Sunday, August 2, 2015

New Non-Fiction

The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World by Anthony M. Amore. Sometimes the book cover just says it best: "The untold stories of some of history's most notorious art cons - and the secret history of fakes, frauds, and forgeries in the art world."

Diane Von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped
by Gioia Diliberto. Biography of the fashion designer that made the wrap-dress famous. Includes a handful of
DVF photos throughout the years.

Japan Journeys: Famous Woodblock Prints of Cultural Sights in Japan by Andreas Marks. Smaller art book, packed with photos of prints spanning a couple centuries.

Made in America: A Modern Collection of Classic Recipes by Colby & Megan Garrelts. Old-school, American cookin'. A sampling of the sections include "Cast Iron and Dutch Ovens," "From the Grill," and "From the Fryer." Includes a plenty of photos.

The New Bohemians: Cool & Collected Homes by Justina Blakeney. As the title would suggest, this decorating guide focuses on colorful and eclectic tastes.

Putinism: Russia and its Future With the West by Walter Laqueur. A look at the implications of Putin's reign.

The Spiral Notebook: The Aurora Theater Shooter and the Epidemic of Mass Violence Committed by American Youth by Stephen and Joyce Singular. From the book jacket: "... is an examination of the dynamics driving the violence committed by their [Millennials] peers."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Recommendations from summer reading

Bum Rap by Paul Leving
"A procedural trial book, Bum Rap remains fresh by fleshing out the engaging lawyer, his client, and the client's fiance, all the while pledging total honesty for all concerned as they gently twist the law to achieve justice. Very satisfying."

-- Rhonda

A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Amy Scheibe
"It's a fascinating look at a family in the late 1950s in Minnesota. It is both dark and encouraging, addressing love, marriage, death, prejudice, and views of women at the time. A compelling read!"

-- Sue

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma
"Amazing and eye opening. This book helped me put my life into perspective and gave me the perfect way to break down my thought process for every situation I am able to pick out the positivity and change the negative."

-- Kimberly

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery
"If you enjoy Austen, you will like this book! A glib commentary of English manners and customs during Napoleonic Era. Witty descriptions, good dialogue--just a fun read, BUT LONG. I like that it is a 'Novel Without a Hero.'"

-- Liz

Persuasion by Jane Austen
"Out of all of Austen's novels, this one is the most poignant of them all. Instead of writing about teens and young adults, this is more about mature love, regret, and redemption."

-- Sabaah

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen
"For a YA book it blew me out of the water. As a mom the 'attitude' of a teenager shone right through. But the plot was so wrenching. You were rooting for Robie and Max to survive. And yelling at the adult to help more. Just an amazing journey."

-- Ronda

A History of the World in 12 Maps by Jerry Broton
"It is very detailed and historically well-researched. Not a light read but very interesting to see how the world was seen by different cultures/peoples."

-- Rose

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan
"An intense memoir that is suspenseful and gripping from the first page. A personal look into a medical mystery that appears to be a behavioral disorder, and how doctors and family didn't give up on her."

-- Patty

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
"Excellent Holmes story. Good pacing. Great mystery and spooky elements. Enjoyable read!"

-- Debbie

The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn
"A personal account of attending Le Cordon Bleu is a fun read as Flinn describes the lessons and dynamics of the culinary legend. Recipes are also included."

-- Patty

Paris Red by Maureen Gibbon
"It's interesting insight into turn-of-the-century artists, their inspirations, their muses. The wickedly disturbing approach they take to their craft. Great spin on lovers, friends, mother-daughter love… GREAT BOOK!"

-- Margaret

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Recommended reads from adult summer reading program

The Quilter's Kitchen by Jennifer Chiaverini
Find it in the catalog!
"One of the Elm Creek Quilter books (number 13 in a series of 20). Has lots of recipes. In fact ordered this book from book store to keep recipes forever. Good way to pick a book to buy."

-- Pat

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
by Michael Chabon
Find it in the catalog!
"It is a gripping page-turner, immersive and very well-written. One of my favorite novels ever!"

-- Katie

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
Find it in the catalog!
"As a period piece it is a fascinating read, as an examination of the west's disdain for 'alien' cultures it is a challenge. The prose is eerie and unsettling, in the best possible way!"

-- Todd

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Galbadon
Find it in the catalog!
"The second installement of the Outlander series continues to thread more storylines that crop up around the main characters Jamie and Claire. A very long book and very long series -- like 10 books. Great author!"

-- Cinde

Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
Find it in the catalog!
"Genova writes a clever book about the development of character through struggles and obstacles. The main character, a wife and mom, deals with a brain injury resulting in a book I couldn't stop reading. I felt as though I was learning about the inner workings of the human brain as well as heart."

-- Patty

Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Find it in the catalog!
"It was very engaging from the beginning to the end. You read this story from three strangers perspectives and watch how their lives become connected. Author did a good job of keeping the story plot a mystery throughout book!"

-- Tanya

Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee
Find it in the catalog!
"As I read, I sat and smiled like a loon in some parts. Met my husband vis internet, so 'email moments' did remind me of our courtship. A romance for today's modern age."

-- Ronda

Every Day by David Levithan
Find it in the catalog!
"Even though it is a teen book, it addresses stereotypes, the idea of love and how we define who we are as humans. It was a quick read with a surprising ending."

-- Marissa

The Opposite of Spoiled by Ron Lieber
Find it in the catalog!
"It gives great financial advice that we should be teaching our children. Very useful. Great tips."

-- Karen

Sweetgrass by Mary Alice Monroe
Find it in the catalog!
"A book based in South Carolina about the struggle and love rooted in a Southern family and the love of their home. It is a wonderful story of hope, acceptance, love and forgiveness."

-- Abigail

Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb
Find it in the catalog!
"I am a fan of Eve Dallas, Roarke and supporting cast. Reading these books is like putting on a robe and slippers. The characters are familiar and the bad guy always loses."

-- Maureen

The Grantchester Mysteries: Sidney Chambers and the Forgiveness of Sins by James Runcie
Find it in the catalog!
"It reminds me of the Father Brown series on PBS. As with any mystery series, one wonders why the community members continue to live in such a mystery-ridden town! But the characters are amusing and nothing is too far-fetched-- perfect summer read."

-- Sue

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman
Find it in the catalog!
"It is very relatable for most people. As teenagers, we have dreams and aspirations. Sometimes we forget what is important to us as adults."

-- Ofelia

The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Find it in the catalog!
"It is a great book. It tells of the Amish life, love, and forgiveness."

-- Stacy

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Staff recommended reads for summer reading


Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations
by Peter Evans and Ava Garder
Find it in the catalog!

"It's  a very candid side of Ava. It's beautifully written and the flow is fast paced and jam-packed. You can hear Ava's voice throughout as though you are listening in on the conversations."

-- Samantha, Randall Oaks Library

When Books Went to War
by Molly Guptill Manning
Find it in the catalog!

"A little bit of history during WWII -- facts everyone will find to be interesting. A must read."

-- Carrie, Account Services


Where They Found Her 
by Kimberly McCreight
Find it in the catalog!

"You never see the ending coming. I didn't want to put this book down. I also recommend this author's other book too-- Reconstructing Amelia."

-- Katie, Children's Services

by Diana Gabaldon
Find it in the catalog!

"Daring sword, fights, magic stones, a Highlander in a kilt! Historical fiction + romance + political intrigue = a dramatic adventure through 1700s Scotland with one of the most exciting female leads I know."

-- Samantha, Children's Services

The Blood Red Indian Summer
by David Handler
Find it in the catalog!

"This caught my attention because it was a mystery about athletes who behave badly and the fools who admire them anyway."

-- Gemma, Security Monitor

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
by Isabel Quintero
Find it in the catalog! 

"You can related so much to this teenage girl. I love the fact that she's your typical Hispanic teenage girl, she loves to write, especially poetry, finds love and loves to eat. The cover stood out to me, it looked weird and I fell in love with the character Gabi!"

-- Elizabeth, Children's Services
I'll Give You the Sun
by Jandy Nelson
Find it in the catalog!

"It was a sad but interesting read. The subject is more appropriate with teens (older) and adults."

-- Mary, Children's Services

by Marie Lu
Find it in the catalog!

"It is the second book in a great trilogy and the end has an interesting twist!"

-- Rosana, Children's Services

by Norihiro Yagi
Find it in the catalog!

"It's a graphic novel with great cinematic qualities. I have to applaud the artist! I found the secret identities compelling and became suspicious of every character in the best possible way."

-- Kristen, Information Services

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Book Bite: "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.”
-- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Some of Us Have Rhythm, and Maybe Some of Us Don't...

Books and Music, and What We're Going to Do This Summer! (click to view)

Some of us have rhythm, and maybe some of us don't, but we all have lots of books and lots of fun planned for Summer Reading!
Come on in to one of our locations, and sign up everybody in your family!!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Recommended Read: The 12 Bottle Bar

 The 12 Bottle Bar: A Dozen Bottles, Hundreds of Cocktails, A New Way To Drink by David and Lesley Solmonson.
Find it in the catalog!

This book is great resource for anyone just getting into cocktails or wondering what to stock their bar with for optimal usage.  However, even hardcore cocktail geeks like myself can find some unique and creative recipes in this title.  The 12 Bottle Bar, as the title implies, highlights 12 different types of liquor for you to stock in your home bar, and then provides a plethora of recipes using each or a combination of those liquors.  The authors also supply recommendations of what brands of alcohol to buy for each of the bottles, suggesting both low and medium priced options.  The 12 bottles highlighted include:
  • Brandy
  • Genever
  • Gin
  • Amber Rum
  • White Rum
  • Vodka
  • Whiskey
  • Orange Liqueur
  • Bitters
  • Vermouth
Thankfully, I already had all of these bottles (and several others) in my home bar, so I could pat myself on the back and dive into the recipes!  However, I had to get some specialty ingredients like Orgeat syrup and Grenadine to make a few of the cocktails (mostly of the tropical variety).  To the authors' credit, they provide recipes for all their "mixers."  I'm just lazy and would rather buy than make my own.  Overall, I was really impressed with the quality and creativity of the recipes in this book.

One of my favorite sections of the book was the vodka section.  I'm a little bit of a snob when it comes to vodka.  Which is to say, I think it tastes like nothing, and there are no cocktails that you can make with it that I wouldn't rather have gin or tequila in.  However, this book makes a compelling case for the lesser spirit.  The Lemon Drop is one of my dark, guilty pleasures as a pretend liquor snob, and their recipe for a Limoncello Drop is amazing!  I add a pinch of basil or mint to garnish.  I also was a fan of their straight forward recipe for a Kamikaze shot as well.  Both good entertaining options for my less well drunk friends.

Additionally, I appreciated their chapter on Genever, though I strongly disagree that it is a bottle cocktail newbies should buy.  Genever is an acquired taste; it tastes like vodka mixed with cigarette smoke, and this is coming from a gin lover.  However, I have an ancient bottle of Bols in my freezer that I regret buying, and I appreciated the suggestions to make it slighter more palatable!  But for an actual home bar, I highly recommend buying some reposado tequila instead. 

While I disagree with the Genever recommendation, overall this is a wonderful book for anyone interested in cocktails or entertaining.  A lot of cocktail books have the same old recipes for pre-Prohibition drinks like the Old Fashioned or Last Word.  This book has a some of those recipes, but they also have lots of lesser known or newly created recipes too.  Best of all, you don't have to worry about blowing the bank on expensive, but lesser used liquors like Absinthe or Chartreuse to make any of the drinks in this book!