Saturday, January 14, 2017

January's In the Queue

It's time to warm up with a hot new book from January's In The Queue.

Death of a Ghost by M.C. Beaton
Hamish Macbeth wants to prove there's no ghost haunting a ruined Scottish castle, so he and Charlie Carson spend the night. He learns there is no ghost, but there is a body.
Clownfish Blues by Tim Dorsey

Serge A. Storms follows up on his hit movie by paying homage to his favorite classic TV show, Route 66, and uncovers a large-scale underworld operation to rig the state lottery. 
Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones
As Charley struggle to make peace with her goddess powers and her daughter's destiny, she is accosted by dark forces which wish her banished to another dimension.

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
This psychological thriller has a to-die-for twist ending. Louise, the secretary of a successful psychiatrist, is drawn into her boss' picture-perfect life, but soon uncovers a complex web of intrigue and dangerous flaws.

Her Every Fear: A Novel by Peter Swanson
This scintillating, edgy novel investigates the darkest corners of the human psyche. Ever since Kate Priddy was kidnapped and nearly killed, she's been prone to panic attacks. She is relieved when her cousin offers to swap apartments--until the police question her about her new neighbor's murder. Her cousin is the prime suspect, and the police want Kate's help to find the killer.
The Believer: A Novel by Joakim Zander
An intricately plotted and brilliantly conceived novel turns the hottest political topics into a complex, resonant thriller.

Best Sellers
Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
Death's Mistress by Terry Goodkind
Bone Box by Faye Kellerman
Born of Vengeance by Sherliyn Kenyon
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
Robert B. Parker's Revelation by Robert Knott
A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery
Never, Never by James Patterson
Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb
Below the Belt by Stuart Woods

Three Days in January by Bret Baiere
Baier explores the three days between Eisenhower's prophetic "farewell address" on January 17, 1961, and John F. Kennedy's inauguration on January 20 as the means of assessing Eisenhower's presidential career.

The Telomere Effect by Elizabeth H. Blackburn
Blackburn's groundbreaking novel helps people increase their life and health spans. Readers will learn how chronic stress eats away at our telomeres and how thinking you are young and vital keeps you that way!

My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King
This is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an independent-minded black woman. Coretta Scott King discloses her complete life story in this beautiful biography of a brave leader who stood committed, proud, forgiving and nonviolent in the face of terrorism every single day of her life.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Women in Sports

The library is highlighting our Sports and Fitness collection this month so pick up a few items today.
Women in sport have come a long way baby!  Title IX, which gave women equal opportunities in sports, was established in 1972.  Before Title IX, 1 in 27 women played sports.  Today, 2 in 5 women play sports!  Women's Sports Foundation's first president Donna de Varona, who herself was an Olympic gold medal swimmer, said "since 1972, thanks to increased funding and institutional opportunities, there has been a 545% increase in women playing college sports and a 990% increase in women playing high school sports."  You go girl! 

Try a few of the following books geared towards women:

She's Tough: Extreme Fitness Training for Women
Kylie Hatmaker
613.7045 Hatm

Roar: How to Match Your Food and Fitness to Your Unique Female Physiology of Optimum Performance, Great Health, and a Strong, Lean Body for Life
Stacy T. Sims
613.711 Sims

Core Performance Women: Burn Fat and Build Lean Muscle
Mark Verstegen
613.7045 Vers

And if you need more proof that women athletes are here to stay, go no further than the 2016 Olympics where U. S. female athletes won 61 medals including 27 gold!  That's more than the U. S. men who won a total of 55.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Literary Biographies: Shirley Jackson, A Rather Haunted Life

Shirley Jackson is one of my favorite authors. She is a writer who continued in the American Gothic tradition of Hawthorne and Poe, but kept her work uniquely her own: the horror, either psychological or supernatural, blended with postwar, suburban mundanity.

Jackson was a significant figure in 20th century American literature, though often kept on the edges of mainstream literary canon. How many people have read the short story The Lottery, with its unflinching portrait of brutality and rituality in small American towns? Or how many people have seen either the 1963 or 1999 film adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House?

Last year we were lucky enough to see Let Me Tell You published -- a volume of Jackson’s previously unpublished and uncollected stories and nonfiction writings. This year, on the centenary of her birth, we get a biography from book critic and author, Ruth Franklin.

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life is a meticulous, critical, empathetic work – not only a glimpse into Jackson’s motivations for her novels and stories, but also an exploration of the woman herself: someone who had a successful writing career but who struggled with marital issues, substance abuse, and personal and social anxieties.

Neil Gaiman writes of the new biography, “Ruth Franklin is the biographer Jackson needed: she tells the story of the author in a way that made me want to reread every word Jackson ever wrote.” I agree and would highly recommend it. It is nice seeing Jackson get her much-deserved due at the hands of a skilled biographer.

Below are a few other literary biographies I would recommend:

The Real Jane Austen / Paula Byrne
My Wars Are Laid Away in Books / Alfred Habegger
Beatrix Potter / Linda Lear
Flannery / Brad Gooch

And make sure to check out the New York Times Literary Biographies Reading List for even more suggestions.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Glenn Gould: A Life Off Tempo by Sandrine Revel

Glenn Gould: A Life Off Tempo by Sandrine Revel

I have long listened to the many, wonderful variations of classical composers done by Glenn Gould on piano. My first exposure to him was when I was flipping through classical vinyl records at a thrift shop when I stumbled across his Bach variations for 50 cents. Naturally, I grabbed it, took it home for a listen, and became an instant fan of Gould’s. From then on, he was one of the artists whom I always looked for when record hunting. But, I knew very little about the man until I picked up Glenn Gould: A Life Off Tempo by Sandrine Revel.

The story is not a straight forward one, with Revel intermixing typical documentary convention with surrealist interludes. These little interruptions could have detracted from the odd yet compelling story of Gould and make for fascinating breaks as we follow this quirky genius as he grows up from a boy to the intense and difficult classical musician we all know. The muted, cool colors on water color paper are wonderful to look at, each page beautifully done. The wonderful artwork does an excellent job of supporting the story of the intense, difficult musician. This is definitely one of the better graphic novel biographies that I have read and I would recommend it for any fan of classical music, of Gould himself, or of graphic novel non-fiction.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cooking Comically: Recipes so Easy You'll Actually Make Them by Tyler Capps

Cooking Comically: Recipes so Easy You'll Actually Make Them by Tyler Capps

Food is a wonderful thing. As cook books are a way to make that wonderful thing, they too are great, except those books that simply give you a list of stuff and a list of directions. While utilitarian, such recipes do not inspire salivating. Cooking Comically is anything but a boring cook book.

Capps, owner of the website, has the stated goal of provided recipes that are easy, tasty, and cheap. He then delivers such foodly instructions in a way that resembles comic panels, complete with a black and white, snarky stick figure. He provides images of not only the end product, but the ingredients and the processes too. The stick figure adds pop culture references, jokes, and some excellent tips and explanations.

Capps’ Cooking Comically will not help you master the art of French cooking, or Italian, or any specific style. Instead, he aims to show the uninitiated what tasty things can be accomplished with only a little effort.  Personally, I feel fairly accomplished in the kitchen, I know which end of the spatula to hold and have been known to my friend and family to deliver some delectable dishes. I still learned from this book and added some recipes and tricks to my collection. Cooking Comically is entertaining, delicious, and an all-around solid cookbook. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Spice Up Your Fall with Some Great Mexican and Tex-Mex Cookbooks!

Cookbooks are awesome!  Tasty, eye-catching, and fun to read!  So, explore the library's huge cookbook collection this month!

Mexican cuisine is primarily a fusion of indigenous Meso-American (area from Central Mexico down to Northern Costa Rica) cooking with European, especially Spanish, elements added after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century. The staples are native foods, such as corn, beans, avocados, tomatoes, and chili peppers, along with rice, which was brought by the Spanish. Europeans introduced a large number of other foods, the most important of which were meats from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat, and sheep), dairy products (especially cheese), and various herbs and spices.

While the Spanish initially tried to impose their own diet on the country, this was not possible and eventually the foods and cooking techniques began to merge.  Mexican cuisine is an important aspect of the culture, social structure and popular traditions of Mexico.

Try some great Mexican recipes from the following authors:

Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America by Gustavo Arellano

Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends by Rick Bayless

Taco Loco!: Mexican Street Food from Scratch by Jonas Cramby

Knack Mexican Cooking: a Step-by-Step Guide to Authentic Dishes Made Easy by Chelsie Kenyon

Planet Taco: a Global History of Mexican Food by Jeffrey M. Pilcher

Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours by Aaron Sanchez

Antojitos: Festive and Flavorful Mexican Small Plates by Barbara Sibley and Margaritte Malfy

Dos Caminos' Mexican Street Food: 120 Authentic Recipes to Make at Home by Ivy Stark

Tacos: Recipes and Provocations by Alex Stupak and Jordan Rothma

Tex-Mex (from Texan and Mexican) is a term describing a fusion of United States cuisine and Mexican cuisines, deriving from the culinary creations of Tejanos (Texans of Spanish descent). It has spread from Border States such as Texas and others in the Southwestern United States to the rest of the country as well as Canada. 

Some ingredients are common in Mexican cuisine, but other ingredients not typically used in Mexico are often added. Tex-Mex cuisine is characterized by its heavy use of shredded cheese, meat (particularly beef and pork), beans, and spices, in addition to Mexican-style tortillas. Moreover, Tex-Mex has imported flavors from other spicy cuisines, such as the use of cumin, introduced by Spanish immigrants to Texas from the Canary Islands.  Tex-Mex is most popular in the state of Texas.

So, if you have a hankering for some Tex-Mex grub, these are some excellent books to try:

Chili Madness: a Passionate Cookbook by Jane Butel

Tex-Mex from Scratch by Jonas Cramby

The Southwest Table: Traditional Cuisine from Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona by Dave DeWitt

Eat More Tortillas by Donna Kelly and Stephanie Ashcraft

Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex by Cappy Lawton

Truly Texas Mexican: a Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes by Adan Medrano

Meatless in Cowtown: A Vegetarian Guide to Food and Wine, Texas Style by
Laura Samuel Meyn

Southwestern Vegetarian by Stephan Pyles

The Tex-Mex Cookbook: a History in Recipes and Photos by Robb Walsh

The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook by Robb Walsh

Monday, October 31, 2016

November's In the Queue

It's time to warm up with a great new book! You'll find chillers, thrillers and a little romance in November's In the Queue.

The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay
The jaw dropping finale of the Promise Falls Trilogy points to the number 23. Working out why brings Detective Duckworth closer to death than he's ever been before.

The Spy: A Novel by Paulo Coelho
An unforgettable story of Mata Hari, a woman who dared to defy convention and paid the ultimate price. Her only crime was being an independent woman.

To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin
Historical fiction at its finest. Set against the construction of the Eiffel tower this novel explores the relationship between a Scottish widow and a French engineer, who despite their differences in class and wealth meet and fall in love.

Conclave: A Novel by Robert Harris
The Pope is dead. 118 cardinals are about to hold the world's most secret election. These are holy men, ambitious men, and all have rivals. In 72 hours one will become the most spiritual and powerful figure on earth.

The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
The thrilling conclusion to a masterful trilogy. Kelsea Glynn has gone from awkward girl to a powerful and beloved Monarch. She chose to save her kingdom by giving herself to her enemy. Her regent vows to do whatever he must to rescue her.

I'll Take You There by Wally Lamb
An evocative and deeply moving story of how three unforgettable women changed the life of Felix Funicello. A radiant homage to resiliency, strength and power of women.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith
Dazzling and energetic this is a story about friendship and music, stubborn roots, and how we are shaped by these things and how we survive them. Two mixed race girls meet in dance class. One has talent, the other does not. As the girls grow and turn into women their paths diverge, but dance remains a part of their lives. 

New Books By Best Selling Authors

The Sleeping Beauty Killer by Mary Higgins Clark The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg
Tom Clancy True Faith and Allegiance by Mark Greaney
Curtain of Death by W.E.B. Griffin
The Midnight Bell by Jack Higgins
When All the Girls Have Gone by Jane Ann Krentz
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyers
Cross the Line by James Patterson
A Christmas Message: A Novel by Anne Perry


Jump: Take the Leap of Faith To Achieve Your Life of Abundance by Steve Harvey
Harvey shares the secret of his success and teaches you how to achieve the blessed full life that belongs to you.

To Pixar and Beyond: My Unlikely Journey With Steve Jobs to Make Entertainment History by Lawrence Levy
The never-before-told story of Pixar's improbable success.

A Matter of Honor: Pearl Harbor by Anthony Sumners
A provocative story of politics and war, of a man willing to sacrifice himself for his country only to be sacrificed himself. Revelatory and definitive, this is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the scapegoating of the admiral who was in command, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was in office the day 2,000 Americans died at Pearl Harbor.