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 Sookie Stackhouse Series/True Blood

titleHarris, Charlaine. The Sookie Stackhouse Series2001. (Mystery Harri.C) 

With the last season of True Blood airing right now, I felt it was time to reflect on the world that is Sookie Stackhouse.  I can’t remember if I watched first or read first, but with 7 seasons and 13 books, who could?  All I know is, that like all other times, the books are better than the movies.  They are even, dare I say it, less ridiculous.  Yes, there are vampires, fairies, and werewolves, but there are no maenads, crazy witchtitlees, or Hep V.  SPOILER ALERT: In the series the great love story is not Sookie and Bill, Sookie and Alcide, or even Sookie and Sam – it’s Sookie and Eric.  Which, really, isn’t that what we all want anyways?  The books are livelier and have funny moments in them with more depth of character, minus Lafayette (he dies in the first novel).  I think what the two series do is add to one another, they supplement each other in an interesting way that no other book/movie series does.   And that’s because the two series don’t match up book for season, episode to story-line.  So watch the movies, read the books, it’s a great world that I’m already going to miss.  (Kim - Reader's Services)  True Blood. 2009. (DVD TV True Season 1)


Sex and Lucia

titleSex and Lucia . 2003. (DVD Foreign Spanish Sex)

I have seen this movie no less than 12 times and, to this day, even having watched it last week, I still do not understand it.  The movie starts with a one-night stand on an island.  Flash forward and the man is back in his hometown and is pursued by the beautiful Paz Vega. Then it gets confusing.  There is Lucia and there is sex, so the title isn’t misleading, but after that part it veers off on a tangent that I’ll never be able to understand.  The man we originally meet is a writer and begins writing himself into his story or his story into himself (still not sure which).  Tragedy unfolds and everyone becomes interconnected in a way that takes the whole film to explain.  The story the writer writes is full of “advantages”, which, as defined by him, are little holes that drop you back into the story at a different stage as to influence the outcome: think “Choose Your Own Adventure”.  And the book he’s writing has one great “advantage” that it ends where is begins, thus bringing it full circle.  See…even when I explain it exactly as it is, it makes no sense.  But it doesn’t matter.  The film is beautiful, interesting, and a true masterpiece.  It is sexy, tragic, and hopeful all at the same time.  I LOVE this movie…even if I never live to understand it.  (Kim – Reader’s Services)


Masters of Sex

titleMasters of Sex. 2014. (DVD TV Masters Season 1)

Given that I’m prone to loving anything salacious, naturally I adore this program.  There are a surprising few movies that chronicle the history of sexual research.  The only ones that come to mind are Kinsey (excellent), A Dangerous Method (interesting), and Hysteria (horrible).  So what proves fascinating about this show is not the sex, but the history of the sex.  Masters and Johnson were actual people, so if you google them, you know how the series will play out, but that doesn’t stop it from being very entertaining and, I feel, true.  It is a fascinating show, but not pedantic or overly educational.  The acting is solid and it deals with a lot of issues and topics that are still around today.  I find it absolutely absorbing.  (Kim- Reader's Services)   



The Grand Budapest Hotel

titleThe Grand Budapest Hotel. 2014. (DVD Comedy Grand)

Generally, I do not care for Wes Anderson’s movies.  The Royal Tenenbaums – hated it.  Moonrise Kingdom – could not understand why people were laughing.  I always found his movies too quirky to be cute, or even weird.  It’s like he was trying too hard to fill this niche of odd charm that Hollywood as a whole neglects.  But he always failed, in my opinion.  This movie, which I went into full well expecting to hate, was soooo fun.  I was initially drawn to it because it had Adrien Brody and Edward Norton, two of the great actors of our time.  To my surprise, it was funny, smart, and truly charming.  The cast of characters and the characters they play are absolutely ridiculous, which just makes it fun.  It is light and weird and really an enjoyable way to pass the evening.  (Kim - Reader's Services)      


The Martian


Weir, Andy. The Martian. 2014 (Science Fiction Weir.A)

Six days into a month-long mission to Mars, a huge dust storm forces NASA to evacuate. During the evacuation, astronaut Mark Watney is injured and presumed dead by his crew mates, who barely make it off the planet alive. When he awakens, Watney discovers that he's been abandoned on Mars with no way to communicate with Earth or his fellow astronauts speeding away above him. What follows is a fast-paced, gripping tale of survival and technical ingenuity. More knowledgeable reviewers than I have given their stamp of approval to the science behind the story, but what kept this librarian turning the page was Watney's likeable, and sometimes hilarious, internal dialog. Rumor has it Matt Damon is set to star in a Ridley Scott-directed movie based on the book. (Heather N. Reader's Services)

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