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

Discover Our Digital Library!

Did you know that AAPLD cardholders can check out and enjoy books, audiobooks, music, and video, anytime, anyplace? Using our digital library collections means that you never have to go without something to read or watch.

While our digital collections have plenty of fans, there are still lots of myths and misconceptions that might have discouraged you from trying Libby, Hoopla, Axis360 or Biblioboard.

In honor of the upcoming travel and road trip season-- which digital content is perfect for, by the way-- please join us for a bit of digital library myth-busting!

Myth #1- "I don't have an ereader."

You don't need one! Our Libby, Hoopla, Biblioboard and Axis360 digital library apps can be easily installed on a Smartphone or tablet. The apps are free. Our website has links and video tutorials to get you started. Just download, install, enter your library card number and you're good to go!

Prefer in-person assistance? Stop by the Adult Services Reference desk or Technology desk, and ask a staff member for help.

Myth #2- "I'd rather read print books."

Hey, we get it. We love print books, too. But sometimes, it's just not convenient to carry one around. Ebooks can go anywhere your phone can go.

And reading doesn't have to be an either/or experience. Consider checking out the digital version of whatever you're reading in print, so you can enjoy your book on the go. Sure beats mindless scrolling while you're waiting at the dentist's office.

Myth #3- "Who has time to read?"

And speaking of mindless scrolling, we spend roughly 3 hours or more per day on our phones. What if we used just a little of that time for reading? Now, those empty minutes in the waiting room can be spent devouring the latest must-read thriller, steamy romance, or this month's celebrity reading pick.

Myth #4- "Digital reading is hard on your eyes."

ebook and headphonesOur digital apps include options to customize your reading experience. Dark backgrounds, larger fonts and downloadable audiobooks help give your eyes a rest.

Downloadable audiobooks have the added benefit of being travel- friendly. Listen in the car, or on a plane, and watch the trip fly by!

 

Spinecrackers (03/04/2022): Midnight Library

Midnight Library (cover)

Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting blockbuster novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.


Next Meeting:
March 4th @ 10:00 AM at Virtual

Register for online meeting here

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

Happily Ever After (02/21/2022): People We Meet On Vacation

People We Meet On Vacation (cover)

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read comes a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?


Next Meeting:
February 21st @ 7:00 PM at Virtual

Register for online meeting here

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

Spinecrackers (02/04/2022): The Vanishing Half

The Vanishing Half (cover)

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.


Next Meeting:
February 4th @ 10:00 AM at Virtual

Register for online meeting here

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

Love Your Tech in 2022!

Did you receive a new device as a holiday gift, or upgrade with a great year-end deal? Maybe you've resolved to get more comfortable with technology in 2022. Your library is here to help!

In January, we're offering classes to help you get the most out of your technology, whether you're a beginner who wants to master the basics, or you want access to thousands of books, videos, music and more, 24/7 with your library card! Classes are taught by Digital Literacy Librarian Kenny Duray, and you can attend in-person or online. Click the class link to register, or call the Adult Services department.

 

Beginner Basics

Don't know how to use a computer, tablet or smartphone? Have questions about your device, or another tech-related topic? Our Tech With Kenny classes are for you! Classes are held Wednesday mornings from 10-11 a.m. Each session includes a half-hour lesson, followed by a half hour for Q&A and practice time.

January 5: Using The Mouse and Keyboard - learn basic mouse controls and keyboard keys

January 12: The Internet - learn about browsers, how to search, create a bookmark, and tips for online safety

January 19: Email - Learn to create an email account, send an email, and attach to an email

January 26: File Management - Learn to organize your files for easy access later

 

 

Your Library On The Go!

ebook and headphonesCheck out and download books, video, music and more, any time, any place, with your library card! Learn about our digital library apps and discover the fun and convenience of ebooks, eaudiobooks, digital video, magazines and newspapers. Classes are held Monday evenings from 7-8:30 p.m., in person or online.

January 10: AAPLD Library Apps - Learn about the services you can access through our apps, plus how to install and use them.

January 17: Downloading Ebooks and Audiobooks - Ebooks and eaudiobooks are convenient, portable, and perfect for travel, commuting, or enjoying from the comfort of home.

January 24: Downloading Movies and TV Shows -  Stream movies and TV shows, documentaries, indie hits, and selections from around the world, including shows from the popular BBC and Acorn TV networks.

January 31: Downloading Magazines and Newspapers -  Find your favorite magazines and newspapers, including international publications, in multiple languages.

 

Spinecrackers (01/07/2022): Anxious People

Anxious People (cover)

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove comes a charming, poignant novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.


Next Meeting:
January 7th @ 10:00 AM at Virtual

Register for online meeting here

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

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

Register for online meeting here

AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE CHECKOUT ON HOOPLA
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK

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

Register for online meeting here

AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE CHECKOUT ON HOOPLA
AUDIOBOOK

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK

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)

Register for online or in-person attendance here

MAY BE AVAILABLE ON OVERDRIVE/LIBBY
EBOOK OR AUDIOBOOK