A life-long member of the community, John Englesby died sometime on Thursday, January 5th. He was a long-time member of the library board. I feel I should note his passing since, in a way, it changes the landscape of the community. Finding the words to describe John Englesby is difficult, but “reliable” and “dependable” immediately leap to mind. I first knew something wasn’t right when he failed to respond to an email and when he failed to show up -- without explanation or excuse-- to the first library board meeting of 2023. He also failed to show up to play piano at the Senior Center that morning which sent people to his house. Not showing up was so unlike John. He always did what he said he would do.
John was deeply rooted in the community and a life long resident of Morrisonville. He was a teacher with a Phd from UW Madison. He loved local history and did all he could to collect and preserve it. He was on the library board since 1982. He was on the library board when I was hired. He was the president of the library board for many years including the years that saw the library being built. He and I attended so many construction meetings during the project. He took meticulous notes which I’m sure are preserved somewhere in the library. John was always part of the library landscape. It is hard to believe that I won’t be seeing him walk across the library today or tomorrow or ever again.
He oversaw the preservation of the Lyster House, the Depot, and the Hansen Newell Bennett House. He was tireless in his devotion to not losing any local history. He was at the gallery and DeForest Area Historical Society office in the library at least twice a week and often more. The last time I saw John was on Tuesday, the 3rd of January as he was talking to someone at the circulation desk. The last time I saw him to talk to was at Dick Emerson's funeral on the 13th of December. With both John and Dick gone, a gigantic piece of local history is gone forever. The loss of John’s presence and memories is immeasurable. His legacy is great. He was a kind soul and a gentleman -- in every sense of the word.
Below are some of the books which recently arrived at the library.
“A Few Days Full of Trouble: Revelations on the Journey to Justice for My Cousin and Best Friends, Emmett Till” by Wheeler Parke & Christopher Benson. The last surviving eyewitness to the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till tells the story of the case that ignited the civil rights movement, as well as memories of Till as a boy and insights into the investigation.
“The Anger Toolkit: Quick Tools to Manage Intense Emotions and Keep Your Cool” by Matthew McKay. Written by a team of anger experts, The Anger Toolkit offers evidence-based anger-cooling skills, exercises, and tools drawn from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).This powerfully effective guide has everything you need to stay calm, cool, and in charge of your emotions.
“Outside Looking In: The Seriously Funny Life and Work of George Carlin” by John Corcelli. In this book, the author reveals how Carlin's mother nurtured him as a child performer, his stint in the USAF, his first act with Jack Burns, and how he was able to transition from a clean-cut performer doing the "Hippy Dippy Weatherman" into the counter-culture satirist with a ponytail.
“Emily Wilde’s Encyclopedia of Faeries: Book One of the Emily Wilde Series” by Heather Fawcett. A Cambridge professor, scholar and researcher on the study of faeries visits the hardscrabble village of Hransvik where she gets closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones and resists her insufferably handsome academic rival.
“Hell Bent, No 2 (Alex Stern)” by Leigh Bardugo. Assembling a team of dubious allies, Galaxy "Alex" Stern is determined to find a gateway to the underworld and rescue Darlington from purgatory in the second novel of the series following “Ninth House”.
“The Mitford Affair” by Marie Benedict. After her sister Diana divorces her wealthy husband to marry a fascist leader and her sister Unity follows Diana to Munich, inciting rumors that she’s become Hitler’s mistress, novelist Nancy Mitford, after uncovering disquieting documents, must make difficult choices as Great Britain goes to war with Germany
“Sleep No More, No. 1 (The Lost Night Files)" by Jayne Ann Krentz. Hoping to connect with others who had a lost night they can’t remember, Pallas, after receiving a tip on her podcast, travels to explore and abandoned asylum where she helps her mysterious tipster investigate a murder that is connected to them both.
“Just the Nicest Couple” by Mary Kubica. When her husband Jack vanishes without a trace Nina Hayes will stop at nothing to uncover the truth, which, unbeknownst to her, is inextricable linked to their close friends, who may have been the last to see Jack before he went missing.
“You Must Remember This” by Kat Rosenfield. When 85-year-old Miriam Caravasios slips through the ice to her death, Delphine, a frightened and insecure young woman who adored her grandmother, falls under scrutiny when it is revealed that Miriam’s will cut off her children, leaving her almost everything and emboldening her to find the truth.
“The Mitford Secret, No. 6 (The Mitford Murders)” by Jessica Fellowes. In 1941, when the Mitford family gathers at Chatsworth for Christmas, along with society’s most glamourous guests and Louisa Cannon, an old family friend turned private detective, a mystery unfolds after a psychic reveals a long-ago murder in this very house, prompting Louisa to solve this cold case.
“Locust Lane” by Stephen Amidon. When three teenagers – Hannah, a sweet girl with an unstable history; Jack, the popular kid with a mean streak; and Christopher – an outsider desperate to fit in – become suspects in the murder of a fellow student, their parents will do anything to protect them
“Hidden in the Pines, No. 2 (Lew Ferris Mysteries)” by Victoria Houston. Sheriff Lew Ferris knows how to land a brook trout—but can she catch a cold-blooded killer in the thrilling second installment in the Lew Ferris mysteries. The fish may be biting in McBride County—but now, Lew is on the line to uncover the long-buried secret that could ensnare a killer once and for all.