National Library Week 2016

nlw-thunderclap3.png

We all know the importance of libraries and its impact it’s had on the world  and in many lives. This week (April 10-16) is National Library Week! It’s sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and honors the many libraries in the nation. This year the theme is Libraries Transform. This is a great time to be reminded of the influential work both libraries and librarians have had in our world. Let’s promote and encourage the use of libraries wherever you are. I know I’m thankful for everything the library has offered me as it has been my sanctuary many times. My love of books has definitely come from being at the library often. To read more about National Library Week and find out what things you can do to promote the library, go here. Keep reading and don’t forget to support your local library!

What and where is your favorite library?

Happy Reading!

Book Review: The Vegetarian-Han Kang

27191166

There’s nothing wrong with keeping quiet; after all, hadn’t women traditionally been expected to be demure and restrained?

This mentality that women are meant to be seen and not heard is often portrayed in our society. Women continue to push for freedom of mind, body, speech. While we fight for a chance to be released form societal pressure, that barrier that is wedged between constantly pushes us back. Although in our modern world women publicly  have a strong voice, it is in the quiet moments that the world doesn’t see where women often struggle. Whether through marriage or family, women continue to fight through the quiet storm that goes unseen to the public eye. Han Kang  a famous South Korean novelist has written a barring story of a woman who struggles with her freedom of choice. When Yeong-hye decides to become a vegetarian, everyone seems to want to have a say in her dietary needs except her. The Vegetarian is nominated for the Man Booker Prize International 2016. Han Kang comes from a family of novelists as her father was a writer as well. As the The Vegetarian is on the long list for the Man Booker, I’m hoping it pulls its weight and makes it to the short list which will be revealed later in the month.

People are always telling me to eat…I don’t like eating; they force me….I really don’t like them…please let me out. I don’t like being here.

The story on the surface is quite simple: one day a women, Yeong-hye, decides to become a vegetarian due to a dream she has. Her family reacts to her decision in a not so accepting way and eventually forces her to eat meat in a rather violent and torturous way. Young-hye is described as simple and un-ornamented . Neither pretty or ugly and “jaundiced, sickly-looking skin.” The muted nature of Yeong-hye makes her husband think she is easily maneuverable. However Yeong-hye’s  rebellion of all things that hold her back come out in her loudest voice-refusing to eat meat.In a culture where meat is an essential part of life, her family and husband cannot understand her refusal. Eventually Yeong-Hye is driven to point of no return, trapped in a world that doesn’t allow her to breathe. This novel is so much more than about being a vegetarian. Kang strikes at problematic issues occurring not only in South Korea, but all over the world for women. This book is a masterpiece that needs unfolding slowly.

I need to water my body. I don’t need this kind of food, sister. I need water.

Han Kang did it. She created a timeless and important piece of art, that will go in my personal feminist literary cannon. This a book you can teach from, as there are so many literary device embedded in The Vegetarian. The book is short (183 pages), but it takes a long while to digest and will sit in your mind indefinitely. Living in South Korea myself, I am able to see some of the culture differences between the West and East. However, I think Han Kang stretches the line with this one, and reaches over and across cultures to say something important about women. The pacing of the novel is neither slow or fast, but captivates you in a way that makes you stick to turning pages until you are finished. The idea of control and using food to control our bodies in a manipulative way is illuminated by Kang. Yeong-hye feel restricted by almost everything in her life, and so she takes the one thing she can control physically, and that is eating. I could write pages upon pages about this book, but I’ll spare you the length. I’ve given this novel five stars on Goodreads and would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who has ears to listen. Inspiring and profound.

What I’m Listening To-A Podcast Haul

Every morning before I get ready to go to work, I listen to a podcast; sometimes more than one depending on the length. I am a podcast feign, as I love to listen to them just about anytime. My podcasts range from bookish podcasts, news, interviews, and stories. There is definitely a podcast to fit my every mood. If you are new at podcasting or just don’t know what to listen to, I created a list to help you. Here are some of my recommendations and a brief description.

  1. NPR News

unnamed.png

This gets me started in the morning as to what is going on in the world. I like it because it’s only about 5 minutes long and gives  debriefing on politics, in country, and global issues. Since I live in South Korea and feel a bit removed from my home country, it’s nice to stay connected by listening to this podcast. I have found out many major current world conflicts through NPR news.

2. Your Motivational High 5

600x600bb

I also listen to this one every day in the morning. It’s short (5 minutes) and is great motivation to get your day started.  It’s positive affirmation on how to live a more meaningful life. I try to start my day on a positive note, so this is a great morning fix.

3. The Friend Zone

tfz

Ah, this is my Thursday refresher. Hosted by Assante, Fran, and Dustin they provide a wellness podcast but also incorporate pop culture. I love the topics they discuss and being a wellness junkie myself, it’s great to know more about things we can do to protect our mind, body, and spirit. Their perspectives are all different, but that’s what makes it great!

4. My Meditation Station

Meditation-Station-Podcast

This is another positive affirmation podcast, but it is more meditation based. The woman’s voice is amazingly soothing and I always listen to it at night as I lay in bed. I never finish it though because it knocks me right out! If you want to some good sleep, I suggest downloading this one.

5. Book Riot

O

This one is my favorite book podcast. It gives you insight into what is going on in the book world and it’s all things current events (well bookish current events). Jeff and Rebecca highlight some great topics and I always feel abreast on what is going literary wise. They also give good book recommendations.

6. Serial

Serial-2

This one is a popular one.  It’s a gripping series that highlights one popular story/investigation a season. Sarah Koenig is the host and producer and really digs in into the interviews. It’s now season two and it continues to be at the top of the iTunes audio chart. To explain the series would be a lugubrious task, so I’ll just say that once you start the podcast, you’ll be hooked.

7. Book on the Nightstand

podcastlogo1400x1400

This is another great podcast about current events happening in the book world. The hosts both work in book publishing so they often have insight to books that aren’t released yet. I find many books I read tend to come from the recommendations of this podcast.

8. The Read

avatars-000051152214-37az46-t500x500

This one is by far my favorite! Fridays mornings are dedicated to listening to The Read. It’s all things pop culture from the black perspective (thank God for that). Kid Fury and Crissle are hilarious and will definitely bring the petty and verbal smackdown to whatever or whomever. It’s not all about the drama though; they have a segment called Black Excellence which highlights amazing things people of color are doing in the world. This is one podcast you definitely don’t want to miss.

9. Another Round

avatars-000177536571-kr95uh-t500x500

I love Another Round for many reasons. One being that the hosts (Heben and Tracy) are educated black women who get to interview some amazing and influential people from all over. From the backbone of Buzzfeed, Heben and Tracy bring comedy and a little liquor to the scene, and make the whole podcast a great hang out time. While many of their interviews are lighthearted and fun, there are some that are quite serious in tone. Either way Heben and Tracy know how to get a party started!

10. Grammar Girl

twitter

This one is quite simple. It’s a podcast about grammar, punctuation, usage, and new developments in the English language. The host Mignon Fogarty does a great job in providing quick info on different grammatical usages in the English language. It’s fun and educational, and keeps me on top of my grammar game.

These are the podcasts I mostly listen to, and hopefully you can too. What is your favorite podcast? Do you have any recommendations?

Happy Reading!

School Library Month

whole-library-view

It’s school  library month everyone! April has many bookish events to celebrate reading in various platforms. This whole month is used to honor and celebrate the impact that our school libraries has had on not only ourselves but our children and future children to come. Originally started in 1983, it was a way to promote reading and highlight the influences the library and librarians have on our education. This year the 2016 theme is School Libraries Transform Learning. I encourage everyone to get involved in your local school library or just thank someone who works in the school library. School librarians do a wonderful job servicing our community. Read more about school library month here.

What are some of your childhood school library memories?

Happy reading!