Staff Picks

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.

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.

A funny book for dog lovers

Dogs Are People,Too by Dave Coverly has the subtitle “a collection of cartoons to make your tail wag” and that is exactly what it is.

The Primates of Park Avenue: a memoir by Wednesday Martin

What a funny and interesting memoir. Wednesday Martin, PhD, has worked as a writer and social researcher in New York City for more than two decades. Using her background in anthropology and primatology, Primates of Park Avenue compares Martin's research of primates to the social climbing rituals she discovered while trying to fit in upon her arrival on the Upper East Side of New York with her husband and young son.

Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body by Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson, the Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated actress, and founder of the activewear line Fabletics, has just come out with a new book, Pretty Happy: Healthy Ways to Love Your Body. Anyone who struggles with their body image should read this. It is a beautiful, insightful, and personal look at health from the inside out, an authentic plan for an authentic life from a woman who truly lives what she speaks.

Perfect Touch by Elizabeth Lowell

If you like authors Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell ranks right up to their caliber when it comes to romantic suspense. Her latest, Perfect Touch, blends just the right amount of action, mystery, suspense, and thrills. A former soldier turned rancher and a beautiful designer and art appraiser must race to stop a vicious killer, all while fighting their sizzling attraction for each other.

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter by Kate Clifford Larson

Over the years, so much has been written about the Kennedy family but little information has been available about Rosemary, the intellectually disabled daughter of Rose Fitzgerald and Joseph P. Kennedy. Author Kate Clifford Larson used Rose Kennedy's diaries and correspondence, letters from Rosemary's teachers and doctors, and exclusive family interviews to bring Rosemary's story to life in Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, a profoundly revealing family story.

When it’s Right by Jennifer Ryan

Don't let the picture of the hunky cowboy on the cover fool you. When it's Right by Jennifer Ryan has a storyline with real substance. There is romance, of course, but the story line touches on serious subjects like domestic abuse, addiction to drugs and the effects it has on children who live through it. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a story where the underdog finally gets all that they deserve.

Resolve to learn something new in the New Year

Although I usually read fiction, I enjoy a nonfiction book now and then. One book that I found enjoyable and educational was Wisconsin Agriculture: a History by Jerry Apps. This illustrated book is very readable yet informative and covers geology, history, and current issues in Wisconsin agriculture.

Start your New Year the Mark Twain way

Some of the greatest examples of American literature are the writings of Mark Twain. Drawing from his books, speeches, letters, interviews, and various other sources, author Mark Dawidziak has compiled thought provoking examples of Twain's trademark wit and wisdom in his new book (with the extremely long title) Mark Twain's Guide to Diet, Exercise, Beauty, Fashion, Investment, Romance, Health and Happiness.

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