When the Cone of Silence is Breached

by Marina M.

The epitome of brilliant conversationalists.

I identify as an ambivert. For clarification, that’s somebody that resides in the middle ground of the extrovert and introvert trait spectrum. At work I’ll put on my extrovert hat. I’ll get out there and be a paragon of personality, a skilled and shrewd searcher, a readers’ advisory advocate. At least in my mind I am. In the truest sense of the results from research done by Adam Grant at Wharton, I routinely find myself adjusting to the social work situations at hand.

But, once I’m off the clock, it’s strictly introvert-hat wearing time. That’s when I limit any face-to-face socialization to my cats and dogs. For the most part. Because sometimes family and friends can coerce me out of my self-imposed cone of silence. Especially if there’s food involved.

What am I trying to say?

Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Disease and Medicine in History

by Jennifer K.

I love a good disease book. What (you may ask) makes a good disease book?

First of all, I want to learn what the disease does to the human body. In clearly understandable layman’s terms, tell me about the disgusting symptoms, the horrifying rate of transmission, the tragic death toll. Anecdotes full of suffering and bodily emissions welcome.

Then, I want history: how long have we known about this disease? How has it influenced world events, changed the culture, altered the way we think? Has fear of this disease entered the realm of myth and folklore? And what of the fight against this disease? Have humans been creative, or brilliant, or monstrous in trying to find ways to defeat this illness?

A book that has all of that – now that’s a good disease book.

If, like me, you’re fascinated by the role of illness and medicine throughout history, you should check out these gems.

Continue reading »

Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Winter Romances

by Michelle C.

As the nights get longer and colder, the prospect of staying at home with a loved one becomes more desirable. It’s cuffing season, the time of year when single people start looking for that special someone they can cuddle with by the fire on a long winter’s eve. Add in a movie and some popcorn and you have the recipe for a perfect night.

Or if you’re like me and the prospect of going on dates when it’s pitch black at 5pm and your body is howling that it’s the d-e-a-d-o-f-n-i-g-h-t and you should be sleeping (and doesn’t dating just sound exhausting anyway?), then you can just watch a romance movie at home. Add a fire. Add some popcorn. Sub the cuddling for a chocolate cookie and you have a perfect night.

What are some of your favorite winter romances?


Tagged , | 4 Comments

Near Future Fiction

By Isaac H.

The arrival of the new year always brings a call to reflection for me. Depending on how the year has been, this reflecting is usually on how swiftly another year has whisked by.  Alternative, it can also be a reflection on how the year seemed to drag on forever and never seemed to end. Time can be weird like that. Regardless of how the year has gone, a glimpse into the potential future always helps to give perspective to the present by taking your mind off the past.

One of my favorite sub-genres of science fiction is near future fiction. I’ve always loved engrossing myself in different authors vision’s of potential futures. The more that vision stands as a reflection of the present, the more of an appeal it has. In these stories, the familiar settings and haunting backgrounds are almost characters in their own right.

Continue reading »

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

On Your Marks, Get Set, Bake!

By Kaley C.

Over the years, there have been many baking shows that captured the hearts of people. Cake Boss, Cupcake Wars, and Next Great Baker to name a few. But none are quite like The Great British Baking Show. I’ll admit, I’m one of the many who cannot resist tuning in to watch contestants who are deeply skilled and openly supportive of each other. I used to bake avidly, and something about their friendly demeanor and presentation of bakes made me start all over again. Here’s a few of my favorite baking cook books that I’ve sought out after rediscovering this hobby: Continue reading »

Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Where My Ladies at?

By Kristi S.

You know that old saying: behind every great man is a woman whose work he’s stolen?

Well, that may not be the exact phrase but it has certainly happened often. For centuries (truly), women have gone unrecognized for their work. Colleagues snub their discoveries. Their intellectual ability is called into question. Their contributions ignored. Or, their work is flat out stolen. I find this to be an unfortunate combination of depressing and exhausting. So, I turn to the library to bring some of these remarkable women into the spotlight.

Continue reading »

Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Beyond Bestsellers: Armchair Travel

By Marie B

Whether you enjoy reading someone else’s real life exploits, immersing yourself in a locale by way of a great story, or simply looking at the pictures, books can take you where you want to go. This month for Beyond Bestsellers we’ll look at books with a focus on places other than home.  I invite you to revisit the concept of Beyond Bestsellers before you begin January’s journey.

Aren’t we lucky to live in this exact spot in the beautiful Pacific Northwest?  We have not one, but two mountain ranges, plus Puget Sound, the Salish Sea, not to mention the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  It doesn’t get much better than this.  But sometimes… Continue reading »

Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Biblical Fiction

by Kimberly P. 

For those of you used to my posts, you’ll remember that I’m very into all things dark. Serial killers, horror, dark fantasy, urban fantasy. Give me death and a mystery and I’m yours. I recently dipped my toe into some of the lighter books and movies that we have to offer here at Sno-Isle, but I decided to take it one step further this month, and have touched a genre I’d never really read: Biblical historical fiction.

Growing up in the Deep South, I’ve gotten my fair share of a heap of biscuits & gravy with a side of Bible stories, but I was more interested in fairies, princesses, and knights than the Gospels.

But with Christmas here, I thought–why not?  Continue reading »


When an Instant Pot Moves In

by Denise D.

What’s for dinner?

Three simple words. So much angst. What is for dinner? In my fantasies, it’s something different, yummy, healthy, quick and sure to please my picky teens. More likely, dinner is familiar, boring, processed, of dubious nutritional benefit, and likely to launch dinner table scowls. Not to mention too much kitchen clean-up. Like many frustrated dinner providers, I’ve heard tales of how an Instant Pot would change my life.

Continue reading »

Tagged | 1 Comment

Irish Voices

by Lindsey A.

As I reflect on the past year of reading (there were piles of picture books; I’ve grown very picky about rhyming schemes now that I’m presenting storytime for babies and toddlers), I realize that I’ve been listening to OverDrive audiobooks more than ever before. I love to zone out in bed with my iPad and a great audiobook. What’s even better? An audiobook read by a narrator with an intriguing accent. In this case, I’m talking about Irish audiobook narrators.

I know this is simplifying the tremendous amount of variation in accents across Ireland and Northern Ireland, but to me the Irish accent sounds so poetic. It’s lilting, musical, and I adore the idiosyncrasies of the accent, like the way statements can sound like questions.

Continue reading »

Tagged , | 4 Comments