Tag Archives: audiobooks

The Mile Square City Readers Book Club Half-Year Review, Part 2

1 Apr

The Mile Square City Readers Book Club has officially been around for one year! We celebrated this momentous occasion with book discussion (of course!) and cupcakes.

Here is roundup of the books we’ve read in the past six months. Click here to read about what we read in the club’s first six months. If you would like to keep up with the Mile Square City Readers Book Club, send an email to reference AT hoboken DOT bccls DOT org to join our mailing list.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay


For Halloween, we chose a spooky book, and A Head Full of Ghosts did not disappoint! When the Barrett family’s oldest daughter Marjorie show symptoms of schizophrenia (or demonic possession) it dramatically affects the family, who become reluctant reality TV stars by selling their trauma to ease financial burdens. In addition to scares, this book brought ripe discussion about whether Marjorie was truly mentally ill or faking it, or if she was actually possessed by an evil entity. You can borrow this title through eLibraryNJ as an eBook, or as an audiobook from eBCCLS.

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida


The group agreed that what the narrator of The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty, the November book, experiences is the ultimate traveler’s nightmare: losing their passport while abroad. After the narrator (whose name we never learn) reports her missing passport, the police in Casablanca give her one that belongs to someone else, whose identity she takes on. As the book unfolds, we learn why the narrator is quick to take on a new persona. This book is also available as an eBook in eLibraryNJ and eBCCLS and as an audiobook in Hoopla Digital.

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton


For December we chose to read the newest book by the creator of the popular Humans of New York blog. Humans of New York: Stories includes the trademark pictures of average folks in NYC that are published daily on the blog and social media, with the addition of stories from the photo subjects. Brandon Stanton realized the interviews were as important as the pictures and included more in this volume. In the discussion, we talked about the stories in the book that moved us the most. You can borrow this book as an eBook in eLibraryNJ and eBCCLS.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau


Several book club members suggested Walden, which chronicled Henry David Thoreau’s choice to live self sufficiently near Walden Pond, as a way to start 2016 on an insightful note and decompress from the madness of the holidays. Thoreau built his home, planted crops to grow his own food, spent time outside of “society”, and learned about his natural surroundings. Listening to an audiobook adaptation makes the section where Thoreau discussed various animal noises extra entertaining. Walden can be borrowed as an eBook and audiobook from eLibraryNJ and Hoopla Digital.

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by Z.Z. Packer


In February the group read Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, a collection of short stories by Z.Z. Packer. It was consensus that the stories were beautifully written. The stories had connecting themes that tied them all together, and the characters were interesting to follow. The title story “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” was the favorite. This book is also available as an audiobook through Hoopla Digital and as an eBook through the 3M Cloud Library.

Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry


The group found Opening Belle, a fictionalized account of a female managing director of a Wall Street bank leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, to be a quick and enjoyable read. While some found the character development lacking, it was agreed that the protagonist Belle definitely evolved throughout the story. The book also brought forth discussion on issues working mothers face, and the pressure to have a balanced home and professional life. In addition to print copies, you can read an eBook on one of the library’s lendable eReaders.

Thank you to our members who have joined our discussions and shared their opinions and stories for making our first year so wonderful!

We always welcome new members to the Mile Square City Readers book club, so grab a copy of The Widow by Fiona Barton from the second floor reference desk (or borrow one of our Kindles and iPads if you prefer digital books) and join our discussion of the book on Thursday April 28, 2016 at 7:30 PM.

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

Celebrate Alice in Wonderland’s 150th Birthday with 16 Wonderful Choices from Hoopla!

22 Jul

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published by Lewis Carroll (mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) in 1865.  Since then it has been the inspiration for many novels, comic books, movies, video games, music, art, and even a line of perfumes!  Earlier this year we had a display of Alice collectibles and graphic novel concept art by a local Hoboken artist on display.  But what better way to continue to celebrate than with checking out both Carroll’s original story as well as the many adaptations available.  Whether you are looking for something light and whimsical or something dark and scary there are a variety of choices for teens, adults, and kids.

And you can also celebrate that the Hoboken Public Library and other BCCLS libraries are now doubling the amount of items you can borrow each month from HooplaNow instead of just 8, you have 16 Hoopla checkouts a month and in addition to TV shows, movies, audiobooks, and music you now also can check out eBooks including graphic novels and comics!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 

Available both as an eBook and several audiobook versions this is the perfect time to go online and check out the classic work.

Through the Looking-Glass 

Carroll continued Alice’s adventures in Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Set several months after the original novel, this work features the Carroll’s famous Jabberwocky poem and introduced Alice to Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

Alice’s Adventures Under Ground: Being a facsimile of the original manuscript book afterwards developed into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 
Alice in Wonderland is based on a story Lewis Carroll told to the children of a colleague and a family friend.  See how it all started with the original story Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s wrote down for the real life Alice (Liddell).

Alice – 1988

This experimental masterpiece by Czech Animator, Jan Svankmajer, is a mixture of stop motion and live action.  The white rabbit is a taxidermied bunny who comes alive and slowly leaks saw dust as Alice chases him into a very surreal Wonderland.  This movie is a must see for adult Alice fans, but may be frightening for young children.

Alice In Wonderland – 1949

The 1949 stop motion classic is much more child friendly and more faithful to the original source material. It also draws connections between the real life people that may have inspired Carroll’s novel.  I prefer Svankmajer version, but this is the one I’d show my son.

The Initiation of Alice In Wonderland: The Looking Glass Of Lewis Carroll
My husband, who loves a good conspiracy theory, enjoyed this documentary which attempts to take a deeper look at what might be behind Carroll’s literary works.

The Looking Glass Wars, Audiobook by Frank Beddor

Frank Beddor dramatically reinterprets Carroll’s story.  Alyss Heart is thrown out of Wonderland by her Aunt Redd and while living in Oxford tells her story to Charles Dodgson, but he got a lot of details wrong about what actually happened.  This Young Adult novel also has appeal to adult fans of fantasy.

Beyond Wonderland Issues #0-5, by Raven Gregory

If you enjoy the darker interpretations of Wonderland such as the American McGee’s Alice video game, than you might be interested in this horror graphic novel, the second in an Alice inspired trilogy.  Also available are two other Wonderland graphic novels and several volumes of dark interpretation of Grimm Fairy Tales from the infamous Zenoscope Entertainment.  They are recommended for adult audiences only.

Alice In Wonderland, Part of the Classics Illustrated Series Issue #49 

For those looking for a more faithful and child friendly graphic novel adaptations check out the Classics Illustrated Series which adapted Alice in Wonderland in issue #49 and Through The Looking-Glass in Issue #147.  Other works adapted include everything from The War of the Worlds to Les Miserables.

Alice In Wonderland – 1933

The 1933 live-action fantasy features Silver Screen icons including Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, and W.C. Fields.

Alice in Wonderland – 2014

For a more recent live-action version, check out this film with Whoopi Goldberg as the Cheshire Cat and Martin Short as the Mad Hatter.

Alice in Wonderland – 1995

For those looking for a fun animated version for the children, check out this 1995 film from Toshiyuki Hiruma Takashi.

Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Original Soundtrack 

Disney’s was the first version of Alice I encountered and still one of my favorites.  I have many happy memories of bouncing around my parent’s living room with my sister as we played the soundtrack to the film again and again.  Now I can share “The Unbirthday Song” with my own little one.

Alice in Wonderland, Soundtrack of music by Danny Elfman 

I recently was lucky enough to see Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton when it was being performed at Lincoln Center.  It is hard to think of Burton’s films without having Elfman’s music playing in your head and his signature style is a perfect match for Wonderland.  Currently Elfman is at work on the soundtrack for the film’s sequel.  Written to accompany ballet, Herbert Baumann: Alice In Wonderland is another auditory interpretation of Carroll’s classic work available on Hoopla.

SplinteredAudiobook by A. G. Howard

Sixteen year old Alyssa is a descendant of Alice Liddell.  Her mom has been institutionalized and she herself is struggling with hearing flowers speaking to her.  When she finds her way to Wonderland she must question everything she knows.  Also available are the next two audiobooks in the series: Ensnared and Unhinged.  They are recommended by School Library Journal for grades 8 and up.

Death Of A Mad Hatter, Audiobook by Jenn McKinlay 

This cozy mystery features two cousins who own a ladies’ hat shop who must create the perfect chapeaus for an Alice in Wonderland-themed fundraiser tea party.  When a hat they created has traces of poison used to kill one of the party’s hosts, the ladies must don their thinking caps.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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