Month: September 2015

Check It Out Blog

New Books by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Margaret Atwood, and More!

picture of new releasesAlmost everyday new books arrive at the Library to be processed and then placed on the shelf or in your hands. Take a look at some of the books that have arrived most recently at the Library. Want help getting matched with a book to fit your reading mood? Ask online or at the Fiction/AV/Teen services desk on the second floor.

Newly Arrived Books:

Cover of Mycroft HolmesMycroft Holmes
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
When his fiancée abruptly departs after hearing disturbing news, Mycroft Holmes is drawn in to a treacherous investigation.

Cover of Come Rain or Come ShineCome Rain or Come Shine
by Jan Karon
Graduating from vet school and opening an animal clinic, Dooley Kavanagh, plans what he hopes will be a simple, wedding with his soulmate.

Cover of The Heart Goes LastThe Heart Goes Last
by Margaret Atwood
A married couple tries to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse, but what looks to be an answer to their prayers takes a chilling turn.

Cover of BounceBounce
by Noelle August
Skyler never imagines she’ll land the lead role or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss her audition partner, Grey Blackwood, plants on her.

Cover of Song of ShadowsA Song of Shadows
by John Connolly
Charlie Parker risks everything to protect a widow and her young daughter in a case stemming from brutal acts performed in a World War II Nazi concentration camp.

Cover of Gold, Fame, CitrusGold, Fame, Citrus
by Claire Vaye Watkins
In the wake of a devastating drought, two idealistic holdouts fall in love and scavenge for their needs before taking charge of a mysterious child.






















Newly Arrived Audiobooks:

Cover of The Aeronaut's WindlassThe Aeronaut’s Windlass
by Jim Butcher
An airship’s crew becomes humanity’s lone defenders when an ancient enemy reawakens and threatens the world with monstrous creatures and perpetual darkness.

Cover of Hyacinth GirlsHyacinth Girls
by Lauren Frankel
When her daughter begins receiving suicidal notes from Robyn, the girl she supposedly bullied, Rebecca is determined to save the unbalanced Robyn, but in doing so, places her own daughter’s life in danger.

Cover of Shadow PlayShadow Play
by Iris Johansen
Assisting a California sheriff in the reconstruction of a skeleton that may be a missing child, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan begins communicating with the child’s spirit.













Cover of Last Ragged BreathLast Ragged Breath
by Julia Keller
Prosecuting attorney Bell Elkins struggles to discover the truth when a survivor of the 1972 Buffalo Creek disaster is implicated in the murder of a development-company president.

Cover of The Book of SpeculationThe Book of Speculation
by Erika Swyler
A beautifully crafted debut novel about a mysterious book that holds the key to a curse that has haunted a family of traveling circus performers for generations.

Cover of Fall of PrincesThe Fall of Princes
by Robert Goolrick
Money, power, and invincibility seduce a group of young Wall Street turks. Together they achieve the kind of wealth that grants them access to anything, and anyone, they want. Until, one by one, they fall.






Summaries from Novelist and Publishers.

Staff Pick: About Elly

Cathleen Staff Pick photoA lighthearted seaside getaway turns chilling with the sudden disappearance of a last-minute guest. As the others confront how little they know About Elly, nearly everyone’s casual relationship with truth turns a bad situation worse, intensifying our dread of the story’s reveal. Delicious, provocative storytelling from Oscar-winning auteur Asghar Farhadi.

Asked at the Desk: Books by YouTubers

Looking for a book that will sweep you into a different land? Want a comedy that is family friendly? How about a new fantasy series that is just as addictive as A Song of Ice and Fire?

These are just a few examples of questions we get daily at the Fiction/AV/Teen desk! Recently, we’ve been asked:

Do you have any books written by people on YouTube?

Our answer?

Yes! Here is a little bit of what we have:


Cover of You’re Never Weird on the InternetCover of A Work in ProgressCover of Really Professional Internet Person

You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day
A Work in Progress by Connor Franta
Really Professional Internet Person by Jenn McAllister

Cover of Make Up- Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, Success Online and OffCover of Selp-Helf by Miranda Sings Cover of We Should Hang Out Sometime

Make Up by Michelle Phan
Selp-Helf by Miranda Sings
We Should Hang Out Sometime by Josh Sundquist


Cover of The Beginning of EverythingCover of The Haunting of Sunshine Girl Cover of Girl Online

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl by Paige McKenzie
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Have a question yourself? Ask online or stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk on the second floor and we will connect you with something to fit your mood!

Audiobook Trio: Female Illusionists

red curtain

The art of illusion relies on stellar performance, and these stories of fascinating women who make magic merit a standing ovation. You may not be able to trust your eyes, but thanks to these talented narrators, your ears won’t deceive you.

The Magician's Lie audiobook coverThe Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister

The preeminent stage illusionist at the turn of the 20th century, the Amazing Arden is known best for the Halved Man. One evening she trades her usual saw for an axe, and later her husband is found murdered under the stage. Julia Whelan performs as the mesmerizing magician skilled in deception, and Nick Podehl voices the the desperate lawman seeking to pull back the curtain on the truth.

Illusion audiobook coverIllusion by Frank Peretti

Magicians Dane and Mandy Collins are about to retire when a car accident claims Mandy’s life. A grieving Dane goes to see a new magic act and is shocked to find a 19-year-old version of his Mandy. When the two reunite, they strive to uncover the conspiracy behind their meeting, Mandy’s supernatural magic, and who might be following them. Read by the author.

The Night Circus audiobook coverThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Jim Dale, the genius narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks, spins another tale of fantasy and spectacle. When Prospero the Enchanter discovers that he has a young daughter with extraordinary magical talents, he wastes no time in setting up a competition between her and the protégé of his longtime adversary. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

Book Discussion Questions: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Cover of Beautiful RuinsTitle: Beautiful Ruins
Author: Jess Walter
Page Count: 337 pages
Genre: Fiction
Tone: Romantic, Dazzling

From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.

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

The Library is happy to share these original questions for your use. If reproducing, please credit with the following statement:  2016 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

1. What do you think the quotes at the beginning of the book mean? Do they set a tone for the book?

2. What does the title of this book refer to? Does it capture the essence of the book?

3. Beautiful Ruins had several story lines and timelines . How did that affect your reading?

4. What did you think of Porto Vergogna? A place you would go to visit?

5. Did you have a favorite character?

6. At the beginning of the story, Pasquale Tursi is waiting “for life to come and find him.” What do you think he was waiting for?

7. When Pasquale found out his father died there was no question that Pasquale would come home and take care of his mother. Why?

8. How do you think Carlo influenced Pasquale’s life?

9. In reference to the Tennis court that Pasquale wants to build, Pasquale waxed philosophically “Every point ended with someone missing. It seemed both cruel and in some way true to life”. What do you think about that? What did you think about his tennis court?

10. Did Shane Wheelers parents stunt his growth?

11. Claire Silver, the chief development assistant for legendary film producer Michael Deane, was enchanted by the magic of Hollywood when she saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s two days before her tenth birthday. How do you think this movie shaped who she became? Was it for better or for worse? Is it the idea of fame that draws people to Hollywood, or something else? Is Hollywood as influential on lives today as it was through much of the twentieth century?

12. Claire Silver is portrayed as a go-getter, what did you think of her character?

13. What do you think about this line: “Guilt is sometimes a kind of envy” (pg. 59)?

14. How do you think that the concept of the”American dream” applies in this novel? Do you think it is still attainable? How much of our notions of the American Dream are shaped by Hollywood? Is faith enough—or hard work—to make our dreams come true? Can we truly be, achieve, or do anything we desire?

15. This novel has many artistic inlets using storytelling itself as the story. Did any of them resonate with you?

16. When Pasquale came to Michael Deane’s office all those years later to find Dee, did you believe that Micheal had an altruistic motive to help him?

17. What did you think about Michael Deane? Is there any good in him?

18. Discuss the reunion of Dee and Pasquale. Dee asks Pasquale, “what took you so long?” To which Pasquale answers, “I’m sorry. There was something important I had to do.” Is true love timeless?

19. Pasquale left Dee to go to Amadea and led a good life. What would you have done? What do you think his life would have been like if he stayed?

20. When Amedea told Pasquale that she was pregnant, was she hoping he would marry her? (Pg. 120)

21. Do you think Pasquale would have went back to Amadea if he had not met Dee?

22. Pat Bender was the son of Dee Moray and Richard Burton. What did you think about him? Did he remind you of his father?

23. Why use the movie Cleopatra as the center of the novel?

24. Why do you think Dee kept track of Richard Burton’s career ?

25. What do you think about Dee not telling Pat who is real father was until the end?` pg 211

26. Pat was 45 and running off to Europe in the hopes of finding success. What did you think of this?

27. How are Pat and Shane Wheeler different?

28. Pat talks about living the life he should be living versus the one he actually is living. How is the way your life is dictated come from and where does “the should” come in?

29. How are our identities shaped by the culture we live in? Who shapes our culture in the first place? How did they get the power?

30. What did you think of the Richard Burton Character?

31. Richard Burton said “of course any right blighter would choose being a great actor over being a household word if the stacks were the same.” What do you think the relationship is between fame and art?

32. What did you think of the ending? The author said he wanted to give each of his stories one more moment in the present.

Want help with your book discussion group? Check out tips, advice, and all the ways the Library can help support your group!

Other Resources:

Discussion Questions by TOSA Book Club
Lit Lovers’ Reading Guide
Book Riot Discussion on Beautiful Ruins
Video Q&A with Jess Walter
In-Depth Interview with Jess Walter
Cleopatra movie trailer

Cover of Movie Star by Lizzie PepperCover of The Rocks Cover of The Pirate's Daughter

Movie Star by Lizzie Pepper by Hilary Liftin
The Rocks by Peter Nichols
The Pirate’s Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson


New Fiction and Nonfiction: Relationships, Mutant Hordes, and More!

picture of new releasesAlmost everyday new books arrive at the Library to be processed and then placed on the shelf or in your hands. Take a look at some of the books that have arrived most recently at the Library. Want help getting matched with a book to fit your reading mood? Ask online or at the Fiction/AV/Teen services desk on the second floor.

Newly Arrived Fiction:

Cover of UnderMajorDomo MinorUnderMajorDomo Minor
by Patrick DeWitt
A dark fable following the adventures of an eccentric liar who confronts colorful residents, bitter secrets and murderous agendas working at the village manor.

Cover of Dishing the DirtDishing the Dirt
by M.C. Beaton
Agatha finds herself under suspicion – and must fight to clear her name when a therapist she resents is murdered.

Cover of Koko the MightyKoko the Mighty
by Kieran Shea
Accepting shelter from a cult to avoid a bounty hunter and survive a dangerous storm, ex-mercenary Koko and former cop Flynn help to defeat a horde of mutants.

Cover of The PhotographThe Photograph
by Beverly Lewis
In a 1980s Amish community, three sisters face a time of transition in their family, and each searches for a way to define her own future

Cover of The ScamThe Scam
by Janet Evanovich
Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O’Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that’s what everyone thinks…

Cover of The Zig Zag GirlThe Zig Zag Girl
by Elly Griffiths
Investigating a murder committed in the style of a famous magic trick, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens reconnects with an illusionist friend from WWII.






















Newly Arrived Nonfiction:

Cover of The Art of MemoirThe Art of Memoir
by Mary Karr
The author of Lit builds on her memoirs and literary anecdotes to outline her personal writing process while identifying the elements of a successful memoir.

Cover of NegrolandNegroland
by Margo Jefferson
A deeply felt meditation on race, sex, and American culture through the prism of the author’s rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite.

Cover of Yes My Accent is RealYes, My Accent is Real
by Kunal Nayyar
An anthology of humorous, autobiographical essays by the actor best known as Raj from The Big Bang Theory traces his journey from a child in New Delhi to celebrity.












Cover of Fast GirlFast Girl
by Suzy Favor Hamilton
A former Olympic athlete and high-end escort reveals her struggles with manic depression, exploring how mental illness both drove her competitively and painfully challenged her personal life.

Cover of Accidental SaintsAccidental Saints
by Nadia Bolz-Weber
Bolz-Weber keeps “stumbling into holy moments” which break through her resistance and sweep her up in transforming relationships where giving, receiving, even embodying grace becomes a way of life. .

Cover of NeurotribesNeurotribes
by Steve Silberman
Silberman provides solutions to the autism puzzle, while mapping out a path toward a more humane world in which people with learning differences and those who love them have access to the resources they need.



Summaries are from Novelist and Publishers.

Movies and TV: Golden Door

This October the Library will be exploring life in Italy as part of our annual cultural series. Join your community on October 12, 2015 at 7pm to watch Golden Door. The 2006 Italian film begins in Sicily, following Salvatore, a poor farmer and widower, along with his children as they try to immigrate to America. Along the way he meets Lucy, a British woman determined to marry someone before reaching Ellis Island. This lyrical portrayal of immigration highlights the realistic hardships of immigration in the 20th century.

Cover of Golden DoorStart immersing yourself in the Italian culture now with Italian films such as Cinema Paradiso, following a young filmmaker returns to his home in Sicily, La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty), a portrayal of a successful writer at 65 looking back on his life of enjoying the glittering nightlife in Rome, and La Dolce Vita, where a gossip magazine writer is swept away into the mundane life of celebrity culture, compromising his values.

Cover of Cinema Paradiso Cover of La Grande Bellezza Cover of La Dolce Vita







All movies featured above are in Italian with English subtitles.

Staff Pick: Point of Honour by Madeleine E. Robins

Picture of DianeFall into autumn with romance and intrigue!  Make the acquaintance of our heroine, the redoubtable and engaging master swordswoman Sarah Tolerance, in this alternate history Regency mystery series by Madeleine E. Robins.  Point of Honour, Petty Treason, and The Sleeping Partner are more complex than the usual Regency romp, but just as delightful.


Box Office Inspirations: War Room

Faith-based films rarely make the news, but War Room, a movie about a family that fights back with prayer, has earned a lot of attention with grosses topping $39 million in just seventeen days. If this inspires you to try a simple how-to or story about prayer, these titles might be what you seek:

The Prayer Box book coverThe Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

Charged with cleaning out her deceased landlord’s old Victorian house after her passing, Tandi Jo Reese has her whole life changed when she discovers Iola’s prayer boxes filled with a lifetime of hopes, wishes, fears, and observations.

War Room book coverWar Room:  Prayer Is A Powerful Weapon by Chris Fabry

When real-estate agent Elizabeth Jordan meets elderly widow Clara Williams, a visit to the elder woman’s prayer room helps Elizabeth realize that her mounting problems at home are surmountable with the help of God.

Yada Yada Prayer Group book coverThe Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson

A group of Chicago-area women from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, assigned to a prayer group at a weekend conference, become the best of friends as they support each other through the challenges and crises in their lives.  First of a series.

Help Thanks Wow book coverHelp Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott

Describes the three simple prayers–asking for assistance from a higher power, expressing gratitude, and feeling awe–that help to deal with the hardships of daily life.

Before Amen book coverBefore Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer by Max Lucado

Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, a best-selling author reminds readers that prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between a Father and child.