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10:00am - 6:00pm
10:00am - 6:00pm
10:00am - 6:00pm
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Paranormal Investigators

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Paranormania at the Library Friday November 1st , 6:30PM.



The Merriam - Webster dictionary defines paranormal as “not scientifically explainable”. We could reach a little further and explain that Paranormal Investigators explore situations that have no basis in science; these situations are unexplainable through the traditional scientific method. Flickering lights in a brand new light bulb, the chilling breeze on a 90-degree day or the footsteps you heard in the utterly empty house, to give a few examples of paranormal happenings.  The Talbot Belmond Public Library will be hosting Paranormania, the Midwest’s Paranormal Investigators, on Friday November 1st at 6:30PM. Paranormania is whom you would call if you needed a paranormal event explored. Two friends, Sarah Stream and Robert Gray had been investigating all things creepy together for years. The two decided to take their shared interest of the paranormal to the next level and form a practiced team then Paranormania was born. The duo added to their team in October of 2018 to include a videographer, Thomas Huntzicker. The team travels the Midwest pursuing ghostly locations.

Paranormania will share their experience and answer questions from patrons Friday November 1st at 6:30PM.
Please come willing to learn, discuss with like or unlike minded individuals, and have fun!




beTWEEN The Pages Book Club

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October 24th 
November 21st
December and January - BREAK 
February 27th 
March 26th 
All meetings will be held from 6:30PM - 7:30 PM

Recommended by the Librarians

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What Happens in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand 
Mandi Rink, Technical Services Librarian

Last year I listened to the audiobook, “Winter in Paradise” by Elin Hilderbrand. I was forcing myself to branch out of my normal ‘thriller/horror’ genre. I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Winter in Paradise’ and could not wait for the second book in this chick lit trilogy, ‘What Happens in Paradise.” You could read this book as a standalone but I really do not recommend it. ‘What Happens in Paradise’ picks up right where we left our characters at the ending of the first in this trilogy. Irene is struggling to understand her husband’s death, her fresh feelings for Huck, and her new life on the island. Cash has decided to start over on the island, accepting a new position on a snorkeling boat. Baker, in the midst of divorcing his wife, has similarly decided to return to St. John. Both men are hopeful of a new relationship with the island’s most sought out bachelorette, Ayers Wilson.  The conclusion of the book leaves you guessing and wanting more out of these characters.
I really love Hilderbrand’s writing style. She seems to be able to construct a storyline that captivates me when most authors would bore me writing of the same subjects. The characters are not always loveable, I am looking at you Baker and Ayers, but they are always real. I was able to read ‘What Happens in Paradise’ in three days and I really wished I had paced myself. This book helps build the characters and their relationships better and, presents us with glimpses of characters that were not directly in the first volume. I really do recommend this series to many patrons that come to the library because I enjoyed it so much. I hope Mrs. Hilderbrand does not make us wait too long for the conclusion. 




The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
Library Clerk, Sonya Trager

Genre: Contemporary fantasy ficiton

Synopsis: Galaxy “Alex” Stern sees ghosts. Escaping her tragic past she is presented with a ‘too good to be true’ opportunity. Given a full ride to Yale, she has only one requirement, become a part of a group that monitors the secret societies that call Yale home. These powerful houses, known as tombs, list many of the world’s rich and powerful among their elite alumni. With magic, these alumni and members achieve success, riches, and prosperity. However, beneath the glitter and glory lies a dark and sinister reality.

My Impressions: I came to read this author by way of a suggestion by a patron and fellow book buddy. This is my first real endeavor into Bardugo’s writing. I knew she has a very popular young adult series coming to Netflix in the future, but other than that, I had no real experience with her writing. I really enjoyed her writing. The book read very much like a thriller/mystery with a conspiratorial secret society element that really piqued my interest. The addition of magic, ghosts, and all things relatively spooky really got me excited. Let us face it, I like to read a lot of unusual and rather ‘weird’ stuff. This fit nicely into my tastes, but had enough of a normality to it that I think any average reader of thrillers might enjoy the tale. I found the dynamics of the characters intelligent and well thought out. I enjoyed the writing, pacing and momentum of the story. Bardugo creates a dark fantasy atmosphere and backs it up with some strong theories and ideas. I liked the characters but found myself feeling as if I did not fully understand the main character. A lot about her remains a bit of a mystery but develops as the story progresses. By mixing the past and present, the author provides a history while keeping the story moving forward. I found myself fully engaged and guessing at the mystery elements of the story.


The Institute by Stephen King
Technical Services Librarian, Mandi Rink

Twelve-year-old prodigy, Luke Ellis, is kidnapped in the dead of the night. He awakes in a room identical to his, with just a few changes. There is no window in this bedroom, and it is located inside The Institute, surrounded by other strange bedrooms full of children with telekinesis and telepathic abilities. The children are put through rigorous, medical torture to extract their abilities for worldwide gain. While the medical doctors and caretakers believe the children are sacrificing themselves for the betterment of the world, Luke Ellis is working on an escape plan.
It is not a secret that Stephen King is my favorite. I was slightly disappointed with his less than thrilling novelette “Elevation” that was released last year. King makes an epic comeback, in my opinion, with this perfect mixture of science fiction and thriller starring an unlikely gang of heroes. The book is 561 pages long and took me a week to read. It was unputdownable. The chapters are long but King broke it down in very manageable sections within the chapters. The entire book is written in different characters point of views and that, along with the impeccable storyline, is what keeps it interesting. I highly recommend this book, even if you are not normally a fan of King’s past works but love a thrilling storyline. Pick up this five star read from Belmond Public Library today!


A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong
Library Clerk, Sonya Trager

Genre: Junior Fiction Fantasy

Synopsis: Rowan and her twin brother, Rhydd, have their futures laid out for them. Rowan, the oldest of the two by two minutes, will become the next leading queen while Rhydd is to take his place as the Royal Monster Hunter. Unfortunately neither one of them seem fit for the roll they will take when they grow older. After an altercation with a wild Gryphon, their roles change. While all seems well and done, Rowan must go on an adventure to learn to be a hunter and to capture and kill the monster that caused such havoc on their land. Rowan takes her leave, along with a jackalope who has become her friend, and a wolf that barely stands her, to earn her place as Royal Monster Hunter.

My Impressions: I am a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s young adult series so this book really piqued my interest. After reading the description, I knew this would be a fun little read. I really enjoyed this book. Rowan is a kindhearted, fearless, and a strong-headed main character. Her heart is as big as her courage. Through the story, Rowan deals with such issues as loss, anger, regret, forgiveness, friendship and sacrifice. She also learns the importance of being true to herself and choosing kindness. She grows through the story and learns lessons along the way that make her a better person and a more interesting character. The reader also watches her learn and grow through her interactions with the magical creatures and the new friends she meets along the way. The book ends in a way that strongly suggests it will continue as a series. This book proves a wonderful junior fiction book and introduction to fantasy.


Cast in Shadow (Book 1 in the Chronicles of Elantra Archives Series) by Michelle Sagara
Library Clerk, Sonya Trager

Genre: Fantasy

Available on Bridges

Synopsis: Children in the streets of fief of Nightshade are dying. Each of them are marked with odd markings on their skin. Kaylin Neya has returned to the streets she escaped, searching for clues to the death of these children who bear the same markings as her own. She survived, but what has come back to start the cycle again? As a private in the Hawks, a law-enforcing group led by Avians, Kaylin works to solve the mystery collecting clues the crimes but growing close to some of the truths about her own past.

My Impression: While this book is in the fantasy genre, it reads very much like a mystery novel. The plot is interesting and engaging while not leaning too heavily on remembering a lot of names, locations, and backgrounds. The pace is a bit slow and I did feel as if I was trudging through at times; however, I had no issue with the read in regards to the plot or story line. Like most fantasy novels, the first book acts to build the world and characters while engaging the reader. The series becomes more dynamic with each book.



The Similars by Rebecca Hanover
Technical Services Librarian, Mandi Rink

I have not read a true young adult novel in a while. I was excited to see this futuristic, thriller to come to the library and had to pick it up, right away. “The Similars” is Rebecca Hanover’s debut. The duology (two in a series) continues with “The Pretenders”. You can expect to see “The Pretenders” on the shelf in December. “The Similars” begins with Emmaline, our protagonist, on her way to prestigious high school, Darkwood Academy. We soon find out that Emmaline has suffered a great loss over the summer season. Her best friend, Oliver, committed suicide. The artificial intelligence is reading Emma the news for the day when we find out that clones will be attending school with her in the fall. The special thing about the clones is that they are clones of Emma’s classmates. They were made, by ‘mistake’, in a lab 16 years ago. When Emma arrives at school she is stunned, and devastated, to find out her deceased best friend was cloned. She does not want to have anything to do with the Similars but continues to be dragged into their mysteries. The end of the book will leave you wondering how Emma’s life will change.
The idea of clones has always intrigued me so there is no surprise that I loved this story by Rebecca Hanover. Sometimes I feel it hard to connect with the characters in young adult writing because I am no longer at that stage in my life. The storyline has to be good for me to be able to overlook this. “The Similars” hooked me from the start with a hi-tech, thrilling plotline. There is even a little romance thrown in there as Emma struggles to come to grips with her attraction to Levi, her late friend’s similar.  I am excited to finish this duology in December and look forward to reading more of Hanover’s writing in the future. I am thankful that I decided to give “The Similars” the benefit of the doubt, as an adult reading about young adults, and feel you should too!


They called us Enemy by George Takei
Technical Services Librarian, Mandi Rink

George Takei is known by multiple generations, as the guy from Star Trek, the ‘oh, my guy’, the meme guy, the advocate for LGBT rights, and most recently graphic novelist.  He has a strong social media following where he remains a prevalent voice in today’s heated political climate.  George Takei spent four formidable years imprisoned in the Japanese American internment camps. He has written about his time in these camps before in his autobiography. George wanted to educate the younger generation, who are found unknowledgeable about this piece of American history. To achieve this George created a graphic novel with Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker. 
“They called us Enemy” is the first graphic novel I have read. I found it hard at times to read because the (beautiful) graphics were distracting at first. About fifteen pages in, I found my flow and it was a lot easier to appreciate the way the drawings added to Takei’s graphic memoir. I did not learn about the Japanese American internment camps when I was in high school or even college level American History. I learned about the internment camps through self-education in adulthood. I can understand why Takei felt he needed to target the younger generation so history never repeats itself. Takei writes in a way to make the reader understand that he did not realize how damaging the camps were to him until he reached an age where he gained maturity and realized the imprisonment was wrong. The novel wasn’t heavy at all times. I did laugh in the two hour span in took me to read because George writes this through the innocent eyes of a child. Overall, it was very informative, easy read. This graphic novel would complement any teacher’s arsenal or anyone with a thirst for history.


Recursion by Blake Crouch
Library Clerk, Sonya Trager

Genre: Sci-fi Thriller
Synopsis: The novel follows Barry Sutton, NYC cop, investigating FMS (False Memory Syndrome) which fills those afflicted with memories of a life they never lived. Alongside his story is that of Helena Smith, neuroscientist, as she works to understand memory in an effort to build a device to preserve it. Barry soon finds the truth about FMS while Helena discovers that good intentions do not always have good results. The two work together in an effort to defeat the dangerous effects of FMS and the circumstances that cause the disease.
My Impression: Oh, Mr. Crouch, how I love thee.  Is it socially acceptable to hug a book? Here I thought that my mind could only handle so much after the mind-blowing experience of reading Dark Matter, only to find he has done it again with Recursion. I apologize for the vague review, but I would hate to ruin all the twists and turns in the stories journey. Crouch tells his tale in present tense. This may cause frustration for some readers; however, I suggest hanging on and continuing as the ride is worth it. As in his other novels, Crouch gives the reader just enough about the characters and plot in the beginning then continues to tease the reader along the way. I found myself enveloped in the book from the get-go. The story is fast-paced and filled with all those twists and turns that make you think, especially about memory and reality. I am sure that science experts will find the story a bit out there and certainly scientifically unsound, but for this average Jane, the book got me thinking. Several times, I went back in the book to reread sections in response to a personal “Aha!” moment. I would highly suggest this book for anyone who likes an exciting fast-paced read as well as all those lovers of thrillers.




Friends of the Library

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The Friends of the Belmond Public Library was formed in 1995.  They are an auxiliary group of the Library Foundation.  Their mission is to maintain an
association of persons interested in the library, to focus public attention on the library, to lend financial support, to coordinate volunteer efforts,
and help promote the programs and services of the Talbot Belmond Public Library. 

As a Friend, you will have the satisfaction of supporting one of our most important educational institutions, playing an important role in making books and other materials available to the community. 
You will also have the opportunity to volunteer for various events and programs.

  You can join for as little as $5.00 per year as an individual, or $15.00 as a family.
If you are already a Friend of the library, please stop by today to renew your membership. 

Please contact the library with any questions. 
The library would love to have you as a Friend!

Belmond's Book Club

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