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The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton

Popular Wisconsin author Jane Hamilton has written another book--The Excellent Lombards--a humorous story about family relations and growing up and featuring an endearing main character and a bittersweet ending. Set in the 1990s, main character Mary Frances Lombard (also known as Frankie or Francie) lives with her parents Jim and Nellie and her brother William in southeastern Wisconsin on their farmland.

A new take on old classics

If you are a fan of Jane Austen's works you might enjoy these authors' modern versions of some of her greatest classics. I finished Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld this weekend and I have to say I was impressed. The story was very well written and the author has some thoughtful commentary on modern society, which I think Miss Austen would have appreciated.

Family Sagas

Check out the display on family saga novels at the Library! Family is a common theme for stories and a popular theme for readers. Among the titles on display is I Gave My Heart to Know This by Ellen Baker. This is a good book for anyone who likes family sagas and anyone who likes to read books with a Wisconsin connection.

New Leaf by Catherine Anderson

The second installment in her paperback Mystic Creek series, New Leaf by Catherine Anderson is another excellent read by one of my favorite authors. It is most definitely a romance novel, but the book also touches on some very real social issues trending in the world today; attitudes toward law enforcement officers, as well as how wealth and dishonesty can affect court decisions. I think the author addresses these issues in a very real and believable way.

This book made me chuckle and brought tears to my eyes

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a charming debut novel by a Swedish author. Ove is a grumpy man with fixed routines and standards who has been forced into early retirement. He loves his wife and his Saab but is difficult and bitter with everyone else. Yet beneath his crusty exterior is a tender heart. The first thing that brought tears to my eyes when I read this book was that (spoiler) Ove’s beloved wife Sonja is dead.

Just Fall by Nina Sadowsky

If you like suspenseful stories with alternating chapters of "then" and "now", Just Fall by Nina Sadowsky should be your next read. The first few chapters get you hooked. There are two newlyweds, a shocking confession, and a murder scene in two different locations, New York and St. Lucia, and you will fight the urge to jump ahead because each chapter gives you just a little bit more of the story and leaves you hanging. Although the story is a bit grizzly at times it is an overall thrilling tale from beginning to end.

Contrary Motion by Andy Mozina

The first line of this debut novel, Contrary Motion by Andy Mozina, sets the tone for the story: “I’m a Midwesterner, born and raised in Milwaukee, where they manufacture beer and the heavy machinery you should not operate while drinking it.” Main character Matt Grzbc (pronounced Ger-bik) is a harpist barely getting by living in Chicago. He is divorced from Milena but isn’t really over her even though he has a new girlfriend, Cynthia.

The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart

You know it is a good book when you stay up way past your bedtime to finish reading it because you just have to know how it ends. That was my situation last night with The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart. This thought provoking and suspenseful novel is about an old woman's curiosity turned into a dangerous obsession as she becomes involved in her new neighbor's complicated and cloaked life. Mystery and intrigue build as each chapter unfolds and I could not put it down.

Time travel

Time travel is a fascinating idea to people. Time and Time Again by Ben Elton is a new absorbing and thought-provoking novel that takes a look at the idea of time travel and what would happen if something were changed. British Special Forces ex-soldier Hugh Stanton is mourning the loss of his wife and two children who were killed by a hit-and-run vehicle.

Why Does the Other Line Always Move Faster? By David Andrews

Hate waiting in line? I know I do. The new book Why Does the Other Line Always Move Faster? by David Andrews explores the myths and misery, secrets and psychology of waiting in line. Andrews went in search of answers to this age old question and unearthed a world of science, history and cultural norms about the often stressful, sometimes nonexistent and usually time-consuming act of waiting in line.

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