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May 16, 2019 - A Universe of Stories

If today is May 16th (which I have it on the best authority that it is), then can the start of the Summer Reading Program be far away? The answer to this rhetorical question is a resounding, "no". The Summer Reading program begins this week, in two days -- just 48 hours from now-- on Saturday, May 18th. The Summer Reading theme is "A Universe of Stories" which we shall be interpreting as exploring various universes including space ("The Final Frontier" -- intentional homage to "Star Trek" TOS). To launch this theme on Saturday, there will be a program at 1p.m. featuring a local student, Payton Kelly-Van Domelen who, at the age of 13 in 2017 won the UW Madison Chemistry Department’s Wisconsin Crystal Growing Contest and she prepared her experiment for research on the International Space Station, handed it over to NASA, watched the rocket launch at the Kennedy Space Center, and Skyped with the astronauts about her experiment. This summer, we will be offering an entire space academy of programs, challenges, and opportunities to read and learn. The details will be available on our website and in a hard copy "syllabus". This summer we are also launching a new app to more easily keep track of what you read and to challenge you and the entire community to reach some rather stellar goals. To speed (dare I say, "warp speed") you on your way, there are some new titles listed below for you to peruse. Enjoy!

“African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan” by Thomas Lockley & Geoffrey Girard. Traces the remarkable life story of history's first foreign-born samurai, detailing his near-mythical journey from a boy soldier in late-16th-century Northern Africa to the heights of Japanese society, where his presence triggered cultural riots.


“American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race” by Douglas Brinkley. The historian author of Cronkite draws on new primary source material and firsthand interviews in a reassessment of the space program that examines the political, cultural and scientific factors that launched NASA and the space race.


“D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II” by Sarah Rose. The award-winning author of For All the Tea in China documents the lesser-known story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain's elite spy agency to sabotage the Nazis and help pave the way for Allied victory during World War II.


“The Global Age: Europe 1950-2017 (Penguin History of Europe)” by Ian Kershaw. A concluding chapter in the series that includes To Hell and Back traces the latter half of the 20th century to the present and includes coverage of the impact of nuclear threat, accelerating globalization and the post-2008 financial crises.


“Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The NAACP Image Award-winning creator of The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross chronicles America's post-Civil War struggle for racial equality and the violent counterrevolution that re-subjugated black Americans throughout the 20th century.


Ungovernable: The Victorian Parent’s Guide to Raising Flawless Children” by Therese Oneill. The best-selling author of Unmentionable presents an uproarious illustrated guide to Victorian child-rearing that includes such advice as how much lager to consume while pregnant and which toys are most likely to render children sexual deviants.

“The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted” by Robert Hillman. A novel about love, family, and forgiveness in 1960s Australia, in which a lonely farmer finds his world turned upside down by a vibrant woman determined to open the first bookstore his town has ever seen--and to leave her haunting memories of the Holocaust far behind.


“The 18th Abduction, No.18 (Women’s Murder Club)” by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro. Detective Lindsay Boxer teams up with intrepid journalist Cindy Thomas to investigate the disappearance of three schoolteachers amid rumors of a notorious Eastern European war criminal spotted on the streets of San Francisco. 400,000 first printing.


“Bitter Brew, No. 24 (Savannah Reid Mysteries)” by G.A. Mckevett. P.I. Savanna Reid and the Moonlight Magnolia Detective Agency launch a discreet investigation into the apparent assisted suicide of Dr. Jennifer Liu’s friend, Brianna, until a second body is discovered with the same unique mixture, forcing them to expose a poisonous killer.


“The Department of Sensitive Crimes, No. 1 (Detective Varg)” by Alexander Smith McCall. Tasked with their Swedish Police Department's most unusual cases, lead detective Ulf Varg and his colorful associates investigate a bizarre stabbing, a lost imaginary boyfriend and a haunted spa. By the author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.


“Lights! Camera! Puzzles! (Puzzle Ladies Mysteries)” by Parnell Hall. When her ex's sensational tell-all about their lives is optioned for a movie, Puzzle Lady Cora Felton reluctantly accepts a producer role's in the much-despised production before a body is found on set, staged with a crossword puzzle clue.


“The Loch Ness Papers, No. 4 (Scottish Bookshop Mysteries)” by Paige Shelton. Scrambling to find a last-minute pastor for her wedding, bookseller Delaney Nichols befriends an elderly Loch Ness monster enthusiast whose influence she staunchly defends and investigates when he is wrongly accused of murdering his own nephew.


“Miss Julia Takes the Wheel, No. 22 (Miss Julia)” by Ann B. Ross. Miss Julia's efforts to understand mysteries surrounding an unscrupulous new doctor and his painfully shy wife are complicated by Lloyd's first car and a newly divorced LuAnne's makeover in accordance with a new funeral home job.