Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Wowbray: Loving My Library

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No offense to my human email contacts, but Wowbray from the Hutchinson Public Library is probably my favorite Wednesday in-box entry.

Wowbray gives thumbnail glimpses of new books coming to the Hutch library and gives me a chance to put them "on hold." It's a good day when a favorite author has a new book coming to the library.

My first "click" is always "Mysteries and Thrillers." After I've perused and clicked my way through that list, I go to "Literature and Fiction." I usually take a quick glance at "Romance," though unless it's a go-to author in that genre, I usually don't do a lot of reserves.

All is well until I get that dreaded message: "You have reached the maximum number of hold requests." It happens after a patron has 20 books reserved. And I understand the rational. But I have to force myself not to go and get my husband's card to "bypass" the system. (For the record, I do not do that!)

Yes, I am that big of a nerd. And proud of it!

As I wrote earlier this year, I decided to sign up for two book challenges. I've been done for awhile, but just hadn't written the blog post yet. I decided I wouldn't overlap any of the selections, so I read different books for each of the challenges.

I don't need a contest to "make" me read. Books have been part of the daily diet for years.
My sister, Lisa, and I share some reading time
With only five books on the Nora Larabee Memorial Library adult reading program in Stafford, I finished it first. I spent my $5 Stafford Chamber Buck prize long ago, but here's my list:
  • Book about Kansas: What Kansas Means to Me edited by Thomas Fox Averill
  • Mystery: Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda 
  • Western: Come Spring by Charlotte Hinger
  • Biography: Prairie Rhythms: The Life and Poetry of May Williams Ward by Lana Wirt Myers
  • Other: Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber 
The Wichita Eagle/Wichita Public Library's #ReadICT list had 12 different categories. My final book was one published in my birth year. It was probably the toughest category for me - even harder than the graphic novel I was dreading before I began the journey.
For one thing, I decided I wasn't going to plod my way through anything I didn't like. Life is too short, and there are too many good books to waste my time. I chose Ed McBain's The Con Man published in 1957.  The Hutchinson Public Library had it on its shelves - another plus. OK, they didn't really have the original book from 1957 but a re-published version. It is 60 years old, you know!

I have read McBain before, so I figured I'd like this early entry in his 87th Precinct series. I was struck by how much the world has changed in regards to race and women. Characters called people from phone booths, not cell phones. A secretary had a "good-paying job" at $90 a week. Detective The victims had small heart tattoos, and Detective Steve Carella makes a point that not many women visit tattoo parlors. My, how times have changed!
Times may have changed, but my love of books has not. I try to have a book with me if there's any chance I may have a few minutes to read. If I'm along for the ride at the golf course, so is a book. (I do watch and take photos, too. Really.)
Since January 1, I've read 41 books (besides the Bible). I decided at the outset that I would read my challenge books, but I would also read what I wanted to along the way. If my name came to the top of the reserve list for a new Jeffrey Deaver book, for example, and I'd already read my mystery, that was OK. I read it anyway.
If you like mysteries and thrillers with lots of twists and turns, I recommend this book!
The reading challenge nudged me out of my comfort zone. Until the #ReadICT challenge, I would never have looked at the "graphic novel and comic book" category on Wowbray. My parents weren't fans of comic books when I was young, though they never censored anything I wanted to read. Still, I think I still must have a subconscious bias against comic books. And I'm not a super-hero fan either, which seems to be a prevalent theme for graphic novels.
It took several tries, but I ended up making it through The Flying Couch by Amy Kurzweil. It was about three generations of Jewish women, a young Jewish artist (who wrote and illustrated the book), her psychologist mother and her grandmother, a World War II survivor who escaped from the Warsaw Ghetto by disguising herself as a gentile.

Another graphic novel I brought home was How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You. Randy read it; I did not, even though I'm convinced that Randy's favorite feline, Big Cat, gives me the evil eye.
I don't read many biographies, but the challenge led me to a book about a Kansas poet who lived in a neighboring county nearly 100 years ago, Prairie Rhythms: The Life and Poetry of May Williams Ward. I ended up using one of her poems to go with some of my photos for my Kansas Day blog post.
Doing more reading than fishing is not unusual for me!

One fringe benefit of the #ReadICT challenge was joining its Facebook page. Other readers post what they're reading, and I've gotten some ideas to put on my "to-be-read list" from their suggestions.

The Stafford library is starting a summer reading program for adults next month. Sign me up!


  1. Congratulations. I still don't know how you find the time to read as much as you do.

    1. Thanks, Helen. I'm a fairly fast reader, which helps, though as I get older, I'm not sure I'm retaining as much as I used to. However, if it makes me happy, I guess it's serving its purpose anyway.

  2. What a wonderful reading adventure. I hope you enjoy the adult summer reading program just as much.

    My husband jokingly calls me the read-a-holic. I'm more often than not reading murder mysteries so I tell him to be careful. I'm taking notes!

    Thanks for posting your reading results. I've added a couple of titles to my "to read" list.

    1. I am among those who proudly wear the title "readaholic!" I know there are plenty of kindred souls out there who love books as much as we do. I always say that reading keeps me sane.