Listen Up! The Shadows by Alex North Reviewed

Paul Adams hasn’t been back to his childhood village in twenty-five years. He left everything, including the horrible crime committed by his classmate Charlie Crabtree, behind. It’s his mother’s failing health that has brought him reluctantly back home. There is no joyful homecoming for Paul. His mother is distraught, something horrible is in his childhood home, someone is following him, and he has caught the attention of Detective Amanda Beck. Detective Beck is investigating a crime that is eerily similar to one that happened twenty-five years ago. Is it a strange coincidence that Paul is suddenly back in town? Is Charlie Crabtree back? What did happen to Charlie?

This new offering from the author of The Whisper Man, is a haunting psychological thriller with strong Stand By Me vibes. The story alternates between the past and Paul’s recollection of the crime and the present as Paul struggles to reconcile his memories with what is happening in this new case. The tension builds slowly as the the strange truth behind both cases is slowly and deliberately revealed. The skillful narration of Hannah Arterton (Safe, The Five on Netflix) and John Heffernan (Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Collateral) bring the story to life and draw the listener in.

The Shadows is a great pick for readers and listeners who enjoyed The Chalk Man and other titles by C.J. Tudor and the Family Upstairs and other titles by Lisa Jewell.

Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan audio for an advance reader/listener copy for review.

~Megan

Imagine Your Story -Variety Pack

You know how sometimes (or fairly often) it can be hard to settle down and read? I’ve found a variety pack of options to entertain myself, and maybe some of these ideas will appeal to you as well…

Magazines! From HGTV to Gourmet to bite sized articles in How it Works that help me learn something new, I’ve been enjoying flicking those pages until something catches my eye.

I’ve also been reading from the Diverse Voices for Younger Readers collection. I 100% think books for teens and younger readers can be as good -or better!- than adult books as they tell stories that are compelling but tend to be shorter (aka don’t get bogged down in wordy, unnecessary extras). Why not give it a try?

Sometimes I just listen to music while I clean or do some crafting…

But if you want to be ambitious? You could join me in the Great Courses Myth in Human History and -so far, so good!! And then I have an eye on How to Make Stress Work for You….

I hope one of these choices sounds appealing and gives you something new to try!

—Stacey

Imagine Your Story -Book vs Movie

How often have you had the discussion about which was better -the book or the movie? All the time, right? And how often do you pick the movie over the book? Not as often as you pick the book, right? Well, I’ve got a win/win for you this week! You can read the book *and* watch the movie, in any order, and walk away thinking, “that was great!” Are you curious yet?

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson blends his personal experiences and life journey with his drive to create social justice and encourage us all to get involved. I read this book when it first came out, and have enjoyed it as an audio book as well, and I think part of what makes Mr. Stevenson’s book so special is how a reader can emotionally connect to experiences, feeling his pain and his joy, while breaking down those systemic issues surrounding the inequality of our justice system. Founder of the Equal Justice Initiative leading force in the creation of the Legacy Museum as well as the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Mr. Stevenson is changing our World for the better!

“But what about Just Mercy as a movie?” you ask. This movie focused in on how Mr. Stevenson became Mr. Walter McMillian’s lawyer over other experiences in the book. Sometimes it’s that trimming that can leave a reader feeling like something was missing, but I would be surprised to hear that after you watch this film. Instead, I’d guess you might also think of this as an additional chapter to the book?

I hope you read *and* watch Just Mercy, and then -please, let me know what you think!

Take care
—Stacey

Imagine Your Story -Books (also available in audio!)

I’m doing more reading and listening to fiction books right now, it’s feels like less pressure than trying to absorb more facts that I may (or may not) remember later and it’s a little odd because I *love* me some good nonfiction. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ And I’ve been reading all sorts of books: dark and gritty stories, and then families who have complex but loving relationships, and then a Gothic sci-fi story, and then a fancy literary fiction book, and next I hope to read something a little funny. It’s a good thing there are so many books out there in the World because I’m bouncing around from genre to genre! *boing!* Watch out epic fantasy, you’re up after humor!

Do you mind if I give a shout out to one of my recent, two-thumbs up reads? The Daughters of Erietown by Connie Schultz: Such engaging characters you fall right into the story. (And having lived in Ashtabula for a while -bonus moments were had!)

Hmm, maybe epic fantasy will have to wait. I just checked out Black Panther graphic novel, written by Ta-Nehisi Coates… Gotta go read now!

Don’t forget to be kind to yourself!

-Stacey

Imagine Your Story-Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy a story. Their portable format allows for them to be enjoyed while on the move.Whether you are exercising, gardening, or working on your newest creative project, audiobooks can make for a great addition.

If you are new to audiobooks why not try our pick for our upcoming:

Imagine Your Story Virtual Book Discussion

Listen to this family memoir about how 81-year-old Jay Mendelsohn, who had been a professor of mathematics, enrolls in his son Daniel’s class on The Odyssey. Later, the two men take Mediterranean cruise, retracing the mythical journeys of Odysseus.

Register and you will be emailed a link to join the virtual event on Monday, June 22, 2020 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

Or checkout the selection of biographical audiobooks over at Overdrive!



Your Library Staff at Home-Still More ABCs

A-There is just no winning during a pandemic. Just when I was figuring out ways to manage my anxiety over being stuck at home, things are once again changing. So, as businesses reopen and more people head back to work, a whole new batch of worries have cropped up. Are we moving too fast? Do I remember how to be around people? Who am I kidding, I was never great at peopling. I am craving routine and structure (and salty snacks, but no way am I going to a store anytime soon), but can we keep the comfy quarantine clothes? Staff will soon be heading back to the library and I am pretty excited about that, but what is our new normal going to look like? Gah! So many questions. So many unknowns. We’ll get through this together.

B-Books, babies, and beach therapy.

I haven’t been doing to much reading with my eyes, but I have been bingeing audiobooks like crazy. I have revisited old favorites-Harry Potter, Skulduggery Pleasant, Bloody Jack-all available in Overdrive and Hoopla. All my comfort books have comforted me enough to be ready to look for new content. This week I fired up the ereader and took a look at some of my digital advance reader copies of upcoming books. Here are the two I decided to start reading:

Look for The Invisible Girl in October and The End of Her in July.

One of my favorite ways to relax is to get what I like to call beach therapy. It’s finally warming up enough to sit on some sun-baked sand and sift through the rocks looking for treasures. One of my favorite spots is close to the library-Bradstreet Landing in Rocky River. Today I treated myself to a trip to the drive through of one of my favorite local coffee shops and headed to the beach. Look at the fuzzy baby geese!

Wrapping up with this week’s C is RiverCon (yeah, it’s a stretch, but I am really excited about this event and want to keep talking about it)! RiverCon has an offical logo and it is FANTASTIC! I am thrilled to be able to share it with you today and remind you to register here for your RiverCon kit. Registration opens this Saturday! Each kit will have a comic craft, reading recommedations, Hoopla and Overdrive swag, a RiverCon magnet, and more.

RiverCon is official! Behold the gloreous new logo!

Hang in there everyone!

~Megan

Your Library Staff at Home -Sunshiny Sunday Edition!

We’re firmly into Spring now and the sun is coming out so much more often -it’s fabulous! Although Fall will always be my favorite season (warm days/crisp evening air, s’mores, the leaves as they turn beautiful colors), but also very happy to have the sunshine and open windows we can enjoy now. (Downside? Pollen. so. much. pollen. sigh…)

So this week maybe we’ll have the chance to be outside a little more -maybe listening to an audiobook like Crazy Rich Asians or podcast like Flash Forward while taking a walk, or calling a friend while we sit in the sun. Doesn’t that sound nice? (I might add a scoop of ice cream in there -cone or bowl- but that’s me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

Once you’re in for the evening and  you’re looking for something to watch, I can say Victorian Slum House, the 1900s on hoopla is a series worth spending some quality time with! I’ve really enjoyed the previous series PBS has created, from Frontier House to The 1940s House, sending everyday modern people back in time to experience the daily life of that time period. As these volunteers get caught up in their new world so do viewers and soon it feels like we’re all in it together… (and reminds me how lucky I am to live in a time and place where indoor plumbing is the norm)!

Today, while I continue some serious Spring cleaning, I’m going to start listening to Wisdom From a Humble Jellyfish by Rani Shah and update you my progress next week!

Be kind to yourself and enjoy that extra Vitamin D shining down!

—Stacey

Your Library Staff at Home-Another ABCs of Social Distancing Post

A is for Anxiety. Everyone experiences anxiety in different ways. If you are new to this whole anxiety thing, welcome to the club. For me, my anxiety tends to manifest as hypochondria. You guys, stay away from WebMd! I am doing myself a favor these days and staying away from self-diagnosis. But my brain still needs an outlet, which brings me to my house being newly haunted. A sudden haunting would explain my cat’s sudden amping up of his nightly living room parkour routine. He usually has bursts of weird energy and runs up and down the stairs. That’s normal. What isn’t normal is him hurling himself around the house. And that weird side hop thing? What’s that all about? Apparently it’s about looking big and threatening-for the new ghost in the house, hmmm? He’s also doing a lot more sitting around and just staring. When I shared this news with a friend, she kindly reminded me that cats are weirdos and pointed out that poor Frank might also be stressed right now. Just kidding. She laughed at me and said her cat does the same thing all the time and said I absolutely do not have a haunted house. Also, maybe I have been watching too much Supernatural. Again, just kidding. Who ever heard of too much Supernatural?

Look at him! Crazy eyes, snaggle-tooth. Clearly he is being tormented by the newly arrived ghost in my house.

So anxiety may distort your thinking sometimes. If this is happening to you, maybe don’t believe everything your brain is telling you right now. Run it by a friend. Remember, I’m not a medical professional, just someone with personal experience with anxiety sharing those experiences on a blog! So my house is *probably* not newly haunted, but I once lived in a house that was haunted BY a cat, so explain that. That’s a story for another day. This is getting wordy as it is. On to bingeing!

B is for Bingeing. I have paused my binge of Skulduggery Pleasant to revisit another old friend, Jacky Faber, aka Bloody Jack. If you are interested in hilarious history fiction starring a girl disguised as a boy, AND you like audiobooks, do yourself a favor and listen to these books! On the television front, I have been bingeing VEEP, on HBO. It’s one of the shows available for free right now. This show is delivering the humor I need right now and Julia Louis-Dreyfus is brilliant.

Finally, C is for Connecting. One of my favorite ways to stay connected to friends right now is through memes. In keeping with the cat theme of this post, here are a couple that I have shared with friends this week. I think they pretty much sum up this whole situation.

Everyone is familiar with the Mister Rogers quote about looking for the helpers. It’s reassuring and there are so many helpers right now. I also recommend looking for the animals. Follow dogs and goats and zoos on social media. Make the first things you see on your feeds something cute and silly. Hang in there everyone!

Remember, we are all in this together.

~Megan

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

Winter Book BINGO: Spotlight on Audiobooks

Some of my Favorites

Title details for The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - Wait list
Cover image for
Title details for The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle - Available
Cover image for
Cover image for
Title details for The Power by Naomi Alderman - Wait list

LISTS TO GET YOU

STARTED