Halloween, an old Victorian house, an attempt at ouija gone terribly wrong (Does it ever go right? I still always say to stay away from those things. Expect in fiction). For a lover o f creepy stories this one has just about everything you need. The hauntings are truly creepy and chill worthy. They begin subtly and then steadily grow, along with the tension and suspense. The fact that there are also some interesting characters, character development, and even some great humor just elevates this read! The bookmarked beginning and end really add to the spookiness.
I recommend this read, and that you don’t move into an old haunted house that other family members have already given up on living in. Just sayin.
Check out my post on The Haunted and The Unleashed by Danielle Vega.
I received an early release copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
“Tomorrow, the Wildcat variety field hockey squad will play the first game of their new season. But at tonight’s sleepover, the girls are all about forging the bonds of trust, loyalty, and friendship necessary to win.But as the girls slip out of their comfort zone, so do some long-held secretes. And just hw far they’re willing to go for their team takes them all- especially Coach-by surprise” (Goodreads).
The music in this playlist are all about what it means to be fierce, stubborn, strong, hard-working and talented. But, these songs also represent vulnerablity, flaws, and loyalty, just like the characters in this book.
So, what do you think?
We are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian is available for check out at FCPL. Read the book, listen to the playlist, and let me know what you think.
What would you get if you took Supernatural, set it in Indiana, and replaced the Winchester gang with a group of strong females that don’t back down? The answer is Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia.
Laugh out Loud Funny, Quick Witted, and an Adventure-Packed Ending
This book is delightful, unique, and without a doubt deserves a playlist!
Every night Zora Novak goes out walking alone. People in her small town think they know what she is up to, that they have her figured out, but all is not what it seems-especially for Zora. The public sees a rebel, a trouble-maker, from a loser family. What they don’t see is a strong, caring female that sees ghosts and hunts fire-starters. Yeah, her town is haunted. But while everyone else attempts to capitalize on the ghosts, Zora is trying to prevent anyone else from dying. This book is filled with mystery and is the story of an underdog who must develop her own “Scooby Gang” to protect herself, her family, and her hometown.
The tone of this playlist is different than my first, which was inspired by Daisy Jones and the Six. This one is darker, it is filled with music about being stuck in a small town where no one understands you. There are songs about navigating darkness and refusing to back down when faced with oppression.
So what do you think?
Now Entering Addamsville is available from FCPL in hardcover. Give it a read and let me know if you think I chose the right songs to represent Zora her story.
Zappia, F. (2019). Now entering Addamsville. Greenwillow Books.
Have you ever been reading and the book triggers memories of a specific song or musician?
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Reid Jenkins did that me. I listened to Fleetwood Mac so much while reading the book that my husband decided to “unfan” the group. Of course, it just made me love them- and especially Stevie Nicks- even more!
The book is all about performance. Performance in literature, music, on stage, in life, in text, and in art. The story is written as if it were scenes from a “Behind the Music”-type documentary. The reader’s work is cut out for them here. Unreliable narraters proliferate as characters dish the dirt. Of course, everyone remembers things a little differently, so the tale is a patchwork of P.O.V.s. This book ventures out of pure novel territory and into true, capital “L”, literature as identity, relationship, fame, gender, and memory are explored.
Why these songs?
Early in her life, Daisy Jones was gorgeous and could carry a tune. But she wanted to be an artist, not just a singer. Her road to artistry is filled with bumps, bruises, and broken hearts. This story explores what it means to be a woman. It interrogates the music industry where women have to work so much harder than men to be heard. It also explores the concept of fame, and what it means to share your life with the public. The darkness of addiction is here as well. The songs above reflect all these journeys. I also included groups or songs that author Taylor Jenkins Reid named as inspiration.
So what do you think?
Do you agree with my playlist song choices? Daisy Jones and the Six is available in large print, hardcover, in French on Hoopla, or as an e-audiobook all for free with your Frankfort Library Card. Read the book, give it a listen, and let me know what you think .
“Yes, I’m writing abut famous people who are, supposedly elevated on a pedestal, but also everyone lives their life like they’re famous now”.
Our library, Frankfort Community Public Library, serves a population of 30,000. According to the United States Census Bureau, nearly 30% of households are without internet access, nearly 20% are below the poverty line, and the median household income is just over $41,000. (Quick Facts, 2019).
Of special note, there is no cinema in Clinton County and our final video rental establishment closed in 2020. The closest theaters, depending on where you live in Clinton County, are a good 20-30 minutes away. That means that our libraries, outside of purchasing the movies, are the sole provider of theatrical entertainment in this county. That makes our Audio Visual Collection especially important.
Our adult fiction film collection is mainly purchased for entertainment purposes, which fulfills FCPL’s mission, values, and strategic plan goals. Our Collection Development Plan explains that our feature film titles are balanced with select classic films and those that may be needed for educational purposes.
Criteria for selection includes popularity, demand, the authority or reputation of the actor/producer/directors, availability, cost, and award recognition. The collection includes new releases, mainstream Hollywood, classic Hollywood, foreign films, family films, and films with award recognition.
The purpose of this collection evaluation is to learn more about how the collection is used and to better inform selection.
Approaches- For each year, I looked at the circulation on movies that preformed best at the box office, Oscar winners, and a critic’s choice. I also spoke with our Circulation manager. She conducted a study regarding what movies go missing (stolen, not returned, checked out the most, etc.). Other lists I researched were horror movie lists, this choice was informed by the Collection Development Plan and my interview with the Circulation manager.
Top movie at the Box Office was Avengers Endgame, it brought in over $2 Billion worldwide.(IMDB). IndieWire’s Kohn said, “It’s an exhausting collage that bears no resemblance to any kind of franchise filmmaking other than its own overpopulated ensemble” (Kohn, 2019). This film has 211 circulations.
Winner for Best Picture was Green Book. It had mixed reviews, critic Alison Williamson said the movie, “doesn’t go nearly far enough in confronting its subject, and winds up trivializing serious matters as a result” (2019). The movie was check out 61 times.
RogerEbert.com choice for best film was The Irishman it was checked out 12 times.
Our Circulation manager said that Marvel Movies are a huge favorite with our patrons, and 2018 saw two Marvel films at the top of the box office. Black Panther made over 1 Billion Worldwide, it won 3 Oscars and was nominated for 7 total, including Best Picture. Overall the film was nominated for 272 times and won 112 awards. (IMDB). Smith of Time Magazine said “What seems like just another entry in an endless parade of superhero movies is actually something much bigger… its cultural footprint is already enormous. It is a movie about what it means to be Black in America and Africa- and, more broadly, the world” (Smith, 2019). Black Panther has 326 circulations at our library.
Avengers Infinity War also brought in over $2 billion dollars. Verge Critic, Brian Bishop called it “massively entertaining”. This film has 286 circulations.
The Shape of Water won 4 Oscars, Best Picture being one of them. Again the film received mixed reviews. Edelstein said, “It’s an utterly lovely, complacent movie, too comfortable with itself to generate any real dramatic tension” (Edelstein, Vulture). This film has been checked out 3 times at our library.
The critics choice for this study was Roma. The film won 3 oscars. Of the film Travers said, “Cuaron has done more than break through walls of language, culture and class to craft the best movie of the year” (Travers, Rolling Stone). This movie has 1 circulation.
Star Wars: the Last Jedi was top of the box office grossing over $1 Billion worldwide. Seitz (2017), said the film’s “grace seems to come as easily as breathing. Or skywalking” (Roger Ebert). This film has 77 Circulations.
The winner for best picture was Moonlight. Sims said it, “is one of the most essential of the year, and one whose depth rewards repeated viewing” (Sims, 2016, The Atlantic). Moonlight has 41 circulations.
The critic’s choice for 2017 is Lady Bird. White called the film “painfully hilarious, painfully beautiful, joyful and uncynical, with quietist hilarity sewn into the details” (2018, Empire). Lady Bird was nominated for 5 Oscars and was checked out 49 times.
The top film at the box office was Finding Dory, since I am researching the adult fiction collection I am looking at the next two films, both bringing in just over $1 Billion, Rogue One and Captain America: Civil War. Rogue One 248 has circulations and Captain America has 330 circulations.
The winner for best picture was Spotlight. O’Malley called it “a pure celebration of journalists doing what they do best. (2015, Roger ebert.com). Spotlight has been checked out 37 times.
The critic’s choice blended with 2017 and was Moonlight which we discussed previously.
The top film in the box office was Jurassic World $1.6 Billion in the box office. This time I am going to give you my son’s review “They decided to bio-engineer some dinosaurs because worked so well for them in the past.” Jurassic World has 475 circulations.
The Oscar Winner this year is Birdman. Deburge says it, “offers by far the most fascinating meta-deconstruction of an actor’s ego since ‘Being John Malkovisch’. This film has 127 circulations.
The critics choice for 2015 was Cinderella which has 186 circulations.
Since the study conducted by our Circulation Manager found horror to be one of the most popular, and most taken, movies in our area I checked out their circulations.
This study of the adult film collection at the Frankfort Public Library confirmed that it is mainly used for entertainment purposes. Further, if found that popular movies, those that do well at the box office, will also circulate often. Additionally, librarians can expect that even with care, some of the materials purchased for the collection are likely to go missing. Therefore, in order to satisfy circulation needs, popular movies should be ordered early and multiple copies should be purchased. The study also found that while, award-winning movie do not necessarily circulate well, they will some. Moreover, critic reception does not seem to effect patron choices when choosing movies to check out. Finally, horror movies are a great favorite here and will circulation. For further study, it would be interesting to see how well lower budget, less popular horror movies circulate and to research ways to keep a core horror film collection of “classics” without their going missing.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (2015). Winners and nominees.
I love ghost stories, and one of my favorite things to do is ask people if they have any to share. Pre-Covid, at my library, (Frankfort Community Public Library) we hosted an, ongoing, spur-of-the-moment storytelling contest. The competition worked like this: Visitors told me their stories and tried to scare me. Then, I told my own creepy tale. The scariest story wins, and then we all get candy.
Whenever the haunting tales started spinning, our Department had a nice “around the campfire”, conversational feel. People using computers to play RoBlox or those playing Fortnite would stop to listen. A lot of the storytellers spent a good deal of time making up a super creepy story, just to scare me. It has been awhile since our last contest and I miss them. Now, we are bringing the stories out of the library and into the podcast world.
Introducing the, “Girl, you got a ghost” podcast
The theme of our podcast is scary stories. We are inviting you to share about the ghost in your house, the howling dog that might just have been a werewolf, the phone call coming from inside the house, or the vampire that lives on your street. The podcast is produced by the Frankfort Community Public Library Teen Department, with the help of my friend (and co-worker), Sydney. Our audience and co-creators are you! We are challenging you to a storytelling telling contest, so send your creepy stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior to the prolificacy of the printed word, information was shared via storytelling. Talented orators enchanted audiences telling their tales. In fact, many of the literary greats were inspired by the sound of stories. Mark Twain, for instance, fashioned Jim of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn after a elderly man enslaved by Twain’s uncle who shared stories each evening to all the children (Powers). Black and white.
Today, the art of storytelling is making a comeback in the form of audiobooks. Lamb (2021) notes that according to the. “2018 StatShort Annual Report, ..audiobooks are the ‘fastest growing book format’ (p. 2.18). Audiobooks, especially e-Audio which can be downloaded to mobile devices for listening to anywhere, are revolutionizing the world of reading. Audiobooks are quickly becoming one of the most sought after formats with digital downloads holding a huge importance. Maloney notes, “Revenue from dowloaded audiobooks in the U.S. grew 38% last year from 2014…Meanwhile, revenue from hardcovers and paperbacks grew by 8% and 3%, respectively, and e-books declined 11%” (2016). Further, the relative ease in creating a digital audiobook as opposed to a physical audiobook is encouraging publishers to contract the format for new and older titles. (Maughn)
Moreover, audiobook consumption offers many of the important benefits of traditional reading. Janson (2019) notes, “most of the literacy skills and strategies that are utilized by the audiobook readers are exactly the same comprehension skills and strategies that we teach our students” (p. 358). Audiobooks are an ideal option for a myriad of personalities from reluctant readers, language learners, and harried commuters.
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo is an excellent example of a high-quality audiobook experience. The book’s best feature is that it is narrated by the author, a talented spoken word poet. The title won the 2020 Audie Award for best Narration by the Author and was a finalist in the 2020 Best Young Adult Audiobook category. Notably, Acevedo is the 2019 Printz Award winner with her inverse novel, The Poet X.
Listening to With the Fire on High allows the reader to hear the nuances, stresses, and breaks that the author intended. Additionally, the main protagonist comes alive as the story is told in first-person and the listener is allowed to witness her passions, frustrations, and disappointments by the the varying tones in which the story is told.
This novel tells the story of Emoni, a 17 year old mom. Emoni works hard to take care of her child and complete high school. Meanwhile, the only place she can truly be herself is in the kitchen creating different dishes with flavors representing her heritage. When Emoni finds out that her alternative high school is offering a culinary course it seems like an opportunity that she cannot pass up. But, the class culminates in a trip to Spain. How can she, a single mom living with her grandmother, afford such an extravagance? And even if she can find a way to pay for the trip, can she in good conscience leave her daughter to travel the world?
An American Marriage was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Librarians may expect any book that Oprah chooses to be in huge demand. They are typically bestsellers and readers will be excited to get their hands on the title. Childress (2010) notes Wyatt in stating, “a book’s selection for Oprah’s Book Club typically resulted in sales of more than a million copies, a boon to authors and publishers where selling 20,000 copies of a literary novel is considered a success” (p. 17). Further, even a well-established author like Toni Morrison benefited as an Oprah Book Club selection. Childress notes that, “The number of mentions of Toni Morrison in U.S. newspapers more than doubled in the year following the selection of Song of Solomon as an Oprah Book Club novel” (p. 34). Certainly, libraries will want to ensure physical and e-copies of the book and audiobooks are available for checkout.
Marriage is the story of Celestial and Roy, newlyweds who are torn apart by the flawed American justice system. Roy is accused of rape, convicted, and sent to prison regardless of the fact that he was innocent and that Celestial was with him at the time of the crime. The novel follows Roy’s five years in prison, the time before the conviction is overturned, and Celestial making a life separate from him during that time. This audiobook features two actors as Celestial and Roy, juxtaposed throughout.
As with the audiobook for With the Fire on High, listeners are drawn into the story as the text is told with extrodinary expression. However, rather than the author, this story is told by two actors Sean Crisden and Elsa Davis. Sean Crisden is the narrator of more than 400 audiobooks. He has also performed for video games, animation, commercials, television, and theatre. Crisden is the winner of several awards including the 2019 Audiofile Earphones Award for “American Fairytale” and “American Dreamer”. (Crisden) Meanwhile, Davis is an exceptional writer in her own right, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play “Bulrusher”. She has a lengthy filmography listed on imdb and is an awarded stage actress. (Davis) These two talented individuals tug at the emotional strings of listeners/readers telling the story beautifully.
It interesting to consider the “filters” listener/readers experience when consuming these two audiobooks. Since With the Fire on High is told by the author, it can be assumed that the reader first hears the story via the author’s interpretation, with her tones and nuances expressing different ideas. Still, upon listening the reader will add their own background to create a whole new interpretation. With An American Marriage the listener first receives an interpretation from the actors.
This audiobook is narrated by the author and reads like spoken word poetry. Listeners are treated to authentic emotions of a young man growing up homeless, raised by a mother with untreated mental health issues, and succeeds under seemingly unsurmountable odds.
This novel is told by a matter-of-fact sounding narrator that perfectly articulates Liz Lightly’s happiness, worries, sadness, and fears as she attempts to win Prom Queen which features a huge scholarship.
This intriguing mystery comes to life narrated by Rudd. She eloquently shares the historic mystery of Albert Ellingham, while also sounding believable as Stevie Bell, a teenager detective.
Monday’s Not Coming
By Tiffany D. Jackson
Narrated by Imani Parks
Published May 22, 2018
This is a book best listened to. Parks perfectly builds drama and gathers the clues for listeners. Claudia returns home ready to start the new school year only to find her best friend Monday not there. When Monday continues to not appear Claudia searches, questioning why no one else seems concerned by Monday’s disappearance.
Acevedo, E. (2019). With the fire on high. Philadelphia, PA: Quill Tree Books.
Childress, M.J. (2010). The ‘Oprah effect’: A content analysis of media coverage of Toni Morrison and how the coverage changed post-Oprah. East Tennessee University. Electronic theses and dissertations. paper 1696. https://dc.etsu.edu/etd/1696
Be prepared for confusion.
If you are going into this read for scares and stalking, you may be disappointed. If you are going into expecting a really ironic take on the overused trope of the obsessed lover, you are going to really appreciate this book.
There are way too many books that glamorize the completely infatuated guy who is just absolutely possessed with some girl. Women read these titles thinking it would be a dream relationship. It would be impossible to count the books where some girl is forced to date or marry some guy against her will. But he's good and kind and will "wait" until she is ready.
He loves her. He must protect. No one can love her like he can. He needs her. She needs him. And people read these books like that is romance. Like that is healthy. It is not. The actual term for this type of relationship is "coercive control". It is a insidious form of abuse.
This book turns the idea of the abused, vulnerable girl on its head. Definitely worth a read.
This is something I really like about Sourcefire Books. They keep putting out works that will leave you thinking and often a bit shocked. Keep it coming.
I was given an early release copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Romance/Coming-of-Age
Reading age: 14- up
Grade level: 9- up
Listen to a Sample
This is a really well-researched novel from a rare POV, first generation Chinese American and immigrant families living in Chinatown during the ’50’s. The narration does an amazing job of illustrating the male gaze, and especially how it effects Asians without being preachy at all. The novel shares two different timelines with different coming-of-age experiences that really play well off each other.
Again, very well-researched. I think this book could withstand several readings to glean more.
I was given an early release copy of this book from the publisher on #Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book has an estimated publication date of Jan. 19, 2021.