campbell-unclassified-blog-header

Campbell Unclassified

A diverse series of articles by library staff about all things libraries and books!
Book Notes | Recommendations | Articles


⇐ Return to Library Website | Browse the Catalog | Overdrive Catalog | Contact Us

May 07

What Does that Word Mean? by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted on May 7, 2021 at 12:55 PM by Genesis Gaule

In the middle of a good read, no one wants to be disrupted by an unfamiliar word. I don’t mind a new word now and then, but too many will make me shut the book and go to the next. It’s good for my brain to add something that I can turn around and use, but again, too often and the whole read will be abandoned.

For the most part, words can be figured out by how the author uses them. If a main character wears a green jacket than any other word that refers to its color would mean some kind of green, like emerald, pastoral or verdant.

Our individual vocabulary is made up of the words each of us use. We each have four kinds of vocabulary:

  1. Reading--a word we can understand while into a book
  2. Listening--the words we understand when someone speaks
  3. Speaking--words we use when talking to someone
  4. Writing--the words we use when writing a letter, office work or homework

As I mentioned earlier, you may understand a word while reading because a good author has guided you to its meaning.

When listening to someone talking, words fly past quickly but we have the advantage of body language. If I heard ‘plummet’ for the first time and a friend demonstrated it with a hand coming down quickly, I’d understand. This may mean we understand more words than if we were reading them.

What words we choose when speaking to someone depends a great deal on who that someone is to us. If we’re looking at the weather with a 3-year-old, you might say, “It looks like it’s going to rain a lot today.” When speaking to Grandpa, you might say, “It looks like a thunderstorm.”

Our writing vocabulary can demonstrate a different range of words than when we’re speaking. Though there may be many words we use when talking that we’d never write down. Some we may never have seen in print. Kitty-corner is a word like that for me. I’d used it all my life and only recently saw it in print.

These vocabularies can be surprisingly different. Consider how you speak to your closest friends compared to how you speak to co-workers, Grandma or a flight attendant. There may be favorite words shared or some less favorable. All these vocabularies combine to make your personnel collection of words.

There are authors I read to challenge my vocabulary. I know I’ll have to take my time and focus. Other books, I fly through, knowing there will be no challenge.

doctors-blackwellIf you’d like to learn a few new words from good authors, how about trying The Doctors Black by Janice P. Nimura. The book is casual and yet a fascinating account of the first 2 female medical doctors. Nonfiction is good at teaching new words, but so is fiction. The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells is told from a robot’s point of view. I loved how its techy language was like a casual conversation about what’s for dinner. The author who always challenged me the most was Umberto Eco. If you like words, try his books.

pomegranateAn important part of learning how to read is learning new words, written and spoken. When I was young, I had no experience with pomegranates. I couldn’t have recognized one until I was an adult. A great book to share with kids is Grena and the Magic Pomegranate by Melvin Leavitt. Not only will the reader learn what a pomegranate is, but will also enjoy a great story and possibly learn a new word.

May 03

Book Notes 5/3/2021

Posted on May 3, 2021 at 3:11 PM by Genesis Gaule

Blog Book Notes

5/3/2021


The Campbell Library is open to the public Monday/Friday (9am-5pm) and Tuesday/Thursday (10am-7pm). We also offer Front Door Pick Up and half hour appointments for browsing or computer use Wednesdays (9am-5pm).


Walk in My Combat Boots by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann

True Stories from America's Bravest Warriors // An inspiring collection of hundreds of interviews by James Patterson. The interviews share brutally honest stories of men and women who have fought overseas. Walk in My Combat Boots gives an eye-opening look into what wearing the uniform, fighting in combat, losing friends, and coming home is really like.

EBOOK

That Sounds Fun by Annie F. Downs

The Joys of Being an Amateur, the Power of Falling in Love, and Why You Need a Hobby // Bestselling author, national speaker, and successful podcast host invites you to experience life through wide-open faith and a healthy dose of fun, encouraging you to celebrate and discover God's design for fun in your life.

EBOOK

The Stoic Challenge by William B. Irvine

A Philosopher's Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer, and More Resilient // A practical, optimistic guide that uses centuries-old wisdom to help us better cope with the stresses of modern living. Some people bounce back in response to setbacks; others break. The Stoic Challenge teaches us how to transform life's stumbling blocks into opportunities for becoming calmer, tougher, and more resilient.

EBOOK

Boeing 747 by Martin W. Bowman

A History: Delivering the Dream // In our skies for over half a century, the iconic Boeing 747 has transported hundreds of thousands of passengers across the world. The aircraft was the first wide-body airliner ever produced, and has set new standards in air travel and opened up the air routes of the world. Boeing 747 shows how the Boeing 747 has been developed in accordance with the changing demands of the ages.

EBOOK


If you need help accessing any of these titles or using front door pickup, email or call us and we will be happy to assist you!

View Book Notes PDF archive

Apr 30

Book and Podcast Pairings by Andrea Lorenz

Posted on April 30, 2021 at 1:31 PM by Genesis Gaule

The weather is slowly getting nicer and so I’m getting ready for my yard work. One of my favorite things to do is to be outside in the garden, in the yard, working on the house and listening to a podcast. Some podcasts are so immersive that I hate to be finished with them! For those of you who enjoy immersing yourself into something and want to keep that vibe going, I’ve got some podcast and book pairings.

99 percent invisible

99% Invisible promotes itself as a podcast about architecture and design, but what it really does is reveal the secret histories of things all around us. They cover hostile architecture (those really uncomfortable cement benches in train stations? Yeah those!), barbed wire, braille, flags, and the blackest black paint ever. I always find myself full of interesting tidbits after going on a 99pi (as it’s colloquially known as) binge.

If this is one of your favs, check out A Walk Around the Block: Stoplight Secrets, Mischievous Squirrels, Manhole Mysteries & Other Stuff You See Every Day (And Know Nothing About) by Spike Carlsen (031.02 CARLSEN). Carlsen takes what we think of as mundane – the mailing of a letter – and dives into just how it gets from your mailbox to its destination (with machines, fluorescent markings, airports, sorting, carriers and more!). You’ll never look at your local mailbox the same.

who the hell is hamish

One podcast that I’ve been binging lately is Who the Hell is Hamish? the story of Hamish Watson, serial conman. He could be whoever you wanted him to be – a professional skier bound for the Olympics, a family man, stepping in for an absent father, a hedge fund manager, a laid-back surfer dude.

Hamish would probably get along well with The Commander from Abby Ellin’s Duped: Double Lives, False Identities, and the Con Man I Almost Married (ebook). Ellin, a reporter for the New York Times, looks back into her relationship with a man she almost married whose past proved to be completely fabricated. How could a bright young woman fall completely for such blatant lies? Take a peek inside to find out the science of lying, the history of con artists, and the effects of betrayal.

in-the-dark

If true crime is more your flavor, you’ll want to check out the first season of In the Dark, an investigative podcast into the kidnapping of Jacob Wetterling. Wetterling disappeared from his neighborhood in St. Joseph, MN in October of 1989, and the case remained unsolved for 27 years. It dives into the history of the investigation and lays bare the mistakes of local law enforcement.

If you were haunted by the Wetterling case, you should check out Unspeakable Things by Jess Lourey, a mystery novel directly inspired by the Wetterling kidnapping. Cassie McDowell lives in a small town in Minnesota in the 1980s and life is pretty wholesome. Until local boys start to go missing. One by one, they return – violent, moody, and withdrawn. The town is rocked to its core, but Cassie is unaffected, until it’s her sister who disappears and returns changed.

BONUS Recommendations!