Reader’s Advisory: Library V. Blog

I was at work the other day making displays, and I was hit with a thought. Display making is a form of reader’s advisory. So is blogging. And I love both things to bits. They do, however, both take a different approach.

The reader’s advisor in a library takes into account the reader’s interest over their own. In blogging, it’s where the two overlap. I’m very passionate about both of these things, and want to find a way to bring them together Read more…

Library Assistant Life

For the last two, almost three, years I’ve worked in a public library.

I started at the bottom, as what we call a clerk—i.e. someone who shelves books—and have been working my way up.

I’ve been very lucky so far in my library career. I started off at quite a small branch in a kind, tight-knit community. The staff emulated this. They have always been so friendly, welcoming, and eager to teach. Through their guidance and support, I’ve been able to learn so much. Read more…

Reflecting on 2016

This is a tad overdue. However, 2016 was a landmark year for me in a lot of ways. Reflecting on this, here are the main things that stand out about my year.

I kept my New Year’s Resolution

In 2016, in a very non-Beth fashion, I stuck to my guns and lost 40 pounds. I started off with weight watchers, then took things into my own hands. I completely changed my diet and my physical routine. Temporary diets don’t work. You have to make a lifestyle change. One that works for you! For me, “Everything in moderation” did not work… It definitely helped me to get started, but after that, until I got a handle on things, I needed to cut certain things out entirely. Eventually, I didn’t even miss them! Now I have treats every now and then but know that if I let myself, I could easily end up right back where I started.

I went on some amazing trips

In February/March, I went to Mexico with my family! We stayed at a resort on the Mayan Riviera and had an amazing time. I did a lot of relaxing and eating, but we went on a couple of day trips, too. Not only that, but the food was great!

For Thanksgiving, I traveled with my family to Alberta to visit extended family. It was so nice. For ten days we stayed with my grandmother hanging out and exploring Edmonton.

On the first weekend in November I went on a roadtrip to Boston with three friends! We all piled into my car and made the eleven hour trek to see needtobreathe and Mat Kearney in concert. It was amazing.

I made (and reconnected with) some great friends

Over the last few years, I had become somewhat of a hermit. I rarely left my house when I wasn’t working. I was always holed up with a book or on the internet. I would text my few friends sometimes, but I would never really make an effort to see them. The person I spoke to the most was my then-boyfriend. He lived in another province and we didn’t get to see each other a lot.

It’s one thing if you’re a hermit and you’re happy. But I was a hermit, and I was not happy. I thought it was just me being an introvert, but really, it was me giving in to my social anxiety.

The fall of 2015 was rough. My boyfriend and I split up and my beloved fur baby died. When all that happened, I realized how important friends really were–because I needed them but had let them all slip away. I became determined to never be in that position again.

Throughout 2016, I constantly made myself go out of my comfort zone. Not only did I make myself make and stick to social plans, I also made myself go places I didn’t know anyone, or only knew one or two people. It was hella scary, y’all.

I started hanging out with my friends, and started making new ones. I reconnected with someone I knew from years ago, and from there started going to her church on Saturdays. Turns out that a bunch of people I used to know went there! It was so great seeing them. I made it a regular thing and started building friendships.

The most meaningful friendship I made was with a red-headed gem named Maggie. We just clicked. One day after church I asked her if she was free and wanted to hang out. After that, we were virtually inseparable for the summer. But there was a catch. She was engaged. To an American. And was moving to Oregon at the end of the summer. That was a huge bummer, but I had the best summer of my life. Maggie may be in Oregon now, but we still talk basically everyday! I’m so glad that I met her. Even with her a million miles away, we’re still close.

It was really hard for me to not give into my anxiety, and it’s still hard. But I’m not going to let it control me. I have friends, dammit! Anxiety, you can go to hell.

I moved out

I’m a strong, independant woman, y’all! I’m out in the medium-sized city making my own way! This was a huge thing for me on many levels. First, it’s obviously a big thing for anyone when you leave home, and so it was for me, too. It was also clearly the right time. I was finally making (barely) enough money to be able to afford living on my own. Not only that, but a girl I knew happened to be looking for a place, too. Together we found the perfect spot for us and have been living there (mostly) happily since. It’s given me independence, pride, and a lifestyle I love. I absolutely adore the neighbourhood I live in. It’s the cutest. I love living in the city. Everything is so close. There’s always something to do and someone to do it with.

I landed a job that I love

It’s been quite the journey since university. I’ve been working in the library system in my city for almost three years, and I’ve finally landed a job that I’m not super over-qualified for. Not only do I love the job, but I love the place I work, too. I work in a small community library. It’s such an important hub for the people that live here, and it’s a privilege to serve them! The staff are such a treat, too. Each and every staff member is a joy to work with. There’s not even one person that I don’t get along with. It’s such a great place to work. I could go on and on. It’s a dream. I count my lucky stars everyday.

I learned a lot about myself

2016 was a transition year for me. There was so much change. And that was a good thing. I needed that. I made a lot of mistakes but I learned from each and every one.

Onto 2017

A month into this year, and things are looking pretty good. I’ve been reading amazing books, getting to know amazing people, and enjoying amazing opportunities. One such opportunity is contributing to Book Riot! Writing and books are both my true loves. I’m really excited to be joining the Book Riot community. If you’re interested, check out my contributor page and the posts I’ve written so far!

What to do if your sister is a psychopath | Review of My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

 My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

Young Adult (with Adult crossover appeal)
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published November 15th, 2016 by Soho Teen

The story of a nomadic family, a reluctant son, and a psychopathic sister. What would you do if you saw danger in your ten year old sister that no one else did?

We follow seventeen year old Che as he navigates his new life in NYC. Never staying in one place longer than his first childhood home in Sydney, Australia, Che hates moving. All he wants to do is go back to Sydney, back to his friends.

Once Che starts to settle into his new city and his new boxing gym, he meets a girl that makes New York seem not so bad. The beautiful, powerful, lithe, muscular Sojourner—Sid to her friends. He also begins to make friends with the caustic Leilani, daughter of his parents’ friends and benefactors the McBrunights.

Che never truly feels settled though. No matter where he is, no matter how cool his friends, he can never escape his sister Rosa, and his desire to protect her—and protect others from her.

That’s another thing about moving so much—no one else can see what Rosa really is. When Che tries to tell people, they don’t believe him. All they see is the sweet little blonde-ringletted ten year old in front of them. Even his parents make excuse after excuse.

What can Che do when he is not there to watch Rosa? What can he do about the new “friendship” she has made? How can he stop her from manipulating those around her? How far will she go to get what she wants?

This book was a great blend of contemporary realistic YA and mystery. It had the best elements of both. This book gets kudos for diversity, great friendships, swoonworthy romance. It also has the serious creep factor in little Rosa.When I began the book, I thought I was getting into a thriller. Although this book definitely has thrilling elements, I wouldn’t call it that. It’s not straight-up one genre. I liked reading a contemporary from a guy’s perspective—I don’t read those a lot. I’m thinking I should give it a try. And maybe one actually written by a dude.

I did have a couple of qualms, though minor, with My Sister Rosa. There were no Oxford commas and that bugs the shit out of me. I get that some of the words were with the Australian spelling, but I feel like “Woah” is always wrong and that was in there more than once. I also found Sojourner’s brand of Christianity a little unsettling. It’s definitely good to be loving and accepting of all people. But to me, the description of her faith came across as a bit of a cop out of the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too variety.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. If you want an exciting, interesting read with a little bit of creepy, I’d recommend My Sister Rosa.

Note: This book does have some mature content.