Month: February 2019

Check It Out Blog

Winter Reading: If You Are a Fan of The Lord of the Rings

Our Winter Reading Program runs the month of February, and we want to help you Find Your Story. Throughout the month, both in the library and on our blog, we’ll be highlighting some of the various reader fandoms.

If your fandom is The Lord of the Rings, check out the following books to see if they match your interest in the popular series.

The Last Unicorn book coverThe Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. So she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction…

Themes: Last of Their Kind, World-building, Atmospheric

 

 

Amrageddon's Children Book CoverArmaggedon’s Children by Terry Brooks

In our world’s near future, civilization has fallen into terrifying chaos. Navigating the scarred landscape that once was America and guided by a powerful talisman, Logan Tom has sworn an oath to seek out a remarkable being born of magic and destined to lead the final fight against darkness. In time, Logan’s path will cross with others: Angel Perez, herself a survivor of death-dealing forces, and a makeshift family of refugees forced to survive among street gangs, mutants, and marauders. Common purpose will draw Logan and his allies together. Their courage and convictions will be tested and their fates will be decided, as their singular crusade begins.

Themes: World-building, Epic Fantasy

 

The Queen of the Tearling book coverThe Queen of the Tearling by Erica Johansen

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Themes: Epic Fantasy, Rightful Heir, Defend the Realm

 

The Dragonbone ChairThe Dragonbone Chair book cover by Tad Williams

A war fueled by the powers of dark sorcery is about to engulf the peaceful land of Osten Ard—for Prester John, the High King, lies dying. And with his death, the Storm King, the undead ruler of the elf-like Sithi, seizes the chance to regain his lost realm through a pact with the newly ascended king. Knowing the consequences of this bargain, the king’s younger brother joins with a small, scattered group of scholars, the League of the Scroll, to confront the true danger threatening Osten Ard.

Themes: World-building, Epic Fantasy, Atmospheric

 

 

The Assassin's Apprentice book coverThe Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Young Fitz is the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, raised in the shadow of the royal court by his father’s gruff stableman. He is treated as an outcast by all the royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has him secretly tutored in the arts of the assassin. For in Fitz’s blood runs the magic Skill—and the darker knowledge of a child raised with the stable hounds and rejected by his family. As barbarous raiders ravage the coasts, Fitz is growing to manhood. Soon he will face his first dangerous, soul-shattering mission. And though some regard him as a threat to the throne, he may just be the key to the survival of the kingdom.

Themes: Epic Fantasy, Court Intrigue, Dramatic

Winter Reading: If You Are a Fan of Outlander

Our Winter Reading Program runs the month of February, and we want to help you Find Your Story. Throughout the month, both in the library and on our blog, we’ll be highlighting some of the various reader fandoms.

If your fandom is Outlander, check out the following books to see if they match your interest in the popular series.

The Outcasts of Time book coverThe Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and suffer in the afterlife. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last.

Themes:Time Slip, Historical Fiction

 

 

Outlander Cookbook book coverOutlander Kitchen by Theresa Carle-Sanders

Featuring more than one hundred recipes, “Outlander Kitchen” retells Claire and Jamie’s incredible story through the flavors of the Scottish Highlands, the French Revolution, and beyond. Following the high standards for prodigious research and boundless creativity set by Diana Gabaldon herself, Carle-Sanders draws on the events and characters of the novels to deliver inventive dishes that highlight local ingredients and traditional cooking techniques.

Themes: Cookbook

 

The Midnight Witch book coverThe Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston

When the sixth Duke of Radnor dies, his hapless son, Freddie, takes on his title, but it is his daughter, Lilith, who inherits his role as Head Witch of the Lazarus Coven. Raised as a witch, instructed in the art of necromancy, Lilith faces a daunting future, for the coven is threatened by a powerful group of sorcerers, the Sentinels. Nicholas Stricklend, a powerful force in the British government, is the Sentinel charged with wresting the Elixir from Lilith, and he cares not who he must crush in order to succeed. As a society beauty, engaged to another titled witch, and with a grieving mother and an unstable brother to look after, Lilith struggles to maintain her two very different existences.

Themes: Dramatic, Romantic, Magic, Witches

 

Into the WildernessInto the Wilderness book cover by Sara Donati

A judge’s daughter elopes with a white adventurer in Colonial America. Elizabeth arrived from England to marry a doctor, but is smitten by Nathaniel, a man raised by the Mohawks. The doctor, however, refuses to give her up and pursues them.

Themes: Dramatic, Moving, Romantic

 

 

The House on the Strand book ocverThe House on the Strand by Daphne Du Maurier

When Dick samples Magnus’s potion, he finds himself doing the impossible: traveling through time while staying in place, thrown all the way back into Medieval Cornwall. The concoction wear off after several hours, but its effects are intoxicating and Dick cannot resist his newfound powers. As his journeys increase, Dick begins to resent the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before, and the home of the beautiful Lady Isolda…

Themes: Time Travel, Fixing History, Romance, Suspense

Book Discussion Questions: Born a Crime

Tborn a crime book coveritle: Born a Crime
Author: Trevor Noah
Page Count: 288 pages
Genre: Memoir, Humor Writing
Tone: Reflective, Engaging, Candid, Witty

Summary: The story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty.

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

The Library is happy to share these original questions for your use. If reproducing, please credit with the following statement: 2019 Mount Prospect Public Library. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.

1. Were you familiar with Trevor Noah before reading this book? Have you seen The Daily Show?
2. Trevor’s experience growing up seemed similar to the experience of people growing up in our country more like 60 years ago than 30 years ago. Does his youth resonate with you in the ways that racism affected him and in the childhood that he had growing up not very long ago?
3. How does language play a role in Trevor’s life and what he observes in human culture?
4. What role does being mixed play in Trevor’s life? How do Americans see him?
5. How did Trevor’s Mom raise him? What were the impacts of her not putting limitations on him and raising him unlike any example she had of how to raise a child? How would you describe Noah? Patricia?
6. What did you think about Trevor’s Mom’s discipline?
7. Where did Trevor fit in? Who accepted him? Why did Trevor always feel like an outsider? How did he cope with that?
8. Do you think Noah had a good childhood? How do you think his childhood is unique from others who grew up in South Africa? What types of danger did Noah face in his childhood?
9. What did you think about Trevor’s relationship with his biological father, Robert? What was Trevor’s father like? How did you view him as a person?
10. How was apartheid similar to American Jim Crow and how was it different?
11. What did you think about the way Trevor’s Mom tried to raised him to treat women, and how does that reconcile with her marrying Abel? Why did she marry Abel when she said she wouldn’t consider marrying Trevor’s father?
12. A lot of what happens in this story is told with humor, even though many things were very dark. Would you consider Trevor an optimist and how did his attitude and views of his own life influence the person he became?
13. Even though he’s only 34, did him sharing his story of his life affect your views on things such as regret and taking chances and the choices that you make?
14. How does this book compare to other memoirs/autobiographies you have read? What do you think of Noah’s writing style? Do you like his voice?
15. What did you think of how he structured the book?
16. Who do you think Noah had in mind as the audience for his memoir?
17. How can this book contribute to understanding current state of race relations in United States?
18. Are there any quotes from book you’d like to share? Any passage or line that was particularly memorable? Favorite chapter?
19. How did you respond to Trevor’s use of humor in telling stories from his youth? How did humor shape his experience growing up?
20. What kind of impact did this book have on you?
21. Did you like the book? What surprised you? Would you recommend it to friends?
22. Do any of his stories / comments challenge your beliefs? Do you think any of his opinions are provocative?
23. Do you think you’ll want to see the upcoming film adaptation? What passages from the book will make good scenes?
24. Noah is reportedly working on a second book, picking up where Born a Crime ends and about his journey as a comedian in South Africa. Will you be interested in reading it?

Want help with your book discussion group? Check out tips, advice, and all the ways the Library can help support your group!

OTHER RESOURCES:

The New York Times Books of the Times
The Guardian review of Born a Crime
Trevor Noah’s official website
NPR interview with Trevor Noah

READALIKES:

Revolution for Dummies book coverRevolution for Dummies
by Bassem Youssef

American on Purpose book coverAmerican on Purpose
by Craig Ferguson

Winter Reading: If You Are a Fan of Stranger Things

Our Winter Reading Program runs the month of February, and we want to help you Find Your Story. Throughout the month, both in the library and on our blog, we’ll be highlighting some of the various reader fandoms.

If your fandom is Stranger Things, check out the following books to see if they match your interest in the popular television series.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children book coverMiss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Themes:Time Loop, Atmospheric, Creepy, Fantasy Fiction

 

 

beasts of extraordinary circustance book coverBeasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was. That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit.

Themes: Mystical, Romantic, Contemporary Fantasy

 

 

Paper Girls book coverPaper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this critically acclaimed story about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

Themes: Science Fiction comics, 80’s, Alien Invasions, Likeable

 

 

 

FirestarterFirestarter book cover by Stephen King

Andy McGee and Vicky Tomlinson were once college students looking to make some extra cash, volunteering as test subjects for an experiment orchestrated by the clandestine government organization known as The Shop. But the outcome unlocked exceptional latent psychic talents for the two of them—manifesting in even more terrifying ways when they fell in love and had a child. Their daughter, Charlie, has been gifted with the most extraordinary and uncontrollable power ever seen—pyrokinesis, the ability to create fire with her mind. Now the merciless agents of The Shop are in hot pursuit to apprehend this unexpected genetic anomaly for their own diabolical ends by any means necessary.

Themes: Childhood Trauma, Creepy, Dramatic, Horror

 

 

Winter Reading: Find Your Story

Find Your Story pictureOur Winter Reading Program runs the entire month of February, and this year’s theme is Find Your Story.

At the Fiction/AV/Teen Department we encourage you to celebrate the story you love, be it a favorite detective, a science fiction series, a graphic novel, a hero, an adventurer, a specific genre, or whatever captivates you. Throughout the second floor we will have displays that offer various themes to help you find your story. For every book you read you can enter our drawing for one of six prizes that will allow you to express your story. Additionally, if you’d like to recommend a favorite book to your fellow readers, you can add your titles to our wall of reader suggestions, just across from the Fiction/AV/Teen desk. Stop by the second floor to participate!