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.

A Fall of Marigolds

titleMeissner, Susan. A Fall of Marigolds. 2014. (Fiction Meiss.S)

Intertwined stories about heartbreak and rebirth weave through the early twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Clara, a nurse, is a survivor of the Manhattan Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. She is hiding from her pain by working and living on Ellis Island, a land of in-between. Taryn is a 9/11 widow, working in a fabric store in Manhattan, avoiding telling her daughter, with whom she was pregnant, what she witnessed on that day. A vividly woven challis scarf connects the two women, tying their stories together.

(Nancy E., North Branch)

 

Under the Wide and Starry Sky: a novel

titleHoran, Nancy. Under the Wide and Starry Sky. 2013. (Fiction Horan.N)

Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny loved each other deeply. Already married when she first met him, Fanny kept the sickly author, ten years her junior, alive far longer than he was expected to live by her devoted nursing and fierce protectiveness. She traveled with him across three continents and several South Sea islands in their search of a place where his lungs could heal and he could write. They were each strong-willed, temperamental, compelled to create art. Though themselves often impoverished, they helped support other family members and friends for years. When she fell into mental illness, he nursed her to health with his love poems. She gave up many of her dreams to care for him and he risked his health to do the same for her. Neither their love nor their lives were uncomplicated.

(Nancy E., North Branch)

   

He Who Fears the Wolf

titleFossum, Karin. He Who Fears the Wolf. 2005. (Mystery Fossu.K)

Inspector Sejer has his hands full this time. An elderly widow living on a remote lane outside town, is found brutally murdered. The prime suspect is the local crazy man, Errki, who, once again, is reported missing from a nearby institution. As a massive manhunt for him begins, the town bank is robbed early the next morning. The robber gets away with 100,000 kroner and a hostage...none other than Errki, the crazy guy! The hapless robber is unaware that he's captured a possibly violent killer; Errki is unaware that he's a suspect (truthfully, he's unaware of quite a bit due to the voices inside his head); and cool, collected Inspector Sejer doesn't know whether he's hunting for one criminal or two, but does know that time is of the essence. Again, Fossum has crafted a page-turner plot filled with twists and turns.

(Barbara L., Reader's Services)

 

   

Hats by Madame Paulette

titleSchneider, Annie. Hats by Madame Paulette: Paris Milliner Extraordinaire. 2014. (746.9209 Schne.A)

During the 40s and 50s and even in to the 60s, a woman did not dare go out without a chapeau atop her head. I love hats. But. alas, with a small head, I very rarely find any that fit me. The next best thing to owning fabulous headwear is to page through this lovely book that pays homage to France's premier milliner. Her original designs graced the heads of the well-dressed, the wealthy, and the famous. Think turban, think imaginative mixtures of materials, think exotic shapes all created with superb craftsmanship. In addition to the wonderful photos of stunning models and actresses wearing truly head turning creations, the book tells the story of Madame Paulette's life and career which in turn offers us a cultural history of haute couture, Paris during the years of WWII and after, and the rapid growth and changes in the fashion industry during the mid-20th century.

(Barbara L., Reader's Services)

   

Monstrous Regiment

titlePratchett, Terry. Monstrous Regiment. 2003. (Science Fiction Pratc.T)

Delightfully wacky, full of wordplay, anti-war sentiment and good humor, this stand-alone addition to Pratchett's Discworld series makes for a great listen or read. The title refers to a diatribe by John Knox in 1558 against women rulers but is interpreted here in a different and surprising manner. Well, who is surprised is kind of the surprise. Polly leaves home disguised as a young man in order to join the army and hunt for her missing brother Paul. Along the way, she and her fellow foot soldiers encounter the wounded, royalty, a journalist, varied fools and officers, all trying to win the endless war. Or profit from it. Or prolong it. Or explain it. Or just to find coffee.

(Nancy E., North Branch)

   

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