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Cold? Cozy up to a TV series or a book from the library

By Laurie Lyda

Rowan Public Library

Now that the local forecast includes an impending blast of truly cold weather, courtesy of the break-up of the Arctic’s polar vortex, it’s time to take advantage of Rowan Public Library’s circulating collections and stock up on movies and books.

A library card account holder can check out 15 DVDs and 25 items total for two-week circulating collections. Even during bad weather, renewals for accounts in good standing are easily accomplished with a phone call or visit to your online account. (Online access requires your four-digit PIN/password; if you don’t know it, contact your nearest RPL branch for assistance.) One caveat, though, is that if another customer has placed a hold on an item, renewal is not possible.

For those who enjoy well-crafted, suspenseful and dark series, “The Fall,” starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan, is a must-see. Anderson’s Stella Gibson is sophistication and steel, while Dornan’s Paul Spector is chillingly compelling. Watching Gibson’s cat-and-mouse game with Paul Spector – or is it Spector’s game with Gibson – is a macabre delight. There are three seasons total, and the first two are part of RPL’s collection.

Fans of the classic whodunit with a British flair have several connected series to choose from. “Inspector Morse,” based on Colin Dexter’s series of detective novels, is a series of 33, two-hour episodes featuring Morse (John Thaw) and his partner, Sergeant Lewis (Kevin Whately). Whately went on to star in “Inspector Lewis,” a series also comprised of 33 episodes. This time, Whately’s Lewis teams up with James Hathaway (Laurence Fox) to solve crime.

In 2012, yet another series in this show universe was launched with “Endeavor,” a prequel to “Inspector Morse.” Starring Shaun Evans as Endeavor Morse, the show’s fourth season aired in 2017. Many seasons from all three shows and several of Dexter’s novels are available in RPL’s collection.

In “Broadchurch,” the murder of an 11-year-old rips apart a close-knit, small community, exposing shocking secrets and lies. Local Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman) and new-to-town Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (David Tennant) navigate figurative minefields as they must learn to work together and deal with ramifications from the investigation that neither could have expected.

It’s a haunting, well-done show, and when I finished series/season three, I was still hoping for more. Alas, creator Chris Chibnall has confirmed that the third season is the final one. RPL carries all three seasons of the British version.

If you’d rather read an engrossing narrative than watch one, Emily Bronte’s 1847 “Wuthering Heights” is a classic. Originally published under the pseudonym “Ellis Bell,” the gothic tale has inspired countless critical studies. Whether you’re looking for an analysis topic or a story to pass the time, “Wuthering Heights” offers a complex narrative structure, supernatural elements, mystery and complicated, controversial characterizations. You can find the novel and several film versions, including the 2009 adaptation starring Tom Hardy, in RPL’s circulating collection.

One of my current favorite contemporary mystery writers is Ruth Ware. According to her website, she describes her novels as “psychological crime thrillers,” and I think that’s apt — I’ve voraciously read all four: “In a Dark, Dark Wood” (2015), “The Woman in Cabin 10” (2016), “The Lying Game” (2017), and “The Death of Mrs. Westaway” (2018). Each is unique, with distinctive narrators and complex, knotty storylines that typically deliver from the first pages to the carefully crafted dénouement. You can locate all four novels through RPL.

Those looking to expand their reading horizons should also check out “Novelist.” A link to this readers’ advisory tool can be found at the top of the RPL catalog’s home page. To access from home, have your library card number and PIN handy; you can obtain direct access at any branch or ask a staff member for assistance.

Part of NC Live, “Novelist” offers readers the chance to explore titles similar to their favorites and to specifically search for genres, elements, reading levels and more. It’s a great resource, and one that can aid the discovery of your next favorite.

To learn more about RPL and its resources and services, visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org.

RPL Book Sale: Headquarters: Feb. 4, 1-7 p.m., and Feb. 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. It’s time to buy books. Browse RPL’s special midwinter Book Sale, held in the Stanback Auditorium. Items will be $2 or less on Monday, and all items will be half-price on Tuesday. When inventory is gone, the sale ends; a closing notice will be posted on www.RowanPublicLibrary.org. Call 704-216-8243 for more information.

PJ Storytime: Headquarters, Monday, 6:30 p.m. Put on your pajamas, grab a blanket, your favorite stuffed animal, and join us for a special evening storytime. Recommended for children 3-11 years old, though all children are welcome.

Dr. Seuss Scavenger Hunt: Headquarters, Feb. 1-28. Join us in celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday with a scavenger hunt featuring your favorite Dr. Seuss characters. Children who complete the hunt will be entered into a contest for a prize. For more information, call 704-216-8234.

Be My Valentine: East, Feb. 1-28. Spread the love to different areas in the library with a Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt. Participants will be entered in a contest for a literary-themed prize. For more information, contact Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Music with Miss Chelsea: Headquarters, Feb. 2, 11 a.m. This upbeat program will teach children (ages 0-7) about musical concepts like rhythm and pitch with the help of instruments and fun musical activities. For more information, call Chelsea at 704-216-8269.

Chapter Chats: East, Jan. 29, 5:15-6 p.m. Weekly book club for teens 14-17, intended primarily for participants with developmental or intellectual disabilities, though all are welcome. For more details, contact Tammie at 704-216-7842.

Friends of RPL and Cheerwine Concert Series: Jan. 29, 7 p.m. The Robertson Boys will perform a bluegrass/folk concert. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. This event is free, open to the public, and all ages are welcome. For more information, call 704-216-8243.

Blind Date with a Book: East, Feb. 1-28. Life is full of surprises. All ages are welcome to experience the mystery of checking out an unknown book and discovering what’s under the wrapping. For more details, call 704-216-7842.

Lunch at the Library: East, Feb. 1, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy a clean, Wi-Fi-accessible, peaceful place to enjoy your lunch. The East Branch meeting room will be open. Lunch not provided, but tables, chairs and ambiance supplied. While in the library, check out upcoming programs and free resources. For more details, call 704-216-7840.

Makerspace DIY: Headquarters, Jan. 31, 3:30-5 p.m., 3D Printing. Learn how to make a design using 3D modeling software. Participants will use Tinkercad to design a 3D model and have the opportunity to print their creation during our open sessions. Sessions are available for people of all ages. Please register online, by phone at 704-216-8242, or by emailing Amber.Covington@rowancountync.gov.

Book Bites Club: South, Tuesday, 6 p.m. This month’s selection is “Boone,” by Robert Morgan. Refreshments will be served, new members are welcome. Questions? Contact Paulette at Paulette.Stiles@rowancountync.gov.

Gardening Party Saturdays: South, Feb. 2, 11 a.m. Gardening is cheaper than therapy – and you get tomatoes. Come join us Saturday mornings for Gardening Party, a new monthly club. For gardeners from beginners to experts, country to city, there are topics for everyone to enjoy. This month’s topic is tomatoes and lawns. Questions? Call Paulette, 704-216-7731.

Displays: Headquarters, West Rowan High School student art from art class and ‘Stars’ by Salisbury Symphony; East, dolls by Patricia Hollifield; South, South Rowan High School art class artwork.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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