Audiobook Review: The Golem and the Jinni

 It's official. I am addicted to audio books. With a 30 mile commute each way, which can sometimes take me up to 2 hours, audio books have been my saving grace. 

The Golem and the Jinni was a book that left me pondering for days and days.

Prior to listening to this book, the only time I had ever heard the term Golem before was in the Lord of the Rings. Though that is a GOLLUM, not a GOLEM. Two totally different characters.

In Jewish folklore, a Golem is an animated anthropomorphic being magically created from inanimate matter. In the case of this golem, she was made from clay. And she was made to look as human as possible, with real hair, and even fingernails. She was made to be a man's wife, and the man who made her, Yehudan Schaalman is a failed rabbinical student turned powerful folk-magician.

And on the other hand, we have the Jinni. Yes, a GENIE. A jinni In Middle Eastern and Muslim mythology, is a spirit made of smokeless flame. A jinni (or, to use the plural, jinn) is usually invisible to humans, but can be seen when it wants to be.

Set in New York City at the turn of the 20th Century, this story takes the reader through the areas of Little Syria, and the Lower East Side.

As the Golem and the Jinni live among the people of their culture, they are noticed as being a bit different, but no one knows the wiser save the two men who "rescued" each of them. Living in separate parts of the city, neither is aware that another mystical being is around until their paths happen to cross one evening.

Living now in 2015, how is reading a book set in 1899 able to allow readers to relate to the characters and the setting? From the author herself.

"Over and over, my research told me that the concerns and dilemmas of 1900s-era New Yorkers would be very familiar to the modern reader. They worried about multiculturalism and globalism, the tensions between science and religion, between tradition and assimilation. It became clear to me that we have always been finding and losing our faiths; we have always struggled to defend or flaunt propriety, to follow or ignore the dictates of our hearts. And apparently folklore and fantasy can still capture the modern reader—at least, if the continuing proliferation of vampires, werewolves, and the like is any indication. They’re our own all-too human urges and struggles, embodied and made explicit."

Read aloud by George Guidall, the Golem and the Jinni is certainly an audiobook that goes on my list as the TOP audiobook that I have listened to thus far. His voice, insight, inflection is AMAZING and really brought all the characters to life. Click HERE to take a listen.

Are you a fan of audiobooks? Which is the best one you've read?


A day in the life of the CrossFit Librarian

I've been back to work full-time for 9 weeks. 9 weeks?!?! Time flies.

So what does a day in my busy life look like?

Something like this:

I wake up at 4:30am, and head to my Happy Place.

I'm at the gym by 5am, and get myself ready for our daily WOD. For this particular "day in the life" this was our WOD.

I hit my activity goal by 6am!! Such a lovely sight.

After my WOD, I head home, and generally walk through my front door about 6:15-6:20am.

Usually I find my husband sitting on the couch drinking his morning cup of coffee and watching the news. When he sees me walking in the door, that's his sign that it's time for him to get in the shower to get ready for work. He generally leaves for work by 6:35am. MEN! How can he only need 15 minutes to get ready for work? Tongue Out

While he's showering, I get breakfast ready for Ronin. Ronin likes waffles, pancakes or peanut butter toast for breakfast. Pretty easy.

While Ronin eats his breakfast and watches Star Wars Rebels, I get in the shower. I'm usually out by 6:40am, and wrapped up in my towels (one for hair, one for body) I go and wake up my girls, and while they rub the sleep out of their eyes, I make their breakfast. Ella likes pancakes. Haley likes eggs and sausage links.

Even this full-time working mama still makes time to make each of her kids a breakfast of their choosing. That makes me feel good. I don't pack their lunch. They buy a school lunch. That saves me a TON of time, and I've taught the kids how to make good healthy choices in the school lunch line, and there are healthy options if you know what to look for...and mine do! Laughing

While the girls eat, I head back to the bedroom and get myself ready for work. Blow dry my hair, and based on the outcome of the dryer, either decide to wear it down, or pull it back in a pony-tail. 

This was a good hair day.

By 7:00am, I start the "countdown" clock for the trio. I have to leave the house by 7:20am, which means I need to leave the house by 7:10am. Wink So the 10 minute countdown clock begins.

I drop the kids off at before care, and then I'm off on my 30 mile (each way) commute. 

I ALWAYS listen to an audio book.

Right now I'm listening to Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.  It's good and it's part of a trilogy. 

I need to be in my office by 8:30am, and depending on traffic, I am ALWAYS early. I hang out in the parking lot (in my car) and wait for my staff to arrive. We're not allowed to enter the building alone, so I have to wait for someone to arrive. Generally my Bookmobile driver arrives first, and we enter the building around 8:15am, and then the rest of my staff arrives.

I spend the first hour of my morning getting staff set up, helping load hold items, checking time cards, reading emails, checking my phone, that sort of thing.

And then the rest of my day is dedicated to upper level library management. 

Sometime before 2pm, I take my #MileADay walk, sometimes 2 miles. Today was a 2 mile walk!



I eat lunch at my desk. I always bring lunch from home. A.L.W.A.Y.S. I'm on a black bean kick right now, topped with fresh tomatoes, avocado, and green onions. SO GOOD!!

And then 5:30pm rolls around and I leave work, and get in my car for my 30 mile commute home. The drive home takes me MUCH LONGER than the drive down. The traffic leaving Brandon and heading north on I-75 is just bumper to bumper. Oh well. It is what it is.

I usually walk in my front at 6:30pm. 50% of the time dinner is made, or in the process of being made. 50% of the time, I'm making it all.

It's fine. It's okay. My husband also works a full-time job and I'm just thankful that he's able to pick the trio up from aftercare by 5:15pm and they can come home and get some outdoor time before the sun sets.

So...we eat dinner. The kids sit at the kitchen bar, I eat with them, but stand up in front of them, and we talk about our day. We've always eaten this way, and it works for us. We do have a dining room table, but we prefer the informality of the kitchen area.

After dinner, I begin cleaning the kitchen, and Ella does her homework. Haley does her homework at aftercare, and Ronin...well Ronin just doesn't do his homework most of the time.

By 8pm homework is done, the kitchen is cleaned, and my lunch is packed for the next day. I change into my pajamas, read the kids a story, and tuck them into bed. Even at ages 8, 9, and 10, the Tampa Trio LOVES their story time!

I am generally in bed by 9:00, and get up at 4:30am to start all over again. was YOUR day??



Venture Club: Entrepreneurial Program for Kids at The Hive

Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative is excited to announce the VENTURE CLUB!! What's the Venture Club? It's an Entrepreneurial Program for Kids in grades 3-5.

Over the course of the program, which meets twice a month on Saturday mornings Jan-May, participants will have the opportunity to learn about brainstorming, prototyping and pitching; creating a business together, and presenting their ideas to the community.

The program will meet at "The Hive."


What is "The Hive?"


THE HIVE is a 10,000 sq. ft. public community innovation center and makerspace. Activities and services offered in THE HIVE emphasize the following areas:

  • Creativity - using technology, artistry, construction, design and modeling to generate innovative ideas and results.
  • Collaboration - fostering an atmosphere that allows the public to work together toward new projects.
  • Coworking - supporting entrepreneurs, new businesses and start-ups by providing resources and neutral meeting ground for the exchange of ideas.


THE HIVE is not a traditional quiet library space. Expect a buzz of activity when you are visiting!


The HIVE features bookable spaces and equipment and offers innovative, creative programs and open learning labs for the public. Guests must have a valid Hillsborough County Public Library card to schedule use of bookable spaces and equipment. 

They have a 3D printer, a robotics lab, an arts center, a media:scape pit, a recording studio and a flex space.

You can learn all about The Hive by clicking HERE


Space for the Venture Club is LIMITED!! Only 16 kids will be permitted!!

You can sign up HERE

You must have a Hillsborough County Library Card.

Hope to see you all buzzing around The Hive.