Everybody, it seems, has a "Best of 2018" list out for the year: "best vacation," "best TV shows," "best movies," "best place to eat."
"Simple Things: Lessons from the Family Farm" By Jerry Apps 2018, Wisconsin Historical Press 138 pages Ropes of diamonds and gold are not for you. A fancy car has no place in your garage; your home isn't TV-worthy; and you're happy with uncomplicated meals — hold the mustard. While it's nice to have big luxuries, you recognize your quieter needs, and as in the new book, "Simple Things," by Jerry Apps, you're grateful for them, too.
"The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein" By Kiersten White 2018, Delacorte Press 304 pages Your future was laid out before. It's all set. You have plans, and a method to execute them. Each step of your journey will progress in order, just as it's meant to be, and any bumps in the road will be dealt with accordingly. As in "The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein" by Kiersten White, it will take monstrous focus. It had been much too long.
"Desolation Mountain" By William Kent Krueger 2018, Atria 231 pages The dream is one you'll never forget. It's dark and scary, and it wakes you with pounding heart and dry mouth, a scream on your lips as your eyes slam open. It makes you afraid to go back to sleep. Like most dreams, it doesn't make any sense. And, as in the new thriller " Desolation Mountain " by William Kent Krueger, it keeps coming back. That's how it happened with Stephen O'Connor.
"Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-The-Land Life" By Dianna Hunter Copyright 2018, University of Minnesota Press $18.95 / higher in Canada 241 pages Terri Schlichenmeyer You were going to change the world. It's true that you were one small voice, just one person with a vision but you were sure it could be done. You were going to change the world, one corner at a time — starting with the one you called home. And in the new book "Wild Mares: My Lesbian Back-to-The-Land Life" by Dianna Hunter, that's sometimes all it takes.
"Never Curse the Rain: A Farm Boy's Reflections on Water" By Jerry Apps Copyright 2017, Wisconsin Historical Society Press $22.95 / higher in Canada 145 pages Your eyes are on the forecast. Depending on what it says, you'll either approve or scowl. You don't want your plans ruined but here's the thing: You know that weather changes and you can't do anything about it anyhow. So read the new book "Never Curse the Rain" by Jerry Apps, and learn to appreciate what comes from the skies.
"The Fortress: A Love Story" By Danielle Trussoni Copyright 2016, Dey Street Books $27.99 / $32.00 Canada 336 pages Every good princess needs a castle. It must have turrets and stone steps, a moat and a drawbridge, and a knight in shining armor for that happily-ever-after. It would be just like that, too, if real life was a fairy tale, but in the new memoir "The Fortress" by Danielle Trussoni, the castle has a dungeon and the knight's armor is tarnished. They met in Iowa, both of them in writer's classes.
"Cards for Brianna" By Heather McManamy with William Croyle Copyright 2016, Sourcebooks $15.99 / $22.50 Canada 201 pages The mail's here. Mostly, you know, it's bills, fliers for a new dentist in town, sometimes a magazine, and a reminder from your veterinarian. You got two requests for donations and a letter from an organization you belonged to, years ago... but look again. Maybe, as in "Cards for Brianna" by Heather McManamy with William Croyle, there's something more special in the pile.