Best Books of 2017…so far!

We’ve already hit the half-way point to 2018 and a lot of great books have already come out. If you’re looking for something new to read or looking to complete your Adult Summer Reading Club log, here are some titles you can find at the Lake Bluff Library.

All Grown Up – Jamie Attenberg
American War – Omar El Akkad
An Extraordinary Union – Alyssa Cole
And We’re Off – Dana Schwartz
Borne – Jeff VanderMeer
Defy the Stars – Claudia Gray
Difficult Women – Roxanne Gay
Ill Will – Dan Chaon
Lincoln in the Bardo – George Saunders
Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
Saints & Misfits – S.K. Ali
Spaceman of Bohemia – Jaroslav Kalfar
The Fifth Letter – Nicola Moriarty
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
The Lonely Hearts Hotel – Heather O’Neill
The Lost Book of the Grail – Charlie Lovett

For the full listing, visit!


Sidewalk Chalk Competition!

sidewalk chalk
On Saturday July 22nd, we’ll be hosting our 5th Annual Sidewalk Chalk Competition! Join aspiring local artists, equipped with chalk, as they create sidewalk chalk art based on the theme of our Summer Reading Club, “Where the Wild Things Read.”

At 1:30pm, Holly Nagel returns to astound and amaze with her eye-popping balloon art! At 3:00pm, all participants can join us in the Dahlmann Reading Garden for some lemonade and a light snack. Competition prize winners will be announced at this time!

Registration forms for the sidewalk chalk contest are available at the library. You must register to be guaranteed a space in the program. If you do not register, you will be accepted as space permits on a first-come, first-served basis.

The fun and festivities start at 10:00am! For more information, please see Liliana or Martha!

Books for 13 Year Olds

Young girls and boys around the age of 13 are a tricky age group for books. They don’t necessarily want typical young adult books but want something a bit more challenging than adult fiction. Here are a few titles that may be helpful for bridging the gap between YA and adult.

Love is the Drug – Alaya Dawn Johnson
Emily Bird is an African American high school senior in Washington D.C., member of a privileged medical family, on the verge of college and the edge of the drug culture, and not really sure which way she will go. Then one day she wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened.

The Amateurs – Sara Shepard
Four teens who met on an online cold-case solving forum attempt to solve another teen’s murder.

Three Dark Crowns – Kendare Blake
Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose … it’s life or death.

Overturned – Lamar Giles
Nikki Tate’s father has been on death row for killing his best friend in a gambling dispute, but he has always maintained his innocence, and now his conviction has been overturned and he is back at the casino, where high school junior Nikki has been operating illegal poker games in the hopes of saving enough money to get out of Vegas after graduation.

Don’t Look Back – Jennifer Armentrout
Seventeen-year-old Sam seems to have everything until she and her best friend, Cassie, disappear one night and now Sam has returned with amnesia, striving to be a much better person and aware that her not remembering may be the only thing keeping Sam alive.

The False Prince – Jennifer Nielsen
In the country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition to be selected to impersonate the king’s long-missing son in an effort to avoid a civil war.

MINRS – Kevin Sylvester
Twelve-year-old Christopher Nichols and his family live on a new planet, Perses, as colonists of Melming Mining’s Great Mission to save the earth. When Landers, as the attackers are called, obliterate the colony to steal the metal and raw ore, Christopher and a small group of survivors are forced into the maze of mining tunnels below the surface of Perses

Dividing Eden – Joelle Charbonneau
Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure. But appearances, and rivals, and be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option — to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.


July New Releases

Click on a title below or call the library to place a hold on these hot new releases!


  1. The Late Show by Michael Connelly
  2. The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson
  3. The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick
  4. Final Girls by Riley Sager
  5. Two Nights by Kathy Reichs
  6. South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby
  7. House of Spies by Daniel Silva
  8. Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave
  9. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware


  1. Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8 by Naoki Higashida
  2. Edward VII: the Prince of Wales and the Women He Loved  by Catharine Arnold
  3. Corn Kings and One-horse Thieves: A Plain-spoken History of Mid-Illinois by Southern Illinois Press
  4. Rediscovering Americanism by Mark Levin
  5. Reading With Patrick: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-changing Friendship by Michelle Kuo
  6. The Netanyahu Years by Ben Caspit
  7. Queen of Bebop by Elaine M. Hayes
  8. A Stone of Hope by Jim St. Germain
  9. Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley


  1. Gifted
  2. Tommy’s Honour
  3. Norman
  4. Food: Delicious Science
  5. The Fate of the Furious
  6. Their Finest
  7. A Quiet Passion
  8. The Lost City of Z
  9. The Zookeeper’s Wife


  1. Heaven by Pete Malinverni
  2. John Williams: Themes and Transcriptions for Piano by John Williams
  3. Everything Now by Arcade Fire
  4. So Nice! by David Benoit and Marc Antoine
  5. Six Pack Volume 3 by Straight No Chaser
  6. War Paint by Original Broadway Cast


  1. Lucky in Love by Kasie West
  2. This is How It Happened by Paula Stokes
  3. The Possible by Tara Altebrando
  4. Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead
  5. Generation One by Pittacus Lore
  6. Be True to Me by Adele Griffin


  1. Almost Paradise by Corabel Shofner
  2. One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn
  3. I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski
  4. Sands of Shark Island by Alexander McCall Smith
  5. An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder
  6. It All Comes Down to This by Karen English

Local Favorites (June 29th)

The following titles are current best-sellers this week at the Lake Forest Book Store:

The One in a Million Boy – Monica Wood
The story of your life never starts at the beginning. Don’t they teach you anything at school?
So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who’s been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she’s confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades.

News of the World – Paulette Jiles
In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.
Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance

Saints for All Occasions – J. Courtney Sullivan
Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she’s shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn’t sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.

Camino Island – John Grisham
Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.

Last Days of Night – Graham Moore
New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history—and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?

Killers of the Flower Moon – David Grann
In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. Her relatives were shot and poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more members of the tribe began to die under mysterious circumstances.

Lilac Girls – Martha Hall Kelly
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

Make Your Bed – Admiral William H. McRaven
On May 17, 2014, Admiral McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. Taking inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life; and he explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves-and the world-for the better.


Michael Bond (1926-2017)

Michael Bond, author of the Paddington books was born in 1926. He worked as a cameraman for the BBC when he came up with the idea after seeing a small toy bear in London.

Bond’s first book was called “A Bear Called Paddington” in 1958. Paddington tells the story of a small, orphaned bear as he travels from Peru to the British capitol. He is found at Paddington Station wearing a tag saying “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” and is taken in by the Brown family.

There are many books in the Paddington series and has become a beloved story for many children.

A Bear Called Paddington – Michael Bond
A very small bear found by Mr. and Mrs Brown at Paddington Station becomes one of the family.

Paddington (DVD)
A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven.

Paddington – Michael Bond
Nearly fifty years ago, a small bear from Darkest Peru set out on an adventure of a lifetime. With nothing but a suitcase, several jars of marmalade, and a label around his neck that read, “Please Look After This Bear,” he stowed away on a ship headed for faraway England. When the little bear arrived at London’s busy Paddington Station, he was discovered by Mr. and Mrs. Brown. As luck would have it, the Browns were just the sort of people to welcome a lost bear into their family.


Books for Troubled Youth/Teens

As we grow up, some of us may not have the picture perfect relationships with those around us. Sometimes all it takes is for a reader to find the perfect book that helps them relate to the struggles of daily life.

The list below is a selection of popular books that you can find at the library. These titles touch on a variety of problems, life experiences, and solutions to the things that teens, youth, and young adults may be dealing with.

For the complete list, visit

Burn Baby Burn – Meg Medina
Nora Lopez is seventeen during the summer of 1977, when New York is besieged by arson, a massive blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam. Meg Medina transports us to a time when tempers and temperatures ran high to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit.

Not My Father’s Son – Alan Cumming
In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.

Shelter – Jung Yun
Kyung Cho’s home is worth less money than he owes. A tenure-track professor, he and his wife, Gillian, have always lived beyond their means. Now their decisions have caught up with them, and Kyung is anxious for his family’s future: all he wants is to provide the home that was denied him to their son.

Mother, Mother – Koren Zailckas
Josephine Hurst has her family under control: two beautiful daughters, a brilliantly intelligent son, a tech-guru of a husband and a historical landmark home. But living in this matriarch’s determinedly cheerful, yet subtly controlling domain hasn’t been easy for her family. When her oldest daughter, Rose, runs off with a mysterious boyfriend, Josephine tightens her grip, gradually turning her flawless home into a darker sort of prison.

Purple Hibiscus – Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie
In the city of Egunu, Nigeria, fifteen year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a somewhat cloistered life. Their father is a wealthy businessman, they live in a beautiful home, and attend private school. But, through Kambili’s eyes, we see that their home life is anything but harmonious. Her father, a fanatically religious man has impossible expectations of his children and his wife, and if things don’t go his way he becomes physically abusive. Not until Kambili and Jaja are sent away from home for the very first time to visit their loving aunt, does Kambili’s world begin to blossom. But when a military coup threatens to destroy the country, the tension in her family’s home escalates, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.

The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls
When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who hated anything to do with domesticity. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered.