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Toledo Lucas County Public Library

TV Series for Fans of Stranger Things

Did you experiment with Stranger Things for your first taste of sci-fi/fantasy? If you loved Stranger Things, explore a little more with these supernatural television series, which combine the unexplainable with complex characters. This mix makes them a little strange, a little mysterious, and a lot of fun!

If you like Stranger Things, you may also enjoy these TV shows

American Gods - television series

American Gods (2017-, active series)

When Shadow Moon is released from prison, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and a storm begins to brew. Little does Shadow know, this storm will change the course of his entire life. Left adrift by the recent, tragic death of his wife, and suddenly hired as Mr. Wednesday’s bodyguard, Shadow finds himself in the center of a world that he struggles to understand. It’s a hidden world where magic is real, where the Old Gods fear both irrelevance and the growing power of the New Gods. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman.

Penny Dreadful - television program

Penny Dreadful (2014-2016, 3 seasons)

An erotically charged, profoundly unsettling new saga that completely reinvents literature’s most iconic and terrifying characters. Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein, and timeless figures from Dracula join a core of original characters in a dark and brutal quest to save a soul, even as they grapple with their own monstrous temptations.

The Leftovers - television program

The Leftovers (2014-, active series)

Two percent of the world’s population has disappeared. Was it the Rapture? A mass murder? Cult suicides? Aliens? The series follows Kevin Garvey, police chief and father of two in Mapletown, New York, three years after the mysterious event. As Garvey struggles to grieve for his losses, rebuild his life, and regain a sense of normalcy within the community, the world around him grows ever stranger.

Fortitude - television program

Fortitude (2015-, active series)

Citizens living in Fortitude, an Arctic town hailed as the safest place on Earth, are rocked to the core by the murder of one of their own. A detective is quickly flown in from out-of-town to assist the local Chief of Police with the investigation of the town’s first-ever violent crime and the two men must work together despite the deep mistrust each has for the other.

Supernatural - television series created by Eric Kripke

Supernatural (2005-, active series)

Sam Winchester grew up hunting creepy, demented, unexplainable, unearthly and terrifying things. But law school, safety and normalcy beckon him until Sam’s estranged brother appears with troubling news: their father, a man who’s been hunting evil for 22 years, has disappeared. So now, to find him, the brothers must hunt what their father hunts and Sam must return to the life he thought he’d left behind.

Outlander - television series

Outlander (2014-, active series)

Claire Randall is a married combat nurse from 1945 who is mysteriously swept back in time to 1743. She is immediately thrown into an unknown world where her life is threatened. When she is forced to marry a chivalrous and romantic young Scottish warrior, a passionate affair is ignited that tears Claire’s heart between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Lost - Television series

Lost (2004-2010, 6 seasons)

Stranded on an island that holds many secrets, 48 people must band together if they hope to get home alive.

Orphan Black - BBC Television series

Orphan Black (2013-2017, 5 seasons)

Sarah is on the run from a bad relationship when a lookalike stranger commits suicide right in front of her. Sarah sees a solution to all her problems by assuming the dead woman’s identity and clearing out her bank account. Instead, she stumbles into a thriller mystery, and uncovers an earth-shattering secret: she is a clone. She learns there are more like her, genetically identical individuals, nurtured in wildly different circumstances, and someone is trying to kill them off, one by one.

Did you know?

As a Toledo Lucas County Public Library cardholder you have access to many more resources than you may think. We participate in a library consortium that allows our customers to request items available throughout the state. To request these items, they must be available in the catalog. Ask a librarian for more information.


Featured Image Credit: Stranger Things logo by Lowtrucks (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons license).

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Take the 101 Picture Book Challenge

The 101 Picture Book Challenge is here! We’ve chosen 101 Picture Books and we want you to read them, too! The Challenge is for anyone at any age. Librarians chose the list which includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

How Do You Take the 101 Picture Book Challenge?

To get started, register online. You can track your progress online or if you prefer a paper log booklet, pick one up at your neighborhood Library. The books are organized into categories but you can read the books in any order and at your own pace. When you read all 101 titles, you earn a free picture book (while supplies last).

Favorite Book on the 101 Picture Book Challenge List

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer

My favorite book on the list is “Bark, George,” written and illustrated by Jules Feiffer. The book is hilarious and has been a favorite for years! I absolutely love sharing this book with kids – probably because I get to ‘moo,’ ‘meow’ and ‘bark’ with glee. Published in the late ’90s, this beloved new classic is a perfect title for the challenge.

Also available in Read-Along Audio [Book on CD]DVDeAudio and eVideo.

Reading Beyond The 101 Picture Book List

If you like the humor in “Bark, George” by Jules Feiffer , you may also like …

Petra by Marianna Coppo - picture book

Petra” by Marianna Coppo

A little rock who believes she is a mountain has her perspective changed by a series of movements, including a dog playing fetch, a bird’s nest, a pond, and a little girl.

A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker - picture book

A Visitor for Bear” by Bonny Becker

Bear is quite sure he doesn’t like visitors. He even has a sign. So when a mouse taps on his door one day, Bear tells him to leave. But when Bear goes to the cupboard to get a bowl, there is the mouse — small and gray and bright-eyed. In this slapstick tale that begs to be read aloud, all Bear wants is to eat his breakfast in peace, but the mouse — who keeps popping up in the most unexpected places — just won’t go away!

It’s a Tiger by David LaRochelle - picture book

It’s a Tiger” by David LaRochelle

Kids and parents alike will rejoice in this lively read-aloud picture book, as the main character runs into (and away from) a tiger over and over again as the plot gets sillier and sillier.

Also available in Audio [Book on CD] and eBook.

Marigold Bakes a Cake by Mike Malbrough - picture book

Marigold Bakes a Cake” by Mike Malbrough

Marigold the cat likes everything just so, but when he sets out to bake a perfect cake one Monday, he is interrupted by one finch, two pigeons and three loons.


This is the latest in a series of blog posts exploring some of the things we love about these books.

Looking for reading, listening and viewing suggestions beyond the 101 Picture Book Challenge? We can help! Just visit us online and fill out a short form. That’s all it takes to receive personalized recommendations from our knowledgeable staff.

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Cindy V. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/take-the-101-picture-book-challenge-today.

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The Steinem Sisters Collection: Feminism at Toledo Library!

An exciting new collection is available at the Toledo Library!

Introducing – The Steinem Sisters Collection:

Ms. Cover featuring Gloria Steinem

In December 2017, the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) began working with the Steinem’s Sisters Collective to acquire their lending library when their previous home, the People Called Women Bookstore, changed ownership. The Steinem’s Sisters Collective Lending Library was formed in 2014. It was established to honor Gloria Steinem in her hometown and fill an information and community need. The collection includes a wide variety of feminist resources designed to sustain feminist thought, values, and culture by inspiring learning, spreading knowledge, and strengthening the local feminist community.

Housed in the Humanities Department at the Main Library, The Steinem Sisters Collection celebrates the lives and achievements of women; champions their historical, cultural and political contributions; and strives to provide a welcoming space for women of all walks of life to share their truths. The types of materials we collect are first and foremost “feminist materials” – which are those materials that uphold women’s rights and interests in defining and promoting political, economic, personal, racial and social equality. In partnership with TLCPL’s institutional values, the Steinem Sisters Collection seeks to be welcoming of all the complex and diverse voices that comprise the modern feminist movement; to be innovative in the programming we provide; and collaborative with community members and local women’s organizations in order to broaden the reach of the collection.

Steinem Sisters Temporary Location At Main Library

Above all else, the Steinem Sisters Collection is meant to be useful to our community, to reflect the diverse nature of that community and the way feminism intersects with the various aspects of identity.

Please visit The Steinem Sisters Collection at its temporary location in the Humanities Department at the Main Library. The collection will be accessible by request while the
Main Library is closed for renovations and we will have a permanent and dedicated space when Main reopens in 2019!

In the meantime, please keep a look out for some exciting feminist programs we will be hosting throughout the system starting in September.

Why Feminism at the Public Library?

Feminism is cool

Feminism.

It is a simple word that can provoke a variety of passionate responses. With the introduction of the Steinem Sisters Collection at the Library, it is important that we investigate the question of why and how a public library can participate in critical librarianship in relation to housing a feminist collection and providing related programming.

I think this discussion could start with Dr. Angela Y. Davis who said:

Feminism involves so much more than gender equality and it involves so much more than gender. . . Feminism must involve a consciousness of capitalism and racism and colonialism and post-colonialists, and ability and more genders than we can even imagine and more sexualities than we ever thought we could name.

Public Libraries and professionally trained librarians are in a unique position to be engaged in our community, by creating programs, providing access to archival materials and encouraging discovery. Where Davis reminds us that many forms of feminism can give us a way to name multiple forms of oppression, feminism can also liberate us, and provoke us to imagine and name possibilities. Librarians as gatekeepers hold the key to these possibilities for every individual who walk through our library doors.

Feminism can be, and has been, defined in many ways and from all different perspectives. But when I talk about feminism, I’m talking about a lens that makes visible, and gives voice to, the unique and intersecting oppression women experience due to the dominant patriarchal culture; and thus, by naming it and making that oppression visible, feminism in a public library setting allows for the transforming of culture so that women are humanized and treated with the respect owed to all of humanity.

Upcoming Steinem Sisters Collection Programs: July-Dec. 2018

Steinem Sisters Collection Opening Celebration

July 9 | 6:00 p.m. | Main Library – Huntington Room

Talking Circle With Steinem Sisters Collective

Sep. 5 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library
Nov. 7 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library

The Silent Witness Project Exhibit

Oct. 1 – Nov. 2 | During Library Hours | Reynolds Corners Branch Library

Feminist Book Discussion

Oct. 3 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library
Dec. 5 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library

Recognizing Domestic Violence

Oct. 4 | 1:00 p.m. | Waterville Branch Library
Oct. 25 | 6:30 p.m. | Oregon Branch Library

Children and Domestic Violence

Oct. 10 | 6:30 p.m. | Reynolds Corners Branch Library
Oct. 24 | 7:00 p.m. | Maumee Branch Library

A Sampling of the Steinem Sisters Collection

My life on the road / Gloria Steinem
Eloquent rage : a black feminist discovers her superpower / Brittney Cooper
Missoula : rape and the justice system in a college town / Jon Krakauer
Reset : my fight for inclusion and lasting change / Ellen Pao
Women who run with the wolves : myths and stories of the wild woman archetype / Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Sharp : the women who made an art of having an opinion / Michelle Dean
Not that bad : dispatches from rape culture / edited by Roxane Gay
Sex object : a memoir / Jessica Valenti
First they killed my father : a daughter of Cambodia remembers / Loung Ung
A room of one's own / Virginia Woolf ; foreword by Mary Gordon
Ain't I a woman : Black women and feminism / by Bell Hooks
The essential feminist reader / edited and with an introduction by Estelle B. Freedman
When everything changed : the amazing journey of American women from 1960 to the present / Gail Collins
Geek girl rising : inside the sisterhood shaking up tech / Heather Cabot and Samantha Walravens
The Warrior queens / Antonia Fraser

Related Toledo Library Blog Posts

For the Feminist Curious: A Steinem Sisters Collection Book List

Jane Austen’s Hidden Feminism


Looking for your next great read?

Let us help you!

Tell us what you’ve enjoyed reading, watching or listening to, and our librarians will give you personalized recommendations.

No algorithms, cookies or data mining – just real experts in your community sharing their love of great books, music and movies with you. We call it Give 3 Get 3.

Get started today at

toledolibrary.org/Give3Get!
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Memoir Writing Resources

We field a lot of questions at the library about writing memoirs. It may be the fact that everyone has a story they want to share with the world or maybe they just want to become famous? Whatever the reasons – a few questions usually come up:

What’s the difference between an autobiography and a memoir? – Autobiographies tell the entire story of someone’s life (from start to finish), while memoirs focus on one story.

What makes a good memoir? – Like anything, a “good story” is really a matter of opinion. However, the resources below may help you focus your efforts.

Books on Writing the Story of Your Life (Memoir/Autobiography)

The art of memoir / Mary Karr
Writing about your life : a journey into the past / William Zinsser
The Memoir project : a thoroughly non-standardized text for writing & life / Marion Roach Smith
The story of you : a guide for writing your personal stories and family history / John Bond
How to write a memoir in 30 days : step-by-step instructions for creating and publishing your personal story / Roberta Temes, PhD
The truth of memoir : how to write about yourself and others with honesty, emotion, and integrity / Kerry Cohen
Writing your legacy : the step-by-step guide to crafting your life story / Richard Campbell M.Ed. and Cheryl Svensson, Ph.D
Telling your story : preserve your history through storytelling / by Jerry Apps
Your Story: How to Write It So Others Will Want to Read It by Joanne Fedler
How To Write Your Personal Or Family History by Katie Wiebe
Writing Your Life: A Guide to Writing Autobiographies
Writing What You Know: How to Turn Personal Experiences into Publishable Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry by Meg Files
Online Tips on Writing Your Memoir

5 Tips for Writing a Memoir – Publisher’s Weekly

8 Writing Tips That Will Make You a Powerful Storyteller – The Writing Cooperative

Great Tips on How to Write Your Memoir – Reader’s Digest

How to Write a Memoir: 6 Creative Ways to Tell a Powerful Story – The Write Life

How to Write a Good Memoir: Advice on Finding Your Voice – Writer’s Digest

How to Write a Memoir that People Care About – NY Book Editors

Originally posted on: ToledoLibrary.org/blog/memoir-writing-resources by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S.

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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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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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Cooking Programs at the Library!

In this edition of our ongoing “At the Library” blog series, we’re excited to share a number of cooking-related programs we have planned this winter / early spring. From a cooking club that meets at our Waterville Branch to programs for kids, we’re bringing food to the forefront of our Library.  

Library Cooking Programs: January-April 2018


Family Programs

Campfire Cooking:
Spice up your world with campfire cooking. Discover different recipes, tools and techniques for delicious trail cooking. You will actually get to sample some food at this program!

Apr. 4 | 4 p.m. | Holland Branch


Adult Programs

Cooking for 1 or 2:
A cooking demonstration offering heart-healthy options as well as shopping tips and tricks for prepping smaller portions.

Jan. 23 | 6:30 p.m. | Sanger Branch
Feb. 2 | 10 a.m. | Holland Branch
Mar. 6 | 6 p.m. | Lagrange Branch
Mar. 14 | 6 p.m. | West Toledo Branch
Mar. 26 | 3 p.m. | Toledo Heights Branch

A Pinch of This…A Dash of That Cooking Club:
Pick a dish, make it, and bring it with you to the meeting! It’s that easy! Enjoy a variety of dishes, as we discuss how we made them. Cookbooks will be available one month prior to each meeting.

Jan. 10, Mar. 7, May 16 | 7 p.m.| Waterville Branch

Season Slow-Cooker Meals:
Get the slow-cooker out to make easy and tasty meals. Join OSU Extension Educator for food safety and cooking tips. You’ll make the most of your slow-cooker meals.

Feb. 20 | 3 p.m. | Toledo Heights
Mar. 14 | 6:30 p.m. | Washington Branch
Apr. 10 | 6:30 p.m. | Point Place Branch


Teen Programs

Taster’s Choice:
Join us monthly to express your unique taste as you infuse customized after school snacks with your personal zest.

Jan. 9 | 4 p.m. | Oregon Branch
Mar. 20 | 4 p.m. | Oregon Branch
Apr. 26 | 4 p.m. | Lagrange Branch

What’s Cooking:
Want to know what’s cooking? Visit Oregon Branch to find out. We’ll explore cooking basics, as well as practical tips for purchasing and preparing great food.

Feb 24 | 2:30 p.m. | Oregon Branch
Apr. 28 | 2:30 p.m. | Oregon Branch


Children Programs

Snack Hacks:
Dive into an after school snack that will get your taste buds tingling. Hannah Halfhill from Toledo GROWs will show you some simple, quick snacks for you to make at home. Taste-testers needed!

Jan 23 | 6:30 p.m. | Oregon Branch
Mar. 13 | 4 p.m. | Heatherdowns Branch
Apr. 12 | 4 p.m. | Kent Branch
Apr. 14 | 2 p.m. | Holland Branch
Apr. 16 | 5:45 p.m. | South Branch

Tasty Treats:
Healthy snacks can also taste good! Join us as we make apple rings.

Feb. 21 | 4 p.m. | Lagrange Branch

Originally posted at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/get-cooking-at-the-library by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Heather H.

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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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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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