Community Managers

Erin/ErinClements (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m the Senior Community Manager, primary liaison between DFTBA and the Discord team, manage the Discord/LL help email, and assist the tech managers as needed — basically, I do a bit of everything! Marble, Forest, and Cygnus are technically my home shelves, but I float around everywhere to check in on things!

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a Junior Editor at Brink Literacy Project’s F(r)iction publishing imprint. Brink is a literacy non-profit, and F(r)iction is dedicated to publishing marginalized and fledgling writers. I’m also the Editorial Team Lead for Publishers Pending, an international collective of hopefuls aiming to get into the publishing industry.
I hold a summa cum laude bachelor’s in English from Ohio Christian University (’20) and a professional certificate in publishing from New York University’s 2021 Summer Publishing Institute.
I’m also a disabled disability rights activist, and a super family-oriented goofball, known amongst my friends as the Mom Friend Extraordinaire™️ and the person most likely to have bandaids/hand sanitizer/whatever else you might need on hand. I also love to travel and attend live shows/concerts, especially if those events involve hanging out with fellow Nerdfighters.

What drew you to your shelf? I like to say that I have no specific “aesthetic” because my interests are so varied and I like so many different things that don’t really form a cohesive list of interests or style, but the design for Marble immediately drew me in because it has a classic vibe that I love, especially as a glasses-wearing writer who loves typewriters. I also love anything with a space aesthetic, which drew me to Cygnus, and I’m a sucker for vintage maps and traveling aesthetics, which made me love Forest. In reality, though, my bookshelves are typically closer to a Tulip-style level of organizational chaos.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? In Nerdfighteria specifically, I’m a mod in and technically created Tuataria, I have served on the Advisory Board for the Project for Awesome every year since its inception in 2018, and I’m also a mod on the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel and the official Complexly Patrons server that houses the Discord space for all of Complexly’s Patreons. In Tuataria, I’ve frequently worked on projects like the yearly Kindness Challenge, which benefits both online and offline communities.
Offline, I’ve been a long-time volunteer at my church, doing everything from childcare to tech management.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? So far, my favorite would probably have to be If You Come Softly. It was deeply impactful to me and came to me at a time in my life where I needed a story that full of love and hope but still full of honesty, especially when combined with the sequel.
Outside of LL, my go-to genre is definitely fantasy/sci-fi. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is probably my current favorite non-Green brothers book, and that’s mostly because it hits everything about fantasy that I love and has disability rep!

Where is your favorite place to read? My favorite place to read is probably my bed. My bed is probably the comfiest place in existence, and I have the perfect light for reading on my headboard’s shelf, so reading in my bed, curled up under my weighted blanket and with just my little light above my bed and maybe a strand or two of Christmas lights turned on is something that reading almost anywhere else could never compare to.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? I nerd out about everything, and I mean everything. If I show interest in a topic — literally any topic, from the identity of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady described in his Dark Lady sonnets or the controversy about his will, to modern superhero movies, to disability representation in media, to specific pieces of media like podcasts (especially the Adventure Zone or MBMBAM) or tv shows — chances are high that I have some kind of fun fact, commentary, rant, or other general thoughts™ about it that I can and will share at any opportunity.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! The LL shelf designs aren’t the only place where my diverse interests/no specific “aesthetic” causes me to “break” sorting/personality quizzes. For Hogwarts houses, I’m primarily a Ravenclaw, but I have tons of traits from both Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. On quizzes that offer percentages and all the questions, I usually average around 80-90% Ravenclaw, 50-60% for both Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, and usually less than 20% for Slytherin traits. In other words for the Harry Potter nerds, I’m an aggressive hat-stall to rival Harry’s own hat-stall. For common personality quizzes like Myers-Briggs, I’m usually either a mix of several options to some degree or another, or I straddle the line between two options. For Myers-Briggs, for example, I’m an INTP and INFP (or for expanded editions, INTP-J and INFP-J). I’ve taken the quiz practically countless times at this point, and have gotten both options an equal number of times.

Becky (she/they)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m a community manager for Life’s Library. The shelves I mostly focus on are Pearl, Tulip & Ivy. You’ll also see me around hosting tea times.

Who are you outside of the internet? I studied law with a focus on criminal law / criminology. Now I’m in the computer science field. Polyglot. Big lover of animals. Currently a cat mom and hoping there will be a dog in my near future.

What drew you to your shelf? I grew up by the sea so I really like Pearl’s aesthetic and the calm but deep vibe of the shelf. Tulip is just a marvelous mess of all kinds of interesting things which reminds me a lot of some of my own bookshelves/stacks of books. And I have a very cute but mischievous cat which along with my love for fantasy books makes Ivy very intrigueing.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I’ve helped run a bunch of different online communities over the years. On Discord you’ll currently also find me as a mod in Tuataria’s side servers. Outside of the internet I’ve been volunteering with children/youth and leading scouting groups in a variety of different functions since 2002. Before I moved I also spent 6 years being a daily volunteer at the animal shelter and four years volunteering at a prison near my uni. One of my favourite kinds of volunteering that I used to do was taking animals to a hospital ward for Alzheimer and dementia patients and seeing people opening up around them. Currently I don’t have as much going on because I’m in the process of slowly moving countries, but I help my parents run a group for refugee children twice a week when I’m there and still attend scouting events when I can. In my new place I’ve started volunteering at local clean up days and there’s a program at the library where you can read to kids once a week and a club where you can help children and teens learn to code that I’m looking to get involved in.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre?
A Field Guide to Getting Lost. But it might change to Mountains Beyond Mountains when I get a chance to read it. Outside of Life’s Library, I read a lot of different books. Give me well rounded diverse characters or interesting non fiction and I’m here for it. My go to shelves in the bookstore tend to be fantasy/scifi and YA, as well as anything queer. I also really love going to the local comic book store near my parents. Wish we had one here.

Where is your favorite place to read? I love curling up on my bed with the cat and the afternoon sun.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Dogs, cats, all kinds of other animals, nature as a whole, books, Critical Role, D&D in general, puzzles, languages, games, sports, code, the world is full of so many interesting things and I love a lot of them.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! Please never take me to another volcano! I have fallen head first into one volcano, luckily my foot got caught on a rock a little bit down the slope so I was able to climb back up and out before falling all the way in. (There is now a guard rail on that part of the volcano entirely because of me. Very strange honour). A few weeks later my parents somehow still decided it was a great idea to visit a different volcano with me. Long story short we were taking a tour, I tripped and fell causing a rock slide down the wrong side of the volcano, briefly setting myself on fire in the process and then somehow managed to hop away while my shoe melted into the side of the volcano.

Diana (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m the Community and Internal Communications Manager! Chamomile is my home shelf, but you’ll also see me floating around in Cygnus, Pearl, and Quartz, and probably popping in around all the other shelves’ #lounge channels.

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a college student at a small Catholic college in Ohio studying to be a History and Theology teacher. I’m also like, Super Catholic (which is definitely, for sure, a personality trait). I’m the resident Mom Friend and the one who gets all of my irl friends super into new podcasts and books.

What drew you to your shelf? I just… really like tea? I drink on average a cup every day, though that increases (and turns into coffee) when homework and studying gets to be a lot. Cham is the calm shelf aesthetic I aspire to have (though Tulip might be a bit more true to life).

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I volunteer a lot at/with my parish back home – I help lead retreats, Bible Studies, and service projects to serve people in the general community in my town. I’m also one of the Modmins in Tuataria (another, more general Nerdfighter Discord).

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? Oh, this is a hard one. I really enjoyed Stories of Your Life and Others, and it’s the book that I would probably force into the hands of most of my friends, but Mountains Beyond Mountains really cemented the importance of the work that Life’s Library is supporting in Sierra Leone.

As I recently discovered while reorganizing my bookshelves by genre, fantasy appears to be my go-to genre. It makes sense – I grew up on Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Where is your favorite place to read? My mom lived in Singapore for four years of her adolescence, and while there she acquired the comfiest chair in all of existence. It’s basically a very large pillow in a shallow basket set atop a stand. It’s the comfiest place to read anything ever.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? What don’t I like to nerd out about? Ask me a question about theology or history and I will go on for hours in an overly enthusiastic and excited tone of voice. And, I love talking about Good Storytelling. Seriously, if you see me reading a book or listening to a narrative podcast, there is a 98% chance that I will go off on a long rant about the characters and the plot twists and the writing in a way that tells you absolutely nothing about the plot of the actual book that is in my hands.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! Buckle in. This is a long one, but I promise it is worth it. My friends have lovingly titled it the “Slovaccident.”
One time when I was studying abroad in Austria, my friends and I were trying to get to Naples so that we could go and visit the Shrine of St. Philomena. We were trying to get to the Vienna airport and got on the wrong train and ended up in Slovakia, and panicked. We had to wait two hours (IN THE SKETCHIEST TRAIN STATION IN THE WORLD) for a train to take us back to Vienna, and THEN we missed our flight. Attempting to correct the mistake, we got kicked out into the rain of Vienna at 2 am and wandered around until we found a sketchy hostel where we crashed until the trains opened up.
We made it to Naples later that day, then took a train to about an hour outside of Naples where some random Catholic travelers’ website had told us to go. We had no clue where to go from there – the Catholic travel website was incredibly unspecific. Somehow, we met a coffee shop owner (who spoke no English), but we managed to communicate to him that we were trying to get to the Shrine of St. Philomena. He walked into the back and called his American sister-in-law (she was from Pennsylvania, specifically. How she ended up in this small town outside of Napels, I have no idea), and handed his phone to me to talk to her. She used to literally work at the Shrine. She sent her only-Italian-speaking husband (I should mention at this point that none of us spoke more than a few phrases of Italian) to drive us to the shrine because it was too far to walk and by that point it was pretty late at night. He got us to the shrine, and we just sat down and cried and thanked St. Philomena profusely for helping us through our failures. THEN, an old priest and a nun came and gave us a PERSONAL TOUR of the shrine, and unlocked the gift shop for us, and then sent us on our way. We almost missed the bus to get back to the train station (we had to run after it and make it stop in order to catch it). Then we went back to our Airbnb in Naples and slept because WE DESERVED IT.

Youval (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I am a Community Manager mainly in Rose, Cham, and Scale!

Who are you outside of the internet? I am a Hufflepuff living in Washington, DC, working in the education/conflict resolution/youth empowerment sphere. I love to read (duh), play my ukuleles (yes, I have more than one), bake delicious things, and I am a very proud cat-aunt to Toby Zeigpurr. I often spend my summers working at a camp teaching music, playing soccer, and making sure campers don’t hurt themselves while trying to complete a high ropes course blindfolded.

What drew you to your shelf? I was always a huge Disney fan growing up (and still am) and being a book-loving brunette Belle was my favorite princess. So of course I chose Rose. I was also really drawn to the cozy atmosphere of Cham and several other shelves…

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Since becoming an LL Mod, I have loved being a part of event planning, in particular helping to organize the 2020 and 2021 Kindness Challenge. IRL I love equipping people with the tools they need to address conflict in their lives, whether it’s a fight between family members or roommates, or more systemic issues of interfaith dialogue, justice, etc.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? There has not been a Life’s Library Book that I haven’t found really powerful, which makes this tough, but I am finding myself recommending Yiddish Policemen’s Union and Story of Your Life and Others most often so I’ll say those! Outside LL I generally gravitate towards romance, science fiction, fantasy (StoryGraph says “emotional, adventurous, and reflective” books).

Where is your favorite place to read? In a perfect world I would always be able to read outside in a park on a beautifully warm and sunny day. Since that’s not always the case, I also enjoy curling up in a cozy chair in my living room with either a cup of tea or a good craft beer.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Is everything an acceptable answer? My obsessions tend to fluctuate but generally I love books, baking, craft beer, Pixar, 90s Sports Movies, musicals, cats, and planning out my next tattoo.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I have dual citizenship between the US and Israel and have gotten to do some pretty cool things on my recent trips to Israel. One of my last trips I got a tattoo at one of the oldest shops in the world (it’s about 700 years old). Also every few years my family gathers in Israel to celebrate “Pesach b’midbar” (Passover in the Desert in Hebrew). We put on costumes, everyone has a part to play, and we wander around the desert retelling/reenacting the story of the Exodus.

Technical Managers

Allison (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m a tech manager, mainly in charge of the website but also helping with discord settings and census/surveys as a data cruncher. I’m also a server mod and a room mod specifically for Tulip and Pearl.

Who are you outside of the internet? Website maker, digital/social media manager, Ravenpuff, knitter, slow runner, Wegmans stan, and mom to a grumpy 16-year-old dachshund.

What drew you to your shelf? Tulip (the messy disaster shelf) is inspired by a photo I took of my floor after two piles of books fell in on each other, so of course it’s close to my heart. My life is a mess, but I know where everything is, and that’s what counts.
I also chose Pearl because it’s a bit of a foil to the chaos of Tulip, a calm color palette and thoughts of the beach.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I’ve run or helped run a few other online communities, including some large LiveJournal groups and Fanlistings (#tbt), and was in leadership and tech roles in my college theater company all four years. I’m a volunteer counselor with Crisis Text Line, and help out regularly at my local food bank. I’m also a mod in Tuataria (a Nerdfighter server) and have served on the P4A advisory board/chat mod team since 2018.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite Life’s Library book (so far) is Mountains Beyond Mountains, not only because of Dr. Farmer’s amazing story, but because we got such a great look into the PIH mission we’re all supporting. I also loved All Systems Red and Song of Achilles. Outside of LL, I love YA and new adult fiction. My favorite reads recently (outside of the Green family) have been Red, White, and Royal BlueBrown Girl Dreaming, and rereading Fever 1793.

Where is your favorite place to read? I do most of my reading before bed, in bed, as a way to wind down. Otherwise, I love a cozy chair in a sunny window.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Figure! Skating! Ask me for my Ted Talk on the need for PCS- and GOE-specific judges under the IJS which is part of the broader issue of balancing artistry with high-powered jumps since Plushi is *still* salty about Evan beating him without a quad because while I’m excited to see whether Yuzu gets the first 4A and solidifies GOAT status quads can be so dangerous for athletes before puberty so I think senior level age minimums should also be raised to discourage children from doing them because I am so worried about these Russian girls needing hip replacements at 18. But anyways um. Figure skating!

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I ran my first half marathon (13.1 miles, 21.1km) with 3 days notice and having run no more than 3 miles at a time beforehand. Not smart. DON’T DO IT. I still finished in *just* under 3 hours! I think you meet the best people as a slow runner, by the last few miles you’re all half-walking and commiserating about being so. very. done. I’ve run 6 half marathons since, with much better preparation.

Jonathan/BoedJ (he/him)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m Jonathan (he/him), one of the Tech Managers. I mainly work on our bot Fitzy with the other Jonathan, and make sure events like the Kindness Challenge and scavenger hunt work from a technical standpoint.

Who are you outside of the internet? I did a few years of computer science, but I’m currently a linguistics and literature student in Belgium, with German and English as language options. I read a lot (hard to avoid as a literature student, but outside of my studies as well) and enjoy writing, although I don’t sit down and actually do the latter nearly enough. I also enjoy sports, especially football (the soccer kind). I used to play for my local team until going to university made going back and forth for training sessions too much of a hassle.

What drew you to your shelf? As I’m focused on tech stuff across the entire server, I don’t really have a shelf. If I had to go through the joining process, I would probably go for Marble. (I was also a fan of the Onyx design, but that shelf was closed down.)

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I would say any helping out I may have done has been online, which is something I’d like to change. I’ve been a Tuataria admin since the beginning of that other Nerdfighter discord and help organise the Kindness Challenge(s) there, I’ve translated subtitles for Crash Course, and I love participating in the P4A every year. I think the theme here is that, with the odd exception over the years, my helping out is pretty much always through Complexly(-adjacent) projects.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? I haven’t read all of the books, but I’d say We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled.
I’ve always been terrible at delineating between genres, so it’s probably easier to say I don’t really have a go-to stereotypical one like fantasy or sci-fi. I guess most of what I read would be filed under realistic/literary fiction, whatever that means. I also read a fair amount of non-fiction.

Where is your favorite place to read? I’m not sure I have one. I don’t really tend to get all cozy somewhere and stay in that position for hours; I’m more the kind of person who gets up every now and then and paces around with book in hand (sometimes, if alone, even reading the text aloud) or puts himself in slightly ridiculous positions at times to switch things up.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Language(s) and stories, both real and made up — or somewhere in between.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I own books in a variety of languages that I don’t speak, because I love being able to read things in the original language. I just need to learn all of those languages now, which uh… will happen someday.

Jonathan (he/him)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m a Tech Manager who mostly takes care of Fitzy along with the other Jonathan. I’m the guy who handles book switchover duties (renaming/locking channels, posting the divider images, etc), but I have lots of help with that from the CMs!

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a 21 year old Youth Development Professional at my local Boys and Girls Club. (That’s just a fancy way of saying I tutor elementary and middle schoolers.) I spend most of my free time coding, cooking, reading, or playing Xbox.

What drew you to your shelf? To be honest, I don’t really have a specific shelf…but back in the early days of LL when I was helping out with modding, I was in Cygnus because I am a massive space nerd, as anybody who knows me can attest.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Aside from my jobs (LL and the Boys and Girls Club), I’ve spent some time volunteering at a dog rescue. I’ve also been a Tuataria (another Nerdfighter Discord) mod/admin since the beginning, which is where I got my start coding Discord bots with Jonathan.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite LL book is a toss up between All Systems Red and If You Come Softly. Outside of LL, my favorite genre is definitely YA. (Insert An Ember in the Ashes shilling here.)

Where is your favorite place to read? Well lately my favorite way to consume books is via audiobook, so…anywhere, really.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Halo!! I’ve been a massive fan of Halo since middle school, when I first started reading novels in the extended universe. I didn’t play any of the games until university, but I’m obsessed with those now too. The last time I had a day where I didn’t spend a few minutes just sitting and thinking about something to do with Halo was…many years ago.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! My parents’ HS graduation present to me was an introductory flight lesson, and since I graduated high school early, I flew a plane before I ever drove a car!

Ret Samys (he/him)

Who are you in the LL community? I am a hang out in Marble and Forest, and I am the unfortunate Tech Manager responsible for the podcast RSS feed (as well as the rest of the coding on extras.lifeslibrarybookclub.com)

Who are you outside of the internet? I work full-time in an archive, and on weekends I volunteer in a youth reading & writing club while administrating the library there.

What drew you to your shelf? I liked the classy old-school feel of Marble – I’ve always liked those patterns on polished stone, and typewriters are mechanical magic to me. It’s a clean design and one of the more symmetrical shelves.
And for Forest, maps did it! Maaaps.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I’m currently the main person responsible for the reading club for 4-7 y/o’s. While not responsible for planning the biggest book flea market in the region, I am the main person looking after the books, categorising them and deciding what to throw away. I’m the tech person for a number of blogs.
And for fans of Hank’s book(s), I do a thing or two for the FAART server on Discord.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? All Systems Red, with Stories of your Life and Others as a close second. Unsurprisingly, I like Science Fiction.

Where is your favorite place to read? My bed.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Hand-drawn animation. Languages. Space. Puns.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I can bite ice cream due to my 2 upper front teeth not having nerves any more. =)

Artist in Residence

Alys (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m the Artist in Residence for Life’s Library – this means I’m the one who makes the banners for the reading periods and event channels. I’m not technically a mod, but I do float around all of the shelves and lurk in all corners of Life’s Library, so you’ll see me popping up from time to time.

Who are you outside of the internet? Behind the screen I’m a young professional living in London, UK. I moved here from Wales for university and ended up staying here, so I’ve been living here for about 6 years now. I’ve been working for a tech start-up as a project manager, which mostly means that my job is always changing and no two days are the same! In my spare time I’m an artist and illustrator, I enjoy long walks (when the weather is good) and long days curled up with a book (when the weather is not good).

What drew you to your shelf? When I joined LL I chose Aloe just because I own a lot of succulents, and it seemed like a natural fit. I was drawn to a few shelves but settled there – there really wasn’t more thought than that!

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Outside of Life’s Library, I’m also a Mod in Tuataria, and run my own art server which functions kind of like an online art gallery. I helped to build the hunt for YPU and co-wrote the story to go along with it, and I also help out behind the scenes of the Kindness Challenge and our other events. I used to volunteer for a local hospice back home in Wales, and I’ve volunteered to help run IRL events for Nerdfighters too!

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? I’m not allowed to have favourites 😉 But on a serious note, I fell behind with a lot of the reading in 2019 and I’m still catching up! Of the books I’ve read so far, my favourite was Howl’s Moving Castle or All Systems Red. Outside of LL, I’ll usually head straight to the sci-fi or fantasy shelves, or stick with the generic ‘Young Adult’ section and see what takes my fancy.

Where is your favorite place to read? Weirdly, I think my favourite place to read is on trains – I’ll sometimes intentionally miss my stop so that I can read for longer, or get so into a book that I need to stand on the platform and finish the chapter before I can leave the station – and being able to get in a few hours of uninterrupted reading is one of my favourite parts of travelling.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Okay, so this is absolutely a toss up between art (duh) and… art? When you go to a gallery and you can see the brush strokes, and you can see where the artist made a mistake and painted over it with white to fix it. Looking closely at big paintings to see all the imperfections, the wobbly lines, the shaky hands, IMAGINING the hands of the artist running over that canvas and mixing that paint years or decades or sometimes even centuries ago. I’m also a big, big fan of plants – I have probably around 16 cacti and succulents in my room, and the only thing stopping me from having more is the fact I don’t have enough space for them.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I go big or go home: my first time on a plane (or going abroad at all, actually) was on my trip to San Francisco, my first football match was at Wembley Stadium (AFC Wimbledon, obviously – where I met John!) and my first festival involved travelling all the way to (and across) Spain!

Moderators

Adel/adelweisz (just Adel)

Who are you in the LL community? Room Mod for Cygnus.

Who are you outside of the internet? “Non-LL but still very much online identities” is probably more accurate and includes: nature lover, amateur cooker and baker, moderately skilled at fiber arts like sewing and knitting.

What drew you to your shelf? It is tidy and I am tidy and I like stars and it has stars.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Er, I tend to reach out one-on-one if someone needs gentle correcting, non-judgemental company, or a helping hand.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? So far, I especially enjoyed The Summer Book. I tend to read kid books, non-fiction, and short stories.

Where is your favorite place to read? The couch on my back porch. It overlooks the garden which is very active with birds, squirrels, bunnies, and my pup. A nice scene to rest my eyes or ponder booky things.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? I’m a nerd-of-all-trades (general joy more so than knowledge) and if I don’t nerd what you nerd, I will be a friend to your enthusiasms.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I never know what to say to these, so here are some reviews from friends: “[You’re] a b—- and I mean that in the best way possible!” “You’re always introducing me to dope— s—!” “Adel, you fashionable fart.” One time, a group of friends serenaded me with a song they made up on the spot. I remember none of the lyrics, but it was great!

Ali/alipeli (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? Hi I am alipeli or ali for short! I go by she/her. I am a room mod for Forest.

Who are you outside of the internet? I recently graduated as a biotechnologist from University in my home town in Quito, Ecuador.

What drew you to your shelf?I was drawn to Forest as the more biology shelf, which is one of my big interests. It also gave me big adventure vibes which I loved.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I like to think of myself as a silent helper, I am never the front of any operation but I like to help things run smoothly. I have worked as tech in theater and dance shows, I do some volunteering (outside of LL). I also try to help out as a mod in Life’s Library and Tuataria, another nerdfighter server.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite Life’s Library book has to be House of the Spirits, it is just such a relevant book to my experience and my life. I had read it in high school but reading it again really put some more things in perspective. Outside of LL I read almost anything but I have been really into Latin American literature lately and always.

Where is your favorite place to read? I have a chair in my room that has a lamp right behind it and I usually read on it with my dog on my lap. It is truly like a scene in a movie.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Anything that can be phrased as a fun fact is my jam. Which means I can nerd out about anything but it usually is something science related.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! When the Amazon Kindle came out I became obsessed with it. My parents got me one for my 15th birthday and I started carrying it everywhere, I even had the kindle logo as my facebook profile picture for a while. It was so bad that my best friend’s father started calling me Ali Kindle… And he still does.

Alyssa/alysasuh (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? My name is Alyssa! My pronouns are she/her. I am a room mod for the Chamomile shelf and I am also known to be a Causer of Chaos™.

Who are you outside of the internet? I am a middle-school English teacher! I teach 6th graders for the most part, and I love them because they are still silly and I get to foster a love of reading each day in my classroom. I also work part-time at the children’s desk of a local library branch! I live in San Diego, California, where I’m part of the San Diego Women’s Chorus and I play lots of RPG/Board games with my friends. I’m, like, unreasonably good at puzzles. My cat’s name is Sushi, and she is the best. I have strong (positive) feelings about orange flavors and dark chocolate and rosemary (not necessarily together, but, maybe?). My superpower is fueling my rage (usually about inequity, but not always) into elegantly written emails. I am a hufflepuff.

What drew you to your shelf? I joined LL for the second-ever book, and I joined Chamomile because I had a couple real life friends that had chosen that one, and I wanted to join them. It was down to Chamomile or one other (Aloe, I think?)! I quickly realized the ChamFam were my people, since the shelf is full of teachers and librarians and other awesome peeps, so I never really questioned my decision.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? At school, I am one of the go-to educational technology/Google helpers, and I work to push for an educational environment that works for ALL students. Our school (and district) has recently created an Equity Team to work for equitable, anti-racist policies at school and in the community, and I am a part of this new team. Outside of school, I have helped run social media for my chorus, and I have served as section leader for multiple seasons. I am also facilitating some smaller book clubs outside of Life’s Library, as well!

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My go-to genre is YA Fantasy. Ask me to yell about The Raven Boys or A Darker Shade of Magic or CEMETERY BOYS or Lumberjanes or Katie Cook’s online comic Nothing Special…… (or don’t, that’s probably a bad plan. I am very excitable).
For that reason alone, I loved getting to read Howl’s Moving Castle. In addition, I am grateful to have been gifted A Field Guide to Getting Lost and We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled for my reading experience. In the end, though, my favorite has been Murderbot. I absolutely adore the themes and the sarcasm and the sass.

Where is your favorite place to read? My friend has a back patio that looks out onto a lot of green and trees. I love reading in that spot in particular. It is my happy place. Ideally, if I could read amongst the trees at all times, though, that would be the dream.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? BOOKS! Okay but for real, I do. I teach middle school English. Finding kids books they like is my jam. And sometimes I do episodes of Alyssa Recommends™ in my shelf.
Beyond that? mugs, Rosie Thorns and other book-related artwork, abstract art, Joss Whedon stuff (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, anyone?), theatre! (I used to see minimum 1 live play/musical a month in the before times), Nevada (I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I will forever be Battleborn), knitting/crocheting, rpg, equity in education…….. The list goes on.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! One time, in 2011, I was visiting Vatican City with a class during my study abroad trip (I lived in Florence and we took a trip to Rome for the day). We wandered in and it happened to be Good Friday and the moment we went through the big doors, the Pope walked out. He was like 20 feet away from us. We were stunned.
Also, at some point during that same day, I had figured out that we happened to be in Rome at the same time as my high school AP Literature teacher, and we were able to get in touch and had dinner with her and her friends. Then, when my friend and I missed our train that night, she let us stay in her hotel room with her because there weren’t any more trains available that evening.
It was easily one of the weirdest days I’ve ever experienced.

Amanda Cora/amcojo (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I am Amanda (she/her) and I am a Server Mod for Ivy and Scale (Ivy being my home shelf from before I was a mod).

Who are you outside of the internet? I currently work as a Customer Service Rep using none of my degrees. PNWer by birth (and always in my heart) who moved to Texas three years ago and lives with my cousin and her husband and daughter. A cat lover who is cat-less at the moment.

What drew you to your shelf? Luna, the cat on our shelf was an immediate draw. Plus the magicky feel.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? LL is my main online community, so modding and being an active member is how I help out there. Offline I’m part of some activist groups that help out in the community through resource drives, letter writing campaigns, and rallies as well as educating ourselves through reading groups (voting rights and prison abolition are two of my big interests). I am also a volunteer at my local Holocaust museum.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite was probably We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled, it kind of reminded me of some testimonies I read during my anthropology degree. Outside of LL, I do read quite a lot of non-fiction on a variety of subjects, all sorts of YA and I lean heavily on romance when I need a break/reset (mostly historical but I’ve gotten into contemporary recently).

Where is your favorite place to read? We just got a new couch which is super comfy but I’m less likely to fall asleep than if I read in bed. My work desk also sees a lot of reading during breaks and lunch.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Podcasts, Harry Potter (Slytherin), and politics are the most consistent ones but I’m definitely someone who will go ALL IN when I first discover something.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I seem to have a knack for celebrities taking jabs at me. Jesse Eisenberg once sarcastically told me I sounded like a good employee at a book signing after I had told him I finished his book at work earlier that day. Josh Radnor (Ted Mosby) once walked into a room I was in saying “How’s it going?” and before I could answer he eyed the newspaper puzzle page I was working on with a blank Crossword and said “Apparently not well.” (I would like to say, in my defense, I had been working on the Sudoku and had not actually started the Crossword yet.)

BecksterMay (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I am an original member of Scale. Now I’m a Shelf Mod.

Who are you outside of the internet? I am a chemist, mom, reader, wine and coffee drinker, and traveler.

What drew you to your shelf? I was drawn to the element and all the other sciencey stuff on the shelf.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? As a teen I volunteered serving the homeless and with my church youth group. This is the first time I have been involved in an online community like this.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? Blonde Roots has been my favorite so far. I read just about everything, but I’m partial to any romance, fiction(contemporary and historical), and YA.

Where is your favorite place to read? On the beach or by the pool when at all possible. At home I love to read outside when the weather is nice. If not, I’ll read in my living room in front of the picture window.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Books and chemistry.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I live in Farmland USA now, but I was born and raised in one of the biggest cities in the US.

Chelsea (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I joined Ivy at the start of LL and am now a mod for the shelf!

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a scientist working at a big university! I manage the lab and run experiments, and help the PhD candidates with all of their various things. Outside of work, I love to play Animal Crossing and other games on my Switch, go for walks/runs around the local natural areas, read books, and snuggle with my cat, Zoey.

What drew you to your shelf? The cat and the nighttime witchy vibes!

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I play an online game called Flight Rising (aka dragon Neopets) and each flight has community volunteers that run events. I am part of the Wind Flight Council, so we plan flight wide and site wide activities, and mod the Wind discord server. Offline I have volunteered with the Y in the past but have since moved and still need to find my volunteer places here!

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? All Systems Red is my favorite, followed closely by Stories of Your Life and Others.
Outside of LL, I definitely read the most fantasy, but when I find good sci-fi those are generally my absolute favorites.

Where is your favorite place to read? My bed, it’s nice and comfy and warm. But I recently got a nice new accent chair for my living room and that might surpass it, however I haven’t had it long enough to say yet. So stay tuned!

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Books, Animal Crossing, space, science! And Flight Rising, if I’m not spending time on LL or LL adjacent servers I’m talking dragons on one of my Flight Rising related servers instead.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I was part of a Steel Drum band in high school, and we went to New Orleans to play in 3 Mardi Gras parades my Junior year. As we were getting set up for one parade, a TV crew started setting up across the street. It turned out it was Richard Simmons filming as the Mardi Gras correspondent for The Ellen Show! He kept trying to escape his handlers and come over to our float because he wanted to see and play the drums. Eventually they let him and I have a picture of him playing the drum next to me.

Cole/D.G.Cole (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? Hi, friends! I’m Cole, AKA D.G.Cole#2376 on Discord. I’m a room mod for Quartz!

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m an NYC-based arts administrator who is particularly fond of works on paper, especially photography. I’m a new cat mom to Jude Paw, Cool Aunt™, theatre-goer, and enamel pin-collector with strong opinions about fonts.

What drew you to your shelf? When I initially joined LL, I chose my shelf with a close friend, and while on my own I’d probably have become a member of the ChamFam (my favorite color is yellow), we were both drawn to Quartz because we love photography and travel. I’m grateful to have found our lil Quartz squad.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Currently, my modest charitable donations go to Partners in Health and OxFam. I’m very vocal both on- and offline about the causes that I feel strongly about, and try to engage in discussions that encourage awareness, understanding, and action towards making the world less sucky and more awesome.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? So far my favorite LL book has been Stories of Your Life and Others because I hadn’t picked up a short story collection since high school and had more or less dismissed the format as “not for me,” but I’m very pleased to have been proven wrong! Outside of LL, I gravitate towards YA, and though I just turned 27, I’ve no plans to stop!

Where is your favorite place to read? A specific small patch of northern Central Park.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Many things, but I’ll go with musical theatre. I’m very lucky to have filled three Playbill binders since I moved to the city five years ago, and I’ve loved every minute of my time spent enjoying live theatre.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I am related to one of the munchkins from the Wizard of Oz film! My grandmother is the only one who can point out which one.

Coraline (she/her)

Who are you outside of the internet? I am a Ravenclaw introvert, a wife and a mom to three teens and an elderly cat named Snuggles. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I worked mostly in early childhood before deciding to stay home. I love reading, music, crafting, journaling, hiking, and spending time with my family.

What drew you to your shelf? The fantastical image of the rose with the stained glass window.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Life’s Library is the first online community I have been a part of in at least 15 years. I try to help here by offering and encouraging kind and thoughtful communication. I am very grateful to be a part of this community! Before gestures broadly, I volunteered at my local library on a regular basis. I am also an active volunteer at my teens’ school as a member of the PTA and Marching Band Boosters.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? Nope, I can’t choose just one! My favorites have been Parable of the Sower, Howl’s Moving Castle, and A Field Guide to Getting Lost. I also have a special place in my heart for The Summer Book because my youngest teen and I read it together after I read it with LL. My go to genre is fantasy.

Where is your favorite place to read? The sectional on our deck when the weather’s nice. The couch in our living room when it’s not.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? I nerd out about a lot of stuff, but the most consistent has to be movie quotes and song lyrics-especially musical lyrics. Luckily, my best friend shares this ability and knows exactly what I’m talking about when I quote anything from Gypsy and Hamilton, to Steel Magnolias and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I have also passed this talent on to my children.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I am an only child and both my parents were cinefiles so I spent a lot of time watching movies with them-especially movies from the 1930’s-70’s. We used to have two or three movie guide books (kinda like IMDB but in book form because I am old and this was before the internet existed) that listed all the movies with a synopsis, rating and list of actors. I used to spend hours looking through them and quizzing myself about which actors I’d seen in multiple movies.

Dani Bear (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? Room mod for Rose.

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a queer, geeky, coffee loving, book devouring, Huffplepuff and feminist. I´m an eternal optimist, affectionately known as Mrs Brightside by my friends. I´m from Scotland but spending a year living and working in Turkey, trying but failing to learn some Turkish and Arabic along the way. I studied History and Politics and then International Conflict and Cooperation. I now do audit and counter fraud work in the humanitarian world. I adore food, cooking, baking (I have finally mastered Scottish shortbread), travel, and chatting about all of the above!

What drew you to your shelf? Definitely the beauty and the beast vibes! Belle is my fav Disney Princess (I love books and the colour yellow!) and it’s one of my favourite movies. I also loved the slightly whimsical, romantic vibes.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? LL is my first time helping out in an online community. Lots to learn but it’s making me love LL all the more. I chaired the Women’s Network and sat on the LGBTQ+ committee at my old work, helping organize lots of cool events and policy improvements. I volunteer for my local National Autistic Society Social Group, supporting teens and young adults to organise social events and gatherings. I also sit on the Board on my local Rape Crisis Centre, where I have had the privilege of learning from the most awesome women.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? It’s so difficult to decide. I enjoyed reading Stories of Our Lives and Others the most, and Murderbot (from All Systems Red) as a character has a special place in my heart. I also find myself recommending We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled a lot.

Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? Definitely fantasy! Including myth retellings, fairytales, YA fantasy, and magical realism. I also enjoy Sci-Fi and Middle Grade fiction, especially if it has a fantastical element. It does depend on my mood. I adore reading non-fiction, crime fiction and historical fiction and I’ve developed a recent love for a gothic novel! I will happily read in any genre and appreciate LL expanding my horizons.

Where is your favorite place to read? I am probably going to give the most boring answer – but my couch at home. Comfort is key. I love when I’m snuggled in the corner with a good book and cup of tea. I also love to read outside and at the beach, but nothing beats being comfy on my couch.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Of course books! Including comic books and graphic novels. Getting to discuss books with the LL community has been a genuine joy. I also love to geek out to my favourite fandoms: Harry Potter, Star Wars, Buffy, and Doctor Who! More generally, food, baking, and travel. The cake chat on Rose always makes me smile. I am also always happy to geek out about tea and wine (a recent love). Feminism and queer rights and history are other fav topics!

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I once ended up on a prison in Zambia while working. I was supposed to be visiting a pharmacy. When I turned up at the address they seemed a bit bemused when I said I was there for an audit interview but started taking me through various security checks anyway. Turns out I was at a prison not a pharmacy. The manager very politely explained to me I was in the wrong place. Auditing doesn’t have to be boring…

Dean/Liam oberon (he/him)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m Dean, and I’m one of the room mods for the Chamomile shelf!

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a recently graduated art student, with a focus on painting and sculpture! However, I’m also a printmaker, book lover, aspiring poet, tea hoarder, lover of most things nerdy, and TTRPG fiend. Mostly, I’m the student who asks too many questions.

What drew you to your shelf? The teapot certainly helped, but the atmosphere as a whole reminded me a bit of what I (wish) my own reading space was like!

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Online, I’m a room mod here (of course), and it’s so far really been a pleasure to work with Life’s Library on fostering our little corner of the Internet! I’ve also participated in the 2018 and 2019 Kindness Challenge in Tuataria. Offline, I volunteered as a children’s karate teacher for a few years before moving for college!

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? I’ve loved them all for different reasons, but the one that I’ve found myself returning again and again to recommend to others is Stories of Your Life and Others, as well as passing my copy of The Summer Book to my mother. Both, I think, have offered me the most to chew on later, though I’ve enjoyed all of the ones I have read!
Outside of Life’s Library, my go-to genres are usually fantasy and historical fiction.

Where is your favorite place to read? Anywhere and everywhere – though I’ll always be partial to reading over a leisurely, quiet breakfast with a hefty cup of tea and a pet.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? I can, and will, nerd out about quite a bit, but currently, Critical Role (I’m currently almost caught up with campaign two and beginning campaign one) is my main love. I’ve been an on-and-off roleplayer since late middle school, so it absolutely hits the highs, lows, and best parts of collaborative storytelling for me! I’ll also happily nerd about Shakespeare and early modern studies, art history, Neil Gaiman novels, theater, and Doctor Who.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! As might be inferred from the ‘volunteer karate teacher’ bit, I have a black belt in Shudokan karate! I got it after eleven years of training, during my junior year of high school. Though we weren’t partners with each other, I tested the same time as my (fraternal) twin sister, and we were able to get our black belts together. It was while training for this test that I also had to go to school, a very un-fighty person outside of the dojo, and explain to my classmates why I had a black eye after a friend forgot to pull his punch. That was an interesting morning!

Deb (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I am Deb :strawberry-emoji: and I am mod in the Forest shelf.

Who are you outside of the internet? I am French, and live in California with my husband, whom I met when I lived in Ohio. I have a PhD in plant genetics and I am a strawberry breeder! I love hiking – which is amazing to do in the part of California I’m at – and I practice a lot of yoga! I have two bunnies named Mendel and Vavilov, the name of two pioneers in the field of genetics and plant breeding – because, well yeah, I’m a nerd!

What drew you to your shelf? The map and compass for sure. I love travelling and adventuring! And because I love hiking, forests are one of my happy places. I grew up in two of them, walking, building treehouses and daydreaming.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Life Library is the first online community I am involved with.
I volunteered at a small farm cooperative when I lived in Ohio. I take time to talk about my job and career path to kids in my community because I think increasing the probability that each kid finds a thing they really like to do in life is key to a happy functioning society. I also like to educate people about plant breeding and agriculture.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? So far my favorite Life’s Library book is The House of Spirit. I was new to that genre and really enjoy the subtle mix of paranormal in the real world.
My go-to-genre is whatever book I have at my reach! I do like Si-Fi a lot, though I am still going through classics of this genre!

Where is your favorite place to read? Currently my favorite place to read is in the bunny pen! Which does mean that some of my books have some chewed pages. I really love to read outside, seating on the ground, preferably against a tree or a big rock.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Plant breeding! But I do like some cool animal behavior facts!

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! From January 2010 to December 2012 I lived in 9 different cities, which were located in 4 different countries, and I had a total of 19 roommates!

Gbaty/Grace (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? A Shelf Mod for Rose.

Who are you outside of the internet? My name is Grace in brick life. I work in Social Services in Michigan, and live with a chonky blind cat and a ever growing collection of books. I’m attempting to teach myself how to draw this year and am an inspiring board game person.

What drew you to your shelf? The Stained Glass! Stained Glass is one of the arts that I wish I knew how to do, is connected to some of my favorite parts of history, and just generally makes me feel at peace.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Life’s Library is the first time I’ve ever felt comfortable enough in an online space to integrate into a community and make online friends. This has become a vital part of my day since joining at the beginning of LL Year 2! I am excited to start a Shelf Mod position that can allow me to continue to my favorite ways to interact with community: taking on a position, and finding ways where things I enjoy can be improved with good questions and dedicated time. Much of my time outside of work is spent working with Alpha Phi Omega, Church Council, and other book clubs.

What is your favorite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite Life’s Library Book so far has been Blonde Roots. Though I am really enjoying Without You There is No Us. My top genres outside of Life’s Library are probably Historical Fact and YA or NA LGBTQ+ RomComs.

Where is your favorite place to read? Ideally, in a hammock in the middle of trees, by a lake. However, as life is not always that ideal, my comfy old blue chair stolen from my parents basement, settled up next to my physical tbr.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? This very much depends on the day- lately it has been drawing: I’ve been slowly teaching myself to draw as part of a 2021 Resolution. I’ve been getting to a point where I am proud about how some of my drawings are starting to turn out. I have been experimenting with different types of bullet journaling for almost a year. I will be the person to recommend a fanfiction to you, in the midst of any conversation, if at all possible. Maps, history, recipes, pen pals, Parks and Rec, the list can go on.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I have never had an energy drink.

Goldeye (he/him)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m Goldeye (not GoldENeye as John said once). I’m a mod in the Forest shelf.

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m studying Math and History to become a teacher. A few times in the year I’m organizing seminar weeks for the young adults who are doing a volunteer year and that’s a lot of fun too.

What drew you to your shelf? It was the old looking map. I like old things, especially books, and maps.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I try to be nice to everybody and include the people I see on the outside of a group. That’s easier in real life where I can literally see them. One way I try to include them is via board games. They are an easy way to socialize without having to talk much about one self.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite book was We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled. It hit me really hard in it’s simple and personal way. I think the way we (people and states with money and power) treat refugees hasn’t improved much, so hearing, seeing, reading and knowing their stories is important.
Outside of LL I read a lot of science fiction right now, but I like fantasy a lot, too.

Where is your favorite place to read? I mostly read in my bed. It’s warm and comfy. If the sun is out and it’s warm, I like to read outside too. But my dream place is in front of a crackling fireplace. Ideally inside of a library. Until now I hadn’t got the chance, but some day …

What do you like to nerd out about the most? I like to nerd out about Pen and Paper roleplaying games (like Dungeons and Dragons). I play them since 2006 and love it. I like to talk about characters, stories and systems. Just everything.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! In my teens I went on a few bike tours with my dad. One time we were biking along the old Roman border, the Limes. On the last and biggest trip we biked from Augsburg (Germany) over the Alps to Venice (Italy). That was awesome.

Katherine/inaudiblemelodies (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I have been a member of the Hibiscus shelf since the beginning and now I am a Hibiscus room mod.

Who are you outside of the internet? I am Canadian, an equestrian, board game/video game enthusiast and a Lab Technician for a veterinary pharmaceutical company. I live with my beloved cat Frankie.

What drew you to your shelf? I love animals and was very charmed by our shelf mascot, Biscuit! Also, there’s something about triangles?

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? This is my first time being really active in an online community in quite some time. But in regular times, I volunteered with a non-profit that provides free science programming/activities for kids in our community.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? It’s really hard to pick one but I really loved If You Come Softly. I was immediately pulled into that story and I still think of those characters often.
I try to read a little bit of everything but I am probably most drawn to fantasy and sci-fi.

Where is your favorite place to read? Anywhere I have time to read. The lunchroom at work, waiting rooms, my parked car, public transportation etc. I always bring a book with me!

What do you like to nerd out about the most? I will talk endlessly about whatever video game I’m playing (it’s just such a good medium for storytelling)! Also, recipes! I love talking about my various culinary adventures and getting new ideas.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I have been to more Jack Johnson concerts than I can count. I go see him every chance I get.

Ketie (they/she)

Who are you in the LL community? I am a server mod. My home shelves are Hibiscus & Ivy. (But occasionally you might see me in other shelves!)

Who are you outside of the internet? I am a trainer focusing on education for democracy. This means I sit people down in a circle and we talk about democracy. Sounds fake, but it’s a real job!

What drew you to your shelf? I love a lot of the shelf images! However I needed to make a choice, so:
For Ivy it was definitely the cat, Luna! Cats are my favorite animals. Additionally I like the magic theme! Growing up I mostly read fantasy books, and I am still fascinated by magic worlds.
For Hibiscus it’s the overall atmosphere. I like that it’s organized (I am a very organized person!), but still playful & connected to nature! I also love our little elephant, Biscuit! It is adorable!

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I’ve been involved with youth policy & educational activism for a long time. (This is also how I started my job as a trainer!)
Online, I’ve been around in fan communities since the early 2000s and started moderating bulletin boards, when they were still a thing!
I’ve been a nerdfighter since 2009. Finding Tuataria & becoming a mod there and later Life’s Library, as well as becoming part of my own Nerdfighter group the Pineapples of Solidarity, have been great chances to become more active in a online community which is growing stronger!

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorites so far are We crossed a bridge & it trembled. I helped me understand the stories & lives of people who are often dehumanized.
I also loved Parable of the Sower. The theme of hope in times of ongoing crises really resonated with me.

Where is your favorite place to read? Honestly: My bed. I love my bed.
But mostly I listen to audiobooks, while I am commuting on my bike. I also love audiobooks & bikes!

What do you like to nerd out about the most? A lot of things! Animals (Cats, Horses, Snakes)! TV shows (Buffy & Angel, Platoons of Power Squadron, Doctor Who & Torchwood!)! YouTube (I watch way too much YouTube to even begin listing highlights…)! Doing sports (Parkour, Climbing, Horseback Riding)!

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I am not a very fun person. But I am a hedonist politically. At some point together with a friend we ‘founded’ the ‘group’ of “Anti-Fun Hedonists”: We want everyone to have a good & enjoyable life! But… honestly, *we* do *not* understand what people enjoy about most activities. 😉

Krissy (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m Krissy. I joined LL when it started, became a room mod in Tulip after the first year or so, and just became a server mod. So now I get to hang out in Marble as well!

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m an overly-caffeinated Gryffinpuff, married to my college sweetheart, and mama to our daughter who just turned five. I went to school for Social Work and was in and out of that field. Now I’m home with our kiddo, and I sneak in as much reading and writing as I can. I’m one of five sisters and really close with my family. We can see the Disneyland fireworks from our house and we’ve basically raised our child there.

What drew you to your shelf? Originally, I chose Tulip because of the disheveled books, the yarn, and the mug. I don’t knit, but I sew, and I drink a lot of tea. Tulip seemed homey to me. The writer in me was always drawn to the typewriter on Marble, so I was happy to get to join that shelf as well! Everyone has been so welcoming.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Life’s Library is my first time being this active in an online community. Becoming a mod and being part of the LL Event Planning Committee has made me love Life’s Library even more. Offline, my husband and I are certified foster parents. I’m passionate about advocacy for children in foster care, and for first families and adoptees. I’ve volunteered with organizations aimed at keeping families together and preventing child abuse.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? I hate picking favorites, especially among books! But The House of the Spirits is such a masterpiece. It’s a clear contender for one of the most accomplished novels I’ve ever read. In general, I tend to fall hard for voice and character when I read, rather than being as drawn to genre, or even fiction versus nonfiction. (I can tell you what I don’t like though… I am a horror wimp.)

Where is your favorite place to read? In bed, curled on the couch with a cup of tea, or in our backyard. But most of my reading these days is listening to audiobooks while doing housework.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Is it too obvious to say books? I also nerd out over crafting, Disneyland, Nerdfighteria, politics, cats, French pastries, time period dramas, intersectional feminism, and certain sometimes trashy TV shows.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! When I was in junior high, I got a makeover on the Leeza Gibbons Show. My friend was chosen to be on the show, and her mom said I was also her daughter so I could join too. The topic was “I hate how my daughter dresses,” so her mom pretended to hate our green hair and Pearl Jam t-shirts. We got to ride around Hollywood standing out of the sunroof of our limo, and we had our hair and makeup done by celebrity stylists. I loved the result, but I feigned indifference because I wanted to keep my grunge cred. I wish I had video of it! Leeza was so classy and glamorous to my 13 year old mind.

Lindsey (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m a shelf mod in Ivy.

Who are you outside of the internet? I graduated from college with a BA in English (with an emphasis in creative writing). My current job involves working with medical professionals hired as expert witnesses to produce reports used in litigation. You can often find me doing at least one of the following: reading, drinking coffee, petting a dog, collaging, trying to keep up with my never-ending podcast feed, bullet journaling, writing, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack on repeat, playing Animal Crossing, pulling tarot cards, and enjoying nature here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

What drew you to your shelf? I am a major cat-lover, so as soon as I saw Luna, I knew I had found my place in Ivy.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Both online and off, I strive to foster community and be a source of kindness and optimism. Right now, my focus is on finding ways to serve and be present for my family, friends, and co-workers (as well as the animals in my life!). I previously volunteered at a community radio station as a writer and producer for a local news show, and I hope to find more ways to get involved in my community moving forward.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? It’s so hard to pick just one! My top 3 are How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, Mountains Beyond Mountains, and Their Eyes Were Watching God. I also can’t pick just one favorite genre, as I strive to read as broadly as possible. Recently, I have been gravitating primarily toward literary, classic, and historical fiction. Regardless of genre, the books that tend to stick with me the most contain rich characters and tackle emotional topics while maintaining a sense of lightheartedness and hope.

Where is your favorite place to read? When it’s nice outside, I love to read outside (especially if I am by the water). I also love reading in bed. I read every night before falling asleep, and try to reach for a book whenever I have time in the morning. It’s my favorite way to start the day!

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Books are my absolute favorite thing to nerd out about! I love reading, of course, but I also love just about anything book-related (bookish communities, planning TBR lists, book news, reviews/analyses, videos/podcasts, learning about the author/historical context, beautiful covers, fan art, etc.). I also love a good rabbit hole of information. I’m a naturally curious person and am easily excited about learning something new. Some of my favorite general topics include politics, health and wellness, spirituality, animals, art/crafts, historical debunkings (a la the You’re Wrong About podcast), and making the world a better place.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! In elementary school, my best friends and I formed a club around our love of pickles and our primary goal was to take over the world. Although my goals have changed, my nerd status certainly hasn’t!

Lizzy (she/her/ella)

Who are you in the LL community? Mod and Member of Pearl

Who are you outside of the internet? Homeless Shelter Worker, Dog Mom, Book Lover, Sours Connoisseur, Board Game Enthusiast, Lover of Outdoors

What drew you to your shelf? I have grown up near the ocean and I love the water and can’t imagine not living near the ocean

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I find connection (especially during our current situation) is so vital so I stay connected with people. I also volunteer a lot and mentor a 15 year old. I’ve also dedicated my career to working with homeless families .

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled. Historical Fiction & Memoirs.

Where is your favorite place to read? A hammock (not that I own one)

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Board games

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! When I was in elementary school I would walk the halls while reading a book

Manarnia/Manar (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I am a shelf mod in Aloe.

Who are you outside of the internet? I live in Dallas, TX. I am a freelance editor and currently trying to establish myself as a writer (poetry, essays, eventually novels).

What drew you to your shelf? I just thought Aloe sounded nice! And soothing. I joined Life’s Library right at the start, so the shelves didn’t have established personalities yet, but I am very happy with where I ended up.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Online, I have helped out with the Project 4 Awesome during some years, which is an amazing and rewarding experience. Offline, I have done a lot of working with youth–usually tutoring, which again, is very rewarding. Most recently, I got to help with vaccine distribution in my area!

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? How am I supposed to pick a favorite? The House of the Spirits is probably the one I think about the most, All Systems Red is the one I had the most fun reading, and On Immunity is the one I recommend the most.
Outside of LL, I tend to read a lot of YA and a lot of speculative fiction.

Where is your favorite place to read? I love to read in bed!

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Probably Jane Austen. I love me some Jane Austen.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I have been lucky enough to travel extensively, and I have been to all six inhabited continents! Will I ever go to Antarctica? Do I even want to? (COLD is not my thing. I have Texan blood.) Only time will tell.

MattTruss (he/him)

Who are you in the LL community? I have been a part of LL since the very start, originally part of the Onyx shelf I found a new home in Aloe once Onyx was dissolved. I am happy to now be a room mod for Aloe.

Who are you outside of the internet? Just your friendly, neighborhood Hufflepuff. I am a mechanical engineer by trade and I always tend to have a DIY project going. I am the father to two tween boys who keep me busy. Also residing in our home are two dogs and three cats. Nine chickens can be found roaming in the backyard. I enjoy reading, playing games, watching baseball, and being active.

What drew you to your shelf? Onyx was for that black and white aesthetic and the chessboard. Aloe was the happy little plants and earthy tones, I love the outdoors.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I really enjoy being able to give back to communities that bring me joy. Maybe it’s through a donation to keep a project running or maybe it’s through donating my time, I try my best to give back. Online, I write for a fantasy baseball website that I lurked on for years, and offline I am a brown belt in karate and love helping out with teaching new students.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? Parable of the Sower, hands down. It’s easily in my top books of all time. I am always happy to hop in a discussion about it in the archive channel! I am just finishing a re-read of it, reading along with the Parables Podcast, and reflecting on the reading in my journal. Outside of LL I lean towards YA Fantasy, but I am pretty easy to please. Just entertain me and/or teach me something and I’m in.

Where is your favorite place to read? On my deck, a hot coffee nearby is pretty ideal.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? So many things. When I get into a hobby I tend to really get into it. I will happily nerd out over books, baseball, board/card games, movement/nutrition, Marvel movies/shows, birds, hiking, the list goes on. I am basically happy to chat about almost anything.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! This past spring, after reading Braiding Sweetgrass I was inspired to try tapping my own Maple trees and make my own syrup. It was delicious! I’m looking forward to upgrading my operations next spring…see what I mean about really getting into new hobbies!

meha/Meghan (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? My name is Meghan; you know me as meha (me-uh and me-hah are both correct pronunciations) and Succulent (shelf mod for Aloe).

Who are you outside of the internet? Outside of the internet I am a starter-of-projects, brimming with ideas I have no time for, and holding strong opinions on many arbitrary subjects. I am the caretaker of ten plants, two and a half cats, and one big old house (1870, which is old for the Midwestern US where I live). I spend my time renovating the aforementioned house, unlearning internalized white supremacy and patriarchy, advocating for a kinder society/world and hanging out with my mom. My day job is as an engineer; I make sure wind farms that get built are designed and built to best practices. Yes, I get to climb them.

What drew you to your shelf? Did I mention the 10 13 houseplants (they keep multiplying)? For sure I was drawn to the plants, but also the overall color scheme and the stars (I assumed they were stars) around it and the big rock in the middle made me feel at home! If I wasn’t in Aloe I would have chosen Forest, I think.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? This is my first opportunity to help out in an “online” community, but I think I try to bring good, hard, genuine questions to whatever community I’m in. Offline I am involved in a lot of social advocacy/social justice stuff: delivering food to people who are high risk, phone banking for equity things, organizing my coworkers to get climate justice into our company strategic goals. I am also good at doing things. I’m the one you call when it’s time to move, when you need help with [insert project here], when something has gone horribly wrong and you need to think through how to fix it, or when you need to borrow tools.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? I knew Life’s Library was for me when Parable of the Sower happened at the beginning of 2020, but I joined too late to actually read it with everybody. You may have noticed me camped out in that archive channel!
I have two vast go-to genres: sci-fi/fantasy and non-fiction (social issues/nature/personal essays).

Where is your favorite place to read? I love to listen to audiobooks while I work on my house, and on a blanket in the yard while my kitties play. (It was summer when I wrote this…)

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Beside books? Old houses. Cats. Activism/social change. Self-awareness. Interdependence. Hopepunk. Wind turbines.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I lived and worked in Bangladesh from 2013-2016. That’s where I got two of my cats! They are both disabled, and this summer one escaped my home and got picked up by the police. Fortunately, they took him to the emergency clinic where a technician from my regular vet recognized him and contacted me. But now Roly Poly is a known escapee!

Miriam (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I am Miriam (she/her), a shelf mod in Chamomile.

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a librarian living in Berlin. I work in digitization in a big academic library in special collections, and it’s awesome to see so many cool books and maps and historical prints on a daily basis. I also love horses and to dance, especially oriental dance and swing! I’m willing to try any dance style though, from morris dance via irish dance, playford and linedance to ballroom.

What drew you to your shelf? I joined for the first Life’s Library book and was drawn to the tea and fairylights of Chamomile. I liked the cozy vibe and bright, cheerful colours. I love a cozy tea-time with herbal or fruit teas brewed in my samowar, especially when the weather outside is frightful.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I like to organise, and often do that to help out. Whether it’s small things like organising events for my uni cohort or bigger things like running elections, I like to make sure that the things I care about run smoothly. I’m also a mediator and try my best to help others make sense of their emotions and relationships.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? We Crossed A Bridge And It Trembled by Wendy Pearlman. This book was so interesting and presented different experiences and perspectives in such a moving way.
My go-to genres are fantasy and space opera. I like reading about people in exceptional circumstances dealing with life in a multitude of ways and forming communities while doing it. Reading about people who are different from yourself is always an exercise in building empathy, and that’s one of the things I like best about LL.

Where is your favorite place to read? In perfect weather, it would be lying in a hammock in a warm summer breeze. In the weather I usually have, it’s in my cozy armchair with a blanket and a mug of hot tea.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? I think I nerd out pretty broadly, and get very excited when I do. Books, obviously, are a big one, and current obsessions are the critical receptions of historical literary giants like William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. I am also in about a million (actually eight) book clubs. I loooove board and card games based on literature and tv, from “Marrying Mr. Darcy” to “Firefly: The Game”. Other than that it’s cool magic systems in books, and musicals, dance, baking and tv. I’ll go full nerd supernova when the new series of Leverage comes out!

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself!
I once talked my way into a particle accelerator to take a picture of myself dressed up as the Flash.

Nina/MassivePizzaCrust (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I am a room mod in Cygnus!

Who are you outside of the internet? I am a 23 yo nerd studying applied math and data science in California. I want to apply statistics and data science to climate change research so I’m trying to find the intersection between those fields. In my spare time I also crochet, bake and sing in a couple of classical choirs. I live with my husband and my cat Bugbear, whose tongue is permanently blepped because she only has one canine left. I am a proud bi Hufflepuff and love to belt out old Disney hits.

What drew you to your shelf? There were a couple of banners that really spoke to me and I had a hard time choosing. I’ve always loved looking at stars, they make me feel calm and very small. So in the end I had to go for the shelf with stars in its banner and I’ve never looked back.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I’ve loved being a mod for my shelf, though I don’t think I really do much more than what I did when I was just a member, except for pinning things in the lounge and making sure to be there for new members. I try to represent my shelf in mod discussions and bring their opinions and ideas to the table. Offline, my favorite volunteering activity is beach cleanups, I love the sea and being out in fresh air so it doesn’t really feel like work but it’s also so satisfying to see cleanup progress. I’ve also tutored math most of my semesters, sometimes to my classmates and sometimes to middle-school children.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? Tough choice but my favorite one so far was actually The Yiddish Policemen’s Union. I really liked the tone of it and I think the effort you have to put in at the start to get into the story is paid off in the end. It also gave me opportunities to have conversations with my Jewish father-in-law about how he grew up and it was nice to find out more about his culture. Outside of LL I usually read adult fantasy and sci-fi but I will read most things.

Where is your favorite place to read? In the huge bean bag chair I got for my last birthday. It has great light and my cat loves to join me in it.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Climate change and national parks! I want to visit all of the national parks in the US.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I grew up in Slovenia and immigrated to the US the day before my 20th birthday. On my way over I missed my connection because of a delay and the whole trip ended up taking over 36 hours! When I got to California my suitcase was not there. I was pretty stressed out because a lot of my favorite things were in there since I was moving. We found it after 10 days but my first day in the US consisted of being taken to Target for the first time (a wild experience in of itself) and buying underwear and a couple of shirts so I could have a change of clothing.

Rachel/RachelCat (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I am a server mod in the Scale, Pearl, and Hibiscus shelf. This is my second year as a LL participant and first year as a mod.

Who are you outside of the internet? At my day job, I’m a software developer at a research company. My work means a lot to me and takes up a looot of my time. For hobbies that I definitely totally do instead of scrolling the internet, I read, knit, and analyze TV way more than their creators intended. This year I am trying to read 50 books or about one book per week!

What drew you to your shelf? I’m not entirely sure – a lot of the shelves spoke to me, but something about the sciency feel to Scale appealed to me the most. While I’m not a lab-coat wearing scientist, I try to approach work and other areas in my life with the scientific method.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? In my communities, I’m usually not the person coming up with great ideas that will help people – but I can take an idea and run with it. This has manifested in volunteering for libraries and doing things from shelving books to cleaning stickers off books before they go into circulation. I don’t mind doing even tedious tasks for a good purpose. I am also a moderator in another server that has deep conversation about religion and politics. It has been a challenge to create a community space where people feel like they can say what’s on their mind while being sensitive and thoughtful about others. More recently, I’ve been (attempting) to fundraise for Partners In Health. As a Mod in life’s library, I hope I am helpful in getting conversations going and allowing people to engage with the book in our shelf.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? This is such a tough question! While devastating to read, I loved We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled. It was eye opening to me and I appreciated the perspective of people who have actually been through this situation, rather than the speculation that I see in the media.
Outside of LL, I read just about everything! YA is my favorite genre for the simple reason that every other genre is all shelved together – dystopia, scifi, literature, etc. all happily mixed up.

Where is your favorite place to read? Outside in the sun, especially when it’s nice and warm in the summertime.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Whatever fictional narrative I am obsessing over – it’s been Harry Potter; it’s been Twin Peaks, it’s been Lost. Currently, it’s probably Breaking Bad. The characters! Their motivation! Fan response! Color choices! It’s endless – I apologize to anyone I’ve spewed enthusiasm at over the seemingly most random things.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! My work brought in a bean bag chair randomly and I’ve loved grabbing my laptop and working while curled up on it. However, one time I fell asleep and my coworkers caught me – so now I am called the office cat. Recently, my doctor told me I most likely need 10-12 hours of sleep each day to avoid headaches – I guess the moniker is pretty apt!

salamanda/Amanda (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? A proud Tulip mod!

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m an excitable bi Hufflepuff raising two cats with my partner in northern Virginia, USA. I have a desk job where I play in Excel, but reading and crochet are my passions.

What drew you to your shelf? I chose Tulip because I love the owl, the yarn, and the color scheme. (None of us noticed the shoe in our shelf art for at least a year!) It just looked cozy and comfy, which is so my vibe.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Life’s Library and Nerdfighteria are the first big communities I’ve really felt a part of, though I do try to speak up for LGBTQ+ issues at work and help champion inclusive language.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite Life’s Library book is Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang (go read his other short story collection Exhalation!). I’ve recommended it to friends so many times, but my go-to genre is queer fiction (Casey McQuiston writes my favorite books).

Where is your favorite place to read? My big squishy purple chair in my office at home (conveniently right next to a bookcase!).

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Obviously books, but I’ll try to think of a couple more! I got absolutely obsessed with the tv show The Good Place, and I still think it’s the best show ever made. I also love to nerd out about crochet: learning a new stitch or technique is super exciting!

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! My favorite story to tell is my cat Lucy’s fake pregnancy story. Lucy was found by my friend (and roommate) my senior year of college in a remote area away from campus. She and her girlfriend took her to this place called the Cat Clinic to get her checked out; she had no collar or chip. The Cat Clinic said “this cat is pregnant; feed her kitten food to get extra nutrients.” My friend and I planned to keep her to see the kittens born and later help them all find homes. Baby girl happily gets fat on kitten food, and Lucy and I get really close. Later we pass the timeframe when the Cat Clinic said we should expect kittens, so we take her to the on-campus vet clinic and they tell us she’s not even pregnant! So I think that means we’re going to give her up, but little did I know my friend had talked my mom into taking Lucy while I would be studying abroad the following semester, so that I could keep her forever.

samesunset/Kelley (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? Hi, I’m Kelley! I’ve been in Life’s Library from the start, but only came out of my Discord shell around the 3rd-4th book. My first LL shelf was Tulip, but now I’m a server mod for both Tulip and Quartz.

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a mom, and currently spending my days home with my 4-year-old. Before that, I taught middle school English Language Arts, and actually owe my introduction to nerdfighteria to some former students who would not stop reading and talking about TFIOS during my class.

What drew you to your shelf? The yarn, mug, owl, and general cozy disorder felt like home to me.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? As I’m writing this most things are online, and one fun thing I’ve been doing with friends and family is reaching out and hosting virtual craft nights. People can join me with whatever random paints, markers, spirographs, etc. they already have and we just hang out and make whatever. It’s been a nice, therapeutic way to socialize online but have something to do while we’re talking that makes it feel more like we’re together in person.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite would probably be either All Systems Red or How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, though I’ve loved many LL books. I bounce around a bit, but my go-to genre is YA contemporary fiction. I also adore picture books and hope to write/illustrate one someday.

Where is your favorite place to read? When it’s nice out, the rocking chair on my front porch is the best. Indoors, it’s the corner of my couch with lots of pillows and the blanket I’ve been knitting for… I think it’s been 7 years now?

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Oh so many things, but I routinely return to all things Harry Potter and Parks and Recreation. (My husband and I can have entire conversations using only Parks and Rec quotes.) I get super into all sorts of crafty things (painting, knitting, cake decorating, journaling, you name it), but my attention span in this area is quite short, so the current hobby varies. Jigsaw puzzles, however, are always very exciting for me. I suppose it’s on brand with the Tulip shelf vibe that I have a bowl filled with ‘lost and found’ puzzle pieces on my irl bookshelf.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! A tradition in my classroom was for me to serenade the graduating 8th grade class with a parody medley of pop songs (let’s be real it was mostly Taylor Swift) with my ukulele on the last day of school. Laughs and tears abounded. I’ve sung in all sorts of local musicals, choirs, etc., but my students were always my favorite audience.

SaraCat (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I go by Sara or SaraCat (depending on how many ‘Sara(h)s’ are present…) I am a shelf mod on Ivy and use she/her pronouns. 🙂

Who are you outside of the internet? Beyond knowing I love cats and books… I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out! :laugh:

What drew you to your shelf? Luna (the adorable black kitty on the shelf).

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I have mostly done things for those small communities immediately around me: helping to organize some friends into a balboa practice group when our leaders moved out of the area, running online readathons with the help of others, etc. I hope that by helping create opportunities for community and connection will be at least a small piece in helping to decrease world suck.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? According to a website where I’ve inputted the last 265 books I’ve read, my go-to-books feature: family, friendship, epic, and death. I’ve never been able to decide how I feel about the results of this algorithm.

Where is your favorite place to read? Anywhere soft that allows me to be able to lean back. Fuzzy blankets and cats are excellent bonuses.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? In no particular order: books, podcasts, and balboa.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I taught English in Japan for several years. For 3 of those years, one of the schools I went to teach at was a small elementary school (each grade level ranged in size from 6 to 14 students). My third year there, I was eating lunch with the then 5th grade class. As we were waiting for everyone to finish getting ready for lunch one student asked me where I lived. I told him the city name. Then, it was time to sit down to eat. During the meal, the homeroom teacher admonished some of the students about not following proper manners in how they hold their bowls, chopsticks, etc. but yet me, a foreigner, had learned proper etiquette. The boy I had spoken with earlier piped up saying, “But teacher, she lives in x city.” And, I believe the teacher responded saying, “So, anyone who lives in Japan is Japanese.” To which the boy replied, without missing a beat, “Well, of course.” :laugh: I still remember that kid’s name.

Sasstronaut (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I am a server mod who lives in Hibiscus and Cygnus.

Who are you outside of the internet? NASA stalker, fan of science and space (LLAP), board and video gamer, Runner 5, D&D nerd, mean mama, and of course, a nerdfighter.

What drew you to your shelf? I spent a long time looking at each and wondering about them. In the end, though I knew I would find like-minded people in others, I felt Hibiscus had a bit of myself I don’t experience much anymore; a little girl from the south with a small bookshelf in her favorite attic room, a magnifying glass for all the little things she wants to explore, a map of her favorite secret outdoor spot in the holler, books, and a touch of the outdoors.
Cygnus was a return to those things I’ve always loved and the people I most often get along well with.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Aside from modding other servers of Discord, I got to work at our county’s vaccination pop-up sites for a few months. We helped get 1m+ people vaccinated from February to June! Really proud of that.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang without hesitation. He has become a new favorite author thanks to LL.
Sci-Fi has been my favorite genre since I was a little girl.

Where is your favorite place to read? Outside, in a hammock or swing. Beautiful scenery is a plus.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Science! Most especially space science. Star Trek, languages.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself!
1. I don’t feel pressure in my ears unless I’m sick. I keep a half full plastic water bottle in my car so I can tell when there are elevation changes. But when I’m sick they pop for anything and it hurts so much!
2. I don’t get hangovers.

Shamim/itsoteric (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? Hello, I’m Shamim (shuh-meem). I’m a server mod and spend most of my time in Aloe, Forest and Quartz.

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a moderately introverted Ravenclaw living outside of Chicago. I’m currently freelancing, taking a hiatus from my career as an environmental educator. When I’m not sitting in front of a computer, I’m often recreating outside, working on one of many unfinished projects, or exploring a museum.

What drew you to your shelf? It was so hard to choose! I originally picked Aloe because of the outdoorsy feel. Forest had been one of my final choices for the same reason. And it was the lavender especially that drew me to Quartz.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Life’s Library is a big part of my life, not just being in our shelves, but also working behind the scenes to plan some of our events. Beyond LL, I serve as an ambassador for the environmental podcast Threshold. I also stay involved in my professional associations, supporting environmental education and conservation work.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite LL book was All Systems Red because it introduced me to a whole new series with a character I can’t help but love. But it’s honestly a hard choice because I’ve gotten so much out of many of the books we’ve read. Outside of LL I read a lot of nature and science writing. I also enjoy the occasional mystery, romance, or sci-fi novel.

Where is your favorite place to read? In the winter, it’s my papasan chair. In the summer, I read outside as much as possible.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? That’s tough because I have a lot of nerdy interests — obscure animals, space, weather, science in general, podcasts, crafting, paper and pens, tabletop gaming. Basically anything that draws me into its rabbit hole.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! As a kid, I convinced my mom to make me a space shuttle costume for Halloween. So I went as Discovery, my favorite space shuttle at the time. (Some people had favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I had favorite space shuttles.) It was an amazing costume and definitely the most impressive out of the many she made for me over the years.

S Lynn/Sarah (she/her)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m a room mod for Aloe and a member of the shelf since Life Library’s launch

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a policy wonk, living my best public servant life, and just trying to keep British Columbia’s elevators safe. Also I do a lot of hiking and have a penchant for mountain top sunrises.

What drew you to your shelf? The colours, and also the plants, but mostly the colours.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? These days it feels like most of my contributions have been monetary but I’m actively looking for new ways to get involved, especially with local ecological work. In fact, I just hit send on an application to volunteer with a local group removing invasive species.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? The Summer Book! It brought me so much peace. Outside of LL I’m usually a literary fiction reader (whatever that means), though this book club has started me down a science-fiction path.

Where is your favourite place to read? Back when this was a thing you could do, I loved taking myself to a coffee shop on weekends and spending time reading with something hot to drink.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Current obsessions include animal crossing and Braiding Sweetgrass. Longer-term commitments include Harry Potter and policy.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! My friend and I run a two-person book club where we re-read our favourite childhood novels.

Skyler/skudiklier (they/she)

Who are you in the LL community? I’m a shelf mod for Marble.

Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a poet and freelance copyeditor working at UC Berkeley as a program manager. I graduated from Berkeley with a bachelor’s in sociology in 2020, and I’m still kind of figuring things out in terms of a career.

What drew you to your shelf? I was drawn to the designs of several shelves, but when I spoke with a CM to get advice on which to join, they recommended Marble since it was the most chill out of the ones I was looking at. Marble also tends to have more writers and light academia vibes, which is perfect for me.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? The most important communities in my life right now are nerdfighteria (of course), and the Instagram poetry community. I host a poetry Discord server and poetry-writing Zoom calls, among other things. I also volunteer as a librarian for The StoryGraph.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite so far is probably Song of Achilles, though I only fully joined LL at the start of the third year. Outside of LL, I read a lot of poetry and queer YA. In 2021 I’ve been trying to read more nonfiction, which has resulted in a lot of memoirs too.

Where is your favorite place to read? On the couch in my living room! We have a sliding glass door so there’s a lot of light in there, and in the evenings there are rainbows everywhere because of a lovely sticker I have on the window.
What do you like to nerd out about the most?
Grammar, Harry Potter, poetry, countless cartoons and books and TV shows—when I was active on Tumblr in high school, my list of fandoms took up my entire bio.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I’m the oldest of six kids, and when one of my younger sisters was a baby, I put her in a cardboard box so that she couldn’t crawl away while I read a book out loud to her. My mom has a picture of this and it’s just as funny as it sounds. (I was six at the time, don’t judge me.)

Tom/DrWilko (they/them)

Who are you in the LL community?Hi I’m Tom (or Dr Wilko depending on where you see me online) and I’m a Shelf Mod in Cygnus.

Who are you outside of the internet? I am an MRI Physicist and researcher, I’m a Research Fellow working in 7T Clinical MRI. I also do a fair bit with the Scouts in the UK as well as running a few too many podcasts.

What drew you to your shelf? I’m a Cygnus mod. I’ve always had an interest in Geology and Astronomy so both drew me in.

How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Probably a few too many things to list here. I mod another Nerdfighter Discord (Tuataria, it’s gr9) which is how I first got involved in LL and try to run interesting events there. I am an Explorer Scout leader and also get involved with National Scouting events in the UK.

What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? I think All Systems Red is my favourite so far, I finished it and almost immediately purchased the rest of the series. Very excited for the full length novel coming out soon.
My go to genre is Sci-Fi or Fantasy. I have really been enjoying the Culture series recently. I would like my post-scarcity Utopia now please. I am still a long standing fan of everything Terry Prattchett ever wrote

Where is your favorite place to read? For physical books: curled up on the sofa or in a lovely coffee shop. For audiobooks: while out walking somewhere in London. Or possibly driving around the country.

What do you like to nerd out about the most? Probably RPGs or Board Games. I spend far too long discussing rules and fun ideas for games both on and offline. I’m currently juggling far too many online games from D&D to Vampire the Masquerade.

Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I keep being told I’m interesting by one of my friends. I’m not sure I believe that but I have several podcasts and have met Her Majesty The Queen and sung for her (it was God Save the Queen, because of course it was). Afterwards when she was shaking hands with everyone she asked me the usual: “And what do you do?” which being a panicky school child I responded to with “I sing.”