Alisha

  •  12.2 Christmas Gifts

    It’s that time of year when you are making a list and checking it twice. It can sometimes be hard to know what to give the teen readers in your life. Here is a handy gift guide that can help you know what to get this holiday season.

    If Your Reader Loves Historical Fiction, check out these titles:

    12.2 These Violent DelightsTHESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS
    By Chloe Gong
    (2020)

    This book is a re-imagining of Romeo and Juliet set in 1926 Shanghai. This intricately plotted story follows Juliette Cai who is the heir of the Chinese Scarlet Gang, and Roma Montagov, leader of the Russian White Flowers. The two fall in love but are torn apart by their rival gangs. They ultimately must work together when mysterious deaths threaten their city. For readers who love atmospheric world building and Shakespeare inspired fun, this is a lush and appealing read.

     

    12.2 The Light Between UsTHE LIGHT BETWEEN US
    By Andrew Fakuda
    (2019)

    Alex Maki is not happy when he learns that his pen pal from Paris, France is actually a girl named Charlie. But as the two keep writing, Alex and Charlie become dear friends. Neither expected to still be writing in 1941 when the US enters WWII. Alex and his family are put in a Japanese internment camp and Charlie, who is Jewish, must endure the occupation in a concentration camp. Alex ends up enlisting in a segregated company of the army in hopes that maybe he can help liberate Charlie. This is a well-researched, engaging book that is driven by Alex and Charlie’s special friendship.

     

    12.2 The Light in Hidden PlacesTHE LIGHT IN HIDDEN PLACES
    By Sharon Cameron
    (2020)

    Stefania Podgórska has known the Diamant family for over four years. She loves Izio, one of the Diamant’s sons. Life is good, until the Nazis come to Przemsyl, Poland. The Diamants are Jewish and are forced into the ghetto and work camps. Stefania, who is Catholic, is devastated when only Max Diamant is able to escape. She decides that she has had enough of the Nazi’s occupation. So, she decides to help everyone and anyone she can, ultimately hiding thirteen Jews in her attic while also caring for her younger sister, Helena. However; this becomes almost impossible when two Nazi’s begin living in her house. For a gripping, emotional read, pick this book!

     

    If Your Reader Loves Contemporary Romance, check out these titles:

    12.2 Yes No Maybe SoYES NO MAYBE SO
    By Becky Albertalli and Aisha Seed
    (2020)

    Jamie Goldberg thinks of himself as an awkward nerd who is afraid to speak to other people. Something embarrassing always happens. But his family is deeply involved with the local state senate candidate’s campaign. When he gets “talked into” canvasing neighborhoods, Jamie figures it is his worst nightmare. But when he is paired with his beautiful classmate Maya Rehrman to canvas a particular neighborhood, he thinks things are beginning to look up. It is so fun to see the growing relationship between Jamie and Maya. Jamie, who is Jewish, and Maya, who is Muslim, must deal with a lot of racism as they become engrossed in the canvasing process. As they try to come to terms with the prejudice in their lives, they become stronger friends. This book is great for anyone who is passionate about politics, Instagram, or making a difference in the world.   

     

    12.2 Frankly in LoveFRANKLY IN LOVE
    By David Yoon
    (2019)

    18-year-old Frank Li has always known that his Korean immigrant parents want him to date a nice Korean girl and go to Harvard. So, when he falls for Brit, a girl his parents would never approve of, he concocts a zany plan to fool his parents by “fake dating” Joy, a Korean girl who is a close family friend. He will “go on a date” with Joy, drop her off to be with her secret boyfriend Wu, and then go on a real date with Brit. The plan seems perfect for both Frank and Joy, but when they start to have real feelings for one another, things get complicated really fast. Frank is on the cusp of adulthood and is trying to figure out how to be separate from his parents, but Frank soon realizes that he doesn’t really understand that his parents are actual people with fears, hopes, and dreams. With rich characterization of authentic culturally diverse characters, this novel is a delight for anyone who loves deep, rich family dramas wrapped up in a sweet romantic comedy shell.

     

    12.2 Ill Be the OneI’LL BE THE ONE
    By Lyla Lee
    (2020)

    Skye Shinn wants to be a K-pop (Korean Pop) phenomenon, singing and dancing her way into fame. She has the moves. She has the high notes. She has the sassy personality. The only thing she doesn’t have is the size 00 of a K-Pop star. Her entire life, her mother has told her the fat girls shouldn’t dance, or wear bright clothes, or be on television. But Skye wants to prove her wrong, so she auditions for an American K-pop competition called “You’re My Shining Star.” Everyone is surprised at her talent, but one judge is explicit that fat girls can’t make it in K-pop. But Skye only needs the votes of the two other judges and she is in! Skye soon becomes immersed in the auditions and meets amazing new friends. Will Skye lose herself in the K-Pop culture and forget all the things she is fighting to prove? You don’t have to be a K-pop fan or even know what it is to enjoy this delightful novel about the power of one confident girl.

     

    If Your Reader Loves Fantasy, check out these titles:

    12.2 The Kingdom of BackTHE KINGDOM OF BACK
    By Marie Lu
    (2020)

    Nannerl Mozart was destined to be a child prodigy. She even played before royalty, but the appearance of her younger brother Wolfgang made her miss a note. Now everyone is focused on Wolfgang and Nanerl is pushed into the shadows of housework and preparation for marriage. She is desperate to have her music heard by the public, so when a mysterious magical entity named Hyacinth promises her that she will be remembered, Nannerl makes a pact. She will help Hyacinth regain his crown in the Kingdom of Back. But when events start to tumble out of control, Nannerl must be brave and save her brother, the world, and most of all herself. Filled with all the best parts of historical fiction and fantasy, this compelling and well researched novel will sweep you away into a magical kingdom where nothing is as it seems.

     

    12.2 The Hazel WoodTHE HAZEL WOOD
    By Melissa Albert
    (2018)

    Seventeen-year-old Alice doesn’t have time for fairy tales. Especially the fairy tales from Tales of the Hinterland, penned by her grandmother Althea Proserpine. She is constantly avoiding the cult-like fans of the book, while also trying to keep her mother Ella out of trouble. And trouble seems to follow them everywhere. When Ella goes missing, taken by a figure who claims to come from The Hinterland, Alice must join forces with a die-hard fan of her grandmother’s dark fairy tales, Ellery Finch. Together they begin the search for Ella and are led to her grandmother’s mysterious estate The Hazelwood. If your reader loves fairy tales and the sometimes dark truths that they hold, this book will be an especial treat. This has several companion novels, so also look for the sequel The Night Country—A Hazel Wood Novel and Tales from the Hinterland.

     

    12.2 A Song of Wraiths and RuinA SONG OF WRAITHS
    By Roseann A. Brown
    (2020)

    In this story based on West African folklore, refugee Malik and his sisters travel to Ziran to work at the Solstasia festival. The festival only happens once every 50 years. After an encounter with a malevolent spirit, Malik finds himself making a pact to kill the princess of Ziran in order to save his beloved little sister. Meanwhile the princess of Ziran, Karina, is pushed into leading Ziran after her mother the Sultana is assassinated. Karina doesn’t want to rule, so she plans to resurrect her mother through necromancy. But the price is steep, the heart of the king, so Karina creates a contest for suitors. The winner will receive her hand in marriage. Malik takes this opportunity to get close to the princess. This places both on a crash course for disaster. This book has so much going on, but the world-building is impeccable. With elements of mystery and romance, this fantasy novel has something for everyone.

     

    If Your Reader Loves Science Fiction, check out these titles:

    12.2 SkywardSKYWARD
    By Brandon Sanderson
    (2018)

    Spensa Nightshade has always lived under the dark shadow of her father’s desertion. She is determined to prove that the Nightshades are worth something as she enters the flight academy. Her world, Detritus is under attack from Krell raiders who have driven her people underground. The need for defense pilots is great, and Spensa dreams of being a starfighter. Hailed as the cross between Katniss Everdeen and Conan the Barbarian, this series starter is a wild ride. Also look out for the next in the series, Starsight.

     

    12.2 The Sound of StarsTHE SOUND OF STARS
    By Alechia Dow
    (2020)

    This book is set after the invasion of the Ilori, beings made of electricity that want to turn Earth into their next vacation spot. More than 1/3 of earth’s population has been wiped out. Humans are being kept in lock; they are not allowed to read or listen to music because that makes them “rebellious.” Janelle is running a clandestine library, until one of her books goes missing. This could lead to a death sentence. But the Ilori who found it doesn’t turn Janelle in. Instead, he talks to her. M0RR1S is a lab made Ilori whose sole existence has been to create a vaccine to subjugate the humans so the True Ilori can take over their bodies. But then he finds the human’s music, ostensibly to study it. Music makes him feel alive in ways he has never felt before, especially the music of the human called David Bowie. Janelle and M0RR1S are immediately drawn to one another, and not just because they both love music and books. M0RR1S soon determines that the humans must be saved, especially Janelle. This determination sends them on a road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums in a race to save humanity. The Sound of Stars has something for everyone. It’s post-apocalyptic, dystopian, Science Fiction, and romance. But most of all, it is a delight. 

     

    12.2 Aurora RisingAURORA RISING
    By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
    (2019)

    Tyler Jones is an overachieving legionnaire who is all set to choose his space squad, but on Draft Day he is busy rescuing a girl cryogenically frozen girl from a ship full of dead bodies. Tyler is left with just the misfits of the academy for his squad. The frozen girl, Auri, has to deal with being 200 years behind everyone else. When Tyler’s team runs into her on their next mission, Auri will lead them into what could be a catastrophic war.  This book is classic Sci-Fi, there are space ships, gadgets, and artificial intelligence. Tyler’s team is so randomly awesome. Basically, this book is like a space buddy movie in book form.

     
  •  Poetry Books

    Are you one of those people who love poetry? Is iambic pentameter your native tongue and do you speak in couplets and sonnets? Splendid.

    But maybe, just maybe, poetry is a little intimidating to you? Or maybe you’ve just never had the time to get into it? If so, now is the time to learn to like or even love poetry and the Provo Library is the place to do it! Check out these awesome resources to start your poetic adventure!

    4.25 Poetry 101POETRY 101: FROM SHAKESPEARE AND RUPI KAUR TO IAMBI PENTAMETER AND BLANK VERSE, EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT POETRY
    By Susan Dalzell
    (2018)

    Do you aspire to like poetry, but just aren’t sure where to start? Well, search no further! This is short guide will give you the 411 on the most celebrated voices in poetic history and clue you in to some of the newest and brightest stars in the poetry universe. Poetry doesn’t have to be boring or intimidating. It is as natural as your heartbeat, as familiar as your footsteps.

     

    4.25 The Red WheelbarrowTHE RED WHEELBARROW AND OTHER POEMS 
    by William Carlos Williams
    (2018)

    This slim volume holds the very best poems of someone who could be seen as the “original” Instagram poet. Writing in the 1940s and 1950s, Williams was a doctor and sometimes only had a prescription pad to write his poetry on. If you are looking for classic poetry that is short, stunning, and delightful, check out this new edition of his poems.

     

    4.25 Fierce FairytalesFIERCE FAIRYTALES: POEMS & STORIES TO STIR YOUR SOUL 
    by Nikita Gill
    (2018)

    These poems aren’t just clever twists on fairytales. They are a celebration of the person reading the book, hopefully that will be you, yes you! The first poem  is an invocation of the importance of learning to love and to hold on to ourselves and to the final poem is a benediction thanking the readers of the world for holding the author when she was in pain, this book is more than just a fairytale gimmick. This is a book about us and what it means to be human.

     

    4.25 The Dark Between the StarsTHE DARK BETWEEN THE STARS: POEMS
    By Atticus
    (2018)

    Atticus began his poetry career on Instagram. After garnering 700K followers he was approached with a book deal. Known for his jaw-dropping one liners and epigraphic style, Atticus is ever relatable, ever real. This is his second collection of poetry where he focuses on the connections between the light and the dark and great happiness and deep sorrow.

     

    4.25 Milk and HoneyMILK AND HONEY
    By Rupi Kaur
    (2015)

    This book is all about the journey from injury to healing. I think one of the reasons Kaur has become so popular is that she is imminently accessible. She writes about things that we all feel in ways that we could never explain by ourselves.  Her poetry is brief, powerful, and beautiful.

     

    Since April is National Poetry Month, it's time to celebrate the richness of the human experience. It’s time to honor those who give words to our most powerful feelings. Whether you are in love with poetry or just trying it out for the first time, this is YOUR month!

  • Fantasy Forest

    I just inhaled Deborah Harkness’s A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES. I was so carried away by the story that I read this brick of a book in a couple of days.

    Diana Bishop comes from a long lineage of witches, but the mysterious death of her parents causes her to shut her magic away and live like a human. While working in Oxford University as a historian, Diana uncovers an old book that clearly has a spell on it. Against her better judgement she opens the book and finds that it is actually two books, one an alchemical book and one with hidden writing.

    Her finding of the book brings vampire Matthew Clairmont into her life. At first Matthew thinks he is protecting Diana, but soon their feelings becoming romantically entangled. But it is against the laws of both witches and vampires to fall in love with another creature, and soon forces more powerful than Diana has ever experienced try to keep her away from Matthew. But little do these shadowy forces know Diana has more power than they ever thought possible and Matthew never lets go when he falls in love.

    This is a great bite-your-hand-forget-to-breathe love story. It moved quickly and the writing was excellent. It’s a fabulous fantasy with elegant world building and a unique magic system. I usually shy away from supernatural romance and I am not much into vampire stories, but Matthew Clairmont stole my heart completely. If you like the sound of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, you also might like the following books.

    1.29 ThornyholdTHORNYHOLD
    By Mary Stewart
    (1988)

    Gilly’s childhood is bleak. The only bright spots are when her godmother Geillis comes to visit. When Geillis dies and leaves Gilly her beautiful and mysterious cottage, Thornyhold, Gilly is surprised to find that the village thought Geillis was a witch and that they now assume Gilly will fill her place as the resident wise-woman.

     

    1.29 The Bear and the NightingaleTHE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE
    By Katherine Arden
    (2017)

    A mysterious stranger with piercing blue eyes gives new-father Pytor a precious jewel intended for his young daughter. Pytor fears the jewel and hides it away. The baby girl, Vasya, grows up with a wild and unbiddable will. When her village is in danger, it is indomitable Vasya who sets out, with the help of the jewel, to save her family and friends.  

     

    1.29 The Thinking Womans Guide to Real MagicTHE THINKING WOMAN’S GUIDE TO REAL MAGIC
    By Emily Croy Barker
    (2013)

    Nora Fischer figures that things just can’t get much worse. She’s been dumped by her boyfriend, denied by her dissertation committee, and lives a pretty depressing life. But while wandering in the woods one day, she strays from the path and discovers a whole other world of magic, danger, and a possible job/way home. But first she has to rescue her potential magician boss.   

     

    1.29 Hannah GreenHANNAH GREEN AND HER UNFEASIBLY MUNDANE EXISTENCE
    By Michael Marshall Smith
    (2018)

    Hannah Green has cornered the market when it comes to the mundane. However (and that is a big however), she will soon be faced with the truth that mushrooms can talk, there is magic in the world, and there is an ancient evil that must be faced. But who will face it? Hannah Green.  

     

    1.29 Moon CalledMOON CALLED
    By Patricia Briggs
    (2006)

    Mercy Thompson runs one of the best one-woman mechanic shops in the Tri-cities area. She also hides a dark past. She’s a shapeshifter who was raised by werewolves, but she was driven from the pack. Now she tries to live like a human. But her two worlds start to collide when she takes in a half-starved runaway.

     
  • Where the Crawdads Sing Header Image 

    Delia Owen’s debut novel WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING  is a powerful, character driven coming of age story set in North Carolina in the 50s and the 60s. Kya Clark, abandoned by her mother and brutalized by her father, finds peace and a sense of self in the marshy wilderness outside of Barkley Cove. When she meets Tate Walker, a shrimper’s son, she not only finds a friend, but also the joy of reading about nature and wildlife.  

    Tate eventually goes off to school and Kya meets Chase, the golden boy of Barkley Cove. They are powerfully drawn to each other, and Kya falls in love.  But when Chase’s body is found in the swamp, everyone suspects Kya.

    This is an atmospheric and romantic read. The writing creates such a strong sense of time and place, particularly when describing the coastal wilderness where Kya grows up.  Owen’s masterfully paints the small town biases and drama that drive the plot forward.

    If you loved WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING and want more books like it, or are on the wait list and need something to tide you over, check out this list of read-a-likes that have a strong sense of time and place, beautiful figurative language, and quirky and sympathetic main characters that face hard things in their lives.

    10.23 The Great AloneTHE GREAT ALONE
    By Kristin Hannah
    (2018)

    Lenora Allbright is 13 when her father convinces her mother, Cora, to forgo their inauspicious existence in Seattle and move to Kaneq, Alaska. Leni’s father is a Former Vietnam POW who thinks Alaska is the perfect place to start over again. Never was a family less prepared for the reality of Alaska, the long, cold winters and isolation.

     

    10.23 Go Set a WatchmanGO SET A WATCHMAN
    By Harper Lee
    (2015)

    Twenty years after the trial of Tom Robinson, Scout comes home to Maycomb. She is torn between her love for her father and her loyalty to their African-American maid, Calpurnia, who raised her, and the new ideas that are growing up outside of Maycomb. Scout doesn’t just want to be a woman who gets married and starts a family. She wants more than just that circumscribed life. When Atticus takes a case to represent Calpurnia’s grandson, Scout has to face some hard truths about her father and about her life.

     

    10.23 The GoldfinchTHE GOLDFINCH
    By Donna Tart
    (2013)

    A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend's family and struggles to make sense of his new life.

     

    10.23 The HelpTHE HELP
    By Kathryn Stockett
    (2009)

    It’s 1962, and Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan has just recently graduated from Ole Miss and has returned home to a society set in its ways. She wants to be a writer, but the social pressure to marry and start a family keeps pushing her farther and farther away from her dreams. She soon finds that she is on the fringes of a culture that she used to belong to. She soon becomes friends with Abilene and Minny, two African-American maids. After hearing their stories of raising white children, Skeeter decides to write a book that will fracture her world.

     

    10.23 Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET: A NOVEL
    By Jamie Ford
    (2009)

    Henry Lee, a Chinese American, is embroiled in an emotional journey into his past when the owner of the Panama Hotel finds artifacts from Japanese families sent to internment camps during World War II. When the owner finds a faded parasol, Henry is reminded of the beautiful Keiko Okabe with whom he fell in love in the 1940’s. When Kieko’s family is sent to the internment camps, they promise each other that their love will remain true.      

     
  • communication

    One of my book addictions is books about communication. Whether it is as a librarian talking to patrons or communicating with my family, I want to be sure that I am being as clear and kind as possible. That’s why I am totally obsessed with the following books. Each of them has had a huge impact on me both in my personal life, my schooling, and my career. And what’s great is that they each have practical tips and steps to help make talking to each other much easier.

    3.11 Braving the WildernessBRAVING THE WILDERNESS: THE QUEST FOR TRUE BELONGING AND THE COURAGE TO STAND ALONE
    By Brené Brown
    (2017)

    I’m such a fangirl of Dr. Brené Brown! You just have to watch one of her amazing TED talks to discover fascinating research about being vulnerable and communicating with others. In this book she focuses on four principles that challenge what it means to fit in, encouraging people to show up instead of staying quietly on the sideline, and yet do it with courage and vulnerability. This is a super helpful book when dealing with people who don’t share your same values.

     

    3.11 Crucial ConversationsCRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS: TOOLS FOR TALKING WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH
    By Kerry Patterson
    (2012)

    When you know you have to talk about something hard or difficult do you get angry, go silent, or do you freeze? I hate confrontation and my own personal style is to get really quiet, even when I have something important to say. Now, what if you had a solid set of tools to help you navigate tough discussions while maintaining important work and personal relationships? That is exactly what this book is all about. With important principles to think through like “What do I want for myself, the person, and our relationship?”, this book has practical steps, even dialogues to use, to help you get through hard conversations. This book changed the way I approach the holidays and family reunions. It’s been a lifesaver.

     

    3.11 Crucial AccountabilityCRUCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY: TOOLS FOR RESOLVING VIOLATED EXPECTATIONS, BROKEN COMMITMENTS, AND BAD BEHAVIOR
    By Kerry Patterson
    (2013)

    What do you do when your partner, roommate, or child says that they will do something and then doesn’t do it? In this follow-up to CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS, the author discusses how to hold people accountable without shaming them. It has helpful que-cards and dialogues that show you how to establish strong boundaries and hold people responsible if they break them. This book really helped me with family situations and when working in groups both at school and at work.

     

    3.11 Dare to LeadDARE TO LEAD: BRAVE WORK, TOUGH CONVERSATIONS, WHOLE HEARTS
    By Brené Brown
    (2018)

    I told you I was a fangirl of Brené Brown. Though this book is geared toward managers, the principles apply to any work or family situation. She says, “A leader is anyone who takes responsibility for recognizing the potential in people and ideas, and has the courage to develop that potential.” Dr. Brown outlines specific ways to engage in tough conversations without losing your temper, your authenticity, or your respect. Instead of running away from these conversations, she encourages readers lean in with curiosity and really get down to the issues. The examples of how to have a conversation changed the way I approach my spouse and my friends.

     

    3.11 Start with WhySTART WITH WHY: HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE OTHERS TO TAKE ACTION
    By Simon Sinek
    (2009)

    Again, this is a management book that has a fabulous TED talk. Simon Sinek talks about that what makes a company great is they start with the “why” of what they do instead of the “how” and the “what”. He gives examples of companies like Apple and the way they make and market their products. He also identifies amazing managers that inspire people with the “why” instead of the “how.” I have learned that a family tends to run like a company and that the principles that help make a company great, can also help a family be great. Having everyone on the same page as to the “why” of our family has really helped with unity and communication.

     
  • Audiobook

    One of my favorite things to do during the hot summer months is to work on a project and listen to a great audiobook. Whether I am working on crocheting an afghan or cleaning out my closet, there is just something so relaxing about being read to while working with my hands. Summer is also the time for vacations, and audiobooks are a great accompaniment for long drives and hot afternoons by the pool.  Summertime is the perfect time to listen to your favorite book. Here are some of mine: 

    7.24 The Wednesday WarsTHE WEDNESDAY WARS
    By Gary D. Schmidt
    (2009) 

    It’s 1967 and Holling Hood Hood is sure that his junior high homeroom teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates him. He’s the only one who doesn’t go to Hebrew School or Catechism School on Wednesday afternoons, so he and Mrs. Baker are stuck with each other. At first, Mrs. Baker has Holling clean chalk board erasers and do other odd jobs. But eventually Mrs. Baker realizes that there is more to Hoilling than meets the eye. Every Wednesday they read Shakespeare together.  Holling soon realizes that somehow Shakespeare knew what it was like to be a teenager in 1967. Shakespeare knew about first love and first loss, political upheaval, war, and fear about the future.  He even knew about bullies like Doug Swieteck’s brother!  Joel Johnstone does a fantastic job narrating this funny and poignant snapshot of what it was like to be a kid in the late sixties.    

     

    7.24 Mr. Penumbras 24 HourMR. PENUMBRA’S 24 HOUR BOOKSTORE
    By Robin Sloan 
    (2012)

    Clay Jannon, graphic designer and all around geek, needs a job. When he sees the help wanted sign on the door of Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore, he applies and gets the job and his life will never be the same again.  Something strange is happening at Mr. Penumbra’s.  Odd people show up to check out books like the store is a library. It’s like they are following the same reading list or something. Then Clay opens one of the books and discovers it is written in code! Clay gets sucked into a word of cryptography and Renaissance publishers in a mystery that is old as books themselves. Ari Fliakos narrates all the different voices in a way that is charming, not annoying.  His intensity keeps the story moving until you are sad to see that it is over.     

     

    7.24 SourdoughSOURDOUGH
    By Robin Sloan 
    (2017)

    Lois Clary works at a San Francisco robotics firm, where long hours move her to regularly order in from a sandwich shop. The place is peculiar, but the food is amazing, especially the sourdough bread. When the brothers who run the shop leave town, they eagerly bestow their sourdough starter on their "number one eater."  Though Lois is hapless in the kitchen, she soon masters baking so well her loaves catch the attention of her employer's in-house chef and, eventually, an elite invite-only farmers market. When Lois comes before the jury that decides who sells what at Bay Area markets, she encounters a close-knit club with no appetite for new members. But then, an alternative emerges: a secret market that aims to fuse food and technology. But who are these people, exactly? Therese Plummer does such a great job narrating this story from Lois’s perspective. She brings humor and tenderness to the story through her voices.  

     

    7.24 Anne of Green GablesANNE OF GREEN GABLES
    By Lucy Maud Montgomery 
    (1908)

    Anne Shirley ought to have been a boy, at least then the Cuthbert’s would want to adopt her. She is an eleven year old orphan who was sent to Avonlea by mistake. When they take her out of duty, Anne unexpectedly blossoms and fills the hearts of the lonely brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla. This is a true classic when it comes to young adult literature and narrator Barbara Caruso’s storytelling power is phenomenal. 

     

    7.24 Ready Player OneREADY PLAYER ONE
    By Ernest Cline
    (2011)

    In the near distant future, humankind lives in the virtual reality of the OASIS. Wade Watts is a Gunter--one who searches for James Halliday’s Easter Egg, the prize of the richest geek in the world's contest to find a heir. Through following the clues, Wade finds himself in the greatest and most dangerous video game of his life. Read by Will Wheaton, this audiobook is a perfect choice for fans of 80s pop-culture and classic SCI-FI. This book has some language in it, so you may want to listen with head phones if there are kids around. 

     
  • Teen Horror Skull 

    If you love the suspense and spine-tingling, slow-burn of horror books, you need to know about the treasure trove of horror in Young Adult (YA). These books are just as convoluted, smart, and terrifying, but they just happen to be on the YA shelves. If you are looking for something horrifyingly new to read, why not check out these YA Horror books.

    10.23 Blood CountessBLOOD COUNTESS
    By Lana Popović
    (2020)

    The is a classic example Gothic Horror novel with some modern sensibilities. You follow sixteen-year old Anna into the alluring world of the Countess Elizabeth. Anna starts out as a lowly scullery maid, but then she is noticed and elevated to the rank of chambermaid. But as Anna is drawn closer and closer to the stunning and clever Countess, she finds that the Countess can be as cruel as she has been kind. The atmosphere of the book is very romantic; the reader is drawn slowly into a web of darkly forbidden love. It also has some serious REBECCA by Daphne Du Maurier vibes.   

     

    10.23 Wilder GirlsWILDER GIRLS
    By Rory Power
    (2019)

    One of the great things about the Horror genre is that is mixes well will other genres. For example, this novel is a mixture of horror and quarantine survival story. Something is not right at the Raxter School for Girls. A mysterious illness threatens them from the outside. Since the Tox hit the mainland, the tiny island that the school is on is quarantined. Now the teachers are dying one by one and something is wrong with some of the students. When her best friend Byatt goes missing, Hetty is determined to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine.The writing style of this author is gritty and lush. The characterizations are compelling and drive the plot. It also has some bite-your-hand scary twists in it.

     

    10.23 Dreaming DarklyDREAMING DARKLY
    By Caitlin Kittridge
    (2019)

    This is another Gothic Horror novel with an unreliable narrator and a mysterious uncle who lives on a small island in New England. Ivy has never known a home. She has never been able to trust her mother. She doesn’t even know who her father was. When Ivy’s mother dies, Ivy is sent to live with a rich uncle she has never known or met. Ivy soon discovers many family secrets including a string of mysterious murders. But then one night she awakens from a nightmare covered in someone else’s blood. This intricately plotted story has a super creepy and menacing atmosphere.

     

    10.23 Here There Are MonstersHERE THERE ARE MONSTERS
    By Amelinda Bérubé
    (2019)

    Sometimes Horror spills over into fantasy, the kind that includes monsters, dark forests, and mind games. This book is super atmospheric, meaning that the language is very descriptive with lavish depictions of the world the author is building. This is particularly important in this novel because Skye and her sister Diedre have moved across the country and now live next to a deep, dark woods. Skye is able to acclimate to the new town and school, but Diedre withdraws from everyone and starts spending a lot of time exploring the woods and building stone and stick faces on the ground. When Diedre disappears, Skye must confront her deepest secrets and make a deal with a horrifying creature who promises the help her find her sister.This has a very PAN'S LABYRINTH feeling to it. Think dark creatures, a desperate attempt to save a sister, and having to face the monsters that reside inside of us all. 

     
  • Teen Girl Holding Books 

    Summer is beginning to wind down and soon a new school year will be upon us. If you are like me, you might be thinking it’s time seize the last few days of summer and get some reading done! But what should you read? May I suggest a few fresh new YA novels? If you are looking for diverse, spunky characters, lush description, and maybe a good cry, the following books could be a great fit for you.  

    8.12 The Sound of StarsTHE SOUND OF STARS
    By Alechia Dow
    (2020)

    This book is set after the invasion of the Ilori. More than 1/3 of earth’s population has been wiped out. Humans are being kept in lock down. They are not allowed to read or listen to music. Janelle is running a clandestine library, until one of her books goes missing. This could lead to a death sentence. But the Ilori who found it doesn’t turn Janelle in. Instead, he talks to her. Janelle and M0RR1S find they share a passion for music. This passion sends them on a road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums in a race to save humanity.

     

    8.12 Clap When You LandCLAP WHEN YOU LAND
    By Elizabeth Acevedo
    (2020)

    Camino Rios can’t wait for dad’s yearly visit to the Dominican Republic. When she arrives at the tiny airport, she finds her dad’s plane crashed. Camino has to come to terms with her grief, but then she discovers something more about her father. She has a sister named Yahaira in New York City. Does her father’s life hold more secrets? This story is told in verse from dual perspectives. It’s a fast read, but it sure packs a punch.

     

    8.12 Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know 2MAD, BAD, AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW
    By Samira Ahmed
    (2020)

    Kayyam is seventeen and on a dream trip to Paris. She should be in heaven, but she’s not. She just wants to go home. That is until she runs into a descendant of Alexandre Dumas and begins research on Leila, a 19th century Muslim woman with ties to Dumas and Lord Byron. Kayyam is a strong female protagonist who is full of passion and sparkle. The rush to find Leila throughout history is really fun to read.

     

    8.12 Love Boat TaipeiLOVE BOAT, TAIPEI
    By Abigail Hing When
    (2020)

    Ever Wong thinks she is going to Taiwan for an educational immersion program. But when she gets there, she discovers she’s on the infamous “Loveboat”. Every passenger is a prodigy, or a rich kid, or both. But no one seems to be interested in studying. They just want to party. While Ever is navigating Taipei’s nightlife, she also is figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up. But will her parents approve of a life they haven’t already chosen for her?

     

    8.12 Yes No Maybe SoYES, NO, MAYBE SO
    By Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed
    (2020)

    Jamie Goldberg and Maya Rehrman couldn’t be more different. But when the two are thrown together to canvas for their local state senate candidate, things suddenly start to change. Jamie begins to have a serious crush on Maya and Maya starts to see Jamie as more than just “that awkward guy.” This book has it all. Political activism. Check!  Cute love story. Check! Multicultural bonding. Check!  I liked it a lot.

     
  • Library Shelves

    Whether you just got your library card or you’ve had one for decades, there are a lot of fun things you can access at the library with it. Here are some of my favorite resources that I have access to with my library card.

    FREEGAL

    Freegal is a downloadable and streaming music service that gives you access to millions of songs in MP3 format. It’s like Spotify or Pandora, but without the ads. You can stream up to five hours of music a day and download three songs each week to your computer or phone. I love Classic Rock and I have found all my favorite songs on Freegal.

    LIBBY

    Did you know the library has access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks? Did you know you can access them for free with your library card? Libby is an app by Overdrive that makes it super easy to borrow ebooks and audiobooks. All you have to do is download the app, link your library card, and enjoy! I use this app every day.

    LYNDA

    Lynda is an amazing service that allows you to learn software, technology, creative, and business skills to achieve your personal and professional goals. You sign up to learn a skill and Lynda points you to the course that will help you learn it. The videos are very easy to follow and are made by some of the best minds in the professional world. I taught myself HTML and Wordpress so I could create an awesome blog. See what Lynda can do for you!

    CREATIVE BUG

    Creative bug is a lot like Lynda but for the crafter in you. You create an account and then you have access to thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists. I am enjoying the beginning water color videos. They really have helped me unlock my creativity.

    These are just a few of my favorite resources all made possible by my library card. If you have any questions about these and other resources, stop by the reference desk and talk to a friendly librarian about how to make the most of your library card.

  • reading lately

    I’ve been luxuriating in memoir lately. It’s so powerful to read about people’s experiences in their own words. It’s like sitting down with them in a cozy corner and having a really good chat.

    Memoir is deeply personal writing about a specific time in a person’s life and touches on the person’s memories, feelings, and emotions.

    Memoir can be inspiring, horrifying, intoxicating, and hysterical. If you are interested in trying out memoir for the first time, or are looking for your next good read, check out this list of what I’ve been reading lately.

    5.21 EducatedEDUCATED
    By Tara Westover
    (2018)

    Tara Westover grew up living off the grid in Idaho. Her erratic father and her midwife mother were strict fundamentalist, so Tara and her siblings never went to school. Tara was 17 the first time she entered a classroom. This is an astounding memoir about how Westover taught herself so she could enter BYU as a college freshman.

    This was a heart wrenching read. The ignorance, squalor, and violence that she experienced in her family of origin is hard to stomach. How could a story like this happen in a modern, civilized world? Yet, the way Westover describes her experience is unflinching and ultimately inspirational. This one will really make you think.       

     

    5.21 BecomingBECOMING
    By Michelle Obama
    (2018)

    This is an intimate portrait of a powerful woman who has experienced heartbreaks and successes that have shaped an amazing life. I really appreciated the section where she recounts her experience with fertility treatments and trying to get pregnant.

    These tender details make this more than just a “famous person” memoir. It is articulate and impeccably written. Reading this book was like having Michelle Obama as a delightful house guest for a couple of days.

     

    5.21 In PiecesIN PIECES
    by Sally Field
    (2018)

    Field gives an unflinching and heartbreaking view of Old Hollywood and her experiences as she evolved from teen sweetheart to Oscar-winning leading lady.

    Field’s authenticity and vulnerability is compelling and her life is inspiring. Though some of the subject matter is dark, her glowing hope shines through. This is a beautifully written, tender and raw memoir about an inner child who just wants to be enough.

     

    5.21 Whiskey in a TeacupWHISKEY IN A TEACUP: WHAT GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, AND BAKING BISCUITS
    By Reese Witherspoon
    (2018

    )In this chatty memoir/recipe book, Reese Witherspoon shares what it was like growing up in The South, particularly the influence of her grandmother Dorothea. At the end of each chapter, she shares family recipes and lists of books and music that can bring the charm and tradition of Tennessee to your home.

    I loved this book. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but Reese Witherspoon writes with charm and candor about her upbringing and the power of family. It was really interesting to see into her life outside of her movies.

     

    5.21 Talking as Fast as I CanTALKING AS FAST AS I CAN: FROM GILMORE GIRLS TO GILMORE GIRLS, (AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN)
    By Lauren Graham
    (2016)

    This memoir was like talking to my best friends about life, love, and our favorite episodes of GILMORE GIRLS. Graham explains her childhood, her life-changing role as Dolly Levi in HELLO, DOLLY!  and all the things that lead her to GILMORE GIRLS and PARENTHOOD. She also shares from her diary that she kept during the filming of GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE and her reunion with Alexis Bledel and Kelly Bishop and what it was like to be without Edward Herriman’s quintessential Richard Gilmore. But mostly it is about how she always felt that she had something inside of her that she wanted to share, that she needed to impart, and she did, talking as fast as she could.

     
  • video games pop culture 01

    Find them in the Catalog:

    READY PLAYER ONE

    WARCROSS

    THE CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE

  • SR 2019 FB

    It’s summertime and that means the Summer Reading Program is upon us. Did you know that Summer Reading isn’t just for kids and teens? All you need is a library card and you can sign up and enjoy a summer full of fun activities, movies, and of course—reading!  Everyone who reads four books earns a free tote bag. After that, the more you read the more prizes and chances you get to enter the online drawings at the end of July. Drawing prizes this year include:

    • Celestron Travel Telescope

    • Amazon Echo

    • Lego Apollo Saturn V Model Rocket

    • Kindle Paperwhite eReader

    • Provo Rec Center Pass (2 available)

    • Star Trek Catan

    • Beats Headphones

    • Gift Cards

    The Grand Prize is a $300 Amazon gift card! So it’s time to get your reading on and start winning some prizes! If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some fun and powerful books to inspire you this summer. 

    6.5 Daring GreatlyDARING GREATLY
    By Brené Brown
    (2012) 

    If you haven’t read anything by Brené Brown, this will be a treat for you. She is a Researcher/Storyteller who studies shame and vulnerability. In the book she explains and expounds on the data from twelve years of research about vulnerability and how it makes us better human beings in the long run. This is a staple for anyone wanting to understand and improve their relationships with their kids, spouses, and friends.  

     

    6.5 Big MagicBIG MAGIC: CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR
    By Elizabeth Gilbert
    (2015) 

    Have you ever wanted to be more creative, more courageous, and more curious? Liz Gilbert, author of EAT, PRAY, LOVE, explores the nature of inspiration and what keeps us all living small and stagnant when it comes to our creativity. This book is a huge encouragement to anyone wanting to bring more joy and inspiration into their lives. It might be just the right nudge for you to tackle that big summer project.  

     

    6.5 The Life Changing Magic of Tidying UpTHE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP
    By Marie Kondō
    (2014) 

    Okay. So, maybe you have already heard of this book or you have watched the addicting Netflix series. Maybe you want to experience some life-changing magic of your own. This is a short, delightful book on the power of letting go of things that don’t bring you joy. Summertime can be the perfect time to make even small changes to your closet, your attic, or your garage. Get the kids involved. Ask yourself: do you really need four sets of measurement cups in your kitchen drawer? Choose the fabulous yellow ones and let the rest go!  

     

    6.5 Girl Wash Your FaceGIRL, WASH YOUR FACE
    By Rachel Hollis
    (2018) 

    Rachel Hollis is impossible to not like. As founder of TheChicSite.com and CEO of a media company, she knows a lot about being authentic and selling your strengths. But what really makes Rachel like your best friend is that she talks about all the lies we tell ourselves that keep us insecure and unfulfilled. She starts each chapter with a lie and then talks about what helped her get over it and move forward. This is a laugh-out-loud-then-bring-you-to-your-knees memoir/self-help/management book.  

     

    6.5 WolfpackWOLFPACK: HOW TO COME TOGETHER, UNLEASH OUR POWER, AND CHANGE THE GAME
    By Abby Wambach
    (2019)

    I love Abby Wambach. And it’s not just because she is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA World Cup champion. It’s because she is such an amazing leader and person off of the field. In May she gave what soon became a viral commencement speech at Barnard College. In it she made the statement, “You were never Red Riding Hood. You were always the wolf.” She builds on this idea in her book, which isn’t just about leadership, but about coming together with your people and loving and supporting each other so that we all have a chance of making it through this life. If you are looking for inspiration this summer, you may just find it in Abby’s book.

     
  • teacup books

    It was my thirteenth birthday. The present from my grandmother was heavy and thick; it felt like a book. My favorite. I knew that it was going to be something important and special. Something that would change my life. I ripped open the wrapping paper. And there it was. LITTLE WOMEN. I opened it immediately and started to read. I have no memory of the rest of the party, or even the day. I just remember being in Concord, Massachusetts with Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.  

    Few other books have molded my childhood like this one did. I immediately saw myself in Jo. I wanted to be a writer like she did. Like Jo, I got frustrated at the unfairness in the world. And also like Jo, I loved my family deeply. If Jo, despite everything, could achieve her dreams,  then so would I. She was the reason I came to love books so much, why I would become an English major. She was why I would teach and eventually become a librarian.  

    And I’m not the only one who has been influenced by Little Women and especially by Jo. Writer and director of SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, YOU'VE GOT MAIL, and JULIE AND JULIA, Nora Ephron and her sister Delia grew up reading the book and taking turns playing Jo. Stephanie Meyer cites it as one of her earliest inspirations to become a writer. And the list goes on of women who were particularly inspired to write because of reading this book: Cynthia Ozik, Barbara Kingsolver, Jane Smiley, Anne Tyler, Mary Gordon, Margaret Atwood, and Jhumpa Lahiri are just a few.  

    What is it that makes this book published in 1868-1869, 150 years ago, resonate with girls and women in the 21st century? Maybe it is the strong female characters that each must face her own challenges growing up. Maybe it is portrayal of sisterhood during war and hard economic times that speaks to our modern sensibilities. Whatever it is seems to touch our hearts and makes us long to be better and to be more.  

    Is it time for you to discover or rediscover this classic? For all things Little Women, check out these offerings from our catalog. 

    2.6 Little WomenTHE ANNOTATED LITTLE WOMEN
    By Louisa May Alcott
    Edited by John Matteson
    (2015)

    Pulitzer Prize-winning Alcott biographer John Matteson illuminates the world of Little Women and its author.

     

    2.6 Meg Jo Beth and AmyMEG, JO, BETH, AMY: THE STORY OF LITTLE WOMEN AND WHY IT STILL MATTERS
    By  Anne Boyd Rioux
    (2018)

    In Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, Rioux recounts how Louisa May Alcott came to write Little Women, drawing inspiration for it from her own life. Rioux also examines why this tale of family and community ties, set while the Civil War tore America apart, has resonated through later wars, the Depression, and times of changing opportunities for women. 

     

    2.6 Little Women DVDLITTLE WOMEN
    Directed by Gillian Armstrong
    (1994)

    A beloved film adaptation starring Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Christian Bale, and Susan Sarandon.

     

    2.6 Little Women 2018LITTLE WOMEN
    Directed by Clare Niederpruem
    (2018)

    A modern retelling of Louisa May Alcott's novel. The story details to the passage from childhood to womanhood of Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy who are all sisters. Despite hard times, they cling to optimism. As they mature they face blossoming ambitions and relationships, as well as tragedy, while maintaining their unbreakable bond as sisters.   

     
  • Mindfulness for Teens

    High school can be a really stressful time for teens. Between hormones, friends, technology, and prepping for college, it can be a whirlwind fraught with obstacles. Add to that COVID-19 (CoronaVirus), school closure, missing friends and teachers, and you have a very difficult environment for teens to grow up in.

    One practice that can help teens to deal with these stresses is being mindful. Research shows people who practice mindfulness and meditate every day are happier, more focused, and have better memory.[1] If you are trying to navigate in these crazy times and are a teen or know a teen who could use some resources for mindfulness, this blog is for you!

    Here are five eBook resources from Overdrive geared toward teens that can help you build resiliency and stay hopeful and happy.

    5.6 Mindfulness and MeditationMINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION: HANDLING LIFE WITH A CALM AND FOCUSED MIND
    By Whitney Stewart
    (2020)

    Author Whitney Stewart introduces readers to the practice of mindfulness. With its roots in ancient Buddhist teachings, mindfulness--the practice of purposefully focusing attention on the present moment--can change a person's approach to stress, develop skills to handle anxiety and depression, and provide a sense of awareness and belonging. This is a short book with really great research to back up the practices. It is written specifically for young adults with topics like mindfulness before bed, mindfulness with your phone, and mindfulness at social gatherings.   

     

    5.6 Letting GoLETTING GO: A GIRL’S GUIDE TO BREAKING FREE OF STRESS AND ANXIETY
    By Christine Fonseca
    (2017)

    This book has everything you need to help you understand and manage the very real pressures you're facing from life. Designed to provide strategies for managing stress and anxiety, this book is filled with practical evidence-based advice and stories from teen and young adult women like you who have found ways to manage their anxieties. What I love is that every chapter features a discussion of different types of stress and anxiety so you can understand better what you're experiencing, activities to help you remember all the things you love about yourself and to help you understand yourself better, strategies for combating both stress and anxiety, and a stories of other girls who've learned to move past their stress and love their lives— and themselves — to the fullest. 

     

    5.6 Mindfulness for Teen AnxietyMINDFULNESS FOR TEEN ANXIETY: A WORKBOOK FOR OVERCOMING ANXIETY AT HOME, AT SCHOOL, AND EVERYWHERE ELSE
    By Christopher Willard
    (2014) 

    Psychologist and learning specialist Christopher Willard offers teens like you proven-effective, mindfulness-based practices to help you cope with your anxiety, identify common triggers (such as dating or school performance), learn valuable time-management skills, and feel calmer at home, at school, and with friends. The workbook structure allows you to answer questions and really think through your experiences.  

     

    5.6 The Anxiety Survival Guide for TeensTHE ANXIETY SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR TEENS: CBT SKILLS TO OVERCOME FEAR, WORRY, AND PANIC
    By Jennifer Shannon
    (2015)

    Based in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), this book helps you identify your "monkey mind"—the primitive part of the brain where anxious thoughts arise. There are lots of illustrations that help explain practical strategies for handling even the toughest situations that previously caused you to feel anxious or worried. If you're ready to feel more independent, more confident, and be your best, this unique book will show you how.

     

    5.6 Be Mindful and Stress LessBE MINDFUL & STRESS LESS
    By Gina Biegel, MA, LMFT
    (2018)

    Life cab really tough when you are pulled in all sorts of directions. From family, to school, to dating, you can feel pretty stressed out. This book provides simple accessible mindfulness-based practices will help bring you relief and ease right away. It also teaches you self-care that helps calm the anxiety and stress. It like a life-hack to get you through even the toughest days.   

     

    [1] Stewart, W. (2020). Mindfulness and meditation: Handling life with a calm and focused mind. Twenty First-Century Books: Minneapolis Minnesota.

  • Julia Child

    I have a confession. Sometimes I get really fangirly about something or someone and I read everything that I can find on that thing or person. I watch every movie; I read every book or magazine. I watch every YouTube video. Being a fan is a way of life for me. And this year I got all fangirly about Julia Child. She has become a hero of mine. She is now someone I look up to, someone I understand, someone with whom I relate. If you are curious about Julia Child, here are some of the best offerings Provo Library has on this big, loud, lovely woman. 

    12.28 My Life in FranceMY LIFE IN FRANCE
    By Julia Child
    (2006) 

    This memoir was begun just months before Julia’s death and describes her and Paul’s years in Paris, Marseille, and Provence. But it is also about her journey from a young woman from Pasadena who cannot cook or speak any French to the publication of her legendary Mastering cookbooks and her winning the hearts of America as "The French Chef."  

    This is an upbeat, funny, and richly detailed memoir about Julia’s blossoming at age 40. Working for the government and meeting Paul Child changed her life forever. Their love story and their love affair with France is heartwarming and swoonworthy, as is all the food.  

     

    12.28 The French Chef in AmericaTHE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA: JULIA CHILD’S SECOND ACT
    By Alex Prud’homme
    (2016) 

    This is basically part two of My Life in France. Nephew Alex Prud'homme recounts Julia Child's life during the late sixties to the early eighties when, after the success of her book MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING brought her fame, she struggled to re-find herself and create her legacy in America. This book focuses specifically on Julia’s work in America. It discusses her groundbreaking television program, the many cookbooks she wrote, and her documentaries.  

    By this point in Julia's life, Paul had become confused and surly. He never really recovered from a surgery he had. Though Paul was prickly with other people, he was Julia’s partner in everything. It’s amazing to see how Julia juggled her career and her marriage. The biography reads like a narrative and was so hard to put down. 

     

    12.28 DearieDEARIE: THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF JULIA CHILD
    By Bob Spitz
    (2012) 

    This is a delightful biography of a delightful woman. It gives comprehensive coverage of Julia’s entire life, not just her time in France. It particularly focuses the complex and passionate relationship between Julia and Paul. This relationship was the catalyst for Julia’s blossoming into a confident, competent, and creative chef and TV personality. It also discusses how Julia found her own voice and beliefs after being sequestered in the heart of California amongst her family and friends. The book was such a great read. The new information and excerpts from letters really made Julia and Paul real.  

     

    12.28 As Always JuliaAS ALWAYS JULIA: THE LETTERS OF JULIA CHILD AND AVIS DEVOTO
    Edited by Joan Reardon
    (2010)

    Julia Child is famous for her cooking, her size, and her voice. But one lesser known thing about Julia Child is that she was a prolific letter writer. One of her favorite correspondents was her dear friend Avis DeVoto. Some may have heard about Avis from her brief mention in the movie JULIE AND JULIA, but as is often the case, the movie doesn't do her justice at all. Avis DeVoto was a writer and a chef in her own right. She was an inspirational and a driving force behind both volumes of Julia's MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING. The letters between these two friends over the space of a lifetime are revealing of their humor, their intelligence, and their spunk. 

     

    I loved reading about Julia this year. She has always been like a giant good fairy in my life. She blossomed at age 40, finding the love of her life and her true calling. She learned what she really believed, even though it wasn't what her family raised her to believe. She loved her country passionately, but also loved the world outside of it. These books are full of life, and love, and FOOD.

     

  • Ebook Reading

    Everything feels a bit dystopian right now with the closures and cancellations to stop the spread of the Coronavirus. Many are working from home and self-isolating, and with schools and businesses closed, there seems to be more time for what is most important. Like reading and listening to audiobooks. With a library card and a PIN you have access to several resources that can be really useful right about now. So, if the Corona virus has you down, here are some resources that you can still use even while the library is closed.

    OVERDRIVE

    Download best-selling audiobooks, eBooks, and magazines from Overdrive 24/7 to your computer or laptop at home. The database dashboard can be reached by going to provolibrary.com, and then going to the Learn tab. Then you can choose the option of Research Databases from the drop-down menu. This brings up all the library’s online databases and subscriptions. Choose the first option of eBooks and Audiobooks. This gives you access to Overdrive. 

    One of the great things about Overdrive is that they group eBooks and Audiobooks not only by genre but by what is available all of the time. That means no waiting to read or listen! That is going to be a go to list for you. You can browse for eBooks and Audiobooks on other lists too. For example, Overdrive has several lists that coincide with Women’s History month. 

    LIBBY

    Libby is Overdrive’s app for listening to audiobooks and reading eBooks on your phone. It is streamlined to be more intuitive and easier to use. Just go to the app store or Google Play and download the app. Once you have it downloaded, you will link your card to your account. It will ask for your library, your library card number, and your four digit PIN. Then you can start downloading. You can set your preferences for just eBooks or just Audiobooks. You can also set it so that you will only see what is available so you don’t have to place any holds for items. 

    Each family member’s card can be added to the app. Then each person can check out up to ten items and put up to seven items on hold on their devices. If you are sharing one device as a family, all of the items downloaded by each family member will be available.

    This is a time of uncertainty. But you can be certain about at least one thing. The Provo City Library is still committed to providing services that will help you and your family get through. 

  • Antiracism 2

    We certainly are in a season of change, especially when it comes to racial equality, social justice, and how we connect with one another. The news is filled with powerful images of people marching, powerful voices leading people to new ideas, and powerful questions that might shake us to our core. Maybe you are wondering how to educate yourselves so you can understand #BLACK LIVES MATTER (BLM) and other groups marching for change.

    There are some great resources from the library you can use as a place to start. They're aimed at teens, but are great reads for adults, too.

    NONFICTION

    7.30 StampedSTAMPED: RACISM, ANTIRACISM, AND YOU
    By Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
    (2020)

    Reynolds and Kendi explore how racist ideas are part of our country. Those ideas have been used to gain and keep power away from black people. In order to have an antiracist America, the authors argue that we must acknowledge that truth. Not only do the authors give great information about racism in America, they give active steps that can be used to discredit racist ideas.

     

    7.30 We Are Not Yet EqualWE ARE NOT YET EQUAL: UNDERSTANDING OUR RACIAL DIVIDE
    By Carol Anderson
    (2018)

    Dr. Carol Anderson explores the myths of the easy, straight line of progress toward Black equality. She talks about five tipping points in history where the United States could have become more equal, but it did not because of racist political maneuvering meant to limit that progress. Those points include the end of the Civil War, The Great Migration, Brown v. Board of Education, Civil Rights Act of 1964, The War on Drugs, and Barak Obama being elected.  

     

    FICTION

    7.30 The Hate U GiveTHE HATE U GIVE
    By Angie Thomas 
    (2017)

    Starr Carter is catapulted into a life of activism after seeing her friend Kahlil shot by police. Both the police and the local drug lord intimidate Starr and try to find out what really happened the night her friend was shot. This is a powerful page turner, filled with Starr’s disillusionment and anguish at the death of her friend, but also the hope that the movement will bring about change. This is a must-read if you want to understand BLM better.

     

    7.30 Dear MartinDEAR MARTIN
    By Nic Stone
    2017

    Justyce McAllister just wants to go to college. But his life is pulled in opposite directions by race relations in his neighborhood and in the country. He finds peace as he writes letters to the late Martin Luther King Jr. This is a character driven, issue-oriented story that shows Justyce’s struggle to face the racism in his life. The narrative is fast paced and thought provoking.

     

    7.30 SlaySLAY
    By Brittany Morris
    (2019)

    Kierra is 17 year old honor student who also likes to play a multiplayer online role-playing game Slay that honors Black culture. Her two worlds are fine until they begin to overlap and collide, revealing cracks of which she wasn’t aware.  This story is not only about the life of a black girl dealing with racism, it is about the life of a black, gamer girl dealing with prejudice from predominantly white, male gamers. I really like how this book deals with so many issues when if comes to racism and prejudice. Kierra is an awesome female protagonist that will appeal to many readers.

     

    Looking for other resources on anti-racism or novels about Black American lives? Try our Beginner's Guide to Anti-Racism or some of these Middle Grade Books by Black Authors.

  • Teen Self Help

    The start of school is a new beginning, a great time to evaluate goals and start good habits. Maybe you want to be better at planning homework time, or are interested in building your resume. Maybe you just want to feel more comfortable in your own skin. A new school year is a great time to work on yourself and your future. If you are looking for some great ways to improve your school year, our nonfiction collection is a great place to start. 

    10.10 Seven HabitsSEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEENS
    by Sean Covey
    (2014)

    This is a classic when it comes to setting goals and making decisions. Covey builds off the original 7 Habits to help you work on different aspects of your life, from friendships to school, to getting along with your parents to dating. It also has great sections on how to create good social media habits, resist negative peer pressure, and find direction in life and school.  

     

    10.10 Ignite Your SparkIGNITE YOUR SPARK: DISCOVERING WHO YOU ARE FROM THE INSIDE OUT
    by Patricia Wooster
    (2017)

    What do you love? What makes you excited about life? These are some of the key questions asked by this book. Through interactive quizzes and activities it will help you find things that motivate you to be your best and most creative self. Learn how to make failure into success, build your determination, and build the future that you really want.   

     

    10.10 The Self Esteem HabitTHE SELF-ESTEEM HABIT FOR TEENS: 50 SIMPLE WAYS TO BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE EVERY DAY  
    by Lisa Schab
    (2017)

    It’s hard not compare yourself to others, especially in high school. With social media creating unattainable standards, it is difficult not to be hard on ourselves. What happens when these feelings of comparison become insecurities? Using these simple habits of mind, you can build your confidence and self-esteem.

     

    10.10 Getting Stuff DoneA TEEN’S GUIDE TO GETTING STUFF DONE
    by Jennifer Shannon
    (2017)

    Do you struggle with procrastination? There are actually different types of procrastinators. Are you a warrior? A pleaser? A perfectionist? Or are you a rebel? Each type has different strengths and weaknesses and different reasons for procrastinating. Learn to understand your motivation or lack of motivation with this interesting and insightful discussion of why you may be leaving things until the last minute.   

     
  • The Power of Books

    Over the last year, I think we have all learned the power of books in our lives. They transport us to other worlds, comfort and soothe us, and give us great ideas to think about. So, to celebrate, here are six books about . . . books. But not just ordinary books; books that forever change the lives of their readers. 

    6.17 The Giver of StarsTHE GIVER OF STARS
    By Jojo Moyes
    (2019)

    An English bride longing for escape volunteers as a horseback librarian for Eleanor Roosevelt's new traveling library. Along with four other women, she is determined to go to deliver books to the canyons and hollers of Depression-era Kentucky. The books and their characters become a lifeline, especially for the women in the small towns she delivers to.  

     

    6.17 The Library of the UnwrittenTHE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN 
    By A.J. Hackwith
    (2019)

    Books left unfinished by their authors are relegated to Hell’s Unwritten Wing. These books often have restless characters who escape and must be captured by the head librarian. But when a hero goes missing and an angel attacks, the existence of a mysterious book that could destroy Heaven and Hell is revealed. 

     

    6.17 The Ten Thousand Doors of JanuaryTHE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY 
    By Alix E. Harrow
    (2019)

    A woman navigating the out-of-place artifacts in her caretaker’s sprawling early 20th-century mansion discovers an enigmatic book that reveals impossible truths about the world and her own past. 

     

    6.17 Mr. Penumbras 24 Hour BookstoreMR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE 
    By Robin Sloan
    (2012)

    Clay Jannon works at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. It’s a strange place with two sets of customers. One set is pretty normal. The other set is a group of octogenarians who believe that an ancient printer discovered impossible truths about immortality and coded them into a book. They seek to unlock that code. Soon Clay is pulled into their quest and discovers some important truths about himself. 

     

    6.17 The Starless SeaTHE STARLESS SEA 
    By Erin Morgenstern   
    (2019)

    In his search for the perfect book to read, a Vermont graduate student finds himself picking up a book and reading about his own childhood experience. Soon he is on a quest to find clues to a magical underground library of stories that is facing utter destruction.  

     

    6.17 The Library BookTHE LIBRARY BOOK
    By Susan Orlean
    (2018)

    In this fascinating true-crime story, Susan Orlean creates a narrative about the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history. While exploring the facts of the case, she also interweaves her own beloved experiences with libraries. Ultimately, this book is about the power of books and how institutions like libraries can change our lives forever. 

     
  • Fairytale

    I have always loved fairy tales and the way they teach us about society and ourselves. It’s even more fun when authors take these tales and give them a new spin. Here at the library we call them Fractured Fairy Tales and we have booklists dedicated to keeping track of these fabulous stories. Here are some of the buried treasures from those lists.

    11.3 Sea WitchSEA WITCH
    By Sarah Henning
    (2018)

    Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. Then a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. This reimaging of The Little Mermaid is a mysterious and haunting tale that sets up a series, the second book is SEA WITCH RISING and it promises swashbuckling action and adventure.

     

    11.3 Wildwood DancingWILDWOOD DANCING
    By Juliet Marillier
    (2007)

    Five sisters who live with their merchant father in Transylvania use a hidden portal in their home to cross over into a magical world called the Wildwood.  This spin on Twelve Dancing Princesses is also a crossover with Dracula and is atmospheric and dreamlike. It also is the beginning of a series, so we get to see the fabulous sisters in action again!

     

    11.3 BeautyBEAUTY
    By Robin McKinley
    (1978)

    This is an oldy but a goody. No list of fairy tale retellings is complete without some mention of this masterpiece. Beauty is not the prettiest girl in her family, but she is the cleverest, bravest, and most honorable; so, when the Beast demands she take her father’s place, she is ready to go as forfeit for the rose her father stole. Based on Beauty and the Beast, this lovely retelling will sweep you away to a land of roses, huge libraries, and mysterious voices in the dark.

     

    11.3 Briar RoseBRIAR ROSE
    By Jane Yolen
    (1992)

    Rebecca has always loved listening to her grandmother’s stories about the Briar Rose. As her grandmother lays dying, she whispers the truth that she is actually Briar Rose and that the story is true. Rebecca sets out to understand the stories she has been told since she was a tiny girl. They will lead her to the work camps of World War II and the answers she has been seeking. This modern contemporary spin on Briar Rose will draw you in and really make you think!   

     
  • 9.18 Books for Brandon Sanderson Fans 

    It is a great time to be reading Fantasy. One of my favorite writers is Brandon Sanderson, a prolific writer and always seems to have a new book or series coming out. But, if you are like me and are waiting for the next book in the Stormlight Archive, which is scheduled for 2020, the wait can seem pretty long.

    Have no fear! There are plenty of Fantasy series to read in the meantime. If you love Brandon Sanderson, you may like one of the following series:

    The Shadowfell Series

    9.18 ShadowfellSHADOWFELL
    By Juliet Marillier
    (2012)

    Neryn is only fifteen when she sets out for Shadowfell, a training ground for a rebel group of magic practitioners. The land of Alban has seen dark times and those with magical strengths are being rounded up and captured. When Neryn meets a fellow traveler who is a soldier and then the Good Folk, they tell her that it is she, and she alone, that can save Alban from its oppressive king.

     

    The Name of the Wind Series

    9.18 Name of the WindNAME OF THE WIND
    By Patrick Rothfuss
    (2007)

    A hero named Kvothe, now living under an assumed name as the humble proprietor of an inn, recounts his transformation from a magically gifted young man into the most notorious wizard, musician, thief, and assassin in his world.

     

    Throne of Glass Series

    9.18 Throne of GlassTHRONE OF GLASS
    By Sarah J. Maas
    (2012)

    Celaena Sardothien has served her time. She is eighteen and has already served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes. But when Crown Prince Dorian offers her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin, she starts down a path that will change her life forever.

     

    The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan 

    9.18 The Eye of the WorldTHE EYE OF THE WORLD
    By Robert Jordan
    (1993)

    Emond’s Field is a sleepy little village of no importance. But when the fields are attacked by the savage troll-like followers of the Dark One, the villagers realize that the war in the western lands is closer than they think. Three young men, sheepherder Rand, blacksmith Perrin, and prankster Mat must face their destiny and The Breaking of the World.

    Brandon Sanderson famously finished this series after Jordan's death, so chances are you've already read it if you're a Sanderson fan. If you haven't, though, now's the time!

     

    The Belgariad

    9.18 Pawn of ProphecyPAWN OF PROPHECY
    By David Eddings
    (1982)

    The Belgariad is an epic fantasy of immense scope, telling the tale of struggles between ancient Gods and mighty Kings, and of men in strange lands facing fated events, all bound by a prophecy that must be fulfilled. Garion is just a simple farm boy being raised by his impressive Aunt Pol on a small farm holding. But when the old magician comes to the farm, Garion’s life changes forever.  

     
  •  writing memoir

    Since I have been reading a lot of memoir, I have been thinking about how you write a memoir.  I have been an obsessive journaler since I was thirteen.  In my early twenties I wanted to do something more than just journal.  A writing mentor introduced me to Natalie Goldberg’s WRITING DOWN THE BONES and I was hooked. I didn’t know there were books about writing books! 

    The most important thing I learned from this book was to get in the habit of writing every day in my writer’s notebook. This is the first tool in your toolkit. So, I set the goal that I was going to write in my notebook for ten minutes every day. Soon, I discovered that I was writing for thirty minutes every day. My notebook turned into notebooks! These notebooks gave me the building blocks that I needed to translate messy journal passages into thoughtful, personal essays (more on that, later). If you are interested in starting a writing practice or enriching your journaling process, check out these books from our catalogue. 

    10.09 Writing Down the BonesWRITING DOWN THE BONES
    By Natalie Goldberg
    (2010)

    This is the book that started it all. Goldberg is full of energy and excitement. Go get a notebook! Sit down! Breathe! Write! But she doesn’t leave you hanging. Every chapter is about an aspect of writing. Say you want more help with wordiness; she has a chapter for that. Maybe you have writer’s block; there’s a chapter for that. You can either read straight through, or focus on different aspects of your writing. 

     

    10.09 The Right to WriteTHE RIGHT TO WRITE
    By Julia Cameron
    (1999)

    Julia Cameron’s first book THE ARTIST’S WAY introduces the idea of morning pages. That you roll out of bed and walk over to your desk and write for thirty minutes to an hour. In this book , every chapter introduces a myth that we have been taught about writing and ways to give away those myths and keep writing. Then she gives an invitation to write. These prompts are really fun and insightful. I really enjoyed them.

     

    10.09 Writers Idea BookTHE WRITER’S IDEA BOOK
    By Jack Heffron
    (2000)

    If you want practical advice and prompts for what to write about, this is your book. Building off the ideas that you will see in Cameron and Goldberg, Heffron gives you pages and pages of writing prompts that range from the tender to the hysterical (you wake up and find a clown in your room, what do you do?)

     

    10.09 Bird by BirdBIRD BY BIRD: SOME INSTRUCTIONS ON WRITING AND LIFE
    By Anne Lamott
    (1995)

    Lamott weaves stories of her childhood throughout solid, step by step writing advice. She is inspiring in her advice to get the first draft out in your notebook and then build from there. She also encourages you to keep your heart and your eyes open because writing is everywhere and anywhere and always within us.

     

    10.09 On WritingON WRITING: A MEMOIR OF THE CRAFT
    By Stephen King
    (2000)

    Don’t be scared. This book is amazing. For those who love King’s stories, he does talk about how he wrote his books;  for those who are a leery, he focuses on the tools of the craft more than the scary details of his demented tales.  King’s biggest piece of advice is to read. Read, read, read. “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t the time or the tools to write.”