Fauquier County Public Library

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10 Tools to Combat Holiday Stress

Posted by Pam Lovera on

Holidays conjure up visions of family get-togethers and office parties, piles of presents under the tree, and cookies baking in the oven.  These same things can also be at the root of holiday stress.  You can, however, combat the stress and put the “ho ho ho” back in the holiday.

Say No
Without thinking, we readily agree to bake cookies for the office party, spend every free moment shopping for the perfect gift and attend every holiday soiree on the calendar.  Experts agree that saying no can be a holiday sanity-saver. “Take care of yourself by saying no to at least one – and maybe more,” urges George Pratt, PhD and psychologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.  Instead, make workouts, book clubs and other regular activities you enjoy a priority, and don’t overbook your holiday calendar with extra activities.

Turn Off Your Phone and Turn Up The Music
The constant distraction of cell phone rings, email alerts and text messages – which likely increase around the holidays – can be exhausting and increase stress levels.  However, research at the University of Maryland has shown that listening to music can be calming, relaxing blood vessels and increasing blood flow.  Try turning off your phone during holiday gatherings and turn up the music instead.

Visit Your Local Library
Yes, libraries are a haven of calm, but a pre-holiday visit to the library can also arm you with tools to fight the holiday frenzy.  The following are 10 stress-beating resources you will find at your local Fauquier County Public Library.  Search our online catalog for additional resources, or stop by the reference desk on your next visit.

  1. Aromatherapy (*Universal Class)
  2. Chakras 1010 (*Universal Class)
  3. The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration & Meditation: ancient skills for modern minds by Joel & Michelle LeveyBook Cover of The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration and Meditation
  4. In This Moment: five steps to transcending stress using mindfulness and neuroscience by Kirk D Strosahl and Patricia J Robinson
  5. Meditation for Beginners: techniques for awareness, mindfulness & relaxation by Stephanie Clement
  6. Overload: how to unplug, unwind, and unleash yourself from the pressure of stress by Joyce Meyer
  7. The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook by Martha Davis
  8. A Simplified Life: tactical tools for intentional living by Emily Ley
  9. Stress Less, Achieve More: simple ways to turn pressure into a positive force in your life [electronic resource] by Aimee Bernstein
  10. Yoga 101 (*Universal Class)

*Universal Class is an online database of courses available free to library patrons (valid library card is required) which include streaming video, insightful instructional content and helpful tutors. Classes are self-paced and available 24/7.  Courses are compatible with both PCs and Macs and are Android and iOS friendly.  To browse the course catalog, go to https://fauquierva.universalclass.com.

Lisa Pavlock, Public Information Coordinator, Fauquier County Public Library

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Handmade Holiday: Gifts You Can Make

Posted by vicky on

Handmade Holiday: Gifts You Can Make

If you are looking to give a handmade gift this holiday season, Fauquier County Public Library has a multitude of resources to help.  From handmade soaps to paper crafts, the library’s collection has a wide range of books that can help add a personal touch to holiday giving.  (more…)

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Season’s Readings

Posted by jennifers on

Although the holiday season can be a time of high-stress and activity, it’s also an ideal time to get lost in a great read. Sure, you can’t go wrong with reading or rereading A Christmas Carol, but what if you’re wanting something with more contemporary humor or romance? What if a Christmas murder mystery is more your style, or if you want to share a Christmas story with a young child (or read a sweet children’s Christmas story for yourself? As someone who regularly rereads one or two children’s Christmas books every year, I’m all for adults reading children’s books!)? Each year brings an explosion of new Christmas books including basic board books, romance novels, mysteries and more. Consider these titles when you’re ready to slow down and savor the season:

Christmas Cozies

If your idea of a great Christmas read involves a warm blanket, your hot beverage of choice, and an endearing read, then you have an embarrassment of riches from which to choose.

‘”Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’ ” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug” is one of the most famous opening lines in American literature. With 2018 being the 150th anniversary of the publication of Little Women, why not rediscover Louisa May Alcott’s classic?

Although Ramona and Her Father isn’t the first children’s book people think of when they think “Christmas classic,” this heartwarming and witty 1978 Newbery Honor book by Beverly Cleary remains a relevant look at a family dealing with a parent’s unemployment during the holidays.

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto, illustrated by Ed Martinez book cover

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto is a gorgeous reminder to not forgo picture books once a child can read independently, as he/she might miss out on some outstanding picture book stories for the elementary school set. Maria must face the consequences of wearing her mother’s ring without permission when it gets lost while making tamales; will it ruin the family’s Christmas dinner? This is a joyous and very relatable story that imparts a message without being overly obvious about it.

The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve is one of my all-time favorite Christmas stories. Based on the author’s childhood recollections growing up as the daughter of an Episcopal priest and never being able to pick first from the donation boxes sent to the Rosebud Reservation, this is a meaningful and memorable tale about community, selflessness and unexpected rewards. Although the community is obviously impoverished, it is not a focal point; rather, the emphasis is on family/tribal pride and togetherness.

Christmas Weepers

Do you love to cry over a good story? Have the tissue box handy when you read these titles:

If you want a dash of realism in your Christmas stories, don’t miss Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini. Alternating between a grieving Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as he writes a Christmas poem and a music teacher preparing her students for a Christmas concert while facing budget cuts, this is an engaging story of faith, hope and the power of community.

Silver Packages is another outstanding picture book to share with elementary school students, as long as you can read the last scene without choking up! (It’s a happy scene, don’t worry.) A young boy fervently hopes to catch a doctor’s kit when the Christmas train runs through his Appalachian community, but each year brings a different gift. Based on author Cynthia Rylant’s childhood experiences, this is an emotional and eye-opening story with a joyful “circle of life” feel that will give you goosebumps.

Have you ever ugly cried over a children’s picture book? You just might if you read Susan Wojciechowki’s The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. No one can match Jonathan Toomey’s woodcarvings, but his gruff mannerisms are off-putting to the other villagers. When a widow and her young son ask him to carve figurines of the Holy Family for their crèche, they unexpectedly assist him in his devastating grief. Not only are the illustrations breathtaking, but the story is sensitively told without becoming maudlin.

Christmas Romance

Want some escapism and happy endings in your Christmas reading? These stories will set your heart a-fluttering:

Dogs of Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron

Bruce W. Cameron continues his line of wildly popular dog stories (A Dog’s Purpose) with Dogs of Christmas. Josh is not prepared when a dog and her puppies shows up in his life, much less when he falls for the adoption coordinator helping him to get the dogs ready for their new home. Will Josh be able to part with the dogs when it’s time for adoption? This sweet story is perfect for dog lovers and romance readers alike.

How about some binge reading (and time traveling) this Christmas? Check out The Christmas Brides Collection and The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection, both published by Barbour Books, one of the leading Christian fiction publishers. Perfect for those who prefer sweetness over sensuality in their romances.

If you’d prefer to stay in this century, pick up Christmas Camp by Karen Schaler. Haley Hanson is rising fast in her advertising career, and is ready to snatch a prestigious Christmas toy company’s account to further her aspirations. Although she’s not keen on her boss sending her to a Christmas Camp, she learns the benefit of rediscovering Christmas, as well as meeting the dashing son of the camp’s owner.

If you want to dive into a slew of Christmas novels, you can’t go wrong with the ruler of Christmas romance, Debbie Macomber. Her latest, Alaskan Holiday, is already a New York Times bestseller.

Mysterious Christmas

Craving a whodunit this holiday season? These stories bring murder, mayhem, and even some merriness:

Joanne Fluke’s Christmas Cake Murder is the latest in her long-running Hannah Swensen series; Hannah’s dream of becoming the top baker in town is complicated when she becomes entangled in a customer’s murder mystery story that suddenly becomes all too real.

Vicki Delany’s Year-Round Christmas series features Merry Wilkinson, the owner of a sweet little Christmas shop. When her best friend is suspected of a murder (by poisoned gingerbread cookie), she must spring into action before it’s too late.

Why not relax with a fat book of Christmas crime stories, penned by some of the genre’s greats? The Big Book of Christmas Mysteries, edited by Otto Penzler, is crammed with mysteries that will meet with the approval of even the most discerning mystery reader.

Isis Crawford’s Mystery With Recipes series is delicious reading for armchair sleuths any time of the year, but fans will definitely devour A Catered Christmas Cookie Exchange, which features a very competitive Christmas cookie competition that unexpectedly turns deadly.

Finally, don’t miss the monarch of Christmas mysteries, Anne Perry; her latest Christmas murder, A Christmas Revelation, is eagerly awaited by fans.

Jennifer Schultz Angoli, Collection Services Development Librarian

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New To Our Shelves; Destined For Your Table

Posted by lisap on

Following Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds may have replaced the old recipe box crammed with magazine clippings, but if the holds for our new and upcoming cookbooks are any indication, print cookbooks are here to stay. If you’re looking for some inspiration in the kitchen, try out some recipes from these new and forthcoming books at Fauquier County Public Library. (more…)

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Tools and Tips: Shopping Tips for the Holidays

Posted by lisap on

The holiday shopping vernacular has expanded in recent years to include Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.  Combined they represent the trifecta of holiday shopping – and spending – by consumers as they participate in one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.

Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving is considered the first day of the traditional holiday shopping season. Retailers usually offer deep discounts and extended shopping hours. The incentives work – last year, an estimated 77 million in-person shoppers hit stores, according to Practical Ecommerce(more…)

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Meet Libby, the One-Tap Reading App

Posted by Pam Lovera on

Young Man Listening to audio bookThere is something about a crackling fire, the scent of pumpkin spice and the sight of trees dressed in their fall foliage finery that inspires many to enjoy a good book and the Fauquier County Public Library has over 23,000 e-book and e-audio options to choose from. Libby, the easy-to-use app from Overdrive, one of the library’s e-book vendors, is an easy way to start enjoying e-materials. (more…)

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Tasty Titles: New Cookbooks for the Holidays

Posted by jennifers on

Following Pinterest boards and Instagram feeds may have replaced the old recipe box crammed with magazine clippings, but if the holds for our new and upcoming cookbooks are any indication, print cookbooks are here to stay. Recently, I wanted to expand and diversify our cookbook collection, so I did some hunting through review journals and online sources; I was thrilled when the hold requests started to pour in! If you’re looking for some inspiration in the kitchen, try out some recipes from these new and forthcoming books. (more…)

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