Friday, January 20th, 2023

TinyCat’s January Library of the Month: The Centre for Family Literacy

We’re kicking off the New Year right with an amazing literacy organization founded in 1980 and based in Alberta, Canada. Congrats to the Centre for Family Literacy! Tutor Program Lead Sharon Smith and Literacy Specialist Genevieve Litwin were kind enough to tell me all about their organization and library for this month’s feature:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

The Centre for Family Literacy is a nonprofit organization that works towards a healthy, literate society where all are able to contribute and succeed. Our mission is to empower people, strengthen communities, and transform lives through literacy. In partnerships with community agencies, we support thousands of adults and children each year.

We offer programs that participants can attend with their family, as well as ones they can attend on their own. Our family programs help parents and caregivers support their children’s early language and literacy development, while working on their own literacy skills. Programs just for adults include group classes and tutoring, and are designed to help adults build the basic reading, writing, math, and digital skills needed to function in today’s world.

Tell us some interesting things about how your library supports the community.

The Adult Learners Library is an extension of the Centre for Family Literacy’s Tutor Program, and is committed to providing our volunteer tutors with the resources they need when they need them.

In this program, adults work with other adults in safe and supportive settings to develop literacy skills and strategies that will help them achieve their goals. Our programs offer meaningful and relevant activities to connect learning to real life—work, family, community—in fun and practical ways.

From one of our tutors: 

“Half-way through one of my lessons, my learner stopped me and said, ‘You are the best teacher I’ve ever had. I am so used to being rushed and yelled at when I get answers wrong, or am confused on the topics, but I feel very comfortable with you. I am so glad to have you as my teacher because you’re so nice and I actually feel like I am learning.’ I felt so proud and honoured to be trusted by my learner; it is an amazing feeling knowing they are motivated to learn as well.”

Our library supports this program by providing free physical resources for tutors and learners. Our tutors meet with their learners both in person as well as online for remote learning. Our large nonfiction section primarily features teaching materials and workbooks that focus on topics such as basic reading and writing skills, vocabulary building, math skills, and learning English as an additional language. We also have study resources for the GED exam, language exams (e.g. IELTS), and applying for Canadian Citizenship.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

We love The Active Reader workbooks, published by Grass Roots Press. They provide levelled stories based on different themes, and include decoding and comprehension activities that encourage learners to become active readers. We also love high-interest, low-vocabulary fiction such as the Photostories by Grass Roots Press, and the Rapid Reads fiction collection published by Orca Book Publishers. All of these are great Canadian resources!

What’s a particular challenge your library experiences?

In 2020, due to the pandemic, all of our in person programs temporarily moved online. Since then, we have been able to offer hybrid programming where we offer both in person and online programming for families and adults. Many tutors and learners continue to meet primarily online using distance learning tools. This means there has been less demand for our library books. For that reason, we find promoting our library and increasing its use to be challenging!

What’s your favorite thing about TinyCat, and what’s something you’d love to see implemented or developed?

We would love to see the ability to add multiple copies to the same record. Many of our items have multiple copies and tutor-learner pairs often sign out the same book. It would be great to have that all together instead of in multiple records. 

We love the affordability of TinyCat and how user-friendly it is. We especially love the way this has made our library catalog accessible remotely!

Thanks for the feedback on copies management, I can certainly understand the struggle. We’ll be sure to announce any updates regarding such a feature!

Want to learn more about the Centre for Family Literacy? 

Visit their website at https://famlit.ca/, follow them on YouTube and Instagram, and explore their full TinyCat collection here.


To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Monday, January 2nd, 2023

January 2023 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the January 2023 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 142 books this month, and a grand total of 2,848 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Wednesday, January 25th at 6PM EST.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and Germany. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Comfort Is an Old Barn: Stories from the Heart of MaineSecond Time AroundTwinkle, Twinkle, Daytime StarVoices off the Ocean: A Literary Visit to Ruth Moore's MaineMommy, There's a Dinosaur in the Cornfield!Under FireAfter the ShadowsAnne's Tragical Tea PartyPluto Rocket: New in TownThe Pancake ProblemSomething: One Small Thing Can Make a DifferenceWho Owns the Clouds?The Fear of WinterEnly and the Buskin' BluesProverbial333 - Want More Share?The Year of JubileeCode Name EdelweissThe Weight of AirA Match in the MakingPebbles and the Biggest NumberMemento MoriBlood BornColor Capital of the World: Growing up with the Legacy of a Crayon CompanyUnder the Wings of God: Twenty Biblical Reflections for a Deeper FaithEndless Grace: Prayers Inspired by the PsalmsTell the RestYeti Left HomeUrban Folk Tales: StoriesThe Connection GameFuture's Dark PastWhat Makes You Come Alive: A Spiritual Walk with Howard ThurmanWalking the Way of Harriet Tubman: Public Mystic and Freedom FighterCode Name VerityThe Everlasting RoadTrue Crime Explicit Anthology: Explore Over 700 Pages of Disturbing Stories Detailing The Horrific Sins of Seven Serial Killers For Your Nighttime True Crime BingeShort StoriesBilly Doyle — Accidental HeroTwinkle, Twinkle, Daytime Star / Brilla, brilla, estrellita del díaThe Last Chance CowboyForged in LoveTremors in the Blood: Murder, Obsession, and the Birth of the Lie DetectorHerrick's LieIcarus over CollinsMy Body and Other Crumbling Empires: Lessons for Healing in a World That Is Sick The Double-Edged Sword: A Tale of the Fallen HeroLockdown Tales IIThe Panacea ProjectUnder the Naga Tail: A True Story of Survival, Bravery, and Escape from the Cambodian GenocideKevin Wilks and the Power StoneIn Love We SpeakShepherd on Duty: Promises of God You Can TrustExistential Smut 1: Youthful IndiscretionsGRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics - Book 1 (Eighth Edition)GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence Practice Questions (Sixth Edition)The World Itself: Consciousness and the Everything of PhysicsThe Farm from Hell: The True Story of Belle Gunness Indiana’s Lady Bluebeard Men ButcherBad Girls BiteDeathbringer and DesireSong of LoreleiFoul Is FairA Draught of Ash and WineThe Princess and the BruiserBeauty and the BladeSummary of The Mountain is You: Transforming Self-Sabotage into Self-MasterySummary of Never Finished: Unshackle Your Mind and Win the War WithinFields of BountyThe Words We LostA Heart PurloinedNo, You Can't be an Astronaut: Why You Shouldn't Follow Your Dreams and What to do InsteadWolvercraft ManorFuture GoalsHyphenated RelationsOn Presidential OrdersThe GobberwobblyBefore DawnHierarchy of BloodAgent Gatz: A Great Gatsby PrequelFun & Quirky Classics: Short Stories by Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain and MoreBaseball Trivia for EveryoneThe Final OlympicsDoubt The Stars Are FireTime Traveling to 1963: Celebrating a Special YearTime Traveling to 1953: Celebrating a Special YearTime Traveling to 1973: Celebrating a Special YearProof of the Afterlife: The Dead Don't Die. True Tales of the Afterlife.The Algorithm Will See You NowRipples in the Waters by Lake KawaguchiNo Medicine for Falling in LoveSerenade of SoulsSixpenny OctavoA Tooth in My Popsicle and Other Ebullient Essays on Becoming FilipinoDad Is My Best FriendWild DiplomacyThe Fantastical ForestMahalo Does Not Mean TrashTime Traveling to 1983: Celebrating a Special YearDecide and Solve: Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Skills Guide for Teenagers, Young Adults, and YouIntimacy: 101 Hottest Questions, 101 Honest AnswersThe Afterlife Connection: A Therapist Reveals How to Communicate with Departed Loved OnesOther Worlds Were PossibleAuthentically Preternatural AccountsBusiness Fables Adapted From Aesop For Humans Who Work For a LivingHorse Care: A Beginner’s Guide to Breed Selection, Barn Requirements, Daily Routine and Safe Handling PracticesDark Blood AwakensVagabonderSea MagicA Skeleton in Every HouseBad BloodOut For BloodBlood LossThe Museum of Broken ObjectsBeyond CircumstancesEver the Night RoadThe Backpacker LifecycleSeams on the OutsideThe Hangman: VengeanceCreeper ChaosZaidy's War: Four Armies, Three Continents, Two Brothers. One Man's Impossible Story of Endurance21st Century Balance: Unconventional Wisdom to Enlighten Yourself and Inspire OthersMind Mastery: The Secret to Success: How to be a Success and Have a Powerful LifeA Dissident's PlightFirst ValentineOn the Evolution from the Primitive Egoic Mind by Means of Pure Consciousness: Through Living Exclusively in the Present MomentCollege to Career, Explained: Tools, Skills & Confidence for Your Job SearchAquarius Rising: The Complete TrilogyAfter the Blue, Blue RainLightbringerTrue Crime Trivia: 350 Fascinating Questions & Answers to Test Your Knowledge of Serial Killers, Mysteries, Cold Cases, Heists & MoreFlidIntersections: Life-Changing Stories From my Rideshare PassengersThe Anshar GambitWavesWavesThe CallingTime TraveledThe UnvaccinatedThe Bear & the RoseRun With It: A True Story of Parkinson's, Marathons, the Pandemic, and LoveYou've Got the Power! Four Paths to Awaken Your Body's Archetypal EnergiesYou've Got the Power! Four Paths to Awaken Your Body's Archetypal EnergiesSea MagicThe Female Breeders

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Akashic Books Arabelle Publishing Bellevue Literary Press
Bethany House BHC Press Book Summary Publishing
Brazos Press Broadleaf Books Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
City Owl Press Crooked Lane Books Greenleaf Book Group
Grousable Books Hot Tree Publishing Islandport Press
Lerner Publishing Group NeoParadoxa NewCon Press
Penguin Teen Canada Plausible Press PublishNation
Read Furiously Revell Ripe Mango Take Two Press
Science, Naturally! The Story Plant Tiny Fox Press
True Crime Seven Tundra Books Tyndale House Publishers
Vibrant Publishers WorthyKids

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Saturday, December 17th, 2022

TinyCat’s December Library of the Month: The Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach

Allow yourself to be virtually transported to the warm climate of Palm Beach, Florida, a beautiful town home to Florida’s first all-native botanical garden, the first schoolhouse in southeast Florida (founded in 1886), and two archival collections housed in a gorgeously architected climate-controlled vault. All of these spaces are fostered by the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach, whose library we feature this month. Archives Assistant Amanda Capote was kind enough to field my questions for this fascinating space:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

Founded in 1980, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach is dedicated to preserving the architectural and cultural heritage and the unique scenic quality of the Town of Palm Beach.  Through advocacy initiatives, educational programs, architectural resources, and cultural events, the Foundation’s goal is to encourage the community to learn about and save the historic sites that make Palm Beach special.

Tell us some interesting things about how your library supports the community.

The library houses a circulating collection of books and periodicals on topics such as architecture, historic preservation, gardening, landscape architecture, urban planning, and local history. The Foundation’s library also hosts periodic museum exhibits which celebrate the lives and works of prominent Palm Beach architects, designers, and residents whose contributions to the beauty of the island are still evident today. The library complements the Foundation’s archival collections and promotes historic preservation advocacy and education initiatives.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

Some of my favorite items are found in our Palm Beach section which captures the charm and quirkiness of the island. Caroline Seebohm’s Boca Rococo is a great read and contains valuable research on architect Addison Mizner.

What’s a particular challenge your library experiences?

Our library is a multi-function space as we hold events and lectures, display archive materials, and host specialty exhibits throughout the season. Balancing all these functions can be challenging but it makes the space unique.

What’s your favorite thing about TinyCat, and what’s something you’d love to see implemented or developed?

I’m fairly new to TinyCat but so far I’m very impressed with how user friendly it is. I really enjoy the tagging system which I use to label our books by sections.

Want to learn more about the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach?

Visit their website at https://www.palmbeachpreservation.org/, follow them on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, and explore their full TinyCat collection here.


To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Monday, December 12th, 2022

Top Five Books of 2022

 
2022 is almost over, and that means it’s time for LibraryThing staff to share our Top Five Books of the Year. You can see past years’ lists HERE.

We’re always interested in what our members are reading and enjoying, so we invite you to add your favorite books read in 2022 to our December List of the Month, and to join the discussion over in Talk

>> List: Top Five Books of 2022

Note: This is about what you read in 2022, not just books published in 2022.

Without further ado, here are our staff favorites!

 


Abby

True Biz by Sara Nović. This is a magnetic, electrifying novel, about identity, family, politics, culture, language, and the Deaf community. I absolutely loved it.

Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason. I didn’t know a book could be both devastating and hopeful at once, but apparently it can.

Still Life by Sarah Winman. A truly beautiful story of small moments, art, poetry, unexpected found family, a large outspoken parrot, and the backdrop of picturesque Florence.

The Half Life of Valery K by Natasha Pulley. I love everything I’ve read by Natasha Pulley, and was waffling between including this book or The Kingdoms (it’s also great! Go read it!) in my top five this year. The Half Life of Valery K doesn’t have a fantasy spin to it like much of her work, but Pulley excels at writing compelling imperfect characters that draw you deep into this unexpected historical novel.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead. A wonderfully epic family saga.

And because it’s hard to choose just five, honorable mentions to Portrait of a Thief by Grace D. Li, Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson, A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martin, and Less is Lost by Andrew Sean Greer.

Tim

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Video games, Cambridge, Massachusetts and friendship—what’s not to like?

After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul by Tripp Mickle.Fascinating study of Apple, Cook and Jony Ive.

The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes. Absolutely fascinating. I chased it with Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb by Richard Rhodes.

If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens … Where Is Everybody?: Fifty Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life by Stephen Webb. Enjoyable book with a clunky title. Webb systematically lists and reviews nearly every solution to the Fermi paradox anyone has ever proposed.

Persians: The Age of the Great Kings by Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones. I particularly enjoyed the coverage of Achaemenid religion and culture.

Special mention goes to The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything by Matthew Ball. The first half of this book, covering the various challenges, mostly technical, involved in creating a metaverse was riveting—and news to me. The second half was laughable, wild-eyed boosterism—and all-too familiar.

Kate

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. Retirement goals right here, folks. This book was a delight! It was only later that I realized the author is THE Richard Osman of Taskmaster fame (a favorite show of my household).

Luster by Raven Leilani. Oooooof, this was good.

All of This: A Memoir of Death and Desire by Rebecca Woolf. I read a lot of memoirs, especially about losing loved ones, but this is a different beast: Woolf and her husband were in the midst of splitting up when he was diagnosed with cancer. Her memoir recalls caring for him at his end of life and also moving on in a way that others didn’t find socially acceptable.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn. Brilliant women breaking codes during WWII? We love to read it.

These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever.. This book wasn’t even among my highest rated of the year, but I cannot stop thinking about it. There’s little I love more than really digging into characters to determine what makes them tick, why they do the things they do. Nemerever definitely gives all of that and more to the reader. But beware: it’s DARK.

Lucy

If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. This book was amazing. I was floored. I was also strangely reminded of a series of books… an unfortunate series… the self-aware narrator, bizarre characters, meta-fictional elements, and general absurdity of this book reminded me at odd points of A Series of Unfortunate Events. And I have LibraryThing members to thank for bringing this book up in a Talk post so I was able to learn about it!

Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Allen Williams. A novelization… normally, I would shy away from a book like this, but somehow I didn’t realize that’s what it was until I had started reading it, and by then I was enjoying it so much, I didn’t care! I love the film, and this book was very true to the plot of the movie, while also adding backstory that wasn’t in the movie, but that adds to the richness of the story itself. This is the perfect kind of story for me: whimsical, fairy tale-like, but with just enough horror to remind you that it’s not a children’s story.

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich. This story was very fascinating. It’s probably the first book I’ve read that addresses Covid, so that made it feel very familiar. The characters seemed very real and were well developed, which is one of my favorite things in a book. Another thing I enjoyed in this book was the use of multiple meanings of language, for example the title re-appearing many times throughout the story in different contexts with different meanings.

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. This was one of the last Murakami books I had left to read as I read through all his works. I’m not sure if I’m disappointed I didn’t read it earlier or glad to have had it to enjoy near the end. In some ways this was very different from the rest of his books. Usually his books contain small elements of “unreality” (for lack of a better word), but this book didn’t really have anything set in the real world although one part was clearly closer to the real world than the other. But of course, the people were all real enough, which is one thing I need to have in any non reality-based story. I would say, like a lot of good plot writers, Murakami is not necessarily an ending writer, so I can’t say I understood or was particularly satisfied by the ending, but I didn’t really expect to be. His books are journey rather than destination, and the journey is almost never disappointing!

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. I saved this book as my last Murakami to read because I love his longer books. This one did not disappoint! It had all the elements I expect from a Murakami book and felt familiar almost from the start. I love reading a long book that is written well and enjoyable. You begin to really feel that you know the characters and the settings. This book made me feel that I wanted it to go on forever.

Chris C (ccatalfo)

Real-World Machine Learning by Henrik Brink, Joseph W. Richards and Mark Fetherolf.

AWS: The Most Complete Guide to Amazon Web Services from Beginner to Advanced Level by Raoul Alongi.

Practical Deep Learning for Cloud, Mobile, and Edge: Real-World AI & Computer-Vision Projects Using Python, Keras & TensorFlow by Anirudh Koul, Siddha Ganju and Meher Kasam.

Deep Learning for Vision Systems by Mohamed Elgendy.

DataStory: Explain Data and Inspire Action Through Story by Nancy Duarte.

Kristi

Circe by Madeline Miller. I haven’t read a book this well-written in a long time. Elegant prose throughout. I loved the way Miller added depth and nuance to the classic Greek myths I’ve read throughout my lifetime. The whole book was just delicious, the ending poetic.

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson. This is a really well-told history of the lives of two men during the Industrial Revolution and the construction of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (the Columbian Exposition). Both visionaries of their own time: I wouldn’t say one good and one evil, but a stark representation of just how impressive a time it was. On one side Daniel Burnham, the lead architect and operational manager of the World’s Fair, who sacrificed his own (and others’) blood, sweat, and tears to direct the construction of one of the greatest exhibitions ever seen. On the other side, H.H. Holmes, a cruel and chilling psychopathic murderer who cut out his own infamy in the White City.

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. The fear of the unknown is almost always an irrational one, and it must be faced directly in order to grow in any way. This is the lesson the book’s main character, Linus Baker, learns when the government operation he works for (DICOMY, the Department in Charge of Magical Youth) plucks him from his boring, safe, desk job in the city and thrusts him into an island orphanage overlooking a cerulean sea.

What starts as Linus’s standard DICOMY investigation, governed strictly by its Rules & Regulations Handbook, evolves into a gentle unraveling of the illusion Linus has lived under all his life. By the end of the book, Linus Baker becomes the sweet, gentle hero we all wish to see in the world.

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol by Holly Whitaker. I entertained my sober curious journey with a few “quit lit” books this year, and this one was my favorite so far. While Whitaker gets a little heavy-handed at times in tone (I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author), this is the quit lit book that resonated the most with me. Whether it just reached me at the right point in time, or whether the author was able to deliver the right mix of introspection, scientific/political/cultural analysis, and humor, I just loved it. Will likely listen to it again.

Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins. I have to give a nod to a children’s book for my son, Finnegan. This one is quite fun to read along with kids as they “waddle like a penguin” or “stand very tall on just one leg” like a flamingo. Have a giggle with this one!

Chris H (conceptdawg)

The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt.Fascinating stories about the everyday things around us and the design and thought that goes into every one of them. Cell towers, spray painted codes on streets and sidewalks, hidden power stations and camouflaged vents for sewer systems, and boundary stones are just some of the mundane things that are discussed in the book. 99% Invisible is a podcast concentrating on similar themes and many of the stories in the book are taken from previous episodes, so if you are a listener you’ll probably enjoy this book but some of the stories might seem familiar.

Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World’s Oceans by James Stavridis. A great overview of how the world’s oceans have played critical roles in the history of geopolitics from the ancient world until today. Stavridis—a US Navy admiral—dives into the history of each ocean in respective sections of the book, mostly concentrating on history with respect to trade and warfare.

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair. I’m a color nerd so any book on color is likely going to be enjoyable for me. This is not the absolute best book on the history of colors and pigments (that award I’d give to Finlay’s Color: A Natural History of the Palette) but Secret Lives was enjoyable and packed with stories about scores of colors: their histories, their sources, people connected to their development, and usually an interesting anecdote or two. Due to the small—one to two pages—chapters on each color it was enjoyable for an easy read that you can pick up and put back down in quick sessions.

Abigail

Captain of Dragoons by Ronald Welch. Part of the Carey Family Chronicles, a loosely-connected collection of children’s novels which follows the fortunes of a noble Welsh family over the course of many centuries, this is the first work of fiction I have ever read set during the War of the Spanish Succession. Engaging, informative, and ultimately poignant, it is a worthy addition to a brilliant historical fiction series, and kept me engrossed throughout. I particularly appreciated some of the characters’ discussion about the wider significance of the events unfolding around them, as it gave a better sense of the time, without ever feeling intrusive or artificial.

Berry Song by Michaela Goade. This lovely picture book from Caldecott medalist Michaela Goade—she won in 2021 for her work on Carole Lindstrom’s We Are Water Protectors—marks the Tlingit artist’s debut as an author, and is both a narrative and aesthetic triumph. Some of the scenes here were just so gorgeous, both in their overall composition and in the little details—the scene of the little girl entering the forest with her blue bucket, the one in which her hair is made of berries and her dress is the sea—that I needed to spend some time poring over them. The text itself emphasizes the girl and her grandmother’s relationship to land and sea, and the ties of love and gratitude that bind them together. Even the endpapers here are beautiful, highlighting the wealth of different kinds of berries to be found in Alaska! Overall, a wonderful new picture book I would recommend to all picture-book readers looking for gorgeous artwork, stories of our ties to the land, or featuring a Native American / Tlingit cultural background.

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen. Poet Joyce Sidman and engraver and small press operator Rick Allen, who previously collaborated on the Newbery Honor-winning title Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night, joined forces again in this picture book examination of the lives of animals and plants in winter. The twelve poems here, about everything from migrating tundra swans to brumating snakes, snowflake formation to arboreal wisdom, were paired with lovely illustrations featuring the fauna and flora in question, as well as a curious fox who makes his way through the book. The poems themselves were appealing, with an occasional turn of phrase that was quite memorable, and a variety of form—one example each of both a pantoum and a triolet—that I found very interesting. The beautiful artwork was created through a mixture of old and new mediums: begun as hand-colored linoleum block prints, and then finished digitally. In sum: a gorgeous picture book, perfect for young children who enjoy poetry, love animals, and appreciate wintry vistas.

The Redheads by Josephine Elder. Published in 1931, this obscure British girls’ school story chronicles the interconnected experiences of five redheads—four pupils and one teacher—at the Addington High School, as each one seeks to adjust to new and changed circumstances in their own way. Josephine Elder, who is particularly noted in the school story genre for her sensitive appreciation for and skilled depiction of the nuanced experiences of girlhood friendship, delivers an engaging and ultimately heartwarming tale here, one in which each character seems to come alive, exhibiting a mixture of good and bad qualities. This is not a title in my own library, or that is held by any libraries here in the states, so I feel very fortunate to have been able to read it, thanks to a friend who is a fellow collector of vintage girls’ literature.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. After a few false starts, I found myself racing through this mystery in two days’ time, and ended up enjoying it immensely. I liked all of the characters, and found them all quite interesting, in different ways. The humor appealed to me, and some of the end-of-life situations, by which I decidedly do not mean the murders, were immensely moving. In the end, I think what really impressed me here was less the mystery, and more the characters, with whom I hope to visit again, in the two sequels that have since come out.

Rebecca

Labels: top five

Thursday, December 1st, 2022

December 2022 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the December 2022 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 138 books this month, and a grand total of 2,847 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Tuesday, December 27th at 6PM EST.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Luxembourg and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Cold Light of DaySilver AlertWreck the HallsSomebunny Loves You!The Maid of BallymacoolMystery of the Lost LynxStarlight JewelThe Story of ChristmasJoy to the WorldTales of Sley House 2022My First Veggie Bible StoriesThe Sound of LightDaughter of Eden: Eve's StoryAnd Poison Fell from the Sky: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Survival in Maine's Cancer ValleyMountain Girl: From Barefoot to the BoardroomRobbed BlindDiary of a Lonely DemonRise of the FirebirdMemento MoriThis Isn't Going to End Well: The True Story of a Man I Thought I KnewHell's WellA Solitary DrumMarissa’s OdysseyOn the WaterfrontThe World's Longest SockRaised in the Country: Memoir of a 1920s ChildhoodChasing HarmonyThe Legend of Dave BradleyAll Dressed UpFun & Quirky Classics: Short Stories by Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain and MoreGleaners’ MoonLifelines: Daily Antidotes to Animus and AngstLost Places and Other StoriesThe Friendship BreakupThe Keepers of ArisMy Best Friend AthenaA Noble Cunning: The Countess and the TowerOur Man In KuwaitVoices of Freedom: Contemporary Writing From UkraineTaming D’ArtagnanThe Shape of Ukraine: Poems Inspired By the WarSouth To That Dark Sun and Other StoriesNubian Queen Self-Love: Black Women Cultivating Self-Care and Acceptance with Affirmations and a Growth MindsetTime Traveling to 1973: Celebrating a Special YearLa ratona Ramona y otros cuentos para niñosBy the Light of Dead StarsBusiness Plan Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowMicroeconomics Essentials You Always Wanted to Know6 Practice Tests for the GRE (5th Edition)Organizational Development Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowStakeholder Engagement Essentials You Always Wanted to KnowYour Hearts, Your ScarsA Mark of GraceHearts of SteelWhat Happens NextYesterday's TidesDeetjen’s ClosetBeing Born with a Rusty Spoon in Your MouthWhat if Animals Were Balloons?Secrets from the MountaintopHow to Be a Patriotic Christian: Love of Country As Love of NeighborLove and the Third Degree 2: Ponder PointShocking PinkLittle Trouble Betty: Level 1 - 1Charlie UtopiaConfessions of an Indian Immigrant: Dawn of IT Opportunities in the Land of PromiseThe Stranger's CaptiveThe CallingCatch MeRescue at Desert's DawnThe Hunted RoseClouds Without WaterClouds Without WaterBleak TownDeflectedMaybe in MonacoChakra Colors: Unleash the Power of Your Energy Centers with Colorful Succulent PlantsModern Dream Analysis Survival GuideA Modern Heathens Guide to Norse Paganism: The Earth-Centered Religion That Empowers Us to Embrace Our Inner Viking and Take Charge of Our FateA Modern Heathens Guide to Norse Paganism: The Earth-Centered Religion that Empowers Us to Embrace Our Inner Viking and Take Charge of Our FateElephant Crusher: Short Stories and MusingsChasing HarmonyStreet SirenVending Machine Business Unlocked: A Step-by-Step Guide to Start and Grow Your Vending BusinessThe GobberwobblyThe HornersThe Book of Monsters from A to Z: A Field Guide by Professor EdelgeezerAm I Doing This Right?: Foundations for a Successful Career and a Fulfilling LifeFly Fishing: A Woman's Guide for BeginnersChester and the Magic 8 BallThe Red Ear Blows Its Nose: Poems for Children and OthersThe Russian DollConversations Across America: A Father and Son, Alzheimer's, and 300 Conversations Along the TransAmerica Bike Trail that Capture the Soul of AmericaLow-Water Garden: How to Beat the Drought and Grow a Thriving Garden Using Low-Water TechniquesThrough The Gates of HellThe Rot BeneathDementia Untangled: A Caregiver's Guide To Managing Alzheimer's and Cognitive Decline in Loved OnesThe Rise of the MarklessChair Yoga For Seniors Over 60The Enchanted Suitcase: A Window Onto My German Father's World War II LifeMickey CollinsThe Gospel of SatanThe Wizard 'OW' In the Village of Wishes!Sister LibertyWhat's The Meaning of This? A Short Book on Purpose!Quarantine HighwayTime Traveling to 1953: Celebrating a Special YearThe Lost CantrellArchitect's PrizeNot Your Job: Discover the Surprising Way to Save Time, Avoid Burnout, and Do What You Love ForeverAfter It's OverAntunites UniteDecide and Solve: Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Skills Guide for Teenagers, Young Adults, and YouFlorida Retirement Is MurderThe Force of MagicMindshards: A CollectionMissing Presumed MissingHorse Care: A Beginner’s Guide to Breed Selection, Barn Requirements, Daily Routine and Safe Handling PracticesThe Free World WarFirst KissPlaying With FirePlaying With FireHauntHauntA Dissident's PlightNo Solace in DeathLucid FateKissproof WorldForbidden LoveThe Driftwood TourThe Driftwood TourHunterlandImaginary Lilies: Glittering Waterfalls on Pink LiliumsDispelling the MythDon't Sh*t in My ToiletJackie Stories: Eight Friends of Jacqueline Kennedy OnassisThe Mushroom EffectWaves

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

8th & Atlas Publishing Alcove Press Algonquin Books
Bellevue Literary Press Bethany House BHC Press
Carolyn J Wild Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC Greywood Bay
History Through Fiction Islandport Press IVP
Liz Fe Lifestyle NeoParadoxa New Century
Ooligan Press PublishNation Read Furiously
Revell Robert E. Miller Rootstock Publishing
Sley House Publishing Small Beer Press SPANZ2A
Tabono Publishing LLC Vibrant Publishers Willow Bend Press
Wise Media Group WorthyKids

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Monday, November 28th, 2022

The Holiday Store is Open

holidaystore
Collage of 6 items from the LibraryThing Store including laptop stickers, book stamp, enamel pins, coasters, barcode scanner, and tote bag.

Deck the halls and slap on some glitter, the most wonderful time of the year is back! LibraryThing’s 16th annual SantaThing exchange is in full swing—signups close at 12 noon tomorrow—and the Holiday Card Exchange has just opened up. It’s also Cyber Monday, so we’re opening the LibraryThing Holiday Store all the way through Epiphany1. Come and stock up on all of your favorite bookish gifts for the holidays.

Enjoy major discounts2 on all of our gear this season, including CueCat scanners and barcode labels for just $5, gorgeous enamel pins for $3 apiece, our last few, organic-cotton, TinyCat tote bags for $18, and newly released laptop stickers for just $1.

Shop the Holiday Store through January 6: https://www.librarything.com/more/store.


1 Epiphany is also known as Little Christmas, the night before Orthodox Christmas or the day after the Twelfth day of Christmas—twelve LibraryThing pins would make the perfect gifts for your loved one, would they not?

2 Prices do not include cost of shipping. Shipping is included on Store pages.

Labels: holiday, LT swag, sale

Monday, November 28th, 2022

9th Annual LibraryThing Holiday Card Exchange

The 9th annual LibraryThing Holiday Card Exchange is here!

How it works:

  • Mail a holiday card to a random LibraryThing member.
  • You can mail a handmade or storebought card. Add a note to personalize it.
  • You’ll get one from another member. (Only that member will see your address.*)

» Sign up for the LibrayThing Holiday Card Exchange now

Sign-ups for the Card Exchange closes Wednesday, December 7th at 12:00 PM Eastern (17:00 GMT). We’ll inform you of your matches within an hour or so after we close. Send your cards out soon after.

Questions? Join the discussion on Talk.


* In order for the cards you receive to be addressed to your real name, you must include your name in the address box. Some postal services require that addressee names match what’s on your mailbox.

Labels: card exchange, event, holiday

Monday, November 7th, 2022

SantaThing 2022: Bookish Secret Santa!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the Sixteenth Annual SantaThing is here at last!

This year we’re once again focusing on indie bookstores. The pandemic has been a disaster for independent bookstores, even as it sent Amazon sales to new heights. So we picked a few of our favorite indies from around the United States. You can still order Kindle ebooks, we have Book Depository for international orders, and also stores local to Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.
» SIGN UP FOR SANTATHING NOW!

What is SantaThing?

SantaThing is “Secret Santa” for LibraryThing and Litsy members.

How it Works

You pay $15–$50 and pick your favorite bookseller. We match you with a participant, and you play Santa by selecting books for them. Another Santa does the same for you, in secret. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

SantaThing is a joint effort between LibraryThing and Litsy. When signing up, you can opt to give and receive from members of only one community or the other, or either.

Sign up once or thrice, for yourself or someone else.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others. Click on an existing SantaThing profile to leave a suggestion.

Every year, LibraryThing members give generously to each other through SantaThing. If you’d like to donate an entry, or want to participate, but it’s just not in the budget this year, be sure to check out our Donations Thread here, run once again by our fantastic volunteer member, mellymel1713278.

Important Dates

Sign-ups close MONDAY, November 28th at 12pm EST. By the next day, we’ll notify you via profile comment who your Santee is, and you can start picking books.

You’ll then have a week to pick your books, until MONDAY, December 5th at 12pm EST (16:00 GMT). As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can.

» Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!

Supporting Indie Bookstores

To support indie bookstores we’re teaming up with independent bookstores from around the country to deliver your SantaThing picks, including BookPeople in Austin, TX, Longfellow Books in Portland, ME, and Powell’s Books in Portland, OR.

Once again this year, we’re also offering international deliveries through Book Depository. And after last year’s success, we’re bringing back the following foreign retail partners: Readings for our Australian participants, Time Out Books for the Kiwi participants, and Kennys for our Irish friends.

Kindle options are available to all members, regardless of location. To receive Kindle ebooks, your Kindle must be registered on Amazon.com (not .co.uk, .ca, etc.). See more information about all the stores.

Shipping

Some of our booksellers are able to offer free shipping, and some are not. Depending on your bookseller of choice, you may receive $5 less in books, to cover shipping costs. You can find details about shipping costs and holiday ordering deadlines for each of our booksellers here on the SantaThing Help page.
» Go sign up now!

Questions? Comments?

This is our SIXTEENTH year of SantaThing. See the SantaThing Help page further details and FAQ.
Feel free to ask your questions over on this Talk topic, or you can contact Kate directly at kate@librarything.com.
Happy SantaThinging!

Labels: events, fun, holiday, santathing

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

November 2022 Early Reviewers Batch Is Live!

Win free books from the November 2022 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 160 books this month, and a grand total of 3,433 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, November 28th at 6PM EST.

Eligibility: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Belgium and more. Make sure to check the message on each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

My Last Innocent YearForager: Field Notes for Surviving a Family Cult: A MemoirCritical ThreatThe End of Drum-TimeEverything Is Just BeginningMad about MeatloafPlease Report Your Bug HereThe Seaside CorpseNight LetterSuper Family!Pretty Little PiecesRobin and Her MisfitsPreparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism—And What Comes NextHome Is the Road: Wandering the Land, Shaping the SpiritRomek's Lost Youth: The Story of a Boy SurvivorAgainst the Written Word: Toward a Universal IlliteracyLife DustThe PalladiumA Good and True Story: Eleven Clues to Understanding Our Universe and Your Place in ItSecret Rules to Being a RockstarKenzi Sits up TallZoryaThe Dug-Up Gun MuseumA Very Malibu VacaySelf-Care Journal for Women With Prompts: Self-Love Workbook to Reduce Stress, Increase Self Confidence and Reclaim Your LifeBearded LadyLove and the Third Degree 1: Zeda's DawningWalking Your Way to Weight Loss Plus Intermittent Fasting for Women: The Ultimate 2 in 1 Collection for Unlocking the Secrets to Sustainable, Long-Term Weight Loss and a Healthy LifestyleA Month Abroad: Traveling in Tuscany Like a LocalDiary of a Lonely DemonThe Sisters of Sea ViewRayna Larson and the Kingdom of PetuniaFortunes of WarAll the Lost PlacesThe Bringer of HappinessA Murderous GrudgeStock Charting Book for Beginners: A Great Source for Learning Charting Analysis for Successful Stock TradesI Will Kill YouDigest of the Broken Road Traveler: Fifty-Two Truths, Tenets, and Teachings to Heal the Troubled SoulChristmas IslandThe Visionary PageantTwelve From Hell 2: The Ultimate True Crime Case CollectionThe Grand Duke's Last ChanceUpon a Waking DreamPlaying With FireMandate: ThirteenRunning & Growing a Business QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner's Guide to Becoming an Effective Leader, Developing Scalable Systems and Growing Your Business ProfitablyRaised Bed and Container Gardening: 9 Practical Steps For Turning Your Backyard or Balcony Into Your First Successful Vegetable Garden. Low-Cost and Beginner-Friendly.The Magic MomentI Spoke to You with Silence: Essays from Queer Mormons of Marginalized GendersThe Heart of a WolfCaribbean CompetitorsRun With It: A True Story of Parkinson's, Marathons, the Pandemic, and LoveHolding the LineEngaging DeceptionThe Keepers of ArisWhat if Animals Were Balloons?Play the Tape: 5 Simple Ways to Help You Get Clean and Sober One Day at a Time: Recovery From the Addiction of Drugs and Alcohol is PossibleThe Red CollarCorpses in ColomboI Bought My Husband's Mistress LingerieThe GirlPenny Panda and the Gift of PossibilityMurder on the MenuAfter It's OverDeath in the Cabbage PatchBeing Born with a Rusty Spoon in Your MouthLow-Water Garden: How to Beat the Drought and Grow a Thriving Garden Using Low-Water TechniquesLa cendre et l'écumeWestern JourneysBears Ears: Landscape of Refuge and ResistanceThe Fantastical ForestPetrichor BloomsMurder for HireIn Love's TimeThe Case for a 5% Investment in Bitcoin: Why Is That and How To Do ItChronicles of EraegarthMath Practice Tests for the ACT (Second Edition)Practice Tests for the SAT (Second Edition)GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics - Book 1 (Eighth Edition)GRE Text Completion and Sentence Equivalence Practice Questions (Sixth Edition)GMAT Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Argument Topics (Sixth Edition)GRE Master Wordlist: 1535 Words for Verbal Mastery (Seventh Edition)GRE Analytical Writing: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics - Book 2 (Eighth Edition)Stolen SummersJames Lake: The Bigfoot AdventuresThe Sinclair Society Box-Set 1: A Regency Mystery CollectionReunion, Runes & RevengeThe Corpse Fauna ChroniclesThe Dead Bear WitnessOur Lady of Hot Messes: Getting Real with God in Dive Bars and ConfessionalsWar of the SeaStock Charting Book for Beginners: A Great Source for Learning Charting Analysis for Successful Stock TradesAmber UndyingMark of the GoddessSecrets from the MountaintopInside the Storm I Want to Touch the TrembleMind of AngelsDarkest MiseryMortal HeartWicked MatchA Deal with DarknessFoul Is FairSAT Math Practice QuestionsGRE Quantitative Reasoning Supreme: Study Guide with Practice QuestionsGRE Words In Context: The Complete List (Fifth Edition)GRE Reading Comprehension: Detailed Solutions to 325 Questions (Sixth Edition)GRE Analytical Writing Supreme: Solutions to the Real Essay Topics (Third Edition)The London ParticularBrotherly LoveTexas Edible Wild Plant Foraging: Foraging Texas - Guide for Finding, Identifying, Harvesting and Preparing Wild Edible Plants of TexasFarm to FabreFull Circle: Lucia's StoryThe Man Who Screams at Nightfall... and Other StoriesThe Mushroom EffectImaginary Lilies: Glittering Waterfalls on Pink LiliumsClara Thorn, the Witch That Was FoundGirl of Dust and SmokeThe Mortality ExperimentBurn the SunBeggars Would RideUnshakeable Love: A Couples Guide To Winning Over Betrayal And InfidelityPlaying With FireThe Path of OnenessConfessions of an Indian Immigrant: Dawn of IT Opportunities in the Land of PromiseThe World Inside My Plastic MirrorThe Angel of Goliad: A Story of the Texas RevolutionThe Linchpin Writer: Crafting Your Novel's Key MomentsThe Rise of the MarklessFighting Words: Notes for a Future We Won't HaveThe True Tale of Santa the Zombie SlayerPhantom and RookWhy They CameDon't Sh*t in My ToiletThe Rise and Fall of AntocracyThe Reclaimed KingdomRetroFitChasing TarzanThe Miracle of Aging and Longevity: The Energy Roadmap to Transition and Embrace Midlife for Women and MenFallenDigest of the Broken Road Traveler: Fifty-Two Truths, Tenets, and Teachings to Heal the Troubled SoulDispelling the MythFood for ThoughtValue, Decoded: Value Investing and Value Creation Made Easy, Leveraging Strategies from Three of the Ultra Wealthy for Financial Security in the Digital AgeLucid FateThe Job Hunting Book: Career Mentoring and Job Seeking Tips - Graduate EditionThe Summer of FestivalsStolen SummersMaking the Rounds: Defying Norms in Love and MedicineLightbringerRun with It: A True Story of Parkinson's, Marathons, the Pandemic, and LoveDo What You Love: Fragility of Your Flame: Poems, Photography & Flash FictionThe Questions of Jesus: Questions Asked by Jesus, Questions People Asked HimAmerica's Loveless Age: Trumpism, FemPower, the End of PatriarchyThe Driftwood TourTheresa et al.Jackie Stories 4-6: A Vanity Fair Insider / An Iconic Art Director / A Cultural BuccaneerJackie Stories 7-8: An Expert from the Ballet World & A Harvard Professor's WifeThe Force of MagicBack in the USSR

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Akashic Books Algonquin Books Applewhite Games
Ave Maria Press Batory Publishing Bethany House
BHC Press BOA Editions, Ltd. Brazos Press
Broadleaf Books Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC City Owl Press
ClydeBank Media eSpec Books Greenleaf Book Group
Henry Holt and Company Hot Tree Publishing Kabaty Press
Kakkle Publications Liz Fe Lifestyle Marina Publishing Group
Mirror Gate Press NeoParadoxa NewCon Press
Ooligan Press PublishNation Revell
She Writes Press Three Rooms Press Tundra Books
The University of Utah Press Vibrant Publishers West Margin Press
Wise Media Group

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Friday, October 21st, 2022

TinyCat’s October Library of the Month: The Women’s Museum of California

This month we’re proud to highlight the Women’s Museum of California (WMC), based out of San Diego and offering a Free Feminist Library to the public every first Saturday of the month. WMC’s Marketing Director Melissa Jones was kind enough to field my questions this month:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

The mission of the Women’s Museum of California is to educate and inspire present and future generations about the experiences and contributions of diverse women by collecting, preserving, and interpreting their stories.

Picture of the Women's Museum of California Education Center, a tall building facade with a high archway full of windows and glass doors. Facade is covered with a hanging display of pink flowers and a female gender symbol made of flowers.
WMC’s Educational Center containing their
Free Feminist Library.

Tell us some interesting things about how your library supports the community.

Our library fills the gaps in our education when it comes to learning about the contributions and accomplishments of women. The library houses books by women authors, with particular attention to frequently banned or challenged books, for the public to borrow. We encourage everyone, young and old, to pursue their dreams. The Women’s Museum of California gives people the opportunity to learn about women in history who paved the way for women’s lives today and tomorrow. By sharing the hidden histories of women’s experiences we combat the limits society places on women and recognize that despite the inequalities that women face across centuries they have become inventors, politicians, activists, artists, and military heroes.

That is simply wonderful! Speaking to the works you have in your library, what are some of your favorite items in your collection?

We love that we have a wide range of perspectives in our collection – not every woman has the same experience. From classic feminist books like Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique to more modern books like Michelle Obama’s Becoming we hope every woman can see themselves in the books on our shelves.

What’s a particular challenge your library experiences?

We are only open one day a month and we’d like to grow so more people can read the books in our collection.

What’s your favorite thing about TinyCat, and what’s something you’d love to see implemented or developed?

TinyCat is affordable and easy to use. It was so easy to get our volunteers trained on how to use it. We would love a way for patrons to add themselves to the system so we can have a self-checkout system.

Great feedback, thanks! There are some workarounds libraries use so patrons can be added to the system remotely (discussed here), but we’ll be sure to announce any official changes on that front.

Want to learn more about the Women’s Museum of California?

Visit their website at https://www.womensmuseumca.org/, follow them on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, and explore their full TinyCat collection here.


To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat