Summer is here in force so we asked our staff what they are bringing to the beach with them. Here are their answers:
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
For a little change of pace, we asked our librarians what they are currently rewatching or binging. Check out what they said.
Comedy series following the exploits of Det. Jake Peralta and his diverse, lovable colleagues as they police the NYPD’s 99th Precinct.
In the unreal world of Sacred Heart Hospital, intern John “J.D.” Dorian learns the ways of medicine, friendship and life.
Lilo & Stich
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.
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.
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.
A mockumentary on a group of typical office workers, where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and tedium.
HomeMade: 101 Easy-to-Make Things for Your Garden, Home, or Farm by Ken Braren & Roger Griffith
Planning to Garden this Season?
Now is the perfect time to get started with do-it-yourself projects to improve your planting and backyard experience for summer and fall. Get inspired to choose one or more projects from HomeMade: 101 Easy-To-Make Things for Your Garden, Home or Farm.
The first is a simple sawhorse to build in case you do not happen to own one already.
- Mailbox holder
- Garden Bench
- Planter Box
- Compost Bin
- Handy Tool Keeper
- Firewood Box
- Firewood Brace
- Plant Supports
- Strawberry Barrels
- Berry Boxes
- Movable Shed
With sketches to aid your understanding, many of the projects can be constructed using upcycled or leftover materials from other projects. If you are handy with a measuring tape, you should be able to change suggested material dimensions to suit your space without too much effort.
Glancing through the various projects, we would say that some of the projects, like the potting table, require basic carpentry knowledge while others are more complicated. You would be well advised to have experience yourself or to work with a partner who does to successfully complete larger projects like the poultry house or horse stable without frustration.
You can find 58 titles in the do-it-yourself category at Allentown Public Library and 1276 titles on the subject of gardening in our catalog. Plus, with your library card, you have access to Garden Guides on Hoopla. Click on the links in this article to find out more.
Time to get your DIY on!
Unique, framed artwork can add interest to your home’s décor. If you enjoy making gifts for your friends and family or creating do-it-yourself projects as a way to earn extra cash, you might want to check out Do-It-Yourself Framed Quilts by Gail Perry.
While quilt making dates far back to ancient Egypt, more recent patterns, from Pennsylvania and Ohio’s Amish and Mennonite communities, might be more familiar to you. These include patchwork, log cabin, crown of thorns, double wedding ring, bear claw, and many others popularized in the 19th century.
The nine small quilts detailed in this book, however, are not your grandmother’s quilts! There are florals, impressionist, landscapes, concentric diamonds and more. You’ll be inspired to create designs of your own.
Sized appropriately for wall hanging in typical frame dimensions:
15” x 15”
16” x 20”
20” x 24”
…as well as a handful of others, they’re not so big as to be overwhelming to a beginner. It is fair to say that some prior sewing ability would be helpful.
The best part of this book is its combination of photos, patterns, clear instructions and detailed information about standard matte sizes and the tools you’ll need when you want to begin framing.
There are 67 titles for do-it-yourself projects at Allentown Public Library. What’s your next project?
Shiatsu: Japanese Finger Pressure Therapy, Do-it-Yourself Acupressure by William Schultz
Sometimes older books like this one, published in 1976, are as relevant today as they were when they were brand new.
In 1954 while living in Tokyo, Japan, author William Schultz enrolled in the Shiatsu Institute. While he continued his education, he moved to California where he was also able to continue his exporting business and his practice. He achieved a Master of Shiatsu, and by the time the book was published ten years later, Schultz was one of only two shiatsu practitioners in the United States.
Shiatsu, the author tells us, is “the oldest written form of physical therapy.”
Compelling are the many ways in which shiatsu, once learned, can benefit one’s health. Nearly anyone can learn the basic techniques covered here to alleviate headaches, relieve neck and shoulder pain, address tendonitis, muscle fatigue and more.
A short read unencumbered by heavy medical jargon and accompanied by photos and drawings that best illustrate the details, this book proves its worth.
We like the do-it-yourself aspect of this particular book, but there are several other books in our collection about Shiatsu which are located in the non-fiction section at 615.822. Would you like to learn more? Click below to link to our catalog.
500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form by Valerie Van Arsdale Schrader
These are not your sister’s baby dolls!
For adults and children, this coffee-table book allows its viewers to appreciate artful interpretations that indulge both reality and fantasy.
The artists have sculpted, whittled, sewn, beaded and burnished using disparate mediums that include: clay, wood, metal, fabric and other materials that inspire imagination.
Containing real conversation starters, there’s bound to be a doll that suits your personal taste in art, makes you giggle or impresses in its intricacies.
If you enjoy the cute and whimsical, prefer the macabre or the confusion and chaos of modern artists’ mythical creatures, then this book is worth checking out.
Looking for artistic inspiration?
Whether you want to take a break from your computer screen or ponder age old questions like that of the funky chicken pictured here in Who Came First?, you’re likely to find ideas for your next art project in this photo book.
Some of the dolls, like those in the traditional section, show a slice of life while others exaggerate features and form with available materials.
Check it out! Literally!
Music Section of the World’s Great Madonnas by Cynthia Pearl Maus and Evelyn Lysle Fielding
Published in 1947, you could easily overlook this little treasure of a book. Think of it! When this book made its way to the Allentown Public Library, Harry S. Truman was President of the United States. Its cover price (at the time $1.50) would be about $16.95 today, but you can still check it out for free here.
It doesn’t have a flashy, high-definition cover or a national ad campaign beckoning booksellers to order new copies from the publisher. What it lacks there, it makes up for in both nostalgia and variety.
While you might be the type of person who looks forward to hearing your favorite holiday tunes play on the radio from Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas, others might prefer finding music and lyrics to old hymns or lesser known folk songs.
In addition to Christmas songs and carols, the book contains special occasion folk songs and lullabies from around the world. Divided into six sections, you’ll find music and lyrics from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and both North and South America. Come check out this non-fiction selection. Who knows what other treasures you might find?
The home distilling & infusing handbook : make your own whiskey & bourbon blends, infused spirits, cordials & liqueurs by Matt Teacher
With the nationwide explosion in popularity of home-brewed and craft brewery made beers, the proliferation of local wineries and sangria fests, a person might presume there’s no room left for infused spirits or whiskey and bourbon blends. For those of you in the latter category—think again.
This little book from the non-fiction shelves of the Allentown Public Library covers a host of possibilities from gin to vodka, and cordials to rum.
Pages resemble your family’s favorite old recipe book complete with Instagram-worthy photos. Amusing quips like these from comedians, politicians and celebrities and keep it simple but interesting.
“There can’t be good living where there is not good drinking.”~ Benjamin Franklin
After a brief intro and a few comments about the law and safety for DIYers, readers can get the real lowdown on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to adding various fruits, vegetables or herbs to alcohol. Uncomplicated directions with no more than five steps in most cases provide easy to follow ways to create new choices for digest-ifs, or compliments to your dinner. Reserve your copy.