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.

Press Here

titleTullet, Hervé. Press Here. 2011. (JPicture Tulle.H)

Quick, find a young child, plop them down on your lap, and get ready to have a blast reading this fantastic picture book. Consisting of primary colored, painted dots and simple commands such as "press here" underneath a sole yellow dot, or "five taps on the red," the dots (and probably the child, too) become involved in an ever increasingly complex and silly choreography. In all honesty, I had a blast without a child on my lap, so I can only imagine how delightful this would be with one. Warning: my colleague reported that her 3-year old grandson, "laughed and laughed and laughed", and when they finished reading it, wanted it again right away (...and again...and again).

Barbara L., Reader's Services




Encyclopedia Paranoiaca

Beard, Henry. Encyclopedia Paranoiaca: The Indispensable Guide to Everyone and Everything You Should Be Afraid Of titleor Worried About. 2012. (817.54 Beard.H)

Name something. Anything. Dental floss? OK, dental floss. Supposedly a good thing, right? Well, Nervous Nellys and Expert Worriers take heart! According to this compendium of doom, dental flossing on a regular basis can subtract years from your life due to a carcinogenic coating used on most brands. Name something else and you can probably find it listed in this surprisingly cheery book. I say cheery because the authors, ably assisted  by the staff of the Cassandra Institute, have undertaken to warn us about everything from abdominal cramping to zygomycosis without losing their ample senses of humor. If you hale from a long line of worriers like I do, and wish to have a truly comprehensive list of things to fret about, this is a perfect selection for you.

Barbara L., Reader's Services


La Delicatesse


La Delicatesse. 2012. (DVD 791.4372 Delica)

The always charming Audrey Tautou stars in this small, offbeat 2012 film and once again proves to be an enchanting actress.  Here she plays Nathalie married to Francois-- the perfect couple, until tragedy strikes -- turning what could have been a typical girl-meets-boy, girl loses-boy scenario into something whimsical and unpredictable. As she tries to get her life back together, she forms a relationship with a most unlikely co-worker. Will a balding, socially insecure Swede and a beautiful Parisian find love? Put aside your skepticism and enjoy this delicate romance. Based on a book by David Foenkino. In French with English subtitles. (Laura, Reader's Services)


The One and Only Ivan


Applegate, Katherine. The One and Only Ivan. 2012. (J Apple.K)

A feat of understated poetry, an open expression of heart, and an effective imagination of animal consciousness, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is a funny, sweet, and profound book deserving of wide readership. The winner of the 2012 Newbery Award, Ivan is the story of a laid-back, adult silverback gorilla living in a filthy cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, a sad, circus-themed shopping center. He has little memory of life before the human world and wiles his time in his "domain" watching TV, drawing pictures with crayons (which sell for $35 framed in the gift shop), and, when annoyed or bored, throwing his poop at the ogling humans. When he befriends a confused baby elephant named Ruby who is brought to the mall to boost lagging foot traffic, he makes a vow to break her out and return her to the wild. But how to do it? With an aloof, acerbic dog named Bob by his side (a homeless squatter who likes to sleep on his belly), Ivan hatches a plan involving finger paint, a young girl, and a whole lot of paper, one that just might work.

Read more: The One and Only Ivan


Ancient LIght


Banville, John. Ancient Light. 2012. (Fiction Banvi.J)

Our memories may be fleeting and may shift and fade with time, but they still have a powerful hold on us. Nowhere is this more true than in the latest novel by Booker-prize winner John Banville where past and present are interwoven. Aging actor Alexander Cleave recalls the affair he had with his best friend's mother when he was 15 in vivid and poignant detail, while his current life revolves around a new acting job, his delicate leading lady, and painful memories of the unexplained death of his daughter. Although I preferred Banville's exploration of the past and have mixed feelings about the ending, his beautiful prose and poignant story have stayed with me. (Laura, Reader's Services)


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