Your Library Staff at Home-More ABCs of Staying at Home.

A is for Anxiety. Let’s get that part out of the way. How am I dealing with my anxiety? Well, some days I turn to yoga. My go-to yogi is Adriene Mishler of Yoga with Adriene. This month she has created a playlist of free videos designed to nurture. You do not have to be strong and bendy to do these videos; just show up as you are. You don’t have to have a ton of time; most of the videos are under 30 minutes. Some days I just sit on the couch and listen to murder podcasts while playing Best Fiends. Balance, lol. If you are feeling anxious, know it is normal. Know you are not alone. Know that what works for one person may not work for you. Heck, what works for you one day may not work for you the next! So, check in with yourself. Try new things and if you can’t manage on your own, reach out for help.

B is for Bingeing. Time for another librarian confession-I have not read a single physical book in a month (Be Not Far From Me by Ohio author, Mindy McGinnis and it’s amazing!). All of my reading during social distancing has been audio and I am half way through a re-listen of a favorite series.

As for what I am binge watching-it’s a mixed bag. I am finding comfort in rewatching my favorites, so Schitt’s Creek and Supernatural have been my go-tos. While everyone else is watching Tiger King (I quit after episode 3, but that didn’t stop me from taking all the quizzes and based on my astrological sign and a quiz I got Saff both times), I went a different route with my disturbing documentary selection. In one sitting I watched all of Taken at Birth about a Georgia doctor who sold over 200 babies out of his clinic in the 1950s and 60s.

C is for Connecting. If you are reading from Rocky River, you probably know about Unite the Night. If you are somewhere else, maybe your own community has a similar event. Every Sunday from 8:30-9:30 people turn on their porch lights and set out luminaries to remind each other that we are all in this together. This week I helped the library join in. Staying connected can be as simple as turning on a light.

Unite the Night @RRPL

~Megan

Your Library Staff at Home-The ABCs (Anxiety, Bingeing, and Connecting) of Social Distancing

True confession of a stay at home librarian-when we first announced our closure I was kind of excited. As an introvert I’ve been training for this my entire life-I have books, podcasts, tv, and snack-of course I’ll stay home. As a slacker and procrastinator I thought I could finally get some projecst done! Paint the bathroom. Fold ALL the laundry. Scrub the baseboards. It was going to be great. No excuse. Just endless amounts of time! What I did not account for was my natural anxiety and depression. That to-do list became overwhelming and every day that I didn’t accomplish 17 things felt like a failure so I just ignored it. And then I saw this art by Tyler Feder on Facebook:

If you follow RRPL on social media you may have seen it when I shared it. This advice spoke to me; especially the part about to-do lists. So, in Week 3 of social distancing my to-do list looks VERY different from my Week 1 list. You know what’s on my list for today? Fold the flannel sheets that I took off the bed and washed on Sunday. Yup. They’ve been in the dryer since Sunday and that’s ok. It’s going to feel great when I put them in the linen closet I organized last week. So, to all you extroverts and list makers who might be experiencing anxiety for the first time, it’s ok to be anxious and scared and unproductive. Be kind to yourself. Reevaluate your to-do list. Feel great about little accomplishments. Those little accomplishments will eventually result in a deep-cleaned living room; it just might take a week to make it happen. And for all you anxiety experts, I feel you friend, you are not alone. We got this.

Ok, we covered the A for Anxiety, time to move on to the B for Bingeing.

I am a podcast addict. My taste range from off-color comedy to true crime with some little supernatural, medical, and political shows sprinkled in for variety. I can talk podcasts all day, so I am just going to give you the highlights today.

The Dollop-an American History Podcast

The Dollop has over 400 episodes. Three are Cleveland-based: Ten Cent Beer Night, Balloonfest, and Danny Green. I recommend starting with one of those.

This Podcast Will Kill You-a Disease Ecology Podcast

The hosts are both epidemiologists and disease ecologists. They have recently done a six-part series on Covid-19 that is phenomenal.

Dateline-this is literally the tv show without the images!!

Who doesn’t recognize Lester Holt’s voice?!?

Now for the C-Connecting. Pick up the phone and call someone. I have talked on the phone more in the past two weeks that I have in the previous two months and 50% of my job is literally talking on the phone! I love texts and messaging and that’s my preferred mode of communicating and staying in touch, but since we live in the upside down now I am actually finding comfort and connection hearing my loved ones’ voices.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay connected. And let me know if you have binge-worth podcast!

~Megan

Megan’s Favorites of 2019

It’s that time of year, again-the time when we reflect on our year of reading (mostly murder) and make a favorites list (so much murder). I have given up all pretense of creating a Top Ten List and have abandoned descriptions (follow the links for book details), which has helped ease some of my anxiety around this task. If you like mysteries, suspense, and thrillers there are quite a few here!

YA Fiction

Adult Fiction

Nonfiction

Middle Grade

Happy Reading!

~Megan

Winter Book BINGO: Spotlight on Graphic Novels

So you need to read a graphic novel in order to complete a BINGO, but you don’t know where to start. Let me help you. My own introduction to graphic novels was Bill Willingham’s Fables series. This epic series is a very grown-up retelling of classic fables and fairy tales. It’s still one of my favorite series. But you aren’t ready to jump into a 22-volume, Eisner Award winning series? No problem!

Try something cute, light, and funny:

Or maybe a graphic biography or memoir? We have books about familiar figures as well as ordinary people. Here are some of my favorites:

Ready to jump into a series? Let’s do it!

Maybe you’d like to try a classic:

Finally, let’s not forget the superheroes:

If none of these strike your fancy, come on in and browse our collection. Graphic novels are visual, you might just have to see them to find the one that’s right for you.

~Megan

Megan’s Favorites of 2018

Megan’s Favorites of 2017

Ah, the annual struggle of a reader…picking the favorites.

Favorite Teen Reads:

  1. Scythe by Neal Shusterman-In a world where disease and old age have been conquered, the only way to die is to be killed by professional reapers. Two teens are in a contest to become a scythe, despite the fact that neither wants the job.scythe
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas-When Starr Davis becomes the sole witness to the police shooting of her childhood friend, her life changes. The incident makes headlines and everyone from her poor neighborhood and the upscale prep school she attends has an opinion on the matter. hate
  3. Strange the Dreamer by Liani Taylor-Lazlo Strange has long dreamed of the lost city of Weep. Actually, this gorgeous, epic fantasy is too complicated to describe in a sentence or two. I can’t do it.strange
  4. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin-In an alternate history the Axis powers won WWII and Hitler is alive. Yael, a survivor of human experimentation at the hands of Nazi doctors has one goal: win the annual motorcycle race, secure a meeting with Hitler, and kill him.wolf
  5. Goodbye Days by Jeff Zenter-Carter Briggs loses his three best friends after a text message caused a fatal car accident. Carter struggles with his guilt and grief with the help of Blake’s grandmother and her idea of a “goodbye day.”goodbye

Favorite Adult Reads: Apparently I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy in 2017! Any why not? It’s pure escapism.

  1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss-The first book in the Kingkiller Chronicles tells the story of Kvothe, a magician, thief, and assassin. This book is currently in development by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Showtime!name of the wind
  2. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden-A mesmerizing fairy tale set in the cold Russian north. bear
  3. A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers-This is a light-hearted space opera in the vein of Firefly. long way
  4. Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey-The first book in the Expanse series and the source material for the Syfy show of the same title, this is a face-paced thriller of a space opera. I do love a space opera!leviathan
  5. Bonfire by Krysten Ritter-Abby returns to her small hometown to investigate a corporation that seems to have connections to an old scandal. Erin Brockovich meets Mean Girls.bonfire

Favorite Nonfiction Reads: 

  1. Ranger Games by Ben Blum-The bizarre true story of a group of young army rangers who rob a bank. ranger
  2. Hunger: a Memoir of (my) Body by Roxane Gay- This deeply personal series of essays explores body image and self esteem and the author’s relationship with food and weight. index
  3. On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder-The author, a historian on fascism, offers a guide to understanding and resisting totalitarianism. index (1)
  4. Tears We Cannot Stop: a Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson-This provocative call for change details how white America can work towards real and lasting racial progress. A painful and necessary read. tears
  5. Killers of the Flower Moon: the Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. The majority of my nonfiction reading this year was true crime (totally obsessed and if you are too I recommend the podcast My Favorite Murder) or political books. Killers of the Flower Moon is a fascinating addition to the true crime genre. (It’s also the topic of our Men’s Book Discussion in January)killers

~Megan

Megan’s Top Ten (Sixteen) Teen Reads of 2016

Every year I agonize over which books will earn a place on my end of the year favorites list. This year I decided to quit fretting and just make multiple lists! First up, my favorite YA reads of 2016. In alphabetical order:

  1. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds. This ripped from the headlines story of police brutality and race relations is an intense must-read.

all-american

2. All In and Bad Blood (The Naturals #3 and 4) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. The Naturals series     is Criminal Minds with teens. It’s smart, suspenseful, and dark.

all-in bad-blood

3. Calamity (The Reckoners #3) by Brandon Sanderson. The final showdown between the Epics and the Reckoners is all about redemption. A perfect series finale.

calamity

4. Carry on by Rainbow Rowell. Readers were introduced to Simon Snow and Baz in Fangirl. Carry On is the novel version of the fan fiction that Cath writes. Very meta.

carry-on

5. The Creeping Shadow (Lockwood & Co. #4) by Jonathon Stroud. Full of twists and turns and shocking bombshells, this spooky series keeps getting better and better.

creeping-shadow

6. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. It’s always a treat to be able to get new Harry Potter material!

harry

7.  If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. This is another timely read about a transgender teen looking to make a fresh start in a new town.

if-i-was

8. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. The sequel to The Diviners is another spooky journey into the supernatural world of 1920’s New York City.

lair

9. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand. Fans of The Princess Bride will love this hilarious, somewhat true(ish) account of Lady Jane Grey. A romantic, historical fiction tale with a touch of the paranormal. This is the first of a planned “famous Janes” series.

my-lady

10.  The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater. Why did the Raven Cycle have to come to an end??

raven

11. The Serpent King by Jeff Zenter. One year in the lives of three teens living in a small Tennessee town. This one is a heart breaker.

serpent-king

12. Still Life With Tornado by A.S. King. It’s always a good year when you get a new A.S. King book.

still

13. This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab. For fans of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, this is a tale of two teens living in a broken world of violence and monsters. So much to love in this dark urban fantasy.

this-savage-song

14. To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown. This might be my surprise favorite book of the year. Let me tell you: this is a novel in verse about cannibals. Please and thank  you!

to-stay-alive

15. The Tournament at Gorlan (The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years #1) by John Flanagan. I will never tire of Halt and Crowley! This new series takes readers back to when Halt was the apprentice.

tournament

16. The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma. Black Swan meets Orange is the New Black. This one is weird and I loved it.

walls-around-us

Happy Reading!

~Megan