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    by Dawn S | Dec 20, 2017
    picture of crayons

    All locations of the Allen County Public Library have fun activities planned the next few weeks. Here are just a few:

    Star Wars Fest at Tecumseh Branch Library
    --Try something Star Wars themed every day we're open during winter break.

    Winter Break Fun at Pontiac Branch Library
    --If you're bored on winter break, come hang out with friends at the library and do crafts, play board games, build with a variety of blocks and Legos, and more. If weather permits, we just might build a snowman! A different fun option each day.

    Can You Escape? at New Haven Branch Library
    --Can you escape the room before time runs out?

    For a complete list visit our online calendar, select the dates and locations you're interested in then click search.   

    Don't forget, all ACPL locations will be closed December 24, 25, 26 & January 1.
    by sm | Dec 20, 2017

    The books listed here are new teen romance novels to cuddle up to on a cold winter's 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 Readers' Services | Dec 20, 2017
    Looking for something a little different to read this holiday season?  We offer you tales of Christmas in the future, in space, and on other planets.  Bonus: most of these recommendations are short story collections, perfect for break-sized reading!

    A Cosmic Christmas to YouA Cosmic Christmas to You

    This creative and sprightly Christmas science fiction anthology spins in some surprising directions.  Joe Haldeman's "Angel of Light," is about a father trying to sell a scandalous ancient book to buy Christmas presents, Connie Willis's "Christmas Card" features aliens competing to think up the best not-gifts, and Tee Morris's steampunk "In the Spirit of Christmas" introduces us to a Scrooge who summons Eliza and Wellington from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences to rid him of some ghosts.  9 additional tales celebrate Christmas in off-beat ways.

    To Follow a StarTo Follow A Star (stories)
    Christmas on Ganymede by Isaac Asimov is a humorous tale in which the Ossies, Ganymede's native race, refuse to work until the get a visit from Santa.  The Star by Arthur C. Clarke considers the origin of the star that led the wise men to Bethlehem.  Other stories include: Santa Claus Planet by Frank M. Robinson, The Christmas Present by Gordon R. Dickson, Christmas Treason by James White,The New Father Christmas by Brian W. Aldiss, and La Befana by Gene Wolfe.

    Wolfsbane and MistletoeWolfsbane and Mistletoe (stories)
    The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone. They are particularly hard for lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest, and saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand. Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year's morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe.

    Christmas Forever Christmas Forever (stories)
    A legendary birth is given a new twist in Roger Zelazny's "Prince of the Powers of This World"; a grieving friend finds the true magic of Christmas in Charles de Lint's "Pal O' Mine"; Sarah Smith's "Christmas at the Edge" evokes the best of the Christmas spirit in a near-future Boston that's sinking below sea level; and three unusual creatures discover a common bond in Alan Dean Foster's "We Three Kings." These, and 24 other original stories by a stellar group of authors, provide unique and sometimes disturbing interpretations of the holiday season. *You might also like Christmas Magic and Christmas Stars.

    HiddenseeHiddensee by Gregory Maquire
    Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann's mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier -- the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky's fairy tale ballet -- who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

    HogfatherHogfather by Terry Pratchett.

    It's that time of year again. Hogswatchnight. 'Tis the season when the Hogfather himself dons his red suit and climbs in his sleigh pulled by -- of course! -- eight hogs and brings gifts to all the boys and girls of Discworld.

    But this year, there's a problem. A stranger has taken the place of the Hogfather. Well, not exactly a stranger. He's actually pretty well known. He carries a scythe along with his bag of toys, and he's going to SLEIGH everyone he sees tonight.  Ho ho ho.

    A Lot Like ChristmasA Lot Like Christmas by Connie Willis.
    The winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula Awards, Connie Willis offers an expanded, updated edition of her previously published Miracle and Other Christmas Stories"All Seated on the Ground" imagines a first contact with aliens in which carols are the keys to communication. The Holy Family appear via time travel or dimensional warping to be initially unwelcome again in "Inn," and modern-day magi travel from the East in "Epiphany." 8 other speculative stories round out this wry collection.

    A Yuletide UniverseA Yuletide Universe (stories)
    Editor Thomsen pulls together Christmas tales by mostly sf and fantasy authors, although stories by mystery authors Donald E. Westlake and James Powell, Oz-inventor L. Frank Baum, and western writer Bret Harte appear, too.  In a "A Proper Santa Claus" by Anne McCaffrey, young Jeffrey has the ability to paint things and make them real -- he decides to create the perfect Santa.  Neil Gaiman offers a very short story "Nicholas Was" -- rumor has it he wrote it for a Christmas card for his friends.  14 other tales round out this unique collection.

    What types of books do you love to read this time of year?

    by Kayla W | Dec 18, 2017

    Christmas Header

    It may not be the most revolutionary thing to say that you’re not excited for the holiday season, but I feel as though it still needs to be remembered that not everyone is on board for the yearly high-strung antics at the end of the year.   I feel like this fits in well with those who happen to swing more towards introversion, but I’m sure there is a large portion of extroverts who some years find it more than a bit hard to swallow everything that goes on with the holiday season.  With that in mind, I started to wonder – what movies would I recommend to people who would love to really make it a point to think outside of the box of traditional holiday movie fare this season?  Maybe a little anti-holiday, while we’re at it?

    Even if you don’t have a problem with the festivities, it’s nice to have a palate cleanser from It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story (both of which I honestly do love).  If you happen to feel the same way, check out the list below for some ideas of what to watch to commemorate our cultural obsession with materialism and nostalgic family values.

    The Ice HarvestThe Ice HarvestA cynical noir that literally murders and cheats the whole ideal of peace on Earth or goodwill to mankind.  The dream of getting out of a dead-end town during Christmas Eve for two men is turned into a scheme to steal a fortune that they’ve embezzled.  In short order, everything that could go wrong on Christmas Eve does. It’s a criminally underrated gem of black comedy from the late great Harold Ramis, a definite must-have especially for fans of the equally as cynical In Bruges

    Bad SantaBad SantaBelieve it or not, this movie is a less of a cynical razing of Christmas values and traditions and more of what feels like a cathartic destruction of all of the materialist fakeness that has become synonymous with the holiday.  It has a good heart.  You know, beneath the layers of dark, dark and downright disgusting humor.   This movie is equal parts heist, shock value drunken antics, and a strangely humanistic message.  And boy do I love it.

    Recently, I’ve come to see this movie as one that is about a symbolic destruction of traditional upper-middle class small town Americana during the most Americana of all holidays.  And it’s still an absolute blast, decades (!) later.   A small town apocalypse not from a Blob or zombies, but from reptilian Furby-like monsters whose existence is due to the mishandling of a pet treated like an early Christmas present.   And don’t let anyone tell you that the sequel, while a different beast all its own, isn’t fun either!

    Die HardDie HardA retired police detective finds that the reunion he planned with his estranged wife has been turned into a terrorist hostage situation, during which he is left to try to save the day with his wits and steely, working-class manly-manliness.  There’s a lot of gun fire and a whole lot of glass embedded in shoeless feet, as well as an Alan Rickman performance with a kinda-sorta Russian(?) accent at work that I just love.  What’s not to love with this rightful classic?  Oh, it all happens to also take place in a giant office building during Christmas.  Ho ho ho. 

    This movie feels like it was ripped from the eighties, when hardcore nightmare material was given to kids freely, complete with a PG rating slapped on it (see the above Gremlins recommendation).  The sound design and the practical effects are on point, and Krampus – the shadow of Santa Claus – appears in this dark twist on the holiday's mascot.  If you’re wanting something on the same level of quality as what Trick r Treat or Creepshow would do with a Christmas monster mash, then this is the movie for you.  Merciless and nihilistic as it casts a dark and demented shadow over twinkling Christmas lights, Krampus might be the hardcore horror fan’s answer for what to watch during the holidays.

    Tokyo GodfathersTokyo GodfathersIf I had to pick a Christmas movie that’s not about crime, blood, or monsters – one that is genuinely a mostly uplifting tale about the tenacity of the human spirit – this is the one.  Yes, an anime captures the spirit of Christmas in a way that barely nothing else ever has for me.   The master of Japanese animation, Satoshi Kon, created a spin on the idea of the three wise men with this movie.   Only, our “three wise men” take the form of an alcoholic homeless man, a transgender woman, and a teenaged runaway. They find themselves fighting to find a safe place for a baby found in garbage while struggling with their own personal demons.  It’s gorgeous, emotional, and manages to not be offensively patronizing while still giving a message of hope and determination to not give up.

    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 | Dec 18, 2017
    I'm going to blame myself.
    I have read to my kids since before they were born so my kids have heard a lot of stories. Now my first grader is learning to read on his own and most any time he comes to a word he doesn't know he just makes something up. He knows how stories work in general, and how a particular story is unfolding as he reads it, so he just says something that would go along with what he's just read.
    image of boy reading book

    As a former reading teacher I know he's using context cues as opposed to visual cues in reading when he gets stuck. If he were using visual cues then he'd look at the first letter of the mystery word and try to sound out the parts he sees. But nope, he just picks a word that makes sense in the story regardless of how it matches with the word on the page.

    There are lots of ways to help him pay closer attention to the words in a book. I'm working to teach him that he has to read what he sees. He can't just make stuff up.

    cover image for that is not a good idea
    This book by Mo Willems was a fun read last week because it helped direct his eyes to the words. The little chicks in That is Not a Good Idea warn the characters over and over about impending doom. Each time they are more urgent and each time the reader has to make sure to read the right number of really-s. It's a simple but spot-on practice tool for a 1st grader and it's an extra silly book. That's a win for me and a win for my new reader.

    Let your librarian know if you're looking for books for your new reader. We love helping find just the right books for fun and practice!
    by Erin | Dec 15, 2017

    Hello Universe

    Hello, Universe
    by Erin Entrada Kelly

    Greenwillow Books, 2017

    313 pages


    It’s not every day that a middle grade book tackles a concept as poignant as fate, but in Hello, Universe, four kids discover that fate has plans for them.


    Virgil: Virgil wants nothing more than to be the hero of his own story. He wants to stand up to bullies, be accepted by his family, and even just say hello to his crush. However, his shyness keeps getting in the way.


    Valencia: Valencia is convinced that she doesn’t need friends. All she needs is her zoological diary and the great outdoors. While she may not need friends, she would like someone to explain the weird dream that she’s been having.


    Kaori: Kaori is a psychic and a proud Gemini, she also runs a small business in which she reads other peoples’ fates. But when a friend goes missing, Kaori will need the universe’s help in finding him.


    Gen: Gen is Kaori’s little sister. She often helps with her older sister’s psychic readings and tends to carry around a pink jump rope.


    When a bully throws Virgil’s pet guinea pig into a dried up well, Virgil climbs down and ends up getting stuck. When he doesn’t show up to his scheduled psychic reading, Kaori enlists the help of Valencia and Gen to find him.


    Eloquent writing and strong themes of friendship and acceptance makes this book a page turner that is hard to put down. Is it good enough to win the Newbery? We’ll just have to wait and see.


    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 Hessen Cassel Branch | Dec 14, 2017
    Econ Recon graphic

    Social Science Sleuths is a free class for home-schooled middle and high school students. This winter's Social Science Sleuth's topic will be Econ Recon: An Overview of Economics.

    This class meets Monday mornings beginning January 8, at 10:30 am at our Hessen Cassel branch, 3030 E Paulding Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46816. The final class of this session will be on April 2.

    What is Econ Recon? To do reconnaissance is: "a mission to obtain information by observation or other detection methods, about the activities, resources and characteristics of a particular area. " We will be surveying broad areas in the field of economics to get an idea of what it means, how it works and why we should all know something about it. 

    For more information please email or call Karen Nesius Roeger at or 421-1330. There is no charge for this library program.

    by Teresa Walls | Dec 13, 2017
    Please don't worry; it is just for a few days. The Early Learning Center at the Main Library will be closed Monday, December 18, through Wednesday, December 20, so some maintenance can be done. Thanks for your understanding.
    Early Learning Center closed December 18 through 20, 2017
    by Evan | Dec 13, 2017
    Photo by Stin Shen, via Instagram

    Terraforming Mars
    is the hot thing at the intersection of science geekdom and board game geekdom. It's a prime example of how while you won't earn a PhD playing a board game, you -- or your kids -- may pick up key science ideas and start looking for more.

    This superb game was designed by a Swedish science teacher, Jacob Fryxelius, It has a learning curve and takes a few hours to play, but it fulfills the promise so many games fail to do -- it plays out in very different ways each time. The main science lessons are a big reason for that. Players pretend to be corporations competing to turn Mars into a habitable world. That means making it warmer, getting oxygen into the atmosphere and creating oceans. With hundreds of science-rich cards in play, the paths to those three goals vary widely.

    The game excited one player enough to write an essay about its clever science lessons. That writer thinks the game shows how "phenomenally stupid" it would be to try to  change a whole planet, but, of course, others think it can be done. Among the recent books we have on that are Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet by journalist Leonard David and Mars One, Humanity's Next Great Adventure: Inside the First Human Settlement on Mars by Norbert Kraft, a physician who helps select possible Mars pioneers.

    Evolution is a popular topic for science games. One gamer put a recent game of that title on top of his list of accurate science games. I've played Evolution a few times, and it does show how survival depends on adapting to changing conditions -- which includes evolving competitors. If my animal eats all the available plants before my wife's can eat, well, too bad for her, but if her animal evolves into a predator, too bad for me. At least until I evolve horns, etc. 

    Sure, science games are simplistic compared to a textbook, but so are history games, business games and the rest. The point is to teach themes and inspire curiosity, not prepare for a career. And, if the game is good, to have fun.

    And speaking of fun, one more plug. If you are into heavy board games and like a science theme, look into Dominant Species. It's about species migrating to find resources as the Ice Age advances. Everybody's competing to flourish the most on different terrains with different food sources. It's an engrossing mish-mash of scientific concepts. Just beware of the spiders. 

    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Dawn S | Dec 13, 2017
    Today is the day the Jewish Festival of Lights begins! Here are just some of the hundreds of Hanukkah items we have to borrow at the library. In addition to great print and audio items in our buildings we have hundreds of downloadable items on Hoopla and Overdrive and Freegal.

    cover image for CD the eight nights of chanukah
      music CD
    cover image for enjoy big note jewish holiday songs
      musical score
     cover image for happy hanukkah
      activity book
      cover image for hanukkah
    non-fiction book
    cover image for hanukkah
      non-fiction book
    cover image for hanukkah
      non-fiction book
    queen of the hanukah dosas
      story book
     cover imag for the missing letters
      story book
    cover image for hanukkah bear
      story book
    by Craig B | Dec 11, 2017
    cover for Hank William III's album, Greatest HitsA few years ago (okay, quite a few years ago) I was in Nashville, TN drinking my morning POM and a friend of mine was drinking a Red Bull.  I said to my friend, “Friend, I’m gonna live longer.”  And Friend said to me, “Craig, I’m gonna live faster.”  I guess it’s all in what your goal-set is.  Anyway, I listened to Hank Williams III’s Greatest Hits and it closely reminded me of the above conversation.  To Hank’s credit, I guess he can play just as fast as he’s living.

    Suggested Use: The cautionary part of me wants to say, listen to this album and learn from it what you need to avoid if you want a good chance of making it to retirement.  Another part of me wants to say, listen to this album and learn from it how to make your own luck.  I think I will end up simply saying, though, that track 2, "Country Heroes," is quite charming and worth a listen ... or two, and the breadth of experience it encompasses is sure to be illuminating, no matter what your goal-set happens to be.

    by Dori Graham | Dec 09, 2017

    Winter Solstice

    Did you know that the sun will set at 5:15 pm on December 21st making that day the darkest/shortest day of the entire year? On that day the sun will be so far away from the earth that its light can only reach us for a total of nine hours!

    That means we've all got an extra excuse to grab a blanket, a shiny flashlight, and a great book or two!

    Join us at the Main Library in the Children's Services department at 6:30 pm on December 21st as we settle in and celebrate the winter solstice with an especially cozy evening storytime. Who knows?! We might even build a blanket fort or two!

    In the meantime, check out some of these great wintry, solstice-y books from an ACPL library location near you!

    The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice
     by Wendy Pfeffer

    Winter Moon Song by Martha Brooks

    Winter Friends by Mary Quattlebaum

    A Solstice Tree for Jenny by Karen Shragg

    by Becky C | Dec 08, 2017

    How do librarians know what titles are coming out when?  How do we decide which of those titles we'll purchase for the collection?  We have several sources, but Publishers Weekly (PW) is one of my personal favorites.  PW reviews around 9,000 books a year. 

    For this month's post, I've taken the liberty of going through the October issues of Publishers Weekly (PW) and sharing the upcoming releases their reviewers are most excited about.  Each of these titles received a starred review.  We don't have all of these titles in the collection yet -- most are due to hit the shelves in bookstores and libraries next month -- but you can place a hold on your copy now.  Or, if you're like me, and you're typically at the 5 holds per person max, you can keep tabs on your picks a couple of ways.

    My favorite way to keep track of books I want to read is through ACPL's catalog.  Heather wrote an excellent post on how to do this -- click here for the details.  Goodreads and LibraryThing are also options.

    Which of these catches your eye? 

    Fiction coming to the collection December 2017

    The Missing Guests You Can Run  Reconciliation for the Dead 
     Immortal Life  The Duke of Her Desire  Roomies
     Between You and Me  The Mannequin Makers  Her Beautiful Monster
     Anatomy of a Scandal  Dark Dawn Over Steep House  The Man in the Crooked Hat
     Weave a Circle Round  Green  Wild Beauty
     Nightblind  Pen 33  The Lord Meets His Lady
     The Ninth Grave  The Immortalists  Wild Chamber
     Demon Crown  Heart Spring Mountain  Grist Mill Road
     Death Below Stairs  A Lady in Shadows  Moonlight Over Manhattan

    Nonfiction coming to the collection December 2017

     The Last Man Who Knew Everything  Doomsday Machine  Timekeepers
     Moral Combat  The Last London  The Newcomers
     America the Cookbook  Night plus Market  The Fearless Baker
     The Square and the Tower  Fortress America  Jeffersons Daughters
       Improv Nation  

    Click here to see previous Coming soon to a bookshelf near you posts.

    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 Community Engagement | Dec 07, 2017
    GRB radio licensing

    Our Grabill branch is offering free amateur radio licensing classes!
    Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 pm

    Amateur (Ham) Radio enthusiasts interested in becoming licensed are invited to attend a seven week beginner's course on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:00 pm. These classes are FREE and are taught by FCC licensed operators. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own note-taking supplies. Copies of the textbook will be made available for checkout to attendees who hold a valid Allen County Public Library Card.

    Classes start Tuesday, January 9 and end on Thursday February 15. Please register for quantity purposes. To register, call our Grabill branch at (260) 421-1325.  See you there!
    by Mary Voors | Dec 06, 2017

    Cover of Ethan I Was Before

    The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
    Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2017
    352 pages

    The Ethan I was Before by Ali Standish is a story about a boy struggling to work through profound grief. It's also a book full of secrets and mysteries to be resolved. The biggest mystery is trying to figure out what exactly happened to Ethan’s best friend Kacey – the girl who was always ready to accept any dare Ethan offered. The reader knows it was something dramatic enough for the entire family to be uprooted from Boston to his grandfather’s home in a small town in Georgia but doesn’t know exactly what happened.

    When Ethan makes a new friend in Georgia, he begins to think that maybe, just maybe, he could start to become the boy he used to be… as long as the preponderance of secrets don't pull everyone under.

    My favorite line of the book resonated strongly with me and in many ways sums up this title’s theme:  “Trying to destroy hope is like trying to clean sand out of your beach bag…. There’s always going to be a grain or two left.”

    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 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..