Sunday, October 19, 2014

Antiquing Cozies

Cozy mysteries are all the rage-or should I say lack of rage, since they are considered the "gentle reads" of the mystery genre with a bloodless crime. Antiquing and collecting are popular hobbies for many people, so what better occupation for some of our favorite cozy mystery authors to use in their story lines. If you're interested in antiques, collecting, or maybe you enjoy watching the popular PBS television show Antiques Roadshow you're sure to enjoy reading one of these great series.

Savannah series by Mary Kay Andrews
This series is set in Savannah, Georgia. Eloise "Weezie" Foley is an antique dealer who gets sucked into solving mysteries with her best friend, restaurant owner and habitual divorcee BeBe Loudermilk. Andrews creates amusing characters against the backdrop of this charming city which is famous for eccentric characters and murder. Start with Savannah Blues.

Den of Antiquity mysteries by Tamar Myers
The Den of Antiquity mysteries feature antique store owner Abigail Timberlake. All Abigail wants is to run her antiques store, The Den of Antiquity in peace. In amiable Charlotte, North Carolina, this shouldn't be a problem, but at The Den of Antiquity murder is always on sale, Start with Larceny and Old Lace.

Josie Prescott mysteries by Jane K. Cleland
Since Josie Prescott left a high-paying job in New York City to set up shop as an antiques appraiser on the coast of New Hampshire, her life has not gone exactly as planned. In some ways, it's gone better. She has a growing business, good friends and neighbors, and even a budding romance, but dead bodies seem to be crossing her path. A nice blend of coziness, crime and collecting. Start with Consigned to Death.

Jane Wheel mysteries by Sharon Sloan Fiffer
Charming and resourceful Jane Wheel has been recently laid off from her job, separated from her husband Charley and is headed straight into a midlife crisis. Jane finds solace as an antique "picker" searching Chicago estate sales, garage sales and flea markets. Just as she is settling into her new life, Jane finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, and discovers she has a knack for unearthing clues and solving mysteries. Start with Killer Stuff. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Recent Award Winners!

I am always interested reading in award-winning titles to see if I concur. Recent awards and their winners are:

Hugo Awards: Best Novel
The Science Fiction Achievement Awards, or Hugos, are selected annually by popular vote of the World Science Fiction Society. Established in 1953 and named for early science fiction publisher Hugo Gernsback, the awards are given for contributions to science fiction writing, art, and publishing.

The 2014 Hugo Award winner is Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie.
One Esk -- an electronic artificial intelligence -- once commanded an entire starship, the formidable Justice of Tore. Now confined to a mortal body cobbled together from interchangeable human parts as the entity called "Breq," the AI must survive as a multisegmented, ancillary humanoid being in a galactic empire ruled by an oppressive government -- without disobeying the law that forbids AIs from harming their creators.

Mythopoeic Award: Adult Literature
The Mythopoeic Awards are presented annually to honor current fantasy works in two categories, adult and children's literature. Children's literature became a separate category in 1992. The award is a statuette of a seated lion, reminiscent of Aslan in the Chronicles of Narnia books by C. S. Lewis.

The 2014 Mythopoeic Award is The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.

After her creator dies en route to America, Chava, a golem from a Polish shtetl, must navigate the streets of 1899 New York City by herself -- her only ally is a rabbi unsure whether to destroy her, or allow her to fulfill her destiny as the harbinger of destruction. Ahmad, a jinni from Syria's deserts has been released from his thousand-year-old glass bottle by a tinsmith but has little intention of remaining a metalworker, despite his uncanny talent for it. Chava and Ahmad meet and discover that they're soul mates, but a dangerous adversary threatens their future. This vibrant blend of myth, adventure, and romance will enchant fans of stories based on folklore.

RITA Awards: Best Historical Romance
The RITA Awards are presented annually by the Romance Writers of America for the best novels in romantic fiction. Award winners are judged by fellow romance writers for quality in writing and overall excellence in the genre. 

The 2014 Rita Award is No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sara MacLean.

He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night, Temple has reigned over the darkest of London's corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he's dreamed of--absolution.

Christy Awards: Historical and First Novel
In 1999, Christian publishers realized the need to create a Christian fiction award that would recognize excellence in several genres of Christian fiction. The Christy Award was named to honor popular Christian fiction writer Catherine Marshall and one of her novels, Christy. Categories recognized have changed over time, and winners are announced annually. 

The 2014 Christy Award is Burning Sky: A Novel of the American Frontier by Lori Benton. 

Formerly an Indian captive named Burning-Sky, Willa Obenchain unexpectedly returns to her family's New York homestead after her twelve-year absence. With faith in God and the skills to survive on the frontier, Willa must decide if love is possible as she faces the challenges brought on by her dual identities and an unforgiving land.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fall Classics

Changing leaves, shorter days and pumpkin spice lattes are all signs that autumn has officially arrived. Here is a list of classic films set in the fall, perfect to check out from the library and enjoy at home on those cooler, darker nights.

Far From Heaven
1950's Connecticut, a housewife faces a marital crisis and mounting racial tentions in the outside world.

Dead Poets Society
English teacher John Keating inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day.

The Trouble With Harry
The trouble with Harry is that he's dead, and everyone seems to have a different idea of what needs to be done with his body.

The Sixth Sense
A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

The extracurricular king of Rushmore preparatory school is put on academic probation.

When Harry Met Sally
Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the relationship.

October Sky
The true story of Homer Hickham, a coal miner's son who was inspired by the first Sputnik launch to take up rocketry against his father's wishes.

A coach with a checkered past and a local drunk train a small town high school basketball team to become a top contender for the championship

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Reading About Reading Groups

I just found out that October is "National Reading Group Month," the brainchild of two members of the Women's National Book Association. For more information on this annual event, check out the website.

In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to find some books featuring Book Clubs and their members and see what adventures and mischief these fictional groups get into.  Here are a few titles to get you started.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
From the initial formation of The Freesia Court Book Club and over the course of the next thirty years, five women in small-town Minnesota share the events, triumphs, tragedies, hardships, joys, and sorrows of their lives.

A Killer Read by Erika Chase
When the first meeting of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society results in murder, Lizzie Turner teams up with the police chief to catch the killer.

The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal by Sam Dixon
The Lacuna Cabal Montreal Women's Book Club has been meeting regularly since its members' student days when a couple of them attended a reading of Michael Ondaatje's "In the Skin of the Lion" . Since that time, although their selections have been the standard literary book club fare, their discussions have been anything but. They don't so much read the books as reenact them, going so far as to find appropriate settings for each. Their latest discovery is a book written in cuneiform on clay tablets, which turns out to be The Epic of Gilgamesh .

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Fowler
Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens.

Once Upon A Kiss by Jayne Fresina
Enjoying a salacious romance called "Pride and Prejudice" with the fellow members of her book club, Justina Penny of the sleepy village of Hawcombe Prior attempts to match a proud newcomer and her sweet sister.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Forthcoming Fiction in November

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

The Escape by David Baldacci
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie by Rita Mae Brown
The Cinderella Murder: and Under Suspicion Novel by Mary Higgins Clark
The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
Flesh and Blood: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Daniels Cornwell
The Promise: an Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel by Robert Crais
The Job by Janet Evanovich
The Mistletoe Promise by Richard Paul Evans
The Laws of Murder: a Charles Lenox Mystery by Charles Finch
Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford
Safari: a Stanley Hastings Mystery by Parnell Hall
A Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin
Revival by Stephen King
All is Bright by Thomas Kinkade
Private India: City on Fire by James Patterson
Hope to Die by James Patterson
The Siege by Arturo Perez-Reverte
A New York Christmas by Anne Perry
Baby Labyrinth by Douglas Preston
Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline

Monday, October 6, 2014

Books Made Into Movies in 2014

If I Stay, written by Gayle Forman tells the story of Mia Hall, who, after a car accident that puts her in a coma, must decide whether to wake up or join her family in death. The movie was released in August starring Chloƫ Grace Moretz.
This Is Where I LeaveYou by Jonathan Tropper is a comedy about a family that reunites after their father passes away. Starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Jane Fonda, this is still out in the theaters.

Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel, Gone Girl, has been made into a movie this year. Gone Girl tells the story of Nick Dunne who becomes a suspect when his wife mysteriously disappears. Starring Ben Affleck, it has just been released in the theater.

TheMaze Runner is an action/ science-fiction movie based on James Dashner's young adult novel. It is about a group of boys who are trapped in a maze and must find their way out.  

The movie based on the very popular novel by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken, will be released in December. It is the story of Louis Zamperini, his survival and resilience after being captured by the Japanese forces during World War II.

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, is a biographical account of Ms. Strayed’s hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alone, how she survived and found herself. Movie is out in December starring Reese Witherspoon.

Please check the Library’s catalog for availability of these titles - look also for other formats such as eAudio, eBook, Playaway or CD.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Literary Halloween

Want to do something different for Halloween this year? A bit literary? How about a bit of storytelling?  On Halloween night, October 31st, there is the Ninth Annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival at the Genesee Theater in Waukegan. It is sponsored by the Waukegan Public Libray.

Past performances have included excepts from Frankenstein, Dracula, Something Wicked This Way Comes and the Canterville Ghost and original tales of horror and suspense. Family friendly stories for all ages are at 6:30 p.m. and a spooky second act recommended for listeners age 12 and older starting at 8:00 p.m.  Click the link above for ticket information. Come join the fun.  I highly recommend it!

If Halloween is already booked, try to see Megan Wells performing her version of Dracula at the Skokie TheaterMegan Wells serves as the artistic director of the Bradbury festival and appears each year in the persona of various nefarious characters, from Dracula to Mr. Dark. She holds an MFA in theater arts and numerous theater awards including the Joseph Jefferson Award for directing. Her Dracula is worth getting out for. 

So go beyond your normal candy buying activities this year for Halloween by getting out and seeing a great show. Or two! And watch out for the things that go bump in the night.