February 24, 2023 - Time is Running Out

Time is running out. I’m not kidding. I have warned you for at least that past three weeks that the Winter Reading Program would be ending on March 4th. If you’ve looked at your calendar recently, you will see that date is a week – that’s 7 days, 168 hours, or 10,080 minutes—from tomorrow.  Now I know you didn’t make it through all the dark days of this past winter without reading (or listening to) a book. I know that you want to earn a few dragon dollars so you can buy yourself or your loved one a supper cool gift from our prize store. I know that if you’re not into gift/prize getting you would want to give those hard-earned dragon dollars to one  or all of our four deserving charities—The Urban Canid Project at the U.W. Madison, the DeForest Area Needs Network, the Dane County Humane Society, or the DeForest Area Public Library Endowment.  You have until 5 p.m. on March 4th to enter titles in the app. You have until March 12th to get those dollars and spend them.  

While I realize that you won’t have time to read any of the books listed below to include in the 2023 Winter Reading Program, you can still add them to your to-be-read list. Enjoy!

BTW, I mentioned last week that sandhill cranes generally start staging north on Valentine’s Day. I have to report on Wednesday, February 15th, there was a lone crane circling over Western Green Park (and my condo) at 5 p.m.  He was certainly doing a lot of shouting whether for his fellow cranes to catch up or for them to let him know where they were, I couldn’t tell. This is the earliest I have seen a sandhill crane in DeForest. And then we got four inches of snow the next day so I’m sure he reconsidered and headed south for a while.

New Non-Fiction

“The Diary Keepers: World War II in the Netherlands, as Written by People Who Lived Through It” by Nina Siegal. Based on select writings from a collection of more than two thousand Dutch diaries written during World War this books illuminates a part of history that hasn’t been seen in quite this way before, from the stories of a Nazi sympathizing police officer to a Jewish journalist who documented daily activities at a transport camp.

“The Emotional Life of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents” by Lisa Damour. With clear, research-informed explanations alongside illuminating, real-life examples, the author gives parents the concrete, practical information they need to steady their teens through the bumpy yet  journey into adulthood.

“Fitter, Calmer, Stronger” by Ellie Goulding. Combining a mindful approach to exercise with delicious, nutritious recipes, the global superstar author will help readers kick-start healthy habits, develop a positive mindset, and establish clear, achievable goals.

New Fiction

“Death of a Traitor” by M.C. Beaton. Sergeant Hamish Macbeth—Scotland's most quick witted but unambitious policeman—is back to investigate the disappearance of a local woman who is more than she seems, in this new mystery in this bestselling series.

“House in the Pines” by Ana Reyes. Armed with only hazy memories, a woman who long ago witnessed her friend’s sudden, mysterious death, and has since spent her life trying to forget, sets out to track down answers. What she uncovers, deep in the woods, is hardly to be believed in this page-turning thriller.

“Every Man a King” by Walter Mosely. In this sequel to “Down the River Unto the Sea”, from the Edgar Award-winning author, detective Joe King Oliver is entangled in a dangerous case when he's asked to investigate whether a white nationalist is being unjustly set up. 

“Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun: A Novel” by Elle Cosimano. Finlay Donovan has been in messes before but none quite like this. After she and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they may have "borrowed" in the process of saving the life of Finlay's ex-husband, the Russian mob got her out of debt. But now Finlay owes them. This is book 3 in the series.

“Murder at an Irish Bakery: Irish Village Mysteries, Book 9” by Carlene O’Connor. This author of cozy police procedurals returns to County Cork in Ireland’s lush countryside, where locals are simmering with excitement over the reality TV baking contest coming to town —until someone serves up a show-stopping murder that only Garda Siobhan O’Sullivan can solve.

“The Librarian of Burned Books: A Novel” by Brianna Labuskes. Inspired by the true story of the Council of Books in Wartime—the WWII organization founded by booksellers, publishers, librarians, and authors to use books as “weapons in the war of ideas”—This historical novel weaves the story of three women whose fates become intertwined in a haunting love story, and a testament to the beauty, power, and goodness of the written word.

“A Calder Heart” by Janet Dailey. America’s frontier comes to vivid life in this inspiring saga of love, hope and endurance in 1919 Montana, at the end of the Great War. The author blends a Romeo & Juliet romance with all the intense drama, historical detail, and grand sweep of her original New York Times bestselling Calder series.

“I Have Some Questions for You” by Rebecca Makkai. A successful film professor and podcaster, Bodie Kane is content to forget her past and the murder of her former roommate, Thalia Keith, in the spring of their senior year. The circumstances surrounding her death and the conviction of the school’s athletic trainer are still being hotly debated online. When she is invited back to teach a course, Bodie is inexorably drawn to the case and its increasingly apparent flaws.

“West With Giraffes: A Novel” by Lynn Ruthledge. An emotional, rousing novel inspired by the incredible true story of two giraffes who made headlines and won the hearts of Depression-era America. Jan Berg highly recommends this book. It’s a great read full of adventures, the effect of these grace-filled animals on those who interact with them, the kindness of strangers, and a cross-county journey that delivers the giraffes to the San Diego zoo. 

“Burner (Gray Man, Book 12)” by Mark Greaney. A banker steals records from his Swiss employer, hoping to expose corruption. He stores the information on a burner phone, and now everybody wants it including the Russians and the CIA. Court Gentry, the Gray Man, is pulled off his job of blowing up oligarch’s mega-yachts, to help find the phone. There are twists and turns, lovers, and car chases in a book that is hard to put down.