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 is technically my home shelf, but I float around everywhere to check in on things!
Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a college student studying as an English major. I’m set to graduate by the end of 2020, and I can’t wait! I’m also an off-and-on freelance writer and editor when I have time to be, and I’ve edited three full-length fantasy novels that were published on Amazon. I’m a disabled disability rights advocate, super family-oriented goofball, and known amongst my friends as a 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. 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 served on the 2018 and 2019 Advisory Boards for the Project for Awesome, and I’m also a mod in the official Complexly Patrons server that houses the Discords 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? Being an English major and taking 21 credits a semester means that I’ve unfortunately fallen behind pretty hard on LL reading and haven’t gotten to finish all of the books yet, but 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, 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 somewhere almost nowhere else can 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 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.
Who are you in the LL community? I’m Bex, one of the CMs here! I am responsible primarily for Ivy, Hibiscus, Rose, and Tulip, so that’s where you’re most likely to find me just hanging out, but I try to pop in to all the shelves on occasion.
Who are you outside of the internet? Professionally, I am a youth services librarian in central South Carolina. Getting to work with both kids and books on a daily basis is basically the coolest job ever. In my personal life, I’m a cat mom, hobbyist crocheter, D&D5e DM, musical theatre geek, and still a book nerd. Other labels include Ravenclaw, INFJ, and 6w5.
What drew you to your shelf? I was lucky enough to be around for some of the design process, which makes it exceptionally hard to choose favorites! Ultimately, the cat and the fantasy vibe drew me to Ivy, the clutter and the yarn drew me to Tulip, the royal blue and Beauty & the Beast vibes drew me to Rose, and the precious lil elephant drew me to Hibiscus – but there are things I love in all the designs, so I’m glad I’m a CM who didn’t have to pick. 🙂
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I joke a lot that being a librarian is my superpower, but I really believe that’s true! I get to be an educator and a mentor, and I have such an incredible opportunity to help kids feel seen and know that they matter and are loved. I tend to help in small ways rather than in grand gestures, and I think the most important work I do is being an adult who respects and validates the young people I work with. I also founded the first-ever Kindness Challenge over in Tuataria, so I’m pretty proud of that. 🙂
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite LL book so far has been Howl’s Moving Castle – that feels like a cheat, because I had read it before, but revisiting such a fun and whimsical story within the context of such an insightful and diverse community was really special! Of books I hadn’t read before, I really loved Parable of the Sower. Outside of LL, I tend to go for speculative fiction – primarily fantasy, but also sci-fi, dystopian, anything that challenges my sense of “what if.”
Where is your favorite place to read? Anywhere my cat can snuggle in my lap!
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Storytelling, in all its forms! I’m very passionate about the importance of representation in media, I love discussing the adaptation of stories from one medium to another, I love musicals, I love collaborative storytelling a la D&D, I adore getting lost in a good book, I write my own stories, I could go on and on!
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! Oh boy I am not good at these. Uhh… when I was 14, I wrote an 80k-word vampire romance novel about a vampire with a soul who fell in love with a slayer. The next year, I read Twilight, and promptly abandoned my manuscript in a fit of teenage shame. Not until I was in college did I watch Buffy for the first time and discover that I had heavily “ripped off” a show I had never seen. (Bonus fun fact, Buffy is now one of my favorite shows; I have seen even my least-favorite episodes at least three times. Twilight, on the other hand, will start me in on a full-fledged dissertation about the danger of romanticizing abuse.)
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.
Who are you in the LL community? I’m a Community Manager! My primary shelves are Aloe, Rose, Scale, and Willow, but I’ll occasionally pop into others as well.
Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a cataloging librarian at a large book vendor. Also a Gryffindor, Trekkie, Whovian, and just all around nerd. I spend a large amount of time making animated gifs, art, and in the warmer months, hiking all the tall mountains near me.
What drew you to your shelf? I was instantly drawn to Scale and Willow because I helped brainstorm the designs of the shelves in the first place and provided early sketches for the art, but also, each of my shelves very much fit my general aesthetic in different ways! I’m a Doctor Who nerd who does rubik’s cubes, I am a disney fan and library lover, I love nature and plants, and love music!
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I’ve been fairly active in the Nerdfighter community for quite a long time (since 2007), but became super heavily involved since Tuataria began in 2017. I’m also very active in the Doctor Who fandom and community online as well. Offline I try and participate in local events and activities in my area, support local business, and staying informed in local politics as well. In college and grad school I was a leader in many student activity groups, and have also taken more leadership roles at work as well.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? This is hard but if I have to choose my favorite LL book so far has been Stories of Your Life and Others, I was surprised by the short story format as I often don’t read those but so many of them really stuck with me and I think it’s a book I’d easily recommend to others. Outside of LL I tend mostly to read YA lit, and sci-fi/fantasy, with the occasional dip into non-fiction.
Where is your favorite place to read? Outside! I don’t do it often enough because it usually takes time to make space for me to do this but in the summer/fall I absolutely love taking my book on a walk with me or to a local park and sitting under a tree and reading for hours. In the cold months I am stuck to mostly reading in bed (which is also lovely).
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Definitely most recently its Doctor Who, I’ve been hyper focused on it since the Thirteenth Doctor started and absolutely love talking about it to anyone. Star Trek and Harry Potter are also long time nerd loves that will never get old.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I have been participating in the “1 Second Everyday” project since late 2015, taking 1 second of video every day of the year, so at the end of the year you have a 6.5 minute video that covers every day of the year! I’ve only missed a few days here and there and overall I think it has really helped with my memory and I have these really cool glimpses into the last few years of my life.
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, Ravenclaw, knitter, slow runner, Wegmans stan, and mom to a grumpy 15-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 NF server) and served on the P4A advisory board/chat mod team the last two years.
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. Outside of LL, I love YA and new adult fiction.
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 5 half marathons since, with much better preparation.
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.
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
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!
Who are you in the LL community? My name is Adam and my Discord username is Mister Apple. I am a Cygnus room mod.
Who are you outside of the internet?I’m currently a sixth form student (in my last year of high school) but soon I’ll be off to university where I’ll be studying Mathematics. I also really like music and play a fair number of instruments.
What drew you to your shelf? I’m actually not a huge space nut, but the Cygnus night sky artwork looked most like my dream bookshelf.
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Geez, is this a job interview‽ I volunteered at a local library for some time, which was a pretty fulfilling experience. I moderate a coupla other Nerdfighter Discords, one simply called Nerdfighteria, and one called FAART-Fans of an Absolutely Remarkable Thing.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre?I loved A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Solnit is an excellent writer. Those essays have definitely had a small but not insignificant impact on my thinking. Outside of that, I’m more a sci-fi/fantasy kinda guy. I think All Systems Red would’ve been right up my alley, but I couldn’t find a copy!
Where is your favourite place to read? Gotta be my favourite red armchair. Which incidentally is my only red armchair. And my only armchair.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? I have to pick just one‽ I’m a big fan of a band called They Might Be Giants, and I sometimes subconsciously quote the lyrics, so that’s probably it.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I’m absolutely terrible at these. I prefer the much more entertaining “tell us a completely uninteresting fact about yourself”, so I’m gonna do that instead. I have completely normal and functioning lungs.
Who are you in the LL community? Hi I am alipeli or ali for short! I am a server mod, which means I can see all of the shelves but I spend most of my time in Forest and Marble.
Who are you outside of the internet? I am a student! I study biotechnology with a minor in Literature at a University in Quito, Ecuador; my hometown.
What drew you to your shelf? I was first drawn to Marble bc of the horses, and the calla lily. That is my favorite animal and my favorite flower. I was drawn to Forest as the more biology shelf, which is another of my big interests.
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.
Amanda Cora (she/her)
Who are you in the LL community? I am Amanda and I am a Room Mod for Ivy.
Who are you outside of the internet?I currently work as a Technical Writer using none of my degrees. PNWer by birth (and always in my heart) who moved to Texas two 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.)
Who are you in the LL community? Hi! I’m Becky. I’m a server mod in LL and a room mod for Pearl and Tulip specifically.
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.
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.
Who are you in the LL community? Hi! I’m Cath, and I’m a room mod in the Willow shelf!
Who are you outside of the internet? I’m currently working toward my math degree at the University of Waterloo! Outside of that, I’m an older sister, a music lover, and a bit of a homebody trying so hard to establish a sleeping schedule.
What drew you to your shelf? It was a bit of a no-brainer as soon as I saw the keyboard and ukulele. I may be a math major, but I grew up with music and it has just as much a place in my heart! The more I look at the shelf, the more the little details jump out at me. The Maelzel’s metronome in the back looks like the one that was gifted to me with my first piano, and the willow puffs in the back remind me of an art project I did back in elementary school <3
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Currently, I’ve found myself heavily involved with my school’s student government—I sit on a couple councils and volunteer as an manager at our Mathematics Society’s office on campus! It’s not quite where I thought I’d end up, but it’s been extremely worthwhile, and it’s where I’ve made most of my friends out here. I’m also a founding member of Queer++, a small organisation focused on LGBTQ+ empowerment in UW’s math faculty!
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? I’m definitely guilty of falling behind with my LL reading between everything else flying around in my life, but I’m grateful for every page LL gets me to turn. That siad, I’m happy to put it down to recency bias, but Parable of the Sower is definitely one I’m incredibly happy I read. Chances are I never would have picked it up myself, but I ended up tearing through every chapter I started—and even after finishing I’ve struggled to explain to anybody what it’s ‘about.’ Outside of LL, I’m just a sucker for a good YA novel, especially one with a good teen romance. I have to keep reminding myself that’s nothing to be ashamed about though!
Where is your favorite place to read? My bed, one hundred percent. When I was younger, I used to stay up late reading beside my night light after getting tucked in. As it stands though, I’m a big fan of a blue sky and lots of sunlight coming through the window to keep me and my book company.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? I love talking and learning about anything music and math! Being a Chinese-Canadian born and raised in Canada, I also find myself sucked into thoughts and conversations about all sorts of topical stuff in that cultural and social realm.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! (Disclaimer: I don’t actually remember this, so it’s really just my passing along a story about me I’ve been told by my Mom.) When I was a toddler, I fell off the step between the living room and kitchen at my babysitter’s house while my parents were at work. I ended up at the hospital but wouldn’t stop jumping and skipping around the ER waiting room, so it took forever to get me triaged. According to my Mom, I was smiling the whole time they were dealing with my broken arm! To this day, she doesn’t trust my sense of pain.
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.
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? II’m an art student, currently studying for my bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a focus in painting and sculpture! However, I’m also a printmaker, book lover, aspiring poet, tea hoarder, Hufflepuff, lover of most things nerdy, and soon-to-be rookie dungeon master. 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! I get as close as I can in a dorm, but still…
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? OOnline, 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 my dog.
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!
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!
Who are you in the LL community? Hi, I’m Dom, domspy, Skinny Santa, Take your pick. I don’t really care what you call me, I’ll eventually figure out that you’re trying to talk to me. I’m a Willow mod.
Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship of Canada (MAF). I am fundraising in preparation to serve in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
What drew you to your shelf? I’m a violinist, and generally love music. Willow was a natural choice.
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Both online and off, I try to be a listening ear, always there to talk about whatever is on your mind. I also always try to find the humour in even the worst of circumstances. I believe that laughter is the best medicine.
In the outside world, I try to help people when they need it. Sometimes that means reading to kids while parents get a much needed break, or clearing downed trees after a windstorm, or making meals for a bereaved family.
More recently I have started working with Mission Aviation Fellowship where I will be using my skills as a pilot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. MAF uses aviation and technology to access isolated communities in the DRC, as well as over 30 other developing countries around the world, providing humanitarian relief and development. I’m pretty excited to get to be a part of that.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? Hmmmmmm….. Probably Mountains Beyond Mountains. Or We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled. I love biographies.
Where is your favorite place to read? My sofa. Where I’m sitting now as I write this.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Aviation. Seriously, don’t get me started.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! Uhhhhh…………………………….
I had an electrical fire in flight once? Is that fun? (Don’t worry, no one got hurt. I was able to land safely at an airport. I did have to change my pants after though.)
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.
Who are you in the LL community? Hi I’m Hannah and I’m a shelf mod for Tulip Shelf. I joined LL in the very beginning and just got promoted to Mod in January I think. What month is it?
Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a mom. I have 3 kids ages 5-1 so they suck all my brain power. I currently work for an indie yarn company (I worked five years for a yarn shop but they closed last year), and am a beginner potter!
What drew you to your shelf? Would you believe I didn’t notice the yarn and needles until after I joined Tulip? It was the dirty coffee cup that spoke to me, and the general mess. My whole world is basically Tulip shelf, down to the shoe stuck behind the shelf that we literally did not notice for a year.
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I spend most of my time in the weeds raising kids, so I try to reach out to as many moms in real life and on the internet as I can, and listen to their stories. Motherhood is glorified as this sunshiney perfect hair smiling baby Instagram post, and that is just. Not. Real. So I try and just be there for moms and dads, if it is online or at the park or Target. Sometimes a stranger telling you you are doing a good job is what gets you through your day.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? This is so hard! My heart says The House of the Spirits, but honestly Mountains Beyond Mountains has changed my life, so I have to go with that one. I do not have a favorite genre, I really love it all! But if I am in a reading slump I always go back to Agatha Christie.
Where is your favorite place to read? In my dreams, I have a library like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. In reality I will read literally anywhere.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Besides books, which I talk about all the time, I love baking! I have a sourdough starter named Lois. I also brew kombucha and can a ton of stuff during the summer time.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! For 7 summers I worked as a wildland firefighter in the state of Oregon. I drove a huge 1000 gallon type 4 fire engine and spent most of my days way out in the woods on gravel roads, waiting for fire. It was the best.
Who are you in the LL community? I’m Jenna, a server moderator who primarily mods Aloe, Rose, and Chamomile.
Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a third-year university student from the US Midwest, studying environmental science, Spanish, and biology. I just finished up a semester studying abroad in San José, Costa Rica. At my university, I’m in choir, environmental club, a music sorority, a queer students’ organization, and I work at the university chapel. In my free time, I love to sing, read (of course), spend time outside, rewatch old episodes of Brooklyn 99, and hang out with family and friends.
What drew you to your shelf? I joined Chamomile first because I love tea, and Chamomile looked the most like my actual bookshelf, complete with teapot and fairy lights! As a plant lover, Aloe and Rose were natural fits as well. But I love the artwork and the resulting community in all the shelves, which is why I’m happy to be a server mod.
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I was introduced to LL because I’ve been an active member of the Tuataria discord server for over 3 years. In Nerdfighteria, I’ve participated in every Project for Awesome since 2013. Offline, I’m a founding member of my university’s queer Christian organization, which provides a safe, fun space and advocates for the rights of LGBTQ+ students on campus. I’ve also planned and led events through the campus environmental organization, helped run worship services, and participated in a handful of community service and music groups.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? While many LL books so far have been a blast to read and have had a profound impact on me and my worldview, I have to say my favorite is Stories of your Life and Others. Every story entertained me and gave me something deep to think about. I even suggested one story as a class reading for my “Science, Technology, and Society” seminar, and led the class discussion of the text! As a university student I don’t have much time to read outside of LL, but recently I’ve gotten more into fantasy/sci-fi. I’ve also started reading novels in Spanish to keep my skills up.
Where is your favorite place to read? Anywhere outside in the sunshine!
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Ecology and plant biology!
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I have a twin brother, and when we were 5 years old, we both learned the gibberish language from the TV show Zoom, quickly became fluent, and used it as a “secret language” to confuse and bewilder our parents and classmates.
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. 😉
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.
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.
Who are you in the LL community? I am a server mod. I mod Forest, Hibiscus, and Scale. I tend to be a very busy nerd.
Who are you outside of the internet? I am a microbiologist for a water bottling company. I do a lot of regulatory work. I basically make sure the water is safe to drink. It is a lot of work. And I am always happy to come to LL after work.
What drew you to your shelf? So the first shelf I was drawn to was Scale! And I am such a science nerd and when I saw a periodic table of elements symbol, I was hooked!
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Originally, I used to be a mod in Tuataria. Offline, I like to take time to support the environment and always am thrilled to make P4A videos for environmental based charities!!
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite LL book by far would have to be “Stories of Your Life and Others.” I loved all the short stories and I am a huge fan of science fiction. My favorite genre usually depends on my mood. I love a good romance, but I also love science fiction and fantasy.
Where is your favorite place to read? As with my favorite genre, it depends on my mood!! My most comforting place to read is in bed snuggled in blankets and a mountain of pillows. But I also love to read on the beach.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Plants and dance. My senior seminar project in college was actually on sexually transmitted diseases in plants. I also love dance history! Be careful if you ever ask me about my opinions on George Balanchine.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I think one of the coolest things about me is that I was more than likely a twin that fused early in development. I actually have a leftover remnant of that possibly happening and have one connected and one disconnected earlobe. So my fun fact: I have weird ears!!
Who are you in the LL community? Hi, I’m Mels and I’m a room/shelf mod in Scale!
Who are you outside of the internet? In the “outernet” I am a chemistry student in Russia who still tries to write popular science lectures and sometimes freezes and captures time on my phone’s microSD card.
What drew you to your shelf? Tenessine! And TARDIS, a bit. But mostly Tenessine. I’m a chem nerd, what can I say 😅
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I’m a part of a science communicators community, where I help with organisation (from setting up chairs and a projector to managing questions from the audience) and also sometimes deliver science lectures of my own. I also sometimes help counting the right answers in quiz-like events and provide useful links to explain people that the answers they gave aren’t particularly correct.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? All Systems Red, hands down! I’m a sucker for sci-fi and a bit of dystopia connoisseur, but lately all I’ve been reading is either non-fiction or textbooks (which, I suppose, also fall under the non-fiction umbrella).
Where is your favorite place to read? Anywhere I can sit and not be disturbed for an hour or so. Sometimes even on boring uni lectures.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Not much. I’ve lost a bunch of my enthusiasm over the years, but whenever I can talk about chemistry and/or neurotransmitters, I will. And sometimes I also talk about tea and dancing, but very rarely, since I prefer to enjoy them physically rather than talk about them. Oh, and YouTube!
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! Scalars, who were drawn to us by the TARDIS, you’ll enjoy this one.
In 2013 I went to a summer school in Saint Petersburg(, Russia, obviously) just to get a chance to potentially meet Matt Smith, the actor who played Eleventh Doctor in Doctor Who, before/after he was supposed to present a closing ceremony of Microsoft’s Imagine Cup. That summer school has nothing to do with any of that, apart from being in Saint Petersburg, where the event was taking place. And I actually sneaked from the last class to have a chance at meeting him after the press-conference. I did meet him, eventually, but it was way later in the evening of that day after staying for something like three hours in front of the hotel with other fans.
Who are you in the LL community? I’m a room mod for Cygnus
Who are you outside of the internet? I’m a crazy cat lady, currently working in Digital Marketing. I am also studying Psychotherapy on the side as I want to be a therapist eventually.
What drew you to your shelf? I’m a nerd about Space and an amateur astronomer. Cheesy as it sounds, I have a solar system tattoo.
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? I’m very active in most of the discord servers I’m on. I volunteered for a “mini-con” held in Portland (US) on another book based server and had the best weekend of my life.
Offline, I most actively volunteer for events at my public library when I can.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? The Field Guide to Getting Lost made a strong and lasting impact on me. I loved All Systems Red but TFGtGL will ever be my favourite book. The blue of distance calls to me.
I love fantasy and sci fi.
Where is your favorite place to read? I don’t have a favourite place, I have a favourite time. Early on weekend mornings when no one in my house has woken up, but the sun is coming up and my house feels the brightest, I like to sit and read in silence while I drink my coffee.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Space, Cats, Space Cats, Books, Books about Space Cats.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I went to Saariselkä, Finland for my honeymoon because I love the cold and we wanted to at least go to the Arctic Circle together since we couldn’t afford going to the North Pole! Some more proof I love the cold – I moved to Canada 5 years ago.
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!
Who are you in the LL community? I’m a server moderator; I monitor all of the shelves and community-wide channels, but spend the majority of my time in the Hibiscus, Quartz, and Willow shelves as an active discussion member!
Who are you outside of the internet? I’m currently in university, studying music business. I’m based in NYC at the moment, and also freelance as a music journalist as time permits!
What drew you to your shelf? I initially chose Hibiscus as my home shelf, in no small part due to Biscuit the Elephant, our shelf mascot. I quickly also started working in Willow and as an avid musician and music enthusiast myself it wasn’t a particularly difficult transition! And I love the general aesthetic ~vibes~ of Quartz.
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? While I don’t currently have major volunteer involvement at the moment outside of Life’s Library, I’m quite involved with Tuataria, another Nerdfighter Discord community, and am on the Kindness Challenge planning team there, which is an event we run in tangent with the Project For Awesome. I generally believe in being compassionate in my interactions with others and in, as the Vlogbros say, imagining people complexly, and I hope that translates to better and more empathetic relationships in my various communities.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? So far, my favorite book has been Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost. This wasn’t something I would’ve chosen to read on my own, and it definitely has impacted my way of thinking about my life and the world around me in a broader sense. Generally, I tend to gravitate towards fantasy and realistic fiction, as well as most genres of YA.
Where is your favorite place to read? Honestly, in bed. Although I need to scope out my local NYC libraries for sure! When the weather is nice, there’s nothing like sitting under a shady tree with a good book, though.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? If it wasn’t already apparent, I love music. If you let me talk about it, I won’t be able to stop. One of the reasons I love music journalism so much is that I get to articulate why I feel a certain way about a piece of music to other people, and serve as kind of an intermediary between the artist and the audience in some instances. I have a performance background and a long obsession with finding and sharing music with others, and music has probably been the one thing that my passion for has never wavered.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! There’s a photo of me (no I won’t share it) floating around the internet in which I am at a Tove Lo concert with the most absolute craziest of crazy eyes. Three years later I did an interview with her, and that image was still being shared as promotional material for her tour.
Who are you in the LL community? I’m Kate and I’m a Shelf/Room Mod for Chamomile 🙂
Who are you outside of the internet? I am an IT graduate who works in the houseplants department of a garden centre. I still love IT but plants (and books) own my soul!
What drew you to your shelf? I had three or four that I totally loved but the deciding factor was the fairy lights/polaroid pictures. I had that day bought light up pegs for holding pictures. It was fate.
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Well I’m a mod in both LL and Tuataria, I don’t know if I’m particularly good at the ‘mod’ part of the job but I hope I’m a friendly, supportive, accessible face for people!
Offline I’m not doing much community stuff just yet but I’ve previously helped children who were slower readers have an extra reading buddy to help them along which was a lot of fun. I’m also looking into volunteering opportunities in my new town – we’ve only just moved here.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? Too hard! Maybe We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled, but ask me tomorrow and it might be different!
Fantasy for sure, it’s so broad – you can find most things you want within it.
Where is your favorite place to read? I don’t think I have one at the moment. My ideal place to read would be a cosy little nook with a big chair I can pull my feet up onto, lots of natural light. My least favourite place to read is on the bus.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Books and plants! Books have always been the love of my life but plants are a new subject and I love getting into the nitty gritty of them. I helped someone answer a question about plants the other day using my long lost latin knowledge 😀
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! I’m a Brit but when I was small we lived in the USA for a while, as such I picked up an American accent. Since then I’ve always had a bit of a ‘twang’ though it’s faded in the last couple of years. That ‘twang’ has gotten me mis-located as from Australia, New Zealand, even South Africa, as well as the States. It also means, for some reason, that I start to imitate people’s accents while talking to them. However, I cannot work out where an accent is from very well at all, and I cannot imitate accents, not even an American one, at will!
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 fairly introverted Ravenclaw living outside of Chicago. I’m an environmental educator, so naturally I love being outdoors, especially if it involves hiking or camping. Museums and zoos are near and dear to me, both personally and professionally, so I visit them often. I’m also part of a fiber crafts guild I started with some friends, so I look forward to those meet-ups every month.
What drew you to your shelf? Originally, after much debate, I chose Aloe because I loved all the plants and the outdoorsy feel. So, it made sense for Forest to have become one of my shelves, too. And it was the lavender and quartz that really caught my eye in Quartz.
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? Life’s Library is the main online community I’m involved with behind-the-scenes. In addition to my room mod duties, I’m really enjoying helping plan the server-wide events that we do. I’m also an ambassador for the environmental podcast Threshold. In general I like to find opportunities to support creators I enjoy and appreciate, even if it’s in little ways. And when I’m able, I also help with local ecological restoration work as well as some citizen science programs.
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favorite LL book was Stories of Your Life and Others, until we started All Systems Red. Now I think that’s my favorite. Outside of LL I read a lot of non-fiction, especially nature- and science-related books. I also enjoy the occasional mystery.
Where is your favorite place to read? My papasan chair. Or anywhere that’s comfortable where there’s sunshine. I’m like a cat in that way.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? The most? That’s tough. Cool, obscure animals. The manned spaceflight program. Weather. Other sciency things. Podcasts. Walt Disney World. Paper and pens. Tabletop gaming. Many of the things.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! When I was nine, I convinced my mom to make me a space shuttle costume for Halloween. So I went as Discovery, which was my favorite space shuttle at the time. (Some people had favorite Turtles, I had favorite space shuttles.) It was amazing and definitely the best costume out of the many she made for me over the years.
Who are you in the LL community? I’m Streaky, a shelf mod for Ivy (the one with the cat).
Who are you outside of the internet? Off of the internet, I’m a student studying for my A Levels in the UK, doing Chemistry, Physics and Maths. I’m also a climate activist in my free time!
What drew you to your shelf? Mostly the cat, and the witchy vibe I wish I had.
How have you helped out in your communities, both online and off? This is my first big community engagement online, but offline I volunteer teaching young kids violin, and help coach rowing. I’ve become more involved in the climate movement, and now help to facilitate meetings of some of my local youth climate organisations
What is your favourite Life’s Library Book? Outside of LL, what is your go-to genre? My favourite so far would be either We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled, or Parable of the Sower. I found neither of them particularly easy to read, but they keep reappearing in my mind in times of crisis. Outside of LL, I read a lot of YA, especially when I can find some LGBTQ representation, and also science non-fiction mostly about, you guessed it, climate! I really do only have one discernible personality trait.
Where is your favorite place to read? Honestly, my bed. It’s warm and comfortable and no one can see me cry… I also really enjoy reading outside in summer with my friends though.
What do you like to nerd out about the most? Currently, literally anything about the climate. Give me any vaguely climate-related story and I will treasure it. But also Star Wars, Harry Potter, LGBTQ+ history and pasta.
Tell us a fun fact/story about yourself! As a young kid, my dad used to take me to work with him often. Once, we were running a samba band for a pirate parade when I was about 3, and my dad left me at the front. There were photos of tiny me in my pirate outfit with a little drum all over the local news and on an advertising pamphlet!
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 Server Mod and the shelves I spend the most time in are Quartz and Cygnus.
Who are you outside of the internet? I am an MRI Physicist and researcher, I’m just about to start a new job as a Research Fellow. 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? It was a close run thing between Quartz and Cygnus to mod, and fortunately, I now get to mod both. 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.”
Who are you in the LL community? I am a server mod mainly in Rose, Willow, and Cham!
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 two adorable kitties. I 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 instruments of Willow and the Cham teapot and polaroids so it was a tough decision.
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 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. I also volunteer on the Worship Arts team at my church which includes singing in the choir and running the sound booth every couple Sundays.
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 YA, realistic fiction, ideally with an adorable love story that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
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 as of right now I’ve been listening to a lot of musicals and am anxiously waiting for Hadestown to announce all their tour locations so they can take all my money. I also nerd out about Disney, baking, craft beer, Liverpool Football Club, and travel.
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.