Library Column for March 6, 2019

@ Your Library

Winter may not have been that hard on the deer but I think it has been hard on the humans. Almost everyone I have been talking too is tired of the cold, tired of shoveling, and tired of having to think about winter travel and driving.  So let’s journey to summer with books set in the southern hemisphere of this world, where it is summer.

The classic, just barely,  Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge is set in the pioneer days of New Zealand with romance in a small town. I know the next book on my list is Mr. Allbones’ Ferrets by Fiona Farrell.  The description reads ‘an historical pastoral satirical scientifical romance with mustelids.’ Woah, I don’t even know how you combine all of those things into a novel, but I will have to read it and find out.

Eleanor Catton in Luminaries writes about a gold-mining frontier town in 1860’s New Zealand. An Englishman newly arrived on the island stumbles across a gathering of men investigating a series of unsolved crimes and complex mysteries.

Kerry Greenwood is the author of the series about the honourable Phyrne Fisher, female detective in 1920’s Australia with murder, mayhem and beautiful attire and dainty food. The first three titles are Cocaine Blues, Flying Too High and Murder on the Ballarat Train. And for a bonus watch the also delightful TV series “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.”

Move forward to World War II and an Australian Prisoner of War camp in Shame and the Captives by Thomas Keneally. An Italian anarchist, a farmer’s wife and Japanese prisoners all mix to explore the heart of the human condition.

Paul Cleave writes thrillers set in Christchurch, New Zealand including Five Minutes Alone and Cemetery Lake. Detectives Tate and Schroeder are an unstoppable pair unless they battle each other.

Evergreen Falls by Kimberley Freeman writes about ‘a scandalous affair, a long forgotten secret and a place where two women’s lives are changed forever.

We only had space to visit Australia and New Zealand, so try Isabel Allende for South American fiction, Alexander McCall Smith and the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency for Botswane, Ann Patchett and State of Wonder or Lost City of Z by David Grann for Amazonian fiction or Lan Cao and Lotus and the Storm for Vietnamese fiction. There are plenty more locales in East Asia, Africa, India and the Middle East for stories both true and fictionalized to warm up and get through March, and April and however many more months snow and cold last.

Storytime on Thursday, March 7 at 10:30 am will feature stories, rhymes and songs about weather.  We all spend lots of time talking about the weather, especially this time of year as we anticipate warmer days and longingly look at other parts of the country and the arrival of spring. Bring the little ones and enjoy thirty minutes of planned activities followed by about thirty minutes of free play and beat back that late winter cabin fever.

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