Sunday, December 30, 2018

Reading Reflections 2018

The New Year is fast approaching and it's a perfect time to reflect on what I've read over the past year. It's been a great reading year for me! I've read and listened my way across the genres and for the first time in a long time a nonfiction book is my favorite read of the year, American Wolf: a true story of survival and obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee. Here are a few of  my other good reads from 2018.  Maybe you'll find one that peaks your interest. What's your favorite book of 2018?

American Wolf: a true story of survival and obsession the West by Nate Blakeslee
An intimate account of the rise and rein of O-Six, the legendary Yellowstone wolf, describes, how after being hunted to near extinction by the 1920's, conservationists worked tirelessly to restore the species against a backdrop of debates specifically affecting the American West.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Celestial and Roy are newly married with a bright future when Roy is convicted of a crime he did not commit. This is not a heroes vs. villain's tale with a neat resolution. It is a complex, muddled, and thought-provoking story about love, family, and the wide-reaching effects of incarceration.

There, There by Tommy Orange
A large cast of interlaced characters depicts the experience of Native Americans living in urban settings. Perfect for readers of character-driven fiction with a strong sense of place.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Leni and her dysfunctional family embark on a new way of life in Alaska's wilderness in the mid-1970's, hoping this is the solution for her troubled father. In Alaska, each member of the family is tested and when change comes to their community her father's anger threatens to divide the town. This is an exquisitely written novel, descriptive and engaging with well-developed characters and a very strong sense of place.

Carnegie's Maid by Marie Benedict
Charming, richly-detailed, biographical and historical fiction. In 1860s Pittsburgh, Clara, an Irish immigrant takes a job working as a maid for Andrew Carnegie, with whom she falls in love, and then goes missing.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Glenview Opera Lecture Series II

As we enter the year 2019, we are regaled with the stories, history, and music featuring the operas being presented at the Lyric Opera of Chicago by members of The Opera Lovers Lecture Corps.  Come join other opera lovers on Thursday evenings in the Multipurpose Room from
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm.

Elektra by Richard Strauss (January 24)
As a child, Elektra witnesses the murder of her father, King Agamemnon, by her mother, Queen Clyrtemnestra and her lover Aegisthus.  Elektra lives for the death of her mother at the hands of her brother Orestes.  But he has been killed and Elektra seeks her revenge herself.

La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi (February 14)
Violetta, a desirable Paris courtesan, is sought after by society's most important men, but she's wealthy and perfectly content with her carefree existence - until she meets Alfredo Germont.  Alfredo's father pushes them apart, and although they are reunited in the end, it is much too late.

Ariodante by George Frederic Handel (February 21)
Medieval Scotland.  Ginevra, daughter of the King, is in love and betrothed to Prince Ariodante.  She rejects the amorous advances of the duke of Albany, Polinesso, who then cruelly tricks Ariodante and Ginevra's father into believing that Ginevra is unfaithful.  Aridante attemps suicide and Ginevra is condemned, but after a challenge to a duel by Lucanio, Ariodante's brother, the dying Polinesso admits his plot and the lovers are reunited.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Best of 2018 Fiction

As we come to the end of 2018, we reflect on a year's worth of great fiction writing. There are many lists out there: NPR's Best Books of 2018, Best 10 Books of 2018 by the New York Times, Time Magazine Best Fiction Books 2018, to name a few. Here are some highlights:

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family's chic apartment in Paris's upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau.

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai
A novel set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris follows the director of a Chicago art gallery and a woman looking for her estranged daughter in Paris who both struggle to come to terms with the ways AIDS has affected their lives.

There, There by Tommy Orange
Twelve Native Americans came to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life together after his uncle's death and has come to work the powwow and to honor his uncle's memory. Edwin Frank has come to find his true father. Bobby Big Medicine has come to drum the Grand Entry. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil Red Feather; Orvil has taught himself Indian dance through YouTube videos, and he has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. Tony Loneman is a young Native American boy whose future seems destined to be as bleak as his past, and he has come to the Powwow with darker intentions--intentions that will destroy the lives of everyone in his path.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children--four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness--sneak out to hear their fortunes. Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality. The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Celestial and Roy are newly married professionals leaning in to a bright future when Roy is convicted of a crime he did not commit. This is not a heroes vs. villains tale with a tidy resolution. It is a complicated, messy, moving, and thought-provoking story about love, family, and the wide-reaching effects of incarceration.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

New and Noteworthy titles in Spanish

So I am pretty excited about some of our new titles in Spanish. Did you know that we welcome suggestions for Spanish titles to add to the collection? And we can search and solicit Spanish books from other libraries. Stop by the readers desk to make a request. Come browse the collection and take one or two home.

*Una novela criminal
by Jorge Volpi Escalante

Becoming: mi historia 
by Michelle Obama

Mis documentos 
by Alejandro Zambra

El objetivo
by David Baldacci

Casa de espías
by Daniel Silva

Pecho frío
by Jaime Bayly

La fruta del borrachero 
by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Orgullo y prejuicio 
by Jane Austen

*2018 winner of the prestigious Alfaguara Prize for literature

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Kennedy Center Honors - 2018

On December 2, 2018, the Kennedy Center will host its 41st annual national celebration of the arts.  Artists include, Cher, Philip Glass, Reba McEntire, Wayne Shorter. Also the creators of Hamilton - Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire, will be presented with a special Kennedy Center Honors as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category.  The Honors Gala will be broadcasted on CBS Network on Wednesday, December 26 at 8 p.m. ET.

Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian, May 20, 1946 in El Centro, California. (Singer, actress, author, businesswoman, comedian, dancer, fashion designer, model, philanthropist, record producer,
songwriter, television host) (Genres - Pop, dance, disco, folk, rock)
She has been awarded an Academy Award for "Moonstruck", a Grammy for "Believe", an Emmy, three Golden Globes, a Cannes Film Festival Award and a People's Choice Award.
In 1965, Cher, along with her husband Sonny, gained popularity.  Her first solo in 1966, "Band Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)", was her first million-seller song.  She is currently starring in the current movie "Mamma Mia2 - Here We go Again".

Philip Glass was born on January 31, 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Composer) (Genres - Minimalism, contemporary classical, film score)  Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Julliard School.  In 1974 he wrote Music in Twelve Parts and his opera Einstein on the Beach.  He has receive an Academy Award nomination for Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal and a Golden Globe for The Truman Show.  He was presented with the U.S. National Medal of the Arts by Barack Obama in 2015.  He also was named the 11th recipient of the Glenn Gould Prize, a lifetime achievement award.
His Symphony No. 11 was premiered on his 80th birthday on January 31, 2017.  The Los Angeles Philharmonic will present the word premiere of glass' Symphony No 12, based on David Bowie's album Lodger, on January 10, 2019.

Reba McEntire was born on March 28, 1955 in McAlester, Oklahoma. (Singer, songwriter, actress, record producer( (Genre - Country)
Reba began her music career singing in the Kowa High School Band.  Her first solo album was release in 1977 plus an additional five albums.  She has released 29 studio albums, 42 number one singles, 16 number one albums, and 28 albums are gold, platinum or multi-platinum sales.  She is referred to as "The Queen of Country".  She has sold more than 95 million record worldwide.
McEntire also starred in  the film Tremors and in the Broadway revival of Annie Get Your Gun, TV sitcom Reba, which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series-Musical or Comedy.

Wayne Shorter was born on August 25, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey. (Musician, composer) (Genres - Modal jazz, crossover jazz, post-bop, hard bop, jazz fusion, third stream)
In the late 1950s Shorter became a member, saxophone, composer and music director of Art Blakey's Jazz Messenger. In the 1960s he joined Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet and late cofounded the jazz fusion band Weather Report.  He has won 10 Grammy Awards, NEA Jazz Masters Award (1998), the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), and the Polar Music Prize (2017).

Lin-Manuel Miranda was born January 16, 1980 and is known for creating and starring in the Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton.  He has won a Pulitzer Prize, three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and three Tony Awards.

Thomas Kail was born on January 20, 1978 in Alexandria, Virginia and is an American film and theatre director, known for directing In the Heights and Hamilton.  He received the Drama Desk Award and Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical.

Andy Blankenbuehler was born on March 7, 1970 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  he is an American dancer, choreogrpaher and director.  He has been nominated 5 times for the Tony Award for Best Choreography and has won 3 times for Bandstand, Hamilton, and In the Heights.  He has also choreographed 9 to 5, Bring it On: The Music, and the 2016 Cats revival.

Alex Lacamoire was born on May 24, 1975 in Los Angeles, California.  He is of Cuban descent and is a composer, conductor, musical director, music copyist, and orchestrator.  He has won many Tony and Grammy Awards, including In the Heights, Hamilton, and Dear Evan Hansen.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Get Cooking with these New Cookbooks!

'Tis the season for cooking...and we have some great new cookbooks just waiting to provide you with a bit of inspiration. Here is a sampling of some the best:

Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi
Ottolenghi, an acclaimed London chef and New York Times food columnist, is not known for his simple recipes. Recipes in his previous cookbooks, Jerusalem, Sweet, and Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi to name a few, will send you off in search of little known ingredients and often involve many steps to complete. If you persevere, you will be justly rewarded, but no one would call these recipes simple. That is why his new book, Simple, has been embraced with such enthusiasm. Many of the recipes have fewer than 10 ingredients and can be prepared in under 30 minutes.

Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook by Dorie Greenspan
Dorie Greenspan is another well-known and award-winning cookbook author. Her just-published Everyday Dorie contains casual, easily-made recipes that Greenspan cooks for friends and family. "I don't do fussy - I do inviting and comforting". If you get hooked on Greenspan's recipes, check out her 2016 title, Dorie's Cookies.

Now and Again by Julia Turshen
Julie Turshen wrote a great cookbook in 2016 called Small Victories that celebrates home-cooking. In her new title, Turshen embraces easy, inexpensive, wholesome cooking, gets creative with leftovers and inspires readers to gather people around a table. 

Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for the Home Cook by Ina Garten
Most home cooks are friends with Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa) and her cookbooks. Cook Like a Pro is her 11th cookbook. There is a reason she has so many fans. Her recipes are accessible yet produce impressive results. You may find a new batch of go-to recipes in her latest offering.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Movies to Salute the Military and Honor the Fallen

Veteran's Day was established in 1918 by President Woodrow Wilson and commemorates the date when the WWI armistice was signed. It's an American holiday created in honor of military veterans. Hollywood has always loved the military and saluted them with films depicting our veterans at home and abroad, and especially American veterans returning home after tours of duty.

In the following documentaries, the lives of various veterans are skillfully displayed with humanity and honesty and show some of the best work in documentary filmmaking.

Restrepo (2010)
Chronicles the 2nd Platoon of Battle Co. as they travel to the Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, considered then as "one of the deadliest places on Earth."

Stray Dog (2014)
A portrait of Ron "Stray Dog" Hall, a Vietnam vet, who spends his day contemplating the hazy past while trying to help others cope with their own experiences of war.

Lioness (2008)
Tells the story of the first program in American history to send women into direct combat. They were sent to high risk zones without the proper training that their male counterparts had, yet served with ingenuity and courage as the fewer and the prouder.

Most Honorable Son (2007)
Ben Kuroki, 23 years old, joined the U.S. Army Air Force in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
This film reveals his courage and commitment to serve his country despite anti-Japanese sentiment. He flew 58 combat missions and spoke out against the internment of Japanese Americans.

The Great Escape (2005)
The feature film The great escape was based on this true event. Over six hundred Allied prisoners dug three highly sophisticated tunnels in a plan to escape from Stalag Luft III. On the night of March 24, 1944 two hundred prisoners began their escape. The German guards spotted the seventy-seventh man coming out of the tunnel, but seventy-six prisoners made their escape.

Nanking (2008)
Tells the story of the Japanese invasion of Nanking, China in the early days of World War II and focuses on the efforts of a small group of unarmed Westerners who established a Safety Zone where over 200,000 Chinese found refuge.

Return to Tarawa (2017) 
A World War II veteran returns to the site of a battle in which he took part sixty five years earlier. He learns many disturbing things about that site. The remains of several hundred Americans still lie neglected and forgotten on that island. Also, there is live ammunition scattered everywhere on the densely populated island. Finally, huge piles of garbage lie on Red Beach, hallowed ground, where hundreds of Americans were killed and wounded by Japanese gunfire. Available to download through Hoopla

Battle for Midway (2001)
National Geographic follows underwater explorer Bob Ballard as he searches for the aircraft carrier sunk during the Battle of Midway. Available to download through Hoopla

Arlington: Field of Honor (2004)
Field of Honor is a documentary which examines the history of one of the world's largest cemeteries, the people who care for the grounds and maintain the facilities, and some of the brave Americans who are memorialized there.

Just to round out the list, here are a couple of the best fictional films about veterans returning home and facing myriad challenges:

Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Truly moving drama about 3 U.S. servicemen readjusting to life back home after returning from the battlefields.

The Messenger (2009)
An army staff sergeant returns home from Iraq as a hero, only to find a strange reward.

What are your recommendations for great documentaries or dramas about veterans coming back home?

Friday, November 9, 2018

See the movies, read the books: Hallmark Christmas Movies Based on Books

If you are like me, even before Halloween you are counting down to the holidays by starting with the Hallmark Channel's line up of fun heartwarming Christmas movies. A lot of these inspirational (and sometimes quirky!) movies are based on novels. Check out some of these novels that were made into your favorite holiday movies.

Christmas Joy by Nancy Naigle
Joy Holbrook might be all work and no play, but that changes when her Aunt Ruby takes a fall that lands her in a rehabilitation center before the holidays. Joy takes a leave of absence from her job as a market researcher to run the family farm, even though the timing may hinder her chance at garnering the promotion of her dreams. Ben Andrews isn't your average accountant. He also happens to be the handiest man in Crystal Lake. He's helped his elderly neighbor, Ruby Johnson, decorate for the annual Christmas Home Tour--and win--the last several years. He's not about to let some drop-in granddaughter break their winning streak.
Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz
Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. Darcy's never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else's drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her family. Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

The Nine Lives of Christmas  by Sheila Roberts
After firefighter Zach Stone saves Ambrose from a vicious dog, the cat tries to repay him by moving (uninvited) into his house and fixing his lonely bachelor life. While Zach is buying cat food, he meets Merilee White, a winsome pet store clerk with a fondness for stray cats and big strong men who take them in. Her competition is Zach's no-strings-attached lover, Blair, a haughty cat-hater who insists Zach evict the cat before Christmas.

Maggie's Miracle by Karen Kingsbury
Megan Wright spent one unforgettable summer week with a boy when they were both teens. And despite a lifetime of heartache and bad choices, she has never let go of his magical definition of love, even if she has trouble believing in it. After college Megan settled for a relationship of convenience. Now she's a high powered attorney and, after the death of her husband two years ago, has been looking for help with her lonely young son. Life suddenly takes a series of unusual twists, and soon Megan will learn that the teenage boy from all those years ago actually kept his promise, and the miracle she prayed for as a girl is only a breath away.

Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
Ashley Davison, a graduate student in California, desperately wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle. Dashiell Tyler, a former army intelligence officer, receives a job in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Though frantic to book a last-minute flight out of San Francisco, both are out of luck: Every flight is full, and there's only one rental car available. Ashley and Dash reluctantly decide to share the car, but neither anticipates the wild ride ahead.

Monday, November 5, 2018

World War 1: Novels

This week marks the 100-year anniversary of the Armistice with Germany and the Allies that ended the fighting on land, air and sea during World War 1. The formal end of the war wouldn't occur for seven more months when the Treat of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. World War 1 hasn't been written about as extensively as World War 2 however, there are wonderful novels written by noted authors. I've chosen five classic novels and I hope you enjoy one or all them.

Regeneration by Pat Barker
Stressed by the war, poet, pacifist, and protester Siegfried Sassoon is sent to Craiglockhart Hospital, where his views challenge the patriotic vision of Dr. William Rives, a neurologist assigned to repair the stability of shell-shocked soldiers. Part 1, Regeneration trilogy

The Girl at the Lion D'or by Sebastian Faulks
The appearance of a pretty but troubled girl at a dingy hotel in 1930's France spells troubgle for a married veteran of the Great War.  Part 1, French trilogy

The Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
This novel follows five families through the earth shattering dramas of  World War 1, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for votes for women. Part 1, Century trilogy

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
The epic love story of American ambulance driver Frederic Henry and British nurse Catherine Barkley, drawn together yet torn apart by the tides of war in Italy during World War 1.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The testament of Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the German army of World War 1, illuminates the viciousness and senselessness of war.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

An American Treasure

Gainesville, Florida celebrates the life and music of the late Tom Petty this weekend, today would have been his 68th birthday, with events all over town on both Saturday and Sunday. YOU can join the celebration anytime by checking out the recently released 4CD boxed set AMERICAN TREASURE that chronicles the music of an American rock legend. The music on the collection was culled from hours and hours of unreleased songs by Pettty's longtime producer Ryan Ulyate and his bandmates Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, and includes salvaged bits of unheard music as well as some of Petty's best known songs. For more info on the release check out this article and in the meantime have a look/listen to the video for an unearthed outtake "Gainesville"

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hoops and Dreams

Basketball season is back. Are you a Bulls fan? I am a fan, and in my family we are all Bulls' fans. With only one basketball team in the city, we don't have to endure the rivalry under our roof, like we do during baseball season. Check out the following eclectic mix of DVDs about our beloved basketball. Go Bulls!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Lesser Seen Horror Films

For a horror movie geek like myself, there's no better time of year than October. For the past four years now I've done a 31 Horror movies challenge and it has been quite the ride! I've seen some great movies, some terrible movies, some movies that are so bad they're really quite excellent, and some movies that are totally forgettable. If you're like me and seek out the weird, the uncanny, the scary, and the gory, look no further! Below is a list of horror movies: some you may have missed, some that are brand new, and some that deserve a revisit in the scariest month of the year. 

Image result for hereditary poster
Hereditary - Over the past several years, the horror genre has gotten at least one critical darling per year: films like The Babadook (2014), It Follows (2015), The VVitch (2016), and Get Out (2017). Hereditary is 2018's horror offering that has been eaten up by horror fans and critics alike. After the grandmother of the Graham family passes away, her daughter (Toni Collette) begins to unravel a sinister mystery about her family's past. Readers, I watch a lot of horror movies. I'm jaded. So believe me when I tell you I actually screamed out loud in the theater at this one. I slept with the dog in the bed and the lights on that night. 

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Phantasm (hoopla) - Discover your new favorite cult classic series. Phantasm follows young Mike as he and his friend attempt to unravel the mystery of a sinister grave robber who is responsible for the deaths of Mike's family. This series is full of strange, dreamlike imagery, but is particularly notable for keeping much of the original cast and crew from sequel to sequel. I couldn't really tell you what happens in most of the movies, but I can tell you I've highly enjoyed all of them for how inventive, strange, and fascinating they are.

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Bug - A collaboration between playwright Tracy Letts (August: Osage County) and director William Friedkin (The Exorcist), Bug was written for the stage but comes to live brilliantly on the screen. Ashley Judd plays a lonely waitress living in fear of her ex-husband when she meats an eccentric drifter, played by Michael Shannon. Then the bugs begin to arrive. The first time I saw this movie I expected something very different, but was treated to a film that spirals into insanity very subtly. This isn't a conventional horror film but it is as unsettling as they get. 

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Honeymoon (hoopla) - Newlyweds Bea and Paul head to the country on their honeymoon, but Bea begins to sleepwalk and act strangely. For some reason, this was the first film my wife and I watched after our wedding, so it has a special place in my heart. It's a compact little thriller with a small cast, and you might recognize Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones

Image result for suspiria letterboxdSuspiria (hoopla) - An American ballet dancer arrives at a prestigious dance academy in Germany, but very quickly senses that something sinister lurks within the old building. This over-the-top, colorful horror classic is as stylish as they come, and is one of the best entry-points to Italian giallo horror. Keep your eyes peeled for the remake by Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino, set to release this October.

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Carnival of Souls (hoopla) Mary ends up the sole survivor of a nasty car accident just before taking a job as an organist at a church across the country, where she is haunted by visions of eerie figures. I'm a big horror buff but only watched this film for the first time last year - and absolutely loved it. It's got an old school low budget charm and an awesome pipe organ score. This one is best watched late at night while the wind rattles your windows.

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Night of the Living Dead (hoopla)This year marks the 50th anniversary of this cinematic landmark, so there's never been a better time to revisit the zombie movie that started it all.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

News for Audiobook Listeners: The New York Times has a monthly audiobook bestseller list!

Due to the amazing rise in the popularity of audiobooks, this past spring the New York Times newspaper began publishing a monthly audiobook bestseller list. The list combines both physical and digital audio sales.

The October list will appear in the October 14, 2018 issue of the Sunday New York Times. This monthly bestseller list is a great resource for avid audiobook listeners. The list would also be a good place to begin for those just starting to navigate the world of audiobooks. The list typically has 15 fiction and 15 nonfiction titles.

Below is just a sample of some of the titles appearing on the October audiobook bestseller list that are available through the Glenview Public Library.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (available on CD)

A young woman who has survived for years alone in the wild North Carolina marsh suddenly becomes a murder suspect.

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (available on CD)

Book 4 in the Cormoran Strike series. When a troubled young man asks him to investigate a crime he thinks he saw as a child, Cormoran Strike sets off on a twisting trail that leads from London's backstreets to a country manor house. (Robert Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling).

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (available on CD and downloadable through OverDrive)

A New York woman spends the summer with her boyfriend's family in Singapore and is surprised by what she encounters.

Fear by Bob Woodward (available on CD and downloadable through OverDrive)

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist draws on interviews, diaries and other documents to describe the decision-making process in the Trump White House.

Educated by Tara Westover (available on CD, Playaway and downloadable through OverDrive)

In this memoir, Westover recounts her childhood growing up in a strict Mormon survivalist family in Idaho.

In Pieces by Sally Field (available on CD)

The memoir of Academy and Emmy Award-winning actress.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Movies Have the Power to Transport

I recently saw the film, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018). Since I enjoyed the original
Mamma Mia! (2008) as well as the stage play I knew I would enjoy continuing the saga. What took me by surprise was that it made me want to abandon my prior vacation plans and hop a plane to Greece! I absolutely adored the beautiful scenery! So this made me think how movies have the power to transport - to sweep one away to the magical or sometimes harsh reality of travel to various locations through well-told stories. So, I have compiled a list of movies through the decades that evoke a strong sense of place:

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Poster

Call Me By Your Name (2018)
In 1980s Italy, a romance blossoms between a seventeen year-old student and the older man hired as his father's research assistant.

Carol (2015)
An aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older woman in 1950s New York.

Wild (2014)
A chronicle of one woman's one thousand one hundred mile Pacific Crest Trail solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy.

Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
The adventures of a legendary concierge at a famous hotel between the first and second World Wars, and the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. It's a jaunt through old postcard Europe.

Midnight in Paris (2011)
While on a trip to Paris with his fiance's family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s everyday at midnight.

Up (2009)
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Into the Wild (2007)
A top student and athlete abandons his possessions, gives his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness.

Under the Tuscan Sun (2005)
A writer impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany in order to change her life.

Before Sunrise (1995)
A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.

Out of Africa (1985)
In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate love affair with a free-spirited big-game hunter.

Easy Rider (1969)
Through the open country and desert lands, two bikers head from L.A to New Orleans, and along the way, meet a man who bridges a counter-culture gap they are unaware of.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)
The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the Russian October Revolution.

Vertigo (1958)
No movie captured the allure of the City by the Bay better than Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 masterpiece. Hitchcock filmed famous landmarks - the Golden Gate Bridge, the Palace of the Legion of Honor, Ernie's restaurant - in a subjective, lyrical style, to heighten the growing romantic love obsession that James Stewart feels toward Kim Novak, whom he tracks around the city.

Roman Holiday (1955)
A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.

Hope you enjoy a little arm chair traveling!