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Off the Shelves: Cruisin’ for a bruisin’


Thinking of taking a relaxing cruise to top off a pleasant summer? You might think again after reading these murder mysteries set aboard luxury liners.

Actually, these cozy reads are perfect summer entertainment aboard ship or on your own home deck, combining leisure and lies, death and fine dining.

A ship is a confined space where strangers are encouraged to mingle, often misrepresenting themselves in favor of a more glamorous persona while indulging in furtive liaisons. As a floating metaphor for decadent society, its possibilities for mayhem are boundless.

Book tells a different Katrina tale


“Shots on the Bridge” by Ronnie Greene

c.2015, Beacon Press, $24.95, 256 pages

Become a smarter consumer with this library database


Now, more than ever, it’s important to save money and time and to find merchandise that performs well and lasts. Product testing, trustworthy recommendations and guidance evaluating services are necessary in a marketplace where offerings continually change and individuals are bombarded by information, advertising, and claims.

The library system has free educational resources to help people become more discerning shoppers. Consumer Reports magazine, published by Consumers Union, and ConsumerReports.org (the online version) are widely respected for reliable data and unbiased advice about products and safety. To maintain its independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising or samples, and employs hundreds of mystery shoppers and technical experts to buy, test items, and evaluate services.

Leave reality behind with these roller coasters for your mind


Having your mind blown by a book is, I think, a generally positive experience. That book has just rerouted a bunch of your neural pathways and set off detonation charges under a few more. It’s a bit like the mental equivalent of riding a roller coaster blindfolded. Here are a few books to blow your mind this summer.

— “Annihilation” by Jeff VanderMeer nails the reader with a one-two punch of unreliable narrator plus vaguely post-apocalyptic future setting. This account of the 12th expedition into the profoundly mysterious Area X, as narrated by the Biologist, will make you question everything. “Annihilation” recently won the 2015 Nebula Award for Fiction.

Help for a hoarder

“Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act” by Barry Yourgrau

c.2015, W.W. Norton, $25.95, 276 pages

Some items of interest for the dog days of summer


Ask any dog owner why they love their dog so much despite all the trouble just an average dog will cause, much less a trouble-making pooch, and the reasons will be diverse and endless. I have heard them all:

— He’s always happy to see me, no matter how hard the day.

1969 riot has impact on gay rights


“Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights” by Ann Bausum

c.2015, Viking, $16.99, 120 pages

Don’t be afraid of Virginia Woolf


Contemporary writers and filmmakers have mined great material depicting the intertwined lives of the avant-garde artists, writers and academics of the so-called Bloomsbury group that flourished from 1905 — when the four siblings of the Stephen family moved into that unfashionable London neighborhood — until the death of its most illustrious member, Virginia Woolf, in 1941. A particular standout is Michael Cunningham’s “The Hours,” a novel that used Woolf’s own slipstream approach to storytelling to wend its way through parallel plots, including one which featured Virginia, and echoed the style and mood of her story, “Mrs. Dalloway.”

Also worth reading, are two new novels which comprise elements of Virginia Woolf’s biography, Priya Parmar’s “Vanessa and Her Sister,” which covers the years just before her marriage to Leonard Woolf in 1912, and “Adeline” by Norah Vincent, which leaps forward to the months just before her suicide.

‘Higher Standard’ more than a biography


“A Higher Standard” by Gen. Ann Dunwoody, U.S. Army, Ret. with Tomago Collins

c.2015, DaCapo, $25.99, 273 pages

If you’re curious about language, this book won’t get your goat


“Holy Cow!” by Boze Hadleigh

c.2015, Skyhorse Publishing, $14.99, 303 pages

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Photo Gallery

    Delightful dog days


    An annual walk to help raise money for a Kenosha animal shelter brought out dozens of dogs and their owners to Lincoln Park Sunday.

    Arcing wires touch off fire in Trevor home

    An electrical fire Sunday that started in an attic has displaced the owners of a home in Trevor.

    News briefs: Police discover drugs in home

    A Kenosha man is facing drug charges after police discovered marijuana and drug paraphernalia at a home in the 3800 block of 29th Avenue Saturday.

    Snapshot: Kenosha man seeks to unite, promote independent musicians


    Born out of a love for independent music, Kenosha native Duane Charles created GigHive, a network promoting artists and allowing them to make a living creating what they love: music.

    A dream of education


    Among the students heading back to the University of Wisconsin-Parkside this year is Patrick Kimani Nyambura, a student from Kenya starting his second year here.

    Somers seeks to gauge interest in voluntary annexation

    SOMERS — When the village of Somers was created earlier this year, Somers officials hoped property owners in the remnant town would choose to annex into the village.

    Event briefs: Tombstone photographers needed Friday

    KENOSHA — Volunteers are needed to photograph tombstones at Green Ridge Cemetery, 6604 Seventh Ave., at 9 a.m. Friday as part of a group project of the Kenosha County Genealogy Society.

    Weather can’t dampen Twin Lakes event


    TWIN LAKES — The cool weather and rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the village’s Business in the Park Expo and Car Show on Saturday.

    Cyclists cruise from Dubuque to Kenosha


    As they shared stories after completing the 175-mile Ride Across Wisconsin, Jason Holly and Bob Bleck said the highlight of the event was the chance to ride with — and get support from — some of the sport’s top athletes.

    Nearly 5,000 ‘rugged maniacs’ tackle obstacle course


    More than 4,800 competitors took on mud, fire, trampolines and a 50-foot water slide during the fourth annual Rugged Maniac obstacle course race Saturday at Wilmot Mountain.

    News briefs: Driver falls asleep, hits tree

    A driver was taken to a hospital Thursday after a car he was driving hit a tree.

    Safety demonstration has some ‘flare’


    The fog along the shore at Kenosha’s Wolfenbuttel Park with tinged with orange late Saturday morning as flares filled the sky.

    ‘Fish shock’ helps assess health of Wolf Lake


    BRIGHTON — Fish in Wolf Lake in the Richard Bong State Recreation Area got a jolt Saturday morning.

    Event briefs: Church program to help those with cancer

    KENOSHA — A faith-based program for people fighting cancer begins Wednesday at First Christian Church, 13022 Wilmot Road (Highway C).