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    by Kayla W | May 30, 2018

    Book Recommendation: Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of 70's and 80's Horror Fiction


    Dogs are good and often form armies to assist humans fighting Satan, whereas cats can go either way.”  – on In the Nursery


    Paperbacks from hell


    Alright, so maybe it’s a weird hobby to search through garage sales, looking for the books that the nice families hosting the sale are only sheepishly offering to sell - well, get rid of.  Anything short of just pitching them in the garbage where they belong.  They tend to keep 'em away from the inevitable baby clothes and toys. As if they might spread like an infection.  Go ahead, call me a weirdo for being on board with the concept of reading what is not only a probably badly written book, but whose premise is about a town of people who – hey - not only belong to a cult, but also transform into manimals once a proper blood sacrifice has been offered.

    For anybody who wants a list of recommendations for the crazy, weird stuff that our aunts kept with their Stephen Kings back in the day – as well as descriptions of said stories written to make you laugh, hard – then this book seems to be the best, and, to my knowledge, only book like it to exist.   You laugh, you’ll cry (because you’re laughing so hard you think you might have a brain hemorrhage), and then you’ll have more knowledge about the genre of horror before The Silence of the Lambs seemed to change “horror” into “thriller/suspense” than when you first read it.  Written by Grady Hendrix, who keeps a blog focusing on the same subject, this book seems to be a collection of the best, the absolute worst, and the most interesting that paperback horror once had to offer.

    Included are really amazing exposes on niche creators who have been (sadly) mostly lost to time, as well as a thoroughly researched and well-presented timeline that shows how horror became a great big boom in the 70’s, only to die with a whimper in the 90’s.  Once niche horror sub-genres are dissected and exhibited with entertaining glee, tantalizing  and educating the reader on paperback horror history, from the height of its popularity till it would, inevitably, go into the obscurity of a used paperback clearance shelf in a store.  Or, to be more on the nose, the storage in the lower levels of the ACPL.

    Hendrix has a unique talent for making people laugh at the ridiculous premises and the cover art chosen by the once mighty paperback publishers who produced these largely forgotten about pieces of niche literature, as well as giving them the love and sincere adoration they deserve.   We’re laughing because we love the genre so much, not just warts and all, but due to those warts.  They’re what made the era’s horror genre what it was, and they are what has influenced the horror fiction we see today, for the good, bad, and weird.  Mostly weird.

    It has the potential to be the best coffee table book, if you have the stomach to leave it out for potential guests to stare at in shock.  Or if you could stop reading it yourself.

    It’s tawdry, shocking, gross, and if you have even a passing interest in the horror genre, this book will entertain you thoroughly.   In my opinion, the entertainment and education this book provided for me about this weird but beloved era for the horror genre has made it my favorite nonfiction book published last year.  It has also made me very interested in reading Hendrix’s novel, Horrorstor.

    Kayla loves all things weird, wonderful, and macabre.  Her soul’s in writing, and her hobbies include gaming, watching movies and television shows, and reading anything and everything. Her black cat’s TOTALLY, 100%, not evil.

    by Cindy H | May 29, 2018
    INDEX_D79E258A
    Technology changes all the time, and children are constantly finding the newest websites, apps and gadgets. It’s vital they learn the rules of Internet safety so they can use technology responsibly.

    We are very fortunate to have local expert Cathie Bledsoe, a Youth Educator for the Indiana State Police Internet Crime against Children Task Force, here to teach us all about Internet safety.

    Saturday, June 9 
    11:00am-12:00pm 
    Aboite Branch Library


    The information provided will assist parents, community leaders, educators and youth group leaders in understanding the online challenges children face, and suggest some tips for both children and adults to navigate the online world.

    Call the Aboite Branch at 260-421-1310 for more information. Hope to see you there!
    by Mindy L | May 28, 2018
    Some books sit on your nightstand for weeks as you read a little bit each night. These are not those books.


    Queen Anne’s Lace
    by Susan Wittig Albert

    Queen Annes LaceQueen Anne's Lace is the 26th entry in the China Bayles series. Albert's books are always good solid reads albeit formulaic (different words, same music). Like the others, Queen Anne’s Lace revolves around plants and herbs, and, oddly enough, Queen Anne’s lace. Who knew that Queen Anne’s lace is a relative of the carrot and can also be used as a contraceptive? Who knew how many different plants have been used through the ages for their contraceptive powers and as abortifacients? The history of these plants made the book truly fascinating  to me. Mystery, chicken thieving, romance, and plants -- I give it 9 Kittehs. cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

    Case of the Deadly Doppelganger by Lucy Banks

    The Case of the Deadly DopplegangerKester Lanner honors his mother’s dying request, discovers his long lost father (Dr. Ribero), and joins the family business (catching supernatural spirits). This is the 2nd book in Dr Ribero's Agency of the Supernatural series and it provides Kester the opportunity to discover more about his hidden talents as well as to possibly meet a woman who will like him. (Kester is young, insecure, sheltered, and a bit on the dumpy side — not your typical chick magnet hero). A fun romp through a crumbling hotel that reminds everyone of the Timberline Lodge. From ghoulies and ghosties / And long-leggedy beasties / And things that go bump in the night — the Ribero’s Agency will protect us. Fun. 8 ½ Kittehs.  cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

    NIGHTWISE by R. S. Belcher

    Nightwise Urban Fantasy fiction takes place in a world that is pretty much recognizable as our own. Except for the wizards, witches, dragons, old gods, new gods, demons, angels…take your pick, there’s something for everyone. Nightwise is a gritty, sometimes pretty nasty, entry into the genre. The lead character is everyone’s anti-hero, easier to hate than love. There’s a whole underground world of mages and their helpers and slaves. If you don’t mind blood, guts and sex, it’s a pretty rip-roaring ride. 8 ½ Kittehs.   cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

     

    The Disappeared by C.J. Box

    The DisappearedA typical Box book. Good solid writing, likeable characters, enough humor to keep dreariness away, and a fair amount of political commentary. You can always count on Joe Pickett to destroy at least one government owned vehicle.  8 kittehs.   cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

     



    Too Close to Breathe
    by Olivia Kiernan

    Too Close To BreatheIrish DCS Frankie Sheehan is called out on what appears to be the suicide by hanging of a noted scientist, Eleanor Costello. Things become much more complicated than that, with a serial killer, a bit of BDSM (not too terribly graphic), several more dead bodies, too many red herrings, a novel way of murder, and Frankie’s traumatic past. A decent police procedural with well-drawn characters, a plot more convoluted than necessary, and a confusing first few chapters. Worth pushing through the confusion, since once into it, you will want to find out “who dun it”. I’ll give it an 8 Kittehs.   cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji



    Jack Rabbit Smile by Joe Lansdale

    Jackrabbit SmileHap and Leonard will weave their politically incorrect path into your heart. Murder, racism, computer hacking, religious zealots, strange people, and, always, some beautifully poetic writing. Hap and Leonard, a white dude and his gay black Republican friend, solve the crimes and find the missing people with irreverence, foul language, and philosophy. Not for the faint at heart or prudish. This, the 13th entry in the series, is excellent as always. 10 Kittehs.  cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

     

    Miss Julia Raises the Roof by Ann B. Ross

    Miss Julia Raises the Roof

    Miss Julia is a Southern woman in her twilight years. It’s hard to review this book without the context of the other books, the location, and Miss Julia’s time period. Everything happens in the now, but Miss Julia is from a previous generation, being in her late 70’s, I believe. If you start the series at the beginning you’ll see how Miss Julia has grown, from a very buttoned-down, proper southern belle, to a warmer more liberal, outgoing person. However, even in this, the 20th book in the series, she’s still a product of her time and place.

    A proposal for a group home for at risk boys, in the middle of a quiet neighborhood fuels the narrative. Many of the people in the neighborhood are totally against it. Worried about noise, comings and goings, boys with evil thoughts in their heads about the young daughters on the block and so on. Miss Julia’s deceased husband’s love child lives with his mother and her husband next to the home, when he’s not at Miss Julia’s. (Miss Julia, Hazel Marie, and Lloyd are another story that would take too long to tell here.) Much ado entails. Eventually the red herring that is the group home is exposed, the bad people discovered, the good people learn some lessons, the boys get a home, Miss Julia learns new lessons and a happy ending is found.

    I like the books but they aren’t for everyone. There is a certain amount of moral ambiguity because of place, beliefs, and tradition that can be off putting. I’m sure they’re considered cozies. No bad language or explicit sex, so safe for more conservative readers. 9 ½ Kittehs.  cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

    *Cat emoji images via freepik 

     
    Another month, another cat pic:  this one features BT Cooper and his little brother, Mini Cooper, doing some synchronized sitting. BT Cooper and Mini Cooper

    Mindy works at the Little Turtle branch.  She's a cat lady, an avid reader, and an old boomer.


    by Community Engagement | May 24, 2018

    USF Exhibition
    Saint Francis University
    2017-2018 Student Highlights Exhibition

    May 25 - July 1
    Jeffery R. Krull Gallery
    at the Main Library

    by Emily M | May 23, 2018
    Looking for a book recommendation?  Look no further!  Here are a few good books I've enjoyed lately...

    eleanoroliphantBook Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

    Eleanor Oliphant is a single woman in her thirties who works in an office.  She has a scar on her face and always sticks to her rigid routine.  She has a very precise, exacting way of doing things, which is often off-putting to others, but makes perfect sense to Eleanor.  She is lonely and socially isolated, yet seems to have no interest in making friends.  Through an unexpected turn of events, she is thrust into the company of Raymond, a kind, ordinary man who works in IT at her office.  As their friendship grows, the walls Eleanor has built to protect herself begin to crumble, and she finds herself facing the tragedy of a past she has done her best to forget.

    Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time and I believe there are two qualities that make this book special.  First, the story is told from Eleanor’s point of view, allowing the reader to see why the things she does make perfect sense to her, even while it’s obvious that her actions, words, and choices are often viewed as rude or inappropriate by others. The juxtaposition between the two points of view is often laugh-out-loud funny.  Second, the book deals with some very dark and serious issues, yet manages to remain heartwarming and optimistic. 

     

    educatedBook Review: Educated by Tara Westover

    Tara Westover grew up on a small farm in Idaho, the youngest of seven children.  Tara Westover’s father was a survivalist, who feared the coming apocalypse and was constantly storing away food and supplies in mass quantities for the days ahead.  He was distrustful in the extreme, seeing evil in everything from public schools to modern medicine. Educated is Tara’s story of her childhood, and how a college education (of which her father did not approve) eventually helped her overcome the deficiencies of her childhood.

    As Westover shares her story, the word that continually comes to mind is unnecessary.  The never-ending string of serious injuries various family members experience is completely unnecessary – they could have been prevented with basic safety precautions.  The suffering after these injuries is unnecessary – the pain and side effects could have been greatly diminished had they received proper medical care.  The abuse Westover experienced at the hands of her grown brother was unnecessary – it could have been stopped if her parents had stepped in and protected her as parents should.  Westover’s intense struggle to get into college and adapt once she gets there was unnecessary – proper education and socialization would have prepared her just fine.

    Westover’s story is fascinating, powerful, and exquisitely told.  I read a lot of memoirs, and sometimes the authors of these memoirs get book deals because they have an interesting story to tell, not because they are a talented writer, and it shows.  In this case, the reader is gifted with a compelling story from an exemplary writer, and the combination makes for an extraordinary book. 

     

    browngirldreamingBook Review: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

    Jacqueline Woodson is a prolific and award-winning children’s author.  Her latest book, Brown Girl Dreaming, is an autobiographical novel told in verse.  With incredible insight and elegance, Woodson tells the story of her childhood spent in Ohio, South Carolina, and New York City.  Each line feels like a precious gift as Woodson shares with the reader about her beloved family, her love of storytelling that was roused in her before she even learned to write, and her impressions of growing up as an African-American child during the Civil Rights movement and as a part of the Great Migration.  Don’t pass on this one just because it’s a children’s book!  It is a beautiful and moving piece of literature that you don’t want to miss. 

    What about you?  What good books have you read lately?

     


    EmilyLong before becoming a librarian, Emily was an avid library patron. She enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and classic children’s literature. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

     

    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Slime Science
    Program Description: Whether you have never made slime, or can throw out words like “polymers” and “non-Newtonian fluids”, come to create the perfect slime and find out some of the science behind it. 

    poster image for slime science program

    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Robot Racing
    Program Description: Using basic coding, guide your robot through our obstacle course. It will take some teamwork and a bit of creative problem solving.

    poster image for robot racing program

    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Explore the Honeybee with Southwest Honey
    Program Description: Honeybees are the powerhouse pollinators that keep our ecosystem buzzing.  Learn about why they are so important, and what you can do to protect them.

    poster image for explore the honeybee program

    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Super Shrinky Dinks
    Program Description: Crafty fun to design, color, ... and bake.  All supplies provided.

    poster image for super shrinky dinks poster

    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Write Your Voice
    Program Description: Self-expression through language is an aloof and cunning unicorn complete with silvery mane. This summer is a perfect time to take a crash course in American contemporary poetry to tame the unicorn, find your language, and discover poets who speak your language.

    poster image for write your voice program

    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Pizzabox Green Screen
    Program Description: Draw, write, and direct your own short film using a pizza box for a green screen.  (Pizza will not be provided, but everything else will be!)

    poster image for pizzabox green screen program


    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!


    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Minute-To-Win-It
    Program Description: Challenge your friends or team up to compete in these speedy challenges.
    poster image for minute to win it program


    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!


    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Brush Bots
    Program Description: Cute and speedy racing robots made from toothbrush bits.  What’s not to love about technology like that??
    poster image for brush bots program

    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Wreck This Book
    Program Description: Express yourself with this powerful blend of journaling and altered book art with old books.  All supplies provided.
    poster image for wreck this book

    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Potterfest: Potions
    Program Description: Mix up something magical in this most challenging of classes for young wizards.
    potterfest logo
    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Potterfest: Basic Magical Instruction
    Program Description: Learn simple magical tricks with "Professor" Tyler Sherwin to show everyone that you are not a muggle.

    potterfest logo
    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Potterfest: Divination Art
    Program Description: Use your inner eye to seek visions you will then put to paper with alcohol inks.
    potterfest logo
    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Potterfest: Jewelry Making
    Program Description: Before leaving Diagon Alley, be sure to stop by the jewelry shop.  Make a golden snitch bracelet or a piece to express your house pride.  Younger elementary children will need the help of their grown up.
    potterfest logo
    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: Magic in Motion with Fort Wayne Dance Collective
    Program Description: Dance and move through magical stories and spells, this is a whole new way to engage with your favorite fantasy books.
    image of kids jumping

    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge


    by Dawn S | May 22, 2018
    2018 Summer Learning Program
    Program Name: The Roz Puppets present Billy Goats Gruff: Story from under the Bridge
    Program Description: We all think we know the story of the Billy Goats Gruff, but have you ever wondered about the Troll's version of the story? Find out what really happened in this hilarious retelling of a classic story that only the Roz Puppets can tell. Plenty of fun and music to get your goat.
    puppet picture

    Check out our calendar for locations, days, and times!

    This program is a part of our SPARK! Summer Learning Program, generously supported by the Foellinger Foundation, the Friends of the Allen County Public Library, and the Allen County Public Library Foundation.
    Science / Play / Arts / Reading / Knowledge