New DVD List: Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris & More

Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 by Dewey Decimal Diver

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

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris DVD cover” 
Website / Reviews 
This fictional comedy-drama tells the story of a widowed cleaning lady in 1950s London who falls madly in love with a couture Dior dress, and decides that she must have one of her own. After she works, starves and gambles to raise the funds to pursue her dream, she embarks on an adventure to Paris which will change not only her own outlook, but the very future of the House of Dior. Continue reading “New DVD List: Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris & More”

Nonfiction Roundup: October 2022

Posted on Monday, October 3, 2022 by Liz

Below 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

Visual Thinking by Temple Grandin book coverVisual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions” by Temple Grandin (Oct 11)
A quarter of a century after her memoir, “Thinking in Pictures,” forever changed how the world understood autism, Temple Grandin, transforms our awareness of the different ways our brains are wired. Do you have a keen sense of direction, a love of puzzles, the ability to assemble furniture without crying? You are likely a visual thinker. With her genius for demystifying science, Grandin draws on cutting-edge research to take us inside visual thinking. Visual thinkers constitute a far greater proportion of the population than previously believed, she reveals, and a more varied one, from the photo-realistic object visualizers like Grandin herself, with their intuitive knack for design and problem solving, to the abstract, mathematically inclined “visual spatial” thinkers who excel in pattern recognition and systemic thinking. She also makes us understand how a world increasingly geared to the verbal tends to sideline visual thinkers, screening them out at school and passing over them in the workplace. Rather than continuing to waste their singular gifts, driving a collective loss in productivity and innovation, Grandin proposes new approaches to educating, parenting, employing and collaborating with visual thinkers. As this important book helps us see, in a highly competitive world we need every mind on board. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: October 2022”

The Gentleman Recommends: Ken Kalfus

Posted on Friday, September 30, 2022 by Chris

Recently I was in the mood to read a book that was uncanny, insightful, thrilling, beautiful, able to make me write better blog posts and, in a pinch, act as a meal replacement. Reasoning that if such a powerful book existed, I’d either have heard about it or it would be very new, I perused the new book shelf at the Columbia Public Library. In the sort of serendipitous moment that usually only occurs in telenovelas or upscale puppet shows, I noticed, while retrieving some dropped pudding, that my pudding had landed nearest a book with a blurb reading: “Uncanny, insightful, thrilling, beautiful… my favorite book by one of America’s great living writers.” Despite saying nothing about its qualifications as a meal replacement or blog-betterer, I figured I’d give the book a shot, plus it was going to take me a little time to get the pudding off of it. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Ken Kalfus”

The Sum Of Us and a Reflection on the WPA

Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2022 by Reading Addict

Poster for WPA Statewide Library Project, showing a boy holding a book in his raised hand.

In “The Sum of Us” Heather McGhee says, “The American landscape was once graced with resplendent public swimming pools, some big enough to hold thousands of swimmers at a time. In the 1920s, towns and cities tried to outdo one another by building the most elaborate pools; in the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration put people to work building hundreds more… Officials envisioned the distinctly American phenomenon of the grand public resort pools as ‘social melting pots.’ Like free public grade schools, public pools were part of an ’Americanizing’ project intended to overcome ethnic divisions and cohere a common identity — and it worked.” It worked, she conceded, until integration arrived. Continue reading “The Sum Of Us and a Reflection on the WPA”

Canning the Summer Harvest to Eat Well in Winter

Posted on Monday, September 26, 2022 by Sew Happy

Do you have memories of your parents or grandparents canning and preserving and then serving up that food to you? I do. My maternal grandmother canned just about everything. In my turn, I used to can tomatoes and beans. Opening a jar of tomatoes in January (in Minnesota!) was a joy because the entire kitchen smelled of summer for a brief time. Green beans from my small garden were not as popular with the family, unfortunately, but I still canned them for soups. This work made me feel closer to my canning ancestors, who didn’t waste anything and who had to can if they wanted to enjoy summer harvests in the cold winter months.

Want to give it a try? If you don’t have a garden, farmer’s markets are a great source. I know we are through berries and maybe done with green beans. Apples, beets, peaches and corn are still available as well as all of the pickling vegetables. Meat and soups can be canned any time you find a great sale somewhere. Continue reading “Canning the Summer Harvest to Eat Well in Winter”

Read The Recipe! Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted on Friday, September 23, 2022 by Jason Delpire

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed from September 15 to October 15. In recognition of this, I will offer a short booklist of cookbooks in Spanish, English, and bilingual languages.

I looked at a few of the titles in English, but one quickly grabbed my interest: “The Latin American Cookbook” by Virgilio Martinez. I also paged through: “The Cuban Table” by Ana Sofia Peleaz and Ellen Silverman, “The Chilean Kitchen” by Pilar Hernandez and Eileen Smith, “Peru: The Cookbook” by Gaston Acurio, “My Mexico City Kitchen” by Gabriela Camara and “Mexico: The Cookbook” by Margarita Carrilo Arrante. It’s a long list, though nowhere near complete, but I wanted a wider representation of the variety of ingredients and approaches. Though I think the previous titles are all good and will be referenced for future meals, I ended up focusing on “The Latin American Cookbook.” Continue reading “Read The Recipe! Hispanic Heritage Month”

New DVD List: The Duke, The Gilded Age, & More

Posted on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 by Dewey Decimal Diver

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

The Duke dvd cover
Website / Reviews
This fictional comedy drama is based on the true story of Kempton Bunton, a 60-year-old taxi driver who stole the Portrait of the Duke of Wellington painting from the National Gallery in London. He sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly. What happened next became the stuff of legend. Continue reading “New DVD List: The Duke, The Gilded Age, & More”

Books Unite Us – Censorship Divides Us

Posted on Monday, September 19, 2022 by Reading Addict

Celebrate Banned Book Week imageNot all challenged books are great literature, but many of them are. Not all challenged books are award-winning books, but many of them are. Not all challenged books are the right book for everyone, but they are almost certainly the right book for someone. And even a bad book can make a good point depending on how it’s approached.

Banned Book Week is September 18-24 and this year’s theme is “Books Unite Us – Censorship Divides Us.” 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. Continue reading “Books Unite Us – Censorship Divides Us”

Debut Author Spotlight: September 2022

Posted on Friday, September 16, 2022 by Katherine

Here are a few of the most notable adult fiction debuts for September. These titles have all received positive reviews in library journals. For a longer list, please visit our catalog.

If I survive You by Jonathan Escoffery book coverIf I Survive You” by Jonathan Escoffery

In the 1970s, Topper and Sanya flee to Miami as political violence consumes their native Kingston. But America, as the couple and their two children learn, is far from the promised land. Excluded from society as Black immigrants, the family pushes on through Hurricane Andrew and later the 2008 recession, living in a house so cursed that the pet fish launches itself out of its own tank rather than stay. But even as things fall apart, the family remains motivated, often to its own detriment, by what their younger son, Trelawny, calls “the exquisite, racking compulsion to survive.”

Masterfully constructed with heart and humor, the linked stories in Jonathan Escoffery’s “If I Survive You” center on Trelawny as he struggles to carve out a place for himself amid financial disaster, racism and flat-out bad luck. After a fight with Topper — himself reckoning with his failures as a parent and his longing for Jamaica — Trelawny claws his way out of homelessness through a series of odd, often hilarious jobs. Meanwhile, his brother, Delano, attempts a disastrous cash grab to get his kids back, and his cousin, Cukie, looks for a father who doesn’t want to be found. As each character searches for a foothold, they never forget the profound danger of climbing without a safety net.

Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: September 2022”

Take a Plant, Leave a Plant

Posted on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 by DBRL_Katie

people trading plants in black nursery potsI first got my start with gardening through the generosity of others. Many plant lovers have a propensity for hoarding enthusiastic accrual that knows no end, and the upkeep creates plentitude as well. Between an abundance of seasonal produce, seed saving, dividing perennial bulbs, keeping the sprawling rhizomes in check, rooting eligible cuttings after a good pruning or simply gaining wisdom, plant parents always have something to share. Continue reading “Take a Plant, Leave a Plant”