book crush

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.)

read alouds

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.

Reference

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/

next paper

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!

  1. First, you've got to figure out what to talk about.  That means you've got to do a little research to see what interests you.  Our How to Research page will help you know where to look for the right information.
  2. If you need credible sources for your paper, a simple Google search won't do.  You need to look at websites that show you academically relevant articles.  Luckily you have access to a whole bunch of those websites with your library card!  The Homework Help section of our Online Resources page lists several golden nuggets of websites that have tons of articles perfect for school papers.  A couple of favorites: Points of View will give you great information if you're writing on a much-debated subject or issue (it will give arguments for both sides of the issue!). EbscoHost also has sources on a ton of helpful topics - biographies, literature, science, history, and health just to name a few.
  3. If you still want to try your luck with Google searching, you should check out our Evaluating Online Sources page.  It will help you figure out which articles and books are going to be the most valuable so you don't waste your time with bad sources!
  4. Once you've done some research it's time to get down to it.  This How to Write a Paper page breaks it down into steps - just take them one at a time!  You'll be done before you know it.
  5. Of course you need to show where you got all of this lovely information.  Time to Cite Your Sources.  Many online resources and databases have handy citation builders that will build the citation for you, but if not we also have links to a few websites that can help put it all together for you.

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.

The Library is closed today in observance of Presidents' Day; in the mean time, here are some patriotic recommendations for you. 

Strong American History 01

Find them in the catalog: 

MARCH
THE WHISKEY REBELS
THE FIFTH OF MARCH 

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