A Court of Thorns and Roses book review

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)A Court of Thorns and Roses
by 
Sarah J. Maas
YAF/Novel/Fantasy Fiction/High Fantasy

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is an enemies-to-lovers story which follows the main protagonist, Feyre Archeron. As Feyre is human, and when she goes into the magical land of Prythian, she is suddenly surrounded by lethal predators: fairies (fae in the story’s terms). As we see things through the eyes of Feyre, we too learn of the complex history and issues that living in Prithian entails. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the first of the series of five. In my opinion, the books only get better, and that is saying something because the first book is fun and captivating to read. However, my only caveat is that if you have a problem reading long books, I would suggest finding a different book series. On the other hand, if you are interested in a lover’s story, a world of powers and fantasy, and overcoming great evil at the hands of a dictator, then this book is for you.

-Eric Ames

Be More Chill book review

Be More Chill by [Ned Vizzini]Be More Chill
by Ned Vizzini
YAF/Science Fiction 

The novel Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini is about Jeremy Heere, a typical teenage boy who faces the ups and downs of high school like a normal kid would. Unfortunately for Jeremy, popularity and the social scene always works against him, but as the story evolves, Jeremy finds a “squip”- a piece of technology that speaks in his head- which helps him transform into a “cooler” person. While the squip may seem like a positive force at first, Jeremy soon realizes that it is completely changing him and discovers that the best version of himself is who he truly is. 

I found this book enjoyable. The concept of this book is unlike anything I have encountered. I think the moral of the story – being your authentic self – as cliché as it is, is important, especially for younger kids and adolescents who are in search of who they are, as obstacles such as social media and high school set a stage of competition among everyone. With this knowledge in mind, I give this book a thumbs up.

– Eric Ames

Reading Goals and Challenges

Starting a new year is always a good time to refresh or set new goals. If you are a reader and hope to read more, now is your chance. Below are a few practical goal ideas for you to apply. 

Reading more:

The best way to read more is by setting a numerical goal- within reason. For example, let’s say you read 15 books this year, then maybe you want to read 20 books next year. It’s essential not to give yourself a huge gap in books read from the year before to the next; otherwise, you may be biting off more than you can chew. Having a vision gives yourself direction. If you don’t have a clear destination, how do you know if you will ever get there?

Diversify genres:

Reading a lot of books is important; along the way, reading diverse genres will make the process more enjoyable and, more importantly, broaden your horizon. While it is fun to stick to what you know and like, how would you know if you like a new genres if you never try them? 

Spend more time reading:

Most people aim to read more books, but it doesn’t always matter how many books you read, so long as you simply dedicate time to reading. Wanting to read more books is a good way to spend more time reading, some people read quickly. However, there is nothing wrong with those who read slower, as it lets you immerse yourself more fully into the author’s work and gives you more time to contemplate the ideas the author is presenting. 

This year, set your reading goals. READ. READ. READ. Don’t stop reading if only for a new book. Good Luck!

– Eric Ames, Reporter

Thankful for Reading

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to emphasize being thankful. So today, I would like to do something unique; I want to step away from the joy reading gives me and focus on a few objective benefits reading provides – specifically, the benefits I see in my everyday life.

Your vocabulary expands

When I read, I always pick up on new words- some of which I can guess based on the context and some words need to be defined. Regardless, seeing new words used in contexts can help you understand those words. A benefit from having a robust vocabulary can improve understanding in all forms of conversation – listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Who doesn’t want that?  

Stress reducer 

Reading makes me feel calm. It is important to step away from our present situations, to take a breath of fresh air. By taking my mind to a world beyond my own, I feel as though reading keeps me grounded. Having a chance to step away from my fast-paced life, made complex through stressors and problems, shows me that outlets are not just important but essential – and that’s exactly what reading grants you.

Improves ability to empathize 

It is no surprise that spending time in the mind of the characters we read about heightens our ability to sense and understand the emotions of the people around us. This ability is termed “Theory of Mind,” which helps us navigate and build our social relations. 

These are just a few benefits reading can yield, and for that, I am thankful. So, this Thanksgiving, treat yourself and go to the West Bridgewater Public Library, for there is much to be thankful for when you read. 

-Eric Ames, Reporter

 

Reading Can Play a Significant Role in Your LIfe

Reading can play a significant role in your life. It offers stability, imagination, and an outlet. For these reasons, I want to share a list of a few books that I have read in the past year for which I am thankful. 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson- Four strangers meet at a haunted house under the guidance of Dr. Montague who is there to inspect whether the rumors of the house being haunted are true or not. Though, the ending has a twist. This book is a classic. Reading this book puts you inside the character, Eleanor’s mind. When the story finished, I got chills. I could appreciate the unpredictable plot of this book. 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson- Merricat, Constance, and their Uncle Julian are isolated from society due to a family tragedy that happened six years prior. Their cousin Charles comes to their house, bent on stealing the family fortune. Because The Haunting of Hill House was a great read, I decided to pick up another book by Shearly Jackson- so I settled on this one. This book is clever in the way that it chooses its language. I found this book had language that graced upon the prospect of fantasy- cleverly portraying the out-of-touch psychological status of the protagonist, Marricat. Overall, I liked this book for its imagination, however, The Haunting of Hill House takes the cake in terms of terror. 

Scythe (Trilogy) by Neal Shusterman-  TheScythe books are of a utopian future, where the population has conquered death. Though, the earth cannot sustain such a large population, therefore, scythes, as the book called them, would go around and glean people. With great power comes great responsibility, and some scythes abuse that responsibility… I enjoyed the Scythe trilogy- especially the first book. I would say, if you wanted to stop reading at the end of book 1, you could do so as the plot wraps up quite well. I did not enjoy the 2nd and 3rd books as much as the first. These books were deep as they brought to mind philosophical questions. Great reads!  

You can find these books and many others at the WBPL, so come on down!

-Eric Ames, Reporter

The library is a resource for students

The Library is a Great Resource for Students

As pandemic restrictions dissipate and as summer comes to a close, this can only mean one thing: kids are going back to school.

Of course, to do well in school, you need to have the resources: a computer, a printer, material to study, etc etc. There is no need to fear because the West Bridgewater Public Library is here! Need a device to type your essays? The library has computers. Need a place to print them? The library has printers. In fact, the Library has much more than these basics necessities. For instance, if you need a pointer in English class, there is material you can check out to help you excel. Even the daunting, annual summer reading can be solved by going to the library and checking out the book. During all this time utilizing the resources here, when you stop and take a rejuvenating breath of fresh air and focus on your surroundings, you will notice the serene, quiet environment.

So please, students of all ages, know the library is here for you.

Eric Ames, reporter

30th Anniversary of present library building

The Library’s 30th Anniversary

On Saturday September 18th, the West Bridgewater Public Library celebrated its 30th anniversary. The current director, Ellen Snoeyenbos, talked about how the past years of being the library director have felt special to her. When reflecting on her time in office, Ellen and the library staff made the library a talking point for the community- and more, the face of town unity. Towards the end of her speech, after reflecting on her tenure as director, she mentioned her date of retirement and passing the torch to Laura Williams on November 6th as the new library director for our town.

Last but not least, the previous Director of the WBPL, Beth Roll Smith, spoke briefly discussing the library’s history. In her speech, the central theme was about what the library stood for: education, information, entertainment, and community involvement. The library has successfully implemented each of these cornerstones making them the very foundation for the library and for members of our town to reflect upon and enjoy for many generations to come.

Eric Ames, reporter

The library serves in many ways

 

Have you ever wondered what makes something extraordinary? Well, look no further, today I will be discussing just that. Only, I won’t be giving any definition; instead, I will describe my observations of what makes the West Bridgewater Public Library the crown of libraries. 

About a year ago, I entered the Library intending to get a book for my summer reading, I succeeded. Along the way, however,  I found board games! After checking out my book, I walk back for a closer look. My eyes saw games ranging from chutes and ladders to card games and checkers. In fact, the designated children’s section of our library has so much more including storytime and occasional baby chicks, and even bunnies to enjoy! So what else does the library offer? Why should you come here?

The WBPL has a few more tricks up their sleeve.  We have a passport service where you can fill out a form to get your passport, we have ancestry.com, the library also has organized events, such as an outdoor stargazing which turnout out to be so cool that everyone’s night was filled with oooh’s, and ahhh’s! There are many more wonderful ongoing events at the library. To top it all off, you will meet a compassionate team working behind the curtain to make your trip, in your definition, extraordinary.

Eric Ames

Library Mental Health

 

Depression is an illness affecting millions of people around the world. Undoubtedly, this pandemic can play quite a nasty role in terms of mental illness. For some, social isolation can trigger depression for the first time around or worsen depressive symptoms if already diagnosed. Being cut off from the love, support, and close contact of family and friends is certainly enough to prompt feelings of sadness. For this reason, it is crucial to recognize how to manage such emotions. Here, I will be explaining just that!

When negative thoughts appear, they may seem uncontrollable as you get yourself in what seems to be an eternal loop, but there are ways to distract and cope. To change your way of thinking, focus on something that adds meaning to your life. This purpose can appear in many forms. Outdoor activities: hiking, biking, and walking, even gardening have been proven to elevate your mood, and then there are indoor activities: cooking, games, or reading. These activities can help you bring peace of mind and fortify you against destructive thinking. 

Additionally, more robust activities with extensive research point to yoga and meditation as a couple of the best habits for alleviating depression. Yoga offers benefits beyond the physical realm since you practice mindfulness. Even though many yoga centers are closed, you can still find online programs, having courses ranging from beginner to advanced. Like yoga, mediation offers you the chance to practice mindfulness. When mindfulness is eventually cultivated, the individual can learn to respond to stress while keeping awareness of the present moment. 

No one knew where this pandemic would take us, or how long it would last or how much longer it will last. As humans, we have to accept the circumstances and learn to adapt; thus, we must have fun, be spontaneous! Taking the time for your well-being is more important now than ever before. Remember, it is important to keep yourself busy with what you love; good thoughts attract good things!

Eric Ames, reporter

Book or movie? Or both?

It comes as no surprise that reading a book and watching a movie are very different forms of entertainment. 

Watching the same story roll out on the big screen provides a different experience than reading it. Movies allow you to visualize all the elements in front of you, while books spur the reader’s imagination. Not only does reading fuel your imagination, but it also gives you the ability to play out the characters of the story in your mind’s eye. With this distinction, either picking up a good book or watching a movie are both fun in their own way. 

Studies have shown that the perks of reading include: prevention of cognitive decline, increased empathy, and alleviation of depression. On the other side, watching a movie can benefit your social life, from raising awareness and social skills to providing bonding time. 

As you most likely know, movies are accessible online or virtually everywhere, but we also have them here at the library. As for books, well, we have plenty of those too!

Check out our online resources for movies, eBooks, audiobooks, comics, and more…

Eric Ames, reporter