Check It Out Category: Lists

Favorite Reads of 2020 from Let’s Talk Books!

Favorite Reads in 2020 from Let's Talk Books

Let’s Talk Books participants share their favorite discoveries of 2020! Let’s Talk Books happens every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7pm on Zoom (registration required). It’s a bookish hour full of listening to what your neighbors are raving about and sharing your own discoveries! You are welcome to come to every session or just drop in for one. And now, drumroll please, for the favorite reads of 2020 from Let’s Talk Books participants!

Empty Mansions book cover

 

Julia highly recommends Empty Mansions: the Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Jr.

A cousin of Huguette Clark and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist trace the life of the reclusive American heiress against a backdrop of the now-infamous W. A. Clark family and include coverage of the internet sensation and elder-abuse investigation that occurred at the end of her life.

Would Like to Meet book cover

 

Another favorite of Julias as well as Cathleens this year was Would Like To Meet by Rachel Winters

Ordered by her film agency to acquire a romantic-comedy screenplay by a jaded writer, Evie relies on the assistance of her friends during a haphazard summer spent trying to prove that true love is real.

 

Vanishing Half book cover

 

Nicole enjoyed The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Twin sisters, inseparable as children, ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

 

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents book cover

 

Nicole also recommends Caste: The Origin of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Warmth of Other Suns identifies the qualifying characteristics of historical caste systems to reveal how a rigid hierarchy of human rankings, enforced by religious views, heritage and stigma, impact everyday American lives.

 

Alexander Hamilton book cover

 

Howard relished Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

The personal life of Alexander Hamilton, an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean who rose to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp and the first Treasury Secretary of the United States, is captured in a definitive biography.

 

the turn of the key book cover

 

Gail thoroughly enjoyed The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware.

When a high-paying nanny job at a luxurious Scottish Highlands home ends with her imprisonment for a child’s murder, a young woman struggles to explain to her lawyer the unravelling events that led to her incarceration.

 

Memorial book cover

 

Janine and Jenny recommend Memorial by Bryan Washington

A Japanese-American chef and a Black daycare teacher begin reevaluating their stale relationship in the wake of a father’s death and the arrival of an acerbic mother-in-law who becomes an unconventional roommate.

 

The Flatshare book cover

 

Another favorite of Janine‘s was The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Entering a flatshare arrangement with a man on an opposite work shift, a heartbroken woman begins exchanging notes with the roommate she has never met and becomes his best friend, and possibly soulmate, through their correspondence.

 

House in the Cerulean Sea book cover

 

Denise highly recommends The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret. An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place-and realizing that family is yours.

 

The Sellout Book Cover

 

Chelsea enjoyed The Sellout by Paul Beatty

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court.

 

 

Boy the Mole the Fox and the Horse book cover

 

Chelsea and Janine recommend The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Charlie Mackesy offers inspiration and hope in uncertain times in this book based on his famous quartet of characters, as they explore their unlikely friendship and learn poignant, universal lessons together.

 

New Waves book cover

 

Jenny thoroughly enjoyed New Waves by Kevin Nguyen

Fed up with discriminating bosses, an Asian-American customer service representative and a talented African-American programmer conspire to steal their employer’s user database before an unexpected setback exposes a secret double life.

 

 

Cathleen delighted in listening to The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

Recovering from a heart transplant while mourning a best friend who did not make it, Ailsa begins a search for her long-absent father that is marked by personal estrangements and questions about starting over.

 

 

Cheers to us all finding more reading gems in 2021!

New Fiction in December

New Fiction in December

Snow is falling, new books are calling! Just a dusting of what’s new in fiction in December can be found below. A larger snowfall of new fiction may be found in this New Fiction in December list and if you are not seeing any titles twinkling at you: email us at readers@mppl.org or give us a call at (847)590-4070 for some reading suggestions tailored just for you. Curl up with a good book this season!

How to Fail at Flirting book cover

 

How To Fail At Flirting by Denise Williams

Challenged by her friends to start enjoying her life when her university department is cut, a Type-A overachiever embarks on a daring to-do list that involves leaving an abusive ex and pursuing a career-risking fling with a charming stranger.

Banter-filled Romance

 

Lazarus by Lars KeplerLazarus book cover

A mysterious killer is brutally murdering Europe’s most loathsome criminals. When police discover that two of the victims have disturbing connections to Detective Joona Linna, it’s clear that somebody’s trying to send him a message. As the body count rises, the evidence seems to point to a ghost from Joona’s past . . . the most terrifying villain he’s ever had to face.

Scandinavian Crime

 

The Mermaid from Jeju book cover

 

The Mermaid From Jeju by Sumi Hahn

A talented young deep-sea diver from occupied 1948 Korea’s neighboring Jeju Island visits Mt. Halla for her family’s annual trading trip before her romance with a mountain youth is upended by family tragedy and political turbulence.

Historical Fiction; Coming-of-age Story

 

The Arctic Fury book cover

 

The Arctic Fury by Greer Macallister

Secretly hired by an eccentric Lady Franklin to lead a team of women explorers into the Arctic to recover Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition, Virginia Reeve survives a harrowing quest only to find herself on trial for murder.

Historical Fiction; Suspenseful 

 

The Wrong Family book cover

The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

Juno thought Winnie and her husband, Nigel, had the perfect marriage – the perfect life. Only now that she’s living in their beautiful house, she sees the cracks in the crumbling facade. Still, she isn’t one to judge. After her grim diagnosis, the retired therapist simply wants a place to live out the rest of her days in peace. But that peace is shattered the day Juno overhears a chilling conversation between Winnie and Nigel…

Psychological Suspense

Instant Holiday Viewing!

Instant Holiday Viewing

Access holiday spirit instantly with our selection of digital seasonal movies! Whether you’re in the mood for a holiday classic, heartwarming endings, or perhaps some festive pups, our curated lists will help add a little more holly jolly to your celebrating.

All you need is your library card and a digital device (computer, streaming stick, smart TV, smartphone, or tablet). Titles are always available–no holds, no wait!–via Hoopla or Kanopy and offer the added convenience of never having to leave your couch.

Browse a sampling of movies below or click the links to our Instant Holiday Viewing lists for even more festive cheer.

 

Nothing like the Holidays DVD coverNothing Like The Holidays

The far-flung members of the Rodriguez family are converging on their parents’ home in Chicago, to celebrate the season and their brother’s safe return from combat overseas. For Jesse, coming home has rekindled feelings for an old flame, though she won’t forgive him for leaving in the first place. Jesse’s sister Roxanna has been chasing her dreams for years with little to show for it. And to the dismay of their mother, eldest brother Mauricio brings home a high-powered executive wife who would rather raise capital than a child. But when the Rodriguezes learn that one of their own is facing a true crisis, all resentments are forgotten and familial bonds are re-affirmed.

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Dysfunctional Families

Girlfriends of Christmas Past DVD cover

 

Girlfriends of Christmas Past

Expecting a proposal, Livvy gets dumped instead. She finds two more women her ex wronged and the trio decide on payback. Meanwhile, Livvy meets Carter and sparks begin to fly. Can she forget about revenge and let a Christmas romance bloom?

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Rom-Coms

 

A Bennett Song Holiday DVD cover

 

A Bennett Song Holiday

Mrs. Song is expecting a baby to add to their diverse roster of 14 adopted children and the family will team up to stop a developer who wants to close down the community center. Love, teamwork, and holiday magic are sure to save the day!

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Music-Filled Movies 

 

Happy Christmas DVD cover

 

Happy Christmas

When Jenny, a hard-partying 20-something, moves in with her brother’s family to get over a breakup, she and her friend’s carefree perspective causes Jenny’s sister-in-law to question her career and relationship, comically turning the family’s everyday life upside down. A comedy from the director of Drinking Buddies.

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Adult Comedy

 

Better Watch Out DVD cover

Better Watch Out

When you think the suburbs, you think safety, but this holiday night the suburbs are anything but safe. Ashley thought this babysitting job was going to be an easy night, but the night takes a turn when dangerous intruders break in and terrorize her and the twelve-year-old boy, Luke, she’s caring for. Ashley defends her charge to the best of her ability only to discover this is no normal home invasion.

Browse more from Instant Holiday Viewing: Not Your Average Holiday

 

Browse More Instant Holiday Viewing Lists: 

Instant Holiday Viewing: Christmas Pups

Instant Holiday Viewing: Fantastical Scenarios

Instant Holiday Viewing: Holiday Classics

Instant Holiday Viewing: Lifetime Movies

Instant Holiday Viewing: Romance

Instant Holiday Viewing: Uplifting Endings

tiny red and white dots on a turquoise background

New Holiday Fiction

New Holiday Fiction

Do seasonal stories give you all the cozy feelings for the holidays and cold nights ahead? Then look no further! Here we have snow-cased some new holiday fiction, as well as an expanded list of new holiday stories to delight in. If holiday fiction is not your way of embracing the season, you may always contact us via readers@mppl.org or by calling 847/590-4070 to help you find books that may make your season brighter!

Silent Bite book cover

 

Silent Bite by David Rosenfelt

Finally getting into the Christmas spirit, lawyer Andy Carpenter, while running a dog rescue organization, which is his true passion, agrees to help his partner prove the innocence of a man wrongly accused of murder.

 

 

An Ivy Hill Christmas book cover

 

An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen

Haunted by an old secret and the shadows of his past, gentleman Richard Brockwell prefers to stay away from Ivy Hill–until his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life unless he returns for Christmas. Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with all of its divine hope, unforeseen surprises, and unexpected romantic encounters, work its magic in his heart?

 

The Twelve Dates of Christmas book cover

 

The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss

Signing up with a dating agency during the holiday season against her better judgment, a jaded career woman endures one disastrous date after another before finding romance in an unexpected place.

 

 

Christmas at Holiday House book cover

 

Christmas at Holiday House by RaeAnne Thayne

A young widow wanting to give her little boy a wonderful Christmas moves to Silver Bells, Colorado. She finds herself working for a single-minded businessman restoring his historic family mansion for the holidays.

New Fiction in November

New Fiction in November

A new month means new fiction to be thankful for! Highlighted here is just a small array of new fiction titles arriving in November. Click for a larger list of new fiction in November or, if you don’t see something exciting and new for you, you may always email readers@mppl.org or call and ask for Fiction/AV/Teen Services to get personalized suggestions.

12 Moonflower Murders book cover

 

Moonflower Murders by Anthony Horowitz

Helping run her boyfriend’s small Greek island hotel, a homesick London editor is irresistibly drawn to the story of a murder on the Suffolk coast and the wrongful incarceration of an innocent immigrant.

Mystery

 

Before the Coffee Gets Cold book cover

 

Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

At a century-old Tokyo coffee shop rumored to offer patrons the chance to travel back in time, four customers reevaluate their formative life choices.

Magical Realism

 

 

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany book cover

 

The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany by Lori Nelson Spielman

Visiting an octogenarian relative in Italy who declares that she will break a family curse that has prevented all second-born daughters from marrying, three second daughters embark on a journey to help their great-aunt fulfill her final wish.

Relationships; Romance

 

Girls of Brackenhill book cover

 

Girls of Brackenhill by Kate Moretti

Increasingly obsessed with uncovering the truth about her older sister’s unsolved disappearance 17 years earlier, Hannah exposes disturbing secrets that threaten her present-day life.

Psychological Thriller

 

The Golfer's Carol book cover

 

The Golfer’s Carol by Robert Bailey

Contemplating suicide in the face of his shattered dreams, an aspiring pro golfer is approached by the ghost of his successful late friend before commencing four rounds of golf with four champions who impart life-changing lessons.

Inspirational

 

Written in the Stars book cover

 

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleuer

A lighthearted romance inspired by Pride and Prejudice depicts the experiences of a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to a fake relationship with a no-nonsense actuary to appease their respective families.

Romance; Humorous 

 

The Law of Innocence book cover

 

The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly                                        Series: Mickey Haller novels, 7

Defense attorney Mickey Haller utilizes his legal team’s resources from behind bars to organize his own defense when he is framed for murder by an unknown adversary. By the best-selling author of the Harry Bosch series.

Legal Thriller