True Confessions of Carla: I have several serious author crushes, people I would totally stalk if I weren’t actually too lazy to put forth that kind of effort. But, if I were to find where they live, I would picket their homes with signs reading “Write FASTER!!” and “What’s Taking So Long?” My biggest crushes currently are on Markus Zusak (I know THE BOOK THIEF is a hard act to follow…but I’d fly to his doorstep in Australia and rifle through his garbage if I thought I’d get more of his lyrical writing), Justin Cronin (Fortunately, his final book in the PASSAGE series comes out this spring so I can take him off my potential stalkee list for a while), and Mary Roach (Who is also safe for a while since her new book will be released this summer).
The problem is, pretty much the only author I know that can actually keep up to demand is Brandon Sanderson. James Patterson tries, but he maybe cheats and has help from co-writers, so I don’t think he counts. The solution is finding authors who write a lot like my favorites to help tide me over in the interim. And the Provo City Library is here to help!
We have a special part of our website called our Author Read-alikes. We take an author and provide three suggested authors that write like them. For example:
If you love, like I do, Marcus Zusak, you should check out Barbara Kingsolver, Charles Frazier, or Michael Chabon.
If you can’t get enough of Kiera Cass, maybe look into Amy Ewing, Catherine Linka, or Holly Bodger.
And if David McCullough’s books are what you crave, see if Stephen Ambrose, John Meacham, or Jeff Shaara can tide you over.
We have a couple hundred authors listed! Visit http://www.provolibrary.com/read-alikes to see if we can help you find your next favorite author. (Or at least someone to keep your mind off the interminable wait before your favorite author’s next release date.)
We recently began reading chapter books to my four-year-old daughter and she has just fallen in love with them. I love hearing the words, “One more chapter, Daddy, please?” every night. I have often said that my wife and I are very imperfect parents and our daughter has her flaws (when will she just stay in her bed all night?!), but at least our daughter loves books! We have enjoyed reading to her since the very beginning, even before she could really track objects. But more than once throughout her four years of life we, like many parents, have struggled to consistently make the time to read to her and have wondered how important it really is. Time and time again we are reminded that, yes, it is that important!
Throughout the years there have been many studies published that discuss the benefits of reading to children. One such study published last year that was discussed in Time emphasized yet more benefits to reading to small children. It seems that many studies have been done about the behavioral and educational benefits of reading to children, but there is still much research to be done in the area of brain activity in children while being read to. It was discovered that reading to children was linked to “brain activation in areas connected with visual imagery and understanding the meaning of language" (Worland, 2015). Add that to the long list of other benefits highlighted in other studies, not to mention how much fun it is to read in general, and we find many reasons why it is that important to read to our kids and to start early.
In case you are wondering what we have been reading to our daughter, here are two of her favorites so far: MERCY WATSON: SOMETHING WONKY THIS WAY COMES by Kate DiCamillo (she loved the whole series), and THE STORY OF DIVA AND FLEA by Mo Willems (yes, the Mo Willems).
Read-Alouds are so much fun that we have put together a booklist of several of our favorite ones. This list will be made available on the Provo City Library website in the near future and will be found here.
Worland, J. (April, 2015). Reading activates an important part of a child's brain. Time. Retrieved from http://time.com/3836428/reading-to-children-brain/
When I was in school, I really, really hated writing papers. So much that once when I had a paper due the next day, I forced myself to write a page on Why I Love to Write Papers (all lies) to try to convince myself to WRITE IT ALREADY. I did end up getting the paper done in the middle of the night, but if you don't want to go to the trouble of coming up with a three-point thesis on why you love writing papers, check out the resources we have on our website! They're a huge help and I wish I'd had them back in high school and college!
There you go, your next paper should be a breeze. Of course if any of this gives you trouble, come in to the library - our librarians are trained in this stuff and we're ready to help you any time! It might just be the extra oomph you need to get your next paper underway.