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)


Hour 9 Mini Challenge: Book Scavenger Hunt

Courtesy of Just One More Thing:

Look at the item list below and find a word, phrase or thought IN THE BOOK YOU ARE CURRENTLY READING that fulfills that item.


Something hard: "When they were still at the bar and Ying Li was telling Hector about herself (of course now he realised that she hadn't told him everything) she'd told him how much her sisters earned in a month: he'd worked out that it was half the price of the bottle of white wine Edouard had ordered, sparkling next to them in its ice bucket." (p.33)

Something fast: airplane

Something sweet: "Happiness is being with the people you love." (p.48)

Something high: ..."Hector could see magnificent green mountains all around and, down below, the sea dotted with boats. (p.35)

Something funny: "Pills are a bit like sweets: not everybody likes the same ones." (p.3) Funny, but true.

Hour 6 Mini-Challenge: Top Ten List


Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon 
Top 10 Excuses Valid Reasons to Participate  

1. It is fun. We all need to take time to relax.

2. Make a dent in your TBR Pile.

3. Get caught up on your committee reading (Newbery, Printz, Alex, State awards, Mock awards etc.)

4. Meet fellow readers on Twitter

5. Stay in your pajamas all day

6. Automatic readcation

7. Read for charity

8. Have a reading party

9. Inspiration to update neglected blogs

10. Complete fun challenges like this one!

Hour Five Mini Challenge: The Ugly Cover Pitch

The challenge: This challenge comes from Shaina over at Shaina Reads - Pick a book that you felt was a winner of a read but was sorely lacking in the cover art department and try to persuade me that it was the best book ever. What greatness will I discover if I can look past its eyesore of an exterior?
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero. FANTASTIC! AMAZING! REAL!
What will you discover if you can look past the exterior? You will discover Gabi Hernandez, a 17-year-old-girl who expresses herself in the pages of this diary. You will discover the world of a high school senior, and budding young feminist. You will discover life and all its ups, downs, joys, sorrows, and complexities.

An extra bonus for those of you who have yet to discover "Loose Woman" by Sandra Cisneros, and Zoe Saldana in "Colombiana". Read this book and you will be formally introduced to both.

Readathon Mini Challenge: Cover Escape

The Challenge
Dig through your shelves and share with us a book cover you'd like to escape into.

Beautiful Ruins

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Introductory Meme


1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Denver, Colorado

2.Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?


3.Which snack are you most looking forward to?


4.Tell us a little something about yourself?

Christian Friend (Quaker),  Public Librarian, Labyrinth Walker, Popcorn Enthusiast

5.If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what's one thing you'll do differently today.

The biggest difference about today's read-a-thon will be that I am working. That means no continuous reading for me until hour 14 when I return home from work. Until then, I will read when I can.



The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

I just finished my National Journal Writing Month (NaJoWriMo) entry for today and here I am on what is oftentimes my public journal. I stumbled on NaJoWriMo  4 days ago and was extremely excited because although I have had a journaling habit for decades, I have been censoring myself heavily when it comes to anything of importance (which defeats the purpose of journaling don't you think?) I thought NaJoWriMo would be a way to journal without being alone with my difficult thoughts. I was wrong. 

About 5 minutes after finding the site, I read these words "This month's NaJoWriMo is focused on the theme of "Unleashing Your Creative Mind Through Journal Writing." That is soooooo NOT me. I thought ok, I will just try NaJoWriMo in January. I am not an artist and these prompts will probably involve drawing, painting, or some other task that will leave me feeling inadequate and frustrated. I was wrong.

Although I had told myself that I would not be participating this month, I still went back to the site every day to read a little bit more. On day 4 I saw a prompt that was absolutely, positively sooooooooo me.

Day 4: Create Personal Door Signs. For today's prompt write and/or draw three signs that you would hang on your home door, work door, or even your forehead to let others know what you allow and don't allow in your life.

After completing my day 4 entry I went back to complete Days 1-3. I plan on completing the entire month. 

Positive impacts of NaJoWriMo thus far:
1. I am blogging again.
2.I learned about 750 words and the Day One journaling app.
3. I am using many of my journaling supplies that I had neglected. I hate being wasteful.
4. I am journaling again.

Yes. I am journaling again. I have been wrestling with concepts of shame, guilt, (lack of) regret, all of which require me to be deeply honest with myself. I can't deal with these issues while censoring what I write. NaJo WriMo has given me back the freedom to write for my eyes only. More accurately, I should write that I reclaimed journaling and my private writing space.


Friendship, Books, Food, and God

I participate in a Friendly Discussion Group, and this past week one of the members shared that he had a leading to develop new friendships. I asked if he felt that friendships were a gift from God, and more specifically if certain F/friends moved him forward in his spiritual practice. He was rather ambivalent in his responses, but the topic and my questions got me thinking about my friendships and the people I call friend. Fast forward four days and friendship is central to several incidents throughout my day. Friendship and books a central theme of the day. 

I was feeling ill at ease and looking for inspiration. I started reading various blogs and found myself reading an old favorite. Last year at this time my author friend, Rena Gregory, wrote a blog post "A Simple Reflection on Friends." I am the "super ninja librarian" mentioned in that post. While she waxes nostalgic about our mutual love for British television, Miranda Hart, and our unhealthy obsession with Brown Sugar, I often recall our reading Carlos Ruiz Zafon's, The Shadow of the Wind together. It was the first book we read together and that was an experience I will remember forever. That post, that phrase (super ninja librarian), and that friend make me smile. Do you know what else makes me smile? Celery.

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books,  #1)

My dearest, and most complicated, friendship is with someone I haven't seen in over 7 years, but yesterday I thought about him as I was presented with a plate of celery. Yes, celery made me think of my dearest friend. Of course such thoughts prompted me to send him an email about how a plate of celery made me think of him. I received the following message in response,  "I just finished Lexicon by Max Barry and thought of you. I  was making tuna fish salad and I thought of you. I laugh at that as well. I often wonder what you are eating." To sum up our friendship, celery makes me think of him, tuna fish salad makes him think of me, and we both love Max Barry's Lexicon (I am assuming he loved it because it is SO good.)


Immediately after work, I was set to participate in #2jennsbookclub 
"A Virtual Book Club For Teachers, Librarians or Anyone Who Loves YA Lit!" The book under discussion was Hold Tight, Don't Let Go by Laura Rose Wagner. Much of the love for this book is due to the author's obvious love for Haiti shining through on each page. I have recently developed a friendship with an amazing, strong, funny woman, and her spouse. They happen to be Friends with a capital F and we met at The Gathering. Their daughter is Haitian and the book club discussion made me give my first unsolicited book suggestion to the family. Knowing me and how I show people I care about them, I am certain this suggestion will be one of many for the family.

Hold Tight, Don't Let Go

Present Time
Is friendship a gift from God? Yes, friendship is a gift from God.

And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken. 
Ecclesiastes 4: 12 New Revised Standard Version

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 
John 15: 15 New Revised Standard Version

Do my friendships move me forward in my spiritual practice? Yes.

My friendships impact my spiritual practice in vastly different ways, but they all move me forward. Some friendships are based solely on spiritual practice. I have prayer partners and pen pals. I pray with and for these F/friends. We study the Bible together. We hold each other accountable for the way we live out our faith on a daily basis, but we do not socialize or share our lives in other ways. 

Other friendships are more social, intimate, and personal. These offer more of a challenge for me as a person who doesn't do feelings very well. These friendships push me to be open and vulnerable. That means that the friendships push me to pray, study, listen, and read...

Your turn. Please share in the comments if you have books you share with friends or books that remind you of special friendships.