What’s On the Shelf? Biographies!

If your reading habits lean toward fiction with compelling protagonists, get ready to discover a new genre. Biographies!

Biographies can satisfy your craving for larger-than-life characters who celebrate amazing triumphs, or suffer spectacular downfalls. They can deliver page-turning reads that are both entertaining and educational.

At AAPLD, Biographies have a special section all their own. You’ll find it on the last two shelves of the Main Library’s Adult fiction section, facing the Adult Services desk. Right now, there’s also a special display near New Non-Fiction.  Whether your interests run toward Classic Hollywood, Amazing Athletes, Rock Stars, Memoirs, Supreme Court, Royalty, or Presidents, you’re sure to discover a great story.

Here’s a taste of what you’ll find in our biography section. Click the link to place a hold.

Behind the Glamour

Marilyn in Manhattan, Her Year of Joy – In the fall of 1954, desperate to escape a bad divorce and growing frustration with the Hollywood studio system, Marilyn Monroe fled to New York City.  Her year in Manhattan allowed Monroe to rediscover herself, both as an actor, and a woman determined to be seen as more than a glamour queen.

Growing Up Again, Life, Loves and Oh Yeah, Diabetes – The story of another iconic actress, this one from the small screen. Mary Tyler Moore shares career highlights, her life managing Type 1 diabetes, and her later work as an activist, raising awareness and helping others.

 

 

 

 

 

Great American Stories

 The Restless Wave: Good Times Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations – The late Senator John McCain, a war hero and presidential candidate, reflects on his life in public service and today’s polarized politics, offering a vision and hope for America’s healing.

Sonia Sotomayor: The True American Dream – Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s biography recounts her childhood as a Puerto Rican girl growing up in the South Bronx, whose drive and intellect took her to Ivy League universities, a successful career legal career, and humanitarian work, to become the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.

 

 

 

 

 

Play Ball! 

Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series for the Ages – Just in time for the MLB playoffs, relive the Cubs’ thrilling 2016 season, as told by former Cubs catcher David “Grandpa Rossy” Ross, a journeyman catcher who became a hero, and is now in his first season as the team’s manager.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

 Morgue: A Life in Death – During his forty-year career, forensic scientist Dr. Vincent Di Maio worked on some of the some of the nation’s most compelling cases, from the exhumation of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, to the murder of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. He shares stories, and insider details from his career in this fascinating, but little-known field of criminal investigation.

Her: a memoir – Identical twins Christa and Cara Parravani overcame poverty to attend college, and launch successful careers. But Cara’s downward spiral into heroin addiction, which ended in her death from overdose, caused Christa to unravel as well. Her fight back to mental and physical wholeness, and look at the mysterious bond that unites twins, makes for a compelling memoir.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

 

September 15 marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, highlighting the culture and contributions of Hispanic and Latino people.

The mid-month date is significant because it’s the independence day of five Latin American countries, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Several other nations, including Mexico, mark their independence this month. The celebration runs through October 12, Dia de la Raza (Columbus Day in the U.S.)

The terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” are often used interchangeably. Though they have slightly different meanings, people self-identify with the term they prefer. “Hispanic” came into wide use in the 1960s and 1970s, and originally referred to native Spanish speakers, and those from Spanish-speaking nations, including Spain, Mexico, Central America and most of South America.

Later, “Latino” and its feminine form, “Latina,” became popular with those who trace their heritage to Latin America, which includes Mexico, Central America and Spanish-speaking South American countries. A gender neutral form, “Latinx” is most often used by younger members of the community.

The Pew Research Center estimates that more 60 million Hispanics and Latinos live in the United States, and make up about 18 percent of the population.

The community’s cultural traditions and experiences, as well as strong family ties, are reflected in the work of Hispanic/Latino authors.  The following list includes books by authors living in the United States, and also translated works by authors living in Spanish-speaking countries.

Click the links to learn more about each title. Books followed by H or OL are part of our digital collections and available through Hoopla or Overdrive/Libby. Those with a P are available in print (though many of the digital titles can also be located in print or audio formats). Spanish-language translations may also be available. Please contact the Adult Services desk for more information.

Fiction

Love In the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (OL)

We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez (H)

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (OL)

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras (OL)

Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (P)

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia (OL)

Suncatcher by Jose Pimienta (P)

The Black Jersey by Jorge Zepada Patterson (P)

It Is Wood, It Is Stone by Gabriella Burnham (P)

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (OL)

Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (OL)

Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher (P)

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (OL)

Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin (P)

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante (P)

Letters From Cuba by Ruth Behar (OL)

Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon (OL)

City of Clowns by Daniel Alarcon and Sheila Alvarado (P)

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez (OL)

The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez (OL)

Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat (H)

Mexican White Boy by Matt de la Pena (OL)

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Ocscar Hijuelos (H)

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (OL)

Drown by Junot Diaz (P)

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (P)

Sudden Death by Alvardo Enrique (P)

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (P)

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria (P)

The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (P)

 

Non-Fiction/Poetry/Memoir

Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas (OL)

The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis (P)

The Book of Emma Reyes by Emma Reyes (P)

Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas (P)

Undocumented by Dan-el Padilla Peralta (P)

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio (P)

American Poison by Eduardo Porter (P)

Oh, the Horror! (10/27/2020): The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House (cover)

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

The Haunting Four seekers have come to the ugly, abandoned old mansion: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of the psychic phenomenon called haunting; Theodara, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, the lonely, homeless girl well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the adventurous future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable noises and self-closing doors, but Hill House is gathering its powers and will soon choose one of them to make its own.


Next Meeting:
October 27th @ 6:30 PM at Virtual Library

Register for online meeting here

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

Happily Ever After (10/19/2020): Insatiable

Insatiable (cover)

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

Meena Harper, forced to write about vampires even though she doesn’t believe in them, falls in love with Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side. It’s a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire hunters, would prefer to see him dead for. The problem is: Lucien’s already dead! And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.


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

Register for online meeting here

AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE CHECKOUT ON HOOPLA
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

September 18 is Read An Ebook Day!

Short on time to read? Stuck at home, and avoiding public places? Don’t want to lug around heavy hardcovers? Need an easy-on-the-eyes night reading background? Give ebooks a try!

Today is Read An Ebook Day, and it’s a great opportunity to check out these tiny wonders for the first time, or get reacquainted with the joy of digital reading.

User-friendly, convenient and super-portable, ebooks let you take your favorite reads wherever you go. Not only that, but you can customize your reading experience by selecting large fonts, dyslexic fonts, sepia or night mode backgrounds. eAudiobooks can be downloaded directly to your digital device for easy, hands-free listening anywhere.

AAPLD ‘s digital collections can be accessed through computers, tablets and smartphones. Overdrive and Libby connects AAPLD cardholders to the North Suburban Digital Consortium, where you can access thousands of ebooks,  and eAudiobooks.  Check out and download up to 15 titles at a time. Titles circulate for 14 days and may be renewed if no one is waiting. If the book you want is already checked out, place a hold, and you will be notified when it is available to checkout.

Hoopla allows you to check out ebooks and aAudiobooks immediately with no holds. The collection changes periodically, but includes today’s top authors, bestsellers and classics. Hoopla also has a wide selection of comics, trade paperbacks, and graphic novels from well known publishers such as Marvel, DC, Image, and Dark Horse. Additionally, several all-ages friendly titles are available including Big Nate, Garfield, and Minecraft.

Our library also offers digital reading experiences for kids, through our Bookflix and Tumble Book Library services.

AAPLD cardholders can download apps for all of our digital collections. Find more information here.

Once you’re set up for digital reading, consider being part of the fall Libraries Transform nationwide read, sponsored by The American Library Association.  The program connects readers across the United States through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book. Digital copies of the book are made available for immediate check-out through Overdrive and Libby for patrons of participating libraries, including AAPLD.

The fall Libraries Transform Book Pick is Book of the Little Axe, by Lauren Francis-Sharma.

This sweeping historical novel is set in Trinidad and the Crow Nation of the Great Plains, between 1796 and 1830. The protagonist, Rosa Rendon, fights against gender and racial constraints, in her quest to run her family’s farm, and later, in her marriage to a Crow chief. When her son comes of age, she takes him on a journey that retraces her life, and reveals long-kept secrets.

Booklist reviewer Vanessa Bush calls Book of the Little Axe, “a compelling saga of family bonds, ambitions, and desires, all subject to the vagaries of powerful historical forces.” Click here to read an interview with author Lauren Francis-Sharma.

Book of Little Axe is available for immediate download from September 14 through 28. (Patrons who download the book at the end of the open period will have the normal check-out time to read it.) If you’re a book club member, consider this book for your next read, and download group discussion questions here.

If you’re reading on your own, share your thoughts on social media using #LTBookPick hashtag. Share what you love about ebooks with the #EBOOKLOVE hashtag.

Have fun and happy reading!

 

 

 

 

 

Nite Readers (10/15/2020): In the Midst of Winter

In the Midst of Winter (cover)

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

New York Times and worldwide bestselling author Isabel Allende returns with a sweeping novel that journeys from present-day Brooklyn to Guatemala in the recent past to 1970s Chile and Brazil that offers “a timely message about immigration and the meaning of home” (People).

During the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, Richard Bowmaster, a lonely university professor in his sixties, hits the car of Evelyn Ortega, a young undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and what at first seems an inconvenience takes a more serious turn when Evelyn comes to his house, seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant, Lucia Maraz, a fellow academic from Chile, for her advice.

As these three lives intertwine, each will discover truths about how they have been shaped by the tragedies they witnessed, and Richard and Lucia will find unexpected, long overdue love. Allende returns here to themes that have propelled some of her finest work: political injustice, the art of survival, and the essential nature of—and our need for—love.


Next Meeting:
October 15th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual Library

Register for online meeting here

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK

Enjoying the Classics (10/21/2020): Martin Chuzzlewit

Martin Chuzzlewit (cover)

Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens

Wealthy and old, Martin Chuzzlewit, Sr., is surrounded by greedy relatives hoping to obtain a portion of his estate upon his death. His two descendants, Martin, Jr., and Jonas, have been born and bred in the same heritage of selfishness, the Chuzzlewit tradition.

Set partly in America, of which Dickens offers a searing satire, this novel follows and contrasts the opposing fates of Martin and Jonas. While one achieves worldly success and, eventually, moral redemption, the other sinks deeper into the darkness—and pays the ultimate price.

This powerful black comedy is a tale of hypocrisy, greed, and blackmail, and it introduces the most famous of Dickens’ grotesques: Mrs. Gamp.


Next Meeting:
October 21st @ 7:00 PM at Virtual Library

Register for online meeting here

AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE CHECKOUT ON HOOPLA
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

Back to Book Club, part 5 – Libraries Transform Book Pick

The American Library Association’s ongoing Libraries Transform program connects readers across the United States through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book. Digital copies of the book are made available for immediate check-out through Overdrive and Libby for patrons of participating libraries, including AAPLD.

The fall Libraries Transform Book Pick is Book of the Little Axe, by Lauren Francis-Sharma.

This sweeping historical novel is set in Trinidad and the Crow Nation of the Great Plains, between 1796 and 1830. The protagonist, Rosa Rendon, fights against gender and racial constraints, in her quest to run her family’s farm, and later, in her marriage to a Crow chief. When her son comes of age, she takes him on a journey that retraces her life, and reveals long-kept secrets.

Booklist reviewer Vanessa Bush calls Book of the Little Axe, “a compelling saga of family bonds, ambitions, and desires, all subject to the vagaries of powerful historical forces.” Click here to read an interview with author Lauren Francis-Sharma.

Book of Little Axe is available for immediate download from September 14 through 28. (Patrons who download the book at the end of the open period will have the normal check-out time to read it.) If you’re a book club member, consider this book for your next read, and download group discussion questions here.

If you’re reading on your own, share your thoughts on social media using #LTBookPick hashtag.

If you haven’t used Overdrive or Libby, this is a great time to start.  AAPLD cardholders can download the free apps and find more information here. Not yet a cardholder? September is National Library Card Sign-Up month, so it’s the perfect opportunity to find out what your library has to offer! From best-selling books, DVDs, and video games, to technology and craft classes, fascinating programs on history and pop culture, and so much more!

Learn more here, apply for a card online, or stop into the library and talk with our friendly Customer Service staff. We look forward to seeing you.

 

 

 

 

Forever Young (10/12/2020): Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys (cover)

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke (Editor)

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, American Horror Story and The Walking Dead comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best thriller and horror writers in YA.
A host of the sharpest young adult authors come together in this collection of terrifying tales and psychological thrillers. Each author draws from a mix of literature, film, television, and music to create something new and fresh and unsettling. Clever readers will love teasing out the references and can satisfy their curiosity at the end of each tale, where the inspiration is revealed. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From blood horror, to the supernatural, to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for anyone looking for an absolute thrill.
Stefan Bachmann
Leigh Bardugo
Kendare Blake
A. G. Howard
Jay Kristoff
Marie Lu
Jonathan Maberry
Danielle Paige
Carrie Ryan
Megan Shepherd
Nova Ren Suma
McCormick Templeman
April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters


Next Meeting:
October 12th @ 6:30 PM at Virtual Library

Register for online meeting here

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

Back to Book Club, part 4 – Take A Reading Challenge

Stuck in a reading rut?  Consider a Reading Challenge!

While not a book club in the usual sense, a reading challenge can add a fresh twist to your reading life. Whether done alone or as part of a group, a reading challenge encourages participants to choose books that fit a specific prompt.  One month, readers might be asked to read a book with a yellow cover. The next month calls for stories set in cities that have hosted the Olympics.

While many challenges begin in January and continue through the year, most are informal and allow participants to join in at any time. You can find reading challenges online, through sites like Goodreads and Facebook, and though smaller sites devoted to specific genres. Some offer a theme, others take a more free-form approach.  And your local public library is a great place to find books that fit reading challenge prompts, no matter how unusual they might be!

Here are few Reading Challenges to try:

The Diverse Reads Reading Challenge – sponsored by Overdrive/Libby, this challenge encourages readers to select books written by authors from marginalized groups, featuring characters and stories about non-Western people and places. Choose ebooks, print or audiobooks, and read at your own pace. If you’d like a suggestion to get started, Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved are both written by Black authors and feature main characters of color.

 

The Pop Sugar Reading Challenge– The Popsugar.com entertainment website offers a reading challenge each year and this one is all about 20s. Characters in their 20s, authors in their 20s, books set in the 1920s, 20-20 vision, and more. The challenge includes 40 standard reading prompts, plus an Advanced list of 20s-themed prompts. Not sure of a book with an AI character, or a cover with a picture of a bird? Ask an Adult Services librarian!

The Goodreads Reading Challenge- The simplest challenge of all! No prompts, no schedule. Just decide how many books you want to read for the rest of 2020, enter your number, and go! Then hop over to AAPLD’s Recommend Me A Book page, and fill out a form for customized reading recommendations.