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.

Post-Turkey Viewing: Holiday Movies on hoopla – And Don’t Forget Your Bonus Borrows!

With Thanksgiving Day nearly upon us, we here at the Abbot Public Library are beginning to think about our post-prandial plans. Wash the dishes—tick. Take a long walk—tick. Eat pie—tick, tick. And after that? Get cozy with some films that’ll help get us in the mood for the rest of the holiday season—big tick. If you’d like to join us, read on!

Thankfully, hoopla has anticipated our cravings and has curated a collection of 62 “Best of Holiday” titles. There’s a smorgasbord to choose from. Of course, there are the romances: some from Lifetime, and at least one from Harlequin (A Very Country Christmas). Kids’ options abound, with everything from Caillou’s Holiday Movie to the family-friendly, dog-centered Alone for Christmas—which is also a Bonus Borrow title through the end of this month! You can also catch some of the BBC series Christmas specials you may have missed: Call the Midwife: Christmas Special 2018, The Great British Baking Show: Christmas Masterclass, and Murdoch Mysteries: Home for the Holidays.

Indulge in some classics like the 1955 Miracle on 34th Street and The Snowman, or watch the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Henry Winkler in One Christmas, which is based on an autobiographical short story by Truman Capote.

And if, after the tribulations of 2020, you just need a holiday-themed laugh, we have you covered. For ex-con shenanigans, try All Is Bright, starring Paul Rudd, Paul Giamatti, and Sally Hawkins. Or join a New Zealand family as they attempt to return Santa to the North Pole in Kiwi Christmas.

If you’re running low on borrows this month, don’t forget that you can watch, read, or listen to anything in hoopla’s special Bonus Borrows collection through the end of November—without using any of your monthly allotment!

If you’re new to hoopla, you can visit our FAQs page to get started. If you do not have a library card, go here.

Happy holiday watching to you and yours!

Something to Be Thankful For: November Is Bonus Borrows Month on hoopla!

Believe it or not, there have been some good things about 2020. In the spring and summer of this year, hoopla introduced a hugely popular Bonus Borrows initiative, meaning that patrons could borrow from a generous group of titles in various formats without using any of their monthly borrowing allowance. Guess what? The Bonus Borrows are back!

Just in time for the longer autumnal evenings ahead, you’re being treated to over a thousand new titles to choose from in five formats: audiobook, ebook, movie, television, and comic book. In the “Bonus Borrows – Nov 2020 – All Audiobooks” category, you’ll find a number of classics in both adult and children’s fiction. What better time than now to catch up on that book you’ve meant to read since high school, or to introduce your kids to beloved favorites? Sign on for the literary adventure that is Moby Dick or get a taste of thwarted love in Edwardian America with The Age of Innocence. For the little ones, Beatrix Potter is well-represented, with classic titles like The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and The Tailor of Gloucester on offer.

If you’d prefer to read rather than listen, then you’ve also got an ample curated collection of ebooks to choose from: “Bonus Borrows – Nov 2020 – All eBooks.” Here, you can browse some cozy seasonal offerings from the likes of Charles Dickens and Louisa May Alcott or go on an adventure with Jules Verne in Around the World in 80 Days—and of course, there are 257 titles to try, modern books included.

With the 358 films included in “Bonus Borrows – Nov 2020 – All Movies,” there’s something to please every viewer, as holiday movies, documentaries, and features are all well-represented. There’s so much on offer that you’ll just have to take a look yourself! The TV Bonus Borrows selections have an educational focus, which may be particularly welcome right now.

And if all of that isn’t enough, hoopla has truly outdone itself in the comics category, offering two different collections, one with standalone titles and first volumes, and another with “Series You’ll Love”. Truly a feast for the eye!

So, in this season that celebrates abundance, make sure that you take advantage of all the goodness on offer through November 30! If you are new to hoopla, please visit our FAQs page to learn how to set up your account. And if you don’t yet have a Marblehead library card, you can start your adventure here!

Cool Off With Christmas in July!

Winter is often a time of joy, when people come together to sing carols and spend time with family and friends. Often throughout the year, we forget what is important. The spirit of giving and the season to spend time with those you love can be celebrated all year long. So, to instill these feelings we experience during the popular winter holiday, here are some ebooks, audiobooks, music, and movies about the Christmas season! 

Ebeneezer Scrooge is the quintessential Christmas grumbler in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (also available on hoopla), a story that has inspired countless retellings as books (see these ebooks on hoopla), movies (seven of which are available on hoopla), and even holiday plays such as the one shown at North Shore Music Theater. The unforgettable ghostly quartet that visits the greedy guy, led by the spirit of Scrooge’s deceased partner, Jacob Marley, are enough to change a man’s entire outlook and remind him of what is important in life, especially at Christmastime.

John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas is a popular modern classic which inspired the movie Christmas with the Kranks (available to watch on hoopla with no wait!), starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee-Curtis. If ever there were characters who forgot what the holiday season was about, it’s the Kranks. They decide to skip Christmas and set sail on a caribbean cruise. But will they go through with their holiday plans, or will something remind them of why this time of year is so special despite all the holiday hassle?

Mystery fans will love to cuddle up with some Christmas cozies on Overdrive and hoopla. Get ready for A Little Yuletide Murder with Jessica Fletcher in book 11 of the Murder, She Wrote Series. Who killed Santa Claus? All Jessica Fletcher wants to do is enjoy a nice holiday in Cabot Cove, but someone killed the guy who plays the small town Santa Claus every year, and Jessica wants to wrap up the case by Christmas. 

Baker and amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen is on the case in Joanne Fluke’s dessert-filled delectables, which can be checked out on Overdrive or hoopla. Included in the holiday-themed titles are a spectacular Christmas ball, a deceased Mrs. Claus, and recipes for delicious desserts!

If you’re more into movies than books, stream one of the many holiday movies available on hoopla! Not only will you find the aforementioned Christmas with the Kranks and various versions of A Christmas Carol, but you’ll find family friendly movies like Small Town Santa, in which the sheriff arrests a home intruder who claims to be Santa Claus; or Christmas with the Andersons, to show how you can enjoy the holiday even if you lose your job. For more mature movies, Christmas Kiss or Back to Christmas might be the romantic movie you want to see.

All these titles are just the tip of the iceberg! Check out even more on Overdrive/the Libby app or on hoopla!

Get Your Grills Ready For Independence Day!

Celebrating the 4th of July may be different this year. Fireworks have been postponed or canceled, and with social distancing, big family cookouts are limited to the people in your household. This is a good time to form a new kind of celebration! Let’s Go To a Cookout! will get kids excited about the experience. The following ebooks include tips and tricks to having the perfect cookout. Stay tuned tomorrow morning for decorations you can make and music you can enjoy to complete your patriotic celebration!

THE MEAT OF THINGS

Franklin Barbeque: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto will teach you how to cook meat (brisket, anyone?), spilling secrets from the popular pitmaster Aaron Franklin, renowned for his barbeque trailer in Austen, Texas. Learn how to build and customize your own smoker, find and cure the right wood, create and tend the perfect fire, choose the right meat, and more! To get a taste of his barbeque techniques, watch this video of the pitmaster cooking a brisket.

For more Texas recipes, check out the Legends of Texas Barbeque Cookbook, and The Brisket Chronicles will teach you more about making brisket. Where’s the beef, you may ask. Find recipes for the #1 cookout dish, the burger, in several of the ebooks available to check out on hoopla, including The Great American Burger, Wicked Good Burgers, Weber’s Big Book of Burgers, Pornburger, and more! The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet even gives you a vegetarian alternative.

America’s Best Ribs might not be so bad, either. Any book about barbequing may be sufficient to satiate your desire. Try some more of the titles you’ll find in hoopla’s Barbecue & Grilling collection, including BBQ USA, Sizzling Grilling, and America’s Best BBQ – Homestyle. Perhaps your taste turns towards different kinds of meat. Fish Grilled & Smoked or even Beer-Can Chicken may be more your style.

VEGETARIAN, VEGAN, AND DIETARY OPTIONS

Don’t eat meat? The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet isn’t the only vegetarian option. Check out VBQ-The Ultimate Vegan Barbecue Cookbook! Instead of beef or brisket, put an eggplant hot dog or cauliflower cutlet on the grill! Nadine Horn and Jörg Mayer share tips for having a fabulous plant-based barbecue, from how and when (and where) to light the fire, how to control the heat, how to use different cooking methods, and even how to clean your barbeque after. Also included are more than 80 recipes, with photos to show how appetizing a meatless meal can be.

Vegetables on Fire contains recipes for Cauliflower “steaks,” broccoli burgers, brisket-like beets, and other meat alternatives, and Vegetarian Grilling has not only recipes for veggie burgers, skewers, and rolls, but cheesy options, as well as desserts to satisfy any sweet tooth. Get back to basics with Paleo Grilling, a guide for the modern caveman to grilling unprocessed food over a natural fire. It even includes desserts a caveman would love!

Find more vegetarian barbeque ebooks in hoopla’s Barbeque and Grilling collection.

GETTING YOUR JUST DESSERTS!

After all the hard work of barbequing your meal, you probably feel you’ve earned your dessert. We’ve got you covered!

Find different takes on the popular cookout classic in S’mores. Keeping the three-layer design with the crunchy outer layer and the gooey and melty inside ingredients, Dan Whalen creates such masterpiece variations as Salted Caramel S’mores, Lemon Meringue S’mores, Kettle Corn S’mores, and even an Elvis-inspired creation with bacon, banana, and peanut butter! For even s’more ideas about how to enjoy this popular treat, check out So Much S’more To Do by Becky Rasmussen and Erik Ahlman. Featuring 55 alternative recipes to the well-loved graham cracker-chocolate-marshmallow creations, you’ll find such creative twists as Brownie, Peanut Butter & Banana, and Tiramisu S’mores!

Show off your patriotism with the All-American classic: apple pie! An Apple a Day has recipes for all year ‘round. Included are savory recipes as well as the much-desired desserts. Learn how to make Frozen Apple Daiquiris, pies, sauces, tarts, and more! For recipes from all across the United States, here is America’s Most Delicious Dessert Recipes State by State, with different takes on cakes, pies, tarts, cookies, bars, sorbet, ice cream and more!

If you only want to look at pies, take a gander at such titles as America’s Best Pies, First Prize Pies, and The Magic of Mini Pies. Filled with recipes for simpler pies using apple, custard, strawberry, raisin, blackberry, and more, as well as more inventive pies such as Root Beer Float, Banana Dulce de Leche, and Lavender Cream Toffee pies – your taste buds will be swimming with sweet flavors!

If it’s too hot for s’mores or pies, cool off with some frozen treats! Try your hand at popsicle making with For the Love of Popsicles, 20 Best Frozen Pop Recipes, Ice Pops, and Perfect Pops. For those who prefer ice cream, try any of these titles: 

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home

The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Ice Cream

Ice Cream Treats

The Artisan Kitchen: Perfect Homemade Ice Cream

Sweet Scoops

I Scream Sandwich!

and more! 

For more frozen desserts you can attempt to concoct, check out The Art of Making Gelato, How to Make Frozen Yogurt, and, for dairy-less cold treats, Making Vegan Frozen Treats. Browse through even more dessert titles on hoopla!