Pokémon Go is the latest app craze taking over the country. And while the game is gluing kids (of all ages) to their phones, this app has added a twist; it is used outside.
(For reference, outside is a magical place with a giant ball of energy in the sky and other life forms. It’s cool.)
Before we get into what the app does and how it works, let’s start by asking a question: what is a Pokémon?
Pokémon began as a video game back in the 1990s for the Nintendo Game Boy. From there it grew into a collectible card game, cartoons, toys and more. Pokémon are creatures in the wild that can be caught, trained and evolved. Trainers can also battle with their Pokémon against other trainers.
Now, here is how the app works:
You walk around a map of your area and use your device (typically a smartphone) to look for Pokémon. They appear, and your device vibrates to let you know.
Continue reading “An Adult’s Guide to the Pokémon Go Craze”
Anyone familiar with Jeanette Winterson (“Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit“) has heard some of her story before. “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” is a memoir of a rough time with her family that leads to a level of hope and resilience that is inspirational and satisfying to read. I knew much of the author’s story from other books of hers, but it was compelling to hear her tell her own story in her own voice. I loved her description of wanting to be a big writer and her development as a feminist.
While Winterson ultimately leaves the fundamentalist Christian faith of her family, she doesn’t look back on it with complete harshness or despair. Instead, she describes religion and religious community as infusing life with something larger than mundane daily existence and providing a forum for discussion of philosophy, ethics and politics. Has religion moved away from these goals today?
I’m so glad to have had the chance to read this one.
Three words that describe this book: inspiring, heart-breaking, literary
You might want to pick this book up if: you want to read about the power of literature to bring redemption, you want to know more about this fabulous author, or you want to listen to an author read her own memoir.
Running is a sport that attracts many people young and old. What drives them to run, and how has it transformed them as people? Check out these documentaries that give insight into different kinds of runners.
“Spirit of the Marathon” (2008)
A look at the Chicago Marathon, which stretches 26.2 miles, and the runners who participate from all walks of life, each with their own story. The film is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph — a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike. Continue reading “Racing Forward: Docs About Runners”
In his book “David and Goliath,” Gladwell outlines tales of the underdog and challenges the reader to view being the underdog as not always undesirable! There are advantages to being the underdog. He discusses examples of people rising from the loss of parents, dyslexia, mediocre colleges, persecution and political oppression. He uses a series of stories to outline his points. While not a scientific work, the stories are challenging to a typical worldview. Small is not always weak. Large is not always strong. Continue reading “Reader Review: David and Goliath”
Congratulations to Beth D. of Columbia on winning our seventh Adult Summer Reading 2016 prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.
We have only two drawings remaining this summer, so make sure you turn in any last minute book reviews to increase your chance of winning and keep your fingers crossed.
The dog days of summer are upon us. Long stretches of 90 degrees-plus temperatures are the norm. And this being Missouri, it’s not the heat but the humidity that makes it so uncomfortable, right?
Finding a nice place in the shade with a good book is a great way to keep cool. And if that book happens to be set during the dead of winter, that’s even better. Here are some books that will chill you to your core on these hot days!
If a dark and icy-cold New England winter sounds perfect right about now, you should try Jennifer McMahon’s “The Winter People.” Set in a small town in Vermont, the novel recounts the mysterious murder of Sara Harrison Shea outside her home in 1908. A hundred years later, Ruthie, Fawn and their mother move into Sara’s old house. The girls find Sara’s diary hidden under the floor, revealing what may have actually happened to her. This sets into motion a series of horrific events that threaten to destroy their family. McMahon’s writing is spell-binding in this unique approach to the typical ghost story. You won’t want to put this one down! Continue reading “Bone-Chilling Reads for the Dog Days of Summer”
The brain is not really a muscle, but there’s a lot of advice out there to treat it like one and exercise it. A huge industry has been built around this concept. But this post comes with a disclaimer: I recently read an article stating that “brain-training effects might be nothing more than placebo effects” and questioning how long those positive effects last. So you might think twice about spending a lot of money on brain-training programs and gurus, but there’s a lot you can find for free at the library to boost your brain power. What could it hurt to do a little mental calisthenics? Continue reading “On Your Mark, Get Set, Exercise Your Brain!”
“Kindred Spirits” is about a group of women who become the best of friends and establish their own society as a result of a failed Parent Teacher Association meeting. Their society (The Society for the Conservation of Martinis!) is based on their friendship and having fun together. The story follows the women through the quick death of one and a journey by her best friends to find the secret she never shared. Sarah Strohmeyer’s characters are “real women” I related to. Their journey together shows the true meaning of friendship.
Three words that describe this book: friendship, love, understanding
You might want to pick this book up if: You might want to read this book if you enjoy Sarah Strohmeyer’s writing. She has created another group of wonderful characters who are fun-loving and know the true meaning of being friends to the end.
Family lore has it that my maternal grandfather, Erwin, loved-loved-loved ice cream. He made it regularly during Georgia’s hot summer months, out in the back yard with his wooden, hand-cranked ice cream maker. It looked very much like this. People who knew him considered him to be a very generous soul, but not so when it came to sharing his ice cream. He didn’t want to do that with anyone outside his immediate family (his wife and daughter). My grandmother recalled he would lower the blinds and draw the curtains in the house on the days he was making ice cream, to make it look like there was no one home. That way he could avoid any drop-in visitors who might catch him in the act and compel him to share his beloved frozen concoction.
I was fortunate to witness his ice cream making wizardry and to taste the finished product of his efforts just once (he passed away not too much longer after that). I was young, about 3 years old, and my family was visiting in the blazing heat of the summer. Sweet yellow peaches were on tap, and that is what he used that day in his ice cream recipe. Watching the whole production — the pouring of the mixed ingredients into the metal canister, the packing of the canister into the wooden bucket with chunks of ice and rock salt, and then the cranking of the handle to churn the dasher inside the canister — made a huge impression on my young senses. And most certainly, the explosion of peachy sweet, cold, creamy, custard-like ice cream on my young taste buds was a life-changing experience. Continue reading “Ice Cream the Old-Timey Way”
Don’t diet. It won’t work. Okay, maybe you’ll lose a few pounds, but chances are you will gain them back (and maybe a few extra besides). In “Secrets From the Eating Lab,” Traci Mann, Ph.D. explains why and the research she used to develop her conclusions. She can also cite studies that show that losing weight does not improve one’s health. She does suggest ways to increase your intake of healthy foods, avoid the less healthy ones and increase the amount you exercise. These activities have been shown to improve health. With plenty of footnotes and a few humorous personal notes, Mann makes sense of the research and gives you suggestions of ways to improve your health without focusing on your weight.
Three words that describe this book: informative, humorous, life-changing
You might want to pick this book up if: you’ve ever been on a diet or thought about going on a diet.