Winter Reading Challenge

Winter Reading Challenge 2023

Join us for the 2023 Winter Reading Challenge! View the list of tasks and complete one or all twenty! At the end, we will meet up to discuss the books we read at our Winter Reading Challenge Party! Click here for the list of this year’s tasks.

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Brown Bags & Books

Join us on the fourth Wednesday of the month at noon for Brown Bags and Books. Bring a sack lunch or enjoy our light refreshments as you listen to a book review.

January 24 Roger Lyons

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

 

February 28 Kelly Phelps

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson

 

March 27 Mike Chervinko 

Prehistoric & Natural Wonders of Southern Illinois by Mike Chervinko, Steve Boles, and Mark Motsinger

 

April 24 LaDonna Whitlock

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

 

May 22 Chris Dennis

Splinters: Another Kind of Love Story by Leslie Jamison

 

June 26 Kacy Tison Lapington

Book Title TBD

 

July 24 Janet Jones

Stolen Beauty by Laura Lico Albanese

 

August 28 Roger Peach

Jockey Queen by Roger Peach

 

September 25 Jeff Campbell

When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains by Ariana Neumann

 

October 23 David Berry

The Lost Tomb by Douglas Preston

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Cloud Library

The 3M Cloud Library app is available for Harrisburg District Library patrons to download e-books and e-audiobooks for free! All you need is your Harrisburg District Library card number and 4-digit PIN. The app is available for free download to iOS and Android devices. The Cloud Library has fiction and non-fiction for kids, teens, and adults.

https://www.yourcloudlibrary.com/

*Choose Illinois Heartland Library System when prompted to “Find Your Local Library.”

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Hoopla

The Hoopla app is available for Harrisburg District Library patrons to download e-books, e-audiobooks, movies, TV shows, and music for free! All you need is your Harrisburg District Library card number and 4-digit PIN. The app is available for free download to iOS and Android devices. There are items available for all ages, with no wait times. Download the item immediately for easy access or stream online.

www.hoopladigital.com

*Sign up with an email and password, choose your library, accept the terms and conditions, then enter your library card number and 4 digit PIN

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Goodreads

Keep track of the books you’ve read and the books you want to read! See what your friends are reading and be a part of the world’s largest community of readers!

https://www.goodreads.com

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Fantastic Fiction

A great website where you can search for your favorite authors and easily see all of the books they have written.  Plus, find all of your favorite series in order! https://www.fantasticfiction.com/

EMI

Explore More Illinois

“Explore More Illinois” is a free service offered to Harrisburg Public Library District cardholders to access discount offers from museums, cultural centers, and other attractions. Click on the following link “Explore More Illinois”  to log in- choose our library and enter your library card number and PIN. Choose the attraction and date of your planned visit and submit your request. You will receive an email confirmation with details specific to the attraction. Current offers include Buy One, Get One Free admission from the Discovery Center in Rockford; $2.00 off regular adult admission from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield; Buy One, Get One Free admission to Edwards Place in Springfield; 25% off your gift store purchase at Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Museum in Oak Park; and more! Partnerships with other attractions are pending so check back periodically.

Sherry’s Pick of the Month

The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery by Various Authors

Available at our library in print (641.497 FOX) and as an eBook on the Hoopla app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

The Foxfire group are dedicated to preserving and recording the traditions of America’s Appalachian area, and this book of over 500 recipes, with black and white photography of the people of the area, is a classic from them. The food is nutritious, easy to prepare, and totally unpretentious, including recipes for potato candy, cry-baby cookies, lime pickles, and much more.

Krys’ Pick of the Month

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Available at our library in print (REI) and as an eBook on the Cloud Library app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

Emily’s Pick of the Month

Grave Expectations by Alice Bell

Available to order through inter-library loan.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

What is the original meaning of the word clue?*

A fast-paced and hilarious debut crime novel, in which a burnt-out Millennial medium must utilize her ability to see ghosts and team-up with a band of oddball investigators to figure out which member(s) of a posh English family are guilty of murder.

Almost-authentic medium Claire and her best friend, Sophie, agree to take on a seemingly simple job at a crumbling old manor in the English performing a seance for the family matriarch’s 80th birthday. The pair have been friends since before Sophie went missing when they were seventeen. Everyone else is convinced Sophie simply ran away, but Claire knows the truth. Claire knows Sophie was murdered because Sophie has been haunting her ever since.

Despite this traumatic past, Claire and Sophie are still unprepared for what they encounter when they arrive: a ghost, tragic and unrecognizable, and clearly the spirit of someone killed in a rage at the previous year’s party. Given her obsession with crime shows—not to mention Sophie’s ability to walk through walls—Claire decides they’re the best people to solve the case. And with the help of the only obviously not-guilty members of their host family—sexy ex-policeman Sebastian and far-too-cool non-binary teen Alex—they launch an investigation into which of last year’s guests never escaped the manor’s grounds.

What follows is somewhat irregular detective work involving stealing a priest’s cassock, getting too drunk to remember to question your suspect, and of course, Chekhov’s sparkly purple dildo. As Claire desperately tries to keep a lid on the shameful secret that would definitely alienate her new friends, the gang must race against their own incompetence to find the murderer before the murderer finds them.

 Ray’s Pick of the Month


The Watchmaker’s Hand by Jeffrey Deaver

Available at our library in print (NEW DEA #16 LINCOLN RHYME) and as both an eBook and audiobook on the Cloud Library app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below:

When a New York City construction crane mysteriously collapses, causing mass destruction and killing several people, Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are on the case. A political group claims to be behind the sabotage and threatens another crane collapse in twenty-four hours, unless their demands are met. The clock is ticking.

With New York in a panic, the stakes are higher than ever for Rhyme and his team to unravel the plot before the timer runs out and more cranes crash down, reducing the city and its people to rubble. Then Rhyme realizes that the mastermind behind the terror is his own nemesis—the Watchmaker.

Evan’s Pick of the Month

The Weight of Air by Kimberly Duffy

Available at our library in print (INS DUF) and as an eBook on the Hoopla app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

In 1911, Mabel MacGinnis is Europe’s strongest woman and has performed beside her father in the Manzo Brothers Circus her entire life. But at his unexpected death, she loses everything she’s ever known and sets off in the company of acrobat Jake Cunningham for America in hope of finding the mother she’s just discovered is still alive.

Isabella Moreau, the nation’s most feted aerialist, has given everything to the circus. But age and injury now threaten her security, and Isabella, stalked by old fears, makes a choice that risks everything. When her daughter Mabel appears alongside the man who never wanted to see Isabella again, Isabella is forced to face the truth of where, and in what, she derives her worth.

In this evocative novel from Kimberly Duffy, the meaning of strength takes center stage as the lives of three circus performers become entangled beneath the glittering lights and flying trapeze of Madison Square Garden.

 Lisa’s Pick of the Month

Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood by Danny Trejo

Available as an audiobook (AUDIO 921 TRE) and in print (921 TRE) at our library.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

For the first time, the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo’s journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood’s favorite bad guy with a heart of gold.

On screen, Danny Trejo the actor is a baddie who has been killed at least a hundred times. He’s been shot, stabbed, hanged, chopped up, squished by an elevator, and once, was even melted into a bloody goo. Off screen, he’s a hero beloved by recovery communities and obsessed fans alike. But the real Danny Trejo is much more complicated than the legend.

Raised in an abusive home, Danny struggled with heroin addiction and stints in some of the country’s most notorious state prisons, including San Quentin and Folsom, from an early age, before starring in such modern classics as Heat, From Dusk till Dawn, and Machete. Now, in this funny, painful, and suspenseful memoir, Danny takes us through the incredible ups and downs of his life, including meeting one of the world’s most notorious serial killers in prison and working with legends like Charles Bronson and Robert De Niro.

In honest, unflinching detail, Danny recounts how he managed the horrors of prison, rebuilt himself after finding sobriety and spirituality in solitary confinement, and draws inspiration from the adrenaline-fueled robbing heists of his past for the film roles that made him a household name. He also shares the painful contradictions in his personal life. Although he speaks everywhere from prison yards to NPR about his past to inspire countless others on their own road to recovery and redemption, he struggles to help his children with their personal battles with addiction, and to build relationships that last.

Redemptive and painful, poignant and real, Trejo is a portrait of a magnificent life and an unforgettable and exceptional journey through tragedy, pain, and, finally, success that will transfix and inspire.

Hadleigh’s Pick of the Month

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Available to order through inter-library loan.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

Can you find real love when you’ve always got your head in the clouds?

Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous—and it turns out he has very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.

 Jordan’s Pick of the Month

The Iliad by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson

Available at our library in print (883.01 HOM), as both an eBook and audiobook on the Hoopla app, and as an eBook on the Cloud Library app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

One of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer’s Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode of the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his conflict with his leader Agamemnon. Interwoven in the tragic sequence of events are powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, the besieged city of Ilium, the feud between the gods, and the fate of mortals.