Celebrate National Library Week!

Jean Hansen's blog

The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews

 Check our catalog for: The Fixer Upper also available in large print and downloadable audiofixer upper cover

Dempsey Jo Killebrew is basically fired from her public relations job in Washington D.C. due to her big shot boss (who she thought was looking out for her) being caught in a politcal scandal.  Running out of money and with nowhere else to turn, she takes her dad's suggestion to work on fixing up his old, run-down family home in Guthrie, Georgia.  And a lot of work it turns out to be!  Trials and tribulations, satisfying manual labor, romance, and even some revenge ensue.  I saw this on a couple "best popular fiction of 2009" lists.  If you like Jennifer Crusie, you'll like this book.  I downloaded the digital audio book from Download Destination and listened to it on my MP3 player.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest By Steig Larsson

Check the catalog for The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson is the supurb third and most likely last book we are to see from the author who so unfortunately passed away from a heart attack at the age of 50. According to biographical sources, he left about 3/4s of a fourth Millenium Series novel left unpublished on his computer at the time of his death. The third novel in this series pulls together many of the threads of the two previous books. Lisbeth spends much of the book recovering in the hospital, trying to avoid Blumkvist, and awaiting trial for crimes committed. Larsson takes no shortcuts and for that I was grateful. I liked that you experience this story from a variety of points of view-from the staff at Millenium, the motorcycle gang, the secret police and their invisible unit known as The Section. This is a long book, but the author maintaines the tension for 599 pages and if you liked the first two novels, you will not be disappointed.

New Michigan History DVDs

Due to the generous 2010 donation by patrons Dorothy and Arnie Collens, the WTP Library now owns two Michigan History DVDs:

The Orphan Train in Michigan 1854--1927 which tells the story of 12,500 children who where brought from New York City and Boston to 44 Michigan towns.

Michigan's Lumbering Days and Camp Life which illuminates in archival photos and stories the life and times of michigan lumberjacks.

For more information about Program Source International, a local production company that has created 25 documentaries on Michigan history and delivers lectures on these topics to profit and nonprofit groups, go to their website.

Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Check our catalog for: Animal Vegetable Miracle

Animal Vegetable Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver is the kind of book that will be enjoyed by readers who love cooking and gardening. The author invites you into her family's decision to move from dry as a bone Arizona to Virginia to live on the land and eat only locally raised foods. This is a lovingly crafted memoir that educates and entertains the reader on the pros and cons of agribusiness. I think this could easily be used as a high school or college textbook.

Typing tutorial is available

Computer users (most of us are computer users these days!): do you need to learn the keyboard? Or improve your typing skills?  We have the well-reviewed touch typing tutorial software "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" loaded on all five of the adult database computers and two of the games computers in the children's department.  If you spend a half hour at it every day for two weeks you will improve your skills.  You can also use it just to test your current speed. Try it!

The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly

Check our catalog for: The Scarecrow Read more

The Girl who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson

Check our catalog for: The Girl Who Played With Fire (book), Large Print, Audio CD.

The second book in Larsson's Millenium Trilogy takes a bit of time to build tension but once the author sets up the elements, this book cannot be put down. Lisbeth Salender and Mikael Blomkvist are again the main characters but they don't make contact until the very end of the story when tangled plot ends collide. The police are hunting for Lisbeth who has been accused of going on a killing rampage. The press tries and convicts her based on her old psychological profile. Tension and pacing deliver a well planned story while her past comes alive and the mystery around her mental state begins to unravel. Lisbeth refuses Mikael's attempts to help as she takes on the fight for her identity and life.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Check out our catalog for: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

This is the story of a girl growing up in Brooklyn, NY in the years just before WWI. The author uses the main character, Francie, as a vehicle to tell the amazing story of her life in a time when there weren't welfare, social agencies, psychologists or birth control. Francie's family plays a game called Survival when the cupboard is bare. The parents are poor uneducated Brooklynites who struggle to give their children a better life. This book is a testiment to tenecious hardworking people in the early 1900s.

The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

Check our catalog for: The Colorado Kid also available on audio CDcolorado kid image
Although it's by Stephen King, this isn't a horror story, and it also isn't very long. It is a tale of an unsolved mystery in a small coastal town in Maine. Just good storytelling as a couple of smart old guys gradually reveal the story of a dead man found on the beach twenty five years ago to a young newspaperwoman.  Some people might find the ending unsatisfying, but when I thought about it, I kind of liked how it leaves it open to your own imagination. It might even be a good choice for a book club/discussion.  I listened to it on audio, and the reader, Jeffrey DeMunn, did a nice job with the voices and the accents. [Note: for some reason the cover art on this one has no relation to the story!]