March 4, 2022 - Harbingers of Spring

This past weekend, I made a very quick trip out to Kearney, Nebraska to see the start of the sandhill crane migration. Long-time readers of this column know that this is an annual pilgrimage for me. At least it was until 2019 when a blizzard intervened, and then there was 2020, and then there was 2021. Those two pandemic years didn't keep the cranes from migrating (I saw thousands of cranes standing on the sandbars of the Platte River on a live-streaming webcam.) they just kept me from joining up with the flack. Ah, but this year! The weather and the downturn in Covid cases put me on the road. On Valentine's Day a survey of the area had over 27,500 cranes in the area. By the time I got there on Friday, late afternoon, there were maybe four times as many. I also go before the tourist season really starts so the cranes hang out, gleaning the cornfields, very close to the road. A huge flock grabbed air and launched into the sky so close to my car that I could hear the wind through their wings. This awesome sight is a rite of spring for me. Not only are there cranes, meadowlarks are around singing and huge, migratory flocks of red-winged black birds dot the landscape. Spring is definitely right around the corner -- or about 600 miles due west of here. Below you will find some of the new spring titles which recently arrived at the library. Enjoy! and keep your eyes and ears tuned for the arrival of our avian harbingers of spring!

Funny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals by Laurie Zaleski. An inspiring and moving memoir of the author's turbulent life with 600 rescue animals.

 

Drop Acid: The Surprising New Science of Uric Acid – the Key to Losing Weight, Controlling Blood Sugar, and Achieving Extraordinary Health by David Perlmutter. A neurologist and the “New York Times” best-selling author of Grain Brain reveals the hidden, deadly risk posed by high uric acid levels and provides a 21-day program with 35 delicious recipes to reduce your levels.

 

Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas by Jennifer Raff. In this study of both past and present, a celebrated anthropologist tells the story of who the first peoples in America were based on their complete genomes, providing a glimpse into how the tools of genetics reveal details about human history and evolution.

 

When a Killer Calls: A Haunting Story of Murder, Criminal Profiling, and Justice in a Small Town (Cases of the FBI’s Original Mindhunter) by John E. Douglas. From the legendary FBI criminal profiler, #1 New York Times best-selling author and inspiration for the Netflix show “Mindhunter” comes a chilling journey inside the mind and crimes of Larry Gene Bell, one of the most dangerous serial killers Douglas confronted, and the desperate effort to identify.

 

The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka. When a crack appears in the pool, a fellowship of swimmers who take comfort in their laps are cast out, including Alice, who, slowly losing her memory, is reunited too late with her estranged daughter, in this intimate story of mothers and daughters, and the sorrows of implacable loss.

 

Circus of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal. Sold as a human wonder to the ringmaster of a traveling Victorian circus in 1860s London, a young woman becomes a international superstar, in the new novel from the author of The Doll Factory.

 

Think of Me by Frances Liardet. In 1974, 10 years after his wife’s death, James, needing a change of scenery, moves into a new house in the beautiful English village of Upton where the discovery of scarf is the catalyst for unlocking new revelations about his past, which gives him purpose and a second chance at love.

 

Caramel Pecan Roll Murder, No. 25 (Hannah Swenson Mystery) by Joanne Fluke. Baker Hannah Swensen agrees to help bake pastries at a local inn during a flashy fishing competition but investigates when the event's celebrity spokesperson is found dead, in the latest addition to the series following Chocolate Cream Pie Murder.

 

Diablo Mesa by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Responding to the promise of a hefty donation from a wealthy, eccentric billionaire with space travel ambitions, the Santa Fe Archaeological Institute excavates the site of the 1947 Roswell incident and immediately uncovers two unknown murder victims.

 

Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘em Dead: A Mystery by Elle Cosimano. Struggling novelist and single mom Finlay Donovan uncovers a world of Russian mobsters and assassins disguised as soccer moms, in an effort to keep her ex-husband safe in the follow-up to Finlay Donovan is Killing It.

 

A Game of Fear, No. 14 (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) by Charles Todd. Inspector Ian Rutledge investigates when the lady at a grand manor claims she witnessed a violent murder, but no blood or body can be found, in the latest installment of the best-selling series following A Fatal Lie.

 

Jane and the Year Without a Summer, No. 14 (Jane Austen Mysteries) by Stephanie Barron. Seeking out the curative waters at Cheltenham Spa in 1816, Jane Austen discovers that the other parties staying at the seaside guest house have murderous tendencies, in the latest addition to the series following Jane and the Waterloo Map.

 

City of the Dead, No. 37 (Alex Delaware) by Jonathan Kellerman. Court-consulting child psychologist Alex Delaware and homicide detective Milo Sturgis unravel a baffling mystery after a naked corpse in the street leads to the discovery of another murder, in the latest novel of the long-running series following Serpentine.