Check It Out Category: Staff Picks

Staff Pick: Time and Again by Jack Finney

Joe from Research Services suggests Time and Again by Jack Finney

Time and Again book coverSimon “Si” Morley is an illustrator in 1970s New York, not quite unhappy but wondering if there could be more to his satisfactory, if mundane, life. Then Si is recruited by a shadowy, unofficial government group secretly working on a project to send agents back in time to observe—and possibly alter—history. In 1882 New York, Si tries to discover the circumstances behind the curious suicide of a prominent businessman, while falling in love with fellow boarder Julia. This meticulously researched novel straddles fantasy and historical fiction, using an uncomplicated time-travel plot device to stage detailed historical descriptions. The author’s use of illustrations, paintings and photographs is cleverly incorporated into the plot, adding an unusual but interesting twist on the first-person narrative. While the book takes its time establishing the context and method for time travel, the leisurely pace picks up as romantic and other mystery-related developments begin to drive the plot. Ideal for readers who enjoy love stories with a historical and or fantasy bent, with a particular interest in historical New York.

Interested in reading more unique takes on history and/or time travel? Try one of these!

 

the-time-travelers-wife book coverThe Time Traveler’s Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

 

kindred book coverKindred
by Octavia Butler
outlander book coverOutlander
by Diana Gabaldon
the-alienist book coverThe Alienist
by Caleb Carr

Staff Pick: Movies Featuring Tony Leung Chu-Wa

Diane-DHong Kong actor Tony Leung Chu-Wa is the star of the classic films Chungking Express, Hard-Boiled, Grandmaster, Happy Together, In the Mood for Love, Infernal Affairs, Ashes of Time and many more.

Seven-time Hong Kong Film Award Best Actor winner (out of 13 nominations) and winner of the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actor, Mr. Leung is one of the finest actors of his generation in Hong Kong.

#Bookvember: Book Suggestions Every Day!

One thing we’re thankful for at Mount Prospect Public Library is the opportunity to share books we think you might like! Follow our Twitter account, @MPPLib to receive a general book suggestion found around the Library. We will be representing a broad variety of different tastes, so at least one is bound to catch your eye! See a few examples below:

Picture of Six-Gun Snow White tweetSix-Gun Snow White
by Catherynne M. Valente
Picture of Sneaker Wars tweetSneaker Wars
by Barbara Smit

 

 

Picture of Bloodline TweetBloodline
by Claudia Gray

Staff Pick: Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Jenny from Fiction/AV/Teen suggests Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg

Cover of Did You Ever Have a FamilyIn an instant, June’s entire family died the night before her daughter’s wedding. The house her loved ones were all staying in caught fire while June was outside of the house, and she was forced to watch her life be engulfed at the same time.

One of my favorite parts of this 2015 Man Booker nominee is how the story is told. The town June lives in is small, where everyone thinks they know each other and gossip is rampant. The narration switches from individuals throughout the town, giving us their own perspective on the situation and their own piece in this tragedy.  Ever so slowly, the truth of that night unravels as the characters deal with answering the question, “What now?” As a result we get this beautiful overarching picture of life and grief and time and the connections between people. If you love stories exploring people as they are and as they were, Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg is the book for you.

For more books dealing with grief, healing, and unraveling secrets try…

the untelling book cover
In The Untelling by Tayari Jones, twenty-five year old Aria is struggling to begin a new family with her fiancé. However, the grief of losing her father and sister fifteen years ago in a car accident is weighing on her as she tries to start anew.
the sweet hereafter book cover
Four different narrators reflect on a tragic school bus accident, sharing the town’s journey toward healing in Russell Banks’ The Sweet Hereafter.
in a dark dark wood book cover
In the psychological thriller In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, a reclusive crime writer wakes up in the hospital with several injuries after a weekend away and has to piece together the secrets that lead to a death.
in the wake book cover
Arvid’s parents and younger brothers died in a ferry accident. Six years later, he finally begins to work his way toward happiness.  While the premise is sad, In the Wake by Per Petterson is ultimately a novel of hope and the celebration of family.
my sunshine away book cover
A southern gothic coming-of-age tale,  My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh takes place in a small suburb of Baton Rouge which is shaken when a 15 year-old girl is assaulted. Told from the perspective of a 14-year-old boy in the town, his devotion toward her makes even him a suspect in the crime.

Staff Pick: 100 Recipes- The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials

Picture of DonnaThe 2015 edition cookbook 100 Recipes: The Absolute Best Ways to Make the True Essentials was compiled by the American Test Kitchen and features numerous colored illustrations. It has complete, easy to follow recipes and hints for basic to complex techniques. It is full of ways to make my favorites and inspire me to try new meals.

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Staff Pick: Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie

Picture of LarryBlasphemy includes some of Sherman Alexie’s classic short stories along with newer tales. The stories challenge the reader’s comfort zones with plots exploring race and ethnicity, culture, stereotypes, alcoholism, diabetes, and personal identity. The settings are in the Pacific Northwest with Native American protagonists. The expertly crafted stories are personal, revealing the characters for who they are and what influenced their lives, making them seem real and reflecting life as it truly is for many.

Staff Pick: Faithful Place by Tana French

Picture of NancyAfter hearing readers rave about Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad mysteries, I picked up Faithful Place (third in the series) and now I have a new favorite author.  This title features Frank Mackey, an undercover cop who examines the complicated relationships of his own past as he works a cold case.  With its atmospheric Irish setting and flawed characters, this is an incredibly satisfying mystery.