Love is in the air with these e-books for kids and adults. Download with your Cheshire Library card!
Franklin’s Valentines by Paulette Bourgeois. It’s Valentine’s Day and Franklin can’t wait to give his friends the cards he has made. But when he gets to school, he discovers that they’re missing.
Elmo Loves You by Sarah Albee. Elmo loves lots of things. But what does Elmo love most of all? Read along with this charming book to find out!
Dora Loves Boots by Alison Inches. It’s Valentine’s Day! Dora and Boots can’t wait to spend it together. They pick a favorite meeting place and set out with Map’s help. Will they find each other on this special day?
Rotten Ralph’s Rotten Romance by Jack Gantos. Sarah is very excited to take Ralph to Petunia’s Valentine’s Day Party. But Ralph will do almost anything to avoid the party and drippy Valentine kisses!
February Friend by Ron Roy. Bradley is passing out his class’s valentines, but one of them has no name on it. Inside, the card tells the class to look in the closet. When they open the closet door, the kids find a rabbit named Douglas in a cage! What mysterious “friend” left him there? And why?
Royal Valentine by Jenn McKinlay. Molly Graham stumbles across a very handsome British professor seeking refuge in her office during the Museum of Literature’s Valentine’s Day gala. But just when things start to get interesting, he disappears.
Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani.When Valentine Roncalli discovers a long lost shoe design, a family secret unravels that helps her take control of the company from a conniving relative, but first she seeks the counsel, and more, of her ex-fiancee, Bret Fitzpatrick, to help re-boot the business while she pursues a hot romance with a handsome Italian from her past.
Death of a Valentine by M.C. Beaton. Announcing his engagement to associate Josie McSween, police sergeant and once-confirmed bachelor Hamish Macbeth struggles with prenuptial jitters while investigating the murder of a woman whose increasingly complicated case introduced him to his fiancée.
Sweet, Thoughtful Valentine by Alexander McCall Smith. When philosopher and amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie runs into an old classmate facing marital and financial troubles, the secret becomes more and more difficult for Isabel to keep. Thankfully, Isabel’s devoted husband, Jamie, is there to help her navigate her competing moral obligations.
Be My Valentine by Debbie Macomber. Dianne Williams, tired of matchmaking efforts on her behalf, enlists the help of a stranger to accompany her to a Valentine dinner; and, romance novelist Bailey York tries to find the perfect model for her new fictional hero.
Raise your hand if you’re traveling for the holidays! Road trips to Pennsylvania are a regular part of the holidays for my family, and good listening material is the key to keeping everyone in the car happy and sane (or as sane as you can be, when traffic stops for no apparent reason). In situations like this, I often turn to fantasy, adventure, and sci-fi audiobooks. The plots move fast enough to keep my attention engaged for long periods, and they’re usually hefty books that will keep me occupied for a while. Plus, otherworldly settings mean that not only can I disconnect from my everyday worries, but it makes it easier for multiple generations to enjoy the same story. You don’t necessarily get that with realistic fiction, which is a popular genre here in the Children’s department, but it’s much more targeted to its specific age group. Four straight hours of fictionalized minutiae of elementary school? Most adults I know would rather spend that time listening to politics podcasts. But four straight hours of a kid who’s raised by ghosts in a graveyard? Tell us more. No, please – make it eight hours.
The following titles have various runtimes to get you to wherever your holiday destination might be – and we’ll even give you some ideas of cities whose travel time from Cheshire is about the same as the book’s runtime. As a bonus, almost all of them are available in our Playaway format, which is a self-contained audiobook player. All you provide is an auxiliary cord with a 3.5mm jack to connect to your car’s stereo, or a regular set of headphones for solo listening. For those of you lucky enough to have Bluetooth connectivity in your car, look for downloadable audiobooks that you can play through your phone.
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this “wishtree” watches over the neighborhood.You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.
Listen while you drive to: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Roz the robot discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island with no memory of where she is from or why she is there, and her only hope of survival is to try to learn about her new environment from the island’s hostile inhabitants.
Many years have passed since the Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker and the Rebel Alliance were victorious over the evil Empire, and the galaxy has been at peace. But now a darkness is rising. The brave men and women of the Resistance must stand against Kylo Ren and the villainous First Order.
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must decipher the message before the lights go out on Ember forever!
In 2041 twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is a resident of Moon Base Alpha, and at the moment he is faced with a number of problems: coping with the nasty Sjoberg twins, finding out how the commander of the base has managed to disappear from a facility no bigger than a soccer field, and dealing with the alien Zan who communicates with him telepathically from afar–and who is hiding a secret which may threaten the whole Earth.
Listen while you drive to: Pittsburgh, Pennsyvlania
Joining her family in her community’s annual New Year’s Day magic-capturing ceremony, a 12-year-old girl who has always been lucky captures just one tiny jar of magic, revealing the true nature and beliefs of her loved ones.
Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Conner leave their modern world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge—with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch.
Listen while you drive to: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
All light in Chattana is created by one man – the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. Nok, the prison warden’s perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family’s good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, this twist on Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables explores the difference between law and justice.
Born on the unluckiest day of the year and blamed for all misfortunes that occur in her community, Morrigan Crow is doomed to die at midnight on her 11th birthday. That is, until she is unexpectedly whisked away by a stranger on horseback who brings her to the magical city of Nevermoor, where she learns she has been chosen to compete for a position with an organization comprised of highly talented individuals. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
Listen while you drive to: Charlotte, North Carolina
Haunted by the bus accident that ended his best friend’s life, seventh grader Tristan Strong dreads a visit to his grandparents’ Alabama farm before a bizarre living doll snatches away his friend’s notebook and draws him into a world of burning seas, iron monsters and Black folk heroes exhausted from battle. In order to get back home, Tristan and his new allies will need help from the god Anansi – but bartering with the trickster always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?
At age 12, Sophie learns that the remarkable abilities that have always made her different from others actually identify her as an elf. After being brought to Eternalia to hone her skills, she discovers that she has secrets buried in her memory for which some would kill.
September’s got some great new releases heading to our shelves. Here are eight that we’ve been eagerly anticipating, put your name on the hold list for your favs, if you haven’t already!
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell. From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Goneand The Family Upstairs comes another riveting work of psychological suspense. One year after a young woman and her boyfriend disappear on a massive country estate, a writer stumbles upon a mysterious note that could be the key to finding out what happened to the missing young couple.
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. A furniture salesman in 1960s Harlem becomes a fence for shady cops, local gangsters and low-life pornographers after his cousin involves him in a failed heist, in the new novel from the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys.
Bewilderment by Richard Powers. A widowed astrobiologist and single father to a troubled son contemplates an experimental neurofeedback treatment that trains the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother’s brain in the new novel from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Overstory.
The Wish by Nicholas Sparks. From the author ofThe Longest RideandThe Return comes the story of successful travel photographer Maggie Dawes, struggling to come to terms with a sobering medical diagnosis, who is unexpectedly grounded over Christmas with her young assistant and begins to tell him the story of the love that set her on a course she never could have imagined.
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr. The novel follows four young dreamers and outcasts through time and space, from 1453 Constantinople to the future, as they discover resourcefulness and hope amidst peril in the new novel by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of All the Light We Cannot See.
Matrix by Lauren Groff. Lauren Groff returns with her exhilarating first new novel since the groundbreakingFates and Furies. Cast out of the royal court, 17-year-old Marie de France, born the last in a long line of women warriors, is sent to England to be the new prioress of an impoverished abbey where she vows to chart a bold new course for the women she now leads and protects.
Fuzz by Mary Roach. Join New York Times bestselling science author Mary Roach as she tags along with animal-attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and more. Combining little-known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and mugging macaques, Fuzz offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat.
Life sure has changed from this time a year ago, hasn’t it? It’s still hard to wrap my head around how differently we are living our lives since the Covid-19 pandemic made its presence known. Schools and businesses have had to restructure just about everything they do. Libraries, too, have had to change the way they work, depending so much more on the Internet to connect with their patrons. Cheshire Library is constantly reviewing and adjusting our online services to bring patrons what they need. You’re probably familiar with our online programs by this time (had most of us even heard of Zoom before the pandemic?), and you may have become a pro at downloading library ebooks, but there are so many other services and resources you can avail yourself of any time, right from our website. The library is still here for you, even though how you use it these days might look a little different.
Getting books to readers: Matchbook and Grab ‘n Go services.
Remember the days when you could come into the library and leisurely browse the shelves, find a comfy place to sit and look through books or magazines before checking out your selections? While the library is now open limited hours to the public, it’s not a place to kick back and hang out these days, due to social distancing and safety precautions we’ve put into place. To help you find your next good read, we began offering a service called Matchbook. It’s a service we had tried a few years ago with limited success, but it has been booming since we brought it back in July of 2020. Fill out a quick form on our website letting us know your reading preferences, and a library staff member will hand-select several titles we think you will like, and put them aside for you, “matching” you up with some books! One Matchbook user told us it was like her birthday or Christmas every time a new selection of books was ready for her, and she discovered several new authors she loved! Books can be picked up inside the library at the Checkout Desk when they’re ready, or you can arrange a contactless pickup with our Grab ‘n Go program.
Stream away with Acorn TV and The Great Courses.
One of the first things we did when the library was shut down in the spring was figure out how to increase out digital offerings on a budget. We crunched some numbers and came up with two streaming services (available through the RBdigital app) that have proved to be user favorites. Acorn TV is a very popular streaming video platform that many people pay for, but CPL cardholders have free access to. Acorn TV brings world-class mysteries, dramas, and comedies from Britain and beyond to your Internet-ready TV or mobile device. The Great Courses is another for-pay service that CPL cardholders can use for free. The Great Courses is the leading global media brand for lifelong learning and personal enrichment, with hundreds of courses spanning thousands of in-depth video lectures on subjects like Science, Health & Wellness, History, and even Travel. Learn at your own pace, in your own time!
Dig up your ancestors.
Well, not literally. We’re talking genealogically, here. Ancestry® Library helps you research and understand your family tree with access to billions of names in thousands of genealogical databases including Census and Vital Records, birth, marriage and death notices, the Social Security Death Index, Passenger lists and naturalizations, Military and Holocaust Records, and more. Before the pandemic, Ancestry® Library was available for use inside the library only, but the company has generously extended our subscription to home users during this time of limited library use. All you need is your CPL card and a computer, and you’re ready to climb your family tree!
Keep up with the latest newspapers and magazines, digitally.
We’ve has to suspend our subscriptions to local newspapers during this time, but you’ll be happy to know that you can still access the news online though Newsbank, a news database that provides archives of media publications, and includes access to the Cheshire Herald, Meridan Record-Journal, and New Haven Register. While we still have many magazines available for checkout at the library, there are many more (over 3000 titles and up to three years of back issues!) that are available digitally through the Libby app. The great thing about digital magazines is there’s no waiting list, and back issues are available on most titles!
Ask a librarian for some good books, be prepared for a long list! I recently asked our staff members to share some their favorite reads in 2020, and the answers that came back were many and varied. We really do read a lot! Not all the books on this list were published in 2020, (some were older books we just got around to reading in 2020!), but all received a solid thumbs up from a member of our staff: