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January 10, 2019 - Craniac

This past weekend, the first weekend in January, a friend of mine -- who is also a craniac like me—and I went on a mini road trip to northern Indiana to see if we could find some sandhill cranes to make our monthly quota of seeing cranes. The Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area near Wheatfield, Indiana is a staging area for Midwest sandhill cranes. They take a break here and refuel on the cornfields before heading further south for the rest of the winter. The Indiana DNR gives crane counts during the peak of the migration season – October through December. The last count on December 18th had a count of 2,578. The odds seemed pretty good, based on the mild weather and lack of snows in that area that some cranes would still be hanging around. And, indeed there were. Not thousands, but hundreds of cranes were loafing and dancing and feeding on cornfields; there wasn’t a trace of snow to be seen. In fact, the snow cover had pretty much disappeared by Beloit. It was warm – 54 degrees. You could smell the earth. There were people riding motorcycles. It felt like spring was just around the corner. The ten-day forecast has the temperature return to more normal highs and lows, but it sure was nice to have a little break with some fine looking sandhill cranes at the beginning of January. As we all know, there is still plenty of winter-like weather ahead of us which shall provide opportunities to read and to use the books you read to participate in the Winter Reading Program. Below are some recent additions to the library’s collection. Enjoy!

“Bringing Down the Colonel: A Sex Scandal of the Gilded Age, and the “Powerless” Woman Who Took on Washington” by Patricia Miller. A journalist tells the story of Madeline Pollard, an unlikely 19th-century women’s rights crusader who brought the man who “ruined” her, and the hypocrisy of America’s control of women’s sexuality, to trial—and won.


“Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants” by H.W. Brands. The Pulitzer Prize-nominated historian and author of The General vs. the President chronicles the efforts of three second-generation political giants who at the beginning of the 19th century battled to complete the unfinished initiatives of the Founding Fathers.


“All That Heaven Allows: A Biography of Rock Hudson” by Mark Griffin. Offers a biography of a deeply complex and widely misunderstood matinee idol of Hollywood’s Golden Age.


“Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages” by Gaston Dorren. The celebrated author of Lingo presents a whistle-stop tour of the world's 20 most-spoken languages, exploring the history, geography, linguistics and cultures that have been shaped by languages and their customs.


Calm the F*ck Down: How to Control What You Can and Accept What You Can’t So You Can Stop Freaking Out and Get on With Your Life” by Sarah Knight. The best-selling author of Get Your Sh*t Together outlines a customizable "emotional insurance" plan for navigating life's inevitable setbacks, sharing warm and irreverent advice for calming anxiety and moving forward.


“Feel Better Fast and Make It Last: Unlock Your Brain’s Healing Potential to Overcome Negativity, Anxiety, Anger, Stress, and Trauma” by Daniel Amen. A psychiatrist, physician and New York Times best-selling author offers innovative, brain-based techniques and strategies to help readers feel happier, more positive and more resilient fast and make it last without turning to self-medicating behaviors.

“After the Peace, No.2 (Spoils of War)” by Fay Weldon. A loving couple, their interfering neighbor and a turkey baster launch the existence of the Honourable Michaela Dilberne, whose resulting life is shaped by her three unconventional parents and over-attentive husband. By the award-winning author of “Before the War”.


“Beauchamp Hall” by Danielle Steel. Seeking solace from her unfulfilled dreams in a beloved British television series, Winnie impulsively departs for England in the aftermath of two losses and rediscovers herself amid the dramas and personalities of the show's production set. By a best-selling author.


“Of Blood and Bone, No.3 (Chronicles of The One)” by Nora Roberts. Knowing she will have to reveal her identity as The One, Fallon Swift trains under a centuries-old mentor to hone her magical and fighting abilities to defend their world from violent raiders. By the best-selling author of “Year One”.


“The Songbird” by Marcia Willett. Taking a sabbatical in an English countryside cottage to make a difficult decision about the woman he loves, Tim forges bonds with eccentric but loving locals who harbor their own private struggles. By the author of “The Sea Garden”.


“Once Upon a River” by Diane Setterfield. When the seemingly dead body of a child reanimates hours after arriving at an ancient inn on the Thames, three families try to claim her in the new novel from the best-selling author of “The Thirteenth Tale”.


“Batter Off Dead, No.2 (Southern Cake Baker)” by Maymee Bell. Investing her last resources to cater a community charity event in the hopes of raising her bakery's profile, pastry chef Sophia Cummings scrambles to catch a killer when a wealthy benefactor is murdered at the heights of the festivities.


“For the Sake of the Game: Stories Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon” by Laurie King & Leslie Klinger, eds. A follow-up to Echoes of Sherlock Holmes and In the Company of Sherlock Holmes features stories inspired by the Arthur Conan Doyle canon and includes contributions by such authors as Peter S. Beagle, Gregg Hurwitz and F. Paul Wilson.