Off The Shelves

On this day in history…and some books, pt 2

In 1613 Shakespear’s Globe Theatre in London burns down during a performance of “Henry VIII”… if you have yet to check out this particular play by Shakespear you can do so with us we have this in our collection.

 

Fast forward about 200 years and in 1854 Charlotte Brontë marries Arthur Bell Nicholls. Check out her books and several books about her in our collection.

And in 2003 Katharine Hepburn passed away… this one isn’t exactly a book but we have several of her movies in our collection and if you haven’t watched them I highly recommend that you do…she is amazing!

Outsider by Stephen King

 

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

Outsider – Coming May 22, 2018.

Stephen King is a ‘New York Times’-bestselling novelist who made his name in the horror and fantasy genres with books like ‘Carrie,’ ‘The Shining’ and ‘IT.’ Much of his work has been adapted for film and TV.

Stephen King was born on September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine. He graduated from the University of Maine and later worked as a teacher while establishing himself as a writer. Having also published work under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King’s first horror novel, Carrie, was a huge success. Over the years, King has become known for titles that are both commercially successful and sometimes critically acclaimed. His books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide and been adapted into numerous successful films.

excerpts are taken from stephenking.com and biography.com

 

 

 

On this day in history…and some books

Do you ever stop and wonder about history in the context of the current date?

I know I often think about history in the context of big historic arches but very seldom do I slow down and think about what happened on a specific date and in fact the date that it currently is.

So I thought it would be fun to peek into history and see what kinds of things were going on on May 7th.

According to the History channel…

1994

Edvard Munch’s famous painting, “The Scream” was recovered after being stolen from its museum home in Oslo.

Want to know more about thefts in the art world? Check out this book, The Gardner heist: the true story of the world’s largest unsolved art theft, by Ulrich Boser.

1915

The Lusitania is torpedoed and sunk by a German Submarine. The Lusitania was the world’s largest passenger ship of its time, that is until its sister ship was completed.

Want to learn more about this epic tragedy? Read up on it in Diana Preston’s book Lusitania.

1896

Dr. H.H. Holmes, one of America’s notorious serial killers, was hanged to death in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania. Holmes operated during the World’s Fair in Chicago.

Check out the book The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson and read an account of two men who shaped the history of the event including H.H. Holmes and architect Daniel Burnham.

 

National Great Poetry Reading Day

Saturday, April 28 is National Great Poetry Reading Day!

How can you celebrate?

For starters, you can visit one of the branches of the Aurora Public Library District and check out volumes of poetry by great poets, like John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Rupi Kaur, William Wordsworth, Sylvia Plath, Alfred Tennyson, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein, and Maya Angelou, among many others. If you just want to browse the poetry section to see what you can find, start in section 808.1. You’ll be able to browse titles at your leisure and take ones that speak to you. Or, if you’d rather, you can visit the Indiana Digital Download Center and browse our digital poetry selections, too.

One major way that poetry differs from novels or nonfiction is that poetry begs to be read out loud. The only way to appreciate the cadence of the words on the page is to read them out loud and listen. On National Great Poetry Reading Day, gather some friends and family around and read your favorite poems aloud. Or record yourself reading your favorite poem and upload it to social media with #NationalGreatPoetryReadingDay. By following the hashtag, you’ll be able to see other poetry connoisseurs celebrating the day in their own way as well.

You could try your hand at writing your own poetry, too! If you want to follow the exact rules to write specific types of poetry, like haiku, sonnet, or limerick, we have titles with examples and instructions. But one of the best things about poetry is that, as you’re writing, you can decide how you want your idea to appear on the paper. Free verse is exactly that; free! You can choose to write your poem however you want.

Tell us how you’re going to celebrate National Great Poetry Reading Day! I’m going to see if I can find my old stuff from college from that poetry class I took.

Happy Reading!

Modern-Day Retellings of Classics

One popular writing trend that never seems to go out of style is the rehashing of familiar stories by making them relevant to today. It is always interesting to see how various authors interpret old classics, because each spin-off or retelling is different. Here is a short list of modern-day retellings of favorite stories that you can check out today:

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Spring Sisters by Anna Todd

Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Page

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graham-Smith

Splintered series by A.G. Howard

The Fall by Bethany Griffin

Wicked series by Gregory Maguire

Cinder series by Marissa Meyer

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge

Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

Macbeth by Jo Nesbo

After Alice by Gregory Maguire

The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Longbourn by Jo Baker

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire

Circe by Madeline Miller

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine

Beastly by Alex Finn

March by Geraldine Brooks

Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley

Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson

The Mists of Avalon series by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

Can you tell what each title is a retelling of? What’s your favorite modern-day retelling of an old classic? Mine would probably have to be Wicked by Gregory Maguire! Let us know in the comments!

Happy Reading!

Standalone Central

I’ll be the first to acknowledge how much I love series. I love getting to really know the characters in multiple installments rather than trying to glean anything I can in the limited amount of pages offered by a standalone novel. Aside from some nonfiction books, like memoirs or essay collections, I don’t tend to read many standalones. That being said, I’m going through a standalone novel phase that I’m not really sure how I got into, but I’m a little reluctant to pull myself out of and delve into another series.

Here are some standalones that I’m a little bit obsessed with at the moment:

Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Marlena by Judy Buntin

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Circe by Madeline Miller

The Spring Girls by Anna Todd

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhorn

Oliver Loving by Stefan Merrill Block

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

White Houses by Amy Bloom

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Which we’ll be reading for Stuck Between the Pages, the high school age book discussion for May!)

Here are some standalone novels that have been near and dear to my heart since I have read them in years past:

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Cell by Stephen King

P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Where the Heart Is by Billie Lets

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

And by Jodi Picoult, one of my favorite authors:

The Storyteller

The Pact

Leaving Time

Nineteen Minutes

My Sister’s Keeper

Plain Truth

Salem Falls

Second Glance

It helps that I read/listen to multiple books at a time, so while I can lose myself in various series, I can learn to love something new in a standalone. I commend authors who can pack character development, a believable story arc, and grip/keep my attention in one novel.

What are some of your favorite standalone novels? I’d love any recommendations you could give!

Happy Reading!

Binge-Worthy Shows to Watch After the Book

In the age of Netflix, Hulu, and DVR, do people still watch TV shows the times that they’re on and wait a week for the next episode? I would much rather jump into a show late in the game so I can binge-watch as many episodes as I can, one after the other, without waiting for the next one. It’s because I have no patience; it’s the same reason I read the last page of every book I get first to see what the outcome will be and if the book will be worth my time.

I’m not even sorry.

Did you know that many of the most binge-worthy shows on television and television platforms were actually based on books first? If you’re anything like me and need to know what happens before it happens to the characters, check out these books before watching its television counterpart! The Aurora Public Library District also owns several of these shows (look for the *) as well for you to check out on DVD.

On Netflix:

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

The Shannara Chronicles series by Terry Brooks

House of Cards by Michael Dobbs*

Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar

A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket

Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard

The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith*

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman*

The Walking Dead comic book series by Robert Kirkman*

Dexter series by Jeffry Lindsay

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Longmire series by Craig Johnson*

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (ILL)

Anne with an E (Based on the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery)

Sherlock (Based on the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)*

Mindhunter by John Douglas

Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy (ILL)

Hulu:

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Rizzoli & Isles series by Tess Gerritsen

Bones (Based on the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs)*

Castle Rock (Based on stories by Stephen King)

HBO:

True Blood (Based on the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris)

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin*

Starz:

Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon*

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

The White Queen series by Philippa Gregory

Amazon Prime:

Poldark series by Winston Graham*

Call the Midwife (Based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth)

Justified (Based on the Raylan Givens series by Elmore Leonard)*

Epix:

Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard

Regular Television:

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Instinct (Based on Murder Games by James Patterson)

The Terror by Dan Simmons

Lucifer (Based on the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman)

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle (ILL)

Midnight, Texas series by Charlaine Harris

Elementary (Based on the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)*

The 100 series by Kass Morgan

More:

Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger*

Under the Dome by Stephen King*

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Miniseries)

Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

Castle series by Richard Castle (Tie-in novels)*

New Shows Airing in 2018:

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (HBO)

C.B. Strike (Based on the Cormoran Strike series by J.K. Rowling HBO)

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (PBS)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (HBO)

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler (Starz)

What is your favorite television adaptation from a book? Mine is a toss-up between Outlander and Gossip Girl. Allegedly Hulu bought the rights to Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series to be made into a television show; if you know anything about me, you know that I’m still jumping up and down with excitement.

Interested in more? Check out this blog on Goodreads for more movies and television shows based on books coming out this spring.

Happy Reading (and Watching)!

The Rockton series by Kelley Armstrong

Rockton

 

ADULT / MYSTERY / SERIES

Don’t look for Rockton on any map of the Yukon. This tiny, off-the-grid town doesn’t exist. Neither do the people in it. They’re all on the run from their pasts, needing a place where they can disappear for a few years.

Casey’s best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana’s husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it’s time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you’re accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council’s approval. As a murderer, Casey isn’t a good candidate, but she has something they want: She’s a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn’t the only secret Rockton is hiding—in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

I am currently reading book three and have truly enjoyed this series. The setting is perfect for a good mystery and the character of Casey is believable, flawed, but very much likeable nonetheless.

 

Series Starters: The Red Queen

Fantastical, dystopian societies are all the rage with young adult fiction these days, and The Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard fits right in.

The world is divided in two, by blood; Red or Silver. People with Red blood are normal humans, but people with Silver blood are elite, with special powers that set them above the Red-blooded. Mare Barrow is a poor Red, just barely scraping by with her family until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Despite her red blood, Mare discovers that she possesses powers of her own that threatens to destroy the careful balance of power. The Silvers who discover her powers hide her in plain sight, claiming Mare is a lost Silver princess who is now engaged to a Silver prince. Carefully walking the razor edge between Mare’s compliance and her death, she decides to aid a Red alliance to overthrow the Silvers from power.

The Aurora Public Library District owns the first three books in the series, with the fourth and final book expected to be published sometime in 2018. The Indiana Digital Download Center also has the first three books as well as two prequels and audio books. Check these out today!

Happy Reading!

Series Starters: The Waking Land

The Waking Land by Callie Bates was just released in June of 2017, but I’m already sucked into the hype and can’t wait for the second book to be released in May of 2018. This novel would probably be categorized in the genre New Adult, which is the in-between phase of books with characters between the ages of about eighteen and thirty.

The Waking Land begins with the kidnapping of Elanna Valtai, a five-year-old girl with incredible powers  who is the daughter of a duke and duchess in the north, where magic is still possible and the very earth is alive. Elanna is raised by King Antoine like a daughter, but is still ostracized by members of his court. Falsely accused of his murder, Alanna must flee with a band of rebels to the north, back home, where her dormant powers begin to awaken. Chock-full of magic and adventures, this novel will keep you on the edge of your seat and second-guessing until the very last page.

Elanna’s first-person, present-tense narration keeps the story directly in front of you, so you feel like you’re witnessing the events of the novel right alongside Elanna, Jahan, Sophie, Finn, and the rest of the characters. Your heart will pound when they’re being chased or captured, you will weep when key characters are killed, and you will rejoice when they rejoice. I’m excited to see how the rest of the series will turn out, especially since the second book is told from Jahan’s point of view.

Happy Reading!