January 27, 2023 - Craniac

A couple of weekends ago, during the time when we were still basking in the warmth of a January thaw that seemed like it would last the entire month, my friend and I headed south in search of sandhill cranes. Those of you who know me or are regular readers of this column know that I am what some refer to as a “craniac”. I really love cranes. I love seeing them. I love hearing them calling across the skies and marshes and cornfields. I love watching them dance in their excitement of being around other cranes with a joie de vivre I envy. Are you getting the feeling that I like cranes a whole lot? I like them so much that I want to see them every month of the year. Cranes are hanging out in this part of Wisconsin much longer than they used to and returning sooner too. I had November cranes this year. I had December cranes this year. But the cranes left during that second week of December which means a road trip for me and my fellow craniac. The Jasper Pulaski Wildlife Area near Kouts, Indiana is a staging area for sandhill cranes before they head further south. So off we went. The area where the cranes can usually be found has been taken over by two large solar farms. While there’s still grass to be found between the solar panels, there’s no corn to be gleaned. So we had to drive around looking for cranes a long time without seeing any. Suddenly, there were two in the air and five on the ground (I have pictures!) so we knew they had to be somewhere. Then I remembered that the year Covid struck my fellow craniac and I were on our way to Nashville to the Public Library Association Conference and had swung by this area to see if we could find our January cranes. We didn’t see any at the refuge area, but there were a few thousand cranes as we headed west towards I-65. We tried that and there they were. A few thousand cranes – dancing, calling, feeding on corn fields in the sunshine on snowless fields. Another successful January crane quest!

If you’re searching for some new books, caste your eyes further down the page. Below are some of the new titles which recently arrived at the library. Enjoy!

New Non-Fiction

“The Galveston Diet” The Doctor-developed, Patient-proved, Plan to Burn Fat and Tame Your Hormonal Symptoms” by Mary Claire Haver. Providing 40 delicious recipes, six weeks of easy-to-follow meal plans, shopping lists and success stories, a practicing OB/GYN offers a unique plan that will help women in midlife lose weight permanently while enjoying newfound energy, better sleep, less brain fog and fewer hot flashes.

“Flora MacDonald: Pretty Young Rebel: Her Life and Story” by Flora Fraser. The story of the young Scotswoman whose decision to help “Bonnie” Prince Charlie, the Stuart claimant to the British throne, evade capture and flee the country, inspiring countless novels, poems and songs.

“The Matter of Everything: How Curiosity, Physics, and Improbable Experiments Changed the World” by Suzie Sheehy. Celebrating human ingenuity, creativity and curiosity, an accelerator physicist introduces us to the people who, through a combination of genius, persistence and luck, staged the experiments that changed the course of history, giving rise to the technology that ushered us into the modern world.

“What’s Gotten Into You: The Story of Your Body’s Atoms, from the Big Bang Through Last Night’s Dinner” by Dan Levitt. Tells the awe-inspiring story of the elements that make up the human body, and how these building blocks of life travelled billions of miles and across billions of years to make us who we are.

New Fiction

“How to Sell a Haunted House” by Grady Hendrix. Forced to return to the small Southern town where she grew up to sell her late parents’ house, Louise discovers that her and her brother’s old grudges pale in comparison to the terror that still lurks within its walls.

“The Cabinet of Dr. Leng (Agent Pendergast)” by Douglas Preston & Lee Child. As Constance finds her way back to New York City in the late 1800s to prevent the death of her siblings and stop serial killer, Dr. Enoch Leng, FBI Special Agent Pendergast desperately tries to find a way to reunite with her before it’s too late.

“The Devil’s Ransom (Pike Logan)” by Brad Taylor. When his covert company, along with every other entity in the Taskforce, is hit with a ransomware attack linked to the Taliban, Pike must stop a plot to alter the balance of power on the global stage orchestrated by a former NSA specialist in the U.S. government.

“Don’t Open the Door, No. 2 (Regan Merritt)” by Allison Brennan. Quitting her job and moving in the wake of the shocking murder of her son, Marshal Regan Merritt returns to Virginia to look into her former boss's death in the second novel of the series following “The Sorority Murder”.

“The House at the end of the World” by Dean Koontz. Alone on Jacob’s Ladder Island until two agents arrive in search of someone – or something – they refuse to identify, artist Katie, along with a brave young girl, finds herself in an epic and terrifying battle with a mysterious enemy that could bring about the end of the world

“The Skeleton Key” by Erin Kelly. Nell, driven into seclusion by her father’s obsessed fans, returns home to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her father’s book “The Golden Bones,” which is being reissued along with a documentary crew to film what happens after he finally reveals the location of the last hidden bone.