Staff Choices

Posted by lsears on 06/19/16
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Chicago is set sometime in the 1970’s when a young man moves in for his first job after college to work at a magazine. The city becomes a proving ground for him as a journalist in training. His apartment building neighbors are as diverse as the city; a community of its own, full of dwellers that look out for each other. Mostly he works and plays basketball and explores the city with some of the apartment building’s inhabitants. Did I mention the talking dog? Please don’t turn away from this anomaly because for this story, I think it works. Think of Edward as an illuminated being (the author’s words) and decide for yourself who or what he represents.
 
The book is a nostalgic recollection of an influential time in his life, a bildungsroman.  Most enjoyable are the many references to landmarks and places and events that embody the city. Most are mentioned only briefly but as a former denizen of the Windy City, they sparked many of my own memories. From the old Ivanhoe Theatre to Comiskey Park to Kingston Mines to the unique neighborhoods to the alewives that wash up on the shores of Lake Michigan. But the narrator is not completely blinded by the beauty of the city, he sees how it lives side-by-side with ugly truths.
 

The writing style is very poetic, descriptive, imaginative, and a little fanciful with long, long sentences that read on and on like the waters of the lake. Only a short time period is covered, five seasons, but author Brian Doyle creates a winsome novel to read, visit and reminisce over.

 
Posted by jdunc on 06/10/16
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It isn’t summer without the newest beach read from Mary Kay Andrews. Her latest, The Weekenders, leans more toward mystery than light romance. Riley is a wealthy mother of a 12-year-old and in an unhappy marriage to her husband Wendell. Each summer Riley and her extended family vacation on Belle Isle, North Carolina, an island that her family built. When her estranged husband doesn’t show, Riley is livid, until his body is discovered in the water.

As the sheriff and Riley try to get to the bottom of her husband’s death, they uncover more secrets and lies. But it isn’t a Mary Kay Andrews novel without a little romance. Riley finds support and romance from her teenage love. This novel is more serious than many of Andrews’s other works, but still very much a page turner. Andrews has a history of mystery writing, publishing several mystery novels under the pseudonym Kathy Hogan Trocheck. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand will enjoy the untangling of secrets and lies in a quaint beach town.
Posted by lbanovz on 06/04/16
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Meet the spectacularly dysfunctional Plumb family. When Leo, the charming but wastrel eldest son, endangers his siblings’ chances of inheriting their share of the family trust (the titular “Nest” in question), all hell breaks loose. Because $2 million is a lot of money, even when split four ways. And the other Plumb children (artistic Bea, floundering Jack, and maternal Melody) were counting on that money to assuage some moderate-to-severe financial pains. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except no one – especially not Leo – has a plan B.

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney has accomplished quite a feat, especially for a debut author: she has a way of taking unlikeable characters and making them sympathetic; even Leo, the persistent screw-up, finds a way into your heart by the end. I especially enjoyed the surprising side stories that Sweeney weaves throughout the main plot, taking her characters in a variety of directions but maintaining a coherency to the story as a whole. In many ways it reminded me of Carol Rifka Brunt’s 2012 hit Tell the Wolves I’m Home, which should be next on your list if you haven’t read it already.
 
Now I know I’m recommending a book you may have to wait a while to get your hands on, but trust me. It’s worth the wait. The Nest is a great summer read, with just enough emotional heft to make it a standout.
Fiction
Posted by annetteb on 05/19/16
Did you happen to hold on to your floppy discs? Do you have a way of viewing the information that is stored on them?
 
The Tech Help Desk has one floppy disc reader that can help you view the files saved on your floppy disc and possibly convert them to modern file formats. To use the floppy disc reader, please visit the Tech Help Desk and inquire about it. The floppy disc reader can be connected to a computer or laptop via USB input. 
Posted by annetteb on 05/19/16
Do you like to record podcasts? Are you interested in recording family stories with your relatives? Maybe you're someone who could benefit from recording classroom lectures?
 
The Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder With Accessories could be a great tool for you to utilize. With its simple one-button recording capabilites and backlit LCD display, the portable digital recorder is easy to use. The portable digital recorder is perfect for musicians, journalists, podcasters, and more, and it records high-quality WAV and MP3 files to meet any professional need. Recorded files can easily be transferred to a Mac or PC. 
 
If you have additional questions, please feel free to stop by the Tech Help Desk.
Posted by bweiner on 05/18/16
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Every couple of months I scan the shelves of the Marketplace in search of a great book. I bypass every author I have ever heard of, and search for a book so obscure, yet so extraordinary that it takes my breath away.
 
I finally found one.
 
The Vegetarian, by South Korean author, Han Kang, is exactly what I was looking
for. This story about Yeong-hye, her family, and her attempts to become a
vegetarian will shock you. The savage images that lead her to this desperate
resolution are lost on her family and set in motion a chain of events that embroils
the entire family in bitter conflict.
 
This story is about the fine line between the physical and psychological; it is
strangely fixated in the physical yet bound to the spirit. It is dark and disturbing
and rich and sumptuous in detail. Yeong-hye fights for ownership of her body and
its destiny, as everything about her is exposed and revealed. This story is
alternately frightening and familiar as it rolls in waves between fantasy and reality.
Characters are imprisoned and liberated, and face their lives with exhausted
endurance. Art is vision and reality as it becomes an obsession and a compulsion.
The characters are passionate, yet unemotional, and there is a perseverance of will that is terrifying to see.
 
All this, wrapped in a package of perfect prose, definitive and direct in purpose, yet
lyrical and evocative in deliverance.
 
Simply marvelous.
 
Posted by lsears on 05/14/16
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Readers learn right away that author Paul Kalanithi’s life will be cut short by an aggressive cancer but this is not a despondent story. In college he could have gone into writing or into medicine – it was that close. Medicine won out as he rationalizes that there would always be time to write later.
 
Paul shares details about the grueling demands of his medical training. He writes simply, almost as a matter of record, but his words reveal that he was a rather remarkable man who treated medicine and surgery as a calling, not a job. After the diagnosis, he grapples with making the right decisions. Which treatment should he undergo, should he try to return to surgery, should he try to start a family with his wife and to possibly leave her to carry on alone? To use a quote directly from the book: “In residency, there’s a saying: The days are long, but the years are short.”
 

Every once in a while I like to read a book that makes me think about the meaning of life and its fragility. This one certainly did. Despite the sad outcome, the book is full of life and dignity.

 
memoir
Posted by jfreier on 05/08/16
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The latest John Wells spy thriller pits Wells against billionaire Aaron Duberman and his chase to destroy him. This is the 10th Wells novel but is a direct sequel to Twelve Days, so that should be read first.
Aaro Duberman had escaped Wells in the previous book and Wells as an ex-C.I.A. op is off the grid to corner Duberman. He has the help of his old boss and friend Ellis Shafer and Vinny Duto to help.
The story is well written and Wells is a interesting and flawed character, Alex Berenson also does a great job with setting from Israel to Macau.
Spy Suspense
Posted by annetteb on 05/06/16
Believe it or not, summer is just around the corner! Whether you are planning a fun summer trip or are ready to relax and enjoy the summer locally, one fun way to share what you're up to with your friends and family is through video blogging ("vlogging"). Our Sony Bloggie Cameras can help you create video updates and can allow you to capture footage from your latest adventures. Feel free to call the library or stop by the Tech Help Desk if you have any questions. 
Posted by annetteb on 05/06/16
Are you looking to create a great new video with exciting special effects? Consider using our portable green screen to incorporate exciting backdrops into your project. The green screen is available for check out from the library at this link. If you have any questions, feel free to stop by the Tech Help Desk.  
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.

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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.
 
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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;
 
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