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.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Read-Alike Monday: Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber is always a hit at Lake Forest Library. Her contemporary romance novels with sympathetic heroines and inspirational story lines make for upbeat and uplifting reading. Her latest book is Sweet Tomorrows. If you enjoy these kinds of stories, check out some of these authors too.


Jan Karon: Karon is best known for her popular series of books set in fictional Mitford, North Carolina, and featuring Father Timothy Kavanaugh. Karon's heartwarming novels offer more character than plot and more dialog than action. Father Tim is the main character of these books, but the townspeople are also feautred and offer humor to the stories. The Mitford novels are leisurely-paced, gentle stories of a small town and its residents who face moral dilemmas, but can overcome all obstacles. Start with: At Home in Mitford.

Susan Wiggs: Susan Wiggs writes contemporary and historical romances and novels of women's lives and relationships. These leisurely paced stories focus on a woman's journey to self-awareness, usually within the context of a romance. Wiggs' women are intelligent, emotionally vulnerable and self-reliant, while her men are strong and confident. Start with: Summer at Willow Lake.

Sherryl Woods: Woods uses small-town southern culture and setting to create vibrant romances in a series that follows different members of the same family. Woods' storylines feature a strong sense of community. The books read at a leisurely pace and often examine contemporary social issues.      Start with: Stealing Home.

Thursday, August 11, 2016



Welcome Readers in Grades K-6!

  This fall we will host THREE different book discussion clubs in September, October & November: Books & Beyond for Kindergarten & grade 1, Junior Readers for grades 2 & 3 and Family Book Club for grades 4, 5 & 6.  Written by popular, award-winning authors, these timely books should spark some lively, entertaining discussions!

Wednesdays 3:30-4:15
NEW THIS YEAR is BOOKS & BEYOND for Kindergarteners & 1st graders, meeting in the afternoon once a month.  We will talk about a selected book you’ve all read prior to our meeting.  Along with a lively discussion will be games, activities, crafts & refreshments!  Copies of the book to be read will be available at the Children’s circulation desk to check out starting in August.  We strongly encourage parents and children to read these books together.  An adult must accompany the participant to our book club.

September 7, 2016     Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson.
A pioneer father transports his beloved fruit trees and family to Oregon, enduring heat, drought, & blizzards.

October 5, 2016     Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White
Rebecca Estelle, an old woman who has hated pumpkins ever since she was a girl, finds herself with a full crop taking over her farmhouse.  How will she ever get rid of them all?

November 2, 2016     Balloons over Broadway by Melissa Sweet
Learn how puppeteer Tony Sarg created the first helium balloons used in the now traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Wednesdays 7-8 pm

September 28, 2016       Alvin Ho by Lenore Look
Alvin, afraid of many “scary things” outside his home, wants to make friends and be like his gentlemanly father.  Or at least more like the boy he is at home: loud, talented, fearless superhero Firecracker Man!

October 26, 2016      Babymouse for President by Jennifer & Matt Holm
It’s an election year!  When Babymouse decides to become president of the student council, she learns that there is more to running for office than being famous and in charge.

November 30, 2016   The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith
Before growing up to become the first female private investigator in Botswana and running the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, eight-year-old Precious Ramotswe tracks down a thief who has been stealing her classmates' snacks and learns the pitfalls of judging others too hastily.

Wednesdays 7-8 pm

September 21, 2016    Frindle by Andrew Clements
When he decides to turn his fifth grade teacher's love of the dictionary around on her, too clever for his own good Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves way beyond his classroom.  Think about a word YOU could invent!

October 19, 2016      Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
NEW by the author of SMILE!  Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because little sister Maya is sick and will benefit from the cool, salty sea air.  A neighbor lets them in on a secret: there are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna.  Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them.

November 16, 2016     The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman
Egged on by his best friend/campaign manager and his former babysitter as running mate, 12 year-old Judson Moon sets out to become President of the United States.  His slogan: “Grown-ups have had 1000 years to mess things up; now give kids a chance!”

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Books We Are Excited About Coming Out in August

Click on the title to place a hold in our catalog.

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future. However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

The Fault In Our Stars meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko is a life-long resident of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. For the most part, every day is exactly the same for Ivan, which is why he turns everything into a game, manipulating people and events around him for his own amusement. Until Polina arrives. She steals his books. She challenges his routine. The nurses like her. She is exquisite. Soon, he cannot help being drawn to her and the two forge a romance that is tenuous and beautiful and everything they never dared dream of. Before, he survived by being utterly detached from things and people. Now, Ivan wants something more: Ivan wants Polina to live.

In 1953, a twenty-seven-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison—who suffered from severe epilepsy—received a radical new version of the then-common lobotomy, targeting the most mysterious structures in the brain. The operation failed to eliminate Henry’s seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long-term memories. Over the next sixty years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a human guinea pig who would teach us much of what we know about memory today.

Patient H.M. is, at times, a deeply personal journey. Dittrich’s grandfather was the brilliant, morally complex surgeon who operated on Molaison—and thousands of other patients. The author’s investigation into the dark roots of modern memory science ultimately forces him to confront unsettling secrets in his own family history, and to reveal the tragedy that fueled his grandfather’s relentless experimentation—experimentation that would revolutionize our understanding of ourselves.

Dittrich uses the case of Patient H.M. as a starting point for a kaleidoscopic journey, one that moves from the first recorded brain surgeries in ancient Egypt to the cutting-edge laboratories of MIT. He takes readers inside the old asylums and operating theaters where psychosurgeons, as they called themselves, conducted their human experiments, and behind the scenes of a bitter custody battle over the ownership of the most important brain in the world.

Patient H.M. combines the best of biography, memoir, and science journalism to create a haunting, endlessly fascinating story, one that reveals the wondrous and devastating things that can happen when hubris, ambition, and human imperfection collide.

When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.

He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows. Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.