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#METOO: Shout, Speak and Women are Some Kind of Magic

18 May

We are at a time when it is easy to feel alone, especially for those that have been through an ordeal such as sexual abuse, it is even harder to handle alone. Healing can come in different ways, and poetry seems to be fitting because what better way to repair one’s soul than to take in information in bits like poetry or verse. Authors like Laurie Halse Anderson and Amanda Lovelace are known not to shy away from this challenging subject. They work hard to give voice to those that have been silenced through abuse.

Shout and Speak
by Laurie Halse Anderson
Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of  Speak, her most famous book, which was also adapted into a movie starring Kristen Stewart. Speak was published in 1999. It brought to light what we see today in the #metoo movement, the perspective and growth of a victim into a survivor of sexual assault. This theme is carried out in her memoir in verse, Shout. The book Shout explains where her idea for Speak came from, which was her own experience of sexual assault at 13 years old by an older classmate. Although this book has a heavy undertone, revolving around this theme are lighter moments. These books are recommended for those High School aged and older. Anderson has always been a vocal advocate of survivors of sexual assault and the teaching of consent.

Women Are Some Kind Of Magic Series
by Amanda Lovelace
the mermaid's voice returns in this one
NJ author, Amanda Lovelace, published her first book before earning her bachelor’s degree.  Lovelace expresses her life of loss, resilience, and hope in her three-part series named “Women are Some Kind of Magic.” Through the series, she uses the women in her life and her experiences to express problems personal to her. Each book revolves around a different theme. In The Princess Saves Herself in this One, she speaks to the subject of resilience. In The Witch Doesn’t Burn in this One, she speaks of survival. In her last book, The Mermaids Voice Returns in this One, she goes between the themes of escapism and healing.  Stay tuned for our upcoming Wednesday’s blog when another of our library’s staff talks more about The Princess Saves Herself in this One.

Written by:
Elbie Love
YA Library Associate

Finding Inspiration in Other People’s Bookshelves

22 Apr

If you are an avid reader, you’ve perhaps been a little frustrated by this disruption of your daily routines. No longer able to take a quick trip to the library and stroll through the stacks looking for your next great read, you have probably found yourself looking at your own collection at home. It’s always great to reread the books you love. But what if you’ve already gone through your whole collection? Or what if you just want to read something different? If you’re tired of your own collection at home, look for some inspiration in your friends’ bookshelves!

“But I can’t visit my friends!” you say. “And even if they tell me what’s on their shelves, how am I going to get a copy?”

All great questions, but it seems that you have forgotten about the library’s ebook and digital audiobook collection! If you’re one of those people who have only read physical books, now is the perfect time to try out something new. Trust me, I used to be one of those people, and while I still prefer the feel of a physical book, I have to say, that ebooks have won me over, too.

So let’s start this game. I’ll share some titles off of my shelves and you can check them out from eBCCLS, eLibraryNJ or Hoopla. If you’re not sure how to use these services, you’ll find this information on the Hoboken Library Download and Streaming Web Page which includes tip sheets and how to videos.

Gut by Giulia Enders
If you want a fun and easy way to learn about the body (or well, at least a part of it), I highly recommend Gut by Giulia Enders. If you’re not interested in our digestive system – well, you should be. So many new studies are coming out that demonstrate the importance of our gut and its microbiome, as well as its strong connection to our brain. The gut really affects us more than we think it does. Read this book to learn more about the connection between our gut and our physical and mental health. You can check it out as an ebook from eLibraryNJ and  Hoopla.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
With the Fire on High
I have both The Poet X and With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo on my shelf, and while National Poetry Month is the perfect time to highlight The Poet X (you can learn more about that book in a previous post), I’d like to also shine the spotlight on With the Fire On High. If you like stories that incorporate cooking in them, you’ll love this one. This YA novel tells the story of Emoni Santiago, a teen mother who despite all the hardships and responsibilities she has, still dreams of a career in the culinary world. You can find this book (and The Poet X) as an ebook or audiobook on eBCCLS, eLibraryNJ and Hoopla.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Convenience Store Woman
If you’ve ever read anything by a Japanese author, it’s probably been a Haruki Murakami book (no shade, I am a huge fan myself). Now, however, is the perfect time to check out all the other great authors emerging from Japan whose works are finally being translated into English, especially female authors. Sayaka Murata is one of those authors. Her book Convenience Store Woman is a wonderful tale of a woman who struggles to fit into society. She finally finds her place as a convenience store clerk, where she has strict rules to follow and can easily copy her coworkers mannerisms. Her life goes on like this for almost twenty years, until a strange young man walks into the store one day. An intriguing read with sharp observations of society. You can read and/or listen to this book on eBCCLS, eLibraryNJ and Hoopla.

The Odyssey by Homer (Translated by Emily Wilson)
Speaking of translations, how about The Odyssey? I realize this recommendation is a bit out of left field and you may be thinking, “Okay, I expected a classic on this list, but I didn’t think you’d go that classic!” Hear me out. I first read parts of the Odyssey in school, but I happened to have read them in Portuguese. As a fan of mythology, I enjoyed it, so I bought a copy in English. The problem? When I tried to read it again, I just wasn’t into it. It’s the same story, what was wrong? Translations matter. So I’m going to recommend a new translation of The Odyssey – one by Emily Wilson, the first woman to translate The Odyssey into English. I had heard about her translation on a podcast and came across some articles on it. I haven’t yet read it myself, but perhaps it’s time to give The Odyssey another try – this time from a new perspective. You can read Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey from eBCCLS.

Oceanic by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
If you’ve read any of the blog posts I’ve written in the past, you might have noticed that I’m a big fan of poetry, so of course I had to include something from my poetry collection. Oceanic is a wonderful ode to the natural world. Nezhukumatathil, to me, is a poet in constant awe – in awe of scallops, in awe of love, and yes, even in awe of a perfect manicure. You may find the poem “Love in the Time of Swine Flu” particularly relevant if you are loving in this pandemic. You can let yourself be awed by these poems in ebook format from Hoopla.

Now it’s your turn! What books on your shelves do you recommend?  Share them in the comments!

Written by:
Sam Evaristo
Circulation Assistant



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