Check It Out Category: Lists

Audiobooks for Your Summer Road Trip

“Nothing behind me, everything in front of me, as is ever so, on the road.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Heading out on the open road this summer? The Library has audiobooks that are sure to keep you engaged while the miles fly by.

For a light read, try Someday, Someday, Maybe by Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham. This is a sweet tale of a young woman trying to keep up her spirits and her bank account while seeking success as an actress in New York City. 8 hrs, 30 minutes (about the time it’d take to get from Mount Prospect to Toronto, Canada)

 

 

 

 

Astrophysics for people in a hurry book cover

 

If it’s an exercise for your grey matter that you want, pop in Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Dr. Tyson gives a crash course in the nature of time, the cosmos and our place in the universe with his trademark wit and accessibility. 3 hrs 30 minutes (enough time to get you to the Wisconsin Dells or Saugatuck, Michigan)

 

 

 

 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is the perpetual sci-fi dystopian adventure bestseller. If you haven’t read it, or even if you have, you’re in for a treat with the audio, read by none other than Wil Wheaton. This is the story of Wade Watts, who escapes the dreary reality of life in 2044 by playing in the virtual reality utopian world of OASIS. By solving puzzles and unlocking clues Wade might be able to find the lucrative treasure hidden within, but he could risk his own life to do so. 15 hrs, 41 minutes (long enough for a drive to New York City or Tallahassee, Florida)

 

 

On the Road book cover

 

And of course, there’s the classic Beat Generation road trip tale, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Chronicling the cross country road trip of Sal Paradise and various friends as they drive toward vague destinations and explore debauchery and philosophical musing in 1950’s-era America. (At 11 hours, it would get you almost to Atlanta, Georgia.)

 

 

 

For more great titles to match your tastes, stop by the second floor Fiction/AV/Teen Services desk to get suggestions. Road-tripping with your family? We currently have  a display on family-friendly titles located by the audiobook collection you can take a peek at!

Music: Songs That Make Us Think of High School

Do you ever hear a song and it transports you to a different time and place from your past? With high school graduations in the air, a few staff members of the Library took time to reflect on songs that reminded of them of high school, whether it be a song they listened to nonstop or one that summed up their experience. It was hard to narrow it down to just one song!

Green R.E.M. album cover

Andrea
Song: Stand by R.E.M.

Pretty in Pink soundtrack album coverCathleen
Song: If You Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Mellon Colli and the Infinite Sadness album coverDonna C.
Song: “Tonight, Tonight” by Smashing Pumpkins

screeching weasel weaselmania album coverEvan
Song: “Hey, Suburbia” by Screeching Weasel

 

Violent Femmes album coverHeather
Song: “Blister in the Sun” by The Violent Femmes

Jimmy Eat World Bleed American album coverJenny
Song: “Hear You Me” by Jimmy Eat World

Crosby Stills and Nash Carry On album coverJoyce
Song: “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills and Nash

Kelda
Song:”Tainted Love” by Soft Cell

inxs Kick album coverNancy
Song: “New Sensation” by INXS

The Best of Don McLean album coverRosemary
Song: “American Pie” by Don McLean

 

Now it’s your turn! Whether you just graduated or graduated decades ago, share what songs make you think of your time at high school by tweeting at us at @MPPLib or by commenting on our Facebook wall.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we want to bring your attention to a few of the many amazing authors who are from, or trace their roots back to, the Asian Pacific region.

Book Cover of EdinburghAlexander Chee is the author of two novels. Edinburgh, set in Maine, details in beautiful and haunting prose the profound damage and destruction of abuse, as we follow the life of a young Korean-American boy named Fee and the path his life takes in the months and years following his victimization. Chee’s second novel The Queen of the Night is another powerful tale, this time centering on  Book Cover of The Queen of the Nightstrong women in a repressive 19th century world. The Queen of the Night chronicles the rise to fame of a supremely gifted opera singer, who overcomes a forlorn past with a bravado befitting the lyrical profession in which she thrives.

 

 

Book Cover of Everything I Never Told You

 

Celeste Ng made her breakthrough debut in 2014 with the instant classic, Everything I Never Told You. It is the story of a Chinese American father and white American mother, who must grapple with the death of their daughter, the unrealistic expectations they’d set for her, and the clouds of doubt, resentment and racism that are fracturing them apart.

 

 

 

Book Cover of The Sympathizer

 

Viet Thanh Nguyen authored a collection of short stories and a nonfiction work about the Vietnam War before writing his thought-provoking novel, The Sympathizer. This is a suspenseful, fast-paced tale of espionage and heartbreak that centers on a duplicitous half-French half-Vietnamese army captain and his resettlement in the United States after the fall of Saigon.

 

 

Book Cover of Moshi Moshi

 

Banana Yoshimoto’s latest novel Moshi-Moshi is a poignant and wistful story about a daughter trying to make sense of her father’s death in a suicide pact with a woman who was not her mother. The book explores the grief process both Yocchan and her mom take, while her father’s ghost tries to contact Yocchan through her dreams. The hip Tokyo neighborhood of Shimokitazawa is very much a character here, as it vividly comes to life through Yoshimoto’s evocative language.

Meet Your Next Graphic Novel via Free Comic Book Day

Each year we eagerly look forward to Free Comic Book Day, and it’s here at last! Not only is it a day to explore and support neighborhood comics shops (Comix Revolution generously donates those we offer at the Library), but it is a golden opportunity to discover new stories and artists. Find something you like in one of the giveaways? Find a match among our graphic novel offerings! 

Wonder Woman Year One book coverWonder Woman
Vol. 2 Year One
Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott
Mouse Guard Legends of the Guard book coverMouse Guard
Legends of the Guard
David Petersen, Jeremy Bastian
Archie Vote Lodge book cover

Archie, Vol. 2
Vote Lodge
Mark Waid, Veronica Fish

Spill Zone book coverSpill Zone
Scott Westerfeld, Alex Puvilland

Rick and Morty book coverRick and Morty, Vol. 1
Zac Gorman, CJ Cannon

Incal book coverThe Incal: Classic Collection
Alejandro Jodorowski, Moebius

 

Jerusalem book coverJerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City
Guy Delisle, Lucy Firoud

Attack on Titan 4 book coverAttack on Titan 4
Hajime Isayama

Best American Comics 2014 book cover

 

Asked at the Desk: Classic American Novels

Picture of Fiction/AV/Teen desk

When we receive the same question twice in one week, we take note! Here’s what two of your neighbors recently asked:

I haven’t read more than one or two of the classic American novels. Now I’m ready, but I don’t know which are most important. Also, do you have them as audiobooks?

We understand this can be overwhelming. Not only are there differing opinions about the most essential, there are different definitions of classic! Here we’ll suggest American classics in three categories to help you find your gateway.

Shorter American Classics

If delving into classic literature is new for you, try one that is not only short in length but also accessible in story and writing:

Great Gatsby book coverThe Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fahrenheit 451 book coverFahrenheit 451
Ray Bradbury
John Steinbeck

 

American Classics by Authors of Color

Too many lists of classics limit the rosters to those authored by white men. Make the choice to invest in other perspectives.

Invisible Man book coverInvisible Man
Ralph Ellison
Their Eyes Were Watching God book coverTheir Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston
W.E.B. Du Bois

 

Most Cited American Classics

If your goal is to be familiar with books likely to be referenced in conversation or in other writing, here are three to know:

J.D. Salinger

 

Audiobooks are a great way to experience the classics! Let a talented voice actor bring great writing to life for you. Click for a sampling of American classics on audio. Lists of British classics and World classics are also available.

Interested in more suggestions? Stop by Fiction/AV/Teen Services on the second floor to ask at the desk yourself, or ask online to visit our virtual desk.

Getting Down with The Get Down

Get Down poster image“You hear that? That is life. And destiny. That is the get down.”

Part two of Netflix series The Get Down recently dropped, and though it isn’t yet available through the Library, we know some of you are already primed to lose yourselves in the music, the style, the art, and the drama of the Bronx in the late 1970s.

The fascinating world of early hip hop is one born of frustrations, passions, and even activism. To experience more of this electric era, try one of these:

Hip Hop Family Tree vol 1 cover

 

Hip Hop Family Tree 1: 1970s – 1981 by Ed Piskor

The early days of hip hop have become the stuff of myth, so what better way to document this epic true story than in an explosively entertaining, encyclopedic history presented in graphic format? Piskor’s exuberant cartooning takes you from the parks and rec rooms of the South Bronx to the night clubs, recording studios, and radio stations where the scene started to boom. The Hip Hop Family Tree is an exciting and essential cultural chronicle for hip hop fans, pop-culture addicts, and anyone who wants to know how it went down back in the day.

Wild Style DVD cover

 

Wild Style, directed, produced, and written by Charlie Ahearn

A perfect point of contrast to a series that recreates the emergence of hip hop is one that was created during the era in question! Wild Style is a 1983 docudrama that celebrates the colorful lives of teens who live in the South Bronx (sound familiar?). There they are seen break dancing, creating graffiti art, and listening to raucous rap. One focus is on the figure of Zoro, who likes to spray-paint subway cars, another reference point from The Get Down in the character of Dizzee, played by Jaden Smith.

Adventures of Grandmaster Flash book cover

 

The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash: My Life, My Beats by Grandmaster Flash with David Ritz

In the 1970s Grandmaster Flash pioneered the art of break-beat DJing–the process of remixing and thereby creating a new piece of music by playing vinyl records and turntables as musical instruments. In this powerful memoir, Flash recounts how music from the streets, much like rock ‘n’ roll a generation before, became the sound of an era, as well as his own rise to stardom, descent into addiction, and ultimate redemption.

 

Get Down soundtrack cover

The Get Down: Original Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series

Whether you’ve seen the series and can’t let it go or you want to experience it vicariously, the series soundtrack will satisfy your yen. Featuring both original songs and era classics, the line up includes artists such as Miguel, Christina Aguilera, Michael Kiwanuka, Janelle Monae, and Donna Summer, as well as the talented cast. Consider this your hot summer soundtrack!

List: Movies With Library Scenes

Although National Library Week 2017 is coming to a close, there is never an end to the celebration of libraries. One unique way to keep the library party going, is to watch movies with libraries in them. Here is a starter list, with movies that include at least one scene with a library in them.

If you’d like more movie suggestions, stop by your local library and we will find something that you are in the mood to watch!

 

UHF dvd coverUHF
Starring Conan the Librarian
My Fair Lady dvd coverMy Fair Lady
Starring winding library staircases
Ghostbusters dvd coverGhostbusters
Starring the Library Ghost

 

Desk Set dvd coverDesk Set
Starring Katharine Hepburn as the reference librarian
Amazing Spider-man dvd coverThe Amazing Spider-Man
Featuring Stan Lee as a school librarian
Breakfast Club dvd coverThe Breakfast Club
Starring an iconic library setting

 

Party Girl dvd coverParty Girl
Includes a library dance
Attack of the Clones dvd coverStar Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Starring the controversial Jedi librarian
The Music Man dvd coverThe Music Man
Starring Marian the librarian

List: Your Novel is Too Long. It’s Also Great.

Today in the Tournament of Books (You are following, right? If not, let us remind you why you should) the post-judgment debate included advice to authors that no matter what it’s about, “Your novel is too long,” but after further consideration concluded, “Write it anyway.” This made us brainstorm lengthy-but-great books of our experience, and these are a sampling of those that must be mentioned:

Nix book coverThe Nix by Nathan Hill

2016. 625 pages.

Astonished to see the mother who abandoned him in childhood throwing rocks at a presidential candidate, a bored college professor struggles to reconcile the radical media depictions of his mother with his small-town memories and decides to draw her out by penning a tell-all biography.

 

 

1Q84 book cover1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

2011. 925 pages.

An ode to George Orwell’s 1984 told in alternating male and female voices relates the stories of Aomame, an assassin for a secret organization who discovers that she has been transported to an alternate reality, and Tengo, a mathematics lecturer and novice writer.

 

 

11_22_63 book cover11/22/63 by Stephen King

2011. 849 pages.

Receiving a horrific essay from a GED student with a traumatic past, high-school English teacher Jake Epping is enlisted by a friend to travel back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a mission for which he must befriend troubled loner Lee Harvey Oswald.

 

 

Goldfinch book coverThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

2013. 771 pages. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

A young boy in New York City, Theo Decker, miraculously survives an accident that takes the life of his mother. Alone and abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by a friend’s family and struggles to make sense of his new life. In the years that follow, he becomes entranced by one of the few things that reminds him of his mother; a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the art underworld.

 

Seveneves book coverSeveneves by Neal Stephenson

2015. 867 pages.

A catastrophic event renders the Earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity in outer space. Five thousand years later, their progeny, seven distinct races now three billion strong, embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown, to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

 

Luminaries book coverThe Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

2013. 834 pages. Winner of the Man Booker Prize.

In 1866, a weary Englishman lands in a remote gold-mining frontier town on the coast of New Zealand to make his fortune and forever leave behind his family’s shame. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to investigate what links three crimes that occurred on a single day, events in which each man finds himself implicated in some way.

 

List: Beauties and Beasts in Love

A tale as old as time… but that doesn’t stop romantics through the years thrilling to the story of a heroine who sees past an animal-like exterior to recognize a noble heart beneath. Today is the release of Disney’s remake of its celebrated Beauty and the Beast, and we are marking the occasion with a collection of re-imaginings for adult readers.

When Beauty Tamed the Beast book coverWhen Beauty Tamed the Beast
by Eloisa James
The Earl of Marchant lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. Rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.  However, Miss Linnet is not just any woman.
Beauty book coverBeauty
by Susan Wilson
Traveling to New Hampshire to paint a portrait, Alix finds a man hideously deformed by a rare genetic disease, but as she spends hours working on the portrait, she discovers the magnificent man inside the recluse.
Lair of the Lion book coverLair of the Lion
by Christine Feehan
To rescue her imprisoned brother, Isabella is willing to brave the fabled lair of the lion. When the imposing figure commands her to become his bride, she agrees in the hope she can save his tortured soul.

 

Bride and the Beast book coverThe Bride and the Beast
by Teresa Medeiros
Sent into a ruined castle as a sacrificial victim for a dragon, Gwendolyn Wilder finds herself instead lured into the castle lord’s luxurious bed.
Simply Love book coverSimply Love
by Mary Balogh
While on a summer holiday in Wales, Anne meets Sydnam Butler, a taciturn hero of the Peninsula Wars. Gentle yet courageous, but also wounded, he is unlike any man she has ever encountered.
To Beguile a Beast book coverTo Beguile a Beast
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Socialite Helen takes a job as a housekeeper in a crumbling Scottish castle, where she refuses to let the beast-like Sir Alastair scare her away with his surliness and scars.

 

Beauty and the Clockwork Beast book coverBeauty and the Clockwork Beast
by Nancy Campbell Allen
When Lucy, a botanist famous for her vampire research, arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her sick cousin, she finds that mysteries abound. A restless ghost roams the hallways, and Lord Miles is clearly hiding a secret.
Fire Rose book coverThe Fire Rose
by Mercedes Lackey
Accepting a governess position after her father’s death, Rosalind is disturbed when her only contact with her new employer is through a speaking tube, but she finds joy in her assignment–to read wonderful literature to him.
Yours Until Dawn book coverYours Until Dawn
by Teresa Medeiros
Blinded in battle, war hero Gabriel lives as a recluse in his family’s mansion, until the arrival of nurse Samantha, who sets out to heal not only the arrogant earl’s body, but also his heart and mind.

 

Hearts Blood book coverHeart’s Blood
by Judith Marillier
Anluan has been crippled since childhood, part of a curse that has besieged his family. When the young scribe Caitrin is retained to sort through documents, she brings about unexpected changes in the household.
Chocolate Rose book coverThe Chocolate Rose
by Laura Florand
Hot-tempered Gabriel isn’t above blackmail to get what he wants, but what he wants might be the daughter of his worst enemy. In the heat and sun of Provence, with roses, fountains, and ancient stone villages, even a beast can prove he is a prince at heart . . .
Beauty and the Werewolf book coverBeauty and the Werewolf
by Mercedes Lackey
Bella finds herself attacked by a wolf…who turns out to be a cursed nobleman. Secluded in his castle, she is torn between her family and this strange man who creates marvelous inventions and makes her laugh– when he isn’t howling at the moon.

 

Asked at the Desk: Mean Girls and Frenemies Fiction

Picture of Fiction/AV/Teen deskWe adore when readers ask for themed suggestions, and this question from last week sent us on a fun scavenger hunt:

Do you know of any books with ‘mean girls’-type characters written for adults? I’m in the mood for something fun and snarky, but I like darker stories, too.

Absolutely! As we started collecting titles, we realized they come in different flavors and settings. Whether you are looking for characters living the high life, time-tested classics, dishy gossip, or chilling tales, there’s a frenemy story just for you…

Coworker Drama

Devil Wears Prada book coverThe Devil Wears Prada
Lauren Weisberger

Thrillingly Tense

Dare Me book coverDare Me
Megan Abbott

Reconstructing Amelia book coverReconstructing Amelia
Kimberly McCreight

 

Domestic Divas

Big Little Lies book coverBig Little Lies
Liane Moriarty

Momzillas book coverMomzillas
Jill Kargman

Keep Your Friends Close…

Friends and Foes book coverFriends & Foes
R. Billingsley and V. Murray

Crazy Rich Asians book coverCrazy Rich Asians
Kevin Kwan

Classic Manipulations

Crucible book coverThe Crucible
Arthur Miller

Emma book coverEmma
Jane Austen

 

Confronting Childhood

Sharp Objects book coverSharp Objects
Gillian Flynn

Cats Eye book coverCat’s Eye
Margaret Atwood

 

You too can ask at the desk! Stop by Fiction/AV/Teen Services on the second floor to say hello, or ask online to visit our virtual desk. We’re ready and eager to answer your bookish questions.