Library Moments: Blogger to Author

bloggingBessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.

Canadian humour writer Terry Fallis recently wrote a novel called “Poles Apart”  where the main character is a feminist blogger.  One of the endorsements on the back of the book is from Elaine Lui who says, “I am a blogger.  Terry Fallis is supposedly not a blogger.  But he’s written a cleverly observed book that’s taught me things about blogging and being a blogger that even I wasn’t aware of.”  Similarly to what happens to the main character in Terry Fallis’ book there has been a surge lately of successful bloggers being offered book contracts.

Today on Library Moments Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about a blogger turned author.

oh she glowsSherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: On October 31st 2008, Angela Liddon started a blog, Oh She Glows, to write about her recovery from an eating disorder, her journey to health, and the amazing transformation that food can make in our lives. Within the first few months of blogging her readership started to grow and before long she connected with women and men all over the world. Today, the Oh She Glows blog has over one million unique readers each month. Angela states that she never expected that her blog would turn into a passion and eventually her full-time career, but she’s extremely grateful that she took a chance and hit publish on her first post. In 2011, Angela was approached by an editor from a major publishing house to write a cookbook. It had been a dream of hers for a while so she jumped at the opportunity. Her first cookbook was published  in 2014. It now has over 300,000 copies in print.  As Angela’s relationship with food improved, she focused on creating healthy plant-based recipes that would win over her husband’s approval. At the time, he was a devout fast-food lover and drank pop like water. Coming up with healthy dishes that he enjoyed was a difficult task, but she was up for the challenge! Angela didn’t come from a food or photography background so everything you see on her blog is a result of hard work and self-taught skill. She taught herself how to create recipes and then photograph her creations.The Oh She Glows Cookbook contains a treasure trove of more than one hundred mouth-watering, wholesome recipes – from rich and hearty entrees, to decadent desserts,  there is something for everyone. The cookbook also includes recipes free of common food allergens – with more than ninety gluten-free recipes – and many recipes free of soy, nuts, sugar, and grains, too. The Oh She Glows Cookbook is very popular with Haliburton patrons.

furiously happyErin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: When Jenny Lawson found herself in the depths of a particularly deep period of depression and anxiety, she made a decision. When the happy times came again, she wouldn’t be just happy, she would be furiously happy. By the author of TheBloggess.com, and the autobiographical Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson features a fun loving taxidermied raccoon on the cover – yes, a real raccoon. His name is Rory. Rory is furiously happy. Presented as, in her words “a collection of bizarre essays and confused thoughts”, Furiously Happy is a battle cry from Lawson, who suffers from a laundry list of mental and physical chronic ailments, for those also suffering – medicated or not, diagnosed or not. Her message is that while the bad days may be inevitable, when the good days come throw yourself into them 100% because it’s those good days that will pull you through when the bad days come again. She encourages everyone to get in touch and embrace their beautiful broken selves, whatever your particular crack in the plaster might look like. Fans of Lawson’s blog will relish in her bizarre surreal humour which interchanges quickly with philosophical ruminations on what it feels like to deal with mental and physical illness on a daily basis – so quickly sometimes that you might cry a little mid laugh. Furiously Happy is available in print, but also in audio read by Jenny Lawson herself. I would actually recommend both the audio and print versions of the book – the audio because hearing Lawson’s stories in her own voice brings a whole other dimension to Furiously Happy, and the print version so you can follow your friends around incessantly reading the funniest parts out loud to them.

listen to the squawking chickenBessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Celebrity gossip blogger Elaine Lui of LaineyGossip as well as a contributor to etalk and co-host of The Social started sprinkling her blog with posts about her mother in the context of her celebrity gossip. She has with endearment and admiration named her mother “the squawking chicken”.  The blog posts morphed into a book called: Listen to the Squawking Chicken: When a Mother Knows Best, What’s a Daughter to Do? A Memoir (Sort Of).  Lui says of her mother, “Most people think I’m exaggerating at first when I talk about the Chinese Squawking Chicken. But once they actually spend some time with her, they understand. They get it. Right away. She’s Chinese, she squawks like a chicken, she is totally nuts, and I am totally dependent on her.”  This book got very mixed reviews but I’m wondering if the bad reviews came from the reader’s discomfort from the realness of it.  Jenny Lawson, who Erin just spoke about said,  “Lui captures the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship that is both complicated and beautiful. Poignant with a bare honesty that may make you think (and rethink) your own relationships.”  I guess for me, if a book makes me think that’s a good thing and you can’t beat the title.

Speaking of reading making you think, it just happens to be Freedom to Read week.  We are all grateful we live in a country where we can read things and dislike or disagree with them and say it out loud. During this week you can reaffirm your commitment to intellectual freedom, which is guaranteed to you under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.That’s it for this week’s Library Moments, thanks for listening here on 100.9 Canoe FM.

*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM, February 21-27th, 2016.

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