Beach Reading Round-Up: Book Recommendations for Summer

This weekend is Memorial Day, one of the most popular times to go to the beach here in Florida. We love reading on the beach, so we’ve rounded up a list of beach-reads that you can enjoy all summer long! Each of these has what it takes to be a good beach read: nothing too dense or complicated so you won’t be confused coming back to it after a quick dip in the ocean, but still engrossing enough that it takes you on a little mental vacation! Happy reading!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

With masterfully wrought characters and lots of juicy twists, you won’t want to put this one down – just make sure you don’t stay out on the sand too long and get sunburned! Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her?Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

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Reading Round-Up: Book Recommendations to Celebrate World Book Day

Happy World Book Day everyone! Today is the perfect day to curl up with a new book or an old favorite and reap the health benefits of reading! To help you celebrate, we’ve rounded up the best of our book recommendation posts for you to browse for your next read:

2018 Spring Reading Round-Up: A round up of books to ease you into the new season (and distract you from the pollen).

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The Best Apps for Managing Stress

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 4/27/17.

Stress isn’t always a bad thing. In the short-term, low level stress can help us focus and improve our performance. It can give us the boost we need to finish a big project or make an important decision. However, I think we can all agree when we say that an overabundance of stress is the absolute worst.

First, a quick primer on stress: Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life.  When your brain perceives a threat (anything from a fast approaching deadline to a fast-approaching wild animal), it signals your body to release a burst of hormones that increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. This “fight-or-flight” response fuels you to deal with the stressful situation at hand. Once the threat (or stress-inducing trigger) is gone, your body is meant to return to a normal, relaxed state. However, given the nonstop complications of modern life,  many of us rarely return to that relaxed state, merely hopping from one stressor to another.

It’s easy to get stressed out from day-to-day demands. Luckily, there are healthy ways to manage your stress.

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Spring Reading Round-Up

Happy spring, y’all! One of our favorite springtime activities here at the library is (duh) reading – to be fair, we love reading during every season, but spring reading brings so many new possibilities! The extra hour of sunlight thanks to Daylight Savings Time plus balmier weather means a whole new world of reading opportunities: reading on the porch, at the park, on a hammock, walking around your neighborhood (be careful with this one), under a tree… aren’t you feeling rejuvenated just thinking about it? Since spring is all about sunny skies and nature’s renewal, we’ve rounded up some spring reading picks to indulge in as you take in the new season!

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove: he’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations. Although it may seem odd to start off a springtime reading list with a book about a man in the “late autumn” of his life, so to speak, the sense of new life and renewal in this book is heartwarming and lovely. I particularly enjoyed this as an audiobook.

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Tips for a Healthy Spring

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 4/14/16.

Springtime brings with it a flurry of activity and a sense of renewal. The flowers bloom, the weather warms, and I get an intense drive to clean my home and refresh it for a new season. Although this season abounds with fresh opportunities, it also brings its own health concerns (pollen, anyone?). Follow these tips to help you have a healthy spring and enjoy the best of the season!

blooming-springtime

How will you stay healthy this spring?

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Habits for Healthier Sleep

Raise your hand if you’re tired right now. OK, now raise your hand if you’ve been tired at least a few afternoons this week. Unfortunately, I bet every single one of you lovely readers raised your hand for at least one of those – according to the CDC, one third of Americans are chronically sleep deprived, regularly clocking in at fewer than 7 hours a night. The number of people who experience occasional and/or recurrent sleep deprivation is even higher – studies show that nearly everyone experiences occasional sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation can lead to a slew of problems: from reduced concentration, lowered immunity, irritability, and low productivity in the short term to the increased risk of heart disease, anxiety, depression, chronic inflammation, dementia, and much more over the long term.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to help you sleep more and sleep better! Next week is Sleep Awareness Week, so we want to encourage you to try these tips next week to see how you feel! If you find yourself more rested, you can work them into your regular routine.

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Celebrating Pioneering Women in Medicine: March is Women’s History Month!

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 3/16/17.

Happy Women’s History Month!! Although you don’t have to go far to run into a brilliant female medical student, faculty member, of staff member at the UCF College of Medicine, medical education was not always so. The first American woman to become a medical doctor (Elizabeth Blackwell), obtained her medical degree in 1849, but it has been a slow journey to the more diverse (though still imperfect) medical education system in the U.S. today.

In a previous post, In Celebration of Brilliant Women: March is Women’s History Month, I discussed the current state of the gender disparity in medical education: “Although it is clear that women have come a long way in American history, the glass ceiling seems to be alive and well in academic medicine. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, although nearly half of American medical students and medical residents are women (47% and 46%, respectively), only 16% of deans, 15% of department chairs, and 33% of senior associate/vice deans are women. As of 2014, only 22 out of the 141 deans of American medical schools were women.” Happily, the UCF College of Medicine is ahead of this national curve, and the numbers of women in academic medicine are slowly changing to match those of the larger medical profession.

We love celebrating and supporting the awesome female medical students, faculty, and staff studying at and employed by the UCF College of Medicine, as well as celebrating influential women in medicine throughout history. We’ve rounded up some of these female pioneers in medicine for your Women’s History Month reading pleasure:

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Cupid’s Chemicals: The Biology of Falling in Love

An oldie but a goodie: this post was originally published on 2/11/16.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you may be asking yourself the age-old question, “What is love?” Although this question has plagued great minds like Shakespeare and Haddaway through the centuries, modern science is getting closer to being able to find the elusive answer. It turns out that love may have less to do with the heart, and more to do with an intoxicating cocktail of neurotransmitters that flood the brain and cause “that lovin’ feeling.”

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So what are these chemicals associated with falling in love?

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Our Most Popular Posts of 2017

Hello, dear readers! As the year draws to a close and we take stock of the year past, we’ve decided to take a look back on some of our most popular posts from 2017. We posted 91 blog posts this year, and had more than 3000 visitors, but some of our posts really rose to the top: here are our most-viewed blog posts of 2017!

Fifth place: Get the Most Out of Your iPhone with These Tips You Didn’t Know Existed

Learn 3 quick tips to get more out of your iPhone!

Fourth place: The Health Benefits of Owning Pets

Spending time with furry friends can definitely improve your mood and make you feel cozy inside, but there are actually a myriad of health benefits to owning a pet. Check out this article to read about all the ways Rover helps your health!

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A Round-Up of Bookish Holiday Crafts

As librarians, we LOVE books. We love reading books, talking about books, recommending books, and helping students find the books they need. We even love crafting with books! Bookish crafts are fun to do, and they help give some of your old books new life as you turn them into decorations, ornaments, light fixtures, and more! If you can’t bring yourself to craft with any of your beloved books, making a trip to a thrift shop might be a good way to get a bunch of cheap books to use in your crafts. This week we’ve rounded up a selection of bookish crafts you can do with your loved ones this holiday season!

Book Page Ornament

These ornaments are perfect to add a little sparkle to any book-lovers’ tree!

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