Your New Best Friend: Libby!

Let’s face it there are not enough hours in the day.

Between work, chores, food, kids, pets, and all the other responsibilities that plague the average adult, it is amazing that anyone has the time to do anything for the sheer pleasure of it. Maybe you squeeze in time at the gym? Maybe you cook a good meal once and awhile? But when was the last time you were able to totally lose yourself in a good book?

Friends, I am here to let you in on a little secret.
Her name is Libby and she is a game changer.

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Libby (developed by Overdrive) is an app for your phone or tablet which allows you to download eBooks and audio books FOR FREE!! What this means is your morning commute, run at the gym, or waiting for an appointment are all opportunities for a little literary pick-me-up.

Hear me out. Maybe you haven’t read or listened to a book in years. Maybe you are unsure if you would like an audio book? Believe me when I say that Libby makes it so easy! It takes two seconds to add this app to your phone, and the variety of books is worth it. Also, Libby can give you recommendations based on what you like!

I suffer from insomnia so being able to turn on my phone at 3 am and have access to hundreds of titles is just awesome. I have read so many more books since downloading the Libby App!

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For example, recently I was having a horribly stressful day but still had to face the grocery store because…life. On a whim, I decided to bring my headphones with me into the store. It seemed a little strange to change my routine but I turned to Libby while I perused the aisles. The book I chose to listen to was David Sedaris’s most recent Calypso. After about five minutes of listening, I was giggling among the produce, then smiling broadly while choosing yogurt.

Thanks to an audio book my mundane task turned into something really fun!!

Libby was developed for people that don’t have time and chances are you are one of those people. Heck, if you have had time to read this whole article I am impressed! Thanks for that!!

In all seriousness though, I feel so much better when I have the opportunity to enjoy literature and since Libby has so many best sellers and old favorites I am spending a lot of time with her.

If you are interested in Libby, grab your phone (or tablet) and your library card. If you don’t have a library card go get one! It takes all of five minutes and then you can join the club! All the cool kids have a library card. Come hang out with us!

Once your library card is acquired you can Google “Libby App” or search for her in your app store. Download the Libby App and then start browsing!

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With Libby, you can rate books to give her a sense of what types of books you enjoy. You can log your preferences making it easy for her to recommend books you might like. You can borrow up to 10 books at a time, and once the allotted borrowing time is up the book will vanish! You do not need to return anything and there are no fees. This service is 100 percent free and so, so, so fun!

I would love to hear how you are using the Libby App and other digital resources at the library. Don’t forget to join The Library Hop on Instagram @thelibraryhop . I love engaging with my followers and getting lots of book recommendations. Come hang out!

“Let’s Loiter and Learn Something!”

Hop Picks for January 2019: Memoirs

Happy January Friends! I hope everyone is staying warm
and enjoying the beginning of 2019!!

If you are like me, you may be looking for a little guidance in this shiny new year. One of the ways that I am reflecting and gearing up for 2019 is by reading some incredible memoirs. Whenever I am looking for a little push to keep moving forward I will pick up a memoir. I really does help to take my problems and put them into perspective.

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Just Kids by Patti Smith, Copyright 2010

I have to admit that I am not really a fan of Patti Smith’s music although I recognize the road she paved for female performers. She is a force that I didn’t really appreciate until I read her first memoir Just Kids. I love this book. It chronicles Smith’s early years in New York City’s art scene. She is a struggling poet/visual artist and her life is dramatically altered when she meets Robert Mapplethorpe. If you are not familiar with Mapplethrope’s photographs Google him. He was a phenomenal human whose questions on sexuality and identity have influenced generations.

This book is a love letter to a very
complicated time in New York City.

In 1969, Mapplethorpe and Smith move into the Chelsea Hotel and become a part of the sensational history there. NYC was exploding with rock and roll, art, politics and sexuality. It is beautiful (if not heartbreaking) to read the pure devotion Smith had for the time, the place and for Mapplethorpe. This book will tear you a part and inspire you to have the deepest relationships. The type of friendships that will break you but ultimately, make you feel as human as possible.

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Stitches: a memoir… by David Small, Copyright 2009

David Small is quite the illustrator. His children’s book Imogene’s Antlers was one of my favorites growing up. His picture books are so delightful that it is difficult to imagine the horrible childhood he survived. Now that I am a parent, I cannot fathom the abuse his parents put him through.

The unbelievable sadness of David Small’s childhood is brought to a dismal reality in this stark graphic novel.

I read this book in 45 minutes and was shaking like a leaf. Small shows incredible forgiveness for his unloving parents and by the end you realize just how far a person can be lead into pure darkness.

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 Calypso by David Sedaris, Copyright 2018

I am a huge fan of David Sedaris and have read all of his books. I have gone to his shows, book signings and have even youtubed his late night interviews…he’s just so funny! Imagine my surprise when I finished his most recent book and realized it was his best work yet! Sedaris has always had the ability to witness humankind with wonder but Calypso is also, (somehow) so much more. Maybe it is because Sedaris is getting a little older? Maybe it is because I am getting a little older? Whatever the reason, Calypso is tender in a way that he has always touched on but never fully explored.

While reading Calypso there were moments when I was weeping and laughing simultaneously!

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Brain on Fire: My Month of Maddness by Susannah Cahalan, Copyright 2012

When I started reading this memoir, I was amazed at Cahalan’s success. At the beginning she is a young reporter making a career at The New York Post. She has a nice apartment, good friends…the first couple of pages describe what hundreds of 20 somethings wish for. Of course, her story takes a horrible turn when she starts getting headaches, then mood swings, her body hurts and then goes numb. Her detailed account of her month of hospitalization is a terrifying glimpse into the severity of misdiagnosis. Every word is written as if Cahalan is sitting next to the reader recounting the terror and confusion and we are forced to sit frozen, mouths open… waiting for a happy ending.

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What I Talk about When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami, Copyright 2008

I know, I know, I have mentioned Murakami about a BILLION times but if you are unfamiliar with his writing this memoir is a quick and beautiful read.

One can rightly assume that this book is about his experiences with long distance running but it is so much more than that. His reflections touch on everything from the choices he’s made, his routines and his philosophy on how to live a modest yet successful life. Every page holds a passage that gives me goosebumps.

“Naturally, there are people in the world (only a handful, for sure) blessed with enormous talent that, from beginning to end, doesn’t fade, and whose works are always of the highest quality. These fortunate few have a water vein that never dries up, no matter how much they tap into it. For literature, this is something to be thankful for. It is hard to imagine the history of literature without Shakespeare, Balzac and Dickens. But the giants are, in the end, giants-exceptional legendary figures. The remaining majority of writers who can’t reach such heights (including me, of course) have to supplement what is missing from their store of talent through whatever means they can. Otherwise it’s impossible for them to keep on writing novels of any value. The methods and directions a writer takes in order to supplement himself becomes part of that writers individuality, what makes him special.” Page 81, First United States Edition.

I could go on and on! There are so many beautiful memoirs out there! Are there any you would add to this list? Thanks for checking in! Happy New Year!

Let’s Loiter and Learn Something.

Hopping Holidays

Hey Friends! and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

No matter what you are celebrating this festive season I hope you are taking some time to relax. Whether it is picking up a museum pass, having coffee with friends or curling up with a new library book, don’t forget that this is a time to focus on the people and things that really matter to you.

For me, literacy and supporting my library are really important. During this lovely time of year I will be doing tiny things to help my favorite cause.

Friends, for the first time in my life, I wrote a check to the library! Admittedly, it was not a lot of money but I know that materials are expensive and there are so many to choose from. My donation will help the library purchase a few titles (books or films) that they did not budget for. Yay!

Speaking of materials being expensive, my family does an advent calendar every year and this year we decided to give books! This is a terrific idea but can break the bank (hello 25 days of children’s books!) I saved a ton of money by visiting the book sales found in many public libraries and paying wayyyyy less for like new books. High five to this mom for saving all the money and supporting the library!

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Also, last week I borrowed three cook books and a cocktail recipe book from the library . I am SO excited to try some new recipes in honor of the season.

After the baking, traveling and present-ing is over there is still vacation. The impending task of keeping the kiddos entertained has lead me to make a list of some awesome programs happening at the library. I plan to pack up the family and utilize all the programming that libraries have to offer. I’m looking at you Wallingford Public Library’s Collaboratory.

Friendly Reminder that if you have a library card in CT you have access to all the libraries in the state!

Lastly, in order to survive the plethora of holiday car trips, lines at the grocery store and vigorous house cleaning, I have downloaded the Overdrive App to my phone. With my trusty library card I am able to borrow hundreds of audio books and will always have something to listen to! My wait time just got a lot more literary!

Holy Moly who knew that the library would come in so handy this time of year?! How are you using the library during this busy time?

Happy Holidays Friends! Have a safe and happy season! Cheers to you!