March 24, 2023 - First Day of Spring Occurred

The first day of spring occurred this past Monday, March 20th at 4:24 p.m. The vernal equinox occurred when the sun crossed the celestial equator in a northerly direction. This is good news for those of us who have been cursing Booky – our prognosticating badger—who, on Ground Hogs Day predicted winter’s end was a long, long way in the future. While it is great to have such an accurate weather forecaster residing at the library, sometimes I wish he was wrong.  I’m going to knock on wood and opine that the ten-day forecast as of this writing, looks like spring might actually be paying attention to the calendar.  Birds have continued to arrive in migratory flocks. Killdeer, grackles, robins, and cedar waxwings have all been hanging out around the bird feeders lately. Until this past weekend, I was starting to see motorcycles beginning to take to the highways. That 10-degree wind chill last weekend curtailed the start of that season!  Speaking of seasons, the summer / beach book season will soon be upon us. Indeed, one of the titles listed below has been proclaimed as “the first beach book of the season” by reviewers. Below you will find some other books that, while not necessarily beach-worthy, are still good reads. Enjoy!

New Non-Fiction

“Burn the Boats” by Matt Higgins. Executive fellow at Harvard Business School, Guest Shark on “Shark Tank”, and famed angel investor Matt Higgins reveals the counterintuitive formula for a life of perpetual growth that has been practiced for thousands of years by military leaders and serial entrepreneurs alike—forget the Plan B and burn the boats. 

“The Official Disney Parks Cookbook” by Pam Brandon. The author has worked closely with the Disney chefs to thoughtfully take the best dishes from Disney theme parks and resorts and serve up official recipes Filled with personalized notes from the chefs who created and enhanced them. This cookbook includes 101 recipes from across the years. 

“On the Curry Trail” by Raghaven Iyer. The award-winning author and instructor explores the origin of curry across the globe with 50 recipes in this illustrated cookbook about the history and lore of a globally beloved dish.​

“The Power of Wonder” by Monica Parker. This book takes readers on a multidisciplinary journey through psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, literature, and business to share some of the surprising secrets behind the mechanics of wonder and guides readers in bringing more of it into their lives. 

“Smithsonian American Table: The Foods, People, and Innovations That Feed Us” by Smithsonian Institution. This sweeping history of food and culture that brings a fresh look at the people, ingredients, events, and movements that have shaped how and what we eat in the United States. You can cook your way through American history with over 40 iconic and notable recipes. 

New Fiction

“Murder She Wrote: Death on Emerald Isle” by Jessica Fletcher. Jessica Fletcher is quick to accept an invitation to replace a speaker who couldn’t attend a Book Festival in Belfast, Ireland and then she finds herself once again in the midst of a murder investigation where she’ll have to dig into the O'Bannon family’s secrets to unmask the killer. 

“Pineapple Street” by Jenny Jackson. This funny, sharply observed, Gilded Age novel of family, crises, love, and class, this book follows three women in one wealthy Brooklyn clan. Some reviewer  have called this the “First Beach read of the season.”

“Collateral Damage” by J.A. Jance. Ali Reynolds and High Noon Enterprises face the dangerous consequences of one man’s desperate search for revenge in this page-turning thriller from the New York Times bestselling author who has been delivering must-read books for a long time. 

“Dungeons & Dragons:  Honor Among Thieves: The Road to Neverwinter” by Jaleigh Johnson. Discover the thrilling origin stories of the bard Edgin, the barbarian Holga, and their whole adventuring party in this official prequel to “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”.

“Scorched Grace” by Margot Dovaihy. Sister Holiday, a chain-smoking, heavily tattooed, queer nun, puts her amateur sleuthing skills to the test in this unique debut novel.  When Saint Sebastian’s School becomes the target of a shocking arson spree, the Sisters of the Sublime Blood and their surrounding New Orleans community are thrust into chaos. 

“A Day of Fallen Night (The Roots of Chaos)” by Samantha Shannon. In this book, the author sweeps readers back to the universe of “Priory of the Orange Tree” and into the lives of four women, showing readers the course of events that shaped their world for generations to come. 

“Everyone in My Family Has Been Killed Someone” by Benjamin Stevenson. This witty twist on classic whodunits begins with this statement “Everyone in my family has killed someone. Some of us, the high achievers, have killed more than once. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but it is the truth. Some of us are good, others are bad, and some just unfortunate”.

“The Murder Book” by Thomas Perry. When a sudden crime wave hits several small Midwestern towns, the U.S. Attorney for the region calls on Harry Duncan to investigate. An ex-cop known for his unorthodox methods, Duncan is reluctant to go up against a widespread criminal organization, but the attorney in question is Ellen Leicester, the wife who left him fifteen years earlier, and to her, he can’t say no.