2-12-2016 – What’s your favorite author or book for Black History Month



True Crime on Display @ the Library

sign15Have you been caught up in the true crime hype that has surrounded documentaries such as Serial, The Jinx, or Making a Murderer and are looking for something new to check out? Or maybe if you are just a fan of True Crime as a genre. If so, the Library has a display up this month on True Crime stories.

Here you can find classics of the genre such as Truman Capote’s, In Cold Blood: A True Account of Murder and Its Consequences, which investigates a 1959 murder investigation that had no apparent motive and very little clues.  You can also check out some newer tales, such as Jill Leovy’s, Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, which covers a apparent random murder on the streets of LA, that tragically effects the community it occurs in. If you want to go on the hunt for murders, you can  take a look at Kill Pablo: The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw by Mark Bowden, which covers the hunt for and capture of Pablo Escobar, which has recently been dramatized in the Netflix series, Narcos. In addition to these tales, we also have books on display about investigations, trials, and what goes into making an arrest.

Getting Ahead: 5 Books to Read Before You See the Movie

We live in an age where movie studios and TV networks love to adapt new shows and movies from previously established books. From big blockbuster ratings smashes, such as Game of Thrones to smaller Indie flicks like The Fault in Stars, books have found their way into the mainstream of the industry. The good news is that you can find a lot of these books and movies for free using the library!

Snowpiercer vol 1 & 2
written by Jacques Lob and Ben LeGrand
illustrated by Jean-Marc RochetteCoursing through an eternal winter, on an icy track wrapped around the frozen planet Earth, there travels a train that never stops. This is Snowpiercer: one thousand and one carriages long. From fearsome engine to final car, all surviving human life is here: a complete hierarchy of the society we lost. The elite, as ever, travel in luxury at the front of the train – but for those in the rear coaches, life is squalid, miserable and short. Now the poor have had enough: it’s time to seize control of the engine – and their future!

Basis for the movie:


Get the Books (vol 1 & 2)
Get the Movie

All You Need is Kill
by Hiroshi SakurazakaWhen the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally–the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

Basis for the movie:

Live, Die, repeat: The Edge of Tomorrow

Get the Book
Get the Graphic Novel
Get the Movie

by Veronica Roth In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

Basis for the movie:


Get the Book
Get the ebook
Get the Movie

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in “the glade” for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change.

Basis for the movie:

the maze runner

Get the Book
Get the ebook
get the movie

Hunger Games: MockingJay
by Suzanne CollinsAgainst all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol wants revenge … and President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe!

Basis for the movie:

Hunger Games: Mockingjay pt 1 & 2

Get the Book
get the first two movies

“Poetry” in Full Bloom


If I national-poetry-monthlook 
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you
” – Pablo Neruda

In 1996, the American Academy of Poets began recognizing the month of April as National Poetry Month. This month long initiative was implemented to bring awareness to the “art of poetry”.  The goal of the academy (in part) is to introduce more Americans to the pleasures of reading poetry in innovative ways.  This includes making sure that poetry is part of the school curriculum and obtainable to students.  It is also a way for the academy and other writers to recognize the works of famous poets.

As somewhat of a self-proclaimed poet, I am often moved and inspired by beautiful prose and verse.  I grew up reading books by Shel Silverstein and later became inspired to write about the musings of my own soul.  For me, poetry is uncomplicated.  It is a way to visually express ideas using words.  Some of my favorite poets include:  Pablo Neruda, Ntozake Shange, Sonia Sanchez, Maya Angelou, and Langston Hughes.  It is my belief that writing brings beauty to the mind in much the same way that art brings beauty to the eyes.

If poetry is of interest to you, consider celebrating National Poetry Month by checking out a few poetry books at the PSC Library.  The American Academy of Poets compiled a list of 30 things you could do to recognize poetry as an integral part of the American culture.

Check This Book Out! Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat

The Supreme’s at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat is a mildly humorous, but touching, story about the lives of three close friends.  Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean grew up together.  As a result of their closely knit friendship, they have become known in their small community as the “Supremes”.  Each week, they meet for dinner at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat cafe. However, their visits to Earl’s is not solely about food.  Earl’s has become a place where they can feed their minds, bodies, and soul with laughter and great conversation. This is something they all learn to appreciate as they face the most challenging year of their lives.

Written by Chicago native Edward Kelsey Moore, this story is about true sisterhood.  These women help each other through difficult situations by sharing wisdom, faith, and hope.  Similar to the  movie Soul Food, this book highlights the many wonderful traditions that unites African Americans within their communities.

Come check out this and many other new books from our new book display right next to the graphic novels!

Women’s History: A Legacy for the Future

March is a month beaming with historical pride and cultural celebrations .  Not only have we come to accept it as the gateway to a new season, but as the birthing of “new” day.  Born are not just the leaves and the flowers, but the American spirit that has been forged by the great works of those throughout history.  This includes the works of phenomenal women who have become pioneers and leaders in fields that were once dominated by men. Their works have become a launching pad for future generations to soar into new heights. During the month of March, we celebrate their remarkable accomplishments:

1849 Elizabeth Blackwell receives her M.D. degree from the Medical Institution of Geneva, N.Y., becoming the first woman in the U.S. with a medical degree.

1869 Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony organize the National Woman Suffrage Association to fight for women’s rights, especially the right to vote. More than a century later, Anthony was honored when the U.S. Mint created a coin using her image.

1872 Victoria Claflin Woodhull becomes the first woman presidential candidate in the United States when she is nominated by the National Radical Reformers.

1885 Sarah E. Goode becomes the first African-American woman to receive a patent, for a bed that folded up into a cabinet. Goode, who owned a furniture store in Chicago, intended the bed to be used in apartments.

1916 Jeannette Rankin, of Montana, is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

1932 Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, traveling from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Ireland in approximately 15 hours.

1970 Diane Crump becomes the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby.

1981 Sandra Day O’Connor is appointed by President Reagan to the Supreme Court, making her its first woman justice.

1983 Dr. Sally K. Ride becomes the first American woman to be sent into space.

2005 Hillary Clinton becomes the first First Lady to be elected to public office. She joins Congress as a U.S. Senator from New York.

2009 Sonia Sotomayor is nominated as the 111th U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Sotomayor becomes the first Hispanic American and only the third woman to serve on the nation’s top court.

For more information on famous women in history, stop by PSC Library and check out some of the titles that we have on display:

Little Cabin in the Woods

It’s cold in Chicago Heights, really cold. So… on a cold blustery day, where would you rather be? If you pictured the ideal place to zap yourself to, anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Cabin covered in snow.
This is where I would go.

Photo by Pixabay / CC BY

Yup, not Florida, not Mexico, not somewhere warm… but a little cabin all covered in snow. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with homesteading and outdoor living… blame the books: Little House on the Prairie, Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain… you name it, I’ve probably read it. More recently I’ve upped the anty, trying to learn skills that I can apply to a homesteading venture: canning, wood crafting, cabin building, raising livestock. My favorite TV shows of late have been Frontier House and Alaska: The Last Frontier. Bring on the gardens, the chickens, and especially these guys:

Sheep in snow
I have a thing for sheep

Photo by Editor5807 / GNU FDL

So, for now I’m scouring the Prairie State College Library for books to help me out with my dreams and endeavors and practicing what I can in my little apartment covered in snow. How about you?

For books on homesteading topics, check these out!

It’s the End of the World as We Know It!

Display Sign DystopiaNovels set in dark and dangerous worlds where the authorities can not be trusted somehow manage to pique our imaginations. Dystopias, as they’re called, range from scary to downright disturbing and all serve to highlight aspects of our current society that could cause everything to go horribly, horribly wrong.

These books contain just enough of what is happening now to make us wonder, could it really happen? The authors access the readers’ darkest fears and make them into reality in ink. Marauding robots? Nuclear fallout? Teenagers fighting to the death? Zombies!!? If you or the author can think it into reality, these books will take you to a future world where it happened, and it went bad.

So if you have a hankering to fight zombies, battle robots, stop worldwide pandemics, or ponder what it could be like, check out our display in the library before it too, comes to an end too!

You can also get some pointers on how to survive in a Dystopia according to books from this article by Book Riot.


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5 Steps to Checking Out eBooks

Looking to take a break from studying with a book? Want to try out your new tablet? Curious to see how an eBook looks on your computer? Or do you just like trying out new things for free. If you answered yes to any of these questions then you should try out the Library’s new eBook service, the cloudLibrary™ App.

The cloudLibrary™ App is a simple way to browse and check out popular fiction and non-fiction titles. All you need to get started is to follow these easy steps.

Continue reading “5 Steps to Checking Out eBooks”

Staff Favorite: Insert Coins and Search for 80’s Geek Nostalgia in Ready Player One

Ready Player One (1)

Ready Player One | Print Copy | eBook | Audiobook
by Ernest Cline

It is the year 2044 and climate change, limited physical resources and The Great Recession has rendered life on earth virtually unbearable. To escape the misery, the majority of humans ignore the fact that they are living in vertically stacked trailer parks and spend their waking hours in the OASIS, a massive multiplayer online simulation where the sky’s the limit (think of OASIS as Facebook meets World of Warcraft meets the Matrix without all the mean AI robots). In the OASIS, people go to school, build and explore virtual worlds, experience space flight, play video games, listen to music, hang out with friends … in fact in the OASIS people can do pretty much anything they want, given that they have enough “credits”.

OASIS was created by an eccentric, socially awkward programmer named James Halliday (whose character is a mashup of Steve Jobs and Howard Hughes with a lesser known eccentric programmer, Richard Garriott thrown in), whom died five years before the story takes place.  After his death a video will is release to those in OASIS along with a book that was dubbed Anorak’s Almanac, which purports to be a journal written by James Halliday’s on his passions and obsessions. The video says that whoever can collect three keys (Copper, Jade, and Crystal) that are hidden throughout the OASIS and pass through the matching gates will receive his fortune and controlling stake in Halliday’s company. This becomes known as the Hunt and people immediately begin the search for Halliday’s Easter Egg. Those searching for the Egg are referred to as “gunters,” a truncation of “egg hunters.” Gunters devote an enormous amount of time to studying 1980s pop culture, the decade Halliday grew up in and was perpetually obsessed with, in the hope it will assist them with locating and solving the puzzles involved with the Egg.

When we are introduced to the novel’s protagonist, Wade Watts (an allusion to the Marvel superhero, Deadpool), it is five years after this announcement of the hunt. A lonely Oklahoman teen, Wade goes by the name of Parzival (a reference to a Arthurian Poem from Germany) in the OASIS. Obsessed with cracking Halliday’s puzzle Wade spends the majority of his free time studying Halliday’s passions for all things ‘80s, from Galaga to Rush to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.

His journey spans the length and breadth of the OASIS, taking the you on a magical mystery tour to distant planets that are influenced by everything from Blade Runner to Back to the Future. Along the way he finds friendship, love, and the ultimate enemy in the shape of Innovative Online Industries, a powerful corporation who will stop at nothing to win the contest and turn the OASIS into a purely commercial destination.

Will Wade find the keys before the evil corporation? To find out stop by the library’s fiction shelves and grab a copy of Ready Player One. You can also continue reading after the jump for ways to watch the music, play the video games, and listen to the music referenced (or easter egged in the book).

Continue reading “Staff Favorite: Insert Coins and Search for 80’s Geek Nostalgia in Ready Player One”