Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March is Women's History Month

Celebrate Women's History Month by reading one of these historical fiction titles that reimagine the lives of women, both ordinary and well-known, in history.

Clara & Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
Hoping to honor his father and the family business with innovative glass designs, Louis Comfort Tiffany launches the iconic Tiffany lamp as designed by women's division head Clara Driscoll, who struggles with the mass production of her creations.

The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini
Pledging her loyalty to the North at the risk of her life when her native Virginia secedes, Quaker-educated aristocrat Elizabeth Van Lew uses her innate skills for gathering military intelligence to help construct the Richmond underground and orchestrate escapes from the infamous Confederate Libby Prison.

Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
Imagines the lives of the subject of the photograph, photographer, and a college professor who finds a connection to a family legacy in the image of the iconic "Migrant Mother.".

Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
Presents a novel based on the life of the author's grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, who learned to break horses in childhood, journeyed five hundred miles as a teen to become a teacher, and ran a vast ranch in Arizona with her husband while raising two children.

The diary of a Creole beauty from Martinique who became Napoleon's wife. It traces her adjustment to French high society, her love affairs in order to survive the revolution--her husband is guillotined--and her romance with Napoleon. First volume in a trilogy.

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross
Berated for being intelligent and scholarly, Joan dons her dead brother's clothes, assumes a man's identity, and gains respect and authority as well as the title of pope.

A fictional account of the young lives of Mirabal sisters Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa, otherwise known in the Dominican Republic as Las Mariposas, describes their suffering and martyrdom in the last days ofthe Trujillo dictatorship.

Empress Orchid by Anchee Min 
A fictional portrait of the last empress of China follows Orchid, a beautiful teenager from an aristocratic family, who is chosen to become a low-ranking concubine of the emperor and rises to a position of power in the Chinese court.

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
"A novel about the friendship between an adolescent, pre-movie-star Louise Brooks, and the 36-year-old woman who chaperones her to New York City for a summer, in 1922, and how it changes both their lives"--.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Orchid Fever

It's dreary out and it seems Winter will never end. Break out of your rut by getting a taste of Spring with a bit of orchid fever.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is having their Orchid Show until March 15, 2015. While you're waiting for your day to go, take a look at these titles that will get you eager to view the delicate beauties.

Orchid Fever: a Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy by Eric Hansen might be the place to start. Hansen does a great job exploring the local and international world of orchid hunters and scientists who are working to save endangered orchids. Each chapter is a different element of the tale of how these plants have grabbed a hold of man's desires.

Next, go to the classic tale of The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. This book started as a series of essays in the New Yorker, and takes us from eccentric orchid growers in Florida, to treasure hunters who seek new and rare orchids.  A delightful story of the community of orchid lovers.

After visiting the Botanic Garden, you may be inspired to try to care for your own orchids. A good title to start with is Orchids Are Easy: a Beginner's Guide to Their Care and Cultivation by Tom Gilland. And there are many other orchid care titles and identifying guides available to check out.

If you can't make it for the Orchid Show, try one of the other greenhouses in the Chicago area. The Garfield Park Conservatory has a lovely collection of ferns and other fauna, and the Lincoln Park Conservatory has an orchid house as well.  Or you can wait for the Chicago Flower and Garden Show coming up on March 14, 2015 to catch a whiff a spring.

Or if it is only orchids that you crave, try visiting Orchids by Hausermann. It is a family run greenhouse in Addison, IL. Their experts will show you the orchid grower's perspective.

Enjoy getting a taste of spring.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Forthcoming Fiction for April

Here are some new Fiction titles coming out in April. You can reserve them by searching our Online Catalog, or give us a call at 847-729-7500.

Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert
Aunt Dimity and the Summer King by Nancy Atherton
Memory Man by David Baldacci
The Dream Lover: a Novel of George Sand by Elizabeth Berg
The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons: a Bernie Rhodenbarr Mystery by Lawrence Block
Tracker by C.J. Cherryh
The Melody Lingers On by Mary Higgins Clark
The Legend of Caleb York by Max Allan Collins
The Promise: an Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel by Robert Crais
The Alpine Zen: an Emma Lord Mystery by Mary Daheim
One Night by Eric Jerome Dickey
Pride v. Prejudice: a Claire Malloy Mystery by Joan Hess
The Bone Tree by Greg Iles
Your Next Breath by Iris Johansen
The Silence that Speaks by Andrea Kane
Chasing Sunsets by Karen Kingsbury
Falling in Love: a Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon
A Ticket to Oblivion: a Railway Detective Novel by Edward Marston
Inspector Colbeck’s Casebook by Edward Marston
Deeds of Darkness: a Homefront Detective Mystery by Edward Marston
Emma by Alexander McCall Smith
Perfect Match by Fern Michaels 
God Help the Child by Toni Morrison
Blood on Snow by Jo Nesbo
The Children’s Crusade by Ann Packer
Miracle at Augusta by James Patterson
Not Always a Saint by Mary Jo Putney
Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick
The Liar by Nora Roberts
War Hawk by James Rollins
Gathering Prey by John Sandford
Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline
Early Warning by Jane Smiley
Joe Steele by Harry Turtledove
The Children Return by Martin Walker
Hot Pursuit by Stuart Woods

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Forever – Seriously? That’s a Long, Long Time!

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater. A human girl and her werewolf boyfriend must fight for their love as death comes closing in.

Forever by Judith Gould. A passionate and suspenseful novel in the tradition of Sidney Sheldon, written by the bestselling author of Dazzle, Sins, and Never Too Rich. When a brutal murder catapults investigative journalist Stephanie Merlin into a deadly hunt for the killer, she finds herself entangled with a powerful and corrupt family.

Forever by Pete Hamill. Cormac O'Connor, who arrives in New York City from Ireland in 1741, has been given the gift of immortality--but only on the condition that he never leave the island of Manhattan. Through his eyes, this magical epic follows the city's transformation from a burgeoning settlement to the thriving metropolis of the present day. But this is also Cormac's story as he explores the mysteries of time and immortality, death and loss, sex and love. 

Forever by Nora Roberts. These classic tales from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts prove that sometimes bending the rules is the only way to win. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

The 2015 Folio Prize Shortlist

On February 9th, the Folio Prize Shortlist was announced:

The Folio Prize is awarded to the best English language fiction in the world. This year's list includes writers from India, the UK, North America, Ireland and Kenya. The Folio Prize Academy has a goal no less than that of encouraging people around the world to "put great literature at the centre of their lives." The winner of this coveted prize will be announced on March 23, 2015. That should leave enough time to make your own selection!

10:04 by Ben Lerner

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews 

Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill 

Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor 

Family Life by Akhil Sharma 

How to Be Both
 by Ali Smith 

Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín 

Outline by Rachel Cusk 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Foreign Language Films

Did you know that the Library’s film collection includes DVDs in about 48 foreign languages? French, Spanish, and Italian take the lead, but there are quite a few that you might not be familiar with.  The Seagull's Laughter is a comedy/drama in the Icelandic language.  Fast Runner, or Atanarjuat  was produced in Canada and has won and been nominated for several awards. It is in the Inuktitut language which is  spoken by the Inuit Indians.
This month, we are spotlighting films in Chinese, of which there are over 50 in the collection, in honor of Chinese New Year, which is celebrated on February 19, .  
Perhaps the most well-known is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Produced in 2000, it won the Best Foreign Film, and is filled with action, drama and romance. 
For action and comedy, watch Kung Fu Hustle and for more action, watch  Hero which was nominated for Best Foreign Film in 2003. 
Others of note are The Emperor and the AssassinTuya's Marriage, and Goodbye, Dragon Inn.  All of these films have either won or have been nominated for some prestigious award. 
Til then, may all the fortune in your cookie be good ones. Gōng Xǐ Fā Cái!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 14th is Valentines Day.

Make sure you have your card selected, your flowers ordered, or your candy purchased.  If you wait until the last minute the selection will be sparse and your valentine will know you waited.  If you need a little something more to impress your valentine, maybe some of these stories or songs will do the trick.
Blue Valentine (DVD)
Very Valentine (e-audiobook)
A Tenor's Valentine (music CD various artists)
Love Songs (music CD Miles Davis)
Closer Than a Kiss (music CD various artists)
V (music CD Maroon 5) Check out the video for the song Sugar, Maroon 5 crashed a few weddings.