Mary Poppins Returns

There is a lot of hype surrounding the new Disney movie Mary Poppins Returns, which is to be released December 19, 2018, and the Aurora Public Library District is here to help you jump on the bandwagon! Keep a lookout for an Author Biographies blog featuring P.L. Travers, the creator of Mary Poppins and all of her adventures. In the meantime, check out Saving Mr. Banks to hold you over.

The first book in the Mary Poppins universe, Mary Poppins, was released in 1934, with subsequent adventures periodically released all the way up to 1988. We have several of these titles available both digitally and physically to check out.

Mary Poppins Returns is actually intended to be a sequel to the popular 1964 film Mary Poppins, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. And while the film is similar to the books created by Travers, it has become its own entity entirely. In other words, you don’t have to read the books in order to watch and understand the film, which is definitely still one of my favorites. The sequel promises to deliver all of the magical realism elements present in the original, as well as new musical numbers. I have high hopes that this new movie will be able to bridge the gap between generations; maybe it will even become as iconic as the childhood staple that is the original!

Starring Emily Blunt as the titular Mary Poppins, and including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Julie Walters, Angela Lansbury, Colin Firth, and Meryl Streep, Mary Poppins Returns has been anticipated since its announcement in September 2015. Dan Van Dyke is also going to make an appearance in the new film, so we can only hope that the Queen of Genovia herself (Julie Andrews) will follow suit!

Watch the trailer here.

Can you tell I’m more than a little excited? It’s bound to be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Biographical Movies

Don’t let the title deter you! Biographical movies can be some of the most powerful and inspiring movies you will ever see.

Most of our first experiences with nonfiction (biographical or autobiographical) come from elementary or middle school, usually in the form of one research project or another. It’s almost like we’re taught from the beginning to believe that history and facts are boring, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes reading a nonfiction book filled with information and facts can be tedious or slow-going, but that’s why there are movies based on fact that bring the information to life right in front of your eyes.


Here are a few biographical movies you can check out from the Aurora Public Library District with their book counterpart:

Hidden Figures is based off of the book Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Sully is based off of the book Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters by Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger, III.

Eat, Pray, Love is based off of the book Eat, Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

Heaven is For Real is based off of the book Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

The Theory of Everything is based off of the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking

Julie & Julia is based off of the the memoir Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

12 Years a Slave is based off of the memoir 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Schindler’s List is based off of the nonfiction novel Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally

127 Hours is based off of the memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

The Lost City of Z is based off of the life of Percy Fawcett, who disappeared during an expedition to find the fabled lost city in the Amazon.

The Butler is based off of the memoir The Butler: A Witness to History by Wil Haygood

The Blind Side is based off of the books The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis and I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to The Blind Side, and Beyond by Michael Oher

The Zookeeper’s Wife is based off of the book The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

Captain Phillips is based off of the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy Seals, and My Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips and Stephen Talty


Here are some new biographical stories being made into films this year or that have already been released:

Dunkirk is based off of the rescue of thousands of French and British troops during World War II from the Nazi “blitzkrieg.” For more information, check out these titles: The Miracle of Dunkirk by Walter Lord and Dunkirk by R. Conrad Stein.

Darkest Hour is based off of the first few days of Winston Churchill’s term as Britain’s Prime Minister and how he stood up to fight the peace treaty with Nazi Germany.

The Greatest Showman is based off of the life of P.T. Barnum, the founder of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

The Glass Castle is based off of the memoir The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

The Founder is based off of the story of Ray Kroc, the man who gained a fortune from the restaurant chain McDonald’s by questionable means.


Biographical movies can be as entertaining as they are inspiring and truthful, and they should definitely be given a chance. Check out any of these titles, or look for The King’s Speech, Moonlight, Selma, Deepwater Horizon, and more on our DVD shelves at the Aurora and Dillsboro branches.

Happy Watching!

TV Shows From Books: Poldark

Winston Graham’s¬†famous series, Poldark, is making a comeback with the popular television series that has recently ended its third season on PBS. If you’re looking for a gripping historical family saga, then Poldark¬†is perfect for you!

The first novel in Graham’s twelve-book series is Ross Poldark, which the Aurora Public Library District has available as a physical copy as well as a digital copy from the Indiana Digital Download Center.

The title character has just returned home to England after the American Revolution to discover that the love of his life is now engaged to his cousin, his father is dead, and his home is in disarray. Ross Poldark must start over and make his own way in Cornwall by reopening the family tin mines. The twelve-book series spans family members and years, all the while gripping you with its characters, stories, and sweeping landscapes. The first seven novels are set in the eighteenth century, following main characters, with the final five novels set in the early nineteenth century and following main characters’ descendants.

The television series follows Graham’s novels closely, beginning with Season 1, which first aired in 2015, and Season 2, which first aired in 2016. While we have many of the titles available both as physical and digital copies, some are only available through our Interlibrary Loan services. Season 3 is set to air soon, with Season 4 episodes set to air in 2018.

Happy Watching!

TV Shows from Books: Outlander

I know you’re probably wondering if I talk/write about anything else except Diana Gabaldon’s amazing Outlander series, and the answer is: Not much else. But this is important! Season 3 of the television series premieres on Sunday, September 10 at 8 p.m. on Starz (Finally! No more #Droughtlander!).

I’m a slow reader, so I know I won’t have enough time between now and September 10 to reread Voyager (the third book in the series), but there are several ways around this with help from the Aurora Public Library District.

We have Seasons 1 and 2 of the television series available for check out! Re-watch your favorite episodes or binge-watch the first two seasons (No judgement here!) so you’ll be ready to go for Season 3! DVDs check out for one week without renewals, but if you need more time, you can always bring the DVD back to the branch and we’ll check it back out to you.

Reread your favorite scenes from Voyager by checking out a hard copy of the book or a digital copy from the Indiana Digital Download Center. You can also check out an audiobook if you don’t have the time to sit down and read. The Aurora Public Library District has recently acquired new paperback copies of the first four books that are just dying to be checked out by you!

Maybe you need to reread the last few chapters of Dragonfly in Amber to remind yourself what happened in the last few episodes (Because it’s been so long since the end of Season 2 and so much happened!) so you’ll be prepared for the first episode of Season 3!

The September 1 issue of Entertainment Weekly featured the cast of Outlander to make people like me even more excited for the new season. Magazines are available for checkout for two weeks with up to two renewals, just like books.

You can creep obsess scroll through the actors’ various social media accounts to see pictures, videos, and captions promoting the new season or what they’re up to in their day-to-day lives. I recommend searching Instagram and Twitter for the actors’ names.

If you want to take it to the next level of fandom, there is actually a Scottish festival in Columbus, Indiana during the same weekend (September 9 and 10). That will really get you in the mood for the premiere of Season 3! Follow the link for ticket information, driving directions, schedule of events, and more.

Season 1 follows the events of the first book, Season 2 follows the second book, and Season 3 will follow the third book. As far as I can tell, both seasons have followed the books rather closely and I’m sure Season 3 will be no different. I’m having a viewing party with some others who are as obsessed excited as me and I can’t wait!

Happy Watching!

A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones

The first book in George R.R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series, A Game of Thrones, was first published in 1996, and in those twenty-plus years, it has become iconic, especially with the recent television series airing on HBO since 2011. If you’re wondering what all the hype is about (or you’re just ready to jump on the bandwagon since Season 7 has just begun), the Aurora Public Library District is here to help you get started!

A Game of Thrones follows three different storylines simultaneously, introducing numerous important characters and plots in which families fight for control over the Iron Throne. In the first book, we are introduced to the Stark and Lannister families, Jon Snow, Prince Joffrey, Princess Daenerys, and more; each character has his or her own agenda. Families are split apart, alliances are made, and characters are forced to make decisions that test their characters. And hanging over all the plots and subplots is the fact that winter is coming with no end in sight. The series is filled with high fantasy scenes with dragons and magic, vivid descriptions of guts and gore, and human characters who fall into a category of grayness in which even the villains are not entirely evil.

The Aurora Public Library District owns the first five books in the series both as physical copies and as digital copies on the Indiana Digital Download Center. We also have the audiobook versions of the series, but it can definitely get confusing to listen to and keep track of all the different characters.

The television series is said to be fairly faithful to the books, although the timelines of certain plot points are a little off. The Aurora Public Library District owns Seasons 1-6 housed at the Aurora Public Library that you can check out for one week. DVDs cannot be renewed, but you can bring the DVD back into a branch to check back out to yourself. If you are a Dillsboro patron, you can also request that the DVDs to be sent to the Dillsboro Public Library for you to pick up at your convenience.

Happy Reading (and Watching)!