September 7, 2017 - Autumnal
We are just past Labor Day and already the weather seems autumnal. The nights are crisp, the days (mostly) dry, the crops are finishing, some trees are starting to change colors, and the birds are flocking up. Often as not, the week that school gets back in session and fully underway, we get a week of really hot weather. So far, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. About two weeks ago my tomato plants (in big porch pots) started dying back. It always seems to me, with tomatoes particularly, once a lot of fruit is set, the foliage starts dying back and then it becomes a race between new foliage, the fruit ripening and the foliage dying off. At this point, dying off is winning. I have a nice set of mostly sticks with dozens and dozens of cherry tomatoes ripening in the sun. Flocks of red-winged black birds have started to assemble. These flocks aren’t as big as they’ll get before the big migration south, but it’s a start. It’s an indication that the year is turning towards fall. Families of geese are taking practice flights in formation as are the double-crested cormorants along the Mississippi. The world seems to be gearing up in preparation of the next season, but it also seems to be slowing down as the days get shorter so there’s more time to sit in side and relax and perhaps read! September is National Library Card Sign-up Month, so if you don’t have a card, stop on down and we’ll get you one. Then you can check out some of the fascinating books listed below. Enjoy!
- It takes two : our story / by Jonathan & Drew Scott. Shares never-before-revealed tales of the authors' childhood and rise to fame—from starting their first business at 7 years old and their years modeling and acting to their first house purchase at the impressive young age of 18 and their rise to become the hosts of “Property Brothers” and “Brother vs Brother”.
- Streampunks : YouTube and the rebels remaking media / by Robert Kynci. The chief business officer at YouTube and former vice president of content at Netflix traces the rise of YouTube, the creative minds that have capitalized on it to become pop-culture stars and how streaming video is revolutionizing the media world.
- Draft no. 4 : on the writing process / by John McPhee. A guide to writing long-form nonfiction, written by the legendary New Yorker author and teacher, is presented as a series of lighthearted essays that share insights into the lessons he has learned on the writing process during his years at Princeton University.
- Stephen Colbert's midnight confessions / by Stephen Colbert. Based on the popular segment from “The Late Show”, a revelatory compilation of satirical, irreverent writings conveys in self-deprecating language the innumerable memories and behaviors for which he is almost sorry.
- Fantasyland : how America went haywire : a 500-year history / by Kurt Andersen. The best-selling author of Heyday explains how the influences of dreamers, zealots, hucksters and superstitious groups shaped America's tendency toward a rich fantasy life, citing the roles of contributors ranging from P. T. Barnum and Billy Graham to Disney and Donald Trump in perpetuating conspiracy theories, self-delusion and magical thinking.
- Phasma / by Delilah Dawson. Discover Captain Phasma’s mysterious history in this "Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi " novel.
- A secret history of witches / by Luisa Morgan. Follows five generations of women—all of whom happen to be witches—from 19th-century Brittany to London during World War II.
- The golden house : a novel / by Salman Rushdie. A novel inspired by today's headlines follows the experiences of a real-estate tycoon and his mysterious, corrupt family, who become the subjects of an aspiring filmmaker's project before revelations of monstrous past activities give way to the rise of a mad presidential candidate. By the award-winning author of “Midnight's Children”.
- Sing, unburied, sing : a novel / by Jesmyn Ward. Living with his grandparents and toddler sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo navigates the challenges of his tormented mother's addictions and his grandmother's terminal cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip of danger and hope. By the National Book Award-winning author of “Salvage the Bones”.
- Something like happy / by Eva Woods. Thirty-five-year-old Annie Hebden is stuck in a rut until her bubbly new friend, Polly Leonard, challenges her to try a new way to be happy each day for 100 days.
- Sourdough / by Robin Sloan. Enduring a virtually solitary existence working for an ambitious software company, an exhausted coder is bequeathed a sourdough recipe from sibling bakers who are forced to close their shop, a gift that leads to a new vocation, a legal dispute and a venture into a secret market that fuses food with technology. By the author of “Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore”.
- The world of tomorrow / by Brendan Mathews. Fleeing Ireland for New York City after stealing a small fortune from the IRA, three brothers immerse themselves in the cultural and political tensions of 1939, only to find their lives falling apart when they are tracked down by a hired assassin.
- Body on Baker Street : a Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery / by Vicki Delany. When the author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series comes to their bookshop for an author signing—and winds up dead—owners Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson must do their best to clear the name of one of their patrons and deduce the real killer. By a best-selling author.
August 31, 2017 - September Eve
Here we sit on the 31st of August, or September Eve, I suppose. The beginning of September brings, of course, Labor Day, which is immediately followed by the start of school. But today, August 31st is the last day of “Be Kind to Human Kind Week”. There is still time to celebrate. Just find a human being and be kind to them. Easy peasy! The last full weekend of August is International Bat Night. Bat Night has taken place every year since 1997 in more than 30 countries on the last full weekend of August. Its purpose is to pass on information to the public about the way bats live and their needs with presentations, and importance ecologically. It is also National Matchmaker Day which celebrates those well-intentioned people who want to set you up with this really nice girl or boy that they think would just be perfect for you. It is also National Trail Mix Day. Celebrating this day only requires you to open up a package and eat the trail mix blend of your choice. The most unusual day to celebrate this August 31st is National Diatomaceous Earth Day. Here is a quote about the day from the blog at EP minerals.com : Most people know of diatomaceous earth because it's used to filter beer or wine, for swimming pools, or for its insecticide properties to control insects around homes or in gardens. Biologists know about diatoms, the single-celled plants that form diatomaceous earth, because they are truly the lungs of the earth, in that they produce about ¾ of the world’s new oxygen supply. Materials scientists know about diatom skeletons (called frustules), the tiny, intricate porous opal structures because they are known to be the strongest naturally-occurring substances.” So, now you know. But, I’m not exactly sure how you would celebrate the day. Perhaps by reading one of the new book titles listed below. Enjoy!
- Policing the Black man : arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment / by Angela J. Davis, editor. A comprehensive, thought-provoking analysis of the key issues behind the Black Lives Matter movement features 12 essays by some of America's most influential criminal justice experts and legal scholars, including Equal Justice Institute Director Bryan Stevenson, NAACP Legal Defense Fund President Sherrrilyn Ifill and John Jay College of Criminal Justice President Jeremy Travis.
- Domina / by L.S. Hilton. A sequel to the best-selling Maestra finds femme fatale Judith Rashleigh on the run when she is wrongly implicated for a murder and targeted by the owner of a stolen masterpiece who compels her to maneuver the underworld landscapes of wealth from St. Mortiz to Serbia.
- Hook's tale : being the account of an unjustly villainized pirate written by himself / by John Pielmeier. A first novel by a Golden Globe-nominated screenwriter reimagines the childhood of a much-maligned Captain Hook, who recounts his quest for buried treasure, his friendship with Peter Pan and the story behind the swashbuckling world of Neverland.
- House of spies / by Daniel Silva. A latest entry in the best-selling series continues the adventures of Israeli assassin and art restorer-turned-spy Gabriel Allon. By the author of “The Black Widow”.
- Look behind you / by Iris & Roy Johansen. Cooperating with the FBI when a serial killer begins leaving mysterious relics at his crime scenes, Kendra Michaels discovers that the objects are souvenirs from other unsolved murders and that the new killings have been orchestrated to taunt her personally.
- The lying game / by Ruth Ware. In the wake of a woman's horrifying discovery of human remains along a scenic tidal estuary, the members of a once-inseparable clique from a second-rate boarding school near the English Channel reflect on their participation in a dangerous game of deception that contributed to the death of a teacher. By the best-selling author of “In a Dark, Dark Wood”.
- Three minutes / by Anders Roslund & Borge Hellstrom. A stand-alone sequel to the best-selling Three Seconds finds homicide detective Ewert Grens and undercover criminal informant Piet Hoffmann maintaining unofficial contact while outmaneuvering a Colombian drug cartel that raises the stakes by kidnapping the U.S. Speaker of the House.
- Two nights : a novel / by Kathy Reichs. A stand-alone thriller by the best-selling author of the Temperance Brennan series introduces Sunday Night, a woman whose secret past has left her with scars and a killer instinct that proves helpful to a desperate family in the wake of a bomb explosion and a girl's disappearance.
August 24, 2017 - Solar Eclipse
Was the solar eclipse good for you? Was it everything you expected? Was the weather even conducive to viewing (writing this at noon on Sunday, August 20th the forecast – depending on the news channel- is mostly cloudy with a 40 to 60 percent chance of thunderstorms.)? The hoopla surrounding this event and the search for eclipses-viewing glasses complete with reports of purported shipments arriving at various locations around the Madison area, reminds me of the Beanie Baby craze of the 1990s. And who can forget the 1983 holiday season spent standing in line to get a Cabbage Patch doll for your beloved offspring? The eclipse and the resulting demand for safe eyewear created a good example of supply-and-demand economics. We had a program about the eclipse at the end of June and bought 20 pairs of glasses for about $16. So that’s like eighty cents a \piece. Fast forward to this past week and a pair of the same glasses was going for $9.99. There was very low supply (no one anticipated the amount of interest there would be in this eclipse) and very high demand – a real sellers’ market. Isn’t the free market swell? If you did manage to snag a pair of glasses, put them away in a safe place. The next total eclipse in the continental United States will be April 4th, 2024 and its path goes through northern Indiana and Michigan (not too far a drive).August 12, 2045 has a total eclipse going from coast to coast but further south. But, if you can manage to stay alive until September 14th, 2099 there will be a solar eclipse with the path of totality right around Madison, WI. While you’re waiting for the next solar eclipse or whatever you might be waiting for, you will find some new books listed below to help you while away the time. Enjoy!
- The epiphany machine / by David Gerrard. The author of Short Century reimagines an alternative-history New York from the 1960s to the near future marked by a salon host's innovation of an "epiphany machine" that places text tattoos on its users' forearms that make revelatory statements of fortune and consequence.
- The almost sisters / by Joshilyn Jackson. Swept off her feet by a costumed man at a comics convention, a graphic novelist discovers that she is pregnant with a biracial child and avoids telling her conventional Southern family while assisting her elderly grandmother, who has been hiding a dangerous secret linked to the Civil War.
- The reason you're alive / by Matthew Quick. Surviving a brain tumor linked to a wartime chemical exposure, David resolves to return a stolen object to a former Native American soldier from his past as part of an effort to find closure and recover from his wife's untimely death. By the award-winning author of “The Silver Linings Playbook”.
- Chuckwagon trail. by William Johnstone. A pair of national best-selling authors present the first book in an exciting new western series.
- Collared / by David Rosenfelt. Astonished when an anonymously surrendered dog is linked to the kidnapping of a baby more than two years earlier, canine rescuer and lawyer Andy Carpenter reopens the case to search for the stolen child and determine if the right person was sent to jail. By the award-winning author of “Outfoxed”.
- Deadfall / by Linda Fairstein. Investigating the drive-by murder of a high-profile city employee, assistant district attorney Alexandra Cooper teams up with NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace to search for answers in secret societies, a big-game hunting operation, the illegal animal trade and covert government deals.
- A distant view of everything / by Smith McCall, Alexander. The arrival of a second child for amateur sleuth Isabel Dalhousie is complicated by her four-year-old's lack of enthusiasm and a matchmaker's request for help with a couple whose prospects have been overshadowed by sinister revelations. By the best-selling author of the “No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency” series.
- The late show / by Michael Connelly. Relegated to the night shift after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor, a once up-and-coming LAPD detective disobeys orders by refusing to walk away from two cases, including an assault on a prostitute and the death of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. By the best-selling author of “The Crossing”.
August 17, 2017 - National Days
Here it is. The 17th of August. The 229th day of the year. 129 days until Christmas (eve). And there’s not a whole lot happening. It’s a slow time of year when the vacations are being squeezed in before the ramping up for the start of school starts. The days are getting shorter and cooler – am I the only one who thinks the ditches are filled with September wildflowers already? Today does however have some interesting celebrations associated with it. For instance it is Baby Boomer Recognition Day (I guess if you see one and recognize them say “hi”). It is Balloon Airmail Day (not sure that comes up much anymore as a means of transport, but back in 1859 this was a marvel.). It is National Thrift Shop Day – how to celebrate is obvious. Go and shop. And it is Black Cat Appreciation Day (as opposed to “Black Cat Day “which is celebrated on October 27th). Make your black cat feel appreciated in whatever way works for your cat. Perhaps by serving it some vanilla custard. That way you can celebrate National Vanilla Custard Day as well. That’s about all I know about August 17th. Below you will find a list of the new books that arrived at the library recently. Kick back, put your feet up, check out one of these book, read, and most of all, enjoy!
- Fitness junkie : a novel / by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza. Given an ultimatum by her best friend and business partner, the CEO of a couture wedding dress company embarks on a haphazard effort to lose weight in accordance with a series of fads ranging from naked yoga to militant boot camp, bonding with eccentric partners before questioning if her goals are wise. By the author of “If Nuns Ruled the World”.
- The goddesses / by Swan Huntley. Moving to Hawaii with her family to start over in the wake of an infidelity, Nancy resolves to build a happier life and forges a close friendship with a charismatic teacher, Ana, who gradually reveals a psychologically manipulative nature. By the author of “We Could Be Beautiful”.
- Hello, Sunshine : a novel / by Laura Dave. A social media lifestyle guru with millions of followers is disgraced by revelations about her identity, a downfall that compels brave choices that save her in more ways than she can imagine. By the best-selling author of “Eight Hundred Grapes”.
- His guilt / by Shelley Shepard Gray. Returning to the Amish community that wrongly blamed him for an assault two years earlier, Mark protects the only woman who believed him, Neeta, who wonders at the identity of the real culprit in the wake of new attacks. By the award-winning author of “Her Secret”.
- Talon of God : a novel / by Wesley Snipes & Ray Norman. A fiction debut by the acclaimed actor depicts a holy warrior in a fantastical urban world where he must convince a doctor with no faith to help stop a powerful demon and his minions from establishing a hell on earth.
- The secret diary of Hendrik Groen / by Hendrik Groen. The riotous journal of an octogenarian who is far from reaching the end of his life traces a year in his care home in Amsterdam, revealing the ups and downs of his misadventures with the anarchic "Old-But-Not-Dead Club" and a longtime crush whom he courted to devastating effect.
- Beautiful tempest : a Malory novel / by Johanna Lindsey. While the Malory and Anderson families set aside longtime rivalries to hunt down a man who has abducted James and Georgina's beloved daughter, Jack, from her American debutante party, Jack discovers that her captor is an alluring nobleman who would settle an old score against her father.
- The nearness of you / by Dorothy Garlock. A sheltered librarian in a mid-20th century small-town community finds her secret wish for adventure granted in unexpected ways by a reckless but alluring photographer who changes her life by taking her picture at the height of a local fall festival.
- Wired / by Julie Garwood. Needing to recruit a top-notch computer expert who can help him identify a mole, a hotshot FBI agent encounters difficulties coordinating with a beautiful computer hacker who is hiding secrets that she does not want revealed.
August 10, 2017 - Reading Program Re-cap
The Summer Library Program is over. All the books have been counted and all the pages read have been added up. I can now give you all of the amazing numbers about how many people read how many books! I have been reporting the number of pages read in concrete terms every year by converting the number of pages read into inches, then converting those inches into miles, and then plotting those miles on a map. Since I have been doing this annually for enough years for this to have become a tradition, and since I’m wise enough not to tamper with a fine tradition, here goes!
This year 425 people participated. Those participants managed to read 1,169,500 pages. Now, on to the calculations which begin with this question: “If you laid all the pages of the books that were read end-to-end how many miles would they stretch?” The average size of a page is 9 inches tall which gives us (1,169,500 times 9” or 10,525,500 inches—(always show your work if you want to receive full credit.)). Then we take those inches and divide by 12 to give us 877,125 feet and then divide by 5,280 to give us 166.1 miles. And, voilà! If you laid all the pages read during the Summer Reading Program end to end and drove east on I-90 and I-294 you would end up at the Swap-O-Rama Flea Markets in Alsip, IL. Or heading north and west on I-90 you’d end up about a mile west of Fremont, MN. Any way you look at it, a whole lot of reading was done this summer! Congratulations to all the Summer Library program participants.
Now, if you haven’t worn your eyes out yet, below you will find some new book titles. Enjoy!
- The fourth monkey / by J.D. Barker. Investigating the death of a serial killer who has terrorized Chicago for years, Detective Sam Porter reads the murderer's diary, subjecting the demons of his own mind to the twisted rationalizations of a psychopath, in the hopes of tracking down one last victim. By the award-nominated author of “Forsaken”.
- Indecent exposure / by Stuart Woods. New York City cop-turned-Manhattan law firm rainmaker Stone Barrington uses his signature charm, foresight and allure with the ladies. By the Edgar Award-winning author.
- Lockdown : a novel of suspense / by Laurie King. A school career day that is hosted by a range of presenters is thrown into turmoil by an anonymous enemy with a thirst for revenge in a stand-alone novel of psychological suspense by the best-selling author of the Mary Russell series.
- Magpie murders / by Anthony Horowitz. Ignoring the troubling behavior of an eccentric crime writer with whom she has worked for years, Editor Susan Ryeland is dismayed when a subplot hidden in the author's latest manuscript reveals a real-world murder. By the best-selling author of “Moriarty”.
- The Marsh King's daughter / by Karen Dionne. A woman whose birth occurred as a result of her teen mother's abduction and imprisonment in an isolated marshland cabin risks the adult family that does not know her past when she uses survival skills honed in childhood to track down her murderous father.
- Midnight at the Bright Ideas bookstore : a novel / by Matthew Sullivan. A first novel by an award-winning short story writer follows the efforts of a bookstore clerk to unravel a puzzle left behind by a patron who has committed suicide, an effort that is complicated by memories of the clerk's violent childhood.
- Murder games / by James Patterson. A tenacious Manhattan police officer determined to stop a serial killer who leaves playing cards at the scenes of unrelated victims teams up with a brilliant professor whose book has been connected to the murders against a backdrop of high-profile tabloid speculation. By the National Book Award-winning co-author of “Truth or Die”.
- Robert Ludlum's The Bourne initiative / by Eric Lustbader. Amnesiac secret agent Jason Bourne joins forces with dubious enemies when the murder of a high-ranking Russian official triggers a retaliatory plot to steal the U.S. president's nuclear launch codes.
- The silent corner : a novel of suspense / by Dean Koontz. A first entry in a two-part novel of suspense finds shattered widow Jane Hawk investigating the inexplicable truth behind her happy and successful husband's suicide and is rendered a fugitive when she discovers that powerful enemies are somehow forcing accomplished and popular people to end their lives.
- Tom Clancy point of contact / by Mike Maden. An ordinary audit turns deadly when Jack Ryan, Jr. helps investigate a potential investment opportunity, only to discover the dangerous past of his seemingly harmless assistant. By the best-selling author of the Drone series.
- The ultimatum / by Karen Robards. A talented master of disguise who devotes herself to conning thieves and returning stolen money to its rightful owners hides her Robin Hood activities behind a day job as a personal assistant to her thief father's alluring former partner.
- Unsub : a novel / by Meg Gardiner. A psychological thriller inspired by the unsolved case of the Zodiac Killer follows the efforts of a young detective who resolves to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city 20 years earlier. By the Edgar Award-winning author of “China Lake”.
- Use of force / by Brad Thor. When the body of a high-value terrorist washes ashore after a severe storm across the Mediterranean Sea, Scot Harvath is tapped by the CIA to determine if the suspect was connected to months of rumors about a major attack. By the best-selling author of “Foreign Agent”.
August 3, 2017 - National Days
For us here at the library, now that the Harry Potter Birthday party is past and the Summer Reading Program has finished too, the summer is pretty much over. Sure, some of us still have vacations to look forward to, but the big summer push is over and now we are catching our collective breaths before gearing up for the back-to-school push. The back-to-school ads started appearing right around the 4th of July—another indicator that summer is winding down. I probably mentioned this near the summer solstice but I will mention it again here. Since that longest day of the year on (or about) June 21st we have been losing daylight. In fact from that day to this, we have lost 33 minutes of daylight in the morning and 25 minutes in the evening. And the dawn chorus is pretty much just a couple of cardinals yelling “Look at me! Look at me!” or “This is mine! This is mine!” even though no one else seems to care. The days indeed, are dwindling. But while the warmth and daylight persist, there are many things to celebrate. For instance, today is National Watermelon Day as well as National Grab Some Nuts Day. I suppose you could combine these two national days by removing the seeds from your slice of watermelon and replacing them with say, pistachios or almonds. It is also National Psychic Week – but you already knew that, right? August 1st through the 5th is National Bargain Hunting Week and you all know that the best place to hunt for a bargain is at your local public library. We have bargains on books, magazines, dvds, cds, computers, wi-fi, and so much more. And it’s all free. Can’t find a better bargain than that! Below you’ll find a sampling of titles of new books that recently arrived at the library. Enjoy!
- But seriously / by John McEnroe. The author confronts his demons and reveals his struggle to reinvent himself from champion and tennis legend to father, broadcaster, and author. The result is a richly personal account, blending anecdote and reflection with razor sharp and brutally honest opinions, all in McEnroe's signature style
- Hunger : a memoir of (my) body / by Roxane Gay. The popular Tumblr blogger and best-selling author of Bad Feminist explores the devastating act of violence that triggered her personal challenges with food and body image, sharing advice for caring for oneself and eating in healthful and satisfying ways.
- Jane Austen at home : a biography / by Lucy Worsley. A profile of the life and times of Jane Austen by the best-selling author of Courtiers tours the classic author's childhood home, schools, holiday accommodations and grand and small family estates to reveal lesser-known aspects of Austen's character and inspirations.
- A mind at play : how Claude Shannon invented the information age / by Jimmy Soni & Bob Goodman. Chronicles the life and times of the lesser-known Information Age intellect, revealing how his discoveries and innovations set the stage for the digital era, influencing the work of such collaborators and rivals as Alan Turing, John von Neumann and Vannevar Bush
- The strength switch : how the new science of strength-based parenting can help your child and your teen to flourish / by Lea Waters. Explains how making small shifts in one's parenting style can yield big results by uncovering a child’s strengths, rather than focusing on his or her weaknesses. Includes diagrams.
- Grief cottage : a novel / by Gail Godwin. Moving in with his reclusive artist aunt after his mother's death, 11-year-old Marcus learns the story of a local cottage from which a family disappeared during a hurricane half a century earlier, a tragedy that compels him to explore the cottage, where he meets a ghost with a mysterious agenda. By the National Book Award-finalist author of “Evensong”.
- Undaunted / by Diana Palmer. A marriage between a handsome millionaire with exacting beliefs and the woman who loves him completely in spite of their differences is challenged by his reclusive, wary nature and his discovery of her role in an accident that left him blind.
- Camino Island / by John Grisham. A young woman is recruited to recover priceless F. Scott Fitzgerald manuscripts that were stolen during a daring heist. By a #1 best-selling author.
- Dangerous minds : a Knight and Moon novel / by Janet Evanovich. A follow-up to Curious Minds pits mismatched partners Riley Moon, a financial analyst, and Emerson Knight, an eccentric billionaire's son, against a big-league criminal whose activities pose a series of puzzle-like clues. By the best-selling author of the Stephanie Plum novels.
- Defectors : a novel / by Joseph Kanon. Writing his memoirs 12 years after fleeing to the relative safety of life in a Moscow prison after being exposed as a Communist spy, former CIA insider Frank Weeks asks his reluctant brother to edit his manuscript as part of a cat-and-mouse scheme that places both of their lives in danger. By the Edgar Award-winning author of “Leaving Berlin”.
- Every last lie / by Mary Kubica, A woman who loses her husband in a car crash that her daughter survived unharmed, begins to suspect his death wasn’t an accident, By the best-selling author of “The Good Girl”.
- The force : a novel / by Don Winslow. A highly decorated NYPD detective at the head of an elite anti-gang task force risks betraying his colleagues, his city and the woman he loves when federal agents discover the corrupt activities that have enabled him to skim millions in drugs and cash.
July 27, 2017 - Harry Potter Party
Today is the preantepenultimate (and yes, this really is a word) day before the library’s big, annual Harry Potter Birthday party on Monday, July 31st. This means that library staff is in the final stages of preparation and set-up design and in the early stages of panic. Yes. That was me in the grocery store over the weekend buying ridiculous quantities of club soda and butterscotch, pretzel rods and frosting, napkins and cups. Those of you who have attended these festivities before know that the seltzer and butterscotch are the fixin’s for my version of “butter beer” and that the pretzel rods and frosting make a rather magical wand when festooned with sprinkles and a bit of magic (and you can eat the wand too. How cool is that?). This year the party will be preceded by an appearance of Doctor Venom and his bizarre beasts. The show starts at 1 p.m. and the “normal” party starts at 2 p.m. Come for the program and stay for the party! There will be cake. While waiting for this magical day to arrive, below you will find some of the new titles that have arrived at the library to help you while away the time. Enjoy!
- The women who flew for Hitler : a true story of soaring ambition and searing rivalry / by Clare Mulley. A dual biography of the first two women flight captains for the Nazis describes how, in spite of Hitler's dictates against women in the military, Aryan poster girl Hanna Reitsch and Jewish aeronautical engineer Melitta Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenger were awarded the Iron Cross. By the award-winning author of “The Woman Who Saved the Children”.
- Fall down 7 times get up 8 : a young man's voice from the silence of autism / by Naoki Higashida. A follow-up to The Reason I Jump shares the author's experiences as a young adult with severe autism, exploring in short, evocative chapters his observations on education, identity, family life, society and personal growth while sharing insights into the unique mental steps that are required for him to register his environments.
- The daughter of Sherlock Holmes / by Leonard Goldberg. A highly skilled nurse with unique mental talents is recruited into the investigative team of the elderly Dr. John Watson and his handsome son before being swept up in a Holmesian mystery with ties to the Second Afghan War, a hidden treasure and a murder at the highest levels of British society.
- Death of a bachelorette / by Laura Levine. While working on a knock-off reality TV show in the tropics, freelance writer Jaine Austen finds murder entering the script when one of the finalists, determined to win her prince, dies in a freak accident, which traps them all on the island while the police investigate, forcing Jaine to join in the fray before any of the other contestants suffer the same fate.
- Death on Nantucket / by Francine Mathews. Investigating the suspicious death of an aging journalist famed for his work as a correspondent during the Vietnam War, Nantucket police detective Meredith Folger struggles to uncover the truth when another member of the victim's family is killed and the remaining members demonstrate tendencies to spin wild tales or keep dangerous secrets.
- Endgame : a Nameless Detective novel / by Bill Pronzini. Two cases challenge the Nameless Detective agency's resources, including those of a woman who resolves to learn the truth about her late husband's possible infidelity in a remote Sierras cabin; and a man who would clear his name of his agoraphobic wife's murder.
- Forever and a death / by Donald Westlake. A formerly wealthy businessman who loses everything to Hong Kong's new Chinese authorities vengefully plots to use a construction technology to destroy the city and steal its gold, a heist that is countered by the technology's developer and a beautiful young environmental activist.
- A just clause / by Lorna Barrett. Surprised by a visit from their father, a con man who has served jail time, mystery bookstore owner Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, investigate when he is implicated in a shocking murder that occurs against a backdrop of a high-profile book signing. By the best-selling author of “A Fatal Chapter”.
- Odd numbers : a Hanne Wilhelmsen novel / by Anne Holt. A devastating bombing attack in the Islamic Cooperation Council's offices in Oslo brings special adviser Hanne Wilhelmsen out of her secluded home to investigate rumors of an imminent second attack and assist a long-lost friend's efforts to reach out to his troubled son.
- Only skein deep / by Maggie Sefton. When the scandal-marked young wife of a banking scion is found dead on the greens at a local golfing club, pregnant Kelly Flynn and the Lambspun Knitters race the clock to identify an unhinged killer in their midst. By the best-selling author of “Knit to Be Tied”.
- Take out / by Margaret Maron. A debut entry in a spin-off series by the best-selling author of the long-running Deborah Knott mysteries focuses on NYPD Detective Sigrid Harald. By the Edgar Award-winning author of “Three Day Town”.
- What the dead leave behind / by David Housewright. Reluctantly investigating a cold-case murder as a favor for his stepdaughter, millionaire detective Rushmore McKenzie discovers links to a second killing before a series of suspicious coincidences reveal the activities of a dangerous adversary. By the Edgar Award-winning author of “Stealing the Countess”.
July 20, 2017 - Reading Program
Eleven days and counting. Eleven days until the Summer Reading Program ends. Eleven days until the Harry Potter Birthday party. It’s still not too late to sign up for the reading program. The books you’ve read this summer count. You just need to enter the titles into the account you create online. Those books will earn you dragon dollars. If you’re in the teen category – or know someone who is – our teen librarian has challenged teens and the library staff to a friendly little competition. If the teens read more books than library staff does during the Summer Reading Program, then the teens get to do something to the teen librarian that involves whipped cream, a plate or pie, and her face. (I’m still trying to figure out what the incentive is for library staff to read as much as they can.). As of the weekend of July, 15-16th, there were 414 participants in the reading program. Joining is a trending thing so be one of the trendsetters and signup now. Go to the library’s webpage at: www.deforestlibrary.org . There is a large banner near the top of the page that says “Join the Summer Reading Program: Build a Better World”. Click on that link and choose your age group and create your account. Then, if you read any of the books below, or anything else, just record the title and you are now part of the program. Enjoy!
- The identicals / by Elin Hilderbrand. Forced to call a truce by a family crisis, estranged identical twins Tabitha and Harper reevaluate their bond and the resentments that drove them apart from their respective homes on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. By the best-selling author of “The Rumor”.
- The map that leads to you / by J.P. Monniger. Traveling through Europe with her friends during a romantic summer after graduating college, Heather falls in love with enigmatic New Englander Jack, who is recreating his grandfather's European tour while harboring a secret that changes everything.
- The ministry of utmost happiness : a novel / by Arundhati Roy. A provocative love story by the award-winning author of The God of Small Things meanders through a spectrum of powerful emotions experienced by diverse protagonists, including a grieving father who writes a letter profiling the people who came to his 5-year-old daughter's funeral and two longtime friends at a guest house who sleep wrapped around each other like newlyweds.
- Our little racket / by Angelica Baker. When an investment banker is accused of malfeasance in the wake of the 2008 economic crash, four women including friends and family members begin questioning their shifting roles in their personal and community lives. A first novel.
- The people we hate at the wedding / by Grant Ginder. A fractured family from the Chicago suburbs reluctantly gathers in London to attend an eldest daughter's wedding to an upper-crust Englishman, an affair that exposes secrets, triggers riotous culture clashes and tests the bonds of both families.
- The duchess / by Danielle Steele. A tale set in early 19th-century England, Paris and New York follows the endeavors of a noble orphan who after being thrown out of her ancestral home by a vicious half-sibling makes her way to Paris, where she takes in abused streetwalkers and transforms them into upper-crust courtesans in an exclusive bordello.
- The Essex Serpent : a novel / by Sarah Perry. An American debut of an award-winning book from England is set in the late-19th century and follows the experiences of an intellectually minded young widow and a pious vicar who investigate rumors about a mythical sea creature that has been blamed for a death in coastal Essex.
- Kiss Carlo / by Adriana Trigiani. Establishing a stable home and Western Union Telegraph Office in post-World War II Philadelphia, the hardworking Palazzini family is shattered by their nephew's epiphany in the wake of a telegram that changes everything for the citizens of a small Italian-American village.
- The lost letter / by Jillian Cantor. A young apprentice works secretly for the Austrian resistance in World War II and resolves to save the fiery daughter of his Jewish stamp engraver master, a story that is found decades later by a divorced descendant who investigates an unusual stamp on an old love letter. By the award-winning author of “Margot”.
- Seven stones to stand or fall : a collection of Outlander fiction / by Diana Gabaldon. A collection of seven short stories set in the Outlander universe stars beloved character Jamie Fraser and includes two previously unpublished stories, including "Besieged," a tale about Lord John Grey; and "A Fugitive Green," centering on John's brother, Hal Grey.
July 13, 2017 - Mid-Point of Summer
I know it is hard to believe, but on Monday, July 17th we shall arrive at the mid-point of summer. That is if you define summer as that period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. There are 98 days between those dates and July 17th is the 49th day. It is particularly hard to believe that there is still more than half of summer left, especially because we here at the library are already doing the countdown to the big Harry Potter Birthday party on July 31st. That is only 18 days away. Not only is July 31st Harry Potter’s birthday, it is also the end of the Summer Library Program. Eighteen days is still plenty of time to sign up, read some books, record them on your online record, and earn some dragon dollars. Those dollars can be spent in the library’s store or may be donated to one of three charities – the DeForest Area Needs Network, the Dane County Humane Society, or the DeForest Area Public Library Endowment--. I will personally convert those donated dragon dollars to “real” dollars So since you’re reading anyway, why not earn a few dragon dollars and either spend them on yourself (You know you deserve to treat yourself once in a while) or donate them to a charity. To tempt you to read hard during the next 18 days you will find a list of some of the new books that have arrived at the library recently. Enjoy!
- Through a glass, darkly : Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the quest to solve the greatest mystery of all / by Stefan Bechtel & Laurence Stains. A chronicle of the Spiritualism era in America discusses how it was largely instigated by a grieving public in the aftermath of the Civil War and how it was supported by famous notables including Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
- You don't have to say you love me : a memoir / by Sherman Alexie. The National Book Award-winning author of “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” presents a literary memoir of poems, essays and intimate family photos that reflect his complicated feelings about his disadvantaged childhood on a Native American reservation with his siblings and alcoholic parents.
- The coffee lover's diet : change your coffee, change your life / by Bob Arnot. The best-selling author of The Aztec Diet draws on counterintuitive new research to reveal the health potential of coffee, counseling readers on how to consume coffee strategically to enable specific benefits, including weight loss and resilience against disease.
- Nighthawk : a novel from the NUMA Files / by Clive Cussler & Graham Brown. When the most advanced aircraft ever designed vanishes over the South Pacific, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are drawn into a deadly race to recover the fallen technology, which carries a secret payload of exotic matter capable of triggering an Armageddon-level catastrophe.
- Price of duty / by Dale Brown. When Russia constructs its most dangerous weapon since the atomic bomb and launches carefully plotted attacks on unsuspecting U.S. and European targets, Brad McLanahan and his Scion team arm themselves with the world's most advanced technological weaponry to prevent a full-scale cyber war.
- Since we fell / by Dennis Lehane. Retreating from the world in the aftermath of a traumatizing reporting assignment, Rachel finds happiness with a raffish businessman before witnessing activities surrounding a conspiracy that tests the limits of her fragile psyche. By the best-selling author of “Mystic River”.
- Some rise by sin : a novel / by Philip Caputo. The Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Longest Road presents the tale of an American missionary priest who arrives in a Mexican village under the thumb of a brutal drug cartel, where he bonds with locals beside a physical fellow expatriate before an overstep forces him to reevaluate his priorities.
- Testimony / by Scott Turow. Assigned to investigate the unsolved disappearance of an entire Gypsy refugee camp during the Bosnian War, a disillusioned American prosecutor navigates a host of suspects while uncovering disturbing alliances and betrayals. By the best-selling author of “Presumed Innocent”.
- You will pay / by Lisa Jackson. Investigating remains found at a summer camp where a prank gone wrong led to the disappearances of two teens decades earlier, senior detective Lucas Dalton struggles with his father's ties to the case while meeting with five former counselors, including an erstwhile crush, to piece together what happened.
- Gwendy's button box / by Stephen King & Richard Chizmar. A novel co-written by the #1 best-selling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams returns to the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, to take on a terrifying man in a trim, black suit, and a girl named Gwendy who was brave enough to talk to him.
- The chalk artist : a novel / by Allegra Goodman. A disarming chalk artist who thinks nothing of erasing his dazzling work and an idealistic teacher who believes that things are meant to last forge an unlikely romance marked by her powerful father's virtual reality company and a brilliant but unstable student who is obsessed with video games. By the award-winning author of “The Cookbook Collector”.
July 6, 2017 - Independence Day
Having rolled past the 4th of July, we are now more than a third of the way through the summer – if you consider summer to be that expanse of warm to hot days that occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This year there are 98 days from those “bookend” holidays and Independence Day fell on the 36th day after the beginning of summer. Our Summer Reading Program which runs from Memorial Day to Harry Potter’s Birthday (July 31st). The program is of shorter duration, so at this point we are more than halfway through. This means that there is still plenty of time to sign up and participate. You can sign up online and add books that way too. There are challenges to take, dragon dollars to win, and programs to attend. Check out the library’s website for signup details. This past Tuesday we celebrated the 241st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. On July 4th, the Continental Congress approved the final draft of the document, formalizing what had already been decided on July 2nd. That congress hired John Dunlap to print 200 copies of the Declaration to be distributed throughout the colonies. He delivered 200 copies, now known as the Dunlap Broadsides, on July 5th. On July 6th, the Pennsylvania Evening Post became the first newspaper to reprint the whole Declaration. Publishers, printers, and newspapers were there at the birth of this nation. Reading and having access to information should also be celebrated when we think about the 4th of July. Some of the new books that arrived this past week are listed below to help you celebrate. Enjoy!
- Believe me : a memoir of love, death, and jazz chickens / by Eddie Izzard. A wide-ranging memoir by the critically acclaimed British comedian details his childhood in multiple countries, his first performances on the streets of London and the achievements that have marked his international success.
- Daring to drive : a Saudi woman's awakening / by Manal al-Sharif. An intimate memoir by a devout Saudi Arabian woman who became the unexpected leader of a movement to support women's rights describes how fundamentalism influenced her radical religious beliefs until her education, a job and legal contradictions changed her perspectives and made her an accidental activist.
- Kennedy and King : the president, the pastor, and the battle over civil rights / by Steven Levingston. A revelatory account of the contentious relationship between the 35th president and Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the tumultuous early years of the Civil Rights movement shares insights into their profound influence on one another and the important decisions that were inspired by their rivalry.
- Never call me a hero : a legendary American dive-bomber pilot remembers the Battle of Midway / by N. Jack Kleiss. In an eyewitness account of the Battle of Midway by one of its key participants, timed to the 75th anniversary, an American dive-bomber pilot discusses how he sank two Japanese carriers, struck a third, received the Navy Cross and is credited with playing a decisive individual role in determining the outcome of a battle that is considered a turning point in World War II.
- Walkaway / by Cory Doctorow. Abandoning formal society to pursue a minimalist counterculture life in a near-future world wrecked by climate change, a disenchanted senior and his heiress paramour inspire a host of followers who become obsessed with cheating death in ways that turn the world upside down.
- 16th seduction / by James Patterson. Reeling from her husband's betrayal at the same time an unnatural wave of heart attacks claim seemingly unrelated victims throughout San Francisco, Detective Lindsay Boxer is challenged to assist the prosecution of a bomber in the face of a hostile defense team.
- The boy on the bridge / by M.R. Carey. A standalone novel set in the same world as the best-selling “The Girl with All the Gifts” finds a clever boy declared the savior of his land and dispatched outside the gates to the region of monsters.
- Dragon teeth : a novel / by Michael Crichton. A recently discovered novel by the ER creator and best-selling author of Jurassic Park is set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting and follows the exploits of two ambitious paleontologists who sabotage each other’s careers in a rivalry that came to be known as the Bone Wars.
- Dying breath / by Heather Graham. Seeing a ghost for the first time while escaping a violent attack in her teens, historian Vickie is recruited to aid the authorities in tracking down a brutal serial killer with the assistance of a murder victim's ghost.
- The fallen : a testament novel / by Eric Lustbader. When the Testament of Lucifer is discovered in a Lebanese mountain cave, Gnostic Observatine sect leader Bravo Shaw, his sister Emma and Fra Leoni become the world's defenders against the devil's advance guard and an End of Days plot to enslave the human race.
- Full wolf moon : a novel / by Lincoln Child. Traveling to an isolated writers' retreat deep in the Adirondacks, Jeremy Logan, an investigator who specializes in unexplained phenomena, discovers a dead hiker whose wounds suggest an unnatural attack before encountering numerous suspects and a woman scientist struggling with the death of her father.
- Into the water : a novel / by Paula Hawkins. When a single mom and a teen girl are found murdered at the bottom of a river in a small town weeks apart, an ensuing investigation dredges up a complicated local history involving human instincts and the damage they can inflict. By the best-selling author of “The Girl on the Train”.