Sound the trumpets! Welcome Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, new baby of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and seventh in line to the throne.
After months (if not years) of hype, Avengers: Endgame is finally here. To honor one of the biggest movie franchises of our time, of course, we started wondering: What should the Avengers read?
Taking cues from the movies and comics, librarians Crystal Chen and Susen Shi came up with some book recommendations for some of our favorite superheroes. If you want a deeper dive into the Avengers comics, make sure to check out our Ultimate Avengers Guide, and also make sure to take a look at our post in memory of Stan Lee.
Everyone’s favorite star-spangled-man-with-a-plan has been through a lot. For a guy who went from fighting in World War II and being frozen for years, to waking up in a time dominated by technology, Cap’s got a pretty good attitude. He’s the leader of the Avengers and always has some wise words for his counterparts. In fact, he’s basically the dad of the group, and with that title comes . . . dad jokes. The punniest and corniest jokes that make you cringe are definitely something Captain America would tell, and if he needs new material he can always check out My Dad Thinks He’s Funny and The Ultimate Book of Dad Jokes.
Attitude is everything. And in the case of Tony Stark, that attitude is . . . arrogant. Iron Man thinks he knows it all and is not afraid to tell it like it is. Not one to sugarcoat advice he gives or receives, Tony would love The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. One can’t forget that Tony is a genius and full of ideas for new tech and gadgets. He previously used this knowledge for weapons development but changed the focus of Stark Industries after seeing the damage his weapons caused. We think Tony would find some similarities between his story and the one in Rebel Seoul.
Thor has incredible strength, can summon the elements of a storm, and can even fly with the help of Mjolnir. But all of that doesn’t stop him from being a burly, loveable goofball who is sometimes a bit hot-headed. On his next trip to the library, Thor should pick up Kill the Farm Boy—a perfectly quirky and magical book for the Asgardian God of Thunder.
Bruce Banner and Hulk seem to have a lot of differences. Banner is a brilliant scientist and Hulk . . . well, he really likes smashing stuff. These two constantly seem to be at odds with one another, and fighting to be the dominant personality. With that said, a novella that will ring true for both Banner and Hulk is The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. If they’re looking for something a little less close to home, Temper and the graphic novel I Hate Fairylandmight be good choices.
Natasha Romanoff is not one to be trifled with. She is fiercely loyal, intelligent, and not to mention a master assassin. Full of trickery, loyalty, and wit, our beloved Black Widow would enjoy some tales of other spies and assassins like Grave Mercy, Six of Crows, and The Lies of Locke Lamora. She might be able to teach the characters in these books a thing or two, but we still think she’d enjoy them!
Clint Barton is everyone’s favorite bow-and-arrow-wielding master marksman and combat expert. He may not have any fancy powers or suits, but he can certainly stand his ground in a fight. So why is he always left out of the movies? We have a feeling that Clint would relate to Mark Watney being left behind on Mars in The Martian.
But wait! Earth’s (original) mightiest heroes shouldn’t have all of the fun! Here are some more recommendations for a handful of our other favorite Marvel characters.
T’Challa is the king of Wakanda, and the Black Panther is a legacy who protects the people of the nation. With the heart-shaped herb’s help, the Black Panther gets enhanced strength, speed, and agility—though T’Challa is a tough fighter even without the herb’s power. Though calm and controlled, T’Challa will display his emotions when it comes to how much much he cares for his family, friends, and the people of Wakanda. We think the honorable Wakandan king would like to read the story of Sunny Nwazue in Akata Witch.
Teenage wiz kid Peter Parker has incredible strength, agility, and the ability to cling to surfaces thanks to a radioactive spider bite. He started out as a neighborhood crime fighter but caught the attention of Tony Stark and became part of the Avengers crew—you try balancing all of that and your grades in high school! Peter would definitely see himself in the pages of Kick-Ass. When he’s finished, we recommend Charlotte’s Web so he can get some artistic tips from Charlotte for his web-shooters.
A complicated villain that many love, Loki is the God of Mischief who fully lives up to his name. With his high intelligence, magical abilities, and expert manipulation tactics, it’s hard to predict exactly what Loki will do next: sometimes he’s the bad guy, but sometimes he shows us that he may not be so bad after all. In between his scheming, Loki should pick up the graphic novel Trickster, and maybe even How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Thanos is definitely not our favorite. With his enhanced strength and unyielding desire for his idea of balance, Thanos keeps his eyes set on keeping things organized. Thanos, instead of wiping out half of the population, might we suggest cleaning out your garage instead? The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up will be able to help you with that.
written by Colleen Gibson, Social Media Associate
“Nos coeurs sont brisés.” Our hearts are broken for the people of France
“Notre Dame is our history, our literature, our imagination” – President Emmanuel Macron
During my school library teaching years, I would annually read The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carson. While it is proof that books are powerful, it was an exercise in demonstrating empathy to those in poverty and appreciation for what we have. Much of the story takes place by the Seine River, in the shadow of Notre Dame Cathedral. We discussed the famous rose windows and the flying buttresses. While watching the horrific newscasts from Paris this week, my thoughts are turning to my students, of the book we read, of our discussions and how I hope they are reflecting on this book’s powerful message.
Let it be known that the Potwin house will be tuned into Game of Thrones on Sunday nights for the next 6 weeks. Please do not disturb. Winter has arrived.
That is all.
I would like to express my thanks to those who cast a vote in the recent American Library Association (ALA) elections. Voting is an act of participation in a greater process.
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to those who cast a vote for me, as I ran for one of the available Councilor at Large positions. While I did not win a seat, I was grateful to receive 2700 votes. To the 2700 individuals who voted for me, thank you for your faith in me and my skills. To those who were elected: my heartfelt congratulations. Now go forth and do good work….there is so much to do.
Let’s see what next year brings….
Fashion is a term which illusive…what is ‘fashion’ really?
Supermodel siblings Bella and Gigi Hadid drew Vogue’s attention when they accessorized outfits with their current reads: Bella
It’s easy to snark at supermodels in slouchy-chic pantsuits toting books. “Those Hadid sisters are lit(erary)!” declared the New York Post. It seized on the detail that Bella had even used King’s novel “as a shield against paparazzi at Charles de Gaulle airport during Paris Fashion Week.” (As one does. I am often seen carrying a book, and so far I too have eluded the paparazzi.)
While the Hadid sisters have not, as far as I know, shared their insights about Camus or King, they have plenty of high-profile company in combining books and Instagram. Other celebrities, including Oprah, Emma Watson and Reese Witherspoon, run book clubs and regularly post shots of themselves engrossed in some novel or memoir. These posts make reading look both cozy and chic, an activity best done with polished toes, in a slouchy yet stylish sweater, on a plush piece of furniture,
in front of a fireplace and/or in the company of a highly Instagrammable dog. Some of these posts promote professional or political causes. Witherspoon, for instance, runs a production company and sometimes options books for vehicles she might star in. Watson, a well-known activist as well as actress, highlights books with feminist messages.
Even on the most superficial level, though, what’s so bad about accessorizing with books? It’s proof that, in the iPhone age, the codex retains a cachet even a fashion superstar might covet. Celebrities could do far worse than declare “I #amreading!” to a world that needs more of the empathy and insight books can inspire. If the Hadid sisters being photographed with novels in hand motivates some of their combined 70 million-plus Instagram followers to rush to the local indie bookstore or library in search of a good read, more social-media power to them.
Whatever motivates them, these photos signal that beauty and brains go togher like a Vuitton bag and a Stephen King thriller — combinations that American culture trains us to be surprised by and yet keeps serving up. Images like Eve Arnold’s 1955 iconic photo of Marilyn Monroe reading James Joyce’s “Ulysses” at a playground send a message to viewers predisposed to think of intellectuals as unglamorous: Bombshells read books, too.
Monroe’s personal library, auctioned by Christie’s in 1999, featured more than 400 titles, “the books of a well-read and inquiring mind,” according to the auction catalogue. Like Gigi Hadid, Monroe owned a copy of “The Stranger,” the little black dress of books, never out of fashion. The Christie’s catalogue points out that many of the books have pencil marks and annotations in them. Absent a reading diary, it’s hard to know what Monroe really made of Camus’ classic, or “Ulysses,” or “The Great Gatsby,” “Invisible Man,” “On the Road,” or the other serious books in her library. Reading remains a private act, no matter how many times it’s photographed or Instagrammed.
Books, however, are increasingly designed to show a public face, especially on social media.The publishing industry counts on platforms such as Instagram to help spread the word about this season’s must-read novel or nonfiction blockbuster. “Instagram is a major tool now in ginning up excitement that we used to see in print magazines,” author and indie-bookstore owner Emma Straub told Vulture magazine earlier this year.
It’s no wonder that publishers, as Vulture reported, design covers that scream “Share me on social media!” Short titles, bright colors, and blocky graphics inspire more posts tagged #amreading (1,461,994 posts and counting) and #bookstagram, a hashtag that graces more than 26 million posts as of this writing.
Some bibliophiles take their ink-on-paper fetish a little too far online. “Ladies are draping their bodies across a swath of opened books like some sort of Abrahamic sacrifice to the gods of paper and ink,” Hillary Kelly wrote in Vulture last year, identifying one of the more unsettling bookish fads to sweep Instagram.
I love my books but I have never draped myself across them, on- or offline. But I confess that I have posted wannabe artful shots of my to-be-read pile, or a #catsofinstagram pic of my cat Darcy (using the not-yet-viral hashtag #darcyreads) next to a book with intellectual cred. That said, I do heartily recommend Emily Wilson’s recent translation of “The Odyssey,” which makes both a good read and a fine #bookstagram post, whether or not you include a cat.
Jennifer Howard, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C., is at work on a history of clutter. Follow her on Twitter @JenHoward.
This year’s New York State budget process wrapped up this morning with our Governor and Lt. Governor enjoying a resolution which will provide each with a pay raise. (Cuomo from $179,000 to $200,000 and Hochul $151,000 to $190,000. )
Despite the contentious political atmosphere and contentious claims that this is the “Governor’s budget”, librarians, trustees, and supporters have secured victories for our libraries and the communities we serve.
State Library Aid: $96.6M
Governor Cuomo proposed a $5M cut in Library Aid in this year’s Executive Budget. The FY2019-20 enacted budget reversed this proposed cut. State Library Aid will be $96.6M.
State Public Library Construction Aid: $14M
The Governor proposed a $20M cut in capital funding – from $34M back to $14M. Language in the Assembly’s one-house budget that would have amended the program to provide for a 90/10 matching category for those libraries in communities of extreme poverty as well as making the program permanent in law was not included. We have work to do on this issue in next year’s advocacy efforts.
2020 Census Efforts (HUZZAH!)
The budget includes $20M for complete count efforts, with efforts by “public libraries” noted in the appropriation language. (At least public libraries have been recognized as part of the Census 2020 efforts.) These funds will be administered by the Empire State Development Corporation.
The budget includes $15M in targeted aid to school districts, public libraries, and not-for-profit institutions, divided equally between the Senate, Assembly, and Governor.
As one of New York’s core library activists, NOW is the time to act on this integral part of the budget advocacy cycle – acknowledging the efforts of our partners in the legislature who worked to restore funding to the Library Aid program. Thank you to our Senator Robert Ortt and Assemblyman Angelo Morinello. Your support of libraries, which extend to all citizens in your district, is appreciated and will drive good works in Western New York / Niagara County area. Thank you.
NYLA makes it easy for you to thank your local legislators – In less than 15 seconds, you can send a message with our pre-loaded letter, or edit the letter to send your own personal message. Click HERE to send your message!