Skip to main content
    by Collection Development | Dec 04, 2017
    New Books December

    The following books are a selection of new arrivals at the Allen County Public Library.

    Fantasy & Science Fiction

    Canto Bight
    Saladin Ahmed, Rae Carson, Mira Grant, John Jackson Miller
    A collection of stories brings to the life the inhabitants and visitors of a mysterious casino city Canto Bight, which will be featured in the forthcoming film Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

    The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2)
    Katherine Arden
    Vasya, forced to choose between an arranged marriage and life in a convent, flees in the disguise of a boy before her defeat of a band of terrorizing bandits earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow.

    Immortal Life: A Soon to Be True Story
    Stanley Bing
    A ruthless, aging trillionaire tech inventor engages in a battle of wills against an increasingly desperate man whose body has been created to host the immortality-minded inventor's consciousness.

    Mississippi Roll (Wild Cards #14)
    George R.R. Martin (editor)
    A collection of fantastical adventures set along one of America's greatest rivers is edited by the award-winning author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series and features contributions by such best-selling authors as Carrie Vaughn, David D. Levine and Cherie Priest.

    One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning
    Davidy Moody
    Trapped on a barren island that has become the location of an extreme sports company specializing in corporate team-building events, 15 people gradually realize that a killer is in their midst as members of the group begin to succumb to suspicious accidents, a situation that is further complicated by rumors of an approaching tsunami.

    Persepolis Rising (Exapnse #7)
    James S. A. Corey
    As humanity's presence in space expands and new colony worlds struggle to survive, the crew of the aging gunship Rocinante struggles to keep the fragile peace as ancient patterns of war and subjugation return.

    Year One
    Nora Roberts
    A tale of suspense and survival is set in the wake of a cataclysmic pandemic that wipes out more than half the world's population, replacing science and technology with magic and compelling Lana, a practitioner of good witchcraft, to embark on a perilous journey west with her lover and other survivors.

    Survival (Star Quest Trilogy #3)
    Ben Bova
    Encountering a civilization of intelligent machines that have survived earlier death waves for eons, the human scouting team struggles to convince the disinterested machines to help secure humanity's survival.


    General Fiction

    Demon Crown (Sigma Force #13)
    James Rollins
    The members of Sigma Force reluctantly join forces with their most hated enemy to stop a primordial threat with ties to the American Civil War and the secret work of Alexander Graham Bell.

    Insidious Intent
    Val McDermid
    The latest in internationally bestselling crime writer Val McDermid’s beloved series, Insidious Intent sends Tony Hill and Carol Jordan after a serial killer who targets single women at weddings—and into the teeth of a moral dilemma.

    One Station Away
    Olaf Olafsson
    A New York neurologist navigates his bonds with three women—including an overlooked pianist on the brink of success, a recently deceased dancer, and a mysteriously comatose patient—relationships defined by compromise, silence, illness and an obsessive attempt to communicate.

    The Wake Up
    Catherine Ryan Hyde
    Recovering a long-suppressed ability to feel the emotions of others, a 40-year-old cattle rancher falls in love with a single mother whose son is struggling with trauma from experiences with an abusive father.

    In the Fall They Come Back
    Robert Bausch
    Embarking on a teaching career in a small northern Virginia private school, Ben becomes inspired to regard teaching as a life calling until his determination to intervene in the lives of three at-risk students causes him to lose sight of himself.

    Bad Behavior
    Kiki Swinson, Noire
    In "Nine Lives," national best-selling author Kiki Swinson looks at a brother-sister crime team whose score is threatened when the sister falls in love, and in "The Crushed Ice Clique" by Essence best-selling author Noire, a pair of female diamond thieves must try to survive after they're double-crossed by a shady jewelry distributor.

    A Distant Heart
    Sonali Dev
    Stricken with a rare illness, Indian woman of privilege Kimaya grows up isolated in an ivory tower, until she builds a relationship with window washer Rahul Savant, whom she inspires to join the police force; but when Rahul uncovers a gang-run organ ring at the same time Kimaya gets a chance at a life-changing heart transplant, their world gets turned upside down


    Historical Fiction

    Enchantress of Numbers: A Novel of Ada Lovelace
    Jennifer Chiaverini
    Rigorously educated in mathematics and science by her mother, an only legitimate child of brilliant Romantic poet Lord Byron is introduced into London society as a highly eligible heiress before forging a deep bond with inventor Charles Babbage and using her unique talents to become the world's first computer programmer.

    Holding the Fort (Fort Reno #1)
    Regina Jennings
    When dance hall singer Louisa Bell visits Fort Reno to see her brother, she is mistaken for the governess that the harried Major Daniel Adams is waiting for. Between his rowdy troops and his two daughters, he has more responsibility than he can handle alone. Eager for the opportunity, Louisa sets out to show the widower that she is a perfect fit.

    The Ladies of Ivy Cottage (Tales from Ivy Hill #2)
    Julie Klassen
    Gentlewoman Rachel Ashford has moved into Ivy Cottage with the two Miss Groves, where she discovers mysteries hidden among her books. Together with her one-time love Sir Timothy, she searches for answers--and is forced to face her true feelings.

    The Last Suppers
    Mandy Mikulencak
    In 1950s Louisiana, Ginny Polk's quest to provide meals for death row prisoners leads her into the secrets of her own past.

    The Road to Bittersweet
    Donna Everhart
    After a flood drives them from their home in the Appalachian Mountains, Wallis Ann Stamper and her family settle in South Carolina hill country, where they join a singing group and where Wallis Ann falls for a high diver, driving a wedge between her and her mute, musically gifted savant sister.

    Mystery & Detective

    Beau Death (Detective Peter Diamond Mystery #17)
    Peter Lovesey
     When human remains in 18th-century clothing are discovered at a demolition site, Chief Inspector Peter Diamond eagerly embarks on an effort to prove that a scandal-marked fashion icon from Bath may have had quite a different end than the one popularly believed.

    The Body in the Casket (Faith Fairchild Mysteries)
    Katherine Hall Page
     Catering the lavish birthday party of a Broadway legend, Faith Fairchild is astonished when her client reveals that he hired her less for her culinary prowess and more for her skills as a detective and that one of his guests is trying to kill him. Includes recipes.

    Bryant & May: Wild Chamber (Peculiar Crimes Unit #14)
    Christopher Fowler
     Octogenarian detectives Arthur Bryant and John May investigate the baffling case of a girl and a dog who vanish into thin air from London's Regent Park on an early summer morning.

    Ragnar Jonasson
    Follows the murder of a policeman with a haunted past and the arrival of a mysterious young woman whose own secrets threaten the safety of everyone in a tight-knit Northern Iceland fishing village.

    The Ninth Grave (Fabian Risk #2)
    Stefan Ahnhem
    Criminal investigator Fabian Risk and his Danish colleague, Dunja Hougaard, team up on a serial murder case involving a Swedish minister of justice and a Danish television star's wife.

    The Vanishing Season
    Joanna Schaffhausen
    Ellery Hathaway, a police officer who hides her identity as a serial killer's only surviving victim, fears that someone has discovered her secret when three people from her quiet town disappear, and reaches out to the FBI agent who saved her years earlier for help.

    A Murder for the Books (Blue Ridge Library Mystery #1)
    Victoria Gilbert
    Librarian Amy Webber must archive overdue crimes and deadly rumors before a killer strikes again in her new Virginia home in Victoria Gilbert’s charming series debut.

    Unnatural Causes (Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery #1)
    Dawn Eastman
    In nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman's series debut, Dr. Katie LeClair examines small town secrets when her patient's sudden suicide rocks the quiet life of Baxter, MI.

    Splintered Silence (Bone Gap Travellers #1)
    Susan Furlong
    Among the Irish Travellers living in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee, no one forgets and no one forgives. And as former Marine MP Brynn Callahan finds out when she returns home, it's hard to bury the past when bodies keep turning up.

    The Wanted
    Robert Crais
    Investigator Elvis Cole and his partner, Joe Pike, take on a case involving a client who fears her troubled teen son is dealing drugs, an investigation that reveals the young man's role in a string of high-end burglaries that have resulted in a murder and a disappearance.


    Christina Lauren
    When a struggling musician on the brink of stardom reveals he is in the country illegally, besotted Holland Bakker enters a marriage of convenience that becomes more real than either anticipated.

    You're Gonna Love Me
    Robin Lee Hatcher
    A thrill-seeking Oregon State professor and a fearful woman still mourning the accidental death of her father reunite by chance after a two-year separation that reveals unexpected changes and gives them a second chance at love.

    The Art of Running in Heels
    Rachel Gibson
    Runaway reality-show bride Lexie shares a one-night stand with Sean, the biggest star on the Seattle Chinooks hockey team, only to have a photo of their passionate night published online, a high-profile scandal that compels them to spin the whole story.

    The Duke of Her Desire
    Sophie Barnes
    When, against his better judgment, he agrees to help Miss Amelia Matthews, his best friend’s younger sister, open a school, the Duke of Coventry gets more than he bargained for when scandal brings them closer than they ever could have imagined.

    Firefly Cove
    Davis Bunn
    A follow-up to the internationally best-selling Miramar Bay follows the experiences of terminally ill young adult Lucius, who returns to the home of his youth to reunite with the only woman he ever loved,

    Now That You Mention It
    Kristan Higgins
    Returning to her hometown in the hopes of reconciling with her estranged family, a woman who recently survived a brush with death makes discoveries with the potential to heal the rift or permanently separate her from her surviving relatives.


    The Doomsday Machine
    Daniel Ellsberg
    From the legendary whistle-blower who revealed the Pentagon Papers, an eyewitness exposé of the dangers of America's Top Secret, seventy-year-long nuclear policy that--chillingly--continues to this day.

    The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease
    Michael Gregor, Gene Stone
    Presents a selection of health-bolstering, plant-based recipes based on the latest nutritional science, from superfood breakfast bites and spaghetti squash puttanesca to two-berry pie with pecan-sunflower crust.

    Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency
    Corey Lewandowski
    A former campaign manager for Donald Trump's successful 2016 presidential run offers an insider's look at the ups and downs on the campaign trail.

    Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap
    Gerrick D. Kennedy
    An authoritative chronicle of the meteoric rise, fall, and legacy of N.W.A., one of America's most popular and enduring music groups, examines their influence on pop culture, black identity, and hip-hop music.

    The Danger Within Us: America's Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man's Battle to Survive It
    Jeanne Lenzer
    An award-winning medical investigative journalist presents an unsettling exposé of the under-regulated medical-device industry, revealing the corruption, greed and deceit that have combined to render medical interventions a leading cause of death in America.

    The Last 100 Days: FDR at War and at Peace
    David B. Woolner
    A revealing portrait of the end of the 32nd President's life shares new insights into how FDR made his momentous final policy decisions, drawing on new evidence to demonstrate how his final 100 days marked the establishment of the United Nations, a reinvigoration of the New Deal and the possibility of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

    The Only Girl in the World
    Maude Julien
    A memoir by a therapy specialist in manipulation and psychological control describes her harrowing upbringing by fanatic parents who raised her in isolation through traumatic disciplinary exercises designed to "eliminate weakness," recounting how she eventually escaped with the help of an outsider.

    Waking Up in Winter: In Search of What Really Matters at Midlife
    Cheryl Richardson
    The New York Times best-selling author of Take Time for Your Life explores the obstacles and opportunities particular to midlife, sharing her journal reflections on staying motivated in the face of lower energy, living a life of purpose and committing to growth.

    Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book
    Dan Harris, Warren Jeffrey
    The co-anchor of Nightline and author of the best-selling 10% Happier presents a lighthearted, practical guide to meditation that debunks the myths, misconceptions and self-deceptions that make everyday people reluctant to participate.

    You Need a Budget
    Jesse Mecham
    A guide based on the tenets of the award-winning financial platform, "You Need a Budget," argues that a well-planned budget does not involve deprivation and counsels readers on how to prioritize financial goals, reduce stress through strategic cash flow allocations and meet the challenges of unplanned expenses.

    Teen Books

    I Always Wondered About That: 101 Questions and Answers About Science and Other Stuff
    Larry Scheckel
    Here you'll find entertaining answers to 101 questions you didn't even know you had, such as, "Why does glue stick?" "Why do batteries die?"

    Ever the Brave
    Erin Summerill
    In the sequel to Summerill's spellbinding debut, “Ever the Hunted,” Britta is on the King's arm at Court as he fights to take back control of his country.

    The Truth Beneath the Lies
    Amanda Searcy
    A psychological thriller from a debut author that follows two teen girls: one from a Texas border town hoping to outrun her past and another from Washington state who fears for her future in a public housing complex.

    Three Sides of a Heart: Stories About Love Triangles
    Natalie C. Parker, editor
    In this collection, favorite YA authors tackle the much-debated trope of the love triangle, and the result is 16 fresh, diverse, and romantic not-to-be-missed stories.

    Prince in Disguise
    Stephanie Kate Strohm
    Sixteen-year-old tomboy Dylan meets the boy of her dreams when she is forced to play maid of honor to her beauty queen sister, who is marrying a Scottish laird on a reality TV show.


    Children’s Books

    Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
    Vashti Harrison
    Based on her popular Instagram posts, debut author-illustrator Harrison shares the stories of 40 bold African-American women who shaped history and changed the world.

    Weaving a Wish
    Arlene Stewart
    In the second installment of Stewart's adorable Friendship Bracelet series, can the members of THREADS untangle their problems?

    Rappy Goes to Mars
    Dan Gutman
    One day at recess, Rappy the dinosaur gets taken by aliens on a U.F.O. ride. The head alien, Janet, wants Rappy to live with her--on Mars! Will Rappy stay in space to roam, or will he rap his way back home?

    Julie Murray
    The title is complete with beautiful, full-color photographs, leveled text, and plenty of fun and informative facts.

    Dog Man and Cat Kid
    Dav Pilkey
    In his fourth adventure, Dog Man now has a furry feline sidekick. When a new kitty sitter arrives and a glamorous movie starlet goes missing, it's up to Dog Man and Cat Kid to save the day!


    Picture Books

    Nina: Jazz Legend and Civil-rights Activist Nina Simone
    Alice Briere-Haquet
    A stunning picture-book biography of the High Priestess of Soul and one of the greatest voices of the 20th century.

    Click, Clack, Moo I Love You!
    Doreen Cronin
    Little Duck and all of her friends on the farm celebrate Valentine's Day by inviting a newcomer to join in the fun.

    The Very Very Very Long Dog
    Julia Patton
    Bartelby, a very long sausage dog, causes chaos when walking with his friends until they find a way for him to keep track of his bottom.

    Rot, the Cutest in the World!
    Ben Clanton
    A mutant potato learns that he's pear-fect just the way he is in this bright, fun, and silly picture book from the creator of "It Came in the Mail.”

    Ethan Long
    In this hilariously spooky story by Geisel Award-winning author and illustrator Long, even the scariest of monsters can fall in love.

    by Cindy H | Dec 04, 2017
    For many, Santa is one of the most magical parts of childhood. As a parent, deciding whether or not to teach your children to believe in Santa, and how to handle the difficult conversations that often surround the subject, can be daunting. Martha Brockenbrough's sweet book, Love, Santa, is one way to help children understand the wonderment that surrounds Santa.

    The book is about a young girl named Lucy. Each year, she writes a letter to Santa. For example, when she was five, she wrote a letter asking Santa how he stays warm at the North Pole; Santa brings her a red coat that year. As Lucy gets older, she starts to question more and more how Santa works his magic. When Lucy is eight, instead of leaving the letter for Santa, she leaves it on her mother's pillow. She asks, "Dear Mom, Are you Santa?" The next morning she receives a letter from her mom, explaining that she isn't Santa, "Santa is a teacher who helps us believe...Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness, and now you know the secret of how he gets down the chimneys on Christmas eve...He has help from the people whose hearts he's filled with joy. I am on his team, and now you are, too. Love, Mom." Lucy feels better knowing the truth, and although she does have mixed feelings of happiness and sadness, ultimately she is ready and excited to go out and be on Santa's team.

    I found this story very sweet and uplifting. I have often struggled with the notion of telling children about Santa; I do not want to lie, but I also do not want to ruin the magic and hope that he brings. I think this story provides a wonderful way to explain the truth about Santa, and remind us that Santa stands for something special that we can hold onto all year long. The book has lovely illustrations and includes Lucy's actual letters in envelopes that can be taken out and perused. It is available in print at the library, click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Evan | Dec 04, 2017
    Steve JobsMuch as we love stories, I wonder why biographies are not more popular than fiction. Sure, we can relate our lives to characters and situations in fiction, but they're still fiction. Good biographies cause us to relate our lives to real people -- admirable, reprehensible or, sometimes, both. 

    Case in point, I recently finished Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. I hadn't paid much attention to the career of the late Apple co-founder and was surprised to learn what a cruel person he was. I've been trying to teach myself lately to not be so sensitive to what people think of me, but reading about how Jobs mistreated seemingly everyone around him helped me ease up on myself a bit. Better to be a wimp than a warlock, even if I would never have been able to browbeat people into inventing the iPhone. 

    Hearing about Jobs's famous "reality distortion field" brought President Trump to mind. Apple employees coined that term to describe how Jobs could believe so much in things that others thought were impossible that oftentimes reality changed and the impossible became possible. I don't recall hearing two years ago of any experts who thought Trump could really become president, but he dismissed that reality and there he is today. I'm looking at some tasks in my life that seem daunting; maybe I could benefit from distorting my own sense of reality. 

    Death of a KingDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to distort realities far greater than a long-shot presidential campaign or the limitations of early computers. Tavis Smiley's Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year is the tragic tale of a man who was trying to end racism, end poverty and stop a war all at the same time. The book is not a full biography. It includes some asides about King's earlier life, but it hones in on how King suffered as the waves of a violent time drowned out his pleas for peace in the months before he was murdered. I'm still listening to the book and still trying to process what it tells me about my own very small involvement in pushing for social change, but it's surely got something to do with how much personal sacrifice I'm willing to make.

    Meanwhile, I'm on a crazy project reading a 188-year-old volume about a 1,517-year old Byzantine general. I don't know yet what The Life of Belisarius by Lord Mahon (Philip Henry Stanhope) is going to teach me about my 21st century life of ease on the other side of the world, but Belisarius did live a fabled life, beating one big opponent after another with small forces. Almost like fiction, only better.

    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 01, 2017
    Helping kids grow and learn is such a joy, and sometimes just plain hard. When you're navigating real world stuff with kids it's nice to know that there's a book out there to help. Here are just some of the kinds of books available on real world topics.


    cover image for what if i need stiches 

    What If I Need Stitches
    written by Therese Shea
    There are a lot of books for preschoolers about going to the doctor, but this is a great book for older kids about a specific kind of injury. This series, called "Benched: dealing with sports injuries", includes books about breaking a bone, concussions, and other sports injuries. The photos and text give important facts in a reassuring way. If you're reading this together after an injury, it should help calm fears about what to expect during the healing process.

    cover image for poverty and hunger

    Poverty and Hunger
    by Louise Spilsbury
    This book is part of a series called "Children in Our World". It gets right to the point with gentle yet honest text about how some people lack basic things like food and shelter. It does a superb job of tackling the topic on a younger child's level. The second half of the book describes ways to help others and there are websites and resources listed on the last pages for more concrete action.

      cover image for going on an airplane
    Going on an Airplane
    written by Harold Rober
    Lots of firsts are exciting and nerve wracking. This book, written at a preschool / kindergarten level, is great for showing the basics of boarding a plane and riding with confidence. The colorful pictures are perfect for little ones!


    What other books might you find helpful for tough and new experiences? Our libraries have books about divorce, getting a pet, death of a loved one, moving, alcohol abuse, parents in jail, and many others. Librarians are always ready to help find books on just the topic you need. We've also made some great online book lists on difficult topics. Check out our children's book list page HERE.
    by Becky C | Dec 01, 2017
    Ever wonder what library staff like to read?  Wonder no more!  Here's a quick look at some books we've enjoyed this month.  Click on a book cover to check availability — it’s as easy as that!

    The Secret Book and Scone Society Confessions  Promise Me Dad 
     Fahrenheit 451  Jhereg  Wisdom of the 90s
     The Limit  The City of Brass  Unfaithful Music
     Alex and Eliza  Strangers  All the Light We Cannot See
     Hole in My Heart  Defining Moments  If Grace Is True
     Notes on a Foreign County  A Discovery of Witches  We Need To Talk
     The Rules of Magic  Grace Not Perfection  A Simplified Life
     The Executioner's Song  The Forgotten Garden  Kurosagi
     The Last Lecture  After the Eclipse  Wife of the Gods
     The Wise Mans Fear  Midnight  The Hate U Give
     Bel Canto  The Force  

    Want more recommendations?  Click here for previous What We're Reading posts. 

    Please let us know what books you've been reading that you've really enjoyed.  We're always looking for our next great read!

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by Teresa Walls | Nov 29, 2017
    book cover Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

    Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia
    HarperCollins, 2017
    166 pages

    Clayton Byrd thinks he's ready to play a solo, a blues harp (harmonica) solo during a set with his grandpa, Cool Papa Byrd; Cool Papa's guitar, Wah Wah Nita; and the rest of the Bluesmen.

          Cool Papa disagreed. "No, son," he said with a smile in his eyes. "Not yet."  
          Big Mike said, "You gotta bend that note like you bend the truth."
          Hector Santos said, "Like you bend backward, especially when you don't want to."
          "Yeah, man," Jack Rabbit Jones said. "Gotta get that round-the-corner, back-to-tell-the-tale blues bend."
          "Got to feel it deep down. In the gut," Papa Byrd said. He patted himself somewhere between his heart and belly. "That's when you know you're crying."
          "Just before you laugh," one said.
          "Sometimes after," another said.
          "But son," Cool Papa said, "a bluesman ain't a bluesman without that deep-down cry."
                                                                                                                                                      (p. 9-10)

    Clayton doesn't understand, but he dearly loves Cool Papa. Clayton and Cool Papa often sneak out when Clayton's mother is working a double-shift. They sneak away to meet up with the Bluesmen and play to the crowds who love that music called the blues. Clayton's mother, Juanita, does not love the blues. In Clayton's eyes, she also does not love Cool Papa Byrd, her father whom she feels left her and her mother too many times to go on tour.

    Williams-Garcia descriptions of music, both blues and hip-hop, are wonderfully clear. The complexity of this family's relationships is well-drawn. Clayton's interactions with his grandfather, his mother, and his father are realistic, sometimes painful.

    I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion which will be held on February 3rd, 2018, at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below!  We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.

    Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)

    by Nancy | Nov 29, 2017

    Freegal holiday

    With our holiday cds flying off of the shelf, it's a wonderful time of the year to explore freegal.  If you live in Allen County and have a library card in good standing, you can use this excellent resource to download music -- you'll just need your ACPL card and PIN numbers.  (If you don’t know what your PIN number is, give us a call at 260-421-1200, ext. 4011.)  You can download up to 5 songs a week -- that's 260 songs per year!

    Songs are downloaded in an MP3 format (compatible with everything), so they can be saved to any computer, mobile device or MP3 player. If you have an iPod, you will need to have a registered copy of iTunes and access to a non-library computer. There are no digital rights management restrictions and no special software required for non-Apple products.  We suggest you choose “Save” or “Save As” and direct it to save to your Music or Downloads folder when you download the songs.

    Songs can also be added to the free freegal app -- but to keep them forever, you may want to export them -- click here for details.   

    You can also start building your own holiday party playlist for a 3-hour streaming session.  Find some popular Christmas albums here, or look through those titles not available last year by viewing the most recently added Christmas albums.

    Happy Holidays!

    snowmen image via pixaby



    by SM | Nov 27, 2017

    The books listed here are new teen mystery novels to cuddle up to on a cold, long, dark night...



    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!


    by Kayla W | Nov 27, 2017

        "I still don't really get what bein' "strong" means, but I'm gonna start by not lying to myself. No more being scared of everyone, hiding my hobbies, staying away from people... Anytime, anyplace, I'm gonna bust right through as my own self! That's the way to deal with that "other me" in the TV world."

        —Kanji Tatsumi, Persona 4


    Persona 4 Golden 


    Persona 4 is a game that comes from a series with a reputation for breaking the boundaries of what is expected of video games.  The series belongs to the fabled type of game that you may feel they just don’t make any more.  The kind with heart and an ambition that can go beyond the technology and budget for the project, one that has a definite identity which it wears proudly. 

    Luckily for the people who may check the game out based on the fantastic flair and style that it flaunts with wild abandon, they are fortunate to be entering in a series that is growing so steadily in its cult audience that it is now near to entering that so coveted gaming mainstream, right alongside Final Fantasy

    This entry in the series, in particular, was a major win for its publisher, Atlus.  The welcoming energy of the characters and the game’s mechanics, mixed with the dark and slightly seedy themes, create a game that could not help to appeal to a Western audience. 

    There was a fifth Persona game that was released earlier this year – and you can borrow it as well if you would like, here - and while I enjoyed it thoroughly, I have to say that its predecessor wore the mechanics of the game better.  In general, I loved the characters from the fourth game more than I felt like I bonded to the ones in the fifth entry in the series.   Not that it’s exactly fair to compare any game to one that has characters like Chie and Kanji in it.

    If you still haven’t had a chance to play this game, in spite of it being the sort of thing that hits your sweet spot of character-driven gameplay with a major focus on dungeon crawling and student life simulation (and what a niche that is!), then I would be remiss if I didn’t insist on trying it.  This game has so many mechanics and contains the trappings of oh so many genres – including some that don’t actually exist, but this game series, much like the Yakuza series, creates and makes work – that not only is it worthy of multiple play-throughs, it is absolutely necessary to play through this already long game more than once to experience almost everything that it has to offer.  I would have to really wrack my mind to think of a better game to spend the cold months to come playing, perhaps with the exception of something such as XCOM 2 or Undertale.

    So the short answer is that if you haven’t played a Persona or a Shin Megami Tensei game before, not only it is not necessary to play any of the previous games before this one (because there is no connecting story between all but the two versions of the second games, Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment), but this is the best introduction to the series that I could imagine. 

    Beyond the mechanics of the game, which boasts dungeon crawling, a student life simulation, unforgiving boss battles, a wholly unique methodology of fusing “personas” in order to make a consistently strong source of power, and fishing - just to name the highlights - the game is renowned for its absolutely lovable and at times heart-wrenching teenaged outcasts whose darkest secrets threaten to literally devour them. 

    In the game, the protagonist must live with his uncle and his absolutely adorable shy cousin for a year in a backwaters town where it rains frequently.  Not long after moving in, a corpse is discovered hanging from a TV antennae not far from the high school, and shortly thereafter the school becomes abuzz with the eerie local legend known as the Midnight Channel.  From that point on, the protagonist’s world becomes focused on doing what he can to discover the dark secrets of the Midnight Channel. 

    That’s not to say that his social, school, and financial life are things that he should ignore. In spite of the need to discover what is causing the Midnight Channel, every mechanic in the game ties together, making it so that the work the protagonist puts into his daily life translates into how well he can search the dungeons created by the Midnight Channel and rescue the lost souls who have been imprisoned there. 

    Of course, whether the protagonist perseveres in protecting his new friends and home is entirely up to you, from the speed at which you traverse the game’s dungeons, who you choose to befriend, and what skills and potential side work or hobbies you pick up along the way, as well as if you decide to make your school life and grades an integral part of your protagonist’s life.  As the appeal of the game seems to be – it’s all up to you and your choices. 

    What I really love about the game series is how much lore and a deep love for all sorts of interesting and nerdy philosophical, psychological, and metaphorical concepts are ever so gently touched on in a respectful way.  Jungian symbolism is prevalent through much of the series, the idea of rebirth is a topic visited frequently, and of course one cannot forget the series' abiding love of the archetypes of tarot.  This is one game series that proves the point that something doesn't need to be boring to be smart.

    If you’re interested in trying out the Persona game series or if you’re only interested in the fourth entry in the series, the ACPL has you covered, with both the original Playstation 2 edition available as well as the superior Playstation Vita edition available to borrow.  Again, the library also has copies of the sequel (for the Playstation 3 and 4), which I may make a blurb about in the future.  It’s actually really good as well, it just falls short of the heights that the re-master of its predecessor rose to.

    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 Dawn Stoops | Nov 24, 2017
    November has been a great month for new children's chapter books! Take a look at just a few of our newest titles.

    cover image for team bff race to the finish
    cover image for a skateboard cat-astrophe
     cover image for battle for the z-ring
      cover image for cowboy pug cover image for polaris
    cover image for magical misfits
    cover image for open if you dare
     cover image for me and mister p
    cover image for out of remote control
    by Emily M | Nov 24, 2017

    holidayscore5 holidayscore4 holidayscore6

    If you’re a holiday music lover, you’ll want to be sure to check out our collection of holiday CDs, as well as the downloadable/streamable music available through ACPL's subscription to Freegal and Hoopla.  But did you know that we also carry holiday music scores? 

    If you play an instrument, now is a great time to explore our large collection of music scores at the Main Library.  Brush off your piano, guitar, violin, flute, etc and perform some holiday tunes for your family and friends.  We also have several non-Holiday scores available featuring classical, jazz, pop, and country, as well as music from popular movies and Broadway shows. 

    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 Erin | Nov 22, 2017

    When you think of the Newbery Medal, you may not think about graphic novels. After all, when selecting potential books for the award, the committee can only consider illustrations as part of their criteria if the illustrations detract from the story. Otherwise, they must focus solely on the text. Seeing as graphic novels are stories that are told primarily through illustrations, you would think they would be more or less disqualified for this award.


    However, Newbery committee members have been selecting graphic novels in recent years, looking past the illustrations and giving credit to the writing. Both Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson and El Deafo by Cece Bell have gotten Newbery honor awards within the past few years.


    Because of this, we have not just one, but two graphic novels on our current Mock Newbery list: Real Friends by Shannon Hale and All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.


    Real Friends

    Real Friends
    tells the story of Shannon and Adrienne. The two have been inseparable since Kindergarten, but find themselves being torn apart in middle school due to cliques and popularity. While this is primarily Shannon’s story, readers also get to see what life is like for other characters as well, which does a wonderful job of illustrating the nuances of middle school life.

    All's Faire


    All’s Faire in Middle School also focuses on friendship and popularity, but it adds a Renaissance faire into the mix. In this graphic novel, the main character, Imogene, goes off to middle school and attempts to make new friends while keeping her side job as a performer in a Renaissance faire a secret. She also has to deal with the fact that her family isn’t as rich as some of her classmates, and her younger brother is a bit hyperactive.


    Along with popularity and friendship, each of these stories deal with issues such as bullies, growing up, socio-economic class, and standing up for what you believe in despite what others may think. Those are all pretty serious themes. Will one of these two graphic novels win the coveted Newbery Award? I guess we’ll just have to wait to find out.

    I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion which will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below!  We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.

    Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)

    by SM | Nov 20, 2017

    The books listed here are even more new teen fantasy fiction novels to cuddle up to on a cold Fall day or night...


    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!


    by Becky C | Nov 20, 2017
    This Beautiful FantasticDVD review:  This Beautiful Fantastic

    Librarian Bella Brown begins each day with the declaration, "Today, I'm going to make a difference."  And by the end of this contemporary fairy tale, she does -- although not by presenting a library member with the right book, at the right time.  As it turns out, someone will lend her the right book, at the right time.  And then she will write her own.

    Bella is an eccentric character.  She keeps the interior of her rented flat in London impeccably neat but has let her garden become a mess.  This annoys her grumpy neighbor Alfie a great deal.  After she falls in a storm, she finds herself on his couch, being tended by a doctor and Alfie's cook, Vernon.  Alfie rants at everyone.  The next morning, Bella's landlord shows up to inspect the property and gives her one month to clean it up or she will be evicted.

    And so it begins.  It's a lovely movie.  Yes, some things were a bit hasty -- I think the Vernon storyline would have been more plausible had we been given the sense that he and Bella encountered each other regularly -- but it really didn't nag me for long.  And I found myself wondering where his extensive legal knowledge came from -- was he a lawyer before he became a cook, or did he just really like reading up on the law?  Did I miss something?  Minor quibbles.  I loved the growth of the relationships among Bella, Alfie, and Vernon. 

    Charming as he was, I felt myself empathizing with the head librarian regarding Bella's love interest, Billy.  When the librarian tells you that eating is not allowed in the library, don't bring a messy sandwich and eat it at a library table, surrounded by several old books.  Sheesh.  And I wish the scene where Billy invites Bella back to his home had been done differently.  That aside, Jessica Brown Findlay (Bella) and Jeremy Irvine (Billy) were adorable together.

    Dry humor is sprinkled throughout the movie and I loved every bit of it.  The librarian in charge of Bella's workplace alternates between spelling out admonishments on a letter board and using the PA system when she's particularly frustrated with people talking in the library.  Alfie, expertly played by Tom Wilkenson, has the best lines.  Vernon, played by Andrew Scott (Moriarty on Sherlock), has the best facial expressions. 

    If you enjoy a good fairy tale every now and then, give this dvd a try.  And, if you like it, please share your favorite Alfie quotes in the comments!

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by Kay S | Nov 17, 2017
    Yes, it's time for upcoming releases for the months of November 15 to December 14, 2017. Winter's howling around the corner, it's time to get out a warm book and relax. Here are a few I'm hearing good things about. And, remember these dates reflect the release dates not the dates they will hit the library shelves.

    Historical Romance
    Victoria Alexander

    Victoria Alexander
    The Lady Traveler’s Guide to Larceny With a Dashing Stranger
    Lady Travelers Society series
    November 28

    Loretta Chase

    Loretta Chase
    A Duke in Shining Armor
    Difficult Dukes series
    November 28

    Alyssa Cole

    Alyssa Cole
    A Hope Divided
    The Loyal League series
    November 28

    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream Fiction/Women's Fiction

    Alisha Rai
    Wrong to Need You
    Forbidden Hearts series
    Contemporary Romance
    November 28

    Mystery/Thrillers/Romantic Suspense/Suspense

    C.M. Gleason
    Murder in the Lincoln White House
    Lincoln's White House Mystery series
    November 28


    James Rollins
    The Demon Crown

    A Sigma Force Novel series
    December 5


    Joanna Schaffhausen
    The Vanishing Season
    December 5

    Paranormal/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy
    Lynn Kurland

    Lynn Kurland
    The Dreamer’s Song
    Nine Kingdom's series
    December 5

    Robin Owens

    Robin Owens
    Heart Sight
    A Celta Novel series
    December 5

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 16, 2017
    cover image for my first book of patterns
    My First Book of Patterns by Bobby and June George is truly a book for babies of high style and discerning taste. It's not everyday that books for such little ones use words like "Argyle" and "Chevron".

    It is indeed a delightful book. It will engage wee ones with its high contrast picture style and add a little fun for the parents as well. The entire book's design is pretty classy, from the lovely patterns on the cover, to the festive everyday scenes that illustrate each pattern (hello plaid city).

    book image for my first book of patternsbook image for my first book of patterns
    This board book lives with many, many other board books at your library. Grab a bag full today and read to those babies!
    by Audrey Clark | Nov 16, 2017

    New Books November 2017

    The following books are a selection of new arrivals at the Allen County Public Library.

    Fantasy & Science Fiction

    Jade City
    Fonda Lee
    When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone—even foreigners—utilize the magical properties of jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence on the island of Kekon.

    Oathbringer (Stormlight Archive)
    Brandon Sanderson
    Taking refuge from the formidable Everstorm in the tower city of Urithiru, Dalinar and the Alethi forces join the newly raised Knights Radiant to explore the legendary city's mysteries and confront long-lost truths that challenge everything they believe.

    Future Home of the Living God
    Louise Erdrich
    A tale set in a world of reversing evolution and a growing police state follows the efforts of a pregnant woman who investigates her biological family while awaiting the birth of a child who may emerge as a member of a primitive human species.

    Andy Weir
    Augmenting her limited income by smuggling contraband to survive on the moon's wealthy city of Artemis, Jazz agrees to commit what seems to be a perfect, lucrative crime only to find herself embroiled in a conspiracy for control of the city.

    The City of Brass
    S.A. Chakraborty
    A young con artist of unsurpassed talent inadvertently summons a mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, revealing the existence of true magic before the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom falls into her hands.

    Into the Drowning Deep
    Mira Grant
    Victoria Stewart and her crew sail to the Mariana Trench in the hopes of discovering the fate of the Atargatis, which, along with its crew, including Victoria's sister, was lost at sea during the crew's attempt to film a mockumentary on ancient sea creatures of legend.

    Weave a Circle Round
    Kari Maaren
    In this love letter to history, legend, and the power of stories that takes inspiration from Norse myth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge—a young woman is catapulted through time and space after she runs afoul of her eccentric neighbors.

    Penric’s Mission (World of the Five Gods)
    Lois McMaster Bujold
    Sorcerer Penric, who is possessed by a clever chaos demon named Desdemona, has his clandestine mission of diplomacy to Cedonia upended when he finds himself gravely injured and imprisoned in the darkest of dungeons.


    General Fiction

    The Quantum Spy: A Thriller
    David Ignatius
    CIA agent Harris Chang uncovers a mole in a top secret, American research lab racing to develop a quantum computer before China does.

    Krysten Ritter
    A young environmental lawyer returns to her small Indiana hometown to investigate pollution by a regional plastics giant--but settling old scores and healing old wounds weigh heavily on her mind.

    Heather, the Totality
    Matthew Weiner
    Mark and Karen Breakstone have constructed the idyllic life of wealth and status they always wanted, made complete by their beautiful and extraordinary daughter Heather. But they are still not quite at the top. When the new owners of the penthouse above them begin construction, an unstable stranger penetrates the security of their comfortable lives and threatens to destroy everything they've created. 

    The Midnight Line (Jack Reacher)
    Lee Child
    Spotting a hard-won women's West Point class ring in a pawn shop, Jack Reacher fights a biker gang and a South Dakota gangster to discover the truth about the ring and why its owner sold it.

    Typoon Fury (Oregon Files)
    Clive Cussler
    When they are hired to track down a valuable art collection, Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon find themselves sailing into a perfect storm involving a Filipino insurgency, a Japanese developed super-warrior drug, and a South African mercenary.

    Every Breath You Take (Under Suspicion)
    Mary Higgins Clark
    Struggling with the departure of co-host Alex Buckley, television crime-solver Laurie Moran is teamed with a despised Ryan Nichols, who draws her into the cold case of a wealthy widow pushed to her death from the roof of a famous museum.

    The Noel Diary
    Richard Paul Evans
    The latest holiday-themed novel by the best-selling author of The Christmas Box follows the experiences of a man who, in the wake of estrangements and losses, is given a chance to rewrite and rediscover his true past.

    In This Moment (Baxter Family)
    Karen Kingsbury
    Risking his job by organizing an after-school bible-study program to combat local crime and gang activity, Indiana high school principal Wendell Quinn is delighted by the program's positive results, until a complaint renders him the subject of media speculation and a controversial lawsuit.

    End Game (Will Robie)
    David Baldacci
    Returning home from an overseas mission to discover that his boss has gone missing in remote Colorado, Will Robie and his sometime partner, Jessica Reel, team up in an increasingly violent small town, where their lives are soon in jeopardy. 

    The Ballad of Black Bart
    Loren D. Estleman
    A rivalry turns into a suspenseful duel of wits between a legendary Wells Fargo chief and a notorious stagecoach robber who between heists poses as an upper-class gentleman.

    The Whispering Room (Jane Hawk)
    Dean Koontz
    Her husband dead and her son in hiding, rogue FBI agent Jane Hawk finds a connection between a schoolteacher's murderous, and ultimately suicidal, rampage; the teacher's secret journal; and a cabal of power players bent on controlling America.  

    Past Perfect
    Danielle Steel
    Leaving their well-ordered Manhattan life to move to San Francisco triggers a collision between the past and present for a successful married couple who during a small earthquake experience visions of their new home's original inhabitants from a century earlier.      

    Tom Clancy Power and Empire (Jack Ryan)
    Marc Cameron
    A newly belligerent Chinese government leaves U.S. President Jack Ryan with only a few desperate options to control a series of attacks designed to sabotage peace negotiations.       


    Historical Fiction

    The Revolution of Marina M.
    Janet Fitch
    A young woman of privilege coming of age in 1916 St. Petersburg finds her life and ambitions violently upended by historical events that find her joining the cause for workers' rights, falling in love with a radical poet and navigating devastating betrayals.

    Deadly Cure
    Lawrence Goldstone
    In 1899 Brooklyn, Dr. Noah Whitestone is accused of prescribing a lethal dose of medicine that killed a 5-year-old boy, prompting him to joining forces with muckraking journalists to clear his name, find the origins of a deadly experimental drug from overseas and root out the real killer. 

    Mrs. Osmond
    John Banville
    Presents a continuation of the story of Isabel Archer, the heroine of Henry James' "The Portrait of a Lady," that finds her receiving an unexpected inheritance and married to a cruel man before returning to her home in Italy at the side of an unexpected companion.

    A Darker Sea
    James L. Haley
    A naval saga by the award-winning author of The Shores of Tripoli chronicles the period leading up to the War of 1812 from the perspective of brig commander Bliven Putnam, who disrupts British merchant shipping before an encounter with an old nemesis leads to a reunion and helps set the stage for one of the war's most infamous battles.

    Secrets of Cavendon
    Barbara Taylor Bradford
    In the summer of 1949, a new generation running Cavendon Hall is torn by scandal, intrigue, and romantic betrayals that force the Inghams and Swanns to protect each other from unimaginable threats.

    A Hope Divided (Loyal League)
    Alyssa Cole
    The Civil War has turned neighbor against neighbor—but for scientist-spy and free black woman Marlie Lynch and philosophical Union soldier she helps to hide, war could bind them together when they must go on the run on the Underground Railroad to escape a common enemy.

    Mystery & Detective

    A Christmas Return
    Anne Perry
    After receiving a strange package that sparks memories of a twenty-year-old murder that shattered a friendship, Mariah travels to Surrey in hopes of reconnecting with her former friend and solving the crime.

    City of Lies
    Victoria Thompson
    Using her guile to relieve so-called respectable men of their ill-gotten gains, Elizabeth Miles hides among a group of privileged women and bonds with an honest man while outmaneuvering a nemesis who blames her for his losses.

    The House of Unexpected Sisters (No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency)
    Alexander McCall Smith
    Investigating the case of a woman wrongfully dismissed from her job, Precious Ramotswe discovers information that causes her to rethink her views about the case before meeting a local nurse who shares her unusual surname.

    Hardcore Twenty-Four (Stephanie Plum)
    Janet Evanovich
    Reluctantly agreeing to babysit a professional grave robber's pet boa constrictor, Stephanie Plum is embroiled in a bizarre series of crimes that escalate from the violation of stolen corpses to the murder of a homeless man, a case that is complicated by the return of the hunky but reckless Diesel.

    Count to Ten: A Private Novel
    James Patterson
    Summoned by the head of the world's top investigation agency to join a new office in Delhi, former Private India head Santosh Wagh struggles to set aside his personal demons before tackling a case involving murderously corrupt authorities and human remains found at a government site.

    Sleep No More: Six Murderous Tales
    P.D. James
    An anthology of six previously uncollected stories by the author of Death Comes to Pemberley explores the memories, emotional machinations, rationalizations, dreams and desires of people who get away with the perfect murder or who help keep information about a killing secret.

    The People vs. Alex Cross
    James Patterson
    Charged with gunning down followers of his nemesis Gary Soneji in cold blood, Alex Cross is wrongly portrayed as a trigger-happy corrupt cop while he struggles to prove to a skeptical jury and dwindling supporters that his actions were in self-defense. 

    The Man in the Crooked Hat
    Harry Dolan
    Having spent two years searching for the man he believes murdered his wife, private investigator Jack Pellum follows a bewildering message to a winding trail of unsolved murders and a philosophical man with a dark and secret past.



    Lies Jane Austen Told Me

    Julie Wright
    A fan of Jane Austen's novels, Emma Pierce is ready to fall in love with her Mr. Darcy. But then she falls in love with her ex-boyfriend's brother and learns that maybe romance isn't quite as easy Jane promised her it would be.

    Blue Ridge Sunrise
    Denise Hunter
    Former free spirit Zoe Collins swore she'd never again set foot in Copper Creek or speak to the man who broke her heart. But return she must when her beloved granny dies, leaving the family legacy to Zoe---a peach orchard nestled at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    American Drifter
    Heather Graham
    A young U.S. Army veteran suffering from PTSD drifts around Brazil, struggling to make peace with the world's illogical elements before fatefully falling in love with a gangster's mistress.

    Refuge Cove
    Janet Dailey
    A bride on the run from her would-be husband becomes stranded in the Alaska wilderness before accepting help from a rugged bush pilot who would reconnect with his estranged son.



    The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion—Surprising Observations of a Hidden World
    Peter Wohlleben
    The best-selling author of The Hidden Life of Trees presents a revelatory exploration of the diverse emotional intelligence of animals as demonstrated in vibrant stories about loving pigs, cheating magpies, scheming roosters and more. 

    Obama: An Intimate Portrait
    Pete Souza
    A visual biography of Barack Obama's historic presidency, captured in unprecedented detail by his White House photographer, includes images documenting the most consequential hours of the Obama administration as well as the 44th President's encounters with world leaders, cultural figures and family members.

    It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree
    A.J. Jacobs
    The best-selling author of The Year of Living Biblically traces his three-year investigation into what constitutes family, describing how after receiving an e-mail from a stranger who claimed to be a distant cousin, he embarked on an effort to build the biggest family tree in history.

    Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter
    Dan Ariely
    Blending humor and behavioral economics, the New York Times bestselling author delves into the truly illogical world of personal finance to help people better understand why they make bad financial decisions, and gives them the knowledge they need to make better ones.

    You Can't Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (a So-Called Parody)
    Alec Baldwin
    A satirical memoir written in the style of Donald Trump shares lampooning insights into the 45th President's election, disdain for the press, backroom strategy sessions with White House advisers and world-changing decisions.

    The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State
    Nadia Murad
    A human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee traces the harrowing and ultimately inspiring story of her captivity by the Islamic State, describing how militants massacred the people of her Iraqi farming village, killing most of her family members and forcing her into prostitution before she escaped and became an advocate for human rights.

    What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism
    Dan Rather
    In a collection of essays, the venerated television journalist celebrates our shared values, reminds us of what matters most in our great country, and shows us what patriotism looks like.

    Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose
    Joe Biden
    The former vice-president of the United States chronicles the difficult final year of his son's battle with cancer, his efforts to balance his responsibilities to the country and his family, and the lessons he learned.

    Higher Is Waiting
    Tyler Perry
    The cinematic innovator behind Tyler Perry Studios traces his youth in New Orleans through his successful career, in an uplifting account of his spiritual awakening that explains how his faith has enriched his life and sustained him in hard times.

    Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook
    Joseph Mercola and Pete Evans
    Natural-health expert Dr. Joseph Mercola and superstar Australian chef Pete Evans join forces in this companion to the best-selling Fat for Fuel.

    Breaking Free: How I Escaped Polygamy, the FLDS Cult, and My Father, Warren Jeffs
    Rachel Jeffs
    The daughter of the self-proclaimed prophet of the FLDS Church describes the abusive patriarchal culture in which she was raised by sister wives and dominating men and discusses how her father remains a powerful influence on his followers.

    Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World
    Timothy Ferriss
    Life-changing wisdom from 130 of the world’s highest achievers in short, action-packed pieces, featuring inspiring quotes, life lessons, career guidance, personal anecdotes, and other advice.


    Teen Books

    Marissa Meyer
    In a ruined world where humans with extraordinary abilities have become the world's champions of justice, a vengeance-seeking girl and a justice-seeking boy team up against a villain who has the power to destroy everything they have worked to protect.

    War of Cards
    Colleen Oakes
    The conclusion to the Queen of Hearts series that reimagines the story of the infamous Wonderland queen.

    Follow Me
    Sara Shepard
    The second book in The Amateurs series about four teen detectives.

    Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything
    Aly Raisman
    The true story of the gold-medal-winning gymnast who has competed in two Olympics.

    No Saints In Kansas
    Amy Brashear
    A fictional retelling of the murders that inspired Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”

    Children’s Books

    Mosquitoes Don’t Bite Me
    Pendred Noyce
    Mosquitoes don't bite Nala Simiyu. It's part of who she is, like being a half-Kenyan seventh-grader whose mother is in a wheelchair. But when a schoolmate's father--who happens to head up a large drug company--learns of Nala's special power, the excitement begins.

    Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Getaway
    Jeff Kinney
    Book twelve in the popular series about Greg Heffley.

    Supergirl: Age of Atlantis
    Jo Whittemore
    An all-new Supergirl story based on the television series.

    Jimmy Cajoleas
    Perfect for fans of The Girl Who Drank the Moon and The Thickety, this spellbinding story follows a young girl named Goldeline on an adventure through a fairy tale forest filled with dark and wondrous magic.

    Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court
    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
    Written especially for young readers, the basketball legend focuses on the relationships he had with his father and his basketball coaches.


    Picture Books

    It’s Shoe Time
    Bryan Collier
    An early reader that turns the closet on its heel and redefines what it means to be a pair.

    Before She Was Harriet
    Lesa Cline-Ransome
    The story of Harriet Tubman told in beautiful verse and gorgeous images.

    Read the Book, Lemmings!
    Ame Dyckman
    Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: "Lemmings don't jump off cliffs." But Foxy can't get the lemmings on the Cliff to read his book, too. They're too busy jumping off.

    Inky’s Great Escape
    Casey Lyall
    Based on a true story, this tale follows a daring, Houdini-esque octopus as he performs his greatest escape act yet.

    The Boy and the Whale 
    Mordicai Gerstein
    A boy and his father discover a whale tangled in their only fishing net.

    by Craig B | Nov 15, 2017

    cover for Alex Haley's novel, RootsBook Review: Alex Haley's winner of the 1977 Special Pulitzer Prize, Roots

    I may have to go back and read a Kenneth Roberts book evidently.

    See, though Roots is the first single novel to receive a “Special Pulitzer,” 20 years before Alex Haley took his prize in 1977, Kenneth Roberts was awarded a “Special Pulitzer” for a body of historical novels that “have long contributed to the creation of greater interest in our early American history.”  Sure, sure, there were other Special Pulitzers before and after Kenneth Roberts, but most of them went to newspapermen or newspapers or works of history and the like and since I’m in the business of reading Pulitzer novels and not newspapers or histories or entire bodies of work (I’m saving that for the Nobels when I read them) I haven’t had to worry too much about “Special Pulitzers” until now.  That said, I really do feel like my journey won’t be complete until I read at least one Kenneth Roberts novel, but maybe that can be a very good bridge over to the Nobels …

    More to the point, Roots is magnificent.  Yes, yes there has been controversy over some of the “factual” details of the story, but the real point is that this story happened, in whole, in part, in a variety of pieces to millions of people over the course of two or three centuries.  As we read the novel, as we consider Haley’s use of the term “faction,” and as we look at our lives today, we should keep that in mind. 

    Roots is quite a long book, and you probably know how I feel about that, but I can say with confidence, even if you can’t commit to the whole 899 pages you should definitely try to get through the first 83 chapters comprising the story arc of Kunta Kinte.  I think you’ll find it well-written enough to be absolutely worth your time.  And now for that Kenneth Roberts novel.  Anyone got a suggestion?

    by Teresa Walls | Nov 14, 2017

    book cover Patina by Jason Reynolds

    Patina by Jason Reynolds
    Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017
    233 pages

    Patina, nickname Patty, is the main character in this second book of Jason Reynold's Track series, described on the inside book cover as an explosive series about "a fast but fiery group of kids who have a shot at the Junior Olympics, but have a lot to prove first -- to one another, and to themselves." A book in a series can be a bit tricky when thinking about the Mock Newbery because the book should be able to stand alone as a distinguished book. No problem with this novel; it does stand on its own.

    Patty and her sister are living with their aunt and uncle since their mother has many health complications due to diabetes. Throughout the book, Patty struggles with fitting in with the "hair flippers" at her new school. Her little sister is at the school too, but as Patty says about her sister, Maddy:

    she loves it, but that's because this is the only school she's ever been at. She's never been in a school where you didn't have to wear pleated paper bags. She never went to a school with boys, and yes, boys make school really, really annoying sometimes, but they also can make it pretty fun. Or at least funny. Maddy never went to a school with mostly black kids either. She's only known life as a "raisin in milk," as my Ma puts it. (p. 29)

    Patty's is a strong voice. She is also a strong runner. I am not a runner, but Reynold's description of the races and being on a track team seem spot-on to me. Reynolds dedicates the novel "For those who've been passed the baton too young." Patty is passed the baton literally and figuratively; her story is well worth reading.

    I can't wait to talk about this book at our Mock Newbery discussion which will be held on February 3rd, 2018 at the Main Library in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Or add your comments below!  We'd love to know what YOU thought of this title.

    Each week, beginning the first week of November 2017 through the last week of January 2018, we will be discussing one (or more) of the titles on our 2018 Mock Newbery list. (The complete list of titles we'll be discussing can be found here.)

    by Evan | Nov 13, 2017
    Ex Libris

    Ex Libris is a new board game by Adam P. McIver in which you build your own library. In a fantasy town. With hundreds of punny book titles. ("Conjury to Avoid Jury Duty") Where you have to master a simple backward version of the Dewey Decimal system. Could anything be geekier?

    The game itself can be straightforward or tricky, depending on how much you care about tactics. But you can just have fun with the concept, enjoying the humor and building a library collection to please everyone -- especially the town authorities, who do not like banned books. You can also unleash your inner fussiness, because if you're going to win, you have to make sure your books are properly organized on your shelves. 

    (The phrase "ex libris" is a little mysterious. It traditionally appears on bookplates that show who owns the book. Internet searches suggest it means "from the books of" or "from books," but our Latin-English dictionary doesn't have the word "libris" at all. If you are a bit of a Latin scholar and can comment about this, please do so.) 

    Meanwhile, if you and your friends love books, humor and fantasy -- and have maybe just a little OCD -- Ex Libris may be a good game for you. 

    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.