Older Staff Picks

Darkwater  by Catherine Fisher, 2012

Sarah Trevelyan, reduced to poverty by her grandfather’s foolish bet years before, cares for her father.  Pride and anger control them both as they share a home with a local tenant of Darkwater Hall. A trade for Sarah’s soul would let her father die in comfort; let her live in the family home again; wealth and respect could be theirs.  The apparent cost for these worldly pleasures is the soul she foolishly signs away.  But, 100 years of living gives her many chances to learn new things.  Will she learn enough to teach another desperate soul the true price of one’s soul? 

YA fiction recommended for adults by Hollis, Director 

 

FitzOsbornes series for YA by Michelle Cooper

A Brief History or Montmaray is the first in a trilogy about this tiny (fictional) country set off the shores of England. A vibrant family of young people, orphaned, but highly resilient.  The eldest is the King of Montmaray, and the princesses are his sisters. They have a challenging but fulfilling life until the Germans come to find hidden treasures!   The second of the FitzOsbornes' stories, The FitzOsbornes in Exile continues the royal family’s adventures as they seek asylum in England with an elderly aunt. The concluding adventures of the family are found in The FitzOsbornes at War.  Pluck and gumption can only carry one so far—and then bravery and fortitude must be used.  A great trilogy; well written and thoroughly enjoyable!  They are found in the Young Adult section of the library, but are just fine for adults who like history without the dust.  Recommended by Hollis, Director

 

11th Hour    James Patterson and  Maxine Paetro   2012

In James Patterson's latest book in the Women's Murder Club series, 11th Hour, the detectives and other police personnel, must deal with two murders - one involving a police officer as the suspect. The other murder is actually several that were unearthed in the back yard of a reclusive author. Always interesting reading, along with keeping up with the personal lives of the women who make up this club. For those who enjoy mysteries with women as the main characters, this series of books is recommended reading.

Kris F;  Children's Librarian

 

The Professionals by Owen Laukkenen 2012

The barest description of the plot is this: Four friends, recent college graduates, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it's no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise--quick, efficient, low risk--works like a charm.   This is his first book and it is well written! 

Recommended by Kris F; Children’s Librarian

 

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter  2012

Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive scientist in Madison when she find a curious gadget: a box containing some rudimentary wiring, a three-way switch, and a potato. It will change the way humankind views the world forever.  Welcome to the long earth…and to the silence. Philosophical and quirky, we are led far from home in this odd science fiction novel.

Recommended by Hollis, the Director

 

 

The Invisible Ones by Stef Penney 2012

A character-driven mystery set in the world of the British Romani. This fascinating novel provides insight into how cultures cross paths without really interacting--and a great who-did-what story.

The Lord God Bird : A Novel by Tom Gallant. 2012 

On the surface this is an oddly personal book about a widower who sees the Ivory Billed Woodpecker in the Arkansas woods. It is also about time, change, love, and growing into nature. Interesting and quietly thoughtful.

Recommended by Hollis --Director
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All About Emily by Connie Willis 2012
Who is Emily’s original idol? Eve Harrington. . . If you recognize that name, you have a good idea where this novel will go.However, Emily’s dream to dance is no threat to Claire’s dramatic career, but it is to those who created Emily.
Connie Willis is one of my favorite authors, and this book shows why: All About Emily gives us a reason to cheer our threats and to support the under-cutters, and to realize why we need to rise above ourselves. Or, in the case of Claire Havilland—the aging theater “legend”—to sink below herself to help all future “Emily’s.” A short 96 pages packed with reading delight.
Recommended by Hollis --Director
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The Rook: a novel by Daniel O'Malley 2012
Myfanwy Thomas has lost her mind—quite literally—and is now back at work as the Rook. Actually, she is only one of the rooks who work for the Checquy in England, and now must follow the directions given in various letters from the former Myfanwy Thomas. A delight to read, and a wonderfully innovative approach to spy novels, The Rook includes very undercover adventures, some delightful gender inversions, and a dose of garish science fiction. Exciting, silly, fun, and realistic. Sounds like a mess, but it works ever so well!
Recommended by Hollis –Director
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Farewell Miss Zukas by Jo Dereske 2011

The last in a series about a librarian, who helps the local police solve murder cases. Helma Zukas comes from a rich Lithuanian background that seeps into the tales along with her precise personality. She becomes entangled in murder mysteries without trying and throughout the series also becomes entangled with the chief of police, Wayne Gallant. With help from her artist best friend Ruth, Helma follows leads that the cops have overlooked, inevitably finding the solution. Helma’s actions reveal an orderly life, and a knowledgeable and honest character. She is respected by both her co-workers and library patrons. Although she never touches animals and rarely speaks to them, she has adopted a stray cat that tolerates her about as willingly as she does him. This final installment involves the theft of personal items from Helma’s mother and aunt who share an apartment. The thief ends up dead but Aunt Em’s failing memory cannot dredge up how it happened. I am fond of Miss Zukas and will miss her. If you want to start at the beginning, look for Miss Zukas and the Library Murders (1994).

Recommended by Jane--Cataloging
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Ragnarök : The End of the Gods by A. S. Byatt 2011
 
I was hooked when I read the first sentence: “There was a thin child, who was three years old when the world war began.” Byatt’s delicate writing takes us through the tale of Ragnarok—the Nordic myth of the complete, final destruction of the world—as a girl grows up in the country side as an evacuee during World War II. A desperate tale of the inevitable and the parallel story of a life that can change are wound together in this beautiful telling of Loki’s willful destruction of all and a child’s growth into adulthood.
Reviewed by Hollis--Director
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I recently downloaded the ebook version of Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman (available in print through MORE). Deborah was raised by her Jewish grandparents after her mother left the Hasidic faith, and her father was unable to care for her. You will recognize this group by the men who wear the long beards and black top hats and are often seen at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. The book tells of the many rules that this faith requires of their members. At a young age she discovered she loved to read, and since no one else in her Hasidic group would be found going to the library, she felt free to go, to read, and sometimes check out books, which she hid in her bed.
She was married off to a young man she did not know when she was just 18. Women of the faith are not allowed to drive except in an emergency and are expected to stay at home to raise their large families. The Rabbi who oversaw their temple also required them to shave their heads in addition to wearing the wigs each woman must wear. She soon realized she could no longer live this life with all its restrictions. Deborah wanted to attend college and have a life much different for her son. They first moved to a small city north of New York City which gave her greater freedoms, then she began to attend college – even daring to wear jeans to her classes. When she walked on campus the first time, she saw the library which had been built by money donated by Barbara Walters. Deborah asked who Barbara Walters is. She decided that if someone like her could buck the system to be a reporter and news anchor, she too could dream her dreams.
Kris Farley--Circulation
This is a very enjoyable, well-researched book that profiles men who ran for President of the United States but lost. Some of these almost-presidents went on to have a greater impact on their party and the country than the candidate who defeated them for the office of President. In some cases the losers’ ideas were ahead of their times, and have since become the accepted norm. Men profiled include Henry Clay, Stephen Douglas, and Al Smith, along with the lesser known men such as Alton B. Parker and James G. Blaine. A good read for anyone.
Recommended by Kayleen--Circulation

 

Although much has been written in recent years about Warren Jeffs and the group of polygamists he has led (FLDS), a new book by Sam Brower - Prophet's Prey - really opens one’s eyes to the group, their history, and the horrors that have gone on in this group for nearly 100 years. Sam Brower is a private investigator who was hired by a member of the group who was being kickedout their home in Short Creek, in SE Utah. Though Sam had some knowledge about the history of the group going back to his own grandfather, he himself a Mormon, had never been a part of this group personally. He tells how this group became established in Salt Lake City and then moved the entire group to SE Utah. He helps the reader learn the truth: the rape and marriages of very young girls to older men, young boys thrown out of town on their own so they would not challenge the older men to wives, the poverty that most live in while the leaders live behind a walled compound and live on the millions the group has, and the total control Warren Jeffs had over every single member. This is a must read for those who wish to understand - if one can - this very strange group and the depravity of their leaders.
Kris - Circ desk

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Flash and Bones by Kathy Reich 2011
Flash and Bones by Kathy Reich is one of the her latest books. Fans of the show "Bones," which is based on Kathy's books, will enjoy this latest mystery. The story centers on Race Week at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and the bones of two bodies are discovered in the area. Twelve years earlier a local high school girl and her racing boyfriend disappeared; very little was done to find them. Now, Temperance Brennan wonders if these could be the bodies of those missing two. An employee of the CDC goes missing and Temperance wonders if his disappearance could be connected to the earlier two. Kathy's stories are always intriguing and keep you guessing until the end.
Kris - Circ desk
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The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby 1997

This is an extraordinary book of essays written by the editor-in-chief of the French edition of Elle magazine. Written 14 years ago, it remains powerful and poignant. Reading how Bauby lives within his non-functioning body, and how he thus perceives the world, is both fascinating and humbling. Living a life that was full and busy, with children he loves, and dreams to fulfill, Bauby suffered a severe stroke and became almost 100% paralyzed. His method of dictating this work is certainly part of the exceptional nature of the work. His ability to remain so mentally capable is, however, the greater part of this exceptional book.

Recommended by Hollis –Director

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Night Sisters by Sara Rath 2008

Nell Grendon finds her way to Spiritualism as part of her work. Writing articles about interesting areas of Wisconsin leads her to Wocanaga Spiritualist Camp, the elderly medium Grace Waverly, and the ghost of a schoolmate. (The Wocanaga camp is based on a real Spiritualist camp in Wonewoc, in Sauk County). As a skeptic, Nell never expects to channel a spirit—nor to solve a mysterious death through her spiritualist skills. The novel shows us Nell’s life from childhood until her mid-fifties, drawing a complex set of relationships with lifelong friends and the unexpected upsets that guide her decisions and actions. An interesting life presented with realistic flaws and strengths makes Night Sisters a book about living, rather than about the lingering dead.  

Recommended by Hollis –Director

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Chalice of Blood by Peter Tremayne, 2011

In Peter Tremayne's latest book, Chalice of Blood : a Mystery of Ancient Ireland, Sister Fidelma and her husband/associate Eaudulf, once again work to solve a murder mystery. This case is more difficult due to various Brothers who do not respect Fidelma's authority as a lawyer and as the sister of the King. The leader of this religious group believes in the new way of thinking out of Rome, where celebacy is valued more and therefore priests should not marry. The victim of the murder was a young man who was once a strong believer in God, and then after spending time in the Holy Land and reading the teachings by a man named Celcus, he questions his beliefs upon his return home. In the end, the murder is solved and a surprise suspect is discovered. Peter's books are always well researched into the history of Celtic Ireland, and make for an interesting back drop to the story. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Kris - Circ Desk

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Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warwaw Ghetto by Susan Goldman Rubin ; illustrated by Bill Farnsworth 2011

I recently received an email about a Polish woman who helped approximately1500 children survive the Holocaust. She was a social worker during WW2. So I decided to look up any materials I could find about her life. It turns out we have a book in our library about her. In the children's book Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto you will learn a bit about this amazing woman. She kept a secret list of the real names of the children and their parents so they could perhaps be reunited after the war. Many were, although others were raised by the foster families who took them in during the war. She was saved from a firing squad by a German officer who worked to save people during the war as well, and was able to be sent off to a safe location until the war was over. Irena just died in 2008 @ the age of 98. Hallmark Movies made a movie about her life in the past year or so, and PBS recently made a documentary about her. I hope you will look up these items to check out and discover more about this heroic woman.

Thanks Nancy for purchasing this book for all to enjoy!

Kris- Circ

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Unmeasured Strength by Lauren Manning 2011

Unmeasured Strength, an autobiography by Lauren Manning, is her story about surviving the attacks of September 11, 2001. She was given an 18% chance of survival after being burned when flames exploded through the elevator shaft into the lobby of the World Trade Center where she was standing that morning. Months of hospitalization, years of recovery, and numerous surgeries changed, not only her appearance, but transformed her way of thinking about disabilities, allowing her to embrace life in an entirely new way.

Recommended by Betty--Processing

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The Postmortal: a Novel by Drew Magary 2011

What happens when old age is genetically eliminated? Can the human ego resist the desire to be eternally young? Does poor health become a worry of the past, or a condition to be actively sought? In The Postmortal Drew Magary provides a view of a future where humanity reveals its worst and best sides as the earth is literally overrun with the ageless individuals who have had the Cure. And those who refused the temptation—they have agendas of their own. . . There is nothing pretty in this view of the future, but there is love and the possibility of redemption. An honest and disturbing vision of how people act when promised more than they really need.

Recommended by Hollis H. Director

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The Wilder Life : My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure 2011 

Despite the fact that my mother grew up just north of DeSmet, South Dakota, I did not grow up reading the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. That came much later when my own children were growing up and I came to know that Laura and her family eventually moved to DeSmet - the end of their travels as a family. It was while attending a family funeral, that I took the guided tour, which then included the Homestead site - which I guess is now quite a tourist location, the family graves, the Surveyors home they lived in one winter, and the home that Ma and Pa built and lived in until their deaths. Author Wendy McClure also developed a love for all things Little House. In her book The Wilder Life : My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure, she begins travelling to each location mentioned in the books to see how much of the stories are true, and to see what remains of those homes. She was actually quite pleased to see that the sod house on Plum Creek was the least changed. Not all the stories Laura shares in her books are apparently completely true, but Wendy loved the adventure of learning more about Laura and her family including her daughter Rose and the home Laura lived in most of her life near Branson Missouri. If you have enjoyed the Little House books, you too might enjoy traveling the roads with Wendy.

Recommended by Kris--Circulation

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Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller 2010

A group of Christians from Germany called the Community of True Inspiration built the seven self-contained Amana colonies in Iowa in the mid-1800’s in order to pursue their belief that God communicated through inspired individuals, just as he did in the days of the prophets. This is a novel that takes place in the Amana villages in 1877.

Johanna Ilg is a young woman who grew up in Main Amana and is content with her life there. However, she has a desire to see the outside world, especially Chicago, where her brother now lives with his wife. Her parents seem unusually fearful that if she leaves she will never come back. Her father, in charge of the livery, has hired a new man from one of the other villages. Carl seems interested in Johanna, despite the Amanian practice of not encouraging marriage. Johanna must ultimately choose between her heritage and the outside world. And between marriage and singleness.

Meanwhile, Johanna is put in charge of a new member of Amana, a girl who knows nothing about this way of life, or about self-discipline. Berta Schumacher grew up in Chicago and has had everything she’s ever wanted in her 16 years of life. When her family travels to Iowa, she has no idea that her parents plan to make Amana their home. She rebels at every opportunity, jeopardizing her job in the kitchen, and eventually causing one man to lose his job and a young friend to be badly injured. Her choice becomes asking for forgiveness and staying in Amana, or going to a boarding school in Ohio.

Recommended by Jane--Cataloging

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My Life, Deleted is written by Scott and Joan Bolzan. Scott had been a successful business man. One day, early in his work day, he walked into a bathroom and fell hitting head when he stepped on something slippery. Immediately his memory was gone. He obviously suffered head injuries although nothing showed up on MRI's to show why he had lost his memory. Eventually, he was finally given a SPECT test which showed there was no or little blood flow to the frontal part of his brain. He had no memory of his family, friends, what he did for a living, or even what words meant. The last 3 years, since his fall, have been a time of building a new life of memories. He has had brief glimpses of his childhood past, but most memories have remained lost, and that is the word he uses to describe how he felt - lost. It is really an interesting story, one you won't put down until you are done.

Kris--Circulation and Magazines

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I just finished reading Mighty Be Our Powers, by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Leymah Gbowee. This is the heartbreaking, uplifting auto-biography of a Liberian woman who suffered unimaginable horrors of war, only to lift up, not only herself, but the women in her country. Her inspiration allowed women to find their voice and, through their culture, put an end to years of war. This is an important book for everyone who cares about a peaceful future, and especially for those who would thwart those efforts.

Recommended by Betty-Processing

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Breaking Stalin’s Nose, by Eugene Yelchin, is a children’s book set in the past but the main issue in it transcends time and place. From 1923 to 1953 Joseph Stalin of Russia ensured absolute power by waging war against the Russian people. His secret police imprisoned or exiled over twenty million people. Not a single person, war hero, worker, teacher or homemaker could be certain he or she would not be arrested. This story is of a child being raised by his well-respected Communist State Security Secret Police officer father and how quickly life as he once knew it was turned upside-down. Stalin’s propaganda machine deceived ordinary people into believing countless spies and terrorists threatened their security. Friends turned on friends, spouses against each other. Few American’s of that generation were aware of what transpired under Stalin. This short story brings to light a glimpse of what life was like during this era. A short good read written by a Soviet Union author who was born and educated in Russia, and had to make a choice to leave his country or be an informer.

Recommended by Nan R.—Children’s Librarian

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THE NINTH WIFE By Amy Stoll 2011

Bess is a 35 year old women living in Washington D.C. She, like millions of others, is navigating the “single’s scene.” Bess has pretty much giving up on marriage and family. On a whim, she decides to throw a singles-only party for her birthday. Here enters Rory an Irish musician, quite charming, with a few secrets. HHMMM!!! They meet…. They fall in love…… Rory asks Bess for her hand in marriage….. Then reveals he has been married eight times before. Stunned and confused, Bess takes a trip. She is intent on finding out truths about lasting relationships and true love. The Ninth Wife takes a realistic view of relationships in a humorous, warm and heartfelt way. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Reviewed by Karen—Circulation

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This is the true story of the only son born to Jim and Jill Kelly. Jim was the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills football team for many years. Their son Hunter was born with a very rare disease. At the time the doctors said he would only live a year or two, but he survived until he was about 9 years old. Jill Kelly’s book deals with the struggles of a handicapped child, raising two daughters, and dealing with Jim being gone most of the time playing football. The book also deals with their struggles after Hunter died—the profound loss each of them felt, what to do with the equipment he needed to live, no longer having his nurses there full time, and coming to grips with Jim’s infidelity. In the end, it is a story of hope, of dealing with loss, and ultimately coming to know God.
Recommended by Kris F. –Circulation
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The Steal: a Cultural History of Shoplifting by Rachel Shteir (2011) is a fascinating look at shoplifting. The author looks at the early cases of theft as documented in court papers and in newspapers, including a few famous well-to-do women. Society's response to shoplifters then and now is shown—who would steal that if you could afford it? Apparently, just about anyone! Shteir documents the strange cultural “heroism” of shoplifting, with the rules about who can provide “liberated” materials, and who shouldn’t have to. What seems like a strange subject for a book is an amazing read about a cultural phenomenon.
Recommended by Hollis, Library Director
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Regarding Ducks and Universes by Neve Maslakovic. 2010
The whim of fate and the masters of physics are helpless in the face of a falling rubber duck. In 1986, the universe is suddenly made two—and 35 years later Felix Sayers is troubled by the fact that his alternate self is up to no good. Or is it Felix who is up to no good? There are certainly several people who are. . .But who wants to hide the truth about a rubber duck and the Golden Gate Bridge. A delightful read that both praises and mocks our modern world, while considering some serious philosophical issues along the way.
Recommended by Hollis, Library Director
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This is a romance novel set in the difficult economic times of 1893, Jacob Hirsch loses his job as a bank clerk in Chicago. He and his four-year-old daughter, Cassie, ride the train to Homestead, Iowa, the place of the Amana Society. There, he and his daughter are cared for by the society, and he becomes interested in a young Amana society woman.
Recommended by Kayleen--Circulation Desk
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Never-ending-snake By David and Aimee Thurlo
Set in the southwest, Ella Clah, a Native American police detective walks the line between the old ways of her people and the white man’s world. In this latest story, her ex-husband Kevin and his security guard have been shot. No one knows if it’s over the dispute to use a locally grown weed to help provide more jobs or if it’s over the local casino. She must also decide if she wants to take an FBI job in Washington. The authors write stories along the same line as Michael McGarrity and Tony Hillerman.
Recommended by Kris—Circulation Desk
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Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans is a fiction book that I found to be inspiring and encouraging to the fact that one person can make a difference. Despite the hardships, our main character Alan has found the ability to give of himself and in doing so helped to heal himself. Alan lost his wife, home, and business. He has decided to set off on an extraordinary cross-country journey. A roadside stabbing robbed him of his one source of solace: the ability to walk. Homeless and facing months of difficult recovery, he had nowhere to turn until a woman he had helped earlier on the road takes him in. Alan realizes that before he can return to his own journey he must first help the woman who has taken care of him. An up-lifting, inspiring, and full-of-wisdom read for everyone.
Recommended by Nancy-- Children's Library
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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton 2009
A small girl left alone on a ship to Australia in 1913, and a cottage on the Cornish coast, lead to three generations of women who struggle to make sense of an incomplete past. The nature of love and desire entwined with sorrow and despair are revealed in this beautifully written historical novel. A slow read that is worth every hour; the characters, the plot, and the settings are all rendered in beautiful detail.
Recommended by Hollis, Library Director
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Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen by Michelle McCann, 2003.
This is a non-fiction book based on a holocaust heroine, a Polish Jew named Luba. The book describes the two years in Auschwitz, where her infant son had been taken from her upon arrival: believing that Luba was a nurse, the Nazis sent her to Bergen-Belsen in the winter of 1944 to look after their wounded. On her first night there she discovers 54 Dutch babies and children in a field, left to freeze to death. Determined to save them, she obtains food and clothing for them and persuades other captives to keep their presence a secret. This is a quick read and would not overwelm students. It is an excellent introduction to a part of history that gives a personal touch to the conditions in concentration camps and how children survived.
A story that stays with you long after it's read.
Recommended by Nancy, Children's Librarian
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Red Wolf : a novel by Liza Marklund. 2011
Red Wolf is a title that catches your eye and you wonder what could this story be about. Liza Marklund tells an interesting story about the northeast coast of Sweden, a reporter named Annika, and the murders of three citizens in the small town of Lulea. Annika has been asked by another reporter in Lulea to come investigate some new information about a bombing that occurred in that town back in the 60’s. Before she can arrive, that reporter has been run down. That is where her work begins, to uncover why he was killed, and what new information he might have found. You will not discover until the end what Red Wolf means, and what the motive for the murders was. Enjoy this mystery!!
Recommended by Kris, Serials & Circulation
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The movie FAIR GAME is the story of Valerie Plame, the CIA agent whose identity was exposed by the White House. This was not a news story I followed at the time it happened, so I learned some interesting details about what happened. For someone who likes politically themed movies, this would be very compelling and intriguing.
Recommended by Karen, Circulation Desk
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The Distant Hours by Kate Morton is about a letter that arrives 50 years after it was sent. Edie, the daughter of the woman who receives the letter, becomes curious. Inevitably Edie is caught up in the mystery and history of the Milderhurst Castle and the sisters Blythe who reside there. This history spans England during World War II and into the present time. I thought the book was very well written and kept my attention throughout.

Recommended by Karen, Circulation Desk
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The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us by Sheril Kirshenbaum is a fascinating explanation of what we really learn when we kiss another person. With science as the foundation of this book, one would think that love is forgotten. Is kissing really the way we fall in love? Is it how we know that someone is the “wrong one” as well as the “right one?” Is it just biology? With chapter titles such as “This is your brain on kissing” and “The future of kissing” you can learn more about what your lips do than you ever imagined.
Recommended by Hollis, Library Director
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Halos by Kristen Heitzmann 2004
Alessi Moore, 21-year-old orphan, has left her Uncle’s reluctant care looking for a place to call home. Driving her red Mustang convertible down the highway, she sees it – a halo. Just like the ones she’d been seeing since she was seven. So far they’d always been followed by good things. Miracles. Pulling into Mr. Gas Garage and Videos in a snowy town called Charity, Alessi expects nothing less. But while she pays for the gas and chats with Ben, the owner, her car disappears. Both Ben and his partner Dave are sympathetic, but not hopeful that it will be found. The local sheriff is none too swift to look for the car, and the whole town insists that Alessi is either lying or mistaken. No one in Charity would steal a car! Then who is following her and playing cruel, even dangerous, pranks that nobody sees but her? What about Steve, local bookstore owner with a personality that goes from cold to hot and back again? And what is the town “pact” that no one will talk about? As Alessi becomes better acquainted with the townspeople, she begins to wonder if this was all God’s doing and that He has decided she would be better off without this cherished possession. Maybe she should just leave.
Recommended by Jane--Cataloging
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I am such a fan of anything Alaska, after visiting there three years ago, so when I saw this title—If You Lived Here, I‘d Know Your Name: News from Small Town Alaska—I had to read it. Heather Lende and her husband, originally from the east coast, have lived in Haines, Alaska most of their adult lives. Each chapter in this book tells a story about some person or aspect of daily life in this town of about 2400. Haines is one of the tourist stops along the inside passage of the southeast Alaska, just before the ships head up to Skagway. She tells about how when someone dies, she writes the obituary for the local paper—sitting in their homes finding out what made this person unique and special. She tells about her fear of flying and yet one must fly everywhere to get out of Haines. If you too enjoy learning about small town Alaska, you will enjoy her stories.
Kris –Circulation & Serials
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Fans of the Sister Fidelma murder mystery series by Peter Tremayne will enjoy the latest—The Dove of Death. In this story, Sister Fidelma and her aide/husband Eudalf are traveling by boat along with a cousin. They encounter what appear to be pirates, who kill her cousin. Eudalf and Sister Fidelma barely escape in a small boat, landing on a nearby island. This begins a series of murders and activities that lead Sister Fidelma on her quest for the truth. As a lawyer in Celtic Ireland, she always finds adventure in her journeys.
Recommend by Kris—Circulation and Serials
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Somewhere to Belong by Judith Miller 2010
A group of Christians from Germany called the Community of True Inspiration built the seven self-contained Amana colonies in Iowa in the mid-1800’s in order to pursue their belief that God communicated through inspired individuals, just as he did in the days of the prophets. This is a novel that takes place in the Amana villages in 1877.
Johanna Ilg is a young woman who grew up in Main Amana and is content with her life there. However, she has a desire to see the outside world, especially Chicago, where her brother now lives with his wife. Her parents seem unusually fearful that if she leaves she will never come back. Her father, in charge of the livery, has hired a new man from one of the other villages. Carl seems interested in Johanna, despite the Amanian practice of not encouraging marriage. Johanna must ultimately choose between her heritage and the outside world. And between marriage and singleness.
Meanwhile, Johanna is put in charge of a new member of Amana, a girl who knows nothing about this way of life, or about self-discipline. Berta Schumacher grew up in Chicago and has had everything she’s ever wanted in her 16 years of life. When her family travels to Iowa, she has no idea that her parents plan to make Amana their home. She rebels at every opportunity, jeopardizing her job in the kitchen, and eventually causing one man to lose his job and a young friend to be badly injured. Her choice becomes asking for forgiveness and staying in Amana, or going to a boarding school in Ohio.
Recommended by Jane--cataloging