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Litchfield MN 55355

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Buzzing about this spring's books

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

What are the most anticipated books of this spring?   We have many of them on their way to our library; following are a few I’d like to tell you about.  As soon as they have a status of “processing” in our catalog, you can request them yourself online, thanks to a recent change in our computer system. 
Lorrie Moore is well-known as a master of short stories.  Her new collection is called Bark: Stories.   Her style is dark humor: wittiness within stories about suffering.  Some reviewers have praised the insights of this new collection, while others have found it too bleak.  Stories in this collection include “Debarking”, about a newly-divorced man getting involved with a woman he’s afraid may be unstable, and “Wings”, about married musicians whose dreams never worked out.



The novel Room was a bestseller in 2010.  Author Emma Donoghue has a new novel just out this week: Frog Music.  This one is a historical mystery, based on a real unsolved crime from 1876.  Cross-dressing Jenny Bonnet was shot through the window of a railroad saloon in San Francisco, in the midst of an extreme heat wave and a smallpox epidemic.  Her friend Blanche, a French burlesque dancer, was next to her and may have been the intended target.  In the novel, Blanche sets out to find the murderer and discovers Jenny’s secret life among the seedy characters of boomtown San Francisco, most of whom were also real people in history. 


Shotgun Lovesongs is a novel set in the fictional Wisconsin town of Little Wing.  This is the first novel from Wisconsin author Nickolas Butler.  Book critics say the farmlands of Wisconsin are brought to life, almost like a character in the novel.  The human characters are friends who grew up in Little Wing together.  Some have stayed to run the family farm, some have felt the pull to return, and others want to stay away. It’s a familiar story to those of us in small towns.  The writing is supposed to be fantastic.



Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art looks like it’s going to be very popular.  Nelson Rockefeller’s son Michael disappeared without a trace in New Guinea in 1961, while seeking art for his father’s museum.  Journalist Carl Hoffman set out to solve the mystery of what happened after the group’s boat overturned and Michael swam for shore, reportedly reaching it.  It appears that he has solved it, with help from anthropologists, archival documents, and native Asmat people who witnessed what happened.
If these or other new books you’re hearing about in the media interest you, ask us to reserve a copy for you.  If you’re just looking for ideas from among the books we have, take a look at a new feature on our catalog.  Around the middle of the front page of the online catalog, you’ll see a link that says “New Items Purchased”.  If you click on that, it will bring you to lists of new and on-order items in all of the Pioneerland libraries that you can request. It’s a little like browsing our shelf of new books, but you get to see what all the libraries have. I hope you find a book that you can start reading with anticipation this spring.