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By: Kim Akers
The staff’s favorite book this week at the Quincy Public Library is The Roommate by Rosie Danan. Clara Wheaton comes from a very good, wealthy East Coast family; a fact which she has had to deal with her entire life. The first time she decides to step out of her comfort zone and do something impulsive like relocate to Los Angeles to live with the love of her life, it all backfires. First of all, the love of her life doesn’t know it and actually dumps her on the doorstep of his house as he and his band set off for a series of gigs in Las Vegas. Then there’s the guy Everett leased his bedroom to. Josh is movie star handsome and very nice to Clara considering how unhappy she was when they first met. He’s also a porn star. And not just any porn star. He and his co-star/sometimes girlfriend, Naomi, are the hottest and most popular adult entertainment actors in the industry. Clara is determined to keep her family in the dark about the consequences of her impetuous decision even if it means taking a walk on the wild side. Danan’s first novel is both steamy and erotic as well as sweet and endearing as Clara and Josh come to grips with their growing attraction and their own insecurities.
Most people associate Danny Trejo with bad guys, and for a time he was truly a bad guy. But after a couple of stints in prison, he got clean and sober and worked on turning his life around. Even during the worst of his criminal activities, Trejo’s family supported him, especially his mother. It was because of her that he learned how to cook. After conversation with a producer of one of his movies, Trejo revisited his dream of opening a restaurant. When the producer presented him with a business plan, the die was cast. Now he has eight restaurants in the Los Angeles area all serving a variety of delicious “Mexican-adjacent” food. In his new book, Trejo’s Tacos, he shares not only the recipes for some of his favorite dishes, but also the details of his life, both good and bad, told as the stories relate to the recipes.
In 1924, Beulah Annan shot her lover in the head then confessed it all to her husband. Just a month earlier, Belva Gaertner also shot her lover and left him slumped over the steering wheel of the car he ex-husband had given her. Unlike Beulah and Belva, Katherine Baluk didn’t actually kill anyone, although a night watchman was killed while she and her lover tried to rob a building. Sabella Nitti was an Italian immigrant accused, tried, and convicted of killing her husband. Even though there was very little evidence, Sabella was convicted primarily because she couldn’t understand English and a competent interpreter was not provided for her during the trial. What do these four Cook County women have in common? They all provided the basis for Velma Kelly, Roxie Hart, Go-To-Hell Kitty, and Hunyak from the Broadway musical “Chicago.” All four women were inmates on Murderess Row and had their stories sensationally told in the pages of the Chicago Tribune. Former Tribune reporter Marianne Mather stumbled across a box in the archives housing the articles from Katherine Baluk’s trial and became fascinated with her story. That pointed the way to the other three women, which led to her writing the award-winning musical. Their stories are riveting and are all contained in the book He Had It Coming by Kori Rumore and Marianne Mather.
These materials are available for checkout at the Quincy Public Library if you have a current Quincy Public Library card. Reciprocal borrowing cards from other area libraries will be honored as well. Materials may be available in a variety of formats including audio books, digital books, large print, regular print, and/or may be available from other libraries through the Resource Sharing Alliance. We also encourage you download any of our digital materials, access streaming services, or utilize our databases from the comfort of your home. You can place holds on materials any time of the day and pick them up at the Library or at one of our hold lockers. You may place reserves on library materials and check your patron record online at www.quincylibrary.org.