What We’re Reading-February 2021

What We’re Reading-February 2021

This month we ask our staff what eBooks and audiobooks they’re reading on Overdrive. Click on titles to view the item on Overdrive.

Fiction

The Midnight Library (audio version)
by Matt Haig

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”

Girl in Pieces
by Kathleen Glasgow

 Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
   Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

Leave the World Behind (audio version)
by Rumaan Alam

Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.

Mexican Gothic (audio version)
by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, 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, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
 
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
 
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. 

Miss Benson’s Beetle
by Rachel Joyce

It is 1950. London is still reeling from World War II, and Margery Benson, a schoolteacher and spinster, is trying to get through life, surviving on scraps. One day, she reaches her breaking point, abandoning her job and small existence to set out on an expedition to the other side of the world in search of her childhood obsession: an insect that may or may not exist—the golden beetle of New Caledonia. When she advertises for an assistant to accompany her, the woman she ends up with is the last person she had in mind. Fun-loving Enid Pretty in her tight-fitting pink suit and pom-pom sandals seems to attract trouble wherever she goes. But together these two British women find themselves drawn into a cross-ocean adventure that exceeds all expectations and delivers something neither of them expected to find: the transformative power of friendship.

The Outsiders
by S.E. Hinton

No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he’s got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up on “greasers” like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect—until the night someone takes things too far.

Nonfiction

How to be a Bawse
by Lilly Singh

Lilly Singh isn’t just a superstar. She’s Superwoman—which is also the name of her wildly popular YouTube channel. Funny, smart, and insightful, the actress and comedian covers topics ranging from relationships to career choices to everyday annoyances. It’s no wonder she’s garnered more than a billion views. But Lilly didn’t get to the top by being lucky—she had to work for it. Hard.
Now Lilly wants to share the lessons she learned while taking the world by storm, and the tools she used to do it. How to Be a Bawse is the definitive guide to conquering life. Make no mistake, there are no shortcuts to success, personal or professional. World domination requires real effort, dedication, and determination. Just consider Lilly a personal trainer for your life

Maybe you Should Talk to Someone
by Lori Gottlieb

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.

Think and Grow Rich
by Napoleon Hill

What Do You Want Most? Is It Money, Fame, Power, Contentment, Personality, Peace of Mind, Happiness? The Thirteen Steps to Riches described in this book offer the shortest dependable philosophy of individual achievement ever presented for the benefit of the man or woman who is searching for a definite goal in life.

Between the World and Me (audio version)
by Ta-Nehisi Coates

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Your Story: Allentown in Quarantine

What is this?

The Allentown Public Library is collecting stories from individuals on how the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting quarantine and mandates have affected their lives.

Why?

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting quarantine continues to affect our society in monumental ways and will be remembered for a long time. However, sometimes it may be difficult for posterity to see how the lives of individuals and their daily experiences were changed. This is why the library is collecting those individual stories and storing them in our archives to be accessed by future generations.

How Can You Share Your Story?

Fill out the form on this page. A librarian will then contact you about how to record your own story or schedule an interview.

Easy COVID-19 Resource Guide for Patrons

February 2021

Check out CDs, DVDs and Audiobooks like

If on a Winter’s Night you need something to read from

Allentown Public Library, you’ll be happy to learn that

The library is serving patrons via drive thru window pickup as well as inside. We ask all patrons to limit each visit to one hour for book browsing or computer use so that everyone can stay as safe as possible.

Restricted Walk-in Service Expectations

All patrons are expected to wear masks and to be considerate of others, maintaining social distancing guidelines. Our staff will do our part to provide you with services while maintaining increased cleaning protocols and the same guidelines that we ask of our patrons. Browsing for materials or computer use are limited to one hour per day. The mezzanine, local history room, periodical rooms remain closed at this time.

In order to accommodate those who are uncomfortable visiting indoors, we will maintain drive-thru service. You may call 1-2 hours ahead to place books on hold, or place them on hold yourself using the MyAccount feature. You will be contacted via email, text or phone call (your choice) when your reserved materials are ready for pickup.

Please check here and on our social media pages for frequent updates.

Lehigh County

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Please take advantage of Allentown Public Library’s online resources!

APL Adult Winter Reading Bingo

Register to Get Your Free Space!

Print Your Bingo Board Now!

What is This? 
This year, for the Adult Winter Reading Club, we will be doing Library Bingo.

Sounds Fun, How Do I Get Started? 
Simply print out a bingo sheet from this webpage, Facebook or pick one up at the drive thru window 

How do I Play? 

  1. Read, use library resources, and participate in activities to fill in relevant squares. 
  2. The goal is to get five squares in a row (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) 
  3. If want to play more, don’t worry. Each card can win up to five times. Just keep filling in squares 
  4. Return the sheet to the library or take a picture of your completed sheet and email it to the library or share it to the Facebook group by March 31st

Facebook Group? 
Yes, a Facebook group. Join the AWRB Facebook group to see book recommendations, learn about library programs, and interact with other readers. 

Don’t have Facebook?  
That’s ok, sign up at our website to receive emails with AWRC news.

Can my Children Participate?  
Sorry, this program is just for adults. 

Do They Need to be Library Books? 
Obviously, we’d love for you to check out books from the library, but this is about celebrating reading, so all books count.

Do I have to Read Print Books? 
Nope, we support all forms of reading: eBooks, books on CD, and downloadable audiobooks. 

What If I Read a Book That Applies to Multiple Squares? 
You can use a book for one square only.  

Can I Complete More Than One Bingo? 
Yes, if you finish one Bingo, go for another! The more you complete the more entries you get. 

What Can You Win? 
Completing a Bingo will give you an entry for a chance to win a gift card to local businesses. 

When Will Winners Be Announced 
Winners will be announced on the first day of spring (Saturday, March 20th).

Fine Print 
You are on your honor to read the books before adding them to your Winter Reading Challenge bingo card. Cheating, skimming, or just reading reviews online will invoke bad winter karma which may include sniffles, lack of marshmallows in your hot chocolate, or one mitten. 

What to Stream on Hoopla- January 2021

What to Stream on Hoopla- January 2021

Check out the library’s new Movie, TV, Music, and Comic Book streaming service, Hoopla. Don’t know what to watch, listen to or read? Here are some recommendations for January from our librarians!

Movies

the Majestic

In 1951, a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.

Stand-Up Guys

Academy Award-winners Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, and Alan Arkin star in this action-comedy about retired gangsters who reunite for one last epic night.

Documentaries

The Babushkas of Chernobyl

An affectionate portrait of a group of women who, after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and evacuation, returned to the exclusion zone surrounding the nuclear power plant and have resided there – semi-officially, for years.

Anything by Ken Burns

For more than thirty years, Ken Burns and his collaborators have produced and directed some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made. Discover things you never knew about the people and events that molded our history.

TV

Clifford The Big Red Dog

He’s big. He’s red. He’s totally irresistible! Make room for Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog, the animated series based on Norman Bridwell’s best-selling books. Each episode of this Emmy-nominated series features two 11-minute entertaining stories that emphasize one or more of “Clifford’s BIG Ideas – 10 simple, tangible life lessons designed to help young children navigate their world. Join Clifford, his owner Emily Elizabeth, and his friends on Birdwell Island, as they play, work together, respect others – and have fun!

Vera

Based on the bestselling mysteries by Ann Cleeves, Vera follows a solitary, obsessed, cantankerous investigator who happens to be pure genius at her job.

Winter

After years of solving serious crimes, Detective Sergeant Eve Winter has grown weary of the brutality and resigned herself to a quieter life. But when the search for a missing girl in a small Australian town uncovers five dead bodies in a field, Eve is convinced by her old partner and ex-flame, Lachlan McKenzie, to join the case. Now drawn back into detective work, Winter next leads a task force to investigate the murder of a 23-year-old mother. 

Music

Amaranthe

Amaranthe is a Swedish heavy metal band. Reviews of Amaranthe’s style are varied, though they all acknowledge that they are mainly a subgenre of heavy metal. According to AllMusic, Amaranthe’s musical style mixes death metal with melodic pop music, giving for a feel of metalcore overall.

Black Pumas 

Black Pumas is an American psychedelic soul band based in Austin, Texas, led by singer/songwriter Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada

Killswitch Engage

Killswitch Engage first shook the structure of heavy music upon climbing out of snowy industrialized Western Massachusetts in 2000. A musical outlier, the band pioneered a union of thrashed-out European guitar pyrotechnics, East Coast hardcore spirit, on-stage hijinks, and enlightened lyricism that set the pace for what the turn-of-the-century deemed heavy.

Comic Books

Deadpool

He’s the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool, and with sidekick Weasel in tow, he sets out on a quest for romance, money, and mayhem

The Umbrella Academy

In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.” These seven children form the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.

Get on the List – 12/07/2020

Get on the List – 12/07/2020

We’ll share some books that are on order so you can get on the holds list early. Visit our My Account page to learn how to Place Holds Online. You can also visit our What’s Next page to see and search all our new books.

The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict

Publication Date: 12/20/2020) In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car—strange for a frigid night. Her husband and daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away. (Goodreads)

American Traitor by Brad Taylor

(Publication Date: 01/05/2021) Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are enjoying a sunny vacation down under when they get disturbing news: their friend and colleague, Clifford Delmonty, is in serious trouble. While working as a contractor at an Australian F 35 facility, the former Taskforce member—callsign Dunkin—saw something he shouldn’t have, and now he’s on the run from Chinese agents. (Goodreads)

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

(Publishing Date: 01/19/2021) Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will–searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking. (Goodreads)

What We’re Reading-December 2020

What We’re Reading – December 2020

We asked our staff what they’re reading this month. Click on titles to view the item in our catalog.

Fiction

Happily This Christmas by Susan Mallery

Wynn Beauchene has a thriving business, a great kid and a mildly embarrassing crush on the guy next door—local cop Garrick McCabe. She’s a strong, independent woman who can’t help dreaming what-if about a man she barely knows. Until he needs her help…(Goodreads)

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman

Where does the story of the Owens bloodline begin? With Maria Owens, in the 1600s, when she’s abandoned in a snowy field in rural England as a baby. Under the care of Hannah Owens, Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognizes that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows. It is here that she learns her first important lesson: Always love someone who will love you back. (Goodreads)

The Harpy by Megan Hunter

Lucy and Jake live in a house by a field where the sun burns like a ball of fire. Lucy has set her career aside in order to devote her life to the children, to their finely tuned routine, and to the house itself, which comforts her like an old, sly friend. But then a man calls one afternoon with a shattering message: his wife has been having an affair with Lucy’s husband, Jake. The revelation marks a turning point: Lucy and Jake decide to stay together, but make a special arrangement designed to even the score and save their marriage–she will hurt him three times. (Goodreads)

When All is Said by Anne Griffin

This is the story of Maurice Hannigan, who, over the course of a Saturday night in June, orders five different drinks at the Rainford House Hotel. With each he toasts a person vital to him: his doomed older brother, his troubled sister-in-law, his daughter of fifteen minutes, his son far off in America, and his late, lamented wife. And through these people, the ones who left him behind, he tells the story of his own life, with all its regrets and feuds, loves and triumphs. (Goodreads)

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

(Winternight Trilogy #3) Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all. (Goodreads)

Non-Fiction

Grace Notes by Katey Sagal

Popular and award-winning star Katey Sagal chronicles the rollercoaster ride of her life in this series of evocative and beautifully written vignettes, resulting in a life story recounted unlike any other Hollywood memoir you’ve read before. (Goodreads)

I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf by Grant Snider

It’s no secret, but we are judged by our bookshelves. We learn to read at an early age, and as we grow older we shed our beloved books for new ones. But some of us surround ourselves with books. We collect them, decorate with them, are inspired by them, and treat our books as sacred objects. In this lighthearted collection of one- and two-page comics, writer-artist Grant Snider explores bookishness in all its forms, and the love of writing and reading, building on the beloved literary comics featured on his website, Incidental Comics. (Goodreads)

Tecumseh and the Prophet by Peter Cozzens

Until Tecumseh’s death in 1813, he was, alongside Tenskwatawa, the co-architect of the greatest pan-Indian confederation in history. Over time, Tenskwatawa has been relegated to the shadows, described as a talentless charlatan and a drunk. But award winning historian Peter Cozzens now shows us that while Tecumseh was the forward-facing diplomat–appealing even to the colonizers attempting to appropiate Indian land–behind the scenes, Tenskwatawa unified disparate tribes of the Old Northwest with his deep understanding of their religion and culture. No other Native American leaders enjoyed such popularity, and none would ever pose a graver threat to the nation’s westward expansion than Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa (Goodreads)

The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

The Seven Storey Mountain tells of the growing restlessness of a brilliant and passionate young man, who at the age of twenty-six, takes vows in one of the most demanding Catholic orders—the Trappist monks. At the Abbey of Gethsemani, “the four walls of my new freedom,” Thomas Merton struggles to withdraw from the world, but only after he has fully immersed himself in it. At the abbey, he wrote this extraordinary testament, a unique spiritual autobiography that has been recognized as one of the most influential religious works of our time (Goodreads)

Juvenile

I Stink! by Kate and Jim McMullan

Know what I do at night while you’re asleep? Eat your trash, that’s what! See those bags? I smell breakfast!

With ten wide tires, one really big appetite, and an even bigger smell, this truck’s got it all. His job? Eating your garbage and loving every stinky second of it!

And you thought nighttime was just for sleeping. (Goodreads)

My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk

My Truck Is Stuck. Rotten luck. Can’t go! My truck is stuck. Tug and tow. Two engines roar. But the truck won’t go. Not one inch more. Does anyone know how to make my stuck truck go? In this lyrical read-aloud, young drivers are introduced to the ins and outs of hauling, beeping, and repairing — get ready for a fun ride! (Goodreads)

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw

A flock of hapless sheep drive through the country in this rhyming picture book. (Goodreads)