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Staff Pick: In the Land of Dreamy Dreams by Ellen Gilchrist

Picture of NancyEscape the winter chill and transport yourself to the South with a collection of short stories by Ellen Gilchrist. The critically acclaimed In the Land of Dreamy Dreams showcases her frank yet warm and lively writing style. Her daring, spirited female protagonists are sometimes flawed but always entertaining.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on February 10, 2015 Categories: Books, Picks by Nancy, Staff Picks

Fiction: To Please a Lady by Susan Johnson

To Please a Lady book coverRoxane Forrestor, twice-widowed Scottish beauty and Countess of Kilmarnock, has succeeded in keeping several powerful suitors at bay, but her defenses are tested when a wanted rebel earl surprises her in her bedchamber. No matter how her heart feels, she must keep her head. The safety of her children may depend on it. Author Susan Johnson is celebrated for scenes of sizzling seduction, and To Please a Lady lives up to that promise. Balancing rich historical detail and dramatic turns of story, this early novel doesn’t shy from exploring heated encounters while maintaining brisk pacing. The partnering of an older woman with a persistent younger man isn’t often represented in historical romances, but breaking with convention only adds to the intensity of Robbie and Roxane’s love story.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on February 9, 2015 Categories: Books, Historical Fiction, Romance

New Arrivals: Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense

Every Friday the Library will bring you 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.

New: Mystery Books

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Winter at the Door by Sarah Graves
Murder Simply Brewed by Vannetta Chapman
Five by Ursula (Archer) Poznanski

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Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King
Puzzled Indemnity by Parnell Hall
Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman by Tessa Arlen

New: Thriller and Suspense

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The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
Breaking Creed by Alex Kava
Saint Odd by Dean Koontz

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One Step Too Far by Tina Seski
Her by Harriet Lane
Fifty Mice by Daniel Pyne

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on February 6, 2015 Categories: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, New Arrivals

Cozy up with a good book…

…and get wrapped up in reading!


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This winter if you get wrapped up in reading you might possibly win a prize! For each book you read or listen to February 1-28, fill out a drawing slip located on the second floor at the Fiction/AV/Teen services desk. At the end of the month, we will draw winners for the prizes featured above.

Prizes include a gift basket filled with goodies, a Keurig coffeemaker, a flowering tea pot with a cozy throw, and audiobook bundles. Everyone is welcome to stop by for a packet of hot chocolate or apple cider (while supplies last) to kick off their winter reading with a warm drink. Featured below are some of the audiobooks you could possibly win!

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Split by Tara Moss
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

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Little Green by Walter Mosley
Searching for Zion by Emily Raboteau
The Rathbones by Janice Clark

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The Son by Jo Nesbo
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Brothers Emanuel by Ezekiel J. Emanuel

While this program is for adults, we do have kids and teen reading programs going on as well! For any questions about the program or if you would like suggestions on what to read, email us at or stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen Services desk on the second floor to speak with a Readers’ Advisor.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on February 5, 2015 Categories: Audiobooks, Books

Staff Pick: Come on Feel the Illinoise by Sufjan Stevens

Picture of CynthiaSufjan Stevens made the gimmicky claim he would write an album for each of the fifty states, but only made two. Luckily, Come on Feel the Illinoise was one. The album includes an anthem to “Chicago,” but he mined the state for subjects from Jacksonville to Highland Park resulting in a lyrically interesting and musically rich trip through the Land of Lincoln.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on February 3, 2015 Categories: Music, Picks by Cynthia, Staff Picks

Movies and TV: The Wind Rises

The Wind RisesWind Rises DVD cover is a flight of fancy worthy to be the swan song of master animator Hayao Miyazaki. All of his hallmarks are on display: sweet yet dramatic storytelling, artful scenes, and an underlying whimsy that bubbles with imagination. It is the history of Jirô, a young man with a genius for designing aircraft, who often takes inspiration from imagined jaunts with an Italian aviation pioneer. A recurring line of poetry, “The wind is rising!  We must try to live!” quivers with thematic resonance not only against the backdrop of war, illness, and natural disaster, but also in the tentative steps toward selfless love. Both ambitious and intimate, this Academy Award nominee is at its brightest when celebrating the small moments that lead to epiphanies.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on February 2, 2015 Categories: Historical Fiction, Movies and TV, Romance

Fiction: Literary Reads by Writers of Color from 2014

One of the joys of having such a strong reading community on the internet is being able to find lists others have curated on specific topics or themes. One such list created and contributed by readers is the Anticipated Literary Reads for Readers of Color for 2014. Below are a few of the titles featured on the list. If you would like to diversify your reading even more, email or stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen services desk on the second floor to speak to a Readers’ Advisor!

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For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu
Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah
Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma

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An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
In Light of What we Know by Zia Haider Rahman
Ruby by Cynthia Bond

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The Secret History of Las Vegas by Chris Abani
On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee
All Our Names by Dinan Mengestu

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Song of the Shank by Jeffery Renard Allen
Family Life by Akhil Sharma
Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi


By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on January 30, 2015 Categories: Books, Lists, Literary

Fiction: Cut to the Bone by Shane Gericke

Cover of Cut to the BoneThe governor has a new electric chamber he wants used, detectives Emily Thompson and Martin Benedetti have a serial killer on the loose they want to find, and a person called the Executioner is out to kill. Set in Naperville, Illinois, Shane Gericke darts between time and characters as he unravels a deadly mystery through the eyes of key players. The story is largely driven by Detective Thompson, who will stop at nothing to catch the killer even though she is still injured from a previous case and her own life is on the line. Cut to the Bone is a suspenseful page-turner where no one is safe.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on January 29, 2015 Categories: Books, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Staff Pick: The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

Picture of Barbara F.History comes to life in this darkly haunting narrative of murder, rebellion, and aristocracy. Candace Fleming shares the story of the Romanov family and the lives of the Russian peasant class with the help of diary entries, letters, and photos. The Family Romanov is an intense look at the disparity between wealth and poverty and how this clash ended in violence and political change.


By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on January 27, 2015 Categories: Books, Nonfiction, Picks by Barbara F., Staff Picks

Nonfiction: A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor

History of the World in 100 Objects book coverHere’s a challenge for all you list-makers and students of society: choose only one hundred items to represent the entirety of human history. Tough task, right? Members of the British Museum and of the BBC took up this mission and gave themselves a few rules: draw from all time periods, cover the entire world equally, and include the humble everyday as well as great works of art. Director Neil MacGregor compiled the results in A History of the World in 100 Objects. Sure, you’ll find the Rosetta Stone and Bolivian pieces-of-eight, but also making the cut is a modern UAE credit card and a 2001 throne made of weapons from Mozambique. It’s a fascinating way to chart civilization, and you’ll find yourself unearthing more than you expected.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on January 26, 2015 Categories: Books, Nonfiction