As I write this, our libraries are closed for public safety because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's frustrating and sad because we can't interact with our public as much, and interacting with our public is what we're here for. We know how important the library is to the community and we're continuing to serve our patrons any way we can. (Dear Future People who are reading this archived post: how grateful are you that the pandemic is over and we're all back to our usual library life? Isn't it a relief that this pandemic is just a memory?)
When you tell people you work at a library, you'll often hear some version of "It must be great to get to read books for a living!" The fact is, there is so much other work to do everyday, we rarely have time to read at work. But while the libraries are closed, we have more time to read books, listen to audiobooks, and watch movies and TV shows. Here are some things the staff of the Lenexa City Center library have been enjoying.
Josh (that's me, your humble blogger): "I recently listened to the audiobook of Supernova, the conclusion of Marissa Meyers' Renegades trilogy. I'm not sure I liked this series as much as her Lunar Chronicles, but I still liked it a whole lot and definitely recommend the trilogy to superhero fans. The first two books are Renegades and Archenemies."
Amanda W.: "I did just start taking a Universal Class about the Salem Witch trials! I wanted to see what the experience would be like, taking a class with a certificate. So far it's been interesting, as there are assignments to do (a 200 word paper to write - I really should have thought more about this decision) and exams to take. But I'm definitely learning more about the resource from this perspective. When I complete this class I can be the certified Lenexcellent Salem Witch Trial go-to. :)"
Megan K: "I've been reading a lot of mysteries (I checked out all three Jane Harper books) because they catch my interest so I don't think about the state of the world, and I can binge read them pretty fast. In addition, I'm reading a chapter of The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown each day because it reminds me to focus on the positives."
Heather: "Recently I've been going through Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunters books (The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices) and really enjoying them. It's a great YA series that is easy to read and super long so it will get you through a big chunk of self-isolation. Most if not all are available for eBook and eAudio. Also, if you're looking for a sweet YA high school romance, check out Only Mostly Devastated. It's an LGBTQ retelling of Grease and it is delightful."
Jessica: "I just finished listening to Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audio version of this book. Having two voice actors to play Josh and Hazel from their respective viewpoints was a lot of fun to listen to. With well-formed and engaging characters, I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next."
Kristen R: "I have just finished Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. This book is unique in that it is written in verse. It did take me several pages to get used to that style, but once I did I loved how Mr. Reynolds crafted the story. It follows Will, fifteen, as he travels down an elevator, bent on getting revenge on the person who killed his brother. Several ghosts appear to him and reveal things he had not known before. What will he do with this information? Will he still feel bound by 'THE RULES'? Side note: The anagrams used throughout the story are amazing!"
Anabeth: "I recommend Welcome to Night Vale by Jeffery Cranor and Joseph Fink, read by Cecil Baldwin. Mysterious, weird, and wonderful read by the most soothing voice you'll ever hear in your life. Accompanies the podcast of the same name, but no previous knowledge of the podcast is required - the novel stands alone."
Sally: "I just finished Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano. This book held my attention throughout the entire story, I have never read anything like it before. The author did an excellent job writing a story about a young boy being the sole survivor of a plane crash and the psychological impact and emotional toll it took on his life."
Rest assured, when the libraries re-open, we'll have even more recommendations for you, books, audiobooks, streaming services, and databases. And we'll be asking you for your recommendations. Until then, know that we miss our patrons and can't wait to see you all again!