Happy Holiday from the South Sioux City Public Library

This is that great holiday week when we think about good and happy things.  Phrases such as Merry, happy, comfort, and joy are on our mouths and on our purchases.  This week we focus on keeping the happy in the holidays.

Lose yourself in a Good Story: During the hectic holiday season, it is good to give yourself a vacation of the mind, by reading a good book.

The Lilac Bouquet by Carolyn Hart; “After three generations of Massey women with children out of wedlock, Emmy Jo Massey wants the whole town of Hickory, Texas, to witness the legitimacy of her union with Logan Grady. But dream weddings aren’t cheap. So she accepts a highly lucrative stint as a home health assistant to retired realtor, and town recluse, Seth Thomas– a decision her great-grandmother Tandy is dead-set against. Seth isn’t happy about it, either. The eighty-two-year-old doesn’t want a “babysitter” much less a Massey– something he makes clear when Emmy arrives at his house, an empty mansion built for the woman who broke his heart. But as Emmy stays and the two eventually open up to each other, she learns the reason behind a feud between Seth, Tandy, and Logan’s grandfather Jesse Grady that goes back six decades. She also uncovers a secret that forever changes how she sees her past and her future…”—from the catalogue record.

The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo; “In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit. Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo singlehandedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops. There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, to the times she shared with her best friend, Kay, whom she met in nursing school. Half a world away in the Pacific, Kay is trapped in a squalid Japanese POW camp in Manila, one of thousands of Allied men, women, and children whose fates rest in the hands of a sadistic enemy. Far from the familiar safety of the small Pennsylvania coal town of her childhood, Kay clings to memories of her happy days posted in Hawaii, and the handsome flyer who swept her off her feet in the weeks before Pearl Harbor…”—from the catalogue record.

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips; is a fast paced thriller. “The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours–the entire scope of the novel–she keeps on running…” For whom should a mother risk her life?”– Provided by publisher.

Help Yourself to Happiness:  The following are a few books that will help you to find more happiness and to give it to others.

Brain rules for aging well: 10 principles for staying vital, happy, and sharp by John Medina; looks at the changes that happens to us as we age and gives us principles that will help us to live well as we age.

13 things mentally strong parents don’t do: raising self-assured children and training their brains for a life of happiness, meaning, and success by Amy Morin; teaches readers how to instill a life of happiness in their children.  While we are all at different levels of learning to be happy and successful, this book will give cues for what we should not do in order to be strong minded and to learn the same disciplines ourselves.

Adulthood for beginners: all the life secrets nobody bothered to tell you by Andy Boyle are a humorous look at what many people are never taught, awareness.  One of my dad’s favorite phrases to me and my wife was, Pay Attention!  Andy Boyle says the same thing more eloquently than dad.  This book will be especially helpful for young adults.

Movies for Families:  Our families watch a lot of movies during the holiday season.  These are a few you may like.

Boss Baby is an animated feature where seven-year-old Tim Templeton’s new baby brother strides in the front door wearing a suit and toting a briefcase, it is clear who is in charge and will be receiving all the attention of their parents.

Snow White is Disney’s first major animated production that holds up as well today as when it was created.  It is available in DVD and BluRay formats.

The Angry Birds Movie; an island is filled with happy, flightless birds; but their peaceful situation is interrupted when mysterious green piggies arrive on the island.

Music for the Holidays:  Some of us are enjoying holiday music and some of us are tired of it already.  These CDs will give you a great deal of variety for your listening pleasure.

A Pentatonix Christmas by Pentatonix; delivers a refreshing a capella sound to holiday music.

Losing My Religion by Kurt Franklin; brings his urban gospel to both fans of the genre and people who need to have uplift.  Some of the best songs on this CD are the title cut and Wanna Be Happy.  This is not your traditional holiday album.

G I R L by Pharrell Williams contains my absolute favorite song Happy that was done for the movie Minions.  The compilation mixes rap, rhythm and blues, rock, and pop music to make a lovely collection.  Duets with Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys just add value as well.

This week in brief:  This week we have Tangled Yarns on Night of Fun on Tuesday at 6:00 p,m., Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., Bilingual Story Time is on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m., Pat-a-Cake Pals is on Thursday at 10:00 a.m., and Toddler Time is on Friday at 10:00 a.m..  The library will close on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. for the holiday and will reopen on Tuesday December 26th at 9:00 a.m.

Have a great week and read good books.

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Cover to Cover Reading Schedule

We have voted on our book discussion list for December of 2017 through December 2018.  We may have some changes for One Book One Siouxland and One Book One Nebraska, or if books are not available.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr December 2017

Camino Island by John Grisham January 8

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann January 22nd

Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle February 12

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte February 26, March 12

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue March 26

Evicted by Matthew Desmond April

Bones of Paradise by Jonis Agee May

The Dry by Jane Harper June

In Reach by Pamela Carter Joem July 9

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult July 26, August 13

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon August 27, September 10

The Book of Aron by Jim Shepherd September 24

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon October

The Kid by Ron Hansen November 12

Riders of Judgment by Frederick Manfred November 26

Everything I never Told you by Celeste Ng December 10

Wednesday Reads, August 16, 2017

Aug 16 '17

 

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard;  In a world divided by blood–those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities–seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red, discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. But Mare risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard –a growing Red rebellion–even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.

Never Tell a Lie by Hallie Ephrom;  Ivy and David Rose, happily married high school sweethearts and expecting their first child, are plunged into a growing web of suspicion when a young, pregnant high school classmate disappears and David’s past is exposed in this tale of obsession.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman; Harboring secret preoccupations with a magical land he read about in a childhood fantasy series, Quentin Coldwater is unexpectedly admitted into an exclusive college of magic and rigorously educated in modern sorcery.

Unlikely Friendships:  Dogs by Jennifer Holland; “A heartwarming and inspirational book for the tens of millions of dog owners and dog lovers-and the newest addition to the phenomenal Unlikely Friendship series, a publishing program with three New York Times bestselling books and, with its bestselling calendars, nearly two million copies in print. Unlikely Friendships: Dogs brings together twenty-seven new stories of canine kindness and courage, plus a handful of classic tales involving dogs from Unlikely Friendships, Unlikely Loves, and Unlikely Heroes. Meet Rex, a Belgian Malinois who learned to love and trust again through the improbable friendship of a goose. Popeye the Mastiff, who ran into a burning stable and saved seventeen terrified horses by nibbling at their hooves. And a pit bull named Dolly, whose antics with her best friend, Sheldon the tortoise, include games of tag. (Yes, picture a tortoise running after a dog!) Enhanced with beautiful full-color photographs, these true stories of camaraderie, affection, remarkable bravery are more than a lovely tribute; they are proof that dogs are every creature’s best friend”– Provided by publisher.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin; Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, masquerading as an ordinary schoolteacher in a quiet small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world’s sole continent, a great red rift has been torn which spews ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries. But this is the Stillness, a land long familiar with struggle, and where orogenes — those who wield the power of the earth as a weapon — are feared far more than the long cold night. Essun has remembered herself, and she will have her daughter back. She does not care if the world falls apart around her. Essun will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

Beautiful Tempest by Johanna Lindsey; “#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey now reveals the tempestuous story of Jacqueline Malory whose furious desire for revenge leads to a confrontation with the handsome pirate who abducted her–and sparks a much steamier kind of desire. For the first time, James Malory and his Anderson in-laws agree on something: It’s payback time for the culprit who kidnapped James and Georgina’s beloved daughter Jack from her American debutante party and whisked her away to the Caribbean, no matter that she escaped unscathed. James figured out who masterminded the dastardly plot and is leading a fleet of ships to the West Indies to deliver some Malory-style retribution. More interested in revenge than in finding a husband during her first London Season, Jack is furious that her father left her behind. Then an intriguing stranger leads her and her older brother Jeremy to her mysterious abductor. But instead of capturing him, the Malory siblings wind up as his ” guests” on a ship sailing away from England. As Jack re-engages in a battle of wills with her all too attentive captor, she realizes he is no ordinary pirate, perhaps no pirate at all, but a nobleman determined to settle a score that dates back to the days when her father was known as Captain Hawk–and what endangers her most is the increasingly passionate attraction they feel for each other”– Provided by publisher.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling; When the Chamber of Secrets is opened again at the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, second-year student Harry Potter finds himself in danger from a dark power that has once more been released on the school.

 

What we are reading, August 2, 2017

Aug 2 '17

What We Find by Robyn Carr (FIC CAR) A Denver neurosurgeon relocates to the small rural town named after her ancestor in the aftermath of a wrongful malpractice suit to recover and reconnect with her estranged father.

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

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (FIC JOH) “On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon–from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic–to prevent her from wearing the crown.”– Amazon.com.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (FIC OZE) “A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.” In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace–and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox–possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

Blackthorne’s Bride by Joan Johansen (PBK J)  When Josie Wentworth, a maid in the house of the Duke of Blackthorne, becomes a wealthy heiress, she vows to teach the duke, whom she has despised for years, a lesson by transforming herself in order to catch his eye, and then breaking his heart.

Rimfire by William W. Johnstone (PBK J)  The continuing story of Smoke Jensen’s long-lost nephews, Ace and Chance, a pair of young-gun twins as reckless and wild as the frontier itself…

A Stranger in Town by William W. Johstone (PBK J) The train grinds to a halt somewhere in the Indian Nations, and the bandits get onboard. They take everything on the train worth stealing and gun down a guard to make their escape–just another notch on the belt for Ben Trout and Zack Larsen, two of the most savage killers in the west. U.S. Deputy Marshal Ed Pine follows them to Muskogee. There the trail runs cold, and Ed Pine disappears. To save his friend, Deputy Will Tanner rides for Muskogee, where justice extends only as far as the range of a Colt .45. Tanner earned his badge in a blistering gunfight, when he got the drop on a trio of killers and saved the life of another fellow marshal. Now, he&#x;ll have to be just as quick–and just as deadly. To bring in Trout and Larsen, Tanner must set his badge aside, and resort to the law of the gun.

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo (YAFIC BAR) The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction―and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for. Ruin and Rising is the thrilling final installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy.

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones (YAFIC JON) Set in the deep South, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly, and surprisingly funny novel that follows an unnamed narrator as he comes of age under the care of his aunt and uncle – who are werewolves.

What Our Staff is Reading, 7/26/2017

July 26 '17

No Middle Name:  the Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories by Lee Child (FIC CHI), A collection of pulse-pounding Jack Reacher stories–one never-before-seen novella, plus eleven others collected for the first time in print–each with original introductions from the twelve-time #1 New York Times bestselling author”– Provided by publisher.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (FIC GAI), As Shadow is about to be released from prison, he learns that his beloved wife has been killed in an accident. Feeling he has nothing else to lose, he becomes involved in a dangerous scheme that could cause him to lose more than he ever imagined.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (FIC HAW), “The author of the #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train returns with Into the Water, her addictive new novel of psychological suspense. A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from–a place to which she vowed she’d never return. With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present. Beware a calm surface–you never know what lies beneath”– Provided by publisher.

Unlikely Friendships:  Dogs by Jennifer Holland (636.7 HOL), “A heartwarming and inspirational book for the tens of millions of dog owners and dog lovers-and the newest addition to the phenomenal Unlikely Friendship series, a publishing program with three New York Times bestselling books and, with its bestselling calendars, nearly two million copies in print. Unlikely Friendships: Dogs brings together twenty-seven new stories of canine kindness and courage, plus a handful of classic tales involving dogs from Unlikely Friendships, Unlikely Loves, and Unlikely Heroes. Meet Rex, a Belgian Malinois who learned to love and trust again through the improbable friendship of a goose. Popeye the Mastiff, who ran into a burning stable and saved seventeen terrified horses by nibbling at their hooves. And a pit bull named Dolly, whose antics with her best friend, Sheldon the tortoise, include games of tag. (Yes, picture a tortoise running after a dog!) Enhanced with beautiful full-color photographs, these true stories of camaraderie, affection, remarkable bravery are more than a lovely tribute; they are proof that dogs are every creature’s best friend”– Provided by publisher.

Rimfire by William W. Johnstone (PBK J), The continuing story of Smoke Jensen’s long-lost nephews, Ace and Chance, a pair of young-gun twins as reckless and wild as the frontier itself…

A Stranger in Town by William W. Johnstone (PBK J), The train grinds to a halt somewhere in the Indian Nations, and the bandits get onboard. They take everything on the train worth stealing and gun down a guard to make their escape–just another notch on the belt for Ben Trout and Zack Larsen, two of the most savage killers in the west. U.S. Deputy Marshal Ed Pine follows them to Muskogee. There the trail runs cold, and Ed Pine disappears. To save his friend, Deputy Will Tanner rides for Muskogee, where justice extends only as far as the range of a Colt .45. Tanner earned his badge in a blistering gunfight, when he got the drop on a trio of killers and saved the life of another fellow marshal. Now, he&#x;ll have to be just as quick–and just as deadly. To bring in Trout and Larsen, Tanner must set his badge aside, and resort to the law of the gun.

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones (FIC JON), Set in the deep South, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly, and surprisingly funny novel that follows an unnamed narrator as he comes of age under the care of his aunt and uncle – who are werewolves.

Beautiful Tempest by Johanna Lindsey (FIC LIN),  “#1 New York Times bestselling author Johanna Lindsey now reveals the tempestuous story of Jacqueline Malory whose furious desire for revenge leads to a confrontation with the handsome pirate who abducted her–and sparks a much steamier kind of desire. For the first time, James Malory and his Anderson in-laws agree on something: It’s payback time for the culprit who kidnapped James and Georgina’s beloved daughter Jack from her American debutante party and whisked her away to the Caribbean, no matter that she escaped unscathed. James figured out who masterminded the dastardly plot and is leading a fleet of ships to the West Indies to deliver some Malory-style retribution. More interested in revenge than in finding a husband during her first London Season, Jack is furious that her father left her behind. Then an intriguing stranger leads her and her older brother Jeremy to her mysterious abductor. But instead of capturing him, the Malory siblings wind up as his ” guests” on a ship sailing away from England. As Jack re-engages in a battle of wills with her all too attentive captor, she realizes he is no ordinary pirate, perhaps no pirate at all, but a nobleman determined to settle a score that dates back to the days when her father was known as Captain Hawk–and what endangers her most is the increasingly passionate attraction they feel for each other”– Provided by publisher.

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman (FIC LIP),  Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected– and first female– state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It’s not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard County doesn’t see many homicides. As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small, but tight-knit, family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?

All or Nothing at All by Jennifer Probst (FIC PRO),  “HGTV’s Property Brothers meets The Marriage Bargain in this third volume in the Billionaire Builders series, an all-new, heart-wrenching, and sexy contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst. Tristan Pierce left the family business to carve out a life of his own, but never forgot his passionate affair with the much younger, inexperienced Sydney Greene, or the hurtful breakup that tore him apart. When he’s forced to return home and face his past, will he be able to carve out a future, or will lies ruin his second chance at love? Sydney Greene loved Tristan her entire life but when he left, he took not only her heart, but her trust along with him. Now that they’re together again, it’s time they both face the biggest secret of all…”– Provided by publisher.

 

What We are Reading, July 19, 2017

Dangerous Minds by Janet Evanovich; Buddhist monk Wayan Bagus lost his island of solitude and wants to get it back. The island was about two hundred miles northeast of Samoa. It had a mountain, beaches, a rain forest, and a volcano. And now it’s gone. Poof! Vanished without a trace. Brilliant and boyishly charming Emerson Knight likes nothing better than solving an unsolvable, improbable mystery. Together with Riley Moon and his cousin, Vernon, the mismatched trio embark on a worldwide investigation that will expose a conspiracy one hundred years in the making”– Adapted from dust jacket.

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman:  Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected– and first female– state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It’s not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard County doesn’t see many homicides. As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small, but tight-knit, family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?

The Book of Aron by Jim Shepherd;  “Aron, [a child living in World War II Poland], is an engaging if peculiar and unhappy young boy whose family is driven by the German onslaught from the Polish countryside into Warsaw and slowly battered by deprivation, disease, and persecution … When his family is finally stripped away from him, Aron is rescued by Janusz Korczak, a doctor renowned throughout prewar Europe as an advocate of childrens’ rights who, once the Nazis swept in, was put in charge of the Warsaw orphanage. Treblinka awaits them all, but does Aron manage to escape–as his mentor suspected he could–to spread word about the atrocities?”–Amazon.com.

Rat Queens v. 2. The far reaching tentacles of N’rygoth;  Who are the Rat Queens? A pack of booze-guzzling, death-dealing battle maidens-for-hire, and they’re in the business of killing all god’s creatures for profit. It’s also a darkly comedic sass-and-sorcery series starring Hannah the Rockabilly Elven Mage, Violet the Hipster Dwarven Fighter, Dee the Atheist Human Cleric and Betty the Hippy Smidgen Thief. This modern spin on an old school genre is a violent monster-killing epic that is like Buffy meets Tank Girl in a Lord of the Rings world on crack!– Publisher.

The Black Count by Tom Reiss; Explores the life and career of Thomas Alexandre Dumas, a man almost unknown today, but whose swashbuckling exploits appear in The three musketeers and whose trials and triumphs inspired The count of Monte Cristo.

 

July 19 '17