Library Notes: Happy holidays include reading

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 24, 2022

By Laurie Lyda
Rowan Public Library

At their best, holidays and related breaks are filled with memorable and rejuvenating moments. For me, extra reading time adds to those happy moments — whether I’m reading a cookbook, a nonfiction title or a novel. Lately, I have been reading mysteries, and I have checked out a stack of new-to-me titles from Rowan Public Library that are just waiting to be read!

Jennifer McMahon’s latest mystery, “The Children on the Hill,” offers a non-linear narrative structure that keeps readers engaged and guessing until the end. McMahon’s works often hint at and/or incorporate supernatural elements, and this novel does the same. While I can’t say more the supernatural’s role in the story without a proper #spoiler tag, I am someone who loves “The X Files,” and I enjoy the way McMahon unfolds this latest tale of mystery and intrigue.

Ruth Ware’s “The It Girl” is another recent publication, and while I’m only a few chapters in, I already find myself trying to guess who really killed April. (#NotASpoiler — That particular detail is shared from the get-go on the book jacket!) Ware’s written five previous mysteries that each have their own distinct flavor, and the world of “The It Girl” is yet another well-drawn narrative world.

North Carolina author Margaret Maron’s “Christmas Mourning” is also in my to-read pile. This mystery promises a seasonal tale of holiday celebrations marked by a tragic accident that turns out to be a devastating murder. Intrigue ensues as the fictional Colleton County’s Sheriff’s deputy and his wife work to unmask the killer(s) in their rural community.

While I’ve checked out print copies of the aforementioned titles, as I almost always prefer to hold a book in my hands, I also have a digital queue of eBooks and eAudiobooks to ensure I can read or listen whenever is most convenient. (Pro tip: Reading or listening to digital titles while waiting in long lines can make dealing with crowded spaces much easier!) Beyond the immense convenience of being able to access digital items on the go, another benefit is that they automatically return themselves at the end of the borrowing period.   

Digital titles can be accessed via the Libby app, which is found in any app store and can be downloaded to your smart device for free. To check out titles from Libby, you only need your RPL card number and four digit PIN. If you’ve forgotten either number, visit your nearest RPL branch, and staff will get you ready to read. While the library is closed Dec. 23-27, all branches resume regular hours on Wednesday, Dec. 28. For more information about RPL, go to

Laurie Lyda is library services manager at Rowan Public Library.

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