Leftovers? No Problem!

Posted on Friday, December 1, 2023 by Sew Happy

Holiday meals are supposed to leave foods in the refrigerator for other meals. Plentiful leftovers. In my family, it’s for grazing when you come back to the same meal later to have a bit more of something and another slice of pie. The next day is often sandwiches and sides and the third day is soup with anything else left being stuffed into freezer bags and stored until it gets freezer burned and is guiltily tossed.

Unfortunately, this is frequently the experience of my daily meals as well. I’m trying to do better. How about you? Would you like to come on an exploration of our collection to find some new favorite ways to serve those leftovers? Continue reading “Leftovers? No Problem!”

Happy Birthday Madeline L’Engle

Posted on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 by MaggieM

Book covers for several M. L'Engle books

Madeleine L’Engle Camp was born on November 29, 1918. She would be 105 today. You may know her name from her most famous book, “A Wrinkle in Time,” first published in 1962. The smart and awkward protagonist, Meg, was a beacon of hope for my adolescent self. It was not only okay to be smart and awkward, but that maybe smart, strange girls were just what the world needed to survive. Continue reading “Happy Birthday Madeline L’Engle”

Friendsgiving Baking

Posted on Monday, November 27, 2023 by Michael M

This year was my first Friendsgiving (a Thanksgiving celebrated with friends, typically potluck style). I moved to Missouri at the end of 2022, right before the winter holidays, and it didn’t work out to visit family for Thanksgiving this year. Given how much I love to bake, and specifically love to overindulge in baking, I thought I would try a few new recipes this year from books at my local library!

Author’s note: I wrote the above section before actually doing any of the baking, and oh, I was so excited, so naïve. A generally accepted rule of thumb is not to try new things for Thanksgiving, and especially don’t try lots of new recipes in a single day. I broke both those rules, and suffered for it.

Cover of "All About Cookies" by Christina TosiOriginally, my goal was to make recipes out of at least two books, but as I figured out what I would have time for, I ended up deciding on three recipes out of Christina Tosi’s “All About Cookies,” which came recommended by a coworker. I made the Chipless Wonders, the Grasshopper Pie Bars and the Peanut Butter S’mores Bars. Continue reading “Friendsgiving Baking”

Songs for the In-Between III

Posted on Friday, November 24, 2023 by Karena

Here are the CDs that have been soundtracking my drives for the past couple of months — AKA the songs of my in-betweens. 🙂

Troye Sivan “Something to Give Each Other”

When to Listen: When longing and love, curiosity and chemistry, seem like arbitrary distinctions — whatever it is, isn’t it enough just to know how it flutters through the stomach, how it blankets the mind?  Troye Sivan "Something to Give Each Other" Album Cover

Feels Like: A release of tension, a softening of the gaze. A sudden bloom of new energy.

Favorite Lyrics: “I’m right on top of this groove / But, God, I wish it was you” (“What’s the Time Where You Are?”)

From the Artist: “You know, when you’re cuddled up to someone that you met a few hours prior and you’re really enjoying that moment, that’s not fake. It’s just different. And I got such joy and such a pleasure out of these quick encounters that can totally, totally fulfill you. So that’s ultimately where the album title came into it, was me realizing that everyone has something to offer each other, and something to give each other” (NPR). Continue reading “Songs for the In-Between III”

Read the Recipe! Local Author Flavor

Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 by Jason Delpire

Okay, a bit of a confession: sometimes even library staff are unaware of the breadth of the library’s collection.

A few weeks ago (November 4, 2023), DBRL hosted a Local Authors Open House. (This is a fun program where we give space for local authors to gather, sell their books and talk to readers. We will absolutely be doing this again so keep your eye out for the next installment.) As I was walking around the authors’ tables, I saw one of the authors had a cookbook on display. Of course, I was interested so I made a note of it. Later, I checked the catalog and found we had a copy.

For A Time Such as This by Sarah Kohnle book cover

The book was “For Such A Time As This: Flavors and Recipes of My Honduras” by Sarah Kohnle with Heidy Gissela Lanza Baca. Local author writes a cookbook and the guy writing about cookbooks hasn’t written about it? Ugh. *facepalm*

So, to rectify this oversight, I checked the book out and will share my thoughts. I was pleasantly surprised.

First, the book is bilingual! Each section of text is in Spanish and English; from the personal stories to the recipes, I really enjoyed this aspect. The recipes, covering what I assume to be the co-author’s cooking repertoire of typical Honduran meals, are mostly clearly written with good instructions for making the items. Being that the book is written by a journalist, it understandably has a feel of a long interview with the recipes included for flavor. Some minor errors in the recipes are scattered, but overall it’s a pretty good book. The dishes are devoid of much restaurant fanciness which gives them a feel of attainability. In my opinion, it is this attainability that gives the book such charm.

My one real criticism of the book? Oddly, it’s as if there is sometimes too much text on the page while also too much wasted blank space. As good as this book is, I feel it could have been even better. The photos, though not flashy, are effective and perfect. Just good photos of good food. I wish there were even more pictures, as some items didn’t have visual representation. I also wish there was more textual explanation of the dishes.

Overall, this is a good cookbook about good food!

Winter Is Coming!

Posted on Monday, November 20, 2023 by MaggieM

A man hiking along a board walk through a forest with fall colors.
The overlook trail at Eagle Bluffs conservation area has beautiful fall foliage and the bare trees in the winter offer views you can’t get in the summer.

The daily temperatures have finally dropped and the leaves are turning and falling. Whether  you love it (that’s me) or hate it, fall is here and winter is on it’s way.

Here are some ideas to help you make the best of winter (and fall). Continue reading “Winter Is Coming!”

Reader Review: Bluebeard

Posted on Friday, November 17, 2023 by patron reviewer

Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut book coverI read “Bluebeard” because Vonnegut is my daughter’s favorite author, this is her favorite of his, and I am working my way through her library. I was genuinely surprised at how very much I liked it.

Framed as an autobiography, writer Rabo Karabekian, apologizes to the reader: “I promised you an autobiography, but something went wrong in the kitchen…” He describes himself as a museum guard who answers questions from visitors coming to see his priceless collected art.

Circe Berman, a woman living near Karabekian instigates the story by saying “Tell me how your parents died.” He tells her and one thing leads to another. Soon enough she has moved in with him and his houseguest Paul Slazinger, a fellow artist. She is constantly asking him questions, disrespects his design choices and actively dislikes his modern art. She is a force to be reckoned with and the only place that is off-limits to her is the potato barn where Karabekian is storing some of his own work.

Karabekian’s story is one of a first generation American, child of immigrants, an artist’s apprentice, eventual artist himself, a soldier, failed husband and father, and eventual genius.

I can’t tell the tale as Vonnegut does, and why would I try, but the winding path leading to the eventual unveiling of Karabekian’s masterpiece was at turns funny, heartbreaking, and eventually breathtakingly beautiful. This is not something I expect from Vonnegut. I shed tears as I read the final pages, and so far this is by a mile my favorite of his.

Three words that describe this book: Funny, wry, satirical

You might want to pick this book up if: You like your humor to be on the serious side.


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

December First Thursday Book Discussion: Maid

Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 by MaggieM

Maid by Stephanie Land book coverThe next First Thursday Book Discussion will be December 7, from 12-1 p.m. at the Columbia Public Library. The featured book will be “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive,” by Stephanie Land.

37.9 million. That’s the number of people living in poverty in the U.S. in 2022*.

37.9 million. My brain can’t make much meaning out of that number. It’s really big. It’s more than one in ten people in our country. Just as it’s hard to understand really large numbers, I think it is hard, nearing impossible, to understand what it is like to live in poverty unless you’ve been there.

That’s one reason that Stephanie Land’s debut book, “Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive,” is such a gift. By sharing her story, Land provides a rare glimpse into the life of a single mother living below the poverty line. Land’s family was hit hard by the 2008 recession, leaving her with almost no support from family when she became pregnant after graduating from high school. While parts of the Pacific Northwest are associated with wealth and affluence, many individuals — such as Land — are experiencing the impacts of generational poverty that dates back to one of many economic crises such as the 2008 Recession, the collapse of the logging industry or even the Great Depression. Continue reading “December First Thursday Book Discussion: Maid”

New DVD List: November 2023

Posted on Monday, November 13, 2023 by Decimal Diver

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

” – Website / Reviews
Directed by Greta Gerwig, this comedy follows Barbie and Ken as they step out of the seemingly perfect Barbie Land and into the real world where they discover the joys and perils of living among humans.

” – Season 1Website / Reviews
In this dramatic time travel series, three generations of strong women living together in a small farm town embark on an enlightening journey as they learn how to find their way back to each other.

” – Website / Reviews
The Predator franchise continues in this action-thriller set in the Comanche Nation 300 years ago. When a fierce and highly skilled young warrior sets out to protect her people, it leads to a vicious showdown.

Mission: Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Part One” – Website / Reviews 
In this action-adventure film, Ethan Hunt and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands.

” – Website / Reviews 
This documentary is the remarkable untold story of electronic music’s female pioneers, composers who embraced machines to utterly revolutionize how we produce and listen to music today. Continue reading “New DVD List: November 2023”

Literary Links: Artificial Intelligence

Posted on Sunday, November 12, 2023 by Anne

“Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make.” – Nick Bostrom

As a child, I would watch reruns of “The Jetsons” and dream about the days when my car would fly and a robot would clean my house. It’s difficult to believe, but that future of which I dreamt is here. And although there is a lot that we still can’t do (flying cars I’m looking at you), technology is running more aspects of our lives every day. It’s also practically impossible to turn on the television, flip on the radio or check your social media feed without seeing mention of artificial intelligence (AI). Fears abound that this technology might someday overpower the human race. Will AI be the end of us or will it put us on an exciting new path? Let’s take a look at a few recent titles that explore the topic. Continue reading “Literary Links: Artificial Intelligence”