Weekly Book List: Week 44 (Magic in Book)

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell / Susanna Clarke

In nineteenth-century England, all is going well for rich, reclusive Mr Norrell, who has regained some of the power of England’s magicians from the past, until a rival magician, Jonathan Strange, appears and becomes Mr Norrell’s pupil. (FIC CLARKE, SUSANNA)


Neverwhere / Neil Gaiman

Richard Mayhew’s life is forever changed after he rescues a young girl named Door and finds himself living in a city of monsters, saints, murderers, and angels, and he must help Door on her mission to save this strange underworld kingdom from destruction. (FIC GAIMAN)


The Magicians / Lev Grossman

Harboring secret preoccupations with a magical land he read about in a childhood fantasy series, Quentin Coldwater is unexpectedly admitted into an exclusive college of magic and rigorously educated in modern sorcery. (FIC GROSSMAN)


A Discovery of Witches / Deborah Harkness

Discovering a magical manuscript in Oxford’s library, scholar Diana Bishop, a descendant of witches who has rejected her heritage, inadvertently unleashes a fantastical underworld of daemons, witches and vampires whose activities center around an enchanted treasure. (FIC HARKNESS)


The Queen of the Tearling / Erika Johansen

Following a mysterious cataclysmic event referred to as the Crossing, humans now exist without modern technology and have reverted back to feudalism. At the story’s opening, Kelsea, the rightful Queen of the Tearling, turns 19 (the age of ascension) and is escorted by the Queen’s Guard from her forest home to claim her throne. Raised, educated, and protected by an elderly couple since birth, Kelsea possesses much book intelligence but lacks practical political knowledge. Nevertheless, she is everything one desires in a leader—she is strong, decisive, just, and possesses an inner strength that allows her to face any challenge placed in front of her. (FIC JOHANSEN)

The Night Circus / Erin Morgenstern

A fierce competition is underway, a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in “a game,” in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. (FIC MORGENSTERN)

Sabriel / Garth Nix

Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her father from the Land of the Dead. (TEEN FIC NIX)


The Alchemyst / Michael Scott

Having discovered the secret to eternal youth, 14th-century alchemist Nicholas Flamel and his wife are alive and well in present-day San Francisco, California. But they won’t stay well if 15-year-old twins Sophie and Josh Newman don’t fulfill their prophesied role of either saving or destroying the world, starting by getting back an ancient text stolen from Flamel’s bookstore. (TEEN FIC SCOTT)

The Fellowship of the Ring / J.R.R. Tolkien

Frodo the hobbit and his companions set out to deliver the One Ring of Power to the dark land of Mordor in order to destroy the ring in the forge of its creation. (FIC TOLKIEN)


The Golem and the Jinni / Helene Wecker

After her creator dies en route to America, Chava, a golem from a Polish shtetl, must navigate the streets of 1899 New York City by herself — her only ally is a rabbi unsure whether to destroy her, or allow her to fulfill her destiny as the harbinger of destruction. Ahmad, a jinni from Syria’s deserts has been released from his thousand-year-old glass bottle by a tinsmith but has little intention of remaining a metalworker, despite his uncanny talent for it. Chava and Ahmad meet and discover that they’re soul mates, but a dangerous adversary threatens their future. (FIC WECKER)

Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

Annabelle has a secret so secret that she won’t let her friends within five miles of her house; a secret, that when it slips, Annabelle discovers who’s on her side, and that turns out to be more people than she ever expected. She’s also pretty sure she likes a boy, and he might like her, too. So… What to do? Take a risk and let the secret out? Do what she can to help make the secret something better? Annabelle misses the days when they had family game nights, and when Grandma Nora shows up, there’s a glimmer of possibility that they might get back those night after all. Mary Lambert has crafted a perfect middle-grade story about a subject we don’t hear much about. One that proves anything is possible if you have a few people in your corner.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC LAMBERT)

Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat by Patricia Williams

Reviewed by Stephanie Ramirez (Library Staff)

The harrowing, thrilling, and ultimately uplifting tale of Ms. Pat, one of the country’s premier black female comedians. Having listened to Ms. Pat on numerous podcasts (including Joe Rogan’s and Marc Maron’s), I was familiar with her horribly traumatic upbringing: her father abandoned the family, her mother was a violent alcoholic and she had two babies by a married man by the time she was 15. In her trademark candor and wit, Ms. Pat tells how she finally transcended her upbringing with the help of “angels” along the way who taught her to dream of a better life.

Available through the BRIDGES Library System

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury & Cotton Candy Puppy Chow

“And they left him behind in a wind that very faintly smelled of licorice and cotton candy.” ~Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Cotton Candy Puppy Chow


4 cups vanilla chex cereal

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 1/2 cup Betty Crocker cotton candy cookie mix

3/4 cup pink candy melts

3/4 cup blue candy melts


  1. Measure out the chex cereal placing half in a mixing bowl. Measure out half of the cookie mix and half the powdered sugar and place into a resealable container or a resealable large plastic bag.
  2. Measure out the candy melts (one color) and melt in the microwave. Set the microwave to 50% and microwave 30 second increments stopping to stir every 30 seconds. Continue until completely melted. Pour melted candy melts over the cereal and stir until the cereal is completely covered.
  3. Scoop the cereal into the container with the powdered sugar and cookie mix. Make sure it’s closed tightly and give a few good shakes to coat the cereal fully.
  4. Pour out onto a sheet of wax paper to allow to cool and dry.
  5. Repeat these steps with the other color of candy melts.
  6. Store in an air tight container.

Posted by John David Anderson

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

It all began with Ruby Sandels. She had to text a friend about Ms. Sheers, and when Ms. Sheers saw her…well, that was that. In the blink of an eye ALL cell phones were banned from school. And that was only the beginning. Frost, Wolf, DeeDee, and Bench had formed a friendship at the start of sixth grade, and no one bugged them when they sat together in the cafeteria. They were the four amigos, all different, and, still, they fit together like the characters they played in D&D. That is, they all fit together until Rose Holland sat down at their table. A girl! A girl. At. Their. Table. Posted is one of those books your read, and wish you’d written. The characterizations of middle school kids is spot on; it’s funny when it means to be, sad when it has to be, and when things get exciting… well, they’re exciting. This is a keeper.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC ANDERSON)

Weekly Book List: Week 43 (Biography/Memoir)

America’s Queen: The Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis / Sarah Bradford

A portrait of an American icon chronicles the rise of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis from “debutante of the year” in 1947 through her subsequent high-powered marriages to JFK and Aristotle Onassis. (921 ONASSIS)


Freedom: My Book of Firsts / Jaycee Dugard

In the follow-up to her #1 bestselling memoir, A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard tells the story of her first experiences after years in captivity: the joys that accompanied her newfound freedom and the challenges of adjusting to life on her own. (921 DUGARD)


American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal / Taya Kyle

The widow of American Sniper Chris Kyle shares their private journey, a moving and universal chronicle of love and family, service and patriotism, grief and sacrifice, faith and purpose. (921 KYLE)


John Adams / David McCullough

Chronicles the life of America’s second president, including his youth, his career as a Massachusetts farmer and lawyer, his marriage to Abigail, his rivalry with Thomas Jefferson, and his influence on the birth of the United States. (921 ADAMS)


A Great and Terrible Beauty: Edward I and the Forging of Britain / Marc Morris

Describes the later part of the life of Englands King Edward I, who travelled to the Holy Land, conquered Wales, raised one of the greatest armies of the Middle Ages, fathered fifteen children, and expelled the Jews from his kingdom. (921 EDWARD)


Cleopatra: A Life / Stacey Schiff

Separates fact from fiction to reconstruct the life of the most influential woman of her era, revealing Cleopatra as a complex woman and shrewd monarch whose life and death reshaped the ancient world. (921 CLEOPATRA)


The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt / T.J. Stiles

A biography of the combative man whose genius and force of will created modern capitalism, documenting how Vanderbilt helped launch the transportation revolution, propel the Gold Rush, reshape Manhattan, and invent the modern corporation. (921 VANDERBILT)


The Sound of Gravel / Ruth Warnier

An account of the author’s coming-of-age in a polygamist Mormon Doomsday cult describes her childhood on a Mexico hills farm as one of her father’s more than 40 welfare-dependent children, the extreme religious beliefs that haunted her daily life and her escape in the aftermath of a devastating tragedy. (921 WARNIER)

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography / Laura Ingalls Wilder

Presents Laura Ingalls Wilder’s unedited, and unpublished, draft of her autobiography that was written for an adult audience and eventually served as the foundation for her popular Little House on the Prairie series. (921 WILDER)


The Iron Lady: A Biography of Margaret Thatcher / Hugo Young

Traces the life of Britain’s controversial prime minister, explains how she became involved in politics, and looks at the accomplishments of her administration. (921 THATCHER)

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Reviewed by Anonymous (Library Patron)

This book was set in rural Minnesota in or around 1961. If you lived during this time it is easy for you to be transported back to that mind set. The characters in this book are defined in an authentic way. The book is written in first person reflective style. The “writer” is named Frank. He is the middle child in an average family reflective of the time period. Several significant deaths occurred during this particular summer. Frank recalls and describes them as he reflects on incidents of his childhood. This book had several twists and turns in the plot that made it an interesting read. I would rate the book as an above average read.

Located in Adult Fiction (FIC KRUEGER)

When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison & Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Icing

“Look, I know everyone thinks their meat loaf is the best, but mine really is. For one thing, I use all beef–no veal, no pork. Why add complication or moral question-ability if you don’t have to? I make a ketchup and molasses glaze that is to die for.” ~When in Doubt, Add Butter by Beth Harbison

Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Icing



2 eggs, beaten

2 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef

1 cup panko crispy bread crumbs

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2/3 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Salt and Pepper

Mashed Potatoes

6 large potatoes, peeled, cubed

1/4 cup herb butter

1/4 to 1/2 cup milk

Salt and Pepper


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 18 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix meatloaf ingredients until well combined. Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups, pressing mixture down firmly.
  3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted in center of loaves reads 160 degrees F. Cool slightly in muffin cups.
  4. While loaves are baking, in 3-quart saucepan, place potatoes in generously salted cold water. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cook potatoes until fork-tender. Drain; return to saucepan. Add butter and 1/4 cup milk; mash until creamy and smooth, adding more milk as necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Make sure mashed potatoes are creamy and smooth so they can be piped onto meatloaves.
  5. Place potatoes in 10-inch decorating bag without tip. Starting at outside of loaf and in circular motion, pipe potatoes onto each meatloaf. If desired, garnish with additional parsley. Remove from muffin cups.


Train I Ride by Paul Mosier

Reviewed by Jane Oliver-Purton (Library Staff)

Rydr is on her way from California, where she lived with her Gramma, to Chicago, where she’ll live with her great uncle. Rydr’s been taking care of herself for a while, because her mother needed drugs more than she needed Rydr. As you can imagine, a train trip halfway across the country is a tricky thing for a kid alone and with not much money. Along the way, though, without even realizing it, Rydr has been adding friends, each with something to offer that she doesn’t know she needs. This is a terrific middle grade read, full of wonderfully quirky characters, a little conniving, a bit of blackjack playing, some truly tender moments, and a very deserving passenger.

Located in Children’s Fiction (J FIC MOSIER)