Gail was a girl who loved stories. She wrote them and illustrated them from a very young age and created stories told with puppet shows to entertain her little sisters. She spent part of her childhood in the North Carolina countryside in a place called Shuffletown. Both of her parents were artists, and her father worked for the newspaper The Charlotte Observer. Visiting him at his workplace inspired her to pursue a career in art, too. She wanted to study in New York but compromised with her parents and attended schools in Virginia.
"Our intent is to show by example that you can really make delicious vegetarian food and that it needn't be considered a burden to take that up."--David Hirsch, Moosewood Co-Owner/Collective Member
It was a groovy time.
In 1973, a small restaurant opened in Ithaca, NY, that would hugely influence American dining, being named one of the thirteen most influential restaurants of the 20th century by Bon Appétit magazine. Locally, our own Sammy T’s restaurant features several dishes in the Moosewood tradition.
Holiday Gatherings | Savories and Sweets | A Sparkling Home | Holiday Movies | Gifts for All | Holiday Booklists and Book Matches
December can be a joyful time of peace and celebration, but too often “getting through the holidays” seems like more of a burden than a blessing. The push to have it all go perfectly is an impossible dream that undermines the true spirit of the season. Yet entertaining friends and family and decorating our homes, however simply or elaborately we choose to do these things, is something most of us truly want to do.
Let your library be your guide to wonderful resources on decoration, party planning, and gifting, along with a selection of holiday movies to keep you and your guests entertained, whether you’re trimming the tree or sipping cider.
Ultimately, you decide how much time (or how little) you want to put into your celebrations. Let’s get started.
March 12, 1888
She was waiting for her fiancé.
In the fine house on Fifth Avenue, Prudence MacKenzie wrapped her shawl a little tighter around her and looked out onto piles of snow that blanketed everything in glittering cold and listened to the wind howl as it paralyzed the city.
New Yorkers were used to dealing with snow, but the blizzard that struck on that late winter day was one for the history books. Surely her fiancé Charles wasn’t out in it. Surely. He was a sensible man, after all.
These aren’t Claymation perennials or Hallmark heartwarmers, but each film below has something unique to add to the holidays. From the true story of a wartime Christmas remembered decades later to celebrations in song to modern stories of hope restored, we hope you find something here to bring you Christmas cheer.
Author Shirley Jackson knew where the bodies were buried in the American psyche. Writing down her subtle suburban horrors during a period best known for Leave It to Beaver, she could put herself in the place of the outsider. The new neighbor who could not comprehend the quiet cruelty and amusement at her expense as she tries to interact in a straightforward fashion with her surroundings. Or, an intense young girl, estranged and tormented, who lives in a grand, crumbling house on the outskirts of town with her lovely sister and who may very well have killed off members of her family as they sat down to a meal.
Some people hike through the Appalachian Trail as quickly as they can, trying to set speed records. Some people spend hours in the car each autumn, looking at the bursts of colorful leaves on mountainsides, before heading back to their homes on flatter ground. They get something out of their journeys, sure, but they are missing a whole way of life.
Living in the Appalachians can be hardscrabble. Many of the people there are poor in material things. Why don’t more of them leave for better jobs? Some do. But many prefer to stay, and the answer lies in the strength of their families and communities. For hundreds of years, descendants of mainly Scots-Irish, English, and German immigrants, as well as members of the Cherokee Nation, lived in a culture that is self-reliant, and, yes, hospitable—assuming their visitors remain well-mannered.
Foodways are a big part of that culture. In his James Beard Award-winning Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, and Scuppernong Wine, Joseph E. Dabney delves into those delicious delights, while including enough personal notes that you’ll feel you’ve spent some time chatting on screened porches.
Like to hear jokes? Like to tell them? People have riddled for fun throughout history and all across the world. From Africa to Spain to Russia, brainteasers and jokes rule. Always have. Today, you can't keep a good joke to yourself. They're everywhere: in books, on cereal boxes, even sometimes on popsicle sticks.
Riddle Me This!
Here's a selection of fun jokes to try with your friends:
What musical instrument is found in the bathroom?
A tuba toothpaste
Why did the math book look so sad?
Because it had so many problems!
What do you call two bananas?
What bow can’t be tied?
What goes up and down but does not move?
What would bears be without bees?
What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
Find more funny jokes, punny jokes, riddles and knock-knocks both online and in the library with our jokes resource list. There's also advice for aspiring comedians!
This month’s guest reader is New York Times bestselling author Jamie Ford. His novels plunge readers into the Pacific Northwest of decades past, as experienced by characters whose Asian heritage was a source of personal strength, even as it sometimes divided them from society.
Inspired by a Superhero’s Death
What makes a writer? In Jamie Ford’s case, he had known he wanted to tell stories for a long time. In an interview with Bill Kenower for the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, he explained that reading about Jean Gray’s (Phoenix/Dark Phoenix) death as a young man in X-Men #137 turned him on to deeper stories and their potential impact. He wasn’t the only one. After X-Men #137, people sent funeral wreaths to Marvel Comics’ headquarters in New York City, mourning Jean Gray. “Suddenly, characters for me had souls… Those characters were unforgettable.” And certainly timeless, as Marvel’s continued popularity at the box office proves.
Fall into the amazingly detailed double-page photospreads in April Pulley Sayre’s Full of Fall. This big picture book is perfect for sharing with small ones, either in a group or for a lap-sit story session. With glowing colors and simple rhymes, this book should absolutely be on your toddler’s or preschooler’s storytime stack.