Fox Lake District Library · 
255 E. Grand Avenue
 · 
Fox Lake, IL 60020
USA
 ·  Phone: (847) 587- 0198
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 · Director: Melissa Villarreal

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by David McCullough

Library Journal McCullough (John Adams; 1776) effectively blends impeccable writing with historical rigor and strong character definition in his biography of Wright brothers Wilbur, the abstract thinker and introvert; and Orville, the extrovert and hands-on doer. They had limited formal education, with the author instead attributing his subjects' success to industry, imagination, and persistence, as seen in their early enterprises as newspaper publishers, printers, and bicycle salesmen in Dayton, OH. Credit is also accorded to their widowed father, Bishop Milton Wright, as well as their sister Katharine for their support of "Ullam" (Wilbur) and "Bubs" (Orville). Highlights of McCullough's narrative include his discussions of the Wrights' innovative conception of wing-warping as a means of flight control; the brothers' first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, on December 17, 1903; the issuance of the Wright flying machine patent #821,393 on May 22, 1906; the Ohioans' ongoing search for markets abroad; and the elder Wright's perfect flying demonstrations at Le Mans, France, even as Orville was nearly killed in a similar performance before army brass at Fort Myer, VA. The author closes with the incorporation of the Wright Company, patent infringement suits filed against competitor Glenn Curtiss, and the deaths of Wilbur (1912), Milton (1917), Katharine (1929), and Orville (1948). VERDICT A signal contribution to Wright historiography. Highly recommended for academicians interested in the history of flight, transportation, or turn-of-the-century America; general readers; and all libraries.-John Carver Edwards, formerly with Univ. of Georgia Libs. Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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by Andy Cohen

Library Journal Cohen is an executive for Bravo Network and host of Watch What Happens: Live, a position that made him the first openly gay late-night talk show host. In his first book, he tells amusing stories of his childhood and his passion for television, his interview of Susan Lucci in college and their subsequent meetings, three disastrous run-ins with Oprah, dancing for the B-52s, and keeping Diana Ross and Joan Collins happy when he worked for CBS. Cohen also writes about how he became a talk show host and dishes many juicy tidbits about the Real Housewives casts. VERDICT Cohen's lighthearted, funny memoir is highly recommended for his fans and others who appreciate humorous celebrity biographies and memoirs. Consider also for readers who enjoyed Ellen DeGeneres's Seriously...I'm Kidding and Mindy Kaling's Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns). [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/11.]-Sally Bryant, Pepperdine Univ. Lib., Malibu, CA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly TV producer Cohen, an Emmy winner for Top Chef, is the host of Watch What Happens: Live. As Bravo's executive vice president of original programming and development, he oversees production of The Real Housewives franchise, The Millionaire Matchmaker, and other series. In this lively memoir, he begins by telling us more than we need to know about his pop culture-obsessed childhood in St. Louis. In high school, where he was voted most talkative, he was popular, but "no one knew I was gay." A full chapter is devoted to the "terror" of coming out to his parents and Boston College roommate. A 1989 sophomore high school class project prompted him to interview his idol, Susan Lucci, a plus when he applied for a CBS internship. Beginning at CBS This Morning, he was on his way. When he arrived at Bravo, he found the ideal venue for mingling with top talents. Riding the wave of reality programming as it began to dominate TV, he now asks, "Had I helped kill soaps?" There's enough about his lifelong obsession with Susan Lucci that can distract. Others will be amused by Cohen's ramblings about how his wicked wit and "lighthearted cultural commentary" brought him media attacks and embarrassing headlines. Still, many will appreciate his straightforward honesty in delivering an insider's POV about reality TV with intimate and outrageous glimpses of housewives and celebrities, offscreen and on. (May 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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by Ken Follett

Book list A mystifying puzzle involving the execution of an innocent man is interwoven into this monumental story of medieval intrigue and ingenuity.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal A radical departure from Follett's novels of international suspense and intrigue, this chronicles the vicissitudes of a prior, his master builder, and their community as they struggle to build a cathedral and protect themselves during the tumultuous 12th century, when the empress Maud and Stephen are fighting for the crown of England after the death of Henry I. The plot is less tightly controlled than those in Follett's contemporary works, and despite the wealth of historical detail, especially concerning architecture and construction, much of the language as well as the psychology of the characters and their relationships remains firmly rooted in the 20th century. This will appeal more to lovers of exciting adventure stories than true devotees of historical fiction. Literary Guild dual main selection.-- Cynthia Johnson Whealler, Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, Mass.

Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly With this book, Follett risks all and comes out a clear winner, escaping the narrow genre of suspense thrillers to take credit for a historical novel of gripping readability, authentic atmosphere and detail and memorable characterization. Set in 12th-century England, the narrative concerns the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge. The ambitions of three men merge, conflict and collide through four decades during which social and political upheaval and the internal politics of the church affect the progress of the cathedral and the fortunes of the protagonists. The insightful portrayals of an idealistic master builder, a pious, dogmatic but compassionate prior and an unscrupulous, ruthless bishop are balanced by those of a trio of independent, resourceful women (one of them quite loathesome) who can stand on their own as memorable characters in any genre. Beginning with a mystery that casts its shadow on ensuing events, the narrative is a seesaw of tension in which circumstances change with shocking but true-to-life unpredictability. Follett's impeccable pacing builds suspense in a balanced narrative that offers action, intrigue, violence and passion as well as the step-by-step description of an edifice rising in slow stages, its progress tied to the vicissitudes of fortune and the permutations of evolving architectural style. Follett's depiction of the precarious balance of power between monarchy and religion in the Middle Ages, and of the effects of social upheavals and the forces of nature (storms, famines) on political events; his ability to convey the fine points of architecture so that the cathedral becomes clearly visualized in the reader's mind; and above all, his portrayals of the enduring human emotions of ambition, greed, bravery, dedication, revenge and love, result in a highly engrossing narrative. Manipulating a complex plot in which the characters interact against a broad canvas of medieval life, Follett has written a novel that entertains, instructs and satisfies on a grand scale. 400,000 first printing; $400,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main dual selection; author tour. (Sept.)

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by Jake Wizner

Publishers Weekly This bold and bawdy first novel introduces Shakespeare Shapiro, whose very name seems to destine him for a life of farce (that his parents offer changing but invariably embarrassing explanations for his whacko moniker merely compounds matters). Now that he's taking the memoir-writing class required of all seniors at Ernest Hemingway High, he seizes the chance to frame his life as a darkly comedic series of humiliations, from being born on Hitler's birthday ("Whenever I did anything wrong, my father would call me Adolf") to his father's blackmail techniques ("I'm about ten seconds away from telling you things [about our sex life] that will haunt you for the rest of your life," his father cheerfully threatens an 11-year-old Shakespeare) to his misadventures in masturbating. Wizner knows just how to set up his outrageous jokes and how far to push most (not all) of them; and nothing seems off-limits, neither religion nor sex nor bowel movements. This author demonstrates an equally sure approach to sober themes: as his memoir assignments win him increasing respect and interest from his classmates, Shakespeare slowly realizes that the role of comic victim is one he has chosen in order to avoid challenging himself. Exceptionally funny and smart. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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