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"This year is already turning out to be a great year for books so don’t delay, read today!"

Have you ever been caught in that trap? I have. In fact as a librarian I often feel like I should only read books that are new and current that way I stay on top of what is new. As a result I neglect to read books that have been around for a while and I know that I miss out on some really amazing books.

I decided that I needed to broaden my reading realm and add some of the classic older books to my long reading list along with new and current titles. I started thinking about authors who have been writing for a number of years and who have won awards in the past, and one day as I was going through a section in the library I happened to come across a section of books written by the Newbery author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor.

As I stopped to look at the shelves of books that she has written, I was surprised. I had not realized she had written so many books. She has written over 135 childrens books as well as Young Adult books.  Her books range from historical fiction to fantasy to humor and everything in between. I decided I needed to read one of her books so I checked out one that I had never read before called BLIZZARD'S WAKE. I loved it. She is such a great storyteller and I found myself drawn into the story very quickly. It wasn’t a long book but it was excellent and I found myself devouring it. I knew Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was a renowned author but it was good to be reminded again that her books shouldn’t be discounted or forgotten just because they were not written in the past year.

There are many authors like Naylor who have written award winning books but because it has been a few years since they have written a book we tend to forget about them. There are so many great books out there to read so don’t be like me and forget about some of the oldies but goodies. Go and find a book that may have been written a decade ago, or find one that you have been meaning to ready for years and get swept away in a wonderful story. Here are a few of my favorite books written by some time honored authors

2.4 The WitchesTHE WITCHES
By Roald Dahl
(1983)

This is one of my all-time favorite read-alouds. “This is not a fairytale. This is about REAL WITCHES.” Grandmamma loves to tell stories about witches and shares her knowledge with her grandson. When he comes face to face with the grand high witch herself he learns just how dangerous she can be, but he is clever and plots against the witches. Fun read for all ages.

 

2.4 The Magicians NephewTHE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW 
By CS Lewis
(1955)

I loved reading all seven volumes of The Chronicles of Narnia but my favorite was The Magician's Nephew. The creation of the world of Narnia was monumental and I loved the message in the book. The explanation of how the world of Narnia came to be and the role Aslan played in the creation was captivating to me. I have to admit that the explanation of how the wardrobe became tied to Narnia and became a portal to return one to this magical land helped me understand the rest of the stories better.

 

2.4 The Witch of Blackbird PondTHE WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND
By Elizabeth George Speare
(1958)

I have read this book many times, and I’ll admit that I don’t do that very often. I still think my experience reading this book for the first time as a fifth grader was magical. I had just started reading books for pleasure instead of for school work when I read this story. It made the witch trials come alive for me in a very real way. Puritan life in colonial times was difficult, but when Kit befriended the local witch, Hannah, she was able to find a friend to confide in and to help her through the difficult times.

 

2.4 Where the Red Fern GrowsWHERE THE RED FERN GROWS
By Wilson Rawls
(1961)

Read this book with a box of tissues (I still can’t read it without crying). The author, Wilson Rawls, had a way of creating a world that was so real to me as a young reader. I sat at night listening to this story as my dad read it to me and I was transported into the Ozark mountains. I ran alongside Billy as he taught his dogs how to chase coons and hunt and become some of the finest hunting dogs around. 

 

2.4 Tale of a Fourth Grade NothingTALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING
By Judy Blume
(1972)

How many of us have experienced the trials of a younger sibling! This humorous book about Peter and his little brother Fudge is a book that many of us can relate to. I remember laughing out loud at some of the funny things Fudge did and said in the book, from throwing mashed potatoes to dumping his food on his head. A quick fun read.

 

Downtown Provo

I don’t know about you, but I love adventures. I love going to new places and trying new things. However, I do not have an endless supply of money or time off. Some would say that this is a problem. I say that limited resources are the opportunity for creativity.

Thanks to my frugal adventuring, I’ve found a few hidden gems on Provo Center Street:

THE SOAP FACTORY
54 W Center Steet

This business is located above the Lotus Garden, and getting there requires ascending a slightly hidden and fairly narrow staircase beside the Lotus Garden’s entrance. You could miss it if you’re not careful.

Believe me.

I missed it.

This endearing entrance is only a precursor to the fun activity inside.

At The Soap Factory you can make your own soap, lotions and scrubs. This involves choosing a mold, smell, and color.  I made a blue Millennium Falcon soap bar with an orange scent. The staff is great, the pricing is reasonable ($5 entrance fee + $.05/gram for your product), and the ingredients are all-natural. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do, I would recommend visiting The Soap Factory

FOXGLOVE FLOWERS AND GIFTS
366 W Center Street

I went in to get a simple bouquet for a friend. I came out not only with a beautiful bouquet but with a significantly higher expectation of floral arrangements.

The friendly staff asked me what my vision was for the bouquet (I went with a winter wonderland theme). It was made right in front of me and they worked with my price range. To top it all off, the presentation of their flowers is amazing: think twine, parchment paper, and a ribbon. That extra step of thoughtful staging makes a bouquet more elegant and desirable. I’m tempted to go back and buy some flowers for myself.

HRUSKA'S KOLACHES
434 W Center Street

What is an adventure without good food? A kolach is a sweet or savory Czech pastry. If you want your life to be filled with love and goodness, I suggest you make the time to try one.

I purchased two kolaches when I went: sweet Nutella and savory sausage. You know that feeling you get when you fill up your car tank and you see the gas gauge a little above full? These pastries taste better than that.

I should warn you about the determination and will power it takes to purchase a kolach.  Their business hours are 6:30 AM –sellout, and the line can rival the crowd at a midnight showing of Star Wars. But don’t let that deter you. It is worth getting up early and standing in line for these pastries. You’ll be happy you tried them.

PIONEER BOOK
450 W Center Street

What kind of librarian would I be if I didn’t advocate for a bookstore? Pioneer Book has gently used books at reasonable prices. I was fortunate to find a signed copy of My Fair Godmother when I went in. That was one of my favorite books in high school, so I obviously bought it.

Not only do they have lovely books, but they also have several sales a year. Their desk made out of books is something from a fairy tale and their displays are enough to make a book addict salivate. As an added bonus, they also sell fountain pens.

disney

When I was growing up, my family was always a “Disneyland family.” You know, some families take trips to Disney theme parks and some don’t – mine was always in the first category. In fact, some of my fondest family memories are from trips to Disney parks. Even as an adult, I have something of a reputation for being a Disney person – that may be because I have an Annual Pass to Disney World (yes, in Florida) even though it is 2,321 miles away from the Provo City Library. 

I like to think that all of these trips over the years were training me for the day that a patron would walk into the Library and ask “we’re planning a trip to Disneyland. Do you have any books to help get our kids excited?” The answer, of course, was yes. Here are my five favorite recommendations, from the unofficial Disney Expert at the PCL, to anyone who has the same question. 

1.28 Pocket Full of ColorsPOCKET FULL OF COLORS: THE MAGICAL WORLD OF MARY BLAIR, DISNEY ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE
By Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville
Illustrated by Brigette Barrager
(2017)

This book is actually one of my favorite recent books, even for non-Disney fans. It is all about Mary Blair, the most famous Disney animator you’ve never heard of. In the 1950s she worked as a concept animator for films like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Cinderella before leaving to work in advertising. She was then brought back by Walt Disney himself to design It’s a Small World. This  book is filled with lots of Disney goodness and will make even the most reluctant willing to board “the happiest cruise that ever sailed.” 

 

1.28 Secrets of DisneylandSECRETS OF DISNEYLAND: WEIRD AND WONDERFUL FACTS ABOUT THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH
By Dinah Williams
(2013)

When I was a kid visiting Disney, the best part was bugging my parents and older siblings with secret, hidden, little-known facts and tidbits I had collected (I was a youngest child who would grow up to be a librarian, what can I say?). This book is filled with all kinds of behind-the-scenes information that kids will be excited to share. If you’re headed to Florida instead of Anaheim there is also a Disney World version – SECRETS OF WALT DISNEY WORLD: WEIRD AND WONDERFUL FACTS ABOUT THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH

 

1.28 Walts ImaginationWALT’S IMAGINATION: THE LIFE OF WALT DISNEY
By Doreen Rappaport
(2018)

If you’re trying to get excited for a Disney trip, there is no better place to start than with the man himself. This new picture book biography explores the life of Walt Disney for young readers with beautiful illustrations featuring Walt, Mickey Mouse, and other familiar faces.   

 

1.28 PiratesPIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
By Xavier Atencio
(2017)

Let’s be honest, no Disney trip preparation is complete without a little Disney music. Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my favorite rides at Disneyland and this picture book captures the magic of the ride with original illustrations to accompany everyone’s favorite pirate song. 

 

1.28 Keymasters QuestTHE KEYMASTER’S QUEST
By Jason Lethcoe
(2017)

For older readers looking to get in on some pre (or post) Disneyland action, this adventurous series of Middle Grade novels is a good place to start. Set in the worlds of Disney’s Adventureland (The Enchanted Tiki Room, the Jungle Cruise, etc.) this book follows Andy Stanley as he ventures deep into the jungle to keep magical artifacts from falling into the wrong hands. It’s an adventurous story made better by some good puzzles and Disney magic.

 

underground parking

Did you know we have an underground parking lot? Sometimes it feels like a staff secret! For those of us who work at the library, we love parking in the underground lot, but it’s time to let the word out and tell you how it works and why it’s our favorite place to park. 

1. It has more spaces!

The underground parking lot consistently has more open spaces than our above-ground lots. Do people not know that it’s there? Or have they not learned how it works yet? I admit I was intimidated the first time or two that I drove down to the underground, but once you learn how it works, it’s a breeze. And on days when a popular event may be taking place at the library, it’s sometimes the only place to find a spot!

2. It's a one-way road, shaped like a U 

There’s one entrance and one exit, both located on 100 East. You take the ramp down into the underground and drive in a big loop around the library to the exit. All of the parking spaces are angled to accommodate the direction of traffic.

Parking Garage Layout

3. If you're going to the 3rd or 4th floor of the library, it's the best parking option

There are three entrances to the library from underground parking, on the south, west, and north sides. The west entrance (Academy Entrance) leads to the Basement Creative Lab and an elevator that has access to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors on the academy side of the building. This elevator goes straight up to The Attic on the fourth floor, and the third floor where the ballroom is!  You’ll want to look for a sign in the underground lot called “Academy Entrance.” If you park in above-ground parking, you’ll have to take more than one staircase or elevator to get to these spaces in our building.

4. It's the best option for handicapped parking and patrons with strollers

When you park underground, it’s a simple elevator ride to get to the library, whereas if you park above-ground, you’ll need to park in the south lot and use our wheelchair ramp to get to the entrance of the library.  It’s a small difference, maybe, but it’s one that experienced patrons prefer.

5. Stay out of the rain and snow, or keep cool on overheated summer days

This one is self-explanatory, but you can’t beat staying nice and dry when it’s pouring, or staying cool in the middle of July!

6. The ramps are heated for safety 

Don’t be nervous in the winter! No matter how heavy the snowfall, the ramps are heated so that snow melts and runs into a drain at the bottom of the ramp.   

7. If the gate at the exit is closed, it will magically open as your car nears it

Okay, it’s not magic, but it seems that way! When the library closes, the gates to the underground parking will close, but as you approach the gate at the exit ramp, a sensor will detect your car and it will open to let you out.

Just be aware that if you park underground, you need to be back in the building or the underground lot before the library closes! The exterior entrances to our underground parking close at the same time as the library, so whether you're coming down the outside stairs on foot or wanting to come down the entrance ramp in your friend's car, you'll need to do those things before our closing time if you don't want your vehicle to be stuck overnight. If you're still inside the building at closing time, though, you'll be able to use the basement doors to exit directly from the building into the underground lot.

That’s it! Please take advantage of your new insider information and enjoy our wonderful underground parking lot.  

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