Staff Choices

Posted by Auntie Anne. on 10/10/12
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The setting is New York city in 1987.  The AIDS epidemic is rampant, and has personally touched the quiet suburban lives of 14-year-old June Elbus and her family.  June's beloved Uncle Finn, a famous but reclusive artist, has died of AIDS.  June's mother, who was Finn's sister, has forbidden Finn's longtime partner to attend the funeral.  Mrs. Elbus refuses to speak of this horrible illness that her brother has died of far too young, leaving June grief-stricken and desolate.  June was a very unusual teenager who fantasized about living in the Middle Ages. Typically dressing in long skirts and lace-up boots, she lugged around a copy of The Medieval Reader, and planned to be a falconer when she grows up.  She felt that her Uncle Finn was the only person alive that understood her and made her feel special. They shared many secrets and special places that they would visit together in New York City.  But when Finn died, June discovers an even bigger secret that her Uncle never shared with her - his partner, Toby.
 
Several days after the funeral, June receives a package in the mail - a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn's apartment, and a note from Toby asking to meet her.  After seeing Toby several times, June realizes that he is not the monster that killed her Uncle that her mother has made him out to be. He misses Finn as much as she does, and they form a powerful bond based on their mutual loss and unlikely friendship. From start to finish, with Toby's help, June emerges from a self-absorbed awkward teenager to a mature young adult who has come to understand much about the upside down world she lives in.
 
Tell the Wolves I'm Home is a beautifully written, very tender coming-of-age story, which is a first novel for Carol Rifka Brunt.  The author does a good job of conveying the mood of the 80s and the frightening specter of AIDS.  This is a  moving story of love, grief and renewal which will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished it.
 
Posted by Auntie Anne. on 10/07/12
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Here's a fun read from local author John McEvoy.  Photo Finish is the fourth installment in McEvoy's Jack Doyle Mystery series where the protagonist is a former advertising man, amateur boxer, and race track publicist now turned thoroughbred jockey agent.  His new client is a 17-year-old Irish riding phenom Mickey Sheehan.  Much to Doyle's surprise, Sheehan turns out to be a girl.  Her brother, Keiran, is Ireland's top jockey turned jet-setting bad boy, so Mickey comes to the States to escape her brother's negative influence and try her luck on her own.  Doyle and Sheehan are a winning combination until a malicious culprit starts injecting their horses with a dangerous illegal doping medication.   Jack Doyle sets out to find the culprit while maneuvering plot twits like a thoroughbred on the racetrack.
 
Set in a fictitious racetrack located in the Northwestern suburbs of Chicago (sound familiar?), Photo Finish is chock full of fun thoroughbred racing details, descriptions and history.  Author and Evanston resident Jon McEvoy is former editor and senior correspondent for Daily Racing Form, so he knows of what he writes. This book is labeled a mystery as the genre, but there is really no mystery to the story since we know who the protagonist is and what his motives are. McEvoy's previous installments to this series have received 5 star reviews, but this one falls a bit short of the mark. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable and quick read.  
Posted by kto on 10/06/12
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Older Disney fans will be thrilled with this show!
 
“Once Upon a Time,” as its name suggests, is about fairy tales. The catch? The fairy tale characters live in modern times... and they don’t remember who they are.
 
Snow White is a schoolteacher; Rumpelstiltskin is a successful businessman; and the Evil Queen who cast them to our time? She’s the town mayor. While there are literally dozens of famous storybook characters spotlighted in the show its focuses are the Evil Queen, Snow, and the people they’ve both loved.
 
Why you may like this: Disney fans will smile when characters are revealed as they tend to follow the Disney telling of the tales rather than the Grimm versions. It’s exceptionally cheeky and fun with a dash of intrigue.
 
4 stars!
 
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012
Run Time: 946 minutes
 
Posted by Ultra Violet on 10/05/12
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You have to love a book that comes with 3D glasses.
 
Felix J. Palma delivers a delightful and, at times, disturbing vision of an alternate history in which H.G. Wells and Edgar Allen Poe battle a Martian invasion...and lose. But don't lose heart. Palma always has some literary tricks up his sleeves, and this is only the second book in The Victorian Trilogy from this brilliant Spanish author. The characters are richly drawn and compelling and the story-telling alternates from wry and witty to terrifying and gory with a healthy dash of ridiculousness.
 
The first book in the series, The Map of Time is a rollicking good time as well, establishing Wells as a reluctant hero along with a cameo by Jack the Ripper. While it is not essential to read them in order, I would recommend it for maximum enjoyment.
 
I can't wait for the next one!
Posted by Ultra Violet on 10/02/12
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In this podcast with Pam from Customer Services you will learn about resources at our Library for training your dog. Pam recommends 101 Dog Tricks which helped her with a rambunctious Golden Retriever pup.
Posted by Pam S on 09/28/12
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I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up Traveling Mercies . .  is this a religious book, a serious book, a humorous memoir?  If it is possible, I think it is all of the above.  I personally found this book to be more of book about spirituality that includes many humorous and touching thoughts on life.  Anne Lamott chronicles her own exploration with Faith and God starting with childhood through motherhood.  She takes ordinary moments in life and adds insight and wit without being preachy.  Anne Lamott is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Grace (Eventually), Plan B, Traveling Mercies, and Operating Instructions, as well as seven novels, including Rosie and Crooked Little Heart
memoir
Posted by Uncle Will on 09/18/12
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Trickster's Point is the 13th book in Krueger's Cork O'Connor series.  It's hard to describe just what endears me to his books.  Cork O'Connor is part Irish and part Ojibwe.  He is a loving father and husband.  His children respect, honor, and love him.  He has had more than his share of life's tragedies.  He lost his father when only 13 years old.   Death always seems to be on his doorstep.  He is like a hound dog.  He is relentless in his pursuit of truth and justice.  He respects the elderly, his bloodline, and their tribal teachings.
 
Yet he's also a flawed character.  He is an atypical hero.  He is at times stubborn beyond reason.  He makes enemies just as easy as friends.  However, he always tries to be true to himself, which might be one of life's most difficult challenges.
 
In this latest book, Cork's best childhood friend takes an arrow to the heart while the two are out hunting.  He asks Cork not to go for help, but rather spend the last remaining minutes of his life with him.  Three hours tick by and Jubal Little passes over to finally meet his Gichi-manidoo.   Unfortunately, the arrow in Jubal's chest is one of Cork's and O'Connor is suspected of murder.  Cork's mission is to clear his name, but more importantly find his friend's assassin. Jubal, not unlike his close friend, Cork, has his share of enemies too.  Cork's list of suspects grows as he tries to backtrack the true killer's movements prior to the attack.
 
Tracking and backtracking are of importance since it is obvious that the murderer was schooled in the "old ways" of stalking prey.  As Cork plods along, another corpse is discovered, not far from where Jubal's body lay. Another of O'Connor's hand-made arrows is found in the eye of that man. 
 
Cork eyes the two women in Jubal's life as probable suspects, but in his heart he cannot find any peace in those possibilities. What Cork must do is determine just how far someone is willing to go in the name of love.
 
For those that are avid fans, this book will reinforce the reasons why reading a William Kent Krueger novel is like sitting down and eating a hot, heaping bowl of homemade chili...both warm one to the soul and leave one feeling fulfilled.
 
        
Posted by Uncle Will on 09/18/12
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With Sweden these days seemingly leading the way with best selling mystery authors, this time I thought I'd try an Icelandic international author, Arnaldur Indriðason.  He has 10 out of 12 from his "Detective Erlendur" crime-novel series now translated into English.  He has sold over 7 million copies.  Operation Napoleon is one of his stand-alone mystery novels that was written in 1999 and recently translated into English.
 
The story jumps back and forth betwixt Iceland, 1945 and the Pentagon, 1999.   Several high ranking World War II officers -- some German, some American -- crash-land on a glacier during a horrific snowstorm.  One of the German officers sets out in the attempt to reach a farmhouse.  With him is a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist.  The other passengers are left to fend for themselves in the destroyed remains of their aircraft.  Where was the final destination of this mixed-crew and what was being transported in the cargo plane and locked in the briefcase? 
 
We discover that our government has secretly been trying to find the remains of the plane for over 50 years.  When satellite pictures show the glacier spitting-up the partial plane, a creepy crew of clandestine soldiers are sent to procure the remains and destroy all evidence of the event.  An Icelandic man, Elias, unfortunately witnesses the beginning of the extraction and contacts his sister, Kristin, before he disappears.  This sets off the thrilling chain of events that follows.  It's a race between good and evil to uncover the truth or to eliminate it completely.
 
This race is "a never-ending battle for truth and justice" and according to the author, hopefully the un-American way.  Written from the point-of-view of an Icelandic national narrative, the good old USA government comes across as anything but flattering.   America is viewed as a bullying nation that will go to any lengths to cover their tracks.  This book, at first shocking, ends up quite a refreshing read.  In our country where "wagging of the dog" is standard political practice, it's novel to get a different perspective of just how America has positioned itself as the leading world power.
 
In 2008, Arnaldur Indriðason wrote the screenplay for the foreign film:  Reykjavik-Rotterdam.  In 2012, the USA  remade its version Contraband which stars Mark Wahlberg.     AHML currently has several of this author's books in our collection:   Hypothermia; Artic ChillThe Draining Lake; Voices, Silence Of The Grave; and OutrageJar City is another of his books that was adapted to film in 2006. 
 
 
 
 
Posted by Uncle Will on 09/18/12
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This is the first book I've read by Carsten Stroud.  I was drawn to the book's front cover where Elmore Leonard was quoted as saying it had "...Terrific dialogue...and...oddball characters..."  That was endorsement enough for me.
 
This epic story has a multitude of characters.  So many that readers might want to keep a yellow pad handy to track names.  At times it seems that each chapter is introducing yet another person of interest.  Their back-stories are presented methodically.  
 
Stroud indeed has a method to his madness.  A young boy vanishes in the blink of an eye.  A former police officer and a current one commit a brazen bank robbery in broad daylight; killing several brother officers in the process.  A retired town matriarch disappears along with her gardener.  A missing child is found alive, buried in a grave that has not be disturbed for many years.  A former Special-Forces-soldier-turned-police-investigator and his wife possess a mirror that might be the link to several mysterious disappearances over the past century.
 
Niceville is a town with many secrets.  It is a place that is dwarfed by a humongous cliff which keeps much of the town in it's shadow for a good part of the day.  There is a surrounding sinkhole that seems to slowly suck the life out of some.  
 
This story is a thriller more than a mystery.  If interested in reading more by this author, AHML has four other of his novels:  Sniper's Moon, Cuba Strait, Cobraville, and Black Water Transit - which has been adapted to film.  It stars Lawrence Fishburne, Carl Urban, and Steven Dorff.  Stroud won the Arthur Ellis Award in 1993 for best new Canadian novel:  Lizardskin - which is available thru LINKin
 
 
Posted by jonf on 09/17/12
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The new Rizzolli and Isles book has Jane and Maura responding the brutal murder of a teens second set of foster parents. The pair are further shocked when two other foster children suffer the same fate , what's the connection?
 
Maura visits a teen who helped her survive an ordeal in Wyoming, a boy named Rat who is now a student of special school called Evensong in the remote Maine countryside.
 
The school is run by their mysterious friend Anthony Samsone leader of the Mephisto Club.
 
The school is filled with the the children of orphans and a special few who are among the murdered foster parents.
 
The mystery has some good twists and Isles and Jane are great as always but for fans of "Rizzolli and Isles",
it is very rough and nothing like the T.V. show.
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6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
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