Have you read it? Have you seen it?

Welcome back!

As many know, AAPLD opened to the public on July 20. It’s been great to have patrons in the building once more and to see familiar faces.

Yes, things look a bit different and we’re not yet offering all of our services, though public computers are coming! To make browsing a little easier, and help our grab-and-go visitors, we’ve assembled two new collections, located near the front of the Adult Services area.

Our In Case You Missed It displays showcase the 100 most popular books and films, based on patron check-outs over the last 18 months.

Among our Top 100 movies you’ll find Oscar nominees (Green Book, The Wife, The Mule and Blackkklansman), blockbuster franchises (Mission Impossible, The Avengers, John Wick), musical bio-pics (Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman, Judy), history and current events (On The Basis of Sex, The Favourite, Vice), fantasy (Jumanji, Ready Player One) and more.

Two non-fiction titles are near the top of our Have You Read It? Top 100 Books, Educated by Tara Westover, and Michelle Obama’s Becoming. The list features best-selling fiction authors such as James Patterson, Danielle Steel, Jodi Picoult, and Stephen King. There are also a few classics on the list, including Farenheit 451, The Great Gatsby, and To Kill A Mockingbird.

In the mood for something beachy? Check out summer reads like Elin Hilderbrand’s Summer of ’69, or Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews. Love thrillers? Try Brad Thor’s Backlash, Lisa Jewell’s And Then She Was Gone, or Past Tense by Lee Child.

Each display has a list of our Top 100 that you can take home, or click these links to our Top 100 Books  and Top 100 Movies lists. Use it next time you’re browsing online, or if you prefer, give us a call and we’ll be happy to put an item on hold, to pick up inside at our customer service desk, or at the drive-up window. Don’t forget, our current hours are M-Th, 11-7, Friday and Saturday 11-5, and we are closed Sunday.

We look forward to seeing and helping you soon!



BLM: Community Read, Week 4

The final selection for the Libby/Overdrive Black Lives Matter: Community Read is So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijomea Oluo.

“This breakout book explores the complex reality of today’s racial landscape–from white privilege and police brutality to systemic discrimination and the Black Lives Matter movement–offering straightforward clarity that readers need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide

Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the “N” word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.”

Overdrive/Libby has made unlimited quantities of the audiobook available for immediate download through July 26. Click here to download the title to your device.

The book is also available in ebook, print and CD audiobook. AAPLD cardholders can download the ebook, or place the book on hold for curbside pickup.

As our nation examines the complex issues of racial inequality and searches for solution, books such as these can offer new perspectives and understanding. We are glad to have been a part of this effort by Overdrive and the North Suburban Digital Consortium to offer four anti-racism/Own Voices titles to our patrons. We hope it’s been valuable to you as well.

To find more anti-racism title suggestions, check out this post from the Adult Services blog, call or email for customized Readers Advisory recommendations.

Nite Readers (08/20/2020): Widows of Malabar Hill

Widows of Malabar Hill (cover)

Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

“Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father’s law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a law degree from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes her especially devoted to championing and protecting women’s legal rights. Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen is going through the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What will they live on if they forfeit what their husband left them? The Farid widows live in full purdah–in strict seclusion, never leaving the women’s quarters or speaking to any men. Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? Perveen tries to investigate, and realizes her instincts about the will were correct when tensions escalate to murder.”– Provided by publisher.

Next Meeting:
August 20th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual Library

Register for online meeting here


Enjoying the Classics (08/19/2020): Man with the Golden Arm

Man with the Golden Arm (cover)

Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren

A novel of rare genius, The Man with the Golden Arm describes the dissolution of a card-dealing WWII veteran named Frankie Machine, caught in the act of slowly cutting his own heart into wafer-thin slices. For Frankie, a murder committed may be the least of his problems. The literary critic Malcolm Cowley called The Man with the Golden Arm “Algren’s defense of the individual,” while Carl Sandburg wrote of its “strange midnight dignity.” A literary tour de force, here is a novel unlike any other, one in which drug addiction, poverty, and human failure somehow suggest a defense of human dignity and a reason for hope.

Next Meeting:
August 19th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual Library

Register for online meeting here



Black Lives Matter: Community Read, Week 3

This week’s selection for the Overdrive/Libby Black Lives Matter Community Read is a fiction title, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

Published in 2017, The Hate U Give is eerily relevant to the May 25 death of George Floyd, and the national protests that followed.

Black teen Starr Carter is caught between two worlds; the mostly-white suburban college prep academy she attends, and the poor urban neighborhood where she lives.  Fully at home in neither, Starr is forced to confront the realities of her divided life when she sees her childhood friend Khalil shot to death by police.

Will speaking out help bring justice for unarmed Khalil, or will it destroy the lives of Starr and her family?

A New York Times bestseller and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, The Hate U Give is a Young Adult/High School fiction title that adults will also find gripping. The book vividly captures Starr’s worlds, especially her neighborhood. While the presence of R-rated language may give parents of some younger readers pause, the story and its courageous young heroine will provide a valuable starting point for family discussions about racism, poverty, and white privilege.

AAPLD cardholders can access The Hate U Give in a variety of formats, including ebook, downloadable audiobook , print , CD audiobook. We also have copies of the 2019 film. Click on the links to download the item to your device, or to place a hold for curbside pick-up.

New to Overdrive and Libby? Learn more about how to use them here.

AAPLD is proud to be part of the BLM Community Read, and encourage our patrons to add an anti-racism title to their summer reading. The series concludes next week, be sure to check back to learn more about the featured title.

Forever Young (08/10/2020): Lovely War

Lovely War (cover)

Lovely War by Julie Berry

“In the perilous days of World Wars I and II, the gods hold the fates– and the hearts– of four mortals in their hands. They are Hazel, James, Aubrey, and Colette. A classical pianist from London, a British would-be architect-turned-soldier, a Harlem-born ragtime genius in the U.S. Army, and a Belgian orphan with a gorgeous voice and a devastating past. Their story, as told by goddess Aphrodite to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, is filled with hope and heartbreak, prejudice and passion, and reveals that, though War is a formidable force, it’s no match for the transcendent power of Love”–Adapted from jacket.

Next Meeting:
August 10th @ 6:30 PM at Virtual Library

Register for online meeting here


BLM Community Read, Week 2

The Black Lives Matter: Community Read continues this week with The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander.

The New Jim Crow is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.

Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.

As the United States celebrates its “triumph over race” with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of black men in major urban areas are under correctional control or saddled with criminal records for life. Jim Crow laws were wiped off the books decades ago, but today an extraordinary percentage of the African American community is warehoused in prisons or trapped in a parallel social universe, denied basic civil and human rights—including the right to vote; the right to serve on juries; and the right to be free of legal discrimination in employment, housing, access to education and public benefits. Today, it is no longer socially permissible to use race explicitly as a justification for discrimination, exclusion, and social contempt. Yet as civil-rights-lawyer-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander demonstrates, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against convicted criminals in nearly all the ways in which it was once legal to discriminate against African Americans. Once labeled a felon, even for a minor drug crime, the old forms of discrimination are suddenly legal again. In her words, “we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.”

Alexander shows that, by targeting black men through the War on Drugs and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of colorblindness.

The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community—and all of us—to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.”

This audiobook is available for immediate download through July 15, part of an ongoing effort by Overdrive and Libby, to encourage patrons to add an anti-racism title to their summer reading.

AAPLD is proud to be part of the BLM Community Read, and hope these books, written by Black authors, spark conversations about racism, inequality and the criminal justice system.

We’ll feature a different title each week, just click here to download the title to your device. If you prefer a digital book, we have limited copies available. Place a hold here. New to Overdrive and Libby? Learn more about how to use them here.

Stranger than Fiction (08/04/2020): Running the Books: the Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian

Running the Books: the Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian (cover)

Running the Books: the Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian by Avi Steinberg

Avi Steinberg is stumped. After defecting from Yeshiva to Harvard, he has only a senior thesis essay on Bugs Bunny to show for his effort. While his friends and classmates advance in the world, he remains stuck at a crossroads, unable to meet the lofty expectations of his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. And his romantic existence as a freelance obituary writer just isn’t cutting it. Seeking direction—and dental insurance—Steinberg takes a job as a librarian in a tough Boston prison.

The prison library counter, his new post, attracts con men, minor prophets, ghosts, and an assortment of quirky regulars searching for the perfect book and a connection to the outside world. There’s an anxious pimp who solicits Steinberg’s help in writing a memoir. A passionate gangster who dreams of hosting a cooking show titled Thug Sizzle. A disgruntled officer who instigates a major feud over a Post-it note. A doomed ex-stripper who asks Steinberg to orchestrate a reunion with her estranged son, himself an inmate. Over time, Steinberg is drawn into the accidental community of outcasts that has formed among his bookshelves — a drama he recounts with heartbreak and humor. But when the struggles of the prison library — between life and death, love and loyalty — become personal, Steinberg is forced to take sides.

Running the Books is a trenchant exploration of prison culture and an entertaining tale of one young man’s earnest attempt to find his place in the world while trying not to get fired in the process.

Next Meeting:
August 4th @ 6:30 PM at Virtual Library

Register for online meeting here


Continuing The Conversation

While the protests following George Floyd’s death have paused, our country is just beginning the process of addressing systemic racism.

An important role of the library is to provide access to materials that help patrons learn about important issues. AAPLD is part of a network of libraries in the northern suburbs that will be participating in the Black Lives Matter Community Read.  Throughout July, selected anti-racism titles are available for immediate download from Overdrive and Libby.

We’ll feature a different title each week. Read on to learn more, or click the title link to download the book to your device. New to Overdrive and Libby? Learn how to use them here.

Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad is available as an ebook download through July 12.

Based on the viral Instagram challenge that captivated participants worldwide, Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey of how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.

When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #meandwhitesupremacy, she never predicted it would spread as widely as it did. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it. Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and nearly 100,000 people downloaded the Me and White Supremacy Workbook.

Updated and expanded from the original workbook, Me and White Supremacy,takes the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources.”

Prefer the audiobook? We have that too. Click here to download.

We’ll feature these titles in future posts, so be sure to visit the AAPLD Adult Services blog or social media account next week. #BLM #CommunityRead

Spinecrackers (08/07/2020): Circe

Circe (cover)

Circe by Madeline Miller

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child — not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power — the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus. But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Next Meeting:
August 7th @ 10:00 AM at Virtual Library

Register for online meeting here