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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


**CANCELED March 22 Bruce Cline CANCELED**


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

Con/Artist: The Life and Crimes of the World’s Greatest Art Forger by Tony Tetro


October 25 Gillum Ferguson

The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig

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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.

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



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

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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!

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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!


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

But Have You Read the Book? by Kristen Lopez

Available at our library in print. (NEW 791.436 LOP)

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

For film buffs and literature lovers alike, Turner Classic Movies presents an essential guide to 52 cinema classics and the literary works that served as their inspiration.

“I love that movie!”

“But have you read the book?”

Within these pages, Turner Classic Movies offers an endlessly fascinating look at 52 beloved screen adaptations and the great reads that inspired them. Some films, like Clueless —Amy Heckerling’s interpretation of Jane Austen’s Emma —diverge wildly from the original source material, while others, like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest , shift the point of view to craft a different experience within the same story. Author Kristen Lopez explores just what makes these works classics of both the page and screen, and why each made for an exceptional adaptation—whether faithful to the book or exemplifying cinematic creative license.

Other featured works
Children of Men · The Color Purple · Crazy Rich Asians · Dr. No · Dune · Gentlemen Prefer Blondes · Kiss Me Deadly · The Last Picture Show · Little Women · Passing · The Princess Bride · The Shining · The Thin Man · True Grit · Valley of the Dolls · The Virgin Suicides · Wuthering Heights

Krys’ Pick of the Month

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah

Available at our library in print (VAN)

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises.

The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child’s home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay—just until she learns more about Ursa’s past.

Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren’t Jo and Gabe checking the missing children’s website anymore?

Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in. When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars.

In this gorgeously stunning debut, a mysterious child teaches two strangers how to love and trust again.

Emily’s Pick of the Month

The Measure by Nikki Erlick

Available at our library in print (ERL) and as an eBook and audiobook on both the Hoopla and Cloud Library apps.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.

It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.

But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.

 Ray’s Pick of the Month

The Hot Kid
by Elmore Leonard

Available at our library in print (LEO #1 CARL WEBSTER) and as both an eBook and audiobook on the Hoopla app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below:

In The Hot Kid, Elmore “Dutch” Leonard breaks new ground with a fast-paced, multifaceted tale of Prohibition-era crime, told from multiple perspectives that reflect the unexpected shifts of allegiance in this turbulent time. Set against a backdrop of speakeasys and shootouts, fast cars and even faster women, this stirring tale recounts a time when life was cheap on both sides of the law. The story unfolds in Oklahoma, featuring the exploits of four “hot kids” — young lawman Carl Webster, bad-seed oilman’s son Jack Belmont, glamorous gun moll Louly Brown, and true-crime journalist Tony Antonelli.

Carl Webster, since his first personal encounter with crime as a teenage witness to a brutal robbery by notorious crook Emmet Long, has sought justice. His keen mind and sharpshooter’s eye quickly build him a hot reputation in the U.S. Marshals Service, especially after he declares, “If I have to pull my weapon, I’ll shoot to kill” and proves he has what it takes to back up his claim…

Jack Belmont has big dreams. His goal is to join the ranks of America’s most feared criminals to replace John Dillinger as Public Enemy No. 1. This young outlaw has all the instincts of a cold-blooded killer, plus a powerful thirst for glory. He’s got a long way to go to join the ranks of Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, and Machine-Gun Kelly but he’s off to a good enough start that Webster is hot on his trail…

Louly Brown started with nothing but she wasn’t about to settle for that. Her first claim to fame came when her cousin married Charley “Pretty Boy” Floyd. Later, running off with ex-con Joe Young added spice to her life. But she was smart enough to see that helping Carl Webster put a stop to Joe’s crime spree would be a better deal than sharing his fate. After the smoke cleared, Louly really came into her own, selling her story to the papers, then setting her sights on the handsome lawman who’d captured her heart.

Tony Antonelli loves the danger and fame that come along with rubbing shoulders with heartless gangsters, dedicated lawmen, gorgeous gun molls, and bloodthirsty vigilantes in the course of his work for True Detective Mystery magazine. Whether he’s writing about bank robbers or the Black Hand, the KKK or rum running, or hot young lawmen and cold-blooded killers and their sexy sidekicks, Tony views other people’s troubles as more than just bread-and-butter; they provide an adrenaline-charged kick to his own life, as well as vicarious thrills for eager readers.

Elmore Leonard hits his target with The Hot Kid, an unforgettable tale of high adventure where the crooks are out to prove that crime really can pay and where federal marshals trade high risks for low salary to bring these wanted felons in “dead or alive.”

Evan’s Pick of the Month

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas

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

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents and saboteurs worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. One of these was Dietrich Bonhoeffer–a pastor and author, known as much for such spiritual classics as “The Cost of Discipleship “and “Life Together,” as for his 1945 execution in a concentration camp for his part in the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

In the first major biography of Bonhoeffer in forty years, “New York Times” best-selling author Eric Metaxas takes both strands of Bonhoeffer’s life―the theologian and the spy―to tell a searing story of incredible moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. In a deeply moving narrative, Metaxas uses previously unavailable documents―including personal letters, detailed journal entries, and firsthand personal accounts―to reveal dimensions of Bonhoeffer’s life and theology never before seen.

In “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy”―”A Righteous Gentile vs the Third Reich,” Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffer’s heart-wrenching 1939 decision to leave the safe haven of America for Hitler’s Germany, and using extended excerpts from love letters and coded messages written to and from Bonhoeffer’s Cell 92, Metaxas tells for the first time the full story of Bonhoeffer’s passionate and tragic romance.

Readers will discover fresh insights and revelations about his life-changing months at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and about his radical position on why Christians are obliged to stand up for the Jews. Metaxas also sheds new light on Bonhoeffer’s reaction to Kristallnacht, his involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot and in “Operation 7,” the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland.

“Bonhoeffer” gives witness to one man’s extraordinary faith and to the tortured fate of the nation he sought to deliver from the curse of Nazism. It brings the reader face to face with a man determined to do the will of God radically, courageously, and joyfully―even to the point of death. “Bonhoeffer” is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil.

 Lisa’s Pick of the Month

Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult

Available at our library in both print and audiobook format and on Cloud Library as both an eBook and audiobook.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

A soul-stirring novel about what we choose to keep from our past, and what we choose to leave behind.

Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising a beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in, and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.

Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.

And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can she trust him completely . . .

Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in him, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.

Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves

Hadleigh’s Pick of the Month

The Last Word by Taylor Adams

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

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

After posting a negative book review, a woman living in a remote location begins to wonder if the author is a little touchy—or very, very dangerous—in this pulse-pounding novel of psychological suspense and terror from the critically acclaimed author of No Exit and Hairpin Bridge.

Emma Carpenter lives in isolation with her golden retriever Laika, house-sitting an old beachfront home on the rainy Washington coast. Her only human contact is her enigmatic old neighbor, Deek, and (via text) the house’s owner, Jules.

One day, she reads a poorly written—but gruesome—horror novel by the author H. G. Kane, and posts a one-star review that drags her into an online argument with none other than the author himself. Soon after, disturbing incidents start to occur at night. To Emma, this can’t just be a coincidence. It was strange enough for this author to bicker with her online about a lousy review; could he be stalking her, too?

As Emma digs into Kane’s life and work, she learns he has published sixteen other novels, all similarly sadistic tales of stalking and murder. But who is he? How did he find her? And what else is he capable of?

 Jordan’s Pick of the Month

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Available at our library in print and audiobook format and as book an eBook and audiobook on the Cloud Library app.

Check out the synopsis from Goodreads below.

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? A novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.