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 Scar

TitleThe Scar. Diachenko, Serhii. 2012. Science Fiction Dyach.S.

A story reminiscent of the style of old fairytales, but adapted to the brutality of a world where duels, mages, curses, and plagues are a constant. How can someone that had everything recover after losing all he knows and fight with his own demons? This is a magnificent story that will keep you at the edge of your seat until the end. (Isabel C., Reader's Services)



TitleBlackout. Willis, Connie. 2010. (Science Fiction Willis.C).

If you are interested in specific details about the German attacks on Great Britain during World War II, this is a book you should read. Connie Willis interweaves historical facts and the adventures of three history students from Oxford University who travel from the year 2060 to different places in Great Britain during the War to get information for their assignments. But something is going wrong with the time transportation system: The time portal is not opening and the students might be trapped forever in this period. The end of the book will make you want to immediately read the following book, “All Clear”. (Isabel C., Reader's Services)


Tell the Wolves I'm Home

titleBrunt, Carol Rifka. Tell the Wolves I'm Home. 2012. (Fiction Brunt.C)

My first thought when this novel was pushed on me was, "Oh, please, not another coming-of-age story!" But as my luck had it, this was an exceptionally heartfelt COAS with a credible protagonist who has convincing teenage angsty feelings. It's 1987; June has just lost her beloved Uncle Finn due to the scary scourge of AIDS; her sister is cruel and growing away from her; her parents are self-involved. Then Finn's unknown lover calls June and she discovers that Finn has asked her to take care of Toby and asked Toby to take care of her. June, always insecure and self-doubting, plunges into a relationship that she must keep hidden from her parents and sister, leading her to eventual self-knowledge and someday, forgiveness. Of course, that's because it's a COAS, but I couldn't put it down because it's a good one. Just start it and you'll be hooked, too.

(Nancy E., North Branch)


Complete Poems


Parker, Dorothy. Complete Poems. 1999. (811.52 Parke.D)

My colleague Russ Johnson's call for poetry in April (for EPL's "Off the Shelf" blog) pushed me to check out poets I hadn't read before, Parker among them.  I knew her only from her irritated New Yorker quips and essays.  This collection has some of that spirit, but also wonderfully musical pieces, some of them almost sentimental. Still, the best stuff is rendered in Parker's unlucky-in-romance voice, such as this short piece called "Comment": Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song, / A medley of extemporanea; / And love is a thing that can never go wrong; / And I am Marie of Roumania.  (Jeff B., Reader's Services)


The Burgess Boys

titleStrout, Elizabeth. The Burgess Boys. 2013. (Fiction Strou.E)

You can't go home again. Or, rather, as Elizabeth Strout counters in her most recent novel, you can't leave home...not really. Nor can you be unaffected by family turmoil no matter how far away you move. When teenage Zach, living with his divorced mom Susan in the tiny, claustrophobic town of Shirley Falls, Maine, gets himself into a maelstrom of trouble with the law and his community, Tim and Bob Burgess, his two uncles, must suddenly pay attention to the sister and hometown they have tried not to think about or bother with too much as they live their comfortable (Tim) or get-along (Bob) lives in New York. Both are lawyers--Tim is take-charge, sure of what to do; Bob is more the hand-holder type, never quite sure what to do, but more willing to just be there for everyone. Long-ago a family tragedy set these three siblings on the paths to their current lives and the way they view each other. Strout's skill at reeling out the story and the fine touch she uses in developing her characters makes this book a pleasure to read.

(Barbara L., Reader's Services)


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