Your Library Staff at Home – Watching Birds (& TV)

It’s been hard to concentrate lately. I know that many people also are feeling this way right now. I’m even (sniff sniff) having a hard time reading. So, for some escape this week, and for lots and lots and lots of laughs, I’ve been streaming NBC’s Superstore, starring America Ferrera. The quirky characters on this multi-season sitcom are coworkers at Cloud 9, a big box store, where hi-jinx ensue on the regular. This show just might help you stop missing your coworkers whileworking from home.

What else am I watching? Birds! We are an advanced-beginner bird-watching household. We have our dog-eared guide book and hurry each other to the window to see something new.

Ducks. Hummingbirds (Yes, they are back even with this snow!). Orioles. Nuthatches. I know these birds have always been in (or migrating through) my yard, but it feels like I am seeing them with new eyes. This shutdown has provided me with an opportunity to be present, it slows me down when I feel restless and uncertain and helps me appreciate what is around me– my backyard, my pets, my family. To be comforted by the familiar, and to be open to viewing the familiar in a new light are starting to feel like gifts.

I see more birds because I am looking more, which takes time. I know that eventually everything will bounce back and return to a new version of normal, but I aim to hold on a bit to the good stuff I’ve learned from this. When life picks its pace back up, I plan to keep taking the time to take time.

Your Library Staff at Home – When things seem dark, seek out the light!

I’ve had a tough time this past week finding joy in my recent book and TV choices. I only have myself to blame for watching Hunters–an Amazon series that actually landed on my radar because it is controversial. Al Pacino stars as a Holocaust survivor with many secrets–among them is that he heads up a group of New Yorkers in the 1970s, who run around murdering Nazis, Tarantino-style. Though slick, violent and action-packed, the usual recipe for a winning hit, I found that this show, which is in hot water after being accused of revising history and exploitation, was just not for me. Have you seen it? Agree? Disagree?

I read The Regrets by Amy Bonnaffons, a first novel that is touted as a “love affair between the living and the dead,” and I wanted to love it. The premise: Thomas is a recently dead man who is sent back to live for an extra three months because of an angel’s clerical error. He begins a relationship with Rachel, a living woman who feels unable to make fulfilling connections with others. It was quirky, sexy and original and I rushed to the end, but I ultimately found the star-crossed lovers’ relationship to be codependent and toxic. I’ll try Bonnaffons again, but no, for me, this one wasn’t true love. the regrets

Maybe these bold and unusual choices would have dazzled me in different circumstances, but right now I’m craving light. This morning I looked for new visitors at our bird feeder, noticing a smaller woodpecker I’ve never seen before, the mallard duck couple who visit here early in the mornings, and the many new flowers springing up around the yard. I am restored.

Take care of yourself, wash hands, read and repeat.

New Nonfiction Coming in April 2020

 

Spring is all about excitement! Here we have got some interesting titles making their way to our collection this month!

 

 

4/07: Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life by Marie Kondo & Scott Sonenshein – The best-selling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the psychologist author of Stretchshare anecdotes, studies, and strategies for promoting workplace fulfillment through focused organization and productivity. One million first printing.

4/07: Mind Over Weight: Curb Cravings, Find Motivation, and Hit Your Number in 7 Simple Steps by Ian K. Smith – Aims to help readers win the battle of weight loss by getting everything in order above the neck, guiding readers to find their motivation, stick to a plan and set the right goals.

4/07: Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines – Following the launch of her #1 New York Times bestselling cookbook, Magnolia Table, and seeing her family’s sacred dishes being served at other family tables across the country, Joanna Gaines gained a deeper commitment to the value of the food being shared. 

 

 

4/13: The House of Kennedy by James Patterson – A revelatory portrait of the Kennedys explores how the dual mottos, “To whom much is given, much is expected” and “Win at all costs” shaped generations of life inside and outside the family.

4/14: Hell and Other Destinations: A 21st-century Memoir by Madeleine Korbel Albright – Revealing, funny and inspiring, the six-time New York Times best-selling author and former secretary of state—one of the world’s most admired and tireless public servants—reflects on the final stages of her career and how she has blazed her own trail in her later years.

4/14: No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram by Sarah Frier – The award-winning Bloomberg News reporter presents a behind-the-scenes look at how Instagram defied the odds to become one of the most culturally defining apps of the decade before its founders’ lesser-known but an explosive departure from Facebook.

 

 

4/14: Becoming Wild: How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace by Carl Safina – The New York Times best-selling author of Beyond Words brings readers close to three non-human cultures—what they do, why they do it, and how life is for them.

4/14: Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far by Paul A. Offit – An award-winning patient advocate presents a revelatory assessment of 15 out-of-date, common and widely used medical interventions, from vitamins and sunscreen to prescription drugs and surgeries, that are proving more harmful than helpful.

4/21: Kid Quixotes: A Group of Students, Their Teacher, and the One-Room School Where Everything Is Possible by Stephen Haff & Sarah Sierra – A Yale-trained educator whose experiences in a violent district triggered his mental illness describes how he organized an extracurricular reading program to provide a safe environment for at-risk students, including the silent daughter of an undocumented mother.

 

~Semanur