Readers' Services

The Readers’ Services staff can help you find specific materials and can offer reading suggestions. Please phone (847) 448-8620 for assistance. Use Novelist, to find reviews, reading guides, and reading lists for fiction lovers.

Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle

titleSuperheroes: A Never-Ending Battle. 2013. (DVD 741.5 Superhe)

Maslon, Laurence. Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture. 2013. (741.5973 Maslo.L)

I am in love with Stan Lee.  Seriously.  I’ve never really been a comic book or graphic novel reader, but I do enjoy the superhero movies when they come out.  However, I was on vacation in rural-ish Wisconsin a couple years ago and the only thing on television was this PBS series.  And it was FASCINATING.  I had no idea of the origins of superheroes or that one man (the aforementioned Stan Lee), created the ENTIRE Marvel Universe and all the characters within it.  Essentially, there are two camps of superheroes: Marvel (Spiderman, Avengers, X-Men) and DC (Batman, Superman, Justice League).  And the documentary gives you the whole background of differences, similarities, and instances when they meet.  There is also an accompanying book that goes more in-depth about comic books if you really want to nerd out (your secret is safe with me).  (Kim - Reader's Services)



titleHorns. 2015. (DVD Horror Horns)

Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill, may be giving his dad a run for his money with this one.  Daniel Radcliffe stars in this film about a 20 something loser that stands accused of murdering his girlfriend…and somehow along the way starts growing devil horns out of his forehead that make people tell the truth.  The thing is though; this was a genuinely good little movie.  Radcliffe can do so much more than Harry Potter (even though he will always be Harry to me).  It is an interesting movie and would have been great if it weren’t for the B-movie special effects.  They are laughable – and not in the ironic way, which is a shame because it is a weird, somewhat harsh movie about people’s relationships when they forego the polite niceties.  (Kim - Reader's Services)   



Station Eleven


Mandel, Emily St. John. Station Eleven. 2014 (Science Fiction Mande.E)

The Ebola virus is real and scary, but it seems minor compared to the fictional flu epidemic that destroys most of the world’s population in this original and haunting novel. The life of actor Arthur Leander is the link that connects the past and the present, as well as the many people whose lives he touched. Beginning with his onstage death in a performance of King Lear, we follow the stories of the people who were at the theater that night and trace the journey of graphic novel Station Eleven created by his ex-wife Miranda. The narrative moves back and forth in time from the deadly epidemic to life 20 years later where a small theater troupe performs Shakespeare in this dangerous and devastated world with no electricity, government, or modern amenities – and where a museum in an airport terminal is filled with artifacts from the past, including cell phones. I couldn’t put this book down, yet didn’t want it to end – a combination of sci fi, literary fiction, and mystery this beautiful work is a tour de force. (Laura, Readers Services)



Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

DVD TV Miss Series 2. Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. 2013.

Phryne (praltonounced "fry-nee") Fisher is thoroughly modern, wealthy, and clever. She's a dark-haired beauty with a perfect fashion sense. Her home in Melbourne is stunningly appointed. She has a murky past (unhappy childhood, espionage in WWI, a Paris lover...there's more, I'm sure) and is whip smart when it comes to solving murders. She's both the bane and often the savior of the local police department. She prone to taking in waifs and down-and-outers who need her help which proves her kindness and generosity. This fast-paced series sometimes borders on the silly (she dashes up drainpipes in a fur-trimmed pantsuit and silk high heels and emerges unstained), but always offers a nicely set-out crime for her to solve. I won't rely on that overused word "spunky" to describe her--Miss Fisher is much too sophisticated and elegant for that, but she is always ready for a new challenge (and almost always ready for a new lover).

(Barbara L., Reader's Services)



Don Quixote


Cervantes, Miguel. Don Quixote (translated by Edith Grossman). Published 1605 (part 1), 1615 (part 2); translation 2003. (Fiction Cerva.M 2003)

In what's widely considered the first modern novel, Cervantes gives us a non-hero for the ages. Determined to match the chivalry of the medieval storybooks he's been devouring, Quixote saddles up his skinny nag Rocinante and rides off in all directions to confront evildoers and defend honor. But in chapter after chapter he is hilariously undone. His best-known misadventure: a bold assault on a windmill that he sees as an evil giant in disguise. Ignoring the protests of his clear-eyed squire, Sancho Panza, the fearless Quixote charges at a gallop. Lance meets wind-sail, and rider and horse are both launched. (Our mocking expression "tilting at windmills" is one of several idioms born in Cervantes' storytelling.)


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