Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 | 708-867-7828
Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM
Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM
Sun: 1PM to 5PM
4613 N Oketo Ave
Harwood Heights, IL 60706
708-867-7828

4613 N Oketo Ave, Harwood Heights, IL 60706 708-867-7828

Mon – Thur: 9AM to 9PM | Fri – Sat: 9AM to 5PM | Sun: 1PM to 5PM

New Books: 03/19/2024

The Princess of Las Vegas by Chris Bohjalian

Crissy Dowling has created a world that suits her perfectly. She passes her days by the pool in a private cabana, she splurges on ice cream but never gains an ounce, and each evening she transforms into a Princess, performing her musical cabaret inspired by the life of the late Diana Spencer. Some might find her strange or even delusional, an American speaking with a British accent, hair feathered into a style thirty years old, living and working in a casino that has become a dated trash heap. On top of that, Crissy’s daily diet of Adderall and Valium leaves her more than a little tipsy, her Senator boyfriend has gone back to his wife, and her entire career rests on resembling a dead woman. And yet, fans see her for the gifted chameleon she is, showering her with gifts, letters, and standing ovations night after night. But when Crissy’s sister, Betsy, arrives in town with a new boyfriend and a teenage daughter, and when Richie Morley, the owner of the Buckingham Palace Casino, is savagely murdered, Crissy’s carefully constructed kingdom comes crashing down all around her.

The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill

When Theodosia Benton abandons her career path as an attorney and shows up on her brother’s doorstep with two suitcases and an unfinished novel, she expects to face a few challenges. Will her brother support her ambition or send her back to finish her degree? What will her parents say when they learn of her decision? Does she even have what it takes to be a successful writer?

What Theo never expects is to be drawn into a hidden literary world in which identity is something that can be lost and remade for the sake of an audience. When her mentor, a highly successful author, is brutally murdered, Theo wants the killer to be found and justice to be served. Then the police begin looking at her brother, Gus, as their prime suspect, and Theo does the unthinkable in order to protect him. But the writer has left a trail, a thread out of the labyrinth in the form of a story. Gus finds that thread and follows it, and in his attempt to save his sister he inadvertently threatens the foundations of the labyrinth itself. To protect the carefully constructed narrative, Theo Benton, and everyone looking for her, will have to die.

The Black Box: Writing the Race by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Distilled over many years from Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s legendary Harvard introductory course in African American Studies, The Black Box: Writing the Race, is the story of Black self-definition in America through the prism of the writers who have led the way. From Phillis Wheatley and Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, to Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison—these writers used words to create a livable world—a “home” —for Black people destined to live out their lives in a bitterly racist society.

It is a book grounded in the beautiful irony that a community formed legally and conceptually by its oppressors to justify brutal sub-human bondage, transformed itself through the word into a community whose foundational definition was based on overcoming one of history’s most pernicious lies. This collective act of resistance and transcendence is at the heart of its self-definition as a “community.” Out of that contested ground has flowered a resilient, creative, powerful, diverse culture formed by people who have often disagreed markedly about what it means to be “Black,” and about how best to shape a usable past out of the materials at hand to call into being a more just and equitable future.

A Year of Last Things: Poems by Michael Ondaatje

Following several of his internationally acclaimed novels, A Year of Last Things is Michael Ondaatje’s long-awaited return to poetry. In pieces that are sometimes witty, sometimes moving, and always wise, we journey back through time by way of alchemical leaps, unearthing writings by revered masters, moments of shared tenderness, and the abandoned landscapes we hold on to to rediscover the influence of every border crossed.

Moving from a Sri Lankan boarding school to Molière’s chair during his last stage performance, to Bulgarian churches and their icons, to the California coast and his beloved Canadian rivers, Michael Ondaatje casts a brilliant eye that merges memory with the present, in the way memory as the distant shores of art and lost friends continue to influence everything that surrounds him.

Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle

Daphne Bell believes the universe has a plan for her. Every time she meets a new man, she receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it—the exact amount of time they will be together. The papers told her she’d spend three days with Martin in Paris; five weeks with Noah in San Francisco; and three months with Hugo, her ex-boyfriend turned best friend. Daphne has been receiving the numbered papers for over twenty years, always wondering when there might be one without an expiration. Finally, the night of a blind date at her favorite Los Angeles restaurant, there’s only a name: Jake.

But as Jake and Daphne’s story unfolds, Daphne finds herself doubting the paper’s prediction, and wrestling with what it means to be both committed and truthful. Because Daphne knows things Jake doesn’t, information that—if he found out—would break his heart.

James by Percival Everett

When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a man in New Orleans, separated from his wife and daughter forever, he decides to hide on nearby Jackson Island until he can formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Huck Finn has faked his own death to escape his violent father, recently returned to town. As all readers of American literature know, thus begins the dangerous and transcendent journey by raft down the Mississippi River toward the elusive and too-often-unreliable promise of the Free States and beyond.

Memory Piece by Lisa Ko

In the early 1980s, Giselle Chin, Jackie Ong, and Ellen Ng are three teenagers drawn together by their shared sense of alienation and desire for something different. “Allied in the weirdest parts of themselves,” they envision each other as artistic collaborators and embark on a future defined by freedom and creativity.

By the time they are adults, their dreams are murkier. As a performance artist, Giselle must navigate an elite social world she never conceived of. As a coder thrilled by the internet’s early egalitarian promise, Jackie must contend with its more sinister shift toward monetization and surveillance. And as a community activist, Ellen confronts the increasing gentrification and policing overwhelming her New York City neighborhood. Over time their friendship matures and changes, their definitions of success become complicated, and their sense of what matters evolves.

Nearly All the Men in Lagos Are Mad: Stories by Damilare Kuku

In this remarkable short story collection, Damilare Kuku takes us deep into the heart of modern Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, and the lives of a collection of audacious women who cope with romantic difficulties by brilliantly turning the tables on the men who wrong them.

One hardworking married woman calmly threatens sharp-edged revenge on her lazy, hypocritical husband. Another skillfully protects her own business interests by shielding her pastor-husband from allegations of cheating that may or may not be true. A group of wealthy wives deceived by their husbands join forces in a WhatsApp support group called the Virtuous Wives Guild. And a discerning dater fed up with Nigerian men makes a vow to only date oyibos, only to discover that white men can act just as badly.

The Asteroid Hunter: A Scientist’s Journey to the Dawn of Our Solar System by Dante Lauretta

On September 11, 1999, humanity made a monumental discovery in the vastness of space. Scientists uncovered an asteroid of immense scientific importance—a colossal celestial entity. As massive as an aircraft carrier and towering as high as the iconic Empire State Building, this cosmic titan was later named Bennu. Remarkable for much more than its size, Bennu belonged to a rare breed of asteroids capable of revealing the essence of life itself. But just as Bennu became a beacon of promise, researchers identified a grave danger. Hurtling through space, it threatens to collide with our planet on September 24, 2182.

Leading the expedition was Dr. Dante Lauretta, the Principal Investigator of NASA’s audacious OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission. Tasked with unraveling Bennu’s mysteries, his team embarked on a daring quest to retrieve a precious sample from the asteroid’s surface — one that held the potential to not only unlock the secrets of life’s origins but also to avert an unprecedented catastrophe.

The Day Tripper by James Goodhand

It’s 1995, and Alex Dean has it all: a spot at Cambridge University next year, the love of an amazing woman named Holly and all the time in the world ahead of him. That is until a brutal encounter with a ghost from his past sees him beaten, battered and almost drowning in the Thames.

He wakes the next day to find he’s in a messy, derelict room he’s never seen before, in grimy clothes he doesn’t recognize, with no idea of how he got there. A glimpse in the mirror tells him he’s older—much older—and has been living a hard life, his features ravaged by time and poor decisions. He snatches a newspaper and finds it’s 2010—fifteen years since the fight.

After finally drifting off to sleep, Alex wakes the following morning to find it’s now 2019, another nine years later. But the next day, it’s 1999. Never knowing which day is coming, he begins to piece together what happens in his life after that fateful night by the river.

The Divorcées by Rowan Beaird

Lois Saunders thought that marrying the right man would finally cure her loneliness. But as picture-perfect as her husband is, she is suffocating in their loveless marriage. In 1951, though, unhappiness is hardly grounds for divorce―except in Reno, Nevada.

At the Golden Yarrow, the most respectable of Reno’s famous “divorce ranches,” Lois finds herself living with half a dozen other would-be divorcees, all in Reno for the six weeks’ residency that is the state’s only divorce requirement. They spend their days riding horses and their nights flirting with cowboys, and it’s as wild and fun as Lake Forest, Illinois, is prim and stifling. But it isn’t until Greer Lang arrives that Lois’s world truly cracks open. Gorgeous, beguiling, and completely indifferent to societal convention, Greer is unlike anyone Lois has ever met―and she sees something in Lois that no one else ever has. Under her influence, Lois begins to push against the limits that have always restrained her. How far will she go to forge her independence, on her own terms?

The Mars House by Natasha Pulley

In the wake of an environmental catastrophe, January, once a principal in London’s Royal Ballet, has become a refugee in Tharsis, the terraformed colony on Mars. There, January’s life is dictated by his status as an Earthstronger-a person whose body is not adjusted to lower gravity and so poses a danger to those born on, or naturalized to, Mars. January’s job choices, housing, and even transportation are dictated by this second-class status, and now a xenophobic politician named Aubrey Gale is running on a platform that would make it all worse: Gale wants all Earthstrongers to naturalize, a process that is always disabling and sometimes deadly.

When Gale chooses January for an on-the-spot press junket interview that goes horribly awry, January’s life is thrown into chaos, but Gale’s political fortunes are damaged, too. Gale proposes a solution to both their problems: a five year made-for-the-press marriage that would secure January’s future without naturalization and ensure Gale’s political success. But when January accepts the offer, he discovers that Gale is not at all like they appear in the press. They’re kind, compassionate, and much more difficult to hate than January would prefer. As their romantic relationship develops, the political situation worsens, and January discovers Gale has an enemy, someone willing to destroy all of Tharsis to make them pay-and January may be the only person standing in the way.

The Stars Turned Inside Out by Nova Jacobs

Deep beneath the ground outside of Geneva, where CERN’s Large Hadron Collider smashes subatomic particles at breathtaking speeds, a startling discovery is made when the tunnel is down for maintenance: the body of Howard Anderby, a brilliant and recently arrived young physicist, who appears to have been irradiated by the collider. But security shows no evidence of him entering the tunnel, and for all of the lab’s funding, its video surveillance is sorely lacking.

Eager to keep the death under wraps until more is known, CERN brings in private investigator Sabine Leroux, who has her own ties to the lab’s administration—and more than a passing interest in particle physics. Meanwhile, Howard’s colleague and budding love interest Eve, shattered by his death, determines to reconcile what she knew of Howard with his gruesome fate, wondering if she could have done something to stop it.

As Sabine digs into petty academic rivalries and personal secrets, an escalating international physics arms race heightens tensions and fuels speculation of a mole at the lab—throwing into question loyalties and revealing what sort of knowledge may be worth killing for.

Wild Houses by Colin Barrett

With his acclaimed and award-winning collections Young Skins and Homesickness Colin Barrett cemented his reputation as one of contemporary Irish literature’s most daring stylists. Praised by the Oprah Daily as “a doyen of the sentence,” and by the Los Angeles Times as a writer of “unique genius,” Barrett now expands his canvas with a debut novel that contains as much grit, plot, and linguistic energy as any of his celebrated short stories.

As Ballina prepares for its biggest weekend of the year, introspective loner Dev answers his door on Friday night to find Doll English— younger brother of small-time local dealer Cillian English—bruised and in the clutches of Gabe and Sketch Ferdia, County Mayo’s fraternal enforcers and Dev’s cousins. Dev’s quiet homelife is upturned as he is quickly and unwillingly drawn headlong into the Ferdias’ frenetic revenge plot against Cillian. Meanwhile, Doll’s girlfriend, seventeen-year-old Nicky, reeling from a fractious Friday and plagued by ghosts and tragedy of her own, sets out on a feverish mission to save Doll, even as she questions her future in Ballina.

Categories: Adults and New Adult Books.

New Books: 03/19/2024

The Princess of Las Vegas by Chris Bohjalian

Crissy Dowling has created a world that suits her perfectly. She passes her days by the pool in a private cabana, she splurges on ice cream but never gains an ounce, and each evening she transforms into a Princess, performing her musical cabaret inspired by the life of the late Diana Spencer. Some might find her strange or even delusional, an American speaking with a British accent, hair feathered into a style thirty years old, living and working in a casino that has become a dated trash heap. On top of that, Crissy’s daily diet of Adderall and Valium leaves her more than a little tipsy, her Senator boyfriend has gone back to his wife, and her entire career rests on resembling a dead woman. And yet, fans see her for the gifted chameleon she is, showering her with gifts, letters, and standing ovations night after night. But when Crissy’s sister, Betsy, arrives in town with a new boyfriend and a teenage daughter, and when Richie Morley, the owner of the Buckingham Palace Casino, is savagely murdered, Crissy’s carefully constructed kingdom comes crashing down all around her.

The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill

When Theodosia Benton abandons her career path as an attorney and shows up on her brother’s doorstep with two suitcases and an unfinished novel, she expects to face a few challenges. Will her brother support her ambition or send her back to finish her degree? What will her parents say when they learn of her decision? Does she even have what it takes to be a successful writer?

What Theo never expects is to be drawn into a hidden literary world in which identity is something that can be lost and remade for the sake of an audience. When her mentor, a highly successful author, is brutally murdered, Theo wants the killer to be found and justice to be served. Then the police begin looking at her brother, Gus, as their prime suspect, and Theo does the unthinkable in order to protect him. But the writer has left a trail, a thread out of the labyrinth in the form of a story. Gus finds that thread and follows it, and in his attempt to save his sister he inadvertently threatens the foundations of the labyrinth itself. To protect the carefully constructed narrative, Theo Benton, and everyone looking for her, will have to die.

The Black Box: Writing the Race by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Distilled over many years from Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s legendary Harvard introductory course in African American Studies, The Black Box: Writing the Race, is the story of Black self-definition in America through the prism of the writers who have led the way. From Phillis Wheatley and Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, to Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison—these writers used words to create a livable world—a “home” —for Black people destined to live out their lives in a bitterly racist society.

It is a book grounded in the beautiful irony that a community formed legally and conceptually by its oppressors to justify brutal sub-human bondage, transformed itself through the word into a community whose foundational definition was based on overcoming one of history’s most pernicious lies. This collective act of resistance and transcendence is at the heart of its self-definition as a “community.” Out of that contested ground has flowered a resilient, creative, powerful, diverse culture formed by people who have often disagreed markedly about what it means to be “Black,” and about how best to shape a usable past out of the materials at hand to call into being a more just and equitable future.

A Year of Last Things: Poems by Michael Ondaatje

Following several of his internationally acclaimed novels, A Year of Last Things is Michael Ondaatje’s long-awaited return to poetry. In pieces that are sometimes witty, sometimes moving, and always wise, we journey back through time by way of alchemical leaps, unearthing writings by revered masters, moments of shared tenderness, and the abandoned landscapes we hold on to to rediscover the influence of every border crossed.

Moving from a Sri Lankan boarding school to Molière’s chair during his last stage performance, to Bulgarian churches and their icons, to the California coast and his beloved Canadian rivers, Michael Ondaatje casts a brilliant eye that merges memory with the present, in the way memory as the distant shores of art and lost friends continue to influence everything that surrounds him.

Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle

Daphne Bell believes the universe has a plan for her. Every time she meets a new man, she receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it—the exact amount of time they will be together. The papers told her she’d spend three days with Martin in Paris; five weeks with Noah in San Francisco; and three months with Hugo, her ex-boyfriend turned best friend. Daphne has been receiving the numbered papers for over twenty years, always wondering when there might be one without an expiration. Finally, the night of a blind date at her favorite Los Angeles restaurant, there’s only a name: Jake.

But as Jake and Daphne’s story unfolds, Daphne finds herself doubting the paper’s prediction, and wrestling with what it means to be both committed and truthful. Because Daphne knows things Jake doesn’t, information that—if he found out—would break his heart.

James by Percival Everett

When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a man in New Orleans, separated from his wife and daughter forever, he decides to hide on nearby Jackson Island until he can formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Huck Finn has faked his own death to escape his violent father, recently returned to town. As all readers of American literature know, thus begins the dangerous and transcendent journey by raft down the Mississippi River toward the elusive and too-often-unreliable promise of the Free States and beyond.

Memory Piece by Lisa Ko

In the early 1980s, Giselle Chin, Jackie Ong, and Ellen Ng are three teenagers drawn together by their shared sense of alienation and desire for something different. “Allied in the weirdest parts of themselves,” they envision each other as artistic collaborators and embark on a future defined by freedom and creativity.

By the time they are adults, their dreams are murkier. As a performance artist, Giselle must navigate an elite social world she never conceived of. As a coder thrilled by the internet’s early egalitarian promise, Jackie must contend with its more sinister shift toward monetization and surveillance. And as a community activist, Ellen confronts the increasing gentrification and policing overwhelming her New York City neighborhood. Over time their friendship matures and changes, their definitions of success become complicated, and their sense of what matters evolves.

Nearly All the Men in Lagos Are Mad: Stories by Damilare Kuku

In this remarkable short story collection, Damilare Kuku takes us deep into the heart of modern Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, and the lives of a collection of audacious women who cope with romantic difficulties by brilliantly turning the tables on the men who wrong them.

One hardworking married woman calmly threatens sharp-edged revenge on her lazy, hypocritical husband. Another skillfully protects her own business interests by shielding her pastor-husband from allegations of cheating that may or may not be true. A group of wealthy wives deceived by their husbands join forces in a WhatsApp support group called the Virtuous Wives Guild. And a discerning dater fed up with Nigerian men makes a vow to only date oyibos, only to discover that white men can act just as badly.

The Asteroid Hunter: A Scientist’s Journey to the Dawn of Our Solar System by Dante Lauretta

On September 11, 1999, humanity made a monumental discovery in the vastness of space. Scientists uncovered an asteroid of immense scientific importance—a colossal celestial entity. As massive as an aircraft carrier and towering as high as the iconic Empire State Building, this cosmic titan was later named Bennu. Remarkable for much more than its size, Bennu belonged to a rare breed of asteroids capable of revealing the essence of life itself. But just as Bennu became a beacon of promise, researchers identified a grave danger. Hurtling through space, it threatens to collide with our planet on September 24, 2182.

Leading the expedition was Dr. Dante Lauretta, the Principal Investigator of NASA’s audacious OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission. Tasked with unraveling Bennu’s mysteries, his team embarked on a daring quest to retrieve a precious sample from the asteroid’s surface — one that held the potential to not only unlock the secrets of life’s origins but also to avert an unprecedented catastrophe.

The Day Tripper by James Goodhand

It’s 1995, and Alex Dean has it all: a spot at Cambridge University next year, the love of an amazing woman named Holly and all the time in the world ahead of him. That is until a brutal encounter with a ghost from his past sees him beaten, battered and almost drowning in the Thames.

He wakes the next day to find he’s in a messy, derelict room he’s never seen before, in grimy clothes he doesn’t recognize, with no idea of how he got there. A glimpse in the mirror tells him he’s older—much older—and has been living a hard life, his features ravaged by time and poor decisions. He snatches a newspaper and finds it’s 2010—fifteen years since the fight.

After finally drifting off to sleep, Alex wakes the following morning to find it’s now 2019, another nine years later. But the next day, it’s 1999. Never knowing which day is coming, he begins to piece together what happens in his life after that fateful night by the river.

The Divorcées by Rowan Beaird

Lois Saunders thought that marrying the right man would finally cure her loneliness. But as picture-perfect as her husband is, she is suffocating in their loveless marriage. In 1951, though, unhappiness is hardly grounds for divorce―except in Reno, Nevada.

At the Golden Yarrow, the most respectable of Reno’s famous “divorce ranches,” Lois finds herself living with half a dozen other would-be divorcees, all in Reno for the six weeks’ residency that is the state’s only divorce requirement. They spend their days riding horses and their nights flirting with cowboys, and it’s as wild and fun as Lake Forest, Illinois, is prim and stifling. But it isn’t until Greer Lang arrives that Lois’s world truly cracks open. Gorgeous, beguiling, and completely indifferent to societal convention, Greer is unlike anyone Lois has ever met―and she sees something in Lois that no one else ever has. Under her influence, Lois begins to push against the limits that have always restrained her. How far will she go to forge her independence, on her own terms?

The Mars House by Natasha Pulley

In the wake of an environmental catastrophe, January, once a principal in London’s Royal Ballet, has become a refugee in Tharsis, the terraformed colony on Mars. There, January’s life is dictated by his status as an Earthstronger-a person whose body is not adjusted to lower gravity and so poses a danger to those born on, or naturalized to, Mars. January’s job choices, housing, and even transportation are dictated by this second-class status, and now a xenophobic politician named Aubrey Gale is running on a platform that would make it all worse: Gale wants all Earthstrongers to naturalize, a process that is always disabling and sometimes deadly.

When Gale chooses January for an on-the-spot press junket interview that goes horribly awry, January’s life is thrown into chaos, but Gale’s political fortunes are damaged, too. Gale proposes a solution to both their problems: a five year made-for-the-press marriage that would secure January’s future without naturalization and ensure Gale’s political success. But when January accepts the offer, he discovers that Gale is not at all like they appear in the press. They’re kind, compassionate, and much more difficult to hate than January would prefer. As their romantic relationship develops, the political situation worsens, and January discovers Gale has an enemy, someone willing to destroy all of Tharsis to make them pay-and January may be the only person standing in the way.

The Stars Turned Inside Out by Nova Jacobs

Deep beneath the ground outside of Geneva, where CERN’s Large Hadron Collider smashes subatomic particles at breathtaking speeds, a startling discovery is made when the tunnel is down for maintenance: the body of Howard Anderby, a brilliant and recently arrived young physicist, who appears to have been irradiated by the collider. But security shows no evidence of him entering the tunnel, and for all of the lab’s funding, its video surveillance is sorely lacking.

Eager to keep the death under wraps until more is known, CERN brings in private investigator Sabine Leroux, who has her own ties to the lab’s administration—and more than a passing interest in particle physics. Meanwhile, Howard’s colleague and budding love interest Eve, shattered by his death, determines to reconcile what she knew of Howard with his gruesome fate, wondering if she could have done something to stop it.

As Sabine digs into petty academic rivalries and personal secrets, an escalating international physics arms race heightens tensions and fuels speculation of a mole at the lab—throwing into question loyalties and revealing what sort of knowledge may be worth killing for.

Wild Houses by Colin Barrett

With his acclaimed and award-winning collections Young Skins and Homesickness Colin Barrett cemented his reputation as one of contemporary Irish literature’s most daring stylists. Praised by the Oprah Daily as “a doyen of the sentence,” and by the Los Angeles Times as a writer of “unique genius,” Barrett now expands his canvas with a debut novel that contains as much grit, plot, and linguistic energy as any of his celebrated short stories.

As Ballina prepares for its biggest weekend of the year, introspective loner Dev answers his door on Friday night to find Doll English— younger brother of small-time local dealer Cillian English—bruised and in the clutches of Gabe and Sketch Ferdia, County Mayo’s fraternal enforcers and Dev’s cousins. Dev’s quiet homelife is upturned as he is quickly and unwillingly drawn headlong into the Ferdias’ frenetic revenge plot against Cillian. Meanwhile, Doll’s girlfriend, seventeen-year-old Nicky, reeling from a fractious Friday and plagued by ghosts and tragedy of her own, sets out on a feverish mission to save Doll, even as she questions her future in Ballina.

Categories: Adults and New Adult Books.