Monday, November 28, 2016

Michigan True crime

Look through the library’s unsettling collection of Michigan Murders, some new and some very old, for a walk on the dark side of human behavior.  Various authors have written about the worst murders in Michigan, recreating the events leading up to, and following, these life-changing events.  These “New” books can be found in the 364.1523 section of Michigan Non-fiction on the second floor of the library.

Terror in Ypsilanti: John Norman Collins Unmasked (2016) by Gregory A. Fournier is a
very readable chronology of seven murders in Washtenaw County between the summers of 1967 and 1969, beginning with the discovery of a mutilated female corpse on a farm outside of Ypsilanti, Michigan.  More bodies of young women were found over the next two years, matching descriptions of missing coeds from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti and the University of Michigan in nearby Ann Arbor.  John Norman Collins, your typical boy-next-door, was finally caught in August of 1969 when he became careless and killed his last victim in the basement of his uncle who was a Michigan State Police officer.  The book is divided into three sections:  Part One describing the actual murders, Part Two recounting the trial of John Norman Collins, and Part Three detailing the time Collins spent in Michigan prisons.  He was transferred to the Marquette Branch Prison in 1977 and has been there ever since.  Fournier waded through hundreds of newspaper articles, interviews, and police reports, in order to relate this true crime story in journalistic style. He also includes a photo gallery, a timeline, and a map of murder locations to clarify the complex string of events. 

Terror in the City of Champions: Murder, Baseball, and the Secret Society that shocked Depression Era Detroit (2016) by Tom Stanton will enthrall baseball fans with the history and sports statistics of the Detroit Tigers during the 1930’s.  Mickey Cochrane jump-started the Tigers by leading the team to the 1934 pennant and the 1935 championship, only to be followed by a string of victories for Detroit’s other sports teams: Red Wings hockey and Lions football.  History buffs will delight in the concentration of regional history in Detroit and southeastern Michigan.  The Motor City was an industrial giant, even during the depression, with Henry Ford and his union busters playing prominently in the cast of the city’s leading citizens.  Readers of true crime stories will be amazed at the brutal activities carried out by the Black Legion, a group of racists modeled after the Ku Klux Klan, who coerced members to join by threatening to destroy their families, homes, and businesses.  No one was safe in the greater Detroit area as long as the Black Legion used the protection of members who were city officials, politicians and police officers to carry out murders, arson, and terror.

Blood on the Mitten: Infamous Michigan Murders (2016) by Tom Carr is written in magazine style with graphics and photos accompanying each short article.  Carr briefly covers Michigan murders from all over the state, some notorious and some known only in their geographic areas.  The oldest crime in this book, from 1753, took place during a lacrosse game between the Ojibway and Sauk Indians.  When the ball went over the fence, the spectators used concealed knives to kill the British soldiers at Fort Michilimackinac and took possession of the fort for over a year.  The most recent murder occurred earlier this year when an Uber driver in Kalamazoo went on a random shooting spree in between driving his customers to their destinations in the city.  This book has the facts about 57 interesting, but gruesome, tales of murder.

Isadore's Secret: Sin, Murder, and Confession in a Northern Michigan Town  (2009) by Mardi Link uncovers the secrets of the tiny town of Isadore in the lower peninsula that has been hiding the details of the disappearance of Sister Mary Janina, a Felician nun at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, since 1907.  The only clues to her existence were her rosary on the doorknob and prayerbook on the windowsill of her room.  Ten years later, her skeleton was found in the church basement, during demolition of the building in order to make way for a new brick structure.  Was Sister Mary Janina having an affair with the priest?  Did she have a conflict with his housekeeper?  Her story ties into those of the priest who may have been her lover, another priest who fathered a child in the community, the sheriff accused of torturing the suspected murderer, and the parish housekeeper who was eventually arrested for the murder.  Two other Michigan Murders by the same author are When Evil Came to Good Hart (2008) and Wicked takes the Witness Stand (2014).

Bath Massacre: American's First School Bombing (2009) by Arnie Bernstein begins peacefully.   “May 18, 1927 started out as the perfect day.”  Then, at 8:45 in the morning, the schoolhouse in Bath, Michigan exploded, killing 42 people and damaging several buildings in town.  Andrew Kehoe, one of the newer and more unusual residents of Bath, set off the explosives and killed himself in the effort.  His wife was found murdered on their farm and set ablaze, along with the entire farm.  This pre-meditated series of murders was unprecedented, and provided the newspapers with headlines for weeks to come.  Walk through the whole chain of events leading up to the worst school massacre in Michigan history.

--Lynette Suckow, Reference Desk

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Cooking inspiration for the holidays

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, marking the beginning of another holiday season filled with family, friends, and, of course, food. Check out these books for cooking inspiration, knowledge, and comfort.

Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (2013)
By Michael Pollan
Michael Pollan brings history and culture to the culinary arts in his newest book, Cooked. Unlike his other books, where the emphasis has been on the natural and cultural history of food, Cooked focuses on the experience of the cook. His publisher explains: in Cooked, Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements--fire, water, air, and earth--to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. In the course of his journey, he discovers that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. Both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook"

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2007)
By Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
What’s more welcoming than the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the air on a crisp autumn evening? From dinner rolls to French baguettes, coffee cakes and pumpkin bread, this book has hundreds of recipes for all your baking needs—including gluten free flours and recipes too. However, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is more than a compilation of simple, easy, and delicious bread recipes; it describes the textures to expect from using different flours and explains the function of each ingredient and how they combine to create the perfect loaf, allowing you to improvise and experiment once you’ve mastered their tips.

Dinner Pies (2015)
By Ken Haedrich
Bread is certainly a comfort food, but so too are dinner pies. The flaky crusts and steamy fillings feel even warmer and more comforting as the temperatures decline. And, as the author points out, “A savory pie is the tastiest way to get a complete dinner of the table while using only one recipe,” saving time and dishes! Haedrich’s book, while titled Dinner Pies, includes versatile dishes like turnovers and quiches that can be served for breakfast, brunch, and lunch as well. Brooke Dojny, author of New England Home Cooking and Dishing Up Maine, raves, “Gorgeous photographs and lovely design elements make this book feel like a treasured heirloom.”

--Ali Fulsher, Circulation

Monday, November 14, 2016

Downloadable Magazines through Zinio

Peter White Public Library maintains voluminous magazine subscriptions in our magazine reading room, but what many people may not know is that, through your library account, library patrons can download magazines. Using the Zinio app, patrons can read any of the 168 magazines that the library subscribes to. The Zinio app format is perfect for reading on your iPad, Kindle Fire, similar tablet, or laptop. Learn more about Zinio at the Peter White Public Library website,

Lion’s Roar (formerly Shambhala Sun)

The only Buddhist magazine in our collection, this bi-monthly publication contains many articles on the currently very hip topic of mindfulness meditation. Dharma lessons from many top contemporary teachers such as Thích Nhất Hạnh, Jack Kornfield, Pema Chödrön, Sharon Salzberg, and many others comprise every issue, giving practical life advice to novice and advanced practitioners. Teachings from different Buddhist lineages are provided, including Tibetan, Zen, and Theravada Buddhism. Even the esteemed actor Benedict Cumberbatch showed up on the cover recently to explain how Buddhist meditation practice has transformed his life.

National Geographic Interactive

In print continuously since 1888, The National Geographic Society has remained on the cutting edge as they have adapted their publication to the 21st Century. If I could give the print magazine a 5 out of 5 stars review, I would give the digital version 6 stars thanks to the incorporation of interactive video in addition to the excellent articles and stunning photography the magazine is known for. This is the future of periodicals, much more than a print magazine, integrating features that operate perfectly on tablet devices and laptops. The current November 2016 edition features past, present, and future missions to Mars.

Whole Living

Healthy recipes, fitness, weight loss, and green living fill the digital pages of this magazine. It’s worth checking out for the smoothie recipes and the “whole body detox diet” alone.


Mac geeks such as myself like to stay current on the trends in the tech industry. In between viewings of Danny Boyle’s excellent Steve Jobs movie and the Jobs documentary on Netflix, check out the newest issue’s feature review of the iPhone 7, and why you should upgrade. Tips for users of iOS 10 Music app and Apple Watch apps are included.

The Atlantic

“How Social Media Got Weaponized:  War in the Digital Age” is the cover story this month. This magazine of liberal Politics, World Affairs, Business, Science, Education and the Arts also includes poetry, art, and book reviews. An article entitled “When the World is an Arcade:  the Psychogeography of Pokémon Go” is particularly intriguing.


Live life in Shape. Get expert style advice for your body type; confidence-boosting beauty solutions; the latest diet and nutrition news; workouts that really work; plus the best ideas for healthy living!

Cycling has been my particular field of interest of late. Being new to the sport, I have learned quite a lot about contemporary trends and technology in cycling. As they state in the description:  increase your stamina; buy the best gear for your money; locate a great ride; improve your performance; perfect your technique; fuel your passion. My current obsession, bikepacking, I learned about from one of the 33 back issues available on Zinio.


The latest issue is a gear guide (just as pretty much every issue!). Excellent advice for the outdoorsy folks (who isn’t in the U.P.?) Outer shell buying comparison. Dream hikes for every budget. Gila Wilderness, New Mexico, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland. Make the dream manifest.

Popular Mechanics

Articles abound on subjects related to hardware and technology. Meet the robot-building, Mohawk-wearing, mad scientists who are going to get us to Mars—and the toys they are going to do it with. Helmets that give a pilot x-ray vision. Pickup truck bed liners. Woodchipper comparisons. How to keep your company’s products American-made.


“Dwell is the unique modern architecture and design magazine for people who believe that good design is an integral part of real life.” With emphasis on modern architecture, the November issue explores ideas in “Small Space, Big Design,” Bauhaus, simplicity for the modern age.

Eating Well

“Where Good Taste Meets Good Health” the publishers claim. The November/December issue contained 48 “stressless recipes”. A juicy pomegranate is the cover model. “Eat to beat diabetes” is one theme explored.


“The Origin of Dogs” is the cover story for this “science for general interest” magazine. The latest DNA discoveries in the science of human origins are also featured.

--Jeremy Morelock, Reference Department