Truth in Fiction? None of the Above by I.W.Gregorio

Hello All,
Generally my truth in fiction posts highlight all of the wonderful quotes I find in the books I read. Today's posts is a bit different. Today's post will highlight some commonly held "truths" that when repeated to others, particularly young people can cause harm. As many of us know, words can and do hurt.

I am so glad I read this book. I am even more glad that I will be able to hear the author, along with other favorites, at the Public Library Association's We Need Diverse Books Author Luncheon this Spring.

None of the Above

"Pain is weakness leaving the body." page 3
Pain is pain and should not be ignored. The roots of both physical and emotional pain need to be addressed.

"...as Aunt Carla always said, low expectations were the key to a happy life." page 14 emphasis mine
If a person spends their life setting their expectations as to not be disappointed, they may never know the exhilaration of true happiness, the feeling of success after much hard work, or the lessons learned from not reaching a goal.

"It's like you were the keeper of the only diamond in the world, and when you gave it to someone, it disintegrated. You can never get it back...And after that, you can never look at the world in the same way again." page 21

I agree that physical intimacy is sacred, precious and valuable. I believe that we can teach young people to respect and honor their bodies, to make informed decisions about sexual activity, that physical intimacy changes relationships... without making them feel like they have made the worst of all possible mistakes if they have sex under less than ideal circumstances. 

The idea that a young woman choosing to have sex while in high school, before marriage, or at any other time that certain members of society deem too early or inappropriate will alter the way she looks at the world for the rest of her life is just a bit much.


Truth in Fiction Happy by Pharrell Williams

I love, love, love this book. Anyone who knows me knows that I love the song, so when the book was published I had to get it in my hot little hands, and I am so glad I did. The photographs in this book are amazing. They feature bright, colorful, joyful young people diverse in age, size, and ethnicity. Because I had fun reading this book, I am an official Happy Helper! My duty as a Happy Helper is to pass this book along and spread happiness.

The book itself is simply the lyrics to the song, BUT with the wonderful photographs I mentioned above. At the end of the book, Pharrell writes a letter to readers. In that letter, Pharrell writes several statements that I consider to be truthful. 


Everyone knows how to do something that makes people happy.

I believe it's everyone's responsibility to bring more laughter into the world.

It's pretty obvious every human being on the planet needs to feel happy.


Books That Make Me Want to Scream

Hello, F/friends. Today's post is dedicated to those books that make me want to scream. No, I do not mean horror books. I truly don't understand purposely reading a book so I can be frightened. Nope not me, but for you horror fans I will have a few suggestions for you near the end. 

Now the books that truly make me want to scream are the BabyLit books. According to the website, "BabyLit is a fashionable way to introduce your child to the world of classic literature." If you want more information, you can click here or you can continue to read my mini-rant post. According to me BabyLit is yet another way to ensure that parents of infants and toddlers freak out for no good reason. We have Storytime four times a week at my library for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. I facilitate Storytime and work the Children's Service Desk five days a week. I see the pressure that some parents feel for EVERY decision that they make. Sadly, this pressure includes what they should be reading to their children and what their PRESCHOOL aged children should be reading themselves...enter BabyLit. Sigh.

My poor little heart broke when I saw this display in my favorite bookstore.

The lesser evil

 My sordid collection

Surprisingly enough, I do have a few horror suggestions (that I have read myself). I try to read one horror novel a year so that I can give at least one suggestion that isn't based on reviews and the wonderful genre work of my librarian colleagues. If you choose to read Scowler, but have the opportunity to listen to it as well, I strongly suggest the audiobook. The Listening Library won the 2014 Odyssey Award for Scowler for good reason. 


Scowler by Daniel Kraus

Bird Box
Bird Box by Josh Malerman

You Know What You Have To Do by Bonnie Shimko

Remember those colleagues that I mentioned? Well, one of them has an awesome blog (two awesome blogs actually). Whenever you are looking for a good horror book, head on over to RA for All: Horror.Now is a good time to look because she just wrapped up her October horror blog-a-thon.


Truth in Fiction: Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Many people wanted to make an appointment with Hector, not just because he looked like a real psychiatrist, but because he had a gift all good doctors have and that you simply cant learn at college: he really was interested in people. (p. 1 Emphasis mine) 

Pills are a bit like sweets: not everybody likes the same ones. (p.3)

But, in reality, being unhappy might also teach him something about happiness. (p.31)

The basic mistake that people make is to think that happiness is the goal! (p.38)

Hector said that he understood, but all the same he thought that Eduardo was building his and his family's happiness on other people's misery. (p.64)

But he'd never never talked to Hector about this before, and he didn't really talk about it now, since there's no need to explain everything to a friend who's a psychiatrist (or to a friend who isn't a psychiatrist for that matter). (p.74 emphasis mine)

But, as previously mentioned, knowing and feeling are two different things, and feeling is what counts.(p.87)

Colleagues of mine who defend the second idea tend to think that happiness levels are a bit like blood pressure or weight: they may vary from time to time according to circumstances, but generally they return to the same basic level, which is different in each individual. (p.134)

That could be another lesson: Be very attentive to others. (p.149)

It's a certain way of seeing things. Cultivating your serenity and keeping hold of it whatever happens, even in the face of your own death. (p.156)


Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Closing Survey

Which hour was most daunting for you?
I was sick this year. The entire Read-a-thon proved daunting for me.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord
Eve by William Paul Young
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve Read-a-thon next year?
No, I don't have any suggestions. Read-a-thon was great as always.

What do you think worked really well in this year's Read-a-thon?
Mini-challenges were fantastic this year.

How many books did you read?
I read one book.

What were the names of the books you read?
Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord.

Which book did you enjoy most?
Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord.

Which did you enjoy least?
Not applicable

If you were a a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year's Cheerleaders?
I was not a Cheerleader.

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I am very likely to participate in the Read-a-thon again. I plan to be a Reader, and I am considering hosting a mini-challenge.


Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
I am reading Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord.

2. How many books have you read so far?
I am reading my first book.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I am looking forward to reading Eve by William Paul Young. I LOVED The Shack and I am eager to read Eve.


4.Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? The entire day thus far has been a read-a-thon interruption called WORK. I had to work 8-5 today, so not much reading took place during the first half of the read-a-thon. In order to deal with the situation, I checked in every hour to do a mini-challenge when possible and post to the blog. It actually worked out very well, and I am now thinking of hosting a mini-challenge for April's read-a-thon.

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I am pleasantly surprised by how much I have enjoyed mini-challenges.

Classics and Comics: Hour 10 Mini-Challenge:

For this challenge pick a classic novel and pair it with a companion graphic novel that is similar or shares themes in some way
To Kill a Mockingbird
March: Book One (March, #1)