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Sign Up for Free Medicare Part D Review

November 9, 2014 – 10:33 pm |

Wednesday, November 19 is the day for Medicare Part D assistance in the Book Discussion Room, west entrance, first floor at the Skokie Public Library from 9:30am – 3:00pm.  Beginning Monday, November 10 you may sign up for a half hour appointment by calling the Reference Desk (847.673.3733) or stopping by in person.  Open enrollment ends December 7, 2014. Representatives from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s office, the Village …

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Under the Cover Review: Wickedpedia

November 21, 2014 – 1:25 pm |

Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten Reviewed by Kimberly C. Niles North High School, 12th Grade Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten is more than your average mystery. It all begins when a high school senior named Cole decides to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend and her new circle of friends. He makes Wikipedia pages detailing all [...]

Under the Cover Review: Leap of Faith

November 15, 2014 – 7:00 am |

Leap of Faith by Jamie Blair Reviewed by Erica E. Lincoln Junior High School, 7th Grade Leap of Faith is about a girl named Faith Kurtz who wants to escape her mom because she drinks and smokes. In the beginning of the story, she discovers her mom is pregnant and isn’t taking care of the [...]

Staff Review: Death at a Funeral

November 14, 2014 – 6:48 pm |

The 2010 film Death at a Funeral is one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a while. Well, I should say the original 2007 film was one of the funniest films I had seen in a while, since the 2010 film is a remake of a British movie directed by Frank Oz (of Muppets fame). Set during the funeral two brothers are holding for their father, this very dark comedy starts off as amusing and only progresses into more hilarity. Early on, we find out that problems will be afoot, since one brother is more successful than the other. From there, the brothers encounter a myriad of comical situations…from wrong corpse in the casket to a sex scandal (with a twist) involving their late father. In the remake, the brothers are played by Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence, and just like the original, their characters cannot be more different. Ryan, (Martin Lawrence) is a successful novelist, playboy, all around goof-off and Aaron (Chris Rock) is the super-sensible, responsible one. Neil LaBute, known mostly for his early esoteric human-interest films such as Your Friends and Neighbors and ?In the Company of Men ?(not excluding my favorite LaBute film, Possession), was a VERY interesting choice to remake this dark comedy. A less-experienced director might have led this one off in more of the “farce” direction, where LaBute keeps to the original’s fiercely edgy comedy. What makes the two versions unique? Mostly, the acting, though Frank Oz’s direction does seem more low-key, forcing the British film to have a calmer, more methodical feel to it. The remake’s snappier pace can be attributed to the hip comic talents of Rock and Lawrence. Lawrence is known for his raunchy humor and this exudes something more provocative than another actor in this role would. And Rock, being one of the more practical comedians of today, is a perfect fit for the brother on the straight and narrow. Peter Dinklage is the one acting bond that links the two movies…he plays the same character, the father’s lover, in both versions. Yet, Dinklage is able to bring something new to the same role in the 2010 version, where he is a little more spiteful and vindictive than 2007′s character. No matter which version you choose, you really cannot go wrong. For most fun, watch both. Either way, sit back and get ready to laugh!

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Sign Up for Free Medicare Part D Review

November 9, 2014 – 10:33 pm |

Wednesday, November 19 is the day for Medicare Part D assistance in the Book Discussion Room, west entrance, first floor at the Skokie Public Library from 9:30am – 3:00pm.  Beginning Monday, November 10 you may sign up for a half hour appointment by calling the Reference Desk (847.673.3733) or stopping by in person.  Open enrollment ends December 7, 2014. Representatives from Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s office, the Village …

Under the Cover Review: Two Lies and A Spy

November 6, 2014 – 7:00 am |

Two Lies and A Spy by Kat Carlton Reviewed by Aditi P. Lincoln Junior High School, 8th Grade Get ready for an mind-blowing adventure because this book definitely has a ton of it. Meet Kari Andrews, an average type of girl, who goes to Kennedy Preparatory School in Washington, D.C. She has an awesome best [...]

Staff Review: Cuban Fury

November 1, 2014 – 12:31 pm |

Bruce Garrett, played by Nick Frost, is a chubby ex-salsa king who is secretly dying to don his fiery dancing shoes again. When Bruce finds out that his new, beautiful, and seemingly perfect boss (Rashida Jones) has the same secret passion, h…

Staff Reviews: Making of Us, The by Jewell, Lisa

November 1, 2014 – 11:44 am |

Dying in hospice, Daniel reveals a secret: he was a sperm donor and has four children he would like to meet before the end. Jewell’s engaging prose follows three of the four donor children: Lydia, a successful but emotionally closed off scientist with…

Staff Reviews: Ancillary Justice by Leckie, Ann

October 28, 2014 – 6:05 pm |

This book has picked up awards left and right. It is space opera revenge plot set in a setting with a unique cultural twist and with a very interesting protagonist.

The main culture of the setting, Imperial Radch, has no social distinction between gender. It makes a certain amount of sense, because the civilization has AI and the ability for AI to control/inhabit/hivemind empty bodies of both genders called “ancillaries” There are still other civilizations that have genders, and much of this book takes place in one.

The main character, Breq, is all that remains of a starship. The ship itself and all the other ancillaries were destroyed. She is on a quest of revenge. As a Radch she has no native word to differentiate gender. She thinks in entirely female pronouns and has difficulty telling the sexes apart. As our POV character that means it is extremely hard to tell the sex of any of the character because all the pronouns in the book are feminine.

If you like space opera and like things that twist your brain, this is the book for you.

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Staff Reviews: Lies of Locke Lamora, The by Lynch, Scott

October 28, 2014 – 4:53 pm |

I think I love this book so much because it is set in the world of fantasy, but it is about con artists, friendship, and revenge. This is caper novel taking place in the middle of a war between crime families. The main characters are not heroes on the start of their journey; they are a group of con artists out to fleece the nobility of their undeserved fortunes. They are clever, talented and likable. The side characters all have motivations that make sense and have shades of grey worthy of Game of Thrones.
The world-building is rich and vivid but the story itself is so different from standard fantasy. The story takes place in a city state reminiscent of renaissance Venice, built around indestructible glass towers left behind by an ancient civilization. There is a semi-magical science called “alchemy” which seems to be limited to creating transgenic plants and animals, wondrous drugs and substances equivalent to what we are capable of making in modern day. All this is the background, the story is not about magic, or lost powers returning, it is about quick witted lies and ruining everything your enemy is working towards.

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Staff Review: The World Before Her

October 24, 2014 – 9:59 am |

This riveting documentary explores two contrasting phenomena of girls’/women’s lives in India. The Miss India Pageant title is sought after by hundreds of young women eager to break out of the traditional mold of housewife/mother and earn a high salary otherwise elusive to females. Though beauty pageants are popular in India and some of the families of these contestants are supportive, the exposure of bodies and parading before audiences is seen by many other Indians as vulgar. The women themselves often have conflicting feelings about the degree to which they’re compromising their own beliefs vs. the desire for western culture’s greater freedoms. One particularly poignant, dehumanizing scene shows the contestants draped in cloth covering the upper half of their bodies so that their legs, alone, can be judged. Skin is painfully bleached and Botox injections are administered.
The film alternates between scenes of the competition with scenes of a radical camp for training young girls to be Hindu nationalists with the Durga Vahini. The Durga Vahini is the women’s wing of Vishva Hindu Parishad, a militant, fascist organization that has instigated violent attacks against religious minorities in India. The girls are shown chanting slogans of violent resistance to anyone who threatens “Mother India,” learning to handle weapons, and being brainwashed to turn against non-Hindus. Prachi Trivedi, one of the camp leaders, is tough and macho, but in her home her father dismisses her desire to continue as a camp leader and insists she will marry and carry on Hindu traditions. And therein lies the rub: though these girls are being encouraged to be strong for their religion, there is no transfer of this strength to them as individuals with the right to pursue their own individuality. Ultimately, from a western point of view, one can’t help but see that neither path depicted in the film leads to a better life for women in India.
Winner of the World Documentary Competition Award, 2012 Tribeca Film Festival as well as other awards. Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story in 2014.

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