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!

Minds Behind the Magic: Favorite Children’s Authors in Audio and Film

Chances are, you’ve been spending a good bit more time with the kids recently. Are you struggling just to remember how it feels to be a child, let alone figuring out how it feels to be one in the middle of a global crisis? If so, you might turn to some old friends for inspiration–writers who, Peter Pan-like, never seemed to lose their passports to the realm of childhood, and who have made the lives of their readers all the richer for their magic.

If you’d like to get to know these remarkable personalities better, why not have a listen to the biographies curated in a brand-new hoopla audiobook collection: 2020 APL Minds Behind the Magic Audio? Here, you’ll find portraits of imaginations born out of the crisis of World War I in books like A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and the Great War by Joseph Loconte or Tolkien and the Great War: The Threshold of Middle Earth by John Garth. (To enjoy a glimpse of Tolkien’s own parenting approach, you might also take a look at his playful Letters from Father Christmas, a richly-illustrated ebook available on hoopla.)

In a similar vein, Louisa May Alcott’s life and writing were undoubtedly shaped by crisis: childhood privation and the Civil War loom large in her biographies. For a well-rounded study, try Susan Cheever’s Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography; to observe the strong mother-daughter bond that shaped Alcott, listen to Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eva LaPlant. 

In the memoirs of Christopher Robin Milne, we have a different sort of perspective: the complicated influence of famous children’s author A. A. Milne and his works on his own son. While the two-part autobiography (The Enchanted Places and The Path through the Trees) is not all sunshine, it offers some fascinating windows onto Winnie-the-Pooh’s world and its creator. Even more compelling is The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: A Walk Through the Forest That Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood, a biography-cum-ramble through rural England.

For further insight into the minds behind the magical worlds of classic children’s literature, have a look at a companion film collection in hoopla, available here.