Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Read to the Rhythm - Summer Reading Begins

Don't Miss out! This year our Summer Reading Programs begin Monday June 1 and conclude Saturday August 1, 2015.  Come in any time to register. 

See below for details on the Children's, Teen, and Adult "Read to the Rhythm" programs. 

Children's Summer Reading Program
  • Earn awards for time spent reading or having books read to you this summer!
  • All children are eligible – “read to” ages through grade 6.
  • Register at the desk as you enter the Children's Library.
  • Read for two hours and earn a cowbell.
  • Read three more hours and earn a hand powered flashlight.
  • Read four more hours and earn a book.

Teen Summer Reading Program
  • Lake Forest residents entering grades 7 through 12 are eligible.
  • Register in the Children's Library or at the Adult Reference Desk.
  • Read 4 books to earn a $10 gift card to the Lake Forest Book Store and be included in the final prize drawings.
  • Fill out a raffle ticket for each book you read or listen to this summer. It’s that easy!
  • Every raffle ticket, up to a maximum of 36, will be eligible for the final prize drawings.
  • The last day to hand in raffle tickets is Saturday, August 1.
  • Grand prize is a $100 gift card to the Lake Forest Book Store.
  • 8 runners-up will receive a $20 gift card to one of the following: Einstein Bros Bagels, Ferentino’s Pizzeria, Food Stuffs, Gerhard’s Elegant European Desserts, Jolly Good Fellows, Kiddles Sports Inc., Starbucks Coffee, and Sweet’s Chocolates.

  Adult Summer Reading Program
  • Come to the Reference Desk to register and pick up a punch card. All Lake Forest residents 19 years of age and older are eligible.
  • After you read or listen to a book, get your card punched and fill out a raffle form.
  • Prizes, including gift certificates to local stores and restaurants, will be drawn each week.
  • Read/listen to four books, complete the punch card and receive a Lake Forest Library gift.
  • All who complete a punch card are eligible for the Grand Prize – a Chamber of Commerce gift card.
  • Limit – one punch card per patron.
  • The Grand Prize drawing will be held in August.

The Summer Reading Programs are funded by Friends of Lake Forest Library.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Audio Books +

These audio books for children and teens offer more than just a narration of the book.  Enhanced content, music, and  vivid voice characterization make for a memorable listening experience.  Several have been nominated for Audie Awards by Audio Publishers Association.  Check their site May 28th to see a full list of nominees and winners.

 Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer
  Follow Follow by Marilyn Singer/ill. Josée Masse, read by Singer and Joe Morton
A compilation of reverso poems featuring characters from the fairy tale kindom.  Clever verses are read once, then repeated in reverse order, often by an opposing character.  What do the Hare and the Tortoise think of their chances in the race?  Aladdin and his genie both wish for freedom from their masters.  King Midas’s view of himself is “mirrored” by a child onloooker.  A highly successful example of pairing a book with a read-along CD, as the printed poems let us  see just where the re”vers”als occur.  Josée Masse’s illustrations of bold brightly colored characters energentically illustrate the dual verses.

 Rabbit Ears: The Elephant's Child
  Rabbit Ears Storybook Classics are short tales read by noted actors and enhanced with original background music and musical characterization, also composed by famous musicians.  Story segments are typically 20+ minutes each. Hear  Robin Williams as Pecos Bill, Cher as the Ugly Duckling,  Jack Nicholson reading Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories.  The wide selection includes fairy tales, folk tales from around the world, American tall tales, and Bible stories.

 The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  Crossover by Kwame Alexander, narrated by Corey Allen.  The Newbery Medal  and Coretta Scott King Award winner from 2015, this novel in verse describes twin hot shot basketball brothers.  Their dad was a former pro player, their mom is assistant principal at school – no pressure there!  Told in alternating voices, Alexander captures the exhilaration and feeling of playing basketball and the brothers’ bewilderment at the changes they experience in adolescence.  Sibling rivalry, concern over their father’s health, all come pouring out in fluid phrases as sweet as their moves on the court.  The book translates great as an audio production, with the poetic form still in evidence.  As we hear from the book’s primary voice, Dirty McNasty, Muhammed Ali isn’t the only sports figure who can spout poetry.

  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, performed by a full cast including the author (as the Poet Nehemiah Trot) and Derek Jacobi. This new recording of the multiple award winning fantasy has been nominated as Audio Book of the Year 2015 by the Audio Publishers Association.  (The originial recorded version, narrated soley by Gaiman, also won an Audie.)  The evil spirit, Sleer is truly creepily voiced, reminiscent of Harry Potter’s Dementors.  Appropriately, each chapter begins with music adapted from Le Danse Macabre.  As the primary narrator, Jacobi imbues his narration with an ominous tone.

 How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks
  How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks, narrated by Mandy Williams.  Nominated for an Audie award as best children’s book, ages 8-12.  In a magical Victorian England, we  follow the adventures of Birdie, an orphan who works for Alfred the Bogle Catcher.  She acts as the bait to entice the wispy, sooty, creatures out of the chimney or other hiding places.  While the text might be difficult to read as written phonetically, narrator Williams lucidly displays a variety of British accents in portraying the young, poor, rich of London, even prettily singing the songs Birdie sings to trap the bogles.

 Revolution by Deborah Wiles
  Countdown & Revolution   Books 1 & 2 of the Sixties Trilogy by Deborah Wiles.  Wiles and her narrators bring the 1960s, with all its turmoil, to life in books focusing on  the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi. The threat of nuclear war looms just beyond the horizon. The print versions are interspersed with photos, print ads, speech transcripts by famous figures from the time.  While we miss the photos in the audio version, the text is transcribed as actual news reports, TV and radio ads, and passable imitations of JFK, Khrushchev, LBJ and Martin Luther King.  Tying this social history together is the story of a child living through these time.  Read or listen to these books with your child or grandchild.  Wiles has done an incredibly thorough job recreating a decade that still reverberates.

 Blue Lily Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
  Blue Lily Lily Blue (Raven Boys Cycle, #3) by Maggie Stiefvater, narrated by Will Patton.  Teen and adult fans who have been listening to the Raven Boys Cycle are in for a treat at the end of this installment.   Original music has been written and recorded for the verse at the beginning of the book: Queens and kings, Kings and queens … .  It plays at the end of the story.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Recommended Books-Hidden Gems

Searching for a really good read?   Each week look for a "Most Highly Recommended" title from our collection on the library's Facebook page.  These are well-written, beautifully-crafted novels that stand the test of time.  And because they are older books they may be more readily available than the hottest, current bestseller.  Below are some examples of recent "Hidden Gems".  Friend us on Facebook to see our weekly suggestions. Then stop by the library and check them out!

Justine by Lawrence Durrell (1957) Set in Alexandria Egypt on the eve of World War II, this is the story of a doomed love affair between a struggling British writer and the Jewish wife of an Egyptian banker.  It’s known for its beautifully crafted language, and creative structure and style. It has been praised by both readers and critics. Justine is the first volume of the author’s Alexandria quartet which also includes Balthazar, Mountolive and Clea.

Other People’s Children by Joanna Trollope (1999) Trollope is a popular, best-selling British author with a gift for creating realistic, middle class characters who face recognizable situations. In this story she explores the consequences of divorce and remarriage and the messiness of blended families. Trollope introduces us to two women: Josie whose second marriage includes three stepchildren who are loyal to their mother and hate their father’s second wife; and Elizabeth who is loved by her husband’s son but detested by his daughter.

Our Kind of Traitor by John LeCarré (2010) The author ratchets up the tension step-by-step in this  accessible Russian Mafia spy thriller which focuses on the powerful, equivocal position of money launderers in the new world order.

Unfinished Desires by Gail Godwin.  (2009)  Set in 1951, the story of a traumatic year at Mount Saint Gabriel’s, a Roman Catholic all-girls school in the mountains of North Carolina. A friendship between popular Tildy Stratton and new student  Chloe Starnes fills a void for both girls but also sets in motion a chain of events that will profoundly affect the course of many lives, including the girls' young teacher and the school's matriarch, Mother Suzanne Ravenel.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Remembering the Armenian Genocide - 100 Years

This month marks 100 years since the beginning of the Ottoman Empire's near elimination of its Armenian population through killing, starvation, and deportation -- an atrocity that continued through 1923 and is often considered the world's first modern genocide.  

After joining World War I's Central Powers in 1914, the Empire's nationalist Young Turks government perceived its Armenian population as internal enemies who might align with Allied Power Russia.  On April 24, 1915 hundreds of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople were arrested and later deported or killed.  April 24th is now observed by many to be the official commemoration and start date of the eight-year genocide in which it is estimated that as many as 1.5 million Armenians perished.  

The websites below provide more detailed histories of this genocide and answer frequent questions about it, such as the meaning and origin of "genocide" and the controversy surrounding the use of the word.  Also listed below are many histories of this atrocity and several novels based on it.  Each title links to our catalog, where you can read more about the title and find its location in our collection. Books from that list are on display in the library's rotunda through the end of the month.


Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota

"The G-Word: The Armenian Massacre and the Politics of Genocide" by Thomas de Waal from Foreign Affairs, January/February 2015 issue.

Q & A: The Armenian Genocide Dispute from BBC News, April 13, 2015

Questions and Answers about the Armenian Genocide by Rick Gladstone from The New York Times website, April 13, 2015

Remembering the Armenian Genocide by Raffi Khatchadourian from The New Yorker website, April 21, 2015.


Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Palakʻean.  Knopf, 2009.
Caravans to Oblivion : the Armenian Genocide, 1915  by G. S. Graber.  Wiley & Sons, 1996.

The Fall of the Ottomans: the Great War in the Middle East by Eugene Rogan.  Basic Books, 2015. Chapter Seven: "The Annihilation of the Armenians"
Family of Shadows : a Century of Murder, Memory, and the Armenian American Dream  by Garin K. Hovannisian.  HarperCollins, 2010.

Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide by Thomas De Waal.  Oxford Univ. Press, 2015.
The Holocaust and Other Genocides : History, Representation, Ethics  edited by Helmut Walser Smith.  Vanderbilt University Press, 2002.  Chapter 10: "The Armenian Genocide"
The Knock at the Door : a Journey through the Darkness of the Armenian Genocide  by Margaret Ajemian Ahnert.  Beaufort Books, 2007.
World War I, the "Great War" [DVD]  by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius.  Great Courses, 2006.  Lecture Twenty-Four:  "Armenian Massacres - Tipping into Genocide"

Adult Fiction

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak.  Viking, 2007.

The Gendarme by Mark Mustian.  G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2010.

The Sandcastle Girls: a Novel  by Chris Bohjalian.  Doubleday, 2012.

Young Adult Fiction

Dance of the Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch.  Pajama Press, 2014.

Daughter of War: A Novel by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch.  Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2008.

The Forgotten Fire by Adam Bagdasarian.  DK, 2000.