Into “The Pit” with Poe

Do you love creepy stories? Do mysteries make your heart race, especially when mixed with a bit of paranoia? Edgar Allen Poe may be just the author you’ve been looking for! Poe is one of America’s best-loved authors and, of course, is perfect for Halloween.

Join us on Tuesday evening, October 22nd for selected readings from Poe’s short stories and poems. The program will begin at 7 pm at the Aurora Public Library and will be led by Ron Nicholson of Ivy Tech. We’ll also get to hear some about the latest theories of Poe’s mysterious death. After the program, you’ll want to check out our books related to all things Poe, including poetry, short stories and modern retellings.

Deep into that darkness peering,

long I stood there, wondering, fearing,

doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. (from “The Raven”)

 The Pit and the Pendulum graphic adaptation Edgar Allen Poe by Aaron Frisch The Poems of Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe by Jeff Burlingame Masque of the Red Death retelling Steampunk Poe

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

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!

 

Stoker: The Name Lives On

Bram Stoker was an Irish writer known for Dracula, the classic 19th century horror novel. He was born in 1847 in Ireland.

His longtime role was acting as an assistant to the actor Sir Henry Irving in the 1870s. During that time he began his second and his most known career as a writer. He published his first novel, The Primrose Path, in 1875. Three years later, he published Dracula. Stoker died before the fictional vampire became popular through films and literary adaptations.

Dracula is the famous Gothic classic that is made from journal entries, letters, and telegrams written by the main characters. Many people theorize that Dracula is based on the Vlad III, also known as Vlad the Impaler. They theorize that Stoker picked the name Dracula after reading a book about Vlad that was revealed to him in translation from Romanian.

Stoker’s Dracula was the reason why vampires became so popular in films and novels alike. The story was received well when it was first published, but it grew to its immense popularity by the many adaptations that it inspired. Nosferatu was the first film to be based on Dracula in 1922, but actually plagiarized the story.

Because of Dracula, vampires have spread across the world and starred in modernized adaptations like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. Others have chosen to stick closer to Bram Stoker’s idea for vampires like Stephen King does in Salem’s Lot.

Dacre Stoker is the great grand nephew of Bram Stoker and has chosen to rework the idea of Dracula that his uncle had for the character by co-writing Dracula the Un-Dead as well as co-editing The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker: the Dublin Years. He currently manages the Bram Stoker Estate with his wife.

Because of all the controversy and the way adaptations were changing vampires, Dacre Stoker, decided to reawaken the story of Dracula with J.D. Barker. Dracul was inspired by notes left behind by Bram Stoker. It doesn’t only reveal Dracula’s origins but Bram Stoker’s as well!

 

We currently have both Dracula and Dracul on our shelves. Any other books by the author we could get through inter-library loan in Indiana.

Information taken from:

“Dracul By J.D. Barker, Dacre Stoker | Penguinrandomhouse.Com: Books”. Penguinrandomhouse.Com, 2019, https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/570086/dracul-by-jd-barker-and-dacre-stoker/.

“Dracula | Summary, Characters, & Facts”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2019, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Dracula-novel#googDisableSync.

 

 

 

 

 

 

April is National Poetry Month

National Poetry month began in 1996.  Today it is considered “the largest literary celebration in the world” according to the Academy of American Poets website.

Here are a few ideas of how to celebrate National Poetry month:

  • Consider joining the Academy of American Poets “Poem a Day digital series.”    During the week, new and unpublished poems by current poets will arrive in your email.  On weekends  you will find classic poetry. This is a free service.
  • Check out the Academy of American Poets youtube channel.  The channel offers many poems to choose from.  Most of them are read by the authors themselves.   
  • Consider reading a poem a day each day for the month of April.  There are some great authors to help you get started.  

Where the Sidewalk Ends 

by Shel Silverstein

Where the Sidewalk EndsSilverstein opens this childhood classic with an invitation. “If you are a dreamer, come in, If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a hop-er, a prayer-er, a magic bean buyer..If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire for we have some flax-golden tales to spin.  Come in! Come in”

The book is a collection of Silverstein’s poetry and drawings.

It’s Raining Pigs and Noodles

By Jack Prelutsky

Jack Prelutsky

This is a hilarious collection of Prelutsky’s poetry that children will love.  Filled with stories, puns, jokes, and tales of animals and make believe, this will soon become a childhood favorite.

Feel the Beat: Dance poems that zing from salsa to swing

By Marilyn Singer

Feel The Beat

This is a collection of poetry about dance.  There is an audio CD included that features the poet reading to the music for each dance mentioned.

Modern Day Poets:

Many times people think of poetry as being something old fashioned or dead.  Here are three modern day poets who will get you excited to read poetry again.  

Milk and Honey

By Rupi Kur

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur originally self published “Milk and Honey.”  The book had  a huge following and made it to the New York Times best seller list.  Kaur’s poetry talks about pain and how to navigate through life’s toughest moments. This is available as a digital download ebook through OverDrive

Stags Leap

By Sharon Olds

Stags Leap by Sharon Olds

This is a collection of poetry that was written during Olds’ divorce.  In her poems, she tackles issues such as the loss of love, sorrow and finding herself. Olds won the T.S. Elliot award for poetry for this book.   

The Surrender Tree : Poems of Cuba’s struggle for freedom

By Margarita Engle

The Surrender Tree by Margaritta Engle

 

Engle was awarded the  Newbery Honor Award for this book.  This book is a collection of poetry that  chronicles the struggles that Cuba has faced and the country’s continuing fight for freedom.

Do you have a favorite poem or a favorite poet?  We would love to hear in the comments below.

Happy Reading 🙂

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.

 

 

#OnMyShelf

#OnMyShelf is a blog series in which I’ll share some of the books that are currently housed at my house on my shelves. I’ll pick random books and tell you a bit about that specific book, the story behind the purchase, and if I’ve read it, what I thought about it.

Titanic: The Longest Night is an enlightening and tragic tale of two teenage couples on the doomed Titanic. The story is written beautifully and will make any heart beat and weep for the tragic tale of the Titanic.

This book was actually bought for me by my grandmother. Within the cover of the book is a small little note to me from her and I’ve cherished the book ever since. It took me some time to read it, but once I did, I didn’t regret it.

Though, I didn’t know there was a sequel to the series until just this moment when I was searching for a picture of the book and saw the second book. Of course, it’ll be one I read, eager to delve into more history.

We do not have any copies of the book but don’t worry. You can always request the book through our ILL (Inter-Library Loan) services! Just call or come in to request!

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. day I wanted to republish this post, first posted Feb 13, 2017.

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is a celebration of accomplishments by African Americans. It’s also a time to recognize how African Americans helped shape this nation. The US is not the only country who dedicates a month to celebrating black history, Canada and the United Kingdom do, as well.

Black History Month actually started out as a single week called ‘Negro History Week’, by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. They chose the second week of February because of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

In decades that followed, cities across the country issued yearly proclamations recognizing the week. In the late ’60s, around the same time as the civil rights movement and the growing awareness of black identity, the week evolved into the month. President Gerald R. Ford was the first president to officially recognize the month in 1976

To help celebrate Black History Month, below are some books showing African American History.

      

 

 

We Were Liars

E. Lockhart captured me from the very first sentence to the very last sentence. She enthralled me and refused to allow me to place the book down. I don’t know what grabbed me, whether it was the similes or the metaphors or Cadence and Gat, or perhaps it was Cadence herself. It was a beautiful story with beautiful characters and a beautiful ending.

Her writing made me love her as well as made me hate her. It made me cry and it made me laugh.

“A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.” This summary of the book on Goodreads doesn’t do the book any justice.

The story focuses on “The Liars”, and is told from Cadence’s point of view. She speaks of Mirren and Johnny, Gat and herself. She tells her story and how she remembers and how she overcomes the accident. It speaks of young love and it tells us of regret and rebellion.

Reviews:


“Haunting, sophisticated . . . a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents
.” —Wall Street Journal

“A rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leave you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten.” —Parade.com

“Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable.” —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

“You’re going to want to remember the title. Liars details the summers of a girl who harbors a dark secret, and delivers a satisfying, but shocking twist ending.” —Breia Brissey, Entertainment Weekly

 

E. Lockhart tells such a brilliant and tragic story with less than 300 words.

 

Located:

We Were Liars is available at both Dillsboro and Aurora as well as our digital library.

 

Hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!