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 – Twins, Two Ways

Wow! I just yesterday finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett and it has been taking up much of my brain space over the last 24 hours. If you haven’t heard of this brand new, of-the-moment novel yet, listen up. The story is set from the 1950s through the 1990s and begins in Mallard, Louisiana, a town whose population is composed mostly of light-skinned African-American people whose founder believed the lighter they are, the better they are. There, readers meet twins Stella and Desiree Vignes, descendants of their town’s founder, who run away when they are sixteen. The two separate when Stella decides to embark upon a life passing as a white woman – a secret she intends to keep from everyone, including her white husband and daughter. Following the trajectory of these sisters’ vastly different lives had me on the edge of my seat and I literally couldn’t put down this book. Not only is it thought-provoking and timely, it is also an exceptionally well-written look at relationships between mothers and daughters and the men they love that had my heart aching. Read this one. I know your book club will.

If you want to totally twin-out, I have one more twin-focused read. This one is a bit lighter but still tugs at the heart-strings. The Grammarians by Cathleen Schine is the perfect novel for word nerds. It tells the stories of Daphne and Laurel Wolfe, red-haired twins who begin speaking their own private languages as toddlers and are obsessed with words and grammar ever since. Unfortunately, they are equally obsessed with an old dictionary that their late father gave them, something that drives a wedge between them. Watch these wicked-smart girls become adults, figure out their careers and raise families, drifting apart even as they can never lose that twin connection.

And, yes, these are very different reads. I guess, maybe, just like twins can be.                     ~Carol (not a twin)

Imagine Your Story – Books

I may have mentioned that I’m finding it a bit hard to stick with an entire book right now. So when I find a novel that compels me to read it in one sitting, not only do I want to celebrate, I want to share!

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My eBook for Something She’s Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell became available on Saturday morning and as soon as I started it, I knew my chore list was shot. This fast-paced and suspenseful domestic thriller stars unreliable (and mostly unlike-able) characters who have shady pasts and who make many bad choices and stir up plenty of family drama.

Floral shop owner Charlotte has the perfect life, including money, a fabulous apartment, a beautiful daughter named Daisy, a handsome husband and a super successful business. Unfortunately, she is wracked by anxiety, is overprotective of her family, and can’t always sleep at night. Adding to her woes is her brother Rocco, who barely has his life together and whose taste in girlfriends has always been horrible, each one less tolerable than the last. But when Charlotte meets his newest girlfriend Ruth, she thinks maybe this time Rocco got it right.

In Ruth’s eyes, however, it is Charlotte who isn’t perfect. Ruth, who didn’t have a good relationship with her mother, thinks that Charlotte doesn’t appreciate what she has. Ruth longs for a daughter just like Daisy–or maybe even Daisy herself. Before too long, Ruth will turn Charlotte’s life upside down and will take readers on a journey filled with twists, turns, and plenty of juicy secrets.

Like cotton candy, this novel won’t overly fill you up or ruin your appetite for your next read, but it sure tastes good as a treat. If this sounds like your type of read, place a hold in our catalog here.

Imagine Your Story – Sympathetic Serial Killers

I admit it, I love a good serial killer story. And, no, the quarantine didn’t drive me to it; I just like the way that authors let us readers live inside of the mind of fictional characters, and some of those characters happen to be serial killers.

If we want to trace the beginnings, though, while I’m sure I was influenced by all the baddies that Stephen King had to offer back in the day, I first, truly fell for a serial killing character in The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith. I admit to reading this one after seeing the flick starring Matt Damon and Jude Law. Reading it really made me fall for Ripley, though. So misunderstood, so handsome, so deadly.

Next up was when I met Dexter in the novels by Jeff Lindsay-and my friend tells me the series is great too. But here, too, I encountered an utterly handsome and charming guy, who is almost perfect– minuses for working as a blood spatter analyst (yuck!) and for regularly murdering people (but he only murders bad people!)? So, who wouldn’t fall for that kind of guy…am I right?

Oh, and then there is Patrick Bateman from Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, who was, to be honest, fun reading about, but I wouldn’t want to run into personally. Ew, actually, he was pretty demented, Let’s just skip him.

Which brings me to today’s obsession–Villanelle. My latest serial killer obsession is the star of Killing Eve, a BBC show that just concluded its third season. This British black comedy-drama spy thriller television series follows Eve Polastri (the amazing Sandra Oh), as a British intelligence investigator who has been tasked with capturing the psychopathic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer). As the chase progresses, the two develop a mutual obsession. I’m with you, Eve. I can’t wait for season four either!

I get it if these murderous types aren’t your cup of tea, though. Just wait a week and I’ll likely be back to birds and kittens.

 

 

 

 

Your Library Staff at Home – Making & Crafting

I was lying in bed this morning thinking about what to post on the blog today – I’ve been doing these posts for a couple of weeks now, focusing on making a product and the processes involved. But I wanted to do something different today, about making, but from a different perspective.

YNYT-SugarCalling-3000pxesterday, I was listening to the new podcast by Cheryl Strayed, Sugar Calling and she was interviewing travel writer  and memoirist Pico Iyer, and as they were discussing how to participate ‘joyfully in a world full of sorrows’, Pico included a quote from a Benedictine Monk friend of his – “The best cure for anxiety is thinking of others”.

This quote was rolling around in my mind as I was thinking about how I could re-frame the word making.  Webster’s defines making as “the act or process of forming, causing, doing, or coming into being”, so why not think about making connections or making a difference in these anxious times?

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We at Rocky River Public Library got into this line of work because we want to make a difference, we want to help – with information, education, entertainment,  and equity of access. We can’t do everything we used to do, but we’re trying hard to provide similar services and explore new ones. Next week is National Library Week and we want to bring the library to you! Here on the blog, check us out daily for our thoughts about books, movies, TV, podcasts and cultural institutions with links to streaming media and digital books. We’ve shared our crafts, cooking and baking interests and we’ve even got a book discussion going. On our social media, we’re keeping in touch by sharing resources, fun activities, and asking you, our patrons, what you need. Our website can lead you to classes, books, movies, newspapers, business research – you name it, we’ve got it.  Call us at 333-7610; if we don’t answer, leave a message and we will get back to you – we really want to help – it’s our business and our calling!

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As you think of others, consider the Rocky River Assistance Program and the Cleveland Food Bank. Rocky River restaurants who are doing takeout could use your business, too. And if you go to Heinens or another essential business, make sure you wear your mask to support the workers who are helping us stay fed, clean and healthy. Check on a neighbor or call an old friend, whatever you choose, thinking of others does seem to help to stem the tide of anxiety.

cakeOh – and here’s an amazing Chocolate Flourless Torte I made at RRPL’s Biblio Bistro class with Annie’s Signature Sweets this week – look for a recording of the class in the coming weeks. Library Reads has a their May list of books out –  and Creativebug gives us their Week 4 Crafting at Home suggestions – I don’t have little ones, but making Galaxy Slime looks tempting!

I’d love to hear what you’re making or how you’re making a difference, so comment below. Stay safe and stay home!

~ Dori