Posted in Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, History, Nonfiction, Romance

While You Wait May 2023: The Five-Star Weekend and The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder

Elin Hilderbrand has a new novel out, and that’s topping our fiction holds right now – not too surprising as she’s a very popular author! And on the non-fiction side, we have the dramatic story of an 18th-century shipwreck and the chaos that ensued after one group of survivors washed ashore… only to be followed six months later by a second group accusing them of murder!

The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand

Hollis Shaw’s life seems picture-perfect. She’s the creator of the popular food blog Hungry with Hollis and is married to Matthew, a dreamy heart surgeon. But after she and Matthew get into a heated argument one snowy morning, he leaves for the airport and is killed in a car accident. The cracks in Hollis’s perfect life—her strained marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline—grow deeper.

So when Hollis hears about something called a “Five-Star Weekend”—one woman organizes a trip for her best friend from each phase of her life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife—she decides to host her own Five-Star Weekend on Nantucket. But the weekend doesn’t turn out to be a joyful Hallmark movie.

The husband of Hollis’s childhood friend Tatum arranges for Hollis’s first love, Jack Finigan, to spend time with them, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, Tatum is forced to play nice with abrasive and elitist Dru-Ann, Hollis’s best friend from UNC Chapel Hill. Dru-Ann’s career as a prominent Chicago sports agent is on the line after her comments about a client’s mental health issues are misconstrued online. Brooke, Hollis’s friend from their thirties, has just discovered that her husband is having an inappropriate relationship with a woman at work. Again! And then there’s Gigi, a stranger to everyone (including Hollis) who reached out to Hollis through her blog. Gigi embodies an unusual grace and, as it happens, has many secrets.

Continue reading “While You Wait May 2023: The Five-Star Weekend and The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder”
Posted in Adult, History, Nonfiction

Winter Is Still Here, So Why Not Make The Best Of It?

I have lived in Wisconsin my entire life yet by the end of March I always find myself in a sour mood that winter is still here. But, I tell myself, at least it’s staying lighter out longer now and, more importantly, the frequency of sunny days is increasing!

However, if you’re tired of winter but still want to experience it, read on to learn about a book that will fulfill your wishes! From the comfort of your warm and cozy chair you can travel to the hostile Weddell Sea where the Endurance22 Expedition team experienced temperatures as low as -40°C. In danger several times of becoming icebound themselves they managed to accomplish what no one else has, that is finding Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, under the ice in 10,000 feet of water.

Shackleton set out for Antarctica during the Heroic Age of Exploration. This was an era in exploration that began at the end of the 19th century and ended after the First World War. During this time there were 17 major Antarctic explorations of scientific and geographical significance. The “heroic” label, bestowed later on the era, spoke to the limited nature of the resources available at the time and also to the adversities which had to be overcome. Not all who set out on these expeditions survived. They set out to a land barely recorded on maps, experienced the horrors of scurvy, not knowing what it was or how to treat it, and were holed up in icebound ships while outside was three months of constant, complete darkness.

The Ship Beneath the Ice by Mensun Bound

On November 21, 1914, after sailing more than ten thousand miles from Norway to the Antarctic Ocean, the Endurance finally succumbed to the surrounding ice. Ernest Shackleton and his crew had navigated the 144-foot, three-masted wooden vessel to Antarctica to become the first to cross the barren continent, but early season pack ice trapped them in place offshore. They watched in silence as the ship’s stern rose twenty feet in the air and disappeared into the frigid sea, then spent six harrowing months marooned on the ice in its wake. Seal meat was their only sustenance as Shackleton’s expedition to push the limits of human strength took a new form: one of survival against the odds.

Continue reading “Winter Is Still Here, So Why Not Make The Best Of It?”
Posted in Adult, Biography & Memoir, Contemporary, Fiction, History, Nonfiction, Romance

While You Wait XII: Someone Else’s Shoes and The Nazi Conspiracy

It’s amazing – this month we have neither a thriller nor a memoir! Instead, our very popular new fiction book is Jojo Moyes’ new novel Someone Else’s Shoes, which seems poised to be a popular book club pick in the future as well. And for non-fiction, The Nazi Conspiracy is topping our charts, filled with spies, assassins, and political intrigue. Get on the waitlists now, and check out our read-alikes while you wait!

Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

Who are you when you are forced to walk in someone else’s shoes?

Nisha Cantor lives the globetrotting life of the seriously wealthy, until her husband announces a divorce and cuts her off. Nisha is determined to hang onto her glamorous life. But in the meantime, she must scramble to cope–she doesn’t even have the shoes she was, until a moment ago, standing in.

That’s because Sam Kemp – in the bleakest point of her life – has accidentally taken Nisha’s gym bag. But Sam hardly has time to worry about a lost gym bag–she’s struggling to keep herself and her family afloat. When she tries on Nisha’s six-inch high Christian Louboutin red crocodile shoes, the resulting jolt of confidence that makes her realize something must change—and that thing is herself.

Continue reading “While You Wait XII: Someone Else’s Shoes and The Nazi Conspiracy”
Posted in Fantasy, Film, Graphic Novels & Memoirs, History, Horror

Here Comes Krampus

Krampusnacht is coming up this weekend. It’s the night before St. Nick’s Day when people believe Krampus comes to punish children that misbehave. Krampus wasn’t always associated with the Christian holidays. As Smithsonian Magazine explains, “His name originates with the German krampen, which means “claw,” and tradition has it that he is the son of the Norse god of the underworld, Hel.” In Europe, every year for Krampusnacht, there will be parades and festivals where people dress up as Krampus. These festivities are spreading to America as well. There is a Krampusnacht that happens in Milwaukee. If you’re not able to go to a Krampusnacht or want to be cautious with the ongoing pandemic, I’ve made a list of items to get you in the holiday mood. One of the items in this blog is honestly one of my favorite Christmas movies. As with my other recent posts, I’ve included the summary from our catalog about each item.

Krampus (Blu-ray/DVD)

“This darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. The horror-comedy tells the story of young Max, who turns his back on Christmas as his dysfunctional family comes together and comically clashes over the holidays. When they accidentally unleash the wrath of Krampus, an ancient entity from European folklore, all hell breaks loose and beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own.”

Continue reading “Here Comes Krampus”
Posted in Film, History, Nonfiction, Science

Nights at the Museum

One of my favorite things to do is to visit museums. Needless to say, I can’t do that these days while in quarantine. So here are some museums that are doing virtual tours that I paired with a documentary on Hoopla or Kanopy.


The Louvre (Hoopla/Monarch)

International travel, like late-night Taco Bell or book shopping, is just one of those things we don’t get to do in-person right now. So instead of risking a plane trip, bring the Louvre to you!

I thought it was interesting that, before this documentary, the Louvre had not been filmed.

Continue reading “Nights at the Museum”
Posted in Adult, Genealogy, History

Exploring Your Family History

Now that you have watched all the cat videos ever created you may have some spare time on your hands. Consider spending some of that time searching for information about your family. Here are some resources to help you get started.

Ancestry Library Edition– This is a great place to get started on your search. You can type in names and locations and Ancestry will search birth, marriage and death records, census records, and military records. Normally you would only be able to access this inside of the library, but Ancestry is temporarily allowing you to use this in your home. You will need to sign in with your Mead Library Card.

Heritage Quest-“Powered by” (but not owned by) This partnership has dramatically expanded its half-dozen collections to a sort of “ lite,” including the complete US census, military and immigration records, and city directories. Click Search and scroll all the way to the bottom to unlock more US records as well as selected foreign databases.

Newspaper Archive– From here you can look at Sheboygan Press articles from 1909-1976. Type a name into the search field and then narrow your search to a location. I found out my great-uncle won a marble contest at Mapledale School. You can find more than just the Sheboygan Press. They have papers from all over the United States and the rest of the world. You will need to sign in with your Mead Library Card.

List of Wisconsin Newspapers in Badgerlink– Great place to look for obituaries outside of Sheboygan. You can access more newspapers by going to Mead’s Genealogy page.

UW Digital Collections Features a large section of digitized books from Sheboygan County, including military records, city histories, and city and county directories from 1875-1920. Go to “Browse Sheboygan County Historical Documents” from this link to see the list of items.

FamilySearch– More than 2,200 online collections (and growing) make this the internet’s largest home to free genealogy data, with recent updates spotlighting Italy, South America and US vital records. You can share and record your finds in family trees and a “Memories Gallery,” and get research help from the wiki.

Perhaps you are saying that you already know about all these resources. Did you know that with your library card you can read Family Tree Magazine online through RBDigital?