In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear

Reviewed by Judy B (Library Staff)

In this 13th installment of the Maisie Dobbs series, Britain has declared war on Germany in 1939. Maisie has to return to the first World War, the one everyone called the Great War, to find out who is killing former refugees from Belgium twenty-three years ago.
The author’s research is meticulous. Her recounting of everyday life experiences of 1939 Britain is absorbing. The book can stand alone, as the author offers quick updates of characters and past events pertinent to the current story.
Do yourself a favor, though, and start the series from the beginning with the first book, “Maisie Dobbs”.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC WINSPEAR)

Weekly Book List: Week 22 (Authors who lived in Wisconsin)

Broken Things / Andrea Boeshaar

An old photograph prompts Allison Drake Littenberg to return to Chicago to mend fences with family members and friends, particularly Jack Callahan, the handsome cop she left back in 1969. Now, 30 years later, Jack is bitter from bad decisions and a nasty divorce. Even so, Allie prays that God will use her own broken past to touch his life – and the life of a dying, abused, and disheartened woman who, Allie realizes, is the key to unlocking answers to decades of questions. (FIC BOESHAAR)

New Poetry Out of Wisconsin / Ed. by August Derleth

Compilation of Wisconsin poets put together and edited by August Derleth: Bertolino, Gibson, Pollack, Swoboda, Vukelich and many others. (811.08 NEW)

 

Weird Wisconsin: Your Travel Guide to Wisconsin’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets / Linda Godfrey

There’s a lot more to the Badger State than badgers; it’s also filled to the brim with weirdness. Visit Burlington’s Spinning Top Museum and recoil at the worm shower of Palmyra. Take a look at Highway 13’s Reptile Man, see the World’s Largest Six Pack, then get spooked over the haunted bridges of Stevens Point. From Madison’s Loony Lawyer to the Wily Wizard of Waukesha, this indispensible guide takes you on a journey you’ll never forget. (917.75 GOD)

The Book of Ruth / Jane Hamilton

Having come within an inch of her life, Ruth Dahl is determined to take a good look at it — to figure out whether, in fact, she’s to blame for the mess. Pegged the loser in a small-town family that doesn’t have much going for it in the first place, Ruth grows up in the shadow of her brilliant brother, trying to hold her own in a world of poverty and hard edges. (FIC HAMILTON)

Dead Tease / Victoria Houston

While taking a break from the investigation of the murder of a PR specialist at the hospital, Doc and Lew find themselves in a life-and-death situation on the river, leading to a macabre discovery that just may break the case. (FIC HOUSTON)

 

How High the Moon / Sandra Kring

After her mother Catty runs off to Hollywood in search of fame, ten-year-old Isabella “Teaspoon” Marlene is left in the care of her mother’s boyfriend Teddy and has a hard time settling in to her 1955 Wisconsin small town until she becomes a part of the “Sunshine Sisters,” a mentoring program for young girls. (FIC KRING)

Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story / Dennis McCann

The bodies are buried, but the stories are not. From the ornate tombs of Milwaukee beer barons to displaced Chippewa graves and miniscule family plots, Badger Boneyards: The Eternal Rest of the Story unearths the stories of Wisconsin. (929.5 MCC)

 

Population: 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time / Michael Perry

An oddball memoir of a small-town prodigal son turned volunteer with the local fire department who returns to his hometown after a decade of exile chronicles life in a village of 485 people in rural Wisconsin. (977.5 PER)

 

Mystery / Peter Straub

A near-fatal traffic accident and a resulting obsession with death drive Tom Pasmore to join his neighbor, famous retired detective Lamont von Heilitz, in investigating two very different murders. (FIC STRAUB)

 

The Frontier in American History / Frederick Jackson Turner

This anthology is a thorough introduction to classic literature for those who have not yet experienced these literary masterworks. For those who have known and loved these works in the past, this is an invitation to reunite with old friends in a fresh new format. (978 TUR)

Hostage Taker by Stefanie Pintoff

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

Hostage Taker by Stefanie Pintoff is an electrifying thriller. Eve Rossi is an FBI agent, and she leads a secret division in the FBI that uses ex-convicts and their talents to solve some of the worst crimes. Someone takes multiple hostages hostage in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, and specifically says he will only speak with Eve. He also demands for five witnesses to be brought to the scene. They have a hidden connection, but it is unknown. With her band of ex-convicts, it is up to Eve and the men to figure out who the hostage taker is, and to save as many people as possible.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel, but it exceeded my expectations. It kept my interest, and I had to keep reading in order to find out what happened next. Normally I’m one who can guess twists, but the ending of this novel surprised me.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC PINTOFF)

Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler & White Chocolate Walnut Cupcakes

“‘Well, I can bake a cake,” he says, shrugging at me and grinning. “I can make a white chocolate walnut cake that might just make you fall in love with me.'” ~Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler

White Chocolate Walnut Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Batter:

3/4 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate or white chocolate chips

1 cup cold milk

3/4 stick (6 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 cup coarsely chopped walnut halves and pieces, divided

1/4 cup dried cherries

Frosting:

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

Zest from 1 medium orange

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line the pans with cupcake papers; set aside.
  2. Get ready: Melt the white chocolate in a small metal bowl placed over simmering water or in a double boiler, stirring occasionally. Whisk the cold milk into the chocolate a little at the time until the chocolate is completely incorporated into the milk; set aside.
  3. Make the batter. Cream butter and sugar at a medium speed in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth, 5-8 minutes. Scrape down the side with a rubber spatula and mix to blend. Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, blending on slow speed until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Finish the batter. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Beat half of the flour mixture into the batter with the mixer still on low speed. Remove the bowl from the mixture and stir in half of the white chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula. Stir in the remaining flour and the remaining white chocolate and milk. Stir in cup of the nuts and all of the dried cherries.
  5. Fill the tins a little more than 3/4 full.
  6. Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 8 minutes, then rotate the tray. Bake for an additional 5-8 minutes or until a knife inserted into the center of a cupcake emerges clean. Cool.
  7. Make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
  8. Add the sugar and ginger, and beat for an addition 2-3 minutes until smooth.
  9. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. When the cupcakes are cooled, pipe the frosting on top of each. Top with grated orange zest and the remaining 1/3 cup walnuts.

 

The Time Museum by Matthew Loux

Reviewed by Emily Terasa (Library Staff)

The Time Museum is the first graphic novel in a charming new series by Matthew Loux. Delia is a girl living in the 21st century. During the summer, she stumbles upon the Time Museum; this museum is about the entire history of time on Earth. Delia enters into a competition to become an intern at the museum. But everything is not as it seems, because she is joined by other unlikely kids, including a cave-boy, girl from the future, and a boy from Ancient Rome (or just Rome to him!). They all go on time-traveling adventures, and fun and excitement ensue.

I found this graphic novel to be wonderful. I love history, and this is the perfect choice for tweens or older children who love history and adventure. I couldn’t put this down. I can’t wait for the next one to come out!
Located in Children’s Graphic Novels (J GRAPHIC LOUX)

Weekly Book List: Week 21 (Western)

My Antonia / Willa Cather

After the death of her immigrant father, Antonia works as a servant for neighbors in the farmlands of Nebraska. She leaves for an unfortunate affair with an Irish railway conductor, but returns home, eventually marries and raises a large family in true pioneer style. (FIC CATHER)

 

The Sisters Brothers / Patrick deWitt

Set against the backdrop of the great California Gold Rush, this darkly comic novel follows the misadventures of the fabled Sisters brothers, two hired guns, who, under the order of the mysterious Commodore, try to kill Hermann Kermit Warm, a man who gives them a run for their money. (FIC DEWITT)

Riders of the Purple Sage / Zane Grey

Refusing to marry the grim, brutal Elder Tull, Jane Withersteen is dismayed when her Utah ranch and hired hands are targeted in retaliation, and the mysterious gunfighter Lassiter offers Jane protection and a chance at love. (FIC GREY)

 

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford / Ron Hansen

Jesse James was a fabled outlaw, a charismatic, spiritual, larger-than-life bad man whose bloody exploits captured the imagination and admiration of a nation hungry for antiheroes. Robert Ford was a young upstart torn between dedicated worship and murderous jealousy, the “dirty little coward” who coveted Jesse’s legend. The story of their interweaving paths– and twin destinies that would collide in a rain of blood and betrayal. (PBK HANSEN)

How the West Was Won / Louis Lamour

Tells of the men and women who pushed relentlessly forward to claim the West, despite hardship and death at every turn. (PBK LAMOUR)

 

All the Pretty Horses / Cormac McCarthy

Cut off from the life of ranching he has come to love by his grandfather’s death, John Grady Cole flees to Mexico, where he and his two companions embark on a rugged and cruelly idyllic adventure. (FIC MCCARTHY)

 

Lonesome Dove / Larry McMurtry

Former Texas Rangers leave their unsuccessful cattle business when they hear of good opportunities in newly opened territory. (PBK MCMURTRY)

 

The Son / Philipp Meyer

An epic of the American West and a multigenerational saga of power, blood, land, and oil that follows the rise of one Texas family, from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the to the oil booms of the 20th century. (FIC MEYER)

 

True Grit / Charles Portis

With her papa’s pistol tied to her saddlehorn and a supersized ration of audacity, fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross sets out to avenge her father’s murder. (FIC PORTIS)

 

Close Range: Wyoming Stories / Annie Proulx

A new collection of award-winning short fiction by the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News includes “Brokeback Mountain,” “The Mud Below,” and “The Half Skinned Steer,” selected by John Updike as one of the best stories of the century. (FIC PROULX)

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Reviewed by Zach S (Library Staff)

Hayao Miyazaki has crafted some of the most breath taking and magical animated feature films ever created. Often, his films present a grand and immersive atmosphere that engulf the viewer with a sense of awe, taking us to a world that we know is fictitious but is presented with such depth, detail, wonder, and love that the audience is emotionally drained by the time the credits start to roll. But for a filmmaker that has crafted astounding large scale animated features, it’s 1989’s “Kiki’s Delivery Service”, that has left the biggest impact (at least on myself). A small and contained story about a 13 year old with who goes out into the world to discover herself and learn the witch’s way, this movie features no demons, monsters, or even a straight up villain. We simply follow Kiki on her journey, and it’s being a companion on her journey that is the best part. We soar up in the sky with Kiki and feel the wind blow through her hair (flying being a major element in almost every Miyazaki picture), we feel her all too human fear of being the strangers in a new community not only as a witch but as a 13 year old girl .The film doesn’t need to follow any contrived notions that other animated pictures fall prey too all too often. Seeing Kiki live her life and interact with the beautiful world around her is ultimately what entices the viewer. This movie is nothing short of magic.

Located in Children’s DVDs (J DVD KIKI’S)

Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown & Sausage and Sauerkraut

“Sauerkraut will make my internment a little more bearable. It is one of the staples of civilized life that I had taken for granted and now feels to me like a blessed luxury.” ~Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown

Sausage and Sauerkraut

Ingredients:

2 pounds sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 apple, diced

1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large onion, chopped

1 1/2 pounds kielbasa sausage, cut into 1-inch thick slices

Directions:

  1. Place the sauerkraut, caraway seeds, brown sugar, and apple into a large saucepan over medium-low heat, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Place the bacon and onion into a skillet over medium heat, and cook until the bacon is almost crisp and the onion is beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir the bacon mixture into the sauerkraut.
  4. In the same skillet, brown the kielbasa sausage in the reaming bacon grease until the sausage begins to brown, 10 to 15 minutes; stir into the sauerkraut mixture. Spoon the sauerkraut and sausage mixture into the prepared baking dish.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until bubbling, about 1 hour.

 

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