Check It Out Category: At-Home Access

Winter Reading: Warm Up With Reading! Starting January 1st

warm up with winter reading

Winter Reading starts early this year — January 1 – February 28 — and for your convenience is again online in Beanstack. If you participated this summer, log in with the same information used then or, if this is your first time, easily create a new account at Beanstack. During Adult Winter Reading, you choose how you will participate: curl up with books of your choosing or opt for a mini-reading challenge to broaden your reading horizons. Questions about Beanstack or online Winter Reading? Visit our Winter Reading webpage for more information.

Find Your Next Winter Read  

For those of you who like to browse to find your next read, we suggest perusing our Lists & Suggestions. There are an assortment of Winter Reading-related lists to get you started! See below to preview some of the Winter Reading lists’ offerings. As always, you are welcome to email us at readers@mppl.org or give us at call at 847/590-4070 for personalized reading recommendations, challenge category suggestions, or help finding books online.

Expand your reading horizons, if you like, with Winter Reading: Author or Genre You Haven’t Read Before

Antkind book cover

 

Found on the above list is Antkind by Charlie Kaufman

A neurotic and underappreciated film critic becomes sole witness to a film he’s convinced will change his career trajectory and rock the world of cinema to its core.

Unconventional; Thought-provoking

 

Perhaps you’d like to browse books on different topics – Winter Reading: Social Justice

Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City book cover

 

Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City by Wes Moore

An account of the 2015 police-brutality killing of Freddie Gray retraces key events from the perspectives of seven insiders, including a conflicted Baltimore Police Department captain, the victim’s sister and the owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

Compelling; Disturbing

 

Winter Reading: Native American Authors features a variety of genres and flavors, including:

Winter Counts book cover

 

Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden

A vigilante enforcer on South Dakota’s Rosebud Indian Reservation enlists the help of an ex to investigate the activities of an expanding drug cartel, while a new tribal council initiative raises controversial questions.

Crime Fiction; Suspenseful

 

Looking for lighter options? We have them sprinkled in lists like the one below in Winter Reading: Black Authors

Get a Life, Chloe Brown book cover

 

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Emerging from a life-threatening illness, a fiercely organized but unfulfilled computer geek recruits a mysterious artist to help her establish meaning in her life, before finding herself engaged in reckless but thrilling activities.

Banter-filled; Romantic

 

For more Winter Reading ideas: look through our Lists & Suggestions

to find a title that warms you up!

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Instant Holiday Viewing!

Instant Holiday Viewing

Access holiday spirit instantly with our selection of digital seasonal movies! Whether you’re in the mood for a holiday classic, heartwarming endings, or perhaps some festive pups, our curated lists will help add a little more holly jolly to your celebrating.

All you need is your library card and a digital device (computer, streaming stick, smart TV, smartphone, or tablet). Titles are always available–no holds, no wait!–via Hoopla or Kanopy and offer the added convenience of never having to leave your couch.

Browse a sampling of movies below or click the links to our Instant Holiday Viewing lists for even more festive cheer.

 

Nothing like the Holidays DVD coverNothing Like The Holidays

The far-flung members of the Rodriguez family are converging on their parents’ home in Chicago, to celebrate the season and their brother’s safe return from combat overseas. For Jesse, coming home has rekindled feelings for an old flame, though she won’t forgive him for leaving in the first place. Jesse’s sister Roxanna has been chasing her dreams for years with little to show for it. And to the dismay of their mother, eldest brother Mauricio brings home a high-powered executive wife who would rather raise capital than a child. But when the Rodriguezes learn that one of their own is facing a true crisis, all resentments are forgotten and familial bonds are re-affirmed.

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Dysfunctional Families

Girlfriends of Christmas Past DVD cover

 

Girlfriends of Christmas Past

Expecting a proposal, Livvy gets dumped instead. She finds two more women her ex wronged and the trio decide on payback. Meanwhile, Livvy meets Carter and sparks begin to fly. Can she forget about revenge and let a Christmas romance bloom?

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Rom-Coms

 

A Bennett Song Holiday DVD cover

 

A Bennett Song Holiday

Mrs. Song is expecting a baby to add to their diverse roster of 14 adopted children and the family will team up to stop a developer who wants to close down the community center. Love, teamwork, and holiday magic are sure to save the day!

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Music-Filled Movies 

 

Happy Christmas DVD cover

 

Happy Christmas

When Jenny, a hard-partying 20-something, moves in with her brother’s family to get over a breakup, she and her friend’s carefree perspective causes Jenny’s sister-in-law to question her career and relationship, comically turning the family’s everyday life upside down. A comedy from the director of Drinking Buddies.

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Adult Comedy

 

Better Watch Out DVD cover

Better Watch Out

When you think the suburbs, you think safety, but this holiday night the suburbs are anything but safe. Ashley thought this babysitting job was going to be an easy night, but the night takes a turn when dangerous intruders break in and terrorize her and the twelve-year-old boy, Luke, she’s caring for. Ashley defends her charge to the best of her ability only to discover this is no normal home invasion.

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Not Your Average Holiday

 

Browse More Instant Holiday Viewing Lists: 

Instant Holiday Viewing: Christmas Pups

Instant Holiday Viewing: Fantastical Scenarios

Instant Holiday Viewing: Holiday Classics

Instant Holiday Viewing: Lifetime Movies

Instant Holiday Viewing: Romance

Instant Holiday Viewing: Uplifting Endings

tiny red and white dots on a turquoise background

Black Lives Matter: Teaching Yourself about Race

Learning About Race image“We hope…that this moment becomes the impetus for our nation to address racism and social inequities in earnest.” ~ Lonnie Bunch, Smithsonian

As we witness news reports and public demonstrations, it is natural to feel outrage, helplessness, uncertainty, and grief. Many will want to better understand, and one of the best ways to increase empathy and to inspire change is to expose ourselves to the perspectives of those who can uniquely speak to their experiences.

Click here for a list of titles that speak to issues of race and injustice. You can access most through OverDrive, our digital book service, as ebook or e-audio, or place requests for physical copies in the catalog.

If you are interested in recommendations on a specialized focus of this topic or for resources that address a specific age, appeal, or entry point, email readers@mppl.org with your question.

Summer Reading Starts Monday, June 1!

The Spectacular Reading Race, Adult summer reading challenge, June 1, 2020 through August 31,2020

Ready for a taste of the familiar along with the excitement of new twists? Welcome to Summer Reading 2020 and the introduction of an online tracking tool: Beanstack. This summer you’ll be able to enter your books wherever you are, earning digital badges and chances for virtual drawings all with a few taps of your screen or clicks of your mouse. Also, since Summer Reading starts June 1 and continues through August 31, you have an added month to set your own pace or to explore even more reading activities.

Begin by visiting our official MPPL Summer Reading webpage to discover how to Get Started and to learn what opportunities are available for Adults, Teens, and Young Readers. Each age group is presented with a variety of options of what to read or activities to complete, and you choose what fits your mood best. Challenge yourself to find suggestions of what to read through featured lists, or ask for a personalized suggestion. However you choose to participate, be sure to join us for The Spectacular Reading Race starting June 1!

 

What to Read from Home: More Staff E-book Picks

More Staff E-book Picks image

Do you long for books that might quiet your mind, excite the eye, or take on real life? Available with little or no wait, this week’s staff ebook suggestions spotlight thoughtful, personal stories of different moods, and each can be checked out from the Library’s digital services. Now’s a great time to try something new!

 

View from Penthouse B book cover

The View from Penthouse B
Elinor Lipman

Elinor Lipman writes engaging and optimistic novels that are light but also thought-provoking. In The View from Penthouse B, a unique set of roommates navigate New York City as they work through unexpected personal transitions. ~Nancy

OverDrive: ebook and e-audio
Hoopla: ebook and e-audio

 

News of the World book cover

News of the World
Paulette Giles

There is poetry to this prose, and I wouldn’t have expected to say that about an odd-couple pairing set in the realities of the Old West. This story is rich in local color, laconic yet tough characters, and slice-of-life dialogue. Even only a few pages in, I couldn’t escape echoes of classic American authors such as Ambrose Bierce and Bret Harte. ~Cathleen

OverDrive: ebook
Hoopla: ebook

 

You Deserve a Drink book cover

You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery 
Mamrie Hart

Littered with 90s pop-culture references and puns, live vicariously through comedian Mamrie Hart’s over-the-top absurd adventures as she creates a fun time out of almost any situation. Includes a built in drinking game! ~Jenny

OverDrive: ebook

 

 

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters book coverMy Favorite Thing Is Monsters
Emil Ferris

Filled with B-horror movie and pulp monster iconography, the diary of ten-year-old Karen Reyes records her investigation into the murder of her upstairs neighbor Anka Silverberg, a Holocaust survivor (from NoveList) ~Chelsea

Hoopla: ebook

 

 

another-brooklyn book cover

Another Brooklyn
Jacqueline Woodson

August returns home to Brooklyn for her father’s funeral and explores powerful memories of growing up in the 1970s; this gorgeously written book explores family dynamics, adolescent friendship, joy, and regret. ~Nancy

OverDrive: ebook and e-audio

 

 

 

Convenience Store Woman book coverConvenience Store Woman
Sayaka Murata

A lovely, quirky little book that elicits an empathetic and protective response in the reader while still offering biting commentary on society’s expectations for a fulfilling life. ~Cathleen

OverDrive: ebook and e-audio
Hoopla: ebook and e-audio

 

 

Best We Could Do book cover

The Best We Could Do
Thi Bui

An intimate look at one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam to new lives in America. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family (from publisher’s description) ~Chelsea

OverDrive: ebook
Hoopla: ebook

 

 

Boundaries book cover

Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Setting boundaries with others is a struggle for many, and people of faith have a tendency to believe saying yes no matter what is an act of service. This longtime bestseller challenges readers to acknowledge self-destructive patterns and identify healthier choices. ~Cathleen

OverDrive: e-audio (unabridged)
Hoopla: ebook and (abridged) e-audio

 

Still looking? Check out earlier installments of staff ebook and e-audio picks available from home or contact us for suggestions personalized to your mood and taste.