Get Hooked on The Dash and Lily Series!

13 Jan

The moment that I started reading the first book in The Dash and Lily series by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, I knew I was hooked. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares starts off by talking about a red Moleskin notebook, and I was immediately intrigued. As a lover of all things red, I was wondering if someone had been listening in on my innermost desires to find romance involving a red Moleskin notebook and The Strand Bookstore (aka my favorite bookstore). For anyone who considers themselves a bibliophile, a lover of NYC, and the lover of the spirit of Christmas, then this series is for you.

The series revolves around two main characters, Dash and Lily. Dash is a teenage boy who is a typical New Yorker: jaded, pessimistic, and absolutely hates Christmas. However, his innate love of books leads him to explore The Strand in the weeks before Christmas, and find a red Moleskin notebook hidden in the stacks. The discovery of this notebook eventually leads him to Lily. Lily is a teenage girl who loves dogs, baking, but most of all, she loves Christmas. Through a series of dares that have been laid out in the red Moleskin notebook, Dash and Lily find themselves trying to learn more about each other without actually meeting in real life, but finding out more about themselves in the process as well. The journey is sweet, sad, adventurous, and everything you want in a book. It’s also a quick read at 290 pages.

I love this book series so much because I can see myself so well in both of these characters. Dash appeals to my pessimistic book-loving side, and Lily relates to my Christmas loving, baking deserts side. It’s also great to have an Asian American main character because as an Asian American woman, it’s hard to find realistic female Asian characters. I adore Lily as a character, and I’m so glad that there are three books in this series. I couldn’t get enough.

Don’t let the post holiday blues get you down, this series will put you in the Christmas spirit all year long! These books are available through BCCLS and through eBCCLS via Overdrive.

Written by:
Nicole Marconi
Library Assistant, Children’s Department

Word Games for Discovering New Things: August at Akiko’s

6 Jan
image from

Sometimes when we are looking for recommendations or looking for something completely new to watch or read, we just can’t seem to find anything that speaks to us. Perhaps everyone is recommending the same thing or you’ve already gone through all your recommendations. Well then, what now? Here’s a suggestion: play a little word game. For example, pick a month of the year and search for movies or books with that month in the title. I tried this out myself on Kanopy with the month of August and discovered August at Akiko’s.

August at Akiko’s is about a musician named Alex who goes back to his family’s hometown in Hawaii after a long absence. There, he meets Akiko, who runs a Buddhist bed & breakfast, and the two form a special bond.  It’s quite an interesting movie since it’s not quite fiction, yet not quite a documentary. The actors play fictionalized versions of themselves. The movie in itself is like a long meditation, peaceful, quiet and comforting. This is definitely not for those who prefer plot-driven films, but I think the beautiful scenery and music makes it absolutely worth a watch. Plus, it’s only 75 minutes long, so if you’re pressed for time, it’s a good choice. 

It’s surprising the amount of things you can discover by just playing a little game like this. It doesn’t just have to be with months either – try looking up a number, a color, a season, a drink…the possibilities are endless! Let us know in the comments, if you try this method and find an interesting book, movie or TV show! 

Written by:
Samantha Evaristo
Circulation Assistant, Grand St. Branch

%d bloggers like this: