Staff Choices

Posted by Sltader on 03/27/17
cover image
It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany packs a lot of emotional impact into a relatively short read. The story centers around two best friends, Tyler and Amber, who have helped each other through rough times in their lives. You meet them as teenagers dealing with issues like body images, eating disorders, anxiety, broken families and strained relationships, and unrequited love. The story is told from both perspectives so you see the characters grow up and their friendship expand over the years, as they get older. Then one horrible night in their twenties, something happens that changes not only their relationship but also their lives forever.

For me, this book read as a very real story. The blurry details, the guilt, and the emotions -- the reader feels all these things from both characters. Unfortunately, this story happens all over the world and is often never reported nor discussed. The topic of consent is one every parent must discuss with both their daughters and their sons. This novel vividly highlights the strength it takes to move beyond an assault. The pages Hatvany wrote capture the emotional toll that rape takes on an individual, their family, and sometimes their assailant.

Hatvany describes what it is like to be on both sides of the date rate spectrum, and her story drives home why it is so important to have conversations with both our sons and daughters. Every high school and college student should read this book to see how one very serious act could ruin the lives of both involved.
Posted by jfreier on 03/26/17
cover image
 Nick Mason is in Terre Haute federal prison serving 25 years to life for covering a friend who killed a federal agent. Nick then gets an offer he can't refuse, Chicago cartel kingpin, Darius Cole offers him his release and conviction overturned if he will sign his life over to him for 20 years. Nick must answer his special phone and perform whatever task Darius demands.
Nick is set free and set up in a Lincoln Park townhouse with a vintage mustang and 10 grand a month.
The first call Nick gets reveals how deep he is in with the Cole empire and his handler Quintero, the story brings Nick back to his days in Canaryville and to the man he covered for. Great story, realistic Chicago locales and Steve Hamilton is just a great storyteller.
 
Posted by Uncle Will on 03/24/17
cover image
Trevor Noah was born in South Africa to a black mother and a white father at the time when a union such as that was a crime under Apartheid rule. Noah's mother had to hide and shelter him for much of his childhood. In a place where Browns were only allowed to live with other Browns; Black only with Blacks; Whites with Whites; etc., a light-skinned African was a beacon of hatred and persecution. Young Noah did not make things easy for his mother, but she taught him to be proud and devout. Most times, she would have to chase him down and beat some sense into him, but his love for her never wavered. This book is humorous and sometimes sad. I had no idea who Noah was before reading this book and wasn't aware that he is a stand-up comic and that he has his own late night TV show in America. Add successful author to his resume. This book has a nice flow to it. I picked it up in our Marketplace just to review it and ended up not being able to put it down. 
memoir
Posted by lsears on 03/09/17
cover image
Lillian Boxfish was always drawn to the thriving energy of New York City and to the lure of poetry and words; her imagination sparked by postcards her Aunt Sadie mailed to her when she was a child. She moved there as soon as she could despite her mother's disapproval. It is now 1984, New Year’s Eve and Lillian is an elderly woman in years but not in her outlook. She is planning to eat dinner alone, her son far away in Maine with his family.
 
As she walks across Manhattan on her way to accept a new friend’s party invitation, she meets several people along the way. Not every encounter is pleasant and she handles it in her direct, no-nonsense manner. Life in her beloved city is told through flashbacks. A journey from the Jazz Age to her work writing advertising for R.H. Macy to being a published author of poetry to her marriage and to her grappling to maintain her identity. 
 
Don’t rush through life seems to be the predominant message but the tone is a little bittersweet to me. I always like a strong female character in a novel who still has vulnerabilities. Her reminiscences reveal how much living can go on in one person's life.
 
Author Kathleen Rooney lives in Chicago, teaches at DePaul University and has written several books.
 
Fiction
Posted by ahenkels on 03/06/17
cover image
Two by Two is the latest novel by Nicholas Sparks and to me, it did not disappoint. I’ve been a fan of the author since I was in middle school, when I first read A Walk to Remember and The Notebook.  When I picked up Two by Two, I expected something just like Sparks’ other novels, but this one was different for me.

The story is about Russell Greene, a 32 year old marketing executive who thinks he has it all. A beautiful wife and daughter and a great job. This is the story of how it all falls apart for Russ and how he pulls everything together. There is a little bit of everything in this story: love, second chances, betrayal, family values, and successes. It did take me a bit of time to get into the story, but once I was hooked, it was totally worth it. By the time I was halfway through the story, I could not put the book down. 

The next time you want to grab a book that will touch you in an unexpected way, check out Two by Two. You will not be disappointed.
Posted by Uncle Will on 02/22/17
cover image
One of my friends in our Monday Mystery Discussion Group suggested I read Lock In. She said that it was both a mystery and a sci-fi novel; which in itself is novel. John Scalzi is the award winning author of the Old Man's War Novel Series:
Old Man’s War (2005)
The Ghost Brigades (2006)
The Last Colony (2007)
Zoe’s Tale (2008)
The Human Division (2013)
The End of All Things (2015)
Scalzi won the Hugo Award for his stand-novel Redshirts in 2013.
 
Lock in is a fast-read. It has a lot of dialog that is both witty and thoughtful. The main character, Chris Shane, is as unique a character that I have ever run across in literature. This mystery is a metaphor for future politics, race relations, science, economy, religion, and artificial life. I hope that Scalzi decides to write more books in this series since he only gets to describe the tip of the chunk of ice. 
 
 
Posted by bpardue on 02/21/17
cover image
Guitar great Larry Coryell passed away on February 19. Through his early solo work on albums like Spaces and with his band The Eleventh House, Coryell was one of the core innovators of the jazz fusion movement, which merged jazz proficiency with the power and volume of rock and the cross-cultural influences of world music. His later work would turn more straight-ahead, but still commanded tremendous respect from jazz fans. For more of his albums, also check out hoopla.
 
Posted by lsears on 02/09/17
cover image
Margaret Creasy has gone missing. Everyone liked her and everyone is worried. The summer of 1976 is hot and people are blaming erratic behavior on the weather, perhaps even her disappearance. Ten-year-old Grace attends church with a grandmotherly neighbor and decides that if she finds God she will also find Mrs.Creasy. She sets out to do this with her friend Tilly. Grace is the main narrator of the story but other neighbors’ viewpoints begin to add to our understanding that something happened nine years ago that has bound this block of neighbors together. Grace has a sweet naïve charm about her, always watching and observing the adults around her.
 
Another neighbor, Walter, has become a pariah. Is there something sinister about him or did the neighbors act without evidence? Is this life in a suburban neighborhood where they know each other too well or is there a bit of mob mentality involved?
 

The writing is lovely, I found myself re-reading sentences, light but direct, with humor interjected, and insightful despite a very serious incident/mystery that affects them all.

 
This is author Joanna Cannon's debut novel.
Fiction
Posted by Uncle Will on 02/08/17
cover image
The 1944 film, Laura  was adapted from the sensational mystery, Laura, written by Vera Caspary in 1942. The film was nominated for 4 Oscars and won one for "Best Cinematography, Black-and-White."
 
Besides being clever, witty, engrossing, endearing, and inspiring, Caspary's novel was unique for the fact that her narrative was written in 3 different points-of-view. This proved challenging for Preminger's film adaptation. He hired 2 women and 1 man to write the screenplay, which also was nominated for an Oscar. The novel is only 197 pages and the film only runs 87 minutes; however, the end product in both is forever memorable.
 
The film's theme was written by David Raksin & Johnny Mercer. It's been recorded over 400 times. Johnny Mathis' version on his CD A Personal Collection: The Music Of Johnny Mathis is sweet. 
 
Posted by Sltader on 01/27/17
cover image
Graham Moore's page-turning legal thriller, The Last Days of Night, takes us back to the Golden Age of New York City.
 
In the late 19th century, as Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse began wiring America for electricity, the titans locked horns over which electrical standard would prevail—Westinghouse’s AC (alternating current) or Edison’s DC (direct current)—in a struggle that came to be known as the “War of the Currents.”

Moore tells the story from the point of view of Paul Cravath, the young attorney charged with defending Westinghouse against a potentially devastating one billion dollar patent lawsuit brought by Edison. The key to winning, Cravath decides, is to get Nikola Tesla—the quirky and elusive inventor —to invent a better lightbulb. This plan is met with many obstacles.

A devastating lab fire! An inexplicable disappearance! A beautiful diva with a mysterious past! An attempted murder! An electrocuted dog! This story has it all! The novel’s action takes place against a backdrop rich with period detail.

As Cravath embarks on his long-shot representation of Westinghouse, he begins to rub noses with the elite of New York society, including Edison’s investor J.P. Morgan and popular singer Agnes Huntington (who later becomes Cravath’s love interest). Everyone has his or her own agenda and no one can be trusted.  Cravath needs to figure out what motivates each player and how to be the best at a game he does not fully understand.

This is historical fiction at its best. The Last Days of Night - with its glowing, burnished book cover- informs, entertains, teaches and leaves a reader with much to consider. Eddie Redmayne has signed on to star as Paul Cravath in the 2018 release of the film adaption of the book. Last Days of Night shines brightly indeed.
Want recommendations on what to read next? Email advisory@ahml.info and we will be happy to assist you in finding a great book to read.
Browse our collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks and learn how to use them with your eReader, tablet, or computer.

Additional Resources

 
If your status is Confirmed Registration, your spot for the event is confirmed.

If registration for this event is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. Wait listed registrants are moved to the confirmed registration list (in the order of registration) when cancelations are received. You will receive an email notification if you are moved from the wait list to the confirmed registration list.

6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
 
By contributing patron-generated content, patrons grant the Library an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, display, archive, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon that content.
 
By submitting patron-generated content, patrons warrant they are the sole authors or that they have obtained all necessary permission associated with copyrights and trademarks to submit such content.
 
Patrons are liable for the opinions expressed and the accuracy of the information contained in the content they submit.  The Library assumes no responsibility for such content.
 
The Library reserves the right not to post submitted content or to remove patron-generated content for any reason, including but not limited to:
 
  • content that is profane, obscene, or pornographic;
 
  • content that is abusive, discriminatory or hateful on account of race, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation;
 
  • content that contains threats, personal attacks, or harassment;
 
  • content that contains solicitations or advertisements;
 
  • content that is invasive of another person’s privacy;
 
  • content that is unrelated to the discussion or venue in which it is posted;
 
  • content that is in violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct or any other Library policy