February $1 a Bag Book Sale

 

Stop by the Dillsboro Public Library on Friday, February 19th and Saturday, February 20th for our $1 a Bag Book Sale! We have a large variety of used books available for purchase, including a considerable amount of teen and children’s books!

The sale is located in the basement of the Dillsboro Public Library and is open during regular business hours. We have bags waiting for you to fill!

Have some used books you’d like to donate? You can drop them off at Aurora or Dillsboro, though we ask that large donations be taken directly to Dillsboro.

Bleak Books with Olivia: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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.

Now, I know what you may be thinking. “Why would anyone read something that makes you feel so unsettled after you finish it? Where is the happy ending? Who would want to read that?” I get it. Books can be an escape from everyday life. They can act as a retreat. But isn’t there something that’s just so inviting about reading a book where all the characters are horrible people who keep doing the wrong thing over and over again and the book always ends in a jarring way that sets you off-kilter for weeks? No? Well, let me play devil’s advocate.

So let’s begin with the classic that started it all and the book that got me REALLY into dark reads: Wuthering Heights. This review will be spoiler-free!

So, you’re wandering through the stacks on the second floor of the Aurora Public Library and pick up this book, thinking “I need a nice romance. It’s set in late 18th century England in the stunning moors of Yorkshire, and I love period dramas! Why not?” Not quite. Wuthering Heights is a narrative, not about love, but about obsession and revenge at the hands of a ruthless, heartless man. Heathcliff, an orphan boy living on the streets in Yorkshire, is taken by a family out on the moors and turns out to be their worst nightmare.

Cathy, the only daughter of this family, spends almost all her waking moments with Heathcliff. All this time spent together can only lead to one thing: a childhood crush. But, as it always is with Olivia’s Bleak Books, wrong place, wrong time. No matter how many times Cathy and Heathcliff link up throughout their lives, there is always something in the way. Husbands, wives, children, money, vengeful drunken brothers, ghosts, property ownership, the rich kid across the moors… you name it, Heathcliff and Cathy probably dealt with it. Heathcliff goes absolutely bonkers over the edge with his obsession over Cathy and his revenge on the family who took him in. One would argue (me, I would definitely argue) that spite is the only thing that keeps Heathcliff going. The book ends in a devastatingly haunting fashion, complete with misty graveyards and ghosts and no real happy ending whatsoever… well, maybe a little bit, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Overall, my favorite thing that will keep bringing me back to this novel for years to come is how it feels very much my own. It is cold, dark, and mysterious. All the characters have fatal flaws, and I would despise to meet them all, but oh, how I wish I could visit the moors and peek into a day in the life of Heathcliff. So, five stars to the 18th-century version of Days of Our Lives. It’s got all the drama, intrigue, violence, and shock of a modern-day soap opera, and I just ate it up.

Thank you for joining me on this dissection of one of my favorite Bleak Books. I hope to see you again sometime soon! Pleaser take a look in the Adult Fiction section on the second floor of the Aurora Public Library for a display of my favorite Bleak Books (including this one!) Discussions over many of them will be soon to follow. 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.

We’re still here!

The Aurora Public Library District is still open normal hours as of November 20th! However, we realize that some of you are taking extra safety precautions with the increased number of COVID cases in our area. Here are some ways we can help you keep up your reading while staying safe.

curbside service

We’re continuing to offer our curbside service to anyone who doesn’t want to enter the Library building. Just call 812-926-0646 and give us your requests for DVDs, books, or magazines. We’ll pack everything into a paper bag and have it waiting for you when you arrive at the Library. This service is available at both Aurora and Dillsboro; just let us know where you will picking up your items. You can also log into your Library account at: https://eapld.org/account/ to request items. When placing your request online, we’ll call you to let you know when everything is gathered together and ready for pickup. It’s that simple!

When you come to the Library to pick up your items, just call us to let us know you are parked outside and we’ll bring the bag of items out to you.

As items are returned to the Library, we quarantine each item for 72 hours before replacing it on the shelf. This is to protect your health and the health of our staff.

Don’t forget that we also offer lots of digital choices (books, audiobooks, movies, and magazines) through the Indiana Digital Download CenterLibby Promotional photoMake sure you sign in before searching for items to see everything that is available. If you are new to digital downloads, we’re happy to talk you through the process for getting your items onto a computer, tablet, phone or other device.

No matter if you’re hunkered down alone, or just taking extra care, we have something for everyone at your house. Just give us a call and let us know how we can help.

 

Comic Book Craze

While comic books aren’t quite as popular as they were in the 40s, they are still loved by an ever loyal fan-base. With Marvel making movies based on their superheroes every year and DC following behind, comic books are slowly making a more popular comeback. The evolution of comic book illustrations and characters have grown to be more gender inclusive and LGBT aware. Just like everything in our world, comic books are evolving to fit our ever-changing world. The Aurora Public Library District has a section called “graphic novels” which includes many popular comic books and heroes. We have some comic books about the most popular heroes and some who may be new to you!

Stop by and check out the comics in our teen ‘graphic novel’ area!

Want to read one that we don’t have? You have two options: if the comic is older than 6 months, you can inter-library loan it (borrow it from another library in Indiana for free) or if the title is new than 6 months you can ask to place it as a collection request (a database of titles that we consider to buy for patrons).

Stuck Between the Pages Final Meeting

The YA Book Discussion Group: Stuck Between the Pages will have it’s final meeting on November 12, 2019 at 6pm. We will be discussing the book: Pay it Forward by: Catherine Ryan Hyde and its movie adaptation that we will be watching on November 5, 2019 at 5:30pm. While we have been happy to see young adults enjoying the book club, we do not have enough interest to continue the book discussion group for next year.

About the Book:

The story of how a boy who believed in the goodness of human nature set out to change the world.

Pay It Forward is a wondrous and moving novel about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts the challenge that his teacher gives his class, a chance to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world for the better — and to put that plan into action.

The idea that Trevor comes up with is so simple and so naïve that when others learn of it they are dismissive. Even Trevor himself begins to doubt when his “pay it forward” plan seems to founder on a combination of bad luck and the worst of human nature.

In the end, Pay It Forward is the story of seemingly ordinary people made extraordinary by the simple faith of a child. In the tradition of the successful and inspirational television show Touched by an Angel, and the phenomenally successful novel and film Forrest GumpPay It Forward is a work of charm, wit, and remarkable inspiration, a story of hope for today and for many tomorrows to come.

 

 

Unicorns, Unicorns, and More Unicorns

Unicorns….what’s not to love about unicorns? Children everywhere are falling in love with them, and many children’s authors and illustrators are picking up on the trend. More and more books are coming out with a unicorn character. Why? Because this gives the author and illustrator a more creative outlet. Unicorns can be anything you want them to be. They can be any color, have any power, do anything you want them to do. That’s why they’re so magical!

The Very Short, Entirely True History of Unicorns  Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Unicorn Thinks He's Really Great by Bob Shea   Unicorns 101 by Cale Atkinson

Uni's First Sleepover by Amy Krouse Rosenthal  The Midnight Unicorn by Neil Reed

Twelve Dancing Unicorns by Alissa Heyman  Unicorn Day by Diana Murray

How the Crayons Saved the Unicorn by Monica Sweeney  Stories of Unicorns by Rosie Dickins

See a book that caught your eye? Click on the picture and put the book on hold today!

Teen Movie Night: Pay it Forward

The Aurora Public Library District and the YA Book Discussion Group: Stuck Between the Pages will be presenting a movie presentation of Pay it Forward (PG13), the movie adaptation of the SBTP November book selection. The movie presentation will take place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 5:30pm. There will be refreshments served. You don’t have to be part of the book discussion group to come see this movie!

Seventh grader Trevor (Haley Joel Osment) has every reason to believe that life is harsh and painful. His parents are alcoholics and his father is either absent or abusive. He walks into school every day through a metal detector. Outside his classroom window is an endless expanse of desert. And his mom works two jobs in a city filled with despair, Las Vegas. But then his teacher Eugene (Kevin Spacey) encourages his students to “backflip” the world into something better. He doesn’t expect much — maybe a clean-up of some graffiti. But Trevor decides to do three important favors for people who need them. Then, instead of allowing them to pay it back, he will ask each of them to “pay it forward,” doing three favors for other people, and asking them to do the same. One of Trevor’s favors is to bring his mother Arlene and Eugene together, though it turns out that it’s not just to make them happier. Arlene and Eugene put all of their effort into making sure they don’t get hurt again until they learn that it’s risking hurt that makes us alive.

The movie is PG-13.

Libby: One Tap App

The power of an app is almighty. However, if the app is too complicated to use, more likely than not, we’ll delete it. There are thousands of apps for social media, a million for gaming, and hundreds for reading. While Overdrive was the original reading app for the Aurora Public Library digital library patrons to use, we’ve been introduced to a new app called Libby, which was created by the same company that created Overdrive.

Libby is a simple to use reading app. While Overdrive has many tabs you have to click to do one simple thing, Libby is a one tap app. Once you download Libby, and login using your library card number and pin, you can start looking for titles on the very next page. Libby takes away several steps that Overdrive has and simplifies it. You can do so many amazing things with Libby!

You can add more than one library card.

You can listen to audiobooks at your own pace.

You can adjust your reading settings (font, size, space).

You can filter your Preferences to see books for specific age groups (kids, teens, adults).

You can borrow eBooks from our library and send them to your kindle!

You can change the lending period on the titles you borrow.

You can borrow magazines, eBooks, and audio books as well as videos!

The only downfall to Libby? She’s not available on as many devices as Overdrive is. Libby is only available on google Play, Apple Store, and Microsoft store. However, the creators of the app are working diligently to make Libby more compatible with other devices as well. Don’t worry though, you can set Libby to send eBooks to your kindle and still be able to read on your kindle!

Roald Dahl: #1 Storyteller

Roald Dahl was a spy, a pilot, a chocolate historian and an inventor!

He was also a beloved author of many original and entertaining children’s books.

Roald Dahl was born in Wales on September 13, 1916 to Harald Dahl and Sofie Hesselberg. His parents named him after the first man to reach the South Pole, Roald Amundsen.

His mother sent him to several boarding schools in which many bizarre events happened and later were written in his autobiography, Boy. At one of his boarding schools, the pupils were invited to test chocolate bars which helped inspire Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

His lust to travel took him from Canada to East Africa until the start of World War II where he enlisted into the Royal Air Force at 23 years old. After receiving severe injuries in the Western Desert, and after recovering from those injuries in Alexandria, he returned to the fight by taking part in the Battle of Athens. Afterwards, he became a spy for MI6.

In 1961, he wrote James and the Giant Peach, which was quickly followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also wrote several screenplays and adult novels. In 1970, a year before the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was released, he published Fantastic Mr. Fox

In the early 80s, he published The Twits, The BFG, and The WitchesMatilda was published in 1988 and Esio Trot in 1990.

Many of his works have been adapted as films and will forever entertain children and adults for generations to come!

To help us celebrate Roald Dahl, stop by the library on Roald Dahl Day (September 13) and check out some his works and adaptations!

 

Helen Hoang: The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test

 

A couple weeks ago, I sat down and read the summary for The Kiss Quotient. written by Helen Hoang. I was curious and interested, because I’d never read a romance novel where one of the main characters was diagnosed with a disorder. So I thought, let’s take a chance; I bought the book, and started reading it.

I was not let down!

I loved the book! I loved the main character Stella, and I loved her love interest Michael! I enjoyed reading about a character who was on the spectrum and how, even with being on the spectrum, she gets her guy! I completely understood all the hype about this book.

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan.

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.

I really loved the characters and everything about Stella. I loved how Helen didn’t shove Stella’s ‘disorder’ in our face, but let us learn slowly that she had Asperger’s. I enjoyed reading about Stella’s life and understanding more about Asperger’s Syndrome and how it affects Stella’s everyday life. It was amazing to read a different type of romance instead of our normal everyday “run of the mill” romance. I was especially happy to read more about Asian culture! She incorporated the perfect amount of education and entertainment to even out the playing field.

Helen Hoang’s journey with this book is just as beautiful as the story.  She wanted to write a gender-swapped Pretty Woman, but couldn’t figure out why a successful, beautiful woman would hire an escort. So when her daughter’s preschool teacher informed her that she thought her daughter was on the spectrum, Helen started doing research. So she thought, “That’s an interesting reason to hire an escort.”

From there, she started researching autism solely for her book and ran into the difference between men and women on the spectrum; women have learned to mask their autism and to copy peers. While she was reading, she started to think about the things she does. “I tap my teeth, but I tap them because no one can see. Because if you move your fingers or you move your body or you rock in your chair, then people will see, and that’s no good, it has to be secret … and that put me on this journey where I started to explore, could I be on the spectrum?.” 

While Helen learned more about her new character Stella, she learned more about herself, and then the diagnosis came, and her first novel was born.

Helen has released book two in The Kiss Quotient Series,  The Bride Testand was inspired by a website that stated autistic people were heartless and that they couldn’t experience injustice. So her new character Khai was born. She wanted to display that just because autistic people don’t operate on the same wavelength as everyone else and don’t show their emotions as much as others, doesn’t mean they don’t have those emotions. She was also inspired by her own mother’s story of being a Vietnamese refugee. Helen decided to base her heroine, Esme Tran, on her mother’s story and the inner strength she needed to create a new life for herself.

Book three in the series is expected to be published next year!

This is definitely a book that will stay with you for awhile and make you come back and think about it months after finishing! She’s officially been tagged as one of my new favorite authors!

I want to believe that I can be a main character, I can be a leading character in my life, that I can have a happily ever after, that I can find true love, and I can get married, and conquer, and be happy.

-Helen Hoang on why she has characters on the spectrum