Jan's Column 2022
If you want to reserve any of these titles, give us a call at 846-5482 and have your library card handy!
Can't make it in when we're open? Call and ask about our electronic locker system.
September 23, 2022 - Annual Astronomical Marks
In case you missed it, yesterday at 8:03 p.n. the Autumnal Equinox occurred. For all intents and purposes this means that the hours of night and day are equal or about 12 hours each. Having reached the Autumnal Equinox can the Winter Solstice be far away? Well, actually it is 90 days away. On December 21st we'll roll past the shortest day of the year, but as many of you regular readers of this column probably recall, by the time the Winter Solstice rolls around we've started adding back time at the end of the day (when, frankly, most of us notice it) although we continue losing time in the mornings well into the new year. These annual astronomical marks help us define the year. Right now the plants and animals are responding to the loss of daylight. Crops are finishing and turning the landscape into the yellows and greens of Packer country. Migratory birds have already flocked up and if they haven't already left, they are practicing flying in flock formations. Crickets are chirping away. Bees are swarming. Squirrels are storing away food. The whole world has that slightly hazy look that the angle of sunlight at this time of year casts. It is that golden time preceding the end of another growing season. I hope you are getting out and enjoying nature and as twilight comes sooner everyday, that you use this time to settle in with a good book. Below you will find many such books. Enjoy!
“What If ? 2: Additional Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions “ by Randall Munroe. Filled with crazy science, endless curiosity and the author’s signature stick-figure comics, this practical guide for impractical ideas consults the latest research to concisely answer reader’s questions, demonstrating you can learn a lot from examining how the world might work in very specific extreme circumstances.
“The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves” by Alexandra Horowitz. The author of the classic “Inside of a Dog”, by observing her puppy Quid from week to week, makes new sense of a dog’s behavior, keeping a lens on the puppy’s point of view as she researches the science of early dog development.
“The Mosquito Bowl: A Game of Life and Death in World War II” by Buzz Bissinger. This extraordinary, never-before-told story of WWII follows two U.S. Marine Corps regiments, comprised of some of the greatest football talent, as they played each other in a football game in the dirt and coral of Guadalcanal known as “The Mosquito Bowl” before they faced the darkest and deadliest days at Okinawa.
“Prisoners of the Castle: An Epic Story of Survival and Escape from Colditz, the Nazis’ Fortress Prison” by Ben MacIntryre. Tracing the arc of World War II from within the walls of one of history’s most notorious prisons—Colditz Castle—that held the most defiant Allied prisoners, this gripping narrative shows how a remarkable cast of POWs concocted ingenious ways to escape their Nazi captors.
“Starry Messengers: Cosmic Perspectives on Civilization” by Neil deGrasse Tyson. Bringing his cosmic perspective to civilization on Earth, an astrophysicist discusses the scientific palette that sees and paints the world differently, sharing insights on resolving global conflict to reminders of how precious it is to be alive in a universe stimulating a deeper sense of unity for us all.
“The Last Dreamwalker” by Rita Woods. Tells the story of two women, separated by nearly two centuries yet inextricably linked by the Gullah Geechee Islands off the coast of South Carolina—and their connection to a mysterious and extraordinary gift passed from generation to generation.
“The Marriage Portrait “by Maggie O’Farrell. In Florence during the 1550s, captivating young duchess Lucrezia de’ Medici, having barely left girlhood behind, marries the ruler of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, and now, in an unfamiliar court where she has one duty—to provide an heir—fights for her very survival.
“On the Rooftop” by Margaret Sexton. The talk of the Jazz-era Fillmore, The Salvations—sisters Ruth, Esther and Chloe—find their personal ambitions on a collision course with those of their mother, whose dreams of musical stardom for them forces her to confront the parts of her life that threaten to splinter.
“The Two Lives of Sara” by Catherine West. During the racially divided 1960s, a Black young, unwed mother named Sara, working for Mama Sugar at a popular boarding house in Memphis, Tennessee, finds friendship and refuge until secrets from Mama Sugar’s are revealed, forcing Sara to make a decision that will reshape the rest of her life.
“Back to the Garden” by Laurie R. King. Inspector Raquel Laing investigates a fifty-year-old case at a storied and glamourous California estate after renovations turn up a human skull that may have been the work of a serial killer.
“Marple: Twelve New Mysteries (Miss Marple Mysteries)” by Agatha Christie, et al. Starring Agatha Christie’s legendary detective Jane Marple, this brand-new collection of short stories is written by 12 best-selling and acclaimed authors—each of which reimagines Marple through their own unique perspective while staying true to the hallmarks of a traditional mystery.
“Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match” by Sally Thorne. The younger sister of Victor Frankenstein embarks on her own project, resurrecting an intended beau who is more intent on uncovering his forgotten identity than in romance, in the new novel from the best-selling author of “The Hating Game”.
“Rules of Engagement” by Selena Montgomery & Stacey Abrams. While infiltrating a terrorist group responsible for stealing lethal environmental technology, Dr. Raleigh Foster, an operative for a top-secret intelligence organization, finds the most dangerous thing of all is falling for her partner as they untangle a twisted web of secrets and lies
September 16, 2022 - Harvest Festival
If you thought last weekend was miserable -- the Badgers lost, the Packers lost, and we got four inches of rain (according to my rain gauge) from a storm that stalled out over our part of the state for more than 36 hours--then I can almost guarantee that you will find this upcoming weekend (which starts tomorrow) much more enjoyable. I can’t promise that the Badgers will light up the scoreboard nor that the Packers will find a defense and offense to take the field, but if you stop by the library between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m on Saturday, good times will be in store for you. Our annual Harvest Festival is taking place during those hours. There will be crafts, old-fashioned games, food, a petting zoo of farm animals provided by FFA students, and balloon sculpting. The Friends of the DeForest Area Public Library are also having a book sale. So plan to stop by. Activities will be moved inside as much as possible if the weather proves contrary -- but, really. How could it? After this past weekend? I think enough will be enough. We hope to see you on Saturday! Did I mention there would be food? With the Friends book sale in the offing you might not feel the need to seek new titles to read in the list below. On the other hand, the books listed below are piping hot, just off the press. You decide! Enjoy!
“Operation Pineapple Express” by Scott Mann & James Meek. This tense real-life thriller follows a group of retired Green Berets as they, called for one last mission, worked together to save a former comrade, along with 500 Afghans, right before the ISIS-K suicide bombing and amidst the chaos of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“Solito” by Javier Zamora. A young poet reflects on his 3,000-mile journey from El Salvador to the United States when he was nine years old, during which he was faced with perilous boat trips, relentless desert treks, pointed guns, arrests and deceptions during two life-altering months alongside a group of strangers who became an unexpected family.
“American Demon: Eliot Ness and the Hunt for America’s Jack the Ripper” by Daniel Stashower. Eliot Ness investigates the Cleveland Torso Murderer, who left thirteen bodies scattered across the city in the 1930s in a historical true crime story from the biographer, historian and award-winning author of “The Hour of Peril.
“Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be” by Becky Kennedy. A popular parenting expert discusses a new paradigm for parents in how to raise children, based on a model that prioritizes connecting with our kids over correcting them.
“Mother Brain: How Neuroscience is Rewriting the Story of Parenthood” by Chelsea Conaboy. In this powerful narrative, a journalist and mother delves into the major brain changes that come with being new parents, delving into the neuroscience to reveal unexpected upsides and how this science is mostly absent from the public conversation about parenthood.
“Carrie Soto is Back” by Taylor Reid. A retired tennis champion comes out of retirement at age 37 after watching a young phenom beat her long-standing record at the 1994 US Open in the new novel from the “New York Time “best-selling author of “Malibu Rising”.
“Daisy Darker” by Alice Feeney. A family gathering for their matriarch's 80th birthday in her crumbling, gothic house on a tiny island begin disappearing one by one in the new novel from the “New York Times” best-selling author of “Rock Paper Scissors”
“The Ink Black Heart, No. 6 (Cormoran Strike)” by Robert Galbraith. This sixth novel in the highly acclaimed, internationally best-selling series finds Cormoran and Robin ensnared in yet another case filled with twists and turns.
“The Fortunes of Jaded Women” by Carolyn Huynh. Follows a family of estranged Vietnamese women—cursed to never know love or happiness—as they reunite when a psychic makes a startling prediction.
“Less is Lost” by Andrew Greer. In this highly anticipated follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Less: A Novel”, Arthur Less, after the death of an old lover and a sudden financial crisis, sets out on a literary adventure across the U.S. during which he must finally face his personal demons.
“Lessons” by Ian McEwan. With his life constantly in flux as he lives through many historic upheavals, Roland Baines, haunted by lost opportunities, searches for comfort through music, literature, friends, sex, politics and love, struggling against global events beyond his control that have shaped his existence and memories.
“Act of Oblivion” by Robert Harris. Follows General Edward Whalley's and his son-in law Colonel William Goffe's flight to America in 1660 after their involvement in the beheading of King Charles I in the new novel from the best-selling author of “Fatherland”.
“The Girl from Guernica: A WWII Novel” by Karen Robards. During World War II, Sibil, living in Germany with her father, a scientist working on jet propulsion engines for the Nazi party, joins the underground resistance movement with him, and they become deeply embedded in a web of secrets, lies and deceit that threatens to destroy their already fragile family.
“Desperation in Death, No. 55 (In Death)” by J.D. Robb. Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates the Pleasure Academy after two girls attempt to escape with tales of being groomed for sex trafficking in the latest addition to the long-running, “New York Times” best-selling series.
September 9, 2022 - What's in your wallet?
Labor Day weekend has come and gone. Now we are well in to "National Library Card Sign Up" month. National Library Card Sign Up month provides an opportunity for all public libraries to remind parents, caregivers and students to get the school year off to the best possible start by signing up for a library card. A library card can be the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning. This year, Governor Evers not only promoted "National Library Card Sign-Up month by issuing a proclamation, he also established September 6 as "National Read a Book Day" throughout the state of Wisconsin. Sadly, we have already rolled past September 6th, but as stalwart library users, you all know that any day can be a "Read a Book Day" not matter what state or nation you happen to be reading in. My question for everyone I meet during this month is "What's in your wallet?" so I will ask you, Gentle Reader, that same question. "What's in your wallet (or on your key chain)? If you don't have a library card, now's the time to get one. If you do have a library, now's the time to show it proudly at some of our local business partners (checkout our website or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) and receive a discount! Or come into the library and use your card to checkout some of the exciting new titles listed below. Enjoy!
“Becoming FDR: The Personal Crisis That Made a President” by Jonathan Darman. Tracing the physical, political, and personal evolution of the iconic president, Becoming FDR shows how adversity can lead to greatness, and to the power to remake the world.
“Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends” by Marisa G. Franco. The author explains how to make and keep friends in an era of distraction, burnout, and chaos, especially in a society that often prizes romantic love at the expense of other relationships and provides an actionable blueprint for forging strong, lasting connections with others.
“Girl Forgotten, No. 12 (Andrea Oliver)” by Karin Slaughter. Forty years after Emily Vaughn was murdered on her prom night, US Marshal Andrea Oliver picks up the cold case to find justice in the follow-up to the “New York Times” best-selling novel “Pieces of Her”.
“Haven” by Emma Donoghue. Two monks leave seventh-century Ireland in a boat searching for an isolated spot to found a new monastery, but instead drift out to sea and wind up on a bare, steep island inhabited by thousands of birds.
“The Ninth Month” by James Patterson with Richard Dilallo. Landing in the hospital where it is revealed she is pregnant, successful marketing executive Emily Atkinson, as women in her wealthy social circles go missing, finds her pregnancy becoming decidedly high-risk as a faceless enemy follows her every move.
“Overkill” by Sandra Brown. When Eban, the scion of a wealthy North Carolina family who brutally attacked Rebecca Pratt, leaving her on life support, gets an early release from prison, brilliant state prosecutor Kate Lennon asks former Super Bowl MVP quarterback—and Rebecca’s ex-husband—to make an impossible decision for justice.
“Reckoning”(FBI Thrillers)” by Catherine Coulter. Agent Savich is called in to help a commonwealth attorney put the big-time criminal responsible for her parents’ deaths behind bars, while Agent Sherlock is assigned to protect a 12-year-old piano prodigy—and granddaughter of a powerful crime boss— from would-be kidnappers.
“Stay Awaker” by Megan Goldin. Liv Reese, waking up holding a bloodstained knife and her hands covered in scribbled messages, remembers nothing from the past two years and goes on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing, followed by someone who will do anything to stop her from remembering—permanently.
“How to Kill Your Family” by Bella Mackie. A darkly humorous debut novel follows a cunning antihero as she gets her revenge. A first novel.
“The Unfolding” by A. M. Homes. This is a portrait of a family—and a country—in flux. A story about what happens when truths that once seemed self-evident turn out to be neither self-evident nor even true. The author captures an America as it lurches toward freak-out, and a family as it shreds the lies it’s been living by.
“The Marriage Portrait” by Maggie O’Farrell. The author of Hamnet—New York Times best seller and National Book Critics Circle Award winner—brings the world of Renaissance Italy to jewel-bright life in this unforgettable fictional portrait of the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de' Medici as she makes her way in a troubled court.
“Back to the Garden” by Laurie R. King. A fifty-year-old cold case involving California royalty comes back to life—with potentially fatal consequences—in this gripping standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series.
“Hell and Back, No. 18 (Longmire)” by Craig Johnson. In Hell and Back, the eighteenth installment of the Longmire series, author Craig Johnson takes the beloved sheriff to the very limits of his sanity to do battle with the most dangerous adversary he’s ever faced: himself.
“Robert B. Parker’s Fallout, No. 21 (Jesse Stone)” by Mike Lupica. When two seemingly unconnected mysterious deaths occur on his watch, police chief Jesse Stone must pull out all the stops to unravel the truth and stop a killer from striking again.
“Rule of Engagement” by Selena Montgomery and Stacey Abrams. Love is a game of chance in this romantic suspense novel by New York Times bestselling author and American politician and activist Stacey Abrams, writing under her pen name, Selena Montgomery.
September 2, 2022 - Library Card Sign Up Month
It is hard to believe that we're already into September. As you all know, September is "National Library Card Sign up Month". This compels me to ask "What's in your wallet?" (or on your key chain). If you don't have a library card you are missing out on access to many, many things. The library is about much more than books. We have cake pans, audio books, dvds, video games, telescopes, a metal detector, geocaching equipment, a metal detector, and wi-fi hot spots just to name the first few things that leapt to my mind. If you already have a library card, this is the month to use it. This is also the month to show it with pride at certain, local businesses who will give you a discount. Check out which businesses are participating on our social media.
Entering the month of September also means that we are finally, truly, completely done with the Summer Reading Program. The final, fun event earned by all the participants has happened. And, I am sorry to report, all the donated dragon dollars have been tallied. Over the next few months I shall be converting those dragon dollars into US dollars and making donations to :The Dane County Humane Society in the amount of $1,111.; $387 to the DeForest Area Needs Network; $351 to the Friends of the Yahara Headwaters; and $753 to the DeForest Area Public Library's Endowment. Jumpin' Jimminy! That's a whole lot of charitable giving coming from our reading program participants. I really shall be looking to get a co-sponsor for converting these dollars going forward. Usually, at this point in this column, I would encourage you all to stay in shape for the Winter Reading Program by perusing and checking out some of the titles listed below. I'm not going to do that. I'll just say the titles are there. Enjoy!
“Electable: Why America Hasn’t Put a Woman in the White House…Yet” by Ali Vitali. The Capitol Hill Correspondent for NBC News explores the reasons why despite having more women run for President than ever before in our history, they have yet to finally break that final glass ceiling.
“We’ve Got to Try: How the Fight for Voting Rights Makes Everything Else Possible” by Beto O’Rourke. A noted politician shines a spotlight on the heroic life and work of voting-rights advocate Dr. Lawrence Aaron Nixon and the west Texas town where he made his stand.
“The Last White Man” by Mohsin Hamid. As people across the land awaken in new incarnations, Anders, whose skin turns dark, confides only in Oona, an old friend turned new lover, deciding to use this as chance at a kind of rebirth, in this novel of transcendence over bigotry, fear and anger.
“Rules at the School by the Sea: The Second School by the Sea Novel(Little School by the Sea)” by Jenny Colgan. Engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Maggie Adair, a teacher at Downey House the sea in Cornwall, must stop thinking about her colleague at the boys’ school down the road, while her boss, headmistress Veronica Deveral, must confront a scandalous secret she thought she’d buried forever.
“Fox Creek, No. 18 (Cork O’Connor Mysteries)” by William Krueger. Cork O'Conner tries to find his wife who had accompanied a mysterious stranger on a visit the ancient Ojibwe healer Henry Meloux before a group of mercenaries can in the latest novel of the series following “Desolation Mountain”.
“The Hunt (Decker/Lazarus Novels)” by Faye Kellerman. When the biological mother of Peter and his wife Rina’s foster son is brutally beaten and her children taken, Peter, Rina and Gabe’s biological father, a former hitman-turned-millionaire, race against time to rescue them, ending in an explosive confrontation from which no one will emerge unscathed.
“Murder in Westminster, No. 1” by Vanessa Riley. The first in a vibrant, inclusive new historical mystery series by an acclaimed author portrays the true diversity of the Regency-era, as a widow whose skin color and notorious family history have left her with few friends she can rely on—just as the local vicar names her the prime suspect in a murder case.
“Peg and Rose Solve a Murder, No. 1 (Senior Sleuths Mysteries)” by Laurien Berenson. Polar opposites and bridge partners, 60-something former nun Rose and her sister-in-law Peg, who knows how to push all of Rose’s buttons, are drawn into a mystery—one they must work together to solve—when the bridge club’s most accomplished player is murdered and they fall under suspicion.
“Alias Emma” by Ava Glass. A brand new secret agent, Emma Makepeace, is tasked with having only 12 hours to bring the son of Russian dissidents into protective custody while avoiding the assassins looking for him in one of the world's most-surveilled cities.
“Babysitter” by Joyce Carol Oates. The lives of three individuals, including the wife of a prominent businessman who is having an affair, a street hustler seeking to right an injustice and a serial killer called Babysitter, intersect in a Detroit suburb in the 1970s.
“The Blame Game” by Sandie Jones. A psychologist specializing in domestic abuse, Naomi, after her client’s file goes missing, wonders if her own dark past is coming back to haunt her— and if her clients aren’t the only ones in danger
“The Family Remains” by Lisa Jewell. In this sequel to the best-selling The Family Upstairs, two women are faced with complicated mysteries that are linked to a cold case that left three people dead in a Chelsea mansion 30 years ago.
“Firestorm” by Taylor Moore. A powerful energy consortium begins an aggressive mining operation that threatens to destroy special agent Garrett Kohl's Texas ranch and his family's way of life in the new novel from the author of “Down Range”.