Fox Lake District Library · 
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 · 
Fox Lake, IL 60020
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by Craig Johnson

Library Journal Johnson's established formula (The Cold Dish; A Serpent's Tooth) works again in his 11th Walt Longmire mystery. When the largest T. rex skeleton, nicknamed "Jen," is discovered in Wyoming's Absaroka County, a chain of strange events follows. The body of rancher Danny Lone Elk is found floating in a pond, and Sheriff Longmire becomes entangled in another complex case. As the FBI, the media, the Cheyenne Conservancy, and a deputy U.S. attorney general establish themselves as heavy players in the contest for the priceless "Jen," the mystery surrounding Danny's death becomes crucially intertwined with the dispute over ownership of the bones. As usual, Walt and Henry Standing Bear battle an army of thugs, politicians, protective family members, and bureaucracy in their quest to "save Jen." Verdict Beloved series sidekicks, Johnson's trademark humor, Walt's recurring visions, and a winding plot make for satisfying reading. The author efficiently sets up a jumping-off point for the next Longmire installment while neatly resolving Lone Elk's strange death. Not to be missed.-Jeffrey W. Hunter, Royal Oak, MI Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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by Stephen Colbert

Publishers Weekly Starring a dopily earnest, bug-eyed pole seeking a purpose in life, Colbert's tongue-in-cheek debut picture book was born out of a segment with Maurice Sendak on the Colbert Report, in which the late author/illustrator decried the talentless individuals (particularly celebrities) creating children's books. The result: a patriotic parody of saccharine, over-earnest picture books. Colbert's deadpan humor traipses into the tactless as he riffs on singsong verse ("I maypoled for a month,/ Learning pagans aren't my type.../ I didn't cut it as a totem-/ Me no smoke-um the peace pipe"), and the digital illustrations, unskilled by design, mock amateurish art. Pole's pursuits underscore that Colbert's adult fans will be the book's primary audience-like Go the F**k to Sleep, this is a not-for-children "children's book" (Pole considers becoming a "Gallup poll" and interns as a stripper pole before becoming an American flagpole). Still, Colbert affirms his place as a master of the kind of satire that, if you aren't paying attention, you might just miss is a joke. Agent: Dan Strone, Trident Media Group. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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by Barbara Kingsolver

Library Journal It's been five years since Kingsolver's last novel (Pigs in Heaven, LJ 6/15/93), and she has used her time well. This intense family drama is set in an Africa on the verge of independence and upheaval. In 1959, evangelical preacher Nathan Price moves his wife and four daughters from Georgia to a village in the Belgian Congo, later Zaire. Their dysfunction and cultural arrogance proves disastrous as the family is nearly destroyed by war, Nathan's tyranny, and Africa itself. Told in the voices of the mother and daughters, the novel spans 30 years as the women seek to understand each other and the continent that tore them apart. Kingsolver has a keen understanding of the inevitable, often violent clashes between white and indigenous cultures, yet she lets the women tell their own stories without being judgmental. An excellent novel that was worth the wait and will win the author new fans. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/98.]?Ellen Flexman, Indianapolis-Marion Cty. P.L.

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

Library Journal Fiery evangelist Nathan Price takes his wife and four daughters to the Belgian Congo in 1959, where they find that they are more transformed than transforming. Kingsolver's first since Pigs in Heaven.

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

Publishers Weekly In this risky but resoundingly successful novel, Kingsolver leaves the Southwest, the setting of most of her work (The Bean Trees; Animal Dreams) and follows an evangelical Baptist minister's family to the Congo in the late 1950s, entwining their fate with that of the country during three turbulent decades. Nathan Price's determination to convert the natives of the Congo to Christianity is, we gradually discover, both foolhardy and dangerous, unsanctioned by the church administration and doomed from the start by Nathan's self-righteousness. Fanatic and sanctimonious, Nathan is a domestic monster, too, a physically and emotionally abusive, misogynistic husband and father. He refuses to understand how his obsession with river baptism affronts the traditions of the villagers of Kalinga, and his stubborn concept of religious rectitude brings misery and destruction to all. Cleverly, Kingsolver never brings us inside Nathan's head but instead unfolds the tragic story of the Price family through the alternating points of view of Orleanna Price and her four daughters. Cast with her young children into primitive conditions but trained to be obedient to her husband, Orleanna is powerless to mitigate their situation. Meanwhile, each of the four Price daughters reveals herself through first-person narration, and their rich and clearly differentiated self-portraits are small triumphs. Rachel, the eldest, is a self-absorbed teenager who will never outgrow her selfish view of the world or her tendency to commit hilarious malapropisms. Twins Leah and Adah are gifted intellectually but are physically and emotionally separated by Adah's birth injury, which has rendered her hemiplagic. Leah adores her father; Adah, who does not speak, is a shrewd observer of his monumental ego. The musings of five- year-old Ruth May reflect a child's humorous misunderstanding of the exotic world to which she has been transported. By revealing the story through the female victims of Reverend Price's hubris, Kingsolver also charts their maturation as they confront or evade moral and existential issues and, at great cost, accrue wisdom in the crucible of an alien land. It is through their eyes that we come to experience the life of the villagers in an isolated community and the particular ways in which American and African cultures collide. As the girls become acquainted with the villagers, especially the young teacher Anatole, they begin to understand the political situation in the Congo: the brutality of Belgian rule, the nascent nationalism briefly fulfilled in the election of the short-lived Patrice Lumumba government, and the secret involvement of the Eisenhower administration in Lumumba's assassination and the installation of the villainous dictator Mobutu. In the end, Kingsolver delivers a compelling family saga, a sobering picture of the horrors of fanatic fundamentalism and an insightful view of an exploited country crushed by the heel of colonialism and then ruthlessly manipulated by a bastion of democracy. The book is also a marvelous mix of trenchant character portrayal, unflagging narrative thrust and authoritative background detail. The disastrous outcome of the forceful imposition of Christian theology on indigenous natural faith gives the novel its pervasive irony; but humor is pervasive, too, artfully integrated into the children's misapprehensions of their world; and suspense rises inexorably as the Price family's peril and that of the newly independent country of Zaire intersect. Kingsolver moves into new moral terrain in this powerful, convincing and emotionally resonant novel. Agent, Frances Goldin; BOMC selection; major ad/promo; author tour. (Nov.)

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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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