Book Chat with Library Staff, Part Five

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Library staff members joined Allyson and Becca to bring you what they have been reading, listening to, and enjoying recently.

  • Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women's Fight for Their Rights

    2019 by Kendall, Mikki

    I love books that show us perspectives of history that we don’t often learn about—and this book is exactly that. It’s basically a primer on groups of women, as well as individuals, that you may or may not know. An instructor in a futuristic classroom guides us through the time periods with a lens that is much more inclusive than other history books I’ve read. Recommended by Allyson.

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  • Laziness Does Not Exist: A Defense of the Exhausted, Exploited, and Overworked

    2021 by Price, Devon

    If you want to focus on a different type of self-help book, one that is more about being your best self and not “how to be more productive” or “how to do more,” but actually “how to do less and how to feel comfortable in that feeling,” this is a fabulous book to pick up. Recommended by Becca.

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  • Migrations

    2020 by McConaghy, Charlotte

    What I liked about this book is that it felt like there were two journeys (or two plots) at once. The writing style kept me engaged, because there was just enough suspense, just enough mystery, and just enough of me piecing things together and wanting to know the truth. I also really liked how this was about a climate change, dystopian mystery framed in isolation, wandering, and forgiveness. Recommended by Amy.

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  • Slay the Dragon


    This documentary is about gerrymandering. Sharon, our movie expert, called it "alarming, yet hopeful," and said that "the filmmakers did a fantastic job explaining the practice, its far-reaching effects, and also following grassroots campaigns to stop partisan gerrymandering." It's accessible and compelling, which helps us learn more about this important topic. Recommended by Allyson and Sharon.

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  • The Great Concert of the Night

    2020 by Buckley, Jonathan

    This book has been compared to Weather, a favorite book of 2020. We find it an uncanny novel—an elegant, perfectly polished work of art. Written by a man of high culture with a well-stocked mind, it gives pleasure and provokes admiration on every page, as its storyline gently advances through a series brief vignettes, each word worth lingering over. Recommended by Becca, Steven, and Adam.

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  • The Only Good Indians

    2020 by Jones, Stephen Graham

    This book, mentioned by a handful of staff members, is really intriguing. Lynnanne and Andrew specifically recommended this book, and they said that it is lyrical, super scary, and just plain terrific—the horror novel to read this year. Recommended by Tiffany, Lynnanne, and Andrew.

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  • Interior Chinatown

    2020 by Yu, Charles

    It’s metafiction, so it’s written as a screenplay, and it's one of those books that people said should be read and not listened to. Chris described it as one of the funniest, most creative, and deliciously clever books he read last year. Recommended by Becca and Chris.

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  • Reckless

    2008 by Montgomery, Selena

    Did you know that Stacey Abrams, social justice warrior, is also a romance writer? She writes under a nom de plume, Selena Montgomery, and has has written eight romantic suspense books. Reckless is suspenseful and intense, and I'm completely sold. Recommended by Becca.

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  • The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance during the Blitz

    2020 by Larson, Erik

    This book is an absorbing, day-by-day report of what was happening in Britain from the first day Churchill came to power. It’s a great character study of Churchill and the people he relied upon. It was engaging, it was engrossing, and it read like fiction. It was fun and even gossipy to read about the inner workings of Churchill’s family and friends. Recommended by Terry.

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  • Year of the Rabbit

    2020 by Tian

    This one ended up on our Best of the Year. It’s written from the perspective of this one extended family and—using Chris's words—"their incredible struggle to survive their internment in the brutal work camps of Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, all of which ensure this graphic novel packs a wallop. It’s important, and it’s beautifully and heartrendingly told." Recommended by Allyson and Chris.

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  • Dozens of Doughnuts

    2020 by Finison, Carrie

    This is suggested by Meleesa, who is one of our outstanding storytime librarians. She says it's “such a fun read, and it incorporated rhyming, colorful pictures, and so many kinds of doughnuts—yum!” Recommended by Allyson and Meleesa.

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  • Slippery Creatures

    2020 by Charles, KJ

    This is the first book in a new series by K. J. Charles, who is one of Perry's favorite romance novel writers. The relationship is really great, and it takes place, for the most part, in a bookstore. We love a library or bookstore story, and authors may be onto us, knowing that if they set their books in a library or a bookstore, we’re apt to like them just a little bit more. Recommended by Becca and Perry.

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  • The Vanishing Half

    2020 by Bennett, Brit

    I love how this book tackles the big issues—of generational trauma, and how secrets and lies can affect other generations—with care and simplicity. Brit Bennett’s writing style is really beautiful. It has a little bit of everything that I look for in a good book; it was thought-provoking, emotional, and the pace was measured perfectly. Recommended by Maridsa.

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  • A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby

    2020 by Riley, Vanessa

    I'm so excited to promote this slow-burning Regency romance starring a West Indian heiress who finds herself in the care of The Widow's Grace, a secret society whose mission is to help ill-treated widows regain their status and their families. Bridgerton author Julia Quinn calls it “Smart and witty...the perfect historical read.” Recommended by Allyson.

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