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“You Need to Go From Wanting to Change Your Life to Deciding To Change Your Life”: You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

30 Mar

You Are a Badass
If you’re at home and in the mood to read but don’t know what, then look no further, and check out the large selection of E-book resources at your local Hoboken Public Library. You can download our free online apps that are available with your library card. We offer many online resources and apps such as Libby and Hoopla. It’s easy; all you need to do is download the free app and then sign in using your library card (and for some your four digit pin for your password.) Libby is a great app available for eLibraryNJ and eBCCLS for all new E-books and audiobooks from the New York Times best sellers list. We also, offer Hoopla, an essential app, similar to Netflix expect you get twenty free check outs currently a month. Hoopla includes E-books, audiobooks, movies, and music! The best part is that it’s all free with you Hoboken Public Library card. So if your stuck at home just download the free apps today, you won’t regret it.

If you want a book that helps you to achieve personal growth and a lot of happiness, then check out You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. Sincero talks about her personal and inspiring stories surrounding how she got through her struggles. She gives advice on how you can improve your life with meditation. By the way, when I started doing meditation once a day, it helped me with my stress. She talks about how you should always love yourself first and how you should let go of the past even though it will be hard. It is small steps with the result of a better you. She writes about how you can reflect on your everyday actions. I like that she always has a story to tell and it helps because you can relate to the many different situations. So, if you want a funny story to laugh and you want to start making changes in your life, I highly recommend this book. I can say from experience that I meditate now (before I did not) and I feel like a happier person and for that I am truly grateful for this book. So thank you Jen Sincero! I am going to highly recommend this book and give it four out of five stars because I feel like I have made a personal change in my life.  If you liked the book you can also checkout her books You Are a Badass at Making Money and You are a Badass Everyday along with the original from eBCCLS and eLibraryNJ.  It is available on Hoopla as a digital audiobook.

Written By
Michelle Valle
Circulation Assistant

“I have been at home.”: A Midwife’s Tale and A Request for Your Our Own

25 Mar

A Midwife's Tale
Martha Ballard’s diary entries frequently contained this note when she wasn’t out delivering babies in Hallowell (now Augusta), Maine. She lived and operated in a world both uniquely familiar and starkly foreign to our own, a tight-knit 18th century community in which she played the vital role of midwife. She called on neighbors, attended church, worked in her garden, remembered anniversaries, and raised a family with her husband Ephraim, ten years her senior. Most importantly and notably, she kept a diary over the course of her last 27 years of life, recording her work, the daily goings-on in her community, and her life in over 10,000 entries between 1785 and 1812.

As I write this, I have also been at home. Hoboken is practicing social distancing due to COVID-19, and I can’t go out unless I need groceries or other essentials. If I want to take a walk for some fresh air, I can, but I have to keep six feet apart from other people. I could in theory take my cat for a walk in his stroller to get outside, but I’d worry that people would assume a human child was in there and I’d be branded an irresponsible parent. On the flip side, this means I’ve been getting a lot of reading done, so I finished my reread of Laurel Thatcher Ulrich’s A Midwife’s Tale in a few days. It was to be the historical nonfictional book club’s discussion book for April, but the date is now up in the air for the time being. I hadn’t read it since my undergraduate days at Gettysburg for my historical method class, but I recalled learning a lot about how to work with primary sources from it, so I picked it for the book club – and I am so glad I did.  If you are interested in participating in our virtual book discussion starting on Friday, March 27 check out our calendar page.

In a way, it’s very relevant right now. When I first read the book, it was for purely educational purposes. I was reading it to learn how to utilize primary sources to tell an individual’s story, and I used what I learned within the next year when I took on my undergraduate senior thesis project, which involved extrapolating a story from a soldier’s court-martial. A reread of it now, though, gives the book new meaning. Right now, we’re living through a historical event. Life is going on as normally as possible as we remain in lockdown due to COVID-19, only going out for essentials and working from home if possible. Everyone’s searching for some normalcy, but at the same time we all know we’re living through something historic. I’ve decided to collect articles on COVID-19 and Hoboken for a future vertical file, but I’m also keeping a log of my activities during this period of social distancing because I know someday I’ll want to remember it all – or someone coming after me might want to know what it was like to live through this.

Martha didn’t particularly consider her diary to be historic. She mostly used it to record her daily life, the comings and goings of friends, family, and neighbors, and her midwifery business. She probably didn’t anticipate that it would be today sitting in a historical society, a testament to life in frontier Maine before Maine was even a separate state from Massachusetts. She definitely wouldn’t have imagined that nearly 200 years after her death in 1812 a historian would find her diary there and use it to patch her life together for modern readers. Martha wasn’t the sort of person who intended to be famous, if her no-nonsense diary entries are any indication. She’s now the subject of a Pulitzer Prize-winning piece of historical nonfiction. She’ll be remembered for eternity. She’s achieved immortality, so sought after by rulers of the past, and yet she was an ordinary, everyday woman with an ordinary, everyday – yet crucial – job.

In the spirit of Martha Ballard, I’d like to make a request of you all. If you read this blog post, please consider keeping a journal or a log of your life during this time. When we’ve returned to business as usual here in Hoboken, donate that journal or log or a copy of it to us here at the Hoboken Public Library. We’d love to preserve your story so that future generations can remember what life was like in this difficult time for all of us – and it’ll give you another thing to do during quarantine! We would appreciate your help in recording history – indeed, we’re living through it right now! Send us your activities, your photos, your videos – anything you feel we should save! This may not be the best historical event to live during, but let’s make the most of it and make sure that we’re remembered for what we did to save and protect others during this outbreak!  After 9/11, HPL collected people’s memories and it was published by Wiley in publication September 11: Hoboken Remembers that is now part of our local history collection.

You can send any reflections, images, videos, or other items about your experience during quarantine you want preserved to stephanie.diorio@hoboken.bccls.org, and I’ll make sure they’re safe and protected for the future!

Oh, and one more thing – whilst you’re stuck at home, fill out that Census! You can do it online, and you’ll be helping future historians, archivists, and genealogists too! Your descendants will be able to find you in 72 years when they’re looking!

Stay safe, keep six feet apart, and wash your hands – we’ll get through this!

Written by:
Steph Diorio
Hoboken History Librarian

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