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Nancy Miller column: 'Riding Shotgun' author coming to library

Editor's note: This column is written by River Falls Public Library Director Nancy Miller.

Author Paul Schaeffer will be reading from and signing copies of his new book, "Riding

Shotgun" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1. The novel focuses on 80-year-old Mary, who is desperate for adventure and a last chance to see her sister, so she decides to hit the road for the cross-country adventure of a lifetime in her late husband's beloved Lincoln Town Car. While

the car's a tank, it can't entirely protect an elderly woman traveling alone. A shot of inspiration

leads her to Mike—the perfect plus-one to ride shotgun as she heads west. Once she gets him

outfitted in her dead husband's clothes, Mary figures no one will ever know she brought a mannequin along for the ride. He'll never disagree with her choice of music, food, or lodging, doesn't need to pee, and is guaranteed to let Mary do and say whatever she wants. Though her department-store companion fills the passenger seat, he doesn't ward off the worst of what's out there. Who knew a nice little old lady out for a drive could be so dangerous? (Amazon description)

Soup, Salad & Science programs resume 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15 in the library's lower level. The speaker will be Eileen Korenic, whose topic is "Why Car Tires Go Backwards on TV — The Stroboscopic Effect." I've always wondered why they look like that, so I'm looking forward to finding out more! Soup and salad will be served at 5:30, with the speaker starting around 5:45-6 p.m. with plenty of time for questions afterward. Hope to see you there!

Storytime programs are underway, so if you have a preschooler that you'd like to register, call Monica at the children's desk. Programs are on Tuesdays (babies and toddlers) and Thursdays (preschoolers).

Looking ahead, we will be commemorating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" with a lecture about the author and her creation, films, discussions, and more.

Stay tuned for more information!