Monday, April 25, 2016

Read-Alike Monday- Jacqueline Winspear



Jacqueline Winspear:

Today's read-alike choice is Jacqueline Winspear, whose newest book, Journey to Munich, has been very popular at Lake Forest Library. Winspear and her enchanting protagonist, Maisie Dobbs, rise to the top among Historical British Mysteries. 

Maisie is a plucky and intelligent young woman who began as a servant and now runs her own private investigation firm. While these are technically cozy mysteries with their well-drawn characters and setting, the plots are complex and well-crafted, and the series has a darker tone due to Maisie's experiences as a nurse during World War I, described through flashbacks. These are well plotted and compelling mysteries that also highlight the human costs of war. Start with: Maisie Dobbs.


Read-Alikes:

Dorothy Sayers
Dorothy L. Sayers's mysteries feature not only devilishly clever plots that delight traditional mystery readers, but also the graceful writing, nuanced characters, and beautifully evoked settings often found in literary fiction. Series character Lord Peter Wimsey deepens and grows more subtle as the books progress, especially after he meets Harriet Vane, who comes to excel at investigation herself. The interesting supporting characters, strong sense of place in varied settings, and rich use of language round out a satisfying reading experience in each story. Start with: Whose Body.




Frances Brody
Frances Brody writes cozy historical mysteries that are intricately plotted and well researched, focused mainly on Yorkshire, England in the interwar years. Brody offers social history and cultural commentary as well, discussing such issues as labor agitation and the social fallout of the Boer war. Her writing is lush, her pace leisurely, and her stories suspenseful and interesting.

Like Maisie Dobbs, the protagonist- Kate Shackleton is from a working class background and served as a nurse during World War I. Working as a private detective, she see the problems that came from the war. Start with Dying in the Wool.




Rennie Airth
Rennie Airth is a historical mystery writer who sets his books in Britain -- either the countryside or in London -- around the time of World War I. He effectively summons the uncertainty, gloom, and despair of that ugly time, simultaneously conjuring the beauty of England's countryside and the dirt of wartime London. Airth also convincingly describes the latest advances in forensic science and criminal psychology, all the while keeping us immersed in the nuances of a classic mystery story. Airth's protagonists are fully-realized: driven, self-doubting, and troubled and his readers will enjoyably share their travails. Start with: River of Darkness.





James R. Benn
James R. Benn's well-researched and richly detailed historical novels strongly evoke wartime life, as both soldier and civilian. His suspenseful mystery series featuring Boston cop cum soldier/investigator Billy Boyle offers intriguing puzzles and dramatic action, while thoroughly exploring often little-known aspects of World War II, such as institutional racism and wartime Vatican politics. Through fiction and nonfiction, he also investigates PTSD and other aftereffects of war and violence, writing with great beauty about the deep emotions and motivations of his vividly realized characters. Start with: Billy Boyle.





Mary Miley
Mary Miley's historical mysteries are also set in the 1920s.  Miley's protagonist is also a plucky, intelligent young woman sleuth. Complex women and the well drawn secondary characters give depth to the intricate stories, which are pitch perfect with historical detail. These are more leisurely paced, cozy-like mysteries. Start with The Impersonator.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Book Club Guide: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Kreuger

Looking for great book club suggestions? As well as discussion questions, author information, and what food to serve at your next book discussion? You've come to the right place! We will start posting these book discussion guides for you on the third Thursday of every month. If you have a title that you'd like to suggest we cover, leave it in the comments or email it to lpoppenhouse@lakeforestlibrary.org


This Month's Selection: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Summary: New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a summer in which death assumed many forms. When tragedy unexpectedly comes to call on his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard-bound older sister, and wise-beyond-his years kid brother, Frank finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal.

On the surface, Ordinary Grace is the story of the murder of a beautiful young woman, a beloved daughter and sister. At heart, it’s the story of what that tragedy does to a boy, his family, and ultimately the fabric of the small town in which he lives. 



What to Serve Your Guests:

Juicy Lucy Sliders- These delicious burgers are native to Minnesota. The thing that makes them unique is the cheese that oozes out of the middle when you take a bite.  Make these sliders for an easy to eat version.




Tater Tot Hotdish- These hotdishes (or casseroles) with tater tots are famous in Minnesota. This won't be the healthiest Book Club Meeting, but it sure will be tasty.





Norwegian Krumkake- Another Minnesota favorite, Krumkake is a crispy, wafer-like cookie. Add whipped cream or chocolate to make them extra tasty.








Discussion Questions: (from Simon and Shuster)

1. Discuss the final revelation of Ariel’s whereabouts. Had you guessed correctly? 

2. Much of Frank and Jake’s knowledge comes from overhearing and snooping. Which instance of eavesdropping provided them with the heaviest, most important information? Is there a particular overheard conversation that led most directly to the loss of their childhood innocence? 

3. Along those same lines, in what ways have the two boys been transformed by story’s end? 

4. Who is ultimately responsible for the death of Karl Brandt? 

5. A number of characters carry secrets that eventually come to light. Was there a certain catharsis once they were able to unload the truth? Did it do them any good? Consider especially Frank’s father, whose deeds in the war remained a mystery. Is there some merit to carrying the burden of a secret alone? 

6. Though the title of the novel refers to a particular “ordinary grace,” what other small graces did you find in the book? 

7. Why does Ruth leave her family? Do you think she was truly mad at Nathan? At God? Discuss the ways in which she and the other characters deal with their grief over Ariel. 

8. Do you agree with Frank’s insight in the epilogue that, “there is no such thing as a true event?” What makes a story real? How do we deal with varying perspectives and reflections of history? 

9. Do you think Frank had a responsibility to tell Emil about Lise? Was there merit to Jake’s argument that her fenced-in estate was prison enough? 

10. Do you forgive Emil for his moment of indiscretion? Is he in some way to blame for everything that happened in New Bremen? 

11. Frank and Jake often make a case to come along to the sheriff’s office, crime scenes, and pivotal confrontations during the upheaval in New Bremen. Should they have been allowed to bear witness to these things? Should children be shielded from the occasional darkness of adult life? 

12. What do you make of Gus? Is he in some ways the backbone (though not a true relative) of the Drum family? 

13. Do you agree with the sentiment of the older Warren Redstone? Is it true that the departed are never far from us? 

Author Interviews:

Book Reviews:







Monday, April 18, 2016

#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben writes mysteries and thrillers, with the plots often times revolving around unresolved events of the past, with many plot twists. His books take place in either New Jersey or New York. Coben writes a series of books featuring Myron Bolitar, a basketball player turned agent turned investigator. Bolitar just wants to be an agent, but gets caught up in murders surrounding his clients. The first book to feature Bolitar is Deal Breaker. He also writes many stand-alone novels.













READ-ALIKES:



Don Winslow
Winslow has written a mystery series featuring Neal Carey, a private investigator in California. Winslow himself was actually a private investigator in New York before he began writing. Winslow's suspense is a little lighter in tone, but both authors create intriguing, sympathetic Characters and quick, clever storylines. Winslow's mysteries are complicated and satisfactorily resolved, with plenty of snappy dialogue and humor to satisfy Coben's fans, though they focus more on character than plot. Winslow's Power of the Dog series is a lot more graphic and violent.



Robert Crais

Fans of Coben's wise-cracking Myron Bolitar will want to try Robert Crais' mysteries starring Elvis Cole. The violence is a little more graphic in this series and the personal lives of the characters are revealed only slowly, but fans will enjoy Cole's eccentricities. Start with The Monkey's Raincoat if you are interested in the Elvis Pike series.

Crais also started a spin off series from the Elvis Cole books, starring Joe Pike, a protagonist from the Cole books. 



Stuart Woods is a prolific author of several mystery series, his most famous series featuring New York attorney, Stone Barrington. Woods writes tightly plotted, page-turning mysteries with witty characters and fast pacing. To begin the Stone Barrington series, start with New York Dead




Gardner writes contemporary tales of fast-paced Suspense with strong romantic undercurrents and is known for her appealing characters, twisting plots, forensic details, powerful descriptions, and natural dialogue. Her protagonists are generally investigators, and she offers an assortment of intriguing series and non-series characters in all her books. She writes for three series and stand alone novels.





Gregg Hurwitz writes action-packed thrillers filled with surprising plot twists, graphic depictions of violence, and chilling psychological details concerning seriously disturbed individuals. He writes about diabolical serial killers, labyrinthine government conspiracies, and brutal vigilantes. These fast-paced, unrelenting, and intricately-plotted stories will appeal to readers looking for gripping action and intriguing mystery. Start with Trust No One.



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Novels in Verse

As April is National Poetry Month, we should definitely talk about novels in verse.  There are many insightful children’s books written in this lyrical style.  They are relatively quick reads, yet lend themselves to reading aloud together and rereading to examine how an author uses  words concisely to express thought, emotion, action. In addition to the titles highlighted below, teens might want to choose from this list of 100 YA Must Read Novels in Verse put together by Book Riot.

The Crossover and Booked by Kwame Alexander.  Recently, Alexander’s The Crossover, which tells the story of brothers who love basketball, won the Newbery Medal and a Coretta Scott King Honor award.  Now, in shoots Booked.  Twelve-year-old Nick loves soccer and hates books, but soon learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams.




Inside Out & BackAgain by Thanhha Lai.  A young Vietnamese girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave their war-torn country and resettle in Alabama. A National Book Award winner and Newbery Honor book.







  Love That Dog and  Hate That Cat  by Sharon Creech.   A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem, revealing his sorrow over the loss of his dog.  (Cat lovers, don’t despair;  he discovers he doesn’t really hate cats.)



Shark Girl and Formerly Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham.  After a shark attack causes the amputation of her right arm, fifteen-year-old Jane, an aspiring artist, struggles to come to terms with her loss and the changes it imposes on her day-to-day life and her plans for the future.



  Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. A multiple award winner. "Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement…"--The New York Times Book Review.
Diamond Willow by Helen Frost.  In a remote area of Alaska, twelve-year-old Willow helps her father with their sled dogs when she is not at school, wishing she were more popular, all the while unaware that the animals surrounding her carry the spirits of dead ancestors and friends who care for her.  Frost ingeniously use the diamond “diamante” poetry form with additional Hidden Messages that summarize the narrator’s feelings.

Dancing Pancake by Eileen Spinelli.  Eleven-year-old Belinda "Bindi" Winkler and her family find their way through tough times with the love and support of the community that grows around their newly opened restaurant, "The Dancing Pancake."


American Ace by Marilyn Nelson.  Acclaimed poet Nelson has written a proud piece of family history into an intriguing what–if: suppose you find out your father’s father was not who he thought.  Sixteen-year-old white Connor tries to help his severely depressed father, who learned upon his mother's death that Nonno was not his biological father. His  research reveals Dad's father was probably a Tuskegee Airman.

Monday, April 11, 2016

#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- Dead Wake

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is: Dead Wake by Erik Larson. The books we have chosen for this read-alike will be books that are engaging, well written books of particular periods or events in history.


Dead Wake by Erik Larson
On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania's Captain placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. 

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.








READ-ALIKES:



The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, The River of Doubt is the true story of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing exploration of one of the most dangerous rivers on earth. The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron.

After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find, the first descent of an unmapped, rapids-choked tributary of the Amazon. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the western hemisphere forever.



A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester
Winchester brings his storytelling abilities, as well as his understanding of geology, to the extraordinary San Francisco Earthquake, exploring not only what happened in northern California in 1906 that leveled a city symbolic of America's relentless western expansion, but what we have learned since about the geological underpinnings that caused the earthquake. He also positions the quake's significance along the earth's geological timeline and shows the effect it had on the rest of 20th-century California and American history.





At the end of the last century, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was a booming coal-and-steel town filled with hardworking families striving for a piece of the nation's burgeoning industrial prosperity. In the mountains above Johnstown, an old earth dam had been hastily rebuilt to create a lake for an exclusive summer resort patronized by the tycoons of that same industrial prosperity, among them Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon. Despite repeated warnings of possible danger, nothing was done about the dam. Then came May 31, 1889, when the dam burst, sending a wall of water thundering down the mountain, smashing through Johnstown, and killing more than 2,000 people. It was a tragedy that became a national scandal.

A bank of clouds was assembling on the not-so-distant horizon, but journalist-mountaineer Jon Krakauer, standing on the summit of Mt. Everest, saw nothing that "suggested that a murderous storm was bearing down." He was wrong. The storm, which claimed five lives and left countless more--including Krakauer's--in guilt-ridden disarray, would also provide the impetus for Into Thin Air, Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster.





In August 1914 the two greatest navies in the world confronted each other across the North Sea. At first there were skirmishes, then battles off the coasts of England and Germany and in the far corners of the world. The British attempted to force the Dardanelles with battleships - which led to the Gallipoli catastrophe. As the stalemate on the ground on the Western Front continued, the German Navy released a last strike against the British 'ring of steel'. The result was Jutland, a titanic and brutal battle between dreadnoughts. There will never again be a war like this in which seagoing monsters hurl shells at each other until one side is destroyed. The story is driven by some of the most dramatically intriguing personalities in history: Churchill and Jacky Fisher, Jellicoe and Beatty. And then there were the powerful Germans - von Pohl, Scheer, Hipper, and the grand old fork-bearded genius Tirpitz.



Wilson by A. Scott Berg
One hundred years after his inauguration, Woodrow Wilson still stands as one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century, and one of the most enigmatic. 

From the scholar-President who ushered the country through its first great world war to the man of intense passion and turbulence, from the idealist determined to make the world “safe for democracy” to the stroke-crippled leader whose incapacity and the subterfuges around it were among the century’s greatest secrets, the result is an intimate portrait written with a particularly contemporary point of view – a book at once magisterial and deeply emotional about the whole of Wilson’s life, accomplishments, and failings. This is not just Wilson the icon – but Wilson the man.










Friday, April 8, 2016

12 Ways Your Lake Forest Library Card Can Save You Thousands of Dollars

1. Museum and Park Discounts
Chicago Botanic Garden's Japanese Garden
The library is a part of the Museum Adventure Pass program which offers discounts to suburban Chicago museums and parks. Some of the passes include 2 free passes to the Brookfield Zoo, half off parking at the Chicago Botanic Garden, and BOGO tickets to Legoland. Just come to the library with your Lake Forest library card and we can print you off the discount pass. For a list of museums and their deals check out the Museum Adventure Pass website.

2. Free Zinio eMagazines

Through the Library's subscription to Zinio, you can access all kinds of popular magazines for free by downloading the magazines to your phone or tablet. Subscriptions include The Atlantic, ARTNews GQ, Chicago, Dwell, The Economist, Rolling Stone and many more. Just go here and create an account. Then download the app to your device and start downloading magazines.

3. 3M and Overdrive eBooks and eAudiobooks

Using both Overdrive and 3M, Lake Forest patrons can check out eBooks on their devices for free! Overdrive has a wide variety of materials from kids books to romance novels, to nonfiction business books. 3M Cloud Library has a lot of new titles exclusively for Lake Forest patrons. Unfortunately, 3M does not have eAudiobooks yet, but eAudio is available through Overdrive. For more information on how to use these services, head here.

4. Hoopla 



Through the Library's subscription to Hoopla, Lake Forest patrons can download movies, TV shows, Audiobooks, Music Albums, Graphic Novels, and eBooks. All for FREE! This great new service is easy to use and has a great variety of materials for download, especially when it comes to music. Patrons are currently limited to 10 downloads per month. Get started here.
5. Rosetta Stone 

Level One of Rosetta Stone courses are available through the Library. These courses usually cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Create your account then download the app to your device to get started.

6. Digital Newspapers
Not only does the library have print subscriptions to these and many more newspapers, but cardholders also have access to both historical database access to the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. We also offer access to online databases of current editions of the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal articles. Check them out here.

7. Tutor.com

Connects K-12, college, and adult learners with online tutors for live, one-to-one help in math, science, English, social studies, and writing. Adults can also receive one-to-one career help, citizenship test prep, and GED prep. Tutors are available from 2:00 to 11:00 p.m., seven days a week.

8. Morningstar and ValueLine

Morningstar is a useful investment analysis tool including screeners that use your criteria to create shortlists of stocks funds, and ETF's. It also offers reports and returns and courses on 150 investment topics. ValueLine provides accurate and insightful investment research on companies, industries, markets and economies. These two services are great tools for investors of all types. Check them out, as well as Standard & Poors, Consumers Checkbook, Consumer Reports and more here.

9. Freegal 
Discover and download MP3 music tracks from Sony Music Entertainment’s catalog. Each Lake Forest Library cardholder can download 3 tracks per week beginning each Monday. The best part is that the music you download, you get to keep!

10. The Great Courses

Lake Forest Library has over 140 Great Courses lectures. These very popular and expensive courses range in topics from Masters of Photography to an Entrepreneur's Tool Kit to the Great Minds of the Medieval World. The Great Courses are uniquely crafted for lifelong learners like you, with engaging, immersive learning experiences you can’t get in a lecture hall. These DVDs are located in the lower level of the library.


11. The Media Lab

Our new space offers patrons a place to edit graphics, videos, and music using entry and professional level software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Garage Band, Logic Pro, iMovie, Final Cut Pro and more. Make an appointment here!

12. Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com provides Lake Forest cardholders with access to genealogy sources primarily for the U.S. and the U.K. including the U.S. Federal Census from 1790 to 1930; the Social Security Death Index; marriage, birth, court, and military records; and historical maps and photographs. Ancestry.com can only be used at the library.

Monday, April 4, 2016

#RAMonday: Read-Alike Monday- The Nest

Every Monday we will pick a popular book to highlight and make a list of books that are similar for you to enjoy. Click on the book's title to be linked to the catalog where you can see if the book is available or place a hold for it. This week's book is: The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney.


The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. This accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems. 

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down.


READ-ALIKES:

For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated. This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. 




Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence—creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter's role in an absurd world.


Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years. But after falling prey to a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi scheme, she’s flat broke. Now Mimi must write a new book for the first time in decades, and to ensure the timely delivery of her manuscript, her New York publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old. As she slowly gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who Frank’s father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.



The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.


The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings, Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life at age thirty; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. 

The friendships endure and even prosper, but also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. Wide in scope, ambitious, and populated by complex characters who come together and apart in a changing New York City, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship.



Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.