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March 7, 2019 - Subtle Signs of Spring

Another week has gone past and we are still have sub-zero overnight temperatures and highs in the single digits. But that was earlier this week. Tomorrow looks like we should be climbing above freezing and should remain there for a while. Even though we have advanced to meteorological spring (that was on March 1st) we have yet to arrive in astronomical spring (that shall be on March 20th). But subtle signs of spring are beginning to appear if you look real hard. The days are most definitely longer, but in the mornings and the evenings. And even though the birds are still hanging around the bird seed feeders and suet blocks there seem to be more of them. Some song birds that haven't wintered over are beginning to stage north. The cardinal population has doubled around my house and there are a few more juncos hanging around too. The chickdees have started singing their "phoebe" song instead of just chip notes and warning calls. Mourning doves have started to appear. They are one of those birds you don't notice have been gone until you see them again. And cranes. Did I mention that sandhill cranes have been spotted in Dane County about 10 days ago?Well, they have been. Bunnies are out scrounging -- indeed some have climbed the rather high snow banks by my driveway to eat berries off a tree (sure it's a small tree but still, an unusual food source for rabbit. Squirrels are out and about. Everything seems to be stretching a bit and blinking in the sunlight (if there is any sunlight) and thinking that this long winter may, indeed, come to an end. In the meantime, there are plenty of new books to read. Below are some of the titles that have recently arrived at the library. Enjoy!

“Devices and Desires: Bess of Hardwick and the Building of Elizabethan England” by Kate Hubbard. The critically acclaimed author of Serving Victoria illuminates the life of the little-known Bess of Hardwick—next to Queen Elizabeth I, the richest and most powerful woman in 16th-century England.

 

“From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America” by Howard Schultz. The founder of Starbucks shares his dramatic, untold personal story—from his childhood in Brooklyn’s housing projects to his rise as a business icon—and lays out his vision for how companies can improve their social impact.

 

“How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency” by Akiko Busch. The author of Nine Ways to Cross a River explores the idea of invisibility in nature, art and science as part of the search for a more joyful and peaceful way of life in today's increasingly surveilled and publicity-obsessed world.

 

“Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances That Flow Through Our Lives” by Mark Miodownik. The New York Times best-selling author of Stuff Matters shows readers the secret lives of liquids: the shadow counterpart of our solid “stuff.”

 

“31-Day Food Revolution: Heal Your Body, Feel Great, and Transform Your World” by Ocean Robbins. A one-month plan for transitioning to a healthy, ethical and sustainable diet reveals food-industry secrets that contribute to illness, outlining strategies for implementing more satisfying, sugar-free nutrition from plant-based sources.

 

“Cultured: How Ancient Foods Can Feed Our Microbiome” by Katherine Harmon Courage. The science journalist author of “Octopus!” draws on ancient food traditions and the latest research on healthy gut maintenance to explain the role of the microbiome and how to adapt a diet to promote optimal microbiome balance. Illustrations.

“The Psychology of Time Travel” by Kate Mascarenhas. The granddaughter of a noted time-travel scientist is alarmed when she receives a mysterious newspaper clipping from the future reporting the murder of a woman who just may be her.

 

“The Ruin of Kings, No.1 (Chorus of Dragons)” by Jenn Lyons. Raised on storybook tales of royal adventure, Kihrin discovers his identity as the illegitimate son of a treasonous prince and is rendered a pawn in the royal family's power schemes before embracing his anti-hero destiny.

 

“Moon Sister, No. 5 (Seven Sisters)” by Lucinda Riley. A wildlife expert's job on an isolated Scottish estate leads to the discovery of how her past was shaped by a flamenco dancer's impossible choice during the Spanish Civil War. By the author of “The Orchid House”.

 

“The Study of Animal Languages” by Lindsay Stern. A logic-driven professor of philosophy is forced by a series of crises to confront a growing estrangement in his marriage to his free-spirited, passionate bio-linguistics pioneer wife.

 

“Irish Above All” by Mary Pat Kelly. When she captures the moment an assassin's bullet narrowly misses President-elect Franklin Roosevelt, an Irish-American photographer enters a world of international intrigue and danger involving larger-than-life historical figures. By the best-selling author of “Galway Bay”.

 

“The Chef” by James Patterson with Max DiLallo. Accused of committing murder in the line of duty, detective Caleb Rooney of the New Orleans PD uses the contacts from his moonlighting job as a celebrity food-truck chef to counter a terrorist plot. Co-written by a #1 best-selling author.

 

“Chocolate Cream Pie Murder, No.24 (Hannah Swensen)” by Joanne Fluke. The filming of a television special at brokenhearted Hannah Swensen's bakery is complicated by her shifty ex, an intrusive gang of bodyguards and an untimely murder that compels her alliance with an old flame.