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Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Writer’s Block

Creativity or creative inspiration may hit all at once or not at all for some writers. Those moments of nothingness are annoying, because they bring all creative projects to a halt, especially when they’re for school or cover topics that aren’t all that interesting. Writer’s block is one of the biggest problems that writers run into, both amateur and professional.

The library is a writer’s best resource, because there’s something for every type of writer. Poets – check out Writing Poetry from the Inside Out by Sandford Lyne if you’re looking for proper formations. If you’re interested in writing a memoir or an autobiography, try Write Your Life Story by Michael Oke. Struggling with ideas? Look into the Story Starter online for randomly generated writing prompts or even Fred D. White’s Where do you get your ideas? to find a concept and bring it to fruition. Just Write by James Scott Bell is another good one for fiction writers. And Writer’s Digest is a great website and magazine that’s highly recommended for general advice from experienced authors. Finally, don’t forget about the mechanics (i.e., grammar and citations). If you would like to become a grammar guru, definitely search for the Owl online for writing those pesky, exhausting college papers or William Strunk’s The Elements of Style.

Mess of Typewriter Ribbon - flickr
Photo by Julie Rybarczyk (flickr, some rights reserved).

While people may offer pseudointellectual advice on the subject – the best thing to do is tell yourself writer’s block doesn’t exist – it’s a mental construct. It’s difficult to avoid criticizing your own work, often hating it immediately after it’s written. However, if you just write whatever comes to mind, you’ll give yourself ideas to branch out from. For example, go outside when you feel like all of your creativity has dried up. Note every single thing that nature provides – like the birds flying overhead or the specific tangerine shade of the sky. Write everything and anything you see, think, and hear. Don’t pay attention to whether or not people will like what you write, just write what you would want to read. Try using the resources available to you, and remember, keep on writing, no matter what.

Books on Writing

The Elements of style / by William Strunk Jr. ; with revisions, an introduction, and a chapter on writing by E.B. White ; [foreword by Roger Angell]
Write your life story : how to organize and record your memories for family and friends to enjoy / Michael Oke
Around the writer's block : using brain science to solve writer's resistance / Rosanne Bane
Where do you get your ideas? : a writer's guide to transforming notions into narratives / Fred White
Just write : creating unforgettable fiction and a rewarding writing life / James Scott Bell

Writing Resources From the Web

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Story Starter

Writer’s Digest

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Street Photography: Just Point the Camera & Shoot!

This isn’t Humans of New York, it’s humans of the world. People living every minute of a clock’s tick, a step above the law, a season below the weather. In the spirit of the inner-city or among the glass homes of suburbia. In a way that feels right to them and un-casual to us while becoming the collective character that encompasses the make-up of being alive.

Street photographers are documenters of urban and rural society. They travel the world with wandering eyes and intrusive cameras but are not looking for family photos per se. They’re looking for families of happenstance. Gathering an unending collection of moments that slip into eras not thought to be definitive in their time. They capture style, labor, crisis, monotony, color. The act of migration and what it means to look under America’s rug. The type of person that freezes life on the street isn’t looking to exploit the individual, he is looking to tell a truth.

I want to introduce you to a few people I admire. Folks that have been as influential in death as they were alive and folks that are still kicking and moving forward with their craft. Within my choices are both film and photobooks.

Everybody Street - documentary film directed by Cheryl Dunn
Subway art by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant
Finding Vivian Maier - documentary film written and directed by John Maloof & Charlie Siskel
Back in the Days - Photographs by Jamel Shabazz

Everybody Street, a film by Cheryl Dunn, capitalizes on what raw dedication to craft looks like. Every photographer mentioned is worth researching for pleasure. They fetishize about the film negative, argue about going digital and keep their cameras aimed at life even with risk of attack. It is also one of the last documented videos of Mary Ellen Mark before passing away in 2015. A notable mention goes to Martha Cooper, a legend in the graffiti world. All in all, this film is an excellent introduction to the craft.

Jim Goldberg’s Raised by Wolves chronicles runaways in the same way Mary Ellen Mark documents the life of adult-children in the film and book Streetwise. However, the look and feel of the content present is different: Raised by wolves reads more like a literary scrapbook of waywardness and Streetwise is the book you hand to children when they haven’t a clue about life. If I were to extract a tale from the collective pieces it would be that fragility is a child without a home for understanding. From San Francisco, California to Seattle, Washington we’re given content that represents a slice of youth most of us are fortunate to grow out of.

Vivian Maier will forever remain an enigma. What drove her to shoot to the degree that she did is lost thanks to her discovery posthumously, yet her name is ever growing. The exposure she receives in print and on screen is further magnified in person via the Howard Greenberg Gallery Of New York. For anyone that has watched or plans to watch Finding Vivian Maier, I promise her story will latch onto a branch of you mind. My favorite release of her work is Vivian Maier: A photographer found.

Garry Winogrand’s The Man in the Crowd is a photographic collage of thirty plus years on the street. A man whose nature defined street photography in New York, Winograd died too young and, like Vivian Maier, his unprocessed work was left to our eyes for interpretation, respect and use as a teaching tool for progression.

When I think about Bruce Davidson ‘s Subway I have to agree with Pete Rock who said, “I guess time’s changed since the subway train”. This book is a throwback to trains and its commuters of late 1970’s early 80 New York. The graffiti hand-styles, the eruption of B-Boy and punk trends, new wave and the end of disco are captured along with the grease and grit of people. While the subway photo reached normalcy in the digital world of today, you can’t replicate a time before the Reagan era and Broken Windows. Andre Wagner has recently released a book of black and white photos, Here for the Ride, that covers a three year period spent on the New York transit line. While I won’t compare the two I will suggest the ownership of both as they are staples of time.

Jamel Shabazz. Everything he captures should be studied by fashion students looking into yesteryears for support. His work, while not as candid as earlier mentions, Back in the Days is the nostalgic piece you flip through while waiting for dinner. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or how far removed from the past you might be, this book is worth time spent.

WeeGee. If you’ve seen the film Nightcrawler then you’ve watched inspiration unfold. Weegee was the guy who never needed rules. He saw an opportunity, took it by the reins and didn’t wait for society’s approval of his craft. He chased scenes of trauma mostly at night. He knew what made a story important and what it meant to reveal what was once private in higher society.  Check out Naked City and Weegee’s World for content that changed the way we approach news.

I could not and should not finish this piece without mention of Bresson. Henri Catier-Bresson was the godfather of street photography and the decisive moment himself. The teacher of composition through the viewfinder and from the hip. So much is attributed to him. Henri Cartier Bresson: a biography is an in-depth look at his history and theory. Whelp, it’s time for the shameless plug: I myself am an urban documentarian. When time allows, I spend anywhere from three to ten hours walking the streets of Toledo, Chicago, New York City and Detroit. I share the same desires as the people mentioned and am willing to do just as much as they would to get the shot. Dedication can alienate you. It can separate you from simple things like family and friendship in the off chance you may miss a shot. I applaud anyone that takes this field head on as it isn’t pretty. Photoshop has no place nor does a weak heart. You’re as exposed as the people you capture and if you can’t respect that then you shouldn’t shoot on the street.

Street Photograpy: Books on Technique

 

Street Photography - Creative Vision Behind the Lens by Valerie Jardin
Street photography : the art of capturing the candid moment by Gordon Lewis
The Street Photographer's Manual by David Gibson
Travel and street photography : from snapshots to great shots / John Batdorff

Featured image credit: “Life in Nuclear Activity” by James Dickerson. All rights reserved. © 2016.

Originally posted at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/just-point-the-camera-and-shoot by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger James D.

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Reading is My Business, And Business is Good!

There are so many great business and leadership books out recently that appeal to even the most un-business-y readers! Take a look…

Business, Entrepreneurship and Industry

Valley of genius : the uncensored history of Silicon Valley, as told by the hackers, founders, and freaks who made it boom / Adam Fisher
Wisdom @ work : the making of a modern elder / Chip Conley
Fins : Harley Earl, the rise of General Motors, and the glory days of Detroit / William Knoedelseder

Valley of Genius: the Uncensored History of Silicon Valley, as Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made it Boom by Adam Fisher

Lively, fascinating, and educational, sometimes a book sneaks up on readers, prompting us to realize that its topic is a lot more interesting than we might have thought. This is an oral history of Silicon Valley and the rock-star legends in the industry, told by the people who were there from the beginning.

Wisdom at Work: the Making of a Modern Elder by Chip Conley

Experience is making a comeback. At age 52, newly retired hotelier CEO Chip Conley received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their start-up into a global hospitality giant. He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. Roughly twice the age of the average Airbnb employee and reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son, Conley quickly discovered that while he’d been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner’s mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the “Modern Elder.”

Fins: Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit by William Knoedelseder

Chronicles the birth and rise to greatness of the American auto industry through the remarkable life of Harley Earl, an eccentric six-foot-five, stuttering visionary who dropped out of college and went on to invent the profession of automobile styling, thereby revolutionized the way cars were made, marketed, and even imagined. His impact was profound. When he retired as GM’s VP of Styling in 1958, Detroit reigned as the manufacturing capitol of the world and General Motors ranked as the most successful company in the history of business.

Billion dollar whale : the man who fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the world / Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
Dear founder : letters of advice for anyone who leads, manages, or wants to start a business / Maynard Webb
Crashed : how a decade of financial crises changed the world / Adam Tooze

Billion Dollar Whale: the Man Who Fooled Wall Street, Hollywood, and the World by Bradley Hope and Tom Wright

True-story thriller about a man who managed to swindle over $5 billion with the aid of Goldman Sachs and others that exposes the secret nexus of elite wealth, banking, Hollywood, and politics from two award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters. In 2009, with the dust yet to settle on the housing bubble financial crisis, a seemingly mild-mannered Wharton grad began setting in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude–one that would come to symbolize the next great threat to the global financial system. An epic true-tale of hubris and greed, Billion Dollar Whale reveals how this young social climber pulled off one of the biggest heists in history–right under the nose of the global financial industry.

Dear Founder: Letters of Advice for Anyone Who Leads, Manages, or Wants to Start a Business by Maynard Webb

Wise, practical, and profitable letters to entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, and business owners in every field—from a leading executive, investor, and business founder. More than 600,000 new businesses are launched each year. How does an entrepreneur build and manage a workplace—and create a lasting legacy? Maynard Webb has helped found, fund, and grow dozens of successful companies, and has driven strategic change at Salesforce, eBay, Everwise, and Visa, among other worldwide corporations. Known for offering savvy insight, encouragement, and a dose of reality in the form of engaging personal letters to a select group of business leaders, Webb now shares his lessons with the rest of America’s aspiring entrepreneurs—at any age and stage in their careers.

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crisis Changed the World by Adam Tooze

From a prizewinning economic historian, an eye-opening reinterpretation of the 2008 economic crisis (and its ten-year aftermath) as a global event that directly led to the shockwaves being felt around the world today. In September 2008, a dramatic economic cascade of global significance spiraled around the world, from the financial markets of the US and Europe to the factories and dockyards of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, forcing a rearrangement of global governance. It was the greatest crisis to have struck Western societies since the end of the Cold War, but was it inevitable? And is it over? Finally, Tooze asks, given this history, what now are the prospects for a stable, sustainable and coherent world order?

Cousins Maine Lobster : how one food truck became a multimillion-dollar business / Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac ; with Blake D. Dvorak ; foreword by Barbara Corcoran
The gambler : how penniless dropout Kirk Kerkorian became the greatest deal maker in capitalist history / William C. Rempel
The bonanza king : John Mackay and the battle over the greatest riches in the American West / Gregory Crouch

Cousins Maine Lobster: How One Food Truck Became a Multimillion-Dollar Business by Jim Tselikis and Sabin Lomac

In early 2012, Jim Tselikis visited L.A. and met up with his cousin Sabin Lomac. Over a few drinks they waxed nostalgic about their childhood in Maine, surrounded by family, often elbow deep in delicious lobster while gathered around the picnic table. From this strong memory was born the very first Cousins Maine Lobster food truck. Smart, authentic marketing, and sustainable, delicious ingredients helped turn that one food truck into an overnight sensation. Then, in just three years, they went from a single food truck to a nationally-franchised legion of trucks, an online delivery service, and a brick-and-mortar restaurant, grossing over $15 million dollars in sales a year.

Start-up fever has taken hold of America, and there are hundreds of books to teach readers how to become an entrepreneur; this is the first book to answer the question: What’s next? At each step, Jim and Sabin were faced with hard decisions—opening each new food truck carefully instead of rushing to meet the demand; turning down a six-figure franchise offer because it came from someone who didn’t support their vision; turning down “Shark Tank” (twice) until they could insist on participating only if Barbara Corcoran was one of the Sharks. Now Jim and Sabin teach readers how they, too, can reach the next level of success in their own businesses, without having to compromise themselves.

The Gambler: How Penniless Dropout Kirk Kerkorian Became the Greatest Deal Maker in Capitalist History by William C. Rempel

The rags-to-riches story of one of America’s wealthiest and least-known financial giants, self-made billionaire Kirk Kerkorian—the daring aviator, movie mogul, risk-taker, and business tycoon who transformed Las Vegas and Hollywood to become one of the leading financiers in American business. Kerkorian never put his name on a building, but when he died he owned almost every major hotel and casino in Las Vegas. He envisioned and fostered a new industry —the leisure business. Three times he built the biggest resort hotel in the world. Three times he bought and sold the fabled MGM Studios, forever changing the way Hollywood does business.

In this engrossing biography, investigative reporter William C. Rempel digs deep into Kerkorian’s long-guarded history to introduce a man of contradictions—a poorly educated genius for deal-making, an extraordinarily shy man who made the boldest of business ventures, a careful and calculating investor who was willing to bet everything on a single roll of the dice.

The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle Over the Greatest Riches in the American West by Gregory Crouch

Born in 1831, John W. Mackay was a penniless Irish immigrant who went to California during the Gold Rush and mined without much luck for eight years. When he heard of riches found on the other side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1859, Mackay abandoned his claim and walked a hundred miles to the Comstock Lode in Nevada.

Over the course of the next dozen years, Mackay worked his way up from nothing, seizing control of the most concentrated cache of precious metals ever found on earth, the legendary “Big Bonanza,” a stupendously rich body of gold and silver ore discovered 1,500 feet beneath the streets of Virginia City, the ultimate Old West boomtown. But for the ore to be worth anything it had to be found, claimed, and successfully extracted, each step requiring enormous risk and the creation of an entirely new industry.

When Mackay died in 1902, front-page obituaries in Europe and the United States hailed him as one of the most admired Americans of the age. Featuring great period photographs and maps, The Bonanza King is a dazzling tour de force, a riveting history of Virginia City, Nevada, the Comstock Lode, and America itself.


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Looking for an Outstanding, Holiday Appetizer? Create a Charcuterie Board!

With today’s busy schedules, we often choose quick and easy appetizers, like trays of supermarket veggies or chips and dip. If you are like me, this type of snack is sufficient, but not really outstanding. Once, in desperation, I ripped open a gift box of cheese and summer sausage, you know, the one with the little jar of mustard. It was consumed by my guests with appreciation, but served without much fanfare.

Recently, I read about a new gourmet appetizer called “charcuterie,” pronounced “shar-koo-tuh-ree.” Thinking about it a little more, I see that charcuterie is processed meat and cheese, with the distinction of being served on a nice wooden board! I encourage you to do a Google search with the keywords, “charcuterie and Toledo” and you will be surprised to see how many restaurants have charcuterie on their menus. Just so you know, a purist would say that an authentic charcuterie board must be prepared with processed pork products, old world meats like dried ham, sausages, terrines, and pâtés, mortadella, speck and many other mystery meats.

It’s all about appearances!

I truly believe that charcuterie is all about putting a creative spin on what goes on a serving board. For the holidays, I intend to take my charcuterie to a new level. Imagine the cheese board as a blank canvas, one to be adorned with a contrasting arrangement of meats, cheeses, spreads and breads. I am the artist who may roll some meat slices, stack the cheeses into stair steps and accent the creation with tidbits of color and texture. My creation will require a few small dipping bowls, or even some hollowed out green peppers, filled with tasty olives, compotes or spreads. Then, I will add some small plates for guests, some craft beers and wine. Perhaps I will realize an impressive, almost gourmet appetizer? I am the artistic director, one who will build a food masterpiece on a piece of wood.

It’s a culinary masterpiece that won’t break your budget

In keeping with frugality and practicality, I think a person should use whatever meats they can afford, things like summer sausage, hard salami, kielbasa or chorizo. Canadian bacon and prosciutto are pricy choices. Friends from east Toledo will steer you to a local market that makes a favorite Hungarian sausage known as kolbász. Another non-traditional charcuterie could include something like smoked turkey, pastrami or smoked salmon. Venison smoked sausage is a nice choice too if you have access to it. Some folks may skip the meat and go Vegan.

Table with fruit, vegetables and appetizers - photo from PXhere

One money saving strategy is to choose discounted cheese, selecting the one in the gourmet section with the marked down Whoo-Hoo sticker on it. Complex and aromatic, aged cheese does not go bad. Cheese is meant to age. So, a sell by label should not bring on its’ demise. Buy the good stuff before the cheese is forced to walk the green mile. Then, to balance the creation with color and taste, a second bargain cheese, like cheddar, is always on sale in the dairy aisle.

wooden board with a variety of cheeses - photo from PXhere

The meat might possibly be the most expensive component. Again, look for what’s on sale. As a small plate meal or appetizer, four people could easily manage less than a pound of meat. Remember that the meat is rich and your guests will also enjoy cheese, bread and possibly dips. Don’t forget, a crusty bread, cracker or “trencher” is an essential structure for holding these goodies. Spinach or artichoke dips and hummus are good choices to fill out the occasion. Some folks have sophisticated skills at a gourmet level, while others appreciate the simplicity of being a novice. “Cook’s Illustrated” has a fantastic article on how to make the Ultimate Cheeseboard. For the novice chef, I recommend the resources below. There’s also a great article in the October 2018 issue of “Food & Wine,” which offers a great Charcuterie Lover’s Pairing Guide. This magazine and article can be accessed via Flipster, which is one of the eMedia subscription services available to Library cardholders.

Practical, Holiday Delights for the Novice Chef

My favorite cookbooks contain a variety of practical, easy-to-prepare dips, spreads, nibbles and bites for holiday entertaining.

Taste of Home Christmas : 465 recipes for a merry holiday!
Martha Stewart's appetizers : 200 recipes for dips, spreads, nibbles, bites, snacks, starters, small plates from the editors of Martha Stewart Living
Bobby Flay fit : 200 recipes for a healthy lifestyle / Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson
Platters and Boards Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion by Shelly Westerhausen
Dips & Spreads : 46 Gorgeous and Good-for-You Recipes by Dawn Yanagihara
Related Toledo Library blog post:

5 Party Ideas for Mixing Drinks

Vegan Holiday Celebrations

Vegans may prefer a separate board where little lettuce leaves become wraps and cucumber discs dip into delectable spreads. I’ve noticed that some charcuterie boards appear to have the addition of fancy accents. Dijon mustard, Kalamata olives, cranberry compote, raspberry jam, tiny dill pickles, and pepperoncini are great choices for savory, sweet or tangy options. Serve a bit of this on your fancy board and suddenly a few simple ingredients have morphed into a gourmet treat!

Vegan Cookbooks

Quick and easy vegan celebrations : over 150 great-tasting recipes plus festive menus for vegantastic holidays and get-togethers all through the year by Alicia C. Simpson
Vegan holiday kitchen : more than 200 delicious, festive recipes for special occasions / Nava Atlas ; photographs by Susan Voisin
Blissful bites : vegan meals that nourish mind, body, and planet / Christy Morgan
Raw, vegan, not gross : all vegan and mostly raw recipes for people who love to eat / Laura Miller ; photography by David Loftus
Vegan Finger Foods : More Than 100 Crowd-Pleasing Recipes for Bite-Size Eats Everyone Will Love by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes
Related Toledo Library blog post:

Celebrating the Holidays Vegan Style

Palatable resources

The Di Lusso Deli Company offers an excellent online guide, Charcuterie Board 101, for selecting, layering and combining flavors in a traditional manner. Cookbooks which feature charcuterie are fascinating. I have respect for those charcutier or “pork butchers” who are passionate about their craft. Do you have a passion to follow step-by-step instructions for making brined, smoked, cured, skewered, braised, rolled, tied, or stuffed meats at home? Our Library has advanced resources for experienced cooks who can delve into making delicious things from scratch, like fresh cheeses, liver pâté and herbed butters.

Advanced charcuterie resources

The new charcuterie cookbook : exceptional cured meats to make and serve at home / Jamie Bissonnette, chef/owner of Toro NYC, Coppa and Toro Boston, winner of the James Beard Best Chef: Northeast award
From scratch : an introduction to French breads, cheeses, preserves, pickles, charcuterie, condiments, yogurts, sweets, and more / Laurence Laurendon, Gilles Laurendon, Catherine Quevremont, Cathy Ytak
Charcuterie : the craft of salting, smoking, and curing / Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn
In the charcuterie : the Fatted Calf's guide to making sausage, salumi, pates, roasts, confits, and other meaty goods / Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller
Essential Pepin : more than 700 all-time favorites from my life in food / Jacques Pépin

Creating new holiday traditions

Share your charcuterie as a new holiday tradition with your children. Teach kids how to arrange cheeses in Domino layers or show the kids how to stack veggies and fruits on bamboo skewers. Teach the little ones simple kitchen basics. Layering, arranging and stacking food pieces are skills which are ideally suited for little hands. The Library resources listed below all have at least one great dip or finger food for kids to create.

Tidbits for Kids

Look I'm a Cook by DK Publishing
Barbara Beery's pink princess party cookbook
The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen 70 Fun Recipes for You and Your Kids, from the Author of Jewish Cooking in America by Joan Nathan
Eat fresh food : awesome recipes for teen chefs / Rozanne Gold and her all-star team
Betty Crocker Kids Cook
Related Toledo Library blog post:

Kids in the Kitchen

Treasure the moment

This holiday season, I’ll treasure my time with family in the kitchen. I am hoping that our collaborative charcuterie board will become a tempting showpiece, served with pride and artistic satisfaction. Even if my holiday appetizers don’t meet all expectations, I am going to sell it as if I just beat Bobby Flay! A little enthusiasm goes a long way. Remember, it’s all about appearances.

Holiday food traditions and other inspirational stories

Apron anxiety : my messy affairs in and out of the kitchen / Alyssa Shelasky
Wreck the halls : cake wrecks gets "festive" by Jen Yates
Christmas Days : 12 stories and 12 feasts for 12 days / Jeanette Winterson
Festivus The Holiday for the Rest of Us by Allen Salkin, forward by Jerry Stiller
Food : a love story / Jim Gaffigan
Related Toledo Library blog post:

November Thankful Reads

 

Originally posted by Clare T. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/looking-for-an-outstanding-holiday-appetizer-create-a-charcuterie-board

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Two Librarians, Too Many Books: It’s Women’s History Month, Y’all!

In an effort to jazz up the typical readers’ advisory list that us bloggers usually find ourselves writing, we decided sit down and have a conversation as stereotypical librarians who don’t-know-how-to-shut-up-about-books-already. Our hope is that you might find value in the fact that our noses rarely venture more than twelve inches from the page or that maybe our ramblings might aid your book search process, even if just a little.

Please enjoy our first installment of …

Two Librarians, Too Many Books


Allison Fiscus: Hey there, I’m Allison and I’m a librarian and manager of the Maumee Branch and I absolutely hate reading. Kidding. I practically live in a house made of books.

Katie Midgley: Hey! I’m Katie and I’m a former children’s librarian and the current assistant manager of the Sanger Branch and I promise I have more to recommend than true crime.

A: Katie, it’s not nice to lie to our readers when they barely know us.

K: So sorry. It won’t happen again.

A: I make no such promises.

It’s Women’s History Month, y’all! I, for one, can’t think of a worthier topic to chat endlessly about. So in celebration, Katie and I decided to get together to talk about the female authors who have captivated us through the written word and inspired us in our own lives. The following conversation is a lightly-edited-for-clarity transcription of our chat. You ready?

K: Where should we start?


Children’s Lit

A: I’ve always thought that the work of female children’s book authors can be some of the most poignant. When I think of the books that left a lasting effect on me, I usually think of the prolific female authors of my childhood. Judy Blume, Sharon Creech and Beverly Cleary always come to mind, mostly because they really knew how to write a story that found a way to express the particular frustrations of being a kid without venturing into a space that condescends. I’ll never forget finishing “Walk Two Moons” for the first of many times and racing to my mom and INSISTING that she read it.

K: Raina Telgemeier is a modern-day example of that. I love all her stuff, but “Smile” does a great job of capturing what it’s like to be a self-conscious kid trying to find your identity amidst a crisis.

A: Same with Rebecca Stead and in particular the book “When You Reach Me.” I’m convinced that talking about how this is the perfect book for any kid is what landed me my first Children’s Librarian job.

K: Yeah right, it was totally your hair.

A: 90% book, 10% hair. For real though, “When You Reach Me” is a magic book. Short, but full of depth, magical in some respects but also serious. Plus, its emphasis on another of my favorite stories – “A Wrinkle in Time” – practically guarantees that any kid who reads it will want to read that too. Not to mention the story is pure genius. I read it as an adult and it genuinely kept me guessing until the end, so I just know that any kid who reads it will experience one of those magical reading moments that takes your breath away and leaves you in awe.

K: Speaking of authors who write stories that leave you in awe, Katherine Applegate! I love her. I thought she couldn’t get any better after, “The One and Only Ivan,” but then she went and wrote “Wishtree.” It’s told from the perspective of a tree watching over the home of a refugee family new to the neighborhood. She really conquers tough topics in her children’s fiction.

A: I also have to mention the OG author of my childhood, Louisa May Alcott. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read “Little Women” and how mad I get every time a certain decision is made by a certain main character (you know who/what I mean…).

K: Do I? I’ve only seen the movie…I might be the worst librarian ever.

A: That’s my sick day movie! Total classic. I love the way the March sisters always had each other’s backs. I think it’s a story women of all ages can relate to and learn from to this day.

 

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
When you reach me by Rebecca Stead
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Memoirs and Essays

K:  Memoirs are the best. I love being able to crawl into someone’s head for a few hours. Makes me feel like I’ve lived a thousand lives.

A: I love that they make me feel like I’m getting to know someone who I’ve admired from afar.

K: I have to start with “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. Strayed chronicles her time as a 26 year old woman using her grief and problems with addiction as motivation to hike the Pacific Crest Trail on a quest for healing. THE BOOK IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE MOVIE, FYI. No offense to Reese Witherspoon.

A: “Wild” felt to me like a story that was going to be tough to read but that I needed to get through. Required reading for the soul. It was gripping, and moving, and somehow awful and beautiful all at once. I’ve since read Strayed’s “Tiny, Beautiful Things” which is a collection of advice she gave during her time writing the “Dear Sugar” advice column. She’s incredibly wise.

I also need to shout out to the funniest woman of the last century, Tina Fey. This might sound crazy but her memoir “Bossypants” has some of the best career advice I’ve ever read. I’ve used it many times over the years and it never fails.

K: That doesn’t sound crazy, inspiration comes from the most random places. A recent read for me is “Muslim Girl” by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh. I wish her book becomes required reading for high school students everywhere. She describes what it’s like to be Muslim in post 9-11 America and somehow manages to do so with both humor and grace. Total icon!

A:We Should All Be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is number one on my required reading list for teenage girls. Adichie has a way of presenting ideas that are for some reason controversial in a way that seems like simple common sense. I love that she can make light of what she clearly feels passionately about which in turn makes others more understanding of what she’s saying.

K: I’m a big fan of another of her books, “Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.” It’s my go-to gift for every baby shower because it’s a practical outline for how to raise a feminist.

A: I love when she talks about how she went around calling herself a “Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men And Who Likes To Wear Lip Gloss And High Heels For Herself And Not For Men” because every time someone would tell her she shouldn’t or couldn’t do or like something it was because they believed it to be antithetical to feminism. I still laugh every time I read that because it’s so on point with what it’s like to be a female in our world today.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age by Amani Al-Khatahtbeh
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Dear Ijeawele : or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Fiction

A: I’m going to try extremely hard to keep this list limited to my absolute favorites. All 238 of them.

K:  Don’t hate me but I probably only read a handful of adult fiction books a year…

A: Rude.

K: My recent fav is “The First Bad Man” by Miranda July. What if your boss had a moody millennial daughter and you were pressured into letting that daughter move in with you? Crazy right?

A: You can’t move in with me.

K: Weird, you and I are both bosses AND millennial daughters…

A: True, plus I’d let you move in with me in a heartbeat. I could steal all your clothes.

K: You can’t have my boots.

A: Dang…

K: Miranda July is a creative genius and she weaves this bizarre premise into one of my favorite love stories of all time, just be prepared to embrace the weirdness.

A: I have a strang one, too! “Euphoria” by Lily King. It’s actually a Kirkus Prize winner that somehow has flown under the radar. You would love it because it’s (very, very) loosely based on the life of Margaret Mead – with quite a few sensationalized details added in of course.

K: You’re going to be so proud of me…I read my first ever science fiction book. “The Power” by Naomi Alderman.

A: I am proud. Though I’ll be more proud when your reaction to a picture of Princess Leia isn’t “Who’s that again?”

K: Hey, I know about the gold bikini!

A: *Looks to the sky* I’m sorry Carrie Fisher. I’ve failed you.

K: So imagine a world where girls are able to produce electricity from their fingertips at the age of 14 and can transfer this ability with just a touch to any other woman on the planet. Chaos ensues, and a matriarchy emerges. It’s amazing.

A: I’m in.

K: I knew you would be.

A: My sci-fi/fantasy pro-matriarchy book of choice is “Queen of the Tearling” by Erika Johansen. I like to describe it as the politics of “Game of Thrones” mixed up with female empowerment of “The Hunger Games” minus the dominant romance story lines that similar books can’t seem to get away from. Plus, the series features a serious plot-twist that I definitely didn’t see coming.

K: Sounds interesting. I love anything that strays away from typical romance.

A: Don’t worry, I’ll force you to read it soon enough.

K: I swear I need a separate GoodReads list just for your suggestions, dude.

A: Best get on that, Midgley. I have so many amazing books that I want to talk about in this category. I think I should probably just do it lightning-round style.

K: Go.

A: “The Red Garden” by Alice Hoffman for anyone who loves magical realism and historical fiction.

The Tiger’s Wife” by Téa Obreht for an example of a truly original and enthralling story that will keep you guessing through to the end.

The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin for one of the best recent sci-fi reads I have had in a very long time.

Career of Evil” by Robert Galbraith (cough* J.K. Rowling *cough) for all you mystery/detective story lovers who appreciate a great whodunit.

The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova for a truly well-written vampire story.

And last but not least, “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern because outside of Harry Potter, this is my absolute favorite book of all time. For a real treat, listen to the audiobook.

K: You good now?

A: I think so. What’s next?

The First Bad Man: A Novel by Miranda July
Euphoria by Lily King
The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Poetry

K: I’m going to call myself out here. I’d never read a poetry book until Rupi Kaur.

A: The last poetry book I read was by Shel Silverstein and I’m pretty sure that was in the third grade. I don’t think you have any reason to feel shame.

K: Now I’m judging you.

A: Totally fair.

K: A friend recommended Kaur’s first book, “Milk and Honey,” to me and I read all 204 pages on a flight to Texas. When I landed two hours later, I had puffy eyes and I have to assume the entire plane was wondering what in God’s name was wrong with me.

A: People think that of me after a plane ride without the puffy eyes or poetry. I may or may not be a nervous flyer.

K: FLYING IS SAFER THAN DRIVING! Here’s one of my favorites, perfectly appropriate for Women’s History Month:

In the spirit of intl women’s day
A post shared by rupi kaur (@rupikaur_) on Mar 7, 2014 at 1:54pm PST

 

A: That’s a beautiful piece of poetry.

K: Do yourself a favor and sit down with both of her books and absorb them all in one sitting. You’ll feel things.

A: I don’t know – it’s hard to beat the poem that follows “Sister for Sale“… I kid. Shel Silverstein is a treasure.

K: I have one more shout out to give here. Jacqueline Woodson is my literary hero. Force the book “Brown Girl Dreaming” into the hands of any child in your life, please. Poetry isn’t her usual medium but she’ll have you thinking otherwise with this book. She writes about the civil rights movement from her childhood perspective, and it’ll break your heart.

 

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Nonfiction

A: Now let me tell you about my home girl Sarah Vowell.

K: Your home girl?

A: Oh yes. I met her once and told her I loved her and had read everything she’s ever written. We’re best friends now.

K: You’ve met everyone. Remember Gloria Steinem? Still haven’t forgiven you for that.

A: Best day of my life, dude. So Sarah Vowell writes mainly American history books from the perspective of a sarcastic, irreverent, mildly-macabre and above all amusing stance.

K: My mom listens to all her stuff on audio. You’ve heard her voice, right? It’s so original.

A: She’s the voice of Violet Incredible. Her dulcet tones are a staple in my house. She’s openly obsessed with death, too, so you’d love her. Her book “Assassination Vacation” is a road trip of all the prominent locations involved in presidential assassinations. It’s very uplifting.

K: Books about death? You know I can never get enough. One of the best is “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” by Caitlin Doughty. I really want to be friends with this author. She took a job at a crematory in LA in her twenties and this book details her day to day life working with the dead.

A: Wait! I think I know her from her column “Ask a Mortician.”

K: YES. She actually ended up starting her own business which offers an eco-friendly burial option (gotta love California). She also created a YouTube channel where she answers people’s questions about death, which is both informative and hilarious.

Now I need to tell you about “Radium Girls.”

A: You’ve tried this before. I don’t know if I can take it, but give me your best pitch.

K: So, in the early 1920s, one of the chicest jobs a woman could get was painting radium dials. The girls would dip the paintbrush into their mouth after each brushstroke to create a fine tip, so they were ingesting a ton of radium… they’d even paint their teeth with radium before a date so they could have a glowing smile. Anyway, you and I both know this ends disastrously. The book outlines, in HEART WRENCHING DETAIL, the swift decline in health of these women, and the lawsuit that follows. Honestly this story is not for the squeamish. Let me just say you’ll really value your own teeth after reading this.

A: *Touches teeth and cringes* – I think I can say with complete certainty that I’m gonna pass on that one. Have you read “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?”

K: Didn’t they make an HBO special out of this book, with Oprah!?

A: YES. And I will never forgive the various award-givers for not honoring her amazing performance. The story is completely moving and heartbreaking and important. It really puts into perspective the things we take for granted when it comes to medicine and healthcare. And both Henrietta’s story and the way the Lacks family continues to be mistreated by the medical community is really eye-opening.

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Teen

A: So, I don’t particularly love teen fiction as a genre but when I find something I like, I usually really like it.

K: I’ve been challenging myself to read one teen book a week this month. It’s helped me discover some real gems.

A: That’s seriously impressive. I’m averaging about two a year.

K: Well, tell me about one of those…two.

A:Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein. This-book-has-everything! It’s suspenseful and extremely clever and I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down. It’s primarily about the power of female friendship and it takes place in England during WWII. Wein was really thorough about her historical accuracy, too, which was one of the most fascinating aspects for me.

K: I feel like I’m the only person in the world who can’t get into historical fiction.

A: It’s hit or miss for me, but Verity is an extremely good read. I can’t tell you anymore without ruining the story, so you’ll just have to take me at my word. It’s great for book clubs of all ages, too.

K: I recently discovered “Distance From Me to You,” about a girl who defers her college acceptance to hike the Appalachian Trail alone, despite having no experience in the wilderness (FYI: TERRIBLE IDEA.). She meets an endearing guy along the way, and due to some quite stupid decisions on his part, they end up off trail. Teen girls need to read this and realize they don’t need men to accomplish their goals, and that sometimes romance actually weighs you down.

A: PREACH.

K: I also just read and loved “The Hate U Give.” Angie Thomas CLEANED UP at the Youth Media Awards with this book, and rightfully so. The book explores racism and police violence and is a necessary read for any teen exploring the Black Lives Matter movement. They’re also turning this into a movie and the cast is perfection (ISSA RAE!)

 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The Distance from Me to You by Marina Gessner (book)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Graphic Novels

K: Okay, I’m obsessed with graphic novels. They appeal to art lovers as well as story lovers, plus art has the ability to convey emotions that words simply can’t.

A: I couldn’t agree more.

K: I think that a lot of the time when we read we rely on our imaginations for our visual representation of the story, and graphic novels take some of that work away while adding another means of connecting with the author’s perspective. One of my recent favorites is “Honor Girl” by Maggie Thrash, about a girl finding love at summer camp. I recommend this book to every millennial woman looking for a quick summer read. If you’re a child of the 90s, the nostalgia you’ll experience from these pages might have you champing at the bit to be a camp counselor somewhere this summer.

A: I can’t discuss graphic novels without talking about the amazing Marjane Satrapi. Her graphic memoir “Persepolis” taught me more about the culture and conflicts of Iranians than any textbook ever has. Satrapi’s family was deeply involved in the changes that occurred in Iran during her childhood and through her eyes and artistic talent, you really gain insight into what it’s like to grow up in a time of conflict.

K: She also wrote “Embroideries” which has a completely different feel than “Persepolis.”  I love it because it is at its heart an exploration of life as a woman in Iran, but the way it’s presented – through a gossip session with the author’s grandma, mom, and aunts – is totally relatable to any woman who has sat down with a group of females and a bottle of wine on a Friday night. It really made me wish I had a bigger family.

 

Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash
The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Embroideries by Majane Satrapi

A: Alright Midgley, we’ve gone through all the major genres and rambled on for probably far too long. Do you think anyone is still here?

K: Probably just my mom.

A: Hi Katie’s Mom! Thanks for reading! If you (or any other devoted blog readers) want more recommendations like these, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can also get personalized recommendations from a TLCPL librarian from our Give 3, Get 3 service.

K: We’ll also be back soon with our next installment of Two Librarians, Too Many Books where we’ll talk about our favorite summer reads. Be sure to subscribe to the blog emails before you run off to read all the books we’ve listed if you don’t want to miss it.

A: Thanks, everyone! Happy Women’s History Month!


Read more by Allison and Katie.


Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Allison F. at:

ToledoLibrary.org/blog/Two-librarians-too-many-books-its-womens-history-month-yall

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Great Summer Reads at the Toledo Library!

Top Librarian Secret:

Best-sellers are SOOO overrated! There are tons of wonderful “mid-list” titles out there that are just waiting to be discovered.

Check these out for some great summer reading options:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Lost Empress : A Novel by Sergio De La Pava
Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce
The Lido by Libby Page
The Elizas : A Novel by Sara Shepard

The Kiss Quotient” by Helen Hoang

This is the perfect summer romance novel, with a sunny California setting and an awkward, tender, and utterly sweet romance between its protagonists. Autistic econometrician Stella and vivacious escort Michael are a very unlikely pair, but when she hires him to teach her how to have a relationship, they’re both astonished to develop a powerful personal connection. Michael’s gentle kindness with anxious, wary Stella will melt any reader’s heart.

Lost Empress” by Sergio De La Pava

A madcap, football-obsessed tale of crossed destinies and criminal plots gone awry, this novel cleverly weaves together a sports drama and a crime story, starring a manipulative mastermind, all told in a style that might best be described as a series of trick plays, fictional feints, and philosophical asides.

Dear Mrs. Bird” by A.J. Pearce

An irresistible debut set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist— a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.”

The Lido” by Libby Page

In the tradition of Fredrik Backman’s “A Man Called Ove,” “The Lido” is a charming, feel-good novel that follows two women at the opposite ends of life bonding over the closure of a beloved local pool —an irresistible tale of love, loss, aging, and friendship.

The Elizas” by Sara Shepard

Unable to convince anyone that she was pushed before she was rescued from the bottom of a hotel pool, a rising author struggling with depression and memory loss begins to question her sanity as elements from her debut novel mix up with events in her real life. By the best-selling author of “Pretty Little Liars.”


Don’t see what appeals to you here?

Try out our Give 3 Give 3 service for personalized suggestions.

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How to Write a Novel in a Month

NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, began in 1999 and takes place each November challenging writers to complete a novel in 30 days. The novel must include at least 50,000 words, which amounts to producing about 1,667 per day for a month.

You may be wondering – Is it even possible to write a novel in 30 days? According to NaNoWriMo hundreds of novels have been traditionally published including Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and Cinder by Marissa Meyer to name a few.

NaNoWriMo Mission Statement:

We believe in the transformational power of creativity. We provide the structure, community and encouragement to help people find their voices, achieve creative goals and build new worlds—on and off the page.

While November may be months away, we hope you’ll start thinking about writing now, find inspiration, read more about NaNoWriMo, check out some of our novel writing resources and hatch a plan to make your next novel a reality.

Novel Writing Resources

 

The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing: Everything You Need to Know to Create and Sell Your Work from the Editors of Writer's Digest (3rd edition)
Bring Your Fiction to Life: Crafting Three-Dimensional Stories with Depth and Complexity by Karen S. Wiesner
Fast Fiction: A Guide to Outlining and Writing a First-Draft Novel in Thirty Days by Denise Jaden
Write Your Novel in a Month: How to Complete a First Draft in 30 Days and What to do Next by Jeff Gerke
Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and live to tell about it) by Rochelle Melander
The Writer's Compass: From Story Map to Finished Draft in 7 Stages by Nancy Ellen Dodd
Troubleshooting Your Novel by Steven James
How to Write a Book Proposal: The Insider's Step-by-Step Guide to Proposals that Get You Published by Jody Rein and Michael Larsen
Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
Writing Your Novel From Start to Finish: A Guidebook for the Journey by Joseph Bates

Writing Tips – Articles

How to Write the First Draft of a Novel in 30 Days – The Guardian

5 Steps to Writing a Novel in 30 Days – Grammarly

20 Ways to Write a Book in 30 Days – Inc.

30 Tips for Writing a Book in 30 Days – Writer’s Digest

Writing a Novel in a Month: Is it Possible and Should You Try? – NY Book Editors

How to Finish Writing a Novel in 30 Days – Bustle


If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also like …

Writers on Writing: Tips for Aspiring Writers

5 Tips to Improve Your Writing Skills

Top 5 Reasons to Join a Writing Group

Memoir Writing Resources

Learn How to Publish a Book

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/how-to-write-a-novel-in-a-month

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Halloween Costumes, Crafts, Cookies & More!

We have many titles with oodles of great ideas for a spookily festive holiday. Everything from creating your own unique costume to creative holiday treats. Get creative and have fun with the help of your local library!

Costumes

1000 incredible costume & cosplay ideas : a showcase of creative characters from anime, manga, video games, movies, comics, and more! / Yaya Han, Allison DeBlasio & Joey Marsocci a.k.a. Dr. Grymm

1000 Incredible Costume & Cosplay Ideas: A Showcase of Creative Characters from Anime, Manga, Video Games, Movies, Comics and More by Yaya Han, Allison DeBlasio, and Joey Marsocci (a.k.a. Dr. Grymm)

Provides a broad and detailed glimpse into the ingenious artistry and attention to detail behind some of the most fabulous costumes you can find.

 

Duct tape costumes / by Carolyn Bernhardt

Duct Tape Costumes by Carolyn Bernhardt

Easy to follow step-by-step guide on creating costumes using duct tape.

 

The hero's closet : sewing for cosplay and costuming / Gillian Conahan

The Hero’s Closet: Sewing for Cosplay and Costuming by Gillian Conahan

A skilled crafter and avid cosplayer presents a DIY guide to creating unique and fantastical homemade costumes that provides an abundance of inspiration, technical tips and advice on pattern selection, alterations, fabrics and more for creating an awesome costume.

 

Crafts

Glitterville's handmade Halloween : a glittered guide for whimsical crafting / Stephen Brown

Glitterville’s Handmade Halloween by Stephen Brown

Celebrate the season of costumes and candy with Glitterville’s guide to creating a wondrously wacky and whimsical holiday! This title is also available as an eBook.

Treats

Halloween treats : simply spooky recipes for ghoulish sweet treats / with recipes by Annie Rigg

Halloween Treats: Simply Spooky Recipes for Ghoulish Sweet Treats with recipes by Annie Rigg

There’s nothing more exciting for them than hosting their own Halloween party, complete with ghoulish sweet treats. In this spooky new book, queen of cakes, Annie Rigg, turns her hand to simple, cute and creepy cakes, cookies and other edible sweet treats to delight any Halloween-loving child.

 

If you’re looking for more great books on the topics featured in this blog post, search the library catalog using the following keywords:

  • Halloween cooking
  • Halloween costumes
  • Halloween decorations
  • Handicraft
  • Holiday cooking
  • Holiday crafts
  • Cosplay
  • Costume design
  • Sewing

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Amy H. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/just-in-time-for-halloween-costumes-cosplay-crafts-and-cookies.

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13 Fun and Entertaining Picture Books Your Preschooler Will Adore
Picture Book Month - A Celebration!

Did you know November is Picture Book Month?

Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November. Join the celebration by reading a variety of picture books to the children in your life. Encourage a love of reading and support early literacy in the process.


November is Picture Book Month | What is a Picture Book? by Katie Davis – YouTube


If you’re looking for some great books to read to your child, check out the books below. Some of them (not all) are from our 101 Picture Book Challenge, which is designed to provide all children with a strong foundation of words, reading and stories to build literacy. We picked 101 of our favorite picture books and we want you to read them, too. Our list includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

Fun Picture Books to Read to Your Preschooler

These fun and entertaining picture books will definitely induce giggles in your preschooler. And don’t be surprised if they ask you to read them multiple times.

Frog on a log? / Kes Gray and Jim Field
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont
If you're groovy and you know it, hug a friend! / story and performance by Eric Litwin ; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Rhyming dust bunnies / [text and illustrations by Jan Thomas]

1. Frog on a Log? by Kes Gray and Jim Field

In rhyming text, cat explains why frog has to sit on a log, even if he finds it uncomfortable.

2. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont

In the rhythm of a familiar folk song, a child cannot resist adding one more dab of paint in surprising places.

3. If You’re Groovy and You Know It, Hug a Friend! by Eric Litwin

Set to the rhythm of the classic children’s song, Groovy Joe invites the reader to laugh, sing, explore, and best of all, hug a friend.

4. Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas

As three dust bunnies, Ed, Ned, and Ted, are demonstrating how much they love to rhyme, a fourth, Bob, is trying to warn them of approaching danger.

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss
Me and Annie McPhee by Oliver Dunrea
Nothing rhymes with orange / Adam Rex
Billy Bloo is stuck in goo / by Jennifer Hamburg ; illustrated by Ross Burach

5. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss

Kids will love this noise-filled classic from the one and only Dr. Seuss! Mr. Brown is a sound-making wonder! Encouraging imaginative play while learning to read, “Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?” will keep kids laughing. Combining brief and funny stories, easy words, catchy rhythm, and lively illustrations, Bright and Early Books are an ideal way to introduce the joys of reading to children.

6. Me and Annie McPhee by Olivier Dunrea

In this cumulative rhyme, a tiny island in the middle of the sea “just big enough for me and Annie McPhee,” rapidly becomes very crowded with increasingly larger groups of animals.

7. Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex

All the fruits gather together and enjoy a rhyming party, but poor Orange feels left out because he does not rhyme with anything–until Apple invents a new word.

8. Billy Bloo is Stuck in Goo by Jennifer Hamburg

Told in rhyme, a parade of characters tries to help Billy Bloo free himself from the goo, but only manages to get trapped in the goo instead.

Pigs by Robert Munsch
Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins
Ah-Choo! by Lana Wayne Koehler & Gloria G. Adams ; illustrations by Ken Min
The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Rhyme crime / John Burgerman

9. Pigs by Robert Munsch

Megan is told to feed the pigs, but not to open the gate. She does of course, and the results are hilarious as the pigs help themselves to coffee and the newspaper at the breakfast table, follow Megan to school, and ride home by way of the school bus. The Overdrive Read version is especially entertaining.

10. Be Quiet! by Ryan T. Higgins

Rupert the mouse wants to star in an artistic, wordless picture book, but his animal friends cause problems by talking too much.

11. Ah-Choo! by Lana Wayne Koehler & Gloria G. Adams

When a young boy decides to get a pet, he discovers it’s not as simple as ABC. Every animal he brings home makes his poor sister sneeze! Follow along on a funny, furry adventure that features animals of every size and stripe, from Antelopes and Bobolinks to Yaffles and Zebras!

12. The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

The Emmy Award-winning actor best known for his performances in The Office presents a silly read-aloud book that combines a deliberately image-free format with wacky nonsense text, goofy song lyrics and more. The Overdrive Read version is fun for all ages.

13. Rhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman

A thief wreaks havoc by switching things out for rhyming counterparts, until he’s stumped by an unrhymable word.

Resources for Parents, Teachers and Caregivers of Young Children

Ready to Read – TLCPL

Why Picture Books Are Important by Mo Willems

Picture Book Month – National Education Association (NEA)

14 Laugh-Out-Loud Picture Books for Little Kids by Iva-Marie Palmer – Brightly

The 50 Best Books For Preschoolers – Early Childhood Education Zone

Reading Tips for Parents of Preschoolers by Reading Rockets

 

Originally posted by April S. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/13-fun-and-entertaining-picture-books-your-preschooler-will-adore

 

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