Is reading fantasy books useful?

You probably already know that reading fiction is not only enjoyable but also good for you because it is a uniquely powerful way to understand others, tap into creativity and exercise your brain.  But a dear friend recently asked whether there also were special benefits to reading fantasy, which is a popular genre with our patrons.      Turns out the answer is yes, according to Fernando Lanzer, author and former human resources executive in the Netherlands.  “Good fantasy books draw parallels with real-world dilemmas, moral conflicts and essential values,” he says.  “These are the ones you can learn from, and what you learn can be useful in real life. Good fantasy books can also lead you to develop your own imagination, to stimulate your creativity and your thinking out of the box. They can also help you understand human emotions and values; perhaps you can also learn about your own emotions and values.”

Lanzer points out that, as with any literary genre, there are a lot of poor fantasy books out there.  He advises:  “Be selective. Invest your time in choosing good books to read, regardless of the genre. And that means not necessarily reading the bestsellers.  Just like the most popular restaurants are not necessarily the ones with the best food. Ask people that you respect for their recommendations. If you find an author you like, check out other books by the same author, or find out which books those authors have enjoyed.

“And have fun. If a book is boring, skip a few pages. If it continues to bore you, drop it and get another one,” Lanzer says.  “Here’s my suggestion: ‘The Princess Bride.’  It’s a fantasy book that I found entertaining and full of layers. I was over 40 when I read it and I enjoyed it as much as any teenager. Good books appeal to young and old.”  (“The Princess Bride” is available in your library as both a book and a movie.)

Activities calendars available

To be sure you don’t miss any of the free activities available to you and your families at your library, we encourage you to pick up a copy of the events calendar each month.  There are three versions – kids, tweens/teens and adults.  We look forward to seeing you at your library. Se habla español.

All-ages gaming tomorrow

Join us tomorrow, Friday, March 22 from 2-3:15 p.m. for a free all-ages gaming session where you can enjoy video gaming on Wii and X-box 360 Kinect with your friends and family.

Literary Ladies tomorrow

This free book lovers group – formerly the Senior Book Club – meets on the fourth Friday of every month from 10:30 a.m.–noon. Tomorrow, Friday, March 22, they will discuss “Those Who Save Us” by Jenna Blum.  Stop by your library to pick up a copy.  For more information, contact Marilyn Stroud at bakestroud@aol.com

LEGO Club on Saturday    

Kids aged 6 – 12 are invited to bring your imaginations – LEGOs are provided – on Saturday, March 23 from 11 a.m. – noon for the free LEGO Club.

Tween gaming

Free gaming for 4th-8th grades is Monday, March 25 from 4-5 p.m.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Teen gaming

Free teen gaming happens on Tuesdays from 4–5:30 p.m. for teens in the 7th-12th grades.  Enjoy X-box 360 Kinect, Wii and snacks.

Teen role-playing

The free role-playing game for 7th-12th graders takes place Wednesday, March 27 from 4-5:30 p.m. Use your imagination to go on adventures and battle monsters.  You can join this group any time.

Spanish conversation

Wednesday, March 27 from 3-4 p.m. practice your Spanish with others to help you increase your fluency at this free informal session. All are welcome, from beginners to native Spanish speakers.  Previous attendance is not necessary.  No registration required.

Computer classes

Join us for free sessions from 1-2 p.m. on alternating Thursdays to learn a useful technology skill or application.  March 28 details how to navigate commonly used features on your Windows, Android or Apple smartphone nor tablet.  No registration required.  

Adult education

Our free PALS (Pagosa Adult Learning Services) takes place on  Mondays from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., plus Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 – 7 p.m.  Come to your library to get help from Mark with high school equivalency, GED, college prep, financial aid, tutoring and more. Note that PALS will not take place the week of Spring Break (March 25 – March 29). PALS generally follows the school schedule, so when they are off, Mark is off. 

Free tech sessions

Drop in with your technology questions on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-noon and Thursdays from 2-4 p.m.   

Family storytimes

Every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. and Saturday from 9:30-10 a.m., join us for free great stories, fun songs and plenty of reasons to get up and move.  This is an excellent way for kids of all ages to have fun while building the skills they need to become independent readers.  Both storytimes are open to babies, toddlers and youngsters of all ages to make it easier for parents to attend with their children depending on their busy schedules rather than the age of their little ones.  Wednesday, March 27 will feature chi gong movements led by Dr. Dean Sanna and Amanda Beasley.

DVDs – More Academy Award films

“Bohemian Rhapsody” won best actor for Rami Malek and three other Academy Awards, as well as best picture/drama at the Golden Globes and best ensemble in the AARP Movies for Grownups Awards. “First Man” one three Academy Awards and a nomination in the AARP Movies for Grownups.

Other DVDs

“The Irish R.M.” is the complete Masterpiece Theatre collection.  “The Three Faces of Eve” is the classic starring Joanne Woodward, David Wayne and Lee J. Cobb.  “Horatio’s Drive” is about an eccentric Vermont doctor who made America’s first road trip in 1903.

Mysteries, thrillers and suspense

“The Perfect Alibi” by Phillip Margolin is a legal thriller.  “Beautiful Bad” by Annie Ward features a devoted wife, loving husband and a chilling murder.  “The Devil Aspect” by Craig Russell is set in an asylum for the criminally insane in Prague.  “Broken Bone China” by Laura Childs is a Tea Shop mystery. 

Other novels

“Silent Night” by Danielle Steel follows a young girl who loses her speech and memory after a traumatic event.  “Daisy Jones and the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid explores the lives of a rock ‘n’ roll singer and a band.  “Cemetery Road” by Greg Iles is a tale of friendship, betrayal and secrets in a Mississippi city.

How-to and self-help

“Secrets of Great Second Meals” by Sara Dickerman shows you how to turn leftovers into innovative new recipes.  “The Kitchen Garden” by Alan Buckingham is a month-by-month guide to growing your own fruits and vegetables.  “90 Seconds to a Life You Love” by psychologist  Joan I. Rosenberg helps you manage your difficult feelings and build emotional strength.  “Keto Diet” by Dr. Josh Axe contains a 30-day program and 80 recipes.  “The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money”  by Jill Schlesinger offers 13 ways to help you understand and take control of your finances.  “How to Play Pickleball” by Pickleball legend Richard Movsessian and Joe Baker has information for complete beginners and advanced tournament levels.  “Pickleball Fundamentals” is a guide written and endorsed by the USA Pickleball Association.  “Beginner Gardening Step by Step” is a DK basic guide with photographs. 

Other nonfiction

“Parkland” by Dave Cullen explores the work of the extraordinary teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting.  “Midnight in Chernobyl” by Adam Higginbotham is an exploration of the world’s greatest nuclear disaster.  “Utah” is a Frommer’s travel guide with a pocket map.  “Antarctica’s Lost Aviator” by Jeff Maynard tells of the first crossing of this continent.  “How to Hide an Empire” by Daniel Immerwahr discusses the islands, atolls and archipelagos the U.S. has taken and governed.  “Austin to ATX” by Joe Nick Patoski chronicles the interesting characters who transformed the capital of Texas.  “An American Summer” by Alex Kotlowitz is a portrait of love and death in Chicago’s most turbulent neighborhoods. 

Books on CD

“Winter World” by sci-fi author A.G. Riddle explores the possibility that something or someone out there is trying to exterminate us by freezing our world.  “A Justified Murder” by Jude Deveraux is the latest in the Medlar mystery series.  “Watcher in the Woods” by Kelley Armstrong is the latest in the Casey Duncan mystery series.  “Connections in Death” by J.D. Robb is an Eve Dallas mystery.  “Golden State” by Ben H. Winters is an alternate society story.  “Liar Liar” by James Patterson and Candice Fox is about a good cop gone bad.  “The Rule of Law” by John Lescroart is a Dismas Hardy legal thriller.  “Judgment” by Joseph Finder is a mystery featuring a judge being blackmailed.  “Out of the Dark” by Gregg Hurwitz is an Orphan X thriller.

Large print

“The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides is a murder mystery.  “I Owe You One” by Sophie Kinsella begins when a man gives the heroine an IOU and his business card.  “Chocolate Cream Pie Murder” by Joanne Fluke is a Hannah Swensen mystery with recipes.  

Programmed Nooks

We have nine free Nooks and three free tablets programmed for your e-reading pleasure.  The eight adult content e-readers contain either fiction or nonfiction bestsellers.  The four youth e-readers contain books for children, juniors and young adults.  

Downloadable e-books

Current New York Times bestseller downloadable e-books are being added regularly to our free 3M Cloud Library.  Access them by clicking on the 3M Cloud Library icon on the home page of our website.  While there, browse through a multitude of other adult, juvenile and children’s books, both bestsellers and classics in many genres.

Downloadable films

For your viewing pleasure, we offer IndieFlix, a free streaming movie service that gives you unlimited access to more than 7,500 award-winning and popular independent shorts, feature films and documentaries from more than 50 countries – on your device, PC or Mac, with no apps needed.  Access IndieFlix through the Downloadable Content icon on the library’s website.  Use “Quick Pick,” the discovery tool that lets you sample movies like you would music.

Thanks to our donors

For books and materials this week, we thank Gayle Dixon. Diane Bower and our anonymous donors. 

Quotable Quote   

“One of the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges to cross and which bridges to burn.” – Oprah Winfrey, media executive, actress, talk show host, TV producer and philanthropist.

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