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.

The General's Son


Peled, Miko. The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine. 2012. (956.9405 Peled.M)

In 1948 the author's father, Matti Peled, fought in Israel's war of independence. In the 1967 Six-Day War, he helped Israel avoid destruction as one of its leading generals. But Gen. Peled believed Israel's survival hinged also on the establishment of a Palestinian homeland, and he campaigned for it. He died in 1995. Two decades later, his son Miko (born in 1961) argues that his father was on the right track but didn't go far enough. After a 1997 suicide bombing killed his niece (Matti's granddaughter), the younger Peled came to believe the solution is not two states, but a single shared state providing a homeland to all in the region who deserve it. He wants Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs to cohabitate. While activists such as Uri Avnery and Amos Oz push for an amicable divorce, Miko Peled wants the couple to work it out.

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Funny Girl

titleHornby, Nick. Funny Girl. 2014. (Fiction Hornb.N)

Sophie, from the backwater of Blackpool in the early 1960's, looks like Jayne Mansfield and wants to be Lucille Ball. She heads to London where she shortly finds herself the impetus for and star of a popular British sitcom. We watch as Sophie and her fellow star, the writers and producer, continue to make millions laugh weekly until an All in the Family like show makes their series seem antiquated. What's a girl and her production staff to do?

(Nancy E., North Branch)


Leaving Time


Picoult, Jodi. Leaving Time. 2014. (Fiction Picou.J)

Jodi Picoult is expert at telling a story – and her latest is no exception. Told in alternating voices, the tale centers around 13-year old Jenna who needs to discover the reasons for her scientist mother Alice’s disappearance 10 years earlier. In her search she enlists the help of Serenity, a now-failed psychic, and Virgil, the world-weary cop who was originally assigned the case. Tying  these links together are the journals Alice left behind – describing her work with elephants in Africa and at the Elephant sanctuary in New Hampshire, focusing on their grieving  process – insight that is fascinating and heartbreaking. So with all these elements – does it work? Well, yes and no – I was hooked until the end, which I won’t reveal, except to say I never saw it coming and wish it had gone in a different direction. But the legions of Ms. Picoult's fans will probably love it. (Laura, Readers Services)



Mary Coin

titleSilver, Marisa. Mary Coin. 2013. (Fiction Silve.M)

One of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century, Migrant Mother, was taken by photojournalist Dorothea Lange in 1936. It depicts a California farm worker with three of her six children. The anxious gaze away from the camera, the hand that rests at the corner of her mouth in a worried gesture, the two children facing away from the camera nestling into her neck, and the infant at her breast form a stunningly composed shot that became an influential force in convincing the U.S. government to provide some relief for displaced farm workers enduring horrific conditions during the Great Depression years. Marisa Silvers's moving novel takes the photo as her starting point.

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Second Glance


Picoult, Jodi. Second Glance. 2003. (Fiction Picou.J)

Jodi Picoult's novels are always page turners, and Second Glance is no exception. Part mystery, part romance, part ghost story, part historical fiction, it's the story of Ross Wakeman, a ghost hunter who has never actually seen a ghost... and who cannot die. He moves to the town of Comtosook, Vermont where some strange, possibly even paranormal events are happening. A local developer is trying to break ground on an abandoned piece of land to build a new strip mall, but the local Abenaki Indian tribe is protesting. They claim that the land is a tribal burial ground and that the goings on in town are the spirits making their protestations known.  

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