Monday, February 24, 2020


This week's post will highlight survival stories.  Books that fall under the survival fiction genre are consist of works where the main character(s) are trying to survive with little or nothing.  Some of these will follow a character that has gotten lost or hurt in a natural environment setting, and he/she will need to survive until rescue arrives.  Others will follow characters that live in a society that has collapsed for failed them.

Give one of these books a try today!

Children's Fiction

Young Adult Fiction

Adult Fiction

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Monday, February 17, 2020


Happy National Library Lover's Month!  Use the month of February to visit your favorite school, public, or private library.  To celebrate, this week's blog entry will feature books about libraries or stories that take place in libraries.  Check one out today!

Picture Books

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Monday, February 10, 2020


In March, the Mixed Bag Book Club will be reading and discussing mysteries.  Mysteries are a genre of fiction that usually involve a death or crime to be solved.  The mystery genre can be further broken down into detective mysteries, law mysteries, "cozy" mysteries, etc.

Not sure where to start on your mystery journey?  Try some of the options listed below.

Series Mysteries:
Hercule Poirot Series by Agatha Christie
Miss Marple Series by Agatha Christie
Hannah Swensen Series by Joanne Fluke
Cormoran Strike Series by Robart Galbraith
The Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson
Sherlock Holmes Series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Jesse Stone Series by Robert B. Parker
Harry Hole Series by Jo Nesbo
Magical Cats Series by Sofie Kelly
Regan Reilly Series by Carol Higgins Clark
Under Suspicion Series by Mary Higgins Clark
Puzzle Lady Series by Parnell Hall
George Smiley Series by John Le Carre

Stand Alone Mysteries:
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
The Alienist by Caleb Carr
The Second Sleep by Robert Harris
The Witch Elm by Tana French
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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Monday, February 3, 2020


We will be reading and discussing A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert at our February book club meeting.  This novel takes place in a small Ukrainian town.  One morning, the town is overrun by the SS.  The book takes place over the three days that follow, and it shows how lives are affected by this event.

Rachel Seiffert is the author of 5 works.  You can find them listed below.

Field Study 

Looking for more books like A Boy in Winter?  Give one of these a try:

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman - This novel tells the story of one Jewish child's flight to safety from Berlin and her mother's decision to send her away.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - Hannah's novel centers around two sisters, Viann and Isabelle, and how their relationship is tested during World War II.  With life changing in horrific ways, the two sisters are forced to face situations they never thought possible and must explore their own senses of right and wrong.

Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris - Cilka is only 16 when she is brought to Auschwitz during World War II.  One of the officers notices her beauty and keeps her separate from other women prisoners.  After liberation, Cilka is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to Siberia.  

Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian - Skeletons at the Feast takes place towards the end of World War II and follows a small group of people as they attempt to travel from Warsaw to the Rhine in order to reach the British and American lines.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne - Bruno's family relocates from Berlin to a place called "Out-With" when his Nazi officer father is transferred.  While adjusting to life in his new home, Bruno befriends a boy in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Super Bowl Recipes

Well, unfortunately the Packers aren't playing in the big game this weekend, but we can all still look forward to delicious game time eats! Whether you're hosting a big party or just a few, here are some cookbooks to help you find the perfect recipes for your Super Bowl Sunday!

Packer fans everywhere

Game Day Food: Fan-Favorite Recipes for Winning Dips, Nachos, Wings, and Drinks by Lucinda Scala Quinn

The Chili Cookbook: A History of the One-Pot Classic by Robb Walsh

Fan Fare: Game-Day Recipes for Delicious Finger Foods, Drinks, and More by Kate McMillan

On Boards: Simple and Inspiring Recipe Ideas to Share at Every Gathering by Lisa Dawn Bolton

Peter Callahan's Party Food by Peter Callahan

The Ultimate Sports Fans' Cookbook by David Bowers

The Tailgaiting Cookbook by Bob Sloan

Bring it! Tried and True Recipes for Potlucks and Casual Entertaining by Ali Rosen

Monday, January 20, 2020

Author Spotlight: Pat Zietlow Miller

We are so excited to be hosting a special visit from author Pat Zietlow Miller on Saturday, January 25th at 10:30am! She will be here to join our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten celebration! We will be celebrating the joy of sharing books with children. Find out more about 1000 Books Before Kindergarten on our website.

Pat Zietlow Miller is an author of 10 children's books. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin where she "writes insurance information by day and children's books by night" according to her website. Her books reflect the childhood experience with sweetness and humor. She celebrates everyone's unique qualities (Remarkably You), the big moments in a child's life like having a new baby in the family (Loretta's Gift), and playfulness and creativity (Sophie's Squash).

Check out one of her books today and join us on Saturday to meet the author!

Books by Pat Zietlow Miller

Sophie's Squash
Wherever You Go
Sharing the Bread
Sophie's Squash Go To School
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville
Wide-Awake Bear
Be Kind
Loretta's Gift
When You Are Brave
Remarkably You

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Author Spotlight: Mac Bartnett

At today's Book Buddies meeting, we will be reading Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, a Caldecott honor winner from 2013. This wintery tale tells the story of Annabelle, a young girl with a supply of yarn that never runs out. She knits for everyone and everything in her town until an evil archduke decides that he wants to take Annabelle's magical yarn.

This fantastic, silly, heartwarming story with a somewhat sinister sense of humor is a great example of Mac Barnett's work. Mac Barnett has written dozens of picture books and a few beginning chapter books. His books are unique, maybe a little bit strange, and definitely memorable. He lives in California. You can find out more about Mac Barnett on his website. Here are a few standouts from this author:

His most recent book, The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown is an biography of the well known author of many childhood classics including Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. True to his style, the book is not your typical biography, but you will learn some of the important things about Margaret Wise Brown.

Battle Bunny is a collaboration with Jon Sciezka, best known for his fractured fairytale collection The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. These two authors turn an idyllic picture book about a rabbit into an epic tale of a ferocious battle bunny.

In addition to Extra Yarn, Barnett has several books illustrated by Jon Klassen including Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Triangle, Square, Circle and The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse. Klassen's illustrations are a great pairing for these off the wall stories - just check out the circle giving you some side on the the cover