Monday, September 19, 2016

Read-Alike Monday: Daniel Silva

Lake Forest Library patrons love Daniel Silva's books because of their intriguing, well researched storylines. Silva's most popular series features Mossad agent Gabriel Allon, a master art restorer and sometime officer of Israeli intelligence. These novels are violent, well written spy thrillers and readers can't get enough of them! The first book in this series is The Kill ArtistFor those of you that are already fans and are just waiting to get your hands on the latest in the series, The Black Widow, try some of these authors in the meantime.


Alan Furst: writes historical spy novels set just before World War II. His books are well researched and involve complex plots. Start with Night Soldiersset in Bulgaria, 1934 when a young man is murdered by the local fascists. His brother, Khristo Stoianev, is recruited into the NKVD, the Soviet secret intelligence service, and sent to Spain to serve in its civil war. Warned that he is about to become a victim of Stalin’s purges, Khristo flees to Paris. Night Soldiers masterfully re-creates the European world of 1934–45: the struggle between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia for Eastern Europe, the last desperate gaiety of the beau monde in 1937 Paris, and guerrilla operations with the French underground in 1944.

Brian Freemantle: writes suspenseful espionage novels featuring smart, complex intelligence operatives who are enmeshed in dangerous, sometimes violent, cat-and-mouse games involving terrorists, the KGB, or the CIA. Start with Charlie M, the first in the Charlie Muffin series. Charlie Muffin, a British spy, finds himself shot at and missed and then shot at and hit by his own employers in this truly excellent novel of double crosses in the spy game.

Graham Greene: wrote many different kinds of books, but several focusing on international politics and espionage. These titles include, The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana, and The Human Factor. These stories wrestle with the moral consequences of spying and the impact that killing has on those who kill.

Andrew Grant: writes intricately plotted and violent espionage thrillers whose tales lead through mazes of double and triple-crosses. Start with Even, the first in a series of books featuring Royal Naval Intelligence officer, David Trevellyan. The story begins when David is set up for the murder of a homeless man in New York City. He must solve this international conspiracy to save himself and seek justice for the homeless victim.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


“If you decide to take the bus, turn to page 35…If you run away, turn to page 55.”  Oh, the delicious anticipation as we make our choice, then turn to page directed. What happens next?  Most of us, or our children, have spent time choosing among the various exciting paths in Choose Your Own Adventurebooks.  A perennial favorite, the adventures could range from dealing with a HAL-like computer to surviving in the Canadian Rockies, or investigating a ghostly island, to solving a jewel heist in Paris.  Originally published in the late 1970s by R.A. Montgomery as Vermont Crossroads Press (now Chooseco), the multiple ending format saw waning interest, but is now experiencing an expanded resurgence.  Other types of adventure include a more socially tuned in series – Choose Your Destiny -  survival scenarios set in various historical eras around the world, and adventures featuring some favorite comic characters.  The Children's Library has a list of the various titles and series including:


 Choose Your Own Adventure 

You Choose


You Choose
You Choose
You Choose
Choose Your Destiny
Worst Case Scenario


Monday, August 29, 2016

Read-Alike Monday: The Light Between Oceans

With the movie version of The Light Between Oceans coming out in just a few days, the book has become quite popular again. If you loved this book, try one of these titles! Just click on the title to head to our catalog and place a hold.

After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. 

Tom, whose records as a lighthouse keeper are meticulous and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel has taken the tiny baby to her breast. Against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them. 


When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe, and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There, Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. 

When Armen leaves Aleppo to join the British Army in Egypt, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost. Flash forward to the present, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York. Although her grandparents’ ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed the “Ottoman Annex,” Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura’s grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family’s history that reveals love, loss—and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.

At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, a solitary orchardist named Talmadge carefully tends the grove of fruit trees he has cultivated for nearly half a century. A gentle, solitary man, he finds solace and purpose in the sweetness of the apples, apricots, and plums he grows, and in the quiet, beating heart of the land--the valley of yellow grass bordering a deep canyon that has been his home since he was nine years old. 

One day, while in town to sell his fruit at the market, two girls, barefoot and dirty, steal some apples. Later, they appear on his homestead, cautious yet curious about the man who gave them no chase. Feral, scared, and very pregnant, Jane and her sister Della take up on Talmadage's land and indulge in his deep reservoir of compassion. Yet just as the girls begin to trust him, brutal men with guns arrive in the orchard, and the shattering tragedy that follows sets Talmadge on an irrevocable course not only to save and protect them, putting himself between the girls and the world, but to reconcile the ghosts of his own troubled past.

During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.

Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.

As a child Julia Forrester spent many idyllic hours in the hothouse of Wharton Park, the great house where her grandfather tended exotic orchids. Years later, while struggling with overwhelming grief over the death of her husband and young child, she returns to the tranquility of the estate. There she reunites with Kit Crawford, heir to the estate and her possible salvation.
When they discover an old diary, Julia seeks out her grandmother to learn the truth behind a love affair that almost destroyed Wharton Park. Their search takes them back to the 1930s when a former heir to Wharton Park married his young society bride on the eve of World War II. When the two lovers are cruelly separated, the impact will be felt on generations to come.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Back to School Resources for Students

It's that time of year again, back to school! Homework can be so much easier with a little help from the library. Our databases can help you with sources for writing papers and also provide a reliable place to come for information. You can use most of these resources from home with your library card number. These resources are great for all ages, but we broke them up into two groups to help find the ones that may be the best to assist you with your school projects. 

These are just some of our favorite databases for students, but there are many more available on our website. For a full list of databases, go to

Elementary and Middle School Databases

Biography Reference Bank: This easy to use database let's you search articles in over 100 biography reference books at once. You can search by name, profession, place of origin, and keywords to find information. Look up athletes, historical figures, musicians, authors, artists and much more. For mobile access, go here.

Culture Grams: Use this database for more information about different cultures all around the world. Check out flags, photos, videos, recipes, statistics and more.

Encyclopedia Britannica: (For use in Library only) You can find encyclopedia articles with pictures, maps, timelines, world data, a dictionary and thesaurus, and more in this database. Begin by typing your search into the Children's search bar. Get help live and one-on-one from a real tutor online! Tutors are there to assist with your math, English, science, social studies, and writing everyday from 2:00-11:00 PM. 

World Book Online: Choose the Kids version for an easy to use design. You can use this encyclopedia with pictures, activities, games, animals, science projects and more, to learn more about the world or for help with your homework.

High School and Middle School Databases

Access Science: This database has articles from McGraw-Hill’s Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, which include illustrations and graphics, research updates, definitions, and science biographies and news. For mobile access, go here

Annals of American History: (For use in Library only) Use this database to find Primary sources from U.S. history including more than 500 images, 2000 documents, 200 video clips, and 25 audio clips. Search by timeline, author, major topic, or keyword. 

MasterFILE Premier Magazine and Journal Database: This database has nearly 2000 full-text general interest magazines and journals with article summaries. It also has full-text reference books, biographies, primary source documents, photos, maps, and flags. For mobile access, go here.

Historical Lake Forester, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times: Browse these historical newspapers or search by keywords for historical information.

Tutor.comGet help live and one-on-one from a real tutor online! Tutors are there to assist with your math, English, science, social studies, and writing everyday from 2:00-11:00 PM.

Statistical AbstractCovers information from the 1950s to present, The Statistical Abstract of the United States compiles statistical reference information. As a comprehensive collection of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States, it is a snapshot of America and its people.