Bleak Books with Olivia: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

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.

Leigh Bardugo is all over the place right now. Her three teen series that comprise the “Grishaverse” are wildly popular and have been since the first book in the Grishaverse came out: Shadow and Bone. The Grishaverse is also newly represented onscreen as a new Netflix series titled “Shadow and Bone” as well. Ever since the show was announced, these books have been flying off our physical and ebook shelves, and I must admit, I am one of those newly ravenous readers. But I didn’t pick up Shadow and Bone in hopes of finishing it before the Netflix series came out. I actually found myself drawn to the series after reading Bardugo’s excellent adult debut, Ninth House.

(It is important to note that this book is very much for adults. There are very graphic depictions of violence, gore, and sexual assault.)

Ninth House tells the story of an unlikely Yale freshman: Galaxy “Alex” Stern. Alex finds herself with a full ride to Yale after surviving an apparent overdose and an unsolved multiple homicide, but there’s one major hitch. Alex has to assume all the duties of a member of Lethe, a secret society set up in order to keep all the other infamously secret societies on campus in check. Keep them in check from what, you ask? Oh, just the typical, everyday, run-of-the-mill dark magic ritual. And these… unsavory and, at times, just plain gory rituals attract ghosts, or Grays, which can be a bit of a problem. That’s where Alex steps in. Alex has seen Grays since childhood and, as one may rightly assume, her experiences with them have caused a massive amount of trauma. This new role in the House of Lethe forces her to confront her trauma until an odd murder takes place on campus. Alex is told to leave it up to the authorities. After all, it is just a townie. But Alex knows something is wrong, and she’s up for the challenge of decoding this unnatural crime scene. What follows is a supernatural rollercoaster ride as you piece together both the cause of the murder and Alex’s past through flashbacks.

One part murder mystery, one part supernatural fantasy, and one part dark academia makes up this disturbing, sinister read. It’s the jack of all trades when it comes to bleak books. Can’t get enough of the story? Here’s some good news: not only is Ninth House the first book in a supposedly five book series (according to Bardugo’s Twitter account), but Amazon is reportedly making this series into a television show as well with Bardugo as head writer and executive producer. Three cheers to my fellow hyperfixaters! Looks like we’ll be seeing Alex for years to come.

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. If you are looking to check out this specific title, please look at the Get Caught Reading display in the stairwell at the Aurora Public Library. It’s one of my staff picks! 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.

Ashton’s Literary Ramblings: Rebecca Ross: Sisters of Sword and Song

Have you ever been so desperate for something to read you just grabbed a random book with a beautiful cover and just started reading it even though you really didn’t want to you were just that desperate? No? Oh, yeah, me neither…..

Anyways, Rebecca Ross hit the author spotlight with her duology: The Queen’s Rising. First, I just have to gush over the beauty of the covers in this dulogy! I mean.. just look at them! They are so so pretty!

Anyways, I read the first one and it was such a unique read that I was totally ready for the next one. I fell in love with Brienna: her journey of self discovery, her thoughts filled with doubt, her strength in herself growing. I just couldn’t get enough of Brienna. Brienna’s story isn’t just about her romance with Aodhan Morgane, that’s a lower factor. The story is about her discovering herself and who she is and finding her strength inside of her. I loved it!

Sorry, I veered off track a little, the purpose of this blog is to highlight Rebecca’s new book, Sisters of Sword and Song. I just love that title.

Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross

After eight long years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been proudly serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon appears earlier than expected, Eva knows something has gone terribly wrong. Halcyon is on the run, hunted by her commander and charged with murder.

Though Halcyon’s life is spared during her trial, the punishment is heavy. And when Eva volunteers to serve part of Halcyon’s sentence, she’s determined to find out exactly what happened. But as Eva begins her sentence, she quickly learns that there are fates much worse than death.

-Goodreads

It sounds so good! If you’re a fan of Ember in the Ashes, Sky in the Deep or Court of Fives, then I guess this is the book for you. It said so on Goodreads, so if you are a fan of those and you end up not liking this book, don’t blame me, blame Goodreads!

Ashton’s Literary Ramblings: Kiera Cass: The Betrothed

I’ve always been a fan of YA Romance. Between reading The Twilight Saga, The Hunger Games, and the Divergent Series, I’ve been well taken care of in the YA Romance department. However, two years ago, I discovered Kiera Cass‘s series, The Selection. It was such a great series to read; I would definitely rank it with the other YA series listed above. Cass reports on her web page that The Selection will be made into a Netflix movie sometime in the future.

A new YA Romance by Cass was published on May 5, 2020,  and I couldn’t be more excited to read it!  I’m even more curious to see how it will differ from The Selection series!

When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true.

But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.

-Goodreads

First of all, that cover is beautiful! Secondly, I literally cannot wait to read this! The eager book beaver inside of me just wants this book right this very second! Kiera Cass has a way of writing about royalty that keeps the characters likeable and interesting, rather than overbearing or annoying. As with her other books, I know that Cass will weave a tale that draws me into a world of intrigue and romance.

It’s Hocus Pocus Time

 

It’s October! You know what that means? It’s Halloween! Time to get spooky! Which in turn means, it’s Hocus Pocus time!

The Aurora Public Library District invites you to join us in a spooky viewing of the beloved Halloween classic: Hocus Pocus! This movie event is for all ages and will take place on October 29th, 2019 at 6pm. There will be some Halloween-themed goody bags, popcorn, and drinks!

If we don’t see you here…we’ll put a spell on you!!

 

 

Gena Showalter

 

In today’s literary world, so many authors are venturing out and doing different genres and doing both young adult and adult books. Authors from Nick Hornby (About a Boy and Slam) to Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries and Overbite) to Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy and Georgina Kincaid). More and more authors are venturing out of their comfort zones and tackling a new category, whether they originally wrote young adult and are now writing adult or vice versa.

Gena Showalter first came known to the literary world with a contemporary romance duology called Imperia. She eventually went on to write a widely known and loved series called Lords of the Underworld. This popular series has 15 books, 3 novellas, one spin off series, and two upcoming publications!

She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances. She also has 4 finished YA series and just released the first in a new YA series called The Forest of Good and Evil

Her first foray into the YA world was with her series, IntertwinedThis series follows sixteen year old, Aden Stone, who has four human souls within him. All four souls have a unique power such as time travel, raising the dead, possessing another human, or telling the future. Her second YA series, The White Rabbit Chronicles, a unique retelling of Alice in Wonderland, has taken her readers to a whole new world and created a loyal fan-base from the YA community. My personal favorite of her books is her YA series, Everlife, is a unique story like one you’ve never read before about what happens after your First Death!

 

Urban Fantasy on OverDrive

If you use OverDrive with any regularity, you might have noticed that the featured books that scroll on the homepage change all the time. Right now, the featured books fit into Urban Fantasy, a subgenre of Fantasy.

Sometimes people hear the word “fantasy” and run in the opposite direction; it can be hard to imagine entire worlds and creatures beyond what our world is already filled with. Urban Fantasy happens in the real world with magical elements and creatures added, usually blending in with regular humans. While this genre is super popular with children and teens (think Harry Potter and Isabella Swan), there are plenty of adult titles for those of us who still choose to believe that anything is possible.

Here are a few of the titles that are featured on OverDrive:

Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series takes place in Cincinnati and features bounty hunter Rachel Morgan, a witch whose job is to make sure the vampires all get along.

Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series features the namesake, a mechanic who also has the ability to shapeshift into a coyote with neighbors ranging from a gremlin to a werewolf.

Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles features Atticus O’Sullivan, the last of the Druids who runs a bookshop and shapeshifts in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound.

Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files series follows wizard Harry Dresden as he works for the Chicago Police Department, catching all things paranormal.

Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is about MacKayla — Mac for short — who is a seer of the Fae trying to solve her sister’s murder.

Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series follows Merit, a former graduate student turned vampire who has to navigate the treacherous Chicago nightlife.

(And that’s just to page three of the featured books!) Chock-full of action and intrigue, these books will hook you and won’t let you put them down.

If you’re a fan of fantasy and the impossible with likable, realistic characters, then give Urban Fantasy a try! You can download any of these books to any device to read anywhere without the bulk of a physical book. All you need is an Internet connection (which you can use for free at any of our branches), the OverDrive app, your library card, and your pin number. If you’re unsure what your pin is or if you’ve never set one up before, stop by and see us and or give us a call. We can also walk you through downloading digital titles at the desk if you bring your device in.

Don’t forget about downloading the Libby app! Libby will put all of your library cards, downloads, and holds in one spot for your convenience. Ask us how!

Happy Reading!

Michael Vey

I’ve personally read most of the books in this series and really enjoyed each book I read. The characters are all unique and the story itself is written well. If you are a fan of Percy Jackson, then look no further than Michael Vey!

To everyone at Meridian High School, fourteen-year-old Michael Vey is nothing special, just the kid who has Tourette’s syndrome. But in truth, Michael is extremely special; he has electric powers. And he’s not the only one, either,

Join Michael, Taylor, Ostin, and the rest of the Electroclan as they use their powers and wits to prevent a dangerous organization from achieving its sinister goal of global domination.-Goodreads

Here Be Dragons

What kid (or adult) doesn’t like dragons? Our collection of chapter books for kids is full of dragon adventures, including several on-going series.

Two of our most popular “dragon” authors are Tracey West and Tui Sutherland.

The Dragon Masters series by Tracey West begins with Rise of the Earth Dragon and Saving the Sun Dragon. These are relatively short chapter books and are great for kids looking for fast, exciting stories.

Rise of the Earth Dragon by Tracey West  Saving the Sun Dragon by Tracey West

Tui Sutherland is the writer of the Wings of Fire series which started with The Dragonet Prophecy and The Lost Heir. These books have a little higher reading level and would be perfect for 4th grade and up. New books are still being added to both of these series.

The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui Sutherland   The Lost Heir by Tui Sutherland

Many kids are already familiar with the How to Tame Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell, because of the movies based on the series. The next sequel hits movie theaters in February 2019, so this is a great time to get started with the books.

How to Tame Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell   How to Be a Pirate by Cressida Cowell

Other great dragon series include The Last Dragon Chronicles by Chris D’Lacey and the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini.

The Fire Within by Chris D'Lacey   Eragon by Christopher Paolini

If you and your family prefer e-books or audio-books, many of these titles are also available in those formats through our Digital Downloads link.

Charley Davidson: A Series

Finally, I’d found a series that I could enjoy and stay entertained with! Darynda Jones‘ Charley Davidson series is the perfect series for romance lovers, mystery lovers, paranormal lovers, and even action lovers! Charley Davidson is the heroine of this beloved series (Of course! It’s named after her!), and she is amazing and kicks butt! Reyes Farrow is her love interest and is drop dead amazing and swoon-worthy! Cookie is her beloved best friend who keeps Charley on her feet! Every character within this series is so amazing and likable that you can’t help but love each and everyone of them, despite their faults!

Private investigator Charlotte Davidson was born with three things: looks; a healthy respect for the male anatomy; and the rather odd job title of grim reaper. Since the age of five, she has been helping the departed solve the mysteries of their deaths so they can cross. Charley’s dealing with a being more powerful – and definitely sexier – than any spectre she’s ever come across before. With the help of a nuisance skip tracer, a dead pubescent gang member named Angel, and a lifetime supply of sarcasm, Charley sets out to solve the highest profile case of the year and discovers that dodging bullets isn’t nearly as dangerous as falling in love. –Goodreads

Darynda Jones makes it her mission in writing to portray Charley as human, even though she’s supernatural, Charley makes mistakes and suffers with the same things that anyone would–all while the dead pass through her! She struggles with her life and everything she goes through in the series, that it’s sometimes hard to read her describe how she feels. Though, Darynda Jones will make anyone laugh! Charley is a hilarious and unique character that stays the same beloved person through the whole series!

If you enjoy Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series, then Charley Davidson should be your next series to read! There’s twelve books out and the thirteenth and final book comes out this January! Be on the look out!!!

Want or Need a Book We Don’t Have?

Both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library have hundreds of books combined. Though our collection is quite extensive and filled with every kind of book, there’s no possible way to have every single book in the world ever published. So thankfully we have a service called Inter-library loan.

Our ILL service gives our members access to a much wider range of materials than normally possible.

 

WHO CAN USE OUR ILL SERVICE?

Any patron in good standing who has a membership that includes borrowing privileges.

 

WHAT CAN BE BORROWED?

Books, audio-books, movies, seasons, etc.

 

WHAT’S THE COST?

If we can get the item from within our state, there isn’t a charge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occasionally, we won’t be able to find an item and in this case any item received from out of state will carry a postage charge that depends on the material’s size and its weight. You are able to specify whether you’d like to avoid charges at the time of your request.

 

BEFORE PLACING A REQUEST:

If the desired material is part of our Library’s current collection, we will not borrow it from another library.

However, if we have a title in Large Print and you would like it to be in regular print, we are able to borrow the title that way. As well as wishing for a title that is in regular print in large print.

If the material is less than six months old, many libraries will not lend it out. In many cases, we will add the material to our collection request.

*A collection request is a database we keep for any books that you wish for the library to purchase that is newer than six months old. We may or may not purchase the material depending on a vary of reasons.

Many ILL’s will take 7-14 business days to arrive, if you need the material sooner than that, it may be wise to consider another alternative.

 

CHECKING OUT YOUR ILL:

When your loan has arrived, you will receive a notification from your preferred method (normally a phone call).

If you do receive a material from out of state, a charge will be placed on your account with an explanation.

Just like any other item within our collection, you will be responsible to return your item.

Late fees may apply.

 

AM I ABLE TO RENEW?

Occasionally, a library will allow a renewal. If you are in need of a renewal, please contact the Aurora Library or the Dillsboro Library before the date your item is due.

We can give up to a week renewal while waiting for a reply back from the current lending library.

 

RETURNING MY ILL:

Because the materials are owned by other Libraries, it is important to return the materials in a timely manner. The due dates are generally determined by the lending library and can be as long as a month or as short as two weeks. Any fines/fees due to the material being returned late will be determined by the lending library and will be charged to you.

 

If you know exactly what item you would like, you are more than welcome to fill out our form on our website or come in or call either branch to request an ILL today!

 

If you request a DVD, the DVD will not count towards our DVD limit.  This is the same for TV shows, as well.

Example: You request Lady Bird, and we receive the DVD from another library. You can still also check out two other DVD’s from our library.