Joy O'Toole

06/08/2018 - 12:05am
Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse other book matches here.

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani
Lucia Sartori is the beautiful twenty-five-year-old daughter of a prosperous Italian grocer in Greenwich Village. The postwar boom is ripe with opportunities for talented girls with ambition, and Lucia becomes an apprentice to an up-and-coming designer at chic B. Altman's department store on Fifth Avenue. Engaged to her childhood sweetheart, the steadfast Dante DeMartino, Lucia is torn when she meets a handsome stranger who promises a life of uptown luxury that career girls like her only read about in the society pages. Forced to choose between duty to her family and her own dreams, Lucia finds herself in the midst of a sizzling scandal in which secrets are revealed, her beloved career is jeopardized, and the Sartoris' honor is tested. 

Liked Lucia, Lucia? Here's a list of books that are about Italian-Americans and/or hopefully capture the feel of Adriana Trigiani’s books.  
06/19/2018 - 10:41am
Keeping a Writer's Journal

Sylvia Plath kept a journal. So did Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Madeleine L’Engle. What did these and many other writers find valuable about journaling?

According to Virginia Woolf, a writer’s journal or notebook is a place to practice writing regularly. She said, “But what is more to the point is my belief that the habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. Never mind the misses and the stumbles...I believe that during the past year I can trace some increase of ease in my professional writing which I attribute to my casual half hours after tea.”

02/07/2018 - 12:23am
Cover to Deep Work

The beginning of a new year is a great time to work on your productivity. While there are many resources—books, articles, TED talks, etc.—it is often hard to determine which ones are helpful. Will a new morning routine help you do more work? Or, perhaps it’s your Sunday rituals that need to change. Maybe you should lock your cell phone in a drawer for hours a day or purchase an app that blocks the Internet. Are you planning your time well, or should you focus more on your energy?

The promise of being more productive often lures me into reading yet another book or article. Until I read Deep Work, by Cal Newport, however, all of the ideas seemed to be more add-on systems than a way to rework how I think and do things.  

10/12/2017 - 12:38pm
The Protestant Reformation - 1517-2017

October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. The 16th century is a fascinating era of big personalities, schisms, and upheavals, many of which led to the birth of the modern world.  Biographies and historical narratives bring the past to life, and many new books are being published to commemorate this crucial time in Western history.

06/07/2018 - 11:52am
Quilt Making for Beginners Class

For centuries, people had to make their own clothing, blankets, and linens. Women would gather to sew, working on individual garments or together on bigger projects while building lifelong friendships. Today, we can buy what we need at our local stores or online. However, our need to spend time with other people - working on a common interest - still brings joy into our lives.

Learning a new craft and meeting new friends are two of the goals of Quilt Making for Beginners. This fall, the library will once again host a series of classes to teach people with basic sewing skills how to create quilts of their own.

01/08/2018 - 8:47am
CRRL My Librarian: The Benefits of a Local Writers' Group

Writing tends to be a solitary activity. From hours of research to even more hours of honing one’s prose or choosing just the right word for a new poem, writers spend a lot of their time working alone. That’s what makes a writers' group so helpful and refreshing. You can get together with other writers who understand what you’ve been doing, learn something new to improve your work, make connections for future marketing or partnerships, and get some feedback on your current project.  

06/14/2017 - 2:34pm
My Librarian: The Roaring Twenties

After the horrors of World War I and the resulting social trauma, young men and women who survived came to be known as The Lost Generation because they never recovered from all of their losses and suffering. To deal with their pain, many of them lived by the adage, “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” The Roaring Twenties, also known as the Jazz Age, was born.  

05/07/2018 - 11:04am
Learn About Homeschooling at the Library

Whatever your reasons for choosing to homeschool, if you are just starting out, you will need to know what is involved, what steps you must take to educate your children successfully, and what resources there are to help you in your quest to teach them. If you want to learn more about homeschooling and how the library can support your efforts, please come join us for one or both of the classes at the Howell Branch.

Homeschooling for Beginners: Monday, June 18, 7:00-8:30

Homeschooling through High School: Monday, August 20, 7:00-8:30

01/30/2017 - 9:59am
CRRL My Librarian: Novel Histories

Who doesn’t love a good story? While history books abound, a great way to learn about another time period is to pick up a novel set in the past. Good historical fiction not only tells a compelling story but also focuses on the people, events, and details of daily life in that time period. Any novel or short story that takes place in the past, usually more than 50 years before the author wrote it, is considered historical fiction. A selection of historical fiction novels that are well-told and evocative of their time periods are on these two lists: History in Fiction and Novel History.

11/17/2016 - 3:29pm
Bibliophiles, Real and Imagined

For those of us who love books and reading, there are few things more pleasurable than meeting other readers and bibliophiles. Swapping books, book suggestions, and perhaps even going on a reading retreat are all a thrill to those of us who are avid readers.  

There are times, though, when a fellow book lover isn’t available, or you are tired and just want to be alone, but yet you’d still love to discuss books. Did you know that there is an entire genre written for those times? I like to call them books about books, and there are many that have been written, both fiction and nonfiction, just for people like us.

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