I am in love with libraries. Think about it for a moment. Libraries are buildings full of books. You walk in and you are allowed to take home whatever books you want, for free, and read them. It’s mind-bogglingly awesome. And if the magical power of distributing free books to people isn’t enough, libraries also host tons of free community programs and education, provide computer access, and can help you do just about anything from filing your taxes to learning English. When I’m at my most hopeless and pessimistic, I often look at pictures of public libraries and read about the truly amazing things librarians are doing. Then I start to feel a little bit better about the world.
In the midst of our ongoing struggle against injustice and systemic oppression, sometimes it’s important to remember the little things. Librarians are engaged in supporting, enlivening, and strengthening their communities in a myriad of tiny and massive ways. Libraries provide people with free books. Books can change lives. Those things are worth celebrating.
Each Wednesday, in Libraries for Life, my newest weekly feature, I’ll share my current library haul, as well as a news story about something awesome a library somewhere in the world is doing.
LIBRARIES ROCKING IN THIS WEEK:
- San Diego Library to Combat ‘Fake News’ with Workshop Series
- Sims Library’s Homebound Program Provides Elderly Community with Much-Needed Escape
Okay, I’m cheating a little–since this is my first Libraries for Life post, I’m including books that came in last week as well. Next week’s haul will hopefully be a little less bountiful. (I’m trying to curb my addiction to library holds.)
- Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee
- The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
- The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne Valente
- The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
- Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
- Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin
- Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines edited by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, China Martens and Mai’a Williams
This week’s haul is a nice mix of new releases and books that have been hanging out on my TBR for months. I’m trying to read at least one book in translation every month this year, and Qiu Miaojin’s Notes of a Crocodile, about a group of you queer folk coming of age in 1980s Taiwan has been on my list for a while. A friend recommended Revolutionary Mothering a while back, and I can’t wait to dig in to this collection of essays about parenthood that centers the voices of mothers who are queer, poor, marginalized and of color. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making has been on my radar since my sister-in-law read it to my nephew last summer. As a bonus, it fulfills one of the year’s Read Harder challenge tasks: read the first book in a new to you YA or middle-grade series.
Everything Here is Beautiful, The Immortalists, Red Clocks, and The Widows of Malabar Hill are all new releases that come highly recommended via Book Riot and the rest of the bookish internet. Last year I hardly read any books published in 2017. (I have a considerable backlog to get through this year!) So I decided that in 2018, I want to at least read a few of the buzziest new releases, if only to be part of the conversation about these books as it unfolds.
Check back in the coming weeks to read reviews on all these books as I finish them.
I live on a tiny island, and while my public library is absolutely wonderful, it’s small. I get most of my books from interlibrary loan. This is an incredible service, and each week, it astounds me to see library books pouring in from all over the Cape and Islands (and sometimes further afield!) just for my pleasure and enjoyment. Immense thanks this week to:
- Truro Public Library
- Provincetown Public Library
- Snow Library (Orleans)
- Oak Bluffs Public Library
- my very own Nantucket Atheneum
Happy reading, all! What does your library haul look like this week?