New at the library

“I wasn’t born a fool, it took work to get this way,” said actor and comedian Danny Kaye. As a tribute to Kaye and the month of April, we will look at books celebrating the fool. Nobody’s Fool by Martin Gottfried is the biography of Danny Kaye. This full portrait looks at one of the world’s most beloved performers born in 1913. He died in 1987 at the age of 74. The author recounts Kaye’s life as a successful star and humanitarian and also exposes Kaye’s tumultuous private life.

Fool Hen by William L. Robinson is the story of the spruce grouse found on Marquette County’s Yellow Dog Plains. The spruce grouse is called the Fool Hen due to its lack of fear of people. It thrives in areas covered with jack pine. A relative of the ruffed grouse, it is popular with bird watchers and hunters. Robinson’s book is filled with interesting observations, details and anecdotes about this bird.

Flashbacks of a Fool is a powerful drama about love, loss and one man’s journey back to redemption. Daniel Craig plays Joe Scot, a washed up Hollywood star adrift in a haze of drugs, sex and squandered fame. He hears about the death of his childhood friend, and his mind flashes back to his past in the small English seaside village of his youth. This film is found in the PWPL DVD collection.

Another DVD from the PWPL collection is A Fool and His Money starring Sandra Bullock and Jonathan Penner. When Penner suddenly loses his highly paid and high profile advertising job, he turns to a dubious product to make his millions. Bullock tries to convince him that money isn’t everything. Will Penner follow his heart or his bank account?

Ed Gorman has written a series of mysteries featuring struggling lawyer Sam McCain. Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool follows McCain as he tries to solve three murders set in Iowa in 1961. There is no limit to the bodies that pile up or the motives and suspects. A surprising conclusion shocks McCain and the residents Black River Falls.

Jake Lassiter is another attorney who gets pulled into a mystery when he beats a fraud rap for con man Blinky Baroso. Baroso pays his legal fees with stock from a shady company-Rocky Mountain Treasures, Inc. When Blinky vanishes, Lassiter is the prime suspect and he must go to Colorado to investigate. Fool Me Twice follows Lassiter as he tries to find the priceless Silver Queen statue, missing for 100 years, and Blinky.

The Fairy Ring, Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure is the true story of the Cottingley Faires, a hoax two girls and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle perpetuated on the world in 1920. Elsie Wright and Frances Giffiths were cousins living in England. The girls used paper drawings embellished by Elsie and Elsie’s father’s camera to take photos of faries and gnomes. Doyle saw the photos and used them to illustrate an article he wrote for the Christmas edition of The Strand Magazine. Losure who lives in Minnesota has written this dreamy book for youth.

Short story fans will enjoy Danielle Evans’ collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. Evans offers a bold new perspective on youth caught between cultures, classes, relationships and ideas about who they are and who they want to be. Written from the perspective of youth of African American or mixed race heritage the insecurities of young adulthood and family tensions are described with honesty, wisdom and humor.

Margaret George has written a the Autobiography of Henry VIII With Notes by his Fool Will Somers. In this fictionalized autobiography, George writes from Henry’s point of view contrasted with the observations of his jester and confidant. Henry was not born to be king, it was his brother Arthur who was king. When Arthur died, Henry was made king at the age of 17. He transformed his court into a glittering universe of scholarship, art, sportsmanship and self-indulgence.

Professor Leonard Tourney specializes in seventeenth century English literature, but he is best known for his historical mystery novels like Time’s Fool. Tourney places Shakespeare in London face to face with his dark mistress. The love of his life is not the beauty who inspired sonnets but a disease-ridden and bitter old woman who is blackmailing him. After she is killed in a sudden fire, Shakespeare becomes the primary suspect. He must race to find the true killer and save himself.

Celebrate April and all fools with these and other fun items from the Peter White Public Library.

By Pam Christensen, MLS

Library Director