Need something quick to read but you don’t want to commit to a whole novel – Flipster has you covered with magazines! You can use Flipster to read many different magazines on your phone or tablet.
You can browse the most recently published magazines, or you can browse the titles from A to Z. You can even create a bookmark in a magazine and give it a name with meaning to you so you can easily spot an article you want to come back to and read later.
Whether you are looking to read Vanity Fair or find something for your niece to read in Cricket Flipster will have something for you!
Winter is such a generous reading season – it lends itself so well to staying in bed, cozying up on the couch, grabbing a favorite wintery warm beverage and getting lost in a book. While many of us reach for familiar titles and genres (I happily re-read Rosamund Pilcher’s Winter Solstice every winter!) this season, consider trying something out of your normal reading zone. I’ve been participating (loosely, I admit) in Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenges for 2 years now and they’ve gotten me into titles I’d never have picked up on my own. Here are a few that may move you into some exciting and unfamiliar territory:
Kaveh Akbar’s Calling a Wolf a Wolf. I know, I know, it’s poetry, but stay with me. I know that’s very, very scary. But this is one of the best books of poetry I’ve read in recent years (I’m a poet and I read a lot of it!) and it’s highly accessible. The entire book is about Akbar’s journey with alcoholism. It’s deft, thought-provoking, mysterious and beautiful. This is NOT your high school English class poetry! If you dig that book, try Ada Limon’s The Carrying (available on Hoopla).
Some of us read all fiction and some of us read all nonfiction! I place myself in both camps, but if you’re a real fiction lover and want to dip your toe into the world of nonfiction, try World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks and Other Astonishments. It’s a short book of very beautiful, poetic essays by Aimee Nezhukumatathil (available on Hoopla). Or really lean in and try a graphic novel memoir! You can do this! The Best We Could Do is a perfect entry into the world of comic-strip -form books. It’s a memoir about Vietnam immigrants after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s by Thi Bui. She’s also illustrated a gorgeous picture book, The Pond that I’d highly recommend for both the kiddos and their grownups! And finally, try The Rise of Wolf 8: Witnessing the Triumph of Yellowstone’s Underdog by Rick McIntyre, also available on Hoopla. Fascinating story of the abundant return of the once-rare wild wolves to Yellowstone National Park.
If you fall solidly in that other camp (geeks unite!), try Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit. If you loved The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (and who didn’t!) you’ll love Savit’s beautiful and heartbreaking Holocaust novel. The audio (which won ALA’s prestigious Odyssey Award for best audiobook for children in 2017) and the e-book are both currently available. In the too-scared-to-go-to-sleep fiction sub-genre, Zoje Stage got some fame for her unnerving book, Baby Teeth (great book!) and her newest does not disappoint. Wonderland is a true wintery tale that will chill you to the bone. Finally, give Ann Patchett a spin. All of her books are heart-eyes! Her newest book, in audio-form, The Dutch House read by Tom Hanks is perfection.
2020 has been quite a year and there are plenty of suggestions out there on how to soothe and calm yourself during this very trying time. I find listening to and reading children’s books to be one of the most soothing. Remember bedtime stories? Or storytime at the library? I actually never was read to OR taken to storytime (and my father was an English teacher and a librarian, for shame!) but I can imagine how nice it would have been and so I happily create that sensation for myself now as an adult. I recently listened to Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia Maclachlan, a classic children’s book (and a beautiful film starring Glenn Close as Sarah). Close is also the narrator of the whole collection (3 books total) available on Hoopla. The Anne of Green Gables series is another sure-to-soothe set. Various audio versions available here on Libby and on Hoopla aren’t my favorite (truly, the Audible version read by Rachel McAdams is the very best and it’s currently free!) but the others will do in a pinch. Right now I’m listening to Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary read by Stockard Channing (brilliant and available on Hoopla!) I’d also highly recommend Pax by Sara Pennypacker, a sweet little book about a boy and his fox also on Hoopla. Set the handy timer on the Hoopla app and drift off into a dreamy sleep.
Hope these titles help you create some warmth, delight and joy this winter!
Know of any curious kids looking for answers? Maybe they’re working on a school project or just want to better understand the world around them. Lead them to TrueFlix – a collection of interesting non-fiction eBooks that are enhanced with additional true, fact-basedresources for a more complete learning experience.
Similar to BookFlix, which pairs classic storybooks with related non-fiction titles, TrueFlix combines non-fiction eBooks with a variety of primary resources, videos, articles, quizzes, games and more.
From the main page, you can browse by subject categories, including everything from biographies, governments, sciences, to the human body and outerspace.
There are several topics of eBooks available within each subject category. Once you find a topic you’re interested in, you can watch a video about it, read the eBook, access related articles, websites, project ideas, activities and more. Each topic even includes a lesson plan for teachers, homeschooling parents, etc.
Also like BookFlix, the eBooks have a read-along function that highlights words as it reads aloud. This feature is great for early-readers.
If you’re looking for a great, true, and engaging reading source, checkout TrueFlix.
As we are only too aware, libraries can only house a limited number of language-learning CDs and DVDs. Recently a patron asked me for a course in Czech. Unsurprisingly, that was a language we didn’t have on our audio shelves. Fortunately, I was able to direct him to Mango Languages.
Mango offers language courses in 63 languages. It also supports ESL learners with 18 different native languages.
And now, Mango has been improved with 1000+ hours of interactive language learning! The content of over 40 language courses has doubled in size—totaling 10 new chapters for each language. For details about which languages have expanded check out this list from Mango.
Add to that the August 1st launch of Little Pim, a language-learning program for kids offering ten language options, and our patrons of all ages will be greeting us in Spanish, German, or Czech in no time!