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New Books
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If an item you are interested in is not available on the shelf at your library, please ask a Library Staff member to request it or click on the blue "CATALOG" button above to search the catalog and place your own request.

100 CUPBOARDS

Ashley Zietlow, West Salem Public Library, February 2020

100 CUPBOARDS, the first book of the 100 Cupboards Series by N.D. Wilson, opens with young Henry York coming from Boston to stay with his Uncle Frank, his Aunt Dottie, and his three cousins Penelope, Henrietta, and Anastasia, in the small town of Henry, Kansas. He expects he’ll only be there as long as it takes to get his parents ransomed, the two of them having been kidnapped on their bicycling trip through Asia. But that’s before he starts to make friends and realize there’s a whole world to explore beyond the confines of his house… or perhaps whole worlds beyond the cupboard doors he finds behind the wall of his attic bedroom.

Though the majority of the first book is the buildup to the discovery of how to go through the tiny doors in Henry’s wall, the characters and relationships that are developed make up for the slight lack of action. Henrietta steps into the role of sidekick while learning how the cupboards work, and though the two cousins bicker more than anything, they make a good team. Dottie and the other two cousins settle into the comfortable role of lovable side characters, and Uncle Frank hovers around it all, seemingly clueless, but with more surprises up his sleeves than one would originally think.

Questions are raised as the kids try to get into Grandfather’s locked room on the second story landing to find more clues about the cupboards. Journals are discovered, mailboxes in the wall opened, and baseball is played. When an immortal witch manages to find her way through the cupboards and into the Kansas farmhouse, the story explodes into action, dragging the reader along until the final pages and leaving them breathless and ready for the sequel.

DANDELION FIRE picks up right after the first book, and though Henry has been banned from entering the cupboards, he starts planning to do so anyway to escape going back to Boston and his distant parents. A strange encounter with a wizard named Darius, and an even stranger encounter with a dandelion behind his uncle’s barn, pulls him unwillingly into the worlds of the cupboards before he’s ready. With Henrietta finding herself behind a different cupboard door, and the rest of the family on an adventure of their own, this book quickly whisks the reader between the different points of view. The immortal witch from book one has started on her hunt for revenge, and everyone is pulled into a race of survival. A young Kansas friend and a clueless policeman come along for the ride, while Henry and Henrietta meet plenty of unique characters in their own situations. Some they never want to meet again, and others that try their hardest to steal a place in the readers’ hearts.

By THE CHESTNUT KING the characters have grown so much, and though the book wraps up the whole series quite nicely, it leaves the story open ended enough that many a reader may join the ranks hoping for more books written in the same world as the others.

I also highly recommend the audiobooks of this series if you prefer listening to books over reading them. The narrator, Russell Horton, is very engaging, with a delightful British accent and a distinct voice for each character. If you are looking for a series full of fun, adventure, and whimsy, check out the 100 Cupboards series from your nearest La Crosse County Library location today! Please stop on by one of the libraries where our staff would love to help you!

 

SCAM ME IF YOU CAN

Carol Petrowski, Onalaska Public Library, January 2020

You may be someone who has always depended on the kindness of strangers. Or you may believe, as Woody Allen so famously wrote, that “Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.”

No matter how trusting or how cynical you are, you should be aware of the dangers of modern life and how to protect yourself. The best way to do that is to immediately drop everything and read SCAM ME IF YOU CAN, by Frank Abagnale. Abagnale, about whom the movie CATCH ME IF YOU CAN was written, is a world class expert on ways the bad guys are able to deceive you, take your money, steal your identity, and, quite possibly, ruin your life. 

At the age of 15, Abagnale  began a life of forged identities and clever ruses to fraudulently present himself as an airline pilot, professor, doctor and lawyer.  He was so adept at his machinations that he eluded authorities and detection for 6 years.  When he finally was apprehended, the US government recognized that he was someone we definitely want on our side. 

Thus began Abagnale’s career working for the good guys, including as an FBI expert on forgery and document theft.  He now applies his singular and noteworthy talents to the cause of helping people understand how they can protect themselves and not fall prey to the scam artists who are definitely out in force. This one time notorious con man, check forger and imposter is now an international cyber security consultant.   When he speaks to groups, such as at the AAARP sponsored presentation “Stealing Your Life” in Rochester recently, the audience is spellbound. 

He briefly covers the story of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.  This 2002 movie is an amazing true story. Abagnale, something of a silver fox now, was played by Leonardo DiCaprio.  He then easily segues into many of the lessons to be learned in his latest book, SCAM ME IF YOU CAN. 

Some of the topics include: how best to deal with robo calls, the dangers of paying by check, why credit cards may be better than debit cards, what paperwork needs shredding, how NOT to find love online, not sharing too much on social media and why “passwords are an antiquated technology that should be shelved once and for all.” 

Maybe “Trust but verify” is the best advice.  Trust this advice: Watch CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, and definitely read SCAM ME IF YOU CAN.  The money and identity you save could be your own. 

 

FAVORITE THRILLERS

Ashley Giese, West Salem Public Library, December 2019

I am often asked for recommendations for books to read. To be honest, I love it when people take my suggestion, and then come and tell me what they think.  I am always excited when people ask me for more suggestions.  Personally, I am a mystery/psychological thriller reader.  I love that genre.  And in my back pocket, I always have my go to book that I recommend.

Interested?  My go to recommendation is Still Missing by Chevy Stevens. Still Missing is about Annie O’Sullivan, a realtor, that is kidnapped at her open house by her last visitor as she is about to leave. The books moves between Annie telling her psychiatrist the events of what happened to her during her yearlong captivity, and a second narrative where she is dealing with her current struggles because of it. This book will grab your attention from go, and have you sitting on the edge of your seat through the entire book!

Another book that I just couldn’t put down was The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks. This book is about three people, Vanessa, Richard, an Emma and the twists and turns of their intertwining lives. In the blurb it says “When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife. You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle. Assume nothing.”

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes is another intense thriller that will make you want to make sure your doors are locked at night. Catherine meets Lee, this “too good to be true” guy, until he isn’t. At first Catherine and Lee’s relationship makes her feel loved, and valued, but overtime it becomes abusive and controlling. Four years later Lee is behind bars and then the unthinkable happens. This book is not for the faint hearted.

If you would like to check out or reserve any of these titles, stop into your favorite location of the La Crosse County Library in Bangor, Campbell, Holmen, Onalaska, or West Salem.  Or you can visit us on the web at www.lacrossecountylibrary.org or find us on Facebook.




 

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