June 2013 Archives

You by Austin Grossman

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"In a sense, every computer game represents the commandeering of a military code-breaking apparatus for purposes of human expression. We'd done that, taken that idea and turned it into a thing its creators never imagined, our own incandescent mythology."









Russell's dreams of becoming a hot shot successful lawyer have slipped through his fingers. With a loss of momentum and aim in his life, he turns to his past for answers. This starts by applying for a job at Black Arts, a videogame company founded by two of his old friends from school, Simon and Darren. Simon himself had died tragically four years previous, a death that still troubles Russell from time to time. This is the set-up for Austin Grossman's You, an excellent second novel from the author of the excellent superhero tale Soon I Will Be Invincible.

Russell gets the job at Black Arts, and quickly ends up thrust into a lead position when Darren jumps ship to a bigger and more successful company. With a mysterious software bug threatening to undermine Black Arts' next project (and the company's future), Russell delves into the history of the games Darren and Simon created over the years, hoping to find clues both into the software and his own past.

You is a book that is entirely entwined with the history of videogames, in a way that makes it either incredibly personal for a reader or incredibly alienating. This is a book for those of us who grew up as computer games went from the ASCII world of Rogue to the full dimensions of Wolfenstein 3D to the point-and-click adventures of Guybrush Threepwood and beyond. Those of us who spent sleepless nights at a friend's house as you conquered entire fantasy kingdoms by the flickering illumination of a computer screen. Austin Grossman knows those memories, those feelings, and writes right to that sweet spot of catered, meaningful nostalgia. However, if you didn't recognize any of those references or have never played a videogame in your life, You is definitely not for you. For the rest of us, though, this is a book that feels exactly like reuniting with an old friend.

Tim @ Central

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays

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Iron Kin is the third novel of The Half-Light City Series and tensions are rising. The city is divided with Fae and human mages on one side, vampire Blood Lords and shape-shifting Beast Kind on the other. The City is on the brink of destruction as the potential for war grows increasingly imminent. Various schemes threaten the successful renegotiation of the peace treaty between four supernatural factions. The fate of the City may hinge upon two unlikely heroes - Saskia, a young metal mage, eager to prove her worth and Fen, a wildly unpredictable Fae.

Carl @ Mill Road

Mill Road Reads

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In much the same vein as recent memoirs The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Susanna Sonnenberg's Her Last Death, in With or Without You Domenica Ruta describes her hard luck and dysfunctional childhood with beauty, elegance and humor. The author survived her childhood with a drug addict mother, with all the chaos and neglect that came with it, only to battle her own demons with alcohol as an adult. Ruta is not only a survivor but a talented writer.

Enid @ Mill Road

I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly

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I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly is a graphic novel with a lot of depth. The story focuses on Barbara Thorson, a fifth grade girl seemingly obsessed with giants and how to kill them. Her giant obsession leads to troubles at school, upsetting teachers and counselors and attracting the attention of school bullies. Yet there is deeper meaning behind her fantastical preoccupation, and the book intricately blends elements of Barbara's fantasy into the very real story of a young girl dealing with tragedy. Illustrated by JM Ken Niimura in stark and dynamic black and white, the art emphasizes the emotion and tone of Joe Kelly's tale to create a compelling and meaningful book.

Tim @ Central

Drink Up!

Check out these new beverage recipe books and let Milwaukee Public Library help you whip up a cool, refreshing drink for those hot, sweltering summer days!

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Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle features cocktail recipes inspired by classical literary works, try a "One Flew Over the Cosmo's Nest" or an "Are You There God, It's Me Margarita?" Whimsical illustrations, drinking games and bar bites also included, making this cocktail book both fun and functional. Perfect for book club get togethers!



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Slushed: From more than 150 Frozen Boozy Treats by Jessie Cross combines the best of both worlds in her book featuring alcohol infused ice cream treats. Look for Blackberry Limoncello Sorbet, Tangerine Rum Popsicles, Mojito Ice Cream Sandwiches, Frozen Kahlua Milkshakes, Tequila Sunrise Slushies and more.



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Cooking Light Chill: Smoothies, Slushes, Shakes, Juices, Drinks, & Ices by Shaun Chavis is perfect for the teetotalers in your group. Chill features over 120 delicious, non-alcoholic and refreshing recipes, including 83 dairy free options. Doesn't a blueberry-pomegranate smoothie, spicy blood orange cooler, or watermelon mojito smash sound tasty?



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The American Cocktail by the editors of Imbibe Magazine has more than fifty drink recipes from across the U.S., spanning five distinct regions (the South, the Northeast, the Midwest, the West, and the West Coast); drinks both classic and contemporary. Often putting a fresh and modern twist on iconic American cocktails, and each is a sophisticated, artisanal recipe that emphasizes the art of the cocktail.



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Hooch: Simplified Brewing, Winemaking & Infusing at Home by Scott Meyer is perfect for the city-dweller, urban gardener, or anyone with limited space and a desire to make custom concoctions. Hooch offers projects to suit any lifestyle. With recipes for brews made from grapes, hops, and herbs, DIY boozers will find everything they need to begin a brewing journey.

Laura @ Central

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays

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In Ghost Spin by Chris Moriarty, The Age of Man is ending. A stand alone, but set in the same interstellar empire as her previous two books, Spin Control and Spin State, this is a captivating story of artificial intelligence. Humanity's only hope for survival is to find the Drift, a mysterious region of space that may enable survival, but mankind will have to fight the clone-dominated Syndicates for control of it.

Cohen, a 400-year-old AI kills himself and scatters copies, or ghosts of himself into the void of space and time. Some of his ghosts are still self-aware. Some are insane. And one of them hides a secret worth killing for. Now Catherine Li, his human wife, must do the same. Her copies wake up all over, each hoping to reunite with the consciousness that consumed her life until his death.

Character driven with plot twists galore, this drama inspects mankind's potential through an investigation of our society's ethics.

Jacki @ Central

Mill Road Reads

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Newly divorced, Geri Sullivan is trying to put her life back together. She gets a new job in a detective agency and adopts a dog. Not just any dog, a white Chihuahua named Pepe. How does she know his name? Because he told her! Yes, Pepe speaks and only Geri can hear him. Working as detectives, she learns about Pepe's adventurous past while solving murders surrounding a new reality TV show. Help novice P.I. Geri Sullivan and her talking Chihuahua Pepe sniff out killers in Dial C for Chihuahua and Chihuahua Confidential by Waverly Curtis. And, don't miss the next installment, The Big Chihuahua, due October 2013.

Casey @ Mill Road

Whatcha Readin' @ Bay View & Tippecanoe

Ever wonder what the library staff are reading? Here's a snapshot of what's currently being read by workers at the Bay View and Tippecanoe branches:

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Christopher G (Bay View & Tippecanoe) is reading The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 and is listening to Gideon's Corpse by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Deb H (Bay View) is reading The Illicit Happiness of Other People by Manu Joseph and is listening to In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks: And Other Complaints from an Angry Middle-Aged White Guy by Adam Carolla

Alison Z (Bay View) is reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Inferno by Dan Brown

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Abby O (Bay View) is reading Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Alyssa P (Bay View) is reading Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal by William H. Chafe

Matt P (Bay View) is reading A Game of Thrones by R.R. Martin

Fran G (Bay View) is reading Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis and Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

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Sarah L (Tippecanoe) is reading The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

Becky M (Tippecanoe) is reading Family Pictures by Jane Green

Kyle D (Tippecanoe) is reading Please Don't Come Back From the Moon by Dean Bakopoulos

Sue G (Tippecanoe) is reading Bringing Mulligan Home: The Other Side of the Good War by Dale Maharidge and I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

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Irene M (Tippecanoe) is reading A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life From an Unlikely Teacher by Sue Halpern

Katie F (Tippecanoe) is reading Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Watch for future lists of what the staff at the branch locations are reading!

If You Were Here by Alafair Burke

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When her friend, Susan Hauptman, disappeared ten years earlier, McKenna Jordan was devastated and adamant that Susan would not have abandoned her friends without a word. That same year, McKenna's life seemed to spiral out of control when her job as an Assistant District Attorney in New York went up in flames after falsely accusing a cop of planting a gun in a high profile shooting case that split the city along racial lines.

Now McKenna Wright, married to Patrick Wright whom she met through Susan, works as a writer for NYC Magazine. When sent to cover a story about a heroic subway rescue, the face of her friend, Susan, suddenly appears in images from the rescue. McKenna is pulled into a dangerous pursuit to discover the truth about her friend's disappearance. As too many strange coincidences pile up and too many untruths resurface, McKenna begins to understand that there is more to lose than her job. Unsure of whom to trust, she attempts to untangle the lies from the truth in her desperate search for Susan.

Alafair Burke's latest novel of suspense If You Were Here is just that. Burke brings a fresh style to her latest mystery, continues her apt writing from alternating perspectives, and keeps the plot twists coming right to the end. Like McKenna, readers won't know who to trust and will race along to uncover truth.

Karli @ Central

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays

For thirty years, Terry Pratchett has been writing books about a massive motley menagerie of characters in his Discworld fantasy series. Filled with humor, magic, wit, and adventure, there's a little something for everyone. With thirty-nine books in the series so far, it can be a little daunting to find a place to jump in, so we'll point to a couple of good books for where to start your Discworld experience.

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If you like crime solving, gruff but lovable policemen, and malicious secret societies, why not start with Guards! Guards! This is the first book about the lovable group of misfits known as the Ankh-Morpork City Watch, and their misadventures in attempting to save their city from a deadly dragon.


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If you like witches, Shakespeare, and murder most foul, there's Wyrd Sisters. This is the first of the books about a group of three witches: the cantankerous Granny Weatherwax, the jovial Nanny Ogg, and the naïve young Magrat Garlick. The witches then have to deal with ghostly kings, traveling acting troupes, treacherous usurpers of the throne and more, and that's just in their first outing.


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If you like con artists, stamps, and stories of love and redemption, there's Going Postal. This story begins with Moist Von Lipwig, a skilled con artist, finally caught by the law. He's given a choice, he can either face certain death or become the new head of the Ankh-Morpork Postal Service. From there unfolds a story of a man who quite accidentally manages to rebuild the entire dilapidated service, invent the postage stamp, and even fall in love.


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Finally for the young adult readers, there's the Tiffany Aching series of books, starting with The Wee Free Men. Tiffany Aching is a young apprentice witch who ends up on rather dangerous adventures which she manages to triumph over as she grows and matures, with a helping hand from a group of six-inch tall angry blue pixie-like creatures known as the Nac Mac Feegle.

Tim @ Central

Mill Road Reads

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Ever wondered what to do with quinoa? Or how to cook amaranth? Supergrains: Cook Your Way to Great Health by Chrissy Freer provides the instructions on how to use 12 "super grains" which will enrich your diet and quite possibly improve your health. The author focuses on whole grains rather than refined grains as they are higher in fiber, lower on the glycemic index and many are gluten free. Tempt your palate with Millet Stuffed Roast Chicken or Buckwheat Risotto with Lemon and Garlic Shrimp.

Enid @ Mill Road

Urban Fiction

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Ever since Billie's father was murdered when she was eight years old, she's worked tirelessly to find the man responsible and bring him to justice. Philadelphia: Street Justice is the story of her mission to clear the streets of lawbreakers.

She's not afraid to take matters into her own hands if necessary; sometimes the legal way of doing things just doesn't cut it. Her boyfriend, Walter, is a detective in the Philadelphia police department and they're pegged as a power couple...but if someone finds out about Billie's secret, their lives will change forever.

Jacki @ Central

Rock & Roll Reading for the Summer

Summertime is for sun, fun, and music, and with some of rock's biggest names passing through Milwaukee this year, it's a great time to catch up on your favorite stars. Here are some recent rock bios you can take to the beach with you.

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It's hard to believe it's been more than 20 years since we lost Freddie Mercury. That soaring, operatic, unmistakable voice has never been matched--most certainly not by any American Idol pretenders who dare try to sing Queen songs. Lesley-Ann Jones' Mercury is a dishy but loving remembrance of one of rock's most dynamic frontmen.

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If you're a guitar player, you've no doubt cribbed a lick or two from Jimmy Page. The Led Zeppelin founder's colossal influence on almost everyone who has picked up a guitar since the late '60s is unquestionable. In Light & Shade : Conversations with Jimmy Page, Guitar World magazine Editor-In-Chief Brad Tolinski sits down with the icon in a series of interviews to discuss everything from guitars and gear to his titanic band's legacy.

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Pete Townshend is no less a towering guitar god than Page. As the chief songwriter of The Who, Townshend helped expand the horizons of rock music, branching out into film and Broadway with his "rock operas" Tommy and Quadrophenia. In Who I Am, Pete picks up the pen himself and offers a glimpse into his often crazy (but always prolific) life.



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Jimmy Fallon may do a fair impersonation, but there is no one like Neil Young. He proves this further in his rambling, digressive memoir Waging Heavy Peace. In his book, Young shifts frequently between his storied past and descriptions of his current projects and interests, wherever his mind and laptop take him in that moment. It rocks like the best of Crazy Horse.

Brett @ Central

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Fridays

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A time traveling serial killer taking directions from a house, is, in a nutshell, The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. Harper Curtis, a drifter in Depression-era Chicago, is down on his luck and has a bent for violence. In 1931 he kills an old woman and steals her coat for its warmth. Inside one of the pockets he finds an old key to a special house. There's a room in the house that's filled with mementos that seem familiar to him and there are names written on the wall in his handwriting. The house lets him time travel (the room is a portal) and uses him to kill certain special girls--Shining Girls.

Kirby Mazrachi is one of the Shining Girls; Harper first visits her in June 1974 when she is 6 1/2 years old. He gives her an orange plastic pony and tells her, "I'll see you when you're all grown up." In 1987, he delivers on his promise, but she survives the brutal attack. Working as an intern for the Chicago Sun-Times, she has an opportunity to learn more about Harper. Through old newspaper files, she finds out about attacks similar to her own and the weird mementos left by the bodies of those who've died through the decades. She suspects Harper, but because of the timeline (the deaths occur from 1931 through the early 1990s) she has difficulty getting others to believe her. Harper eventually learns that she is still alive and so naturally, they must meet again...

Jacki @ Central

Homeward Bound by Emily Matchar

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If you're on Pinterest, you are probably well-aware of the growing trend for do-it-yourself projects. For some, DIY is a hobby, but others have made it into a way of living. In her new book, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity, Emily Matchar explores the reason why many young people, especially women, are trading in power suits for backyard chickens, vegetable gardens, home-sewn clothes, and canned jam.

While the women profiled in Homeward Bound share a passion for homesteading, local eating, natural childcare, and crafting, they are as varied as heirloom tomatoes. Some see the return to domesticity as a re-appropriation of "women's work"--a feminist move to return home arts to a respected skill and indicator of self-sufficiency. Others see this "new domesticity" as a return to the nurturing role that women were born to play. Some of the women were motivated to go off-the-grid by a lack of family-friendly workplaces while others simply could not find full-time work, wanted to control their access to healthy food, or wanted to reduce their carbon footprint.

In addition to exploring the multifaceted causes of the self-sufficiency movement, Matchar outlines how the modern homesteading experience differs from that of colonial women and 1950s housewives. Modern domestic goddesses increasingly take part in a blog community that connects them with likeminded individuals. Gone are the days of the isolated homemaker, as many women join the blogging community to share tips, tricks, best practices, and recipes.

Matchar explores the trend with a congenial tone, admitting her own reservations as well as her admiration for the women she researches. This book was an interesting read that challenged me to think critically about my own burgeoning interest in domestic arts.

Shannon @ Center Street

Summer is just around the corner. So why not check out these new books on barbecuing and grilling at your Milwaukee Public Library?

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Smoke: New Firewood Cooking by Tim Byres

Great book for people looking to kick their grilling game up a step! Byres goes beyond basic grilling, including recipes for grilling and smoking vegetables, seafood and sweets.



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Where There's Smoke: Simple, Sustainable, Delicious Grilling by Barton Seaver

Seaver features recipes on grilling seasonal, fresh, organic produce, fish, beef, and poultry. Look for recipes including grilled potato salad, grilled sardines with lime-almond dressing, and charred leg of lamb with garlic and lemon.
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Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen Grilling Cookbook: 225 Sizzling Recipes for Every Season
The newest entry in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen family of bestselling ring-bound cookbooks is the essential resource on a favorite topic: grilling! It features triple-tested recipes for beef, pork, poultry, and seafood dishes; vegetables and meatless mains; and salads, sauces, and sides.

Submitted by Laura @ Central

Treasures of the Rare Book Room: Cooking and Baking

settlementcookbook.jpg Elizabeth Black Kander was born May 28, 1858, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She attended the East Side High School after which she began working to serve local people in need. She founded the Settlement House that taught young Milwaukee girls to keep house and cook. In 1901 the first edition of the Settlement Cookbook by Elizabeth Black Kander was printed. It was so popular that over 30 editions have been printed over the years containing additional recipes and information.

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Every winter Wisconsin Energy/Electric Company prints The Cookie Book : Celebrating The Tradition of Cooking and Conserving Energy. These recipe books have been published since 1929 and can be used year round. One of many curious things to see is in the 1935 edition where there is an illustration of a "new electric health kitchen... one that every home loving woman will enjoy."

Also available for viewing is the Breta Griem Recipe Collection which contains the recipes from the WTMJ TV cooking show "What's New in the Kitchen." This program ran from 1949-1962. The Breta Griem Recipe Collection showcases pamphlets from that time, hand written recipes and published booklets. The image here is only one of many recipes to see. griem.jpg

If you are interested in finding a delicious recipe or historic cooking information in any of these collections, call the Art, Music and Recreation Department at 414-286-3071 to arrange a visit.

Pat DeFrain, Rare Books Librarian @ MPL Central

Mill Road Reads

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Who doesn't want to win? Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman explores the many aspects of competition, the psychology of winning versus losing, and the various ways in which we assess risk. The authors also analyze how variables such as an individual's physical characteristics, social structure, and environment may affect their personal view and approach to competition.

Carl @ Mill Road

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