I love to read biographies – not the biographies of celebrity socialites, but of everyday seemingly ordinary people, especially those that insipre hope and perseverance. I recently finished reading two such incredible stories about two young ladies who have overcome insurmountable odds. One is from the slums of Katwe, Uganda; the other is an orphan from war-torn Sierra Leone. Both Phiona Mutesi and Mabinty Bangura (Michaela DePrince) are two inspiring young women who have extraordinary tales to tell.
“The day after I was born my parents named me Resolute. Pa said it gave me an aspect of solemnity and perseverance, which are pretty things for a child with a sanguine humor. It was a good name for a girl, Ma always added, and there was nothing wrong with a girl being confident and ruddy. A boy could grow to 'make a name for himself,' but a girl needed a special one from birth.”
As the year comes to a close, I'm sharing my favorite albums of 2014. Between comeback records and notable debuts, it's been a great year for music. I've linked albums available in Anythink's catalog, as well as the occasional YouTube video for an introduction.
What are your favorites from the year? In no particular order, here are 15 of mine:
Happy December, everyone! For me, this season means it's time to hold an annual cookie baking party. In this vein, I decided to find some stellar cookie cookbooks avalable at Anythink, as well as some recipes to share.
Connie Willis is one of my favorite authors: witty, poignant, compelling. If you like reading science fiction, then her name probably is well-known to you already. Willis has won numerous writing awards, and she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2009. If you haven’t yet discovered or delved into her writing, this list is designed for you – and identifying as a sci-fi fan isn’t necessary. Any reader who likes a well-crafted story with intriguing characters can find a good read here. I tend to favor the stories in which the past is central.
Confession: Sometimes I need a good cry. A sobbing, runny-nose, eyes-swollen, whole-box-of-tissue cry. I’m not sure why or what brings on this sudden urge. I’m never aware of this feeling approaching. It’s not like I can say to myself, “Self, I think you’ll feel like crying tomorrow so you better go buy a new pair of shoes today in hopes of warding it off.” Nope, it never happens like that. All of sudden, it just hits me and there it is – I need to cry. Not just one or two tears, but the open-the-flood-gates kind of cry.
The SAT – a rite of passage that most high school student’s encounter to continue this journey we call life. I’ll never forget waking up at 7 am on a perfectly good Saturday to take a four-hour exam that would decide the next step in my life. It was beyond nerve-wracking; and even after hours upon hours of studying, I was still not prepared. I said it then and I’ll say it now: I don’t think this test design is the best option for colleges to decide who gains entrance.
Did you grow up with Harry Potter and cry when you read the last page of the last book? I certainly shed some tears, more because it was the last book than because the ending was sad. Ever since I have been on the hunt for books that could help fill the void left by Harry and his friends. Admittedly most of these series do not involve midnight release parties and have yet to make it to Hollywood, but they do have fast friends, intriguing school-time shenanigans, and elements out of the ordinary. Do you have other books to add to this list?
We're celebrating the 5th birthday of the launch of Anythink. We held our breath when over 5,000 people took their first peek at Anythink Brighton as it opened on September 12, 2009. As the community flooded through the doors, the immediate reaction was love at first sight. The beautiful building, the wonderful books, movies and music. We played “Yellow Submarine” on kazoos, learned how to make fresh salsa, and practiced dancing. Everything was shiny and new and gorgeous. Five years later, more than 1.3 million people visit our libraries every year.
At Anythink, we want to make information available to you that will help you live your best life. Health issues can be stressful, but with the right information they can be managed. October is Eye Injury Prevention Month and today I'd like to share information with you about keeping your eyes healthy and your vision pristine.
Have you ever looked at a novel and fallen in love with the book’s pictures or design before its words? Some books are so visually intriguing for me that the words are almost superfluous. In a world depending more and more on us to be visually literate, or able to understand meanings behind images, these books provide challenging and beautiful imagery to practice on. Here are a few titles that stand out for me.
I have a special admiration for authors who can incorporate word play into their writing. The writing process itself can be arduous and mentally taxing – but add word play and you elevate the process to a whole new level.
The debut of the Outlander TV series (showing on Starz; find out more here) has triggered a lot of interest in Diana Gabaldon’s novel that started it all. Have you read the whole Outlander series, and are you desperate for more? These time travel books might tide you over until the next episode airs or the next book comes out.
Learning about tattooing can be fascinating, whether or not you’re interested in getting inked yourself. A tattoo can represent permanence, and also be permanent, for an individual person. For people in general, or as a species, tattooing itself has had permanence, appearing throughout human history, though in varying ways in different cultures.
Here we are in mid-summer, the peak of wedding season. This wedding season has been extra special for me. On June 16, my one and only daughter was married. What a roller coaster of emotions! But now I am an official member of the I Survived Being Mother–of-the-Bride Club. For months my days were filled with wedding planning appointments, phone calls, dress fittings, etc.
Summertime is the perfect time for charity work – school is out and opportunities are plenty. Helping others in need, making this world a better place and finding a niche you truly care about can instill a wonderful feeling inside of anyone. Volunteering is especially great for those students nearing the college application process or for those looking to broaden their horizons, since such work allows you to try out new things while building your resume or networking.
Consider the four classical elements: earth, fire, water, air. Which one best represents who you are? Or, if you were to tell a story using one of these elements, which element would you select – particularly if you were telling a story about yourself and your life?
When people have questions they often turn to Google to find answers. While this can be an effective strategy for many questions answered with basic information, you may not find the best information if you end your search there.