Pageviews last month

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Holiday Mysteries Part Two

            Relax and enjoy some more Christmas-themed mysteries from our library.

            The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories is from renowned British mystery author P.D. James, who passed away in 2014. Two of the stories feature poet-detective Adam Dalgliesh; the other two bear some resemblance to the writing style of Agatha Christie.  

            In Murder for Christmas, written by Francis Duncan, the party guests of Benedict Grame discover a body that bears a striking resemblance to Father Christmas under the tree. It is up to Mordecai Tremaine to find the culprit before another death occurs.

            Nantucket Red Tickets is written by Steven Axelrod. It’s Christmas Eve on Nantucket and prominent businessman Jackson Blum is about to live out his own version of A Christmas Carol.

            The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers is published by Soho Crime. This is a compilation of eighteen holiday crime short stories set in locations around the globe.

            Wagging through the Snow is written by Laurien Berenson and is another in the series of Melanie Travis canine mysteries. With Christmas approaching, Melanie investigates a possible murder after discovering a whimpering Maltese beside the dead body of a squatter on the property that her ex-husband just bought.

            Yuletide Homicide is written by Jennifer David Hesse. Family law attorney and Wiccan Keli Milanni goes undercover when mayoral candidate Edgar Harrison, her boss’s old friend, is blackmailed. Before finding the culprit, Harrison winds up dead, and Keli must risk her own rebirth during the Wiccan holiday Yuletide to catch the killer.  


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Holiday Mysteries

            Though the season may be merry and bright, murder and mayhem never take a holiday at Christmas. Here are some novels that prove the point.

            A Cajun Christmas Killing: A Cajun Country Mystery, written by Ellen Byron, describes how Maggie Crozat must pair up with an unlikely ally and longtime family enemy to catch the killer before Christmas on the bayou is ruined. Includes recipes.

            The Christmas Mystery: A Detective Luc Moncrief Story is written by James Patterson. The story follows French NYPD detective Luc Moncrief during a busy Christmas season as he investigates the theft of a cache of priceless paintings and the murder of a wealthy socialite.

            A Christmas Return: A Novel is the newest annual Christmas mystery by author Anne Perry. Spurred by holiday cheer and a surprise hidden in a Christmas pudding, and elderly aristocrat endeavors to correct a past wrong by solving a decade-old murder.

            Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries is a short story collection edited by Martin Edwards. It shares Christmas mysteries from such authors as Fergus Hume, Margery Allingham, and Michael Gilbert.

            The Ghost of Christmas Past, written by Rhys Bowen, features Molly Murphy Sullivan and her husband Daniel. They are invited to spend the holidays at a Hudson mansion, only to be embroiled in the mystery of their hosts’ daughter’s disappearance.

            How the Finch Stole Christmas! A Meg Langslow Mystery is written by Donna Andrews. When Meg’s husband organizes a full-scale production of “A Christmas Carol” with a famous veteran actor in the starring role, she finds herself navigating unexpected challenges in the star’s baggage and enemies.  


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Afternoon Book Discussions

Join us for our Afternoon Book Discussions, held on the third Wednesday of every month from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. We select books from a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, encourage lively discussion, and enjoy delicious refreshments. The reading selections for the first half of 2018 are:
January 17th -- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking/ written by Susan Cain. Demonstrates how introverted people are misunderstood and undervalued in modern culture, charting the rise of extrovert ideology while sharing anecdotal examples of how to use introvert talents to adapt to various situations.
February 21stThe Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel/written by Nina George. Prescribing books that offer therapeutic benefits to his customers, a literary apothecary in a floating bookstore on the Seine struggles with private heartbreak before embarking on a journey of healing at the side of a blocked writer and a lovelorn chef.
March 21stI Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban/written by Malala Yousafzai. Describes the life of the young Pakistani student who advocated for women’s rights and education in the Taliban-controlled Swat Valley, survived an assassination attempt, and became the youngest nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.
April 18thAll the Light We Cannot See: A Novel/written by Anthony Doerr. A blind French girl on the run from the German occupation and a German orphan-turned-Resistance tracker struggle with respective beliefs after meeting on the Brittany coast.
May 16thThe Cuckoo’s Calling/written by Robert Galbraith. Working as a private investigator after losing his leg in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike takes the case of a legendary supermodel’s suspicious suicide and finds himself in a world of multi-millionaire beauties, rock star boyfriends, desperate designers, and hedonist pursuits.

June 20thFounding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation/written by Cokie Roberts. Explores the lives of women who helped shape the United States, profiling such key figures as Abigail Adams, Eliza Pinkney, Dolley Payne Madison, Deborah Read Franklin, and Catherine Littlefield Greene. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Healthy Living: New Books to Promote Wellness

            Proactive advice to maintaining your health is available at the library. Here are some new books that can help.
George Demirakos is the author of Fix My Knee: A Guide to Preventing and Healing from Injury and Strain. He is a licensed physical therapist who has worked with Canadian professional hockey, tennis, and Olympic teams. Demirakos explains how the knee works, why your knee is at risk for injury, and the different types of knee injuries. Then he discusses different techniques that help such as acupuncture, yoga, Pilates, cortisone injections, and more. Strengthening exercises, accompanied by photographs, are included.
You Are Getting Sleepy: Lifestyle-Based Solutions for Insomnia provides techniques based on research to induce sleepiness. To aid with this, authors Paul Glovinsky and Arthur Spielman discuss changes to make to your daily routines and show you how to use cognitive behavioral treatments. They also instruct on managing anxiety, depression, an out-of-sync biological clock, and dependence on sleep aids in order to lessen insomnia.

The Diabetes Carbohydrate & Fat Gram Guide, 5th edition, is a concise guide to preventing or delaying the complications of diabetes. The reader learns how to plan meals using carbohydrate counting, calorie counting, and food lists as published by the American Diabetes Association. The main part of the book consists of nutrient tables that include the amount of carbohydrates, sodium, sugar, fiber, protein, and fats from a wide variety of foods, along with calorie counts and serving sizes. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Take Charge of Your Diabetes: November is American Diabetes Month

            29.1 million Americans have diabetes, but 8.1 million more may be undiagnosed. Learn all you can about this disease by reading these books.
            Reverse Your Diabetes in 12 Weeks: The Scientifically Proven Program to Avoid, Control, and Turn around Your Diabetes is written by George L. King, M.D, the chief science officer at Harvard’s Joslin Diabetes Center. He presents the eight proven strategies, which include a modified rural Asian diet deriving seventy percent of its calories from carbohydrates, a five to seven percent reduction in body weight, exercise, reducing stress, using your body’s brown fat, getting at least seven hours of sleep per night, and more.  
            Your Type 2 Diabetes Action Plan: Tips, Techniques, and Practical Advice for Living Well with Diabetes, is a publication of the American Diabetes Association, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to simplifying diabetes management, since 1940. The book includes information on improving glucose management, optimizing medication, designing an exercise program, creating a nutritious meal plan, coping with complications, and other beneficial material.
            Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy, 5th Edition, provides the diabetic reader with updated information on revised food groups and updated food lists. The author is Hope S. Warshaw, who is an expert on health and meal planning with diabetes who has written many other books on this topic.
            The Perfect Diabetes Comfort Food Collection: 9 Essential Recipes You Need to Create 90 Amazing Complete Meals, is written by Robyn Webb, the food editor of Diabetes Forecast and the author of 14 cookbooks. This book contains more than ninety recipes based on variations of nine cooking techniques, along with one hundred classic side dish recipes to accompany them.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Fiction With 3M E-Books

             If you enjoy reading e-books, take a look at some of the new novels available through our library’s subscription with 3M books. They include:
            Deep Freeze, written by John Sandford, is the tenth book in the Virgil Flowers series. Here, Virgil investigates the death of a woman found frozen in a block of ice, on the eve of her twenty-fifth high school reunion in Trippton, Minnesota.
            Enemy of the State: A Mitch Rapp Novel, is written by Kyle Mills and based on the character created by the late Vince Flynn. Rapp, a CIA operative, goes undercover to thwart a plot by the nephew of Saudi Arabia’s king to support ISIS.
            Fairytale is written by Danielle Steel. Camille is the young adult daughter of a happily married couple who own a vineyard in Napa Valley, California. When the mother dies from cancer, the father is quickly ensnared by a charming Frenchwoman. True to fairytale style, after their marriage the father dies and Camille is at her step-family’s mercy for her legacy and her life. She then receives support from an unlikely source.
            Manhattan Beach, written by Jennifer Egan, is a combination thriller and historical novel, spanning from the Great Depression through World War Two. Here, Anna is a diver at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where she also becomes involved with organized crime.
            Origin, by Dan Brown, returns Harvard professor Robert Langdon to his fifth adventure where he searches for answers to the question “where does humanity come from?” It involves research into symbology, science, religion, and other disciplines.
            Sing, Unburied, Sing is written by Jesmyn Ward. Living with his grandparents and sister on a Gulf Coast farm, Jojo navigates the challenges of his mother’s addictions and his grandmother’s cancer before the release of his father from prison prompts a road trip of danger and hope.
            Sleeping Beauties is written by both Stephen King and his son Owen King. They describe a place in the near future where most women succumb to a sleeping disease, while wrapped in cocoons and at peace. In turn, men instead return to a primal state. In this setting of men comes Eve Black who does not yield to this illness. The men do not know whether to treat her as a demon or a lab specimen.
            You can access these and other e-books on our library’s website at

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

             Mammography and Early Breast Cancer Detection: How Screening Saves Lives, is written by Alan B. Hollingsworth, M.D. He is the director of the Mercy Breast Center, a screening and diagnostic facility at Mercy Hospital, Oklahoma City and his practice is limited to risk assessment, genetic testing, and multimodality screening for high-risk patients. In his book, Hollingsworth discusses the history of breast cancer screening, from its beginnings to today’s latest technology. He presents both sides of the mammography effectiveness controversy – he supports the use of mammography on an annual basis.
            Breast Cancer Clear & Simple: All Your Questions Answered is published by the American Cancer Society. This is a comprehensive guide to coping with breast cancer and includes information in a question and answer format, beginning with diagnostic tests and finding a doctor to treatment options -- radiation, chemotherapy, and more, and surgery options of lumpectomy and mastectomy. It continues with details on the side effects of treatments, clinical trials, cancer stages, and psychological aspects of the disease. References, a resource guide, and a glossary are included.   
            Breast Cancer Surgery and Reconstruction: What’s Right for You is a guide to the options available through breast reconstruction surgery after both single and double mastectomies. It is written by Patricia Anstett, a medical journalist, with photographs by Kathleen Galligan. Choices available include silicone or saline implants, liposuction and tissue reconstruction, delayed reconstruction, revisions and lifts, and more. There also is information on health insurance and doctor selection. A glossary, bibliography, and index are provided.  

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye

            Continuing with the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, author David Lagercrantz resumes the adventures of Lisbeth Salander, a computer genius/hacker extraordinaire and her quest to right the wrongs of her world and those of the world at large. All of the novels are set in modern day Sweden, flavored by the Swedish culture and featuring its government officials, police, and criminals as story characters.

             In this novel, as in the earlier ones, Salander works with Mikael Blomkvist, editor of the investigative journal Millennium. Although the reclusive Lisbeth was abused and victimized during her childhood and adolescence, she is beginning to adapt to a more psychologically balanced life, thanks in no small part to Mikael’s efforts. Now Lisbeth has discovered that the experimental twin study that tainted the life of her and her birth family also claimed other victims; among them a pair of mirror image identical twins who are unaware of each other’s existence. The suspense builds: these twins discover one another, Lisbeth’s life is threatened by a master criminal, a Muslim woman finds her radical brothers and father ready to kill her, and much more. Although some of the story is somewhat improbable, its rapid pace keeps the reader engrossed.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Quilting Projects

            Quilting is a classic craft that allows the quilter to express both her/his practical and creative sides. Here are some new additions to our quilting book collection.
            No Scrap Left Behind: 16 Quilt Projects That Celebrate Scraps of All Sizes is written by Amanda Jean Nyberg, who also is the author of Sunday Morning Quilts and the blog crazy mom quilts. Detailed instructions and color photos accompany the sixteen quilts featured in the book. Projects are group into four categories, those created from squares, strips and strings, triangles, and snippets.
            ScrapTherapy: The Versatile Nine Patch: 18 Fresh Designs for a Favorite Quilt Block is written by Joan Ford, author of other quilting books and online newsletters, and founder of the ScrapTherapy program. The book contains directions for making a 9-patch and for eighteen projects, which include coverlets, quilts, pillows, table runners, and more. Full instructions, color diagrams and photos are provided for each.
            Wise Craft Quilts: A Guide to Turning Beloved Fabrics into Meaningful Patchwork is written by Blair Stocker, a quilt designer and crafter. She has created twenty-one projects, each of which tell a story and are constructed of special collections of fabrics; for example - baby clothes, or table linens, or men’s dress shirts or vintage handkerchiefs, or prints of children’s drawings - and more. Instructions, tips, and color photos are provided.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Y Is for Yesterday

        This is Sue Grafton’s latest in the Kinsey Millhone mystery series. As a private investigator, Kinsey often relies on word-of-mouth when being offered new cases. Here, her lawyer friend has recommended her to a well-to-do couple whose son just has been released from prison. Why was he imprisoned? Ten years before, as a sixteen-year-old high school student, Fritz McCabe was a hanger-on of a clique. Clique activities included the videotaping of the sexual assault of a fourteen-year-old student, and the theft of exam answers to benefit clique members. Fellow student Sloan Stevens was falsely accused of telling school administration about the theft. Sloan was shunned for most of the school year. Suspiciously, the sex videotape showed up at her house. When learning about this, the clique leader “forgave” her and invited her to an end-of-school-year party asking that she bring the tape. When Sloan came to the party without the tape, events reached a boiling point. To impress the others, Fritz shot and killed Sloan. Ten years later after Fritz’s release the videotape shows up again with a note demanding payment for its concealment.

            While investigating this incident from the past, Kinsey also has present-day concerns. A serial killer featured in the previous book, X, is trying to kill her and almost succeeds several times. Also, homeless couple Pearl and Lucky are camping out in landlord Henry’s backyard, perhaps taking too much advantage of his good nature. The story, set in the late 1980s, has an authentic feel for the times. And the big question for Grafton’s faithful readers is, will the next book be the last in the series? We will have to wait and see.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

             The literary character of Sherlock Holmes, created by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, began his reign in 1887 with the publication of A Study in Scarlet. Doyle continued to write Holmes’ stories, until 1927, completing 4 novels and 56 short stories. His character remains popular today, with several writers imagining new adventures for Holmes.
            The Mammoth Book of Sherlock Holmes Abroad, edited by Simon Clark, contains 15 short stories featuring the great detective in his travels abroad to such places as Austria, Morocco, Egypt, and Norway. Contributing authors include Clark, Andrew Darlington, Paul Finch, Carole Johnstone, and others.
            The Whole Art of Detection: Lost Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes, written by Lyndsay Faye, features stories earlier published in literary journals and two new stories “The Lowther Park Mystery” and “The Adventure of the Thames Tunnel”.
            Laurie F. King has written several novels featuring Holmes. In Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes, Russell and Holmes are a married couple remembering a hazardous assignment they completed for the emperor of Japan. In The Murder of Mary Russell, Mary goes missing and the carpet of 221B Baker Street is drenched in blood. Sherlock Holmes investigates.
            The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, edited by Otto Penzler, contains 83 stories featuring Holmes and Dr. Watson. The authors include such notables as James Barrie, O. Henry, A. A. Milne, Stephen King, Kingsley Amis, Anthony Burgess, Loren D. Estleman, and more.  
            A bibliography, listing these and other books featuring Sherlock Holmes, is available at the library.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Deadly Diseases

            No matter how many medical breakthroughs occur every day, humans still are threatened by new and mutating diseases with the ability to turn into epidemics. Here are some new books on this topic.
            Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them is written by Jennifer Wright. Filled with details of the world’s worst diseases over time. Learn about experiences with the Bubonic plague, dancing plague, smallpox, syphilis, cholera, leprosy, and more, and the people who worked toward the abatement and/or cure of the diseases. This is a very informative book with a sprinkling of humorous anecdotes.
            Deadliest Enemy: Our War against Killer Germs is written by Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, and Mark Olshaker, an author of several books about public health. Using the most current medical science, case studies, and policy research, they describe how such diseases as Ebola, MERS, yellow fever, and Zika threaten to overwhelm world health at large. Our overuse of antibiotics and rapid worldwide travel also are contributing factors to the spread of disease. After explaining all of these possible threats, Dr. Osterholm presents a plan of action for prevention.
            Zika: The Emerging Epidemic is written by Donald G. McNeil Jr., a science reporter for the New York Times. He traces the history of the Zika virus, which began as a minor disease but then by 2015 exploded as a major player in Brazil where pregnant women infected by the disease gave birth to babies with microcephaly. Contracted through mosquito bites and sexual transmission, Zika has the potential to infect people worldwide. The author offers information on the history of the disease, methods of prevention, and the work being done to develop a vaccine.

Friday, August 11, 2017

When Marriage Leads to Mayhem

            In fiction, as in life, marriage is not always a bed of roses. Here are some new novels that prove this point.

            In the Shadow of Lakecrest, written by Elizabeth Blackwell, is set in 1928 where heroine Kate Moore seeks to hide her past life of poverty and violence and start anew. She meets the handsome and wealthy Matthew Lemont while working as a governess on a transatlantic cruise. After marrying him, she discovers that her new life isn’t perfect: Matthew suffers bouts of PTSD from combat in World War I, and Kate is kept isolated at Lakecrest, the family estate, with his controlling mother-in-law and aloof sister-in-law who have their own dark secrets.

            The Good Widow: A Novel is written by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Here, Jacqueline Morales, an elementary school teacher who has been married to James for eight years is stunned to learn he has been killed in a car accident in Maui when he was supposed to be on a business trip in Kansas. And, he was with another woman named Dylan. Devastated, Jacqueline stumbles through a deep depression until Nick, Dylan’s fiancé, shows up at her house. Together they travel to Hawaii to investigate.

            The Widow of Wall Street: A Novel, written by Randy Susan Meyers, tells the story of Phoebe, married to childhood sweetheart Jake. They both share in the luxurious lifestyle resulting from the financial empire that Jake has built. Then the trusting Phoebe discovers that Jake’s success is based upon a Ponzi scheme. What to do? Leave her husband, as her children want her to do, or stay by his side?

            Behind Closed Doors is written by B.A. Paris, and is about Jack and Grace, the perfect couple; he is a successful lawyer and she is a full-time homemaker preparing gourmet meals and hosting glamorous dinner parties. But she never leaves the house unless she is accompanied by Jack. And why are some of the windows barred? Can Grace set herself free?

            Mr. Rochester, written by Sarah Shoemaker, presents the story of Jane Eyre from Mr. Rochester’s viewpoint. We learn of his upbringing as the younger son of a wealthy man; he is not to inherit the Thornfield estate but instead sent to Jamaica to learn the family business after his education is completed. There, after a whirlwind courtship and marriage to Antoinetta, who is becoming increasingly mentally unstable, he is called home to Thornfield where the Jane Eyre story begins.

            A bibliography with these and other suspense novels is available at the library.  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Cuisine

            During the hot days of summer, we all look for easy, quick ways to prepare our meals. Perhaps some of these books can help you.

            Endless Summer Cookbook, is written by Katie Lee, a cookbook and food magazine author and television personality. Influenced by her summer cooking experiences in the Hamptons, Lee presents one hundred recipes based on the season’s produce and other fresh ingredients to create mouth-watering dishes, drinks, and desserts. Beautiful color photos accompany the text.

            Master of the Grill: Foolproof Recipes, Top-Rated Gadgets, Gear and Ingredients Plus Clever Test Kitchen Tips and Fascinating Food Science is a publication from America’s Test Kitchen. The book includes step-by-step instructions for all of the grilling techniques you need to know, accompanied by many photos, as well as almost 700 recipes featuring beef, chicken, pork, poultry, vegetables, and more. Consumer advice on the purchase of grills and grilling tools also are provided.

            Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling is written by Meathead Goldwyn, the author of online barbecuing site and also writes articles for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Learn about the concepts, methods, equipment, and accessories required for the best barbecuing and grilling, as well as 118 recipes to prepare meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, pizzas, marinades, and sauces.

Picture1Picture1            The Art of Making Gelato: 50 Flavors to Make at Home is written by Morgan Morano, a professional chef and gelato expert. She presents 50 recipes for gelato and sorbetto. Gelato differs from ice cream in that it is churned more slowly and at a warmer temperature than ice cream, giving it a denser texture. Sorbets are dairy-free and egg-free, made from whole fruit and a simple syrup. Flavors range from the traditional chocolate and strawberry to the unusual—Torta della Mimosa, Biscoff, avocado, and more.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Design Your Outdoor Space

            Design and decorate the outdoor area of your home. You’re sure to benefit from your efforts year-round, but especially during the summer. Here are some books to help you get started.

            Building Outdoor Kitchens for Every Budget is written by Steve Cory, a builder, remodeler, and author. Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, you will learn to plan and execute your project. See how to select the best materials for a tight budget, and install such items as counters and appliances. Options such as pizza ovens, fire pits and fireplaces, pergolas, mosquito abatement, and more also are included. In-depth instructions and more than 300 photos are provided.

            Stanley Decks: A Homeowner’s Guide is written by David Toht. Building a deck requires basic carpentry skills, the right tools, and investment of time in designing and planning your project. This book gives step-by-step instructions to building four types of decks: patio deck, first- story deck, raised deck, and multi-feature deck. Learn the basics such as installing footings and ledgers, framing, building stairs and rails, then continue with built-ins such as benches, planters, and more. Information also is given on deck maintenance and repair.

            Taunton’s All New Backyard Idea Book is written by Sandra S. Soria. She shows you how to plan your outdoor space for a variety of activities, from children’s play to reading and relaxing to dining and entertaining. Soria starts with the basic structures of patios, decks, and porches, and continues with pergolas, arbors, and sheds; adding such landscaping features as beds and borders. Advice on furniture, lighting, fabrics, and accessories also are provided. Includes more than 275 photos.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Afternoon Book Discussions: July through December 2017

Join us for our afternoon book discussions, held on the third Wednesday each month, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. Here is what is scheduled for the second half of 2017.

            On July 19th, we will discuss The Handmaid’s Tale, written by Margaret Atwood. This chilling look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States. Now it is an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction. There will be an additional discussion of this book on Tuesday, July 18th at 7:00 p.m. Registration begins June 21st.

            On August 16th, we will discuss The Alchemist, written by Paulo Coehlo. This classic work is a fable about undauntingly following one’s dream, listening to one’s heart, and reading life’s omens, featuring dialogue between a boy and an unnamed being. Registration begins July 19th.

            On September 20th, we will discuss The Buried Giant, written by Kazuo Ishiguro. It is a novel that imagines a war-ravaged Britain where Axl and Beatrice, an elderly Briton couple set out on a journey to find the son they have not seen in years. They are joined in their travels by a Saxon warrior, his orphaned charge, and a knight. Registration begins August 16th.

            On October 18th, we will discuss Hidden Figures: the American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race, written by Margot Lee Shetterly. Here is an account of the previously unheralded but pivotal contributions of NASA’s African-American women mathematicians to America’s space program, even while they were segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws. Registration begins September 20th.

            On November 15th, we will discuss Girl on the Train, written by Paula Hawkins. The thriller portrays Rachel, a woman who tries to escape the pain of her own losses by obsessively watching a breakfasting couple every day while on her train ride. Then she witnesses a shocking event that inextricably entangles her in the lives of strangers. Registration begins October 18th.

            On December 20th, we will discuss Swans of Fifth Avenue: a Novel, written by Melanie Benjamin. This is a fictionalized version of the friendship between writer Truman Capote and New York City socialite Babe Paley, and its resulting emotional destruction. Registration begins November 15th.

            Please join us for one or all of these discussions.





Wednesday, May 24, 2017

May is Older Americans Month

            Here are some new non-fiction books to keep you current with the latest medical and financial advances for seniors.

            The Age Fix: a Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals how to Really Look Ten Years Younger is written by Anthony Youn. This board-certified plastic surgeon outlines skin-care and dietary strategies for enabling youthful wrinkle-free skin without surgery or invasive treatments.

            The Age of Longevity: Reimagining Tomorrow for Our New Long Lives is written by Rosalind C. Barnett, a senior scientist at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. She conjectures that since life spans are lengthening, adult vigor can be extended well into the nineties. How will this affect us as individuals and as a society? She offers recommendations on changing our institutions and attitudes for our longer life spans.

            Ageproof: Living Longer without Running out of Money or Breaking a Hip is written by Jean Chatzky, a financial expert and Michael F. Roizen, MD, an anesthesiologist and internist at the Cleveland Clinic. They explain the vital link between health and wealth, outlining science-driven ways for maximizing life quality, longevity, and retirement savings.

            Bio-Young: Get Younger at a Cellular and Hormonal Level is written by Roxy Dillon, a nutritionist and scientist. Here she offers a practical, natural approach to fighting the effects of aging by using exercise, skin care and nutrition to get cellular and hormonal functions back under control, resulting in both looking and feeling years younger.

            Disrupt Aging: a Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age is written by Jo Ann Jenkins, the CEO of AARP. She explains how people over fifty can all be active, financially unburdened, and happy as they get older, in a book that covers everything from caregiving and mindful living to building age-friendly communities and attaining financial freedom.

            Relax into Yoga for Seniors: a Six-Week Program for Strength, Balance, Flexibility, and Pain Relief is written by Kimberly Carson and is based on the Yoga for Seniors program at the Duke Integrative Medicine and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. This book teaches seniors the twelve principles of practice, step by step, in a six-week program.

            Younger: a Breakthrough Program to Reset Your Genes, Reverse Aging, and Turn Back the Clock 10 Years is written by Sara Gottfried, MD. She presents this seven-week program that aims to slow down and reverse the aging process through lifestyle changes, including environmental modifications, improved diet, and enhanced exercise.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Nora Webster: a Novel

            A story about the recently widowed Nora Webster, set in a small town in Ireland during the late 1960s and early ‘70s, shows us how Nora and her family adjust to life without Maurice, her husband and their father. The book is written by Colm Toibin (pronounced Cullum Toe-bean), who also wrote the novel Brooklyn.

            Nora lost the love of her life when Maurice passed away after a short illness. Wanting to hide away to mourn privately, and irritable because of the number of condolence calls paid to her, Nora tries to find the will to continue on. But her children and other relatives also miss Maurice and Nora is forced to cope with this too. Eventually, she is able to open up to renewing and expanding on her relationships with family and forms friendships within the community. Nora returns to work, becomes an active participant in political discussions, joins a music listening club, and begins singing lessons. Although Nora’s recovery is not quick nor painless, after three years we see that she has embraced her new skills and relishes her new freedoms, ending the novel on a positive note.

Friday, May 12, 2017

New Fiction Featuring Mothers

             Some recently published novels feature mothers as the main characters. Of course, these mothers aren’t picture-perfect and problem-free. See what makes them tick!

            Dear Thing, written by Julie Cohen, is about single mother Romily who decides to become a surrogate mother for her friends Ben and Claire. But as her pregnancy advances, Romily is overwhelmed by her emotions, endangering the couple’s marriage and her friendship with them.

            The Trophy Child is written by Paula Daly. Here, “tiger mother” Karen pushes her daughter to the academic limit yet is highly critical of her son and stepdaughter and henpecks her husband. Rebellion and damage to the family’s foundation ensue.

            Grace: a Novel, written by Natasha Deon, tells the dual stories of a mother, who is a runaway plantation slave, and the child she never knew, against the backdrop of mid-19th century historic events, including the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and beyond.

            I Liked My Life is written by Abby Fabiaschi. Maddy, a devoted wife and mother commits suicide, leaving her husband and teenage daughter behind and helpless with grief. From the beyond, Maddy begins to coordinate events in an attempt to ameliorate her family’s lives, even by selecting a new wife and mother for them.

            Rabbit Cake, written by Annie Hartnett, tells the story of 12-year-old Elvis Babbitt whose mother accidentally drowns during a sleepwalking incident. Elvis, her father, and sister are forced to cope with their loss and adapt to their new lives.

            The Mother’s Promise is written by Sally Hepworth. Here, a dying single mother reaches out to her oncology nurse and social worker for help protecting her troubled teenage daughter, forging a unit that bonds the four women together and challenges them to confront their sharpest fears and secrets.

            Before this Is Over is written by Amanda Hickie. When a deadly virus arrives on Hannah’s doorstep, she goes to great lengths to keep her family safe, but she quickly learns that she cannot keep the entire world at bay, with one threat after another looming outside her suburban doorstep.

            The Book that Matters Most, written by Ann Hood, is about Ava who has joined a reading group while attempting to cope with her failed marriage. She rediscovers a book from her past that had helped her with problems before. We also witness the problems of Ava’s daughter Maggie, who is descending into a destructive relationship with a man in Paris.

            Edgar and Lucy, written by Victor Lodato, tells the story of eight-year-old Edgar Fini, who had been cared for by his late grandmother during his mother Lucy’s dysfunctional episodes. As he grows older, and Lucy is inattentive to him, Edgar falls under the influence of an inappropriate adult.

            113 Minutes is written by James Patterson and Max DiLallo. It is about Molly Rourke, who takes the law into her own hands following the murder of her son.

            The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is written by Lisa See. It explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter, who has been adopted by an American couple, tracing the very different cultural factors that compel them to consume a rare native tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

            The Girl in the Garden, written by Melanie Wallace, is the story of a young woman with an infant son who is abandoned in a New England seaside motel. Offered shelter in the home of the manager’s friend, the woman is integrated into the lives of the locals and starts over amid revelations of loves and crimes from the past.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New Gardening Books: Part II

            Here are some more gardening books that are new to our collection.

            Gardening for Birds, Butterflies, & Bees: Everything You Need to Know to Create a Wildlife Habitat in Your Backyard is written by the editors of Birds & Blooms magazine. As we all know, birds, butterflies, and bees are major players in our environment. Learn how to attract and support them with the right types of plants, trees, and shrubs. Included are color photos of all 250 plants, profiles of 70 bird species and 25 butterfly species, backyard projects, and more.

            The Aromatherapy Garden: Growing Fragrant Plants for Happiness and Well-Being, written by Kathi Keville, an aromatherapist and herbalist. She presents a guide to selecting and growing a garden of fragrant plants, including information about their botanical names, hardiness zones, and growing seasons. Then she provides the descriptions and therapeutic uses for more than 80 plants, including advice and recipes for making herbal blends and vinegars, teas, scents, and body oils.

            Simplify your gardening chores with ideas from Container Theme Gardens: 42 Combinations, Each Using 5 Perfectly Matched Plants. Author and professional gardener Nancy J. Ondra presents gardens based on color schemes, location (sun, shade, and combination), attractiveness to birds and butterflies, edibles, and more.

            The Water-Saving Garden: How to Grow a Gorgeous Garden with a Lot Less Water, is written by Pam Penick. Use a minimal amount of water for maximum results when you design your garden with these 100 native and drought-tolerant plants. Related topics discussed include rainwater harvesting, gray-water systems, and permeable paving.

            Grow Native: Bringing Natural Beauty to Your Garden, written by Lynn M. Steiner, a writer and photographer for gardening publications. Here she presents facts and photos on using the hardy, drought-tolerant wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees best for your area’s hardiness zone.







Monday, April 24, 2017

New Gardening Books

            Spring has arrived and so have some new gardening books. Prepare for a beautiful gardening season by reading one or all of them.

            Plant Craft: 30 Projects that Add Natural Style to Your Home, written by Caitlin Atkinson, an interior stylist, presents instructions for thirty projects made out of live plants, cut flowers, and foraged branches. You can build a bench planter or vertical garden, craft a tillandsia wall hanging or willow sphere, mount a hanging rock garden or living wreath, or plant a succulent string garden or water sculpture garden, and much more.

            Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms is written by Erin Benzakein and Julie Chai. Benzakein, the owner of Floret Farm and Chai, the senior editor of Sunset Magazine, guide the reader through the creation of a flower garden, including planning, preparation of soil, planting, and weeding. Then the authors instruct on the care of cut flowers. Finally, the flowers of each season are presented, with accompanying projects.

            Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects is written by Scott Hoffman Black for the Xerxes Society. It contains two books in one; the first discusses the life cycle of butterflies and the current threats to their existence; the second describes how to design and maintain a butterfly garden using appropriate plants. Beautiful color photos are placed throughout the book.

            New York & New Jersey Month-by-Month Gardening: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year, is written by Kate Copsey, a certified master gardener who maintains vegetable and perennial gardens and also writes articles for magazines and websites and has hosted radio shows. Learn to plan, plant, care for, and troubleshoot all of your plants: perennials, edibles, lawn, trees, shrubs and more.   

            Heirloom Plants: A Complete Compendium of Heritage Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs & Flowers is written by Lorraine Harrison and is based upon the extensive seed catalogs of Thomas Etty, the popular heirloom seedsman. This book includes information on almost 500 cultivars to be grown and harvested. Harrison has a master’s degree in garden history and has written other books and gardening magazine articles. Thomas Etty founded the heirloom seed company Thomas Etty, Esq. in the nineteenth century; today it is managed by his great-grandson.



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Crafting Creatively

            Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies, edited by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman, presents 101 projects for infants and toddlers. Choose from hats and caps, socks and bootees, tops and bottoms, toys, blankets, and more; all with detailed instructions and color photos of the finished products. A glossary, list of abbreviations, symbol key, and index are provided.
            Crochet to Calm: Stitch and De-Stress with 18 Colorful Crochet Patterns is a collection of simple projects whose repetitive motion relaxes the crafter while creating beautiful and useful items for the home and for friends, family, and yourself. Instructions, color photos, and a how-to of basic crochet stitches are given.
            Easy Fair Isle Knitting: 26 Projects with a Modern Twist, is written by Martin Storey. The projects include scarves, hats, vests, and other clothing items, as well as pillows and blankets for the home. The patterns are a simpler version of Fair Isle knitting, with a maximum of two colors per knitted row, making it easier for the novice. Large color photos show the beauty of the items.

            Creative Leather Jewelry: 21 Stylish Projects that Make a Statement, is written by Christina Anton, a jewelry and accessories designer and business owner. Here she melds jewelry making with leather crafting, creating unique, modern earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. The book begins with a chapter on tools, materials, and techniques; followed by project instructions accompanied by color photos. Templates for all projects also are given. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Heartbreak Hotel: An Alex Delaware Mystery

            Join Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis in their latest murder mystery, the 32nd in the series written by Jonathan Kellerman. Alex, who is a renowned child psychologist and a consultant to the Los Angeles police department, receives a phone call from an unlikely client. Her name is Thalia, she is nearly 100 years old, and she needs his services as a psychologist. They meet at her home, a luxury suite in a once-grand hotel, where Thalia poses a few tantalizing questions to Alex and promises to tell all the next day at their follow-up appointment. But when Alex returns he discovers that she has died. Alex is suspicious that Thalia’s death wasn’t natural; a coroner’s report reveals that she was murdered.
           Now Alex’s best friend, Lieutenant Milo Sturgis of the LAPD is on the scene. They work together to determine why someone would want to murder Thalia, discovering that her life experiences weren’t what they expected and included consorting with a criminal and money laundering. But Alex and Milo can verify that Thalia was basically a good person; they find who is behind her murder and bring them to justice.

Friday, March 24, 2017

New eBooks from the 3M Cloud Library

            Sign up to read eBooks from the 3M Cloud Library. Instructions on how to do so are available on our library’s webpage. Here are some titles we recently have purchased.

A Long Way Home is written by Saroo Brierley. This is a full-length account of the author’s inspirational effort to find his Indian birthplace after he was accidentally separated from his family at the age of five. After struggling on the streets of Calcutta he was adopted by an Australian family. When he became an adult he was able to locate his birth family by searching Google Earth.

Apprentice in Death, written by J.D. Robb, is the latest in the Brotherhood of Death series. Here, Lieutenant Eve Dallas investigates a sniper who is training a protégé.

Bone Box is written by Faye Kellerman. It features regulars Rina Lazarus and Peter Decker, who discover a series of decades-old murders committed by a serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight.

Cesar Millan’s Lessons from the Pack: Stories of the Dogs Who Changed My Life presents stories from the dog behavior expert about the dogs (celebrity and non-celebrity) who have most inspired him.

Chaos, written by Patricia Cornwell, is the latest installment of the series featuring Dr. Kay Scarpetta. Here the medical examiner works with partner Pete Marino and niece Lucy to find the killer of a young woman who was struck by lightning on a clear day.

Devil in Spring is written by well-known romance author Lisa Kleypas. Lady Pandora is accidentally entangled in a compromising position with a rake and is forced to marry him against her will.

Hillbilly Elegy: a Memoir of Family and Culture in Crisis, written by J. D. Vance, a former Marine and Yale Law School graduate. This is his story of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town and the family’s efforts to become middle class. It illustrates the struggles of America’s white working class today.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh is a thriller featuring Zoe, a young woman who after spotting her own picture in a classified ad referencing a mysterious website discovers that other women who have appeared in the ad have become the victims of increasingly violent crimes.

Missing, by James Patterson and Kathryn Fox, is the latest installment of the Private Investigations series.

In My Not So Perfect Life: a Novel, written by Sophie Kinsella, Katie Brenner retreats to her family’s farm to help them set up a vacation business and gets a chance to re-evaluate and reset her life.

Norse Mythology is written by Neil Gaiman and is a New York Times bestseller. It is a novel tracing the origins of the mythological nine worlds and featuring Norse gods Odin, Thor, and Loki.

Thank You for Being Late: an Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations is written by Thomas Friedman. It explains to the reader how to survive the technological, environmental, and economic challenges of the twenty-first century.

These and many other eBooks are available now.





Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Home Design Updates

            Simply Styling: Fresh & Easy Ways to Personalize Your Home is written by Kirsten Grove of SimplyGrove, a popular interior design blog. Grove has created interiors for both residential and commercial properties worldwide. She also contributes to design magazines, and conducts a full design service including e-decorating. The book is a compilation of Grove’s ideas on styling the seven areas of today’s home -- living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, entryway, and kid’s room – using what you have and what you find “on your journey”. Plenty of color photos accompany the text.
            The book The Shopkeeper’s Home: The World’s Best Independent Stores and their Stylish Homes is written by Caroline Rowland, the founder and editor of the online publication 91 Magazine. Do the owners of some of the world’s most beautiful retail stores have equally beautiful homes? This book shows color photos of the homes and shops of more than thirty shopkeepers; highlighting the owners’ excellent taste and unique design skills.

            She Sheds: A Room of Your Own is written by Erika Kotite, who has worked as a magazine editor and book developer in the arts, textile, and crafting sectors. Here she shows the reader what options are available for creating your own getaway from a shed; whether it is built from a kit, built from scratch, or repurposed from a previously used one. Color photos and descriptive text highlight a variety of styles that will tempt you to design your own.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Psychological Suspense

            This is the type of novel that keeps you up at night until you’ve finished reading it. Strange events, intrigue, danger, murder, and more – these books have them all.
            The Girl in the Red Coat is written by Kate Hamer. Beth, a single mother and her daughter Carmel are visiting a local outdoor festival when Carmel suddenly disappears. After an exhaustive search, Beth is told by the authorities that Carmel might be gone for good, but Beth refuses to give up. The novel is told by two narrators: Beth, as she continues her search, and Carmel, who has been abducted by a man claiming to be her grandfather.
            The Secret Life of Souls is written by Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee. Delia Cross is a talented 11-year-old actress whose hard work has provided her dysfunctional family members with a life of luxury. A freak fire in a supposedly haunted dollhouse puts Delia at risk but Caity, her Australian cattle dog, comes to her rescue, saving her and giving her emotional support in the days afterward.
            Don’t You Cry is written by Mary Kubica. In it, two stories converge. Quinn, a young woman from Chicago is mystified when her roommate Esther disappears from their apartment, leaving only a letter behind. Then Alex, a 19-year-old coffee shop worker in a small Michigan town befriends an unusual young woman that he calls Pearl. Are they the same woman?
            June: a Novel is written by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. Cassie Danvers, mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother June, is shocked to learn that she has inherited the entire estate of legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery who has claimed her as his granddaughter. Jack’s daughters come to claim the fortune as their rightful due. An investigation reveals equal portions of murder, blackmail, and betrayal from the past.
            The Girls: a Novel is written by Emma Cline. Mesmerized by a band of girls in the park she perceives as enjoying a life of free and careless abandon, 1960s teen Evie Boyd becomes obsessed with gaining acceptance into their circle, only to find herself drawn into a cult and seduced by its charismatic leader.
            The Twilight Wife: a Novel is written by A.J. Banner. After a diving accident, Kyra Withrop suffers amnesia about the last two years, but as her memory returns she experiences intense fear as she remembers the truth about her marriage and about the island residents whom she had believed to be her friends.