Category Archives: Libraries

Henry’s Book List 2020 – Age 6 years 8 months to 7 years 7 months

Henry loves reading so much, and it makes this mama proud. He is rarely found without a book (or several) nearby as he has discovered that the time is always right for a good book. He definitely is most into graphic novels, but also enjoys adventurous chapter books. It’s difficult to find a sweet spot for a 7 year old reading at a higher grade level – he wants pictures to accompany the text. I don’t really deny him any books he wants to read due to content but some I make him read with me. His favorite series last year included The Bad Guys, The Last Kids on Earth, Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles, Dream Jumpers, Olga, InvestiGators, Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, Hilda, Super Sons, Big Nate and Max & the Midknights, Dog Man, Cleopatra in Space, Harry Potter, 5 Worlds, Wings of Fire, Baby-Sitters Club, Hilo, Secret Coders, and Science Comics.

Here’s the full list of what he read, in alphabetical order by author’s last name (I think it’s complete – it’s been hard to keep up with him!):

  • Giants Beware! (2012) by Jorge Aguirre [DID NOT LIKE]
  • Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! (2019) by Cece Bell
    • El Deafo (2014) by Cece Bell
    • Wildheart: The Daring Adventures of John Muir (2019) by Julie Bertagna
    • The Bad Guys – Dawn of the Underlord (#11) (2020) by Aaron Blabey
    • The Bad Guys – The Baddest Day Ever (#10) (2019) by Aaron Blabey
    • The Bad Guys – The Big Bad Wold (#9) (2019) by Aaron Blabey
    • The Last Kids on Earth & the Midnight Blade (#5) (2019) by Max Braillier, Douglas Holgate
    • The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond (#4) (2018) by Max Brallier, Douglas Holgate
    • The Last Kids on Earth & the Nightmare King (#3) (2017) by Max Brallier
    • The Last Kids on Earth & the Zombie Parade (#2) (2016) by Max Brallier
    • The Last Kids on Earth (#1) (2015) by Max Brallier
    • Star Wars: Jedi Academy (#1) (2013) by Jeffrey Brown [DID NOT LIKE]
    • The Sign of the Black Rock (Three Thieves #2) (2011) by Scott Chantler
    • Tower of Treasure (Three Thieves #1) (2010) by Scott Chantler
    • The Last Firehawk – The Ember Stone (#1) by Katrina Charman [DID NOT LIKE]
    • The Weirn Books, Vol. 1: Be Wary of the Silent Woods (2020) by Svetlana Chmakova
    • Zantana & the House of Secrets (2020) by Matthew Cody
    • George’s Marvelous Medicine (1998 edition) by Roald Dahl
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Dungeon Crawl (#5) (2019) by Nick Eliopulos
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Ghast in the Machine! (#4) (2019) Nick Eliopulos
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Deep Dive (#3) (2019) by Nick Eliopulos
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Night of the Bats! (#2) (2019) by Nick Eliopulos
    • Minecraft Woodsword Chronicles – Into the Game (#1) (2019) by Nick Eliopulos
    • Glitch (2019) by Sarah Graley
    • Olga – Out of Control! (#3) (2019) by Elise Gravel
    • Olga – We’re Out of Here! (#2) (2018) by Elise Gravel
    • Olga & the Smelly Thing from Nowhere (#1) (2017) by Elise Gravel
    • InvestiGators (#1) (2020) by John Patrick Green
    • Dream Jumper – Curse of the Harvester (#2) (2017) by Greg Grunberg
    • Dream Jumper – Nightmare Escape (#1) (2016) by Greg Grunberg
    • Carmen Sandiego & The Fishy Treasure Caper (#2) (2020) by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Carmen Sandiego and the Sticky Rice Caper (#1) by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • Mighty Jack & Zita the Spacegirl (#3) (2019) by Ben Hatke
    • Mighty Jack and the Goblin King (#2) (2017) by Ben Hatke
    • Mighty Jack (#1) (2016) by Ben Hatke
    • The Return of Zita the Spacegirl (#3) (2014) by Ben Hatke
    • Legends of Zita the Spacegirl (#2) (2012) by Ben Hatke
    • Zita the Space Girl (#1) (2011) by Ben Hatke
    • Sal & Gabi Break the Universe (#1) (2019) by Carlos Hernandez
    • Roller Girl (2015) by Victoria Jamieson [DID NOT LIKE]
    • Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker (#1) (2017) by Shelley Johannes [DID NOT LIKE]
    • The Stonekeeper (Amulet #1) (2008) by Kazu Kibuishi
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Deep End (#15) (2020) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid – Rowley Jefferson’s Journal (2019) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of An Awesome Friendly Kid – Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure (2020) by Jeffrey Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Wrecking Ball (#14) (2019) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Meltdown (#13) (2018) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Double Down (#11) (2016) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Old School (#10) (2015) by Jeff Kinney
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid – The Long Haul (#9) (2014) by Jeff Kinney
    • Captain Awesome Takes Flight (#19) (2017) by Stan Kirby [DONE READING THIS SERIES]
    • Bug Boys (2020) by Laura Knetzger
    • Cleopatra in Space – Queen of the Nile (#6) (2020) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – Fallen Empires (#5) (2019) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – The Golden Lion (#4) (2017) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – Secret of the Time Tablets (#3) (2016) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – The Thief & the Sword (#2) (2015) by Mike Maihack
    • Cleopatra in Space – Target Practice (#1) (2014) by Mike Maihack
    • Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat – Enemies (#2) (2020) by Johnny Marciano, Emily Chenoweth [DONE READING THIS SERIES]
    • Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat (#1) (2019) by Johnny Marciano, Emily Chenoweth
    • Frank & Bean (2019) by Jamie Michalak [DID NOT LIKE]
    • Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth (2007) by Davis Miller
    • Olympians – Zeus: King of the Gods (#1) (2010) by George O’Connor [DID NOT LIKE]
    • Magic Tree House – Narwhal on a Sunny Night (#33) (2020) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House Super Edition – World at War, 1944 (#1) (2017) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House – Night of the Ninth Dragon (#55) (2016) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House – Hurry Up, Houdini! (#50) (2013) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House Merlin Missions – Summer of the Sea Serpent (#3) (2010) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Magic Tree House – Monday with a Mad Genius (#38) (2007) by Mary Pope Osborne
    • Hilda & the Mountain King (#6) (2019) by Luke Pearson
    • Hilda & the Stone Forest (#5) (2016) by Luke Pearson
    • Hilda & the Black Hound (#4) 2014) by Luke Pearson
    • Hilda & the Bird Parade (#3) (2013) by Luke Pearson
    • Hilda & the Midnight Giant (#2) (2012) by Luke Pearson
    • Hildafolk (#1) (2010) by Luke Pearson
    • Super Sons – The Polarshield Project (2019) by Ridley Pearson
    • Super Sons – The Foxglove Mission (2019) by Ridley Pearson
    • Max and the Midknights (#1) (2019) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate Blasts Off (#8) (2016) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate Lives It UP (#7) (2015) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate: In the Zone (#6) (2014) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate Flips Out (#5) (2013) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate on a Roll (#3) (2011) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate Strikes Again (#2) (2010) by Lincoln Peirce
    • Big Nate: In a Class by Himself (#1) (2010) by Lincoln Peirce
    • The Postman from Space (#1) (2020) by Guillaume Perreault
    • Knights vs. The End (#3) (2020) by Matt Phelan
    • Knights vs. Monsters (#2) (2019) by Matt Phelan
    • Knights vs. Dinosaurs (#1) (2018) by Matt Phelan
    • Aster and the Accidental Magic (#1) (2020) by Thom Pico
    • Dog Man – Grime and Punishment (#9) (2020) by Dav Pilkey
    • Dog Man – Fetch-22 (#8) (2019) by Dav Pilkey
    • Captain Underpants & the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot (#12) (2015) by Dav Pilkey
    • Captain Underpants & the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000 (#11) (2014) by Dav Pilkey
    • Super Diaper Baby – The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers (#2) (2011) by Dav Pilkey
    • Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. the Mecha Monkeys from Mars (2007) by Dav Pilkey
    • Captain Underpants & the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People (#8) (2006) by Dav Pilkey
    • Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. the Voodoo Vultures from Venus (#3) (2001) by Dav Pilkey
    • Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot vs. the Mutant Mosquitos from Mercury (#2) (2000) by Dav Pilkey
    • Ricky Ricotta’s Mighty Robot (#1) (1999) by Dav Pilkey
    • Anti/Hero (2020) by Kate Karyus Quinn
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003) by J.K. Rowling
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000) by J.K. Rowling
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999) by J.K. Rowling
    • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998) by J.K. Rowling
    • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997) by J.K. Rowling
    • Sidekicks (2011) by Dan Santat
    • Frank Einstein & the Antimatter Motor (#1) (2014) by Jon Scieszka
    • Doodleville (#1) (2020) by Chad Sell
    • 5 Worlds – The Amber Anthem (#4) (2020) by Mark Siegel
    • 5 Worlds – The Red Maze (#3) (2019) by Mark Siegel
    • 5 Worlds The Cobalt Prince (#2) (2018) by Mark Siegel & Alexis Siegel
    • 5 Worlds The Sand Warrior (#1) (2017) by Mark Siegel & Alexis Siegel
    • Mr. Wolf’s Class Mystery Club (#2) (2019) by Aron Nels Steinke
    • Mr. Wolf’s Class (#1) (2018) by Aron Nels Steinke
    • Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novel – The Sewer Rat Stink (#1) (2020) by Geronimo Stilton
    • Wings of Fire Graphic Novel – The Hidden Kingdom (#3) (2019) by Tui T. Sutherland
    • Wings of Fire Graphic Novel – The Lost Heir (#2) (2019) by Tui T. Sutherland
    • Wings of Fire Graphic Novel – The Dragonet Prophecy (#1) (2018) by Tui T. Sutherland
    • Yorick & Bones (2020) by Jeremy Tankard
    • Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel: The Truth About Stacy (#2) (2016) by Raina Telgemeier, Ann M. Martin
    • Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel: Kristy’s Great Idea (#1) (2015) by Raina Telgemeier, Ann M. Martin
    • Ghosts (2016) by Raina Telgemeier
    • Guts (2019) by Raina Telgemeier
    • The Hobbit (1937) J.R.R. Tolkien
    • Action Presidents – Abraham Lincoln! (#2) (2018) by Fred Van Lente
    • Action Presidents – George Washington! (#1) (2020) by Fred Van Lente
    • Dragonbreath #1 (2009) by by Ursula Vernon (DID NOT LIKE)
    • The Boxcar Children – Journey on a Runaway Train (#1) (2017) by Gertrude Chandler Warner
    • Kerry & the Knight of the Forest (2020) by Andi Watson
    • Mia Mayhem Steals the Show! (#8) (2020) by Kara West
    • Mia Mayhem Gets X-Ray Specs (#7) by Kara West
    • Mia Mayhem vs. The Mighty Robot (#6) (2019) by Kara West
    • Dragon Masters – Fortress of the Stone Dragon (#17) (2020) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Call of the Sound Dragon (#16) (2020) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Future of the Time Dragon (#15) (2020) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Eye of the Earthquake Dragon (#13) (2019) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Treasure of the Gold Dragon (#12) (2018) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Shine of the Silver Dragon (#11) (2018) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Waking the Rainbow Dragon (#10) (2018) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Chill of the Ice Dragon (#9) (2018) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Roar of the Thunder Dragon (#8) (2017) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Search for the Lightning Dragon (#7) (2017) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Flight of the Moon Dragon (#6) (2016) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Song of the Poison Dragon (#5) (2016) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Power of the Fire Dragon (#4) (2015) by Tracey West
    • Dragon Masters – Secret of the Water Dragon (#3) (2015) by Tracey West
    • Hilo – All the Pieces Fit (#6) (2020) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – Then Everything Went Wrong (#5) (2019) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – Waking the Monsters (#4) (2018) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – The Great Big Boom (#3) (2017) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – Saving the Whole Wide World (#2) (2016) by Judd Winick
    • Hilo – The Boy Who Crashed to Earth (#1) (2015) by Judd Winick
    • Secret Coders – Monsters & Modules (#6) (2018) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders – Potions & Parameters (#5) (2018) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders – Robots & Repeats (#4) (2017) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders – Secrets & Sequences (#3) (2017) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders – Paths & Portals (#2) (2016) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Secret Coders (#1) (2015) by Gene Luen Yang
    • Science Comics – Cats: Nature and Nurture (2019) by Andy Hirsch
    • Science Comics – Dinosaurs: Fossils & Feathers (2016) by M.K. Reed
    • Science Comics – Volcanoes: Fire & Life (2016) by Jon Chad

    Arts in Your Library Podcast

    For one of my graduate degree courses I was tasked with creating a podcast on any subject I wanted. Because I love theatre and libraries, I created this gem. I hope you enjoy the first episode of my Podcast Arts in Your Library: Beyond Disney Musicals: A Family Guide to Broadway in Tampa Bay and at Your Pinellas Library.

    Arts in Your Library Podcast Episode 1

    Forget Next Time

    Clearly, I wrote this before everything was cancelled, but still think it’s worth sharing in its original state. So here it is.

    This past weekend felt decadent. I flew to NYC to spend the weekend with two of my favorite people – Marcie and Vanesa – without kids! It’s one of my very favorite places. I can never spend enough time there – I start smiling when I see the skyline and don’t stop until it is past me, waiting until I return. And I never leave without promising myself there will be a next time because the magic I feel while I’m there cannot be duplicated.

    I witnessed one of the most beautiful art exhibits, Vida Americana, at the Whitney and although I was stunned by the level of artistry I was angered by the fact that the more things change in this world, the more things stay the same. The wealthy get richer off of the poorest among us. Workers can’t get a living wage. Racism remains an oppressive barrier in this country because we refuse to acknowledge it within us and commit to true change.

    Calla Lilly Vendor
    Alfredo Ramos Martínez, Calla Lily Vendor (Vendedora de Alcatraces), 1929

    Proletarian Mother
    David Alfaro Siqueiros, Proletarian Mother, 1929


    On a lighter note, I channeled my inner Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone 2 by wearing a robe in the chicest hotel room of my life and using my friend’s per diem for fancy drinks and breakfast.

    I walked with a purpose through Midtown to the main New York Public Library building where I could feel the presence of those who had loved the space before and with me.

    I noticed the first signs of spring (crocuses) on the High Line.

    Even being in the city during winter was wonderful (and that’s saying a lot knowing I hate the cold). The wind blew so chillingly it chapped my face as we walked but I could ignore it because I was in New York! I left my glove at the Kerr Theatre but that’s okay because I got to see Hadestown and experience its tragic beauty. I want to be like Orpheus and “make you see how the world could be, in spite of the way that it is.”

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    I’m reminded of a poem by Robert Frost where he says that all wonderful things in life are fleeting at worst or ever-changing at best:

    Nothing Gold Can Stay

    Nature’s first green is gold,

    Her hardest hue to hold.

    Her early leaf’s a flower;

    But only so an hour.

    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,
    So dawn goes down to day.

    Nothing gold can stay.

    That’s true, nothing lasts forever. Even life. Maybe even especially life. So why do I make choices like I have infinite time? Why do I agonize over what I said to who and whether people like me when they aren’t the people in my life who matter most to me?

    I’m giving up on this “next time” way of thinking by attempting to switch my mindset to the now. I gave a mighty effort last year following my surgery to remove my melanoma, but have reverted back to my own circular reasoning of next time it will be better, I’ll have more time later, just wait. My time is now, not tomorrow. Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” That seems like a solid way to live.

    I know this doesn’t mean that my life will be all joy and no sorrow. But it means I can take steps to work through the pain and eventually rise. In case you couldn’t tell, I’m working my way through Glennon Doyle’s new book, Untamed. She writes that returning to our dreams is the path we take to remember our reality, to discern God’s plan for our lives, family, and world. This plan will disrupt the world’s order because our being alive is something wholly new and never before seen. I’m starting the work to reimagine my soul’s dreams to live my “truest, most beautiful li[fe]” right now. “May [my] dreams become [my] plans.” I should get to writing…

    And now to return to this shitty week where everything is cancelled indefinitely and routines are out of whack, I’m still singing the lyrics from Hadestown – “…here’s the thing. To know how it ends. And still begin to sing it again. As if it might turn out this time.”

    It’s going to work out this time, just not as we expect. The world will be changed once this pandemic has worked its way around the planet. And I hope it brings about a new way of thinking, especially with our jobs as planet protectors. We don’t get an again. Just a now. So let’s live it up on top!

     

     

    My Year in Books

    “Not all stories speak to all listeners, but all listeners can find a story that does, somewhere, sometime. In one form or another.” ~Erin Morgenstern in The Starless Sea

    Confession – I may have read too many books this year. 70 actually, not including the majority of my 5 textbooks for the fall semester of my master’s program and any book I gave up on after the first 50 pages or so because life is too short to read terrible books or books not meant for this reader at this point in her life. I intentionally attempted to read books with perspectives unlike my own, and have discovered several treasures I intend to keep close to my heart and reread.

    As for next year’s reading list, I am officially over books set during World War II. I get it that it was the war that has defined all wars before or since, but I just don’t want to read about it anymore. Not when there are an unbelievable amount of fantastic books existing in the world. I fully admit to loving historical fiction, however, so I plan to continue to read about any other time period. I also adore reading Young Adult fiction, especially in between more serious books (although young adult books are complicated and seriously messy in their own way). Next year, I hope to read more Science Fiction because that slipped through the cracks (anyone have good recommendations?) Finally, my favorite books are the ones with the truest stories. Not true in the literal sense that everything is rational and factual, but in the sense that I am emotionally transported into the lives of the characters and am along with them for their journeys. Even when they are devastating because as The Starless Sea reminds us: “Important things hurt sometimes.” 2019 was a tough year for me, but 2020 promises a renewal of hope. And I plan to live out my hope, in part, through my reading.

    My Top 8 Favorite Books Published in 2019

    The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

    Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

    The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

    Normal People by Sally Rooney

    Dragonfly by Leila Meacham

    On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

    The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

    Shameless: A Sexual Reformation by Nadia Bolz-Weber

    A Mostly Complete List of Books I Read in 2019, Organized by Stars via Goodreads:

    5 Stars

    Fiction

    • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (December 1-6)
    • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (November 16-25)
    • The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4) (2000) by Marjane Satrapi (October 31-December 7)
    • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (October 25-28)
    • Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane (October 14-20)
    • Neverwhere (London Below #1) (1996) by Neil Gaiman (October 2-7)
    • The Shadow of the Wind (El cemeterio de los libros olvidados #1) (2001) by Carlos Ruis Zafon (September 15-October 31)
    • The Guest Book by Sarah Blake (August 28-September 5)
    • Dragonfly by Leila Meacham (August 4-6)
    • 11/22/63 (2011) by Stephen King (July 29-31)
    • Normal People by Sally Rooney (June 26-27)
    • Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2012) by Maria Semple (June 5-8)
    • The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin (June 3-5)
    • This Is How It Always Is (2017) by Laurie Frankel (May 24-June 3)
    • Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (April 6-8)
    • On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (March 28-30)

    Nonfiction

    • Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US by Lenny Duncan (July 19-August 25)
    • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, & Lead (2012) by Brene Brown (June 25-August 2)
    • State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland (2016) by Dave Barry (July 23-25)
    • Heavy: An American Memoir (2018) by Kiese Laymon (June 12-15)
    • Love Big: The Power of Revolutionary Relationships to Heal the World by Rozella Haydee White (May 8-19)
    • March: Book Three (2016) by John Lewis (February 8-18)
    • Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, & the Dawn of a New America (2012) by Gilbert King (January 29-February 28)
    • March: Book Two (2015) by John Lewis (February 8)
    • March: Book One (2013) by John Lewis (February 5-6)
    • Shameless: A Sexual Reformation by Nadia Bolz-Weber (January 29-February 3)
    • Becoming by Michelle Obama (2018) (December 31, 2018-February 5)

    4 Stars

    Fiction

    • The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood (December 17-19)
    • Find Me (Call Me By Your Name #2) by Andre Aciman (December 13-17)
    • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (December 6-11)
    • The Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippmann (November 11-16)
    • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter (2017) by Erika Sanchez (October 9-14)
    • Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns, #4) by Kendare Blake (September 23-October 31)
    • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (2017) by Taylor Jenkins Reid (September 21-23)
    • City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (September 5-17)
    • The Alice Network (2017) by Kate Quinn (August 21-23)
    • The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger (August 18-21)
    • Titans (2016) by Leila Meacham (August 11-13)
    • Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1) (2018) by Laura Sebastian (July 14-16)
    • The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (2018) by Stuart Turton (June 21-24)
    • Wicked Saints (Something Dark & Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan (May 19-22)
    • Dear Evan Hansen (2018) by Val Emmich (April 25-30)
    • American Gods (2001) by Neil Gaiman (January 22-30)

    Nonfiction

    • Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong (December 24-30)
    • Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living (2016) by Sandra Niequist (May 23-June 20)
    • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) by Maya Angelou (March 19-May 9)
    • Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson (April 24-May 8)
    • The Library Book (2018) by Susan Orlean (March 21-24)
    • On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (2000) by Stephen King (December 12, 2018-March 24)

    3 Stars

    • Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (November 18-22)
    • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware (November 2-6)
    • Summer of ’69 by Erin Hilderbrand (August 27-28)
    • The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams (August 15-18)
    • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (August 6-11)
    • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen (August 1)
    • An American Marriage (2018) by Tayari Jones (July 21-26)
    • Lady Smoke (Ash Princess Trilogy #2) by Laura Sebastian (July 16-21)
    • The Goldfinch (2013) by Donna Tartt (June 25-July 6)
    • Lilac Girls (2016) by Martha Hall Kelly (April 25-May 19)
    • Where the Crawdads Sing (2018) by Delia Owens (April 12-16)
    • Two Dark Reigns (Three Dark Crowns #3) (2018) by Kendare Blake (April 12-13)
    • One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) (2017) by Kendare Blake (April 9-10)
    • The Malta Exchange (Cotton Malone #14) by Steve Berry (March 28-April 5)
    • Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) (2016) by Kendare Blake (March 9-14)
    • Dark Places (2010) by Gillian Flynn (March 9-12)
    • Queen of Air & Darkness (The Dark Artifices #3) (2018) by Cassandra Clare (January 7-12)
    • Look Alive Twenty-Five (2018) by Janet Evanovich (January 7-11)

    2 Stars

    • I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella (February 7-11)

    1 Star

    • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (September 25-27)
    • Once Upon a River (2018) by Diane Setterfield (June 12-19)

     

     

    My Image of Librarians, An Elevator Speech

    The following is my final assignment for my Foundations of Library and Information Science course, and serves as an explanation for what I’ve been up to this fall.

    You’re studying to be a librarian? You need a Master’s degree for that?!”

    I have heard these questions asked so many times, and before I applied to USF’s Library and Information Science program I repeatedly asked myself why did I HAVE to get a Master’s degree to be a librarian. Couldn’t I just learn on the job? It can’t be THAT hard. As this is only my first semester working toward my Master’s, I don’t have all the answers but I know this to be true: it would be impossible to do an effective job as a librarian without the educational foundation necessary to have a full understanding of the library’s processes and systems.

    I visit my local public library at least once a week. I volunteer alphabetizing and shelving books. I research new and varied materials outside my worldview to check-out for my family so we can be exposed to lives and cultures unlike our own. This would never be enough to step into a job as a librarian and hit the ground running. I would not know about metadata, cataloging, or budgeting, for example. I could learn these things without a degree but it would be less-structured and piecemeal.

    And I would not be working together with like-minded individuals who are all studying to be librarians. This collaborative environment is key to unlocking the library and information science code to understanding all things library-related. Although it is more difficult to collaborate via an online course platform, bouncing ideas off my classmates and knowing others stand with me as I struggle with balancing graduate school, my job, and my personal life has been everything.

    Seeking a master’s degree in library and information science has allowed me to begin to find my voice in the profession, and discern what values matter to me. What will I stand up for, and who will I stand up for when I am a librarian? I know I will make space to listen and amplify others’ voices. I know that as a white woman I am what people traditionally see when they picture a librarian, and that needs to change. I know that equity for all will be a theme I will repeatedly assert. I know that I want to fight for greater public access to copyrighted works, which means submitting comments and leading action when the Copyright Act is finally revised. I know that my education of the library world will never cease, and that my acquisition of a Master’s degree is the foundation upon which it stands.

    Earlier this semester I had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by Jessamyn West, who spoke about libraries being social justice issues, and social justice being a library issue. Everything she said reverberated with me, but one thing in particular stood out. She asserted that as a librarian, I need to effectively represent the world around me AND my dream world. My dream world is working in a library with a community that knows all are genuinely welcome, and we engage, create, and turn ideas into action. I see some of my dream world present with my fellow Master’s program students, and I cannot wait to build library havens with you and others.