Eternally In Ink: My Theories On The Fates Of Literary Couples

by Alyssa Nicole


Yuanfen- (n) A relationship by fate or destiny; the binding force between two people
Fictional couples throughout the ages have become idealistic examples of what true love should look like. Their stories of star-aligned destiny and undying devotion ignite the hopeless romantic inside of many. Kilig, (pronounced keel-eeg) a unique Filipino word, is defined as the feeling of inexplicable joy one gets when something romantic or idealistic occurs. This word encapsulates why so many readers are drawn to these stories of the heart. Yet these books often end at the happily ever afters (or in some illfated cases, happily never afters.) It makes me wonder whether these literary couples could stand the test of time beyond the confines of the pages in which they reside. Here are my musings on some of the most beloved or “shipped” couples in literature.

Romeo and Juliet- Arguably, Shakespeare’s most well-known work, this tragic tale is certainly not lacking in passion and whirlwind romance. But if Romeo and Juliet had not taken their own lives in fits of despair, would they have made it last? Or would immaturity and inconstancy have been the death of their relationship if poison and dagger had not? It is evident early on that Romeo is capricious as many an adolescent boy, his affections for Rosaline instantly transferring to Juliet upon mere sight alone. Who’s to say that another fair maiden could not have just as effortlessly stolen his heart just by a glance. When professing his love for Juliet, Romeo begins to swear it to the moon. Juliet, wise for her thirteen years, replies, “O swear not by the moon,
th’inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circled orb, Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.” Friar Laurence chastises Romeo, “Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here! Is Rosaline, that thou didst love so dear, so soon forsaken? Young men’s love then lies. Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.” Was Romeo’s devotion for Juliet more than mere infatuation? As for young Juliet, romance was a taste unfamiliar to her virgin palate. It is easy for a young girl to fall in love, but not nearly as easy to stay in love. Dealing with burgeoning foreign emotions, becoming a goddess in the eyes of a handsome young worshipper, is overwhelming to a girl barely on the cusp of womanhood. It is difficult to determine if her adoration for her besotted suitor is more than just the whimsy of youth. Their blazing passion would very likely have fizzled out had they survived into adulthood.
*Together Forever? No

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett
Jane Austen’s beloved pair had a much rockier start than most, and it was certainly not love at first sight for them. Elizabeth is a headstrong heroine who knows her own mind. She has rejected an offer of marriage to her obsequious cousin, for she does not believe in matrimony without love being at its core. She has enough self-respect to even reject Darcy’s first proposal when he insults both her and her family. It takes time for her to better understand both Darcy’s character and his motives before her
heart begins to yield and she finds herself falling in love with him. Since Darcy is combating his own feelings for her, it is clear his love is both stronger and deeper-rooted than his prejudices and selfimportance. He loves Elizabeth for who she is as a person, certainly not for her social standing, her money or her family, all of which he’d used as reasons he’d been at war with his own heart. Yet, Darcy professes, “In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” It is not until they both cast aside their pride and prejudices that they can allow their hearts to become their compasses, finding their true north in each other. *Together Forever? Yes

Wesley and Princess Buttercup
A swashbuckling story of romance and adventure, The Princess Bride became something of a cult classic after its theatrical release. The movie closely follows the source material, a 1970’s fantasy penned by author William Goldman. Buttercup is a beautiful country girl who often gives orders to the man in her family’s employ, Wesley. He takes this in stride, replying simply, “As you wish” to Buttercup’s every command. It is not until a Countess takes interest in Wesley and Buttercup is consumed with jealousy that she realizes she loves her “farm boy.” Buttercup unabashedly declares her love for Wesley and later, he pours out his heart to her. He leaves her to seek his fortunes overseas in order to provide a comfortable future for his beloved. Buttercup misses him deeply, mourning his absence even as she is forced into an engagement to a cruel and manipulative prince. Yet their love stands the test of time, for the years do not detract from their deep-rooted love for one another. Wesley, after a pirate abduction
during his lengthy voyage, saves Buttercup from a scheming Sicilian and his motley crew. More chaos ensues and Wesley is killed, then revived by a wizard’s potion. There’s not much life in him and he can barely stand upright but he valiantly fights the evil Prince Humperdink using his own cleverness, once again saving his soulmate. It is clear throughout the novel that Wesley is utterly devoted to Buttercup and would trek to the ends of the earth for her. Their words to one another reverberate with such poignant emotion and intimacy that it is “inconceivable” for any reader to doubt that this couple’s hearts will be eternally intertwined. Buttercup’s adoration and adherence of Wesley rings most true in this quote: “There is no room in my body for anything but you. My arms love you, my ears adore you, my knees shake with blind affection. My mind begs you to ask it something so it can obey. Do you want me to follow you for the rest of your days? I will do that…” Wesley later says, “Do I love you? My God, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.” This perfect pair is truly meant to be. *Together Forever? Yes

Beauty and the Beast
For the final couple in this article, I have chosen a duo from an 18th -century French fairytale by author Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (try saying that one five times fast!) This story is most well-known from the 1991 Disney adaptation that captivated young bookworms such as me. The original story, however, differs greatly from the animated adaptation that I grew up with. There are no arrogant crimson-clad rivals, no enchanted tableware to serenade our fair heroine and no evanescent rose glittering beneath a glass dome. The interactions between Belle and the Beast are few in the book, only during dinners each evening when he beseeches her to marry him, though every night she refuses. He does visit her in his true princely form in her dreams, though Beauty does not realize that he and the Beast are one in the same. She quickly falls in love with him in her dreams. In her waking hours, Beast lavishes Belle in luxury, bestowing upon her a dazzling wardrobe and visions of theatrical performances
through a magic mirror. Beast proves to be a gentle, doting creature and in the book, we discover his curse was caused by a vengeful fairy rather than a slighted one. Beauty requests to see her family again which Beast reluctantly agrees to. When Beauty sees that he is dying of heartbreak, she runs back to him and marries him out of pity. He later transforms into the prince of her dreams (quite literally) and the duo have a grand wedding. It feels like this couple’s story is not very organic in the centuries-old
fairytale. And in truth, she came to him as a willing prisoner to save her father’s life. Not the ideal beginning for any relationship. I feel the connection was more believable in the film because we see Belle falling in love with Beast in reality, in his animal form, rather than the odd nature of the book, where she becomes enamored only upon slumber when he is a handsome human. Furthermore, things get rather confusing when the dream man accuses her of loving the Beast more than him (even though they are same soul) and Belle states she cares for Beast only out of pity and gratitude for his kindness to her, purely platonic. I can’t entirely say that I believe this complex pair to be a heaven-made match.Together Forever? No

There are so many famous literary couples in both classic and contemporary fiction and February is the perfect month to let yourself be whisked away into your favorite romance. Which couples do you think have yuanfen?

Bookish Oscar Nominations

Photo by RODNAE Productions: https://www.pexels.com/photo/an-actor-holding-his-award-7005636/

And the Oscar goes too…the books behind the movies. It’s officially Oscar season! As we all know, books make great movies- and the Academy Awards agree. Several book-to-movie adaptations received Oscar nominations this year. The Oscars take place on March 12, so there’s plenty of time to pick up a book before the awards ceremony.

All Quiet on the Western Front

Based on All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Request the book.

The testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War I, illuminates the savagery and futility of war.

Nominated for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, International Feature Film, Production Design, Visual Effects, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, and Sound.

Women Talking

Based on Women Talking by Miriam Toews. Request the book.

After learning the men in the community have been drugging and attacking women, eight Mennonite women meet in secret to decide whether they should escape.

Nominated for Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay

Request the movie.

The Whale

Based on the play by Samuel D. Hunter. Request the play.

A six hundred pound recluse hides away in his apartment eating himself to death. 

Nominated for Lead Actor, Supporting Actress, and Makeup and Hairstyling.

Request the movie.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Based on the Black Panther comic series. Request the book.

The Black Panther is not just a super hero; as King T’Challa, he is also the monarch of the hidden African nation of Wakanda.

Nominated for Supporting Actress, Costume Design, Original Song, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Visual Effects.

Request the movie.

Blonde

Based on Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates. Request the book.

A fictional recreation of the life of Marilyn Monroe recounts the tale of her rise to stardom, as seen from Marilyn’s perspective.

Nominated for Lead Actress.

The Quiet Girl

Based on Foster by Claire Keegan. Request the book.

An Irish child taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm finds the love and affection she never knew before and begins to thrive.

Nominated for International Feature Film.

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Based on Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris by Paul Gallico. Request the book.

The irrepressible Mrs. Harris finds adventures that take her from her humble London roots to the heights of glamour in Paris

Nominated for Costume Design.

Request the movie.

Other literary nods are included in animated and short film categories, including Guillermo del Toro’s Pinnochio, Puss in Boots, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, and My Year of Dicks (based on Notes to Boys).

Speaking of awards, stop by the library to enter our Oscar winners contest. Select your predictions for Oscar winners for a chance to win a movie theater gift card.

Enjoy these blockbuster reads!

-Melinda

Book Review: Lark Ascending by Silas House

In a future where fires ravage a North America that is run by extreme right-wing fundamentalists, 20-year-old Lark and his family have hidden away in the mountains of Maine for several years undisturbed. When ecological disasters begin to threaten their safety, their group secures passage on a boat headed to Ireland. After a terrible voyage they land, but only Lark has survived. Alone, he begins a harrowing journey by foot in search of Glendalough, a camp rumored to provide asylum. Along the way, Lark gains two companions – a dog named Seamus and Helen, a local woman who is familiar with the roads and the dangers of traveling them.

Lark Ascending by Silas House is a post-apocalyptic novel that is gorgeously written. Told by Lark at age 90, this novel about climate change, human behavior, resilience, survival and love will break your heart a few times on the way to its ultimately hopeful conclusion. Fans of Station Eleven and The Road should put this at the top of their to-read lists.

-Carol

Bookish Travel-United States Edition

One of my favorite prompts from a past reading challenge was to read a book set in the location of your current vacation. Thanks to this prompt, I read The Wright Brothers by David McCullough while on a trip to the Outer Banks and Learning to Die in Miami by Carlos Eire while soaking up the South Beach sun. Being in the locale where the books took place allowed me to connect with the books in a way that I would not have otherwise.

Whether you’re in the dreaming phase of vacation planning or on vacation as you’re reading this, if you’d like to add a bookish spin to your time away, here are a few options for your next vacation-inspired read.

According to Newsweek these five locations are some of the most popular places to vacation stateside, so I’ve included two fiction and a nonfiction recommendation for each destination.

New York City

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie NYPD cops, are neighbors in the suburbs. What happens behind closed doors in both houses–the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. 

The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing (Nonfiction)

When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by the most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. 

Hawaii

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion…she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

The Descendents by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Matthew King was once considered one of the most fortunate men in Hawaii. His missionary ancestors were financially and culturally progressive – one even married a Hawaiian princess, making Matt a royal descendant and one of the state’s largest landowners. Now his luck has changed. 

Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii by James L. Haley (Nonfiction)

Tells the story of King Kamehameha I, The Conqueror, who unified the islands through terror and bloodshed, but whose dynasty succumbed to inbreeding; of Gilded Age tycoons like Claus Spreckels who brilliantly outmaneuvered his competitors; of firebrand Lorrin Thurston, who was determined that Hawaii be ruled by whites; of President McKinley, who presided over the eventual annexation of the islands.

New Orleans

Photo by Aya Salman on Unsplash

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking . . . and The Witching Hour begins. It begins in our time with a rescue at sea.  Rowan Mayfair, a beautiful woman, a brilliant practitioner of neurosurgery–aware that she has special powers but unaware that she comes from an ancient line of witches–finds the drowned body of a man off the coast of California and brings him to life.  

A Kind of Freedom by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Evelyn is a Creole woman who comes of age in New Orleans at the height of World War II. In 1982, Evelyn’s daughter, Jackie, is a frazzled single mother grappling with her absent husband’s drug addiction. Jackie’s son, T.C., loves the creative process of growing marijuana more than the weed itself. He was a square before Hurricane Katrina, but the New Orleans he knew didn’t survive the storm. 

The World that Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square by Ned Sublette (Nonfiction)

New Orleans is the most elusive of American cities. The product of the centuries-long struggle among three mighty empires–France, Spain, and England–and among their respective American colonies and enslaved African peoples, it has always seemed like a foreign port to most Americans, baffled as they are by its complex cultural inheritance.

San Diego

Photo by Andres Garcia on Unsplash

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, 17-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance – and the subsequent cover-up – will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth.

The Neighbors Are Watching by Debra Ginsberg

Set against the backdrop of the deadly 2007 wildfires that forced the evacuation of half a million San Diego residents, the dark side of suburbia is examined–a place where everyone has something to hide.

Alta California by Nick Neely (Nonfiction)

Despite having grown up in California, Nick Neely realized how little he knew about its history. So he set off to learn it bodily, with just a backpack and a tent, trekking through stretches of California both lonely and urban.

Washington, D.C.

Photo by Ridwan Meah on Unsplash

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel Samstat discovers that her husband, Mark, is in love with another woman. The fact that the other woman has “a neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb and you should see her legs” is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel writes cookbooks for a living. 

The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu

Seventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian Revolution for a new start in the United States. Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of Washington, D.C., his only companions two fellow African immigrants who share his bitter nostalgia and longing for his home continent. 

This Town by Mark Leibovich (Nonfiction)

Washington This Town might be loathed from every corner of the nation, yet these are fun and busy days at this nexus of bug politics, big money, big media, and big vanity. There are no Democrats and Republicans anymore in the nation’s capital, just millionaires. That is the grubby secret of the place in the twenty-first century.

Want to continue reading about destinations? Try the Uncorked Librarian‘s America Reading Challenge or Read the World for international recommendations.

Remember that our digital library allows you to pack light! Download a few books from Libby or Hoopla to keep you company.

Enjoy your trip!

-Melinda

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

There are tons of new releases that come to our shelves every week. Here are some books we picked out for you!

The House at the End of the World by Dean Koontz – Alone on Jacob’s Ladder island until two agents arrive in search of someone – or something – they refuse to identify, artist Katie, along with a brave young girl, finds herself in an epic and terrifying battle with a mysterious enemy that could bring about the end of the world.

The Family Business by Carl Weber & La Jill Hunt – When over a million tabs of HEAT, once known as the perfect drug, are stolen, Orlando Duncan discovers that a billionaire, with ties to illegal contraband smuggling rings, is targeting his family, putting them all on a deadly collision course as they try to reach the top.

The Bullet Garden by Stephen Hunter – In 1944 Normandy, when German snipers start picking off hundreds of Allied soldiers every day, Pacific hero Earl Swagger, assigned this crucial and bloody mission, must infiltrate the shadowy corners of London and France to expose the traitor who is tipping off these snipers with the locations of American GIs.

The Devil’s Ransom by Brad Taylor – When his covert company, along with every other entity in the Taskforce, is hit with a ransomware attack linked to the Taliban, Pike must stop a plot to alter the balance of power on the global stage orchestrated by a former NSA specialist in the U.S. government.

Don’t Open the Door by Allison Brennan – Quitting her job and moving in the wake of the shocking murder of her son, Marshal Regan Merritt returns to Virginia to look into her former boss’s death in the second novel of the series following The Sorority Murder.

Outsmart Your Brain: Why Learning Is Hard and How You Can Make It Easy by Daniel T. Willingham – Steeped in scientifically backed practical advice, this groundbreaking guide provides real-world practices and the latest research on how to train your brain for better learning.

All Hallows by Christopher Golden – On Halloween night in 1984 Coventry, Massachusetts, four children in vintage costumes with faded, eerie makeup blend in with the neighborhood kids trick-or-treating, begging to be hidden and kept safe from The Cunning Man.

Children of the State: Stories of Survival and Hope in the Juvenile Justice System by Jeff Hobbs – From the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace comes a look at the school-to-prison pipeline and life in the juvenile “justice” system.

~Semanur

Book Review: The Couple at the Table

Newlyweds Jane and William are enjoying their honeymoon at the beautiful Tevendon Resort. But when William’s ex-wife Lucy shows up with her new partner Pete, Jane accuses them of ruining their getaway. Jane receives a note to “beware of the couple at the table nearest to yours.”

She immediately blames Lucy, but at dinner that night she’s surprised to find that the tables are all equally spaced…which means that every other couple is also a potential suspect. In a tirade Jane leaves the dining room only to end up dead within hours.

Sophie Hannah brings her loveable crime-solving duo Simon and Charlie back for another case, and this time they’re witnessing the crime firsthand. As guests at the resort, Simon and Charlie quickly pack up their vacation vibes and step into the role of investigators.

This book is a whodunnit-style mystery where motive, means, and opportunity are explored through multiple narrators. Sophie Hannah is one of my must-read authors, and while this book wasn’t my favorite, it was still an enjoyable read!

Request a print copy here or download a digital copy here.

-Melinda

Stay In…With a Laugh Out Loud Read

Ms. Demeanor
by Elinor Lipman

Jane Morgan, a 39-year-old attorney, is caught having sex on the roof of her high-rise Manhattan apartment at midnight by a nosy neighbor with binoculars. Jane is charged with indecent exposure and is both fired from her firm and sentenced to six months of home confinement.

Jane’s perpetual cheerleader and current bill payer, her identical twin sister Jackleen, encourages Jane to use this down time to embrace her love of cooking by demonstrating old fashioned recipes on TikTok. When Jane discovers and introduces herself to (coincidentally) a neighbor who is also under house arrest, Jackleen prompts Jane to charge him for three home cooked meals a week.

Perry, who wears a less-than-fashionable location-monitoring ankle bracelet of his own, is intrigued by Jane as they spend time together over her meals. Eventually, the two begin to share in other evening activities —making things awkward when Jackleen decides she wants to date Perry, too.

Cabin fever gets the best of Jane, and she takes things a bit too far when she learns that her peeping tom (aka the witness to nudity on the rooftop and reason for Jane’s home incarceration) has died. Jane is curious if there was foul play and gets her parents to attend the woman’s wake —resulting in Jane inadvertently orchestrating a “green card” wedding for a Polish expatriate whose Visa has expired.

If this all sounds a bit mad-cap, it is! This novel is equal parts romance, mystery, comedy, and sibling rivalry story. Pick up Ms. Demeanor by the always witty Elinor Lipman. This quick read with its snarky lead character, breezy banter and hilarious hi-jinx will leave you laughing out loud.

-Carol

Book Review: How to Sell a Haunted House

Louise doesn’t want to go home. Home is filled with memories of the past, and they’re not all warm and fuzzy. Speaking of warm and fuzzy, Louise is dreading opening the door to her mother’s vast puppet collection. Or facing the cabinets full of dolls staring back at her. But at the top of her list of things to avoid is her brother, Mark, the golden child who never grew up.

After a tragic accident kills both of their parents, Louise and Mark are forced to look in every nook and cranny of their childhood home. But they find some oddities. Multiple pairs of eyes follow them at every turn as they find a boarded up attic and life-sized dolls watching television…even though the television was unplugged. And at the center of it all is one raggedy puppet who has always taken on a life of his own- Pupkin.

When I first heard the title of this book I was expecting the same old take on a traditional ghoulish haunting. But as I began to read this book it took a different turn. In the hands of Grady Hendrix, a haunted house in South Carolina becomes the stuff of nightmares. Hendrix sets the scene with lengthy passages describing the spooky occurrences that happen. Normally I’m not a big fan of long narrative passages but in this case it works. Childhood trauma also plays a role in the backstory of Louise and Mark’s fraught relationship. But above it all, the question remains- what is reality and what is childhood imagination?

This book is a great fit for readers who have enjoyed other books by Hendrix. If you haven’t read any Grady Hendrix before, I highly recommend starting with The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires or Horrorstor.

How to Sell a Haunted House comes out January 17.

*I received a review copy from Penguin and Edelweiss. This is my honest review. 

– Melinda

Wisdom in Winter

By Alyssa Nicole

   

Sometimes, I imagine what it would be like if seasons had souls. If they were personified, in my mind, each would have very distinctive personalities. Spring would be a spritely young child frolicking joyfully in the rain. Summer, a fair maiden reclining languidly by a shimmering stream. Autumn an ebullient goddess setting the world ablaze in enchanting beauty, and Winter an introspective wise woman creating herbal tonics and filling empty books with her immeasurable knowledge. Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once said, “Wisdom comes with winters.” Perhaps for him, the seclusion and isolation of the year’s coldest months provided an inspiration for him to pen some of his greatest works.   

Winter provides the perfect setting to delve deeper into your own mind. Heavy snows and frigid temperatures often leave one housebound, a forced pause on the chaos of everyday life, where autopilot becomes the standard setting.  

For me, it is a time to cocoon myself in my red knit blanket, clutching a warm mug of creamy cocoa, dreamily watching as a calligraphy of steam curls above it. It is a time for leatherbound books with gilded pages, quiet contemplation, and museful philosophizing. So much can be learned through the written word. A simple passage can be a key that unlocks powerful profundity. It does not matter whether you’re inspired by the esoteric imagery of Plato, the flowery language of Jane Austen, or the simple rhymes of Seuss. The point is to find books that resonate with you and read them.  Immerse yourself in the words, write your own thoughts and reflections in a beloved journal until your fingertips are stained with ink. Consider your own perspectives in comparison to that of the author or their characters. Can you expand upon them? Can you see something in a completely different light? Do you have your own unique interpretation beyond the pages before you? Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimension.” And what better time than winter to broaden your inner horizons? Books are a treasure trove, brimming over with sparkling sagacity.   

Here are some of my favorite words of wisdom that I have uncovered over the years:  

“It is only with the heart one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antione de Saint-Exupery “The Little Prince”  

“Not all who wander are lost.” J.R.R. Tolkien “The Fellowship of the Ring”  

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.” Jane Austen “Sense and Sensibility”  

“There’s no use to going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” Lewis Carroll “Alice in Wonderland”  

“I went looking for dreams outside of myself and discovered, it’s not what the world holds for you, it’s what you bring to it.” L.M. Montgomery “Anne of Green Gables”  

“Perhaps it is controlling the chaos within more than controlling the chaos without.” Erin Morgenstern “The Night Circus”  

“Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.”  Epictetus “The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness” 

“The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”  Carl Sagan  

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies” Aristotle   

Weave wisdom throughout your life and let the poignancy of your thoughts take you on many an inward journey to amazing destinations!   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

For the Love of Audiobooks

One of the first audiobooks I fell in love with was Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Amy’s improv roots made the audiobook seem like an extended standup routine, and the guest narrators made for a very fun listening experience.

Once I started reading with my ears (because yes, audiobooks do count as reading), I couldn’t stop. Here are a few reasons I love audiobooks:

  1. Audiobooks allow me to multitask. I read while walking my dog, cleaning, or working on a puzzle. Mundane household chores become bearable thanks to the power of a good story.
  2. Audiobooks give the characters a literal voice, which adds depth and nuance.
  3. Audiobook narrators can take a ho-hum story or topic and make it more interesting.
  4. Digital audiobooks allow you to control the playback speed so you can easily slow down or speed up as your reading comprehension allows.
  5. Audiobooks make a car, train or plane ride something to look forward to. Seriously, audiobooks are made for travel!

If you haven’t been convinced yet, try reading the following audiobooks, all of which are winners in my book!

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling, read by the author

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, read by Bahni Turpin

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz, read by Rory Kinnear

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, read by James Cameron Stewart

Notes From a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi, read by the author

The Institute by Stephen King, read by Santino Fontana

If none of these titles are catching your interest, try one of AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of 2022.

Enjoy a new reading experience and pick up an audiobook today. You can download them right to your phone using Hoopla or Libby or check them out as books on CD or Playaway.

Happy listening!

-Melinda