Get Fancy!

30 Jan

Fancy NancyOn February 28th at 12:30 PM, Fancy Nancy and friends will be at the Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St Scholastica, for a musical review based on some favorite story books. And the Library is handing out tickets for free – at least until we run out! – as part of the museum pass program, paid for by the Legacy Fund. Just ask at the desk at the Main Library, or the branches. And while you’re there, grab one of the books from the show:

Duck For President
Fancy Nancy
Babymouse: The Musical
I Have To Go!
Leonardo, The Terrible Monster
Pirates Don’t Change Diapers

UPDATE: Wow! We’re already out here at Main. As of this writing, there are still some at the West Duluth Branch and the Mt. Royal Branch.


A Ghost of Childhood Past

28 May

In Jeffrey Ford’s latest novel, The Shadow Year, a young boy’s life is forever changed when his schoolmate disappears and he and his brother decide to investigate the strange going-ons in their small town.

With shades of Stephen King and Ray Bradbury, Ford brings to life the nameless narrator’s loving, funny but dysfunctional family that includes his hysterical brother who watches out for him when isn’t forgetting about him, an alcoholic/artist mom, a dad who works three jobs and a sister who seems to know the future with the help on an invisible friend.

With the help of an unexpected visitor, they try to find out more about a mysterious man they dub Mr. White who seems to slowly be circling them even as they spy on him.

Set in the mid 60s, The Shadow Year is dark, funny and evocotive. It takes you back in time, but then sends a shiver down your spine when you discover that someone’s not what they appear to be. Kathy B

How a liar tells the truth

18 Jan

inthewoods Early one day in 1984, three twelve-year olds set off into the local woods. Late that night, only one is found – mute, with blood on his socks and no memory of what happened. Twenty years later, he’s a detective for the Dublin police and still remembers nothing. When he and his partner are sent to investigate the murder of a girl whose body is found where the woods once stood, clues lead him to believe there’s a connection to his friends’ disappearance, and he starts to remember things he’d long forgotten. Or does he? There are two things the good detective tells the reader at the start. One: He craves the truth and Two: He lies.
In the Woods, by Tana French, is a gripping and involving thriller that leaves you wondering what the he** happened in those woods? (it better not be the fairies)
Kathy B

What is the true name of the wind?

8 Jan

Meet Kvothe, a seemingly benign tavern owner who says it will take him three days to tell the story of his life properly. The tale rapidly moves from his time being trained in magic on the road with his family’s group of traveling players, to his three rough years living on the streets of Tarbean.  Once he drags himself out of despair, he needs both his vast intelligence and his street smarts to quickly move up the ranks in the magical University so he can have full access to the Archives.  Kvothe is still a teenager in the University when the book ends, but the author has dropped tantalizing nuggets as to what will come. The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller chronicle, day 1 by Patrick Rothfuss is a thick tome, but alas, not thick enough.  Laura

Good Grief is right!

10 Dec

lollyRecently widowed Sophie Stanton suffers a gradual meltdown after her husband of three years, Ethan, dies of cancer. With the help of friends (old and new), family (including her mother-in-law!), a new city and job, she begins to see the light at the end of the tunnel. By helping those whose around her who, in many ways, are in worse shape than she is, she begins to heal.
I never thought a story about a grieving widow would make me laugh so much! At the same time, I was moved by her bittersweet memories of Ethan. Author Lolly Winston has written a truly funny and tender book about love, loss and recovery. Kathy B

Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

21 Aug

In Philippe Claudel’s By a Slow River, a small-town policeman recounts the murder investigation of an angelic young girl during WW1. The investigation coincides with the suicide of the beautiful but enigmatic new schoolteacher, and the death of the narrator’s beloved wife during childbirth. His description of how the town’s local residents respond to the murder and suicide is colored by his overwhelming devastation at his wife’s death.
Well written, but grim, with a little twist at the end and a revelation about the narrator that may stun, but not really surprise the reader.
So, if you don’t need a happy ending, this winner of the France’s 2003 Prix Renaudot award is well worth the time

Kathy B
Slow River

Accidently winning the lottery?

6 Jun

In Judy Baer’s Million Dollar Dilemma, preacher’s daughter Cassia mistakenly contributes five dollars to an office lottery pool and they actually win! Cassia, who is does not believe in gambling, has a crisis of faith. All her plans are in disarray and she must figure out what God has planned for her life. This Christian chick lit has a wonderful message about how God’s plans for your life may not be your plans and enriches this lesson with adventure, romance and humor. Renee

Beverly Connor does it again…

23 Mar

deadpastDead Past, the newest Diane Fallon Forensic Investigation mystery by Beverly Connor, keeps you guessing until the end.  The story opens with a bang as a meth lab in an apartment building basement explodes.  As the police order an evacuation of the closest homes, including Diane’s, she encounters a gun-toting student missing his right hand.  The suspense builds as Diane and her team start to identify the bodies, unsuspecting students at a party in an apartment above the meth lab, and gather evidence about the explosion to help solve this crime … or has more than one crime been committed?  How many cases is Diane working on?  Will you fiqure it out before Diane does?  Another engrossing mystery in a great series.  Renee 

The Coulter story continues…

23 Mar

sunkissedLarge animal veterinarian Tucker Coulter meets Samantha Harrigan when they both come to the aid of an abused horse at a county rodeo in Sun Kissed by Catherine Anderson.  Samantha, a horse breeder and trainer with four older brothers, needs Tucker’s help as an enemy from her past threatens her farm.  I like how the author brings her characters to life and enriches their lives with close ties to their family.  One of my favorite scenes in the novel is Tucker’s encounter with his fifteen-month-old niece.  These are people with strong family ties and morals.  I hope you enjoy meeting the Coulters and the Harrigans as much as I did in this wonderful romance.  Renee

An alternate Earth where men are in short supply!

13 Mar

Wen Spencer’s A Brother’s Price takes you to an alternate Earth where the population is ninety percent female and men are too valuable to have any freedom. Jerin Whistler, whose mothers are respected gentry, is coming of age and wants to marry well. The course of his life, and that of his family, is changed when he risks his life to save an unknown soldier, female of course. I enjoyed the alternative social structure where men have more than one wife, take care of the home and raise the many children. There’s a little bit of everything – mystery, romance, adventure – to keep the story moving. You care about Jerin and his family and want them to survive and prosper. I enjoyed this book so much I read all the others by this author. Renee