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Book Reviews

Z : a novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Therese Fowler
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Although this is historical fiction, I felt it was a good look into the personal lives of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald through the eyes of Zelda. It is well written, and I was unable to put it down. I was not familiar with the Fitzgeralds, and even though this is a work of fiction, I feel like I have a good look into their fast paced and exotic lives as they travel through Europe and the US. It is more often than not a sad story, and the author enables the reader to be able to truly empathize with the trials Zelda goes through.  There is also a new television series based on this novel on Amazon Prime.

– Michelle

A Trace of Smoke
Rebecca Cantrell
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This well-written historical novel had me hooked from the first chapter. The novel boasts strong character development along with a fast paced and suspenseful story line. It presents a look into the personal life of prominent Nazi soldiers and Nazi Germany that is not often depicted. Though this novel is fiction, it weaves enough nonfiction facts into the story, to make it very easy for the reader to forget it is fiction and take what is being read as fact. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in crime/murder mysteries and Nazi Germany. I look forward to the continuing story with her next novel.


Prophet, Vol. 1: Remission
Simon Roy
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This space opera graphic novel flirts with the avant-garde to display what could be the variety and methods of life within space and humanity’s effect on it.  It also sports a beautiful grapic style that excels on paper that might falter stylistically in other mediums of art.  If Star Trek, the Wizard of Oz, and Warhammer 40k had a baby, it would look like the Prophet series. Look for it in Hoopla.


Hillbilly Elegy : A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
J.D. Vance
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Former marine and Yale Law School graduate, J.D. Vance, recounts the struggles of growing up poor in a Rust Belt town in Ohio and rural Appalachian Kentucky and the role his extended family played in his future successes.

– Sean

Amusing Ourselves to Death
Neil Postman
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Don’t look too hard at the original publication date on this book, it is as relevant today as it was back in the eighties.  It chronicles the beginning of a variety of issues brought about by the recent and fairly large strides in technology.  But the real cynical question that the author asks is what malicious ideology will hoist our collective petard if we do not cure our social ailments: the totalitarian might of Orwell or the sensory numbing ideals of Huxley?

– Dan

Trigger Warning
Neil Gaiman
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Published in 2015, Trigger Warning is the third collection of short stories from writer Neil Gaiman. The book is comprised of traditional short stories (including fantasy, horror, science fiction, and more), a few fairy tales, a story in verse, and a new story written especially for this collection. Fans of Neil Gaiman, and short story lovers in general, are sure to enjoy this book of diverse literary styles. An added experience is listening to the audiobook, read by Gaiman himself.

– Denise

Readers Advisory Staff

Looking for that great new read? The Villa Park Public Library has a fantastic Readers Advisory staff that is happy to recommend novels. Whether you’re looking for new authors like your old favorites, or you’re ready for something completely new, our RA staff is here to help. They run reading groups and book discussions to help make reading a more social experience. These folks know their stuff!

Looking for a Recommendation?

If you’re looking for a recommendation you can contact one of the readers advisory staff.



Favorite Genres:
Mysteries, Fantasy

dan c


Favorite Genres:
Primary Source Historical Texts, Horror

Favorite Genres:
Mysteries, Graphic Novels
 heidi gHeidi
Favorite Genres:
Historical Non-Fiction, Fairy Tales


Favorite Genres:
Historical Non-Fiction, Women’s Literature

jean cJean
Favorite Genres:
Romantic Suspense, Scifi-fantasy
jean j_finalJean
Favorite Genres:
Books about animals that lose their hats, Mysteries
john bJohn
Favorite Genres:
Alternate History Fiction, Suspense
Favorite genres:
Fantasy, Science Fiction

kandice kKandice

Favorite Genres:
Chick Lit, Suspense, and Mysteries

Favorite Genres:
Animal fiction

lesley cLesley

Favorite Genres:
Mysteries, Audiobooks, History


Favorite Genres:
Historical Fiction, Psychological Thrillers


nancy gNancy
Favorite Genres:
Literary Fiction, Regional American History


Favorite Genres:
True-life biographies, Non-fiction