLEEP IN YOUR ROOM TONIGHT

 

5.30 Harry Potter1) Petunia Dursley

HARRY POTTER SERIES
By J. K. Rowling
(1997-2007)

Petunia Dursely, nee Evans, would make this list for her loving but appalling parenting of her own son, but what secures her the top spot on this list is her neglect of Harry. There’s no excuse to treat a child like that, period, and when you’re spoiling your own son to disgusting excess in the very same house, that compounds the horribleness by the power of hypocrisy. If you can’t put aside old offences when your newly orphaned infant nephew, the child of your only, once-cherished sister arrives at your doorstep, are you even human?

Yikes Level: THE DEVIL HIMSELF WOULD CRY

 

Honorable Mentions: Queen Gertrude, HAMLET;  Lysa Arryn, SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (GAME OF THRONES) SERIES; “Evil Step-Mother”, (looking at you, fairy tales!).  A moment of silence please for all the Cinderellas , Snow Whites, and others in all their incarnations who’ve suffered at the hands of the dreaded “ Evil Step-mother”.

Phew! What a list. Stay tuned for next month, when I’ll be putting literature’s dads on blast.

Blogger’s Note: Hopefully I’ve been clear in my writing that this post is meant to be humorous, and not at all suggesting that abuse in any form is funny. The reality is that Mother’s Day isn’t a happy occasion for everyone. Many of us in our human family do suffer at the hands of those that should love and care for them best. Some of us have lost mothers. To all of us, no matter our situation, I hope we all can think of a person or two who have given motherly care to us through the years, no matter what name or label applies.

 scottish mysteries

It could be because I miss living in Scotland, but I've been drawn to books with Scottish narrators lately, and since I'm a mystery fan, I've found myself listening to Scottish mysteries. Whether you like the cozy stories or tough detectives, there's a series here for every mystery reader.

 

5.25 Death of a GossipDEATH OF A GOSSIP
by M.C. Beaton
1985

Constable Hamish MacBeth investigates the murder of Lady Jane Hamilton who has a nasty habit of digging up dirt on the residents and guests of Lochdubh. 

 

5.25 Raven BlackRAVEN BLACK
by Ann Cleeves
2006

When the body of a teenage girl turns up on the Shetland Islands, Inspector Jimmy Perez launches an investigation into the killing, taking him into the heart of sinister secrets from the past. 

 

5.25 The Sunday Philosphy ClubTHE SUNDAY PHILOSOPHY CLUB
by Alexander McCall Smith
2004

When Isabel Dalhousie witnesses the death of a young man falling from the balcony of the Edinburgh concert hall, she decides to take it upon herself to solve the murder. 

 

5.25 Resurrection MenRESURRECTION MEN
by Ian Rankin
(2001)

Sent to a rehabilitation school after a serious mistake, Inspector John Rebus discovers that his classmates are plotting a drug heist and might be connected to Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke's investigation to an art dealer's murder. 

 

5.25 A Wee Murder in My ShopWEE MURDER IN MY SHOP
by Fran Stewart
(2015)

While searching for hidden treasures in the Scottish Highlands, shop owner Peggy Winn purchases an old tartan shawl that unexpectedly comes with the ghost of a 14th-century Scotsman, who, once she returns to Vermont, helps her discover who murdered her ex-boyfriend.

 

BOP FB event

Have you ever heard of a Eurasian eagle-owl? If you haven’t, stop what you are doing and go watch a video of this creature. These owls are the largest owl species in the world and are an apex predator in their neck of the woods. They can have a 6ft wingspan and can hunt and kill small deer. That is a serious raptor!

The first time I learned about the Eurasian eagle-owl was at a bird show put on by Jim Fowers, founder of the Rocky Mountain Bird Rescue. Jim and his assistant were showing off a Eurasian eagle-owl that they take care of at their facility. Jim also has a number of other birds in his care, including owls, hawks, and falcons. The great news is that you can see these birds in person at the library.

Jim and his assistants will be coming to the Provo City Library on May 22 at 7:00 pm in the Young Special Events Room #201. Come see these birds in life and learn some amazing facts about each of them. You will also be able to learn about conservation, falconry, and the rehabilitation process for raptors. There may even be a flight demonstration. In any case, this is one Learn It event you will not want to miss!

This is just a little taste of what the library has to offer on raptors. Check out these titles and more in the nonfiction section.

5.20 OwlsOWLS OF THE WORLD
by James R. Duncan
(2016)

This lavishly illustrated and entertaining book explores many aspects of owls. With a chapter dedicated to each owl family, from the huge eagle owls to the diminutive pygmy owls and owlets, this book will engage people new to the subject as well as those already familiar with the species.

 

5.21 RaptorsRAPTORS OF NORTH AMERICA: NATURAL HISTORY AND CONSERVATION
by Noel Snyder
(2006)

Did you know that raptors are a key species in maintaining balance in an ecosystem? In this book, you will learn all about different raptors in North America and their importance to other species in their habitats. If our Birds of Prey event piqued your interest in conservation, this is a great book to learn more.

 

board games

So hopefully you all know that the Provo City Library is amazing and has over 60 board games that you are welcome to use inside the library. Board gaming is amazing and is something of a passion of mine. I love how far board games have come since the eight that I remember in my parent’s house … long story short neither Monopoly or Risk are my favorite. While Clue and Sorry are fun, they are not what I want to play all the time. So if you need inspiration for a family activity please come and see what we have at the library.

Here are my top 5 if you would like any ideas, but this list was harder to pick from than I thought it would be. If you go to http://www.provolibrary.com/games you can see a complete list of all the awesomeness we have at the library.

PANDEMIC: This is a Cooperative board game, meaning everyone is trying to beat the board that is metaphorically trying to kill you. So in this game, players are members of the CDC trying to cure the world of disease. This game throws in a twist when the disease outbreaks and spreads to adjacent locations on the board.

TAKENOKO: Think Zen Settlers of Catan (which we also have). This game is set in Japan where you are trying to complete your card objectives by cultivating a beautiful garden, grow bamboo, and feed your panda, all while the other players are trying to complete their secret objectives.

PLAYING CARDS: I know what you are thinking - what am I going to do with a deck of cards? Well the answer is there is a whole bunch of fun you can have (other than 52 pickup, which I will be the first to say is not very fun).  If you don’t come knowing how to play Speed, War, or Egyptian Rat Screw, we have a book with various games one can play with this super mobile deck.

DIXIT: This is an amazing game with awesome artwork. Throw out clues and try to get people to guess what card you picked but if you make it too easy you get no points and if you make your clue too hard you get no points. I absolutely love the artwork in this game and it is really fun to see the players interpretations of the clues that are given by the clue giver.

TSURO: The game of the path, this game is really easy to learn and accommodates up to 8 players. Everyone tries to stay on the board for as long as possible; if your paths collide and you run into another player, you die. If your piece falls off the board you also die, and you must follow the path you are on. Super simple rules and really fun at the same time.

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