Blogs: Books & literature

Libby is a new way to read and listen to books from Overdrive, and it's available now. 

Getting startedLibby logo

  1. Go to the app store on your Android or iOS device and search for "Libby, by Overdrive Labs". Or, visit the Libby site and be directed from there;
  2. Once you've installed the app, sign in with your library card;
  3. Search, borrow, read and listen, all from within the app.
  4. Here's a handy how-to guide for Libby.

You can click on "Library" or "Shelf" to move back and forth between the collection and your check outs. Click on a title in the Libby catalog, and you'll be able to read a sample so you can decide if you want to borrow the book.

Logging in

Libby lets you to connect to OverDrive with one easy login. You can also add a library card from another library or from a family member so you can have your loans and holds all in one place.

Prefer reading on a Kindle?

You can set Libby up to default to Kindle for e-books and you can download with few clicks.

Downloading

To download books to your device, tap on the cloud icon after you've checked out, and your e-book or downloadable audiobook will be downloaded. When the download is finished, you will see a check. You don't have to figure out which format you should get—the app knows.

New features

Libby has some great features: you can download titles for offline reading or stream them to save space. Libby will bookmark your place, even if you pick up another device to resume reading. You can choose settings for reading at night, and customize your font -- there's even a font to help readers with dyslexia.  If you're happy with the OverDrive App, don't worry. You can continue to use it, or you can install both apps on your device and see which works better.

 

 

 

Read an Ebook Day

Did an e-book save you from boredom at the DMV? Were you snowed in last winter and e-books allowed you to curl up with a good read anyway? Forgot your vacation book on the plane, but were able to get an e-book right away on your phone? 

Share your love for e-books on Read an eBook Day, a celebration of the wonders of reading anytime, anywhere. Celebrate by checking out an e-book from our OverDrive collection. Might we suggest an old favorite or maybe a great book you may have missed from the past few years?

And then share what you love about e-books on social media on September 18 using the hashtag #ebooklove
 

For those of us who love classic literature, Multnomah County Library is a great resource. There are ongoing Classics Pageturners book discussion groups at Hillsdale Library and Hollywood Library, plus a Quarterly Classics group at Capitol Hill Library.  Copies of the books will be available two months in advance of the discussions.  Please call the branch to confirm.  Following that are a series of lists of Western and non-Western literature from every era.

Here are the Classics book group schedules:

Hillsdale Library Classics Pageturners,

Second Saturdays, 3-5 pm

 

September 9, 2017, Sonnets by William Shakespeare. (This is a different edition than the group will read)

 

October 14, 2017, The Nice and the Good, by Iris Murdoch

 

November 11, 2017, It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis

 

December 9, 2017, Billy Budd and Other Stories, by Herman Melville

 

January 13, 2018, Canterbury Tales, by GeoffreyChaucer

 

February 10, 2017, Cousin Bette, by Honore de Balzac

 

March 10, 2018, The Persians, by Aeschylus

 

April 14, 2018, The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli

 

May 12, 2018, The Early History of Rome, books I-V, by Livy

 

June 9, 2018, The Trial, by Franz Kafka

Hollywood Library Classics Pageturners,

Third Sundays, 2-4 pm

 

September 17, 2017,  Ficciones, by Jorge Luis Borges

 

October 15, 2017, Iphigenia in Aulis and The Trojan Women, by Euripides. (These are different editions than the group will read)

 

November 19, 2017, The Vicar of Wakefield, by Oliver Goldsmith

 

December 17, 2017, The Captain's Daughter and Other Stories, by Alexander Pushkin

 

January 21, 2018, The Heart of the Matter, by Graham Greene

 

February 18, 2018, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, by Matsuo Basho

 

March 18, 2018, The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

April 15, 2018, The Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius

 

May 20, 2018, The Analects, by Confucius. (This is a different edition and translation than the group will read)

 

June 17, 2018, The Mill on the Floss, by George Eliot. (This is a different edition than the group will read)

Capitol Hill Library Quarterly Classics

Second Wednesdays, 1:30 pm, October 2017, January, April & July 2018

 

October 11, 2017, One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 

January 10, 2018, Razor's Edge, by Somerset Maugham

 

April 11, 2018, The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing

 

July 11, 2018, Native Son, by Richard Wright

 

Logo for the Intellectual Freedom Issues in Oregon database

Curious about censorship or banned books in Oregon?  Need to know what's been published in the local news?  The Intellectual Freedom Issues in Oregon: A News Database, may have what you need.  The database is the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse's news clipping files, and is updated twice a year. The database includes news articles and editorials about intellectual freedom issues printed in Oregon newspapers over the past 65 years. The database can be searched by article title, newspaper name, date, city/location, name of challenged book or material, and organizations or individuals involved. After you have found what you want to read, contact the coordinator of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse, Katie Anderson, 503-378-2528 to request a complete text of the articles or editorials.  And if you have any trouble, don't forget to Ask a Librarian!

Cover of From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. FrankweilerI have two paperbacks which I read so much as a kid they fell apart. One is A Wrinkle in Time with its spine now duct taped and the other is From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

I wasn't exactly fond of visiting museums as a kid but I loved the idea of hiding in a museum. Now that I'm an adult, I love visiting museums. Sometimes I wonder what it was like to wear a suit of armor or sit for hours for a portrait painting. I definitely relish the idea of having a museum gallery to myself, having time to look, no one blocking my view, maybe being able to touch. Claudia and Jamie had the thrill of exploring the Metropolitan Museum of Art after hours--sleeping in a canopied bed, bathing in the fountain, and going behind roped off areas--and found a mystery and eventually Mrs. Frankweiler's files.

Claudia and Jamie only spent a week in the museum, but their story has captivated readers for 50 years! To think it all began with a piece of popcorn on a chair behind a roped-off area in one of the museum's period rooms. That piece of popcorn and curiousity about how it got there inspired E.L. Konigsburg. What public space would you like to have all to yourself?

The comedian Steven Wright said, "everywhere is walking distance if you have the time." The line makes me smile, but it makes me wistful too. If only I had the time.

Walking folds the walker into the pace of the world, while providing respite from the cares attached to our home or workplace. Baudelaire used the word "flaneur" to describe the walking explorer: "For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world." 

If you're hankering for a long walk but have no time, here are some titles to try, and a longer list, to boot.  :-)

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is the story of a man plagued by the sense that he has made nothing of his life. One day he receives a letter from an old friend who is dying, thanking him for a past kindness. Harold writes a letter of condolence, but when he goes to mail it, he's struck with the sense that he must deliver the letter by hand. And so he sets off on a journey of several hundred miles, with only the clothes on his back. As he walks he reflects on the events that shaped his life.

Walking memoirs abound, with a resurrgence tied to Cheryl Strayed's Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. But don't miss the earlier A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson. Relax into the rhytm of Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, by Robert Macfarlane details the author's effort to become more intimately acquainted with his country by starting at his home in Cambridge, England and following the old roads and ancient tracks that crisscross his country. I'm looking forward in particular to Lauren Elkin’s Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London for a female perspective on Baudelaire's phenomenon.

Happy reading, and happy trails.

photo of Hill Top FarmThis spring I checked off one of my bucket list travel destinations:  Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's farm in the English Lake District.  Before I left, I reread many of Potter's tales and was (pleasantly) surprised by their edginess!  They weren't all sweetness and light and the stories were full of drama.  Of course I had remembered that Peter Rabbit's father had ended up in a pie, but along with parental death, there is also kidnapping, or rather, bunnynapping (Mr. Tod & The Flopsy Bunnies), sassing (Squirrel Nutkin), punishment (Tom Kitten), thievery (Benjamin Bunny), wanton destruction (Two Bad Mice) and general youthful mayhem (take your pick). What's a kid not to like?

I also wanted tbook jacket for Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of A Borrowed Guinea Pig o better understand Potter's life and artistry before I visited the Beatrix Potter Gallery, and so I checked out several biographies including Over the Hills and Far Away and Beatrix Potter:  Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman. I also came across The Art of Beatrix Potter which contains many full color and sometimes full-page plates of her gorgeous paintings.

Because 2016 was the 150th anniversary of her birth, a number of books about her were published that year including Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig, a fun and mostly true story for children of an incident in Potter's life. If you haven't checked out Beatrix Potter since your youth, consider revisiting her in some of these books for youth and adults.

 

The My Librarian team loves to spend time searching for the perfect book for you, dear readers; but when summer comes, we like to indulge ourselves with books that hit our sweet spot. Here are the titles we're excited about.

Alicia

I can't wait to sip some iced coffee, dig my feet in warm sand and dig into the new romantic-comedy, When Dimple Met Rishi. Dimple and Rishi are two gifted teens who meet at a Stanford summer program. Before the two teens met, their parents had arranged for them to be husband and wife. Rishi knows this, but Dimple does not.
 
If you're like me and are a huge fan of the 80s classic The Breakfast Club, you will also be ready to devour One of Us is Lying. Five high school students walk into detention on a Monday, but only four walk out alive. 

Alison

I love a good 'long walk' book, so when Cheryl Strayed recommended Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London, I immediately put it on my 'to be read' list.

 

 

Darcee

My eight-year-old and I are having a blast with Andy Griffiths's outrageously silly series starting with The 13-story Treehouse. It's inspired us to build our own treehouse this summer. We plan to skip the shark tank, but are still hatching plans to simulate Andy and Terry's ice-cream serving robot- Edward Scooperhands

 

 

Diana

If you love Jane Austen, are intrigued by the idea of time travel, and find yourself looking for something on the lighter side, let yourself get swept away to Regency England by Kathleen A. Flynn's The Jane Austen Project. Be warned, dear reader: it's a very difficult book to set down.

 

Eric

As someone who is deeply interested in Communism, and a massive fan of China Miéville's fiction, I'm stoked to read October: The Story of the Russian Revolution, his take on the early months of the Russian Revolution.

 

 

Heather

I was taken by this unusual debut by Paula Cocozza, How to be Human. Set during the summertime in London, this is a whole new look at obsessive love.

 

 

 

Karen

Summer is the perfect time to be entertained by David Sedaris. I can't wait to read his innermost thoughts in Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)

 

 

 

I am loving The Witches of New York1880's New York is only one of the intriguing characters in this novel due out in July about three young witches running at tea shop called "Tea and Sympathy." Sinister and whimsical at the same time, this book will take you away.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Somewhere in a park this summer, you'll find me(ow) reading Mustache Shenanigans by Jay Chandrasekhar. He's part of Broken Lizard, the group that created one of my favorite films, Super Troopers. It's a behind the scenes look into his life and comedy that'll be pair well with sun and a patch of grass. 
 
 
 
 
Summer is the perfect time to create stuff and Whoosh! is the perfect book to inspire kids who have lots of time on their hands!  I love this fun and whimsically illustrated book about Lonnie Johnson, the inventor of the Super Soaker, because it shows how he used everyday objects to come up with some pretty neat creations.
 
 
 
 
 

In Martha's Vineyard, Island of Dreams, Susan Branch uses her uniquely decorated diaries to illustrate one year spent in a one-room cabin on Martha's Vineyard. A perfect book to read during the long warm days of summer- especially if you need some inspiration.

Also, I just listened to The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell  The park was perfectly safe, better than a back yard, right? But when thirteen year old Grace turns up missing, it looks like a repeat of a similar crime ten years earlier. Tense and stagnant, the action of this title takes place during the hot summer. The narrator, Colleen Prendergrast uses an accent that makes me think I am in the middle of a British TV series.

cover image of joy harjo books

Are you a fan of travelogues? The Bible? In the Steps of St. Paul by H.V. Morton is a gem. Not only is it a good introduction to the travels of St. Paul, but also a modern (1936) travel journey complete with humor and wonderful scenes of interaction between the author and the people that he meets.

The author is visiting the Turkish city of Konya and has found a modest-looking hotel owned by Russians:

At dinner that night a smiling, collarless waiter placed before me a roughly-hewn scrap of meat and potatoes which had been painfully cut into thin slices and then subjected, before a slight heating, to a bath in one of the more revolting oils. From the expression of eager expectancy on the faces of waiter, proprietor and proprietor's wife, I gathered that this was either a speciality or a death verdict. Sawing off a portion, I took an apprehensive mouthful, whereupon the waiter bowed, grinning all over his face, and the proprietor came forward and, also bowing, pointed to my plate, and said with some difficulty:

'Beef-roast!'

Then I realized that in this far-off place the pathetic sweetness of the human heart, that transcends all barriers of race, had devised a little compliment to England. I rose and told them in sign language that the meat was superb. They laughed and bowed with delight. And when the room was empty for a moment, a little hungry dog that had slipped beneath the table was a friend in need and -- indeed!

Bruce Feiler's Walking the Bible is an interesting contrast to the very British attitudes of H. V. Morton. Pair that with David Suchet's film account of tracing St. Paul's steps to get another perspective.

 

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