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Staff Pick: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Cover of We Were LiarsBarbara from Fiction/AV/Teen services suggests We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

We Were Liars is narrated by Cadence Sinclaire Eastman, heiress to old money and one of “the liars,” an inseparable group made up of her cousins and their friend. The four liars have made the family private island just off Cape Cod their personal domain of fun and privilege every summer since they were eight. This ends the summer of Cadence’s fifteenth year when she suffers a mysterious injury that leaves her with amnesia, debilitating headaches, and a constant need for painkillers. The story unfolds two years later as she tries to piece together the mystery of that summer and the events that altered her life and her relationship with the liars. Lockhart weaves a hauntingly suspenseful tale of old money, privilege, and family dysfunction.

 

 

 

Looking for more books with hidden secrets? Try…

 

Cover of The Half Life of Molly Pierce
The Half Life of Molly Pierce
by Katrina Leno
Molly, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, has played host to Mabel, a completely distinct personality, for most her life. When Molly faces a crisis Mabel doesn’t know she can handle, Mabel lets Molly in on her secrets.

Cover of Before I go to Sleep
Before I Go to Sleep
by S.J. Watson
A fast paced thriller in which an amnesiac who, following a mysterious accident, cannot remember her past or form new memories, desperately tries to uncover the truth about who she is—and whom she can trust.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover of Black Out
Black Out
by Lisa Unger
A woman has to quickly piece together disturbing events–one of which is the murder of her psychologist–before her past comes to claim her future and her daughter.

Cover of Complicit
Complicit
by Stephanie Kuehn
Jamie’s mother was murdered when he was six. About seven years later, his sister Cate was incarcerated for burning down a neighbor’s barn, and now Jamie, fifteen, learns that Cate has been released and is coming back for him.

Cover of We are the Goldens
We Are the Goldens
by Dana Reinhardt
Since their parents’ divorce when they were young, Nell and her sister Layla have provided each other stability and support. When Layla starts to pull away, Nell discovers a secret: Layla is involved with one of their teachers. Nell struggles with what to do

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on June 4, 2015 Categories: Books, Picks by Barbara F., Staff Picks

Staff Pick- Playground: Mostly True Story of a Former Bully by Fifty Cent

Picture of DenisePlayground: The Mostly True Story of a Former Bully is a loosely autobiographical story written by rap artist 50 Cent.   He writes a realistic portrayal of teen bullying from the perspective of the bully and explores the reasons why bullies are created. You can read this in one sitting and have a whole new understanding of a topic which has become so prevalent in our society.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on June 2, 2015 Categories: Books, Picks by Denise, Staff Picks

Music: Summer by George Winston

Summer CD coverWhat’s on your soundtrack for the lazy days of summer? If you haven’t picked out your relaxing instrumentals just yet, consider George Winston’s dreamy piano stylings on Summer. Though some tracks are lightly playful and others exude a mellow grace, each has a soothing airiness that reflects the quieter, unrushed days we so treasure mid-year. Listen in the parks, on the road, or as you doze by the water. Let it play in the background as ambiance during a picnic or while you turn pages of your chosen warm-weather book. It can even count toward your completion of the Adult Summer Reading Program!

Today marks the beginning of Read to the Rhythm (June 1 – July 31), and one choice you have is to watch a DVD or listen to a CD. To register visit our online information page or stop by the Library to design your personal mix of books, movies, and music.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on June 1, 2015 Categories: Music

We Asked Staff: What Do You Hope to Read This Summer?

Summer is growing closer! To some this means filling these warm sunny days up with activity after activity, while for others this means pausing all non-imminent responsibilities and relaxing. Regardless of how you choose to set the tempo of your days, we hope you make time for reading!

In honor of Read to the Rhythm, our Summer Reading Program running June 1-July 31, we asked Mount Prospect Library Staff what their reading hopes and dreams are for the summer. We’re planning on sharing the reading experiences of other Mount Prospect readers as well, so make sure you stop back here to see what your fellow community members are reading or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Anne S.
Research Services
Cover of Dead Wake
Dead Wake by Erik Larson—I hope I get to it, because I’m on the waiting list!

Nancy
Fiction/AV/Teen
Cover of The Secret History
I recently enjoyed Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, so this summer I am finally going to read The Secret History

Mary Jane
Research Services
Cover of Bad Monkey
I want to listen to the audio of Carl Hiaasen’s Bad Monkey on my husband’s and my driving trip to Alaska. It’s a new author for both of us so it will be fun to explore together.

Mary Jane
Research ServicesCover of The Lighthouse
I want to listen to P.D. James on our trip because I love a good mystery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol
Community Services
Cover of West of Sunset
The first book on my summer list is Stewart O’Nan’s West of Sunset, a fictionalization of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s time in Hollywood. I love reading about the 1920s and 1930s.

Carol
Community ServicesCover of Casual Vacancy
I might try J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy. The plot looks interesting.

Carol
Community ServicesCover of Alexandria Quartet
I’d really like to finally finish Lawrence Durell’s Alexandria Quartet. It is four short novels in one large book, so I have been taking my time with it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donna
Fiction/AV/Teen
Cover of The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House
This summer I hope to read Kate Andersen Brower’s non-fiction book, The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House. The title is what peaked my interest

Elaine
Collection ManagementCover of On the Move
I am planning to read On the Move: A Life by Oliver Sacks because I think the author must be as fascinating as the stories he has written!

Diane
Fiction/AV/TeenCover of Uprooted
Uprooted by Naomi Novik! According to the many, many rave reviews on amazon.com, it looks like it will be a fantasy classic.

Mary
Youth ServicesCover of The Rosie Project
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I’ve been meaning to read this forever!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janine
Circulation
Cover of Where'd You Go, Bernadette
I’m going to re-read Where’d You Go, Bernadette on audiobook. I loved the book the first time around, and have heard amazing things about the audiobook.

Janine
Circulation
Cover of The Sound and the Fury
I’m going to try to read The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. I’ve been too scared to attempt it in the past, but this summer I’ll rope my cousin in and we’ll get through it!

Janine
Circulation
Cover of The Sky is Everywhere
I want to read The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, because I LOVED I’ll Give You the Sun and want to read more by her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joyce
Fiction/AV/Teen
Cover of The Girl on the Train
I hope to listen to The Girl on the Train in audiobook because I love psychological thrillers.

Joyce
Fiction/AV/Teen
Cover of The Husband's Secret
I hope to listen to The Husband’s Secret in audiobook because I haven’t read Liane Moriarty previously.

John
IT Services
Cover of Wheel of Time series
I’ve been meaning to read the Wheel of Time series because my friend has been bugging me to for years. It’s a fantasy series similar to LotR but written more casually like ASoIaF (without a lot of the backstabbing and scheming).

John
IT Services
Cover of The Martian
I like science fiction and The Martian has accrued so much hype I figure at this point it’s essentially a must-read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cathleen
Fiction/AV/Teen
Cover of Wolf Hall
I’m overdue for meaty historical fiction, and this will be the season I finally lose myself in the world of Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

Cathleen
Fiction/AV/Teen
Cover of Armada
For pure fun, imagination, action, and heart, Armada, Ernest Cline’s follow-up to Ready Player One, is at the top of my list.

Cathleen
Fiction/AV/Teen
Cover of X
As much as I adore Sue Grafton’s character of Kinsey Millhone, she is most vivid when voiced by Judy Kaye. Can’t wait for X!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary
Technical Services
Cover of The Girl Next DoorI will be reading one of the last books by my favorite author, Ruth Rendell: The Girl Next Door.

Kathi
Registration
Cover of Pirate HuntersThis summer I plan to read Pirate Hunters by Robert Kurson. His first two books (Crashing Through and Shadow Divers) were awesome; I met him and he’s a great guy!

Rebeca
Collection Management
Cover of The Night Manager The Night Manager is a must read for me as it’s soon to be a miniseries starring Tom Hiddleston.

Joe
Research Services
Cover of The CircleI’m going to try and read The Circle by Dave Eggers, because my boss has been recommending it for months!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda
IT Services
Cover of The Thirteenth Tale
I am intrigued by reviews praising the atmospheric, historic thriller The Thirteenth Tale for “lovers of books about book lovers” about a famous, reclusive author known for fictionalizing her biography but who claims she will reveal her true family story now that she is dying.

Linda
IT Services
Cover of Sapiens
Earning great reviews as thoughtful, readable non-fiction, Sapiens explores how homo sapiens became the sole surviving human species and came to dominate all life on the planet and the consequences.

Linda
IT Services
Cover of The Silkworm
Having read Rowling/Galbraith’s first book in her new adult series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, I expect to also enjoy this second one, The Silkworm, as anyone who’s read Harry Potter knows her masterful writing skills.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carla
Administration
Cover of Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo
The American Institute of CPAs recommended Marissa Mayer and the Fight to Save Yahoo by Nicholas Carlson.

Carla
Administration
Cover of Good Leaders Ask Great Questions
Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John Maxwell was also recommended by the American Institute of CPAs

Jenny
Fiction/AV/Teen
Cover of Half a King
I’m drawn to long epic fantasies during the summer, and have heard fantastic things about Joe Abercrombie’s Half a King.

Jenny
Fiction/AV/Teen
Cover of The First Bad Man
Miranda July has a knack for striking the perfect balance of offbeat hilarity and gut wrenching truths, which I’m hoping translates into The First Bad Man!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jo
Research Services
Cover of Foxcatcher
I’ve been meaning to read Foxcatcher by Mark Schultz ever since I saw the movie. The movie was so bizarre – I just want to find out more about the characters and the situation.

Jo
Research Services
Cover of The Rosie Effect
I’m looking forward to listening to The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion. I just finished The Rosie Project and it actually made me laugh out loud! Perfect for a long road trip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in joining in on the reading fun? You can register for the Adult Summer Reading Program online or at the Fiction/AV/Teen Desk on the second floor, starting Monday, June 1st.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 29, 2015 Categories: Audiobooks, Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Literary, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense, Nonfiction, Romance, Staff Picks

Fiction: The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus

Cover of The Flame Alphabet

 

The sounds of children’s voices have become lethal to adults.

 

In order to survive, Sam and Claire must flee from their only child, Esther. Resigned yet determined, Sam pursues a cure as he reflects on the crumbling of civilization as America once knew. The Flame Alphabet is filled with a certain kind of horror where children become the enemy, yet is also layered with the relentless beauty of a father stubbornly fighting to keep his family together. Ben Marcus’ stunning and cadenced writing only adds emphasis to what is truly at the core of this bleak dystopian: the power and splendor of language in its ability to hurt and heal.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 28, 2015 Categories: Books, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Literary

Staff Pick: Upstream Color

Picture of JohnUpstream Color unfolds in an elliptical manner, inviting viewers to deduce the narrative with limited dialogue and an absence of exposition.  However, it would be a mistake to dismiss this as some gimmicky puzzle film:  Amy Seimetz’s outstanding lead performance reveals the powerful emotional heart at the center of this ecological sci-fi love story.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 26, 2015 Categories: Movies and TV, Picks by John, Staff Picks

Fiction: Wish You Were Here by Graham Swift

Wish You Were Here book cover“Our dead are never dead to us until we have forgotten them,” George Eliot wrote. “They know all our penitence, all our aching sense that their place is empty.”

The truth of these words scalds the characters of Man Booker Prize winner Graham Swift’s Wish You Were Here. When Jack receives word from the Ministry of Defence that his younger brother Tom was killed in Iraq, he must make arrangements to bring his remains back home to the Isle of Wight. This task forces Jack to confront complicated feelings toward not only his brother’s death but also his father’s, and the weight takes a toll on his relationships with the living as well. Evocative, slow-burning, and complex, this deceptively quiet novel depicts with graceful melancholy the relationships that haunt and enrich us.

By Cathleen, Readers' Advisor on May 25, 2015 Categories: Books, Literary

2015 Audie Award Finalists

The Audie Awards: 150 finalists and only 30 winners. On Thursday, May 28th the Audio Publishers Association will declare which exceptional audiobooks will be crowned Audie Winners for 2015. Enjoy a taste of the finalists below, and stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk on the second floor to let us know who you think should win this year’s Audie Awards! The categories and finalists below only scratch the surface, so make sure to peruse the other categories. The Awards Gala hosted by Jack Gantos will be Livestreamed on Thursday, starting at 6:30pm.

Fiction

Cover of Us
Us

by David Nicholls

Cover of Written in My Own Heart's Blood
Written in My Own Hearts Blood

by Diana Gabaldon

Cover of The Invention of Wings
The Invention of Wings

by Sue Monk Kidd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nonfiction

Cover of Furious Cool
Furious Cool

by David Henry and Joe Henry

Cover of Being Mortal
Being Mortal

by Atul Gawande

Cover of Deep Down Dark
Deep Down Dark

by Hector Tobar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantasy

Cover of The Queen of the Tearling
The Queen of Tearling

by Erika Johansen

Cover of Cress
Cress

by Marissa Meyer

Cover of The Emperor's Blades
The Emperor’s Blades

by Brian Staveley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History

Cover of Enduring Courage
Enduring Courage

by John F. Ross

Cover of In the Kingdom of Ice
In the Kingdom of Ice

by Hampton Sides

Cover of A Spy Among Friends
A Spy Among Friends

by Ben Macintyre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Humor

Cover of You Can Date Boys When You're Forty
You Can Date Boys When
You’re Forty

by Dave Barry

Cover of The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist

by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell

Cover of Food: A Love Story
Food: A Love Story

by Jim Gaffigan

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 22, 2015 Categories: Audiobooks, Awards, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction, Humor, Nonfiction

Movies and TV: The Paradise

Cover of The ParadiseIt’s 1890. Britain’s first department store, The Paradise, has opened up on the streets of Newcastle led by the ambitious Mr. John Moray. Coming from poverty with big dreams and bigger ideas, Denise has begun work as a shopgirl in the dress department at the store. While her innovative ideas make a splash, drawing attention from Moray himself, the road isn’t easy for Denise as she navigates a jealous peer, a fearful boss, and divided loyalties. The Paradise is a Victorian drama filled with swirling secrets, majestic dresses, matters of the heart and fierce competition where nothing is too grandiose.

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 21, 2015 Categories: Movies and TV

Discussion Questions: The Ritual Bath by Faye Kellerman

Cover of The Ritual BathTitle: The Ritual Bath
Author: Faye Kellerman
Page Count: 374 pages
Genre:  Mystery
Tone: Atmospheric, Suspenseful

Summary:
Detective Peter Decker is stunned when he learns one of the women in a remote yeshiva community in the California hills was brutally raped as she returned from the mikvah, the bathhouse where the cleansing ritual is performed and Rina Lazarus is also the only one in the sheltered community willing to speak of this unspeakable violation. As Rina tries to steer Decker through the maze of religious laws the two grow closer. Before they get to the bottom of this horrendous crime, revelations come to light that are so shocking that they threaten to come between the hard-nosed cop and the deeply religious woman with whom he has become irrevocably linked.

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

1. Did the author do a good job describing the yeshiva and the mikvah? Did you learn something about the Orthodox Jewish faith that you didn’t know before?

2. What was it about Rina Lazarus that Detective Decker was attracted to? What did you think of him when he fantasized about her being out of yeshiva context?

3. Did the author do a good job of describing the feelings of attraction that both Rina and Detective Decker had toward each other?

4. How did Rina try to discourage Detective Decker from being involved with her? Were there any ways she encouraged him?

5. Were you surprised at how open Rina was with Decker about her religion and why it wouldn’t be a good idea for them to go out with each other?

6. How do Rina and Detective Decker’s decisions affect their own lives and the lives of other characters in the book?

7. Was it believable that Decker’s biological parents were Jewish? Or does it seem too contrived?

8. Did you suspect that Moshe was the rapist/murderer? Were the Jewish people in the Yeshiva blinded by their faith while searching for clues/suspects?

9. Did the author do a good job of planting clues and developing the suspects?

10. Did you guess who the rapist was? Was the rapist a surprise?

11. Was it necessary to have Mrs. Marley, the security guard, murdered?

12. What was the author trying to accomplish with this mystery novel? (Begin a series? Provide entertainment? Send a message?)

13. Is the novel believable?

14. This is classified as a mystery novel. Do you think the mystery was the main point of the novel, or was it the relationship between Rina and Detective Decker?

15. What was the books greatest strength or most serious flaw?

16. How has the author set the book up to continue the series? Have any of you read further in the series? Do you plan on reading other books in this series?

Other Resources

What is a ritual bath?
Article: Reclaiming and re-imagining the ritual bath in 2015
Book discussion resources
Detective Decker and Rina Lazarus series order

If you liked The Ritual Bath, try

Cover of In the Bleak Midwinter Cover of Friday the Rabbi Slept Late Cover of When the Bough Breaks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman
When the Bough Breaks by Jonathan Kellerman

By Jenny, Readers' Advisor on May 20, 2015 Categories: Book Discussion Questions, Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense