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Do you have a bajillion questions about the workforce that are burning to be answered but you’re unsure of reliable sources to find said answers?

Girl biting laptop

No, eating your laptop will not give you the answers you seek. (Image: graphicstock)

Fret no more! is an advice blog written by Allison Green. She gives amazing advice regarding job searching, interacting with coworkers, and more! The comment community is very active and every Friday there are open threads where people can ask fellow commenters for advice as well. Ask a Manager is one of the few sites where the general internet rule “don’t read the comments” does not apply.

Click here to see all the different categories she answers. (So far this is one of my favorite stories published.)

You may find it enlightening! I know I do!

Genre Spotlight: Steampunk


When you hear the word “Steampunk,” you probably think of gears and goggles and tiny hats. Or, maybe you think: “Steam-huh? What even are you saying to me?”

If you’re NOT familiar with steampunk, keep reading. If you ARE familiar with steampunk, keep reading.

Steampunk does involve quite a lot of gears and goggles and tiny hats, but it is so much more than that. It’s an alternate version of history.

Steampunk generally focuses on the 19th century – frequently Victorian England, but there are sub-genres that focus on the American Wild West, Asian societies, and others. Why the 19th century?  The 1800s were a time of expansion, exploration, enlightenment and science. Steampunk takes the inquisitive, innovative spirit of the period and gives it more to play with. It asks the question: what if 19th century scientists had used the technology they had to create modern inventions like robots, airplanes, and telephones? Thus, you see things like clockwork automatons, steam-powered airships, and“etherographic” communicators.

Also, there are frequently vampires and werewolves and ghosts.  And sometimes octopi.  Essentially, the genre takes the culture of the Steam Age and “punks” it with a healthy dose of science fiction and/or fantasy.

Here are a few Steampunk titles to get you started:

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories
Edited by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant
Place a hold.

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories

Etiquette and Espionage
By Gail Carriger
Place a hold.

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)

The Transatlantic Conspiracy
By G. D. Falksen
Place a hold.

The Transatlantic Conspiracy

The Dark Unwinding
By Sharon Cameron
Place a hold.

The Dark Unwinding (The Dark Unwinding, #1)

The Girl in the Steel Corset
By Kady Cross
Place a hold.

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles, #1)

And, since I had trouble narrowing down my list, here are a bunch more:

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
The Grace of Kings by Ken liu
The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade
A Natural History of Dragons: a Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
Prudence by Gail Carriger
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
Girl Genius by Phil Foglio
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

If you devour all these and find you’re hungry for more, just stop by the Vortex.  We love to recommend books!




Blizzard’s Overwatch is a special type of FPS (First Person Shooter) game for multiple reasons! But the one I’m going to mention probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. What I love about it is that you don’t need to actually play it to be a fan of it (like me! I don’t play it or own it but I still think it’s super nifty and cool!)!


Now, how are you able to enjoy it without playing it? That doesn’t make sense, Ms. Ashe!

First, there’s a small 6 minute cinematic trailer Blizzard put out when advertising the game.

Then there’s animated shorts where you can learn about the characters on YouTube! Oddly, there’s no actual canon story within the game itself. Blizzard instead chose to tell the game’s story through animated shorts they released over time instead!

All the shorts can be found at the official Overwatch Channel. So far there have been five released:

I believe my favorites so far are “Recall” and “The Last Bastion.” Be prepared, they will make you feel things. Many, many feels. Watch with care!

Like what you see? We also have copies of Overwatch for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One available at the library!


Book Review – American Born Chinese

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
Place a hold here!

American Born ChineseAmerican Born Chinese is a graphic novel that tells three seemingly disconnected tales.

Monkey is not satisfied with being a mere simian. He is the king of his mountain, darn it! He conquers all the various forms of kung fu but, in the end, learns that being a monkey might not be so bad.

Chin-Kee is the oh-so-racist stereotype of Chinese culture often seen in the media. (He reminds me a lot of Long Duck Dong from the 1980s movie, 16 Candles.) He gets into one awkward social situation after another – much to the embarrassment of his blond, Caucasian cousin, Danny.

Jin is a Chinese-American boy who yearns to fit in at his nearly all-white school. With a lack of friends and an over-abundance of bullies, he struggles to find a balance between the many aspects of who he is.

I love this book. It does a phenomenal job of making the reader laugh while forcing them to question what they think they know about culture and the experiences of first-generation immigrants. The book weaves together mythology, satire, and realistic fiction to create a powerful story about self-acceptance and strength.

Also by Gene Luen Yang:

Animal Crackers | The Eternal Smile: Three Stories | The Shadow Hero | Boxers | Saints

Book Recommendation: Cinder

CinderGenre: Fantasy / Action

First Released: 2012

Part of a Series?: Yes
Book 1: Cinder
Book 2: Scarlet
Book 3: Cress
Book 3.5: Fairest
Book 4: Winter
Book 4.5: Stars Above


“As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.”

Where can I find it in the library?

This will be on the second floor of the library in the Vortex. Additional copies can also be found in the Children’s Department.

Call Number


I loved, loved, *loved* Cinder and all of the other books in the series (The Lunar Chronicles). It was such a fun twist on an old beloved story that we all know (Cinderella)! I love the concept of it being in the future, even more so the concept that our “Cinderella” was a cyborg. The characters were interesting and likeable (Iko was the best, hands down) and kept me wanting more. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you may even throw the book at the wall, but you’ll love it anyway.

Check it out today!

Vortex Open House

Aigh!  School starts back up in two days!  Are you ready?  Did you finish your summer reading packet?  Do you know where your classes will be?  Do you have all your pens and protractors in the backpack and ready to go?  Did you go on all the amazing summer adventures and road trips that you’d planned on?

Most importantly, do you know where the Vortex is?

Whether you’re a brand-new sixth grader or a high-schooler that’s been hanging out in the Vortex for years, you might not be aware of all the phenomenal services and programs the Vortex has to offer.

So…. we’re offering a series of Open Houses.  Come in to the Vortex on Monday, August 22; Thursday, August 25; Monday, August 29; OR Thursday, September 1 to get an idea of what the Vortex is all about!  Each Open House runs from 2:00-8:00 p.m.  You may bring your parents/guardians along if you wish.

2016 JUNE_AUG Vortex Open Houses


Anime Recommendation: Bananya!

In case you missed Anime Night on Monday Aug. 8th, for part of it, we showed the anime Bananya. It is the cutest thing ever! There are 6 episodes so far and they are three minute little shorts about cats that live inside bananas. Yes, it is exactly as saccharine and adorable as it sounds. Go watch right meow!


If you’re having a bad day (or even if you’re not), it’ll perk you right up! It’s available to watch for free on Crunchyroll!

And remember, Anime Night does still meet once a month! Come to see more stuff you haven’t seen before! The next meeting is Sept 12th at 5 P.M.!