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.

Bride Flight

Bride Flight. 2011. (DVD 791.4327 Bride)

Based on an actual record-setting Dutch flight from London to Christchurch New Zealand in 1953 Bride Flight is a bittersweet tale of love at first sight, and love lost. Called the Bride Flight because many of the young women on board had bridegrooms waiting for them in New Zealand, the film shows actual newsreel footage from the plane as it leaves London. This fictionalized story follows three of these young women (Esther, Marjorie, and Ada) and one young man (Frank) who all meet in flight and whose lives become forever linked. Adjusting to their new marriages, the three women each have their own dreams and secrets: Esther, a Holocaust survivor, wants to be a fashion designer; Ada, although already married has fallen in love with Frank, and Marjorie finds that her hope of having children is not to be. Beginning 50 years after they meet when all the women are once more united for Frank’s funeral, the film is told mostly in flashbacks and portrays what happened to each of them after arriving in their new home. Believable acting, a convincing script, and the New Zealand scenery combine to make this a compelling, heartfelt, and very moving film. (Laura, Reader's Services)

 

All the Names

Saramago, Jose. All the Names. 1998. (Fiction Saram.J)

At the Central Registry of Births, Marriages, and Deaths lives low-level aging worker Senhor José whose tireless search for a woman he’s never met is a sad story of a lonely man who risks his job by illegally accessing and forging documents and breaking into buildings. Like an action hero, he lives adventurously at night climbing tall ladders to reach the highest shelf and making copies of official documents that tell the story of famous dead and living celebrities, but when he discovers information about an unknown woman, he is determined to find her deceitfully making his way into the lives of her relatives. A few times his out-of-character actions are sparked upon receiving advice from the ceiling in his small apartment, but ultimately his uncanny behavior receives praise and encouragement from an unexpected source with godlike qualities. The Portuguese author José Saramago received the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature (Elvira C-D, Reader’s Services).

   

The Night Strangers

Bohjalian, Chris. The Night Strangers. 2011. (New Fiction Bohja.C)

Bohjalian's latest novel offers readers a genre-blending departure from his usual fare.  The Night Strangers peers into the world of a family escaping the media attention surrounding a horrible tragedy.  Airline pilot Chip Linton is forced to ditch his commercial jet into Lake Champlain, killing 39 people aboard.  In an attempt to start over, Chip, his wife Emily, and their twin daughters move to a rural New Hampshire community, where they purchase an old Victorian home.  Add a creepy basement door with 39 bolts, and a community full of so-called "herbalists," and you have a recipe for a chilling thriller that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the night.  The Night Strangers is a great blend of literary fiction and supernatural horror, adding a sinister element to his usual New England backdrop.  A great choice for fans of Stephen King.

(Karen, Reader's Services)

 

   

The Corrections

Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. 2001. (Fiction Franz.J)

Jonathan Franzen's novel, The Corrections, is a rich, darkly funny examination of an American family in the larger context of the United States during the booming dot-com era. Materialism, disappointment, and manipulation are rampant in the Lambert family -- Alfred and Enid and their three adult children, Gary, Chip, and Denise. The Lamberts are so flawed and so real in their individual and joint struggles that, while you may not like them much, you will find yourself empathizing with their painful striving. Although chapter breaks sometimes feel few and far between in this dense novel packed with emotionally detailed, excruciatingly intimate details, this serves to draw the reader (further than is comfortable) into the world of these characters.

(Genevieve, Reader's Services)

   

The White Tiger

Adiag, Aravind. The White Tiger. 2008 (Fiction Adiga.A)

"Assistance sought in search for missing man,” begins the most wanted poster.  Balram Halwai himself is that “missing man,” he explains to the Chinese Premier his letter: he was a former school boy, dragged out of school as a young teenager; he was also a former coal crusher at tea store and a former chauffuer in Delhi.  But that was then…now he’s a self-made “entrepreneur” who keeps mysterious midnight hours in Bangalore: he’s a charismatic, unpredictable, eavesdropping entrepreneur—and a murderer!  What internal and external forces led an innocent boy from the village of Laxmangarh to become a successful man with blood on his hands in a corrupt city?  Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger was the recipient of the Man Book Prize literary award.  (Russ K., Ref.)

 

   

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