How to stay busy: eBooks to Create, Garden, and Organize

If you are one of those people who just has to stay busy (I know how you feel!) and you’re stuck at home going stir crazy, check out some recently added eBooks that may help inspire you in a new direction.

Arts, Crafts, and Hobbies
Since I can’t do my Create @ the Library programs right now, I wanted to find some how-to arts and crafts books to keep our regular attendees, and everyone else, creating.

Everyday Watercolor and Everyday Watercolor Flowers by Jenna Rainey

Milk Soaps: 35 Skin-Nourishing Recipes for Making Milk-Enriched Soaps, from Goat to Almond by Anne-Marie Faiola

Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live by Melanie Falick

Japanese Wonder Crochet: A Creative Approach to Classic Stitches by Nihon Vogue

Crochet Every Way Stitch Dictionary: 125 Essential Stitches to Crochet in Three Ways by Dora Ohrenstein

Sew Bags: The Practical Guide to Making Purses, Totes, Clutches & More; 13 Skill-Building Projects by Hilarie Wakefield Dayton

Gardening (and Nature)
We have had some beautiful weather perfect for gardening, so while we may feel gloomy inside, if we get our hands in the soil, whether in our indoor window gardens, our small urban plots, or the ‘back 40’ we can’t help but feel some hope.

Small Garden Style: A Design Guide for Outdoor Rooms and Containers by Isa Hendry Eaton and Jennifer Blaise Kramer

The Timber Press Guide to Gardening in the Pacific Northwest by Carol and Norman Hall

The Ann Lovejoy Handbook of Northwest Gardening by Ann Lovejoy

DIY Gardening Projects: 35 Awesome Gardening Hacks to Better Your Garden by Cheryl Palmer

Field Guide to Urban Gardening: How to Grow Plants, No Matter Where You Live by Kevin  Espiritu

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard by Douglas W. Tallamy

Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm by Isabella Tree

Home Organizing
If I wasn’t working from home right now I might just try to dig in, toss out or recycle, and get organized. Maybe. If you have more motivation than I do for organizing, check out these titles for some inspiration.

Martha Stewart’s Organizing : the Manual for Bringing Order to Your Life, Home & Routines by Martha Stewart

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter and Organize to Make More Room for Happiness by Gretchen Rubin

The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals by Clea Shearer

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson

The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism by Kyle Chayka

I hope you enjoy some of these new-to-the-library eBooks and find ways to keep occupied and engaged during these unprecedented times we are living in.

The Doctor is in

Enjoy this recommendation from Liz:

Even before COVID-19 changed all of our work and play routines, I was feeling thankful for the library’s streaming service through Hoopla. My coworkers and I were talking about how much we loved the TV show Doc Martin when I complained that it felt like I was waiting forever for the newest season to go on hold for me. When my coworker told me it was on Hoopla, I was so excited that I wouldn’t have to wait any longer to watch it. I went home that night, cancelled my hold, and watched the first three episodes of Season 9.

I love the brusque, blunt character of Doc Martin – a doctor with a fear of blood that continually threatens his career – almost as much as the scenery of idyllic Portwenn and all its crazy characters. Doc Martin’s deadpan answers to moronic patient questions always makes me chuckle.

Especially in these scary times where many of us are worrying about our health, it is so satisfying to see Doc Martin instantly diagnose his patients with all manner of illnesses that I’ve never heard of, and offer treatment options that will help them heal. I definitely wouldn’t mind having Doc Martin as my doctor during this current health crisis.

Seasons 1 – 9 of Doc Martin are available to stream on Hoopla now.

Spring Cleaning

Welcome to SPRING!

What a crazy world we are living in right now! Schools and businesses closed, everyone social distancing themselves and staying home…. We are trying to stay healthy, but still needing to find something to keep ourselves occupied.

When I was growing up, and the long summer vacation had us all bored by July, we learned not to come to my mom and say “There’s nothing to do” because she would give us a chore: clean, dust, vacuum or whatever. Her imagination or list never ended… there was always something to do.

So for those of you stuck at home, it is spring and that means spring housecleaning! And, knowing you are stuck at home, you can begin by starting at the library website and checking out some eBooks from home!

To build some inspiration, I would start with The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room. Be sure to have the kids read this as well so they see the benefit of cleaning. You can make it fun, divide and write down chores into small tasks (dust end table in living room, wipe down counter in the bathroom, pick up clothes in the bedroom, wipe down windowsills) and then have everyone draw a chore. Make a contest out of it and see who can do the most slips in 2 hours.

Then, work your way into The Minimalist Home : a Room-by-Room Guide to a Decluttered, Refocused Life to really clear out all the clutter in your home and get ready to deep clean. Be warned, this may take until fall if your house is anything like mine!

You may want to skip the decluttering for now and go straight to Feng Shui For Success : Simple Principles for a Healthy Home and Prosperous Business to start applying the four basic principles of Feng Shui and create an optimal home environment. Basic Principle #1: protect your back. Basic Principle #2: minimize sharp edges, points, and corners.  Basic Principle #3: incorporate images and materials from nature. Basic Principle #4: create balance between extremes.

When you have your home finished, you can even give YOU a spring cleaning with
Super Cleanse: Detox Your Body for Long-Lasting Health and Beauty.

But maybe you aren’t motivated enough to do any of these things. You can read about dusting in the novel Citizen Vince by Jess Walter. Here is a summary of the book: At 1:59 a.m. in Spokane, Washington–eight days before the 1980 presidential election–Vince Camden pockets his stash of stolen credit cards and drops by an all-night poker game before heading to his witness-protection job dusting crullers at Donut Make You Hungry. Along with a neurotic hooker girlfriend, this is the total sum of Vince’s new life. But when a familiar face shows up in town, Vince realizes his sordid past is still too close behind him. During the next unforgettable week, he’ll negotiate a coast-to-coast maze of obsessive cops, eager politicians, and assorted mobsters–only to find that redemption might exist, of all places, in the voting booth.

So, this is just one idea of what you can do while you are staying at home. Stay healthy, safe and occupied!

Hoopla is?

Today I cancelled my Amazon Prime. You may be thinking: is she crazy!

The tall blue vans are making their rounds in my neighborhood like birds in spring. As I drove down Evergreen Way Sunday evening, I spotted no less than 4 vans gassing up. I thought to myself: things must be getting serious.

That was earlier this week and it is true; things are serious. I was told on Monday along with other city employees 60 years and older in my department, that I would be telecommuting from home as a safety measure. Sunday March 22 the library will be closed temporarily until further notice.

At first I found all this news so hard to grapple with, but it is not the end and I’m choosing to look at the many marvelous options now available. As a wannabe optimist, I look at this as an opportunity to learn new things. This includes looking at the library’s digital collection with fresh eyes.

A few weeks back I overheard one of my co-workers rave about how she loves Hoopla because of all the free stuff. Keyword FREE! Hoopla is accessible to library users with an Everett Public Library card in conjunction with their pin number.

Hoopla offers not just one thing but a variety of online venues. For instance, under the tab video you can select Movies or Television. So lets say you missed an episode of your favorite TV show or maybe you don’t want to wait in for the DVD. My husband and I are die hard Doc Martin fans and I am very pleased to see season 9 is available on Hoopla.

I’m not particularly ‘Techy.’ But I was pleasantly surprised how easy it is to navigate in this app.

HOOPLA basics: There is Video, Music, and even Books. The book selection has a wide variety and genre of Graphic Novels and Comic books.

Browsing in any of the categories allows you to view popular, recommend, or featured items plus the Genre of your choice. The choices are endless. Here are some I hope to borrow.

Video:

Movie: Love Comes Softly We’ve enjoyed this tearjerker featuring Katherine Heigl, but it’s a feel good movie as well, and to be honest I need a feel good movie about now.

Television: I highly Doc Martin Season 9, hands down my favorite season yet. There is also a good selection of BBC mystery and a plethora of other shows.

Music:

Got kiddos, kiddos at home? Put on Moana or Frozen and let the music do its magic. Don’t miss, It’s Such a Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers.

The adult collection is comprehensive from A-Z, including Grammy nominees and winners.

Books:

Confession: I’ve only checked out one Graphic Novel in my lifetime. It was actually very good, however. Looking under the genre Non-Fiction, I found a winner. How to Read Nancy. Nancy was my first and favorite cartoon as a little girl. How cool is it to rediscover a beloved character!

The end of the story: I still have an account with Amazon, I’m not that crazy! However, I am saving money in one small way by shopping at the library for FREE!

New eBooks and eAudiobooks from EPL

With the temporary closure of our libraries due to the coronavirus, we are working to boost our e-content – that’s just a library term for eBooks and eAudiobooks, but it also can apply to anything digital that we offer to our patrons, like movies, documentaries, and even learning resources such as Lynda.com. But back to eBooks, this week you can find more than twice the usual amount of new and new-to-us titles in both Overdrive and cloudLibrary!

Tip: Although many readers look for titles directly from the apps, to see all our e-books in one place, use the library catalog and limit to eBooks or eAudiobooks. You can then check out right from the catalog (after logging in) and find the book ready in the app, or jump over to the app and search for the specific title you found.

Recent additions to explore:

Fiction
Cozy: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley (eBook)*

Dystopian: The Fortress by S.A. Jones (eBook)*

General Fiction: Weather by Jenny Offill (eAudio)*

The Mountains Sing by Que Mai Phan Nguyen (eBook)*

The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (eBook)*

Gothic/Literary: After Me Comes the Flood by Sarah Perry (eAudio)*

Gothic/Mystery: Things in Jars by Jess Kidd (eBook) *

Suspense/Mystery: The Tenant by Katrine Engberg (eBook) *

Thriller: Before Familiar Woods by Ian Pisarcik (eBook)*

Non-fiction
Biography: John Adams Under Fire: The Founding Father’s Fight for Justice in the Boston Massacre Murder Trial by David Fisher with Dan Abrams (eBook)*

Business/Sociology: Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America by Gerald Posner (eAudiobook)*

Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen by Dan Heath (eBook)*

History, WWII: I Want You to Know We’re Still Here: A Post-Holocaust Memoir by Esther Safran Foer (eBook)*

Memoir: Rust by Eliese Colette Goldbach (eBook)*

Politics/Self-improvement: Lead from the Outside by Stacey Abrams (eBook)*

Psychology: Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me: Depression in the First Person by Anna Mehler Paperny (eBook)*

Self-help: Untamed by Glennon Doyle (eBook)*

Prefer something familiar and beloved in these stressful times? Just this week we have a new crop of Duke Classics. Consider using this time to finally read those book you’ve always meant to.

Take a look at all of our newest Overdrive eBooks, eAudiobooks, and just added cloudLibrary titles, and you’ll be sure to find your next great read.

A Silver Lining

While the closing of both of our locations here at the Everett Pubic Library, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, is definitely a disappointment to all of us, there is one silver lining: it is a great time to learn about, and take advantage of, our many digital services. If you haven’t accessed them before, you might be surprised to discover just how many materials and databases we have to offer electronically. And best of all, they can all be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.

Today’s post will introduce you to one of our most popular digital services: eBooks & eAudiobooks

The library has a large number of both eBooks and eAudiobooks for you to enjoy. While there is a little bit of a learning curve at first, once you get your account set up the first time, it definitely gets easier. Our two providers are OverDrive and CloudLibrary. While they are slightly different, they both operate in much the same way: You download an app to your reading or listening device, register with your library card on the app, and then begin checking out.

Definitely take a look at our basic explanation of how the process works on our webpage as a starting point. We also have more specific instructions on getting both OverDrive and CloudLibrary on your device. If you run into trouble, both OverDrive and CloudLibrary have detailed help pages to address specific issues and provide solutions. While we normally encourage people to bring in their devices or to set up a Book a Librarian session so we can walk you through the process, those services are not available at this time. Once we are back up and running though, please do come in!

In the meantime, stay tuned for more posts highlighting our large array of digital services. The perfect way to connect with the library during the unique times we are living through.

Saint X

Family. Sisters. An undying bond. We all think we know our families, but do we? Do we really?

I found myself asking these questions and more after reading Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin.

Seven-year-old Claire and her big sister Alison are on a family vacation with their parents to a beautiful Caribbean island resort. Alison is on break during her first year of college.

Of course, Claire idolizes her sister but doesn’t understand her aloofness and flirty behavior. Alison sneaks out at night and asks Claire to cover for her. She would do anything for her sister.

When Alison goes missing the family’s last night of vacation, Claire is put in a tough spot… continue to deny she knows anything or tell them she’s been covering for Alison all along. And when Alison is found dead, she is terrified to admit knowledge of anything.

As the mystery of Alison’s death unfolds, we find out about the people she had contact with: Edwin and Clive (Gogo to his friends) working at the resort, the blond boy from the beach on vacation with his family, the locals at Paulette’s bar where she had sneaked off to almost every night.

Fast forward years in the future, and Claire, now going by Emily, is living and working in New York. One-night, Clive (no longer Gogo) is her taxi driver. This opens a flood of memories for Emily and she decides one way or another that she will learn the truth of Alison’s death.

During her journey she realizes she didn’t really know her sister after all. After months of following and then getting to know Clive, she wonders if she wants to get the answers she was looking for, and if it will change anything.

Saint X is a beautifully written story of sisterly love and abandonment. I really enjoyed the path of Claire’s enlightenment and her realizations concerning herself and her sister.