Ready to enjoy a craft that is often used for relieving stress? (I would imagine this last year has been stressful for many of us.) Our April Crafternoon-To-Go kit has everything you need to paint a colorful mandala. Traditionally, a mandala has stood for circle or completion. In various cultures and traditions, mandalas are often used as a spiritual guidance and meditative tool. But drawing a mandala is also fun and rock painting has become a popular (and pretty easy) craft activity.
There are instructions and supplies in your kit for painting the dot mandala with examples of other design options. And in honor of National Poetry month (April), we encourage you to write a favorite line of poetry or word on the other side — you can use the permanent marker included in your kit for this. Keep your rock in a place that will remind you to take a breath and relax. Or you can leave it in a place for someone else to find and maybe they will take a needed breath as well. However, I must warn you mandala painting can be addictive; I think my family is worried our house is evolving into one huge mandala. Continue reading “Crafternoon-To-Go: Mandala Rock Painting”
My fondness for survival stories began as a wee lad with a reading of “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen. It taught me that a hatchet can be the difference between starving in the woods and having a pretty cool and readable time. Naturally, when I’m inspired to take the air in the wilderness, I always have a suitcase full of hatchets in tow. This allows me to not only to thrive like a fictional boy if I get lost, but also, due to its weight, keeps me from straying too far into the wild. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Rye Curtis”
I’m continuing on my tour of the United States through literature, and I’m now entering the Southwest. These are all books that have a deep sense of place.
I’m starting this portion of my travels in Texas. For convenience sake, I’m including Texas in the Southwest even though you could argue that it belongs in the Deep South or even, in part, in the Great Plains. As a native Texan and an environmentalist, I’m hoping that “Goodbye to a River” by John Graves will tick all of my happy boxes. Graves traveled down the Brazos River to explore the land and reflect on it’s history before a series of dams were erected and irreversibly changed everything. Continue reading “Travel Through Story – The Southwest”
In the 1970s & ’80s, The Ramones asked, “Do you remember Rock ‘n Roll Radio?” Today we ask, “Do you remember attending live music concerts?” I certainly miss seeing shows by my favorite bands and artists like: Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, Groovie Ghoulies and Buddy Guy. As live concerts are still quite a few months away, I decided to do some digging into the DBRL collection to find the best (in my opinion) live recorded music. I included titles from our CD collection and our streaming service, Hoopla. So, here are my choices to get lost in the good ol’ days. Disclaimer: I have mostly avoided the MTV Unplugged-type recordings, as they tend to sound a bit too polished. I prefer the “warts and all” approach to concert recordings; give me banter, give me crowd noises, give me mistakes! I want to replicate the concert experience! In the end, I relented and did add some MTV Unplugged performances to the additional titles list. Continue reading “Do You Remember Live Music?”
One of the most treasured books in my home library is “One Hundred and One Famous Poems,” a book that belonged to my mother. This anthology helped plant the seed for my own life-long love of poetry, introducing me to some of the greats I still frequently revisit, such as Emily Dickinson and Robert Browning. I realize now that the works in it came from a fairly narrow — mostly dead — demographic, but it provided a starting point from which to branch out. With the approach of World Poetry Day on March 21, and National Poetry Month in April, the time feels right to mention a few poets whose work I’ve enjoyed recently. They are all alive and still writing.
Like so many others, I was mesmerized by poet Amanda Gorman’s performance during the presidential inauguration in January. Her powerful cadences and message of hope resonated deeply. Now, Viking Press is publishing “The Hill We Climb” as a book, due to be released March 30. Continue reading “Poetry is Alive and Well”
In Honor of Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at several books on the topic of women in medicine and women’s health. With everything that’s happened in the last year, health feels like a very important topic to consider. Women have had to work very hard to make inroads into the field of medicine and also advocate for their health. It is a testament to that hard work that one of the more recent innovations in medicine, the creation of a vaccine to fight COVID-19, was made in part by the Black female scientist Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett.
In the early 1800s women were dying in large numbers from treatable diseases because they avoided medical care. Motivated by personal loss and frustration over inadequate medical care, Elizabeth Blackwell, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Sophia Jex-Blake decided to pursue medical careers in the male-dominated field of medicine. Their stories are explored in “Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine” by Olivia Campbell. Continue reading “Literary Links: Women, Medicine and Health”
Here is a new DVD list highlighting various titles recently added to the library’s collection. Click on the website links to see the trailers.
Website / Reviews
A new adaptation of the popular book series airing on PBS. Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, James Herriot follows his dream to become a vet in the magnificent Yorkshire Dales. He soon discovers that treating the animals is as much about treating their owners, and the Dales farmers are a tough crowd to please. Continue reading “New DVD List: All Creatures Great And Small & More”
I love Antiques Roadshow. The history, stories, and surprised owners always make me smile. A few weeks ago, I was watching an old episode before bed, and a young man had a collection of items related to Bessie Raiche, who is credited as the first woman to fly an airplane solo — an airplane, I should add, which she built in her yard. Raiche was also a dentist, a physician, a businesswoman, an athlete and an artist. Sadly, I had never heard of her! So, I looked her up. That search led me to other women I should have heard of but haven’t, and thus, this list was born. Obviously, it is in no way an exhaustive list, but it’s my hope that it will encourage you to seek out other amazing women. Let’s learn their names and stories. Let’s honor the amazing contributions women have made and continue to make. And let’s celebrate Women’s History Month by finding those women, past and present, who don’t always make it onto the ‘famous women’ lists.
“Alone Atop the Hill: The Autobiography of Alice Dunnigan, Pioneer of the National Black Press” by Alice Allison Dunnigan
Alice Dunnigan was the first credentialed White House correspondent, and the first African-American female member of the House and Senate press galleries. She was a recipient of over 50 journalism awards, a noted civil rights activist, and was known to ask the hard questions about race, gender and rights. Continue reading “Women You Should Know”
This month there’s an abundance of debut novels being published. Here are just a few of the most noteworthy in the bunch. For a complete list, please visit our catalog.
“The Conductors” by Nicole Glover
Hetty Rhodes and her husband, Benjy, were Conductors on the Underground Railroad, ferrying dozens of slaves to freedom with daring, cunning and magic that draws its power from the constellations. With the war over, those skills find new purpose as they solve mysteries and murders that white authorities would otherwise ignore.
In the heart of Philadelphia’s Seventh Ward, everyone knows that when there’s a strange death or magical curses causing trouble, Hetty and Benjy are the only ones that can solve the case. But when an old friend is murdered, their investigation stirs up a wasp nest of intrigue, lies, and long-buried secrets — and a mystery unlike anything they handled before. With a clever, cold-blooded killer on the prowl testing their magic and placing their lives at risk, Hetty and Benjy will discover how little they really know about their neighbors … and themselves. Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: March 2021”
Where has the time gone?! It’s been over a year (again) since the last installment of this series. If you’ve been out of the loop, DC comics has undergone yet another revamp over the past few years. Many of our beloved characters have begun anew, with changes small and large made to their characters. Therefore, I hereby christen this the resurrection of Quintessential Comics! With the theme of beginning anew in mind, this list will focus on the event in DC Comics known as Rebirth. Rebirth follows the conclusion of the New 52 series in the comic universe, and showcases all of your favorite DC characters, aiming to return them to a more familiar status quo, while also attempting to rectify the events of post-Flashpoint and Post-Crisis events. Did any of that make sense? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, here we go!
DC Universe Rebirth Omnibus
If you’re looking for a place to get started with all of this craziness, why not here? This omnibus takes many of the individual fan-favorite series pertaining to Rebirth and crams them all into one epic book. The premise of the story is that the universe’s heroes have no recollection of the past 10 years of the timeline and only the return of Wally West, the Kid Flash, reminds them of what they have lost. This book features entire teams of characters, from the Justice League to the Teen Titans, so you’re sure to be entertained. There might even be some twists that pertain to other DC owned properties! This entry will function as more of a catch-all for the main story of the event. Therefore, it won’t focus on individual characters’ story-lines too much. If you don’t want to spend time reading every issue that connected to this event and just want to jump in, this is the one you want! Continue reading “Quintessential Comics: Rebirth”