Month: December 2015

Check It Out Blog

John’s Pick: Dead Alive

Picture of JohnPeter Jackson’s Dead Alive reigns undisputed as the messiest zombie movie ever made. In Jackson’s gleefully over-the-top, relentlessly gory, black comedy, Lionel’s overbearing mother receives a bite of an evil Sumatran “rat monkey”. Soon she’s snacking on the neighbors, who rapidly zombify – and then things escalate (watch for the lawnmower).


What Did MPPL Staff Love in 2015?

Can you choose only two of your favorite items you read, watched, listened to, and/or played this year? MPPL staff can tell you, it’s hard to do! Check out below what staff members chose for the top of their lists this year and make sure to stop by and share what your favorites have been!

Only two titles were chosen as a top favorite by more than one staff member. Can you find which ones they are?







Picture of JohnVideo Game:
Dark Souls II





Picture of DianeBook:
Mr. Robot



Picture of ColleenAudiobook:
iZombie Season 1





See what staff chose in 2014!

Interested in personalized reading, watching, and/or listening suggestions? Ask!

Donna S’s Pick: The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

Donna of Fiction/AV/Teen suggests The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Andersen Brower

Cover of The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White HouseKate Andersen Brower’s history and human interest book is about several first families and the staff that cared for them. President John Adams and his wife Abigail were the first to live in the White House in 1800 starting with only four staff members. Now there are 96 full-time, 250 part-time residence staff, plus 2 dozen from the National Parks Services to care for the grounds. The staff is very protective of the families but did share special memories of the good and sad times, considerate or demanding First Ladies, rude or polite Presidents, formal or more casual entertaining and the general working of the House.



For more stories from inside the White House, try…

The Butler book coverThe Butler: A Witness to History by Wil Haygood

This is a true story of a White House butler who served 8 Presidents. It was made into a movie too!



First Families book coverFirst Families: The Impact of the White House on their Lives by Bonnie Angelo

This book gives anecdotes about the Presidents, spouses, children and the White House.



To Serve the President book coverTo Serve the President: Continuity and Innovation of the White House Staff by Bradley H. Patterson

Examining the  total size and cost of the contemporary White House team, Patterson also looks into what people do



Inside the White House book coverInside the White House: Stories From the World’s Most Famous Residence by Noel Grove

National Geographic and the White House Historical Association presents never before published stories and photographs of the house.



Inside the White House America’s most famous house Book coverInside the White House: America’s Most Famous House

This documentary has a tour of the private quarter with interviews with the White House staff, and a behind-the-scenes look at a state dinner preparations.

Book Discussion Questions: Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Loving Frank book coverTitle: Loving Frank
Author: Nancy Horan
Page Count: 362 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Tone: Moody, Romantic, Character-Driven

Fact and fiction blend in a historical novel that chronicles the relationship between seminal architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah Cheney, from their meeting, their marriage to another, and the clandestine affair that shocked Chicago society.

These book discussion questions are highly detailed and will ruin plot points if you have not read the book.

Questions composed by MPPL Staff

The Library is happy to share these original questions for your use. If reproducing, please credit with the following statement:  2015 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

1. Did you know what the outcome of the book would be when you began reading. How did that affect your feelings about the book as you read it?

2. Did you find Mamah to be a sympathetic character? Did you understand why she made the choices she did? What did you like or not like about her?

3. Did you find Frank Lloyd Wright to be a sympathetic character? Did you understand why he made the choices he did? What did you like or not like about him?

4. Do you think Wright was a genius? What do you think about his belief that he could not be expected to live like a “common man.” What role do you think Mamah played, if any, in his work?

5. Did the book make you believe Frank and Mamah’s love was true. Do you think if not for the tragedy at the end they would have stayed together for life? Were Frank and Mamah a good fit for one another?

6. What did you feel about Mamah’s husband Edwin and Frank’s wife Catherine? Did you want them to behave differently than they did?

7. Have you been to any of Wright’s houses? What did you experience? Did you know about the events described in this book and how did that or might that influence your feelings toward Frank Lloyd Wright houses?

8. What did you think of the relationship between Ellen Keys and Mamah? Do you think it paralleled the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Mamah? What did you learn about the role of women in the early 1900s that surprised you?

9. Frank Lloyd Wright married two more times after Mamah died. Does this surprise you? How were his wives similar? How were they different?

10. Do you think it was good that Horan followed so close to the actual facts? Should she have embellished more? Would that have made a better story?


Lit Lover’s Reading Guide
New York Times book review
RA for All Book Discussion Summary
Published Discussion Questions
Interview with Nancy Horan

The Women Book CoverAmerican Wife Book Cover Above All Things







The Women by T.C. Boyle
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Above All Things by Tanis Rideout

Denise’s Pick: The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

Picture of DeniseA thought-provoking novel that centers around the plight of those who immigrate to the United States. Maybe a touch simplistic and definitely bit sentimental, The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez does give a vivid portrayal of the sacrifice and struggle it takes to make a new land your home. For those who prefer audiobooks, multiple narrators enhance the nuance of the text.