Reading Room Blog

07/20/2010 - 3:12pm

The farmer's market beckons us with spring's arugula, peas, and asparagus and continues its siren call until the fall's first frost. We return with bags overflowing with berries, new potatoes, sugar snap peas, and herbs to plant in the garden. Of course there are tried-and-true recipes that we fall back on each year to use up the produce, but new inspiration is always welcome. Southern Living's new Farmer's Market Cookbook is a great resource for "celebrat[ing] the seasons with fresh-from-the-farm recipes."

The cookbook is divided by season and then further subdivided by appetizers, beverages, main dishes, soups, side dishes, jams/jellies, salads, and desserts. The format is lovely, with beautiful pictures enticing you to recreate the recipe. There are plenty of recipes that employ such typical Virginia bounty as tomatoes and zucchini, but there are also more exotic subjects like mangoes and avocadoes.

Since we are at the beginning of summer at the time of this review, here are the recipes I plan to try in the next two months: Blackberry Iced Tea, Pan-Seared Trout with Italian Style Salsa, Gazpacho, Skillet Creamed Corn, and Summer Squash Casserole. We have peach trees in the backyard, so I think I'll try the Grilled Peach-and-Mozzarella Salad as well. The Tomato-Cucumber Salad should nicely take care of extra cukes and tomatoes from the garden. Then I can look forward to fall's scrumptious apple recipes. (See a selection of recipes online).

08/23/2010 - 7:34am

This is Week 4 of a 12-Week series of blog posts reviewing new young adult books. Check back each Monday for a new review. 

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
Tad Ibsen is a scrawny kid who walks into the classroom on crutches, muttering angrily to himself, with a huge red scar across the side of his head. Why does the teacher seat the new kid next to Jeffrey Alper? “Suddenly I get it,” Jeffrey explains to the reader. “I don’t always catch on so fast, but this time, I put two and two together…I lean over and whisper, ‘Hi, I’m Jeffrey. I had cancer, too.’ He looks at me like I’m a particularly loathsome slice of school-lunch meat loaf and says, ‘Wow, congratulations! What do you want, a medal?’” Of course, they’re best friends from that moment on. 

06/22/2010 - 1:23pm

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Alicia Suskin Ostriker is one of our country’s finest poets. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey. I thought that today you might like to have us offer you a poem full of blessings.

The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog

To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
so hard
God’s love
washes right through you
like milk through a cow

06/22/2010 - 1:21pm

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Equipment. I like to paint and draw, and I own enough art supplies to start my own store. And for every hobby there are lots of supplies that seem essential. In this poem we get a whole tackle box full of equipment from Michael Sowder, who lives and fishes in Utah.

Fishing, His Birthday

06/22/2010 - 11:52am

Three authors wrote notable books on eating in lean times: MFK Fisher, Elizabeth David, and Patience Gray. Fisher and David wrote during and just after the war, respectively. Gray wrote about places where food was scarce at certain times of the year. They all offer sage advice and write well. 

01/11/2011 - 11:13am

In June we added 33 adult titles, 29 of which are are available in MP3 format (suitable for iPods, iPhones, iPads, etc.). We also received 7 new children's/young adult titles (4 available in MP3). Check out our most recent additions!

Browse our newest downloadable audiobooks in the library catalog,  or go directly to the NetLibrary web site (free account needed) or Media Center (install required) to download. If you don't have a NetLibrary account, follow these simple instructions to create one.

New eAudiobooks June 2010

06/16/2010 - 12:55pm

Odd, the things one finds when browsing the shelves. I found this jewel the other day, when I was looking for something, anything to read. What a great way to start summer reading: a visit to Samarkand, hi-jinks at graduate school seminars,encounters with strange yet endearing characters , dark hints about Tolstoy's death, and the link between King Kong and Isaac Babel.

06/09/2010 - 4:43pm

 

          With the last day of school on the horizon, be sure to stock up on audiobooks for summer car trips. Whether you’re ferrying kids to day camp, day care or day trips to Kings Dominion, you’ll find that a good audiobook makes up for any traffic jams or backseat quarreling.
 
          Second grader Stink Moody is the shortest kid he knows. No matter how often he checks, he measures just three feet eight inches tall. He’s always in the front for class pictures, and he usually plays the mouse in the school play. Then something terrible happens – his big sister Judy discovers he’s shrunk a whole quarter of an inch since the morning! Listeners five and up will be entertained and sympathetic to his plight, as told in “Stink, The Incredible Shrinking Kid” by Megan McDonald. Narrator Nancy Cartwright, familiar to “Simpsons” fans (she plays Bart), voices each character with energy and humor. Kids who like this can listen to a half-dozen additional books about Stink and his family.
 

 

06/07/2010 - 3:59pm

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Whether we like it or not, we live with the awareness that death is always close at hand, and in this poem by Don Thompson, a Californian, a dead blackbird can’t be pushed out of the awareness of the speaker, nor can it escape the ants, who have their own yard work to do.

Yard Work

My leaf blower lifted the blackbird—
wings still spread, weightless,
floating on the loud, electric wind
almost as if it were alive.

06/07/2010 - 10:57am

The eSequels database, a new addition to the CRRL database offerings, is a great resource for book lovers. eSequels is "a reader's guide to novels in series," and allows you to browse by not only author and title, but also by character, location, and subject, allowing you to identify any series easily.

Series are also listed in the correct reading sequence, and annotations do not reveal any spoilers. The keyword search is a wonderful tool for discovering new series. The listings include only adult titles.

To access eSequels, click on the database title in the listing and then enter your 14-digit CRRL barcode on the main page.

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