Summer Reading Staff Picks

Looking for a great summer read? Ask an AAPLD staff member! We love books—reading them, talking about them, and recommending them!  Since summer is prime reading season, members of the Adult Services staff would like to share some of our favorite recent reads, and audiobook listens.

If you haven't signed up for 2022 Summer Reading yet, learn more here, or stop by the Adult Services desk.

Mystery

I enjoyed The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James, It was an intriguing mix of psychological thriller and haunting mystery. The main character's interest in writing about true crime and cold cases leads her to a close, and uncomfortably chilling, involvement with a manipulative murder suspect. Recommended by Anne Kunzen, Information Services & Genealogy Librarian

Young Adult/Historical Fiction

The Silent Unseen by Amanda McCrina  Poland, July 1944. Sixteen-year-old Maria is making her way home after years of forced labor in Nazi Germany, only to find her village destroyed and her parents killed in a war between the Polish Resistance and Ukrainian nationalists. To Maria’s shock, the local Resistance unit is commanded by her older brother, Tomek―who she thought was dead. He is now a “Silent Unseen,” a special-operations agent with an audacious plan to resist a new and even more dangerous enemy sweeping in from the East. When Tomek disappears, Maria is determined to find him, but the only person who might be able to help is a young Ukrainian prisoner and the last person Maria trusts―even as she feels a growing connection to him that she can’t resist. Recommended by Holly Eberle, Teen Librarian

Non-Fiction

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. With Gladwell, you can’t go wrong. This book is about the importance of both talking and listening, and how communication is a two way process, a really relevant lesson for our time. What’s more, the audiobook uses actual clips of the people being quoted, so you can hear why their words are so insightful. Recommended by Henry Sadowski, Adult Services Librarian

Horror

Beneath The Stairs by Jennifer Fawcett. In a small upstate New York town, teens dare one another to enter an abandoned house with a sinister history, hidden deep in the woods. In the summer of 1994, best friends Clare and Abby take the dare, and are never the same. Fawcett takes familiar horror elements--haunted houses, creepy dolls, dark basements-- and gives them a fresh twist, weaving a scary page-turner I couldn’t put down. Recommended by Elizabeth Harmon, Adult Services Library Associate

Literary Fiction

The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian Tanzania, 1964. When Katie Barstow, A-list actress, and her new husband, David Hill, decide to bring their Hollywood friends to the Serengeti for their honeymoon, they expect civilized adventure: Fresh ice from the kerosene-powered ice maker, dinners of cooked gazelle meat, and plenty of stories to tell over lunch back on Rodeo Drive.

What Katie and her glittering entourage do not expect is this: A kidnapping gone wrong, their guides bleeding out in the dirt, and a team of Russian mercenaries herding them into Land Rovers, guns to their heads. As the powerful sun gives way to night, the gunmen shove them into abandoned huts and Katie Barstow, Hollywood royalty, prays for a simple thing: To see the sun rise one more time. A fast paced, well written literary thriller with interesting characters and a strong sense of place. Recommended by Meghan O'Keefe, Adult Services Librarian

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle - A perfect read for summer. Katy was supposed to go with her mom on a trip to spectacular Positano, Italy, where her mother lived as a young woman, but tragically, she passes away before they go. Katy decides to take the trip anyway, to heal and feel closer to her mom. While she is there enjoying the town -- Mom appears in the flesh as her 30 years old self, and the two become friends! The magical quality of this story is what I love the most -- the food, the view, and the ambiance of the coastal setting, all brought to life by the author's gorgeous writing. It sweeps you up and away to another world! Recommended by Wendy Theehs, Adult Services Library Associate

Romance

Glitterland by Alexis Hall. This British novel brings together two unlikely lovers; Ash, an upper class author, whose severe anxiety and depression have derailed his life and career, and Darian, a big-hearted male model from working-class Essex, England. Hall’s depictions of mental illness are gripping, and he wisely avoids an unrealistic “healed by love” trope. Yet the story is touching, funny and hopeful. Told with wit and tenderness, it’s a great read for Pride Month, or any month. Available in ebook on Hoopla. Recommended by Elizabeth Harmon, Adult Services Library Associate

Relationship Fiction

The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews This author is my go to summer read. Her books are set in a sunny locale and they usually have a touch of whimsy. This book was all that and more. The main plot was a mystery that really keeps you guessing. I liked its emphasis on the power of trusting people and letting love come in to your heart. Recommended by Karin Litwin, Adult Services Library Associate

 

 

 

 

 

The Guncle by Steven Rowley - This is a funny, heartwarming story about a gay uncle who takes care of his niece and nephew for the summer, after they lose their mom to a long illness, and their dad goes to rehab for painkiller addiction. I listened to this audiobook as well. The author was the narrator and did an excellent job. Recommended by Lisa Mayoras, Adult Services Library Associate

A Month to Make Her-Story!

A powerful and revered First Lady. The first Latina U.S. Supreme Court justice. A ground-breaking comedian. These are just a few of the fascinating women you can discover this month at Algonquin Area Public Library.

March is Women's History Month, and a great opportunity to learn about the contributions women have made to our nation, and to history. Whether its a biography, memoir or historical novel based on real life people and events, browse our online catalog for stories that are sure to inspire readers, regardless of gender.

 

 

Biography

Elizabeth & Margaret: the intimate world of the Windsor sisters by Andrew Morton

Queen Elizabeth II and her sister Princess Margaret were the closest of sisters and the best of friends. But when, in a quixotic twist of fate, their uncle Edward Vlll abdicated the throne, the dynamic between Elizabeth and Margaret was dramatically altered. Forever more Margaret would have to curtsey to the sister she called 'Lillibet.' And bow to her wishes. Margaret's struggle to find a place and position inside the royal system—and her fraught relationship with its expectations—was often a source of tension.

Memoir

Just As I Am: A Memoir by Cicely Tyson "Just as I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside. Here, I am indeed Cicely, the actress who has been blessed to grace the stage and screen for six decades. Yet I am also the church girl who once rarely spoke a word. I am the teenager who sought solace in the verses of the old hymn for which this book is named. I am a daughter and mother, a sister, and a friend. I am an observer of human nature and the dreamer of audacious dreams. I am a woman who has hurt as immeasurably as I have loved, a child of God divinely guided by His hand. And here in my ninth decade, I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say."

Non-Fiction

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of NASA professionals worked as ‘Human Computers’, calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these ‘coloured computers’ used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets and astronauts, into space. Moving from World War II through NASA’s golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War and the women’s rights movement, ‘Hidden Figures’ interweaves a rich history of mankind’s greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.

Historical Fiction

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini - The only legitimate child of Lord Byron, the most brilliant, revered, and scandalous of the Romantic poets, Ada was destined for fame long before her birth. Estranged from Ada’s father, Ada’s mathematician mother provides her daughter with a rigorous education. When Ada is introduced into London society little does she realize that her friendship with inventor Charles Babbage will shape her destiny. Intrigued by the prototype of his first calculating machine,  and enthralled by the plans for even more advanced inventions, Ada resolves to help Babbage realize his extraordinary vision, unique in her understanding of how his invention could transform the world.

Discover a Hidden Gem!

While releases by best-selling authors, and critically-acclaimed "buzz books" grabbed the spotlight in 2021, there are plenty of great releases still waiting to be discovered.

Meet the Overlooked Books of 2021! These include books from nearly every fiction genre, plus non-fiction on a variety of topics, from exploring Mount Everest to a memoir by a professional gambler.

We've created a display in the Main Library Adult Services section of 2021's Overlook Books (you'll know it by the googly eyes!), and an online catalog that you can browse from home. We've also highlighted a few of our favorite Overlooked Books by genre, and hope it leads you discover a hidden gem!

 

General Fiction

Leda and the Swan by Anna Caritj - After a wild Halloween party, sorority girl Leda awakens to find she isn't exactly sure what happened the night before. Did she have sex with the guy she went home with? And what about Charlotte, the mysterious girl dressed as a swan, whose paths crossed Leda's several times, but who is now missing? As the campus buzzes with tension and speculation, Leda begins to realize that her fractured recollections may hold the key to Charlotte's disappearance.  A unique debut novel set in the early-2000s, that blends suspense and mystery, with issues of gender, power and sexual assault on campus.

Historical Fiction

Half Life by Jillian Cantor - Poland, 1891, Marie Curie (then Marya Sklodowska) was engaged to a budding mathematician, Kazimierz Zorawski. But when his mother insisted Marya was not good enough, he broke off the engagement. Heartbroken, Marya left Poland for Paris, where she would attend the Sorbonne to study chemistry and physics. Eventually Marie Curie would go on to change the course of science forever and be the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

But what if she had stayed in Poland, married Kazimierz, and never attended the Sorbonne or discovered radium? What if she had chosen a life of domesticity with a constant hunger for knowledge in Russian Poland where education for women was restricted? Entwining Marie Curie’s real story with Marya Zorawska’s fictional one, Half Life explores loves lost and destinies unfulfilled—and probes issues of loyalty and identity, gender and class, motherhood and sisterhood, fame and anonymity, scholarship and knowledge.

Mystery

The Cat Saw Murder by Dolores Hitchens - Love cat-themed mysteries? This 1939 mystery launched the popular trend, which continues today. When 70-year-old Miss Rachel and her cat Samantha visit Rachel's niece Lily at her California beach home, they discover Lily's home is actually a decrepit rooming house, and Lily herself is in desperate need of money to settle a gambling debt. With Samantha the cat named as the heir of a eccentric relative's fortune, Lily sees feline murder as the solution to her problem, until her own mysterious demise. Can Miss Rachel and Samantha solve the mystery? Part cozy/part California noir, this throwback classic is a fascinating and fun read.

Fantasy

The Kingdoms by Natasha Pulley - A time twisting alternative history that asks whether it's worth changing the past to save the future, even if it costs you everyone you've ever loved. Joe Tournier has a bad case of amnesia. His first memory is of stepping off a train in the nineteenth-century French colony of England. The only clue Joe has about his identity is a century-old postcard of a Scottish lighthouse that arrives in London the same month he does. Written in illegal English—instead of French—the postcard is signed only with the letter “M,” but Joe is certain whoever wrote it knows him far better than he currently knows himself, and he's determined to find the writer. The search for M, though, will drive Joe from French-ruled London to rebel-owned Scotland and finally onto the battle ships of a lost empire's Royal Navy. In the process, Joe will remake history, and himself.

Non-Fiction

The Third Pole by Mark Synott - A hundred-year mystery lured veteran climber Mark Synnott into an unlikely expedition up Mount Everest during the spring 2019 season that came to be known as "the Year Everest Broke." What he found was a gripping human story of impassioned characters from around the globe and a mountain that will consume your soul--and your life--if you let it. Readers witness first-hand how Synnott's quest led him from oxygen-deprivation training to archives and museums in England, to Kathmandu, the Tibetan high plateau, and up the North Face into a massive storm. The infamous traffic jams of climbers at the very summit immediately resulted in tragic deaths. Sherpas revolted. Chinese officials turned on Synnott's team. An Indian woman miraculously crawled her way to frostbitten survival. Synnott himself went off the safety rope--one slip and no one would have been able to save him--committed to solving the mystery. Eleven climbers died on Everest that season, all of them mesmerized by an irresistible magic. The Third Pole is a rapidly accelerating ride to the limitless joy and horror of human obsession.

You Can't Lose Them All: Tales of a Degenerate Gambler and His Ridiculous Friends by Sal Iacono and Jimmy Kimmel - Over the last forty years, Cousin Sal has made bets with doctors, lawyers, teachers, agents, bookies, writers, comedians, radio DJs, tv producers, baseball players, front office executives, bandleaders, movie stars, publicists, weed lab owners, hedge fund operators, and even professional wrestlers. From his early days growing up in Brooklyn and Long Island flipping baseball cards to now hosting podcasts and TV shows and managing several offshore accounts we don't talk about, Cousin Sal has truly become the average American sports fan's go to source for gambling tips. With hilarious tales of love and loss, winning and (a lot) of losing, crazy family and fatherhood, and a life saga that inspired the Phil Collins' song, "Against All Odds," Cousin Sal has now written THE Vegas super-system, MIT-algorithmic, sharp-approved book for how to gamble like a pro -- or at least not how not to go broke and lose your kids to Child Protective Services.

The Check-out Champs of 2021!

Happy New Year, and welcome to our annual In Case You Missed It list of AAPLD's Top 50 most checked-out Adult Fiction, Young Adult Fiction and DVD/Blu-Ray titles for 2021!

Most of the items were released in 2021, but you'll also find perennial favorites, and a few surprises on our lists.

How many have you seen or read? We've profiled check-out champs in each category, and also included two special online catalogs, our Top 50 favorite movies, and a Best Books of 2021 catalog, which includes "Best of" picks from Kirkus, Booklist, Goodreads, The Atlantic, NYT, Time, Literary Hub, Vulture, Vogue, New Yorker, and NPR.

You can also browse in person in the Adult Services department, where we've set up ICYM displays. Pick up a handy list of our Top 50 check-outs, and mark off what you've seen or read. Then add one of our Top 50 reads to your Winter Reading selections, or settle in with one of 2021's most popular movies. We hope you discover a new favorite of your own!

Adult Fiction

With 396 check-outs, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah was AAPLD's most popular Adult Fiction selection of 2021.

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. Elsa Martinelli must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

With 289 check-outs, our second most popular Adult Fiction book is The Guest List by Lucy Foley.

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes.  And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

 

Young Adult Fiction

With 41 check-outs, our Young Adult check-out champ is A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. When she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price. Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

With 38 check-outs, Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer is the Young Adult runner-up!

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella's side of the story. This unforgettable tale as told through Edward's eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward's past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

 

Movies

Our most checked-out movie in 2021 was Godzilla vs. Kong, with 148 check-outs!

Legends collide as Godzilla and Kong, the two most powerful forces of nature, clash in a spectacular battle for the ages. As a squadron embarks on a perilous mission into fantastic uncharted terrain, unearthing clues to the Titans' very origins and mankind's survival, a conspiracy threatens to wipe the creatures, both good and bad, from the face of the earth forever.

Black Widow, with 132 check-outs, was the second most popular movie at AAPLD in 2021!

In Marvel Studios' action-packed spy thriller "Black Widow," Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.

December Reading Resolutions…Short & Sweet!

Hectic holiday season? Reading Resolutions has you covered! Our tasty December challenge is to read a poem, short story, or novella. If you prefer non-fiction, choose an article, short how-to book, or essay.

Our online catalog has lots of suggestions for short reads, including collections of poems and short stories. If you check out a collection, you  don't have to read the entire book. Just one story or poem is enough, but if you want to read more, be our guest! Read on for holiday-themed suggestions,  or come into the Main library to browse our displays. Still need help? Just ask an Adult Services staff member.

 

When you've completed your December Short & Sweet Challenge, be sure to visit your Beanstack account and select this badge to be entered into our monthly gift card drawing. Don't forget our Grand Prize Drawing for a $100 restaurant gift card after Reading Resolutions ends on December 31. Each month you complete a challenge counts toward one entry. If you missed a month, there's still time to read a book for that month's theme. Select the correct badges in Beanstack by December 31 to receive your additional entries.

Christmas Tales

Heartwarming and joyful stories that capture the spirit of the season.

The Quiet Little Woman: A Christmas Story by Louisa May Alcott - Three classic Christmas stories from the author of Little Women, inspired by readers of the classic 1868 novel. (Short Story)

Can This Be Christmas by Debbie Macomber - A group of travelers, stranded at a remote New Hampshire depot on Christmas Eve, find their heartbreak turns to joy, when Christmas unexpectedly comes to them. (Novella)

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry - In turn-of-the-century New York City, a poor young couple sacrifices to purchase the perfect Christmas gift for one another. Published in 1907, it is one of O. Henry's most famous stories. (Short Story)

 

 

Let It Snow!

Wintery tales of romance and adventure, set in the world's most foreboding places.

Heating It Up by Elizabeth Harmon - The head of an international research station in Antarctica discovers a mysterious woman hiding in a deserted lodge. In a season of endless night, can love warm their hearts? (Novella)

Beyond The Great Snow Mountains by Louis L'Amour -  An American woman who has lived her life among the peaks of the Himalayas, must protect her village and tribe from an intruder. (Short Story)

 

The Gift of Self-Care

Because the holidays aren't always joyful, consider a healing and compassionate read for the season.

Stitches: A Handbook On Meaning, Hope and Repair by Anne Lamott - How do we find peace in these loud and frantic times, and where do we start again after personal and public devastation? By collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, piece by piece. (96 pages)

How To Stay Calm In Chaos by Julie M. Gentile - Smart self-care strategies, organized for each day of the week. (42 pages)

The Long Night: Readings and Stories to Help You Through Depression by Jessica Kantrowitz - A writer and theologian presents the wisdom and spiritual writings that aided her during her years-long battle with depression. Presented in short, topical chapters. (156 pages)

 

 

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.

 

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.

October Reading Resolutions…Read A Scary Book

October is here, and it's time to pair that Pumpkin Spice Latte with a tasty, and terrifying read.

While every Reading Resolution challenge encourages you to step out of your comfort zone, picking up a horror novel can really feel that way.  Of course, you're free to choose something a bit less scary. Cozy mysteries work just fine, as do thrillers, spooky classics, haunted histories, and true crime.

But if you're  in the mood for a good scare, the horror fans among the Adult Services staff are happy to offer suggestions. Read on, if you dare. You can also visit our special online catalog to place an item on hold, or browse more selections on the pop-up display at the Main Library.

Be sure to check off this badge in the Reading Resolutions challenge in Beanstack, to be entered into our monthly drawing.

Curiously Creepy

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage - Suzette loves her daughter Hanna, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband is both menacing and alluring.  Even of the house begins to invade Noemí’s dreams with visions of blood and doom. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. As Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

Twisted Twists

Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay - The lives of the Barretts are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. 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 Marjorie's father out of work and bills looming, the family soon find themselves the unwitting stars a hit reality television show. When events explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. 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.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid - In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

Horribly Humorous and Gloriously Gross

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the '90s about a women's book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.

Clown In A Cornfield by Adam Cesare - Quinn and her father moved to Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.

The Gates by John Connolly - A boy and his dog are trick or treating and witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe. A gap in which a pair of enormous gates is visible. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out. Can one small boy defeat evil?

Don't Turn Off The Lights!

It by Stephen King -Welcome to Derry, Maine. It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real. The seven friends were teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name

The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher - When Mouse’s dad asks her to clean out her dead grandmother's house, she says yes. After all, how bad could it be? Answer: pretty bad. Grandma was a hoarder, and her house is stuffed with useless rubbish. Mouse stumbles across a journal, which at first seems to be filled with nonsensical rants…until Mouse finds herself face to face with a series of impossible terrors—because sometimes the things that go bump in the night are real, and they’re looking for you.

Discover A New Author During Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which recognizes the contributions and culture of Hispanic people. It's also a great opportunity to discover a new author. At AAPLD, we're proud to highlight the Latinx authors in our collections. You'll find their work in every genre, with books for every age group.  For adult readers, we suggest one of these books, or browse our special online catalog for more selections.

 

Historical Fiction

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende - The first book in the sweeping saga of the Del Valle family begins as Eliza, a young Chilean woman, arrives in 1840s California to search for her lover in the goldfields. Arriving as a stowaway, she finances her search with various jobs, including playing the piano in a brothel.

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos - In 1949, two young Cuban musicians make their way up from Havana to the big arena of New York, where they are workers by day, stars of dance halls by night. Hijuelos's portrait of the Castillo brothers, re-creates the sights and sounds of an era in music and an unsung moment in American life.

A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende - In the late 1930s, amid the Spanish civil war, a pregnant young widow flees the country in a treacherous journey over the mountains to France. Along the way, she meets and marries an army doctor, in order to emigrate with him to Canada. Over the course of their lives, the unlikely couple face test after test, as they search for a place to belong.

Romance

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa- A wedding planner left at the altar? Yeah, the irony isn't lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina's offered an opportunity that could change her life. There's just one hitch... she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials, her ex-fiance's whip-smart, stunning and absolutely off-limits brother.

A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria- Michelle Amato has built a thriving freelance business as a graphic designer. So what if her love life is nonexistent, as her marriage-minded family keeps pointing out. Gabriel Aguilar left the Bronx to escape his parents' demanding expectations, and broke Michelle's heart. Now, he's the successful co-owner of LA's hottest celebrity gym, with an investor who insists on opening a New York City location. When Michelle is hired to spearhead the new marketing campaign, everything Gabe's been running from catches up with him. As old feelings resurface, and facing mounting pressure from their families--who think they're dating--can they resolve their past mistakes?

 

Thrillers

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia- A riveting noir set in 1970s Mexico City. Maite, a lonely secretary, envies the exciting life of her beautiful neighbor, Leonora. When Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman. Elvis is an eccentric criminal who loathes violence and loves old movies and rock 'n' roll, and is searching for Leonora at the order of his boss. As Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the truth behind Leonora's disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives.

 

Biography and Memoir

Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption and Hollywood by Danny Trejo - The full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo's journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood's favorite bad guy with a heart of gold.

 

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado - An engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her shaped the person she was becoming.

This month we’re celebrating the ’80s!

As part of the library’s Centennial Celebration, every month we have been celebrating a different decade. In September we are celebrating the totally tubular ’80s! Break out your leg warmers and your Aqua Net, it’s time to party like it’s 1985 by reading one of these books published in the ’80s.

The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

Who is Jason Bourne? Is he an assassin, a terrorist, a thief? Why has he got four million dollars in a Swiss bank account? Why has someone tried to murder him?…

Jason Bourne does not know the answer to any of these questions. Suffering from amnesia, he does not even know that he is Jason Bourne. What manner of man is he? What are his secrets? Who has he killed? (from Goodreads)

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Four mothers, four daughters, four families, whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who’s telling the stories. In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters’ futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Their daughters, who have never heard these stories, think their mothers’ advice is irrelevant to their modern American lives – until their own inner crises reveal how much they’ve unknowingly inherited of their mothers’ pasts. (from Goodreads)

Misery by Stephen King

Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

Annie wants Paul to write a book that brings Misery back to life—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an axe. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty. (from Goodreads)

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known . . . of Tom, the mason who becomes his architect—a man divided in his soul . . . of the beautiful, elusive Lady Aliena, haunted by a secret shame . . . and of a struggle between good and evil that will turn church against state and brother against brother.

A spellbinding epic tale of ambition, anarchy, and absolute power set against the sprawling medieval canvas of twelfth-century England, this is Ken Follett’s historical masterpiece. (from Goodreads)