GPL Blog

Book Review | The Family Plot by Megan Collins

From the publisher: From the author of The Winter Sister and Behind the Red Door, a family obsessed with true crime gathers to bury their patriarch—only to find another body already in his grave.

Dahlia’s family is… unnatural. Residents of Blackburn refer to the Lighthouse family’s home as “Murder Mansion,” where Dahlia and her three siblings were homeschooled. Their curriculum? All about murder, of course. She was named in honor of Elizabeth Short, a.k.a. Black Dahlia, and each of her siblings were also named for famous murder victims. It’s safe to say her parents are obsessed with murder.

Now Dahlia is 26, and she’s been away from home for years. The only reason she came…

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Book Review | Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

From the publisher: An isolated mansion. A chillingly charismatic aristocrat. And a brave socialite drawn to expose their treacherous secrets. . .

Silvia Moreno-Garcia has written quite a few novels, but this is the first of hers that I’ve read. I’m glad I read it, and it was a quick read, but it wasn’t blow-your-mind-amazing. It was predictable, pulling from many of the gothic foremothers and forefathers, but that set this up to be a softer texture of spooky. I wish I would have saved it for a cool fall evening, so if you’re reading this and I end up convincing you to read Mexican Gothic, please do yourself a favor and wait until it’s at least below 65 degrees and you have hot cocoa and flannels handy…

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Book Review | All’s Well by Mona Awad

From the publisher: From the critically acclaimed author of Bunny, a darkly funny novel about a theater professor suffering chronic pain, who in the process of staging a troubled production of Shakespeare’s most maligned play, suddenly and miraculously recovers.

Miranda Fitch is the literal example of “those who can’t do, teach.” Because she can’t act the way she used to–an accident involving a bone-crunching fall off the stage during a production of Macbeth left her with a bad back, hip, and leg, and now she can barely walk from her office to the stage at her job as a college theater director.

Mona Awad does here what she did with Bunny and brings the macabre and magical realism into the picture. Miranda is quickly losing all hope with everything: the doctors and…

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September is Library Card Sign-up Month!

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and the Galesburg Public Library is celebrating with libraries across the country!

Let’s start off with an important question: Do YOU have a library card?

If you answered no, here’s who can get a Galesburg Public Library card:

– If you live within Galesburg city limits, you’ve already paid for your library card (and the goods and services it unlocks for you) through your property taxes.
– If you are a student in Galesburg, which includes public and private school students along with Carl Sandburg College students and Knox College students, you are eligible for a…

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Book Review | The Dark Library by Cyrille Martinez

From the publisher: Libraries are magical places. But what if they’re even more magical than we know? In Cyrille Martinez’s library, the books are alive: not just their ideas or their stories, but the books themselves. Meet the Angry Young Book, who has strong opinions about who reads what and why. He’s tired of people reading bestsellers, so he places himself on the desks of those who might appreciate him. Meet the Old Historian who mysteriously vanished from the stacks. Meet the Blue Librarian, the Mauve Librarian, the Yellow Librarian, and spend a day with the Red Librarian trying to banish coffee cups and laptops. Then one day there are no empty desks anywhere in the Great Library.

Cyrille Martinez is very obviously writing from the perspective of a librarian who has heard…

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Book Review | Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin

From the publisher: It’s winter in Sokcho, a tourist town on the border between South and North Korea. A young French Korean woman works as a receptionist in a tired guesthouse. One evening, an unexpected guest arrives: a French cartoonist determined to find inspiration in this desolate landscape. The two form an uneasy relationship. When she agrees to accompany him on trips to discover an “authentic” Korea, they visit snowy mountaintops and dramatic waterfalls, and cross into North Korea. As she’s pulled into his vision and taken in by his drawings, she strikes upon a way to finally be seen. An exquisitely-crafted debut, which won the Prix Robert Walser, Winter in Sokcho is a novel about shared identities and divided selves, vision and blindness, intimacy and alienation. Elisa Shua Dusapin’s voice is distinctive and unmistakable.

Did I pick this one up because I judged a book by its cover? Yes…

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Book Review | The Upstairs House by Julia Fine

From the publisher: In this provocative meditation on new motherhood—Shirley Jackson meets The Awakening—a postpartum woman’s psychological unraveling becomes intertwined with the ghostly appearance of children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown.

The Upstairs House is Julia Fine’s second novel, although it’s the first of hers that I’ve read. But by golly, I’m going to go pick up her first one now because this was so hard to put down, it should have been titled anti-gravity (get it? Because I couldn’t put it down?). Fine’s depiction of early motherhood and postpartum psychosis is stomach-churning and it feels so real–I’ve never had kids, never really wanted kids, and yet I felt a connection to this…

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Book Review | American Delirium by Betina González

From the Publisher: From award-winning novelist Argentine Betina González comes a dizzying, luminous English-language debut about an American town overrun by a mysterious hallucinogen and the collision of three unexpected characters through the mayhem.

If you’re the kind of reader who needs a plot with lots of action, steer clear. I mean, yeah, the deer have all gone wacko and are attacking people, and people are “dropping out” of society and living in the woods, but this isn’t action-packed by any means. But if you’re okay with stewing in the discomfort of your own inevitable aging or the nagging need to escape anything and/or everything? Yeah, pick this one up. Although, probably don’t pick…

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