EVPL Communities: Shh_ImReading@evpl's Blog Postshttp://evpl.org/community/blogs/All of Shh_ImReading@evpl's blog posts on the EVPL Communities site.en-USCommunityServer 2008 SP1 (Build: 30619.63) <![CDATA[Holiday Mail for Heroes]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/11/26/holiday-mail-for-heroes.aspx Mon, 26 Nov 2012 15:41:00 G11T 2418 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2012/11/26/holiday-mail-for-heroes.aspx to post your comments!

This time of year, many of us recieve e-mails, or see messages posted on Facebook and other social websites suggesting that as we prepare our Christmas cards for family and friends, we also send a card to a recovering soldier at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Sounds like a good idea, right? Don't do it. This Snopes.com article, last updated November 16, 2011, has a thorough explanation of why it doesn't work. However, as the article goes on to explain, the American Red Cross's Holiday Mail for Heroes is a valid option, if you do want to send a card to a soldier. According the the Red Cross, "Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country."

The mailing address for the program is:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights MD 20791-5456

However, please visit the Holiday Mail for Heroes website and read the card guidelines. Be aware that this year's deadline is Friday, December 7th!

Happy holidays!

addresses American Red Cross veterans military christmas holiday holidays Red Cross soldiers mail
<![CDATA[Christmas is Coming]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/11/03/christmas-is-coming.aspx Sat, 03 Nov 2012 12:48:00 G11T 2414 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/11/03/christmas-is-coming.aspx to post your comments!

I don't want to alarm anyone, but Christmas is coming; in fact it's less than two months away. Now, it's still entirely too early to be putting up tinsel and whatnot, but it is absolutely time to get on the waiting lists for these new Christmas cookbooks!

I'm personally very much looking forward to trying out the recipe for toffee thins on page 86 of Sweet Christmas: Homemade Peppermints, Sugar Cake, Chocolate-Almond Toffee, Eggnog Fudge, and Other Sweet Treats and Decorations by Sharon Bowers, with photographs by David Bowers.

Other new Christmas cookbooks to be excited about:

Christmas Baking: Fun & Delicious Holiday Treats by Mia Ohrn

A Home-Baked Christmas: 56 Delicious Cookies, Cakes, & Gifts from Your Kitchen

American Christmas

If you really can't wait for these titles, I recommend checking out a copy of an older title, A Baker's Field Guide to Christmas Cookies by Dede Wilson, which has a nice variety of cookies to try.



nonfiction Christmas holiday cookery cooking recipes baking Sharon Bowers chocolate Mia Ohrn Dede Wilson
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/11/03/thanksgiving.aspx Sat, 03 Nov 2012 11:50:00 G11T 2415 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/11/03/thanksgiving.aspx to post your comments!

Thanksgiving is maybe one of our simpler holidays. We give thanks for what we have and we eat good food. The giving thanks part usually doesn't require a lot of preparation; maybe just a few minutes quiet consideration. The good food, on the other hand, can sometimes be a challenge. Last November, it seemed like a lot of people came to the library looking for Thanksgiving cookbooks, so I thought I'd highlight a few here this year.

Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well by Sam Sifton

Thanksgiving by Lou Seibert Pappas, with photographs by Lara Hata

How to Cook a Turkey and All the Other Trimmings by the editors of Fine Cooking

Betty Crocker Complete Thanksgiving Cookbook

Thanksgiving 101 by Rick Rodgers

Vegetarian Times Complete Thanksgiving Cookbook by the editors of Vegetarian Times

If you're looking for something beyond the food, try these titles:

The Thanksgiving Book: A Companion to the Holiday Covering Its History, Lore, Traditions, Foods and Symbols, Including Primary Sources, Poems, Prayers, Songs, Hymns, and Recipes, Supplemented by Chronology, Bibliography with Web Sites and Index by Laurie C. Hillstrom

Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday by James W. Baker

nonfiction Food holiday cookery cooking recipes baking Sam Sifton Vegetarian Times magazine Lou Seibert Pappas Rick Rodgers Fine Cooking magazine James W. Baker Laurie C. Hillstrom Thanksgiving traditions giving thanks vegetarian
<![CDATA[Read By the Author]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/09/24/read-by-the-author.aspx Mon, 24 Sep 2012 16:30:00 G9T 2408 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2012/09/24/read-by-the-author.aspx to post your comments!

I love to listen to memoirs read by the authors that wrote them. Not so long ago, I was quite skeptical of all audiobooks. I viewed listening to a book as cheating, unless it was a matter of poor eyesight. I have, however, warmed somewhat to audiobooks, and memoirs read by their authors have become a favorite of mine. When it comes to memoirs, what could possibly be better than someone's story in his or her own voice?


Here are some of my favorite memoirs read by their authors that I've had the pleasure to listen to so far:

  • Haven Kimmel's memoirs about growing up in Mooreland, Indiana, A Girl Named Zippy and She Got Up Off the Couch. These two are good enough I recommend listening to them, even if you've already read them.
  • Kate Braestrup's Here if You Need Me, about being chaplain for the Maine Warden Service and her part in their search-and-rescue missions, plus her second memoir, Marriage and Other Acts of Charity.
  • Advice columnist Amy Dickinson's The Mighty Queens of Freeville, about the strong women in her family, including her mother, sisters and daughter.
  • Tina Fey's wildly popular Bossypants.
  • Anna Quindlen's recent memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. I don't think I'm the target audience for this one, but I enjoyed it very much anyway.
  • Craig Ferguson's American on Purpose, the story of how he became a musician, then a comedian, the drugs he did and the hearts he broke along the way, and his decision to become an American citizen (he was born & raised in Scotland), might be a bit heavy on foul language for some people, but it charmed me.
  • Bill Bryson's memoir of growing up in Iowa in the 1950's, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid is most amusing read in his slight British accent-- he lives in England now.
  • A. J. Jacobs' The Year of Living Biblically details the year he attempted to follow the Bible really, truly literally. Unfortunately, this is an abridged audiobook, meaning some parts of the original text are not included.

Do you have a memoir read by the author to recommend to me?



nonfiction audiobooks biography celebrities memoir Kate Braestrup Maine growing up Indiana Marriage Craig Ferguson Bill Bryson Tina Fey read by the author autobiography Bible Iowa A J Jacobs spirituality Haven Kimmel Amy Dickinson Anna Quindlen
<![CDATA[Geeking Out with Ken Jennings and All Kinds of Maps]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/10/24/map-love.aspx Mon, 24 Oct 2011 17:09:00 G10T 2338 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/10/24/map-love.aspx to post your comments!

Have you ever found a book you didn't even know you were looking for? That's how Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings felt to me. I didn't know I was looking for this book, but I am so glad I found it.

I love, or geek, if you prefer, maps and globes. I can remember spending indoor recesses with a couple of classmates and the pull-down maps in the classroom just looking and talking about what we were looking at. When I was nine years old and in the third grade, I had one of the best Christmases I can remember. Santa Claus brought me my very own globe and a puzzle that was also a map of the United States of America. It was wonderful. When I was 13 and in 8th grade, I got a stuffed globe that I named Globie. In high school, I had an enormous map of North America on my wall. Currently, I have a about a half-dozen globes around my house, including the one I got when I was nine and Globie, of course.

Enough about me, though, let's get on to this awesome book. Ken Jennings takes readers along for a tour of the Library of Congress' Geography & Map Division, to the National Geography Bee in Washington D.C. with Alex Trebek, to a map sale in London, to meet world travelers, on his own adventures in geocaching, and more. I enjoyed every chapter, as they were all packed with geographical goodness, but I especially enjoyed the Geography & Map Division chapter and the Geography Bee chapter. The Library of Congress' map collection sounds like a dream. I hope to maybe visit it the next time I'm in Washington D.C. The Geography Bee chapter was vaguely personal, since one upon a time, I was a school geography bee winner and could have (but did not) advance to the National Bee. It was interesting to get such a close look at what that would have been like. Of course, having read about the kids who make it that far, I also now have a pretty good understanding of why I did not make it that far, or even close, really. Another great chapter discussed the fun and importance of fantasy maps to go along with games and literature that take place in imagined worlds.

If you love maps, or if even if you used to love maps, or if you wonder how modern mapping technologies like GPS and Google Earth are likely to affect paper maps and us, the people who use maps, well, these are good reasons to pick up this book. I found Ken Jennings to be a fun writer and I now plan to read his first book, Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs.

Ken Jennings is also the author of Ken Jennings' Trivia Almanac: 8,888 Questions in 365 Days. Maphead is available as an unabridged audiobook on CD, read by Kirby Heyborne.

nonfiction Africa travel North America Library of Congress Asia maps Ken Jennings Australia geocaching GPS geography South America cartography Antarctica
<![CDATA[A Very Unique Murder Mystery]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/04/30/a-very-unique-murder-mystery.aspx Sat, 30 Apr 2011 10:27:00 G4T 2290 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/04/30/a-very-unique-murder-mystery.aspx to post your comments!

I was very much looking forward to reading Heads You Lose, a murder mystery by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward. Lisa Lutz's Spellman series is one of my absolute favorite series of books and I was sure this new book would be wonderful even though it wouldn't feature the Spellman family. I wasn't wrong but I wasn't really right either.

Let me tell you about the format of Heads You Lose. There is an editor's note and a few more pages of reading before you get to the title page. Don't skip these or you'll be a bit out of the loop before you hit page one. From there it gets more unique. Lisa Lutz wrote the odd numbered chapters and David Hayward wrote the even numbered chapters. Notes between the authors are featured throughout but mostly between chapters. These notes were distracting at first but eventually they became the best part of the book.

The mystery itself wasn't very thrilling. I honestly got bored with it about half way through, even as more bodies were turning up in the small California town were brother and sister Paul and Lacey Hansen live and work. There were some good characters but they weren't enough to keep me interested when the awkward plot let me down. I did finish the book but I didn't really like the resolution and mostly felt relieved to be done with the book. My overall feeling about the book is that it's just okay; different but not quite special.

There's word that there will be fifth Spellman book next year and I'm still looking forward to it. David Hayward hasn't written other novels but I believe he could write a good one. I just don't think this collaboration worked out very well.

The book's website: http://headsyoulose.com/

Lisa Lutz's website: http://lisalutz.com/

fiction mysteries California Lisa Lutz death small town murder mysteries David Hayward co-authors brothers & sisters
<![CDATA[My Cooking Class Book Series ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/03/22/my-cooking-class-book-series.aspx Tue, 22 Mar 2011 10:47:00 G3T 2275 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/03/22/my-cooking-class-book-series.aspx to post your comments!

A new series of cookbooks has recently caught my attention. The My Cooking Class series includes Vegetable Basics, Sauce Basics, Chocolate Basics, Steaming Basics and Middle Eastern Basics. All the books have large color photographs to illustrate every recipe. I'm looking forward to spending some time with Vegetable Basics and Chocolate Basics, then maybe I'll try some more titles from the series.


nonfiction Food series cookery cooking recipes baking chocolate middle eastern color photographs vegetables
<![CDATA[Geeking Out in the Kitchen]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/01/13/geeking-out-in-the-kitchen.aspx Thu, 13 Jan 2011 11:05:00 G1T 2253 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/01/13/geeking-out-in-the-kitchen.aspx to post your comments!

I've always thought if you can read a recipe, you can cook, more or less. However, I've been told this simply isn't true and that there are actually very smart people who fail miserably in the kitchen. This past summer O'Reilly, a publisher I usually associate with software manuals, published Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks and Good Food by Jeff Potter. It is not just a cookbook. Yes, there are recipes aplenty but the book is more about cooking as a science, which might just be perfect for challenged cooks with scientific minds.

The book also features brief interviews with people like Adam Savage, from the television show Myth Busters.

Previously on the Books Blog: The Hungry Scientest Handbook

nonfiction Food cookery cooking science Jeff Potter
<![CDATA[Joy to the Readers: New Christmas Fiction]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/12/15/new-for-christmas-2010.aspx Wed, 15 Dec 2010 18:08:00 G12T 2239 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/12/15/new-for-christmas-2010.aspx to post your comments!

Every year, sometimes starting as early as September, the EVPL starts recieving new Christmas fiction. Here are a few of the titles we've gotten in so far this year:

Sarah's Christmas Miracle by Mary Ellis

The Three Kings by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig

The Next Queen of Heaven : A Novel by Gregory Maguire

Busy Body: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M.C. Beaton

A Chesapeake Shores Christmas by Sherryl Woods

Christmas Mourning by Margaret Maron

Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Cat Coming Home: A Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseau Murphy

Love Finds You Under the Mistletoe: Two Heartwarming Stories of Christmas Past and Present

A Piggly Wiggly Christmas by Robert Dalby

A Darcy Christmas: [a holiday tribute to Jane Austen] by Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathan, Carolyn Eberhart

Christmas at The Mysterious Bookshop : 'Tis the Season to be Deadly : Stories of Mistletoe and Mayhem from 17 Masters of Suspense edited by Otto Penzler

Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson

Christmas with Tucker by Greg Kincaid

A Holiday Yarn: A Seaside Knitters Mystery by Sally Goldenbaum

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball : A Novella by Donita K. Paul

Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine and Leslie Meier

A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman

Some of these titles are availble in large print or as audiobooks too!

fiction margaret maron mysteries Christmas holiday Gregory Maguire romance Amish Joanne Fluke Sherryl Woods Donita K. Paul Debbie Macomber M. C. Beaton Robert Dalby Mary Ellis Sally Goldenbaum Greg Kincaid Vannetta Chapman Leslie Meier Shirley Rousseau Murphy Lisa Kleypas Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez Lauren Willig Laura Levine Melody Carlson
<![CDATA[Hoosier Ghosts]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/10/26/hoosier-ghosts.aspx Tue, 26 Oct 2010 12:42:00 G10T 2221 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/10/26/hoosier-ghosts.aspx to post your comments!

Perhaps you'd like to read about reported hauntings right here in Indiana as Halloween approaches. Even if you don't believe in ghosts, these books can be entertaining and spooky reads perfect for the season.

Haunted Travels of Indiana by Mark Marimen

Encyclopedia of Haunted Indiana by Nicole R. Kobrowski

Haunted Indiana and Haunted Indiana 2, 3 and 4 by Mark Mariman

Haunted Hoosier Trails and More Haunted Hoosier Trails by Wanda Lou Willis

Haunted Backroads: Central Indiana: and Other Stories by Nicole R. Kobrowski

Ghost Hunter's Guide to Indianapolis by Lorri Sankowsky

Haunted Indianapolis: And Other Indiana Ghost Stories by Tom Baker & Jonathan Titchenal


nonfiction ghost stories hoosiers Indiana Halloween haunted ghosts
<![CDATA[Constitution Day -- September 17th]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/09/16/constitution-day-september-17th.aspx Thu, 16 Sep 2010 11:13:00 G9T 2203 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/09/16/constitution-day-september-17th.aspx to post your comments!

September 17th is the anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. It's a great day to spend some time learning about this important document that affects all of us who live in the United States of America. If you click right here, you'll go to the National Archives page for the Constitution. You can read a transcript of the original and also look at images of the original document.

Here are some library resources for the Constitution:

The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation, written by Jonathan Hennessey with art by Aaron McConnell


The Annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, edited by Jack N. Rakove

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the U.S. Constitution, by Tim Harper

U.S. Constitution for Dummies by Michael Arnheim


And for little citizens:

We the People: The Constitution of the United States of America, by Peter Spier

We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, with illustrations and forward by David Catrow



politics government history books legislation U. S. Government law anniversary U.S. Constitution
<![CDATA[The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/09/08/the-tower-the-zoo-and-the-tortoise-by-julia-stuart.aspx Wed, 08 Sep 2010 19:19:00 G9T 2200 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/09/08/the-tower-the-zoo-and-the-tortoise-by-julia-stuart.aspx to post your comments!

The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise by Julia Stuart might have the most endearing characters I've encountered in awhile. I had no idea where the story was going for most of the book but I didn't care because Balthazar Jones and all the rest of the characters were keeping me perfectly entertained.

Balthazar Jones is a Yeoman Warder of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Member of the Sovereign's Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary... or a Beefeater. He and his wife, Hebe Jones, live in the Salt Tower in the Tower of London because all the Beefeaters live in the Tower of London. While Balthazar and Hebe are dealing with personal tragedy, Balthazar is contacted to be in charge of the reinstatement of the Royal Menagerie at the Tower. He's been chosen because of Mrs. Cook, his family's 181 year old tortoise. Meanwhile, Hebe Jones, her co-worker and friend Valerie Jennings, Tower residents like the Reverend Septimus Drew and the Yeoman Gaoler and others work through their own daily trials and triumphs.

The animals that make up the menagerie include Jesus Christ lizards, Geoffroy's marmosets, a zorilla, ringtail possums, toucans, a lonely wandering albatross and many others. The animals and the Tower setting are as important to the story as the human characters. That said, some of the best scenes are in the London Underground's Lost Property Office, where Hebe Jones and Valerie Jennings work. Their office is filled with items left in train cars or at stops. It is a lost-and-found so big it takes two people to keep track of all the false teeth, shoes, inflatable dolls, canoes, plants and whatever else turns up until rightful owners can be located.

The Tower, the Zoo and the Tortoise is a book that can be dark at times. It takes place mostly at the Tower of London, which is primarily a tourist attraction now but once held many prisoners, some of which were tortured and some of which died in the Tower. It's filled with reminders of those times. Some of the characters have personal problems they're trying to overcome. Rev. Septimus Drew builds contraptions to try and kill the rats that have long resided in the chapel. However, humor and the charm of the quirky characters won me over again and again. It is not a depressing book; in fact it is ultimately uplifting. Julia Stuart has written us a very charming novel.

fiction London animals fathers zoos Beefeaters Tower of London mothers tortoises Julia Stuart ravens London Underground ghosts
<![CDATA[An Almost Overwhelming Selection of Yummy Cupcake Books]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/08/07/cupcakes-cupcakes-cupcakes.aspx Sat, 07 Aug 2010 10:46:00 G8T 2189 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/08/07/cupcakes-cupcakes-cupcakes.aspx to post your comments!

Cupcakes are for everyone! Who doesn't love cupcakes? They're fun, they're delicious and they can be easy to make. There are more than a dozen books devoted to cupcakes here at EVPL! Hello, Cupcake! and What's New Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson are good choices if you want to get fancy with the icing on top. Do you know someone who eats a vegan diet? Surprise them with cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. If you prefer to work with boxed cake mixes, Cupcakes From the Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn and Betty Crocker Just Cupcakes are for you. Personally, I think Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella is one of the most promising of the batch, but you'll have to come to the library, check some out and see what you like best.








nonfiction Food cookery cooking baking cupcakes popular culture
<![CDATA[Sunshine & Bloodsucking Fiends]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/07/20/sunshine-amp-bloodsucking-fiends.aspx Tue, 20 Jul 2010 15:20:00 G7T 2177 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/07/20/sunshine-amp-bloodsucking-fiends.aspx to post your comments!

I've avoided Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series and put off trying Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series but I haven't steered clear of all vampire novels. Several years ago, I read Sunshine (see also) by Robin McKinley after a friend recommended it. It was so good I picked it up and read it again recently. Rae, or Sunshine, as she is known to her family and friends, had a fairly ordinary life baking for the coffeehouse her stepfather owns, spending time with her family and her boyfriend, Mel, who cooks at the coffeehouse. Her world is very much like our world, at first glance. The differences are written in a little at a time. Sunshine wasn't expecting to run into vampires at the lake, but she knew vampires existed. People protect their homes and businesses with wards and charms. There is an FBI-like organization that focuses on finding vampires, werewolves, etc. I'd love to tell you about the plot, but I don't want to risk giving anything away. Sunshine is a very detailed, dramatic and sometimes funny. I remember the first time I read it, I was almost sorry to reach the last page. One thing I must warn you about before you read Sunshine, is that since Sunshine is a baker, you may find yourself craving various muffins, pastries and especially cinnamon rolls while you read.

After I re-read Sunshine, I remembered I'd been meaning to read Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore. So I finally picked it up and read it. It's not nearly as good as Sunshine, but it's also completely different. Bloodsucking Fiends takes place in San Francisco, California. Tommy and Jody neither one have ever been particularly lucky in love until they meet each other. There's a catch, though: Jody is a vampire. In fact, their relationship begins because Jody finds out Tommy works nights stocking at a Safeway, which means he's free during the day to run errands for her. Tommy and Jody's nontraditional romance get rocky, wild and dangerous. As with any Christopher Moore novel, there are funny moments and disgusting, disturbing moments... sometimes simultaneously. If you like it, there are two sequels, You Suck and Bite Me.

Robin McKinley's website: http://www.robinmckinley.com/

Christopher Moore's website: http://www.chrismoore.com/



fiction Vampires Christopher Moore Robin McKinley San Francisco
<![CDATA[Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/06/21/red-cross-heat-wave-safety-checklist.aspx Mon, 21 Jun 2010 18:22:00 G6T 2168 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/06/21/red-cross-heat-wave-safety-checklist.aspx to post your comments!

With the hot, hot weather we've been having recently, I've been wondering about first aid for heat-related health problems. I've had first aid training in the past, but I wanted to make sure I'd know what to do now if someone near me seemed to be having trouble with the heat. I went to http://www.redcross.org/ and typed HEAT into the search box. I found a Heat Waves checklist with information about the symptoms and care for heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. There is even a one-page PDF Heat Wave Safety Checklist that is perfect for printing. I hung one on the refrigerator in the room where staff members here take breaks.


Link for Heat Wave Safety Checklist easy to print PDF


You'll find more information like this on the Preparedness Fast Facts page.

health Online resources weather American Red Cross fyi useful web sites useful websites heat health risks preparedness first aid checklist
<![CDATA[The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/04/23/moon.aspx Fri, 23 Apr 2010 15:49:00 G4T 2148 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/04/23/moon.aspx to post your comments!

Sarah Addison Allen has charmed me with every one of her novels and her most recent, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, is no exception. I loved every minute with Emily, Julia, Vance, Stella, Sawyer and Win. I want to eat cake made by Julia, see the wallpaper change in Emily's bedroom and just experience the little bit of magic all of these people have in their lives.

Teenager Emily Benedict has come to Mullaby, North Carolina to live with her grandfather, Vance Shelby, also known as the Giant of Mullaby because he's "tall enough to see into tomorrow"-- over eight feet tall. Emily has never met her grandfather or visited Mullaby, where her recently deceased mother grew up. She doesn't know what to expect and there are a number of surprises awaiting her, some of them upsetting, some of them comforting.

Meanwhile, Julia Winterson wants nothing more than to leave Mullaby and move back to Maryland. Julia may have grown up in this small town, but now she is a temporary, maybe not so welcome fixture, or so she thinks. Julia inherited her father's BBQ restaurant in Mullaby. While she leaves most of the running of the restaurant to her staff, she bakes fabulous cakes and pastries fresh each morning as town is waking up. When the mortgage on the restaurant is paid off, she plans to sell it and open her own bakery in Baltimore. Emily is a great character, but Julia is my favorite.

Sarah Addison Allen's two previous novels are Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen. I think of the three, The Girl Who Chased the Moon is probably my least favorite, but don't let that put you off. I still loved it and recommend it very much; I just like the other two a little better. I don't want to go into detail about why I like this one just a little less, for fear of giving away a big part of the story.

One difference between The Girl Who Chased the Moon and its predecessors that I found kind of nice is that there isn't a really bad guy involved in the story. Gardens Spells had David and The Sugar Queen had Julian; both were truly evil men; there's no other way for me to describe them. While that very real evil was absent from The Girl Who Chased the Moon, other touches of other-worldly, positive magic were present. As an example, the wallpaper in Emily's bedroom changes depending on her mood. 

With all three novels, I've really become attached to the characters. Both main characters and supporting characters are always a treat. It's always possible to imagine her characters going on with their lives beyond the end of the book. The stories are about the past and present, but the endings are about the future and leave me feeling hopeful. Her style is becoming familiar to me and I like that because it makes the books comforting. I do hope, however, that her stories continue to remain fresh; that familiar style doesn't become same old, same old.



fiction families love small town family secrets speculative fiction Sarah Addison Allen magical realism
<![CDATA[Go Outside!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/03/20/go-outside.aspx Sat, 20 Mar 2010 12:23:00 G3T 2133 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/03/20/go-outside.aspx to post your comments!

It's springtime! Time to leave the house and enjoy the outdoors! Two recent books you should know about if you're planning on going further than the park down the street are Botanic Gems: Indiana Public Gardens, Including Greater Chicago, Dayton, Cincinnati & Louisville by Alan McPherson and The Complete Guide to Kentucky State Parks by Susan Reigler.

Botanic Gems includes more than 40 gardens in or near Indiana. Before this book, I had no idea that there are so many public gardens in Indiana! There are color photographs and maps for each location. The book includes Evansville's own Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden.

The Complete Guide to Kentucky State Parks is truly complete. The parks are covered in regional sections: north central, south central, eastern and western. The parks closest to the Evansville area are in the western section, which includes Henderson's John James Audubon State Park, a favorite of my family. Kentucky State Parks fall into three categories: resort, recreation & historic sites. Each regional section in the book begins with a great chart that breaks down the parks vertically by those three categories, and the going across, by features like park acres, lake acres, lodge & dining room, cottages, campgrounds, golf, marina, swimming, trails, tennis courts, museums, etc. Following the chart, each park in the section gets its own write-up with photographs.

These books are great resources if you're looking for some outdoor fun!

nonfiction hoosiers Indiana travel gardening gardens outdoors parks Kentucky Alan McPherson Susan Reigler color photographs
<![CDATA[Is Gardening Too Tame For You?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/03/16/is-gardening-too-tame-for-you.aspx Tue, 16 Mar 2010 10:51:00 G3T 2124 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/03/16/is-gardening-too-tame-for-you.aspx to post your comments!

Do you find pansies and impatiens a little dull? Would you rather grow something that eats, than grow something to eat? If so, check out these books on carnivorous plants. Even if you're not interested in planting venus fly traps, pitcher plants or other insect-eaters in your yard, the pictures in these books are fun to look at!

The Curious World of Carnivorous Plants by Wilhelm Barthlott, Stefan Porembski, Rudiger Seine & Inge Theisen

Carnivorous Plants: Care and Cultivation by Marcel Lecoufle

Insect-Eating Plants & How to Grow Them by Adrian Slack

The Savage Garden by Peter D'Amato

Gardening With Carnivores: Sarracenia Pitcher Plants in Cultivation & in the Wild by Nick Romanowski




nonfiction carnivororous plants plants gardening
<![CDATA[Get Ready To Garden]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/03/02/gardening-magazines.aspx Tue, 02 Mar 2010 14:59:00 G3T 2108 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2010/03/02/gardening-magazines.aspx to post your comments!

It's cold and gray outside today, but many gardeners have already started making plans for growing gorgeous flowers and delicious vegetables as soon spring sets in. Several EVPL locations carry gardening magazines, in addition to numerous books, to get you going on whatever gardening projects, big or small, you have in mind this year. Don't have any garden plans yet? Well, these magazines are full of ideas to get you thinking!

Remember, if the EVPL location you frequent doesn't have the magazine title that interests you, you can have holds placed on certain issues to be sent to that location for you to pick up.


Central Library

East Branch

McCollough Branch

North Park Branch

Oaklyn Branch

Red Bank Branch

Stringtown Branch

West Branch

The American Gardener









Better Homes & Gardens









Birds & Blooms









Country Gardens









Fine Gardening









Garden Design









Garden Gate


















Organic Gardening













gardening magazines hobbies
<![CDATA[Coming Soon!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/02/05/coming-soon.aspx Fri, 05 Feb 2010 17:13:00 G2T 2067 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/02/05/coming-soon.aspx to post your comments!



I thought you might like to know about some new titles from authors myself and others have written about here before.

Rene Gutteridge has a new book titled Listen that should be arriving at a library near you any day now. Blog writer this.is.not.here@evpl wrote about Rene Gutteridge's Boo series here.

Alan Bradley has written a sequel to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, expected out on March 9, 2010. It's titled The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag. Blog writers HRevvdon@evpl and evillebibliophile@evpl have written about The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie here and here.

Sarah Addison Allen's third novel, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, is expected out on March 16, 2010. HRevvdon@evpl wrote about her novel The Sugar Queen here. She is also the author of Garden Spells.

Lisa Lutz continues her Izzy Spellman series with Spellmans Strike Again, also expected out March 16, 2010. This series has been written about here and here.

Rene Gutteridge's website
Sarah Addison Allen's website
Lisa Lutz's website



fiction sequels series Lisa Lutz Alan Bradley Rene Gutteridge Sarah Addison Allen
<![CDATA[I Like Glen Campbell]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2010/02/04/i-like-glen-campbell.aspx Thu, 04 Feb 2010 12:32:00 G2T 2060 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2010/02/04/i-like-glen-campbell.aspx to post your comments!

It's not easy for me to say I like Glen Campbell. I don't think people my age are supposed to like Glen Campbell. I guess I've thought for awhile that Rhinestone Cowboy is an alright song if I'm in the mood for old country music. Recently, though, a friend suggested his 2008 CD, Meet Glen Campbell. It's all covers and they're good. To the best of my knowledge none of the ten songs were originally country songs. I think my favorite is Times Like These, which was originally written and recorded by the Foo Fighters. I also enjoy Good Riddance / Time of Your Life (originally by Green Day) and All I Want is You (originally by U2). I have never listened to any one of the original versions of these songs and thought "Wow, wouldn't this be great done as a country song?!", but they are great done as country songs. Even though it's a different style, and probably made with a different goal in mind, it reminds me a little bit of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (written about here by professor.knowsitall@evpl), because it's another example of how well some songs translate from one genre to another. I've enjoyed listening to this from track 1 to track 10 and have been telling friends about it, although they often respond with "Who's Glen Campbell?".


country me first and the gimme gimmes U2 Glen Campbell Foo Fighters cover songs Green Day
<![CDATA[Colorful Fantasy Adventure]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/01/09/breath-amp-colors.aspx Sat, 09 Jan 2010 15:04:00 G1T 2002 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2010/01/09/breath-amp-colors.aspx to post your comments!

A few months ago I realized it had been a long time since I'd read any science fiction or fantasy novels. When I started making a list of titles to try, a friend recommended Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. Now I'm recommending it to you because this is a book that has everything: mystery, romance, sword fights, political intrigue, religious debate, sarcasm and more!

Two strong female characters lead the story. Vivenna and Siri are sisters and princesses of Idris. Although Vivenna has been trained from birth to be the god king of Hallandren's bride, it is Siri who is sent to off to this foreign country to marry the god king. Vivenna, both confused about having her duty taken away from her and worried about her younger sister, takes off to Hallandren to rescue Siri from the god king.

The countries Idris and Hallandren have mostly opposite cultures, so both Siri and also Vivenna, who's been educated on the Hallandren lifestyle, experience major culture shock when they arrive in Hallandren. Idris is a quiet country with only small cities populated by worshipers of Austre, who strive to never be ostentatious. Their one god Austre is not someone they see, only someone who's good works they see. Hallandren is a bold country full of bright colors with a pantheon of gods, the most powerful of which is the god king. The Hallandren people can actually petition their gods in person at the gods' and goddess' palaces. Since the book takes place primarily in the capitol city of Hallandren, color is a very important part of the story. 

Idris and Hallandren are about to go to war against each other and the two sisters, though separate, find themselves doing whatever they can to prevent it or make it easier on their beloved Idris. Meanwhile, in the court of gods, debate over the war becomes more and more heated. Most of the gods and goddesses are either strongly for or against the war, but Lightsong the Bold, a rather reluctant god, is not sure.

Each and every character brings something to this story, but some of my favorites are Vasher and his sword, Nightblood. Lightsong's high priest, who he nicknamed Scoot, is my favorite of the less central characters.The god king himself turned out to be more interesting than I thought he would.

At nearly 600 pages, Warbreaker is a little longer than most books I read, but it was well worth it. There really aren't any slow sections. Once I was in the last 200 pages, it became a real struggle to pull myself away from the story for anything at all!

To visit Brandon Sanderson's website, click here.

politics fiction Fantasy love sisters religion Brandon Sanderson speculative fiction
<![CDATA[Christmas Reading]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/12/18/christmas-reading.aspx Fri, 18 Dec 2009 10:54:00 G12T 1980 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/12/18/christmas-reading.aspx to post your comments!

I hear from a lot of people that they don't have time to read around the holidays. I can certainly understand that, but I need the escape of my favorite hobby more than ever during the busy month of December.

At the top of my Christmas reading list this year, I had Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs. It's her third Friday Night Knitting Club novel. It focuses on 20-year-old Dakota Walker, who was a little girl in the first book, but the rest of the club and Dakota's father James are there too and it takes them from Thanksgiving through Christmas and New Year's Day. I can't say it's as good as the first book, but I enjoyed it. It's also my favorite so far from the batch of books I've selected for this year.

Two others I've enjoyed this month are The Great Christmas Bowl by Susan May Warren and The Christmas Letters by Lee Smith.

Do you still find time to read around the holidays? If so, what are you reading this holiday season?


fiction knitting Kate Jacobs Christmas Lee Smith Susan May Warren
<![CDATA[Linnea]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/12/08/linnea.aspx Tue, 08 Dec 2009 08:57:00 G12T 1975 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/12/08/linnea.aspx to post your comments!


Linnea's Windowsill Garden and Linnea in Monet's Garden by Christina Björk and Lena Anderson are two garden books that are great even in cold weather!

Linnea and I have something fun in common. We've both received amaryllis bulbs as Christmas presents. Amaryllis bulbs are not very pretty, but if you plant one and take good care of it, it grows a big, beautiful flower! I was about 9 or 10 years old when I got my amaryllis bulb and my copy of Linnea's Windowsill Garden for Christmas. When I opened the box, a bag of dirt was on top and I thought that's all I got! I had a lot of fun telling people I got dirt for Christmas. My mom helped me plant my bulb in a pot over Christmas break, but first we read about planting and taking care of the amaryllis on page 38 of the book. The amaryllis is just one neat plant project in this book of green growing activities.

Linnea in Monet's Garden is all about Linnea's trip to see the garden of the famous painter Claude Monet. Monet made his own garden very famous with his paintings. Some of his best-known paintings, beautiful impressionist paintings of water lilies and Japanese bridges, were done in his own garden. Now people travel to see the garden that inspired his painting. This book is a great introduction to Claude Monet, but if it leaves you wanting to know even more about Monet and impressionist painting, just ask! We have more books!

nonfiction books growing gardens flowers Lena Anderson art Christina Bjork Claude Monet
<![CDATA[World Vegetarian Day & Vegetarian Awareness Month]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/10/01/world-vegetarian-day-amp-vegetarian-awarenes-month.aspx Thu, 01 Oct 2009 11:06:00 G10T 1879 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/10/01/world-vegetarian-day-amp-vegetarian-awarenes-month.aspx to post your comments!

A friend just let me know that TODAY is World Vegetarian Day! It turns out the whole month of October is Vegetarian Awareness Month! Have you ever considered going vegetarian or vegan? Maybe you could try it out this month. Why not try something new? Look for vegetarian options at the Fall Festival next week, for example. Yes, there really are vegetarian options at the Fall Festival! EVPL has lots of books on making the change to vegetarianism and many, many vegetarian cookbooks. There is a whole world of meat-free options out there; it's not all tofu! Then again, don't be scared of tofu. Remember, you have to try it to know you don't like it.

Ready, set, GO VEGETARIAN! 


Are you a vegetarian or vegan? Tell us in the comments what resource(s) helped you make the transition, even it's just the title of your favorite cookbook!

health books food celebrations cooking diet vegan vegetarian animal rights
<![CDATA[Halloween is Almost Here]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/10/01/halloween-is-almost-here.aspx Thu, 01 Oct 2009 09:16:00 G10T 1878 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/10/01/halloween-is-almost-here.aspx to post your comments!

Halloween is almost here and new books for Halloween have been arriving at the library over the past month. Here are the two that have me most excited:


Ghoulish Goodies by Sharon Bowers is a whole 150-page cookbook just for Halloween! Extreme Halloween by Tom Nardone covers a broader range of Halloween excitement while doing exactly what the subtitle says: making Halloween scary again!

You might also look at Tom Nardone's older books, Extreme Pumpkins and Extreme Pumkins II, as well as his Extreme Pumpkins website.

nonfiction Food holiday cookery cooking recipes decorating Tom Nardone Sharon Bowers Halloween pumpkins
<![CDATA[Cheap Knowledge for College]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/03/knowledge-for-college.aspx Thu, 03 Sep 2009 16:10:00 G9T 1818 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/03/knowledge-for-college.aspx to post your comments!


Did you have to turn over almost your entire bank account to get your textbooks? Well, come check out our books! We have Broke! A College Student's Guide to Getting By on Less edited by Supurna Banerjee to help you with the money you have left. The College Student's Guide to the Law by C. L. Lindsay, III has a chapter on money along with chapters on free speech, academic dishonesty and more.  If you're wanting to brighten up a dull dorm room or apartment, maybe Dollar Store Decor by Mark Montano can help you stretch you funds.

nonfiction finance craft college students college legal budget decorating money
<![CDATA[Cooking Knowledge for College: Vegetarian Edition]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/02/cooking-knowledge-for-college-vegetarian-edition.aspx Wed, 02 Sep 2009 14:27:00 G9T 1812 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/02/cooking-knowledge-for-college-vegetarian-edition.aspx to post your comments!


When I decided to become a vegetarian in the fall of my third year at University of Southern Indiana, Carole Raymond's Student's Vegetarian Cookbook quickly became a favorite of mine. It isn't intimidating like a lot of the vegetarian cookbooks I'd looked at before it. Its recipes generally don't make big heaps of food that one person might have trouble eating on their own, which I find nice as well. If I'd had the brand new College Vegetarian Cooking: Feed Yourself and Your Friends by Jill & Megan Carle, back then, it would have had me pretty excited as well. In fact, it looks good enough I am excited! I'm looking forward to trying the enchilada recipe on page 88. Like its non-vegetarian counterpart I wrote about before, the recipes are organized into chapters such as "Just Like Mom Makes" and "Impressing Your Date". Another book you might look at is The Starving Students' Vegetarian Cookbook by Dede Hall, although I wasn't very impressed with it. If you've given up egg & dairy along with meat, check out Carole Raymond's other book, Student's Go Vegan Cookbook.


nonfiction Food Vegetarianism cookery cooking recipes college students college Megan Carle Jill Carle Dede Hall Carole Raymond
<![CDATA[Cooking Knowledge for College]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/01/cooking-knowledge-for-college.aspx Tue, 01 Sep 2009 15:15:00 G9T 1808 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/09/01/cooking-knowledge-for-college.aspx to post your comments!



If you're ready to try cooking something more than Hamburger Helper, check out these books: College Cooking: Feed Yourself and Your Friends by Megan & Jill Carle, The Healthy College Cookbook by Alexandra Nimetz, Jason Stanley & Emeline Starr and The Everything College Cookbook: 300 Hassle-Free Recipes for Students on the Go by Rhonda Lauret Parkinson. All three cookbooks offer tips for those just getting started with cooking and lots of recipes to try. The one that looks most promising, though, is College Cooking. It has chapters like "Impressing Your Date", "Just Like Mom Makes" and "Avoiding the Freshman Fifteen". In addition to those chapters, College Cooking has sections with ideas for food for theme parties-- Toga Party, Cinco de Mayo, Tapas Party, Oktoberfest, & 80's Party.

nonfiction Food cookery cooking recipes college students college Megan Carle Emeline Starr Alexandra Nimetz Jill Carle Jason Stanley Rhonda Lauret Parkinson
<![CDATA[Addition by Toni Jordan]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/19/addition.aspx Wed, 19 Aug 2009 18:47:00 G8T 1784 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/19/addition.aspx to post your comments!

In Toni Jordan's Addition, we meet Grace Vandenburg, who likes to count. No, Grace loves to count. She's loved to count ever since she was a little girl. On her nightstand she keeps the Cuisenaire rods from her childhood and a framed picture of her hero, Nikola Tesla, for whom she has much affection. Grace knows how many paces it takes her to get from her apartment to her favorite cafe, or to the grocery. Her apartment is perfectly ordered. She has daily routines that start at 5:55 a.m., when it's time to get out of bed. Every day she has hot cocoa and orange cake at the cafe and every night she has chicken and vegetables for supper. On Sunday, her mother calls at 8:00 p.m. and her sister Jill calls at 8:20 p.m. So when she meets Seamus O'Reilly, where does he fit into her routines? Seamus makes Grace very happy and she wants to make him happy. On his suggestion, she enters therapy for her obsessive counting and begins taking prescribed medication. With therapy and medication come a new set of problems for Grace and Seamus. Can Grace give up counting and still be her true self? Will she still be the woman Seamus so loved and wanted to help?

I'm already looking forward to reading whatever Toni Jordan decides to write next. She has done something fairly unique with Addition. It is a romance in a way, but in another way it's a real look at identity and what it means to be well. The story is told in the first person, from Grace's perspective, with much wit. So, the book's tone changes when Grace enters therapy, taking you deeper into her experience. Grace is the star of the story, but the supporting cast of characters are fun too. Seamus is both loving and intuitive to Grace's needs, or at least he tries to be. Her niece Hilly (a.k.a. Larry), though a child, is the one who often knows Grace best. The germaphobics in Grace's therapy group are an interesting bunch. Nikola Tesla was as much a part of the story as any of the other characters; Grace liked to compare situations in her life to situations in her dear Nikola's life. 

In the acknowledgements, the author gives credit to two books for information on Nikola Tesla. If you're interested, both are available from the EVPL: Tesla: Man Out of Time by Margaret Cheney & Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla by Marc J. Seifer.

I'll confess it was the bright, pretty cover that first attracted me to Addition, but had it not caught my eye, I would have really missed out.

click here for Toni Jordan's website


reviews fiction debut novel identity Psychology Fiction human behavior first novel love numbers Toni Jordan Nikola Tesla Obssesive-Compulsive Disorder therapy
<![CDATA[Do You Love Tomatoes? I Love Tomatoes! ]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/15/tomatoes-tomatoes-tomatoes.aspx Sat, 15 Aug 2009 12:30:00 G8T 1771 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/08/15/tomatoes-tomatoes-tomatoes.aspx to post your comments!


So far, I have recieved tomatoes from three different gardens this year, which is great because I love tomatoes! They're beautiful and taste good with almost anything; one of my favorite, simple things to do is put them on a grilled cheese sandwich. Yum!

Last week, a new cookbook, The Too Many Tomatoes Cookbook by Brian Yarvin arrived at the library. I was amused to see a whole book devoted to one of my favorite garden fruits. As so often happens, curiosity got to me and soon I was looking to see if we had other tomato books. It turns out there are more than a dozen just waiting for tomato-loving cooks!

So, how do you like your tomatoes?



The Heirloom Tomato : From Garden to Table : Recipes, Portraits, and History of the World's Most Beautiful Fruit by Amy Goldman; photographs by Victor Schrager

Tomatoes and Mozzarella : 100 Ways to Enjoy This Tantalizing Twosome All Year Long by Hallie Harron and Shelley Sikora

The Great Tomato Book by Gary Ibsen with Joan Nielsen

Tomato Imperative! : From Fried Green Tomatoes to Summer's Ripe Bounty by Sharon Nimtz and Ruth Cousineau

Lee Bailey's Tomatoes by Lee Bailey

Cooking With Sundried Tomatoes by Lois Dribin and Denise Marina ; illustrated by Susan Ivankovich


nonfiction Food cookery cooking recipes tomatoes
<![CDATA[Paperbacks]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/07/30/paperbacks.aspx Thu, 30 Jul 2009 15:28:00 G7T 1715 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/07/30/paperbacks.aspx to post your comments!

Something to think about today (or any day) when you pick up a paperback book is that paperbacks are a relatively modern invention. Okay, they're modern if you think back to clay tablets and papyrus rolls. The modern paperback was introduced by Penguin on July 30, 1935, just 74 years ago! According to Chase's Calendar of Events (2009), "Although books bound in soft covers were first introduced in 1841 at Leipzig, Germany by Christian Bernhard Tauchnitz, the modern paperback revolution dates to the publication of the first Penguin paperback by Sir Allen Lane at London, England, in 1935."

books anniversary paperback
<![CDATA[National Ice Cream Day or "Sundae Sunday" -- July 19th]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/18/national-ice-cream-day-or-quot-sundae-sunday-quot-july-19th.aspx Sat, 18 Jul 2009 16:50:00 G7T 1689 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/18/national-ice-cream-day-or-quot-sundae-sunday-quot-july-19th.aspx to post your comments!

I have a lot of fond memories when it comes to ice cream. My brother and I used to help my grandpa make homemade vanilla ice cream every 4th of July. As a teenager, I worked in an ice cream shop, which never made me tired of ice cream, in fact it made me love it even more. So learning of a holiday for this delicious cold treat made me smile.

National Ice Cream Day is the the 3rd Sunday in July each year. Think of all the ways you could celebrate! You can keep it simple and enjoy a scoop or two of your favorite flavor. If you're going out for ice cream, get creative and order a milkshake with a flavor combination you haven't tried before. Have you ever had one made with chocolate ice cream and caramel syrup? How about coffee ice cream and chocolate syrup? Those are two of my personal favorites! You might gather your family, friends and some tasty toppings and have a sundae party! You can even make your own ice cream! There's a simple way to make ice cream at home with two coffee cans.

You can tell everyone about your favorite ice cream treat or your favorite ice cream memories in the comments below!


Ice Cream: 52 Recipes for Year-Round Frozen Treats by Sally Sampson; pictures by Alexandra Grablewski

Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts by Peggy Fallon

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Homemade Ice Cream by Dick Warren with Bobbi Dempsey

Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book by Ben Cohen and Jerry with Nancy J. Stevens; design & illustration by Lyn Severance


food celebrations holiday summer ice cream July
<![CDATA[Reading Contest Deadline Approaching! July 20th!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/07/13/reading-contest-deadline-approaching-july-20th.aspx Mon, 13 Jul 2009 13:43:00 G7T 1684 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/07/13/reading-contest-deadline-approaching-july-20th.aspx to post your comments!

Adult Summer Reading Program participants, this year's program is winding down. We need your Reading Contest entry forms turned in by library closing time on Monday, July 20th for you to have your chance(s) to win a cash prize! Hopefully you've found some good books to read during the program, but remember, we're here with eight locations full of good reading all year long! 

books and reading 2009 Summer Reading Program
<![CDATA[Bonus Challenge Deadline Approaching! July 10th!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/03/bonus-challenge-deadline-approaching-july-10th.aspx Fri, 03 Jul 2009 11:40:00 G7T 1640 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/07/03/bonus-challenge-deadline-approaching-july-10th.aspx to post your comments!

Attention intrepid Adult Summer Reading Program participants! Hopefully you've been enjoying learning more about EVPL's offerings by participating in the Bonus Challenge, but please remember if you want your chance(s) to win the $50 Wesselman's Grocery store gift cards, we need your completed form turned in on or before 6:00 p.m., July 10th. If you're still reading for the Reading Contest, you may hang on to those forms for awhile longer; just cut off the Bonus Challenge form and bring it on in by itself and we'll get you entered in the drawing.

deadlines Summer Reading Program 2009
<![CDATA[Gardening]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/06/12/gardening.aspx Fri, 12 Jun 2009 16:43:00 G6T 1596 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/" target="_blank">Kids Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/kids/archive/2009/06/12/gardening.aspx to post your comments!

This spring and summer, I've been working on making my yard a nice place to spend time. I grew up spending time in the yard at home or at my grandparents' house and I learned a lot from watching my mom and my grandparents take care of their yards. Now I'm checking out a lot of library books about gardening to try and add to what I already know. I hope that every year I will learn a little more.

If you think gardening sounds like fun, check out these books filled with gardening ideas, activities, stories and pictures!

Container Garding for Kids by Ellen Talmage; photographed by Bruce Curtis


Planting the Seed: A Guide to Gardening by Suzanne Winckler

Compost! Growing Gardens From Your Garbage by Linda Glaser; pictures by Anca Hariton

A Harvest of Color: Growing a Vegetable Garden by Melanie Eclare

Down to Earth: Garden Secrets! Garden Stories! Garden Projects You Can Do! Created by Michael J. Rosen with 41 children's book authors and illustrators

The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin

Over Under in the Garden: An Alphabet Book by Pat Schories




nonfiction picture books food books growing gardens compost plants flowers vegetables
<![CDATA[Oversize But Overlooked]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/06/11/oversize-but-overlooked.aspx Thu, 11 Jun 2009 12:33:00 G6T 1581 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/06/11/oversize-but-overlooked.aspx to post your comments!

Every Evansville Vanderburgh Pulic Library location has an oversize collection-- books from the whole dewey decimal subject range that are too big in some way to fit properly on the regular shelves. These big books can be a real treat, but they are often overlooked since they aren't in with the rest of the collection. Do yourself a favor and find the oversize collection the next time you're visiting a library!

The oversize collection varies from location to location, but here are some examples from Red Bank Branch's oversize collection:

Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Planet Eccentric!

World Religions by John Bowker

Hippie by Barry Miles

Weddings from the editors of InStyle; written by Hillary Sterne

Venomous Snakes of the World by Mark O'Shea

Country Wisdom & Know-How: Everything You Need to Know to Live Off the Land from the editors of Storey Books


The Amish Cook at Home: Simple Pleasures of Food, Family and Faith by Levina Eicher with Kevin Williams; photography by Betsy Blanton

The Comics: Since 1945 by Brian Walker


Conan by Roy Thomas

Crocheting On the Edge: The Essenstial Collection of more than 200 Decorative Borders by Nicky Epstein

Modern Art 1900 - 1945: The Age of Avant-Gardes by Gabriele Crepaldi


U2 by U2 written by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr., with Neil McCormick

America Discovered: A Historical Atlas of North American Exploration by Derek Hayes

Civil War Front Pages: A Collection of 157 Front Pages from the North and South edited by John Wagman


Wild and Scenic Indiana photography by Rich Clark; text by Scott Russell Sanders

nonfiction oversize special collections color photographs
<![CDATA[Indiana 24/7]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/06/10/indiana-24-7.aspx Wed, 10 Jun 2009 13:03:00 G6T 1571 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/06/10/indiana-24-7.aspx to post your comments!

Indiana 24/7 is a beautiful collection of photographs from all over our state. It is a modern photo essay of our day-to-day lives as Hoosiers. The variety the photographers have managed to capture is just amazing. There are many familiar sights in Indiana 24/7, but there are also many surprises. I found the familiar scenes comforting and the surprising ones enlightening. I highly recommend you spend some time with this book!

EVPL also has Illinois 24/7, Kentucy24/7, Michigan 24/7, Ohio 24/7, Tennessee 24/7, Missouri 24/7, along with America 24/7. If that's still not enough photographic excitement for you, check out Cats 24/7 and Dogs 24/7!

nonfiction hoosiers Photography Indiana oversize color photographs
<![CDATA[Two New Books for Jewelry Makers]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/06/09/two-new-books-for-jewelry-makers.aspx Tue, 09 Jun 2009 12:57:00 G6T 1569 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/06/09/two-new-books-for-jewelry-makers.aspx to post your comments!

This morning I noticed an interesting new book on jewelry making called Kilobyte Couture: Geek Chic Jewelry to Make from Easy-to-Find Computer Components by Brittany Forks. I was curious to see if there are any other books on jewelry making with unusual items in our library system and found Beyond the Bead: Making Jewelry with Unexpected Finds by Margot Potter. I haven't tried jewelry making since I was 13 or 14, but these books are tempting!


nonfiction geek chic Brittany Forks craft jewelry Margot Potter
<![CDATA[Finding Recipes Fast]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/08/finding-recipes-fast.aspx Fri, 08 May 2009 12:41:00 G5T 1477 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2009/05/08/finding-recipes-fast.aspx to post your comments!

Recently I was looking for a lemon recipe and nothing in my cookbooks seemed right. When I turned to a friend for advice, she recommended two easy-to-search websites, All Recipes and Recipe Zaar. My friend and I looked together and ended up choosing a lemon cream cupcake recipe with a 4.4 (out of 5) star rating from All Recipes a few minutes later.

Have you ever come to the library looking for a recipe for something in particular; maybe a good vegetable soup or simple chocolate cake? EVPL owns thousands of cookbooks but sometimes it can take a long time to browse them and find what you want. Next time you need a recipe fast, try one of these websites!

reference questions food useful websites recipe baking cooking
<![CDATA[My Favorite Baking Book]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/05/08/my-favorite-baking-book.aspx Fri, 08 May 2009 11:36:00 G5T 1476 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/05/08/my-favorite-baking-book.aspx to post your comments!

In January, I made a New Year's Resolution (even though I don't like New Year's Resolutions) to cook and bake more. I've used recipes from many sources but some of the best have been from Baking Illustrated by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine. I've made the banana bread on page 23 and also the variation with coconut and macadamia nuts on page 25 and both are quite tasty. The yellow cupcakes on page 343 will turn anyone who doubts the deliciousness of plain yellow cake into a believer. Oh, and the simple chocolate frosting for the cupcakes? It is quite possibly the easiest frosting to make and better yet, one of the most delicious I've ever had! On March 14th, Pi Day, I turned to page 178, the Pies & Tarts chapter, for guidance to make my very first pie, a yummy peach pie.

Baking Illustrated is part of the A Best Recipe Classic series of cookbooks. One of the really fun things about this series of cookbooks is that each recipe is preceded by a page or two describing how the authors came up with the final recipe. They discuss ingredients they tried in previous versions and why they felt the final product didn't benefit from them or what it is that an ingredient they kept in the final printed recipe brings to the mix.


Tell everyone about your favorite cookbook(s) below in the comments!

Additional Links:

Cook's Illustrated magazine

America's Test Kitchen


nonfiction Food series cookery cooking recipes baking A Best Recipe Classic Americas Test Kitchen Cooks Illustrated magazine
<![CDATA[I *Heart* The Spellmans!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/04/09/i-heart-the-spellmans.aspx Thu, 09 Apr 2009 11:17:00 G4T 1408 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/04/09/i-heart-the-spellmans.aspx to post your comments!

Back in January, I wrote a little bit about Lisa Lutz's Spellman series. Last night I finished the third installment, Revenge of the Spellmans. It is EXCELLENT! This has become my new favorite series, since I've begun to grow tired of Janet Evanovich's Plum series. Private investigator Izzy Spellman might come from a fantastically dysfunctional family of fantastic private investigators, but the Spellmans love one another... for the most part... and they make endearing characters. This time 31-year-old Izzy is in court ordered therapy, living in a secret location and trying to solve a case that looks simple on the surface but only gets more complicated as she digs deeper. David revamps his life and Rae tries out new deviations. Henry Stone loses his patience with more than one Spellman. This third book introduces two new characters that I think might appear again-- Connor, an Irish bartender with a very thick accent and Maggie, a defense attorney who's almost as quirky as the Spellmans themselves. As usual, there are investigations of family members, investigations of friends of family members, a few arrests for spice and a dash of blackmail too. I couldn't possibly tell you all of the goings-on and I wouldn't want too; read it for yourself!

Lisa Lutz's website

fiction sequels families series private investigators Lisa Lutz San Francisco
<![CDATA[Animal Dreams -- Books for Lunch at Red Bank Branch]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/04/01/animal-dreams-books-for-lunch-at-red-bank-branch.aspx Wed, 01 Apr 2009 12:58:00 G4T 1391 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/04/01/animal-dreams-books-for-lunch-at-red-bank-branch.aspx to post your comments!

On Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at noon we will be discussing Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver at Red Bank Branch Library. I could hardly put Animal Dreams down while I was reading it and I hope you'll enjoy it too. Codi, her father and the other characters are wonderful and the small town of Grace, Arizona captivated my imagination. Barbara Kingsolver is my mother's favorite author and she's been recommending her books to me for years. I'm so glad I've finally taken her advice! Please come and join us for the discussion; the more the merrier!


click here to visit author Barbara Kingsolver's website

red bank branch fiction book discussions families nature love Arizona fathers small town sisters Barbara Kingsolver friends
<![CDATA[Looking for Family Friendly Movies?]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/03/25/looking-for-family-friendly-movies.aspx Wed, 25 Mar 2009 14:47:00 G3T 1381 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2009/03/25/looking-for-family-friendly-movies.aspx to post your comments!

I'm often asked to recommend family-friendly movies. This is really not my area of expertise. I don't have kids of my own to consider when choosing a movie and my own childhood experiences are sort of complicated since it didn't seem to occur to my dad that maybe some movies aren't good for kids and my mom usually concentrated on getting us to read or go play outside. Since I'm not much help in this area, perhaps The Dove Foundation can be. Their website rates movies in specific categories like sex, language, violence, drugs and nudity. Titles that have received their Family Approved seal are clearly marked. They also note what ages a movie is appropriate for. For example, I noticed several approved titles that were said to be best for children 12 and older.

reviews The Dove Foundation family friendly web resource
<![CDATA[E Can Write More Than Songs]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/03/24/rock-amp-roll-memior.aspx Tue, 24 Mar 2009 15:28:00 G3T 1375 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/03/24/rock-amp-roll-memior.aspx to post your comments!

Mark Oliver Everett is probably better known simply as E, the lead singer and creative force behind the Eels, but a few months ago he published a memoir under his full name called Things the Grandchildren Should Know. He might be a little younger than most people who've decided to write memoirs, but people in his family don't seem to live long lives, so he decided to write it while he still could. Tragedy and triumph have occurred over and over in his life, with little middle ground between. It's quite a story, whether you read the book yourself or have E's friend Chet read it to you on the CD audio version. I would recommend it not just to Eels fans, but also to anyone who enjoys a good memoir.

Things the Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett

Things the Grandchildren Should Know by Mark Oliver Everett -- CD audio edition, read by Chet Lyster

Eels' music available at the library

nonfiction families celebrities memoir death Mark Oliver Everett music
<![CDATA[Love & Death]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/03/17/love-amp-death.aspx Tue, 17 Mar 2009 11:42:00 G3T 1371 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/03/17/love-amp-death.aspx to post your comments!

Sunday night I finished reading The Ghost in Love by Jonathan Carroll. I still haven't figured out how I really feel about it. It's a little bit creepy, a little bit funny and a lot weird. It is a book that entertains, but also makes you think about some big things. It's a lot about love and how much we need it. Everything in the book changes constantly and at times I found it hard to keep track of what was happening, but that gave the book a nice momentum too. I can say with confidence that I enjoyed reading it and hope others will enjoy reading it too. To sum it up though... I don't think I can do that. Instead, I will tell you a little about the characters. They're a unique bunch.

Ben Gould loves to cook and talk about food, cares for his dog Pilot and is in love with German Landis. He had a bad fall and hit his head on a curb. He was scheduled to die that day, but he did not. Not-dying has complications of its own. German Landis is Ben Gould's (ex)girlfriend. She's an art teacher, loves Formula One racing, shares responsibility for Pilot and struggles to understand what Ben is going through. Pilot is a sort of stoic dog. His character is much rounder than most animals in works of fiction where the majority of characters are human. From the title, you know there is a ghost. Ling is Ben's ghost, even though he didn't die. Danielle Voyles is pulled into the mix because she too had an accident that was supposed to kill her but didn't. These are the main characters, but there are other interesting appearances by characters such as the Angel of Death (call him Stanley), some unique, protective creatures called verzes and others.

Have you read The Ghost in Love? What did you think of it? Have you read anything else by Jonathan Carroll?

fiction Food dogs death love Jonathan Carroll speculative fiction ghosts
<![CDATA[Give It Up]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/15/give-it-up.aspx Thu, 15 Jan 2009 13:41:00 G1T 1136 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/15/give-it-up.aspx to post your comments!

It is time for Janet Evanovich to stop writing Stephanie Plum novels. I mean it. I started reading the series seven years ago when Seven Up was the most recently released book in the series and it quickly became my favorite series. I still read the new ones as they come out; I can't stop. They really aren't very good anymore, though. So I really wish Janet Evanovich would just stop writing them so I'd no longer feel compelled to read them. I suppose the real problem is that people can't seem to stop buying them, so then the publisher tells her to "Write more, plea$e!".

For those of you who are not familiar with the series, Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey and she's... well... not always very good at her job. There's a whole cast of great characters that includes her long-suffering mother, her spunky grandmother, Joe Morelli (a cop and also Stephanie's boyfriend... usually), Ranger (her hot bounty hunting mentor) and Lula (an ex-hooker turned file clerk). It begins with One for the Money, and keeps going with titles like Two for the Dough and Three to get Deadly-- they all have numbers in the titles. Well, they all have numbers in the titles except for the "between-the-numbers" books like Visions of Sugar Plums, Plum Lovin', Plum Lucky and the one I finished reading just last night, Plum Spooky.  

The first 10 or so are good, fun reads but sometime after that they start to slip. They all have entertaining moments, but I haven't found any of the last four or five to be wild roller coasters of hilarity like the earlier books are. This most recent one (Plum Spooky) was even kind of anti-climatic. The stories are not as entertaining as they once were and then there are the inconsistencies. It's not that her pet hamster Rex seems to be immortal or that cell phones and the internet sort of appeared out of nowhere a few books back. What bothers me is that at some point Joe Morelli became only mostly her boyfriend while Ranger became a sort of alternative. A lot of people are going to disagree with me here. Most fans have their own personal preference for one man or the other and my preference is for Joe. I suspect she cooled things down between Stephanie and Joe because Ranger is actually the more popular pick. Fine; everyone is free to have their own opinion, but I don't think it did anything for the on-going story of Stephanie Plum's life; the background for all of her bounty hunting escapades. It also bothers me that her sister Valerie has sort of disappeared. It's true she got annoying for awhile with her and her husband Albert calling each other Cuddleumpkins and what-not, but why is she gone? The last several books have only just mentioned her or left her out completely. Stephanie's niece (one of Valerie's daughters) Mary Alice would have fit in perfectly with the plot of Plum Lucky, but she was nowhere to be found.

Worse still, the "between-the-numbers" books are getting out of hand. Plum Spooky is just as long as most of the number books, meaning she's now trying to turn out two full-length Stephanie Plum novels a year, plus her other writing. Oh, yeah, by the way Finger Lickin' Fifteen is due out in June. I just don't see how this could be good.

Janet Evanovich's website

humor fiction sequels series New Jersey Janet Evanovich bounty hunters
<![CDATA[Lisa Lutz's Izzy Spellman Novels]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/14/lisa-lutz-s-izzy-spellman-novels.aspx Wed, 14 Jan 2009 14:41:00 G1T 1131 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/14/lisa-lutz-s-izzy-spellman-novels.aspx to post your comments!

I read The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz during our 2008 summer reading program, how about you? It was good enough, I read Curse of the Spellmans right afterwards. What a quirky family! The books focus on a wild private investigator named Izzy Spellman, but her whole family (mother, father, older brother & youner sister) of private investigators and a few special friends complete the character cast. Part mystery, part family drama and part "What did I do last night?", these funny books are a treat. Now a third installment, Revenge of the Spellmans, is set to be released in March!

fiction sequels families series private investigators Lisa Lutz San Francisco
<![CDATA[A Good Sequel!]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/13/a-good-sequel.aspx Tue, 13 Jan 2009 10:46:00 G1T 1123 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2009/01/13/a-good-sequel.aspx to post your comments!

I am always skeptical of sequels. The more I love the first book, the more skeptical I am. This does not mean I don't look forward to sequels, just that I try not to get my hopes up too high. Knit Two by Kate Jacobs is a good book which is fantastic, because I loved The Friday Night Knitting Club and really didn't want to be disapointed. So, if you're a fan of The Friday Night Knitting Club too, get ahold of a copy of Knit Two and enjoy spending a little more time with your favorite knitting club characters!

Knit Two by Kate Jacobs

Knit Two by Kate Jacobs (CD audiobook)

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (Large Type)

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (CD audiobook)

The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (downloadable audiobook)

previous post-- Kate Jacobs' Knitting Novels

fiction sequels knitting Kate Jacobs
<![CDATA[All Things Orange County]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/12/05/all-things-orange-county.aspx Fri, 05 Dec 2008 10:37:00 G12T 966 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/12/05/all-things-orange-county.aspx to post your comments!

Awhile back I posted about first discovering the Mexican, Gustavo Arellano. I recently finished reading his new book, Orange County: A Personal History. As I said in my previous post, Orange County isn't a place I'd naturally want to read about, but since I'd so enjoyed Ask a Mexican, I decided to give this book a try. I was not disappointed at all. It's a great little history of both Orange County and the author's family. After the introduction, it took me a few chapters to get into the rhythm of one chapter focusing on the county and then one chapter focusing on the family, repeated to the end of the book. The county chapters are genuinely entertaining and mostly* ignored Orange County's somewhat obnoxious television reputation, which is most of what I knew about the county prior to this book. The family chapters are good reading too; I've always enjoyed a good biography and it's interesting to read about the family's transition from Jerez, Mexico to Orange County, U.S.A. Also included are tips on where to eat around Orange County and occasional reminders that all of us can expect to have more Mexican neighbors in the future, wall or no wall.

*I say mostly ignored because there is a whole, entertaining chapter (The "Real" Real Orange County Reel, or: About Those Stupid Television Shows, Why Orange County Is "Hip," and What's Really Real and What's Somewhat Real--for Real!) on the subject, but the book isn't saturated with it.

nonfiction California Gustavo Arellano History
<![CDATA['Tis the Season to Curl Up With a Good Book]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/12/01/tis-the-season-to-curl-up-with-a-good-book.aspx Mon, 01 Dec 2008 17:01:00 G12T 952 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/12/01/tis-the-season-to-curl-up-with-a-good-book.aspx to post your comments!

Most years I try to pick out and read at least one Christmas novel during the holidays. I thought I would share some of the titles I've enjoyed in years past.

Some of the novels I've read are fairly traditional. I've never been a fan of Charles Dickens, but A Christmas Carol really is worth your time. The Christmas Train by David Baldacci is one of my favorites. The Handmaid and the Carpenter by Elizabeth Berg is a story about Mary and Joseph.


There are two that I thought were well-written and enjoyable, but don't have the happy endings some people expect from a Christmas novel. One is a collection of short stories by Maeve Binchy called This Year it Will Be Different and the other is a small book by Stewart O'Nan called Last Night at the Lobster.


When I can find them, I really enjoy off-the-wall Christmas stories. The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore is certainly off-the-wall. I have one word for you: ZOMBIES. Hogfather by Terry Pratchett is another great one, especially for fantasy readers. You might also try The Shepherd, the Angel and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry. It's short and funny.


Some of these titles are available in large print and audio! Also, the edition of A Christmas Carol that I've linked to is the annotated one. There are smaller copies without notes available as well if you prefer.

I'm always looking for Christmas reading suggestions, so be sure to sign in share what you've enjoyed in the comments below!

fiction Terry Pratchett Christmas holiday Charles Dickens Maeve Binchy Dave Barry Elizabeth Burg Christopher Moore David Baldacci Stewart ONan
<![CDATA[Kate Jacobs' Knitting Novels]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/11/11/kate-jacobs-knitting-novels.aspx Tue, 11 Nov 2008 09:41:00 G11T 853 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/11/11/kate-jacobs-knitting-novels.aspx to post your comments!

I have never knitted and rarely do I crochet. So, when I first heard about The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs, I dismissed it as just another of the trendy knitting-themed novels to hit the shelves since yarn crafts started making their big comeback. I just wasn't interested in reading about a craft I don't do. It wasn't until Kate Jacobs' second novel, Comfort Food arrived that I wondered if I should take a closer look. I recently read both books and I have to say that Jacobs writes wonderful characters. Her stories, while perhaps not as strong as her characters, are warm and charming. I would recommend both books, but I especially enjoyed The Friday Night Knitting Club. I was so drawn in, I did very little this past Sunday other than read FNKC. So, I'm very excited that at the end of the month a sequel, Knit Two, will be released!


fiction books sequels knitting Kate Jacobs
<![CDATA[Lottery -- Books For Lunch at Red Bank Branch]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/11/04/lottery-books-for-lunch-at-red-bank-branch.aspx Tue, 04 Nov 2008 09:58:00 G11T 826 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/11/04/lottery-books-for-lunch-at-red-bank-branch.aspx to post your comments!

On Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at noon we'll be discussing Lottery by Patricia Wood at Red Bank Branch Library. This is a great novel that will take you through a range of emotions and make you think a little bit. There should be plenty to discuss, so please bring your lunch and join us! We have copies of Lottery available for check-out at the Red Bank reference desk, including large print and CD audio.

red bank branch book discussions debut novel
<![CDATA[The Hungry Scientist Handbook]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/11/03/the-hungry-scientist-handbook.aspx Mon, 03 Nov 2008 17:54:00 G11T 822 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/11/03/the-hungry-scientist-handbook.aspx to post your comments!

 The Hungry Scientist Handbook: Electronic Birthday Cakes, Edible Origami and Other DIY Projects For Techies, Tinkerers and Foodies by Patrick Buckley and Lily Binns

If you're a foodie and a techie, this is the book that will allow you to combine your hobbies for maximum enjoyment. Personally, I'm not really a foodie or a techie, but I wouldn't mind eating wonton wrappers folded like cranes and then fried, a 20-sided pecan pie or a birthday cake lit up with LEDs.

See also: http://hungryscientist.com

nonfiction Food tech cookery cooking
<![CDATA[The Food We Eat: New Ways of Thinking About Food]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/22/the-food-we-eat-new-ways-of-thinking-about-food.aspx Mon, 22 Sep 2008 13:01:00 G9T 611 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/22/the-food-we-eat-new-ways-of-thinking-about-food.aspx to post your comments!

Red Bank Branch has two upcoming events concerning our food and where it comes from.

On Wednesday September 24 at 6:30pm Marvin Kemper and Joe Schalansky of Seton Harvest will be speaking. Seton Harvest is a CSA, or community supported agriculture project.

Next, on Wednesday October 15 at 6:30pm Suzan Ozel of the River City Food Co-op will be speaking. The River City Food Co-op is a local source for whole foods, organic foods and local produce.

If you're interested in learning more about the food we eat, try these titles:

politics nonfiction events red bank branch books Food Agriculture
<![CDATA[Voter Registration Deadline]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/17/voter-registration-deadline.aspx Wed, 17 Sep 2008 17:59:00 G9T 579 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2008/09/17/voter-registration-deadline.aspx to post your comments!

October 6th is the deadline to register to vote if you're planning to vote in the 2008 election on November 4th. That's less than three weeks from now, so if you haven't registered yet, check out the links below to get started!

<![CDATA[Discovering the Mexican]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/10/discovering-the-mexican.aspx Wed, 10 Sep 2008 17:52:00 G9T 496 Shh_ImReading@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2008/09/10/discovering-the-mexican.aspx to post your comments!


Barely a day has gone by since I began working for the library that I haven't found at least one book that looks interesting. Sometimes I just pass by them, other times I write down the title and author for later. Other times, I go ahead and check the book out; never mind the stack of books already waiting to be read. Ask a Mexican by Gustavo Arellano was one of those books I noticed one day and checked out on a whim. I thought it might be amusing, and it was! It was also surprisingly informative while amusing me. Gustavo Arellano writes for OC Weekly and in 2004 he and his editor decided to run a column, just as a joke, called Ask a Mexican. The idea was for readers to send their questions about Mexicans in for Arellano, the Mexican, to answer. What started as a joke became, as the book's introduction is titled, "Cultural Understanding Via Wetback Jokes". Ask a Mexican, the book, is a collection of previously published questions & answers as well as a few new-to-the-book items like a few short essays. I loved all of it when I read it last year, and that is why I'm very excited that Arellano has a new book coming out next week called Orange County: A Personal History. I know almost nothing about Orange County and ordinarily I wouldn't be excited to read about it. However, I very much enjoyed his writing in Ask a Mexican and I believe if he has brought the same sense of humor and passion to Orange County, it will be worth my time to read it!



nonfiction books California Gustavo Arellano