Blog

What’s New in September

Here are the books that are coming to Tracy Public Library’s shelves this month.

Adult

“All the Devils Are Here” (Gamache #16), Louise Penny (9/1)

“Chaos,” Iris Johansen (9/1)

“The Christmas Swap,” Melody Carlson (9/1)

“An Ivy Hill Christmas” (Tales from Ivy Hill), Julie Klassen (9/1)

“Killing Crazy Horse,” Bill O’Reilly (9/8)

“One by One,” Ruth Ware (9/8)

“A Question of Betrayal” (Elena Standish #2), Anne Perry (9/8)

“Shadows in Death” (In Death #51), J.D. Robb (9/8)

“The Stone Wall,” Beverly Lewis (9/8)

“Anxious People,” Fredrik Backman (9/8)

“Two Reasons to Run” (Pelican Harbor #2), Colleen Coble (9/8)

“Chance of a Lifetime,” Jude Deveraux (9/15)

“Total Power” (Mitch Rapp #19), Vince Flynn (9/15)

“The Evening and the Morning” (Kingsbridge #0), Ken Follett (9/15)

“The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow,” Kim Vogel Sawyer (9/15)

“The Coast-to-Coast Murders,” James Patterson (9/21)

“The Book of Two Ways,” Jodi Picoult (9/22)

“Funeral for a Friend” (Jonathan Stride #10), Brian Freeman (9/22)

“The Brightest Star,” Fern Michaels (9/29)

“Holding Out for Christmas,” Janet Dailey (9/29)

“The Christmas Cupcake Murder” (Hannah Swensen #26), Joanne Fluke (9/29)

“The Return,” Nicholas Sparks (9/29)

Large Print

“The Solid Grounds Coffee Company,” Carla Laureano

“Isaiah’s Legacy,” Mesu Andrews

Children

“Logan Likes Mary Anne,” (Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novels #8), Ann M. Martin (9/1)

“Big Nate: The Gerbil Ate My Homework,” Lincoln Peirce (9/1)

“Grime and Punishment” (Dog Man #9), Dav Pilkey (9/1)

“I Survived the California Wildfires, 2018,” Lauren Tarshis (9/1)

Teen

“Infinity Son,” Adam Silvera

Atmospheric books to snuggle up with

I am currently in a state of being in denial that summer is over, and being happy that cooler temps and other aspects of fall are on their way.

Usually in September I am in the mood to read something atmospheric. Not scary, really – those I save for October – but something just slightly creepy or dark feeling. Something that feels like it should be read with a blanket on your lap and a cup of tea at hand while it’s raining outside.

Here are some of my favorite fall reads.

The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield

“The Thirteenth Tale” has it all – a creepy old house, a reclusive writer, and a mystery that unravels slowly throughout the book as author Vida Winters reveals her story to the biographer she recruits to tell her story. It’s a great story, and it’s also an ode to books, how they make us feel, and the nostalgia we feel for them.

The Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb

Minnesota author Wendy Webb’s books are great fun. If you like a book that’s a little bit spooky but not scary or gory, you will love this author. “The Tale of Halcyon Crane” is about a young woman who learns that the mother she thought was dead for the past 30 years was actually alive until very recently. She travels to the island where her mother lived to unravel the mystery.

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

You are probably familiar with “Rebecca,” the classic tale of the second wife who is haunted by the memory of her predecessor. I’ve read other books by du Maurier, but can see why it’s “Rebecca” that is her best-loved. It’s got great atmosphere and a twist you don’t want to miss.

Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

Like “Rebecca,” you may already be familiar with the story of “Jane Eyre.” It’s the classic Gothic tale of the governess who goes to the house out in the middle of nowhere to care for a little girl. The little girl is the ward of the mysterious Mr. Rochester, whose past – and house – contain many secrets.

Garden Spells, Sarah Addison Allen

“Garden Spells” isn’t creepy, though it does have a witchy vibe. The main characters are sisters – one who has embraced the legacy left by their grandmother, and the other who has tried to run away from it. There is a magical apple tree in the backyard, along with other plants that have mystical properties.

What are your favorite fall reads?

Happy reading!

~Val

New educational databases

The Plum Creek Library System has added three educational databases from Scholastic to our services.

Each of these sites is available for unlimited access with an active Plum Creek Library System library card.

Bookflix

Bookflix is a literacy resource for grades pre-K through 3 that pairs video storybooks with related non-fiction titles. There are currently more than 140 book pairings on the site.

All titles can be read with or without audio, and key vocabulary words are highlighted. In addition, the pairings all have related interactive educational games. Bookflix also offers the opportunity to dig deeper into each subject, with age-appropriate web links for each book pairing.

ScienceFlix

ScienceFlix offers science videos and articles for grades 4-9. Each article is available in three different reading levels to ensure comprehension. Additional resources from safe, vetted sources are included for each topic. Resources and tools including lesson plans, quizzes, videos, and science labs are also available.

Watch & Learn Library

Watch & Learn Library is a database of educational videos on a variety of subjects, designed for students in pre-K through grade 3. All videos are available in both English and Spanish, and offer closed captioning. Each video has correlating materials available, including quizzes and “think sheets” for students to record their thoughts, give reviews, and more.

Whether your students are learning in-person, at home, or in a hybrid model this fall, be sure to check out these new online educational opportunities available through the library!

Links to all three databases are accessible on the home page of our website.

Page to screen favorites

As soon as I finish the book I’m reading now (“Cat’s Eye” by Margaret Atwood), I plan to pick up “Lovecraft Country” by Matt Ruff. It wasn’t what I was planning to read next, but my husband and I want to watch the series of the same name, and it seems like it would be worth reading the book first.

Generally, I like to read the book before watching the movie. Of course, sometimes I’m just setting myself up for disappointment. Some movies based on books are great, while others are disappointing, especially if a book you love is adapted into a mediocre movie. On the other hand, there are times when I find the movie is even better than the book. It’s rare, but it does happen.

Here are some of my favorite page-to-screen adaptations:

The Great Gatsby

There are a few different versions of “The Great Gatsby.” I love both the 1974 version with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, and the 2013 version with Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. The 2013 version incorporates modern music, which some people did not like. I typically don’t like that sort of thing, either, but in this case it worked for me. I like the soundtrack, too.

Pride & Prejudice

I had a hard time choosing just one Jane Austen adaptation to include on this list. I have seen so many, and there are so many great ones. I think my favorite, however, is the 2005 film starring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet. I love Donald Sutherland’s portrayal of Mr. Bennet, and all of the Bennet sisters. The film captures Austen’s humor very well.

Doctor Zhivago

I saw the movie “Doctor Zhivago” (the 1965 version, with Julie Christie and Omar Sharif) long before reading the book, and it has been one of my favorite movies for many years. I read the book late last year and found it…just okay. I thought it lacked the magic that the film has, and I found that the character of Zhivago held little charm. The movie, however, is still great, and I highly recommend it.

The Shining

This is another case where I actually prefer the film to the book. Like “Doctor Zhivago,” I saw the movie before reading the book. (Maybe that is the key – whichever I experience first is the one I like best?) The Stephen King book by the same name is great, but Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall is near perfection. I still remember the first time I saw that movie – I stayed up late reading “Calvin and Hobbes” and left the bedside lamp on because I was so scared!

Anne of Green Gables

I’m not sure how many times I watched the 1985 mini-series “Anne of Green Gables” starring Meagan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst. I remember it airing on PBS during their membership drive, and I could never resist watching it. It’s a charming and sweet adaptation, and I think I could still watch it every year!

I could probably go on and on with this list, but these were the first page-to-screen adaptations that popped into my head when I was thinking about this topic. It’s always fun to watch movies based on books we’ve read, and I’m looking forward to experiencing it again with “Lovecraft Country.”

Happy reading!

~Val

Tracy Public Library is now fine-free!

Last week, the Tracy Public Library Board voted to eliminate fines on late items. What does that mean?

  • There will still be fines charged for lost or damaged materials. If you lose or damage a book, you will still need to pay the replacement cost. Fines will also continue to be charged for our new WiFi hotspots ($5/day).
  • If you have something overdue, you will continue to be called or receive email notifications that the item needs to be returned or renewed. Letters will be sent once an item has entered long overdue/lost status, meaning it is overdue by 68+ days.
  • We will continue to follow the policy in place for all Plum Creek Library System libraries, which states that if a patron has five or more items overdue for a week or more, no further items can be checked out until the late materials are returned. In addition, if any one item checked out by a patron has entered long overdue/lost status, he or she will be unable to check out anything else until the lost item has been returned or paid for.
  • Fines accrued at other Plum Creek Library System libraries must still be paid. If you check out an item from a library that charges fines and it is returned late to Tracy, you will still have a fine on your account. Tracy Public Library cannot waive fines owed to other libraries.

Tracy Public Library patrons are great about getting their items returned on time, and we know you will continue to be. Please be especially conscious about returning items received on loan from other Plum Creek Library System member libraries and MnLink on time. We hope that this will be a positive change for our library and community, and that it will encourage more people to use the library.

If you have any questions, please call the library at (507) 629-5548.