It has been a year of many unknowns but one thing was constant for the volunteers of HCPL's blog squad; get information out to our communities. We started with some new members at different times of the year but October was the month that a big group of volunteers joined and really dug in to spread any and all kinds of our most loved information out for everyone to see. We have written and researched and learned so much in that time and we haven't stopped. A few of our bloggers wanted to revisit some old blogs that we worked on and give you more information about the subjects, or what we came across about those subjects in the year after we published them. Keep scrolling to take a trip back in time and perhaps learn something new.
BLOGGER ELIZABETH: "Carrying the torch for all the amazing women in the music industry has ended up being something of a personal crusade for me, and being able to blog about it for HCPL back in March for Women's History Month was a real delight. The artists I got to highlight--Kate Bush, Sade, and Buffy Sainte-Marie--are some of my favorites ever, but they do show off my personal biases for the music of the twentieth century. I wanted to pop back in and remind everyone that women are still making incredible music right now, and some of my very favorite releases of the year so far have been from female artists. Lingua Ignota continued churning out her terrifying blend of opera, folk, and metal on the crushing Sinner Get Ready; Japanese Breakfast's Jubilee was the injection of hope we all needed from our speakers this year; and Laura Mvula's album Pink Noise delivered my 80s-inspired synthpop fix. All of this is to say that women are making amazing music all the time, and we have plenty of it available through our Freegal collection. You might just need to do some digging outside the Spotify algorithm or the Hot 100 to find it. Happy listening!"
BLOGGER CRYSTAL: "This was one of my first blogs ever and I did not spend nearly enough time on it. There are so many books on living with chronic pain that I could make a collection out of them but what I really needed to do was also include paragraphs about how it affects your mental health and all the great resources we have on that. America's mental health crisis, for one, goes into great detail about how 1 in 5 Americans are living with mental health and a majority of them are not getting the proper help for it. Collateral Damage: The Mental Health of The Pandemic is also a great read that came out this year and gives great information on why you are probably feeling the way you do under our nations' current circumstances. If you are only interested in newer publications CLICK HERE. If you want a variety of them CLICK HERE. Chronic pain and your mental health go hand in hand and I definitely could have given the subject the care it really needed. Just goes to show you some of the minor ways that actually living with it can affect your daily living and thinking."
BLOGGER ERIN: Birds sang and bunnies hopped across the lawn as
Erin P Cordelia Dobson entered the branch library in the idyllic suburb of Kingwood. Already, Cordelia’s coworkers were setting up for the annual tea party, setting out cups and saucers. No sooner had she gathered a box of paper flowers to help than they heard the door slam and the librarians looked up to see Gerald Thorn standing in the lobby. Gerald was the only unattractive person in town. Of course, Cordelia knew everyone in town.
“Is it true that you are hosting a tea party today?” the man roared.
“Yes?” one of the librarians said.
“Children shouldn’t be drinking tea.” Gerald sniffed. "It distracts them from fishing." He looked around the room “Libraries are a waste of space. Who needs books. We should convert this into a Bass Pro Shop.”
Cordelia’s mouth fell open. She stared at Gerald. He was always unpleasant but today he had gone too far!
Something seemed wrong though. Cordelia looked down at the paper flower using three colors of card stock that she had three hundred of in the box and it struck her. This wasn’t the real Kingwood Branch Library. Somehow she’d woken up in a cozy mystery.
"Most of my blog posts are about children’s books or art books. My cozy mystery blog was a departure, but it is the post I am proudest of. When I want to relax (and read a book for grownups) these are my go to books. I chose library mysteries but whatever your hobby or interest you can probably find some mysteries for you - book shops, baked goods, pancakes, knitting, knitting but with ghosts. You can find more of them on our overdrive collection https://hcpl.overdrive.com/collection/1102310 "
BLOGGER DARCY: "I have an absolute passion for making amigurumi; not just because they are cute - unlike a sweater, they always fit perfectly! Ravelry is usually the first stop for most people who knit and crochet because you can not only find patterns, you can can also see what materials are needed, the level of difficulty, the results and ratings of other creators, etc. I thought the best approach was to walk through my search process for a specific project. It was the first time I made a video for a blog post but demonstrating how to use Ravelry's search functions to discover our fantastic craft book collection and library services seemed more engaging.
"By the way, both my friend and her baby loved the gift!"
BLOGGER JENNIFER: Back in April of 2021, I recommended some of my favorite Boys Love books at the time. What you didn't know was it took me a whole month to shorten down that list so that I wasn't recommending 2000 books in one go. I wanted to take the time to shed a spotlight on some of my more recent favorites with the class. One of these is not technically Boys Love as the characters are not teens, but the wholesome feeling is just the same.
The House in the Cerulean Sea - This book was chosen as the Gulf Coast Reads book for a reason. The story has a strong message of not putting labels on people and treating everyone, no matter who they are or what they look like, with decency. The children are the best part of the book, as they are all so funny and adorable, and I can't get enough of them! However, Linus finding love, not only in the children but in their caretaker, is such a reward by the end that you will want to group hug every single character.
What if it's us? - I loved this book so much, I made a whole video about it. I listened to the audiobook for this one and the voice acting in the audiobook really brings the characters and the story to life. Arthur's voice actor is absolutely amazing and I could listen to him talk all day long. The story involves a summer romance and how relationships, no matter how long or short, have the power to change you.
Heartstopper - I know this one was already on my last list but that is how much I will go down with this ship! Heartstopper is one of the most moving, poignant, and beautiful stories in existence. It has thawed even the coldest reader's heart and I need everyone to stop what they are doing this instant and go read all 3 volumes that are currently out right now! You will not regret it.
If you've been reading our blogs this past year, do you have any favorites? Is there anything you'd like to see for the coming year? Comment below or on our Facebook to leave feedback on this, or any, blog.