Off the Shelves – March 23

The following items are available at the Hancock County Public Library, 900 W. McKenzie Road. For more information on the library’s collection or to reserve a title, visit

Adult fiction

“Keeper of Lost Things,” by Ruth Hogan

Forty years ago, Anthony Peardew carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects — the things others have dropped, misplaced or left behind — and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries he has been lacking in his duty to reconcile the lost things with their owners. As his end nears, he bequeaths his life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost. Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when she moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the gardener. As her gloom lifts, Laura and her new companions set out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

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Adult non-fiction

“A Wretched and Precarious Situation: In Search of the Last Arctic Frontier,” by David Welky

In 1906, from atop a hill in the ice fields of Greenland, Commander Robert E. Peary spotted a line of mysterious peaks looming in the distance. He called this unexplored realm “Crocker Land.” Scientists and explorers agreed that a new continent had been discovered rising from the frozen Arctic Ocean. Years later, two of Peary’s disciples, George Borup and Donald MacMillan — with dreams of the kind of fame enjoyed by Magellan, Columbus and Captain Cook — assembled a team of adventurers to investigate Crocker Land. Filling in the last blank space on the globe, they could discover a new species of plants or animals, or even men. In the era of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, anything seemed possible. Scientific institutions and even former president Theodore Roosevelt endorsed the expedition. What followed was misery that none of the explorers could have imagined. The men endured howling blizzards, unearthly cold, food shortages, isolation, a fatal boating accident, a drunken sea captain, disease, dissension and a horrific crime. But the team pushed on driven forward by the mystery of Crocker Land and faint hopes that they someday would make it home.