Thank you for the opportunity to participate in Guest Picks for the library. I am generally reading one or two books at a time, and, as a family, we emphasize reading with our girls by reading nightly. I also enjoy challenging our oldest daughter (6-years-old) to help me find at least one "positive" story in the daily newspaper. My reading usually focuses on professional development (typically finance and investment-related books) and personal growth, often autobiographies, and personal coaching types of books to help elevate my performance in all areas of life.
About this time seventeen years ago, I made a decision that changed my life and the lives of my children forever. I decided to homeschool. It was the best choice at that point in our lives, and although I have reconsidered our decision several times since, I always come back to the fact that homeschooling just works for us. Presently, two of my boys have graduated and are out in the wide world, and my youngest son will be done with high school at the end of next year.
I learned many things over the years—Latin, logic and rhetoric, how to teach reading to children with different gifting and abilities, how to juggle three grades of math instruction at once, how to teach writing and conduct science labs at home, and many other subjects and skills. Throughout our time of learning at home, we’ve had a lot of help from a number of people and organizations, but the place where we received much of our information and materials was our local library.
When stand-up comedian Aziz Ansari was offered a book deal, he opted against writing the typical humorous memoir. Instead Ansari, best known as Tom Haverford on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, penned Modern Romance, an entertaining look at how relationships and dating have changed over the past few decades.
For many of us Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. Pools and amusement parks open to a regular schedule, children bring out their water toys, picnics are planned, and moms start dreading the increased loads of laundry.
Amidst all this excitement, we should always pause and take a few moments to honor the service members who have served and given their lives for this country.
One way to honor these brave men and women is to provide resources that can assist their family members and also all the surviving veterans and military members.
When I was fresh out of college and a first year teacher, I was very interested in applying all my knowledge, both practical and book-learned. The paraprofessional who worked with me in my classroom once joked, “When you have kids of your own, you’re going to read every book about raising kids and then find out that they can’t really tell you anything!!” Well, many years later, her words have come true . . . but just partially. With the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, I have access to hundreds of books on child-rearing—all I have to do is place a hold.
In The Monster of Florence, Douglas Preston recounts Mario Spezi’s role in the hunt for a serial killer. Working as a reporter, Spezi, though he didn’t know it at the time, found himself in the midst of a real-life thriller. Over the years, dozens of couples would be found murdered throughout the Italian countryside. Though the investigation spanned decades, and a variety of suspects and leads were examined, the killer was never discovered.
Dubbed “The Haunted Housewife,” author Theresa Argie loves the paranormal. Since her first scary experience as a child, her quest has been to find the most haunted places across the country. With journalist Eric Olsen, Argie gives readers first-person accounts of some of the scariest places in the United States.
“...the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” - Jack Kerouac's On the Road
The Beats: A Graphic History tackles the generation of post-World War II writers who revealed an untold side of America while pushing censors' boundaries with their writing style.
Anybody interested in DIY projects or maker culture or just getting back to basics should take a gander at the Foxfire series of books. Beginning in the late 60s and continuing on through today, a class at a rural Georgia high school decided to take a different tack at English class and create a magazine.
They had no money so the venture needed to pay for itself. As there was little market for poetry or short stories found in ordinary high school magazines, they decided to print folklore and folk ways gathered from people in their own community. It was the beginning of something amazing.