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Reading these books you might feel you’ve entered the ‘Twilight Zone’

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So, did the top keep spinning at the end of “Inception”? How can we differentiate reality from a dream from a nightmare? Is there a difference? While these Twilight Zone-esque questions are often addressed in the visual medium of television and film, certain books cultivate an atmosphere of claustrophobia, fear, and uncertainty that evokes the haunting theme music of that timeless show. Here are a few of my favorite mind-bending books:

Off the Shelves is published Sundays. Each week a different Kenosha Public Library or Community Library staff member organizes reviews of a handful of books available through the library system.


‘Jam’ is sharp reminder of African-American newspapers in history

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“Jam on the Vine” by LaShonda Katrice Barnett; Grove (336 pages, $24)

So many historical novels read like connect-the-dots puzzles or costume dramas, so one that is fresh, original and time-travels to an undiscovered past is a real discovery.

Twists propel the novel ‘Twelve Days’

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“Twelve Days” (Putnam), by Alex Berenson

From a shoulder-fired rocket aimed at a passenger jet that alights its opening pages “Twelve Days,” is the sort of spy thriller that locks you in a fast and ferocious grip and won’t let you go.

Books explore nearly every aspect of Lincoln’s life

February 12 is celebrated as the birthday of Abraham Lincoln. With the exception of very few historical figures, nobody seems to have had as much ink spilled in assessing their life than the 16th president. Every year the number of items continues to grow and shows no signs of abating in the foreseeable future. Below you will find some of the better recent books on Lincoln that deal with one aspect of his life and career. Readers looking for full biographies have some excellent choices, among them the works by Michael Burlingame, Ronald White, William Lee Miller and David Herbert Donald.

‘Blue Thread’ holds family together through 3 generations

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“A Spool of Blue Thread” by Anne Tyler

c.2015, Knopf/Bond Street Books, $25.95, 368 pages

Texas prosecutor pens mystery series that began in Paris bookstore

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AUSTIN, Texas — Mark Pryor was inspired by a bookseller as he was strolling along the famed Seine River in Paris with his wife.

“For some reason, my mind just thought: ‘How quaint. How can I make this deadly?’” said Pryor, who works as a prosecutor in Austin.

Grittier Wilder memoir takes off

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The autobiography of prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder, which gives a grittier view of frontier living than her popular “Little House” series for children, is proving to be a blockbuster for the South Dakota Historical Society Press.

“Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography,” edited by Pamela Smith Hill, was released in November by the small state-owned publishing house. The memoir, written for an adult audience, was the No. 1 best-seller on Amazon.com in late January and was still in the Top 10 on Friday, at No. 6.

Enjoy these off-the-wall counting books

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Chase away the winter blues with these goofy counting books that are anything but ordinary.

— One Big Pair of Underwear” by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Memoir reads like a popular novel

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“The Undertaker’s Daughter” by Kate Mayfield

c.2015, Gallery Books $24.99 368 pages

Reading relieved the stress of war

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In “When Books Went to War,” author Molly Guptill Manning unveils a fascinating and little known aspect of World War II life for the American G.I.

As comfort for the young soldiers, homesick, scared, but mostly bored — librarians in the U.S. organized the Victory Book Campaign in 1941, calling for donations of books for shipment to troops abroad. Outraged by the stories of Nazi book burning and the destruction of libraries all over Europe, the plan looked like just the thing not only to assuage the tedium of the average soldier’s everyday existence but to make the point that freedoms, like the freedom to read, were worth fighting for.

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    Twin Lakes panel OKs new Burger King

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    Abrupt dismissal this week of complaints filed against them prove the city Ethics Board is being used politically to attack individuals’ reputations, two Kenosha aldermen said Wednesday.

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    Black History Month was celebrated with a bang Wednesday at Bradford High School.

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    GOP ends right-to-work hearing early, enraging unions

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    MADISON — Republicans on the state Senate’s labor committee ended a public hearing on contentious right-to-work legislation early and sent it on to the full Senate Tuesday, enraging dozens of people who had been waiting all day to speak and sparking a demonstration in front of the Senate chamber.

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