• Read to Travel

    Last timeI talked about the good ol’ literary home of Tom Sawyer on the Mississippi. My number five pick for literary vacations takes us abroad…to Italy! And really, I could have included the WHOLE COUNTRY on this literary smorgasbord. But I was good and I narrowed it down to one city—Rome!

    5. Rome, Italy

    This location is one hotbed of history—and thus literature! Think about it, how many times do people reference JULIUS CAESAR? Or Roman Mythology? Or parts of the Bible that took place in Rome? There was so much that happened here. “Et tu, Brute?” 


    When I visited Rome, one of my favorite things was going to the Roman Forum. There I saw where Julius Caesar and Mark Antony delivered their famous speeches. I don’t think I would have appreciated this attraction as much if I hadn’t read the great Shakespeare classic Julius Caesar or studied various Roman Mythology in middle school. (Plus there are a plethora of other books like Rick Riordan’s THE MARK OF ATHENA or Jennifer Nielsen’s MARK OF THE THIEF—both of which I better understood because I had traveled to this ancient land and saw the Roman Forum.) 

    For those who are really into art, history, and mysteries, touring around the various churches in Italy brought to mind Dan Brown’s book ANGELS AND DEMONS. I mean, if you are enjoying art work by some of the world’s masters—you might as well think of a suspenseful mystery book… right? 

    For those moments when I wondered about the various people that lived in Roman history—including children—I thought of THE THIEVES OF OSTIA (a kid’s mystery book that takes place in ancient Rome)—because walking on all the cobblestone streets reminded me of passages in the book where kids have to go from place to place to figure out a mystery.   

    Basically, there are a bunch of books that have portions of history that take place in ancient Rome. And having traveled there I feel like I understand the literature just a little bit more. Not to mention there is the famous Colosseum across the street, the great Spanish Steps, and the Pantheon that all have a lot of history—and make their way into various books and movies that take place in Rome. I know it isn’t literature, but I couldn’t help myself—when visiting the Colosseum I pictured all that happened there in BEN HUR. And I smiled at the memories of watching ROMAN HOLIDAY when going to the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Pantheon. 


    Thankfully I also had my RICK STEVES’ ITALY tour book so not only could I think of great literary masterpieces as I toured around Rome, I could also find the best place to eat gelato and create my own Roman memories! 

    So there you have it, my #5 literary destination pick (a city with a zillion book and movie references). Keep an eye out for my next pick for a literary destination vacation.  

    Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for other literary vacation destinations that I have loved!   

  • IB Readers FB

     Have you ever thought about how readers can change the world? For example, just the other day I needed to do some minor home repair. I read about the problem and what needed to happen—then I fixed the weather stripping on my front door. If I couldn’t read about how to fix the problem (and thankfully this was easy as far as home repair goes), I would still be paying a lot of extra money in heating and cooling bills. Being able to read changed my world. And that is just one example! Here is a list of (a few) other things that readers can do (and in turn how they can change their world):

    • Read travel directions (and then travel)
    • Read about election candidates and their opinions (and then vote)
    • Read music (and then play music)
    • Read how-to manuals for hobbies or repair
    • Read instructions for homework assignments
    • Read directions for cooking recipes
    • Read up about health issues/symptoms/remedies
    • Read about different cultures or languages

    If you think about it, readers can do so many things—they really can change their world and the world of those around them!

    So what does this mean in terms of the Provo City Library? Basically, we believe that we should provide materials and experiences that promote reading. That is why we have so many children’s programs like story time. We show that reading is important (and fun). That is why we have afterschool programs based on crafts, STEAM, or other interesting subjects that we have read about (in books or online). And during the summer (or right now) that is why we have a Summer Reading Program—to encourage people to become readers which in turn will change lives.

    Readers are empowered to learn about anything, to become anything, to be anything. I am a reader! Are you a reader? Do you change the world? Do you believe readers change the world? If so, join me in signing up for the Summer Reading Program. Secondly, read with us all summer. Finally, if you are a reader, then tell all your friends why reading and libraries are important to you. Because we believe that readers change the world!

  • cinderella 01

    One of my favorite fairytale characters is Cinderella. She is the classic princess. I love everything from her kind heart to her fancy dress and slippers. However, when asked what books I would recommend to Cinderella, here is what I came up with:

    how to win friends and influence peopleHOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE
    by Dale Carnegie  

    Let’s face it. Cinderella is kind…but she is often bullied by her step-family. And as a soon-to-be princess she really needs to know how to gain good political allies at court. This book just might be a step in the right direction to help her navigate relationships with all kinds of people—and hopefully win friends and influence them along the way.


    by Katy Bowman  

    Cinderella seems like she has iron feet. I mean, she danced in glass slippers (that are usually depicted as high-heels) for a whole night. And then she lost one shoe and had to trek home (possibly for miles) in one dancing shoe and one bare foot. Needless to say, even if Cindy had some healthy feet before that night, she probably could have used a foot massage and this book.


    by Marc D. Hauser  

    We all know that Cinderella befriends all sorts of animals. As an animal lover she might enjoy this book. It talks about different animals and all sorts of things from animal emotions to animal communications. And when your best friends are all animals, it might be helpful to understand a bit more about animals and what those instincts or communications may mean.


    real simple cleaningREAL SIMPLE CLEANING
    by Kathleen Squires  

    Even if Cinderella is good at cleaning her whole house, this book might still have a few tricks and tips that could make her life easier. And seriously, who wouldn’t want their life to be easier when trying to maintain a huge house alone. Plus, this book also has tips for some of the more modern items that need to be cleaned (like electronics) that poor Cindy might not be as adapt at.

    by Matt Pagett  

    We all know that Cinderella was a good dancer—I mean the ball is where she captured the heart of her prince after all. But perhaps she would like a book on how to do a few more dance moves than just a waltz or other classical dances. This book will teach Cindy how to “walk like an Egyptian” or “twist” (among other things). And hey, if Cinderella wants to “moonwalk” or head to the “Y.M.C.A.” she can learn about that here as well.

  • Smokey Bear 01

    6.10 The Games BookTHE GAMES BOOK
    By Huw Davies

    Smokey Bear obviously spends a lot of time outdoors in a camping-like environment. And there is a lot to do while on camping trips; however, sometimes you just want to play a game with the campers next door or do something a little different than hiking—and this book is perfect for that! Smokey can learn all sorts of games (including some that can be played or sung around a campfire). This book would definitely be helpful in getting long-term campers to enjoy their trips just a touch more. 


    6.10 Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkSCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
    By Alvin Schwartz

    Inevitably whenever someone goes camping for long periods of time—and Smokey Bear is the king of camping—they end up having at least one night where they tell scary stories around a camp fire. This is the classic scary stories book that Smokey should add to his camping supply list. Even though they are classics—I’m sure there are at least a few of Smokey’s camping friends that haven’t had their socks scared off by some of these classic tales. 


    6.10 National Parks of AmericaTHE NATIONAL PARKS OF AMERICA
    By Michael Brett

    Smokey Bear loves being outdoors—and what better book to have than one that tells of some of the best places to spend time outdoors (our National Parks!). This book would go over all of the fun places that are set aside to enjoy—from the Appalachians in the East to the Grand Canyon in the West. This book would help Smokey plan which places he would enjoy visiting next. 


    6.10 Wildlife of the WorldWILDLIFE OF THE WORLD 
    By Jamie Ambrose

    With Smokey spending so much time outdoors, he is sure to run into a plethora of wildlife. Here is a book that talks about all kinds of animals that can be found in the wild. This book will help Smokey learn what to expect from these fascinating creatures that he might encounter. 


    By Tanya Lloyd Kyi

    The most important thing to Smokey Bear is that he wants to prevent forest fires and the destruction that they cause. And after a couple of years full of horrid fires, who can blame him? Here is a book that will help Smokey learn more about fires to hopefully help arm him with knowledge to help to prevent them in the future.