Never Forget: Books Help Us Remember

Never Forget: Books Help Us Remember

This year we recognize the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001. To commemorate the event, our staff has given some suggestion on books that helped them navigate the emotional turmoil that day brought.

Don’t forget to visit our 9/11 MEMORIAL & MUSEUM’S EDUCATION EXHIBITION throughout all of September and share your 9/11 REFLECTIONS September 9th and 10th.


American Widow
By Alissa Torres and Illustrated by Sungyoon Choi 

Beautifully and thoughtfully illustrated, American Widow is the affecting account of one woman’s journey through shock, pain, birth, and rebirth in the aftermath of a great tragedy. It is also the story of a young couple’s love affair: how a Colombian immigrant and a strong-minded New Yorker met, fell in love, and struggled to fulfill their dreams. Above all, American Widow is a tribute to the resilience of the human heart and the very personal story of how one woman endured a very public tragedy
(Book)


The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseni

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.
(Book/Overdrive eBook)


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
by Jonathan Safran Foer

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


Freedom
By Jonathan Franzen

In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom’s characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.
(Book/Large Print Book)


The Emperor’s Children
By Claire Messud

The Emperor’s Children is a dazzling, masterful novel about the intersections in the lives of three friends, now on the cusp of their thirties, making their way—and not—in New York City.
(Book/Large Print/Hoopla Audiobook)


The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
by Lawrence Wright

A sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright’s remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.
(Book)


The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11
By Garrett M. Graff

Garrett Graff tells the story of the day as it was lived—in the words of those who lived it. Drawing on never-before-published transcripts, declassified documents, original interviews, and oral histories from nearly five hundred government officials, first responders, witnesses, survivors, friends, and family members, he paints the most vivid and human portrait of the September 11 attacks yet.
(Book/Overdrive eBook)


A Widow’s Walk: A Memoir of 9/11
By Marian Fontana

On September 11, 2001, Marian Fontana lost her husband, Dave, a firefighter from the elite Squad 1 in Brooklyn, in the World Trade Center attack. A Widow’s Walk begins that fateful morning, when Marian, a playwright and comedienne, became a widow, a single mother, and an unlikely activist.
(Book)

Allentown in Quarantine

Check out how members of our community and their organizations navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting quarantine.

And don’t forget you can still Tell Your Story!
Click HERE to find out how.

Mike Schlossberg
State Representative
July 21st, 2020


Sherri Binder
Ripple Community Inc.
October 12th, 2020


Glenn Granitz
Allentown Police Department
October 13th, 2020


Lori Sywensky
Turning Point Lehigh Valley
October 14th, 2020


Jason Cumello
Cedarbrook Senior Care
October 19th, 2020


Vicky Kistler
Allentown Health Bureau
October 20th, 2020


Nancy Ruiz
Casa Guadalupe
October 23rd, 2020


Thomas Stoudt
Lehigh/Northampton Airport Authority
October 23rd, 2020


Renee Haines
Allentown Public Library
June 15th, 2021

Beach Reads

Beach Reads

Summer is here in force so we asked our staff what they are bringing to the beach with them. Here are their answers:

Beach Read
by Emily Henry

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters. Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They’re polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. But as the summer stretches on, January discovers a gaping plot hole in the story she’s been telling herself about her own life, and begins to wonder what other things she might have gotten wrong, including her ideas about the man next door.
Book/Overdrive eBook/Overdrive Audiobook

The Unhoneymooners
by Christina Lauren

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime–maybe even love. Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion–she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas. Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo. Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is, Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.
Book (at Easton)/Overdrive eBook

Leave the World Behind
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 black 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. 
Book/Overdrive eBook/Overdrive Audiobook/Hoopla Audiobook

The Truly Devious
by Maureen Johnson

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth-century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.” In 1936, shortly after the school opened, Ellingham’s wife and daughter, Iris and Alice, were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great crimes of American history. Something like that could never happen again, of course. Years later, true-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.
Book/Overdrive Audiobook/Hoopla eBook/Hoopla Audiobook

The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic
by Emily Croy Barker

During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, eager to forget about her disastrous breakup and stalled dissertation, Nora Fischer wanders off and somehow finds herself in another realm. There, she meets glamorous Ilissa—who introduces Nora to a decadent new world—and her gorgeous son Raclin. But when the elegant veneer of this dreamland shatters, Nora finds herself in a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. And the only way she can survive is by learning real magic herself.
Book

Summer on the Bluffs
by Sunny Hostin

The exclusive beach community of Oak Bluffs is a mecca for the crème de la crème of black society. Thirty years ago Amelia Vaux Tanner and her husband built Chateau Laveau, a house high on the bluffs. Ama’s favorite guests have always been her three “goddaughters:” Esperanza “Perry” Soto, a talented Afro-Latina lawyer; Olivia Jones, a Wall Street analyst; and Billie Hayden, a marine biologist. This summer Ama, now nearing seventy-one, is moving to the south of France to reunite with her college sweetheart. She has invited Perry, Olivia, and Billy to spend one last golden summer together with her the way they did when they were kids. And when fall comes, she is going to give the house to one of them. And each wants the house. Desperately.
Book/Overdrive eBook

Beach Road
by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge

Tom Dunleavy has a one-man law firm in America’s wealthiest resort town: legendary East Hampton. But his job barely keeps him in paper clips. His clients make a living serving the rich. The billionaires and celebrities swarming the beaches already have lawyers on their payroll. Very Expensive: Then a friend of Tom’s is arrested for a triple murder near a movie star’s mansion. Tom knows in his gut that Dante Halleyville is innocent. Dante asks him to represent him in what could be the Trial of the Century. Very Exclusive: Tom recruits Manhattan super-lawyer Kate Costello to help. She’s a tough hire, because Kate is his ex-girlfriend, but she agrees. In their search to find who really executed three locals, Tom orchestrates a series of revelations to expose the killer, and what emerges is staggering. Very Explosive: The final scenes of this audio book unveil a truth that will leave readers gasping in shock.
Book/Large Print/Audiobook CD/Overdrive eBook/Hoopla Audiobook

Nights in Rodanthe
by Nicholas Sparks

At forty-five, Adrienne Willis must rethink her entire life when her husband abandons her for a younger woman. Reeling with heartache and in search of a respite, she flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina to tend to a friend’s inn for the weekend. But when a major storm starts moving in, it appears that Adrienne’s perfect getaway will be ruined, until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has just sold his medical practice and come to Rodanthe to escape his own shattered past. Now, with the storm closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort, and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives.
Book

Running With Scissors
by Augusten Burroughs

Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her unorthodox psychiatrist who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. So at the age of twelve, Burroughs found himself amidst Victorian squalor living with the doctor’s bizarre family, and befriending a pedophile who resided in the backyard shed. The story of an outlaw childhood where rules were unheard of, and the Christmas tree stayed up all year round, where Valium was consumed like candy, and if things got dull an electroshock therapy machine could provide entertainment. The funny, harrowing and bestselling account of an ordinary boy’s survival under the most extraordinary circumstances.
Book

Honeymoon with My Brother
by Franz Wisner

This is the true story of Franz Wisner, a man who thought he had it all- a high profile career and the fiancée of his dreams- when suddenly, his life turned upside down. Just days before they were to be married, his fiancée called off the wedding. Luckily, his large support network of family and friends wouldn’t let him succumb to his misery. They decided Franz should have a wedding and a honeymoon anyway- there just wouldn’t be a bride at the ceremony, and Franz’ travel companion would be his brother, Kurt.

During the “honeymoon,” Franz reconnected with his brother and began to look at his life with newfound perspective. The brothers decided to leave their old lives behind them. They quit their jobs, sold all their possessions, and traveled around the world, visiting fifty-three countries for the next two years. In Honeymoon With My Brother, Franz recounts this remarkable journey, during which he turned his heartbreak into an opportunity to learn about himself, the world, and the brother he hardly knew
Book

Things You Save in a Fire
by Katherine Center

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.
Book/Overdrive eBook/Hoopla Audiobook

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others.
Book/Overdrive eBook/Hoopla eBook/Hoopla Audiobook

Mexican Gothic
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, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
Book/Overdrive eBook/Overdrive Audiobook

New Museum Passes

Need something to do this summer? Get the kids out to experience some of the cultural offerings of the area? The library is now offering passes to the following regional museums to be checked out by Allentown residents.

  • Allentown Art Museum
  • America on Wheels
  • Da Vinci Science Center
  • Elmwood Park Zoo
  • Independence Seaport Museum
  • Liberty Bell Museum
  • Museum of the American Revolution
  • Mütter Museum
  • National Liberty Museum
  • Philadelphia Magic Gardens
  • Reading Public Museum

Visit the Museum Pass Information page to learn more

Staff Picks: Books to Movies

Staff Picks: Books to Movies

Summer is prime time for film adaptations of books and this summer is no exception. “The book is better than the movie” is a truism but we asked our staff for some of the movie adaptations of books they’ve enjoyed.

The African Queen
by C.S. Forester

As World War I reaches the heart of the African jungle, Charlie Allnutt and Rose Sayer, a disheveled trader and an English spinster missionary, find themselves thrown together by circumstance. Fighting time, heat, malaria, and bullets, they make their escape on the rickety steamboat The African Queen…and hatch their own outrageous military plan. This book was made into a movie in 1951 starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. Humphrey Bogart won an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Book/DVD

Bridget Jones’s Diary
by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones’ Diary is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget’s permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR. This book was made into a movie starring Renee Zellweger, Hugh Grant, and Colin Firth.
Book/Hoopla Audiobook/DVD

The Color Purple
By Alice Walker

The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery and Sofia and their experience.  It was made into a movie in 1985 and featured many stars including Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey. It was nominated for 11 Oscars.
Book/eBook (Hoopla and Overdrive)/DVD

The Devil Wears Prada
by Lauren Weisberger

A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses.
Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of “Runway “magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts “Prada! Armani! Versace!” at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child. This book was made into a movie in 2006 and starred Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep.
Book/Audiobook CD/Overdrive eBook/DVD

The Exorcist
by William Peter Blatty

 A desperate mother and two priests fight to free the soul of a little girl from a supernatural entity of pure malevolence. This book was made into a movie in 1973 and quickly became a classic horror film.
Book/Overdrive eBook/Audiobook (Overdrive and Hoopla)/DVD

Fight Club
by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club’s estranged narrator leaves his lackluster job when he comes under the thrall of Tyler Durden, an enigmatic young man who holds secret after-hours boxing matches in the basement of bars. There, two men fight “as long as they have to.” This is a gloriously original work that exposes the darkness at the core of our modern world. Made into a movie in 1999 starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter.
Audiobook CD/Audiobook Hoopla/DVD

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption. First made into a movie in Sweden in 2009.
Book/Overdrive eBook/Audiobook CD/Overdrive Audiobook/Hoopla Comic/Hoopla Movie

North and South
by John Jakes

Part history, part novel, this book chronicles two great American dynasties over three generations. Though brought together in a friendship that neither jealousy nor violence could shatter, the Hazards and the Mains are torn apart by the storm of events that has divided the nation. This book was made into a TV miniseries in 1985 starring Kirstie Alley.
Book/eBook Hoopla/DVD/Hoopla Movie

Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck

An intimate portrait of two men who cherish the slim bond between them and the dream they share in a world marred by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. Clinging to each other in their loneliness and alienation, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie dream, as drifters will, of a place to call their own—a couple of acres and a few pigs, chickens, and rabbits back in Hill Country where land is cheap. But after they come to work on a ranch in the fertile Salinas Valley of California, their hopes, like “the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men,” begin to go awry. This has been in made into a movie multiple times and the 1939 version can be found in the Lehigh Valley Library System.
Book/Audiobook CD/Overdrive Audiobook/DVD

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

The novel follows the character development of Elizabeth Bennet, the dynamic protagonist of the book who learns about the repercussions of hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between superficial goodness and actual goodness. Its humor lies in its honest depiction of manners, education, marriage, and money during the Regency era in England. This also has been made into movies many times but we particularly like the 1995 version starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth.
Book/eBook (Overdrive and Hoopla)/Audiobook (Overdrive and Hoopla)/DVD

The Princess Bride
by William Goldman

 William Goldman reconstructed the “Good Parts Version” of the fictional novel by S. Morgenstern to delight wise kids and wide-eyed grownups everywhere. What’s it about? Fencing. Fighting. True Love. Strong Hate. Harsh Revenge. A Few Giants. Lots of Bad Men. Lots of Good Men. Five or Six Beautiful Women. Beasties Monstrous and Gentle. Some Swell Escapes and Captures. Death, Lies, Truth, Miracles, and a Little Sex. This book was made into an all time great movie in 1987 with an all star cast.
Book/eBook (Overdrive and Hoopla)/DVD

The Shining
by Stephen King

Jack Torrance’s new job at the Overlook Hotel is the perfect chance for a fresh start. As the off-season caretaker at the atmospheric old hotel, he’ll have plenty of time to spend reconnecting with his family and working on his writing. But as the harsh winter weather sets in, the idyllic location feels ever more remote…and more sinister. And the only one to notice the strange and terrible forces gathering around the Overlook is Danny Torrance, a uniquely gifted five-year-old. This was made into a very creep movie in 1980 directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson.
Overdrive eBook/Audiobook (Overdrive and Hoopla)/DVD

The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook
by Ben Mezrich

The high-energy tale of how two socially awkward Ivy Leaguers, trying to increase their chances with the opposite sex, ended up creating Facebook. This was adapted into a movie called “The Social Network” in 2010 starring Jesse Eisenberg.
Book/DVD

To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it. The book was made into an classic academy award winning movie in 1962 starring Gregory Peck.
Book/ebook (Overdrive and Hoopla)/Audiobook CD/Audiobook (Overdrive and Hoopla)/DVD

What We’re Watching-April 2021

What We’re Watching-April 2021

For a little change of pace, we asked our librarians what they are currently rewatching or binging. Check out what they said.

Mystery Science Theater 3000
Hoopla or DVD

In the not-too-distant future Joel Robinson is held captive by Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank, forced to watch B-Grade movies on the Satellite of Love with the help of his robot friends: Cambot, Gypsy, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
DVD

Comedy series following the exploits of Det. Jake Peralta and his diverse, lovable colleagues as they police the NYPD’s 99th Precinct.

  Scrubs
DVD

In the unreal world of Sacred Heart Hospital, intern John “J.D.” Dorian learns the ways of medicine, friendship and life.

 Avatar: The Last Airbender
DVD, Comic, and eComic

In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, and bring peace to the world.

The Princess Bride
DVD and Book

While home sick in bed, a young boy’s grandfather reads him the story of a farmboy-turned-pirate who encounters numerous obstacles, enemies and allies in his quest to be reunited with his true love.

 Lilo & Stich
DVD

A young and parentless girl adopts a ‘dog’ from the local pound, completely unaware that it’s supposedly a dangerous scientific experiment that’s taken refuge on Earth and is now hiding from its creator and those who see it as a menace.

Monster-in-Law
DVD

The love life of Charlotte is reduced to an endless string of disastrous blind dates, until she meets the perfect man, Kevin. Unfortunately, his merciless mother will do anything to destroy their relationship.

Troy
DVD

An adaptation of Homer’s great epic, the film follows the assault on Troy by the united Greek forces and chronicles the fates of the men involved.

  The Office
DVD

A mockumentary on a group of typical office workers, where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and tedium.

Bridgerton
Books and eBooks

Wealth, lust, and betrayal set against the backdrop of Regency-era England, seen through the eyes of the powerful Bridgerton family.

What We’re Reading-March 2021

What We’re Reading-March 2021

Here is a list of some of the books our staff is reading this month. In addition, we asked our staff where they look when they are trying to find a book to read. Here is what they said.

Fiction

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

A god will return when the earth and sky converge under the black sun in the holy city of Tova… The winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

Princess Rory Thorne must use the fairy blessings gifted to her at birth to change the multiverse–or possibly destroy it. How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination–how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history.

The New Husband by D.J. Palmer

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them. Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone-presumably drowned while fishing on his boat-so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together. Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted-or dangerously possessive. But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself… Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds, revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love, Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Nonfiction

Breath : The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how resilient your genes are, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly. There is nothing more essential to our health and wellbeing than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. Science journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong with our breathing and how to fix it. Why are we the only animals with chronically crooked teeth? Why didn’t our ancestors snore? Nestor seeks out answers in muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He tracks down men and women exploring the science behind ancient breathing practices like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and Tummo and teams up with pulmonary tinkerers to scientifically test long-held beliefs about how we breathe. Modern research is showing us that changing the ways in which we breathe can jump-start athletic performance, halt snoring, rejuvenate internal organs, mute allergies and asthma, blunt autoimmune disease, and straighten scoliotic spines. None of this should be possible, and yet it is. Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head. You will never breathe the same again

More Myself: A Journey by Alicia Keys

An intimate, revealing look at one artist’s journey from self-censorship to full expression. As one of the most celebrated musicians of our time, Alicia Keys has enraptured the nation with her heartfelt lyrics, extraordinary vocal range, and soul-stirring piano compositions. Yet away from the spotlight, Alicia has grappled with private heartache-over the challenging and complex relationship with her father, the people-pleasing nature that characterized her early career, the loss of privacy surrounding her romantic relationships, and the oppressive expectations of female perfection. Since her rise to fame, Alicia’s public persona has belied a deep personal truth: she has spent years not fully recognizing or honoring her own worth. After withholding parts of herself for so long, she is at last exploring the questions that live at the heart of her story: Who am I, really? And once I discover that truth, how can I become brave enough to embrace it? More Myself is part autobiography, part narrative documentary. Alicia’s journey is revealed not only through her own candid recounting, but also through vivid recollections from those who have walked alongside her. The result is a 360-degree perspective on Alicia’s path-from her girlhood in Hell’s Kitchen and Harlem, to the process of self-discovery she’s still navigating. In More Myself, Alicia shares her quest for truth-about herself, her past, and her shift from sacrificing her spirit to celebrating her worth. With the raw honesty that epitomizes Alicia’s artistry, More Myself is at once a riveting account and a clarion call to readers: to define themselves in a world that rarely encourages a true and unique identity

Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob
by Russell Shorto

Family secrets emerge as a best-selling author dives into the history of the mob in small-town America. Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a city “in its brawny postwar prime,” is where “Little Joe” Regino and Russ Shorto build a local gambling empire on the earnings of factory workers for whom placing a bet-on a horse or pool game, pinball or “tip seal”-is their best shot at the American dream. Decades later, Russell Shorto grew up knowing that his grandfather was a small-town mobster, but never thought to write about him, in keeping with an unspoken family vow of silence. Then a distant cousin prodded him: You gotta write about it. Smalltime, the story of Shorto’s search for his namesake, delves into the world of the small-town mob, an intricate web that spanned midcentury America, stitching together cities from Yonkers to Fresno. A riveting immigrant story, Smalltime is also deeply personal, as the author’s ailing father, Tony, becomes his partner in piecing together their patriarch’s troubled past. Moving, wryly funny, and richly detailed, Smalltime is an irresistible memoir by a masterful writer of historical narrative

YA Fiction

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts his younger sister, Nadia, as payment to enter the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal–kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom. But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic…requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition. When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a heart-pounding course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

Picture Books

The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo Willems

Much to the chagrin of Pigeon, little Duckling uses very polite manners to request a cookie, and actually gets one. Filled with righteous fury, Pigeon loses his temper and complains bitterly about this terrible state of affairs. However, things aren’t what they seem, and Duckling has a secret plan! 

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

Chicken has some unexpected and exuberant cow visitors who have exciting plans for jumping, dancing, and wiggling on his teeny-tiny couch, and Chicken is none too happy about it. That is until the fun concludes with a quiet, cozy and delicious nap for all!

Press Here by Tullet Hervé

Harness the power of imagination and interactivity: Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next!

Easy COVID-19 Resource Guide for Patrons

April 2021

You’ll be happy to learn that

The library is serving patrons via drive thru window pickup as well as inside.

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.

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!

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?