If you liked A Man Called Ove…

then here are some are things at the library you might want to try.

A Man Called Ove Shelf End Ditto NU


Now He Belongs to the Ages

now he belongs to the ages

Celebrate Illinois’ 200th birthday and learn about Abraham Lincoln at the same time!

Red Rising Ditto

Big fan of the series or pumpded about book 4, Iron Gold? Here are some others things you might enjoy.

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Tinsel Tales: 10 Great Books About Movie Icons

Photo © Shutterstock

Movie icons symbolize so much to us that their roles and personas become jumbled with who they are in life. Rita Hayworth delivered the steamiest sexuality in “Gilda” (1946) but later complained, “Every man I know went to bed with Gilda and woke up with me.” It is impossible for a person to embody all that is enlarged on the screen. Stars have writers to give them the exact perfect words to say, cinematographers to make them look their ideal best, and directors to guide and cut together the performances that turn them into icons. As Jimmy Stewart’s character says in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962), in which everyone believes it is he and not John Wayne who did the shooting, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

These are my ten suggestions, in no particular order, for seeing icons in a more nuanced light.

The cover of the book Hitchcock


Francois Truffaut

More than fifty years on, these conversations between the old master and the young director/critic are as enjoyable and revealing as any of the films made by each.


The cover of the book The New Biographical Dictionary of FilmThe New Biographical Dictionary of Film

David Thomson

Now in its sixth edition, this vastly informed and wildly idiosyncratic compilation makes for compulsive reading. Whether or not you agree with Thomson’s 800-plus pages of insight on more than 1,000 actors, directors, screenwriters, and studio heads from (in the third edition) Isabelle Adjani to Adolph Zukor or quibble with who he left out of this farraginous, nearly all-encompassing chronicle, you will become more cinema literate every time you dip into it.

The cover of the book My Wicked, Wicked Ways

My Wicked, Wicked Ways

Errol Flynn

The original Tasmanian Devil, Flynn displayed unbuckled swash as Robin Hood and Captain Blood, but his private life was even more cinematic than his movies.



The cover of the book Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood

Richard Schickel

This book presents the life and work of The Man With No Name, Dirty Harry, and one of our finest directors. (Schickel’s The Disney Version: The Life, Times, Art, and Commerce of Walt Disney is cultural history at its best.)


The cover of the book Mary Astor's Purple Diary

Mary Astor’s Purple Diary

Edward Sorel

Astor won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in “The Great Lie” (1941) but she is best known for playing the duplicitous, seductive, cold-blooded killer Brigid O’Shaughnessy the same year in “The Maltese Falcon.” The titillating revelations in her diary that her scheming, fortune-hunting ex-husband filched and presented in their child custody trial detailed her affair with the playwright George S. Kaufman and contained grades for the sexual prowess of her various lovers.

The cover of the book Kate Remembered

Kate Remembered

A. Scott Berg

Katharine Hepburn was as well-known for not playing the Hollywood game as she was for her parts in “The Philadelphia Story,” “Woman of the Year,” and “The African Queen.” Kate Remembered is an intimate portrayal of a private person in her voice but through Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer A. Scott Berg’s lens. (Berg’s Goldwyn is an essential account of the mogul and the establishment of Hollywood.)

The cover of the book Bogart


Ann Sperber and Eric Lax

Okay, a little self-dealing here, but Ann Sperber spent seven years interviewing hundreds of Bogart’s associates before her untimely death, and I undertook to finish writing what she so ably researched and started. Sue me for saying it is the best book available about a complex man who was “tough without a gun.”

The cover of the book David Lean: A Biography

David Lean: A Biography

Kevin Brownlow

Kevin Brownlow’s biography of David Lean is as long and sprawling as Lean’s “Lawrence of Arabia” and equally as enthralling.


The cover of the book Orson Welles, Volume 1: The Road to Xanadu

Orson Welles, Volume 1: The Road to Xanadu

Simon Callow

All four volumes. Really. (But ya gotta love Welles. A shorter read is This Is Orson Welles by Welles and Peter Bogdanovich, edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum. It features two knowledgeable, witty guys in riveting conversation about actors, movies, directing, radio, television, Hollywood, and dozens of other things.)


The cover of the book The Magic Lantern

The Magic Lantern

Ingmar Bergman

Bergman’s autobiography is as revelatory a look into the soul as any of his films, told in flashbacks.




Eric Lax’s books include Woody Allen: A Biography, an international best seller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Bogart (with A. M. Sperber), and Conversations with Woody Allen, which comprises forty years of interviews with Allen. Lax has written for The Atlantic, Esquire, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times Magazine, and more. He lives in Los Angeles. His latest book, Start to Finish: Woody Allen and the Art of Moviemaking, is now available.

Books to Film: February Releases

The 15:17 to Paris by Jeffrey Stern

28691794Image resultMovie: The 15:17 to Paris
When it comes out: February 9
What the book is about: On August 21, 2015, Ayoub El-Khazzani boarded train #9364 in Brussels, bound for Paris. He was heavily armed and his mission was clear.  Another major ISIS attack was about to begin. Khazzani wasn’t expecting Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone. All three were fearless. But their decision-to charge the gunman, then overpower him even as he turned first his gun, then his knife, on Stone-depended on a lifetime of loyalty, support, and faith.

Fifty Shades Freed by E. L. James

13536860FiftyShadesFreed.jpgMovie: Fifty Shades Freed
When it comes out: February 9
What the book is about: Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

19321Image result for peter rabbit movieMovie: Peter Rabbit
When it comes out: February 9
What the book is about: When Mrs. Rabbit beseeches her four furry children not to go into Mr. McGregor’s garden, the impish Peter naturally takes this as an open invitation to create mischief. He quickly gets in over his head, when he is spotted by farmer McGregor himself. Any child with a spark of sass will find Peter’s adventures remarkably familiar. And they’ll see in Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail that bane of their existence: the “good” sibling who always does the right thing. One earns bread and milk and blackberries for supper, while the obstinate folly of the other warrants medicine and an early bedtime.

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine

23968Image resultMovie: The Female Brain
When it comes out: February 9
What the book is about: This comprehensive new look at the hormonal roller coaster that rules women’s lives down to the cellular level, “a user’s guide to new research about the female brain and the neurobehavioral systems that make us women,” offers a trove of information, as well as some stunning insights into the female brain from birth (“baby girls will connect emotionally in ways that baby boys don’t”) to birthing (“Motherhood changes you because it literally alters a woman’s brain-structurally, functionally, and in many ways, irreversibly”) to menopause (when “the female brain is nowhere near ready to retire”) and beyond.

Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

17934530Image resultMovie: Annihilation
When it comes out: February 23
What the book is about: Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer. This is the twelfth expedition.

Every Day by David Levithan

13262783Image resultMovie: Every Day
When it comes out: February 23
What the book is about: Every day a different body. Every day a different life. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

The War with Grandpa by Robert Kimmel Smith

766671Image result for the war with grandpa movie posterMovie: The War with Grandpa
When it comes out: February 23
What the book is about: The hilarious story of a boy who leaps into battle when he’s forced to share a room with his grandfather. Peter is thrilled that Grandpa is coming to live with his family. That is, until Grandpa moves right into Peter’s room, forcing him upstairs. Peter loves his grandpa but wants his room back. He has no choice but to declare war! With the help of his friends, Peter devises outrageous plans to make Grandpa surrender the room. But Grandpa is tougher than he looks. Rather than give in, Grandpa plans to get even.

Books to Film: December Releases

The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell

The Disaster ArtistThe Disaster Artist_filmMovie: The Disaster Artist
When it comes out: December 1 (Limited); December 8 (Expanded)
What the book is about: In 2003, an independent film called The Room—written, produced, directed, and starring a very rich social misfit of indeterminate age and origin named Tommy Wiseau—made its disastrous debut in Los Angeles. Described by one reviewer as “like getting stabbed in the head,” the $6 million film earned a grand total of $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. Now in its tenth anniversary year, The Room is an international phenomenon to rival The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Thousands of fans wait in line for hours to attend screenings complete with costumes, audience rituals, merchandising, and thousands of plastic spoons, but readers need not have seen The Room to appreciate its costar Greg Sestero’s account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and interpersonal relationships to achieve the dream only he could love.

The Tribes of Palos Verdes by Joy Nicholson

Tribes of Palos VerdesTribes of Palos Verdes_filmMovie: The Tribes of Palos Verdes
When it comes out: December 1
What the book is about: Medina Mason is a defiant, awkward newcomer to the affluent beach community of Palos Verdes, California. As her parents’ marriage disintegrates and her beloved brother falls prey to the temptations of drugs and the lunacy of their mother, Medina surfs to survive, finding a bitter solace in the rough comfort of the waves. This is the moving story of growing up “different,” of the love between siblings, and of one girl’s power to save herself.

The November Criminals by Sam Munson

November CriminalsNovember Criminals_filmMovie: The November Criminals
When it comes out: December 8
What the book is about: For a high school senior, Addison Schacht has a lot of preoccupations. Like getting into college. Selling drugs to his classmates. His complicated relationship with his best friend (NOT his girlfriend) Digger. And he’s just added another to the list: the murder of his classmate Kevin Broadus, and his own absurd, obsessive plan to investigate the death. When presented with an essay question on his application to the University of Chicago—What are your best and worst qualities?—Addison finds himself provoked into giving his final, unapologetic say about all of the above and more.

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf & Robert Lawson

FerdinandFerdinand_film.jpgMovie: Ferdinand
When it comes out: December 15
What the book is about: All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. And he does just that, until the day a bumblebee and some men from the Madrid bullfights give gentle Ferdinand a chance to be the most ferocious star of the corrida—and the most unexpected comic hero.

Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom

Mollys GameMollys Game_filmMovie: Molly’s Game
When it comes out: December 25
What the book is about: In Molly’s Game, Molly Bloom takes the reader through her adventures running an exclusive high-stakes private poker game. Her clients ranged from iconic stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to politicians and financial titans so powerful they moved markets and changed the course of history. With rich detail, Molly describes a world that until now has been shrouded in glamour, privilege, and secrecy, one where she fearlessly took on the Russian and Italian mobs—until she met the one adversary she could not outsmart, even though she had justice on her side: the United States government.

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool by Peter Turner

Films Stars Don'tFilms Stars Don't_filmMovie: Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool 
When it comes out: December 29
What the book is about: On 29 September 1981, Peter Turner received a phone call that would change his life. His former lover, Hollywood actress Gloria Grahame, had collapsed in a Lancaster hotel and was refusing medical attention. He had no choice but to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric family’s home in Liverpool. Turner had first set eyes on Grahame when he was a young actor, living in London. Best known for her portrayal of irresistible femme fatales in films such as The Big HeatOklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful, for which she won an Oscar, Grahame electrified audiences with her steely expressions and heavy lidded eyes and the heroines she bought to life were often dark and dangerous. Turner and Grahame became firm friends and remained so ever after their love affair had ended. And it was to him she turned in her final hour of need.


Book Movies coming in September

Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen Fallen_filmWhen it comes out: September 1
What the book is about: 17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.

It by Stephen King

ItIt_filmWhen it comes out: September 8
What the book is about: It was the children who saw – and felt. In the storm drains, in the sewers, IT lurked, taking on the shape of their nightmares. Sometimes IT reached up, seizing, tearing, killing . . .
Time passed and the children grew up, moved away. The horror of IT was deep-buried, wrapped in forgetfulness. Until they were called back, once more to confront IT, reaching up again to make their past nightmares a terrible present reality.

Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem by Peter Ackroyd

Dan Leno and the Limehouse GolemThe Limehouse Golem_filmWhen it comes out: September 8
What the book is about: Dan Leno, the great music hall comedian, was known in his lifetime as ‘the funniest man on earth’. So how could he have been involved in one of the most curious episodes in London’s history when, in a short period during the autumn of 1880, a series of murders was attributed to the mysterious ‘Limehouse Golem’?

First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung

First They Killed My FatherFirst They Killed My Father_filmWhen it comes out: September 15
What the book is about: Chronicles the brutality of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, from the author’s forced ”evacuation” of Phnom Penh in 1975 to her family’s subsequent movements from town to town and eventual separation.

J.D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski

(Film: Rebel in the Rye)

JD Salinger A LifeRebel in the Rye_filmWhen it comes out: September 15
What the book is about: One of the most popular and mysterious figures in American literary history, author of the classic Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger eluded fans and journalists for most of his life. Now comes a new biography that is “energetic and magnificently researched”—a book from which “a true picture of Salinger emerges.”

Stronger by Jeff Bauman

StrongerStronger_filmWhen it comes out: September 22
What the book is about: When Jeff Bauman woke up on Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 in the Boston Medical Center, groggy from a series of lifesaving surgeries and missing his legs, the first thing he did was try to speak. When he realized he couldn’t, he asked for a pad and paper and wrote down seven words: “Saw the guy. Looked right at me,” setting off one of the biggest manhunts in the country’s history. Just thirty hours before, Jeff had been at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon cheering on his girlfriend, Erin, when the first bomb went off at his feet.

Victoria & Abdul by Shrabani Basu

Victoria and AbdulVictoria and Abdul_filmWhen it comes out: September 22
What the book is about: Abdul Karim, an assistant clerk at Agra Central Jail, suddenly finds himself a personal attendant to the Empress of India herself, Queen Victoria. Within a year, he is established as a powerful figure at court, becoming the queen’s teacher, or Munshi, and instructing her in Urdu and Indian affairs. Devastated by the death of John Brown, the queen had at last found his replacement. But her intense and controversial relationship with the Munshi led to a near-revolt in the royal household.