April 2012 Archives

Mrs. Kennedy And Me by Clint Hill with Lisa McCubbin

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Clint Hill, author of Mrs. Kennedy and Me, was a Secret Service agent assigned to Mrs. Kennedy and her children in 1960. In this account he details what daily life was like as a Secret Service agent in the Kennedy household. He traveled across the globe with Mrs. Kennedy and was at home with her watching the children as they grew up. Hill also describes what it was like being in the presidential motorcade during the John F. Kennedy assassination. Readers will be pleased with this special look into the lives of the Kennedys, a family that still holds people's attention and curiosity today.

Submitted by Valerie @ Central



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Edgar Award Winners Announced

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The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (popularly called the Edgars), named after Edgar Allan Poe, are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America. They honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theatre published or produced in the previous year. The winner in the Best Novel category is Mo Hayder, for the fifth book in her Jack Caffery series, Gone. The full list of nominees and winners is here.

Submitted by Jacki @ Central


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The Inquisitor by Mark Allen Smith

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Mark Allen Smith's The Inquisitor, is a peculiar and absorbing novel. Geiger, the main character, is a professional torturer that gains sympathy when he has to care for a young boy. Even with the boy in his life, he doesn't give up torturing. Marilyn Stasio in her New York Times column says, "The curious result is something like an X-rated Disney movie -- extremely graphic scenes of physical violence and mental suffering embedded in a rather sweet adventure story about a damaged man who heals himself by saving a child from a similar fate."

Submitted by Jacki @ Central


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Bay View Library Book Club Reads Caleb's Crossing

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Bay View Library Book Club meets on the third Wednesday of every month from 6:30 - 7:30 pm at Bay View Library. New members are always welcome!

For May 19, 2012 the selection is Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks.

Future selections are:

June 20, 2012
Dishwasher: One Man's Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States by Pete Jordan

July 18, 2012
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane and The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara




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Talking With My Mouth Full by Gail Simmons

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Have you ever wondered what the judges of such shows as Top Chef did to reach the judging table? Gail Simmons has written a light hearted account of her journey to become an expert food critic for television and magazines. Throughout Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater Ms. Simmons talks about family, friends, and heartbreak while always circling back to how food influenced her life. Her adventures in Spain, traveling in South Africa with her father, culinary school, her job with Jeffrey Steingarten, and her job with Food & Wine magazine gave her a foundation towards being a food critic. Ms. Simmons has worked for and with many of the world's leading culinary experts and she brings all of these experiences to life. An easy and compelling read for anyone who likes food. Top Chef fans will find the parts about the show quite intriguing.

Submitted by Roxanne @ Wisconsin Talking Book & Braille Library


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Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

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From the very first chapter, Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
was a book I didn't want to read. It was too depressing, too frightening, a book that makes you mad. It is the true story of life in a makeshift settlement on land near the Mumbai airport in India. The settlement is called Annawadi. The main characters include Abdul, a Muslim teen, who makes his living on other peoples garbage (he has been accused of setting fire to Fatima, a one legged neighbor woman), Asha, a woman trying to get to the top via political corruption who wants her daughter to become Annawadi's first female college graduate and Kalul, a scrap iron thief.

The description of how the children scavenged for garbage and the risks they took (many places were well guarded or had high fences) was unimaginable. There's an election in which only women are eligible to run, but even when one does it doesn't make a difference. Her employer actually runs the show in her name. Orphanages accept clothing at the front door and then sell it out the back door.

Katherine Boo, the author, is a reporter married to an Indian man. She spent more than twenty years reporting on poor communities in the United States before going to India to research this book. The conditions here are deplorable and so are the people who run things. Corruption is everywhere. The upside to the story is how enterprising these poor people can be in order to survive. An eye opening look into the underbelly of another land.

Submitted by Lynn @ Center Street


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Timeless by Gail Carriger

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As if raising a two-year-old while living amongst vampires and werewolves in Victorian England wasn't challenging enough, Alexia is summoned to Egypt to meet the world's oldest immortal. In Timeless, Carriger brings the Parasol Protectorate series to a thrilling and satisfying conclusion with this fifth installment. Carriger's books are always great fun and Timeless is no exception. To get the most out of it, consider reading all the books in the series; Soulless, Changeless, Blameless and Heartless. Fans of the series will be sad to turn the last page and say goodbye to the colorful cast of characters they've come to know and love.

Submitted by Ashley @ Center Street


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Whistling in the Dark by Leslie Kagen

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If you were a child living in Milwaukee in the 50's, you may easily identify with the main characters Whistling in the Dark. Troo and Sally are sisters living on the North side of Milwaukee in 1959. Two young girls have been murdered and Sally is sure she knows who the murderer is. Sally and Troo are pretty much on their own this summer as their mother is in the hospital, their stepdad is often drunk or bedding someone else and their older sister is usually with her boyfriend.

However that doesn't mean that they have been abandoned. Various neighbors and a friendly police officer keep an eye on them and update them on their mother's condition. Narrated by Sally, the older of the two, we hear about a summer of adventure and intrigue. Troo, though only 9, is the wild one, while Sally is the mothering one due to a promise she made to her dying father. We follow them on Vliet Street and North Avenue and visit Samson at the Washington Park Zoo.

I was 8 in 1959 and remember the carefree unscheduled days of summer, the 4th of July contests at the park and playing games at the playground. Actually trying to place these streets and other sites sometimes got in the way of the story or at least slowed it down for me. However the revelation of various family secrets and the pursuit of the murderer kept me on track. For those who learn to root for Troo and Sally, there is a sequel called Good Graces which takes place a year later--in the 60's.

Submitted by Lynn @ Center Street
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Set in Milwaukee during the summer of 1959 and narrated by ten year old Sally O'Malley, Whistling in the Dark is a sentimental tale of family, trust and commitment.
Sally and her sister Troo spend their summer playing red light, green light with their friends on Vliet Street and visiting Sampson at the Milwaukee Zoo until a murderer starts preying upon the little girls in the neighborhood. The murders almost become second fiddle to the insights and imagination of the ten year old storyteller. The Milwaukee locale and references to landmarks like the Uptown Theater and Washington Park add to the nostalgic feel of this warm story.

Submitted by Dan @ Central


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The Money Class by Suze Orman

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Tax season is coming to an end and those refunds will soon be deposited into your bank accounts. Hooray! This may be the perfect time to save that money and plan for your financial future with the help of Suze Orman's book, The Money Class: How to Stand in Your Truth and Create the Future You Deserve.

Orman begins by encouraging readers to "stand in your truth" by taking an honest look at your financial challenges and financial dreams to determine how to best deal with them while considering today's economy. It focuses on all aspects of "The American Dream," including home, family, career, an extensive chapter on retirement, and the importance of saving for emergencies. Orman reminds us to live below our means but within our needs so we can learn to gain as much pleasure from saving as we do from spending.

The Money Class is separated into lessons for all generations. Orman shares a wealth of information that can be shared with your children, parents, grandparents, and other family and friends. All ages are encouraged to fulfill their American dreams through financial freedom.

Overall, Orman is a great financial advisor who shares information in an informing, entertaining, and easy to understand way. Her concepts are empowering and give readers hope that their attitude about finances can change for the better!

Submitted by H. Bell-Henderson @ Center Street


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Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

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Aria is a typical teen spending most of her time in the Realms, virtual worlds via her Smarteye. However as a typical teen, she also bends the rules, so when her friend Soren suggests disabling their Smarteyes and visiting a damaged Pod, she and her friends go along with it. A few days later she no longer has her Smarteye, her best friend is dead and she has been abandoned Outside or in The Death Shop as it is known because of what she knows.

Perry is a Savage, an Outsider. He is also a Scire, one who has extraordinary smell and can even smell emotions and tell if someone is lying. He broke into the Pod too, but for different reasons. He saves Aria from her friends and leaves with her Smarteye.
Now they are both Outside and destined to meet again. Perry is trying to save his tribe and rescue his nephew. Aria is trying to get back to the Pods to find her mother, a geneticist who has been out of contact for over a week. Dogging both of them is the Aether, violent energy storms on the Outside.

If you've gotten into the recent dystopian novel trend, this one is great. There are other characters besides Aria and Perry with special traits and other tribes, some good some bad. Like Hunger Games, there is also some violence though most of it is necessary for survival.

Submitted by Lynn @ Center Street


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You may remember the story of John Walker Lindh, the American Muslim convert who joined the Taliban in Afghanistan and was captured as an enemy combatant by U.S. forces shortly after 9/11. It is possible he found inspiration for his conversion in the former Margaret Marcus, a young Jewish girl from Larchmont, New York who converted to Islam, became Maryam Jameelah and moved to Pakistan in the early 1960s. The Convert is Deborah Baker's (A Blue Hand: The Beats in India) exploration of the life of Jameelah as she discovers it in an archive of her early journal writings and letters at the New York Public Library.

Jameelah's story is one of a highly sensitive, bookish young woman who finds herself ill-suited to modern Western culture. She becomes entranced by Islamic and Arabic culture and decides to take the bold step of moving permanently to a Muslim country. She later marries into a polygamous family and writes numerous highly influential books critical of the West. As Baker digs further and further into Jameelah's story fascinating details about her are revealed, painting a picture of a principled, yet conflicted woman whose spiritual journey is not as pure and transcendental as it would initially seem. Overall, this is a unique study of our modern cultural and religious conflicts within the soul of one person.

Submitted by Brett @ Central


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Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

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Chopsticks authors Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral utilize photographs, newspaper articles, drawings, paintings, IM chats, post cards, diaries, high school report cards, and URLs to tell the heartbreaking love story between two New York teens - homeschooled pianist Gloria Fleming and newly transferred South American native Francisco Mendoza. Readers get a good look into Glory's daily stressful study and practice regime and Frank's plummeting grades and eventual expulsion from his new high school. The two appear an unlikely match, but seem to have a calming effect on each other that helps them deal with their difficult lives. Underlying the love story Glory's mental health begins to unravel leading to a painful stay in a mental health facility and a mysterious disappearance. Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral use of pictures and limited dialogue expertly convey emotions, relationships and environment in a way that words cannot always attain. The cliché "a picture is worth 1,000 words" is definitely applicable to this haunting narrative.

Submitted by Valerie @ MPL Central



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Haven't had your fill? More about the sinking of the Titanic

titanicremembered.jpg unsinkable.jpg The Titanic Remembered: 1912-2012 by Beau Riffenburgh. "Unsinkable": The Full Story Of RMS Titanic by Daniel Allen Butler.

gildedlives.jpg farewelltitanic.jpg Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-class Passengers And Their World by Hugh Brewster. Farewell, Titanic: Her Final Legacy by Charles Pellegrino.

returntitanic.jpg titanictragedy.jpg Return to Titanic: A New Look At The World's Most Famous Lost Ship by Robert D. Ballard with Michael S. Sweeney. Titanic: The Tragedy That Shook The World: One Century Later from the editors of Life.

Still not enough? Check the library's catalogue for more materials about the Titanic.



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The 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic

The Titanic was constructed in Ireland reaching a height of 11 stories and a length of 883 feet making it the largest man-made object of its time. On its first crossing of the North Atlantic Ocean the Titanic carried approximately 2200 passengers and crew from all classes of life. Unfortunately, the vessel was equipped with lifeboats that only held 1,178 people. In the chaos that ensued after a collision with an iceberg on April 15, 1912, 1,517 people drown with the sinking of the massive ocean liner leaving only 750 survivors.

And so, let the commemorating begin! The 3D version of James Cameron's blockbuster movie, The Titanic is opening. As if that's not enough, there's a new four-part ABC miniseries, Titanic, from the writer of Downton Abbey, and Titanic: Blood and Steel, a 12-part series focusing on the construction and sinking of the Titanic.

Check out the following materials about the Titanic and its passengers. Remember, these are just the 'tip of the iceberg.'

storyofthewreck.jpg The Story Of The Wreck Of The Titanic: Eyewitness Accounts From 1912 edited by Marshall Everett offers insight into how the tragedy affected its survivors, drawing on archival research and interviews with family members to explore how some propelled themselves to fame while others were devastated by survivor guilt.

thebandthatplayed.jpg The Band That Played On: The Extraordinary Story Of The 8 Musicians Who Went Down With The Titanic by Steve Turner who delves into the lives of the eight members of the band who came out to play in the lounge as the ship sank. When most of the First Class passengers had taken to their lifeboats, the musicians simply moved to the deck and continued to play, attempting to calm the remaining passengers.

lostvoicesfrom.jpg Lost Voices From The Titanic: The Definitive Oral History by Nick Barratt. Combining tales of incredible folly and unimaginable courage, Barratt has gathered the aspirations of the owners, the efforts of the crew, and of course, the eyewitness accounts from those lucky enough to survive the sinking of the Titanic, transporting the reader back to those heartbreaking moments on that fateful Sunday night.

The titanicslassecrets.jpg Titanic's Last Secrets: The Further Adventures Of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler by Brad Matsen. A famous diving duo turn their investigative skills to solving the mystery about why the Titanic sank as quickly as she did, an endeavor for which they assembled a team of engineering experts and dived to the wreck of her sister ship, Britannic, before discovering previously hidden flaws.



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East Library Book Club Reads Stradivari's Genius

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East Library Book Club meets on the third Tuesday of every month from 7:00 - 8:00 pm at East Library. New members are always welcome!

For April 17, 2012 the selection is Stradivari's Genius by Toby Faber

Future selections are:

May 15, 2012
Wisconsin Poets Laureate: Poems by Marilyn L. Taylor, Denise Sweet, and Ellen Kort

June 19, 2012
Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted by Justin Martin or Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing the American Landscape

Submitted by Jacki @ Central


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Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

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Daytripper, by brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, is a graphic novel about understanding death and letting go of life. The story centers on Brás de Olivia Domingos, a struggling obituary writer who happens to be the son of a famous author. Each chapter of the book focuses on Brás at a different age in his life in which missed opportunities, second chances and coincidences give him clarity as to what life is about. In each chapter, these revelations come only shortly before his death. As sad as the book may sound, it is a beautifully told story that will make you aware of your own life decisions and how they affect those around you. Although the subject matter may seem too serious for the graphic novel format, the illustrations do a great job of telling the story. This book would be an excellent introduction to anyone who wanted to start reading graphic novels.

Submitted by Maria @ Central


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PLAY BALL!

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"You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen."
Joe DiMaggio

Opening day to most baseball fans is a rite of passage from winter doldrums to sports euphoria. It's an awakening. Hope springs eternal on Opening Day. To help celebrate the start of another baseball season, why not take a swing at some of these great baseball books available at the Milwaukee Public Library:

last hero a life.jpg As a 9 year old boy, I had the priviledge of seeing Hank Aaron play at County Stadium. I was aware of his greatness from the many stories my grandfather and dad bombarded me with most every time a Brewer hit a homer. Besides being a great player, Henry Aaron is a successful businessman, advocate for social equality and fearless role model and is truly a man to be admired. After reading this biography, I hope you'll agree. Check availability


Milwaukee Braves heroes.jpg The Milwaukee Braves won the World Series in 1957 behind the play of, amongst others, Hank Aaron, Eddie Matthews, Warren Spahn, Bob Buhl and Johnny Logan. These guys couldn't buy a beer in Milwaukee. Unfortunately, subsequent years didn't pan out for the beloved Braves and they moved to Atlanta in 1966. Published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and written by Mequon born author William Povletich, this attractive book is loaded with quotes, pictures and stories from the players. Check availability

baseball in beertown.jpg The first time I opened this book I saw a photo of Bonnie Brewer racing across the field holding her base-sweeping broom and I was hooked. Though this history only touches on the minor league Brewers for a scant few pages, i loved the chapters on the 70's and 80's Brewers. There is also a "On This Date" section that highlights some great moments in Milwaukee Baseball history by date. Pretty cool. Check availability.


where have you gone 82 brewers.jpg Published in 2007 in Stevens Point and written by longtime Milwaukee Journal Sentinel baseball writer Tom Haudricourt and with a forward by Bob Uecker, this nostalgic book features interviews from most of the 1982 American League Champion Milwaukee Brewers players. It offers up lots of tall tales and memories along with what the players have been up to in recent years. Many are still active in baseball through coaching, etc. My favorite is that reliever Randy Lerch operates and teaches how to run a backhoe! Check availability

Robin yount.jpg "The only way I get the most out of myself is to push myself as hard as I can, every pitch of every inning of every game."
Robin Yount, 1980
Published by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1992 to commemorate Robin Yount getting his 3000th hit in the big leagues, this excellent 80 page book lists every hit that Robin got by date, opponent and pitcher that he got the hit off. It's full of quotes and photos and is a fitting tribute to the classiest guy to ever wear a Milwaukee Brewers uniform. Check availability

billy goat curse.jpg It wouldn't be Opening Day without giving a nod to our divisional rivals from across the state line to the south. So for a good laugh, (or a good cry if you happen to be a Cubs fan) read about the famous "Cubs Billy Goat Curse" placed in 1945 by Billy Goat Tavern owner Billy Sianis and his goat after fans objected to the odor of the goat and they both were ejected from Wrigley Field during a World Series game against Detroit. Check availability.

BASEBALL FICTION

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Knife salesman Gil Renard is a BIG TIME fan of the Sox and their new star player Bobby Rayburn. Unfortunately, Bobby is in a huge hitting slump and Gil is NOT HAPPY. As Gil's life unwinds into complete insanity, one can only hope Bobby raises his batting average! This is a tightly written thriller that explores how some fans take it just a little too far. The film version features Robert DeNiro as a great Gil. Check availability.

bang the drum slowly.jpg When New York Mammoth's rookie catcher Bruce Pearson develops Hodgkin's Disease, star pitcher Henry Wiggen is the only teammate who knows about the terminal condition. Sometimes a rousing locker room baseball story, sometimes a mirror of our own mortality, this book is a winner, regardless of what happens to Bruce Pearson. Check availability.

Submitted by Dan@Central



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Are you hungry?

If you have an enthusiastic interest in food or like to cook, then you will want to check out the James Beard Foundation Award nominees for the best cookbooks published in 2011. Milwaukee Public Library owns almost all of the titles on their list of 33 cookbooks. You can see (or cook) for yourself and predict the winner in each of the eleven categories. Compare your choices when the winners are announced on May 4, 2012. Here is just a sampling of titles on the list. Click on the book cover to reserve your copy.

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roasting.jpg chocolate.jpg new south.jpg

flavor.jpg italy.jpg weekends.jpg

cuisine.jpg beef.jpg masala.jpg

bitters.jpg plenty.jpg spain.jpg

Submitted by Rebecca D @ Central


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Edgar Allan Poet?

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I spent an evening curled up with an anthology of short stories and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe and I remembered why I loved Poe so much when I was young. It was, as they say, a match made in heaven. I still love the guy. I hope you will too.

It was just the other night and
the moon was bright
but I decided to read by candle light
because the story I chose
rose from my bookshelf
like a ghostly mist, as if, maybe, from
a dream within a haunted palace.
I read of a pit and what was at the bottom of it
and my mind shivered in horror.
Then I got bit by a tiny gold bug
and my face felt like a masque of
swollen red pseudo-death and
my heart had a tell-tale pitter-patter
that expressed all my fear and dismay
at what happened that day
on the Rue Morgue.
All I can say,
is that back in the day,
that Poe guy was some kind
of character
and one heck of a brilliant
writer.

Click here for catalog holdings

April is National Poetry Month, a month-long, national celebration of poetry. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals--to the art of poetry, to living poets, and to our complex poetic heritage. Look here for more ideas on how to celebrate, including a searchable poetry database and a place to sign up via email to receive a Poem-a-Day.

Submitted by Dan@Central



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