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!

Imagine Your Story – Adult and Teen Events @RRPL

WEEK OF JUNE 8, 2020

Here’s what’s happening for adults & teens at RRPL this week!

Summer Reading begins! Sign up at Beanstack or call us to register! For additional information, check out our Summer Reading Flyer.

MANNA FOOD TRUCK | All Ages | Wednesday, June 10, 5-7 pm
Library Front Lawn Enjoy dinner from Manna Food Truck while you picnic on the lawn. Order online before the event from the link in our event calendar or at the truck the day of.

SMARTPHONE VIDEOMAKING | Adults & Teens | Thursdays, 7:00 – 8:30 pm
June 11: (apps, writing, shooting) and June 25: (apps, editing, how to share)
Bring your smartphone (any device) and learn how to write, shoot, and edit your video all from your phone with TV producer Hollie Brubaker. Be prepared with a full battery, storage space for new apps on your device, and an idea inspired by Rocky River. Each participant will be encouraged to share their work at our River of Stories event the week of July 21-27. Adults and Teens welcome. Register and you will be emailed an invitation to join this virtual event. Registration required.

MEET THE AUTHOR: ABBY L. VANDIVER | Adults | Thursday, June 11, 6:30 pm
Abby L. Vandiver will talk about her recently published book, A Deadly Inside Scoop, first in her new series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery, published by Penguin Berkley. Hear her exciting journey from lawyer, to successful self-published Amazon #1 bestselling author, to Penguin published
author! Register and you will be emailed an invitation to join this virtual event. Registration required.

Check out the Information Kiosk in front of the library for more information, including Summer Reading, Summer Events and Summer Reading Slips.

Happy Reading!

~ Dori

Imagine Your Story — A Postcard From Home

This summer isn’t panning out to include the travel many of us were hoping for. One summer tradition we don’t need give up on this year is sending postcards. That’s why each of our adult summer reading participants can stop by the library’s curbside service to pick up one of these fantastic ‘Greetings from Rocky River’ postcards. Shout out to our graphic designer, Stephanie for bringing this design to life!

You can pre-register for our summer reading by creating an account and logging in here. Stop by the library’s curbside service starting Saturday, June 6 to request your free postcard while supplies last.

—Beth

Imagine Your Story @ RRPL- Countdown to RiverCon!

Only three more days to go until we kick off Rivercon! What is RiverCon you ask? RiverCon is a celebration of comic books, graphic novels, and manga that you don’t want to miss. Originally envisioned to be a mini-con at the library, we’ve adapted our event so you can enjoy awesome comic content and activities safely from home this June!

Saturday from 9 am – 1 pm yours truly, along with Teen Librarian Ms. Megan, and Children’s Librarian Ms. Amanda, will be passing out RiverCon@Home kits to pre-registered patrons in front of the library. We even have comic-themed face masks to stay safe, courtesy of Ms. Megan.

Here’s a look at what you can expect for this Saturday, June 6th. There is something for everyone!

  • 9 am- 1 pm: Patrons who pre-registered for a RiverCon@Home activity kit (if you didn’t claim your kit yet click here!) can pick-up their kits by stopping at the front entrance of the library to grab your kit from one of the librarians. You can also sign-up early for one of our super fun summer reading programs!
  • Pre-registration for kits will end June 5th, but fear not- we will have unclaimed RiverCon@Home kits on hand to pass out to anyone who stops by on a while supplies last basis!
  • What will my RiverCon@Home kit include? A RiverCon magnet, materials to make your own upcycled comic book bookmark, blank panel pages to draw your own comics, a librarian curated graphic novel reading list with discussion questions to explore at home, superhero stickers, Hoopla swag, and more!
  • 2-3 pm: Teens and adults can learn all about the interesting history of comics and graphic novels in Cleveland from CSU literature professor Jeff Karem at our Graphic Novelists in Cleveland webinar. Register today to get the Zoom link to join emailed to you the day of the event!
  • 2-3:30 pm: Kids ages 8-12 can sign up to participate in our online Nintendo Gaming Tournament. We’ve got plenty of spaces left so snag your spot to play today!

The fun continues all month with our first ever Community Cosplay Contest running from June 6th- June 29th! Find all the necessary information for participation here. We want to see your creativity! All ages are invited to bring to life your favorite characters for a chance to win a sweet prize bag. Two lucky winners will win a selection of graphic novels and gift cards to Carol & John’s Comic Shop, Immortals Inc., and Mitchell’s Ice Cream!

Keep checking back here every Thursday, June 11- July 2 to read interviews with talented local comic artists and writers! We will be talking to Karly West, creator of The Scholarly Banana, comics designer and artist Clare Kolat, and Tony Isabella, creator of Black Lightning, to name a few.

Later this month families will also be able to a enjoy a super-fun superhero storytime via YouTube with Ms. Amanda as part of our RiverCon program lineup! Keep your eyes peeled on the website for more details.

We can’t wait to see you! Happy Reading and Happy Summer!

Imagine Your Story @RRPL

 

New Books Tuesday @RRPL

In this week’s special picks there are new exciting romance, mystery, adventure, and many more genres for you to choose from! Enjoy! A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik – An unwilling dark sorceress destined to rewrite the rules of magic…

5Days4Democracy: Citizenship

On September 18th, 2020, Semanur, Adult Reference Associate, shared exciting news with the Rocky River Public Library staff, “today I am a US citizen”. Semanur was immediately showered with congratulatory sentiments from the RRPL staff. We were all so very…

Reconnect @RRPL

Discover RRPL’s Shared Shelf. Each week a staff member will share a glimpse into their reading shelf in hopes that you will discover that next great read. Happy Tuesday! Mary

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5Days4Democracy – Why Democracy?

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5Days4Democracy -There’s Still Time!

Tomorrow is the first official day of the Five Days for Democracy event and you can sign up now, or any time this week, to receive Monday’s email! This might be the easiest program *ever* to join but will hopefully…