C-SPL June Reader of the Month


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Meet the C-SPL June 2024 Reader of the Month, Natalie Ervolino!

I am currently serving a year-long term with AmeriCorps in Youth Services at Carnegie-Stout Public Library! I have loved getting to do story times with kids, visit schools, and learn about youth literacy and everything that goes into running the library. This summer I’m running Creativity Club programming for ages 9-18 to learn about art and find their creative spark! Outside the library, I am also involved in the theatre community in Dubuque and love spending time out at Swiss Valley or at home with my sweet cat, Grizabella.

In general, I read a lot of fantasy because I love the amount of imagination that goes into writing and reading fantasy worlds. The communities that form around those books are usually really great too. Reading should be fun and an escape, so it’s nice when you don’t have to think too hard and just have fun! I also really love books with unhinged, unreliable narrators (“Yellowface” by R.F. Kuang is a great example of this).

Since I’ve been working at Carnegie-Stout, I’ve read a ton of children’s books. I’ve really enjoyed learning what kids love reading today and feeling like a kid again myself when I get really excited over a story!

C-SPL June 2024 Reader of the Month Q & A:

Q: What book(s) are you currently reading?

A: I just started Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere universe! I’m currently still on “Mistborn: The Final Empire,” and it’s really exciting to be diving into a huge fantasy series again.

Q: What is the best book you have read within the last year (or ever)?

A: Last year I read the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. It was the first time I felt like I was 13 years old obsessing over “The Hunger Games” again, which is a feeling I think I’ve been chasing my entire adult life. I have thought about the characters in the Grishaverse every day since.

Q: What is your ideal reading environment (location, sound, snacks, etc.)?

A: I love to create a whole nest in my bed filled with blankets and pillows and my book propped up on my cat, asleep in my lap. No overhead lighting allowed, lamps only! I am also usually drinking a triple berry flavored Bubblr.

Q: What book are you most excited about reading next, and what about it is most exciting?

A: I’m most excited about Leigh Bardugo’s new book called “The Familiar.” I loved her other series and I think she writes the best characters. I’m really excited to read more of her adult fiction and a standalone book from her!

Q: What format do you prefer and why (physical book, ebook, audiobook)?

A: Nothing beats the feeling of a solid book in your hand and the smell of a worn library book. However, you also can’t beat the convenience of a Kindle and being able to curl up under the blankets and read. I also love to listen to audiobooks in the car or when I get the chance to at work. Sometimes I’ll have a physical book at home and have the audio version to listen to when I have something else to do, but can’t stop thinking about the book!

Q: Have you discovered any exciting new authors or genres?

A: I LOVE Sally Rooney! She has such a unique writing style and I love the way her books are about nothing and everything all at once. She writes characters with an emotional intimacy and precision that I haven’t seen from anyone else. Reading her books feels a little like you’re peeking into someone’s window and then realize someone else has been peeking into your window the whole time and writing about you. I love books that have no plot, just vibes, and hers are so interesting. I think her book “Beautiful World, Where Are You” is a must-read for anyone in their 20s who feels like they have no idea what they’re doing with their life.

Q: Do you remember when your love for reading began?

A: My mom read books to me since the day I was born and I was very excited to learn how to read on my own from a really young age. I spent my summers here at Carnegie-Stout for much of my childhood and still remember reading Magic Treehouse and the Spiderwick Chronicles for the first time. Being required to read the books in high school English classes turned me off from reading for a long time until a couple years ago. Like so many others, I picked up “A Court of Thorns and Roses” two years ago, remembered why reading is so fun, and haven’t looked back since!

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