Oh, the Horror! (12/28/2021): A Head Full of Ghosts

A Head Full of Ghosts (cover)

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

WINNER OF THE 2015 BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A NOVEL

A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends psychological suspense and supernatural horror, reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Shining, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, and William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist.

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight. With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.


Next Meeting:
December 28th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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What’s New on the Shelf? Holiday Movies!

It's the most wonderful time of the year-- for movies! Happy, heartwarming and fresh from your favorite holiday movie channel, but without the commercials! Sweet as a sugar cookie, satisfying as Grandma's pumpkin pie, we've got a holiday line-up to celebrate. Explore our online catalog. Then, grab a cozy blanket, your favorite holiday beverage, and settle in for a night of December cheer!

Christmas Waltz

Christmas Waltz - After Avery's storybook Christmas wedding is cancelled, she decides to fulfill a long-time dream of learning to dance. Roman, a handsome dance instructor, helps face her fears as the two share the possibility of an unexpected holiday romance. Starring Lacey Chabert and Will Kemp.

Chateau Christmas

Chateau Christmas - Margot, a world-renowned pianist, returns to Chateau Neuhaus to spend the holidays with her family and rediscover her passion for music. While there, her ex-boyfriend and former bandmate Jackson, convinces her to headline the annual Christmas concert. As they work together, old feelings return. Starring Merritt Patterson and Jesse Hutch.

The Christmas House

The Christmas House - When Bill and Phyllis Mitchell call their two grown sons, Brandon and Mike, home for Christmas, they hope to make peace with a difficult decision and celebrate a memorable holiday. As Brandon and his husband Jake make the trip home, they are anxiously awaiting a call about the adoption of their first child. Meanwhile, Mike reconnects with his high-school sweetheart Andi. Starring Robert Buckley, Ana Ayora.

Love, Lights, Hanukkah!

Love, Lights, Hauukkah! - When a DNA test reveals that Christina Russo, a lonely Cleveland restauranteur, is Jewish she reconnects with her biological mother, Ruth, and long-lost extended family. Over eight festive nights, she forges new bonds, discovers new traditions, and unexpectedly falls for the local food critic who once panned her Italian restaurant. Starring Mia Kirshner and Ben Savage.

On The 12th Date of Christmas

On The 12th Date of Christmas - Two seemingly incompatible game designers team up to create a romantic city-wide scavenger hunt themed for the Twelve Days of Christmas. Starring Mallory Jensen and Tyler Hynes.

A Christmas Tree Grows In Colorado

A Christmas Tree Grows In Colorado - Erin, the mayor's daughter, is planning the Christmas festival for her town, and must persuade Kevin, a handsome single dad and firefighter, to donate the beautiful spruce tree on his property for the celebration. Starring Rochelle Aytes and Mark Taylor

Five Star Christmas

Five Star Christmas - When a travel writer shows up unexpectedly at her parents' bed and breakfast, Lucy Ralston and her siblings masquerade as guests to convince the writer to give the inn a good review. But when Lucy finds herself falling for Jake, a real guest, she feels guilty about her deception. Starring Bethany Joy Lenz and Victor Webster.

Christmas In Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing

Christmas In Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing - In Evergreen, Vermont, a town devoted to Christmas, mayor Michelle Lansing is planning her wedding. As the big day approaches she rushes to finish the launch of the town museum, while also questioning her relationship and her future with fiance, Elliot. Starring Rukiya Bernard and Antonio Cayonne.

A Veteran's Christmas

A Veteran's Christmas - Newly discharged  from the Marines, Grace Garland finds herself stranded in a small Colorado town, following a car accident. Local judge Joe Peterson offers Grace shelter in his guesthouse while she waits for her car to be repaired, and helps her rediscover the joy and community that have been missing from her life. Starring Eloise Mumford and Sean Faris.

The Real Bedford Falls: It's A Wonderful Life

The Real Bedford Falls: It's a Wonderful Life - Prefer a documentary? This film explores the connection between Bedford Falls, the fictional setting of It's a Wonderful Life, and the real community of Seneca Falls, New York. Celebrate the enduring themes of this classic holiday movie, as captured in the town's annual It's a Wonderful Life festival. With interviews and commentary by film critic Leonard Maltin, Frank Capra's granddaughter, Monica Capra Hodges, and the former child actors who portrayed Zuzu and Tommy Bailey in the 1946 film.

Library Reads (12/16/2021): The Supreme Macaroni Company

The Supreme Macaroni Company (cover)

The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani

In The Shoemaker’s Wife Adriana Trigiani swept her readers across generations of an Italian family, from the Italian Alps at the turn of the twentieth century to the cobblestone streets of Little Italy. In The Supreme Macaroni Company, she weaves a heartbreaking story that begins on the eve of a wedding in New York’s Greenwich Village, travels to New Orleans, and culminates in Tuscany. Family, work, romance, and the unexpected twists of life and fate all come together in an unforgettable narrative that Adriana Trigiani’s many fans will adore.


Next Meeting:
December 16th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Enjoying the Classics (12/15/2021): The Leopard

The Leopard (cover)

The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

The Sicilian prince, Don Fabrizio, hero of Lampedusa’s great and only novel, is described as enormous in size, in intellect, and in sensuality. The book he inhabits shares his dimensions in its evocation of an aristocracy confronting democratic upheaval and the new force of nationalism. In the decades since its publication shortly after the author’s death in 1957, The Leopard has come to be regarded as the twentieth century’s greatest historical fiction.


Next Meeting:
December 15th @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

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Fight For Your Write!

Always wanted to write a book? Mystery, memoir, non-fiction, or something else, Algonquin Area Public Library can help! Find how-to books, connect with other authors, publish your book online, and get it into the hands of Illinois readers.

Let us inspire and encourage you to create the book of your dreams!

Algonquin Area Writers Group

Writing can be lonely! Find your tribe with this community of local authors. AAWG meets monthly at the Main library for critiques, conversation and brainstorming. Writers of all experience levels are welcome. Register today for December’s meeting!

Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Manuscript Contest

Take your complete but unpublished adult fiction novel to the next level!  Enter the 2022 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Manuscript Project contest, now through January 15, 2022. Winner receives professional line editing, cover design, self-publishing guidance, and automatic entry as a semi-finalist in the Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project contest. Sponsored by the Illinois Library Association.

Inkie

Inkie is a free online self-publishing platform. Create professionally-designed e-books, and the PDFs needed for print book production. Upload your e-book to the Indie Illinois digital library to reach readers throughout the state!

Research Help

Need to know what medieval knights ate for breakfast? What it was like to live in Victorian London? The most popular song in 1902? Our Adult Services staff can help you find accurate information to bring your story to life.

AAPLD cardholders can access these databases from anywhere:

  • Archive Grid- Search historical collections of libraries, museums, archives and historical societies around the world
  • Birthday Time Capsule- Type in a date to learn the day's news, top movies, songs, and more.
  • EBSCO Explora (Masterfile, History Reference Center, Science Reference Center)- Arts and Literature, Biography, Current Events, Geography and Culture, Health, History and Social Science, Science and Math articles, arranged by topic.
  • Illinois Digital Archives- Books, pamphlets, photographs, and maps related to Algonquin, Lake in the Hills and McHenry County history.
  • World Factbook- Learn about the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, and military, of 267 countries.
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library- Encyclopedias, almanacs, and specialized reference sources, including Grzimek's Animals Guide, American Decades, Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, Business Plans, and more!
  • Health & Wellness Resource Center- Research current disease, disorder information, conventional treatments, and alternative medicine.
  • How Products Are Made- Detailed descriptions and pictures about how things are made. Search by keyword or through an alphabetical list.
  • How Stuff Works- Covers Auto, Science, Health, Entertainment, Travel, Computer, Electronics, Home, Money, and People.
  • Freegal- Discover music from numerous genres and decades, create custom playlists to set the mood while you write!

Hints and How-To

Check out our collection of writing books! Get inspired by renowned authors like Stephen King, Anne Lamott, and Janet Evanovich. Find advice on writing for teens and kids, or finding a literary agent.

Whatever you need to know, your library is the place to go.

 

The Nail Biters (12/21/2021): The Fifth Vial

The Fifth Vial (cover)

The Fifth Vial by Michael Palmer

From the blockbuster, eleven-time New York Times bestselling author comes a novel of medical suspense that begins with these chilling questions: Who ends up with the blood samples you routinely give for tests? What else are they being used for? Why don’t you know?

Take a Deep Breath. . . .

In Boston, a disgraced medical student is sent to deliver a research paper that could save her career. . . . Four thousand miles away, in a jungle hospital in Cameroon, a brilliant, reclusive scientist, dying from an incurable disease that threatens to make each tortured breath his last, is on the verge of perfecting a serum that could save millions of lives, and bring others inestimable wealth. . . . In Chicago, a disillusioned private detective, on the way to his third career, is hired to determine the identify of a John Doe, killed on a Florida highway, with mysterious marks on his body.

Three seemingly disconnected lives, surging unrelentingly toward one another. Three lives becoming irrevocably intertwined. Three lives in mounting peril, moving ever closer to the ultimate confrontation against a deadly secret society with godlike aspirations and roots in antiquity.

Medical student. Scientist. Private eye. Three people who will learn the deeper meanings of brilliance and madness, truth and deception, trust and betrayal.

Three lives linked forever by a single vial of blood—the fifth vial.


Next Meeting:
December 21st @ 6:30 PM at Virtual

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Happily Ever After (12/20/2021): In a Holidaze

In a Holidaze (cover)

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.


Next Meeting:
December 20th @ 7:00 PM at Hybrid at Harnish (in-person or online participation are both available)

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November Reading Resolutions…When I Was Growing Up

Relive your favorite decade with November's Reading Resolutions challenge; read a book set in the decade in which you grew up. Whether it's your childhood, teen years, or young adulthood, let a book transport you to a simpler (or maybe not so simple) time in the past.

 

Our online catalog includes books set in decades from the 1920s through the 2000s. You'll find selections from every genre: classic literature, thrillers, heartwarming gentle reads, romance, horror and more. Browse the collection, or come into the Adult Services Department at the Main Library on Harnish Drive, and check out the books on our monthly Reading Resolutions Display. You can also give us a call, and ask an Adult Services staff member for suggested reads set in your favorite decade.

When you've finished your book, enter the title in Beanstack and activate this badge. You'll be entered  into our monthly drawing for a $10 gift card, and eligible for our year end grand prize drawing for a $100 gift card.

Read on for suggested reads for each decade!

1920s

Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg- Flagg's classic novel begins in 1929, and transports readers to the small town of Whistle Stop, Alabama, where sweet widowed Ruth, and tomboyish Idgy run the Whistle Stop Cafe. Ruth and Idgy's friendship, the community of unforgettable characters who frequent the cafe, and a very strange murder mystery inspire a lonely woman in the 1980s to see life, and herself, in a new way.

1930s

Palisades Park by Alan Brennert- Growing up in the 1930s, for Toni, there is no more magical place than Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey. She and her brother help their parents at the stand where they sell homemade French fries amid the roar of the Cyclone roller coaster. There is also the lure of the world’s biggest salt-water pool, complete with divers whose astonishing stunts inspire Toni to take on impossible feats of her own.  Evocative and moving, Palisades Park takes us back to a time when life seemed simpler—except, of course, it wasn't.

1940s

The Lieutenant's Nurse by Sara Ackerman. In November 1941, Army Corps nurse Eva Cassidy is stunned by the splendor of Pearl Harbor; even more so by Lt. Clark Spencer, a navy intelligence officer, who clearly has secrets of his own. When Clark warns Eva that the United States won’t be able to hold off joining the war for long, nothing can prepare them for the surprise attack that will change the world they know.

In the wake of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Eva and her fellow nurses band together for the immense duty of keeping the American wounded alive. Amid the chaos and heartbreak, Eva will have to decide whom to trust and how far she will go to protect those she loves.

 

1950s

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín- Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the years following World War Two. Though skilled at bookkeeping, she cannot find a job in the miserable Irish economy. An Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America--to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood "just like Ireland." Eilis finds work in a department store, and when she least expects it, love. Tony, a blond Italian from a big family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future

1960s

Downtown by Anne Rivers Siddons- The year is 1966, a time of innocence, possibility, and freedom. And for Atlanta, the country, and one woman making her way in a changing world, nothing will be the same . . .

After an airless childhood in Savannah, Smoky O'Donnell arrives in Atlanta, dazzled and chastened by this hectic young city on the rise. Her new job as a writer with the city's Downtown magazine introduces her to many unforgettable people and propels her into the center of momentous events that will irrevocably alter her heart, her career, and her world.

1970s

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid- In 1970s LA, everyone knows Daisy Jones. She's been sneaking into clubs on the Strip since her teens, and while the sex and drugs are thrilling,  it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

1980s

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard- In 1980s Austin, Sean Suh, just released from a psychiatric prison,  is determined to stay away from temptation. But he can't resist Annabelle, who alone can see past the monster to the man inside. The man he's desperately trying to be. Then Annabelle disappears.

Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—but the police are convinced that Sean himself is at the center of this crime. And he must admit, his illness has caused him to “lose time” before. What if there’s more to what happened then he’s able to remember?

1990s

How To Be Famous by Caitlin Moran-  Johanna Morrigan  has it all:  she lives in  London and writes for the coolest music magazine in Britain. But Johanna is miserable. The man of her dreams John Kite has just made it big in 1994’s hot new BritPop scene. Suddenly John exists on another plane of reality: that of the Famouses. Never one to sit on the sidelines, Johanna hatches a plan: she will write a monthly column, analyzing fame, its power, its dangers, and its amusing aspects. But as Johanna’s own star rises, she begins to realize that with celebrity comes sacrifice, and hers may mean giving up the one person she was determined to keep.

2000s

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer- Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father's closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.

Book Wizards (12/14/2021): The Bear and the Nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale (cover)

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

“A beautiful deep-winter story, full of magic and monsters and the sharp edges of growing up.”—Naomi Novik, bestselling author of Uprooted

Winter lasts most of the year at the edge of the Russian wilderness, and in the long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings love to gather by the fire to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, Vasya loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon. Wise Russians fear him, for he claims unwary souls, and they honor the spirits that protect their homes from evil.

Then Vasya’s widowed father brings home a new wife from Moscow. Fiercely devout, Vasya’s stepmother forbids her family from honoring their household spirits, but Vasya fears what this may bring. And indeed, misfortune begins to stalk the village.

But Vasya’s stepmother only grows harsher, determined to remake the village to her liking and to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage or a convent. As the village’s defenses weaken and evil from the forest creeps nearer, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has long concealed—to protect her family from a threat sprung to life from her nurse’s most frightening tales.


Next Meeting:
December 14th @ 6:30 PM at Virtual

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Forever Young (12/13/2021): Once & Future

Once & Future (cover)

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

Some legends never die—they are reborn. King Arthur as you’ve never imagined!

I’ve been chased my whole life. As an illegal immigrant in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur. Now I’m done hiding. My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind. No pressure.

“Once & Future is a sizzling, bold exploration of gender, power, and revolution. Its dynamic and diverse cast will inspire and delight readers. I loved every second!” – Jessica Khoury, author of The Forbidden Wish


Next Meeting:
December 13th @ 6:30 PM at Virtual

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