Thursday, January 19, 2017

New Year's Resolutions Solutions

Our solutions to your resolutions are written on the blue sticky notes. Click on the image to make it bigger!
































Monday, January 16, 2017

Read-Alike Monday: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Ever since the hit musical came out, the book that inspired Lin Manuel Miranda to write it, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, has been popular at Lake Forest Library and pretty much everywhere else. If you liked this biography and want to try something similar, we recommend these.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.

READ-ALIKES:

Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. 

But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments, to disastrous effect. As his con­dition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet. 


Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
Donald brilliantly depicts Lincoln’s gradual ascent from humble beginnings in rural Kentucky to the ever-expanding political circles in Illinois, and finally to the presidency of a country divided by civil war. Donald goes beyond biography, illuminating the gradual development of Lincoln’s character, chronicling his tremendous capacity for evolution and growth, thus illustrating what made it possible for a man so inexperienced and so unprepared for the presidency to become a great moral leader. In the most troubled of times, here was a man who led the country out of slavery and preserved a shattered Union—in short, one of the greatest presidents this country has ever seen.






1776 by David McCullough
In this masterful book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence - when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King's men, the British commander, William Howe, an his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.

At the center of the drama, with Washington, are two young American patriots, who, at first, knew no more of war than what they had read in books - Nathaniel Green, a Quaker who was made a general at thirty-three, and Henry Knox, a twenty-five-year-old bookseller who had the preposterous idea of hauling the guns of Fort Ticonderoga overland to Boston in the dead of Winter.

But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost - Washington, who had never before led an army in battle. Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough's 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history.


Eleanor Roosevelt (three part biography) by Blanche Wiesen Cook  Eleanor Roosevelt was born into the privileges and prejudices of American aristocracy and into a family ravaged by alcoholism. She overcame debilitating roots: in her public life, fighting against racism and injustice and advancing the rights of women; and in her private life, forming lasting intimate friendships with some of the great men and women of her times.
This landmark biography provides a compelling new evaluation of one of the most inspiring women in American political history. Celebrated by feminists, historians, politicians, and reviewers everywhere, it presents an unprecedented portrait of a brave, fierce, passionate political lerader of our century.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Children's Book Club Titles for Do It Yourselfers


Lake Forest Children’s Library has a variety of options for young readers interested in sharing books with friends and other reading enthusiasts.  In addition to book clubs for grades K- 6, we have developed DIY book club sets for grades 2-6.  Each set consists of 6 copies of a popular classic or new favorite, along with a discussion guide, information about the author and suggested age level appropriateness. We began with about 10 titles, but have recently added more, increasing our selections to 21.  This casual, do it yourself approach to book clubs is great for those who can’t make the scheduled book discussions at the library, or perhaps want to form a club with friends. Take a look at some of our new selections:



 Gooseberry Park
 Gooseberry Park  In this animal adventure from Newbery Medal-winning author Cynthia Rylant, Stumpy Squirrel has just settled into a new nest in a magnificent pin oak in Gooseberry Park. It's the perfect spot for her babies to be born! When they arrive healthy and strong, Stumpy's three good friends--a Labrador retriever, a wise hermit crab, and a bat who eats Chinese food--are thrilled. But after a terrible ice storm destroys the pin oak, Stumpy disappears. It takes a special combination of courage, humor, and tenacity for Stumpy's friends to rescue her babies and bring her home again. Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan, a sequel, is the February selection for our Junior Readers Book Club.

 Sarah Plain and Tall
  Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan.  This Newbery Medal-winning book is perfect for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books.  Sarah, Plain and Tall gently explores themes of abandonment, loss, and love. Set in the late nineteenth century and told from young Anna's point of view, Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of how Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton comes from Maine to the prairie to answer Papa's advertisement for a wife and mother. Before Sarah arrives, Anna and her younger brother, Caleb, wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she sing? Will she stay?  Not to play the spoiler, but Sarah, Anna’s and Caleb’s story is continued in sequels Skylark and Caleb’s Story.

 Million Dollar Shot
  The Million Dollar Shot by Dan Gutman.  More than anything, Eddie Ball wants to enter the Finkles contest to help his family out of their financial problems. All he has to do is write the winning poem about Finkles, a gooey candy, and he'll get the chance to make a foul shot during the NBA finals and win a million dollars. The only problem is, relatives of Finkle employees aren't eligible, and his mom works at the Finkle factory. Then the best -- and worst -- thing happens: Eddie's mom is laid off. Now he can enter the contest, but his mom's out of work. So when Eddie's rhyme wins, the pressure's on to make the shot. But someone is trying to rattle him. Can Eddie overcome the mysterious sabotage and sink the million-dollar shot?  Fans of Dan Gutman’s My Weird School books will enjoy his trademark humor and bull’s eye characterizations of everyday kids.

 Invisible Inkling
Invisible Inkling by Emily Jenkins.  Who hasn’t wanted or needed an invisible friend at some time?  When Hank Wolowitz runs into trouble in the form of a lunch-stealing bully, he finds an unlikely ally in an invisible refugee pumpkin-loving bandapat named Inkling.  Hank’s family and friends just think it’s another manifestation of his over-the-top imagination, but we and Hank know Inkling is there for Hank.  If this story has a special appeal to you, try Crenshaw, another invisible, helpful friend, by Katherine Applegate, the author of The One and Only Ivan


 
 Half Magic
 Half Magic by Edward Eager.  Faced with a dull summer in the city, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha suddenly find themselves involved in a series of extraordinary adventures after Jane discovers an ordinary-looking coin that seems to grant wishes.  But, as the children find out, only half of what is wished for.  Will wishing twice solve the problem? Be careful what you wish for!  Readers will enjoy anticipating the unintended outcomes of a half wish.




 
 Sisters
 Sisters by Raina Telgemeier. A companion story to Smile, the very popular graphic novel about the humor, embarrassment and questions that come from entering the teen years. Sisters is set earlier, when Raina can't wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren't quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she's also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn't improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn't seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.


Monday, January 9, 2017

RA Monday: Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Moriarty's latest book, Truly Madly Guilty has been on the New York Times best seller list for 9 weeks now. Moriarty has amassed quite a following for her suspenseful thrillers with female leads. If you like Moriarty, try one of these other books next.

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?




READ-ALIKES:
Little Children by Tom Perrotta
Tom Perrotta's thirtyish parents of young children are a varied and surprising bunch. There's Todd, the handsome stay-at-home dad dubbed "The Prom King" by the moms at the playground, and his wife, Kathy, a documentary filmmaker envious of the connection Todd has forged with their toddler son. And there's Sarah, a lapsed feminist surprised to find she's become a typical wife in a traditional marriage, and her husband, Richard, who is becoming more and more involved with an internet fantasy life than with his own wife and child. 

They all raise their kids in the kind of quiet suburb where nothing ever seems to happen - until one eventful summer, when a convicted child molester moves back to town, and two parents begin an affair that goes further than either of them could ever have imagined.




The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own. This event has a shocking ricochet effect on a group of people, mostly friends, who are directly or indirectly influenced by the slap.

In this remarkable novel, Christos Tsiolkas turns his unflinching and all-seeing eye onto that which connects us all: the modern family and domestic life in the twenty-first century. The Slap is told from the points of view of eight people who were present at the barbecue. The slap and its consequences force them all to question their own families and the way they live, their expectations, beliefs and desires.

What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex and marriage, parenting and children, and the fury and intensity - all the passions and conflicting beliefs - that family can arouse. 



The Secret Place by Tana French
The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption says, I KNOW WHO KILLED HIM.

Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to get a foot in the door of Dublin’s Murder Squad—and one morning, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey brings him this photo. The Secret Place, a board where the girls at St. Kilda’s School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

But everything they discover leads them back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends and their fierce enemies, a rival clique—and to the tangled web of relationships that bound all the girls to Chris Harper. Every step in their direction turns up the pressure. Antoinette Conway is already suspicious of Stephen’s links to the Mackey family. St. Kilda’s will go a long way to keep murder outside their walls. Holly’s father, Detective Frank Mackey, is circling, ready to pounce if any of the new evidence points toward his daughter. And the private underworld of teenage girls can be more mysterious and more dangerous than either of the detectives imagined.



You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff KorelitzGrace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself, devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice. Grace is also the author of You Should Have Known, a book in which she castigates women for not valuing their intuition and calls upon them to examine their first impressions of men for signs of serious trouble later on. But weeks before the book is published, a chasm opens in her own life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.