Check It Out Category: Nonfiction

MPPL Staff Favorites 2019

Staff Favorites 2019 cover photo

The end of the year is an irresistible time to reflect on all the fabulous art each of us read, watched, played, and listened to in 2019, and many of our staff wanted to celebrate those high points together. Narrowing down to only three favorites each has not been easy, but this grand finale has given us lots to debate — and we hope it offers the same to you!

Picture of JennyFiction: What We Owe
by Golnaz Hashemzadah Bonde
Music: Amidst the Chaos
by Sara Bareilles
Audiobook: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
by Hank Green
Picture of MaryGraphic Novel: New Kid
by Jerry Craft
Fiction: Ninth House
by Leigh Bardugo
Audiobook: On the Come Up
by Angie Thomas
picture of AngelaNonfiction: The Sun Is a Compass
by Caroline Van Hemert
Fiction: The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai
Nonfiction: Just Mercy
by Bryan Stevenson

 

Picture of MichaelFiction: The House of Broken Angels
by Luis Alberto Urrea
Movie: The Last Suit
Fiction: The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls
by Anissa Grey
Picture of BrianVideogame: Shadows Die Twice
Fiction: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L. Sánchez
Videogame: Hollow Knight
icon for MichelleAudiobook: Recursion
by Blake Crouch
Fiction: The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai
Fiction: Daisy Jones & the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

Picture of CaitlinMovie: It: Chapter Two
Book: Angel Mage
by Garth Nix
Music: E-mo-tion
by Carly Rae Jepsen
Audiobook: With the Fire on High
by Elizabeth Acevedo
Nonfiction: Born to Fly
by Steve Sheinken
Graphic Memoir: They Called Us Enemy
by George Takei
Picture of JenniferFiction: Since She Went Away
by David Bell
Fiction: The Girl Who Was Taken
by Charlie Donlea
Nonfiction: The Feather Thief
by Kirk Wallace Johnson

 

icon for DevinFiction: Queen of Air and Darkness
by Cassandra Clare
Nonfiction: The Woman Who Smashed Codes
by Jason Fagone
Poetry: Love Her Wild
by Atticus
Picture of AnneFiction: Beartown
by Fredrik Backman
Fiction: Who Slays the Wicked
by C.S. Harris
Nonfiction: The Pioneers
by David McCullough
by K.A. Holt
Nonfiction: The Undefeated
by Kwame Alexander
Audiobook: The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

Picture of Denise
Audiobook: Get A Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert
Audiobook: Internment
by Samira Ahmed
Movie: Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Picture of JanineFiction: The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai
Graphic Memoir: Good Talk
by Mira Jacob
Fiction: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
by Stuart Turton
Picture of EvaNonfiction: Life Undercover
by Amaryllis Fox
Fiction: Redemption
by David Baldacci
Fiction: All the Beautiful Girls
by Elizabeth J. Church

 

Picture of BeccaTV: Stranger Things
Graphic Memoir: Kid Gloves
by Lucy Knisley
Fiction: Song for a Whale
by Lynne Kelly
icon for KellyFiction: The Flatshare
by Beth O’Leary
Fiction: Would Like to Meet
by Rachel Winters
Fiction: No Judgments
by Meg Cabot
Audiobook: Daisy Jones & the Six
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Audiobook: The Beastie Boys Book
by Michael Diamond and Adam Horowitz
Fiction: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek
by Kim Michelle Richardson

 

picture of CatherineFiction: After the Flood
by Kassandra Montag
Music: Dedicated
by Carly Rae Jepsen
Fiction: Get A Life, Chloe Brown
by Talia Hibbert
Audiobook: The Ten Thousand Doors of January
by Alix E. Harrow
Fiction: A Kind of Freedom
by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
Fiction: Lovely War
by Julie Berry
icon for Anne WNonfiction: Our Women on the Ground
by Zahra Hankir
Nonfiction: Visualizing the Beatles
by John Pring and Rob Thomas
Nonfiction: Zora and Langston: A Story of Friendship and Betrayal
by Yuval Taylor

 

Picture of DonnaAudiobook: Whiskey in a Teacup
by Reese Witherspoon
Fiction: The Giver of Stars
by Jojo Moyes
Fiction: The Paris Orphan
by Natasha Lester
Icon for RebecaFiction: On the Come Up
by Angie Thomas
Fiction: My So-Called Bollywood Life
by Nisha Sharma
Nonfiction: A Dream Called Home
by Reyna Grande
Picture of CathleenFiction: The Memory Police
by Yoko Ogawa
TV: Succession
Poetry: Tsunami vs. the Fukushima 50
by Lee Ann Roripaugh

 

Al staff photoPoetry: 1919:  Poems
by Eve L. Ewing
Fiction: Friday Black: Stories
by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Fiction: The Need
by Helen Phillips
picture of AndreaAudiobook: Nothing To See Here
by Kevin Wilson
Fiction: Fireborne
by Rosaria Munda
Audiobook: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

 


Want more? Take a look at what staff chose in 2018 and 2017 as their favorites.

 If you’re interested in personalized reading, watching, and/or listening suggestions… Ask!

Book Discussion Questions: Killers of the Flower Moon

TCover of Killers of the Flower Moonitle: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
Author: David Grann
Page Count: 338 pages
Genre: Nonfiction
Tone: Disturbing, Richly detailed

Summary: Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

 

 

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. 1. Before reading this book had you ever heard of the Osage Native Americans? If not, why do you think it would be that many of us never heard of a tribe of Native Americans who were among the wealthiest people in the world? “The world’s richest people per capita were becoming the world’s most murdered.  The press later described the killings as being as ‘dark and sordid as any murder story of the century’ and ‘the bloodiest chapter in American crime history’.” (p. 103)  So why isn’t it better known?

 

    1. 2. How did the Osage come to be so wealthy? What tactics did the government employ to inhibit the Osage from freely using their money?

 

    1. 3. The subtitle is “The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI”  – obviously they are intertwined, but are these topics given equal weight?  Were you more involved with one than the other?

 

    1. 4. Mollie is quickly established as the central character.  How would you describe her?  Did your opinion change during the story?  Why did Grann use her as a focus?

 

    1. 5. Is it difficult to believe such an intricate web of deeds and people went undetected for so long?  How do we explain this?

 

    1. 6. Did you like the inclusion of photos throughout the story?  How did that add to your understanding?  Was there anything in particular that made an impression?

 

    1. 7. I’m supposing we have some veteran mystery and history readers in here.  Did any of you guess who was responsible for many of the deaths?

 

    1. 8. Can you recall your first impression of William Hale?  How does the author bring to life his strengths and appeal, as well as the darker side of his nature?

 

    1. 9. How did you respond to the description of law enforcement in America during the 1920s?  Did anything shock or surprise you?  What made the situation in Osage Co. particularly chaotic?

 

    1. 10. In what ways does Tom White combine the qualities of the Old West and of the modern bureaucratic system Hoover is trying to create?  Would you define him as the hero of the book?  What about his post-investigative life?

 

    1. 11. Perhaps the most chilling aspect of KotFM is the marital and familial connections between murderers and their victims..  What explains EB’s actions even as he remained married to and had children with Mollie?  How does Grann bring to life the particular horror of crimes committed within a family and a close-knit community?

 

    1. 12. Part two seems to draw the story to a close, but then we’re teased for part three.  Did this surprise you?  Were you glad?  What do we learn in Part 3?

 

    1. 13. In Part three the story was told differently, in that the author inserted himself.  Was this the right technique to use?  Did it enhance the story?

 

    1. 14. Were you satisfied with how the book ended?

 

    1. 15. How might you describe the experience of reading this book?  Was it easy to delve into?  Fast-paced?  Dull?

 

    1. 16. Did anything in the book make you angry?

 

    1. 17. Would you recommend this book to a friend?

 

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

 

    1. OTHER RESOURCES:
    2. The New York Time’s February Book Club Pick
      LitLovers Guide to Killers of the Flower Moon
      David Grann’s Official Website
      PBS Newshour Interview with Author David Grann

 

  1. READALIKES:
  2. Unquiet Grave: The FBI and the Struggle for the Soul of Indian Country book coverUnquiet Grave
    by Steve Hendricks

    Rez Life book coverRez Life
    by David Treuer

    by David Grann

Nonfiction: The British Royal Family

The British royal family welcomed a new heir to the throne, with the arrival of the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan. If you are looking for true stories about England’s current royalty, you may be interested in some of these biographies.

 

My Husband and I book coverMy Husband & I
by Ingrid Seward
Elizabeth the Queen book coverElizabeth the Queen
by Sally Bedell Smith
by Philip Eade

 

Prince Charles book coverPrince Charles
by Sally Bedell Smith
Charles and Diana book coverCharles and Diana
by Penny Junor
by Christopher Andersen

 

Prince William book coverPrince WIlliam
by Penny Junor
Kate the Future Queen book coverKate: The Future Queen
by Katie Nicholl
by Andrew Morton

 

Harry: A Biography of a Prince book coverHarry
by Angela Levin
Meghan: A Hollywood Princess book coverMeghan
by Andrew Morton
by Katie Nicholl

Winter Reading Wrap-up: Still Looking for Your Story?

Thank you to all who participated in this February’s Winter Reading – Find Your Story! Many of you chose to share the titles of stories that you wanted to recommend to your neighbors. Check out the pillar of post-it notes across from the Fiction/AV/Teen Services desk to see all of the books winter reading participants were fans of. Here are just a few:
Fandom Recommendations picture

Home Fire book coverHome Fire
by Kamila Shamsie
“Excellent!!”
Find Her book coverFind Her
by Lisa Gardner
“Loved it!”
by Kazuo Ishiguro

 

An American Spy book coverAmerican Spy
by Lauren Wilkinson
“A great Cold War thriller!”
The Poet X bookThe Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo
“Read by the author on audio is EXCELLENT!”
by Stuart Turton
“Agatha Christie Meets Groundhog Day Meets Quantum Leap”

 

Lethal White book coverLethal White
by Robert Galbraith
“Robert Glenister can read me a story anytime!”
Educated book coverEducated
by Tara Westover
“Fascinating Read”
by A. D. Jameson
“Funny, quick read.”