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Monday, August 27, 2012

Great New Graphic Novels by Emily

Admittedly, I have not always been an avid reader of graphic novels.  In college, one of my art history professors required us to read Maus by Art Spiegelman and after that I was hooked.  They are a multi-art form that combines the written word and a perspective driven visual language that can provide the reader with a unique perspective.   Not to mention the “book candy” aspect.   They can take the joy of seeing a well-designed, beautiful book cover and extend it throughout the entire experience of the novel.  

Since the Stillwater Public Library has been growing its graphic novel collection I thought that now would be a great time to highlight a few new additions that I am especially excited about.  Most of these titles are either on the new bookshelf, or will be very soon.  I also expect that we’ll be adding some more great titles later this fall.  
The Influencing Machine by Brooke Gladstone.  If you’re an NPR listener then you’re probably familiar with Brooke Gladstone and her show On the Media.  She takes you through the history of journalism from the start of the newspaper to our present media system.

My Friend Dahmer: A Graphic Novel by Derf Backderf.  I think that difficult stories and subject matter are often well served by the graphic format, which is why I’m really excited to read this book.  Expect to be challenged, but you will also likely be presented with a unique perspective on one of America’s most infamous serial killers.

Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me by Harvey Pekar and JT Waldman.  This is Harvey Pekar’s last work.  I expect an informative and heartfelt exploration of Zionism and the state of Israel but within the context of Harvey’s quotidian existence.

Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes by Mary and Bryan Talbot.  This graphic novel contrasts two coming-of-age stories.  The first is of James Joyce’s daughter, and the second is that of Mary Talbot who is the daughter of a Joycean scholar.  This should be a great read for literature buffs and memoir lovers alike.  

Moby Dick in Pictures:  One Drawing for Every Page by Matt Kish.  So, this one isn’t exactly a graphic novel.  It’s more of a post-modern reimagining of Moby Dick using visually striking handmade imagery. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Out Door Projects by Brenna

I love the outdoors with the natural air, light and the sounds of nature all around.  Unfortunately with the temperatures as they are now, I just cannot stand the heat for long.   The high temperatures have me dreaming of ways to make the outdoors tolerable.  

I started looking at books we have here at the Stillwater Public Library to get an idea of what it would take to bring one of the projects together.  “Pools and Spas: Ideas for Planning, Designing and Landscaping” by Fran Donegan and “Pools and Spas: New Designs for Gracious Living” by Alan Sanderfoot both have outstanding ideas and are relaxing books just to look at.  Some of the great ideas in the books included using the plans to create heated pools for use during the winter and making salt water pools to bring the ocean into your back yard. 

Unfortunately, renting a backhoe to dig a pool is just a little too big of a project for me.  So, I decided to focus on decks.  Several of our books provided me with just the right ideas.  The Complete Guide to Decks” by Black and Decker and “Decks: Plan, Design and Build” by Steven Cory are DIY books with creative plans and helpful tips.  I decided that I would start small and add on if I got the hang of it by the time I finished the first deck.  Fingers crossed, next year, when the temperatures are running this high, I will have a nice cool place to sit outside while eating or reading a book. 

For more books on great outdoor projects, look in the non-fiction sections at 643 (Housing & household equipment), 690 (Buildings), 684 (Furnishings & home workshops), 712 (Landscape architecture), 717 (Structures in landscape architecture) and 728 (Residential & related buildings) or just ask at the Help Desk.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fall Books to Look Forward To by Scott

Get out your calendar!  There are a number of books that will be releasing in the coming months that I am very excited about.  Here is just a sampling of them:

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Sept. 27)
It’s no exaggeration that Rowling has an impossible task in following up her much beloved Harry Potter series.  My goal is to approach this in as objective a manner as possible.  She won’t recapture the magic of Hogwarts in this, her first novel for adults, but it still can be a great read.

The Twelve by Justin Cronin (Oct. 16)
This is my much anticipated sequel of the year.  If you haven’t read Cronin’s 700 page Magnum Opus “The Passage,” then by all means do so now in order to acquaint yourself with his apocalyptic world.  This is a vampire wasteland writ large and not to be missed.

In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helprin (Oct. 2)
It’s been 20 years since I was first enchanted by Helprin’s masterful, sweeping epic “Winter’s Tale.”  This novel promises to be every bit as majestic and immersive.  The first sentence alone is breathtaking:

If you were a spirit, and could fly and alight as you wished, and time did not bind you, and patience and love were all you knew, then you might rise to enter an open window high above the park, in the New York of almost a lifetime ago, early in November of 1947.

500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars by Kurt Eichenwald (Sept. 18)
Eichenwald chronicles the 500 days after 9/11 in what promises to be an eye-opening, provocative page turner.  We all recall the uncertainty and fear that seized us in the aftermath of our greatest domestic attack.  Eichenwald promises to take us deeper into those days than we have ever gone before.

Happy Reading!  For more great upcoming reads, be sure to come to my monthly Buzzworthy Bistro where I catch you up on the brand new books you need to read.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Great entertaining and cooking ideas by Danielle

A fun “icy” fresh idea I recently found came from Cocktails & Amuse Bouches by Daniel Boulud.  The Hollow Ice Ball is the newest way to serve a cold beverage. Start by rinsing out a party balloon. To stretch it out,  blow the balloon up a couple of times.  Fill balloon with distilled water and tie a knot in the balloon.  Using distilled water creates a clear ball.  Suspend the balloon by it’s knot in a freezer.  I used an ornament hook, attached to the balloon knot and hooked the balloon on a rod placed in the freezer so the water balloon could hang freely.  After about 6 hours, the outer shell of the balloon froze and my husband drilled a hole with a big router tip through the big end of the balloon into the semi-frozen water balloon.   We let the unfrozen water drain out of the center and placed the Hollow Ice Ball back into freezer until we were ready to fill with a cold beverage.  Chef Boulud's two-volume collection of sophisticated drink recipes also contains a delicious Virgin Mojito using fresh mint.  

A few weeks before Mother’s Day in May, the book Herbcrafts by Tessa Evelegh was returned to the Stillwater Public Library.  My friend and colleague Jeanna pointed out a fun craft project highlighted in the book called Herbal Ice Bowl.  Incredibly pretty and easy to make, I made a bowl to serve fruit in for Mother’s Day.  I froze orchid petals inside the bowl instead of herbs and have suggested the craft project to mother’s with children in the home as a fun summer time activity.

Need help planning a party or celebration?  Look no further than CelebraTori: unleashing your inner party planner to entertain family and friends by Tori Spelling. (Gallery Books, c 2012)  This party companion and 100 percent do-it-yourself ideas book will have people talking about your party for weeks.  Tori suggests serving mini foods at parties such as mini meat loaves, sliders, and cake pops.  I just happened to spy a mini-meat loaf pan at a local home wares shop in Stillwater this summer, and slider recipes have been popping up in current magazines.  

Speaking of popping, Crazy for Cake-pops: all new delicious and adorable creations by Molly Bakes shows the new treats that everyone is making. Replacing the big cake, this little bite is just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, making celebrations very special. 

If you have game in the freezer and need a new recipe or fresh idea check out Girl Hunter: revolutionizing the way we eat, one hunt at a time by Georgia Pellegrini. Georgia Pellegrini, a classically- trained New York chef leaves Wall Street and discovers the real world of local, organic, and sustainable food.  She offers finger-licking recipes and, in the quest for becoming self-sufficient, she theorizes “the only way we truly know where our meat comes from is if we hunt it."

If you are raising or buying your meat local, check out Odd Bits: what to do with the rest of the animal by Jennifer McLagan. Chef McLagan’s mission is "restoring our respect for the whole animal, developing a taste for its lesser-known parts, and learning how to approach them in the kitchen as confidently as we would a steak or a burger.”  

Eating gluten –free has become a way of life for many people and Stillwater Public Library has several helpful books on the subject. Co-workers, cousins, or tail gate friends – we all know someone who is affected by celiac disease or we are affected ourselves.  Elisabeth Hasselbeck has published her second book, Deliciously G-free: food so flavorful they'll never believe its gluten-free.  The book offers her story, along with help and loads of  mouth watering, easy-to-make, family-friendly gluten-free recipes.  

For loads more recipe and entertaining books, ask at the Help Desk!