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  • historical anniversaries 1

    Irish philosopher Edmund Burke famously said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Here at the Provo Library, we like to keep the doom at bay by keeping our readers informed. With the New Year comes new historical anniversaries, so here are some books to help you keep the past in mind as you progress through 2018.  

     

    The End of World War I

    Let’s start out with a happy anniversary for the end of the four year conflict in which ended in a win for the Allies. The end of the war became official on November 11, 1918 when the armistice was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany. Did you know that this is why we celebrate Veterans Day on November 11? At the library, we have a ton of books on World War I, but here’s a great title to read in order to celebrate:  

    2.6 11th Month 11th Day 11th HourELEVENTH MONTH, ELEVENTH DAY, ELEVENTH HOUR: ARMISTICE DAY, 1918, WORLD WAR I AND IT’S VIOLENT CLIMAX
    Joseph E. Persico
    (2004) 

     

    The Spanish Influenza

    This year marks 100 years since the outbreak of one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. In just a few years, over 50 million people died of this disease, with some estimates of up to 100 million deaths. Though most people are aware of this terrible part of our history, few are aware of just how devastating the disease was to communities, politics, and the economy. To learn more about this deadly pandemic, check out: 

    2.6 The Great InfluenzaTHE GREAT INFLUENZA: THE EPIC STORY OF THE DEADLIEST PLAGUE IN HISTORY
    John M. Barry
    (2004)

     

    The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    This April will mark 50 years since the shocking day that the world lost beloved leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Few men have made more of an impact on our nation than Martin Luther King, Jr. Renowned for his non-violent approach to civil rights activism, his moral character, and his moving oratory, King continues to be loved my many around the world. The library has many noteworthy books on Martin Luther King, Jr. This title is a good jumping off point to learn more about King and his ideas: 

    2.5 The Martin Luther King Jr. CompanionTHE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. COMPANION: QUOTATIONS FROM THE SPEECHES, ESSAYS, AND BOOKS OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
    By Martin Luther King, Jr.
    (1993) 

  • spring cleaning

    We librarians here at Provo City Library have been abuzz about Marie Kondo's 2014 book, THE LIFE CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP, the #1 New York Times best seller that has been inspiring people to declutter their homes so much that thrift stores across the nation have been flooded with donations.

    If you’re like us and you’ve been inspired by the Konmarie method, or you’re simply raring to tidy up, improve your home, and prepare for a busy summer ahead, check out our librarians' favorite home care books!

    Breanne recommends:

    100 things100 THINGS EVERY HOMEOWNER MUST KNOW
    by Gary Wentz 
    (2015)

    This is an invaluable book for anyone who owns their own home and wants to care for it properly.  It covers all areas of your home, including things from how to keep your faucets drip-free, to growing the best lawn on the block, to preparing your home before you go on vacation.  It also includes easy repairs for appliances, plumbing, flooring, walls, furniture, driveways, and more.

     

     

    Shaina recommends:

    home comfortsHOME COMFORTS: THE ART AND SCIENCE OF KEEPING HOUSE
    by Cheryl Mendelson
    (1999)

    This book is a great reference, and, because I'm kind of strange, I'll also sit down and read it for fun sometimes.  The writing is surprisingly engaging, and HOME COMFORTS includes thorough instructions for caring for just about every aspect of the home (including deciphering those little hieroglyphics on clothing tags).  Relying on thorough research, Mendelson describes not only how to keep house, but the scientific and historical reasons for why we do.  Since the author is a lawyer, she even includes a section on laws that might affect homeowners.  You'd be hard pressed to come up with a question about housekeeping that this book doesn't answer. 

     

    Rikki recommends:

    lawngoneLAWN GONE! LOW-MAINTENANCE, SUSTAINABLE, ATTRACTIVE ALTERNATIVES FOR YOUR YARD
    by Pam Penick
    (2013)

    If you hate mowing the lawn as much as I do, LAWN GONE! is the book to alleviate your woes. While short, it is considerably broad in range, spanning the pros and cons as well as tips and tricks for a yard with little to no lawn. Whether you have a small or large yard, are looking to replace grass with gravel or mulch, flower beds, garden space, shrubs, or sitting areas, the ideas in this book are sure to inspire. I particularly found the numerous color photos, before and after examples, and lists of regional plant recommendations to be particularly useful for a novice landscaper like myself. 

    Breanne recommends:

    dinnerreadyDINNER IS READY! A COMPLETE GUIDE TO FREEZING 30 MEALS IN JUST ONE DAY!
    by Deanna Buxton
    (2007)

    This amazing book is a quick read, as about a third of the book talks about how to actually get everything done in one day, and the rest is filled with 150 recipes. I especially liked the recipes because they are quick and easy to do - you won't find too many with more than 5 or 6 ingredients and steps. I pared it down to 10 meals for my first trial-run. I spent about $50 on the groceries, two hours in the kitchen, and packed 9 meals away in the freezer (we ate the 10th that night). I actually found the process kind of fun, and the tips and guidelines she gives in the instructional part of the book really did help a lot as I put this all together. Plus, what I've eaten so far was yummy!

     

     

    Shaina recommends:

    organichouseORGANIC HOUSEKEEPING: IN WHICH THE NONTOXIC AVENGER SHOWS YOU HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH AND THAT OF YOUR FAMILY, WHILE YOU SAVE TIME, MONEY, AND, PERHAPS, YOUR SANITY
    by Ellen Sandbeck
    (2006)

    I look at this as the nontoxic equivalent of Mendelson's HOME COMFORTS book.  Sandbeck points out that we use harsh chemicals so often in our homes that they are actually more polluted than the outdoors.  In our obsessive effort to rid our homes of germs, we have actually compromised our immune systems and created "super bugs" that are resistant to disinfectants or antimicrobial medications.  Sandbeck discusses how to prevent messes as well as clean them, and she offers a few green, nontoxic formulas to replace traditional cleaners.

  • cats and kissing 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. Today's iteration takes a romp through young adult fiction, adult nonfiction, and romance to bring you some of our favorite things: cats and kissing. 

    THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH
    by Ali Benjamin

    (2015)

    Suzy Swanson is a teenage girl trying to make sense of a new school and new peers, but that's been hard to do ever since the death of her best friend, Franny. Suzy is also a budding scientist, and when she learns about the Irukandji Jellyfish she develops a new hypothesis about what really happened to her friend.

    CAT SENSE: HOW THE NEW FELINE SCIENCE CAN MAKE YOU A BETTER FRIEND TO YOUR PET
    by John Bradshaw 
    (2013)

    Scientist John Bradshaw explains how cats evolved from lone predators to domestic companions with the hope that people will understand their cats better and provide a more harmonious environment for them. 

    DEWEY: THE SMALL-TOWN LIBRARY CAT WHO TOUCHED THE WORLD
    by Vicki Myron
    (2008)

    Dewey Readmore Books, a cat, was found one morning in the Spencer, Iowa library. Dewey was adopted by librarian, Vicki Myron who was his caring owner for the next 19 years. Dewey changed Vicki's life and touched the lives of many more. 

    TROUBLE WHEN YOU WALKED IN
    by Kieran Kramer
    (2015) 

    Cissie Rogers is a librarian in a small town in North Carolina. When Mayor, Boone Braddock puts the library's future in peril, Cissie decides to take matters into her own hands by running for mayor herself. What Cissie doesn't count on is a developing relationship with her opponent. 

    THE PORTABLE VEBLEN
    by Elizabeth McKenzie
    (2016)

    A young couple in a developing relationship discover how complex love can be as they encounter everything from dysfunctional families, to the attentions of a seductive heiress, to an encounter with a very charismatic squirrel.   

    KISSING IN AMERICA
    by Margo Rabb
    (2015)

    Two teenage girls, Eva and Annie, discover how complex love can be as they journey across the country to find Will— the boy Ava thinks is her soul mate.

     

     

  • 6 degrees header 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 week: Chaos and Comedy! 

     chaos and comedy 01

    THE DISASTER DIARIES
    by Sam Sheridan
    (2013)

    There are a variety of ways that the world could be thrown into chaos and Sheridan has researched and acquired a variety of skills to help him survive almost any potential apocalypse. His lively and hilarious style while still presenting disastrous scenarios is a wonderful mix.

    LIFE AS WE KNEW IT
    by Susan Beth Pfeffer
    (2006)

    A young woman takes charge of her life and her family’s lives as survival becomes increasingly difficult after the world is thrown into chaos when the moon is knocked out of its orbit.

    LEAN IN: WOMEN, WORK, AND THE WILL TO LEAD
    by Sheryl Sandberg
    (2013)

    Sandberg is a woman who has taken charge of her life and encourages others to do so by following their ambitions. She tells it like it is and strives to be an inspiration to women everywhere.

    BOSSYPANTS
    by Tina Fey
    (2011)

    Best known for her work on 30 Rock and SNL, Fey relates her life story in her own comedic way. She tries to emphasize that she’s just like the rest of us, while being a role model and an inspiration to all women.

    IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME
    by Mindy Kaling
    (2011)

    Mindy is an Emmy-nominated, comedy writer and actress, and uses this book to relate her life story in her own comedic way.

    SERIOUSLY, I'M KIDDING
    by Ellen DeGeneres
    (2011)

    Ellen has become one of the most popular daytime TV hosts, having won 31 Emmys. Her lively, hilarious, and upbeat style is engaging and enjoyable.

  • 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. So, with no further ado, we bring you 6 Degrees of Reading: Games and Globalization. 

    games and globalization 01

    THAT’S NOT ENGLISH: BRITISHISMS, AMERICANISMS, AND WHAT OUR ENGLISH SAYS ABOUT US
    by Erin Moore  
    (2015)

    American by birth, author Erin Moore, now living in London with her Anglo-American husband, uses wit and humor to explore the historical and cultural differences of English language usage between Americans and British. Through several themed chapters on topics ranging from snacking habits to raising children, Moore explores the etymology of words on both sides of the pond and what these differences say about us.

    GLOBISH: HOW THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE BECAME THE WORLD’S LANGUAGE
    by Robert McCrum
    (2010)

    Robert McCrum discusses how English language usage has spread from Great Britain to everywhere on earth as he takes readers on a whirlwind tour of British and American history and their mark on the world up through modern times where people in Asia are racing to learn the English. In the 1980s, there was a fear that the English language would degenerate into a vast number of dialects. However, with the modern globalization of the world, English has not only avoided this fate, but grown to become the language of choice around the globe.

    HOW SOCCER EXPLAINS THE WORLD: THE UNLIKELY THEORY OF GLOBALIZATION
    by Franklin Foer  
    (2004)

    Using soccer to show differences and commonalities, Foer reveals how the globalization of the world is simultaneously making everywhere more alike and more different as people seek to define themselves through their love of soccer. By examining the game, he focuses on understanding how international forces affect politics and life around the globe. Showing how in some places sport and competition can be used as a method to keep hatred, racism, or religious tolerance alive and in other places it is used as a modernizing force (such as in Iran where women forced police to allow them into a men’s-only stadium to celebrate a win for their national team).

    THE MONOPOLISTS: OBSESSION, FURY, AND THE SCANDAL BEHIND THE WORLD'S FAVORITE BOARD GAME
    by Mary Pilon
    (2015)

    Sport and competition have always resulted in high stakes. Look no further than Mary Pilon’s revealing book into the turbulent history of the Monopoly board game. Pilon reveals the Monopoly's interesting origins including the lost female originator of the game,  the Parker Brothers' attempts to blockade the development of other similar games, and the competitive rivalry between Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley. This is an interesting read about the origins of a beloved board game, the folk history surrounding it, and the corporate greed that made it into the iconic game it is today.

    WORD FREAK: HEARTBREAK, TRIUMPH, GENIUS, AND OBSESSION IN THE WORLD OF COMPETITIVE SCRABBLE PLAYERS
    by Stefan Fatsis
    (2001)

    WORD FREAK looks into the world of extreme competitive Scrabble. What began for author Stefan Fatsis as a curious look at the sport for a journal article quickly turned into an obsession for the board game that converted him from a “living room player” into actually competing along with the world’s best players. The book humorously portrays the irreverent crowd that competes at this level and mixes in historical facts about the board game. Fatsis also explains how players must be able to memorize words well above what one would use in normal language usage. This is a provocative look at the world of games and the way the mind works with words.

    THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN: A TALE OF MURDER, INSANITY, AND THE MAKING OF THE OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY
    by Simon Winchester
    (1998)

    The fascinating look into how a madman and murderer submitted over ten thousand definitions of words for the first Oxford English Dictionary. Genius Dr. W.C. Minor was diagnosed with schizophrenia after his experiences in the American Civil War. After traveling to London where he killed a man and was sent to an insane asylum, Minor came across a leaflet asking for volunteers to help compile a history of the English language. Minor wrote to the editor and offered his services while remaining vague about his circumstances. Author Simon Winchester not only chronicles this interesting man but also the momentous effort it took to build the Oxford English Dictionary as a way to help document the etymology of words in the English language.

  • hip hop and history 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 week, history and hip hop collide, and it's electric! (see what I did there?)

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON
    by Ron Chernow
    (2004)

    The book the hit Broadway musical was based on. Until recently Alexander Hamilton was not as well esteemed and avidly written about like the other gifted men of his time. However, Chernow makes the case that Hamilton should be considered one of the most important Founding Fathers arguing that without his financial brilliance and creation of public finance, the United States might not have survived beyond the first few years.

    HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION
    by Lin-Manuel Miranda
    (2016)

    This book takes readers behind the scenes of the new Broadway hit musical based on the life of Founding Father, Alexander Hamilton. Mixing a variety of musical styles including hip-hop, pop, R&B, and musical theater, the story gives insight into Hamilton's life, the Revolutionary war, and the early American time period.

    YOUR FAVORITE BAND IS KILLING ME: WHAT POP MUSIC RIVALRIES REVEAL ABOUT THE MEANING OF LIFE
    by Steven Hyden
    (2016)

    At some point, we've all argued why we prefer one band over another from their lyrics to antics off the stage. Author Steven Hyden uses 19 different band rivalries from the famous Beatles/Rolling Stones competition to hip-hop artists, Biggie vs. Tupac and what deeper truths we can learn from these rivalries.

    BIRDMEN: THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, GLENN CURTISS, AND THE BATTLE TO CONTROL THE SKIES
    by Lawrence Goldstone
    (2014)

    An interesting exploration of the rivalry between the Wright brothers and Glenn Hammond Curtiss to be the first to invent a machine capable of sustained flight. Goldstone takes readers through their design innovations, false starts, and dreams of the ultimate prize which was finally captured by Wilbur and Orville Wright.

    TESLA: INVENTOR OF THE ELECTRICAL AGE
    by W. Bernard Carlson
    (2013)

    When you think of inventions using electricity, Thomas Edison is more widely known than the eccentric Nicola Tesla. In his book, however, author W. Bernard Carlson, sheds light on the Tesla, his inventions, and his many successes and failures. This book looks at the what, how, and why he was motivated to invent.

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: AN AMERICAN LIFE
    by Walter Isaacson
    (2004)

    This book traces the life of one of America's great Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a man of a variety of interests many of which have been woven into our American heritage. From his early days as a printer to scientist, inventor, and politician, Benjamin Franklin was one of the most accomplished men of his age. The book even covers his interest in the power of electricity and his experimentation done with lightning to determine if they were the same.

  • Six Degrees 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.

    We're celebrating Shakespeare this week (it's his birthday, after all!), and you might surprised with how easy it was to connect him to some of our favorite stars of THE OFFICE. 

    FATES AND FURIES
    by Lauren Groff
    (2015)  

    This novel is a portrait of a marriage with the various secrets and deceptions of the husband and wife unfolding as the story progresses. The first half focuses on the husband, Lotto, a struggling actor who achieves considerable success writing plays instead. The second half focuses on Matilde as she grapples with tragic loss and her own dark past.

    THE TRAGEDY OF ARTHUR
    by Arthur Phillips  
    (2011)  

    Arthur and his sister Dana are presented with a play, purportedly written by William Shakespeare, by their dying father, still serving prison time for fraud. Their father’s dying wish is for his children to publish this never before seen work.

    WILL IN THE WORLD: HOW SHAKESPEARE BECAME SHAKESPEARE
    by Stephen Greenblatt
    (2004)

    This book explores the rise of William Shakespeare from his humble background to become the most famous and influential English playwright in the world. The author paints this portrait within the context of the Elizabethan world in which he grew up and which shaped his theatrical works.  

    BORN WITH TEETH 
    by Kate Mulgrew  
    (2015)

    Starting with her upbringing in Iowa, Kate Mulgrew tells her story of moving to New York to study theater, getting her first television role in the soap opera RYAN’S HOPE and later, her most famous role as Captain Janeway in STAR TREK: VOYAGER. However, she places more emphasis on her personal life, relationship challenges and her attempts to reconnect with the daughter she gave up for adoption.

    IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT BUT ME? (AND OTHER CONCERNS) 
    by Mindy Kaling
    (2011)

    Mindy Kaling, television writer and actor best known for her work in THE OFFICE, offers an array of humorous observations about her work, family, relationship challenges and her struggles with body image issues.

    ONE MORE THING: STORIES AND OTHER STORIES 
    by B.J. Novak
    (2014)  

    Well known for his writing and acting in the television series THE OFFICE, this is a collection of short stories varied and brilliant. The titular story is about a young boy who wins a sweepstakes contest only to discover that collecting the winning may prove more harmful than good for him and his family.

  •  Sewing

    I recently decided to take up quilting because I really wanted to make my son’s baby blanket myself.  While I have done some sewing, I never tried quilting since it always looked so intimidating!  It turns out that quilting really isn’t that difficult.  I was able to teach myself patchwork quilting and needle turn appliqué with a few books, online tutorials, and some advice from the wonderful ladies at the Cotton Shop.  My baby blanket turned out so well that I’ve decided to keep going, and I even made my husband a quilt for Christmas!  Here are some helpful books to begin quilting: 

    3.6 Complete Guide to QuiltingCOMPLETE GUIDE TO QUILTING
    By Better Homes and Gardens
    (2002)

    If you already have a project in mind and just need help figuring out how to get it done, this is a great comprehensive resource.  I really like using this book as a reference guide.  It contains easy to follow step-by-step instructions for a wide variety of techniques, making it easier for you to turn your vision into reality. 

     

    3.6 All Things QuiltingALL THINGS QUILTING WITH ALEX ANDERSON: FROM FIRST STEP TO LAST STITCH
    By Alex Anderson
    (2015)

    My favorite thing about this book is that all of the instructional pictures demonstrate the steps for both right-handed and left-handed people.  It even color codes the cutting material so that it’s easy to visually pick out which one is which.  This book is also a comprehensive guide; although it is structured to walk you through each stage of your quilt rather than serve as an index for techniques. 

     

    3.6 Quilting BasicsQUILTING BASICS: A STEP-BY-STEP COURSE FOR FIRST-TIME QUILTERS
    By Michael Caputo
    (2016)

    This book is set up a little differently.  It gives all the preparatory information first, and then skips to the end with binding and caring for your projects.  Then it uses twelve workshop projects to teach all of the in-between stuff.  The advantage here is that you’ll end up with lots of practice on small projects instead of practicing on an important quilt you have in mind. 

     

    3.6 Visual Guide to Patchwork QuiltingVISUAL GUIDE TO PATCHWORK & QUILTING: FABRIC SELECTION TO FINISHING TECHNIQUES & BEYOND
    By Stash Books
    (2017)

    Aspects that make this book especially helpful are the quilt block tables that explain what size to cut your shapes in order to make different sized blocks, and detailed photographic instructions for different appliqué techniques for both hand and machine sewing.  I especially appreciated that the hand-sewing instructions included pictures for both right and left-handed sewers. 

     

    3.6 Quilt as DesiredQUILT AS DESIRED: YOUR GUIDE TO STRAIGHT-LINE AND FREE-MOTION QUILTING
    By Carlene C. Frable
    (2007)

    Different than all the other books listed, the main focus here is the actual quilting part of the project.  It offers detailed instructions for quilting with straight lines, and quilting free-motion patterns on a regular domestic machine.  Each quilting design also has a benefits and drawbacks box, which will help you decide on a design that will work for your project.

     
  • Travel Guides

     

    With the pleura of travel guide books available as you plan a trip, it can be overwhelming to try to pick the right one. Navigating your way through the pages can be a chore, and should you really have to buy several guides to get you through the vacation you’ve worked so hard to perfect? Fear not fellow traveler! The library has you covered! We carry many guide books to locations all across the globe and this guide will help you choose just the right travel guide for you. 

    Before picking a guide, you might ask yourself what you are looking for in a travel guide. Do you want packing tips, hotel information, popular sights, off the grid locales, culture or health information? Do you just want an overview of a country you’re interested in? Travel guides can help with all of this, but some are better at particular things than others.

    DK EYEWITNESS TRAVEL: With lots of pictures and illustrations, these books are beautiful, and great for helping plan the perfect trip. These guides provide a robust background of the history and culture of your destination and interesting facts and visual dissections of top spots to visit. The format is friendly and inviting.

    LONELY PLANET: Often regarded as the essential travel guide for budget travel or finding off the beaten path spots, LONELY PLANET guides have great information and are easy to take with you as you travel. In my experience, these guides can have almost too much information and too many options to weed through as you travel. However, they can’t be beat for finding a great off the grid spot or unique outdoor adventure in most locations.

    RICK STEVES’: A master of travel guide writing, Rick Steves’ books have a leisurely, “travel writing”-esc feel and are enjoyable to peruse even if you’re not planning a trip. He updates his guides regularly and has a good mix of tourist attractions, cultural information, and hot hidden spots. It is worth noting that Steves’ only has guides for European destinations.

    FROMMER’S: Geared towards an American, novice or retired traveling audience, Frommer’s guides provide a warm security blanket of information as you travel to the most sought out places. These guides include star ratings of destinations as well as amenities and price ratings from “inexpensive” to “very expensive”, so you’ll know just what you’re walking into.

    FODOR’S: In my opinion, Fodor’s are some of the easiest guides to use. They are logically structured and organized and give all the essential information you need for travel. Their no-nonsense approach does not include many pictures or maps, but that’s something I like about them. It’s a very basic and simple to navigate guide.

    ROUGH GUIDES: Like Frommer's and Fodor's, these books have all the basic information you need to familiarize yourself with a new place. All three tend to be a little on the hefty side, which makes them a bit cumbersome to use while traveling, but the city grid style maps in the Rough Guides are really helpful. I sometimes make a copy of the map pages to carry with me as I go.

    If books aren't your thing, we also have a database called Global Road Warrior, which provides information about over 175 countries, their culture, history, food, traditions and holidays, people, climate, and a lot more. I used it to find information about India for an upcoming trip and learned how not to make a fool of myself when greeting people and what to do to ensure I don’t offend anyone when refusing food that might make my delicate American stomach sick. So, to sum up, use the library to help plan your next amazing trip!

  • 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!
  • 1000words

    Recently we have been evaluating the books in the 700’s to see what is checking out (or not), what is falling apart, and where we may need to order more books on a certain topic. I’ve been working on the photography books and have discovered some really great reads! We have tons of books about taking great photos, editing photos, and books about famous photographers. Here are a few that stood out to me when I took a closer look at this section of our nonfiction collection.

    Digital Photography Through the YearDIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY THROUGH THE YEAR
    by Tom Ang
    (2012)  

    Learn how to capture the moments and moods of every season with all the ideas and inspiration you need for a whole year's worth of photography.  

     

    The Heart of the Great AloneTHE HEART OF THE GREAT ALONE: SCOTT, SHAKLETON, AND ANTARCTIC PHOTOGRAPHY
    by David Hempleman-Adams
    (2009)  

    The photographs recorded by Herbert George Ponting and Frank Hurley of two epic Antarctic expeditions are presented along with a narrative which draws on the photographers' writings and other archival material from the Royal Collection.  

     

    Digital Photography Complete CourseDIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY COMPLETE COURSE
    by David Taylor
    (2015)  

    This book helps you to build your photography skills week-by-week. The Digital Photography Complete Course is the perfect one-on-one learning program for any aspiring photographer.  

     

    Photos FramedPHOTOS FRAMED: A FRESH LOOK AT THE WORLD’S MOST MEMORABLE PHOTOGRAPHS
    by Ruth Thomson
    (2014)  

    Explores some of the most famous photographs in history, including Stephen Dalton's "Ladybird Take-off," Charles C. Ebbets' "Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper," and Neil Leifer's "Muhammad Ali versus Sonny Liston."

     

    At First SightAT FIRST SIGHT: PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE SMITHSONIAN
    by Merry A. Foresta
    (2003)  

    The Smithsonian holds more than 13 million images spanning over 150 years of taking and collecting photographs. This largely unknown body of photography (most never before published) represents nothing less than the Smithsonian's effort, in the name of all Americans, to describe and comprehend the world.  

     

    Ansel Adams Our National ParksANSEL ADAMS: OUR NATIONAL PARKS
    by Ansel Adams
    (1992)    

    A collection of work from one of the strongest supporters of the National Park System includes his photographs, letters, speeches, writings, and personal notes about the critical issues facing the parks.

  • stars

    There is probably no summertime activity more iconic than hanging out under the night sky and stargazing. In our Utah desert, you have a great view of the Perseid Meteor Shower in August, as well as general constellations, and maybe even the Milky Way if you are lucky. If you are not up for camping under the stars, check out the BYU Planetarium (http://planetarium.byu.edu) for their Friday night shows. At the library, we have lots of books on astronomy and astrophysics in the 520s. Check out some of the titles from our collection to prepare for your big night out under the stars! 

    8.8 Stargazing for DummiesSTARGAZING FOR DUMMIES 
    By Steve Owens
    (2013) 

    This is a great place to start if you know nothing about stargazing or astronomy in general. This guide teaches you how to read star maps, a little of the history of astronomy, and an overview of any equipment you might want.  

     

     

     

    8.8 StarfinderSTARFINDER
    By Carole Stott
    (2010) 

    This one is by far my favorite star book in our collection because it has a moveable star map right on the front cover! There are also great photos and illustrations in the first half with more details monthly star maps in the second half. Definitely check this one out just for the novelty! 

    Some people prefer to stargaze in the peace and quiet of nature, but I prefer to have a little background music. I like to think of it as part of the soundtrack of my life. If you want some nice instrumental stuff, go to Gustav Holst’s iconic THE PLANETS album. For something more modern, check out anything by Coldplay. Really, I think that most albums by Coldplay have a sort of cosmic, I-feel-connected-to-the-universe vibe, but I may be biased. Definitely listen to A SKY FULL OF STARS, YELLOW, and the SPEED OF SOUND. If you are feeling adventurous, try THE RACE FOR SPACE by Public Service Broadcasting. All of these titles can be found in our catalog by clicking on the links provided.  

    No matter how you prepare for your fun night under the stars, be sure to take some flashlights, blankets and pillows, bug spray, and have fun!

  •  Chocolate 3

    Over the years I have successfully cut back on the amount of junk food I eat. That is, I have successfully cut back on everything but chocolate. The darker the better. For me, really good dark chocolate almost has a slight citrus flavor mixed in with all of that bitter, creamy deliciousness.

    After sharing my love of chocolate, you can probably imagine how excited I am that the lovely folks at The Chocolate Conspiracy are coming to the library to talk about the health benefits of chocolate, and they’re giving us an overview of how artisanal chocolate is made. 

    Here are the details:

    Learn It: The Health Benefits of Chocolate
    Thursday, September 28th
    7:00 pm in room 260

    To get us all by until then, here are a few of the books we have at the library dedicated to the creation of my favorite treat:

    9.12 Great Moments in Chocolate HistoryGREAT MOMENTS IN CHOCOLATE HISTORY
    By Howard-Yana Shapiro
    (2015)

    Packed with facts and photos, this book reveals the untold story of chocolate. Did you know that M&Ms were invented for WWII soldiers as the chocolate that wouldn't melt in their hands? Or that Thomas Jefferson predicted that chocolate would outstrip coffee as the most popular drink in America? 

    9.12 The True History of ChocolateTHE TRUE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE
    By Sophie D. Coe
    (2013)

    Travel around the world as you discover chocolate’s origins in Central America, its journey to Europe as the drink of kings, and its eventual journey to the plates of the masses. 

     

     

     

    9.12 Choclate covered KatieCHOCOLATE-COVERED KATIE : OVER 80 DELICIOUS RECIPES THAT ARE SECRETLY GOOD FOR YOU
    By Katie Higgins
    (2015)

    The healthy dessert blogger Katie Higgins shares over 80 never-before-seen recipes that use only real ingredients, without any unnecessary fats, sugars, or empty calories.

    9.12 Chocolate Sweet ScienceCHOCOLATE: SWEET SCIENCE AND DARK SECRETS OF THE WORLD'S FAVORITE TREAT
    By Kay Frydenborg
    (2015)

    Geared toward a teen audience, this book captures the history, science, and economic and cultural implications of the harvesting of cacao and creation of chocolate.

     

     

    9.12 Inside Charlies Chocolate FactoryINSIDE CHARLIE'S CHOCOLATE FACTORY: THE COMPLETE STORY OF WILLY WONKA, THE GOLDEN TICKET, AND ROALD DAHL'S MOST FAMOUS CREATION
    By Lucy Mangan
    (2014)

    If we’re talking about chocolate, we’ve also got to talk about CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY.  This book explores the lasting legacy of Roald Dahl's popular book, examining the development of the original story and characters, its social history, and the varying film and stage adaptations.

     

  • armchair

     

    I don’t know about you, but I’d love to be able to take an extended vacation from my daily responsibilities and travel the world. Unfortunately I’m not independently wealthy, so that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon!

    Lucky for me, we have thousands of books at the library that can transport me to another location just by opening the front cover. And best of all, it’s free with my library card! Below are some of the most memorable trips I’ve taken across the globe, all giving me a new perspective and helping ease my wanderlust just a bit.

    APPALACHIAN TRAIL

    Distance from Me to YouTHE DISTANCE FROM ME TO YOU
    by Marina Gessner
    (2015)

    I read this book just a few weeks before my friend Jake began his 2,659 mile trek on the Pacific Crest Trail. I loved following his 140 day journey from Mexico to Canada as he posted updates, videos, and pictures on Facebook. While this book covers the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, many of the elements of a long trail hike were the same. For example, I loved reading about trail angels, and then seeing the acts of kindness Jake benefited from on the trail. Because I’d already spent some time on the trail due to reading this book, I felt like I had a better understanding of what he was experiencing on his own journey across America.

     

    EUROPE

    WanderlostWANDERLOST
    by Jen Malone
    (2016)

    I went on a Mediterranean cruise in 2008 and have wanted to go back ever since! In particular I’d love to go back to Italy. In addition, I’d love to explore more of Europe, there’s so much to see and such great food to eat! I loved traveling to Amsterdam, Salzburg, Vienna, Prague, Venice, Cinque Terre, and Monaco along with Aubree and her busload of senior citizens.  

     

     

     

    AFRICA

    Kisses from KatieKISSES FROM KATIE: A STORY OF RELENTLESS LOVE AND REDEMPTION
    by Katie Davis
    (2012)

    While I’ve never been to Uganda, after reading this book I felt like I had a better idea about the country, culture, and people. In the midst of her senior year in high school, Katie and her dad went on a short mission trip to Uganda during her Christmas break. Katie had no idea that this trip would change her life forever. After taking a gap year to spend more time serving the Ugandan people, she eventually decided to not only move to Uganda, but to adopt 13 girls and establish a non-profit organization that helps many more. I was riveted by this story and how Katie found her purpose in life.  

     

     

    ANTARCTICA

    No Horizon is so FarNO HORIZON IS SO FAR: TWO WOMEN AND THEIR EXTRORDINARY JOURNEY ACROSS AMERICA
    by Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft
    (2003)

    This biography was an insightful look at the preparation and determination needed to survive on a trek across the South Pole. Although Liv and Ann grew up across the world from each other, both developed a fascination with Antarctica and a desire to be the first women to ski-sail across the continent via the Shackleton Glacier. I enjoyed reading about their chilly adventures from the comfort of my warm home!  

     

     

    OUTER SPACE
    An Astronauts Guide to Life on EarthAN ASTRONAUT’S GUIDE TO LIFE ON EARTH
    by Chris Hadfield
    (2013)

    What better way to end our trip around the globe than to head to the stars?!? I learned so much about what it takes physically and mentally to prepare for life on the International Space Station. I first heard about this book while listening to an NPR story about how food is prepared and eaten in space. Chris has multiple entertaining YouTube videos recorded during his time floating above the earth that helped me get a better mental picture of what it would be like to live in zero gravity.  

     

     

     

    While I still want to explore much more of the world, for now I think I can be satisfied with a good book!

  • Cookbooks

    I love to flip through cookbooks! I like to read through the ingredients and see a picture of the delicious end result. I love it even more if the cookbook is more than just recipes, if it has a narrative to go along with the recipes; I get sucked in and often read the entire book. 

    A few months ago, we were evaluating the cookbook area of the library and I savored spending time looking at these books. Over the few months we were working on this project I began making a list of the cookbooks that I felt were extremely well done. They had gorgeous pictures and intriguing stories behind the recipes. I even encouraged a few of my co-workers to tell me about the cookbooks they saw as standouts. Today I’m sharing just a few of the most beautiful cookbooks in our collection. 

    3.20 The Farmette CookbookTHE FARMETTE COOKBOOK: RECIPES AND ADVENTURES FROM MY LIFE ON AN IRISH FARM
    By Imen McDonnell
    (2016)

    From gorgeous pictures of the rolling hills of Ireland to recipes for Farmhouse Milk Bread, Maple Roasted Parsnips, and Irish wedding cake, this book has it all. Interspersed between the recipes are snippets from Imen’s life and the story of how this American city girl found her way to a working Irish farm. I love that the recipes give the ingredients in both the US and metric measurements. Scullery notes found at the end of many recipes give additional information for the home cook.

     

    3.20 Breakfast for DinnerBREAKFAST FOR DINNER
    By Lindsay Landis
    (2013)

    I love breakfast for dinner so this book was an instant hit for me! It includes many traditional breakfast recipes like Eggs Benedict but adds a twist to make the recipe a bit more filling for dinner time. Now you can have Steak and Eggs Benedict at the end of a long day. In addition to main dishes, this cookbook includes sides, starters, desserts and drinks. Using breakfast ingredients to make your dinner has never tasted better. 

     

    3.20 MamushkaMAMUSHKA 
    By Olia Hercules
    (2015)

    This book features recipes from Ukraine and Eastern Europe with stunning photographs. I loved the first paragraph from the introduction, “Mamushka…is not actually real word. My brother Sasha and I watched The Addams Family film for the first time in 1996 (everything came about five years late in post-Soviet Ukraine.) And at some point during the movie, a bunch of American actors suddenly spoke a made-up Eastern European language and danced the mamushka—“the dance of brotherly love” taught to the family by their Cossack cousins. Our whole family found this part of the film irresistibly hilarious and since then my brother and I renamed our mum Mamushka.” With this friendly beginning, I was hooked on taking a closer look at this cookbook. 

     

    3.20 Cooking with Mary BerryCOOKING WITH MARY BERRY
    By Mary Berry
    (2016)

    As a fan of The Great British Baking Show and DK books this book caught my attention. Mary Berry shares “simple recipes—great for families and friends” and in classic DK style this cookbook shows cooking techniques step by step. I particularly like that there are variations and notes to the cook throughout the book with tips and tricks. 

     

    3.20 My Two SouthsMY TWO SOUTHS: BLENDING THE FLAVORS OF INDIA INTO A SOUTHERN KITCHEN
    By Asha Gomez
    (2016)

    This cover is stunning, as are the end papers! Asha calls her style of cuisine “two souths cooking” with the flavors and dishes being rooted in her home country of India and her current home in Atlanta, Georgia. Each recipe has a story explaining the importance of the featured recipe to. There are many drool-worthy pictures and recipes featured, including the Banana Beignets. Yum! 

     

    3.20 Cooking LightCOOKING LIGHT GLOBAL KITCHEN: THE WORLD’S MOST DELICIOUS FOOD MADE EASY
    By David Joachim
    (2014)

    Get ready to explore the culinary world! From East Asia to Europe to North and Central America there are delicious foods in each and every country and region. The author challenges home cooks to taste the world in their own kitchen. I like how each chapter starts with a taste of the region being presented sharing the prominent spices and flavors, followed by photo heavy recipes. Each recipe clearly states the hands-on time and total time needed which can be helpful when planning to make the dish. 

     

    3.20 Food AnatomyFOOD ANATOMY: THE CURIOUS PARTS AND PIECES OF OUR EDIBLE WORLD
    By Julia Rothman
    (2016)

    While this book isn’t a cookbook (it doesn’t have any recipes in the traditional sense at least), I thought it still deserved a place on this list. The books above all have photographs highlighting the food mentioned. This book on the other hand, is filled with hand drawn and colored illustrations. Rothman gives a brief history of food before illustrating fruits, vegetable, meats, spices, street foods, and desserts that can be found the world over. I found this book to be completely captivating!

     
  • 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 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!

     

     

  • BB 2017 FB

    Each year we put together a list of the top 60 best children’s books (according to our children’s librarians). As we have been whittling down our lists some titles are harder to take off—almost painful because they are great books. These five books are fantastic! Truly amazing! Yet they just didn’t make the list. If it was the 65 best children’s books, these titles would have been on there.

    As we keep you in suspense as to our top 60 books (which we will reveal at our Best Books program next Tuesday), take a look at these books that almost made the cut.

    2.14 The Legend of Rock Paper ScissorsTHE LEGEND OF ROCK PAPER SCISSORS
    By Drew Daywalt
    Illustrated by Adam Rex

    This is a great picture book—and I liked it so much that I even bought it! Really, it is a good book. It tells the story of Rock (who lives in the Kingdom of the Backyard) and is the strongest in the land. No one could beat Rock in any challenge. Then (in the Empire of Mom’s Home Office) there lived another warrior named Paper. Once again in this empire there was none who could best Paper. In a third place (the Kitchen Realm) there lived a warrior named Scissors who could not be beaten in all of her challenges. Daywalt and Rex put together a hilarious tale as to why these three warriors battle together (and thus explains the rock, paper, scissors game that children all over the world play). Seriously, this is a pretty funny book. 

     

    2.14 Orphan IslandORPHAN ISLAND
    By Laurel Snyder

    It is not often that you find a Juvenile Fiction title as divisive as this one, or one that can get as many people talking. Orphan Island tells the story of Jinny, a girl who has grown up on a secluded island populated only by nine orphans. Each year, a boat arrives to deliver a new child and the oldest is expected to leave without knowing what awaits them on the boat. But when Jinny’s boat comes, she doesn’t leave and the island – once a perfect, nurturing home – begins to change. This book is in many ways a classic “coming of age” story, but also it isn’t. This book, its setting and its plot are wildly imaginative and are bolstered by truly skillful writing – providing lots of opportunities for discussion. It’s hard to discount the buzz surrounding this book – it’s a National Book Award Longlist Title and it’s on the Mock Newbery list of anyone who has such a list – but it’s also incredible divisive with vocal people arguing about it either way. While this wasn’t one of our favorite books of the year, it’s been discussed too much to leave off our list completely. 

     

    2.14 Real FriendsREAL FRIENDS
    By Shannon Hale
    Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

    Shannon Hale joins up with LeUyen Pham (who also illustrates Shannon’s PRINCESS IN BLACK series) in this graphic novel memoir about making and keeping friends. Shannon and her best friend Adrienne have been best friends since they were little, but when Adrienne becomes friends with the most popular girl in school, things begin to change between them and Shannon questions whether or not she and Adrienne will be able to stay friends. This story is one that most readers will be able to identify with – whether they’ve been bullied by the popular kids or not.  Also, since Shannon Hale is a local author, it’s set in Salt Lake City which is sort of extra fun for kids from Utah. This story is honest and a little heartwarming, and though it didn’t make our final list is a great choice for Raina Telgemeir or Cece Bell fans. 

     

    2.14 Rivers of SunlightRIVERS OF SUNLIGHT: HOW THE SUN MOVES WATER AROUND THE EARTH
    by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm

    This is a great nonfiction title (which follows up the brilliant book Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth). Bang and Chisholm explain how water moves around the world thanks to the heat of the sun—both through the sun’s part of the water cycle and due to the sun heating various currents in the oceans. This is a book full of information and facts presented in a picture book format so even the younger scientists can understand how water works and how the sun plays a major part to what happens to the water. 

     

    2.14 Harry Millers RunHARRY MILLER'S RUN
    By David Almond
    Illustrated by Salvatore Rubbin

    Most juvenile intermediate books are formula books—ones where they are part of a series and you can predict that the book will (re)introduce the characters in chapter one, throw in a bit of conflict (usually of the same variety as previous books in the series) in chapter two, etc. Not Harry Miller’s Run. This book is a stand-alone story that is beautifully written AND happens to be a juvenile intermediate book. Liam needs to train for an upcoming race and so he talks to his older neighbor (Harry Miller) who happens to have run the same race when he was younger. This is a great story about something seemingly insignificant (like talking to an elderly neighbor) can actually be interesting, fun, and helpful. Plus, the way Harry Miller tells his tale, readers will almost feel like going out for a jog themselves. Almond has written yet another great story—and lucky for us this one is an intermediate book!

     
  • Easy Readers 2

    One of my favorite things I get to do at work is ordering the Easy Reader Nonfiction books (JENF for short). These books are nestled in with the Easy Reader and Very Easy Reader section, but I think they are extra special. These books are a great way for curious minds to learn about all the things they might be interested in – in a language they can read for themselves. 

    Our JENF books are in the red Easy Reader corner of the Children’s Department and are eager to be discovered. Here are some great new JENF series to go hunting for: 

    ROOKIE NATIONAL PARKS

    9.6 Rookie National ParksZION NATIONAL PARK
    By Jodie Shepherd
    (2018)

    Rookie is a series of books from Scholastic, and within the Rookie series there are a lot of series on all kinds of topics – and I don’t think that they are all good, but the National Parks series (new this year!) is definitely worth reading. Each book in this series has facts about the flora and fauna of the National Park in question, the geographical formation, and must-sees within the parks – all on pages full of stunning photographs from inside the national parks. If you have young explorers, definitely bring these books home. 

     

    FLY GUY PRESENTS

    9.6 Fly GuyFLY GUY PRESENTS: CASTLES
    By Tedd Arnold
    (2017)

    Sometimes informational books with popular characters thrown in can seem a little gimmicky, but the Fly Guy Presents series has none of that. These informational books on a variety of topics (everything from Sharks to the White House) have all the fun of Fly Guy stories but with a ton of great facts as well. I love these books, which follow Fly Guy and Buzz on various field trips and are filled with Tedd Arnold’s signature funny illustrations and cool photographs throughout.     

     

    TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS TRAINING ACADEMY

    9.6 FirefightersTRAINING ACADEMY: FIREFIGHTERS!
    By Trey King
    (2016)

    I have to confess that I am not a big Transformers fan so I cannot personally speak to how cool these books are, but my elementary school aged cousins tell me that these books are cool and I’ll take their word for it. From a librarian perspective, this series is great because even though it is fairly new it is already covering a good range of topics (firefighters, monster trucks, under the sea). The pages are a good mix of photographs and illustrations and these books are full of good information. 

     

    RANGER RICK... I WISH

    9.6 I wish I was a GorillaI WISH I WAS A GORILLA
    By Jennifer Bove
    (2018)

    I grew up reading Ranger Rick magazines and this new series of Easy Readers carries all the same good parts of Ranger Rick magazines, but in a compact, focused design focused on beginning readers. This series of books includes volumes focused on other animals like orcas and lions and all are really well done. This book is filled with a ton of information about gorillas – where they live, what they look like, what they eat, and how they care for their families. Plus there are incredible photos courtesy of the National Wildlife Federation.  

     

    YOU SHOULD MEET...

    9.6 Jesse OwensJESSE OWENS
    By Laurie Calkhoven
    (2017)

    If your little readers are curious about real people and the interesting lives they lived, this series is one of my favorites. These books tend to focus on figures that young readers may not have learned about yet (i.e. not another Thomas Edison or Abraham Lincoln bio). This book, about Jesse Owens the African American runner who caused a sensation at the 1936 Berlin Olympics is well written with little readers in mind. Other books to look out for include Mae Jemison and a group biography Women in Science. 

     

    Did we miss any of your favorite Easy Reader Non Fiction sections? Tell us in the comments!

  • fierce 01

     

    #Whatireallyreallywant is for everyone to read about these important women! In no particular order or preference, each tells of a woman you should be aware of and knowledgeable about. #girlpower

    Frida Kahlo by Guillermo Kahlo

    FRIDA KAHLO was a famous surrealist and modern artist and should be remembered as more than just the wife of another famous Mexican artist. She is renowned for her inventive self-portraits and examining the tougher aspects of life through her paintings. This compilation is a first of it’s kind- an illustrated journal complete with Frida’s own thoughts, poems, dreams, sketches, self portraits and more. It covers the last ten years of her life from 1944-1954, in a captivating and sometimes haunting, sometimes witty way. Giving perspective on her turbulent relationship with Diego, living with a debilitating handicap and the ensuing surgeries, and insights on her creative process, this auto biography shines with Frida’s own hand.

    (Portrait of Frida Kahlo by her father, Guillermo Kahlo; public domain)

    diary kahloTHE DIARY OF FRIDA KAHLO: AN INTIMATE SELF-PORTRAIT
    by Frida Kahlo
    (2005)

     

     

     

     

     

    Profile portrait of Catherine II by Fedor Rokotov 1763 Tretyakov galleryCATHERINE THE GREAT was the most renowned and longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from 1762–1796. She came to power after her husband was assassinated and while under her rule Russia became one of the great powers of Europe. Balancing the government, foreign policy, cultural development, domestic rebellion, wars, and welfare of the Russian people were all in her hands. This book accurately captures the life of this great women, giving details to her personal relationships, her well developed philosophical mind, and her successes and struggles in ruling the vast country of Russia.

    (Portrait of Catherine II by Fedor Rokotov; public domain)

    catherine the greatCATHERINE THE GREAT: PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN
    by Robert K. Massie
    (2011)

     

     

     

      

    Marie Curie 1903MARIE SKLODOWSKA CURIE was distinguished physicist and chemist who pioneered research on radioactivity (a term that she coined!). She was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the only woman to win it twice, and the only person to win twice in multiple sciences.  She discovered two elements—polonium and radium. She was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris and became the first women to be entombed on her own merits in the Pantheon of Paris. This book is a visual journey through Marie’s life—collages, photos, clippings, drawings—giving a compelling narrative to the fascinating scientific significance of her work, while mixing in romance and intrigue.

    (Portrait from the 1903 Nobel Prize committee; public domain)

    RadioactiveRADIOACTIVE: MARIE & PIERRE CURIE: A TALE OF LOVE AND FALLOUT
    by Lauren Redniss
    (2010)

     

     

     

     

    CleopatraLubowska

    CLEOPATRA has been imagined for centuries by poets, artists and historians alike in attempt to convey her beauty, wealth, power and importance. She was the last acting pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty founded by Alexander the Great. She was married twice to her brothers but her lovers- Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony place her as the most influential woman of the age.  This book separates fact from fiction to reveal in rich detail the dazzling life of this magnetic queen. 

    (Portrait of  dancer Winniefred Foote in Cleopatra costume; public domain, courtesy of the Library of Congress)

    cleopatraCLEOPATRA: A LIFE
    by Stacy Schiff
    (2010)

     

     

     

     

     

    Malala Yousafzai Education for girls 22419395331MALALA YOUSAFZAI is a human rights activist known for her advocacy for education and women.  In her  province of Pakistan the local Taliban sometimes banned girls from attending school. Her family runs a chain of schools in that region and on October 9, 2012 a gunman boarded her school bus, asked for her name and shot her. After intensive recovery Malala is thriving and continues her advocacy against this kind of violence and discrimination. She was named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people in the world, she was the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace prize and she continues to speak at international conventions. This is her powerful story of a family uprooted by global terrorism, the fight for girl’s education, and her beliefs that have already changed the world.

    (Portrait by Simon Davis of the UK Department for International Development; creative commons license)

    malalaI AM MALALA: THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND WAS SHOT BY THE TALIBAN
    by Malala Yousafzai
    (2013)

     

     

     

     

     

  • BOP FB event

    Have you ever heard of a Eurasian eagle-owl? If you haven’t, stop what you are doing and go watch a video of this creature. These owls are the largest owl species in the world and are an apex predator in their neck of the woods. They can have a 6ft wingspan and can hunt and kill small deer. That is a serious raptor!

    The first time I learned about the Eurasian eagle-owl was at a bird show put on by Jim Fowers, founder of the Rocky Mountain Bird Rescue. Jim and his assistant were showing off a Eurasian eagle-owl that they take care of at their facility. Jim also has a number of other birds in his care, including owls, hawks, and falcons. The great news is that you can see these birds in person at the library.

    Jim and his assistants will be coming to the Provo City Library on May 22 at 7:00 pm in the Young Special Events Room #201. Come see these birds in life and learn some amazing facts about each of them. You will also be able to learn about conservation, falconry, and the rehabilitation process for raptors. There may even be a flight demonstration. In any case, this is one Learn It event you will not want to miss!

    This is just a little taste of what the library has to offer on raptors. Check out these titles and more in the nonfiction section.

    5.20 OwlsOWLS OF THE WORLD
    by James R. Duncan
    (2016)

    This lavishly illustrated and entertaining book explores many aspects of owls. With a chapter dedicated to each owl family, from the huge eagle owls to the diminutive pygmy owls and owlets, this book will engage people new to the subject as well as those already familiar with the species.

     

    5.21 RaptorsRAPTORS OF NORTH AMERICA: NATURAL HISTORY AND CONSERVATION
    by Noel Snyder
    (2006)

    Did you know that raptors are a key species in maintaining balance in an ecosystem? In this book, you will learn all about different raptors in North America and their importance to other species in their habitats. If our Birds of Prey event piqued your interest in conservation, this is a great book to learn more.

     
  • russian revolution

     

    Between March and November of 1917, two key events framed the collapse of the Russian Empire: the forced abdication of Tsar Nicholas on March 15, 1917 and the November 17, 1917 revolt by the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin. Though Russia continued to be convulsed until at least 1923 by civil war against the Bolsheviks and their army, the execution of Tsar Nicholas and his family, and the power struggle between Lenin and Trotsky, November of 1917 is seen as the defining moment that changed the history of the world and laid the foundation for the establishment of the communist government in Russia.

    Representing a variety of viewpoints and relying on new historical documents, a number of recent books have been written for the centennial of the Russian Revolution that review, revise and renew our understanding of the momentous events that irrevocably changed Russia and the world.

    11.14.17 OctoberOCTOBER: THE STORY OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
    By China Mievielle’s
    (2017)

    In February, 1917, Russia was monarchy; nine short months later it was a socialist nation. Focusing on the months between February and October, 1917, fantasy author Mieville tells the story of the intrigues and calamities, the personalities and peoples that transformed Russia.

     

     

     

     

    11.14.17 Russian RevolutionTHE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION: A NEW HISTORY
    By Sean McMeekin
    (2017)

    McMeekin’s fast paced narrative focuses on events between 1900 and 1920, tracing the transformation of Russia from a Romanov dynasty to a Bolshevik regime. Often aided by outside nations hoping to benefit from the economic and political chaos in Russia, the Bolsheviks triumphed even though the economy collapsed and more than 20 million Russians died.

     

     

     

    11.14.17 March 1917MARCH 1917: ON THE BRINK OF WAR AND REVOLUTION
    By Will Englund
    (2017)

    March, 1917: Woodrow Wilson gave his second inaugural address, America entered World War I, and Tsar Nicholas abdicated. Focusing on this key month, Englund uses diaries, newspapers and memoirs to add detail to the story of that key month when the world we know today originated.

     

     

     

    11.14.17 Caught In the RevolutionCAUGHT IN THE REVOLUTION: PETROGRAD, RUSSIA, 1917 – A WORLD ON THE EDGE
    By Helen Rappaport
    (2017) 

    Foreigners living on Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg’s main street, had a firsthand view of the chaos in Russia, as Nicholas abdicated and the Bolsheviks fomented a coup. Rappaport uses their diaries and letters home to show us the action first hand, as they experienced it.

     

     

     

    11.14.17 Lenin on the TrainLENIN ON THE TRAIN
    By Catherine Merridale
    (2017)

    When Tsar Nicholas abdicated, Lenin was exiled in Zurich. Resolving to return immediately to Russia to lead a revolt against the Russian government, he embarked on a journey that would change the world. Using material never before presented, Merridale tells story of his train ride from Switzerland through Germany, bringing to life the intrigue, the desperation and the idealism that made it possible.

     

     

    11.14.17 Last of the TsarsLAST OF THE TSARS: NICHOLAS II AND THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTION
    By Robert Service
    (2017)

    Using the Tsars own diaries and also official testimonies, Service details Tsar Nicholas II's last eighteenth months.

     

     

     

  • disney

    When I was growing up, my family was always a “Disneyland family.” You know, some families take trips to Disney theme parks and some don’t – mine was always in the first category. In fact, some of my fondest family memories are from trips to Disney parks. Even as an adult, I have something of a reputation for being a Disney person – that may be because I have an Annual Pass to Disney World (yes, in Florida) even though it is 2,321 miles away from the Provo City Library. 

    I like to think that all of these trips over the years were training me for the day that a patron would walk into the Library and ask “we’re planning a trip to Disneyland. Do you have any books to help get our kids excited?” The answer, of course, was yes. Here are my five favorite recommendations, from the unofficial Disney Expert at the PCL, to anyone who has the same question. 

    1.28 Pocket Full of ColorsPOCKET FULL OF COLORS: THE MAGICAL WORLD OF MARY BLAIR, DISNEY ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE
    By Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville
    Illustrated by Brigette Barrager
    (2017)

    This book is actually one of my favorite recent books, even for non-Disney fans. It is all about Mary Blair, the most famous Disney animator you’ve never heard of. In the 1950s she worked as a concept animator for films like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and Cinderella before leaving to work in advertising. She was then brought back by Walt Disney himself to design It’s a Small World. This  book is filled with lots of Disney goodness and will make even the most reluctant willing to board “the happiest cruise that ever sailed.” 

     

    1.28 Secrets of DisneylandSECRETS OF DISNEYLAND: WEIRD AND WONDERFUL FACTS ABOUT THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH
    By Dinah Williams
    (2013)

    When I was a kid visiting Disney, the best part was bugging my parents and older siblings with secret, hidden, little-known facts and tidbits I had collected (I was a youngest child who would grow up to be a librarian, what can I say?). This book is filled with all kinds of behind-the-scenes information that kids will be excited to share. If you’re headed to Florida instead of Anaheim there is also a Disney World version – SECRETS OF WALT DISNEY WORLD: WEIRD AND WONDERFUL FACTS ABOUT THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH

     

    1.28 Walts ImaginationWALT’S IMAGINATION: THE LIFE OF WALT DISNEY
    By Doreen Rappaport
    (2018)

    If you’re trying to get excited for a Disney trip, there is no better place to start than with the man himself. This new picture book biography explores the life of Walt Disney for young readers with beautiful illustrations featuring Walt, Mickey Mouse, and other familiar faces.   

     

    1.28 PiratesPIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
    By Xavier Atencio
    (2017)

    Let’s be honest, no Disney trip preparation is complete without a little Disney music. Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my favorite rides at Disneyland and this picture book captures the magic of the ride with original illustrations to accompany everyone’s favorite pirate song. 

     

    1.28 Keymasters QuestTHE KEYMASTER’S QUEST
    By Jason Lethcoe
    (2017)

    For older readers looking to get in on some pre (or post) Disneyland action, this adventurous series of Middle Grade novels is a good place to start. Set in the worlds of Disney’s Adventureland (The Enchanted Tiki Room, the Jungle Cruise, etc.) this book follows Andy Stanley as he ventures deep into the jungle to keep magical artifacts from falling into the wrong hands. It’s an adventurous story made better by some good puzzles and Disney magic.

     
  • reformation

    500 years ago, in 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints Church (also known as Castle Church) in Wittenberg, Germany. It was a common practice for university staff to put notices on the door of the church, but Luther’s notice was far from common - this history changing event launched the Reformation. Reformation day is traditionally celebrated by many religious denominations on October 31 of each year, though there is no reliable evidence confirming the actual day. But few would disagree with the importance of Luther’s written disputation of indulgences and other practices of the Catholic Church. Originally written in Latin, the theses were soon translated into German and within two months had been circulated widely in Europe. The printing press made this rapid, widespread distribution possible.

    In anticipation of the quincentenary of Luther’s 95 theses, publishers have released significant new books about Luther and the Reformation. You will find a number of these outstanding books here at the Provo Library.

    10.27 The Man Who Rediscovered GodMARTIN LUTHER: THE MAN WHO REDISCOVERED GOD AND CHANGED THE WORLD
    By Eric Metaxas
    (2017) 

    Crediting Luther with the birth of modern values such as equality and liberty, Metaxas writes an authoritative and riveting biography of a man of humility and great faith who challenged the power of the institutional church and changed the world he knew.

     

     

    10.27 Renegade and ProphetMARTIN LUTHER: RENEGADE AND PROPHET
    By Lyndal Roper
    (2017) 

    Roper’s new biography of Luther reveals a complex man whose attitudes and actions were not always admirable. She argues that his ideas and actions had both good and bad effects. Critics have called this biography provocative and imaginative.

     

     

     

    10.27 Visionary ReformerMARTIN LUTHER: VISIONARY REFORMER
    By Scott H. Hendrix
    (2015) 

    Tracing the life of Luther long before and well after his posting of the 95 theses, Hendrix illuminates Luther’s devotion and courage, along with his political motivations and personal relationships, in this richly detailed biography.

     

     

     

    10.27 Brand LutherBRAND LUTHER : 1517, PRINTING, AND THE MAKING OF THE REFORMATION
    By Andrew Pettegree
    (2015) 

    Exploring the synergistic relationship between Luther’s posting of the 95 theses and the rising influence of printing on the culture of Europe, this book explores Luther’s ability to use the early printing industry to disseminate his ideas and the remarkable rise of Protestantism.

     

     

    10.27 Protestants The Faith That Made the Modern WorldPROTESTANTS: THE FAITH THAT MADE THE MODERN WORLD
    By Alec Ryrie
    (2017) 

    When Luther, an obscure monk, published his 95 Theses, he unwittingly triggered a movement that ultimately changed governments, overturned the norms of society, and changed people’s relationship to God. Ryrie demonstrates that Protestants changed the world by settling and creating new countries and using their Bibles to defend their rights and engage in political protest.

     

     

    10.27 ReformationsREFORMATIONS: THE EARLY MODERN WORLD, 1450-1650
    By Carlos M.N. Eire
    (2016) 

    Professor Eire traces the way religious ideas of the reformation transformed not just religion, but Western thought and culture. Between 1450 and 1650 reformers and reformations from Italy to Germany to Switzerland and into America and Asia laid the foundation for today’s secular world.

     

     

     

    10.27 October 31 1517OCTOBER 31, 1517: MARTIN LUTHER AND THE DAY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
    By Martin E. Marty
    (2016) 

    In this succinct volume, a leading religious scholar shares his thoughts on the impact and meaning of Luther’s first, and most important, thesis: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ”Repent,” he intended the entire life of believers to be repentance.” 

     

     

     

  • childbirth

    I have long maintained that the Library can help you with anything: right now it’s helping fuel my child’s Paw Patrol obsession, but I’ve found the Library useful for less trivial things as well.

    Three years ago, I was pregnant, and like any pregnant lady I was faced with about a thousand decisions I’d never had to make before. What would we name the baby? What baby gear was actually necessary? What kind of birth experience did I want to have?

    Fairly certain that I wanted to have an unmedicated birth, I buckled down and started reading. Since other authors have already shared some favorite intimacy books and favorite pregnancy books, I figured maybe we'd complete the cycle and write a blog post about books to prepare for the actual birthing process. The books I share with you here were my favorites in helping inspire and prepare me for the kind of birth experience I wanted to have. 

    I feel like I shouldn’t have to give this disclaimer, but I will anyway: these are books that I found useful. They were wonderful in helping me prepare for labor and delivery. Books are great, but they don’t replace doctors or midwives. Read some books, but see medical professionals too.

    I should also note that all these books have a strong preference for unmediated labor and delivery. If that’s not really an opinion you share, I might not recommend them. You make the choices that work for you. 

    8.3.17.Ina MayINA MAY'S GUIDE TO CHILDBIRTH
    by Ina May Gaskin
    (2003)

    Ina May is probably the best-known midwife in the country; though I admit I’m still a little skeptical about her claims that childbirth can be pain-free (mine certainly wasn’t!), my favorite thing about her books is the fact that they are packed full of stories of women being strong and having successful birth experiences. I think some books about pregnancy and childbirth spend a lot of time focusing on ALL THE POSSIBLE THINGS THAT COULD GO WRONG, so I appreciate hearing stories of all the ways that things can go right. It's nice to feel empowered into decisions rather than scared into them. 

     

     

    8.3.17.bradleyNATURAL CHILDBIRTH THE BRADLEY WAY
    by Susan McCutcheon
    (1996)

     When doing preliminary research on natural childbirth methods, there were so many people raving about “The Bradley Method” that I decided to check it out. As I understand it, the basic Bradley approach goes something like this: “Animals in labor relax through it. You can too.” (I'm probably way over-simplifying that. Don't freak out.) The Bradley method emphasizes comfortable labor positions and relaxed breathing, trying to dispel the myth that childbirth needs to involve screaming in agony. There are probably classes you can take and other books to read, but I found that this book was sufficient for me to help me be more relaxed about the labor process.

     

    8.3.17.birthing from withinBIRTHING FROM WITHIN
    by Pam England
    (1998)

    This was the book one of my midwives recommended, and I’ll be honest: I didn’t finish it all the way. I’m really open to breathing exercises and meditation and things, but I start to draw the line at suggestions that I get a canvas and paint my feelings about birth. You might think that’s super awesome, and if so, read this book all the way through.

    I include it in this list because the book starts with a simple but engaging question that proved incredibly useful as I prepared for labor: we need to ask our own questions, and then honestly seek answers to those questions in order to be prepared for birth.

    So many birth plans ask questions for us, but BIRTHING FROM WITHIN emphasizes discovering our own big questions. My biggest question was this: “How do I handle pain?” Realizing that that was my biggest concern, everything I read and researched was in service of figuring out the best ways to handle my pain in ways that were beneficial.

     

    8.3.17. Yoga BirthTHE YOGA BIRTH METHOD
    by Dorothy Guerra
    (2013)

    This was my favorite book, hands down. I actually bought a copy to have on my Kindle so that I could be sure to have it with me in the hospital. If you don’t practice yoga you might not think that this book is for you, but the breathing exercises, stretches, and general information it provides are useful for even the casual yoga practitioner (I would put myself in this category; I love to practice yoga, but I’m certainly not doing it every day).

    I loved this book for two major reasons: first, though nearly every book I read contained a description of what happens during the labor and delivery process, I thought this one was the most straightforward and helpful description of all the steps my body and my baby needed to go through in order to get him here. Second, I loved that it offered a trimester-by-trimester series of poses that could help relieve some of the pain and pressure associated with pregnancy.

    Did I do yoga in my hospital room? No, I did not. I did, however, breathe in the ways it suggests, and I actually still find those breathing exercises useful for unmedicated pain relief. Now that I'm pregnant again, you can bet this one's on my reading list. 

     

  • unknown holidays

    Now that November has come around, we are all preparing for Thanksgiving, that big holiday at the end of the month. However, there are a lot of other holidays this month that just get overlooked in our turkey preparation.

    Yeah, Thanksgiving is fun, but should it so blatantly overshadow Have a Party with Your Bear Day? (Yeah, look it up. It’s worth a Google.) Or what about the equally important National Fast Food Day? Should that be passed over for a holiday that we just go and eat food?

    I agree with you that we should absolutely not! So, to help correct this egregious oversight, we at the library are happy to provide some books to help you properly celebrate some of these other holidays (as well as letting you know when these are).

    You’re welcome. 

    National Clean Your Refrigerator Day
    November 15

    Just a week and a half before Thanksgiving, this is an important holiday if you want to properly celebrate the leftovers you are bound to have. Depending on the state of your fridge, you can observe this holiday by throwing away old leftovers, wiping down your shelves, or, if your fridge is past all hope, throwing it away and buying a new one. We have lots of resources that can help you out with any of that. For a good start, take a look at HOUSEHOLD HINTS: AMAZING USES FOR SALT, LEMON, VINEGAR, AND BAKING SODA by Heather Rodino (2015) for some good cleaning solutions you can make with stuff you have around, or check out our online database, HOME IMPROVEMENT REFERENCE CENTER, for information on buying and repairing fridges. 

    National Parfait Day
    November 25

    This holiday gives you the perfect excuse to sit back and enjoy a delicious dessert.  A parfait is a dessert that is layered in a glass, usually with whipped cream and fruits, but also chocolate and ice cream. The best part about this is you can create it any way that you like, so don’t sweat putting in the fruit. If all you have is pudding and Oreos that still counts! However, if you need some inspiration on what to make, try checking out one of our recipe books, like PUDDIN’: LUSCIOUS AND UNFORGETTABLE PUDDINGS, PARFAITS, PUDDING CAKES, PIES, AND POPS by Clio Goodman (2013) or just get in the mood by reading A PARFAIT MURDER by Wendy Watson (2011). 

    Stay Home Because You Are Well Day
    November 30

    Are you sick of work? You know, sitting at a desk and listening to a boss you don’t like all day? We’re not either. We promise. However, you should still totally observe this holiday because you feel good and you deserve it. Call in sick with a convincing cough and then relax the day away. To help you celebrate properly, come into the library to check out THE MERCK MANUAL GO-TO HOME GUIDE FOR SYMPTOMS by Robert Porter (2013) to help you come up with a convincing disease, and while you’re here, grab THE CHECKLIST: WHAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY NEED TO KNOW TO PREVENT DISEASE AND LIVE A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE by Manny Alvarz (2007) to help ensure that you are actually well enough to celebrate.

  • st patricks

    Erin go Bragh!

    It’s time to celebrate Irish immigration to the United States with St. Patrick’s Day! This holiday is held on March 17th of every year, and honors the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick. Irish immigrants to the US first celebrated this holiday as a way to remember their homeland. Only later did it become a hit back in Ireland. Today, it is a national Irish holiday celebrated by parades, going to Catholic mass, drinking, and eating. Sound like fun? Here are some ways you can celebrate this holiday with a traditional Irish flair.

    What to Eat

    3.14 My Irish TableMY IRISH TABLE
    By Cathal Armstrong & David Hagedorm
    (2014)

    You cannot party without food, and this book is just what you need in order to get an authentically Irish taste of St. Patrick’s Day. This volume is a treasure trove of beautiful color photos and authentic Irish recipes. Each recipe has a little anecdote to go with it so you can feel like you are learning about Irish culture along the way. I suggest trying some traditional potato dishes, or even the Irish Stew if you are feeling ambitious. Don’t forget brown bread or soda bread to round out the meal! 

     

    What to Drink

    3.14 BeerBEER
    By DK Eyewitness Companions
    (2007)

    The Irish are famous for their beer, and the internationally popular Guinness craft has even become an icon of Irish culture. There are many other Irish beers to choose from. If you want to learn more about Irish beers, as well as many other varieties from across the globe, this Eyewitness book is a great little resource.   

     

    3.14 Homemade Root BeerHOMEMADE ROOT BEER, SODA, & POP
    By Stephen Edward Cresswell
    (1998)

    While beer is traditional, it is not for everyone. If you do not drink alcohol, you could a pint of the next best thing—root beer! Of course there are lots of commercial options out there for this delectable soda pop, but why not impress your St. Patrick’s Day party guests with some homemade stuff?  

     

    Irish Jams

    We love Irish music so much that we have a dedicated section of CDs for it (INTL IRELAND). Head over to the music CDs and look in the section labeled “International – Ireland.” You’ll find lots to choose from, including The High Kings, Celtic Woman, and the Young Dubliners. If Celtic music isn’t quite your jam, check out The Dropkick Murphys or even U2.   

    Irish History

    Why not read up on the Emerald Isle and learn a little bit about Irish culture or history? THE STORY OF IRELAND is a fantastic history of Ireland and the Irish people. On the other hand, since St. Patrick’s Day became popular due to Irish immigration to the US, how about reading THE IRISH AMERICANS?

    Whatever you choose, we here at the library hope you have a wonderful holiday celebration!

     
  • infantloss 

    Editor's note: October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and though we often spend time on this blog highlighting new, interesting, or funny things your library can do for you, we thought we'd also take a minute to show that the library has resources to help you in hard times. Our hearts go out to those coping with these challenges in their lives. 

    During my time as a librarian I have experienced 7 years of secondary infertility and 4 heartbreaking miscarriages. The thing that I discovered is that most people have either experienced a miscarriage themselves or they know someone who has and yet, at the time, I felt utterly alone. When I decided to look for books to help me heal emotionally and spiritually, I didn’t want books that dealt with the medical reasons behind these kinds of losses. I wanted something that would let me know that the emotions I was feeling were normal and that other women had experienced this and survived.

    Here are some books and DVDs that helped me and by sharing them I’m hoping that they just might be able to help someone else.

    BOOKS

    INFERTILITY: HEALTH, HOPE & HEALING
    by Kerstin Daynes
    2010

    Kerstin Daynes experienced firsthand the heartbreak of finding out she was infertile. In this book she offers hope to other couples facing this trial through sharing many of her own personal experiences and helping to guide the reader through the unique ups and downs of grief associated with infertility. 

    FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED: GRIEVING THE LOSS OF A CHILD
    by Camille Whiting
    2009  

    The author shares her own experience of losing two children and takes the reader through her journey of anger, despair and guilt to being able to heal and find peace. This book comes from an LDS perspective and is able to offer hope to those in similar circumstances. There is also good advice for friends and family on how to best help those who are grieving.  

    JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING: A STORY OF HEALING FROM THE LOSS OF A CHILD
    by Fran C. Hafen
    2007  

    This is a very inspiring and uplifting book. Losing a child is excruciatingly painful, but this book helps the reader understand that those feelings are okay and even normal and it doesn’t mean that you lack faith. Again, this is written from an LDS perspective and it shows how grief can evolve into healing through the gospel.  

    EMPTY ARMS: COPING WITH MISCARRIAGE, STILLBIRTH, AND INFANT DEATH; SURVING THE FIRST HOURS AND BEYOND
    by Sherokee Ilse
    2013  

    I actually didn’t read this book as I was experiencing my own struggle, but it would have been very helpful. It offers guidance on the decisions that have to be made after the death of a baby. Another very helpful part of this book is how to handle anniversaries, holidays and the birth of other babies in the parents’ close circle. Each of these things can bring on a whole new wave of grief and often times it is very unexpected.  

    THIS THING CALLED GRIEF: NEW UNDERSTANDINGS OF LOSS
    by Thomas M. Ellis
    2006    

    This book is not specific to the loss of a child, but it does an excellent job of walking you through the crazy ups and downs of grief.  

    DVDs

    FOOTPRINTS ON OUR HEARTS: HOW TO COPE AFTER A MISCARRIAGE, STILLBIRTH OR NEWBORN DEATH
    by Charity Hamilton
    2005

    When a baby dies the agony can be complex and intense. You may experience misplaced guilt, hurt and deep sorrow. Babies aren’t supposed to die and this DVD shows ways to cope with the many feelings you will have as you grieve during the days and weeks that follow such a loss. Mothers and fathers who have suffered a loss share words of hope, understanding and encouragement for the future.  

    AT A LOSS FOR WORDS: HOW TO HELP THOSE YOU CARE FOR IN A MISCARRIAGE, STILLBIRTH OR NEWBORN DEATH EXPERIENCE
    by Charity Hamilton
    2005    

    One of the hardest things to figure out is what to say or do when someone close to you experiences a loss. This DVD teaches you how to help those you care about if they experience a miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death.    

    OTHER GOOD BOOKS

    Here are some more good books that were very helpful to me. Unfortunately they are no longer in the library catalog, but you may want to find a way to read them if you are looking for more books on the subject.  

    MISCARRIAGE: WOMEN SHARING FROM THE HEART by Marie Allen and Shelly Marks  

    GONE TOO SOON by Serri Devashrayee Wittwer  

    LOST CHILDREN: COPING WITH MISCARRIAGE FOR LATTER-DAY SAINTS by Rachelle.J. Christensen

  • healthy relationships

    When I was growing up I dreamed about falling in love, getting married and living happily ever after. I did eventually meet my prince charming, got married and then realized that the happily ever after part took a lot more work than I first thought. Don’t get me wrong, being married is wonderful, but after 18 years I’ve learned that to have a loving relationship that can weather the storms of life, you have to actually put a lot of work into it.

    With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it is a good time to think about the relationship you have or the one you hope to have someday. We have a great Learn It class coming up in February that will help teach some skills to improve your relationship.

    I’m really excited for our Learn It class on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 from 7pm-8pm in the Shaw Programming Room (Room 260). Nevin G. Alderman, MA, CMHC, a relationship specialist will teach an hour-long class called Renew Love. In this class he will cover:

    • How to identify and avoid common relational pitfalls
    • Strategies to increase love, connection, and fulfillment
    • Tools for improved communication and conflict-resolution

    This would be a great opportunity for a free date night!

    If you can’t make it to the class, we have some great resources here in the library to help improve relationships. Here are a few of my favorite talks on CD and one audio book. Sometimes it’s nice to listen to short talks together and then be able to discuss the things you’ve learned.

    AN ENDURING LOVE: FEEDING THE 7 BASIC NEEDS OF YOUR ETERNAL RELATIONSHIP
    Matt Townsend
    (2015)

    Dr. Matt Townsend is a relationship coach and communications expert. He uses the acronym STARVED to help couples look at the seven basic needs that are vital to a healthy relationship. Most relationships are lacking in one or more of these areas, but he teaches how to feed a STARVED relationship and get back on the right path. 

    FOR ALL ETERNITY: A FOUR-TALK SET TO STRENGTHEN YOUR MARRIAGE
    John L. Lund
    (2003)

    Dr. Lund gives four different talks covering the topics of owning our words and behaviors, learning the love languages of others, conflict resolution skills, and apologies and forgiveness. These are great to listen to over and over again. The part on the different communication styles is really helpful. When you get married, you don’t always realize that the person you are married to may have come from a family that communicates very differently than you. Understanding content communication can really help a lot of relationships. 

    I LOVE YOU: SIX TALKS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR MARRIAGE
    John L. Lund, Douglas E. Brinley; Charles Beckert; Lucile Johnson; Bill and Chris Marshall
    (2009)

    This collection of six complete talks by popular LDS speakers provides proven ways to overcome many of the common challenges in marriage. 

    LOVE ONE ANOTHER: A FOUR-TALK SET TO STRENGTHEN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS
    John L. Lund
    (2005)

    In this talk set, Dr. Lund shares his knowledge on how to improve ourselves and our relationships. He uses humor and examples to make many important points. He mostly teaches to focus on the things that are within our control. 

    THE SEVEN PRINCIPLES FOR MAKING MARRIAGE WORK
    John M. Gottman
    (2015)
    Audio book available from Overdrive

    John Gottman has been studying couples for years. This book shares his findings on what makes some marriages work, while others fail. Once you understand the seven principles, you can start using the strategies he shares to more effectively resolve any problem in the relationship.

  •  Utah History

    The state of Utah has a fascinating history as the crossroads of many types of people, ideas, and cultures as the nation expanded westward. I recently attended a conference of Utah history enthusiasts, nerds, and researchers sponsored by the Utah Division of State History which discussed this aspect of our past and how it influenced the culture of Utah today. At the conference, they gave out a list of top Utah history book recommendations, selected by Utah history archivists, librarians, historians, and scholars. Wouldn’t you know it- the Provo Library has most of these titles in our Special Collections area!

    Here are some of the books from their list that you’ll find at the library, which pertain specifically to early Utah history at the burgeoning of our state. These books don’t shy away from the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of pre-statehood and give a unique and rich accounting for the shenanigans, struggles, and surprises that came with the territory and travels in the region.  

    11.7 Desert Between the MountainsDESERT BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS: MORMONS, MINERS, PADRES, MOUNTAIN MEN, AND THE OPENING OF THE GREAT BASIN, 1772-1869
    by Michael Durham
    (1997)

    The Mormon pioneers didn’t have an isolated, ideal, conflict free life in the Salt Lake Valley. This book describes the interactions and confrontations between various groups, such as mountain men, railroad builders, Native Americans, and others who occupied the Great Basin region.    

     

    11.7 Jedediah SmithJEDEDIAH SMITH AND THE OPENING OF THE WEST
    by Dale Morgan
    (1953)

    Jedediah Smith worked as a trapper for both Ashley and Henry and the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, mapping the West as he went. His journey across the length of Utah, the width of Nevada, and blazing a trail westward through South Pass are only some of the adventures detailed within this biography.     

     

    11.7 Prostitution Polygamy and PowerPROSTITUTION, POLYGAMY, AND POWER
    by Jeff Nichols
    (2002)

    The railroads brought culture, ideas, and people West to Utah, and this included both the wholesome and the less savory. This book examines the part that prostitution and polygamy played in shaping early Utah’s economy, morality, and gender roles as it became more densely populated.    

     

    11.7 Great Basin KingdomGREAT BASIN KINGDOM: THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS, 1830-1900
    by Leonard Arrington
    (2005)

    Historian Leonard Arrington is considered to be one of the most prolific and influential writers on LDS and Western history. This classic offers exciting stories and insights into the economic development and religious movements that shaped the Utah and surrounding Great Basin area.   

     

    11.7 West from Fort BridgerWEST FROM FORT BRIDGER: THE PIONEERING OF THE IMMIGRANT TRAILS ACROSS UTAH, 1846-1850
    by Roderic Korns
    (1994)

    Originally published by the Utah State Historical Society in 1951, this book details the journey West through Utah, in excerpts from journals and reports by early explorers .     

     

    If you’ve got a Utah history project, special research interests, or a general curiosity about this or other Utah historical topics, come peruse our Special Collections volumes, many of which are rare, out of print, or hard to find titles. Visit us to learn more about the history of our great state, the people who founded it, and those that were here before Utah was Utah!

     
  • Farmers Market

    One of my favorite summer activities is taking a stroll through the Provo Farmers Market with my mom. I can seldom think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning! I love seeing all the locally made products and the local artists, and it’s a great place to get some locally grown produce or honey. There are even food vendors, making it a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch.  One of my favorite finds was a golden raspberry start that I haven’t killed yet, and I should get berries from it this year! From a fun date, to finding good produce for dinner, to selling your wares, the Farmers Market has something to offer for everyone. Check out these farmers market-related books you can find at the library: 

    7.30 The Harvest Eating CookbookTHE HARVEST EATING COOKBOOK: MORE THAN 200 RECIPES FOR COOKING WITH SEASONAL LOCAL INGREDIENTS
    by Keith Snow
    (2009)

    Harvest Eating is a lifestyle of using in season, locally grown and raised foods. The idea is to be more sustainable in our food choices and use whole, natural ingredients in cooking. This book contains over 200 recipes that are organized by season to help in buying fresh ingredients. 

     

    7.30 Complete Canning GuideCOMPLETE CANNING GUIDE: FREEZING, PRESERVING, DRYING
    by Better Homes and Gardens
    (2015)

    This is a comprehensive food preservation guide. It has instructions for many different food preservations techniques such as canning, drying, fermenting, and pickling. Recipes range from simple to inventive, and will give you all the knowledge you need to preserve your great farmers market finds. 

     

    7.30 Animal Vegetable MiracleANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE: A YEAR OF FOOD LIFE
    by Barbara Kingsolver
    (2007)

    When Barbara Kingsolver and her family move to a rural area in Appalachia, they decide to spend a year taking on a new challenge. They will live only on food they can produce themselves or buy from so close to home they would know the person who grew it. From prolific zucchini plants to interesting adventures with turkeys, this book is a great look at how one family succeeded at eating locally. 

     

    7.30 Selling your CraftsTHE COMPLETE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO SELLING YOUR CRAFTS
    by Chris Franchetti Michaels
    (2010)

    Online isn’t the only avenue to selling your crafts! This book teaches crafters not only how to find and use different selling outlets, but also how to manage your business, manage inventory, price your goods, and more. This should be a useful reference for selling your goods at a farmers market. 

     

    7.30 Growing Organic Vegetables and HerbsSTOREY'S GUIDE TO GROWING ORGANIC VEGETABLES & HERBS FOR MARKET: SITE & CROP SELECTION PLANTING, CARE & HARVESTING BUSINESS BASICS
    by Keith Stewart
    (2013)

    Have you ever thought about becoming a farmer? This book will help you get started with your own farm! It includes instructions for farm equipment, growing crops, harvesting, and marketing your produce. 

     

    7.30 Compact FarmsCOMPACT FARMS: 15 PROVEN PLANS FOR MARKET FARMS ON 5 ACRES OR LESS
    by Josh Volk
    (2017)

    Want a market farm but don’t have acres and acres of land? This book has 15 plans for farms on 5 acres of land or less! From the urban rooftop to rural locations, tour these profitable small-scale farms full of tips and resources for planning your own small farm.

     
  • Hamilton

    Confession: after listening to the Hamilton soundtrack for the first time, I sobbed in my car for ten minutes.

    I had gone back and forth, listening first to the audiobook of the Ron Chernow biography that inspired the play and then to the soundtrack until I caught up chronologically with my reading. By the time I had finished the biography, I was deeply invested in the stories and personalities of early American history, but when the final song shifted focus to Eliza … I was a goner. It was quiet, unexpected, meaningful, and so incredibly moving. I think it’s the best final number in musical theater history, and I will fight you on that.

    There was no going back for me. I was obsessed.

    If you care about musical theater at all, you already know that Hamilton is coming to town. The national tour arrives in Salt Lake City in just a few short weeks, and the digital fight to get tickets was a bloodbath. Whether you were one of the lucky few to get tickets or you’re now considering selling a kidney in order to afford one on craigslist*, the library provides plenty of ways to become the ultimate Hamilton fan.

    1) Read the biography

    3.1 Alexander HamiltonALEXANDER HAMILTON
    By Ron Chernow
    (2004)

    The book that started it all. Lin-Manuel Miranda read ALEXANDER HAMILTON while on vacation in 2008 and spent the next several years gradually crafting the music, lyrics, and book for his musical juggernaut. Even if you’re not a big history buff, rest assured that Pulitzer prize winner Chernow is a master biographer who makes history come alive in an accessible, compelling way. 

     

    2) Listen to the soundtrack

    3.1 SoundtrackHAMILTON: ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST RECORDING
    Music and Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
    (2015)

    If you haven’t listened to the soundtrack yet, stop reading and place a hold on it now.

    Seriously. Now.

     

    3) Learn the backstory

    3.1 Hamilton the RevolutionHAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION
    By Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
    (2016)

    Now that you’re knee-deep in the world of HAMILTON, it’s time to dive a little deeper. HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION, also affectionately known as the Hamiltome, gives an insider’s look into the making of the musical. Part of what makes HAMILTON so accessible to so many people is the way it blends hip hop with classic musical theater styling. It has so many subtle nods to rap and musical theater history, and the Hamiltome is the best way to catch them all. 

     

    4) Sing (and play) along

    3.1 MusicHAMILTON: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL
    Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda
    (2016)

    Even if you don’t have the velvety voice of Leslie Odom Jr. or the lyrical speed of Renée Elise Goldsberry, you can take your best shot at the music. We have both the standard piano/vocal music and an easy piano version for you to try. 

     

    5) Keep reading

    3.1 I Eliza HamiltonThe popularity of the musical has led to an explosion of Hamilton-related fiction in the past couple of years. For adults, there’s I, ELIZA HAMILTON, THE HAMILTON AFFAIR, and (later this year) MY DEAR HAMILTON, and teens can read ALEX AND ELIZA, HAMILTON AND PEGGY! A REVOLUTIONARY FRIENDSHIP, or ALEXANDER HAMILTON: THE GRAPHIC HISTORY OF AN AMERICAN FOUNDING FATHER.

    Everything you need if you're not quite ready to leave Hamilton behind.

     

    *The Provo City Library does not endorse selling human organs, even for Hamilton tickets.

  • 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)

     

     

     

     

  • 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. 

     

     

  • bring spring

     

    Spring is upon us, and I don't know about you, but I suddenly find myself invigorated and ready to get some things done! There are many things I have been neglecting over the winter, and now that the sun is shining and I don't have to wear my heavy winter coat outside, I think I'm just about ready to tackle them. Here's my list of biggest things to tackle over the next few weeks and the books I’m going to use to get them done.

    pruning plant by plantPRUNING PLANT BY PLANT
    by Andrew Mikolajski
    (2012)

    My yard feels like a wild forest sometimes, and it seems like the reaching branches sneak up on me each season. For many plants, the end of winter and beginning of spring is the right time to prune and get them ready for the new growing season. This book is a DK publication, which means it is especially gorgeous to flip through, and the many photographs are sure to perfectly illustrate just what you need to know to get your garden ready for the warm weather.

     

    joy of lessTHE JOY OF LESS: A MINIMALIST GUIDE TO DECLUTTER, ORGANIZE, AND SIMPLIFY
    by Francine Jay
    (2016)

    I don't know what it is about cold weather, but I can't help but accumulate growing piles of things that need to be organized.  Stray junk mail, art projects from my kids, and thank you letters seem to find their way into a box that I always intend to “go through later.” Somehow, the warm weather of spring always manages to inspire me to unpack my piles and get organized again, and this book has many helpful tips and hints to inspire anyone like me.

     

    lower your taxesEASY WAYS TO LOWER YOUR TAXES: SIMPLE STRATEGIES EVERY TAXPAYER SHOULD KNOW
    by Sandra Block  
    (2008)

    Tax season always seems to sneak up on me, and each year I promise myself that I'm going to pay more attention to saving receipts throughout the year and looking for ways to lower my taxes. This book is a great resource for just this endeavor!

     

     

     

    hands on homeTHE HANDS-ON HOME: A SEASONAL GUIDE TO COOKING, PRESERVING & NATURAL HOMEKEEPING
    by Erica Stauss
    (2015)

    Each spring I get so inspired by things growing everywhere that I recommit to eating produce in season. We have a few seasonal cookbooks that are committed to showing which recipes will make the best of each season, and I especially like this book as it includes information on preserving and homekeeping as well.

     

    complete home repairCOMPLETE HOME REPAIR: WITH 350 PROJECTS AND 2,300 PHOTOS
    Black & Decker Corporation
    (2008) 

    These Black & Decker books are amazing in their ability to help novices like me understand what to do. From patching part of my driveway concrete that chipped from the ice in the winter, to touching up the caulk in my bathroom, to improving the efficiency of my appliances, this book is a gold mine for homeowners who need to do small repairs or simply making things work better.

    We also have an online resource for home improvement just like this book except that it also includes videos and magazine articles, through our Home Improvement Reference Center database. 

    Looking for more springtime recommendations? You're in luck!

     

  • Every Friday, we'll bring you short lists of things our staff members are loving lately. Here's a list of Sharon's Five Favorite Clutter-Defeating Books. It's the new year, and you might not be able to take control of all aspects of your life, but these recommendations can certainly help you take control of your stuff!

     

    1The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
    by Marie Kondo
    (2014)

    A practical guide and international bestseller from a Japanese cleaning consultant. Marie’s new book, Spark Joy, will be released on January 5, 2016.  

     

    2ClutterFree Revolution: Simplify Your Stuff, Organize Your Life & Save the World
    by Evan Michael Zislis
    (2015)

    Zislis is a professional organizer who helps people simplify so they can focus on what matters most: “who we love, what we do, how, and why we live - because everything else is just stuff.”  

     

    3Organizing Solutions for People with ADHD: Tips and Tools to Help You Take Charge of Your Life and Get Organized 
    by Susan C Pinsky 
    (2012)

    Pinsky gives practical, ADHD-friendly solutions for a more organized home and life. 

      

    4Unstuff Your Life!: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good 
    by Andrew J. Mellen 
    (2010)

    Professional Organizer Mellen offers this comprehensive 400-page book to make your life more organized.  

     

    5Lose the Clutter, Lose the Weight: The Six-Week Total-Life Slim Down
    by Peter Walsh
    (2015)

    The author maintains that people cannot make their best and healthiest choices in a cluttered, disorganized home. He presents a 6-week plan to help readers declutter AND lose weight. Walsh appears regularly on The Rachael Ray Show and writes for O: The Oprah magazine. 

  • archaeology

    As a former archaeology student, I can’t even keep track of the amount of times someone tells me, “Oh, you studied archaeology? I always wanted to do that!” Archaeology is definitely fun and exciting, calling to mind ancient tombs, exotic locals, lost cities, and ruggedly handsome Indiana Jones-type explorers. While all of those things are certainly perks, one of the best things about the field of archaeology is that you can get lost in all those exciting adventures just by opening up a book!  

    At the library we have all sorts of books to suit your archaeological interests. Looking for books on ancient Rome? Head over to the 937s. Prefer Aztec, Maya, and Native American archaeology? Check out the 970s. We even have books on forensic anthropology (think Dr. Brennan from TV show Bones). We have titles about the ancient celts of Britain and Europe, the Inca, ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and more.  

    So, if you harbor a secret desire to be an archaeologist, check out these and more titles from our library! 

    7.28 The World Encyclopedia of ArchaeologyTHE WORLD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ARCHAEOLOGY
    By Aedeen Cremin
    (2007)

    This beautiful book is full of colorful photos from the most significant sites to the most important cultural treasures of the ancient world. This is a good place to start if you just want to learn about broad topics or just to pique your interest for more in depth study.  

     

     

    7.28 Nine Mile CanyonNINE MILE CANYON
    By Norma Dalton
    (2014)

    Guess what—Utah is chalk-full of interesting archaeology! Long before pioneers and Ute tribes lived in this area, the Fremont people lived, farmed, and thrived. One of the coolest things that the Fremont left behind is their amazing rock art! And there is no better place to find concentrated amounts of rock art in Utah than Nine Mile Canyon. This site is just northeast of Price, only about an hour and a half drive from Provo, and makes for a great day trip!  

     

    7.28 TimelineTIMELINE
    By Michael Crichton
    (1999)

    Like archaeology? Like medieval knights? Like sci-fi? Odds are, you will like TIMELINE.  A group of archaeologists get sent back in time to medieval France in order to save their professor. This is just the archaeological fiction book that you need for summer. Bonus—there is even a movie starring Paul Walker and Gerard Butler that is just perfect for a fun summer movie night with friends or family.  

     

     

    7.28 Breaking the Maya CodeBREAKING THE MAYA CODE: THE 200-YEAR QUEST TO DECIPHER THE HEIROGLYPHS OF THE ANCIENT MAYA
    Directed by Dave Lebrun
    (2008)

    This documentary is awarding-winning for a reason. It is that good. It could be Sigourney Weaver’s alluring narration, or perhaps the hypnotic visuals. Or maybe it’s the rivalries and colliding personalities involved in unlocking the secrets of Mayan hieroglyphs. Whatever the reason, this documentary is a fascinating look into the history of Maya studies, Mayan writing, and Mayan calendars.

     

    7.28 ArchaeologyARCHAEOLOGY MAGAZINE
    By Archaeological Institute of America

    Did you know that the library has magazines that you can check out? Among the many amazing periodicals is this gem, with little tidbits and stories regarding current archaeological finds around the globe.

     

     

     

  • rome

    With the coming of that most famous and famously auspicious of days, thanks to Shakespeare, here are some excellent books about or set in ancient Rome. Fiction and nonfiction both.

    spqrS.P.Q.R.: A HISTORY OF ANCIENT ROME
    by Mary Beard
    (2015)

    Mary Beard, a Cambridge don, presents a fresh and enlightening history of Rome's first thousand years. The author brilliantly combines scholarly insight with engaging storytelling. An excellent book!

     

     

    rubiconRUBICON: THE LAST YEARS OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC 
    by Tom Holland
    (2003)

    A fascinating account of the events of the first century, when the Republic decayed, ushering in the imperial era. Emphasis is placed on the roles and influences of key historical figures, such as Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Brutus and Octavian.

     

    imperiumIMPERIUM: A NOVEL OF ANCIENT ROME 
    by Robert Harris
    (2006)

    A tale of ambition, this story traces the life of famous orator Cicero, from his years as a rising lawyer to his entrance into the political arena, facing off against the leading men of the day. This is the first of a trilogy, continued in Conspirata and concluding with Dictator.

     

    first in romeTHE FIRST MAN IN ROME
    by Colleen McCullough
    (1990)

    The first in a series, this is the story of men ambitiously striving for glory and power in the Roman arenas of politics and war. This is for anyone who likes their historical fiction truly epic and rich in historical details.

  • kenya

    Do you have an upcoming trip? Whether it’s for business or pleasure, there’s a sure fire way to increase the awesomeness of your travel experience: Check out a book. 

    But not just any book. Check out a book that was written about the place you’re going. Whether you’re headed to Rome, Hong Kong, or St. George, we have a book that will help you connect with that place, its culture and its history. 

    A couple years ago I spent a few months at a girls school in Kenya. I had a wonderfully immersive experience made only better by the fact that while I was there I was pretty dedicated to reading literature written by people who actually lived, or had lived, in Kenya. Doing this helped broaden my perspective of this young, postcolonial country that I was trying to understand. Here are 5 of my favorite Kenyan books: 

    7.21 Out of AfricaOUT OF AFRICA
    By Isak Dinesen
    (1937)

    This is one of the most familiar Kenyan literature titles thanks to the movie featuring Meryl Streep. Karen Blixen (pen name, Isak Dinesen) writes her biographical memoir of life on a Kenyan coffee farm when Kenya was still a British colony. She was one of many Danes who migrated to Kenya, where the Danish presence remains strong to this day. Her home has been converted into a historical memorial and museum, and while the area that was once her plantation has become part of Nairobi, the locals still refer to the entire area as “Karen.” Blixen’s views are decidedly white-washed, but she still gives a lovely and honest account of what it was like for an educated, single (married but separated) white woman to take up living in a completely foreign environment. 

    7.21 West with the NightWEST WITH THE NIGHT
    By Beryl Markham
    (1942) 

    This is another Kenyan colonial memoir. I picked this up because I was told by a fellow literature BA that it had some of the most beautiful prose she’d ever read. She wasn’t wrong. Both Markham and Dinesen paint a beautiful picture of the fantastic Kenyan landscape that is so foreign to many of us living in the US. This is also another great feminist tale as Markham shares her experiences as a single, woman pilot in the African bush. One of her most intense scenes involves an elephant hunt with a murderous bull elephant. While reading this, the locals had already made sure I was scared to death of these big, beautiful creatures, but this scene solidified that fear. Interestingly enough, if you read Out of Africa and wonder where Blixen’s husband is, you can find him hanging out with Markham in this tale, proving how close knit the white settlers were at this time. 

    7.21 UnbowedUNBOWED
    By Wangari Maathai
    (2006) 

    There’s no way my reading list would be complete without this amazing autobiography by Wangari Maathai, a Nobel Prize winner for her work with the Green Belt Movement. She was the personal hero of many of the girls on campus, and her views gave me important insight into both the environmental and political crises facing the country. Unbowed is the perfect title for this book about a woman who never stepped back from a fight if she knew the cause would help her country.  

    Unfortunately, the Provo library doesn’t own the following two books, but they are still worth looking up. 

     

    7.21 A Grain of WheatA GRAIN OF WHEAT
    By Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʼo
    (1967) 

    Even though the Provo library doesn’t currently own any of the fictional works of renowned Kenyan writer, Ngũgĩ wa Thiongʼo, we do have his autobiography, BIRTH OF A DREAM WEAVER: A WRITER'S AWAKENING. A Grain of Wheat is worth a read if you’re at all interested in the Kenyan independence movement of the 50s. It’s an emotion-driven tale of the controversy that overshadowed the personal lives of everyone leading up to Uhuru. For me, this was an important glimpse into the feelings of someone who actually lived through these turbulent times and the resulting aftermath. 

     

    7.21 The River and the SourceTHE RIVER AND THE SOURCE
    By Margaret A. Ogola
    (1995)

    I read this book in tandem with the girls at the school where I was living. This amazing tale follows a family through 4 generations, spanning from tribal life in the bush, through university degrees and life in the city. This tale covers love, loss, disease, and political instability as the family tries to survive and stay true to their roots. Akoko, the first protagonist, is heralded throughout as the matriarch of the family, the source of the river.

     

     

  • k pop books

    In a previous Friday Faves, I listed my favorite K-pop CDs, but this time I want to highlight some of the books that I picked up simply because of my love for K-pop and Korean culture. I’m not saying these are the best out there (there’s a LOT I haven’t read yet), but these are ones that I enjoyed simply because… well… Korea! If you’ve got some favorite books that are about Korea or take place there, leave a comment so that I know what to read next! 

    8.4 The Birth of Korean CoolTHE BIRTH OF KOREAN COOL
    By Euny Hong
    (2014)

    Going from a third-world to first-world country in a matter of a few short decades is no simple task, but South Korea managed it, and is now becoming one of the world’s top exporters of pop culture. Euny Hong describes her experience of moving to Korea when she was twelve in the 1980s and how she’s seen the country go from very un-cool, to ultra-cool in that time. This was a fascinating read to see how the country essentially rebranded itself. 

     

     

    8.4 K Pop NowK-POP NOW!
    By Mark James Russell
    (2014)

    There are a wide variety of factors that have contributed to the development and growing popularity of K-pop. Russell provides a broad overview that includes historical and cultural influences, as well as describing what makes the industry unique and different from Western music. From there, Russell provides overviews of some of the current hottest artists in boy groups, girl groups, and solo acts, then briefly ventures onto the future of k-pop and what to expect when traveling to South Korea. 

    8.4 Bride of the Water GodBRIDE OF THE WATER GOD
    by Mi-Kyung Yun
    (2007)

    In this manhwa, Soah’s village is suffering from a long drought. To appease Habaek, the water god, they must sacrifice a girl to be his bride. When Soah is chosen, she understands she will likely die. However, there is something unique about her, and Habaek decides to rescue her. As she adjusts to live in Habaek’s kingdom, she discovers that there are a lot of mysterious things going on, including some that surround her new husband. This is a beautifully drawn manhwa that will be made into a K-drama later this year. 

     

    8.4 RE JaneRE JANE
    By Patricia Park
    (2015)

    In this modern retelling of Jane Eyre, Jane Re is a half-Korean, half-American orphan who grew up in New York. She doesn’t quite fit in and becomes desperate to get away from her Uncle’s strict rules. Jane finds a job working as an au pair for two Brooklyn academics and their daughter, which presents its own unique problems and opportunities. When her grandfather passes away, a quick trip to Seoul for the funeral turns into an extended stay as she reconnects with family and discovers a modern Korea, completely different from the one her uncle left decades earlier.  

     

    8.4 Stars of K Pop GirlsSTARS OF K-POP: GIRLS
    By StarNews
    (2014)

    Through photographs, interviews, and statistics, this book highlights some of the biggest girl groups in the k-pop industry. Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, Kara, f(x), Secret, Sistar, 4minute, T-ara, Miss A, Brown Eyed Girls, Afterschool, Girl’s Day, A Pink, Rainbow, and Crayon Pop are all highlighted with individual member information and tons of pictures. This book is a visual feast for the k-pop fan.

     

     

    8.4 Stars of K Pop BoysSTARS OF K-POP: BOYS
    By StarNews
    (2014)

    Very similar to its above counterpart, this edition of STARS OF K-POP focuses on male idols and groups including Psy, TVXQ, Big Bang, Super Junior, Beast, SHINee, Infinite, 2PM, 2AM, CNBLUE, ZE:A, F.T. Island, MBLAQ, EXO, and Supernova.

     

     

  • 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. 

     

     

     

  • dk books

    Can you have a favorite publisher? I certainly do! DK (Dorling Kindersley) is a British publishing company that specializes in illustrated reference books for adults, teens, and children. They produce (in my humble opinion) the best nonfiction books of any other publisher.

    I’ve loved flipping through DK books since I was a little girl. I’d check the library Juvenile nonfiction shelves for a title that piqued my interest. Then after reading the interesting facts and looking at the awesome pictures, I’d turn to the end pages. On the inside front and back cover (of the Eyewitness books specifically) the end pages show the covers of even more DK books. I couldn’t wait to get more from the library!

    The Provo City Library has 1,499 books published by DK! DK has a book on nearly every nonfiction subject you could want from travel, cooking, arts and crafts to history, science, gardening and more. Here are just five that I think are absolutely fabulous.

    6.23.17.PredatorsPREDATOR 
    By David Burnie
    (2011)

    This is one of those awesome Eyewitness books! This book talks about the predatory behavior of hundreds of animals and how that behavior has changed over time. Using short blocks of text and plenty of pictures you learn the ways these animals stalk, lure, trap, and store their prey as well as how these animals fit into the food chain. As a bonus, this book has a clip art CD-ROM filled with many of the photographs used in this book.

     

    6.23.17.Super Cool TechSUPER COOL TECH: TECHNOLOGY, INVENTION, INNOVATION 
    By Ian R. Graham
    (2016)

    This book is just what it says it is, all about super cool technology! I had so much fun flipping through this book and telling my co-worker all about the interesting details found in the book. From 3-D printers, and RFID tags in football helmets to an Icehotel in Sweden and self-healing concrete this book is fascinating!

    6.23.17.How To CookHOW TO COOK: DELICIOUS DISHES PERFECT FOR TEEN COOKS 
    By Maggie Mayhew
    (2011)

    While I am far past my teen years, this book is awesome! It begins with basic information on healthy eating, food safety and hygiene, and discusses recipe abbreviations and how to weigh your ingredients. Then each recipe takes you step by step on how to make each delicious dish. The recipes have pictures and illustrations to help the reader visualize the process. From soup to dessert, this book is a winner. I’m excited to try out several of the recipes and techniques featured in this book!

    6.23.17.Paper CraftPAPER CRAFT
    By Christy Lusiak, editor
    (2015)

    Feeling crafty? In its brightly colored pages, this book has 50 projects that transform your favorite paper into gorgeous decorations, cards, flowers and more. No matter your skill level, there is a project perfect for you. With step by step photographic instructions, anyone can make something beautiful using this book.

     

    6.23.17.Big HistoryBIG HISTORY 
    By David Christian
    (2016)

    Bill Gates is quoted on the cover of this book saying, “BIG HISTORY provides a framework for understanding literally all of history, ever…” That’s a pretty big statement! However, after looking through this massive (439 pages to be exact) book, he’s not wrong. This book follows earth’s history from the creation to the present day discussing geology, biology, physics, anthropology, sociology and more to tell the story of human existence. Covering 13.8 billion years of history is no small feat, but this book has done just that in a visually pleasing and interesting way.

    It was so hard for me to choose just five, so be sure to keep an eye out for other great DK books next time you’re in the library.

  • WWII nonfiction

    World War II and the Nazi Regime are endlessly fascinating subjects for historians and the public alike. Thousands of books have been written about the most violent and disturbing years of the 20th century. As time goes on, more discoveries are made in the form of newly uncovered letters, diaries, and declassified government documents. In addition, the passage of time gives us new insights and a deeper understanding of how these events have impacted our world.

    Here are 5 excellent books about World War II written in the last 8 years. 

    12.29.2017 Higher CallA HIGHER CALL: AN INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY OF COMBAT AND CHIVALRY IN THE WAR-TORN SKIES OF WORLD WAR II
    By Adam Makos
    (2012)

    In December 1943, American bomber pilot Charlie Brown and German ace flyer Franz Stigler met in the skies over Germany. The bomber, nearly torn to shreds and with half its crew dead, was miraculously still flying, but a few shots from the Messerschmitt would end all that. In an extraordinary gesture, Stigler, risking a firing squad if his superiors found out, let the bomber escape and even escorted it to safe airspace. Forty years later, the two men would seek each other out and their stories would finally be told. 

     

    12.29.2017 Hitlers Holy RelicsHITLER’S HOLY RELICS: A TRUE STORY OF NAZI PLUNDER AND THE RACE TO RECOVER THE CROWN JEWELS OF THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE
    By Sidney Kirkpatrick
    (2010)

    The Nazis plundered many masterpieces of art and history during WWII, but a secret bunker held the ones that Hitler valued most: the Spear of Destiny and the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. World rulers throughout history had been obsessed with these ancient artifacts, but at the end of the War they disappeared. Revealing the story of the lost jewels for the first time, Kirkpatrick takes readers deep into the twisted Nazi ideology of medieval mysticism and world domination. 

     

    12.29.2017 Iron WindAN IRON WIND: EUROPE UNDER HITLER
    By Peter Fritzsche
    (2016)

    There has been much written about the Nazi political and military leadership, but what about ordinary German citizens? What did they think of the Nazi party, and how did they deal with the chaotic and violent actions taking place in their country? Using diaries, letters, and more, Fritzsche creates a wider and more nuanced understanding of the effects of the War on German civilians. 

     

    12.29.2017 GI BridesGI BRIDES: THE WARTIME GIRLS WHO CROSSED THE ATLANTIC FOR LOVE
    By Duncan Barrett
    (2014)

    Over 70,000 British women became GI brides, marrying American servicemen who were stationed in Britain during WWII. This is the true story of 4 of these women, who gave up everything for love and faced the challenge of making a new home in America with a husband they sometimes barely knew. 

     

    12.29.2017 BonhoefferBONHOEFFER: PASTOR, MARTYR, PROPHET, SPY
    By Eric Metaxas
    (2010)

    As Nazism spread across Germany, there were a few who were bold enough to stand up to the Regime and even attempt to sabotage it. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Now considered one of the greatest theologians of modern history, Bonhoeffer was a Christian pastor who fought against the Nazi ideology with words and actions. Using newly discovered documents, Metaxas reveals Dietrich’s extraordinary life and his courageous death.

     
  • informational dvds family 1

    It’s a new year and a great time to learn something new! Did you know that we have informational DVDs just for kids? Here are a few titles just added to the Children’s collection that your whole family might enjoy:

    2.2 Shark LadySHARK LADY: THE TRUE STORY OF HOW EUGENIE CLARK BECAME THE OCEAN’S MOST FEARLESS SCIENTIST
    (2017)

    Jess Keating’s picture book comes to life in this video about the real life adventures of Dr. Keating, who studied sharks and other sea life. DVD includes read along subtitles.  

     

    2.2 Drawing with MarkDRAWING WITH MARK
    (2014)

    In this series of videos, former Disney illustrator Mark Marderosian takes kids on adventures, showing them how to draw the things they see. Mark and the gang visit museums, zoos, and more. Check out all six DVDs in the series.  

     

    2.2 Good Night YogaGOOD NIGHT YOGA: A POSE-BY-POSE BEDTIME STORY
    (2017)

    This film adaptation of Mariam Gate’s picture book demonstrates yoga poses to help children calm down in preparation for bedtime. You can also try GOOD MORNING YOGA to start the day.  

     

    2.2 Born in ChinaDISNEYNATURE: BORN IN CHINA
    (2017)

    Disney’s annual Earth Day film celebration follows the lives of a panda, a golden monkey, and a snow leopard in China.  

     

    2.2 Six DotsSIX DOTS: A STORY OF YOUNG LOUIS BRAILLE
    (2017)

    This animation of Jennifer Bryant’s book shows the determination of a blind boy who wanted to read so badly that he invented his own alphabet.

     
  • 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.

     
  •  magic books 1

    The arrival of autumn brings the changing of the leaves, the smell of pumpkin spice, and perhaps a little magic on the crisp evening air. Fall was once a time for traveling magicians to breeze through town, mystifying and delighting the carnival-going masses. We may be short on traveling magicians, but the library has some great books that can bring the world of legerdemain to you. Snuggle up with a blanket, a hot beverage, and a book about magic!  

    10.6 Carter Beats the DevilCARTER BEATS THE DEVIL
    By Glenn David Gold
    (2002)

    This is one of my very favorite books of all time. In 1920, Charles Carter, known as Carter the Great, who became a master illusionist out of loneliness and desperation, creates the most outrageous stunt of all, involving President Harding--one that could cause his downfall. Somewhere in between historical fiction and biography, Carter’s tale of his rise and fall in the entertainment world of the roaring 20s is pure gold.  



    10.6 The IllusionistsTHE ILLUSIONISTS
    Rosie Thomas
    (2014) 

    An artist, his model, and two magicians are thrown together by a twist of fate, their lives are inextricably linked: the fortune of one depends on the fortune of the other. And as Eliza gets sucked into the seductive and dangerous world her strange companions inhabit, she risks not only her heart, but also her life. 

     

     

    10.6 Jonathan Strange Mr. NorrellJONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL
    By Susanna Clarke
    (2004) 

    In nineteenth-century England, all is going well for rich, reclusive Mr. Norrell, who has regained some of the power of England's magicians from the past, until a rival magician, Jonathan Strange, appears and becomes Mr. Norrell's pupil.

     

     

     

    10.6 The PrestigeTHE PRESTIGE
    By Christopher Priest
    (1995) 

    A 19th century feud between two English stage magicians involves electricity, duplicity, obsession, and illusion both on and off the stage. Fans of Christopher Nolan’s 2007 film of the same name may be surprised at the differences between book and movie, but will delight in the same sinister tone. 

     

     

     

    10.6 The Secret Life of HoudiniTHE SECRET LIFE OF HOUDINI: THE MAKING OF AMERICA’S FIRST SUPERHERO
    By William Kalush
    2006 

    Confession—when I was in high school, I went through a stage magician phase where I could not get enough magic in my life. I devoured books and movies about stage magic and its history. This book is to blame. When I read this in high school, I was blown away at how interesting Harry Houdini is. Included in this biography are Houdini's secret work as a spy for the United States and England, his post-war efforts to expose the fraudulent activities of spiritualist mediums, and the plot organized by Arthur Conan Doyle to have him murdered.

     

  • blogfood

    It's no secret that I love fall!  This is my favorite season as the leaves start to turn, the weather starts to get chilly, and I can break out my collection of scarves and gloves that have been neglected for too long.  Looking at some of the season's new cookbooks is equally enjoyable for me – the lovely roasts and stews on the covers, treat ideas to share on special occasions, and plenty of ideas to create new memories with the people you love.  Here are a few recently purchased cookbooks to get your autumn groove on:

    Purely PumpkinPURELY PUMPKIN: MORE THAN 100 WHOLESOME RECIPES TO SHARE, SAVOR, AND WARM YOUR KITCHEN
    by Allison Day
    (2016)

    This book definitely ushers in an excitement for all-things pumpkin!  In Purely Pumpkin, blogger Allison Day celebrates the most famous vegetable of the season with savory and sweet recipes that take advantage of pumpkin’s many incarnations: pumpkin flesh, puree, seeds, spice, even pumpkin seed oil.  Simply flipping through this book will warm your chilly fingers and have you wondering if the scent of cinnamon is in the air.

    Hungry Fans Game Day CookbookTHE HUNGRY FAN'S GAME DAY COOKBOOK: 165 RECIPES FOR EATING, DRINKING, & WATCHING SPORTS
    by Daina Falk
    (2016)

    I don’t think we can talk about fall cookbooks without mentioning game-day treats and tailgating with friends.  This book celebrates the art of feeding hungry sports fans from Wisconsin-style Fried Cheese Curds (go Packers!) to Chipotle Chicken Potato Skins.  Daughter of legendary sports agent David Falk, Daina Falk presents more than 100 recipes as well as tips on planning menus, packing, along with fun facts and team trivia.

    Caramel Caramel and More CaramelCARAMEL, CARAMEL & MORE CARAMEL!: SWEET AND SAVORY RECIPES FOR CREATIVE CARAMEL CUISINE
    by Michal Moses and Ivana Nitzan
    (2016)

    You may have been expecting the caramel-covered apples on the cover, but did you see the Salmon with Soy Caramel Sauce coming?  This book covers it all, with fifty recipes covering caramel candies, bars, cakes, desserts, and even savory dishes.  If you’ve ever been intimidated by creating your own caramel this book will walk you through the basics, and for more experienced caramel-makers, there are some truly inventive recipes that will make your mouth water.

    Best Cobblers and Crisps EverBEST COBBLERS AND CRISPS EVER: NO-FAIL RECIPES FOR RUSTIC FRUIT DESSERTS
    by Monica Sweeney
    (2016)

    Take full advantage of all of those end-of-summer fruits and orchard offerings with this delicious book on cobblers and crisps.  It even boasts a few pumpkin creations and sauce recipes that will have you glazing and whipping with the best of them.  If the changing leaves outside have you craving a pie in the oven to fill your home with the smell of nutmeg and ginger, you can spend a fraction of the time instead and have a lovely crispy-topped cobbler to show for it!

    Modern PotluckMODERN POTLUCK: BEAUTIFUL FOOD TO SHARE
    by Kristin Donnelly
    (2016)

    Let’s face it – this is the season of potlucks.  From holiday parties to office celebrations to elaborate weekend family dinners, we’re cooking for crowds these days.  One thing that I love about this book is that it will help you to accommodate gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets that inevitably come up amongst large groups.  This is also a gorgeous, pleasing book to flip through, and will reward you with extras like tips on event planning and packing food for travel.  These extras are a real bonus, as it’s no fun to spend hours to prepare for guests only to mildly hate them when they finally arrive!  Here you’ll find help to not only cook for the season, but to enjoy those moments with your loved ones more.

  • pete seeger

    For any 10-year-olds with an interest in the folk music of the 1960s, this blog post is for you!***crickets***Okay, okay. I know how it sounds, but one of the fascinating things about biographies written for children is that many are written about people that most children aren’t initially interested in. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be books about Einstein, Disney, and Muhammad Ali. But some of the real gems of our biography collection are about people that may not have obvious “kid-appeal” in 2017.Take Pete Seeger. I became a fan of his music as a sophomore in college when I became a little more politically active, a little more frustrated at “modern life,” and a little more convinced that the 1960s was the time to live. Ask me as a ten-year-old who Pete Seeger was, though, and I would have had no answer. I think the same is probably true of most kids.Still, for whatever reason there have been four well-written, fairly acclaimed children’s biographies about Pete Seeger published in the last year. Perhaps it is because he passed away in 2014 and publishers are eager to capitalize on a chance to make new biographies. Or perhaps it’s just because the stars aligned. We may never know. But if you’re interested in teaching your child the value of folk music and peaceful political activism – which might not be such a bad thing – here are all the Pete Seeger books our children’s department has to offer:

    10.13 Who Was Pete SeegerWHO WAS PETE SEEGER? 
    By Noel MacCarry
    (2017)

    The newest installment in a series of books that has written a biography for everyone. This book provides a good amount of detail and presents a charming caricature of the artist.

     

     

     

    10.13 Let Your Voice Be HeardLET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PETE SEEGER 
    By Anita Silvey
    (2016)

    This book provides a lot of good information about the life of Pete Seeger and the causes that were important to him – enough for kids to go out and explore more on their own.

     

     

    10.13 ListenLISTEN: HOW PETE SEEGER GOT AMERICA SINGING 
    By Leda Schubert
    Illustrated by Raul Colon
    (2017)

    This is my favorite of the bunch—mostly because I like picture book biographies. But also because it shows the influence Pete Seeger had in unexpected ways. Plus, it includes the titles of all his songs, which is fun for fans.

     

    10.13 Stand Up and SingSTAND UP AND SING!: PETE SEEGER, FOLK MUSIC, AND THE PATH TO JUSTICE 
    By Susanna Reich
    Illustrated by Adam Gustavson
    (2017)

    This one is a little text heavy for a picture book biography, but it does maybe the best job of explaining the oppression that Pete Seeger sought to overcome by making a statement with his music. 

    10.13 AbiyoyoBONUS: ABIYOYO 
    By Pete Seeger
    Illustrated by Michael Hays
    (1986)

    This picture book version of Seeger’s own ballad was a Reading Rainbow pick back in the day and is an adaptation of a South African folktale. With a note from Seeger in the front of the book, this is perhaps the best way to introduce young music fans to Pete Seeger.

     

  • nonfiction favorites

    Several years ago, I joined a book club. A friend invited me because I had told her that I wanted to read more books, but life had gotten in the way. It seemed that having a deadline and a group of people to hold me accountable was just what I needed. 

    The group read almost exclusively fiction novels. And for my first few choices, I had us read fiction too until someone outside our book club recommended a nonfiction book to me that sounded really interesting, which I devoured. The Authors had taken mountains of research and turned it into a nicely condensed book that kept me turning pages into the wee hours of the night. The book was filled with information that changed the way I thought about everyday life—my mind was blown, and I loved it.

    On my next turn, I had the book club read nonfiction. Since then I have chosen non-fiction every time, which has elicited a few eye rolls. The fact that I enjoy non-fiction has become characteristic of my personality.

    There are non-fiction authors who can keep the reader on their toes the same way intense fiction can. It is good to stretch outside your comfort zone now and then. Find a topic you love and read a nonfiction book about it. You will never turn back.

    Here are a few of my favorite recommendations to help you get started:

    NutureShockNURTURESHOCK: NEW THINKING ABOUT CHILDREN
    By Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
    (2009)

    Each chapter devotes itself to interesting child development ideas that are different than you would expect because Bronson and Merryman claim that many common strategies for nurturing children are backfiring. I have changed the way I speak to my children based on these ideas.

     

     

     

    female brainTHE FEMALE BRAIN
    By Louann Brizendine
    (2006)

    This book is good for women as well as the men who spend a lot of time with them. So many sections left me in awe of how accurate it described the way I think and experience life.

     

     

     

    FreakonomicsFREAKONOMICS: A ROGUE ECONOMIST EXPLORES THE HIDDEN SIDE OF EVERYTHING
    By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    (2006)

    This book is a far cry from a boring economics lesson: My mind was blown. This book uncovers the real human desires that drive economics. The authors shared research and conclusions I would have never expected, and I was especially interested in the section on what parents choose to name their children.

     

    habitTHE POWER OF HABIT: WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO IN LIFE AND BUSINESS
    By Charles Duhigg
    (2012)

    You probably already know that habits are important, but Duhigg shows that habits are even more important in our lives than we previously thought. He explains why we are compelled to continue a habit that we want to get rid of and how to attempt to rethink why we do what we do.

     

     

     

    quietQUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN’T STOP TALKING
    Susan Cain
    (2012)

    Introversion can be a confusing subject. As an introvert, this book helped me understand myself as well as the positive side of being an introvert. It’s good to know that introverts can be leaders too. It is more about where you get your energy from, quiet introspection or being with other people. Group brainstorming and group projects are not always as productive as society makes them out to be. I felt validated for being myself.