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

6 Jan
image from Kanopy.com

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

What All the Hoopla was about for our Patrons in 2020

30 Dec

Twenty-twenty has been an interesting year to say the least.  Our staff has recommended a variety of resources to help get through what was a tough time for most of us.  I wanted to end the year and take a look back at what our patrons have been enjoying during this unprecedented time by looking at the top check outs we have had in Hoopla. They included everything from a bestselling thriller The Last Flight to classics like Little Women.

Top ebooks for Adults
We ran a short story book discussion of stories from Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman throughout the early months of the pandemic on Discord.  We appreciated everyone who joined us for some great conversation and helped make the ebook the most checked out of 2020. 

Also popular this year with our patrons was The Alice Network, Keeper of Lost Things, and The Last Flight

The most popular digital audiobook was Unfu*k Yourself.

Top Children’s Books
When during the previous election our library held a Kid’s Pick for Story Book Characters for President there was no controversy, Pete the Cat won by a landslide.  And kids clearly would reelect him again this year, since the most popular kid’s book from Hoopla for 2020 was Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party by Kimberly and James Dean. 

Also popular were Dragons Love Tacos, How the Crayons Saved the Rainbow, Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Popular books for teens included Monday’s Not Coming, Little Women, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, and Hunger Games.

Popular Television Shows
Mystery series are always an enjoyable distraction from what is going on in the world and in 2020 they saw lots of viewership. The most popular this year for patrons and also a staff favorite was Death in Paradise with the most popular episode being Season 1 Episode 6.  Also popular with our mystery loving fans were Mr. Mercedes, Queens of Mystery, My Life is Murder, and Agatha Raisin.

Kids enjoyed lots of cartoons including The Amazing World of Gumball, The Loud House, Bubble Guppies, and We Bare Bears.

Popular Movies
Popular movies tended to be comedies and romances this year.  The hilarious, What We Do in the Shadows, a mockumentary about vampire roommates took top spot. 

Other popular films were Love on the Rise, Sliding Doors, and The Joy Luck Club.

We hope in 2021 you continue to enjoy a variety of ebooks and streaming media from Hoopla and our other great eresources; our virtual library is there for you 24/7.  Happy New Year from all of our staff; we hope it will be a better one for you all!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

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