From the Reference Desk

From the Reference Desk

Occasionally one of our counterparts in non-fiction will come across a fiction book they can’t wait to tell everyone about.  This happened recently, and we decided to start a new series of blog posts.  Please enjoy this collaboration…

lauren reviews

Jacket

The back cover promises a heroine possessed of strong opinions and intelligence, as well as a hero who needs to work to win her over, and for once it wasn’t exaggerating. Though they share a past together (presumably mentioned in another book), and the hero is no slouch himself in intellectual matters, they start off the book on the wrong foot. Seeing them gain a deeper appreciation of each other is the main attraction here, though the hero’s dog is definitely a major player.
Note that the heroine is involved in providing a safe place for street children and suffers from some trauma due to one of them ensuring she could not interfere with the murder of the nightmare figure who abused a number of them. The living antagonist in the story is also a man to whom others are there to be used, and he does attempt to kidnap and rape the heroine in revenge for the hero and heroine making sure he could no longer easily cheat at cards and fleece people of substantial sums. She manages to successfully fight back and humiliate the villain, so it is ultimately a triumph, but not something all readers are able to read.

Jacket (1)

Available through MyMediaMall, this set of three novellas linked by a shared beginning and ending offer a lighter romance overall than Ashford’s most recent book. All three of the sisters are tossed into situations rife with potential problems and instead find comfortable, pampered lives for two of them – and even the middle sister’s theoretically disastrous heartbreak and departure from her job is salvaged by the loving interference of her sisters and their unlikely fairy godmothers (no magic, here – just wealthy, kindhearted women who use their privilege to do good). Some readers may find the final hero’s exasperated comment to his fiancee to cross a line of ungentlemanly behavior; others may be fine.

Jacket (2)

Technically a juvenile book (you’ll find it in our Youth Department), this Newberry winner is nevertheless an excellent crossover read for those who enjoy fairy tales, villains who get their comeuppances, and happy endings. There’s plenty of magic and foreboding, along with multiple points of view, but kindness and caring win the day in the end against a most insidious and selfish evil-doer.
Displays

Let’s Plan a Totally Tiki Weekend!

Discover the many ways you can benefit from the Rolling Meadows Library collection with our Let’s Plan a Weekend displays at the Welcome Desk!

We are having small, themed raffles in conjunction with these displays that patrons can enter to win!   Each display also includes bookmarks to take home on how to create your own unique, themed experiences with library materials, which are also on display.  Raffle winners do need to have a Rolling Meadows library card, but everyone can check out the materials or take home a bookmark!

The display which has just ended was “Let’s Plan a ‘Wise Guys’ Weekend!”  Patrons entered to win two different packs of prizes, one themed around the HBO show The Sopranos, and one themed more generally around the mystery and fascination surrounding the mob.  This concluded our Summer Reading Program tie-in raffles, which were a great success!
Our winners for these prize packs were Lora S. and Jerelyn K., out of a total out 132 entries!

Our current display is “Let’s Plan a Totally Tiki Weekend!” It has a pack of prizes to win themed around the vintage trend of getting together and celebrating the Pacific Islands through tiki parties and decor.

Questions?  Call the library @ 847.259.6050 or stop by the Welcome Desk!

8-08 Totally Tiki

 

Book Club

After Dinner Mints – The Dish on Just Desserts – July 2017

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Just Desserts Discussion Group talks about
All the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

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This month’s fiction book is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. What a book! What a story! It took the author ten years to research and finish this novel.

Our novel tells the story of Marie-Laure of France and Werner of Germany. Both young people are coming of age during World War II.

The chapters of the book alternate between Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s stories.

The author explores their childhoods before the war. Next, he follows them to new homes at the onset of war. We get to witness how each young person joins the war effort in their own way. The two teens meet during the bombing of Saint-Malo. I don’t want to give away too much of the story except to say that it is riveting. The reader really grows to care about the characters and is really invested in their outcomes.

We get to learn about radios and the big part that they played in communication before, during and after the war.

The novel’s heart is all about doing the right thing. Not necessarily the easy thing, but the right thing! We all can do this! We can treat other people well and with respect. The novel is filled with heroes trying to do good while surrounded with so much evil.

Anthony Doerr won the Pulitzer Prize for this novel. Many book club members thought that this was the best book that we read this year.

All the Light We Cannot See

concert review

Concert Review – Andrew Bird at Ravinia

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Last night this writer had the privilege of going to Ravinia for the first time and seeing an evening concert with Mucca Pazza, Esperanza Spalding, and headliner Andrew Bird.

MuccaPazza_PressPicbyC.B.Lindsay
Photo Credit: the artist

Mucca Pazza is a local Chicago act that is best described as a rock and roll band in a marching band’s body.  The 30 plus members include traditional marching band instruments such as brass and woodwinds, but there are also strings and accordions.  They are an interactive experience, and get the toes tapping.

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Photo Credit: the artist

Esperanza Spalding, winner of four Grammy awards including Best New Artist in 2011, is a jazz powerhouse.  A skilled multi-instrumentalist, she generally alternates between double bass and electric bass in her performances.  She debuted a song cycle of intriguing new material in her performance at Ravinia.

Rolling Meadows currently owns two of her albums, click the photos below to find our catalog record for each!

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Photo Credit: Reuben Cox/NPR

Andrew Bird is a Chicagoland native and graduate of Northwestern University who has been performing his unique brand of violin-driven folk rock since 2003 as a solo artist.  In the late nineties he was featured on three Squirrel Nut Zippers albums, and performed with the band Andrew Bird’s Bowl of Fire.  He is an expert whistler, which features in his work, and he wrote and performed “The Whistling Caruso” for the 2011 film The Muppets.

His live show was extremely engaging, with a good mix of older and newer material.  Most of the songs were his original material, with one cover of the Handsome Family‘s “My Sister’s Little Hands”, and an encore with Esperanza Spalding of a Duke Ellington piece.  As a fan of his for a while, this writer appreciated the inclusion of a few of his “classics.”

Rolling Meadows currently owns two of his albums, click the photos below to find our catalog record for each!

Armchair_Apocrypha_(Front_Cover)Break_It_Yourself_(Front_Cover)

It was a very enjoyable evening on Ravinia’s lawn for all.  Rolling Meadows Library has Ravinia ticket giveaways every year, generally at the beginning of the summer.  The venue hosts concerts like this one of popular music, as well as performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, other classical ensembles, and master classes.  It is an outdoor venue, so come prepared, rain or shine!

Displays, RA Programs

Let’s Plan a “Wise Guys” Weekend!

Discover the many ways you can benefit from the Rolling Meadows Library collection with our Let’s Plan a Weekend displays at the Welcome Desk!

We are having small, themed raffles in conjunction with these displays that patrons can enter to win!   Each display also includes bookmarks to take home on how to create your own unique, themed experiences with library materials, which are also on display.  Raffle winners do need to have a Rolling Meadows library card, but everyone can check out the materials or take home a bookmark!

The display which has just ended was “Let’s Plan a 007 Weekend!”  Patrons entered to win a James Bond themed mega pack of prizes, which included Bond movies, spy gear, and more.  This pack continued in our Summer Reading Program theme of “Get a Clue…at the Library!”
Our winners for this prize pack was Linda L., out of a total out 164 entries!

Our current display is also linked to our annual Summer Reading Program! “Let’s Plan a ‘Wise Guys’ Weekend!” has two different packs of prizes to win, one themed around the HBO show The Sopranos, and one themed more generally around the mystery and fascination surrounding the mob.

Questions?  Call the library @ 847.259.6050 or stop by the Welcome Desk!

7-10 Wise Guys

Displays, RA Programs

Let’s Plan a 007 Weekend!

Discover the many ways you can benefit from the Rolling Meadows Library collection with our Let’s Plan a Weekend displays at the Welcome Desk!

We are having small, themed raffles in conjunction with these displays that patrons can enter to win!   Each display also includes bookmarks to take home on how to create your own unique, themed experiences with library materials, which are also on display.  Raffle winners do need to have a Rolling Meadows library card, but everyone can check out the materials or take home a bookmark!

The display which has just ended was “Let’s Plan a Murder Mystery Weekend!”  Patrons entered to win one of two different mystery-related prize packs.  All the materials in the packs were related to our Summer Reading Program theme of “Get a Clue…at the Library!” with books, music and movies.
Our winners for these prize packs were Russell J. and Erin B., out of a total out 142 entries!

Our current display is also linked to our annual Summer Reading Program! “Let’s Plan a 007 Weekend!” has a James Bond themed mega pack of prizes, including Bond movies, spy gear, and more!

Questions?  Call the library @ 847.259.6050 or stop by the Welcome Desk!

6-26 James Bond

Book Club

The After Party – Morning Book Break – June 2017

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Morning Book Break Book Discussion on
Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon

Rating: The novel received ratings between 1.0 and 5.0. The average of the ratings was 3.89. Three members gave the book a 5+.  The novel was well received and it was a perfectly positive fit for our last discussion of the season.

Review:
Most members found the depth of historical information presented to be remarkable. Several members commented on the difficulty of keeping the characters straight. Several members loved the book and found the novel to be cleverly constructed and they praised the author for her ability to weave a mystery out of historical facts. The overwhelming presentation of red herrings led to the plausibility of the mystery. Some members were initially excited to read about the Hindenburg, only later to be disappointed as they were unable to connect with the numerous characters. Several members found the writing to choppy and uneven, while others found Lawhon’s writing to beautifully descriptive. One member thought the novel was melodramatic and rang of Titanic themes.  Finally, all members felt better informed about the Hindenburg and its destruction.  Members raved about the discussion and enjoyed the diverse opinions.

Discussion Highlights:

  • Conversation about the structure of the novel and the ability of the author to create suspense even though the outcome is known.
  • Members appreciate the character headings at the beginning of each segment as it was difficult to track all of the characters.
  • Members marveled at the historical accurate details about the Hindenburg and members were impressed as to how the author incorporated this minutia of detail into the novel.
  • Members enjoyed hearing about the state rooms, bathrooms, service rooms, smoking room, observation desk, and the meals and cocktails served.  One member remarked about how she was hungry after reading about the delicious fine meals. The Hindenburg was truly a luxury liner! Members spoke about Emilie’s role as the only female crewmember onboard the ship and her responsibilities to the passengers.
  • The group discussed the differences between air travel at the time and air travel today.  Obviously, there is a great contrast and members shared amusing stories about their air travels.
  • The group talked about which characters they found most sympathetic.  Overall, the group had great sympathy for Werner, the fourteen year old cabin boy. Additionally, they were sympathetic to Emilie’s plight. No one in the group had any sympathy for “The American.”  The facilitator gave four reasons to sympathize with “The American,” and still no one felt his actions to be justified.
  • The facilitator briefly explained the current theories regarding the explosion of the Hindenburg and all the members thought Ariel Lawhon did a marvelous job of addressing and including each theory as a possibility.
  • The facilitator asked if anyone would like to travel on a modern airship, the group resoundingly stated, “NO!”

Resources:

For other books and audiobooks by Ariel Lawhon , please click here.

http://facesofthehindenburg.blogspot.com/

http://www.airships.net/hindenburg/

Read-a-Likes:

Flight of Dreams

 

Morning Book Break 2016-2017 Season Wrap-Up:

Members praised the facilitator for providing a fine selection of diverse books this season.  Members thoroughly enjoy attending discussion days.  The least favorite reads of the season were: In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences, Modern Romance, and My Name is Lucy Barton. The overwhelming favorites for this season were: The Nightingale, The Marriage of Opposites, and Flight of Dreams.  Voted most important read of the season was Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.

Members are sorry to see the season come to a close and they can’t wait until September for the first discussion of the 2017-2018 Season.  If you’re interesting in attending, stop by the Readers’ Advisory Desk for the 2017-2018 Flyer, which will be available in mid-July, and sign-up with a Readers’ Advisor. If you’re already signed up, keep an eye out on the blog page for September’s title!

Book Club

The After Party – Books and Bagels – June 2017

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Books and Bagels Book Discussion on
Georgia by Dawn Tripp

Rating: In Books and Bagels, the novel received ratings between 2.5 and 5.0. The average of the ratings was 4.09. Two members gave the book a 5.  The novel was a terrific ending to the 2016-2017 Season.

Review:
The author, Dawn Tripp, in an interview with Caroline Leavitt, discussed what drove her to write a novel about Georgia O’Keeffe.  Growing up Dawn Tripp had admired O’Keeffe’s art, but after visiting an exhibit of her abstractions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Dawn desired to know about this radical American artist. Dawn Tripp asked herself the following questions: “Who was the woman, the artist, who made these shapes?  What did she think, feel, and want? What was happening in her life? And why hadn’t I seen the full range and power of her abstract work before? Why wasn’t she known for this?” Dawn Tripp kept thinking: “Here is a woman most people know of, yet at some level barely know at all.”  During the discussion, group members talked about how we all knew of Georgia O’Keeffe’s art, but knew little about her as a person.  All members agreed that Dawn Tripp meticulously addressed all of the above inquires and we all felt we had a better understanding of Georgia O’Keeffe and her art.  We all believe Dawn Tripp drew a lovely picture of Georgia and the passion that drove her art.

Discussion Highlights:

  • The book reveals the passionate love affair and marriage of the young, intelligent, fiercely independent Georgia and the father of modern photography, Alfred Stieglitz.  The novel mainly focuses on the years that Alfred and Georgia were together.   Many members were aware of the photography of Alfred Stieglitz; they did not know about his affair with Georgia and his influence on her art and world recognition. We discussed where Georgia would be as an artist without Alfred to guide her. We also discussed the passionate affair and love scenes displayed throughout the novel.  Most members thought this portrayal assisted in understanding what drove these artists. Some members believed that the love scenes distracted from the rest of the engrossing historical novel.
  • Georgia’s struggle to balance her work with her ongoing relationship with Arthur Stieglitz and the dynamics of the complex relationship.  We discuss what Georgia would have achieved without Stieglitz assistance and marketing/branding.  We discussed at length the artistic photos Arthur Stieglitz took of the young Georgia and what these photos meant to Alfred and Georgia and how their exhibition influenced her work.
  • Conversation about the challenges Georgia, a groundbreaking artist, faces in a world dominated by men.  Discussion centered on gender dynamics.
  • The sacrifices Georgia makes to become a legendary artist.  The passions needed to pursue this type of life.
  • We discussed our favorite paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe.
  • We all thought Dawn Tripp used beautiful descriptive language. We thought the novel was well-written, well-edited, and poetic.

Resources:

For books in our collections about Georgia O’Keeffe, please click here.

Georgia O’Keeffe a Life in Art from Georgia O’Keeffe Museum on Vimeo.

https://www.okeeffemuseum.org/

Read-a-Likes:

Georgia

Books and Bagels 2016-2017 Season Wrap-Up:
Members thoroughly enjoy book discussion days and look forward to attending each month. The least favorite reads of the season were: Modern Romance and Did You Ever Have a Family. The overwhelming favorites for this season were: The Nightingale and Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.

Members are sorry to see the season come to an end and they can’t wait until September for the first discussion of the 2017-2018 Season.  If you’re interesting in attending, stop by the Readers’ Advisory Desk for the 2017-2018 Flyer available in mid-July, and sign-up with a Readers’ Advisor.  If you’re already signed up, keep an eye out on the blog page for September’s title!

RA Programs

Summer Reading has Begun!

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Our annual Summer Reading Program began on Monday, June 12th.  Come on in and sign up for our mystery themed extravaganza!

For Adults, each book read gives you an entry to win prize packs, candy, small themed gifts, and other neat prizes!  There are also quizzes that can be filled out for a chance to win end-of-summer gift cards to local restaurants and online stores.  When you sign up, you’ll receive a goody bag with the quizzes, a booklist, and other small favors to get you started.  In the goody bag is also a card for this blog!  Become a blog subscriber via email and be entered to win a special “Inspector Mallard” prize pack!

For Teens, each book read, movie watched, or CD listened to counts toward your chances to win the prizes listed above!  You also have a quiz in your goody bag that can be filled out for a chance to win end-of-summer gift cards to places like Gamestop, iTunes, and local restaurants.

While construction is still going on, please stop by the Reader’s Advisory desk in the East Wing to sign up and receive your goody bag and free first prize entry slip!

Any Questions?  Please call the library @ 847.259.6050 and ask for Reader’s Advisory, or comment on any of our blog posts!

Displays, RA Programs

Let’s Plan a Murder Mystery Weekend!

Discover the many ways you can benefit from the Rolling Meadows Library collection with our Let’s Plan a Weekend displays at the Welcome Desk!

We are having small, themed raffles in conjunction with these displays that patrons can enter to win!   Each display also includes bookmarks to take home on how to create your own unique, themed experiences with library materials, which are also on display.  Raffle winners do need to have a Rolling Meadows library card, but everyone can check out the materials or take home a bookmark!

The display which has just ended was “Let’s Plan a Beach Party Weekend!”  Patrons entered to win a prize pack of books, movies, music, and other materials for beginning of summer festivities! Our winner for this prize pack was Glenda D., out of a total of 77 entries.

Our current display is linked to the beginning of our annual Summer Reading Program! “Let’s Plan a Murder Mystery Weekend!” has two different mystery-related prize packs that can be won.  All the materials in the packs are related to our Summer Reading Program theme of “Get a Clue…at the Library!”

Questions?  Call the library @ 847.259.6050 or stop by the Welcome Desk!

6-12 Murder Mystery