April 2014 Archives

Downton Abbey fans--take note!

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You may enjoy reading Mollie Moran's Minding the Manor: The Memoir of a 1930s English Kitchen Maid. It's an entertaining account of her true story and adventures while in domestic service as a scullery maid, then kitchen maid and cook for wealthy British aristocrats.

Photos, recipes and household hints help evoke the atmosphere of a time long since passed and a way of life that no longer exists.

Mary @ Forest Home

Iran is on the verge of making a nuclear bomb.

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In The Death Trade by Jack Higgins an eminent Iranian scientist has made a major breakthrough in nuclear weapons research. Iran wants his research, but he doesn't want his country owning this weapon. He cannot flee as they have his mother and sister. In steps Dillon and Company to devise a plan to protect the scientist and his research. This is book twenty in the very popular Sean Dillon series.

David @ Forest Home and Zablocki

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Chihuly: Gardens & Glass

chihuly.jpg Chihuly: Gardens & Glass contains enlighting interviews, interesting information and beautiful photographs from Chihuly's outdoor glass installations from around the world. He takes glass making to uncharted territory by mimicking foliage and flowers with the most colorful glass you've ever seen. He creates art that blends seamlessly with nature, sprouting from trees or gently "floating" on water. His otherworldly forms seem right at home in our gardens and landscapes and always a delight to see.

chihulyfinland.JPGChihuly Over Venice: Nuutajärvi, Finland: Part I, June 1995 is an oversize unbound book containing photographs from Chihuly's breathtaking outdoor glass installations and huge chandeliers (later used in his Venice installations), paintings, and sketches based on his time working in Finland.

I highly recommend watching Chihuly Over Venice which follows Chihuly around Venice as he and his dedicated team of artists actually assemble his magnificent installations in their intended Italian locations.

Some of these items are for reference use only and cannot be checked out of the library. If you have any questions please call the Central Library Art, Music and Recreation Department at 414-286-3071.

Valerie @ Central

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The gadgets of today mean news is constant and everywhere. From an air crash to a murder, a celebrity interview to a political scandal, The News: A User's Manual by Alain de Botton analyzes the impact events have on our minds. Why is a celebrity's life fascinating and war in a far off land...boring? And, how is this shaping our everyday worldviews?

Jacki @ Central

Worms are disgusting little creatures.

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Big worms are really disgusting creatures. Big worms eating your innards and crushing your vertebrae while you wallow with an insatiable hunger are totally disgusting. In short, The Troop by Nick Cutter is a pretty disgusting book.

A group of Canadian scouts are visiting a remote, uninhabited island off the coast when a very hungry, very sick man appears at their cabin door. Chaos ensues. This novel is filled with imagery that repulses and sickens but is somehow still pleasing. It's like a late 70's Italian zombie flick in that the images stay with you long after the story is over. Part Lord of the Flies and part The Thing (John Carpenter's 1982 film version), The Troop is an exercise in modern horror literature that left me "hungry" for more gore after each chapter. This is a scary book. I recommend avoiding eating undercooked meat or drinking unclean water while reading this story. Yuck.

Dan @ Washington Park

Conspiracy and rebellion...

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are central to Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau, the second book in The Testing trilogy. Cia has finally made it to university. Only the best and brightest will be groomed as future leaders -and the rest get "redirected". The pressure is greater than ever to succeed, and Cia will need all the help she can get -if she can figure out who to trust.

This dystopian series will be a hit with fans of The Hunger Games trilogy and Divergent trilogy.

Jennifer @ Forest Home

Chilling, yet fulfilling...

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Addison lives on the fringe of humanity. When people look at his face, they are sent into fits of violence. He is a loner, but his entire life changes when he meets Gwyneth, a young girl repulsed by anybody who touches her. In Innocence by Dean Koontz two broken individuals come together one fateful night and must survive the relentless pursuit of her would-be rapist; and, possibly the end of the world.

David @ Forest Home & Zablocki

Slinky gowns, gin fizzes & giddy love affairs.

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Flappers: Six Women of a Dangerous Generation by Judith Mackrell brings the 1920s to life through the stories of women emblematic of their time, among them Josephine Baker, Tallulah Bankhead, and Zelda Fitzgerald. In defiance of traditional cultural norms, these women led daring, glamorous, often scandalous lives.

Deliciously gossipy and fun, yet insightful and informative, this fast paced read is feminist history at its most entertaining.

Mary @ Forest Home

Welcome to Little Wing

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This small Wisconsin town is like so many others, you know the kind--not even a stoplight and everyone knows everyone and everyone's business. But, this town is also the home of four men all born and raised there, and all friends. Lifelong relationships have good times and bad times, and through four weddings and several years, their ties are tested by trials of distance and betrayal.

Lee, an indie rock singer, known to most as Corvus, tours the world, but always comes back to Little Wing. Henry (Hank), his wife Beth and their two children run a small dairy farm. Ronny is a former rodeo star and a recovering alcoholic. And Kip, who never feels like he fits in, had a successful time in Chicago, but has returned with a wife and is intent on proving he belongs by renovating an old mill tied to many high school memories. Throughout Nickolas Butler's Shotgun Lovesongs these friends share stories of heartbreak and hope as they are reminded of the true meaning of friendship and love.

Jacki @ Central


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Baseball fans remember Lenny "Nails" Dykstra as a much-loved player with the Mets and Phillies. Though never a megastar, Dykstra's intense, hard-nosed style of play had a cultish following. After leaving the game, he rose to prominence again for his supposed business acumen, having sold a chain of car washes he founded for a hefty profit and displaying a savant-like ability for picking winning stocks.

While all of that is true, the real story of Lenny Dykstra is of a loutish, crude egomaniac whose empire was built on sand. Nailed!: The Improbable Rise and Spectacular Fall of Lenny Dykstra is the story of financial writer Christopher Frankie's time working for Dykstra in that empire. Dykstra's behavior, as Frankie chronicles it in this book, is outrageous, shocking and even frightening. Dykstra is revealed as nothing less than a thug, using his celebrity to intimidate people into handing over their money or credit cards to him just so he can maintain the tycoon lifestyle he can no longer afford. Avoid Lenny Dykstra at all costs, but don't avoid this book.

Brett @ Central

Soups & roasts & desserts & more!

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The America's Test Kitchen team has done it again! A second useful (and useable) slow cooker recipe book! Slow Cooker Revolution has several uses. For one, it provides helpful tips for slow cooking (as did the first volume). Secondly, there are useful product ratings. And finally, there are the recipes. From chicken to cheesecake, there's a recipe for everyone.

David @ Forest Home & Zablocki

It's Throwback Thursday! with Treasure Island

"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--

...Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

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Who needs Captain Jack Sparrow when Long John Silver has been around for over 100 years and was way cooler anyways? Besides being a villainous murderer, Long John Silver had an awesome parrot named Captain Flint (after an old, very mean pirate captain) on his shoulder spouting "pieces of eight, pieces of eight" at opportune times throughout the novel.

Pirate pop culture 101! Silver was missing a leg from an old naval battle and hopped about with a crutch waving swords and pistols! He lied to hero Jim Hawkins, committed mutiny against good Captain Smollett and still made off with bountiful booty at the end of the story! Long John Silver is simply a pirate rock star.

Seriously though, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island is a fun book for boys ages 8 to 88 and is truly a classic of not only children's literature, but literature in general. Robert Louis Stevenson knew his way around a ship and it shows in his writing. Besides The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is Stevenson's most popular work and is as important today as it was in 1883 when it was first published in book form.(It was originally serialized in Young Folks magazine in 1881-1882) Shiver me timbers! Treasure Island is THE pirate book of all pirate books. #tbt

Dan @ Washington Park

egghead.jpegBo Burnham is a comedy prodigy. Not like the old dial-up computer service Prodigy, with its garishly colored message boards and bizarre games, but like a child prodigy in the manner of Mozart (but with a bit more profanity and less powdered wigs). Bo released his first comedy album online in 2008 at the age of eighteen, and his career and skills have been soaring ever since. So when I find out that Bo had written a book, Egghead, or You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone, I eagerly checked it out from the library, wondering exactly what sort of approach the YouTube video star took to bring his comedy style to the printed page. I was not expecting a book of poetry.


The comparison to Shel Silverstein is inevitable, given that it is a book of humor poems accompanied by drawings (by artist Chance Bone); Bo even cites Shel in the acknowledgments. Amazingly, however, the comparison is apt (though fans of The Giving Tree be warned, you probably do not want your children reading Egghead). Egghead has an excellent mix of poems that are wickedly funny, surprisingly touching, and absolutely bizarre. To demonstrate, here's just one of the poems from the book:

Wooden Soldiers

I bought a box of wooden soldiers.
I bought them from the store.
And now a hundred tiny soldiers
guard my bedroom floor.

So if you're a scary monster-thing
who wants to go to war,
my bedroom door is open.
I'm not frightened anymore.


Tim @ Central

Treasures of the Rare Books Room: The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design

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The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design is a large box of 500 cards, or unbound pages, that the user can organize and reorganize according to their needs. Light green dividers with subject headings are included if need be. The pages include designs from the 1400s through 2012 and from all around the world. Each of the cards, front and back, are in full color and contain as much authoritative information as is available.


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Everyone will find something of interest in this nontraditional book as it covers everything from newspapers, books, symbols, advertisements, record and CD covers, magazines, posters and more. As time passes Phaidon plans to distribute more cards to add to this amazing collection.

This item is not available to check out. To view this item, please call the Central Library Art, Music and Recreation Department at 414-286-3071 to arrange a visit.


Valerie @ Central

Get ready, get set, SAVE!!

Money Smart Week 2014 is now underway! Come join us at MPL during the week of April 5-12. There will be lots of great events hosted by us and other agencies throughout Wisconsin--find out about them at MSW's website.

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Where do you begin when you want to start saving money? Brian J. O'Connor has an idea. In The $1000 Challenge O'Connor, a personal finance writer for the Detroit News, came up with an audacious plan to save $1000 a month for himself and his family. Tightening the belt has never been this much fun!



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Steven D. Lockshin, Get Wise to Your Advisor

Thinking of hiring a financial advisor? Before you do, let Steven Lockshin show you ways to save, pay off debt and invest using the tools available to tech-savvy consumers. Save the money you'd have spent on an advisor just by reading this book!


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Beverly Harzog, Confessions of a Credit Junkie

If credit card debt is dragging you down, you need to get with Beverly. She's been there. A CPA who also went through the ringer with credit cards, she knows from experience the smart ways to pay them down and use them to rebuild your credit standing. Beverly learned her lessons the hard way, so you don't have to!




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Kate Northrup, Money: A Love Story

So, how's it going between you and Money these days? Is everything going well, or have the two of you hit a rough patch in your relationship? If the latter is the case, Kate can help. Changing how you and Money get along will go a long way towards helping you meet your short- and long-term goals in life.



Brett @ Central


What would you do if you lost your past?

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In 1988 Su Meck was twenty-two and married with two children when a ceiling fan in her kitchen fell and struck her on the head, leaving her with no memory of who she is or anything that has ever happened to her. Not only are her husband and children strangers to her, but she must relearn simple life skills, including how to read and write. Although her body healed rapidly, her memories never returned. Yet after just three weeks in the hospital, Su was released and once again charged with the care of two toddlers and a busy household. I Forgot to Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia is an extraordinary first person account of a woman's journey to quite literally find herself.

Mary @ Forest Home

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Frank Chambers, the scuzzy main character in James M. Cain's noir masterpiece The Postman Always Rings Twice, is not a nice guy. He will not come to a happy end. Nor will his adulteress in crime, Cora. These folks are dour, desperate and defeated. They plot. They murder. They rot from inside out, like a tapeworm slowly sucking the humanity from their life-blood.

The Postman Always Rings Twice is the type of short novel that punches you in the gut from the first paragraph and keeps on jabbing at your spleen on the way up your throat till it hits a vital point. The vileness is addicting, the repugnance complete. The desperation of the main characters mirror the desperation of 1934 America stuck deep in the gorges of the Great Depression and hang onto the reader like the jaws of a rattler on a trapped mouse.

We're all familiar with the story of the aimless drifter roaming into town and seducing the wife of a local resident. We've seen the furtive eyes, the lustful clenches, the faraway looks of longing to be anyplace but where they reside and with anyone else but who they're with. This is such a story. But this is a story so well written, so psychologically brutal, so sparse in language that it's as if it were chiseled onto stone slabs to be read by tallow light.

The film adaptation of this novel is great, but read the book first.

Dan @ Washington Park

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