Hannah

  •  Alternative Crafting

    Do you enjoy crafting?

    Are you tired of the same old Pinterest ideas?

    Have you tried time and time again to stun your social media followers only to have your creations fail? 

    via Gfycat

    There has to be a better way! Books with alternative crafting techniques and ideas are sure to up your crafting game! Stay tuned for more information.                    

    10.21 Playing with BooksPLAYING WITH BOOKS 
    By Jason Thompson
    (2010)

    It happens. You want to give a friend a makeover, but they’re all too gorgeous.

    Creams. Hair products. Makeup. Nothing you add can make them any more beautiful than they already are.

    Fortunately, Marie Kondo’s magic created thousands of potential friends in need of a makeover. Introducing: homeless books. You can help these lonely books by adopting them and giving them a makeover of a lifetime. You can turn books into bags, dresses, card holders, and more!This book will give you all the techniques you need to transform your books from frumpy to fabulous. 

     

    10.21 Foraged ArtFORAGED ART
    By Peter Cole
    (2018)

    Can’t decide if you want to go outside and play or stay inside and craft? Good news! You don’t have to decide. Art can be found all around you. Make leaf creatures with Tommy and flower chains with Suzie.Foraged art is an activity the whole family can enjoy. Even grandma can join in on the fun. 

    Testimonials:

    “I found my husband after reading this book!”-No One 

    “My dog enjoys walks more now that we actually go outside.”-Someone 

    “I don’t mind my allergies anymore. They help me find the best plants to use for my art pieces. The harder I sneeze the more art supplies I find!”-Anyone  

     

    10.21 WreathsWREATHS: WITH HOW-TO TUTORIALS
    By Laura Dowling
    (2018) 

    Do you constantly find yourself with extra fruits and vegetables that you can’t possibly consume? Does your mother reprimand you for wasting your leftovers or playing with your food? Well, have no fear! This book can help you.

    Wreaths can be made with anything: tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, limes, you name it! All these foods and more can be made into beautiful wreaths for any season.

    It’s not wasting.

    It’s not playing.

    It’s creating.

    What mother can argue with that? 

     

    10.21 Crafting with Cat HairCRAFTING WITH CAT HAIR
    By Kaori Tsutaya
    (2011) 

    It’s everywhere: on your couch, in your shoes, on your clothes, even in your bathroom sink.

    Cat hair.

    No matter what you do you can’t get rid of it. You’ve tried sweeping, vacuuming, lint rolling and nothing works. Maybe it’s time to try something new.

    Harvesting.

    You can collect your cat’s hair and create amazing products: finger puppets, coin purses, badges, you name it. Don’t get frustrated with your cat’s shedding; utilize it in the best way possible and always keep a piece of your furry friend with you.

    For you dog lovers out there, you might want to try KNITTING WITH DOG HAIR by Kendall Crolius. The library doesn’t have a copy, but we can get it for you. Just fill out an interlibrary loan form here.

  • grilled cheese

    I recently came upon a few books with a surprising commonality: grilled cheese. Who knew that grilled cheese was the comfort food of choice? These books are of different tones and genres but all of them will leave you with a desire to experiment with different grilled cheese recipes. 

    7.24 The listTHE LIST
    By Melanie Jacobson
    (2011)

    Ashley Barrett has a list of things she wants to accomplish before she gets married. One thing on that list is a summer fling. What better way to a man’s heart than through his stomach? Will Ashley’s grilled cheese seal the deal? Featured grilled cheese secret: sourdough bread. 

     

    7.24 The Optimists Guide to Letting GoTHE OPTIMIST’S GUIDE TO LETTING GO
    By Amy E. Reichert
    (2018)

    When Gina’s husband passed away he left her with a mopey teenage daughter, a cranky mother, and a grilled cheese food truck. Will Gina’s optimistic attitude be enough to keep her relationships and business afloat? Featured grilled cheese secret: cream cheese 

     

    7.24 Dont Worry It Gets WorseDON’T WORRY, IT GETS WORSE: ONE TWENTY SOMETHING’S (MOSTLY FAILED) ATTEMPTS AT ADULTHOOD
    By Alida Nugent
    (2013)

    In this autobiography you’ll meet Alida. She’s a college graduate attempting (and failing) to transition to adult life. Good thing she has good friends, great parents, and a life-altering grilled cheese sandwich. Featured grilled cheese secret: grease and insatiable hunger. 

     

    7.24 Grilled Cheese and DragonsGRILLED CHEESE AND DRAGONS
    By Nancy Krulik
    (2018) 

    Princess Serena doesn’t want to be a pretty little princess. She wants to be a knight. But she has to accomplish a quest before her father will let her go to knight school. Along the way she learns about teamwork, kindness, and how delicious grilled cheese can be. Featured grilled cheese secret: Eat it with a dragon! There you have it! A compilation of my recently read books that feature grilled cheese. If these books inspired you to make your own grilled cheese sandwich, then may I recommend one more read: 

     

    7.24 Grilled Cheese KitchenGRILLED CHEESE KITCHEN: BREAD + CHEESE + EVERTHING IN BETWEEN
    By Heidi Gibson
    (2016)

    This cook book contains recipes for grilled cheese, mac and cheese, soups, and more!

     
  • Downtown Provo

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

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

    THE SOAP FACTORY
    54 W Center Steet

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

    Believe me.

    I missed it.

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

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

    FOXGLOVE FLOWERS AND GIFTS
    366 W Center Street

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

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

    HRUSKA'S KOLACHES
    434 W Center Street

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

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

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

    PIONEER BOOK
    450 W Center Street

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

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

  •  Downtown Provo 1

    This is my third and last instalment of Hidden Gems of Provo. I explored Center Street and University Avenue in my earlier posts (part 1, part 2). Now, please allow me to introduce you to a few lovely places located at The Shops at Riverwoods.

    SÜSS COOKIES
    4801 N University Ave #210

    I love cookies. When I heard about this gourmet cookie shop I said, “Yes please!”

    I was not disappointed.

    This shop has a lot going for it:

    1. It’s small—this makes the cookie selection process a more personal experience.

    2. They have a variety of flavors (including not one but TWO specialty flavors of the month).

    3. The aesthetics are lovely. 

    I would recommend this spot to cookie lovers and aspiring cookie connoisseurs.

    5.29 Suss

    MOON'S RARE BOOKS
    4801 N University Ave #340

    If a bookstore, an antique shop, and an art gallery had a child together, then it would be Moon’s Rare Books. The beauty of this place made me gasp when I walked in.

    This store not only carries an array of beautiful books and antiques, but it also houses events and opportunities for locals to showcase their passions. Check out their calendar for more information.

    5.21 Celtic TalesI found a lot of specialty books here and I will return to purchase them. For now, please appreciate the beautiful Celtic Tales book I acquired there.

    Fun fact: This book is also found in our library’s catalog.

     

    BLICKENSTAFF'S
    4801 N University Ave

    They have a reading nook.

    Pardon me, let me repeat that.

    THEY HAVE A READING NOOK.

    In addition, this lovely toy store has a fabulous selection of card and board games, vintage toys, and beautiful children’s books.

    5.29 RapunzelI mean, just look at this Rapunzel book:This book is also in our catalog.

     

    Blickenstaff’s is the embodiment of every toy store that filled my childhood dreams. Whether you visit as an adult or a child there is something there to entertain.And thus ends my recorded explorations of hidden gems in Provo. What other hidden gems have you found?

     
  • Downtown Provo

    In my last post I wrote about some hidden gems on Provo Center Street. If you enjoyed that and want other fun places to explore in Provo, here are some other hidden gems that I found on University Avenue.

    DRAGONS KEEP
    260 N. University Ave.

    My friend and I meandered in not really knowing what to expect other than comic books. As it turns out, they have a lot more to offer! The store is set up in two rooms. The first room has board games, dice, trading cards, role playing games, and miniatures (primed and ready to paint). Tables are also set up that the store uses for game tournaments. You can check their calendar for more details.

    The second room has an impressive collection of comics, graphic novels, and manga. There are old school products (I found Archie and Peanuts) and newer ones (think current movies and TV shows). Whether you’re a novice in the comic book world or you’re a well-seasoned pro, there’s something for you here.

    As an added bonus, they occasionally have free comic book days (usually around the time a new superhero movie comes out). The next giveaway will be the first Saturday in March. Mark it on your calendar and pay them a visit!

    180 TACOS AND GLOBAL STREET EATS
    3368 N. University Ave.

    You know those teen novels that describe the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship as the one thing that keeps them going? Well, that’s what these street tacos are for me. They are delicious, perfect portion sizes, and come in a variety of flavors. I like their Korean Barbeque, Old Skool Steak Asada, and the different specials they offer. There’s always a flavor to satisfy any craving.

    What’s entertaining about my visits to this place is that my life really becomes a teen romance. The rivalry between my love of their tacos and adoration of their tater tots can only be described as one thing: the love triangle of the century. Try both of these items and let us know if you are #teamtaco or #teamtater.

    THE ATTIC AT ACADEMY SQUARE
    550 N. University Ave
    4th Floor, Academy Wing

    Yes, this is technically located at the library. But I worked here for almost two years and plenty of people said, “I had no idea this was up here!” So, I’m claiming it as a hidden gem of the library and (by extension) University Avenue.

    The Attic is the beautiful museum space located on the fourth floor of the Academy Wing in the library. Here we have art shows, programs, events, history exhibits, and much more. The Attic makes for a good date night location or proposal spot (yes, I witnessed one there. It was magical). The nice thing about the exhibits is that they rotate every few months. Even if you’ve gone in the past, you are guaranteed a new experience when you visit again.If you want more information about current exhibits, here is The Attic’s website.

  •  Tree

    I have a tree. It’s the tree that influenced my childhood. The tree provided fruit that stained my mouth and fingers. The tree scraped my hands and knees with its bark. The tree made the perfect amount of shade for my family’s Sunday picnics. 

    Do you have a tree? 

    Good! 

    We’re not alone. Many book characters have trees too. Here are a few of my favorites: 

    12.04 How I Learned How to Fall Out of TreesHOW I LEARNED TO FALL OUT OF TREES
    By Vincent Kirsch
    (2019)

    Edward and Adelia are best friends, but Adelia will move away soon. Adelia promises Edward that she will teach him to climb her tree before she leaves. This story of friendship and letting go is beautifully illustrated by more than just pictures in this read. I’m convinced Adelia’s tree is the perfect climbing tree and I wish to climb it myself. 

     

    12.04 The Giving TreeTHE GIVING TREE
    By Shel Silverstein
    (1964)

    A boy receives the love and generosity of a beautiful tree. She gives him her apples, leaves, branches, shade and more. The tree is a stalwart companion for the boy throughout his life.  I adore this tree. She is kind and generous with no thought of reward. THE GIVING TREE is a symbol of true friendship and love. This book is a must for any reader. 

     

    12.04 The Forever TreeTHE FOREVER TREE
    By Tereasa Surratt
    (2018)

    This tree is loved by animals, humans, the young, and the old. It provides food, enjoyment, shade, and fond memories. One spring day, the tree doesn’t wake up and the animals and humans need to figure out a way to save it. This book stimulates out of the box thinking and shows that trees are important to everyone. 

     

    12.04 Tesss TreeTESS’S TREE
    By Jess M. Brallier
    (2009)

    Tess is sad when her beloved tree is cut down. She doesn’t know what to do, but then she gets an idea. She decides to invite friends and family to celebrate the life of her tree and finds out how influential her tree was. This book is a good starter book for developing emotional intelligence. It shows Tess’s process of grief and reveals happiness is on the other side of sadness. 

     

    12.04 There Was a TreeTHERE WAS A TREE
    By Rachel Isadora
    (2012)

    If you are a fan of beautiful art and song, then this book is for you. THERE WAS A TREE takes the song The Green Grass Grows All Around and sets it in Africa. Isadora’s art style and chosen setting pair well together to bring this story to life.  A few added features of this book include: written music and pictures sprinkled throughout the text to ensure any child can sing along.

     
  • I Judged that Cover 

    I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s great advice! I can’t count how many books I almost didn’t read because my inner snark judged the cover. Fortunately for me, my inner snark doesn’t win every battle and I’ve found some really good stories by relying on friends’ recommendations rather than the cover.   Here are some fabulous books that I prejudged: 

    11.13 Along for the RideALONG FOR THE RIDE
    By Sarah Dessen
    (2009)

    I judged this cover because it posed three questions in my mind:

    1. How long did it take the two models to get in that precarious and unnatural position?

    2. Why is she wearing a dress while riding a bike?

    3. Where are her shoes?

    None of these questions were answered in the book, but it was still a fun read. 

    The story follows an insomniac named Auden. Tired of her mother’s antics, she decides to spend her summer vacation with her dad and his new wife. Her time is filled with working, making new friends, and catching the eye of Eli, a fellow insomniac with a tortured past. Can Auden and Eli help each other find hope and healing?

     

    11.13 Royal TargetROYAL TARGET
    By Tracie Hunter Abramson
    (2008)

    This cover gave off a James Bond meets The Princess Diaries vibe. An unlikely match that earned it a space on my “mustard and cheese” shelf (meaning this book puts together two elements that I like and has the potential to be really good or really bad). Fortunately, I found this book very enjoyable. 

    Janessa Rogers is a CIA agent that specializes in linguistics and security detail. When she’s assigned to protect the royal family of Meridia, she knows her skills will be put to the test. However, she never suspected her assignment would require her to go undercover as Prince Garrett’s fiancée.

     

    ALANNA: THE FIRST ADVENTURE11.13 Alanna
    By Tamora Pierce
    (1983)

    First of all, I would like the world to know that Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite authors. She’s amazing and the worlds she creates are beautiful and mesmerizing. That being said, this particular cover gave me pause. I mean, there’s A LOT I could say about this cover. But I’ll settle with: when your horse has better hair than you do, you know there’s a problem. 

    Alanna wants nothing more than to be a knight. When her father plans to send her off to a convent to learn magic, she decides it’s time to take action. She convinces her twin brother, Thom, to switch places with her. Alanna, now disguised, becomes a royal page and learns how hard she must work to achieve her dream.

     

    11.13 The Blue SwordTHE BLUE SWORD
    By Robin McKinley
    (1982)

    Why did I judge this cover? For two reasons:

    1. That horse (you know which one).

    2. The sword pictured is not, in fact, blue.You had one job, cover artist.

    Anyway, this is a Robin McKinley book and her work is always solid. I felt connected to her characters and thoroughly enjoyed the story. It’s a nice balance of action, plot, and character development. 

    Harry Crewe is a recently orphaned girl. She travels across the ocean to live with her brother in the Royal Province of Daria. After arriving, she is kidnapped by the king of the native Hill-folk and finds herself on an adventure that changes her life forever.

     

    11.13 Seeking PersephoneSEEKING PERSEPHONE
    By Sarah M. Eden
    (2011)

    I have a theory when it comes to this style of book covers: the number of Photoshop layers used directly correlates with the cheesiness level of writing (e.g., If you can easily see 7 layers, then the book will have a 7/10 cheese rating).  Eden proved my theory wrong. She proved it very wrong. This book is wonderful. It is well researched, gloriously written, and the sweet moments did not involve cheese. 

    The Duke of Kielder needs an heir but he is the most feared man in England. Persephone needs financial stability but that seems nigh impossible. To solve their problems, they settle upon a marriage of convenience. But will they get more than they bargained for?

     

    11.13 The Grand SophyTHE GRAND SOPHY
    By Georgette Heyer
    (1950)

    One of my best friends recommended this book to me. I borrowed her copy with this cover. Let me just say, I wondered what Belle from Beauty and the Beast was doing with a monkey and a guy that thought a green tailcoat was a good idea. I dragged my feet with starting this book, but once I did I couldn’t put it down.   

    Sophy Stanton-Lacy finds herself in her aunt’s household while her father goes away on business. Upon her arrival, she realizes how desperately the family needs her help. One cousin is engaged to a bore, another is in love with a poet, the young children need some fun, and her uncle is useless. Sophy wastes no time in meddling in their affairs to ensure a happy ending for all.

     

    There you have it! Six great books I never would have read had I allowed my inner snark to win. What are your favorite books with interesting cover art?

  • Sick Day

    Let’s face it. We all know what it’s like to be sick. Headaches, runny nose, chills, etc. All you want to do is curl up in a ball. You wonder if this awful feeling will last forever and if your left nostril will ever work again. It’s times like these that I enjoy pulling out a few books to distract myself from my misery, and to remind myself that I at least have a great excuse to read. 

    THE MASQUERADERS
    By Georgette Heyer
    (1928) 

    A fellow librarian recommended this book to me, and I’m so glad she did. This book revolves around a pair of siblings, Prudence and Robin. Certain circumstances require Robin to disguise himself as a woman. However, it would be most improper to have two women gallivanting around without protection. Thus, Prudence dawns the disguise of a man. The two then enter high society London and hilarity ensues.

    DEALING WITH DRAGONS
    By Patricia Wrede
    (1990) 

    This book first graced my to-read-when-sick list in the fourth grade. It is one of my favorite books ever written. What’s not to love about a sassy princess who volunteers to work for a dragon?  Princess Cimorene is not like other princesses. She is tall, dark haired, and would rather practice magic than a swoon. When her parents decide to marry her off to a prince she isn’t interested in, she decides to run away.

    STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED
    By Jeff Strand
    (2017)

    I recently listened to this book and I loved it. The story is fun, cute, and is just the thing to lift your spirits when you’re not feeling 100%. I honestly laughed out loud a few times. This book follows the life of 15-year-old Marcus. Due to a bet made by his great-grandfather, Marcus must perform an incredible magic trick in front of a large audience. There are only a few problems: he has stage fright, an evil magician is out to get him, and he needs a shark.

    NOT MY TYPE
    By Melanie Jacobson
    (2011) 

    Yes, I admit it. My guilty pleasure is Covenant Communications romance novels. I just love a clean romance with a flourish of silliness. It gives me hope for a better world. And when I’m ill, I need all the hope I can get. In this story, Pepper Spicer is unlucky in love. After two failed engagements she takes a new job to repay her accrued debts. Unfortunately, her new job requires her to experience and write about online dating (this is only available as a book on CD).

    HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE
    By J.K. Rowling
    (1997) 

    Of course Harry Potter is on this list. What better way to help soothe the soul than to be reminded of childhood? Adventures with wizards and witches will always cheer me up (especially the story of Harry Potter). An 11-year-old boy finds out he’s a wizard and leaves his extended family to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  The more he learns about the wizard world, the more secrets he uncovers.

  • Dragon PrinceSource: Netflix

    If you are anything like me, then you’ve already bingewatched all episodes of The Dragon Prince on Netflix. How can you fill the hole in your heart until the next season comes out? 

    You can’t. Sorry. 

    However, you can fill your time by reading these wonderful books with similar themes of friendship, magic, and intrigue. 

    8.26 Singer of All SongsTHE SINGER OF ALL SONGS
    By Kate Constable
    (2002)

    When Calwyn, a young priestess with ice magic, comes across an injured man within the holy sanctuary, she finds herself on an adventure to save the land of Tremaris from an evil sorcerer. This book will appeal to those interested in magic systems and unlikely heroes. 

     

    8.26 TruthwitchTRUTHWITCH
    By Susan Dennard
    (2016)

    In a land on the brink of war, a Truthwitch is a highly sought after prize. Safiya just wants to live in peace, but her Truthwitch powers make that wish nearly impossible. If you like magic and princes, then this book could be for you. 

     

    8.26 Shadowfell 2SHADOWFELL
    By Juliet Marillier
    (2012)

    Neryn is a normal fifteen-year-old girl. Or so she thought. When she meets the Good Folk she finds out she has the power to stop a wicked king and save her country. Those interested in the magical creatures of Xadia will certainly enjoy this read.  

     

    8.26 Legend of ZeldaTHE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS
    By Akira Himekawa
    (2017)

    Link must protect the Twilight Realm and the World of Light when an evil presence threatens to take over everything. If you love the art style in The Dragon Prince, then this graphic novel may be the visual appeal you need. 

     

    8.26 Revenge of the WitchREVENGE OF THE WITCH
    By Joseph Delaney
    (2005)

    Tom is the seventh son of a seventh son and becomes the apprentice of the village spook to protect the townsfolk from all manner of magical beasts. Those who enjoyed the character development in The Dragon Prince will be pleased with Tom’s growth in this book. These reads may not replace The Dragon Prince, but they are sure to bring entertainment and fantasy to any household. Happy reading!