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.

Every Love Story is a Ghost Story


Max, D.T. Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. 2012. (B Walla.D Max.D)

This is a warts-and-all life story, both admiring and unflinching, composed with the support of Wallace's widow. Biographer Max highlights his subject's talent and charm but does not gloss over his immaturity and self-destructiveness. (I'd have preferred fewer details of romantic misadventures, although they do shed light.) Wallace, a lover of words and ideas, was regarded by many as the leading literary voice of his generation. His sprawling novel Infinite Jest can be read either as a great critique of the hyperentertained and hypermedicated society, or as completely out of control--either way, as this biography makes clear, it's a reflection of Wallace himself.  (Jeff B., Reader's Services)


Some Girls

titleLauren, Jillian. Some Girls: My Life in a Harem. 2010. (306.742 Laure.J)

This is one of the most interesting and disturbing memoirs I’ve read.  Jillian Lauren starts out a normal girl in New York City, a college dropout, living hand to mouth in the early 90’s.  When she is offered $20,000 to go to Singapore to be a “professional” party girl for two weeks, how could she turn it down?  Jillian soon found herself among the ranks of the Sultan of Brunei’s younger brother’s harem.  With everything paid for, and the “work” sporadic, it seems like a dream come true.  Jillian describes how two weeks became two years quite easily and the true nature of women all vying for the attention of one prince.  It’s an incredibly interesting read and not nearly as salacious as the title would suggest; just the true story of a girl who got an incredible offer and took it.  (Kim - Reader's Services)


Hope Diamond

titleKurin, Richard. Hope Diamond:The Legendary History of a Cursed Gem. 2006. (736.23 Kurin.R)

I picked this book up in the gift shop of the Smithsonian as something to read on my flight back to Milwaukee.  To be fair, the Hope Diamond (and all things shiny for that matter), has always fascinated me, so I recognize this book might not appeal to everyone.  However, this book is absolutely amazing.  In the short flight (I think it’s 2 hours) I managed to finish this book and take a nap, though I am including airport waiting time as well.  It just grabs you.  Dr. Richard Kurin is the Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution and he knows his stuff.  The book starts with the discovery of the blue diamond in the mines of Golconda in India and travels through history asserting that it was part of the French Crown Jewels, the “French Blue,” before it was cut into three and the main piece made its way into the Hope Diamond.  Kurin also, of course, discusses the “curse.”  All in all, it’s just a great history of a very famous object.  (Kim - Reader's Services)


736.23 Kurin.R

Hope Diamond

The Legendary History of A Cursed Gem
- See more at:

Hope Diamond

The Legendary History of A Cursed Gem
- See more at: 2012. (Fiction Stedm.M)

Dog Boy

title Hornung, Eva. Dog Boy. 2010. (Fiction Hornu.E)

This book is not for the faint of heart.  Based on the true story of 4-year old Ivan Mishukov, who lived with a pack of wild dogs in Moscow for two years, surviving winters of -20 degrees with no heat or cooked food; the book follows 4-year old Romochka, who is abandoned by his mother and uncle during Russia's Perestroika.  Forced to fend for himself, Romochka follows a street dog and is welcomed into the fold as one of the pack.  This novel pulls no punches as to the gruesome and filthy conditions of life on (or in this case under) the streets.  It is dark and tragic and really makes you think when you realize that a child actually survived like this.  It also begs the questions: what does it mean to be human?  What does it mean to be a dog?  And what are the real differences between human and animal?  (Kim - Reader's Services)



The Light Between Oceans

titleStedman, M.L.. The Light Between Oceans. 2012. (Fiction Stedm.M)

I'm not generally a fan of fiction and this was an assigned book club book – but, wow, was it amazing.  It's the story of a childless couple in post WWI Australia that work a lighthouse.  One day a shipwrecked rowboat crashes ashore with a dead man and a live infant.  What happens from there is a series of decisions that change and impact the lives of the child, the couple, and an unknown mother on the mainland.  It is TRAGIC and HEART-WRENCHING, so if you're looking for a happy novel, this is not is – consider yourself warned.  It is beautifully written with full characters and no real villain.  There are no bad guys in this story which, in a way, makes it harder to read.  These people are a victim of circumstance, nothing more.  But it goes further and makes you ask the question: what would you have done?  (Kim - Reader's Services)




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