Tag Archives: Young Adult

December 2017

december2017coverIt’s December! ‘Tis the season to be reading (and watching and listening to) some of our staff picks!

 

 

 

Paula – Circulation

christmasstoryA Christmas Story, Starring Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, and Darren McGavin, J DVD Christmas Story

A Christmas Story is a classic holiday movie that the whole family will enjoy. No Christmas is complete without watching nine year old Ralphie struggle to convince his parents, teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun is the perfect gift to receive. Narrated by Ralphie as an adult, the movie hilariously reflects on childhood memories that anyone with a crazy family can relate to. From leg lamps, to flat tires, to pink bunny suits, A Christmas Story will leave you laughing as Ralphie and his family celebrate the holiday season in their own unique way.

Lisa – Youth Services

sickenedSickened: The True Story of a Lost Childhood by Julie Gregory, YA 921 Gregory

This bittersweet autobiographical book accounts the author’s upbringing as a survivor of MBP (Munchausen by Proxy). Decades go by of missing out on school and friendships while her mother takes her to hundreds of physicians claiming her daughter has a fictitious heart condition. A good read.

Chris – Circulation

sleepwellbeastSleep Well Beast by The National, New CD 781.66 National

Indie/alternative rock act The National are back with their seventh album, Sleep Well Beast. This effort continues the tradition of mildly bending their sound in a different direction with each release. This time, they make use of electronics to compliment their signature sound, but not overtake it. A few songs break from the normal ambling pace that The National are known for to bring a bit of a hurried tone to this album. But otherwise, that melancholy drifting and Matt Berninger’s iconic baritone are as good as they ever were, as is his dark, intelligent, and dense songwriting. So while some elements may sound new, it is still unmistakably another excellent album by The National.

Hubbell – Circulation

landofmineLand of Mine, Starring Roland Møller and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard, New DVD Land of Mine

Land of Mine is an Academy Award nominated Danish film which tells the story of German POWs forced to defuse land mines on the Danish coast after World War II. The movie explores the relationship between the German prisoners (many of whom were mere teenagers) and their Danish captors. Two of the Danish officers take vastly different approaches to the POWs, creating a dramatic conflict and resolution.

americangodsseason1American Gods Season 1, Starring Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, and Emily Browning, New DVD American Gods Season 1

American Gods, based on author Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name revolves around the main protagonist Shadow Moon. After being released from an unwarranted prison sentence, Shadow Moon meets Mr. Wednesday, one of the old gods. The plot of the series pits new gods (like Mr. World, the god of globalization) against older ones (like Bilquis, the Goddess of Sheba). The gods wield power based on the number of followers they have. The old gods have lost power over the years and fight to regain control of the people’s faith. The series can be disjointed at times but is visually stunning and has received excellent reviews.

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September 2017

september2017coverIt’s September! Time to hit the books again! Why not check out some of ours?

 

 

 

Michelle – Administration

whiteprincessThe White Princess, starring Jodie Comer and Jacob Collins-Levy, New DVD White Princess

The White Princess is a mini-series based on the book by Philippa Gregory and it follows the marriage of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. It is a sequel to The White Queen, though you can watch it as a stand-alone. I thought that this series was really well acted and it kept me engaged throughout. If you are a fan of historical dramas or in the history of the royal house in England, this is a great show to watch.

Paula – Circulation

mementoMemento, Starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano, DVD Memento

Guy Pearce stars as Leonard, a man with anterograde amnesia who is trying to track down his wife’s murderer. Due to his condition, his search for this man proves difficult because Leonard cannot develop new memories. He can remember everything up until his wife’s murder, but he quickly forgets everything that happens to him afterwards. In order to compile information, Leonard keeps a series of photographs and notes, and tattoos clues on his body that will lead him to the man who killed his wife.
Directed by Christopher Nolan, Memento is a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat. In typical Christopher Nolan fashion, the story is told in a complex series of events and plot twists that will keep you guessing throughout the entire film. Just when you think you have something figured out, new clues are revealed that force you to rethink which characters are telling the truth and which ones not to trust.

Pat – Circulation

undergroundrailroadThe Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Fiction Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a plantation in Georgia where conditions are especially rough. Her mother escaped when she was very young leaving her to fend for herself. When a fellow slave tells her about the Underground Railroad, she finds the courage to run for her freedom.
The story portrays the amount of abuses that blacks were vulnerable to–all the daily abuses and even the killing of slaves in the most brutal ways.
There is something essential about reading this kind of book. In the United States it’s too easy to forget the dark times in our history.

hillbillyelegyHillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, Nonfiction 921 Vance, J.

J.D.Vance had grown up poor in rust-belt Ohio, in a family that was, by his account, highly dysfunctional. His book describes how he transcended severe disadvantages to attend Yale law school and go on to a lucrative career.
Vance’s father was absent and his mother an erratic and neglectful parent with alcohol and substance abuse problems.
Vance’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love”. They got married and moved North from Kentucky to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them.
This is a family history that is also a troubling analysis on the loss of the American dream for a large portion of this country.

Chris – Circulation

knightofthesevenkingdomsA Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin, Fiction Martin

Comprised of three novellas published during the writing of the series A Song of Ice and FireA Knight of the Seven Kingdoms follows Dunk and Egg, a knight and his squire as they travel Westeros almost one hundred years before A Game of Thrones. Martin’s vivid and engaging writing returns to tell these tales, but in a more compact form than in the novels. That being said, these stories are full of the history and ancestors from the main novels. Fans of the series will enjoy meeting familiar and new families and traveling to new locations mentioned in the main series, but never visited. Even in these short tales, Martin adds his classic dramatic twists and plots of romance. The honorable Dunk and quick-witted Egg are sure to entertain in their various exploits with villagers and nobility alike.

Brigitte – Youth 

soloSolo by Kwame Alexander, New YA Alexander

If you aren’t familiar with Kwame Alexander’s other works (The Crossover, Booked) you should know that 100% of this book is in verse. While that might be intimidating or even off-putting to some, it adds to the intimacy between the reader and the narrator. While Alexander’s other works skew younger, this is a decidedly Young Adult book. Solo is about familial relationships, first love, and the uncertainty that comes with the end of high school. Blade is a young man about to enter into the adult world but who doesn’t know who he really is. When a family secret is revealed to him, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery, and ends up finding out more about his family than he bargained for.

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December

snowmanDecember is here! Time for making snowmen, drinking hot cocoa, and celebrating the holidays with our loved ones. Below are some suggested titles for you this month.

 

Corky – Circulation

Debbie Macomber’s Christmas Cookbook by Debbie Macomber, Nonfiction 641.568 Mac

christmascookbookThis is a Christmas cookbook, but it is so much more. It has the most gorgeous pictures, clear, crisp with vibrant colors. I could have just looked at it and been perfectly happy. On to the recipes: about one hundred from appetizers to Christmas breakfast, lunch, dinner, and finally desserts. The recipes are simple with not a lot of ingredients and easy to make. I tried the Cranberry Walnut Cobbler. It said it took five minutes. It did. I took the dessert to a party, where it was in competition with chocolate cupcakes. The cobbler disappeared.

Debbie Macomber must love the Christmas holidays. She shares family stories and traditions, memories and observations. She includes crafts and decorating ideas, wrapping tips, and again beautiful pictures of all of these. This book is warm, inviting, and did I say it has beautiful pictures.

Sue – Circulation

guernseyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, Fiction Shaffer

Set in 1946 and told entirely through letters sent back and forth among the characters, this book tells the story of a London author named Juliet looking for her next topic for a book who receives a letter from a man named Dawsey in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands located in the English Channel off the coast of France that was occupied by the Germans during World War II. After the first letter, Juliet and Dawsey continue their correspondence and then other residents of the island begin to write to Juliet as well. They describe to her how their book club, named the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, was founded and share their stories of life on the island during the Occupation. Through their letters, Juliet learns about the residents and the hardships they faced during the war years. She decides to write about Guernsey and visits the island to meet all the people she’s grown to care for through their letters. This book is a joy to read. It is charming and full of life, with wonderful, vivid characters that draw you in and a positive, uplifting tone. Guernsey circa 1946 is a place you would like to visit filled with people you would like to know.

roseofsebastopolThe Rose of Sebastopol by Katharine McMahon, Fiction McMahon

This historical novel follows two upper-class English cousins with opposite personalities during the Crimean War in the 1850s. Obedient, meek Mariella always follows the rules while strong-willed, determined Rosa is always pushing boundaries. It is Rosa’s dream to be a nurse. Against her family’s wishes, she follows Florence Nightingale to Russia, where her stepbrother Max is an officer in the British Army. Meanwhile, Mariella’s fiance Henry, a celebrated surgeon, also heads to Russia to assist with setting up hospitals for the wounded. At first, Rosa writes home, but then her family loses touch with her. When Mariella gets a message that Henry is very ill, she decides she must travel to the Crimea to see him. Upon seeing Henry, Mariella is devastated to learn that he has apparently betrayed her. She also discovers that Rosa is missing. Already reeling from the shock she received upon being reunited with Henry, Mariella must now embark upon a search for Rosa. Her sheltered life has not prepared her for the horrors of war and illness and she is shocked by what she sees as she tracks Rosa. At first, she is reluctant to continue and just wants to go home. But when she is forced to stay, her journey across the Crimea also becomes a journey of self-discovery and we see her grow into herself and become a stronger, better person. The book has an exciting plot with a look at the devastation of war and how people can rise to become more than they thought they could be under trying circumstances.

lasttangoLast Tango in Halifax, starring Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid, CD Last, Series 1 and 2

This British PBS series tells the story of Celia and Alan, two people in their 70s who were in love as teenagers, but then were separated when Celia’s family moved away. Now 60 years later, both widowed, they reunite. They are blissfully happy together, but each has a daughter and both their children’s lives are a mess. A delightful series following Celia, Alan, and their respective families. Celia and Alan are a charming couple and the supporting characters and plot lines are very entertaining with both humor and drama. The series has been renewed for a third season.

Mary – Youth Services

truediaryThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, YA Alexie and YA CD Alexie (audiobook)

A deserving National Book Award winner, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is one of the best young adult books ever written. It follows Junior: a teenager, budding cartoonist, and a Spokane Indian, who lives on a reservation in Washington. The story revolves around Junior’s decision to leave his reservation, in what is, at first, a mission to have a better education. Heart-breaking, wildly hilarious, and always smart, this story is sure to stay with me for some time. Be sure to check out the audiobook, because Sherman Alexie’s story-telling voice is phenomenal.

sherlockholmesThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Fiction Doyle

Nowhere else can you have within the span of 200 pages a mystery involving a goose who swallowed a gem, all the way up to a father pretending to be his daughter’s suitor, to ward off a potential mate at a Victorian dance. (But so it goes in the world of Sherlock Holmes.) You are sure to have seen an adaptation of the original Holmes stories, but the canonical tales of the detective and his companion, Dr. John Watson, are always a delightful world to return to. Case after case, client after client, the stories of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are never boring, and highlight the extraordinary hiding under the seemingly ordinary lives of those around us.

Michelle – Administration

snowpiercerSnowpiercer, starring Chris Evans, John Hurt, Ed Harris, and Tilda Swinton, New DVD Snowpiercer

This movie is a great futuristic thriller that provides a very interesting look into the class system. There are many twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end. The movie was written and directed by Joon-ho Bong.

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December!

The holidays are here and something something something cheer! I don’t know, I’m no Yuletide poet but I am proud to present these gifts of recommendations from the Oak Brook Library staff. Happy Holidays!

 
Mary – Reference
13067005“Talking to the Dead” – by: Harry Bingham – NEW FICTION: BINGHAM
 
Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths is strange.  Not in the regular sense, like everyone is a bit odd.  But rather, Fiona finds solace amongst the dead. She does not pick up on social clues.Yet, when it comes to crime, she is intuitive and resourceful, a crack investigator.
This mystery begins with the discovery of two bodies, a mother and her 6-year old child.  D.C. Griffiths believes the young girl is trying to tell her something which leads her on a complex journey to solve her murder.
A good storyline with an intriguing character study makes this mystery work.
 
Michelle – Administration

MV5BMTM3MzUyNzg3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjk3NDA4Nw@@._V1_SX214_AL_“People Like Us” – Starring: Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael D’Addario, Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde – NEW DVDs: PEOPLE LIKE US

This is the story of a man discovering that his recently deceased father had an extended affair that resulted in a daughter. In his quest to learn about his sister, he reevaluates his own life. This movie is a great drama that examines the meaning of family.

 

1676855“Supernatural: Season 7” – Starring: Nicholas Knight, Eric Kripke – NEW DVDs: SUPERNATURAL

I am more than a little biased since Supernatural is one of my favorite shows, but I think it is a must-see. The show has everything: action, adventure, laughs, mild-horror and is, at its heart, the story of two brothers trying to survive. Like all previous seasons, this DVD set has outtakes that are hilarious.

 

Julia – Circulation

downloadThe Fault In Our Stars”–  by John Green – YA: GREEN

Popular YA author, John Green, tells the heart-wrenching, love story of teenagers Hazel and Augustus, who meet for the first time at a cancer support group. Hazel, who is terminally ill, and Augustus, whose cancer is in remission, bond and learn how to live their lives when so much is uncertain.
This book portrays teens with cancer and their families in an honest way — showing their bravery, fear and anger — along with their happier moments.
Although this book is intended for teens, I would also recommend it to adults.

taylor-swift-red-album-400x400“Red” – by Taylor Swift – AUDIO CD: 781.64 SWIFTIn Taylor Swift’s fourth studio album, Red, she leaves her country roots behind for a more “pop” feel with songs like, “22,” “Holy Ground,” and her first single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Swift even experiments with dubstep on the track “I Knew You Were Trouble.” Following the same path as her previous albums, Swift’s songs mirror her personal life, as well as her many public romances.

 
This is definitely one of Swift’s best albums to date.
 
Matt – Circulation
 
7743117“Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Arte” – By: Christopher Moore – NEW FICTION: MOORE
For those who have not been introduced to Christopher Moore, his 13th book isn’t a bad place to start. Moore’s style of comedy is raunchy, absurd, cheeky, witty and intelligent all at the same time while pushing compelling plots and fleshing out lovable characters. This book is perfect for any lover of 19th Century art as Moore uses famous artists such as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Camille Pissaro, Claude Monet, Édouard Manet, Georges Seurat, James Whistler, Vincent Van Gogh and other Impressionists hanging around 19th Century France as characters. The story revolves around the mysterious death of Van Gogh and its impact on his friends Lucien Lessard, a baker turned artist and his debaucherous companion Henri Toulouse-Letrec as they try to figure out the reasons behind Van Gogh’s mysterious suicide and why the color sacré bleu seems to turn artists insane. An immensely entertaining read and one that includes color photos of many of the pieces of the mentioned artists.
 
13528336“The Onion Book of Known Knowledge” – By: The Onion Writing Staff – NEW NONFICTION: 818.607 ONION
 
This truly is the greatest parody of encyclopedias ever assembled. “The Onion” as a publication has been a staple of Chicago media and a source of solid satire for 24 years. From start to finish this book is incredibly funny provoking all manner of guffaws, giggles, belly laughs, howls, roars, cackling and the occasional snort.
 
Thanks for reading and come back next month for more picks!
 

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