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Books to Check Out: Downton Abbey’s Inspiration and a Texas Blood Feud

Check out one of these picks from your local library.

Are you looking for your next great book? Check out a few of the hidden gems located at the library. Call 847-272-2958 or use our online catalog at www.northbrook.info to place a hold today.

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell
Originally published in 1968, this kitchen maid's memoir served as inspiration for the television shows Upstairs, Downstairs and the insanely popular, Downton Abbey. This addictive read chronicles the experience of working in the great houses of England, and the disparate lives of the upper class and their servants. A must-read for any fans of the previously mentioned shows. Memoir

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
Having moved from one academic outpost to another throughout her childhood, Blue van Meer attends the elite St. Gallway School in her senior year, where she falls in with a charismatic group of friends before the suspicious deaths of a teacher and student awaken her analytical instincts. Sharply written and darkly humorous, this literary mystery is a delightful read for fans of the genre. Mystery

The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw
Seven years after the end of an affair with a married man culminated in the unsolved murder of his wife, Marcella Atkinson struggles with the decimation of her own family life before a chance discovery leads her into a relationship with her former lover's son. Fans of issue-drive fiction, such as Jodi Picoult’s novels, will find a lot to love in this complex and insightful tale. Psychological fiction

The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart
This epic family saga takes place in Texas at the turn of the century, and tells the tale of the Skala  family, Czech immigrants and landowners. A strict father, forbidden marriages, blood feuds, and family tragedy all make this striking tale difficult to put down. Fans of Jim Harrison or Cormac McCarthy will be attracted to the gritty and compelling prose of this literary Western. Historical Fiction

Beijing Coma by Ma Jian
Comatose since being shot at Tiananmen Square in 1989, medical student and protestor Dai Wei begins to regain consciousness as the millennium draws near, a reawakening during which he senses the massive changes that have taken place in his country. Complex yet beautifully written, this rewarding novel is perfect for anyone looking to learn more about the events of Tiananmen Square. Literary Fiction

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