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 Green House

nullVargas Llosa, Mario. The Green House. 2008. (Fiction Varga.M)

From the green house stems the surrounding plots and characters, which are the Mangachería, the mission at Santa María de Nieva, and the characters Jum and Fushía. Each of these storylines represents the major different worlds that exist within this Peruvian society. The Mangachería is like an urban barrio, the mission is the religious sect, Jum is the political activist trying to organize the indigenous people who is ultimately hunted down and tortured by the government, and Fushía is a bona fide criminal. None of these worlds are without controversy and violence is ever-present. Yet within all the storylines there is an ultimate human experience, which is the need to be loved as is most evident in our protagonist Bonifacia, an Aguaruna native abducted and raised by nuns who turns prostitute. The discourse that Mario Vargas Llosa’s work evokes is gratifying and worthy of a second read. (Elvira C-D, Reader’s Services)


Romantics Anonymous


Romantics Anonymous. 2012 (DVD 791.4372 Romanti)

Angelique is a gifted, but uncontrollably shy (she faints when complimented) chocolate maker who goes to work as sales rep for the equally anxiety-ridden Jean-Rene, owner of the near bankrupt Chocolate Mill. Both Angelique and Jean-Rene seek help for their disorder - she from her group therapy sessions; he from a shrink who suggests a new goal each week ("touch someone", "invite someone out for dinner"). The two find themselves attracted to each other allowing for some truly hilarious as well as touching scenes. Although the outcome may be somewhat predictable, the journey there is simply delightful. This charming French film will bring out the romantic and chocoholic in everyone. (Laura, Reader's Services)


Afterwards, You're a Genius


Brown, Chip.  Afterwards, You're a Genius: Faith, Medicine, and the Metaphysics of Healing.  1998.  (615.5 BRO)

Chip Brown caught my eye two decades ago with a strong New Yorker article (“I Now Walk Into the Wild,” about the doomed young hiker Chris McCandless). Even in that great magazine the article stood out for its eloquence, balance and sensitivity. I picked up this book looking for something similar on the topic of non-standard medical treatment. As in the New Yorker, Brown ponders rather than opines here, in an anecdotal style that's always clever, and often brilliant.

Read more: Afterwards, You're a Genius


My Family (DVD)

titleMy family.  2004 . (DVD 791.4372 My)

My Family, an epic film drama, covers three generations of the fictional Sanchez Family. Filmed in 1995, Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, and Edward James Olmos star as three brothers in a Mexican-American family whose father relocates from Mexico in the 1920s and raises his family into modern times in East Los Angeles. The film infuses bright color and exotic scenery with mysticism and humor to deliver a message of family unity and cultural pride amidst the soul-breaking humiliation of bigotry and financial struggle. Originally given quite favorable reviews from critics such as Roger Ebert, I found the characters, in my recent viewing, to be often cliché and the film’s style of humor lacking in subtlety. Still, I enjoyed the film and, in particular, the performances of actors Jacob Vargas, Jennifer Lopez, and Eduardo López Rojas. My Family contains some nudity and violence. (Russ K, Ref.)


I've Got Your Number

titleKinsella, Sophie. I've Got Your Number. 2012.(Fiction Kinse.S)

At first I thought this book would fall flat, but Kinsella builds on the goofy premise of Poppy Wyatt losing her heirloom engagement ring in a hotel fire drill and then her cell is stolen. Luckily, she finds someone else's phone in the trash or "bin." She cites "Finder's Keeper's" and convinces Sam Roxton, the owner of her new cellphone, to share it with her for a short time so she can be called about her ring. Of course, she snoops on his messages (some from a former girlfriend) while using his phone and one thing leads to another. This may be one of the first novels to conduct most of the action and dialogue via texts! As Poppy's wedding to a handsome member of an academic family looms near, she and Sam really start to care for each other. Don't expect a simple, quiet solution to Poppy's dilemma, and the LOL moments toward the end testify to that! Breezy, good fun and Poppy discovers the joy of being genuinely appreciated.


Shira S., Reader's Services


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