Lake Forest Park

Latest Staff Picks

The reclamation of the word "Queer" has miffed some and confused other. "Isn't that a derogatory slur?" some have asked, "If you are not gay or straight what else can you been??" Consider this book an accessible intro to gender and Queer theory. Come out wherever you are!

Picked by Dean

Like if Leigh Bardugo rewrote Cormac McCarthy's "The Border Trilogy", replaced the horses with hippos, and it was just perpetually set in that hippo attack river scene from "Congo".

The sequel comes out this fall. You're welcome.

Picked by Anje

Nora's relaxing weekend getaway to the English countryside is nothing short of a nightmare. From the train station to her sister's house, Nora dreams of the delicious dinner that Rachel is probably preparing, a dream only to be shattered when she discovers an eerie silence behind Rachel's front door. Both Rachel and her dog, Fenno, have been brutally murdered. Days pass, and Nora finds that she can't return to London before knowing what happened. Chapters alternate between the current investigation and the past of the two very close, uninhibited sisters. Berry has crafted a psychological thriller that will have you wondering up to the last page!

Picked by Jane

A piquant little novel told with an acidic wit whose bite entertains without employing the barbaric snark so common in modern comedy. Chemistry is a petite little book but it is overflowing with vim and vigor.

Picked by Wesley

As miracles would have it, a baby female elephant, Modoc, and a baby boy, Bram, are born at the same place in Germany within the same hour. Josef, Bram's father, and elephant trainer, has great dreams for his 2 young ones. No one could be closer than the boy and his elephant, and every time obstacles endanger them, some sort of inner strength prevails. For more than 7 decades, journeys take them all over the world, escaping entrapment and separation. Full of joy and tragedy, this true story will hook your heart and make you believe in survival of the fittest, the smartest! 

Picked by Jane

Pre-Civil War Georgia's plantations are "manned" by slaves, like Cora. Prepared to endure her hopeless situation, Cora only dreams of escape, when she meets Virginia slave Caesar, who is full of ideas about an underground railroad. Caesar infects Cora with plans to flee, and their journey begins. Whitehead brilliantly describes Cora's life, in and out of bondage, months in an airless space above an attic and her respites with people trying to help. The horrors experienced by Cora multiplied by thousands give us a remote idea of the powerful pull of freedom, the relentless drive of human spirit and strength!

Picked by Jane

The small town of Amgash in rural Illinois sports a slice of life common to many such communities. Lives riddled with loneliness, inferiorities and secrets star in these vignettes of tragedy and forgiveness which weave together to form a novel. Lucy Barton, now a successful author, escaped her cruel childhood in Amgash an reappears as a connecting thread, showing up in the stories of others. (You might want to read or re-read Strout's previous novel, My Name is Lucy Barton!) Strout's elegant observations of live reflect her masterful ability to zoom in on ordinary people often facing extraordinary odds!

Picked by Jane

With his father's death shrouded in mystery, Edgar leads the life of a peculiar child, an albino, fair game for the bullies of the world. His grandmother, Florence, is more loving toward Edgar than his own mother, Lucy, who has no clue what to do with a son after Florence's death. When home life becomes intolerable, Edgar is "rescued" by a mysterious man in a green truck. Through numerous twists and turns, Edgar is 6 months later returning to Lucy and her new family. With vivid characterizations and poignant storytelling, Lodato creates a powerful dynamic of love, loneliness, and longing!

Picked by Jane

Coming off much older than her 30 years, Eleanor is the epitome of office efficiency but completely ignorant of social nuances, a source of both annoyance and amusement for her co-workers. Eleanor freely issues sharp and hilarious criticisms by day and uses vodka to mask her personal traumas by night. Moments of keen humor with many lonely missteps lead to the intervention of her first friend, Raymond, and a therapist, who coach Eleanor to remember her past, preparing her for a happiness she's never been able to imagine! 

Picked by Jane