Monday, August 30, 2010

Best show on TV?

Do you like Mad Men like we like Mad Men? If you missed the 61st Emmy Awards on Sunday we can report that Mad Men won 3 Emmys, one for Best Drama. This is their second win for Best Drama.

If you are not familiar with Mad Men let me give you a brief synopsis. The show is set in the 1960's Manhattan where competitive men and women on Madison Ave. work in advertising. The main character, Don Draper, played by John Hamm is considered the biggest advertising man in the business. The show focuses on Don and his colleagues and also family life during the 60's.

Check out the show on Sunday nights at 9pm on amc.

Summer reading recommendations for August 30

Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies
940.531503924 GIE
Find it in the catalog!
“This book really gives a great understanding as to what happened outside and away from the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family. Mrs. Gies is riveting in her approach. She goes in to detail about the Second World War and what it was like to hide someone and also stay one step ahead of the Nazis. I highly recommend this book to adults and children over ten.”
-- Camille B.

Treasure Hunt by John Lescroart
Find it in the catalog!
“Great audiobook! The story starts with a body in a lake that’s found while the lake is being drained. The victim is Dominic Como who was a mover & shaker among San Francisco multimillion dollar non-profit community. This community and its various entities start anteing up thousands of dollars in reward money. And then another body is found.”
-- Jeanne

A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett
Find it in the catalog!
"To be honest it took me awhile to get into this book. The first 100 pages or so seemed to take awhile but after that it flew by! Buffett took awhile to set up the setting and characters, which in the long run really was a benefit to the story. I loved his descriptions of characters and settings -- I could really see the beaches in my head and the personalities of the characters."
-- Emily G.

The Other Family by Joanna Trollope
Find it in the catalog!
"She did it again -- great book. Kept you guessing till end if original family would accept new family. Will definitely read more from this author."
-- Mary Beth B.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Covers......I just don't understand why

You would think someone would be interested in this.

This book was published in 1949.

There are 2 libraries that have this book. Two questions...why and who!

Amazon review gave it 4 1/2 stars. I loved the Product Review..."Learn to recycle Rover into beautiful garments and accessories."

The Wall Street Journal Review says "You're harvesting what would normally end up clogging your vacuum cleaner anyway."

These 3 books I can't even find any longer. Thank you!!

Summer reading recommendations for August 28

The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
NEW MYSTERY MCCALL SMITH: Find it in the catalog!
“The Precious Ramotswe series of books are such a delight to read. The heroine, a lady of “traditional build,” quietly goes about finding solutions for her clients based on common sense and keen observation.”
-- Jeanne R.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
975.8724 BER: Find it in the catalog!
AUDIOBOOK CD 975.8724 BER: Find it in the catalog!
“Definitely an entertaining read. John Berendt paints an interesting picture of Savannah while recounting the event in a murder case.”
-- Patricia W.

Simmer Down by Jessica Conant-Park and Susan Conant
Find it in the catalog!
“I liked the book. Some of the romance part was a little silly, and for some reason, when they hold clues back from the police, it bugs me. But it was a light murder mystery with some romance and a little comedy. Just my cup of tea!”
-- Leslie D.

The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende
BIOGRAPHY ALLENDE: Find it in the catalog!
“A little hard to keep track of the large cast of characters in the memoir—but very insightful reflection from somebody who has learned a lot from her life!”
-- Ellen M.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cute Author Alert: Chef Edition

As though being cute and published weren't enough, these guys also have culinary skills:

Dave Lieberman:  

 Dave Lieberman is the former host of a Good Deal with Dave Lieberman on the Food Network.   He also authored two cookbooks- the budget friendly Young and Hungry (2005)  and the health conscious The 10 Things You Need to Eat (2010).  Watchers of Good Deal know that Lieberman is boyishly handsome and has loads of geeky charm.

 Looks Delicious (from Young and Hungry): Roasted Red Pepper and Leek Soup with Goat Cheese Crostini (p.33), Mussels in Tomato-Basil Broth (p. 75), and Chive Pancakes with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Cream (p. 119).

Young and Hungry (2005).
Find it in the catalog!

The 10 Things You Need to Eat: And More Than 100 Easy and Delicious Ways to Prepare Them (2010).
Find it in the catalog!

Andrew Swallow:

Cute in a scruffy hipster way, Andrew Swallow is the executive chef at a small chain of DC salad restaurants called Mixt Greens, which focuses on fast but environmentally friendly salads.   So he's attractive and ecologically responsible!  Recently he published a book of salad recipes called, Mixt Salads: A Chef's Bold  (2010). It's lusciously photographed and great inspiration for expanding your salad repertoire. 

Looks Delicious: Sea: Crape with Cantaloupe and Caviar (p.74), Heaven: Mixed Chicory and Chanterelles with Duck Egg (p.94), and San Sebastian: Chorizo and Dates with Greens (p. 128).

Find it in the catalog!

Curtis Stone:

With his bright blue eyes, spiky blond hair, and Australian accent, Take Home Chef host Curtis Stone is probably the most classically attractive of the bunch.  Lest you think he's just a pretty face, Stone is an accomplished chef with more than 15 years experience.  His cookbook Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone has lots of practical everyday recipes with easy to find ingredients.  And it has great food photography and lots of photos of Curtis too.

Looks Delicious:  Onion tarts with taleggio cheese (p. 78), paella with shrimp, mussels, clams and scallops (p.185), and espresso creme brulee (p.234). 

Find it in the catalog!

Donal Skehan:

At age 23, Skehan is not only a successful food blogger, but he's a musician too.  He's part of the Irish pop band Industry.  Recently he published a cookbook based off his popular blog called Good Mood Food: Simple Healthy Homecooking, which focuses on simple, healthy meals.  The cookbook is lushly photographed, though Donal appeals in regrettably few photographs. 

Find it in the catalog!

Grant Achatz:

Achatz is one of the most respected chefs worldwide.  He is the owner and chef of Alinea, one of Chicago's most famous and acclaimed restaurants. I haven't had the opportunity to dine at Alinea yet, but I definitely want to, especially after looking through Achatz's coffee table cookbook named after the restaurant.  Achatz specializes in molecular gastronomy, which probably means that you wouldn't want to try to make anything from his cookbook yourself (unless you really want to break out that liquid nitrogen machine you having lying around).  But it's still fun to flip through and see all the different possibilities for food.

Find it in the catalog!

Recommended read: Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant

Eating as a simple means of ending hunger is one of the great liberties of being alone, like going to the movies by yourself in the afternoon or, back in the golden days of youth, having a cigarette in the bathtub. It is a pleasure to not have to take anyone else's tastes into account or explain why I like to drink my grapefruit juice out of the carton. Eating, after all, is a matter of taste, and taste cannot always be good taste. The very thought of maintaining high standards meal after meal is exhausting. It discounts all the peanut butter that is available in the world.
~Ann Patchett, "Dinner for One, Please, James"

Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant: Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone (2007)

edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler
641.561 ALO
Find it in the catalog!

This book includes an interesting selection of humorous, relatable, and even mouth-watering essays about eating alone. Many of the authors include recipes along with their essays. I was drawn to this book because of its unique viewpoint. What a brilliant topic! Once I read one essay I couldn't help but keep on reading-- I wanted to find out what types of foods these writers obsess over when nobody else is around. A common thread throughout many of the essays is the ritual involved in preparing and eating the same reliable meal, whether it be asparagus, black beans, spaghetti, or even Saltine crackers time and time again. A few of the writers in this collection are not in favor of solitary dining; Marcella Hazan, for example, writes about how she prefers to cook for people she loves and therefore feels awkward only cooking for herself.

Some highlights:

I was excited to see Haruki Murakami's short story, "The Year of Spaghetti," included because he is one of my favorite writers. He describes his spaghetti routine in 1971, when "every time I sat down to a plate of spaghetti--especially on a rainy afternoon--I had the distinct feeling that somebody was going to knock on my door."

In "The Legend of the Salsa Rosa" Ben Karlin eats a salsa rosa ("pink sauce") dish while studying abroad in Florence and finds it so delicious he sets out to perfect the recipe. When he returns to Italy years later and makes salsa rosa for a couple friends and their Italian bandmates, the Italian drummer requests him to teach the recipe to his mother.

In "Beans and Me" Jeremy Jackson writes about how as a college student he began his food obsession with canned black beans: "The black bean has the key to my heart. The black bean and me go way back." His black bean obsession continued when he took a teaching position at his alma mater. On the nights he spent alone in his small apartment the black beans were there to comfort him.  At the end of his essay is the simple recipe Black Beans for One, which I am going to try. Jackson recommends serving the black beans over rice (stir in cheese while rice is still hot for extra deliciousness) or split cornbread.

Colin Harrison writes about the Manhattan restaurants he has frequented during the past decades in "Out to Lunch." During the 1980s he enjoyed "the pleasures of eating alone at the VG Bar / Restaurant... where the enormous plate-glass windows were so close to the sidewalk that I felt as if I had my own box seat on the live theater that was the city." Several other writers talk about their experiences eating alone in restaurants; Erin Ergenbright remembers a demanding out-of-town customer who only eats at the Portland restaurant where Ergenbright waits tables.

Ann Patchett's "Dinner for One, Please, James" details meals she ate as a 26-year-old in a fellowship program in Massachusetts. Because she was low on funds and many restaurants were closed where she lived, her meals often consisted of Saltines. Similar to Marcella Harzan, Patchett writes about how she will go to great lengths to prepare big meals for others but won't spend much time on food cooked for herself. Patchett's reasoning behind this is that after all the work spent on a lavish meal she is too tired to eat the meal and would rather just clean herself up.

I highly recommend this book to readers interested in food and cooking, or anyone who's enjoyed/endured the experience of cooking for one. I think you will be able to find at least one essay, if not more, to relate to in this book.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer reading recommendations for August 23

The Castlemaine Murders by Kerry Greenwood
Find it in the catalog!
“I really like the strong character of Phryne Fisher. It’s also interesting to read about Australia in the 1920s. Typical of this series of books, this one has a great balance of mystery, adventure, and romance.”
-- Leslie D.

Cold Light of Mourning by Elizabeth Duncan
Find it in the catalog!
“Good mystery – 1st in series so a lot of set-up of the main characters but a lot of potential for misdirection. Is Victoria really as friendly as she seems or does she have a more sinister agenda for getting to know Penny. And why was Meg Wynne killed in the first place??”
-- Jeanne

The Lies About Money by Ric Edelman
332.6 EDE
Find it in the catalog!
“This book explains a behind the scenes look at how investing works. Mr. Edelman shares his experience as a certified financial planner and what to look for in yours. This is a great book to read and you can use the concepts in these financially unstable times.”
-- Camille B.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
FICTION MAGUIRE: Find it in the catalog!
AUDIOBOOK CD FICTION MAGUIRE: Find it in the catalog!
“An in-depth look into the mythical world of Oz through the eyes of Elphaba, who would later come to be known as 'The Wicked Witch of the West.' Her story follows the green skinned girl through her school days where she finds herself stuck with a snobby popular girl, Galinda, as her roommate. Galinda would go on to be known as 'Glinda—the good witch of the North.' Elphaba meets with the infamous 'Dorothy Gail of Kansas' and we learn the story of what happened between them from a different perspective.”
-- Patricia W.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer reading recommendations for August 20

Asking for Trouble by Elizabeth Young
Find it in the catalog!
“I really enjoy British chick-lit and was very excited to find this author. It was a very entertaining, if somewhat predictable story. It was a nice escape of a read—perfect for the beach or a rainy day.”
-- Emily K.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
364.1523 LAR
Find it in the catalog!
“This is one of my top 5 favorite books. The reader gets a great understanding of the Columbian Exposition and the story of HH Holmes. I look forward to reading all of Erik Larson’s books.”
-- Marty S.

Los Cuentos de Eva Luna / The Stories of Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Find it in the catalog!
“Having read “The Sum of Our Days” by the same author, I got some insight as to where the bizarre characters of this book come from. Some you will hate, some you will identify with—but all character sketches are vivid and imaginative.”
-- Ellen M.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Find it in the catalog!
“This was a pleasure to ‘read’ – I listened to it on CD during a long drive out of town and was thoroughly engrossed. Barbara Rosenblat’s reading of RenĂ©e, the concierge, was delicious. I could picture her in her loge.”
-- Jeanne R.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Charles Lennox mysteries

I just discovered a series by Charles Finch. The first book is called A Beautiful Blue Death. It's set in 1865 England and focuses on Charles Lennox a "gentleman sleuth". Charles is an amateur detective who just happens to get involved murder investigations. In this book his dear friend Lady Grey, who lives next door, finds out that her maid, who left to work at another home was found dead. Scotland Yard is calling it a suicide but Lady Grey knows that's not true. Lady Grey asks Charles to investigate. Charles has to deal with very important people, Parliament and Scotland Yard to find the answers to this murder. It is a very good historical mystery and you will want to read the next book as soon as you can. The next book in the series is The September Society.

Find it in the catalog!

Recommended read: The Alternative Hero

The Alternative Hero by Tim Thornton
Find it in the catalog!

Thirty-something Clive Beresford lives in London and works at a boring insurance job. One day Clive discovers that Lance Webster, former lead singer of his favorite band The Thieving Magpipes, lives on the same block as him. The Thieving Magpipes were popular during the late '80s and early '90s and broke up after a drunk Webster lost control on stage at the Aylesbury Festival in August 1995. Webster released a solo album in 1997 but nothing from the Thieving Magpipes has been released since then. Clive hopes to interview Webster about what happened at that festival gig in 1995 so he will not only let Thieving Magpipes fans know what happened that fateful day, but to redeem Webster. Clive feels that The Thieving Magpipes haven't gotten the respect that other bands have, and can't fathom the idea that Webster now goes by Geoff, his given name, and is living out of the spotlight. Clive's devotion to Webster leads to some funny situations as Clive embarks on his plan to meet Webster and win his trust to do an interview.

In addition to the status of his mission to meet Webster, Clive recounts moments from his youth when he and his friend Alan bonded over obsessing over The Thieving Magpipes and creating their own fanzines. Alan still has his scrapbook/journal filled with concert reviews, ticket stubs, and photos from the gigs he attended, but he gave up on The Thieving Magpipes at that Ayesbury Festival gig in '95.

The Thieving Magpipes is a fictional band made real by the author. Through album reviews and the fanzine reviews of Clive and Alan, Thornton gives the reader an in-depth history of the band, quoting their songs and expanding on gigs, and explaining how their music fit alongside other popular bands of the day. Thornton also includes a discography of the band at the end of the book.

I really like the character of Clive. Any music fan who at some point lived each day having a fixation with a particular band or singer will identify with Clive’s obsessive fan-following for The Thieving Magpipes. I enjoyed the way fiction and fact mixed together in this novel and I thought it was clever how the author told the stories of both Clive and The Thieving Magpipes through multiple viewpoints: gig reviews, fanzine excerpts, lyrics, emails, and even scribbled notes. I highly recommend The Alternative Hero, and I think music fans especially will enjoy the characters and stories in this book. Thornton not only demonstrates how music and song lyrics become an important part of our memories of the past, but how the support of devoted fans affects musicians in the bands themselves.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer reading recommendations for August 16

Chelsea, Chelsea, Bang, Bang by Chelsea Handler
NEW 817.6 HAN
Find it in the catalog!
“Too funny! Chelsea never disappoints me with her stories about drunken debauchery, her crazy father and outrageous pranks! Hilarious!”
-- Patricia W.

Dearest Cousin Jane by Jill Pitkeathley
Find it in the catalog!
"Great book. Kind of hard to keep all characters straight as there were two Cassandra's, 2 Edwards. Luckily author put cast of characters in front of book. With this book, I look forward to reading more about Jane Austen-- what a complex person."
-- Mary Beth B.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
NEW FICTION LARSSON: Find it in the catalog!
“This book definitely lived up to the hype. It was a little slow in the beginning and getting used to all the Swedish names and places took awhile. But once I got in to it I was hooked and didn’t want to put it down. It has a classic who-dun-it feel. Highly recommended."
-- Emily K.

Whiplash by Catherine Coulter
NEW FICTION COULTER: Find it in the catalog!
“Another great and exciting adventure with FBI agents Savich and Sherlock. Also brought him some new agents to read about. Very good—couldn’t put down until finished.”
-- Donna R.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer reading recommendations for August 14

Corner Shop by Roopa Farooki
Find it in the catalog!
"Good book -- she is an author I will read in the future. Characters were very believable. There was a little mystery, humor rolled into one book."
-- Mary Beth B.

Dark Voyage by Alan Furst
FICTION FURST: Find it in the catalog!
PLAYAWAYS FURST: Find it in the catalog!
"It took me a bit to get into the author's writing style -- he seemed to imply a fair amount -- contributed to atmospheric mode. Once I did get into it, the book kept my interest and I was eager to get to the end. The end was a little disappointing -- ended abruptly -- but I guess that is reasonable, given that it is a war story."
-- Sandy G.

Everyone Dies by Michael McGarrity
Find it in the catalog!
"I like this series a lot. They seem to start out a little slow, but before I know it I'm hooked! I also like the way he wraps the book up."
--Leslie D.

In the Name of Honor by Robert North Patterson
Find it in the catalog!
"Gave an excellent view of what our military is going through in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also a view of how a military court functions. Surprising finale to story."
-- Donna R.

Intensity by Dean Koontz
Find it in the catalog!
"The title has it, and says it all, it does a great job in keeping the reader in full INTENSITY!"
-- Stephanie A.

Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
NEW FICTION CRUSIE: Find it in the catalog!
NEW AUDIOBOOK CD FICTION CRUSIE: Find it in the catalog!
“While not a typical Jennifer Crusie book it was a fun-fantastical story. I would recommend it for anyone looking for an easy read.”
-- Stacy B.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Recommended by readers as being heart-warming stories

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat by Vicki Myron
636.8 MYR
Find it in the catalog!

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Find it in the catalog!

For One More Day by Mitch Albom
Find it in the catalog!

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin
Find it in the catalog!
"Sarah Palin writes an engaging personal memoir covering her humble beginnings as the daughter of a teacher to her rise as the 2008 Republican V.P. candidate. The many antidotes shared about her life in the Alaskan frontier as well as personal stories about her family are heartwarming and often humorous. No matter what your political standing, you will come away with a greater understanding and appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who choose to stand by their faith and convictions in politics."
-- Molly G.

Rex by Cathleen Lewis
616.9285 LEW
Find it in the catalog!
"I loved this book of a mother who never gave up on her child. It is amazing and wonderful how the human brain works. As a music teacher myself, it is truly unbelievable the way Rex's brain is wired with such musical ability. I am glad that Ms. Lewis told her son's story and is willing to share her son's amazing talents with the world!"
- Emily G.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Education

An Education by Lynn Barber
Find it in the catalog!

Lynn Barber's memoir An Education is an extension of an article Barber wrote for Granta magazine, which was the basis for the Nick Hornby-penned movie of the same name starring Carey Mulligan and Peter Skargaard. Mulligan was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as a teenager wooed by an older (married) man. Last year I watched the movie in the theater, so I decided to pick up the book to read.

Reading this memoir you see how Lynn's parents were complicit in her having a relationship with an older man, Simon. I think that the movie showed Lynn's parents as being a bit more hesitant about the relationship, so I was surprised to read how, after grooming Lynn for years to attend Oxford University, they no longer saw the point in her attending university if she was engaged to be married. The reactions of her parents greatly affected Lynn, as she felt she could no longer trust what they said, or anything they told her throughout her childhood. Barber recounts how while at Oxford and majoring in English Literature she never went to lectures and lost interest in book work and instead "studied" the opposite sex.

An especially engaging part of An Education is Barber's recollections of her experience in the publishing world, working at publications including Penthouse, Independent on Sunday, and the Observer. Barber also talks about her husband David's battle with myelofibrosis.

Barber's writing style is quite conversational and I definitely recommend this to readers looking for a quick read.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The end of Adult Summer Reading

People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading.
~ Logan Pearsall Smith, Afterthoughts
We had 121 people sign up for Adult Summer Reading this year. Not only that, but participants wrote 220 Reader/Movie Reviews (well, almost all save a few were Reader Reviews), recommending books by authors ranging from Janet Evanovich and Mitch Albom to James Patterson and Charlaine Harris. If you've been reading reader's block you may have found some interesting recommendations from fellow readers.We received so many reviews I had trouble keeping up, so I will continue to post reviews in the next few weeks.

Throughout the summer we gave away gift cards to Barnes & Noble, Dairy Queen, Classic Cinemas, and Starbucks. The Grand Prize Winner and Reader/Movie Review Grand Prize Winner will both be drawn this week!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Wacky Weeds: Mime: A Playbook for Silent Fantasy

In order to keep the library's collection up-to-date and growing, we occasionally have to get rid of books that are damaged or no longer relevant.  This process is known as "weeding."  Here we profile some of our stranger finds:

Mime: A Playbook of Silent Fantasy by Kay Hamblin.

I've had a soft spot for mimes ever since I watched Michelangelo Antonioni's Blowup, where a group of mimes follows David Hemmings around Swinging London. Even though this book had acquired a strange yellow tint, was crumpled, and hadn't been checked out for years (strange, I thought the kids just LOVED miming).  It's still difficult to weed anything with mime action poses this awesome:

Lest you worry our non-fiction collection is bereft of any good books on miming, we still have one:

792.3 ALB
Talking about Mime: An Illustrated Guide by David Alberts. 
Find it in the Catalog!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Help Yourself: Be Thrifty: How to Live Better With Less, edited by Pia Catton and Califia Suntree

I always find these types of books compelling (I can save money!? How!?). I like the idea of saving money, but I don't always follow through on the execution. This book has inspired me to try. There's nothing like a down economy to get you thinking about your situation, whether you have problems or not. And truly, much of the advice is practical in a good economy.

The main principles of the book:
1) Make it or do it yourself- sometimes
2) Choose and buy carefully
3) Fix it if it ain't broke
4) Use wisely and avoid waste
5) Save for the future

The book is comprised of essays, recipes, directions, etc., that have all been written by experts on the particular subjects, so you can jump around to topics that interest you. The advice is pain-free in implementation and confidence-boosting as a result. Learn how to fix simple plumbing issues, grow your own vegetables, or make bread and broth. The simple cleaning methods make sense, not only financially, but also for your health and environment. For at-home family entertainment, card game instructions are included (try "Spit"- it can be a raucous good time).

Interspersed throughout the book are little anecdotes from predominantly depression-era people. Their stories are quite, well, depressing. What a way to gain perspective. . .
It Was Meat
During the Great Depression, we ate squirrels and rabbits and even groundhogs, all of which had to be boiled well before they were browned and roasted. Preparing a groundhog was not easy. It took a special process to make sure the meat was safe to eat and that its “wild” flavor was removed. You had to scrub it first, then boil it in water, and then put some baking soda in the water, then rinse it off again. Then sometimes you’d scrub it and boil it again, but usually after one time you were ready to brown it and stick it in the oven. It was meat, and we ate it.
– Valetta Barraclough, born 1918

Recent non-fiction recommendations from Adult Summer Reading

◊◊◊ If you like reading BIOGRAPHIES...
Mark Twain by Geoffrey C. Ward and Dayton Duncan
BIOGRAPHY TWAIN Find it in the catalog!  

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
NEW BIOGRAPHY JANZEN Find it in the catalog!

◊◊◊ If you like reading about CHILD REARING...
Growing up Global: Raising Children to be At Home in the World by Homa Sabet Tavangar
JUV 649.1 TAV PARENT'S SHELF Find it in the catalog!  

The Idle Parent by Tom Hodgkinson
JUV 649.1 HOD PARENT'S SHELF Find it in the catalog!

◊◊◊ If you like reading about FOOD...
Now Eat This! 150 of America's Comfort Foods, All Under 350 Calories by Rocco DiSpirito
NEW 641.5635 DIS Find it in the catalog!

◊◊◊ If you like reading about HOUSE CLEANING...
House of Havoc by Marni Jameson
Find it in the catalog!
"The journalist and home columnist, Marni Jameson, writes a readable and practical book on 'how to make--and keep--a beautiful home despite cheap spouses, messy kids, and other difficult roommates (namely, dogs).' She writes with humor and down-to-earth wisdom and her book is filled with ideas for keeping every part of the home clean, orderly, beautiful and comfortable on a budget. I plan to purchase this book!"
-- Molly G.

◊◊◊ If you like reading about POP CULTURE...
Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman
306.0973 KLO Find it in the catalog!

◊◊◊ If you like reading about RELIGION...
Fearless: Imagine Your Life Without Fear by Max Lucado
248.86 LUC Find it in the catalog!
"In a world filled with daily reports of natural disasters, diseases, war, kidnappings, etc., fear is a prevalent emotion. Max Lucado, in his typical style, details the many circumstances where we can replace fear with the peace and joy that is found in knowing Jesus Christ as one's Savior and Lord. Max's book helped me realize that fear is not something to manage, but a battle that can be won at the foot of the cross."
--Molly G.

◊◊◊ If you like reading TRAVEL WRITING...
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
919.4 BRY Find it in the catalog!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Morbid Curiosity: Books about death, funerals and undertakers

Death is both ordinary and unimaginable.  Everyone living will eventually die, but for individuals it marks the end of their entire existence.  No wonder people are both fascinated and frightened by things related to death.   I was a big fan of the HBO series Six Feet Under, which followed the lives of a family running an independent funeral home.  Every episode begins with a different person kicking the bucket.  The show did a nice job of portraying both the commonness of death and the devastation it causes.  Likewise, I'm also a big fan of Edward Gorey's wonderfully morbid illustrations. Perhaps I just gravitate to works with a hint of macabre.  Below are a list of books relating to different aspects of death and dying, most books on the list have a slight sense of humor to them. 

The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford.
338.4736375 MIT 
A classic piece of investigative journalism, this is a funny and biting send up of the business practices in the funeral industry.
Find it in the catalog!

Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker in Training by Tom Jokinen
363.75 JOK
Jokinen was a radio producer in Winnepeg who decided to quit his job to work at a funeral home.  Laced with humor, this book explores the grunt work required to prep the dead for their funerals as well as recent changes and trends in the funeral business.
Find it in the catalog! 

Grave Expectations: Planning the End Like There's No Tomorrow by Sue Bailey.
393 BAI
Plan your own dream funeral with the help of this witty and upbeat funeral guide.  You can find out all the details you should think about before filling out your own pre-need funeral plan. Also a fun read for creepy nerds who just want to find out more about funeral/ burial practices (it's okay, I understand).
Find it in the catalog! 

This Will Kill You: A Guide to the Ways in Which We Go by HP Newquist and Rich Maloof.
614.4 NEW
A wonderful trivia book on dying.  Includes a variety of different causes of death, ranging from the common (stroke) to the bizarre (pufferfish).  Each cause of death entry is loaded with useful information including how long it takes to kill you, lethality ranking, and notable victims.
Find it in the catalog! 

After the Funeral: the Posthumous Adventures of Famous Corpses by Edwin Murphy.  
920.02 MUR
Find out all about your favorite celebrities...postmortem.  Did you know that Moliere's grave doesn't really contain his body?  Or that labor activist Joe Hill's ashes were found 70 years after his execution by a archivist sorting old post office records?  Apparently they had been returned to sender.  Creep your friends out with morbid trivia!
Find it in the catalog! 

The American Resting Place: Four Hundred Years through our Cemeteries and Burial Grounds by Marilyn Yalom
929.5 YAL
Photos and stories from different cemeteries and graves across the United States.
Find it in the catalog!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Good reads from the children's and teen departments

These books come recommended from Adult Summer Reading participants, but you won't find the books located in the Adult department....

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
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“Fantastic! I read it from start to finish the first day I had it. Anyone who parents, teaches, or mentors kids needs to read this for an eye-opening look at what prejudice can do to their self-esteem.”
– Ellen M.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
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"Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great book and it is worth reading for both adults and middle schoolers. It is funny and pokes fun at many of the things people 20-30+ experienced. Quick read and worth reading."
-- Andrew F.

One by Kathryn Otoshi
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"One is an awesome book for anyone who has kids or works with kids. As a teacher, I would recommend this book to everyone in the field. Kathryn Otoshi has an amazing way of taking a topic like bullying and presenting it in an approachable way through the use of brush strokes and colors. Incredible book! Must read for all who work with children."
-- Andrew F.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

The Battle of The Labyrinth
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"The Battle of the Labyrinth was an exciting book. The plot was well-written with a good amount of excitement, love, and action. I loved the twist with one of the characters."
-- Sandra L.

The Last Olympian
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“Perfect ending to the series. Loved how Riordan left the ending open for more books. It was the perfect mix of good reading for teens and adults.”
-- Sandra L.

The Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare
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Recommended as a good coming-of-age story.