What To Read After Watching “Hamilton”

Can’t get enough of the smash Broadway musical, “Hamilton”?  We’ve hand-selected some of our favorite “Hamilton” read-alikes — historical accounts, fiction reads, graphics novels, and more — for a variety of ages!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Hamilton: The Revolution

by Lin-Manuel Miranda

A backstage pass to the groundbreaking, hit musical Hamilton, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Eleven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, including the award-winning libretto, behind-the-scenes photos and interviews, and exclusive footnotes from composer-lyricist-star Lin-Manuel Miranda

Audience: All 

Alex & Eliza: A Love Story

by Melissa De La Cruz

1777. Albany, New York. It’s one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Eliza Schuyler can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Alex is an orphan, and a bastard one at that; only his association with Washington puts him in such esteemed company. And he has arrived at the ball as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers. But when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

Audience: Teen & up

Alexander Hamilton

by Ron Chernow

The book that inspired the musical! Chernow offers the whole sweep of Hamilton’s turbulent life: his exotic, brutal upbringing; his brilliant military, legal, and financial exploits; his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Monroe; his shocking illicit romances; his enlightened abolitionism; and his famous death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July 1804.

Audience: Adult

Duel With The Devil

by Paul Collins

The true story of how Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr teamed up to take on America’s first sensational murder mystery.

Acclaimed historian Paul Collins’ remarkable true account of a stunning turn-of-the-19th century murder and the trial that ensued — a showdown in which iconic political rivals Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr joined forces to make sure justice was done.

Audience: Adult

Eliza Hamilton

by Tilar J. Mazzeo

A comprehensive and riveting biography of the extraordinary life and times of Eliza Hamilton, the wife of founding father Alexander Hamilton, and a powerful, unsung hero in America’s early days. Fans fell in love with Eliza Hamilton–Alexander Hamilton’s devoted wife–in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s phenomenal musical Hamilton. But they don’t know her full story.

Audience: Adult

Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father

by Jonathan Hennessey

This complete graphic novel-style biography presents the life and legacy of one of the most influential figures in United States history. Alexander Hamilton was on hand for the Revolutionary War, the development of the Constitution, and the establishment of the Treasury and banking as we have come to know them today.

Audience: Teen & up

Gmorning, Gnight!

by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Good morning. Do NOT get stuck in the comments section of life today. Make, do, create the things. Let others tussle it out. Vamos! Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection.

Audience: Teen & up

I, Eliza Hamilton

by Susan Holloway Scott

In this beautifully written novel of historical fiction, bestselling author Susan Holloway Scott tells the story of Alexander Hamilton’s wife, Eliza–a fascinating strong-willed heroine in her own right and a key figure in one of the most gripping periods in American history.

Audience: Adult

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Happy Chinese (Lunar) New Year! | Non-Fiction Books

Happy Chinese New Year February 12th, 2021 / The Year of the Ox

Celebrate the bovine bash with an exploration of Chinese influence and rich culture in cuisine, art, history, philosophy, poetry and music through these suggestions—

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chinese Painting

by James Cahill

The history and development of Chinese painting from the Han Dynasty, 206 b.c. through the 18th century.

1434: the year a magnificent Chinese fleet sailed to Italy and ignited the Renaissance

by Gavin Menzies

The brilliance of the Renaissance laid the foundation of the modern world. Textbooks tell us that it came about as a result of a rediscovery of the ideas and ideals of classical Greece and Rome. But now bestselling historian Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that in the year 1434, China—then the world’s most technologically advanced civilization—provided the spark that set the European Renaissance ablaze. From that date onward, Europeans embraced Chinese ideas, discoveries, and inventions, all of which form the basis of Western civilization today.

The Path: what Chinese philosophers can teach us about the good life

by Michael Puett

For the first time, an award-winning Harvard professor shares his wildly popular course on classical Chinese philosophy, showing you how ancient ideas—like the fallacy of the authentic self—can guide you on the path to a good life today.

Why is a course on ancient Chinese philosophers one of the most popular at Harvard? Because it challenges all our modern assumptions about what it takes to flourish.

The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: from early times to the thirteenth century

by Burton Watson

The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry presents translations of more than 420 poems by 96 poets drawn from the great ages of Chinese poetry. It begins with selections from the Book of Odes, the oldest anthology of Chinese poetry compiled around the seventh century B.C., and covers the succeeding generations down to the end of the Sung dynasty in A.D. 1279.

The Chinese Takeout Cookbook: quick and easy dishes to prepare at home

by Diana Kuan

America’s love affair with Chinese food dates back more than a century. Today, such dishes as General Tso’s Chicken, Sweet and Sour Pork, and Egg Rolls are as common as hamburgers and spaghetti. Probably at this moment, a drawer in your kitchen is stuffed with Chinese takeout menus, soy sauce packets, and wooden chopsticks, right? But what if you didn’t have to eat your favorites out of a container? 

Breathing Spaces (CD)

by Jiang Xiao-Qing

Download and enjoy from Freegal Music:  This beautiful Chinese GuZheng (Koto) album performed with grace and sensitivity.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Chinese (Lunar) New Year | Picture Books

The Lunar New Year falls on February 12th, and it’s the Year of the Ox!

Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the holiday was traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family together for feasting. Check out this list picture books all about Chinese (Lunar) New Year, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff! 

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chinese New Year Colors

by Rich Lo

This bilingual color concept book celebrates a rainbow of traditional objects seen during the Chinese New Year. Hóng is the color of explosive firecrackers! Jīn is the hue of lucky coins. Zŏng is the shade of sweet peanut puffs. Welcome to the festivities of the Chinese New Year, where symbolic gifts, foods, and objects come together in a celebration of beautiful colors. This vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world.

Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon

by Virginia Loh-Hagan

An illustrated retelling for young readers of the Chinese folktale about a dragon that threatens a village each spring and Mei, the young girl who is destined to defeat him.

Mulan’s Lunar New Year

by Natasha Yim

It’s the Lunar New Year, which just happens to be Mulan’s favorite festival! There is a lot to do to prepare for this important celebration, and for the first time, Mulan is old enough to help out. But everthing Mulan does seems to turn out wrong.

Maisy’s Chinese New Year

by Lucy Cousins

Spending Chinese New Year with her friend Tiger, Maisy learns about traditional symbols, shares a delicious cultural feast and exchanges lucky red hongbao envelopes before listening to a story about the holiday and staying up late to watch a fireworks display.

Ruby’s Chinese New Year

by Vickie Lee

As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts.

The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac

by Christopher Corr

Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation.

Curious George Dragon Dance

by Adah Nuchi

George, Marco, and their new friend Lily get to dance in the dragon costume during the Chinese New Year parade.

Bringing in the New Year

by Grace Lin

A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year. End notes discuss the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year.

This Next New Year

by Janet S. Wong

A family prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year and looks forward to the good luck they hope it will bring.

It’s Chinese New Year

by Richard Sebra

Presents an introduction to the Chinese New Year holiday and discusses its traditions, including family meals, remembering loved ones, decorating with the color red, and giving gifts.

How to Catch a Dragon

by Adam Wallace

A real, wily dragon winds through streets in China, eluding the traps set by a group of children during the Chinese New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year

by Hannah Eliot

Introduces lunar new year, describing the food, decorations, and activities of the holiday.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

In Honor of Black History Month: 15 Picture Books about Black Heroes and Icons for Kids!

Every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month.

Take a look at this list, compiled by our Youth Services Department, that highlights picture books on black heroes and icons!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Brave, Black, First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World

by Cheryl Willis Hudson

An illustrated biographical compilation of over fifty African American women from the 1700s through to the present day.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Aretha Franklin was born to sing. The daughter of a pastor and a gospel singer, her musical talent was clear from her earliest days in her father’s Detroit church. Aretha sang with a soaring voice that spanned more than three octaves. Her incredible talent and string of hit songs earned her the title “the Queen of Soul.” This Queen was a multi-Grammy winner and the first female inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And there was even more to Aretha than being a singer, songwriter, and pianist: she was an activist, too. Her song “Respect” was an anthem for people fighting for civil rights and women’s rights. With words that sing and art that shines, this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves. 

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

by Vashti Harrison

Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of forty trailblazing black women in American history. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

by Bethany Hegedus

A biography of African American writer, performer, and activist Maya Angelou, who turned a childhood of trauma and emotional pain to become one of the most inspiring voices of our lifetime.

Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

by Sandra Neil Wallace

Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes, a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation with this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book.

Sisters: Venus and Serena Williams

by Jeanette Winter

Before they were famous tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams were sisters with big dreams growing up in Compton, California. In the early mornings, they head to the tennis courts, clean up debris, and practice. They compete in their first tournament and they both win. From there, the girls’ trophy collection grows and grows. Despite adversity and health challenges, the sisters become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. This inspiring story of sisterhood, hard work, and determination is perfect for budding athletes or any young reader with a big dream.

Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer

by Andi Diehn

When Mary Jackson was growing up, she thought being an engineer was impossible for her. Why? After all, she was fantastic at math and science. She worked really hard to learn all she could in school. Why did this smart little girl think she couldn’t be an engineer?

Dream Big: Michael Jordan and the Pursuit of Olympic Gold

by Deloris Jordan

From the age of nine years Michael dreams of playing basketball for the United States in the Olympics, and with hard work and his mother’s encouragement, he realizes his dream.

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions

by Chris Barton

A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

Muhammad Ali: Champion of the World

by Jonah Winter

Provides a profile of this legendary and flamboyant boxer and the complicated life he led, from changing his religion and his name to dodging the draft during the Vietnam era and fighting his way to regain a stripped title.

Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice

by Nikki Grimes

Discover the incredible story of a young daughter of immigrants who would grow up to be the first woman, first Black person, and first South Asian American ever elected Vice President of the United States in this moving picture book biography of Kamala Harris.

Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope

by Nikki Grimes

Ever since Barack Obama was young, Hope has lived inside him. From the beaches of Hawaii to the streets of Chicago, from the jungles of Indonesia to the plains of Kenya, he has held on to Hope. Even as a boy, Barack knew he wasn’t quite like anybody else, but through his journeys he found the ability to listen to Hope and become what he was meant to be: a bridge to bring people together.

Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Describes Tubman’s spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her north to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman would make nineteen subsequent trips back south, never being caught, but none as profound as this first one.

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation

by Barry Wittenstein

The true story behind the writing of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

When Rosa Parks Went Fishing

by Rachel Ruiz

No discussion of the Civil Rights Movement is complete without the story of Rosa Parks. But what was this activist like as a child? Following young Rosa from a fishing creek to a one-room schoolhouse, from her wearing homemade clothes to wondering what “white” water tastes like, readers will be inspired by the experiences that shaped one of the most famous African-Americans in history.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Robert Burns: Who’s That Guy in the Garden?

  • That guy is none other than famous Scots patriot & poet, Robert Burns! (Lyricist of the traditional New Year’s ditty Auld Lang Syne.)
  • Robert Burns is recognized as a pre-Romantic poet for his sensitivity to nature, his high valuation of feeling and emotion, his spontaneity, his fierce stance for Scots freedom and against authority, his individualism, and his antiquarian interest in old songs and legends.
  • Read more about him: The Bard: Robert Burns, a Biography
  • Read a wonderful translation of his Scots vernacular works
  • Check out Alasdair Fraser on BCPL’s Freegal for some Scots fiddle tunes!

Best Gothic Fiction of 2020

Gothic novels and books have been around for more than 200 years, since the late 18th century, and a recent “gothic revival” has been taking place within the fiction genre for a couple years now. These modern gothic novels borrow heavily from traditional gothic tropes: spooky old castles, creeping wanderers and housekeepers, and even the madwoman in the attic.

Like what you hear? Below are some of the best gothic fiction reads of 2020, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff.

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

The Sun Down Motel

by Simone St. James

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.

Mexican Gothic

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.   
 
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

The Deep

by Alma Katsu

Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there’s something sinister–almost otherwordly–afoot. But before they can locate the source of the danger, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic‘s sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark’s presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past–as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.

Things in Jars

by Jess Kidd

Bridie Devine—flame-haired, pipe-smoking detective extraordinaire—is confronted with the most baffling puzzle yet: the kidnapping of Christabel Berwick, secret daughter of Sir Edmund Athelstan Berwick, and a peculiar child whose reputed supernatural powers have captured the unwanted attention of collectors in this age of discovery.

Winding her way through the sooty streets of Victorian London, Bridie won’t rest until she finds the young girl, even if it means unearthing secrets about her past that she’d rather keep buried. Luckily, her search is aided by an enchanting cast of characters, including a seven-foot-tall housemaid; a melancholic, tattoo-covered ghost; and an avuncular apothecary. But secrets abound in this foggy underworld where nothing is quite what it seems.

Catherine House

by Elisabeth Thomas

Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some of the world’s best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices, presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes with a price. Students are required to give the House three years—summers included—completely removed from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its graduates can become anything or anyone they desire.

Plain Bad Heroines

by Emily M. Danforth

Our story begins in 1902, at the Brookhants School for Girls. Flo and Clara, two impressionable students, are obsessed with each other and with a daring young writer named Mary MacLane, the author of a scandalous bestselling memoir. To show their devotion to Mary, the girls establish their own private club and call it the Plain Bad Heroine Society. They meet in secret in a nearby apple orchard, the setting of their wildest happiness and, ultimately, of their macabre deaths. This is where their bodies are later discovered with a copy of Mary’s book splayed beside them, the victims of a swarm of stinging, angry yellow jackets. Less than five years later, the Brookhants School for Girls closes its doors forever—but not before three more people mysteriously die on the property, each in a most troubling way.

The Searcher

by Tana French

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets.

The Hollow Ones

by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Odessa Hardwicke’s life is derailed when she’s forced to turn her gun on her partner, Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent who turns suddenly, inexplicably violent while apprehending a rampaging murderer. The shooting, justified by self-defense, shakes the young FBI agent to her core. Devastated, Odessa is placed on desk leave pending a full investigation. But what most troubles Odessa isn’t the tragedy itself — it’s the shadowy presence she thought she saw fleeing the deceased agent’s body after his death.

From the authors who brought you The Strain Trilogy comes a strange, terrifying, and darkly wondrous world of suspense, mystery, and literary horror. The Hollow Ones is a chilling, spell-binding tale, a hauntingly original new fable from Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and bestselling author Chuck Hogan featuring their most fascinating character yet.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Parish’s Staff Picks: Movies & TV Series

Hey hey… You know Parish from the Youth Services Department! He’s put together a list of some of his favorite movies and TV series — some for the whole family, teens, and even adults!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Little Nemo

Nemo is a young boy whose dreams transcend reality. He is sucked into his own fantasy, which is everything he has dreamed of. He journeys into the realm of Slumberland, where the King grants him a magical key that opens the door to the Nightmare World. In doing so he unleashes a century old secret that may not only destroy this perfect dream world but reality itself. Now, its up to him to banish nightmares forever.

From Parish: A movie from my childhood! Little Nemo is one of my favorite go to movies when I’m needing that blast from the past. Full of magic, colorful characters, and a flying bed! This is a must watch! All ages

Promare

Thirty years have passed since the appearance of the Burnish, a race of flame-wielding mutant beings,
who destroyed half of the world with fire. When a new group of aggressive mutants calling themselves
Mad Burnish appears, the epic battle between Galo Thymos, a new member of the anti-Burnish rescue
team Burning Rescue, and Lio Fotia, the leader of Mad Burnish begins.

From Parish: One of my all time favorite newly released movies! I highly recommend everyone to watch this movie! I’m a big fan of anime. One of the reasons why I love it is because the art style is beautiful; I love seeing how amazing the animation is. Promare delivers on the beauty and great storytelling! Teen

Spirited Away

When a young girl gets trapped in a strange new world of spirits, she must call upon the courage she
never knew she had to free herself and rescue her parents.

From Parish: YES! You can’t have a favorite movie list without adding a Studio Ghibli movie! Spirited Away is my favorite Studio Ghibli film and yes, it’s a must-watch movie! Everything about this movie is good; the story, the visuals and the music! I watch this movie at least once every month. Teen

Ok K.O.! Lets Be Heroes TKO

In the video game inspired world, K.O. works at Gar’s Bodega in Lakewood Plaza, a one-stop shop for all your hero needs. Whether he is mopping the floor with Lord Boxman’s evil robots or literally mopping the floor, K.O. tackles everything with his cheery, endless enthusiasm. Every person is a hero to look up to, every challenge is a chance to grow stronger and every success or failure is just another stepping-stone to becoming the ultimate hero.

From Parish: A show that used to air on Cartoon Network! This is a super family friendly show that has tons of funny jokes and puns. New and old gamers will enjoy! It’s one of my favorite series that I wished still aired! All ages

Avatar: The Last Airbender

After a lapse of 100 years, the Avatar-spiritual master of the elements -has returned. And just in the nick of time. The Four nations (Water, Earth, Fire and Air) have become unbalanced. The Fire Nation wants to rule the world, and its first conquest will be the Northern Water Tribe. It’s up to a 12-year-old Airbender named Aang to find a way to stop it. Join Aang, Katara, Sokka, Momo, and Appa as they head north on the adventure of a lifetime. The Chosen One who can restore the world order. This adventure, set in a fantastical Asian-influenced world, follows the story of Aang, the Chosen One, who must forgo his selfish wandering to learn to master his latent powers over the four elements.

From Parish: You may have already seen this show! But if not, it’s one you MUST watch! Trust me it speaks for itself why I like it! Teen

Kidnap

A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mom Karla Dyson when her son suddenly disappears. Without a cell phone and knowing she has no time to wait for police help, Karla jumps in her own car and sets off in pursuit of the kidnappers. Karla will stop at nothing to recover her kidnapped son.

From Parish: Who doesn’t love a good thriller with Halle Berry in it! This movie will not only get your heart racing, it’ll also leave you speechless with what this mother will do to get her son back!

Rated R

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Meet charming and jobless Scott Pilgrim. A bass guitarist for garage band Sex Bob-omb, the 22-year-
old has just met the girl of his dreams, literally. The only catch to winning Ramona Flowers? Her seven evil exes are coming to kill him. As Scott gets closer to Ramona, he must face an increasingly vicious rogues’ gallery from her past, from infamous skateboarders to vegan rock stars and fearsome identical twins. If he hopes to win his true love, he must vanquish them all.

From Parish: If you love the graphic novel, you’ll love this movie! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie! Michael Cera is one of my favorite actors and the gaming puns and effects are the best!

Rated PG-13

Ghost Whisperer

Ever since she was a young girl, Melinda Gordon has been able to see and talk to dead people. Earth-bound
spirits who have yet to cross over to the other side seek her help in communicating and resolving unfinished business with the living.

From Parish: YES! I’m serious this is one of my favorite shows! It’s so good! You wouldn’t think it would hook you, but it does!

Teen/Adult

Infinity Train

Join Tulip on a mind-bending journey aboard the mysterious Infinity Train, alongside her companions Atticus, the canine king of Corginia, and One-One, a robot with dueling personalities. With puzzles and perils awaiting them in every car, and the relentless Steward on their trail, will Tulip ever find a way off the train and return home?

From Parish: In my opinion one of Cartoon Networks best shows next to “ Ok. K.O”. Infinity Train is a unique Sci-fi cartoon that will leave you on the edge of your seat!

Teen

Over the Garden Wall

From creator Patrick McHale, one of the minds behind Adventure Time. Cartoon Network’s first every animated mini-series. It follows the story of two brothers, Greg and Wirt, who find themselves in a strange forest. Along the way, they meet a bluebird named Beatrice who helps them navigate the strange land in the hopes of making their way home.

From Parish: I LOVE THIS SHOW! It’s a great binge worthy show that you can finish in a couple of hours! I love watching this in October, for its spooky theme.

Teen

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

What’s New in Horror?

Do you love horror? Spooky, scary, unsettling page-turners that you just can’t put down? Below are a handful of our picks for new horror reads, hand-picked by our Adult Services Department staff. All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Malorie

by Josh Malerman

In the thrilling sequel to Bird Box, the inspiration for the record-breaking Netflix film that starred Sandra Bullock and “absolutely riveted” Stephen King, New York Times bestselling author Josh Malerman brings unseen horrors to life. The film adaptation of Malerman’s first novel, Bird Box, was watched by over forty-five million Netflix accounts in the first week, the best first seven days ever for a film on the platform. Countless more came to know the story through social media. The image of Sandra Bullock’s character, Malorie, blindfolded–as she’s led through a terrifying near-future apocalypse by the trained ears of her children–has become synonymous with a new generation of horror. Now from the mind of a true master of suspense comes the next chapter in the riveting tale. This time, Malorie is front and center, and she will confront the dangers of her world head-on. Twelve years after Malorie and her children rowed up the river to safety, a blindfold is still the only thing that stands between sanity and madness. There remains no explanation, no solution. But for the first time Malorie has allowed herself to hope: someone very dear to her, someone she believed dead, may be alive. Now she must choose: to live by the rules of survival that have served her so well, or to venture into the darkness and reach for home once more.

Survivor Song

by Paul Tremblay

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government’s emergency protocols are faltering. Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie’s husband has been killed–viciously attacked by an infected neighbor–and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie’s only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child. Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares–terrifying, strange, and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink.

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

by Max Brooks

As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined, until now. But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing and too earth-shattering in its implications, to be forgotten. Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us, and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

The Only Good Indians

by Stephen Graham Jones

Peter Straub’s Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.

Wonderland

by Zoje Stage

One mother’s love may be all that stands between her family, an enigmatic presence–and madness. After years of city life, Orla and Shaw Bennett are ready for the quiet of New York’s Adirondack mountains–or at least, they think they are. Settling into the perfect farmhouse with their two children, they are both charmed and unsettled by the expanse of their land, the privacy of their individual bedrooms, and the isolation of life a mile from any neighbor. But none of the Bennetts could expect what lies waiting in the woods, where secrets run dark and deep. When something begins to call to the family-from under the earth, beneath the trees, and within their minds-Orla realizes she might be the only one who can save them . . . if she can find out what this force wants before it’s too late.

The Deep

by Alma Katsu

From the acclaimed and award-winning author of The Hunger comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world’s most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of its sister ship, the Britannic. Brilliantly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.

The Chill

by Scott Carson

Far upstate, in New York’s ancient forests, a drowned village lays beneath the dark, still waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir. Early in the 20th century, the town was destroyed for the greater good: bringing water to the millions living downstate. Or at least that’s what the politicians from Manhattan insisted at the time. The local families, settled there since America’s founding, were forced from their land, but they didn’t move far, and some didn’t move at all… Now, a century later, the repercussions of human arrogance are finally making themselves known. An inspector assigned to oversee the dam, dangerously neglected for decades, witnesses something inexplicable. It turns out that more than the village was left behind in the waters of the Chill when it was abandoned. The townspeople didn’t evacuate without a fight. A dark prophecy remained, too, and the time has come for it to be fulfilled. Those who remember must ask themselves: who will be next? For sacrifices must be made. And as the dark waters begin to inexorably rise, the demand for a fresh sacrifice emerges from the deep…

The Hollow Ones

by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Odessa Hardwicke’s life is derailed when she’s forced to turn her gun on her partner, Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent who turns suddenly, inexplicably violent while apprehending a rampaging murderer. The shooting, justified by self-defense, shakes the young FBI agent to her core. Devastated, Odessa is placed on desk leave pending a full investigation. But what most troubles Odessa isn’t the tragedy itself — it’s the shadowy presence she thought she saw fleeing the deceased agent’s body after his death.

From the authors who brought you The Strain Trilogy comes a strange, terrifying, and darkly wondrous world of suspense, mystery, and literary horror. The Hollow Ones is a chilling, spell-binding tale, a hauntingly original new fable from Academy Award-winning director Guillermo del Toro and bestselling author Chuck Hogan featuring their most fascinating character yet.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Read It, Then Watch It! | YA Edition | Part 2

Did you know that these YA reads are based on books? We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite YA books with movie adaptations. Then the ultimate question… Which was better: the book or the movie?

All of the books and movies featured here we have in our collection! To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or the “Find it!” button under each book or movie.

Book: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Movie: "The Fault in Our Stars"

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Book: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Movie: "Before I Fall"

After she dies in a car crash, teenage Samantha relives the day of her death over and over again until, on the seventh day, she finally discovers a way to save herself.

Book: Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Movie: "Flipped"

Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.

Book: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Movie: "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"

During their first summer apart, four teenage girls, best friends since earliest childhood, stay in touch through a shared pair of secondhand jeans that magically adapts to each of their figures and affects their attitudes to their different summer experiences.

Book: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Movie: "The Outsiders"

Ponyboy Curtis struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

Book: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Movie: "The DUFF"

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

Book: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Movie: "Beautiful Creatures"

In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.

2020 Hugo Awards: Best Novel Winner and Nominees

The Hugo Awards, first presented in 1953 and presented annually since 1955, are science fiction’s most prestigious award. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of the World Science Fiction Convention (“Worldcon”), which is also responsible for administering them. Visit thehugoawards.org to read more.

Before the 2021 Hugo Awards are announced this spring, let’s revisit the 2020 Hugo Award winners and nominees below!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

A Memory Called Empire (WINNER)

by Arkady Martine

During a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court, Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident–or that Mahit might be next to die. Now Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion–all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret–one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life–or rescue it from annihilation.

Middlegame

by Seanan McGuire

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story. Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math. Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Gideon the Ninth

by Tamsyn Muir

The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead nonsense. Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service. Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

The Light Brigade

by Kameron Hurley

‘The war has turned us into light. Transforming us into light is the fastest way to travel from one front to another, and there are many fronts, now. I always wanted to be a hero. I always wanted to be on the side of light. It’s funny how things work out.’ Soldiers in the war against Mars, The Light Brigade, live brief lives, but the veterans are starting to be affected by changes in their bodies and minds, slipping in and out of time, or are they simply going mad? From Hugo award-winning author of The Stars Are Legion is a novel about interplanetary warriors who are losing their humanity.

The City in the Middle of the Night

by Charlie Jane Anders

Sophie serves coffee at an underground cafe. She stays in the shadows and listens to the troubles of the parlor guests, but does not draw attention to herself for one simple reason: Sophie is supposed to be dead. When a nationalistic revolution forces Sophie from her safe haven, she must make a dangerous journey to a new city, one that revels in hedonism and chaos. After joining up with a band of smugglers, she finds herself on a long and treacherous path that will lead her far closer to the truth of her entire world—and to the dangers that lurk even in the light of day.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

by Alix E. Harrow

In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut. In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place. Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own. Lush and richly imagined, a tale of impossible journeys, unforgettable love, and the enduring power of stories awaits in Alix E. Harrow’s spellbinding debut–step inside and discover its magic.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!