Books in the Park

suggestions from the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library at Pinellas Park

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2016 Year in Review


2016 has been a good year for our blog; hits and comments are up from last year. We hope our spot in cyberspace has helped someone out there find a really good book or movie to enjoy.

Listed here are our favorite books, movies, and music that we enjoyed in 2016. While some of these titles aren’t new this year, it’s never too late for a good recommendation.

First, the 2016 favorites from our patrons. These stats were collected from checkouts countywide.

Most checked out fiction book:
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Most checked out nonfiction book:
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Most checked out DVD:
Downton Abbey Season Six

And now staff shares their favorite books, movies, and music that they loved in 2016.

Book: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Music: Blackstar by David Bowie

Book: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Movie: Moana
Music: The Hamilton Mixtape by various artists

Book: Raven: The Untold Story of Rev. Jim Jones and His People by Tim Reiterman
Movie: The Nice Guys
Music: Emotional Mugger by Ty Segall

Book: The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis
Movie: Race
Music: “Growing Up” from the album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Book: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
Movie: Zootopia
Music: “Don’t Wanna Fight” from the album Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes

Book: Forward: A Memoir by Abby Wambach

Book: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Book: Fool by Christopher Moore

Book: Pure by Julianna Baggot

Book: Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

Book: Bindi Babes by Narinder Dham

Looking to read more books in 2017? Joining a reading challenge is a great way to stay motivated and read a wider range of authors and subjects. There are many challenges out there, but this Master List of 2017 Reading Challenges is very comprehensive. Prepare to be literally inspired.

Happy New Year 2017, everyone!

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National Cookie Day: Cookbook Recs

sweet-cookie-zabar-1Today is National Cookie Day, and we’re prepared with a few yummy cookbook recommendations.

1. Voracious by Cara Nicoletti: A cookbook for book lovers. There are a lot of different recipes here, but today we’re focusing on the brown butter chocolate chip cookies inspired by the children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

2. One Sweet Cookie by Tracey Zabar: With titles like Todd’s favorite triple chocolate and walnut cookies, coconut-nutella-almond macaroons, and ginger citrus cookies, you know every recipe in here is a winner. The author has collected these recipes from a variety of experienced bakers.

3. Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich: Don’t you love it when the title of a book tells you exactly what’s inside? This huge cookie compendium is separated into sections based on the dessert’s texture: crispy, crunchy, chunky, chewy, gooey, flaky, and melt-in-your-mouth. No matter what kind of cookie you’re craving, this cookbook will help narrow your search. And it has plenty of helpful baking tips besides.

Bonus: The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook by Lindsay Landis: Skip the oven and enjoy egg-free cookie batter in its raw state with these clever recipes. This librarian recommends immediately turning to the section entitled Indulgent Breakfasts for cookie dough pancakes, french toast, and waffles.

Bon appétit!

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List: Best Horror Films Based on Books

We’d like to acknowledge this article on Word and Film for inspiring this post.

Our community seems to really like horror. As a reference librarian here, I get more requests for horror films than any other single genre.

To tantalize all you horror fans out there, here are some suggestions for great horror movies that are based off books. If you’ve seen the movie, think about checking out the book!

  1. Nosferatu (1922)
    We’ve done a review of this one, so you know it’s good. Don’t let the fact that this is a silent movie make you think it’s not worth watching. The director wasn’t able to call the movie Dracula due to licensing issues at the time, but this movie most certainly drew inspiration from Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula.
    As works in the public domain, Nosferatu and Dracula are available for free online.
    View or download Nosferatu on
    Dracula by Bram Stoker is available as an ebook on
    Of course, we have these in the library system, too!
    Check the PPLC Catalog for Nosferatu (1922).
    Check the PPLC Catalog for Dracula by Bram Stoker.
  2. The Haunting (1963)
    Based off The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, this is considered one of the best haunted house movies of all time.
    Check the PPLC Catalog for The Haunting (1963).
    Check the PPLC Catalog for The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.
  3. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
    Ruth Gordon gave an Oscar-winning performance for Best Supporting Actress in this terrifying adaptation of the book of the same name by Ira Levin. There’s also a sequel to the book called Son of Rosemary.
    Check the PPLC Catalog for Rosemary’s Baby (1968).
    Check the PPLC Catalog for Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin.
  4. The Exorcist (1973)
    If you’re a horror fan, you’ve probably seen this one. But maybe you haven’t read the book of the same name by William Peter Blatty. Some trivia: the film is the first horror film to win an Oscar for Best Picture.
    Check the PPLC Catalog for The Exorcist (1973).
    Check the PPLC Catalog for The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty.
  5. The Shining (1980)
    Stephen King, master of written horror, and Stanley Kubrick, master of film horror, made their respective works into instant classics.
    Check the PPLC Catalog for The Shining (1980).
    Check the PPLC Catalog for The Shining by Stephen King.
    You might also be interested to know that King wrote a sequel to The Shining called Doctor Sleep that features a grown-up Danny.
  6. Let the Right One In (2008)
    If Twilight ruined vampires for you, Let the Right One In will repair the damage. The film is based off a novel of the same name by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist.
    Check the PPLC Catalog for Let the Right One In (2008).
    Check the PPLC Catalog for Let the Right One In (aka Let Me In) by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

Did we miss your favorite? Please tell us in the comments.