The Lineup: Monica

Monica’s Lineup

Audiobook: The Duke and I (Bridgerton #1) by Julia Quinn

After seeing this series become popular on Netflix, I decided to give a shot at listening to the books. I am currently enjoying listening to the first book of the Bridgerton series on Libby. Although regency/romance isn’t typically my top choice for books, I find that Julia Quinn has done a great job at adding humor and suspense to the story. Despite the melodrama undertone of the whole thing, I find myself absorbed in the fictional world of 1800s high class.

Book: Emily Post’s Wedding Etiquette by Anna & Lizzie Post

As my October wedding approaches, I have found myself studying how a wedding should be conducted. On top of everything else to buy, send, or make, there are also certain behaviors expected at a wedding ceremony and reception. Honestly, I have never been married before, so this whole wedding planning business is all new to me. I found this book extremely helpful in deciding how to plan my reception and have an easy flow to the evening!

Podcast: RELAX! with Colleen Ballinger & Erik Stocklin

 I have been a fan of Colleen Ballinger for quite some time now. Her typical content is on YouTube as a family lifestyle video blogger. However, this year she and her husband, Erik, started a podcast to talk about life and current events. I typically turn this on when I am doing chores around the house. It is such a fun and lighthearted podcast, which makes it very easy to listen to. Both Colleen and Erik are famous actors, and they even met on set of Colleen’s Netflix series. They talk about what life is like in their careers, with their two-year-old son, Colleen’s current pregnancy with twins, and so much more. They also post their podcast video recording on YouTube, so you can sit down and watch it like a talk show.

Album: Battle at Garden’s Gate by Greta Van Fleet

Recently, the up-and-coming rock band, Greta Van Fleet, has been all over my social media. This album has been on repeat for me for at least a week now. My favorite song, which constantly gets stuck in my head, is “Heat Above”. They are a group whose sound is reminiscent of the 1970s band Led Zeppelin. Battle at Garden’s Gate is their most recent album and is available here at the DPL!

Television: Manifest

My fiancé and I are not avid TV watchers, so to have a show we both enjoy is rare. This week we started watching the series Manifest on Netflix. From the start, it had us both a little mind blown and confused. Essentially, it is about a group of people on a plane that supposedly had been missing for five years. However, for the passengers, it was only a few hours. We are finding that there is a Christian story line in the series. I am excited to see where the plot goes and to see if it keeps both of us entertained.

  • Available on Netflix.

The Lineup: Ashley

Ashley’s Lineup

Podcast: Not Just the Tudors with Suzannah Lipscomb

I am a huge history nerd.  I love to read, see, watch and listen to anything historical especially if it pertains to the Tudors.  Recently one of my favorite historians started her own podcast called, Not Just the Tudors, which covers all sorts of history during the sixteenth century.  I have learned a lot while listening, such as about the teenage werewolf, the story of beards, and the witches of Lorraine.  Most episodes are 30-60 minutes which make for a quick little dip into the sixteenth century from the comfort of your home.

Find it here or where you normally download your podcasts.

2. Television show: Expedition Unknown with Josh Gates

As I said above, I love to learn about history.  This adventure show looks into some of the world’s most fascinating and enduring legends and mysteries.  The host, Josh Gates, travels the world meeting with experts and locals to uncover why these legends still fascinate people today.  His corny “dad jokes” and willingness to do just about anything makes for a fun watch.  I recently binge watched it while babysitting my nephew.  And now my parents and I are addicted to the show and watch it together every week.

Find it on Discovery Channel or the Discovery+ app.

3. Magazine: Discover Britain

I have been to England 3 times (in 2006, 2007 and 2011).  Each time has been wonderful!  I love the country, the history and even the food.  Even with all three trips there is still so much I have not seen in this gorgeous country.  My cousin and I have been planning to travel to London and Edinburgh but it had to be pushed back due to COVID.  But we are hopeful that this next spring we will finally be able to travel.  This magazine has been helping feed my wanderlust.  It features different sites to see, events to attend and some of the history around Britain.  If you miss traveling as much as I do then I would recommend you check it out plus many other travel magazines available on Libby.

Find it on Sunflower eLibrary or on the Libby app.

4. Class: Petco dog training with Riley H.

This summer I was able to have my dachshund puppy, Dudley, come live with me.  As with many dachshunds they are stubborn little barkers.  And Dudley is no different.  But in the future I would like to be able to take him on road trips or visit friends without having to deal with too many behavioral problems.  Thus, I signed him up for training classes at Derby Petco with Riley H.  The first class was very scary for him but he has already made tons of progress.  He has learned lot of new tricks like sit, lay down, stay and leave it.  Riley has been very patient with him.  I would highly recommend her and the classes.  There are different levels.  Dudley is nearly done with session one and will start session two this fall!

Find out more about their classes at Petco.com.

5. Planning Tools: Microsoft OneNote

Recently I found a new tool to help organize and plan my trip to the UK.  It is called OneNote.  It is a Microsoft program that allows a person to divide up things into different sections and pages.  I have broken my trip into different categories like location, flights, hotels, and budgets.  But then under each category I can have more pages with more individualized information.  I put links, photos, and charts that give me a more detailed view of my trip.  I like to show people that this is my “beautiful mind”.  I have several itineraries, places we should visit, and restaurants to try.  Plus, it has been a life saver during COVID.  I have felt like I am doing something to plan my trip even though I cannot plan my trip yet.  If you have access to OneNote I would recommend checking it out.  It seems like a very useful tool for many different things. 

Find out more about OneNote by checking out our database, Learning Express, where you can watch tutorials on using the application.

The Lineup: Megan

Megan’s Lineup

  1. Movie: Rocky written by Sylvester Stallone, directed by John G. Avildsen

My dad introduced Rocky to me as a kid. We would watch all 5 Rocky movies together, just the two of us because no one else in the family liked it. It’s my all-time favorite movie series. The scene that gets me every time is at the end, when Adrian is trying to get to Rocky right after the fight, and Rocky is yelling for her, cue the music and it’s guaranteed to get me sobbing each time.

  • Available for checkout through the Derby Public Library.

2. Video Game: Super Mario

I’ve always been a Mario fan, playing a variety of them on the various consoles throughout the years. My favorite will forever be Super Mario 64. Recently my daughter and I have been playing Super Mario Galaxy together on the Switch. I’ve never played this one, but my husband loves it, so I thought I’d give it a try. I enjoyed it, but not as much as other Nintendo games.

3. Audiobook: Dark in Death by J. D. Robb

This is no. 46 in the “In Death” series. I would describe this series as futuristic crime. I have listened to them on audio since the first one. The narrator, Susan Ericksen really brings the characters to life. If you have read the books, I would recommend listening to them on audio as well, because it gives you a sense of who the characters really are. My husband is now also a fan, which is pretty amazing because we have such different taste in books.

  • Available for checkout through the Derby Public Library.

4. Podcast: NPR’s Up First

This is one I listen to every morning. It’s a nice 15-minute news update on current events that doesn’t overwhelm me. I can catch up on what’s going on in the world while making breakfast or driving in the car.

5. Television: History Channel’s Alone

A friend of mine told me about this series. I don’t usually like American reality shows, but this one is different. Each season 10 participants get dropped off at a location with 10 approved survival items and camera equipment and are completely alone. They then have to record themselves using their survival skills to see who can make it the longest, all without knowing if the other participants have “tapped out”. I really enjoy it because at some point, they aren’t putting on a show for the camera anymore, and you get to see who they really are as they try to overcome solitude, starvation and living off the land.

  • Seasons 1-7 available on Hulu.

Teen Volunteer Book Review: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Book Review by Claire Stewart

Claire Stewart is fifteen years old and a 2021 Summer Teen Volunteer.

In the beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.

Douglas Adams

Though this isn’t the first line of the novel, it’s one of the first mentioned in the film, and as soon as I heard it, I knew I was going to love this movie (and, later, the book). Douglas Adams has a unique way of writing that is just so indescribably hilarious; some more honorable mentions are, “the ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t” and “a common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” I mean, aren’t those lines just amazing? 

    This book, as the title suggests, is a guide for someone to use in the event that Earth is “demolished to make way for a galactic freeway” as the summary on the back of the book suggests. The story follows normal dude Arthur Dent (played by one of my favorite actors, Martin Freeman) as he is plucked from his garden, bathrobe and all, and is suddenly touring the galaxy with some of the oddest folks you’ll never meet. Complete with two-headed, three-armed ex-hippies, chronically depressed robots, and grad students obsessed with the disappearance of ballpoint pens, this tale keeps you laughing while also vaguely wondering what the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is – that’s an inside joke for those of us who know the story.

    This absurd tale follows Arthur as he hitchhikes through space, unintentionally saves the world (well, part of it), encounters infinitely knowledgeable supercomputers that answer questions with more questions, and learns that his boring life on Earth was nothing compared to what the rest of the galaxy is doing. Adams uses cynicism and wit to spin this tale, and it’s quite enjoyable for anyone who’s humor is just a little dry and, from time to time, enjoys wondering what else the universe might have up its sleeves. 

    I definitely enjoyed this story, with its unique characters, confusing backstory, and random lines that, to this day, sort of leave me reeling. It’s the perfect read for, as I said, dry-humored folks, in addition to science and fiction lovers (or science fiction lovers!) with big imaginations.  This book is also the first installment of a five-part series by Douglas Adams, all of which have interesting titles and even more interesting beings. There is also a sixth novel, written by Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl fans, anyone?) after Adams’ death, plus a 12-part series on BBC radio. In short, it’s a beloved story, and quite famous for it, that everyone should read once in their lives. I really enjoyed it, and I hope you do too!

The Lineup: Xochitl

Xochitl’s Lineup

1. Book: Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here by Paula Begoun

I am really big into skincare and have enjoyed the brand Paula’s Choice, so I knew I had to read this advice book written by her. She’s informative and blunt, so she doesn’t just promote her brand but other brands and different procedures as well. Paula debunks rumors and makes sure everything she recommends is backed with science, so this often means her opinion can change as science evolves, which I appreciate. Her honesty and knowledge are refreshing. I really liked how she doesn’t over-complicate things, so everyday consumers can read and have an understanding of what they should look for. My favorite piece of advice was about wearing sunscreen, which she reiterated throughout the book.

  • Available for checkout through the Derby Public Library

2. Documentary: Osage Murders: The Reign of Terror

After finishing up Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann, I went to look for more information about what the Osage people went through back in the 1920s. I ended up finding a documentary about the Reign of Terror, the name given for the period scanning three decades from 1910 into the1930s, which resulted in over fifty unsolved murders of wealthy Osage people in Oklahoma. The documentary was provided by the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority, a public broadcasting service network. The video is only about 28 minutes so it is not a long watch. It’s an interesting and important part of history that I’m happy I did more research on.

3. Podcast: Red Collar (episode: Superdad Psychopath)

The whole show takes a look at murders and crimes committed by seemingly well-off and great people. It is hosted by Catherine Townsend and the episodes are usually about thirty-five minutes long. The episode I took a listen to recently was about the Watts family murders in Colorado back in 2018. She really went into the financial troubles that the couple had always experienced. The podcast brought some details to light that I thought the media and the popular Netflix documentary skipped over. Townsend makes sure she’s thorough with her explanations and has facts to back up some theories and motives to consider. It was an interesting listen for sure and I plan to listen to more episodes.

4. Television: Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends

This was hands down my favorite TV show growing up. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends is a Cartoon Network original animated series about a foster home for imaginary friends no longer in need by their creators. It centers around a kid named Mac, his witty imaginary friend Bloo, and all the other residents and workers at Foster’s. It’s a really silly show that does center around comedy, but the serious moments are really heartwarming. The show is honestly just as great as I remembered it to be. The episodes are only about 25 minutes long, so it is an easy show to binge.

  • Available on the streaming platform HBOMax.

5. Article: The Day Treva Throneberry Disappeared

I am fascinated with true crime cases, especially the bizarre ones. This one really took me by surprise. Treva Throneberry decided to run away from her life in a small town in Texas, at the age of eighteen, all the way to the state of Washington to start anew as a sixteen-year-old. Through the article, you learn of her family life and her mental problems she was dealing with back in Texas as you get to know the life she was living in Washington. You also learn that she made impersonating a young girl her habit. I really liked that the article switches back and forth from her past and her life elsewhere all the way until her final arrest. It also talked about her unfair trial she had to go through given she was clearly mentally incompetent. Treva Throneberry’s case is a sad one, but I’m glad I took the time to read it.

The Lineup: Justin

The Lineup

DPL staff tells us about five things they’ve been reading, watching, listening to, and doing

Justin’s Lineup

1. Movies: The Sixth Sense, directed by M. Night Shyamalan

The first time I watched this movie was in 1999. I was 19. Cool movie I thought, that twist was crazy! That’s about as far as my young mind allowed me to dive into the movie but 22 years later I decided to re-watch it. It is easy to make this film about the twist but taking that out of the equation, the Sixth Sense is such a beautiful and well-made ghost story. The acting, especially from a young Haley Joel Osment is great and this is some of Shyamalan’s best writing. One might even say this movie is masterpiece of film-making. Now how about a follow-up with an older Cole Sear please.

· Available through check-out with the Derby Public Library.

2. Videogames: Chrono Trigger by Square Enix

Chrono Trigger is coming up on 26 years of age this August. I first played it when I was 15 and was sucked into the amazing story-telling and beautiful art work of this game. I’ve been replaying it the last 3 weeks and I can say it is just as amazing of a game as it was back then. CT is a JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) first released for the Super Nintendo in 1995 and has always played second fiddle to the Final Fantasy Series. I would argue it is a much superior game but opinions are just opinions.

· Available to you via Steam for your computer at the link below if you don’t want to pay an obscene amount of money on Ebay. https://store.steampowered.com/app/613830/CHRONO_TRIGGER/

3. Music: Benee

I’m getting older and I’m starting to slip into that phase where I ignore all the new music coming out and stick with what I grew up with. But I try to keep myself open and I recently discovered an artist by the name of Benee. She is a songwriter from New Zealand and I first saw her on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon singing her hit song “Supalonely”. It is a catchy pop song that drilled its way into my head and I’m not even sorry. Also check out another one of her songs, “Find an Island”.

· See the music video for Supalonely here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb6Scz-5YOs

4. Article: Fossilized Footprints Found in New Mexico Track Traveler with Toddler in Tow by Livia Gershon

I really love reading about ancient history and the lives of people back then. Especially ancient humans before recorded history. This article is about fossilized footprints of a small woman or adolescent boy traveling quickly across a landscape with a child. Trying to imagine what it was like and the hardships being faced is fascinating to me. The article is a great read and really gets you thinking about how humans lived so long ago.

· Available here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/11000-year-old-new-mexico-footprints-track-adult-and-toddlers-trip-180976057/

5. Hobbies: Scanning found slides

I enjoy finding old slides in estate sales, auctions, flea markets, etc. and scanning them into a digital format. It is like taking a peek into the world of someone else’s life history and recording it before it’s tossed out and lost. I recently won an auction with quite a few slides of one family’s trip south of the border in the 1960s. Here are a few of those pictures.

Teen Volunteer Book Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Book Review by Claire Stewart

Claire is fifteen years old and a 2021 Summer Teen Volunteer

Three luscious lemon tarts glistened up at Catherine.

First line of Heartless by Marissa Meyer

    This book begins by telling the story of Lady Catherine Pinkerton, one of the most desired girls in all of Wonderland, amidst her real dream – baking. She spends the novel fighting fate, avoiding the King’s marriage proposals and her mother’s insistence that she will be Queen. 

    Of course, she will eventually be Queen – the infamous Queen of Hearts, in fact. And that’s not a spoiler, don’t worry! In fact, it’s the theme of the whole story. We all know who the Queen of Hearts is, and what it is that makes her so well-known; namely, one phrase: “Off with their heads!” So what is it that made Catherine of Hearts, the sweet girl who fell in love and wanted nothing more than to open a bakery, into the terrifying and memorable ruler of Hearts? 

    This story leads its readers through twists and turns, keeping us on our toes as we try to piece together the puzzle and differentiate fact from fiction in this strange world. We meet famous characters like the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, and, of course, the Queen herself. She does what she can to avoid love by the King and finds it elsewhere, at his black-and-white ball – a love that sends her spiraling, literally and figuratively, through Wonderland. This story features everything from lemon tarts and unfortunate turtles to strange pumpkins and unbeknownst best friends to magical rose bushes and criminals who aren’t so villainous. In short, it’s a thrilling read, one that practically jumps at you from off the pages. 

    As for the novel itself, my family can attest to the fact that it was practically glued to my fingers while I was reading it. I’m hesitant to speak too highly of this book, in case you, dear reader, end up not actually liking it, but this book was definitely to my taste. It’s quite sad, to be honest, and not for the faint of heart. It’s a given that there will be loss of life, love and limb – how else will Cath become the raging “off with their heads” kind of person? So, as long as that’s down your alley, I think you’ll quite enjoy it. 

    I also found each and every character rather enthralling, just because of intricate backstories and quite humanoid feelings and motives each one possessed. It isn’t the kind of book you’ll find yourself scratching your head and saying, “well, no real person would do that!” – if, of course, you can remember that no rabbits in our world speak and a multitude of hats doesn’t make you magical. I found myself really relating to our leading lady, and being pulled so deeply into her feelings that it was as if they were my own.

Overall, this book was quite sad, so I do give a word of warning to anyone who’s a bit too empathetic and accidentally ends up as an unpaid therapist for fictitious beings. But it was also witty, and interesting, and, ironically, magical. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and hope you do, too!

The Lineup: Terese

DPL staff tells us about five things they’ve been reading, watching, listening to, and doing.

Terese’s Lineup

1. Books: What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories by Laura Shapiro

I’m one of those people who want to hear every detail of what you’ve eaten today. Please don’t breeze right past telling me you went to a restaurant without sharing what you ordered. I rescued my aunt’s old recipe box from the trash. Why did she have six different notecards for the relatively simple dish of guacamole? I want to know! The recipes she’d saved reflect the fads of the time and also her personal tastes, much as reading about what the women in this book ate and cooked tells us something about the times they lived in and who they were as people. The voyeur in me loves reading memoirs and journals to begin with (I want all the mundane details) but throw in a focus on food and I’m sold. · Available in our catalog: https://kanshare.bywatersolutions.com

2. TV: Borgen

If you liked West Wing, give this Danish political drama a try. It’s less talky but has a nice balance of politics and personal. It revolves around Denmark’s first female prime minister, but it’s her mysterious and complicated “spin doctor” Kasper and his ex-girlfriend journalist Katrine whose stories are the most compelling. I also just enjoy listening to the rhythms of another language for a change.

· Available on Netflix

3. Podcasts: Exit Scam by Treats Media

I sometimes have a hard time listening to podcasts and audiobooks in the car, as my mind tends to drift. But this real-life mystery surrounding the death of Gerald Cotten, founder of a large Canadian bitcoin exchange, easily holds my attention. This, despite having little to no interest in cryptocurrency so you know it’s a good story. · Available here: https://www.exitscam.show/

4. Movies: Talk to Me

I just happened upon this one the other day. I’m a big Don Cheadle fan and he’s fantastic in this moving biopic about the ex-con turned radio DJ, television entertainer, and political activist Petey Greene. Laughs and Tears in this one! · Available for rent on Amazon or requested through interlibrary loan

5. Articles: A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions by Ian Parker

This New Yorker article came out in 2019, but I recently gave it another read after seeing that the film adaptation of Dan Mallory’s book (published under the pseudonym A.J. Finn) The Woman in the Window was released on Netflix. It’s fascinating to me how some people manage to hang on to their success despite such blatant lies. I’ve even read that Jake Gyllenhaal will play a version of Mallory (and literary scammers more generally) in an upcoming TV show I’ll be sure not to miss. · Available here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/02/11/a-suspense-novelists-trail-of-deceptions

Mama Lala Reads: Scritch Scratch

Image result for scritch scratch lindsay currie
Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

First Line: “If someone had told me yesterday that I’d be spending my Saturday morning in the aisle of a stuffy bookstore searching for ghost stories, I would’ve told them they were nuts.”

Summary: Claire is the daughter of a ghost-obsessed writer slash ghost tour bus owner. She hates that. She is a scientist and doesn’t believe in that phooeoy. That is, until she is forced to help her dad on the bus. When the ghost follows her home she is forced to face facts she would rather not. To top that off, she’s also has a school science fair to prepare for, a middle school she has to prevent from finding out about her recent outing (hello, rumor mill), and a best friend who might be moving on. Middle school is rough, but ghosts are worse.

Ratings: 8 out of 10

                Once again I read this book alone. No kiddos. It’s too long for the little’s consideration, and it’s a bit scary for the bigger of the two. Perhaps this should be more of a “Mama Lala Reads” blog, as I’m reading these books for my kids, but not always to. Anyhow…

My Thoughts: As an adult who remembers all too well how hard middle school was, I cried. It was a good cry, though. A “I finally can approach this with understanding” cry. I, too, had a friend who moved on without me. I acted much like Claire. Unfortunately, life isn’t like the books, and our ending didn’t turn out like this book’s ending for Claire. Then again, I’ve never been haunted quite like Claire has, and I count that a blessing. This book definitely gives the creepies. It’s a great read for all those creepy kids out there… and their parents too. It addresses real life issues like divorce, friendship, and *gasp* crushes, all while entertaining the reader with a plot line a bit more theatrical. For the cherry on top, it has a historically accurate thread as well.

All in all a great read. Points only discounted for giving a too perfect wrap up. Life isn’t pretty, and sometimes endings have to be a little ugly, too (twelve year olds don’t know how to work out those kind of relationship issues.)

Happy Reading my friends,

Mama Lala (Chelsea)

Monica’s Musings: The Water Cure

The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh

Trauma is a toxin that hooks into our hair and organs and blood and becomes part of us, the way heavy metals do, our bodies nothing more than a layering of flesh around everything ingested and experienced.

-Sophie Mackintosh

Sisters Grace, Lia and Skye are raised to believe that the world outside of their island is extremely toxic and deadly, especially for women. Their parents, whom they call King and Mother, have the girls living a life of purity, which is practiced through various cleansing rituals. One of which is called the water cure, where the girls put on a weighted dress and hold themselves under the water for as long as they can. This cult-like behavior begins to unravel, first when King disappears, and second when new men from the toxic mainland arrive on their island.

I will admit, this story was quite odd. The behaviors of this family were so strange, but it kept me intrigued. The dysfunction and cruel mindsets of these sisters had me unsure of who I was supposed to root for. All three of the girls had been brainwashed into maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle of “purity”. Although their practices seemed absurd, I am still unsure of what all is true of the outside world and what is not. Since the story is told from the girls’ point of view, we are also experiencing their confusion as the story unfolds. I believe the author, Sophie Mackintosh, left readers a little perplexed on purpose to replicate that of the sisters.

As I listened to this story on Libby, I had to backtrack multiple times to understand who was talking. The viewpoint switches between all of the sisters, so sometimes it was difficult keeping up with who was telling the story. I would recommend reading the hardback version because of this. Overall I found this to be an interesting read. Sophie Mackintosh created an intriguing yet troubling story to experience through the lives of Grace, Lia and Skye.