‘Hot Reads’ Readers Recommend Great Books

Looking for your next good book? Check out what fellow readers are reading this winter and sharing for the Hot Reads for Cold Nights program! 


A Catered Birthday Party by Isis Crawford (2010).  “Libby and Bernie own A Little Taste of Heaven, a bakery and catering store. They sleuth on the side with their father Sean. Only because the local Police Chief is too lazy to fully investigate!”  – Chisago Lakes patron

Forged by Laura Crum (2004).  “Horse vet Gail (Stormy) McCarthy finds herself involved in solving the murder of Dominic, her horseshoer. So many people wanted him dead.” – Chisago Lakes patron

Girl Who Sang to Buffalo by Kent Nerburn (2013). “Bemidji’s Kent Nerburn has a special way of writing to present the Native American story with respect and interesting characters. He has been there to see these stories. If you like this book I would encourage you to read one of his eight books!” – Pine City patron

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (2013). “Two Indian brothers coming of age in the 1950s and 1960s. One bound by tradition and the other revolution. Spare and poetic writing style – amazing!” – Pine City patron

Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate (2001). “A woman [Kate] moves with her young family to help take care of her aging Grandmother in Missouri. She has been chosen (by her family) to convince Grandma it’s time to move off the farm, which is devastating to the Grandma. Kate finds her Grandmother’s journal and the stories of families, friendships, and faith open Kate’s eyes, mind, and heart about her own family and her relationship with the Grandmother deepens and is seen in a new light.” – Chisago Lakes patron

And Then You Dye by Monica Ferris (2012). “When our favorite needlepoint draft shop owner Besty Davenpoint of Minnesota found another dead body, she must wring the truth from many suspects. The truth just might mean the difference between living and dying.” – Pine City patron


The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy (2013). “Disturbing. Self-indulgent. I couldn’t put it down. Would recommend to anyone who has read the Great Santini.” – Pine City patron

Make Each Day Your Masterpiece by Michael Lynberg (2001). Contains “inspirational short stories, words of wisdom, and uplifting reminders. Easy reading but powerful possibilities.” – Chisago Lakes patron

One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson (2013).  “Historical account of notable figures in one year (1927). Interesting facts/quirks about Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Mt. Rushmore. A lot happened that year and the author brings it to life in fascinating detail.” – Chisago Lakes patron

Vintage Crafts by Clara Lidstrom (2013). “Ideas for fun vintage decorating. If you enjoy crafting, you’ll like these quick decorating projects.” – Chisago Lakes patron

Andrea Hermanson, Branch Librarian, Pine City

To a Healthier New Year!

It’s that time of year again: News Year’s Resolution time. Many among us will renew our commitment to making changes in our lives.  I already know mine will be cooking more and healthier food (fewer cans of soup and more homemade soup!)—and health is a common resolution theme, especially eating better and shedding a few pounds.  

This year, if you are among the nutrition and weight-loss resolution-ists, ECRL has a few resources that can help you on your way.  While there are countless methods and proposed solutions out there, I hope these resources will get your wheels turning about which one or ones might work for you.  

Here’s to rededicating ourselves to healthy living! 

BOOKS  (Print & Digital)

The 3-1-2-1 diet: eat and cheat your way to weight loss–up to 10 pounds in 21 days (Print) by Dolvett Quince (2013). Quince, a star trainer on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, proposes a weight loss plan that balances diet and fitness: 3 days of “clean” eating, 1 day to cheat, 2 days of clean eating, and 1 day for reward–plus a fitness plan that incorporates brief but intense workouts. 

Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You (ebook) by Jessica Cassity (2011). Cassity’s 365 tips and tricks for better living incorporate research and wisdom garnered from conversations with wide-ranging health experts, including doctors, nutritionists, yogis, psychologists, trainers, and more.  

Eat to live cookbook: 200 delicious nutrient-rich recipes for fast and sustained weight loss, reversing disease, and lifelong health (Print) by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.  (2013). Fuhrman promotes a nutrient-loaded diet high in plant-based foods and low in animal and processed foods (and calories) for optimum health and longevity. Recipes span breakfast, main meals, snacks, and desserts. Click here for the ebook version.

Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food (ebook) by Susan Albers (2012). A licensed clinical psychologist and diet and fitness coach, Albers approaches health by exploring the myriad of personal and social meanings around food and eating (and the habits we form) and offering strategies to manage those meanings and habits in your own life.  

The start here diet: three simple steps that helped me transition from fat to slim … for life by Tosca Reno with Billie Fitzpatrick (2013).  Reno’s three-step weight loss “recipe” (dive inward, uncover your hidden foods, move a little) is packed with tips on shopping, meal planning, recipes, and effective exercises you can do at home. 


Natural Health Magazine. (Digital – ZinioMonthly magazine focusing on natural ingredients to better health, including articles on nutrition, recipes, and overall strategies for wellness.  

Weight Watchers.  (Digital – ZinioA monthly magazine offering recipes and tips for weight loss. 


“Choose My Plate,” Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). The CNPP is an organization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Their website “Choose My Plate.gov” is dedicated to helping citizens developing health living habits, including tips to eat healthy on a budget, tools to estimate calories and physical activity, food plans and recipes. 

“Weight Loss for Life,” Weight-control Information Network (WIN). WIN is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (part of the National Institutes of Health). WIN offers a range of current, research-based health information, including tips on nutrition, weight control and fitness.  

Andrea Hermanson, Branch Librarian, Pine City