Read The Recipe!

Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 by Jason Delpire

This is the first of a new blog series, Read the Recipe! Each month, I will review a cookbook that interests me. Sometimes, these will be new titles in our collection, others will be classics that may deserve another look. Each review will be from the view of a competent cook, but I hope to show the achievability of each chosen recipe. Full disclosure: in my former life, I spent some time in professional kitchens, but I am by no means a chef. I plan to make a few dishes from each book, preferably an entire meal, share photos of my process or finished products.

The Family Meal book coverMy first title is “The Family Meal” by Ferran Adria & Eugeni de Diego. Ferran Adria ran arguably the best restaurant in the world, El Bulli, from the mid-1980s to 2011. Eugeni de Diego was a chef at El Bulli, and after the restaurant’s closing, he moved on to his own restaurant chain, A Pluma in Barcelona. Continue reading “Read The Recipe!”

Garden Dreams

Posted on Monday, September 20, 2021 by MaggieM


Zinnia FlowersThe mornings last week had the feeling of fall with cooler air and a sprinkling of early leaves floating down. All summer long, I’ve been thinking about what changes and additions I want to make to our gardens for next year. I’ve been waiting for the cooler weather to get to work on a vegetable garden, so I’m excited to move forward in sub 90 degree temperatures. Continue reading “Garden Dreams”

Travel Through Story: Megalopolis

Posted on Friday, September 17, 2021 by Reading Addict

New York Skyline at night

And now I have reached the Megalopolis. What in the world is a megalopolis you ask? A megalopolis is a very large, heavily populated urban center or complex including all of the suburbs and exurbs. It can feel as if it’s just one continuous city but it’s usually not. The northeastern seaboard is filled with them.  Continue reading “Travel Through Story: Megalopolis”

Reader Review: The Vanishing Half

Posted on Wednesday, September 15, 2021 by patron reviewer

The Vanishing Half book coverWhen two African American twins growing up in a small, southern town run away at the age of 16, they lose contact with each other as their lives take completely different paths. While Desiree returns to her hometown and lives in poverty, Stella pretends to be white and lives a seemingly luxurious suburban lifestyle. Told from the perspectives of both twins and their family members, “The Vanishing Half” explores the fluidity of identity and the sacrifices people make in seeking happiness. As the characters change throughout their lives, this author uses well-crafted character development to touch on issues of race, class, family dynamics and gender-fluidity.

Three words that describe this book: Thought-Provoking, Suspenseful, Eloquent

You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a book that will make you evaluate your own identity.


This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2021. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Crafternoon-To-Go: Rolled Beeswax Candles

Posted on Monday, September 13, 2021 by cs

Finally! We can welcome the first day of fall next week. I am hoping for many clear, crisp days with chilly nights, a fire in my chimenea and a candle to complete the scene. While there are no promises on the weather, we can help your fall ambiance with our next crafternoon kit for adults: beeswax candles. It is super easy, as we have beeswax sheets that can be rolled around the wick. These kits will be available while they last in all of our branches on Friday, September 17. You may pick them up at the second floor reference desk at the Columbia library and near the service desks at our other branches.

There are instructions and supplies in your kit to make two small candles or one larger one. If you find the written instructions difficult, check out this video for more assistance. This is an inexpensive craft that can be done with friends and family and we have many more library resources if you want to expand your candle-making skills.

Literary Links: Unconventional Horror

Posted on Sunday, September 12, 2021 by Stellan Harris

I’m a big fan of horror in all of its forms. Movies, games, art — any form of media that can creep me out, gross me out or otherwise disturb me is right up my alley. I did, however, take a long break from reading horror novels, largely because a lot of what I was reading started to seem too similar. Many horror novelists had seen the success of authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz and read it like a formula. Lately, in an effort to rekindle my love for the genre, I’ve sought out the most interesting and unconventional recent horror novels I can find. I’m happy to say that the novels of today are just as spooky as I remember, more so in some cases. In preparation for the start of the spooky season, I’d like to share some of my new finds with you lovely readers. Continue reading “Literary Links: Unconventional Horror”

New DVD List: My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To, Kenny Scharf & More

Posted on Friday, September 10, 2021 by Dewey Decimal Diver

Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection.

Website / Reviews
In this dramatic horror film, Dwight and his sister Jessie reach a crossroads over what to do about their younger brother Thomas’ mysterious illness. The increasingly dangerous task of keeping him alive weighs heavy on sensitive Dwight, and as a fiercely private and close-knit family unit, Thomas and Jessie depend on him and the rituals they’ve learned in order to keep their secret. Continue reading “New DVD List: My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To, Kenny Scharf & More”

Reader Review: The Eye of the World

Posted on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 by patron reviewer

Eye of the World book coverThe Eye of the World” is the first book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. The series is described as a redefinition of the genre of fantasy adventure. The book follows five young people from a small farming community as they are caught up in an adventure that involves trollocs (like orcs for those who have read Lord of the Rings), friendly ogres and powerful witches. The action is non-stop, the character development is excellent, and the plot is enchanting on its own, and mind-boggling when one considers that it is setting up another 13 books. My word of advice: read the prequel “New Spring” first.

Three words that describe this book: Mythical, engrossing, enchanting

You might want to pick this book up if: you were in the mood for a long, fun, and always entertaining adventure.



This reader review was submitted as part of Adult Summer Reading 2021. We will continue to share these throughout the year.

Nonfiction Roundup: September 2021

Posted on Monday, September 6, 2021 by Liz

I’m highlighting some nonfiction books coming out in September. All of the mentioned titles are available to put on hold in our catalog and will also be made available via the library’s Overdrive website on the day of publication in eBook and downloadable audiobook format (as available). For a more extensive list of new nonfiction books coming out this month, check our online catalog.

Top Picks

Fuzz book coverFuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law” by Mary Roach (Sep 14)
What’s to be done about a jaywalking moose? A bear caught breaking and entering? A murderous tree? 300 years ago, animals that broke the law would be assigned legal representation and put on trial. These days, author Mary Roach discovers, the answers are best found not in jurisprudence but in science: the curious science of human-wildlife conflict, a discipline at the crossroads of human behavior and wildlife biology. Roach tags along with animal-attack forensics investigators, human-elephant conflict specialists, bear managers, and “danger tree” faller blasters. Intrepid as ever, she travels from leopard-terrorized hamlets in the Indian Himalaya to St. Peter’s Square in the early hours before the pope arrives for Easter Mass, when vandal gulls swoop in to destroy the elaborate floral display. She taste-tests rat bait, learns how to install a vulture effigy, and gets mugged by a macaque. Combining little-known forensic science and conservation genetics with a motley cast of laser scarecrows, langur impersonators, and trespassing squirrels, Roach reveals as much about humanity as about nature’s lawbreakers. When it comes to “problem” wildlife, she finds, humans are more often the problem — and the solution. Fascinating, witty, and humane, “Fuzz” offers hope for compassionate coexistence in our ever-expanding human habitat. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: September 2021”

Debut Author Spotlight: September 2021

Posted on Friday, September 3, 2021 by Katherine

Here are a few of the most notable debut novels coming out in September. These have all received positive reviews in library journals. For a longer list, please visit our catalog.

The Matzah Ball” by Jean Meltzer

Oy! to the world!

Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach. But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy — Jacob Greenberg.

Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah — and Jacob — in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze. Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: September 2021”