Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Spring Forward into Summer

It looks like spring missed us completely and now we are into summer! Here are some titles to get you right into summer:

The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan
Returning home after being away for 17 years, Laura is reunited with her former best friend, Casey, and as they embark on one last scavenger hunt, a devastating secret threatens to tear them apart once again.

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
Featuring popular characters from such novels as A Summer Affair, a tale set during a Nantucket wedding season finds Chief of Police Ed Kapenash searching for a bride's killer among her own wedding party.

Holiday in the Hamptoms by Sarah Morgan
In a next enchanting tale in the From Manhattan with Love series, a secret identity and a surprise reunion lead to a second chance at love for an unlikely pair.

The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry
Reuniting with her best friend and a local bookshop owner at the river house where they spent their childhood summers together, Bonny is challenged to confront painful memories and secrets, including the truth about her friend's mother's mysterious disappearance.

The Light in Summer by Mary McNear
A summertime marked by loneliness, teen precociousness and a faithful dog turns hopeful for beautiful Billy Harper, who confronts painful realities about her father's death while navigating relationships with a complicated newcomer and her son's long-absent father.

Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer
Spending her days at the library and her nights stargazing and contemplating a new relationship, Darcy is unexpectedly drawn into the summertime dramas of three families including those of her recently married ex, a situation that compels Darcy to consider what she truly wants.

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging

Journalist Alex Wagner was 12 years old when a line cook in a diner asked her if she was adopted. Wagner was taken aback — her father's family came generations ago from Luxembourg, and her mother came to the U.S. from what was then Burma.

"It was the first time in my life that I realized [that] ... I conceived of myself as generically American, but not everybody else did," Wagner says. "To some Americans, there was no possible way I could naturally be the daughter of this white American; I had to be from someplace else."

Looking back, Wagner says this incident was pivotal to her understanding of herself as a mixed-race person. Decades later, she would attempt to learn more about her roots by traveling to Luxembourg and Myanmar — formerly Burma — and by signing up for DNA ancestry tests. She writes about her efforts in the new book, Futureface.

Ultimately, Wagner says, her book is about a quest for belonging: "I wanted a story to call my own. I wanted to know who my people were. And I, I think like a lot of Americans, I thought I could find those people in the past."

Monday, May 21, 2018

Audiobooks Read by the late Katherine Kellgren

I recently came across the news that one of my favorite audiobook narrators had passed away earlier this year. If you're an audiobook lover chances are you've heard her narration at some point.  These are some of the titles in our collection narrated by her in a wide variety of genres.  Please enjoy one of these read by the gifted Katherine.

After Alice: A Novel - Gregory Maguire

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance? Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late--and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself. Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world

Habits of the House - Fay Weldon

 "As the London Season of 1899 comes to an end, the world is poised on the brink of profound, irrevocable change. In his luxurious--albeit rented--townhouse... the Earl of Dilberne finds his own world threatened by unaccustomed financial concerns. The ripple effects spread to everyone in the household... Lord Robert's thoughts turn to securing a suitable wife (and dowry) for his son. The arrival on the London scene of Minnie, a beautiful heiress whose reputation has been compromised back in Chicago, seems the answer to their prayers--even if her father is a meat baron who would not be received in polite society under less desperate circumstances."

The Queen of the Tearling - Erika Johansen

 An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut, the first novel in a trilogy. Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her.

The Boy in the Suitcase - Lene Kaaberbøl
 When Nina's friend Karin gives her a key to a public locker in a Copenhagen train station, Nina opens it to find a suitcase. When Nina opens the suitcase, she is shocked to find a drugged, barely alive three-year-old boy. Before Nina can even decide what to do next, Karin is murdered, forcing Nina to take the boy and go on the run before whomever is responsible for this all goes after her next.

The Knockoff - Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

Fashion maven Sykes and journalist Piazza combine forces to create a winning romp of a tale that skewers a millennial, techie know-it-all who tries to undermine an "old guard" print editor when a top fashion magazine is transformed into an interactive app. Imogen Tate, editor-in-chief for Glossy magazine, returns to work after six months in treatment for breast cancer. She finds her former assistant, Eve Morton, back from a stint at Harvard business school, brimming with superiority and ideas to turn her print magazine into a 24/7 trendy online marketplace app. In this modernized All About Eve plotline, the  maniacally driven Eve goes up against her too-kind boss in ways both large (stealing Imogen's ideas) and small (insulting her lack of tech knowledge), leaving Imogen feeling out of step. Throughout, readers are constantly reminded of the  ubiquity of technology and its potential pitfalls. This breezy, behind-the -scenes tale offers a fresh, modern take on a classic tale of rivalry.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

U2 is coming back to Chicago

Bono and the band is coming back to Chicago on May 22nd and May 23rd and I have tickets. U2 is quite possibly my all-time favorite band. I was thrilled when I heard they were coming back because I missed last summer's show. As I get older it seems, I go to fewer concerts, but this was one not to be missed. I will pull out my record albums and have a listen before I go. If you want to have a listen, here is what we have here at the library. Enjoy!

All That You Can't Leave Behind
The Best of 1990-2000
Unforgettable Fire
18 singles
Under a Blood Red Sky
Joshua Tree
Wide Awake in America
Rattle and Hum (live in concert DVD)
Achtung Baby
No Line on the Horizon
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

Friday, May 11, 2018

Calling All Crime Fiction Lovers

The Anthony Award finalists have just been announced. For a complete list of finalists in all categories click here.These awards are among the most prestigious in crime fiction. The winners will be announced in early September, but if you are looking for an excellent crime fiction book to read right now, any of these nominated titles for best novel would be a great choice.

Nominees for best novel are:

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Broadway Lights in Chicago Spring-Fall

Cadillac Palace, Chicago
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella (April 27 - May 6)
Dirty Dancing (May 29 - June 3)
Waitress (July 3-22)
Miss Saigon (November 13 - December 8)
Fiddler on the Roof (December 18 - January 6)

Drury Lane, Oakbrook
South Pacific (April 5 - June 17)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (July 5 - August 26)
Little Shop of Horrors (September 6 - October 28)
Disney's Beauty and the Beast (November 9 - January 27)

Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire
Oklahoma! (April 11 - June 3)
Murder for Two (July 3 - August 26)
Sweet Charity - September 5 - October 28)
Holiday Inn (November 7 - January 6)

Music Theatre Works, Evanston
The Pirates of Penzance (June 9-17)
Anything Goes (August 18-26)
Into the Woods (December 22-31)

Oriental Theatre, Chicago
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (October 2-21)
Hello, Dolly! (October 23 - November 17)
Book of Mormon - November 20 - December 2)

Private Bank Theatre

Monday, May 7, 2018

Catching up on the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Image result for infinity war poster

The latest Marvel movie - Avengers: Infinity War - is now the fastest movie to make 1 billion dollars at the box office. Infinity War is the 19th movie in this popular franchise. Have you seen them all? Need help keeping Marvel, DC, X-Men, and all the other superheroes straight? Here's a list of the Marvel series entries - place a hold today!

  • Iron Man (2008) - The first entry to this universe follows Tony Stark as he builds a high-tech suit to escape captivity - and become a hero along the way. 
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008) - Bruce Banner scours the world for a cure to his alter-ego, the brash and destructive Hulk.
  • Iron Man 2 (2010) - Now publicly known as Iron Man, Tony Stark faces pressure from the government to share his technology with the military. 
  • Thor (2011) - The first MCU movie to show us worlds other than Earth, Thor follows the arrogant lightning god on his quest to save Earth from an invasion from his homeworld. 
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) - Takes a step away from contemporary to Earth to World War 2, where soldier Steve Rogers is given experimental treatment to become the ultimate weapon to fight against the Axis powers.
  • Avengers (2012) - When an alien invasion hits New York, all of the superheroes from the previous films - plus some new faces - team up to take them down. 
  • Iron Man 3 (2013) - The beginning of "Phase 2" of the Marvel universe follows Tony Stark as he attempts to rebuild his life as his enemies attempt to destroy him. 
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013) - Thor fights an ancient race in order to stop them from recovering a powerful artifact. 
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) - In this superhero flick turned spy thriller, Captain America encounters an enemy he thought long dead. 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) - Marvel meets sci-fi in this planet-hopping adventure following a gang of misfits. 
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) - In the aftermath of the alien invasion of New York, Tony Stark attempts to build a supercomputer to protect the Earth...but when it gains awareness it turns against the Avengers. 
  • Ant-Man (2015) - Former thief Scott Lang stumbles into a suit that allows him to shrink in size and pull off incredible heists. 
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016) - After the events of Age of Ultron, some of the Avengers feel the need for government supervision and accountability, causing a rift between heroes. 
  • Doctor Strange (2016) - A surgeon whose talent is destroyed in a car accident meets a sorcerer who trains him in the mystic arts. 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (2017) - The Guardians are back on another adventure across space as they struggle to keep their new 'family' together. 
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) - High school student Peter Parker works to balance his powers with his responsibility as a student under the mentorship of Tony Stark. 
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017) - In Norse mythology, "Ragnarok" is the end of the world. Thor is imprisoned as a new villain arises with a mission to bring about Ragnarok. 
  • Black Panther (2018) - After being introduced in Civil War, T'Challa returns to his home country of Wakanda - a high-tech paradise hidden from the world - only to find his claim to the throne is contested. 
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018) - All of the heroes come together in order to stop Thanos, who is constructing an artifact that will allow him alter reality at will. 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Bonjour Paris: Novels set in Paris

With its long  complicated history, glorious gardens, spectacular architecture and chic street cafes its no wonder visiting Paris is a dream destination for many travelers. Authors alike love the City of Lights and countless novels are set in this most romantic and intriguing city. Can't make it to Paris this year, pick up one of these books and off you go no reservations required. Bon voyage.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Meeting  through mutual friends in Chicago, Hadley is captivated by the brash "beautiful boy" Ernest Hemingway, and after a brief courtship and small wedding, they take off for Paris, where Hadley makes a convincing transformation from an over protected child to a game and brave young woman who puts up with poor living conditions and crushing loneliness to support her husband's career.

The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure
A Parisian architect is paid generously to create secret hiding spaces for Jews in his Nazi-occupied country but struggles with risking his life for a cause he is indecisive towards, until a personal failure brings home their suffering.

Paris: A Novel by Edward Rutherfurd
Taking readers on a journey through Parisian history, this sweeping multi-generational saga filled with romance, danger and rich detail beautifully illuminates the City of Lights, from its founding under the Romans to the hotbed of cultural activity during the 1920's and 1930's that included Picasso and many others.

Private Paris by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
Asked to find a girl who is on the run from a ruthless drug dealer, Jack Morgan identifies disturbing links to a series of murders involving Paris's cultural elite.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
Idiosyncratic and charming, Jean Perdu bookstore owner of the Literary Apothecary, a floating bookshop. When a new tenant in his apartment building sets in motion events that force Jean to re-evaluate his past, he finds himself floating off down the rivers of France in search of lost love, new love, and friends he didn't know he needed.

The Paris Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Ella McNeal
American-born spy and code-breaker extraordinaire Maggie Hope penetrates Nazi Paris on behalf of the British government during the blackest days of World War II.

 Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes
Isabel Lawson, rising star in the finance cancels her wedding days before the big day because her fiancee decides to take over the family farm and expects her to milk cows along side him. She then  decides to travel to Paris on their planned honeymoon-alone. It's when she locks herself out of her suite at the Hotel Crillon, she meets Alec who changes everything. A Christmastime love affair in Paris filled with charm and all the delights of the season.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

While You're Waiting - Royal Wedding Fiction/Nonfiction at GPL

Now that the romantic destiny of Prince William and Kate has been cemented with three beautiful little royals, there is a frenzy brewing over the upcoming union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. If you're a royal family enthusiast like I am, you'll be eagerly anticipating the splendor and drama of what's to come on May 19 - an American-born actress marrying into the British royal family! This is the stuff that romance and fairy tales are made of. If you simply cannot wait, here are some books to tide you over in the meantime.

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
This delightful spin on the story of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the perfect beachy, weekend read for anyone who loves love stories with a healthy dose of humor. Here, Will and Kate are replaced by Nick and Bex--he's the heir to the British throne, she's the American who effortlessly steals his heart. Can they weather many obstacles to find their Happily Ever After? Part fairy tale, part cautionary tale, the novel is pure fun from start to finish.

The Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
This is the first new adult instalment of the Princess Diaries series which follows Princess Mia and her Prince Charming as they plan their fairy tale wedding - but a few poisoned apples could turn this happily-ever-after into a royal nightmare. For Princess Mia, the past five years since college graduation have been a whirlwind of activity, what with living in New York City, running her new teen community centre, being madly in love, and attending royal engagements. Mia's gorgeous longtime boyfriend Michael has taken her to an exotic (and very private) Caribbean island and popped the question! But now Mia has a scandal of majestic proportions to contend with: Her grandmother's leaked "fake" wedding plans to the press that could cause even normally calm Michael to become a runaway groom. Worse, a scheming politico is trying to force Mia's father from the throne, all because of a royal secret that could leave Genovia without a monarch. Can Mia prove to everyone especially herself that she's not only ready to wed, but ready to rule as well?

The Royals by Kitty Kelley
Draws on more than one thousand interviews to present a revelatory biography of Britain's embattled House of Windsor.

A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James
When impoverished Miss Kate Daltry meets Prince Gabriel at a ball, the prince is drawn to this spirited beauty despite being engaged to another, but their irresistible attraction is ill-fated until a kiss changes everything.

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the tale of a city Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise . . .

Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son by Penny Junor
Describes the colorful life of Prince Harry, from losing his mother, Princess Diana, when he was only 12 to his mischievous choices during his teens and his military career as a young man.

Enjoy the culmination of the real romance on May 19th from the comfort of your easy chair at home.