Check It Out Category: Lists

List: Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence 2017 Longlist

September brought the 2017 longlist for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction & Nonfiction. The Andrew Carnegie Medals are especially notable because winners are chosen by library professionals, similar to the Newbery award for children’s literature. This results in the ultimate to-read list for the year in adult fiction and non-fiction! Take a look at some of the books that stood out below:

perfume-river book coverPerfume River
by Robert Olen Butler
the-sport-of-kings book coverThe Sport of Kings
by C.E. Morgan
christodora book coverChristodora
by Zadie Smith


the-firebrand-and-the-first-lady book coverThe Firebrand and the First Lady
by Patricia Bell-Scott
behold-the-dreamers book coverBehold the Dreamers
by Imbolo Mbue
the-angel-of-history book coverThe Angel of History
by Rabih Alameddine


city-of-thorns book coverCity of Thorns
by Ben Rawlence
mister monkey book coverMister Monkey
by Francine Prose
mad-enchantment book coverMad Enchantment
by Ross King


Make sure to take a look at the full list of books chosen. The six finalists (three for fiction and three for nonfiction) will be announced October 26, 2016!


List: Funny Horror Books

funny horror books

Horror books don’t only have to be eerie, they can be funny too! Books shown below take familiar horror story premises and add a little laugh to the boo.

Apocalypse Cow book coverApocalypse Cow
by Michael Logan
It starts with one cow that won’t die… and spreads… and spreads… until the world has a problem they never imagined they would have to deal with: zombie animals.
Carpe Demon book coverCarpe Demon
by Julie Kenner
Between taking care of her kids and supporting her husband’s political career, Kate doesn’t have time to hunt demons too, but there’s only one woman for the job and that’s her!
Gil's All Fright Diner book coverGil’s All Fright Diner
by A. Lee Martinez
Duke, a werewolf, and Earl, a vampire, stop at diner and are enlisted to help the owner’s zombie problem, however, zombies aren’t the only problems the owner has.


John Dies at the End book coverJohn Dies at the End
by David Wong
A concoction called Soy Sauce opens a can of worms, but thanks to David’s and John’s video game knowledge they may have a chance of protecting their loved ones.
Paul is Undead
by Alan Goldsher
The Beatles are gearing up to take over the world like no other rock stars have ever done before!
bloodlite book coverBlood Lite III: Aftertaste
by various authors
All-star authors such as Jim Butcher and Kelley Armstrong unite to bring forth a collection of some hilarious good short horror stories.




List: Most Frequently Challenged Authors of Color

We celebrate our own freedom to read during Banned Books Week, but it is also right to champion those who bravely compose those very stories. Non-white authors receive more than half of book challenges each year — even though they are allowed much less of the publishing market! The reasons vary, and we can become distracted by the complaints, but what shouldn’t be lost are the vibrant creations of writers who deepen our understanding of the world.

The Bluest Eye book coverThe Bluest Eye
by Toni Morrison
Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl, prays for her eyes to turn blue, so that she will be beautiful, people will notice her, and her world will be different.
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian book coverThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
by Sherman Alexie
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
Color Purple book coverThe Color Purple
by Alice Walker
Two African American sisters, one a missionary in Africa and the other a child-wife living in the South, support each other through their correspondence, beginning in the 1920s.


Kite Runner book coverThe Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini
Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant’s son in a tale that spans the final days of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the atrocities of the present day.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings book coverI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
A black woman recalls the anguish of her childhood in Arkansas and her adolescence in northern slums in the 1930s and 1940s.
Bless Me Ultima book coverBless Me, Ultima
by Rudolfo Anaya
A coming-of-age story set in post-World War II New Mexico, in which an old woman with healing powers comes to live with a boy’s family the summer before he turns seven.


List: Young Adult Books for Adults

Every Thursday afternoon on Twitter, library staff across the nation standby to answer requests for book suggestions using the hashtag #AskaLibrarian. A question posed last week was, “how old is too old for Young Adult books?” Our answer? As long as you are enjoying the books, there is no old that is too old for Young Adult books! Below are some titles that may strike an additional chord with adult readers.

Breakfast Served Anytime book cover Breakfast Served Anytime
by Sarah Combs


Pointe book coverPointe
by Brandy Colbert
Shadowshaper book coverShadowshaper
by Daniel José Older
The Boy in the Black Suit book coverThe Boy in the Black Suit
by Jason Reynolds


The Wrath and the Dawn book coverThe Wrath and the Dawn
by Renee Ahdleh
Written in the Stars book coverWritten in the Stars
by Aesha Saeed








Fiction: Books with Airplane Trouble

Air travel requires a great deal of faith in both the plane and its crew. The odds are in our favor, but sometimes things go wrong. Opening in theaters today is the story of Sully, the heroic pilot who executed an emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in January 2009. Not all crises in the skies have the assurance of a happy ending, and in fiction it is that very tension which keeps those pages turning. If you’re looking for excitement and drama, try one of these stories of airplane trouble — some accidental, some intentional — and find out if a hero emerges.


Before the Fall book coverBefore the Fall by Noah Hawley

In one of the standout releases of 2016, the stories of ten wealthy victims of a plane crash intertwine with those of a down-on-his-luck painter and a four-year-old boy, the tragedy’s only survivors, as odd coincidences surrounding the crash point to a possible conspiracy.

In the Unlikely Event by Judy BlumeIn the Unlikely Event book cover

In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life — when a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving her community reeling.

Blackout book coverBlackout by John J. Nance 

On a routine flight to Hong Kong, a Boeing jet is rocked by an explosion that leaves one pilot dead and the other blinded. An investigation is called and as it proceeds, FBI agent and terrorism specialist Kat Bronsky is assigned to hunt down the crew of a Global Express business jet spotted nearby just before the explosion.

Seat Beside Me book coverThe Seat Beside Me by Nancy Moser

That strange, snoring, legroom-invading person next to you on the airplane — have you ever imagined owing your life to him? This is the gripping story of five passengers and their seatmates who get casually acquainted — then plunge headlong into an icy river in a sudden plane crash.

Mayday book coverMayday by Thomas Block

When a jumbo jet is struck by a missile twelve miles above the Pacific Ocean, three brave passengers attempt to land the plane.

Skid book coverSkid by Rene Gutteridge

Hank Hazard, a homeschooled mime for his family’s troupe, takes a new job as an airline company spy on Atlantica Flight 1945 and encounters a cast of quirky crew members and passengers, plus some unexpected turbulence.

Human Error book coverHuman Error by Tom Casey

When a plane bound for Paris crashes, killing forty-five of the people on board, the personal and professional life of the pilot, Captain Hugo Price, comes under intense official strutiny, as both the government and Price himself try to determine if he is at fault for the fatal accident.

Ask for more suggestions online or stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen Services desk on the second floor!

RITA Award Spotlight: Historical Romance and Inspirational Romance

Romance displays

As Romance Awareness Month draws to a close, the Library is celebrating with dual displays. Here you may find the recently announced honorees of the 2016 RITA Awards, which celebrate excellence in the romance genre. Often the most exciting races are those for historical romances and inspirational romances, and you can see several favorites below.

Historical Romance: Long

Tiffany Girl book coverTiffany Girl
WINNER:  Deeanne Gist

Earls Just Want to Have Fun book coverEarls Just Want to Have Fun
Finalist: Shana Galen


Bella and the Beast book coverBella and the Beast
Finalist: Olivia Drake
If the Viscount Falls book coverIf the Viscount Falls
Finalist: Sabrina Jeffries
Finalist: Grace Burrows


Historical Romance: Short

Say Yes to the Marquess book coverSay Yes to the Marquess
Finalist: Tessa Dare
Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy book coverThe Secrets of Richard Kenworthy
Finalist: Julia Quinn
Finalist: Elizabeth Hoyt


Inspirational Romance

A Noble Masquerade
WINNER: Kristi Ann Hunter
Mountain Midwife book coverThe Mountain Midwife
Finalist: Laurie Alice Eakes
Finalist: Becky Wade


We’ve Got You Covered: Books and Flat Ladies

What can you tell by a cover? Not everything, of course, but it can offer a peek into tone, topic, and audience. If you are ready for stories that are accessible, contemporary, lively, and straightforward, try one of these bright “flat art” covers, designed to entertain. Sunglasses, though common, are optional.

Window Opens book coverA Window Opens
Elizabeth Egan
Enchanted August book cover
Enchanted August
Brenda Bowen


Cover of Crazy Rich AsiansCrazy Rich Asians
Kevin Kwan


Finding Audrey book coverFinding Audrey
Sophie Kinsella
Royal We book coverThe Royal We
Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
I Take You book cover
I Take You
Eliza Kennedy


What Books Are People Talking About?

This summer, Twitter users took to sharing online what they have been reading using #MPPLSummer16. Below is a sampling of the books that have struck Mount Prospect Library users enough to tweet about.


Cover of JewelsJewels: A Secret History
by Victoria Finlay
“For my first Challenge book (A), I am LOVING the non-fiction book, Jewels: a Secret History by . ” -@amymerda

The Widow book coverThe Widow
by Fiona Barton

“Can’t put down “The Widow”. It’s a great psychological thriller! ” -@mooti

Citizen book coverCitizen
by Claudia Rankine

“CITIZEN by Claudia Rankine injects texture into race conversation with boldness and grace. Powerful, compact audio choice for ” -@nglofile

Rogue Lawyer book coverRogue Lawyer
by John Grisham
Just finished Rogue Lawyer by Grisham, easy and intriguing. Starting Stiletto by O’Malley. If you haven’t read The Rook, do.” -@jenzerbenz

Boys in the Boat book coverThe Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James Brown
“Picked up our Summer Reading Challenge at – we are now on a mission! ” -@prospectdad

Bet Me book coverBet Me
by Jennifer Crusie
“After 3 recs, finally made time for BET ME by , and it didn’t disappoint. Missing fun rom-coms? Start here! ” -@nglofile

Under the Udala Trees
by Chinelo Okparanta

“Just finished Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta and it has this quiet fierce beauty to it. So good! ” -@jennyandthings

Cover of Dead WakeDead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
by Erik Larson

Reading Dead Wake by . Love the description of the Lusitania as a “floating village in steel.” – @CKmorency


Summer isn’t over yet! Share what you’ve been reading using #MPPLSummer16!

The Summer Reading Challenge ends July 31st. If you’ve read 3 books since June 1, they may be applicable for the challenge! Stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk to see and enter to win for a prize.





Read a Book Published in the Decade You Were Born

Welcome to the last quarter of the 2016 Summer Reading Challenge! Looking for a home-stretch read? Choose a theme flexible enough to include a type of book you already like. Category B is Read a Book Published in the Decade You Were Born, and it offers all sorts of options.

1. Match your favorites: Do you like mysteries, romances, or another specific flavor of story? Find out what was being written in that genre when you were young. We can help!

2. Educate yourself: Choose something from that decade’s bestsellers list or that is now taught as a modern classic.

3. Made into a movie:  Books-to-movies aren’t a new phenomenon. Look at famous films from your birth decade and connect a few to their original novels.

4. Browse a sampling : Below are lists for each decade to give you a place to start. Click through and find a book that entered the world around the time you did.


It’s not too late to join the Summer Reading Challenge.
Not sure how to get started?  We have advice!
Share what you read and see what other people are reading using #MPPLsummer16

For reading suggestions, email us at or tweet at us @MPPLIB

Read a Book with Nonhuman Characters

Up for a challenge? Read a story that is told from the perspective of an object, an animal, or an idea! You may be well familiar with the many books centering on dogs or cats (and we’re fans of those, too), but try stretching yourself to see what you can learn about the human condition from something less familiar but just as decidedly nonhuman.  Below are a dozen noteworthy entries in different genres that can help you Read for the Win!

Firmin book covera rat


Jacobs Folly book covera house fly


My Name is Red book covera coin, a corpse, a tree…


The Bees book coverbees
The Bees


Join the Summer Reading Challenge.
Print your events list and scorecard here.
Not sure how to get started?  We have advice!

For reading suggestions, email us at or tweet at us @MPPLIB

Regardless of what you read and how you choose to read it, share your picks using #MPPLsummer16