Out with the old, in with the new.

Today is our last day at RFPL Reads! We are shuttering this blog, but will soon be launching a new online reading service, and very much hope that you will visit us there. Be sure to watch this space — as soon as the new site is live, we’ll be posting a link.

Thanks for reading all this time! We look forward to seeing you in the new space!


A rich and satisfying story – Genna’s August suggestion*

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

kitchens midwest coverGenna says: “I love love loved this book. The story revolves around Eva and her extremely advanced palate and cooking abilities, who we see grow up and rise to culinary success throughout the story. From the rambunctious middle schooler who grows rare chili peppers in her closet to a world class chef who hosts exclusive meals, Eva is the driving force behind the story, but the story isn’t all about her. Instead, author Stradal shows the reader a host of characters and their interaction with the foodie culture. A uniquely woven narrative places the reader in the eyes of a different character every chapter, somehow that character is distantly connected to Eva.

I especially loved closing the last page and flipping it around to look at the book cover again. All the images on the cover represent different chapters in the book, a beautiful touch to the novel. Would like to test some of the recipes tucked into the pages of the book; the author took them from a church cookbook.

If you still don’t believe me, read the NY Times Book Review by clicking here.

To read a sample of the ebook, click here.

*Lisa suggested this title, too!


Mary Ann’s July Suggestion

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

all the light coverMary Ann says:

“Our book club chose this best seller, and I can see why — it inspired lots of discussion and prompted stories of family histories. The young characters, settings, and events are different from most World War II books. It’s creative in its juxtaposition of point of view and time, but very easy to follow. There are heartbreaking moments and uplifting ones. The book won the Pulitzer, the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, and lots of fans.”

to read a sample from the ebook, click here

Spotlight On. . . 2015 Film Adaptations

film strip

Wondering which books are hitting the big screen this year?  Peruse the list of 2015 film adaptations below. Read them so you can tell your friends, “The book was better than the movie!”

You may have already noticed that this year’s Academy Awards featured many book adaptations including: Wild by Cheryl Strayed, Foxcatcher by Mark Schultz, Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges (which inspired The Imitation Game), Still Alice by Lisa Genova, American Sniper by Chris Kyle, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Here are some more that you may not have heard about yet! Click on the movie poster image to the request the book in our catalog.

In the Heart of the Sea


The Longest Ride

Far From the Madding Crowd
Paper Towns The Martian True Story The Moon and the Sun
Child 44 Madame Bovary Me Before You Dark Places

Which one of these film adaptations are you most looking forward to?
Happy reading!

Sue’s November Recommendation

The Visitors by Sally Beauman

Sue says : “Fascinating fictionalization of the events surrounding the unveiling of King Tut’s tomb in 1922, through the eyes of an 11 year old girl. Beauman has done a tremendous amount of research into this historic event and her story is solidly based on the lives of the archaeologists who lived and worked in the Valley of the Kings.  I have never had a strong interest in Egyptology but this book certainly awakened my interest in the subject.  It compelled me to start the non-fiction book entitled, The Nile: A Journey Downriver Through Egypt’s Past and Present by Toby A.H. Wilkinson”

Similar Reads

The Death Relic by Chris Kuzneski

The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips

A River In the Sky by Elizabeth Peters

Victoria’s November Recommendation

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Victoria says : “So amazing and a bit different from her other books. I loved this book and it brought tears to my eyes. Must read.”

“Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife, and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it’s been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment . . . or worse. Still Jenna–now thirteen years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief–steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother’s desertion. So she decides to approach the two people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother’s disappearance and the death of one of her mother’s co-workers. Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Leaving Time is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters” – Description provided by publisher

Similar Reads:

After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman

Alena: a novel by Rachel Pastan

Don’t Try To Find Me : a novel by Holly Brown

Kim’s August Recommendation

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork


Kim says: “This is required reading for all incoming freshmen at OPRF High School and since my daughter was reading it, I picked it up and couldn’t put it down.  Marcello is a wonderful, interesting character you will not soon forget.  His lawyer father wants him to break out of his more protected special needs school and experience “the real world”.   This will leave you pondering the nature of “the real world” and the personal bravery it takes to find your place in your own real world.”



Similar Title

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine – The female main character Caitlin, like Marcello, has Asperger’s. Caitlin struggles to make sense of the world after her older brother Devon dies.

For more information on Oak Park River Forest High School’s summer reading list, visit this site.