Aurora Public Library Blog

Welcome to Aurora Public Library’s blog. A place where our library staff share their thoughts, insider knowledge and overall love of all things book and community.

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December 2021 - Posts
Book Clubs

As we prepare to say “Farewell” to 2021 and usher in 2022, we’re sharing some of our favorite reads from APL’s many book clubs! Each title was selected by the staff member who runs the book club from each club’s 2021 booklist. Learn more about our book clubs at AuroraGov.org/BookClubs

Non-Fiction Book Club 
Cover of book "My Own Words"Staff Pick: “My Own Words” by Ruth Bader Ginsberg
The first book from Ruth Bader Ginsburg since becoming a Supreme Court Justice in 1993--a witty, engaging, serious, and playful collection of writings and speeches from the woman who has had a powerful and enduring influence on law, women's rights, and popular culture. My Own Words is a selection of writings and speeches by Justice Ginsburg on wide-ranging topics, including gender equality, the workways of the Supreme Court, on being Jewish, on law and lawyers in opera, and on the value of looking beyond US shores when interpreting the US Constitution. Throughout her life Justice Ginsburg has been (and continues to be) a prolific writer and public speaker. This book contains a sampling, selected by Justice Ginsburg and her authorized biographers Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams. Justice Ginsburg has written an Introduction to the book, and Hartnett and Williams introduce each chapter, giving biographical context and quotes gleaned from hundreds of interviews they have conducted. This is a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of America's most influential women

Horror Corner Book Club
Cover of book NOS4A2Staff Pick: “NOS4A2” by Joe Hill
Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country. Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.” Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

Books at the Bar
Book cover of The BearStaff Pick: “The Bear” by Andrew Krivak
In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They possess a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last two left. But when the girl suddenly finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness, which offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen. A cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss, The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature's dominion.




Short Story Book Club
Staff Picks:
- “The Secret Life of Bots” by Suzanne Palmer – Read here
-“State Change” by Ken Liu – Read here
- “Open House on Haunted Hill" by John Wiswell – Read here


True Crime Book Club
Cover of Devil in the GroveStaff Pick: “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America” by Gilbert King
Arguably the most important American lawyer of the twentieth century, Thurgood Marshall was on the verge of bringing the landmark suit Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court when he became embroiled in an explosive and deadly case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement and cost him his life.

In 1949, Florida’s orange industry was booming, and citrus barons got rich on the backs of cheap Jim Crow labor. To maintain order and profits, they turned to Willis V. McCall, a violent sheriff who ruled Lake County with murderous resolve. When a white seventeen-year-old Groveland girl cried rape, McCall was fast on the trail of four young blacks who dared to envision a future for themselves beyond the citrus groves. By day’s end, the Ku Klux Klan had rolled into town, burning the homes of blacks to the ground and chasing hundreds into the swamps, hell-bent on lynching the young men who came to be known as “the Groveland Boys.”

And so began the chain of events that would bring Thurgood Marshall, the man known as “Mr. Civil Rights,” into the deadly fray. Associates thought it was suicidal for him to wade into the “Florida Terror” at a time when he was irreplaceable to the burgeoning civil rights movement, but the lawyer would not shrink from the fight—not after the Klan had murdered one of Marshall’s NAACP associates involved with the case and Marshall had endured continual threats that he would be next.

Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, including the FBI’s unredacted Groveland case files, as well as unprecedented access to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund files, King shines new light on this remarkable civil rights crusader, setting his rich and driving narrative against the heroic backdrop of a case that U.S. Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson decried as “one of the best examples of one of the worst menaces to American justice.

Daytime Booklovers’ Book Club
Finding DorothyStaff Pick: “Finding Dorothy” by Elizabeth Letts
This richly imagined novel tells the story behind The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the book that inspired the iconic film, through the eyes of author L. Frank Baum's intrepid wife, Maud. Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband's masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank's passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book--because she's the only one left who knows its secrets. But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of "Over the Rainbow," Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story: from her youth as a suffragette's daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Judy reminds Maud of a young girl she cared for and tried to help in South Dakota, a dreamer who never got her happy ending. Now, with the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her--the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy.

Armchair Generals Book Club
Cover of "Guns of August"Staff Pick: “The Guns of August” by Barbara W. Tuchman
Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Barbara Tuchman has brought to life again the people and events that led up to World War I. With attention to fascinating detail, and an intense knowledge of her subject and its characters, Ms. Tuchman reveals, for the first time, just how the war started, why, and how it could have been stopped but wasn't. A classic historical survey of a time and a people we all need to know more about, “The Guns of August” will not be forgotten.


Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 15, 2021 at 10:34 AM
  
Mental Health Spotlight

Resources listed are for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose or treat a condition without the guidance of a mental health professional. If you or someone you know is having a mental health emergency, please call 911 or Colorado Crisis Services at 1.844.493.TALK.

Hey teens! Interested in mental health?

Each month the Aurora Public Library focuses on a different topic related to mental health. Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse YA novels and nonfiction related to the monthly topic. Whether you or someone you know is facing a mental health issue, or you are just interested in the topic, APL has information, resources and reading materials for you.

Remember, your mental health matters.

This month’s Mental Health Spotlight is on Self-Care.

Self-care is not a substitute for professional help and does not cure mental illness. However, incorporating self-care practices into your daily life can make a positive impact on your well-being both in the short and long-term. Read more here.
 
Some daily self-care includes sleep, nutrition, movement, boundaries & relaxation. 

Mental Health Superpowers

Sleep
Getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is essential to the functioning of not only our bodies and brains, but also our well-being. Sleep impacts more than you may think. When you are operating on limited sleep, our brains cannot process information as efficiently—which can leave us feeling confused, irritable, and emotionally charged. 

Sleep Tips for Teens

10 Sleep Tips for Teens
 

Nutrition
Proper nutrition is so important. When we fuel our bodies with nutrient rich foods, our bodies and brains are able to function at optimal levels. Not only are we physically feeding our bodies, but our overall mental health and well-being can be improved with a healthy diet. 

How What You Eat Affects Your Mental Health
Food and Mood
6 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating

6 ways to practice mindful eating
 

Movement
Regular, consistent exercise is one simple way to improve your overall health. Many people are familiar with the physical benefits exercise can reap—from maintaining healthy weight to preventing diseases, but exercise can also boost your energy, improve your sleep and enhance your mood. 
- 7 Benefits of Regular Physical Activity
How to Start Exercising: A Beginner’s Guide to Working Out
- How to Stay Active As a Teen

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
 

Boundaries
Boundaries are guidelines for relationships with those in your life. They are important to establish for your own well-being, as well as helpful for those on the receiving in to know how best to behave with you. Often times boundary setting can feel awkward, harsh, confusing, or wrong – setting boundaries with those in your life is not selfish, it actually creates a more safe and rewarding relationship or both parties. 
How to Establish Boundaries
- What Are Boundaries and Why Are They Important
Why Do Boundaries Make Us Feel Bad
- How to Set Healthy Boundaries With Friends to Preserve Your Mental and Emotional Well-Being

Boundary-Setting Sentences


Relaxation
Slowing down, relaxing, and re-centering yourself can sometimes feel like a luxury that we do not have. Many of us are busy with school, home, friends, chores, hobbies-- and it seems like there are endless things on our to-do list. Our culture is one that values being productive and can glorify being stressed out. But what is more important to our well-being is actually stopping to be aware of the present moment. Deep breathing and practicing mindfulness can do wonders to your emotional, mental, and physical well-being. 

10 Cool Meditations
12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
- Getting Started with Mindfulness
Visit the Calm Room—Videos, Sounds, and Resources to Help You Relax and Refocus

Self Care 101
 


Explore books that address Self-Care:


For more resources for all ages, visit the nonfiction department at your local library. Resources are also available at Aurora Mental Health.

Check back in 2022 for our next blog post!
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 06, 2021 at 1:31 PM
  
Three on a Theme: Fiction

Votes have been counted and it's time for this month's Three on a Theme recommendations!

This month's options were FICTION vs. POETRY/ESSAYS celebrating Native American Heritage Month in November and the winner was...FICTION! Check out our staff’s recommendations below! 

Have book recommendation that we missed? Tell us about it in the comments!

ADULTS:
The Round House Cover"The Round House" by Louise Erdrich
"The Round House" won the National Book Award for fiction. One of the most revered novelists of our time-a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life-Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family. Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrich's The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction-at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.

Elatsoe CoverYOUNG ADULTS:
"Elatsoe" by Darcie Little Badger
Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream. There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day. Seventeen-year-old Elatsoe ("Ellie" for short) lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered, in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends to tear off the mask and protect her family.
Race to the sun CoverKIDS:
"Race to the Sun" by Rebecca Roanhorse
Guided by her Navajo ancestors, seventh-grader Nizhoni Begay discovers she is descended from a holy woman and destined to become a monsterslayer, starting with the evil businessman who kidnapped her father. Includes glossary of Navajo terms.
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Dec 03, 2021 at 7:59 AM