Many people have begun the new year with goal-setting and resolutions. Several people I know have made resolutions around reading more. Some have set goals to read a certain number of books per year while others have daily reading goals. So how does one keep track of all that reading?  

Some people enjoy a reading journal where they record books they want to read and books that they have read; some truly ambitious readers even write reviews of the books they consumed. Others just use a habit tracker to record daily reading habits.  

Many people I know are fans of downloading an app on their phones to keep track of reading progress. Some apps that are available include Bookworm Reads, The StoryGraph, and Bookly. 

One of the best known apps for this is Goodreads. Goodreads allows readers to set goals, compile a record of books read as well as books they are reading and books they want to read. Readers can write reviews and access recommendations based on their reading history. Additionally, users of the app can friend other Goodreads users, thus seeing what books friends are enjoying and recommending. At the end of the year, readers are able to see their year in reading, which gives statistics about their reading habits. It also gives an end-of-the-year list of books that readers chose as their favorites in each genre.  

To help local readers, here are a few of the books we have at the MJB Library that are on the Goodreads list of best of 2023 books. Stop in and check them out.

“Fourth Wing” (Yarros)

“Iron Flame” (Yarros)

“Happy Place” (Henry) 

“Hello Beautiful” (Napolitano)

“Spare” (Prince Harry)

“Tom Lake” (Patchett)

“Romantic Comedy” (Sittenfield)

“The House of Eve” (Johnson)

Save the date

Friends of the Library are planning a trivia night fundraising event on Feb. 24. Start rounding up your team and put the date on the calendar. It will be held at the Guthrie Center Activity Center with Cabbage Rose catering the meal, which is included in the purchase of your ticket. More information will be coming soon. 

Early Literacy Story Hour

Remember that story hour for preschoolers and caregivers will be every Friday beginning at 10 a.m. “Books” is the topic for Jan. 12 while the Jan. 19  theme is “cold.” “Art” will be the focus of Jan. 26.  

Cribbage and Bridge

A reminder that each Monday from 9-11 a.m., cribbage players are invited to stop by the library to play cribbage. All players are welcome to join, regardless of skill level. Wednesdays are bridge day. From 9-11 a.m., bridge players are invited to join in the play. 

After School Programs

The Guthrie County Extension Office will be presenting a STEM program on Monday, Jan. 15 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The program will feature a winter/snow themed book, STEM challenge, STEM experiment, and craft. Boredom Busters will meet Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. to make a craft project. Pre-registration is encouraged.  

Card Making Class

Card making class, led by Judi Zimmerline, meets on the third Thursday of each month from 9-11 a.m. All materials are provided; the cost is $5 to pay for supplies.

Cookbook Club

“Beautiful Brunches” by Cider Mill Press is the featured cookbook for the January Cookbook Club. Cookbook Club is open to anyone who would like to participate. Stop in the library where the book is on reserve. Choose a recipe, prepare it and then bring it to share with the group on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m. The library provides plate/napkins/cutlery; you provide your chosen dish and serving utensils for that dish.

Book Club

Anyone who wants to join the book club should stop by the library to check out a copy of “The Paris Daughter” by Kristin Harmel, the February book club selection which is set in World War II France. This gripping historical novel tells the story of two mothers who must make unthinkable choices in the face of the Nazi occupation. Book Club will meet Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.  

Friends of the Library

Friends of the Library will have their next  monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 6:15 p.m. It’s not too late to join for 2024. The cost is $25 for the year. This may be paid at the February meeting, or it can be sent to the library. 

Lunch and Learn

Wednesday, Feb. 14 is the next Lunch and Learn. From noon to 1 p.m., Meghan McBride with Guthrie County ISU Extension will be sharing about the Spend Smart/Eat Smart program with a Valentine’s Day twist. A light lunch will be provided. Please pre-register by calling the library (641-747-8110), clicking the website event calendar, or emailing the library.

Cass Fronapfle reads a book about winter to preschoolers during the weekly preschool story hour on Friday mornings at 10 a.m.

Creating a puffy paint masterpiece is one of Johnny Maine’s favorite craft activities.

This is the library display for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. MJB Library staff remind parents to stop by the library desk to turn in reading logs every hundred books. Children 5 and younger are encouraged to sign up if they are not already.