Career Guides

parachute2Whether you’re looking to start a brand new career path or advance through your current one, we all need some career advice from time to time. Maybe you’re still looking for the right type of job for you or maybe you know exactly what you want to do with your life but need an extra push to set it all in motion.

No matter what your career aspirations are, the library should have exactly what you need. Try out one of these guides to get started:

What Color is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Nelson Bolles – The world’s most popular job-hunting guide, revised and updated annually. This 2016 edition features the latest studies and perspectives on today’s job-market, including proven strategies for finding jobs even when everyone tells you there are none.

The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People by Carol Eikleberry – A career guide for offbeat individuals seeking work that suits their unique skills, talents, and passions.

Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do by Chris Guillebeau – Demonstrates how to enjoy greater career success and personal fulfillment by finding one’s life calling, with recommendations beyond the entrepreneurial sphere to outline an actionable method for rendering one’s passions profitable.

Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck by Jon Acuff – A consultant, public speaker and best-selling author describes how to make career changes and to avoid feeling trapped in the wrong job by changing the way workers view their skills, relationships and work ethics through the use of a “Career Savings Account.”

Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life by Ken Robinson – A guide to self-improvement, happiness, and creativity outlines practical steps for identifying personal talents, merging one’s passions with inherent abilities, and transforming interests into income.

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job, Kill it in Your Career, Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht – The global fashion communications executive, draws on her experience to share advice, inspiration, lessons learned, and personal and professional guidance for people just starting their careers, as well as for people well on their way.

The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore – A 21st-century edition of a classic career design reference for college graduates and midlife career changers shares more than 100 self-tests and diagnostic tools for identifying a career suited to one’s aptitude and personality.

“Is this reality, the final reality, or just a new deceptive dream?”

kingqueenVladimir Nabokov’s King, Queen, Knave was our Brown Baggers choice for September. It features, not surprisingly, three main characters – head of household Dreyer, bitter wife Martha, and impressionable youth Franz. Readers agreed that not a single one of these characters was sympathetic. They are extremely superficial and had a significant lack of moral bearing. Both Dreyer and Martha engage in affairs (Martha’s being with Franz), perhaps because it’s expected of them –  one of the many accepted activities in their social class. Martha and Franz spend much of the book plotting Dreyer’s murder. Dreyer has a myopic, some considered jovial, view of the world that doesn’t lead him to heavily involve himself in the life of others, including his wife. Manipulation and greed were par for the course, and readers suggested the drive to murder and cheat might be a result of the characters’ staid lives and a need for more excitement. While the mystery of would they or won’t they kept the pages turning, most readers were just glad to reach an ending and didn’t have strong feelings as to what became of these characters, especially as the ending was not entirely fair to some of the characters.

Aside from the characters, Nabokov’s writing, especially his description and language, were praised. Readers were also entranced by his ability to paint a fever dream of surreality, notably when Franz experiences Berlin without his glasses, and later when he starts to come unhinged from the pressure to commit murder from Martha. Nabokov also employs seamless transitions between one character’s story line and actions and another which was impressive. The author relied heavily on metaphor – including a whole automannequin (robot) sequence that emphasized the robotic nature and actions of the main characters, especially Franz doing whatever Martha told him, and also served to symbolize the growing Nazi following in Germany at that time. Another metaphor was the repeated mentions of the film King, Queen, Knave which readers took as a metaphor for the dramatic and theatrical lives the characters were leading.

Those who had read Nabokov’s other works, like Lolita, and other noted Russian authors, found this book to be less intense and introspective than those. The internal lives and extended internal dialog of characters was not found here.

More Information:
Author who inspired Nabokov – H.G. Wells
A few of the authors inspired by Nabokov – Thomas Pynchon, Jhumpa Lahiri, John Banville
Paris Review interview with Nabokov (1967)
Excerpt from James Mossman interview with Nabokov (1969)


Similar Books:
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink – This former Brown Baggers choice about an older woman-teen boy affair came to mind when reading the Martha-Franz relationship.
The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters – This former Brown Baggers choice about a death and the subsequent cover up matched the intrigue of this book.

The next Brown Baggers meeting will be October 20. We’ll be reading Gray Mountain by John Grisham.

Tales from the Road

bookmobile general 3


Life on the bookmobile is a bit different from the other JMRL branches.  We all have our ups and downs, our good days and bad, but there are some situations one only encounters out on the road.

One day I was down in the Esmont area.  There’s a stop at which I pull the big bookmobile over to the side of the road, in front of some houses.  As is common in the country, the dogs roam freely and I was used to them coming to greet me with some friendly barking.  I hadn’t seen the dogs yet when Stefanie, the human, came out toward the bus.  “Oh, no!  Oh, no!” I heard her exclaim as she came forward.  I had a definite moment of panic, thinking I had inadvertently hit one of the dogs.  As I hopped out of the bus, though, she pointed behind us.  The neighbors’ gate had gotten open and the cows were all wandering out into the road!  Stefanie hollered for her son to come help and we each picked up something to wave at the roaming cattle.  Luckily no other traffic came by as the three of us chased the cows, hollering all the while, back into their enclosure.  Stefanie closed the gate tightly – at least for the moment.