Beyond Bestsellers: Jhumpa Lahiri

By Melleny T.

Since bursting onto the literary scene in 1999 with her Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri has continued to write tales of all lengths featuring richly developed characters, complicated family relationships, and authentic portrayals of the immigrant experience.

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Prose Bowl 2020 – The Winner

by Marie B.

You gave your all throughout the competition. You voted for your favorite titles each week, enduring extraordinary hardship when Covid-19 threw a monkey wrench in the works and delayed the contest indefinitely.  But you’re an athlete.  You would not be denied.  Yes, you left it all on the page, and now it’s time to reveal the winner of Prose Bowl 2020.  The tension is palpable.

Let’s take one last look at our finalists:







Which one have Sno-Isle Libraries readers crowned the winner of Prose Bowl 2020? Continue reading »

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Social Distancing with Sourdough

by Lois H. (they/them or she/her)

I was gifted a sourdough starter last summer. I made two loaves of sourdough bread and then promptly forgot about its existence in the back of my refrigerator. Then I started working from home.

After the first few weeks of social distancing, I noticed an increase in sourdough bread-related posts on social media. Friends and internet strangers posted their freshly baked loaves. News sites started reporting on a surge in bread making. Apparently, it was time to rescue my starter from hibernation. Continue reading »

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Comfort TV from Sno-Isle Libraries

It’s been a stressful time, and I can’t deny that I’ve been feeling a little anxious.
When I feel anxious, I don’t seek out new and exciting things. Instead, I turn to old favorites. I put on classic movies, reread beloved old books, and – perhaps most comforting of all – I rewatch British television shows I’ve already seen.
Perhaps you didn’t know that, with your Sno-Isle Libraries card, you can get hours of free streaming TV through our digital service, Hoopla. Fifteen titles per month, completely free!
Just go to Hoopla and click Get Started to enter your library card number and other details.  Then you can search for movies, TV shows, and even comic books.

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Simple Stitches

by Hannah K.

If you’re like me, you may need something to keep yourself busy while we’re all staying home. I’ve rearranged my living room three times, baked and ate a few dozen cookies, and sorted my bookshelves by my personal feelings about the author. If I don’t find something to keep my idle hands busy, I’m going to do something stupid. Like try to give myself bangs. I need to find a project that’s low stress but constructive.  Something nice and simple.

It’s time to turn to yarn.

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Prose Bowl 2020: The Final Round


By Craig B.

Welcome to the Final Round of Prose Bowl 2020!

We’re down to the final competitors in Prose Bowl 2020, and we have one of the most unexpected match-ups in Prose Bowl history! From a field of eighty titles, two books fought their way through the brackets (and an ongoing pandemic) to meet toe-to-toe on the hardwood. Our March Madness was delayed for a short time, but April is as good a month as any to restart a rumble. Who will come out victorious? Let’s meet our contenders.

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Narrator Spotlight: January LaVoy

by Marina M.

To me, audiobooks are synonymous with car travel. I can’t remember the last time I was in my car and listened to the radio. It’s either an audiobook or some of my favorite podcasts playing while I tool around town. (I also adore Office Ladies but I’ll leave the better words said by Kristi to promote the joy of Jenna and Angela’s friendship). But, alas, there’s not been much car travel as of late. However, that doesn’t mean that I won’t listen to my audiobooks. It just now happens while I’m tooling around my island in Animal Crossing. (And I’m not the only one.)

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Self-Help Shelf: From helplessness and worry to healing

By Sarri Gilman

If I could give everyone on the planet one book right now, it would be Verbal First Aid.

This book is written for parents, but I believe every adult could benefit from the tips on how to listen and say things that are truly helpful, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. What we hear and say about COVID-19 has triggered much anxiety.

This book by Judith Simon Prager, Ph.D. and Judith Acosta, LISW, CHT shares ways to talk about the coronavirus that could be more helpful to children and to one other. The authors are experts who have trained first responders, health care professionals, and disaster teams on what to say and how to say it.  They give examples of what to say and what not say and how tone and body language need to match the words.

The book is based on this formula: “What you think = How you feel = How you heal.”

We are faced with so many experiences and parents often wonder how to calm and soothe. The authors share how to tailor your words to specific age groups. Parents will find many familiar situations reviewed such as: nightmares, a broken bone, needing stitches, rushing to the hospital, bedwetting, car accidents, an ill family member, and bee stings to larger more devastating experiences, like hurricanes and bombings.

The authors make us aware of words that are missteps and how to say things that are true and helpful. These aren’t clichéd or words that we outgrow. The book teaches you how to think about your words to talk about the situation-at-hand honestly and choose words that move us from panic and helplessness to healing.

You will be able to apply the lessons in this book to the coronavirus. The words we say to children, teens and one another during this pandemic will have a lasting impact on how we cope and how we recover in the long term. This book teaches us what to say during experiences of fear, anxiety, or pain. After you learn the principles in this book, you will be using soothing words with adults too. We all need some words of comfort.

Do you have Band-Aids at home? If you think Band-Aids are useful, you’ll love this book.

If I was able to give you one book to read from the Self-Help shelf, it would be Verbal First Aid. It is filled with words we all need to hear right now.

Sarri Gilman is a licensed marriage and family therapist in practice since 1986. A Whidbey Island resident, Gilman is an author, speaker and community leader. She presented Good Boundaries Free You at TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2015.


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Sew You Have Some Time on Your Hands

by Marie B.

I enjoy the opportunity to pause and reflect as much as the next person, but I must admit that I am looking for more ways to fill my time.

I’ve tried my hand at many a handicraft and have (mostly) found them rewarding and enjoyable. I learned to sew with a machine in Home Economics class, and over the years I’ve made everything from wedding gowns to appliance covers. In recent years I’ve taken up quilting, which is both challenging and fun. Continue reading »

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Prose Bowl 2020: Round 3


By Hannah K.

Welcome back to Prose Bowl 2020!

And we’re back! It’s been an unusual time to say the least, but we’re eager to get back into the swing of things with our next round of Prose Bowl 2020. We started with 80 titles, and now we’re down to the final four!

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