Twilight: 10 Years Later

We thought we were in the Twilight clear since the release of the last movie was released six years ago, didn’t we? However, this year is the tenth anniversary of the release of the movie Twilight, which came about three years after the first book in the series was published. And while I will never recommend reading Twilight for literary purposes, the series still makes me a bit nostalgic. Ten years ago, I was a freshman in high school; I was the perfect age and in the perfect place for all of the hype that suddenly surrounded the books and movies, and, boy, did I fangirl hard.

The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer is nothing short of problematic in all kinds of areas, but when you’re fourteen, it seems like the greatest love story ever told. I wasn’t thinking about how accurate the representation of certain cultures were in the novel, or that Bella Swan might have been suffering from Stockholm Syndrome a little bit; I was too busy trying to decide if I was Team Edward or Team Jacob, like 75% of my high school (For the record, I was Team Edward). For me, the series is definitely something to cringe about now, but it will always have a special place on the bottom of my bookshelf because I still can’t bring myself to get rid of them.

I’ve heard the Twilight series compared to the Harry Potter series in that the books got kids (and adults) reading. My philosophy has always been that it doesn’t matter what you’re reading as long as you’re reading something, because if you’re reading, you’re learning. My little sister recently discovered Twilight and is currently devouring the series as fast as she can. While I want to recommend other books to her, with more powerful female characters, diverse characters, and accurate representation of various cultures, I’m stopping myself because I’m just glad she’s reading. And I’m glad that she’s enjoying what she’s reading, too. Who am I to dictate what people should be reading? Who am I to judge them based on their reading preferences?

I will gladly congratulate the Twilight movie franchise on its tenth anniversary, as well as the book series for getting people to read. It can even be argued that Twilight helped popularize the paranormal subgenre in teen, young adult, and adult fiction, which is still one of the most checked out subgenres from our shelves to this day.

So enjoy reading or rereading Twilight and watching the movies in honor of the anniversary! And don’t let anyone tell you anything different!

Happy Reading!

Jodi Picoult: Standalone and Controversy Queen

Jodi Picoult’s first novel — Songs of a Humpback Whale — was published in 1992, after she graduated from Princeton University with a degree in creative writing in 1987. She has been steadily releasing new fiction ever since, taking on more controversial and current events topics with each new release. Her newest novel, A Spark of Light, takes on the hot button issues of gun control and women’s reproductive rights. In total, Picoult has authored 25 novels so far that have been translated into thirty-four languages in thirty-five countries, as well as five Wonder Woman comic book issues for DC Comics, short stories, and a Broadway musical. Five of her novels have even been made into movies.

I have read about half of her novels so far and am always eager to see what she will come out with next. Currently, I’m reading her newest, A Spark of Light, which drew me in from the very first scene.

The majority of Picoult’s books deal with heavy topics, like school shootings, racism, suicide, and the Holocaust. The characters in her stories are never strictly black or white, but are filled with gray areas and ambiguities that make you question what you thought you believed in as well. She also never comes down one way or the other on issues, either, and leaves many endings open-ended, allowing the reader to decide for himself or herself what he or she wants to believe. Sometimes after reading one of her novels, one doesn’t know what to believe anymore, or what side of an issue one should be on. Novels that make me think are my favorite kinds of novels.

Picoult is also known for her dramatic courtroom scenes, where lawyers will believably attempt to argue for or against characters and issues, but who come with their own baggage as well. It is also guaranteed that there will be a twist right at the end of every novel that the reader will not see coming, no matter how closely they are following along. I always hate when I can figure out the ending before the author gives it to me, so I usually read the last few pages of the book once I get into it to see if I’m right. With Picoult, I am always confused by the last few pages and never see the twist coming even though I know it’s going to happen.

But one of the best things about Picoult’s books as that they are all — with the exception of her young adult duology she co-wrote with her daughter — standalones. Her books are perfect for when you need to take a break between series, or are waiting for the next installment to come out, or even if you’re just looking for quick reads. There are some recurring characters spread across some of her standalones, but you don’t have to have read any of her other novels that these characters are featured in. But be careful; most of the time the characters’ actions and what they’re not saying speak louder than what they are saying, so sometimes you have to do some reading between the lines.

Try these out:

Handle With Care

The Pact

Nineteen Minutes

The Storyteller

Plain Truth

Leaving Time

Second Glance

My Sister’s Keeper

Salem Falls

Or any of her other novels! Then come find me and we’ll discuss at length.

Happy Reading!

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!

Spook-tacular Titles for Halloween

It’s getting spookier and spookier as Halloween draws closer, from classic scary movies and ghost hunting shows clogging up the TV, to orange-and-black-packaged candy going on sale, to the decorations and costume ideas beginning to crowd your social media feeds. What better way is there to get you in the mood for Halloween than to check out some books about real-life haunted houses and ghost stories?

Check out these spook-tacular titles:

Haunted Indiana by Mark Marimen

Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard

Eerie Haunted Places by Molly Kolpin

Haunted Hotels Around the World by Megan Cooley Peterson

Grave’s End: A True Ghost Story by Elaine Mercado

Timeless Towns and Haunted Places by J.R. Humphreys

Hoosier Folk Legends by Ronald L. Baker

Haunts: Five Hair-Raising Tales by Angela Shelf Medearis

Haunting Urban Legends by Megan Cooley Peterson

Seeking Spirits by Jason Hawes

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ghosts and Hauntings by Tom Ogden 

Monster Hunters: On the Trail with Ghost Hunters, Bigfooters, Ufologists, and Other Paranormal Investigators by Tea Krulos

When Ghosts Speak: Understanding the World of Earthbound Spirits by Mary Ann Winkowski

Don’t forget to check out OverDrive for even more creepy titles. And if you’d rather watch a scary movie, the Aurora Public Library District has got you covered there, too! Still can’t get enough? Ask for recommendations for horror fiction. There are several staff members on hand who would love to point you in the right direction!

Happy Reading!

Now on Netflix: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

First published in 2008, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has made its way to the small, streaming screen of Netflix just this year. I noticed it when I was scrolling through, looking for something to watch, and knew I had to read the book first before I watched the movie. I’m annoying like that.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows takes place just after the end of World War II in 1946. Parts of London remain piles of rubble and people still wait for loved ones to return from the prison camps they were sent to overseas. The war in its entire horror has not yet been realized by the characters, but life still goes on. Juliet Ashton is engaged in a cross-country tour of England, promoting the book she wrote under her pen name, Izzy Bickerstaff. The book is a compilation of the columns she wrote about life during World War II, and despite the success of it, Juliet wishes to retire her pen name and write something of substance under her own name.

While trying to come up with a book idea of her own, Juliet receives a letter from Dawsey Adams, a complete stranger, who lives on the island of Guernsey and has come into possession of her old copy of Essays of Elia by Charles Lamb. Dawsey requests more information about the author and any other information and news Juliet can give him since the Nazis cut off all communication with the world outside of the island for five years during the German Occupation. Dawsey also mentions that he’s a part of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which immediately piques Juliet’s interest. Thus begins a correspondence between Juliet, Dawsey, and other members of the society and their adventures during the war.

The premise of the novel itself is unique, but so is the epistolary format in which it is told. In other words, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is told completely in letters between the various characters, making it a super quick and entertaining read. The Netflix film features big-ticket names like Lily James, Michiel Huisman, Glen Powell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Katherine Parkinson, Matthew Goode, Tom Courtenay, and Penelope Wilton. I can’t wait to see it! (And compare/contrast/dissect every way in which the book is different; I’m annoying like that.)

Happy Reading! (And Watching!)

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.

 

 

Series Starters: Crazy Rich Asians

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard the whole world buzzing about the new movie, Crazy Rich Asians, which is based on the first book in the Crazy Rich Asians series by Kevin Kwan. The movie is the first film by a major Hollywood studio to feature a majority Asian cast in a modern setting since The Joy Luck Club in 1993, which is also based off of a book by the same name by Amy Tan. The movie has been breaking barriers and setting records since its release into theaters in the United States in August, and I was so excited when I found out that it was based on a series of young adult novels. (Apparently I had been living under a rock during the release of this series…)

New York native Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, anticipating meeting his family for the first time while spending quality time together at his family’s home. Despite Rachel’s assurance that Nick is The One, he might have left out a few minor details about his life in Singapore; namely, that he grew up in what is practically a palace and rode in more private planes than cars with a family who is more than wealthy. Oh, and he is also Singapore’s most eligible bachelor, painting a target on Rachel’s back the second she steps off the plane. Her vacation quickly turns into a war between old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

This series will not disappoint if you love drama, romance, and all-consuming books that you won’t be able to put down. We have hard copies available as well as digital copies available from OverDrive. But you better hurry to put your name on the hold list because this series is super popular right now!

Representation is extremely important not only in the media, but in the mainstream media. With all the buzz from the movie, how could we not mention the books, too? Let me know what you think!

Happy Reading!

Guess the Book from the First Sentence Answers

Did you play along with the last blog post about guessing the title of a book from the opening lines? Let’s see how well you did! Here are the answers:

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Chances are you’ve read one or more of these children’s classics, so how well did you do? What about the next round?

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Did any of these classics ring a bell? Hopefully they did! Next!

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

1984 by George Orwell

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

What about the bonus? It might have been a little tricky!

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

So how well did you do? I’d love to know in the comments! Happy Reading!

Guess the Book from the First Sentence

Sometimes the opening line of a book will stick with you forever. Here are some opening lines of popular books you might have read. See if you can guess which book they’re from!

“All children, except one, grow up.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

“”Where’s Papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.”

“Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids.”

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Those were kind of easy. Ready for a few more?

“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago — never mind how long precisely — having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.”

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, he told me,  just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small, unregarded yellow sun.”

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home.”

“It was a pleasure to burn.”

Last ones!

“This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.”

“Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”

“All this happened, more or less.”

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”

“In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr. Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in the Times.”

Bonus!

“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.”

Good luck! Comment what your guesses were to see if you’re right!

 

9/11 Fiction, Nonfiction, & Movies

To some, it feels like the events of September 11, 2001 happened only moments ago; many of us can still remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we found out that we had been attacked. But all the younger generation knows about the events is what they’ve been taught in school, or read in books, or watched on movies and documentaries. It is important to keep any historical event relevant, especially one of this magnitude. One of the most popular ways to do so is to offer historical fiction.

With the anniversary of 9/11 fast approaching, here are some fiction, nonfiction, and movie titles for teen and young adult readers to help them have a feel for what it was like to be alive from various walks of life during the September 11 terrorist attacks:

Fiction

Falling Man by Don DeLillo

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Tuesday Morning series by Karen Kingsbury

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

All We Have Left by Wendy Mills

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Zero Day by Mark Russinovich

Nonfiction

9/11 The World Speaks

Let’s Roll by Lisa Beamer

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede

102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer

Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive by Joel Meyerowitz

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

Last Man Down by Richard Picciotto

World Trade Center by Peter Skinner

Report from Ground Zero by Dennis Smith

Movies

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Man on Wire

Remember Me

United 93

World Trade Center

Here are some other titles you could ask for through Interlibrary Loan:

Nine, Ten by Nora Raleigh Baskin

The Man with the Red Bandana by Richard Lawson

Eleven by David Llewellyn

The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard

Eleven by Tom Rogers

Portraits: 9/11/01 by The New York Times

Tower Stories by Damon DiMarco

In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman

With Their Eyes by Annie Thomas

Tiger Cruise

Do you have any other recommendations?