A Gift for You: Extra hoopla Borrows for December!

This is a season for giving, and we at the Abbot Public Library have been thinking about how we can express our appreciation to our patrons. You are what makes the library so vital to our community! This year, our gift is a virtual one, and we hope you will love it—go ahead, open it!

Here it is: with the shorter days and longer nights of December upon us, we’re thinking that you just might like a couple more audiobooks, movies, or music albums to brighten the darkness. So we are giving you two extra hoopla borrows during this month! Now you have seven borrows to take you right through the holiday season.

There’s just so much to explore in hoopla’s curated holiday collections. For audiobooks alone, there are three appealing categories: Holiday Mysteries, Holiday Romance, and Christmas for Kids.

Movies? Oh, yes. We’ve got you covered! For an eclectic sampling of what’s on offer, have a look at the 63 titles in Best of Holiday and 34 New Holiday Movies (not previously available on hoopla). Snuggle down with the younger members of your family and browse through the 146 age-appropriate films represented in Christmas for Kids and Hanukkah for Kids.

For a little extra helping of love with your cocoa and cookies, try the Holiday Romance and It’s a Wonderful Lifetime collections. Or just wrap up the cinematic year with the retrospective 100 Most-Borrowed Movies of 2020 and Leaving hoopla in December categories.

Want some fresh music selections to liven up your decorating, baking, and gift-wrapping efforts? You’ll not be disappointed! There are no fewer than 2597 albums available in five categories, some of them brand-new in 2020: Holiday, Holiday Classics, Holiday Jazz, Holiday Movie Soundtracks, and Spiritual Holiday. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

So go ahead and splurge a little on some cheering entertainment, all for free! Hope you like your gift from us!

If you’re new to hoopla, you can get started here. And if you don’t yet have a Marblehead library card, you can register for one here.

Celebrate Hobbit Day and Tolkien Week!

Hobbit Day started in 1978 and was chosen to be September 22nd, the date referenced in The Hobbit and The Lord of the RIngs as being the birthdate of both the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Tolkien Week – a celebration of both J. R. R. Tolkien and his son and editor, Christopher J. R. Tolkien – takes place through the whole calendar week of Hobbit Day, which this year would fall from Sunday, September 20th through Saturday, September 26th.

In honor of this Middle Earthian Celebration, we invite you to check out Tolkein’s books (in physical or digital formats) as well as the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies (which currently have no check out fee)! You’ll also find some other hobbit and LOTR-related items which can teach you more about Middle Earth and the brave creatures therein.

Tolkien’s Tales of Middle Earth 

The Hobbit (print copies and annotated version, book on CD, Overdrive ebooks and e-audiobooks, and hoopla ebook and e-audiobook)

The Fellowship of the Ring (print copies, Overdrive ebooks and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook)

The Two Towers (print copies, book on CD, Overdrive ebook and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook)

The Return of the King (print copies, book on CD, Overdrive ebook and e-audiobook, and hoopla e-audiobook)

Bilbo’s Last Song (print and ebook)

The Silmarillion (print and ebook)

The Fall of Gondolin

Narn i chîn Húrin : the Tale of the Children of Húrin  

The Book of Lost Tales: Part One (print and ebook)

The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two (print and ebook)

Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-Earth (print and ebook)

The Lost Road and Other Writings: Language and Legend Before ‘The Lord of the Rings’

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Movies and Music

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Check out the music from or inspired by The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings on hoopla!

Other Books By Tolkein

Beowulf (print and ebook

The Fall of Arthur (print, Overdrive ebook, and hoopla ebook)

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (print and ebook)

Letters from Father Christmas

Tales From The Perilous Realm 

The Lay Of Aotrou & Itroun 

The Story of Kullervo 

A Rare Recording Of J.R.R. Tolkien

Check out all the books by J. R. R. Tolkien in the library catalog, Overdrive, and hoopla. Hoopla also has a multitude of Tolkien biographies and materials about hobbits, which include trivia books, reader’s companions, literary criticisms, and more!

Face the Music: September is Classical Music Month on hoopla!

We’re past Labor Day Weekend now, and autumn is in the air. For some of us, the transition may bring back memories of previous Boston Symphony Orchestra seasons, which typically begin in September. But while the concert hall may be dark this fall, the music hasn’t stopped. Not only is there much to sample on the BSO at Home website, but one of hoopla’s latest collections will be music to your ears!

With its Classical Music Month collection, hoopla offers everything from themed compilations to acclaimed artists’ recordings to child-friendly albums. You’ll find the top 100 or top 40 cello classics, songs from musicals, and “most relaxing” pieces. If your chief goal is stress relief, then Classical Music for Relaxation (featuring Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin) might fit the bill. You can thrill to the best of the best with recordings from the likes of superstar pianist Lang Lang, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and violinist Hilary Hahn. If you or your little one is having trouble drifting off to dreamland, press play for Beethoven at Bedtime: A Gentle Prelude to Sleep. Or perhaps you’d like to share some creative downtime with the kids. If so, the rather unique album Color Me Classical: Calming Classics for Coloring can help you get into the flow!

For opera buffs, there are a few fabulous albums to take you to another world for a while. Bask in Diana Damrau’s rich coloratura soprano performances, Andrea Bocelli’s Passione, and the late, great Luciano Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits. And if you’d like a helping of pop with your classical, consider a couple of crossover titles: Classical Beatles with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, which features many of the greats (“Michelle,” “Hey Jude,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” to name a few), and Sarah Brightman’s A Winter Symphony

By the way, once you’ve found an artist that you love, you can always click on the hyperlinked name and get a collection of his/her available albums. And don’t forget that hoopla offers at least 23,860 classical titles, so you should never be at a loss for inspiring listening!

If you’re new to hoopla, please do have a look at our FAQs section to get started. Need a Marblehead library card? You can go here to get one!

Love is in the Air in These Rom Coms!

Here are some romantic comedies that read like a box of chocolates…

Contemporary

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

Author of Confessions of a Shopaholic, Sophie Kinsella is the queen of funny and creator of endearing characters. In I Owe You One, meet the loveable Fixie Farr, who runs a housewares store with her family. After rescuing a stranger’s laptop in a coffee shop from a ceiling collapse, the grateful Sebastian gives Fixie an IOU slip with his business card. When Fixie’s old flame, Ryan, returns, she finds she might need to use that IOU after all. 

Accessible on Overdrive/Libby as an ebook and audiobook.

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Wedding planner Lina Santos was jilted at the altar, and the ex-groom had sent his brother, Max, to deliver the bad news. Years later, Lina finds the job of her dreams, but it will be working alongside Max, the man who had been the messenger of her heartbreak.

Accessible on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla

Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Accessible as an ebook and an audiobook.

Classic

Emma by Jane Austen

Classic, timeless Jane Austen’s fourth published novel is one of her funniest. Emma Woodhouse is an incurable romantic and matchmaker, though happily single herself. As her efforts go awry for her friend Harriet Smith, she suddenly finds herself falling for a long-time friend and neighbor, Mr. Knightley. 

Accessible as an ebook and audiobook

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

The classic chick lit by brilliant author Helen Fielding has everything, even delightful references to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Beginning with Bridget’s assiduously writing down her New Year’s resolutions that she notates in her diary, including not having a crush on her boss,  Daniel Cleaver, and finding a nice, steady boyfriend. The year doesn’t set off the way she planned at all, though.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

This is number one in the series. Nick Young and girlfriend, Rachel Chu, travel to Singapore to attend the wedding of Nick’s friend, Colin, and to visit Nick’s home and family. Rachel visits her friend, Peik Lin, and starts to learn just who her boyfriend and his family really are, and she worries she might not fit in. 

Accessible as an ebook and an audiobook.

Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

Candace Bushnell started writing for The New York Observer in 1993 and created her own column called “Sex and the City” based on her and her friends’ experience living in New York. These columns were published in an anthology in 1997 and went on to become a popular television series. The book follows the escapades of Carrie Bradshaw, a young writer, and her friends and businessman, Mr. Big, who is a love interest, maybe.

Available on hoopla as an ebook and an audiobook.

Check out more great Rom Com books by visiting NoveList with your library card and under “Recommended Reading Lists” clicking on “Romance” and then “Romantic Comedies,” or browse ebooks directly on Overdrive/Libby and ebooks as well as movies on hoopla.

Bonus Borrows for Teens and Adults!

Tired of watching or listening to children’s Bonus Borrows on hoopla? There are many Bonus Borrows titles for teens and adults as well! Maybe you want to relive some classics from your childhood. Go down the rabbit hole with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, fly to Neverland in J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, follow the yellow brick road to L. Frank Baum’s Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, or join a wonderful horse on his journey through life in Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty.

For more mature classics, listen to the audiobook version of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Enjoy the sounds of Shakespeare in some of his plays, including Hamlet, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and more. Solve mysteries with Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet or with Hercule Poirot in one of Agatha Christie’s classics, such as her short story, The Veiled Lady.

Teens may be interested in the Comics collection of Bonus Borrows. For those who enjoyed Netflix’s Stranger Things or The Witcher series, check out Stranger Things: Zombie Boys by Grag Pak or The Witcher Vol. 2: Fox Children by Paul Tobin. If you want to “live and let die,” check out this James Bond graphic novel. For those feeling Moonstruck, check out this 1st volume about a werewolf and her new girlfriend.

For adult fiction Bonus Borrows, Charlaine Harris has A Bone to Pick about the unexpected death of an elderly member of the recently disbanded Real Murders club. Find out what happens when Florence Green opens up a bookshop in Penelope Fitzgerald’s novel, The Bookshop. Look on the bright side of life, and death, in Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins by Katarina Bivald.

Browse through hundreds more titles in hoopla’s full Bonus Borrows collection before May 31!

Bedtime Stories for “Adulting” Fatigue

In times like these, “adulting” is more a necessity than an option. And if you’re feeling somewhat world-weary in consequence, you might take inspiration from one of Boston’s WCRB Classical Radio presenters, who has begun the charming Aurora Bedtime Story Project on Facebook Live and YouTube. Night after quarantined night, you can tune in at 9:30 pm (EST, Sundays-Fridays) to listen yourself into a not-so-grown-up state of wonder and relaxation. On the storytime menu? Alice in Wonderland, Winnie-the-Pooh, The Cricket in Times Square, several Beatrix Potter gems, some Grimm fairy tales, and The Wind in the Willows.

So, in the midst of  this very “adult” crisis, there is still that one, great childhood pleasure available to us: the inestimable comfort of being read to. If you don’t have the freedom in your schedule to tune into live performances, APL’s digital library is here for you 24/7! Our newly-curated hoopla audiobook collection–2020 APL Bedtime Stories for “Adulting” Fatigue–showcases some of the titles mentioned above, along with a number of other classic favorites.

So, if you’ve been meaning to read The Chronicles of Narnia–or at least The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe–since your fifth-grade classmate raved about it decades ago, now is your chance! Or escape into the wondrous world created by C. S. Lewis’s good friend J. R. R. Tolkien in The Hobbit. Or perhaps step into an enchanted Yorkshire realm as you unlock the gate to The Secret Garden. Even if you have read these or the other suggested titles before, it may well be therapeutic to tune in to a tucked-in, ready-for-a-bedtime-story feeling. Happy listening, and sweet dreams!