Nonfiction

  • dk books

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

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

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

    6.23.17.PredatorsPREDATOR 
    By David Burnie
    (2011)

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    6.23.17.Big HistoryBIG HISTORY 
    By David Christian
    (2016)

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

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

  • WWII nonfiction

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     
  • informational dvds family 1

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

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

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

     

    2.2 Drawing with MarkDRAWING WITH MARK
    (2014)

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

     

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

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

     

    2.2 Born in ChinaDISNEYNATURE: BORN IN CHINA
    (2017)

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

     

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

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

     
  • joseph smith

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     
  •  magic books 1

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

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

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



    10.6 The IllusionistsTHE ILLUSIONISTS
    Rosie Thomas
    (2014) 

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

     

     

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

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

     

     

     

    10.6 The PrestigeTHE PRESTIGE
    By Christopher Priest
    (1995) 

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

     

     

     

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

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

     

  • blogfood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • pete seeger

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

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

     

     

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

     

  • nonfiction favorites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

    female brainTHE FEMALE BRAIN
    By Louann Brizendine
    (2006)

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

     

     

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

     

     

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

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

     

  • friday faves

     

    I have a confession to make: I’m a reluctant self-help reader. Fiction is typically my preference over nonfiction, and I’ve been especially resistant to self-help books. I thought they weren’t really my thing, and I think I had a vague, unfair assumption that most self-help books would be unscientific psychobabble. Over the last few months, though, I’ve been devouring self-help books, and these favorites have actually improved my quality of life.

     

    willpowerWILLPOWER: REDISCOVERING THE GREATEST HUMAN STRENGTH
    by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney
    (2012)

    This book is the one that had me completely rethinking my attitude toward self-help books. You won’t find any pseudoscience or vague personal ideas here. Instead, research psychologist Roy F. Baumeister and science writer John Tierney lay out what scientists have learned about the nature of willpower through decades of research. They offer concrete steps individuals can take to improve their self-control and share fascinating related anecdotes. Best of all, though, they back up every claim by describing the experiments and studies that scientists used to understand how to exercise and build willpower. This was an engrossing read for me, and I have been actively applying its ideas in my life. I also can’t stop sharing interesting details from it with my friends and coworkers.

     

    declutterTHE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP: THE JAPANESE ART OF DECLUTTERING AND ORGANIZING
    by Marie Kondo
    (2014)

    This book really did change me. I wrote a glowing review of it last summer, so I won’t go into too much detail here. Though The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up isn’t as scientific as some of the others on the list, it is based on the strategies used by the author, a wildly popular professional organizer from Japan. Her basic principle is that you go, category by category, through every item in your home, hold it close and decide whether or not it “sparks joy.” If it doesn’t, you toss it. As hokey as that might sound, it radically changed the way I look my belongings. I now buy less to begin with, get rid of anything I don’t need and love, and keep my home tidier than ever before.

     

    switchSWITCH: HOW TO CHANGE THINGS WHEN CHANGE IS HARD
    by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
    (2010)

    As the subtitle suggests, Switch explains how individuals and organizations can motivate and implement change. Even when we want to change something, human nature makes us resistant. The authors dedicate each chapter to a specific strategy for overcoming that resistance. I loved how organized and easy to follow Switch was.

     

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

    Even though this book was a bestseller, I didn’t love it nearly as much as the others on the list. The structure was confusing, a lot of the book seemed like filler, and I felt like the authors were defining “habit” as everything and anything. In spite of those frustrations, I’m including The Power of Habit because the first three chapters and especially the appendix were fantastic. If you read just those sections, you’ll come away with a much better understanding of how our habits shape us and how we in turn can shape our habits.

     

    gritGRIT: THE POWER OF PASSION AND PERSEVERENCE
    by Angela Duckworth
    (2016)

    I’ve just started reading this book, so I can’t fully recommend it just yet. I think it’s going to be a good read, though. We often assume that those who achieve incredible things must have some kind of native genius; naturally talented, they were born to be Olympic gymnasts, concert pianists, political masterminds, or exceptional writers. Duckworth argues instead that extraordinary achievements result not from unusual intelligence or talent, but from what she calls “grit,” a mix of passion and persistent effort.

     

     

  • travel writing favorites

     

    As one stricken with seemingly unquenchable wanderlust, when I can’t be out exploring the world myself (because we all have to work sometimes, right?) I like to read about other’s travels, and thusly live vicariously through their experiences. That’s why one of my favorite genres is travel literature.

    In general, travel literature consists of descriptive accounts of a person’s travels, both near and far, as well as people they meet, cultures they encounter, and often a mix of humor, history, science, and speculation. I always learn something new about the locations authors write about as well as some dos and don’ts for visiting a place and being a conscientious traveler, overall.

    In the 900s and beyond, we have a good selection of travel writing and travel books to peruse, including travel guides as well as travel literature. Here is a list of travel literature available at the library that I would recommend for those interested in exploring the genre.

    patagoniaIN PATAGONIA
    by Bruce Chatwin
    (1977)

    Considered a travel masterpiece, this account of Chatwin's journey through Patagonia will make you want to add this destination to your list for new reasons. It includes some history and a search for Butch Cassidy’s cabin, extraordinary descriptions of a seemingly wild place, and a lot of soul searching.

     

    secretknowledgeofwaterTHE SECRET KNOWLEDGE OF WATER: DISCOVERING THE ESSENCE OF THE AMERICAN DESERT
    by Craig Childs
    (2001)

    In the desert, water is life, and knowing how to find it can determine whether you survive. While Childs wanders the American deserts in order to map water, he shares his scientific knowledge and waxes philosophical about the meaning of water in relation to life and death, in a place where the resource is so sparse.

    motorcyclediaries2THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES: NOTES ON A LATIN AMERICAN JOURNEY
    by Che Guevara
    (2003)

    Before Che Guevara was a revolutionary, he was a med student who started out on a motorcycle journey to experience South America with his best friend, Alberto Granado. Through his experience and reflections on this journey, you can see the beginnings of his revolutionary leanings as he encounters social injustices and hardships of people throughout the country.

    sunburned countryIN A SUNBURNED COUNTRY
    by Bill Bryson
    (2001)

    Famed and funny travel author Bill Bryson relishes the reader with stories of his travels in Australia where he encounters interesting natives and spouts facts about the deadly and peculiar animal and insect inhabitants. Bryson is a wonderfully insightful and beloved travel author, so picking up any of his books will not disappoint.

    prisoner of zionPRISONER OF ZION: MUSLIMS, MORMONS, AND OTHER MISADVENTURES
    by Scott Carrier
    (2011)

    Scott Carrier, a journalist and radio producer living in Utah, travels around the world in search of stories. In this book, Carrier writes thoughtfully about what it means to be an outsider traveling through areas of religious fanaticism in both Afghanistan shortly after 9-11 and amongst the Mormons in Utah.

     

     

    Honorable mentions:

    TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY: IN SEARCH OF AMERICA by John Steinbeck

    THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAAR: BY TRAIN THROUGH ASIA by Paul Theroux

    SEA AND SARDINIA by D.H. Lawrence

    BREATHLESS: AN AMERICAN GIRL IN PARIS by Nancy Miller

  • housefridayfaves

    There is an interesting trend on the rise in nonfiction literature. More and more, authors who write a nonfiction book for adults will then go back and edit their work and re-release it as a slightly shorter, more streamlined version meant for young adults. While some people are skeptical of the need for two versions of the same book, I find I quite like the new variety on offer. These books can fill the gap between juvenile nonfiction and adult nonfiction, which is great news for some middle grade readers who want to read something more advanced, for young adults who appreciate a tailored and easier transition into adult books, and for certain adults—ahem—who like their nonfiction quick and easy with all the good bits left in.

    Here are five wonderful books that were either adapted for young adults or written specifically with them in mind.

    the family romanovTHE FAMILY ROMANOV: MURDER, REBELLION & THE FALL OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA
    byy Candace Fleming
    (2014)

    Thousands of diamonds sewn into clothes to hide them from the soldiers, starving peasants beating at the castle gates, and a princess who may have survived her family’s murder. This fascinating page-turner tells the story of Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II, and his family, who lived in supreme luxury, loved each other fiercely, and completely failed their people in their greatest crisis.

    boy on a boatTHE BOYS IN THE BOAT: THE TRUE STORY OF AN AMERICAN TEAM’S EPIC JOURNEY TO WIN GOLD AT THE 1936 OLYMPICS
    by Daniel Brown
    (2015)

    During the dark days of the Great Depression, nine boys from the University of Washington, the sons of loggers and farmers, took on the elite German rowing team in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and showed Hitler and the world the meaning of American determination.

    race to save the lord god birdTHE RACE TO SAVE THE LORD GOD BIRD
    by Phillip Hoose
    (2004)

    This award-winning book focuses on the legendary Ivory-billed Woodpecker and the span of 200 years during which Americans went from trying to shoot it for their stuffed bird collections to desperately trying to save it from extinction.

    unbrokenUNBROKEN: AN OLYMPIAN’S JOURNEY FROM AIRMAN TO CASTAWAY TO CAPTIVE
    by Laura Hillenbrand
    (2014)

    When Louis Zamperini and two fellow airmen crashed into the Pacific Ocean in the middle of World War II, they could not have known that it was only the beginning of one of the most famous and harrowing survival stories ever told. After surviving the dangers of the ocean, they then had to survive the physical and emotional torture of a Japanese POW camp, while their hope of ever returning home slowly ebbed away.

    revenge of the whaleREVENGE OF THE WHALE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE WHALESHIP ESSEX
    by Nathaniel Philbrick
    (2002)

    This young adult adaptation of In the Heart of the Sea tells the true story of a whaleship that was sunk by an angry whale and the long struggle to survive for the captain and sailors stranded in a few small lifeboats without food or water. 

     

  • genealogy

    If you are fascinated by family history and sleuthing for mysteries on your family tree, there are a number of recent books you‘ll want to read. DNA testing is transforming genealogical research and enabling individuals to find answers to family history mysteries and locate previously unknown relatives. The mapping of the human gene, begun systematically in 1990, has spurred technology and medical research and enabled the discovery of genes associated with dozens of medical conditions. The science is fascinating and sometimes beyond the comprehension of a layman.  But the human stories of people who have benefitted from the advances in knowledge about our genes and chromosomes are fascinating and accessible.  Two gripping recent books tell stories of two different families afflicted with mysterious illnesses which ultimately are discovered to be linked to genetic mutations unique to their families.

    06.27.17 Mercies in DiguiseMERCIES IN DISGUISE
    Gina Kolata
    (2017)  

    Watching their proud father suffer from a mysterious illness that gradually rendered him helpless, the sons in the Baxley family vow to find the cause of his death. A chance comment by an elderly neighbor revealed the possibility that others in the family had suffered from the same disease.  Assembling a family tree they realized that the disease had struck many others in the family and would threaten themselves and their children unless they took action to identify the mutated gene responsible for the debilitating illness.

     

    06.27.17 The Family GeneTHE FAMILY GENE: A MISSION TO TURN MY DEADLY INHERITANCE INTO A HOPEFUL FUTURE
    Joselin Linder
    (2017)  

    While only in her twenties, the author begins to have strange symptoms, the first of which was swelling in her legs. After years of visiting various doctors she is diagnosed with a blockage in her liver. As she investigates her family tree she begins to see that her father’s illness was like hers, an uncle was also afflicted, and her great-grandmother died with similar symptoms.  Working with genetic researchers she confirms that fourteen relatives had died with the same disease caused by a brand new genetic mutation never seen before except in her family. The discovery means that the living generation of her family lives under the shadow of the same genetic illness.  

    Genetic genealogy uses genetic testing to discover or infer relationships between individuals. This rapidly growing field helps people identify their paternity and their more distant origins. Affordable genetic testing has been available since the early 2000s and hundreds of thousands of people have been tested with sometimes surprising results.

    06.27.17 The Stranger in My GenesTHE STRANGER IN MY GENES: A MEMOIR
    Bill Griffeth
    (2016) 

    Bill Griffeth is a successful financial journalist on CNBC and has also been a passionate genealogy hobbyist since 2003.  A cousin who was also interested in genealogy persuaded him to have a DNA test so that the two of them could compare results in order to learn more about their family history.  The DNA results were a shock because they revealed that the two cousins were not related – in other words, the man who raised Griffeth and whose genealogical lines Griffeth had spent years researching was not his biological father. Bill Griffeth has presented at genealogy clubs and historical societies many times over the years but never had his belief that “genealogy is the pursuit of truth” been challenged in such a personal way.  This book narrates the fallout from the genetic genealogy discovery of his true biological heritage.

     

    If you are interested in the more technical and scientific details of gene mapping and genetic genealogy, there are two highly recommended resources you can find at Provo Library.

    6.27.17 The Family Tree Guide to DNA TestingTHE FAMILY TREE GUIDE TO DNA TESTING AND GENETIC GENEALOGY
    Blaine T. Bettinger
    (2016)

    The Family Tree guide describes in clear language what DNA testing is, how it is used in genealogy and who the major companies are that do genetic testing. Once you have results from your DNA testing, the book also helps you understand how to interpret the results.

     

     

    6.27.17 The Gene an Intimate HistoryTHE GENE: AN INTIMATE HISTORY
    Siddhartha Mukherjee
    (2017) 

    Siddartha Mukherjee won the Pulitzer Prize for his previous book about cancer, THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES. Set against the backdrop of his own extended family’s history of inherited mental illness, his beautiful writing about genetics begins with the time that genes were first theorized and conceptualized and traces developments in genetics to the present when we can directly manipulate the human genome.

  • meditation 1

    “Focus your attention within. You will experience new power, new strength and new peace of body, mind and spirit. All bonds that limited you will be removed.” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda  

    I tend to be a stressed and anxious person. I worry, A LOT. This does nothing productive and actually makes my life harder. It also makes me ill- I get tense muscles, rashes, acne, headaches, depression, anxiety and food sensitivities, to name a few . Our bodies don’t take well to stress on the excessive side. (A healthy amount of stress does help us be productive and motivated contributors to society.)  But thankfully there are options to relieve the excess stress. One very underused option is meditation. Focusing on breathing, calming down the mind, and drawing attention inward can soothe and liberate the mind and body. Besides being a librarian, I am a certified yoga instructor and during my training I was taught meditation techniques that truly work. I’ve found these simple meditation techniques to be very beneficial in reducing stress, healing my body and alleviating my worries. The only hard part about it is consistently doing it!  

    The main reasons people DON’T meditate:

    1. A skeptical mindset. Meditation is the ultimate act of ‘sharpening the saw.’ 
    2. Impatience: it’s too easy. The daily benefit is small but the long term benefit is huge.
    3. Concern about being too selfish. You are just as important as everyone else. And what you want matters just as much as what everybody else wants.
    4. A need for external authorization. Being attuned to your inner guidance will never lead you astray.
    5. Emotional discomfort. Becoming aware of negative thoughts and feelings gives you the power to change them and to liberate yourself from them, the power to transform your life!  

    My personal reason to not meditate- #2 Impatience. I can’t stick to a daily routine. It’s too simple and though I definitely have 20 minutes each day that could go towards meditating, I choose worthless fillers like social media and TV, instead of choosing what would really help me. What’s your reason for not meditating?  

    Follow these steps for a basic meditation sequence:

    • Throughout the practice remain poised and alert
    • Sit upright in a cross legged posture, eyes closed, hands resting on knees
    • Acknowledge your relationship to the Infinite, however you perceive it to be
    • Direct your attention to your spiritual eye- the center space between the eyebrows
    • Observe your natural breathing rhythm. Let it flow easily.
    • If using a one word mantra- mentally recite it on the inhale or exhale; feel peaceful on the opposite breath (One word mantras- peace, shalom, shanti, joy, happiness, Om etc)
    • With a word-phrase mantra- mentally recite the first word on the inhale and the second word as you exhale. (mantra phrases- So-Hum, Hong-Sau, Om-God, Be-Still, I-Am etc)
    • Continue the internal chanting for at least 20 complete breaths or for as long as you desire.
    • When you are relaxed and internalized, disregard the mantra and continue to breathe in a calm, alert state for the duration of your session (10+ minutes).
    • To conclude your practice, open your eyes and remain calm and posed in your seated position for a few moments before resuming normal activities.  

    Meditation is proven to have both spiritual and physical positive side effects including:

    1. Improved function of the immune system.
    2. Increased production of healing hormones. (DHEA, melatonin, serotonin, HGH)
    3. Changes in the brain that support emotional stability.

    By meditating the mind is brought into stillness, and the body follows calming down the overactive ‘fight or flight’ response caused by STRESS. Stress is at the root of most illnesses and can be reduced in the body through meditation. Different areas of the brain are strengthened when meditating giving you great capacity to handle stress is a positive way.  

    *From Steven Nibley’s meditation class for yoga teachers training  

    What’s stopping you from living a healthier, happier, less stressful life? Here are library resources to help you begin a meditation practice:

    The Power of StillnessTHE POWER OF STILLNESS: LEARN MEDITATION IN 30 DAYS
    by Tobin Blake
    (2003)

     

     

     

     

     

    Chakra MeditationCHAKRA MEDITATION: DISCOVER ENERGY, CREATIVITY, FOCUS, LOVE, COMMUNICATION, WISDOM, AND SPIRIT
    by Swami Saradananda
    (2008)

     

     

     

     

    Christ Centered MeditationCHRIST-CENTERED MEDITATION: A HANDBOOK FOR A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE
    by Pam Blackwell
    (2011)

     

     

     

    The Headspace Guide to MeditationTHE HEADSPACE GUIDE TO MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS: HOW MINDFULNESS CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE IN TEN MINUTES A DAY
    by Andy Puddicombe
    (2016)

     

     

     

     

    Meditation Made SimpleMEDITATION MADE SIMPLE: WEEKLY PRACTICES FOR RELIEVING STRESS, FINDING BALANCE, AND CULTIVATING JOY
    by Paula Watkins
    (2016)

     

    QUIET TIME MEDITATION
    by Creative Music Service
    (2005)

     

    CANON FOR RELAXATION AND MEDITATION
    by Johann Pachelbel
    (1990)

    Guided Mindfulness MeditationGUIDED MINDFULNESS MEDITATION SERIES 1
    by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    (2002)

     

  •  houseplants

    I love houseplants!  I usually acquire some new ones during the winter when everything is so dreary and dead outside.  There’s just something refreshing about being surrounded by greenery in the dead of winter.  Since I don’t have very good light from any of my windows, I have found it very helpful to look at books like these to find plants I would be able to accommodate.  It’s also fun to flip through them and daydream about all the beautiful plants I will be able to house one day if I ever get sunny windows! Houseplants:

    4.3 HouseplantsHOUSEPLANTS
    By Lisa Eldred Steinkopf
    (2017)

    When you don’t have any yard space to nurture your green thumb, houseplants are the answer!  This guide teaches you how to take care of your houseplants to ensure they are happy and healthy.  It contains profiles for more than 150 plants to help you choose the plants that will be best for you. 

     

    4.3 The Indestructible House PlantTHE INDESTRUCTIBLE HOUSEPLANT
    By Tovah Martin
    (2015)

    Anyone can grow healthy houseplants if you pick the right plants!  This book focuses on very tough but beautiful plants that can withstand a fair amount of neglect.  No houseplant is completely maintenance free however, so it still includes instructions for how to care for your (almost) indestructible plant.   

     

    4.3 The Indoor Plant BibleTHE INDOOR PLANT BIBLE
    By Dorte Nissen
    (2005)

    Each plant gets its own page in this book.   Each profile contains information about the plant and care instructions, complete with icons that make it easy to visually browse for a plant with certain needs.  Each plant is pictured with well-done photographs, rather than illustrations. 

     

    4.3 The Complete Guide to HouseplantsTHE COMPLETE GUIDE TO HOUSEPLANTS
    By Valerie Bradley
    (2006)

    Have a specific room in mind but don’t know what plant to put in it?  This book has lists for various rooms in your home and lists of plants with certain traits.  There’s also a directory for 250 different plants complete with photographs, a description, care instructions, and propagation instructions for each one. 

     

    4.3 Terrarium CraftTERRARIUM CRAFT
    By Amy Bryant Aiello
    (2011)

    To go in a slightly different direction from the books listed thus far, terrariums also make great indoor plant decorations.  This book gives instructions for 50 different terrarium designs along different themes such as forest, beach, and desert.  These terrariums are sure to add an interesting display piece to your home. 

     

    4.3 The New TerrariumTHE NEW TERRARIUM
    By Tovah Martin
    (2009)

    This book doesn’t just give instructions for recreating a specific terrarium design, it also gives the reader a lot of information about terrariums and how they benefit plants.  With sections for different types of containers, set-up, care, and plant species, The New Terrarium will be especially helpful for anyone interested in creating their very own plant terrarium.

     
  •  Train Tracks

    On May 10th, 1869 the transcontinental railway was completed, and the meeting point of the East and West going railways was right here in Utah. This year marks the 150th anniversary of this historic event and there are several celebrations planned throughout the state. You can find more information about events and celebrations at Spike150.org, or plan a visit to the Golden Spike National Historic Park and see where it happened.

    In honor of this anniversary, visit the library to peruse unique books from our Special Collections area about Golden Spike and the history of trains and railroads in Utah.

    5.10 Golden SpikeGOLDEN SPIKE: NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE 
    By Robert M. Utley
    (1969)

    Part of the “Historical Handbook Series” published by the National Parks Service and U.S. Department of Interior, this small book packs a lot of history into its 60-ish pages. It details how the Promontory site was chosen and the record breaking 10 miles of track laid in a day the push to complete the railroad was happening.  

     

    5.10 Railway ReflectionsRAILWAY REFLECTIONS: A HISTORICAL REVIEW OF UTAH RAILROADS 
    By  Gilbert H. Bennett
    (1999)

    This unique book is a collection of paintings by artist Gilbert H. Bennett. It takes the reader on a historical journey through railroading history in Utah, beginning at the Golden Spike. The beautiful full color prints of the oil and watercolor paintings are beautiful and add a great visual to a fascinating history.

     

    5.10 Iron Horses to PromontoryIRON HORSES TO PROMONTORY: GOLDEN SPIKE EDITION 
    By Gerald M. Best
    (1969)

    Chock full of illustrations, some historic photographs, and scans of newspaper clippings, this book is perfect for the history buff with a propensity towards the visual. The high quality photos are pretty remarkable, and make the already interesting piece of history more robust and accessible.

     

    5.10 Crossroads of the WestCROSSROAD OF THE WEST: A PHOTOGRAPHIC LOOK AT FIFTY YEARS OF RAILROADING HISTORY IN UTAH 
    By Blair Kooistra
    (1998)

    Another photographic collection, this book goes beyond the Golden Spike and delves into more modern railroading developments and uses. It includes breathtaking full color photos of more recent trains and rail lines, including Kennecott’s specially designed train cars and the Rio Grande’s Carbon County coal train. This is a must read for any true railfan.   

     

    5.10 Golden SpikeTHE GOLDEN SPIKE 
    Edited by David E. Miller
    (1973)

    The Western History Center at the University of Utah compiled this book of well researched historical articles from colleges and organizations around the state. They published it in conjunction with the centennial or 100 year anniversary of the Golden Spike.

     

    If you’d like to know more about the Transcontinental Railroad and this fascinating time in our nation’s history, there are some very thorough and well researched books about this topic available on our e-book and audiobook service, Libby. Here are a few that come highly recommended:

    NOTHING LIKE IT IN THE WORLD

    RAILROADED

    EMPIRE EXPRESS

  • Learn It hair blog

    I have always struggled with fixing hair. Over the years, I mastered the basic pony tail and called it good. Now I have two daughters and my hair styling skills are lacking. I look around at all the adorable hairstyles and wish I could learn some tips and tricks to make it easier.

    I’m really excited about our Learn It class on Tuesday, September 19th at 7:00 pm in the Shaw Programming Room. It is Hair 101 and will be taught by students from Paul Mitchell The School in Provo. They will teach us some hands-on braiding techniques and answer general hair care questions. I can’t wait to learn some new or better ways to braid hair. If you are like me and struggle with hair styling, or maybe you already know a lot, but are looking for something new, you should come to our Learn It class on September 19th. 

    If you can’t make it to the class, there are also some great books here in the library. I’ve found a few books that have helped me feel a little braver to try some other styles.

    9.18 Amazing HairstylesAMAZING HAIRSTYLES FROM EASY TO ELEGANT
    By Becky Porter
    (2014) 

    This book has great color pictures that show the hair style from different angels and then a picture for each step, with really easy to understand instructions. One of the other things I love about this book is that each section is color coded, so it’s easy to find. On the first page of the section it has a page with every hairstyle in that section with it’s name and what page you can find it on. It saved me a ton of time to flip to the overview and then straight to the style I was interested in.  

    9.18 HairstyledHAIRSTYLED
    By Anne Thoumieux
    (2016) 

    This book has colored photos with steps and instructions, but I found them a little more confusing than the previous book. Also, there weren’t many styles that I could actually see myself using. It did have specific styles for different types and lengths of hair so it wasn’t just all things that needed long hair to do.

     

    9.18 DIY Updos Knots and TwistsDIY UPDOS, KNOTS, & TWISTS
    By Melissa Cook
    (2015) 

    This book was great because the pictures show steps of the women fixing their own hair which is helpful because I don’t have a stylist at home to do cute things to my hair when I’m trying to get ready for the day. This helped me to see where my hands should be and how I should hold each strand of hair and also where I needed to put the bobby pins.  

     

    I look forward to trying some of these new styles, now I just have to hope that my daughters will sit still long enough for me to figure them out.  

  •  Haunting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

     
  •  

    condo renovation

     

    If you’re a DIY-er like I dream of being, the library is a great place for getting ideas and helpful how-to instructions.

    In the age of the internet it’s hard to imagine why you would want to go to the library instead of just typing your question into Google.

    Librarian tip: The internet is great, but the library is better.

    Here are a few reasons why I chose to use the library’s resources instead: 

    • I get sick of all those ads or popups asking you to watch this video or subscribe to their newsletter. Navigating websites can be very annoying!
    • Surely I'm not the only one who mistakes an ad for content on the page. It’s really hard to distinguish sometimes.
    • Websites are usually trying to sell you something. This makes it more difficult to trust the information provided.
    • It's difficult to determine if you can trust that someone actually knows what they are talking about or if they are merely passing themselves off as an authority on the topic. 

    At the library, however, you can find trusted information from experts with no advertising (well, magazines have advertising but at least you can turn the page...). 

    So here’s how I went about using the library to help with my condo renovation.

     

    The Dreaming Stage

    Provo City Library has a variety of great resources if you’re trying to figure out what your style is or how to tackle a project. During this stage I looked through a lot of books and magazines.

    Librarian tip: Use your mobile device to access full color magazines including several with great home improvement articles.

    Watch this brief video tutorial to learn more about downloading  digital magazines.  

    While a lot of home improvement magazines show high design concepts out of my price range or focus on décor over renovating, there is still a lot of good practical advice. For example, in House Beautiful magazine I found several articles discussing trends in paint colors. This helped me figure out what colors and style I wanted to go with (grays and blues, and a more modern style).

    In addition to magazines, I checked out several helpful books that provide do it yourself information about nearly any type of home remodeling or renovation project.

    Probably one of the most helpful books I checked out was NEW KITCHEN IDEA BOOK by Heather J. Paper (2016).

    kitchen

     

    Updated just this year, this book is crammed full of inspiring and practical design options for every part of the kitchen. It covers everything from layouts to countertops, cabinets, sinks and appliances. It also discusses flooring and other finishing details and even has a section on eco-friendly ideas.

     

     

     

    The Reality Stage

    When we finally, finally began the actual remodeling process, I was again very grateful for the resources available at my fingertips.

    Librarian tip: Utilize your 24/7 access to Home Improvement Reference Center, an online database providing users with detailed, user-friendly “how-to” information covering all manner of home improvement/repair projects.

    At one point, we switched to refinishing the cabinets to save money. However, we had no idea how to properly paint cabinets so they wouldn’t chip or fade. I went online to use the Home Improvement Reference Center and found the perfect article describing exactly what we needed to do. 

    Just as a comparison, I also tried searching YouTube for instructional videos and found a few results, but they either left out critical details or implied your paint would chip even if you used their instructions.

     

    The Enjoyment Stage  

    While this project turned out to take far longer and cost a bit more than planned, the resources I found at the library helped me create the vision I had in my head  and gave me the confidence to tackle doing it all myself. Now onto living in my new lovely abode!

  • Music

    How do our super patrons use the library?  They take advantage of all we have to offer, of course! The library offers a diverse amount of services, but today we’ll be talking specifically about how Super Music Lovers use the library.  As a music lover myself, I know the library might not always be the first thing we think of to satisfy our music needs, but the library offers several great musical resources!

    Freegal.com

    With just your library card, you can access Freegal, our music-streaming service that gives you access to five hours of ad-free music every day. Freegal has put together some playlists to choose from, or you can make your own playlists from the music available. This site also allows you to download three songs each week for free, and that's it: you own it. You can play it anytime from your music player on your phone or computer. 

    Music on CD and Sheet Music you can check out

    The Provo Library has thousands of albums on CD! We purchase CDs from a wide variety of genres and artists, and CDs have no fee to check out. We also have a growing collection of sheet music with hot titles like the complete libretto of the Broadway musical HAMILTON, and music from the motion picture THE GREATEST SHOWMAN.

    Monday Night Performances

    There’s nothing quite like feeling the energy of a live performance.  Luckily, performers and musicians from our community regularly come to perform at our library.  Some of our seasonal performances, such as the Utah Valley Handbell Ringers each December, are a community tradition!  These performances are always free, and you can see our upcoming schedule on our Monday Night @ the Library page.

    The Basement Creative Lab audiovisual production space

    Being a lover of music goes hand in hand with being a creator of music, when your passion pushes you to participate rather than simply enjoy!  Our new Basement Creative Lab provides a space for creators looking for a space to record sound and video, supplied with equipment and editing stations that is free for Provo residents to use. All you have to do to use it is take our free “Intro to Studio Production” class to get oriented with our equipment. We also periodically offer specialized classes on subjects like Audio Production.  More information and registration for our classes can be done on our Basement Creative Lab page.

  •  Gardening

    Sometimes I feel like the best way to describe me is: A Food Moron. I grew up in a metropolitan area, in an era when convenience foods were the new miracle of the food industry, and dinner came more often from a can or a box or even a window than it did from the ground. Now that I am in our lovely community here in Provo, I have felt often that I have a huge amount of catching up to do. So many people around me seem to already have a grasp on how to grow your own food and put it on the table for your family without any cardboard boxes involved at all!  And while I don't feel like I have the benefit of a lifetime of knowledge of good food practices, I am trying to learn now as an adult so that I can improve my life and the lives of my family. 

    But food is becoming an increasingly tricky subject, almost as perilous to navigate in social settings as politics and religion.  You can find as many different opinions on food practices as there are people in the room. The publishing industry reflects this trend as well, with a new food-related book coming out almost every day prescribing one method or another.

    While I don't claim to have any more answers than the next person, I have read several interesting books recently that have helped me to learn about the food industry, and more importantly, that have inspired me personally to make changes. Which is why I've spent the last two months digging through the dirt in my backyard, pulling up roots, hammering and drilling: things I never thought I'd be doing when I was growing up!

     Garden 1.1
    My yard in February 2018

    Garden 2
    Versus April 2018

    I heartily support anyone who's trying to make their life better with better food practices, whatever they are! But these are the books that have educated me and inspired me to get out the shovel and do something.  

    6.20 CookedCOOKED: A NATURAL HISTORY OF TRANSFORMATION
    Michael Pollan
    (2013)

    Michael Pollan has been a critical player in our national conversations about food for the better part of two decades.  While he's written many important books on the subject of the environment and agriculture, Cooked was a culmination of sorts where much of his knowledge and research was encapsulated in practical application. 

     

    6.20 Salt Sugar FatSALT, SUGAR, FAT: HOW THE FOOD GIANTS HOOKED US
    By Michael Moss
    (2013)

    This book takes an in-depth look at major players in the food industry, and examines how research and development of their products is done to help it become as desirable as possible to consumers today.  It's a fascinating look at how food products are specifically designed to keep people eating ("bet you can't eat just one") while no real attention is paid to nutrition unless it can be used as a market appeal.   

     

    6.20 The Dorito EffectTHE DORITO EFFECT
    By Mark Schatzker
    (2015)

    While part of this book covers similar ground as the book above, Schatzker takes it another step further to examine agricultural practices over the last century as well.  Many varieties of grown food have been bred for decades for its resistance to disease and bigger yields, but practically no consideration for taste.  As a result, many grown foods have lost much of their true flavors and intensity, and people increasingly turn to the processed food industry to provide flavor, at the expense of nutrition. 

     

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

    Author Barbara Kingsolver and her family moved from Tuscon to Virginia to live for one year eating only what they produced themselves or what they could find locally produced.  Kingsolver's mindfulness of the world around her and passion for responsible eating are incredibly inspiring.  I haven't yet found someone who wasn't motivated to make even a small change after reading this. 

     

    6.20 The Third PlateTHE THIRD PLATE: FIELD NOTES ON THE FUTURE OF FOOD
    By Dan Barber
    (2014)

    Written by the renowned chef of the Blue Hill restaurant and one of the original chefs of the farm-to-table movement, Dan Barber explores the evolution of American food, its effect on our environment, and most importantly the environment's effect on food.  This is a fascinating discussion of true sustainability, and how the practices that will benefit our environment the most will also help to provide us with the most delicious food possible. 

     
  • Looking at Books

    A funny thing happens after you’ve worked in a library for a while. You become so familiar with recent and popular book covers that you’re hyper aware of copycat covers, and eventually you start to see them everywhere.

    Sometimes an entire genre will feature similar covers so that you know what the book is before you’ve even read the description (the ubiquitous “girl facing away from you while wearing a fancy period dress” women’s historical fiction cover for instance). Other times, as I suspect is the case for the first pair listed below, a new release tries to capitalize on the popularity of a better established book by using a nearly identical cover. Then there’s the case of stock photos run amuck.

    And sometimes the similarities are simply baffling (do MERE CHRISTIANITY and TWILIGHT really have the same target demographic?).

    Here are a few suspiciously similar book covers we’ve discovered. What have we missed? Share your book doppelgängers in the comments!

    11.9 The Tethered MageTHE TETHERED MAGE
    By Melissa Caruso
    (2017)

     

     

     

     

     

    11.9 Crooked KingdomCROOKED KINGDOM
    By Leigh Bardugo
    (2016)

     

     

     

     

     

    11.9 The Smaller EvilTHE SMALLER EVIL
    By Stephanie Kuehn
    (2016)

     

     

     

     

     

    11.9 UndeniableUNDENIABLE: HOW BIOLOGY CONFIRMS OUR INTUITION THAT LIFE IS DESIGNED
    By Douglas Axe
    (2016)

     

     

     

     

    11.9 Amy SnowAMY SNOW
    By Tracy Rees
    (2016)

     

     

     

     

     

    11.9 A Murder in TimeA MURDER IN TIME
    By Julie McElwain
    (2016)

     

     

     

     

     

    11.9 Rare ObjectsRARE OBJECTS
    By Kathleen Tessaro
    (2016)

     

     

     

     

     

    11.9 The Fitzosbornes in ExileTHE FITZOSBORNES IN EXILE
    By Michelle Cooper
    (2012)

     

     

     

     

     

    11.9 The House of DreamsTHE HOUSE OF DREAMS
    By Kate Lord Brown
    (2016)

     

     

     

     

     

    11.9 A Quiet LifeA QUIET LIFE
    By Natasha Walter
    (2016)

     

     

     

     

     

    11.9 Words to Live ByWORDS TO LIVE BY: A GUIDE FOR THE MERELY CHRISTIAN
    By C.S. Lewis
    (2007)

     

     

     

     

    11.9 TwilightTWILIGHT
    By Stephanie Meyer
    (2005)

     

     

     

     

     

  • reading lately

    I’ve been luxuriating in memoir lately. It’s so powerful to read about people’s experiences in their own words. It’s like sitting down with them in a cozy corner and having a really good chat.

    Memoir is deeply personal writing about a specific time in a person’s life and touches on the person’s memories, feelings, and emotions.

    Memoir can be inspiring, horrifying, intoxicating, and hysterical. If you are interested in trying out memoir for the first time, or are looking for your next good read, check out this list of what I’ve been reading lately.

    5.21 EducatedEDUCATED
    By Tara Westover
    (2018)

    Tara Westover grew up living off the grid in Idaho. Her erratic father and her midwife mother were strict fundamentalist, so Tara and her siblings never went to school. Tara was 17 the first time she entered a classroom. This is an astounding memoir about how Westover taught herself so she could enter BYU as a college freshman.

    This was a heart wrenching read. The ignorance, squalor, and violence that she experienced in her family of origin is hard to stomach. How could a story like this happen in a modern, civilized world? Yet, the way Westover describes her experience is unflinching and ultimately inspirational. This one will really make you think.       

     

    5.21 BecomingBECOMING
    By Michelle Obama
    (2018)

    This is an intimate portrait of a powerful woman who has experienced heartbreaks and successes that have shaped an amazing life. I really appreciated the section where she recounts her experience with fertility treatments and trying to get pregnant.

    These tender details make this more than just a “famous person” memoir. It is articulate and impeccably written. Reading this book was like having Michelle Obama as a delightful house guest for a couple of days.

     

    5.21 In PiecesIN PIECES
    by Sally Field
    (2018)

    Field gives an unflinching and heartbreaking view of Old Hollywood and her experiences as she evolved from teen sweetheart to Oscar-winning leading lady.

    Field’s authenticity and vulnerability is compelling and her life is inspiring. Though some of the subject matter is dark, her glowing hope shines through. This is a beautifully written, tender and raw memoir about an inner child who just wants to be enough.

     

    5.21 Whiskey in a TeacupWHISKEY IN A TEACUP: WHAT GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH TAUGHT ME ABOUT LIFE, LOVE, AND BAKING BISCUITS
    By Reese Witherspoon
    (2018

    )In this chatty memoir/recipe book, Reese Witherspoon shares what it was like growing up in The South, particularly the influence of her grandmother Dorothea. At the end of each chapter, she shares family recipes and lists of books and music that can bring the charm and tradition of Tennessee to your home.

    I loved this book. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but Reese Witherspoon writes with charm and candor about her upbringing and the power of family. It was really interesting to see into her life outside of her movies.

     

    5.21 Talking as Fast as I CanTALKING AS FAST AS I CAN: FROM GILMORE GIRLS TO GILMORE GIRLS, (AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN)
    By Lauren Graham
    (2016)

    This memoir was like talking to my best friends about life, love, and our favorite episodes of GILMORE GIRLS. Graham explains her childhood, her life-changing role as Dolly Levi in HELLO, DOLLY!  and all the things that lead her to GILMORE GIRLS and PARENTHOOD. She also shares from her diary that she kept during the filming of GILMORE GIRLS: A YEAR IN THE LIFE and her reunion with Alexis Bledel and Kelly Bishop and what it was like to be without Edward Herriman’s quintessential Richard Gilmore. But mostly it is about how she always felt that she had something inside of her that she wanted to share, that she needed to impart, and she did, talking as fast as she could.

     
  • desserts 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    SHEET PAN DESSERTS

    SWEETS & TREATS WITH SIX SISTERS' STUFF

    ILLUSTRATED STEP BY STEP BAKING

  • narrative food 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    CHOCOLATE: A BITTERSWEET SAGA OF DARK AND LIGHT

    ANIMAL, VEGETABLE, MIRACLE: A YEAR OF FOOD LIFE

    RELISH: MY LIFE IN THE KITCHEN

  • funny autobiographies 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    BOY: TALES OF CHILDHOOD

    KNUCKLEHEAD: TALL TALES & MOSTLY TRUE STORIES OF GROWING UP

    HOW ANGEL PETERSON GOT HIS NAME: AND OTHER OUTRAGEOUS TALES OF EXTREME SPORTS

  • Hamilton 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON

    FALLEN FOUNDER: THE LIFE OF AARON BURR

    LADIES OF LIBERTY 

  • Female Jazz Biographies 01

     

    Find them in the catalog: 

    STRANGE FRUIT

    JOSEPHINE

    NINA

  • self improvement nonfiction 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    DARING GREATLY

    YOU ARE A BADASS

    LEADERSHIP AND SELF-DECEPTION

  • Maps 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    MAPS

    WHERE ON EARTH?

    MAPS AND GEOGRAPHY

  • Happy World Thinking Day! Here are some great books to get you thinking about thinking: 

    psychological reads

  • science technology natural history 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    ANIMALIUM

    THING EXPLAINER

    I CONTAIN MULTITUDES

     

  • Sports Success Biographies 01

  • 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.”

     
  • 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.

     

  •  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!

  •  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.

     

  • 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!

  • 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.

     

     

  • 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!  

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  • 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!

  • 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.