Month: August 2013

Check It Out Blog

LISTS: Romance Audiobooks

Beyond the Highland Mist book coverThe sultry heat of summer is dulling out. The wide open nights are shortening – but there is still time! Still time to crawl into bed or take a drive and let someone tease you away from real life. Have you tried listening to a romance novel on audiobook?

Click here for romance audiobooks that will make you shiver in the heat and quiver between the sheets.

An Interview with Lonesome Wyatt

Lonesome Wyatt photoLonesome Wyatt is the Ambrose Bierce of underground country. He plays the kind of music you’d hear while walking down a dirt road headed deep into the woods weaving your way through haints and shadows. When he isn’t touring with Those Poor Bastards, Wyatt’s penning pulp novels to support their albums or working on his side project, Lonesome Wyatt and the Holy Spooks. His music is dark, atmospheric, desperate, and pained by life and the people in it. Murder ballads, ghost tales, broken hearts, bad relationships, benders, lost souls – it isn’t exactly uplifting, and yet, this isn’t a man who is weltering in misery. There’s a difference between shouting out wrongs and awfuls and wallowing in them.

Lonesome Wyatt is a mad-eyed architect of exquisitely desperate music. The Library was able to steal some of his time for a short talk about his reading habits and upcoming projects.


Mount Prospect Public Library: What was the last good book you read?

Lonesome Wyatt: The last two books I read were The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein and Farewell, My Lovely and they were both very enjoyable.

MPPL: Is there any genre or author you refuse to read? Why or why not?

LW: I don’t like to read things about teens or romance unless it’s from the 1950’s or earlier. I’m just not interested.

MPPL: How often do you read? What genres are your go-tos?

Mammoth Book of Frankenstein book coverLW: I read around 2-3 hours every day. My favorite genres are mystery, horror, western, science fiction and anything strange or offbeat.

MPPL: You’ve mentioned in other interviews that Poe and Lovecraft have been inspirations to you…what other writers (or musicians…or artists) inspire you?

LW: I like the author Robert Lowry a whole bunch. His book The Big Cage really got me going. Also Nightmare Alley, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, and all those classic noir stories are very inspiring.  The Silver Surfer 1968 series and the Ghost Rider 1970’s series have a lot of great stuff in them too. That’s what comes to mind right now, but the list of brain expanding and inspiring creations is almost endless.

MPPL: What book could draw you into joining a book club?

LW: I don’t know. I’m pretty sure it would have to have a monster or robot on the cover though.

MPPL: When was the last time you were in a library? Do you think libraries are still important in today’s world?

LW: I go to the library at least once a week. It’s one of my favorite places. You can get almost anything you want to read or watch without having to spend your hard earned dough on it. We always went to the library when I was growing up and I discovered some great things just browsing around. Libraries are full of an endless supply of fertilizer for the imagination. They are immeasurably important.

MPPL: Both books and music are becoming more and more a digital culture. Do you think anything is lost when the physical world gets digitized?

LW: I have absolutely no interest in digital stuff. I can’t understand the appeal. This old goat prefers paperback books and either vinyl records, cassette tapes, or CDs as a last resort.

MPPL: We heard tell that there’s a Halloween album in the works. Tell us more…and is there a novel to go with it?

A Bitter Havest album coverLW: Some of my favorite albums are those old Halloween ones from the 60’s and 70’s. It’s a real shame that no one makes that kind of stuff anymore. Nothing beats listening to them in the gloom of the basement on a 1978 Fisher Price record player. It’s just perfect. They’re often refreshingly weird and unique.

Anyhow, those old records really moved me and I wanted to try to make something special out of that initial spark of inspiration. This record is like the musical equivalent of a homemade Halloween costume; kind of strange and clunky, but made with real heart. I’m awful fond of the thing. There’s no book with this one. It’s just a collection of stories and songs about monsters and death.

MPPL: What else is upcoming for you and Those Poor Bastards in 2013?

LW: Those Poor Bastards are playing some shows in August, then I’ll be releasing that Halloween album in October, and finally an Edgar Switchblade 7” will arrive in December. It should be a pretty frightening year.


For more information on the fantastic and foreboding art of Lonesome Wyatt, check him out on tour or at his website. Gotta have Lonesome Wyatt in your life right now? Stop by the Fiction/AV/Teen desk at the Library for Gospel Haunted by Those Poor Bastards or Lonesome Wyatt’s duet album with Rachel Brooke, Bitter Harvest.

Superb Political Drama

Borgen DVD coverThe best television you haven’t yet discovered arrives courtesy of Denmark, and you won’t be able to look away. Stephen King declared Borgen his favorite show of 2012, and now its crisp ten-episode seasons are available on DVD. You’ll meet Birgitte Nyborg, a working mother soon to become the first female Danish prime minister. She’s a woman of good sense and decency, and one of the most fascinating themes explores whether it is possible to be in power and still remain one’s self. Tensions between professional and personal roles are probed, as well as the delicate symbiotic relationship between politics and the press. Spare, intense, and full of intrigue, this series has already become a sensation in the UK, and American audiences should race to catch up.

LISTS: YA Made for TV

Pretty Little Liars book coverThere are certain books that are so cinematically scrumptious, you just know they have to get turned into movies or TV shows. There’s a ton of young adult series that you don’t even have to wait for them to be filmed – they’re already on air!

To see what teen books (with adult appeal) are already TV shows, click here.

Epic Adventure, Ghosts, Books, and Treachery

Stranger in Olondria book coverJevick is a small town man pleasantly overwhelmed while on a pepper merchant pilgrimage to big city Olondria. It is the Rabelaisian Feast of Birds. Joy is plentiful…and so are books – a commodity quite rare in his hometown. Go figure that is it during the best times of his life that the ghost of an illiterate girl child chooses Jevick to haunt. If Jevick is ever to rid himself of the ghost child, he must first record her sad tale. A Stranger in Olondria by the lushly poetic Sofia Samatar is a feast of literary fantasy expressing the power, glory, and deep mystery to be found in reading and writing books.

Book Discussion Questions: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons book coverSPOILER WARNING: These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points, if you have not read the book.


Title: Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
Author: Lorna Landvik
Page Count: 404
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Tone: Moving, humorous


Questions composed by MPPL Staff:

1.  Was Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons a good name for the Freesia Court book club group?  Why did they use this name?

2.  What kept the group together over the years? Was it the books? Kids? Friendship?

3.  What role did the book titles and discussions play in the novel?

4.  Did you like the format of the book – how the author gave every character the opportunity to voice their thoughts?

4.  The author touched on many subjects:  physical abuse, homosexuality, adoption, war veterans, infidelity, religion, psychic capabilities, etc. What was the most important lesson the ladies learned together over the 30 years of their book club? Do you think the author tried to touch on too many topics?

5.  Did the author do a good job of developing the characters? Did you have a favorite character? A least favorite character? Why?

6.  What character was the strongest in the group? The weakest?

7.  Was there a character you could empathize with the most? Why?

8.  Did the physical appearances of the book club members define them?

9.  What was Faith’s role in the novel? Why did the author focus on Faith’s letter writing throughout the book?

10. How did confronting Beau’s sexuality help her have the strength to confront the reality of her own past?

11.  Kari faced a critical decision when Mary Jo forbids her from telling Anders that the baby is his grandchild. Do you think it was the right decision? Would you have done the same?

12. How did you feel about Kari’s impromptu decision to tell Julia the truth about her biological mother in front of Mary Jo, without Mary Jo’s prior knowledge? Were you surprised at Julia’s reaction when she found out the truth about her biological mother? Could you blame her?

13.  A fight between Slip and Audrey’s children harmed their own friendship. Were you surprised at this? What role does motherhood play in the novel? How does Landvik’s portrayal of differing parenting techniques and the children they produce function as social commentary?

14. Who has the ability to sense upcoming events? How does this shape her family and friendships?

15. What man was let into the book club? Why? How do you think he changed the group dynamic?

16. Merit eventually finds Paradise, literally and figuratively. Was this a good addition to the story?

17. Marjorie had a ton of nicknames:  Slip, Warrior Bear, the Big Kahuna. Why is she so easy to label? What nickname fit her the best?

18. Why do you think the author chose Slip as the first character to become terminally ill? Was it appropriate to end the novel with Faith being by Slip’s side?

19. Did you get any ideas for your own book club by reading about the Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons?

20. What are some of your fondest memories of your own book club?


Other Resources

Lorna Landvik’s website
Lit Lovers book discussion questions
Reviews of Angry Housewives on Goodreads
30 Minutes With the Author interviews Lorna Landvik


If you like Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, try…

Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg
The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven book cover     Divine Secrest of the Ya Ya Sisterhood book cover

Vegetable Literacy

Vegetable Literacy book coverJulie of Research Service recommends Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison:

Part cookbook, part gardening guide, part botany lesson, Vegetable Literacy packs a wealth of information for the curious kitchen gardener. Deborah Madison is a veteran writer of at least a dozen vegetarian cookbooks and this latest brings all her knowledge and expertise into one beautifully-illustrated volume. Organized into 12 chapters, Madison groups vegetables according to botanical family and explains the relationships between the plants in each grouping. Each vegetable has its own section with recipes, growing tips, and recommended varieties. Madison provides a foundation for improvisation in the kitchen by sharing her botanic and culinary knowledge of vegetables so that readers will have the tools to successfully create their own unique flavor combinations.

LISTS: Full-cast Productions

Complete Miss Marple book coverIf you love old time radio, you might like audiobooks. Both have professional actors stitching a story to the audience’s attention by sound alone. Try a full-cast audiobook where multiple actors narrate, thus bringing depth to the presentation.

For full-cast audiobooks, click here.