Bleak Books with Olivia: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Have you ever read a book all the way through just to close it for the last time and say “wow, that was bleak”? Well, I’m here to make the case for those dark, dreary, haunting, and disturbing reads that keep you up at night long after you put them down. Welcome to Bleak Books with Olivia, your resident creepy book lover at the Aurora Public Library District.

Leigh Bardugo is all over the place right now. Her three teen series that comprise the “Grishaverse” are wildly popular and have been since the first book in the Grishaverse came out: Shadow and Bone. The Grishaverse is also newly represented onscreen as a new Netflix series titled “Shadow and Bone” as well. Ever since the show was announced, these books have been flying off our physical and ebook shelves, and I must admit, I am one of those newly ravenous readers. But I didn’t pick up Shadow and Bone in hopes of finishing it before the Netflix series came out. I actually found myself drawn to the series after reading Bardugo’s excellent adult debut, Ninth House.

(It is important to note that this book is very much for adults. There are very graphic depictions of violence, gore, and sexual assault.)

Ninth House tells the story of an unlikely Yale freshman: Galaxy “Alex” Stern. Alex finds herself with a full ride to Yale after surviving an apparent overdose and an unsolved multiple homicide, but there’s one major hitch. Alex has to assume all the duties of a member of Lethe, a secret society set up in order to keep all the other infamously secret societies on campus in check. Keep them in check from what, you ask? Oh, just the typical, everyday, run-of-the-mill dark magic ritual. And these… unsavory and, at times, just plain gory rituals attract ghosts, or Grays, which can be a bit of a problem. That’s where Alex steps in. Alex has seen Grays since childhood and, as one may rightly assume, her experiences with them have caused a massive amount of trauma. This new role in the House of Lethe forces her to confront her trauma until an odd murder takes place on campus. Alex is told to leave it up to the authorities. After all, it is just a townie. But Alex knows something is wrong, and she’s up for the challenge of decoding this unnatural crime scene. What follows is a supernatural rollercoaster ride as you piece together both the cause of the murder and Alex’s past through flashbacks.

One part murder mystery, one part supernatural fantasy, and one part dark academia makes up this disturbing, sinister read. It’s the jack of all trades when it comes to bleak books. Can’t get enough of the story? Here’s some good news: not only is Ninth House the first book in a supposedly five book series (according to Bardugo’s Twitter account), but Amazon is reportedly making this series into a television show as well with Bardugo as head writer and executive producer. Three cheers to my fellow hyperfixaters! Looks like we’ll be seeing Alex for years to come.

Thank you for joining me on this dissection of one of my favorite Bleak Books. I hope to see you again sometime soon! Please take a look in the Adult Fiction section at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries for my favorite Bleak Books. If you are looking to check out this specific title, please look at the Get Caught Reading display in the stairwell at the Aurora Public Library. It’s one of my staff picks! If you meet me in the library and have any Bleak Books suggestions, please let me know! I’m always looking for a new book to disrupt my life for a couple of weeks.

Naps & Narratives

Join Jamie & Olivia as they read some of their favorite books about sleepy time! They’ll be singing some fun songs, doing yoga, making crafts, and creating shadow puppets! Naps & Narratives will be available on our YouTube Channel on May 12th! Make sure to subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss out on any of our other upcoming virtual programs.

Check out these other sleepy books! Click on a cover to place a hold!

         

       

Dollar-a-Bag Book Sale

Our Dillsboro branch will be holding its $1-A-Bag Book Sale on May 14th & 15th. You’ll find something for everyone on your list – mysteries, thrillers, romance, classics, westerns, travel, crafts, DIY, DVDs, audio books, CDs, children’s books, large print, magazines, cookbooks and much, much more.

Hours are Friday the 14th from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Saturday the 15th from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM.  Shop early and often. New books are continuously being added to the selection.

New at the “Other” Branch

We know that many of our readers love to browse the “New” shelf at our libraries. Although we buy two copies of many titles, you could be missing out on some great titles by looking at the new releases at just one branch. Staff members are always happy to help you learn about the new books at the “Other Branch” by using the online catalog. Here’s a sampling of the one-copy titles that were purchased in the last month. You can ask the circulation librarian to have the books you want sent to the branch of your choice.

Happy Reading!

 

Taking it Outside

The trees are green, the flowers are beginning to bloom, and it’s a perfect time of year to take a family hike! Walking along the river at Lesko Park and hiking along the Dearborn Trail are great choices for a shorter hike, but within an easy drive, there are many rewarding trails to explore. If you’re looking for some new ideas, you can take a look at these books from the Aurora Public Library District collection.

Hiking Indiana by Phil Bloom Rail-Trails Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio Best Hikes Cincinnati by Johnny Molloy

A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana by Steven Higgs

 

Don’t forget to check for more titles online at the Indiana Digital Download Center.

Remember, we’re just a short drive away from the trails at Versailles State Park, Clifty Falls State Park, and at the Oxbow Nature Conservancy.

The Cincinnati/Hamilton County Park system is one of the best in the country and offers over 78 miles of trails at multiple locations around the tri-state area. You’ll be able to find a trail that’s just right for your family, whether you’re looking for a day-long adventure or a short nature hike that ends at a playground.

Take It, Make It: May

Beginning on Saturday, May 1st, we will have a brand new Take It, Make It Activity available at both branches! Take It, Make It activities are projects that can be done at home with materials you can pick up at the library! You can also request curbside pick up. Just call 812-926-0646 (Aurora) or 812-954-4151 (Dillsboro) and let us know how many of the activities you need for your family!

Stop by the Aurora or Dillsboro Library anytime in May to pick up the supplies to make this beautiful butterfly! You can decorate your butterfly in any way you’d like. Check out Ms. Stephanie’s example above for inspiration!

If you want your butterfly to be featured on our social media, send a picture to Ms. Stephanie at stephanie@eapld.org. Please be sure to include if we have permission to share your picture and name on our Facebook and Instagram.