Posted in Book Talk

Large Print Readers Rejoice!

New Large Print

Last week, we added a bunch of new large print titles to our collection—historical fiction, mysteries, romance, nonfiction, and more. Find a fresh series to delve into, reunite with a favorite author, or give a new genre a try.

  • The Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams
  • The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin
  • The Wedding Pearls by Carolyn Brown
  • Miramar Bay by Davis Bunn (Miramar Bay Bk 1)
  • Firefly Cove by Davis Bunn (Miramar Bay Bk 2)
  • The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth Church
  • The Patchwork Bride by Sandra Dallas
  • Wild Horses by B. J. Daniels (Montana Hamiltons Bk 1)
  • Lone Rider by B. J. Daniels (Montana Hamiltons Bk 2)
  • Lucky Shot by B. J. Daniels (Montana Hamiltons Bk 3)
  • The Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans (Mistletoe Bk 2)
  • The Noel Diary by Richard Paul Evans (Noel Bk 1)
  • Once Upon a Farm by Rory Feek
  • Beautiful Storm by Barbara Freethy (Lightning Strikes Bk 1)
  • Lightning Lingers by Barbara Freethy (Lightning Strikes Bk 2)
  • A House Among the Trees by Julia Glass
  • Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin
  • The Saboteur by Andrew Gross
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison
  • Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison
  • One Less Problem Without You by Beth Harbison
  • Say You’re Sorry by Melina Leigh (Morgan Dane Bk 1)
  • The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
  • The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien
  • The Library of Light and Shadow by M. J. Rose (Daughters of La Lune Bk 3)

Stop by the library to browse these new additions or give us a call to put any of the books on hold.


Posted in Just for Fun

On Curmudgeons and their Habits

For some reason, I distinctly remember the first time I heard the word curmudgeon. A fellow writer friend raved about an author he had met, though cautioning me that the author was a true curmudgeon. Without having a dictionary in front of me (yes, it was long before Siri and google), I instinctively knew the essence of this word.

It, like its definition, sounds crusty and cranky. It’s ill-tempered and gruff. Set in its ways and not apt to move, either figuratively or literally. It is gray-haired and wizened,  stubborn and seemingly unhappy.

Think Sherlock Holmes, Scrooge, or the young Holden Caulfield of The Catcher in the Rye. More recent curmudgeons can be found in The Hunger Games or Harry Potter via Haymitch Abernathy or Severus Snape. On the surface, these literary icons are untouchable and cold. Yet when we wipe away the grime, we often find a kind heart and warm spirit. The depth of these characters are what make them great.

Not surprisingly, bibliophiles can be as stubborn and set in their ways as Scrooge, falling back on decades-old reading patterns and missing out on the hidden gems around them.

Each year, Meinders Community Library participates in the Winter Reading Program. While this is a Plum Creek Library program, we’ve adapted it to encourage our readers to grow in their literary experience. One such patron took advantage of our WRP bingo cards to read outside her comfort zone. What she found was an unexpected treasure in the midst of a genre that felt old and stuffy.

The following book review was provided by Carol Haubrich.

Hoping to complete my bingo card, I found a book in the 300-400-500 section in the stacks at Meinders Library. This was a great find.

“Change Me into Zeus’s Daughter” by Barbara Robinette Moss, a memoir

The author has revealed to us the life of a poor girl growing up in an extremely dysfunctional family in Alabama. The physical and mental traumas which she endured are disturbing and almost unbelievable. Her strength in overcoming such trauma is amazing. She writes with great courage and love for her mother and siblings. This is a familiar story to those who have read “The Glass Castle” but these circumstances are even worse than those described therin. To triumph over hardship and to document it so clearly is a testament to the human spirit, to the strength of character of this author. I highly recommend this book. 

Just for fun, try breaking free from your inner curmudgeon. Put aside comfort and habit and try something new, whether it’s reading a book you normally wouldn’t pick up or giving snow showing the old college try.

Sometimes brushing aside the familiar can make room for the discovery of something unexpectedly amazing.

Happy reading~ Jody

Posted in Book Talk

Books to Beat the Winter Blues


Maybe I’m fed up with winter by the end of February every year, but this winter feels especially unrelenting. Freezing temperatures, mountains of snow, and howling winds make it particularly enticing to just stay inside and curl up with a good book. Yet, even as I avoid the weather outside, I still love to read books set in or that evoke the feelings of the season I’m currently experiencing. So bring on the treacherous blizzards, arctic explorations, and frigid fantastical worlds—I’ll explore them all from the cozy comfort of my couch. Here are some recommendations for every age to enjoy.


In Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger, a boy and his owl face setbacks as they try to perfect their sledding like true Olympic athletes. Explore the snow-covered landscape with Peter in Ezra Jack Keats’ classic, The Snowy Day. The wordless Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell shows the parallel stories of a young girl and a wolf cub on a snowy evening.

Middle Grade

In Breadcrumbs, Minnesota author Anne Ursu retells the fairytale “The Snow Queen.” Hazel knows that something is wrong with Jack and that they’re not just naturally drifting apart, but is she willing to brave the woods and save him? If you’re more interested in experiencing cold conditions from the ice rink, try Checked by Cynthia Kadohata. Conor’s whole life is hockey, but when his beloved dog gets sick, his family must make some sacrifices. To visit winters of yore, try a classic like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter and be grateful that at least our town has not completely run out of food and fuel.

Young Adult

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust explores “Snow White” from the perspective of both the stepmother and stepdaughter. What would happen if they truly cared for each other? Can their relationship survive or are they destined to become enemies? Marieke Nijkamp’s Before I Let Go takes place in a small Alaskan town. Corey moves away, but promises to come back and visit her best friend Kyra. But Kyra dies before Corey’s visit and the town seems to be keeping secrets about her death from Corey. In Trapped by Michael Northrop, excitement over a snow day turns to horror as a group of teen find themselves stuck at school during an epic snowstorm with no sign of rescue.


Set during World War I at a remote field hospital in the Carpathian Mountains, The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason tells the story of Lucius, a young medical student who finds himself in over his head and inexplicably drawn to his mysterious nurse. The Bear and the Nightingale, the first book in Katherine Arden’s Winternight Trilogy, blends historical fiction with Russian folktales. Headstrong Vasya can see creatures other people think are just stories and yearns for adventure, which puts her at odds with her devout stepmother. This novel is the first of a trilogy and the last book came out earlier this year, so you can now read Vasya’s entire story in one gulp. Sabotaged by Dani Pettry, brings intrigue to the Iditarod, as search and rescue partners Kirra and Reef must put aside their differences to prevent a catastrophe.

What’s your favorite wintery read?





Posted in Get Connected

Food Lover’s Delight

Cooking trends constantly change. Yesterday it was vegan, today it’s Keto. I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring.

Lucky for you, Meinders Library is prepared for the newest sensation with a subscription to A to Z World Food. This online cookbook easily accommodates the flavor of the month, as well as the country of the month. Tapping into tried and true recipes from 174 countries, this culinary delight is packed with history, culture, and information on the foods eaten around the world.

Also included on this easy to navigate website are historical timelines, food inventions, dining etiquette, much needed cooking conversions, and more. Described as a movable feast, A to Z world Food has recipes from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and every country in between.

This online cookbook is free and available to all patrons of Meinders Community Library. Simply visit A to Z World Food and sign in with your library card number.

Get connected with your inner foodie!



Posted in Just for Fun

If Words Were Snowflakes and Other Unscientific Thoughts

snow off deck
~my deck, my yard, my endless drifts of snow~

I know this endless wash of white is not unique to my yard. Everywhere we turn, the horizon is no longer visible. Instead, we see a minimalist painting of white on white on muted shades of yet more white.

It’s lovely and eerie and extremely thought provoking. When I look out my patio door, I can’t help but wonder just how many snowflakes my backyard holds.

While I will never know the answer to this pressing question, I found a way to put Mother Nature’s dubious gift into perspective.

And this, my friends, is where the completely unscientific part comes in.

By industry standards, an average 6″ x 9″ novel is roughly 90,000 words long. These little gems of literary delight take up about one inch of vertical space (without their covers).

My yard sits approximately 24 inches above the ground and the footprint of the section in the picture is 16′ x 16′. Twelve inches per foot divided by trim size = 672 books per layer–give or take–times 24 layers times 90,000 words equals a whopping 1,451,520,000.

To be clear, that is one billion, four hundred fifty-one million, five hundred twenty thousand words. Roughly.* 

Just for fun, let’s pretend my first reading endeavor included a James Patterson novel and that each book since the tender age of four was a best-selling novel.

To read all the words found in my little slice of yard, I would have been reading one book every day plus an extra five books per year in my spare time. Despite being an avid reader, I haven’t come close to accomplishing this goal. However, I would like to meet the person who has.

All this to say, if words were snowflakes, prose would fall from the heavens like manna, and I’d remain in this frozen tundra simply to wade through the ever-drifting stories of someone else’s imagination.

Happy reading~ Jody

*This estimate may or may not be accurate, as I’m a word gal, not a math genius.