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Carla

  • become a librarian 01

     

    True Confessions of Carla: I became a librarian by accident.  Not to say my ending up in this career ever surprised anyone.  I always loved reading and may have spent hours as a child organizing and reorganizing our family’s collection of movies recorded off television complete with an index and card catalog.  But, I planned on being an accountant…until my Tax Accounting class almost killed me.  Basically, at the time I was making the decision to go to graduate school, becoming a librarian just seemed like a good idea.

    Fortunately, it has been.  As I was thinking about that decision, I came across an article posted on the American Library Association website listing one librarian’s Top 10 Reasons for Becoming a Librarian.  I thought he had a pretty good list so I thought I’d steal her reasons and see how they fit with my career choice.  Here goes:

    10: EVER-CHANGING AND RENEWING

    I do love the fact that my job is different every day.  I meet different people, I work on different projects. I solve different problems.  We often joke that this job gives people Acquired ADD, which is totally not a thing.  But I think we do become very used to the variety and the expectation that you will never finish learning or growing into the job.  Being the perfect librarian is a moving target I love to chase!

    9: ROMANCE

    The original author of this list married another librarian. So that works for her.  I did not find my husband in a library.  But did find Captain Jack Elliot (THESE IS MY WORDS by Nancy Turner), Benjamin Weaver (CONSPIRACY OF PAPER by David Liss), David Martin (THE ANGEL’S GAME by Carlos Ruiz Zafon), and a host of other literary crushes.  Romance is alive and well at the library and working here makes me very susceptible to it!

    8: USEFUL SKILLS

    I feel like I should be better at Trivial Pursuit.  But I am really kind of terrible at it.  I learn stuff and then I promptly forget it. However, I can find almost anything if you give me a chance to look it up.  Seriously, I am pretty good at it.  Also, I can multi-task most other people under the table, organize the crap out of almost anything, and carry a wicked stack of books without dropping any.  Skilled?  Yes!  Useful?  Sometimes.

    7: GREAT CONFERENCES

    Um…not sure I agree with this one.  I’m not really a conference kind of person in general.  So I will instead interpret this as Great Interactions, because I do absolutely love that about my job.  Not every interaction is, admittedly, the best.  But, I have so many positive and fun exchanges with people!  Every day I get to talk with patrons about all types of things and 95% of the time, that conversation is delightful.

    6: TIME OFF

    I don’t think this is a universal reason to love being a librarian.  I do enjoy a healthy amount of vacation time, but I think what I love most about my time off is that I can usually leave the stresses and troubles of my job at work. Time off is just that.  I do, however, tend to take home a lot of books, audiobooks and movies, so I guess I don’t actually leave it all at the office.  But I choose to bring home only the good stuff.

    5: A JOB WITH SCOPE

    While much of my job is about books and reading, it is also about much more than that.  It’s about enriching people’s lives.  We definitely do that through books but we also do that with programs and services.  People would be surprised at how much time their public librarians spend trying to figure out what their community needs.  Our efforts cover a lot of ground but are all focused on helping, which is fantastic!

    4: IT PAYS THE RENT

    Being a librarian will never make anyone rich.  But it definitely pays the bills and for that I am very grateful.  I also love that my career choice brought me to Utah County because I love paying rent in this community!

    3: GOOD WORKING CONDITIONS

    Once, while interviewing a young girl for a job at the library, I asked her why she wanted the job.  Her reply was awesome.  “I want a job that requires I shower before coming to work, instead of after.”  I hired her.  She had previous worked at her university as a custodian or grounds crew, which explains her answer, but I’ve never forgotten it.  Some days, like when we are setting up a book sale, I work up a good hard sweat and need a shower right after work.  But in general I work in a very comfortable, not to mention beautiful, place.

    2: COOL COWORKERS

    I wholeheartedly agree with this reason to be a librarian.  I have worked with some of the most amazing people you will ever meet.  Libraries attract employees that really care about what they are doing.  They are dedicated, creative, loyal, and love books and learning! Also, we are all at least a little bit nerdy which makes for a very fun environment.  Probably there are great people working in every library….but I’m fairly positive Provo City Library has the best!

    1: GRAND PURPOSE

    Honestly, I would rather stay at home in bed most mornings.  Unfortunately, that will not pay the bills.  I love being a librarian because, if I have to get out of bed in the morning, there is no place I would rather be or work I’d rather be doing!  I get to devote my efforts each day towards helping the people in my community!  I get to work with tremendously devoted people, in a beautiful building, in a fantastic community.  I’m not working to increase our profits; I’m working to improve quality of life.  That is definitely worth getting out of bed for, and so I do!

  • time and tempests 01 

    Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you.

    This time around: time limits and tempests. 

    FIVE DAYS LEFT
    by Julie Lawson Timmer
    (2014)

    Two stories run parallel in this novel of heartbreak and hope.  Mara has five daysleft before she plans to kill herself before her Huntington’s Disease becomes more than she can bare.  Scott has five days left as guardian to an 8-year-old foster son whose mother is being released from prison and plans to take custody.  This book chronicles the five days that each has left with the ones they love.

    A MAN CALLED OVE
    by Fredrik Backman
    (2014)

    A lonely old man is planning to kill himself now that his wife is gone and he finds he has little to live for.  But the annoying new neighbors, old estranged friends, and a stray cat all interject themselves into his life and, unintentionally, find ways to foil his suicidal plans. While it sounds depressing, it is actually very funny and heartwarming.

    THE HISTORY OF LOVE
    by Nicole Krauss
    (2005)

    Leo Gursky is a lonely old man who survived the holocaust but is now nearing the end of his life and worries that no one will notice when he is gone.  Alma Singer is a fourteen-year-old trying to help her mother fight loneliness and depression. An obscure novel helps to bring these two strangers together where they may find salvation and peace.

    THE SHADOW OF THE WIND
    by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    (2004)

    Daniel Sempere is the son of a bookstore owner during the 1950s in Barcelona.  He discovers an obscure novel, and begins a quest to uncover the many mysteries surrounding the book and its author.  Zafon vibrantly creates a dark and mysterious Barcelona with a magical world lurking beneath the surface.

    ALL TOGETHER DEAD (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood #7)
    by Charlaine Harris
    (2007)

    Sookie Stackhouse has a telepathic gift.  But as a small-town waitress in Louisiana, her gift really only gets in the way.  In this 7th book in the series, Sookie gets entangled in vampire politics which are especially dangerous since the local vampire queen has been weakened by the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.  Harris presents a supernatural South where magic lurks beneath the surface.

    FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL: LIFE AND DEATH IN A STORM-RAVAGED HOSPITALF
    by Sheri Fink
    (2013)

    An investigative journalist delves into what happened at New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital during Hurricane Katrina.  Inadequate planning left doctors and nurses without power, leadership, or a way to getting patients and personnel to safety.  Over the five days they survived in the aftermath of the storm, life and death decisions had to be made.  The fallout from those decisions eventually caused several of the staff involved to be charged with second-degree murder. 

  • freegal halloween

    There are two holidays that stick out in my mind as having the best music. Christmas, of course, and Halloween. Nothing gets me in the haunting mood like a creepy minor chord.  Freegal, which allows you to download 3 songs a week with your Provo City Library Card, has a wonderful collection of those classic creepy tunes you are looking for.

    Here’s a list of some of the best for your spooky playlist!

    THRILLER
    By Michael Jackson
    (1984)

    MONSTER MASH
    By Bobby Boris Pickett
    (1962)

    GHOSTBUSTERS
    By Ray Parker Jr
    (1983)

    I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
    By Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
    (1956)

    LOVE POTION #9
    By The Clovers
    (1959)

  • Book giving

    Nothing makes me happier than giving someone the absolute perfect gift. I don’t manage it all the time, but it is something I take pride in. Whenever I’m asked for gift giving tips, I always say the same thing. It takes time. It can seldom be achieved last minute. You have to pay attention to what people say and do all the time and then pick up on the little clues that tell you what they need that they don’t even know they need. Then, and this is very important, you have to write it down somewhere so that you remember what it is when a gift giving holiday or event presents itself.

    Basically, being a great gift giver is hard work! Unfortunately, we don’t always have that kind of time to spend and, without fail, Christmas just tends to sneak up on us so that here we are, just a few weeks from the big day, and we have no idea what to get all those amazing people on our lists. They deserve the best! We want to give them the best!  But what is that best thing?

    It’s a book! Obviously! But which book can sometimes be the kicker. So, I’ve put together a Librarian’s Guide to Book Giving this holiday! I hope it helps!!

    For your fiction reader who:

     

    Watched A QUIET PLACE in the theater 4 times-

    12.13 The Woman in the WindowTHE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW
    By A.J. Finn 
    (2018)

    Anna Fox lives alone, drinks too much, and likes spying on her neighbors. Then one day she thinks she sees something horrible happen in the house next door and her sanity comes under scrutiny to the point that she questions her own memory. Who is really in danger?

     
     

    Loves to read about manly men living in the woods-

    12.13 BearskinBEARSKIN
    By James McLaughlin 
    (2018)

    Rice has a new job protecting the Virginian Appalachia. It’s lonely, hard work but when he finds the carcass of a bear killed on his territory he begins a dangerous search for the poachers.

     
     

    Loves mythology-

    12.13 CirceCIRCE
    By Madeline Miller 
    (2018)

    This lovely novel follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings.

     
     

    Loves historical fiction involving doomed romances-

    12.13 Love RuinLOVE & RUIN
    By Paula McLain 
    (2018)

    This is the story of the passionate, stormy marriage between Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, a fiercely independent and ambitious young war correspondent. 

     
     

    Enjoys a creepy little mystery with an endearing protagonist-

    12.13 The Death of Mrs. WestawayTHE DEATH OF MRS. WESTAWAY
    By Ruth Ware 

    Hal is in desperate need of money, and when a strange letter arrives telling her she has inherited a substantial fortune, she decides to take advantage of the executor’s mistake. Unfortunately, lying was never her strength and she quickly finds herself in far over her head.

     
     

    Likes politically charged adventures (co-authored by former U.S. Presidents)-

    12.13 The President is MissingTHE PRESIDENT IS MISSING
    By James Patterson & Bill Clinton
    (2018)

    How can a U.S. President be kidnapped from the most guarded residence in the world? This is a thriller that confronts the darkest threats that face the world, with the highest stakes conceivable.Loves an engrossing, heart wrenching story of survival-

     
  • Book giving

    Not sure what gifts to give this holiday season? We've got you covered. This week and next, be on the lookout for book recommendations for every type of reader.

    Yesterday, we shared some of the best new fiction books for adult readers, and today we have a few more to suggest.

    For your fiction reader who:

     

    Loves an engrossing, heart wrenching story of survival-

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

    At the age of 13, Lenora’s unconventional parents move the family to an isolated homestead in Alaska. They are ill prepared to weather the long, cold winter but are able to lean on their new community and their own endurance to build a new life for themselves.

     

    Needs a new version of a classic fairy tell-

    12.13 Spinning SilverSPINNING SILVER
    By Naomi Novik 
    (2018)

    This is a fresh and imaginative retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairtale. Miryem, the daughter of a moneylender attracts the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood. Quickly she learns that words have power, and the fate of a kingdom lies in her golden touch.

     

    Enjoys a story that can change your perspective-

    12.14 UnshelteredUNSHELTERED
    By Barbara Kingsolver 
    (2018)

    How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, and still end up destitute? This question is asked as the novel shifts between two stories tied together by a piece of land and the need for a roof to shelter from the storms. 

     

    Loves a heartwarming stories of the fragility and wonder of life-

    12.14 Virgil WanderVIRGIL WANDER
    by Leif Enger 

    This is an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart.

     

    Misses THE HIGHLANDER and loves the thought of living forever-

    12.14 How to Stop TimeHOW TO STOP TIME
    By Matt Haig 

    Tom may look like an average 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. What does a man who can live forever learn in life?  To carefully guard his identity and his heart. This is a wildly original novel about losing and finding yourself and the inevitability of change.

     

    Needs a little proper romance-

    12.14 Promises and PrimrosesPROMISES & PRIMROSES
    By Josi S. Kilpack 

    When Elliott undertakes a ‘marriage campaign’ to see his wayward nieces and nephews securely married, he has no idea it will lead to a reunion with his own lost love.

     
  • Book giving

    Previously I recommended twelve  books to give those readers in your life that love to escape into imaginary worlds both fantastic and realistic. This post leaves the fiction behind and provides twelve more titles for those wanting to learn a little something.

    For your nonfiction reader who:

    Loves an inspirational memoir about overcoming trials-

    12.17 EducatedEDUCATED: A MEMOIR
    By Tara Westover 
    (2018)

    Tara was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom.  Born to survivalists who isolated themselves from mainstream society, Tara had to fight for an education that ended up costing her more than she could have imagined.

     

    Likes feeling nostalgic about a good neighbor in a sweater-

    12.17 The Good NeighborGOOD NEIGHBOR: THE LIFE AND WORK OF FRED ROGERS
    By Maxell King 
    (2018)

    Drawing on original interviews, oral histories and archival documents, the author traces the iconic children’s program host’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work.

     

    Loves celebrity memoirs with the inside scoop-

    12.17 My GirlsMY GIRLS: A LIFETIME WITH CARRIE AND DEBBIE
    By Todd Fisher 
    (2018)

    Todd Fisher was the son of Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds and the younger brother of Carrie Fisher.  He offers a frequently hilarious and too often heartbreaking story of life with the women he called my girls.

     

    Looks for new perspectives from political icons-

    12.17 Fascism A WarningFASCISM: A WARNING
    By Madeleine Albright 
    (2018)

    The former U.S. secretary of state presents a timely, considered, and personal look at the history and current resurgence of fascism and the virulent threat it poses to international freedom, prosperity, and peace.

     

    Loves learning about the American Revolution-

    12.17 Founding MartyrFOUNDING MARTYR: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF DR. JOSEPH WARREN, THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION’S LOST HERO
    By Christian Di Spigna 
    (2018)

    Dr. Joseph Warren may be the most influential revolutionary figure you have never heard of.  Since he was martyred at Bunker Hill, his essential role in the early colonial rebellion is often forgotten.  But here, he is given some of the recognition he rightly deserves.

     

    Wanted to be an astronaut when they grew up-

    12.17 Rocket MenROCKET MEN: THE DARING ODYSSEY OF APOLLO 8 AND THE ASTRONAUTS WHO MADE MAN’S FIRST JOURNEY TO THE MOON
    By Robert Kurson 
    (2018)

    Shares the inside story of the dangerous Apollo 8 mission, focusing on the lives of the astronauts involved, while illuminating the political factors that prompted the decision to risk lives to save the Apollo program and define the space race.

     
  • Book giving

    Have you been following along with our 2018 book giving guide? We've shared our favorite picture books, nonfiction, fiction, and a little more fiction. Today we have a few more nonfiction titles to share, but be on the lookout for our teen book suggestions soon!

    Dressed up as Bond for Halloween-

    12.20 The Spy and the TraitorTHE SPY AND THE TRAITOR: THE GREATEST ESPIONAGE STORY OF THE COLD WAR
    By Ben Macintyre 
    (2018)

    A thrilling spy story about Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian KGB officer whose secret work with MI-5 helped hasten then end of the Cold War.

     

    Participates in Civil War reenactments-

    12.21 Women of the Blue and GrayWOMEN OF THE BLUE & GRAY: TRUE CIVIL WAR STORIES OF MOTHERS, MEDICS, SOLDIERS, AND SPIES
    By Marianne Monson
    (2018) 

    These micro biographies tell the stories of wives, mothers, sisters and friends whose purposes ranged from supporting husbands and sons during the wartime to counseling President Lincoln on strategy.

     

    Is considering their first marathon in 2019-

    12.21 Killing OurselvesNATURAL CAUSES: AN EPIDEMIC OF WELLNESS, THE CERTAINTY OF DYING, AND KILLING OURSELVES TO LIVE LONGER
    By Barabara Ehrenreich 
    (2018)

    Offers insight into healthcare practices, identifying the cellular sources of aging and illness and revealing that aggressive treatments provide an illusion of control and survivability at the cost of life quality.   

     

    Likes to psychoanalyze people at parties-

    12.21 How to Change Your MindHOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND
    By Michael Pollan
    (2018) 

    An investigation into the medical and scientific revolution taking place around psychedelic drugs with a dive into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists.

     

    Needs to be a little less critical of herself-

    12.21 Girl Wash Your FaceGIRL, WASH YOUR FACE: STOP BELIEVING THE LIES ABOUT WHO YOU ARE SO YOU CAN BECOME WHO YOU WERE MEANT TO BE
    By Rachel Hollis 
    (2018)

    By the founder of TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel shares tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own.

     

    Cried when the last episode of Fixer Upper aired-

    12.21 Magnolia TableMAGNOLIA TABLE: A COLLECTION OF RECIPES FOR GATHERING
    By Joanna Gaines 
    (2018)

    A collection of over 100 classic recipes for meals, snacks, desserts, and small plates from the popular HGTV star.  And (bonus book!) don’t overlook Joanna’s new book HOMEBODY: A GUIDE TO CREATING

     
    Merry Christmas!
  • best books 15 adults

    Fifty seems like such a huge number but when I looked through my list of books read last year, whittling it down was brutal! There were so many amazing titles published in 2015 and I was able to read a whole bunch of them thanks to my recent attempts to limit my television time….possibly a case of trading one vice for another?

    Hopefully we will have a lot of people attend our “Best Books of 2015” event next week as we share our favorites.  With this post, I decided to give you my top five 2015 books that did not make it to my list of 20 I get to share at the program.  These books were very enjoyable and just barely missed the cut.

    Secret ChordTHE SECRET CHORD
    By Geraldine Brooks

    As with all Brooks’ novels, this is a richly detailed piece of historical fiction which presents a unique twist on events or people already familiar.  THE SECRET CHORD tells of King David’s rise to power and subsequent fall from grace.  While I enjoyed the novel, I did not love it as much as I have some of the author’s previous works such as YEAR OF WONDERS and PEOPLE OF THE BOOK (which I recommend frequently).

     

     

     

    Other DaughterTHE OTHER DAUGHTER
    By Lauren Willig

    Another favorite author of mine, Willig writes mainly historical romances.  Her PINK CARNATION series first caught my attention years ago.  However, she also writes stand-alone novels that I look forward to reading.  They are light and fast-paced with fun, relatable characters. THE OTHER DAUGHTER tells the story of Rachel Woodley, the illegitimate daughter of an English Earl, and her attempts to confront her father with his abandonment of her and her mother.

     

     

     

    Precious OneTHE PRECIOUS ONE
    By Marisa De los Santos

    THE PRECIOUS ONE is also a book about a daughter looking to come to terms with her father’s abandonment.  Taisy hasn’t been in contact with her father in over a decade, so when he calls her and asks for her help in writing his memoir she reluctantly agrees.  The story is told with alternating narratives between Taisy and Willow, Taisy’s teenaged half-sister who seems to have all the love and attention Taisy’s father was never able to give her.  A great novel about family and forgiveness. 

     

     

     

    NeurotribesNEUROTRIBES: THE LEGACY OF AUTISM AND THE FUTURE OF NEURODIVERSITY  
    By Steve Silberman

    This is a groundbreaking book about the history and future of autism.  What I really admired about this book was the author’s ability to present the science and history of the topic in a very personal and conversational manner.  He tells of people and their stories which made it a riveting read.

     

     

     

     

    Natural Born HeroesNATURAL BORN HEROES: HOW A DARING BAND OF MISFITS MASTERED THE LOST SECRETS OF STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE  
    By Christopher McDougall

    McDougall is best known for writing BORN TO RUN which seemed to start an entire movement of barefoot running.  In this new book he searches other areas of history to find the secrets to history’s greatest heroes and athletes.  With a bit of World War II history, a fascinating look at the island of Crete, and inspirational stories of amazing physical abilities, this is a great choice for armchair athletes like me.

    Please join us next week for even more recommendations from 2015! Plus, there will be cupcakes. Come for the books, stay for the cupcakes. 

  •  BB 2017 FB

    One of our favorite events of the year is fast approaching! On Tuesday, February 20th at 7:00, join us to hear our librarians favorite reads of 2017 at our annual Best Books event. We'll have treats and books to give away, and you'll leave with some great recommendations for children's, teen, and adult books.

    While we can't give away our top picks just yet, we wanted to whet your appetite by sharing a few of the reads that just barely made the final list.

    2.15 Lincoln in the BardoLINCOLN IN THE BARDO
    By George Saunders

    Lincoln in the Bardo is just bizarre.  I struggled to listen to the first third and just couldn’t enjoy it.  I was a confused and a bit offended.  But I persevered and actually picked up a physical copy of the book to “quickly scan through to the end”.  Half way through the book I was hooked.  In a nutshell, this is a book about the afterlife and how it intersects with the living world.  It’s curious format and odd characters help the reader explore what it means to let go of life and move on in a way that is a bit breathtaking.  I put it down with a sigh and a smile, but the journey getting there was a bit rough.  I just couldn’t recommend it as universally as I’d like. 

     

    2.15 My Absolute DarlingMY ABSOLUTE DARLING
    By Gabriel Tallent

    This is a fantastically written book about a fourteen year old girl searching for herself.  She runs wild through the woods of the California coast but her social existence is confined to school and home with an abusive, but charismatic father.  A chance meeting in the woods introduces her to a boy and her first glimpses of life with possibilities.  This book is mesmerizing.  It is also extremely violent and I feel a need to be extremely selective of who I recommend it to.  It could be very upsetting to many people, but a gripping novel for those who can stomach the described abuse. 

     

    2.15 A Piece of the WorldA PIECE OF THE WORLD
    By Christina Baker Kline

    I was on the fence for weeks about whether to include this book in my final 25, and ultimately decided to go with another book with a similar premise instead. A PIECE OF THE WORLD is gorgeously written and received rave reviews, which is a big part of why I thought about calling it one of my Best Books of 2017. The deciding factor, though, was that I simply enjoyed reading the other book more. While A PIECE OF THE WORLD is beautiful and meaningful, it isn’t a particularly fun read, and I think I wasn’t quite in the right frame of mind when I chose to read it. 

     

    2.16 The River at NightTHE RIVER AT NIGHT
    By Erica Ferencik

    This was another tough call, because I liked the idea of including a book with adventure and thriller elements to add variety to my Best Books list. It tells the story of four female friends who end up trapped in the Maine wilderness after a rafting trip goes awry. Great premise, right? Kind of a HATCHET for adults vibe? In the end, though, THE RIVER AT NIGHT wasn’t quite what I was hoping for. I struggled to connect with the characters, and I was bothered by the unkind, stereotypical depiction of people who live in more rural areas. Having grown up in Montana in an outdoors obsessed family, that didn’t jive with me.

     

    2.15 The Simplicity of CiderTHE SIMPLICITY OF CIDER
    By Amy E. Reichert

    The Simplicity of Cider didn’t blow me away in a way that earned it a Best Books spot, but I’d still recommend it. If you’re looking for an easy, sweet, clean read with a cute love story, this is an excellent choice. I liked it enough to read from beginning to end in one sitting.

     
  • BB 2016 FB

     

    On Wednesday, February 22nd we will present our annual Best Books event!  This consists of three presentations (though participants only have time to visit two) on the best children’s, teen, and adult books our librarians read in 2016.  We’ve been reading furiously all year to compile our lists and are so excited to talk about them.

    For the next few days we will be giving you a little preview. Below is a list of five books that ALMOST made it into my best adult books of 2016.  Last year I read over 100 books and so many of them were amazing.  These five books were great….just not as great as the 20 I will be talking about on the 22nd.

    The DollhouseTHE DOLLHOUSE 
    by Fiona Davis
    (2016)

    I love books that weave stories from history with those in present times.  THE DOLLHOUSE is a wonderful example of this popular writing style.  Here a journalist becomes obsessed with the life of a neighbor in her rent controlled New York apartment building. The more she learns about the building, its history, and its tenants, the more desperate she becomes for more and more personal details.  The mystery, drama, and history of the story kept me reading to the last surprising twist.

     

     

    Curious Charms

    CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER
    by Phaedra Patrcik 
    (2016)

    Arthur Pepper’s life is precisely orchestrated just as it was before his wife Miriam died. However, on the one-year anniversary of her death, Arthur discovers a charm bracelet he’s never seen before and begins a journey of hope and healing.  This is a great choice for those who loved THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY and A MAN CALLED OVE.

     

     

    City of Mirrors

    CITY OF MIRRORS
    by Justin Cronin
    (2016)

    This is the last volume in THE PASSAGE trilogy.  I have loved every installment of this epic post-apocalyptic horror series.  The final volume was an exciting and satisfying conclusion.  Since I already talked about this series in previous years’ Best Books events, I decided to leave it off this year to be able to highlight other stellar 2016 publications.  But for horror readers, this really was a standout conclusion and shouldn’t be missed.

     

    Lab GirlLABGIRL
    by Hope Jahren 
    (2016)

    I agonized over not including this specific title in my list because it really is a wonderfully written memoir.  Jahren tells about her adventures as a female scientist in a very male dominated academic environment.  She talks about her special friendship and collaborative relationship with lab partner, Bill.  Add to that an amazingly honest and revealing description of her struggles with mental illness and you begin to see why this is such a special book.  Maybe I should swap it out on my list….ahhhh, I can’t decide!!

     

    Frontier GritFRONTIER GRIT: THE UNLIKELY TRUE STORIES OF DARING PIONEER WOMEN
    by Marianne Monson 
    (2016)

    Twelve amazing women who helped to settle the west are spotlighted in this cumulative biography.  Two of my favorite sketches were about Nellie Cashman who, in her 80s, mushed a dog sled 750 miles in seventeen days and Martha Hughes Cannon who became the first female State Senator in the United States, defeating her own husband who was also on the ballot.  These women are inspiring and I loved reading about their nonconventional lives and pioneering spirits.  

      

    It is so hard to pick favorites with so many talented writers supplying us amazing books for every taste.  Hopefully you can join us on the 22nd to see our complete lists.  We will have delicious cupcakes and exciting door prizes as well, so bring a friend or two!

     

     

  • ppz

    True confessions of Carla: I love vampires!  Well, I love books about vampires and a few years ago a little book titled PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES introduced the world to an amazing new genre of mashups mixing fantastic horror with established classical novels.  With the film version of Grahame-Smith’s best-seller screening this weekend, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share a few of my favorite classic/horror parody titles.

    wutheringbitesWUTHERING BITES
    by Sarah Gray
    (2010)

    Be honest.  Heathcliff as a vampire just makes sense!  His brooding, mysterious nature lends itself perfectly to a reimagined WUTHERING HEIGHTS where his brutal thirst wars with his love for beautiful Catherine Earnshaw. And then there’s the part where he digs up her corpse…

     

     

     

    alicezombielandALICE IN ZOMBIELAND
    by Gena Showalter
    (2013)

    This is the first book in an imaginative young adult series which follows poor Alice as she falls into an open grave.  Finding herself in a nightmare of death and decay she must learn to fight the monsters that inhabit this strange, mad world.  Admit it, Carroll’s Wonderland was a little creepy even without zombies.

     

      

     

    janslayreJANE SLAYRE
    by Sherri Browning Erwin
    (2010)

    This is actually my favorite mashup to date.  I love the thought of young orphan Jane escaping her vampyre relations (and that creepy red room) and learning to fight the evil in her world.  Taking a governess job for the mysterious Mr. Rochester introduces our brave heroine to romance though true love may yet be thwarted when Jane discovers Mr. Rochester’s first wife, a mad werewolf, locked up in the estate attic.  JANE SLAYRE is a fantastic twist on beloved story.

     

      

    darcyvampyreMR. DARCY, VAMPYRE
    by Amanda Grange
    (2009)

    Instead of retelling Pride and Prejudice, MR. DARCY, VAMPYRE picks up after Elizabeth and Darcy have tied the knot.  Now part of the family, Elizabeth becomes aware of their well-kept, deadly secret.  Danger and darkness  face the newlyweds as they travel across the Continent in attempt to break the curse and assure their future happiness.

     

     

      

    pemberleyDEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY
    by P.D. James
    (2013)

    If you are not quite sure about the supernatural spins on these well-known classics, you may want to try something on the lighter side.  P.D. James has written a delightful murder mystery picking up six years after Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage.  An autumn ball is violently interrupted with Lydia’s unexpected and hysterical entrance proclaiming that Wickham has been murdered.  What follows is an excellent crime drama perfectly recreating Austen’s beloved characters and atmosphere.

     

  • Our next book sale is just one week away! Here are some facts and figures you may have wondered while perusing the thousands of books for sale in the ballroom each time we do one of these sales. 

    book sales 01

  • Forget Black Friday (seriously, put it behind you. You survived!), the real deals on holiday gifts can be found at the Book Sale! Tomorrow (Tuesday, November 29), you'll be able to peruse thousands of books, dvds, and cds to find great previously loved gifts--everything for $1 or less. 

    Not in a buying mood? We've still got you covered with hundreds of Christmas-y materials. 

    christmas 01

  • computing 01

  • Hopefully as you read this you're getting ready to head to our Harry Potter Movie Marathon! We're celebrating Harry Potter this week, and as you'll see, we found out that he's a pretty big part of our collection. 

    Harry Potter 01

    (because I hope you're wondering: the 400s (language and dictionaries) are the only Dewey Decimal category without a book that references Harry Potter in at least a chapter title; looks like you'd better get started on that Parseltounge dictionary). 

  • magazines 01

  • OverDrive is a fantastic way to check out eBooks and audiobooks, all completely free to you! Check out OverDrivein your browser, or download the OverDrive App and get started today! 

    overdrive 01

  • overdrive 2 01

  • librarians 01

  • Ever wonder what a librarian does at the desk all day? We do lots of things, but we spend most of our on-desk time answering questions. Periodically, we count up all those questions. Here are the results from one week in our adult and teen services department this summer!

    reference questions 01

  • Happy birthday/deathday, Shakespeare! If you're looking for ways to celebrate Shakespeare today, tune in to THE WONDER OF WILL LIVE  on C-SPAN 2 at 10 AM MST. In the mean time, here's the Bard, by the numbers:  

    shakespeare 01

  • historic provo photos

     

    True Confessions of Carla: Old photographs fascinate me.  I know I am not alone in feeling this way.  We often get requests from patrons trying to find historic photographs of Provo.  So, we have created a page on our website to help.  Here you can find online as well as print sources for historic images.  

    Provos University Avenue

    Here is a quick list of where some of these sources:

    Remembering Provo: Historical Photographs Project

    Digitized historic photographs of the buildings, people, and history of Provo. Hosted by the Mountain West Digital Library.

    Utah Division of State History - Digital Photos

    25,000 historic photographs are made accessible here by the Utah State Historical Society.

    Parker School Eighth Grade graduating class of 1903

    Provo Historical Images

    This is the largest collection of digital photographs of Provo with over 800 images scanned from photos in the collection of Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University.

    Index to Photographs in Books on Provo History

    This is an index which includes references to photos and other images from 24 published histories of Provo or Utah County.  These books are all available in our Special Collections for use in our building.

    Provo Tabernacle without Tower

    Historical Photographs

    This database consists of digital images from several collections. Most important for portraits of Utah pioneers are the C. R. Savage Collection (1,000+) and the George Edward Anderson Collection (almost 14,000 photos).

    Daughters of Utah Pioneers Photo Index

    Name index to 15,000 photographs in the collections of the DUP Museum in Salt Lake City.

    View of Provo from Tabernacle Tower

  • 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.)

  • better world

    Recently, I’ve felt bombarded by news of violent clashes around the world. I know I am not alone. I am saddened when I see victims and frustrated when it seems to only get worse. I want to do something but I am a confirmed introvert.  Rallies and demonstrations are far outside my comfort zone. But I think I have uncovered a strategy to, in my own small way, make a difference…by encouraging everyone to READ!

    That’s right. I plan to fight intolerance with stories.

    I’m a librarian. I’ve been pushing books at people for almost two decades. I recommend all types of books, and I’m always trying to find something that appeals to each patron. But I would like to extend a new type of reading challenge. Go pick up a book that represents a different perspective from what you know. Find a book that challenges you. Find a book that leads you through experiences of people you may never meet or, maybe more powerfully, through experiences of people who may live right next door.

    It’s proven that reading can build empathy. And doesn’t the world desperately need more empathy? Books are often praised for how they help us imagine fantastic worlds beyond our own. They also help us image the real world beyond our own experiences.

    Join me and fight the fear and the anger that is threatening our society by picking up a book that will stretch your horizons. Talk about these books in your book clubs and with your friends and family. Encourage your children to read about other kinds of people living other kinds of lives. Discover the world and the amazing diverse populations that people it. Open your eyes to vistas you may never see and embrace individuals you may never meet! 

    Below are a few books that have powerfully affected my world view over the past few years:

    8.29 LaRoseLAROSE 
    By Louise Erdrich
    (2016)

    Tragedy strikes a North Dakota Ojibwe reservation when and the whole community must deal with the aftermath. (Fiction)

     

     

     

    8.29 HomegoingHOMEGOING 
    By Yaa Gyasi
    (2016)

    Beginning in 18th century Ghana, HOMEGOING tells of two half-sisters who take diverging paths that lead their posterity from the Gold Coast to 20th century Harlem. (Fiction)

     

     

     

    8.29 In the Shadow of the Banyan TreeIN THE SHADOW OF THE BANYAN 
    By Vaddey Ratner
    (2012)

    Civil war in Cambodia leaves a young girl in a brutal forced labor camp where she clings to the myths and legends told to her by her father. (Fiction)

     

     

     

    8.29 The Book of Unknown AmericansTHE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS 
    By Cristina Henriquez
    (2014)

    A family moves to America from Mexico to aid the recovery of their daughter who suffered a near-fatal accident. (Fiction)

     

     

     

    8.29 AmericanahAMERICANAH 
    By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    (2014)

    Two young Nigerian sweethearts are separated as they study abroad in America and England only to be reunited in their homeland 15 years later. (Fiction)

     

     

     

    8.29 I Am MalalaI AM MALALA 
    By Malala Yousafzai
    (2016)

    Malala tells of her fight to attend school in a Taliban controlled area and the resulting violence that nearly cost her life. (Nonfiction)

     

     

     

    8.29 No One Cares About Crazy PeopleNO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE 
    By Ron Powers
    (2017)

    What is it like to suffer from mental illness in the United States?  Ron Powers presents a powerful narrative using his own sons who suffer from schizophrenia. (Nonfiction)

     

     

     

    8.29 A Thousand Miles to FreedomA THOUSAND MILES TO FREEDOM 
    By Eunsun Kim
    (2015)

    After escaping from North Korea as a girl, Un-Ju relates her nine-year journey to freedom. (Nonfiction)

     

     

     

    8.29 Between the World and MeBETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME 
    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    (2015)

    Written as a letter to his son, this is a view into the experience of a black man in America and his hopes for the future. (Nonfiction)

     

     

     

    And here are a few I plan to read to take up my own challenge:

    8.29 Hillbilly ElegyHILLBILLY ELEGY 
    By J.D. Vance
    (2016)

    The author shares the story of his years growing up in a poor Rust Belt town and a deep look into the struggles of America’s white working class. (Nonfiction)

     

     



    8.29 Born a CrimeBORN A CRIME 
    By Trevor Noah
    (2016)

    The inspiring story of a boy becoming a man during the twilight of apartheid. (Nonfiction)

     

     



    8.29 Home FireHOME FIRE 
    By Kamila Shamsie
    (2017)

    The story of an immigrant family driven to pit love against loyalty with devastating consequences. (Fiction)

     

     

     

     

  • True confessions of Carla:  I am not a music person.  I mean, I like music.  I enjoy a few tunes in the background while I am working or running.  I play the piano well enough to know I should never try to accompany or entertain anyone.  But when it comes to truly appreciating music like so many people do, I am just not there.  

    So, if I can get really excited about our newest online resource, I can only imagine how most of you more cultured and musically inclined folks will feel.  The Provo City Library now offers all Provo Library card holders access to Freegal!!  

    What is Freegal? Well, it’s a free music service. All you need is your Provo City Library card number and your PIN. With those two numbers you have downloadable or streaming access to more than 9 million songs, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists. In total the collection is comprised of music from over 28,000 labels with music that originates in over 80 countries. There is no software to download, and there are no digital rights management (DRM) restrictions.  

    Each day, Provo Library Card holders can stream 5 hours of music from the Freegal site and each week, they can download 3 songs.  Those are three songs they can download and keep forever.  No checkout periods, no due dates, no overdue fines.  

    In the last few weeks, since we’ve started promoting the service, over 1,800 songs have been streamed and 223 songs downloaded by excited library patrons.  What are they finding?  Well, popular genres so far include alternative, classical, holiday, and pop.  And what songs are they downloading?  Here is a short list of some popular tracks:  

     

    ARTIST SONG TITLE
    Adele Hello
    Adele I Miss You
    Adele Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
    Rachel Platten Fight Song
    Pentatonix Winter Wonderland/Don’t Worry Be Happy
    David Archuleta O Holy Night
    Walk the Moon Shut up and Dance

             

     

    We hope that many of our patrons discover and enjoy this great new service.  Find it on our website with our other digital collectionsor download the free app for access on your mobile device.    I have already downloaded a couple Air Supply songs (because they were on one of the 7 8-track cartridges that I owned in high school that would play in my awesome dinosaur of a car), a few Christmas songs (because you can never have too many versions of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”), and some of Adele’s new songs (because I aspire to be better informed about new music). 

  • A Very Freegal Christmas

    If you don’t know what Freegal is, you are missing out. Freegal is like Pandora or Spotify but it’s better because it’s ad free and provided for you by your friendly local library!  To find more information about how to access and use Freegal, see videos here. To access Freegal through the Provo City Library website, click here. Or you can download the free app from your app store and login that way.   

    What will you find on Freegal? Music!! With your library card you can stream 5 hours of music each day and each week, you can download 3 songs to keep forever! That’s right! You get to download songs and play them whenever. 

    As a compulsive reader and book listener, I have to admit I’m not an avid music fan. I don’t listen to the radio much and other than my daughter’s favorite collection of lullabies, I don’t usually listen to much music. However, that all changes in December. During the holiday season I listen to Christmas music whenever I get the chance and I love being able to listen to the classic Christmas carols as well as new renditions by current artists. 

    That’s where Freegal comes in super handy. Here are a few Christmas Playlists Freegal has available to you and to me this very minute! 

    A MERRY MODERN CHRISTMAS MIXTAPE

    Featuring:

    • All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey
    • Underneath the Christmas Tree by Kelly Clarkson
    • What Christmas Means To Me by Pentatonix
    • Must Be Santa by She & Him
    • And 83 more!  
     

    CHESTNUTS ROASTING: CHRISTMAS CLASSICS

    Featuring:

    • White Christmas by Bing Crosby
    • The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole
    • A Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives
    • And 75 more!
     

    HOLIDAY SONGS

    Featuring:

    • Frosty the Snowman by The Ronettes
    • Santa Baby by Kellie Pickler
    • It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by Noah Cyrus
    • Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan
    • And 71 more!
     
  • fiction

     

    Part two of my favorite books of 2016 consists of five fiction titles.  Lately, I’ve been picking up books from best seller lists without reading a thing about them.  I have pretty much just judged them by their titles, covers, and the fact that at least a few people have liked them.  So far, I haven’t been led too far astray and found these five gems.  I’m not going to tell you very much about them and hopefully when you fold back their covers you will be as surprised and delighted as I have been.

     

    My Name is Lucy BartonMY NAME IS LUCY BARTON
    by Elizabeth Strout
    (2016)

    When I want to read something beautifully written, I pay a lot of attention to award winning authors.  Elizabeth Strout won a Pulitzer and, while I don’t usually enjoy short stories, I did like reading Olive Kitteridge.  So, I picked up My Name is Lucy Barton and started reading, hoping to enjoy more of Strout’s lovely way of expressing the feelings and thoughts of her dynamic characters.  I did!  This is a wonderful example of her gift as a writer and I loved every word.

     

    Americas First DaughterAMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER
    by Stephanie Dray & Laura Kamoie
    (2016)

    The cover of this book displays stately Monticello and a woman in a big dress.  So, when I decided to check it out, I obviously knew it was about Thomas Jefferson’s daughter.  I was expecting a historic novel of some kind but I don’t think I expected Patsy Jefferson to be such a complicated protagonist.  Dray and Kamoie give readers a new perspective on the birth of our nation and everyday life in the colonies from the eyes of a woman in the center of it all.

     

    Black Rabbit Hall
    by Eve Chase
    (2016)

    I honestly knew nothing about this book when I downloaded it to my tablet.  But I did like the cover, with its dark wrought iron gate and stately mansion in the distance.  I was in the mood for something a little gloomy and the image spoke to me.  And…I loved it.  There’s a little romance, a little mystery, a bit of angst, tragedy and deception.  All these things worked together to delight and captivate me.  I can’t wait to recommend it to all my fellow Kate Morton fans!

     

    Everyone BraveEVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN
    by Chris Cleave
    (2016)

    It wasn’t the cover as much as the amazing title of this book that hooked me.  Everyone Brave is Forgiven screams of an amazing story to be told.  There is definitely not a shortage of World War II fiction available, but I believe I liked this better than All The Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale, though I did really like both of those.  But Cleave’s characters were so relatable and witty that I wanted to keep them as friends forever, despite their flaws and shortcomings.

     

    Rare ObjectsRARE OBJECTS
    by Chris Cleave
    (2016)

    This book definitely grabbed me with its cover.  It depicts a lovely girl in a beautiful dress staring at the camera and made me think of Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, which was a favorite of mine a few years ago.  Plus, I don’t read a lot of fiction that takes place during The Great Depression and I like to mix things up sometimes.  This was another random choice that I am very glad I made.  Chris Cleave presents lovely complicated characters and a beautiful message of redemption.

  • nonfiction

     

    Around February the Provo City Library presents a “Best Books of…” program where our librarians talk about their favorite titles published during the previous year.  To do this, we somewhat obsessively read everything new we can get our hands on.  This year I’ve been working hard to find titles I can talk about next February and I’m excited to say there are lots I’ll have to choose from.

     

    Below is a preview for February’s program.  It’s a list of my five favorite nonfiction titles published so far in 2016!

     

    When Breath Becomes AirWHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR
    by Paul Kalanithi

    (2016)


    Just as Paul Kalanithi began finishing up his last year of residency, he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.  Given about a year to live, he decided to fulfill his dream of being a writer by penning this amazing memoir.  I love, love loved Kalanithi’s beautiful prose and thoughtful reflections on what it means to live life and accept death.

     

    Spain in Our HeartsSPAIN IN OUR HEARTS: AMERICANS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR, 1936-1939
    by Adam Hochschild

    (2016)

    
I am sure I learned about the Spanish Civil War during some history class but I certainly don’t remember it being this fascinating.  Hochschild here presents this conflict and its impact on world history as both governments and individuals took sides and prepared for the greater conflict of an impending world war.

     

    Seven Brief LessonsSEVEN BRIEF LESSONS ON PHYSICS
    by Carlo Rovelli

    (2016)

    Although this book is less than 100 pages long, it seemed like a lot more since I found it  necessary to read most of the book at least twice just to sort of walk away with a vague understanding of the concepts Rovelli discusses.  This is not to say he does not write in an understandable and approachable way.  He does.  I just don’t get physics.

     

    RomanovsROMANOVS: 1613-1918
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore

    (2016)

    What I learned from this 700 page tome is that the Romanovs were mostly all crazy.  Also, they were surrounded by mostly crazy people.  I don’t mean to be super judgy about it, all the stress of running an empire and producing heirs would really drive any sane person mad.  Also, it makes for a really great read.

     

    GeneGENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY
    by Siddhartha Mukherjee

    (2016)

    DNA is a fascinating little molecule. What I found more fascinating in this book is how the discovery and study of DNA has affected society and culture.  The many issues involved with so many conflicting but valid opinions make this history of genetics as gripping as a novel. 

     

     

  • americana

    Two hundred and fourteen years ago today, on February 26th 1802, Victor Hugo was born.  To celebrate his birthday, I thought a list of my favorite musicals inspired by novels would be appropriate.  I’ll admit that there was a bit of a battle and some of my favorite musicals didn’t make my list.  But here are what I consider Broadway’s best interpretations of some fantastic books!

    1LES MISERABLES
    by Victor Hugo
    (1862)

    Victor Hugo’s masterpiece tells of ex-convict Jean Valjean, who overcomes much to become a community pillar only to discover how hard it can be to escape your past.  I am constantly amazed at how well the music and lyrics capture a very complicated story. And the upshot of watching the musical over reading the book is you don’t have to sludge through the 50 pages Hugo spends describing the Paris sewers.  That said, everyone should still read the unabridged version at least once in their lives because it really is just that good.

    2WICKED
    by Gregory Maguire
    (1995)

    I read WICKED by Gregory Maguire before there was a musical.  A while later a friend went to New York and returned raving about the amazing musical she had just seen called WICKED. I was very surprised.  My first question was “Did it end happily?” She said it did and I knew they had changed a lot while adapting that book for the stage.  I believe the book has some good parts and the concept itself is brilliant.  But I usually recommend people just enjoy the musical and leave the book on the shelf.  Does that make me a bad librarian?

    3BIG RIVER (THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN)
    by Mark Twain
    (1884)

    The sign of a great musical is one with music that doesn’t leave you.  It’s a musical where, days later, you are still humming its tunes and singing its lyrics. BIG RIVER does that to me.  Who doesn’t love a song about the virtues of hogs?  Or the “*&#  *$&% Government”? Or the desire to just fish or think about fishing all day long?  These songs just speak to my soul.  In all seriousness, I love the music in BIG RIVER.  It is fun and heartfelt.  Mark Twain probably deserves some of that credit for devising characters you just can’t help but love and a story that refuses to lose its relevance with age.

    4PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
    by Gaston Leroux
    (1909)

    No list of great musicals would be complete without THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA.  The musical does veer somewhat from the novel but not in ways that ever really bothered me.  The music is brilliant and the story has a little bit of something for everyone.  It has a little romance, a little adventure, a corpse hanging from the ceiling, and a deformed masked man obsessing over a pretty young girl.  Wonderful family entertainment!

    5MAN OF LA MANCHA (DON QUIXOTE)
    by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
    (1605)

    I am just realizing that I have never read DON QUIXOTE and I’ve always wanted to.  In fact, I just put the downloadable audio version on hold…there are two people ahead of me.  I hope they hurry up and finish it.  MAN OF LA MANCHA is one of the first musicals I ever saw, so there is a special place in my heart for that old man and his quest.  But, I really do need to read the book.  I’ll let you know which I like better.

  • trilogies 01

     

    Next Tuesday the final volume of Justin Cronin’s PASSAGE trilogy will be released.  I am VERY excited about it!  So, to commemorate here is a list of some my favorite trilogies!  

    The Passage Trilogy

    THE PASSAGE

    THE PASSAGETHE TWELVETHE CITY OF MIRRORS   
    by Justin Cronin
    (2010, 2012, 2016)  

    You may notice from the publication date that it has been four long years since THE TWELVE was published.  That is why I’m so excited about this final installment appearing on our shelves.  I want to know what happens to Amy and her friends in their post-apocalyptic world filled with the living dead!  This is a dark and gripping story filled with characters I’ve grown to love in a terrifying world I am really hoping gets better by the time I turn the last page in THE CITY OF MIRRORS.   

    mistborntrilogy thumb
    MISTBORN

    THE FINAL EMPIRE, THE WELL OF ASCENSION, THE HERO OF AGES
    by Brandon Sanderson 

    (2006, 2007, 2008)  

    I may love this trilogy mostly because I want alomantic powers more than any other fictional magic I’ve encountered.  It just sounds like fun and I want to fly.  Also, Brandon Sanderson writes great characters that I quickly grow attached to with plot lines that are seldom predictable.  Technically, this trilogy has turned into a series, but the first three tell a great story all by themselves.  

    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    LORD OF THE RINGS

    THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE TWO TOWERS, THE RETURN OF THE KING
    by J.R.R. Tolkien 

    (1954, 1954, 1955)

    I don’t think I really need to defend this choice.  It’s kind of a given.  

    otori cycle
    TALES OF THE OTORI

    ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOORGRASS FOR HIS PILLOWBRILLIANCE OF THE MOON  
    by Lian Hearn 
    (2002, 2003, 2004)  

    TALES OF THE OTORI mixes a little bit of magic with feudal Japan.  It was one of those books that didn’t get a ton of attention when it was first released but I couldn’t put down.  That sounds a little sad, but hidden gems like ACROSS THE NIGHTINGALE FLOOR are a librarian’s best friends.  We rely on them when recommending books to people who have already read “everything”.  And who can resist magical ninjas?  (Again, technically, this is a series, but I didn’t love any of the books after the first three so I pretend they don’t exist.  I can easily recommend people just read the trilogy.)  

    jason bourne
    BOURNE TRILOGY

    THE BOURNE IDENTITY, THE BOURNE SUPREMACY, THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
    by Robert Ludlum 

    (1980, 1986, 1990)  

    If you have watched the movies, you will still be surprised by what you find in these classic spy novels.  Beyond an amnesiac assassin named Jason Bourne, the books and the movies don’t have a whole lot in common.  Cold war technology and spy craft may seem a little dated to some, but just think of it like a historical adventure novel and it becomes charmingly retro.  Right?

  • smarter

    I love reading books about physics. Somehow, I survived my formal education, pre-school through a master’s degree, without a physics class. Fortunately, there are some amazing scientists with a gift for writing and explaining that have provided me the opportunity to bolster my formal education. I love that these books make me feel very smart as a concept snaps into place and I actually understand why E=mc2. Of course, I cannot explain what I’ve learned to anyone and within a few days I’ve lost that light of understanding. But, at least while reading, the world makes sense.Here is a list of my favorites:

    10.20 A Short History of Nearly EverythingA SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING
    By Bill Bryson
    (2003)

    This hefty tome was my first introduction to Bill Bryson and I’ve loved him ever since.  While the entire book is not dedicated to physics exactly, the author begins with the Big Bang and then meanders his way through the history of the universe and our world.  Completely entertaining and enlightening.

     

     

    10.20 emc2E=mc2: A BIOGRAPHY OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS EQUATION
    By David Bodanis
    (2005)

    A biography about an equation sounds a little odd but the history E=mc2 is so full of drama it is actually a perfect fit. Though I do love many other books on the topic, this one created for me the most memorable “ah ha” moment. Bodanis set out to explain something everyone can recite, but few actually understand. He totally succeeded in my case!

     

     

    10.20 Physics of the FuturePHYSICS OF THE FUTURE: HOW SCIENCE WILL SHAPE HUMAN DESTINY AND OUR DAILY LIVES BY THE YEAR 2100
    By Michio Kaku
    (2011)

    With a slightly different goal than other authors on this list, Kaku explain where things are headed and more of the application of physics instead of focusing on the actual science.  He adds imagination to the mix and helps readers see how physics affects us now and in the increasingly near future.

     

     

    10.20 Seven Brief Lessons on PhysicsSEVEN BRIEF LESSONS ON PHYSICS
    By Carlo Rovelli
    (2016)

    General relativity, quantum mechanics, elementary particles, gravity, and black holes are a few of the topics discussed in this collection’s 86 pages.  If you only have a few hours, this is the physics book for you.  I did have to stop and reread several portions to follow the science, but I loved the playful tone and lyrical writing.

     

     

    10.20 Astrophysics for People in a HurryASTROPHYSICS FOR PEOPLE IN A HURRY
    By Neil deGrasse Tyson
    (2017)

    Neil deGrasse Tyson’s celebrity status drew me to this book but his ability to explain very complicated concepts kept me reading.  His writing is approachable and entertaining and here he provides a basic understanding of the past, present, and future of the cosmos. 

     

     

     

  • Always available audiobooks

    I have previously confessed to my somewhat worrisome addiction to audiobooks on Overdrive. I keep a very robust wish list, and as soon as a hold comes in, I place another so that I am never in want of something great to listen to.

    However, there are times when nothing on my wish list is available and my holds are still pending. When this happens, I long for Jedi powers to “encourage” other listeners to hurry up, finish their audiobooks, and return them to Overdrive so I can start listening to them already. When this doesn't work, I am grateful for the 175 audiobooks that are always available on Overdrive.

    Here are the top five titles I’m keeping in my back pocket. Titles I want to listen to and will download when the new stuff is unavailable.

    balanced and barefootBALANCED AND BAREFOOT: HOW UNRESTRICTED OUTDOOR PLAY MAKES FOR STRONG, CONFIDENT, AND CAPABLE CHILDREN
    Angela Hanscom
    (2016)

    I am not a parent. However, I LOVE reading parenting books. It’s weird. And, at this year’s Best Books of 2016 event, one of our other librarians (who isn’t a parent either, just saying) put this book on her list and I’ve wanted to listen to it ever since. In it, a pediatric occupational therapist explains why unrestrained movement and outdoor play are vital for children’s cognitive development. I’m hoping its just a really good argument for playing in mud because that sounds fun.

    emperor of all maladiesEMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES: A BIOGRAPHY OF CANCER
    Siddhartha Mukherjee
    (2010)

    I am just realizing this has been on my “To Read” list for 6 years! Sigh. Maybe this year I will finally get a chance to listen to it. This is a “biography” of cancer, from its origins to the epic battle to cure, control, and conquer it. Also, it won the Pulitzer Prize, so it is probably well written and full of good things to know.

     

     

    hemingses of monticelloHEMINGSES OF MONTICELLO: AN AMERICAN FAMILY
    Anette Gordon-Reed
    (2009)

    While this book hasn’t been on my official list, it is one that has been on my radar. I love reading history books and last year I read AMERICA’S FIRST DAUGHTER by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie which is about Jefferson’s eldest daughter “Patsy.” I was fascinated by the novel and I am looking forward to learning about the Jeffersons from a different perspective.

     

     

    bananaBANANA: THE FATE OF THE FRUIT THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
    Dan Koeppel
    (2008)

    I keep hearing about how we should enjoy bananas now because their days are numbered. I’d really like to know what that is all about. This book is a gripping biological detective story that uncovers the myth, mystery, and the endangered fate of the world’s most humble fruit. The only downside of listening to this audiobook is that I eat more when I read about food.

     

     

    surprised by joy1SURPRISED BY JOY
    C.S. Lewis
    (1956)

    Audiobooks that are read by the authors are some of my favorites. How amazing would it be to have this autobiographical book about C. S. Lewis’s journey from Christianity to atheism and back to Christianity narrated by the author himself? So, that is not possible. But it would be cool and I am still excited to listen to SURPRISED BY JOY which is one of the few C.S. Lewis books I haven’t read yet.

     

  • Always available audiobooks

    I love audiobooks. They are the only reason I can get through the number of books I do each year. I can listen while exercising, cleaning, driving, or cooking. Also, I love Overdrive. Downloading audiobooks is so much easier than having to swap discs in and out of my laptop and way safer than swapping discs while driving in my car.

    Much of the time, the books I am most excited to listen to are popular choices for other people as well. So, I put myself on hold for them and (mostly) patiently wait my turn. In the meantime, the Utah State Library has 175 wonderful audiobooks available all the time. There is a lot of variety represented here but listed below are five of my favorite titles to enthusiastically recommend.

    tidying upTHE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP: THE JAPANESE ARE OF DECLUTTERING AND ORGANIZING
    Marie Kondo
    (2015)

    If you haven’t heard about Marie Kondo’s book, let me boil it down for you. In THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP you will learn that if something doesn’t bring you joy, you probably don’t need it. Kondo’s ideas really can live up to the title and change your life if you can complete her whole process in your home. I did not manage to do that, but I did really appreciate her thoughts, and I have become much better at letting go of the extra and unnecessary things I have in my home and my life.

     

    zookeepers wifeTHE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE
    Diane Ackerman
    (2007)

    This book has been out for a while, but a new movie starring Jessica Chastain has made it very popular again. It is the true story of a Warsaw zookeeper’s wife who helped save hundreds of people and animals during World War II. I loved it when I read it years ago and am excited to see the film.

     

     

    goose girlGOOSE GIRL
    Shannon Hale
    (2003)

    This was Shannon Hale’s debut novel, and I’m so glad she kept writing. GOOSE GIRL is a wonderful retelling of a German fairy tale and the first novel in the Books of Bayern series. This is a perfect pick for listeners of all ages and is narrated by a full cast.

     

     

     

    white trashWHITE TRASH: THE 400 YEAR UNTOLD HISTORY OF CLASS IN AMERICA
    Nancy Isenberg
    (2016)

    WHITE TRASH is no fairy tale. It is actually a fairly depressing look at class history in America, from the present back to colonial times. However, taking a good hard look at our collective flaws can often lead the way to change. I learned so much while listening to this audiobook and I hope others will take the time to learn more as well.

     

     

    StiffSTIFF: THE CURIOUS LIVES OF HUMAN CADAVERS
    Mary Roach
    (2004)

    I love all of Mary Roach’s books, but this one is my favorite. STIFF brings to light the oddly compelling and often hilarious lives of bodies after death. Cadavers have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings and Roach explores and investigates them all. What I love most is the tone of Mary’s books. She is so fascinated with her topic that readers can’t help but be fascinated right along with her.

     

  • joseph smith

     Today, April 6th, is the anniversary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The history of the LDS church is unescapably tied to the history of Utah and also Provo and it can be a fascinating topic to delve into.  In celebration of the 1830 founding of this influential religion, I have compiled a list of key works that explain more about its founder and first prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr. 

    Each of these books illuminates a different perspective of this complex and visionary man who, while born into humble circumstances, started a movement that would touch the lives of millions.  Even if you think you already know a lot about Joseph Smith, I guarantee you will discover a wealth of new details in the following volumes.

    4.6 Witness to the MartyrdomWITNESS TO THE MARTYRDOM
    By John Taylor
    (2017)

    On June 27, 1844, John Taylor, was in Carthage Jail along with Joseph and Hyrum Smith and was severely wounded during the fatal altercation with the mob. He recovered his health and put into writing his recollections of the Prophet's final days on earth. John Taylor's detailed first-person account of the Martyrdom is a witness to the goodness and deep faith of the leading Brethren of the restored Church. 

     

    Rough Stone RollingJOSEPH SMITH: ROUGH STONE ROLLING
    By Richard Lyman Bushman
    (2005)

    While many “experts” continue to view Joseph Smith as a controversial figure, renowned scholar (and Latter-day Saint) Richard Bushman locates Joseph in his historical and cultural context, fleshing out the many nuances of nineteenth-century American life that produced such a fertile ground for emerging religions.

     

    The History of Joseph Smith by his MotherTHE HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH BY HIS MOTHER
    By Lucy Mack Smith
    (2004)

    In this incomparable classic, Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of the prophet Joseph Smith, Takes a tender look back at the extraordinary life of her son. She relates with stirring personal detail the events that shaped his character, as well as the visions and miracles of the gospel restoration that reshaped the world.

     

    4.6 Precept upon PreceptPRECEPT UPON PRECEPT
    By Robert L. Millet
    (2016)

    Latter-day Saint doctrine is based on the restoration of a correct understanding of God's "character, perfections, and attributes." In Precept upon Precept, esteemed Latter-day Saint scholar and speaker Robert L. Millet explored how the restoration of one truth led to questions that led to answers and the restoration of more truths—line upon line, precept upon precept.

     

    5.6 Joseph Smith PapersJOSEPH SMITH PAPERS
    Compiled by various historians and The Church Historian’s Press
    (2008)

    And finally, for those who want access to it all, we have the JOSEPH SMITH PAPERS.  This project “is an effort to gather together all extant Josephs Smith documents and to publish  complete and accurate transcripts of those documetns with both textual and contextual annotations.”  Print volumes available at the library include documents, histories, revelations and translations, and journals.

     
  • 01 Jan Book Sale FB

    It’s book sale time! That time when you can buy 15 books for the price of one! 

    We will be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. That gives you eight hours of treasure hunting, so here are five tips to help you get the most out of this one-day event:

    1. Know the lay of the land

    There are four general areas of the book sale. As you come into the ballroom, through the south entrance...

    • The first couple rows will be children’s materials.

    • The middle few rows will have adult and teen fiction titles.

    • The last couple of rows will have adult and teen nonfiction titles.

    • The south end of the ballroom will hold special items including magazines, movies, music, and more.

    Beyond these very general categories, we do not sort our books. This means you should give yourself plenty of time to search for things you may want.

    2. Arrive early...but maybe drop in a few times throughout the day

    There are some truly amazing finds among the hundreds of boxes of books available at our sales.  Sometimes the best stuff goes fast, so arriving early can be a very good idea. However, as books fly off the tables, we replace them with more boxes so that what is available for purchase changes throughout the day. You can find great stuff all day long!

    3. Know what's available and why

    Many people wonder where all these books come from. Well, they come from a couple of places: 

    • Discards – these are books that were part of our collection but have been discarded.  We discard books if they are falling apart, if they are not popular, or if we have too many copies. We replace these books with newer copies or titles so that our collection stays in good condition.

    • Donations – we receive many generous donations of books throughout the year. Sometimes we add these donations to our collection which helps us buy even more books for our patrons. But sometimes, we already have copies or the books don’t fit with our collection, so we sell them at the book sale and use the proceeds to provide programs for our patrons.

    You can tell the difference between these two categories by looking at the spine to see if it has a spine label or any other stickers or markings showing the library owned the book previously. Donations will usually be free of these labels and they often look newer and have seen less use. So, if you're looking for "like new" kinds of books, skip the ones with spine labels; if you're looking for well-loved but popular books, searching through library discards might be the way to go (you'll often find a Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book hanging out in a box of discards just because it's circulated so many times!). 

    4. Be prepared with help and bags

    With over 23,000 items on display for sale, you may need to bring a little help to sort and search. Gather your posse and attack the job together. If you know what you're looking for, divide and conquer! Also, bring bags and boxes to haul away your booty. We supply some shopping bags and boxes, but eliminate any uncertainty and bring your own reinforced modes of transportation. Books are awesome…but they are also heavy!

    5. Occasional end of the day deals

    Toward the last hour or so of each sale we often start thinking about the big job of hauling all the leftover books back down to the basement for storage until the next sale. That’s a big job, and sometimes we like to make it smaller by lowering the prices of the books. So, consider coming back at the end to see what additional discoveries you can make! There's a possibility they'll be even cheaper then.

  • book sale

     

    It’s book sale time!  That time when you can buy 15 books for the price of one! 

    We will be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.  That gives you eight hours of treasure hunting and here are five tips to help you get the most out of this one-day event:

    1. Know the lay of the land

    There are 4 general areas of the book sale.  As you come into the ballroom, through the south entrance...

    • The first couple rows will be children’s materials.
    • The middle few rows will have adult and teen fiction titles.
    • The last couple rows will have adult and teen nonfiction titles.
    • The south end of the ballroom will hold special items including magazines, movies, music, and more.

    Beyond these very general categories, we do not sort our books.  This means you should give yourself plenty of time to search for things you may want.

    2. Arrive early...but maybe drop in a few times throughout the day

    There are some truly amazing finds among the hundreds of boxes of books available at our sales.  Sometimes the best stuff goes fast, so arriving early can be a very good idea. However, as books fly off the tables, we replace them with more boxes so that what is available for purchase changes throughout the day.  You can find great stuff all day long!

    3. Know what's available and why

    Many people wonder where all these books come from.  Well, they come from a couple of places: 

    • Discards – these are books that were part of our collection but have been discarded.  We discard books if they are falling apart, if they are not popular, or if we have too many copies.  We replace these books with newer copies or titles so that our collection stays in good condition.
    • Donations – we receive many generous donations of books throughout the year.  Sometimes we add these donations to our collection which helps us buy even more books for our patrons.  But sometimes, we already have copies or the books don’t fit with our collection, so we sell them at the book sale and use the proceeds to provide programs for our patrons.

    You can tell the difference between these two categories by looking at the spine to see if it has a spine label or any other stickers or markings showing the library owned the book previously.  Donations will usually be free of these labels and they often look newer and have seen less use. So, if you're looking for "like new" kinds of books, skip the ones with spine labels; if you're looking for well-loved but popular books, searching through library discards might be the way to go (you'll often find a Harry Potter or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book hanging out in a box of discards just because it's circulated so many times!). 

    4. Be prepared with help and bags

    With over 23,000 items on display for sale, you may need to bring a little help to sort and search.  Gather your posse and attack the job together. If you know what you're looking for, divide and conquer! Also, bring bags and boxes to haul away your booty.  We supply some shopping bags and boxes, but eliminate any uncertainty and bring your own reinforced modes of transportation.  Books are awesome…but they are also heavy!

    5. End of the day deals

    Toward the last hour or so of each sale we usually start thinking about the big job of hauling all the leftover books back down to the basement for storage until the next sale.  That’s a big job, and we like to make it smaller by lowering the prices of the books.  So, come back at the end and see what additional discoveries you can make!

    Bonus Tip:  Every year, we have a book sale in association with the Summer Reading Kickoff! If you register at the kickoff that day, you will receive a voucher for one free book. 

  •  Haunting

    Since it is Halloween today, I thought I would write a post about haunted places in Provo. It would be great to start with personal experiences of our reportedly haunted Academy building. Unfortunately, after working here for twenty years, the only unexplained phenomena I have experienced is that the batteries in any clock I hang in my office die really really fast.  I’ve even replaced the clock a few times and finally just gave up on it. But I don’t think that really counts as paranormal.

    However, we have a number of wonderful books that discuss Utah hauntings and the one that caught my attention recently is RESTLESS SPIRITS: UTAH’S SMALL TOWN GHOSTS by Linda Dunning. She has a whole section on Provo Haunts. Below is a wonderful summary of those hauntings from her book:

    “The Utes massacred at Table Point and in Rock Canyon were never buried. They were left to the wild animals and the whims of nature. Is it any wonder that both of these places are haunted by the dead?

    Old Bishop was a leader to his people and a friend to the white man. His spirit walks the shore of the Provo River in winter.  Bill Hickman, notorious outlaw and lawman, told his tall tales about both of these events.

    In Provo Canyon, the stories of Bridal Veil Falls are both old and new, according to the decade from which they came. Hermits, witches, healers, and old miners are said to have inhabited this canyon, and their stories might have been lost except for the tales told here.

    Brigham Young University has its share of haunted buildings. Musical instruments play by themselves in the music department, and rumor has it that one of the museums is experiencing so much phenomena that a man was summoned to bless the place.

    An old pioneer graveyard is buried under a building, which is, of course, “haunted.” The old Utah County jail has spirited criminals, and the Hotel Roberts, which was razed in 2004, had an atmosphere all its own. Even Geneva Steel, once the largest employer in the valley, was silent, still, and definitely haunted until it was abandoned in 2005.

    Tell me that you aren’t intrigued by at least one of these quick teasers! This is a great little book and it’s available here at the Provo City Library. As I was reading through these creepy stories I discovered a previous book by the same author that she says describes “in depth” the hauntings of Maeser Elementary and the Brigham Young Academy building. Why did we not own this book? Well, we do now!

    If you want to learn more about what is creepy in our community and state, check out these titles:

    10.31 Restless SpiritsRESTLESS SPIRITS: UTAH’S SMALL TOWN GHOSTS
    by Linda Dunning
    (2010) 

    A resurrection witnessed, skeletons unearthed from the cellar of a saloon, and a ghostly apparition searching for her lost child – these stories and more will chill your bones, curdle your blood, and make even the most confident skeptic believe in the supernatural!

     

    10.31 Lost LandscapesLOST LANDSCAPES: UTAH’S GHOSTS, MYSTERIOUS CREATURES, AND ALIENS
    by Linda Dunning
    (2007) 

    For young and old alike, this book will pique interest and raise questions to the mysteries lurking within Utah’s borders. Whether it be the unsolved riddles of places, people, puzzling objects, the legends that have been passed down through the generations, everyone will find something that will have them eagerly turning to the next page.

     

    10.31 Haunted UtahHAUNTED UTAH: GHOSTS AND STRANGE PHENOMENA FROM THE BEEHIVE STATE
    by Andy Weeks
    (2012) 

    This collection of stories includes the phantom hitchhiker of American Fork, Ogden’s elegant haunted hotel, activity at Salt Lake City’s This is the Place Heritage Park, ghost children at Mercer Cemetery, the white lady of Spring Canyon, and bizarre creatures, including Sasquatch, Utah Lake’s black-eyed monster, and the Moon Lake Monster.

     

    10.31 Specters in DoorwaysSPECTERS IN DOORWAYS
    by Linda Dunning
    (2009)

    Reveals the mysteries and miracles of haunted mansions and farm houses, ghostly hotels and public buildings, spirit-infested hospitals, churches and gathering places, eerie old schools, colleges and universities and finally, the phantoms of Utah’s many old mills and abandoned factories.

     
  • True Confessions of Carla: While I do appreciate an occasional Shakespeare play along with any movie version involving Kenneth Branagh, I most love William Shakespeare when I’m watching 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU or SHE’S THE MAN.

    This is not an impressive confession, but it is the truth.  

    Wonder of WillFortunately, this Saturday I have an opportunity to improve my understanding and appreciate of Shakespeare’s contributions to our language and culture by participating in an exciting live streaming event.   April 23rd is the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.  To commemorate his amazing contribution to our world C-SPAN will broadcast The Wonder of Will Live.  This presentation will include a diverse array of actors, community leaders, artists and scholars all sharing their connection to Shakespeare through compelling performances and personal stories.  For the Shakespeare enthusiast, this is an amazing opportunity to celebrate and learn.

    In my own attempt to observe this anniversary, here is a list of my favorite Shakespeare adaptations and why I love them.

    10 Things10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU
    dir. Gil Junger
    (1999)

    Based on THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, this classic teen drama features young Julia Stiles, Heath Ledger, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  I could never put my finger on exactly why this movie spoke to me but every time I hear Sinatra sing "I Love You Baby", I picture adorable Heath lip-syncing in the bleachers.  And thus, a celebrity crush was born.

    Shes the man posterSHE’S THE MAN
    dir. Andy Fickman
    (2006)

    My sister and I have a strange obsession with this adaptation of TWELFTH NIGHT.  Starring Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum, this is a high school drama of the most cliché sort.  And I absolutely love it!  I can watch it over and over and I really don’t know why.  The critics hated it and I’ll admit a bit of the humor is slapstick and silly.  Still love it. 

    McLintockMCLINTOCK!
    dir. Andrew V. McLaglen
    (1963)

    I cannot count the numbers of times I’ve watched John Wayne chase Maureen O’Hara around the small town of McLintock.  We watched it frequently growing up and I don’t think I realized it was based on THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.  I think Shakespeare would have appreciated The Duke’s hat tossing prowess.

     

    Kiss Me KateKISS ME KATE
    dir. George Sidney
    (1953)

    While some of these adaptations may not be obvious, KISS ME KATE certainly is.  This is a Cole Porter musical version of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW and I can still sing some of the songs even though I haven’t seen it in years.  The sign of a great musical!

    warm bodies final posterWARM BODIES
    dir. John Malkovich
    (2013)

    Shakespeare and zombies.  Doesn’t get better than that.  In WARM BODIES, zombie R saves Julie from certain death and falls in love with her, possibly because he eats her boyfriend’s brains, but you can’t blame him…he was hungry.  I thought this movie was pretty charming and I think I liked the ending better than Shakespeare’s tragic original.

    Thanks Will!  Happy anniversary!! 

  • library sign

    Today is National Library Workers Day!  There are 89 wonderful individuals that keep our library running smoothly throughout the year.  Here is a little list of what they are busy doing each day and how essential each one of them is.

    Our Director makes all the hard decisions and keeps us on track to provide Provo with the best services, collections, facility, and programs possible.  He is assisted by an executive assistant and a receptionist who together keep our human resource and financial paperwork accurate.

    The Adult & Teen Services Department is headed up by a manger who supervises thirteen busy librarians who buy books, create adult, teen, and family programs, process magazines, ILLs, prepare book club sets. Most importantly, they spend hours at our two Reference Desks answering questions and helping patrons find what they need, access our computers or wifi, print, and request services.

    The Children’s Department also has a busy manager along with nine librarians who help our young patrons at the Children’s Reference Desk, create amazing displays, and present all those amazing children’s programs including the Fairy Tea Party, Big Guy Little Guy, and the Children’s Book Festival.  This department also includes five entertaining performers who present those lively story times throughout the year.

    Our Support Services Department has three different divisions all led by our Support Services Manager.  The Circulation staff includes a supervisor and thirteen clerks who all help get items checked in and out. They identify books that need repair and manage our lost and found. They also help patrons get library cards, take care of fines or other account issues, and keep items moving so that our thirteen busy pages can get those items back out on the shelves quickly and accurately.  This wonderful group of people often has books back on the shelf with 24 – 48 hours, which is impressive!

    The Technical Services staff is small, just five people, but they take on the herculean task of processing all those shiny new items that are purchased each year.  We have a receiver who gets the whole process started when items are shipped to the library, two busy catalogers who make sure each item appears in the catalog correctly, and two hard working processing clerks who make sure they get the right stickers, stamps and covers to quickly make them available for our patrons.

    Finally, the last division included in our Support Services Department is our Systems staff.  These five patient guys keep our computers up and running, and we have A LOT of computers.  Add to that keeping our network and catalog safely behind monitored firewalls and also keeping our website running like it should and these men accomplish a great deal each and every day.

    Our Events staff is headed by an events coordinator and his assistant.  They work long days facilitating the hundreds of meetings that take place in our beautiful building each year from 9:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night.  They are assisted by our “set-up” guy who sets up all those chairs and tables in each room.  This department also employs four security guards who help keep the building and our patrons safe as they man our Welcome Desk and keep an eye on things.

    Behind the scenes we have a Facilities Maintenance Technician and eight stalwart custodians who come to work in the early hours of the day to make our building shine!  They keep our floors vacuumed and cleaned, our bathrooms clean and stocked, and all those chairs and tables used in our many meeting rooms put away.  These are some of our quiet heroes and they make us look good! 

    And last but not least, our Community Relations Department.  This energetic group of people manage our promotions and marketing, arrange all our wonderful author visits, keep delightful exhibits in the attic, and will soon also manage our new Basement Creative Lab.  They consist of a Coordinator and her assistant, two docents to greet you in The Attic, and an incredibly creative graphic artist that makes all those pretty posters and displays promoting everything we have going on.

    Wow!  That’s a lot of work!  These people definitely deserve a day to be celebrated.  Some of them you see when you visit us and many of them are quietly working behind the scenes.  I want to sincerely thank each of them for making this a wonderful place to work and the absolute best library for our patrons.

  • interrupt

    True confessions of Carla: I’m a compulsive multitasker. I know, I’ve read the research. Multitasking isn’t as productive as it can sometimes seem to be.  Our brains can’t actually focus on more than one thing at a time.  But I am determined to prove those researchers wrong!  I just can’t seem to help feeling lazy if I’m not doing at least three things at once.  Just this morning I was listening to an audiobook, brushing my teeth, massaging my foot which was sore from an earlier run, and staring at my closet trying to find something I didn’t hate to wear today.  I read while I blow dry my hair, I did my taxes while cooking dinner last night, and I’ve perfected the art of sleeping while watching basketball, football, or most movies. (That last one may not count as multitasking…)

    My habit to stay busy and productive at all times, follows me to work.  There is just so much to do and it’s a challenge to fit everything in. This means that while I’m sitting at the Reference Desk, waiting for someone to ask me a question or require assistance, I’m always busy writing emails, ordering books, updating the website, writing blog posts, or several of a million other things that help keep our library running smoothly.  And I’m not alone.  All the librarians are busy doing lots of different tasks while manning our busy service desks.

    However, our number one job is to help our patrons access our collections, services and programs.  While we may appear to be busy, we truly are anxious and excited to assist you.  So, we ask that you, please, interrupt us!  We’ve gone so far as to even post this sign at the desk, but I often worry that patrons don’t believe what it says.

    I assure you, we are ready to be interrupted…unless of course we are helping someone else, then we’ll be with you as soon as possible.  Please, stop and say hi!  Ask for our help, we may look like we are doing important things, and we may be, but you are our top priority!  Let us help you!

  • read a romance 1

    August is Read a Romance Month, so we're sharing our favorite subgenres of romance. For last week's post on romantic classics, go here, and be sure to join us next week for our favorite funny and fantastical romances!

    PROPER ROMANCE

    Proper Romances have been around for a few years now and are published by local publishing company, Shadow Mountain Publishing.  They “allow readers to enjoy romance at its very best – and at its cleanest-portraying everything they love about a passionate, romantic novel, without busting corsets or bed scenes”.  These novels have becoming extremely popular, and here are a few titles we like to recommend.

    8.22 EdenbrookeEDENBROOKE
    By Julianne Donaldson
    (2012)

    When Marianne receives an invitation to spend the summer with her twin sister in Edenbrooke, she has no idea of the romance and adventure that await her once she meets the dashing Sir Philip.

     

    8.22 Lord Fentons FollyLORD FENTON’S FOLLY
    By Josi Kilpack
    (2015)

    Lord Fenton and Alice Stanbridge's marriage is one of convenience for him, but one of love for her. When Alice realizes the truth, she matches Fenton wit for wit until they both learn to see the truth of each other's hearts and find love beyond the folly.

     

    8.22 Beauty and the Clockwork BeastBEAUTY AND THE CLOCKWORK BEAST
    By Nancy Campbell Allen
    (2016)

    A plea from a desperate relative brings Lucy Pickett to Blackwell Manor, where she meets the estate's resident "Beast," the brooding Lord Blackwell. This series opener boasts an intense (but chaste) romance and a supernatural Victorian setting that blends Gothic atmosphere and Steampunk trappings.

     

    HISTORICAL ROMANCE

    I believe some of the best historical fiction includes a good dose of romance. Here are a few recent historical fiction titles that I think qualify as romances, though you will probably find them in our general fiction collection.

    8.15 Carnegies MaidCARNEGIE’S MAID
    By Marie Benedict
    (2018)

    Engaging, richly-detailed, biographical, and historical fiction. In 1860s Pittsburgh, Clara, an Irish immigrant takes a job working as a maid for Andrew Carnegie, with whom she falls in love, and then goes missing.

     

    8.15 Love and RuinLOVE AND RUIN
    By Paula McLain
    (2018)

    After meeting and falling in love while she covered the Spanish Civil War in Madrid, Martha Gellhorn is forced to choose between her marriage to Ernest Hemingway and her career as a war correspondent.

     

    7.22 Everyone Brave is ForgivenEVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN
    By Chris Cleave
    (2016)

    When war is declared Mary North signs up at the War Office, where she is made a teacher. Tom Shaw and his roommate Alistair enlist. When Mary and Alistair meet love and war tests them in ways they could never imagine.

     
  • read a romance 1

    When it comes to literary genres, I feel like Romance gets a raw deal.  It can be very stigmatized since a good number of us automatically think of books whose covers feature bare chested men embracing partially dressed women with flowing hair…actually sometimes the men have flowing hair as well. And while that does describe a subset of the genre, there are so many other types of romances.  It isn’t hard to find a romance that would feel at home on anyone’s reading list.

    August is Read-A-Romance Month!  For the next few weeks, we'll share Romance subgenres that you may want to check out. Make room for a little love this month and hopefully you’ll discover a new author or genre you can dive into throughout the year.

    ROMANTIC CLASSICS

    If you are in the mood for something timeless check out one of these classics.  They have withstood the test of time and proved themselves worthy of our attention. 

    8.15 North and SouthNORTH AND SOUTH
    By Elizabeth Gaskell
    (1855)

    Through Margaret Hale, a middle-class English southerner who moves to the northern industrial town of Milton, Gaskell skillfully explores issues of class and gender in the conflict between Margaret's ready sympathy with the workers and her growing attraction to the charismatic mill owner, John Thornton.

     

    8.15 Jane EyreJANE EYRE
    By Charlotte Bronte
    (1847)

    In early nineteenth-century England, an orphaned young woman accepts employment as a governess and soon finds herself in love with her employer who has a terrible secret.

     

    8.15 Gone with the WindGONE WITH THE WIND
    By Margaret Mitchell
    (1936)

    A spoiled young Southern belle vows to rebuild her family plantation home after the Civil War and is swept off her feet by a man who infuriates her.

     
    Next week we'll be sharing some of our favorite proper romances and historical romances. Which ones do you love?
  • stpatricks

    True Confessions of Carla: St. Patrick’s Day makes me anxious.  I think this is a result of being pinched in elementary school when I forgot to wear green.  It probably only happened once, but it was enough to create an emotional scar.  Now, many years later, the possibility of an unwise wardrobe choice on St. Patrick’s Day actually weighs on my mind throughout the first part of March. 

    Despite this, I still love St. Patrick’s Day!  Hopefully you do as well.  In celebration, I thought I’d learn a little more about Ireland and share it here with you!. And, like the librarian I am, I used a library resource to do it. 

    The library subscribes to an awesome resource called Global Road Warrior. This database has amazing information about countries around the world. Global Road Warrior is perfect for anyone traveling to a foreign country and for anyone interested in learning more about the world.  My sister actually uses it to introduce her children to a new country every month, which is great way to introduce the world to her family.

    Global Road Warrior

    Anyway, using Global Road Warrior, I learned the following things about Ireland:

    • Saint Patrick’s Day is the Ireland’s National Day and can last up to 5 days and include parades, festivals, plays, concerts, and fireworks.
    • Ireland has almost 900 miles of coastline.
    • The population of Ireland is 4,832,765.
    • Irish public mail boxes are painted green.
    • Ireland is rich with superstitions.  Some great examples:

      Irish Mailbox

      • Cutting the nails of a baby before he turns a year old will make him a kleptomaniac when he grows up.
      • To cure tonsillitis, apply hot potatoes placed in a stocking on one’s throat.
      • To get rid of warts, get some soil from underneath a pallbearer’s feet while attending a burial ceremony; put the soil on the wart; then make a wish that it will be gone soon.
      • Killing a cricket will provoke its kind to destroy a person’s clothes.
      • It is good luck to throw footwear on the way home from a party.
      • Children walking backwards are believed to be cursing their parents.
    • Traditional Irish cuisine is generally based on meat, cabbage, and potatoes or praties.  (Global Road Warrior even has a few recipes including Soda Bread, Champ, and Coddle!)
    • Banshee, galore, hooligan, shamrock and smithereens are all Irish words that have been “loaned” to the English language. 
    • And finally, here are some wise Irish proverbs with which I leave you:
      • “A friend’s eye is a good mirror.”
      • “It is better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.”
      • “What butter and whiskey will not cure there is no cure for.”
      • “Many a time a man’s mouth broke his nose.”
  • AT Summer Reading

     

    True confessions of Carla: I’ve worked here a long time.  Sometimes it doesn’t seem like that long. 

    2002 2004

    However, while researching for this blog post I started gathering summer reading program logos and I noticed that there are a lot of them.  That is evidence that I’m very old!

     

    I was hired in the spring of 1999 and I believe it was my second summer on the job that I was asked to create a reading program for teens and adults.  Our children’s summer reading program was, as it is now, amazing and already had thousands of children signing up each year.  They had bright t-shirts and marched in the Freedom Festival Children’s Parade. That first year, my program was much smaller and I believe I had about 80 participants.  I felt really good about that.

    2008 2010

    Fast-forward fifteen years to 2016 when we had over 700 adults and teens sign up this past weekend at our program kick-off!  Wow!  We have grown.  The program has changed over the years as well.   But, we still require three books be read to complete the program and we still have awesome prizes and I hope it continues for many years.

    2011 2013

    This year, our theme is “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read” which we hope encourages residents to not only read, but get active and enjoy these beautiful summer months.  Past themes have included mysteries, romances, adventures at sea, technology, time travel, and food.  So much work goes into these programs and we are excited to sign people up, give away prizes, and encourage reading at all ages all summer long!

    2014 2016

  • Provo UtahCenter Street p13   With donkeys

    The world is becoming a bit of a scary place.  New disasters are reported every day and I would like it to stop. So, I’ve decided to invent a time machine and go pack to Provo in…say the late 1870s.  I think I would enjoy a slower pace and a simpler time.

    In preparation, I’ve been perusing our copy of the city ordinances from 1877, just in case the laws have changed over the years, because nothing spoils a time-traveling vacation quite like getting thrown in jail. Here is a list of some of the ordinances I may need to know about:


    You better get hitched!
    If you own a hotel, store, shop, or private residence, fronting on any street of the city, you must supply a hitching post and maintain it. And if you have an animal outside a residence or business, you must use said hitching post. (Title 7, Chapter 4, Sec. 128 & 130)

    Provo Utah p40   Street Scene

     

    Lock it up, or it’s fair game. Between November 1st and the April 1st anyone with a stack of hay or grain in any area without a lawful fence cannot complain if any animal trespasses on or consumes any of it. (Title 9, Chapter 3, Sec. 164)

    Please play responsibly. Obstruction of the sidewalk or street could result in a fine up to ten dollars.  This includes activities like playing ball, quoits, marbles, jumping, rolling of hoops, flying of kites, or other games that “annoy”. (Title 9, Chapter 4, Sec. 174)

    Provo Utah p10   Children playing

     

    Enforcing your day of rest.  Do not fish, hunt or indulge in “secular out-door amusements, or conspicuous or noisy secular labor” on Sunday. (Title 9, Chapter 8, Sec. 185)

    Approved skinny dipping hours. Do not bathe “nudely” in the Provo River or any canals or streams in view of a house or road between the hours of 4:00 am and 8:00 pm. (Title 9, Chapter 8, Sec. 187)

    Wagons Freighting P43

    Tone it down a little.  Be sure not to disturb the peace by the “ringing of bells, blowing of horns, or other instruments”. (Title 9, Chapter 6, Sec. 181)

    Freedom for fowls.  Keep your chickens contained between October 1st and April 1st or they can legally become your neighbor’s dinner. (Title 7, Chapter 2, Sec. 124)

    Polling your weight.  All men between the age of 21 and 50 are required to pay a poll tax in the form of up to two day’s labor for the Supervisor of Streets.  Or you can just pay $1.50 in lieu of each day of work. (Title 6, Chapter 2, Sec. 87)

    Interested in performing your own investigation into the matter? Stop by our Special Collections to find these or other historic Provo documents. 

    Reference: 

    Provo City. Provo City Council. Revised Ordinances Of Provo City. Provo, UT, Utah: Provo City, 1877. Print.

     

  • what to do winter

    True confessions of Carla: I hate being cold and winter can be a challenge for me.  I grew up in Utah, so freezing temperatures should be old hat.  But about this time each January, the excitement of Christmas is fading and our “Winter Wonderland” makes me wonder why I live here.   

    However, a couple years ago, a friend of mine encouraged me to take up skiing and since then I actually look forward to that first snowstorm and obsessively check the new snow accumulation at Utah ski resorts.  (Side confession: That friend was a cute boy and I wanted him to fall in love me…fortunately, I surprised myself and truly love skiing and he did in fact fall in love with me! So…big win/win!!)  

    The moral of this story is that winter becomes a whole lot more enjoyable if you take advantage of the great outdoor activities we have access to during those cold winter months.  So, where to start?  The Provo City Library has created a great list of winter activities and events just for you!  

    On our What To Do In the Winter page, after scrolling past all the amazing Christmas activities that you should really check out next year, you will find a whole list of ways and places to have fun in the snow and cold.  You'll find information about: 

    • Cross-country skiing
    • Sleigh rides
    • Sled dog rides
    • Snowmobiling
    • Snowshoeing
    • Tubing
    • Skiing
    • Snowboarding
    • Ice skating
    • Hockey  

    Don’t get cabin fever this year!  Get out and take advantage of the greatest snow on earth!

  • Tips for the Compulsive Audiobook Listener

    It’s the beginning of September and I just finished my 90th book since January 1st. That is a lot of books, if I do say so myself.  I’m asked fairly frequently how I manage to get through so many books and the answer is that I listen to them.  I read physical books occasionally, but I admit to being an almost exclusive audiobook listener.  (Which it totally legitimate!  Don’t let anyone lit-shame you into thinking listening isn’t as valid as reading!  It is!!)

    Below is a list of a few things I do to facilitate my voracious appetite for audiobooks!

    1. Use Overdrive/Libby

    If you don’t already, you should really get to know the Libby app which lets you download audiobooks for free from your library!  It works a lot like Audible, so if you are familiar with that, Libby will be easy (and free)!  Learn more here.

    2. Give Up Bingeing on TV

    There was a time in my life when I watched a lot of television, and I loved it. However, over the past few years I’ve given up binge watching dramas and sitcoms to find time to listen to more books.  I have always been one of those crazy multitaskers and so switching my entertainment distraction from television to audiobooks wasn’t that hard and I have found I really like the trade-off.

    3. Embracing the Chipmunks

    With either the Libby or the Overdrive apps you can speed up the readers! This is really great because if you double-time that speed a 10 hour audiobook only takes 5 hours to actually listen to, which is great.  There are a few drawbacks in that some readers sound like chipmunks when sped up that much and if you are particularly fond of a narrator you can miss out on their delightful cadence or amazing accents.  So, sometimes I slow it down and just revel the experience and sometimes I speed it up and get to move on to the next book that much faster.  And you don’t have to go double time.  You can just speed it up a little, say 1.25 times the speed and you still save a good chunk of time.

    4. Don’t Get Caught Unprepared

    I always keep two audiobooks downloaded to my phone. Nothing is worse than finishing one and not being connected to wifi to start listening to the next one!  Hopefully your phone has enough memory to allow you to do this but the serious book listener should definitely consider getting a phone with enough memory to keep appropriately well-stocked with audiobooks.

    5. Listen Constantly

    This is probably an obvious tip. I listen to audiobooks while driving, while cooking, while cleaning, while feeding my newborn, while unwinding at the end of the day and playing mindless puzzle games on my phone.  I listen whenever I can.  It’s surprising how fast these little chunks of time add up to a whole book!

  • Tips for the Compulsive Audiobook Listener

    Feel like you'll never make it through your to-read list? Audiobooks to the rescue! Along with last week's post, these are my best tips for audibook fans.

    6. Remember Your People

    This is more of a warning than a tip. Although I recommend listening constantly, please do not do so to the expense of the wonderful people in your life.  Stop listening when others join you in a room or use headphones so they don’t have to listen to what you are listening to.  Just remember to be courteous and present…even if you are trying to sate your hunger for literature!

    7. Tuesdays are for Searching

    As you find audiobooks to listen to on Libby or the Overdrive App, you will undoubtedly have to place things on hold and then wait for your turn. The hold lists are seldom as long as they look, so hopefully you aren’t waiting too long, but as an insider’s tip:  New titles are usually added on Tuesday afternoons.  I like to search for new releases on Tuesday afternoon or evening  and hopefully get on hold for things before they anyone else knows they are even available.

    8. Keep “Always Availables” in Your Back Pocket

    Even with a carefully curated hold list, there may be times when everything you are SUPER excited to listen to is on hold and you need something to listen to NOW. This is where the Always Available (https://utahsonlinelibrary.overdrive.com/utahsonlinelibrary-provo/content/collection/29749) titles come in handy.  These selected audiobooks can be checked out any time and they are great for those days when you need something now.

    9. Don’t forget Books on CD

    As the popularity of downloadable audiobooks increases, we are noticing that our Book on CD collection is not being used quite as heavily. I will sometimes grab a Book on CD to listen to in my car, where I still have a CD player, while listening to something else on my phone when I’m in my home or while walking in the park.  CDs aren’t as convenient as they once were, but they are still a format that can come in handy and may be available faster than the downloadable version.

    10. Try Something New

    Finally, I like to encourage people to listen to genres they may not have enjoyed while reading. I can sometimes get bogged down in a thick nonfiction title, but as an audiobook, it seems to go much faster and I tend to enjoy them a whole lot more.  So, don’t be afraid to download something a little different from your normal fare.  You may just find a whole new category of books to enjoy!

    While your goal may not be to listen to over 100 books each year, using audiobooks to fit reading into your busy schedule is a great strategy.  Happy listening!!

  • wbonline

    True Confessions of Carla: I secretly want to own an entire set of encyclopedias.  I do not think I am alone in this desire.  If you are over the age of thirty, you may remember the days of researching for a school report without the aid of the internet.  Having your own set of encyclopedias was homework gold!  I don’t actually own a set because, really, where would I put it? And also, like my cell phone and laptop, it would be outdated by the time I peel off the packaging.

    Fortunately, the Provo City Library has us covered.  Not only do we keep a current edition of the World Book Encyclopedia in our reference collection, but we subscribe to the online version which our residents have access to 24/7!   While Wikipedia and Google are great for answering some questions, World Book Online has some great advantages:

    • You have access to scholarly articles, primary and secondary source documents and loads of images, illustrations, maps and videos relating to your research subject.
    • Articles are authored by expert contributors and researchers.
    • Information is updated regularly and consistently.
    • Information is accessible through age appropriate platforms which adjust for reading levels.
    • Citations, those pesky things only students have to worry about, are included on the same page making research papers a little bit easier.

    If you have never taken a look at it, you really should because it is marvelous!  To access our subscription to World Book Online, visit us at www.provolibrary.com and select “World Book Encyclopedia” under the “Learn” menu.  If you are at home, follow the link for “Home Access” and supply your Provo City Library Card number and PIN and Boom!  Homework gold is once again yours!

    I’ll admit, it’s not the same thing.  You miss out on that shiny paper, the heft of each volume, and that musty smell which I nostalgically link with the desperation of a fast approaching due date.  But it is possibly, the very next best thing.