Look What We’re Reading

A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's A Study in Emerald by Neil…An adapted version of a Neil Gaiman short story,  A Study in Emerald is a graphic novel almost guaranteed to delight fans of Lovecraft and mysteries. We are introduced to the alternative world of Sherlock Holmes where the old god of Lovecraftian has ruled over humanity for 700 years. Taking it’s title, and many of its plot points, from A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle this genre-meshing work entertains while enticing the reader to discover its literary references.  Greg 

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Vox by Christina DalcherVox  is set in a dystopian America where half the population is no longer allowed to work, read, write, or speak more than 100 words a day.   For the least year Dr. Jean McClellan has been forced into silence and torn from her neurological research simply because she is a woman.   As a well renowned researcher in her field, Dr. McClellan is suddenly sought out to get back into the lab to work on finishing her research that improves otherwise damaged cognitive function.  This gives her a bargaining chip to remove her and her daughter’s word restrictions, as the world around her spirals into chaos. She is determined to survive and free her daughter from the chains of the new regime. Beth

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

This is a novel set in the 1980s and contemporary Paris.  The main characters are a director of a Chicago art gallery, and a woman searching for her estranged daughter in Paris.  Both characters are struggling with coming to terms with how AIDS has affected their lives.  This is my favorite read thus far this year. The book is very informative yet so very compassionate about a tumultuous time which should not be forgotten. The author draws in the reader in with two flawed but  soulful main characters.  As a reader, I felt invested in their lives and could not put down the book until I knew their whole The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkaistory. This book gets a huge thumbs -up from me.  Mary                                                     

 The Great Believers by Rebecca Makai is a novel chock full of plots, sub-plots, characters, surprises and emotional poignancy. Told in alternating chapters, it begins in 1985 at the start of the AIDS epidemic in Chicago, where Yale Tishman and his partner, Charlie, prepare for a memorial service for Nico, a friend who has recently died of AIDS. Yale has recently started a job at an art gallery at Northwestern University and is tasked with the job of encouraging a donation of potentially authentic 20th century drawings from a reticent donor. Fast forward to 2015, where Nico’s sister, Fiona,  is in Paris to find her estranged grown daughter. Fiona hung out with Nico’s friends in her youth and continues to grieve the loss of Nico and so many other young men she befriended. One of my favorites of 2018 so far! Dori

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by  Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen…I’ve previously seen the movie adaptation by author Chbosky himself, and I’m currently leading a Film Club for teens at the Lakewood Young Filmmakers Academy. We will be watching the film and reading the book, and then discussing the pros and cons of the adaptation. I had enjoyed the movie and the way the performers brought it to life very much back in 2012. The book is a series of letters that Freshman Charlie writes to an imaginary friend, or perhaps his future self. Charlie, the somewhat introverted “Wallflower”, is coming-of-age in the 1990s and struggles with periods of depression. Sex, drugs, family, friends, and gradually developing skills as a writer all provide drama as he shares his feelings through this time full of change.  Byron

Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews, Post-Holocaust America by Eric J. Sunquist

Strangers in the Land: Blacks, Jews,…This book is a cultural history of African-American-Jewish relations, and looks at the relationship through the perspective of law, politics, literature, and sociology.  There is a lot of fascinating stuff about the way both groups have used the Exodus story as a template for imagining their groups’ destinies.  It is inspiring to read about the African-American and Jewish coalition during the Civil Rights era, but dispiriting to read about the coalition in our present day.  Still, this is a very intelligent and comprehensive book about these two unique and important peoples.  Andrew

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather MorrisThis  novel is based on the true story of concentration survivors, Lale Sokolov and Gita Furman. Lale became the camp tattooist numbering inmates when they arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Gita had a relatively safe job working as a secretary at the administrative building. Lale was able to secure sausages, chocolate, and medicine by smuggling out jewels and money confiscated from camp prisoners by the SS. Gita and Lale were separated at the end of the war but eventually find each other and marry. A powerful, gut-wrenching tale.  Emma

While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft

While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn CroftTara Logan does not have the perfect family, but they are trying and things are looking up.  She and her husband have reconciled after a separation, and her teenage daughter, Rosie, has stopped stalking the boy she had a crush on-for now.  Unfortunately, her luck is not meant to last–Tara wakes up one morning in her neighbor Lee’s bed.  She has no memory other than having a drink with Lee in his living room, but awakens to find him lying next to her, stabbed to death.  In a panic she runs home and waits for the body to be discovered, telling no one what happened that night.  But soon suspicion falls upon herself, her daughter and her husband, and Tara realizes she must find the murderer  before her family is destroyed.  A good thriller with many plot twists- I was guessing until the end.  Sara




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