My Year in Books

Books Read: 256                             Pages Read: 82,469
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find THem                                 The Wise Man’s Fear
by J.K. Rowling                                                                            by Patrick Rothfuss
59 pages                                                                                         994 pages

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling                                                      The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

1,078,706 people also read                                           22 people also read
Brave New World                                                                       The Short Death of Phineas Bean
by Aldous Huxley                                                              by Daniel A. Miller

I started to list all of the books I’d read this year, but 256 is a lot of books and this post was getting SUPER long. So I’ll just share some of my favorites from the year. All of them are available through the library – either as books, eBooks, eAudiobooks, or on Playaway.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SáenzDumplin' by Julie   MurphyDaughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini TaylorAll American Boys by Jason ReynoldsFans of the Impossible Life by Kate ScelsaSlasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve TucholkeShadowshaper by Daniel José OlderAfterworlds by Scott WesterfeldBone Gap by Laura RubyThe Screaming Staircase by Jonathan StroudI'll Give You the Sun by Jandy NelsonBirthmarked by Caragh M. O'BrienSoundless by Richelle MeadSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliThe Glittering Court by Richelle MeadWrapped by Jennifer BradburyThrough the Woods by Emily CarrollKill the Boy Band by Goldy MoldavskyStranger by Rachel Manija BrownThe Way I Used to Be by Amber   SmithBefore I Fall by Lauren OliverBoy 21 by Matthew QuickA Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasThe Dead House by Dawn KurtagichThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonFar Far Away by Tom McNealThe Boy in the Black Suit by Jason ReynoldsThe Hunchback Assignments by Arthur SladeAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare BlakeGeorge by Alex GinoThe Hidden Oracle by Rick RiordanThe Minister's Daughter by Julie HearnA Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia GrayAmerican Born Chinese by Gene Luen YangThe Transatlantic Conspiracy by G.D. FalksenFirstlife by Gena ShowalterThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie100 Sideways Miles by Andrew  SmithWe All Looked Up by Tommy WallachHowl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne JonesEgg & Spoon by Gregory MaguireHow It Went Down by Kekla MagoonZac and Mia by A.J. BettsChallenger Deep by Neal ShustermanVivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie CoyleThree Dark Crowns by Kendare BlakeGuy in Real Life by Steve BrezenoffA Path Begins by J.A. WhiteSpellcaster by Claudia GrayTell Me Something Real by Calla DevlinReal Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Helene BoudreauSymptoms of Being Human by Jeff GarvinThe Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGeeThe New Order by Chris WeitzRotters by Daniel KrausA Corner of White by Jaclyn MoriartyFirebug by Lish McBrideSuicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn WeingartenThe Cure for Dreaming by Cat WintersShadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo




Favorite Musician: Miyavi

Out of all the artists I listen to, I love Miyavi the best!


He’s a Japanese rock musician and I’ve been listening to him for nearly a decade now. Some of you, if you’ve seen the movie, Unbroken, may already recognize him. He played the part of Watanabe.

I’ve been able to see him in concert once at the House of Blues in Chicago and it was a night I’ll never forget. It was the most hysterical concert I’ve ever been to. In between songs he entertained us with jokes and told us stories of his journey across the U.S.

He was also amazingly sweet. When someone fell, he stopped playing and made people move back and asked if the person was okay before he continued playing!

I can’t wait until he comes back to see him again!

When he was younger, I adored his androgynous looks but, once he became a father (he has two precious daughters), he’s toned down his fashion style but his music is still as amazing as ever. He even has an album in English – his latest album, Firebird.


Though I will forever mourn his rainbow hair.

Below are some of my favorite songs by him. (They are a lot of his older songs, but amazing nonetheless):


New Year, New Toys

Image result for stack of ebooksAnyone who got a new phone, iPad, eReader or tablet for the holidays, raise your hand. Now, put your hand down; I can’t see you through the screen.

If you have such a device, you’re probably searching for neat apps with which to fill it! Did you know that you can stream movies, TV shows and music and check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, eGraphic novels, and even digital magazines without even stepping foot in the library? You have access to literally hundreds of thousands of different digital materials, and all you need is a library card.

Image result for overdrive logo appOne of my favorite digital services is called Overdrive. I think it’s the easiest to use and is especially good if you haven’t checked out digital content before. There are other apps to use for movies, music, shows and magazines, but Overdrive is the best place to start for eBooks and eAudiobooks. The app is a free download through your app store of choice. The logo looks like this—>

Once you download the app, it will ask you basic info like what library you use, your library card number, your PIN and an email address so it can email you to let you know when holds are available. Once you enter that, it will take you to our Overdrive catalog. You can search by title, author or keyword. You can also do an advanced search to look for a particular genre, age level or format (eBook or eAudiobook), search for books that were recently added to the collection, have won awards or even limit your search to only materials that are available now. Or if you want to read something but don’t really know what, you can always just browse.  

overdrive  cap.png

Once you select a title, you can visit your loans page to see everything you currently have checked out or your holds shelf to see what you have on hold. The books will stay on your loans shelf for 2 weeks. (You can change this to a 3-week checkout by visiting the Overdrive settings.) When they’re due, they’ll just disappear off your device – no late fees!

If an eBook is checked out to another patron, you can place a hold on it, just like a regular book. You will get an email from Pinnacle Library Cooperative when your book is ready to be downloaded.

Downloaded? Yes, if you want. You can choose to download the material to your device so that you can access it while you’re offline or you can choose to read it online through the Overdrive website. I like to download the file so that I can read my books on the train or wherever I’m going and not have to worry about wifi.

Image result for e-reader books

The app is pretty self-explanatory, but here are a couple of tips:

  • If you are using a Kindle device, make sure you download your books as Kindle books. If you DO NOT have a Kindle app on your Android or iOS device, make sure to download as an .epub file.  
  • If you’re listening to an eAudiobook, you can tap the little timer-looking circle just above the chapter name to change the speed (slower or faster) of the audiobook.
  • When the app opens, it will take you to your Bookshelf where all of your downloaded materials are. If you want to see your account or the catalog, tap the rectangle that says “Add a title.” This will take you to the Pinnacle home page. If you tap the books icon, you can view your loans, holds and other account information.

If you have any questions about Overdrive or any of Fountaindale’s digital services, you are always welcome to call, email or stop in to ask!

Happy Downloading!



Book Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

18584855Genre: Fantasy / Fairy Tale Retelling

First Released: 2016

Part of a Series?: No


“In this prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Cath would rather open a bakery and marry for love than accept a proposal from the King of Hearts, especially after meeting the handsome and mysterious court jester.”

Where can I find it in the library?

This will be on the second floor of the library in the Vortex.

Call Number

Spoiler Free Commentary:

Heartless is a story about how the Queen of Hearts became so merciless and filled with hate. While I really enjoyed this one, I feel it just can’t possibly compare to the Lunar Chronicles. It takes a bit for the story to get moving and once it does, it feels as if it ends far too short. With a bit more editing and maybe some sections, what was a decent book could have became great!

If you want to get a feel for Marissa Meyer’s writing, go check out her Lunar Chronicles! They’re great!

They Speak in Rhythm.

Chicago’s very own Oba William King is an award-winning storyteller, author, poet, actor and performance artist. He and his performance ensemble bring legends and folktales from many cultures to life through dynamic spoken word, dance, drumming and song.

Hear, feel and live the magic with the Poetic Storyteller and his renowned troupe of performers on Monday, January 23 from 4 to 5 p.m. For more information, check out Oba’s website, our event calendar or call the Vortex at 630.685.4199.


See you there!