Check It Out Category: Books

Fiction: Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 12 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Yoko Tawada’s Memoirs of a Polar Bear is a allegorical novel that is compulsively readable. It is the story of three generations of polar bears, all of whom express a deep-seated need to tell their stories by writing autobiographies, starting with their Russian matriarch. The story weaves its way through the agonies and adulation of life as a captive animal entrapped in various situations; yet the bears find comfort in the attention that comes from performing in front of an audience. At many points this novel has a dreamlike dissonance, exploring the cravings of companionship and sense of purpose through the personification of polar bears. It combines whimsy with a serious study of life under an oppressive political regime and the ways in which nature seeks to right itself no matter what the circumstances.

For the DIY Designers…
This book may count as a book  from a genre you haven’t tried, a book everyone is talking about or a book with a person of color as the author.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book that’s been translated from another language or a book with a person of color as the author.

Nonfiction: All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 13 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

All the Lives I Want book cover

Are you a Winona or a Gwyneth? How many times have you seen Mary Kate Olsen without Ashley Olsen? What do these questions mean and why does that matter? In All the Lives I Want: Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to be Famous Strangers, Alana Massey uses her obsession with famous figures to examine womanhood, society, and celebrity culture in general. With chapter subtitles like, “On Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj, and the Art of Manufactured Beef,” and “A Case for the Liberation of Scarlett Johansson from Lost in Translation,” Massey covers a lot of ground and digs deep while still maintaining a light touch. This collection is one pop culture aficionados will not want to miss!

 Read this for Summer Reading.

For the DIY Designers…
This book may be counted as a nonfiction book.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book highlighted on the MPPL website and

Fiction: The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltserman

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 14 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Caretaker of Lorne Field book cover

Nine generations of firstborn Durkin sons have been paid by the town to do nothing but pull weeds from a field. Well, not weeds exactly. According to lore, the life forms being pulled from the ground are not plants but Aukowies, and if they aren’t constantly yanked and burned, they will take over the world.

In The Caretaker of Lorne Field by Dave Zeltserman, Jack Durkin is trying to stave off global extinction and feeling exhausted and alone. Local government would like to kick him off the payroll, his wife whines about him getting a real job, his son doesn’t want to take over the family business, and most everyone thinks he’s delusional. What if he is? What if he’s not?

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book may count as a favorite or new-to-you genre (horror) or as a book with a small town setting.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a scary book or as one highlighted on the MPPL website.

Staff Pick: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Septys

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 15 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Picture of AndreaIt’s 1945, and thousands of refugees, fleeing the advancing tide of the Soviet army, stream across the freezing Prussian landscape. Fearing death if the Soviets reach them, or worse if the Nazis do, Joana, Emilia, and Florian stumble into the same barn for shelter. Soon, they are picking their way across country to the coast, their best hope for escape.

By turns heartbreaking and hopeful, Ruta Septys’ Salt to the Sea is a beautiful story of some of the lesser-known casualties of World War II, and an excellent choice for fans of Code Name Verity and The Book Thief. Grab a tissue – you’ll need it!

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book may be counted as a book from your favorite or a new to you genre (historical fiction).

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a sad book or as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

Fiction: The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 16 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Any debut novel that can make you laugh out loud one minute, then pierce your heart the next, is a debut worth reading. Such is the case with Kayla Rae Whitaker’s The Animators. This fast-paced, exceptionally well-written book tells the story of two friends, Mel and Sharon, who meet in art school and work their way up to cult stardom in the male-dominated world of animation. When it comes to their art and the stories they weave, nothing is off-limits for these women. However, as Mel’s tendency toward self-destruction and Sharon’s unexpected health crisis overwhelm the equilibrium of their partnership, the bonds formed in friendship and in business will be fully put to the test. This book is so authentically crafted it’s a perfect companion for a weekend getaway.

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book may count as a favorite or new-to-you genre or as a book with a small town setting.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

Fiction: Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 17 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Arabella of Mars book cover

What if we took the action of a swashbuckling sea adventure, the interpersonal drama of a Jane Austen-like Regency, and the setting of a fantasy space opera? Mix those elements in perfect proportion, and we’ll find ourselves with the unbelievably fun Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine.

When Arabella’s family is threatened, she eagerly takes on the hero role. This means disguising herself as a boy and finding work on a Mars Trading Company ship, but that’s no problem for someone who prefers her early life on a Martian plantation and who has a knack for navigation. The voyage won’t be easy, but it will certainly be preferable to the correct Earth society life her mother keeps pushing. Set sail for grand adventures galore, and look for even more of our new favorite heroine in the July release of Arabella and the Battle of Venus.

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book may count as a favorite or new-to-you genre: fantasy, alternate history, or steampunk!

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a humorous book or as one highlighted on the MPPL website.

Fiction: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 18 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Eight Hundred Grapes book coverWhat Georgia Ford thinks is going to be a comforting return back home to her family’s vineyard after a life-altering moment quickly sours. Every which way she turns is a potentially relationship ruining secret. She has decided it is up to her to fix everything, however, the clock is ticking.  In less than a week everything will be changed permanently, and all that can be controlled is how. With lush descriptions of the Sonoma County scenery and deliciously dramatic threads spinning every which way, Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave is a book  to sit back with a glass of wine or juice and enjoy the ride.

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book may be counted as a  book everyone is talking about and a book with a small town setting.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

Nonfiction: American Eclipse by David Baron

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 20 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

American Eclipse book cover

With the anticipated solar eclipse in August, now might be the perfect time to read what happened around a similar event in 1878. David Baron’s fascinating new history, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World, delves into the facts to unearth an entertaining narrative with lots of tension and excitement.

Baron directs our attention to three notable observers of that phenomenon: Vassar astronomer Maria Mitchell, striving to prove women’s place in the sciences, James Craig Watson, a somewhat untrustworthy planet hunter, and aspiring inventor Thomas Edison. Their stories weave against the backdrop of the Wild West to illuminate the drama that led to America’s becoming a mover and shaker in the global scientific community and even to the creation of the first national weather service. If only our textbooks were this much fun…

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book is nonfiction and may count in that category.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.

Fiction: Rogues edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 21 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

Rogues book coverSkirting across genres to deliver a variety of stories centered on tricksters, rogues, and conmen, Rogues, the 2014 anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Doizois, features work by an all-star writing cast, including Gillian Flynn, Cherie Priest, Scott Lynch, and Lisa Tuttle. Those counting down to season 7 of Game of Thones will get a special treat! Martin includes a Song of Ice and Fire novelette, “The Rogue Prince, or, a King’s Brother,” set in Westeros hundreds of years before Game of Thrones takes place.

Read this for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
This book may count as reading a book of short stories.

For the Master Class Designers…
This may count as a book of short stories or one highlighted on the MPPL website.

Staff Pick: Most Talkative by Andy Cohen

Picture of Summer Reading House headerThere are 22 more days until the end of Summer Reading! Every day during our countdown we will be featuring slices of library life, books, and topics designed to help you out as you work through 2017 Summer Reading at Mount Prospect. Read more about how you can join in on this celebration of reading and enter to win prizes!

 Janine from Circulation suggests Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture by Andy Cohen

Most Talkative book coverAndy Cohen is the mastermind behind the Real Housewives franchise, and in his book Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture, he fills readers in on the road that led him to Bravo. Cohen is candid, and doesn’t hold back in terms of embarrassing moments or behind-the-scenes stories about the Housewives or other guests from his nightly Bravo talk show, Watch What Happens Live. Cohen’s story is full of humor as he details his rise through show business, leading ultimately to his job as an Executive on the Bravo network. He’s not afraid to talk about his own celebrity obsessions and character faults, making for a fun read that’s even more enjoyable in the audio version, which is narrated by Cohen himself.

If you’re already familiar with Andy Cohen or just enjoy celebrity gossip, Most Talkative won’t disappoint.

For more celebrity memoirs, try…

The Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating
by Carole RadziwillThe Widows Guide to Sex and Dating book coverA humorous story about a widowed New Yorker trying to reinvent herself after her husband’s death. Written by an actual Real Housewife of New York City!
All My Life
by Susan LucciAll My Life book coverInspired to read more about Susan Lucci after you hear about Andy Cohen’s obsession with her? Look no further than the All My Children star’s very own memoir!

 

Kathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins: My A to Z Index 
by Kathy GriffinKathy Griffin’s Celebrity Run-Ins book coverIf it’s celebrity gossip you want, than Griffin’s latest is for you. The irreverent comedian details run-ins with celebrities of all levels and ages, dictionary-style.
Man Up!
by Ross MathewsMan Up! book coverMathews turned a lifelong obsession with pop-culture into a job in Hollywood, and tells all about it in this memoir.
Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir 
by Padma LakshmiLove, Loss, and What We Ate book coverThe Bravo-lebrity best known for her work as a judge on Top Chef shares her own unforgettable journey in rich, provocative language and even a few recipes.

 

Read one of these books for Summer Reading!

For the DIY Designers…
All books can count as a nonfiction book.

For the Master Class Designers…
All books will count as a book highlighted on the MPPL website.