Monday, June 17, 2019

Teen Books With Adult-Appeal

Ever wonder why adults love to read teen books?  There are so many to choose from, and often there are many interesting crossover titles that bring us back to our youth.  Subjects vary, and characters are often richly drawn and interesting to an older audience.  All listed are located in the Teen Scene.

Here are some that you might like:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Book Jacket

After witnessing her friend's death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter's life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Book Jacket

Rose Justice is an American pilot with Britain's Air Transport Auxiliary during the Second World War. On her way back from a routine flight she is captured by the Germans and sent to Ravensbrück, a notorious concentration camp, where she meets an unforgettable group of women, and vows to tell her fellow prisoners' stories to the world.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Book Jacket

After crash-landing in France in 1943 and being captured by Nazis, a female wireless operator for the British (who goes by Queenie, Eva, Verity, and various other aliases) reveals bits of code in exchange for reprieve from torture...and to postpone her execution. 

Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin

Book Jacket

A teenaged guitarist in a rock band deals with loss and anger as he relates the events that landed him in a juvenile detention center.

Dear Evan Hansen:  The Novel by Val Emmich

Book Jacket

Evan goes from being a nobody to everyone's hero and a social media superstar after a chance encounter with Connor just before his suicide leads others to believe Evan was his only friend.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Jacket

Blue Sargent's gift seems to be that she makes other people's talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the Aglionby Academy, she discovers that together their talents are a dangerous mix.  First in Raven Cycle series.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Book Jacket

Secrets are revealed as OCD-afflicted Griffin grieves for his first love, Theo, who died in a drowning accident.

Monday, June 3, 2019

A Universe of Stories - 2019 Summer Reading

Discover a Universe of Stories this summer with our 2019 Summer Reading Programs for all ages! The program began on June 1 and runs through August 3. Challenge yourself to read a variety of genres and formats (books, eBooks or audiobooks), log your books, and complete activities for the chance to win prizes throughout the summer. Stop in the library and register or log your books (Reader Services desk for Adults and Teens and Youth Services Desk for Birth-8th grade). You can also participate online using Beanstack. For more information visit our Summer Reading page.

Women's Prize for Fiction

The UK's Women's Prize for Fiction published its shortlist for 2019:

I find the books on lists like these are all good reads, not just the winners. But this year I'll go straight for the prize-winner named at the end of this list. It has just the kind of complexity that keeps me intrigued. Happy reading!

Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
In her own take on the events of The Iliad, Barker explores the Trojan War from the perspective of women, who served mainly as slaves or prostitutes, or those who lay out the dead. The story focuses on the battle between Achilles and Agamemnon over Briseis, once queen of a kingdom near Troy.

 Circe by Madeline Miller
Circe, born without the power of her father Helios or the astonishing allure of her mother, turns to mortals for companionship and discovers her own tremendous power of witchcraft that can menace the gods themselves. Will she suffer retribution?

Ordinary People by Diana Evans
Evans follows two couples who are dealing with changing values and commitments. Melissa and Michael, still engaged after 13 years, are grappling with the changes the come with their role as parents of a seven-year-old and a new baby. Melissa misses her job as a fashion editor, and Michael feels ignored and is in danger of being unfaithful. Their friends Damian and Stephanie realize 16 years into their marriage that they both want very different lives.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Realizing that her beautiful and favored sister Ayoola is actually a sociopath, Koreda tries to help her cover up the murders of her boyfriends until the doctor that Koreda works with, her long-term secret love, asks her for Ayoola's phone number. ("The wittiest and most fun murder party you've ever been invited to." -- Marie Claire)

Milkman by Anna Burns
In Northern Ireland in the Troubles of the 1970s, an unnamed narrator, who stands out because she reads while walking and takes French night classes, finds herself pursued by a high-ranking paramilitary known as Milkman, though she does not want the danger such attention could bring. (Milkman won the 2018 Man Booker Prize.)

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Celeste, an artist on the brink of success, marries Roy, a young executive. Soon Roy is arrested for a crime and sentenced to twelve years in prison. Celeste knows he did not commit the crime, but eventually she takes comfort in Andre, her dear friend from childhood. When Roy's sentence is suddenly overturned, Celeste must find a way to face the past and move forward.

The Winner: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Have you read the best Sci-Fi of 2018?

2018 was a banner year for science fiction, check out some of the best titles the genre has to offer, all available from the Glenview Public Library:

"Morrow’s debut is ambitious and insightful, raising questions about memory, trauma, and humanity. The novel is at its best when it presents Elsie at her most human, forcing the real ones around her to reckon with what her personhood means for theirs."—Publishers Weekly

“…[A] powerful post-apocalyptic masterpiece and the one dystopian novel you really need to read this year.”—Bustle

Semiosis by Sue Burke
“In Semiosis, Sue Burke blends science with adventure and fascinating characters, as a human colony desperately seeks to join the ecosystem of an alien world.” ―David Brin, author of Earth and Existence

Severance by Ling Ma
"How do you fit a zombie novel inside an immigrant story inside a coming-of-age tale? Ling Ma . . . accomplished this feat in her gripping and original turducken of a novel . . . Fascinating." ―Trine Tsouderos, The Chicago Tribune
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
“In The Calculating Stars, Mary Robinette Kowal imagines an alternate history of spaceflight that reminds me of everything I loved about Hidden Figures.”—Cady Coleman, Astronaut

Black Star Renegades by Michael Moreci
"A propulsive space opera that is also an unapologetic love letter to Star Wars. . . . Impossible not to love . . . . From intergalactic space battles to blaster fights to rogue robots and various hives of scum and villainy, this shiny space opera is bound to be a pleasure for fans of all stripes." —Kirkus Reviews

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The 2019 Tony Award Nominees for Best Revivals

The 73rd Annual Tony Awards will be held on June 9, 2019, to recognize achievement in Broadway production during the 2018-19 season. The ceremony will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and will be broadcast live by CBS. James Corden will serve as host. Although I'm interested in the nominees in all the categories, I have a special affinity for the "Best Revival" category. I enjoy revisiting the classics/oldies and I always reread the play before a night at the theater!
Check out copies of the five nominated plays and two musicals:

Best Revival of a Play

All My Sons by Arthur Miller
This play is set during the second world war, and is about a successful businessman, Joe Keller, who has failed to fulfill his social obligations and has failed to recognize the role of society after he is blinded by lust for money during the war.

Boys in the Band by Mart Crowley
This play revolves around a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party in New York City and was groundbreaking for its portrayal of gay life. The play has been called "A true theatrical game-changer, The Boys in the Band helped spark a revolution by putting gay men's lives onstage — unapologetically and without judgment — in a world that was not yet willing to fully accept them."

Burn This by Lanford Wilson
The play begins shortly after the funeral of Robbie, a young, gay dancer who drowned in a boating accident with his lover Dom. In attendance were Robbie's roommates: his sensitive dance partner and choreographer, Anna, and confident, gay ad man Larry. Soon joining them in Robbie's lower Manhattan loft are screenwriter Burton (Anna's longtime lover) and Pale (Robbie's cocaine snorting, hyperactive restaurant manager brother). In the face of their shared tragedy, the quartet attempts to make sense of their lives and reconsider their own identities and relationships. Anna learns to be independent and self-confident. She begins to pursue her interest in choreography and begins a relationship with Pale, ending her dispassionate relationship with her longtime boyfriend.

Torch Song by Harvey Fierstein
This is a collection of three plays rendered in three acts: International Stud, Fugue in a Nursery, and Widows and Children First! The story centers on Arnold Beckoff, a Jewish homosexual, drag queen, and torch singer who lives in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The four-hour play begins with a soliloquy in which he explains his cynical disillusionment with love.
The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan
Gladys Green owns a small art gallery in Greenwich Village. She is in her 80s and showing signs of Alzheimer's disease. Don, a young artist, arrives for a showing of his work. The landlord wants to close the art gallery and replace it with a restaurant. How her family – daughter Ellen, son-in-law Howard and grandson Daniel – deals with her decline is told by the grandson.

Best Revival of a Musical

Kiss Me, Kate
The story involves the production of a musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew and the conflict on and off-stage between Fred Graham, the show's director, producer, and star, and his leading lady, his ex-wife Lilli Vanessi. A secondary romance concerns Lois Lane, the actress playing Bianca, and her gambler boyfriend, Bill, who runs afoul of some gangsters.
Set in the Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s, this musical tells the story of two pairs of lovers. Curly is a cowboy who has trouble admitting his feelings to Laurey, as she does to him, because of their stubbornness. Judd, the hired hand at Laurey's farm, tries to come between them.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Stroppies

Record of the week in my house is WHOOSH! by the Melbourne, Australia guitar pop band The Stroppies. Fabulous catchy, earnest jangle that recalls the Velvet Underground's third record with some melodies that bring to mind The Clean and prime Flying Nun Records/New Zealand pop of the 90s. Conceived at a kitchen table in 2016, The Stroppies are comprised of members of a host of members from other Aussie indie bands but WHOOSH! is their first full-length record and its been getting me through my daily commute (my car STILL has a CD player). If this ends up sounding good to you too, be sure to check out some other Aussie music in the Library's CD collection, things like Dick Diver, Goon Sax, and Robert Forster.              

Friday, May 10, 2019

Why not download a memoir in May?

So, I like to read funny, cheeky, and sometimes serious memoirs and musings by celebrities and others. I just finished listening to Mindy Kaling's, Why Not Me. She is the narrator, so it seemed even more personal and intimate. While listening I realized, it is okay to not have everything figured out in life. Like Mindy, we are always learning and evolving, or at least we should be. Download one or two today.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling

In Pieces by Sally Field

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

I'm Just Happy to Be Here: a memoir of renegade mothering by Janelle Hanchett

Naturally Tan: A Memoir by Tan France (new)

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Funny in Farsi by Firoozeh Dumas