Monday, January 27, 2014

Art Imitates Life

I will start off by saying this book covers some very difficult topics - but it made me think and want to discuss it with people and frankly, two weeks after I finished reading it, the exact same topic was in the newspaper. So even though it is difficult I think it is worth reading and discussing Priscille Sibley's novel The Promise of Stardust.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

This is a Cookbook by Max and Eli Sussman

Max Sussman, a "Rising Star" James Beard Award nominee in 2012, and his partner Eli have concocted a fun and concise cookbook for serious foodies and rank kitchen amateurs to enjoy. As a former chef and one of those "serious foodies", This Is A Cookbook surprised me with how many innovative and easy to follow recipes it provided for a wide range of tastes and culinary skill levels.

Their approach to main dishes and starters is amazing and I still use their '48 Hour Pickle' recipe as a staple in my home. Trust me here . . . the Sussmans know what they're doing. Their collection of food ideas will hopefully be a staple in your home as well.

- Guest blogger Mark W.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Good Reads

It seems we spend most of our time in distracted reading – quickly scanning a webpage, an online article, or a report for work – without actually taking time to connect the concepts to other thoughts and ideas. “In a world of endless information,” writes David Ulin, “How do we pause when we must know everything in an instant? How do we ruminate when we are constantly expected to respond? How do we immerse in something when we are no longer willing to give ourselves the space to reflect?” He discusses why books are still important in The Lost Art of Reading

There are so many good books out there, but sometimes it’s hard to find the right one. Your favorite authors are in between novels, and nothing you pick up seems to fill the void.  You start those first few pages and quickly lose interest. It’s a reading rut. Did you know, on our catalog page, under Popular Links is a link to get an emailed list of personalized good reads?

We’ll ask you a couple questions and within a week, you will receive a response from one of our fabulous readers’ advisory staff. They might recommend titles, authors or both, depending on what you’ve enjoyed in the past. In 2013, we sent tailored suggestions out to 111 community members. Help us double our numbers for 2014 and fill out the form now!

~ Betsy

Monday, January 6, 2014

Children's Blizzard

January 12th, 1888 began as an unseasonably mild day in the upper Midwest prairie. For the first time in months, immigrant children walked to school without coats and gloves. Farmers flocked to their fields to finish chores abandoned when winter descended in November. Then suddenly and without warning, the clear skies turned gray and a wall of ice dust and freezing temperatures blasted in from Canada, covering 780 miles and dropping temperatures to 47 degrees below zero in parts of Minnesota. The Children's Blizzard, by David Laskin, rivetingly recounts how this treacherous and unanticipated storm blanketed the Dakota Territories, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota, catching people unawares and leaving in its wake a death toll estimated at nearly 500.