Taste-of-Chicago

This weekend is the Taste of Chicago, where people can sample dozens of Chicago dishes from restaurants all around the city. If you love the city of Chicago and you love Chicago-style food even more, check out a few of our picks here to discover some of the secret recipes to why Chicago food tastes so good.

1.) Restaurants Chicago-Style: Recipes

2.) Polish Chicago: Our History, Our Recipes

3.) Secrets of Chicago Chefs Cookbook

4.) Chicago Cubs Cookbook: All-Star Recipes from Your Favorite Players

5.) Ethnic Chicago Cookbook

Check out more cookbooks and Chicago picks by visiting our online catalog at www.nileslibrary.org/catalog.

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Girl-on-Train-Review

As the HOT book right now I was hesitant to read this in the midst of the current fervor, but since I need to know what people are reading, I acquiesced. This is a solid thriller/mystery that lives up to and even surpasses the comparisons to the previous “flavor of the month” thriller, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

What I liked most about The Girl on the Train is the characters and their development. The novel is told mostly from the point-of-view of Rachel, an out-of-work alcoholic whose life has been spinning out of control since her and her ex-husband began having problems (they eventually divorced after he cheated on her). But there are other parts told by two minor characters, Anna and Megan, which gives a deeper insight into not only other characters, but other sides of Rachel. After Megan goes missing, we not only get Rachel’s side of the story, but we hear from Megan herself in chapters that flash back to the time before she vanished. And like Gone Girl, we are left wondering what happened to Megan, or if anything happened to her at all.

Hawkins does a fantastic job of setting the characters up. Rachel’s downward spiral is convincing and seemingly accurate. The ending, though, does lack some intensity (trying to give a thriller a satisfying end is not an easy task), but overall I feel this is a worthwhile read. Is it worth all of the hubbub it’s getting? Well, considering SOME of the books out there, anytime a well-written, entertaining book does well, it’s justified. And this one is both well-written and entertaining enough for any suspense reader.

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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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