all-this-talk

A strong, moving family drama set around an Italian-American family who has issues dealing with the outside world and with each other.

Spanning generations, the Grasso family has a lot going on amongst their own family, not to mention trying to get back to Italy for one last visit. The personalities of all of the family members are well-defined and strong in their own way and the way the characters interact with each other is timeless and is reminiscent of typical family relations. Each of the fully developed characters are realistic and engaging. Some family secrets that are hidden for years emerge and there is nothing phony or fake about the repercussions.

Not the best family drama story ever written, but a deeply-engaging story nonetheless.

The book is available for check out at the Niles Public Library!

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Tomboy-Review

As a young girl growing up in the 1980s-90s, cartoonist Liz Prince preferred wearing sneakers, a boys’ blazer and a baseball cap instead of wearing dresses. She role-played Ghostbusters with her guy friend Tyler, and played right field on her local little league team. This preference for “non-girly” things continued through her adolescence and is the subject of Tomboy, her new memoir for teens.

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bitterriver

Keller’s second mystery set in Acker’s Gap, West Virginia and featuring prosecutor Bell Elkins is ALMOST as strong as the first, A Killing in the Hills (2012).

I loved Keller’s first Elkins outing (it was one of the most compelling American mysteries I had read in a while), so I was very excited by the prospect of another harrowing suspense tale. Although it’s not as strong as the first, this story is still intense – a real page-turner. This time, just as Elkins is put in charge of prosecuting the case of a murdered teenager found in the river, two more devastating events happen in Acker’s Gap…a sniper shoots up the courthouse and there is an explosion at the popular diner in town. Elkins pursues the case in her usual persistent way, but this time, her life comes under threat and the case has issues hitting too close to home, literally.

The best part of this book, as it was with A Killing in the Hills, is the well-constructed plot, fully-realized characters and excellent, top-notch writing. Keller, a journalist by trade who earned a well-deserved Pulitzer Prize for her feature writing in the Chicago Tribune, has found a second trade: crime novelist. I cannot wait for the next Elkins book!

The book is available for check out at the Niles Public Library.

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five-memorial

I should start this review by expressing some bias on my part. I am personally connected to the events in this book since my uncle was one of the patients in Memorial during Katrina. Thankfully, he was one of the lucky ones who got out shortly after the flooding began. As I was reading this story, it was all the more captivating and heart-wrenching since I kept thinking what would have happened had my uncle not been as lucky.

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als-books

It was the splash heard ’round the town. Less than a week after partaking in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the Niles Public Library has inspired more people to participate in this worthy cause to raise awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), better known in the U.S. as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Ice Bucket Challenge

While the high level of participation in the challenge is great, many of the people pouring gallons of icy water over their heads don’t fully understand what ALS is or early warning signs of the neurological disease. So for those interested in learning more about ALS, here is a compiled list of some resources – both books and DVDs – that can be found at the Niles Public Library to provide a better understanding of it:

Until I Say Good-Bye

Tuesdays With Morrie

Luckiest Man

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roadtrip

If the increasing number of YA novels turned into movies is any indication, then Hollywood has suddenly remembered that teens (both male and female teens) go to the movies. Big shock, I know. This isn’t a  a post about movies, but about places in the movies (and the books they’re based on). Maybe we can’t go to fictional places like The Glade or Panem in real life (and really, who would want to?), but we can go to the real places that stand in for them. Here are a few literary/cinematic destinations, arranged by the time it would take to get there:

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book-recommend1

Emily Giffin’s new novel, The One & Only is her best in this reader’s opinion.

Shea has recently finished college in her hometown and works for the college press as a sportswriter. Her best friend’s father, affectionately called “Coach” is the college football coach and is recently widowed. He encourages Shea to aspire to something better and arranges for her to apply for a position at a city newspaper. Shea has recently split with her college boyfriend and after a brief relationship with a professional football player and then she begins to fall for Coach. The characters in this novel are well-developed and interesting. I like the language in this novel, particularly since I listened to the audio version. This is a compelling summer read.

The One & Only is available in book, audiobook, and Large Print formats.

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mourning-book

Looking for your next great read? I would highly recommend The Mourning Hours by Paula Treick DeBoard! It’s emotional, well-plotted, engaging, well-constructed and suspenseful without being a thriller. What more can you ask for from a good novel? And it’s a debut novel, at that!

Most of the story takes place 16-17 years before the epilogue, which is set in 2011. So, we head back to 1994 and there we meet Kirsten Hammarstrom, 10, and her family, all of whom live on a rural Wisconsin farm. Grandpa (dad’s father’s) lives in the smaller of the two houses on the farm and Aunt Julia living just down the road. An idyllic, tranquil, laid back life. Until 18-year-old brother Johnny falls for the wrong girl and then the wrong girl goes missing, with Johnny as the prime (and only) suspect.

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dad-books

Father’s Day is only a couple of days away.

Whether you’re a son or daughter wanting to buy your father a gift or you’re a father looking for a good read this weekend, we have a great list for you!

This list has a little bit of everything. Celebs writing about fatherhood. Check! A Guy Fieri cookbook. Check! How to become the coolest dad around. Check!

All the titles are linked back to our catalog for more information, availability, or to place a hold. Happy Father’s Day!

A Father First: How My Life Became Bigger Than Basketball by Dwyane Wade

Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg

Be the Coolest Dad on the Block: All of the Tricks, Games, Puzzles, and Jokes You Need to Impress your Kids (and Keep Them Entertained for Years to Come!) by Steve Caplin

Big Daddy’s Rules: Raising Daughters Is Tougher Than I Look by Steven R. Schirripa

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TFiOSblog

This may shock some people, but The Fault in Our Stars, a romantic drama based on a book by YA author John Green, actually drew more viewers its opening weekend than a big sci-fi action summer blockbuster starring Tom Cruise. If you read one of the 7 million copies of The Fault in Our Stars that have been sold so far, if you’ve passed it on to a friend or relative, if you’ve run screaming across a room to embrace someone who you’ve discovered has also just read the book, if you’ve followed the progress of TFiOS from book to screen worrying that the filmmakers might cast the wrong Hazel or cut your favorite line, then you will hardly be surprised.

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