Between the Lines Reads “The Family Chao”

Do you LOVE to read? Do you love trying new books and discussing them with friends? Pick up your book for the next Between the Lines Book Club today!

This February, BTL is reading The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang, a a family succession drama staged in a small-town Chinese restaurant.

The residents of Haven, Wisconsin, have dined on the Fine Chao Restaurant’s delicious Americanized Chinese food for thirty-five years, happy to ignore any unsavory whispers about the family owners. But when brash, charismatic, and tyrannical patriarch Leo Chao is found dead―presumed murdered―his sons discover that they’ve drawn the exacting gaze of the entire town.

The ensuing trial brings to light potential motives for all three brothers: Dagou, the restaurant’s reckless head chef; Ming, financially successful but personally tortured; and the youngest, gentle but lost college student James. Brimming with heartbreak, comedy, and suspense, The Family Chao offers a kaleidoscopic, highly entertaining portrait of a Chinese American family grappling with the dark undercurrents of a seemingly pleasant small town.

Follow this fast-paced family legal thriller along with your fellow readers this February.

We have added a new meeting to our schedule to better suit your life! In addition to our February 23rd meeting at 1:00 pm at the Aurora Public Library, we will also be meeting on February 28th at 6:30 pm at the Aurora Public Library! As always, we will be meeting at the Dillsboro Public Library on February 24th at 1:00 pm. Please feel welcome to attend any meeting that you wish, and keep an eye out for some delicious themed treats coming to your meeting this year!

We cannot wait to see you there! You can check out a BTL book at the Aurora or Dillsboro Public Libraries with a library card.

Between the Lines Returns!

Do you LOVE to read? Do you love trying new books and discussing them with friends? Pick up your book for the next Between the Lines Book Club today!

This January, BTL is reading Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak, perfect for reading in this cozy holiday season.

It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years, the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity—and even decent Wi-Fi—and forced into each other’s orbits. In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive…

See how the Birch Family’s holiday plays out in this delightful domestic family drama.

We have added a new meeting to our schedule to better suit your life! In addition to our January 26th meeting at 1:00 pm at the Aurora Public Library, we will also be meeting on January 31st at 6:30 pm at the Aurora Public Library! As always, we will be meeting at the Dillsboro Public Library on January 27th at 1:00 pm. Please feel welcome to attend any meeting that you wish, and keep an eye out for some delicious themed treats coming to your meeting this year!

We cannot wait to see you there! You can check out a BTL book now at the Aurora or Dillsboro Public Libraries with a library card.

The Ballad Tour: History and Horror

Join Ron Nicholson, head of our Between the Lines Book Clubs, as he recounts some of Scotland’s scariest scenes! Ron is fascinated with the Scots and their horrifying legends and wants to share them with you this Halloween season. Come to his discussion about terrifying Scottish folklore and enjoy snacks from the North Country. If you attend our event, you’ll also be entered for a chance to win the perfect cozy Scottish gift for the colder days ahead.

If you are interested in attending, please inform a librarian to be registered. Registration is recommended, but not required. We’ll see you there!

Between the Lines Reads “The Age of Innocence”

If you like to read a variety of books, and if you like to discuss the books you read, you should join one of the Aurora Public Library District’s book groups. There will be afternoon groups that meet at the Aurora Public Library on September 22nd @ 1:00pm and at the Dillsboro Public Library on September 23rd @ 1:00pm. Both will be discussing The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.

Pick up a book today to join our club and get reading!

This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland. But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage, Archer falls deeply in love with her. Torn between duty and passion, Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy it.

Between the Lines Reads “Island Queen”

If you like to read a variety of books, and if you like to discuss the books you read, you should consider joining one of the Aurora Public Library District’s book groups. There will be afternoon groups that meet at the Aurora Public Library on August 25th @ 1:00pm and at the Dillsboro Public Library on August 26th @ 1:00pm. Both will be discussing Island Queen by Vanessa Riley.

Pick up a book today to join our club and get reading!

From the bustling port cities of the West Indies to the forbidding drawing rooms of London’s elite, Island Queen is a sweeping epic of an adventurer and a survivor who answered to no one but herself as she rose to power and autonomy against all odds, defying rigid eighteenth-century morality and the oppression of women as well as people of color. It is an unforgettable portrait of a true larger-than-life woman who made her mark on history.

Bleak Books with Olivia: Verity by Colleen Hoover

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.

I believe I am well overdue to hop on the Hoover Train. Her books have been flying off the shelves at our branches, and film rights have even been purchased already for some of her novels. Verity came to me in a peculiar way: I was in a long-distance book club with friends and we had already read It Ends With Us, another one of Hoover’s standalones. Although I wasn’t a massive fan of that book, my book club convinced me to give Colleen another try with Verity, and boy, I did not know what I was getting myself into.

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Verity introduces us to Lowen Ashleigh, a down-on-her luck author barely scraping by in New York City. She is about to be evicted when a wonderful opportunity caused by tragic events presents itself: fellow author Verity Crawford, who has experienced a James Patterson-level of success, was in a car accident and is catatonic, but her bestselling series remains unfinished. Jeremy, Verity’s husband, meets Lowen and asks her to take on the reins and ghostwrite for her to make the fans satisfied. Lowen hesitantly agrees, doubting her abilities, but is still whisked away to the Crawford estate, where she is meant to go through Verity’s notes and finish her series. She moves in with the family, including the couple’s son, Crew, and finds herself falling for Jeremy, the kindhearted pseudo-widow.

But, just up the stairs, Verity lies unconscious, but alive. Lowen can’t seem to shake the feeling that Verity is more aware and awake than first understood. This, paired with a frightening and disturbing manuscript found by Lowen that is seemingly written by Verity before her accident, slowly convinces Lowen that all is not as it seems.

This novel was stunningly unhinged. It was everything that modern Gothic fiction should be: terrifying, shocking, and a little absurd at times. Sure, there were some parts in this novel that made me roll my eyes at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation, but for the rest of the novel, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. The end was breathtaking, to say the very least. I would recommend this book just based on pure shock value. Stick with horror, Colleen!

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 and Teen Fiction section at the Aurora and Dillsboro Public Libraries for my favorite Bleak Books, or check out our e-books on Libby. If you are looking for this specific title, you can use our catalog to locate it or ask a librarian for help! 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.

Between the Lines Reads “Other People’s Children”

If you like to read a variety of books, and if you like to discuss the books you read, you should consider joining one of the Aurora Public Library District’s book groups. There will be afternoon groups that meet at the Aurora Public Library on July 28th @ 1:00pm and at the Dillsboro Public Library on July 29th @ 1:00pm. Both will be discussing Other People’s Children by Jeff Hoffman.

Pick up a book today to join our club and get reading!

Other People’s Children has been described as an “engrossing debut” novel (Laura Dave, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Thing He Told Me) about a couple whose dreams of adoption push them to do the unthinkable when their baby’s birth family steps into the picture.

Best of 2021

Our patrons checked around 40,000 books, eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and DVDs in 2021! That’s a lot of reading, watching, and listening! Here are the items people checked out the most in 2021!

CD

The CD section includes both Adult Fiction and Nonfiction Audiobooks. Our patrons checked these items out around 300 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 Stone Cold by Cj Box

#2 Boundary Waters by William Kent Krueger

#3 The Pursuit of Pearls by Jane Thynne

DVD

The DVD section includes both films and tv series. Our patrons checked these items out around 4,000 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 News of the World

#2 The Croods: A New Age

#3 Honest Thief

E

The E section includes easy picture books. It does not include board books, easy chapter books, or ABC books. Our patrons checked these items out over 6,000 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 The Big Island Race by Meredith Rusu

#2 Click, Clack, Good Night by Doreen Cronin

#3 Bear Can’t Wait by Karma Wilson

FIC

The FIC section includes both paperback and hardback Adult Fiction books. Our patrons checked these items out over 6,500 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 Neighbors by Danielle Steel

#2 Deadly Cross by James Patterson

#3 Dark Sky by C.J. Box

JFIC

The JFIC section include both paperback and hardback Juvenile Fiction books. These items were checked out over 2,500 times. The most popular items were:

#1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

#2 Mothering Heights by Dav Pilkey

#3 Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey

LP

The LP section includes Large Print Fiction and Nonfiction books. These items were checked out over 1,500 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown

#2 The Dirty South by John Connolly

#3 A Walk Along the Beach by Debbie Macomber

MAG

The Mag sections includes all Magazines. These items were checked out over 1,000 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 People

#2 Taste of Home

#3 Time

NF

The NF section includes all Adult Nonfiction books including Oversized and Biographies. These items were checked out over 1,500 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 Till Murder Do Us Part by James Patterson

#2 ADHD 2.0 by Edward M. Hallowell

#3 Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta

TFIC

The TFIC section includes both paperback and hardcover Teen Fiction books and Graphic Novels. These items were checked out over 900 times. The most popular titles were:

#1 This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

#2 Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

#3 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

There you have it! The most popular items of 2021! Have you read these titles yet? You can place a hold* on these items by clicking on the link, selecting “Place Hold,” and signing in with your library card number and pin. You can also call us at 812-926-0646 (Aurora) or 812-954-4151 (Dillsboro) and we will place a hold for you!

*Holds cannot be placed on DVDs.


 

5 Things You *Probably* Didn’t Know About Anne Perry

 

“The Cater Street Hangman,” Perry’s first published book

 

1. Her first book wasn’t published until she was 41.

Perry began writing when she was in her twenties; however, her first book wasn’t picked up for publication until many years later. During the time in between, she held various jobs in clerical work, retail, and fashion, and was also a flight attendant and a limo dispatcher for some time. Despite all these jobs, she knew writing was what she wanted to pursue. She has now published over 100 books, including 3 published as recently as this past year. Her fifth Daniel Pitt book is scheduled to be released sometime in 2022.

2. She won an Edgar Award for her short story “Heroes.”

Perry’s story “Heroes” first appeared in the 1999 anthology Murder and Obsession and won the Edgar Award for Best Short Story in 2001. The Edgar Allan Poe Awards, popularly called the Edgars, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America. Named after American writer Edgar Allan Poe, a pioneer in the genre, the awards honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theater published or produced in the previous year.

3. She had no formal schooling past the age of 13.

Perry was diagnosed with tuberculosis at the age of 6. She was so severely ill that she missed three years of schooling. Luckily, her mother taught her to read and write, so she was able to catch back up when she returned to school at age 10. However, at 13 she fell seriously ill again and left school permanently.

4. She’s lived in at least five different countries.

Perry was born in London, England in 1938. Her family moved around frequently in her younger years, and sent her to the Bahamas to live with a foster family in hopes that the warmer weather would be better for her illness. As a teen, she moved back with her family to a small island off the coast of New Zealand. In her 20s, Perry returned to England for a while, but eventually made her way to the United States for five years. She once again returned to England when her stepfather became seriously ill. She currently lives in Scotland.

Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme

5. Her real name is Juliet Hulme.

Perry changed her name after serving five years in prison for murder. At 15 years old she met Pauline Parker. The girls initially bonded over the debilitating illnesses they both had as children, but their relationship quickly became obsessive. When Perry’s family decided to send her to South Africa, the girls could not stand the thought of being separated. Perry’s parents offered to pay for Pauline to come along, but Pauline’s parents refused, thinking it would be best to separate the friends for a while. The girls decided that the only thing keeping them apart was Pauline’s mom Honorah. They believed the only way to stay together was to kill her. Pauline and Juliet planned an outing with Honorah under the guise of a goodbye for Juliet, who would be leaving soon for South Africa. The three of them went on a walk down a wooded path in Victoria Park when the girls bludgeoned Honorah to death with a brick. They were quickly caught, and were both sentenced to five years in separate prisons. The two have not spoken since.

Books by Anne Perry

     

Bleak Books with Olivia: The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

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.

I found The Death of Jane Lawrence after scouring the internet for any books that were like the dark, mysterious, gory, magical horror of Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. I have tried about 10 books after finishing that one in hopes that I would like it just as much and I was sorely disappointed. This was the ONLY one who met and exceeded my expectations. Same type of creepy, disturbing magic and ritual focus, totally different setting.

Jane Shoringfield finds herself approaching old maid status quickly in turn-of-the-century Great Breltain. She finds the solution to her problems in Dr. Augustine Lawrence, a handsome, aloof surgeon new to town who is noticeably unmarried. They come to a clear-cut arrangement: they will marry out of convenience, as Jane wants nothing more to pursue her goal of becoming an accountant and Augustine is in desperate need of one. There is only one requirement: Jane must never enter Lindridge Hall, Augustine’s dilapidated family home. But just as the lines of their platonic arrangement are blurred, Jane finds herself abandoned outside of Augustine’s house on the night of their wedding. When she enters, she finds Augustine to be a changed man, fearful of her and believing her to be an apparition. As she explores Lindridge Hall, she finds that Augustine’s hidden secrets and demons are much darker, and more alive, than Jane could ever have imagined.

Friends, if you are looking for a truly bleak book, this is it. Caitlin Starling perfectly captures the essence of traditional Gothic horror while combining it with the peculiar, disturbing, and supernatural elements of today’s horror films. The sheer sense of dread and fear that entered my mind every time I cracked this book open is inescapable and addicting. Every chapter holds a new truth, more terrifying and haunting than anything we, and our protagonist, Jane Lawrence, can believe to be true. Monsters hide in the dark corners of Lindridge Hall, and no matter how horrifying they may be, as a reader, I couldn’t wait to meet them and know what makes Dr. Augustine Lawrence’s past so twisted and secretive. It is truly one of the best modern Gothic novels I have ever read.

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, or check out our e-books on Overdrive or Libby. If you are looking for this specific title, you can use our catalog to locate it or ask a librarian for help! 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.