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Posted to Campbell Unclassified on December 16, 2022 at 10:29 AM by Genesis Gaule
How many of you read The Happy Hollisters by Andrew E. Svenson under the pseudonym Jerry West? A series about a group of siblings that had fun adventures and solved mysteries. As a kid, I devoured them. So…did I read them to my kids and recommend them to my grandchildren?
They were written at a different time, my youth. No one pointed out to the author or publisher that their biases were showing. There are all kinds of explanations I could share as to why that happened and how it was allowed. Important information and valuable to consider especially by a librarian, but isn't at the forefront of a lot of readers’ minds when choosing the next book.
Recommending a book is a gift. If a friend, sibling or teacher highly praises a book, it comes to mind when picking a title to read on the way to Grandmother’s house. Adults like it when Oprah or Reese Witherspoon put together a list, they start at the beginning and read from 1-10. If every 4th and 5th grader wants a Percy Jackson or Diary of a Wimpy Kid book because their friends are reading them, then only a limited number of kids will have their first choice. Others will have to find another title. How do they choose?
This is where personalized recommendations come into play. Library staff are super fantastic at suggesting similar titles. Please ask. We also have Staff Picks marked throughout the library if browsing is your approach. Find out what friends are reading and of course, ask Grandma (or Uncle, Cousin, Neighbor) what she read at your age. Be careful with the age reference unless you’re under 14. Remember you can be the one offering a suggestion. Yes, there are plenty of lists online professionally put together. All good places to start.
So do any of my childhood favorites show up in my children’s hands? I’ll be honest. Not many. There are all kinds of new books that I want to read and share, children’s, junior and adult varieties. Have you tried Elbow Grease by John Cena? This is about an electric car. Those didn’t even exist when I was little. The Fog Catcher’s Daughter by Marianne McShane. Monsters in the Briny by Lynn Becker. This one is for the grandchild that might like a little scare.
What about the rest of the family who need recommendations?
P.S. Swapping books during the holidays is great fun, too!
Tag(s): science fiction, recommendations, reading, picture books, movies, genealogy, fiction, easy fiction, cookbooks, Charlotte Helgeson, article, anime
Posted to Campbell Unclassified on June 3, 2022 at 10:11 AM by Genesis Gaule
What should I do? How can I help?
Uff, the news is tough now. When we hear about people being hurt and killed, there is a tremendous amount of sadness our communities share. When the lives of children and our vulnerable are ended or permanently damaged, we feel a loss that can’t be easily removed.
So what do we do? How can we help?
Did you notice how the questions changed from the first line? From I to we. Yes, first I take care of myself. Then we look beyond ourselves and care for our community.
There is no fixing what has already happened, but we can look around us and see who needs our support, our consideration, patience, time and a fair shake. Even as I write this, tears build from the losses in our beautiful nation.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”--Soren Kierkegaard
Between backwards and forwards is now. Might I suggest we take the moment to pause. Breathe. Sincerely reflect on what has happened and consider what we’re going to do next. Let’s make conscious choices that will lead to a peaceful and beautiful place for all of us to live in safety.
Our library offers materials that give ideas on how to locate peace during chaos or at least be reminded of its existence. The library shares these materials with patrons in hopes that there is a bit of comfort found in them. There is not an easy journey through tough times, but a smile goes a long, long way. Here are a few suggestions to find at the library:
We can all be strong at times and have other times when a shoulder is needed. I have confidence in our community to offer that shoulder when needed. If each of us finds and offers a tiny bit of peace each day, our actions will help guide our elected officials, school administrators and employers to focus on keeping our communities safe.
Tag(s): sociology, recommendations, psychology, picture books, parenting, nonfiction, mental health, health and wellness, grief and loss, communities, Charlotte Helgeson, article
Posted to Campbell Unclassified on March 17, 2022 at 3:16 PM by Genesis Gaule
Curiosity is probably my strongest characteristic. It shows up most strongly when I meet new people. Sometimes, I meet them in person at the library or when I’m traveling. Even more often, I meet new people in books.
There is never the awkward stumbling through an initial conversation. No wondering if I’m saying something offensive or confusing while reading. The author introduces me to someone new and away I go into finding out all about them.
My curiosity leads me to ask questions, even when reading. “Why would he do that?,” will send me back through the pages to catch what I must have missed. Fictional characters’ actions are often well explained in a book. Then there are the historical books which sometimes give one view of a moment in our past. I especially enjoy histories of groups of people like Warriors in Uniform: the Legacy of American Indian Heroism by Herman Viola. It had personal stories and the history that put their stories into context. I enjoyed a lot of the pictures also.
Memoirs are a real person’s retelling of an event or life experience through an emotional lens. Will I learn about the person? Absolutely. Some personal stories are told through important messages they want to share as in Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley.
How many times have you asked a question like “Is Sam your oldest brother or cousin?” That’s done when in the presence of another person. No matter how many times we visit with that individual, we can’t keep those details straight. A good amount of credit needs to go to people who can remember all the details about a person they meet like Sherlock Holmes does or Detective Vale in The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. Yes, that one’s fiction but I’m connected to all the characters. I also ask why about actions or viewpoints and sometimes get answers from living and breathing people though this can be much easier in a book. When searching for an answer in a book, there is no consequence for rereading a page to find the answer like there might be by asking, “What’s your name again?”.
Another way to get to know people who I can’t find in our community is to read their folklore or stories based on them. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri includes the epics of India as the background. Stories set in a real location in a different time, brings the people of those parts of the world to life. Noor by Nnedi Okorafor is another science fiction novel that uses African culture as a backdrop. In it, I met Fulani herdsman which I knew nothing about before reading this fictional story.
Our Library also has some great children’s biographical picture books. The stories are true but placed in a story format. We even have graphical biographies which are wonderful fun to read.
With so many options, you could make new acquaintances every day at the library. It’s OK if you don’t remember the title or the author or the name of the character. Ask one of us and we’ll help you locate it. We love to be asked, “What is the name of the book that has the colorful cover with eyes looking out at me?” We’ll start asking you questions and very likely find your book. “Is it about a tracker?”
“Yes,” you say and we answer with the title or walk you over to find the book. By the way, that is Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James which gives us a look into African history and mythology through a fictional tale.
Curiosity is great. Keep asking questions and discovering who else is out there.
Tag(s): science fiction, recommendations, reading, nonfiction, memoirs, history, health and wellness, folklore, fiction, culture, Charlotte Helgeson, biography, biographies, autobiography, autobiographies, article