Musings

Shakespeare Day!

To celebrate, or not to celebrate? That is the question, but the answer is: Of course! April 23 is National Shakespeare Day!

Baptized on April 26, 1564, William Shakespeare is widely considered to be the greatest writer of the English language, having works ranging from plays to poems, as well as being an actor himself. He was born in raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Not much is known about his early life except at the age of eighteen, he married the much-older Anne Hathaway and had three children with her. He traveled to London sometime between 1585 and 1592 and became a successful writer, actor, and part-owner of a playing company, Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later the King’s Men. He retired to Stratford around 1613, around the age of 49, where he died three years later.

Little else is known about Shakespeare, except that he wrote and produced 37 plays during his time in London, ranging from comedies, including Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, to historical dramas, like Richard III, Henry IV, V, and VI, to tragedies, such as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Titus Andronicus. He also wrote 154 sonnets as well as narrative poetry. Shakespeare set the bar that many other writers would follow, influencing generations of writers still today. If you’re interested in learning more about William Shakespeare, follow this link to books in our collection about his life.

So, how can the Aurora Public Library District help you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? Well, you can check out DVDs based on his plays and life, as well as modern retellings of his classic plays. I think it is important to read Shakespeare, but I think it is even more important to watch Shakespeare to really understand him. There is nothing quite like watching words on the page come to life before your eyes, in period costumes with facial expressions and vocal intonations to help you to really grasp the play.

You can also check out copies of his plays and poems to read for yourself, if you’d like to let the words wash over you and give yourself time to process what takes place in each scene, or what each poem is really trying to say. There are physical copies as well as digital copies through the Indiana Digital Download Center. The Aurora Public Library District has a collection of No Fear Shakespeare titles, which puts the original text side-by-side with modern-day language in order to make it easier to understand. This will definitely come in handy if you want more depth to the play.

I am continually amazed at how relevant the themes of the plays are to today, even though Shakespeare’s time was almost 500 years ago. The language might seem archaic, but if you dig deeper until you find the meaning behind the prose, you’ll be surprised, too. Shakespeare was a genius at capturing humans, from their words to the words they weren’t speaking, but that their body language, facial expressions, and tones would show. If you ever get the chance to see one of Shakespeare’s plays in person, I highly recommend that you take it.

How will you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? I think I’ll reread my favorite play, Hamlet, and then watch The Lion King, which is what the Disney movie is based off of. Pretty cool, huh?

Happy Reading!

MORNINGSTAR

What can Morningstar help you with today?

 

Whether you’re new to investing or a seasoned DIYer, a Morningstar  can help you find, evaluate, and monitor the investments that best meet your needs.

  • COMPANIES
    • Get comprehensive financial information on New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ stocks.
  • FUNDS
    • Find comprehensive financial information on thousands of mutual funds, including the Morningstar star rating.
  • EFTs
    • See financial information on hundreds of exchange-traded funds with up-to-date information on returns, reports and Morningstar ratings.
  • MARKETS
    • Get return information on various investment indexes, types, sectors, and styles.
  • PORTFOLIO
    • Test drive our robust yet easy-to-use portfolio tools and calculators to determine what your asset mix should be, how your investments are working together, and more.

Available FREE on our webpage under the online resources tab.

 

 

 

National Library Week, April 8-14

National Library Week (April 8- 14, 2018) is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and library workers and to promote library use and support. Free access to books and online resources for families.  Libraries offer opportunity to all. The theme for 2018 National Library Week is “Libraries Lead,” and American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer Misty Copeland will serve as 2018 National Library Week Honorary Chair.

National Library Week 2018 will mark the 60th anniversary of the first event, sponsored in 1958. This national celebration is sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and observed in libraries across the country each April. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate every year in National Library Week.

History
In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee’s goals were ambitious. They ranged from “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time” to “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”

In 1957, the committee developed a plan for National Library Week based on the idea that once people were motivated to read, they would support and use libraries. With the cooperation of ALA and with help from the Advertising Council, the first National Library Week was observed in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!”

National Library Week was observed again in 1959, and the ALA Council voted to continue the annual celebration. When the National Book Committee disbanded in 1974, ALA assumed full sponsorship.

April is National Humor Month!

National Humor Month was conceived as a means to heighten public awareness of the therapeutic value of humor. Laughter and joy – the benchmarks of humor – lead to improved well-being, boosted morale, increased communication skills, and an enriched quality of life.

It’s no coincidence that the month begins with April Fool’s Day, a day which has sanctioned frivolity and amusement for hundreds of years.

Humor as a tool to lift ailing spirits is an established notion supported by scientific research. The curative power of laughter and its ability to relieve debilitating stress and burnout may indeed be one of the great medical discoveries of our times.

The library is ready to keep you laughing all month with joke books, funny fiction, and great comedy films. Stop in and tell us a joke (a clean one) and maybe we will have one for you. For more information on National Humor Month visit http://www.humormonth.com/

 

The Iron Druid Series

Fans of Kevin Hearne are excited and heartbroken (if it is possible to be both) at the announcement of the final installment in the Iron Druid series. Fans of  mythology, talking Irish wolfhounds and great storytelling will love this series. It is set in our world (the first couple of books are set in Tempe, Arizona) where supernatural creatures exist, such as witches, vampires, werewolves, as well as gods and goddesses from various mythologies. The series is told in the first-person point-of-view of Atticus O’Sullivan (aka. Siodhachan O Suileabhain), a Druid who owns and runs an occult bookshop, Third Eye Books and Herbs, as he gets embroiled in the day-to-day struggle of gods and goddesses and other supernatural creatures. I have truly enjoyed this series. I will certainly mourn the loss of Atticus and his dog Oberon. Visit Kevin’s webpage at https://kevinhearne.com/ for more entertaining antics and info written by the dog.

The following open letter is from Kevin to his fans announcing SCOURGED:

Hey there, Spiffy Humans!

It’s a bit bewildering to be writing this letter to you. When I began writing Hounded in 2008, I had no idea that I was beginning a ten-year odyssey that would see the publication of nine Iron Druid novels, five novellas, and myriad short stories. I wrote Hounded to scratch several itches: the desire to present Irish paganism in more depth than a couple of its more popular goddesses, while simultaneously presenting all faiths as equally valid; to geek out about pop culture one moment and Shakespeare the next; speculate about what a long life would do to the psyche of humans and gods; and to indulge my boundless affection for doggies and their infinite appreciation of simple things.

I figure we could all stand to be reminded that simple pleasures are the best, and that’s part of the reason why Oberon the Irish wolfhound has become so popular. What’s not to like about sausage and gravy? Or poodles, for that matter. Belly rubs and naps. And maybe just a dash of conspiracy theory for drama, like the absolute fact that squirrels are most definitely planning to kill us all, and somewhere on the outskirts of Seattle, a scientist in a secret lab has created the Triple Nonfat Double Bacon Five-Cheese Mocha. Living in the present for such pleasures is the key to achieving a hound’s best life, and Oberon reminds Atticus that despite the trials of his past, much remains to be loved today-right now!-and we, too, could use a friend like him to point out that even in the midst of a rather rough world, there is still plenty in this moment to savor and cherish.

I certainly hope you’ll savor the last book of the Iron Druid Chronicles, Scourged, which wraps up many of the series’ long-running conflicts and leaves us with the possibility of revisiting the world later on. I’m currently working on two other series (The Seven Kennings and the Tales of Pell with Delilah S. Dawson), but there is room for further adventures should my schedule (and the Muses) allow. But this particular story arc with Atticus has been building to a head for a long while. Seeds of the final conflict and its resolution can be seen not only in the previous books, but in short stories like “The Chapel Perilous” that I originally wrote for an anthology, novellas like Grimoire of the Lamb, and most especially “Cuddle Dungeon,” a story I wrote for the Besieged collection.

It’s been a tremendous privilege to write these books and I thank you all for reading. May harmony (and sausage) find you.

Peace & whiskey,

Kevin Hearne

5 Problems Book Worms Face

Tell me do any of these sound familiar???

I think these are all something us bookworms have felt at one time or another.

1.

When the book ends and there isn’t a sequel

2.

When reading time keeps getting interrupted

3.

You think about doing dishes and laundry but you found a book you wanted to read instead

4.

You wish reading burned as many calories as running

5.

You have a massive pile of books but you still have the urge to check out more from the library

 

I bet you found your head nodding along to at least one of these. Let me know what your biggest bookworm problem is in the comments!

#OnMyShelf

#OnMyShelf is a blog series in which I’ll share some of the books that are currently housed at my house on my shelves. I’ll pick random books and tell you a bit about that specific book, the story behind the purchase, and if I’ve read it, what I thought about it.

Titanic: The Longest Night is an enlightening and tragic tale of two teenage couples on the doomed Titanic. The story is written beautifully and will make any heart beat and weep for the tragic tale of the Titanic.

This book was actually bought for me by my grandmother. Within the cover of the book is a small little note to me from her and I’ve cherished the book ever since. It took me some time to read it, but once I did, I didn’t regret it.

Though, I didn’t know there was a sequel to the series until just this moment when I was searching for a picture of the book and saw the second book. Of course, it’ll be one I read, eager to delve into more history.

We do not have any copies of the book but don’t worry. You can always request the book through our ILL (Inter-Library Loan) services! Just call or come in to request!

March is National Craft Month!

Did you know March is National Craft Month? Get the whole family involved with  kid-friendly paper crafts, from origami animals to tissue-paper pom-poms. Use leftover fabric and wooden beads to create a dazzling DIY necklace that will be the envy of all your friends. “Upcycle” old furniture and decor odds and ends using decoupage. Embrace your needle and thread and stitch your way through National Craft Month — making handmade phone covers, friendly stuffed animals, and so much more. Everything you need to know you can find out at your library. On the shelves and online we have a great selection of craft how-to books filled with ideas galore.

 

National Grammar Day

It’s the most wonderful day of the year — at least, it is if you majored in English in college and love to write! Sunday, March 4 is National Grammar Day.

I know, I know; I’m excited, too.  I can hardly blame you. If you’re like Aunt Josephine and me, and want to correct every grammatical error and typo you come across, then this is the holiday you need to celebrate!

The Aurora Public Library District has just what you need!

Grammar is often defined as a set of rules speakers and writers must follow, but many scholars believe that grammar is used to better understand the language. Even though there are some grammatical rules that are fixated for all eternity, grammar can still change as the language changes.

We have books on how to improve your grammar, so you can perfect that Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram post, so as to make all your followers envious about how smart you are. We have titles on beginning and intermediate grammar lessons for all levels! We also have titles on how to write better while using correct grammar, so your next novel will need next-to-no editing! If you would rather check out digital books through the Indiana Digital Download Center with OverDrive, we’ve got you covered there, too!

So, brush up on your grammar and celebrate #NationalGrammarDay! (Ha! The # is a perfect example of how grammar can change with the changing language!)

Happy Reading!