With a newborn and a commute, I often don’t have time to read in a traditional manner. My favorite time to read is curled up in my husband’s favorite chair, which also happens to be my favorite chair, and have a nice cup of tea. That doesn’t happen anymore. Now it’s screaming and crying and weird electronic cow noises from toys that I can’t stand. Since I have a commute, I decided to try audiobooks. It is a really great way to get in some reading, without actually reading. Here are some of my favorites.
This book is hilarious! Isabel Spellman is the horrible daughter who cannot do anything right. It really doesn’t help that her parents own a P.I. firm and are constantly spying on her. Even her little sister is in on it. Granted, Izzy is in her 20s and doesn’t really have a job, and is constantly getting arrested for silly things while her perfect older brother is a fantastic lawyer and her sister is doing wonderful in middle school. Izzy is just trying to make her way in the world when her sister is kidnapped and Izzy is blamed. The narrator has a worldly voice that seems like she’s had her fair share of hard times. It provides a realistic edge to the character of Izzy. I love this book. If you enjoy Janet Evanovich, you will love these!
Harry Dresden is a wizard. Yes, a real wizard. Sometimes, when the Chicago P.D. can’t solve a case, or it’s just too weird for them, they call on Harry to help out. This time, he might be in over his head. When the weather starts to get bad, people start to die from spells that have gone wrong. This audiobook is voiced by the actor James Marsters, who played Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and on Angel. I really thought Spike was British, so it was very interesting to have his voice in an American accent. The Dresden Files is a great fantasy mystery series and I really enjoy these books.
I’m not much of a romance reader. I usually like mysteries or fantasy. This one was recommended to me by Kimberly Wells at the North Branch and I thought I would give it a try. She runs the Romance in the Stacks Book Club, so she wouldn’t steer me wrong. It was a great read. Fun, action, adventure, swashbuckling, and yes, some romance. It starts off with a woman who goes to finish her dissertation on the mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel, the person who helped people escape from France during the French Revolution. What she discovers instead is information on the Pink Carnation, another spy who was much more elusive. The book weaves back and forth through letters and writings and in between, you find out what is happening with the woman writing the paper. It was completely enjoyable and there was just enough romance.
This might be one of my favorite books of all time. Kate Atkinson tells the story of one person, but it’s told over and over again. Each time the girl lives, she dies in a different way. The choices she makes in that reality determine when and how she dies. The book is set in England before World War II. She is born, she grows, sometimes she sees war, sometimes she gets married, sometimes she dies as a young girl. It is an incredible book. I’ve always enjoyed Kate Atkinson and I’ve read all of her Jackson Brodie books. This one is different. I couldn’t wait to get back into my car to see what would happen next.
Still Foolin’ Em by Billy Crystal
I’m a big Billy Crystal fan. I’m also a big fan of funny books written by smart people. This is one of them. Billy Crystal wrote this book because he is getting older and wanted to talk about his life and his career. He narrates the book himself, which makes it even better. It is a very interesting look at an engaging life. He is a brilliant and funny man. I had no idea that Muhammad Ali was one of his best friends and that Mickey Mantle was someone he hung out with. I also didn’t know that Joe Dimaggio punched him in the stomach. This is all secondary to his movie career, his comedy career, and his family. It is a very interesting look at getting older. I can’t wait until I’m 65. Maybe I’ll write a book, too.
WyLaina Polk is the manager of the Emily Fowler Central Library and enjoys a good story.
This month is the perfect opportunity to learn about your ancestry, honor your ancestor’s memory, and to involve your family in understanding your heritage.
Write down what you already know about your parents and ancestors. Share this information with your children, making sure they understand how important it is to keep this information alive.
Sort through old photos with your family, identify people in the photos, and learn to preserve the photos.
Share meaningful heirlooms with family members, and tell stories about why they were important to the family.
Visit the library with family members and introduce them to family history research.
The month of October always brings up memories of fall, family birthdays, and Halloween. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. Apple cider, carving pumpkins, chocolate, and a combination of store bought and homemade costumes–is there anything better than that? Some of my more memorable costumes include dressing up in kimonos, a butterfly, and the occasional princess. However, the costume that I remember the most was She-Ra, Princess of Power. She-Ra had everything a little girl could want: superpowers, sidekicks and a twin brother.
Don’t be surprised if you see She-Ra at the library one Halloween. For the honor of Greyskull! I am She-Ra!
There are busy hands at Finish It Friday Crafters Club. Come meet these crafters and join in the fun. Everyone works on their favorite craft project while they visit and exchange know-hows. Finish It Friday is a come and go program which meet at North Branch Library Friday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. So bring that craft you said you would finish one day. We’ll see you Friday morning. For more information, please call (940) 349-8752.
Finish It Friday Crafters Club will not meet on Nov. 7.
~Carmen Grant, North Branch
Here are Finish It Friday Crafters book recommendations:
The Art of Detection: A Kate Martinelli Mystery by Laurie R. King
Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
The Principles of Knitting by June Hiatt
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia De Luce Mystery by C. Allan Bradley
Have you ever heard of Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center (CCNHC)? Neither had I until this summer. I recently had my first experience at this fantastic park when I hosted StoryTime there a couple of Saturdays ago, and I’m very excited to spread the word. I call it a park, but it’s not like the other parks in Denton. There are no playgrounds with swings and slides, no pavilions, no grills, no ball fields. There are trails that take you through Denton’s wetlands, bottomland hardwood forest, prairie, and grasslands, and Clear Creek offers a peek at a host of flora and fauna that provide great opportunities for experiential learning and family fun.
If you are a regular visitor to our local state park trails, you will definitely want to check out Clear Creek, and you can leave your cash at home because since it is city-owned, it is free to use all the time. A few tips though — no biking on the trails, wear long pants and closed-toes shoes, bring bug spray and water, and avoid trails if there has been a lot of recent rainfall. Strollers are definitely a bad idea at Clear Creek since these trails are not paved. Also, if using your GPS to find CCNHC, please type in the exact address, 3310 Collins St., to avoid being led astray. Please visit CCNHC and tell all your friends about its incredible, outdoor awesomeness!
Join us at Clear Creek this Saturday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. for another StoryTime for children ages 3-5 (weather permitting). We will read stories, sing songs, and embark on a short, educational hike led by a very knowledgeable Texas Master Naturalist.
Dana Tucker is the Youth Services Librarian at the North Branch Library and enjoys active, outdoor activities, even though you can’t tell by looking at her.