Friday, December 30, 2016

A Book. A DVD. A Audiobook.


The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays by Ree Drummond. Food recipes from a woman in Oklahoma.


The Purge: Election Year starring [actors]. A Senator running for President has to survive the 12 hours of lawlessness. This looks like one of those situation where the actress is given glasses to "look smart."


Testimony by Robbie Robertson. 19 hours on 16 CDs. From growing up in Canada, going electric with Dylan, and recording with The Band.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Six Books and Photos


Curtain of Death by W.E.B.Griffin and William E. Butterworh IV. 1946 spies in Germany.

The Midnight bell by Jack Higgins. "Desperate men will act, secrets will be revealed."


Books for Living by Will Schwalbe. Essays about other books.

Audiobooks on CD

The Night Searchers by Marcia Muller. 7 hours on 6 CDs. Private eye privately eyes.

Girl Walks Out of a Bar by Lisa F. Smith. 9 hours on 7 CDs. Lawyer who started drinking when she was a teenager goes full blown boozer when working for a big NYC law firm.

The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes.  11.5 hours on 9CDs. Taubes says we eat too much sugar.


Outdoor ice skating rink in Commons Park. We had some super cold days a week or two ago but had above freezing temperatures a couple days ago. I don't know how often the Parks Department resprays the rink after thaws.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Some Audiobooks

Audiobooks on CD

A Match for Marcus Cynster by Stephanie Laurens. 13.5 hours on 11 CDs. Some sort of romance.

Born A Crime: stories from a South African childhood by Trevor Noah. 8.83 hours on 7 CDs.  Noah grew up with a white dad and black mom when it was illegal for the two to be married.

The Shapeshifters by Stefan Spjut. 14.5 hours on 12 CDs. Boy is kidnapped in 1978 and his mother says it was trolls. Same thing happens in 2003 and woman gets a photo.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith. 14 hours and 11 CDs.  Two girls grow up and end their friendship in their twenties. Then more things happen.

Dead to the Last Drop by Cleo Coyle. 12 hours on 10CDs. More murder set in a coffee shop.

Musics and paper

Sound Waves Are Turned Into Computer Code and Transformed Back Into Sound Waves

Under the Influence by Dale Watson. Country singer with fancy hair sings country songs with a traditional country bent.

Wild Stab by The I Don't Cares. Paul Westerberg and Juliana Hatfield team up to sing songs of middle aged rock.


It's Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. The back cover says, "A cautionary tale about the fragility of democracy, it is an alarming, eerily timeless look at how fascism could take hold in America." I'm not sure I've ever read a Lewis novel; even school assigned book. Let me check the bib... nope, not a one. But I did watch the Elmer Gantry film.

The Sellout by Paul Betty. The front cover says this is a comic masterpiece.I do not know anything about Beatty except that he has short hair and lives in NYC.

The Ornatrix by Kate Howard. Woman with facial birthmark gets treated poorly and ultimately hired as personal hairdresser to a courtesan. I do not know anything about Kate Howard either. Except she went to U of Kent and has longish hair.

Cover Me in Darkness by Eileen Rendahl. Woman who grew up in a cult deals with suicide of her mother while her mother was in a psych hospital after murdering the woman's brother. Here is what I know about Rendahl. 1. No author photo so I cannot tell you how long her hair is. 2. She has plenty of critical praise. 3. She also writes cozy mysteries with popcorn themed titles.


Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Materials by Ryan Mitchell. Our last copy was circ'ing pretty well but was damaged. So, I bought a replacement. No author photo of Mitchell, either. He has a blog.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Large Print

Large Print


Electrons Flow Across Wiring And Are Transformed Into Sound Waves

We Got It From Here ... Thank You 4 Your Service by A Tribe Called Quest. Popular band from years ago sings new songs for a new album.

22, A Million by Bon Iver. Eau Claire guy sings songs about Eau Claire. I suppose.

Hardwired... to Self-Destruct by Metallica. Metal guys sings songs of metal.

Ruminations by Conor Oberst. Singer sings songs of something or other.

[I cannot get the embedding code to work. Link.]

Head Carrier by The Pixies. Alternative rock band singers sing songs alternately.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

More Music, More Music, More Music.

Sounds Are Made, Sounds Are Recorded, Sounds Are Played Back Magical Electricity

Case/Lang/Veirs by Case/Lang/Veirs. Niko Case, KD Lang, and Laura Veirs team up to sing songs of country music.

Hard II Love by Usher. Singer sings songs of love.

I don't know anything about Usher so pick your own video:

Revolution Radio by Green Day. Singers sing songs of revolution and radio.

Nobody But Me by Michael Buble. Canadian sings songs of his Canadian self.

Voices of Angels by Celtic Women. Women try to impersonate angels and sing songs.

XXIV Magic by Bruno Mars. Sings songs of popularity.

Keeping the Horse Between Me and the Ground by Seasick Steve. Singer sings songs about his three string guitar.

You Want It Darker by Leonard Cohen. Singer sings songs of darkness.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Even More DVDs


Hunt for the Wilderpeople starring Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. Old guy in rural New Zealand fosters a city boy. Laughter ensues.

Imperium starring Daniel Radcliffe and Toni Collette. FBI guy goes undercover with white extremist group and shaves his head while Toni Collette has blond hair. Tension ensues.

Hands of Stone starring Edgar Ramirez, Robert De Niro. Biopic of boxer Roberto Duran. Punching ensues.

Mr. Church by Eddie Murphy and Britt Robertson. Guy goes to work as personal cook for a family and stays for several years. Heart warming events ensue.

Into the Forest by Ellen Page by Evan Rachel Wood. Sisters live in world-wide power outage. Troube ensues. Hey, isn't Page Canadian? Let me check... yep. She grew up in Nova Scotia. I thought about doing a driving vacation to the East Coast and going to Nova Scotia would be a loooooong drive.

Ghostbusters starring Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig. Scientists team up to catch ghosts. Comedic action ensues.

The Man Who Knew Infinity starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons. Mathematician from India deals with jerks in England. Math ensues.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Hoky-smokes, that's a lot of movies


Army of One starring Nicolas Cage. Cage acts Cagey.

The Purge: election year starring [I don't know]. People kill people.

X-Men Apocalypse. Several years ago I stopped keeping track of these movies.

Free State of Jones starring [shirtless guy]. Slave rebellion during Civil War.

Hell or High Water starring Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster. This is supposed to be pretty good. That is a big accomplishment after they stuck Chris Pine in the movie.

Outlander: season two starring [actors]. Scots go to Paris to stop a rebellion and then a nother rebellion in Scotland. Or something. I'm not sure.

X-Files: the event series. Mulder and Scully return for si episodes. I can think of three pop songs that reference this show. Here is one of those.

Ash Vs. The Evil Dead: the complete first season starring Bill Campbell. Ash battles baddies over 10 episodes.

The Nice Guys starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. Crime and punishment comedy. I've wanted to see this for a while.

Absolutely Fabulous: the movie starring [those two famous actresses whose names I cannot remember]. Two drunk socialites get drunk and cause trouble.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates starring Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza. Two guys advertise for dates and two crazy people respond. I bet Zac Efron takes his shirt off again.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thicker Books


Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis by Anne Rice. I have no idea what this is about. I presume the Lestat guy is still a vampire. Let me check... yep, part of the series. Rice lives in Palm Desert, California. I wonder what July is like there. Let me check that too... well, the average high is 108 Fahrenheit.

The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg. Something about a cemetery.

When All the Good Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz. The illustration on the endpapers is stormy water around a city skyline and lightning in the skies. The credits list the jacket designer but I am not certain if she also did the endpapers.

Mister Monkey by Francine Prose. When Boy #2 was a toddler his favorite toy was named Mr. Monkey Monk. Prose is a visiting writer at Bard College. I have no knowledge of Bard.  Let me look it up... well, Bard is 100 miles North of Manhattan and has 2,000 undergraduates.

The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa. Young woman on the SS St. Louis's infamous voyage in 1939 and her descendants 70 years later.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin. Yeah, that's a Kinks tune.

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen.  Fantasy novel about a queen.


The Horse Encyclopedia by DK.  A big book about horses. The Danish Warmblood has "no fleshiness in the jowl."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thinner Books


And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman. A novella with a title and cover that makes it sound like a "feel good" novel. The author lives in Stockholm. I was in Stockholm once.

The Eastern Shore by Ward Just. Mid-Century newspaperman publishes a story that carries consequences through the rest of his career. I have no idea where Just lives. My trip to Stockholm was a one-nighter after taking the cruise ship from Finland.

Inherit the Bones by Emily Litteljohn. Did Litteljohn watch the Disney Robin Hood as a child and say, "Hey, that bear has our name!"

The Flame Bearer by Bernard Cornwell. More vikings in Britain.

To Brew or Not to Brew by Joyce Tremel.  Woman opens a new brew pub in Pittsburgh with sabotage on her brewery and a dead guy  in a brew vat. The novel also includes a cat, because this is a cozy mystery and all cozies require cats.

Tangled Up in Brew by Joyce Tremel. Same characters as above but with a dead food critic at a beer festival.

Books and some photos.


Cross the Line by James Patterson. Some sort of novel.

Moonglow by Michael Chabon. Some sort of novel.

Sinner Man by Lawrence Block. Block's first ever crime novel. First published in 1960.

I'll Take You There by Wally Lamb. Some sort of novel.


Victoria the Queen by Julia Baird. Some sort of biography.

Thank You For Being Late: an optimist's guide to thriving in the age of accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman. Some sort of book.


We had our reception for the school art show.

Someone discovered the greatness of Bill Crider and ordered over more copies. I cannot rotate the image.

My dog took a nap.

The Library Annex (the house behind the library) is to be demolished in 2017. So we won't be fixing the rotted roof. I was going to replace the tarp and add a hunk of plywood but the wood is too rotted and the shingles too loose for me to step up there.

Our Sit'n'Sip program has been doing well. The event helps seniors learn how to use tablet computers.

My father came to read the Sunday Book Review.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Eight Books. Two Are NonFic.


Mistletoe Cottage by Debbie Mason. Some sort of Christmas novel. No wonder the cover has lots of red all over.

Someone to Love by Mary Balogh. Woman in a wispy green dress on the cover. Something about an orphan from Bath, IE.  Balogh lives in Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is a neat word. I have never been there. My wife and I were talking about summer vacations a few weeks ago and I mentioned going to Canada. He standard Canada response is, "The you'd have to pay for passports!" Well, yeah, we have to pay for gas and food too. What's the point?


Pacific Homicide by Patricia Smiley. Thriller with a killer. The author thanks several people in her acknowledgments. One of these people is Lee Goldberg. I read his books.

Night School by Lee Child. Let me take a wild guess at the plot. Jack Reacher is traveling around. Jack Reacher gets dragged into an investigation of robbery, murder, etc. Jack Reacher deducts and fisticuffs. Jack Reacher has sex with a woman police officer. Jack Reacher kills a few people. Jack Reacher hits the bricks.

This Was A Man by Jeffrey Archer. Heck if I know. How much time did Archer do for lying in court?

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnett. Crime thriller set in 1869 at a remote Scottish village. The author lives in Scotland. Scotland? Is this a good time to mention how Anthony Neil Smith loves to reminisce about Scotland? No? Not a good time? Well, too late.


The Hour of Land: a personal topography of America's national parks by Terry Tempest Williams.  Something about the author traveling to parks to write about their history and herself. Page 283 says, "I didn't know where I was."

Geeky LEGO Crafts: 21 fun and quirky projects by David Scarfe. Make stuff. Page 94 says, "All the thrill of the hunt without any of the blood."

Large Print

Large Print

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Two Books and A Few Photos


Faithful by Alice Hoffman. Hoffman has written a lot of books.

The Award by Danielle Steel. Steel has written even more books.


Witches Night Out
The first Wednesday before Halloween the downtown businesses have Trick or Treat. The day was drizzly.

The library bought 31.5 pounds (14.3 Kgs) of candy.



Drizzly early evening.

Lake Mills Area School District Art Show
Fall 2016 art show was installed yesterday, November 1.

Monday, October 31, 2016

A Stack of Books That I Let Built Up


Three Christmas Wishes by Sheila Roberts. I'm betting this novel is Christmas themed.

It Must Be Christmas by Jennifer Crusie. It must be Christmas novel time.


The Orphan Keeper by Camron Wright. "A novel based on a true story." Indian boy is kidnapped, sold to orphanage, adopted by Americans, he tells Americans the truth, the Americans cannot find his parents, he tries again as an adult.

Guineveres by Sarah Domet. The cover blurb says the novel is a "revelation". OK, I guess that reviewer really liked the book. The dust cover says Domet has a Ph.D and lives in Georgia. I've never been to Georgia.

Blind Sight by Carol O'Connell. Hey, Megan Abbott has a blurb on this one and says "it is a master class in suspense." I'll trust Abbott on this one, she knows what she is talking about.

Sex, Lies and Serious Money by Stuart Woods Literary Industries, Inc. 

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt. I kinda like the cover, and I kinda don't like the cover. Kimberly Glyder did the cover design. Glyder does A LOT of book covers. I like this one.

Mercury by Margot Livesey. I like this cover as well. Doesn't Livesey have an extensive back catalog? Let me check... well not a huge list. The inside lists eight other novels. Livesey's bio says she was born in Scotland.  She should avoid Anthony Neil Smith at writing conventions because he'll just want to talk about Scotland.

The Wangs vs. The World by Jade Chang. Guess who designed this cover. That's right, Kimberly Glyder.

The Mothers by Brit Bebbett. A novel about Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention? Nope. This is something about young adults, romance, and then growing older.

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James. Four Christmas themed stories James wrote for newspapers and magazine.

Night Watch by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen. Is Roy the son? Let me check...  Yes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Unmentionable Favre Foiled


Gunslinger: the remarkable, improbable, iconic life of Brett Favre by Jeff Pearlman. Page 209 says, "Team cohesion was put to the test in late November when the Packers went out on a limb to sign wide receiver Andre Rison off waivers."

Unmentionable: the Victorian lady's guide to sex, marriage, and manners by Therese Oneill.  Page 99 says, "In her later years she traveled the lecture circuit, advising ladies on how to make themselves worthy of being a king's bit of boom-boom on the side." 
Page 196 says, "This is a description of the nineteenth-century version of an unwashed ponytail, yoga pants, and faded WILLIE NELSON HONEYSUCKLE ROSE TOUR T-shirt."

Foiled!: easy, tasty, tin foil meals by Jesseca Hallows.  Page 32 says, "Cook the spaghetti noodles at home and store in a big plastic container or bag."


The Penny Jumper by James Grippando. An astrophysicist looking to integrate observatories into a massive telescope takes a quick job to write code for Wall Street. She gets framed for theft and trouble ensues.

The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle. People are locked into domes in Arizona to see if colonization would work on another planet.

A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury. Christmas novel.

The Whistler by John Grisham. I bet there is a lawyer. Let's check ... yep, a lawyer investigates a judge.

Fields Where They Lay by Timothy Hallinan. A Junior Bender novel. These are very good.

A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe.  Some kid wants a dog for Christmas.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fictional Tales of Derring Do and Other Stuff

Fiction With Made Up Plots

Cakewalk by Rita Mae Brown. It's more than Musical Chairs. It's nothing like the Hokey-Pokey. It's Cakewalk and one false step will cost you more than frosting.

The Obsidian Chamber by Preston and Child. Built by the Old Ones in a time before the written word, the Obsidian Chamber has lain underground for a millenia. When Kera unearths the chamber during spring planting she begins an adventure that takes her far from the paddock and shire.

The Girl From Venice by Martin Cruz Smith. Slim, sleek and sexy Courtenay grew up on the canals and was educated in the crime ring of her father. Now, she's grown up and ready to take over her father's business.

Kill or Be Killed by James Patterson Amalgamated Writing Services. Berry Bunny loves carrots. See him frolic among the flowers and -- oh, no! Berry! Don't eat all those pretty daisies! Oh, you silly bunny.

Escape Clause by John Sandford. He was once the King of Christmas. The jolly old man who spread cheer around the world until his Head Elf, Knickerbocker's, coup d'etat put Clause in his own dungeon. But, now, Clause has found a way to escape and no one can stop his belly full of jelly from revenge.

Seduced by Randy Wayne White. Jake was an ordinary guy in an ordinary job. When Mary walked in his hardware store and sold him his first Briggs and Stratton powered chainsaw.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Norm! Bruce! Scott Phillips!

Audiobooks on CD

St. Louis Noir edited by Scott Phillips. 7.5 hours on 6 CDs. Stories by a bunch of people plus one by Phillips. Phillips does real good work.

I Will Send Rain by Rae Meadows. 8 hours on 7CDs. The stress of 1934 dustbowl Oklahoma is pulling a family apart.

Fields Where They Lay by Timothy Hallinan. 10.5 hours on 9 CDs. Another Junio Bender novel featuring the burglar who is often forced by other crooks to be a private investigator.


Based on a True Story by Norm Macdonald. The famed comedian wrote a book. Here is a joke from his time on Saturday Night Live.  "Yippee!!!!! Jerry Rubin is dead. I'm sorry. That should read, "Yippie Jerry Rubin is dead."


This week in the O.J. Simpson trial, Johnnie Cochran, delivered a spellbinding final summation. In a brilliant move, Cochran put on the knit cap prosecutors say Simpson wore the night of the murders - although O.J. may have hurt his case when he suddenly blurted out, "Hey, hey, careful with that. That's my lucky stabbing hat."

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. Bruce's autobiography he took seven years to write. Page 225 says, "In L.A., the first sight I saw was a madly grinning Steve Van Zandt rushing around the pool like he was late on his Middleton, New Jersey paper route ."


French Rhapsody by Antoine Laurain. Doctor gets a 33-year-old letter offering his band a recording contract.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Various and Sundry

Stack of New Books

Boots I Bought for Just $30 at CostCo

Latest Jigsaw Puzzle in the Library

Today's Drizzly Rain From Out the Front Door

Rear Derailleur That Broke During Boy #1's Mountain Bike Race a Couple Weeks Ago

A Book About the Inventor of the Super Soaker

Morning Ice From I'll-Sleep-Under-A-Tarp-This-Time! Camping Before This Past Sunday's Mountain Bike Race

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Three NonFiction

Adult NonFiction

A Life in Parts by Bryan Cranston. Well knonw actor writes a book about becoming a well known actor.

Get What's Your for Medicare by Philip Moeller. Page 232 says, "They were invaluable... questions... although I will deny... superior... conversations."

Atlas Obscura: an explorer's guide to the world's hidden wonders by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton. List of unusual things and events around the world.  Hey, Dunedin, New Zealand has seven main entries and six short entries. Bladwin Street in Dunedin is listed.

Here Are a Stack of Audiobooks.

Audiobooks on CD

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. 10 hours on 8CDs. Crouch used to attend the Murder and Mayhem in Muskego (now Milwaukee) events.  I never chatted to him. I had nothing of note to say.

In Such Good Company by Carol Burnett. 8 hours on 7CDs. The Muskego event was always neat. The whole thing moved into Milwaukee because on of the main sponsors, Friends of the Muskego Library, decided to not participate anymore. Which is fine, it's their money. But, the library was a nice setting and their new, large building had plenty of space.

Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard. 9.5 hours on 8CDs.  I don't know if the newer Milwaukee version includes lunch like Muskego did. They'd have a couple large-ish meeting rooms set aside for lunch, authors would pick a table to eat, and everyone could come over and bask in their glow.

Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. 7.5 hours on 6CDs. Ok, I doubt anyone was actually basking but it was interesting to hear F. Paul Wilson chat.

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. 13 hours on 11CDs.  This year's Milwaukee conference on November 5 has some major authors and personal favorites coming over. Let's take a look... Joe R. Lansdale. Oh, hey, Blake Crouch will be back. Timothy Hallinan. Johnny Shaw. Lisa Lutz. Sara Freaking Paretsky and Heather Freaking Graham!

Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. 11 hours on 9CDs. I, of course, will spend almost all of November 5 at the Cub Scout Pancake breakfast from about 5AM to 1PM. I may try and attend the Noir at the Bar event on Thursday, or drive over for Saturday's second half.

Friday, October 07, 2016

Many Items


Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks. I have never read a Sparks novel or seen a Sparks movie. "In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or a wife, caring for his young daughter London while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality."

Missing: a Private novel by James Patterson Literary Services, Amalgamated and Kathryn Fox. Patterson donates a ton of money to schools and libraries.

Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. Semple lives in Seattle. My wife and I had planned a trip to Seattle but the plane was scheduled to leave on September 13, 2001.

Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber. Your annual Christmas novel from Macomber.

The Trespasser by Tana French. I still have not read a novel by her. I keep intending to but I have a habit of just grabbing books when I see them and letting them pile up.

Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand.  One of those "people on the beach" photos. Except the beach is covered in snow and the people locking lips are sharing a blanket. I cannot tell if the beach part and snow part were photo-shopped together.  The dust jacket says this is Hilderbrand's 18th book.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Nice cover. 71-year-old man is hired to take an orphan from Wichita Falls, TX to San Antonio, TX after the Civil War.

Nine Island by Jane Alison. This cover reminds me of Lemony Snicket. I do not know why. Page 190 says, "They have failed again, the two of them."

Gilt Hollow by Lorie Langdon. The cover looks like a YA novel. Let me check to see if this was cataloged correctly... Yeah, it was. But the YA sticker is missing on the spine.


Garfield Fat Cat 3-Pack, Volume 18 by Jim Davis. Because kids Looooove! Garfield.

Audiobooks on CD

Eligible by Curtis Littenfeld.  13.5 hours on 11 CDs. Curtis is a woman. I don't think I've met any women named Curtis before. I know a guy named Curtis. He is ten-years-old.

Sweet Tomorrows by Debbie Macomber. 9.5 hours on 8 CDs. Surely I've met someone named Debbie before. I don't recall walking her to her car though.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Enough Writing, Here Are Pictures.

New Books

Staff Room Cupcakes

Infant During Storytime Craft

My Dog in the Van

I Went to a Meeting By Almond, WI and There Were A Ton of These Today Show Mugs

Half Abandoned Ski Jumps Near Iola, WI at a Mountain Bike Race

NonFiction Mysteries


The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe. Wolfe looks are human language and how important it is to evolution. Page 21 says, " By the end of the last century, it had started appearing in scientific journals with a serious face on it."

Make It Easy: 120 Mix-and-Match Recipes to Cook From Scratch by Stacie Billis. Page 178 says, "[pretty picture of food]".

Great Lakes Island Escapes: ferries and bridges to adventure by Maureen Dunphy. This is a wild guess of a book selection. The topic may prove popular or it may collect dust. Includes both Canada and the U.S. and the Niagara River. Page 361 says, "This dry stone wall is on Back Beach Road on Amherst Island."

Menopause Confidential: a doctor reveals the secrets to thriving through midlife by Tara Allmen, MD. How confidential is it when you publish the information? Page 11 says, "Menopause is physiologically very different from perimenopause."

Hero of the Empire: the Boer War, a daring escape and the making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard. I've been fascinated by the Boer War ever since watching Breaker Morant and reading stories about Robert Baden-Powell. Page 131 says, "For the next hour, as he ran the length of the train, trying to help free it, or stood in the open, instructing the terrified driver, Churchill was constantly in the line of fire."


Pushing Up Daisies by M.C. Beaton. Agatha Raisin does more things with murder. Beaton "divides her time between the English Cotswolds and Paris." I see quite a few author bios listing two or three places. Do these people own several homes? Or, is are they listing there favorite vacation location? Or, maybe an author visits relatives in Montana each year and says "he splits his time" between the two?

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter. Karin with an "I" not an "E". Slaughter still uses the same author photo. The photo is very nice, so why not keep it? Her acknowledgments say thanks to someone named Vickye Prattes. That's Vickye "YE" not "EY".

Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton. Bolton has won or been nominated for several big name mystery novel awards. A convicted serial killer claims innocence and asks a true-crime writer to tell his story. Suspense ensues.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

HIghly Effective Black Panther


Christmas Caramel Murder by Joanne Fluke. The Christmas novels have begun.

Black Panther by Ta-Behisi Coates. Comic book novel featuring a new story about the superhero plus a reprint from Black Panther's first appearance.
I have no idea how to pronounce this writer's name. I also cannot recall what else he has written, let's check... Well, heck, no wonder I recognize the guy's name, he has a National Book Award and a MacArthur Grant. Looks like he does more reporting than novel writing though. I wonder if he does a lot of comics.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. I purchased a new copy because our last copy was beat up and falling apart.

Best. State. Ever. : a Florida man defends his homeland by Dave Barry. Page 161 says, "It's like the Department of Motor Vehicles, but with alligators."

Hiking Wisconsin: a guide to the state's greatest hikes by Eric Hansen and Kevin Revolinski.  This is a great time of year to go hiking but I'm spending the weekends scraping the paint off my garage. I'm hoping to get mostly finished this Saturday and Sunday. I have some more to scrape and sand and then need to replace some rotted wood.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer. Comic writes a book. Let's get back to paint scraping. Some of the paint still sticks great on the wood and is a bear to clean off. Other painted sections are so peeling they need little effort. At the top of the second story it's particularly difficult to scrape the underside of the overhang.

Indelible Ink: the trials of John Peter Zenger and the birth of America's free press by Richard Kluger.  The free press in the U.S. started in teh 1735 trial against a New York publisher who insulted the British governor of New York colony.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Slow Revolver Dog


Mad Dog Barked by Rick Ollerman. PI novel set in Florida with a 1st edition of Murderin the Rue Morgue at stake. From Stark House Press which publishes a neat mix of new novels, like this one, and reprints of old crime novels.

Revolver by Duane Swierczynski. A 1965 double murder leaves an orphan. The orphan turns policeman and in 1995 hunts the '65 killer. The orphan's daughter turns forensic scientist in 2015 and finds he father may have been mistaken.
According to the internet Swizzleterisnksiti moved to Los Angeles and is visiting all sorts of L.A. landmarks.

Audiobooks on CD

Robert B. Parker's Slow Burn by Ace Atkins. 6.5 hours on 5 CDs. Narrated by the great Joe Mantegna. Is Atkins the one played college football? Let me check... Yep.

Calculus, Physics, Chemistry and Sinatra

NonFiction Power PACK!

CliffsQuickReview Chemistry by Harold D. Nathan and Charles Henrickson. Page 95 says, "The double arrows indicate that the reaction proceeds either way."

College Physics Crash Course by Frederick J. Bueche and Eugene Hecht. Page 166 says, "Describe the path followed by the proton."

Calculus Crash Course by Frank Ayres and Elliot Mendelson. Page 124 says, "The curve is symmetric with respect to the coordinate axes."

Wolf Boys: two American teenagers and Mexico's most dangerous drug cartel by Dan Slater. Teenager from Laredo, TX crosses the border to work for Los Zetas. That was a bad idea but, then, his friends come over to join him. All of them become teen assassins.

Texas Ranger: the epic life of Frank Hamer, the man who killed Bonnie and Clyde by John Boessenecker. I started flipping through this and reading and - boom! - there went 15 minutes and I had to get back to work.

Sinatra: the Chairman by James Kaplan. Sequel to Kaplan's first volume about Sinatra, Frank: the Voice. Beginning the day after Sinatra won his Academy Award.

The Cook Up: a crack rock memoir by D. Watkins.  Right after getting several university admission letter a teen takes over the family crack business when his brother was shot.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Pursuit, Planing, and Property

Audiobook on CD

The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. 7.5 hours on 6CDs. More romantic adventure.


2015 Land Atlas and Plat Book, Jefferson County, Wisconsin, 2015. Page 32 says, "Mindemann Trust 153."

Master Plants Cookbook by Margarita Restrepo and Michele Lastella. Page 157 says, "Pinch of paprika."

Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest by Michael VanderBrug. Page 112 says, "You can further organize your seeds by grouping families together."

Supercraft: easy projects for every weekend by Sophie Pester and Catharina Bruns.  Page 135 says, "Put the porcelain paint into a little bowl."

Learn to Timber Frame by Will Beemer. Page 60, "When to Plane."

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Thursday, September 15, 2016



Tom Clancy Duty and Honor by Grant Blackwood. 9 hours on 8 CDs. Jack Ryan, Jr. escapes an assassination attempt and starts investigating.

Dishonorable Intentions by Stuart Woods. 8 hours on 7CDs. Stone Barrington does more lawyering and sleuthing.

The Emperor's Revenge by Clive Cussler with Boyd Morrison. 11.5 hours on 10 CDs. Something to do with race cars.

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin. 12 hours on 10 CDs. Sisters who are estranged meet together for something or other.


Empire: the complete second season starring [same cast]. Music and drama.

Green Room starring Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart. Struggling punk rock band takes a small job that turns out to be a white supremacist party. Someone gets killed.


Shelter in Place by Alexander Maksik. Mental health and family relationships in the Pacific Northwest.


The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2017 by [a bunch of people]. Page 239 says, "This fast-loading ride is usually a good bet during the busier time of the day."

What to Expect When You're Expecting, 5th edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. The famous pregnancy guide is updated.

Here Are Some Books. Made With Paper.


Nutshell by Ian McEwan. I have not read a McEwan book since 1995 or so. I saw a review in Times Literary Supplement when I was in grad school and checked out a couple of his books. I enjoyed the books but just never got around to reading another novel.

An Obvious Fact by Craig Johnson. A hit-and-run turns into a novel. Because that's what happens in novels. Something happens and the author creates a story around it.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I don't like the cover. Patchett has a dog named Sparky. Sparky is a good name for a dog.

Pirate by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell. Action. Adventure. Water.

Fates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini. Popular author from Wisconsin writes another historical hovel. This one is about John Wilkes Booth.

Blue Madonna by James R. Benn. Another WWII mystery. Benn writes neat novels.

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Friday, September 09, 2016

More Fiction


The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan. Teen genius is giving an important recital. Teen genius also served three years for "incident that left three classmates dead". Macmillan lives in Bristol, UK. Is that on the water? I'll check... yeah, sort of. Bristol is set back from the water a bit.

Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry. William Monk solves more crimes in Victorian London.

Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer. Supposedly this is "a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy."  Foer lives in Brooklyn. I have no desire to visit New York City. Sure, I'd accept a free trip but there are many other places I would choose to go to over NYC. I'd like to check out Northern Michigan and that is only a few hours away by car.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  In 1922 a Count is sent into house arrest at a Moscow hotel by Bolsheviks. Towles lives in Manhattan and has a beard.

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Thursday, September 08, 2016

More Books

The Usual

Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry.

Apprentice in Death by J.D. Robb.

Downfall by J.A. Jance.

Manitou Canyon by William Kent Krueger.

Closed Casket: a new Hercule Poirot mystery by Sophie Hannah.

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen.

Newer Names

Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart. Woman deputy from New Jersey works Jersey and New York City to solve crime. Stewart lives in Eureka, CA. Eureka is up north, right? I think so but will not bother to look.

Perfume River by Robert Olen Butler. I am tuping with only one and a half hands because my left hand is filled with mini pretzel sticks.

The Risen by Ron Rash.  One of those novels where teenage characters have a split and remeet as adults. I am pretty sure "remeet" is not a word but I used it anyway.

Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch.  Koch lives in Amsterdam. How far is that from Rotterdam?

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Minneapolis Flintlock Walking


A Time for Vultures: Flintlock western by William W. Johnstone. Flintlock travels into a town abandoned after a plague. A crazed preacher and his followers are intent on finding the residents who fled the town and bring them back for their fate.


Minneapolis and St. Paul by Tricia Cornell. A Moon travel guide. Page 73 says, "If you want a sandwich all to yourself, choose house-cured pastrami."

Breast Cancer Clear and Simple: all your questions answered, 2nd edition by American Cancer Society. Page 108 says, "You may not be able to do everything you used to do."


Walking Dead: the complete sixth season starring [live people] and [dead people].  Living people flee dead people.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

A Bunch of Fiction With Kayaks


Always A Cowboy by Linda Lael Miller. The cover on this paperback romance cover does not have a shirtless cowboy. It does have a "cowboy" wearing a hat and long sleeved t-shirt.

Crash and Burn by Fern Michaels. Another Fern Michaels cover with lots of flowers.

The Road We Traveled by Jane Kirkpatrick. The cover says women in the wilderness make friends. The back cover says a mother follows her son along the Oregon trail and brings her daughter and granddaughter along.

Leave Me by Gayle Forman. The title reminds me of a king telling a servant to split. The dustcover blurb says harried mother has heart attack, splits town, and deals with her own secrets.

The Shattered Tree by Charles Todd. The cover says "A Bess Crawford Mystery". The Library Director says, "Is this one of those World War One novels, or a different series?"


Canoeing and Kayaking South Central Wisconsin by Timothy Bauer. We had some old kayaking guides I removed from the collection. One of those guides may have been twenty years old. Rock Lake is not listed. The Crawfish and Rock rivers are mentioned.

A Bunch of Movies


Batman v Superman:Dawn of Justice starring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill. I was slow on ordering this one, I did not know it was on DVD already. We also have the BluRay.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 starring Nia Vardalos and John Corbett. I heard an interesting interview with Vardalos about her career and she and her husband recently adopting a child. Here is the interview.

The Huntsman: Winter War starring Charlize Therone and one of those Australian guys.  Humans fights CGI creatures.

Eye in the Sky starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman. Thriller with drone operators deciding whether to kill someone. I think. I'm not really sure. Here, watch the trailer.

Blindspot: the complete first season starring [no names on box]. Tattooed woman is mysterious and does mysterious things. Or something.

Keanu starring Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. Do you think Keegan-Michael Key ever wishes he had a shorter name? Something quicker to write? Maybe he signs his name "KM".

The Lobster starring Colin Farrel and Rachel Weisz. Dave has 45 days to remarry or he will be turned into a lobster.

Real Murders: an Aurora Teagarden mystery starring Candace Cameron Bure. These movies do well here.

The Big Bang Theory: the complete sixth season. Starring [actors].  I am pretty sure I have never watched a full episode of this. Here it is without the laugh track.

Friday, September 02, 2016

One Novel


Black Iron Mercy by Eric Schlehlein. 1881 in small town Wisconsin and Civil War veteran Arlis wants to forget the war. When others start telling falsehoods about the war and his infantry unit Arlis has to step forward.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Three Novels and Lynyrd Skynyrd


Rushing Waters by Danielle Steel. A romance. I guess. I still have never read a Steel novel. At least not that I know of. Maybe Steel penned something under another name and I loved it. I used to read the shoot'em series by Andy McNab and all those were ghost written. A couple of them were very, very good but I do not know the names of the real writers.

Jealous Kind by James Lee Burke. It's been a while since I've read one of Burke's novels. I haven't read any of his daughter's novels either.  She shows up in my Facebook feed sometimes when someone else I am "freinds" with comments or shares her posts. I think she lives in NYC.

A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny. This series has been a big deal ever since the first book came out in 2006. I read that novel, Still Life, but not enough to continue the series. I should try it again. These are set in Quebec. I have been to Quebec. Oh, wait! I have been to NYC if the airport counts. I had a plane transfer when I was traveling to Finland as an exchange student.

Long Ago Recorded Music Is Manipulated By Computers Into Slightly Different Sounds and Recorded Onto Plastic Discs That Carry the Digital Encoding That Allows Fancy Machines to Play Those Sounds Through Speakers

Lynyrd Skynyrd by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Floridians sings songs of rock'n'roll. This is a three disc set we split into separate discs. There are studio tracks, live tracks, and demo tracks.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cooking, Marl Crilley, and Other Things


How to Build Bookcases and Bookshelves edited by Scott Francis.  Woodworking projects with directions.  Including the "four-hour bookcase". In Gerard Time that means "24-hour bookcase". Especially if I have to cut dados and rabbets.

Mastering Manga 3: power up with Mark Crilley. I met Crilley when he visited my library system in Arizona. I really enjoyed his Akiko series of graphic novels. This is an instructional guide. He also does instructional videos online. I don't draw, I just ran across the videos once.

From Tweens to Teens: the parents' guide to preparing girls for adolescence by Maria Clark Fleshood. Incorporating rituals into your family life to help girls succeed and age.

Programming Arduino: getting started with sketches by Simon Monk.

Best Dollar Saving Dinners by Monica Sweeney. Page 50 says, "Preheat the oven to 450°F."

The Confident House Hunter:a home inspector's tips for finding your perfect house by Dylan Chalk. Page 156 says, "Buried oil tanks my be present - this was a common heat source."

The Chocolate Lover's Cookbook by Christina Dymock. Page 48 says, "Add the sugar and beat well."

Everyday Cakes, Pies, and Cookies by Gooseberry Patch. Page 190 says, " Top with remaining apple pieces."

The Science of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Margot Sunderland.  Page 133 says, " Point out the wonders of the world."

Make-Ahead Kitchen by Annalise Thomas. Page - What?! No page numbers?!

A Bunch of Education Books


Preschool Math at Home: simple activities to build the best possible foundation for your child by Kate Snow. Multiple activities for counting and learning numbers.

50 Successful Stanford Application Essays by Gene and Kelly Tanabe. I know a kid who was seriously bummed when his early admission app was turned down by Stanford a couple years ago. He was in a funk for a couple months. He then visited M.I.T. and loved the place and the people. Now he rarely goes back home - even for Christmas and summer.

Ultimate Guide to America's Best Colleges 2017. Let's look up Gustavus Adolphus. Holy Mackerel! Tuition is $39,550. Zoinks!

SAT 2017. DO you remember your SAT score? I sure don't. I suppose it was an OK score, but obviously not good enough to remember.

ASVAB Premier 2017-2018. Six practice tests. I have never taken an ASVAB exam. I am tempted to try a practice exam but fear getting a low score and feeling like a fool.

The Ultimate Scholarship Book 2017. Including the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Awards Program (p.201) and Polish National Alliance Scholarship (p. 643).

ACT 2017. I do not remember my ACT score either. It was decent but not great.

How to Get Money for College 2017.  I randomly opened a page and found the listing for Linfield College. I applied for a library job there almost 20 years ago. A few years after applying for that job I found my introductory letter in an old computer. Wow, was that letter a stinker; just plain awful.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Made-Up Stories With Made-Up Plots

Fiction Where I Invent a Plot

The Drowning Girls by by Paula Treick DeBoard. Australia is the land of surf and sun but a surge in drownings by teenage girls has some people worried. Not Bettina though, until a near miss by a slimey sea creature has her wondering what is really happening.

A Deadly Affection by Cuyler Overholt. Dr. Genevieve is a double rarity. She is a woman doctor in 1885 and she practices in the mine towns of Colorado. When local mine owner Gus Franks dies of poison Genevieve gets blamed. But, Gus's (very) young bride seems to leave a trail of bodies wherever she travels.

The Wish by Beverly Lewis. Elizabeth and Elizabeth share the same name, neighboring farms, and a tight friendship in Pennsylvania Amish country. When Elizabeth Miller's fiancee dies in a farming accident Elizabeth Martin tries to help her heal.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. Ted and Alice are always friendly, always willing to chat, and keep there home and property tidy. But, Ted's grin can seem a little forced, Alice has a late night habit of checking her window locks, and both of them never stop looking around at everything near them.

Blue Labrynth by Preston and Child. It is the mystery of Mediterranean. A little know scuba diving spot featuring a submerged complex of buildings. Rumors of gold abound - of course - and at least three divers have never been seen again. Is the strong current to blame? Do the legends of an ancient, undersea labrynth hold truth?

Cold Vengeance by Preston and Child. In ancient Rome the eldest man holds final authority of life and death over his own family. Marissa's father-in-law kills Marissa's husband and sells her and her children into slavery. There is nothing to stop Marissa from returning to Rome and avenging her family.

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Big stack of NonFiction


I am most interested in the Scrooge McDuck and Spy vs. Spy.  The small houses book is kinda neat, too.

Wisconsin Color

I was on vacation all of last week. Here is a picture from Peninsula State Park in Door County, Wisconsin.

We had a Cub Scout picnic a week and a half ago. There was a big grill on a trailer.

There was a kid stacking pretzels and putting them in his mouth.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

New Stuff, Part Two

I Am Still Covered In Bug Bites

I booked a medical appointment for 1:40PM. I've been very good about not scratching myself. I reapply the anti-itch medication (1% hydrocortisone) but the rubbing motion used to apply the stuff may what keeps the itch away, not the hydrocortisone.


To the Bright Edge by Eowyn Ivey. The cover graphic has the silhouette of a bird with a photo of mountains filling the silhouette. Ivey lives in Alaska. I wonder where in Alaska. Out in the deep, deep boonies? Or in a ranch house in Juneau? Does she go fishing a lot? Moose hunting? Does she wear gaiters over her boots when in the woods?

The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan. Something to do with horse racing. AAAARRRGGGH. I still itch!

The Golden Age by Joan London. This is a paperback. The black and white cover photo of a man and woman makes me think the author name is Jack London. London lives in Perth, West Australia. I spent a college semester at Murdoch University and loved my time there. I've not been back.

Hot Milk by Deborah Levy. Is hot milk a cure for bug bites? I'd try it, I'm going nuts.

Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers. Maybe I should just stop thinking about the bug bites. Maybe I am obsessing and that draws more attention to the itch. Let's talk about this book, "I have never read an Eggers book and don't plan to."

Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon. The cover design is not to my taste. BUG BITES. Gideon lives in "the Bay Area".  That covers a lot of ground and reminds me of a song by Cracker.


The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.  This is an Oprah book. Whitehead has long hair, lives in New York, and was awarded some impressive honors.

Non Fiction

American Heiress: the wild saga of the kidnapping, crimes and trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin. Someone I recently spoke to mentioned Hearst. Something about a friend or relative marrying Hearst's child.

Going for Wisconsin Gold: stories of our state Olympians by Jessie Garcia. Garcia will be speaking here at the library within a couple months. I cannot look up the date right now because I am itching so much.

Aw, nuts.

I probably have Poison Ivy from Scout camp over the weekend. I didn't even think of that because Poison Ivy starts out with small points like a bug bite. Over time the rash grows as the body reacts to the Ivy oils.

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New Stuff, Part One

Bug Bites

My neck is covered in bug bites and it is driving me nuts. I'm guessing I am having a minor allergic reaction. I brought an tube of anti-itch cream to work and keep applying it. In fact, I sepped away from the keyboard for five minutes to deal with something and put more cream on the front of my neck.


The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco. A paperback mystery with a cat. Maybe I developed a sudden allergy to cats.

What a Woman Must Do by Faith Sullivan. She must immediately develop a cure for me. That is what she must do. Get to work science!

Bright, Precious Days by Jay McInerney. In the late '80s I read all the McInerney novels. I don't know if he has any novels about bug bites that look like welts and cover your neck.

Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. My day has been filled with itching.

Damaged by Lisa Scottoline. Damaged. Like my neck is damaged. I think insects burrowed into my flesh and laid eggs.

Sting by Sandra Brown. Sting. Like the sting I will feel when the insects eggs hatch and the larvae start eating my flesh from the inside.

Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton. I read one of that Phoef guys books. I wonder if he, too, is covered in bug bites.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016



Survivors Will Be Shot Again by Bill Crider. Sheriff Dan Rhodes deals with more murder and more morons. I assume Sleepy Benton will play more music and interfere in an investigation.  Great stuff.

Crider has been under the weather recently. Stop by his blog and give him your best.


The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller. I like this cover. Ploy Siripant did the jacket design. Let's look her up... She has done a lot of nice covers.

Insidious by Catherine Coulter. Hey, someone just placed a hold on this book.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson. A bildungsroman with teenage girls. I think.Woodson lives in Brooklyn.  I know a guy here in town who use AirBnB to rent a house in Brooklyn for a week when his family went on vacation there. He was very happy with it. There were at least five people who went - probably more with in-laws coming along - and they had plenty of room and did not have to eat out all the time.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Three Novels and Local Color


Belgravia by Julian Fellows. This title reminds me of a Dashiell Hammett story where the Continental Op goes to a fictional Balkan country. Let's check the dust cover... Nope. It's about the aristocracy having a ball in Brussels the night before the Battle of Waterloo and, then, what happens 25 years later.

Watching Edie by Camilla Way. The title makes me think of stalking. Let's check the dust cover... Maybe? The plot description is kinda vague.

Underground Airlines by Ben H.Winters. This makes me think of those CIA rendition flights. Let's check the dust cover... Nope. Modern day story but with no American Civil War. That means four slaves still have slavery and a black man works as a bounty hunter for slave owners.

Local Color

Sandy Beach
I took my children to Sandy Beach yesterday afternoon. Boy #1 got bored and biked home. Boy #2 swam, jumped, and covered himself in sand for 3 hours.

Cars and Coffee
Cars and Coffee is the first Sunday of every month in downtown Lake Mills. Yesterday's event had a lot of cars and people. I did not get any pictures of the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, Corvettes, etc. I did take a couple photographs of someone's Packer themed pick-up truck.This is not the only Packer themed vehicle I have seen around town. Or the state.

My wife took a photo of Boy #1 and I looking at a an old Corvette.

She also took of Photo of Boy #2 in his standard pose next to a very angular Lamborghini.