Staff Choices

Posted by Uncle Will on 07/03/14
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If you love intelligent scripwriting, thoughtful plotlines, and powerful performances you must watch HBO's True Detective starring  Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson.
 
Louisiana detectives Rust Cohle & Martin Hart are polar opposites. Both are damaged goods with plenty of baggage. They join forces over a timespan of 17 years to track a serial killer.  The cast is killer.  The score is perfect. The setting drips with southerness. The chemistry between McConaughey & Harrelson is unbelievable.
 
If you haven't heard about this series yet, it is time to hop on the wagon.  Once you're hooked, keep checking  for Season 2 to show in our catalog. . .awaiting your hold. 
 

Posted by Kelley M on 07/01/14
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The great thing about Dave Eggers is you never know what type of book you’re picking up.  All of Eggers’ plots, settings & characters are very different from each other.  His current book is no exception.  From the very beginning of the book, you are thrown into the situation. At first, you do not know where you are or who is talking, which makes sense for the situation.   The book is essentially the conversations between 30-year-old Thomas & his hostages.  The dialogue drives this story.  The main character, Thomas, kidnaps people that have had a significant impact on his life (and also someone he feels could have a significant impact on his future).  As you read this book, you start to question some of your own morals. 
 
It’s a quick read.  The audiobook is great, since different characters are played by different people, making characters very easy to keep track of.  If you don’t mind a little strong language, this is a very intense, thought-provoking read. 
 
Posted by jkadus on 07/01/14
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Summer is finally here and with it comes the chance to finally get outdoors, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather.  It’s time to break out, clean off and fire up that grill.  Tired of your same old tried and true recipes?  Want to experiment with veggies on the grill?  Well, why not wander back into the stacks and check out a few books to inspire and ignite your creativity. 
 
Posted by jdunc on 06/25/14
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I love Mary Kay Andrews and was especially pleased with her latest summer novel Save the Date. All of Andrews’ novels take place in and around Savannah, Georgia and feature strong, smart, entrepreneurial women, usually down on their luck. The main character of her latest novel is Carrie Kryzik, a struggling florist overcoming a tough divorce who is working her way into Savannah society. Carrie is determined to make a name for herself as a premier florist and prove to her father that she can be successful. Andrews’ elaborate descriptions of the southern weddings and spectacular flower arrangements are fitting given wedding season. Especially entertaining are the cast of demanding brides and their mothers. When Carrie is pulled into the drama of planning a massive wedding of two well-known Southern families, chaos ensues.
 

Along the way, Carrie meets Jack Finnerty, a gruff handsome man that keeps showing up at all of the weddings around Savannah. Their Goldendoodle puppies, Poppy and Shaz, play a comical role in the lives of Carrie and Jack and their romance. While there are some bumps along the way, you definitely root for Carrie, Jack and her flower business. I especially loved all of the intricate descriptions of flowers and wedding details. This perfect light summer read with a guaranteed happy ending

 
Posted by jmurrow on 06/17/14
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If you enjoy comedy that relies on irreverent humor mixed with keen insights into race relations and popular culture, then you will thoroughly enjoy comedians Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peel’s provocative new show!  From gangsters sharing a passion for Twilight to racist zombies, this show is one of the best comedies out there.  The chemistry and camaraderie between the two comedians is great, and the fact that you know they are having as much fun as you are makes this series all the more enjoyable.  I seriously cannot recommend this series enough! 
 
 
Posted by Ultra Violet on 06/16/14
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If you enjoy entertaining nonfiction about the history of brain science, this is the book for you!
 
Each chapter starts with a rebus that describes the part of the brain which that chapter addresses. No prior knowledge of neurology is needed to understand Kean's work, but he doesn't dumb it down either. The stories from throughout history are fascinating and fun. Some of the descriptions get a bit icky (there were several references to the "custardy" consistancy of a fresh brain) but he doesn't dwell on it or go into gorey detail. And cringing through those moments were worth it to learn about the various characters of medical history who contributed, often through great sacrifice, to our knowledge of the human brain.
 
When was the last time you read a book full of giants, cannibals, and jousting kings... and it was all true?
Posted by bweiner on 06/14/14
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Frequently, when I choose my next book to read, I intentionally avoid anything polished, conspicuous or readily available in multiple copies. I prefer to find the quiet gems, small works written in earnest by relatively unknown authors. Usually, my efforts are rewarded by a rich and satisfying read, but this time, the return was even greater.
 
Black Moon, by Kenneth Calhoun, is a diamond in a sea of rhinestones. This smart novel follows a handful of characters as they navigate a world plagued by an epidemic of insomnia. They struggle with moral issues as they try to make decisions about their loved ones who are afflicted with the condition.  They must also carefully monitor their own health and realistically assess their chances of survival. In the midst of the chaos, they cope with the normal problems that trouble friends, lovers, and companions.
 
Consider this passage, as one of the characters, Biggs, describes the frightening state of sleeplessness.
 
The sleepless, in their total exhaustion, quickly lost their ability to distinguish fact from fiction. The unguarded gate in their heads was now propped wide open to suggestion and persuasion. It was a great time for storytellers he thought, for magicians and, of course, advertisers- his abandoned trade. It was the ideal era for placebos: well-intended, white lies that produce truth in spite of themselves. 
 
Carefully chosen, succinct language is the trademark of this excellent debut novel.  Scientific and humanistic concerns are carefully balanced in a skillfully told tale that is poignant and perceptive. Please make sure to check out this superb debut novel.
 
Posted by jfreier on 06/12/14
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John Wells is back in the 8th book in this series following the exploits of the deep cover C.I.A agent.
 
The Chief of Station in Istanbul is approached by an Iranian with intel on two upcoming attacks on Israeli embassies, when they come true, the Iranian hints at an attack on American soil.
 
The agency calls on John Wells to follow leads to see if the informant is genuine or a false flag trying to set up the Americans.
 
The leads take Wells on a twisting and dangerous mission from Panama City, Bangkok, Manila and to Istanbul.
This is a timely and well paced novel by a great spy writer Alex Berenson, a former N.Y. times foreign correspondent.
spy thriller
Posted by dnapravn on 06/10/14
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In honor of Father's Day this coming weekend, I thought I'd share a book that I listened to on a recent road trip.
 
Good Talk, Dad: The Birds and the Bees and Other Conversations We Forgot to Have is by author and CBS news correspondent, Bill Geist, and his son, Willie Geist, also an author and NBC news anchor. In it the duo discusses those "mandatory" father and son talks they never got around to having, as well as reminisce about Geist family history. The book is told in a back and forth style and is mostly comical in nature. From sports and holidays, summer camp, taste in music, and a favorite family car, Bill and Willie Geist are naturals at sharing memories of what seems to be a wonderful and sometimes weird family life. The pair provides plenty of laughs but get serious as well, especially as they discuss Bill's seldom mentioned time spent in Vietnam, as well as his struggle with Parkinson's Disease.
 
Good Talk, Dad was an enjoyable audio book and a funny and poignant look at this father-son relationship.
Posted by Kelley M on 06/04/14
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“The park slumbers through the long winter, weighed down by ice and snow, dreaming of spring…..as it drowses beneath its quilt of snow, it dreams of all the people who flocked to its midways: men, women and especially children, the joy the park brought them, the laughter that was like oxygen for the park, which breathed it in as it floated up from the Cyclone, the Funhouse, the Wild Mouse, the Carousel.”
 
Through a look at the amusement park, Palisades Park, over several decades, we learn about history, the park itself & a family that very well could have actually worked there.  The story focuses on a family – The Stopkas – and through their eyes, we learn the history of the park.  Eddie Stopka owns a French Fry stand at the park & marries Adele.  Adele helps Eddie at the fry stand.  They have two children, Antoinette & Jack.  The story takes us through the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Korean War, a divorce, segregation/integration, and much more.  It has been said that Alan Brennert’s novel is more “nostalgia fiction” than historical fiction. 
 
Because of the novels nostalgic style, you feel like there are certain topics in the book that you want to read more about.  You want more meat to the stories within the story (but I don’t want to spoil these little stories & divulge anything further).  It’s a pleasant read, if you don’t mind a little strong language.  It really makes you think about what used to be controversial family-wise versus what we think of as controversial in today’s age.  It’s an interesting behind-the-scenes look at an amusement park & makes me think of the good old days of Riverview Park & Kiddieland here in the Chicago area.  It makes me want to read more about now-defunct amusement parks & their histories.
 
You may be familiar with the author’s previous novel “Moloka’I” which was a book club sensation.
 

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