Mount Prospect, you’ve been reading, and we’ve been talking! Every week we have been extending an open invitation for readers to gather and share the books keeping them company in these odd times. We’ve chatted romance, dark fantasy, nonfiction, mysteries, feel-good, horror, and elegant prose. Check out the titles brought by our attendees, and please consider joining us for this week’s conversation: Let’s Talk Books!
There are times when the most satisfying tension release is to lose ourselves in someone else’s (fictional) drama. To help escape our own strain, it can feel cathartic to be swept away in dark thrills, mystery, action, or espionage. If a flair for the dramatic sounds good to you right now, check out these staff suggestions available to watch from home on Hoopla and Kanopy with your library card.
This psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat all season long! The story follows a serial killer and the detective intent on bringing him down. As the story progresses, the two become obsessed with each other. Will he or won’t he be caught? You’ll have to watch and find out. ~Al
Who knew that Wales could hold its own against Scandinavia with moody, can’t-look-away noir? This limited series has all the hallmarks, including baggage-laden investigators and immersive sense of place. ~Cathleen
Leave No Trace follows a veteran and his teenage daughter who live in the woods in the Pacific Northwest. It follows their lifestyle, their bond, and how unsustainable their lifestyle becomes and how both of them try to adapt. ~Chelsea
This classic may be remembered for moments of stylish banter, but it also boasts multiple twists on whom can be trusted. Director Stanley Donen’s playful mix of light and dark is a cross-generational favorite. ~Cathleen
Who doesn’t miss Kit Harington from Game of Thrones? Get your next fix of him in Gunpowder, a historical drama set in the 1600s based on the Gunpowder plot to assassinate King James I of England. With striking visuals, a stellar score, and top-notch acting, this will surely please fans of historical fiction ~Al
Expertly portraying the gritty depths and darkness of human nature, this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel wisely plants the compelling bleak-yet-determined qualities of the characters at the forefront. ~Cathleen
One of the booming arenas of publishing, YA Lit is relatable, well-paced, and offers all the feels. Many stories tackle issues squarely, but in a hopeful way, which makes them an appealing reading choice no matter if your teen years are far behind you. Choose from these hand-picked favorites available on OverDrive or Hoopla, and don’t miss previous staff recommendations for what to read, watch, or listen from home. Looking for something to match a specific mood or interest? Send a request for customized suggestions, and our expert advisory staff will be happy to make your match.
Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
A motley group of uncool kids are set up by a secret society known as the Chaos Club, so they band together and instigate a prank war. With short chapters, high energy, and the mix of shadowy conspiracy with underdog tale, this is a winner for a variety of teen and adult readers. ~Cathleen
Reading the pages of Gabi’s journal is a gut-punch. On the cusp of adulthood, navigating body shaming, racism, and finding her own voice along with the joys that come from learning how to celebrate yourself and what you love in life, Gabi is a character you’ll want to keep rooting for. ~Jenny
I love books that oscillate between different characters so I get multiple points of view. Let Me Hear a Rhyme highlights three high school students as they work to honor their murdered friend by making him a rap celebrity. Fast paced, full of secrets, and heavy with friendship.. ~Al
I usually give wide berth to stories about boxing, but this tale of a bullied cartoonist in Nazi-era Berlin taking lessons from German national hero Max Schmeling completely won me over. A crowd-pleasing underdog story against backdrop of art, history, and family. ~Cathleen
Sadie attempts to get over her epic heartbreak over her best friend in this satisfying, humorous, uplifting read that is great for fans of Sarah Dessen! The overall hopeful tone of the book paired with Sadie’s dogged attempt to move on makes this book one of my personal favorites. ~Jenny
Looking for a book that’ll keep you turning the pages until the very end? After the Fire is it! Not for the feint of heart, this twisty, turny, thriller escape plot will keep you engaged the entire time. ~Al
Endearing Jesobel presents as a young woman who knows who she is and what she has to offer, and it’s only when faced with a new crush that her self-assurance begins to erode. British teens, sassy dialogue, and friends who love enough to call each other on their stuff — this is a recipe for an entertaining read. ~Cathleen
Want great listens to immerse you in new stories? TrySYNC, a free summer audiobook program that gives away two themed titles each week for downloading. These are top-quality productions featuring standout performances, and though the design is to encourage literacy and listening in teens across the country, adults and families find ready entertainment, too!
Though your commute might be nonexistent these days, audiobooks can still keep you company during cooking and chores, on brief solitary walks, or for taking a break from others in the house. Earlier staff digital picks posts also include audiooptions, but today’s titles are uniquely recommended for the escape of their listening experiences. We can also help with customized suggestions for which titles in OverDrive or Hoopla might be a perfect match for your current mood.
How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper
Looking to fill the Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine-shaped hole? This story features a quirky main character navigating life in a different way than his peers, met with challenges as his solitary and usual routine is disrupted by his need for friendship and maybe even love. ~Chelsea
The Dresden Files, a series centered on a Chicago-based wizard, is one of my go-tos for fun, fantastic, witty adventure in audio, and this inventive heist story set in the underworld is its own reward. ~Cathleen
Sweet and sexy. Charming main characters who fall in love through a case of memory loss and misunderstanding after Cecilia lied about being a wife to her brother’s friend to nurse him back to health and find her missing brother. Delightful audio. ~Liz
In prose that evokes haunting melodies, master narrators take turns giving voice to musicians around the globe who must balance passion and idealism with the realities of making one’s way in the world. ~Cathleen
A fun, light listen. I often found myself suppressing laughter while listening to this in public. Humorous, yet also an insightful look at social media obsession and the toll it can take on us all at times. ~Liz