Cuckoo-Review

Because of my inquisitive nature (I guess), I’m always suspicious of bestselling authors attempting to “try something new” under an alias. Romance novelist Nora Roberts writes crime as J.D. Robb. Really? Not making enough money as Nora Roberts? Did Stephen King really have to become Richard Bachman to prove his worth as an author?

Well, when the latest foray into this anonymous world hit book shelves, I was even more suspicious. This time, it was children’s scribe, Harry Potter inventor and millionaire extraordinaire J.K. Rowling writing crime fiction (adult crime fiction, no less) as Robert Galbraith. Rowling has recently (about a year before The Cuckoo’s Calling came out) made a splash in adult fiction with A Casual Vacancy, which was successful. So why use a pseudonym now? Why use a pseudonym at all? And why a male pseudonym?

As I was contemplating all of these questions, basically trying to come up with an excuse NOT to read this book, I started it. I like crime fiction and moderately enjoyed the writing style of Casual Vacancy (though the story there did not hold my interest), so I thought, what the heck?

And guess what? Surprise, surprise – I loved it. Rowling – I mean Galbraith – really shows off her writing chops with this highly engaging, thrilling tale of fashion and celebrities. Her main character, Cormoran Strike, is a character right out of the pages of Dashiell Hammett – hard-nosed, no-nonsense and crusty with a soft streak. Strike, just like Sam Spade, is a PI, but Strike is down-and-out…almost. He takes a case involving the suspicious death of a supermodel, and he not only sees a chance to revitalize his career, but also a chance to gain some high-profile (i.e. RICH) clients. But the case leads Strike places he never thought it would. A must read for crime fiction fans!

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9th annual Bloack Party: Before the football game against Georgetown, the 9th annual celebration of creativity features student art exhibitions, music, dance, interactive (free!) arts activities, and delicious food from local restaurants took place

Hey…so remember that Winter Block Party we had all planned out for you back in February that was then canceled due to that Super Bowl Sunday blizzard? Well we’re bringing it back. And this time, it’s going to be better (and warmer) than ever!

Join us here at the Library on Sunday, May 3 for our Spring Block Party! From 2 to 4 pm, you can discover “How to Plan a Niles Neighborhood Block Party” this summer while your family has fun creating crafts, enjoying refreshments, and more. You will also have the opportunity to meet with community organizations that can help you make your block party a memorable one. To register for this event, click here.

Get ready for your best summer yet!

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Homeschool-Group

The number of children in homeschooling has been steadily increasing nationwide, so it makes sense there would be a strong homeschool presence in Niles. That became all the more clear March 4 when 13 homeschooling mothers and their 22 student-children visited the Niles Public Library to learn about the full range of supportive resources it provides.

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TBR7

Guy in Real Life by Steve Brezenoff pays homage to the new networks that we (myself included) rely on for love: technology.

Brezenoff packs this modern dilemma into a cheeky, geeky story of RPG, LARPing and video game lexicons. I have very limited knowledge about video games, so I was skeptic at first but also curious. After all I am a reader; I take on stacks of books and move up level by level in lexile points.

Fortunately the story itself is not in full video game mode, but it has a few contextual key points that prove that it is in fact a geeky love story. The love story is interesting because it involves a hardcore metal fan, Lesh, and the game profile he creates, Svetlana, who he falls in love with. This is the moral dilemma about modern technology that Brezenoff introduces rather skillfully: Falling in love with a CHARACTER you created! Rather creepy, but in a world of ideal relationships and teenage awkwardness, Lesh’s actions are very relatable (from a teenager’s perspective).

After all, being in love during high school is very awkward and sometimes stressful for the couple and people around them. Brezenoff incorporates these types of teen issues, such as dealing with parents, friends and cliques (Gamer geeks versus metal fans?), in his book quite well. For that, I give Brezenoff a big thumbs-up for the full slice-of-life action, but the whole plot itself is pretty mediocre and similar to modern genres of books that I’ve been reading.

If you are a writer who constantly looks out for slice-of-life, geeky books (especially if you are a gamer of some sort), then this book might fit your criteria. From a reviewer’s perspective with no knowledge of video games whatsoever, I found this pleasing but bland. Brezenoff could have added more background info about the relationship and the clique structure of “gamer versus metal fans” so as to demonstrate the difficulty of their relationship due to their different outlooks. But it is a book that is meant to end well.

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14 Romance Movies Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day! For all the hopeless romantics out there, here at the Niles Library we’ve got the perfect selection of romance movies to tug at your heartstrings. So if you’ve got a special someone (or two named Ben & Jerry), grab one of these sweet flicks and fall in love with love all over again.

1) When Harry Met Sally (1989)

2) A Walk to Remember (2002)

3) The Notebook (2004)

4) The Princess Bride (1987)

5) Valentine’s Day (2010)

6) Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

7) 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

8) Legally Blonde (2001)

9) Titanic (1997)

10) Ghost (1990)

11) West Side Story (1961)

12) Pretty Woman (1990)

13) The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

14) An Affair to Remember (1957)

As usual, you can search through our entire DVD/Blu-ray collection at www.nileslibrary.org. Or if you’re technologically inclined, you can download up to ten of these heart-warmers using Hoopla, a new service that lets you instantly download movies, music, and more onto your mobile devices 24/7. All you need is your Niles Public Library card to register at hoopladigital.com/home. Have a happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine-Puppy-Dog
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TBR5

This movie is old by now, but it is the last significant movie that I’ve seen in a while. I’m super excited for Mockingjay, but that is besides the point.

If I Stay is a tearjerker, and you cannot label it as any less. All of my family members shed at least one tear, and that says a lot since my Polish, whiskey-drinking grandma came along to watch it with my aunt, sister, and me. If I had to put a label on it, I would say that this is a romance movie but I do not have to since this is my blog, and I am glad I do not have to because it was so much more than that.

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TBR6

The book that I am writing a review about is Panic by Lauren Oliver. It was on the list for the ALA Conference so I decided to give it a shot.

From a personal standpoint I would give this book a rating of 5/5. It was a very well written book and I absolutely loved it! I could not put the book down due to all of the action and suspense that kept going on. The characters were very well portrayed, and the ending was something completely different from what I expected it to be. It actually made me want to start reading it again!

It’s one of my favorite books now and I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to read it. I highly suggest that you go pick up a copy at the Library!

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20-Movies-Turning-20

This is going to be hard to believe, but as we begin the new year that means the heart of the 90s, 1995, was 20 years ago. Do you remember what you were doing that year? Were you surfing the web via AOL dial-up on your Windows 95 computer? Playing Rayman on your PlayStation? Or were you running to Blockbuster to rent the latest movie on VHS?

The cool thing is that all those movies you were popping into your VCR two decades ago can now be checked out here at the Niles Library on DVD and Blu-ray. A major perk to watching these hits now? You no longer have to be kind and rewind! So check out this list of 20 movies turning 20 in 2015, and get ready to be transported back to a time when Boy Meets World aired new episodes and people only used cell phones for making calls.

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