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Season 3, Episode 1

The World of Marissa Meyer

September 16, 2021

Youth librarian, Lisa Hellman, joins Charity as they discuss the Wolfner Library and the worlds of Marissa Meyer. Book recommendations for Middle Grade and YA readers.

Titles Mentioned in This Episode

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Charity 0:01 Welcome to the Planet Book podcast. I'm your host Charity, a youth services associate with the Springfield-Greene County Library District. On each episode, you'll hear guests talking about their favorite tween and teen books. Thanks for joining me today. On this episode, I'm joined by Lisa, a Youth Services Librarian at the Wolfner library, and I am so excited to have Lisa on the podcast today. Lisa and I go way back. Lisa, how are you doing? Welcome to the podcast.

Lisa 0:28 Charity, thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here. You have no idea. It's always great to get to talk to people about books. Didn't think that librarians we could do that, but it's amazing. And yeah, I work for Wolfner Talking Book and Braille library. On Facebook it's Wolfner Library as Charity mentioned so definitely check us out. And we actually are a very unique library in that we serve the entire state of Missouri, but we serve those who have print disabilities. So that's visual impairment, physical disability, and specific reading disabilities, like dyslexia, or severe autism, ADHD. If it's preventing them from reading standard print, as opposed to comprehending standard print, we can be able to provide them access to audio books. We also, of course, have braille and print braille materials, and large print books. We do not have textbooks. That's one thing that some people ask us about. So I wanted to make sure that I added that in there. I have some amazingly big news to share with everybody. And I'm so glad that Charity contacted me to be on here, because you all here listening to this podcast, get to hear it firsthand. I'm so excited. And that is for those who are familiar with Wolfner Library and the National Library Service, that's actually our parent organization there with the Library of Congress. In years past, those with reading disabilities had to have their application signed by a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathy. As of this year, that has been lifted, meaning that the laundry list of people that can certify those with physical disabilities, and visual disabilities can now certify those with reading disabilities. And that includes educators, certified reading specialists, school psychologists, superintendents, and of course, my favorite and I'm sure yours as well, librarians.

Charity 2:36 Yes, this is really exciting, because this is such a great resource and I know there are a lot of library patrons who don't even know about this resource. And that is a huge hurdle that's just been removed. Oh my gosh.

Lisa 2:47 I know so if you've exhausted like Springfield-Greene's audiobook collection, and you happen to have dyslexia, you know, maybe you need to talk to Charity, and say Charity, I really need to get Wolfner Library audio books. I need you to sign me up for Bard so I can download audiobooks to my smartphone or my tablet. So that's a big, big thing. I know, we're here to talk about books, but, you know, this is opening up a lot of books for a lot of people.

Charity 3:21 Absolutely.

Lisa 3:22 And you know, just consider us as an addition. You know, you get to have the fun stuff at Springfield library. And this just, you know, if you're needing a book, and for some crazy reason, Springfield-Greene doesn't have it, and you qualify for Wolfner Library services, we're here for you.

Charity 3:39 Lisa, what's the best way for readers to find out if they qualify? How do they connect with Wolfner?

Lisa 3:46 So there's a couple different ways, you can always give us a call at 573-751-8720 or even emailing us at Wolfner at SOS dot m o , dot g o v and that's w o l f n e r, so like wolf and ner, the animal and ner, that's kind of the best way to think about how that's spelled, and email or call us that way. We do have an 800 number for those of you who have a number in state that number is 800-392-2614. So feel free to reach out to us that way as well.

Charity 4:30 Okay, well, Lisa, that's wonderful, I'm so glad that you were able to plug that resource. And also if you're listening and you're in the Springfield-Greene County Library District, also you can always come in and any of your librarians will be happy to help connect you with the Wolfner Library services. So Lisa, thank you for that. And now we're gonna move on to the actual conversation part of our book conversation on today's episode. So we're just talking about our favorite authors today and Lisa is going to talk about her favorite teen author. So Lisa, take it away.

Lisa 5:02 Awesome. Yes. So I love YA books, but I have a niche and it changes every so often. And my current niche is this fairy tale adaptation. And I think one of the best authors who has done this and is continuing to do this is Marissa Meyer. She is known for the Lunar Chronicles series. So we're talking about Cinder being the first book in that series, and basically a spin on Cinderella, but she's a cyborg. And, you know, hiding that, and it's just, it's so much of this amazing kind of dystopian sci-fi. And there's just hints of the fairy tale in there that kind of just drives the story along and Marissa Meyer is just an amazing author in general. So she's great. Another one that she's written is Heartless. So this is going back in regards to the Queen of Hearts, and how the Queen of Hearts became the Queen of Hearts.

Charity 6:07 Oh wow, that sounds interesting.

Lisa 6:08 It's so interesting. And I just loved that kind of story. And I just found out that in November, she's going to be doing a Rumpelstiltskin one Gilded, and I'm so excited for that. And all of those books that I mentioned are available from Wolfner Library.

Charity 6:29 And also Springfield-Greene has all of them. Yes.

Lisa 6:32 So they all have audio versions. If Wolfner Library has it, it's likely Springfield-Greene has them too.

Charity 6:38 I really didn't know about Gilded that's coming out, but that the Rumpelstiltskin story has always probably been one of my favorites of the fairytales just because it's so different. It's so, I don't know, just unusual. It's a little dark. Well, they're all kind of a little dark. But I've always been intrigued by that one so her doing a twist on that story just sounds incredible to me. So she's written a ton of books and anyone listening who is familiar with Marissa Meyer at all knows that she has written a ton of books. Do you have a favorite?

Lisa 7:07 It has to be the very first book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder, just because that is the series that I love so much by her, but maybe Gilded might end up being--

Charity 7:23 Are you saying you've got a future favorite?

Lisa 7:25 Future favorite, I think I have a future favorite. And you know, the reason for that is like you mentioned that particular character, Rumpelstiltskin isn't used a whole lot, at least from my experience, in stories. We've seen a lot of Snow White and Cinderella and even Beauty and the Beast. And even a lot of, like, Alice in Wonderland, we see there several different authors who have, you know, gone into that realm. But I'm not as familiar with anybody doing Rumplestiltskin and I have to wait until November for it.

Charity 7:59 Right, we all have to wait. That's a really good point too, because those are like the top four: Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Snow White, Alice in Wonderland. You see those adaptations all the time, everywhere. I mean, and you don't really see a whole lot of people doing the Rumpelstiltskin story. So it's gonna be really interesting to see what Marissa Meyer does with it. So and I love that you mentioned Lunar because I did read that one. And I love that one. To me, it had, I love that cyborg aspect. And it felt a little steampunkish to me a little bit. And it kind of reminded me, I don't know, I'm probably like outing myself here. But one of my fandoms is Star Trek. And so that character kind of reminded me of Data from The Next Generation where he's like, he's a robot, you know, and she's part human and, and machine. But I don't know, like that story is just so fascinating to me.

Lisa 8:47 You know, and I'm going to just go the next step further and give everybody like a little, just how much I love, especially Cinder and that series. So fun fact, the car that I drive, the color of it is called lunar white.

Charity 9:05 Was that on purpose?

Lisa 9:06 No, no, that was just these were all the features that I wanted in this car. And that was the only car that they had and it happened to be lunar white. And if you haven't read the Lunar Chronicles, you need to do it in order to really fully and read the whole series to really understand what this next part means. So my car because you know, people name their cars, my car's name is Cinder.

Charity 9:30 I love it.

Lisa 9:31 So yeah, it's I just had to like add that little tidbit in there as well. It's like yeah, that is the level of which I love that series.

Charity 9:40 How would you best describe Marissa Meyer's writing? Like how does it feel to you?

Lisa 9:46 You know, it feels professional, but not like somebody is talking down to me. I mean, it's definitely more on the young adult, the higher, you know, senior high end of writing. But at the same time, like, I feel like, there's definitely some vocabulary that I get in there. But a lot of that can also be just the tech that she's using and describing those kinds of things. Again, it doesn't feel like that I'm having to search every single word on what this means. But it also doesn't feel like a really low end for me either.

Charity 10:21 What kind of readers do you think would enjoy Marissa Meyer the most?

Lisa 10:25 I usually end up recommending the Lunar Chronicles to those people who definitely are into the dystopian and sci-fi as well, because I really see that a lot more as being of interest to them. It's just one of those things that basically that you have the science fiction of the technology, and there's definitely this dystopian going on with the government clashing with another kind of power, as well. So a lot of those books just really relate. But then at the same time, if you have somebody who has read, like Court of Thorns and Roses, which is, just throwing that is another series that I absolutely love. This might be just a way for them to get introduced into more of the science fiction instead of the fantasy.

Charity 11:16 I am curious how you feel about whether or not her books crossover well to the adult audience. What are your thoughts on that?

Lisa 11:24 I'm always a little reluctant, I guess, when it comes, not necessarily to the ya going to adults, usually it's to the adult authors going to YA. So I'd be interested, I think to me, I think she's yeah, and I like it.

Charity 11:40 I mean, you're an adult and you liked it.

Lisa 11:43 I know. Well, and it's like what do you mean by adult because there's this new adult, that I kind of feel that she kind of can go into. I think she can go into the adult realm. I mean, anybody can do anything, really. And I think her writing style can lend itself very well to an adult audience. Obviously, you know, I'm reading her books. And it is just what people think adult books means. And I really, I won't lie in regards to this genre, I'm mostly sticking to the YA. So I haven't really been introduced to any adult versions of this genre to really be able to say, Oh, yeah, I could compare the two.

Charity 12:29 But I agree with you. I think an adult could pick up her books--

Lisa 12:32 Oh yes.

Charity 12:33 And like they would enjoy it. I mean, she does spin a story very well.

Lisa 12:38 Definitely. I mean, Heartless, was a very unique take on the Queen of Hearts and kind of how she became the Queen of Hearts. And it's also nice with that particular one, it's not a series, it's just a one book. And that's always really nice to kind of just have that where you can just enjoy a book. And sometimes there's a wee bit of anxiety to knowing oh, another one's coming. Lunar Chronicles, as far as I know, is officially over. But there's a graphic novel series that kind of picks up with different characters. So you could say it's continuing, but it's in the graphic novel realm. I haven't had the opportunity to read those. But I do love myself a good graphic novel or manga.

Charity 13:21 Okay, we might have to have you back on another episode, and we'll talk about graphic novels. Well, Lisa, I really appreciate you being here today and opening up the world or introducing us to the world of Marissa Meyer and also being able to promote the services of the Wolfner library and Talking Books. So thank you so much for being here to share with us today.

Lisa 13:46 Thank you. It is an honor to have this opportunity. I love to be able to talk about this. I actually don't get to talk a whole lot about books, and even our services lately. So I love having this opportunity to do it.

Charity 13:59 Feel free to come back anytime and talk about books with us. You will be welcome to do so. Well thanks for joining us for another episode of the Planet Book podcast. Check out the library's website at the for these and other great book recommendations and follow us on Facebook for the latest news and events. This has been a production of the Springfield-Greene County Library District. Thanks for listening.

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