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Happy Tolkien Reading Day 2019

Happy Tolkien Reading Day 2019!
By Steven Kelly

March really is a delightful month. Winter's icy grip starts to thaw, which I am more than ready for. The greatest sports event of the year - the NCAA D-I basketball tournament - unleashes its madness, making temporary kings out of underdogs and ruining midterm GPAs and Q1 sales reports across the country. And best of all - at least for fantasy nerds like myself - at the end of the March there is Tolkien Reading Day

On March 25, readers around the globe will pay homage to J.R.R. Tolkien, author of literary marvels like "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings," by reading some of their favorite passages from his works. The organizers of the event, The Tolkien Society, chose March 25 because - spoiler alert - it's the same day in the story that the Ring of Power is destroyed, the Dark Lord Sauron is defeated and the free peoples of Middle-earth, including those lovable little hobbits, are saved. 

If you've managed to miss this cultural phenomenon and words like "hobbit" and "Sauron" are gibberish to you, then you're in for a real treat - that is, should you accept this quest and delve into one of these modern classics. Or maybe you've seen the wildly popular movies and enjoyed them, but haven't yet cracked open the books. This could be your chance to experience what those book super-fans have been raving about all these years.

But if you're running low on time and can't make the 20-hour commitment to read one of his books cover-to-cover, we have another option for you - come to our Tolkien Reading Day on March 25 at 5 p.m. at Aurora Central Library! Join us in the Small Community Room for a short presentation, select readings, and a lively discussion.

No matter what your experience with Middle-earth may be, why not make like a Ringwraith and take a stab at it! Aurora Public Library has a wealth of Tolkien-related resources so we can help you get your fix. Also, come check out our display at Aurora Central Library, where you'll find many of these books and movies ripe for the taking borrowing.

Tolkien Reading day display

If you're still on the fence, keep reading below to find some suggestions, whether you're a newbie or the most dedicated Tolkien fanatic. Happy reading, and namárië!

For Hobbits (Beginners):
"The Hobbit" - Go on an adventure with Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit homebody who gets swept into a quest to help a company of dwarves steal back their gold from the ferocious dragon Smaug. Along the way, meet some trolls, a horde of goblins, a vegetarian were-bear, some elves with a serious bone to pick with the dwarves and a nasty little creature with a penchant for riddles. It's a light and lovely read, originally marketed as a children's book but suitable for event the most discriminating adult reader.

"The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" - If you're looking for something smaller, or if poetry is more to your tastes, try this short collection of whimsical poems, many of them written in the style of fairy tales or nursery rhymes. While we don't have it in our collection, this is a great opportunity to use Prospector and learn how to borrow books from all over Colorado. 

For Humans (Intermediate):
"The Lord of the Rings" - This is Tolkien's masterpiece. Expanding on the world he created in "The Hobbit," "The Lord of the Rings" is a tale of truly epic proportions. Meet Frodo Baggins, Bilbo's nephew, who discovers that the magic ring he inherited is actually the One Ring, the Ring of Power, and as such he holds the fate of Middle-earth literally in his hands. It's got war, it's got romance and it's packed with moments of both tenderness and hilarity. Originally published in three volumes, you'll often find this book in its 1,000+ page gargantuan form. Don't plan on finishing the whole thing on the 25th, but you can put a serious dent in it. And trust me - it's absolutely worth it. 

"The Children of Hurin" - Do you like tragedy? Brooding, grief-stricken heroes with vendettas to satisfy? Crafty dragons who can cast wicked spells with their eyes and scorch entire forests to ash with their fiery breath? If so, this book will speak to your soul. I'd describe it best as a kind of diet-"Silmarillion" (see below), as it's an expanded novelization of one of its chapters, but still totally digestible as a stand-alone tale. It also loosely alludes to the Norse sagas and the great Finnish epic "Kalevala", so it's a great choice if you're into those. 

For Elves (Advanced):
"The Silmarillion"  - Though not for the faint of heart or the easily distracted, "The Silmarillion" is a shining gem in Tolkien's mythos. Published posthumously by his son Christopher, the book gives us the ancient history underpinning the events of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" - the creation of the world, the awakening of the elves and humans (and dwarves), the marring of creation by a fallen god who makes Sauron look like a playground bully and the constant battle to prevent the aforementioned bad guy from ruining everything. It reads like ancient mythology - alien in some ways and deeply familiar in others, but always beautiful and poetic. There are lots of new names and places, which can be overwhelming at first, but give it some time (and take several long looks at the appendices) and before you know it names like Fingolfin and Thangorodrim will be like those old friends. 

"Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary" - Also publish posthumously, this 2014 book can offer you a glimpse into Tolkien's academic work. After all, he was first and foremost a professor of Anglo-Saxon (Old English) at Oxford, though he's certainly better known for his fiction. In this book, Christopher Tolkien gives us his father's personal translation of the great Old English epic of a mighty warrior who battles monsters for kith and kin and no small amount of glory. What makes this work tricky is that Tolkien did his best to preserve the syntax  of the original language, which can be challenging for modern readers. It's still a delightful read, and you might notice some interesting similarities between it and "The Hobbit," with a stolen cup arousing the anger of dragon...



Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Mar 12, 2019 at 11:06 AM
  

March New Releases & Bestsellers

Recent New York Times Bestsellers:

Fiction

 

The Chef by James Patterson and Max DiLallo

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Caleb Rooney, a police detective and celebrity food truck chef, must clear his name of murder allegations.

 

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

D.D. Warren and Flora Dane investigate whether a pregnant woman shot and killed her husband.

 

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Theo Faber looks into the mystery of a famous painter who stops speaking after shooting her husband.

 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A loner named Tracker teams up with a group of unusual characters in search of a mysterious boy.

 

Mission Critical by Mark Greaney

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

The eighth book in the Gray Man series. Court Gentry must track down assassins.

   

Connections in Death by J.D. Robb

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Eve Dallas scours tattoo parlors and strip joints for clues to the cause of Lyle Pickering’s mysterious death.

 

The Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware investigate the death of a stranger at a wedding reception.

 

The Last Romantics by Tara Cronklin

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A family crisis tests the bonds and ideals of a renowned poet and her siblings.

 

Love Poems for Married People by John Kenney

Borrow: [Print]

Humorous musings on the ways long-term partners tolerate each other.

 

Devotions by Mary Oliver

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

A collection of more than 200 poems spanning 50 years of the author’s career.

 

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Charlie Worthing investigates an outbreak of viral dreams killing a hibernating human population.

 

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

In 1930s colonial Malaysia, dangers encroach upon a dressmaker's apprentice and a houseboy as they seek to help others close to them.

 

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond

Borrow: [Print] [eAudiobook]

Terry Ives signs up to be a test subject of a government experiment to get to the bottom of a conspiracy.

 

The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Nathan and Bub Bright find their other brother dead at the border of their cattle ranches in the Australian outback.

 

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A series of debts between Fixie Farr and a handsome stranger involves her childhood crush.

 

Crucible by James Rollins

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eAudiobook]

Monk Kokkalis and Commander Gray Pierce use arcane clues in hopes of preventing a potential apocalypse.

 

Judgment by Joseph Finder

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Juliana Brody, a judge in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, has a one-night stand that might be her undoing.

 

Out of the Dark by Gregg Hurwitz

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

The fourth book in the Orphan X series.

 

The Golden Tresses of the Dead by Alan Bradley

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Flavia de Luce, a 12-year-old detective, is on the case when a human finger ends up in her sister’s wedding cake.

 

The Rule of Law by John Lescroart

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Dismas Hardy must solve a mystery involving his secretary, who is arrested for abetting a murder.


Nonfiction

 

The Threat by Andrew G. McCabe

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The former deputy director of the F.B.I. describes major events of his career and the ways the agency works to protect Americans.

 

Spearhead by Adam Makos

Borrow: [Print]

An American tank gunner faces enemies in Cologne, Germany, during World War II.

 

Grateful American by Gary Sinise with Marcus Brotherton

Borrow: [Print] [eAudiobook]

The Oscar-nominated actor describes how he has entertained troops and helped veterans.

 

The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells

Borrow: [Print]

How climate-related crises may cause food shortages, refugee emergencies and other catastrophes.

 

Maid by Stephanie Land

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

An unexpected pregnancy forces the author to navigate challenges faced by the working poor.

 

Never Enough by Judith Grisel

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A former drug user who became a neuroscientist gives insights on addiction.

 

The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison

Borrow: [Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A collection of essays and speeches written over four decades, including a eulogy for James Baldwin and the author's Nobel lecture.

 

Let Me Finish by Chris Christie with Ellis Henican

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The former governor of New Jersey describes his relationship with President Trump and the tensions among others close to the president.

 

Shortest Way Home by Pete Buttigieg

Borrow: [Print]

A memoir by the current mayor of South Bend, Ind., and the first openly gay Democratic candidate to run for president of the United States.

 

Team of Vipers by Cliff Sims

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The former special assistant to President Trump recalls what he considers his successes and failures in the White House.

 

Parkland by Dave Cullen

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Portraits of the teenage survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who created the #neveragain movement.

 

Figuring by Maria Popova

Borrow: [Print]

The achievements and private relationships of several interconnecting historical figures.

 

From the Ground Up by Howard Schultz with Joanne Gordon

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

The former chief executive of Starbucks recounts his journey to success and shares the inspirational stories of others. 

 

The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

After receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, a lawyer and mother of two chronicles her life.

 

Zucked by Roger McNamee

Borrow: [Print]

A Silicon Valley investor and mentor to Mark Zuckerberg describes some of the negative effects of the attention economy on our democracy and the greater culture.

 

Shameless by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

A modern-day pastor calls for a reformation of Christian messaging about sex.

 

The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

A kaleidoscopic portrait of Native American history from 1890 to the present.

 

DVD - New Releases (March):

Caution: Catalog links below are for preorder/placeholder records and may give 'record not found' errors once DVDs are released. DVDs may still be found using a keyword/title search.

 

Creed II

Borrow: [DVD]

The next chapter in the Adonis Creed story follows his life inside and outside of the ring as he deals with new found fame, issues with his family, and his continuing quest to become a champion. Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone star.

 

Instant Family

Borrow: [DVD]

Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) must learn the ropes of instant parenthood when they bring in three foster children. Inspired by a true story, discover this must see family comedy from the creators of Daddy's Home.

 

The Favourite

Borrow: [DVD]

In early 18th-century England, the relationship between Queen Anne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, is threatened by a new servant who schemes to return to her aristocratic roots.

 

Ben is Back

Borrow: [DVD]

Julia Roberts delivers a riveting performance as a mother swept into a race against time after her troubled 19-year-old son (Lucas Hedges) returns home for Christmas-and suddenly disappears.

 

Vox Lux

Borrow: [DVD]

Spanning eighteen years, traces the career of a pop star, from her rise to stardom as a teenager to her personal and familial struggles in later years.

 

Burning

Borrow: [DVD]

Follows an alienated young man whose suspicions begin to grow when a free-spirited woman he loves suddenly disappears after her boyfriend confesses his secret penchant for burning down greenhouses.

 

The Clovehitch Killer

Borrow: [DVD]

A picture-perfect family is shattered when the work of a serial killer hits too close to home. Dylan McDermott stars in this chilling portrait of all-American evil.

 

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek

Borrow: [DVD]

An ex-cop realizes that the shooter at a police funeral is one of his fellow militiamen and must use extreme measures to prevent further bloodshed.

 

The Vanishing

Borrow: [DVD]

On an uninhabited island 20 miles from the Scottish coast, three lighthouse keepers arrive for their six-week shift. They stumble upon something that isn't theirs to keep, triggering a tense battle for survival.

 
 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Borrow: [DVD]

The second installment of the "Fantastic Beasts" series featuring the adventures of Magizoologist Newt Scamander.

 

Green Book

Borrow: [DVD]

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali star in Green Book, a film inspired by a true friendship that transcended race, class, and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line.

 

Mortal Engines

Borrow: [DVD]

Peter Jackson presents a world unlike any you've seen. A young woman leads a band of outcasts to stop London, a predator city on wheels, from devouring everything in its path.

 

London Fields

Borrow: [DVD]

Amber Heard leads an all-star cast in this dark, suspenseful thriller as a clairvoyant femme fatale who has a premonition that one of the three men she is dating plans to murder her.

 

The Last Man

Borrow: [DVD]

In this apocalyptic thriller, Hayden Christensen plays a vet suffering from PTSD who takes the advice of a street prophet (Harvey Keitel) and starts preparing for the end of days.

 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Borrow: [DVD]

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales, and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where more than one can wear the mask.

 

Mary Poppins Returns

Borrow: [DVD]

The magic returns in Disney's reimagined classic as Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) helps the Banks family remember the joy of what it's like to be a child. Together with her friend Jack the lamplighter (Lin-Manuel Miranda), fun is brought back to the streets of London in celebration that everything is possible...even the impossible!

 

The Quake

Borrow: [DVD]

When his attempts to warn authorities about an impending earthquake fail, a geologist must race against time to save his estranged wife and two children.

 

Aquaman

Borrow: [DVD]

Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and to be a hero to the world.

 

Second Act

Borrow: [DVD]

Jennifer Lopez stars as Maya, a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations from unfulfilled dreams. Until, that is, she gets the chance to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts, and that it is never too late for a Second Act.

 

If Beale Street Could Talk

Borrow: [DVD]

From acclaimed director Barry Jenkins comes this timeless love story set in 1970s Harlem, where a young couple and their families fight for justice - and the promise of the American dream.

 

Stan & Ollie

Borrow: [DVD]

Comedy duo Laurel & Hardy attempt to jump start their film careers when they embark on a theatre tour of post-war Britain.

 

Columbus

Borrow: [DVD]

Casey lives with her mother in a little-known Midwestern town haunted by the promise of modernism. Jin, a visitor from Korea, attends to his dying father. Burdened by the future, they find respite in one another and the architecture that surrounds them.

 

King of Thieves

Borrow: [DVD]

Based on infamous true events, a famous thief, Brian Reader (Sir Michael Caine), pulls together a band of misfit criminals to plot the biggest bank heist in British history.

 

Sources: The New York Times, Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon, Goodreads, EarlyWord, Novelist, DVDs Release Date

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Mar 06, 2019 at 3:09 PM
  

February New Releases & Best Sellers

Recent New York Times Bestsellers:

Fiction

 

Liar Liar by James Patterson and Candice Fox

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Detective Harriet Blue has become a dangerous fugitive from the law as she pursues the murderer Regan Banks.

 

Turning Point by Danielle Steel

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

Four American trauma doctors face difficult choices when they join a mass-casualty training program in Paris.

 

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Jessica Farris’s life unravels when she signs up for Dr. Shields’s psychology study.

 

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict

Borrow: [Print]

Hedy Lamarr flees to Hollywood where she becomes a screen star and develops technology that might combat the Nazis.

 

The New Iberia Blues by James Lee Burke

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Detective Dave Robicheaux and his new partner Bailey Ribbons investigate the death of a young woman by crucifixion.

   

Verses for the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Agents Pendergast and Coldmoon track a killer who removes hearts and leaves handwritten letters.

 

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The final book of the Winternight trilogy. The fate of two worlds depends on a girl who seeks to forge her own path.

 

Through Fiery Trials by David Weber

Borrow: [Print]

The 10th book in the Safehold series. A temporary peace gives way as international alliances change.

 

A Delicate Touch by Stuart Woods

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The 48th book in the Stone Barrington series.

 

The Boy by Tami Hoag

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

Nick Fourcade and Annie Broussard, a husband-and-wife detective team, investigate a boy’s murder and the disappearance of his babysitter.


Nonfiction

 

The First Conspiracy by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The story of a secret plot to kill George Washington in 1776.

 

The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris

Borrow: [Print]

A memoir by a daughter of immigrants who was raised in Oakland, Calif., and became the second black woman ever elected to the United States Senate.

 

Women Rowing North by Mary Pipher

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

Reflections on the ageism, misogyny and loss that women might encounter as they grow older.

 

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

Secrets and identity in a fast-paced age of science and technology are explored through the story of a woman who discovered her biological father.

 

The Sopranos Sessions by Matt Zoller Seitz

Borrow: [Print]

Essays and interviews by former TV critics from New Jersey’s Star-Ledger to mark the 20th anniversary of the show’s debut.

 

DVD - New Releases (February):

Caution: Catalog links below are for preorder/placeholder records and may give 'record not found' errors once DVDs are released. DVDs may still be found using a keyword/title search.

 

The Grinch

Borrow: [DVD]

The Grinch tells the story of a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl's generous holiday spirit.

 

Widows

Borrow: [DVD]

From acclaimed director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and co-writer Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) comes a blistering, contemporary crime thriller with a powerful ensemble cast!

 

The Girl in the Spider's Web

Borrow: [DVD]

Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.

 

The Sisters Brothers

Borrow: [DVD]

Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly star as sibling assassins Charlie and Eli Sisters, who are hired to kill a gold prospector accused of stealing from their boss in the Old West.

 

A Private War

Borrow: [DVD]

In world where journalism is under attack, Marie Colvin (Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike) is one of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time. Her mission is to show the true cost of war, driving her, along with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan), to embark on the most dangerous assignments of their lives as they journey to the front line of conflicts across the globe.

 

The Guilty

Borrow: [DVD]

When a 911 dispatcher and former cop answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman, he has to find a way to save her using just his phone and his wits in this pulse pounding, award-winning crime thriller. Danish, subtitled in English.

 

Black '47

Borrow: [DVD]

One soldier's ruthless pursuit of justice plays out against the darkest chapter of Irish history in this riveting revenge thriller. Starring Hugo Weaving and Jim Broadbent.

 

All the Devil's Men

Borrow: [DVD]

An American bounty hunter is forced to go to London on a manhunt for a disavowed CIA operative.

 

Grand-Daddy Day Care

Borrow: [DVD]

A man has to figure out a way to make extra money when his father-in-law moves in.

 
 

The Cloverfield Paradox

Borrow: [DVD]

When scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, they soon come face-to-face with a dark reality.

 

Bohemian Rhapsody

Borrow: [DVD]

Follows the rise of the band Queen and Freddie Mercury's attempts at being a solo artist until their performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.

 

Nobody's Fool

Borrow: [DVD]

Wild child Tanya (Tiffany Haddish) looks to her buttoned-up, by-the-book sister Danica (Tika Sumpter) to help her get back on her feet. As these polar opposites collide, Tanya discovers that Danica's picture-perfect life may not be what it seems.

 

At Eternity's Gate

Borrow: [DVD]

Julian Schnabel's AT ETERNITY'S GATE is a journey inside the world and mind of a person who, despite skepticism, ridicule, and illness, created some of the world's most beloved and stunning works of art.

 

The Front Runner

Borrow: [DVD]

A real-life story of U.S. Senator Gary Hart's 1988 presidential campaign that was ended when his extramarital affair became known to the public.

 

The Happy Prince

Borrow: [DVD]

His body ailing, Oscar Wilde lives in exile, surviving on the flamboyant irony and brilliant wit that defined him.

 

A Star is Born

Borrow: [DVD]

A musician helps a rising singer find fame as his own career begins a downward spiral.

 

Robin Hood

Borrow: [DVD]

The classic tale of Robin Hood who steals from the rich and gives to the poor.

 

Overlord

Borrow: [DVD]

Nothing can prepare you for the mind-blowing mayhem that is Overlord. Mega producer J.J. Abrams creates an insanely twisted thrill ride about a team of American troops who come face-to-face with Nazi super-soldiers unlike the world has ever seen.

 

Backtrace

Borrow: [DVD]

A surviving thief of a violent armored car robbery is administered an experimental drug, after being sprung from a high security facility.

 

Mary Queen of Scots

Borrow: [DVD]

Mary Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the Mary Stuart, who returns to Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne, threatening Queen Elizabeth's sovereignty.

 

Between Worlds

Borrow: [DVD]

In the desolate world of highway truckers, a strange and dark miracle occurs when Billie suffers a near-fatal motorbike accident.

 

Sources: The New York Times, Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon, Goodreads, EarlyWord, Novelist, DVDs Release Date

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Feb 06, 2019 at 9:11 AM
  

Readers' reviews

Review of 
"The Creeping Shadow" by Jonathan Stroud

Review by Aidan O.

This review was written by a volunteer teen book reviewer and may contain spoilers of the reviewed novel.
For more information on how to become a teen book reviewer, email libraryoutreach@auroragov.org.


Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars

The Creeping Shadow is the fourth book in Jonathan Stroud’s New York Times bestselling pentalogy, "Lockwood & Co." It is set in modern-day London, in a world very similar to ours, but with one key difference- the Problem. The Problem is that the dead are coming back as ghosts to plague the living, and they are very dangerous. To fight the restless dead, agencies have sprung up around the city. People pay agencies to exterminate ghosts. Each ghost is a new case. However, only the young are capable of seeing and interacting with the dead, so they are the agents.
The book follows the story of 15-year old agent Lucy. Having recently left her agency, Lockwood & Co., Lucy is a freelance agent who agencies hire to help them on cases. Partner to her is a ghost contained in a jar with the rare quality of being able to speak with the living. Ironically, her former agency needs help and hires Lucy for a case. Returning to her apartment afterwards, Lucy discovers she has been robbed of her partner in trade- the ghost in a jar. She has a suspect and seeks him out. There, she gleans the information that he wasn’t the thief, but he told some anonymous men of the jar’s whereabouts for money. Lucy teams up with her former colleagues from Lockwood and Co.(Anthony, George, and Holly) to find the ghost. As a form of advance payment, Lucy agrees to help them with a case. They discover the source of the ghost to be in a facility owned by the prestigious Rotwell agency. To eliminate a ghost, you must eliminate its source. Lucy and her companions sneak in and discover a group of many different sources together, among them Lucy’s stolen ghost, which she retrieves. As a source is a link between the worlds of the living and the dead, a cluster of them forms a hole to the other side. Exploring the other side is extremely dangerous and very illegal; Anthony alerts the authorities and the Rotwell agency is shut down. Lucy rejoins the company. While taking on the case, Lockwood & Co. learns a few things about the other side, and discovers a dark secret of Penelope Fittes, head of the largest agency in London…

  I thought The Creeping Shadow was a worthy addition to the series. Its suspense and mystery are very alluring and balanced out by witty humor and fascinating tidbits about a world with the Problem. It summits with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger that makes me want to read the next book.

  I would recommend this book to young adult readers who are fans of fantasy, action packed novels and imagination. The Creeping Shadow not only tells a story but introduces the reader to an imaginative, creative, intriguing world. It has a creepy edge, but this is balanced out by dry humor.

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jan 24, 2019 at 3:06 PM
  

January New Releases & Bestsellers

Recent New York Times Bestsellers:

Fiction

 

Tom Clancy: Oath of Office by Marc Cameron

Borrow: [Print] [eBook]

President Jack Ryan must contain the fallout of a flu epidemic and two hijacked Russian nuclear missiles.

 

Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

While on suspension, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is made an executor of a stranger’s will and tries to keep a deadly narcotic off Montreal’s streets.

 

Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

While the people of New Hope face threats, Fallon Swift goes on three quests to discover her powers.


Nonfiction

 

The Point of it All by Charles Krauthammer

Borrow: [Normal Print] [Large Print] [eBook]

A collection of essays, speeches and unpublished writings by the late conservative columnist.

 

Trump's Enemies by Corey R. Lewandowski and David N. Bossie

Borrow: [Print] [eBook] [eAudiobook]

The authors of “Let Trump Be Trump” give their perspectives on the president’s foes.

 

DVD - New Releases (January):

Caution: Catalog links below are for preorder/placeholder records and may give 'record not found' errors once DVDs are released. DVDs may still be found using a keyword/title search.

 

Night School

Borrow: [DVD]

Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish star in Night School, a laugh-out-loud comedy about a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes for a chance to pass the GED exam.

 

Bad Times at the El Royale

Borrow: [DVD]

Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe's El Royale, a rundown hotel with a past. During one night, all will have a shot at redemption...before everything goes to hell.

 

A.X.L.

Borrow: [DVD]

A.X.L. is a top-secret, robotic dog who connects with a kind-hearted outsider, Miles, while on the run from the scientists who created him.

 

Mid90s

Borrow: [DVD]

Written and directed by Jonah Hill, Mid90s follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era LA who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.

 

Monsters and Men

Borrow: [DVD]

When a young father witnesses the police shooting of an unarmed black man, the tight-knit community of Bed-Stuy is pushed to the brink in Reinaldo Marcus Green's Sundance Award-winning portrait of race, family and consequence.

 

What They Had

Borrow: [DVD]

Bridget (Hilary Swank) returns home at her brother's (Michael Shannon) request to help with her father (Robert Forster) and her ailing mother (Blythe Danner).

 

The Oath

Borrow: [DVD]

When high-strung Chris (Barinholtz) and his more levelheaded wife Kai (Haddish) learn that citizens are being asked to sign a loyalty oath by Thanksgiving, their refusal to sign-along with the arrival of relatives and two government agents (Cho and Magnussen)-sends an already dysfunctional family dinner completely off the rails.

 

Time Freak

Borrow: [DVD]

A college student builds a time machine to stop his girlfriend from breaking up with him. Based on the short film of the same name.

 

Halloween

Borrow: [DVD]

Witness Laurie Strode's final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

 
 

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

Borrow: [DVD]

Two friends find a magical book that brings a ventriloquist's dummy to life just in time for Halloween.

 

Jonathan

Borrow: [DVD]

This sci-fi-tinged drama follows two brothers living very separate lives - inside the same body. Content to live life in shifts with one another, their delicate balance is ruined when they become emotionally involved with the same woman.

 

Speed Kills

Borrow: [DVD]

John Travolta stars as a speedboat racing champion and multimillionaire whose secret life as a drug trafficker lands him in a deadly crossfire between the DEA and the Mob.

 

The Hate U Give

Borrow: [DVD]

In this powerful drama based on the best-selling novel, when a teenager witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend, she must find her voice and stand up for what's right.

 

Johnny English Strikes Again

Borrow: [DVD]

Rowan Atkinson returns as the beloved accidental secret agent in Johnny English Strikes Again. On his newest mission, he must overcome the challenges of modern technology.

 

Hunter Killer

Borrow: [DVD]

When an American submarine captain discovers a secret Russian coup is in the offing, he must assemble an elite group of Navy Seals to sneak through enemy waters to stop WWIII.

 

The Wife

Borrow: [DVD]

After nearly forty years of marriage, JOAN and JOE CASTLEMAN (Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce) are complements. Where Joe is casual, Joan is elegant. Where Joe is vain, Joan is self-effacing. And where Joe enjoys his very public role as Great American Novelist, Joan pours her considerable intellect, grace, charm, and diplomacy into the private role of Great Man's Wife. Joe is about to be awarded the Nobel Prize for his acclaimed and prolific body of work. Joe's literary star has blazed since he and Joan first met in the late 1950s. THE WIFE interweaves the story of the couple's youthful passion and ambition with a portrait of a marriage thirtyplus years later, with a lifetime’s shared compromises.

 

Slice

Borrow: [DVD]

In a spooky small town, when a slew of pizza delivery boys are slain on the job, two daring survivors (Atlanta's Zazie Beetz and Chance the Rapper in a wild film debut) set out to catch the culprits behind the cryptic crime spree.

 

Sources: The New York Times, Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon, Goodreads, EarlyWord, Novelist, DVDs Release Date

Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 28, 2018 at 8:56 AM
  
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