Monday, July 29, 2013

Furry Little Friends

I'm not much of a crafter, but I saw this book sitting on the cart near the entrance to the Adult department, and I couldn't resist.  Fleece Dog walks you through the process and art of creating your own little furry pal out of raw wool -- which looks surprisingly simple.  I love the whimsical photos and there's even a section on how to use your dog's own hair!

Do you like crafting?  Stop by the library any time between 2:00-7:00pm this Wednesday, July 31st for Crafternoon -- bring a craft of your own to work on, or try one of ours!  HM

Thursday, July 25, 2013

What is that smell?

Luca Turin is a biophysicist and scholar of smell. In his 2008 book Perfumes: The Guide he writes a brief history of perfume, his top ten lists of scent and a rating system (five stars is a masterpiece and one is "awful") of 315 pages of perfumes. He pulls no punches, and the writing is highly descriptive, such as this review of Nanette Lepore (one star) "...the most intensely sweet,cloying, syrupy fruity floral possible, radiating all the way down the block and lingering for years...Vile, yes, but somebody in a jeweled cardigan has been waiting for it all her life." The fragrances he likes though, he raves about, like Cuir de Russie from Chanel. This perfume rates a half a page and five stars and prose like "This superb fragrance still smells exactly as it should: to me, just like the interior of my stepfather's 1954 Bentley Type R...this rich leather effect is achieved by mixing things that have noting to do with tanned animal skins: ylang ylang, jasmine, iris,...this is the real deal, an undamaged monument of classical perfumery, and the purest emanation of luxury ever captured in a bottle." Whew, makes you want to smell it! Whether you just are interested in perfume history or are contemplating a purchase, this is a great read. MLis

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guest Blogger

In Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates the author, biologist Frans De Waal, explores the evolutionary evidence, studying primate behavior in particular, of morality.  He argues both against a religious orthodoxy and its neo-atheism counterpart, to embrace a view of human morality that is innate within our genetic make-up.  Emotional attachment, from dogs that learn how to fight by playing, to a childs' and bonobes' sense of what's 'fair,' plays a large role in the development of moral standards.  He argues that what separates us from our primate cousins isn't genetics or morality, but our ability to think in abstractions and to apply those abstractions not only to our own behavior, but to others around us.  The book is well-written and organized.  I definitely will be adding it to my bookshelf!  Five stars.  Anonymous.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

When the going gets tough...raise chickens!

Mardi Jo Link may be broke but she is determined to make it. Recently divorced with three sons and an old farmhouse in northern Michigan, she prides herself in finding unique ways to pay bills, heat the house and provide food. She and the boys enter a zucchini contest put on by a local bakery, gather firewood, cook on a campfire, raise chickens and survive the holidays-- pioneer style. Mardi’s positive attitude and her creative solutions will stir your inner strength. Bootstrapper: from broke to badass on a northern Michigan farm is funny, uplifting, and realistic. DB

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Guest Blogger Teddi

Unlike other books that have been written about the infamous Titanic that concentrate on the story of the voyage and the actual tragedy when it happened Shadow of the Titanic by Andrew Wilson focuses on the afterwards.  How did the survivors live their lives after the sinking of the Titanic and how did others and the world react?  A very interesting and worthwhile read - five stars.  

Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Hill is an interesting read about the author's life.  She was raised by Scientologists who gave up their dream home, careers, and life for the church.  Her uncle is the Head of the Scientology church so she reveals many of the deep dark secrets of this "religion." The neglect and abuse that these children endure is unbelievable.  Four stars.  Teddi Bradford

Thursday, July 11, 2013

France, Food, and Murder

Do you have a taste for France with mystery and interesting characters thrown in? Then you will love the series featuring Bruno, Chief of Police in the small French town of St.Denis. Bruno is a former soldier wounded in Sarajevo. He lives in a restored shepherd's cottage, has a garden, loves wine and food. This is not just a "cozy" though. Bruno deals with the political system, has to appease his superiors and navigate the politics of small town living. Oh, and solve murders! At the heart of this series is the character of Bruno, solid, moral and wise.This reader has devoured all six books in the series, and I would highly recommend them. While one could read them independently, they are more fun to read in order. The first book is Bruno, Chief of Police. ML

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Great American Novel

There has been a lot of talk about The Son by Philipp Meyer.  It’s one of those epic, multi-generational sagas of a Texas family during the 1800s on through the 20th century, depicting three generations of McCulloughs.  Likened to Lonesome Dove I think this will be a must read for anyone who enjoys the kind of story that follows power, blood, land and oil.  It was an Amazon best book of the month in June.  SG

From Amazon’s website: “In 1859, Eli McCullough, the 13-year-old son of Texas pioneers, is captured in a brutal Comanche raid on his family's homestead. First taken as a slave along with his less intrepid brother, Eli assimilates himself into Comanche culture, learning their arts of riding, hunting, and total warfare. When the tribe succumbs to waves of disease and settlers, Eli's only option is a return to Texas, where his acquired thirsts for freedom and self-determination set a course for his family's inexorable rise through the industries of cattle and oil. The Son is Philipp Meyer's epic tale of more than 150 years of money, family, and power, told through the memories of three unforgettable narrators: Eli, now 100 and known simply as "the Colonel"; Eli's son Peter, called "the great disappointment" for his failure to meet the family’s vision of itself; and Eli's great-granddaughter Jeanne Anne, who struggles to maintain the McCullough empire in the economic frontier of modern Texas.” Review --Jon Foro

Monday, July 8, 2013

Adventure on the High Seas

When mild-mannered personal chef Owen Wedgewood is violently kidnapped by pirate queen Mad Hannah Mabbot from his late benefactor's residence in 1800s England, he's in for a wild ride aboard The Flying Rose, where he is forced to create exceptional meals with scant ingredients in exchange for his continued survival.  Told through Wedgewood's diary, Eli Brown's Cinnamon and Gunpowder sees our protagonist confront his own shortcomings and prejudices as he slowly assimilates (kicking and screaming) into the pirate crew and becomes closer to the fearsome Captain Mabbot, who is busy trying to upset the entire opium trade and catch her nemesis, The Brass Fox.  HM

Friday, July 5, 2013

Written in stone...

The 4th of July and fireworks have put me into a patriotic frame of mind. I loved watching the celebrations with various memorial buildings in the background. I enjoyed the old American songs and the many references to historical events and places. While many of us have visited Gettysburg and the Statue of Liberty, some have to rely on other sources to get there. Monuments: America’s History in Art and Memory by Judith Dupre is a wonderful guide. Many significant American monuments are featured in this book.  Location, designer and dedication information are also listed. For a monumental look at American history, give it a try. DB  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


For those who enjoy fast-paced historic-based thrillers—Robert Langdon is back! In Dan Brown’s newest book, Inferno, Langdon and a beautiful and brilliant physician are following clues to save mankind from impending doom. As in all of his previous works, Brown schools the reader with facts from his meticulous research. This story is based on Dante’s work The Divine Comedy and is set in Florence, Venice and Istanbul. Not only will you learn about symbolism in art and literature, you will also visit secret passages and locations in these famous cities. Inferno is action packed and amazing. Read it and decide for yourself! DB

United Nations dirty work?

Yael Azoulay is a young, accomplished woman working for the Secretary-General of the United Nations. She cuts deals around the world with ease, until she deals with a Hutu warlord wanted for genocide. Unknown to her is a conspiracy involving rouge U.N officials working in tandem with a mining company to create unrest in the Congo region, hence gaining control of a valuable mineral. Mined by children. An international thriller, The Geneva Option, by Adam Lebor, is action packed. If just one tenth of this stuff is true, it's shocking! A fast and thrilling read. ML

Monday, July 1, 2013

Visiting Titanic

Written by director, adventurer, and all-around Titanic expert James Cameron, Exploring the Deep is a fascinating glimpse into the many expeditions that have been made to the Titanic site over the past 20 years.  Including a selection of Cameron's dive journals, never-before-seen photographs, and full color recreations of Titanic's interior and exterior, this book details how the technology used to explore the wreck has informed our understanding of one the world's greatest maritime tragedies.  HM