In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day I wanted to republish this post, first posted Feb 13, 2017.

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is a celebration of accomplishments by African Americans. It’s also a time to recognize how African Americans helped shape this nation. The US is not the only country who dedicates a month to celebrating black history, Canada and the United Kingdom do, as well.

Black History Month actually started out as a single week called ‘Negro History Week’, by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. They chose the second week of February because of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

In decades that followed, cities across the country issued yearly proclamations recognizing the week. In the late ’60s, around the same time as the civil rights movement and the growing awareness of black identity, the week evolved into the month. President Gerald R. Ford was the first president to officially recognize the month in 1976

To help celebrate Black History Month, below are some books showing African American History.

      

 

 

Reading Challenge for 2018

I know it’s crazy to even write the year 2018, but it will soon be upon us! Are you looking for your next reading challenge? Here are some suggestions that might help you get started!

Read a book recommended to you by a librarian. (This is easy because we LOVE to recommend books to you here at the Aurora Public Library District! Or you can always check the blog to see what books we’ve been writing and raving about.)

Read a book that’s been in your “To Be Read” pile for way too long. Or read a book that you own but you haven’t gotten around to reading yet.

Listen to an audiobook. (This is easy for people who love audiobooks, but for those who have a hard time letting go of the words on the page, it can be a real challenge! You can do it!)

Read a book where the main character or the author is different than you; this could be ethnicity, religion, culture, ability, etc. Try to see the world through someone else’s eyes. You could also read a book from a nonhuman perspective.

Read a book written by multiple authors. (See if you can pick out the different writing styles of each author as you go along.)

Read a book written by someone you admire.

Read a classic. Or you could read a book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t. (I won’t tell.) You could even read a children’s book you never got to read when you were small.

Read a book by an author who uses a pseudonym.

Read a bestseller from a genre you wouldn’t usually read.

Read the first book in a series you’ve never read before.

Read a book that was published in 2018 or that is becoming a movie that year.

Read a book that was published the year you were born.

Read a book set in more than one time period.

Read a book based on a true story.

Read a book you love so much, it always makes you smile. This could even be a beloved children’s book.

Read a book that someone close to you loves more than any other book that you’ve never read before.

Read a book set somewhere drastic, like during a war, in the wilderness, or the characters are trying to survive, etc. Read something to get your heart pumping.

Read a book solely based on the cover; literally judge a book by its cover without reading the summary of what it’s about.

Read a book that will make you smarter.

Read a book that everyone but you has read. This could be that book everyone was raving about last year that was made into a movie.

Read a book with an unreliable narrator.

Read a book with pictures! (How fun would this be?!)

Read a book that’s a story within a story.

Red a book that’s won a prestigious award.

I know that our lives are busy and that it can be hard to even find time to sit down, let alone read a book. But even if you cross just a few of these off the list, you’ll come out of the challenge as a better, more well-rounded person than you were last year. But who am I to dictate what you should and shouldn’t read? Create your own reading challenge for 2018 and let us know how you do! I’d love to be inspired by you!

Happy Reading!

Scary Stories for Halloween

It’s the spookiest time of year again! What better way to spend these long fall nights than to be scared senseless (or just a little spooked) than by reading creepy stories to get you in the mood for Halloween?

The Aurora Public Library District has lots of Halloween picture, ABC, and Easy chapter books for your little ones. These books are easy to locate because they are shelved according to their titles rather than by the author’s last name, which is how the rest of fiction is shelved throughout the District. So if you’re looking for books about Halloween, pumpkins, ghosts, bats, witches, etc., start by looking for these books on the shelves by subject. If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, we can search our catalog by subject and pull up more titles for you. Let us help you find that perfect title with just the right amount of scary for your little ones!

For our older elementary age readers, we have plenty of eerie books to get you in the mood for Halloween, like the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine, or Darren Shan’s various series. You can check out The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, Tales for the Midnight Hour: Stories of Horror by J.B. Stamper, The Scary Story Reader, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, The Doll Bones by Holly Black, Thornhill by Pam Smy, and more! We’ll find a story with just the right amount of creepy just for you!

For our teen and young adult readers, there are many chilling series, like the Thirst series by Christopher Pike, The Mediator series by Meg Cabot, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs and more. There are standalone titles like Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten, The Omen by David Seltzer,  Teeth: Vampire Tales by Cassandra Clare, or anything by Joe Hill or Jonathan Maberry. You can check out The Walking Dead series in our graphic novels section, too, if you want a visual of the gory details on the page.

There are plenty of horror stories for adults, too, whether you’re looking for classic or contemporary reads. You can check out Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury, Dracula by Bram Stoker, Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice, or The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. You can also read pretty much anything by Stephen King, John Saul, Heather GrahamPeter Straub, Laurell K. Hamilton, Dean Koontz, or Richard Bachman. Other standalone titles are Obedience by Will Lavender, Where Are The Children by Mary Higgins Clark, and The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker.

As always, feel free to peruse the Indiana Digital Download Center for more spooky titles or ask one of us for help.

Happy Reading!

TV Shows From Books: A Discovery of Witches

 

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery, so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks, but her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries–and she’s the only creature who can break its spell. ~ Goodreads.com

Finally, the film adaptation of Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy is under way. If you have not read the New York Times Bestselling author’s “The All Souls Trilogy” including:

 A Discovery of Witches,

 

 

 

 

 Shadow of Night,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and The Book of Life, then stop by the Aurora Public Library or Dillsboro Public Library and pick up a copy. We also have digital copies available on the Indiana Digital Download Center.

 

Deborah Harkness, magical history scholar and professor, invites us into a world where vampires, witches, and daemons have coexisted with humans without raising the suspicions of humans, but only because of the covenant. The covenant is an ancient pact between vampires, witches, and daemons to never interfere in human religion or politics, as well as, never allowing the species to intermix. When Diana Bishop comes in contact with the manuscript, Ashmole 782, the entire community of creatures take notice. Most significantly Matthew Clairmont, geneticist scholar, professor, and antiquated vampire, is determined to discover the secrets Ashmole 782 has been hiding. His determination is diverted by his surprising curiosity and attraction to Diana. When Diana is then threatened by another witch over the whereabouts of Ashmole 782, Matthew’s protective instincts are activated and the epic saga of Matthew and Diana’s alliance begins.

To stay current on all things “All Souls” check out Deborah’s website. With input from Deborah, the television show is being produced by Bad Wolf studios based in Wales and although we do not know when or where it will be broadcast we do know that Bad Wolf has agreed to work with the partnership of SKY and HBO. Also, being published on May 8, 2018 is The World of All Souls: The Complete Guide to A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life , which gives insight into Deborah’s creative process, and includes fun facts, fan art, and character inspiration. Although the “All Souls Trilogy” is a completed story unto itself, Deborah has spoken about working on more novels to be added to the universe. I am beyond excited to see Teresa Palmer and Matthew Goode depict the magic of Matthew and Diana, so keep checking out Deborah’s Facebook page for insider tidbits.

Ghosts, Here?

Image result for ghostbusters library gif

 

When I first told a friend that I had started working for the Aurora Public Library District, she asked if I had seen “The Ghost.” Ghost? What ghost? I have volunteered for several years at Aurora’s own Hillforest Victorian House Museum, so I feel I am no stranger to talk of ghosts! But, I have yet to encounter a library ghost. So, to find out just who might want to haunt the library property, I asked our Local History Librarian, Roy Lambert.

Roy told me that as a youth growing up in Aurora, he often heard stories of the ghosts in the Library.  In 1913, the Siemental Property on Second Street was purchased with monies of Georgiana Sutton in memory of her parents, Dr. and Mrs. George Sutton, and construction of the new library commenced. Originally, the basement was mostly a storage area, not open to the public, as it is now. This dark solitary basement, mostly off limits to the public, increased the possibility of ghosts. According to Roy, an archaeological publication states there was a large Indian mound in downtown Aurora that was partially destroyed when the streets were originally graded. The only mounded area in the historic district of Aurora is the mound that our library now occupies. Dr. George Sutton, Aurora’s revered early physician and amateur relic hunter had accumulated a vast collection of Indian artifacts and most likely some bones. These were eventually stored in the library basement. Indian bones were also found when grading was done on Mechanic Street many years ago.

In 1937, the Ohio river flood was nearing the library and all the contents of the lower level were removed for safe keeping, including the collection of Dr. Sutton. This collection, however, was never, never seen again–no one knows what happened to the collection. In 2015, a paranormal group did some investigating after hours at the Library. They detected possible spirit presence, as if trying to contact the investigating group, in the basement area were the artifact collection had been stored many years ago.

Incidentally, Roy mentioned that the door to the Local History Library (The Depot) opens quite often for no apparent reason. Also, when opening the upper level doors to the Aurora Public Library building, one door opens eerily by itself when the other is opened. Coincidence?  Are there spirits living in the Library? Anywhere in Aurora?

If you are interested in paranormal activity, there are several books you may find interesting:

Hoosier Folk Legends, by Ronald L. Blake, gathers Indiana legends about premonitions, death, ghosts, haunted houses, special powers, witches, monsters, famous people, local heroes, outlaws, bottomless lakes, and local place names.

“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, something weird that don’t look good,” who would you call?  Residents of southern Indiana and Kentucky know the answer—SIGH, Southern Indiana Ghost Hunters—that’s who! Inside Southern Indiana Ghost Hunters Chronicles by C.C. Thomasyou can read the weird, the strange, and the downright spooky. This is not your normal ghost story book, though. Each case is approached scientifically and you are given a final analysis of whether or not ghosts actually exist.

Although these tales are not from our own backyard, Seeking Spirits, by TV’s popular Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, reveals all-new, never-before-told stories from their spooky early investigations. They also offer essential tips for budding paranormal investigators — including how to use an electromagnetic field (EMF) meter and an infrared camera, determine if a supernatural phenomenon is good or evil, and deal with spirits. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, these fascinating and frightening true stories will keep you up at night!

 

Additionally, on Thursday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m., AURORA MAIN STREET is hosting the Aurora Ghost Tour, where eerie tales will be told while strolling through the historic downtown, a tour of Hillforest, witches brew and treats. Who knows who (or what) you might run into!! Perhaps, you’ll encounter the Library spirit!

HarperCollins Publishing Celebrates 200 Years

HarperCollins is the second largest publishing company in the world. They’ve published in over 18 countries. With two hundred years of history, HarperCollins publishes about 10,000 new books every year in 17 languages and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. With dozens of different genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer, the National Book Award and more.

With Mark Twain, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, Martin Luther King Jr., Shel Silverstein, and Margaret Wise Brown having been published by HarperCollins, reinforces their long and rich history that reaches back to the early nineteenth century.

Just to think, it all began with a modest print shop created by James and John Harper in 1817. They were first known as J. and J. Harper and then later Harper & Brothers. In 1987, as Harper and Rowe the small company was acquired by News Corporation. The worldwide book group was formed following the News Corporation’s 1990 acquisiton of the British publisher William Collins & Sons. William & Sons was founded in 1819, and published a large variety of Bibles, atlases, dictionaries, and reissued classics that expanded over years to include legendary authors such as H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien, and even C.S. Lewis.

In today’s world, the legendary authors published by HarperCollins are Alec Baldwin, Meg Cabot, Joseph Campbell, Cynthia Eden, Dan Edwards, Neil Gaiman, George Irving, Robert Irvine, Joyce Carol Oates, Mathew Quick, Julia Quinn, Bob Saget, John Updike, J.D. Vance, just to name a few.

For a company to be around for 200 years a unique feat within itself. For a publishing company, to have such a large list of authors, is just that bigger of a feat.

Congratulations to HarperCollins for making it to 200!

Source: HarperCollins

Liane Moriarty

I’ve recently discovered a new author and she’s drawn me in from page one. Liane Moriarty writes about the normal every day secrets in what seems like perfect families. Whether you’re into romance, chick lit, or even mysteries, she’s the gal for you!

The first book I’ve read by her is Big Little Lies and it’s such a great and easy read it’s no wonder that it’s a television show on HBO starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Shailene Woodley.

Big Little Lies tells the stories of Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. Madeline’s life is in turmoil, her ex-husband and the father of her oldest daughter enrolled his new daughter into the same school Madeline’s youngest daughter goes to. Her oldest daughter is pulling away towards her father’s new wife, Bonnie. Celeste has two twin boys in the same class as Madeline’s daughter and her ex-husband’s daughter. She and her husband Perry, seemingly have the perfect life, but what meets the eye isn’t all there is. Then there’s Jane. She’s a young mother who just moved to the beach with her son, Ziggy. Jane is literally a ‘Plain Jane’ and is secretive. At the orientation, her son is accused of choking a little girl. From there, we learn how Celeste’s, Madeline’s and Jane’s lives intertwine without their knowledge and the big blowout at the end will have us all gasping for breath!

After finishing this book, I fell in love with the way Liane’s writing made me feel. So I picked up another one of her books and checked it out!

Liane is an Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels with two number 1 New York Times bestsellers.

Her fifth novel, ‘The Husband’s Secret’, sold over three million copies throughout the world and was the number one UK bestseller, an Amazon best book of 2013, and has been translated into over 40 languages. It’s spent over a year on the NYT bestseller list, and CBS currently holds film rights.

She’s also written a children’s book series under the pseudonym L.M. Moriarty.

Liane currently lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, son and daughter. She has two younger sisters, award winning author Jaclyn Moriarty and Nicola Moriarty.

Liane has sold over six million copies of her novels worldwide.

 

 

Mixed Media

Mixed Media in the art term refers to artwork that has more than one product used to create that piece of artwork.

(Picture Courtesy of Mixed Media May)

There is a distinction between ‘mixed media’ and ‘multimedia art’. Mixed media refers to visual art that combines different products. For example, a piece of artwork that would have paint, ink, and forms of paper stuck to it would be considered a mixed media. The term ‘multimedia art’ refers to a broad scope that combines visual art and non-visual art elements (for example: recorded sound), or with elements of the other arts (literature, drama, dance and/or motion graphics).

 

(Picture courtesy of Alexi Francis illustrations)

There are several different forms of mixed media art, but the best one in my opinion would have to be the altered book. An altered book is a form of mixed media art that changes a book from its original form into another form changing its appearance or meaning. Altered books may be as simple as adding a drawing or text to a page or even as intricate as creating a folded book sculpture.

Another form of an altered book is known as an art journal. An art journal is simply a book. Art just refers to the decoration and items used within the book to decorate. You can use anything to decorate the book both inside and out. The limit? Your imagination!

 

 

Long-Running Adult Fiction Series

The longer a series, the better! There is nothing quite like getting to know and love a character book after book in a long-running series, where the characters actually become part of you. There are plenty of authors who publish ongoing or long-running series with beloved and recurring characters across all fiction genres. Some of these series are ongoing, with books still being written with new plots and the same protagonist. Other series are spinoffs from the original series, where authors will take a minor character and turn him or her into a major character in a different series. Here are some long or ongoing series that the Aurora Public Library District has for you to check out today!

Crime/Mystery fiction is a great nook for a writer who wants to create an ongoing or long-standing series with one main character. The protagonist is typically some kind of detective or private investigator who can solve a different crime or multiple crimes in each installment. For example, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is a favorite among our patrons at the Aurora Public Library District. The series follows the hilarious antics of bounty hunter Stephanie Plum through twenty-three novels (so far). The books are considered mysteries, but without all of the heavy drama that is usually involved in Thriller or Suspense fiction. Other notable authors with ongoing Crime/Mystery series include Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series, C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett series, Robert B. Parker’s various series (Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, Jesse Stone, and Spenser), and Faye Kellerman’s Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series.

Of course, a sub-genre of Crime/Mystery fiction would be Cozy Mysteries. Once again, the protagonist will typically solve crime, but as an amateur. Violence, sexual content, and language will be absent or subdued. Popular Cozy Mystery authors include Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Rita Mae Brown’s Miss Murphy series, M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth series, Leslie Meier’s Lucy Stone series, Joanne Fluke’s Hannah Swenson series, and Charlaine Harris’ Aurora Teagarden and Sookie Stackhouse series. Other “Gentle” reads include Debbie Macomber’s various series (Rose Harbor, Virgin River, Cedar Cove, Blossom Street, and Angelic Intervention) and Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series.

Another genre that is great for ongoing series is Thriller/Suspense fiction, which can be similar to Crime/Mystery fiction, but manages to be different through that added layer of heart-pounding drama. James Patterson is notable for his Thriller/Suspense/Mystery series, such as Detective Luc Moncrief, Private, Detective Harriet Blue, Alex Cross, Michael Bennett, Women’s Murder Club, Zoo, and NYPD Red. Other popular long Thriller/Suspense series include Tom Clancy’s series (Jack Ryan and John Clark, Jack Ryan, Jr., and Net Force), Stuart Woods’ various series (Stone Barrington, Holly Barker, Teddy Fay, Ed Eagle, Lee Family, and Rick Barron), and J.D. Robb’s Romantic Suspense In Death series.

Fantasy fiction is a broad term that can cover all sorts of sub-genres, but this is a great place for a long series because the author gets to make up all the rules to his or her fantasy worlds. My favorite epic Fantasy series is Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, which was completed after his passing by fellow notable fantasy writer, Brandon Sanderson. Some other popular epic Fantasy reads include George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series and Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series is considered to be both Fantasy and Mystery. Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series is Fantasy with strong elements of Horror mixed in. The Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton is considered to be Urban Fantasy. And Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is considered to be Historical Fantasy.

Of course, there are plenty of other authors who write ongoing series (Karen Kingsbury, Sophie Kinsella, Vince Flynn, Fern Michaels, Anne Perry, Wanda Brunstetter, etc) to choose from, too. Check out the Novelist website through the Online Resources tab on the Aurora Public Library District’s website for series’ book orders and author read-a-likes! Don’t forget about the Indiana Digital Download Center for even more series!

Happy Reading!

Celebrities-Tell-All

We all wonder how celebrities grew up and what trials they faced, and we especially like them told in their own words.

 

 

 

Director, Actor, Producer and three time Golden Globe winner, Denzel tells about those who inspired him and the lessons he learned growing up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Famous singer, Jewel shares her heart wrenching story of growing up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infamously famous singer, Johnny Cash shares his life story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Journalist, Anderson Cooper and his mother shares their story of heartache and perseverance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil Rights activist and American poet, Maya Angelou speaks of her mother in this heartwarming quick read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

American heart throb, Robe Lowe shares success and disappointments with his fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brutally honest talk-show host and actress Rosie O’Donnell explains the harsh life of living out of the spotlight after having lived in it for so long, and illuminates what its like for her to be a mother, daughter, and wife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

America’s favorite child star, Shirley Temple tells what life was like growing up a child star.

 

 

 

 

 

 

American actress and comedian, Tina Fey describes her life growing up dreaming to be a comedian on national television.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Television host and comedian, Whoopi Goldberg shares stories of her life from dealing with situations in her family to her business life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dirty Dancing star, Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi, share their love story and fight with pancreatic cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Sniper, Chris Kyle shares his story of being America’s most lethal sniper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duck Commander, Phil Robertson tells his story of love, life, and the building of an empire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few new autobiographies we’re all waiting for?