Thursday, April 28, 2011

Family History

If you are interested in searching for your family history be sure to look at our premium database Ancestry Library Edition, available for use in the Library. This database contains a large and growing collection of resources for genealogical research including census, immigration, military and vital records. Other online resources include our Genealogy Internet Resources and the Heritage Quest Database both available for use from home or in the Library.

The Library has many reference resources in the Genealogy/Local History area so be sure to stop by the Library and check out what is available.

Monday, April 25, 2011

America's Gardens

From Jefferson's founding garden, Monticello, to Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill, American gardens have been revealing self-portraits that reflect their owners aspirations and anxieties. In his far-ranging survey, designer and historian Graham unveils the aesthetic, political, psychological, and ethical dimensions of the American garden. This is a world in which hedges, lawns, parks, and cemeteries are revealing displays of national identity, class distinction, and political correctness. Graham is able to gently mock the fashions of history while astutely observing that we are still as vulnerable to gardening fads today. After more than 250 years, the American gardening tradition has bequeathed to us treasured public parks, suburban sprawl, Kentucky bluegrass lawns in the desert, and kitchen gardens at the White House. Graham's history is a fascinating and illuminating tour of this American landscape. Includes extensive notes and bibliography. More than 70 color and b&w illus. Copyright PWxyz, LLC.

Another Masie Dobbs novel

Jacqueline Winspear has written 8 novels in the series featuring Masie Dobbs. Her latest, A Lesson in Secrets, is a fine addition. As fans know, we first meet Masie as a young sevant girl in pre-WWI England. By the 8th novel in the series she is a respected private investigator and a woman of property. This series really is best read in order as we see Masie develop in confidence,experience and age. The 8th novel explores the mood of pre-WWII England,as some people are for the Facist government in Germany and others, as we know now rightly so, are worried about the fate of Europe. Of course there is also a murder mystery that Masie cleverly solves. Winspear doesn't disappoint, her writing as always is nuanced and historically correct. ML

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Virtual work

New Rules for Today's Workplace: Strategies for Success in the Virtual World by Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts presents ideas for working and competing in the global market. I am interested in writing and found a great idea for online publishing in the first chapter. There are tips on social networking as part of a marketing strategy along with practical advice on how to build your profile. Chapter 5 is titled Synergy Across Cultures and provides help understanding other cultures here and abroad. There are even tips for holding worthwhile meetings that accomplish goals. The author also points out that the best form of communication is not what is best for the sender but rather what is best for the recipient.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cooking Memoir

Blood, Bones and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton is not a strictly chronological memoir, but a passionate discussion of a difficult life. Gabrielle's father was an artist,her mother a Frenchwoman who stayed home and cooked for her large family. To Gabrielle it was idyllic, until the divorce. Mom and the older kids took off and Gabrielle was left to her own devices. At 13 she started working,at 16 moving to New York City. What followed was 20 hard years in the food industry,opening a restaurant,and getting a MFA from University of Michigan. She eventually opened a celebrated restaurant and married and Italian man in spite of being a professed lesbian. This memoir features wonderful sensual writing about food,rage over many issues and a longing to find home. One of the best I've read! ML

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Delicious Story

The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister starts with the story of Lillian, a long time chef, restaurant owner, and cooking instructor. In Lillian's cooking classes she shares the pleasures of food and shows how essential ingredients are not only necessary in cooking, but in life, love and friendship. You will read about Lillian's eight students, sharing in their joys, sorrows, hopes and dreams, learning about the essential ingredients in each of their lives.

This debut novel has been widely acclaimed and has been published in 21 countries. Ms. Bauermeister's second novel "Joy for Beginners" will be published in June - watch for it and enjoy. Suggested read-alikes include Bread Alone by Judith Ryan Hendricks and Chocolat by Joanne Harris.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April is National Poetry Month

National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. Why not check out some of the poetry books in the Library's adult collection? May we recommend Poems by Elizabeth Bishop, Poet's Corner by John Lithgow or Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me by Maya Angelou. For a nice collection of poems, stories, songs and speeches check out A Patriots Handbook by Caroline Kennedy. If you would like to hear poets reading their own work we have the audio collection Poetry Speaks (audio) edited by Elise Paschen, which includes readings by Robert Frost, Sylvia Plath, Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes and Dylan Thomas, to name just a few.