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book recommendations

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

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

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

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

Weird Fiction Books

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

 

The Wine-Dark Sea by Robert Aickman

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

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

 

The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.02

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

 

Weaveworld by Clive Barker

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads| 4.13

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

 

Fledgling by Octavia Butler

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.9

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

 

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

Amazon: 3.6 | Goodreads: 4.25

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

 

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

 

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.02

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

 

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 4.13

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

 

Windeye by Brian Evenson

Amazon: 4.3 | Goodreads: 4.03

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

 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.89

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

 

The Fisherman by John Langan

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 4.01

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

 

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

 

The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 3.91

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

 

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.97

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

 

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami

Amazon: 3.9 | Goodreads: 3.55

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

 

Borne by Jeff VanderMeer

Amazon: 4.1 | Goodreads: 3.94

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

 

Still not sure where to start?

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

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

 

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

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

Amazon: 4.2 | Goodreads: 3.92

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

Also available in eBook (hoopla).

 

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

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

Amazon: 4.25 | Goodreads: 4.13

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

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

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


Want to learn more about Weird Fiction?

The Weird: An Introduction – Weird Fiction Review

Weird Fiction – Goodreads

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

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

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So You Say You Hate Musicals

Hello blog readers! Allison F and Eric P here to talk to you about something that’s been weighing on us.

So, you say you hate musicals …

Do you really?

Is it the cheesy storylines? Or maybe it’s the way they keep making their characters sing and dance when people don’t really do that. Perhaps they give you a strange, uncomfortable feeling – as if you are embarrassed for the incredibly talented people singing and dancing their hearts out. They look like they’re having the time of their life, but deep down they feel awkward and self-conscious, right? Right?

We get it, musicals are kinda weird. But the thing is, we don’t actually believe you when you say you hate them.

We think maybe you just haven’t discovered the musical that’s right for you.

We think maybe you saw “Fiddler on the Roof” once when you were seven and swore you’d never watch one again. (At an impressionable age, Eric sat through a high school production of “Oklahoma!” in which the title song threatened never to end. It may still be going to this day.)

We think we can convince you otherwise.

So we dare you to keep reading. Let us try and prove to you that musicals are a magical force of fun and excitement just waiting to change your life. Or at least change your mind.

 

Eric says

If you like…

War and peace by Leo Tolstoy
Seekers and finders [music CD] / Gogol Bordello
You're the worst - Television Show, Season 2 on DVD / Bluebrush Productions

 

You’ll probably enjoy

Natasha, Pierre and the great comet of 1812 [music CD] : original Broadway cast recording / Dave Malloy

Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

The musical where actors play their own guitars and accordions while navigating love and dysfunction during the Napoleonic wars.

Music CD | eMusic

 

Allison says

If you like…

Outlander. Season 1, volume 1 [DVD] / executive producer, Ronald D. Moore
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Synthesis by Evanescence - music album

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Phantom of the Opera - motion picture

The Phantom of the Opera

In which the female lead never once questions the disembodied voice that is teaching her to sing and willingly allows herself to be kidnapped and taken into the bowels of Paris’s underground before panicking and realizing something might not be quite right with the dude in the mask.

DVDMusic CD | eMusic

 

Eric says

If you like…

Lysis ; Symposium ; Gorgias / Plato ; with an English translation by W.R.M. Lamb
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - motion picture
The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [music CD] / David Bowie

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Hedwig and the angry inch [music CD] : original Broadway cast recording / Music and lyrics by Stephen Trask ; book by John Cameron Mitchell ; directed by Michael Mayer

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

The glammy rock opera about love, identity, and sex reassignment surgery in the shadow of the cold war.

Music CD | eMusic

 

Allison says

If you like…

Role models / John Waters
Save the last dance - motion picture
RuPaul's drag race (Season 7) - television show

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Hairspray - motion picture

Hairspray

The upbeat and colorful tale of some plucky teens who just want to dance and aren’t gonna let a little thing like institutionalized racism get in their way.

DVD | Music CD

 

Eric says

If you like…

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Marathon Man - motion picture
Wall of sound [music CD] : the very best of Phil Spector, 1961-1966
The Complete houseplant survival manual : essential know-how for keeping (not killing) more than 160 indoor plants / Barbara Pleasant ; photography by Rosemary Kautzky

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Little Shop of Horrors - motion picture

Little Shop of Horrors

In which carnivorous plants and malicious dentists sing catchy Brill Building pop numbers as the bodies pile up.

DVD | eMusic

 

Allison says

If you like…

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Stand by Me - motion picture
The Very Best of Backstreet Boys - music

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Newsies

Newsies

The story of scrappy turn of the century newspaper sales boys who team up with Teddy Roosevelt to take down the newspaper industry. Also, Christian Bale in a cowboy hat.

DVDeMusic

 

Eric says

If you like…

Ripper Street - TV Show
Symphonie fantastique [music CD] / Hector Berlioz
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
The Donner Party [DVD] / written and directed by Ric Burns ; produced by Lisa Ades and Ric Burns

 

You’ll probably enjoy….

Sweeney Todd - motion picture

Sweeney Todd

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a darkly Victorian tale of entrepreneurial cannibalism.

DVD | Music CD

 

Allison says

If you like…

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone / by J.K. Rowling
Hocus Pocus - motion picture
Charmed - TV Show
Kermit the Frog's "It's Not easy Being Green"
Image by Isotastic – flickr

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Wicked

Wicked

The tale of the “Wicked” Witch of the West who it turns out had a greater handle on things than anyone else and also really knew how to rock the all-black look.

Music CD | eMusic
Based on the novel “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire.

 

Eric says

If you like…

Lawrence of Arabia - motion picture
Northern Exposure - TV Show
Omar Sharif - 1963
Photo by Gene Weber – Wikimedia Commons

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

The Band’s Visit

The intimate and heartbreaking show about cosmopolitan Egyptian musicians unexpectedly stranded in a small Israeli desert town.

Music CD | eMusic
Book | eBook
Based on the film by Eran Kolirin.

 

Allison says

If you like…

Antiques Roadshow behind the scenes : an insider's guide to PBS's #1 weekly show / Marsha Bemko
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

 

The Fugitive - motion picture

 

You’ll probably enjoy…

Les Miserables - motion picture

Les Miserables

In which everyone is truly miserable except for two young lovebirds whose self-absorption is so intense they are able to all but ignore the French Revolution. Plus, ghosts.

DVDMusic CD

 

…Did it work? Is your previous antipathy toward musicals dwindling like the box office returns of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark?” Do you feel a newfound generosity toward the art form swelling in you like the crescendo of an 11 o’clock number?

Or perhaps your indifference remains unchanged. Maybe you still feel as antagonistic toward the stage musical experience as Leslie Odom Jr’s Aaron Burr felt toward Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Alexander Hamilton.”

But that’s okay. It just means we haven’t found the right one for you yet. We’ll be back with another blog post with more suggestions, and we’ll keep coming back until you’ve got jazz hands.

I mean, that high school performance of “Oklahoma!” is still going on somewhere, so anything’s possible.

Five-six-seven-eight!

 

Read more from Eric and Allison


 

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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Good Day, Good Reads

The most jarring thing about “A Good Day,” by Kevin Henkes, is the first page, the way it begins:

“It was a bad day…”

Kind of seems like false advertising, yeah? I mean, look at the title. The title, Henkes! There were promises made!

But indeed, the first half of the book is all about characters having a real bummer of a day.

A Good Day by Kevin Henkes

But then…

Things get better. And by the end, the way they get better intersects unexpectedly with the events of the first half of the book, an elegant overlap that may satisfy fans of “This is Us” or, depending on your tastes, “Pulp Fiction.”

The plot’s overall simplicity is part of the book’s genius. Things were bad, things got better. Meaning what? Things aren’t as bad as you think they are? You should sit tight and wait for improvements to happen? Life is an unpredictable mosaic of suffering and joy? The fact that Henkes doesn’t tell you what it’s all supposed to mean is another part of the book’s genius.

Which is no surprise: writer/illustrator Henkes has a history of folding complicated emotions into deceptively simple narrative packages.

Picture Books by Kevin Henkes

Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin henkes
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Old Bear by Kevin Henkes
Egg by Kevin Henkes
My Garden by Kevin Henkes
A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes

Above all, “A Good Day” is not so much about luck or fate or fairness – it’s about feelings. Often feelings are directly influenced by outside circumstances, and sometimes you can control the impact of outside circumstances by managing your reaction to them, but the fact remains that sometimes you’re the little yellow bird who lost his tail feather, and sometimes you’re the little brown squirrel who found the biggest nut ever, and either way, there are going to be feels.

And one of the biggest challenges about being human, at least for those of us who are somewhere roughly between the ages of 2 and 115, is confronting and controlling and understanding our feelings.  Good thing there are picture books to help us with that.

Picture Books About Feelings

I Hate Everyone by Naomi Danis
Are You Scared Darth Vader by Adam Rex
I'm Sad by Michael Ian Black
Penguin Problems by Jory John
Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang
The Bad Mood and the Stick by Lemony Snicket
I Love You Like a Pig by Mac Barnett
Mr Particular by Jason Kirchner
Bug in a Vacuum by Melanie Watt
Now by Antoinette Portis
The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers
Grump Groan Growl by bell hooks
Crankenstein by Samantha Berger
My Friend is Sad by Mo Willems
Grumpy Gloria by Anna Dewdney

What is the 101 Picture Book Challenge and How Do You Take It?

The 101 Picture Book Challenge is for anyone at any age. Librarians hand picked the titles on the list which includes classics, new titles and everything in between.

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).

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

Originally posted by Eric P. at ToledoLibrary.org/Good-Day-Good-Reads

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Spend 2018 at the Library!

Spend the New Year with us! We have the resources, materials and programs to help you achieve your New Year’s resolutions and so much more. If you’re still searching for some focus in 2018, check out our partner blog A Year Of, featuring a list of memoirs from authors who spent a year doing some creative and inspiring things!

At the Library, you can:

– Learn how to save money
– Improve your health and wellness
– Make new friends
– Find a new job
– Learn to use your new device
– Ace the school year
– Discover a new hobby

The Library events listed below run from January – March 2018.

Save Money
Why pay for monthly video or music streaming services when you can stream them for free using your library card? Access thousands of TV shows, movies, and music through hoopla and Overdrive – You can even download Kindle Books!

Contact our Business, Technology and Sciences Department at 419.259.5209 to learn more about our Living Better Spending Smarter program.

Subscribe to our Read/Watch/Listen list on investing for ongoing book recommendations!

Improve Health & Wellness
Have you resolved to improve your health in 2018? Let’s do it together! We’re offering adult yoga and meditation classes on Jan. 20 and 27, Feb. 3 and 10 and March 10.

Learn about healthy eating at Open Book with Whole30 author Melissa Hartwig on Jan. 9 or join us at one of our Cooking for 1 or 2 programs on Jan. 23, Feb. 2, and March 6, 14 and  26.

Subscribe to our many Read/Watch/Listen lists for ongoing book recommendations on topics including cooking, fitness and self-help!

Make New Friends
Start the New Year by making new friends! We are connecting people who share a love of things like reading, cooking, science fiction, crocheting and knitting and more with groups that meet regularly. See a list of our ongoing groups at ToledoLibrary.org/librarygroups.

We host regular book groups at our Birmingham, Heatherdowns, Holland, Kent, Maumee, Oregon, Point Place, Reynolds Corners, Sanger, Sylvania (currently at King Road), Waterville and West Toledo Locations.

Additionally, we offer adult groups on the following topics and locations: baseball (Sanger), cooking (Waterville), crocheting and knitting (West Toledo), English as a second language (King Road), mysteries (Sanger), science fiction (West Toledo) and writing (Point Place). Contact each location for more details.

Find a New Job
Do you want to start the New Year with a new job? We’re a great place to start on your road to looking for a new career. We can help you with email, online job search and application, how to create and update your resume and more.

At Main Library and Kent Branch, we offer one-on-one meetings to help you get ahead. Our Mobile Technology Center will also provide assistance (by request) at area shopping centers. To make an appointment, call Main Library, Kent Branch or contact Outreach Services at 419.259.5350 for the Mobile Technology Center.

Learn to Use Your New Device
Did you get a new tablet, phone or laptop over the holidays? If you need help learning how to make the most of it, visit our Audio Visual Department at Main Library every Tuesday at 2 p.m. for walk-in device advice!

We also offer a variety of technology training programs on everything from computer basics for beginners to more specific help sessions on programs like Google Docs.

Visit our events calendar for upcoming programs.

Ace the School Year
Does your student need some help making the grade? Join us at our Homework Help Centers, available at 14 of our 20 locations.

View the schedule on our Education page.

Our many educational online databases can also provide help with early literacy, homework, reading, test prep, career, business, science and technology.

Discover a New Hobby
Learn a new hobby or craft in 2018! Learn on your own through book tutorials – check out ongoing recommendations found on our Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Read/Watch/Listen list or join us at one or more of the following craft programs:

Cricut Crafts – Jan. 10 | 6:30 p.m. | Oregon Branch
Yarn-It! – Jan. 19 | 4 p.m. | Oregon Branch
Cake Decorating Workshop – Jan. 29 | 6 p.m. | Waterville Branch
Design Basics (business cards) –  Feb. 3 | 2 p.m. | King Road Branch

We always have new programs popping up, so visit our online events calendar for more future fun!

Originally posted at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/start-the-new-year-with-yoga-at-the-library by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Heather H.

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Top 5 Reasons to Join a Writing Group

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

1. Encouragement

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

2. Guidance

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

3. Inspiration

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

4. Feedback

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

5. Networking

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

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

Northwest Ohio Writing Groups

Frogtown Storytelling Guild

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

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

Contact: 
Facebook

Madd Poets Society

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

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

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

Meetings:

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

Contact: 
Email
New Works Writers Series

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meetings:
When:
Tuesdays, 7-10 pm
Where: Bigby Coffee, 4031 N McCord Rd, Sylvania, OHContact:
Chris or Sarah
Facebook

Writing Group Resources – Books

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

Online Resources for Writers and Writing Groups

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

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

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

The 4 Hidden Dangers of Writing Groups – Jane Friedman

Writing Groups 101 – Inked Voices

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

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No Capes Required: Comics Embrace All Literary Genres!

When I was young, I loved comics. Whether it was the X-Men, Batman or Deadpool, I couldn’t get enough of the emersion and escapism that comics offered. As I’ve grown older I’ve begun branching out from the superhero comics of my youth, and my love and respect for the art form has only intensified.

It may come as a surprise that the world of comics has so much more to offer than spandex-clad muscle men and swooning damsels in distress. Luckily for us there are comics out there to suit just about every taste in literature: there are westerns, science fiction, fantasy and noir detective-style comics. And let’s not forget comics with romance, horror, or comics that have good endings and bad. Comics that are weird. Comics that are queer. Comics that are funny. Comics that are cute. And pretty much everything in between.

Here are 20 of my favorite “no cape” comics – some are stand-alone, many are part of a series – for those of you looking for some alternatives to Marvel and DC. If you haven’t picked up a comic in a while, one of these titles may be the perfect place to get reacquainted. If you think you “aren’t into comics” – I guarantee that at least one of these will change your mind.

 

Graphic novels for people looking for an alternative to superhero comics

Blacksad written by Juan Diaz Canales ; ilustrated by Juanjo Guarnido
Daytripper / by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá ; with coloring by Dave Stewart ; lettering by Sean Konot
Duncan the wonder dog by Adam Hines
East of West. Volume 1 / Jonathan Hickman, writer ; Nick Dragotta, artist ; Frank Martin, colors ; Rus Wooton, letters
Fables: Legends in Exile written by Bill Willingham ; illustrated by Lan Medina

 

Blacksad written by Juan Diaz Canales ; ilustrated by Juanjo Guarnido

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.34 stars

Private investigator John Blacksad is up to his feline ears in mystery and intrigue, digging up the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets during the 1950s Red Scare in the United States. Also available as an eComic.

 

Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.3 stars

Presents key moments in the life of Brás de Oliva Domingos, a Brazilian writer and sometime journalist, and the son of a prominent author, as if each episode would turn out to be the day in which he was about to die. Also available as an eComic.

 

Duncan the Wonder Dog written and illustrated by Adam Hines

AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4 stars

What if animals could talk? Would some of them form a militant group in reaction to how humans treat them? Would humans treat them different?

 

East of West written by Jonathan Hickman ; illustrated by Nick Dragotta

AMAZON RATING: 4.1 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.92 stars

This is the world. It is not the one we wanted, but it is the one we deserved. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse roam the Earth, signaling the End Times for humanity, and our best hope for life, lies in DEATH! Also available as an eComic.

 

Fables: Legends in Exile written by Bill Willingham ; illustrated by Lan Medina

AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.98 stars

Who killed Rose Red? In Fabletown, where fairy tale legends live alongside regular New Yorkers, the question is all anyone can talk about. But only the Big Bad Wolf can actually solve the case – and, along with Rose’s sister Snow White, keep the Fabletown community from coming apart at the seams. Also available as an eComic.

 

Hellboy by Mike Mignola
Joe the Barbarian" by Grant Morrison (Author), Sean Murphy (Illustrator)
King City by Brandon Graham
Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill
Monstress: Volume One - Awakening

 

Hellboy by Mike Mignola  (Author/ Illustrator), Various (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.6 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.12 stars

When strangeness threatens to engulf the world, a strange man will come to save it. Sent to investigate a mystery with supernatural overtones, Hellboy discovers the secrets of his own origins, and his link to the Nazi occultists who promised Hitler a final solution in the form of a demonic avatar. Also available as an eComic.

 

Joe the Barbarian by Grant Morrison  (Author), Sean Murphy (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.2 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.77 stars

Joe is an imaginative young kid of 11 who happens to suffer from type 1 diabetes. Without supervision and insulin, he can easily slip into a delirious, dissociative state that presages coma and death. One fateful day, his condition causes him to believe he has entered a vivid fantasy world in which he is the lost savior — a fantastic land based on the layout and contents of his home.

 

King City by Brandon Graham (Author/ Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.6 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.99 stars

Joe is a catmaster, trained to use his cat as any tool or weapon. His best friend, Pete, falls in love with an alien he’s forced to sell into green slavery, while his ex, Anna, watches her Xombie War veteran boyfriend turn into the drug he’s addicted to. King City, an underbelly of a town run by spy gangs and dark dark magic with mystery down every alleyway.

 

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill  (Author),‎ Gabriel Rodriguez (Artist)

AMAZON RATING: 4.5 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.16 stars

“Locke & Key” tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all! Also available as an eComic.

 

Monstress by Marjorie Liu (Author), Sana Takeda (Artist)

AMAZON RATING: 4.5 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.97 stars

Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art
deco-inflected steampunk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both.

 

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Pretty Deadly: Volume one - The shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
Tales from outer suburbia by Shaun Tan

 

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (Author, Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.19 stars

Lord Blackheart, a villain with a vendetta, and his sidekick, Nimona, an impulsive young shapeshifter, must prove to the kingdom that Sir Goldenloin and the Institution of Law
Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are. Also available in Audio and eAudio.

 

Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Author), Emma Rios (Artist), Jordie Bellair (Artist)

AMAZON RATING: 4.1 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.82

As Sissy, a girl with a crow head-dress and two different colored eyes, and Fox, a blind old man, travel a fanciful Old West world, they are pursued by Death who seeks Sissy for reasons unknown. Also available as an eComic.

 

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Fiona Staples (Artist)

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.23

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults. Also available as an eComic.

 

Sandman by Neil Gaiman (Author), Sam Kieth (Illustrator), Mike Dringenberg (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.28 stars

After his seventy-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman. Also available as an eComic.

 

Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (Author, Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.33 stars

An exchange student who’s really an alien, a secret room that becomes the perfect place for a quick escape, a typical tale of grandfatherly exaggeration that is actually even more bizarre than he says… These are the odd details of everyday life that grow and take on an incredible life of their own in tales and illustrations that Shaun Tan’s many fans will love.

 

Through the woods : stories by Emily Carroll
The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way
WE3 : the deluxe edition by Grant Morrison
The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan

 

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (Author, Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.5 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.91 stars

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to. Also available in eBook.

 

The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way  (Author), Gabriel Ba (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.4 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.96 stars

In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.” Also available as an eComic.

 

We3 by Grant Morrison  (Author), Frank Quitely  (Illustrator)

Writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely deliver the emotional journey of WE3 – three house pets weaponized for lethal combat by the government – as they search for “home” and ward off the shadowy agency that created them. Also available as an eComic.

 

The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple (Author, Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 3.7 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 3.28 stars

In a demented future where humanity is oppressed by the evil Shadowsmen, only a gang of ruthless and powerful children called the Wrenchies can hope to stand against them.

 

Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan (Author), Pia Guerra (Illustrator), Jose Marzan Jr. (Illustrator)

AMAZON RATING: 4.2 stars

GOODREADS RATING: 4.11 stars

Yorick Brown and his pet male monkey learn just how valuable they are when they set out across the planet in search of one specific girl in the wake of a strange plague that has killed every man, boy, and mammal with a Y chromosome–except for them. Also available as an eComic.


Looking for your next great read?

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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

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Writers on Writing: Tips for Aspiring Writers

If you’re looking for inspiration or simply tips on writing, why not learn from experienced and successful writers like Stephen King and Walter Dean Myers, after all they know their stuff! How did they become bestselling authors? What’s their secret to success?

Writers on Writing – Books

How to be a writer: conversations with writers about writing by David Quantick
On Writing: a memoir of the craft by Stephen King
Zen in the art of writing by Ray Bradbury
On Writing by Charles Bukowski
Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann
Just Write: Here's How by Walter Dean Myers
The Accidental Life - An Editor's Notes on Writing and Writers by Terry McDonell
Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living edited by Manjula Martin
The New York Times Footsteps : from Ferrante's Naples to Hammett's San Francisco, literary pilgrimages around the world
The Way of the Writer: Reflections on the Art of Storytelling by Charles Johnson
The writer who stayed / William Zinsser ; foreword by Robert Wilson
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing
Reading like a writer : a guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them / Francine Prose
Pep Talks for Writers - 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo by Grant Faulkner
Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy: Advice and Confessions on Writing, Love, and Cannibals by Dinty W. Moore

Writers on Writing – Videos

How To Become A Published Author: Advice From Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Lee Child on Starting Writing After 40

Neil Gaiman on Writing

Alexander McCall-Smith

Isabel Wilkerson

Writing Tips from the Web

So, You Want to be a Writer? Essential Tips for Aspiring Novelists – The Guardian

33 Authors Gave Us Their Best Advice on Writing – Buzzfeed

World’s Best-Selling Author James Patterson On How To Write An Unputdownable Story – Fast Company

10 Powerful Secrets of Bestselling Authors – Write to Done

Practical Writing Tips from 65 Bestselling Authors – CreativINDIE

The 90 Top Secrets of Bestselling Authors – Writer’s Digest

Timeless Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers – Brain Pickings

Writers on Writing – NPR Playlist

Toledo Library Blog Posts on Writing

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

The Art of Storytelling: 5 Tips on Crafting Compelling Storylines

How to Write a Novel in a Month

Learn How to Publish a Book

Writer’s Block


Originally posted at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/writers-on-writing-tips-for-aspiring-authors by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger April S.

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Great Early Fall Reads

As the weather gets cooler, reading just gets cozier!  Here are some fantastic reads to ease you out of summer and into fall.

Not quite what you’re looking for? Try out Give3Get3 service and a real, live librarian will match up what you’ve read and enjoyed with titles you may not have seen yet. We’re always happy to suggest “readalikes” in any season!

The Kelloggs : the battling brothers of Battle Creek / Howard Markel
Look behind you : [a novel] / Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen
Hook's tale : being the account of an unjustly villainized pirate written by himself / John Leonard Pielmeier
The epiphany machine / David Burr Gerrard
Sweet spot : an ice cream binge across America / Amy Ettinger

The Kelloggs: the Battling Brothers of Battle Creek by Howard Markel

The author of An Anatomy of Addiction traces the story of brothers Harvey and Will Kellogg, one of whom became a revered doctor and founder of the famous Battle Creek Sanitarium, the other of whom founded the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company, which eventually became General Mills.

Look Behind You by Iris Johansen

Cooperating with the FBI when a serial killer begins leaving mysterious relics at his crime scenes, Kendra Michaels discovers that the objects are souvenirs from other unsolved murders and that the new killings have been orchestrated to taunt her personally.

Hook’s Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself by John Pielmeier

A first novel by a Golden Globe-nominated screenwriter reimagines the childhood of a much-maligned Captain Hook, who recounts his quest for buried treasure, his friendship with Peter Pan and the story behind the swashbuckling world of Neverland.

The Epiphany Machine by David Burr Gerrard

Reimagines an alternative-history New York from the 1960s to the near future marked by a salon host’s innovation of an “epiphany machine” that places text tattoos on its users’ forearms that make revelatory statements of fortune and consequence.

Sweet Spot: an Ice Cream Binge Across America by Amy Ettinger

A journalist channels her ice-cream obsession, scouring the United States for the best artisanal brands and delving into the surprising history of ice cream and frozen treats in America.

Originally posted at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/great-early-fall-reads by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Amy H.

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