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    by Cindy H | Jul 27, 2018
    The Aboite Branch has two fantastic programs for teens that you will not want to miss.

    Pages, Pixels, and Pizza is the first Thursday of every month from 7:00-8:00 pm. Bring favorite books, movies, music, and/or video games to discuss over delicious pizza. After the discussion, we play fun games on our new Nintendo Switch console. It is a great time to hang out with cool people and make new friends.

    On the third Thursday of each month from 7:00-8:30 pm check out our Dungeons, Dragons, and Donuts program. This program is a beginners introduction to tabletop gaming. Our Dungeon Master will guide us on adventures based purely in our own imaginations. Bonus, we have lots of yummy baked goods.

    At both programs we always make sure to have gluten-free options available for those with allergies or sensitivities. If you have any questions about these or other youth programs, please feel free to call Cindy, Youth Librarian at the Aboite Branch, at 260-421-1310. We hope to see you soon!
    by Dawn S | Jul 26, 2018
    I know it's July, but at some point your mind is going to wonder to the months ahead. Maybe a school supply commercial will make you think about next school year, or an arctic blast from the AC will make you think about winter.

    So, when you're thinking about the months ahead, just know that your librarians are busy planning and organizing too! In fact, our September library programs are already on our online calendar.
    Here's a sneak peek!

    image of paint and brushes 
    Homeschool Art Lab
    Hessen Cassel Branch

    Friday, September 7
    10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
    Participants in this bi-monthly class will explore emerging and established artists and their techniques, both local and international. Students will have an opportunity to research the artists, to study their techniques, and to create their own art.

    family fun night logo

    Families with children of all ages, join us every Monday evening for family fun!

    image of art supplies
    3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
    What do you think you might be able to create from the things nature is finished with like sticks, fallen leaves, flower petals and seeds? We’ll provide all the materials you’ll need to make a beautiful nature collage.
    image of star gazers in a forest clearing
    Grabill Star Party
    Grabill Branch

    8:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    We're staying late to party under the Grabill sky! Bring your lawn chairs and your sense of wonder as the Fort Wayne Astronomical Society leads us in some star gazing, complete with telescopes and other nifty stuff. All ages are invited!

    by Emily M | Jul 25, 2018

    Looking for a book recommendation?  Look no further!  Here are a few good books I've enjoyed lately...

    lifeafterlifeLife After Life by Kate Atkinson

    In February of 1910 a woman goes into labor.  The doctor is unable to get through the raging snowstorm and she is attended only by a 14-year-old kitchen maid with no experience assisting in childbirth.  The umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck and the baby dies. 

    No, wait.  Let’s try again. 

    In February of 1910 a woman goes into labor.  Despite a raging snowstorm the doctor arrives just in time to cut the umbilical cord from around the baby’s neck.  Little Ursula Todd will live.  So begins the story of what could have been and what could be. 

    Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life is a fascinating and unusual story.  Have you ever wondered how different your life would have been if just one variable had been different?  Have you ever wondered how all of human history may have been different due to just one small change? Life After Life explores these questions through the life of Ursula Todd, born in 1910 to an upper-middle class family in Great Britain.  Over and over again, Atkinson starts Ursula’s story from the beginning.  First, she dies at birth.  Then, she survives her birth, only to drown in the sea.  Then, she survives a near drowning to fall off a roof.  Initially, it seems the author is exploring all the way Ursula could die, but the more one reads the more evident it becomes that the author is exploring all of the different lives Ursula could live. 

    The unusual format of this book is not for everyone.  You won’t find clear-cut answers and a definitive ending, but Life After Life has much to offer.  In addition to exploring all the different directions a life can go, it delves into the bonds of familial love and exposes the realities of life in Great Britain during World War I and World War II.


    sonsandsoldiersSons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews who Escaped the Nazis and Returned with the US Army to Fight Hitler by Bruce Henderson

    When Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, it quickly became apparent to Jewish Germans that it would be best if they left the country.  Sons and Soldiers is the story of six young Jewish men who were lucky enough to escape Germany and make it to the United States.  When the United States entered World War II, they were understandably eager to join up and fight Hitler and the Nazis.  Initially rejected by the US army for their “enemy alien” status, these young men would eventually be drafted for non-combat duty, before being selected for a top-secret army intelligence program.  With their fluent German and intimate knowledge of German culture, they were the perfect candidates to be trained in the interrogation of German prisoners of war.  Following the stories of these six young men from childhood to the end of the war, Henderson’s narrative nonfiction is a gripping tale of six Jewish men who, against all odds, not only survived Hitler’s mass genocide, but played a key role in defeating him.


    callmeamericanCall Me American: A Memoir by Abdi Nor Iftin

    Call Me American is the story of an immigrant.  It is the story of a boy whose child- and young adult-hood were spent in a war zone.  It is the story of a teenager who fell in love with American movies and music, who idolized Michael Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and who taught himself English.  It is a story of a young man who refused the only two options available to young men in his city: become a Muslim sheikh or join the army.  It is the story of a brave man who made contact with a Western journalist and risked his life to share his story with NPR.  It is the story of a desperate refugee trying to gain entrance to the United States.  It is the story of a man who is supported by Americans who care about him, but is still struggling to adjust to a new country and culture.  Abdi’s story is fascinating and heart-breaking, and if you want to understand the political situation in Somalia, how it developed and why the violence persists, read this book.

    What about you?  What good books have you read lately?

    EmilyLong before becoming a librarian, Emily was an avid library patron. She enjoys reading fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, biographies, and classic children’s literature. Her favorite book is Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.


    by Aisha H. | Jul 24, 2018

    Human Library - Fort Wayne
    Saturday, August 4 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm


    Assem grew up in Lebanon, came to the United States, and experienced culture shock while living in the US as an Arab immigrant. Jay grew up in Appalachia, in an environment of steep poverty and racism, living with her single mom and an illiterate coal miner grandpa. Ketu was on death row for five years, two months, and a few odd days, sentenced for a crime he did not commit. They and other human “books” will be available to “check out” on Saturday, August 4 at Human Library- Fort Wayne from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in Meeting Rooms ABC.

    Human Library is “designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The Human Library is a place where real people are on loan to readers. A place where difficult questions are expected, appreciated and answered.”

    Throughout the day, there will be panel presentations as well as time to check out more than 30 human “books” and have a conversation with them one-on-one.

    This program is aimed at ages 14 and up.

    by Dawn S | Jul 23, 2018
    Here it is! The best new book to share with young students at back to school time. If you want to start the school year off right, then take some time to read this colorful book.
    cover image for all are welcome

    I'd say it's best for the Preschool-2nd grade crowd. There's a variation of the title that repeats on most every page and the kids could all chime in together "All are welcome here" as you read. I imagine the books text, by Alexandra Penfold, would lead perfectly into a discussion of school expectations and the like. The pictures are a pleasure too so don't skip the natural conversations sparked by all those smiling faces. Every student should see themselves in some character so expertly crafted by Suzanne Kaufman.

    This book is great and I'm glad it came just at the right time! If you need more back to school books be sure to ask your friendly librarian.
    by Kayla W | Jul 20, 2018

    Manga Recommendation: Princess Jellyfish

    Terrifyingly enough… there’s a male princess in Tokyo.  A strong, beautiful male princess. – Tsukimi Kurashita


    Princess Jellyfish


    Although it hurts my heart, because I will miss the adventures of the Amars, I am at the last (ninth) volume of this series. For anyone who’s read and has fallen in love with this manga, it’s an easy thing to understand. After all, it’s a great series that has a lighthearted tone and an actual ending that is within believable reaching distance (unlike so many that NEVER seem to end and outstay their welcome!).  

    Although I am sad to be getting ready to say good-bye, I was happy to spend my time with such an upbeat, adorable story. Especially one that features grown women who love who they are and aren’t ashamed of their hobbies and passions.

    This manga is a cute and strangely sober look at the minds of both shut-in fangirl culture as well as haute couture fashion.  It’s a dramedy about a house full of women united in their absolute devotion to their individual fandoms, hobbies, and bizarre behavior.

    It has a cast mostly made up of female characters who have chosen a self-exile to focus on their eccentricities and dreams. Calling themselves Amars (nuns), instead of living in squalor, or at the mercy of family members like spinsters of old, they have come together to live in an aging estate, which has become a communal gilded cage.  Together, they ignore an outside world that has shunned them (in real or imagined ways), with the occasional interaction that they have outside of the house literally turning them to stone when approached by people they’re unfamiliar with!  But, above all, they’re trying to do everything in their powers to avoid a potential run-in with the most dreaded class of people of all.

    The Stylish

    The youngest and most approachable of the Amars, Tsukimi, is much like her Amars’ sisters in most ways, with her own fixation resting almost entirely on jellyfish. Yes, jellyfish.  She draws them, daydreams of them, and retains fond memories of a mother she lost, the fondest of all memories being ones spent visiting an aquarium where she first became enamored with the unlikeliest of creatures. 

    Her life changes with a split decision Tsukimi makes in order to rescue a jellyfish that would otherwise die.  It leads to her teaming up with a Stylish.  It’s not long before she discovers that not only is this beautiful woman dead set on situating herself firmly into Tsukimi’s life (and that of the rest of the Amars’), but that she’s more than make-up and perfect clothing.  To be exact, “she” is a young man who loves to dress as a woman.

    The clash of values, culture, wealth, and identities leads to a fascinating story, with make-overs and rabid attempts to save the Amars’ home from being demolished, working in tandem with a journey through the invention of a new focus in Japanese fashion.  It’s… *Deep breath*   Jellyfish.  No, really.

    Although I usually enjoy a good romance plot (especially the stranger and less logical it seems), I must admit that, to me, the love triangle that this manga insists on centering on is actually by far the weakest aspect of the series’ story.  However, among a sea of truly eye-rolling romance plots in mangas, Princess Jellyfish comes off surprisingly clean and light, in comparison to its cliché-riddled competition. Where the manga truly shows how special it is, however, is with its gentle depiction of its characters, not only poking fun at their more absurd behavior and fixations, but offering reasons why they do what they do and showing how they’re more than capable of overcoming odds stacked against them in wonderful and inventive ways.

    Indeed, what ultimately elevates this story is how it playfully pokes at these damaged characters, taking genuine joy in revealing the – Princess or Prince – beneath the surface of every worthy character, the humor never turning into excuses to punch down on these people for their strangeness or supposed defects.  The “makeovers” seem to be more indicative of a physical manifestation of a deeper possible change, a potential that’s there, if only it can be grasped. And I think that’s beautiful.

    A true disappointment is that the short-lived anime series based off of the manga was ultimately cancelled really early in the series’ story arc.  I believe it is still worth watching – the comedic timing and all of the heart of the manga is there, even though it was cancelled after a pretty big cliff hanger.  One thing I am hopeful for is that the next brand-spankin-new series that Higashimura has made, Tokyo Tarareba Girls, will offer a lot of the same heart and humor that this one has in spades.

    Kayla loves all things weird, wonderful, and macabre.  Her soul’s in writing, and her hobbies include gaming, watching movies and television shows, reading anything and everything. Her black cat’s TOTALLY, 100%, not evil.

    by Community Engagement | Jul 19, 2018
    Photo Jul 19, 2 06 56 PM

    Our 2018 SPARK Summer Learning Program is in its final days, and we're already thinking about next summer! A great deal of planning goes into each year's program, and we rely on feedback from participants to help us make every summer truly spectacular.

    If you participated in our SPARK Summer Learning Program, please take a few minutes to share your feedback with us. The links below correspond with the age level that you participated at. Parents of little ones, you'll fill out the "Children's Program" survey to provide feedback for your child. If you also participated in our adult program, complete the "Adult Program" survey to share your thoughts.

    The last day to claim prizes is July 31! If you've reached your reading goals, check out the different learning tracks online and on the Beanstack mobile app for fun activities and challenging trivia. See you next summer!



    Children's Program

    Teen Program
    Adult Program


    Children's Program
    Teen Program
    Adult Program
    by Dawn S | Jul 19, 2018
    Here's another mixed-up collection of new books for kids. Gotta cram in more fun summer reading!

    cover image for drawing fantastic dragons cover image for junior maker cover image for the dam keeper world without darkness
    cover image for where the watermelons grow cover image for posey the class pest
    cover image for here come the bit police
     cover image for i wish i was an elephant  cover image for i just ate my friend
    cover image for the 91-story treehouse
    cover image for see zip zap cover image for the everything book of dogs and puppies cover image for pretty kitty
    cover image for thunder road cover image for the curse of the warewolf boy
    cover image for you can't bring a sandwich to the moon
    cover image for christopher robin  cover image for best frints at skrool
    cover image for rapunzel and the vanishing village
    by SM | Jul 18, 2018

    Here are new teen fantasy novels to read for hot Summer days and nights...



    Scott M
    Scott M, Editor - Scott is known around Shawnee Branch and about town as the “Library Dude” and is kind of squirrelly!  His favorite short story is Leaf by Niggle written by JRR Tolkien and he also works for chocolate brownies and Rice-Crispy treats!


    by Craig B | Jul 18, 2018

    cover for William Kennedy's novel, IronweedBook Review: William Kennedy's winner of the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Ironweed

    Suicide is a recurring theme in William Kennedy’s novel, Ironweed, though Kennedy makes it clear from the very beginning, that his central metaphor of a flowering plant named for the “toughness of its stem” pretty much takes suicide off the table for his main character, Francis Phelan.  We begin following Phelan from just getting out of jail for accepting money to register to vote multiple times (21 in all) to a midnight raid on The Jungle; Albany, New York’s 1930’s hobo settlement.  In Francis Phelan, we are introduced to a complicated character that, despite his misdeeds, we mostly end up cheering on, though if I were in his daughter, Peg’s shoes, or even those of his son, Billy’s, I’m not sure I could.  But then, what has one to gain from unforgiveness when forgiveness could make a broken family whole again?  If only hindsight was more current!

    Speaking of which, the title of this post is not mine.  That first part is a cliché and the second part comes from Kennedy himself.  Kennedy’s phrase for me is a good example of the pith and vigor of his prose and the environment it brings to life (pun intended … keep reading you’ll see) with its inclusion of dreams, destitution, and actual ghosts (ha!).  Simultaneously hard-edged and fantastic, the story is often energized by the juxtaposition of terse language and composed, dreamy forays into the spiritual world, all to say, yeah, the man, Kennedy, can write.

    Kennedy’s life as writer began with a glowingly serendipitous event for all the bleakness of this novel.  Born in Albany, New York, he met his mentor-to-be, Saul Bellow, in, no, not New York, in Puerto Rico, and received encouragement to become a writer of novels.  I mean, speaking of fantasies, I’ve had one of sitting in Le Creuset in Nashville, making a profound impression on Nicole Kidman when she came in to buy some cast iron kitchen ware and receiving encouragement from that muse of many herself, but, as my friend pointed out, that would never happen.  Nicole would never visit Le Creuset; she has someone who does that kind of stuff for her.

    Anyway, this is a small novel (for which I was grateful) about a smallish place that looms large in my experience because of Kennedy’s artistry.  The novel, of course, reflects the world around it; a world small enough for Bellow to be met by a burgeoning writer in Puerto Rico, but a world also enlarged by the incorrigible serendipity of such an event.  Not to mention the ghosts.  I haven’t seen any lately but Kennedy’s novel is full of them which makes the 227 pager vast despite itself.  A world full of the dead begets infinity, I mean, because, well, they got all the eyes.


    Craig B author Craig B is a thirty-something lover of books, movies, and rock and roll whose grandmother still worries that he might not be eating enough. (Love you, Grandma!) He lives with his charming wife in the small town of Berne, IN (in sight of the clock tower) where he busies himself keeping the Roses of Sharon in check and training his chinchilla in the ancient arts of the Ninja. Craig’s current favorite book is Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.
    by Dawn S | Jul 17, 2018
    Block play is fun and so much more! This summer our big blue blocks have toured the county and today they were at Grabill.
    image for kids playing with big blue blocks     image of girl playing with blocks

    If you haven't had a chance to experience the fun, there are a couple of locations that have upcoming programs. If you miss the summer events, check with your branch to see if they have any fall block programs scheduled.

    For a more in-depth look at the research behind all the amazing learning happening during block play, check out these books from our parent/teacher collections.

    cover image for blocks and beyond cover image for creative block play cover image for block play


    by Dawn S | Jul 12, 2018
    Have you tried the library's free digital music service? FREEGAL lets you download and stream music for free with your library card. Once you get logged in with your card number, you can search the children's genre for some fun family music. Freegal lets you make your own playlists and allows three hours of streaming a day. It features the entire Sony catalog of music. Here are just a few of the hundreds of songs you can choose from:

    cover image for fantastic voyagesWe Have Fun - The Roots - Fantastic Voyages
    cover image for spongebob's greatest hits cdThe Best Day Ever Spongebob, Sandy, Mr. ... SpongeBob's Greatest H...
    cover image for my little pony the movie soundtrackOff To See The World -  Lukas Graham - My Little Pony: The Mo...
    cover image for the emoji movieGood Vibrations - Ricky Reed - The Emoji Movie
    cover image for the peanuts movie soundtrackBetter When I'm Dancin... Meghan Trainor The Peanuts Movie - Or...

    If you'd like more information on this or other electronic resources the library has to offer just stop by and ask, or call 421-1200 to talk to a friendly librarian.
    by Evan | Jul 11, 2018

    We have a big collection of books and other items at our library, but we don't buy everything published. Inevitably, people want to borrow items that we don't own. Oftentimes, we can borrow books from other library systems, but sometimes that's not the best option. And we don't borrow electronic items, such as ebooks or even CDs and DVDs. 

    To deal with such situations, there is a Purchase Request tab on the My Account button at the top of our home page. If you click on My Account, input your library card number and your PIN, you will see the tab as one of your options. Click on that and fill out the brief form shown here. 

    Format (ex BOOK, DVD):
    Pub. Info:


    If you have all the information requested, that's great, but we mainly need the title, author and format. You are encouraged to include your email address in case we need to get in touch with you, but there is not a notification system to tell what decision was made. We ask that after you make a request that you wait a couple of weeks to check the catalog to see whether the item has been ordered. 

    Requests are limited to three per month, and not every request will be filled.  As a rule, for instance, we do not purchase highly specialized or academic material. But if you do know of something you think we should have, fill in that form and we'll look into it. And thanks for your interest in our library collection.

    EvanEvan - Married, three children, two grandchildren, formerly a newspaper journalist, now a public librarian, at all times a board game nut.
    by Dawn S | Jul 09, 2018
    Sometimes you're in a crafty mood but you don't want to make a mess. If you don't want to glob on the glue or risk painting your shirt green, then this new book is for you!
    cover image for low mess crafts for kids
    Low-Mess Crafts for Kids: 70 Projects to Create Your Own Magical Worlds
    by Debbie Chapman

    Projects are listed in themes like "fairy tale dress up", "little monsters puppet show", and "animals at the zoo". Most everything is made from common craft items like popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, straws, and wooden skewers. You'll love the colorful photos that display step by step instructions. Your kids will love all the creative playtime fun they can have once the projects are finished.

    Check out this crafty cool book at your library and ask for more craft books while you're there!

    by Dawn S | Jul 06, 2018
    There's still time to participate in our Summer Learning Program!
    SPARK runs from the first day of June to the last day of July.
    image of prize magnifying glasses and books
    We've got cool prizes! Just go to the SPARK site and keep track of the time you spend reading. There are also fun activities to try online.

    What if you're done earning prizes? You can still record your time and help us reach our goal of 5 MILLION minutes. Here's where we stand today!
    screen shot of SPARK site

    by Kay S | Jul 06, 2018
    Yes, it's time once again for a few select books which may help you cool down for the summer. These books are due to be released between July 14 and August 14, 2018. As always, please remember that is the publishing date, not the date they might appear on your library shelf.

    Historical Romance
    Eloisa James  Eloisa James

    Born to Be Wilde
    The Wildes of Lindow Castle series
    July 31
     Jane Ashford Jane Ashford

    Brave New Earl
    The Way to a Lord's Heart series
    August 7
     Karen Ranney Karen Ranney

    To Love a Duchess
    All For Love Novel series
    July 31
     Mia Marlowe Mia Marlowe

    The Singular Mr. Sinclair
    House of Lovell series
    July 17

    Historical Fiction

     Brooks Karen Brooks

    The Locksmith’s Daughter
    U.S. release date
    July 31 
     MJ rose M.J. Rose

    Tiffany Blues
    August 7

    Contemporary Romance/Mainstream Fiction/New Adult, Women's Fiction

    Belle Andre Bella Andre

    Every Time We Fall In Love
    The Sullivans series
    Contemporary Romance
    July 18
    Alyssa Cole Alyssa Cole

    A Duke by Default
    Reluctant dukes series
    Contemporary Romance
    July 31
    jonah jonasson Jonas Jonasson

    The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man
    Sequel The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
    Mainstream fiction
    August 9
    Debbie Maccomber Debbie Macomber

    Cottage by the Sea
    Contemporary Romance
    July 17
    louise miller Louise Miller

    The Late Bloomers' Club
    Mainstream fiction
    July 17
    laura trentham Laura Trentham

    Set the Night on Fire
    Cottonbloom series
    Contemporary romance
    July 31

    Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Romantic Suspense

    Aaron Elkins  Aaron Elkins

    A Long Time Coming
    August 7
     Susanna Gregory Susanna Gregory

    Intrigue in Covent Garden  
    Thomas Chaloner series
    August 2
     Jeri Westerson Jeri Westerson

    The Deepest Grave
    Crispin Guest Medieval Noir series
    August 1

    Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy/Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror

    Heather Graham  Heather Graham
    Pale as Death
    Krewe of Hunters series
    Paranormal thriller
    August 1
     Kevin hearne Kevin Hearne

    Delilah Dawson

    Kill the Farm Boy
    The Tales of Pell series
    July 17
     Lee Martinez A Lee Martinez

    Constance Verity Saves the World
    Adventure of Constance Verity series
    Urban Fantasy
    July 17
     Seanan McGuire Seanan McGuire

    The Girl in the Green Silk Gown
    Ghosts Roads series,
    Urban Fantasy
    July 17

    Young Adult/Teen

    Ann Aguirre  Ann Aguirre

    Like Never and Always
    July 17 
     Oliver Potzsch Oliver Potzsch

    Sword of Power
    Black Musketeer series
    July 24
     Chloe Seager Chloe Seager

    Friendship Fails of Emma Nash
    Emma Nash series
    August 9

    Inspirational Romance/Mainstream Fiction

    Shelley Gray  Shelley Shepard Gray
    Her Fear
    The Amish of Hart County series
    July 24
     Marta Perry Marta Perry

    Shattered Silence
    Echo Falls series
    August 1

    kayKay is an avid reader of historical romance books, maybe with a little trip into paranormal land and an occasional journey into mystery world.
    by Erin | Jul 05, 2018
    One thing to know about me is that I do not have a poker face. At all. Which is why when kids ask me for Smile, Sisters, or any other of Raina Telgemeier's graphic novels, I grimace. And I grimace because there's a 98% chance that those books are all checked out. She's amazingly popular! Thank goodness that there are plenty of other graphic novels that are just as wonderful as Telgemeier's books. Here are just a few:

    Awkward brave   roller girl
     sunny side up  lumberjanes real friends 
     el deafo cardboard kingdom   all's faire in middle school
     mega princess  mighty jack the time museum 
     baba yaga dream jumper   secret coders

    by Mindy L | Jul 04, 2018

    Some books sit on your nightstand for weeks as you read a little bit each night. These are not those books.

    What Should Be WildWhat Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

    Maisie Cothay has a problem: She can't be touched and she can’t touch anyone.  Her touch kills and resurrects, there's no in-between.  She lives in an old manor near a fearsome wood which the villagers warn against entering. When her father disappears, she has to break out of a lifetime of training as she searches for him. This novel features strange immortal women and time that moves at a different pace. Written in an old-fashioned, formal style, it's an odd but rewarding coming-of- age fairy tale. 8 ½ Kittehs. cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

    A Howl of WolvesA Howl of Wolves
    by Judith Flanders

    Sam is an amusing book editor in London who somehow gets involved in some interesting murders.  This is the fourth book in the Sam Clair series and I’m always happy to see a new one. Fast read, not heavy on social commentary, offering a window on the publishing industry. 8 Kittehs cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

    The Dark AngelDark Angel
    by Elly Griffiths

    A new offering in the Ruth Galloway Mystery series! Ruth, an archeologist with a daughter fathered by DCI Nelson (a married police officer) has plenty on her plate. Her paramour’s wife is pregnant (no one is quite sure who the father is, either Nelson or another policeman) and all the relationships are fraught. This sounds like a book revolving around sex! It’s not. Ruth takes an unplanned vacation in Italy to help an old friend with an archeological mystery. Earthquakes, murders, bad things happening back in England, and a particularly wrenching ending kept me up too late.  There are many characters with storylines going in all directions. They’re worth the effort although most readers will want to start at the beginning of the series.  10 ½ kittehs. cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

    Dead PrettyDead Pretty by David Mark

    In this fifth installment of the Detective Sergeant McAvoy series, McAvoy tries to find the murderer of Hannah, while dealing with his boss’s apparent breakdown. Aector is a moral person, so the trials and tribulations of being a cop wear on him mightily. Several different story lines merge and diverge — stay on your toes!  Mark’s books are gritty, more police procedural than cozy, with complicated, realistic characters. I'm always happy when I see a new title on the shelf.  9 ½  Kittehs cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

    Scot FreeScot Free
    by Catriona McPherson

    Lexy, a transplanted Scot, moves to California for love (and husband), gets a Reno divorce, becomes involved in a murder investigation, and things get really weird after that. I really enjoyed this book. Lexy’s off the wall humor and the bizarre cast of characters makes for a fun, fast read. I’m not even going to try to describe all the people she meets at the Last Ditch Hotel. Trust me, try it. 9 kittehs.  cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

    Blackfish CityBlackfish City
    by Sam Miller

    The climate wars have ended and the earth is ravaged. An amazing feat of engineering, a floating city in the Arctic Circle has degenerated into two populations — the haves and the have-nots. The city seethes with discord and anger. A well-constructed look into one possible future, I enjoyed this read. The several characters who propel the book are interesting and well-drawn, as are the visuals. Complex, depressing, and uplifting at the same time. 9 kittehs. (I would have given it more but I found it confusing at times, probably me, not it!) cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji


    Best Beach EverBest Beach Ever by Wendy Wax

    Number six in the 10 Beach Road series, this is a fun chic-lit book.  5 women, 5 different disasters, rock gods, movie stars, babies, commitment issues, and revenge — what’s not to like? You don’t have to start at the beginning of the series to enjoy this summer read. The women are of different ages so their problems and how they deal with them break things up nicely. 8 kittehs.  cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji cat emoji

    *Cat emoji images via freepik

    Another month, another cat pic:  Appo is judging whether you've read enough this week.


    Mindy works at the Little Turtle branch.  She's a cat lady, an avid reader, and an old boomer.

    by Craig B | Jul 02, 2018

    cover for Calpurnia's EP, ScoutOkay, so I love the literary reference here with the band’s name and this debut EP called Scout, and the EP itself is even, eh, pretty good, but let’s not get carried away in either direction yet.  For the detractors, yeah, sure, the EP’s fairly derivative of some of the other bands I’ve followed the last few years (Dr. Dog, anyone?), but every song is solid.  Though, as my friend says, a band produces their first album (in this case, EP) writing it over the course of ten years … their second album is written on tour over ten months, thus the oft-observed phenom of the sophomore slump.  However, maybe this band won’t succumb, and if they don’t they will most certainly have my attention.  I guess we’ll see.

    Suggested Use

    Haven’t tried Freegal yet?  Want to make your first foray into online music or just see what the kids these days are up to?  Okay, who am I kidding.  The “kids” who are listening to bands like Calpurnia are mostly 30 somethings with a penchant for 90’s alternative rock … or am I wrong?  Tell me I’m wrong.  Rock’s not dead?  Well, I suppose it can’t be as long as bands like Calpurnia are keeping the dream alive, even with half-hearted EPs.  I mean, come on, write an album already!  Keep Rock alive!

    craig Craig B is a thirty-something lover of books, movies, and rock and roll whose grandmother still worries that he might not be eating enough. (Love you, Grandma!) He lives with his charming wife in the small town of Berne, IN (in sight of the clock tower) where he busies himself keeping the Roses of Sharon in check and training his chinchilla in the ancient arts of the Ninja. Craig’s current favorite book is Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann.
    by Dawn S | Jun 29, 2018
    What can you do on a hot afternoon? The pool will certainly cool you off, and my kids are especially fond of water gun fights. If, however, you want to stay dry, try reading some of these cool summer picture books.


    cover image for the watermelon seed 

    The Watermelon Seed
    by Greg Pizzoli
    What happens when you swallow a watermelon seed? What if it starts to grow inside your belly? This crocodile imagines the worst when he accidentally eats a seed along with the yummy, juicy fruit.

    cover image for don't spash the sasquatch

    Don't Splash the Sasquatch
    by Kent Redeker
    Who's ever seen a swim trunk-clad Sasquatch or an Octo-Rhino? Even sillier is what happens when the pool play does get out of hand and the Sasquatch DOES get wet!

    cover image for higher higher
    Higher! Higher!
    by Leslie Patricelli
    Going for a swing is a perfect way to cool off, especially when dad is doing all the pushing. What if you kept going higher and higher? Maybe you'd see some pretty amazing things.
    cover image for a perfect day
    A Perfect Day
    by Lane Smith
    A perfect day looks different from different perspectives. This story shows several characters, including a cat, a bird, a boy, and a bear, having a perfect day.
    cover image for cricket in the thicket
    Cricket in the Thicket
    by Carol Murray

    Stay cool with some bug poems and learn a little something along the way.

    Come on into your local library for more cool books and some air-conditioned air too!