Posted in Book Talk

Winter Reading Bingo: Historical Fiction

Our next set of Winter Reading Bingo recommendations are all historical fiction. This list of new titles will take you anywhere from 1650s Amsterdam to 1950s Mexico. If you really love historical fiction and want to read multiple books with historical settings for your bingo card, there are books on the list that could also count as mystery, romance, inspirational, YA, and sci-fi/fantasy. If you’re looking to listen to a historical fiction audiobook, there are plenty of good choices through Plum Creek’s Overdrive/Libby.

  • In the Lion’s Den by Barbara Taylor Bradford
  • A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore
  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
  • Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
  • Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick
  • The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline
  • Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • The Librarian of Boone’s Hollow by Kim Vogel Sawyer
  • The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
  • Midnight Blue by Simone Van Der Glugt
  • The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein

For more historical fiction recommendations, check out this blog post on WWII stories.


Posted in Just for Fun

Meinders Midwinter Staycation

Tomorrow should be our library’s annual Midwinter Staycation. In the past, this Saturday reset has been filled with self-care, reading, yoga, good company, good discussion, and good food. It has also included a viewing of the PAS One Act play.

Like everything else this year, our Staycation will take place virtually. It is completely self-directed, but we hope you will partake in some of our offerings to make your Saturday a little brighter and your outlook on the rest of winter a little more bearable.

Further, you will have several opportunities to enter our crockpot “door prize” drawing. We are sharing tomorrow’s schedule with you today, so you can collect everything you need to jumpstart the weekend. Including this:

Mezzetta Imported Greek Golden Pepperoncini - 16oz - image 1 of 5

Staycation Schedule

  • Start your day with a moment of mindfulness and a quick yoga practice with Jamie at JRRYoga. As a seasoned massage therapist and certified yoga instructor, Jamie has been a staple at our Staycations. Click here to begin your yoga session. After you are done, use the form below to drop a note identifying the cameo appearance.
  • Spend some time with the written word. Make this time deliberate and thoughtful. If you’re not typically a reader, this quick 15-20 minutes can help you reconnect with something you are interested in. For busy readers, it can reaffirm your love of stories and provide the impetus for starting that new novel you’ve been meaning to read. Don’t have a book in your house? Never fear, your Plum Creek Library card provides access to several digital platforms right from your computer, phone, or tablet. Click here to open our Quick Links page and the digital door to reading materials for all ages and interests. If your card needs renewed or you have forgotten your password, call the library today before 5pm close, and we will help you log into the platform of your choice.
  • Stream a One Act Play. On a typical Staycation Saturday, we would support the PAS One Act cast by watching their subsection performance. Please read about their virtual season here, then search online for one act play videos that interest you. Most One Act Plays last between 15 and 45 minutes. Let us know what you watched and what you thought.
  • Finally, treat yourself to a steaming bowl of chili. In previous years, we’ve made flavored coffee syrups, scrumptious drink mixes, and appetizers to be shared before and/or after lunch. This year, we’re going all out and making a complete meal to battle the chilly temps. This unique chili recipe goes great with shredded cheddar cheese, soda crackers, Frito Lay Scoops, or cornbread. Just keep in mind that any good, throw-together recipe can be modified to taste. A double recipe feeds my voracious family of six.


  • 1 to 1.5 pounds browned hamburger
  • 1 diced onion, sauteed in the pan used for the burger
  • 1 large can (28oz) of diced, stewed, or petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15oz) Hormel Chili with beans
  • 5-8 minced peperoncini peppers with seeds
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup peperoncini juice
  • Chili powder to taste

Mix together all ingredients in a crockpot and let simmer until hot. If you get started late in the day and find yourself hungry now, you can cook the chili on the stove. Like all things in life right now, flexibility is key!

Fill out the form below to let us know how you participated in our Meinders Midwinter Staycation–even if you do so on Sunday (or Monday). We will announce the door prize winner of a 7-quart Slow Cooker next Wednesday, January 27th.

read, relax, and enjoy~ jody

Posted in Alerts

Meinders Library in Pipestone Closing Early Today

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on

Thanks to another visit from Mother Nature, the Library will be closing today at noon. We are taking in-house appointments and checking out materials for curbside pickup until 12:00pm today. As our driveway and parking lot can have significant drifting, please call before heading out to make sure the roads are passible and our doors are open.

Since we are in a Blizzard Warning this afternoon through 6pm Friday, January 15, it is possible that Meinders Library will be closed tomorrow as well. For weather-related updates, please check back here, on Facebook, or Twitter.

If you find yourself stuck inside for an extended winter weekend, you can access our digital platforms to engage both you and your young uns during this wintry retreat. Our Plum Creek Library System catalog can be found on our right sidebar, while other digital platforms can be found on our Quick Links tab. Enjoy great books, articles, experiments, and more! All you need is an active PCLS library card, the internet, and a device.

*Lastly, Meinders Community Library will be closed on Monday for MLK Day.

relax and read, or get moving with snowshoes and yoga~ jody

Posted in Book Talk

Winter Reading Bingo: Read a Mystery

One of my favorite things about the Winter Reading Program is doing the bingo card. It gets me to try genres and formats I normally don’t read, which is always a fun way to start my reading year. We’ll be offering suggestions for the Winter Reading Program Bingo categories for the next few weeks and today we start with some of our new mysteries!

  • Take It Back by Kia Abdullah
  • For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black
  • Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn
  • Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
  • The Searcher by Tana French
  • Cross Her Heart by Melinda Leigh
  • The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O’Donnell
  • All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
  • Murder Most Sweet by Laura Jensen Walker
  • Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T. A. Willberg


Posted in Get Connected

Voices of America’s Youth

Photo by Katerina Holmes on

One of the privileges of working with words is that sometimes you get to see more of them than the general public ever might. My last few evenings have been spent perusing submissions for a writing contest. These submissions included flash fiction, memoir, essays, writing portfolios, and short stories from seventh through twelfth graders.

As a published author myself and a presenter at young writers conferences, I’m in awe of the work before me.

Our country’s youth are bright, engaged, passionate, and compassionate. They are astute learners of our nation’s culture and introspective of their role within it. They are creative, talented, inquisitive, and hopeful. This, in the face of 2020’s trials and tribulations.

Never doubt that kids are resilient. Never doubt that they know and understand far more than we give them credit for. And never ever doubt that we can learn from those we are teaching.

I feel blessed and honored to be a part of this project. It has reminded me of all the good this younger generation brings to the table. It reassured me that, if we let them, these young people will help us heal, and that they will bring out our better selves.

After reading thousands of thoughtfully composed words by dozens of diverse, young voices, I am confident that America’s future is in good hands.

read widely, read often, and read with an open mind~ jody

Posted in Get Connected

Wellness Wednesdays

Introducing Wellness Wednesdays with Meinders Community Library and JRRYoga. Join us for a Yoga at Home video with JRRYoga for the next twelve Wednesdays to start your year off right. These short practices are good for all experience levels. Click on the above image to watch the video and check back next Wednesday for a new practice!