WINTER READING CHALLENGE
Are you reading to take the Winter Reading Challenge? This challenge gives you an excuse to make a cup of hot chocolate and cozy up with a good book. This is all you have to do to join in the fun:
Between December 1st and February 25th, try to complete as many of the reading tasks as you can. That is 86 days of reading bliss! Whether you complete one task or all twenty, you are invited to join us at the library on the final day to discuss our books, eat sweets, and win prizes.
Brown Bags & Books
Join us at the library on the fourth Wednesday of the month at noon for Brown Bags & Books. Bring a sack lunch or enjoy our light refreshments as you listen to a book review.
January 25/Resheduled for February 8 Roger Lyons
Forgetting and the Forgotten: A Thousand Years of Contested Histories in the Heartland by Michael Batinski
February 22 Kelly Phelps
Dracula by Bram Stoker
March 22 Bruce Cline
Untitled Book about G. Phil Hanna by Bruce Cline
April 26 Paul Cummins
Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter
May 24 Deborah Burris
A Woman Called Murn by Deborah Burris
June 28 Sam Stearns
War is a Racket: The Anti-War Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier by Smedley Butler
July 26 Mike Chervinko
Prehistoric & Natural Wonders of Southern Illinois by Mike Chervinko, Steve Boles, and Mark Motsinger
August 23 Janet Jones
Betty Crocker Best 100: Favorite Recipes from America’s Most Trusted Cook
September 27 Jeff Campbell
October 25 Gillum Ferguson
The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig
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/
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.
*Choose Illinois Heartland Library System when prompted to “Find Your Local Library.”
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.
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.
*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
Sherry’s Pick of the Month
Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels, and Crooks by Patrick Radden Keefe
Available at our library in print. (364.163 KEE)
Check out this synopsis from Goodreads below.
From the prize-winning, New York Times bestselling author of Say Nothing and Empire of Pain, twelve enthralling stories of skullduggery and intrigue by one of the most decorated journalists of our time.
Patrick Radden Keefe has garnered prizes ranging from the National Magazine Award to the Orwell Prize to the National Book Critics Circle Award for his meticulously reported, hypnotically engaging work on the many ways people behave badly. Rogues brings together a dozen of his most celebrated articles from The New Yorker. As Keefe says in his preface, “They reflect on some of my abiding preoccupations: crime and corruption, secrets and lies, the permeable membrane separating licit and illicit worlds, the bonds of family, the power of denial.”
Keefe brilliantly explores the intricacies of forging $150,000 vintage wines, examines whether a whistleblower who dared to expose money laundering at a Swiss bank is a hero or a fabulist, spends time in Vietnam with Anthony Bourdain, chronicles the quest to bring down a cheerful international black market arms merchant, and profiles a passionate death penalty attorney who represents the “worst of the worst,” among other bravura works of literary journalism.
The appearance of his byline in The New Yorker is always an event, and collected here for the first time readers can see his work forms an always enthralling but deeply human portrait of criminals and rascals, as well as those who stand up against them.
Krys’ Pick of the Month
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Available at our library in print (ROW) and as an ebook on the Cloud Library app,
Read more about it with this synopsis from Goodreads.
“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you…”
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now—reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers—not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained—and captivated—by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?
Emily’s Pick of the Month
How to be Fine: What We Learned From Living by the Rules of 50 Self-Help Books by Jolenta Greenberg
Available at our library in print (158.1 GRE) and as an ebook and audiobook on Hoopla,
Check out this synopsis from Goodreads below.
A humorous and insightful look into what advice works, what doesn’t, and what it means to transform yourself, by the co-hosts of the popular By the Book podcast.
In each episode of their podcast By the Book, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer take a deep dive into a different self-help book, following its specific instructions, rules, and advice to the letter. From diet and productivity to decorating to social interactions, they try it all, record themselves along the way, then share what they’ve learned with their devoted and growing audience of fans who tune in.
In How to Be Fine, Jolenta and Kristen synthesize the lessons and insights they’ve learned and share their experiences with everyone. How to Be Fine is a thoughtful look at the books and practices that have worked, real talk on those that didn’t, and a list of philosophies they want to see explored in-depth. The topics they cover include:
Getting off your device
Engaging in positive self-talk
Admitting you’re a liar
Getting in touch with your emotions
Seeing a therapist
Before they began their podcast, Jolenta wanted to believe the promises of self-help books, while Kristen was very much the skeptic. They embraced their differences of opinion, hoping they’d be good for laughs and downloads. But in the years since launching the By the Book, they’ve come to realize their show is about much more than humor. In fact, reading and following each book’s advice has actually changed and improved their lives. Thanks to the show, Kristen penned the Amish romance novel she’d always joked about writing, traveled back to her past lives, and she broached some difficult conversations with her husband about their marriage. Jolenta finally memorized her husband’s phone number, began tracking her finances, and fell in love with cutting clutter.
Part memoir, part prescriptive handbook, this honest, funny, and heartfelt guide is like a warm soul-baring conversation with your closest and smartest friends.
Ray’s Pick of the Month
Night Shift by Robin Cook
Available at our library in print (NEW COO #13) and as an eBook on the Cloud Library app
Check out this synopsis from Goodreads below:
In this exhilarating medical mystery-thriller by Robin Cook, fan favorites Jack and Laurie are lured into the dark underbelly of hospital dangers when an internist is murdered.
Colleagues-turned-spouses Doctor Laurie Montgomery and Doctor Jack Stapleton already have their plates full with crazy work schedules and family pressures. The last thing they need is a murder. When Laurie’s longtime friend, by all accounts healthy Dr. Sue Passero dies mysteriously in the hospital parking garage, an autopsy is required, which falls squarely under Laurie’s purview as newly-appointed Chief Medical Examiner. So when Laurie asks Jack to take special care with the case, he can hardly refuse.
His curiosity sparked by the mystery around Sue’s death, the indefatigable Jack, compelled to resolve the case at hand, sets out to investigate on-site at Manhattan Memorial Hospital, even though it means blatantly defying the Office of Chief Medical Examiner’s rules. What started out as an inquiry into Sue’s tragic passing soon turns into a deadly and dangerous chess game between Jack and the clever and deranged killer, who might just administer another lethal blow if Jack isn’t careful.
Evan’s Pick of the Month
Plot Twist by Bethany Turner
Available at our library in print (NEW TUR) and as both an eBook and audiobook on the Hoopla app.
Check out this synopsis from Goodreads below.
An aspiring screenwriter has a chance encounter with an actor who could be the man of her dreams. Over the next ten years, she’ll write the story . . . but will he end up being the star?
February 4, 2003, promises to be a typical day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. But after she and a handsome actor have a magical meet-cute in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget his face—or the date.
For the next ten years, every February 4 is marked with coincidences and ironies for Olivia. As men come and go and return to her life, she continues to write, but still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain has turned out to be Hamish MacDougal, now a famous A-lister and Hollywood leading man.
But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the real-life romantic comedy playing out right before her eyes.
Lisa’s Pick of the Month
Never Lie by Freida McFadden
Available in print and as an audiobook on the Cloud Library app.
Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.
Newlyweds Tricia and Ethan are searching for the house of their dreams.
But when they visit the remote manor that once belonged to Dr. Adrienne Hale, a renowned psychiatrist who vanished without a trace four years earlier, a violent winter storm traps them at the estate… with no chance of escape until the blizzard comes to an end.
In search of a book to keep her entertained until the snow abates, Tricia happens upon a secret room. One that contains audio transcripts from every single patient Dr. Hale has ever interviewed. As Tricia listens to the cassette tapes, she learns about the terrifying chain of events leading up to Dr. Hale’s mysterious disappearance.
Tricia plays the tapes one by one, late into the night. With each one, another shocking piece of the puzzle falls into place, and Dr. Adrienne Hale’s web of lies slowly unravels.
And then Tricia reaches the final cassette.
The one that reveals the entire horrifying truth.
Hadleigh’s Pick of the Month
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Available at our library in print (SLA) as an audiobook on the Cloud Library app, and as an eBook on the Hoopla app.