Check It Out

Check It Out Blog

Mount Prospect, Let’s Talk Books!

We readers love to share our book feelings, and YOU are invited to connect with others to hear about the successes, the disappointments, and the ones that are getting you through the week. Each Tuesday from 7-8 PM, we are hosting an Open Book Share through Zoom. Come hear what your neighbors and Library staff have been reading, collect new ideas for your TBR list, and add to our lists by telling us about your own favorite discoveries! All who come are welcome to share and/or listen as they like — no pressure, no obligation, just lovely book fellowship.

To attend, register through our public calendar. This week’s event can be found here. We will then send you the Zoom link and information.

If you prefer to connect to fellow readers on Goodreads, don’t miss our No Commitment Virtual Book Group, where we will also be posting all titles shared in the weekly conversations. Hope to see you soon!

What to Watch from Home – Staff Digital Picks for Chilling Drama

Staff Video Picks Chilling Drama image

There are times when the most satisfying tension release is to lose ourselves in someone else’s (fictional) drama. To help escape our own strain, it can feel cathartic to be swept away in dark thrills, mystery, action, or espionage. If a flair for the dramatic sounds good to you right now, check out these staff suggestions available to watch from home on Hoopla and Kanopy with your library card.

First Reformed video image

 

First Reformed

If you like dark suspense, unstable characters who are navigating their purposes in life, and those who become attracted to the opposite of what they might preach. ~Chelsea

 

Fall TV series image

 

The Fall

This psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat all season long! The story follows a serial killer and the detective intent on bringing him down. As the story progresses, the two become obsessed with each other. Will he or won’t he be caught? You’ll have to watch and find out. ~Al

 

Down the Shore video image

 

Down the Shore

Starring James Gandolfini. The lives of three childhood friends begin to unravel when a deadly secret from their past is revealed. ~Denise

 

Hidden TV series image

 

Hidden 

Who knew that Wales could hold its own against Scandinavia with moody, can’t-look-away noir? This limited series has all the hallmarks, including baggage-laden investigators and immersive sense of place. ~Cathleen

 

 

Leave No Trace video image

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace follows a veteran and his teenage daughter who live in the woods in the Pacific Northwest. It follows their lifestyle, their bond, and how unsustainable their lifestyle becomes and how both of them try to adapt. ~Chelsea

 

 

Still Life DVD cover

 

Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery

Based on Louise Penny’s novel. Gorgeous scenery and a fascinating mystery. ~Denise

 

 

Charade video image

 

Charade

This classic may be remembered for moments of stylish banter, but it also boasts multiple twists on whom can be trusted. Director Stanley Donen’s playful mix of light and dark is a cross-generational favorite. ~Cathleen

 

 

Gunpowder video image

Gunpowder

Who doesn’t miss Kit Harington from Game of Thrones? Get your next fix of him in Gunpowder, a historical drama set in the 1600s based on the Gunpowder plot to assassinate King James I of England. With striking visuals, a stellar score, and top-notch acting, this will surely please fans of historical fiction ~Al

 

 

Gone Baby Gone video image

 

Gone Baby Gone

Expertly portraying the gritty depths and darkness of human nature, this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel wisely plants the compelling bleak-yet-determined qualities of the characters at the forefront.  ~Cathleen

 

 

 

Pandemic video imageDenise recommends
Pandemic
Keeping Faith TV series imageKelda recommends
Keeping Faith
Winters Bone video imageCathleen recommends
Winter’s Bone

 
 
Still looking? Check out earlier installments of Staff Movies and TV Picks available from home or contact us for suggestions personalized to your mood and taste.

Staff Digital Picks: YA for Teens and Adults

Staff Digital YA Picks image

One of the booming arenas of publishing, YA Lit is relatable, well-paced, and offers all the feels. Many stories tackle issues squarely, but in a hopeful way, which makes them an appealing reading choice no matter if your teen years are far behind you. Choose from these hand-picked favorites available on OverDrive or Hoopla, and don’t miss previous staff recommendations for what to read, watch, or listen from home. Looking for something to match a specific mood or interest? Send a request for customized suggestions, and our expert advisory staff will be happy to make your match.

Dont Get Caught book cover

 

Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
A motley group of uncool kids are set up by a secret society known as the Chaos Club, so they band together and instigate a prank war. With short chapters, high energy, and the mix of shadowy conspiracy with underdog tale, this is a winner for a variety of teen and adult readers. ~Cathleen

Available as ebook

 

a Study In Charlotte book cover

 

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

For Sherlock fans: This series is a great riff off of the original tales with Sherlock as a teenage girl and Holmes a boy at boarding school. ~Emily

Available as ebook or e-audio

 

 

Gabi a Girl in Pieces book cover

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero

Reading the pages of Gabi’s journal is a gut-punch. On the cusp of adulthood, navigating body shaming, racism, and finding her own voice along with the joys that come from learning how to celebrate yourself and what you love in life, Gabi is a character you’ll want to keep rooting for. ~Jenny

Available as ebook or e-audio

 

Far from the Tree book cover

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

The story of three siblings who were taken away from their mother as young children and find each other in their teens is riveting! ~Denise  

Available as ebook or e-audio

 

 

Let Me Hear a Rhyme book cover

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

I love books that oscillate between different characters so I get multiple points of view. Let Me Hear a Rhyme highlights three high school students as they work to honor their murdered friend by making him a rap celebrity. Fast paced, full of secrets, and heavy with friendship.. ~Al

Available as ebook or e-audio

 

Berlin Boxing Club book cover

The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow

I usually give wide berth to stories about boxing, but this tale of a bullied cartoonist in Nazi-era Berlin taking lessons from German national hero Max Schmeling completely won me over. A crowd-pleasing underdog story against backdrop of art, history, and family. ~Cathleen

Available as ebook

 

Words in Deep Blue book cover

 

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

A few kids on the edge of adulthood facing the big themes in life: death, love, and life-altering decisions. Bonus: It is set in a bookstore! ~Emily

ebook or e-audio

 

 

Getting Over Garret Delaney book cover

Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald

Sadie attempts to get over her epic heartbreak over her best friend in this satisfying, humorous, uplifting read that is great for fans of Sarah Dessen! The overall hopeful tone of the book paired with Sadie’s dogged attempt to move on makes this book one of my personal favorites. ~Jenny

Available as ebook

 

Gentlemans Guide to Vice and Virtue book cover

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

A little bit of fantasy and a lot of heart and some laughs along the way. ~Denise

Available as ebook or e-audio

 

 

After the Fire book cover

 

After the Fire by Will Hill

Looking for a book that’ll keep you turning the pages until the very end? After the Fire is it! Not for the feint of heart, this twisty, turny, thriller escape plot will keep you engaged the entire time. ~Al

Available as ebook

 

 

Rebel with a Cupcake book coverRebel with a Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring

Endearing Jesobel presents as a young woman who knows who she is and what she has to offer, and it’s only when faced with a new crush that her self-assurance begins to erode. British teens, sassy dialogue, and friends who love enough to call each other on their stuff — this is a recipe for an entertaining read. ~Cathleen

Available as ebook

 

Sun Is Also a Star book cover

 

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Two teens on the verge of making huge life decisions give into a fate-filled, love-at-first-sight day in New York City. ~Emily

Available as ebook or e-audio

 

With the Fire on High book cover

 

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Acevedo has a way with bringing her characters to life! So good!. ~Denise

Available as ebook or e-audio

 

 

 

We Were Liars book coverLaura recommends
We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
ebook or e-audio
We Are Okay book coverChelsea recommends
We Are Okay
by Nina LaCour
ebook or e-audio
Will Grayson, Will Grayson book coverLaura recommends
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
by John Green and David Levithan
ebook or e-audio

 

everything everything book coverChelsea recommends
Everything Everything
by Nicola Yoon
ebook or e-audio
Children Of Blood And Bone book coverChelsea recommends
Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi
ebook or e-audio

Staff Hoopla Picks: Music to Get You Moving

Staff Music Picks

Has being limited to home day after day left you listless? Or perhaps you find yourself vibrating with energy to burn? Either way, Hoopla has music to get you moving for your own personal dance party. Staff nominated albums that tap their toes, sway their hips, and cause their heads to bob. Each is available to you from home, so don’t hesitate to take a spin on the floor. Let’s start the music!

Dancing on My Own cover

Dancing on My Own: Remixes by Robyn
If you are literally dancing on your own right now, here’s 40 straight minutes of dance music to bop along to, built around Robyn’s pop single, “Dancing On My Own.” While hard to choose, the Jackwob remix was my favorite; I found it captured the fun angst of the song the best! ~Jenny

 

 

Fame Monster coverAllison L. recommends
The Fame Monster
Lady Gaga
“danceable, theatrical, likely nostalgic for many”
Back to Black coverEmily recommends
Back to Black
Amy Winehouse
“sultry tunes to dance to”
(also recommended by Kelda and Chelsea)
Racine Carree CD coverCathleen recommends
Racine Carrée
Stromae
“irresistible blend of genres and cultures in rhythms that bewitch”

 

80s Mixtape coverDenise recommends
80s Mixtape
“get your groove on and party like it’s 1989”

Future Nostalgia coverAbby recommends
Future Nostalgia
Dua Lipa
Gold coverLaura recommends
Gold
The Mavericks

 

Best of cover BowieChelsea recommends
Best of Bowie
David Bowie
ABBA Gold coverDenise recommends
ABBA Gold
ABBA
Wild Young Hearts coverCathleen recommends
Wild Young Hearts
Noisettes

 

Night Visions coverChelsea recommends
Night Visions
Imagine Dragons
Highwomen coverEmily recommends
The Highwomen
The Highwomen
“empowering”
Baja Sessions coverLaura recommends

Chris Isaak

 

Audiobook Giveaways Every Week

SYNC logoWant great listens to immerse you in new stories? TrySYNC, a free summer audiobook program that gives away two themed titles each week for downloading. These are top-quality productions featuring standout performances, and though the design is to encourage literacy and listening in teens across the country, adults and families find ready entertainment, too!

This week you can grab Tiffany D. Jackson’sMonday’s Not Coming, an absorbing thriller read by Broadway star Imani Parks, and the bestsellingThe 57 Busby Dashka Slater, an award-winning true story read by the incomparable Robin Miles. Upcoming pairs includeThe Music of What Happensby Bill Konigsberg with Katherine Reay’sThe Brontë Plot andKindredby Octavia E. Butler offered withBurn Baby Burnby Meg Medina.

SYNC is sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and titles are delivered through Sora, the student reading app from OverDrive. Download the app to the device you anticipate listening on, access your first week’s titles, and enjoy more ready opportunities to read with your ears!