Monday, May 22, 2017

After ALIEN: COVENANT, Try These...All on Hoopla!

Are you a fan of the Alien franchise? Just got back from the latest box office hit in the franchise, Alien: Covenant? Check out these similar titles, all available FREE on Hoopla!



Movies
  • Dead Ringers: This Cronenberg horror features twin brothers who take advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart - just like Michael Fassbender's android role in Covenant
  • Europa Report: An international crew of astronauts makes the long journey to Jupiter's fourth moon, seeking alien life.
  • The Last Days on Mars: The discovery of fossilized evidence of life on Mars is not as innocent as it seems in this Sci-Fi thriller. 
Books

  • The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer: Area X, a mysterious quarantine zone of the unexpected, has had eleven expeditions. The first returned with reports of the beautiful landscape. The third expedition self-destructed and murdered each other. The eleventh expedition died of cancer months after returning. Annihilation, the first book in this acclaimed trilogy, begins with expedition number twelve. The spooky atmosphere, hiding unknowable horrors, is a perfect fit for Alien: Covenant's sense of dreaded discovery.  
  • At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft: This classic Lovecraft novella follows an expedition to the Antarctic and the chilling discoveries they make there. It's not as interstellar as the Alien franchise but the scares are just as cosmic. 
  • The Manitou by Graham Masterton: Karen Tandy discovers a mysterious lump growing under her skin that baffles all of her doctors. This chilling piece of body horror was the debut novel of eminent horror novelist Masterton. 


Comics

  • Aliens: Hoopla has more than enough Alien comics to keep you busy for a long time. A great way to dive into the extra mythology of this popular franchise. 
  • Hellboy: Mike Mignola's acclaimed series is all available on Hoopla! 


Friday, May 19, 2017

David Downing

David Downing’s series featuring British journalist John Russell, is set in Germany under Nazi occupation. While fictional, these books are filled with vivid descriptions of places, characters, and situations that ordinary people faced. Russell and his girlfriend, famous film actress Effi, must navigate the difficulties of life during wartime as John tries to work with the Allies yet remain in Germany. Gritty, but human, each title is the name of a Berlin train station. Begin with Zoo Station set in 1939 Berlin.




Friday, May 5, 2017

While you wait for Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Are you patiently awaiting your turn to read The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See?  Try these read a likes while you wait!


The Kitchen God's Wife
by Amy Tan
For forty years, in China and in San Francisco, Winnie Louie and Helen Kwong have kept certian confidences. Suddenly, those shattering secrets are about to be revealed. So begins a series of comic misunderstandings and heartbreaking realizations about luck, loss, and trust; about the things a mother cannot tell her daughter, the secrets daughters keep, and the miraculous resiliency of love.


Where Women Are Kings
by Christie Watson
After being taken away from his birth mother, seven-year-old Elijah, who is covered in scars, is moved from one foster parent to the next before finding a forever home with Nikki and her husband, Obi, who work tirelessly to help him overcome his tragic past despite many disastrous challenges.


The Bridegroom: Stories
by Jin Ha
A collection of twelve short stories captures the daily lives and experiences of Chinese women and men who struggle to deal with the influx of Western influence into a society that attempts to control their every thought and move.


Beneath the Lion's Gaze
by Maaza Megiste
An epic tale of a father and two sons, of betrayals and loyalties, of a family unraveling in the wake of Ethiopia's revolution.


Desirable Daughters
by Bharati Mukherjee
Chronicles the journeys of three Brahmin women as they follow divergent paths from their home in Calcutta and a rigid Indian society to seek new lives for themselves on two separate continents.







Monday, May 1, 2017

After GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, Try...


Marvel's latest blockbuster comes out this Friday, May 5th - here are some similar titles to sate your appetite!

Movies:
  • Super: Directed by James Gunn, director of the Guardians of the Galaxy Movies, Super follows everyday guy Frank as he dons a slapdash superhero outfit and attempts to rescue his estranged wife. Look for hints of the superhero formula that Gunn uses in both Guardians movies! 
  • Men In Black: Two members of a secret organization established to police alien activity on Earth find themselves in the middle of an assassination plot. While the action is less galactic than Guardians, the imaginative alien designs and sense of humor makes this a perfect double feature. 
  • Galaxy Quest: This loving spoof of the Star Trek series shows what might happen if the cast of the series were suddenly forced into real action - to hilarious effect! 
  • Starman: A road movie, a romance, a science fiction drama - Starman, directed by horror legend John Carpenter, is a perfect companion to Marvel's latest adventure. 
  • The Usual Suspects: A twisting crime caper, The Usual Suspects is a classic thriller due to its fantastic ensemble cast. The Guardians might be slightly more heroic, but they have a lot in common with the crew here. 
  • Serenity: The cinematic conclusion to the cult classic television series Firefly, this space-faring adventure features a renegade crew on the run from a galaxy-spanning government. 
Music: Here are just a few of the artists featured on the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack:
Books:
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers: Tired of your science fiction stories always featuring a galaxy-threatening, world-ending terror? Try the first entry of the Wayfarers series, a pleasant adventure through a richly detailed galaxy. 
  • The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: Moments before the Earth is destroyed, everyman Arthur Dent is rescued by a friend and sent on a universe-spanning, hilarious adventure. Try the movie, too.
  • Saga by Brian K. Vaughan: Two soldiers from opposite sides of an eternal war find themselves in love and with child. This epic graphic novel series features an endless parade of alien species and a beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking, story. Pick it up now and you'll be clamoring for the next volume - of which there are currently 7. Also available on hoopla
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey: In this first book of The Expanse series, Captain Holden and Detective Miller find that their mysteries are interwoven into a terrifying conspiracy. A fresh take on space opera, not to be missed! 
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: A dystopic, page-turner sci-fi adventure packed to the absolute brim with 80's pop culture references. 
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch: Locke Lamora, leader of an infamous gang of thieves and con artists, finds that his confidence games have finally caught up to him in this first entry to a popular fantasy series. Trade Guardians' science fiction for fantasy, but keep the humor and fun character relationships. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Get Your Calendars Ready! Book Festivals in the Chicago Area.


Getting ready for some book festivals? There are many book and author opportunities throughout the Chicago area. Check with your local independent or chain bookstore to see what is happening there. But here are some bigger festivals on the horizon.

What are you doing this weekend? From April 29 to May 11th is the Evanston Literary Festival. Events, lectures and documentaries are scattered throughout the town and held at various venues and bookstores. Go to their website for more details.

A little further afield is Printer's Row Lit Fest. This event is held the weekend of June 10- 11th, with sessions, readings, and discussions held in the Harold Washington Library and tents along S. Dearborn.  They feature local and nationally known authors. And if you are not into fiction - there are many opportunities to listen to non-fiction authors speaking on their topic.

And did you know there is a food tent? That's a great time to see some of Chicago's renowned chefs.  Things take place rain or shine. Depending on the weather, my tip is to plan for some air-conditioned sessions throughout the day. It's great fun. For more details on this year's schedule and authors go here.

Just want to buy some cool older titles? The 2017 Newberry Library Book Fair takes place at the library July 27 - 30.  For more details see their website. You never know what titles you will discover there.

If you're a long distance planner - Keep an eye out for Columbia College's Chicago Book Expo this fall. Chicago Book Expo's mission is "to celebrate Chicago’s vital independent publishing scene." Columbia College’s Creative Writing Department helps to sponsor it. Take a peek at last year's website to get a feel for what they offer.

So there is no excuse! Lots of book activities at the Glenview Public Library and beyond.

Monday, April 24, 2017

After THE CIRCLE, Try...




The Circle, based on the novel by Dave Eggers, comes to theaters this Friday, starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. Here are some titles to try either before or after the movie.



BOOKS
  • The Circle by Dave Eggers: Try the book first! A young tech worker takes a job at a powerful Internet corporation, quickly rises up the company’s ranks, and soon finds herself in a perilous situation concerning privacy, surveillance and freedom. 
  • The Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan: Years after the digital cloud “bursts” and exposes all of our worst secrets, THE PRIVATE EYE is set in an inevitable future where everyone has a secret identity. Following an unlicensed P.I. who is thrust into the most important case of his life, this sci-fi mystery explores the nature of privacy with frightening prescience.
  • The Terranauts by T. C. Boyle: As climate change threatens the earth, eight scientists, four men and four women dubbed the “Terranauts,” have been selected to live under glass in E2, a prototype of a possible off-earth colony.
  • 1984 by George Orwell: The original novel warning about the dangers of surveillance - Big Brother is watching! 
  • Data and Goliath by Bruce Schneier: Learn the truth behind the novels and all about the digital information and surveillance age. 
MOVIES
  • Children of Men: In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary. You might also try the novel
  • Gattaca: A slick science fiction drama in a world where your DNA determines everything about the course of your life, starring Ethan Hawke and Jude Law. 
  • Her: Your phone might be watching you...but what if you fell in love with it? This unconventional love story blends science fiction and romance.
  • The End of the Tour: Directed by James Ponsoldt, the director of The Circle, this is the story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, Infinite Jest.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Paranormal Romance Author Chloe Neill


Chloe Neill is the New York Times bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampires Novels, the Devil's Isle Novels, and a YA series, Dark Elite. Chloe was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest. When she's not writing, she bakes, works, and scours the internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys--her husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout. 
Neill's series Chicagoland Vampires is fun and the heroin is all Chicago-Girl sassy. You will enjoy that Chloe mentions many of Chicago's amazing locations and delicious eateries.



Dark Debt  Book 11
Springtime brings new challenges to Chicago’s vampires, as Merit, the Cadogan House Sentinel, and her Master and paramour, Ethan Sullivan, face personal threats from Balthasar, Ethan’s presumed-dead creator, and a shadow organization headed by Merit’s ex, Morgan Greer. The cooperative skills of the newly minted Assembly of American Masters are tested, and Merit’s previous immunity to vampire glamour can’t withstand assault by Balthasar, creating intimacy issues for her and Ethan. Merit and Ethan are aided (and occasionally hindered) by magical allies, the Cadogan House staff, and Merit’s father and grandfather, as they engage in overt and covert battles for control over the powerful vampire houses. Little characterization details like Merit’s enthusiasm for refreshments, destructive tendencies toward formal wear, and complicated family emotions enhance this brisk adventure.





Midnight Marked Book 12
In book 12 of the Chicagoland Vampires series, vampire Merit attempts to attend a Cubs night game with her Master (and lover), Ethan, along with her best friend, Mallory, and Mallory's husband. When Mallory senses some strange magic, she leads them to the dead body of a shape-shifter. They arrive just in time to give chase to the killer, another vampire. He eludes capture and, to save the alliance with the shape-shifters, they investigate the murder. Sorcery, alchemy, and a friendly necromancer contribute to the supernatural fun. The comradely banter between the characters and the continued hot romance between Merit and Ethan add to the enjoyment of the book.