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 Humans

Haig, Matt. The Humans. 2013. (Science Fiction Haig.M) 

titleThe morning after Cambridge mathematics professor Andrew Martin solves the Riemann Hypothesis, he is "replaced" by a Vonnadorian agent sent from a far away planet. The alien, our narrator in this darkly comic tale, is on a mission: destroy all evidence of the solution and eliminate anyone Professor Martin may have told. The imposter takes on the professor's form even though he's repulsed by most things human. They have parts protruding from their bodies (ugly noses, odd-shaped ears, holes filled with gelatinous orbs, and worse things); they smell of partially digested cow; their cars are earthbound; and the worst, they are irrational and emotion-driven.

Read more: The Humans



titleRosenfield, Kat. Inland. 2014. (YA Fiction Rosen.K)

Callie and her father have fled inland to live after her mother drowns in the ocean. Away from the coast, Callie's lungs fill with fluid that has to be repeatedly drained. She spends most of her time either in hospitals or recovering from the latest asthma attack.Then her father accepts a job on the Florida coast and Callie's lungs begin to heal. She attends school regularly, makes friends for the first time, has a boyfriend. She also starts to hear voices in her head demanding that she give herself over to the ocean as did her mother and grandmother. The incantatory language enhances the sense of hovering menace. Is this a selkie tale or a tale of madness?

(Nancy E., North Branch)


The Family Fang


Wilson, Kevin. The Family Fang. 2011. (Fiction Wilso.K)

This novel is both darkly funny and thought-provoking, and it is worth a read before the movie comes out.   Buster and Annie, the now-grown children of the renowned performance artists, Caleb and Camille Fang, return to their family home in search of their missing parents.  They can't help but wonder if their parents are really in trouble or is this just another stunt?  These are, after all, the same parents who, during Buster and Annie's childhood, would do everything and anything to create the next great work of performance art--even if it meant using and humiliating their own kids.

The movie, now post-production, is directed by Jason Bateman and stars Nicole Kidman and Christopher Walken as Mr. and Mrs. Fang.  I hope that the movie is as good as this wonderful and unique book! (Heather R., Reader's Services)




A Place to Call Home


A Place to Call Home. 2014. DVD TV Place.

The last time I got so engrossed in an Australian mini-series was when The Thorn Birds aired in 1983 but this drama is much better cast and even more compelling. Set in New South Wales in the early 1950s, it focuses on Sarah Adams who returns to Australia after spending 20 years in Europe to try to reconnect with her sick (and estranged) mother. She becomes involved with the wealthy Bligh family when, while on board the ship carrying them from England to Australia, she becomes privy to a family secret - a secret that is the catalyst for much of what is to come.

Read more: A Place to Call Home


Chasing Harry Winston

titleWeisberger, Lauren. Chasing Harry Winston. 2008. (Fiction Weisb.L)

Obsessed with the Upper East Side?  Wish you went to Constance from Gossip Girl or lived in Charlotte’s pre-war from Sex in the City?  Have a secret desire to be a Park Avenue Princess?  Me too.  And that’s why I read all the books by Lauren Weisberger, famed The Devil Wears Prada author.  They are pure escapist fun.  Most of the people that inhabit this New York fantasy of mine (at least the literary kind) are deplorable human beings obsessed with wealth, fame, good looks, and sex.  However, when you possess one of the above – why would you ever need be deep?  And the characters in this book are no different.  It is the story of three such girls all “chasing Harry Winston” in an effort to become engaged before they turn the dreaded 3-0.  It’s entertaining, I’d say chick-lit at its best because, while yes all the characters are vapid and one-dimensional, at least Weisberger can string a sentence together.  (Kim - Reader's Services)


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