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    by Becky C | Jun 20, 2018
    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 read a summary and check availability — it’s as easy as that!

    The Limit   A Higher Loyalty  Disarmed
     Bosh  The Power of Moments  Drink
     You Are Free  Born a Crime  The Man Who Caught the Storm
     Unlikely General  DIY Rules for a WTF World  Your Dad Stole My Rake

    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 Kayla W | Jun 18, 2018

    Movie Recommendation: COLOSSAL

    I'm done being Mr. Nice Guy. - Oscar

    Colossal

     

    The trailers and the poster for this movie are misleading.   Think it looks like an absurd comedy involving lighthearted drunken hijinks?  Think again.

    To put it simply (and without spoiling too much), the movie is far deeper than some sort of mumblecore crossover comedy with giant monster battles. I mean, that still sounds cool. But it's not this movie.  If there’s a battle in this movie, it is one between two peoples’ personal demons.

    Not only does this movie far exceed what expectations someone can make for it, given the bizarre choice in how it was marketed, but it also exceeds most of what is produced that is supposed to delve into the murky waters of emotional depth and complication in Hollywood fiction. 

    I think the best genre stories, as in those that deal with overt, preestablished genres and their oftentimes well-established tropes, are those that use their chosen genre framework as a way of examining humanity through that lens (another movie that comes to mind is The Final Girls, which manages to take slasher horror and makes it into a heart-warming/breaking commentary on the relationship between a clichéd persona and a real, genuine person from the daughter's perspective).  It's like the movie is watching you back.

    Honestly, though, it’s tough talking about a movie that presents a façade that it somewhat believes in for a portion of the story.  I have no desire to spoil the reveals in this movie, but it offers a shock that left me glued to the screen and that sharing with you might spoil some of the effect that was intended.  Oh well – I think if this movie was given the exposure it initially deserved, I might not even have felt obliged to talk about it. So, here we are now.

    But what a balancing act this movie manages to pull off – taking its absurdist premise, of a complex character study of a woman who is teetering on the edge of losing the last shred of control she has on her life to a drunken stupor. The next (il)logical step is when she discovers that she has control of a Kaiju (Japanese) monster who looks as though it escaped a Godzilla black and white movie, all the while presenting a shockingly sober look at the life of the trainwreck protagonist. 

    If anything, the movie feels like a truly fantastic bait-and-switch, where it almost seems like it was half made by people who were revving up for a comedy, only to have it transformed halfway through into something completely, utterly, unexpected. And I can’t recommend it enough.


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

    by Craig B | Jun 15, 2018

    cover for Sir Rosevelt's eponymous albumAlright Zac Brown, a.k.a. Sir Rosevelt.  So many of the musical elements of this side project sound like they were included on a dare.  “Hey, you guys are musicians, I dare you to make a pop song with a Spaghetti Western guitar riff!  Hey, dare you to attempt a Diplo & Skrillex-influenced dance-pop album!  Hey!  Dare you to make a giant dance-beat song based around my grandfather’s name, Robert Baker!” 

    But, if you already are fond of Zac Brown, I think all of this kind of works out because the band is clearly having fun, and for me that’s much of what music is about.

    Suggested Use: Interested in expanding your horizons?  Try international travel.  If you can’t afford that, check out this eponymous album and over-analyze the musical musings of a talented set of musicians.  Listening, ride the waves to the farthest shore and then give the deep thoughts permission to roll through you … and not just in one ear and out the other.  That does nobody no good.


    craig Craig B is a thirty-something lover of books, movies, and rock and roll whose grandmother still worries that he might not be eating enough. (Love you, Grandma!) He lives with his charming wife in the small town of Berne, IN (in sight of the clock tower) where he busies himself keeping the Roses of Sharon in check and training his chinchilla in the ancient arts of the Ninja. Craig’s current favorite book is Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.
    by Becky C | Jun 13, 2018
    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 read a summary and check availability — it’s as easy as that!

    General Fiction

    Stephen Florida  The River Bank Heart Spring Mountain 
     The Overstory  The Perfect Nanny  Romeo and or Juliet
     Amy and Isabelle  The Sirens of Titan  We Are Okay
         


    Mystery/Suspense

    The Punishment She Deserves  Never Let Me Go   Tangerine
     The Good Liar  Six Four  
         

    Science Fiction/Fantasy

     The Fold A Face Like Glass  The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August 
     The Way of Kings  The Shape of Water  
         

    Children's

    Winterhouse  Like Vanessa
       

    Graphic Novels

    Rie and Taeko


    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 Evan | Jun 11, 2018

    At least read Chapter 11. Then come over here and talk about it.

    Homo DeusSometimes you want to read a book that rocks your world, really shakes things up. For a lot of people that book could be Yuval Harari's Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. And while the whole book is a feast of eye-opening ideas, you can get a bellyful in just the last chapter. 

    The subtitle is telling. Harari is a historian, not so much a futurist. He gained celebrity three years ago for Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and the new book is sort of a sequel. In it, Harari projects recent trends in history and says how he thinks they may play out in the next century or so. 

    The sequel notion applies partly because Harari thinks humanity won the wars of the past. He sees famine, disease and violence as the three chronic oppressions across history and argues that all three have been radically reduced since World War II. Next up, he predicts, will be the pursuit of happiness, of godlike powers and, yes, immortality. 

    What's more, Harari thinks the wars were won partly because what he calls humanist religions outperformed theistic religions in creating the modern world. The humanist trio -- communism, fascism and liberal democracy -- fought it out. Supposedly liberal democracy triumphed, but the rise of China presages a great irony in Harari's story: the scientific progress led by liberal democracy is making individuals, and ultimately humanity itself, useless.

    Perhaps, Harari muses, there will be a small core of elitists who will become homo dei -- immortal, happy gods. But he's betting against it. He sees the world currently heading to a universal, and fatal, religion of dataism. The collection and flow of information is driving progress today, and people give up their privacy and individualism to be part of it. In time, however, the flow will be so terrific that no human -- even a divine one -- will be able to cope with it, and humanity will wash away like all the extinct species before us. 

    Or maybe not. Harari leaves the door open for us to respond to what he has written. But he acknowledges resistance may be futile. 

    Homo Deus is the subject of a Science and Technology Book Club session I'll be hosting at 7 p.m. on June 21 in the conference room of the Business, Science & Technology Department at the Main Library. I'm trying to build a nucleus of people who are interested in a broad range of science themes, and if people don't find this book interesting, then I'll be mystified. 

    Harari makes a lot of broad statements about science, religion, humanity and the rest of life on Earth, but he backs them up with examples and footnotes. Some ideas are not original, but the way he puts them together could well erode the confidence readers have in how and why they are living the lives they lead. Harari's writing style is absolutely accessible, especially for such a heavy topic, although he sometimes hammers his points a little deep in the ground. 

    Fiction lovers like to talk about how good novels cause them to examine their own lives, but non-fiction can do the same. I encourage you to give this one a try -- or at least read the last chapter -- and then come on by and talk about it.


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Becky C | Jun 08, 2018
    Recently ordered dvds now show up in the catalog sooner -- which means you can place them on hold sooner!   This post is only a sneak peek at some of the titles ACPL has ordered this month; there are many more titles heading to the shelves soon. Click here to see a comprehensive list of dvds currently on order (entertainment, informational, kids, etc.)

    All descriptions are taken from our catalog summaries.

    The Debt Collector The Debt Collector
    Action; Not Rated

    To make ends meet, an gym owner takes up an job with a notorious criminal.

       
     Freak Show Freak Show
    Drama; Not Rated

    Billy is a fabulous, glitter-bedecked, gender-bending teenager whose razor-sharp wit is matched only his by his outrageous, anything-goes fashion sense. Undaunted by the bullies who don't understand him, the fearless Billy sets out to make a big statement in his own inimitable way.
       
     Dating My Mother  Dating My Mother
    Comedy

    Explores the intimate and sometimes tumultuous relationship between a single mother and her gay son as they navigate the dizzying world of online dating.
       
     The Unwilling  The Unwilling
    Horror

    After the death of a much despised patriarch, a mysterious box shows up during the reading of the will, forcing the family to reckon with each of their own deadly sins.


       
     The Last Witness The Last Witness
    Drama; Not Rated

    A journalist risks his life to uncover a refugee's connection to the British government's cover up of one of Stalin's most notorious crimes.

       
     Supercon Supercon
    Comedy; MPAA rating: R

    A group of comic convention performers come together over the fourth of July weekend to take down a shady promoter and ego mania star.
       
     Looking Glass  Looking Glass
    Drama; MPAA rating: R

    A couple buys an old motel in the desert looking for a new beginning but their discovery of a two way mirror and witness of a horrifying murder leads to a twisted game of cat and mouse.

       
     Nobodys Watching Nobody's Watching
    Drama; Not Rated.

    Nico leaves a promising acting career in Argentina after a romantic break-up with his married producer. He lands in New York City, lured into believing that his talent will help him succeed on his own. But that's not what he discovers.



    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 Evan D | Jun 06, 2018

    Waynedale gaming
    A gaming team at the Waynedale Branch library.

    One of the many new features of the library's big summer events schedule is Card + Board Gaming for adults. Three of our librarians will conduct a total of 17 game events at most of our branches. As you may have heard, hundreds of fun and challenging games for adults have been published in recent years, and we'll be teaching a couple dozen of them. Some are light and easy and some, like Decrypto shown above, will give your brain a workout. 

    With Waynedale's first event already behind us, here's the rest of the schedule of dates, library branches and times. (All times are p.m.) We hope to see you at one or more events. Bring your good luck charm and your thinking cap and have a good time. 

    June 11, New Haven, 7
    June 15, Little Turtle, 4
    June 16, Georgetown, 1:30
    June 18, Shawnee, 7
    June 19, Aboite, 7
    June 20, Main, 6
    June 25, Grabill, 7
    June 26, Hessen Cassel, 6:30
    June 28, Tecumseh, 7
    July 3, Waynedale, 6:30
    July 13, Little Turtle, 4
    July 17, Dupont, 7
    July 18, Monroeville, 3
    July 21, Georgetown, 1:30
    July 23, Grabill, 7
    July 24, Hessen Cassel, 6:30

    by Kayla W | May 30, 2018

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


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


    Paperbacks from hell


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    by Mindy L | May 28, 2018
    Some books sit on your nightstand for weeks as you read a little bit each night. These are not those books.


    Queen Anne’s Lace
    by Susan Wittig Albert

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

    Case of the Deadly Doppelganger by Lucy Banks

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

    NIGHTWISE by R. S. Belcher

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

     

    The Disappeared by C.J. Box

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

     



    Too Close to Breathe
    by Olivia Kiernan

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



    Jack Rabbit Smile by Joe Lansdale

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

     

    Miss Julia Raises the Roof by Ann B. Ross

    Miss Julia Raises the Roof

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

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

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

    *Cat emoji images via freepik 

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

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


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

    eleanoroliphantBook Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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

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

     

    educatedBook Review: Educated by Tara Westover

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

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

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

     

    browngirldreamingBook Review: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

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

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

     


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

     

    by Craig B | May 21, 2018
    Journal Gazette Biking Librarian photoHow many words must a video with a voiceover and a soundtrack be worth?!  The “end of numbers?”  (to quote the child of a co-worker).  Well, at least we can agree it’s probably a lot.  But wait, what am I even talking about?  Tour de ACPL?  What’s that?

    Well, let me tell you (in as few words as possible, I’d like the following video to do my talking for me.)  On Wednesday, May 2, I set out from Aboite Branch Library to bicycle along the Rivergreenway to nine other Allen County Public Library locations and various Allen County parks and points of interest.  I wanted to demonstrate how easy it could be to get around our community and just how many great things there were to do and see … and just how embedded our libraries are in neighborhoods throughout the county.  Truth be told, I was a bit nervous on the eve of my 40 mile bike ride.  I wasn’t sure I’d gotten in good enough shape, that I would be able to keep to the schedule, or that my videographer, Kay, would still be my friend after she’d had to follow me pell-mell through traffic, heat, and hundreds of minutes of footage.  But it went fine!  Excellent even!  Not that I wasn’t tired.  Believe me, I went to bed early afterwards.  But, before I say too much, let me allow the “pictures” to do the talking.  Check out the video we’ve put together and posted to ACPL’s YouTube channel and perhaps even be inspired to utilize the beautiful Rivergreenway of Fort Wayne to experience the many parks and sites of our community and to visit ACPL; quite possibly, if you’ll allow me a little license, the best thing in town.

    Onward to YouTube and the Tour de ACPL!

    craig Craig B is a thirty-something lover of books, movies, and rock and roll whose grandmother still worries that he might not be eating enough. (Love you, Grandma!) He lives with his charming wife in the small town of Berne, IN (in sight of the clock tower) where he busies himself keeping the Roses of Sharon in check and training his chinchilla in the ancient arts of the Ninja. Craig’s current favorite book is Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.
    by Evan | May 18, 2018

    If you just read an interesting book and the author has an email address on her/his website, use it. One of the cool things about reading today is that you might have a quick exchange of ideas with someone far away who stirred your brain a bit. 

    Eternal LifeThe other night I finished Dara Horn's new novel Eternal Life and applauded myself for discovering a deep insight about it. The up front story is about two ancient Israeli lovers who make a pact with God to save the life of their dying young son. Their son lives, but they can never die -- or at least never stay dead. They live one struggling life after another and are always consumed by fires and then reappear somewhere as their young adult selves. The woman is sick and tired of the whole thing and really, really wants to die for good. 

    The book is a meditation about life and death, but it occurred to me at the end that the protagonists also represent the story of the Jewish people. So, like the teacher's pet I've always been, I wrote to Ms. Horn to tell her my reasons for my deep insight and ask her whether I was right. I felt a little chagrined when she wrote back that night to say:

    "OF COURSE it's a metaphor for Jewish history!" 

    Then she went on to note certain historical nuggets wrapped inside the story. My ego recovered a little, because I had figured out a key plot twist involving a real-life figure whom Horn credits with keeping Judaism alive after the temple was destroyed. I was amused that she added, 

    "I'm frankly delighted that this was subtle enough that you felt the need to ask, since subtlety is not generally one of my strengths. My very mainstream publisher clearly felt that the immortality angle was more of a crowd-pleaser, and of course readers who read it that way still have plenty to think about. But I absolutely intended the book as a metaphor for Jewish history, which I find supernatural in its longevity. As Mark Twain wrote at the end of his 1898 essay 'Concerning the Jews': 'What is the secret of their immortality?' "

    You can't expect certain top-selling authors to give you an email address; just imagine how many complaints George R. R. Martin would get every day because he still hasn't finished The Winds of Winter. But it's fun to have a little interaction with a lower-profile writer whose work intrigues you. Give it a try.


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Craig B | May 16, 2018

    cover for Walker Hayes' album, Boom.Clever, funny, even, and mostly unobjectionable, Walker Hayes’ pop-country album, Boom., is only missing a slight increase in electric guitar riffs to make it into the realm of an album I’d listen to again.  Well, that and a few more driving drum lines … and maybe a little more disregard for the easy-listening crowd … and a couple of literary references could go a long way … Ok.  It’s not really that close to being an album I’d listen to again, but if it sounds like the kind of thing you’re into, I’d recommend it.

    Suggested Use: Prepping for a job interview?  Need to learn to talk about your strengths and weaknesses in the most charming way possible?  The self-deprecating lines about being a little too rowdy and needing to be closer to one’s religion in a few of these tracks might go a long way to teaching you the ways of the interview and pecuniary fulfillment.  I mean, what else is smooth, sentimental cleverness for? 

    by Readers' Services | May 14, 2018

     

    In Cold BloodDo you have an hour to kill?

    True crime is not a modern phenomenon--it dates all the way back to the Elizabethan era!  From historic tales of murder and mayhem to police memoirs and serial killer profiles, people read true crime for any number of reasons: a fascination with the dark side of human nature, vicarious thrills, or a need to understand frightening people and situations.

    Join us at our NEW True Crime Book Club on the second Thursday of each month. We’ll meet in the reading room of the Readers’ Services department from 2:00 to 3:00 pm.  Our first meeting takes place on June 14, 2018.

     

    June’s True Crime Book Club pick is Truman Capote’s masterpiece In Cold Blood, touted as the first “novelistic” work in the true crime genre.   Reserve a copy here.

    Want to read ahead?  Our next meeting will be July 12, 2018.  We’ll be discussing Midnight in Peking by Paul French.  Reserve a copy here.

     

    Questions?  Call the Readers’ Services department at 260-421-1235.

    by Becky C | May 11, 2018
    Recently ordered dvds now show up in the catalog sooner -- which means you can place them on hold sooner!   This post is only a sneak peek at some of the titles ACPL has ordered this month; there are many more titles heading to the shelves soon. Click here to see a comprehensive list of dvds currently on order (entertainment, informational, kids, etc.)

    All descriptions are taken from our catalog summaries. 



     12 Strong 12 Strong

    War; MPAA rating R

    The story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.

    Based on the book Horse soldiers by Doug Stanton.



       
     All I Wish  All I Wish

    Comedy; MPAA rating R

    An aspiring fashion designer struggles to find success and love. The story cuts into her life once a year, always on the same date, her birthday.
       
     Annihalation Annihilation

    Sci Fi; MPAA rating R

    Biologist and former soldier Lena is shocked when her missing husband comes home near death from a top-secret mission into The Shimmer, a mysterious quarantine zone from which no one has ever returned. Now, Lena and her elite team must enter a beautiful, deadly world of mutated landscapes and creatures, to discover how to stop the growing phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth.

       
     Bent Bent

    Drama; MPAA rating R

    When a drug bust goes wrong, ex-cop Danny Gallagher's quest for justice leads him to the car-bomb murder of a government official's wife. When Gallagher learns that the woman's secret lover was a seductive federal agent, he finds himself under fire. But from whom, his own cops, a vengeful drug lor, the CIA, or someone even more ruthless?
       
     Dont Talk to Irene Don't Talk to Irene

    Comedy; TV rating TV-14

    Irene must endure two weeks of community service at a retirement home. Following her passion for cheerleading, she secretly signs up the senior residents to audition for a dance-themed reality show to prove that people don't need to be physically perfect to be perfectly awesome.
       
     The Jade Pendant The Jade Pendant

    Western; MWT rating NR

    The Old West becomes a battleground for power and revenge in this gripping epic based on true events. A young Chinese woman, Ying-Ying, finds herself on a boat to America after escaping the clutches of a bad arranged marriage. But when she arrives in California, nothing is what she's expected. She's been sold to a house of prostitution and murderers roam the streets. Gold rules all as thousands have come to the Wild West to build railroads in search of fortune and power.
       
     The Manor  The Manor

    Horror; MPAA rating R

    Still haunted by the demons of a childhood tragedy, Amy checks out of an asylum on her eighteenth birthday. But things get weird when Amy's mother takes her to a rustic resort to visit her strange, sadistic relatives. When hunters and religious fanatics join the party, Amy can no longer tell fantasy from reality, watching helplessly as the blood spills anew.

       
     Red Sparrow Red Sparrow

    Mystery; MPAA rating R

    Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to Sparrow School, a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

    Based on the book by Jason Matthews
       
     Valentinas Wedding  Valentina's Wedding

    Romantic Comedy; MPAA rating R

    Families feud, laughs fly, and cultures clash in this hilarious romantic comedy. Valentina has the perfect life in New York, with the perfect job and a perfect boyfriend, Jason. But when Valentina's scandal-ridden family in Mexico asks Valentina to pretend to be married to her ex-beau, Angel, in order to protect her father's political campaign, Valentina's ordered life turns upside down as she struggles to choose where her heart belongs.

       
     Winchester  Winchester

    Horror; MPAA rating PG-13

    Eccentric firearm heiress believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle.
       
     Wonderstruck Wonderstruck

    Mystery; MPAA rating PG

    The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.




    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 | May 10, 2018
    Yep, another month and more books to read!!! Get ready for the summer and check out these books. Take them to the beach, sit out on the patio while the fireflies are all around you. Have fun! These are a few selected books I've been hearing some good reports about. These books will be released from May 15 to June 14, 2018. And, what do I always say? Those are the release dates by the publisher, not the date they will be on your library shelves.

    Historical Romance
     Elizabeth Elliott Elizabeth Elliott
    http://www.elizabeth-elliott.com/
    The Princess
    The Montagues series
    June 5 
    Welcome back Elizabeth after a long absence!
     Eloisa james Eloisa James
    http://eloisajames.com
    Too Wilde to Wed
    Wildes of Lindow Castle series
    May 29
     Paula Quinn Paula Quinn
    http://pa0854.wix.com/paulaquinn
    Laird of the Black Isle
    Highland Heirs series
    May 29

    Historical Fiction

     Kevin Powers Kevin Powers
    http://kevincpowers.com/
    A Shout in the Ruin
    May 15 

    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream Fiction/New Adult/Women's Fiction

    Arif Anwar  Arif Anwar
    https://twitter.com/arifanwar
    The Storm, debut
    Mainstream
    May 15
     Celeste Bradley Celeste Bradley
    http://www.celestebradley.com/
    Susan Donovan
    http://www.susandonovan.com/
    Breathless
    Contemporary romance
    June 12
     Hoang Helen Hoang
    http://www.helenhoang.com/
    The Kiss Quotient
    Contemporary romance
    June 5
     Helena Hunting Helena Hunting
    http://www.helenahunting.com/
    I Flipping Love You
    Shacking Up series
    Contemporary Romance
    May 29
     Julie Anne Long Julie Anne Long
    http://www.julieannelong.com/index.shtml
    The First Time at Firelight Falls
    A Hellcat Canyon Novel series
    Contemporary romance
    May 29
     Karen White Karen White
    http://www.karen-white.com
    Dreams of Falling
    Mainstream
    June 5

    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense

     Tracy Clark Tracy Clark
    https://www.tracyclarkbooks.com
    Broken Places, debut
    A Chicago Mystery series
    Mystery
    May 29 
     Peg Cochran Peg Cochran
    http://www.pegcochran.com/
    Bought the Farm
    Farmer's Daughter Mystery series
    Mystery
    June 5
     Julia Heaberlin Julia Heaberline
    http://www.juliaheaberlin.com/
    Paper Ghosts
    Suspense
    May 15
     Horowitz Anthony Horowitz
    http://www.anthonyhorowitz.com/
    The Word is Murder
    Mystery
    June 5
     Brynn Kelly Brynn Kelly
    http://www.brynnkelly.com
    A Risk Worth Taking
    The Legionnaires series
    Romantic suspense
    May 29
     Kat Martin Kat Martin
    http://www.katmartin.com
    Beyond Control Beyond Control
    The Texas Trilogy series
    Romantic suspense
    May 29

    Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy

     Christine Feehan Christine Feehan
    http://www.christinefeehan.com
    Shadow Keeper
    A Shadow Riders Novel series
    Paranormal romance
    May 29 
     Nalini Singh Nalini Singh
    http://www.nalinisingh.com
    Ocean Light
    Psy-Changeling Trinity series
    Paranormal Romance
    June 12

    Young Adult/Teens

     Morgan Matson Morgan Matson
    http://www.morganmatson.com
    Save the Date
    June 5 

    Inspirational Romance/Mainstream

     Karen Barnett Karen Barnett
    http://www.KarenBarnettBooks.com
    Where the Fire Falls
    Shadows of wilderness series
    June 5
     Hillman Pam Hillman
    http://www.pamhillman.com
    The Road to Magnolia Glen
    Natchez Trace series
    June 5
     Hunter Kristi Ann Hunter
    http://www.kristiannhunter.com
    A Defense of Honor
    Haven Manor series
    June 5
     Courtney Walsh Courtney Walsh
    http://www.courtneywalsh.typepad.com/
    Just Let Go
    June 5
     Catherine West Catherine West
    http://www.catherinejwest.com
    Where Hope Begins
    May 22
     Elizabeth Younts Elizabeth Byler Younts
    Http://www.elizabethbyleryounts.com
    The Solace of Water
    June 5

    Erotica

     Lynda Aicher Lynda Aicher
    http://lyndaaicher.com
    Blind Trust
    The Boardroom series
    May 14 




    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 Craig B | May 08, 2018

    Book Review: John Updikes's winner of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Rabbit is Rich

    cover for John Updike's novel, Rabbit is RichI made a note to myself on my new smartphone (which is a very old smartphone, inherited from my wife from when she upgraded, also my first smartphone, kind of like this is my first Updike novel which makes me feel a bit ashamed … I guess you can’t read living authors in college, right?)  while reading John Updike’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction win, Rabbit is Rich, that the book is full of “good, terrible news.”  Now, weeks later, I’m not sure exactly what I meant by that, but let me dip into the stream of my consciousness a bit, oh that’s right, for me there was something burdensome about Rabbit’s richness or maybe it was details like Rabbit noting that his wife’s infidelity had made her a “niftier person.”  Kind of good, kind of terrible news, and, honestly, quite fascinating reading.

    My wife says Pennsylvania is God’s Country and on my last visit I started to see what she was talking about and one can tell Updike really was from there; he’s got a feel for the layout, the jolly vibe that everything really terrible in Pennsylvania happened a while ago, and in the book, to back this kind of random claim up, there is no actual tragedy, though there are a couple of moments… well, I’ll just leave it at that.  I think perhaps this is all by design.  As Updike himself said of his writing, he attempted "to give the mundane its beautiful due.”  Okay, but there’s also something of the farce here, which doesn’t necessarily ring any less true to my experience of life, and so, I’m looking forward to reading Rabbit at Rest.  I’m not sure I want to go back and read the other Rabbit novels, at least not right away, you know, because, so much of the tension of Rabbit is Rich comes from what we don’t know and if we resolve the mystery aren’t we just left with the mundane?  Of course, in the end, that may be all we need, at least from the gifted hands of a writer like Updike.

    Craig B author Craig B is a thirty-something lover of books, movies, and rock and roll whose grandmother still worries that he might not be eating enough. (Love you, Grandma!) He lives with his charming wife in the small town of Berne, IN (in sight of the clock tower) where he busies himself keeping the Roses of Sharon in check and training his chinchilla in the ancient arts of the Ninja. Craig’s current favorite book is Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.
    by Evan | May 03, 2018

    The Great Courses

    Free college education -- right here at the Allen County Public Library!

    Not a free diploma, mind you. Just the lectures. We're not having you take any tests or write any papers, but we are offering you thousands of hours of free lectures by top college professors.

    It's called The Great Courses series. There are courses you can "take" on your car CD player while commuting to work each day and courses you can watch on DVD. We've got hundreds of them, and I've listened to dozens, appreciating each one. 

    I've caught up with ancient civilizations, the symphonies of Beethoven and most recently the history of the Earth. You might choose the mystical traditions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam or mathematical decision making or, if you are really ambitious, Medical School for Everyone.

    You can go to a college and audit a course for $900 or take one of ours for free -- courses given by teaching stars. Courses you can play back to review the hard parts. Courses that usually include a book that outlines what you are hearing. 

    It's a good deal. I encourage anyone who wants to learn just for the fun of it to listen up. 


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Becky C | Apr 30, 2018
    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!

    Roomies  A Wizard of Earthsea  Happiness is a Choice You Make
     Sunburn  Little Fires Everywhere  The Fast and the Furriest
     The Vanishing Season  Midlife  An Unkindness of Ghosts
     All the Stars in the Heavens  The Martian  Chimera
       The Gatekeepers  

    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 Kayla W | Apr 27, 2018

    Playstation 4 Videogame Recommendation: Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition


    (Grave Marker): “Here lies Master Ragequin's second apprentice. Killed by dying”

     

    Divinity Original sin 

     

    Alright.  I don’t often decide, part of the way through anything, that I NEED to spread the word about it immediately.  The end could be a complete mess that negates the whole experience that came before it (I’ve been burned before on that front).  But forgive me, because this game is just… special.  And I want you folks to play this before the much-celebrated sequel makes its appearance on game consoles this August (it’s so well loved on computer and it’s won many industry awards, to the point where many have called it one of the best CRPGs ever made).   The first game is no slouch, either.  It’s good.  Really good.

    It also happens to be a game that you don’t have to play alone.  Well, it’s not that I don’t also have the Role Playing Game staple of party members as I go questing through the deeply engaging world of surprisingly lighthearted and hilarious Cyseal.  The interesting thing is that this game can, in fact, be co-op.  And not in an online manner. You can choose to play this top-down, tactical RPG all the way through with a buddy, sitting next to you on our couch.   Staring at the same television, sharing the same bowl of popcorn.  Probably at some point threatening your friend because they set you on fire again.  I think the fact that various screens in game depict two characters holding hands should be taken as a sign of the developer’s attitude of playing with a friend or significant other.  They want you to have fun with someone else.

    It’s a glorious experience, and might be considered remarkable enough to merit it being played for that reason alone.  The great thing about Larian Studios’ game is that it’s remarkable any way you slice it. Even if you would prefer to play it alone, I would recommend this game in the same breath that I would recommend the equally as remarkable (sans the couch co-op) Pillars of Eternity

    This is a top-down game that may bring you back to an older CRPG experience (a computer RPG experience, that is) which features a unique battle system that transforms the real time gameplay into a tactical, turn-based battle system. All the way through, the game forces you to make interesting decisions when it comes to what you’re doing and the best way to handle any situation.  That may mean having someone sneak up on an enemy, then strategically having your buddy – either a party member or your co-op partner – dropping in on the fun, perhaps after taking a cheap shot at an enemy.  Or deciding whether to set off a poison cloud on a group of enemies, only to later set the whole thing on fire for a fantastic explosion, then chase it by summoning a rain cloud to douse the charred bones of those monsters that tried to get between you and your quest reward. 

    This is a game of exploration, experimentation, and reading.  Like, a lot of reading.  You’re going to be turning rooms upside-down, looking for clues and loot, deciding who gets what, crafting – basically throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.  For the most part, even the more frustrating moments are often punctuated with interesting characters and with a typically lighthearted, oftentimes silly story that leans hard on its writers’ intelligence.  And the joy with discovering the answer to a puzzle together is a great one, as is planning out how you’re going to sneak past a group of vigilant monsters who’ve turned the countryside into a fireball – or from a group of pesky bandits who keep unleashing a volley of arrows on you from a hidden position on the cliffs above you.  Also, what the heck’s going on with those Douglas Adams’ nightmares in the form of statues telling gullible people that they have given them the ability to fly – and these people quickly take a dive off of a nearby cliff to their deaths? 

    Playing the game had me figuring out how to put a fire out on a ship in a dock (I threw a PHENOMENALLY huge water balloon at the thing), deciding the fate of the friendliest and wordiest sentient clam in all of fiction (I found out later that you could have chosen to eat him(!)), and trying to help a talking head named Nick escape the fate of being a sideshow attraction and hopefully return him to his body (he became a zombie that was usable as a summon spell).  

    I don’t know about you, but I would take these beginning few hours that I’ve spent in Divinity with my S.O over the on-rail experience that most RPGs have left me with.

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