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Litchfield MN 55355


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Friday, December 8, 2017

My Recent Reading List

By Jan Pease

Did you know that you can visit our library blog at and read past blog entries that the library has posted?  Why do I know this?  Because I was looking back at my older essays to get some thoughts about this middle week in December.  It isn’t Christmas yet, it’s too soon for January announcements, and the paper comes out on the 13th.  This really doesn’t matter unless you are superstitious and it isn’t a Friday the 13th, anyway. 

One of the blog entries was about books I was reading.  What vanity to think people might be interested in that!  But it’s so interesting!   I think we’ll try that again.

Lately I’ve been reading Norwegian author Jo Nesbo, a suggestion from several patrons. I’ve read “The Bat,” “Cockroaches,”  “Redbreast” and “Nemesis” and now will move on to “The Devil’s Star.”  I read these pretty slowly and enjoy them immensely. Like the Swedish crime novels I’ve read, the atmosphere in these Norwegian novels is dark and wintry. The main character, Harry Hole, is flawed but he gets things right in the end.

I really enjoyed a young adult book published in Canada, “The Marrow Thieves,” by Cherie Dimaline.  This novel is set in Canada after global warming has ravaged the earth.  Human beings have been driven mad because they have lost the ability to dream.  The only cure is found in the bone marrow of indigenous people.  Many people don’t know about their tribe of origin, but they are still being hunted.  Intrigue, betrayal, love, friendship and failure all enter in to this tremendous book.

I think I enjoyed “Stolen Innocence,”  by Elissa Wall, but the subject was her escape from a polygamist sect in the Southwest and I found it difficult to read about her situation.  I admire her honesty and courage in writing about her painful family life.

I did enjoy “The Inner Life of Cats,” by Thomas McNamee.  For a good time, read reviews of this book at  They range from “Even dog lovers should read this book” to “Still awake? This should take care of that.”  Of course we all know that our fur babies are the best in the world, but McNamee writes beautifully and poignantly about the things he learned from Augusta, his cat who was the best cat in the world, to him.

“No Apparent Distress,” by Rachel Pearson is a timely look at her development as a doctor.  She spent years taking care of patients who were poor and indigent.  This might have resonated so much with me because I’ve been navigating the insurance system as an almost 65 year old person having to sometimes pay full price for insulin because my insurance doesn’t cover it.  

Finally, I need to mention "A Life of Triumph: How a Girl With Cerebral Palsy Beat the Odds to Achieve Success."  This book was written by Litchfield's own Duane Hickler.  He halped Karen A. Gorr write her memoir about growing up with cerebral palsy and living in an institution during her early years.  Karen eventually got her education and taught at the high school level for 20 years.  She married, became a mother, and has been a successful advocate for people with mental and phyusical disabilities.  I read the book on my Kindle. Unlike most of the books I mention, the library doesn't own this book, but it's easy to find at