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.

Feel free to comment on posts, re-blog and enjoy. To ensure a civil and focused discussion, comments will be held for a brief period before being published.



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July 2020 - Posts
Read It!

**Video may contain spoilers**
Join APL staff each week for a discussion of some of their current reads! Each week they will discuss a book from a different genre. Join the discussion live on at Facebook.com/AuroraLibrary each Friday at 1 p.m. (MST) and leave your thoughts in the comments below!



The next discussion will be at 1 p.m. on July 31, 2020 on our Facebook page and will feature "FantasticLand" by Mike Bockoven (available instantly on hoopladigital.com).
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jul 26, 2020 at 8:50 AM
  
Read It!

Review of "The Last Wish: Introducing the Witcher" by Andrzej Sapkowski
by Nicole S.

Hello again! Like I said before I have been participating in a virtual book club with some of my friends from Wisconsin which has been incredibly enjoyable for me to be able to read other books I normally wouldn’t choose for myself and learning more about my friends’ reading tastes.  

After reading two different suspenseful thrillers in a row we decided to dive into the fantasy genre with our next pick - “The Last Wish: Introducing The Witcher” by Andrzej Sapkowski. For those who don’t know this book is actually one of two collections of short stories that paves the way for the Witcher Saga novels surrounding the main character Geralt of Rivia.  

The Last Wish

This book was originially published in Polish in 1993 with an English translation later in 2007. This book contains six short stories which sheds a little light on Geralt’s many adventures. Having been injured in a battle and while resting at a temple, he is experiencing flashbacks from certain time’s in his life.  

These short stories have been adapted to video games, film and a recent television series on Netflix starring Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia.  

The character Geralt of Rivia, one of the few remaining witchers on the Continent, is a traveling monster slayer for hire, mutated and trained from an early age to slay deadly beasts. This puts the series of the Witcher in the fantasy genre. “Fantasy is defined as a form of literary genre in which a plot cannot occur in the real world. Its plot usually involves witchcraft or magic, taking place on an undiscovered planet of an unknown world. Its overall theme and setting involve a combination of technology, architecture, and language, which sometimes resemble European medieval ages. The most interesting thing about fantasies is that their plot involves witches, sorcerers, mythical and animal creatures talking like humans, and other things that never happen in real life (https://literarydevices.net/fantasy/)”  

For those starting this book who haven’t read or watched any of its adaptations could make getting through the names and places a little difficult. One of the big reasons I wanted to start reading the Witcher novels was due to the first season of the “Witcher” on Netflix. I enjoy reading and watching anything fantasy and the different characters portrayed throughout the show were amazing. My favorite being Geralt of Rivia. Being trained to be a monster hunter from such an early age, Geralt is seen as both highly respected and highly feared. He has a gruff and cold demeanor towards everyone he meets yet at the same time he has a strict moral code when it comes to the monsters he hunts and kills. He is a very complex character and I thought that the books would give more of an insight to how he thinks because it is hard to portray someone’s inner conscience on the screen.  

It is recommended to start with “The Last Wish” and even the other short story collection “Sword of Destiny” before diving into first of the “Witcher” novels, “Blood of Elves”. The reason behind this is because the first book in the series precedes the events that occur during the two short story collections. You follow Geralt of Rivia on his quests while meeting some key characters along the way.  

If you do end up enjoying the short story collections then continue on and immerse yourself in Geralt’s journey through all six of the Witcher books! Check out the series from APL here.

Once you finish those and need to have more high fantasy novels check out “The Red Knight” by Miles Cameron or ‘”Assassin’s Apprentice” by Robin Hobb

Check back for my next review of the next book club pick - “Ink and Bone” by Rachel Caine.  
Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jul 24, 2020 at 4:57 PM
  

Fantastical Reimaginings

Fantastical Reimaginings: Alice in Wonderland
by Nicole S.

Disney's Alice in Wonderland
 
"Curiouser and curiouser!" How many of you had always wanted to fall down a rabbit hole and visit Wonderland yourself? I know I have! Alice in Wonderland has been a favorite story of mine and my infatuation with it grows as I get older. Do you know about where the original story came from? 

History
The story of Alice in "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" was published in 1865 by Lewis Carroll, also known as Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. It is said that this story was inspired by the stories Charles told to the daughters of a close family friend on a boat outing. Alice Liddell, her sisters, their father, the scholar Henry Liddell, and Charles are all inspirations for some of the characters in the Alice in Wonderland story. To this day it is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. It has never gone out of print and has been translated into 97 languages. 

Alice in Wonderland

The Original
The story starts with a bored and drowsy seven-year old Alice sitting on the riverbank with her sister. She starts to daydream and notices a white rabbit with a pocket watch run past her. She follows the rabbit down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. The novel has twelve chapters each with Alice’s journey into Wonderland which includes creating a pool of tears, advice from a blue caterpillar, a very mad tea party and of course the Queen of Hearts playing croquet. 

Alice in Wonderland Retellings
So, how much has this classic fairy tale changed over the years? Are the retellings similar or impossibly different? Find out more about similar tales below!

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Disney's Alice in Wonderland 
Disney’s "Alice in Wonderland"
Available on Hoopla

Disney’s "Alice In Wonderland" takes the story written by Lewis Carroll and visually lets us take a closer look into Wonderland. The story follows fairly similar to the original story minus some of Carroll’s chapters that involve minor characters, such as the Mock Turtle and the dormouse, and a trial that Alice attends due to being accused of stealing Queen’s tarts. 
Disney went on to create a live action version of both "Alice in Wonderland" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass", both works by Lewis Carroll. These versions however have Alice revisiting “Underland”, as a nineteen year old girl who believes that she had only dreamt of visiting Underland when she was girl. 

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 Splintered by AG Howard
"Splintered" by A.G. Howard
Available on Hoopla

Splintered follows the story of Alyssa Gardner who is a descendant of Alice Liddell, the inspiration for the stories of Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Alyssa has a deep dark secret; she can hear insects and flowers talking. Her mother is locked up in a mental hospital for having this as well. In fact all of the women in the family are cursed with this so called gift. When Alyssa meets a beautiful and mysterious stranger who tells her Wonderland is a real place and going there will help her break her family’s curse she has a decision to make: Save her family from this curse or be destined to go mad like her mother? 
This tells parts of the original story of Alice but in a great twist. In this book Alyssa has to go back to Wonderland and “fix” all the mistakes that the original Alice made. This is one of my favorite series because I enjoy Howard’s imaginative and vivid description of Wonderland and using the inspiration of the original tale but spinning it in her own unique way.

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Alice in Zombieland
"Alice in Zombieland" by Gena Showalter
Available on Hoopla

In "Alice in Zombieland", Alice Bell has lived under one strict rule from her father: Don’t leave the house at night because of the “monsters.” On Alice’s 16th birthday, her and her family are attacked by zombies on the way home from her sister’s dance recital. Sadly, only Alice survives - and zombies are real?!? While living with her grandparents, Alice is consumed by guilt and decides to avenge her family. In order to survive she must trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has a secret of his own.
This story includes some references to the original story of Alice but for the most part it is an entirely new story all on its own. 

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If you would like to continue your journey through Wonderland, check out these other Alice in Wonderland retellings available on Hoopla!
o "Heartless" by Marissa Meyer
"Death Of The Mad Hatter" by Sarah J. Pepper, Deb Lebakken, Heather Banta, Emily DeHaan
"After Alice" by Gregory Maguire
"Reagan Through The Looking Glass" by Allyson Lindt
o "A Blade So Black" by L.L. McKinney

"We're all mad here." - Cheshire Cat

Picture credits: Disney, Bantom Classics, Hoopla


Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jul 24, 2020 at 3:30 PM
  
Let's Get Gardening

Let's get gardening! We have partnered with our friends at Tagawa Gardens for a series of gardening videos showing tips and tricks to get your garden growing!

In this week's video, Luan shares the basics for beginners. These include prepping the soil, how to pick the prefect plants for your space, tips and tricks for planting, the benefits of mulch and how to care for your garden, including watering, feeding and fertilizing, use of pesticides and maintaining your beautiful space. Let's get gardening - together! 


Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jul 24, 2020 at 9:16 AM
  
Create & DIY for adults

Learn the tips and tricks of assembling amazing papercraft creations! This week we'll be making Japan's Himeji Castle using Cannon's Creative Park papercraft template! #LibrariesCOnnect

Himeji Castle template and instructions available via Canon Creative Park at creativepark.canon.
Visit creativepark.canon and search "Himeji Castle" to download the template and explore other fun crafts from Canon.



Posted by svanholb@auroragov.org  On Jul 22, 2020 at 9:23 AM
  
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