Find transcripts and past episodes of "Voices from the Stacks"
Episode 2.4: What's Good? Here's What We're Reading
Kristine: Hi, it's Kristine Techavanich and this is Voices from the Stacks the podcast of the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. Thanks for joining us!
You asked, we are answering. Last episode we shared our movies and TV picks this week are all about books. (Makes sense for a library podcast to talk about books right? Let's get right into it and find out what we've been reading!
Ionnie: My name is Ionnie, I'm a tech services page here at the Mandel Public Library. What am I reading right now? I'm currently listening to audio book on CloudLibrary called "Internal Time" it's helping me to determine what chronotype I am and how they structure my day they still my internal time.
Amris: My name is Amris. I am an associate librarian. My favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I read it when I was in middle school and I have really fond memories of telling stories from that to my little brother while we were camping to entertain him. He's eight years younger than me so and, he's like six or seven, I'd tell him about how Anne accidentally dyed her hair green and it would keep him entertained while we were out in the wilderness. I am reading a book called Such Small Hands. It's about this girl who's orphaned in a car accident she gets sent off to an orphanage and then some creepy stuff happens with a doll which I haven't gotten to yet so I can't tell you more but it's gonna be spooky hopefully.
Wendy: My name is Wendy I am a youth services page. Right now I'm reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Jeremy: Hi my name is Jeremy. I'm a library assistant in circulation. I'm deep into a book called We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World's Getting Worse" by James Hillman and Michael Ventura. James Hillman is a prolific psychoanalyst. This is like a back and forth conversational book between him and Michael Ventura about the inadequacies of psychotherapy and the limitations of the traditional psychotherapeutic approach of kind of myopically focusing on the individual's family history and their childhood traumas. They're kind of maybe arguing for expanding the scope a little bit to what's going on in the society. It was pretty interesting.
Kim: Hi I'm Kim Husing. I'm a library assistant in the Youth Services Department. I just finished a book called Carnegie's Maid. Meh, a little fluffy but okay.
Kathy: My name is Kathy Hage and I'm the Youth Services Supervisor. I just finished reading this morning it's a book called Palaces for the People How Social Infrastructure can Help Fight Inequality Polarization in the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg. It's great if you're interested in how public spaces affect the health and welfare of a community and communities that have done that well and invested in them.
Xiomara: My name is Xiomara. I'm a library page. What I'm reading right now is How to be on a Plant-Based Diet.
Jeanne: This is Jeanne Taylor, a Youth Services librarian here at the Mandel Public Library. What am I reading is The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Powers it's her memoir. She worked with the Obama administration very insightful.
Leah: My name is Leah I am a library assistant on the first floor. I really liked the Scythe series by Neal Shusterman. Right now I am reading The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel it's a third in a series about Thomas Cromwell. It's a really interesting story and Thomas Cromwell is a very interesting person. It's a little challenging reading, she has a kind of different style in how she writes but I am enjoying learning a piece of history.
Sophie: Hi my name is Sophie and I'm the teen librarian here at the Mandel Public Library. It's been really tough lately I feel like when the pandemic hit everyone was talking about how they were gonna get so much reading done and I found myself falling into a major book slump but recently I've actually been reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel it's part of a trilogy and the final book just came out. It's historical fiction following Thomas Cromwell as he navigates the court of King Henry the eighth. I have started this book probably four times and this time I actually think I'm gonna get through it it's weirdly funny and stressful for a book where I know the ending. I just think it's great I think she's a fantastic writer and I'm also listening to the audiobook of the new Hunger Games novel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. There's a lot of nostalgia in The Hunger Games series for me. I remember reading those books and being obsessed with my friends and then going to see all the movies I was pretty shocked when Suzanne Collins announced that she was going to be writing a prequel about President Snow who is no one's favorite character. I was curious to see where she's gonna go with it so it's been interesting to return to that world and see what it was like before Katniss Everdeen kind of took over and saved the day.
Kristine: Thank you Sophie!
Tara: This is Tara and I'm here in the library with our collection development librarian Tina. hello Tina!
Tina: Hi Tara
Tara: I'm sitting here in her office surrounded by stacks and stacks of books.
Tina: I consider myself a reading missionary *laughs*
Tara: That's awesome. Tina, what kind of genres do you like to read?
Tina: I would say that my favorite recreational reading is a good mystery. I love literary fiction and occasionally I go over into fantasy
Tara: Do you read one book at a time or are you a more many books at once type of reader?
Tina: Many at once *laughter* I have one at work to read at lunchtime, one in the car to listen to on my way to and from work, one in the bedroom one on the kitchen table.
Tara: How did you become a reader? What, what's like your first reading memory?
Tina: Oh gosh well, it's not my first reading memory but I do remember when I was eight years old I got to go to Mike's bookstore in Gainesville Florida and pick out books for myself. I loved bookstores ever since I worked in bookstores for eight years before I went to library school.
Tara: Do you remember a favorite book from when you were a kid?
Tina: There's a book by Jenny Lenski but it's about these cats in a neighborhood and I can't think of the name of it. One of the cats plays a nose flute. *laughter*
Tara: And you are still a cat lover.
Tina: Yes *laughter*
Tara: How about a favorite book of now as an adult?
Tina: Well my book of the millennium is A Gentleman in Moscow by a Amor Towles. I just think it is a brilliant novel about a character who has integrity, who appreciates beauty, who loves his friends and his country. It's a brilliant book.
Tara: And Tina you also coordinate and moderate the book club for the library. How do you pick those books?
Tina: Oh gosh I'm reading reviews all the time. When I pick books for the book club, I try to pick books that first of all have been declared notable in some way or another. Either they've been a prize winner for they've been on the New York Times or American Library Association notable list and then I also look on Amazon to see if they've been well liked because the book can be brilliant but not for everybody then I do a little ballot with my book club folks to see if those books are of interest to them.
Tara: Do you have any advice for parents encouraging their kids to be readers?
Tina: Setting the example, reading aloud to your children, letting them read what they want.
Tara: There ya go.
Tina: Reading should be fun.
Tara: I agree, yes! *laughter*
Kristine: You can find Tina's blog posts "The One Book You Need to Read Right Now" and "Reading in the Time of the Coronavirus" on the library's blog Notes from the Stacks at mycitylibrary.org.
As for me I'm reading Pandemic - Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond by Sonia Shah. Shah explains how viruses spread and contagions are contained or not contained. It's fascinating and unfortunately timely and honestly it's taking me forever to get through since I can only handle a few pages at a time before I escape into How to Stop Time by Matt Haig. (That's two, I cheated.)
So far my favorite book of 2020 is Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu. It's a hilarious and fast-paced exploration on being Asian in the U.S. today sprinkled throughout with fun pop culture references.
Looking for your own literary love affair? Use the ask-a-librarian hashtag and our librarians will recommend a book just for you Thursdays at noon on Twitter or reach out anytime on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and tell us what you've been reading watching or listening to.
Music tracks are "Awakenings" and "Special Place" by Ketsa and "Ferus Cut" by Blue Dot Sessions available on freemusicarchive.org.
Happy Memorial Day! We'll see you next time.
Episode 2.3: What's Good? Here's What We're Watching
Kristine: Hi I'm Kristine Techavanich, children's librarian and host for this episode of "Voices from the Stacks" the podcast of the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. Welcome to episode 2.3 of our mini episodes series. The library's closed for now but we're staying connected through the magic of the internet. And we want to hear from you! Ask us anything on Facebook or Twitter or join us live Thursdays on Instagram and Facebook stories.
Sarah: Hi! I'm Sarah from the Mandel Library here again to answer your questions. Ask us something!
Kristine: So far, the questions we get asked the most are what's good? What are our favorites? Books, movies, TV shows and what are we reading right now? With stay at home guidelines and social distancing it's no wonder people are looking to expand their media horizons. Guess what this is a two-parter. In search of something to watch, I asked some of our library staff. At least the ones scheduled to be in the building on a Friday afternoon. Okay so these questions are based off of our reference librarian Sarah's "Ask Me Anything" series on our social media and people have been asking these questions so I'm just going around the library asking the staff these questions too. (elevator beeps) Moving on to the second floor and I see Amris! Hey Amris!
Amris: I'm on a meeting.
Kristine: Oh, ok sorry!
Kristine: I'll come back! Amris is on a meeting.
Wendy: My name is Wendy Vail. I'm a youth services page. I'm a sucker for rom-com so I love "Love Actually" and the "Bridget Jones's Diary" trilogy. TV show? Probably an anime called Hunter x Hunter.
Hyunjin: Hi, my name is Hyunjin Han. I'm a children's librarian in Mandel Public Library. This year I watch a lot of TV show and there were two TV show I really, really loved. One is called Kingdom. You will see this handsome prince go catch all these zombies. It's really satisfying especially nowadays there's nothing to do. A little bit more action, I need. And the other one is The Last Kingdom which is between 7 to 10th century. A lot of action also, so it is very satisfying while I'm just staying home and do nothing. I strongly recommend to watch.
Ionnie: My name is Ionnie. I'm a tech services page. My favorite TV show that I'm watching right now is on Hulu it's called Bones. I'm starting from season 1 and going through all seasons all episodes.
Jeremy: Hi, my name is Jeremy. I'm a library assistant in circulation. Oh man, I have such a hard time picking favorites. I really like the Carnivale on HBO. It went for two seasons and it should have gone for five seasons but it was excellent while it lasted. Midnight Gospel. Watch Midnight Gospel if you like weird stuff.
Amris: My name is Amris. I am an associate librarian. My favorite movie is Clueless and is a retelling of Jane Austen's Emma. Came out in the 90s and it's actually been cited by Jane Austen experts as one of the most successful retellings. I think my favorite TV show is Bob's Burgers because it really reminds me of my family for all a bunch of very odd people.
Kim: Hi I'm Kim Husing I'm a library assistant in the Youth Services department. My favorite movie of all time is probably the Harry Potter series which I've seen like a hundred times probably with all of the movies put together. Currently I guess my favorite TV show is The Office which my family and I are binge watching during this at home together time. However, I will say that one of my all-time favorite TV shows Avatar: The Last Airbender is coming onto Netflix May 15th so if you haven't seen that I highly recommend it. It's a cartoon but it is one of the best TV shows ever.
Javontae: My name is Javontae Williams I am a page at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. I really like this show called The 100 on the CW I'm excited for the new season that is coming out this month.
Xiomara: Hi, my name is Xiomara. I'm a library page. My favorite movie is The Matrix. My favorite TV show right now would probably be Manifest.
Leah: My name is Leah. I am a library assistant on the first floor. One of my favorite movies is Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I have it over and staff picks on the first floor. It's perfect on Thanksgiving. My favorite TV show as a kid was the Muppet Show. I love The Muppet Show.
Jeanne: Hi, this is Jeanne Taylor a Youth Services librarian here at the Mandel Public Library. My favorite things that I'm watching on Netflix, let's see, is The Medicis of course love them and The Night Manager it's so cool.
Jeremy: So, I was taking another editing pass and did you think you were gonna get away with this?
Jeremy: What's your favorite movie or TV show?
Kristine: Oh! *laughs* Oh, my favorite. Okay. Favorite movie I'm kind of torn between Sabrina--the original.
Jeremy: The Teenage Witch.
Kristine: No, no not the Teenage Witch. The Audrey Hepburn one. *laughs* And Roman Holiday. And then favorite TV show is a show that I used to watch on Nick at Nite with my family Sabrina the Teen---no, I'm just kidding. *laughs* I Love Lucy. I have fond memories of watching I Love Lucy.
That's it for episode 2.3. Thanks for listening. New episodes drop every Sunday on Spotify, iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Send us your questions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and if you're looking for something new might I recommend some of our digital services? RBdigital is like 6 streaming services in one including AcornTV. Kanopy has streaming movies independent, foreign and classic films and content for kids. Hoopla also has streaming movies, TV shows, exercise videos and more. Music tracks are "Awakenings" and "Special Place" by Ketsa and "Ferus Cut" by Blue Dot Sessions available on freemusicarchive.org. Until next time be well and stay healthy. And remember we're covering books next time.
Episode 2.2: Books in Quarantine and Ionnie's E-Book Recommendation
Kristine: Ever wonder how those stickers get onto books, how book covers are laminated or how books and CDs are repaired? Well, this is the handiwork of Technical Services staff and the dedicated community volunteers that report there.
In today's episode you'll meet Claudia and Ionnie who work in the library's Technical Services Department. This is where new books are delivered and processed so that they're ready to be checked out by you.
It's Kristine and I'll be your host for this episode of Voices from the Stacks. This is 2.2 of our mini episode series during the coronavirus pandemic. In this series we'll share our recommendations of books that you can check out online and we'll also keep you updated on what we're up to while our doors are closed.
So right now while we're closed to the public, staff from the circulation and technology departments have been working hard to scan hundreds of individual items like our books music CDs and DVDs to get a more accurate inventory of what's on our shelves. We are also still receiving some shipments from book vendors but these books are going through a quarantine period just as we practice social distancing of six-feet we are practicing shipment distancing too to help keep everyone safe in light of this pandemic.
I spoke with Claudia to learn more about the quarantine period on books. Let's take a listen.
Claudia: I've been working in this library for quite a while like 20 plus years I'm kind of ancient and I've worked as a page and right now I work in technical services so my job here is a technical services assistant. Since we are kind of a back end, back of the house kind of operation we do still have our regular stuff. Up until now we've been getting deliveries and from all our vendors and recently they did stop because of the pandemic and how the virus can't stay on certain items like boxes, paper, even the covers of the book.So I think the vendors have been very good in saying that they are taking precautions when they're doing our materials and what we do is when those deliveries come in one of the things we do to protect our internal customers which is you guys--librarians, pages, everybody that touches the items. We're trying to do like a quarantine period of 24 hours for those boxes that come in we put them in our hallway outside of our office and put the time and the date to to wait for 24 hours and then what I do is I put on gloves after those 24 hours and I clean off the boxes with Lysol wipes and open up the boxes and I'm pretty careful at managing that stuff and we also asked that like the librarians or whoever has shipments coming in will follow the same kind of procedure just as a precaution because this is the first time we ever really had to close to the public like this. Normally public libraries are an open source and we usually try to stay open as much as we can to give services but this is a total different side of a kind of an emergency like this that we have to deal with. Since our shipments have slowed and we're trying to, I think the whole library is trying to, clean up and doing projects and trying to maintain the library for the public when we do reopen the library's gonna look good and our books will look good. So what we're trying to do is learn more about this pandemic that we've never encountered and I've heard a lot of webcasts and one by PLA which is Public Library Association and they had a really good information of what people are doing and just trying to keep everybody safe also the ALA magazine has a post out on how to handle materials that are coming in which was really helpful because this was really new for libraries public libraries. I was really impressed and really heartened to hear how much we're trying to even reach out to our patrons even throughout this pandemic so story time like children's is really wonderful I think as a parent myself it's really helpful.
Kristine: At the end of last year, Tara, Hispanic outreach librarian an interviewer extraordinaire for this podcast spoke with Ionnie about her favorite books of the year.
Tara: Hi there this is Tara and I am here in the library today with Ionnie. Hi Ionnie!
Tara: And Ionnie is a page here at the library can you tell us what you do here at the library as a page Ionnie
Ionnie: Sure I am a technical services page. I specialize in process magazines, repairing books, receiving new material and a host of other things a lot of other things and cataloging, a little bit of cataloging.
Tara: Setting up for programs, all that jazz. Ionnie where are you from originally? West Palm Beach?
Ionnie: I'm actually yes I was born here in West Palm Beach I was actually born not even like two miles from the library at Good Sam Hospital.
Tara: So you are native!
Tara: A rare breed!
Ionnie: Yes, hadn't thought about it like but yes a rare breed.
Tara: That's very cool. So how long have you been coming to the library?
Ionnie: Oh my gosh almost since I was born. This was definitely one of my favorite libraries and if it wasn't my first library the the city of Riviera Beach library was my very first library but since this library was located on the intercoastal those are some of my fondest memories of the rocking chairs overlooking the water I think on the second floor.
Tara: Oh yeah.
Ionnie: And that's when I fell in love with the Mandel Public Library, at the time it was the West Palm Beach Public Library.
Tara: That's right yeah, yeah those are good memories. I remember the old library as well.
Ionnie: Jacqueline Woodson has had an amazing year with her new release of "Red at the Bone."
Ionnie: And it came out I don't know, summer, early summer something like that and I checked it out large print
Ionnie: and enjoyed every minute of it so so even in anticipation of that book being released I actually picked up an old book of hers which was actually a very small book and come to find that I think it was also slated for the teen section
Ionnie: and it's called "The Dear One"
Ionnie: and I really enjoyed that so yes
Tara: so that particular author really hit you this year.
Ionnie: Yes, yes. "Ikigai: the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life."
Ionnie: I really love that book
Tara: So that's not in fiction?
Ionnie: Yes I actually read a lot of nonfiction books um I read I think that may have been released this year. There was another one released this year by Oprah "The Path Made Clear."
Tara: Oprah? Oprah wrote it?
Ionnie: It's the compilation of her super soul Sunday.
Tara: Oh, that sounds really interesting.
Ionnie: So I'm kind of like a sucker for certain quote books or insight books. I like short chapter stuff too.
Ionnie: Something that makes me feel accomplished.
Tara: All right.
Ionnie: So that book was really good and there was another book... oh! The art of "The Art of Living Simply"
Tara: So similar similar to the other book.
Ionnie: Yes, similar to "Ikigai" and it was...
Tara: Kind of went on a theme this year.
Ionnie: Yeah but I think those are kind of the books that I would I generally like to read. Anything that can or will open me up to creativity or insights reminding me of what's important. I'm trying to get into fiction which is probably why I like Jacqueline Woodson a couple summers ago I did a Toni Morrison summer where I read like three to four of her books so I don't read that much fiction but I am trying to stretch.
Tara: Did you like the Toni Morrison?
Ionnie: I love Toni Morrison.
Tara: Yeah, I love her too and we have a lot of the same reading tastes actually.
Kristine: Here's Ionnie with a book recommendation that you can check out online today with your library card.
Ionnie: In the world of how-to knowing when is just as important. If you like the Netflix special "100 Humans" then you may also enjoy the book "When" by Daniel Pink. Have you ever thought about when is the best time to get married, the best time of day to workout? How about the best time to quit your job? If so then this book is for you. Daniel Pink goes through the scientific secrets of perfect timing and how you can make time work best for you when you do something is just as important as how you do that thing. This is Ionnie a tech services page of the Mandel Public Library. Join me in listening to "When" by Daniel Pink on CloudLibrary, one of our many free digital resources.
Episode 2.1: Emily Recommends and the Library's Blog Announcement
Kristine: In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the Public Library Association surveyed the public library community to understand the immediate impacts the crisis is having. Over 2,500 unique library systems responded to the survey representing a nearly 30 percent response rate. Our library joins the 98 percent of libraries that have reported closures. Respondents also reported that they've continued expanded or added services like online renewal policies, online services, and streaming media as well as virtual programming. From craft videos filmed in Studio 411...
Faith: Hi everyone! I'm librarian Faith here at the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach and today, I'm going to show you how to make a flip flop wreath!
Kristine: ...to virtual storytimes filmed in KidSpace...
Jin: Hi, I'm Jin and we are going to sing "Hello' song. It goes like this "Hello everybody and how are you? How are you? How are you?"
Kristine: ...we're doing what we can to continue providing library services to the community. Stay tuned for mini-episodes of Voices from the Stacks where we'll share what's new and what we're reading right now.
Emily: Hi my name is Emily and I'm a reference librarian at the Mandel Public Library the book I recommend to people most often is actually
"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I love recommending this book because it is a book for book lovers. It takes place during World War II and it is an epistolary novel so it's written entirely in letters. It's about a writer in London who starts corresponding with a book club on the British island of Guernsey which was occupied by the Germans during the war. The letters begin when one of the book club members writes to her with a question about one of her books from there the letters develop into more personal stories of the amazing friendships and resiliency of the people of Guernsey. It is absolutely heartwarming and it's available to read on the Cloud Library app. It was also recently made into a movie on Netflix. If you need a warm fuzzy book to give you hope for the world, you need to pick up "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
Emily: The Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach is very excited to announce the launch of our new library blog. It's called Notes from the Stacks and like the library itself it will be dedicated to serving you, our patrons. On the blog you will find updates about upcoming programs, new services the library has to offer, recommendations for things to read, watch or listen to, and much more. Our first post is up right now which includes a list of services we are still providing even though our doors are currently closed and coming soon will be some book recommendation posts from our voracious librarians. Visit WPB citylibrary.org and click on Notes from the Stacks Blog to start reading.
Episode 1: Happy New Year, Happy New Podcast
[00:00:00] Kristine : The Mandel Public Library of West Palm beach reaches out to inspire, inform, and create a delightful quality of life. Let's get expansive and make some sound waves. Haven't you heard? Libraries aren't that quiet anymore. Voices from the Stacks empowers library users by giving them a voice. In this podcast, you'll meet and get to know our staff and our community members, and maybe even find your next great read.
This is Kristine Techavanich and I'm a children's librarian, and I'll be your host for this episode of Voices from the Stacks.
So how did you become a reader? What kind of books do you read? What motivates you to keep reading. How do you find out what you're going to read next? These are a few of the questions that we're asking in this episode and in the episodes that will follow.
[00:01:00] Tina: Reading was one of the, one of the things I was good at and that I loved and I can't imagine living without, I haven't read or
I've been a reader since maybe three years old.
Evelyn: Instead of reading posts, you can be reading a book
Matt: because print isn't dead. It really isn't folks.
It's like a single thing that you can be doing and it's immersive and just relaxing. I think that's really important to take the time to do that for yourself.
Kristine : First we'll start with a conversation with staffers Sophie, Amris and me that was recorded in the library's digital recording studio. We talk about how a love of books in libraries from a young age have shaped who we are today, the kinds of books we like to read, and since it's the start of a new year, we also talk about our reading goals. Fair warning though.
Prepare to hear some squeals and some awws. Yep. We get that excited when we talk about reading.
[00:02:00] Amris: My name is Amris. I am an associate librarian here at the Mandel Public Library, and I work in the technology floor, but I'm in school now to become a librarian, and I've been working in libraries for 10 years. So I have lots of experience. You could say.
Sophie: My name is Sophie Meridian. I'm the teen librarian here at the Mandel Public Library, um and I have not been working in libraries for ten years but I um previously interned at a public library and before that I was a book seller at Barnes and Noble. So I've always kind of been involved in bookish things and I'm really happy to be working with teenagers here. I've always just felt like books were the ultimate form of entertainment. Like I love getting lost in words and making the vision of what I'm reading in my head, my own. I was always that person.
Even in high school, like I always had a book with me that wasn't a required [00:03:00] reading book. I just feel like you don't need much. You don't need the internet to be able to read a book. It's just nice. You could just grab a book and go anywhere with it and be lost wherever you are. When I was in elementary school, I went to a private Catholic school in New York, um, and every week we had like a library class.
So that was part of our curriculum. We went to the library and the librarian there would read us a book. After she read the book, we were allowed to kind of like free time. There was, I have distinct memory of puppies being there and we were allowed to play with puppies and it was like super fun. And um, and then we, it was, we had an activity and then we were allowed to check out books.
We could pick out a book to take with us. And I got into the Series of Unfortunate Event books. So this had to, I had to have been in like fourth or fifth grade. The librarian, every time we got another the next volume in that series in she would take me to the back, like her back office, and she would unwrap it with me, and I get to put on the [00:04:00] label, and then I got to be like the first person to check it out.
And now my, I'm like, Oh my God, I'm gonna cry like it. At the time, I was like, this is really cool. I'm in the back. Yeah. Now I'm like, Oh my God, this was so like beautiful. But I just, I don't know. I was always kind of a reader and it feels weird when I'm at a point in my life where I'm not reading. I think it's one thing to kind of take a break, but I'm always going to like go back to books.
Um, so yeah, even in high school I wasn't, I wasn't like a total loser, but I wasn't like a really popular kid with this, like thriving social life, which I guess is why I love YA so much. I love to read about kids that are like doing all these things cause I want them to. Um, so I always just had books and my parents were big on like taking me to the library. What do you want to read now?
Kristine : That sounds like a dream library experience.
Sophie: I know.
Kristine : Puppies, librarian takes you to the back . You'd see the the latest thing.
Sophie: Yeah. This is why I wanted to work with like the youth, [00:05:00] because that was such a big experience for me, so I'm trying to do that with our teens today.
Amris: Well, I was the same way in high school, like I didn't even, I kind of like block out high school I think in general. But I forgot that I did. I carried books like all the time. I remember distinctly reading like after a test was done and laughing at my book while other people were trying to take the test. It was um, one of Louise Rennison books. Well I remember it was like a civil war history test and I was done cause I'm, I was smart or whatever and I like pulled it out and I was laughing at it cause it's a really funny book. But like the girl next to me was giving me stink eye. Like, like "what are you doing?" I was like having the greatest time ever. My parents took me to the library all the time. My mom specifically always took me to the library at least once a week because I read a lot and it was a free activity. It was really close to our house.
Sophie: Yeah, that's another thing yeah.
Amris: It's, I like that. I think that's my favorite part about the libraries.
It's a very big equalizer. [00:06:00] Like anyone can use it. Anyone can enjoy any of the activities here, and it's totally free.
Kristine : Now we can talk about genres, genre genres, so Amris, what's, what are your favorite genres?
Amris: So I love romance. That's like my escapist time. And then I like analyze all like the gender roles and stuff, but like I try to just like enjoy it.
Um, and just like, it's just sweet. I don't know. Like I just watched a Christmas like Hallmark-y type movie last night for like similar reasons cause I'm like, this is silly and fun. Um, and I, I also selected history cause I do like listening to audio books, um, like history, audio books, and I love graphic novels. I kind of read all over the place, but those are my main ones. It's like romance and then probably like history, nonfiction are the things that go back to the most.
Kristine : What about you Sophie?
Sophie: I feel like it's funny because thinking [00:07:00] about back to like when I was in high school, I didn't read a lot of YA. I definitely read more YA now as an adult then I did when I was a teenager. When I was a teenager, I was reading like Atonement, like, I don't know, I was reading like whatever was hot and would be on website or whatever. Um, I would say across the board, I am really drawn to fantasy. You know, like a lot of librarians and readers.
I remember like my first big reading experience being Harry Potter, so that's kind of informed my reading. For now. I'm like just getting into literary fiction and nonfiction. Although with nonfiction, I don't love memoir really depends on the subject. Um, I also read to escape, so right now, not in the mood to be reading like the sad stuff, but I love Trick Mirror.
We were talking about a Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino. Um, and I love like essays, especially if they're funny, especially if they're about current topics. Um, so that's [00:08:00] my big nonfiction thing that I like. Um, and I like to me, I feel like I'll read anything as long as the writing is really beautiful. Um, but fantasy will probably always be my number one, especially if it's fantasy that's like takes place in our world, like urban fantasy. Love Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, you guys should read it. It's kind of dark. I love dark fantasy too, but it takes place our world at, uh, Yale, but there's magic in it that I'm always going to be a sucker for like urban fiction, urban fantasy. I should say. Yeah. Not her vacation. That's different.
Amris: Did you see it on the good reads award?
Sophie: I did, I think that was probably that one and the Wicked King were probably the only two that I voted for and actually won. The rest of them I, yeah.
Amris: My goal was about fifth every year. Yeah. Um, and this year and last year, this is the first two years that I actually like blew past it.
[00:09:00] Um, which was weird. Like I wasn't trying to necessarily, it was more just like, Oh yeah, I'm going to read and record what I read and, you know, whatever. Um, the, I read a lot. This year.
Sophie: What are you at now?
Amris: I'm embarrassed. I read, um, I've read 166 books.
Kristine : That gets a clap! That's so good! That's awesome!
Amris: Thank you. I mean, I read a lot of audio books. But like that's like a third of my- I keep, I have a chart. Like I have like a graph in Google docs cause I'm a nerd like that.
Kristine : Oo, I want to see.
Amris: I know next year I think I'm not going to read as much cause it's like life stuff happens. Like, I'm getting marry and grad school.
Grad school. So I'm a little bit like, Oh no, I'm going to read as much. I don't know if this was a good idea. No, it's good. It's good. But, um. Yes. I read a lot.
Sophie: So my original goal [00:10:00] was 30 books and in the past I've tried to do 52 books cause I figure a book a week. I can swing that. But yeah, like life, I mean, I don't know.
I find it difficult to go home and like, there's so many things I want to do. And I also want to have relaxing time. I feel like I'm behind on TV. I used to be so good with like knowing what the hot TV shows where the movies and it's just, it's hard. Even just figuring out like personal time, like how I want to spend it.
Um. That was like 30, I think can do 30 right now I'm at 34, so I haven't met my goal. I've gone past it. Um, there was a point where we talked about doing 50, this was after, well past January, so I'm not going to get to 50, but next year, um, our whole youth services department is going to try to do 50 books a year and I think it's doable.
I can do it. I, I think if I really tried, I probably not now at this point. Since [00:11:00] we've got like three weeks left, two weeks I was like, Oh, maybe I can hit 40 and then 10 more books for like 50 it seems really doable. I don't think I'll ever get to like 100. I wish I could, but that's, I don't know. Maybe at some other point in my life.
I will say though that like this year is probably the most books I've read in a long time specifically because of like grad school, like it was hard to dedicate the time to reading for fun, unfortunately. But I think you'll be able to do it.
Amris: I think, I think one of the things that changed is when I was younger, I did- I do think that - cause good reads, the reading challenges, I probably started participating when I was like 20 and I'm 27 now. And I think for a few years when I first joined good reads, I was trying to like compete with myself almost and make it to the 50 goal or whatever. And now it's more like genuine enjoyment.
Like I always loved to read, but like it went from, like I'm going to read as much as I can in December to make it to 50 [00:12:00] to like all year. I'm reading like consistently in a lot and making the time to do that.
Kristine : So at the start of a new year, do you make reading a part of your new year's resolution? It's not always easy to get reading time in and get motivated. Reading lives can be just as complicated as life itself. And sometimes life just happens. Tara, our Hispanic outreach librarian, conducted interviews with library staff and volunteers for this episode.
Let's meet Stephen, our technology librarian, who is inspired by the eight part television series called the Great American read that aired on PBS in 2018. The series was designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books. Fun fact, Steven even makes an appearance in one of the episodes. In this interview, Tara [00:13:00] talks with Steven about his reading goal of getting through the 100 best loved novels as chosen through a national survey.
Tara: Hi, this is Tara, and I am here now with a colleague, a fellow librarian named Stephen. Hi, Stephen.
Tara: Stephen works on the second floor of the library in the technology department. Do you want to tell us a little bit about what your job is here at the library, Stephen?
Stephen: Sure. I am considered the technology librarian. So I am in charge mainly of the, the digital studios where we do all of our 3D printing and, uh, audio studio and all those tech gadgets.
Tara: Very exciting cutting edge stuff happening here at the library. You do have a newborn baby at home, right, Stephen?
Stephen: I do.
Tara: So you're reading a little less this year than usual, right?
Stephen: In general, yes.
Tara: But what, what have you been working on reading this year?
Stephen: Well, let's see. Considering the newborn and my nice commute to work, thanks to [00:14:00] traffic in the morning, and I've been doing a lot of audio books, which has allowed me to at least read a little bit more. Than I otherwise would have. But, um, this year I've mainly been going through the, the great American read.
It was kind of a new year's resolution that I started a little bit early last year, and I've been slowly but surely making my way through all of those very long books.
Tara: So how many of those books are there? Do you have any idea there?
Stephen: Well, I think I've just been going through the top 100-
Tara: Oh, wow ok .
Stephen: So, I am up to about... I'm about a quarter of the way through actually -
Tara: That's pretty impressive.
Stephen: So, I'm about 25-26 the way through, but I've also read a few already, so.
Tara: So, Stephen working full time and with a small child and a newborn at home has read 25 books this year. That's pretty good!
Stephen: Yeah, and one of them was Atlas Shrugged, which is like very -
Tara: That counts for three at least.
Stephen: Yeah, that's like three books. Um, but probably um among my favorites. There was probably one that I'm surprised I've never heard of [00:15:00] before, by um Robbert McCammon called Swan song.
Tara: I've never heard of it. Tell us about it.
Stephen: It is. It's kind of in the vein of Stephen King. So of course I love a good Stephen King book, but it came out in the 80s and it's similar to The Stand, in that it's kind of an end of the world thing, except in this case it was Russia and America finally fired off the nukes, but it's also got a nice little, um, a little bit of a religious twist. A little bit of magic kind of in there and a little bit of demons. So um it provides for some very interesting and riveting reading .
Tara: Yeah, that sounds fascinating. One last question. You work here in the library. I know that, but, uh, where do you get your reading recommendations from for new books besides the great American read, if you wanted to read something new?
Stephen: If I wanted to read somethin' new. I, uh, I usually, I have several friends on good reads, so I'll often pop in and see what they're reading at the [00:16:00] moment and I'll check those out. And of course, I also check out, um, like the hot picks downstairs in the, uh, yeah. And the, uh, uh, the staff picks.
Stephen: I usually see what everybody else is reading here and -
Tara: I like those too.
Stephen: Yes. And usually there's some great ones on there, so it gives me some good ideas of what to read.
Tara: I agree.
Kristine : Stephen discovered audio books to keep his reading goal going while caring for a newborn baby and commuting to work. Curious about those books? Here are the top five. To Kill a Mockingbird was voted by viewers as America's number one best loved novel, followed by the Outlander series, the Harry Potter series, Pride and Prejudice, and the Lord of the Rings series.
What guides your reading life and where do you get your reading recommendations from? Browsing the stacks is one of my [00:17:00] favorite things to do at the library. But, discovering books can be a social activity too. In this next interview, Tara speaks with Sister Vivian, who participates in a book club called Fiction and Fellowship at her church.
Tara: Hi there. This is Tara and I am here today with Sister Vivian. Hello, Sister Vivian.
Sister Vivian: Hi, how are you doing? Thank you for having me.
Tara: I'm glad to have you here. And sister Vivian, what church are you from?
Sister Vivian: Oh. I'm working at St. Patrick Catholic church -
Tara: I see.
Sister Vivian: I'm a Claretian missionary sister and I'm the outreach director at St. Patrick in Palm Beach Gardens.
Tara: Ok, very cool! And you're here at the library today to help out with the community ID drives. Is that right?
Sister Vivian: Yeah, I'm volunteering for that now.
Tara: I'd like to ask you, do you consider yourself a reader?
Sister Vivian: Oh, yes, definitely, it's 100%. I absolutely love to read, and the library is one of my favorite places. I've just come to the library, sit down and smell the books just for the fun of it. When I'm [00:18:00] depressed, I come to the library.
Tara: That is awesome. You mentioned that you are participating in a book club at church, right?
Sister Vivian: Yes.
Tara: Does that bookclub have a name or a theme or anything?
Sister Vivian: Uh, we called, um, fiction and fellowship, and it's a book club that was started in the church and we didn't want to do like religious books. We wanted to do like regular books that people are reading. And when we discuss it, we say, well, we as Catholics, how that affects how the book responds to our faith. And if it doesn't, why?
Tara: Oh, that's very interesting.
Sister Vivian: So every month we read one book. And it's been very successful. We have about 30 people participating in the book club, which is pretty large group for a book club.
Tara: That is yes.
Sister Vivian: But it's very, um, professional people. They're very smart and intellectual, and they're respectful of the different opinions. It was really nice because the person who started it, her name is Carol Palusi [00:19:00] and she is a retired English professor, college professor. I really enjoy it.
Tara: That's really cool. What are some of the books that you've read this past year?
Sister Vivian: Uh, yes. We've read reading a lot about World War II. The Other Einstein-
Tara: The Other Einstein.
Sister Vivian: Which is about the, uh, the wife of Einstein.
Tara: Oh interesting.
Sister Vivian: Uh, we read the Testament.
Tara: Oh, okay.
Sister Vivian: Um, still there oh we have so many books. So we'd be reading a couple of by Ann Patchett, -
Tara: Okay, yeah.
Sister Vivian: and Really like that one.
Tara: That's good! Yeah, she's popular.
Sister Vivian: The top of my mind, I can't remember all of them, but every month would read one, so been in the club, has been there for three years now. So, we've read quite a lot.
Tara: Yeah that is a lot of books. That is a lot of books.
Sister Vivian: And then if we all still work, different books that have to do with theology religion, but then because I've worked with the Jews, I've read a lot of German dog novels to see what the reading, what they [00:20:00] say. Um, I'm really enjoying though.
Tara: That's really good.
Sister Vivian: I've been reading Harry Potter. And uh, what's the other one, uh, Pendragon series.
Tara: Oh yeah!
Sister Vivian: So it's kinda fun. I usually read those before I go to bed at night, it's kind of relaxing.
Tara: Very cool! Do you have any reading goals for yourself for 2020 or you just roll with it?
Sister Vivian: Um, I haven't thought of having a goal. But I keep reading as much as i can
Tara: That's fair!
Sister Vivian: And reading books I mean actual books. I do have a lot of, which I think is good to have, uh.
Tara: Like eBooks or magazines?
Sister Vivian: Ebooks.
Tara: Oh Ebooks
Sister Vivian: But I kinda liked the feeling of-
Tara: the actual old fashion book?
Sister Vivian: I can holding the book. So I'm, I'm hoping that I can continue doing that, for 2020.
Tara: Well, thank you for sharing your insights with us. We really appreciate having you.
Sister Vivian: Thank you. Thank you very much for having me and thank you for having the library. [00:21:00] It's a really wonderful place.
Tara: Glad you're enjoying it. That's great.
Kristine : I love that for Sister Vivian, visiting the library and being surrounded by books is a restorative experience. When was the last time you got lost in the stacks at the library? Of course, libraries are more than just buildings housing books, libraries build community too. Let's hear from members of one of the libraries, book clubs. This book club is run by millennial librarians, Emily and Bethany for millennials. Emily speaks with readers about their reading goals and their experience in the book club at Grandview public market located in the warehouse district of West Palm beach.
Emily: So I'm here with Madeline, one of the Millennials Ruin Book Club participants. Madeline, what was your 2019 [00:22:00] reading goal? Did you have one?
Madeline: I did actually. This was the first year that I actually sent one at the beginning of the year and it was 22 books.
Emily: Did you achieve that goal?
Madeline: Oh my God, did I! I read 44 so far and I'm probably on track to finish number 45.
Emily: That's awesome. That's cool. Because we surveyed the library staff, and on average we read 45 books this year-
Madeline: Oh my gosh!
Emily: So you're right along with us.
Madeline: Does that make me a librarian now?
Emily: Yeah, I think that makes you a librarian. Um, do you have any goals for 2020?
Madeline: Um, I kind of do. I mean, I think I'll probably set it to about 44-45. I'm scared to try to do much over that cause I'm not even sure this is replicable.
Emily: What do you think like happen? That means you read over and beyond
Madeline: Um, well, I moved. And so like, part of it is just like I was still developing a social life cause I moved to a totally different state. So I have a lot more time to like sit by myself and read.
Emily: So, but you found the book club. What do you like about book club?
Madeline: Oh my gosh. Um, I love everything about book club. I love that. This one in [00:23:00] particular is uh everybody's reading different things. So I get introduced to a lot of things that I really wouldn't think of otherwise.
Um. And I also think it's great because we, because we read, so broadly, um, I think we have conversations to get a lot more interesting and a lot more divergent in terms of just like, I think I, we think about things in new ways that we maybe couldn't do if we were just reading one book. And so it's really fun to sit with people who like, you know, we're all millennials, so there's, there's some commonality, but there's a little bit of, there's a lot of diversity in what we've read in and what we, how we think of it too. So I think that it, at leads to conversations that are really fun.
Emily: That's awesome. Well, thank you so much.
Madeline: You bet.
Emily: So Elsa, what kind of books do you like to read?
Elsa: I like a lot of nonfiction books, memoirs, you know, stuff by Malcolm Gladwell's, this phenomenal research. Stuff along those lines and um historical fiction. Yeah.
Emily: How many books did you read in 2019?
Elsa: I'm currently reading my 50th book, [00:24:00] so, and that was my goal to read 50 books this year.
Emily: That's amazing. Um, so because you read so much, do you tend to read one book at a time or multiple books at a time?
Elsa: Multiple books at a time. I think right now, in addition to read my 50th book, I also just downloaded another three books. So I probably won't need that. Well, you know, between the one I'm reading and the others, it's more fun that way, I think.
Emily: That's cool. So you said downloaded, do you read a lot of eBooks?
Elsa: I do. And the library here, Uh, Clematis does an amazing job with their books. They have all the most up to date, New York times books. Really amazing. I'm so pleased to be a member of that library.
Emily: I'm here with Acsah, another millennial in the Millennials Ruined Book Club book club at the library. Um, so Acsah what was your favorite book from 2019 that you read?
Acsah: So that is [00:25:00] actually a very easy question. My favorite book that I read this year is Where the Crawdad Sings by Delia Owens.
Emily: What'd you like about it?
Acsah: Well, I only came across it because a book club. We had talked about reading a book, um, from the theme of historical fiction. So I had seen it on the best times or the bestseller list, and it was just so suspenseful, unexpected, unique. I just fell in love with characters, and it was the first time in years that I literally stayed up at night to just like finish this book.
In, I think it was four days and I just, I just loved it. And I was literally, it was a page turning novel for me that I just couldn't even believe and believe the ending. Just love it!
Emily: Awesome. And you said you heard about it from book club?
Acsah: I discovered it through book club, because at book club every month we pick a theme, and the theme was historical fiction, so I was looking up what kind of books fall under historical fiction, and I saw this one was one of them. So that's how I [00:26:00] kind of discovered it.
Emily: That's cool. Do you tend to read a lot of historical fiction or was this new for you?
Acsah: This was new for me. Book club has stretched my reading horizons for sure.
Emily: That's awesome. That's good to hear. Well, thank you so much.
Emily: So, David, would you consider yourself a reader?
David: Yes, I definitely would.
Emily: What makes you a reader?
David: I like to read books in my free time and books and mangas, honestly. Um, and it's, it's something I enjoy talking to others about and, uh, just I look forward to every new book that I get to read.
Emily: Did you have any reading goals from 2019?
David: I wanted to read 30 books in 2019. Uh, I including mangas, I probably very well have beaten that goal. Um, if, if I was just going to be saying how many books I've actually read, it's probably more like 17 [00:27:00] I think.
Emily: Do you have any reading goals for 2020?
David: Yes for 2020. I would like to actually read at least 20 books. Um, and then probably 40 things in general.
Emily: So you don't consider mangas books.
David: I, I guess, I guess that's kind of harsh, but I, I, I guess, I don't know. That's an interesting question cause I, I feel like books in my, in my brain are more like. Things that have a lot of texts and texts that are mostly text and they'll have pictures of the chapters and stuff like that.
Mangas are, are, are comic, I guess, comic books, which has literally has “books” in the name. Um, maybe I shouldn't be. So, uh, uh, bookist, I guess.
Emily: Bookist? Yeah. I as a [00:28:00] librarian. I am a firm believer that comics and mangas are books, so I think you should count them.
David: Okay, well then I'll read 40 books next year.
Emily: Well, good luck. I hope it goes well for you.
David: Thank you very much.
Kristine : If you're a millennial interested in talking with fellow book lovers about books and expanding your reading horizons, you might want to join Millennials Ruin Book Club.
Bethany: Hi, this is Bethany of Millennials Ruin Book Club. Join us for a new kind of book club created by and ruined by millennials. This book club is no pressure, meaning you read what you want.
On the third Wednesday of each month, we get together at Grandview public market and share what we've been reading while getting recommendations from other book lovers and librarians, like me. New members are always welcome. For more information, visit WPBcitylibrary.org or call [00:29:00] (561) 868-7701.
Kristine : Thanks for listening to this episode of Voices from the Stacks, a podcast from the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. We hope you stay tuned to hear the next episode and remember, you can record your very own podcast in the library's digital recording studios.
Sister Vivian: I absolutely do love to read, and the library is one of my favorite places. I just come to the library and sit down and smell the books just for the fun of it.