Audiobooks and Podcasts, My Minimalism Journey, The Library Stack

Limitless Library Love

(In addition to worrying about those in Texas and Florida) Today my thoughts are focused on just how much I love my local public library. This is not just a fleeting infatuation, I am talking about a deep bibliophilic obsessed kind of love!

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you have likely figured this out, especially with ongoing series such as The Library Stack featuring my latest stack of tomes on loan from my beloved library. However in addition to realizing how deeply in love I am with my local public library, I realize just how much money and space accessing my library has saved me.

Tierney the “Collector”

As my friend Michele has told me, “You are a Collector”. I am actually a reformed “collector”.

Years ago I became interested in Special Edition Barbie dolls. I did not just buy a couple, I bought a ridiculous amount. The same thing happened with collectible stuffed rabbits. I could not just have a couple, I appeared to need them all.

When I tapered down my need to collect Barbies or Bunnies, I transferred my need to collect to craft books and crafting magazines (and occasionally home decorating books and magazines).

As I incorporated Minimalism into my life (see series of posts under My Minimalism Journey) I began to honestly evaluate the clutter in my life, including whether I needed to own and continue to bring into my home that many crafting books and magazines.

I still love looking at new craft books (I get a little “makers-high” from leafing through a craft book for the first time) and I did not want to give up the pleasure of a new craft book and a pot of tea in my cozy reading spot.

The public library was the solution! I realized I did not need to own every craft book I am attracted to – I could just borrow it, enjoy it and return it. I can even take it out again to look at a couple months later if I like – it will be there waiting for me…AND it will not take up space in my bookshelf or cost money out of my wallet!

More Than Just Books

It began with borrowing books and then I discovered many other wonderful benefits as a library card holder:

  • Borrowing audiobooks that I can listen to on my smartphone
  • Magazines for my iPad for free (to include American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine and many popular home decorating magazines)
  • Free music downloads (I can download 5 songs a week…well 10 using my husband’s library card too from a huge selection of music)
  • Movies for my DVD player – we do not go out to movies very often – we just borrow them from the library (and I have learned secret tricks to be first in line on new releases at the library!)
  • Online movies – although I do have Netflix so I do not use this feature very often, our library has its own version on Netflix with older movies and TV shows.
  • Novel Idea – the whole town reads the same book once a year (a community wide book group) and then there are special programs in the Spring with the author coming to town to speak about their book!

In addition to all this there is so much more like the Author! Author! Literary Series where big name authors come to town and speak!

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Image credit: Deschutes Public Library

Okay, soon I will stop running on and on about my beloved library. But would you mind, I share some recent reads and listens? (or you can skip to the Postscript section if you have grown tired my library related ramblings and you are now ready for some crafting project related news…)

Recent Borrowings

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Last week I posted on my current library stack but I have since moved on to a new (and smaller stack). As you can see I was enjoying feeding the flames of my small and tiny house obsession. These three books are a delightful pot-of-tea-drinking, book-flipping, daydreaming experience.

My obsession is not as bad as it used to be (I used to incessantly watch tiny house related TV shows and tiny house tour videos on YouTube) but I am still fascinated by them. I also enjoy “RV porn” and love to watch videos of RV walkthrough tours. I like the idea of small compact and cozy space. It is also a space which is more difficult to clutter with stuff, and I like that idea of space imposed curation!

I recently finished several excellent library borrowed fiction audiobooks:

  • Michael Chabon’s novel Moonglow. I read a great interview with him in Poets&Writers magazine last year. When I saw he is coming to Central Oregon this fall on the Author!Author! literary tour, I thought it was time to actually read one of his books and see what all the hype was about!

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I now understand what all the hype is about this author – his sentences are so beautifully and richly crafted and his ability to tell a story is impressive. Here is my review of the book I posted on Goodreads and on Amazon.com:

I was fortunate to listen to the audiobook version of this novel which was flawlessly and excellently narrated.

The book is a memoir masterpiece, telling the fascinating story of his maternal grandfather’s life as told by his grandfather to the author as he was terminally ill. The author also weaves in poignant moment from his own life and his mother’s life with his grandfather’s (and grandmother’s story). The first hand accounts of his grandfather’s experiences in Europe during WWII are amazing and powerful. They are not battle scenes but focus on the lives of a small village experiencing WWII. The book covers a span of time from around the 1920s to 1980s.

Mr. Chabon’s writing is spectacular and I see what all the hype is about surrounding this author. I read/listened to the book because he is coming to our town to speak on a literary tour and before hearing him speak I wanted to read one of his book. He is a very gifted writer, his use of language and the crafting of a sentence are amazing. I think he might be one of the great writers of our current generation.

  • I also recently finished a spectacular science fiction trilogy by Cixin Liu – The Three-Body Problem (winner of the Hugo award), The Dark Forest, and Death’s End. I was fortunate enough to listen to them all on audiobook. And here is the really cool thing – my library did not have an audiobook copy of the second (The Dark Forest) or the third book (Death’s End) in the trilogy. So I suggested them for purchase using the special online form my library has – and THEY ORDERED THEM!

Cixin Liu is a big name in Chinese science fiction and the cultural differences are evidence in his books but they only add to the story. The science part of the “science fiction” is amazing and detailed yet accessible. So far it is one of my favorite Science Fiction trilogies of all time, rivaling Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game Trilogy and Arthur C. Clarke’s Rama trilogy (previously my two favorites).

Let me close out my ramblings about my awesome public library with this quote:

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Postscript

Sending My Heart Out

First before I share what I have been up to crafting-wise lately, let me just say my hearts go out to the people of Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas. We lived in Houston for 9 years from 1988 – 1997 and many of the flooded areas shown on the news (Terry the Quilting Husband has been watching The Weather Channel non-stop) are quite familiar to us.

My heart also goes out to those in the tropical islands and to states such as Florida in the path of Hurricane Irma. I cannot imagine the stress and fear going on in Florida right now knowing what Hurricane Harvey did to Texas.

Current Crafting – Little Wallet Obsession

I will have a future post with more details and perhaps a “little wallet photoshoot” on all the different combinations, but I have made 40+ little wallets since starting last week.

I am trying to make a dent in my fabric scrap collection:

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Here are some in progress (I am having so much fun with color and pattern combinations):

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And here is a basket of the first 37 completed (by the time of this photo):

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My next post will feature all the little wallets I have completed, so you can see some of the fun color and pattern combinations. I did make a bit of a dent in my fabric scraps and I’ve made many little functional items with those scraps.

I bought way too many business cards and I have a business card tucked away in each little wallet to demonstrate how the little wallet could be used.

Recently gave one of the little wallets as part of a retirement gift (it held a gift card) and I think the little wallet was more popular with the recipient than the gift card!

I might do a future little wallet blog giveaway to celebrate my 4th year of blogging (and that fellow humans actually keep reading my blog, ha!)  – stay tuned!


Feature image photo credit: Deschutes Public Library

Audiobooks and Podcasts, The Library Stack

Listening and Reading

Hope your week has gone well.  It is nearly the weekend and time for “power crafting” or just relaxing. Thought I would share an update on audiobooks and physical books that I have mentioned in recent posts (all borrowed from my local library).


AUDIOBOOKS

  • Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes – I first mentioned this audiobook in my post Embracing the “Yes”.  Last week, I finished this wonderful audiobook and I highly recommend it. It is read by the author which makes the book even more wonderful. Shonda Rhimes (writer/producer of shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal) authentically shares her struggles to break from her extreme introversion and embrace life. She shares some exceptional stories, experiences, and life lessons with humor, humility and grace. The audiobook also includes the recording of the incredible commencement speech she gave at her alma mater, Dartmouth College as well as several other highly inspirational speeches. She also delves into some of the autobiographical stories weaved into the plot of her shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal. Little did the TV viewers realize she was working on her own personal struggles through the storylines of the TV characters. Only problem with listening to this audiobook while on a walk is I had to stop a let out a belly laugh – her excellent television show writing skills are apparent in her book writing skills!
  • The Here and Now Habit by Hugh Byrne – this is my first time mentioning this audiobook as I started listening to it after finishing Year of Yes. It is not as exciting and engaging as the audiobook I just finished but so far is has wonderful tips on incorporating mindfulness into your life. More thoughts on the book after I finish it.

BOOKS (These books are from my 05/26/16 post The Library Stack)

  • The Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color by Becky Goldsmith – I have read several books that explore color and fabric selection for quilters, but I think this one of the best. Using many photo examples, the author discusses the color wheel, color schemes, value and contrast, clarity, texture and scale and other interesting and engaging topics related to quilt design. This book also includes several patterns to test out your color and design skills.
  • Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe by The Patchwork Place – This book had one pattern that engaged me – Tree Quilt – which was made from scrappy free form tree shapes. The rest of the patterns did not interest me though I recognize and appreciate the efforts by the different pattern designer/bloggers that contributed to the book. What I did enjoy was reading the bio of each designer and the website addresses for their blogs! If I had my choice I would just read and look at other crafter blogs all day.

Postscript

Sassy of Schnauzer Snips asked me to post this “public service announcement” for my human readers:

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A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Addicted to Audiobooks

I appear to be addicted to audiobooks – I listen while working on textile crafts, driving, walking, cooking, housecleaning, etc. I know it has truly become an addiction because I am currently listening to three (3) audiobooks at the same time:

  • Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
  • Beyond Willpower by Alexander Loyd
  • Blue Labyrinth by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Alright, I am not actually listening to three (3) audiobooks at once (that would be insane) but I have three different audiobooks loaded on my iPhone and I juggle between the three of them depending on my mood.

It is all the fault of my local library (in true addiction you are supposed to blame someone else, right?) for providing an endless supply of downloadable audiobooks through the Overdrive app. If your library has digital downloads, and you enjoy audiobooks, you should take advantage of this free community resource.

Disadvantages of free audiobooks from the library include only being able to keep them for 14 days (they expire from your device after 14 days) and your library may not have exact book you want. I like the pressure of 14 days though – it makes me actually finish up the audiobook. Usually I have books going at various staggered intervals where one expires in 5 days while the other expires in 11 days.

I have been in the middle of a thrilling audiobook and then boom – it expires – and there are other library patrons who have it on hold so I cannot renew it. I end up having to put the audiobook on hold and wait my turn to finish up my book. But that is okay – it is worth it (and it is free!)

Happy Listening!