September 2011 Archives

Go Brewers!

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Old ballplayers never die--they just finish games
--Milwaukee Braves shortstop Johnny Logan

Improved starting pitching carried the Milwaukee Brewers to the National League Central Division title. Unfortunately they will not play the Atlanta Braves in the postseason, but two of the greatest games ever pitched involved their earlier incarnation, the Milwaukee Braves. Sportswriters Lew Freedman and Jim Kaplan share the well-worn phrase "greatest game ever" in their titles about pitchers Harvey Haddix, Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal and their pitching gems. Both books are ultimately about achieving greatness in failure.

Hard-Luck Harvey Haddix and the Greatest Game Ever Lost follows journeyman Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Harvey Haddix nursing a cold while pitching against the defending National League champion Milwaukee Braves lineup of sluggers Eddie Mathews, Henry Aaron, Joe Adcock, et al, at County Stadium on May 26th, 1959. For nine innings, he didn't allow a single Brave to reach base. Only four other starters pitched perfect games in the modern era (1893- ) before him.

Unfortunately, his Pirates teammates couldn't score a run off Braves sinkerballer Lew Burdette. The game went into extra innings. He retired 36 straight batters going into the 13th inning. An error, sacrifice, intentional walk, hit and Haddix lost his perfect game 1-0. The most remarkable thing was his efficiency. He threw only 115 pitches over 13 innings in under three hours.

The Greatest Game Ever Pitched is about the 16 inning pitching duel between Milwaukee Braves pitcher Warren Spahn and San Francisco Giants pitcher Juan Marichal at the wind tunnel officially known as Candlestick Park on July 2nd, 1963. While they shared a high leg kick pitching delivery, they were opposites in many respects. The ageless Spahn was a 42 year old decorated World War II veteran and won the most games in the 1950s (202). The 25 year old Marichal was from the Dominican Republic and was part of the growing black Latino diversity in our national pastime after Jackie Robinson reintegrated baseball in 1947.

The two control artists matched goose eggs for 15 innings, shutting down Hall of Famers Henry Aaron and Eddie Mathews of the Braves and Willie "Say Hey" Mays, Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda of the Giants. When Giants manager Alvin Dark visited the mound in the 14th inning, Marichal told him "Do you see that man on the other side? He's 42 and I'm 25, and you can't take me out until that man is not pitching." In the 16th inning, Mays cranked one of his 660 career home runs off Spahn to end the classic pitching duel 1-0.

The game was a watershed moment for both pitchers. Spahn said he was never the same and 1963 was his 13th and final 20 win season. Marichal was on his way to his first of six 20 win seasons and winning the most games in the 1960s (191),

When you're watching the Brewers pursue their World Series dreams, you'll enjoy reading these books during pitching changes.

Brewers postseason game schedule.

Submitted by Van Lingle Mungo


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The Money Answer Book by Dave Ramsey

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If you don't have the time to read Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover, but are interested in Christian based financial freedom, The Money Answer Book may be the next best thing. Financial advisor Dave Ramsey has developed a money makeover plan that helps readers find freedom from debt and find contentment with what they already own. Ramsey's proven plan has taken millions of people out of debt and given them the financial freedom many of us envy. Ramsey's uses "7 Baby Steps" to financial freedom:

Step 1: $1000 in an emergency fund (that you can access immediately if needed)
Step 2: Pay off all debt using the "Debt Snowball"
Step 3: Save 3-6 months of expenses
Step 4: Invest 15% of your income into a Roth IRA
Step 5: Start College Savings Plan (if you have children)
Step 6: Pay off your home
Step 7: Build Wealth through investing and give to charitable organizations.

Ramsey encourages readers to follow these steps no matter how long it takes to complete each one. He also suggests getting rid of some of our "stuff" in order to meet our goals. For many of us, completing the first step may seem next to impossible let alone all 7. We don't enter into debt overnight, therefore freedom from debt takes time. Using a little effort and self control, it can be accomplished. Visit your local library and request a copy today!

For more information visit Dave Ramsey's website.
Submitted by: SBJ @ 13


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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

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In The Eyre Affair we meet literary detective Thursday Next who is called onto the case of Jane Eyre, who was kidnapped straight from Bronte's novel. During her investigations she meets the people who play the characters of your favorite classic books, battles the powers of darkness and matches wits with the greatest super criminal ever known.

In Fforde's world, the black market for books is more lucrative than that of illicit drugs, performances of Shakespeare's plays are interactive - having more to do with rock concerts and mosh pits than dry, high-society theater and it's possible to travel into your favorite books (just be sure not to inadvertently change the ending). Throw in a gray market cheese economy, genetically engineered pet dodos and some good old-fashioned interoffice politics and it seems like there'd be too much to wrap your head around, but with Fforde's fast paced, quick witted and very entertaining writing you'll simply be wanting more.. His ideas are wonderfully unique and his characters are amazingly fun. This is a book that will have you happily whiling away the hours before reaching for the next installment of this ongoing series.

Submitted by Matt @ East


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Lucille Ball FAQ by James Sheridan and Barry Monush

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Lucille Ball FAQ: Everything Left to Know About America's Favorite Redhead is a thoroughly engaging portrait of one of the most beloved icons in television history. It includes everything you would ever want to know about Lucy. There's I Love Lucy, The Luci/Desi Comedy Hour, The Lucy Show, Here's Lucy, Life with Lucy, and all of Lucy's movies. The reader learns about Lucy's childhood, her romances, her co stars, her homes, her friends, her marriages and her children. The book is meant to be casually browsed, almost like a Lucy encyclopedia.

Released at the same time as Lucille Ball's 100th birthday, it is loads of fun and is sure to please her legion of fans.

Submitted by Nancy A. @ ML King


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The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork

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Pancho Sanchez and Daniel Quentin (a.k.a. D.Q.) are an unusual pair. Pancho is a 17-year-old teen with a difficult past. His mother died when he was just five, his father was recently killed in a terrible freak-accident, and his developmentally delayed sister died - or, according to Pancho, was murdered - just three months later. D.Q. has been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer that is nearly always terminal, and lives at St. Anthony's, and orphanage for teenage boys, although his mother is alive, well, and desperate to have D.Q. back in her life. D.Q., on the other hand, wants nothing to do with his mother, and has agreed to spend his summer undergoing an experimental treatment according to her wishes in exchange for emancipation.

Their unlikely partnership begins when D.Q. requests that Pancho, who has just moved into St. Anthony's, spend the summer working as his aide, to keep him company while he receives his treatments in Albuquerque. Pancho agrees, especially when his search into his sister's death leads him to believe that the man who was with Rosa when she died is living there. While D.Q. is focusing on becoming a "death warrior" by living every moment of what life he has left, Pancho has resigned himself to effectively ending his by killing the man who killed his sister, with no hope of not getting caught. In the end, both boys are challenged and changed in their views of themselves and what they want for their futures.

Stork manages to work in a wide variety of issues and themes into The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, some of them heavy-handed, and some of them running just under the surface. With death an ever present reality for both boys, issues of faith and future are a constant question, although formal religion is only faintly present. Stork deftly works in depictions of class, race, and economic disparity between the characters, and subtly references how much of an impact these factors have on how the characters see, experience, and are treated by the world around them. The fact that the character's names are an allusion to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza remind you to focus on the journey that they take, and to look critically at how they create their own realities. This is a great book for adults and teenagers alike, and forces you to ask the question of what it means to really live.

Submitted by Megan @ King


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Here's some free salutary advice: If you talk to God you're praying, but if God talks to you, you might be mad as a hatter.

Stories by congenital overachievers normally depress me, but Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So is swaddled in a straitjacket, and as such is very relatable. The Eeyore gloominess and mordant humor of the writing is laugh-out-loud funny and irresistible. How can you argue with this anodyne wisdom:

"Introverts almost never cause me trouble and are usually much better at what they do than extroverts. Extroverts are too busy slapping one another on the back, team building, and making fun of introverts to get much done ... I can pass for normal most of the time, but I understand perfectly why some of my autistic patients scream and flap their arms - it's to frighten off extroverts."

In 1971, at the age of 23, Vonnegut (son of Kurt) suffered three major mental breakdowns while living on a hippie commune in British Columbia. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he found himself locked in a Vancouver psychiatric hospital while he conversed with Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain and Fyodor Dostoevsky, painted with Van Gogh, and played sax with John Coltrane. Four years and much medication later he wrote The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity which was a smashing critical and financial success, allowing him to finance Harvard Medical School. In 1985, he triggered another psychotic episode when he went cold-turkey to quit drinking and using prescription sleep aids. To this day his voices remain-- just a little more offstage, and less intelligible.

Dr. Vonnegut feels that the stigmatization of mental illness remains a huge hurdle to recovery. Too often, patients are treated with "hushed-up" hospital stays and massive overdoses of medication. Family and friends shy away, in a way they never would if the patient was ailing from a heart attack or cancer.

Don't miss the brilliant final chapter which is a perilous epilogue entitled "Mushrooms". Penned with Vonnegutian gallows humor, it describes his fascination with unearthing various fungi as a prelude to cooking and eating them, leading to gut-busting calamity.

Submitted by Jane @ East


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Banned Books Week- Don't Read This Post!

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September 24th kicks off Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Join us in celebrating your freedom to read by picking up a banned or challenged book at your library today.

Below is a list of the ten most frequently banned or challenged books in the country in 2010, according to the American Library Association.

1) And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches.
2) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.
3) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Huxley's classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.
4) Crank, by Ellen Hopkins
Kristina Snow is the perfect daughter, but she meets a boy who introduces her to drugs and becomes a very different person, struggling to control her life and her mind.
5) The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
6) Lush, by Natasha Friend
Unable to cope with her father's alcoholism, thirteen-year-old Sam corresponds with an older student, sharing her family problems and asking for advice.
7) What My Mother Doesn't Know, by Sonya Sones
A series of poems reflect the thoughts and feelings of Sophie, a fifteen-year-old-girl, as she describes her relationships with a series of boys and as she searches for Mr. Right.
8) Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
In an attempt to understand the lives of Americans earning near-minimum wages, Ehrenreich works as a waitress in Florida, a cleaning woman in Maine, and a sales clerk in Minnesota.
9) Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie
An anthology of stories by gay youth reveal their fears and joyous moments as they attempt to survive and thrive.
10) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
When seventeen-year-old Bella leaves Phoenix to live with her father in Forks, Washington, she meets an exquisitely handsome boy at school for whom she feels an overwhelming attraction and who she comes to realize is not wholly human.

The above annotations are from our catalog or the readers' advisory database NoveList.

Submitted by Audrey @ Forest Home

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

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After devouring The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, I wondered if anyone could even come close to Stieg Larsson in whetting the appetite he pushed on me for dark, edgy, foreign thrillers. Well, it seems Jo Nesbo managed to do the trick with The Snowman. Set in Norway, Nesbo's book is about a serial killer who has a thing about women who cheat on their husbands. As the title of the book suggests, the killer usually does his deed when the first snowfall occurs each year, and to let people know he's been around he builds a large snowman that he adorns with some particular item belonging to the victim. While at times the procedural work by the police seemed to border on the ridiculous and mundane (which I'm told may have fallen victim to poor translation), the killer's imagination for performing his dastardly deeds never did. While I'm usually unaffected by what I read, this book gave me a nightmare after the first chapter! (But none after that!) Keep a warm blanket nearby while you read!

Submitted by Mary S. @ Bay View


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Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann

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George Dohrmann, Pulitzer Prize winning author and senior reporter for Sports Illustrated, followed AAU summer league coach Joe Keller and his team, the Inland Stars, for 9 years, from when the kids on the team were just 9 and 10 years old in 2000, until their high school graduation. The author found that the kids were wooed to the team by shoe giants like Nike and Adidas, who are looking for the next Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. They get the kids to join the AAU teams by providing gear, shoes, and by promising them college scholarships. There are lots of ways for coaches to profit from this arrangement also, which leads them to view their players as "investments". This is also a story about relationships and the sad decline of many of them, whether among teammates, parents and sons, or coaches and players. Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine is an eye-opening look at the inner workings of modern American sports.

Submitted by KMJ @ East


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ReSew : Turn Thrift-store Finds Into Fabulous Designs by Jenny Wilding Cardon.

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Author Jenny Wilding Cardon has created a colorful book full of clever and cute ideas on how to alter those old clothes (and bed sheets) you may find hiding in the farthest corners of your closets or waiting patiently for you at your neighborhood resale shop. She offers 20 fun designs, including tops, dresses and skirts, which show sewers how to give tired used clothing a second go around. There's no need to look beyond this book, I have skimmed through a few others that attempt to illustrate and explain how to alter old clothing and ReSew lays out the photographs, instructions, illustrations in a superior user friendly format.

Submitted by Valerie @ MPL Central



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Skyjack - The Hunt For D.B. Cooper

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Skyjack: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper by Geoffrey Gray (c2011)

On Thanksgiving 1971, a man buys a ticket under the name "Dan Cooper" (aka D.B. Cooper) and boards Northwest Orient Flight 305 in Portland, Oregon. Shortly after takeoff, he displays a bomb in a briefcase case and demands $200,000 and four parachutes as ransom. When the plane lands in Seattle, his demands are met, and he directs that the plane now take flight towards Mexico. Cooper then parachutes out of the plane into a heavily wooded area just north of the Washington/Oregon border. He is never seen again.

In 2007, New York-based reporter/writer Geoffrey Gray receives a promising lead as to the possible fate and whereabouts of D.B. Cooper. Gray tracks (and sidetracks) the lead ruthlessly for the next two years. He uncovers numerous suspects, copycats, deadends, crackpots, conspiracy theories and even gains access to the official FBI files on the case. In Skyjack, he weaves this all into an engrossing narrative that truly captures the undying intrigue of what remains America's most daring and notorious unsolved crime. Check catalog for availability.

- submitted by Tom S. @ MPL Central


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The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

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I could start spouting off about how Modern Library considers this book to be in the top 100 English Language novels of the 20th Century or how critics and English professors almost universally love this depraved tale of Hollywood alienation and freakishness, but who cares what the "experts" say anyways?

Instead, I think I'll just recommend this book because it's simply fun if "kooky" floats your boat.

Published in 1939 and set in 1930's Hollywood, this rollicking novel takes exceptional glee in exposing the soft, white underbelly of the glitzy movie business. Tod Hackett, a graduate of Yale, accepts a job at an unnamed movie studio painting backdrops and movie sets while continuing his "artistic" painting at home in his cheap room at the San Bernardino Arms. What Tod finds is a savage town filled with heartbreak, booze and selfishness.

Every character throughout the novel seems to be a caricature of a typical 1930's Hollywood "B" movie. We have a determined dwarf, a beautiful damsel who only causes distress but is never actually in it, a concrete cowboy, a nerdy guy from Iowa named Homer Simpson and a child actor named Adore!

This grimy novel features, among other finely written scenes, multiple characters in love with the same dastardly dame, the bloodiest cockfight in gloriously depraved detail that I've ever read, a drunken, dying vaudevillian star who sells fake silver polish and enough rapscallion behavior to make Larry Flynt blush.

To sum it up, in the words of Dashiell Hammett, who is truly one of the great writers of the 1930's and was an accomplished screenwriter in Hollywood: "This is the Hollywood that needs telling about. It's a fine job. I got a kick out of it!" You tell 'em Dashiell!

Roll over Bukowski, Nathanael West beat you to the punch!

Check catalog availability

Submitted by Dan@Central



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It's A Book by Lane Smith

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This is a fun, slightly sarcastic, but hysterically comic take on the debate over digital versus print books. A donkey with a laptop and a monkey with a hardcover book discuss the merits of their preferred formats. "How do you scroll down?" the donkey asks. "Do you blog with it?" "Can you make the characters fight?" At one point, the donkey reads a page of Treasure Island and decides it has too many words. So then he quickly transcribes the story as "LJS: rrr! K? lol! / JIM: :( ! :)." Finally, the donkey assures the monkey that he will charge the book up when he is finished with it; to which a mouse, the 3rd character in this book, responds with the side-splitting punch line. It's A Book is in picture book format with wonderful illustrations, and is sure to make kids and adults smile.

Submitted by Nancy A. @ King


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I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Steve Earle

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Did you see Steve Earle in July at the Pabst? I'm part of his cult following, but the closest I've ever come to a drug experience was on a windy night in the 1980's when I ingested a Diet Coke and four tabs of an effervescent antacid. You might know the Earle of yore and lore: great music and a heroin habit; buddy of the late Townes Van Zandt; husband of six ex-wives; photos of joints the size of corn cobs dangling insensibly from his mouth. Earle once balanced on a wall above 17th Avenue in NYC with a whipped cream dispenser of nitrous oxide in one hand and a bottle of tequila with 16 dissolved LSD tabs in the other. Luckily, after a stint in jail he cleaned up his act and has since recorded music that makes poets cry themselves to sleep.

Earle's second shot at fiction, I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive, details the troubled life of heroin addict Doc Ebersole, haunted by his former patient and friend, singer-songwriter Hank Williams--and man, is this spook cheesed off. As angry as a bag of wasps and dead for nearly a decade, Hank torments Doc daily. The technical difficulty of distinguishing between illusion and reality is one of the oldest and most important problems faced by writers in particular and by mankind in general. The allegorical details throughout the book (stigmatas, miracles, spirits, and mysterious cures) never overwhelm the story, which is shot through with Earle's usual humor, insight, and elegiac humanity. The book will appeal to Earle fans, lovers of magical realism, and readers longing for a transcendental way of life or a page-turning fable. And if you're not interested in ghosts and miracles, click here to check out the library's collection of terrific Steve Earle music!
Submitted by Jane @ East



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The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke by Suze Orman

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Being young and fabulous can be pretty difficult to maintain these days, especially if you're young, fabulous and completely BROKE! Financial guru, Suze Orman doesn't sugarcoat any of her advice to young people in The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke. Each chapter highlights key financial tips that are useful for the young and old alike. The first and (in my opinion) the most important chapter is Know your Score. Our credit score represents our identity in the financial world. It gives creditors an insight into our personal lives and tells them how much they can trust us to fulfill our end of the bargain. Often times our credit scores may be dangerously low through no fault of our own (job loss, illness, etc.) --but with effort, credit scores can be improved over time.

Orman also gives readers advice on love and money which is a huge problem for most couples, and it's often the number one reason why so many couples split up. Orman explains how to merge your finances as you merge your lives together. There's even a section on retirement, life insurance, and wills and trusts. These are all issues that the young and fabulous tend to avoid.

The financial guidance that can be found in this book is priceless. Some of the tips and tricks may have changed slightly due to the current economic situation, but much of the advice is still relevant. If you want to learn how to balance your fabulous life and your checkbook, visit your local library and request a copy today!

For more information visit www.suzeorman.com.
Submitted by SBJ @ East


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Vida by Patricia Engel

engel.patricia.jpgGrowing up in New Jersey, Sabina and her upper-middle class Colombian family stood out in a "town of blancos," they were the only Latino family in a white community. Vida follows Sabina through young and early adulthood as she deals with feelings of isolation and comes to terms with her shifting Colombian American identity. Front and center are Sabina's relationships; her flawed relationships with lovers and her family in the United States and in Colombia. Sabina is at times reckless and self-absorbed, but she is also strong, intelligent and unafraid. She endures the hardships of lost loved ones and messy breakups, and finds it's the smallest of moments that bring the most momentous changes in life. Vida is Patricia Engel's first novel and is remarkable for its clarity, intensity and emotional honesty without sentimentality.

September 15th is the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. Revisit some of your favorite works by Latino authors like Julia Alvarez, Sandra Cisneros or Rudolfo Anaya, or check out newer titles like Conquistadora by Esmeralda Santiago or The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse.

Submitted by Kristina @ Central


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The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

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For most people, the periodic table of the elements brings to mind high school science classes, a twinge of anxiety, and, let's be honest, a general sense of boredom and bewilderment. In The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World From the Periodic Table of the Elements Sam Kean changes all that, bringing the elements alive by giving the dish on the scientists who worked to discover them, the politics behind it, and what it meant to the world at large. He also peppers in a fair bit of scientific information and explanations, but it is well hidden behind the entertainment.

Kean chronicles one group of elements at a time, telling the fascinating and little told stories behind the periodic table. From the races to be the next to claim the discovery of a new element to the endless drama over naming rights, there are plenty of stories to be told. Kean manages to work in just enough information about chemistry and physics to give you a solid understanding of how the periodic table works and why it was created, without overloading you with scientific principles or jargon.

The title anecdote was one of my favorites: because its melting point is so low, a favorite lab prank was to fashion a spoon out of gallium, so that they next unwitting scientist to stir his tea or coffee would find that his beverage had eaten his spoon. And how can you not love the story of the endemic jealousies of scientists' wives when Marie Curie used to pull their husbands into closets during dinner parties to show them her glow-in-the-dark experiments. Or the story of Wilhelm Röntgen, the winner of the inaugural Nobel Prize in Physics and the father of the modern X-ray, who, upon discovering that with his new apparatus he was able to see through books, wooden boxes, and his own hand, locked himself in his lab for weeks, convinced he had gone completely crazy.

This book is filled with countless more stories of mad-scientists and scientists who just think they've gone mad. It is a highly entertaining read, and sneaks in a fair bit of educational value to boot.

Submitted by Megan @ King
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Are you looking for a good book? Let us help! Today, Wednesday, September 14th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., leave a post on Milwaukee Public Library's Facebook wall. Simply tell us the last three books you've read and we'll suggest your next read. "Like" us on Facebook and then join us for MPL's first Which Book Next event.


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Which Book Next?

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Are you looking for a good book? Let us help! Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 14th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., leave a post on Milwaukee Public Library's Facebook wall. Simply tell us the last three books you've read and we'll suggest your next read(s). "Like" us on Facebook today and then join us and your friends on Wednesday, September 14th for MPL's first Which Book Next event.


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The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

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In his third investigative book, The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, Jon Ronson gets reeled - sometimes willingly, sometimes not - into the mad, mad world of psychopathy. He takes a look at the history of diagnosing (Would you be able to pass the twenty question psychopath test?) and treating (which, in the past, has included stripping down and taking hallucinogenic drugs - in a controlled, clinical environment, of course) this often misunderstood psychosis.

Besides taking a look at the patients themselves, Ronson examines the egos and the motivations of the people doing the diagnosing (the doctors), providing the drugs (the pharmaceutical industry), doing the reporting (the media, including himself) and fighting the industry (Scientologists). He also takes a look at the large and influential group of people who may be going undiagnosed - our political and financial leaders.

Throughout all this, Ronson analyzes both the minds that control these psychological issues and how these psychological issues control peoples' minds. If you're interested in learning more about the madness which makes up the madness industry, check out Ronson's book.

Submitted by Matt @ East

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The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal

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Elena Alvarez, a chef and the lone survivor of a horrific accident which claimed the lives of two of her cousins, her unborn child, and boyfriend almost 20 years ago is trying to move on. Trying to fulfill a dream of running her own restaurant, she's trying to defy the odds stacked against her. After being fired from her job by the head chef (and her boyfriend), she is offered a chance to start over by owner Julian Liswood, a famous director and restaurant owner in Colorado. Can Elena get a restaurant running from the ground up? Can her battered body withstand the demands of a chef? Will Elena's old ghosts get in her way of finally having happiness? Check the catalog for availability. Grab a comfy blanket and a pen (for jotting down the recipes throughout this novel) and enjoy!
Submitted by Nichole D. @ Villard

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Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton

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Fashion designer Alexander McQueen (1969-2010) was well known for his impeccably tailored couture designs. A favorite designer of such celebrities, as Sarah Jessica Parker and Lady Gaga, McQueen's work was deeply rooted in his Scottish heritage, nature and his vivid imagination. In Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, McQueen's designs are showcased in stunning full page photos which capture the dramatic artistry of his work. Quotations from Alexander McQueen convey the inspiration for his creations, as well as provide glimpses into his creative process. This book was published to accompany the exhibit, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which ran from May 4th-August 11th 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibit was viewed by more than six hundred thousand visitors, which is a testament to McQueen's impact on the fashion industry. If you enjoy fashion design, you will love this retrospective of a fashion genius.

Submitted by Gabriel @ Central


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Growing Up by Russell Baker

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Growing Up is the 1983 Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography of Russell Baker, born in 1925 in rural Virginia. When Russell was 5 years old his father passed away due to untreated diabetes, thrusting his mother into poverty to the point that she put his infant sister up for adoption and moved the family to New Jersey so that they could live with her brother and sister-in-law. While in elementary school, Baker had his first taste of literary success with an essay on wheat. His teacher loved it so much that she read the essay to the entire class, which was not nearly as impressed as his teacher. After living with his uncle and aunt for 6 years, his mother moved the family to Baltimore where Baker got a job as a part-time newspaper deliverer to help his family out. He went on to receive a scholarship to Johns Hopkins University, serve in the U.S. Navy in World War II, and land a job writing the nationally syndicated "Observer" column for the New York Times, which he wrote from 1962 until 1998. In 1993 he replaced Alistair Cook as the regular host of the PBS television series, Masterpiece Theater, a job which he held until stepping down in 2004.

Submitted by KMJ @ East


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Girl in a Blue Dress by Gaynor Arnold

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Girl in a Blue Dress is a fictionalized account of the marriage of Charles and Catherine Dickens. Dickens fans, used to seeing his warm and fuzzy side, will get an entirely different perspective.

As the story opens, the great writer of the Victorian age, Alfred Gibson, has just died. His widow, Dorothea, known as Dodo, has been exiled by her husband to a small apartment and denied contact with her many children. Meanwhile, Alfred has taken a mistress and announces to his adoring public that Dodo is an unfit wife and mother.

After her husband's funeral, Dodo remembers how ardently Alfred courted her and the great love he showed her before the births of their many children and 20 years of marriage to a boundlessly energetic genius have left her fat and too tired to enjoy life. Dodo reminisces about her husband known as "the one and only" and discovers a great deal about herself. This book will surprise Dickens' fans, however this first effort by Gaynor Arnold it is very will written.

Submitted by Nancy A. @ King


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Those Across the River by Christopher Beuhlman

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Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate-the Savoyard Plantation- and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

It comes from the shadowy woods across the river, where the ruins of Savoyard still stand. Where a longstanding debt of blood has never been forgotten. A debt that has been waiting patiently for Frank Nichols's homecoming...

Check catalog for availability.

Christopher Buehlman is the winner of the 2007 Bridport Award for Poetry and the author of several plays. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida and will be at Boswell Books on Saturday, September 10, 2011 at 2 p.m.

Submitted by Jacki @ MPL Central


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A Singular Woman by Janny Scott

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His dreams may have come from his father, but the will and methodology to make them come true almost certainly came from the intellect and personality of Barack Obama's mother. Stanley Ann Dunham was described in shorthand as "an anthropologist who was born in Kansas" when Obama became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, but she was so much more than that and her influence can be seen in his achievement and personal style even today.

The opening chapters trace the history of Dunham's parents and grandparents, illuminating the thesis that her seemingly unconventional choices were not really so unlike those of her forebears. Barack Obama Sr. is seldom mentioned in the book, befitting a man who left his family when his son was 10 months old, and who would re-enter their lives only once more before his death.

When interviewed, President Barack Obama described a confrontation with his mother during his senior year of high school, when he accused her of treating his life as an experiment. She believed he was special and with the right values, education, and hard work he could become "somebody who was strong and honest and doing worthwhile things for the world." As a teenager, he rejected that possibility, but now, he allows, "Turns out she was actually onto something." But how did she recognize what it would take to make that future a reality?

The majority of the book delves into Dunham's own career development, intellectual life, and love for Indonesia. Interviews with her friends, co-workers, teachers, relatives, and children combine to paint an indelible image of a strong woman who was not afraid to pursue her own dreams and scholarly ambitions, yet opened her heart to many others along the way.

She fought to improve the economic situation of Indonesian women, even as she constantly struggled with her own finances; admired and studied the skills of master metalworkers in villages across that island nation, avidly collecting the art they created; lived unafraid of the social conventions in both eastern and western civilization, while moving easily through both despite never having learned to drive; and mentored countless idealistic expatriates along the way, both in the U.S. and Indonesia.

The book is sprinkled with black and white photos, but suffers from a lack of an index. Interviews, letters, Dunham's copious field notes and assorted background materials combine to draw a vivid portrait of a lively, loving, and strong-willed woman, who ultimately gave her son far more than just dreams. Check catalog for availability.

Submitted by Cathy M.


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Fix, Freeze, Feast by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik

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Whenever I make a trip to a warehouse store, I'm always inspired with eagerness and ambition over all of the money I can save and all of the delicious meals that I can make by buying in bulk. That enthusiasm wanes when I get home and face the stark reality of eating chicken every night for the rest of my life (or the rest of the month, at least), or throwing all those savings into the garbage if I don't.

Fix, Freeze, Feast: Tthe Delicious, Money-saving Way to Feed Your Family solves that dilemma by providing a plethora of ideas of how to use those bulk buys in a variety of different meals that can be prepared in advance and frozen until needed. This book is a one-stop shop for anyone looking for the savings of buying food in bulk without the waste of throwing away unused produce and meat, or the monotony of eating the same thing night after night after night.

While the book focuses on feeding families of four to six, the beauty of these recipes is that when you freeze them, you can do so in any serving size you want, making it just as useful to a larger family as to a smaller one. For some of the recipes, like the Feta and Spinach Lasagna Rolls, you can thaw the exact number of rolls that you need to use, making it even easier to customize exactly based on the number of people at your dinner table. Plus, one batch gives you enough for multiple meals, saving you time as well as money.

For the recipes that are barbeque friendly, both indoor and outdoor cooking instructions are provided, making it easier to improvise depending on the day's weather. They also offer helpful tips and tricks for planning, shopping, cooking, and turning your own favorite dishes into freezer-friendly meals.

Submitted by Megan @ King


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