Roald Dahl: #1 Storyteller

Roald Dahl was a spy, a pilot, a chocolate historian and an inventor!

He was also a beloved author of many original and entertaining children’s books.

Roald Dahl was born in Wales on September 13, 1916 to Harald Dahl and Sofie Hesselberg. His parents named him after the first man to reach the South Pole, Roald Amundsen.

His mother sent him to several boarding schools in which many bizarre events happened and later were written in his autobiography, Boy. At one of his boarding schools, the pupils were invited to test chocolate bars which helped inspire Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

His lust to travel took him from Canada to East Africa until the start of World War II where he enlisted into the Royal Air Force at 23 years old. After receiving severe injuries in the Western Desert, and after recovering from those injuries in Alexandria, he returned to the fight by taking part in the Battle of Athens. Afterwards, he became a spy for MI6.

In 1961, he wrote James and the Giant Peach, which was quickly followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also wrote several screenplays and adult novels. In 1970, a year before the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was released, he published Fantastic Mr. Fox

In the early 80s, he published The Twits, The BFG, and The WitchesMatilda was published in 1988 and Esio Trot in 1990.

Many of his works have been adapted as films and will forever entertain children and adults for generations to come!

To help us celebrate Roald Dahl, stop by the library on Roald Dahl Day (September 13) and check out some his works and adaptations!

 

This and That 90’s Sitcom Trivia

The Aurora Branch is hosting a Trivia game celebrating the beloved 90s sitcoms from Friends to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! Teens and adults are invited to this throwback trivia night. There will be ReFreshments served along with prizes for 1st and 2nd place winners.

When: Thursday, September 19th.

Where: Upstairs at the Aurora Public Library

When: 6pm

 

Helen Hoang: The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test

 

A couple weeks ago, I sat down and read the summary for The Kiss Quotient. written by Helen Hoang. I was curious and interested, because I’d never read a romance novel where one of the main characters was diagnosed with a disorder. So I thought, let’s take a chance; I bought the book, and started reading it.

I was not let down!

I loved the book! I loved the main character Stella, and I loved her love interest Michael! I enjoyed reading about a character who was on the spectrum and how, even with being on the spectrum, she gets her guy! I completely understood all the hype about this book.

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan.

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.

I really loved the characters and everything about Stella. I loved how Helen didn’t shove Stella’s ‘disorder’ in our face, but let us learn slowly that she had Asperger’s. I enjoyed reading about Stella’s life and understanding more about Asperger’s Syndrome and how it affects Stella’s everyday life. It was amazing to read a different type of romance instead of our normal everyday “run of the mill” romance. I was especially happy to read more about Asian culture! She incorporated the perfect amount of education and entertainment to even out the playing field.

Helen Hoang’s journey with this book is just as beautiful as the story.  She wanted to write a gender-swapped Pretty Woman, but couldn’t figure out why a successful, beautiful woman would hire an escort. So when her daughter’s preschool teacher informed her that she thought her daughter was on the spectrum, Helen started doing research. So she thought, “That’s an interesting reason to hire an escort.”

From there, she started researching autism solely for her book and ran into the difference between men and women on the spectrum; women have learned to mask their autism and to copy peers. While she was reading, she started to think about the things she does. “I tap my teeth, but I tap them because no one can see. Because if you move your fingers or you move your body or you rock in your chair, then people will see, and that’s no good, it has to be secret … and that put me on this journey where I started to explore, could I be on the spectrum?.” 

While Helen learned more about her new character Stella, she learned more about herself, and then the diagnosis came, and her first novel was born.

Helen has released book two in The Kiss Quotient Series,  The Bride Testand was inspired by a website that stated autistic people were heartless and that they couldn’t experience injustice. So her new character Khai was born. She wanted to display that just because autistic people don’t operate on the same wavelength as everyone else and don’t show their emotions as much as others, doesn’t mean they don’t have those emotions. She was also inspired by her own mother’s story of being a Vietnamese refugee. Helen decided to base her heroine, Esme Tran, on her mother’s story and the inner strength she needed to create a new life for herself.

Book three in the series is expected to be published next year!

This is definitely a book that will stay with you for awhile and make you come back and think about it months after finishing! She’s officially been tagged as one of my new favorite authors!

I want to believe that I can be a main character, I can be a leading character in my life, that I can have a happily ever after, that I can find true love, and I can get married, and conquer, and be happy.

-Helen Hoang on why she has characters on the spectrum

Tessa Dare: Girl Meets Duke

Who is Tessa Dare?

Well, she’s a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty historical romances. She is “a librarian by training and a book lover at heart”. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two children, and many kitties.

What does she write?

Tessa Dare writes amazing historical romances that are just to die for. She mixes emotion, love, sensuality, romance, and drama together and creates amazing stories and characters that will stay on your mind for years to come! Her stories are generally set in the regency time period (1811-1820), so no outrageously poofy dresses or white wigs.

Why is she different than other historical romance authors?

She creates unique heroines who engages in ‘unladylike’ pursuits from paleontology to beer-making. She also dreams up strong-willed heroic men who find their hearts captured by these heroines.

What’s Girl Meets Duke?

Girl Meets Duke is a new series Tessa Dare is writing that can also be read as stand-alone. Each book features a new couple and a new story line. Each male character is a Duke while the ladies each venture into a new world of sin….romance…and love. So far there are three published works with another title in the works!

Can I check them out?

Luckily for you, the Aurora Public Library has purchased them in both hardback and eBook! The Duchess Deal and The Governess Game can be found in our adult fiction in the D’s. The Wallflower Wager can be found on our New Releases shelf.

 

Eloisa James: The Wildes of Lindow Castle

Who is Eloisa James?

Eloisa James is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a mother and a wife. When Eloisa isn’t writing novels, she is a Shakespeare professor.

What does Eloisa James write?

Eloisa James writes historical romances. Occasionally, you can find some Shakespearean themes within her stories.

Why is she different than other historical romance authors?

Eloisa James uses her own experiences as a mother in her stories. From a miscarriage to her own daughter’s problems as an infant, she connects each of her stories to herself in some unique way.

What’s The Wildes of Lindow Castle?

The Wildes of Lindow Castle is a series Eloisa James has began in 2017. The series follows the large family of the Duke of Lindow and is set in a castle. Think of Modern Family with a little of Downton Abbey mixed in. The stories are all set in the Georgian time period; yes, that means big wigs and poofy skirts! This also marks the beginning of the celebrity culture due to the printing press.

Where can I read them?

Print books by Eloisa James can be found in the Large Print collection or the Adult Fiction area under “J” for James. There are even more choices in our digital library.

 

Gena Showalter

 

In today’s literary world, so many authors are venturing out and doing different genres and doing both young adult and adult books. Authors from Nick Hornby (About a Boy and Slam) to Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries and Overbite) to Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy and Georgina Kincaid). More and more authors are venturing out of their comfort zones and tackling a new category, whether they originally wrote young adult and are now writing adult or vice versa.

Gena Showalter first came known to the literary world with a contemporary romance duology called Imperia. She eventually went on to write a widely known and loved series called Lords of the Underworld. This popular series has 15 books, 3 novellas, one spin off series, and two upcoming publications!

She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances. She also has 4 finished YA series and just released the first in a new YA series called The Forest of Good and Evil

Her first foray into the YA world was with her series, IntertwinedThis series follows sixteen year old, Aden Stone, who has four human souls within him. All four souls have a unique power such as time travel, raising the dead, possessing another human, or telling the future. Her second YA series, The White Rabbit Chronicles, a unique retelling of Alice in Wonderland, has taken her readers to a whole new world and created a loyal fan-base from the YA community. My personal favorite of her books is her YA series, Everlife, is a unique story like one you’ve never read before about what happens after your First Death!

 

Stoker: The Name Lives On

Bram Stoker was an Irish writer known for Dracula, the classic 19th century horror novel. He was born in 1847 in Ireland.

His longtime role was acting as an assistant to the actor Sir Henry Irving in the 1870s. During that time he began his second and his most known career as a writer. He published his first novel, The Primrose Path, in 1875. Three years later, he published Dracula. Stoker died before the fictional vampire became popular through films and literary adaptations.

Dracula is the famous Gothic classic that is made from journal entries, letters, and telegrams written by the main characters. Many people theorize that Dracula is based on the Vlad III, also known as Vlad the Impaler. They theorize that Stoker picked the name Dracula after reading a book about Vlad that was revealed to him in translation from Romanian.

Stoker’s Dracula was the reason why vampires became so popular in films and novels alike. The story was received well when it was first published, but it grew to its immense popularity by the many adaptations that it inspired. Nosferatu was the first film to be based on Dracula in 1922, but actually plagiarized the story.

Because of Dracula, vampires have spread across the world and starred in modernized adaptations like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. Others have chosen to stick closer to Bram Stoker’s idea for vampires like Stephen King does in Salem’s Lot.

Dacre Stoker is the great grand nephew of Bram Stoker and has chosen to rework the idea of Dracula that his uncle had for the character by co-writing Dracula the Un-Dead as well as co-editing The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker: the Dublin Years. He currently manages the Bram Stoker Estate with his wife.

Because of all the controversy and the way adaptations were changing vampires, Dacre Stoker, decided to reawaken the story of Dracula with J.D. Barker. Dracul was inspired by notes left behind by Bram Stoker. It doesn’t only reveal Dracula’s origins but Bram Stoker’s as well!

 

We currently have both Dracula and Dracul on our shelves. Any other books by the author we could get through inter-library loan in Indiana.

Information taken from:

“Dracul By J.D. Barker, Dacre Stoker | Penguinrandomhouse.Com: Books”. Penguinrandomhouse.Com, 2019, https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/570086/dracul-by-jd-barker-and-dacre-stoker/.

“Dracula | Summary, Characters, & Facts”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2019, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Dracula-novel#googDisableSync.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuck Between the Pages Summer Selections

 

It’s about to be…SUMMER! Who doesn’t like summer? The birds are chirping, the lawns are mowed, the sun is out! It’s a perfect time to sit outside and read, especially with school being out! Don’t have any summer vacation plans? No worries! Check out a book from the library and go on a vacation into the pages of a book!

Stuck Between the Pages is the teen book discussion for our young adult patrons in our community. We meet every second Tuesday of the month at Aurora Public Library at 6pm. For the summer we’ll be reading  The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas and Deadline written by Chris Crutcher.

 

Our June Selection is The Hate U Give written by Angie Thomas.

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

On Thursday, June 20, at 6 pm, we will be premiering the adaptation of The Hate U Give. Snacks will be provided.

 

Our July Selection is Deadline written by Chris Crutcher.

Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned? Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world.

How can a pint-sized, smart-ass seventeen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho?

First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine, and to help the local drunk clean up his act.

And then there’s Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she’s first on the list.

Living with a secret isn’t easy, though, and Ben’s resolve begins to crumble . . . especially when he realizes that he isn’t the only person in Trout with secrets.

 

Our June meeting will be on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, at 6 pm. Our July meeting will be on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at 6 pm. Snacks and drinks are provided.

Register for your spot today!

We hope to see you there!

 

Books Becoming Movies 2019

2019 is the year for books! There are so many being adapted for the big screen that it’s getting hard to keep track of them all! It’s a book lovers best and worst nightmare! Is the movie going to live up to our expectations of it?! Are the characters going to play the characters right? What if they mess it up?! 

 

Here are just a few of the books coming to the big screen:

 A classic story of unwavering loyalty and incredible devotion, A Dog’s Way Home is a beautifully told, charming tale that explores the unbreakable bond between us and our pets. This fantastic and exhilarating journey of the heart is in the same tradition as the beloved bestseller, A Dog’s Purpose.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life … as only a dog could tell it.

Wicked is an astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagorical world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.

Where’d You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller: The Woman in the Window, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

 

There’s so many I can’t fit them all into this list! What book adaptation are you excited for? What adaptation do you wish they would do? Let us know in the comments!

Carpe Librum!

Poets that Changed Me

As a young woman on the cusp of learning who she really is, Rupi and Amanda have both guided me on that journey. Some people say words have the power to change you, and I agree. Rupi and Amanda both write beautiful poetry meant to inspire and strengthen women to become better versions of ourselves. Their poetry is unique and beautiful and they both touch my heart.

Written By: Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur self-published her debut, Milk and Honey. The book has sold more than 2.5 million copies worldwide since its re-release. From poems of love and heartbreak, to poems of womanhood and self care, Rupi Kaur sheds light on vital topics for women today. Kaur’s poetry is straightforward without the hassle of agonizing over every complicated word and line. In an article with Rolling Stone magazine, she stated: “I’ve realized, it’s not the exact content that people connect with…People will understand and they’ll feel it because it all just goes back to the human emotion. Sadness looks the same across all cultures, races, and communities. So does happiness and joy.”

 

 

 

 

Written By: Amanda Lovelace

Amanda Lovelace‘s poetry is brutally honest. Her debut novel, The Princess Saves Herself in This One, is a collection of poetry filled with the truth of her pain, her subtle strength, and her quiet resilience. The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One is filled with fire and anger. Both books incorporate women power within them as well as the # MeToo movement. All the books in her series, Women are Some Kind of Magic, take the most recognized female characters-princesses, witches, and mermaids-and retell the narratives to make them empowered.

 

 

 

 

Both Rupi and Amanda capture hearts by weaving beautiful tales with their words. While both women are all about the women empowerment movement, they are both still quite unique and different. Their differences are what makes them great. They both evoke such powerful feelings inside their readers, that my heart either feels heavy reading their poems or light from reading their poems. Overall, the poems all interconnect and weave an incredible tale of the power within women.

 

Picture Credits: Emily the Book Addict