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The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (2017)

I loved this charming and uplifting tale of an elderly widower, a troubled teen, and an aging spinster who are given the gift of second chances. Elizabeth Berg’s beautiful writing and heartwarming characters made The Story of Arthur Truluv a great read. I was sad to see it end!

Novelist recommends this book for fans of A Man Called Ove, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry.
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The Headmaster’s Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene (2014)

Here’s a novel that will keep you enthralled – I read it in three hours. The Headmaster’s Wife by Thomas Christopher Green is so well written and poetic, and yet also a thriller and a real page turner with several twists.
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Elizabeth the Queen by Sally Bedell Smith (2012)

The author, Sally Bedell Smith, presents an interesting look at both the private and public sides of Queen Elizabeth II in this biography. Through numerous interviews and never-before-revealed documents, she provides insight into how the second-longest reigning monarch in British history has coped with the challenges facing her country since she ascended to the throne sixty years ago. Very readable.

The queen’s diamond jubilee is being celebrated throughout 2012, with a culmination of special events in early June.

The Ides of March (2011) R

Ryan Gosling and George Clooney star in this thriller revolving around a fictitious Ohio Democratic presidential primary. Gosling plays a young, idealistic campaign worker who has pinned his hopes and dreams on the candidate, played by Clooney. As moral weaknesses on the part of Clooney’s character begin to surface, he finds himself caught up in a scandal.

Suspenseful, with a twist ending, the film features a great supporting cast including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Paul Giamatti, and Evan Rachel Wood. Clooney directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay (with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon), which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Reserve a copy of The Ides of March from the library today!

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman (2011)

Taking place in 2003, this novel tells the story of a Manhattan family enjoying the good life. Their lives, however, are changed forever when their usually responsible fifteen- year-old son forwards a sexually explicit video, received from a classmate and intended only for him. The video goes viral and because his name is attached to the email, he and his family are faced with a series of consequences and repercussions which test their strengths as individuals and as a family. Here is the reading guide for the book.

Check the catalog for This Beautiful Life and search for other books by Helen Schulman.
 

Moneyball (2011) PG-13

Even if you’re not a baseball fan, you’ll enjoy this true story of the Oakland Athletics and their general manager, Billy Beane (and check out the book by Michael Lewis). It’s the story of Beane (Brad Pitt) and the unorthodox methods he used to rebuild his team.

The film, which earned Academy Award nominations for Best Film, Best Actor (Pitt), and Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), offers a heartwarming tale of determination, dedication, and love of the game.

Add your name to the waiting list in our catalog or join us on Friday, March 16 at 7pm for Movies & More as we begin our celebration of 2012 Academy Award-nominated movies with Moneyball. Fresh popcorn will be provided. Register at calendar.ippl.info. The series continues with The Help on Friday, April 20.

 

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (2010)
If you’re looking for a novel you can really “sink your teeth into,” you’ll like this story of a liberal Minneapolis family dealing with themselves, each other, and the political climate during the Bush years. Well drawn, multidimensional characters and the author’s smart, sometimes humorous and often irreverent writing, add to the book’s appeal.

Listen Jonathan Franzen discuss his book on All Things Considered and read the New York Times review.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin (2009)
An immigrant tale set in the early 1950s, Brooklyn follows Eilis Lacey as she journeys from Ireland to New York City to escape economic hardship and begin a new life. This heartwarming coming of age story filled with grit and determination may move too slowly for some, but features interesting characters and lovely writing.

 Brooklyn was the Chicago Public Library’s selection for “One Book One Chicago” in spring 2010. Read more about the book and visit the author's website.

Sex and the City 2

Sex and the City 2 (2010) R
Although not quite as good as the first movie, I loved revisiting the girls. You see a different side of Big. Suspend disbelief and you’ll enjoy the Dubai sequence.

Have Carrie and Big settled into domestic bliss? Is Samantha as outrageous as ever? Fans of the series will still love it. Look for cameos featuring Liza Minnelli and Penelope Cruz.

Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet (2010) PG
A sweet story starring Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia) and Vanessa Redgrave, Letters to Juliet features beautiful shots of the Italian countryside. Women with romantic dilemmas write letters to Juliet and leave them in a wall in Verona. Juliet’s “secretaries” diligently answer all of the letters. When Sophie (Seyfriend) discovers a 50 year old letter from Claire (Redgrave), she embarks on a journey in search of Lorenzo and in the process she re-evaluates her life.

Visit IMDb.com for interviews with the cast and trailers and clips from the film. To learn about the real story of letters, ladies, and Verona, check out Letters to Juliet by Lise Friedman (2010).

Rococo by Adriana Trigiani

Rococo by Adriana Trigiani (2005)
Bortolomeo de Crespi, or “B” as he prefers to be known, is an interior decorator in 1970s New Jersey who dreams of restoring his parish church, but encounters numerous obstacles along the way. It’s a heartwarming story with a wonderful sense of time and place!

Read an excerpt, check out the reading group guide and visit the author's website.
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The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (2003)
I loved this novel about the Gonguli family – who left their home in India in the late 1960s to begin a new life in America. It’s a story not only about the immigrant experience, but also about the family ties that bind us all. Beautifully written.

Come join the Novel Idea book discussion of this title on Wednesday, October 14 at 7:30.

Read an interview with the author, preview the book, and explore a reading guide to the book.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (1996)
A memoir about an American college professor and her lover who purchase a deserted villa in Cortona, Italy, and attempt to restore it to its former glory; thus, enabling them to enjoy “la dolie vita.” Along the way they learn to deal with the idiosyncrasies of the local workmen and the slower paced Italian way of life. Much different than the movie, I liked the book more. An added bonus is the recipes she includes.

Read reviews and a summary of the book at BookBrowse.com. You can alos explore the book discussion guide.

The Liars' Club by Mary Karr

The Liars' Club by Mary Karr (1995)
This is a coming of age memoir about a young girl growing up in what most would consider to be a dysfunctional family. The family itself, however, cares about each other in their own offbeat way. Proof of the power of love, the book is humorous and touching at the same time.

Visit Reading Group Guides for more about the book, discussion questions, and an interview with the author.

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted by Elizabeth Berg

The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and Other Small Acts of Liberation by Elizabeth Berg (2008)
This collection of short stories deals with women taking chances at all stage of their lives. Some of the stories will have you howling with laughter; others will bring you to tears, but all feature characters and writing that will find a place in your heart.

Today's the day! Call the Downers Grove Public Library at 630-960-1200 to reserve your tickets for An Evening with Elizabeth Berg on Thursday, May 8. Listen to the author talk about her inspiration for Dream When You're Feeling Blue, the research, and the response. Berg will read an excerpt, answer questions, and sign books.