Brand-New Books for Winter Days

by Beth Cronk

Have you had enough of icy roads and stormy weather this winter? I know I have. When you have a good day with easy travel to get to the library, you might want to stock up on some of the latest novels so you’re prepared if you get stuck at home again. Even better, order online or over the phone from home, and have the books you want ready for you to pick up at the library’s front desk when you’re running your errands.

One of Litchfield Library’s newest books is Wicked Dreams, which was published in the final few days of 2022. Lisa Jackson’s thrillers are always bestsellers. She and Nancy Bush co-write the Wicked series about a group of women called The Colony. These women with special gifts live in an isolated lodge named Siren Song on the Oregon coast between the mountains and the ocean. A woman who has left the group to become a private investigator becomes a murder suspect when a body is found on the beach with a note containing her name.

Speaking of bestselling authors, James Patterson is still going strong. His latest, The House of Wolves, was published January 9th. In this thriller written with Mike Lupica, a 36-year-old former teacher named Jenny Wolf inherits control of her family’s billion-dollar empire when her father dies. This ruthless family is compared to the Duttons of the TV series Yellowstone and the Roys of the series Succession. Jenny learns to run a powerful California newspaper and a professional football team – while trying to solve her father’s murder.

Danielle Steel has been writing bestsellers since the ‘80s, and that’s still true for every book she publishes. Her latest novel, Without a Trace, was published earlier this month. A wealthy man in a loveless marriage and a meaningless job falls asleep at the wheel and plunges off a cliff on the coast of Normandy. He survives and makes it to a cabin where a woman nurses him back to health. He forms an instant connection with her and realizes he could let the world believe he died and start a new life.

Come Down Somewhere by Jennifer L. Wright is a new Christian historical novel set during World War II in New Mexico. The family ranch where a teenage girl has lived her entire life is seized by the government for construction of a new top-secret army base. In her new town, she meets a potential friend, only to learn that the girl’s father is in charge of the new base. This story of young friendship and the history of the Trinity nuclear bomb test is described as touching and complicated.

Night Shift is the newest novel in Robin Cook’s Jack Stapleton and Laurie Montgomery series. In this medical mystery-thriller, a longtime friend of Laurie’s dies mysteriously. Forensic pathologist Jack conducts the autopsy and then investigates on his own when it’s inconclusive, leading to a dangerous matchup with a serial killer.

Jane Smiley is well-known as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres and other highly respected literary novels. Her latest, A Dangerous Business, sounds like a good time. A reviewer at The Washington Post describes it as a blend of a Western, a serial-killer mystery, and a story about life in a brothel. Inspired by their reading of Edgar Allen Poe’s detective novels, two young prostitutes in Gold Rush California investigate the deaths of young women whose bodies are being found outside of town.

Other brand-new novels in the Litchfield Library collection include Ruby Fever, a paranormal romance by Ilona Andrews; Her Hidden Genius, a historical novel about a scientist by Marie Benedict; and Tom Clancy Red Winter, the latest Jack Ryan thriller by Marc Cameron.

Whenever the weather cooperates, pick up some books to make the best of the winter. You’ll be ready to curl up under a blanket and read the next time we have a snowy day.

2022’s Most Popular Titles

The most checked-out items in Pioneerland Library System in 2022:

Adult fiction:

Lightning Strike by William Kent Krueger
Run, Rose, Run by Dolly Parton and James Patterson
The Investigator by John Sandford
Shadows Reel by C.J. Box
One Step Too Far by Lisa Gardner
Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Fox Creek by William Kent Krueger
What Happened to the Bennetts by Lisa Scottoline

Adult nonfiction:

If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now by Christopher Ingraham
The Defense Lawyer: The Barry Slotnick Story by James Patterson and Benjamin Wallace
ER Nurses: True Stories from America’s Greatest Unsung Heroes by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann
Killing the Killers: The Secret War Against Terrorists by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Super Easy!: 120 Shortcut Recipes for Dinners, Desserts, and More by Ree Drummond
James Patterson by James Patterson: The Stories of My Life by James Patterson
Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear
The Boys: A Memoir of Hollywood and Family by Ron Howard and Clint Howard
Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Holes with Robin Gaby Fisher
Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience by Brené Brown

Young Adult Fiction:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys
One Piece by Eiichiro Oda
It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Juvenile Fiction:

Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives by Dav Pilkey
Dog Man: Mothering Heights by Dave Pilkey as George Beard and Harold Hutchins
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot by Jeff Kinney
Cat Kid Comic Club Vol. 3: On Purpose by Dav Pilkey
Grime and Punishment by Dav Pilkey as George Beard and Harold Hutchins
Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey as George Beard and Harold Hutchins
Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey as George Beard and Harold Hutchins
Dog Man Unleashed by Dav Pilkey as George Beard and Harold Hutchins
Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild by Dav Pilkey as George Beard and Harold Hutchins
Dog Man No. 8: Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey as George Beard and Harold Hutchins

Picture Books:

The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems
The Smart Cookie by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald
Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham
Creepy Pair of Underwear by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Peter Brown
What About Worms?! by Mo Willems and Ryan T. Higgins
The Duckling Gets a Cookie?! by Mo Willems
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
Guess What?! by Mo Willems
I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems
If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond

Juvenile Nonfiction:

Guts by Raina Telgemeier
Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
Star Wars Character Encyclopedia by Simon Beecroft
The LEGO Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination by Daniel Lipkowitz
Amazing Vehicles by Rona Skene
Minecraft Essential Handbook by Stepanie Milton
Minecraft: Guide to Combat by Craig Jelley
Minecraft: Guide to Creative by Thomas McBrien
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2023


Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Paw Patrol: The Movie
Death on the Nile
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Sing 2
The Batman
Jungle Cruise

Storytimes begin January 11

Winter/spring storytimes will begin again on Wednesday, January 11. Storytimes will be held at 10:15 on Wednesdays and 10:00 on Fridays through May 5.

Winter Reads 2023

Adults, sign up now for Winter Reads 2023, our winter reading program!

When you sign up at the library, you’ll get a book bag and a reading log. Read 3 books between the day you sign up and March 15, write down their titles and rate them 1-5 stars, and bring your reading log in to claim a prize. Read 3 more, and you can claim an additional prize — plus you’ll be entered in a drawing for local business gift certificates, sponsored by the Friends of the Litchfield Library.

Prize choices this year are a mug, a water bottle, a book light, a car ice scraper, a bag clip, and a large candy bar, while supplies last.

You can sign up as late as early March, but the sooner you sign up, the more time you’ll have to meet your goal.

You can read library books or your own copies, fiction or nonfiction, print books, audiobooks, or ebooks.

If you would like to participate through curbside delivery, you can! Call the library at 320-693-2483 to let us know you want to sign up or that you’ve dropped off your reading log in the bookdrop, and we’ll bring your materials out to you.

Book sales

The three 2023 Friends of the Litchfield Library book sales will take place in the library’s meeting room on these dates:

Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, July 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, November 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Curbside Service

Litchfield Library is not currently putting the curbside table outside the front doors, but curbside service will be available indefinitely. Call the library at the number on the sign, 320-693-2483, if you’d like your materials brought outside. Have your library card number ready.

Library staff can hand your bag of library materials to you on the sidewalk or bring it to your vehicle in the parking lot or in front of the library. Let us know where you’d like us to bring it when you call.

Curbside service may be useful if you have mobility issues or a sleeping child in the car, or because of illness.


by Beth Cronk

Just for fun, I’m going to approach my blog post a little differently this week. Here are some useful facts about the library in a Frequently Asked Questions format. I hope you learn a little something you didn’t know before!

How much does it cost to get a library card?
A library card is free! It’s part of the public services available to you as a resident of Minnesota. Once you have a library card, it’s also free to check out anything in the library collection, both ebooks and physical items. If you had a library card and it’s lost, there is a $3 charge for a replacement card.

How many books are in the Litchfield Public Library?
The library has about 44,000 books. It also has about 2,300 DVDs and about 1,200 CDs.

What if I want to check out a book or DVD that the Litchfield Library doesn’t have?
You can request things from other libraries in the Pioneerland Library System, which has a collection of about 620,000 physical items. If Pioneerland doesn’t have something, you can often request it from another library in Minnesota, using the MNLINK catalog. You can search both the Pioneerland and MNLINK catalogs online and request things yourself, or library staff can help you and place those requests.

Does it cost money to order things from other libraries?
No, the service is free to you as part of the interlibrary loan network in place in Minnesota. Our state is outstanding at providing access to library materials! Litchfield Library gets two deliveries of those interlibrary loan materials each week.

How long can I keep a book?
Most books are loaned for four weeks. Some bestsellers are limited to just two weeks while they’re new; you’ll recognize these by the sticker on the spine that says “14 day loan.”

How long can I keep a DVD I’ve checked out?
DVDs are now loaned for two weeks.

Can I check out magazines?

Yes, magazines can be checked out for two weeks.

A book I checked out had a due date coming up soon, but now I found out that it’s not really due for a few more weeks. What happened?

Automatic renewals! This is a brand-new service our library system is offering. If no one has a hold on an item that you have checked out, and you haven’t renewed it before, the library’s computer system will automatically renew it for you once, three days before its due date. If you are signed up for email updates about your account, you’ll be notified by email when those renewals happen and when you have items that will be due soon.

I’m late returning a library item. How much will I be charged?

There is a charge of ten cents per day for late items, although there is a three-day grace period before those start being charged. Materials for children and teens no longer have late fees. If your item is a month overdue, you’ll get a bill for the replacement of that item. If that happens, once you return the item the charge will drop to a $3 late fee (or to $0 for materials from the kids’ section). If an item is damaged or lost, talk to library staff about how you can resolve that charge.

Can I use my library card in other libraries?

Yes, you can. Your Pioneerland library card will work in all libraries in the system. Our system stretches from Graceville to Glencoe and from Canby to Dassel. If you want to use a different library system in Minnesota, you can do that, too. Bring your card to them, and they will help you register as a reciprocal borrower in their system.

If you have more questions, stop in or call the library, and we’ll be happy to answer them.

Discovery Boxes

March 16, 2022

By Rachelle Golde, Children’s Librarian

The Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) recently awarded grant funding to the Litchfield Public Library. SWIF is a nonprofit organization that represents eighteen counties in Southwest Minnesota, working to create a better Minnesota through a variety of projects including the Grow Our Own grant. The Grow Our Own grant has made it possible for the Litchfield library to create ten educational kits for children and families to check out. The Litchfield library is very excited to share these kits with our library families and community. The kits are full of hands on, interactive materials and books to help children learn through play and exploration. These educational kits have been named Discovery Boxes and include five early childhood concepts and five STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) concepts.

The early childhood Discovery Boxes include:

  1. Rhyme & Rhythm: This box includes child-safe percussion instruments such as wooden egg shakers and a tambourine, three DVDs that feature preschool songs and rhymes, and three books about rhyming.
  2. Letters: This box includes a wooden alphabet puzzle, foam letters, sandpaper letter cards, two DVDs about letter sounds and the alphabet, and two alphabet books. The sandpaper cards are a great way to include sensory experiences with learning the look and shape of a letter or number.
  3. Numbers: This box includes a wooden number puzzle, foam numbers, two counting books, a set of sandpaper number cards, jumbo counting and sorting bears with cups, and a DVD about colors, shapes and counting. The jumbo counting bears and cups can also be used to teach counting, colors, patterns, and sorting.
  4. Money: This box includes materials to help children learn how to count money. A wooden toy register, play money, flash cards and two books are included. This kit includes a variety of play money. The smaller coins can be left out of reach of a younger child while the rest of the materials are explored.
  5. My Community: This box includes a wooden play city, a large set of wooden people, and a set of community helpers paperback books. Create towns and families, and learn about people and community helpers through play.

The STEAM Discovery Boxes include:

  1. Astronomy: This box includes a child-friendly telescope, a star map, a wooden solar system model and books about exploring and understanding space.
  2. Microscope: This box includes a microscope, a large set of prepared slides and books about the microscopic world.
  3. Magnets: This box includes a magnetic robot building kit, a set of magnetic blocks, and a set of magnet movers to help your child explore the concepts of magnetism. This box also includes two books about magnetism.
  4. Fossils: This box includes a fossil collection with twenty different fossils, ID cards, a time-period scale, two books about fossils and six insects in amber.
  5. Gravity: This box includes a marble run set and two books about gravity.

The Discovery Boxes will be available for families to check out from the Litchfield library soon. Contact the library for more information about the new Discovery Boxes, as well as other kit options available at the Litchfield Public Library. Until next time, happy reading!

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