Shelf Life Blog
The season of winter brings long days and frigid nights. It's the time of year when you'll want something warm and delightful to drink while gathering with friends. In Winter Cocktails: Mulled Cider, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacks, author Maria del Mar Sacasa shares more than 100 seasonal recipes for cold-weather cocktails and appetizers.
Heavy holiday meals got you down? Even if you were virtuous and limited your intake of feast foods, odds are for that all that sweet stuff left you more than ready for a change of pace.
For almost 70 years, the Rodale Institute has been teaching people how to bring the good stuff into their diets. Their motto from the beginning: Healthy Soil = Healthy Food = Healthy People. It’s still a good motto. They’ve led the organic gardening and farming movements for generations, and they know what they’re doing. They also know how to cook—and not just the fancy recipes that rely on ultra-special ingredients. The Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook is as solid as it sounds.
All they want is a Homecoming.
Dicey Tillerman is the 13-year-old big sister, and it’s up to her to look after the younger kids—a situation that becomes a lot more complicated when their mentally ill mother abandons them in the parking lot of a shopping mall.
Their mother said they were going on a trip to see their rich Aunt Cilla. Maybe their mother got confused, the way she does. Maybe she is already at Aunt Cilla’s waiting for them. Maybe not.
Shmelf is one of Santa's new elves, and his job is to check the "naughty or nice" list twice before Christmas Eve. He notices that there are quite a few children on the list who have been good but are not receiving gifts under the tree.
Lin-Manuel Miranda worked for six years to do the book, music, and lyrics for his hip-hop musical Hamilton. The musical explores the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the Caribbean, who came to America and helped found our country’s financial system and, of course, was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr. The musical has won the Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy, and 10 Tony awards. I love all 23,000 words of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton. The songs become earworms as they just make you replay them.
If you don’t have enough Hamilton $10 bills to get a pricey ticket to the Broadway production or time to wait in line for the cheaper Broadway lottery tickets for the play, check out the music CDs at the library from the original Broadway cast, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s backstage pass in Hamilton: The Revolution; and the book it is based on, Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton.
True confession: I loved the television shows Thirtysomething and Parenthood, and I’d classify The New Neighbor, by Leah Stewart, as a book similarly driven by well-developed characters. So, if your cup of tea is action-packed novels over touchy-feely, spill-your-guts literature, then I’d strongly advise you to move on to another blog post!
Jennifer Young has recently moved with her young son into the house next to Margaret Riley. Although the two abodes are separated by a pond, each woman can see the other from her own back porch. At the age of ninety, Margaret is not as spry as she once was, and, over the years, her prickly personality has alienated any number of potential friends. But she’s lonely and finds herself insatiably curious about her new neighbor.
"During the day it's a place of joy...but you're not here during the day." - Tagline from the video game trailer, Five Nights At Freddy's
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Looking for a spooky, but festive, good time? Check out these book titles with frightening Christmas themes.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. (catalog summary)
Daniel Plainway, Or, The Holiday Haunting of the Moosepath League by Van Reid
Daniel Plainway, the third novel in this charming series, is Van Reid's best tale yet. In this wonderfully written adventure, Reid introduces Daniel Plainway, a good-hearted country lawyer who sets off on an odyssey that changes his life and the lives of an orphaned child, a big-hearted ballplayer, and an extraordinary woman whom he meets along the way. Filled with lighthearted comedy and touching drama and populated by a rich panoply of memorable characters, Daniel Plainway is a delightful example of magnificent, old-fashioned storytelling that will have readers of all ages enthralled, amused, and curled up in their favorite reading chairs. (catalog summary)
The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge by Charles C. Lovett
A sequel to "A Christmas Carol" set twenty years after Scrooge's famous reformation finds him teaming up with a returning cast of ghosts to help the restless spirit of Jacob Marley make amends to victimized associates in order to find peace. (catalog summary)
"ALWAYS follow the rules." How many times have you heard that command? Do you always follow them, or are you a risky rulebreaker?
In Mac Barnett's Rules of the House, Ian always follows the rules. "No shoes or food in the bedroom." "Dark and white clothing must be seperated." "Always pack a toothbrush!"
"Rules are meant to be followed," Ian likes to say.