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    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 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.

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

    life among the savagesBook Review: Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson

    Shirley Jackson is best known for her haunting short story The LotteryThe Lottery, however, couldn’t be more different from Life Among the Savages - a comedic take on the domestic chaos of motherhood.  Published in 1952, Life Among the Savages is a compilation of autobiographical essays written for various women’s magazines.  The premise is simple: Jackson, her husband, and their two young children leave New York City and buy an old farmhouse in Vermont.  Over the next six years two more children are added to the family and shenanigans ensue.  Whether recounting her daughter’s inability to complete any task without including seven imaginary daughters of her own, or the perils of childbirth, or the Herculean task of getting the children dressed, fed, and to school on time each day, Jackson tells tales of everyday life with warmth and self-deprecating humor. 

    theactorslifeBook Review: The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide by Jenna Fischer

    Like most of America, I loved Jenna Fischer as Pam Beesly on NBC’s The Office, so I was excited when I found out she had written a book.   The Actor’s Life is a guide on to how to make it as an actor, something I have no intention of doing, but I still found it to be a really enjoyable read.  First, it was really fascinating to see how one even goes about becoming an actor.  Second, Fischer shared a lot of amusing stories about her own experiences, so much so, that, in many ways, The Actor’s Life reads like a memoir.  Fischer has an easy, charming writing style that made this book a quick and enjoyable read.  If you have any interest in working as an actor, I would definitely recommend this book, but it’s also great for anyone who is a Jenna Fischer fan. 

    whataliceforgotBook Review: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

    Alice is 29 years old.  She adores her husband, is best friends with her sister, and is pregnant with her first child.  Then one day she regains consciousness after a fall, only to discover ten years have passed and she has no memory of them.  She is now 39 years old.  She has three children she cannot remember, a strained relationship with her sister, and is in the middle of a nasty divorce.  Perhaps most frightening for Alice is not that she doesn’t recognize the people around her, but that she doesn’t recognize herself. 

    What Alice Forgot is one of those books that you can read in one sitting.  What has happened in the past ten years to cause such drastic changes in Alice’s life is slowly revealed to her, and therefore the reader, in drips and drops, and I found myself not wanting to put the book down because I was eager to find out what had happened. 

    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 Evan | Apr 18, 2018


    You've got this thing about Kroger. Or Google. Or  Acme Anvils. Whatever, there's this company you want to research and/or contact because you like/hate what they do and you may want to invest in them or write a letter of hot and detailed complaint.

    So, you want names and addresses of top executives, maybe even emails.You want to see how they're doing in the stock market, what the recent news is about them, whether they are in any legal trouble.

    The library is here to help. We subscribe to LexisNexis Library Express, and you can use it freely. (It's actually a triple-threat database. Besides business information, it has a database for news stories going back 40 years and another one for legal cases and articles. But today we're talking business.)

    You can reach the database by scrolling down from this link to our website. If you are in one of our libraries, it will open automatically; if you are elsewhere, you'll need to enter your library card number. Either way, you'll open up access to a great deal of corporate information. 

    Using it might require a little patience. For instance, it rewards spelling on a what-you-give-is-what-you-get basis. That's why when I typed in Proctor & Gamble it gave me almost 30 results but not the big headquarters in Cincinnati. Evidently a lot of other people besides me misspell the company name. Type Procter instead of Proctor and wonders await you.. 

    As for Google, when you search for it on LexisNexis and don't find the data you want, be sure to notice the line that says Top-level. That's code for parent company. Google hid itself behind the corporate name Alphabet Inc. a few years ago, but Lexis-Nexis will help you figure that out. 

    Of course, the database gives more information about publicly traded companies than private ones, so Acme Anvils won't show as much. But there's a lot of authoritative data there -- and some of it is not the kind you will easily find on corporate websites. So, dig deep and prosper. 


    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 16, 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!

    Children of Blood and Bone Nevertheless  Empress of a Thousand Skies 
     Blood of a Thousand Stars  Kindred  Its Better Than It Looks
     Getting Rid of Bradley  Neverwhere  The Cuckoos Calling
     Herland  Summer Hours at the Robbers Library  Life Reimagined
     The Nightingale  The Templars  The Song of Susannah


    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 Becky C | Apr 13, 2018
    Image from Dennis Skley flickr page

    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 March 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 May 2018

    Some Trick  A View of the Empire at Sunset  Warlight
     A Handful of Ashes  How It Happened  Exit Strategy
     Head On  Taste of Wrath  The Bride Takes a Groom
     Sorority  The Ensemble  The Lonely Witness
     Last Instructions  Obscura  In Dust and Ashes
     Armistice  To the Moon and Back  Last Stories
     Spring  Wade in the Water  Alter Ego
     The Long Silence  Flowers and Foul Play  the Queen of Sorrow
     How to Forget a Duke  The Optimistic Decade  The Favorite Sister
     The Council of Twelve  Dead Pretty  Star of the North
     How Far Shes Come  A Devil of a Duke  The Prince
       Send Down the Rain  

    Nonfiction coming to the collection May 2018

    Figures in a Landscape Denmark Veseys Garden  Killing King 
     The Rise and Fall of Dinosaurs  A Burger to Believe in  Project Fire
     How to Change Your Mind  How To Be a Perfect Christian  Training in Tenderness
     A Brotherhood of Spies  Calypso  The Perfectionists
     The Cooks Atelier  Aspergers Children  Barracoon
     Tailspin  Im Still Here  


    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 11, 2018

              You made me hate myself. Well, I like myself now. – Willard Stiles

    Movie Review: Willard

    willardLet’s talk about rats.   They certainly have an interesting and varied history with humanity, and something you may not know is that they’re actually a major reason why Jaws is seen as one of the most iconic of villains to ever grace the silver screen.  Yes, it’s true – Willard made its American audience hungry for more “animals attack” movies, and was so widely acclaimed that it paved the way for more films featuring the evils of our animal brethren to be released throughout the seventies.   I feel safe in assuming that if not for the Iago-like scheming rat, Ben, we might never have had our Universal Studios’ famous great white shark.

    In spite of that, Willard has become a (mostly) forgotten-about cult darling, having been underlooked – around the time we went from film to VHS to DVD.  For the longest time, if you wanted a story about a man and his rats, you would have to watch the re-make, featuring Crispin Glover absolutely devouring the scenery amidst a sea of his rat friends.  Not a bad fate (in fact, that movie was the first film my S.O. and I ever watched together alone – which somehow still managed to be romantic, in spite of the content of the movie), but anyone who’s wanted to see the truly solid and unforgettable original has been out of luck – unless they own a VHS copy and a player.   Cue Shoutfactory, who only just last year released this utterly strange movie on crisp Blu-ray and DVD. 

    So, what is the movie about?   I once heard the creators of the cult classic Tucker and Dale Versus Evil describe their movie as a romantic tale that happens to feature a bad incident involving a woodchipper, and in a similar tongue-in-cheek manner, I would describe Willard as a tale of a boy and his rats with a few minor incidents related to a seriously terrible office job. 

    To describe it more fully, Willard features a man who appears to have a case of Peter Pan syndrome, not aided in the least by the lead actor’s boyish features, or by his style of acting, which brings to mind more often than not a child on the verge of throwing a tantrum.   It’s his attitude and obvious, childish desire to escape his responsibilities that make the character of Willard Stiles different from the escapist fantasy stories that veer towards saving a male character from his fate of emasculation at the hands of a cold social structure or overbearing female characters.  We're introduced to the title character through his home life via a birthday party thrown for him in his spacious, decrepit home (with the party guests all being his mother’s friends).  There we also meet his gleefully opportunistic and bullying boss, played perfectly and memorably by an eternally devious Ernest Borgnine. Not soon after, we see the rat infestation that has taken over the run-down backyard garden in the back of Willard’s home.   At first deeming the infestation to be yet one more chore to further weigh the child-like man down with responsibility, Willard soon discovers that he has an affinity for the rats and that they respond well to training and affection.

    What happens next I will leave to the imagination, but if kitschy seventies style and bizarro animal action is something you’re interested in, you won’t be disappointed by this strange trip of a movie.

    The ACPL has multiple copies of the cult classic on Blu-Ray, and the movie is based on a book, known as Ratman’s Notebooks.  

    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 Craig B | Apr 09, 2018

    cover for 21 Savage, Offset, and Metro Boomin's album, Without WarningI quite appreciated the pop culture references I found on the collaboration, Without Warning, put together by Metro Boomin, 21 Savage, and Offset.  The Matrix, Freddy Krueger, and Darth Vader all make appearances among the many, many words on this album.  In fact it’s so dense lyrically it does sort of remind me of those green streaming characters on Cypher’s screen in The Matrix in which Cypher sees such a wealth of life and at which Neo can only stare.  But that of course is before … well, if you haven’t seen the movie I won’t ruin it for you.

    Suggested Use: Browse the movie section at your local library to these tunes when you’re not sure what you’re in the mood to watch.  If the thoughtful lyrics don’t give you some ideas, the pop culture references should jog your memory of past space operas, nightmare visions, and pre-John-Wick Keanu Reeves.  Collaborate with nostalgia, the hero’s journey, and a variety of artistic expressions to make sure your weekend is memorable and successful in preparing you for a journey of your own; back into the matrices of Monday morning and a week of drizzling déjà vu.

    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 Kay S | Apr 06, 2018
    As Scooby-Doo would say "Rime for Rnew Releases" Actually, because Scooby-doo is a dog, I really don't know what he'd say. So, I'll say here are a few new upcoming releases coming to a store/library/electronic device near you. These are to be released between April 15 to May 14, 2018. And, as always, the dates given are the dates they will be published, not the date they hit the shelves. I have been reading good things about the following.

    Historical Romance
    Valerie Bowman Valerie Bowman
    http://www.ValerieBowmanBooks.com
    A Duke Like No Other
    Playful Brides series
    May 1
    Madeline Hunter Madeline Hunter
    http://www.madelinehunter.com/
    A Devil of a Duke
    Decadent Dukes Society series
    April 24
    Cathy Maxwell Cathy Maxwell
    http://cathymaxwell.com/
    A Match Made in Bed
    The Spinster Heiresses series
    April 17
    Courtney Milan Courtney Milan
    http://www.courtneymilan.com/
    After the Wedding
    Worth Saga series
    April 24 - ebook (Ms. Milan self-publishes, so the date may vary)
     Joanna shupe Joanne Shupe
    http://www.joannashupe.com/
    A Scandalous Deal
    The Four Hundred Series
    April 24

    Historical Fiction

     Genevieve Graham Genevieve Graham
    https://www.genevievegraham.com/
    Come from Away
    April 24

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

     Kate Clayborn Kate Clayborn
    https://www.kateclayborn.com/
    Luck of the Draw
    Part of the Chance series
    Contemporary Romance
    April 24
     Cheris Hodges Cheris Hodges
    http://www.cherishodges.net
    Strategic Seduction
    Contemporary Romance
    April 24
     Orly Konig Orly Konig
    http://orlykonig.com/index.html
    Carousel Beach
    Mainstream Fiction
    May 8
     Shannon Stacey Shannon Stacey
    http://shannonstacey.com
    Hot Response
    Boston Fire series
    Contemporary romance
    April 24

    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense

    Ellery Adams  Ellery Adams
    http://elleryadamsmysteries.com/
    Murder in the Locked Library
    A Book Retreat Mystery series
    Mystery
    April 24 
     Sidney Bell Sidney Bell
    http://www.sidneybell.com
    Hard Line, m/m
    Woodbury Boys series
    Romantic Suspense
    April 24
     Christina Dodd Christina Dodd
    http://www.christinadodd.com
    Dead Girl Running
    Cape Charade series
    Thriller
    April 24
     Iris Johansen Iris Johansen
    http://www.irisjohansen.com/
    Shattered Mirror
    Eve Duncan series
    Suspense
    April 24
     Amanda Quick Amanda Quick
    http://www.jayneannkrentz.com
    The Other Lady Vanishes
    Burning Cove series
    Mystery
    May 8

    Paranormal Romance/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

     martha Wells Martha Wells
    http://www.marthawells.com/
    Artificial Condition
    The Murderbot Diaries series
    Science Fiction
    May 8

    Young Adult/Teen

     Lilly Anderson Lily Anderson
    https://www.mslilyanderson.com
    Undead Girl Gang
    May 8 
     Christina June Christina June
    http://www.christinajune.com
    Everywhere You Want to Be
    May 1
     Taran Matharu Taran Matharu
    http://authortaranmatharu.com/
    The Outcast
    The Summoner series prequel
    May 1
     Leila Sales Leila Sales
    http://leilasales.com
    If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say
    May 1
      Andrienna young Adrienne Young
    http://adrienneyoungbooks.com/
    Sky in the Deep
    Throne of Glass
    April 24

    Inspirational Romance/Mainstream Fiction

     Heidi Chiavaroli Heidi Chiavaroli
    http://www.heidichiavaroli.com
    The Hidden Side
    May 8 
     Amanda Stevens Amanda G. Stevens
    http://amandagstevensbooks.com
    No Less Days
    May 1

    Erotica

     Kristen Ashley Kristen Ashley
    http://www.kristenashley.net
    The Greatest Risk
    The Honey Series 




    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 Becky C | Apr 05, 2018
    Anita Shreve Anita Shreve quote 


    Anita Shreve died at her home on March 29.  Her novels explored love, loss, and betrayal; she often used a dramatic event to examine how a single experience could change someone's life. 

    She began writing fiction in her early forties, often finding inspiration in old houses, stating that "a house with any kind of age has dozens of stories to tell".  Here's a look at three of her novels which used the same house as her muse.


    Fortunes Rocks

    Fortune's Rocks
    .  In the summer of 1899 and the Biddefords are spending the season in their New Hampshire seaside cottage.  15-year-old Olympia has an affair with her father's friend, John Haskell.  A few weeks of joy turn into years of pain.  A scandalous love story and a skillfully written portrait of American society at the turn of the last century.




    Sea GlassSea Glass.  A newly married couple, Sexton and Honora Beecher, fall in love with a derelict New Hampshire seaside cottage. Sexton lies about his finances and arranges a loan to buy the property. When the 1929 stock market crash occurs soon afterward, Sexton loses his job and finds work in the nearby mills. There, he joins a group of desperate mill hands who want to form a union and the lives of the Beechers become entwined with the strikers.  The plot moves forward via each character's point of view, building emotional tension until the violent climax when the mill owners' henchmen confront the strikers.


    The Pilots WifeThe Pilot's Wife.  After her husband Jack's plane, with 103 passengers aboard, explodes off the coast of Ireland, a union rep guides Katharine through the first hours of grief and shock. When investigators indicate they suspect a bomb and that Jack is somehow implicated, Hart becomes instrumental in protecting Katharine and her daughter from both the media and the airline, which is desperate to find a scapegoat for the disaster. As Katharine is forced to repeatedly absorb startling new information about her husband, she must face the fact that she did not really know the man she had been happily married to for 16 years.


    Do you have a favorite book by Anita Shreve?  If so, please share your recommendations in the comments below.



    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 Mindy L | Apr 04, 2018
    Some books sit on your nightstand for weeks as you read a little bit each night. These are not those books.

    Penrics FoxPenric’s Fox by Lois McMaster Bujold

    The third book in the World of the Five Gods: Penric & Desdemona series.  The Penric books are novellas, so they’re a quick read. Poor Penric happens to be in the wrong place at the right time and acquires Desdemona, a Chaos demon, who shares his body. Characters are likable; there’s humor and excitement. A good fantasy series.

    The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George

    The Punishment She DeservesElizabeth George’s Lynley and Havers series is intense and character driven, with interesting social commentary and a nice bunch of twists and turns. If you’ve never read her books, you might be confused by the many characters who populate each book. It’s also a lovely long one, nearly 700 pages. I guess it could be called a British police procedural, with literary overtones. I finished it in a long weekend, during which I pretty much didn’t get anything else done. Her books are excellent, if sometimes difficult.



    The Hush
    by John Hart

    The HushI wasn’t quite expecting this book to go in the direction it did, but I was happy to tag along. A story of love, revenge, history, slavery, and the South, with a certain dark magic. I found it hard to put down. I’ve read most of his other books, in fact the two main characters were in a previous novel, but you can read this as a stand-alone with no trouble. The book is eerie, sometimes veering into horror territory, but not so far that it’s terrifying. Read it with the lights on, maybe?


    Two Girls DownTwo Girls Down by Louisa Luna

    Alice Vega finds people. She’s hired by the family of two girls who have disappeared. Many plot twists and red herrings. Alice Vega is an interesting person, very self-sufficient, very buttoned down, and it’s fascinating to watch her become more human. If you like the Mallory books by Carol O’Connell, you might enjoy this.

     

    Talk to the Paw
    Talk to the Paw
    by Melinda Metz

    This is a chic lit book. A love story, a cat burglar (a cat called MacGyver), some crazy neighbors…a pleasant read when you just want something light, with some humor, romance, and a bit of mystery.





    Gunpowder MoonGunpowder Moon
    by David Padreira

    A traditional hard Science Fiction book with well-drawn characters and an interesting plot. Mining on the moon in 2072, two global powers start a moon war.  If you liked Robert Heinlein or James Corey, you’d probably enjoy this. A quick, fun read.




    Those who know me well, know that I am a self-declared Cat Lady.  Here's a photo of my cat, BT Cooper, looking underwhelmed.  He knows that I have many more book recommendations to offer!  I read a little bit of everything so please check back.  And please leave a comment below to let me know what books you've enjoyed recently.  

    BT Cooper



    Mindy works at the Little Turtle branch.  She's a cat lady, an avid reader, and an old boomer.
    by Craig B | Apr 02, 2018

    Book Review: John Kennedy Toole's winner of the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, A Confederacy of Dunces

    cover for John Kennedy Toole's novel, A Confederacy of DuncesWinning the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981 for A Confederacy of Dunces was a posthumous win for John Kennedy Toole; the book was written in 1963 and Toole committed suicide in 1969.  It seems it’s possible Toole had become the victim of his own joke.  In writing a very funny book about a brilliant sloth named Ignatius J. Reilly (who may actually have been one of the true geniuses that Jonathan Swift described as being able to be known “by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him”) Toole remained unable to convince anyone that he, Toole, was a “true genius.”  Publishers looked at Toole’s book and said, “It’s funny! … but what’s it about?” subsequently not publishing the novel.  This disappointment contributed to Toole’s downward slide over several years until his suicide.  Later Toole’s mother got the book “discovered” through sheer persistence and it saw publication in 1980, winning the Pulitzer in 1981.  Those who asked, “yeah, but what’s it about?” who weren’t forward-thinking enough to see the oncoming nihilism of the late 1970’s (and later the comedy of Jerry Seinfeld) have been left on the defense.

    And, in my defense, I didn’t necessarily need the book to be about anything … but I also kind of did.  That’s why I might be one of the dunces … I don’t know if the novel is really lacking an ending, if I’m just not able to see the perfection that it already represents, or even if Toole actually was trying to be funny.  I do know I am very glad others were able to see something of the book’s enviable qualities and were in a position to get it published and grant it a major award because I quite enjoyed the book, but even still … Maybe the Coen Brothers will make a movie of it and shed some light (through the cracks) on the mysteries of Ignatius J. Reilly’s (and John Kennedy Toole’s) “true genius.”  I would definitely go to see it.  I think us “dunces” owe him that much.

     

    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 | Mar 23, 2018
    Its All a GameIf you're like me, you do your favorite hobby because it's fun -- but you also want to believe it has some kind of deeper significance. I keep telling people that board games are good for social interaction, which is kind of a weak rationale, but at least it's better than video gaming.

    Now there is a good read that ups my rationalizing game. Tristan Donovan's It's All a Game: The History of Board Games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan presents board games as artifacts that reflect their societies. Ancient Egypt's senet appears to have been a game about the afterlife. A contemporary one in Mesopotamia told your fortune.

    The rules and pieces in chess evolved to reflect different kinds of nobility in India, Arabia and Europe. The gambling game backgammon was around for centuries before it became a craze in the Roaring '20s and then again in the wild and crazy '70s after the doubling cube raised the stakes. 

    The first version of Monopoly was designed in the progressive era to discourage greedy capitalism, but it became a glorification of rapacious landlords in the 1930s. The Game of Life promoted 1950s-style consumerism (and was as vanilla as the decade). 

    The most successful modern board game -- The Settlers of Catan -- is a riff on the adventures of Viking settlers, but it's trading mechanism is also a lure for players to cooperate even while competing. If cooperation is dominant over competition today as a social value (a debatable notion), the epitome is Pandemic, which was inspired by the 2003 SARS epidemic. The whole point of the game is that people must cooperate or die. It is the most popular of several recent games in which the players try to beat the game instead of each other. 

    Donovan's book is more than sociology. He also tells a lot of stories about the obsessive people who created some of the most famous games we play. But he finishes by predicting that future board games will reflect future changes in society.

    Given the sharp social divisions these days, it will be interesting to see how they appear in board games the next few years. My guess is "fake news" will be featured. 


    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Emily M | Mar 19, 2018
    Looking for a book recommendation?  Look no further!  Here are a few good books I've enjoyed lately...

    emmainthenightBook Review: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

    Teenaged sisters Cass and Emma disappeared on the same night.  Emma’s shoes, car, and purse were found on a nearby beach, but there were no other clues and the search was eventually abandoned.  Our story begins when Cass appears on her mother’s doorstep three years later, having escaped from her kidnappers, and desperate to find Emma. 

    Told from the alternate perspectives of Cass and Abby, a forensic psychologist with the FBI who is assigned to the case, information is fed to the reader slowly and in deliberate pieces.  This is a well-crafted psychological thriller that, like many psychological thrillers, relies on an unreliable narrator.  Emma in the Night is also an interesting exploration of narcissistic personality disorder and its effect on family life.  A suspenseful page-turner, I would recommend this book to fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. 

     

    {5D733468-18DF-4143-8DF1-E6C94AD70464}Img200Book Review: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

    Just shy of nine years old, Rose Edelstein bites into the lemon cake that her mother has baked and discovers she can taste the emotions her mother was feeling as she made the cake.  She is horrified to learn that her mother, who she believed to be just fine, is full of sadness and despair.  She is also horrified to realize that this “gift” of tasting emotions is not a one-time experience, but something that will happen every time she takes a bite.  Rose’s whole life soon becomes consumed by figuring out how to deal with her “gift” as she is immersed in others’ emotions anytime she eats anything.

    As Rose struggles under the weight of her supernatural ability, it becomes clear that she may not be the only one in her family with an unusual “gift.”  For readers who like clear-cut explanations and neatly tied up endings, this book will not satisfy, as we never really discover the whats, whys, and hows of the family’s gifts.  What we do see is how an emotionally dysfunctional family endeavors to love each other the best they can. 

    darkmatter
    Book Review:
    Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

    Do you ever think about how different your life might have been if you had made a single different choice?  What if you had gone to a different college? Pursued a different career path?  Bailed on the blind date where you met your spouse?  What if you hadn’t fallen out with that friend?  Or gotten fired from that job?  Life is full of what ifs, and unknowns.    

    Jason Dessen has an unexceptional life.  He’s married, with a teenage son, and teaches physics at the college level.  He’s not famous or wealthy, and he’s never accomplished anything spectacular, but he loves his wife and son and enjoys his work.  Life is good, but he’s about to discover just how different it could have been.

    Through a seemingly impossible string of events, Jason finds himself coming face-to-face with a series of scenarios of what his life could have been and he finds himself frantic to get back to his old life, to save his wife and son, and maybe even save himself.

    Dark Matter is a fast-paced thriller with some dodgy science.  Great for action lovers, although serious science-lovers may want to give this one a pass. 


    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 Becky C | Mar 16, 2018
    It's National Introverts Week!  Fun Fact #1:  Although we value quiet time, introverts are not necessarily shy.

    Growing up, I was the only introvert in an extroverted family and I endured several loving efforts to help me change (I lovingly resisted).  Fortunately, recent years have seen a reevaluation of this label.  I always knew there was nothing wrong with me but it's nice to see the rest of the world catching up.

    Here are a few books in our collection which highlight challenges introverts face and the strengths we bring to the table.

    Hiding in the Bathroom  The Quiet Power of Introverts  The Irresistible Introvert
     Introverts in Love  The Introvert Entrepreneur  Quiet Kids
     Quiet Influence  Quiet  The Introverts Way


    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..