Tag Archives: library

Whatcha Reading…? 5/23/2020 Book Update

It has been a while since I last did a book update! And as I am currently in quite a few of them….I thought it might be fun. I read a lot. In fact, I have so far read 145 books this year alone. I also really like reading multiple books at once. So, when the number get particularly unwieldy, I do a post on here about what I am currently reading.

At the moment, I am reading: Symposium by Plato, A Hero of Our Times by Mikhail Lermontov, The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim, Dare to Lead by Brené Brown, The Prospering by Elizabeth George Speare, Hear This Woman by Ben and Ann Pinchot, The Surrogate Proletariat by Gregory Massell, Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop, and The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King. Plus, kind of sort of The Great Debate by Yuval Levin but my hold is about to expire and I’m not sure I will renew it.

The TA I worked with last semester frequently recommended Plato’s Symposium. It is probably one of Plato’s more famous Socratic dialogues. So far I am finding it quite interesting, though I do not think it will be my new favorite. Too many statements like: “Then he and every one who desires, desire that which he has not already, and which is future and not present, and which he has not, and is not, and of which he is in want;–these are the sort of things which love and desire seek?” (Took me six tries to figure out what Socrates was saying. And I still probably am missing something.) Reading on Kindle.

I actually loved A Hero of Our Times by Mikhail Lermontov when I first started reading it. Then about 2/3rds of the way through, it switches from a narrative to a journal and almost completely lost my attention. I think I am going to just force myself to finish today. Reading on Gutenberg.org.

I’ve been eyeing The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim for quite some time. I even own a copy of it. But it is taking more effort to get through than I expected. There are lovely descriptions and delightful characters but I feel like I’m perpetually waiting for the plot to start. The synopsis promises a bit more comedy of manners, so maybe that will start soon. Reading a soft cover copy I own.

My brother lent me his copy of Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. I’m enjoying it so far, though not finding it particularity applicable. Or maybe applicable is the wrong word. There is lots of good content about leadership, but as I am not in a position of leadership at the moment, I am not precisely jotting down notes. Reading a hardcover copy owned by my brother.

The Prospering by Elizabeth George Speare is proving surprisingly…challenging to get through. Initially I was delighted by it. I love Elizabeth George Speare and have read every other fictional book written by her at least twice. But I think there is a reason this one did not take off. It takes a darker, more mature tone, and yet the narrator is a child which feels awkward. It will be interesting to see where it goes. Reading a hardcover copy I got through an inter-library loan.

Hear This Woman by Ben and Ann Pinchot has been on my to-read list for years and I honestly can’t remember what inspired me to read it originally. It is certainly nothing like I expected. Written in 1949, the synopsis merely reads, “Follow Faith Holmes in her journey to bring all American Women together.” The story so far is more complex, surprisingly feminist, and actually quite heavy and political. Reading a hardcover copy I got through an inter-library loan.

Speaking of weird books on my to read list…The Surrogate Proletariat by Gregory Massell spends almost 500 pages describing how the Soviet Union tried to target Muslim women and spread communism from 1919 to 1929. I haven’t gotten particularly far but I’m intrigued. (File under ‘things I did not learn about in history class.’) Reading a hardcover copy I got through an inter-library loan.

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop is an urban fantasy novel and book 3 in The Others series. Mixed feelings all around about the series so far but I’m sufficiently intrigued to keep reading. I keep telling myself I can drop it at any time, but also…? Reading via my library’s Libby app.

I have purposefully and quite successfully avoided The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King for years now, but enough friends have recommended it that I am giving it a try. The book kicks off the popular Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series, which, just like it sounds, involves a retired Sherlock Holmes and his equally intelligent female apprentice. I am not precisely a Sherlock purist but still…that description…we’ll see. Reading via my library’s Libby app.

What are you currently reading? Anything good?

ALLLLLLL the Library Holds

If y’all recall on March 4 I wrote a blog post about how I kept maxing out my library cards’ allotted holds on Libby and couldn’t wait for them to come in…

Well, they’re all coming in now.


Because finals and all. 

Fate’s End by Ilona Andrews and Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop and The Great Debate by Yuval Levin and The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary and Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore and Hard Times by Charles Dickens and Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton. 

All within the last 48 hours!

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A New Library App

My local library announced access to a new app to help people get through social distancing…Hoopla!

Upside: it has more than ebooks and audio books. It includes TV shows, movies, and music! Including a lot of the shows on Acorn TV (like Miss Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries.) 

Downside: you can only check out 4 things a month.

I am excited to play around with it some more. It has already won my heart by having an ebook copy of Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen (I could not find a copy anywhere!!!) and several Bonhoeffer books in audio format. 

If you’re part of the CAFE system, definitely give it a download. (You can do it via a phone, tablet, Roku, and several other devices!) 

Mwahahaha….I now have 8 different ways to read books on my phone. 

Vindicating My Personal Library

I have decided that this forced quarantine is really an excellent vindication of my personal library. My family always judges me for buying more books. But do you know who now has enough reading material to last years of isolation? 

Me, that’s who. 

I’ve got fiction. I’ve got non-fiction. I’ve got poetry. I’ve got plays. I’ve got textbooks. I’ve got classic literature. I’ve got YA rom coms. I’ve got biograhies. I’ve got picture books. And I’ve got graphic novels. 

All in all, a most excellent library. I appreciate it very much. 

And that is absolutely why the first thing I will do when we’re allowed to leave our houses again is buy more books. 

Can’t Wait…For My Holds

I thought about doing a Can’t Wait Wednesday post but when I think about the books I truly cannot to read, the problem isn’t that they have yet to be published. The problem is that I’m waiting for them on my library reading app, Libby.

I love Libby. I credit it for why I can read at the level I do. It means I have a book–or 9–at my fingertips at any given moment of the day. But Libby only allows 10 holds per card! And with holds taking weeks, if not months, to come in, it can take a while to get the book you want. 

For example, I’ve been waiting for Elantris by Brian Sanderson for over two months and I still have six months to go on my hold. 

Sometimes a bunch of the holds come in at the same time. Then you have 5 days to read them all. Pressure, even for me. Alas, it means reading as far as you can and then putting the book on hold again. I got 5% into Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna by Mario Giordano before it was due back. Then I put it on hold again and waited a month. Got the book again and made it to the 15% mark. Returned it and now have at least two weeks to go before I will get it again. 

Sometimes I will read a book and eagerly search for the next one in the series…only to learn I’ve got a 7 week wait ahead of me. This proves particularly tricky when I’m in a phase–for example, cozy mysteries–and desperately eager to get my hands on Book #16 of the Miss Fortune Mystery Series. But come 7 weeks later when the books come in, I’ve moved on to Regency novels and my eagerness to read a book titled Swamp Santa went out the window over a month ago. 

So, it is an imperfect system. And even with two library cards, I get angsty waiting for my 20 holds. I swear weeks go by with nothing and then they always come in all at once. But I get quick, convenient access to a lot of books and don’t have to worry about returning them on time (it is automatic!) Plus, I love the audio book option. It lets me play books at 3x the speed. 

So, my current Can’t Wait Wednesday reads? 

Elantris by Brian Sanderson

Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna by Mario Giordano

The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis (audio)

Reflection on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis (audio)

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Lovely War by Julie Berry

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder by Dianne Freeman

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King

A Promise of Spring by Mary Balogh

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini

Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce

(And then more Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews novels than I will admit to 😉 )

Library Holds: Part 2

Between yesterday and today, about 30 of my holds came in at the library!
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The librarians found my extensive holds funny and posted a picture of me with all of them on Facebook with the following comment:

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Meet Amy! She has read 313 books so far this year and has just checked out 30 more to enjoy over winter break! And where does she go to borrow most of these books, you ask? M Community Library, of course! Maybe next year she’ll reach 365 books! Great job, Amy!

So, basically I am now Facebook famous 😉 

Library Holds

The longer I live away from my home town, the more unlikely this is, but I sometimes think the librarians back home know when finals end for me. 

Like, the ground starts rumbling. 

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And tremors and shaking begin. 

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And somewhere in my home town, one of the librarians turns to the other librarian and is like, “Ah, Amy’s coming back.”

At least that is what I imagine happens when they see I’ve put 40 books on hold in one morning. 

Libby App

My library has an app that allows access to audio and e-books. I love it. But for one reason or another, I never switched my account from my old phone to my new one. I did so this weekend.

And lost all the books I had on hold! Some I had been waiting months for. Most inconvenient.

But perhaps more inconvenient, some of the new books I put on hold immediately came in and now I have to find time to read them!

Library Love

My Dad handed me his library card today and asked me pick up an audio book for him. As I am still missing mine, I decided to take full advantage of it and got ten books for myself. Plus five audio books for him because who needs one when you can have five.

And you know what? It was so much fun. As I walked out of the library, I felt nearly giddy with excitement. It wasn’t any particular book or even that notable of an experience. But the library is still the best place ever and I love walking out of there with more than I can carry. 

I just love books.

Buying E-Books

I like books as much as the next girl (probably more) but I hate spending money. Thus, I love my local library. I love accessing e-books and not getting fined when they end up overdue. We’ve got a great relationship, the library book app and I. 

But I have a Kindle now and my brother gave me a gift card to fill it with books. So happily I sat down to compile a list of books I wanted to buy (mostly not available at my library) and went to purchase. 

But I hate spending the money. Even if it is gift card money. It is soooooo hard to convince myself that I need books over…over anything else. My heart starts racing. My blood pressure spikes. I internally start screaming. 

$3! You just spent $3 on a book. You probably could have gotten it for free at the library. What do you mean you need reading material for Thailand? Figure out something else! Ahhhhh! $3 indeed. 

I do not know if I should treat this like a band-aid and buy them all at once and get it over with, or slowly buy books and prolong the stress. The thing is, if I were at Goodwill I wouldn’t stress about spending $3 on a book. Maybe it is different because I can’t hold it in my hand and see where the money went.