As we continue to celebrate the joys of winter, one requisite stop has to be the province of home cookery. Cold weather begs us to fire up our stoves and ovens. A heavy snow is incomplete without marshmallows melting in hot chocolate. If you’re not ready to slow cook a roast in the crock pot now, then when will you ever? Winter cries out for comfort food. When I speak of comfort food, I speak not only of the nurture of one’s body, but of one’s soul.
The Oxford Languages dictionary defines comfort food as “food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, typically any with a high sugar or other carbohydrate content and associated with childhood or home cooking.” While I would never disparage the power of carbohydrates to put a person into a satisfying state of oblivion, this definition seems a little limited. Continue reading “Comforts of the Kitchen”
Here are just a few of the many novels by debut authors that are coming to our shelves in February. For a complete list, please visit our catalog.
“Winter’s Orbit” by Everina Maxwell
A famously disappointing minor royal and the Emperor’s least favorite grandchild, Prince Kiem is summoned before the Emperor and commanded to renew the empire’s bonds with its newest vassal planet. The prince must marry Count Jainan, the recent widower of another royal prince of the empire.
But Jainan suspects his late husband’s death was no accident. And Prince Kiem discovers Jainan is a suspect himself. But broken bonds between the Empire and its vassal planets leaves the entire empire vulnerable, so together they must prove that their union is strong while uncovering a possible conspiracy.
Their successful marriage will align conflicting worlds.
Their failure will be the end of the empire.
Continue reading “Debut Author Spotlight: February 2021”
As a fan of scary things that can’t hurt me, I’m always on the hunt for thrilling books and chilling portraits. When you regularly devote hours of your life to consuming media meant to disturb you, you begin to see a pattern in what is collectively considered spooky. Sure, we’d all prefer to avoid vampires and haunted dolls, but often the most chilling foes are more common (not to diminish the haunted doll population, which does seem to be getting out of hand, and is certainly too large at any non-zero number). I’m referring, naturally, to children and forests. And before a parent or park ranger takes offense, certainly children and forests can be both worthy of devotion and majestic, but once they get creepy, they can get really dang creepy. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Zoje Stage”
I’m beginning to feel an extreme wanderlust! We usually take at least two trips a year — one as a family vacation during the summer and one to visit distant relatives over the holidays. But since last March, four days in the Mark Twain Forest has been the extent of our travels. It was lovely but I need more. Since we can’t travel physically, I thought I would try to tour the country through literature. Every month, I plan on choosing a book per state and “travel” the country region by region. I’m going to begin in the Deep South. Continue reading “Travel Through Story – The Deep South”
My two kids grew up in a house filled with small pets, most adopted due to the pleading of said children. We’ve had cats, rats, gerbils, fish and a hedgehog, and loved them all, even during the times when it felt like we were making a second home at the veterinary clinic. In honor of National Love Your Pet Day on the 20th of this month, here’s a list of books by or about veterinarians.
“A Handful of Happiness” is a sweet little memoir written by Italian large animal vet Massimo Vacchetta, with Antonella Tomaselli, and translated by Jamie Richards. Vacchetta felt unfulfilled in a job dealing almost exclusively with livestock. Then someone brought him an orphaned baby hedgehog, a creature that quickly took over his life and heart. Pretty soon, he’d rescued a second hedgehog, and a third. Finding a new purpose, he set about establishing a rescue center for the rehabilitation of injured and ill hedgehogs, releasing them back to the wild when possible. Continue reading “Literary Links: Pets and Veterinarians”
I read to my Mom on a weekly basis. (This can be done virtually through various video communication platforms such as Zoom or Duo or Facetime.) She has Alzheimer’s and vision issues. Reading aloud is something I can share with her and it makes us both feel good. She enjoyed the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, but we’ve read every one her caregivers and I could find. Because of her memory issues, reading a novel is out of the question. Recently I discovered “The Bake Sale.” It is the story of a grandmother whose 4-year-old granddaughter helps her bake cookies for a church bake sale. They have fun baking cookies, packaging them and taking them to the church. There, they purchase other baked goods for themselves. This is a short, upbeat story with an uncomplicated plot, simple language and a satisfying ending. It includes lovely photographs of a child and cookies. After reading we ate cookies and I shared a story about making cookies with my younger sisters when we were kids. This book was written specifically for adults with Alzheimer’s but the format was very similar to a book for a child. Continue reading “Picture Books For Everyone”
Join us to discuss “How to Read Literature Like a Professor” by Thomas C. Foster. Recognizing that a shared understanding of literature can serve as a cultural bond, Foster, professor emeritus of English at the University of Michigan, uses colorful language and storytelling to help interpret themes, concepts and symbols commonly found in literature, offering the reader roadmaps to help uncover hidden truths, just as a professor would. A fun read that does not present like a textbook, this book provides a solid and in-depth look into symbolism and other literary elements. This book is a great source of insight into becoming a better reader and a helpful reference in the process of writing. An extra treat is the bibliography that provides a great catalog of classics to read. Check out this list for other books that can help you improve your reading.
This discussion is geared for adults. Please register to get a link for this program.
Another month, another list of new nonfiction books to check out! 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 eAudiobook format (as available). For a more extensive list of new nonfiction books coming out this month, check our online catalog. Continue reading “Nonfiction Roundup: February 2021”
Winter hasn’t quite let us out of its icy grip, and I find myself wanting to read something comforting. For me, that means knowing that the characters I will inevitably fall in love with get their own happily ever afters, and so I turn to one of my favorite genres: romance. Here are just a few wintry romances to warm you up. Continue reading “Cuddle Up With Some Winter Romances”
While I once enjoyed travel, musical performances, picture shows and communal drinking, I now merely pace the halls of my manor chewing mail-order snacks and raving madly about the widespread inability to discover and interpret facts. When seeking an escape from the labyrinth of despair to which I’d been banished, I’d pick up a novel and read the same passage repeatedly until I’d managed to sufficiently obscure reality and retain what I was reading, and then I could proceed to subsequent passages and enjoy the experience of reading rather than fixating on disaster or listening to my butler’s tales of being berated for kindly asking people to wear a mask nearly a year into a pandemic that has killed over 400,000 people and will kill hundreds of thousands more (and cause long-term damage to countless others) and which could still be curtailed if people would simply wear a mask and not congregate as if there weren’t a pandemic. Continue reading “The Gentleman Recommends: Susanna Clarke (Again)”