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The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

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After chef Elizabeth “Lou” Johnson finds her fiancée half-naked with another woman, she tries to distract herself with cooking—only to serve the worst meal of her life to Milwaukee’s meanest food critic, Al Waters, aka A. W. Wodysky. A chance meeting brings them together in a bar that night, and—unaware of each other’s true identity—Al challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee. As Al falls in love with Milwaukee and Al and Lou begin to fall for each other, Lou’s restaurant begins a slow spiral toward failure, kicked off by Al’s review. Al will have to decide whether to reveal the truth to Lou, and Lou will have to find out if she’s strong enough to keep pursuing her dreams.

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake features delicious description of Milwaukee’s food scene and a sweet, slow-burn romance amid an entertaining cast of secondary characters, perfect for readers who love food and romance.

Family Picture Book Selection: You Were the First

You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan, celebrates all of the stages of the firstborn baby in a family.  There may be other children in the family later, but there is always a first one to teach the parents how to be parents.  This will make parents and children of all family sizes smile and remember all of the good first times they each experienced. A beautiful mixture of words and illustrations for all ages. 

Picture Book Selection: Catch That Cookie!

Marshall's class has been reading about runaway gingerbread cookies for days, but he does not believe that they can really escape.  The class bakes and decorates their own gingerbread people and then when they disappear, everyone follows the clues left by the escaped cookies.  What happened to those gingerbread people?  A fun romp for ages 4 and up.

Teen Fantasy Fiction: Beastkeeper

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast–unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

"Gold" by Chris Cleave

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The themes of Gold are love, sacrifice and choices - on an Olympic scale. The author takes on track cycling, one of the toughest of the cycling venues. He wrote this a year before the London Olympics, so it has a very current vibe. The two main characters are Zoe and Kate, competitive cyclists preparing for the Olympics. The underlying story, involves Sophie who has leukemia, the daughter of Kate. Gold is a terrific read for sports enthusiasts who enjoy competitive events.

The Outsider: A Memoir by Jimmy Connors

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I was a huge tennis fan during the Connors and Borg era. It was the sport I should have played as a young athlete. The writing feels honest and fresh but not particularly good. Still it is very entertaining and Connors hands out some dirt on tennis folks but what would you expect the author is Jimmy Connors! I liked Connors family stories in East St. Louis. Family was important to what made Connors a tennis star and he gives due homage with no reservations.

 

Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Make Groups Smarter by Cass R. Sunstein

Vita's picture

Great book for anyone in collaborative decision making or management situations. Understandable and actionable, this book is about groups comprised of like-minded thinkers who often amplify, rather than correct, errors in judgment. They become more polarized and adopt more extreme positions than the ones they began with. Great suggestions on how to correct “group think,” and identify vulnerabilities in existing practices.
 
 Anyone involved in making decisions would enjoy this book.

Woman of the Dead, by Bernhard Aichner

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The photographer. The priest. The cook. The huntsman. The clown. They killed her husband. Now they’ll face her vengeance.

Undertaker Brunhilde Blum has a near-perfect life: a satisfying job with great coworkers, two adorable daughters, and a husband who loves her deeply. When a hit-and-run accident shatters her perfect world, despair threatens to drown her—until she discovers that the “accident” that took her husband’s life was actually murder. Now, she’ll chase down any lead and go to any length to find the men responsible for her husband’s death—unless they find her first.

Chilling and taut, this translated thriller from German bestseller Bernhard Aichner will appeal to fans of Jeffry Lindsey’s Dexter series.

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