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12 Words Coined in Fiction

What do the words robot, chortle and malapropism all have in common?

Answer: they were all coined in fiction.

While fiction authors dazzle us with their ability to conjure fantastic worlds and unforgettable characters, their creativity has often been obstructed by mankind’s limited vocabulary. Hence, fiction authors have had to create their own words.

Many of these “made up” words have faded to obscurity since their first utterance. But, some have become a part of our common vernacular. Take a look at these twelve words and their literary origins – some of them may surprise you.

Literary Origins of Words

BLATANT

[bleyt-nt]

Likely an alteration of the Latin word blatire, meaning “to babble.” The word was coined by Edmund Spencer in his epic poem “The Faerie Queen” published in 1590. In the poem Spencer describes the Blatant Beast, a thousand-tongued monster representing slander.

“The Faerie Queene” by Edmund Spencer

Print | eBook | eAudio

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

CHORTLE

[chawr-tl]

Possibly a combination of chuckle and snort. Coined by Lewis Carroll in his iconic poem, “The Jabberwocky” originally published in 1871.

“O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! He chortled in his joy.”

“Through the Looking Glass” by Lewis Carroll

Print | Audio |
eBook | eAudio | DVD

The Annotated Alice : Alice's adventures in Wonderland & Through the looking-glass by Lewis Carroll

GARGANTUAN

[gahr-gan-choo-uh n]

This word comes from the character Gargantua, a giant from Francis Rabelais’ 5 book series “Gargantua and Pantagruel” published between 1693–1694.

“Gargantua and Pantagruel” by Francis Rabelais

Print | eBook | eAudio

Gargantua And Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais

MALAPROPISM

[mal-uh-prop-iz-uh m]

From the character Ms. Malaprop in Sheridan’s “The Rivals” published in 1775, who was known for her comical misuse of complex words.

“The Rivals” by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Print | eBook | eAudio

The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

MENTOR

[men-tawr, -ter]

From the character Mentor who, in Homer’s Odyssey, is entrusted with the care and Teaching of Odysseus’ son, Telemachus.

“The Odyssey” by Homer

Print | eBook | eAudio

The Odyssey by Home ; translated by Emily Wilson

NERD

[nurd]

The first instance of this word in print was Dr Seuss’ “If I Ran the Zoo” published in 1950. Here, the word describes an imaginary creature that the narrator of the story wishes to own. Possibly a play on “nert,” a word commonly used in the 1940s to describe eccentric or nutty people.

“If I Ran the Zoo” by Dr. Seuss

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If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss

PANDEMONIUM

[pan-duh-moh-nee-uh m]

In John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” published in the year 1667, Pandemonium is the name of the capitol of Hell. The prefix “pan” denotes “all” and “demon” means… “demon.” The word is commonly used to describe utter chaos and confusion.

“Paradise Lost” by John Milton

Print | eBook | eAudio

Paradise Lost by John Milton

ROBOT

[roh-buh t, -bot]

From the Czech word robota meaning “forced labor.” First used in its current form by Karel Čapek in his play “Rossum’s Universal Robots” from 1920.

“Rossum’s Universal Robots” by Karel Čapek

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Rossum’s Universal Robots by Karel Čapek

SERENDIPITY

[ser-uh n-dip-i-tee]

Coined by the art historian Horace Walpole, inspired by “The Three Princes of Serendip” originally published in Venice in 1557. According to Walpole, he was inspired by the way the princes in the story were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of.”

“The Three Princes of Serendip” by Elizabeth Jamison Hodges

Print

The Three Princes of Serendip by Elizabeth Jamison Hodges

STENTORIAN

[sten-tawr-ee-uh n, -tohr-]

Named after Stentor, Greek herald during the Trojan War. Homer’s “Iliad” describes Stentor’s voice as being loud as 50 men. Now the word is used synonymously with “loud.”

“The Iliad” by Homer

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The Iliad by Homer

TRILBY

[tril-bee]

As in the narrow-brimmed hat often mistaken for a fedora. Named after George du Maurier’s novel Trilby from 1894. The book was adapted to Theatre in 1895, the opening night of which saw many trilby hats on display.

“Trilby” by George du Maurier

PrinteBook | eAudio

Trilby by George Du Maurier

UTOPIA

[yoo-toh-pee-uh]

From the Greek phrase eu-topos, meaning “good place.” The nearly identical ou-topos means “no place” or “nowhere.” It’s no wonder that Thomas More chose “Utopia” as the name for the fictional island society in his 1516 book of political satire.

“Utopia” by Thomas More

PrinteBookeAudio

Utopia by Thomas More
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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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Knowledge Wins: Highlighting TLCPL’s World War I Poster Collection

One hundred years ago at 11 am on the 11th of November 1918 a ceasefire was declared ending what is now known as World War I. The peace treaty that officially ended the war, The Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. The war began in 1914 after an assassination and alliances pitted the major European players against each other. The United States formally entered the conflict on April 6, 1917 but American soldiers were not part of any significant combat until the spring of 1918. All aspects of life in the United States was geared to the war effort. The poster was the single most important means of mass communication and was a major tool used to garner support and boost morale. It was used by all sides of the conflict. The Toledo Lucas County Public Library is lucky to have a collection of these posters most of which have been in its collection since they were created.

The style and format of the posters vary, some were created by well-known artists of the time while others were strictly informative. Many were designed to stir emotions to get the viewer to supply money for the effort, conserve resources or to volunteer to fight. The process used to create the poster, three stone color lithography allowed the printing of large numbers at a relatively low cost.

Knowledge Wins, Public Library Books are Free - World War I poster - American Library Association

The first poster illustrated here is titled “Knowledge Wins” showing a soldier leaving the trenches of Europe and his weapons behind. He’s looking across the Atlantic towards an American city and the bridge that will take him there. The bridge is paved with library books, which is symbolic of the knowledge found there that often leads to success! This poster was created for the American Library Association’s War Service Committee in 1918 after designs by Dan Smith (1865-1934) a noted illustrator of the time.

Look forward to future posts highlighting other World War I posters in our collection.

Originally posted by Edward H. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/knowledge-wins-highlighting-tlcpls-world-war-i-poster-collection

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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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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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Best Fiction & Nonfiction Books of 2017

So many books, so little time. What were some of the best books of the year and what makes them the best anyway? Books may end up on best seller lists when the subject is extremely topical like current events. However, after reviewing so many booklists, the selections may seem random at first glance. How do you find gems among the thousands of books published each year? You might rely on a highly trusted source like the “100 Notable Books of the Year” by The New York Times. Or maybe you just browse Amazon’s best seller lists and hope for the best. Well, my approach was a little more involved and it took a lot of time … time most people don’t have to spend on picking a few good books to read. The books featured below were selected after reviewing major book award websites, book reviews, and a wide variety of trusted booklists to narrow down the selections to only include the “best of the best” fiction and nonfiction books from the past year. Yet, it’s really still a matter of what interests the individual reader.

Now, the challenge is to find the time to read them!

Best General Fiction Books of 2017

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng“Spectacular sophomore work…a magnificent, multilayered epic that’s perfect for eager readers and destined for major award lists.” ~ Library Journal (starred review)Amazon rating: 4.4

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 4.14

Winner of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Fiction Book with over 39,000 votes.

#1 book of the year – BookPage and LibraryReads.

Named one of the best or notable books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), Esquire, The Guardian, NPR, and The Washington Post.

Book summary: Fighting an ugly custody battle with an artistic tenant who has little regard for the strict rules of their progressive Cleveland suburb, a straitlaced family woman who is seeking to adopt a baby becomes obsessed with exposing the tenant’s past, only to trigger devastating consequences for both of their families.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
Looking for more noteworthy fiction books from the past year?

The 17 Best Fiction Books of 2017 – Bustle

The Best Fiction Books of 2017 – Chicago Review of Books

Best of 2017: Best Fiction Books – Entropy

Best Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

The Best Fiction of 2017 – The Guardian

Best Fiction of 2017 by Category – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: The Best Fiction – Los Angeles Times

Top 10 Novels of 2017 – Time


Best Historical Fiction Books of 2017

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders“Profound, funny and vital . . . the work of a great writer.” ~ Chicago TribuneAmazon: 3.6 | Goodreads: 3.89

Winner of the Man Booker Prize.

Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal.

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), BookPage, Esquire, Goodreads, The Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal (top 10), Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, O Magazine, Time (top 10), and The Washington Post (top 10).

Book summary: A long-awaited first novel by the National Book Award-nominated, New York Times best-selling author of Tenth of December traces a night of solitary mourning and reflection as experienced by the 16th President after the death of his 11-year-old son at the dawn of the Civil War.

The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Looking for more noteworthy historical fiction from the past year?

22 of the Biggest Historical Fiction Books of 2017 – BookBub

Best Historical Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

Best Historical Fiction of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: Historical Fiction – NPR

The Best Historic Fiction of 2017 – Overdrive


Best Literary Fiction Books of 2017

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward“A tour de force … Ward is an attentive and precise writer who dazzles with natural and supernatural observations and lyrical details … she continues telling stories we need to hear with rare clarity and power.” ~ O, the Oprah Magazine

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 4.14

Winner of the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction.

Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal.

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon, BookPage, Esquire, Kirkus Reviews, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review (top 10), NPR, Publisher’s Weekly (top 10), Time (top 10), The Washington Post.

Book summary: Living with his grandparents and toddler sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo navigates the challenges of his tormented mother’s addictions and his grandmother’s terminal cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip of danger and hope.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
Autumn by Ali Smith
Looking for more noteworthy literary fiction from the past year?

Anticipated or Best Literary Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads

Best Literary Fiction of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

Fall 2017 Announcements: Literary Fiction – Publisher’s Weekly


Best Mystery / Thriller Books of 2017

Glass Houses by Louise Penny
Glass Houses by Louise Penny“The tension has never been greater… A meticulously built mystery that follows a careful ascent toward a breaking point that will leave you breathless.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads: 4.46

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon, Goodreads, Library Journal, LibraryReads, LibraryReads, NPR, and The Washington Post.

Starred review – Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.

Book summary: A suspicious figure that appears on the village green on a cold November day leaves a dead body in its wake, compelling Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec to pursue an investigation that has difficult consequences.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
Ill Will by Dan Chaon
White Tears by Hari Kunzru
The Force by Don Winslow
Looking for more noteworthy mysteries & thrillers from the past year?

The Year’s Best Crime Novels, 2017 – The Booklist Reader

Best Mystery & Thrillers of 2017 – Bookriot

The Best Crime and Thriller Books of 2017 – Panmacmillan

Best Books of 2017: Mystery/Thriller – Publisher’s Weekly

The 10 Best Thrillers and Mysteries of 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Science Fiction / Fantasy Books of 2017

The Power by Naomi Alderman
The Power by Naomi Alderman“I was riveted by every page. Alderman’s prose is immersive and, well, electric, and I felt a closed circuit humming between the book and me as I read.” ~ Amal El-Mohtar, The New York Times Book Review

Amazon: 4 | Goodreads: 3.91

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon, Kirkus Reviews, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, and The Washington Post.

Starred review – Booklist and Kirkus Reviews.

Book summary: In a novel of speculative fiction, an award-winning author contemplates a world where teenage girls now have immense physical power—they can cause agonizing pain and even death, drastically resetting the balance of the world.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
Noumenon by Marina J. Lostetter
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Autonomous by Annalee Newitz
Looking for more noteworthy science fiction and fantasy novels from the past year?

The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2017 – Barnes & Noble

The 9 Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books Written by Women in 2017 – Bustle

Best Fantasy and Science Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017 – The Guardian

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: SF/Fantasy/Horror – Publisher’s Weekly


Best Short Story Collections of 2017

The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen“The Refugees will haunt its readers, especially in these times, when refugee stories need to be told, shared, and told again, ad infinitum.” ~ A.V. Club

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 3.95

One of the best books of 2017 – BookPage, Esquire, Goodreads, Kirkus Reviews, The New York Times Book Review, and NPR.

Starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, and Publisher’s Weekly.

Book summary: A collection of stories, written over a twenty-year period, examines the Vietnamese experience in America as well as questions of home, family, and identity. By the Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Sympathizer.

Sour Heart by Jenny Zhang
Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
Five Carat Soul by James McBride
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Looking for more noteworthy short story collections?

7 Short Story Collections to Read in 2017 – Barnes & Noble

13 Short Story Collections Out This Fall to Help You Escape Reality for a Few Pages – Bustle

Best New Short Story Collections of Fall 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Teen / Young Adult Novels of 2017

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
Far from the Tree by Robin Benway“Family issues are neither airbrushed nor oversimplified. From the first page to the last, this compassionate, funny, moving, compulsively readable novel about what makes a family gets it right.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

Amazon: 4.8 | Goodreads: 4.38

Winner of the 2017 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Named one of the best or notable books of the year by Kirkus Reviews, NPR, The New York Times Book Review, and Publisher’s Weekly.

Starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal.

Book summary: Feeling incomplete as an adopted child after placing her own baby up for adoption, teen Grace tracks down her biological siblings and finds herself struggling with the dynamics of being a middle child between an embittered older brother and an outspoken younger sister.

The book of Dust : La Belle Sauvage / Philip Pullman
The hate u give / Angie Thomas
Landscape with Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson
Turtles all the way down by John Green
Looking for more noteworthy teen / young adult novels from the past year?

Best Young Adult Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

Best Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

The 30 Best Young Adult Books of 2017 – Paste

The 17 Best Young Adult Novels of 2017 – POPSUGAR

25 of the Best Young Adult Books of 2017 – Seventeen


Best General Nonfiction Books of 2017

The lost city of the monkey god : a true story / Douglas Preston
The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story by Douglas Preston“Breezy, colloquial and sometimes very funny…A very entertaining book.” ~ The Wall Street Journal

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 3.92

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), Goodreads, New York Times Book Review, and Publisher’s Weekly.

Book summary: Recounts how the author and a team of scientists discovered a legendary sacred city, the Lost City of the Monkey God, hidden deep in the Honduran jungle.

The apparitionists : a tale of phantoms, fraud, photography, and the man who captured Lincoln's ghost / Peter Manseau
Irresistible : the rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked / Adam Alter
Nomadland : surviving America in the twenty-first century / Jessica Bruder
Word by word : the secret life of dictionaries / Kory Stamper
Looking for more noteworthy nonfiction from the past year?

Best Nonfiction of 2017 – Goodreads Choice Awards

Best Nonfiction of 2017 by Category – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: The Best Nonfiction – Los Angeles Times

The 20 Best Nonfiction Books of 2017 – Paste

Best Nonfiction Books of 2017 – Publisher’s Weekly

50 Notable Works of Nonfiction in 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Biography / Memoir Books of 2017

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie“Evident throughout are humor and rage, respect and loving irreverence.” ~ Oprah Magazine

Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal.

Amazon: 4.5 | Goodreads: 4.36

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), BookPage, Goodreads, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal, Los Angeles Times, NPR, O Magazine, and The Washington Post.

Book summary: The National Book Award-winning author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian presents a literary memoir of poems, essays and intimate family photos that reflect his complicated feelings about his disadvantaged childhood on a Native American reservation with his siblings and alcoholic parents.

The bright hour : a memoir of living and dying / Nina Riggs
Hunger : a memoir of (my) body / Roxane Gay
Leonardo da Vinci / Walter Isaacson
Priestdaddy / Patricia Lockwood
Looking for more noteworthy biographies and memoirs from the past year?

Best Biographies & Memoirs of 2017 – Amazon

Best Books of 2017: Memoir & Autobiography – Goodreads Choice Awards

Best Biographies of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2017: Biography & Memoir – NPR

Best Memoirs of 2017 – O Magazine

5 Best Memoirs of 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Business and Leadership Books of 2017

Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein“Goldstein is a talented storyteller, and we root for her characters as, moment by moment, they try their hardest.” ~ The New Yorker

Amazon: 4.4 | Goodreads: 4.25

Winner of the 2017 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year.

Best Business Book of 2017 – Business Insider, CNBC, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post.

Book summary: A Washington Post reporter’s intimate account of the fallout from the closing of a General Motors’ assembly plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, and a larger story of the hollowing of the American middle class. Pulitzer Prize winner Amy Goldstein has spent years immersed in Janesville, Wisconsin where the nation’s oldest operating General Motors plant shut down in the midst of the Great Recession, two days before Christmas of 2008. Now, with intelligence, sympathy, and insight into what connects and divides people in an era of economic upheaval, she makes one of America’s biggest political issues human.

The power of moments : why certain experiences have extraordinary impact / Chip and Dan Heath
The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World's Greatest Teams by Sam Walker
Insight : why we're not as self-aware as we think, and how seeing ourselves clearly helps us succeed at work and in life / Tasha Eurich
The new rules of work : the modern playbook for navigating your career / Alexandra Cavoulacos, Kathryn Minshew
Looking for more notable business and leadership books?

The 7 Best Lessons from the 7 Best Business Books of 2017 (so far) – Success

13 of the Best Business Books of 2017 – CNBC

The 19 Best Business Books of 2017 – Business Insider

The Best Business and Leadership Books of 2017 – Omnivoracious

Best Business Books of 2017 – Financial Times


Best History Books of 2017

Killers of the Flower Moon : the Osage murders and the birth of the FBI / David Grann
Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann“A master of the detective form…Killers is something rather deep and not easily forgotten.” ~ Wall St. Journal

Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal.

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads: 4.14

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon (top 20), Goodreads, Kirkus Reviews, LibraryReads, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, Paste, Publisher’s Weekly, The Smithsonian, Time, and The Washington Post.

Book summary: Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

Code girls : the untold story of the American women code breakers of World War II / Liza Mundy
The future is history : how totalitarianism reclaimed Russia / Masha Gessen
Greater Gotham : a history of New York City from 1898 to 1919 / Mike Wallace
The radium girls : the dark story of America's shining women / Kate Moore
Looking for more noteworthy history books from the past year?

Best History Books of 2017 – Amazon

Best History Books of 2017 – History Today

Best Books of 2017: History – Financial Times

Best American History Books of 2017 – Kirkus Reviews

The Ten Best History Books of 2017 – The Smithsonian


Best Poetry Books of 2017

Half-light : collected poems 1965-2016 / Frank Bidart
Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart“Art of first order . . . Truly remarkable.” ~ Piotr Florczyk, New Orleans Review

Winner of the 2017 National Book Award for Poetry.

Amazon: 5 | Goodreads: 4.5

Positive reviews from Booklist (starred review), The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, and Publisher’s Weekly (starred review).

Book summary: Gathered together, the poems of Frank Bidart perform one of the most remarkable transmutations of the body into language in contemporary literature. Few writers have so willingly ventured to the dark places of the human psyche and allowed themselves to be stripped bare on the page with such candor and vulnerability. Over the past half century, Bidart has done nothing less than invent a poetics commensurate with the chaos and appetites of our experience.

Depression & other magic tricks / poems by Sabrina Benaim
The sun and her flowers / Rupi Kaur
When I grow up I want to be a list of further possibilities / Chen Chen ; foreword by Jericho Brown
Whereas : poems / Layli Long Soldier
Looking for more notable poetry collections from the past year?

The 18 Best Poetry Collections of 2017 – Bustle

The Best Poetry Books of 2017 – Chicago Review of Books

Best of 2017: Best Poetry Books & Poetry Collections – Entropy

The Best Poetry Collections of 2017 – The Washington Post


Best Science Books of 2017

Astrophysics for people in a hurry / Neil deGrasse Tyson
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson“With wry humor, keen vision, and abundant humanity, Neil deGrasse Tyson distills the big questions of space, time, and reality into short, insightful chapters you can enjoy with your morning coffee.” ~ Discover

Amazon: 4.6 | Goodreads: 4.14

Winner of the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Science & Technology Book with over 42,000 votes.

One of the best books of 2017 – Amazon, Business Insider, Goodreads, and Kirkus Reviews.

Book summary: Offers witty, digestible explanations of topics in cosmology, from the Big Bang and black holes to quantum mechanics and the search for life in the universe.

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson
Homo Deus - a brief history of tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
Why time flies : a mostly scientific investigation / Alan Burdick
Why we sleep : unlocking the power of sleep and dreams / Matthew Walker
Looking for more great science books?

7 Favorite Science Books of 2017 – Brain Pickings

The Very Best Science Books of 2017 – Business Insider

The Best Science Books of 2017 – Science Friday

The Ten Best Science Books of 2017 – The Smithsonian


Notable Booklists from 2017

Best Books of 2017 – BookPage

50 Best Books of 2017 – Esquire

Best Books of 2017 – Part One and Part Two – The Guardian

19 Best Books of 2017 (so far) – Harper’s Bazaar

LJ’s Top 10 Books of 2017

LibraryRead’s Favorite Books of 2017

NYT’s 100 Notable Books of 2017

NPR’s Guide To 2017’s Great Reads

Best Books of 2017 – O Magazine

PW’s Best Books of 2017

Best Books of 2017 – The Washington Post


Note: Some websites may restrict access to their content after you access them multiple times (i.e., The Washington Post and similar publications).

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger and Adult Services Librarian April S. at http://www.toledolibrary.org/blog/the-best-fiction-and-nonfiction-books-of-2017.

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Enter Now! 2018 Ode to the Zip Code

When is a zip code more than a zip code? When it’s an Ode to the Zip Code. The third annual Ode to the Zip Code poetry contest, a partnership of The Fair Housing Center, The Arts Commission, Toledo Lucas County Public Library, and Toledo City Paper, is underway and contest entries are now being accepted online through March 7 on the Toledo City Paper website.

This is your opportunity to submit short poems inspired by your ZIP Code, where the number of words in each line of the poem is determined by the corresponding digit of the ZIP Code. Take last year’s winner, by Lydia Horvath, for example:

4 Near Detroit and Airport
3 We finally settled
6 Family of six, crowding into rentals
0 (here’s where I won’t discuss the summer we were homeless)
9 But there on Somerset, my very own pink bedroom

New to the contest this year is a youth category, so those 15 and under can submit their ode and compete for special recognition. Kids, here’s your chance to tell us all about your neighborhood!

All entries will be juried, and finalists will be invited to read their work at a special event at the Main Library.

Ode to the Zip Code
Apr. 19, 2018 | 5:30 p.m. | Main Library-McMaster Center

Winners selected from both adult and youth categories will be awarded cash prizes. Top entries will be published by Toledo City Paper.

April is Fair Housing Month and National Poetry Month. Ode to the Zip Code is a way for us to talk about our community and how it affects our experiences and opportunities. Inspiration for the contest came from the O, Miami Poetry Festival and WLRN-Miami Herald News, the originators of the “zip ode” concept.

Originally posted by Toledo Lucas County Public Library blogger Jan O. at ToledoLibrary.org/blog/enter-now-2018-ode-to-the-zip-code.

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Raising Awareness: The Silent Witness Project at the Toledo Library

Domestic violence is an International epidemic

Defined as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another;  there is no corner of the world where domestic violence does not reach. Domestic violence affects individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality.The devastating physical, emotional and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. For women, the threat of death due to domestic violence is very real – especially when they begin to take steps to leave.

Please join the Steinem Sisters Collection at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) as we honor those lost to domestic violence in the Toledo area and raise awareness of the continued fight to end domestic violence.

The Silent Witness Project

19 Year Old Victim
In 1990, the Silent Witness Initiative began with a goal to promote education through community-based exhibits in an effort to end domestic violence. It started with a small group of volunteers in one state and grew into an international movement, with projects in all 50 states and 23 countries.

The Northwest Ohio Silent Witness Project, which is housed and maintained at the Bethany House of Toledo, currently consists of over 55 Silent Witnesses whose lives were abruptly and violently ended at the hands of a husband, ex-husband, partner or stalker.

For the month of October, TLCPL’s Reynolds Corners Branch Library will be exhibiting 10 Witnesses in an effort to remember the stories and names of these women.

Library Events in 2018

The Silent Witness Project Exhibit

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

Domestic Violence Information Sessions

TLCPL is also partnering with the Bethany House to offer several information sessions about domestic violence. These sessions will focus on 1 of 2 topics and will be held at several branches throughout the library system.

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

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Become a Part of Toledo’s History

We’re creating a photo collection to preserve the history of Toledo/Lucas County and we need your help! We are looking for pictures depicting scenes from Toledo and Lucas County or of residents out in the wider world. We would love to include your vacation photos in the Smoky Mountains from the 80s, snapshots from your 4th of July picnic, Instagram selfies from Jeepfest, or your hundred year old historical photographs; absolutely anything so long as it is about Toledo/Lucas County or its residents.

Community Photo Album Details

Up to five images can be contributed at a time, and we ask that you provide a little context for the image, as much of the “who, what, when, and where” as possible. For digital photographs there is a short online form to submit to the Community Photo Album. If you have physical photographs you would like to submit to the collection, there is a PDF form that can be filled out (be sure to download it to your computer before filling it out, your progress won’t be able to be saved if you fill it out in a web browser), and either mailed in to the library along with the photographs, or you can drop the form and the photos off to a TLCPL branch library who will take care of sending them along. Staff at the branch libraries can also help you fill these forms out if you have any questions. For physical photographs, we’ll be careful to take good care of them and then mail them back to you at no cost.

Rebecca Louise Law: Community display from The Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, Ohio

The image above shows the gorgeous flowers on display at the “Community” art installation at the Toledo Museum of Art and you’ll find more examples from the collection below. The first image is a tintype portrait of a young woman; the original photograph was quite tiny, less than an inch high. The second image is a snapshot from the 1960s showing flooding along a residential street in western Toledo. The third image was taken in late 2018 at the Momentum festival held at Promenade Park in downtown Toledo.

Full collection of images in the Community Photo Album

A Sampling from the Community Photo Album

 Louise Emma Bollman Rippel [approximately 1895]
Louise Emma Bollman Rippel, approximately 1895
 Flooding on Portsmouth Street, May 1966
Flooding on Portsmouth Street, May 1966
 A Giant Inflatable Sculpture at the Momentum festival at Promenade Park on September 15, 2018
Momentum festival, September 15, 2018

Form to Submit Digital Images

Form to Submit Physical Photographs

 

Originally posted by John D. on ToledoLibrary.org/blog/become-a-part-of-toledos-history

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