Crazy Rich Asians Read-Alikes

Did you read Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan or see the movie? Are you looking for more about the lives of the rich and their glam lifestyles? Here are some titles similar to Crazy Rich Asians.

American Royals – Katherine McGee
In an alternate America, princesses Beatrice and Samantha Washington and the two girls wooing their brother, Prince Jefferson, become embroiled in high drama in the most glorious court in the world.

Five Star Billionaire – Tash Aw
Dreaming of love and success in rapidly changing Shanghai, four individuals–a starry-eyed waitress, a wealthy developer’s son, a pop artist, and a poetry-loving activist–confront unexpected realities in regional challenges.

Free Food for Millionaires – Min Jin Lee
Casey Han’s four years at Princeton gave her many things, But no job and a number of bad habits. Casey’s parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold on to their culture and their identity.

Primates of Park Avenue – Wednesday Martin
After marrying a man from the Upper East Side and moving to the neighborhood, Wednesday Martin struggled to fit in. Drawing on her background in anthropology and primatology, she tried looking at her new world through that lens, and suddenly things fell into place.

Sarong Party Girls – Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
On the edge of twenty-seven, Jazzy hatches a plan for her and her best girlfriends. Before the year is out, these Sarong Party Girls will all have spectacular weddings to expat ang moh– caucasian– husbands, with Chanel babies (half-white children–the ultimate status symbol) quickly to follow.

Social Creature – Tara Isabella Burton
Louise Wilson has  mastered the tricks and shortcuts that a penniless small-town girl needs to survive in New York City. When she meets the beautiful, wealthy, eccentric, and aimless Lavinia Williams, she thinks her dreams of a cosmopolitan existence may be coming true. Lavinia introduces her to a rarified life of beauty and indulgence: private opera boxes, secret bookstores in brownstones, Shakespearean masked balls, underground cabarets, closets full of hundreds of dresses, and the finest champagne money can buy.

The Nest – Cynthia D’Aprix Sweetney
A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

The Wangs vs. The World – Jade Chang
A hilarious debut novel about a wealthy but fractured Chinese immigrant family that had it all, only to lose every last cent–and about the road trip they take across America that binds them back together.

The Windfall – Diksha Basu
For the past thirty years, the Jha’s have been defined by cramped spaces and gossipy neighbors. But when Mr. Jha comes into an enormous sum of money, he moves his reluctant wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, ultimately forcing them, and their son, to reckon with who they are and what really matters to them.

What We Were Promised – Lucy Tan
After years of chasing the American dream, the Zhen family has moved back to China. Settling into a luxurious serviced apartment in Shanghai, Wei, Lina, and their daughter, Karen, join an elite community of Chinese-born, Western-educated professionals who have returned to a radically transformed city.


Must-Read Gothic Novels

What exactly is Gothic literature? Gothic literature is a sub-genre of Gothic horror that combines fiction and horror with death and occasionally romance. Originating in the 18th century, Gothic literature has been popular throughout the 19th century with novels like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Edgar Allen Poe, and Bram Stoker.

Today, Gothic literature remains popular with the classics as well as modern stories. Here are some popular Gothic literature titles that can be found in our library. For the complete list of over 50 must-read Gothic novels, visit

Bastard Out of Carolina – Dorothy Allison
Greenville County is a wild, lush place that is home to the Boatwright’s: a tight-knit clan of rough, hard-drinking men who shoot at each other’s trucks and women who marry young too quickly. Ruth Anne Boatwright is a child born out of wedlock that views the world around her with a keen perspective. When her nasty stepfather becomes more vicious towards her, Ruth Anne finds herself testing the loyalty of her mother.

Beloved – Toni Morrison
Sethe, an escaped slave living in post-Civil War Ohio with her daughter and mother-in-law, is persistently haunted by the ghost of her dead baby girl.

Bitter Orange – Claire Fuller
From the attic of a dilapidated mansion, Frances Jellico sees Cara and Peter. The couple is spending the summer of 1969 while Frances researches architecture in the surrounding gardens. Distracted by a peephole in her bathroom floorboard, Frances discovers access to her neighbor’s private lives.

Delicious Foods – James Hannaham
Darlene is an exceptional wife and mother to her young son, Eddie, and is devastated by the death of her husband. Unable to cope, she quickly turns to drugs. One day she disappears and Eddie is now left behind panicking to find her, only to find that his mother provided false promises of a good future.

Dracula – Bram Stoker
Having deduced the double identity of Count Dracula, a wealthy Transylvanian nobleman and a small group of people vow to rid the world of the evil vampire.

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Scientist Victor Frankenstein creates a large and powerful creature in the likeness of man, but is disgusted by his own creation and he abandons the being to fend for itself.

Her Body and Other Parties – Carmen Maria Machado
Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The lives of two sisters–Nettie and Celie, are revealed in a series of letters exchanged over thirty years.

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
Set against the tumultuous years of the post Napoleonic era, Dumas recounts the swashbuckling adventures of Edmond Dantès, a dashing young sailor falsely accused of treason

The Doll Factory – Elizabeth Macneal
In 1850s London, the Great Exhibition is being erected in Hyde Park and two people meet by happenstance. For Iris, it is a brief and forgettable moment but for Silas, the meeting marks a new beginning.

September Book Club

(September) American Kingpin
Summary: In 2011, twenty-six year old libertarian programmer Ross Ulbricht launched a free market called the Silk Road, a website hosted where anyone could trade anything…drugs, hacking software, forged documents, counterfeit money, and poisons – all without the government’s watchful eye. It wasn’t long before the media learned about the Silk Road and the federal government launched a two-year manhunt for Ulbricht with no leads, witnesses, or clear jurisdiction.

Read-Alikes: If you enjoyed reading American Kingpin, here are some other similar titles you might enjoy too. Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright & Bradley Hope, Black Edge by Sheelah Kolhatkar, The Spider Network by David Enrich, Red Card by Ken Bensinger, The Big Short by Michael Lewis, Red Notice by Bill Browder, and Shoe Dog by Phil Knight.

Book Club: Carol will hold her book discussion on Tuesday September 17th at 2:30pm. Copies of the book will be available for checkout at the Circulation Desk. Newcomers are always welcome to attend. We look forward to seeing you at the next Afternoon Book Club!

Girl, Wash Your Face Read-Alikes

Did you read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis and really like it? So did a lot of others! Hollis is the founder of lifestyle website and has developed a huge online community by sharing tips for living better all while exposing the messiness in her own life. In her book, she reveals strategies about how to move past and become more confident than ever.

If you’re looking for more titles featuring strong, women authors or stories of empowerment, here are some you might enjoy that can be found in our library.

Becoming – Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic women of our time. As First Lady, she helped create a welcoming and inclusive White House. With honesty and wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private.

Brave, Not Perfect – Reshma Saujani
Saujani shows that women are taught to play it safe even at an early age. We grow up afraid to fall and risk our opportunities for happiness. Saujani shows us how to end our affair with perfection and rewire ourselves for bravery.

Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
Based on twelve years of research, Brown argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection.

How to Be a Bawse – Lily Singh
From the 2017 People’s Choice Award winner for Favorite YouTube Star comes the definitive guide to being a bawse: a person who exudes confidence, hustles relentlessly, and smiles genuinely because he or she has fought through it all and made it out the other side.

How to Do Nothing – Jenny Odell
A galvanizing critique of the forces vying for our attention that redefines what we think of as productivity, reconnects us with the environment, and reveals all that we’ve been too distracted to see about ourselves and our world

How to Not Have Your Life Not Suck – Bianca Juarez Olthoff
Olthoff shares details about real success, good dates, and how true friendships can still feel out of reach to becoming today who you aspire to be tomorrow (minus the cargo shorts and tacky hat).

I’m Judging You – Luvvie Ajayi
A collection of humorous essays about our obsessions and bad behavior in our increasingly digtal, connected lives–from the importance of the newest television drama to serious discussions of race and media representation to what to do about your cousin sharing casket pictures from Grandma’s wake on Facebook.

Slow – Brooke McAllary
McAllary explains the concept of slow living. It’s a way to find happiness by stepping away from the never-ending demands to constantly succeed and acquire more. The philosophy of slow living is about finding the freedom to be less perfect and taking time to enjoy the pure joys in life by reconnecting with the living world.

Present Over Perfect – Shauna Niequist
A collection of essays that focuses on the importance of leaving behind a busy and frantic lifestyle and rediscovering the person you were made to be.

What We Were Reading #ThrowBackThrusday

“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.


08-29-1930collage The library will be closed on the evening of Labor Day, next Monday night. We now have This Singing World edited by Louis Untermeyer. It is a collection of poetry for young people, written mostly by living writers. There are musical poems, the rousing voices of Kipling’s ballads, poems for the dreamer–bringing castles in the clouds and pictures in the dying fire, and poems of galloping nonsense. A wonderful collection for the older child, or for the mother to read aloud at night while the children are tumbling into bed.

Won’t your child like “The Rabbit” by Elizabeth Madox Roberts, whose story “The Great Meadow” you have enjoyed?

When they said the time to hide was mine,
I hid back under a thick grape vine.
And while I was still for the time to pass,
A litle gray thing came out of the grass.
He hopped his way through the melon bed
And sat down close by a cabbage head.
He sat down close where I could see,
And his big still eyes looked hard at me,
His big eyes bursting out of the rim,
And I looked back very hard at him. 

Or, “The Ship o’Bed” by Robert P. T. Coffin which starts:

When I was young, I had a bed
That was no bed at all,
But a good great ship with seven masts
And seamen brown and tall.

Each seaman had a lantern white
To light us past the bars,
And all of them knew old sea-songs,
And their eyes were like the stars.

–Flora G. Coen

Lord of the Rings Read-Alikes

When looking for a fantasy novel, there’s one series that stands out from the rest…Lord of the Rings. But modern readers are always looking for books beyond the classic Tolkien series. While books like Lord of the Rings remain popular, here are some other titles if you enjoy fantasy and the Lord of the Rings series.

A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula LeGuin
A boy grows to manhood while attempting to subdue the evil he unleashed on the world as an apprentice to the Master Wizard.

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir
Laia is a scholar living under the strict rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover in exchange for assistance from rebel scholars who claim they will save her brother from execution.

Aurora Rising – Amie Kaufman
Eighteen-year-old Tyler Jones, top graduate of Aurora Academy, and a group of misfits and troublemakers embark on their first mission with Auri, a stowaway from the distant past.

Graceling – Kristin Cashore
In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.

Song of Blood & Stone – L. Penelope
Orphaned and alone, Jasminda is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When soldiers seek refuge in her cabin, they bring with them a captive, injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

The Demon King – Cinda Williams Chima
Relates the intertwining fates of former street gang leader Han Alister and headstrong Princess Raisa, as Han takes possession of an amulet that once belonged to an evil wizard and Raisa uncovers a conspiracy in the Grey Wolf Court.

The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin
Three terrible things happen all in a single day. Essun comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire that has been the bedrock for a thousand years, has collapsed. And worst of all, a great red rift has been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years.

The Grace of Kings – Ken Liu
The story of two men who become friends through rebelling against tyranny and then turn against each other in defense of irreconcilable ideals.

Crime Novels for Horror Fans

Are you a fan of horror seeking something a little different? Try crime novels. Crime novels focus on criminal acts and their investigation by focusing on the detective studying the case. Here is a selection of crime novels that would appeal to fans of horror stories. These books can all be found on the shelves in our library too!

Confessions – Kanae Minato
After calling off her engagement in wake of a tragic revelation, Yūko Moriguchi had nothing to live for except her only child, Manami. Following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yūko has given up and tendered her resignation. But first she has one last lecture to deliver.

Mother, Mother – Koren Zailckas
Josephine Hurst has her family under control. 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.

My Sister Rosa – Justine Larbalestier
When his father’s business takes the family to New York City, a seventeen-year-old Australian boy must balance his desire to protect his ten-year-old sister, a diagnosed psychopath, from the world with the desperate need to protect the world from her.

My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite
A short, darkly funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends .

Night Film – Marisha Pessl
When the daughter of a cult horror film director is found dead in an abandoned Manhattan warehouse, investigative journalist Scott McGrath, disbelieving the official suicide ruling, probes into the strange circumstances of the young woman’s death.

The Hunger – Alma Kaisu
A story about the Donner Party and the misfortunes that have plagued them. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the isolated travelers to the brink of madness. Though they dream of what awaits them in the West, long-buried secrets begin to emerge, and dissent among them escalates to the point of murder and chaos.

The Shining Girls – Lauren Beukes
In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.

Theme Music – T. Marie Vandelly
The theme music for Dixie Wheeler’s life was chosen the day her father murdered her mother, brothers, and then himself. Only one year old Dixie was left alive, known as Baby Blue for the song left playing after the murders. Twenty-five years later, Dixie still seeks for the connection to a family she can’t remember. When her childhood home goes up for sale, Dixie re-creates a macabre decor with her family’s salvaged belongings. As the ghosts of her family take residence in the home, Dixie starts to question her own sanity and wonders if the evil force in the home is that of her father or a demon of her own making.