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 Bridge

titleThe Bridge. 2014. (DVD TV The Bridge Season 1)

One of the best crime series to come out of the Nordic world this year! A woman's severed body is found the on the Øresund Bridge, the border between Sweden and Denmark. The top half is in one country, the bottom, the other. Gruesome, yes, but it's the reason that Swedish C.I. Saga Norén and Danish detective Martin Rohde must join forces to catch a serial killer who calls himself the "Truth Terrorist." This taut, well-acted, and brilliantly designed thriller features one of the most unusual cops I've ever seen on a TV series: Saga is a blunt, outspoken woman with a genius for spotting the odd detail. Think high-functioning Asperger's (though it's never mentioned)--she's definitely not a people person. Martin, a flawed but mostly decent guy, finds his quirky partner a challenge to work with, but eventually endearing. (There's an American-made version set on the U.S.-Mexico border. I haven't seen it yet, but look forward to comparing and contrasting.)

(Barbara L., Reader's Services)


The Stockholm Octavo

Engelmann, Karen. The Stockholm Octavo. 2012. (Fiction Engel.K) title

Love and connection are promised to the smug young civil servant Emil Larsson by a fortune-teller and proprietor of a gaming house in 1789 Stockholm. His narcissism and arrogance lead him to assumptions that he must, through daring adventures, learn to overcome in order to survive in this close world of court intrigue, corruption, and incipient revolution. Life, death, courtship and power flow through the manipulation of silk and vellum fans as Emil makes unexpected friends and venomous enemies while Sweden and it citizens seethe toward political change.

(Nancy E., North Branch)


The Musketeers

titleThe Musketeers. 2014. (DVD TV Muskete Series 1)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love swashbuckling?  I have seen every incarnation of The Three Musketeers, from my favorite, The Three Musketeers (with Charlie Sheen), to the HORRIBLE, The Three Musketeers (with Orlando Bloom), and this BBC series is actually really good.  Lighter on the swashbuckling, more guns and punches, but with all the musketeer camaraderie and joking one can hope for.  One great quote from Athos to Aramis was, “I’ll punch you so hard you’ll beg me to kick you.”  It is a truly entertaining take on the classic story, not to mention that Aramis is absolutely gorgeous and Cardinal Richelieu is portrayed by Peter Capaldi (the new Doctor Who).  (Kim- Reader's Services)   




Penny Dreadful


Penny Dreadful. 2014. (DVD TV Penny Season 1)

There is nothing better than sitting down to watch TV and being rewarded with a smart, interesting, unpredictable, movie quality show…but it so rarely happens.  This show is just what the doctor ordered, Dr. Frankenstein that is.  Named after the Victorian pulp fiction of monsters and horrors, this show masterfully blends the stories of the creatures written in those times with the time itself.  Think Dracula existing in the same world as Frankenstein’s monster, werewolves, and the notorious Mr. Dorian Gray himself.  In a beautifully shot season of 8 episodes, this show immerses you in the world of séances as dinner party fun, Victorian customs and dress, with just a taste of the Wild West in the form of Josh Hartnett.  The acting is first rate and joins a former Bond with a former Bond Girl of different eras.  If you like the weird nature of American Horror Story, long for a more sophisticated version of True Blood, or just like quality television, you will enjoy this show.  (Kim - Reader's Services)


William & Mary


William & Mary. 2014. (DVD TV William set)

If you only know Martin Clunes as the irascible surgeon turned country doctor from Doc Martin, you can see a new and softer side to him in this earlier BBC series about a midwife who brings life into the world and an undertaker who ushers life out. Here Clunes plays William Shawcross, the sympathetic funeral director with two teenage daughters who falls for midwife Mary Gilcrest (Julie Graham of Bletchley Circle), single mother of two teenage sons. What he lacked in bedside manner as Doc Martin, he more than makes up for here. This isn’t just another “meet cute” series, though. There may be a lot of light adventures and misadventures, but this dramatic comedy has real multi-dimensional characters with real problems. The casting is perfect not only from the two lead actors, but also from the great supporting cast, including Cheryl Campbell as Mary’s Scottish mother. EPL has all three series in its collection. (Laura, Reader's Services)


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