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 Name of the Wind

titleRothfuss, Patrick. The Name of the Wind. 2007. (Science Fiction Rothf.P)

This is the answer to the question "What should I read after I finish the Harry Potter series?"! Adults and young adults alike will love this story of  the beginnings of heroic, fallible, sad, proud, orphaned Kvothe as he tries to succeed and support himself in the University where he studies magic while solving the mystery of his parents' murder. He has friends, he has enemies, he has adventures. And there is a sequel! The descriptive language draws you in to follow Kvothe's wild and exciting escapades.

(Nancy E., North Branch)



titleTóibín, Colm. Brooklyn. 2009. (Fiction Toibi.C)

A master of understatement tells the story of Eilis, a young Irish woman, who is herself so understated that she does not even think to protest when her mother and sister decide she should emigrate to the United States in the 1950's to find a better life. She risks ruining her chances by her mild acceptance of what is placed before her by stronger willed people like her priest, her landlady, her boyfriend. So innocent that she doesn't even know that her initial misery is due to homesickness, she is slow to learn that she can make choices for herself.

(Nancy E., North Branch)


Reeling through life : how I learned to live, love and die at the movies


Ison, Tara   Reeling through life : how I learned to live, love and die at the movies 2015 (B Ison.T)

How to review the perfectly written book? The language of the review can never adequately convey the power and beauty of the reviewee. Given my  mediocre literary skills, how can I convey to you, the reader, the absolute necessity, the urgent imperative to  absorb and savor and share Tara Ison's extraordinary essays, as you would prize chocolate truffles?

Read more: Reeling through life : how I learned to live, love and die at the movies


The Drowned Boy

titleFossum, Karin. The Drowned Boy. 2015. (Mystery Fossu.K)

Oh, goody! A new Karin Fossum mystery. And--it's one of her Inspector Sejer mysteries. Cool-headed Sejer and his charming junior, Skarre, are confronted with an apparently accidental drowning of a 16-month-old toddler. The young parents, Carmen and Nicolai, are distraught: she had just popped into the bathroom for a few minutes while the boy played on the living room rug. Nicolai was working in the basement. Tommy, who had just begun walking, must have found his way out the open front door and down to the pond at the edge of their yard. Negligence for sure, but still just a terrible, terrible accident. Or is it? First Skarre then Sejer have doubts. There's just something not quite right. Fossum spins out the investigation slowly, and over the next few months, we see the two parents grieve in very different ways. Carmen, so immature and self-centered--but could she have really murdered her own child?  And Nicolai, withdrawn, non-communicative--is it guilt or what? As usual, Fossum expertly sets us up for the delicious twist at the end.

(Barbara L., Reader's Services)




Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy


Fielding, Helen. Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. 2013. (Fiction Field.H)

I loved the first two of Helen Fielding’s books about Bridget Jones (Bridget Jones’ Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason). Bridget begins the series as a woman in her thirties looking for love and trying to establish herself in her career. Daily, she chronicles in her diary all the vital statistics of her day: her weight, the calories she’s eaten, the number of cigarettes she’s smoked, the number of alcohol units she’s partaken in. The books have gained sensational popularity for a couple of reasons. First, because they are so laugh out loud funny. And second, because the struggles Bridget goes through are so very real and identifiable to many women.

(SPOILER ALERT: Book one ends with Bridget falling in love with her old childhood acquaintance, Mark Darcy. In book two, Bridget and Mark go through some relationship turmoil, but still end up together.) And then comes book three. We find that Bridget and Mark got married and had two children. But-- here comes a MAJOR spoiler alert-- in this third installment, Bridget is on her own again. Mark Darcy, who worked as a human rights lawyer, is dead, killed five years previously in a landmine incident in Darfur. His death caused public outcry from loyal readers. And while it shocked me and saddened me, I was ready to roll with it. 

Read more: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy


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