"'Three Willows,' by Ann Brashears, who wrote 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.' I didn't know if she had written anything else. I was excited to find out she had. You don't have to read the series. It's completely different characters, but they do reference the other books."
Allyson Graham, 23
Glen Carbon library associate
"It's called 'Cinder' (by Marissa Meyer), and is a twist on Cinderella. It's a futuristic type novel. Very interesting. The sequel is 'Scarlet,' about Little Red Riding Hood. It's young adult fiction."
Belinda Hume, 20
SIUE tutor and elementary education major
"I just finished 'Empty Mansions' (by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.). It's a nonfiction book about the Clark family. Huguette Clark's father had copper mines. He amassed quite a bit of fortune. The Clark family is like the Vanderbilts, living doors down in New York from each other. I highly recommend it. I enjoyed the history of their ingenuity into making America what it is. It's a view into the life of an affluent family, and some of the nation's history."
library adult services coordinator
"'Room' (by Emma Donaghue, a story narrrated by a 5-year-old whose world is an 11-by-11-foot room). It was powerful. It was difficult, emotionally difficult. I would recommend it. It gives you more compassion. I think it inspires compassion."
Michelle Redd, 34
mom who homeschools her three sons
"Earth Girl' (by Janet Edwards), young adult dystopia fiction. I did like it. I liked the change after 'The Hunger Games.' It was a different spin on it. There is a little romance, a strong female character and a little bit of a twist because she can't leave the earth by way of a future porthole system someone has created."
Glen Carbon youth services director
"'Persepolis' (by Marjane Satrapi), 'Cinder' (by Marissa Meyer) and 'Good Omens' (by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman). I would recommend 'Good Omens.' It's a sort of satire and it's extremely funny. No serious people are allowed to read it."
Clare Carsell, 16
"I heartily recommend 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (by Arthur Conan Doyle). They are fun and well-written stories. I also recommend 'Cinder' and 'Scarlet' (by Marissa Meyer), part of a young adult science- fiction series with a fairy tale twist." Susan Carsell, 43
homeschool mom who also writes romance novellas for an electronic publisher
Mary Helen Bevirt, 81, of O'Fallon, has enjoyed reading since she was a girl growing up in East St. Louis. She belonged to a book club then.
"A neighbor lady had a book-reading class every Friday. She served Kool-Aid and cookies."
Mary Helen is now in a book club through her church.
"I like to read period," she said. "Right now, I am reading 'Monument Men,' by Robert M. Etsel. My husband and I saw the movie at The Lincoln (theater). The movie made me want to know about these brave men. They tried to save as much of the valuable art museum contents and sculptures, etc., from being hauled to Germany for Hitler's grand ideas. These men were heroes.
"I also like books written about the antics of animals, especially by Lilian Jackson Braun.
Another interesting book is 'Orphan Train,' (by Christina Baker Kline). It told of the children of immigrants in the early 20th-century whose parents could not care for them. They were put on trains and, at stations through the Midwest, they were lined up and chosen by farmers looking for help, or young families wanting children. Some were lucky in the families who chose them. Others were used for hard farm work."