From Mahnaz K.
Title: Vinegar Hill
Author: A. Manette Ansay
A young family is forced to move back from Ohio to their hometown in Holly’s Field, Wisconsin for economic reasons. Life with her in-laws proves to be stifling for the young mother as she tries to raise her family under the critical eye of her in-laws who are very much hardened by the rigid Midwestern farm life of Wisconsin. Ansay portrays the emotional and psychological abuse people sometimes experience in close relationships with honesty and compassion.
From Andrea Kalinowski
Author: Deborah Halber
Title: The skeleton crew : how amateur sleuths are solving America’s coldest cases
I recently finished reading The Skeleton Crew: how amateur sleuths are solving America’s coldest cases by Deborah Halber. This book offered a fascinating insight into the world of the unidentified and missing and how a slew of amateurs are seeking to identify and reunite them with their families. The amateur sleuth is drawn to the search for a variety of reasons, ranging from a search for their own missing loved one to pure altruism. I cannot fathom how the number of UID (Unidentified Dead) can be so high but it is estimated to be around 40,000 people. One of the reasons that the number is so high is that the little slip of paper known as a Driver’s License is easily lost, misplaced, or forgotten if perhaps one is intending only to run a quick errand. If this paper is not with the individual and some misadventure befalls the individual, it falls to the police to attempt identification. A tool to aid the police in clearing the backlog of UID is to have a website for law enforcement and the public to peruse if they are looking for a match to a missing person. In addition to national databases, many states have their own state websites for the Unidentified Dead. Pets are equipped with microchips and human beings are not. Now, just imagine how much this simple procedure would influence the number of UIDs. The Doenetwork.org, NamUS.gov, and many more exist out there. One only needs to use the search term “unidentified dead” and you will be inundated with sites on which you can expend and hone your sleuthing energies.
From Edna Susman
Author: Beethoven Ludwig van
Title: Animals in music [sound recording CD]
This 2-CD set is an excellent vehicle to introduce classical music to anyone unfamiliar with it, children or adults alike. Pieces included are taken from the early Baroque period to modern day. Some include the piece in its entirety such as “The Wasps: Overture” by Ralph Vaughan Williams and “Carnival of the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saens. Others, just the relevant movement is included such as from “Pictures at an Exhibition: no. 9 Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks” by Modest Mussorgsky, from “Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67:2, The Bird or Op. 67:3, The Duck” by Sergei Prokofiev, from “Tale of the Tsar Saltan: Suite, Op. 57 – Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and from “Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 114, D. 667, The Trout, Theme with Variations” by Franz Schubert to name just a few. Since often only parts of the entire piece are played, this is a wonderful sampling of music especially for those wanting to learn more about classical music.
From Lynn Palmeri
Title: Cinderella Was a Liar
Author: Brenda Della Casa
A humorous collection of dating vignettes. Interesting advice for a lighthearted but not particularly serious book.
From Lynn Palmeri
Author: Christopher Pike
A quick and easy read. Group of main characters was sometimes difficult to follow through vague references, but otherwise an enjoyable summer story geared toward teenagers/young adults.