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Check It Out!

MPPL's staff blog about books, movies, music and the talent behind them.

Staff Pick: A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans

Joyce Staff Picks photoIf you love nature and the outdoors then A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans was written for you! It tells the incredible story of a black wolf who forgoes the life of the pack and seeks out contact with humans and their dogs near Juneau. It’s a moving, bittersweet read!

Movies and TV: Wrinkles

Wrinkles DVD coverEmilio is facing a harsh reality. A distinguished former bank manager, he didn’t foresee a time when the trappings of age and illness would transform him into a burden on his family. The one saving grace to his placement in an elder care facility is that he shares a room with the roguish Miguel, a new friend who refuses to accept that growing older has anything to do with growing up. Wrinkles, a tender and unblinking look at late-stage life, dabs humor amidst the adjustment to new routine. Martin Sheen nimbly leads the English language cast, and traditional hand-drawn animation balances safe distance with childlike charm. Bette Davis once said that “old age ain’t no place for sissies,” and Wrinkles keeps the twinkle in that truth.

National Book Award Longlists

Every fall the National Book Award is given in celebration of some of the best American literature. This month the longlists featuring ten finalists for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature were announced. The lists will be shortened to five finalists Wednesday, October 15 in anticipation of the final announcement Wednesday, November 19.

Check the books out and see if you can determine which ones will be the winners!

Fiction Longlist:

Cover of Station Eleven Cover of Redeployment Cover of An Unnecessary Woman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Redeployment by Phil Klay
An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

Cover of All the Light We Cannot SeeCover of OrfeoCover of Thunderstruck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Orfeo by Richard Powers
Thunderstruck and Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken

See what other fiction titles made the list.

Nonfiction Longlist:

Cover of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Cover of Age of Ambition Cover of Heathen School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos
The Heathen School by John Demos

See what other nonfiction titles made the list.

Young People’s Literature Longlist:

Cover of The Impossible Knife of Memory Cover of 100 Sideways Miles Cover of Girls Like Us

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

See what other young people’s titles made the list.

Fiction: Feed by Mira Grant

Cover of FeedSet twenty years after the zombie apocalypse, Mira Grant introduces readers to a carefully constructed America in which zombies are a part of everyday life. Due to a lack of trust for traditional media, journalism has shifted to rely on guerrilla blog teams such as George, her brother Shaun, and their friend Buffy to provide information. The trio risks their own lives to successfully deliver news and entertainment to the world, and as a result they are chosen to follow Senator Paul Ryman as he begins a bumpy race for presidency. They quickly learn everything is not what it seems, and the constant threat of zombies doesn’t make anything easier. More of a thoughtful political thriller than an action-packed zombie novel, George and her team will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth. Feed is the first book in the Newsflash trilogy.

Book Discussion Questions: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

SPOILER WARNING:
These book discussion questions are
highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.

Cover of What Alice ForgotTitle: What Alice Forgot
Author: Liane Moriarty
Page Count: 487 pages
Genre: Contemporary fiction, Women’s lives and relationships
Tone: Reflective, Humorous

 

1. Did reading What Alice Forgot lift your spirits up or bring them down?

2. Does the title represent the book well? Were you surprised the book wasn’t just about Alice?

3. Were you aware the book was set in Australia? Does it matter where it takes place?

4. How did Alice change in her 30s? Were they good changes, bad, or some of both?

5. Elisabeth acts as a primary tour guide of Alice’s life. How important is it for at least one person to have a good handle on what’s going on with you at any given moment?

6.What does Frannie have in common with Elisabeth and Alice?

7. How has Alice’s relationship with her mom growing up affected Alice’s role as a mother?

8. How is contemporary motherhood portrayed?

9. What does this book say about the effect having children and/or trying to conceive has on a marriage?

10. How are children portrayed in this book?

11. How have Alice’s relationships changed as she has gotten older? Do you think the changes in her relationships are natural?

12. Nick and Alice speculate they got married too young, do you agree or disagree?

13. Why was Alice drawn to Gina? In what ways was Gina a good friend and in what ways was she a poor choice?

14. Do you find it believable that Alice could be so strongly influenced by one friend?

15. If you could meet Alice at age 29, what advice would you tell her?

16. Why do you think the author chose the ages of 29 and 39?

17. What does Frannie’s story add to the book? Does it feel essential to the construction of novel?

18. What do you think about how Elisabeth is portrayed; did you enjoy reading her “homework”?

19. What type of balance ends up happening between Alice at age 29 and Alice at age 39?

20. In Elisabeth’s last piece of homework to Dr. Hodges (pg. 443), she supposes he and his wife might be “struggling with the problem of when is the right time to give up” – she offers a complicated answer. “We should have given up years ago” but also she “would go through it all again… Yes. Absolutely. Of course I would.” What do you think of this perspective? Is it realistic?

21. Do you like how the book ended? Do you like the glimpse into future of characters’ lives in the epilogue?

22. Has reading this book changed the way you think about anything?

23. What can a young person learn from reading What Alice Forgot? How about an older person?

 

Other Resources
Lit Lovers’ book discussion questions
Author to author interview with Liane Moriarty
Real Simple interview with Liane Moriarty
What Alice Forgot book club hosting ideas

 

If you liked What Alice Forgot, try…
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg
Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson

Cover of Remember Me?Cover of Range of MotionVocer of Before I Go to Sleep

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