Andrea Larson

Andrea Larson

Andrea Larson works as a Readers' Advisor at Cook Park Library and loves to connect great people with great books.  She'll read or watch pretty much anything (except horror -- she's kind of a wimp that way).  She's currently working on her Master's in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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  This was the response I got when I told people I was going to Bouchercon, otherwise known as the World Mystery Convention, in Long Beach, California. It’s called Bouchercon in honor of Anthony Boucher, a distinguished mystery and science fict...
  Station Eleven is one of those books that you can’t just read; you have to talk about it. Right away. In fact, that’s the reason I picked it up when I did – a friend had just finished it and told me I had to dive in, just so we could discuss ...
If you're like me, a sucker for singer-songwriters, check out this album from Australian artist Vance Joy.  His single "Riptide" got good airplay earlier this year, and the album (his first) is a great follow-up. Click the album cover to borrow...

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Ever thought much about elephants? If you’re like me, probably not – but this fascinating book will put them right at the top of your mind. Leaving Time is one of those works of fiction that teaches you volumes about a non-fiction topic that you didn...
This may be one of my favorite book titles ever. After all, isn’t it what we all wish for? And if you’re a Father Tim fan, you’ll know that he has, in fact, gotten this wish. He’s finally back in Mitford, the idyllic North Carolina mountain town that...

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Are you a mystery reader? If so, I highly recommend Julia Keller, author of the Bell Elkins mystery series. Her books, A Killing in the Hills (2012) and Bitter River (2013), are atmospheric, literary, and utterly engaging. The series centers around B...
  Liane Moriarty’s best-selling 2013 novel The Husband’s Secret was a big hit among our library patrons, and I think Big Little Lies will be equally popular -- it's a great read. Moriarty has a gift for addressing big issues with a light touch,...
This book is hilarious, unnerving, irreverent, honest, and did I mention hilarious? An essayist for The Atlantic magazine and an NPR radio commentator, Tsing Loh has never shied away from addressing very personal stuff, and this book is no exception....
This is a graphic memoir by Roz Chast, longtime cartoonist for the New Yorker. With words, photos and illustrations, Chast describes the experience of caring for her aging parents with brutal honesty and plenty of humor. This isn't a pleasant topic, ...
Elin Hilderbrand came to speak at Aspen Drive last week, and she was so impressive: a strong, inspiring woman who came out to Chicago for her book tour despite a recent cancer diagnosis and mastectomy! Even if she had canceled her visit, though, I wo...

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First off, it’s because her name is “Rainbow.” How cool is that? How could you ever get mad at someone named “Rainbow?” You’d just end up smiling every time you said her name! Second, her books are outstanding. Along with authors like John Green, sh...
I was drawn to this book because of its rural Wisconsin setting. I grew up in suburbia, so there’s always been something charming and seductive about small-town life for me.  Given our proximity to Wisconsin, it wasn’t hard to imagine the town o...
    Astonish Me is both a fascinating journey into the world of professional ballet and a tender family story. Joan Joyce is a ballerina in the late 1970’s with a famous company in New York City. Reeling from an unsuccessful affair with...
Cantankerous bookstore owner A.J. Fikry has lost his wife and has alienated most of the townspeople on the small island where he lives and works. Yet one day a two-year-old girl is abandoned in his store with a note saying, “I want her to grow up in ...
  In 1943, journalist John Easley travels to the Aleutian Islands to expose the U.S. government’s cover-up of the Japanese invasion there and to somehow come to grips with the loss of his brother, who was killed earlier in World War II. Easley’...
 Chris Pavone, author of last year’s hit book The Expats, has done it again. The Accident is a gripping thriller. From the first chapter, I could hardly put it down. Isabel Reed, a literary agent, receives an anonymous manuscript at her office,...

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The title Vienna Nocturne is very apt for this book, because a nocturne is a night song, defined as a “composition of a dreamy or pensive character.” And in many ways, this lush period novel unfolds like a dream. This is the story of Anna Storace, an...

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What happens when a young British PhD student at Columbia University, new to New York with few friends, suddenly discovers she is pregnant – and the baby’s father dumps her? She gets a job in a used bookstore, of course! This is the premise of The Bo...
A woman is transported back in time to an alternate world and falls madly in love with a handsome hero.  That’s the ostensible plot of this book – but believe me, it’s nowhere near being that neat and predictable!  For one...

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Ah, December – the month when I read nothing but Christmas books!  Life’s too full of stress and difficulty during the other 11 months of the year, so I figure, why not take a month off and focus on what’s good in our world? ...