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Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Join us for Poetry Speaks! African American Read-In, Feb. 14

Poetry Speaks! African American Poetry Read-in

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. | Main Library – McMaster Center

African Americans have profoundly influenced American poetry, from Phillis Wheatley to Paul Lawrence Dunbar, through the poets of the Harlem Renaissance, and into this twenty-first century explosion of brilliant new poets.

In celebration, we’re asking people in our community to choose one favorite poem or excerpt by an African American poet to read in a staged reading emceed by Rhonda Sewell, Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s External and Governmental Affairs Manager, and to tell us a bit about what it means to them.

Register to read a favorite poem (not your own, but published), family friendly, and no longer than a 5 minute time slot.  Registration is required only to read.

Online Registration for Readers opens January 15, 2018 and closes February 7, 2018.

Everyone is invited to attend.


Looking for a poem to read at the event? Check out these notable selections.

The Complete poetry by Maya Angelou
Selected poems by Gwendolyn Brooks
Complete poems / James Weldon Johnson ; edited with an introduction by Sondra Kathryn Wilson
Olio by Tyehimba Jess
Heaven / Rowan Ricardo Phillips
SOS: Poems 1961-2013 by Amiri Baraka
Don't Call Us Dead : Poems by Danez Smith
Collected poems : 1974--2004 / Rita Dove
Use trouble : poems / by Michael S. Harper
The collected poems of Lucille Clifton 1965-2010 / edited by Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser ; foreword by Toni Morrison ; afterword by Kevin Young
The Collected poems of Langston Hughes / Arnold Rampersad, editor, David Roessel, associate editor
Wild beauty = Belleza salvaje : new and selected poems / Ntozake Shange ; translated by Alejandro Álvarez Nieves
Looking for online sources? Check these out:

Black History Month – Academy of American Poets
To celebrate Black History Month in February—and the rich tradition of African American poetry all year long—browse essays on literary milestones and movements, find important books on black history and poetics, look for lesson plans for Black History Month, read archival letters from classic African American poets, and search poems about the African American experience by both classic and contemporary poets.

Celebrating Black History Month – Poetry Foundation
Poems, articles, and podcasts that explore African American history and culture.

University of Pittsburg Center for African American Poets and Poetics
The mission of the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP) at the University of Pittsburgh is to highlight, promote, and share the poetry and poetic work of African American and African diasporic writers.

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November Thankful Reads

Whether or not one chooses to gorge on Thanksgiving, fall is a fantastic time to reflect upon the importance of gratitude in our lives. We so often get bogged down in what is “wrong” and needs fixing – take a moment to balance that load and consider the many (many, MANY) good things we have, big and small, to help us through each day. Here are a few ideas to get us started ….

Holiday Cookbooks We Are Thankful to Have

The superfun times vegan holiday cookbook : entertaining for absolutely every occasion / Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Cook's Illustrated All Time Best Holiday Entertaining
How to celebrate everything : recipes and rituals for birthdays, holidays, family dinners, and every day in between / Jenny Rosenstrach
Danielle Walker's against all grain celebrations : a year of gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo recipes for every occasion / by Danielle Walker
Sweet treats for the holidays : edible creations for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more / Norene Cox
Festive holiday recipes : 103 must-make dishes for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's eve everyone will love / Addie Gundry

Thanksgiving-themed Reads

Spirituality of gratitude : the unexpected blessings of thankfulness / Joshua Choonmin Kang
Want Not by Jonathan Miles
Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps by Dave Isay
365 Gratefuls: Celebrating Treasures, Big and Small by Hailey and Andrew Bartholomew
Gratitude by Oliver Sacks
Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking On the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Amy H. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/november-thankful-reads.

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Explore the Universe with a Telescope from the Library!

Telescope Kits

Have you heard about our telescope kits?

Interested in borrowing a telescope kit? Here are a few helpful details:

Kit Contents

Included in the telescope kit is the Orion Star Blast telescope, with a 4.5″ aperture and fast f/4 focal ratio which provides detailed views of solar system targets such as the Moon and planets. With the Orion Star Blast telescope, it’s also possible to view celestial objects like nebulas and star clusters, and the telescope can be assembled in a few minutes. This is a great compact telescope designed for beginner level astronomy enthusiasts. The kit also includes:

  • Two Explorer II 1.25″ Kellner telescope eyepieces (17mm and 6mm)
  • EZ Finder II reflex sight for easy aiming
  • Eyepiece rack
  • Collimation cap
  • Starry Night astronomy software
  • Carrying case

Reserving a Kit

Reservations can be made by contacting one of the following branch locations:

  • Kent
  • King Road
  • Oregon
  • Point Place
  • Sanger
  • Sylvania
  • West Toledo

Borrowing a Kit

  • Loanable for 7 days
  • Can be renewed twice
  • Check out with adult or juvenile library card
  • Must be checked out and returned to the same location during library hours (do not place in dropbox).

The Orion Star Blast telescope kits make it possible explore the universe from your own backyard.

The telescopes were generously donated by the Toledo Astronomical Association.

Astronomy, Stargazing and Telescopes .. Oh My!

Books for Kids
Star finder! : a step-by-step guide to the night sky / foreword by Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock ; editor, Sarah MacLeod
Night sky / Stephanie Warren Drimmer - National Geographic Kids book from 2017
Stars and galaxies / by James Buckley, Jr
Looking up! : the science of stargazing / by meteorologist Joe Rao ; illustrated by Mark Borgions
What we see in the stars : an illustrated tour of the night sky / Kelsey Oseid
Astronomy for Kids: 26 Family-friendly Activities about Stars, Planets, and Observing the World Around You by Michelle Nichols - eBook
Stargazing by Alex Kuskowski - eBook
Discovering the universe / Giles Sparrow

Books for Adults

Astronomy : a visual guide / Ian Ridpath ; additional contributors, Giles Sparrow and Carole Stott - DK book from 2018
The New Astronomy Guide: Stargazing in the Digital Age by Patrick Moore
Complete Guide to Stargazing by Robin Scagell
The Astronomy Book - contributors, David W. Hughes, Robert Dinwiddie, Penny Johnson, and Tom Jackson (DK Publishing)
The Stars: The Definitive Visual Guide to the Cosmos by Robert Dinwiddie, David W. Hughes, Geraint Jones, Ian Ridpath, Carole Stott, and Giles Sparrow; Consultant, Jacqueline Mitton (DK Publishing)
Eyes on the Sky: A Spectrum of Telescopes by Francis Graham-Smith
101 Objects to See in the Night Sky by Robin Scagell
Stargazing Basics: Getting Started in Recreational Astronomy by Paul E. Kinzer

Related Astronomy Websites

How to Enjoy Your New Telescope: Advice for Beginner Skywatchers – Space.com

How to Use A Telescope: 16 Essential Steps to Loving the Night Sky – Love the Night Sky

Seeing and Transparency Guide – The Astronomical League

Orion Star Blast Telescope Review and Summary – Astronomy.com

Orion StarBlast 4.5 Astro Reflector Telescope – Telescope.com


Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Amber B. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/explore-the-universe-with-a-telescope-kit-from-your-local-library.

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Building Great Learners Starts With Reading

“Too early” has no place in the formula when it comes to gauging the right time to begin nurturing children’s interest in reading. While introducing her daughter Aria to the wonder of words, Renee O’Brien found out how quickly that awareness and appreciation of books and language can be ignited.

O’Brien had heard about the Toledo Lucas County Public Library’s Ready to Read program and decided not long after the birth of her first child to get some advice on preparing Aria to be a lifelong reader.

“I wanted to make sure she has the tools she needs in life to be a good reader, and a good learner,” O’Brien said. “So I went to the library, talked to the people there and got the information on what to do. I found out that even at a very young age, it is important to read to her and let her hear a variety of words.”

Ready to Read stresses how critical the years before kindergarten are for the development of children’s reading ability, and how the language and word skills a child is exposed to during that time period will play a significant role in how successful that child will be in school, and in life. The program promotes five activities that parents can do with their children to greatly improve their success: talking, singing, reading, writing and playing.

Talk Sing Read Write Play

Ready to Read encourages parents and childcare providers to frequently talk with children in order to help them learn new words and to stimulate brain development. Singing improves a child’s capability to understand sounds within words, while reading together helps children become skilled readers. Parents are also urged to write out words to give children an understanding of letters and how they form sounds. Time for play is likewise important, as this is one of the main ways that children learn about the world.

O’Brien and her husband Kevin started introducing Aria to books when she was just four months old, and followed a plan that included frequently talking, singing and reading to her while she was in her high chair.

“At first, she paid no attention to us,” O’Brien said, “but they encouraged us to keep doing it.”

Then, somewhat magically and whimsically, Aria’s eyes lit up and the pathway for the 17-month-old to become a lifelong reader was wide open.

“Now, over the past three months she has been so interested in books,” O’Brien said. “Her doctor is very impressed with her development. She brings us the books and says: ‘read, read.’ She loves the books with pictures and words like ball and banana and gets excited when we read to her.”

Since its inception in April 2014, the Ready to Read program has provided more than 4,000 parents and childcare providers with free kits and training. In 2017, the program reached more than 6,000 parents and children. 600 families received in-depth training and a free preschool or kindergarten resource kit while another 800 received tools and tips such as the Busy Book and Kindergarten Skill Rings.

Ready to Read helped 4000 parents and 10000 children

Planting the Seed to Read

Statistics show that when they enter kindergarten, nearly two-thirds of area students do not have the fundamental skills needed to learn how to read and write. With $2 million in support from donors, the Library’s “Planting a Seed to Read” campaign was developed to address this deficiency. It is part of the Library’s overall Early Literacy Campaign which has the ambitious goal of improving the essential literacy skills of every child in the community.

“We know that in Lucas County, a lot of children are not arriving at school ready to learn and read, and that’s a big concern,” said Nancy Eames, youth services coordinator at the Library.

“One of the ways we address that is to show parents how to teach their children so those children are ready to read when they start school. Most kids won’t start reading until they are five or six, but they need a good foundation in place well before that age.”

She added that with locations in every corner of the community, the Library is able to offer support to families and get children started on building a foundation in reading.

“Parents are children’s first teachers, so their role is very important,” Eames said. “We want them talking to their children, which helps build vocabulary. Engaging in conversations that expand their world knowledge is also very valuable. Children can gain a lot when parents sing to them, since singing slows down the words and lets the child hear the syllables.”

Eames said that parents should continually expand on what they are saying so children hear a wide variety of words. When they start to read, children will more easily recognize words they have heard before.

“What we all need to do is put down our devices, and help kids build vocabulary,” Eames said. “Vocabulary is a skill we build throughout our entire lives, and the earlier we start, the more successful we will be.”

Intensive Storytimes Make Learning Fun

The Library’s “Intensive Storytimes” program is on the same mission – to increase children’s interest in books and reading, while strengthening their pre-literacy skills. Intensive Storytimes were first introduced in the fall of 2013 to eight Toledo Public Schools (TPS) Kindergarten classes and today, now serves about 40 TPS Kindergarten classes and 600 to 700 students annually.

The program also introduces students to their neighborhood Library, through the work of children’s librarians who visit the schools to present traditional storytime elements, such as reading books aloud, teaching rhyming words and singing with the children. These are facets of the dialogic reading technique which has been shown to hasten the development of early literacy aptitude, including oral language skills.

A librarian reading during Storytime

A Teacher Approved Approach

Fadia Olrich has been teaching Kindergarten for eight years, and she said her Riverside Elementary students are very excited when Children’s Librarian Maria Royuela-Tomas makes her regular visits to the classroom. Olrich said the librarians in the program work with teachers and develop themes for each week, often linking them to topics covered during the rest of the school day.

“Maria always has props or puppet shows or something that ties into the story and keeps the kids engaged the whole time,” Olrich said. “She focuses on vocabulary and character identification and my kids are always eager to participate – their hands are in the air to ask or answer questions.”

Olrich said the Intensive StoryTimes program is critically important for her students, many of whom have not been introduced to books before attending Kindergarten.

“A lot of my students aren’t even exposed to reading before they arrive here. Some had no idea what a library is, and they can’t believe it’s a place where you can go and get books,” she said. “So this program is very beneficial.”

Jim Funk, manager of institutional and community initiatives at the Library, said the goal of the Intensive StoryTimes program and the overall early literacy efforts is to have children properly prepared to learn.

“At first, we only worked with adults on improving literacy, but we realized working with children is the key to a better life for them, and for society,” he said. “The task is daunting, since so many of the children come to school not sufficiently prepared to read, but we aspire to do anything we can to help.”

The response to those efforts has been overwhelmingly positive.

All of the TPS teachers surveyed concluded that Intensive StoryTimes exposed their students to experiences that increased their pre-literacy skills. The teachers were also unanimous in their opinion that Intensive StoryTimes amplified the interest in reading in their classrooms, and helped the students build reading skills. The teachers all wanted Intensive StoryTimes to return to their classrooms.

“That’s very gratifying, because there are many different types of intervention underway, but the fact that teachers want our program back every year is a real testimony to its effectiveness,” Funk said.

A father reading to his son

Get In on the Early Literacy Action

Parents and childcare providers who have more questions or would like to request a free training may call 419.259.5253 or email readytoread@toledolibrary.org.

To support the Library’s Early Literacy Campaign, contact the Library Legacy Foundation at 419.259.5123 or email kathy.selking@toledolibrary.org.

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Super Fun Geeky Reads

With deft humor and clever pop culture references, “geeky” reads have a huge appeal to many readers. Check out these fun favorites …

Everyone's a aliebn when ur a aliebn too : a book / by Jomny Sun

Everyone’s a aliebn when ur a aliebn too: a book by Jomny Sun

A lost, lonely and confused alien finds friendship, acceptance, and love among the creatures of Earth, and teaches us all how to be a little more human.

Funny and sad, simple and complex, badly spelled and beautifully written, Jomny Sun gets more out of a panel than most do out of a page, revealing obvious yet hidden truths as only someone one step out of step could. – Joss Whedon

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn. A nostalgic and subversive story with sly nods to Scooby-Doo, H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, this is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.

Additional Formats: eAudio

Squirrel meets world / Shannon Hale & Dean Hale

Squirrel Meets World: the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Shannon Hale

Fun, funny, and action-packed, deceptively packaged for kids, but a fantastic read for any Marvel-universe fan. Doreen Green, a peppy 14-year-old with a gorgeous tail (tactfully concealed) and secret squirrel powers, must find a way to cope with high school life, keep her superhero identity a secret, and defeat the diabolical son of Hydra agents, who insists on being her nemesis.

Additional Formats: Audio | eBook | eAudio

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Immersing himself in a mid-21st-century virtual utopia to escape an ugly real world of famine, poverty and disease, Wade Watts joins an increasingly violent effort to solve a series of puzzles by the virtual world’s super-wealthy creator, who has promised that the winner will be his heir. A film version directed by Stephen Spielberg is due out March, 2018.

Additional Formats: Audio | eBook | eAudio

Reincarnation blues : a novel / Michael Poore

Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore

Turns out we get ten thousand lives to answer all of life’s Big Questions and Achieve Wisdom. Milo has just five more lives to “get it right.” If he doesn’t, oblivion awaits. Every journey from cradle to grave offers Milo more pieces of the great cosmic puzzle–if only he can piece them together in time to finally understand what it means to be part of something bigger than infinity. As darkly enchanting as the works of Neil Gaiman and as wisely hilarious as Kurt Vonnegut’s, this is the story of everything that makes life profound, beautiful, absurd, and heartbreaking. Because it’s more than Milo’s story. It’s our story, too.

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Amy H. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/super-fun-geeky-reads.

 

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Art Students Prepare for Black History Month

Coming in early February, students from the Toledo School for the Arts will kick off Black History Month with a concert at the Main Library. These students are planning a musical collaboration with the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and retired BGSU professor, Michael Peslikis.

TSA students rehearsing for Black History Month music concert.

What started off as a school project, has quickly grown into something more. The high school students take time out of their busy schedules once a week to prepare their performance. They meet every Monday, sometimes with Dr. Peslikis, to rehearse and explore black history through musical interactions. Even with so few rehearsals, much progress and individual discovery has taken place. During rehearsals, young musicians delve into the rich history of African American music, sharpening their skills along the way, while learning more about black history.

Toledo School for the Arts rehearsing for music concert.

From 1800’s parlor songs to the blues, a wide range of music will be featured in the February program, and they are already looking forward to the performance. It will be a vibrant showcase of some of the country’s most influential songs, as well as other tunes, which may not be as familiar to the average listener.

The concert will be held at the Main Library (February 2018). Admission is free and the concert is open to the public. We hope you’re just as excited as we are. See you at our Black History Month celebration in February!

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Free Music Rocks the 419!

The longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere is the summer solstice, which took place on June 21 this year. So, even though it feels like summer has been here for quite some time, there’s still lots of time to enjoy the warm weather in the great outdoors.

The 419 is alive with activity this summer. Short on cash? No problem! Enjoy an incredible variety of performers from all types of musical genres scattered across the Toledo area.

Free Summer Music Concerts in 2018

Brown Bag Summer Concerts - Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Brown Bag Concert Series

When: Wednesdays | June – August 1 | 12:15-1:15 p.m.

Where: Main Library – North Lawn, 325 Michigan Street, Toledo, Ohio 43604

June 27 | Maumee Community Band

July 11 | Fu5ion (R&B/Hip Hop/Rock)

July 18 | Just Kiddin’ Around…with Elisa and Chuck Hage (Children’s)

July 25 | Xplozivo (Tejano)

Aug. 1 | Elixer (Beatles Tribute)

Music Under the Stars - Free Summer Concert Series - Toledo, Ohio

Music Under the Stars

When: Sundays | July 8-29 | 7:30 p.m.

Where: Toledo Zoo Ampitheater | 2700 Broadway St, Toledo, Ohio 43609

July 8 | Stars, Stripes, and Sousa with the Toledo Symphony Concert Band

July 15 | Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and Star Wars: The Music of John Williams with the Toledo Symphony Concert Band

July 22 | Christmas in July with the Toledo Symphony Chamber Players

July 29 | Swing, Swing, Swing: Music of the Big Band Stars with the Toledo Jazz Orchestra

Maumee Community Band - Maumee, Ohio

Maumee Community Band

When / Where: See listings below

June 27 | 12:15 p.m. | Brown Bag Concert
Main Library – North Lawn, 325 Michigan Street, Toledo, Ohio 43604July 3 | 6 p.m. | Independence Day Celebration
Downtown Maumee, Ohio 43537

July 10 | 7 p.m. | Music by the River II
Maumee Branch Library, Maumee, Ohio 43537

July 11 | 6 p.m. | Summer Concert
First Presbyterian Church, 200 E Broadway Street, Maumee, Ohio 43537

Aug. 7 | 7 p.m. | Music by the River III
Maumee Branch Library, Maumee, Ohio 43537

Aug. 11 | 10:30 a.m. | Maumee Street Fair
Downtown Maumee, Ohio 43537

Walbridge Park Summer Concerts - Toledo, Ohio

Walbridge Park Concerts

When: Thursdays | June-July | 7-9 p.m.

Where: Walbridge Park Gazebo | 2761 Broadway Street, Toledo, Ohio 43609

June 21 | E Z Pickenz (Acoustic Rock)

July 5 | Night Sessions (Big Band)

July 12 | Cactus Jack (Funk Rock)

July 19 | Quickness with Michelle Shelton (Jazz)

July 26 | Old State Line (Blue Grass Country)

Music at the Market - Perrysburg, Ohio

Music at the Market

When: Thursdays | June-August | 7 p.m.

Where: Downtown Perrysburg (corner of Louisiana & Indiana Avenues)

June 28 | Swingmania

July 5 | My Distant Cousinz

July 12 | Ol’ Creek Road

July 19 | The House Band

July 26 | Barile & May

Aug. 2 | Old State Line

Aug. 9 | Tammy & Dan Acoustic Duo

Aug. 16 | 56 Daze

Aug. 23 | Ramona Collins Group

Aug. 30 | The Original Killer Flamingos

Old West End Summer Concerts in the Arboretum - Toledo, Ohio

Old West End Music in the Park

When: Select Sundays | 6-8 p.m.

Where: The Arboretum (Old West End, corner of Delaware and Robinwood), Toledo, Ohio 43606

July 8 | The Essentials

July 22 | Polka Floyd

Aug. 12 | Rockys East

Aug. 26 | Zodiac Click

Sept. 9 | Organized K-OS

Ottawa Park Amphitheater Summer Concerts - Toledo, Ohio

Ottawa Park Amphitheater Concert Series

When: Saturdays | July 14-Aug. 18 | 6-8 p.m.

Where: Ottawa Park | 2201 Ottawa Pkwy, Toledo, Ohio 43606

July 14 | The Good, The Bad & The Blues (Blues)

July 21 | Madison Avenue Band (Lots of Favorites)

July 28 | East River Drive (Las Vegas Show Music)

Aug. 4 | Nu-Tones (British Invasion)

Aug. 11 | Not Fast Enuff (Hi Energy Party Band)

Aug. 18 | Boffo (Classic Rock)


Can’t make it to these summer concerts?

Browse hoopla and stream a variety of music for free.

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Weird But True: This Lesser Known Fiction Genre is Making A Comeback

When it comes to your leisure reading, are you looking for something a little different? Perhaps you enjoy elements of the supernatural and fantastical but are tired of the same old clichés of most genre fiction? Why not give Weird Fiction a try!

Weird fiction is characterized primarily by its blending of science fiction, fantasy, horror and just about every other fiction genre to create something entirely new. The name “weird fiction” was coined by H.P. Lovecraft in a 1927 essay titled “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” which sought a division between traditional horror at the time and Lovecraft’s own work. The genre has since grown further apart from its close connection with horror and has become an umbrella term for books that can’t easily be placed in any other category.

If you’re new to weird fiction, below you’ll find some great reads to get you started. Keep in mind that nearly all weird fiction still contains some elements of horror, so if you tend to be squeamish these may not be the books for you.

Weird Fiction Books

The Wine-Dark Sea by Robert Aickman (book)
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All and Other Stories by Laird Barron
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington / Leonora Carrington ; introduction by Kathyrn Davis ; translations from the French by Kathrine Talbot ; translations from the Spanish by Anthony Kerrigan

 

The Wine-Dark Sea by Robert Aickman

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

“In these 11 stories, the occasion may be a walking tour of Northern England, a birthday present of a Victorian dollhouse or a stay at a Swedish sanatorium for insomniacs, but it simultaneously traps the characters with dread and opens them up to a new awareness of a greater, deeper and more dangerous world. A remarkable collection by an author who deserves to be better known.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.02

“Barron returns with his third collection, The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All. Collecting interlinking tales of sublime cosmic horror, including “Blackwood’s Baby,” “The Carrion Gods in Their Heaven,” and the World Fantasy Award–nominated “Hand of Glory,” The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All delivers enough spine-chilling horror to satisfy even the most jaded reader.” ~ Amazon

 

Weaveworld by Clive Barker

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads| 4.13

“Barker turns from his usual horror to epic-length fantasy for this account of the Fugue, a magical land inhabited by descendants of supernatural beings who once shared the earth with humans. The Fugue has been woven into a carpet for protection against those who would destroy it; the death of its guardian occasions a battle between good and particularly repulsive evil forces for control of the Fugue. Weaveworld is rich with memorable characters, exciting situations, and pockets of Barker’s trademark horror.” ~ Goodreads

 

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.9

“Fledgling, Octavia Butler’s new novel after a seven year break, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly inhuman needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: She is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted – and still wants – to destroy her and those she cares for and how she can save herself. Fledgling is a captivating novel that tests the limits of “otherness” and questions what it means to be truly human.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Complete Stories of Lenora Carrington with an introduction by Kathyrn Davis

Amazon: 3.6 | Goodreads: 4.25

“Published to coincide with the centennial of her birth, The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington collects for the first time all of her stories, including several never before seen in print. With a startling range of styles, subjects, and even languages (several of the stories are translated from French or Spanish), The Complete Stories captures the genius and irrepressible spirit of an amazing artist’s life.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Windeye by Brian Evenson
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Fisherman by John Langan

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.02

“From familiar fairy tales and legends – Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Puss-in-Boots, Beauty and the Beast, vampires, werewolves – Angela Carter has created an absorbing collection of dark, sensual, fantastic stories.” ~ Amazon

 

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

House of Leaves is a multilayered intersection of wild ideas, ten years in the making, from Mark Danielewski. It is also the story of a seemingly normal house gone wild. The novel intertwines the narratives of two haunted individuals: Zampano, a blind man whose strange manuscript is found in his apartment when he dies, and Johnny Truant, the tome’s discoverer and narrator of House of Leaves.” ~ Fantastic Fiction

 

Windeye by Brian Evenson

Amazon: 4.3 | Goodreads: 4.03

“A woman falling out of sync with the world; a king’s servant hypnotized by his murderous horse; a transplanted ear with a mind of its own. The characters in these stories live as interlopers in a world shaped by mysterious disappearances and unfathomable discrepancies between the real and imagined. Brian Evenson, master of literary horror, presents his most far-ranging collection to date, exploring how humans can persist in an increasingly unreal world. Haunting, gripping, and psychologically fierce, these tales illuminate a dark and unsettling side of humanity.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.89

“First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Fisherman by John Langan

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.01

“When Abe and Dan, two widowers who have found solace in each other’s company and a shared passion for fishing, hear rumors of the Creek, and what might be found there, the remedy to both their losses, they dismiss it as just another fish story. Soon, though, the men find themselves drawn into a tale as deep and old as the Reservoir. It’s a tale of dark pacts, of long-buried secrets, and of a mysterious figure known as Der Fisher: the Fisherman. It will bring Abe and Dan face to face with all that they have lost, and with the price they must pay to regain it.” ~ Goodreads

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 3.91

“People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there. Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. . But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping. A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break?” ~ Amazon

 

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.97

“A magnificent fantasy rife with scientific splendor, magical intrigue, and wonderfully realized characters, told in a storytelling style in which Charles Dickens meets Neal Stephenson, Perdido Street Station offers an eerie, voluptuously crafted world that will plumb the depths of every reader’s imagination.” ~ Amazon

 

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.55

“Opening the flaps on this unique little book, readers will find themselves immersed in the strange world of best-selling Haruki Murakami’s wild imagination. The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, the book is like nothing else Murakami has written. Designed by Chip Kidd and fully illustrated, in full color, throughout, this small format, 96 page volume is a treat for book lovers of all ages.” ~ Goodreads

 

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 3.94

“From the author of the Southern Reach Trilogy (aka: Area X) comes a story about two humans, and two creatures. The humans are Rachel and Wick – a scavenger and a drug dealer – both with too many secrets and fears, ready with traps to be set and sprung. The creatures are Mord and Borne – animal, perhaps plant, maybe company discard, biotech, cruel experiment, dinner, deity, or source of spare parts.” ~ Provided by the publisher

 

Still not sure where to start?

Weird fiction anthologies will give you the opportunity to sample the work of various weird fiction authors and see what most interests you.

If you’re feeling brave, try the work of authors like Thomas Ligotti, Kathe Koja, Jon Padgett, Michael Cisco and so many others in the following collections.

 

The Year's Best Weird Fiction - Volume One edited by Laird Barron

The Year’s Best Weird Fiction: Volume One edited by Laird Barron

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.92

“Welcome to the weird! Acclaimed author and editor Laird Barron, one of weird fiction’s brightest exponents, brings his expert eye and editorial sense to the inaugural volume of the Year’s Best Weird Fiction.” ~ Goodreads

Also available in eBook (hoopla).

 

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon: 4.25 | Goodreads: 4.13

The Weird features 110 stories by an all-star cast, from literary legends to international bestsellers to Booker Prize winners: including William Gibson, George R. R. Martin, Stephen King, Angela Carter, Kelly Link, Franz Kafka, China Miéville, Clive Barker, Haruki Murakami, M. R. James, Neil Gaiman, Mervyn Peake, and Michael Chabon. “ ~ Goodreads

Jeff Vandermeer, author of the bestselling Area X Trilogy (which is being adapted to film in 2018) and editor of numerous Weird Fiction anthologies, describes what makes Weird Fiction a genre that is greater than the sum of its parts:

Here, in what is actually our infancy of understanding the world—this era in which we think we are older than we are—it is cathartic to seek out and tell stories that do not seek to reconcile the illogical, the contradictory, and often instinctual way in which human beings perceive the world, but instead accentuate these elements as a way of showing us as we truly are. Unruly. Unruled. Superstitious. Absurd. Subject to a thousand destabilizing fears and hopes.


Want to learn more about Weird Fiction?

The Weird: An Introduction – Weird Fiction Review

Weird Fiction – Goodreads

A Beginner’s Guide to the New Weird Genre – Book Riot

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Juliette H. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/weird-but-true-this-lesser-known-fiction-genre-is-making-a-comeback.

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Top 5 Reasons to Join a Writing Group

Aspiring writers often have a lot of questions and may not know how to get the answers. Is my work any good? How can I promote my work? Are there any local outlets for writers? How do I get published? Joining a writing group can often help with questions like these and many more. Here are a few of the reasons and/or benefits of joining a writing group:

1. Encouragement

While it’s relatively easy to put off writing when you’re on your own, it’s less likely to happen if you’re meeting with a writing group regularly. After all, what will you share if you haven’t been working on something?

2. Guidance

There’s bound to be at least a few experienced writers in your group that can share their wisdom and provide support.

3. Inspiration

Reading and listening to a variety of work can lead to unique story ideas.

4. Feedback

A good writing group provides useful feedback designed to help you improve your craft.

5. Networking

Public performances, collaboration, and publishing opportunities are just a few of the added benefits.

If you would like to join a local writing group, we have a list for you:

Northwest Ohio Writing Groups

Frogtown Storytelling Guild

Description:
Are you a storyteller? Do you want to become a storyteller? Do you want to improve your storytelling skills? Do you just like to listen to storytellers? Then come to our monthly meetings to share a story or simply to listen. Open to budding storytellers, professional storytellers, natural-born storytellers, and shy storytellers (i.e., people who’d rather listen to storytellers than tell a story).To Join: Come to our monthly meetings to share a story or simply to listen. Open to budding storytellers, professional storytellers, natural-born storytellers, and shy storytellers (i.e., people who’d rather listen to storytellers than tell a story).

Meetings:
When:
2nd Saturday of the month, 9-11 a.m.
Where: Reynolds Corners Branch Library, 4833 Dorr Street Toledo, Ohio 43615

Contact: 
Facebook

Madd Poets Society

Description: 
The Madd Poets Society, Inc. was founded in December of 1999. MADD is an acronym and it best describes what this organization is all about: “Making A Direct Difference.”Contact: Fill out their contact form online.
Address: 3806 Driftwood, Toledo, OH 43614
Phone: (419) 509-6776
Founder: David Bush, Email
Facebook
Maumee Valley Romance Writers of America

Description:
Maumee Valley Romance Authors, Inc. is a local writing group of romance authors in the Toledo, Ohio area. They meet once a month to talk, share, and learn from one another about building a career writing romance novels. Their purpose is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy, dissemination of information, professional education, publications, and other related activities, and to provide continuing support for writers within the romance publishing industry.

To Join
Any persons, eighteen or older, seriously persuing a writing career in romance or other fiction genres are welcome to join Maumee Valley Romance Authors, Inc. To join, please send an email to submit your membership application, or simply visit their next meeting for more details. Guests may attend two meetings before being required to join the group. Membership fees apply.

Meetings:

Where: Toledo-Lucas County Public Library – various branches
When: The last Saturday of the month, 10 a.m.-noon.
Check their website for meeting details as the times and locations may vary.

Contact: 
Email
New Works Writers Series

About: New Works Writers Series (New Works), is a not for profit 501c3 organization, founded December 1989, by Imelda Hunt, to provide an arena for showcasing local area writers, poets, musicians and actors.

Contact:
Fill out contact form online.
Address: 1548 Glenton Drive, Toledo, OH 43614
Phone: (419) 380-8464
Email
Northwest Ohio Writer’s Forum

Description: Our meetings are always free and open to the public. If you’ve ever thought about making a living as a writer or if you like to write just to see what’s going to happen, please drop in to our meetings. You’ll find a creative, supportive environment.

Meetings:
When:
September 16th, 2017 from 10am to 12 pm
Where: Reynolds Corners Branch Library, 4833 Dorr St, Toledo, OH 43615Contact: 
Fill out their contact form online.
Email
Facebook
Point Place Writer’s Group

Description: Join us for ideas and encouragement. It doesn’t matter if you’re an old hand, or just getting started. If you’d like, bring 10 copies of a short writing sample to share. New attendees are welcome. See you there!Meetings:
When: Second Saturday of the Month, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Where: Point Place Library, 2727 117th Street, Toledo, Ohio 43611
Toledo Writer’s Workshop

Description:
 We are a group of eclectic writers who get together to share our work, brainstorm ideas, and offer input on each other’s work. Many of us are serious aspiring writers, but some simply write as a hobby. We have no requirements on what we review: fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and memoirs are a few examples.

Meetings:
When:
Tuesdays, 7-10 pm
Where: Bigby Coffee, 4031 N McCord Rd, Sylvania, OHContact:
Chris or Sarah
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Writing Group Resources – Books

Writing Alone, Writing Together: A Guide for Writers and Writing Groups by Judy Reeves
The Writing group book : creating and sustaining a successful writing group / edited by Lisa Rosenthal
Write Every Day: A Year of Daily Writing Prompts by J.M. Snyder
A Writer's Book Of Days: A Spirited Companion and Lively Muse for the Writing Life by Judy Reeves
Get Lit Rising: Words ignite. Claim your poem. Claim your life. / Diane Luby Lane and the Get Lit Players

Online Resources for Writers and Writing Groups

Want to Join a Writing Group? 8 Places to Look – The Write Life

20 Facebook Groups for Writers You Don’t Want to Miss – The Write Life

List of Writing Groups by State or Region – Writer’s Relief

The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups – Jane Friedman

Writing Groups 101 – Inked Voices

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/top-5-reasons-to-join-a-writing-group.

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