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


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


“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’


“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


“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


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


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


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


“The Undertaker’s Daughter” by Kate Mayfield

c.2015, Gallery Books $24.99 368 pages

Reading relieved the stress of war


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

    TWIN LAKES — The addition of a Burger King at the BP gas station on Lake Avenue got a favorable recommendation from the Review Board and Plan Commission Wednesday.

    Glen Gotsche cheated death 70 years ago


    Kenosha resident Glen Gotsche, 89, lived through a month of hell on Iwo Jima seven decades ago.

    News briefs: Employee injured at Kenosha Beef

    A 41-year-old woman was taken to St. Catherine's Medical Center after suffering a severe hand injury at Kenosha Beef, 3111 152nd Ave., in Paris about 11 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department.

    Complaints against two aldermen dismissed


    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.

    County to formally oppose state budget measure

    A resolution opposing a state budget proposal that calls for countywide assessments is expected to be introduced at the Kenosha County Board meeting Tuesday.

    Several arrested, no one hurt in drive-by shooting

    Several people have been arrested in connection with a Monday night drive-by shooting in which a window of a car carrying five people was shot out.

    January home sales sluggish


    Kenosha County real estate agents sold fewer homes in January than in 2014, but sale prices were higher this year partly because they are selling homes with more amenities.

    Percussion performance marks Black History Month


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

    Off-duty Kenosha firefighter aids in Chicago rescue


    Kenosha firefighter Tom Heiring turned in a typical day on the job, battling smoke and flames and ultimately putting his life on the line for the safety of others.

    Sure sign of spring: Big Star is back


    With temperatures in the teens and occasional snow blowing around, signs of spring are imaginary.

    Snyder: Life of pie: Confessions of a Kenosha pizza judge


    We take pizza seriously in Kenosha.

    Event briefs: Observatory to open for night-sky viewing

    KENOSHA — The Carthage College Society of Physics Students and the Tremper High School Astronomical Society will host observation nights from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday at the Griffin Observatory on the Kemper Center campus, 6501 3rd Ave.

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


    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.

    Wirch: ‘Sad evening for democracy’

    State Sen. Robert Wirch, D-Somers, called Tuesday’s hearing over proposed right-to-work legislation a “sad evening for democracy,” after dozens of people were shut out of speaking before the Senate Labor Committee.

    Unified calendar to include extra snow day

    After two consecutive tough winters, the Kenosha Unified School District is adding an extra built-in snow day to the 2015-16 calendar.

    Somers eyes ‘laundry list’ of incorporation issues

    With a referendum on Somers incorporation just six weeks away, officials are preparing for what needs to happen if the voters approve it.

    Locals take part in right-to-work protests

    Roger Clark of Silver Lake was among the Kenosha County residents in Madison Tuesday to protest proposed right-to-work legislation.

    News briefs: Man’s ‘suicide by cop’ attempt fails

    A Kenosha man was taken into custody after reportedly trying to commit “suicide by cop” early Sunday morning in the 6600 block of Fifth Avenue.

    Bristol, Uline Highway U tree plan in jeopardy


    The agreement to save historic trees along Uline property on Highway U just south of Highway Q may be in jeopardy.

    Event briefs: Lecture to look at history of ‘sundown towns’

    KENOSHA — A discussion of “sundown towns” will take place Friday as part of the Black History Month lecture series at Carthage College, 2001 Alford Park Drive.

    Trial begins for accused shooter in fatal drug deal


    The accused shooter in the April 2014 murder of Anthony Edwards is on trial this week.

    Thieves target cosmetics store


    Pleasant Prairie Police are seeking two suspects in a reported theft and battery at Ulta Beauty, 10033 77th St., on Feb. 15.

    Package missing from outside apartment


    Kenosha Police are seeking a man believed to have stolen a package from an apartment hallway on Saturday.

    Homeroom: Central celebrates a fabulous 3-pointer


    Although the scoreboard showed a loss in their last home game of the season, the final moments of Friday’s Central High School boys basketball team game against the Union Grove Broncos was the highlight of the season.

    Police arrest sex offender for chasing girls

    Police arrested a registered sex offender after three girls reported Friday they had been chased by a man.