Staff Profile

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Lists

Essential Nonfiction Exploring Asian Culture and Asian American Experiences

To honor Asian and Asian American heritage, we've put together a list of nonfiction books that explore Asian culture and Asian American experiences throughout history.

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Enthralling Asian American Fiction

Here are some of our staff's favorite fiction titles written by Asian American authors. These books will make you laugh, cry, and captivate you until the end.

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Searching for Clues, Love, and Magic (and Zombies!?)

Here are some of our favorites by Asian American authors—from fun and fascinating mystery, sweet and fiery romance, action-filled and entrancing fantasy, all the way to bone-chilling horror.

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Asian Perspectives on Screen

In recent years, the entertainment industry seems to be moving a bit forward in a positive direction when it comes to Asian and Asian American films. In 2020, *Parasite,* a Korean movie, even made it to the Oscars and won Best Picture. We’ve gathered a few of our favorite movies and TV shows produced, directed, or written by Asian and Asian American creators. Turn on your screen, sit back, and enjoy!

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Stuck Together

If only forced proximity would always lead to love! In these romantic novels, it does. Content ranges from chaste to steamy.

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Pride Films to Watch for Pride Month

Here are some of my own picks to help celebrate Pride Month! Recommended by Cecilia Cygnar.

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PRIDE Movies and TV Series

Films you can watch to celebrate Pride Month.

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Compelling Pacific Islander Stories

A collection of books and films encapsulating the rich culture and history of the Pacific Islander experience.

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Book Chat with Library Staff, Part Five

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

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Danger, Romance, Space, Magic, and Lesbian Librarians Saving the Day

Stories with everything the title says, told through a queer lens.

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Nonfiction Books to Read This Summer

Our staff suggest some fascinating nonfiction books for your summer reading pleasure. Enjoy!

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Engrossing Stories of Jewish Experience

From fantasy to literary fiction to romance, explore a wide range of stories of the Jewish experience in fiction for adults and teens.

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Book Chat with Library Staff, Part Six

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

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Stories that Reflect

We love fiction because it holds a mirror to humanity, but each mirror reflects something different. The titles spotlighted here are as varied in what they reflect and how they do it as are the authors who wrote the books.

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Juneteenth: A Celebration of Freedom and Remembrance

Juneteenth, also known as Black Independence Day, Jubilee Day, or Emancipation Day for Black Americans, is a holiday that commemorates the day the last enslaved people were emancipated in the United States on June 19, 1865 with the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas. This was two and a half years after slavery was abolished more broadly in the United States through the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and six months before the 13th Amendment in December 1865 made slavery unconstitutional. It is a day to celebrate freedom and also to remember the genocide of enslaved African Americans.

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Great Summer Reads for Beaches, Hammocks, and Poolsides

Find your next summer read with these fiction titles.

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Jewish Life and Culture in Film

From feature films to documentaries, explore a wide range of stories of the Jewish experience through film.

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Stories of Experience

How people celebrate Pride is as varied as the experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals. These books share an array of perspectives, but are still only a small selection of the LGBTQIA+ experience.

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Resistance, Liberation, and Joy

Too often, we hear about trans experiences rooted in trauma, shame, and fear. It's important that those stories exist, but we argue it's equally (if not more) important that trans stories rooted in joy also exist. Trans people, as well as people of other genders, need to see that the trans community is a beautiful community "that has resistance, liberation, joy and magic at its core" *(Cosmopolitan UK).*

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Celebrating Jewish Voices

Explore and get inspired by Jewish biographies, culinary traditions, and memoirs.

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Beginner's Guide to Audiobooks: Staff Favorites

Library staff share their favorite audiobook titles.

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Perspectives on Disability

Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture even though one in five people in the United States lives with a disability. All of these books and films show what it is like to live with various disabilities.

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Movie Musicals of the 21st Century

These fun "new classics" musicals are one sure way to get your toes tapping. Recommended by Cecilia Cygnar.

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The Greens of Summer

Summer is a time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather. This means picnics, cookouts, camping, and hitting the beach. It's also a time to exercise that green thumb of yours. So get out into the garden and grow some stuff.

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2018 Staff Picks: Mystery and Thriller

Our expert staff take a look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2018 Staff Picks: Fiction

Our expert staff take a look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2018 Staff Picks: Movies and TV

Our expert staff take a look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2018 Staff Picks: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Our expert staff take a look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2018 Staff Picks: Music

Our expert staff take a look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2018 Staff Picks: Graphic Novels

Our expert staff take a look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2018 Staff Picks: Nonfiction

Our expert staff take a look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2019 Staff Picks: Nonfiction

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2019 Staff Picks: Graphic Novels

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2019 Staff Picks: Young Adult

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2019 Staff Picks: TV Series

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2019 Staff Picks: Mystery and Suspense

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2019 Staff Picks: Music

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2019 Staff Picks: Movies

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2019 Staff Picks: Fiction

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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Black History Month: Books

For Black History Month, we're highlighting staff-recommended books written by black authors or featuring black characters, for readers of all ages.

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Black History Month: Movies & TV

For Black History Month, we're highlighting staff-recommended movies and television written, produced, or directed by black creators.

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Black History Month: Music

For Black History Month, we're highlighting staff-recommended music created and performed by black musicians.

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Beginner’s Guide to Romance Books

Romance provides readers with entertainment, sexual empowerment, emotional fulfillment, lots of fun, and an emotionally satisfying happily ever after (or at least a happily for now). And in this day and age, who doesn't want that?

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Cyberpunk Icons

Cyberpunk incorporates advanced technology in dystopian settings. Technology can work as ally or enemy, or sometimes both.

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Book Chat with Library Staff

Allyson and Becca invited fellow Skokie Public Library staff members to share what they have been reading and enjoying recently. Now we're sharing them with you!

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Book Chat with Library Staff, Part Two

Allyson and Becca, with many Skokie Public Library staff members, got together to bring you what they have been reading, listening to, and enjoying recently.

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Escape into the World of Video Games

Ly, Neil, Penny, and Perry recommend games--in this list, you'll find titles from a variety of genres, from puzzles to story-rich, character-driven games. If you are new to video games, here are some definitions of gaming terms used on this list: - Platformer: These games heavily feature platforms. To progress, players have to jump between them and avoid obstacles. Super Mario is a popular example of a platform-type game. - Rhythm: These games use music to enhance the game. Players have to time button presses to the beat of the music playing (sometimes to simulate playing musical instruments). Popular examples include Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero. - Sandbox: This type of game lets players build their own world to interact with. A popular example is Minecraft.

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A Long List of Short Novels

These books, each with 220 pages or fewer, are perfect for these strange times where our focus is so divided. Some classics, some contemporary, these novels might be low on pages but they are high on entertainment.

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Book Chat with Library Staff, Part Three

Along with many Skokie Public Library staff members, Allyson and Becca bring you what they have been reading, listening to, and enjoying recently.

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Book Chat with Library Staff, Part Four

Members of our staff join Allyson and Becca to share what they have been reading, listening to, and enjoying recently.

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2020 Staff Picks: Thrillers, Suspense, and Mysteries

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: Movies

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: Science Fiction, Dystopia, and Fantasy

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: Nonfiction

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: Romance

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: Music

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: Horror

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: Fiction

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: Teen

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: Graphic Novels

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Staff Picks: TV Series

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2020 Patron Picks

Some of the books, films, and TV series you and your neighbors have enjoyed this year.

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Beginner's Guide to Manga: Staff Favorites

We love these and think you will find something here to love, as well!

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Embrace Nature

Whether the nature you know is outside your back door or in a remote wilderness destination, there is endless beauty and wonder to be celebrated in the natural world. Skokie library staff share some favorite books about nature and the benefits of getting outdoors.

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Climate SOS

It's been 51 years since the first Earth Day celebration and 15 years since *An Inconvenient Truth*--Al Gore's attempt to wake up humanity to the planetary emergency--hit theaters. Where are we now with the environment? What is the future of civilization on our planet?

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Environmental Disasters and Dystopias

Take heed from this list of climate fiction, a specialized variety of fiction that explores the impact of an accelerating environmental crisis of our own making.

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Hope for the Planet

We could all use a little hope to counter the daily drumbeat of doom. These books describe the efforts, inventions, and policy changes aimed at saving the planet, and suggest what you, too, can do.

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Novels in Verse for Teens and Adults

If you aren't sure how you feel about poetry, novels in verse are a great place to start. The poems come together to tell one overarching story. They are generally short enough to read quickly, and every word and pause is carefully chosen to make the greatest impact.

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Sikh Awareness and Appreciation

The state of Illinois has designated April as Sikh Awareness and Appreciation month to recognize the many ways Sikh Americans have influenced American history, achievement, culture, and innovation.

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Beyond Manga: The Asian American Experience in Graphic Novels

Many people still think of manga as a Japanese graphic novel when talking about graphic novels with Asian protagonists. Here we have curated several graphic novels written or illustrated by Asian American creators.

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I Like Big Bugs and I Cannot Lie

To commemorate this summer's Brood X Cicada invasion, we've put together a list of our favorite media featuring big bugs.

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Kingdom of Dragons

Where are the dragons? Our list of suggested books and movies has something for dragon enthusiasts (or dragonologists) of all ages.

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Magic | Realism | More

Whether the author uses a pan-ethnic term such as Latino or Hispanic to describe their identity, or by their family's Hispanic origin group, the rich history of literary tradition (often, but not always, with hints of the fantastic) shines brightly in all of these stories.

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Perspectives of Hispanic Heritage on Screen

This list represents only a small selection of the great diversity of themes, perspective, and genres of Hispanic and Latinx filmmaking and television, but it is a great selection to get you started.

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The Joy of Cooking

Want some help with your next meal? Looking to learn more about food from around the world? Our staff share some of their favorite cookbooks from our awesome collection.

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Islam: Culture, Diversity, and Religion

Islam is the second largest world religion. It is also one of the most misunderstood. These books provide a window and a mirror to those who would like to learn more about the religion, its influence on culture, and the tireless work of Muslims who stand up against Islamophobia.

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Black Joy on Screen

In a *Vogue* article stressing the importance of Black joy, Chante Joseph says, "Where society has told Black people to 'be quiet' or that we’re 'too loud,' reveling in joy is an act of resistance. As our feeds become even more inundated with images of trauma, joy can help us heal, too." Here are some of our favorite depictions of Black joy on screen.

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Preserving Culture and the Power of Inspiration

This list of music and nonfiction books for Black History Month 2022 likely features one or more ways to feed your soul.

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Spotlighting Muslim Authors in Teen Fiction

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What's on the Menu?

We are excited to share with you a sample of our favorite literary recipes for mystery, love, and life.

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For the Love of Coffee

Pour yourself a cup and get cozy with these coffee-inspired reads.

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Black Joy

This list is inspired by Kleaver Cruz's The Black Joy Project, "a digital and real-world effort to center Black joy." Cruz says, "When we acknowledge that we exist in an anti-Black world that is set up to ensure we do not live, to choose life and to choose to enjoy aspects of that life is a radical act. Centering on Black joy [doesn't] ignore the realities of our collective pain; rather, it is about holding the pain and injustices we experience as Black folks around the world in tension with the joy we experience in the pain’s midst. Black joy is healing, resistance, and regeneration."

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Women Overcoming

Women's History Month honors the achievements and contributions of women in history.

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Coming Together 2022: Books for Teens

Enjoy materials selected for Coming Together 2022, Sharing Experiences of Disability. For more information about Coming Together 2022, go to https://www.comingtogether.in

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Spotlighting Muslim Authors in Adult Fiction

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What's to Eat?

Devour some delicious movies about food, cooking, chefs, and restaurants.

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Excellence in Black Fiction

Some of the best fiction by Black authors published in 2020 and early 2021.

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Feminist Movement and Theory

The feminist movement has been around for many decades and has had strong voices in each generation. These books focus on the issues that have gained momentum in recent years, with an emphasis on including the perspectives of all people.

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Coming Together 2022: Books for Adults

Enjoy materials selected for Coming Together 2022, Sharing Experiences of Disability. For more information about Coming Together 2022, go to https://www.comingtogether.in

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Spotlighting Muslim Voices: Grades K-8

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Native American and Indigenous Voices in Fiction

Celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, histories, and life experiences of Native and Indigenous people.

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Delve into Native and Indigenous Communities, Cultures, and Histories

Broaden your knowledge about the various tribes and the unique challenges Native and Indigenous communities face.

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Honoring Native and Indigenous Voices

Enjoy a selection of movies and TV series about Native and Indigenous people and communities.

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2021 Staff Picks: Nonfiction

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2021 Staff Picks: Historical Fiction

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2021 Staff Picks: Music

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2021 Staff Picks: Romance

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles. New to romance? Read our [Beginner's Guide](https://skokielibrary.info/blog/217/beginners-guide-to-romance-books/).

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2021 Staff Picks: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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Crafting Handmade Gifts

Want to make some handmade gifts this holiday season? Try one of these great crafting books.

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2021 Staff Picks: Teens

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2021 Staff Picks: Movies

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2021 Staff Picks: Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2021 Staff Picks: Literary Fiction

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2021 Staff Picks: Graphic Novels

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2021 Staff Picks: Biographies and Memoirs

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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2021 Staff Picks: TV Series

Our expert staff members look back at the year and share their favorite titles.

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What to Read If You Loved the Hulu TV Series 'Only Murders in the Building'

Our staff recommend mystery and true crime suggestions.

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Black Wizards and Lovers and P.I.s, Oh My!

In a Tor.com article entitled "The Role Publishing Plays in the Commodification of Black Pain," L.L. McKinney writes, "We know that for every 'issue' book, we need at least five more where we can go on adventures, fall in love, solve mysteries, be heroes, do everyday things like everyone else. Black readers need to see themselves in narratives outside of racism, slavery, Jim Crow, police brutality. As do non-Black readers.” From cozy mysteries to thrillers, science fiction to fantasy, and romance to horror, here we celebrate some of our favorites.

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Sweet Reads

Our library staff make their swooning and romantic Valentine's Day reading picks.

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Muslim Stories and Voices in Film

The USC report [Missing and Maligned: The Reality of Muslims in Popular Global Movies](https://assets.uscannenberg.org/docs/aii-muslim-rep-global-film-2021-06-09.pdf) found a severe lack of Muslim representation in film. These films feature and center Muslim stories that move beyond stereotypes and show the complexity and diversity of the Muslim community.

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Inspiration: Stories of Women's Accomplishments

These books and films celebrate women who've made an indelible mark on the world, even if the history books previously failed to name them.

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Women's Stories

Although it is impossible to fully encompass the breadth of women's experience, these are some of our recent favorites.

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I'm with the Band

From K-pop to rock to country to soca music, this is a fun list about boy bands, girl groups, and pursuing your dreams while falling in love.

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Adult Romances That Won't Make You Blush

Enjoy these romance titles that are full of charm and intimacy, without graphic details.

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Haunted Houses

That noise you hear in the middle of the night--is it the house settling? Or is it something more sinister? In these books, it is the later and the house is haunted. Our staff chose favorite stories about things that go bump in the night.

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Beginner's Guide to Horror: Staff-Favorite Classics

Staff recommend their favorite classic horror novels.

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Beginner's Guide to Horror: Staff Favorites

Library staff share their favorite horror titles.

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Wandering the Pages of Chicagoland

Enjoy these selections of adult and teen fiction and graphic novels by local authors or that take place in the Chicago area.

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What Is Mental Health?

In collaboration with the Douglas Center and MCC, here are titles to help start the conversation on and provide an introduction to mental health.

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Kanopy Favorites

Great movies you can stream using Kanopy. Watch and enjoy.

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Remixed Adult Classics for the Modern Reader

So many classics portray a world where marginalized people either don’t exist or lead awful lives, but these modern adaptations, inspirations, reimaginings, or retellings have reworked the originals to put these groups in the spotlight, all while staying faithful to the classic's themes.

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Reel Witches

From movies to TV series, we've got something to cast the right viewing spell.

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Witchy Fiction

We’ve conjured up some of our favorite fiction featuring magic and witches. Mostly for adults, with a few for kids and teens.

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Halloween Delights

Decorating, pumpkin carving, costume and mask making--crafts to explore come the long-awaited fall season. Everyone in the family can jump in and celebrate the season and appreciate autumnal delights.

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Remixed Classics for Teens

If you tried and could not get into the classics you were assigned to read in school, try these modern adaptations, inspirations, reimaginings, and retellings that address problematic aspects and rework the original stories to put marginal groups in the spotlight, all while staying faithful to the classic's themes.

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