Wednesday, March 11, 2015

What Are These?

Curated by: Jack Wendt 

March 8th-March 21st

The Fox River Valley Public Library District is teaming up with the Dundee Township Historical Society to promote National Preservation Week-April 26th through May 2nd, 2015-featuring an exhibit of the permanent collection of the Dundee Township Historical Society. The exhibit is located in the Children's Department and highlights commonly used items of Dundee Township's historical past. Good for children and adults alike!

National Preservation Week is April 26th-May 2nd. Please check out our program for events throughout the week.

Monday, March 9, 2015

While You’re Waiting For: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins…

Give one of these titles a try.

The tone of these books varies, (some are more dark and menacing than others,) but they all feature female protagonists in suspenseful, psychological thrillers, in which not everything is as it seems.

The Good Girl – Mary Kubica

When Mia, the 24 year old black sheep daughter of a prominent Chicago family, is kidnapped, her kidnapper decides to take her to a location other than the one chosen by his employers, in order to save her.

                               Kiss Me First – Lottie Moggach

Leila is so introverted that the Internet feels like the perfect place to join a community of people who care what she thinks and believe that she matters, and Red Pill feels like the perfect site. Aiden, the leader of the site, even recruits her for a special mission: Leila will learn to impersonate, online, another user of the site, named Tess, so that Tess can commit suicide without her family or friends realizing she has done so.
Reconstructing Amelia – Kimberly McCreight

Kate has always worried that she has put her career ahead of her 15 year old daughter’s needs too many times. When Amelia’s exclusive private school accuses her of cheating and suspends her, that self-accusation turns to horror and grief when Kate arrives at the school to discover Amelia has committed suicide by jumping off the school’s roof. The school, and the police, believes overachieving Amelia was simply distraught… until her mother receives a text reading: Amelia didn’t jump.

                                     Just What Kind of Mother Are You? – Paula Daly

Lisa Kalisto, an English suburban mother, is plunged into guilt and fear when her best friend’s daughter disappears, during the time Lucinda was supposed to be at Lisa’s house for a sleepover, and two weeks after the abduction of another local teen.

The Fever – Megan Abbott

When the teen girls, but not the boys, of her small town in Maine begin showing signs of an inexplicable epidemic, Deenie is trapped in a situation with eerie parallels to the events in The Crucible.

                                       Dare Me – Megan Abbott

Addy has always been the loyal second-in-command, and Beth the queen, of their high school cheerleading squad, but when a new coach turns the squad, and their lives, upside down, Addy discovers how frightening Beth can be.

The End of Everything -- Megan Abbott

As friends, thirteen year old girls can be inseparable, and will claim they know everything about each other, but when Lizzie’s friend Evie goes missing, she knows enough about her friend to follow clues the police ignore, but maybe not as much as she thought she did… about Evie, or about the neighborhood.

         How to be a Good Wife – Emma Chapman

Marta’s son is grown, and her husband ignores her – except for making sure that she always takes her medication. She has used a marriage manual, How To Be a Good Wife, given to her by her mother-in-law, as her life’s guide for two decades, but when Marta stops taking her medication, she experiences strange flashbacks, personality changes, and memories that may or may not be real.

Before I Go to Sleep – S.J. Watson

Christine is in her 40’s, but, due to an accident that created ongoing near-term memory loss, she wakes up every day believing she is in her 20’s. Her husband and doctor try to help, but when she re-reads the journal she has been keeping in an attempt to reconstruct her memories, she realizes she can trust only herself.

You may not be able to sleep well after reading some of these, but they'll keep you turning pages! (And if you want to place a a hold on The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, click on the title.)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Recommended Read: Popular Crime by Bill James

Author Bill James is most famous for his baseball abstract books. Popular Crime is quite the departure. This book will be a bit hard to fully explain, but here goes. The basic premise is a chronological review (at 482 pages!) of crimes that have impacted popular culture and/or the justice system. As a well-read true crime aficionado, he slips in critiques of books on the various crimes he discusses, he devises a system of labeling crimes, does some amateur sleuthing, and drops in his theories on why the justice system, and prisons in particular, need some reform.

Because the book is complex in topic it will turn-off some readers. However, I felt he wrote as though he was having a conversation with the reader. (And, who has a conversation in a completely linear way?) He has some interesting theories on the Kennedy assassination, and dissects the Lizzie Borden murders and Lindbergh baby kidnapping thoroughly (I won't divulge his opinions on the guilt or innocence in these cases). He doesn't touch on every famous case (Leopold and Loeb are missing, among others) and some cases you may not have heard of, but were a big deal in their time. Besides obviously appealing to true crime readers, it may also appeal to people interested in sociology and popular culture in general.