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Book and Media Recommendations

Since 2022, Organization Pending has served Columbus, OH and the surrounding areas, creating functional spaces to serve you. 

Check out some of Tabi's recommendations for books, podcasts, YouTube™ channels, and more for all ages, or follow Organization Pending online for the ongoing Tabi's Top Three book recommendation social media posts.

Stay up-to-date by following Organization Pending online, and subscribe to the Organization Pending Newsroom for free.

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Just Plain Wrong

Slowing Down for the Season, November 2023

Brought to you by The MennoBrarians, Just Plain Wrong is "three Mennonite librarians, discussing depictions of Amish, Mennonites, and other plain groups in media and popular culture".

"I was interested in starting a podcast and brainstorming a number of ideas, and the one that stuck was doing something related to Amish romance. Seeds of the idea were planted at the break room table, where we would often chuckle at Amish romance titles, or other pop culture references related to Amish and Mennonites. I knew I needed co-hosts, and when Abby and Tillie said yes, we started planning!" Since January 2021, Erin, Abby, and Tillie have been deep diving into Amish romance novels, other Amish fiction, TV episodes, movies, and more, taking an educated lens to popular culture's versions of plain groups. Explore what's right and wrong in the For Richer or Poorer movie, Schitt's Creek and 3rd Rock from the Sun's Amish Episodes, Weird Al Yankovic's Amish Paradise, books by popular authors Beverly Lewis and Linda Castillo, Amish TikTok, and a Research Rabbit Hole into Amish romance self-publishing.

"Being librarians is especially helpful when we are fact checking content we find in the media we cover. We're familiar with both how to research and where to look for answers. In our episodes we frequently reference GAMEO, an online Mennonite encyclopedia, the [Goshen College] Mennonite Historical Library [MHL], and the 'Mennonite books' that we have in our personal collections. Tillie is a librarian (cataloger) at MHL, which provides us with access to a never ending list of titles to cover, as well as reference sources that would otherwise be difficult to access. It also gives us access to Joe Springer, the MHL curator, who is a fount of Mennonite historical knowledge - we interviewed him in season three for All the Maiden Ladies (of Lancaster County): A Discussion with Joe Springer of the Mennonite Historical Library." - Erin of the Mennobrarians


Just Plain Wrong's Favorite Episodes

Check out the MennoBrarians' favorite episodes to get started, or join them every other Wednesday for new episodes of Just Plain Wrong.

  1. Abby: Shiny Happy Martyrs: Discussing "Not Regina" by Christmas Carol Kauffman

  2. Erin: Jumping the Megalodon: A Conversation with Dirk Eitzen on Amish Mafia, Amish Romance, and Media Deception

  3. Tillie: A Non-Euphemistic Barn Raising: A Discussion on Forbidden Rumspringa

  4. The MennoBrarians: We've agreed, We don't like Ted: A Book Discussion on Narrow Path


Enjoying Just Plain Wrong? Make sure to follow them, tell your friends, and consider supporting them on Patreon, or check out their store for dark or light colored t-shirts, coffee mug, or phone cover.

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The Monopolists

Slowing Down for the Season, November 2023

Happy board game season! Monopoly® is one of my family's favorites, and I was intrigued picking up The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game by Mary Pilon. Digging into the history of the game, the book opens with Ralph Anspach and his Anti-Monopoly game in the 1970's. When Anspach receives a letter from the Parker Brothers, it leads to a decade-long legal battle, uncovering the shady truth behind the origins of Monopoly®, and its claimed inventor.

In 1935, Charles Darrow patented Monopoly® for sale through Parker Brothers, presenting the story that he had thought of the game while unemployed at the beginning of the Depression. Forty years later, Anspach discovered the truth and subsequent cover-up while researching for his trial. In 1904, Lizzie J. Magie patented her first version of The Landlord's Game, updating her patent with new features in 1924. Unlike the game we know today, The Landlord's Game focused on the dangers of monopolies, letting players choose their way of play: team up to break up monopolies, or a version where one person wins and everyone else loses, mimicking the real-life consequences of monopolies. Discover the Parker Brothers cover-up and journey around the country with Anspach as he learns more about The Landlord's Game and how it became Monopoly® with additions from multiple colleges and Atlantic City Quakers before Charles Darrow was introduced to the game.

Along with deep dives into the histories of board games, manufacturers, Magie, and Anspach's legal battle, The Monopolists also looks at the history of Monopoly® game play and facts!

  • "From the beginning, much of the public disregarded Parker Brothers' written rules [...] when played according to its written rules, the typical Monopoly game lasts less than ninety minutes." Take a look at the rules in your box regarding property auctions and the Free Parking space for shorter game play.

  • "Some of the early tokens - including the iron, the top hat, the thimble, the shoe, the cannon, and the battleship - were emblematic of their time. The electric iron was one of the first electronic appliances to make its way into homes, thereby liberating women from the dangerous and time-consuming chore of heating an iron in a stove fire. The top hat was a holdover symbol of Jazz Age elegance, the thimble was a vital tool for sewing, and the floppy and dilapidated shoe was a common sight during the Depression. The cannon and the battleship served as a reminder of World War I and the role that America had played in the conflict."

Make sure to borrow The Monopolists from your local library, and be ready to tell an interesting story around your next family game night!

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The Monopolists book on top of thirteen different Monopoly® games

Great Art Explained

Great Art Explained screenshot

Slowing Down for the Season, November 2023

Visiting art museums is one of my favorite winter past times. With the YouTube™ channel Great Art Explained, I'm able to learn more about the history and technique behind specific art pieces, and about the different artists I might encounter on my visits. For the past three years, United Kingdom curator and gallerist James Payne has been sharing his insight, "on a mission to demystify the art world and discover the stories behind the world's greatest paintings and sculptures." Payne uses his love of art to "focus on one piece of art [each episode] and break it down, using clear and concise language free of 'art-speak'." Learn more about Frida Kahlo's 'The Two Fridas', the Mona Lisa, Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Georgia O'Keeffe, Salvador Dali, and more, including the Great Art Cities Explained playlist.

Are you a literature lover? Check out Payne's new channel, Great Books Explained!

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Little Free Libraries and Tiny Sheds

Spooky Season Columbus, September 2023

Are you looking for a way to give back to the community this holiday season? What about creating a Little Free Library? Started in 2009, Little Free Libraries can now be found on every continent except Antarctica!

I found the guidebook Little Free Libraries and Tiny Sheds: 12 Miniature Structures You Can Build by Philip Schmidt and Little Free Library on a recent display at Upper Arlington Public Library. From how to plan, build, and support your Little Free Library, to ideas on how to promote, care for, and register your library, this book is a thorough guide with step-by-step instructions and guidance for completing your structure and connecting with your neighbors.

Along with creating Little Free Libraries, Schmidt's advice and plans also covers building structures for tool trading and other community trading opportunities, similar to Columbus Blessing Boxes. Check with the Little Free Library World Map to see if a different kind of community lending library could benefit your area best.

Before drafting your first blueprint, Schmidt cautions readers to check with city zoning ordinances or your HOA for their rules about community sharing structures on your property, or check in with the right authorities if you want to add to a public space.

Don't have the tools for the job? June's "Catching Rays" edition of the Newsroom let readers know about Modcon Living's Tool Library on East 5th Avenue, letting Franklin County residents borrow tools for an annual or special project fee.

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Ghost Book and Dark Archives

Spooky Season Columbus, September 2023

Does your kid enjoy graphic novels? They may like Ghost Book, by Remy Lai! It's Hungry Ghost Month, when the Gates of the Underworld open and hungry ghosts roam the land of the living, searching for food and wandering souls to eat. "Twelve years ago, the girl lived. The boy lived. One should have died." When July Chen meets William Xiao, they discover the ties that have bound them since birth, twelve-year-old family secrets, and how closely linked the land of the living and the dead really are. I especially appreciated Wiliam's change of thinking about the forgetting soup - leaving the living with memories of the dead is painful, but can also bring joy and comfort to those left behind. With beautiful, fast-paced illustrations, action and humanity meet to bring readers a thrilling and touching adventure.

On a recent trip to Upper Arlington Public Library, this former library worker was happy to see a display focused on libraries and the Librarian experience! If you enjoy books about books, and the darker side of history, I recommend Dark Archives: A Librarian's Investigation Into the Science and History of Books Bound in Human Skin, by Megan Rosenbloom.

If you're familiar with the death-positive organization, The Order of the Good Death, Rosenbloom is the cofounder and director of the events branch, Death Salon. Join her as she travels the world, searching for the history and scientific truths behind anthropodermic bibliopegy, the practice of binding books with human skin - "[...] anthropodermic bibliopegy: a combination of the Greek root words for human (anthropos), skin (derma), book (biblion), and fasten (pegia)." A former medical librarian, Rosenbloom is now a member of the Anthropodermic Book Project, focused on testing potential anthropodermic books with peptide mass fingerprinting, and discovering the histories and reasons behind these rare books. While most confirmed anthropodermic books were commissioned by doctors for their personal collections in the late 19th century, an invoice indicates that three poetry collections by Phillis Wheatley were bound in human skin in 1934, the latest known date (as of March 2020) for a verified anthropodermic book. With discussions on post-mortem tattoo preservation, after death options, and general morbid curiosity, this book gives a reader insight into some of the ethics and laws past and present surrounding bodies and death, letting us form our own opinions if these should be considered human remains, or historical artifacts.

Ghost Book and Dark Archives are available through Upper Arlington Public Library.


If you're looking to find new or classic horror and thriller movies, you don't have to spend money streaming titles! Using your Upper Arlington Public Library card, you can download the hoopla and Kanopy apps to access thousands of titles for free, or use the advanced search option in the UAPL catalog to browse Halloween and fall related media and books.

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Ghost Book
Dark Archives

Creepy InQueeries

Spooky Season Columbus, September 2023

Are you a true crime fan? Do supernatural, unexplained, and spooky stories send shivers down your spine? Join Miss (she/her), Kevin (he/him), and Edie (she/they) on the Creepy InQueeries Podcast! "Close friends and weird queers take deep dives into all things 'spoopy', unexplained, dastardly, murderous, and, well, creepy," each Wednesday with a new true crime and 'spoopy' story each episode. These well sourced stories inform listeners on hauntings, murders, and scandals with light-hearted banter from these three queer Baltimore natives. Tune in to hear about the Cursed Filming of 'The Exorcist', The Black Widow Murders, The Patty Hearst Saga, background of the Cabbage Patch Kids, The Chippendales Murders, Typhoid Mary, Lizzie Borden, and much more since the start of the podcast in November 2021.

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Creepy InQueeries podcast

Crash Course

Back to Books, August 2023

Covering a variety of AP high school curriculum topics, the Crash Course YouTube™ channel is great for middle and high school-aged people, and life-long learners.

Choose from over 45 humanities and sciences courses on business, entrepreneurship, geography, mythology, philosophy, navigating digital information, media literacy, theater, study skills, climate and energy, engineering, physics, and so much more.

Or check out Crash Course Kids for younger viewers! This series started with 5th grade science, and playlists include Earth and physical science, biology, geography, engineering, and astronomy.

Crash Course is also available in Spanish.

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Crash Course YouTube™ channel

Chemistry for Breakfast

Back to Books, August 2023

Are you a lifelong learner, curious about the world around you? Chemist and science journalist, Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim, opens up our daily world in Chemistry for Breakfast: The Amazing Science of Everyday Life. Told with a story-like format, Nguyen-Kim goes about her day, telling us personal anecdotes while exploring the chemistry involved. From common expressions like "wasting energy" or "the cold's getting in," to explaining how fluoride works in your toothpaste, what allows your phone to have vibrate setting, the best practices for rechargeable batteries, and how caffeine works on the molecular level, this book lets us explore our everyday objects and actions in a new way.

I personally enjoyed the "Culinary Therapy" chapter (complete with recipe), and accompanying line drawings for a deeper understanding of the text throughout the book. I would love to see this adapted to a graphic novel version for kids as well, exploring their everyday world.

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Chemistry for Breakfast book

Organizing for School

Back to Books, August 2023

Are you or your kids already struggling with the workload this school year? Lisa Woodruff of Organize 365® started documenting her journey to a PhD this year on her podcast, detailing her own struggles and the ways she's using organization to maximize her time.

"Organizing is an investment of time today for a future exponential return on time," she explained. Whatever level of schooling you or your kids are working on, Woodruff offers several tips that could be applied.

  • Set up templates for your papers in the format you need to make citations easier in the future.

  • Work ahead to fully utilize your school's resources, like the writing center.

  • Color-code your classes to easily find folders and see assignments at a glance in a physical planner.

  • Consider a spreadsheet of all the assignments in all the classes with due dates to keep yourself on track as you're working ahead.

  • Working ahead gives you extra time in case you or a family member gets sick, or if an assignment takes longer than anticipated.

Find all of Woodruff's "Pursuing a PhD" episodes to learn more tips on setting up systems for writing, organizing lecture notes and paper citations by color, organizing a Google calendar, and more. Don't forget to subscribe for new tips and discussions along her journey.


Does your family need access to local and national resources for school or personal research? Grab your Upper Arlington Public Library card and check out your free access to databases and newspapers under the "Research" tab on their website!

Interested in Upper Arlington history, or need information for a social studies research project? Check out the library's Upper Arlington History subject guide, including the UA Archives database and issues of local newspapers. Take a stroll around town on the Upper Arlington History Trail, detailing some of UA's historical landmarks, and visit the Upper Arlington Historical Society's website for more information on UA history.

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Organize 365® Podcast

Portable Magic
and The History of Literature

Back to School, July 2023

Back to school season always puts me in the mood for an interesting non-fiction book, and my background in libraries made this book about books a perfect one for the season. Portable Magic: A History of Books and Their Readers, dives into the misconceptions surrounding the Gutenberg Bible, censorship and book burning, anthropodermic bindings, the social meanings of books, the physical connection between a book and its reader, and a thoughtful chapter on what makes a book a book.


Join author Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford University, for a discussion of her book with The History of Literature podcast, episode 475.

Smith talks about the physical experience of books with host Jacke Wilson, including the history of paperbacks, book scented candles, and the feelings we have surrounding these inanimate objects. With a changing culture of how to hook people and keep them interested, Smith and Wilson talk about media, how movies have changed over the past decades, and how that relates to books and their writers - how books are being consumed, marketed and sold in this modern age. Taking a deeper look at some of the aspects Smith talks about in Portable Magic, including the sustainability of the book business, and a shift from state censorship to community battles in the West, this podcast is a great companion to the book, no matter if you read the book or listen to the podcast first.

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Portable Magic book
The History of Literature podcast

Queer Movie Podcast 
and Buddy Shotz Podcast

Catching Rays, June 2023

Are you interested in movie recommendations and hearing other people's opinions and discussions? Beat the heat this summer with these two movie-focused podcasts!

From British YouTuber and author Rowan Ellis, check out Queer Movie Podcast for dissections on the international queer film canon from every genre. Familiar with Ellis' critical look at LGBTQIA+ media and popular culture, when they teamed up with Jazza John in 2019 for this podcast, I was thrilled to dive in deeper!


These Ohio natives brought their long-time friendship and love of movies together to form the Buddy Shotz Podcast, reviewing and discussing movies of all genres and release dates. Each podcast includes a Feature Presentation and Weird Watch, premiering Tuesdays on YouTube - follow stakebelmont64 on Instagram for notifications on upcoming episodes, and for special guest appearances from character Vince Frost.

For two years, Matt and Mike have co-hosted "the greatest Podcast in the Multiverse!", discussing actors, directors, movies with spin-off shows, news, and their thoughts on audience-suggested movies. I enjoy learning more about popular movies I haven't seen, discovering movies I definitely need to see, and watching how these two friends can differ in their opinions - as a personal friend of Mike's, I reached out to ask why 9.95% of Newsroom readers should subscribe to the Buddy Shotz Podcast. "Ready to explore the best and worst of cinema? Join Matt and Mike on the Buddy Shotz Podcast as we take you on a wild ride from the revered to the reviled, from Maltese Falcon to Manimal - become a Buddy and subscribe!"

Check out my special vocal guest appearance in Buddy Shotz Podcast 121 - Superman!

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Queer Movie Podcast
Buddy Shotz Podcast

Small Town Pride

Looking to Pride, May 2023

I was lucky enough to meet Phil Stamper during his book signing at Rainbow UA's Pride celebration in Upper Arlington last year. An Ohio native, many of Stamper's books reflect his upbringing in a small, rural community.


His first middle grade novel, Small Town Pride, is a refreshing departure from the traditional coming out storyline, exploring the nuances of coming out in society. When Jake's father hangs a pride flag to show his support, some community members are concerned this could lead to a Pride parade in their town. But Jake knows that would take approval from the town council, and the mayor doesn't like to be on the side of controversy. But is a parade even something Jake wants?

I appreciated a new take on parents that could be a bit overly supportive, exploring a discussion on how to best support your child while they're coming out, and protecting their autonomy with this news. This book is a realistic look at how one person affects an entire community, and how anyone can create change where they live, given the right support systems.


Take a look at Upper Arlington Public Library's catalog for Stamper's books for teens: After Glow, As Far As You'll Take Me, Golden Boys, and The Gravity of Us, or add them to your collection by shopping local.

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We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle and Good Inside 

Getting Warmer, April 2023

Summer can be a joyful, but stressful time with everyone at home, breaking the normal routine. We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle talked to clinical psychologist and mom of three, Dr. Becky Kennedy, named "The Millennial Parenting Whisperer" by TIME Magazine. Join Doyle, her wife Abby Wambach, and Dr. Becky for Breaking Cycles & Reparenting Yourself with Dr. Becky Kennedy, and How to Raise Untamed Kids with Dr. Becky Kennedy, for discussions on how to break familial cycles, resilience building, how and why our children can trigger us, why the traditional reward and punishment systems fail, how to build better connections with our kids, and how to reparent ourselves to become more like the parent we're trying to be. Take a deep dive into these parenting techniques with Doyle's podcast episodes, and Dr. Becky's weekly podcast, Good Inside with Dr. Becky, as well as her 2022 book release, Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be. Or take a look at her workshop offerings for specific issues - visit for member and non-member offerings.

"Understanding that we're all good inside is what allows you to distinguish a person (your child) from a behavior (rudeness, hitting, saying, 'I hate you'). [...] So many of us had parents who led with judgment rather than curiosity, criticism instead of understanding, punishment instead of discussion. [...] As a result, many parents see behavior as the measure of who our kids are, rather than using behavior as a clue to what our kids might need. What if we saw behavior as an expression of needs, not identity?" -Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be

Approaching behavior as a symptom, and not an indication of who a child is, leads the adults in that child's life to "sit on the bench" with them, reframing difficult moments as learning opportunities, helping build life-long skills. Showing curiosity about how they are feeling, and modeling curiosity about your own feelings in the moment helps children have the framework to know and trust themselves as they grow to adulthood. These key moments help us, and them, create realistic expectations of ourselves in the world, experiencing all of the emotions available to us, instead of focusing on happiness.

Kennedy is open about the fact she started her practice by suggesting traditional reward and punishment systems, like sticker charts. She quickly realized that these types of methods might create behaviors that are easier to deal with in children, but as they aged, their parents were left wondering why their children were more susceptible to peer pressure, and not always able to establish boundaries with romantic partners.

"When we sacrifice relationship building in favor of control tactics, our children may age, but in many ways, they developmentally remain toddlers, because they miss out on years of building the emotions regulation, coping skills, intrinsic motivation, and inhibition of desires that are necessary for life success. When we are busy exerting extrinsic control over our children's external behavior, we sacrifice teaching these critical internal skills." -Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be

"How our caregivers responded to us becomes how we in turn respond to ourselves, and this sets the stage for how we respond to our children." Kennedy assures us it's never too late to work on our relationship with ourselves or our children, no matter the age - neuroplasticity allows everyone a chance to rewire, rebuild and heal.

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We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle podcast
Good Inside book

Speaking Queerly

Going Green(er), March 2023

The Speaking Queerly podcast, hosted by Columbus's Kaleidoscope Youth Center, is back after their three episode introduction before the pandemic. Exploring current events, legislation, pop culture, intersectionality and more, the four hosts accept questions or suggestions on topics to discuss from young people and anyone listening at Catch up with their previous episodes on being Black and Queer in Columbus, and discussion on LGBTQIA+ Health with a guest from Mozaic/Equitas Health, available on Apple™ or Spotify™.

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Speaking Queerly podcast

Dana K. White

Springing Foward, February 2023

Are you new to decluttering? Consider a deep dive into this practice with decluttering expert Dana K. White of A Slob Comes Clean.

Unlike many people who talk about this topic, White is not a home organizer, and her frank honesty about how overwhelmed her home had made her feel combines well with her ability to see humor in the situation while discovering how to manage her home one step at a time.

Join White with her books or videos for discussions on the clutter threshold, the container concept, and the importance of the five-minute pickup! This daily opportunity to replace items that went astray during the day helps keep the home maintained, and allows the family the learn where new homes for items are. "Once your family gets the concept and can help without your constant supervision, five minutes multiplies." When each person does five minutes, a family of four can complete 20 minutes of work in 5! This five minute approach can also be taken to decluttering itself: set the timer, and see how many items you can pull out for trash, recycling, or donation before it goes off, or see if the kids can fill a donation box with items from their room in five minutes!

In How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind, White focuses on the beginning of her journey to a decluttered life, including a 28 Days to Hope for Your Home step-by-step guide on how to tackle decluttering and cleaning in a home that feels insurmountable. One tip I found especially useful was to time myself doing a task--when you know how long a task actually takes, it's easier to schedule your day, and harder to make excuses of time when you know emptying the dishwasher only takes four minutes. One of the surprising discoveries White makes while implementing a routine is that when laundry is done weekly, the family tends to wear their favorite items every week. This discovery allowed White and her family to declutter those "just in case" clothes, making room to see more of their favorites every day.

Need a quick-start guide? Consider Organizing for the Rest of Us: 100 Realistic Strategies to Keep Any House Under Control. White encourages readers to declutter the tangible to make room for the intangible, reminding us that having space doesn't mean it's space to fill. This short guide is great for any busy person looking to get fast ideas on ways to start their decluttering journey, and use Decluttering at the Speed of Life: Winning Your Never-Ending Battle with Stuff to deep-dive into specific spaces with accompanying tips. I especially appreciated the discussion on doing an identity reality check, using decluttering to honor who we are instead of an idealized version of ourselves, letting us know it's okay to let go of those items overrunning our lives.

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Dating While Gray

Organizing Love, January 2023

Are you dating online and want to know what the experts suggest for your profile? Want to know what people are really thinking on first dates? The podcast Dating While Gray™ invited dating and relationship coach Amy Schoen for a discussion on common profile mistakes, the basic do's and don'ts for putting your best face forward, and a critique of one listener's profile.

Discover real dater's reactions to some of the profiles they've seen in Dating 101: The Online Profile, and the real-life don'ts they've encountered in Dating 101: The First Date. Check out both episodes for commonsense advice, no matter your age.

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Dating While Gray™ podcast

Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

Organizing Love, January 2023

In their first book, You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories About Racism, sisters Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar focus mostly on stories of microaggressions and blatant racism that have happened to Lacey between the years of 1980-2020 in Midwest America. I laughed, I swore, and I got a bit misty from these stories that were, at times, life-threatening. Published in 2021, the next installment of stories came out in November 2022, and this time, the whole family and a few friends were invited too.

The World Record Book of Racist Stories brings intergenerational and intersectional voices to the storytelling, from their reverend sister Angie working throughout the Midwest, to their friend, former State Senator Tanya Cook, including all new stories of hair touching and hilarious mistaken identities.

If you're familiar with Ruffin's work on Late Night with Seth Meyers or The Amber Ruffin Show, you'll be familiar with her witty commentary on current events and comedic timing to relieve the tension. One of my favorite things about T.V. personalities writing books is you're already familiar with their voice and tone and you can hear it while you're reading, increasing the humor of Ruffin's interjections. Take a deep dive into these books and see a glimpse of the daily issues and struggles of minority communities living in the United States, including a story about the "winner" of diversity training.

Both of these books are available through Upper Arlington Public Library, or check your nearest Half Price Books or local bookstore to purchase your own copy!

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Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar book

The New Rules of Marketing & PR

New Year: Improved You, December 2022

When I first started Organization Pending, I was recommended all of the classic standards in marketing books. While they had many ideas for on-the-ground and direct marketing through mailers and calling, I found even the latest updates of these books couldn't address the needs of a current business.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Content Marketing, Podcasting, Social Media, AI, Live Video, and Newsjacking to Reach Buyers Directly, by David Meerman Scott, not only gave me the updated information I had been looking for, but also addressed the concerns of small businesses reaching markets in new ways after the 2020 pandemic.

This completely revised and updated 8th edition published in 2022, ISBN 9781119854289, begins by diving in on how marketing has rapidly changed, comparing past to present, emphasizing the ways that new media has helped cut costs for marketing and public relations, while creating a noisy background for new entrepreneurs. Scott walks the reader through getting above the noise, covering various social media platforms and how to best utilize them for business, how to understand and harness the power of SEO, and creating content that matters, connecting with your community and creating fans of your business.

Coming from a background of public libraries, I appreciated his thoughtful approach to the behind-the-scenes work of business, encouraging small business owners to offer free resources and information through their content, centering the customer at the core of their business model. This emphasis on customers and strength in community building hit the right cord with my brand, and I highly recommended this book to any business owner or entrepreneur who is looking for a resource on community connection and updated marketing information.

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The New Rules of Marketing and PR book

The Night Before Christmas

Sliding Into Winter, November 2022

Based on the classic Clement C. Moore poem, this special cut-paper edition of the The Night Before Christmas, ISBN 9780763634698, gives a different life to this often recited holiday favorite. The pages use a select few vibrant colors to add rich detail to silhouettes, with a two page pop up spread at the end. Enjoy over cups of hot cocoa, or as a before bed Christmas Eve read. Pack away with the decorations at the end of the season to add a special detail to your yearly celebrations.

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cutout page from The Night Before Christmas

Long Live the Pumpkin Queen

Fall Around Columbus, October 2022

Fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas who want more story will enjoy this imaginative tale of what happens after Jack and Sally's wedding. Told from Sally's perspective after she is crowned Sally Skellington, Pumpkin Queen, this loved character who doesn't get as much development or voice in the film is finally given a more fully formed backstory with some surprising twists.


Long Live the Pumpkin Queen, by Shea Ernshaw, does reveal itself to have the overarching coming of age theme that many young adult novels contain. Through exploring feelings of loneliness and isolation, and coming through as a person who can rely on themselves more after their trials, the spooky details of Sally's journey satisfied my seasonal wantings. I enjoyed the new characters and further exploration of other towns, as well as a terrifying new villain. I hope Ernshaw is able to continue writing books for old and new fans based on this Tim Burton classic.

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