Library News Article January 2021

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OTIS LIBRARY                                                                                                      JANUARY 2021

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.” ~Kitty O’Meara from The Most Important Lessons We Can Take from This Pandemic by Arabella Lumley

We enter this new year with Hope, Healing, Health, and Happiness. We bring the lessons we learned from our many life experiences of the COVID 19 Pandemic of 2020.

We learned that the drive to make money to buy things that would bring us pleasure and satisfaction such as cars, jewelry, clothes, video game entertainment, travel, and other facets of leisure was not important.  We were constantly moving, going here there and everywhere doing sports, dance, movies, singing, and all other activities. Quickly these activities came to a halt when the pandemic brought a lockdown. We realized the stillness, the peacefulness, and the quiet.  We had time to find ourselves. Our appreciation and our dependency fell on the healthcare personnel and essential workers that provided medical services, food, and supplies.  We learned to look at these professions as dedicated, and strong. These workers became the real Heroes! There was a closeness that developed with those we were lucky enough to have with us throughout this time. Yet, there was an emptiness from not being able to see others, to forego family and friend gatherings. There is a need for human connections, and we learned not to take people for granted.  As we changed our surroundings from the busyness of corporate materialism to the quiet solitude of quarantine, we renewed our relationship with nature.  We enjoyed the outdoors, we watched animals, and wildlife prevail, and we enjoyed their presence.  Our appreciation to the strength and delicacies of nature gave us a vision and perspective.

Will we go back to our old ways? Let us hope that our personal transformation will push us to preserve nature, to keep stillness in our lives and remind us not to take people, health, and safety for granted.  Let us enter this new year with a confirmation to respect the science, protect others through masks, distancing, and vaccines, help all and appreciate and preserve our environment. We hope we never go through a pandemic again, but we have learned from this.

Great Reads                                 Audio                                                            DVD’s

A Promised Land by Barack Obama   Redhead by the side of the road by A Tyler         The War with Grandpa

The Ickabog   J.K. Rowling                    Book of two ways by Jodi Picoult                           Bill & Ted Face the Music

A Time for Mercy  John Grisham        Caste by Isabel Wilkerson                                       Outlander Season 5

Deadly Cross  James Patterson           To Be Honest Michael Leviton                               Star Trek  Picard #1

Women Rowing North  Mary Pipher

Yellow House   Sarah Broom

The Warmth of Other Sun’s

My Own Words Ruth Bader

The Return Nicholas Sparks

Daylight David Baldacci

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You Jason Reynolds

Carnegie’s Maid  Marie Benedict

A Gentleman in Moscow  Amor Towles

An American Marriage Tayari Jones

The Great Alone Kristin Hannah

Educated  Tara Westover

Becoming  Michelle Obama


You’ve arrived at the website of my new book, The Ickabog.

I had the idea for The Ickabog a long time ago and read it to my two younger children chapter by chapter each night while I was working on it. However, when the time came to publish it, I decided to put out a book for adults instead, which is how The Ickabog ended up in the attic. I became busy with other things, and even though I loved the story, over the years I came to think of it as something that was just for my own children.

Then, in the Spring of 2020, lockdown happened. It was very hard on children, in particular, so I brought The Ickabog down from the attic, read it for the first time in years, rewrote bits of it and then decided to publish it online for children stuck at home.  I also thought how wonderful it would be if children on lockdown illustrated the story for me, and so we launched the Ickabog illustration competition, run by my publishers around the world.

The Ickabog book, illustrated by the winners of the competition, is now out, and I’m donating my net royalties to my charitable Trust, Volant to help medical and frontline charities supporting vulnerable groups impacted by Covid-19.

Thank you to everyone who entered the competition and helped create the book, and I hope you enjoy reading it!.