Friday, January 23, 2015

Old Favorites, New Taste

Would you like to put a new twist to some of your favorite recipes? Check out Easy Gourmet:Awesome Recipes anyone Can Cook by Stephanie Le. Stephanie is the creator of a top cooking food blog. She describes her collection as " a little bit Asian, a little bit classic and a lot delicious". She keeps the recipes simple but really goes all out on  taste. Her book includes recipes for all three daily meals and snacks too! I’m looking forward to the Seafood Stew and Lemon S’mores!DB

Monday, January 19, 2015

World's Strongest Librarian - Guest Blogger

I wanted to read The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family, a biography by Josh Hanagarne for three reasons.  first, because the character has Tourette Syndrome and I wondered how he handled the tics.  Second, Josh grew up a Mormon, and I wanted to learn the ways of Mormons.  The third reason is in the title.  What makes him the strongest librarian?  As it turns out, he shares an interest in books like his mother.  His Navajo dad is wise with advice.  He acquires help from a tech sergeant in the Air Force who helps him the most, physically and mentally.  He tries everything from Botox, chiropractors to personal trainers for help with Tourette's.  You'll find out how he functions as a librarian and a family man.  He tells his story with a wonderful sense of humor.  You will see that he can be a librarian and control his Tourette's by staying strong with his weight lifting routine.  He is not a quitter.  JV

Monday, January 5, 2015

Cat-Lady's Last Call

When Garrison Brown’s Grandma (the neighborhood cat-lady) dies, he must fulfill her last wishes and place her six felines in the “right” home. Interviews and home visits are required make sure the cats are happy.  In order to do this, Garrison spends the holidays in his old neighborhood. He reacquaints himself with some old friends and is introduced to some new ones. While he gets involved fixing up Gram’s house and finding homes for the cats, Garrison does some soul-searching to decide what he really wants. The Christmas Cat by Melody Carlson is a sweet little read for Christmas or anytime. DB

Monday, December 29, 2014

Deadly Deception

Alys Clare lives in the English countryside where her novels are set, circa 1093. The series known as the Aelf Fen mysteries consists of six books. Featured is the healer Lassair, a young woman. The series explores an England where pagan ways are giving way to Christianity. Lassair is dynamic, having gone to a Christian school, but trained in the ways of her mystic healer family. There is always a mystery, but really, the novels explore living in a very different time from our modern mind set.
 At the start of Clare's sixth Aelf Fen novel, apprentice healer Lassair helps rescue a foreign woman and her infant son from a mob in Cambridge in the fall of 1093. When Lassair and the sheriff's man later go looking for the woman's missing family members, receding flood waters reveal a body that raises suspicions of murder. ML

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Put a wreath on it!

Wreaths are traditional decorations to celebrate the winter holidays but in the new book Wreath Recipe by Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo many other seasons and materials are explored. Although the book is divided into seasons and materials for the season, there is an introduction that is all about the underpinnings. Things like tools needed, branch cutting techniques, and attachment techniques are addressed. The photography in this book is outstanding, clear and colorful. How about a summer wreath of apple branches, buddleia, yarrow and ivy, wouldn't that be beautiful?  The wreath featured on the cover of the book is beautiful, with liquidambar leaves, callicarpa berries, asters and rose hips. Where can we get these materials, you might ask. The authors say although many materials can be foraged, your local florist or nursery will also have either have them or know where you could order them. All in all, very inspiring! ML

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Great Green Room

June Andersen, a successful banker in New York City, has inherited a children’s bookstore. Bluebird Books was a fixture in Seattle and great-aunt Ruby managed it for over sixty years. June must return to Seattle, and her estranged family, to settle Ruby’s estate. She is forced to take a deep look at her childhood and her relationship with her mother and sister. While working in the bookstore she discovers a bunch of old letters linking her aunt to Margaret Wise Brown, the well-known author of Goodnight Moon. She also uncovers some secrets her clever Aunt Ruby hid for many years. Goodnight June by Sarah Jio offers us a what-if glimpse into the origin of a classic children’s book. DB

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Adoption and Fostering

Molly Ayer, a foster child, has to do fifty-plus hours of community service to stay out of juvenile detention. She reluctantly agrees to help an elderly widow, Vivian Daly, clean out her attic. Vivian really doesn’t want to get rid of anything and she spends time with Molly reminiscing over old items in her trunks. It turns out that Vivian, an Irish immigrant, was orphaned in New York in the 1920’s and sent by train to the Midwest to be adopted. Molly finds out that she and Vivian have quite a bit in common, and an unlikely friendship blossoms. This story is based on the orphan trains that ran west from New York between 1854 and 1929. Orphan Train: a novel  by Christina Baker Kline  provides an thoughtful look at immigration and adoption in the recent past. DB