Thursday, October 31, 2013

Celebrate National Magic Week...

by reading one of these magical titles for adults.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
A fierce competition is underway, a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game," in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
In America at the beginning of this century three families become entwined with Henry Ford, Emma Goldman, Harry Houdini, Theodore Dreiser, Sigmund, and Emiliano Zapata.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
In nineteenth-century England, all is going well for rich, reclusive Mr Norell, who has regained some of the power of England's magicians from the past, until a rival magician, Jonathan Strange, appears and becomes Mr Norrell's pupil.

Vaclav and Lena by Haley Tanner
Vaclav, a young aspiring magician, lives in a loving, caring home with his parents in Brooklyn. Lena, an orphan with very broken English, joins his ESL class. Taken in by his family, Vaclav and Lena fall in love. Then one day, without explanation, Lena stops showing up for class and disappears for the next 17 years, until fate brings them together once more.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Harboring secret preoccupations with a magical land he read about in a childhood fantasy series, Quentin Coldwater is unexpectedly admitted into an exclusive college of magic and rigorously educated in modern sorcery.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Discovering a magical manuscript in Oxford's library, scholar Diana Bishop, a descendant of witches who has rejected her heritage, inadvertently unleashes a fantastical underworld of daemons, witches and vampires whose activities center around an enchanted treasure.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
The story of two sisters, Gillian and Sally Owens, brought up by their elderly guardian aunts in a small New England town. The aunts possess magic that they in turn hand down to their nieces.

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
Forced to set aside her Ph.D. research in order to help the settling of her late grandmother's abandoned home, Connie Goodwin discovers a hidden key among her grandmother's possessions that is linked to a darker chapter in Salem witch trial history.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival

Storytelling is not just for little kids. It is one of the oldest forms of human communication. Adults have been telling stories for centuries. Here's a chance to see storytelling for adults (there is also a performance for schools that morning) at the annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan.

This year's tales are from books that have been banned. This year's lineup includes:

Jim May - telling excerpts from Fahrenheit 451, banned for offensive language and content

Jay O’Callahan - performing Don Quixote, banned for promoting questioning authority and glorifying individualism

Megan Wells - performing Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, banned for sinister and frightening themes

I have seen some of these performers several times and they are fantastic. They make you want to go home and read the rest of the story. It is a great time to take a look at the beautifully restored Genesee Theatre. (And if you're lucky maybe you will see the theater ghost!) Having attended for several years, I believe it is worth the time to trek up north to see this wonderful and fun event! I highly recommend it.

Tickets are $17 for the evening show at 7:30 p.m. and $6 for the 10:30 a.m. school matinee at the Genesee box office or Library patrons can present any library card and receive $1 off the evening show at the box office.

The Festival will begin with A Conversation with Ray Bradbury, a short film by the National Endowment for the Art , a slideshow and commentary by Waukegan Public Library Director Richard Lee about his recent trip to Ray Bradbury's home in Los Angeles. Library officials traveled to California in June and October to assess, pack, and move 22,000 pounds of books, manuscripts, and personal belongings from Bradbury's private collection to Waukegan. The Library was named as a beneficiary of Bradbury's estate in January.

For more information, call or visit the Waukegan Public Library at (847) 623-2041, or check out the information on their website.

Can't go, but want to read more by Ray Bradbury? Come by our library or check out this link to the catalog.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Celebrate Teen Read Week With These Out of this World Science Fiction!

Celebrate Teen Read Week October 13-19, 2013 and explore titles that take you beyond the real world to lands far, far away.  All books are in the Teen Scene and on display for all of October along with a book list highlighting other Out of this World Science Fiction. 

Barnes, John
Losers in Space
In 2029,Susan and her almost-boyfriend Derlock, and seven fellow students stow away on a ship to Mars, unaware that Derlock is a sociopath with bigger plans.

 Book Jacket
 Cross, Julie

After his girlfriend Holly is fatally shot during a violent struggle, nineteen-year-old Jackson uses his supernatural abilities and travels back in time two years, where he falls in love with Holly all over again.  First in the Tempest trilogy.

Book Jacket
Grant, Michael

In the near future, the conjoined Armstrong twins plot to create their own version of utopia using nanobots, while a guerilla group known as BZRK develops a DNA-based biot that can stop bots, but at risk of the host's brain.  First in the BZRK trilogy.

Healey, Karen
When We Wake

In 2027, sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl--playing the guitar, falling in love, and protesting the wrongs of the world with her friends. But then Tegan dies, waking up 100 years in the future as the unknowing first government guinea pig to be cryogenically frozen and successfully revived. Appalling secrets about her new world come to light, and Tegan must choose to either keep her head down or fight for a better future.

 Book Jacket
Johnson, Alaya Dawn
The Summer Prince

In a Brazil of the distant future, June Costa falls in love with Enki, a fellow artist and rebel against the strict limits of the legendary pyramid city of Palmares Tres' matriarchal government, knowing that, like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Lo, Malinda

In the aftermath of a series of plane crashes caused by birds, seventeen-year-old Reese and her debate-team partner, David, receive medical treatment at a secret government facility and become tangled in a conspiracy that is, according to Reese's friend, Julian, connected with aliens and UFOs.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Man Booker Prize Shortlist

On September 10, the 2013 Man Booker Prize short list was announced. After reading 151 novels,the judges finally chose six books that represent a very diverse range of selections. One of those chosen was the latest novel by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland. Lahiri is also the acclaimed author of Interpreter of Maladies (winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2000), The Namesake, and Unaccustomed Earth. Much of her writing deals with people trying to bridge cultures and generations.Her parents were born and raised in India, while she was born in London and moved to Rhode Island with her family a few years later. She considers herself American, but her deep familiarity with India allows her to write with authority on her chosen theme.

 The other novels making the list are:

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Harvest by Jim Crace

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín

The finalist will be announced on October 15th. Meanwhile, the books on the list are all worth considering for anyone's "want to read" list.

The rules of the Man Booker Prize will change for 2014. Entries will include any book originally written in English, published in the UK, and entered by the UK publisher. Geography and nationality will not be considered. As with any change in tradition, this move has sparked debate. For details, check the website:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall into Fiction

Some people turn over a new leaf in the new year, making resolutions and all, but I like to do it in the Fall when the leaves are actually falling. I think it must be tied to the season, sort of a way of preparing for what comes next, winter. The shorter and colder days sometimes make it hard to complete tasks so before winter, a sort of nesting instinct kicks in. Here are a few autumn titles to go along with the season.

Wicked Autumn: A Max Tudor Novel by G. M. Malliet

Mary Ann in Autumn by Armistead Maupin

A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler

When Autumn Leaves by Amy S. Foster 

Autumn Bridge by Takashi Matsuoka

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Celebrate Rocktober at home this month and choose a film from our display in the Audiovisual room -- chock full of a great rock-and-roll film moments on DVD in both the non-fiction and feature film collections.  Check out Jack Black's classes at the School of Rock or walk the halls of the Rock 'n' Roll High School, explore the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night or take a look at the fascinating, Academy Award winning documentary on Detroit musician Sixto Rodriguez called Searching for Sugar Man.  Follow Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story in Almost Famous or watch the beautifully chronicled romance between Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in Once.  Whatever flavor or style you like, there's plenty of good rock and roll movies to choose from.  And while we are watching the rock this month, keep your eyes peeled for new CD releases in the music collection this fall by Nine Inch Nails, Arctic Monkeys, Sebadoh, Neko Case, Sting, Jack Johnson, MGMT, Sheryl Crow and many, many more.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Witching Hour Is Upon Us

It’s only three weeks until the clock strikes midnight on Halloween Eve, and the spirits are swirling in the witch’s caldron. We are ready with all your witching needs so pick up a witches’ brew book and start reading!

Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult (2002, c2001) - Love can redeem a man...but secrets and lies can condemn him. A handsome stranger comes to the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls in hopes of burying his past: Once a teacher at a girls' prep school, Jack St. Bride was destroyed when a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation. Now, washing dishes for Addie Peabody at the Do-Or-Diner, he slips quietly into his new routine, and Addie finds this unassuming man fitting easily inside her heart. But amid the rustic calm of Salem Falls, a quartet of teenage girls harbor dark secrets -- and they maliciously target Jack with a shattering allegation. (excerpt from Bibliocommons)

The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike (1984) - It's the marvelous story of three ambitious witches living in a small New England town in the late 1960s, who find themselves quite under the spell of the new man in town, Darryl Van Horne, whose hot tub is the scene of some rather bewitching delights. (excerpt from Bibliocommons)

The Witching Hour by Anne Rice (1997, c1990) - Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding stoyrtelling, Anne Rice makes real a family of witches--a family given to poetry and incest, to murder and philsophy, a family that is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous and seductive being. "Unfolds like a poisonous lotus blossom redolent with luxurious evil." THE LOS ANGELES TIMES (excerpt from Bibliocommons)

A Discover of Witches by Deborah Harkness (2011) - Witch and Yale historian Diana Bishop discovers an enchanted manuscript, attracting the attention of 1,500-year-old vampire Matthew Clairmont. The orphaned daughter of two powerful witches, Bishop prefers intellect, but relies on magic when her discovery of a palimpsest documenting the origin of supernatural species releases an assortment of undead who threaten, stalk, and harass her. (excerpt from Bibliocommons)

Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft by Raven Grimassi (2000) - Craft Elder and author Raven Grimassi has revised and expanded his indispensable reference work, the award-winning Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft. (excerpt from Bibliocommons)

Witch: A Magickal Journey: A Hip Guide to Modern Witchcraft by Fiona Horn (2000) - It's enchanting, making magick. In Witch: A Magickal Journey, the beautiful Fiona Horne reveals the intimate secrets and know-how of her spiritual calling, including the daily business of being a modern Witch at home, work, and play. With practical tips for effective Witchcraft, detailed outlines of annual festivals, interviews, internet sites, and a whole reference library of contacts and events, Witch also delves deep into the mysteries of spellcasting, moon worship, reincarnation and magical music. (excerpt from Bibliocommons)

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire (2005) (CD) - In the land of Oz, after Dorothy has destroyed the witch, an adolescent boy named Liir, who may be the witch's son, is willed back to life at the Cloister of Saint Gilda. (excerpt from Bibliocommons)

The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston (2013) (Downloadable) - Mute fledgling witch Morgana is married for her safety to a kind farmer in the mountains of Wales before she is targeted by townspeople who are being manipulated by a dark force that compels Morgana to harness her powers. (excerpt from Bibliocommons)

Practical Magic (DVD) (2009) - The wry, comic romantic tale follows the Owens sisters as they struggle to use their hereditary gift for practical magic to overcome the obstacles in discovering true love. (excerpt from Bibliocommons)

Witches of Eastwick (DVD) (1997) - The "witches" are three modern-day women yearning for Mr. Right in a quaint New England town. Wealthy Daryl Van Horne arrives in town and sets out to prove he's a devil with the ladies. (excerpt from Bibliocommons)


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Forthcoming Fiction for November

Here are some titles coming out this November. You can reserve them by clicking on the links to our Online Catalog.
The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
King and Maxwell by David Baldacci
Purgatory by Ken Bruen
Dust by Patricia Cornwell
Mirage by Clive Cussler
Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
Hostage by Kay Hooper
Bleeding Shadows by Joe R. Lansdale
The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall-Smith
Sins of the Flesh by Colleen Mccullough
Cross My Heart by James Patterson
White Fire by Douglas Preston
No Man’s Nightingale: An Inspector Wexford Novel by Ruth Rendell
Stella Bain by Anita Shreve
Tatiana: an Arkady Renko Novel by Martin Cruz Smith
Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani