If you’ve been watching Longmire on A&E, you might like to go back and read where it all began. Back in 2010, I picked up the book Cold Dish by Craig Johnson on a whim. It’s not my usual type of read, so I don’t even remember why I read it, but it began an obsession that has not waned at all. I wait anxiously for each installment in the series. Johnson’s Longmire series is about Walt Longmire, a widowed sheriff who has buried himself in his work since his wife died. With his old friend Henry Standing Bear and foul-mouthed deputy Victoria Moretti, he works to keep the peace in Absaroka County, Wyoming. A mix of suspense, insight, and humor, the story of Sheriff Longmire shouldn’t be missed. I just finished the eighth book in the series, As the Crow Flies, and Johnson’s writing just keeps getting better.
by John Pecoraro, Assistant Director
Here it is more than halfway through 2012, and we haven’t heard much about the War of 1812 bicentennial. Perhaps it’s not surprising. The War of 1812 has always been overshadowed by the American Revolution, the Civil War, and nearly every other American conflict. In terms of Americans engaged in the fighting, and lives lost, it ranks only 7th among all American wars. In terms of those killed or wounded, however, its approximately 20,000 casualties represent a larger percentage of casualties than the American forces experienced in World War II (8.7% versus 6.7%).
In this nearly forgotten war, the emerging American nation took on the greatest naval power in the world. We endured the capture and burning of our nation’s capital. We earned a national anthem from Francis Scott Key’s immortal words penned during the bombardment of Fort McHenry. We invaded our Canadian neighbors to the north and were repulsed. We defeated the pride of the British army at New Orleans. The War of 1812 was a war of heroes, including Zebulon Montgomery Pike, Oliver Hazard Perry, future presidents Andrew Jackson and William Henry Harrison, Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, and the pirate Jean Laffite.
To learn more about the War of 1812, all you have to do is visit the Manhattan Public Library and check out one of the several titles available on the subject.
In Mr. and Mrs. Madison’s War, President James Madison mourns the nation’s loss as smoke rises from the ruins of the capital. Historian Hugh Howard presents a wide-screen epic of one of America’s least remembered wars. Drawing on countless primary sources, he presents a gripping account of the War of 1812 as James and Dolley Madison experienced it.
At the outbreak of hostilities the U.S. Navy consisted of seventeen oceangoing ships against the Royal Navy’s seven hundred. A. J. Langguth brings to life many of the individuals who faced such odds in Union 1812: The Americans Who Fought the Second War of Independence. Among the colorful personalities he presents are many of the most enduring characters in American history: Dolley Madison, Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Oliver Hazard Perry, and Stephen Decatur.
Every time we sing the national anthem, we recall events from the War of 1812. In The Flag, The Poet & The Song, author Irvin Molotsky tells the story behind the story of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” In addition to recounting the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Molotsky uncovers facts and fallacies surrounding the song and the flag.
Winston Groom recounts one of the greatest battles fought in North America in Patriotic Fire: Andrew Jackson and Jean Laffite at the Battle of New Orleans. As its subtitle promises, this book tells the story of two men, one an American general and future President, the other a French pirate, who join forces to defeat a superior British force and save the city of New Orleans.
For a short narrative history, check out The War of 1812: Conflict for a Continent by J.C.A. Stagg. Professor Stagg focuses on the war as a continental event, portraying the war in the context of the larger issue of emerging American interests vying to contend with the effects of rival European nationalisms.
David Hanna brings to vivid life the lost era of naval battles under sail in Knights of the Sea: The True Story of the Boxer and the Enterprise and the War of 1812. The battle between the HMS Boxer and the USS Enterprise occurred off the coast of Pemaquid Point, Maine, and was witnessed by civilians on shore. The battle lasted less than one hour but was brutal and bloody, and cost the lives of the young commanders on both sides.
Learn about the flag that inspired the national anthem at the Smithsonian website.
Finally, visit the Library of Congress for a guide to the War of 1812. The guide includes a chronology, links to some primary documents, and a list of other websites to search.
Sometimes nothing will do but a classic. Listed as one of the top 100 romances of all time on the All About Romance web site, The Bride by Julie Garwood is the sweet, passionate, and witty story of Alec Kincaid, Scottish laird and Jaime, the youngest daughter of an English baron. Both of them forced into marriage, they struggle to find common ground between her healing strength and his domineering warrior ways. A delightful journey back to historic Scotland is classic romance.
By Marcia Allen
Technical Services & Collections Manager
Those who devour historical fiction will well remember one of 2009’s best books, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. To no one’s surprise, the book was destined for prestigious awards, among them the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. The reasons for praise were many: Mantel’s writing manages to bring to life a distant time period and to enliven characters long gone except in history books. Reading her prose is a lively immersion into the drama and customs of 16th century royal England.
Wolf Hall is the first of a trilogy that follows the life and career of Thomas Cromwell. The story begins with a grim look at his brutal childhood and works its way to his role as successor to Cardinal Wolsey during the reign of Henry VIII. As the story is told from Cromwell’s point of view, readers get both a compelling story and an intimate character study of a complex individual. All of this occurs against the backdrop of Henry VIII’s romance with Anne Boleyn.
But history shows us that Anne’s reign was doomed early on. Much as Henry was quick to fall for her, he quickly lost interest, and Anne’s failure to deliver a living son was a catalyst. That’s the focus of author Mantel’s new book, and second part of the trilogy, Bring up the Bodies.
The story begins shortly after the execution of Thomas More. First queen Katherine of Aragon languishes in exile. Cromwell is a favored confidante for King Henry, but he walks an uncertain path, as do others who counsel such a volatile leader. Henry is disappointed in Anne’s aborted pregnancies and has recently noticed the shy manners of Jane Seymour. He has already begun to weigh variables in dissolving his second marriage.
What makes this second volume just as compelling as the first is partly a matter of the author’s expertise in conveying the richness of the time period and partly a matter of her gorgeous use of language. Consider, for example, Cromwell’s thoughts when he visits the ailing Queen Katherine:
“If she (the queen) is ill in the night, perhaps she dreams of the gardens of Alhambra, where she grew up: the marble pavements, the bubbling of crystal water into basins, the drag of a white peacock’s tail and the scent of lemons. I could have brought her a lemon in my saddlebag, he thinks.”
Another equally compelling feature of Mantel’s writing is her uncanny ability to make the reader a silent witness to dramatic historical events. Toward the end of this book, Mantel recounts the boasting of musician to the queen, Mark Smeaton, who claimed to know the queen in intimate terms. The reader can feel the tension, as Smeaton’s questioners, Cromwell among them, realize that they have found the loophole that will free Henry from his burdensome marriage. The reader also senses the horror that this idle boast will bring upon Anne and her court.
The concluding passages of the book speed through the hurried trials of those convicted of treason. Mantel’s handling of those details immerses the reader in the brutality of the times, of the fate that awaited those who dared offend Henry. And the retelling of the actual executions is so vivid, so realistic, that readers can but cringe.
I have to confess that I read this book in only a day or two, which would seem to indicate that it’s fairly short and fairly simple to read. This is not the case. This is a complicated tale with multiple layers of nuance, a story that dedicates five opening pages alone to its list of characters. My haste to read the book is due to its hypnotic nature: it is just that well written. I am eagerly awaiting the third volume of this outstanding trilogy, which promises to put Cromwell into dangerous conflict with his unpredictable monarch. I urge you to get lost in the pages of Bring up the Bodies.
By Janene Hill, Young Adult Librarian
Since 2003, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has released an annual list of nominees for the Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) List. The TTT is a “teen choice” honor list as chosen by teens throughout the country.
This year’s list contains 24 nominated titles, chosen by teen book groups from school and public libraries around the country, which nominate their favorite books of the previous year. Nominations are posted in April during National Library Week.
Teens are encouraged to read these titles throughout the summer, then vote for them during late August and early September. Winning titles will be announced via webcast during Teen Read Week, the third week of October.
Encouraging teens to read these books and take part in the voting not only is an easy way to find recommended titles, but gives teens a sense of inclusion in choosing the “best of the best” as chosen by their peers.
Using the TTT nominees as a catalyst, parents and caregivers can help get teens excited about reading and make time for their teens to read at home.
Studies show a regular reading habit makes teens better readers. YALSA president, Sarah Flowers, recently stated that “today’s teens seem to have less and less free time, and there are increasingly more activities for them to take part in during what little leisure time they have. That is why it’s important to encourage teens to set aside some time to read.”
YALSA has created a list of many ways parents or caregivers can encourage teen reading. Some ideas include:
· Set aside a regular weekly or daily time for the family to read.
· Make reading aloud a family activity. Read to your kids as long as they’ll let you.
· Read the same books as a family. Talk about them afterward. Allow each person in the family to have a chance to choose the reading material.
· Share your favorite book with your teen.
· Model reading for pleasure. Talk with your children about what you’re reading; make your enthusiasm for reading obvious to them. Explain how reading gives you pleasure while helping you learn about life and the world.
· When a movie based on a book is released, read the book first. Then go to the movie together or rent the video. Afterward, talk about how the two compare.
· If some kids don’t like to read or have difficulty reading, let them listen to audiobooks.
· Visit the public or school library with your teen to attend a program or to check out materials.
Manhattan Public Library has copies of all of the TTT nominees, there are multiple copies of several, and some are also available in an audiobook version.
This year’s TTT finalists include:
All Good Children by Catherine Austen; Ashes by Ilsa Bick; Abandon by Meg Cabot; Tempest by Julie Cross; What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen; Wither by Lauren DStefano; Where She Went by Gayle Forman; Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen; Eona: The Last Dragoneye by Alison Goodman; The Fault in Our Stars by John Green; Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge; Legend by Marie Lu; Hourglass by Myra McEntire; Cinder by Marissa Meyer; Shine by Lauren Myracle; A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness; This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel; Across the Universe by Beth Revis; Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs; Divergent by Veronica Roth; Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys; The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater; How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr; All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin
I’ve been a Brad Paisley fan for awhile. I plowed through all of his CDs at the library and had to buy a few of my own. So it wasn’t a surprise that I had to pick up this book, but it turned out to be even more than I thought it would be. Diary of a Player is Paisley’s memoir of his life as a guitar player, with bits about the rest of his life sprinkled in. I have never in my life played a guitar, so I was a bit tentative. He writes about his guitar influences like his grandfather who gave him his first guitar and the old guys who formed his first band, sharing how these guitar players from his early years helped him develop as a player and as a human being. He emphasizes how music threads through the generations, connecting the past with the future and how playing the guitar has provided him with an outlet for all the joys and sorrows of life, as well as a refuge from the world. This enjoyable book made me an even bigger Paisley fan, but it also changed the way I listen to and think about music.
One of my favorite summer aromas is that of beef, chicken, or pork cooking on the grill. With the 4th of July coming up, you may be looking for that perfect holiday menu. Maybe you have a special occasion to plan and want to prepare a scrumptious feast from the grill. You will find a jackpot of grilling cookbook options on the shelf at Manhattan Public Library. Whether you want hamburgers, hotdogs, steak, or something gourmet, there is a book that will get you started.
Even beginner outdoor cooks will find help for grilling up a great meal. Steven Raichlen’s How to Grill, or The Cook’s Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbecue are perfect matches for those of you who are new to grilling. Weber’s Way to Grill gives step-by-step instruction, great visuals, and mouthwatering photos to help you move up to more complicated cooking in no time. A few of the most popular barbecuing books for grilling are Wicked Good Barbecue by Andy Husbands, Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill Cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens Grill It!: Secrets to Delicious Flame-Kissed Food, and the Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook: Barbeque…it’s not just for breakfast anymore. You will find just the right book for your taste and occasion.
Grilling isn’t only for meat; you can have fun cooking the whole meal on the grill. You may just want to veg out with some scrumptious vegetable recipes, especially now that gardens are overflowing with fresh produce. Look for specialty grilling techniques in The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill by Karen Adler & Judith Fertig. In this gardener’s delight, you’ll find seasoning mixes and sauces to enhance the flavor of the fresh garden veggies you choose to grill, recipes to try, plus helpful hints and advice. Adler & Fertig say, “Sometimes, to get a certain flavor and texture from foods, you’ll want to go beyond basic grilling. Your grill can perform many of the same cooking functions as your indoor stovetop and oven, such as searing, stir-frying, planking, and roasting. The grill just gives the food you cook outdoors more flavor.” Try Cookouts Veggie Style! by Jolinda Hackett for “225 backyard favorites—full of flavor, free of meat!” Those garden vegetables are just begging to be grilled to bring out their full flavor and tantalize your taste buds.
Cooking meat, vegetables and even fruit on the grill is a common practice, but pizza? Why not! Craig Priebe’s book, Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas, and Pizza on the Grill by Elizabeth Karmel are in the library’s collection. Elizabeth says, “If you have a grill and the will, you can master grilled pizza. The essence of grilled pizza is unquestionably its crispy, slightly smoky crust.” Both books have delectable illustrations that are sure to persuade you to try pizza grilled to perfection.
If you haven’t jumped out of your chair and headed for the library to get your favorite recipes for the grill, maybe this added tidbit will do the trick. Let your taste buds do the traveling by cooking up grilled dishes with the taste of Italy, Japan, the Mediterranean, Australia, the Caribbean, Latin, or the American Southwest. Books like Jerk from Jamaica or Latin Grilling can help your taste buds get on the international by-way.
For calorie counters and dollar pinchers, you’ll want to place a request on this soon-to-be available book Grill This, Not That: Backyard Survival Guide by David Zinczenko. He tells you how to cut calories and save money, while at the same time leaving all the flavors intact.
To find other books on grilling, go to library web site and search the catalog with a keyword search using the terms: grill; grilling; barbecue; or barbecuing. You should get about a hundred hits on each one of them. Grab a few of the many grilling books from the shelf, and find the recipes that will have your neighbors hanging over the fence wishing for an invite!
Looking for affordable summer fun with benefits to last a lifetime? Go outside and connect with nature! Exploring nature offers you healthy exercise and fresh air, and can strengthen your spiritual, intellectual, and family life. Getting started as an amateur naturalist is easy with help from Manhattan Public Library.
Start with inspiration from The Practical Naturalist, an easy-to-browse beginner’s guide with stunning illustrations from publisher Dorling Kindersley, or The Nature Handbook: A Guide to Observing the Great Outdoors from Oxford University Press. If you’re making this a family project, plan your summer activities using The National Wildlife Federation Book of Family Nature Activities: 50 Simple Projects and Activities in the Natural World by Page Chichester. Another great nature study guide and activity planner is The Bumper Book of Nature: A User’s Guide to the Great Outdoors by Stephen Moss, a year-round guide that includes seasonal nature activities that appeal to all the senses, identification tips for everything from birdsong to lichens, and simple encouragements like, “Lie in the tall grass and look at the sky.”
While you’re looking at the sky, take time to study the clouds as they change and move and then learn what they tell us about the weather. Find guidance and inspiration in The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, a delightful cloud identification guide and a surprise best-seller in Britain that offers plenty of helpful illustrations and surprising humor. Another good read for cloudgazers is The Book of Clouds by John A. Day, which includes spectacular photographs, a cloud chart and weather forecasting information, and the author’s inspiring list of Ten Reasons to Look Up. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Weather by David Ludlum can help you interpret what you see.
Closer down to earth, learn to recognize trees and appreciate their beauty and strength with The Urban Tree Book: An Uncommon Field Guide for City and Town by Arthur Plotnik or the masterful Sibley Guide to Trees by David Allen Sibley. For gorgeous and inspiring nature photography, treat yourself to Seeing Trees: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets of Everyday Trees by Nancy Hugo and Robert Llewellyn. Use your new-found knowledge on a self-guided tree walk in Manhattan City Park or on the KSU campus. Guides for both the City Park Tree Walk and the Campus Tree Walk can be found online by going to www.riley.ksu.edu, then entering City Park Tree Walk or Campus Tree Walk in the search box.
Study the creatures that creep, crawl, run, and fly with a wide selection of guidebooks at the library. Go pond-watching with Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles in Kansas by Joseph T. Collins. Identify mammals by their tracks and learn about their behavior from Mammal Tracks and Sign by Mark Elbroch or Behavior of North American Mammals by Mark Elbroch and Kurt Rinehart. Learn more about birds in What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World by Jon Young, then go birding with the Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots by Bob Gress.
When you’re ready to go further afield and into the Flint Hills, check out the Field Guide to the North American Prairie by Stephen R. Jones or Kansas Geology: An Introduction to Landscapes, Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils to help you understand the ecology and terrain. Then head out to Konza Prairie or beyond and take along Wildflowers and Grasses of Kansas by Michael Haddock or Kansas Prairie Wildflowers by K-State’s own Clenton Owensby to help you identify plants and grasses.
At the end of the long summer day, stargaze under the dark night sky. The Backyard Astronomer’s Guide and Summer Stargazing: A Practical Guide for Recreational Astronomers, both by Terence Dickinson, can guide you to celestial wonders. Kids can discover more from Night Sky and Planets, both from Scholastic Books and available in the library’s Children’s Room. To learn the mythology behind the constellations, check out A Walk through the Heavens: A Guide to Stars and Constellations and Their Legends by Milton D. Heifetz. For more stargazing fun, go to Stellarium.org and have your own planetarium show on your home computer. Type in coordinates to watch the night sky and see stars, planets, and satellites move as the night and day progress. On June 30 at 2:00 p.m., join us at Manhattan Public Library for a fun program, Dream Big: Follow the Stars with cool games, stories, and activities for parents and kids K-6th grade. Have a wonderful summer, Manhattan.
One of my memories from childhood is sitting entranced, hearing Ray Charles play piano on television. His voice still affects me the same way. In Genius Loves Company, his last album recorded before his death in 2004, he teams up with some all-time great voices, including Norah Jones, James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Elton John, and even Willie Nelson, making them sound better than ever. I found that this album did not make good background music. I found myself shushing my family so that I could catch every note. So sit back, relax, and savor the legendary tones of Ray Charles and company.
Whether you like baseball or not, you have to admit that it provides some good stories. John Grisham just recently came out with Calico Joe, which I’m looking forward to reading. Here are some other baseball tales to enjoy.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
One errant throw sets of a series of events that changes the lives of many in this story of the baseball team at a small liberal-arts college in Wisconsin. Harbach explores the lives of the characters, as well as the beloved game.
Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella
If you’re in the mood for a good book/movie combo, this is the book that Field of Dreams was based on. A farmer in Iowa builds a baseball field for the past baseball greats, roping a reclusive writer into the project along the way.
The End of Baseball by Peter Schilling
In a dream-worthy alternate history, Bill Veeck transforms 1940′s baseball by recruiting the best of the best Negro Leagues baseball stars to play on the the Philadelphia Athletics, causing an uproar from fans, players, and even the United States government.
Lucy and her friends have decided to spend graduation night searching for Shadow, the elusive but talented graffiti artist. Ed and his friends just want to kill time until they can carry out their real plans for the evening. In the meantime, Ed joins Lucy in her quest, racing to all of Shadow’s artwork while thawing their prickly relationship through their stories and hopes. Lucy shares her obsession with Shadow and his art, unaware of how close he really is. Graffiti Moon is a fun young adult novel with great characters and an artistic twist.
While some Kansans will have no idea of the location of the town of Inman, and more may have never heard of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, there’s always time to discover a regional treasure. Inman author Marci Penner published the first of her Kansas guides in 2005, entitled The Kansas Guidebook for Explorers. That lovely first effort was a guide to towns, restaurants, and local details grouped by region throughout the state. It remains a perennial favorite, and interested travelers are quick to search its pages for undiscovered locales.
With hot summer days and dreams of vacations yet to be taken, I can think of no better way to pass a little time than by exploring Penner’s gorgeous second book, 8 Wonders of Kansas! Guidebook. Like her first title, Penner’s latest is a guide to Kansas attractions, but the book is so much more.
The groundwork for this book began as a contest. From June 2007 to October 2010, participants were invited to nominate Kansas attractions that fit into one or more of eight select categories (architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history, and people). In all, more than 100,000 people from around the world voted, and an amazing 1000 stories, articles, blogs, etc. were generated. The result? A compiled display of 216 of the best of what Kansas offers, a terrific book that is a delight to read as well as an excellent travel companion.
Photographer Harland J. Schuster is to be complimented on the breadth of his work. His introductory remarks allude to the early morning shots, aerial panoramas, and late afternoon vistas that were part of the typical day’s work. He also notes the generous help that he received from the many local citizens eager to be a part of the project. And the photography is excellent. A double-page spread for Konza Prairie, for example, boasts shadowed photos of a distant hillside. A display of Pillsbury Crossing features a sun-sparkled view of pooled water, as well as a sidebar feature of the falls. And the other 214 wonders are just as appealing as those from the Manhattan area.
Among the overall winners is Greensburg’s Big Well. Penner supplies us with the history of the project, a 109-foot-deep venture that took a year to finish. Until 1932, the well served not only the town but also the steam locomotives that regularly made stops in the town. The photo of the well, taken from the depths of the excavation, awes the reader with its focus on obviously hand-tooled walls.
Treated as one top selection are Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. At 41,000 acres in size, Cheyenne Bottoms is the largest fresh-water marsh in the interior of the United States, says Penner. She tells us it is also considered the most important migration point in the Western Hemisphere. And nearby Quivira National Wildlife refuge hosts an amazing 500,000 birds. If we’re not already convinced these two refuges are to be included, the breathtaking photos of water birds in flight should do the trick.
You can probably guess a few of the other top winners (think of former presidents, salt reserves, and space exploration for starters), but plan to check out the individual category winners as well. You’ll be surprised how many you recognize.
For architectural honors, for example, one can’t omit the dramatic Chase County Courthouse in Cottonwood Falls. For art recognition, the Stan Herd Earthwork located in Atchison was selected for its exceptional utilization of earth as a medium and farm equipment as a means of application. Among winners for customs is the old farming habit of using post rock for fencing, particularly in LaCrosse and the Smoky Hills region.
Each selection also includes location, contact information and hours of operation. And the fold-out cover lists tips on how to use the guidebook and a state map that sports each winner’s exact location in relation to all the others.
Looking for a fun way to spend lazy summer days? If so, this book is right for you. It’s perfect for family exploration as well as individual ventures. Take a little time to explore the many riches of Kansas.
Where do I begin? So many great things are happening this summer at Manhattan Public Library, it is hard to decide what to share first.
Readers of all ages can sign up for Summer Reading at MPL online or by coming to the library where a staff member will help get you registered. Online sign-up has begun and registration at the library can be done beginning this Friday.
Once registered, participants track their reading time (adults can choose to track number of books instead). This time can be tracked online or with a paper record provided by the library. All readers can have a chance to earn prizes by turning in their reading time.
Adults (ages 18 and up) are entered for weekly drawings with each book or for every 4 hours they read. Additional credit can be earned by doing any of 10 bonus challenges. A complete list is available at the library. Seven prizes will be awarded each week in random drawings from sponsors such as The Chef, Hy-Vee, Starbucks, and Panera Bread.
Teens (those entering 7th grade through high school) have a 15 hour goal at which time they can get a free book and a gift certificate to Quiznos. After that, teens can continue to track time and turn those hours in for additional prizes (like tickets at an arcade). All teens who record time will also be entered into drawings for Prize Baskets to be awarded at the end of the summer.
Children (birth through 6th grade) can earn prizes at 250 minutes (ice cream from Vista and toy choice), 500 minutes (book and choice of Applebee’s or Quiznos kids’ meal), and 1000 minutes (Super Reader bookmark and choice Chili’s kids’ meal or Papa Murphy’s cookie dough).
Reading logs can be recorded for all reading done for June 1 through July 31.
In addition to the reading part of Summer Reading, several programs and events have been scheduled for kids and teens throughout June and July.
These events kick off this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon as MPL hosts the annual Summer Reading Kick-Off On the Lawn.
Once again there will be games, prize drawings, activities and live entertainment. This includes carnival games for kids, activity and display tables from the Beach Museum, the NCK Astrological Society, and Pathfinder
Taking the stage at 10:20 will be the K-State Tap Dance Ensemble. Between songs, the group will teach tap steps to any interested children. At 11:00, Mr. Steve will use his acoustic guitar to present his sing-along program for kids.
In the case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the library auditorium.
Several events will take place each week throughout the summer. Storytimes and clubs for elementary school children begin the week of June 4 and go through the week of July 23.
Children can also participate in special events such as the “Lucky Stars Juggling” show, After Hours Pajama Party, programs by the Beach Museum and the Milford Nature Center, ZOOfari Tales, movies, and more.
Teen-focused events are held at least once a week. Many of these events include a variety of nighttime themes such as dreams, astrology, stargazing, relaxation, and more. Events for teens culminate in the End-of-Summer Teen After Hours.
A detailed list of all events, clubs, and storytimes is available on the MPL website or at the library.
Groups visits are encouraged to visit the library during the summer. By calling the Children’s Department, groups can schedule one storytime per month presented by a Children’s Librarian. Large groups are also encouraged to let the Children’s Department know when they would like to visit so overcrowding in the Children’s Room can be avoided. Contact the department at 776-4741 ext. 125.
All events and activities at the library are free and open to the public.
More information can be found by visiting the library at 629 Poyntz Avenue, online, or by calling 785-776-4741.
by Susan Withee, Adult Services Manager
Last year I wrote about how the bestselling novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, had fueled an explosion of interest in Scandinavian crime novels and in international mysteries in general. They continue to be in high demand with readers, and publishers have responded with more and more hot titles from around the world. Mysteries with an international setting combine exposure to unfamiliar cultures, the atmospherics of an exotic locale, and the intellectual challenges of a crime story into an absorbing and satisfying reading experience. Here’s a list of more great international mysteries at Manhattan Public Library.
Greece: Murder in Mykonos by Jeffrey Siger. Newly promoted to police chief of the island paradise of Mykonos, Andreas Kaldis must catch a killer while navigating the island’s convoluted local politics and religious orthodoxy, and without risking the island’s tourism.
Turkey: The Kiss Murder by Mehmet Murat Somer. Called “a delightfully over-the-top drag queen campfest” by one reviewer, this unexpected and entertaining mystery set in Istanbul features a transvestite sleuth, a quirky and refreshingly human cast of characters, and delicious dialogue.
Denmark: The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol. A noir mystery investigating criminal mistreatment of women and children, written by two women and starring female characters. The New York Times called this “another winning entry in the emotionally lacerating Scandinavian mystery sweepstakes.”
Mongolia: The Shadow Walker by Michael Walters. It’s winter in post-Soviet Mongolia, and Minister Negrui, Harvard MBA and head of the Serious Crimes Unit, is working with a visiting British police inspector to find a serial killer. Booklist recommends this series for readers “who like plots filled with global political complexity.”
Canada: Still Life by Louise Penny. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec investigates a murder in the tiny village of Three Pines, south of Montreal. This is a traditional procedural mystery, full of clues hidden in plain sight, red herrings, engaging characters, and complex relationships. Author Penny has been compared to P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Martha Grimes – and even Agatha Christie.
Ghana: Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey. Darko Dawson, police inspector in Ghana’s Criminal Investigation Division, has been sent to investigate the murder of a young female medical student and AIDS worker in a village outside the city of Accra. There he confronts powerful traditional beliefs, brutal local authority, and a long-standing mystery in his own life.
France: Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker. One reviewer wrote, “If you can’t afford that vacation in the south of France this year, Bruno may be the next best thing.” In the quiet, friendly village of St. Denis, chief of police Bruno Courrèges, formerly with UN forces in Bosnia, hopes to find a peaceful life, but crime and the problems of contemporary French life inevitably intrude.
Israel: The Collaborator of Bethlehem by Matt Rees. For many years, Omar Yussef, a good man in a tragic and difficult place, has taught history to the children of Bethlehem. When Israeli snipers kill a PLO soldier, one of Omar’s former students, a Palestinian Christian, is accused of being an Israeli collaborator and faces almost-certain retribution. Omar determines to save his friend, and his investigations take him deep into the complicated, violent, and corrupt world of the occupied West Bank.
Botswana: A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley. Game park rangers in the Kalahari come across a hyena feasting on a human corpse, and Detective Kubu (“Hippopotamus”) Bengu is called in to investigate. Kubu, like his namesake, is huge, amiable, determined, and ferocious. Publishers Weekly said, “The intricate plotting, a grisly sense of realism, and numerous topical motifs (the plight of the Kalahari Bushmen, diamond smuggling, poaching, the homogenization of African culture, etc.) make this a compulsively readable novel.”
Saudi Arabia: Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris. In this literary mystery-thriller set in contemporary Jeddah, the teenaged daughter of a wealthy family disappears days before her marriage and is soon found dead – and pregnant. Her family turns to conservative Muslim Palestinian Nayir al-Sharqi to investigate the death, and he turns to Katya Hijazi, medical examiner and highly-educated modern woman, for assistance. An engrossing look into the complexities and cultural struggles of modern Saudi society.
India: The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall. Vish Puri is India’s Most Private Investigator and the Indian answer to Rumpole or Precious Ramotswe in this series full of humor, food, and delightful dialogue. Nicknamed “Chubby,” Vish is “portly, persistent, and unmistakably Punjabi,” and he draws on up-to-date investigative techniques as well as ancient Indian principles in order to solve mysteries in modern Delhi.
Gwendoline, Lady Muir has long been known for her cheerful disposition in spite of her widowed status. Lord Trentham, Hugo, is a former soldier and grumpy recluse who only emerges once a year to gather with fellow war survivors. When Gwendoline experiences a moment of vexation, causing her to undertake a more ambitious walk than usual, she trips and badly twists her ankle. The imposing Hugo is nearby and ignores her protests to scoop her up to carry her back to the manor where he’s visiting. Their forced companionship leads him to question his original impression of her as a silly, vain woman and leads her to question whether she is really as content with being a widow as she originally thought. In The Proposal, Balogh creates another sweeping Regency romance that you won’t be able to put down till the very end.