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.


titleDonnelly, Jennifer. Revolution. 2010. (YA Fiction Donne.J)

I have read extensively about French history but have never felt so involved in the horror of the French Revolution until reading this fast-paced and thought-provoking book. High school senior Andi, who blames herself for her younger brother's death, is medicated and self-medicating, wracked with guilt and watching her parents as they and their marriage fall apart. Her father, on an assignment for work, drags her unwillingly to Paris to keep an eye on her while she researches and writes her senior thesis on an 18th century French composer. Andi discovers a diary, hidden in a guitar case, written by a young woman named Alexandrine who during the revolution has become a servant in the King's household, her job to amuse and soothe terrified Louis-Charles, the 10 year old heir to the throne. When Louis-Charles is imprisoned, alone and in the care of a brutal guard, Alex desperately tries to come to his aid in a dangerous and imaginative way. Andi is so engaged by the diary that she loses track of her own life, endangering herself in an unexpected way.

(Nancy E., North Branch)


The Jesus Cow

titlePerry, Michael. The Jesus Cow. 2015. (Fiction Perry.M)

Shy bachelor Harley Jackson walks into his barn on Christmas Eve to discover his lone milk cow standing with her newborn calf who, disconcertingly, has the face of Jesus on his side. "That's trouble," Harley immediately recognizes. Harley lives in the house in which he grew up, loves his place in his small town, loves the familiarity of it all even if he is a bit lonely so his solution is to try to hide the calf. It doesn't work.This sly first novel assembles a cast of characters who are funny, unassuming, clever and charming, and who help or hinder as is their wont when all hell breaks loose.

(Nancy E., North Branch)


A Coney Island of the Mind


Ferlinghetti, Lawrence. A Coney Island of the Mind. 1955. (811.54 Fer)

I meant to review this book in April, during national poetry month. But in Ferlinghetti's mocking words, "Daily I forget what is important... I was an American boy, I got caught stealing pencils from the Five and Ten Cent store the same month I made Eagle Scout." His voice is by turns irritated and sentimental, and something about the old-fashioned typewritten words, scattered across the pages with calculated whimsy, increases the power of his irreverence. Ferlinghetti pushed "beat" poetry into the mainstream in the 1950s, raising questions that the 1960s struggled to answer. He's 96 now, still kicking, helping to run the City Lights bookstore he founded in San Francisco more than sixty years ago.  (Jeff B., Reader's Services)




Fortitude. 2015. DVD TV Fortitu Season 1

Fortitude is the name of a fictional town on the edge of the Arctic Circle – it’s also what I needed to get through all 12 episodes of this ambitious mini-series. Boasting a great international cast (including Christopher Eccleston, Michael Gambon, Stanley Tucci) and an interesting premise (the effect of a brutal murder in a town with no crime), this tv show had all the makings of an exciting drama. And much of it is, but then it gets bogged down somewhere in the middle, with everything thrown in, including the kitchen sink.  Part sci-fi, part mystery, part thriller, part horror film, Fortitude would have benefited from a clearer narrative and a more cohesive plot. But good acting, amazing scenery, and bizarre story lines kept me watching til the bitter end. I understand a second series is in the works.Give me strength. (Laura, Readers Services)



Dead Wake

titleLarson, Eric. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. 2015. (940.4514 Larso.E)

Eric Larson likes to alternate. Most of his best-selling books on major historical events of the 19th and 20th centuries offer alternating chapters that explore different but parallel facets of a single event or a momentous time. The reader is treated to wonderfully researched information, masterfully written, and then--still fact-based and accurate--the parallel story builds the tension (the serial killer, the impending hurricane, the escaped wife murderer, the Nazi machinations). Larson's latest puts us aboard the RMS Lusitania on her final voyage in May, 1915 during World War I. Alternating chapters take us aboard the German U-boat that sunk the luxury liner. Still others visit Room 40 of the British Admiralty naval intelligence as well as the White House in Washington, D.C.

Read more: Dead Wake



Page 4 of 172

evanston logo

Contact us          ©2008-2013 Evanston Public Library   Evanston, IL 60201   847.448.8600