Reading Challenges - Yeah or Nay

by Sharon Nagel on Feb 5, 2024

I like to keep track of what I read on an app mainly because I have reached an age where I can't always remember what I read. This is especially true when a patron or a friend asks me what I have read recently. Then, my mind goes completely blank.

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Tom Lake

by Sharon Nagel on Dec 9, 2023

One of my favorite books of 2023 is Tom Lake by Ann Patchett. It is set in 2020 during the COVID pandemic. Lara Nelson and her husband Joe own a cherry orchard in northern Michigan. Their three daughters, Emily, Maisie, and Nell have returned home to the family farm as the world shuts down.

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Mystery Book Club

by Sharon Nagel on Jun 1, 2023

Back in 2019, when I was in library school and working at the Whitefish Bay Public Library as an intern, my boss put me in charge of hosting a monthly mystery book club. I had been in book clubs for decades, but I had never organized one, so this was a new challenge.

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Lucky Day Collection

by Sharon Nagel on May 1, 2023

If you are a patron of the Whitefish Bay Public Library, you are probably familiar with our HOT READS. These are new, in-demand titles that cannot be put on hold and check out for 14 days. This year, Friends of the Whitefish Bay Public Library have generously offered to buy these books for the library. This will mean that we will be able to purchase more of the popular titles that our patrons are interested in. We are also changing the name from HOT READS to LUCKY DAY. They will be located in the same place, in the bookcase near the adult reference desk where the new books are.

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Romance Novels

by Sharon Nagel on Feb 19, 2023

Since we are close to Valentine’s Day, let’s talk about the wonderful and large selection of romance novels that are available today. I never used to read this genre, except of course for Harlequin romances back when my sister and I were tweens. But then the pandemic hit, and I was suddenly desperate for happy endings. Now there are so many different kinds of romances available. It doesn’t matter what you are into – there is a book or a series for you.

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From the Front Lines of NaNoWriMo

by Sharon Nagel on Nov 16, 2022

In case you were not paying attention, November is National Novel Writing Month, when writers all over the world attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in the 30 days of November. I have done this successfully a few times. It is an excellent way to jump start the writing process, as the whole point is to just write as much as you can, without editing or second-guessing yourself. That way, at the end of the month, you have the first draft of your novel, even though it is usually messy and awful.

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National Paperback Book Day

by Sharon Nagel on Jul 25, 2022

July 30th this year is National Paperback Book Day. I don’t know about you but this is something that I celebrate almost every day. I thought I would share a little bit about what is going on in the Romance section of the library.

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Father's Day

by Sharon Nagel on Jun 10, 2022

The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910. However, it was not until 1972 that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States. This year, Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 19. Here are some books, both fiction and nonfiction, that feature fathers.

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Some Recent Favorites

by Sharon Nagel on May 10, 2022

Every year, I like to choose a favorite book, although it is sometimes quite difficult to choose just one. It is starting to look like 2022 is going to be one of those years. During the pandemic, many authors had time on their hands, and it seems like almost everyone has a new book out in 2021 or 2022. Here of two of my favorites so far this year.

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Contemporary Irish Authors

by Sharon Nagel on Mar 21, 2022

It’s March, so that means the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. In honor of that, I wanted to mention some contemporary Irish authors that you may or may not be familiar with.

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I’m Looking for Something Good to Read

by Sharon Nagel on Dec 21, 2021

Nowadays, it is possible to learn about new books from a variety of sources – the New York Times, Twitter, Book Riot, the website of a favorite author, and your friendly booksellers at your local independent bookstore. Librarians can also be a useful resource to find about your next great read. Some of us, ok me, really love to do this. In the library world, recommending books is referred to as Reader’s Advisory, and we can even take classes in it at Library School.

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Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?

by Sharon Nagel on Nov 10, 2021

The children’s show Sesame Street premiered on public television stations on November 10, 1969. It takes place along a city street, featuring a diverse cast of humans and puppets. The show reached its 52nd season in 2021. It was the first television program of its kind to base its content and production values on laboratory and formative research.

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National Voter Registration Month

by Sharon Nagel on Sep 16, 2021

September is here, and that means it is National Voter Registration Month. This observance was established in 2002 by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) to encourage participation and increase awareness of the voter registration process. It’s an opportunity to remind people to get registered or check their registration status. Whether you are a new voter just turning 18, a new citizen to the United States, or even a formerly apathetic person with a newfound interest in politics, the library has many sources to help you understand the voting process.

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We LOVE our Wisconsin Authors

by Sharon Nagel on Jul 19, 2021

One of the projects that I have been working on at the library is a spreadsheet of all of the Wisconsin authors that we have in our collection. I am marking the physical books with a sticker that says Wisconsin Author. We are by no means representing all of the authors in the world that have a Wisconsin connection, but just that ones that we have in our collection at the Whitefish Bay Public Library. Much of the initial research was done by Samantha Spottek, who was one of our librarians, but has taken another job up north. I have added to her list and verified the residence or connection of these writers to our state.

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Mental Health Awareness Month

by Sharon Nagel on May 22, 2021

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. In honor of that, I am going to recommend some Young Adult novels that deal with certain mental illnesses. Often when teens are struggling with something, it helps to know that others are experiencing the same thing. Fiction is perfect for promoting empathy and understanding. If a young adult does not feel comfortable asking questions or seeking professional help, a book about the topic can be a good start.

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A Trio of Local Authors

by Sharon Nagel on Mar 23, 2021

Wisconsin is home to many talented writers, three of whom have books out right now. Some are on the New York Times bestsellers list. They are Lauren Fox, Anuradha D. Rajurkar, and Christina Clancy. The first two live in Shorewood, and Clancy grew up in Milwaukee and currently resides in Madison.

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Pandemic Reading

by Sharon Nagel on Nov 10, 2020

One of the few bright spots of the pandemic is that I have more time to read. It also helps that I graduated from grad school in May and no longer have studying to do or papers to write. According to my Goodreads account where I keep track of the books I read, I have read 80 books in 2020. I thought I would mention a few of the ones that I thought really stood out. They are listed in the order in which I read them.

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Mystery Book Club

by Sharon Nagel on Nov 15, 2019

It appears that winter is upon us even at this early pre-Thanksgiving date. It’s cold, snowy, and dark, and I want to put on my fuzziest pajamas and not leave the house until May. This is not a good state of affairs. Winters in Wisconsin are too long to give in completely. It’s important to keep active, get out of the house, and see other people. One way to do this is to check out the free programs and activities that we offer at the library.

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NaNoWriMo- National Novel Writing Month

by Sharon Nagel on Sep 19, 2019

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It is an annual contest that began in 1999 to write a 50,000 word novel in the thirty days of November. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world undertake this challenge. The idea is just to write, not to edit or second guess yourself, but just to write. It is a fantastic way to jumpstart the writing process and get the words on the page, 50,000 words to be exact.

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The Library Book

by Sharon Nagel on Jul 26, 2019

The Library Book by Susan Orlean came out last year and is primarily about a terrible fire that destroyed a large part of the Los Angeles Central Library on April 28, 1986. If you lived in another part of the country at that time, you might not have not heard about it as the news was eclipsed by Chernobyl. Many papers did not mention the fire until a few days later, and then not on the front page.

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The Summer of Middlemarch

by Sharon Nagel on Jun 11, 2019

For me the summer means more time to read, and specifically, if the weather is decent, more time to listen to audiobooks. I love to listen to audiobooks when I walk, either running errands or just walking by the lake. It seems that many people are now listening to podcasts while they commute to work, but I haven’t made that leap. I often choose audiobooks that I don’t think I will be able to read in the traditional manner. A few years ago, I listened to War and Peace in its entirety while I walked to work. This summer, I have chosen Middlemarch. This is a book I have always wanted to read, but never have. One of my favorite customers at the bookstore where I used to work told me that it was her favorite book ever, and I often wished that I could have discussed it with her.

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Spring and Summer Reading

by Sharon Nagel on Apr 15, 2019

There is only about a month left in the spring semester at UWM, and that means that soon I will be free from academic responsibilities for the summer. I haven’t been this excited about a summer off since I was a kid. For some people, summer means family vacations, camping, and all kinds of outdoor activities. For me, it means more time to read! Here are some of the titles coming out this summer that I am excited about.

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Mystery Book Club

by Sharon Nagel on Feb 24, 2019

I will be hosting a new mystery book club on Thursday evenings starting on March 7, at 7 pm. I have chosen the first three mysteries as a jumping off point. It is my hope that if we have regular attendees, then we can vote on which titles we would like to read. Here are some other mysteries that I have read and enjoyed, and some that I would like to explore.

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World War II: Riveting Fiction and Nonfiction about the Second Great World War

by Sharon Nagel on Dec 17, 2018

The display in front of the reference desk on the adult side is a perennial favorite - World War II. Both fiction stories and nonfiction books about the Second World are always popular. I like historical fiction myself, and I chose one of my favorite novels of all time - The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy.

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Currently on my To-Read Pile

by Sharon Nagel on Oct 17, 2018

I have started my first semester in Graduate School studying Library and Information Sciences. Much to my dismay, I have no time for recreational reading. This is a huge adjustment for me. In order to cope, I have compiled a stack of book that I am looking forwarding to reading once the semester ends. Many of them are available at the library now, so they might be of interest to you.

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Last Chance for Big Summer Reads

by Sharon Nagel on Aug 16, 2018

As the summer winds down, I realized that one of my favorite things in the Youth Services department is when a family comes in before a vacation, and each kid leaves with a teetering stack of books, having been instructed by their parents to get enough for a week or 10 days. It is clear that they are headed to some idyllic spot with no Internet, and the family will have to entertain themselves without screens or devices. As adults, we rarely have this kind of time to devote to reading, and it really is a shame that we get distracted by work, household chores and Netflix. What would you choose to read if you had an uninterrupted week to do so?

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Is Listening to Audiobooks Really Considered Reading?

by Sharon Nagel on Jul 16, 2018

I don’t know why this continues to be an argument among book folk. There seem to be two sides to this argument. Those of us who adore audiobooks and listen to them whenever we can, most definitely consider them to be reading, and the other side who does not.

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Summer Reads

by Sharon Nagel on Jun 11, 2018

Now is the time of year when all of the summer reading lists appear, so we will supply a short list of fun summer reads that you can find here at the Whitefish Bay Public Library or in the Library System.

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