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.

Outside The Lines

Hatvany, Amy. Outside the Lines. 2011. Fiction Hatva.A.

Eden is an ordinary person, a no-nonsense chef who aspires to open her own restaurant and yeans to find meaning in her life. Her mentally ill father left her at the age of 8 and when the novel begins Eden, now a woman, is searching for him in homeless shelters and out on the street. What Eden finds during her search, however, is much more than she had ever anticipated. A modern day love story, a story of hope, and a novel of forgiveness and acceptance, Outside the Lines will stay with you long after you have finished the last page.

Rika G.


Blue Monday

French, Nicci. Blue Monday. 2012. Fiction Frenc.N.

I didn't think I liked psychological thrillers, until I picked up Blue Monday. Husband and wife writing team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French have created a riveting main character in psychotherapist Freida Klein who begins seeing a patient who has been having fantasies about becoming the father of a young red headed boy. We soon learn that a boy fitting this description has been abducted, and Frieda is thrust into the center of the investigation. But nothing is as it seems in Blue Monday, and just when you think you have the mystery solved you are thrown a curve ball. The first in a series of thrillers starring Frieda Klein, I am anxiously awaiting her next adventure.


The Odds: A Love Story

O'Nan, Stewart. The Odds: A Love Story. 2012. (Fiction Onan.S)

Now in their fifties, Art and Marion are wishful dreamers who bought a house they couldn’t afford and had affairs they’d rather forget.  Jobless, facing foreclosure and contemplating divorce, they take what’s left and head to a Niagara Falls casino on the weekend of Valentine’s Day, for one last chance.  Ashamed, inept, uneasy, panic stricken and sometimes hilarious—these flawed and familiar characters are deeply drawn with great subtlety and sympathy by one of our finest writers.   (Susan R., Reader's Services)


I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey

nullRudnick, Paul. I Shudder: And Other Reactions to Life, Death, and New Jersey.  2009. (818.54 Rudni.P)

Half autobiography, half bizarre work of fiction, Paul Rudnick'sI Shudder is a masterpiece of non-fiction.  A rabbi in this book says, "Life is like a sandwich...the two slices of bread don't matter, it's what's in the middle that counts."  While, admittedly, it was the cover with Peeps that made me pick it up, the middle was far more delicious than I expected.  Almost every other chapter is a fictional character's personal diary entry, and I yearn for that to be a novel on its own.  Although Rudnick has had an interesting life, I found myself racing to get back to the diary entries.  Overall it is a strange and wonderful read due to the mixed storytelling. (Kim, Reader's Services)


The Hour

The Hour. 2011. (DVD 791.4572 Hour)

This compelling 6-part series is set behind the scenes of the BBC newsroom in 1956 (during the Suez crisis) as an innovative news program called “The Hour” is being launched. A combination of suspense, espionage, murder, and romance, The Hour follows journalist Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw), beautiful producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) and lead anchorman Hector Madden (Dominic West) as they work on sensitive news stories and deal with personal jealousies, romantic entanglements, and ambitious desires. Against the backdrop of Cold War era politics, Freddie investigates the mysterious death of a friend and the murder of a college professor and becomes involved in a sinister government conspiracy. Part Mad Men, part spy thriller, The Hour boasts superb acting (including the supporting cast) a literate script, and an intriguing and gripping plot. A second season has already been commissioned. Can’t wait. (Laura, Reader's Services)


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