What’s New in August

Here are the new books we have on our shelves, or that are being released in August:

Adult

“The Mockingbird’s Song” (Amish Greenhouse #2), Wanda Brunstetter (8/1)

“Piecing it All Together” (Plain Patterns #1), Leslie Gould (8/4)

“Dead West” (Nils Shapiro #4), Matt Goldman (8/4)

“Choppy Water” (Stone Barrington #54), Stuart Woods (8/11)

“The Midwife Murders,” James Patterson (8/11)

“Royal,” Danielle Steel (8/18)

“Bitter Pill” (Sisterhood #32), Fern Michaels (8/25)

“We Are the Weather,” Jonathan Safran Foer (8/4)

“The Exiles,” Christina Baker Kline (8/25)

“Final Cut,” S.J. Watson (8/25)

Large Print

“The Jerusalem Assassin,” Joel C. Rosenberg

“Starfish Pier,” Irene Hannon

Children

“Hummingbird,” Nicola Davies

“Transportation Then and Now,” Nadia Higgins

“History’s Forgotten Events,” Rachel A. Bailey

“Elephant Calves,” Genevieve Nilsen

“Atoms,” Kennon O’Mara

“Reflectiveness of Light,” Arthur Best

“Pro Football’s All-Time Greatest Comebacks,” Drew Lyon

“Vikings: Scandinavia’s Ferocious Sea Raiders,” Nel Yomtov

“Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate,” Sara Levine

“Seashells: More Than a Home,” Melissa Stewart

“I’m Trying to Love Math,” Bethany Barton

“Jack at the Zoo,” Mac Barnett & Greg Pizzoli

“Too Many Jacks,” Mac Barnett & Greg Pizzoli

“Hi, Jack!” Mac Barnett & Greg Pizzoli

“Jack Blasts Off!” Mac Barnett & Greg Pizzoli

Teen

 “Midnight Sun” (Twilight #5), Stephanie Meyer (8/4)

Visit plumcreeklibrary.org or call the library at (507) 629-5548 if you are interested in placing a hold on any of these titles.

We also have many new ebooks, especially for children and teens!

Have a great weekend!

Favorite Reads of 2020…So Far

It’s hard to believe we are over halfway through the year already. It has been a challenging year in many ways, so this week I have been trying to focus on the good. That includes the good books I have read so far this year.

Here are my stand-out reads for 2020 so far.

A Visit From the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan

“A Visit From the Goon Squad” is a difficult book to describe. It’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I loved it. The story primarily centers around aging rock star Bernie Salazar and a woman named Sasha, who works for him. Although these are the central characters, we learn about them through the eyes of others whose lives intersect theirs. I tend to like that sort of thing – each chapter is almost more like a short story than a chapter in a book. It’s a quirky book that kept my attention from page one.

This Is How It Always Is, Laurie Frankel

“This Is How It Always Is” is about a family with a transgender daughter. The reader is brought along every step of the way as Claude becomes Poppy. Each family member deals with the transition differently. They end up moving to a new city and keeping the fact that Poppy was really born Claude a secret. Of course the secret comes out eventually, and the family has to deal with the repercussions. “This Is How It Always Is” is a family drama with lots of heart.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Beverly Cleary

It’s no secret that I love the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. My daughter and I have been working through them for a few years now. In “Ramona Quimby, Age 8,” there are some major changes taking place in Ramona’s life. Her father has gone back to college, and her mother is working full-time. Ramona has to go Mrs. Kemp’s after school with her friend Howie every day, and has to deal with his little sister Willa Jean. On top of it, Ramona feels like her third grade teacher at her new school doesn’t really like her. I vividly remember reading this book when I was a kid, and was surprised at how much of it I remembered. Something about this book made me feel every bit of it as if I were a third-grader again.

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, Michael Eric Dyson

“Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America” is a short, yet powerful book on race – which is at the forefront of our minds this year. Like many people, I am making an effort to read more about this difficult topic, and am trying to improve myself in the process. That’s exactly what Dyson argues that we need to do in this book – face difficult truths in order to make significant and lasting change. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author, and would highly recommend it.

Loving Frank, Nancy Horan

I have developed a Frank Lloyd Wright obsession this year. Wanting to know more about the man behind the architecture, I have delved into both fictional and non-fiction accounts of his life. “Loving Frank” is historical fiction about Wright, his relationship with Mamah Borthwick, and the shocking crime that took place at their home, Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Historical fiction is probably my favorite genre, and “Loving Frank” is a great book that seamlessly weaves fiction and the truth together.

Will these books make it to my “favorites” list at the end of the year? It’s hard to say, but I do know that they are the ones that have affected me the most so far.

Until next time, happy reading!

~Val

WiFi Hotspots are here

Tracy Public Library is excited to announce a new service – mobile Internet hotspots.  A mobile Internet hotspot uses cellular access to create a WiFi connection, allowing people to connect to the Internet where there is not typically strong, or any, WiFi access.

The Minnesota State Library, a division of the Minnesota Department of Education, created a connectivity grant for libraries across the state, dividing the money with a formula that included the number of people who currently have access, as well as the available speed of Internet connectivity in each of the state’s twelve Regional Libraries.  Plum Creek was awarded $8900, which partially used federal funding (CFDA 45.310, Library Services and Technology Act (LS-00-19-0024-19) Grants to States) for the grants.  Each Plum Creek Library has received four hotspots with connectivity paid for one year.

Hotspots can be checked out by any library card holder in good standing.  They may not be placed on hold, but are available on a first come, first serve basis.  Since they are a limited resource, they are checked out for only one week and cannot be renewed.

Please note that hotspots may not work in some areas.

One Book | One Minnesota Second Chapter

One Book | One Minnesota is returning for its second chapter with a timely book on race. “A Good Time for the Truth,” edited by Sun Yung Shin, is a book of essays by Minnesota writers who share what it is like to live as a person of color in Minnesota.

Editor Sun Yung Shin writes in the introduction: “These essays…are intended to enlarge our understanding of, and deepen our connections to, one another. These writers are here to feed our spirits, if we let them. We can read their stories and leave each one with a deeper, more complex understanding of how race and culture are lived in Minnesota – and better prepared for the conversations and changes ahead.”

A Good Time for the Truth is available on multiple platforms. Readers can access the digital book for free on Ebooks Minnesota for ten weeks, until August 23. It is also available in the Plum Creek Library System’s ebook collection.

A statewide virtual discussion with Sun Yung Shin, will take place in August.

One Book | One Minnesota is presented by The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, as the Minnesota Center for the Book, in partnership with State Library Services. Program partners also include Council of Regional Public Library System Administrators, Minitex (a joint program of the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education), the Minnesota Department of Education, and Minnesota Historical Society Press. This program is made possible in part by the State of Minnesota through a grant to the Minnesota Center for the Book through the Minnesota Department of Education.  

July new releases

Here are the new titles we have coming in for the month of July:

Adult

“The Lost and Found Bookshop,” Susan Wiggs (7/7)

“Cajun Justice,” James Patterson (7/14)

“The Order” (Gabriel Allon #20), Daniel Silva (7/14)

“A Walk Along the Beach,” Debbie Macomber (7/14)

“A Blessing to Cherish,” Lauraine Snelling (7/21)

“The Book of Lost Names,” Kristin Harmel (7/21)

“Half Moon Bay,” Jonathan Kellerman (7/21)

“Near Dark” (Scot Harvath #20), Brad Thor (7/21)

“The Pull of the Stars,” Emma Donoghue (7/21)

“1st Case,” James Patterson (7/27)

“Deadlock” (FBI Thriller #24), Catherine Coulter (7/28)

“Miss Janie’s Girls,” Carolyn Brown (7/28)

“Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Evolution,” Brian Freeman (7/28)

Children

“Karen’s Roller Skates” (Baby-Sitters Little Sister #2), Katy Farina (7/7)

“The Bad Guys in the Dawn of the Underlord,” Aaron Blabey (7/7)

“Act,” (Click 3), Kayla Miller (7/21)

Teen

“Of Curses and Kisses,” Sandhya Menon

“Solstice,” Lorence Alison

“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” Suzanne Collins

Visit plumcreeklibrary.org or call the library at (507) 629-5548 if you are interested in placing a hold on any of these titles.

We also have many new ebooks, especially for children and teens!

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!