The Library is now open the following hours Monday-Friday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 am - 10:00 am for at-risk/seniors. Curbside is still available.
The Library is now open the following hours Monday-Friday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am - 6:00 pm. Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 am - 10:00 am for at-risk/seniors. Curbside is still available.
 

 

Nonfiction

  • Sports Success Biographies 01

  • Downton Abbey

    Hello, fellow Downton Abbey fans! If you’re anything like me, you’re awaiting the Downton Abbey movie with a mixture of hope and trepedation. I’m excited to return to my favorite period drama and become reaquainted with beloved characters, both above and below stairs.

    At the same time, I’m worried. They’d wrapped up the final season so happily for everyone, hadn’t they? A sucker for a happy ending, I was pleased with where characters ended up in the final season, and I’m just not sure I can take it if Anna and Bates are subjected to new trauma. JUST LET THOSE POOR PEOPLE LIVE IN PEACE, Julian Fellowes!

    Nevertheless, I’ll be there on opening night.

    In the meantime, here are a few library materials to get you back into that Downton frame of mind. 

    9.13 Lady AlminaLADY ALMINA AND THE REAL DOWNTON ABBEY: THE LOST LEGACY OF HIGHCLERE CASTLE
    By Fiona, Countess of Carnarvon
    (2011)

    Downton Abbey, is, alas, a fictional place, but the entirety of the series was filmed at Highclere Castle, a country house in Hampshire England with history going back to the 9th century (though the current building was build primarily in the 1600s and 1700s). This book, written by the current Countess of Carnarvon who lives in the castle today, tells the story of one of Highclere’s most famous residents, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.

     

    9.13 Below StairsBELOW STAIRS: THE CLASSIC KITCHEN MAID’S MEMOIR THAT INSPIRED UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS AND DOWNTON ABBEY
    By Margaret Powell
    (2012)

    If you were always more interested in the exploits of Daisy and Mrs. Patmore than in the goings-on of the Crawleys, this is the book for you. Margaret Powell, who lived from 1908 to 1984, became a bestselling writer with this memoir about her experiences as a maid and later a cook in aristocratic houses in the 1920s and 1930s. As the title suggests, her book was eventually a source of inspiration for Downton Abbey.

     

    9.13 Downton Abbey MusicDOWNTON ABBEY: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION: FEATURING THE MUSICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF ALL SIX SEASONS
    By John Lunn
    (2016)

    It doesn’t take much to conjure up the notes of Downton Abbey’s opening theme in my mind. This CD collection brings together favorite musical pieces from throughout the show’s run. And if you’re a pianist, why not check out the sheet music too?

     

    9.13 Edwardian CookingEDWARDIAN COOKING: 80 RECIPES INSPIRED BY DOWNTON ABBEY’S ELEGANT MEALS
    By Larry Edwards
    (2012)

    If you’re feeling especially motivated, you can try your hand at one of the delicious recipes in this historically-inspired cookbook. It blessedly stays away from away from aspics (a.k.a meat jello) and the like, instead favoring classics like pork tenderloin with sweetened cinnamon apples and any number of tea sandwiches and biscuits. 

     

    9.13 Downton Abbey A CelebrationDOWNTON ABBEY: A CELEBRATION
    By Jessica Fellowes
    (2015)

    Written by Jessica Fellowes, niece of show creator Julian Fellowes, this book goes behind the scenes on the Downton set, with gorgeous location shots of Highclere Castle and stills from all six seasons of the classic period drama. It's a perfect refresher course if you’re feeling a little foggy on the timeline of the series. 

     
  • indian cookery

    I think my sudden interest in Indian cooking was triggered by reading A LONG WAY HOME by Saroo Brierley (made into the movie LION in 2016). At age five he became separated from his brother at a train station in India and ended up in Calcutta. Too young to even accurately remember the name of his home village, he was taken to an orphanage and adopted by a family in Australia. In his memoir he lovingly describes memories of the food his mother prepared on an iron griddle over the fire. Food was scarce and the family was always hungry, making the tempting smells of the food even more appetizing. Favorites were yellow lentil dal, and deep fried dough made from bhuja (chickpea flour and spices). Goat curry was a rare treat whose garlicky flavor “exploded” in his mouth.

    I can find Indian recipes online and it can be quick, but there is nothing like browsing a cookbook with beautiful illustrations and finding something new on every page.  You may not know when you start looking for a goat curry recipe that cauliflower with ginger and cumin would satisfy your craving for Indian food without having to go to the store to buy goat gizzards! But serendipitously the cookbook opens to an appetizing photo of the spicy cauliflower.

    Whether you are an omnivore, a vegan, or a vegetarian, Indian food has something delicious for you. 

    7.25 Vegan Richas Indian KitchenVEGAN RICHA’S INDIAN KITCHEN: TRADITIONAL AND CREATIVE RECIPES FOR THE HOME COOK
    Richa Hingle
    2015 

     

     

     

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

     

     

    7.25 The Three Sisters Quick and Easy Indian CookingTHE THREE SISTERS QUICK AND EASY INDIAN COOKBOOK
    Serena, Alexa, and Priya Kaul
    (2012) 

     

     

    7.25 My Indian KitchenMY INDIAN KITCHEN: PREPARING DELICIOUS INDIAN MEALS WITHOUT FEAR OR FUSS
    Hari Nayak
    (2011) 

     

     

     

    7.25 Simple Indian CookerySIMPLE INDIAN COOKERY: STEP BY STEP TO EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE INDIAN RECIPES
    Madhur Jaffrey
    (2006) 

     

     

     

    Two memoirs by famous Indian cooks give an intimate look into food and family in India.

    7.25 Love Loss and What We AteLOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT WE ATE
    Padma Lakshmi
    (2016)

    Padma Lakshmi is the author of several recipe books and producer of Top Chef, a reality TV show in which contestants compete in culinary challenges. Along with details of her marriage to Salman Rushdie, Lakshmi recounts how her love for food was born in India. 

     

     

     

    7.25 Climbing the Mango TreesCLIMBING THE MANGO TREES: A MEMOIR OF A CHILDHOOD IN INDIA
    Madhur Jaffrey
    (2006) 

    Madhur Jaffrey has written more than a dozen Indian cookbooks, the first of which was published in 1973 and introduced America to Indian cooking. 

     

     

     

  •  informational comics

    There are some kids who just don’t like to read.  Maybe they are a slow reader or have a learning disability.  Maybe they just can’t be bothered to sit down long enough to read a whole book.  When a kid like that gets assigned to do a report for school, it can cause major trauma and drama for both the child and parent.  One solution is to try an informational comic book. Here at the Provo Library we have around 250 informational comic books for kids on a wide variety of topics, from science to history, including 80 biographies (think president or explorer reports).  The informational comics have a lot of great…well… information, and it’s in a form that is palatable for reluctant and comic-book-only readers.  Informational comic books are so enticing, why not pick out an interesting one and just set it on the coffee table in the living room. Then watch and see how long it takes before your child picks it up and starts reading! 

    Here are some great informational comics.     

    3.28 Older than DirtOLDER THAN DIRT: A WILD BUT TRUE HISTORY OF EARTH
    By Don Brown and Mike Perfit
    (2017)

    A precocious and often sarcastic groundhog and his friend, an earthworm, take the reader on a tour of the history of the Earth, from the Big Bang to its projected demise.  

     

    3.28 ShackletonSHACKLETON: THE VOYAGE OF THE JAMES CAIRD
    By Gavin McCumiskey and David Butler
    (2016)

    The harrowing adventure of the passengers of Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition comes to life with dramatic dialog and full color illustrations. 

     

    3.28 BaggywrinklesBAGGYWRINKLES: A LUBBER’S GUIDE TO LIFE AT SEA
    By Lucy Bellwood
    (2016)

    Don’t know your port from your bow? This humorous guide introduces the reader to a boatload of nautical terminology, history, and lore.

     
  • Sleep

    Riddle: What question can you never say yes to?

    Answer: Are you asleep?

    Unhappily, for some of us we can answer the question and the answer is often “NO!  I’m not asleep!” Either we can’t fall asleep when we go to bed or we wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep.  Our lives are keyed up and wired and getting enough sleep turns out to be a very difficult thing to do.  You can poll your neighbors - read a boring book, take melatonin, put a hot pad on your tummy, count sheep – or you can read what experts have to say.  Here are some recent books that shed light on the problem of sleeplessness.  

    2.27 The Sleep SolutionTHE SLEEP SOLUTION: WHY YOUR SLEEP IS BROKEN AND HOW TO FIX IT
    by W. Chris Winter, M.D.
    (2017)   

    Sleep expert and neurologist, Dr. Winter, has twenty-four years of experience helping more than 10,000 people sleep better. His book will help you understand your sleep patterns and problems to find the best interventions so you can have healthy sleep. 

     

    2.27 SnoozeSNOOZE: THE LOST ART OF SLEEP
    by Michael McGirr
    (2017)

    Looking back at the sleep patterns of great people like Shakespeare, Aristotle, and Thomas Edison, McGirr’s entertaining book explains what our brains are doing when we are asleep, the benefits of healthy sleep, and why sound sleep is sometimes so elusive.

     

    2.27 You are Getting SleepyYOU ARE GETTING SLEEPY: LIFESTYLE BASED SOLUTIONS FOR INSOMNIA
    by Paul Glovinsky and Arthur Spielman
    (2017)

    Two doctors share recent research about how people get sleepy, the difference between fatigue and being sleepy, and how being hyper or depressed can interfere with sleep and lead to insomnia.

     

    2.27 Wild NightsWILD NIGHTS: HOW TAMING SLEEP CREATED OUR RESTLESS WORLD
    by Benjamin Reiss
    (2017)

    Sleep is essential to human beings but down through history where we sleep, who we sleep with, and how much we sleep have changed dramatically. Our modern cultural definition of the requirements for sleep has added to our sleep problems, contributing to insomnia, exhaustion and sleep disorders.

     

    2.27 The Power of WhenTHE POWER OF WHEN
    by Michael Breus
    (2016)

    Exploring exciting new research about out biology, Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and sleep medicine specialist, offers a comprehensive quiz to help you discover your “chronotype.”  Find out how to take advantage of your “body’s inner clock” in order to know your best time of day for a variety of personal activities including sleep.  Take the quizzes he offers in the book to learn what your own personal circadian rhythms are and discover if you are a “Dolphin, Wolf, Bear, or Lion.”

     
  • SR 2019 FB

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

    • Celestron Travel Telescope

    • Amazon Echo

    • Lego Apollo Saturn V Model Rocket

    • Kindle Paperwhite eReader

    • Provo Rec Center Pass (2 available)

    • Star Trek Catan

    • Beats Headphones

    • Gift Cards

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

    6.5 Daring GreatlyDARING GREATLY
    By Brené Brown
    (2012) 

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     
  • journalists 

    Since I’ve started working for the library I’ve noticed myself reading more broadly, specifically in non-fiction. I used to read fiction almost exclusively, but I’ve really enjoyed getting exposed to some great non-fiction titles and authors. Particularly, I find myself attracted to non-fiction written by journalists. These books are usually written in a way that is really accessible to those outside of whatever industry/group/topic they’re writing about. They read a little quicker since they’re less technical and sometimes even have the feel of a novel. Here are just a few of my favorite non-fiction authors who also happen to be journalists:

    12.27 BlinkMalcolm Gladwell

    Gladwell became popular largely after the success of his book OUTLIERS, but he’s written several other titles including THE TIPPING POINT and DAVID & GOLIATH. He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996.

    My favorite: BLINK

     

    12.27 The Undoing ProjectMichael Lewis

    Lewis has had several of his books turned into popular movies including MONEYBALL, THE BLIND SIDE, and THE BIG SHORT. He has written for several different publications but is currently a contributing editor to Vanity Fair.

    My favorite: THE UNDOING PROJECT

     

    12.27 The Library BookSusan Orlean

    Orlean’s book THE ORCHID THIEF was turned into a movie called Adaptation starring Nicolas Cage, Tilda Swinton, and Meryl Streep. One of her other titles is RIN TIN TIN which is about the popular dog actor Rin Tin Tin. She has written for numerous publications including Rolling Stone, Esquire, Vogue, and The New Yorker magazine.

    My favorite:THE LIBRARY BOOK

     

    12.27 The Feather ThiefKirk Wallace Johnson

    Johnson wrote a memoir detailing his work with his organization The List Project titled TO BE A FRIEND IS FATAL. While he has contributed to The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, he mainly focuses on his non-profit organization which seeks to help Iraqi refugees who worked for the U.S. government during the Iraq War.

    My favorite:THE FEATHER THIEF

     

    Other popular journalist authors:

    Mary Roach (STIFF, GULP)

    Mitch Albom (TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE,HAVE A LITTLE FAITH)

    Truman Capote (IN COLD BLOOD)

    Jon Krakauer (INTO THIN AIR, MISSOULA)

  • KidsCameras FB

    We’re excited to tell you about the Provo Library’s newest children’s program -- Kids & Cameras! This is a class for 9-12 year olds who are interested in learning about movies and trying their hand at the many different elements of filmmaking.  

    Kids experience a lot of media but not very much education about media. In Kids & Cameras we learn the language with which to talk about movies, and we learn the skills to create our own videos. The basic format is as follows: we talk about a filmmaking concept/practice/skill, and then watch short films or film excerpts demonstrating the idea. After that, the kids divide into small groups and are given mini assignments to complete. Filmmaking involves a lot of problem solving, experimenting, and resourcefulness. This program is a great place to practice collaboration, exercise creativity, and learn technical skills. 

    Kids & Cameras takes place on Wednesdays from 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM in the Story Room. Registration for this program opens on Mondays at 10:00 AM. There is room for 16 students every week.   

    We teach Camera Basics and an Editing Basics every month, so that new kids can join in during any time of year. The Camera Basics and Editing Basics classes are prerequisites to the more advanced “outbreak” classes that will start in October. Some of these classes include composition, monster movies, and stop motion animation! Check the calendar to see which class is being offered that week.   

    We’re so excited for this new program and hope to see you there! In the meantime, here are some cool resources you can check out from the library or online: 

    9.27 The Kids Should See ThisTHE KIDS SHOULD SEE THIS

    This site is not specifically about filmmaking, but it’s a really great collection of 3,000 “not-made-for-kids, but perfect for them” videos, many of which are great examples of filmmaking principles. 

     

     

    9.27 Brick FlicksBRICK FLICKS 
    Sarah Herman
    2014

    A comprehensive guide to making your own stop-motion LEGO movies 

     

     

     

    9.27 Childrens Book of MoviesTHE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF MOVIES 
    Ann Baggaley
    2014

    Explore the magical, behind-the-scenes world of the movies.  

     

     

     

    9.27 Learn to Speak FilmLEARN TO SPEAK FILM 
    Michael Glassbourg
    2013

    A guide to creating, promoting & screening your movies.  

     

     

  •  Laugh Out Loud Nonfiction

    I am an avid non-fiction reader, and as such, serious topics sort of come with the territory. While I enjoy the occasional 800+ pages tome about historical events or people, inspiring self-help selections, or the latest book from a scientist much smarter than I’ll ever hope to be, full of words I can’t pronounce and concepts that merit an earnest Google-ing, I also like my non-fiction with a side of comedy.

    In a day and age where the headlines are often dark and depressing, we can benefit from the wisdom of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote, "A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing." There are options to suit every person’s sense of humor with authors willing and able to provide respite from the weighty topics of many non-fiction books and use their wit and wisdom to cast the world in a more comedic hue.  

    When life feels a bit too gloomy, and laughing out loud is what the doctored ordered, reach for a library book with some humor, like one of the options below!

    2.18 I Might Regret ThisI MIGHT REGRET THIS
    By Abbi Jacobson
    (2018) 

    Part comedic memoir, part travel journal, this familiar story of a woman who, after a break-up, embarks on a solo road trip across the U.S., may feel trite or contrived in less funny, and capable hands. Instead, Jacobson creates an honest and relatable ride-along with plenty of self-reflection and laughs along the way.

     

    2.18 And Then You Die of Dysentery…AND THEN YOU DIE OF DYSENTERY
    By Lauren Reeves
    (2018) 

    With a healthy dose of nostalgia for the iconic computer game, this book gleans important life lessons on being an adult from the 8-bit world of The Oregon Trail. Complete with pixelated art work, quips like “It’s still fashionable to dress like a pioneer: you just have to put a bird on it.”, and plenty of pop culture references, this is a book for the generation who played this game growing up and “just can’t even” with adulting.

     

    2.18 CalypsoCALYPSO
    By David Sedaris
    (2018) 

    If you’ve never read a book by David Sedaris, start now with his newest collection of essays! Sedaris has both a keen observational eye to spot the absurdity in the everyday world around us, and a sharp writing style to accent the hilarity that comes with being human. Whether he’s describing ways he’s enslaved to his FitBit, his admittedly odd family gatherings, or the friendly fox who follows him on walks through the woods, there’s always something relatable, heartwarming, or laugh out loud funny to enjoy with every turn of the page.

     

    2.18 Everythings TrashEVERYTHING’S TRASH, BUT IT’S OK
    By Phoebe Robinson
    (2018) 

    How can topics like race, feminism, gender, and skin care be funny? Robinson has accomplished just that in this charming and poignant collection of essays. A mix of cultural criticism rolled together with hilarious experiences from her life, this book will not only make you laugh, but will lift you up and help you feel like there is hope for the world after all. 

     

    2.18 Your Dad Stole My RakeYOUR DAD STOLE MY RAKE
    By Tom Papa
    (2018) 

    If you’re looking for a clean, family oriented observational comedy book, look no further! In the vein of Jim Gaffigan, stand-up comedian Tom Papa writes about the often ridiculous situations that accompany parenting and family life, and does so without making anyone blush. 

     
  •  Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness month? I would guess that, if we haven’t already, all of us will at some point experience our own mental health struggles or have someone very close to us who does. Just like the rest of our bodies, our minds can go through periods of wellness and periods of poor health, and they deserve care and treatment.

    A generation or two ago, these struggles might have been kept quiet. Fortunately, our culture is becoming more accepting of and open about mental health. For instance, you might have heard about the Heads Together campaign, spearheaded by younger members of the British royal family, or about the Campaign to Change Direction. Programs like these aim to reduce stigma against mental illness, to educate, and to provide mental health resources.

    In recent years, memoirs dealing with mental health, including some REALLY funny memoirs, have become common. Their humorous but honest approach can remind us that we aren't alone and keep us laughing. Here are a few of my favorites.

    Hyperbole and a HalfHYPERBOLE AND A HALF
    By Allie Brosh
    (2013)

    Even if you’ve never heard of Brosh or her blog, you’ve probably seen her CLEAN ALL THE THINGS! meme. Brosh blogs about everyday life using a mix of text and crudely drawn webcomics. In addition to sharing hilarious stories about grammar, her childhood, and her dogs, she has also written about ADHD and, famously, depression.

    Whether in book or blog form, HYPERBOLE AND A HALF might just be the funniest thing I’ve ever read.

    I’ve been eagerly awaiting her second book for a couple of years now, but its expected release date has been pushed back from 2017 to 2050. I’ll be impatiently waiting into old age, it appears.  

    Furiously HappyFURIOUSLY HAPPY: A FUNNY BOOK ABOUT HORRIBLE THINGS
    By Jenny Lawson
    (2015)

    Jenny Lawson (a.k.a. the bloggess) is another author who started out in the blogosphere. She writes irreverently about living in a small Texas town with her patient husband, their daughter, and an ever-growing collection of quirky taxidermy. She frequently writes about her experiences with depression, anxiety, and avoidant personality disorder. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is my favorite of her books, but I also love her first memoir LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED and YOU ARE HERE, a coloring book of the illustrations she creates in moments of anxiety.

     

    Adulthood is a MythADULTHOOD IS A MYTH
    By Sarah Andersen
    (2016)

    This is a book you could easily read in an hour or two. Sarah Andersen, who also gained a following online (I’m sensing a theme here), creates comics about life as a Millennial adult. In simple drawings, she depicts social anxiety, body image struggles, insecurity, and how pets make it all a bit better.

     

    Heart and BrainHEART AND BRAIN: AN AWKWARD YETI COLLECTION
    By Nick Seluk
    (2015)

    Nick Seluck is another webcomic creator who eventually became a published author. He is best known for comics depicting inner turmoil between logical Brain and fanciful Heart, as well as various other organs (I have a soft spot for the adorable Gallbladder). I’ve especially enjoyed his comics about anxiety and insomnia.

     

    Youre Never Weird on the InternetYOU’RE NEVER WEIRD ON THE INTERNET (ALMOST)
    By Felicia Day
    (2015)

    Felicia Day’s life has been an unusual one. Homeschooled as a child, she went to college at sixteen, finished her math degree with flying colors, and then became an actress and web-series developer. She writes about anxiety, depression, and the intense gaming addiction she developed in her twenties.

    YOU’RE NEVER WEIRD ON THE INTERNET is easily the funniest celebrity memoir I’ve ever read (and I’ve read an embarrassing number of celebrity memoirs). Day’s narration of the audiobook is especially hysterical.

     

  • intimacy

     When I started dating my now fiancé a few years back, I realized that there was a lot I didn’t know about physicality. Kissing was awkward, cuddling sent my anxiety through the roof, and holding hands still seemed like something for keeping little kids out of traffic. I knew that to get myself more comfortable with physicality I needed to learn more about it, so I started researching. The internet is a mixed bag on this topic, so I turned to books written by LDS authors for a clean, tasteful approach. Some of the books I read were extremely helpful, and some less so, but together they helped me overcome my initial fears of a physical relationship.

    Now that I’m engaged, I find myself revisiting the same books for a different reason: to prepare myself for a successful marriage. I find (again) that some LDS intimacy books can be more useful than others, especially depending on what stage you’re at and what you’re looking for. With that in mind, I would like to share not just the titles of the books I’ve read, but an explanation of what is helpful about each so that you can pick up the book that’s right for you next time you come into the library.

    Between Husband and WifeBETWEEN HUSBAND & WIFE 
    by Stephen E. Lamb and Douglas E. Brinley
    (2008)

    This book was not my favorite, but that’s because it was written with a very specific audience in mind. It is intended for those who want to prepare for marriage without “spoiling the surprise.” Advice is kept fairly general, and the chapter on the sexual response cycle is brief. If you want to hold off on detailed discussions of sex until after marriage, this is a good place to start. There a couple chapters at the end about the middle and later years of a relationship, but BETWEEN HUSBAND & WIFE is mostly geared towards engaged couples and newlyweds, including chapters like “The Honeymoon” and “What I Wish I’d Known.” Scriptural quotes and gospel context are also given a lot of space.

    Becoming OneBECOMING ONE: INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE 
    by Robert F. Stahmann,  Wayne R. Young, and Julie G. Grover
    (2004)

    BECOMING ONE is a short book, but it packs in a lot of information. It includes frank discussions of what to expect physically, potential problems and their solutions, and a helpful FAQs section. It also has some wonderful sections about the differences between men and women and the ways they approach sex. The target audience is definitely engaged couples and newlyweds, but there is plenty that could be helpful for those who have been married a few years as well. For sheer density of helpful facts and advice, I would say this one is my favorite. It does spend very little time on gospel context, however, so if that’s what you’re looking for maybe start with another book first.

    And They Were Not AshamedAND THEY WERE NOT ASHAMED 
    by Laura M. Brotherson
    (2004)

    The very first words of this book are “Sex isn’t bad,” and the rest of the book goes on to attack the misconception that physicality is something dirty. Brotherson starts by explaining the “Good Girl Syndrome,” where LDS girls who have been taught their whole life that sex is bad struggle to change their mindset once married. She then tries to help those girls see sex as something beautiful: she reaffirms the sanctity of sexual relations, describes “The Symphony of the Female Sexual Response” in detail, and puts the physical relationship in the context of a spiritual and emotional relationship. She also explains a lot of the sexual differences between men and woman and offers advice on how to work together to make sure that both partners are satisfied. This book is definitely geared toward women, but is excellent both for women who are struggling with physicality and for men who are looking to better understand their partners. As a side note, those who find this book helpful might also enjoy KNOWING HER INTIMATELY, Brotherson’s new book.

    Sexual Wholeness in MarriageSEXUAL WHOLENESS IN MARRIAGE 
    by Dean M. Busby, Jason S. Carroll, and Chelom Leavitt
    (2014)

    This book begins by explaining the damaging sexual metaphors that are often used in the LDS church, and proposing an alternative model of sexual wholeness. As this was my introduction to the genre, and I found that model a helpful first step.  I also appreciated the authors’ scientific approach. There were anatomical diagrams to explain the male and female reproductive systems and discussion of things like nerve clusters and erogenous zones. More than that, however, I liked how applicable everything felt. Their anecdotes all come from people who approached the authors with questions, and it is surprising to see how many of the situations they describe apply to you. They have an entire third of the book devoted just to answering specific questions, so there’s a good chance they’ve answered yours. Finally, I feel like this book more than all the others can be applicable to any stage of the relationship, whether you’re just getting started or if you’ve been married for years.

    The Act of MarriageTHE ACT OF MARRIAGE 
    by Tim and Beverly LaHaye
    (1998)

    This last one isn’t actually LDS, but I felt the need to include it because it is easily the most famous Christian intimacy book. The book was originally published in 1976 — 1998 was when they released the revised and updated version — and was foundational to the development of the genre. Unfortunately, that also means that the cultural references are a bit dated. There are some pretty traditional gender roles implicit throughout, and if statements like "The natural longing of every woman's heart is to be a homemaker" bother you, this is probably the wrong book. If you are a couple with a more traditional mindset, however, this book can still be quite helpful. The science is good, and you can really feel the affection that Tim and Beverly have for all of their readers.

     

  • How to Draw 1 

    Art and drawing can be daunting. When first starting out, there are plenty of blog posts, videos and books on how to start drawing. But some of these tutorials can be pretty simplistic and can even promote bad habits. So I’ve compiled a list of some of the best books for improving your technique. If you want to get better at drawing, start with these! 

    4.3 Drawing Lessons from the Great MastersDRAWING LESSONS FROM THE GREAT MASTERS
    By Robert Beverly Hale
    (1964)

    It’s always good to start your learning process with a good teacher. Who better to mentor you than some of the best artists of all time? By studying the drawings of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and other masters, readers can better understand the techniques these artists used to create their finished paintings. 

     

    4.3 Bridgmans Complete GuideBRIDGMAN’S COMPLETE GUIDE TO DRAWING FROM LIFE
    By George Brant Bridgman
    (1952)

    This book is hands down one of the best ways for artists to understand anatomy and proportion. By exaggerating and breaking down the human body, Bridgman highlights how to draw each feature accurately. George Bridgman himself taught many famous artists. In his forty years of teaching, his students included Jackson Pollock, Will Eisner and Norman Rockwell. 

     

    4.3 How to DrawHOW TO DRAW : DRAWING AND SKETCHING OBJECTS AND ENVIRONMENTS FROM YOUR IMAGINATION
    By Scott Robertson
    (2013)

    For years I tried to find a book that could teach me how to draw a straight line. Not only does this book teach you that, but shows you how to turn that straight line into a building, a car or a spaceship. If you are interested in learning how to draw backgrounds, architecture or simply learning to draw in perspective, check out this great guide. 

     

    4.3 The Natural Way to DrawTHE NATURAL WAY TO DRAW
    By Kimon Nicolaïdes
    (1969)

    While this book is definitely the most effective way to improve your drawing, it also is the most difficult. Working as a manual for artists, Nicolaides outlines exercises that improve not just the way you draw, but how you see your art. However, this means that readers must complete these exercises over the course of an entire year, drawing for 15 hours a week.

     

    And while the library's closed, there are still resources available to you! 

    4.3 CreativeBugCREATIVEBUG

    This new database features hundreds of video tutorials for arts and crafts of all different kinds, including many about drawing and illustration. Their Daily Practice Series offers an especially good way of getting into the habit of drawing every single day, since it features a month's worth of short video activities to get your creative juices flowing.

     

    4.3 How to Draw Great CoursesHow to Draw

    This video which you can stream via your Overdrive library account, features 18 hours of training. It was created by The Great Courses, so you can trust it to have college instruction level and great information. Be sure to search Overdrive's collection for books on drawing and illustration too!

     
  •  Pills

    I’ve been surprised as an adult by how much I enjoy reading memoirs. Plenty of these have been fluffy or funny celebrity memoirs, but in the last year or so, I’ve been drawn to powerful and sometimes troubling personal stories of people who have survived childhood trauma. Though it would be an exaggeration to call my own childhood traumatic, I’ve found wisdom, inspiration, humanity, and a surprising amount of connection in these stories.

    Famous memoirist Jeannette Walls once said in a New York Times interview, “The best self-help books, in my opinion, are memoirs. If people are honest about what happened to them, those stories are astonishing gifts to those of us grappling with – or just trying to understand – similar situations. I give away my memoirs like aspirins to friends who are going through tough times. Sometimes, it’s easier to have perspective on someone else’s life than your own.”

    So, readers, here are a few of my favorite literary aspirins, memoirs of resilience, all told with compassion and honesty.

    3.22 The Glass CastleTHE GLASS CASTLE
    By Jeannette Walls
    (2013)

    Walls grew up in a family that moved from place to place, descending further into poverty and dysfunction as the years past in spite of their love for each other. Her father’s alcoholism and the mental illness of both parents caused extreme financial hardship and often left the Walls children in danger, but Jeannette and her siblings banded together to work their way out into the world. THE GLASS CASTLE is beautiful, horrifying, and unflinchingly honest, as Walls grapples to overcome her shame and stop hiding her past.

     

    3.22 EducatedEDUCATED
    By Tara Westover
    (2018)

    I've been floored by just how good this recent release is. Tara Westover was raised in rural Idaho by survivalist parents who practice an extreme and bizarre take on Mormonism.  Westover’s paranoid father, convinced the government was his enemy, had the children born at home so they wouldn’t have birth certificates, wouldn’t allow them to attend school, and insisted on home care by their herbalist mother for even the most life-threatening illnesses. A blind eye is turned to any abuse in the home. Westover eventually works her way to BYU, Cambridge, and eventually Harvard where she discovers the full emancipation of an education.

     

    3.22 You Dont Have to Say You Love Me aYOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME
    By Sherman Alexie
    (2017)

    Celebrated author Sherman Alexie has written fiction and poetry for all ages, but this is his first time publishing a memoir.  He grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation and was raised by an alcoholic father and a recovering alcoholic mother. He recounts the regular abuse, violence, and racism he both witnessed and experienced as a child in a moving mix of essays, letters, and poetry. He also describes the complicated relationship between himself and his mother as they both struggled with mental illness.

     

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

    Vance was raised Middletown Ohio by a family originally from Kentucky. His parents had moved for good factory jobs that temporarily provided them a middle class life, but never quite escaped the culture of poverty. Drug addiction, alcoholism, violence, and verbal abuse continue to plague their lives. Vance, now a Yale-educated lawyer, shares not just his own experiences, but an insightful sociological critique of hillbilly culture.

     

    3.22 Born A CrimeBORN A CRIME
    By Trevor Noah
    (2016)

    This is not your typical celebrity memoir. Comedian Trevor Noah, best known as the current host of the Daily Show, grew up in Apartheid South Africa as the son of a black mother and a white man. His parents’ union was illegal, and Trevor’s visibly mixed heritage meant that he couldn’t be seen with either parent in public without risking their arrest. BORN A CRIME is largely a love letter to Noah’s mother, a powerful, devout woman who fiercely protected her son.

     
  • perfect pie

    Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Gathering with friends and family and eating delicious foods are two of my very favorite things. For me the best part of Thanksgiving is getting a small slice of all of the different kinds of pie!

    When I lived in Virginia, a family I knew from church had a pie party on the morning of Thanksgiving every year. They would invite neighbors and friends to come eat pie before the day’s festivities began. I loved that they had this party and looked forward to it as soon as fall began each year.

    As the holidays approach, I thought I’d share a few of the resources we have to help you make the perfect pie. If you need some help getting started, this four part Pie Making Boot Camp series from Mel’s Kitchen Café will guide you on your pastry making journey (each word links to a different part in the series). These blogposts are filled with lots of pictures to guide you step by step. In addition, here are some great pie-based cookbooks we have at the library! 

    11.20.17 Handheld PiesHANDHELD PIES 
    by Sarah Billingsley
    (2011)

    Features free-form, structured, and jar pies as well as a variety of crust and filling recipes. This book includes both sweet and savory pies.

     

     

    11.20.17 Pie and TartPIE & TART
    by Carolyn Weil
    (2003)

    A homemade pie or tart is a great way to make any meal special. Baking is easy as pie when following the recipes in this book!

     

     

    11.20.17 Pie SchoolPIE SCHOOL
    by Kate Lebo
    (2014)

    Now this is the kind of school I’d like to attend! The author shares 50 recipes and includes the social history of the pie.

     

     

    11.20.17 Cutie PiesCUTIE PIES
    by Dani Cone
    (2011)

    This book includes sweet and savory hand, petite, jar, and full-sized pies. Also pie pops. Pie on a stick? Count me in!

     

     

    11.20.17 Art of the PieART OF THE PIE
    by Kate McDermott
    (2016)

    Kate McDermott has taught thousands of people across the country how to make pie at her Pie Camps. This book includes more than a dozen crust recipes, half of which are gluten free.

     

     

     

    11.20.17 Lion House PiesLION HOUSE PIES
    by Brenda Hopkin
    (2010)

    In this book you’ll find more than 70 recipes with easy-to-follow directions and a DVD with baking tips and tricks!

     

     

     

     

    11.20.17 Teenys Tour of PieTEENY’S TOUR OF PIE
    by Teeny Lamothe
    (2014)

    I read this book a few years ago (and reviewed it last November) and I just keep thinking about it! I love that Teeny wanted to be a lady pie baker and made her dream happen. This book is part cookbook and part memoir, one of my favorite kinds of books to read.

       

    And in case someone beat you to the punch checking these ones out, search for the following downloadable eBooks on Overdrive to ensure that you’ll always have access to a great book about pie.

    THE MAGIC OF MINI PIES by Abigail Gehring

    THE PIE PROJECT by Phoebe Wood

    PIE by Ken Haedrich

    GLUTEN-FREE & VEGAN PIE by Jennifer Katzinger 

    Also, don’t miss our Holiday Cooking display on the 2nd floor for more delicious cooking resources!

  • Mindfulness for Teens

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

  • Moon Landing

    By now, most people are probably aware that 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969. Many moments in history are forgotten or their anniversaries are overhyped. Other moments, like the moon landing, really are a Big Fat Deal – even fifty years later. As we celebrate this lunar anniversary, here are some books all about the moon landings for even the youngest readers. 

    7.22 Rocket to the MoonROCKET TO THE MOON!
    By Don Brown
    (2019) 

    This nonfiction comic book tells the story of the Apollo 11 mission, and not just the story of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. This well-illustrated book is more than an introduction to lunar travel – it takes readers on a journey through the history of rockets and fleshes out the story with less-known details of the famous mission. All of this rolled into a bite-sized graphic novel good for kids or older readers. 

     

    Apollo 8 The Mission That Changed EverythingAPOLLO 8: THE MISSION THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING
    By Martin W. Sandler
    (2018)

    This book is a little different, because it isn’t about Apollo 11 – the mission that resulted in the first lunar landing. Instead, this is the story of Apollo 8 the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit and circle the moon. With a good overview of the Cold War and space race, this book gives historical context to the lunar missions that young readers may not know. This book is also filled with full-color photographs including the famous Earthrise. 

     

    7.22 The Far Side of the MoonTHE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON: THE STORY OF APOLLO 11’S THIRD MAN
    By Alexander Irvine
    Illustrated by Ben Bishop
    (2017) 

    Another nonfiction comic book, this very small little number focuses almost entirely on the third member of Apollo 11’s crew – Michael Collins, the one who never set foot on the moon. He doesn’t always get a lot of credit, but this book honors his essential role in the mission; orbiting the moon, keeping the command module functioning, and getting everyone home safely. In a limited palette of black, white, and deep purple we see the details of the moon landing play out with stark reality. 

     

    7.22 Man on the MoonMAN ON THE MOON: HOW A PHOTOGRAPH MADE ANYTHING SEEM POSSIBLE
    By Pamela Dell
    (2011) 

    We might forget, fifty years later, that the world was watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin take their first steps on the moon. We might forget that for so long this had seemed completely impossible – it was a moment that changed the world. The photograph of Buzz Aldrin in his spacesuit on the moon was called one of the 100 photographs that changed the world by Time magazine. This book is all about the legacy of that picture and just what it took to get there. A totally unique lens through which to view the past. 

     

    7.22 Reaching for the MoonREACHING FOR THE MOON
    By Buzz Aldrin
    Illustrated by Wendell Minor
    (2005) 

    Written in first person by Buzz Aldrin, this book has a personal touch that few books about the lunar landing can offer. This picture book autobiography is an unusual look at space travel told with lots of personal detail and heart. Illustrations throughout offer new vantages on an iconic moment in history, all culminating with the words left by Aldrin and Armstrong on the moon: 

     

    “Here men from the planet earth
    First set foot upon the moon
    July 1969. A.D.
    We came in peace for all mankind.”

     
  •  Life Changing Reads of 2018

    This past year I have been reading a lot of self-improvement books. I don’t know if it is because I’ve finally been converted to reading nonfiction books or because I’m in my 40’s and totally frustrated with my life, but I’m ready for a change. I also realized that my life will not change unless I figure out new ways of doing things and what better way to do that than to read books by experts. I have read some amazing books this year. The little nuggets of information I’ve learned and started to use in my life are beginning to make a difference. If you are ready to make some changes in your life, here are some of my favorite self-help books that you can find at the Provo City Library: 

    1.11 FinishFINISH: GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF DONE
    Jon Acuff
    (2017)

    This book is a game-changer for my life. The author talks specifically about setting goals and why most of us never finish them. One of the things that really resonated with me was when the he said that the most important day of any goal is "the day after perfect". It's what we choose to do the day after we don't get our exercise in, or eat the doughnut, or lose the receipt we needed for our budget. Will we do what the majority of people do and quit because we weren’t perfect or will we find a way to readjust and keep going. I listened to this on Libby and highly recommend it. The author narrates this book in a personable and engaging way. He also added some "bonus" material not found in the printed book.

     

    1.11 The Happiness AdvantageTHE HAPPINESS ADVANTAGE
    Shawn Achor
    (2010)

    We tend to think that we will be happy once we find success in life. Shawn Achor is a positive psychology researcher at Harvard and he believes it is the other way around. Happiness actually fuels success. When we are positive our brains are better able to cope with life and can become more productive. Don’t worry if you are not a naturally positive person. He shows, through research and example, ways that we can begin to train our brains to look for the positive first. It can be as simple as writing down three good things that happened to you every day for 21 days. This book is targeted for business readers, but his seven principles can apply to everyone seeking more happiness in life. His suggestions are simple but profound.

     

    1.11 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
    Rachel Hollis
    (2018)

    Rachel Hollis has built a social media business on the premise of uplifting and inspiring women. In this book she talks about the lies that we tell ourselves and let ourselves believe. Things like: I'm not good enough, I'll start tomorrow, I'm not a good mom, or I will never get past this. These and other lies are all things that Rachel believed in her own life. She examines each one and talks about the things she did to overcome the lie. Each chapter addresses a different lie and at the end of the chapter she summarizes three specific things that helped her. The main point of her book is that each of us is ultimately responsible for who we become and how happy we are. It is empowering to have Rachel say, and to finally start to realize, that I have control of my life. We don't need to wait for the right house, the right job, or the right amount of money to be happy. We need to take control of what happens next and we are capable of becoming so much more than we are right now.

     

    1.11 The House that Cleans ItselfTHE HOUSE THAT CLEANS ITSELF: CREATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR A CLEAN AND ORDERLY HOUSE IN LESS TIME THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE
    Mindy Starns Clark
    (2013)

    I probably shouldn’t have enjoyed reading this book as much as I did. The author admits that she is not naturally organized or clean. For me, this was a breath of fresh air. Most house cleaning/organizing books are written by people who have a natural talent for being clean. They can’t understand why some of us hold on to things for so long, or live with clutter. The author has written this book for the housekeeping-impaired. I connected to her observations and suggestions and she has a really humorous and engaging way of writing. One of my favorite suggestions was to change my house to fit my behaviors instead of trying to change the behaviors I have had for years. Sometimes we don’t realize our problem areas could be changed with a couple simple adjustments to the house to accommodate our natural tendancies.  

     
  • Julia Child

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

  • Winter Hobbies

    Are you looking for a productive way to spend your time indoors while winter rages outside? Are you all worn out from finishing yet ANOTHER Netflix marathon? Consider learning a new hobby! Not sure where to start? Take a look at some of these books found at The Provo City Library

    01.03 20 Minute Whittling Projects20-MINUTE WHITTLING PROJECTS: FUN THINGS TO CARVE FROM WOOD
    By Tom Hindes
    (2016)

    Why not whittle away those long, dark winter days by whittling away at a small piece of wood? This is a hobby you can take anywhere with you.Bonus: If you feel confident enough you can use your creations as gifts for the holiday season! 

     

    01.03 Get CodingGET CODING!: LEARN HTML, CSS, AND JAVASCRIPT AND BUILD A WEBSITE, APP, AND GAME
    By Duncan Beedie
    (2017)

    If you find yourself getting bored with the same old computer games over and over again, you might want to consider creating your own. Make your dreams become (virtual) reality by learning how to code! 

     

    01.03 Beeswax AlchemyBEESWAX ALCHEMY: HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN CANDLES, SOAP, BALMS, SALVS AND HOME DECOR FROM THE HIVE
    By Petra Ahnert
    (2015)

    Spending a lot of time indoors during the winter might also mean spending a lot more money on your electricity bill. Help yourself out by learning how to make candles. You’ll save yourself some green and at the same time create a warm, cozy atmosphere to be enjoyed. 

     

    01.03 Why KnotWHY KNOT?: HOW TO TIE MORE THAN SIXTY INGENIOUS, USEFUL, BEAUTIFUL, LIFESAVING, MAGICAL, INTRIGUING, AND SECURE KNOTS!
    By Philippe Petit
    (2013)

    If you really want to make the most of your time indoors “why knot” learn how to tie different types of knots?Okay, okay. Moving on past my failed humor, this is a hobby that can save your sanity and your life. Talk about productivity! 

     

    01.03 37 Houseplants Even You Cant Kill37 HOUSEPLANTS EVEN YOU CAN'T KILL
    By Mary Kate Hogan
    (2006)

    If you find that your surrounding landscape is bleak, and bare, and dead, why not bring some colors and life into your living space by caring for a houseplant? Mary Kate Hogan guarantees that even YOU can’t kill the plants she mentions in this book, and besides, plants are pets that you don’t have to take outside in the snow at 5 am to “do their business” (looking at YOU, household dog of 17 years!).

     
  • Graphic Novels 

    We have already explored some of the graphic novel adaptations that the Library has of classic literature and modern classics. Here to round out our list are classic nonfiction titles that have been transformed through images.  

    6.24 Anne Franks DiaryANNE FRANK’S DIARY
    By Anne Frank
    Adapted by Ari Folman
    Illustrated by David Polonsky
    (2018) 

    Explore the story of Anne Frank through illustrations and text from her diary in this authorized graphic biography of a young girl as she faces persecution and hatred during World War II. 

     

    6.24 On the Origin of SpeciesON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
    By Charles Darwin
    Adapted by Michael Keller
    Illustrated by Nicolle Rager Fuller
    (2009) 

    In this graphic adaptation of Darwin’s famous work, learn more about his pioneering research, the initial public reception, and some of the most recent breakthroughs in evolutionary theory. 

     

    6.24 The Communist ManifestoTHE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO
    By Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
    Adapted by Martin Rowson
    Illustrated by Martin Rowson
    (2018)

     Considered to be one of the most influential works of political theory, THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO is brought to life through editorial cartoon style illustrations and lively wit. 

     

    6.24 The Life Changing Manga of Tidying UpTHE LIFE CHANGING MANGA OF TIDYING UP
    By Marie Kondo
    Illustrated by Yuko Uramoto
    (2017) 

    Learn about the KonMari Method of tidying up in this fictional and fun case study of one young woman who is struggling with messes in her home, her love life, and her future as she gets advice and inspiration from Marie Kondo. 

     

    Do you have any graphic novel adaptations of nonfiction titles? Share them in the comments and be sure to look for our favorite classic literature and modern classic lists.

  • UT WHistory FB 

    Women have been shaking things up in Utah since before it was even officially a state! Utah women were some of the earliest participants in the fight for women’s voting rights, they helped establish settlements and whole cities as Utah’s population grew, advocated and supplied funding for education and commerce, were active participants in the realms of art, theater, and entertainment, and have long had a hand in government and lawmaking in our great state. Basically, Utah would not be what it is without them!

    For Monday's blog post and today's, we’ve compiled a list of notable books about some of these female movers and shakers. Since March is Women’s History Month and the library is hosting a Utah women's history lecture by Better Days 2020 tonight, there’s no better time to use the resources the library provides to learn more about some of the women whose contributions make Utah such a great place to live. 

    3.11 More than PetticoatsMORE THAN PETTICOATS: REMARKABLE UTAH WOMEN 
    by Christy Karras
    (2010)

    Maybe you want to know more about notable female figures from Utah’s history, but don’t know where to start? Look no further than More Than Petticoats! Containing 12 succinct bios of notable Utah women, this book covers ladies from all walks of life, including Mormon and non-Mormon settlers, polygamy advocates and opponents, actresses who would go on to originate iconic roles, wild western women, and even a notorious “madam” (with a heart of gold, of course). These women broke through social and cultural norms of the day to better the experience of those around them and influence the path of women going forward, both in Utah and beyond.

    This title is available as a set for Book Clubs and the broad topics and varied lives and statuses of the book’s subjects lend themselves well to discussion. You can check out our Book Club set here.

     

    3.11 Mormon MidwifeMORMON MIDWIFE: THE 1946-1888 DIARIES OF PATTY BARTLETT SESSIONS 
    by Patty Bartlett Sessions
    (1997)

    Though the above mentioned MORE THAN PETTICOATS book gives Patty Barlett Sessions a chapter, this compilation of her journals is a wonderful deep dive into her life. Patty was a midwife who delivered thousands of babies, and hundreds of these were first generation Utahans. She was appointed by Brigham Young to accompany the first trek of pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley. She administered to the sick and even performed deliveries of babies along the trail.

    We know so much about her because she was a prolific journal writer, keeping records of the goings on of the day until she was 92 years old. Her entries are very matter of fact and to the point, but give valuable insight into what life was like for her, and other early Utah settlers, especially women. In addition to medical treatments and her midwifery, she planted some of Utah’s first orchards from cuttings, helped found a women’s organization in the Mormon church called the “Relief Society,” and was an early investor in the “Zion’s Cooperative Mercantile Institution” (ZCMI). Patty used the proceeds she gained from this to open a school, where she also taught classes-- at age 88.

     

    3.11 Hidden History of UtahHIDDEN HISTORY OF UTAH 
    by Eileen Hallet Stone
    (2013)

    Author and historian Eileen Hallet Stone is a Utah transplant but is nonetheless a notable woman herself! Her work uncovering hidden and forgotten Utah history stories are documented in this compilation of 58 articles she wrote for her Salt Lake Tribune column called “Living History." While not every article in this book is about women, many that are include eye catching front page worthy titles like “Physic Widow Founded Spiritualist Utopia” and “1890s, Utah’s Women Found Freedom on Bicycles."

    She includes well researched chapters on the suffragette movement in Utah, women homesteaders (including one with ties to Butch Cassidy), and Utah women’s contributions as pilots and “Rosies” during World War II. This is a gem of a book where you’ll discover many delightful and heartening stories about lesser known historical figures from Utah’s past.

     
  • UT WHistory FB

    If you’re joining us this Wednesday evening for Better Days 2020’s presentation on Utah women’s history, you’re in for a treat. Katherine Kitterman, the organization’s historical director, will be here to share stories about Utah women, especially Provo and Utah County residents, of all different backgrounds who shaped local and national history.

    If you asked a typical Utahn, they’d probably struggle to name more than a handful of significant women in Utah history. Better Days 2020 is an organization committed to changing that through art, education, legislation, and activism. Utah women have a long history of political, social, and artistic contributions, and we’re excited that this history is becoming better known.

    Today and Wednesday on the blog, we’ll be recommending a few favorite books related to Utah women's history. As you may have noticed, most of the books on the topic focus on white women, especially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the pioneer and settlement eras. This is somewhat understandable, given the prominence of that group in Utah’s history, but current historians, including those at Better Days 2020, are working hard to bring forward the histories of Utah women of all races, religions, and backgrounds. Look forward to some of those fascinating stories Wednesday night.

    3.11 An Advocate for WomenAN ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN: THE PUBLIC LIFE OF EMMELINE B. WELLS, 1870-1920
    By Carol Cornwall Madsen
    (2006)

    Emmeline B. Wells is a personal hero of mine and was arguably Utah’s best known women’s rights activist in her day. Utah Territory granted women the right to vote in 1870 (a right the national government rescinded 17 years later), and Utah women became some of the most outspoken advocates in the country for female political rights.

    As part of this movement, Wells served as editor of Woman’s Exponent for nearly 40 years, urged Utah’s Territorial Legislature to allow women to serve in public office, developed personal friendships with national suffragists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, walked a precarious line between pro-polygamy Utah suffragists and anti-polygamy suffragists on the national stage, served as president of the Utah Territorial Women’s Suffrage Association, spoke internationally before the International Council of Women, and organized the Relief Society’s grain-saving program that saved hundreds of lives during World War I. In her last eleven years, Wells also served as Relief Society General President, being released at the age of 93, just three weeks before she passed away.

     

    3.11 A House Full of FemalesA HOUSE FULL OF FEMALES: PLURAL MARRIAGE AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN EARLY MORMONISM, 1835-1870
    By Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
    (2017)

    Ulrich won the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for History for A MIDWIFE’S TALE, which revolutionized the historian’s field with its remarkable examination of social history. In addition to being a renowned historian (and the person who coined the phrase "well-behaved women seldom make history"), Ulrich herself is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, giving her unique insight into her subject matter in A HOUSE FULL OF FEMALES. Don’t be fooled by the narrator’s mispronunciations of common Utah names and Mormon words if you listen to the audiobook – Ulrich knows what she’s talking about.

    Much of published research into Utah women's history has focused on the hotbed of political and social activism that occurred in the late 19th and early 20th century, so it’s a nice change to read about the lead-up to that time period. Ulrich is a master of reconstructing a society based on journals, letters, meeting minutes, and even quilts, and you’ll come away from this book with a much more complete understanding of regular LDS and Utah women’s experiences in the early days of polygamy.

     

    3.11 Worth Their SaltWORTH THEIR SALT: NOTABLE BUT OFTEN UNNOTED WOMEN OF UTAH
    Edited by Colleen Whitley
    (1996)

    WORTH THEIR SALT offers a glimpse into the lives of a wide variety of Utah women, some familiar, others less so. These include Indian rights advocate and diplomat Chipeta, mining queen Susanna Engalitcheff, Catholic nun and education reformer Mother M. Augusta, artist Mary Teasdel, Greek midwife Georgia Lathrouis Magera, actress Maude Adams (who originated the role of Peter Pan on Broadway), journalist and Japanese-American newspaper owner Kuniko Terasawa, and United States Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest.  

    A variety of professional historians, journalists, descendants, and enthusiasts contributed essays for WORTH THEIR SALT. It’s a collection well worth reading for anyone interested in broadening their familiarity with prominent women in Utah history.

     

    Be on the lookout for another post later this week with more recommended reads on this topic. Whether you're able to attend on Wednesday of not, we hope these books will get you hooked on the remarkable history of Utah women!

  • Kid Explore Nature Science 

    Have you ever heard, “I’m bored!” or, “There’s nothing to do.” I dread hearing those words and I have heard them many times at my house. Keeping our kids happy and occupied is our goal as parents or caregivers but it’s not always an easy job. Here are a few tips and tricks as well as some resources you can use to keep your kids engaged during the summer. 

    Make challenges at home using stuff you have lying around like, a plastic cup tower, or a structure made with index cards and tape.  If you gather supplies from around your house and keep them on hand, when you hear the, “I’m bored!” statement, you can encourage your children to build or experiment with the items they find in your supply box. You might be surprised at what they can create and the fun they can have while doing it. If you need ideas for projects or challenges, here is a list of books with ideas to keep the fun going all summer long. 

    6.22 Curious Creatable CreaturesCURIOUS CREATABLE CREATURES: 22 STEAM PROJECTS THAT MAGNETIZE, GLIDE, SLINGSHOT, AND SOMETIMES SCOOTCH
    By Sam Haynor
    (2019)

    Experiment and learn as you create creatures that bubble, honk, and light up. This book will guide you step by step as you create some monstrous fun. 

     

    6.22 Moana Idea LabMOANA IDEA LAB
    By Niki Ahrens
    (2020)

    Make crafts, projects, and activities like glowing water or an island in a jar with a STEAM approach that is based on the Disney Movie Moana.  

     

    6.22 Cooking with SteamCOOKING WITH STEAM
    By Annette Gulati
    (2019)

    Learn to cook some simple recipes like yummy eggs and Fizzy-licious lemonade while doing some science. 

     

    6.22 Mason Jar ScientistMASON JAR SCIENTIST: 30 JARRING STEAM-BASED PROJECTS
    By Brenda Priddy
    (2018)

    Create some fun experiments from plants and biomes, earth and space science, to chemical reactions, all in a mason jar. Great hands-on experiments based on STEAM activities.

     
  • Shark Week

    There are three major holiday seasons at my house: Christmas, Easter, and Shark Week. If you haven’t heard of it (do you live under a rock??), Shark Week is a television program on the Discovery Channel. According to their website, Shark Week is the longest running summer TV event, with this July marking its 30th year running.

    I love sharks, and Shark Week is a time for me to not only get my fill of shark related pseudo-science TV shows (I mean, Phelps vs Shark was not exactly top-notch  science), but I also get to share my love of sharks with friends and family. I might make shark-themed treats, wear a shark shirt or hat (both items of clothing I own), and maybe even enjoy a sharky read. However you choose to celebrate, the library has some great materials to check out if you have sharks on the brain.

    7.23 JawsJAWS
    By Peter Benchley
    (1974)

    You’ve seen the movie, but have you given the book a try? When it was published, Jaws sold millions of copies and was a best-seller for 44 weeks in a row. And if you haven’t seen the movie, widely considered to be one of the best films of all time, you need to stop what you are doing and watch it now. Trivia: Author Peter Benchley actually makes a cameo appearance in the film as the reporter on the beach that discusses the shark attacks.  

     

    7.23 Close to ShoreCLOSE TO SHORE
    By Michael Capuzzo
    (2001)

    Now that you are familiar with the story of Jaws, check out the historical inspiration behind it. This book tells the true story of a rogue shark that terrorized swimmers off the New Jersey coast in the summer of 1916. This was the beginning of our country’s shark hysteria and panic, causing beach-goers to think twice before going in the water.  

     

    7.23 Devils TeethDEVIL’S TEETH
    By Susan Casey
    (2005)

    This is the account of journalist Susan Casey’s obsession with great white sharks that led her to the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco. While not overly data-heavy, this book gives readers a sense of magical wonder at great whites and their relationship to these islands.  

     

    7.23 Encyclopedia of SharksTHE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SHARKS
    By Steve Parker
    (2008)

    Maybe you are tired of the largely false stereotypical Hollywood portrayal of sharks as mindless killers, and you want to learn more about these fascinating creatures. This volume gives you details and scientific facts on hundreds of shark species. You’ll learn about shark evolution, mating rituals, life-cycles, and conservation and protection efforts. That’s right, sharks need protection from an even scarier predator—us! Sharks are in danger from over fishing, sports fishing, and “finning,” and the ecological impact from losing these apex predators is proving to be dire.  

     

    7.23 JawsGREAT WHITE: THE MAJESTY OF SHARKS
    By Chris Fallows
    (2009) 

    Maybe you just want to look at stunning photos of massive great whites, leaping out of the water in a spray of foam and teeth. Well, here you go. You’re welcome.

     
  • history forgot

    History is seldom a straightforward affair, and often throws people who have made important contributions to the world to the wayside.  Especially when they don’t fit some predetermined profile of what someone with those contributions should be.  I think this forgotten and then rediscovered aspect adds an additional level of interest to their stories!  So many people think history is boring and dry, or very black and white.  The truth is that history is full of intrigue, mystery, and depth.  These five people are all noteworthy for contributions made, but have been banished to the margins of history all for different reasons. 

    11.30 Genius BelaboredGENIUS BELABORED: CHILDBED FEVER AND THE TRAGIC LIFE OF IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS
    By Theodore G Obenchain
    (2016)

    Before germ theory was understood and accepted, Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis had a brilliant solution to appalling mortality rates of new mothers caused by childbed fever: basic antiseptic measures such as hand washing by those attending births.  His solutions to childbed fever were ahead of his time, and rejected by the medical community for a number of reasons.  

     

     

    11.30 Rosalind FranklinROSALIND FRANKLIN: THE DARK LADY OF DNA
    By Brenda Maddox
    (2003)

    British chemist Rosalind Franklin was crucial to the discovery of the structure of DNA.  In 1962 her colleagues Maurice Wilkins, Francis Crick, and James Watson received the Nobel Prize but it was Franklin’s data and photographs, for which they did not give her credit, which led to their award-winning discovery.  

     

     

    11.30 The Fossil HunterTHE FOSSIL HUNTER: DINOSAURS, EVOLUTION, AND THE WOMAN WHOSE DISCOVERIES CHANGED THE WORLD
    By Shelley Emling
    (2011)

    The rhyme, “she sells sea shells by the sea shore” was inspired by Mary Anning, who discovered the first dinosaur skeleton at the age of twelve.  Before this discovery, it was widely believed that animals did not become extinct.  Her finds helped lay the groundwork for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.  

     

     

    11.30 The Woman Who Would Be KingTHE WOMAN WHO WOULD BE KING
    Bby Kara Cooney
    (2014)

    Hatshepsut was one of the few women in the indigenous dynasties of Ancient Egypt to rise to the position of Pharaoh.  Of those few women, she reigned the longest.  Her reign included one of Egypt’s most productive building periods, but near the end of the reign of her successor someone tried to erase her from the historical record.  Henrietta Lacks – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

     

     

    11.30 The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksTHE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS
    By Rebecca Skloot
    (2010) 

    The first “immortal” human cells, cells that will grow in culture, were gathered from a woman named Henrietta Lacks.  Her cells have been vital for many medical advances such as the polio vaccine, in vitro fertilization, gene mapping, and more.  However Henrietta was not ever informed that her cells had been taken and used for research, making way for all sorts of questions on ethics.

     

     

  • Headphones

    The past few years has seen the rise of podcasts. From solving cold cases, to chronicling every episode of the Gilmore Girls, there’s a show out there for everyone. And while it’s great to sit down and listen to an episode, sometimes I’m in the mood for a book. Lucky for me, some of my favorite podcasters have turned their creations into great reads. Here are a few great podcasts that just happen to be written down. 

    6.14 The World of LoreTHE WORLD OF LORE: MONSTROUS CREATURES
    By Aaron Mahnke
    (2017)

    Aaron Mahnke self-published several books before creating his breakout podcast, “Lore”. This book chronicles the strange, spooky, and absolutely true stories that made “Lore” not only a popular podcast, but tv series as well. Read through the real supernatural stories that haunt the chronicles of history. For more spine-tingling tales, check out the sequels, DREADFUL PLACES and WICKED MORTALS

     

    6.12 Here There Be GerblinsTHE ADVENTURE ZONE. HERE THERE BE GERBLINS
    By Clint McElroy

    The family that podcasts together, stays together. At least, that seems to be the case with Clint McElroy and his brothers, hosts and creators of such popular podcasts as “My Brother, My Brother and Me”, “Sawbones”, and many, many other shows. In this comic book adaptation of “The Adventure Zone”, the brothers join their father for a magical journey through a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Laugh, gasp and giggle as the family wades through a fantasy world filled with evil sorcerers, tea-drinking werewolves and goblin mines with terrible workplace comp. 

     

    6.12 Alice isnt DeadALICE ISN’T DEAD 
    By Joseph Fink
    (2018)

    Though Joseph Fink is known as the co-creator of the surreal, supernatural, “Welcome to Nightvale”, it’s his second go at podcasting that really shows off his storytelling skills. It chronicles the story of Keisha as she drives her semi truck cross-country, looking for her signs of her missing wife, Alice. As she drives she encounters strange and unusual happenings, which may or may not connect with Alice’s disappearance

     
  • LI Homebuying FB

    Buying a home, especially your first home, can be an exciting and terrifying experience. For me, the last month has been a rollercoaster of emotions. There have been ups and downs, twists and turns, and it’s emotionally exhausting.

    That said there have been some helpful books as we’ve prepared and started along this journey. If you too are considering a home purchase, here are a few to check out.

    2.26 Total Money MakeoverTOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER 
    By Dave Ramsey
    (2013)

    Start here as early as possible to get your finances in order. While we haven’t followed everything to the letter, we’ve made some pretty major changes to how we handle finances and it played one of the biggest roles in helping us get ready for this financial commitment.

     

    2.26 Tips and Traps When Buying a HomeTIPS AND TRAPS WHEN BUYING A HOME 
    By Robert Irwin
    (2009)

    The section on negotiating made a massive difference for us. Though this book was published 10 years ago there’s still some solid advice that we took to heart. It may be a sellers’ market right now, but if you look during the right months when competition from other buyers is at its lowest, you may still be able to strike a pretty sweet deal.

     

    2.26 Home Buying Kit for DummiesHOME BUYING KIT FOR DUMMIES 
    By Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
    (2016)

    Some key advice I took away from this book was related to emotional attachment. It’s important to look at a house as impartially as you can when considering what you need in your future home. Decide what is most important and valuable to you, and don’t get caught up on bonuses over needs.

     

    2.26 100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Ask100 QUESTIONS EVERY FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER SHOULD ASK 
    By Ilyce R. Glink
    (2005)

    I love to listen and absorb information, but I’m terrible at asking questions until I’ve had time to mull things over. These questions are ones to ask yourself, your agent, the seller, and your lender. I found them to be a great starting point for the conversations I needed to have, and got me thinking about those conversations early so that I knew what my questions were.

     

    HOME IMPROVEMENT REFERENCE CENTER

    Once you’ve made the purchase you may find yourself more focused on upkeep and personalization. I’ve talked about this resource before and it’s still one of the first places I turn to when I have repair questions. Yes, I’ve already looked up how to build bookshelves. Maybe you’re considering buying a fixer-upper or just need the basics, whichever category you fall into, the HOME IMPROVEMENT REFERENCE CENTER has got you covered.

     

    When browsing these books I read the sections that were important to me, and skipped around to see if there was any new information I hadn’t picked up elsewhere. There are several other books available on home buying (call # 643.12) and I highly recommend you take a look at ones that feel relevant to you and your unique circumstances.

    Best of luck future home owners, and may you find a home you love!

  • What the Heck is Hygge

    At this point in 2017, you’ve probably heard the word hygge at least once, especially if you follow the publishing industry at all. In the past twelve months, roughly a dozen books have come out on the topic, along with many articles and blog posts. Hygge was even runner up for the Collins English Dictionary word of the year. So what is it?

    Though hygge is also a word in Norwegian, it is primarily a Danish word that suggests a feeling of comfort, coziness, and contentment (pronunciation guides usually suggest it’s said hoo-ga, but the audiobooks I’ve listed to make it sound more like hoo-geh). A basic goal of Danish life, particularly during the long, cold winter months, is to make things and hyggeligt as possible. This involves good food, nights in with close friends, warm blankets and candles – lots and lots of candles. The Danes must be doing something right with all that hygge, because they consistently rank as the happiest people in the world and have an incredibly high quality of life.

    I’m prone to obsession once something catches my interest, and thanks to the explosion of Scandinavia-related publishing boom over the last year of so, I’m now engrossed by the Nordic way of life. An introverted culture, 35ish-hour workweek, and a tendency toward unity and trust? I’ll take it.

    Given that I know literally one Scandinavian person and roughly five words of Norwegian, a move across the Atlantic seems unwise for now. In the meantime, though, I can easily feed my fascination with all things Nordic through books. Here are a few of my recommendations: 

    7.27 The Nordic Theory of EverythingTHE NORDIC THEORY OF EVERYTHING: IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE
    Anu Partanen
    (2016)

    This is the book that kicked off my obsession with Nordic culture. Author Anu Partanen grew up in Finland and moved to the U.S. after falling in love with an American. As a fluent English speaker who had been to the States many times, she figured she’d be fine. Instead she found herself struggling with things that had been incredibly simple at home – setting up a cell phone, paying for medical expenses, paying taxes. The Nordic Theory of Everything isn’t an attack on the U.S. – Partanen admires many things about life here. Instead, it’s a comparison of American and Nordic societies with an emphasis on the “Nordic Theory of Love” which suggests that relationships must be built on equality. Partanen also does an excellent job of debunking misconceptions about the Nordic “nanny state” and points out the ways our own system creates unrecognized dependencies.

    7.27 The Year of Living DanishlyTHE YEAR OF LIVING DANISHLY
    Helen Russell
    (2016)

    Right after finishing Partanen’s book, I picked up this one, a delightful memoir from a British journalist who moved to Denmark so that her husband could live out his dream of working for LEGO. This is the book that first introduced me to hygge, and given that it was published last January, I wonder if it’s the one that set off the hygge trend. Russell is honest and snarky about her move –delighting in Danish pastry, puzzling over recycling regulations, and bemoaning the dark, frigid winters. She sets out to understand why Danes are so happy, researching Danish recreation, childcare, education, healthcare, and more. Her book is hilarious and insightful, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys memoirs.

    7.27 The Little Book of HyggeTHE LITTLE BOOK OF HYGGE: DANISH SECRETS TO HAPPY LIVING
    Meik Wiking
    (2017)

    Meik Wiking certainly knows what he’s talking about when it comes to hygge – he’s CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (yes, that's a thing). In this quick read, he points out simple things that create hygge – good lighting, food and drink, filling your home with high quality materials you love, and togetherness – and he backs it up with psychological research.

     

     

    7.27 How to HyggeHOW TO HYGGE: THE NORDIC SECRETS TO A HAPPY LIFE
    Signe Johansen
    (2017)

    I’ve just started this one, but I can tell that it has a slightly different approach from Wiking’s book. She covers some of the same topics – what hygge is, how to design your home with coziness in mind, spending time with loved ones – but this is primarily a cookbook. Johansen is a Norwegian chef, so if you’d like to try your hand at delicious Scandinavian recipes, this is the hygge book for you. Bonus points: it has lovely pictures to go along with many of the recipes.

     

    7.27 Modern Living Scandinavian StyleMODERN LIVING: SCANDINAVIAN STYLE
    Claire Bingham
    (2016)

    If you love the clean, natural look of Scandinavian interiors, look no further. Modern Living: Scandinavian Style goes room by room, offering tips on achieving a lived-in look. The book focuses on practical, light-filled design based around high quality materials and features interviews with numerous well-known interior designers.

     

    7.27 The Danish Way of ParentingTHE DANISH WAY OF PARENTING
    By Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl
    (2016)

    This one is still on my to-read list, since the library doesn't own it yet, but it's intriguing. Along the lines of Bringing Up Bebe, it offers an alternative to American parenting styles, with an emphasis on play, emphathy, togetherness, happiness, and avoiding power struggles.

     

     

    Clearly, Scandinavia is having something of a publishing moment, and I’m having something of a Scandinavian book year. If you get really swept up by the Nordic wave, the library has even more hygge-related books in its physical and digital collections, so happy (and hyggeligt) reading!  

    Save

  • Poetry Quiz 

    In a poetry rut? Hungry for fantastic metaphors and scrumptious imagery? Take our quiz and get a recommendation personally selected for you by a poetry-loving librarian at the Provo City Library!

    What’s your favorite color?

    1. Wintergreen
    2. Carmine red and lapis lazuli blue
    3. The color of trees
    4. *Black—like my soul 
     

    Which best describes your dream vacation?

    1. Somewhere with lots of nature
    2. Somewhere with lots of history
    3. Anywhere outside of America
    4. Somewhere spooky 
     

    How do you feel about Marie Kondo?

    1. Keeping a house in order is a good thing.
    2. This world is chaos and disorder.Ideally we would clean and purge ourselves of untidiness, but cleaning is complicated and untidiness is intricate.
    3. Magical thinking.
    4. It’s a great way to subvert the capitalist patriarchy! 
     

    Which superhero would you be?

    1. No thanks. I like the quiet of a normal human life.
    2. (Your Name), Patron Saint of (Your Favorite Food)
    3. Assassin of Assassins: fights those who hurt others
    4. Indigo Girl: can tell the future, talk to ghosts, read minds, cast spells 
     

    How do you consume music?

    1. One album at a time
    2. Only in vinyl form. The sound quality is better on the older format and it’s fun to watch the needle move down in circles.
    3. Mixes and playlists
    4. I like to play it myself on whatever instrument I can get my hands on! 
     

    Morning person or night owl?

    1. Morning person. I love silvery early dawns.
    2. I prefer the shrouded dusky skies of evening
    3. I love daylight when everyone’s out and I am a witness to the whole world!
    4. Night owl forever. 
     

    Describe your style.

    1. Classic and practical
    2. Gucci-ish and dramatic
    3. Eclectic and flashy
    4. Bohemian and edgy 
     

    If you answered mostly A, you’d love:

    11.11 The Wild IrisTHE WILD IRIS
    By Louise Gluck
    (1992)

    In THE WILD IRIS, spareness meets loveliness, wryness meets praise for the beauty and sorrow of the natural world and of human beings and relationships. THE WILD IRIS is an astounding study in collection-building as it spans both a whole day and a cycle of seasons from spring to fall, with individual poems taking on different species of flowers, and Gluck building wonderful and surprising metaphors for each one that address marriage, grief, and her role as a woman and poet. Call number 811.54 GLU 

     

    If you answered mostly B, you should read:

    11.11 The InfernoTHE INFERNO
    By Dante
    (2009 translation)

    Time to go back to the oeuvres of the ancients! Well, not exactly ancient—Dante wrote THE INFERNO during the Renaissance and if you haven’t read it yet, consider this your call to action. THE INFERNO is the first part of a three-part epic poem that explores the various circles of Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise through the perspective of a fictional Dante, guided through the experience by Virgil. In THE INFERNO, the two descend to the depths of Hell while Dante narrates the whole thing using meticulous terza rima.

    Call number 851 DAN 2009 

     

    If you answered mostly C, try:

    11.11 American Sonnets for My Past and Future AssassinAMERICAN SONNETS FOR MY PAST AND FUTURE ASSASSIN
    By Terrance Hayes
    (2018)

    AMERICAN SONNETS is just that—sonnets by an American and about America and its current sociopolitical state, especially concerning race relations and the status of minorities. Influenced by the Gerard Manley Hopkins-like sprung rhythms and internal rhymes of hip-hop and rap, Hayes’ poems are sonically stellar tongue-twisters that inspire reflection on the words themselves and the slippery relationships between their definitions and connotations.

    Call number 811.54 HAY 2018 

    *From line 10 of “American Sonnet for My Past and Future Assassin [Any day now you will have the ability to feed the name]” 

     

    If you answered mostly D, you’ll enjoy:

    11.11 Witch WifeWITCH WIFE
    By Kiki Petrosino
    (2017)

    With an incantatory sound quality reminiscent of “Sow” by Sylvia Plath, WITCH WIFE is a delightful take on womanhood, femininity, and power in a patriarchal world. Although Petrosino’s collection feels very much a product of a contemporary moment, it hearkens to William Blake, Macbeth, and the subversive ways of women across centuries. It is at once dark, light, spooky, funny, weighty, and whimsical. 

    Call number 811.6 PET 2017 

     

    Find more poetry books on our second floor in call number section 811!

  • Read to Travel

    Hopefully you all aren’t tired of these random  vacation  posts yet! I have been talking about some of my favorite places to travel because of the books that are associated with them—or perhaps they have become some of my favorite books because of the places I have traveled…

    Either way, I have talked about Hannibal, Missouri; Rome, Italy; and London, England so far. Today I’m talking about another location that I had planned to visit for years, Concord, Massachusetts.

    3. Concord, Massachusetts, USA

    When I first went to Concord, Massachusetts, it felt like a dream come true! At that point I had just graduated from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in English (note: this means I had read a lot of American literature, and I do mean A LOT). I had studied so many wonderful American authors, and was surprised that so many authors that I loved lived and wrote in Concord—and all at the same time! In fact, one of my final papers for one class was all about how every English major that studied American literature had to eventually go and visit Concord. 

    My absolute favorite place to visit in Concord (and the main reason why I wanted to travel there) was to visit the home of Louisa May Alcott. I loved visiting the place where Alcott wrote LITTLE WOMEN. And now whenever I reread anything about the March sisters, I can’t help but think of Orchard House in Concord. Such a beautiful setting that feels like Jo March must be around the corner writing everything all down. 

    Orchard House

    My second favorite place to visit in Concord is Walden Pond. Yup. That Walden Pond. The one made famous by Henry David Thoreau and his book WALDEN. I loved going and hiking around the pond (not just looking at the little replica cabin that mimics Thoreau’s simple living quarters, though that was fun too). But to actually get away from the parking lot and to just feel the peacefulness of nature—it was a happy moment. 

    Another place that felt like I was stepping into a book was at the Ralph Waldo Emerson House. I studied so many Emerson essays (again, I was an English major) that I felt like going to his home was adding another layer to why Emerson wrote what he wrote. Then there is a trip to The Old Manse (where Emerson wrote his first draft of Nature and where Nathaniel Hawthorne—yes that Nathanial Hawthorne—lived). Plus there is also the idea that The Old Manse looks at the Old North Bridge, the bridge that was mentioned in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride." 

    Man—who knew there was so much literature to “visit” when planning a vacation to Concord, Massachusetts? Well, my English professors did, which is why they inspired me to actually plan a trip out to the East Coast—just so I could take in all the settings of so many books I love. 

    I have two more spots left—favorites vacations where I traveled to because of the books I have read. Yup, these two places were solely vacations planned based on beloved books. Keep reading to find out where they are!

  •  Recycled Crafts

    I love recycling projects because I can turn something old, that still has plenty of wear, into something new and useful again.

    For example, my son recently ripped several of his old jeans. I hate to throw away good denim but the only thing I could think of to repurpose his old jeans was to make a quilt. However, I don’t have enough denim or the time for a project like that so, I have been trying to think of ways I could use this denim. Recently, I came across a book that had several ideas for using old jeans and turning them into something new, like a bag or a skirt. It got me thinking about what I could make with what I already have. This discovery came at a perfect time since I can’t go to the craft store right now to get ideas or supplies and I have been wanting to make something.

    If you are feeling like me and want some ideas for using what you already have lying around the house, take a look at these resources and then go and create something new.

    CREATIVE BUG

    This online resource is free with your current library card and it has many ideas for crafts you can make. If you want recycling crafts specifically, type “recycle” in the search bar and it will bring up several ideas. Check out this fun website and get your creative juices flowing as you watch tutorials with step-by-step instructions on how to do a wide variety of crafting.

     

    OVERDRIVE

    Many of our books can be checked out online through OVERDRIVE or LIBBY. If you type in “recycled crafts”, you will find multiple titles that can inspire you to make many creative projects such as puppets, quilts, or little fixes for clothing.

     

    5.5 Cool Crafts with Old JeansCOOL CRAFTS WITH OLD JEANS: GREEN PROJECTS FOR RESOURCEFUL KIDS
    By Carol Sirrine
    (2010)

    This is a great book with lots of pictures and step-by-step instructions on how to make something new with your old jeans. It contains decorating ideas for your room and lots of fun crafts. Some require sewing and some can be done with a hot glue gun. Check it out and repurpose some of your old jeans.

     

    5.5 b The Craft a Day BookTHE CRAFT-A-DAY BOOK: 30 PROJECTS TO MAKE WITH RECYCLED MATERIALS 
    By Kari Cornell
    (2018)

    If you’re looking for a book to help you come up with ideas for recycling and where to find materials, this book is for you. It contains a wide range of ideas for using old t-shirts, sweaters or socks to make something new. We are surrounded with what we need, we just need inspiration. This book will inspire you to look closely at the world around you for inspiration in making your crafts and challenge you to use recycled and reusable materials.

     

    5.5 DIY T Shirt CraftsDIY T-SHIRT CRAFTS: FROM BRAIDED BRACELETS TO FLOOR PILLOWS, 50-UNEXPECTED WAYS TO RECYCLE YOUR OLD T-SHIRTS 
    By Adrianne Surian
    (2015)

    We all have t-shirts piled up around the house that we hate to get rid of because they still have plenty of wear, so if you are looking for a way to repurpose these old t-shirts check out this DIY book. You will find a wide variety of ideas to help you transform those old t-shirts into fun stylish accessories that won’t break the bank.

     
  • pearl harbor

     

    75 years ago, December 7, 1941 was declared "a date which will live in infamy" in American memory after a sudden and deliberate attack on Pearl Harbor that committed the United States to the most devastating war in human history. 

    The Provo City Library commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor with a new exhibit, “Infamy: December 7, 1941,” a photographic memorial in The Attic.

    On Dec. 7, in honor of the 75th anniversary of the attack, the Provo Library will host Dr. Robert Freeman author of “Saints at War” and associate professor at BYU. Join Freeman as he presents collected stories and experiences from solders at Pearl Harbor.

    Here are five books to honor the memories of that historic day:

    Pearl HarborPEARL HARBOR: FROM INFAMY TO GREATNESS
    by Craig Nelson  
    (2016)

    The America we live in was not born on July 4, 1776, but on December 7, 1941, when an armada of Japanese warplanes supported by aircraft carriers, destroyers, and midget submarines suddenly attacked the United States, killing 2,403 men and forcing America's entry into World War II. Author Craig Nelson maps the road to war, beginning in 1914 with the laying of the keel of the USS Arizona at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, following Japan's leaders as they lurched into ultranationalist fascism, and providing a blow-by-blow account from both the Japanese and American perspectives.

     

    day of infamyDAY OF INFAMY
    by Walter Lord 
    (1957)

    Describes the events of December 7, 1941, before, during, and after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, as well as the reactions of the men who lived through the attack.

     

     

     

    remember pearl harborREMEMBER PEARL HARBOR: AMERICAN AND JAPANESE SURVIVORS TELL THEIR STORIES
    by Thomas B. Allen
    (2001)

    Part of National Geographic's "Remember" series, this book shares the stories of survivors in a format accessible to younger readers. 

     

    what was pearl harborWHAT WAS PEARL HARBOR?
    by Patricia Demuth
    (2013)

    Another title for younger readers, this book teaches important dates and facts about the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.     

     

                     

                                                                                                            

    at dawn we sleptAT DAWN WE SLEPT: THE UNTOLD STORY OF PEARL HARBOR
    by Gordan W. Prange
    (2001)

    The monumental history of Pearl Harbor that The New York Times called "impossible to forget"--now with a new chapter by Goldstein and Dillon. Based on 37 years of massive research and countless interviews, this is a landmark study written with the dramatic sweep of a martial epic.

     

     

  • Music Books

    Music is important in our house. I play a little piano, my husband plays the guitar and ukulele, my children are taking piano lessons, and we all love to sing. We own a lot of music books and sheet music, but as much as I would love to have my own full music library, it isn’t possible.

    Thankfully, the library has tons of music! There are many compilations, anthologies and a huge span of books from classical to currently popular artists and musicals.

    I love checking out music from the library. It adds variety to what we own. I have a chance to try out music I am considering to purchase. I am not an accomplished pianist - I'm mediocre at best - and I often need to see if the book will be enjoyable for me to own, based on how well I am able to sight-read the music (though if I would just buckle down and practice more often I would be able to play the more advanced stuff). 

    Here are a few of my favorites from the library I have tried.

    2.12 NewsiesNEWSIES
    Composed by Alan Menken
    (1992)

    I was probably a little obsessed with the movie Newsies when it came out. My friends and I basically watched it every chance we could and memorized all the songs. The library has the original motion picture music as well as the new Broadway adaptation music book. I may have also recently shown the movie to my children and given my daughter the soundtrack on CD. It makes my heart happy to have the obsession continue to the next generation and have the music playing in my home. 

     

    2.12 The Man from Snowy RiverTHE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER
    Composed by Bruce Rowland
    (1982)

    When I was in high school I learned to play “Jessica’s Theme” and “The Man from Snowy River: Main Title Theme”. I just had the sheet music for those two songs. I love that the library has the entire book of music from the movie. 

     

    2.12 Disneys Princess CollectionDISNEY’S PRINCESS COLLECTION
    By Walt Disney Company
    (2002)

    This “Big Note Piano” version is available in the children’s department. If you have a princess lover, this is the collection for you. This is a simplified version even beginning piano students can successfully play. 

     

    2.12 The Greatest ShowmanTHE GREATEST SHOWMAN
    Composed by Benji Pasek
    (2017)

    Greatest Showman songs exploded last year. I loved that it was a well done movie, with amazing music AND I could share the entire experience with my children. We listened and sang along with the music together. It has been fun to extend our experience and fill our home with the music on the piano and guitar.  

     

    2.12 La La LandLA LA LAND
    Composed by Justin Hurwitz
    (2016)

    I have always loved musicals and I am glad they are popular again. Although I haven’t yet shared this movie experience with my children, I love tinkering around and singing along to the jazzy songs on the piano. 

     
  • Sourdough Bread

    Did you know that authentic sourdough bread can be great for diabetics, those with gluten sensitivities, and makes the nutrients in wheat more available to the body?  When I decided to start baking bread this way, I had no idea it came with a host of health benefits.  The benefit that caught my attention?  Free yeast for life!  One day at work I came across this book, The Art Of Baking With Natural Yeast, and decided to try it.  At first I really struggled getting results that resembled bread more than a brick, but after lots of research and baking I can now make a loaf worth sharing! 

    These four books are the best I have found about baking with an authentic sourdough starter and should contain all the information you need to make delicious bread as well as crackers, pancakes, pizza, muffins, and more!  (Natural yeast, sourdough starter, levain, and wild yeast are basically all terms for the same thing.)

    4.29 The Art of Baking with Natural YeastTHE ART OF BAKING WITH NATURAL YEAST
    By Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson
    (2012)

    This has easy to understand instructions for how to take care of your starter, which is what I like best about it.  It also discusses the health benefits, and has different kinds of recipes for the starter.  I also like that it comes from a home baker perspective, not a professional baker perspective. 

     

    4.29 Beyond Basics with Natural YeastBEYOND BASICS WITH NATURAL YEAST
    By Melissa Richardson
    (2014)

    This is more of a cookbook than an instruction book, but it has a large variety of recipes including specialty breads, crackers, pasta, waffles, muffins, and more.  It also has more info on caring for a starter. 

     

    4.29 Flour Water Salt YeastFLOUR WATER SALT YEAST
    By Ken Forkish
    (2012)

    I like this one because it gets really in depth with the bread making process and what effects different variables have at different stages, and discusses convenient baking schedules.  While the book primarily includes breads made with commercial yeast, Part 3 has five chapters about baking with levain.   

     

    4.29 Tartine BreadTARTINE BREAD
    By Chad Robertson
    (2010)

    Robertson’s book also gives an extensive look at the bread making process and different variables, and is full of instructional photographs.  Unlike Forkish’s book, this one is specifically focused on levain breads and has a broader range of recipes.  

     

    Some of the tips I’ve learned that have had the biggest impact on my bread are these: folding dough is a thousand times easier than kneading and is more effective for less effort; measure your ingredients by weight, not by volume; whole wheat flour needs more water than white flour, especially if you grind your own; temperature directly impacts how long it takes the dough to rise; if you over-proof your dough on the first rise it is impossible to shape; how much time has passed since you last fed/refreshed your yeast starter has a huge impact on flavor; and it’s okay if it takes a lot of trying to get that perfect loaf!

  •  Utah

    Summer vacation is right around the corner and I have to be honest and say that part of me is dreading it! I love my kids and I love having them home but after about a week I start hearing, “I’m bored!”, “There’s nothing to do!” or worse, they start bickering with each other. I am determined to make this summer different. I want to make plans to get out and discover fun things to do in the area. There is a great link on the Provo Library website of What To Do In Provo that has lots of ideas for each season. Here are several books that are perfect for planning some fun adventures. 

    5.15 PlaydatePLAYDATE WITH SALT LAKE CITY AND UTAH’S WASATCH FRONT: OVER 200 CREATVIE ADVENTURES FOR UNFORGETTABLE FAMILY FUN
    By Emily Smith Robbins
    (2014)

    This is an amazing book, full of fun color photos and tons of ideas for things to do around the area. It is broken up into the following categories:

    • Museums & More
    • Animal Attractions,
    • Historic sites,
    • Gardens & the Outdoors
    • Playgrounds & Parks
    • Hikes & Nature Walks
    • Performing Arts
    • Indoor Play Spaces
    • Hands-on Experiences
    • Amusement Parks & Fun Centers
    • Splash Pads & Fountains
    • Indoor Swimming
    • Outdoor Swimming
    • Story Time & Libraries
    • Tours!
    • Unique Adventures
    • Ski Areas & Resorts
    • Sporting Events
    • Park City
    • Heber City

    Each entry lists the address, hours, admission, parking, food rules, where to find discounts, what to expect and other nearby attractions. I seriously love this book and plan on letting my kids look through it to help plan our adventures for this summer. 

     

    5.15 Fun with the Family in UtahFUN WITH THE FAMILY IN UTAH
    By Michael Rutter
    (2004)

    This guide is divided up by regions in Utah and then within each section it divides it by cities. There are fun little facts spread throughout the book. This book is a little dated, so it would be good to double check the information on the internet before you head to one of these destinations, but it is still a good resource to get some ideas. 

     

    5.15 Outdoor EscapesOUTDOOR ESCAPES SALT LAKE CITY: A FOUR SEASON GUIDE
    By Robin Norris & Freddie Snalam
    (2003)

    This guide is divided by types of activities. You can find things like bird watching, ballooning, boating, camping, fishing, golf, hang gliding, horseback riding, ice climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, scuba diving, wildlife-watching, and lots of other outdoor activities. Each entry gives basic information and description. This book was published in 2003 so it would be a good idea to double check the information and make sure the venue is still open. 

     

    5.15 Salt Lake CitySALT LAKE CITY: ENSIGN TO THE NATIONS: WALKING TOURS
    By John P. Livingstone
    (2008)

    Downtown Salt Lake City is full of many historical sites. This small guide divides the city into three walking tours: Temple Square, Pioneer Business District, and Capitol Hill and Pioneer Memorial Museum. Colored boxes give the walking directions as you move from one point of interest to another. This book is full of historical facts and colored pictures.   

     

    5.15 Utah CuriositiesUTAH CURIOSITIES: QUIRKY CHARACTERS, ROADSIDE ODDITIES & OTHER OFFBEAT STUFF
    By Brandon Griggs
    (2008)

    This book is full of fun things that make Utah unique. It’s not a guide to the state, but it would definitely make a road trip more interesting.  Divided into 7 geographical areas, the author talks about interesting people, restaurants, museums and natural landforms for each area. It is a fun book to browse! We live in a pretty amazing state.

     
  •  take a hike

    At this time of year I often start to get wanderlust. The sun is shining and I want to go explore. I want to buy plane tickets and go to places I’ve never been… and not be stuck inside working. I am always a bit more ambitious and excited in the daydreams than in real life. Anyone else feel this way? I think that could be attributed to poor planning ahead. When I finally have a free day, I haven’t planned a thing and so my wandering isn’t happening. I love hiking, but finding the right one last minute can be daunting, so I end up going to the same hikes over and over again.  Here’s where the library can really help! The library has a wealth of information available for the travel-minded, especially for those who love the outdoors. 

    From the comfort of your own computer you can discover so much on our website. I’m sure these pages are under appreciated simply because most people don’t know they exist! Some helpful lists and links that can help you discover the surrounding area of Provo found on this page, including information about:

    • Outdoor specialties- water, caves, ponds

    • Hiking and biking trails

    • Bird watching and other wildlife watching

    • Campgrounds

    • Neighboring city parks

    • Scenic drives

    • Rental stores for all outdoor needs

    • Links to helpful resources: national parks, Utah forest service, state parks, fishing guide, hot springs etc 

    When I see this list I want to do all the things! But there’s quite a few so I’ll start small. I’m most excited about the various hiking and biking options. Each hike has location, directions, terrain level and pictures to show the beauty of Utah. Some hikes that look particularly good for me to do this summer include:

    • Grotto Falls trail

    • Battle CreekCanyon Falls

    • Dry Canyon trails

    • Fifth water trail- this one leads to hot pots!

    • 5 Senses nature trail 

    14883520 10157676473555258 4236593460787473560 o
    Ashlee B. Gilson, Bridal Veil Falls, Provo Photo Contest

    Places on the outdoors list that I already love and would recommend to anyone new or old to Provo:

    • Bridal Veil Falls- this is where my family goes for ‘nature walks’. It’s not quite a hike and yet it’s in the canyon and you can be close to the waterfall and go for a quick, very easy walk.

    • Timpanogos Caves- I have fond memories of running this zigzag trail with my cousins as a kid. We’d go to the cave as a family, and the hike up to the cave is quite nice.

    • Deer Creek State Park- This can be a fun place to take a BBQ picnic. Or if you have the option to go boating or paddle boarding, that is really fun too! But beware -  this water is FREEZING! Even in the middle of a hot summer I’d recommend a wetsuit.

    • Provo River and River Trails- These are fun for so many activities. Along the Provo river trail you can run, bike or longboard (be aware you can get going pretty fast at some places so wear a helmet!). The river is also pretty cold even in the middle of summer, but it’s fun to float the river in inner tubes.

    • Utah Lake State Park- around the lake there are a few walkways for a peaceful stroll, and close to the water there are always lots of rocks to throw in or to skip haha! There are also covered picnic tables for your use. This is a great spot if you want an outdoor location to film engagement videos!

    • Bonneville Shoreline Trail- For a long time I have lived close to various parts of this trail. You can quickly leave suburbia and feel like you are in the mountains because the trails snake along the base of them. I’d usually see other joggers but never too many to make it feel crowded. These get really dark at night so be careful! (I’m paranoid a cougar will come get me when I’m alone on a walk/hike)

    14876662 10157676474810258 6572691505244594409 o 1
    Brian Mortenson, Rock Canyon, Provo Photo Contest

     ***If you want to get really ambitious the library has all sorts of maps of national parks complete with trails and topography maps to navigate!! These would be great if you plan to backpack in the Uintas! You can find these maps on the second floor under the call number 912.7925 MAPS UTAH. Come check these out!

    What hikes are you looking forward to this summer? Are there any important ones missing from our website? Enjoy this beautiful weather and happy hiking!

  •  8.9 Tales of Technology

    There have been many improvements in the technological world within the past decade that have forever changed the way we live. Sometimes I get scared thinking about just how much information is available online! And let’s face it: we all know that one person who claims technology will be the death of the human race. If you haven’t recently pondered about technology’s power here are some books that will help you start thinking about its influence.  

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

    Wade Watts, a poor and orphaned teenager, spends most of his day on a virtual reality game called the OASIS, like the millions of other people on earth. The OASIS’s late creator embedded a puzzle behind for only the most cunning players to solve. The prize? Wealth beyond imagination, and Wade has just found the first clue… In a race against both time and millions of other determined players, Wade is on the adventure of his life.  

     

    8.9 Bad BloodBAD BLOOD: LIES AND SECRETS IN A SILICON VALLEY STARTUP 
    By John Carreyrou
    (2018)

    Carreyrou’s journalism skills are on point in covering the slow yet steady implosion of the Theranos company, headed by infamous CEO Elizabeth Holmes. Through performing interviews and meticulous research, Carreyrou presents the catastrophic and unbelievable story of how Holmes misled investors and employees for years about the “miracle” technology that was going to change the face of modern healthcare. You won’t believe this is based on a true story as you read!  

     

    8.9 The CircleTHE CIRCLE 
    By Dave Eggers
    (2013)

    This book explores what reality would be like if society took technology that far. Mae gets a job at the Circle, a powerful internet company. The higher she climbs in the company, the more she realizes how little privacy she retains in her personal life. This book features unique yet troubling technology use: politicians live stream their every move, so their viewers can experience their life with them. When Mae starts streaming her life for millions of followers, she must decide how loyal she will be to the Circle. Eggers challenges our thoughts about intrusive technology and leaves the reader hanging on until the end!

     
  • Teen Self Help

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     
  • Scary Woman

    It’s October, which means Halloween is getting close! Many people find macabre and unsettling stories to be extra fun to read at this time of year. The following is a list of books that detail true stories of female criminals. Murderers are usually thought of as men, but these women have proven that they can be just as devastatingly and unspeakably evil.  

    10.30 Till Death Do Us Part‘TILL DEATH DO US PART: LOVE, MARRIAGE, AND THE MIND OF THE KILLER SPOUSE
    By Dr. Robi Ludwig & Matt Birkbeck
    (2006)

    At least six people in the U.S. are murdered every day by a spouse/intimate partner. This book features the psychological profiles of infamous killer spouses – many of them women!  

     

    10.30 Tender MurderersTENDER MURDERERS: WOMEN WHO KILL
    By Trina Robbins
    (2003)

    This book is divided into sections that revolve around a particular theme, like murder for money, murder for love, etc. What drives a woman to kill? What brings her to that point of no return?  

     

    10.30 Lady KillersLADY KILLERS: DEADLY WOMEN THROUGHOUT HISTORY
    By Tori Telfer
    (2017)

    Is there such a thing as a female serial killer? This book argues that there definitely is and gives fourteen fascinatingly disturbing examples as proof.  

     

    10.30 BurnedBURNED
    By Edward Humes
    (2019)

    In 1989, Jo Ann Parks survived a house fire that killed her three children. In 1993, she was arrested and convicted of setting that fire. Did she kill her children?   

     

    10.30 Ugly PreyUGLY PREY
    By Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi
    (2017)

    This fascinating book is different than the others on this list – the criminal, Sabella Nitti, was not a criminal at all. Readers won’t be able to put down this heartbreaking and true story of the first woman to be sentenced to death in Chicago.

     
  • mountains

    Utah is a great place to have fun in the summer! Our website has a great list of activities and events during summer, but don’t forget to enjoy the amazing mountain ranges and hiking trails. The natural beauty of our state attracts visitors from all over the world, so you should enjoy it too!

    Waterfalls are great hiking destinations, and the surrounding area has quite a few to choose from. For an easy and beautiful hike, give Stewart Falls a try. Donut Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon is a unique and fun experience. For the more adventurous hikers, there are Emerald Lake and Mount Timpanogos, as well as Mount Nebo and Lake Blanche.  

    Don’t forget that beautiful vistas are not the only thing to enjoy up in the mountains. Utah is full of interesting geology, and rockhounding is an interesting hobby for the Utah hikers. The mountains are also full of nature’s bounty, and foraging can be a fun pastime if you need a more immediately rewarding hiking experience. It is so satisfying to create a meal from ingredients that you picked out in the wild! Try to take someone along that is familiar with edible plants in the area to avoid any mis-identifications!  

    However you enjoy your hike, don’t forget to bring plenty of water, wear good shoes, and protective clothing. Hiking alone can be fun, but it is best to bring a buddy along, or better yet, go with the whole family! Getting away from life’s distractions is a great way to bond with loved ones and is fantastic physical exercise.  

    Whether you want to enjoy the abundant trails, the beautiful scenery, or the breathtaking waterfalls, the Provo Library has some great books to inspire your visit to the mountains!  

    Hiking the WasatchHIKING THE WASATCH 
    By John Veranth
    (2014)

    Complete with maps and black and white photographs, this is a great resource for anyone that would like to explore Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, or Little Cottonwood Canyon, as well as several other areas along the Wasatch front. Veranth discusses general hiking tips and even has a section on the history of the Wasatch Mountains for anyone interested in the geology of the area.  

     

     

    Rockhounding UtahROCKHOUNDING UTAH: A GUIDE TO THE STATE'S BEST ROCKHOUNDING SITES 
    By Garry Warren
    (2014)

    This lovely little book is full of great information and beautiful photographs to get any rock hound excited about Utah. The author divides the state into different areas and showcases different rocks that can be found there. Complete with maps and advice on rockhounding etiquette, this is a great pick for anyone looking for a new outdoor hobby.  

     

     

    Best Hikes with DogsBEST HIKES WITH DOGS UTAH 
    By Dayna Stern
    (2013)

    Ok, this book is just adorable! And perfect for anyone that loves to hike with their four-legged best friend. The first section has tips and etiquette for hiking with dogs on any trail. The rest of the book lists a great number of trails ranging from northern Utah all the way to Southwestern Utah with everywhere in between. Grab your pet and upgrade your walk to a great hike outdoors.  

     

     

     

    Edible Wild PlantsEDIBLE WILD PLANTS
    By John Kallas
    (2010)

    Whether you are a foraging enthusiast or simply have a budding interest in botany or gardening, this book is for you. John Kallas covers a wide variety of wild greens and informs the reader about important stages in plant development. Each plant described in this book has its own chapter filled with beautiful color photographs, maps, and engaging description to help even the most novice of enthusiasts. Kallas even provides information about poisonous look-alikes, as well as nutritional information. With this great reference in hand, a wild food adventurer can up their game both in the wilderness and in the kitchen.

  • Roaring 20s

    Chop your hair into a shingled bob, start wearing low-waist dresses, and learn to do the Charleston. But a word of warning—if you’re faking your identity to win back the lost love of your life through fraud and wealth, your story might not end so well, old sport

    Since most of us weren’t alive during the first roaring twenties (looking at you, centenarians), people everywhere geared up to celebrate the 2020s in style. The 1920s were marked by decadence, lavish parties, and making the most of youth. While social distancing might put a damper on some of that, you can still celebrate the second roaring twenties by picking up a book, whether it be fact or fiction, and diving in.

    Books from the 1920s: 

    4.14 The Sun Also RisesTHE SUN ALSO RISES
    By Ernest Hemingway
    (1926) 

    Perhaps Hemingway’s most enduring classic, THE SUN ALSO RISES, is also his most quintessentially 1920s. In his recognizable prose style, he captures the spirit of the expatriates living in Europe.THE SUN ALSO RISES is a roman à clef, and is based on the actual experiences of Hemingway and a group of friends while on a trip to Spain.  

     

    4.14 The Mysterious Affair at StylesTHE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES
    By Agatha Christie
    (1920) 

    For fans of classic mystery novels, this is Christie’s first use of Hercule Poirot, her famous Belgian inspector. Despite being Christie’s first published mystery novel, it was well-received, and praised for cleverness. The plot involves a poisoning, an ever-changing will, and a mysterious argument. 

     

    Books Set in the 1920s: 

    4.14 The House at RivertonTHE HOUSE AT RIVERTON
    By Kate Morton
    (2008) 

    Grace Bradley was once a servant at the impressive Riverton House, owned by the wealthy and glamorous Hartford family. She is now ninety-eight years old, and for the last seventy-five years she has kept a secret about a young man’s death. A film director is interested in her account of events, and in telling her story. Grace is forced to relive that fateful summer.   

     

    4.14 Gods of Jade and ShadowGODS OF JADE AND SHADOW
    By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
    (2019) 

    Casiopea Tun dreams of living a life more interesting than her quiet life in Southern Mexico, where she cleans floors for her grandfather. She gets all the adventure she could want, and more, when she finds a wooden box and accidentally releases the Mayan god of death, who wants her to assist him on a quest. Agreeing to go, Casiopea is swept into a world steeped in danger and darkness, but full of possibility.  

     

    Nonfiction About the 1920s: 

    4.14 Bright Young ThingsBRIGHT YOUNG THINGS
    By Alison Maloney
    (2013) 

    For those in search of a quick overview of the twenties, this book will be your best friend. It’s a guide to the parties, music, cocktails, and history of the roaring twenties and it’ll help you infuse some of that flapper spirit into your next soirée.  

     

    4.14 The Great SwimTHE GREAT SWIM
    By Gavin Mortimer
    (2008) 

    For something a little different, THE GREAT SWIM recounts the first women to swim the English Channel in 1926. This book, which uses primary sources to construct a narrative of these four women, also gives cultural context to the situation. 

     
  •  Passport

    My husband and I try to take a vacation at least every other year, but we haven’t had much money to do so and usually end up going somewhere close by for a few days. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still nice but sometimes I wish we could afford to go somewhere a little more exotic.

    Because of this, I often find myself reading as a way to travel instead. Luckily, the library has a great selection of travelogues! While travelogues aren’t the same as actually travelling the world, they’re definitely a lot cheaper (especially if you check them out from the library). Here are a few of the library’s most recent travelogue purchases:

    10.4 The RhineTHE RHINE 
    By Ben Coates
    (2018)

    For five years, author Ben Coates lived alongside the Rhine River. In this book, he details his journey by bicycle along the river. He explores the impact that the Rhine has had on European culture and history, particularly those who live alongside it.

     

    10.4 My 25 Years in ProvenceMY TWENTY-FIVE YEARS IN PROVENCE
    By Peter Mayle
    (2018)

    Twenty-five years ago, Peter Mayle and his wife went on a vacation. When their original vacation destination fell through, the ended up in Aix-en-Provence. While there, they fell in love with town and decided to uproot their lives in England to move there.

     

    10.4 South Toward HomeSOUTH TOWARD HOME 
    By Julia Reed
    (2018)

    For some travel a little closer to home, this book is about Julia Reed traveling through the American South where she grew up. With humor and affection, she explores the highs of Southern life while also shining a light on some of the region’s more embarrassing tendencies.

     
  • writerfriendly

     

    Here at the library, we love having authors come to speak with our patrons about the books they've written. But one thing I've noticed at almost every single author event is that they also talk about the act of writing, and they give advice to others on how to improve their writing experiences. It strikes me as an incredible opportunity to hear from people in the trenches, who have a lot of experience and knowledge to share.

    Libraries would be nothing without writers and authors, and we try to support them here at the Provo City Library. I know several writers who come here regularly to write on our quiet floor. Each November we host a series of NaNoWriMo events to encourage and support writers in our community. Our Authorlink events are a great opportunity to meet with professional writers and get advice and maybe even a little cheerleading from them.

    We also have a few items in our collection that may help you on your path as a writer. I'd like to recommend these titles if you're looking to improve your craft or even turn your work into a profitable creation:

    THE WRITER'S MARKET
    (note: we also have Novel & Short Story Writer's Market, Children's Writer's & Illustrator's Market, and even Poet's Market) 

    These amazing books are published yearly, and have thousands of listings for book publishers, magazines, contests, and literary agents. They also include interviews, articles, and advice from top writers and instructors.

    NO PLOT? NO PROBLEM!  A  LOW-STRESS, HIGH-VELOCITY GUIDE TO WRITING A NOVEL IN 30 DAYS
    by Chris Baty
    (2004)

    The founder of NaNoWriMo has written the definitive handbook for extreme noveling.  It's a mix of optimism and practical solutions that are perfect for both first-time novelists and seasoned writers.  It's the perfect kick-start to get your next novel written.

    READING LIKE A WRITER
    by Francince Prose
    (2006)

    Reading is a key tool for writers.  Prose invites you to take a guided tour of the tools and tricks of master authors. A heightened appreciation and understanding of their work not only leads to better reading, but better writing as well!

    stiefvater signing

    This picture is from a signing that Maggie Steifvater did.  I loved her advice and it's one of the best things I can recommend for up-and-coming writers!  Best of luck!

  •  Zero Waste

    I don’t know if you’ve heard, but garbage is so passé. Pollution is a major problem, contributing to the destruction of ecosystems, ruining our health, and just making our beautiful Earth look trashy. Just Google “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” for some eye-opening images. Most of the pollution that humans put out into the ocean is single-use plastics. Plastic plays an important role in our tech and medical industries, but do we really need to use plastic just for its convenience?  

    I have tried to reduce the amount of single-use plastics that I use in my home. Let’s be real, I am not Superwoman—I have a job, kids, hobbies, etc. I am busy. But here are 3 simple changes that I have made in order to make a difference:  

    1. Remember your R’s: Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle.
      Refuse to bring things into your life that you don’t need (I’m looking at you, free swag). Reduce the stuff in your home that you don’t use like clothes you don’t wear. Buy items that can be reused over and over instead of just once. Recyle what you can, which includes paper, plastics, and metal cans.

    2. Bring reusable grocery bags to the store:
      This is so easy. Just keep them in the car. They are also sturdier and bigger than plastic bags, so that is a win! But don’t stop there—you can bring reusable produce bags to the store too. Reusable produce bags are easy to make, or available to purchase online. Or better yet, just skip the bag altogether. I have only had a cashier give me a strange look one time.

    3. Compost.
      I have zero outdoor space to compost, so I have tried a few methods for indoor composting. The winner? Vermicomposting. That’s right—worms. It takes a bit of time and money to get your worms going, but they eat fast, produce great fertilizer for gardens or houseplants, and best of all—no smell! 

    There are TONS of other things you can do in order to reduce waste in your home. If you want to learn more about the zero waste movement and how you can reduce your dependence on single-use plastics, I personally recommend these titles that you can find here at the library: 

    8.8 Trashing the PlanetTRASHING THE PLANET
    By Stuart A. Kallen
    (2017) 

     

    8.8 Zero Waste HomeZERO WASTE HOME
    By Bea Johnson
    (2013) 

     

    8.8 Compost CityCOMPOST CITY: PRACTICAL COMPOSTING KNOW-HOW FOR SMALL-SPACE LIVING
    BY Rebecca Louie
    (2015)   

     
  • Shoes

    One of the things I love about reading is the ability to gain new perspectives and empathize with others, even when they’re fictional. I especially love books that let me safely experience things outside of my comfort zone. As a public librarian my path crosses with a wide variety of people, and while it can be easy to make assumptions, I read a few books this year that I felt gave me a new understanding of the people around me.

    NONFICTION 

    3.27 EducatedEDUCATED
    By Tara Westover
    (2018)

    People come to the Library for a variety of reasons and with a variety of backgrounds. This book reminds me that, what at first glance can appear to be rudeness, laziness, or a lack of cleanliness, can be due to a variety of legitimate reasons I know nothing about. Tara Westover was born in the mountains of Idaho to survivalist parents and didn’t set foot in a classroom until she was 17-years-old. Attending college was different from any experience she’d ever had, and her unique past and limited understanding of the world, history, and social norms made her experiences and accomplishments all the more extraordinary. Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction, and this powerful memoir is just that.

     

    3.27 The 57 BusTHE 57 BUS 
    By Dashka Slater
    (2017)

    I’ve had the opportunity to take books to teens in juvenile detention, meeting several who dreamed of a life better than the one they were living. I’ve also met people with a variety of gender identities, struggling to figure out who they are. This book follows the lives of two teens in with similar struggles, something I’ve never dealt with, and found very eye opening. One day on the 57 bus, for no particular reason aside from thinking it could be funny, Richard set Sasha’s skirt on fire. He thought it would smolder a bit and surprise Sasha, like a practical joke, but instead it erupted in a ball of flames, severely burning Sasha’s body. It was treated as a hate crime since Sasha is agender, and Richard was facing life imprisonment. Using her background in journalism, Slater covers the lives and decisions of both teens leading up to the incident, and how both lives were heartbreakingly altered.

     

    FICTION 

    3.27 An Absolutely Remarkable ThingAN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING
    By Hank Green
    (2018)

    I met one of my favorite YouTubers this year and was amazed at how normal she was without a camera in hand. In an age of social media influencers it can be easy to idolize people and feel like you know them without actually meeting them. In this contemporary sci-fi novel, mysterious giant statues appear overnight around the world, and April May goes viral for being in a YouTube video about the first one. What does becoming an overnight celebrity do to a person? How does social media change our perception of reality? This book explores those questions in a way that feels genuine and personal, probably because the author is a social media influencer himself. If you follow someone who makes their living on social media, this book can be eye opening. 

     

    3.27 Sea WitchSEA WITCH 
    By Sarah Henning
    (2018)

    If you’ve seen the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, odds are you have a pretty negative opinion of the Sea Witch. Henning spins the original Hans Christian Andersen tale a little differently, focusing on the origin of the Sea Witch, and only introducing the Little Mermaid at the very end where the original tale begins. It’s hard to not feel compassion for the Sea Witch when you understand her background and why she made the decision to take the Little Mermaids voice in exchange for legs. While Disney’s Sea Witch is an archetypal villain, Henning humanizes her and turns her into a sympathetic and multifaceted character that feels more realistic. If you want your perception of a fictional character to take a 180° turn, this is the book to do it. 

     

    3.27 Warm BodiesWARM BODIES 
    By Isaac Marion
    (2011)

    Okay, I can’t say I’ve ever met a zombie, but if a zombie apocalypse were to ever happen, I want the zombies to be like the ones in WARM BODIES. The vast majority of the book is spent inside R’s head, listening to his internal dialogue and seeing the changed world through his eyes. It’s quite philosophical for a zombie book, which is why it’s on my list. R has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listing to Frank Sinatra. When he decides to let one girl live and keep her safe from the undead, his life death will change forever. This is a funny, scary, and moving take on the classic Romeo and Juliet story.

     

    So, if you want to expand your horizons this year, exercise your empathy, and perhaps get out of your comfort zone through the safety of a book, I would highly recommend any of these titles.

     
  • Dog

    I want a pet. I don’t care if it’s a cat, dog, or hedgehog. I just want one. Unfortunately, I can’t get one right now. If you’re in the same boat, never fear. I have some books that will help you feel the love of having a pet without needing the finances or time to take care of one. 

    5.29 StormySTORMY
    By Guojing
    (2019) 

    STORMY is a wordless picture book about a dog. Each page shares a snapshot of the dog’s life alone. Will the sweet pup find a forever home? 

     

    5.29 TrumanTRUMAN
    By Jean Reidy
    (2019) 

    Truman is the most courageous and noble turtle you will ever meet. When his girl leaves for her first day of school, he is distraught. All he knows is that she’s missing. And what do the most courageous and noble turtles do when their girl goes missing? Brave the untold dangers of the living room to find her. 

     

    5.29 Wildwood DancingWILDWOOD DANCING
    By Juliet Marillier
    (2007) 

    If you like amphibians, then you may want to read this retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. In this version, one of the princesses owns an unusual frog that may be more important than anyone realizes. Or maybe not. 

     

    5.29 Because of Winn DixieBECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE
    By Kate DiCamillo
    (2000) 

    Those wanting to spend a summer in Florida with a big ugly dog won’t want to miss this read. BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE follows India Opal Buloni and her summer spent with her lovable mutt. 

     

    5.29 Pom Pom AnimalsPOM POM ANIMALS
    By Trikotri
    (2018) 

    If all the books above just make you want a pet even more, then that’s ok. You can make one. Follow the directions in this book to create your own cute pet using wool. You can make up to 45 different animals! From bears to cats, you’re sure to find an animal craft to soothe your heart as it pines for an animal friend.

     
  • expecting

     

    My husband tells me that I have a researcher personality because every time I decide to do anything new I always try to find as much information as I can about the topic beforehand.  When my husband and I decided it was time for us to start having children, naturally I read everything I could find on how to make it happen.  Then once we found out I was pregnant, I focused my searches on books about pregnancy.  These are the books I found that have been most helpful so far in my search!

    WTE Before Youre ExpectingWHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE YOU’RE EXPECTING
    by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff
    (2009)  

    This book has all of the useful information from diet and lifestyle changes to make before you start trying, how the menstrual cycle works and how to pinpoint ovulation, to challenges and how to get help.  What I loved most about this book is how the information is organized.  Every topic has its own section and sub-topics have bolded beginnings, making it very easy to skip irrelevant information without missing anything you want to know.  

     

     

    impatient womans guideTHE IMPATIENT WOMAN’S GUIDE TO GETTING PREGNANT
    by Jean M. Twenge
    (2012)

    I really related to the title of this book!  Once we decided to start trying I was so impatient for it to happen.  This book is great because it has very detailed information on how the different stages of the menstrual cycle work, different methods for how to pinpoint ovulation, and how to use that information most effectively.  It also has information about diet, miscarriage, when to talk to a doctor, and more.  

     

     

    WTE When Youre ExpectingWHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING
    by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff
    (2016)  

    What to Expect When You’re Expecting is full of information starting with lifestyle, diet, and dedicated chapters for each month, through  labor, delivery, and postpartum, and includes information about expecting multiples, managing complications, and loss.  This book has been my go-to resource for random symptoms or questions and for an overall look at what to expect each month.  The index is thorough and especially helpful when I’m not sure what month has what I’m looking for.  I have tried looking at other books that do a walk-through of pregnancy, but this one has been most detailed and has the clearest organization method so far.  

     

    WTE Eating WellWHAT TO EXPECT: EATING WELL WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING
    by Heidi Eisenberg Murkoff
    (2005)  

    It turns out that I really like the What to Expect series!  While What to Expect When You’re Expecting does have a chapter dedicated to eating well with the same diet theory, this book also includes how to eat well for a lot of different situations common to pregnancy like gestational diabetes or heartburn, a chapter about weight gain, and even eating well postpartum.  The best part is it has a full cookbook section at the end that follows their diet advice!  

     

     

    doula guide to birthTHE DOULA GUIDE TO BIRTH: SECRETS EVERY PREGNANT WOMAN SHOULD KNOW
    by Ananda Lowe
    (2009)  

    What I liked most about this book was it didn’t pass judgment or try to scare the reader regarding hospitals or medical pain management.  I don’t want to make fear-based decisions when it comes to birth, and this book provided a lot of useful information about the birth process and different approaches without trying to scare readers in one direction or another.  Even though I have decided not to use a doula, this book was still worth the read.

  • Funny Book

    I love to read books about comedians, comedy’s impact in the world, and books that are just plain funny.  I’ve been known to send many jokes to friends and loved ones because I can’t resist sharing a good laugh with those I love.  There are countless books that contribute to the laughs in the world, and I find them irresistible!  Here are a few favorites that are too good for me to keep them to myself, in a few of my favorite packages:

    Comedian Biography

    A comedian’s biography will usually overview their life, and can sometimes examine their personal demons as well as their greatest triumphs, as is the case with Dave Itzkoff’s book about Robin Williams called ROBIN.  One of the most popular of this group has to be BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey, which not only talks about the course of her career, but is sprinkled along the way with her (often hilarious) observations.  It’s well worth the read, and the audiobook, narrated by Fey herself, is a winner.  This category also definitely needs to mention Billy Crystal’s STILL FOOLIN' 'EM, the story of his life which has its share of laughs combined with heart, personal loss and redemption, and some absolutely amazing experiences.

    Comedy as the Subject

    Many books love to talk about comedy as a phenomenon, especially because their stories are usually a roller-coaster-ride of their rise in popularity, bumps along the way, and eventual fall or translation into something new.  SEINFELDIA: HOW A SHOW ABOUT NOTHING CHANGED EVERYTHING by Jennifer Armstrong and AS YOU WISH: INCONCEIVABLE TALES FROM THE MAKING OF THE PRINCESS BRIDE by Cary Elwes are excellent examples.  But my personal favorite is probably THE DAILY SHOW: AN ORAL HISTORY AS TOLD BY JON STEWART, THE CORRESPONDENTS, STAFF, AND GUESTS by Chris Smith.  Not only is this the story of a show which singled-handedly created a new genre of humor, but an overview of the major events of America during its time, especially the political landscape and its shifts.  It’s an interesting way to review the events of the past two decades, to be sure.

    Comedy as the Content

    Lastly, you can just go straight for the jokes.  There are quite a few excellent comedians out there who are willing to package up their trusted material and let the masses experience them without the cost of admission.  Ellen DeGeneres has published a delightful collection of bits in SERIOUSLY... I'M KIDDING, but my favorite comedian-turned-author has to be Jim Gaffigan, whose titles even crack me up: DAD IS FAT, and FOOD: A LOVE STORY being a couple of favorites. These books are best suited to audiobook listening because they are usually performed by the author, and you get the benefit of all their skillful delivery and timing. 

  •  writing memoir

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     
  • Smokey Bear 01

    6.10 The Games BookTHE GAMES BOOK
    By Huw Davies
    (2009)

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

     

    6.10 Scary Stories to Tell in the DarkSCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
    By Alvin Schwartz
    (1981)

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

     

    6.10 National Parks of AmericaTHE NATIONAL PARKS OF AMERICA
    By Michael Brett
    (2001)

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

     

    6.10 Wildlife of the WorldWILDLIFE OF THE WORLD 
    By Jamie Ambrose
    (2015)

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

     

    6.10 50 Burning Questions50 BURNING QUESTIONS: A SIZZLING HISTORY OF FIRE
    By Tanya Lloyd Kyi
    (2010)

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