eBooks and audio books

Staff book review: “The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdrich

Audrey Vowels, circulation assistant at the Main library, submitted the following review of The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich.

The Night Watchman is available to download as an eBook and audio book from OverDrive. If you do not have an HCPL library card, OverDrive offers a free digital access card using your mobile number.

Author Louise Erdrich

The Night Watchman
is a powerful read filled with heart and soul. The book tells the life of the Ojibua Indians of North Dakota. Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at a factory; he is also a Chippewa council member who tries to assemble a group to go to Washington to fight to keep their land. This historical fiction book tells the tribal and personal history of the Native Americans. I really enjoyed this book because it is about family.

Staff book review: “The Spy” by Paulo Coelho

Bob Ohlrich, circulation associate at the Main branch of HCPL, composed the following review of The Spy by Paulo Coelho.

The Spy is available to download as an eBook from OverDrive. If you do not have an HCPL library card, OverDrive offers a free digital access card using your mobile number.

This title is also available as an eBook from Axis360.

Brazilian author Paulo Coelho (Photo by Niels Ackermann for The Wall Street Journal)

This is a historical novel based on the life of Margaretha Zella, also known as Mata Hari. It traces her travels from her native home in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, through her time in Java with her husband, an officer in the Dutch army, to her return to The Netherlands and onto her time in France, where she invented her character, “Mata Hari.” The book then follows her through her ill-timed trip to Germany in 1914 all the way through to her last trip to Paris. 

This was a well-written book and the author did a great job in recreating both the haughtiness and the subsequent despair that the woman “Mata Hari” must have experienced throughout her life. He also did a very good job at recreating the tension felt by the people of France during this tumultuous time in their history. 

Staff recommendation: Hearts of Lancaster Grand Hotel series

Judy Shaffer, circulation associate at the Main library, says that the first book in this series,  A Hopeful Heart, “is filled with surprising twists as Hannah tries to balance her life in the Amish community and her growing love for an outsider.”

Each of these titles is available to download as an eBook from OverDrive.  If you do not have a Harrison County Public Library card, OverDrive offers a free digital card using your mobile number.

Please click a book cover to read the book description and to download.

Click to view A Hopeful Heart in OverDrive
Book 1
Book 2
Click to view A Dream of Home on OverDrive
Book 3
Click to download A Simple Prayer from OverDrive
Book 4




Staff book review: “Murder Beyond the Grave” by James Patterson

Sandy Harbeson, circulation associate at the Main library, wrote the following review of Murder Beyond the Grave by James Patterson.

This title is available in both eBook and audio book formats from OverDrive and as an eBook from Axis360.

Author James Patterson

These stories were two true crime thrillers, and I enjoyed them very much. I like to watch Dateline with Lester Holt, and these two stories are similar to Dateline. Throughout the book I kept trying to figure out who had done it. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes reading mysteries or thrillers. This was my first time using Axis360 and I maneuvered it very easily.

Staff book review: nonfiction by women in politics

Debi Strubler, circulation assistant at the Main library in Corydon, penned two book reviews for your reading enjoyment.

Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush is available as an eBook from OverDrive.


I’m Not Slowing Down by Ann Richards

This book tells how the Former Democratic Governor from Texas is winning her battle with osteoporosis. She suggests that all women get a bone density test.  She explains how the risk of osteoporosis increases with menopause due to loss of estrogen. She warns readers to avoid certain products that can enhance broken bones. She also gives advice on how to help your bones by taking supplements, medications and eating certain foods. She offers over 20 pages of pictures and descriptions of exercises one can do in order to help the prevention of osteoporosis. It is an informative book that is very much a help to all women.


Sisters First by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush 

This is a warm, heartfelt, easy-to-read book about the fraternal Bush twins. The book alternates from Jenna to Barbara in stories of their lives as children, young adults and adults. Each twin has a distinct personality and intellect that complements the other. Their grandparents, both maternal and paternal, have had an integral part of developing who they are. There are moments of elation and moments of sadness in the book. It was a delightful read.  



Staff book review: “Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic” by Michael McCleary

Jan Hecht, circulation associate at the Elizabeth branch of HCPL, would like to offer you her review of Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum.
OverDrive is holding the Big Library Read through the end of the day Monday, April 13. For the remainder of today, Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic is available to download with no wait list, in both eBook and audio book formats.
If you do not have an HCPL card, OverDrive offers you a free digital access card using your mobile number.


You are reading this blog, so I think that you must love to read as much as I do.  I mostly read fiction, but this time of the year I challenge myself to read more nonfiction.  Using HCPL’s eBook service Overdrive, I found an interesting book by Michael McCreary, a 26-year-old Canadian comedian who is autistic—thus the name of his book is Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum.  In this autobiography, he describes his life as the middle child of a family with “neurotypical,” otherwise known as “normal”, parents.  His younger brother also has autism.  Michael has met challenges throughout his life including his experiences being different than the other kids throughout elementary and high school.  He loved to talk, he loved the arts, and at a point around his 13th birthday he decided that instead of being down-hearted about his life to make jokes about it.  He became a comedian.

This book is Overdrive’s Big Library Read selection from March 23-April 13.  The Big Library Read includes sharing thoughts about the book with other readers.  It was very interesting to read these posts.  I found that many who read the book were learning about the world on the autism spectrum for the first time.  Others shared that they lived with someone on the spectrum, or they were on the spectrum themselves.  All said that it was great to find a book in which Michael shares his life and experiences in such an open and honest way.  I recommend this book too!

Staff book review: “Curious Minds” by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Bob Ohlrich, circulation associate at the Main branch of HCPL, offers the following review of Curious Minds, written by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton.

Curious Minds is available in both eBook and audio book formats on OverDrive and Libby, and as an eBook on Axis360. If you do not yet have an HCPL card, OverDrive offers a free digital card using your mobile phone number.

Janet Evanovich
Phoef Sutton
Ms. Evanovich has, as usual, delivered yet another well-written book. There is a good blend of comedy and drama. The character of Emerson Knight appears to be a great combination of “Basil Fawlty” (from the British comedy, “Fawlty Towers,” starring John Clease) and Sherlock Holmes: Emerson Knight is very clever and a tad quirky…it makes for very fast and fun reading!

Staff book review: “Beartown” by Fredrik Backman

Chelsea Arnold, circulation assistant at the Palmyra branch of HCPL, penned the following review for your perusal.

Beartown is available as an eBook on OverDrive and Libby. If you do not have an HCPL card, OverDrive offers a free card using your mobile number.


Author Frederick Backman

On its face, Beartown is a book about a small town hockey team facing a scandal. However, at its core, Beartown is really about the inanimate things humans will prioritize over people and cling to fiercely when they represent meaning. Beartown doesn’t have much going for it. It’s a small, cold, close-knit mountain town. The opportunities are not plentiful—you either work at the school or you work at the one lone factory. What they do have, though, is one of the most skilled high school hockey teams in the area. Hockey is both this town’s pride and identity. Meaning the town’s source of meaning is placed solely on the backs of teenage boys. Sound like a recipe for disaster? It is. The responsibility of carrying the town brings immense pressure. It also breeds intense narcissism. These young men are hometown heroes. Many of them think they can do anything, because they know the town will in turn go to great lengths to protect them from the consequences of their sins. When the star player commits a heinous act, the town’s claim to fame slips out of grasp, and a team’s passion is upended. In the swirl of emotion, everyone in the town is faced with a moral dilemma: err on the side of justice and compassion, or become animalistic and emotionally unreachable over a high school sport. This book is well-written and held my attention. That said, the plot was predictable and read very much like a ripped from the headlines type of book (think Sandusky, Brock Turner, etc.). I don’t fault it for that because the story that Beartown tells is a story that is extremely prevalent in real life. And if a novel can make someone contemplate a problem that plagues our society, then purpose served. 

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OverDrive and Libby: Hold Redelivery is Live

On March 3hold redelivery went live in the Libby and OverDrive apps. Hold redelivery replaces auto-checkout and gives you more options for your holds. Now you can select “deliver later” on an available hold if you are not ready to read it but want to stay on the wait list. You can also still suspend a hold before a title is ready to borrow.

How does hold redelivery work?

After receiving notification that a hold is available, you can:

1) Borrow the title within 3 days

2) Choose “deliver later” and pass the book to the next person in line for a self-selected period. After the “deliver later” date, you will receive the next available copy

3) Cancel the hold

If you take no action during the hold pickup window, the “deliver after seven days” option will be automatically applied as a one-time courtesy. If you do not take any action a second time, your hold will be canceled.

Need some help? Visit Libby Holds Help or OverDrive Holds Help

Stuck at home sick?

Flu season has officially arrived. If you are among those who are at home right now feeling poorly, escape into ebooks, audio books and magazines that you can download for free from OverDrive or Axis360.

Students: if you need to catch up on homework, you can research from home using HCPL’s eResources.

Have a question about HCPL’s online resources? Please send an email to hcpl@hcpl.lib.in.us or visit the library’s FAQ page.

If you have caught a bug, we hope that you will feel better soon!

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