Thursday, May 30, 2013


In the new cookbook Nigellissima, Nigella Lawson, the author, gives you her take on Italian recipes. She explains in the introduction how she spent a high school year in Italy, impoverished but enthralled with the culture and cooking.
Nigella is well known for her eight other cookbooks and her show on the food network, Nigella Bites. Some of the recipes are a simple as Cannellini Beans with Rosemary, or One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream. She covers the usuals, pasta, meat, and vegetables. The final chapter in the book, An Italian-Inspired Christmas has such treats as Prosciutto-Wrapped Grissini for an appetizer and Turkey Breast Stuffed With Italian Sausage & Marsala-Steeped Cranberries for a decadent main course. MMMM! ML

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

That's Odd!

Everyone is talking about how to get a job, what kind of college degree you need to succeed, what types of jobs are hot right now, and so on.  There's a book that takes a fun look at the topic of job hunting called Odd Jobs: How to Have Fun and Make Money in a Bad Economy by Abigail Gehring.  I've seen it mentioned online and in the press a few times and so decided it was time to take a look at it.  It is a surprisingly fun read.  You won't believe how much money hot dog vendors can pull in and personal shopping sounds right up my alley!  Check it out, whether you're looking for a job or not. SG

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...

Lost CAT: a True Story of Love, Desperation and GPS Technology by Caroline Paul is not just for cat lovers. If you are a lover of animals, small children, straying teens, etc. this book will provide an amusing look at what our loved one does when we’re not around. While Caroline was recuperating from a nasty accident, her cat Tibia, the timid one, got lost. Caroline was depressed, dejected and desperate. Her partner Wendy tried to understand and offer support, even when Caroline insisted on measures beyond putting up flyers and consulted a psychic. Five weeks later, the wanderer--Tibby reappeared looking pretty good. Where had he been? What had he been eating? Why was he gone so long? Where was he disappearing to? Thus begins the real quest and the venture into GPS devices, Cat-cams and getting to know your neighbors. This is a short, funny, beautifully-illustrated read! DB  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Peak to Peak

Up: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure by Patricia Ellis Herr is the story of a mother and her determination to make sure her daughters know they can do what they set their mind to.  Patricia and her husband Hugh, a nationally acclaimed hiker in his own right, also want to make sure their children develop a healthy love of nature and all things outdoors.  Combine these two things and you have the story of a very young girl determined to summit all of the 4000-footer mountains in New Hampshire (48 in all!).  This book is the true story of this journey.  It makes me want to go for a hike and as I read the book I felt some pangs of jealousy but also found myself rooting for this spunky young girl who started out when she was only five years old.  Does she make it?  You'll have to read the book to find out.  SG

Shut The Front Door!

Guy Fieri is back with another book companion to his popular tv series, this time focusing on a wider swath of the American culinary backwoods in Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: The Funky Finds in Flavortown, America's Classic Joints and Killer Comfort Food.  Narrated in Fieri's signature vernacular (eg. "Son of Tatum O'Neal!"), the book provides short descriptions and anecdotes from restaurants and eateries around the country -- including Clarkston, Michigan's own Union Woodshop.  HM

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Bird's Eye View

David Sedaris is hilarious! His new book Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls will literally make you laugh out loud. He entertains with stories about his childhood and family, his book tours, and his views about traditional marriage and big-box stores. While his tales start out about him they definitely remind you of someone you know. Sedaris is irreverent, offensive and funny. Maybe growing up with his father had something to do with it. Put on a thick skin and read this book! DB

The Speed of Evolution

Marlene Zuk is a professor of ecology, evolution and behavior at the University of Minnesota. She has written Paleofantasy ; What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live.
There is much talk recently in magazines and web chatter how we are just not evolved for modern life. Supposedly there was some wonderful hunter-gatherer past that we did well in...we chased game down and didn't eat grains. We ate everything raw and were perfectly suited for our environment.
No, sadly this is a paleofantasy. Zuk argues and quotes many research studies to show that the pace of evolution is not eons long. We are evolving and adapting all the time. "Even assuming we could agree on a time to hark back to, there is the sticky issue of exactly what such an ancestral nirvana was like. Do we use examples of modern day subsistence existence in a few remaining parts of the world?" Or do we speculate, using fossils and bones to construct what that existence was like? As one commenter on a "Paleo" blog says "It is idiotic to model one's behavior on the practices of pre-modern humans on the belief that it will make you live longer, or result in improved quality of life... You are not a pre-modern human. Get over it." Zuk not only is witty about this misconception, she also quotes the newest research in DNA and biology. Fascinating!

Big Library Read

Everyone is reading "The Four Corners of the Sky" by Michael Malone. From May 15th through June 1st it will always be available as a downloadable book to all of our Oxford cardholders. Just go to and 'check it out' and then let us know what you think! SG

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Great & Powerful Book!

Who hasn’t enjoyed The Wizard of Oz movie starring Judy Garland, based on the book by L. Frank Baum?  With the movie release of Oz the Great and Powerful there has been a resurgence in popularity of all things Oz and we have just the book for you at the library.  Everything Oz by Christine Leech and Hannah Read-Baldrey is a book with over 50 Oz themed projects including Over the Rainbow Cake, Tin Can Lanterns and Cowardly Lion Hand Puppets.  You can even find a recipe for treats for Toto!  This book is visually appealing with quotes from Baum’s book interspersed throughout, ideas for decorating, and pages you can photocopy for making gift tags, puppets and more.  It's the type of book you don't need but can't do without.  Personally, I'm thinking of trying an Emerald City themed party featuring glow in the dark green jello. (Wondering what makes the jello glow?  You'll have to read the book!)  I'll send the Winged Monkey invites to get guests in the mood.  SG

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Something Wicked This Way Comes

In the 1970s backwater of Coden, Alabama, a teenage orphan called Annie mysteriously arrives and quickly drives a wedge in an apparently perfect family.  Full of creepy supernatural elements and family secrets reminiscent of The Turn of the Screw and The Amityville Horror, The Darkling by R. B. Chesterton (aka Carolyn Haines) is a quick and easy read, which is sometimes exactly what you want on a sunny, beautiful afternoon.  HM

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ten Dollars, Six States, Thirty Days

Steve Boggan is a man with a plan. He decides to follow the travels of a ten dollar bill around America for a month. He starts in the middle of the contiguous 48 states, Lebanon, Kansas. He makes arrangements to stay with Kay and Rick Chapin who run a hunting lodge. He plans to spend the bill, which he has marked for identification, and then ask the person who receives it next if he can follow them and chronicle the journey. He meets everyday people with extraordinary tales. Follow the Money: A Month in the Life of a Ten-Dollar Bill is an enjoyable portrait of America. DB