We all have seasonal dishes that we relish and return to year after year as our favorite ingredients become available. There is nothing wrong with loving our preferences and repeating our efforts in the kitchen, especially since established traditions, particularly around food, bring us enjoyment and comfort, and lend some stability to our ever fluctuating lives. Yet, trying new recipes, or variations on tried and true renditions, can liven up our creative cooking sensibilitiesand invigorate our palates. I’ve whipped up this list of cookbooks, arranged by seasons of the year, for your perusal. Many of them contain exquisite photographs of the seasons’ best bounty to further engage your interest in preparing what lies within, whether for daily fare or for holiday gatherings. Take a look at their “autumn or fall” chapters to see what new recipes might interest you. I hope you discover some new favorites that you can add to your fall cooking repertoire. Bon appetit! Continue reading “Autumn Recipes Round-up”
September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Documentaries on the subject can give perspective to not only those contemplating suicide, but friends, family, and caregivers as well. Check out these documentaries about suicide.
“The Departure” (2017)
A former punk-turned-Buddhist-priest in Japan has made a career out of helping suicidal people find reasons to live. But this work has come increasingly at the cost of his own family and health. This film captures him at a crossroads, leading him to confront the same question his patients ask him: what makes life worth living?
“Kate Plays Christine” (2016)
A gripping, nonfiction psychological thriller, Robert Greene’s film follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares for her next role: playing Christine Chubbuck, a Florida newscaster who committed suicide live on-air in 1974. As Kate investigates Chubbuck’s story uncovering new clues and information, she becomes increasingly obsessed with her subject.
“How To Die In Oregon” (2012)
In 1994, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. As a result, any individual whom two physicians diagnose as having less than six months to live can lawfully request a fatal dose of barbiturate to end his or her life. This film gently enters the lives of the terminally ill as they consider whether, and when, to end their lives by lethal overdose.
It’s Fall again! It’s my favorite time of the year. Autumn brings beautiful colors, cooler weather (sweater weather — soon?), and the kids back in school. It also brings Banned Books Week, September 23-29. The American Library Association (ALA) began Banned Books Week in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in challenges to books in schools, stores and libraries. This year’s Banned Book Week theme is “Banning Books Silences Stories.”
Many of my favorite books have been banned or challenged books. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that every book is created equal or that every book should be read and adored by all just because someone says it should (or shouldn’t). But whose stories are being silenced and who is doing the silencing? Just looking over a list of my own favorite banned books, many of the stories tend to be about the working poor, immigrants, minority groups, women, the unwell and the powerless. Continue reading “Banning Books Silences Stories”
Autumn is a time of shortening days and cooler temperatures. The year is sliding into darkness, and so our thoughts, as they have done for centuries, turn to mortality, death and eldritch fears. And what better way to contemplate the most natural thing in the world, death, than with a cemetery tour in an idyllic rural setting? Continue reading “Tour the Rocheport Cemetery”
Like most gentlemen, I traverse the thoroughfares of my city via the most elegant means: the humble old-timey unicycle (or penny-farthing, if you prefer). (The modern one-wheel unicycle is a circus performer’s tool: fine for agitating depressed exotic animals, but certainly not an elegant way of traversing the boulevards between peer’s parlors and unicycle repair shops.) Sure, strong crosswinds and gawking motorists present hazards, but one large wheel, one ridiculously tiny wheel, two pedals, a steering apparatus, a medium-sized handheld bell, and, should you require luxury, a seat, are all one needs to travel in style and in possession of the higher moral ground. Armed with this obvious truth, it’s to be expected that I turn a skeptical eye on bicycles. Two wheels, sure, but making them the same size is downright ostentatious, and you do not need me to explain why. So gentleman rec-heads (what my fans refer to themselves as, I assume), may be surprised to find me recommending a book so tied to a device that replaced so many unicycles in the homes of undiscerning pedalists. But, first, look at that author’s name: Joe Mungo Reed. There are three names, two of them are mundane, and one of them is Mungo. It makes for a quailty name. It’s fun to say. Mungo.
September’s LibraryReads list is here! In this edition we have some heartwarming romance, historical fiction, satire, some suspense and even a cozy, bookish mystery. Take a look, and get ready to place holds on these librarian favorites for September:
“Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating”
by Christina Lauren
“Hazel is the eccentric, exuberant friend who’ll make you fall in love with her, and she’s not interested in being ‘dateable.’ Josh is busy being a workaholic, trying to make a long distance relationship work, and not pursuing romance with anyone else. But when his sister’s best friend Hazel blows back into his life, he is powerless to resist her genuine joie de vivre. If you’re looking for your next perfect read after The Kiss Quotient, look no further! A lovely slow burn.”
~Elizabeth Gabriel, Milwaukee Public Library, Milwaukee, WI Continue reading “LibraryReads: September 2018”
Editor’s note: This review was submitted by a library patron during the 2018 Adult Summer Reading program. We will continue to periodically share some of these reviews throughout the year.
“The Worst Hard Time” is an engrossing and compelling description of the causes of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s and the seemingly apocalyptic daily existence in the Dust Bowl. It was an incredibly difficult time for the people who lived there, although it was basically caused by farming practices. The reader lives through all of it — wet sheets on windows to keep out the dust that turns to mud; swarms of grasshoppers; mounds of dust at the front door, etc. It was a very hard life, and the book clearly conveys that. It’s an overlooked part of the 20th century.
Three words that describe this book: engrossing; descriptive; demoralizing
You might want to pick this book up if: You want to learn more about a significant but now overlooked part of the 20th century.
Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.
Website / Reviews
Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. “Human Flow,” an epic film journey led by the artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact. Continue reading “New DVD List: Human Flow, The Rider & More”
As we head into fall, check out these books by debut authors coming in September. If you would like a longer list of debut titles, please visit our catalog.
“The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” by Stuart Turton
Evelyn Hardcastle is murdered at 11:00 p.m. The next day she dies again.
When the Hardcastle family throws a party, the daughter of the house is murdered. Guest Aiden Bishop finds himself stuck in a time loop where every day is the same and every night Evelyn Hardcastle is murdered.
To break out of the loop and set time moving forward again, Aiden must solve her murder and he only has eight days to do it. For each of those eight days he will inhabit the body of a different guest until he unravels the mystery and finds the killer.
“Intercepted” by Alexa Martin
Determined to prove she can make it on her own after dumping her cheating NFL boyfriend after 10 years, Marlee has vowed to never again date an athlete. But she finds her determination wavering with the arrival of the Mustangs’ new quarterback Gavin Pope, with whom she once shared a passionate night. And Gavin plans to convince Marlee he’s nothing like her ex.
As things between Marlee and Gavin heat up, Marlee must also deal with increased media attention and the judgmental football wives, the Lady Mustangs.
With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, there has been much debate about the role of the Supreme Court of the United States in shaping American policy and whether the process of appointing new justices has become too politicized. Are these new characteristics of the court or have they always been a part of the equation? The Supreme Court was established in 1789 and first convened in 1790. It had no real home and little prestige during the first 10 years of its existence. Pivotal to the court’s growth of power and status was the appointment of Chief Justice John James Marshall in 1801. During his tenure, the court made several important rulings including Marbury v. Madison and McCulloch v. Maryland. In the decades since, the status and influence of the court has continued to grow.
The history of the court and how it became the influential entity it is today is explored in Richard J. Regan’s “A Constitutional History of the U.S. Supreme Court.” Regan’s factual approach offers a concise overview of the court’s history through biographies of justices and chapters on pivotal cases with highlights of concurring and dissenting opinions. Readers should gain a comprehensive understanding of the court’s history and its role in society.
Joel Richard Paul takes a more intimate approach to the court’s growth with his animated biography on one of the most influential justices, John Marshall. “Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times” provides a comprehensive picture of Marshall’s life. Paul’s focus on Marshall’s career before his appointment to the court sets the foundation for the visionary role he assumed. The author describes Marshall’s life and decisions on the court within the social and cultural context of the time period. Although the book is over 500 pages, it is written in an approachable and straightforward manner.
Also fascinating is the complex and layered process required for a case to actually be heard by the Supreme Court. Richard Kluger’s iconic “Simple Justice” lays out the definitive history of the landmark case, Brown v. the Board of Education. With comprehensive clarity, Kluger illustrates the painstaking process of setting precedents, case by case, to finally culminate in the supreme legal challenge to current law. Kluger covers each step of the process within the psychosocial arena of race and culture that permeated each legal endeavor. Although this is nonfiction, it reads like a novel and has fascinating information about the parties involved with a particular focus on the work of Thurgood Marshall (the first African American Supreme Court Justice), Charles Houston and William Hastie.
For those who question the court’s ability to remain impartial, former assistant U.S. attorney James D. Zirin’s “Supremely Partisan” offers a wealth of information about its history and what he believes is the inherently partisan nature of the court. Zirin argues that the politicization of the court has made it a much sought after tool to turn ideology and personal beliefs into permanent law. It is written for the lay reader and provides a history of the court with many interesting stories about specific cases and court personalities.
Melvin I.Urofsky’s “Dissent and the Supreme Court: Its Role in the Court’s History and the Nation’s Constitutional Dialogue” is a timely presentation focusing on the power of dissent and its role in influencing U.S. domestic policy and constitutional dialogue. It is at once a history of the court and a fascinating look at the personalities of the justices and their dissenting opinions. Urofsky shows the importance of dissenting opinions and their effect as a catalyst in awakening and/or revitalizing social and political ideologies.
Erwin Chemerinsky enters the debate about the need to overhaul the Supreme Court in “The Case Against the Supreme Court.” Chemerinsky provides a scholarly argument against the historical and present day court. He outlines a history of what he perceives as missed opportunities and errors tied to current morality and politics. He argues that judicial decisions are inherently biased based on each justice’s personal and political leanings. He completes this book with suggested changes that would limit the effects of this bias and increase the functionality and objectivity of the court.
Finally, in “The Court and the World,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer emphasizes the need for an increased understanding of foreign law in our legal system. In a world made smaller and more connected by technology, as well as political and economic relationships, Breyer points out that the Supreme Court rulings are increasingly impacted by foreign law. The number of cases with foreign and international connections will continue to grow and our laws and Supreme Court justices must adapt.
Image credit: dog97209, The Supreme Court of the United States Washington DC via Flickr (license)