A Downton Abbey Movie

If you haven’t checked out the amazing television series that is Downton Abbey, then you are seriously missing out! Luckily, the Aurora Public Library District owns all six seasons of the popular PBS drama that are just waiting for you to check them out! You have plenty of time to catch up with the series before the release of the full-length Downton Abbey movie next September!

(In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a huge fan.)

Downton Abbey follows the aristocratic Crawley family from 1912 to 1926, as well as the lives of their domestic servants in Yorkshire, England. The series opens with the sinking of the Titanic and with it, the heir who was to inherit the estate, as Lord Grantham only has three daughters. The scramble to find the next heir to the estate is on, and on the way viewers are taken through monumental historic events in British and world history, like World War I, the Spanish influenza epidemic, the Irish War of Independence, and various scandals and elections. The personal lives of the Crawley family and their servants are also swirled into the mix, investing you so deeply in the characters’ lives, you’ll forget they aren’t real people at all.

If you like historical and period pieces, as well as drama and Dame Maggie Smith, I urge you to check this series out as quickly as you can. Then you can track me down anywhere in the library and I will gladly discuss the series with you at length. We can wait in agony together for the movie to be released on September 13, 2019. (Which, by the way, will also include the majority of the original cast and will also be written by Julian Fellowes!)

In the meantime, check out these titles to hold you over:

Downton Abbey: A Celebration by Jessica Fellowes

The Chronicles of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes

The World of Downton Abbey by  Jessica Fellowes

Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey by Emma Rowley

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona Carnarvon

The Husband Hunters: American Heiresses Who Married into the British Aristocracy by Anne De Courcy

The Manners of Downton Abbey

PBS Secrets of Highclere Castle

Happy Watching! And Reading!

Netflix and Read: 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!)

National Tartan Day!

April 6 is National Tartan Day! National Tartan Day is a US observance on April 6 each year. It commemorates the Scottish Declaration of Independence, from which the American Declaration of Independence was modeled on. It also recognizes achievements of Americans of Scottish descent. What do tartans (clothing worn by Scottish Highlanders with distinctive patterns determining specific clans) have to do with the Aurora Public Library District? Come check out the Scottish books display through the week of April 6 at the Aurora Public Library, where you’ll find books with Scottish heroes and lassies that take place on the moors and in the heather. Before you find your next great read, here are some common Scottish terms you should familiarize yourself with before you immerse yourself in the Scottish culture. (Please begin playing bagpipe music here.)

Before we get to the terms, it’s important to note how the words are pronounced. For instance, the ‘r’s’ are usually burred or rolled softly, sometimes the ‘th’ is dropped from the end of the word (with=wi’), or a ‘t’ is added instead of ‘-ed.’ Sometimes words can have different meanings, too, like ‘no’ can be ‘not’ or ‘no’ depending on the context of the sentence. I love reading books with Scottish characters and imagining their accents in my head as I read!

Aye = Yes                                                                                                            Ken = Know

Bairn = Baby or Child                                                                                      Kip = Nap

Bampot = Idiot                                                                                                  Kirk = Church

Bannock = Biscuit, Scone                                                                                Lad/Laddie = Boy

Besom = Difficult Woman                                                                               Laird = Lord

Bonnie = Pretty                                                                                                  Lass/Lassie = Girl

Breeks = Trousers                                                                                             Morn = Tomorrow

Cauld = Cold                                                                                                       No/Nae = Not

Claymore = Traditional Scottish Long Sword                                              Och = Well

Corbie = Crow or Raven                                                                                    Oxter = Armpit

Fae = From                                                                                  Sassenach = Someone from England, an Outlander

Fash = Fuss or Bother                                                                                      Sup = Small Amount of Liquid

Forby = Besides                                                                                                 Twa = Two

Heid = Head                                                                                                       Wean = Child

Hogmanay = New Year’s Eve                                                                           Wee = Small

Happy Reading!