This month our pick for Meet the Staff Angie S. has a wide variety of talents and experiences that make her a valuable addition to the O’Fallon Public Library family. We are grateful Angie is sharing her many talents. She’s got me thinking we need to schedule a karaoke night.

Angie S.

It’s been just about six months since I became a staff member at the O’Fallon Public Library. I began as a page, and moved up my current position as a circulation assistant just a couple months later. I love working at the library, even if it was somewhat disheartening to realize that librarians don’t get paid to just sit and read.

Libraries have been magical to me since I was little. My mom used to bring me almost weekly to pick out new books, and I might have pretended to be afraid of the dark just so that I could keep my nightlight on and read past my bedtime, solving cases with Nancy Drew instead of sleeping. It’s a good thing the Harry Potter and Hunger Games books weren’t around when I was younger, because I never would have slept. I love both series, and I read them aloud to my family.

Tess Gerritsen and with Charlaine Harris

I read a little bit of everything, but I’ve always loved mysteries and thrillers, and have been blessed to meet three of my very favorite authors – Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, and Charlaine Harris. If you’re a mystery fan, you must read Gardner’s D.D. Warren series, Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles series- much grittier than the TV show, or her stand alone book The Bone Garden. I pretty much love everything that Harris has written, but I’m especially a fan of her Aurora Teagarden mysteries, and the Hallmark movies, such as A Bone to Pick based on the books. I’ve also gotten to hear Stephen King give a reading, and I have a funny picture from that night that looks like he’s looking right at me and making a rude hand gesture. Or maybe he really was.

I moved to O’Fallon four years ago with my husband Mike, our two daughters, Eden and Skylar, and our German Shepherd, Max. Mike is an Air Force veteran and he graduated from OTHS. When looking for a home, he wanted to come here. It was the best decision we’ve ever made.

The summer that we moved here, I also made a major career change. I had worked for a decade in social services, but I began working as a freelance writer and reporter for the O’Fallon Weekly. I’ve also written for the Troy Times-Tribune and had pieces published in other publications. Writing for the Weekly allowed me to share the stories of O’Fallon’s amazing residents, and learn more about my new community. O’Fallon has definitely become home, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Not many people in town know that I was once a karaoke champion. In a months-long, multi-round contest, I sang songs by artists like P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Tina Turner, Queen, and Gretchen Wilson. Kind of like reading everything, I’ll also listen to just about anything, and my eclectic tastes paid off when I earned the top prize. I haven’t sang in public in a long time, but I still belt tunes while doing my dishes or driving.

People may also not know that I tend to eat a plant-based diet, which has helped me lose about 50 pounds in the past year. Check out Betty Goes Vegan for plant-based twists on classic recipes.

At home, our family plays lots of games, ranging from fantasy football to board games. Munchkin is a family favorite, and we get vicious.

We also watch a lot of movies and binge a lot of TV shows. My favorite shows include The Office, Parks and Recreation (why is Cones of Dunshire not a real game yet? It would literally be the best!), Veronica Mars (the original episodes), and Game of Thrones. I’m currently binge watching season three of Riverdale. Please don’t tell me who the Gargoyle King is, but if you watch it, I’m dying to chat with someone about the show.

Suggestions inspired by Angie’s favs:

A Bone to PickAn Aurora Teagarden mystery Hallmark Movies & Mysteries: Librarian Aurora Teagarden is known around her small town as a master sleuth. When her friend, Jane, unexpectedly dies and leaves Aurora everything in her will, she also leaves a troubling murder mystery. It is up to Aurora to piece together the clues and solve the murder before she becomes the next victim. Author: Charlaine Harris

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner – A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun. D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many. Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim–a hostage–and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder.

All I Ever Wanted by Kelly Clarkson CD – Tracks: My life would suck without you — I do not hook up — Cry — Don’t let me stop you — All I ever wanted — Already gone — If I can’t have you — Save you — Whyyawannabringmedown — Long shot — Impossible — Ready — I want you — If no one will listen.

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