The Empty Nest

So my youngest child just left to start junior year in college. What will I do now that I don't have half-empty glasses littering my coffee table, unmade beds to make and candy wrappers in my cushions to collect and dispose of? Seriously, I truly do miss the company and who in the world is going to turn […]

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Literary Criticism is Not Boring!

Literary Criticism is Not Boring

Okay, so literary criticism is boring. If you're not into classic, historic or highfalutin literature, you really don't care what makes something classic, historic or highfalutin. But give it a chance . . . When you find a critic who can actually write, you stumble across a whole new landscape of writers and their words. […]

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Challenge Accepted: Learn About ALS

bucket filled with ice

Niles Public Library challenged CPL to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. To meet the challenge, we pulled together some of the best resources about ALS from our collection. We now challenge all Chicagoans to read and learn more about this disease. Maybe you’ve been “called out” and you’re filling your bucket and preparing […]

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Happy Birthday, Ray Bradbury!

Ray Bradbury is easily one of the most celebrated authors of the 21st century. I’m willing to say with very good reason. He is the creator of more than 600 works spanning 7 decades. His writing is timeless and every generation can find meaning and relevance no matter the milieu. Bradbury often said he wrote […]

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The Problem With Virtue

farthing

Often when I read historical fiction, it seems that the 21st-Century world view is imported with the characters.  No more is this true than with the themes of sex and religion.  Fortunately, Marci Jefferson manages to avoid this pitfall in Girl on the Golden Coin. Young Frances Stuart, the protagonist, wishes only to make a good […]

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Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries

Cherries on a cherry tree

We know life isn't always a bowl of cherries, despite how much we'd like it to be, unless of course you happen to be visiting Door County, Wisconsin. Aside from abundant cherry farms and roadside stands where you can pick up pints of fresh cherries, jams, cherry pie and even cheese with chunks of cherries in it, Door […]

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That Guy Knows Everything

That Guy Knows Everything

Did you ever wonder what it's like to know everything? Or at least to know enough to fake it? There are a few books out there which give you a glimpse of the world of ultimate knowledge. In The Grand Design, Stephen Hawking has apparently grown so smart he can claim on the first page […]

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After You’ve Read Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Books stacked on a table

Women's fiction fans - we may be few but we're certainly proud! Sometimes it feels as if we are in a reading rut - waiting for our favorite women's fiction authors to come out with their next release. Believe me, I scour the web and have carefully organized lists of titles and authors and even upcoming […]

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Bring Me an Orange Every Day

One of my favorite patrons, Carlos, was telling me about his volunteer work at a hospice and the elderly man he visited. When Carlos found out he liked oranges, he brought a bag in and carefully peeled one for him as they talked. As Carlos was leaving, the elderly gentleman told him to take the bag with […]

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It’s Alright to Be a Lefty!

Left palm with message

I used to come home from kindergarten crying because my teacher insisted I was holding my pencil wrong. Yep, I’m a lefty and no matter how much coaxing, cajoling or coercing involved, I was not going to be right-handed or even ambidextrous. Luckily, my right-handed mother championed my difference and I was allowed to proudly hold […]

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