What Inspires You?

Becky Staff Image

Let me start off by being completely honest. I had a hard time getting inspired to write my post this month. I am a legendary procrastinator, plus I succumb to the mid-winter blues every year. By the time I recover from the excitement of the holidays, usually around the end of the first week of January, I can literally feel the energy being drained from my body. It’s usually cold and gloomy, and the days aren’t getting longer fast enough to suit my body’s circadian rhythm and need for sunshine. But I have devised a remedy for my mid-winter blues: surrounding myself with things that inspire me.

Now being a librarian, I’m sure it comes as little shock that one of the things I am inspired by is books. I LOVE books! I love books so much that I have ever-growing stacks all around my house (and if I’m being totally honest, the backseat of my car) of books that for one reason or another spoke to me. My piles are full of titles I thought sounded funny, cover art I just had to investigate further, authors I’ve heard are really great but I’ve yet to read or how-to titles for hobbies I’m hoping to pick up again.

So, in honor of my inability to get inspired about writing this month’s post, here’s a list of things I am inspired by and that helped me find the energy needed to write:

Six of Crows book cover

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Not only does this book have great cover art, but the pages are all edged in a deep, blood red color – making this book sexy on the shelf. Which is exactly how I discovered it when I saw a copy on hold for a colleague! Six of Crows is the first book in a young adult fantasy series about a group of criminal miscreants, all with mysterious pasts and special abilities. While the story was engrossing and grabbed my attention from the very start, without the sexy red pages juxtaposed against the dark cover I may never have even noticed this book to pick it up. I am so glad I did.

Cannibals in Love book cover

Cannibals in Love by Mike Roberts

Full disclosure, I have not actually read this book yet. But just look at that cover! This title was on one of the many best books of 2016 lists I’ve read, and when I pulled up an image of the cover I said to myself, “I have to have that book!” Whoever designed this cover should win some sort of graphic design award because it grabs your attention and then makes you do a double take. What is happening in that picture? Given the title, is it something gruesome like pieces of skin sewn together? No, no, never fear. It’s fingers intertwined in a show of affection, presumably an allusion to the “in love” portion of the title.

I Almost Forgot About You book cover

I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

This one falls under the category of authors I had never read but heard were really good. Boy am I glad I finally got around to reading Terry McMillan! Probably best known for Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, both of which were turned into major motion pictures back in the late ’90s, McMillan writes about real life, real love and real friendships. I Almost Forgot About You is her most recent novel, published last year. In it, the protagonist Georgia Young (what a great character name!) discovers one of her long-ago boyfriends has passed away, inspiring her to reconnect with old flames as part of a larger midlife crisis cum journey of self-rediscovery. McMillan imbues Georgia with so much passion and personality it is hard not to get sucked right into her story. I had hardly even picked up the book before I realized I was one hundred pages into it already. And the ending — oh my goodness, what an ending!

One of the great things about the Library is that there’s always something new to inspire me. Whether it’s a new book, a great music collection, a classic film you’ve always wanted to watch or one of our great programs, I hope you find something inspiring at the Library, too!

– Becky

CLP mascot Andrew Card Negie posing in front of downtown Pittsburgh skyline

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Becky works part time as the Adult Services Specialist at CLP – Beechview. When not at the library, she’s most likely wrangling her small child and wishing she had more time to paint, write, or simply read a good book in peace.