Author Archive: Liz Kirchhoff

Liz Kirchhoff is an adult services librarian at the Barrington Area Library in the Chicago suburbs. She is a longtime book reviewer and has read for the American Library Association's Notable Books Council. After her first book came out last year, Liz swore she'd never do that again (even though she probably will). Now she happily reviews books written by others.

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Good Books for Book Groups: IN THE SHADOW OF THE BANYAN

Good Books for Book Groups: IN THE SHADOW OF THE BANYAN

This month, after our brief foray into BYO Books, the LIT book club resumed our normal reading schedule with In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. This 2012 novel, Ratner’s first, tells the gorgeous, wrenching story of a prince’s daughter, Raami, who grows up in Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge takes over in […]

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Good Books for Book Groups: Bring Your Own Book

Good Books for Book Groups: Bring Your Own Book

Every year, area clubs invariably ask us to suggest short books for holiday reading. There are many such titles, of course, but it can be hard, at this time of year, for members to get copies of holiday titles when they need them. But there are ways to work around the holiday crush. Some book clubs in our area have each […]

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Good Books For Book Clubs: Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

Good Books For Book Clubs: Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

This month, the LIT book club finished out the last of our genre summer reading with Isabel Quintero’s wonderful Gabi, a Girl in Pieces, a young adult novel recommended by librarian Lizzy Klinnert. In this Lincoln Award-winner (given for excellent YA literature), seventeen-year-old Gabi is dealing with some heavy issues. One friend is pregnant, and another is gay […]

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Good Books for Book Clubs: Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Good Books for Book Clubs: Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Last week, the LIT book group discussed Maybe In Another Life, a beach read that just about fits into the chick lit genre—even if it is quite a bit fluffier than most women’s fiction. This fits nicely with our summer tradition: Each year, we choose lighter books written in a genre we wouldn’t normally read. […]

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Good Books for Book Clubs: Black River by S. M. Hulse

Good Books for Book Clubs: Black River by S. M. Hulse

Last week, the LIT book club discussed one of my most favorite books in recent memory, Black River by S. M. Hulse. This is a riveting, heartbreaking, beautifully written story of a man mourning both a wife and a way of life. Wes Carver was once a passionate musician. His work as a corrections officer paid […]

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Good Books for Book Groups: Whiskey & Charlie by Annabel Smith

Good Books for Book Groups: Whiskey & Charlie by Annabel Smith

Last week, the LIT book club discussed the novel Whiskey & Charlie, an Australian book published here in the United States last year. Originally titled Whiskey Charlie Foxtrot, this is the story of twin brothers who grow apart as they grow up. Whiskey and Charlie are nearly inseparable as kids. They use walkie talkies to […]

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Good Books for Book Groups: Jon Krakauer’s Missoula

Good Books for Book Groups: Jon Krakauer’s Missoula

This month, the LIT book club tackled the challenging but worthwhile Missoula, the story of a small college town with a big football program and a very visible rape problem. Reading about multiple rapes is sobering, but Krakauer uses these stories as a framework to discuss why sexual assaults happen with such regularity and how […]

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Good Books for Book Groups: Andy Weir’s The Martian

Good Books for Book Groups: Andy Weir’s The Martian

Last month, the LIT book group read The Martian by Andy Weir. We’d had it on the shortlist for quite a while but decided that February offered perfect timing, with the Barrington Area Library celebrating Barrington Creates, a community-wide initiative that encourages everyone channel their inner maker. Things don’t get much more creative than they do in The Martian. A sandstorm on […]

Posted in: Book Groups