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 Lunar Chronicles Series

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Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. 2012. YA Fiction Meyer.M

Meyer, Marissa. Scarlet. 2013. YA Fiction Meyer.M

Meyer, Marissa. Cress. 2014. YA Fiction Meyer.M

Meyer, Marissa. Winter. 2015. YA Fiction Meyer.M

I wouldn’t consider myself a science fiction/fantasy fan, per-say, although I have recently been drawn to a lot of the teen dystopian fiction that has become popular after the success of the Hunger Games books. The Lunar Chronicles is a fantastic series with wonderfully written characters and a richly developed futuristic world. And even though it is geared towards teens, the story is one that can be enjoyed by adult fantasy fans as well. Each of the four books is a loose take on a classic fairy tale: Cinder (Cinderella), Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel) and Winter (Snow White).

 

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Twisted Sisters

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Lancaster, Jen. Twisted Sisters. 2014. (Fiction Lanca.J)

I have found Jen Lancaster’s fiction hit or miss—I either really love it, or really hate it. TWISTED SISTERS is the only one that I started out hating and by the end, actually kind of enjoyed.  It took me a really long time to get into this book…. And I do mean REALLY LONG, as in I picked it up multiple times, began reading a bit, and then put it down for so long that I had to go back to the beginning because I didn’t really remember what had happened. A big part of the reason I just couldn’t seem to lose myself in the story is the main character, Reagan Bishop. I flat out didn’t like her. Reagan is a psychologist on the TV show, “I Need a Push”, one of the most popular programs on an Oprah OWN-like cable network.  And boy is she full of herself. Her holier than thou attitude is incredibly off-putting, especially in regards to the way she talks about her sisters and her family. When “I Need a Push” gets picked up by a national television network, the format gets changed and Reagan finds herself fighting for her job. Enter the talents of Deva, a new age healer, who devises an extremely unconventional and unprofessional way to help Reagan solve her problems… Far-fetched?  Yes.  Slow to the start? Yes. A hateful main character? Yes, at least at the beginning. By the end of the story, though, she was…. tolerable. There was some definite growth. And at times, it did make me smile, so for that I will say that it was worth the read. (Jeny, Reader’s Services)

   

Thirteen Ways of Looking

titleMcCann, Colum. Thirteen Ways of Looking. 2015. (Fiction Mccan.C)

I don't know if I can do justice to this amazing book. Violence permeates this novella and three stories, the violence of wanting, of loving, of powerlessness. Exquisite language sharpens the contrast between the simultaneous past, present and future. Writing and recognition are themes that carry throughout. The search for clues and explanations in the novella's murder mystery is compared to the writing of a poem; in the second story we watch a character come to life as the author finds her story; in the third, a translator with three languages has an adoptive deaf son with none. I don't want to tell you anything about the powerful fourth. Read this book!

(Nancy E., North Branch)

   

ANZAC Girls

titleANZAC Girls. 2014 (DVD TV Anzac)

In the long list of unsung women heroes doing their bit for the war effort, we now have ANZAC Girls, a nicely done, 6-episode drama following the WWI experiences of five young women sent to the battlefields of Gallipoli and France who faced horrific conditions and huge medical challenges. Based on memoirs, letters and their own oral accounts, these young women, highly trained nurses, also faced the disdain of many of the army doctors and the English nursing corps.

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The Great Lakes Water Wars

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Annin, Peter. The Great Lakes Water Wars. 2006. (333.9163 Annin.P)

(The unfolding debacle in Flint, Michigan has tragically put tap water in the national news. Michigan officials from the governor on down failed to safeguard the water supply, poisoning thousands of Flint residents. The impact will be long-term: one contaminant was lead, which damages the body over the course of years. Books about the Flint fiasco have yet to be written, but the central issue raised there--management of limited fresh water supplies--is explored in Peter Annin's prescient book. - JB)

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