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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/

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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

Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen

Available at our library in print (921 ALC) and as an audiobook on the Hoopla app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

A vivid, energetic account of the life of Louisa May Alcott, whose work has delighted millions of readers

Louisa May Alcott portrays a writer as worthy of interest in her own right as her most famous character, Jo March, and addresses all aspects of Alcott’s life: the effect of her father’s self-indulgent utopian schemes; her family’s chronic economic difficulties and frequent uprootings; her experience as a nurse in the Civil War; the loss of her health and frequent recourse to opiates in search of relief from migraines, insomnia, and symptomatic pain. Stories and details culled from Alcott’s journals; her equally rich letters to family, friends, publishers, and admiring readers; and the correspondence, journals, and recollections of her family, friends, and famous contemporaries provide the basis for this lively account of the author’s classic rags-to-riches tale.

Alcott would become the equivalent of a multimillionaire in her lifetime based on the astounding sales of her books, leaving contemporaries like Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Henry James in the dust. This biography explores Alcott’s life in the context of her works, all of which are to some extent autobiographical. A fresh, modern take on this remarkable and prolific writer, who secretly authored pulp fiction, harbored radical abolitionist views, and completed heroic service as a Civil War nurse, Louisa May Alcott is in the end also the story of how the all-time beloved American classic Little Women came to be. This revelatory portrait will present the popular author as she was and as she has never been seen before.

Krys’ Pick of the Month

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Available at our library in print (NEW HEN) and as both an eBook and audiobook on the Cloud Library app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

A shimmering, joyful new novel about a pair of opposites with the wrong thing in common.

Daphne always loved the way her fiancé Peter told their story. How they met (on a blustery day), fell in love (over an errant hat), and moved back to his lakeside hometown to begin their life together. He really was good at telling it…right up until the moment he realized he was actually in love with his childhood best friend Petra.

Which is how Daphne begins her new story: Stranded in beautiful Waning Bay, Michigan, without friends or family but with a dream job as a children’s librarian (that barely pays the bills), and proposing to be roommates with the only person who could possibly understand her predicament: Petra’s ex, Miles Nowak.

Scruffy and chaotic—with a penchant for taking solace in the sounds of heart break love ballads—Miles is exactly the opposite of practical, buttoned up Daphne, whose coworkers know so little about her they have a running bet that she’s either FBI or in witness protection. The roommates mainly avoid one another, until one day, while drowning their sorrows, they form a tenuous friendship and a plan. If said plan also involves posting deliberately misleading photos of their summer adventures together, well, who could blame them?

But it’s all just for show, of course, because there’s no way Daphne would actually start her new chapter by falling in love with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex…right?

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


Toxic Prey by John Sanford

Available at our library in print (NEW SAN #34 Prey) and as an eBook on the Cloud Library app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below:

Lucas Davenport and his daughter, Letty, team up to track down a dangerous scientist whose latest project could endanger the entire world, in this latest thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author John Sandford.

Gaia is dying.

That, at least, is what Dr. Lionel Scott believes. A renowned expert in tropical and infectious diseases, Scott has witnessed the devastating impact of illness and turmoil at critical scale. Society as it exists is untenable, and the direct link to Earth’s death spiral; population levels are out of control and people have allowed disarray and disorder to run rampant. While most are concerned about deadly disease, Scott knows that it is truly humanity itself that will destroy Gaia. It’s only by removing the threat then the planet can continue to prosper, and luckily, Scott is just the right man for the job…

When Scott then disappears without a trace, Letty Davenport is tasked with tracking down any and all leads. Scott’s connections to sensitive research into virus and pathogen spread has multiple national and international organizations on high alert, and his shockingly high clearance levels at various institutions, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, make him the last person they’d like to go missing. As the web around Scott becomes more tangled, Letty calls in her father, Lucas, help her lead a group of specialists to find Scott as soon as possible. But as Letty and Lucas begin to uncover startling and disturbing connections between Scott and Gaia conspiracists, their worst fears are confirmed, and it quickly becomes a race to find him before the virus he created becomes the perfect weapon.

Evan’s Pick of the Month

Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin

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

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

Allie’s second husband is killed tragically when his 18-wheeler crashes into the rocks near their home in Cape San Blas–the tanker was full of fuel and the explosion could be seen on overhead satellites. She’d already lost the beloved waterfront restaurant her parents started and now losing her husband, no matter how unfulfilling their marriage was, might just push her over the edge.

Joseph’s time in Vietnam left him with scars that never seemed to heal. No matter how he’s tried to love or what he’s tried to do since then, he can’t pull himself out of the wreckage of his former life. His trust and security shaken, he isolates himself in a cabin. But every morning, he faithfully pours two cups of coffee, drinking his while he sits with the second, and then pouring out the full cup.

It’s no small coincidence that Joseph found a mother and her two young children lost in the woods near his cabin. Or that when he helps them return to family in Florida, he’s near enough to see that explosion. Near enough to know it’s close to home. Near enough to know that his childhood sweetheart needs him.

The years have built so much distance between them, but it’s the secrets that may be their final undoing. Send Down the Rain reminds us of the beauty of truth . . . and the power of love to wash away the past.

 

 Lisa’s Pick of the Month

Healing What’s Hidden by Evan and Jenny Owens

Available as both an eBook and audiobook on the Hoopla app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

There is hope after trauma. Some of us can recall the exact moment our lives changed forever. The horrific accident. The miscarriage. The day they walked out. The moment our innocence was taken. Others of us can’t remember a time when our lives weren’t marked by trauma, abuse, or neglect. What happened to you was wrong and it hurt you, but it doesn’t have to define you. You may be wounded, but you’re not broken. You can overcome trauma and embrace a brighter future.

Over the last decade, husband and wife team Evan and Jenny Owens have helped thousands of people overcome the trials, tragedies, and traumas of their past, and in this book, they show you how you can too. With empathy and insight, Healing What’s Hidden offers a practical, step-by-step process to help you acknowledge your trauma, heal your invisible wounds, and reclaim your future so you can live beyond the anxiety, depression, and shame trauma leaves behind. Others are already experiencing healing. Now it’s your turn.

Hadleigh’s Pick of the Month

Funny Story by Emily Henry

Available in print at our library (NEW HEN) and as both an eBook and audiobook on the Cloud Library app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

A shimmering, joyful new novel about a pair of opposites with the wrong thing in common.

Daphne always loved the way her fiancé Peter told their story. How they met (on a blustery day), fell in love (over an errant hat), and moved back to his lakeside hometown to begin their life together. He really was good at telling it…right up until the moment he realized he was actually in love with his childhood best friend Petra.

Which is how Daphne begins her new story: Stranded in beautiful Waning Bay, Michigan, without friends or family but with a dream job as a children’s librarian (that barely pays the bills), and proposing to be roommates with the only person who could possibly understand her predicament: Petra’s ex, Miles Nowak.

Scruffy and chaotic—with a penchant for taking solace in the sounds of heart break love ballads—Miles is exactly the opposite of practical, buttoned up Daphne, whose coworkers know so little about her they have a running bet that she’s either FBI or in witness protection. The roommates mainly avoid one another, until one day, while drowning their sorrows, they form a tenuous friendship and a plan. If said plan also involves posting deliberately misleading photos of their summer adventures together, well, who could blame them?

But it’s all just for show, of course, because there’s no way Daphne would actually start her new chapter by falling in love with her ex-fiancé’s new fiancée’s ex…right?

 Jordan’s Pick of the Month

No Season But the Summer by Matilda Leyser

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

Spring and summer are my mother’s time, autumn and winter are my husband’s. What is left for me?

Persephone spends six months of the year under the ground with her husband, king of the dead, and six months on earth with her mother, goddess of the harvest. It has been this way for nine thousand years, since the deal was struck. But when she resurfaces this spring, something is different. Rains lash the land, crops grow out of season or not at all, there are people trying to build a road through the woods, and her mother does not seem able to stop them. The natural world is changing rapidly and even the gods have lost control.

While Demeter tries to regain her powers and fend off her daughter’s husband, who wants to drag his queen back underground for good, Persephone finally gets a taste of freedom, joining a group of protestors. Used to blinking up at the world from below, as she looks down on the earth for the very first time from the treetops with activist Snow, Persephone realises that there are choices she can make for herself. But what will these choices mean for her mother, her husband, and for the new shoots of life inside her?

No Season but the Summer takes a classic myth and turns it on its head, asking what will happen when our oldest stories fail us, when all the rules have changed. It is, above all, a book about choice.