Mary Oliver (1935-2019)

Mary Jane Oliver was an American poet who won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2007 The New York Times described her as “far and away, this country’s best-selling poet.

Here are a few of her books as well as compilations that her works have been incorporated into. You can find her books (as well as other poetry) in our Adult Non-Fiction collection in the 814’s.

American’s Favorite Poems (edited by Robert Pinsky & Maggie Dietz)
The selections in this anthology were chosen form the personal letters of thousands of Americans who responded to Robert Pinsky’s invitation to write to him about their favorite poems.

Red Bird – Mary Oliver
Overflowing with her keen observation of the natural world and her gratitude for its gifts, for the many people she has loved in her seventy years, as well as for her disobedient dog Percy, Red Bird is a quintessential collection of Oliver’s finest lyrics.

Upstream – Mary Oliver
A collection of essays in which revered poet Mary Oliver reflects on her willingness, as a young child and as an adult, to lose herself within the beauty and mysteries of both the natural world and the world of literature.


What We Were Reading #ThrowBackThursday

“What We Were Reading” is a look back into the Lake Bluff Library’s history during the 1930’s. Every week the Library published a list of books and events going on in the “Lake Forester” newspaper, similar to how we post here on our blog. This is a fun retrospective as we celebrate our centennial anniversary.


“Those who have not read “The Americanization of Edward Bok” will find it well worth reading. He recently passed to the Great Beyond, and has left much inspiration behind him—inspiration gained from his sturdy Dutch ancestors. The book is an intimate account of how he became editor of “The Ladies Home Journal,” the work he did and the people he knew. The wonderful singing tower and sanctuary which he built in Florida is a fitting memorial of his efforts to make the world a little better for having lived in it.

Other interesting biographies are:
Henry the Eighth
Disraeli, Maurios
Up the Years from Bloomsbury, Arliss
The Road to the Temple, Glaspell
Skyward, Byrd
Labrador Doctor, Grenfell
Yankee of the Yards, Swift
Count Luckner the Sea Devil, Thomas
Voltaire, Thaddeus

—Flora G. Coen.


February Book Club

(Feb) Girl Waits With Gun
Summary – Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in getting married or domestic affairs, and has isolated herself since a deep family secret forced her and her sisters to flee to the country fifteen years ago. When a powerful factory owner runs down their buggy, a dispute turns into a war as he unleashes his gang on their farm. It turns out that Constance has a knack for outwitting the criminal element that might put her on a new path in life.

Read-Alikes – If you enjoyed reading this book, here are some similar titles that you can find in our library. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, 1984 by George Orwell, and The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs.

Book Club – Girl Waits with Gun is Carol’s book club selection for February Book club will meet on Tuesday February 12th at 2:30pm. Carol leads an open-ended book discussion that everyone is welcome to attend. Copies of the book are available to check out at the Circulation desk. We look forward to seeing you at Book Club!

Mindfulness for Beginners

Our mindfulness program will be held on Thursday January 24th at 7:00pm

Chris George will present an introduction to the principles of mindfulness, including guided sitting, walking meditation, body scan, and mindful communication. Learn tips and resources available to help you bring mindfulness into your daily life. Chris has taught mindfulness for six years at Harper College in Palatine and through his own business, Mindful Leadership Education.

Getting Back to Happy – Marc & Angel Chernoff
This book reveals the authors’ strategies for changing thought patterns and daily habits to bounce back from tough times.

Magical Journey – Katrina Kenison
A book for every woman whose children have grown up, but who’s not done growing herself, in which the author explores the belief that even as old identities are outgrown, new ones begin to beckon.

Practicing the Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart shares the enlightenment he himself experienced after a profound inner transformation radically changed the course of his life.

Strength in Stillness – Bob Roth
A simple, straightforward exploration of Transcendental Meditation and its benefits from world authority Roth.

The Wisdom of Sundays – Oprah Winfrey
The moments of inspiration that have enlightened millions on Winfrey’s three-time Emmy Award-winning Super Soul Sunday are collected in The Wisdom of Sundays, a cherished, deeply affecting book.

Waking Up – Sam Harris
Harris’s new book is a guide to meditation as a rational spiritual practice informed by neuroscience and psychology. Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no religion, but who suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics, schizophrenics, or frauds.

Wellness Escapes (Lonely Planet)
Discover the world’s most energizing, inspiring and relaxing well-being retreats. From yoga, t’ai chi and meditation to mindfulness, spa treatments and creative writing, we present our favorite retreats and spas around the world to help replenish the mind, body and soul.

Michelle Obama’s Favorites

With the popularity of Former First Lady, Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, literary website Book Riot has compiled a list of Mrs. Obama’s favorite book. All of these titles can be found on our library shelves. For more book recommendations, visit

An American Marriage – Tayari Jones
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control.

Educated – Tara Westover
An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who was kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Exit West – Mohsin Tamid
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet–sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, thrust into premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city.

Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown
A little bunny bids goodnight to all the objects in his room before falling asleep.

Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly.

The Light of the World – Elizabeth Alexander
Reflecting with gratitude on the exquisite beauty of her married life that was, grappling with the subsequent void, and feeling a re-energized devotion to her two teenage sons, Alexander channels her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose that describes a very personal and yet universal quest for meaning, understanding, and acceptance.

Local Favorites – January 14th

The following titles are current best-sellers this week at the Lake Forest Book Store and can be found on our library shelves. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, please see a staff member. We’re happy to add your name to a hold list!

Bad Blood – John Carreyrou
The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of Theranos–the Enron of Silicon Valley–by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers.

Becoming – Michelle Obama
An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky – Mark Sullivan
The triumphant, epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience during one of history’s darkest hours. Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager obsessed with music, food, and girls but his days of innocence are numbered when his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs.

Educated – Tara Westover
An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.

Gmorning, Gnight! – Lin-Manuel Miranda
Before he inspired the world with Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others.

I’ve Been Thinking… – Maria Shriver
A book of reflections for those seeking wisdom, guidance, encouragement, and inspiration on the road to a meaningful life.

Red Notice – Bill Browder
A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption.

The Death and Life of the Great Lakes – Dan Egan
In an age when dire problems like the Flint water crisis or the California drought bring ever more attention to the indispensability of safe, clean water, is a powerful story to what is arguably our most precious resource, an urgent examination of what threatens our water supply and a convincing call to arms about the relatively simple things we need to do to protect it.

The Library Book – Susan Orlean
Orlean reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution–our libraries.

Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild and unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark.

Healthy Eating Books

Now that we’ve started the new year, many people strive to eat healthier. Here are a few books that might give you some helpful suggestions if healthy eating is one of your New Year’s goals.

Dressing on the Side – Jaclyn London
With her extensive background in medical nutrition therapy, nutrition counseling and in the editorial setting at Good Housekeeping, London has loaded this book with simple strategies for prioritizing foods, eliminating the stress that accompanies food you love and cultivating confidence in your choices.

Gordon Ramsay’s Healthy, Lean, & Fit – Gordon Ramsay
The definitive guide to eating well for optimum health and fitness, from Michelin-starred chef and fitness fanatic, Gordon Ramsay.

SkinnyTaste One & Done – Gina Homolka
Homolka incorporates her healthy, flavor-forward recipes with everyone’s favorite way to cook — in one vessel, whether a sheet pan or multi-cooker, and everything in-between.

Eat a Little Better – Sam Kass
Kass, former chef to the Obama’s and White House food policy advisor, makes it easier to do a little better for your diet every day, through smart ways to think about shopping, setting up your kitchen so the healthy stuff comes to hand most naturally, and through 90 delicious, simple recipes.