Once upon a Crime: Mystery

Who doesn’t love a good mystery novel? I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to favor mysterious fiction with content others may deem dark or disturbing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading. In fact, that might be the exact reason literature of this sort is worth seeing through to the end. After all, what one reader considers dark or disturbing, another might find beautiful, hopeful, and moving.

Here’s a couple that are joining my book self:

  1. Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water (5/2/2017)
by Paula Hawkins

“With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.” – Goodreads

2. Little Deaths by Emma Flint

Little Deaths (1/17/17)
by Emma Flint

“Inspired by a true story, Little Deaths, like celebrated novels by Sarah Waters and Megan Abbot, is compelling literary crime fiction that explores the capacity for good and evil in us all.” – Goodreads

3. See What I have Done by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done(8/1/17)
by Sarah Schmidt

“In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.” – Goodreads

4. Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil

silentchild

“This dark and disturbing psychological novel will appeal to fans of The Widow and The Butterfly Garden.” – Goodreads

Don’t miss out on these great crime reads! Visit Fountaindale.org and place a copy on hold!

-DR

 

 

 

Advertisements

Stay Forever Young with YA Lit!

Hello, book lovers!

Are you an adult who loves to read Young Adult literature? Or wanting to dive into a new genre known for its diversity, beautiful writing, and innovative stories? The Forever Young Adult Book Club has a new meeting night! Join us on Monday, September 11 at 7 PM in the Local History room to talk about your favorite YA literature! We also now have a Meetup group on Meetup.com where you can stay up-to-date on our meetings.

Here is a little bit about each of our upcoming featured books for the fall!

September 11
Enchanted Air by Margarita Engle
Poetry memoir

enchanted-air

Margarita is a girl from two worlds. Her heart lies in Cuba, her mother’s tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lives in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. Words and images are her constant companions, friendly and comforting when the children at school are not. Then a revolution breaks out in Cuba. Margarita fears for her far-away family. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupts at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Margarita’s worlds collide in the worst way possible. How can the two countries she loves hate each other so much? And will she ever get to visit her beautiful island again? In this poetic memoir, Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. –Goodreads

October 9
And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
Horror

And the Trees Crept In

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see? –Goodreads

November 13
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Contemporary fiction

Aristotle_and_Dante_Discover_the_Secrets_of_the_Universe

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. –Goodreads

December 11
Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
Contemporary fiction

Kill the boy band

Four fan-girls of The Ruperts, sneak away to a hotel in Manhattan to see their favorite boy band, but when one of them literally drags Rupert Pierpont to their room and they tie him up, things get complicated–and when Rupert is killed things go from bad to worse.

Hope to see you there!

-ES

7 Reasons Adults Should Read YA

Hey, readers! Did you know Fountaindale started a book club for adults who love Young Adult literature? Well, now you do! Our book clubs page has all the info you need to get involved, be you a Hunger Games fanatic, John Green buff, or Rainbow Rowell fangirl.

There are so many great reasons why adults love to read YA, but here are 7 of them, in case you want to get started yourself, or in case you just need a reminder of how awesome YA is!

1. Beautiful writing

Although you may not find complex Dickensian or stark Hemingway-an(?) writing, you will find some of the most poetic and quotable prose out there at the moment. There’s no wonder people keep making posters of YA quotes to hang on their walls. It’s just so beautiful!

John Green love quote
Source

2. Diverse characters

Diversity is growing by leaps and bounds in literature, and honestly, it’s the YA genre that’s leading the way. From LGBTQ+ reads to Black Lives Matter-inspired books, YA has taken great strides to represent historically underrepresented characters in literature.

3. SO. MANY. GENRES.

YA lit is a category of literature geared towards young adult audiences, and that’s literally the only requirement for a book to be YA. That means each and every genre is represented within YA: sci-fi, fantasy, romance, horror, historical fiction, realistic fiction, urban fiction – you name it, there is something for EVERYBODY.

books-colorful-harry-potter

4. Innovation

Some of the most innovative books I have read are in the YA genre. Most YA authors don’t feel the need to conform to any set of literary rules, so they are free to experiment with form and genre as much as they want. For example, some YA books, like Winter Town and I Am Princess X, are fusions of novels and graphic novels together. Others, like The Illuminae Files, are stories told in non-narrative formats: try a sci-fi epic written purely as a case file of emails, IMS, security reports, and court records. Genius!

Illuminae pages
From Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

5. No fear

Despite being written for younger people, YA books tackle hard-hitting issues. YA is not afraid to address sexual abuse, depression, etc., and YA books grapple with the harshness of life while remaining accessible to a younger audience. So if you like serious issues, but don’t like the way adult literature portrays them, YA might be a better fit!

6. Freshness

If you’re looking for fresh new voices, YA is full of them. It’s also just great to stay up-to-date with what the young’ins are into these days.

YA Books Teen Zone
Source

7. Just plain fun

Seriously. YA books can be quite the page-turners. They can be exciting, hilarious, or heart-wrenching, and sometimes all 3 in one. If you start, you’ll only want more.

7030239035_624c94268a
Source

So what are you waiting for??

-ES

March 2017 TBR

Hey guys! I’d love to share my “to-be-read” list for March. I am hoping to read 5 books this month.7218138

                                                                             ***
The first book I’ll be reading is Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by brilliant Mark Twain.
This book was my absolute favorite growing up!
It will be my 3rd time reading it, so I am excited to see if I can pick up something new or catch something I may have missed previously. I will be reading this book with the Great Reads Book Club and I cannot wait to hear what they have to say about this American classic!

***

I will be returning to the world of criminal procedure in Dublin. Last year I have been introduced to Tana French and her Dublin Murder Squad Series. In the Woods is the first book in that series and it’s absolutely brilliant! What made In the Woods  the-likeness-pbsuch an amazing debut novel was Tana’s beautiful, descriptive prose, great plot and three-dimensional characters. Oh, and did I mention that the narrator is unreliable? It’s so great! The Likeness is the 2nd book in the series and I am beyond excited for my comeback to Ireland and its criminal world.

***

20559In the beginning of the year I made a promise to myself that 2017 will be the year of exploring new genres. Ubik, written by the master of science-fiction Phillip K. Dick, is that book. His works inspired Hollywood blockbusters such as Total Recall (1990),
The Adjustment Bureau (2011), Screamers (1995), Minority Report (2002), Next (2007), Paycheck (2003) and quintessential sci-fi classic Blade Runner (1982). For my first PKD read, I wanted to select a book that was not turned into a movie and Ubik was a perfect choice.

***

The Refugees by Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen is the fourth book on my March TBR list. This book presents tragic, emotionally devastating the-refugees-thanhstories of Vietnamese refugees in California. This book seemed to be a perfect read in our contemporary political environment.

                                   ***

1105full-the-story-of-civilization,-vol-ii--the-life-of-greece-by-will-durant.-coverAnother one of my New Year’s resolutions was to read more
historical non-fiction. Here I want to step out of my comfort zone and read more works of ancient history instead of modern history. This is why I picked a giant tome The Life of Greece by Will Durant. Published in 1939, this work is still widely considered to be an authority text on the topic of Ancient Greece and Durant’s name is genuinely cherished in historical circles. I am excited to read this epic tome but I probably will not finish it in March.

by Ilya K

New Book Club! Forever Young Adult

Fountaindale is excited to announce the start of a new book club in March of 2017! “Forever Young Adult” is a book club for those 18 and older who love to read Young Adult Literature!

Many of us know that Young Adult Literature is definitely NOT just for young adults! Loved Harry Potter? The Hunger Games? Even Twilight? (If so, that’s okay, we won’t tell anyone!) Or maybe you are a John Green buff who read The Fault in Our Stars the day it came out. Or maybe you haven’t read a YA book in your life but are curious as to what all the fuss is about! From super-fans to causal readers to newbies, this club is for YOU.

Young Adult literature might be easier to read than adult fiction, but as a genre, it is known for its creative, out-of-the-box concepts, emotional resonance, and memorable characters. This is why so many adults enjoy reading “YA” lit. Where else can you find books entirely written as case files or love letters to someone long dead? New and innovative ways of storytelling are being published in YA all the time – even genres like nonfiction and poetry are gaining ground in YA. The Forever Young Adult book club plans to explore the latest hits in the YA genre and participate in engaging discussions about the texts we read.

eleanor & park

First up for the new book club is our March read: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. Rainbow Rowell has become one of the biggest names in YA over the last few years, and Eleanor & Park is arguably her best YA novel. Here is a brief synopsis:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Even if you absolutely will never be caught dead with a love story, this book will surprise you. Far from ooey-gooey romance, the book is filled with witty quips and awesome 80s references. It’s funny, poignant, and adorable all at the same time.

The Forever Young Adult Book Club will meet every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Board Room, starting with our first meeting on March 8th. No registration is necessary! To reserve your copy of Eleanor & Park, you can call Adult and Teen Services at 630-685-4176 or visit the 3rd Floor Reference Desk!

Great Reads Book Club – January’s Book

6606456Great Reads Book Club kicked off the New Year with Nancy Pickard’s The Scent of Rain and Lightning. Apart from one person, who did not like anything about the book, everyone enjoyed Pickard’s mystery. While the majority liked the book, there was a uniform consensus that the final 20 to 30 pages could have been better plotted and better written. Unfortunately, a poorly-written conclusion muddles an enjoyable reading experience.

The most impressive aspect about Nancy Pickard’s The Scent of Rain and Lightning is its setting. According to the author, an idea for the story was born from the landscape. Pickard saw a photograph of Monument Rocks in Gove County, Kansas and was, according to her own words, ‘blown away’.

A small, fictional town of Rose is unpredictable. There are tornadoes, ice storms, bad economy and unresolved mysteries. When Jody Linder was 3 her father was murdered and her mother disappeared. A local drunkard and suspected wife beater Billy Crosby is arrested and imprisoned for committing the crime. Billy tries to convince everyone that he did not kill Jody’s father, but it is a word of an unpredictable, self-destructing man versus an overwhelming majority of a ‘decent’ community. 23 years later Billy’s sentence is commuted and he is released from jail. Billy’s early release unleashes an erratic chain of events; an incident that changes lives of nearly everyone living in Rose.

The Scent of Rain and Lightning has a few plot holes but that should not stop potential readers from picking this book up. The story is engaging and, as I have mentioned previously, the small town setting is believable and engrossing. Rural Kansas comes alive through Pickard’s writing. If you prefer a great sense of place over mystery , I definitely recommend this book. A movie adaptation starring Justin Chatwin (Shameless, War of the Worlds) will be released in 2017.

-Ilya

 

Great Reads Book Club – September’s Book

omw0510Old Man’s War by John Scalzi was a step outside of what the Great Reads Book Club usually reads. Most people in our discussion group thought the book was “clever, engaging and filled with interesting concepts.” The book explores what happens when a 75-year old man decides to transfer his consciousness into a genetically enhanced, 25 year-old body and joins the Colonial Defense Force in a war effort against alien species. And, of course, what happens is not pretty.

Why would our protagonist John Perry decide to join a war that is almost certainly going to kill him? Well, the love of his life Kathy passes away and, with an aged body, there is just not much left for John to live for on Earth anymore. After visiting his deceased wife’s grave, John’s leaves the planet and his adventure begins. Old Man’s War is packed with action, cool scientific concepts and different alien species.

There was one important problem with Old Man’s War. The majority of characters in the book are old people, and yet all of them, without exception, talk and act like teenagers. In short – this is a missed opportunity. Old people are interesting because they have years and years of experience, wisdom, memories and knowledge under their belt. Unfortunately, these characteristics are only mentioned passingly and don’t play a meaningful part in the story. Additionally, the story’s premise was so promising: “75 year old man transfers his consciousness into a genetically enhanced, 25 year-old body and joins the army.” Ideas on ethics and philosophy could have been explored in greater detail here. Instead, we have a military space shooter that’s primarily interested in entertaining the reader, not making her think.

When it’s all said and done, Old Man’s War is a decent book. It’s entertaining and, at times, very funny. If you enjoy fast-paced narrative and cool action scenes – read this book immediately. However, if you like reading science fiction and think about ethical themes and philosophy, I would not recommend reading this book. Check out The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu instead.

by Ilya Kabirov