Staff Choices

Posted by kmyers on 01/16/18
cover image
Bon Appétempt: A Coming-Of-Age Story (with Recipes!) by Amelia Morris, a 30-something “food” blogger, who writes a popular blog by the same title, is full of funny and charming stories in Morris’ distinctive voice. On her popular blog, PBS has produced her videos, she has won a Saveur food blog award, and her blog has been previously recognized as one of TIMES’s 25 Best Blogs of the Year.

Sharing personal observations about her life and family, she reveals relatable family dramas and growing into who you want to be. Full of thoughtful anecdotes, and a variety of recipes, from her mom’s comfort snack of Toasted Cheerios, to a delicious recipe for lemon pasta from her husband, this is a self-aware coming-of-age memoir. I recommend this book to anyone familiar with her Bon Appétempt blog or who likes modern memoirs.
cooking, memoir
Posted by eakdeniz on 01/12/18
cover image
Jean Kwok is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the award-winning novels Girl in Translation and Mambo in Chinatown. Her work has been published in 17 countries.
 
Girl in Translation is a very fast- moving and inspiring story about a young immigrant, Kim Chang, who immigrated to America from Hong Kong with her mom. When Kim’s mother decides to move to Brooklyn in order to provide a better life for both herself and her daughter, she probably did not anticipate any struggles. Their struggles included difficulty with language, culture, and education. Kim devotes herself to her schoolwork in order to make a better life while she is growing up between two cultures.
 
This book gives you a different perspective. Enjoy!
Fiction
Posted by jlasky on 01/11/18
cover image
Migrants trudging through water carrying babies is an image of migration that we are used to seeing in the media. One may forget that those fleeing civil unrest can be young professionals willing to seek a future even if it means leaving loved ones behind. Mohsin Hamid tells such a saga in his critically acclaimed book ”Exit West”.

Hamid tells a lyrical tale of young Saeed and Nadia who meet and fall in love just in time to gain the courage to flee their homeland. The country they leave is never named, it could be anywhere that civil war, power and corruption are threatening citizens. With the blessing of their families, and promises to stay together until they reach safety, they embark on an unknown journey. They follow their instincts through ‘mystical doors’ of escape and opportunity , that they hear whispered about in the immigration camps they land in around the world. The prose is beautiful as it lays in contrast to the horrors and upheaval of escape.

It is a slim, quick read that moves along through harsh realities, opportunities, hopes &  dreams . Short –listed for The Man Booker Prize in 2017, “Exit West” is impactful and sheds a unique perspective on the story of migration and immigration.
Posted by kmyers on 12/19/17
cover image
Paula Wolfert is “the most influential cookbook author you’ve probably never heard of,” according to Emily Kaiser Thelin, the author of the biography and cookbook, Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life. She never had a TV show or a restaurant, but over four decades published eight ground-breaking cookbooks, with multiple reissues and numerous articles. Her work helped popularize foods we now take for granted, including couscous and cassoulet, and her influence has long been felt in the elite circles of well-known chefs, and their books and restaurants.
 
Known for her acute memory, Wolfert was diagnosed with dementia in 2013, but she suspected something was wrong long before. Family and friends dismissed her symptoms early on, citing her aging and “senior moments.” Since her diagnosis, she is determined to do as much as she can for the prevention, treatment and cure of Alzheimer’s disease, advocating for early intervention.
 

I enjoyed this book that provides a detailed biography about someone whose influence is felt, but whose name we may not know; for the well-tested recipes that celebrate her life and ideas; and for the direct way she is addressing her Alzheimer’s diagnosis, sharing her diagnosis and advocacy openly.

 
Posted by Sltader on 12/18/17
cover image
Richard Paul Evans writes a Christmas themed book every year. He writes about life experiences that anyone could have, from the very deepest tragedies to life changing events. This year, his novel The Noel Diary is a sweet, touching read that can be savored in one sitting.
 
The Noel Diary has three well-developed characters. Jacob, a young man who is a very successful writer, despite childhood trauma and neglect. Sarah, a young woman, who is searching for her birthmother. Noel, a married woman who lives in the suburbs and is in need of healing. This is a story of hurt, overcoming obstacles, healing, resolution and growth. Set in Salt Lake City during the month of December it was not necessary a holiday book, but the story line took place around Christmas.
 
I really enjoyed this quick and easy read. I highly recommend this book for all the Hallmark movie lovers out there. This book is right up your alley. This was a great feel-good book to read at Christmas time.
 
 
Posted by jfreier on 12/07/17
cover image
 Mary Doria Russell follows up on her novel Doc, telling the story of when Wyatt, Morgan and Virgil first move to Tombstone in 1881. The well researched historical novel is told through the voice of Josie Marcus. Josie was the daughter of immigrants from Russia who lived in Brooklyn and San Francisco where Josie followed her dream of becoming an actress and on a tour ended up in Tombstone where after an affair with Sheriff John Behan she fell in love with Wyatt Earp.
 
The book explains how America in 1881 was a deeply divided nation, with an unpopular president, partisan media and a dangerous border with Mexico. The town was also divided by the "Cowboys" who ran rough over the town with the Earps providing the so-called law. The faction led by the Earp, though no angels were the balance against the lawless cowboys lead by the Clanton family, Curly Bill Brocious and Johnny Ringo which culminated with the at the Gunfight the O.K. Corral
 
A very well written American epic brought to life with the authors fleshing out of legendary characters and the lifelong love affair of Wyatt and Josie.
Posted by jlasky on 12/05/17
cover image
 Although she says she is “not a reflective person by nature”, Alice Waters is a writer, an advocate and a chef. Her new memoir Coming to My Senses: the Making of a Counter Culture Cook tells a natural, graceful story of her life, and the various paths that led her to open the world- renowned restaurant Chez Panisse. Looking back from her early years in New Jersey, to European travels and eventually landing in Berkeley California, Waters shares tales of a true free spirit who is open to new experiences in all aspects of life. Falling in love with everything French, and finding a passion for organic and locally sourced food, leads her to open the now iconic Chez Panisse. At the age of 26, with no formal training, she embarks on opening a French restaurant with the simple goal of cooking for her friends. Now 46 years later, with dozens of prestigious awards, the restaurant is as strong as ever.  
 
Since opening, she has been credited with introducing mesculan salad to the US, as well as starting the Edible Schoolyard Project. Her passion and involvement in locally sourced organic food, as well as the Slow Food Movement has changed the way Americans eat. The beauty of a well written memoir is the thrill of being a fly on the wall through an interesting life well lived. This book is one of those.
memoir
Posted by eakdeniz on 12/04/17
cover image
I ran across The Piano Guys on Pandora a few years ago.

The Piano Guys are an American musical group consisting of pianist Jon Schmidt, cellist Steven Sharp Nelson, videographer Paul Anderson, and music producer Al van der Beek. They make excellent music to study and work by. The music is always uplifting and is a mix of classical music and popular tunes.

You can also watch their videos on YouTube. They are not only creative in their music but also in their videos. You will find amazing scenes along with beautiful, enjoyable, and fun music. I would suggest you listen to “A Sky Full of Stars” and “A Thousand Years" by them. A very talented group. Enjoy!
 
 
 
 
Posted by kmyers on 11/20/17
cover image
If you love reading cookbooks and have an interest in Southern cooking, there are 2 excellent additions to our collection:
 
First up is Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook by Pamela Strobel, which was out of print until the Lee Brothers discovered a copy of the book and had it reprinted. Starting with a detailed introduction that tells you about Princess Pamela and her beloved recipes and restaurants, it also provides notable information about the history of soul food cookbooks. The Lee Brothers have tested many of the recipes and the result is a series of helpful instructions, and while there are no pictures, there is a poem by Princess Pamela for nearly every recipe, full of self-deprecating humor and witty observation. Overall, I found it to be a fun and informative read. I made the Sauce Beautiful and Hot Slaw, which were both tasty, and plan to try more recipes, like the Brown Coconut Pie that calls for freshly grated coconut and the Molasses Pie with pecans.
 
Poole’s: Recipes and Stories from a Modern Diner by Ashley Christensen is a picture-filled tribute to her Raleigh, N.C. modern diner, Poole’s. This beautiful book is full of Southern-influenced recipes and ingredients, with many professional tips and tricks, and a focus on fresh ingredients. I made the Chow-Chow, a Southern pickled staple, and the Marinated Avocados with Apples, Blue Cheese and Almonds, which uses sorghum in its dressing; both were wonderful. The book has what looks like a definitive recipe for a savory tomato pie, Homegrown Tomato Pie, and a recipe for Chilled Corn Soup with Cherry Tomatoes that recommends a professional cream whipper for best results, as well as a host of other drink and food recipes. I think these recipes span both home-style Southern staples and aspirational reinterpretations, and I found the instructions, notes and pictures useful.
Cookbooks
Posted by lsears on 11/16/17
cover image
This is a peculiar story about a woman who has been gifted a tantalizing sourdough starter by two brothers who ran a delicious but illegal restaurant out of their home kitchen. Starter is a living thing and this one makes sounds as it ferments and gurgles in an almost melodic tone with a hint of gleaming light emanating from the brew. Each time the bread bakes a distinctive face appears on its crust. In her day job, Lois is a software engineer who programs robotic machinery and is now compelled to bake.
 
Veering away from the breadline, the book also brings up issues of following your own path in life, being creative, exploring the relationships you make and finding satisfaction in the work that you do.
 

An enjoyable, wholesome, quick read that just might make you hungry. Fans of author Robin Sloan’s earlier novel Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Book Store and Brian Doyles’ Chicago will enjoy reading Sourdough.

 
Fiction
Want recommendations on what to read next? Complete this Book Me form and we will provide a list of recommended books for you to try.
Browse our collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks and learn how to use them with your eReader, tablet, or computer.

Additional Resources

 
If your status is Confirmed Registration, your spot for the event is confirmed.

If registration for this event is full, you will be placed on a waiting list. Wait listed registrants are moved to the confirmed registration list (in the order of registration) when cancelations are received. You will receive an email notification if you are moved from the wait list to the confirmed registration list.

6.012 Patron-Generated Content

04/27/2011
The Library offers various venues in which patrons can contribute content that is accessible to the public.  These include, but are not limited to, blogs, reviews, forums, and social tagging on the Library’s website and catalog.  Any instance in which a patron posts written or recorded content to any of the Library’s venues that are accessible to the public is considered “patron-generated content” and is subject to this policy.
 
By contributing patron-generated content, patrons grant the Library an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use, copy, modify, display, archive, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works based upon that content.
 
By submitting patron-generated content, patrons warrant they are the sole authors or that they have obtained all necessary permission associated with copyrights and trademarks to submit such content.
 
Patrons are liable for the opinions expressed and the accuracy of the information contained in the content they submit.  The Library assumes no responsibility for such content.
 
The Library reserves the right not to post submitted content or to remove patron-generated content for any reason, including but not limited to:
 
  • content that is profane, obscene, or pornographic;
 
  • content that is abusive, discriminatory or hateful on account of race, national origin, religion, age, gender, disability, or sexual orientation;
 
  • content that contains threats, personal attacks, or harassment;
 
  • content that contains solicitations or advertisements;
 
  • content that is invasive of another person’s privacy;
 
  • content that is unrelated to the discussion or venue in which it is posted;
 
  • content that is in violation of the Library’s Code of Conduct or any other Library policy