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.


titleFace/Off. 2008. (DVD Action Face)

Given that the first real, successful, full facial transplant happened in 2010, this 1997 movie was ahead of its time.  This is one of the all-time greatest action movies by the amazing John Woo.  The premise is that John Travolta’s character is the FBI agent chasing Nicholas Cage’s mastermind criminal.  However, as fate would have it, in a shootout between the two, Cage was not killed, but is being kept alive by the agency.  In order to find out where Cage and his brother (who is still in jail) have hidden a bomb in LA, Travolta has to go undercover as Cage – so both Cage and Travolta undergo MASSIVE plastic surgery and swap faces – effectively making you root for the bad guy for the rest of the movie.  It is a genius premise and masterfully shot with great stunts and epic visual moments.  Plus…it’s just a damn entertaining movie.  (Kim - Reader's Services)


The Bronze

titleThe Bronze. 2016. (DVD Comedy Bronze)

This movie is the epitome of snarky comedy.  Melissa Rauch (Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory) stars as Hope Ann Greggory, a Bronze medal-winning gymnast that rose to fame and became a hero a la Kerry Strug.  However, years after her Olympic games, Hope lives at home with her dad and rifles through his mail truck and steals all the money sent to others for birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and graduations.  Her local celebrity status is challenged when a new up-and-coming gymnast from her very own town threatens to upstage her in America’s heart.  This is a dark, bitingly bitter comedy about what it is like when the sun no longer shines on you.   The sex scene is laugh out loud absurd and makes the movie worth seeing just for the acrobatics.   (Kim - Reader's Services)

On the Move: A Life

titleSacks, Oliver. On the Move: A Life. 2015. (B Sacks.O Sacks.O)

On the Move is a fitting title for the final memoir of neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, who passed away in August 2015, just months after its release. On the Move is a lively and occasionally melancholy recounting of Dr. Sacks’ life. Growing up the youngest of four sons born to Jewish doctors in England, he fell in love with motorcycling in his teens and developed an insatiable desire for travel and discovery. Having lived much of his adult life in the U.S., he describes how he haphazardly stumbled into a successful career as a neurologist and popular author of scientific neurology for the layman (e.g., The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat ; Awakenings). He also struggled with meaningful expressions of intimacy at a time when same-sex relations were considered criminal. Sacks’ human empathy and scientific curiosity shine through in On the Move, a movingly-written memoir by an imperfect, but often brilliant man and doctor. (Russ K., Ref.)


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

titleGaiman, Neil. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. 2013. (Fiction Gaima.N)

Did it happen? What did happen? Who was he then and who were the Hempstocks? What were the Hempstocks? What did happen? A middle-aged man returns to his hometown for a funeral. He is drawn to a house down the lane from where he lived as a young boy. He finds old Mrs.Hempstock still there. She doesn't look any different than when he was friends with her daughter but, of course, he was seven then so everyone looked old. Didn't they?

(Nancy E., North Branch)


You Are Not a Stranger Here

titleHaslett, Adam. You Are Not a Stranger Here. 2002. (Fiction Hasle.A)

Like in any sunlit walk, the shadows highlight the beauty of the day. In these eight stories, sadness and compassion intertwine, heightening the tension. Each character is trying for a connection despite mental illness or physical distress or emotional pain. Mania, depression, suicide of a loved one, loneliness afflict the individuals portrayed and yet they carry on, longing for peace. Beautiful and sad, these stories spiral around the reader.

 (Nancy E., North Branch)



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