An excellent standalone thriller by Rankin, who really, I feel, ranks as one of the top thriller writers, in addition to being a top-notch mystery writer as well, of the Rebus detective series. Taking place mostly in California , but also moves to London and Scotland , the main character, Gordon, here is a former Special Forces soldier who’s brother has committed suicide. Once Gordon arrives in California to take his brother home to the UK , he finds out that, most likely, it was not suicide, but rather murder. Fast-paced and very well-written this one is a must for all thriller lovers and British mystery fans!

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Our Summer Reading Club begins Monday, June 7.  Register at the Fiction (lower level) or Reference  (2nd level) desks.

It’s really simple: just for tell us what you read over the summer by filling out a reading log.  You can read whatever you want. Get prizes when you sign up and turn in a log.

Everyone who completes at least one reading log will also be entered in a drawing in August for prizes including an Apple iPod Touch.

Come to our study hall between 5:00-9:00 on Monday to register and get free food!

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Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer manage to do it again in their latest book Wild Ride. With action, adventure, and quirky characters, the paranormal storyline take the reader on one heck of a trip.

Dreamland, an old amusement park in Ohio, needs some work. Mab has been working her butt off restoring the park to it’s former glory. Her goal is to have it shining for the Halloween celebrations. But it is a little strange that the owners and long time residents Gloria, Gus, and Delpha don’t want her working at night. And they are a bit anxious when she is working with the statues of the park mascots. Especially after FunFun the clown seems to run her over – or was that an illusion she had? Maybe she has been working too hard.

Gloria’s son Ethan returns from the military and gets shot at on the Dreamland grounds. Who is after the Dreamland residents? And what is up with the midnight roller coaster run? His mom keeps talking about demons. Ethan might just have to sober up to figure this all out. What do you mean he’s the new Hunter?

Using humor, and great plotting, Crusie and Mayer lead the reader down the path to figuring out just how paranormal this family park is. With twists and turns galore, it is indeed a roller coster of a ride. Great dialogue and lots of frothy fun! And it makes one want to visit Dreamland for real! A great read.
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April 22 is Earth Day!  Celebrate this Saturday by making treasure from trash.  Turn candy wrappers and pop tabs into chains that can be made into keychains, bracelets, even belts!

When: 2:00-4:00pm
Where: Board Room, 6960 Oakton St. Niles, IL

During April and May we’re also celebrating the classic novel The Maltese Falcon through our Big Read Program.  Pick up a free copy of the book or download the audio dramatization and attend one of our discussions! How does this book compare to crime fiction in books, TV and movies today?

Audio Discussion Monday, April 19
7:00-8:00pm in the Board Room

Book Discussion Saturday, April 24
12:30-1:30pm in the Board Room

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Entertaining book about high NYC society. The late Dunne (he passed away just after finishing this book) really captures the insiders view of society life perfectly, mostly because he was ONE OF THEM. So, the world he is writing about was really his own world. Silly in parts and the ending was too vague for me, mostly I enjoyed this romp through the lives of people I will never be allowed (or, for that matter, want to) socialize with.
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Another methodical, character-driven book by the Queen of Family-in-Crisis Novels, Anne Tyler. When I say that Tyler is the Queen of these types of books, it’s a compliment, not an insult. Just because she writes mostly about issues with families doesn’t mean she’s not one of the strongest writers still writing today in America. And this novel proves she is as good as ever! Her main character here, Liam, is a recently laid-off (AKA early retirement) school teacher who, according to him, is too young to retire but too old to be hired by another school. After losing his job, he gives up his larger home for a smaller apartment, and on his first night in the new place, he is attacked by an intruder. Sadly, after he wakes up in the hospital the next morning, he has NO memory of the attack. The last thing he remembers is going to bed. From that moment on, Tyler weaves Liam into a complex, yet simple, man who is trying to get his life, and memory, in order. A slow-moving, yet fascinating story unfolds…Liam’s story. And, Tyler, as usual, tells it with thoughtfulness and care.

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Three stories set in the present, the recent past and the late 1870’s intertwine in this novel by Elizabeth Kostova which captures the conflict between life and art. Obsession and its consequences form its core.

Robert Oliver, an artist, is sent to a mental health facility after attacking a painting in the National Gallery with a knife. Robert remains silent, spends hours pouring over old letters in French and draws sketch after sketch of a dark-haired women dressed in 19th centruy clothes. Andrew Marlow, his psychiatrist and a painter himself, becomes very involved, interviews both the former wife and lover of the painter, and travels to Paris, North Carolina and New York to solve the puzzle of his patient.

This is a long novel but I did not tire of the characters and long descriptive passages. The sections on painting techniques and the artists in France during the Impressionistic movement were fascinating. There are several tender love stories to capture the reader’s interest and move the novel to a satisfying conclusion.
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A very entertaining read, for Du Maurier lovers and others as well…those who just like a good story and some good mystery. Challis takes the future authoress and fictionally creates her as an amateur sleuth, all the while allowing her to use her sleuthing for material for her novels, mostly Rebecca. Set in Cornwall, England (Du Maurier’s home county in England), Challis sets up a Rebecca-esque story here with all the trimmings…money, a large manor house, an austere housekeeper, a mysterious young woman of a questionable background, and, of course, the sea in the background, its waves crashing against the cliffs. Daphne as a young pre-novelist sleuth is very appealing. She’s innocent, yet worldly. She’s careful, yet adventurous. Rebecca is one of my favorite books and I’m always skeptical when someone tries to “improvise” on already-near-perfect work. Here, I think Du Maurier herself would be proud.

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January is awards-season in the library world.  Earlier this week, librarians gathered in Boston to select award-winners in several categories for young adults.

They also selected an annual Best Books for Young Adults (BBYA) list, with input from teen readers.  Here are the top ten books from that list:

Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Orange Houses by Paul Griffin

The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks

Alligator Bayou by Donna Jo Napoli

Stitches: A Memoir by David Small

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally M. Walker

Visit the YALSA website to see the full BBYA list.

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Winner of the Man Booker prize, Wolf Hall, is a gem of a novel. The reader is positioned behind the eyes of Thomas Cromwell in the 1520’s as he battles for Henry VIII in his resolve to divorce Catherine and marry Anne Boleyn. The character Cromwell as drawn by Mantel is smart, witty, shows moments of kindness and humanity and is intuitive in the reading of the motivations of the nobility and the king. Born in humble and brutal circumstances to a blacksmith, his intelligence is self made and rises above everyone around him. Above all he is faithful servant first to Cardinal Wolsey and then Henry VIII.

What is most interesting is the portrayal of Sir Thomas More as the reversal of the sainted movie hero in A Man for all Seasons. . In the book he is flawed, nasty, narcissistic and a fanatical torturer of heretics. More is his rigidness to his idealistic spirituality contrasts with Cromwell’s worldly adaptation to the political environment of Tudor England.

Court politics abound along with the political conniving of Rome, the clerics, and the royalty of France and Spain. This is a lively emotional novel with Anne Boleyn, Catherine, Mary Tudor, and Jane Seymour starring in vivid roles.

In an NPR interview Hilary Mantel is questioned why she champions villains in her novel. If a historical figure has been given bad press armed with a sense of justice she is drawn into a re-examination of his life. She feels she does not have to redeem the character of Cromwell the facts will redeem him.

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