What We're Reading

Rotating basis, Sundays.

Host and staff librarian Tammy Bobrowsky interviews authors and talks books with community members. Be a part of our online What We're Reading Community on Facebook where you can get great book recommendations from other community members and let us know what you're reading! 

Ways to Connect

Rachel Harrison and a Female-Centric Horror Story

Nov 9, 2020

Rachel Harrison is a writer from New York and The Return is her debut novel. Her story begins as Elise’s friend Julie goes missing during a hike in Acadia National Park, Elise doesn’t worry. Julie is willful and tempestuous and has been so ever since college. But weeks turn into months, and though Elise and other close friends mourn at Julie’s funeral, Elise who has always been closest to Julie, feels deep down that she can’t really be gone. Two years later, Julie reemerges from the woods, emaciated, with no memory of where she’s been.

Sahar Mustafah a writer and teacher currently in the Chicago area, and she's the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. Her new novel is The Beauty of Your Face, a powerful and compelling story. We get insight into the difficulties of the immigrant experience, along with many of the same family and relationship issues like love, loss and acceptance, which unite all of us.

Jessica Ryan

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a bucolic Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens. But when a local kid whose brother has gone missing arm-twists him into investigating, Cal uncovers layers of darkness beneath his picturesque retreat, and starts to realize that even small towns shelter dangerous secrets. This is highly acclaimed author Tana French’s newest novel it’s called The Searcher.

FAMILY IN SIX TONES is a duel memoir co-authored by writer and law professor at the Chapman University School of Law, Lan Cao and her daughter Harlan Margaret Van Cao. The idea of the memoir grew out of an episode of National Public Radio’s Storycorp that Lan and Harlan recorded in 2015 on Lan’s experience as a refugee from Vietnam during the war. The memoir is a very personal look at the unique struggles of refugees as well as the universal tug-of-war between mothers and daughters.

Reporters Recount An Infamous Murder-For-Hire Case

Oct 25, 2020

Philadelphia Inquirer reporters George Anasatsia and Ralph Cipriano talk about their new book: Doctor Dealer -- a true crime story about Dr, James Kauffman, a doctor dealing opioids to a notorious motorcycle gang, and the murder of his wife April Kauffman.  

Ken Follett is one of the world's best-loved authors—having written thirty-two books. Follet’s first bestseller was Eye of the Needle (1978), a spy story set in the Second World War. In 1989, The Pillars of the Earth, book 1 of the Kingsbridge series was published and has since become Follett's most popular novel. Now Ken Follet adds another book to the series--he takes us back in time with a prequel to The Pillars of the Earth. The new book is called The Evening and the Morning.

Anthony Scarlati

Atomic Love is Jennie Fields' new book. It’s a work of historical fiction set in Chicago after WW2, where we meet Rosalind Porter, who five years previously was a bright physicist on the Manhattan Project and in the midst of a passionate love affair with her colleague Thomas Weaver--but suddenly, she loses everything. When Weaver reappears in her life—so does the FBI. Special Agent Charlie Szydlo wants Roz to spy on Weaver, whom the FBI suspects of passing nuclear secrets to Russia. As Rosalind's feelings for each man deepens, so too does the danger she finds herself in.

Chris Chen

Jude, Wendy, and Adele have been friends for the last 40 years. Now in their 70s, they gather for the Christmas weekend to pack up the beach house which belonged to Sylvie, their late friend. But without Sylvie to maintain the group’s delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface—and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good in Australian writer Charlotte Wood’s new book The Weekend.

Centuries after Cinderella meets Prince Charming, girls team up to overthrow the kingdom in this dark and imaginative retelling of the classic fairytale. Author Kalynn Bayron talks about the inspiration behind her reinvention of Cinderella, how the novel speaks to issues in society today, and how music helped her form the story.

Deborah Feingold

We talk with writer Fiona Davis. Her new book is called The Lions of Fifth Avenue. It's part mystery and part historical fiction, but the best part?: It’s set in the New York Public Library. And dedicated to librarians!