Musings

Families Listen Together

While we are all staying at home, why not get into a routine of listening to part of an audio-book together each day? Here are some great family choices for listening that are available through the Indiana Digital Download Center.

These titles were all available for checkout when this post was written. If the book you want is not available now, please place a Hold on it. I’m monitoring the Holds, to determine if we need to purchase additional copies.

The Season of Styx Malone  I Funny  Alice in Wonderland

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up 

The Night Diary   The Kite Fighters  The One and Only Ivan

Funny Business  The White Giraffe

Three Time Lucky  Flora & Ulysses  Because of Winn-Dixie

Lisa Kleypas

Lisa Kleypas

After graduating from Wellesley College with a political science degree, Lisa published her first novel at age twenty-one. Her books are published in more than 20 languages and are bestsellers all over the world. Lisa (born 1964) was also named Miss Massachusetts in 1995 and competed in the Miss America Pageant the next year.

Her novel “Stranger In My Arms” was given the Waldenbooks Award for greatest sales growth.  The following year, Lisa’s “Someone To Watch Over Me” was a Rita finalist at the Romance Writers of America convention.

In 2002 her novel “Suddenly You” was a Rita finalist and Lisa won the Rita award for her Christmas anthology novella featured in the “Wish List.”  It was a banner year, and her novel “Lady Sophia’s Lover” was awarded Best Sensuous Historical Romance from Romantic Times magazine, and “Lady Sophia’s Lover” was given a starred review in Publishers Weekly, as was “When Strangers Marry.”

The historical series the Ravenels, debuted on the New York Times Bestsellers list and, much to her fans’ delight, characters from previous books made cameos.  Each of the five Ravenels books has been a NY Times Bestseller.  The newest book Chasing Cassandra has been given a starred review by Publisher’s Weekly and by me 😉

Lisa is one of those authors that I never miss and I am always excited when the next title is announced, if you are a fan of romance with lots of twists and turns but always a happy ending you can’t go wrong with one of her many titles.

The Ravenels series in reverse order includes:

Chasing Cassandra 

Devil’s Daughter

Hello Stranger

Devil in Spring

Marrying Winterborne

Cold-Hearted Rake

 

The History of Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month is a national, month-long observance of the often overlooked contributions of women in history and contemporary society. In the United States it is celebrated in March to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8th.  The first National Women’s History Month was celebrated in 1987, but it was celebrated by smaller communities long before then. The process took years of hard work and lobbying by women to gain the recognition they deserved.

In 1979, a fifteen-day conference co-sponsored by Sarah Lawrence, the Women’s Action Alliance, and the Smithsonian Institution was held at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. The conference was organized by one of the professors at the college, Gerda Lerner. Her goal was to introduce female leaders with diverse backgrounds to the possibilities of women’s history. Lerner, along with historians Alice Kessler-Harris and Amy Swerdlow, challenged the participants to create one large group project. Their chosen project was to make the celebration of Women’s History Week, an event already celebrated by some schools, communities, and women’s organizations, a national event.

At the end of the conference, the women returned to their homes all across the country and began the campaign for a National Women’s History Week. They planned and scheduled publicly sponsored women’s history programs at both the local and national level. The women successfully lobbied for national recognition, and in February of 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week.

Subsequent presidents continued to proclaim a National Women’s History Week in March for the next several years. The popularity grew, and schools across the United States started their own local celebrations of Women’s History Week, and even expanding into the entire month of March. By 1986, fourteen states declared March as Women’s History Month, and finally, in 1987, Congress passed Public Law 100-9, designating March as Women’s History Month nationally.

The National Women’s History Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring and preserving women’s history, and a large contributor to the fight for a nationally recognized month, selects the yearly theme and honorees for Women’s History Month. The 2020 theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote” in honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. The theme honors women “from the original suffrage movement as well as 20th and 21st century women who have continued the struggle (fighting against poll taxes, literacy tests, voter roll purges, and other more contemporary forms of voter suppression) to ensure voting rights for all.” The 2020 honorees include Maria Teresa Kumar, Edith Mayo, Lucy Burns, Carrie Chapman Catt, and many other incredible women who have fought and continue to fight for voting rights for everyone. Click HERE for more information on this year’s theme and honorees.

You can learn more about women’s history, and celebrate Women’s History Month, by checking out our collection of books about women’s contributions to history and society! Click on any title to learn more!

Bold and Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to VoteSuffrage: Women's Long Battle for the VoteThe Encyclopedia of Women's History in America

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists   Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in World War One    D-Day Girls: The Untold Stories of the Female Spies Who Helped Win World War II

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Death series by J.D. Robb

With the recent release of Golden in Death and with some nudging from a friend (B.W.), I decided to read J.D. Robb A.K.A Nora Roberts for the first time. The main character in the In Death series is Eve Dallas, a no nonsense homicide cop in a mid-21st century (2058) New York, where beggars and prostitutes are legal as long as they have the proper licenses. Eve is emotionally closed-off, and lives and breathes her job. In the first book Naked in Death, Eve meets Roarke (just one name like Cher), a suspect in a gruesome murder, and the plot thickens. Roarke and Eve have nothing in common. She lives on a cop salary and prefers candy bars to stopping to eat a meal. He is extremely wealthy and his “auto-chef” (picture a sci-fi slot in the wall that can prepare meals for you) is stocked with only the best. Sparks fly.

I’m on book seven now. The murders are compelling, her few friends and co-workers provide some humor, her love life provides some spice, and her entire sense of self revolves around justice for the victims.

Roberts began writing the “In Death” series in 1995, and some familiar and complicated characters are woven into all the books, including “Golden in Death.” Her intricate character development and powerful storytelling give both longtime fans and newcomers the ability to drop into the series at any point and escape into Eve’s world where the street vendors sell soy dogs and Pepsi comes in recyclable tubes.

And the 50th book proves, this series truly is the gold standard. “Golden” was released on February 4, 2020 and is in the top 5 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Talk About Aurora History Aurora High School

The building known today as the Aurora Recreational Community Center began its history as the Aurora High School.  Construction began in 1934 and the first class to graduate was 1935.  Through the years as a school this building had two new additions and two major fires.

*Have you ever wondered why the ball fields next to the school were called Taylor’s Fields?

*Who was the last person to graduate from the school?

*Why were there dead spots in the school’s gym?

These and many more answers will be revealed in the new season of the 2020 Talk About Aurora History when the history of the Aurora High School will be the topic of discussion.

Due to an expected larger than normal attendance, the Aurora High School program will be held at the Aurora High School Museum, 232 Main Street in Aurora.

Talk About Aurora History is a roundtable discussion held several times a year at the Local History Library @ The Depot located at 510 Second Street.  This very successful program is free, begins at 6:00 and is open to the public.  This program has become an interesting event for those who are local history buffs and is also helpful to those new to the community searching for details of Aurora.  In addition, it provides humor as the attendees share their own folklore.  New topic suggestions are always welcome.

Aurora High School

Tuesday March 24, 2020

6:00 PM

Please, come and join us for an educational and entertaining evening.

 

 

 

 

 

Lesser Known Dr. Seuss Books

March 2nd is National Read Across America Day in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday! What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss than by curling up with one of his many books. Here’s a list of some of his lesser-known stories that you can check out right here at APLD!

 

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

In this delightful tale, young Marco allows his imagination to run riot as he travels home from school one day, to the extent that a horse and cart is soon transformedinto a chaotic carnival of colourful creatures.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

What a lot of hats Bartholomew has in this imaginative and clever tale! Find out what happens when the king asks him to remove them…one by one.

The King’s Stilts

When the King’s stilts are stolen and hidden, and he can no longer enjoy his play hour, the whole kingdom is threatened with destruction until a page boy bravely saves the day.

McElligot’s Pool

This entertaining tale tells of a puddle full of promise, where Marco’s beautiful, imaginary fish come to life. Who knows what fantastic creatures might swim in McElligot’s Pool!

Thidwick: The Big-Hearted Moose

Poor Thidwick’s generosity proves the adage that no good deed goes unpunished, and soon everyone, from a tiny Bingle Bug to a huge bear, is taking advantage of our antlered hero.

Scrambled Eggs Super!

When it comes to scrambling eggs, Peter T. Hooper needs something super special for his super-dee-dooper dish! And only the most interesting and exciting eggs from around the world will do…

On Beyond Zebra

Packed with all the essential ingredients that have made Dr. Seuss so well-loved over the last 50 years – riotous rhyme, bizarre creatures, zany artwork, off-the-wall humour – On Beyond Zebra is vintage Seuss at its very best.


 

Novels About Art or Artists

The books shown here provide an interesting twist on historical fiction by focusing on the creation of a well-known painting or on the life of an actual artist.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

Susan Vreeland is one of the best-known authors for this type of fiction. Her web page explains her love for art and contains her personal “Pledge to Art.

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant   A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline   The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen

Let your mind be immersed in another time and place while you learn about the inspiration behind these great masterpieces and artists.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier   The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein   Girl Reading by Katie Ward

If you have another favorite art-inspired novel, let us know!

Sweet Chariot by Virginia Rep on Tour

You’re invited to a FREE public performance of Sweet Chariot, presented by the Virginia Repertory Theatre on Tour. The play will be held at the Aurora City Park Pavilion on Thursday, February 27th at 11:00 AM.

Virginia Rep’s production of Sweet Chariot shares the narratives of the ex-enslaved, as told to WPA writers. These stories were compiled in the‘Slave Narrative Collection’. Over two thousand interviews with former enslaved people were conducted in seventeen states during the years 1936-38. Virginia Rep combines these first-hand accounts of life as an enslaved person and emancipation with enslaved spirituals to recreate a world of longing and hope in Sweet Chariot.

The spirituals not only held religious meaning for African-American enslaved people, they also served as a means of communication, especially along the Underground Railroad. Through spirituals that served as coded messages, enslaved people could issue a warning to others or communicate plans for escape or uprising. The play asks, “Did you make history today?” Enrich your history by experiencing the rich historical narratives and spirituals that tell the stories of African-American enslaved people in Sweet Chariot.

Together We Read

The Aurora Public Library District joins nearly 16,000 libraries and thousands of readers across the country in offering the first Together We Read: US digital book club selection. From February 19–March 4, Aurora Public Library District patrons can enjoy and discuss award-winning author Pat Simmons’ new Lean on Me romance e-book for free with no waitlists or holds. Readers can access the e-book with a valid library card by visiting https://iddc.overdrive.com/iddc-aurora/content or by downloading the Libby app, and then can participate in a discussion with other readers online.

Lean on Me tells the story of Tabitha Knicely, a woman overwhelmed with sorrow and exhaustion caring for her beloved great-aunt, whose dementia is getting worse. When her neighbor Marcus Whittington accuses Tabitha of elder neglect, he doesn’t realize how his threats to have Aunt Tweet taken away add to Tabitha’s pain. Then Marcus gets to know the exuberant elderly lady and sees up close how hard Tabitha is fighting to keep everything together. Tabitha finds herself leaning on Marcus more, and he’s becoming more than happy to share her burdens.

The Together We Read: US digital book club connects readers in America through public libraries with the same e-book at the same time. This two-week program only requires an Aurora Public Library District card  and PIN to get started.