Book Chat with Library Staff, Part Six

By Skokie Staff Advisory Services

Becca and Allyson lead regular sessions during which staff learn about what everyone is reading or watching. Enjoy some of our latest recommendations.

  • Glory: Magical Visions of Black Beauty

    2020 by Bethencourt, Kahran

    This is a coffee-table photography book by a husband and wife duo. They are the proprietors of CreativeSoul Photography out of Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve followed their Instagram for a while, and their photos are unbelievably gorgeous. Once you see this beautiful book, you’ll want to follow them on all of their social media, just so you can get more of their photography every day. Recommended by Becca.

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  • Game Changer

    2021 by Shusterman, Neal

    This is a little bit science fiction in the sense that Ash, the main character who is on a football team, can enter new dimensions when he tackles people—and he's able to see things from their perspectives. The story has an innovative approach and the narration is powerful: it gives you a broad sense and bridges the gap between Ash‘s perspective and what the actual situation may be. Recommended by Jimmy.

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  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

    2017 by Reid, Taylor Jenkins

    This is one of those books where I thought it was gonna be one thing—historical fiction based in Hollywood—but it was so much more than that. When I got to the end, I was like, “This cannot be fiction!” It feels so real, I want to go watch Evelyn Hugo’s films—it's the beauty and the magic of this particular story. I highly, highly recommend it. Recommended by Becca.

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  • The Black Flamingo

    2020 by Atta, Dean

    This quick read is perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Kwame Alexander; all of them are amazing novelists-in-verse. But this coming-of-age story in particular—the way the character’s language evolves as he grows older was not lost on me—I thought was really beautiful and profound. Recommended by Becca.

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  • The Office of Historical Corrections: A Novella and Stories

    2020 by Evans, Danielle

    This book is Megan's favorite book of 2020. She suggests reading the novella by the same name as the collection first, and then follow it up with a short story called "Alcatraz." But still, all the stories blew her away and comfortably wedged themselves in her memory. Recommended by Allyson and Megan.

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  • The Plot Is Murder

    2017 by Burns, V. M.

    This book was suggested by Sharon, and she says, “This is the first book in the series for which the author received an Agatha Award nomination, as well as a starred review from Library Journal. The characters are likable, fun, and often feisty. It has everything that fans of cozy mysteries love.” We think it’s just perfect for any time of year. Recommended by Allyson and Sharon.

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  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

    2010 by Jemisin, N. K.

    It usually takes me a little while to get hooked into a fantasy novel, but this book had me from the get-go. Jemisin does such a great job with world-building. A lot of times in fantasy, I feel like I get bogged down in the details, but Jemisin’s writing just keeps the pages turning. It also has a strong female heroine and a court intrigue. I love it! Recommended by Allyson.

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  • Landing

    2011 by Donoghue, Emma

    The reason I love this book is because of how the main relationship is portrayed. It feels realistic. I really get to know the characters and I’m rooting for them. A little spoiler: it has a happy ending, but it’s not without its problems—there are some ups and downs. I’ve read it multiple times now and listened to the audiobook as well. It’s just such a fantastic book. Recommended by Louise.

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  • The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History

    2021 by Walker, David

    This graphic novel engagingly and provocatively covers a lot of ground. The art perfectly depicts the emotions and tension of the time. I’ve learned a lot and I found myself rethinking and examining my own perceptions of the Black Panther Party, including the ‘why’ behind my seemingly preconceived notions. Recommended by Allyson.

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  • Judas and the Black Messiah


    This is a historical drama about Fred Hampton, who was the chairman of the Illinois branch of the Black Panther Party, and the FBI informant who betrayed him. The movie is fantastic; it’s affecting, and it’s sadly relevant. Recommended by Allyson.

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  • The Sun Down Motel

    2020 by St. James, Simone

    If you are a fan of the My Favorite Murder podcast, this is a book for you. It goes between two different points of view and two different time periods. Part of the beauty of this book comes from the twists and the turns and the surprises of it. It also has a what’s-going-on, dark, dingy, creepy and, “What’s the history here? How did we get here?” kind of feeling to it. It's super compelling. Recommended by Becca.

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