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Feeling Anxious?

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 4:39pm

The following memoirs are all unflinchingly honest and personal accounts of those grappling with anxiety and panic disorders.

In My Age of Anxiety : Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind, Scott Stossel reports with candor on his constant and continued battles with severe anxiety in many forms. Accessible, readable, funny, forthright and extremely well researched, Stossel’s book offers alternating personal accounts with examinations of anxiety as seen in past and present science and philosophy. Daniel Smith also looks at how writers, scientists and other thinkers have considered anxiety while delving deeply into his own in Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety. Like Stossel, Smith allows readers a very close look at his daily fears, and like Stossel bravely tackles the subject with much humor.

Andrea Petersen was a student at the University of Michigan when she suffered her first panic attack. In On Edge: A Journey Through Anxiety, she recalls how she went from doctor to doctor, one misdiagnosis after another to realize that her physical pain was caused by debilitating anxiety. She was eventually diagnosed with several different anxiety disorders.

Petersen chronicles her anxiety on a very personal level, but also takes us through myriad treatments, both past and present, as well as the physiology and genetics of anxiety disorders.

These accounts of crippling anxiety mixed with studies of this common and misunderstood mental illness have the potential to offer considerable help to anyone suffering from anxiety or close to someone who is.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #652

Sun, 09/10/2017 - 3:28pm

Conversations with Friends * * * by Sally Rooney (Trinity College, Dublin) is drawn largely from conversations with the author's own friends.

Frances, a poet and aspiring writer performs at spoken-word poetry events around the college with her best friend and former lover Bobbi. At one of these events, Melissa, a well-known photojournalist proposes to do a piece on them. Invited to her Monkstown home, Bobbi falls under Melissa's spell while Frances is more impressed with the trappings of wealth and success, and instantly drawn to Melissa's gorgeous and standoffdish husband, Nick, an actor.

Mild flirtation and furtive conversations between the two turn into a clandestine affair, but it is Frances' literary ambition and secrets kept that ultimately attenuate the bonds among them all.

"With painful missteps and wise triumphs, Frances probes her beliefs in most everything—sexuality, relationships, politics, and her family—and learns to distinguish between what she’s told and what she thinks. Less a coming-of-age story and more a coming-of-now tale, Rooney’s first novel is a smart, sexy, realistic portrayal of a woman finding herself in and out of a well-depicted friendship." (Booklist)

"Readers who enjoyed Belinda McKeon's Tender and Caitriona Lally's Eggshells will enjoy this exceptional debut." (Library Journal)

* * * = 3 starred reviews

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Waiting on the White Covered Book...

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 5:59pm

Sooo, this OTHER time at the library...there was that book you saw on a shelf, with a WHITE cover, that caught your eye - but, for whatever reason, you had to pass it by. Now, if you should find yourself whimpering for that long lost spark of interest, I may have the book for you! I've recently created a list of books that have, or have had, white covers - whether or not their most recent editions have that snowy hue, they did at some point! Plus, this list is welcome to all kinds of white covered books...

Whether it be a musty white of the novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a white with multi-colored dots - like the self-help book The Bright Hour, or perhaps a stark-white of the Ypsi Reads choice book, $2.00 A Day, all white covers are welcome on this compilation list. But this list isn't just for the adults! There's also a wide age range available for the younger reader waiting on the white...

Be it from the Teen section like The Hate You Give, Everything, Everything, or maybe Red Queen this list has many pearly-covered pages that you might have left on the shelf for a later date. Even the youth may have left a book resting on it's display, such as The Book of Mistakes or The Very Busy Spider. This list also provides you with options from every genre in the library...

Maybe you were browsing through the thrillers and found Enemy of the State or Dragon Teeth by Jurrasic Park author Michael Crichton? Could you have been possibly perusing the Express Shelf and seen Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body on the shelf? What about the non-fiction readers, who may have browsed through the stacks seeing covers that advertised payment via internet or staying healthy as you age!

This list has ALL THE THINGS (or would like to have) and is growing each day! Please feel free to take a look, and make comments of other white-covered books you think others may be searching for, so the list can continue to grow. Just think: someone out there could be looking for a white book jacket that you've read before - maybe you have the answer they've been looking for as they search the numerous volumes we have here at AADL. Or perhaps you yourself have been searching, and the book is in this list already!!! Only one way to find out...

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Five Must-Read Graphic Novels for Adults

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 4:10pm

It's hard to deny that adult graphic novels, as a genre, have come into their own. Here are some of my personal favorites. Together, they capture much of the diverse array of creative and narrative possibilities being explored by contemporary artists and authors.

My Favorite Thing is Monsters (book one) -by Emil Ferris-
This title likely requires no introduction. First time writer Emil Ferris made big waves when this book was released earlier this year. With lush, intricate artwork, and with a haunting murder-mystery at its core, 'My Favorite Thing is Monsters' makes for a deeply compelling read. For more, check out this review from NPR's 'Fresh Air'.

California Dreamin': Cass Elliot before the Mamas & the Papas -by Pénélope Bagieu-
Few artists have received as much praise for their talent, or been as much of a target for body-shaming as 'Mama' Cass Elliot. 'California Dreamin'' gets behind the fame and the ugliness of the stories surrounding her death, and shows her as both a talented vocalist and as a human being. Click the link for a review from Paste.

The Torture Report: a graphic adaptation -by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón-
Drawing from the accounts detailed in the 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture conducted by agents of the US government, Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón bring the stark realities documented in the report to life in a way that mere words on a page never could. The brutality of these real-life events make 'The Torture Report' a tough read, but maybe that dose of reality makes it an essential read as well. Here's an exerpt at Slate, and a review from NPR.

The Museum Vaults -by Marc-Antoine Mathieu-
Mixing equal parts of fantasy and satire, 'The Museum Vaults' follows the adventures of an art expert as he delves ever deeper into an endless labyrinth underneath the Louvre in Paris. The illustrations are inventive, beautiful, and often downright eerie. Here's a review from The Guardian.

Lost Property -by Andy Poyiadgi-
While technically a part of our teen graphic novel collection, 'Lost Property' is a slim, stunningly beautiful work that will certainly speak to adults as well as it speaks to teens. When a man walks into a small shop, he is confronted with the realization that it is filled, exclusively, with every item he has ever owned and lost. Questions of why and how this has happened are quickly overridden by a more central one: what will he do with all the lost ephemera of his life, now that he's found it? Follow the link for a review from Broken Frontier.

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PreK Bits - "K" is for KANGAROOs

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 6:00pm

Ms. Rachel presented kangaroo stories in Storytime.
POUCH! is a story of 2 baby kangaroos ... just growing out of the pouch!
In the “I’m a Kangaroo” song ... we have lots of bounces and "BOINGS" to do.
KATY NO-POCKET is the story of Katy who has no pouch to keep her baby close.

If you like kangaroos and you like stories, here are more favorite kangaroos:
NIGHTY-NIGHT COOPER by Laura Joffe Numeroff.
HEART In The POCKET by Laurence Bourguignon.
Now you can "hop and jump all day!".
Do you have a pouch?

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Sing, Unburied, Sing

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 5:11pm

“Read Jesmyn Ward's Sing, Unburied, Sing and you’ll feel the immense weight of history—and the immense strength it takes to persevere in the face of it. This novel is a searing, urgent read for anyone who thinks the shadows of slavery and Jim Crow have passed, and anyone who assumes the ghosts of the past are easy to placate. It’s hard to imagine a more necessary book for this political era.”
Celeste Ng, author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere

Jesmyn Ward returns with her first piece of full-length fiction since her National Book Award winner, Salvage the Bones (2011). Her new novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing, has already been placed in some high company. Ward’s fictional Mississippi town of Bois Sauvage has been compared to William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County in As I Lay Dying, its haunting spirits likened to those in Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Sing, Unburied, Sing and its characters share a multi-generational memory and an understanding the of journey and toils of those who came before. Ghosts create a connection between the living, mourning with them.

Ward’s characters belong to three generations of a Mississippi family. Jojo and his little sister, Kayla, are being mostly raised by their grandparents. Their mother, Leonie, drifts in and out of the picture in a drug-induced haze, their father, Michael, is serving time in the Mississippi State Penitentiary, a prison farm known as Parchman. When Michael is released, Leonie brings Jojo and Kayla to pick him up. Their journey is not an easy one, their bodies crammed in a dirty, hot car, always hungry and thirsty, traveling dangerous terrain. Three narrative voices relay the details of the trip to Parchman and back; Jojo, Leonie, and Richie, a young boy whom Jojo’s grandfather had served time with in Parchman. Richie died when he was 15. That his voice not only shares in the telling of this story, but speaks to Jojo directly, shows how masterfully Ward can weave magical realism into her storytelling. These supernatural elements feel at home here, in the swampy, steamy, deep south of the Mississippi Gulf. Richie is not the only spirit who appears on these pages. Leonie is often visited by her deceased brother Given. Jojo hears not only from Richie, but is highly attuned to the sounds of the natural world, truly as if the earth’s song has been unburied for him. “Home ain’t always about a place...home is about the earth. Whether the earth open up to you. Whether it pull you so close the space between you and it melt and y’all one and it beats like your heart. Same time.”

Ward’s story retells the hardships of past racism in the south and outlines the brutality of it in the present day. She illuminates this country’s struggle with race relations, police brutality, mass incarceration, by using the voices of the past and the present in conversation. Though her characters, both living and dead, speak often of cruelty and inhumanity, Ward’s matter-of-fact tone and presentation, coupled with her use of magical realism, imbues her words with an inflection that is calm and lyrical. Sing, Unburied, Sing is a moving and important work.

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Covert to Overt : The Under/Overground Art of Shepard Fairey

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 10:29am

Covert to Overt is a beautiful full-sized art book that features Shepard Fairey’s post-Obama HOPE poster (2008) work and activities. It’s a wonderfully presented collection of posters, murals, and street art from this time period. If you’re a fan, or are curious about the man and his work, you must peruse this book.

In the book Fairey touches upon how his art isn’t so underground anymore, and yet he still holds those principles true in the work he does today.

“My friend and curator Pedro Alonzo once said that I’m too street for the corporate world and too corporate for the street world. Either way I hope I’m breaking someone’s rules.”

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Summer Game 2017: MATHEMATICAL!

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 1:33pm

Well, Summer Gamers, it's September. Summer is but a distant memory now, after having celebrated the working man and woman by eating a hot dog, cleaning out your kid's backpack from last year, and trying not to get drenched. The evenings have grown chilly and you are maybe even dressed in LAYERS. But still you feel the pull to your computer or your phone, still something calls to you from is it all in your head? Yes, it is. Summer Game 2017 is done.

BUT, it's the first day of school, and the first day of school means the triumphant return of MATH! To celebrate the glory of math, we here at SGHQ have done a little bit of number crunching to see if this year's game compared favorably or un to games of previous years. SO HOW DID IT GO? Oh, it went a little something like THIS:


7,225 players scored points in Summer Game 2017! That's a 16.8% increase over last year and yet another all-time high!


Players earned 99,479 Summer Game 2017 badges this summer, up 10.2% from last year! SGHQ created a total of 196 badges that were possible to earn, so that means that each badge was earned an average of 508 TIMES!! This year's top three badges were the Josie's Walker badge (2,276 earns), the Super Summer Reader badge (3,412 earns), and the Track TheRide badge--which a veritable bus-watching army of 3,825 players earned!!!


Players redeemed 533,724 codes in Summer Game 2017! That's an increase of 16.9% over last year, which was already up 30% from the year before! This year we gave you 1088 codes that could be redeemed, which means that each code was typed in an average of 490 times! So not to get too technical, but that's, like, A BUNCH. Nobody hunts down weird puns like you do!


This year was once again the BIGGEST YEAR EVER for reading, watching, and listening to things (at least, as far as we have data to see that)! 24,251,910 pages/minutes were reported this summer, which, again, A BUNCH. That means that, on average, summer gamers spent 3,356 minutes over the course of the summer just kicking back and enjoying a good book/movie/show/podcast/album/WHATEVER. You each read Anna Karenina 4 times this summer! Or watched a single cat video 13,424 times! WE DON'T JUDGE!!


And, as always, we'll end with a WHOPPER of a number, this year's total points earned, a truly ENORMOUS 187,025,833 POINTS!! That's a HUGE increase of 38% over last year!! That causes us to raise our collective SGHQ eyebrows more than a little and begin to ponder if we've done the right thing in CREATING THE MONSTER THAT IS THE COLLECTIVE YOU!!!

So after careful analysis and deep thought, we put all of these various measurements together and decided that this year's summer game was pretty good...WHO ARE WE KIDDING, THIS YEAR'S SUMMER GAME WAS STUPENDOUSLY TREMENDOUSLY IN-NO-WAY-HORRENDOUSLY AMAZING!!!

SO WHAT NOW?! We know you've been asking yourselves that question since midnight on September 1. You now have to begin the annual journey of self-discovery wherein you try to remember who you are without the summer game. We're doing the same thing...sort of. Or...WE'RE ALREADY TALKING ABOUT SUMMER GAME 2018 AND HOW TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE AMAZINGLY AWESOMER THAN THIS YEAR WAS!!! You've probably seen some vague hints in the comments that some changes are coming to summer game along with the NEW LIBRARY WEBSITE in 2018. It's a little early to reveal to you what those changes will be (mostly because we haven't really figured them out ourselves), but we can tell you for sure that YOUR SUMMER GAME WILL KEEP BEING YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT SUMMER!

How can we be so sure that the game will stay AMAZING? How do we know that any changes we make will be able to maintain the HIGH LEVELS OF AWESOME to which you've become accustomed? How could a changed game still be guaranteed to be INCREDIBLE?? Because we're ABSOLUTELY SURE that the GREATEST thing about Summer Game will never change, and that's YOU! We are constantly ASTOUNDED by you players and we're sure no matter what we do, you will still make the Summer Game GREAT! THANKS FOR MAKING THE SUMMER GAME A FUN THING TO MAKE EVERY YEAR!! AND THANKS FOR PLAYING!!!

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Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 2:36pm

Creatures of mystery, harbingers of death, symbols of wisdom and protection, owls have captured the imaginations of people from the earliest times. Both feared and revered, for their association with darkness and the night, they feature prominently in the folklore and art of all native cultures. You can see how they are immortalized in early art here.

I love these birds, and so does Paul Bannick. His new book, Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls, is a hymn of praise to all nineteen species of owls which live in North America. Bannick is, first and foremost, a wildlife photographer, who strives to faithfully document natural moments with wild subjects, and his pictures are exquisite. Here are hundreds of the most magnificent images of owls: inquisitive nestlings, mature adults posing with haughty, knowing expressions, swooping and diving, hunting and feeding, he captures their natural grace and mystique in the most natural settings. From the large great grey owl to the tiny elf owl, from the common barn owl to the elusive burrowing owl, with different sizes, markings, and colors, there is a definitive owlish-ness to them all; a bird with a face. They live in every corner of our continent, have adapted to all habitats, and, though their habitats are threatened, they have survived. Enjoy the mystery and beauty of owls.

For stories, picture books, and folklore about owls these can be found in our collection.
For more information about owls in their natural habitats, we own these.

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Amazing geography/travel books for kids!! The "This Is" series by M. Sesek.

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 9:34am

The "This Is" series by M. Sasek are all-around great works of children's nonfiction. Originally written between 1959 and 1970, the titles span the globe.

Here are some of our personal favorites:

"This is Paris"
"This is London"
"This is San Francisco"
"This is Hong Kong"
"This is Edinburgh"

Informative and entertaining for kids, the series teaches about the sights, sounds, and cultural landmarks of a total of 17 "must-see" places. Adults will enjoy these books too - the illustrations are perfect examples of mid-20th century graphic design at it's best, it's boldest, and it's most colorful.

All of the books in this series have been recently updated and re-released. Feel free take a look!!