Jean Hansen's blog

11/11/11

We will be closed Friday November 11 in honor of Veterans Day, a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Before 1954, Veterans Day was known as Armistice Day.  A few ideas of things you could do in honor of Veterans Day:

Read this year's Veterans Day proclamation by the President of the United States.

Decide to read a book from this list: Honoring and Remembering Veterans and Soldiers

Attend the ceremony at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly.

Visit the Waterford Township Veterans Memorial.

Mysteries with foreign settings

double comfort safari club covercoroner's lunch coverfinding nouf coverdeath at la fenice cover  bruno chief of police cover still life cover case of the missing servant

 

 Here are some of my favorite mysteries set in foreign countries. If you like mysteries, try these, and as a bonus, you'll learn a little something about people in another culture.  All are the first book of a series, except for the Double Comfort Safari Club.

Death at La Fenice by Donna Leon
Set in Italy Read more

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Check our Catalog for: The Help

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is first and foremost a fascinating study of people living in the South just before the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that put an end to segregation of Blacks and Whites in the United States. This well written novel gives you the story from a variety of points of view and this contributes to the well paced tension throughout the 451 pages. Skeeter grows up in Missippippi when well to do white families hired black women to help with housecleaning and the raising of children. She comes back from college to find that her best friends are all married, starting their own families and continuing the tradition of hired help. Skeeter's own family maid is gone and her Mother refuses to tell her the truth of her leaving. Powerful and soon to be a movie.

The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews

 Check our catalog for: The Fixer Upper also available in large print and downloadable audiofixer upper cover

Dempsey Jo Killebrew is basically fired from her public relations job in Washington D.C. due to her big shot boss (who she thought was looking out for her) being caught in a politcal scandal.  Running out of money and with nowhere else to turn, she takes her dad's suggestion to work on fixing up his old, run-down family home in Guthrie, Georgia.  And a lot of work it turns out to be!  Trials and tribulations, satisfying manual labor, romance, and even some revenge ensue.  I saw this on a couple "best popular fiction of 2009" lists.  If you like Jennifer Crusie, you'll like this book.  I downloaded the digital audio book from Download Destination and listened to it on my MP3 player.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest By Steig Larsson

Check the catalog for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson is the supurb third and most likely last book we are to see from the author who so unfortunately passed away from a heart attack at the age of 50. According to biographical sources, he left about 3/4s of a fourth Millenium Series novel left unpublished on his computer at the time of his death. The third novel in this series pulls together many of the threads of the two previous books. Lisbeth spends much of the book recovering in the hospital, trying to avoid Blumkvist, and awaiting trial for crimes committed. Larsson takes no shortcuts and for that I was grateful. I liked that you experience this story from a variety of points of view-from the staff at Millenium, the motorcycle gang, the secret police and their invisible unit known as The Section. This is a long book, but the author maintaines the tension for 599 pages and if you liked the first two novels, you will not be disappointed.

New Michigan History DVDs

Due to the generous 2010 donation by patrons Dorothy and Arnie Collens, the WTP Library now owns two Michigan History DVDs:

The Orphan Train in Michigan 1854--1927 which tells the story of 12,500 children who where brought from New York City and Boston to 44 Michigan towns.

Michigan's Lumbering Days and Camp Life which illuminates in archival photos and stories the life and times of michigan lumberjacks.

For more information about Program Source International, a local production company that has created 25 documentaries on Michigan history and delivers lectures on these topics to profit and nonprofit groups, go to their website.

Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Check our catalog for: Animal Vegetable Miracle

Animal Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver is the kind of book that will be enjoyed by readers who love cooking and gardening. The author invites you into her family's decision to move from dry as a bone Arizona to Virginia to live on the land and eat only locally raised foods. This is a lovingly crafted memoir that educates and entertains the reader on the pros and cons of agribusiness. I think this could easily be used as a high school or college textbook.

Typing tutorial is available

Computer users (most of us are computer users these days!): do you need to learn the keyboard? Or improve your typing skills?  We have the well-reviewed touch typing tutorial software "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" loaded on all five of the adult database computers and two of the games computers in the children's department.  If you spend a half hour at it every day for two weeks you will improve your skills.  You can also use it just to test your current speed. Try it!

The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

Check our catalog for: The Scarecrow Read more

The Girl who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson

Check our catalog for: The Girl Who Played With Fire (book), Large Print, Audio CD.

The second book in Larsson's Millenium Trilogy takes a bit of time to build tension but once the author sets up the elements, this book cannot be put down. Lisbeth Salender and Mikael Blomkvist are again the main characters but they don't make contact until the very end of the story when tangled plot ends collide. The police are hunting for Lisbeth who has been accused of going on a killing rampage. The press tries and convicts her based on her old psychological profile. Tension and pacing deliver a well planned story while her past comes alive and the mystery around her mental state begins to unravel. Lisbeth refuses Mikael's attempts to help as she takes on the fight for her identity and life.