September Reading Resolutions…Read A Literary Classic

It’s Back to School season, and no matter how long ago you graduated, this time of year beckons us to settle into a new routine, and create new habits.

Since Reading Resolutions is all about our reading habits, there’s no better time than September to tackle a literary classic. It might be a book you read in school and loved. It might be one you didn’t like as a student, but want to give another try. It might be a book first published hundreds of years ago– or twenty years ago. It might be a graphic novel, or even a childhood favorite.

You see, literary classics don’t have to be old, boring, or hard to read. They can be suspenseful, or scary. Some are even funny! Here are a few suggestions  from our online literary classics catalog that might surprise you. To place one on hold, give the title a click. Find more great reads by browsing the catalog, or come into the library and check out the new Reading Resolutions display in the Adult Services Department. Old favorite, or new discovery…the choice is yours.

Jurassic Park (1991) by Michael Crichton – What happens when an entrepreneur decides to create the world’s most astonishing theme park, full of genetically-cloned dinosaurs? If you’ve seen the movie, you already know things go horribly wrong. The novel packs all the action and thrills of the film, but is also full of fascinating scientific detail that make a Michael Crichton novel like no other.  The New York Times calls it “full of suspense.” Jurassic Park is a classic by a one-of-a-kind author at the top of his game.



The Dark Knight Returns (1986) by Frank Miller- Time Magazine calls The Dark Knight Returns one of the Top 10 Graphic Novels of All Time, in a reboot of one of the greatest comic book heroes ever created. Ten years after the Dark Knight’s retirement, Gotham City has gone to rot.  Mysterious millionaire Bruce Wayne must resurrect his crime-fighting alter ego Batman against a new generation of criminals. He’s joined by a new Robin, a young girl named Carrie Kelley, who is every bit the equal of her predecessor.


Ramona the Pest (1968) by Beverly Cleary- A childhood classic, this is the story of kindergartner Ramona Quimby, who is determined to make her mark. When her efforts to be the best kindergartner EVER backfire, she’ll do anything to salvage the school year.  Joined by her sister Beezus, her best friend/worst enemy Henry Huggins, her long-suffering parents, and a green-haired doll named Chevrolet, Ramona’s laugh out loud adventures make this a book a timeless favorite.


Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994) by John Berendt- A classic read for true-crime fans, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is more than the story of a murder; it’s a depiction of one of America’s most unique cities, Savannah, Georgia. The sprawling cast includes society ladies, drag queens, gigolos, debutantes, and a voodoo priestess, all offering their perspective on a mystery that gripped the city for a decade.


Psycho (1959) by Robert Bloch- From true crime, to fictional, this dark, creepy novel was inspired by legendary serial killer Ed Gein and became Alfred Hitchcock’s most famous film. Motel manager Norman Bates lives with his mother in an old house behind the Bates Motel. Too bad Mother has been dead for twenty years. When a beautiful, and desperate young woman checks into the Bates Motel, Norman’s tempted. Good thing Mother, and her butcher knife, are there to protect him.



Don’t forget to update your Reading Resolutions page in Beanstack by highlighting this month’s activity badge, to be entered into our end of the month drawing for a $10 gift card. Need help? Give us a call!













August Celebrity Book Club Round-up

In this new type of post, we take a look at the books chosen by celebrity book clubs for the current month. Each month some of your favorite public figures choose their favorite book being released that month. Every month we will be the first to let you know what they have picked so you can get your holds in right away! Keep reading to find out which books were picked by Reese Witherspoon, Jenna Bush-Hager, Good Morning America, and Oprah this month.

Reese’s Book Club

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

An annual backpacking trip has deadly consequences in a chilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Lost Night and The Herd.

As Emily feels the walls closing in on their coverups, she must reckon with the truth about her closest friend. Can she outrun the secrets she shares with Kristen, or will they destroy her relationship, her freedom–even her life? (from Goodreads)

Want to catch up on Reese’s picks from previous months? Click here to discover prior months’ selections.

Want to stay up-to-date with the latest news from Reese’s book club? Click here to visit the Reese’s Book Club website.

Read With Jenna

The Turnout by Megan Abbott

Bestselling and award-winning author Megan Abbott’s revelatory, mesmerizing, and game-changing new novel set against the hothouse of a family-run ballet studio, and an interloper who arrives to bring down the carefully crafted Eden-like facade.

Taut and unnerving, The Turnout is Megan Abbott at the height of her game. With uncanny insight and hypnotic writing, it is a sharp and strange dissection of family ties and sexuality, femininity and power, and a tale that is both alarming and irresistible. (from Goodreads)

Ready to read Jenna’s past picks? Click here to view the list. For more information on her book club, click here to visit the Read With Jenna site.

Good Morning America Book Club

The Husbands by Chandler Baker

Chandler Baker, the New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Network, is back with The Husbands, a novel that asks: to what lengths will a woman go for a little more help from her husband?

Calling to mind a Stepford Wives gender-swap, The Husbands imagines a world where the burden of the “second shift” is equally shared–and what it may take to get there. (from Goodreads)

Looking for more Good Morning America picks? Visit their website here for more picks and news, as well as interviews with authors and more.

Oprah’s Book Club

The Sweetness of Water by Nathan Harris

In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, a profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever.

With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances. (from Goodreads)

Need more of Oprah’s recommendations? Click here to visit her website.

Check back near the beginning of next month to discover September’s celeb book club picks!

Library Reads (09/16/2021): Time After Time

Time After Time (cover)

Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald

On a clear December morning in 1937, at the famous gold clock in Grand Central Terminal, Joe Reynolds, a hardworking railroad man from Queens, meets a vibrant young woman who seems mysteriously out of place. Nora Lansing is a Manhattan socialite and an aspiring artist whose flapper clothing, pearl earrings, and talk of the Roaring Twenties don’t seem to match the bleak mood of Depression-era New York. Captivated by Nora from her first electric touch, Joe despairs when he tries to walk her home and she disappears. Finding her again—and again—will become the focus of his love and his life.

As thousands of visitors pass under the famous celestial blue ceiling each day, Joe and Nora create a life of infinite love in a finite space, taking full advantage of the “Terminal City” within a city. But when the construction of another landmark threatens their future, Nora and Joe are forced to test the limits of their freedom—and their love.

Next Meeting:
September 16th @ 7:00 PM at Hybrid at Harnish (in-person or online participation are both available)

Register for online or in-person attendance here


Enjoying the Classics (09/15/2021): The Waves

The Waves (cover)

The Waves by Virginia Woolf

“I am made and remade continually. Different people draw different words from me.”
Innovative and deeply poetic, The Waves is often regarded as Virginia Woolf’s masterpiece. It begins with six children—three boys and three girls—playing in a garden by the sea, and follows their lives as they grow up, experience friendship and love, and grapple with the death of their beloved friend Percival. Instead of describing their outward expressions of grief, Woolf draws her characters from the inside, revealing their inner lives: their aspirations, their triumphs and regrets, their awareness of unity and isolation.

Next Meeting:
September 15th @ 7:00 PM at Hybrid at Harnish (in-person or online participation are both available)

Register for online or in-person attendance here



Shop Smarter with Consumer Reports and AAPLD

Covid-19 has changed many things, including the way we shop. Rather than go from store to store to look and compare, we now turn first to our computers. Sometimes, we complete the entire purchase without ever laying eyes on the item we’ve just bought.

While online shopping is great for many items, when it comes to major purchases like computers, appliances or cars, buying sight unseen is much more daunting. That’s where Consumer Reports can help.

A non-profit organization dedicated to educating and protecting consumers, as well as testing products for quality, CR’s monthly print magazine and subscriber website are trusted sources of accurate product information.

Algonquin Area Public Library District is proud to offer Consumer Reports’ online database to our card-holders. To find it, start at and select the Virtual Library drop-down menu. Choose Online Resources. Here, you’ll find an alphabetical list of all the databases the Library offers. Scroll down to Consumer Reports Online, click the link and enter your AAPLD library card number. From here, you can search articles and ratings for thousands of products.

If you’re not an Algonquin library card holder, you can access Consumer Reports Online at our public computers at the Main Library on Harnish Drive, and at the Eastgate Branch.

Issues of the print magazine from the current year are kept with the periodicals at both the Main Library and Eastgate, and are available for check-out, except for the current month’s issue. You’ll also find print copies from the last two years and the current year behind the Adult Services Reference Desk at the Main Library. These are for in-library browsing only.

Want to know more? Give us a call or reach out on chat. An Adult Service staff member will be happy to help.

The Nail Biters (09/21/2021): Heresy: An Historical Thriller

Heresy: An Historical Thriller (cover)

Heresy: An Historical Thriller by S.J. Parris

Giordano Bruno was a monk, poet, scientist, and magician on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. This alone could have got him burned at the stake, but he was also a student of occult philosophies and magic.

In S. J. Parris’s gripping novel, Bruno’s pursuit of this rare knowledge brings him to London, where he is unexpectedly recruited by Queen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation. Officially Bruno is to take part in a debate on the Copernican theory of the universe; unofficially, he is to find out whatever he can about a Catholic plot to overthrow the queen.

His mission is dramatically thrown off course by a series of grisly murders and a spirited and beautiful young woman. As Bruno begins to discover a pattern in these killings, he realizes that no one at Oxford is who he seems to be. Bruno must attempt to outwit a killer who appears obsessed with the boundary between truth and heresy.

Like The Dante Club and The Alienist, this clever, sophisticated, exceptionally enjoyable novel is written with the unstoppable narrative propulsion and stylistic flair of the very best historical thrillers.

Next Meeting:
September 21st @ 6:30 PM at Eastgate Library


Happily Ever After (09/20/2021): Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre (cover)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre, the plain yet spirited governess, introduced a new kind of heroine to literature: one whose virtuous integrity, sharp intellect, and tireless perseverance broke through class barriers to win equal stature with the man she loved.

Orphaned and subject to a cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. How she takes up the post of governess at Thornfield Hall, meets and loves Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage are elements in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than that traditionally accorded to her sex in Victorian society.

Hailed by William Makepeace Thackeray as “the masterwork of a great genius,” this impassioned love story is still regarded, over a century after it first appeared, as one of the finest novels in literature.

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

Register for online or in-person attendance here



Book Wizards (09/14/2021): The Once and Future Witches

The Once and Future Witches (cover)

The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow

In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters―James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna―join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote―and perhaps not even to live―the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.
An homage to the indomitable power and persistence of women, The Once and Future Witches reimagines stories of revolution, motherhood, and women’s suffrage—the lost ways are calling.

Next Meeting:
September 14th @ 6:30 PM at Eastgate Library


Forever Young (09/13/2021): The Downstairs Girl

The Downstairs Girl (cover)

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

Next Meeting:
September 13th @ 6:30 PM at Eastgate Library



Spinecrackers (09/03/2021): The Girl with the Louding Voice

The Girl with the Louding Voice (cover)

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

The unforgettable, inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself, The Girl with the Louding Voice is a simultaneously heartbreaking and triumphant tale about the power of fighting for your dreams. Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in her path, Adunni never loses sight of her goal of escaping the life of poverty she was born into so that she can build the future she chooses for herself – and help other girls like her do the same. Her spirited determination to find joy and hope in even the most difficult circumstances imaginable will “break your heart and then put it back together again” (Jenna Bush Hager on The Today Show) even as Adunni shows us how one courageous young girl can inspire us all to reach for our dreams…and maybe even change the world.

Next Meeting:
September 3rd @ 10:00 AM at Hybrid at Harnish (in-person or online participation are both available)

Register for online or in-person attendance here