As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka

blood

Reviewed by Melissa Rader (Library Staff)

I absolutely loved this Finnish teen crime thriller. Nordic noir is not something we have a lot of on the young adult shelves so the tale of 17-year-old Lumikki, who finds herself embroiled in danger after discovering blood-soaked money in the dark room at her school, is especially refreshing. Although Lumikki is all hard edges and prickly fences, I adored her tough-as-nails attitude and really cared for her. The landscape, as well as the prose, was deliciously bold and stark. I’ll follow this trail of blood-soaked snow wherever it leads in the next two books.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC SIMUKKA)

The Grand Seduction (2013)

seduction

Reviewed by Pat Plamann (Library Staff)

The setting is a small Newfoundland village where most of its inhabitants stand in line at the post office for their welfare checks, no longer being able to make a living from fishing. Hope is renewed as a large corporation may settle in their village bringing jobs! The corporation requires the village have a physician, and the lengths these good people go to find and keep their doctor will keep you laughing. The village characters are not to be missed, and the cherry on this sundae is the beautiful scenery!

Located in DVDs (DVD GRAND)

Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell

survivor

Reviewed by Emi Weiss (Library Staff)

This true story of a Navy SEAL who survived an ambush in Afghanistan is truly riveting. If you enjoyed books like, Black Hawk Down or A House in the Sky, then you will love this book too. This book showcases the will to live and forgiveness. It dispels stereotypes. However, this author has strong political beliefs, so be forewarned…

Located in Adult Nonfiction (958.1047 LUT)

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

ove

Reviewed by Katy Zignego (Library Staff)

Let me begin with a disclaimer: I am suspicious of the Swedes. The whole culture of Sweden seems to be not to my taste: the decor is too spare, the food too salty, the people too good-looking, and the literature too dark. So when several trusted book-recommenders told me I just had to read A Man Called Ove, Sweden’s newest blockbuster novel, I was deeply apprehensive. I just didn’t think a Swedish author could pull off a happy ending.

A little plot description: There is a man called Ove (pronounced, as far as I can tell, OOO-veh). He has recently lost his wife and been forcibly retired from his job. All he wants to do is commit suicide. But his neighbors–a young family, an old friend, a gay man, a cat–keep foiling his best-laid plans by needing his help. If you have ever seen the movie Gran Torino, Ove is a lot like the Clint Eastwood character. Or, come to think of it, any Clint Eastwood character. Over the course of the book, the reader watches him grow to accept and embrace the new “family” of neighbors around him.

The ending isn’t strictly happy–I couldn’t expect a Swede to deliver sunshine and rainbows, after all–but it is highly satisfying. And I think that’s what I like most about A Man Called Ove. It’s sweet and heartwarming and funny, but with a hard realist edge that keeps it from being saccharine. So maybe I like the Swedes more than I think. Bring on the ABBA and lutefisk!

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC BACKMAN)

Timeline

timeline

Reviewed by Diane Basting (Library Staff)

This game with have you asking yourself the weird it questions trying to piece together different facts and memories to figure out if trash bags were invented before or after the cork screw. Each player gets seven cards to start with; the object of the game is to place your card in the correct space on the time line, the winner is the first player to place seven cards in the correct place in the evolving timeline. The game comes in a small tin that fits nicely inside of a small purse, or bag and a round can last anywhere from seven to fifteen minutes making it a great game to take with you to a coffee shop or play at game night while waiting for everyone to arrive.

Located in Games (TIMELINE)

Wisconsin Gardening

gardening

Reviewed by Anonymous (Library Patron)

I highly recommend the Wisconsin Gardening magazine that I checked out at your library.Great practical advice on a wide variety of gardening topics; trees & shrubs, flowers, vegetables, pests, recipes, easy projects and a calendar of upcoming events. I plan to order my own subscription.

Located in Adult Magazines (MAG WIS)

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

twerp

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

Middle Grade Children’s Book

Julian Twerski, nicknamed Twerp, is a good kid. A smart kid. A kid who knows better than to go along with a prank like that. At the time he was just being one of the guys, following along with them in whatever Lonnie thought they should do. But that’s all water over the dam now. After serving his suspension, he’s got to spend the rest of the school year keeping a journal for his English teacher, Mr. Selkirk, not an awful penance since it’ll get him out of doing the Shakespeare assignment. The thing is, Julian doesn’t realize how much he has to say, and how much what he is writing is changing him.

Julian’s tale is not unlike the Shakespearian tales he is avoiding – a tale full of imagined love, betrayal, self-realization, and growth. The time and place of this middle grade novel is Queens, New York of the 60’s, though the story is timeless. We all know this story, and Mark Goldblatt has written his tale with depth, humor, and a passion for this age and time only someone who has experienced it can have. A worthy read. And, Julian? He read Julius Caesar anyway.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC GOLDBLATT)

Christmas Cheers by Straight No Chaser (Music CD)

Reviewed by Judy (Library Staff)

I already have 53 Christmas CD’s, but I am asking Santa for this one too. Yes, it has Christmas favorites, but with very unique twists like the first song, “Christmas Can-Can”. My favorite is the last song, “The 12 Days of Christmas” that incorporates Toto’s “Africa” into the lyrics. I laugh every time I hear it. Straight No Chaser is a 10 member a cappella group which formed at the Indiana University in 1996.

Located in the Music CDs (CD HOLIDAY STRAIGHT NO #2)

Lie to Me (2009-2011)

lie to me

Reviewed by Cassidy Hammel (Library Staff)

Imagine a man you could never hide from, who doesn’t even need to know you in order to read you like the back of his hand. Meet the world’s leading deception expert, Dr. Cal Lightman. Lightman subscribes to the science of reading micro expressions, body language, and vocal pitch which lasts no more than a fraction of a second but that’s all it takes for him to pick up concealed emotion like fear, disgust, contempt, surprise or happiness. He and his team use these skills to uncover the truth behind the lies they are confronted with on a daily basis. But for a man with the incomprehensible ability to read the truth in people’s faces, he knows very little about himself and those around him.

Available through the CAFE system

Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier

razorhurst

Reviewed by Melissa Rader (Library Staff)

This gritty historical gangster romp is definitely like nothing I’ve ever read before. Razorhurst follows Kelpie, an orphaned homeless girl on the streets of Sydney in 1932. Kelpie can see ghosts and winds up caught in the crosshairs of rival territory gangs when she meets Dymphna, a classy dame known as the “Angel of Death.” The vivid setting really made this story and even though the plot dragged in parts, I would still highly recommend giving Razorhurst a try if you are in the mood for something truly unique and a little dangerous.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC LARBALESTIER)