Find
10 South Emerson, Mount Prospect, IL 60056 | 847/253-5675
Font:

Archive for January, 2014

New: Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense

Every Friday the Library will bring you two short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste.

Get your reading glasses on, because here we go!

New: Mystery Books

Kill Order book cover

Old Black Magic book cover

Killing Cupid book cover

1. The Kill Order by Robin Burcell

2. That Old Black Magic by Mary Jane Clark

3. The Last Dead Girl by Harry Dolan

4. Rituals by Mary Anna Evans

5. The Devil’s Breath by Tessa Harris

6. Killing Cupid by Laura Levine

7. Dead Man’s Fancy by Keith McCafferty

8. Rebellion by James McGee

9. The Blood Promise by Mark Pryor

10. Snapshot by Lis Wiehl

New: Thriller and Suspense Books

 North of Boston book cover

River Road book cover

Worthy Brown's Daughter book cover

1. The Secret History of Las Vegas by Christopher Abani

2. North of Boston by Elisabeth Elo

3. Red 1-2-3 by John Katzenbach

4. River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz

5. Worthy Brown’s Daughter by Phillip Margolin

6. Carthage by Joyce Carol Oates

7. Innocent Blood by James Rollins

8. Pandemic by Scott Sigler

9. The Polaris Protocol by Brad Taylor

10. Before we Met by Lucie Whitehouse

By Readers' Advisor on January 31, 2014 Categories: Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, New Arrivals

Fiction: Big Brother by Lionel Shriver

Big Brother book coverPandora lives in Iowa, owns a small business, and has a guest room that is about to be occupied by her brother – the idol of her younger years – Edison. When Pandora goes to the airport to pick up Edison, she sees that he has gotten bigger. Now 400 pounds, Edison seems intent on killing himself with food. After a two-month stay, Pandora has to choose between saving her marriage and saving her brother, if either can be done at all. Lionel Shriver is known for her reflective, issue-driven, contemporary fiction. In Big Brother, Shriver passionately, kindly dissects the American obesity epidemic and how one family chooses to stop participating in it.

By Readers' Advisor on January 30, 2014 Categories: Books

Book Discussion Questions: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Help book cover

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

 

Title: The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Page Count: 534
Genre: Historical fiction
Tone: Moving, fast-paced, uplifting

 

1. Who were the heroes of The Help? Why?

2. What characters did you feel most connected to? Why?

3. Were there moments in The Help where you despised a character? Why? When? Are there any characters in The Help who have no redeeming qualities?

4. Who is Hilly? Do you think she is a good friend? What about a good employer? Do you think she is a good mother? Can the reader connect to Hilly? Why or why not?

5. Who is Elizabeth? Do you think she is a good friend? Is she a good employer? Do you think she is a good mother? Can the reader connect to Elizabeth? Why or why not?

6. Does Skeeter want to get married? Who does she find to marry? Do you think it is a good match?

7. What is the outcome of Skeeter and Stuart’s relationship? Why? What was Skeeter’s reaction?

8. Aibileen takes care of Mae Mobley. Do you think the child and Aibileen would have remained close as Mae aged? Do you think Mae would’ve become a racist like her mother? Can you be racist and still care for someone? Is that right or wrong? Is racism a nature or nurture character trait?

9. What was Minny’s revenge against Miss Hilly? Do you think this was right or wrong? Would you have taken revenge this far?

10. Stockett uses dialect when writing her African American characters. What did this add to the story? Did you ever find it hard to read or distracting? Can you think of other good books that use heavy dialect?

11. Did the Caucasian characters speak in dialect? Why or why not? Do you think this is problematic?

12. Racism is an obvious prejudice in The Help. Are any characters discriminated against for other reasons?

13. Do you feel as if Celia’s struggle is equal to Aibileen or Minny’s struggle? Why or why not?

14. Did it surprise you to find out that The Help was written by a Southern, white woman? What was your reaction to learning the author’s heritage?

15. The Help received rave reviews and became a best seller, but it also received negative reviews. What are some reasons that people might not like this book?

16. Some of the negative reviews mentioned that Stockett never truly got inside Aibileen and Minny’s heads. Do you think this is true?

17. Some critics of The Help believe the book to suffer from the “white savior complex”. This is a plot device where a Caucasian character becomes the benevolent benefactor of “helpless” persons of color. For example, think about movies like Avatar, The Blind Side, and Freedom Writers.

•    Critics state that these films are not about justice, they are about having an emotional experience that validates privilege. What does that mean? Does that connect back to The Help?
•    In addition, “…these films capitalize on the stories of people of color, yet instead of telling the film through their eyes, they are presented as stories of the white people who help them.” How is that problematic? Do you see this happening in The Help?

18. Do you think Kathryn Stockett is a good writer? Why or why not? Do you understand why The Help was so wildly popular?

19. Does racism still exist today? In what forms? How can we combat it?

20. What other novels would you recommend that strongly deal with racism? What is the benefit of reading a novel on such a heavy issue?

 

Other Resources

Kathryn Stockett’s website
Penguin publisher website for The Help
Lit Lovers book discussion questions
CliffsNotes on The Help
Interview with Katie Couric
Interview with Southern Living

 

If you liked The Help, try…

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Space Between Us by Thrity N.

Secret Life of Bees book cover     To kill a Mockingbird book coverSpace Between Us book cover

By Readers' Advisor on January 29, 2014 Categories: Book Discussion Questions, Books

Staff Pick: Mountains of Sorrow by Amos Lee

Barb F. Staff picks photoMountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song is Amos Lee’s fifth studio album. This powerful album is a mix inspired by folksy, bluesy, and even some funky influences. Whatever your mood, there is something to like here. From the title song to “Chill in the Air” you can’t listen to this without big feelings.

By Readers' Advisor on January 28, 2014 Categories: Music, Picks by Barbara F., Staff Picks

Audiobook: Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin

Dangerous Women Playaway coverDanger can be alluring, frightening, and exciting all at once, and you won’t find a better illustration than in Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Whether your taste runs to female desperadoes, Scottish highlanders, warrior queens, femmes fatales, or modern magicians, you will be wowed by a carnival of choices offered by the best fan favorite writers of today. Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, Lev Grossman, Sherilynn Kenyon, Carrie Vaughn, and Brandon Sanderson are among the standout contributors, and fans of Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series won’t want to miss the creator’s featured novella “The Princess and the Queen”. Intensify your thrills by listening to Dangerous Women in Playaway format, an easy-to-use portable player that holds an entire audiobook. Skip to the stories and narrators that tempt you most, but don’t be surprised if you devour them all.

Curious about Playaway and what the format has to offer?  Join us for Playaway Day on Saturday, February 1, 1-4 p.m., for giveaways and more information.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on January 27, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

New: Audiobooks, Fantasy, and Sci-Fi

Every Friday the Library will bring you two short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste.

Get your reading glasses on, because here we go!

New: Audiobooks

Doctor Who: A History book cover

Bones in her Pocket book cover

Execution of Noa P Singleton book cover

 

1. Sister Mother Husband Dog by Delia Ephron

2. Hostage by Kay Hooper

3. Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus by Dean N. Jensen

4. The Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally

5. Doctor Who: A History by Alan Kistler

6. Innocence by Dean Koontz

7. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

8. This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

9. Bones in her Pocket by Kathy Reichs

10. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

 

New: Fantasy and Sci-fi Books

 Halo Silentium book cover

Ascension book cover

Melancholy of Mechagirl book cover

1. Halo: Silentium by Greg Bear

2. Iron Night by M.L. Brennan

3. Shift by Hugh Howey

4. Last to Rise by Francis Knight

5. Ascension by Jacqueline Koyanagi

6. In Retrospect by Ellen Larson

7. Rex Regis by L.E. Modesitt

8. Rise Again Below Zero by Ben Tripp

9. Melancholy of Mechagirl by Catherynne Valente

10. Invasive Species by Joseph Wallace

By Readers' Advisor on January 24, 2014 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, New Arrivals

Fiction: The Dinosaur Feather by S.J. Gazan

The Dinosaur Feather book coverAnna is two weeks away from defending her thesis when her academic supervisor – the highly respected, though universally despised – Dr. Lars Helland, drops dead in his office at the University of Copenhagen. As if being a PhD hopeful and a single mom wasn’t hard enough, Anna’s thesis was on Helland’s bloody lap when he died. Police Superintendent Søren Marhauge has to unravel whodunit, but every scientist around Helland, every student, and even his ex-wife have a grudge or something to hide. Picked as one of the best mysteries of 2013 by NPR, The Dinosaur Feather by S.J. Gazan is perfect for those who like Scandinavian or academic thrillers.

By Readers' Advisor on January 23, 2014 Categories: Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Staff Pick: The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

Larry staff picks photoThe World Without Us describes the relationship between humans and nature using science with a dash of philosophy to imagine what would happen if the earth was suddenly without us. The human impact on nature and the restorative abilities of the earth are clearly explained in this pop science read.

By Readers' Advisor on January 21, 2014 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Larry, Staff Picks

Fiction: The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-mi Hwang

Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly book coverA two-million-copy bestseller in Korea, Sun-mi Hwang’s The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is an elegant little story that can be appreciated on several levels. Sprout is a caged hen who longs for freedom and motherhood. Her difficulty in laying leads to her being left for dead, but the help of a misfit mallard offers a second chance. The deceptive simplicity of this plot keeps the pages turning, and spare line drawings by Japanese artist Nomoco add to the storybook tone. However, for readers who are intrigued by allegory, there are rich lessons of tenacity, optimism, sacrifice, and individuality. As in books like Animal Farm or Jonathan Livingston Seagull, sometimes animals can teach us how to be better people.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on January 20, 2014 Categories: Books

New: Historical Fiction and Romance

Every Friday the Library will bring you two short lists of buzz-worthy books in a rotating series of popular genres.

For these and other fresh reads, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen desk. While there, talk to a Readers’ Advisor about new and old titles tailored to your taste.

Get your reading glasses on, because here we go!

New: Historical Fiction Books

Paris Architect book cover

Signature of All Things book cover

Marching to Zion book cove

Morning Glory book cover

Drowning Guard book cover

Belle cora book cover

In the Night of Time book cover

Windsor Faction book cover

New: Romance Books

Law Man book cover

Pirate Bride book cover

Love After War book cover

Foreplay book cover

Big Sky Secrets book cover

Love Burns Bright book cover

Born Wild book cover

Lasat Man on Earth book cover

By Readers' Advisor on January 17, 2014 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, New Arrivals, Romance