Literary Links: Critical Thinking and Decision-Making

Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2018 by Dana S

From picking a pair of shoes to wear to the office to buying a house, we are constantly faced with the challenge of making decisions. It’s an everyday process that can be surprisingly difficult and may cause feelings ranging from mild irritation to painstaking agony. Humans are also not particularly skilled at making choices; we frequently employ flawed logic that we’re incapable of recognizing. Ironically, we don’t often examine the thought processes that result in our choices. Luckily, there is an abundance of recently published books that do the hard work for us! There are so many titles out now that it was, as you might expect, a challenge to decide which to present here.

A Field Guide to Lies coverIn the current era, we have so much information at our disposal. With just a few clicks or taps on a screen, we can usually find answers to any inquiry. Yet our internet searches often yield so many results that they’re difficult to parse. In “A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age,” Daniel J. Levitin examines the tactics most media outlets use to simplify scientific and statistical findings to readers, and how our interpretations of this information are often flawed. The book gives readers a guide to distinguishing reliable information from distortions, lies and misinformation. Continue reading “Literary Links: Critical Thinking and Decision-Making”

Assigned Books You Hated (or Never Finished): Read Harder 2018

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2018 by Dana S

apple book plant fruit flower food red produce color still life painting education close up apples school macro photography knowledge flowering plant rose family still life photography computer wallpaper land plantSummer reading is coming to a close here at the library and back to school season is just around the corner. I find myself thinking back to my high school days and how this is the exact time where I’d be playing last-minute catch-up on those pesky books assigned for the new school year. Those books assigned back in May? Yeah, those will get read eventually — I’ve got fun reading to do first! This August, I find myself in the same predicament. I’ve already completed most of my most enjoyable or “easy” tasks for the Read Harder Challenge, and I’m beginning to tackle some of the more difficult ones. For obvious reasons, I’d been dreading task 24: An assigned book you hated or never finished. Rereading loathed literature feels like punishment, but at best, the task may help you gain a new appreciation for the book. So in the spirit of the season, here are some books people are commonly assigned in school, and may have hated or left unfinished. Note: This task is super subjective and not intended to offend anyone’s personal tastes!
Continue reading “Assigned Books You Hated (or Never Finished): Read Harder 2018”

Books With Female Protagonists Over Age 60: Read Harder 2018

Posted on Friday, March 30, 2018 by Dana S

Person Reading a Book

March is Women’s History Month, and what better way to celebrate than to read books with awesome female characters?! For those of you participating in Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder challenge, this could be the perfect time to check off task #23: a book with a female protagonist over the age of 60. I highlight here a few books featuring female characters “of a certain age,” some who have made history, others who have been there to bear witness to it.

Grandma Gatewood's Walk coverNow, the term protagonist is most frequently used to refer to the central character of a fictional text, but can be used more broadly to refer to prominent figures in real contexts. I just had to make use of this latter definition to include “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail.” At age 67, Emma Gatewood told her family that she was going for a walk; surely they assumed she’d be taking a leisurely stroll around the block. Nope! Gatewood’s walk was the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, and she became the first woman to complete this journey solo. Becoming something of a hiking celebrity, she later was the first person to walk the trail twice, and then three times. Talk about determination! Continue reading “Books With Female Protagonists Over Age 60: Read Harder 2018”

Comics Written or Illustrated by a Person of Color: Read Harder 2018

Posted on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 by Dana S

Descender panel

In case you missed it, the library is getting into the spirit of Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder challenge, and there’s plenty of time to join. The year-long challenge consists of 24 tasks to help you to read more broadly. I’m back with you this time to highlight another comics-specific task: #8 A comic written or illustrated by a person of color.

Best We Could Do book cover

The Best We Could Do” is an impressive debut effort for author/artist Thi Bui. In this graphic memoir, she documents her family’s experiences in war-torn Vietnam. Her parents ultimately fled in the 1970s, bringing Bui and her siblings to the United States as refugees. This moving graphic memoir is equal parts historical and personal tracing the effects of war, tragedy, parent-child relationships and the immigrant experience. Continue reading “Comics Written or Illustrated by a Person of Color: Read Harder 2018”

Single-Creator Comics: Read Harder 2018

Posted on Friday, January 26, 2018 by Dana S

panel from Royal City comic

Hoping to read more broadly in 2018? The library is hosting a version of Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge, and there’s plenty of time to hop on board! If you know me, you know I read tons of comics, so imagine my excitement to see that of 24 challenge tasks, three of them are comics-specific! Some of my favorites are single-creator, meaning the writing and illustrations result from a single person rather than from several collaborators. This is the subject of task #4: Read a book written and illustrated by the same person. Here are a few recommendations. Continue reading “Single-Creator Comics: Read Harder 2018”

Literary Links: O Canada! Celebrating 150 Years

Posted on Sunday, July 9, 2017 by Dana S

This July, our northern neighbor celebrates its sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary. The Dominion of Canada, formed on July 1, 1867, included the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Now 10 provinces and three territories strong, Canada will hold festive events nationwide to celebrate the event known as Canada 150. So how can you celebrate Canada’s rich heritage through literature? Let the library help!

Trip planners headed to Canada will want to check out an excellent pair of guides from National Geographic. Their Guide to the National Historic Sites of Canada” features the beautiful photography National Geographic is known for, and it details Canada’s 168 national historic sites, which include archaeological Guide to the National Historical Sites of Canada book coversites, battlegrounds, natural features and other heritage sites. Readers can take in the views of the Atlantic Ocean from Cape Spear, the easternmost point in North America, or head northwest to Dawson City — a town that played a significant role in the late-1800s Yukon Gold Rush. July is also National Parks Month in Canada, so you might want to check out National Geographic’s “Guide to the National Parks of Canada.” Readers can explore the country’s 46 national parks, from the majestic Columbia Mountains of Canada’s Glacier National Park in British Columbia to the breathtaking fjords and oceanic landscapes of Gros Morne in Newfoundland and Labrador. Canada’s natural landscapes have something for everyone to enjoy. Continue reading “Literary Links: O Canada! Celebrating 150 Years”