Author Archives: Jill

Eclipse-Mania Hits St. Charles!

sun-moon-earthIn case you’ve been living under a rock (pun intended), you’ve probably already heard that on Monday, August 21 around 1:20 p.m., Illinois will be privy to a solar eclipse viewing. Partial sighting will take place in the Chicagoland area, and if you’re lucky enough to be in the southern portion of the state (Hello Carbondale!) you’ll be able to witness the main event.

A popular question this week has involved the availability of eclipse-viewing glasses. The library will be distributing them to St. Charles Public Library cardholders (one pair per card, please have your card in hand to receive a pair) this Friday -Monday when our doors open. We will also be live-streaming it on the lower level in the Huntley meeting room, so consider yourself invited.

Staff has also compiled a list of related resources that are currently being featured at the Reader Services Desk. Feel free to check them out and take them home:

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World
by David Baron 523.78 BAR

Documents the efforts of three scientists to observe the rare total solar eclipse of 1878, citing how the ambitions of James Craig Watson, Maria Mitchell, and Thomas Edison helped America’s early pursuits as a scientific superpower.

Eclipse: Journeys to the Dark Side of the Moon
by F.E. Close 523.78 CLO
Looks at the science of eclipses, reveals their role in culture, and focuses on people who travel around the world chasing these events.

Sun, Moon, Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses, from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets
by Tyler Nordgren
An astronomer describes how solar eclipses were treated and interpreted by past civilizations, philosophers and Victorian scientists. 

In the Shadow of the Moon: The Science, Magic, and Mystery of Solar Eclipses
by Anthony F. Aveni
Explores the scientific and cultural significance of solar eclipses.

Mask of the Sun: The Science, History, and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses
by John Dvorak
An astronomer explores the ways eclipses have shaped the course of human history.


April is National Poet”Tree” Month: Branch Out and Read Some

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Not a poetry buff? No worries. The library has an expansive collection of anthologies and favorite authors represented to whet any appetite. Haiku or Sonnet? Limerick or Epic?  From Collins to Whitman, Shakespeare to Angelou, whatever your interests, please stop by Readers Services for some suggestions.

We currently have two displays honoring National Poetry Month: Readers Services is celebrating Poets Laureate featuring Illinois’ own Gwendolyn Brooks, while the Young Adult department’s Poet Justice is promoting books written in verse. Don’t miss these special collections! As always, items labeled as “Display” can be checked out.

Please feel free to stop in and “leaf” through some “poet-tree” in April Image result for leaf image




























Books – Always The Perfect Gift

Image result for bow on book imageI can’t think of a more thoughtful gift to give someone you care about during the holidays (or anytime) than a good book. With a little thought and some helpful suggestions, a personalized selection of a few of the best titles from 2016 are just a blog post away. Click on any of the items listed below to access their catalog record, which includes a summary of the item.

For the CookThe Chef’s Library: Favorite Cookbooks from the World’s Great Kitchens

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For the Traveler (armchair, or otherwise)Complete National Parks of the United States (National Geographic)

For the RomanticMe Before You; After You (2016 sequel) by JoJo Moyes.

For the Tech-Driven Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

For the History BuffDevotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship and Sacrifice by Adam Makos; News of the World by Paulette Jiles

For the Popular Fiction ReaderSmall  Great Things by Jodi Picoult

For the Crafter – Supercraft: Easy Projects for Every Weekend by Sophie Pester

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For the Audio LoverA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

For the High School StudentAll the Bright Places  by Jennifer Niven

For the Literary ReaderEveryone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave;         A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bachman

For the Self-Help Guru – Reclaiming Conversation by Sherry Turkle

For those who want to be amazed and inspiredWhen Breath Becomes Air  by Paul Kalanithi

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For the Middle SchoolerRaymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

For the Biography BuffA Life Well Played: My Stories by Arnold Palmer

For those in the mood for a Holiday Story – Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini

For the Comic Book JunkieBest American Comics 2016, Roz Chast, Editor

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Seasons Greetings!




Tracing Your Ancestors – Genealogy Series

Pen and Sword Books Are you a researcher digging for clues about your U.K. ancestors? Our Genealogy department houses a prolific series published by Pen & Sword dedicated to helping family historians track them down. Each volume hones in on a unique facet of their personal history, be it by profession (Ex.: medical personnel, fisherman, railway employee, coal miner), or military career (Ex.: Air Force, Royal Marine. P.O.W.), locale (Ex.: Channel Islands, Liverpool, rural, Yorkshire) , socioeconomic status (Ex.: pauper, criminal), and so on. These books are all available for checkout – watch for new releases to be added to this growing collection. Here’s a sampling of titles:

Cover image for  Tracing Your Ancestors Through Death Records GENEALOGY 929.1072 HER

Tracing Your East Anglican Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 BLA

Tracing Your House History GENEALOGY 929.107204 BLA

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Tracing Your Royal Marine Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 BRO

Tracing Your Rural Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 BRO

Tracing Your Pauper Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 BUR

Tracing Your Labour Movement Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 CRA

Tracing Your Railway Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 DRU

Cover image for  Tracing Your Medical Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 HIG

Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 MAX

Tracing Your London Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 OATCover image for


Tracing Your Ancestors’ Parish Records GENEALOGY 929.107204 RAY

Tracing Your Secret Service Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 TOM

Tracing Your Criminal Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 WAD

Tracing Your Legal Ancestors GENEALOGY 929.107204 WAD

Tracing Your Police Ancestors  GENEALOGY 929.107204 WAD

Fishing & Fisherman  GENEALOGY 929.107204 WIL

Writing Your Family History GENEALOGY 929.2 BLA



Romance 101 – Valentine’s Day Edition

Not sure how to express yourself this Valentine’s Day? The library has the answers. Whether you’re planning to cook a dinner for two, watch a romantic movie or pen a secret love note, we have the resources. Our Reader Services Desk is featuring a sweet little display designed to inspire and delight. Below are just a few of the items you may find:

Date Night In: More Than 120 Recipes to Nourish Your Relationship 641.5 ROD Cover image for

Sweet Confections: Beautiful Candy to Make at Home 641.853 WAN

1001 Ways to be Romantic 646.77 GOD Cover image for

Be Mine: 25 Paper Projects to Share the Love 745.5941 SHI

Need a movie suggestion? Whether it be classic or contemporary, our collection is sure to please.  Check out the IMDb‘s (Internet Movie Database) compilation of Most Popular Romance Feature Films for some quick ideas.

Or perhaps you’re hoping to meet that certain someone?
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121 First Dates: How to Succeed at Online Dating, Fall in Love, and Live Happily Ever After (Really!) 306.73 NEW

More about online dating...You Probably Shouldn’t Write That: Tips and Tricks for Creating an Online Dating Profile that Doesn’t Suck 306.730285 HOE

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari  646.77 ANS Cover image for

Love: The Psychology of Attraction by Leslie Becker-Phelps 646.77 BEC

Valentine’s Day is always a terrific opportunity to say “I Love You” to anyone significant in your life, not necessarily a love interest.   To celebrate the joy of family…Family Ties: The Legacy of Love 306.85 WYS

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To brighten the day of no one in particular…Make and Share Random Acts of Kindness: Simple Crafts and Recipes to Give and Spread Joy 745.5 PRO Cover image for

And of course, just spending the day wrapped up with a a good book is always a perfect choice. Maybe you’re in the mood for:

A dose of reality…It Ended Badly: 13 of the Worst Breakups in History by Jennifer Wright 302.0207 WRI

Or for the quantitatively minded…The Mathematics of Love: Patterns, Proofs, and the Search for the Ultimate Equation 306.73 FRY

Inspiration…The 50 Greatest Love Letters of all Time 808.8693543 FIF

Cover image for  First love…Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers 811.608 FAL

Classic romance…Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – FIC Austen…Or the much less traditional…Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance — Now With Ultraviolet Zombie Mayhem by Seth Grahame-Smith – FIC GRAHAME-SMITH

Steamy, sexy modern romance…Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James – FIC JAMES

A modern retelling of an old classic Julie and Romeo by Jeanne Ray -FIC RAY

Happy Reading!

Harvest Time Means Main Course Salads

The fall harvest means an abundance of ingredients for delicious, hearty salads. The combinations are endless when you toss green,Cover image for

leafy lettuces  with an abundance of fresh veggies, fruits, pastas, beans, meats, nuts, cheeses, olives, seasonings, dressings…yum!

Recipe ideas at the library are as plentiful as produce in the garden this time of year. Some favorite salad cookbooks are listed below. Hope they inspire you to create a bountiful plate!

Salad Love 641.83 BEZ

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Salmagundi 641.83 BUT

New Flavors for Salads 641.83 CHE

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Salads:Beyond the Bowl 641.83 FOX

Best-Ever Salad Recipes 641.83 BES

Salad for Dinner 641.83 KELCover image for

Main Dish Salads 641.83 KOL

Mason Jar Salads and More 641.83 MIR

The World’s Best Salads Period 641.83 PAR

Salad Days: Recipes for Delicious Organic Salads and Dressings for Every Season 641.83 POW

Salad SamurCover image for ai 641.83 ROM

Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season 641.83 WEL

Mr. Wilkinson’s Well-Dressed Salads 641.83 WIL


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Big Plans for Tiny Homes

Small House Clip ArtScaling back and living a simpler life remains a hot topic among readers. Tiny house living – residing in the smallest of homes – is another offshoot that some are taking to heart.

The Library has a growing collection of titles that are full of charming examples of, and stories about, taking on this adventure by challenging oneself to downsize, organize, and do more with less. Take a look at these inspiring reads and see if you aren’t also moved to “Go Small.”

Tiny: A Story About Living Small [DVD] ~ 640 TINCover image for

The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams ~ 640 WIL

Portable Houses by Irene Rawlings by Les Walker ~ 643.2 RAW

Small Space Organizing: A Room-by-Room Guide to Maximizing Your Space by Kathryn Bechen ~ 648.8Cover image for BEC

Tiny Homes, Simple Shelter: Scaling Back in the 21st Century by Lloyd Kahn ~ 728.3 KAH

Tiny House Living: Ideas for Building and Living Well in Less Than 400 Square Feet by Ryan Mitchell ~ 728.37 MIT

Compact Houses: 50 Creative Floor Plans for Efficient, Cover image for Well-Designed Small Homes by Gerald Rowen ~ 728.37 ROW

A Little House of My Own: 47 Grand Designs 47 Tiny Houses ~ 728.37 WAL

Little House on a Small Planet: Simple Homes, Cozy Retreats, and Energy EfficCover image for ient Possibilities by Shay Salomon ~ 728.37047 SAL

Downsizing Your Home with Style: Living Well in a Smaller Space by Lauri Ward ~ 747 WAR


While You’re Waiting for Girl on the Train…

Many weeks as a bestseller has placed debut psychological thriller Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins on everyone’s “Must Read” list. While you’re waiting, or even if you’ve already devoured a copy and are yearning for more fast-paced and compelling psychological suspense, the Library has some suggested titles to tide you over.

Never Look Away – Linwood Barclay Cover image for

Little Black Lies – S.J. Bolton

Don’t Try to Find Me – Holly Brown

The 19th Wife – David Ebershoff

Hausfrau – Jill Alexander Essbaum Cover image for Hausfrau

Losing You – Nicci French

The Secret Place – Tana French

The Other Woman’s House – Sophie Hannah

The Silent Wife – A.S.A. Harrison Cover image for

Into the Darkest Corner – Elizabeth Haynes

Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey

The First Prophet – Kay Hooper

The Line Between Here and Gone – Andrea Kane

The Good Girl – Mary Kubica Cover image for

Defending Jacob – William Landay

Mystic River – Dennis Lehane

What the Dead Know – Laura Lippman

Dear Daughter – Elizabeth Little

Sister – Rosamund Lupton Cover image for

The Intruders – Michael Marshall

Reconstructing Amelia – Kimberly McCreight

Cover of Snow – Jenny Milchman

Jack of Spades – Joyce Carol Oates Cover image for

Where Serpents Lie – T. Jefferson Parker

The Expats – Chris Pavone

The Collector – Nora Roberts

Suspect – Michael Robotham Cover image for

Unbecoming – Rebecca Scherm

The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson

Caribou Island – David Vann

The Little Stranger – Sarah Waters

Under the Lake – Stuart Woods

Looking for more? Check out our “If You Like… Gone Girl” link.


The Blessing of an Irish Tale

What a blessing it is to delight in an Irish read! Lose yourself in one of the titles listed below, or browse our “Read Me–I’m Irish!” display featured this month behind the Reader Services Desk (located near the “New Books”):

TeapotsIrelandThe Teapots Are Out and Other Eccentric Tales From Ireland (FIC KEANE)

The Book of Irish-American Poetry (811.008089 BOO)

The Big Little Book of Irish Wit & Wisdom (820.809415 BIG)

For the Love of Ireland (820.809417 FOR)littlebookIrishwit

Finding Ireland: A Poet’s Explorations of Irish Literature and Culture (820.99415 TIL)

You may also enjoy this list of Contemporary Fiction by Irish Authors.


Short Stories for a Short Month

February is fast slipping away!  In search of a quick read this month? Short story collections are an often overlooked goldmine of reading gems. Stop by the Reader Services Desk for suggestions or check out any of the recommended titles below:

funny onceTrue Stories Well Told: From the First 20 Years of Creative Nonfiction Magazine  814.008 TRU

Read Harder  Ed Park 814.6 REA

Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing  Neal Stephenson 814.6 STE

A Darker Shade of Sweden: Original Stories by Sweden’s Greatest Crime Writers of Sweden  John-Henri Holmberg  839.738 DAR

Truman Capote Breakfast at Tiffany’s:  A Short Novel and Three Stories  Truman Capote FIC CAPOTE

Samuel Johnson is Indignant: Stories  Lydia Davis FIC DAVIS

Problems with People: Stories  David Guterson FIC GUTERSON

Unaccustomed Earth  Jhumpa Lahiri FIC LAHIRI

Love is Murder: Including Original Stories from Bestselling Thriller Authors  FIC LOV

Love in Infant Monkeys: Stories  Lydia Millet FIC MILLET

Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014  Alice Munro FIC MUNRO

Funny Once: Stories  Antonya Nelson  FIC NELSON

Heavenly Date and Other Flirtations  Alexander McCall Smith FIC MCCALL SMITH

Fools  Joan Sibler FIC SIBLER

Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories  Paul Theroux  FIC THEROUX