One Book, One City 2021

Bicycling with Butterflies: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration

It’s summer, so hopefully there is more time to relax and read. The Rocky River Public Library invites adults and teens to read Bicycling with Butterflies by Sara Dykman as part of our “Tails and Tales” summer reading program.

In addition to reading the book, it’s a chance to do a little research on monarch butterflies using the library’s databases. They are available at https://rrpl.org/research-tools/ under “Newspapers & Magazines”. I heartily recommend the “National Geographic” index which offers full-text articles from 1888-1994. Another excellent source is EBSCOhost. (Some of National Geographic is also included in EBSCOhost.) In that source patrons have access to hundreds of full-text magazines. You can limit your search to articles with full color photographs. You can limit your search to “cover story” articles.

It’s my suggestion to check out the databases before beginning the adventure shared in Bicycling with Butterflies.

~Emma

RRPL Summer Reads

I’m planning to keep things on the light side this summer. That means for the most part, I’ll be sticking with humorous, romantic stories and suspenseful, psychological fiction. Here’s a list of some of the books I’m looking forward to spending my summer with:

The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz – I can’t wait to read this book about a writer who steals a plot from a student and writes a bestselling novel out of it -and then gets caught!

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica – Page-turning thrills and chills are promised in this novel about a series of disappearances in a small town.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides – I loved Michaelides’ The Silent Patient so reading this psychological mystery meets gothic thriller is a no-brainer.

The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan – Booklist is calling this book the “ultimate road-trippin’ beach read.” Yes, please.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – This coming of age novel set from the 1950s through the 1980s won’t be either a humorous romance or a thriller, but I just cannot resist the buzz surrounding this new release.

An Unlikely Spy by Rebecca Starford – This twisting, sophisticated World War II novel following a spy who goes undercover as a part of MI5 sounds right up my alley.

The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman – Again, I loved this author’s last book (Mr. Nobody) and am counting on this to be another winning thriller.

The Break Up Book Club by Wendy Wax – What’s not to love about a book about book clubs, books, and relationships between readers of books?

I sure hope you find something stellar to read this summer, too! -Carol

RRPL Summer Reads

My summer reading list is off to a great start!

Currently I’m reading The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade. This is a debut novel about a New Mexican family.   The story begins with Angel, a 33-year-old man, living in Las Penas, New Mexico with his mother.  It is Holy Week and Angel has been given the part of Jesus in the Good Friday Procession.  At the same time, Angel’s 15-year-old daughter shows up pregnant on his doorstep, and so begins the family’s year long journey of love and sacrifice.

The Five Wounds: A Novel by [Kirstin Valdez Quade]

I also hope to read –

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

This novel is a Read With Jenna Book Club Pick as featured on The Today Show. Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of summer, but over the course of twenty four hours, their lives will change forever.

The The Sunset Route: Freight Trains, Forgiveness and Freedom on the Rails in the American West by Carrot Quinn.

The unforgettable story of one woman who leaves behind her hardscrabble childhood in Alaska to travel the country via freight train—a beautiful memoir about forgiveness, self-discovery, and the redemptive power of nature.

The Sunset Route: Freight Trains, Forgiveness, and Freedom on the Rails in the American West by [Carrot Quinn]

Mary

RRPL Summer Reads

Here’s a sampling of books I’m looking forward to reading this summer. Often drawn to historical fiction, I have included a cozy mystery by Carolyn Hart. I hope you enjoy my suggestions.

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict

“The remarkable story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white to leave a lasting legacy that enriched our nation, from New York Times author Marie Benedict, and acclaimed author Victoria Christopher Murray.”

Women’s March by Jennifer Chiaverini

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini returns with The Women’s March, an enthralling historical novel of the woman’s suffrage movement inspired by three courageous women who bravely risked their lives and liberty in the fight to win the vote.”

Ghost Blows a Kiss by Carolyn Hart

“In the tenth Bailey Ruth ghost novel from New York Times bestselling Grand Master of Mystery, Carolyn Hart, the “charmer of a detective” (Kirkus Reviews) takes on a puzzler of a mystery when she’s sent to Adelaide, Oklahoma to rescue a woman in trouble.”

The brief descriptions above are taken directly from fantasticficion.com.

~Emma

Imagine Your Story – Summer Reading

The official Rocky River Public Library summer reading season has come to an end, but, of course, summer reading continues! Many of you participated this year, though our format required some flexibility on your part – and we really appreciate it! Winners will be announced soon – stay tuned!

In the meantime, what have you been reading? Do you feel like it’s hard to focus on reading in the pandemic or just the opposite? I started this pandemic out poorly – I just couldn’t concentrate – but then slowly, a few books caught my attention and hit the sweet spot of what I needed to read.

First up, Optic Nerve by Maria Gainza. I am always drawn to books by Latin American authors, and I’m so happy I picked up this debut after reading about it on The Morning News Tournament of Books. Optic Nerve was in the final challenge, but lost to Normal People by Sally Rooney (which is another good book btw). Sign up to get notifications about this tournament and you’ll be on top of some of the best books of the year.

Back to Optic Nerve. First off, this book is not a plot driven story; it’s a series of reflective vignettes that center around a piece of art, a painting, a drawing, etc. The author is an art critic, and so is the narrator, so I’m sure there are biographical influences – each chapter she talks about a piece of art that moves her – and the artist’s life – and weaves it through something happening in her life. Some of the artists are well-known, but the works of art are not, because they’re generally in museums in Buenos Aires. I loved her writing, her reflections; someone describes it as ‘deeply felt’ – yes – it’s just one of those books.

I also just finished reading Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry – I read it in one day, it’s that engaging. The story of two middle-aged Irish gangsters, waiting in a Spanish port for the next boat from Tangier – doesn’t sound too thrilling, I know. But their conversations in their Cork accent, their flashbacks, their relationship – comic, but deeply sad as well.

What’s next? – well, I just started listening to Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell – it’s about the death of Shakespeare’s 11 year old son during the plague – sounds timely. And I’m hoping to read some galleys of books coming out this Fall – I’ve got Jess Walter’s The Cold Millions on my iPad. I loved his book The Beautiful Ruins, and I’m hearing great things about this one as well.

Happy Reading!

~ Dori

Imagine Your Story – In the Garden

It’s not too late in the season to take advantage of one of our newest library resources, the Seed Bank Library! With fewer social obligations on the calendar and more time at home, I’ve taken this as an opportunity to get my hands dirty in the garden. Thanks to the seed library, I’ve been able to continually grow fresh produce in my garden and in containers on my back deck.

Not sure where to start? Try the quick growing and easy to care for Organic Pink Beauty Radish.

I planted these in a 10″ pot on June 18th
Growth progress as of July 7.
Harvested on July 22.

That’s right, it took just over a month for these radishes to grow from seed to harvest. I watered them daily since it was so hot, but otherwise, they were maintenance free. The seed packet includes seeds and simple planting instructions.

Request your seed packets today!

Imagine Your Story- RiverCon Interview with Clare Kolat

Image courtesy of Clare Kolat.

Welcome back to our RiverCon interview series! RiverCon, our first annual mini-con at the library, was moved to at home activities to keep everyone safe this summer. We have also adapted our summer reading inspired RiverCon panel discussion to blog format so you can enjoy “meeting” amazing local comic artists and authors from home!

This week we hear from Clare Kolat, a talented Cleveland native who is a spectacular comic creator, artist, and designer. Clare’s comics have been featured in Vagabond Comics, The Ohio City Tremont Observer, and Cleveland Scene Magazine. You can learn more about Clare and her work by visiting her website- just click here!

What inspired you to pursue a career in comics?

Clare: Making my own stories and art always came naturally to me. I’ve found mountains of books and comics I made as a kid in my parents’ attic. Somewhere along the way, I realized that it was something I could keep doing as an adult, so I never stopped! 

Was there a favorite comic book you read in your youth?

Clare: While growing up in Mentor, my parents always got the News Herald, and for a time, they would include reprinted copies of old Spider-Man comics on Sundays. I would always grab the newspaper and shake out my comic to read first thing in the morning! I was also really into manga because of Cardcaptor Sakura and Sailor Moon.

Image courtesy of Clare Kolat.

Why do you think storytelling, specifically in the comic or graphic novel format, is important?

Clare: Stories teach us valuable lessons and let us escape to worlds outside our understanding. They let us explore, grow, and share experiences with others we would never have otherwise. I absolutely think graphic storytelling is important as well. It’s a highly accessible medium. Anyone can read comics. Even if you don’t necessarily understand the words, the art is there to guide you through the story. It is really unique in that way. Comics are for everyone. 

How have folk tales, fairy tales, or mythology influenced your work?

Clare: I’ve always loved fantastical stories and magical worlds. Fairytales and mythology always gave me an exciting place to escape. They offer you a different perspective and an opportunity to find magic in the mundane.

Image courtesy of Clare Kolat.

Do you have a favorite folk tale, fairy tale, or myth?

Clare: It’s so hard to pick one. I’ve really been getting into American folklore lately, especially stories about Appalachian cryptids and ghosts. I love the story of the Tailypo and did my own version for Vagabond Comics issue 9.

Image courtesy of Clare Kolat.

What is a favorite comic book or graphic novel that you have read in the past year?

Clare: Again, it’s hard to pick just one favorite, but to name a few Paper Girls, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, and Pilu of the Woods are all excellent.

Be sure to join me next Thursday morning for our final Imagine Your Story RiverCon interview! Stay safe and happy reading.

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Here some of the new exciting releases for you to take a look at this week!

The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda – Rendered famous in childhood for her miraculous survival of a dangerous storm, a young woman changes her name and struggles to hide from the media before waking up one evening to find a corpse at her feet.

The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor – A series debut set in Dublin and New York introduces homicide detective and divorced mom Maggie D’Arcy, who in the wake of a disappearance and new clues reopens the investigation into her cousin’s disappearance 23 years earlier.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory – Going against her better judgement, LA lawyer Olivia Monroe secretly starts dating a hotshot junior senator until their romance is made public and her life falls under intense media scrutiny, jeopardizing everything.

Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri – Haunting the park near Tokyo’s Uneo Station, the ghost of a man whose life eerily paralleled the Emperor’s reflects on the milestones that impacted his existence, from his homelessness and the 2011 tsunami to the 1964 and 2020 Olympics.

Nothing Can Hurt You by Nicola Maye Goldberg – In a tale inspired by true events, the author of The Doll Factory explores the high-suspense aftermath of a college student’s baffling murder and its reverberations through a chorus of interconnected lives.

The Mist by Ragnar Jonasson – In this gripping conclusion of the critically acclaimed Hidden Iceland series, Detective Hulda is haunted forever by the events that occurred in an isolated farmhouse in the east of Iceland that opened its doors to a killer.

Eliza Starts a Rumor by Jane L. Rosen – Clinging to the community bulletin board she created 15 years earlier, a suburban housewife struggling with agoraphobia engages in fabricated gossip to keep the site more interesting before community member lives are upended by personal setbacks.

People of the Canyons by Kathleen O’Neal & W. Michael Gear – A healer allies himself with a witch hunter to prevent a tyrant from claiming an artifact of power, while his adopted granddaughter uncovers terrifying truths about her parents. By the best-selling authors of People of the Raven.

Everyone Knows How Much I Love You by Kyle McCarthy – Moving in with a childhood friend she betrayed years earlier, Rose becomes increasingly drawn to her roommate’s boyfriend and exerts unconscious influence that threatens to reignite the worst moments of each woman’s life.

Love by Roddy Doyle – Attending his father’s deathbed in hospice, a man reconnects with a drinking buddy from his Dublin youth while reflecting on a long-ago love, his wife’s role in upending his life and the truth about his departure from Ireland.

 

~Semanur

 

Imagine Your Story: RiverCon Interview with Karly West

RiverCon, our first annual mini-con at the library, was moved to at home activities to keep everyone safe this summer. We have also adapted our RiverCon panel discussion to blog format so you can enjoy “meeting” amazing local comic artists and authors from home! Each Thursday morning from now until July 2nd you can read a new interview right here on Read it Or Weep.

Our first RiverCon interview kicks off with Karly West! Karly is the author and artist of The Scholarly Banana: Fitcher’s Bird and a Rocky River native! Read more about Karly here.

What inspired you to pursue a career in comics?

Karly: I have a lot of weird, varied interests that I stubbornly refuse to give up! As a kid, I wanted to be an artist, an author, and a teacher. College was the same story: I interviewed with the journalism department, the art department, and the education department, but I had the worst time making a decision. For whatever reason, even though I loved each of these subjects, none of these career paths felt like the right fit for me (note: I earned my degree in education, but I’ve worked as a professional artist since 2010). In 2016, I created The Scholarly Banana as my “dream project” that would enable me to do everything I loved in one fell swoop: Writing, Researching, Design, Sculpture, Photography, Photoshop, Teaching, and…being weird, I guess! I’m happy to say that this has been the most creatively satisfying (and challenging) thing I’ve ever done.


Was there a favorite comic book you read in your youth?

Karly: Fox Trot. Back in the 90s, I collected all the Fox Trot anthologies and spent countless hours drawing the Fox family. My honorable mention goes to Dilbert. Although I’ve never worked in a cubicle before, I think Scott Adams is hilarious. Side note: His nonfiction books are great, too.


Why do you think storytelling, specifically in the comic or graphic novel format, is important?

Karly: Pictures are just another form of communication, so a well-designed, well-written, artistic book should be the best of both worlds, right? Graphic novels are incredibly cinematic. They’re like highly-polished storyboards! But unlike movies, graphic novels let us enjoy stories at our own pace, which is fantastic. I love to re-read my favorite books to analyze and admire all the subtle details. Graphic novels and well-designed picture books are great for that. 


How have folk tales, fairy tales, or mythology influenced your work?

Karly: I’ve been a voracious folklore nerd since 2002! More than anything, I love learning about the history and analysis of these ancient, influential stories. My favorite fairy tale books tend to be research-focused, though I don’t always have the mental energy to read college-level texts anymore. I created The Scholarly Banana to solve this problem! The Banana showcases the most exciting facts about folklore studies in a casual, friendly, and irreverently joyful way. It’s like a quirky, artsy CliffsNotes. But with fairy tales. And a banana.

Photo courtesy of Karly West.


Do you have a favorite folk tale, fairy tale, or myth?

Karly: The Story Of Grandmother is the tale that first got me hooked on folklore studies. Haha, I know the title sounds lame, but this is one of the craziest stories I’ve ever read! It’s an old French version of “Little Red Riding Hood.” However, the girl in this story doesn’t have a red hood, she unwittingly eats her grandmother for lunch, and she arranges her escape by telling the wolf that she has to go outside to use the bathroom. No joke. That’s the story.


What is a favorite comic book or graphic novel that you have read in the past year?

Karly: Through the Woods by Emily Carroll. It’s beautifully creepy. Can I get some honorable mentions for this too? I’m a big fan of Reza Farazmand’s Poorly Drawn Lines (IG @poorlydrawnlines) as well as Patt Kelley’s single-paneled comics (@pattkelley). 

Thanks so much to Karly for participating in our blog interview! Keep your eyes peeled for her next Scholarly Banana book- The Juniper Tree!