reader's advisory

We Are Open!

Rolling Meadows Library has reopened to the public as of today, June 1st.
Below please read a letter from our Director, Dave Ruff, as to the current situation.

The Rolling Meadows Library will re-open on Monday, June 1 with the following hours:

Monday   9am – 3pm
Tuesday   2pm – 8pm
Wednesday  9am – 3pm
Thursday   2pm – 8pm
Friday     9am – 3pm
Saturday    9am – 3pm
Sunday   CLOSED

This gives our patrons some morning, some evening, and some weekend hours.  For the time being, we will be running the Library like a grocery store in that there will be no in-house programming, no in-house meetings, no vending machines, no water fountains, and no seating.  Using the grocery store model, the collection will be available to patrons to come in, get what they need, but not linger – for now.  We do hope to get back to lingering very soon! 

There will be very limited computer availability (six in Reference and four in Youth Services) and time-limits will be in place so everyone can share.

All circulation materials will be quarantined for three days as per CDC guidelines before being re-shelved.  Circulation has a really nifty “almost no-touch check-out procedure” – you’ll love it!  Because they are consumed in the Library and often passed directly to the next patron, print magazines and newspapers will not be available.  Instead, we will supply magazines and newspapers in e-format only.  We will expand our hours and re-integrate the seating and other services as health and safety restrictions are eased by the State.

Staff and patrons will be wearing masks as per the Governor’s proclamation; therefore, we won’t see each other’s smiles, but know that they are there – we’ve missed you!  What you will see are lots of sneeze guards at the desks, and aisle markers & floor decals to remind us to maintain the six-foot social distancing.  You’ll also see staff continuously moving through the building to clean surfaces, doorknobs, keyboards, etc.

We have added a significant number of e-materials in all categories and made our West Parking Lot into a Wi-Fi hotspot for patron use.  We have also signed contracts to begin streaming some our concerts and other programming.  We are implementing a new service to provide e-summer reading programs for children and adults.

We’ll provide more updates as circumstances change.  For now, just know that we are eager open our doors to our patrons.  WE’RE BACK & WE’VE MISSED YOU!

David Ruff
Director
Rolling Meadows Library

Book Club, reader's advisory

The After Party – Morning Book Break and Books and Bagels – March 2020

Morning Book Break and Books and Bagels Book Discussion Groups on
Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of An Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry

Ratings:
The Books and Bagels Book Discussion Group members rated the book with a range between a 4.5 and 5.0.  Additionally, one member gave the book a 3.5. The average of the ratings was 4.73.  One member said, “I don’t see how you can give the book anything but a 5.00.”

The Morning Book Break Book Discussion Group rated the book between a 3.0 and 4.50. Additionally, two members gave the book a minus 1.0 and another member rated the book at 1.0. The average of the ratings was 3.80.

Review:

Discussion Highlights:
Members overwhelmingly enjoyed this book, and thanked the facilitator for this selection.  They were grateful to read material that made them laugh. Discussion usually ends around 11:15 a.m. but, most members stayed past noon to discuss the most important theme of the book—our pets and the joys they bring into our lives.  Members shared photos of their beloved pets.  It was an upbeat feel good discussion!

Positive Comments:
Many members had read Dave Barry’s work before and they were happy to discuss his writing style and humor.  The clubs spent some time answering the question, “How would you define a sense of humor?” Members have already recommended this book to others and will continue to do so.  One member is recommending the book to friends to help them lighten their load. Two members said their husbands heard them laughing and they inquired as to what they were reading.  Both husbands said, “May I have the book to read when you are done?”

All the members agree we need more humor in our lives.  Members agree that laughter is such a good tonic for our souls.  Almost all the members laughed throughout the book.  One member said she laughed on every single page. 

Members enjoyed this fast, easy read.  They thought Dave Barry provided excellent descriptions.   Most agreed his stories were hilarious.  

Some members without pets thought they learned a lot about the joys of pet ownership in this book. The group discussed all the lessons and attributes we can learn from pets such as: loyalty, unconditional love, comforting others, etc.  One member said her cat taught her patience and to keep it simple.  She stated that human nature always seems to complicate things, but that is not necessary.  Animals teach us to keep things simple.

One member thought the last chapter did not fit, but on later reflection, decided that the last chapter actually includes all the lessons from the previous chapters.

Everyone agreed the life lessons contained are important, but hard to maintain.  One member thought the theme of the book was to not be so judgmental.  One member stated that she did not read the book for the life lessons; rather she appreciated the book for its humor.  One member said every chapter taught her about love.

Several members agreed that Dave Barry’s work is not worthy of the next Pulitzer Prize, but his work is a valuable and important part of our ethos—and we need more of his humor in our lives.  Members who have read Dave Barry for decades are sad that he is aging and wonder if someone else can take his mantle.

Negative Comments:
(Spoiler Alerts)
The ending shocked members and some did not think this chapter fit well with the rest of the book.  Members felt the book was so uplifting until the end, which disappointed some members.  Several members skipped the last chapter because they did not know what was ahead and they wanted to leave the book on a high note.  One member was relieved to hear at club that Lucy did not die in the last chapter. 

One member thought Dave Barry’s best work is as a columnist.

Three members did not care for Dave Barry’s humor.  They did not find him funny. 

One member thought the premise of learning things from Lucy was a cute idea, but this book has already been written, multiple times.

Resources:

For books and audiobooks in our collection by Dave Barry, please click here.

You can visit Dave Barry’s website here.

Dave Barry did an excellent job of explaining the activities he participates in for fun during the book, but if you wanted a visual of these activities, please check-out the videos below:

The World Famous Lawn Rangers in Amazing Arcola:

The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Stephen King,
Dave Barry, and The Rock Bottom Remainders
(The band is introduced and begins playing at 34:00):

Rafael Pi Roman interviews Dave Barry about his book Lessons From Lucy
(included in interview are adorable photos and footage of Lucy):

reader's advisory

Library Closed

Rolling Meadows Library is currently closed to the public, and programming and meetings have been cancelled indefinitely.

In the wake of COVID-19, please stay home and stay well. Items that are checked out can be kept out until the closure ends, without penalties or fines. Please use the library app or any of our digital resources, including this blog, during this time.

Displays, reader's advisory

St. Patrick’s Day Displays – March 2020

‘Tis the time in the month o’March when
We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! And…

The Rolling Meadows Library was visited
by Lucky the Leprechaun.

He said to tell you he had to run, and
He’s sorry he missed you, but
Hopes he made your day more fun!

He went out of his way
To choose items about this special place,
His home o’Ireland.
It’s green, an island, and has lots of space!

So now, stop by soon to see
What he left us to find…
Rolling Meadows Library will bring you glee,
Many things: some new, some old to enrich your mind.

It can always be told that
A good book is better than GOLD!

Displays, reader's advisory

Check Out Our Displays! – March 2020

Honoring Women’s History Month (also on display in Audio Fiction)

Welcome Spring!

“Music is the Universal Language of Mankind” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(also on display in CDs)

reader's advisory

New DVDs – March 2020

The following films have been added to our collection during the month of March.
MPAA ratings follow each title in parentheses, with (NR) denoting the film is not rated.  If a language other than English follows the film title, the film will be in that language with optional English subtitles.

Bombshell (R)
Charlie’s Angels (2019)(PG-13)
Chernobyl (TV-MA)
Dark Waters (PG-13)
Jojo Rabbit (PG-13)
Knives Out (PG-13)
Midway (PG-13)

Updated 3/12/20

Displays, reader's advisory

Enter to Win a Family Fun Gift Pack!

As we here at Rolling Meadows Library
prepare to celebrate
Dr. Seuss’ Birthday next weekend,
we’d invite you in for a treat.

Whether you come every day,
every fortnight,
or only for a special occasion,
this is the month you can’t beat!

So come in soon and stop by
at the Welcome Desk to check out
all the Dr. Seuss inspired books
in a big, enormous stack.

And while you’re looking around
at our marvelous handiwork,
enter yourself to win
a Family Fun Gift Pack!

As Dr. Seuss has said, 
“If you never did, you should. 
These things are fun
and fun is good.”

Hurry, hurry, hurry and don’t be late, the fun ends March 9, 2020!

Book Club, reader's advisory

The After Party – Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break – February 2020

Morning Book Break and Books and Bagels Book Discussion Groups on
Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Ratings:
The Books and Bagels Book Discussion Group members rated the book with a range between a 2.5 and 4.5.  Additionally, one member gave the book a 2.0. The average of the ratings was 3.25.

The Morning Book Break Book Discussion Group rated the book between a 2.5 and 5.0. The average of the ratings was 3.99.

Review:
The facilitator told the members that the author has several degrees which assisted her in writing historical fiction.  Chanel Cleeton has degrees in International Relations, Global Politics, and a Juris Doctor. In addition, Cleeton grew up in Miami, Florida.  She is a second generation Cuban-American who learned to speak Spanish before she spoke English.  Since childhood, she heard stories about Cuba.  She participated in the Cuban traditions and frequently ate Cuban food.

Discussion Highlights:
This novel created a lively discussion.  The facilitator did not have to ask many questions. The discussion covered the following themes; hope and exile, family expectations, and sacrifice.  The discussion included talking about the similarities and differences between Elisa & Marisol and Pablo & Luis.  We discussed the parallels between life in modern Cuba and life in pre-revolutionary Cuba. We discussed the attraction between Elisa & Pablo and Marisol & Luis.  We discussed whether or not Elisa and Pablo’s love was fueled by the urgency of the times.

One member had recently travelled to Cuba and shared photos of her journey.  She shared her impressions of modern Cuba.  The group thanked her for sharing!

Positive Comments:
Members loved the author’s descriptions of the Cuban landscape and architecture. The facilitator told the members that Reese Witherspoon selected this novel for her book club, Hello Sunshine.  Reese Witherspoon said she felt she took a vacation when she read this book.  Many members enjoyed both the historical fiction portions and the romance portions of the novel.

Members enjoyed the heavily researched part of the book.  Many members learned a lot about Cuba in 1958-59 and present day Cuba. 

One member submitted a character list prior to the groups reading the novel and everyone was thankful for the list.  A few members were very interested in what would happen next to several minor characters.  They wished the author included this information, but understood the book would have been too long and too tidy.  One member thought the author did a great job defining the characters considering the plethora of them.

Three members enjoyed Next Year in Havana so much; they read Cleeton’s next novel, When We Left Cuba. These three members enjoyed this second novel. This novel features Beatriz Perez, a character introduced in Next Year in Havana.  Most members do not plan on recommending this novel to others and they will not be reading When We Left Cuba.

Members enjoyed the storyline and found it a painless way to learn about Cuban history. 

The facilitator thought the author was insightful in the way she created the revolutionary character using a nuance approach.

Negative Comments:
Several members thought the author included too many characters. Members found the plot very contrived, but understand this is a fictional novel and the author worked on creating a connection between the characters from both time-lines.  Several members stated they did not like the romance part of the novels.  The facilitator told the members that the author started as a romance writer and evolved her writing to include history and politics.  The author has said that she will probably always include romance in her books, as romance is very much a part of life.

Regarding the historical elements of the novel, several members thought Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire did a better job of conveying life in Cuba under Fidel Castro.  However, Waiting for Snow in Havana is a nonfiction book and therefore is probably more obligated to be accurate.  Members agreed that Next Year in Havana covered a larger timeframe.

Facilitator’s Favorite Quote:
“You never know what’s to come.  That’s the beauty of life.  If everything happened the way we wished, the way we planned, we’d miss out on the best parts, the unexpected pleasures.”—Chanel Cleeton

Resources:
For books and audiobooks in our collection by Chanel Cleeton, please click here.

Visit Chanel Cleeton’s website.

Chanel Cleeton talks about her heritage and Next Year in Havana:

A photographic tour of Old Havana in Cuba in 2018:

Read-a-Likes: 

Displays, reader's advisory

Check Out Our Displays! – February 2020

The Secret Ingredient Is Always Love – Romances and Other Books about Baking

African-American History Month (also on display in Audio Fiction)

Celebrate Mardi Gras! – Books and Music honoring this New Orleans tradition

Book Club, reader's advisory

The After Party – Morning Book Break and Books and Bagels – January 2020

Books and Bagels and Morning Book Break Book Discussion Groups on
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Ratings:
The Books and Bagels Book Discussion Group members rated the book with a range between a 2.0 and 4.5.  Additionally, one member gave the book a 0.5 and another member rated the book at 5.0. The average of the ratings was 3.16.  

The Morning Book Break Book Discussion Group rated the book between a 0.5 and 4.0. Additionally, one member gave the book a zero and another member rated the book at 5.0. The average of the ratings was 2.76.

Review:
Alan Bradley was born in 1938 and learned to read at an early age.  He worked as a radio and television engineer and later helped developed the broadcasting studio at the University of Saskatchewan, where he was director for twenty-five years. He took an early retirement and began writing short stories for literary magazines. In early 2007, he entered the Debut Dagger fiction competition and won.  The fifteen submitted pages would become The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  This mystery is the first of ten, so far.  Bradley was sixty-nine when The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie was published.  His story is so encouraging! It is never to late to work to complete our goals!  And, it is never too late to write our stories!

Discussion Highlights:
The groups discussed what Alan Bradley said in an interview, “I don’t think we trust children enough anymore or leave them alone enough…I recall being that age, and one of the greatest blessings was being left to myself.  You find you own interests and amusements and pursue them.”  We discussed whether kids today are given enough freedom and whether or not Flavia is given too much freedom.

We discussed the twists in the plot, our favorite scenes, and the most amusing dialogue.

Positive Comments:
Some members enjoyed the witty dialogue and delightful descriptions.  Some members loved the charming setting and interesting characters.  Members did think the author wrote wonderful descriptions.  Some members thought the writing should be tighter.  Some members were reminded of their childhood and more innocent times in history.

The facilitator read the book over the holidays in a cozy chair at home sipping hot coffee. She laughed and smiled while reading the book as time delightfully slipped away.  She found the book just what it claimed to be: a wonderful entertainment. The facilitator fondly remembered her childhood with long days spent bicycling, practicing slights of hand, playing in the forest and prairie, collecting nature samples, using a chemistry set and microscope, and plenty of time just to imagine.  She thought the book was an exceptionally pleasant read!

Negative Comments:
Many members thought the book was formulaic and totally unrealistic.  With only twenty-five pages left, one member thought it wasn’t even worth the effort to finish.  Members couldn’t swallow the premise that an eleven year old girl could have such freedom around town and access to chemical compounds.  They thought that Flavia was too young to have such an understanding of chemistry and poisons.  They said, “Who would let their eleven year old romp around the village with a potential killer on the loose.” Many members thought the story was boring; they did not want to leave more thought-provoking reads to read this dull story. Many members thought this book should be classified as a Young Adult/Teen read. Most members will not recommend this author to other people and they definitely won’t read another Flavia de Luce mystery.

Often when the ratings are so low the facilitator will justify the selection and tell the members why the book was selected.

In this case, members have requested entertaining, easy reads over the holidays. 

Additionally, this book has received many awards such as; the Barry Award for Best First Novel (2010), the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery Novel (2010), an Anthony Award Nominee for Best First Novel (2010), the Dilys Award (2010), the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel (2010), the Agatha Award for Best First Novel (2009), the CWA Debut Dagger (2007), and a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction & Mystery/Thriller (2009)

Resources:

For books and audiobooks in our collection by Alan Bradley, please click here.

Visit Alan Bradley’s website.

Penguin House Canada introduces Alan Bradley and his Flavia novels:

Listen to these interviews with Alan Bradley about how he created the delightful, spunky Flavia de Luce novels.  He talks about how he came up with the creative titles and how his Flavia is a gift from the universe.

Read-a-Likes: