August 1 – 10, 2019 – reading for pleasure

Because I do a lot of ARC (advanced reader copy) reading as well as book club reading, I don’t often get a chance to read for pleasure. In July my goal was to read children’s books. For the month of August, I’m going to read for pleasure only. Here is what I’ve read, so far.

Circe by Madeline Miller

I have always loved mythology: Greek, Norse, Native American, to name a few. When Circe came out it was so popular that I was reluctant to read it. I’m one of those people who reads to the beat of my own drum. I don’t normally read what is on the best sellers lists. For some reason, I decided to read it. I just finished it three days ago and I have to say – I LOVED IT! I plan on going back and reading ALL of Madeline Millers books. This telling of the story of Circe, the daughter of the sun god Helios. Part Clash of the Titans, part family saga, the author writes in such a way that you get sucked into the story and don’t want to put it down. Highly recommended.

Educated by Tara Westover

My most recent “back and forth to work” audiobook had me wanting my commute to last longer. Educated tells the story Tara Westover and how she went from her childhood in an “off the grid” survivalist family to a woman with a PhD. Tara’s parents did not believe in public schools, traditional medicine or any governmental agencies. According to their beliefs, public school education corrupts and the government is out to get them. The author’s tale of abuse and neglect is harrowing. While telling what happened to her and how she managed to not only educate herself, but go to Cambridge and Harvard, she manages to still express her love for her family. An awe inspiring book.

Next on my TBR for pleasure list: The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury.

My book review made the August 2019 edition of Library Reads

A while back I read an advanced readers copy of Ellie and the Harp Maker by Hazel Prior. I make not apologies about liking to read books about quirky characters and this book fits that description.

A few weeks ago I was contacted by Library Reads and asked if they can use my review. How thrilling!!! I said yes and approved their edited version of my review.

Here is the link to the August 2019 Library Reads list. Go check it out.

Thanks for reading!

Found by Salina Yoon

I’m back to my juvenile picture books!! YAY!!!

In Found by Salina Yoon, Bear finds a stuffed rabbit toy in the woods.  He know someone must be missing this bunny, so he makes FOUND flyers and puts them up everywhere.  No one comes to claim the bunny. Bear wishes that the bunny was his and decides to take him on a picnic and a bike ride.  While out riding, Moose sees him and yells “FLUFFY BUNNY”.  Turns out the bunny belonged to Moose when he was younger. Bear gave Moose the bunny and was sad. Moose decided that Fluffy Bunny needed to be in a new home and gave him to Bear.  Everyone was happy.

****Cute, short book.  Illustrations were adorable.

Thanks for reading!

The Public

Today I took a break from reading children’s books and, instead, watched The Public. I will read two books tomorrow. Today I need to address this fabulous and moving movie and MY experiences working in a library.

It took Emilio Esteves 10 years to get this movie made. It is the story of Stuart, a librarian at an urban Cincinnati library, and the homeless patrons who decide to occupy the library during a vicious cold spell that is leaving frozen homeless people all over the city. The film touches on the causes of homelessness, the opioid crisis, mental illness, sleazy politicians, and the importance of libraries and their staff. I don’t want to give away the whole movie, so I will just say that it is really worth watching.

In 2009, I lost my administrative assistant position during the economic downturn. Like thousands, I was laid off. An angel named Angie Patterson, swooped in and saved me. She was the Library Manager and I knew her through my administrative assistant job. She offered me a part-time Library Technician position and kept me employed. I owe her so much.

Everyone thinks that people who work in libraries sit around reading all day. This is FAR from the truth. Let me tell you about my experience.

First, it is a non-stop, physical job. After my first part-time shift at the library, I slept for two days and could barely walk. Between standing for hours on end, bending to pick things up, emptying book drops, and reaching to shelve materials, I didn’t stop the whole time.

Second, every day is different. You never know what each day will bring. From odd objects found in the book drop to backed up plumbing, every day is an adventure. Since I don’t work in a large urban library like Stuart, my experiences haven’t been quite as news worthy. Some of my experiences in the past 10 years:

  • During the recession spent many hours helping patrons, who have never used a computer, to file for unemployment or assistance which had gone totally online.
  • Provided first aid to a patron that overdosed in the library and then later in the same day had a patron drive her car into a wall at the library.
  • Cleaned up poop left strategically in the middle of the floor in the men’s room.
  • Taught patrons how to get eBooks, stream our movie services, learn languages, and listen to audiobooks, on their electronic devices.
  • Entertained patrons with craft and food programs.
  • Helped a library school student with her homework (keeping in mind that I did not go to library school).
  • Found some interesting things in the book drop (partially eaten food, disgusting porn magazines, a tree branch, empty drink cups, beer bottles).
  • Found interesting things when cleaning up the library at closing (box of melted ice pops in the shelf in the children’s room, underwear, marajuana leaves in books, toys, papers with personal information, cell phones, power cords, purses, bags of change, shoes, library cards, drivers licenses left in the copier).
  • Helped newly diagnosed patrons research their diseases.
  • Met some amazing authors and read many wonderful and not so wonderful books.
  • Provided comfort and shelter for patrons after Hurricane Irma left people without electricity.

This is just what I could remember after watching the movie. My point here is that working in a library is not what people think it is.

Watch The Public and next time you visit your local library, share your appreciation with the staff. It will mean the world to them.

Thanks for reading.

My July 4th and July 5th reads

Keeping up with my goal of reading a children’s book a day during the month of July, I had to catch up because I missed yesterday. Here are the two books I read today.

Otto the Book Bear by Kate Cleminson

Otto lives in a book.  He is happiest when children read the book.  When no one is around, he leaves the book and wanders around.  After one of his adventure, he gets left behind.  So he goes looking for a new home. 

**** Cute book.  I love the pictures of Otto.

Most Marshmallows by Rowboat Watkins

A picture book about life as a marshmallow.  How they learn to be squishy in school and why they can’t breathe fire.  Marshmallows sleep but they don’t dream about anything.  They can be or do anything.

**** I love the marshmallow pictures.  They look just like squishy square people.  Cute, short book.

Don’t know what I’ll read next. Do you have any recommendations?

Thanks for reading.