Off the Shelves – December 31

The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information, visit


“Blueprints” by Barbara Delinsky

Caroline and Jamie McAfee are the mother-daughter team that created the popular home renovation show, “Gut It!” All is well until the network replaces Caroline with daughter Jamie as host. Jamie is upset by her mother’s anger, and when an accident leaves Jamie in charge of her 2-year-old half-brother, she suddenly finds herself out of her depth with a toddler who misses his parents and a fiancé who doesn’t want the child. Amid such devastation, Caroline and Jamie find themselves revising the blueprints they’ve built their lives around. Mother and daughter need each other, but the rift between them is proving difficult to mend. As the women try to rebuild their relationship, they discover that strength can come from the unlikeliest places.

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“Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva” by Rosemary Sullivan

Born in the early years of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin spent her youth inside the walls of the Kremlin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted Russia, but she did not escape tragedy — the loss of everyone she loved, including her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles and a lover twice her age exiled to Siberia by her father.

As she learned the extent of her father’s brutality, Svetlana no longer could keep quiet and shocked the world by leaving her children and defecting to the United States.

Her life in America was fractured. She moved frequently, married disastrously, shunned other Russian exiles and ultimately died in poverty in Wisconsin. With access to KGB, CIA, Soviet government archives and the close cooperation of Svetlana’s daughter, Rosemary Sullivan pieces together Svetlana’s incredible life.


“Furiously Happy” by Jenny Lawson

In “Furiously Happy,” bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. This sounds like a terrible idea, but terrible ideas are what Lawson does best.

As Jenny writes: “Some people might think that being ‘furiously happy’ is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he’s never particularly liked kangaroos.

And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.”

Lawson is known for her humor and honesty, and in “Furiously Happy,” she teaches readers the difference between “surviving life” and “living life.”