National Library Week

bookishfolk Germany Library Stuttgart

Stuttgart Library in Germany

Libraries have always held a special place in my heart. It was one of the first places I remember visiting as a child. I used to go to “school” at the library (they had a class once or twice a week) and I would go with my brother and cousins. I remember really LOVING it. We would sing songs, work on a craft project, read, listen to the teacher read us a story and have snacks. Basically, it was an one hour preschool class at the library in the 80’s when kids didn’t really go to preschool and kindergarten was only a half day. I think my favorite part was getting to fill my bag with free books to take home and read til my heart’s content. I still get mildly giddy when I think about going to the library. All those books are free for me to read and take home and enjoy?! It still slightly blows my mind. I’ve always made it a point to explore the library first thing when I move somewhere. I even try to search out the local library when I go on vacation or somewhere to visit. It makes me feel grounded and I feel a sense of community around me. Plus, they are oftentimes beautiful places to explore. Einstein was right about a lot of things (you know, science-y stuff) but I think that the greatest words he spoke were, “The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” Here is a whole Wikipedia article about the history of libraries and I found it fascinating.

So I thought it would be fun to share some ways to celebrate in your own community.

  • Go to your library and borrow books
  • Sign up for a library card
  • Write a note thanking your local library, librarian, or library worker
  • Spread the word on social media (using the hashtags #NationalLibraryWeek and #LibrariesTransform
  • Donate books, time, or money to your local library
  • Participate in the Friends of the Library book sales, or other book sales that your library puts on
  • Listen to audiobooks using Overdrive or Libby
  • See if your library has a book club and join it

Do you love your local library? Are you planning to/did you celebrate your libraries this week? Let me know here or over on Instagram!

“The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” -Einstein

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Published: February 21, 2012

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Where I picked up my book: Library

Key Words: Realistic Fiction, Young Adult, LGBTQ+, Coming of Age, Family Dynamics

My Rating: 5 stars (more if I could)

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Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

My Thoughts:

I couldn’t have loved this book any more if I tried. First, it was so beautiful (both the writing and the characters), it was real, brought out true emotions in me and highlighted diverse characters- more of this please! Second, life lessons are strewn throughout this book, but not necessarily as stand out points, but in this subtle way that makes you think, as a reader, you came to the conclusion yourself, but in reality, it’s the writing and characters that led you there. It’s so real. Third, the pace was slow and intentional…and exactly how life really is. So many novels, especially YA novels, take you on trips and adventures and show you characters who have made insanely large life decisions in 200 pages, but this book felt more true to life. More true to a teenage life with small, but important things happening, a few big whammies, and then a lot of mundane things in-between. Also…both sets of parents are everything. It’s rare to see genuine, honest parenting depicted in YA books, but here we have it and it was refreshing to see.

To be honest, I didn’t even know how much I was loving this book until I finished it. I’m not a huge crier during books, but I audibly wept and haven’t stopped thinking about these characters since I finished the book. This would be an excellent book club choice to explore identity, acceptance, family dynamics and how it feels to write your own life story, instead of following the life story that has been laid out for you. I highly recommend this book to people of all ages. I’ve said this multiple times to multiple people, but if more books like this were written, I truly believe the world would be a better place.

bookishfolk…read instead.

 

 

Sourdough

Author: Robin Sloan

Published: September 5, 2017

Publisher: MCD Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Where I picked up my book: Library

Key Words: Magical Realism, Technology, Bread Baking, Fantasy

My Rating: 4 stars

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Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Lois Clary, a software engineer at a San Francisco robotics company, codes all day and collapses at night. When her favorite sandwich shop closes up, the owners leave her with the starter for their mouthwatering sourdough bread.
Lois becomes the unlikely hero tasked to care for it, bake with it and keep this needy colony of microorganisms alive.  Soon she is baking loaves daily and taking them to the farmer’s market, where an exclusive close-knit club runs the show.
When Lois discovers another, more secret market, aiming to fuse food and technology, a whole other world opens up. But who are these people, exactly?

My Thoughts:

I loved this book so much. First, I’d like to offer up this little tidbit about me. I’m prettttty sure bread is my love language. I love everything to do with it. The smell, the fresh out of the oven temp, the multitude of items you can slather on top of it, the sandwiches you can make, the bread stand at the farmers market, the idea of sitting outside with a loaf of french bread and cheese, baking it and…I could go on and on. As you can see, I have a deep love for bread. So with that said, I was all in, 100%, when I came across this book. Second, this book takes place in San Francisco and then eventually in Alameda (a small island off of Oakland where I lived for a year)-so I was nostalgic while reading and there is nothing better than that. It felt like the Bay area was a character itself and I loved seeing places I often visited, ate at, walked down, or sat in as part of the scene. Third, female lead characters that go off and do something creative and unique and small buinessy to find their truest self-yes please! So this book was right up my alley. Plus Lois (the main character) is quirky, and the writing is quirky and many of the other characters are quirky. And although sometimes that can be a lot for me, I LOVED these characters and had a hard time letting them go when I finished the book. There are a few futuristic components to the novel too-robots and liquid meal replacements, technology that doesn’t quite exist in our current world, that I thoroughly enjoyed. There is so much goodness packed into this relatively small book, Robin’s writing is tight and witty, it had me laughing out loud at some parts and actually concerned for our current state of the world in others…this is a book that I would highly recommend. I’m still thinking about it days after I’ve finished it…and that’s always a winner for me!

bookishfolk…read instead.