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Bellingham Public Library Brings the Light in January 2024

While there is much to look forward to in the dawning of a new year, winter is also a season of darkness and hibernation. So in January the Library is shining a spotlight on uplifting, light, happy, or cozy materials that will boost well-being during a time when so many experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Battle SAD — with cozy books and materials that bring you joy!

Light Therapy Lamps Now Available for Checkout

Bellingham Public Library has created a circulating collection of light therapy lamps, thanks to a library patron’s thoughtful suggestion and generous funding from the Friends of the Bellingham Public Library. Those bright panels are designed to (safely) pump light into your eyes to help ward off Seasonal Affective Disorder. Patrons can check out a lamp for 3 weeks to use at home.

The lights come in a soft case and are easy to use. Simply plug it in, turn it on, adjust the brightness to your liking, and begin basking in the light! Reserve a BPL Light Therapy Lamp HERE.

Bring the Light Books for Adults

BPL Librarians have put together a list of great books on improving your health and wellness in many different ways. Take a look!

Health and Wellness Recommendations

Library Staff Recommend:

Wild Things by Laura Kay

“A cozy queer rom-com set within the millennial dream of buying property in the countryside with a group of your best friends”.

– Ariana, Public Services Clerk

Adult Fiction

Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

This book is a bit of a departure for Sanderson; no epic storylines, just a sweet, funny standalone story about a girl on a mission to save a prince. Sanderson says he was inspired by the Princess Bride, and it totally has that feel. Good fun, adventures and pirates!”

– Liz, Public Services Librarian

New Adult Fiction – recommended for teens and adults

Bookshops and Bonedust by Travis Baldtree

“A cozy slice-of-life about taking time to recover while making friends with your local bookstore. Also there might be a necromancer coming for us all–it’s cozy!”

– Lorena, Library Assistant

New Adult Fiction

The Best of Wodehouse by P.G. Wodehouse

“All Wodehouse stories feature ridiculous people with bizarre problems, and this anthology does not disappoint (if you like that sort of thing). The Code of the Woosters features the hapless aristocrat Bertie Wooster, and his valet Jeeves, who is the only reason Bertie has survived, avoided arrest, and remained unmarried.  Another favorite is Uncle Fred in the Springtime, which features Lord Emsworth, utterly devoted to his prize-winning pig, and Uncle Fred’s kidnapping plot, carried out with the unwilling assistance of his nephew, Pongo.  It’s all as demented and delightful as it sounds.”

– Karen, Public Services Clerk

Adult Fiction

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

“This is a novella based on the island summers the author spent with her grandmother. Wild Sophie, six years, old is unforgettable; so is her grandmother, who builds a tiny model of Venice for Sophie’s delight.”

– Karen, Public Services Clerk

Adult Fiction. Recommended for ages 15 and up. 

Gingerbread Wonderland by Mima Sinclair

“Yes, of course, gingerbread house season is over, but consider this…gingerbread pastry season is not.”

– Lorena, Library Assistant

Adult Nonfiction

One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder by Brian Doyle

“This collection of Brian Doyle’s short essays on his observations of the sanctity and beauty of the ordinary is uplifting and enlightening. What a gift to live a life filled with wonder.”

– Jenni, Community Relations Specialist

Adult Nonfiction

Joyful Mending by Noriko Misumi

“Joyful (and visible) mending transforms your basket of moth-eaten sweaters and ripped jeans into an opportunity for tiny art projects, using weaving, felting or embroidery. Playing with art supplies plus keeping clothes out of the landfill makes a dark winter day so much better.”

– Karen, Public Services Clerk

Adult Nonfiction. Recommended for 13 and up (really, anyone old enough to handle a sharp needle).

Bring the Light Books for Teens

Library Staff Recommend:

I Am a Cat Barista by Hiro Majima

“Who wouldn’t want to visit a cafe where an anthropomorphic cat talks you through your problems and makes you custom drinks and snacks?”

– Lorena, Library Assistant

Teen Manga

The Saint’s Magic Power is Omnipotent by Yuka Tachibana

“What if, instead of being stuck in your normal day-to-day, you got sucked into a fantasy dimension where you had awesome magical powers and got to hang out with your friends and learn how to make potions, and maybe attend parties sometimes?  That would be nice.”

– Lorena, Library Assistant

Teen Manga

The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Deya Muniz

“An incredibly sweet and heartfelt love story that also involves a lot of comedy, fashion, and (of course) grilled cheese sandwiches.”

– Lorena, Library Assistant

Teen Graphic Novel

Bring the Light Books for Kids

Library Staff Recommend:

Rosalie as a witch on Halloween

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

“When a powerful witch curses her, unfortunate Sophie Hatter goes looking for help from The Great Wizard Howl Pendragon. But Sophie finds that breaking her curse may be harder than she thought; and Howl isn’t anything like the sort of wizard she expected him to be. This is the book that inspired the Studio Ghibli movie!”

– Rosalie, Public Services Clerk

Recommended for ages 9+

Dewdrop by Kay O’Neill

“This book radiates positivity, absolutely oozes it.  Are you having a tough time? Feeling down? Dewdrop is here to cheer you on, remind you of better times, and point out all your strengths.”

– Lorena, Library Assistant


Noodle and the No Bones Day and Noodle Conquers Comfy Mountain by Jonathan Graziano

“Noodle knows what it’s like to have a ‘No Bones Day’.  If it’s rainy and dark, you too can conquer comfy mountain.”

– James, Public Services Clerk

Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Remember by Joy Harjo and illustrated by Michaela Goade

“This picture book is a simply stunning call for us to Remember who we are and celebrate the beauty that connects us all.”

– Ali, Children’s Services Librarian

Recommended for all ages   

Music to Lift Your Spirit

Library Staff Recommend:

Mystical Magical Rhythmical Radical Ride by Jason Mraz

“The title of this album honestly says it all! This is the kind of music that makes you want to dance around your kitchen even on rainy days 🙂”

– Ali, Children’s Services Librarian

Recommended for all ages

Wild World off the Souvenir album by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

“My heart lightens when I listen to Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors perform ‘Wild World’ on their album ‘Souvenir’”.

– Suzanne, Adult Services Librarian

Adult Music CD.

Free Love by Sylvan Esso

“If it’s music that moves you, this album is a balm for the winter ails. Imagine ferris wheels spinning, summer crushes blooming, and joy dancing across rooftops. Albert Camus could have imagined this album when he wrote ‘In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer…’“

– Kate, Staff Development Coordinator

 Recommended for all ages

Films to Watch

Library Staff Recommend:

My Neighbor Totoro by Hayao Miyazaki

“So cute, so fuzzy. A beautiful childhood adventure. Makes you want to eat some vegetables.”

– Lorena, Library Assistant

Children’s DVD

Penelope directed by Mark Palansky

“A modern day fairy tale for the first twenty minutes, and a coming-of-age story celebrating the beauty and wonder of everyday life every minute after that.”

– Lorena, Library Assistant

DVD Romance

The Great British Baking Show directed by Andy Devonshire

“So chill, so cozy.  Nothing better than curling up with a blanket and watching other people stress over baked goods on an idyllic English estate.”

– Lorena, Library Assistant

Adult DVD Nonfiction

Get Outside

Check Out a Discover Pass and Get Outside!

Check Out Washington Discover Pass

Borrow a Check Out Washington backpack and head outdoors, using the included binoculars and guides to observe and identify birds, trees, flowers, and other wildlife. Hang the included Discover Pass on your rearview mirror to visit Washington State Parks, as well as lands managed by Washington State Department of Natural Resources and Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Check Out Washington is a collaboration between the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission and the Washington State Library to allow individuals to “check out a state park” without paying the parking fee.

Rejuvenate with Art and Indoor Exploration

Check out a Community Voices Kit to Explore with Your Kids

Community Voices Book Kits center and celebrate diverse voices and experiences in our community. These kits provide stories, conversation opportunities and resources for families that help bridge learning, understanding and connection with each other.

Search “Community Voices Kits” in the Library catalog to browse this wonderful collection!

Get a free Family Pass to a Local Museum

Visit the Whatcom Museum, the Spark Museum and Mindport Exhibits free through your library.

The Bellingham Public Library has partnered with the Whatcom Museum, the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention and Mindport Exhibits to offer complimentary general admission to each museum. There are a limited number of passes available per day. Please visit the Library calendar to reserve yours!

A Museum Pass allows free entry for up to 4 people, valid for use on the date and at the museum selected when registering. Each family is eligible for a pass for each museum every 60 days.