Monthly Archives: April 2011

Staff Pick – The Weight of Silence

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

This is this first published novel by this young author and it is a doozey.

The story develops around a dysfunctional family and the best friend of the 7-year-old girl Calli, who from the age of 4 has been mute. The best friend, Petra, also 7, speaks for Calli and the two of them get along famously and successfully in all mutual endeavors.

One day both girls disappear from their homes, early in the morning. The local authorities have a previously unsolved murder of a young girl, so they naturally focus their investigation on the possibility of a repeat crime by the same killer. Hence, outsider experts are brought in, causing all sorts of mistrust, suspicion, and secretiveness among the two families and the local sheriff, who has a history with Calli’s mother.

The book is written in a unique format—from the viewpoint of each character (except the one around whom the most suspicion exists) in his and her own chapters. Thus, the reader gets the full impact of this horrifying event from the aspect of the family members and the sheriff as they work to find the girls and their abductor.

From false identification of the criminal to the true identity is a journey that is alternately terrifying, reassuring, intense, accepting, and ultimately . . . well, you can find out. It’s well worth the read!

Recommended by: Paula at Main

Find the book in our catalog!

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Staff Pick – A Year in My Pajamas

A Year in My Pajamas With President Obama: The Politics of Strange Bedfellows by Halli Casser-Jayne

This book presents a provocative set of essays with a decidedly critical take on the American political scene during the months before Barack Obama was elected President.

Via day-by-day observations of the campaign year 2008, the author expounds on the news of the day, citing facts and information that likely did not reach the majority of the voters.

While the tone of the essays conjures up a late night show monologue, the words present a certain insight and comprehension of the political situation that, in retrospect, is nearly uncanny. This is a lively and interesting read, hidden among the literary essays on the 808 shelves of the library. Check it out!

Recommended by: Paula at Main

Find the book in our catalog!

Staff Pick – Civil War Reads

Darrell’s List for Books On the Civil War

April, 2011 marks the beginning of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. In keeping with the commemoration of that momentous event in our nation’s history, I herewith present my list of books I recommend to read about that war:

1. Mother May You Never See the Sights I Have Seen by Warren Wilkinson
2. Stand Firm Ye Boys From Maine by Thomas de Jardin
3 . This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust
4. To Gettysburg and Beyond by Michael Golay
5. Gettysburg by Stephen Sears
6. The 24th Wisconsin Infantry in the Civil War by William J. Beaudot
7. Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz
8. Eye of the Storm: a Civil War Odyssey by Robert Knox Sneeden
9. Witness to Gettysburg by Richard Wheeler
10. Witness to Appomattox by Richard Wheeler
11. On Fields of Fury: From the Wilderness To the Crater, an Eyewitness History by Richard Wheeler
12. Sword Over Richmond: an Eyewitness History of McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign by Richard Wheeler
13. Cushing of Gettysburg : the Story of a Union Artillery Commander by Kent Masterson Brown
14. Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend by James I. Robertson, Jr.
15. Extraordinary Circumstances : the Seven Days Battles by Brian K. Burton
16. Headquarters in the Brush: Blazer’s Independent Union Scouts by Darl Stephenson
17. Fallen Soldier: Memoir of a Civil War Casualty by Private Andrew Roy
18. This Was Andersonville by John McElroy
19. Ashes of Glory: Richmond at War by Ernest B. Furguson
20. Irish Brigade and Its Campaigns by David Power Conyngham

All books on this list can be found in our catalog by clicking on the name!

Recommended by: Darrell from Main

Staff Pick – Hangman’s Daughter

The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch

Murder! Witchcraft! Kidnapping! Executions! Villagers with torches! Sounds like an old Universal Pictures horror film from the 30’s and 40’s doesn’t it?

Actually it is part of the plot of The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch, translated from the German by Lee Chadeayne.

Set in the Bavarian town of Schongau in 1659, it’s the story of a midwife accused of witchcraft because of the death and disappearance of some children in the village. The town executioner believes she is innocent and with the help of a young doctor, his daughter (hence the title of the book), sets out to prove her innocence.

Told with excitement and suspense, this book is a worthy addition to any library. I highly recommend it.

Recommended by: Darrell from Main

Find the book in our catalog!