The Way of the Househusband and… Burnout

Book Cover of The Way of the Househusband Gokushufudou by Kousuke Oono Volume 1I don’t know who needs to hear this (everyone?), but The Way of the Househusband is getting an anime (Netflix) this year, so if you haven’t yet discovered this hilarious, wholesome and infinitely uplifting manga series, check it out before it comes out on Netflix – you won’t regret it: Cute puppers? Check. Incredible artwork that captures expressions that border on grotesquely realistic but remain firmly rooted in the manga style? Check. Non-sequiturs flying about based on puns and misunderstandings (because Tatsu is a former yakuza who looks the part)? Check, check, check! A surprising feminist icon highlighting how much invisible labour housewives take on, giving value to that labour and making sure everyone he encounters understands how much work being a house(wife/husband) is? CHECK.

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Diverse Middle Grade for You and a Family Member!

As a youth services staff member, I have a soft spot for middle grade books. After the creation of We Need Diverse Books a few years ago, I’ve started paying closer attention to what stories and perspectives are being told in children’s books.  While the numbers are still overwhelmingly white (as reported by Lee & Low’s annual 2019 Diversity in Publishing survey), I think the past few years have given more awareness to great books that feature all children. This reading list contains just a few recent publications that you may not have heard of but you definitely should add to your to-be-read pile, as they’re perfect for adults and children alike!

These books are all realistic fiction to help narrow down your selection and I don’t think my list covers every book, which just speaks to how many great books there are. As usual, the links below go to the VPL catalogue where you can request these titles and read more about them!

The Best At It by Maulik Pancholy. This wonderful book is about twelve year old Rahul Kapoor, a seventh grader who wants to stand up to his bullies by proving that he is the best at something. Now all that’s left for him to do is to figure out what that special something is. This heartwarming story has wonderful gay representation and great discussions about mental health. I’m not the only one that thinks so, as this book is a Stonewall Honor Book and generated 3 starred reviews from trade reviews like Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

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3 Tips to Up Your Coffee Game

Coffee is a multi-billion dollar industry, with its own savants and fanatics in all reaches of the world drinking over 2 billion cups of it everyday. I am but one casual coffee drinker, very new to the game. I know coffee connoisseurs out there who can taste differences in roast, grind, and bean that my rookie palette is yet unable to detect or label. Just last year, I put a heaping tablespoon of Folgers Instant in my Ravenclaw mug and called it a morning. (This is not a Folgers Instant diss, I sincerely loved that stuff.) This small habit provided a nice structure to my day, in which I could enjoy each slow sip with the sunrise, some “me-time” before getting started on my daily tasks. There is a fog of mysticism around certain goods I consume daily; as I began enjoying my daily cuppa joe more and more, I decided coffee was one of those products to uncover. 

Cover of "Coffee Obsession".

Is it good for me? Is it bad for me? What’s the difference between each roast? Where does my coffee come from? Freshly ground or pre-ground? French press or pour over? Iced coffee or cold brew? Blade grinder or burr grinder? What even is a burr grinder? These are just a few of the questions I had. 

My coffee-fication was a staged process, one in which I learned a few of these answers. Here are three tips I have to offer the casual coffee drinker to up their coffee game, as I find myself one year into this journey:

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