Well. I guess summer is semi-officially here. We have rolled past Memorial Day. The last day of school will soon be upon us. And the heat has also arrived – at least the forecast at this writing which had a high temperature struggling to hit 70 degrees – with daytime highs at or about 90 degrees. 90 degrees at the very beginning of June seems a little extreme to me. The Summer Reading Program has now been underway for the past week. All the signs point to the arrival of summer. And my porch plants have been in their pots since the middle of May. I feel compelled to comment that, back in the day, I would never put plants in the garden until Memorial Day weekend. I would never plant until then because you couldn’t trust the weather not to suddenly turn frosty until then. These past few years I have planted with increasing confidence earlier and earlier in May. I am happy to report that my tomatoes already have fruit set on them and have passed the cherry-tomato size and are speeding past the grape-tomato size and heading towards full-size tomatoes. I hope you had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend and are ready to start reading for the Summer Reading Program community challenge. Below you will find some of the books which recently arrived at the library. Check them out, and enjoy!
Jan's Column 2023
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“Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon” by Melissa Sevigny. The story of two pioneering female botanists and their historic 1938 boat trip down the Colorado River which led them to be the first to survey and catalog the plant life of the Grand Canyon.
“Power and Progress: Our Thousand-year Struggle Over Technology and Prosperity” by Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson. Demonstrating that the path of technology was once—and may again be—brought under control, this bold interpretation of economics and history and manifesto for a better society provides the vision needed to reshape how we innovate and who really gains from technological advances.
“King: A Life” by Jonathan Eig. Mixes new research with accessible storytelling to offer a new biography of the legendary civil-rights leader.
“What It Takes to Save a Life: A Veterinarian’s Quest for Healing and Hope” by Dr. Kwane Stewart. This is the story of a now nine-year journey that has taken Dr. Kwane from Skid Row to San Francisco and beyond to care for pets and their humans who are living on the streets. Dr. Kwane shows how our four-legged, feathered, scaled, and swimming family members—these dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and other animals that live side by side with us—provide more than companionship. They offer essential love, hope, and a sense of security.
”The Lie Maker” by Linwood Barclay. This twisty, fast-paced thriller from the “New York Times” bestselling author of “Find You First “and “Take Your Breath Away”, a man desperately tries to track down his father—who was taken into witness protection years ago—before his enemies can get to him.
“Only the Dead” by Jack Carr. On a mission generations in the making, former Navy SEAL James Reece, as a secret cabal of global elites prepare to assume control of the U.S., picks up his tomahawk and sniper rifle, showing his enemies that no one is out of range as he blows a global conspiracy wide open
“The True Love Experiment” by Christina Lauren. A best-selling romance novelist who doesn’t practice what she preaches, Felicity “Fizzy” Chen agrees to star in a reality TV show to find her perfect match if documentary filmmaker and single father Connor Prince meets her list of demands, and soon realizes her happily-ever-after may be behind the camera.
“Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt” by Jeff Shaara. The “New York Times” best-selling author traces the remarkable life of one of the most consequential figures in the U.S. and the world at large, from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, revealing a man who shaped the foundations of the modern country and world.
“Fractal Noise (Fractalverse)” by Chris Paolini. On the seemingly uninhabited planet Talos VII, there is a circular pit not of nature but design, and a small team must journey across the surface to learn who built it and why, followed by the ghosts of their past each step they take toward the mysterious abyss.
“The Three of Us” by Ore Agbaje-Williams. Long-standing tensions between a husband, his wife, and her best friend finally come to a breaking point in this sharp domestic comedy of manners, told brilliantly over the course of one day.
“The Guest” by Emma Cline. Summer is coming to a close on the East End of Long Island, and Alex is no longer welcome. .A misstep at a dinner party, and the older man she’s been staying with dismisses her with a ride to the train station and a ticket back to the city. With few resources and a waterlogged phone she spends the week leading up to Labor day drifting from one place to another leaving destruction in her wake.
“Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most” by Adam Alter. A groundbreaking guide explains how to break free from the thoughts, habits, jobs, relationships and even business models that prevent us from achieving our full potential.
“Rogue Justice: A Thriller (Avery Keene)” by Stacey Abrams The “New York Times” bestselling author of “While Justice Sleeps” returns with another riveting and intricately plotted thriller, in which a blackmailed federal judge, a secret court and a brazen murder may lead to an unprecedented national crisis.
Now that the Summer Reading Program was officially launched last Saturday with a full day of programs ending with a campfire sing-along (a shout out to the Village of DeForest for the loan of a couple of fire pits and some really dry wood that burned very nicely!), we are suddenly heading into the Memorial Day weekend. With a long weekend to look forward to and the Summer Reading Program encouraging you to read and record your books, you couldn’t ask for a better time to sit back, kick off your shoes, and start reading through that TBR (To Be Read) pile of books or binging on the TBW (To Be Watched) pile of dvds, or putting together a new jigsaw puzzle, or gathering family and friends together to play a new board game (or video game). The library can help you with any of those endeavors. Stop by and stock up! Below you will find some of the new titles which recently arrived at the library which you can add to your TBR pile. Have a great holiday weekend. Enjoy!
“The Last Secret of the Secret Annex: The Untold Story of Anne Frank, Her Silent Protector, and a Family Betrayal” by Joop van Wijk-Voskuijl and Jeroen De Bruyn. This is an historical investigation and family memoir that intertwines the iconic narrative of Anne Frank with the untold story of Bep Voskuijl, her protector and closest confidante in the Annex.
“The Girl by the Bridge: A Detective Konrad Novel” by Arnaldur Indridason. An elderly couple are worried about their granddaughter. They know she's been smuggling drugs, and now she's gone missing. Looking for help, they turn to Konrad, a former policeman whose reputation precedes him.
“The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small” by Neil Jordan. An enslaved man escaping to his freedom saves the life of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, a British army officer and the younger son of one of Ireland's grandest families. The tale that unfolds is narrated by Tony Small, the formerly enslaved man who becomes Fitzgerald's companion—and best friend.
“The Midnight News” by Jo Baker. From the best-selling author of Longbourn, a gripping novel of one young woman’s unraveling during the Blitz—a story of World War II intrigue, love, and danger.
“The House on Prytania (A Royal Street Novel)” by Karen White. A woman is haunted—both literally and figuratively—by ghosts of the past in this second novel of the Royal Street series by the “New York Times” bestselling author.
“Independence Square: Arkady Renko in Ukraine” by Martin Cruz Smith. This is the 10th book by the author featuring the detective Arkady Renko. These novels, beginning with 1981’s international sensation Gorky Park, have collectively traced Russia's evolution over the last half-century. This book focuses on the fraught and frenzied days leading up to Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine.
“Pieces of Blue” by Holly Goldberg Slaon. When Paul Hill drowns in a surfing accident, his broken-hearted wife, Lindsey, and their three children are left in huge financial trouble. She impulsively uses the life insurance money to buy a motel in Hawaii, hoping for a fresh start.
“The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece” by Tom Hanks & R. Sikoryak. The legendary actor and best-selling author present a story of a star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film and the humble comic books that inspired it that captures the changes in America and American culture since World War II.
“Quantum Solution (Evan Ryder Book 4)” by Eric Van Lustbader. When an elite Russian scientist and the American Secretary of Defense die, at the same time half a world apart, of inexplicable sudden catastrophic brain damage, the world’s intelligence services realize that the quantum war has truly begun. Ryder and her long-time partner, Ben Butler, risk their lives to discover who the true combatants are, racing against the doomsday scenario of all-out war between America and Russia.
“The Little Flower Shop” by Lori Foster. Since her divorce, Emily Lucretia—affectionately known as the flower lady to the people of Cemetery, Indiana—has been focused on her flower shop and taking care of her aging aunt and uncle. Her love life is hardly the centerpiece of her busy days until the matchmaking starts.
“The Hearts Choice (The Jewels of Kalispell Book #1)” by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse. After witnessing a wrongful conviction as a young girl, Rebecca Whitman--the first female court reporter in Montana--is now determined to defend the innocent. During a murder trial, something doesn't sit well with her about the case, but no one except the new Carnegie librarian will listen to her
“Counter Attack (Pearl River)” by Patricia Bradley. Just as Alexis Stone been sworn in as the interim sheriff for Russell County, Tennessee, a serial killer dubbed the “Queen's Gambit Killer” strikes again in her hometown of Pearl Springs. This interim job was only a stop along the way to Alex's real dream of becoming the first female police chief of Chattanooga. But the killer's calling card--a white pawn and a note with a chess move printed on it--cannot be ignored.
“In the Shadow of the River” by Ann Gabhart. In 1881, Jacci Reed was five years old when a man attempted to kidnap her from the steamboat her mother, Irena, worked on. Badly wounded during the confrontation, Irena takes Jacci aboard the showboat, the ”Kingston Floating Palace,” where, Jacci gets a taste of the actor’s life she will come to lead.
If you are reading this on Friday, the publication date of the DeForest Times Tribune, then you are reading this on the eve of the Summer Reading Program kick-off. Even though the beginning of this week had overnight lows hovering near 40 degrees, warmer weather is on the way and will (eventually) arrive. On Saturday, there are three programs throughout the day to launch the Summer Reading Program. There is the Wild Rumpus Party (think Maurice Sendak and “Where the Wild Things Are” and prepare to roll your terrible eyes and gnash your terrible teeth) for youngsters. From 12 to 3 p.m. there is mini painting for all ages, 12 and younger may attend with a parent or guardian. And then, at 6 p.m. we have a campfire (think fire pits) singalong on the library patio. Ken Lonquist will be providing the music and leading those assembled in song you might just know, or in some new songs he might just teach us. There will be marshmallows to roast and graham crackers and chocolate. Hmmmm. Sounds like we all might want S’more. Make sure you sign up for the Summer Reading Program. You’re reading the books anyway so why not log them, add numbers to the community challenge totals, and earn Dragon Dollars which you can use (only) in the library’s store or which you can donate to the Dane County Humane Society, the DeForest Area Needs Network, or to the library to help fund the Story Hour room renovation. Below you will find some of the new books which recently arrived at the library. Put them on hold. Read them. Record them in your Summer Reading account. Enjoy!
“Camera Girl: The Coming of Age of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy” by Carl Anthony. An illuminating new biography of the young Jackie Bouvier Kennedy that covers her formative adventures abroad in Paris; her life as a writer and photographer at a Washington, DC, newspaper; and her romance with a dashing, charismatic Massachusetts congressman who shared her intellectual passion.
“The Power of Trees: How Ancient Forests can Save Us if We Let Them” by Peter Wohlleben and Jane Billinghurst. Sharing emerging scientific research about how forests shape climates both locally and across continents, the international bestselling author of “The Hidden Life of Trees” shows how ancient forests pass their wisdom through generations and why our future lies in protecting them.
“Quantum Supremacy: How the Quantum Computer Revolution Will Change Everything” by Michio Kaku. This book gives a tour of humanity's next great technological achievement—quantum computing—which may eventually illuminate the deepest mysteries of science and solve some of humanity's biggest problems, like global warming, world hunger, and incurable disease, by the bestselling author of “The God Equation”.
“The Well-lived Life: A 102-Year Old Doctor’s Six Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age” by Gladys McGarey. The author, a centenarian still-practicing doctor and the mother of holistic medicine, reveals her powerful and life-changing secrets for how to live with joy, vitality, and purpose at any age.
“The Ferryman: A Novel” by Justin Cronin. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage comes a riveting standalone novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia—where the truth isn't what it seems.
“The Libyan Diversion” by Joel Rosenberg. From New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg comes the fifth military and international political thriller in the Marcus Ryker series. The world’s most wanted terrorist is dead. Ryker recommended the drone strike himself. The intelligence was rock-solid. But he might have been wrong.
“Hula: A Novel” by Jasmin Hakes. Set in Hilo, Hawai’i, a sweeping saga of tradition, culture, family, history, and connection that unfolds through the lives of three generations of women—a tale of mothers and daughters, dance and destiny.
“Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?” by Crystal Smith Paul. When Kitty Karr Tate, a White icon of the silver screen, dies and bequeaths her multimillion-dollar estate to the St. John sisters, three young, wealthy Black women, it prompts questions. Lots of questions. This multigenerational saga traverses the glamour of old Hollywood and the seductive draw of modern-day showbiz. It is the Reese’s Book Club May selection
“Swamp Story: A Novel” by Dave Barry. Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times bestselling author and actual Florida Man Dave Barry returns with a Florida caper full of oddballs and more twists and turns than a snake slithering away from a gator.
“The Wedding Planner” by Danielle Steel. In this captivating novel from the “New York Times” bestselling author, a wildly successful, unmarried wedding planner leads her clients to happily ever after and travels a winding road to love and joy while staying true to herself.
“All the Days of Summer: A Novel” by Nancy Thayer. When her marriage fizzles out, Heather decides what sort of life to live next. Ready to seek out her own happiness and discover herself again, leaves her husband and rents a cottage on Nantucket. Her plan is going perfectly—until her son, Ross, announces he’s moving there.
“Fourth Wing (The Empyrean Book 1)” by Rebecca Yarros. Twenty-year-old Violet was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general has ordered her to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders. This book describes the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders.
“The 23rd Midnight: If You Haven’t Read the Women’s Murder Club, Start Here( A Women’s Murder Club Thriller, No 3)” by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. An attention-seeking copycat is recreating murders by a famous killer from the Women’s Murder Club’s past—with devastating new twists.
Okay. I’m going to start out by owing this right up front. If the weather takes a turn back towards winter -- which would be hard to believe after the eight-degree temperatures on Sunday—it might be because I took the winter gear out of my car. The snow shovel, the broom, the ice scrapers (many), my winter coat, ski mask, mittens, snowmobile boots, and winter coat went back into the house. Those items no longer occupy the back seat of my car. I know. This could be seen as thumbing one’s nose at winter. It could be interpreted as taunting. And, I must confess, I moved all the pots for my porch / patio garden outside including a rather large infestation of volunteer impatiens and Four O’clock plants. But with the kick-off of the Summer Reading Program on Saturday, May 20th only a week and a day away, I felt that I needed to get in the summer mood by getting the winter paraphernalia out of my car and acknowledging the ever-nearing start of the growing season by getting those pots ready to plant. The extended forecast does not appear to hold anything to indicate that winter is coming (back).
The summer/ spring books continue to arrive in goodly numbers, Below you will find the titles of a few of the new books which recently arrived at the library. BTW, I did find that I had left the coffee can with candle in my car, so maybe that is still keeping the winter weather at bay.
“Eat Your Flowers: A Cookbook” by Loria Stern. The author shows the reader ways to bring nature into the kitchen, to play with colors and flavors, and to make every dish beautiful. She incorporates natural plant dusts, pressed and fresh blooms, and vibrant herbs and veggies into her cooking for whimsical, gorgeous, and nourishing meals.
“Great Kingdoms of Africa” by John Parker. This book offers an innovative and thought-provoking overview that takes us from ancient Egypt and Nubia to the Zulu Kingdom almost two thousand years later. It explores the kingdoms, dynasties, and city-states that have shaped cultures across the African continent.
“The Cat’s Meow: How Cats Evolved from the Savannah to Your Sofa” by Jonathan Losos. Writing as both a scientist and a cat lover, the author explores how researchers today are unraveling the secrets of the cat, past and present, using all the tools of modern technology, from GPS tracking (you’d be amazed where those backyard cats roam) and genomics (what is your so-called Siamese cat . . . really?) to forensic archaeology.
“The Rescue” by T. Jefferson Parker. Rescuing Felix, a Mexican street dog, from a Tijuana animal shelter, journalist Bettina Blazak discovers Felix is a former DEA drug-sniffing dog, who has led a very colorful, dangerous and profitable life, which draws her into a deadly criminal underworld from which she and Felix may not return.
“Murder on Bedford Street, No.26 (Gaslight Mysteries)” by Victoria Thompson. Agreeing to help Hugh Breedlove’s niece Julia, who has been wrongfully committed to an insane asylum by her cruel and unfaithful husband, PI Frank Malloy and his wife Sarah find their case turning into a murder investigation and must respond to expose a killer hiding in plain sight.
“Mastering the Art of French Murder, No.1 (An American in Paris Mysteries)” by Colleen Cambridge. A novel set in the City of Lights and starring Julia Child’s (fictional) best friend combines a fresh perspective on the iconic chef’s years in post-World War II Paris with a delicious mystery and a unique culinary twist.
“Murder of the Bride Murder, No. 29 (Lucy Stone Mysteries” by Leslie Meier. When her daughter Elizabeth’s impending fairytale wedding in France to Jean-Luc Schoen-Rene is marred by murder, reporter and jet-lagged mother-of-the bride Lucy Stone, to protect her family, vows to expose a killer among a list of worldly jilted lovers and potential criminal masterminds.
“Seven Girls Gone, No.4 (Quinn & Costa Thrillers)” by Allison Brennan. Arriving in St. Augustine, Louisiana, to quietly assist police detective Beau Hebert, who is investigating the disappearance and deaths of 7 women, LAPD detective Kara Quinn and team leader Matt Costa must not only solve multiple murders but expose deep-seated corruption that extends far beyond this small bayou town’s borders.
“A History of Burning” by Janika Oza. This epic, sweeping historical novel spans continents and a century. 1898, Pirbhai, a teenage boy looking for work, is taken from his village in India to labor for the British on the East African Railway. Far from home, Pirbhai commits a brutal act in the name of survival that will haunt him and his family for years to come.
“Summer in Sag Harbor (Summer Beach No.2)” by Sunny Hostin Following the New York Times bestseller “Summer on the Bluffs”, The View cohost and three-time Emmy Award winner Sunny Hostin spirits readers away to the warm beaches of Sag Harbor for the compelling second novel in her acclaimed “Summer” series that takes place in an elite Black enclave in the Hamptons which welcomes its newest resident, hoping she’ll help preserve the integrity of the community.
“Covenant of Water” by Abraham Verghese. Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, and set in
Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, this breathtaking epic of love, faith and medicine follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning.
“Bad, Bad, Seymour Brown” by Susan Isaacs. Corie Geller and her retired NYPD detective father investigate after the only surviving victim of a cold-case arson experiences another attempt on her life in the new novel by the author of “Takes One to Know One”.
“Meet Me at the Lake” by Carley Fortune. A random connection sends two strangers on a daylong adventure where they make a promise one keeps and the other breaks, with life-changing effects, in this breathtaking new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of “Every Summer After”.