Are you looking for an ultra-imaginative dystopian tale of a matriarchal society, which violently polices any variation in preset roles and biology, yet must ultimately rely on that very capability in a brave low-caste member to save the group? Do you want it to appeal to young teens through adults? Read The Bees: A Novel by Laline Paull.

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Flora 717 is introduced at the moment of her birth as a sanitation worker in the hive of nearly 10,000 family members. As soon as she emerges from her cell into the Arrivals Hall, she is recognized as variant by both the fertility police, who almost immediately destroy her, and by a high-caste “priestess,” Sister Sage, who interrupts the police and escorts Flora into the hive nursery , thus beginning an experiment to see how her variation might be of use. And what amazing usefulness does Flora discover about herself! She is willing to use all her discovery and understanding for the future of her hive in brave, daring, and intelligent ways.

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TheGraduate4

'Tis the season for college graduations!  Now is the perfect time to revisit the classic film The Graduate, which provides an especially entertaining look at the confusion that can reign at such a significant time in life.  Dustin Hoffman plays recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock who, after becoming involved in a complicated affair with a woman twice his age, finds himself falling in love with her beautiful daughter.  Anne Bancroft and Katharine Ross co-star in the 1967 film by legendary director Mike Nichols.  The movie also features an outstanding soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel, showcasing their songs Mrs. Robinson, The Sound of Silence, and Scarborough Faire/Canticle.

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_donteverlookback.jpgHooray! Retired Police Detective Baruch “Buck’’ Schatz returns, more ornery than ever, in Daniel Friedman’s terrific second mystery, Don’t Ever Look Back. Friedman introduced the colorful octogenarian in Don’t Ever Get Old, imagining what life would be like for a Dirty Harry type of character in his 80s.

At 88, Buck is in even worse physical shape in Don’t Ever Look Back, thanks to injuries he incurred in the first book. He is living with his wife in a senior assisted living facility, and must use a walker to get around. As annoying as the walker is, Buck discovers that it turns out to be a handy weapon.

Buck’s sedentary lifestyle, filled with painful physical therapy appointments, is disrupted when an b2ap3_thumbnail_danielfriedman.jpgenemy from his past shows up at the retirement home. The 80-year-old criminal, known only as Elijah, got away with a huge bank robbery heist in 1965 when Buck was a cop. But now Elijah beseeches Buck for help, saying his life is in grave danger.

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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. John Green with Heather Thompson, Heather Beverley and Ellen Jennings.

Don’t be too jealous … last week two of my colleagues and I were lucky enough to snag tickets to hear John Green deliver the Zena Sutherland Lecture entitled “Does YA Mean Anything Anymore? Genre in a Digitized World” at Chicago Public Library. Sound boring? Then, you don’t know John Green very well.

Who’s John Green, you ask?? Only the hottest YA author right now and he’s only going to get more famous in the next few weeks. Just ask any teen about The Fault in Our Stars. Quick background for newbies: John Green has been writing books for young adults since 2006 when Looking for Alaska was published. That book was read by just a few, according to Green,  until it won the ALA’s  Printz Award for “exemplifying literary excellence in young adult fiction.” His next three books sold well enough and won some awards, but with the 2012 publication of The Fault in Our Stars and its movie which will be released in June, John Green has become a YA god and we cannot keep any of his books on our shelves at Cook Park or Aspen Drive Libraries. Even adults are discovering his magic.

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GeorgeActor George Clooney has reason to celebrate this week!  The famous bachelor turned 53 on May 6th -- and also just announced that he is officially off the market.  Yes -- he's engaged!  Sorry, ladies!  So much for all those claims over the years that he would never get married!  The lucky woman is 35 year-old Amal Alamuddin, a lawyer specializing in international law and human rights issues.

 

Clooney spent many years working in television before finally hitting it big on the silver screen in the mid-1990's, co-starring in such popular TV series as ER and The Facts of Life.  These days, the talented actor is able to pick and choose his film projects, and often writes, directs, and produces them as well.  Clooney has been awarded two Oscars thus far in his career:  the first for his supporting performance in the intense thriller Syriana, and most recently for his role in producing the 2012 Best Picture winner Argo

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