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Staff Feature Fridays!

Looking for something new? Every Friday, our Adult/Young Adult Services Department will be sharing their favorite books, movies, TV shows and more, owned by the Oak Lawn Public Library. Let us help you find your next obsession!

FRIDAY. SEPT. 25: "The 57 Bus" by Dashka Slater(recommended by Katy in YA)

  • Title: "The 57 Bus" by Dashka Slater
  • Genre: YA Non-fiction
  • Audience: Teens, Adults, Activists
  • Why I recommend it:

This is a true story. It is heartbreaking. It is a must read. It addresses social justice, gender, social norms.This is nonfiction that reads like fiction for those who don't always enjoy nonfiction.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: "I'll Be Gone In The Dark"(recommended by Ola in AV)

  • Title: “I'll Be Gone In The Dark”
  • Genre: True Crime Docu-series
  • Audience: True crime fans, murderinos
  • Why I recommend it:

The author of this book-turned-docu-series is Michelle McNamara, who is known as a prolific writer in the true crime community. Michelle gave The Golden State Killer his original nickname and, ultimately, created an audience for his crimes years after they all remained unsolved. The GSK was caught in 2018 thanks to Michelle paving the way for further investigation--unfortunately, Michelle never got to live to see the day of his capture and write the end to her story. This docu-series on HBO is a collection of old interviews with Michelle, her husband, friends, and the many survivors of the Golden State Killer's attacks. It illustrates the complexity of her life intertwined with a murderer that, while having never physically attacked her, left a strong imprint on her obsessive mind and ultimately led to her death while in pursuit of answers. This docu-series will bring you an assortment of frightful, hopeful, and heartbreaking chills, thanks to Michelle's poignant storytelling and passion for justice.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11: FICTION FAVORITES

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
“This story is a beautifully written debut novel about family, faith, love and forgiveness. It takes place in modern times in Northern California and is about the struggles of an American Muslim family. It is an emotional and heartfelt story, demonstrating the human condition, and how we are all affected by our decisions.”
-Mary Bobich, Computer Center

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
“I love that this story covers a lifetime of two sisters, not just a few years. I think that the issues the characters face are relatable, and still timely today. This story is a tribute to women and it examines gender norms. It shows courage, strength, hardship, and sadness.”
-Katy Adolfo, Adult/Young Adult Services

The Water Keeper
by Charles Martin
“This book opens with the narrator’s friend dying . Murphy ties the friend's ashes to the bow of his boat and heads south to scatter the ashes. Along the way, he picks up a dog, a woman named Summer whose daughter is missing, a former convict, and a stowaway. Their lives all intertwine as they get drawn into the search for Summer’s missing daughter.”
-Diane Dee, Computer Center

The Switch by Beth O’Leary
“This was a fun story about a grandma and her granddaughter who switch lives. It's nice to see how similar they are yet different on how they do things. They fit in each other’s life so easily. I loved Beth O'Leary's other book and was excited when I saw that she was coming out with another book.”
-Emily Bettcher, Adult/Young Adult Services

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4: DRAMA MOVIES

A Letter to Three Wives
“This one was really good has a suspense plot behind it…don’t want to spoil but this one is a must see and I don’t recommend just any old movie!”
-Ramona Garcia, Adult Services

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
“This a compelling film adaptation of a raw emotional story, as originally written by Edward Albee. Filmed almost as if it might be a live play, it features Academy Award winning performances that are as worthy today as they were in 1966.”
-Holly Dean, Audiovisual

A Bramble House Christmas
“This is one of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies! A man is suspicious as to why his late father left money to his nurse of only 2 months. While he investigates, romance ensues and the rest is history.”
-Laura Longo, Audiovisual

FRIDAY, AUGUST 28: ROMANCE!

Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber
“Light and easy read.”
Patty Lerner, Computer Center

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
“It is a good book about two high profile guys (the president's son and the prince of England) who against everything fall in love and want to be together!”

Red Lily by Nora Roberts
“3 women finding the courage to take chances and embrace the future.”
Gerry Adasiak, Computer Center

The Rakess by Scarlett Peckingham
“I really enjoyed the way the “rake” trope common in romance was flipped. All of the characters were very relatable if a bit too secretive for their own good.”
Izabel Gronski, Young Adult Services


FRIDAY, AUGUST 21: On the edge of your seats: suspenseful books to keep gripped...

The Daughter in Law by Nina Manning
Recommended by Diane Dee
Available on hoopla eBook and eAudio book
Parents are supposed to raise, support, and nurture their children, then let them go. Annie doesn't pretend she wants to do this. She wants it to be her son Ben and her forever, only them. So, when Ben marries Daisy, Annie is extremely upset and determined to find flaws with Daisy. Daisy has her own secrets to hide. How far is Annie willing to go to destroy Daisy? It is a roller coaster of drama, with the reader being drawn inside Annie's twisted mind.

The Only Good Indians by Steven Graham Jones
Recommended by Caelan Dean
Fiction Jones, also available on audiobook CD, Playaway and Overdrive
The novel is an intense story of revenge while exploring identity, tradition and forgiveness. I also think it's important to support Indigenous/Native authors and share their stories.

Her Every Fea
r by Peter Swanson
Recommended by Kay Gibson
Fiction Swanson, also available on hoopla eBook , eAudiobook and Overdrive
Interesting sometimes unsettling story of a vulnerable young woman. Kept me on edge until the very end.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 14: TV Shows

Bob’s Burgers
“It is just good, clean fun. Poor Bob is just trying to run his hamburger joint. However, his wife Linda, and their three young children (Tina, Gene and Louise) are forever getting involved in hilarious situations. Keep an eye out for the ‘Hamburger of the Day’ board behind the counter. The announced hamburger changes in each episode, and is always a play on words.” *Note that the library owns a copy of Bob's Burger recipes - Bob's Burgers Burger Book (641.662 Bouchard)
-Debbie Cocanig, Adult Services

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
“This show is hilarious, and will put you in a good mood. If you are a fan of shows like The Office, or Parks and Recreation, I definitely recommend Brooklyn 99. The characters can be so ridiculous, but that's what makes the show so great, is that things aren’t too serious.”
-Molly Pajor, Computer Center

That ‘70s Show
“Everyone needs a mindless comfort show during quarantine. I have been re-watching That '70s Show from the beginning and it's been such a joy! I've found myself laughing with the parents as much as I do the kids when they're up to their hazy antics. The writing is witty and you can't go wrong with an easy comedy that doesn't take much investment to understand.”
-Ola Gronski, Audiovisual



FRIDAY, AUGUST 7: Audiobooks

"CHAOS: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties" by Tommy O’Neill
“Chaos is a compelling study of corruption, systemic injustice, and lack of accountability within the United States government during the 1960's. 20 years in the making, it re-examines everything people thought they knew about Charles Manson and brings to light the powerful forces lurking behind the grizzly Tate and La Bianca murders.”
-Eric Guzman, Computer Center

"Born A Crime" by Trevor Noah
“I would recommend this Audiobook because I thought it was amazing how well Trevor Noah explains his life. The best part I believe was his knowledge of so many different languages and that he reads it to the listener.”
-Roy Heintz, Audiovisual

"Oona Out of Order" by Margarita Montimore
“It was really interesting how the book was told. This women lived her life out of order and only got bits of information about her past and future. I liked that she had a couple people who were there for her throughout her entire life and others who helped shape her along the way.”
-Emily Bettcher, Adult Services

"Sabriel" by Garth Nix
“This classic YA fantasy novel follows Sabriel, a new necromancer that uses bells to put the dead to rest. Sabriel has to find her dad who has gone missing in the Old Kingdom. Tim Curry reads this audiobook and does a fantastic job voicing all of the creatures and characters. I was absolutely hooked and listened to all of the books in the series in just a few weeks!”
-Izabel Gronski, Young Adult Services


FRIDAY, JULY 31: HILARITY ENSUES!

Sometimes a good laugh is what you need to get your mind off of things! Watch these movies and shows for a dose of what the library staff prescribes!


What We Do In the Shadows
"A hilarious mockumentary about vampires living in present day. I believe fans of The Office would appreciate the humor of this movie." (Available to stream on Kanopy and DVD Comedy)
-Molly Pajor

My Blue Heaven
"This is a great comedy with Steve Martin and Rick Moranis .. good chemistry between them .. fun .. baseball and plenty of laughs!" (DVD Comedy)
-Ramona Garcia

Bob's Burgers
"Poor Bob is just trying to run his hamburger joint. However, his wife Linda, and their 3 young children (Tina, Gene and Louise) are forever getting involved in hilarious situations. Keep an eye out for the 'Hamburger of the Day' board behind the counter. The announced hamburger changes in each episode, and is always a play on words." (DVD Boxed Set)
-Debbie Cocanig

Learning to Drive
"I enjoyed this movie because it was funny and the chemistry between Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson was amazing!"
(Available to stream on hoopla and DVD Comedy)


FRIDAY, JULY 24: YOUNG ADULT FICTION

"Still Life with Tornado" by A.S. King
“I recommend this book because it has been one of the best Y.A. books I’ve read within the past few years. It grapples with existential crises, creative roadblocks, familial troubles, and coming to terms with your own personal identity in a really unique, psychological, and truthful way. I felt like I could personally relate to the story and the way A.S. King distorts time and reality in the story is really interesting and profound. I think it’s an important book to read for anyone struggling with who they are and what they want to do in life.”
-Jules Rollberg, Adult and Young Adult Services

"Truly Devious" by Maureen Johnson
“I couldn't put this book down. This book is the first in the series- the entire series is available now which is good because you are going to want to read all these books back to back. It was one of my recommended binge worthy series and it is just that- binge worthy.. The author captivates you with this mystery and just when you think you have something figured out, she throws a wrench in your theory."
-Katy Adolfo, Adult and Young Adult Services

"The Selection" by Kiera Cass
“Premise wise, I'll be the first to admit it's a little odd but once you get into it, it's pretty a fast read with cute romance abound, not to mention the gorgeous covers that grace every book of this series and its sequel.”
-Areeg Jibrin, Adult and Young Adult Services

"House of Salt and Sorrows" by Erin Craig
“What I expected was your standard modern spin on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’. What I got was a spooky, engrossing, read-in-one-sitting tale with a dark twist!”
-Areeg Jibrin, Adult and Young Adult Services

FRIDAY, JULY 17: MYSTERY MATCHUP

Choose between a classic series or a European romp . . . a whodunnit for everyone.

Columbo The Complete Fifth Season
DVD Box Set / Mystery/Thriller
"I started going through all of Columbo during quarantine and have come to the conclusion that it's the progenitor of the whole TV or movie debate. I mean holy cow, every episode is good, not a single one has let me down. At the start of each episode the audience already knows how it's all going to end, but it's not about the ending, it's all about the journey."
Eric Guzman, Computer Center

Murders at Barlume
TV Show / Cozy mystery Italian style
"A new crime solved in each episode by a quirky mismatched group of Italians, including three sassy older gentlemen, a barkeep, an ex-wife, a beautiful waitress and more. Witty banter, amusing situations and a touch of heart make for undemanding and entertaining viewing. With subtitles"
Holly Dean, Audiovisual


FRIDAY, JULY 10: MUSICAL ALBUM EDITION

The Beach Boys – Fifty Big Ones, Greatest Hits
“This is a really fun cd, and The Beach Boys always makes me happy and think of summer.”
-Molly Pajor, Computer Center

Harry Styles – Fine Line
“Harry Styles isn't just for retired One Direction fans! A mix of jangly pop and a hint of folksy strings gives me breezy summer vibes. This album is perfect for listening to in the car if you're going for a long drive to (safely!) break free from the constraints of your house during quarantine.”
-Ola Gronski, Audiovisual

Snarky Puppy - Culcha Vulcha
“Snarky Puppy is a nearly 20-piece musical group at times that takes an instrumental Jazz Fusion approach to their sound while implementing melodies that draw on sonic inspiration from other cultures i.e. Latin, Arab, etc. This is also due to the diverse make-up of the band members and the instrumentation which includes several kinds of percussion, brass, bass, guitars, woodwinds, piano, and synths. Their songs vary from ethereal and ambient to hard-hitting and groovy, creating opportunities for self-reflection, dancing, and sometimes even head-banging. Their 2016 album Culcha Vulcha delivers on all these aspects and more.”
-Caelan Dean, Audiovisual


FRIDAY, JULY 3: HISTORICAL FICTION

"Park Avenue Summer " by Renee Rosen
“A fictional account of Cosmopolitan magazine’s editor-in-chief Helen Gurley Brown, who saved the failing magazine by daring women to talk about everything – even topics formerly considered off-limits.”
-Gerry Adasiak, Computer Center

"The Girl Who Wrote in Silk" by Kelli Estes
“Set in Seattle and the surrounding San Juan Islands during the late 1800’s and present day, this debut novel explores two women who lived a century apart and the stories told through silk writings that connect the past to the present. One of the reasons I enjoy historical fiction so much is that I can broaden my knowledge of history, especially events that were not always taught in school. This is a compelling debut effort.”
-Mary Bobich, Computer Center

"The Alice Network" by Kate Quinn
“This book is set in mostly France, in World War I. The Alice Network was a real group of female spies, working mainly in France, against the Germans. These women were incredibly brave, courageous, amazing. Their resilience and courage just bowled me over. These women literally put their lives on the line for their country, basically with very little respect from their male superiors. This book is a real page turner.”
-Diane Dee, Computer Center

"The Secret Guests" by Benjamin Black
“During WWII, English children were sent by their parents to the countryside for safety. In The Secret Guests, history goes a step further when the British royal family secretly whisks away the princesses to an Irish estate. A fascinating story of Irish-English relations during the war filled with action and suspense.”
-Patricia Pollard, Adult Services


FRIDAY, JUNE 26: Video Games


Pokémon Sword (All ages)
“Remember the summer of 2016 when Pokemon Go came out and it felt like the closest we've ever come to world peace? Playing the newest installment in the core series of the game is a close second with fun new characters and a brand new region to explore!”
-Areeg Jibrin, Adult Services

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (All ages)
“This is a great fighting game with characters from various franchises. It's a lot of fun playing it single player, but it really shines when playing with multiple people. The controls compared to other fighting games are pretty straightforward and easy to pick up for players of any skill level.”
-Eric Guzman, Computer Center

Batman: Arkham Knight (Ages 15 and up)
“I'm a huge fan of Batman and of the Arkham game series. This is the last entry in the series and after playing all the previous installments, you can't NOT play the last one to see how it ends. Great action, story, graphics, game-play mechanics (not without some issues) and animated sequences. It also has lots of replayability.
-Enrique Reyes, Computer Center

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Ages 17 and up)
“I find games like these to be appealing because of the sense of freedom they offer. Also, being able to play as an outlaw cowboy trying to survive in a changing time offers a story that can be enjoyable for players who like that sort of thing. I really love the world in which it takes place. It feels so alive and it just a video game.”
-Roy Heintz, Audiovisual


FRIDAY, JUNE 19:

"Maybe You Should Talk To Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, And Our Lives Revealed" by Lori Gottlieb


I love it when a nonfiction book reads as easily as fiction. This book also doubles as a sort of autobiography, given that the author writes about and explores her own experiences in life and in therapy. There are a lot of valuable lessons to learn alongside the author and, overall, the book just encourages us to continue to be and feel human and accept the complexity of emotions that comes with life experiences.
- Ola Gronski, Audiovisual


"Four White Horses and a Brass Band: True Confessions from the World of Medicine Shows, Pitchmen, Chumps, Suckers, Fixers, and Shills"
by Violet McNeal


I found this first person narrative to be a fascinating insight into buyer beware and human nature.
- Patty Lerner, Computer Center

"The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression" by Andrew Solomon

This is one of the most accurate books that describes a condition that cannot be measured with diagnostic tests, blood samples, or anything other than perhaps some brain imaging. It is a condition so difficult to diagnose that doctors even miss it.
- Mary Clare Sabio, Adult Services

"Lawyers’ Poker: 52 Lessons That Lawyers Can Learn from Card Players" by Steven Lubet

I would recommend this book because when I was really into poker I searched poker on Swan and found this. When I checked it out I almost never put it down. I found it informative in more than one way. I learned more about how to play poker.
- Roy Heintz, Audiovisual


FRIDAY, MAY 29:

"The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connections and Courage" by Brené Brown (Adult Non-Fiction/Self-Help)


“I’m really glad I went with the audiobook on this one. I have to say I love listening to Brené. She has a wonderfully emphatic approach while speaking about serious issues like vulnerability and shame. I love her ability to incorporate humor without it coming off as ill-timed, but rather as a welcome break from a topic that can become overwhelmingly heavy. 10/10 would hire her as my life coach!”
– Melissa Apple, Adult Programming/Reference Librarian

"How to Find Love in a Bookshop" by Veronica Henry (Adult Fiction)


“It’s pretty much a guarantee that I am going to love any story that takes place in a bookshop, and this did not disappoint! If you need to escape the stress of these difficult times, I recommend this lovely story that has all the feels of a Hallmark movie. The weather may be getting warmer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cozy up with this inviting read.”
– Melissa Apple, Adult Programming/Reference Librarian


FRIDAY MAY 22:

"Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman  (Adult Fiction )

“We are sheltering in place and social distancing for our safety right now, but what if you chose to live your life your life like this? Eleanor Oliphant lives a very isolated life, aside from her office and trips to the store for frozen pizza and vodka (his might sound familiar to some of us right now). When a chance encounter changes her life she will see that having people in her life, might not be so bad.”
– Shannon Kazmierczak, Digital Downloads/Reference Librarian

"Killing Eve" (Television Series, Thriller)

“Fast paced, whip-smart, highly entertaining TV series now in its 3rd season, based on the Luke Jennings novel of the same name. Excellent acting with an all-encompassing perspective of both the cat and the mouse!”
– Shannon Kazmierczak, Digital Downloads/Reference Librarian

Created by Thomas Javorcic on May 22nd, 2020 @ 10:38 AM.
Updated on Sep 25th, 2020 @ 9:01 AM.