Readers’ Place

Readings on Sustainability

One of the ways in which we can help our overburdened planet is by integrating sustainable practices into our lives. Sustainability is “the physical development and institutional operating practices that meet the needs of present users without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, particularly with regard to use and waste of natural resources. Sustainability presumes that resources are finite, and should be used conservatively and wisely with a view to long-term priorities and consequences of the ways in which resources are used.”

Sustainability made simple by Rosaly Byrd, 2017   338.927 BYR

After an introduction to sustainability and a rundown of the big issues, Byrd offers a number of relatively easy to implement ways to lessen our carbon footprint, organized by space: where in the house, at school or work, at holidays and parties, and traveling.

A $500 house in Detroit : rebuilding an abandoned home and an American city  by Drew Philp, 2017  307.34 PHI

After his bid of $500 on a house in a devastated Detroit neighborhood is accepted, Philp undertakes most of the refurbishing of the house by himself, moving slowly in keeping with his modest cash flow, making friends and becoming a good neighbor. Along with a very personal journey, the reader is asked to contemplate what it means to genuinely rejuvenate, and not just gentrify, neighborhoods that after all are parts of living, breathing communities.

DIY Solar projects: updated edition  by Smith, Schmidt and Wanek, 2017 644 Smi
For the truly ambitious and competent do-it-yourselfer, here are instructions for mounting solar modules to provide heat and electricity, for permanent/stationary and mobile/camping use.

Homegrown pantry: a gardener’s guide to selecting the best varieties & planting the perfect amounts for what you want to eat year-round  by Barbara Pleasant  635 Ple
Growing your own organic food is one of the most planet-friendly changes you can make. Improving your diet, and enjoying fresh food straight from the ground are additional benefits. Pleasant lists the best fruits, vegetables and herbs you can grow and preserve yourself.

Compiled by Ina Rimpau

Posted by Barbara | 3 Oct 2017 | Comments Off on Readings on Sustainability

Maplewood Readers Speak


The library’s Adult Summer Reading Club is in progress, and each week we ask members to answer a question about their reading. Some responses are below. Interested? You too can join the Club! Sign up at the Main Desk. Answer a different fun, thought-provoking question each week and you can win a Library Goody Bag and/or the Grand Prize drawing for the All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa. For Maplewood resident cardholders 18 and over. 

Week 1: What are you reading right now, and why did you decide to read it?

God’s War by Kameron Hurley
It’s extreme and bizarre alternative world biological feminist science-fiction that takes me far from the current world.

Camino Island by John Grisham
Grisham’s brand new novel—hot off the presses. Reading the latest Grisham is a no-brainer for me because his writing is a lot of fun and grabs a reader from the first paragraph.

I Am Not Alarmed by Maile Meloy
I decided to read this after I heard about it on the podcast called From the Front Porch

American Gods by Neil Gaiman
I’m reading it because Neil Gaiman is an awesome writer. I’ve enjoyed his stuff since when I was younger and read a lot of comics. Also, all of my friends recommended it to me when it first came out, so it’s finally time. Plus, the TV show has brought it renewed interest.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Book Store by
My book club selected this novel for some light comic relief to kick off the summer.

The Master & Margarita
A sign in the NYPL Midtown branch showed Daniel Radcliffe holding this book… I guessed it was a favorite and I was intrigued.

Week 2: What’s your “happy place” to read, and why?

In the oversized easy chair, covered in avocado-colored plush, that I inherited from my mother

As a mother of two young children—any time or anywhere I can actually have to read is my happy place. Currently the train commute to work is my happy place to read, And nothing beats my cozy bed at the end of a long hectic busy day. I always read in bed before going to sleep. Always, no matter how late—even if it’s just a few pages.

In my bed, which has many pillows and a reading pillow as well. Toooo comfy!

My most happy place to read is in my room on my bed. Because I like going through every emotional experience the characters in the story are going through. So being in my room, door closed, with no disturbances at all really takes me in(to) the world of the book I am reading without having to look over my shoulder who is watching me because I really honestly get into the world of fiction with the book. I mean like literally and sometimes it scares me because I do lose myself in the book.

My favorite place to read is cuddled up in bed at night before I go to sleep. My dog is lying beside me and the soft glow of my nightstand light is spilling on the page. What a contented feeling I get reading a really good book!

My favorite “happy place” to read is at the beach because there is nothing better than reading at the beach! If not the beach, then I like to read in bed.

My happy place to read is curled up in the big chair in our family room, reading with my son. I love the time we spend together doing this.

My year-round “happy place” destination for reading is a quiet room at the Maplewood Memorial Library with a view of Memorial Park out the window.

I love to curl up in my bed and read a great book. That’s my happy place because I can close my door and shut out the noise!

My reclining chair and ottoman in the living room! It’s comfortable and there’s good lighting.

My absolutely favorite place to read (if it’s an engaging great novel) is a comfortable chair on a warm sunny day outside. It should be quiet and breezy with shade and a tall, sweet drink.

My “happy place” to read is on the sofa in my den. Helps to have a cup of tea and fluffy throw nearby.

My happy place is the sofa seat in my living room and on my bed because both are very comfy and the room is too, especially with a window open in the morning or afternoon to let in sounds from outside.

Anywhere! Once I’m engaged in a book it doesn’t matter where I am.

Posted by Barbara | 11 Jul 2017 | Comments Off on Maplewood Readers Speak

Readers Place: Celebrating Gay Pride Month

Reflecting the enormous variety of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning community we celebrate in June, this month’s Readers Pace features a biography, a novel and a collection of short stories.

Darling Days: a memoir by iO Tillett Wright, 2016 BIOG WRIGHT
Raised in the East Village during the 1990’s by a mother who wasn’t able to put her child’s needs before her study of ballet and consumption of drugs, iO passed as a boy for much of his childhood because doing so afforded more freedom, and the clothes were far more practical. Loved but lacking supervision, he managed to get an education and forge an existence as a photographer. He now identifies as male.


Juliet takes a breath by Gabby Rivera, 2017 FIC RIVERA
Juliet Palante, a Puerto Rican teenager from the Bronx, writes to the author of a manifesto calling for women’s sexual liberation: Can a badass white lady like you make room for me? Should I stand next to you and take that space? Or do I need to just push you out of the way? Juliet sets off cross-country to meet the author as a way to put off coming out to her parents. Can these two women from different worlds learn from each other?


The refugees  by Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2017 FIC NGUYEN
Among the short stories collected here is The Other Man,” in which Liem, a refugee from the fall of Saigon in 1975, is sponsored by a couple of gay men in San Francisco. Liem is torn between his duties as an oldest son and his need to explore his strange new world.



Compiled by Ina Rimpau

Posted by Barbara | 13 Jun 2017 | Comments Off on Readers Place: Celebrating Gay Pride Month

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