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March 2019 - Posts
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