For the love of reading…and eating!!

 

Image result for cinnamon rolls

Our minds need enrichment, and I feed mine every time I pick up a book. But lately, I’ve been able to build up more than my mind with my book selections. My latest craze has been choosing different book series’ dealing with food. My selections have been providing entertaining stories with the added benefit of quite an array of new recipes and dishes to try. Who knew that an enjoyable fiction title would also increase my cooking repertoire!

My most recent obsession has been the Seasons of the Heart series by Charlotte Hubbard, set in the Amish river town of Willow Ridge, Missouri. The Sweet Seasons Bakery Café, run by Miriam Lantz with her twin daughters, Rachel and Rhonda, is at the center of this light romance series. At the end of each title are recipes for the tasty treats served up at the Amish cafe. Cinnamon rolls are my favorite treat and there is a recipe for the rolls Miriam serves her customers, made with a boxed cake mix starter!

                               

If mysteries are more to your taste, why not try the “cozy” crime series by Joanne Fluke, featuring Hannah Swenson. Hannah returns to her hometown of Lake Eden, MN after her father’s death, opens a bakery/cafe, the Cookie Jar, and soon becomes an amateur detective sleuthing out murders. Of course, delectable dessert recipes are a welcome addition to each title.

                        

Another author, Diane Mott Davidson, is known for the humor, quirky characters, and small town feeling of her cozy culinary mysteries. Caterer Goldy Bear is a smart heroine, whose ability to juggle her work and personal life (as well as murder investigations) makes her very appealing to readers. Using the process of cooking as a counterpoint, Davidson sets up a clever mystery and leaves clues.

                            

If you’re more interested in looking for recipes, without reading a whole book, we even have cookbook collections from many authors. The Cozy Cookbook serves up mouth-watering appetizers, entrees, and desserts from some of the most popular names in crime solving.

The Lake Eden Cookbook collects recipes, some previously published in the author’s mystery series starring Hannah Swensen, and includes a story, interspersed throughout the recipes, of the annual holiday cookie exchange in Lake Eden.

Miriam’s Cookbook by Carrie Bender is a collection of recipes interspersed with quotes from her books in the Miriam’s Journal and Whispering Brook Series. Here you find food for the body and soul.

I hope you find a great recipe that you’d like to try from one of the many “books that cook!”

How The Bomb Got Me Thinking About Books

I recently listened to Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin. It was fascinating and made me realize all over again how much I love reading (or listening to) non-fiction books. Bomb is part scientific discovery and part espionage thriller. It’s written to entertain as well as educate; it can be enjoyed by anyone who enjoys a good story, with the added benefit of being 100% true.

Because I work with library patrons of all ages, I made a point of reading books from all areas of our library. That, unfortunately, does not leave me as much time for non-fiction as I would like. That’s one reason I love to reach for books like Bomb that are marketed for a Young Adult audience. School Library Journal recommended this book for grades 5 and up, and at 272 pages, it’s perfect for readers of any age who don’t want to get too bogged down by every tiny detail.

Steve Sheinkin is really making a name for himself in the world of Young Adult non-fiction. This was my second Sheinkin book; I also really enjoyed The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights. We also have books by Sheinkin about Benedict Arnold, Jim Thorpe and Daniel Ellsberg.

The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin   The Notorius Benedict Arnold by Steve Sheinkin

Other authors that are writing truly excellent non-fiction for middle school kids and up include:

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose   Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone

The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming   March: Book One by John Lewis

Because we do not have a separate collection for Young Adult non-fiction, please ask for help if you need suggestions or have trouble locating a particular book. There are some books in the Adult Biography area that are of definite interest to teens.

  

You might also look for recommendations on the Robert Siebert Book Award website. The annual Eliot Rosewater Book List always includes some non-fiction suggestions as well. This year’s Rosie list has The Boys Who Challenged Hitler (Hoose) and Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown.

Have you read a great non-fiction book recently? Post the title in the comments so we can help share the word!

Ghosts, Here?

Image result for ghostbusters library gif

 

When I first told a friend that I had started working for the Aurora Public Library District, she asked if I had seen “The Ghost.” Ghost? What ghost? I have volunteered for several years at Aurora’s own Hillforest Victorian House Museum, so I feel I am no stranger to talk of ghosts! But, I have yet to encounter a library ghost. So, to find out just who might want to haunt the library property, I asked our Local History Librarian, Roy Lambert.

Roy told me that as a youth growing up in Aurora, he often heard stories of the ghosts in the Library.  In 1913, the Siemental Property on Second Street was purchased with monies of Georgiana Sutton in memory of her parents, Dr. and Mrs. George Sutton, and construction of the new library commenced. Originally, the basement was mostly a storage area, not open to the public, as it is now. This dark solitary basement, mostly off limits to the public, increased the possibility of ghosts. According to Roy, an archaeological publication states there was a large Indian mound in downtown Aurora that was partially destroyed when the streets were originally graded. The only mounded area in the historic district of Aurora is the mound that our library now occupies. Dr. George Sutton, Aurora’s revered early physician and amateur relic hunter had accumulated a vast collection of Indian artifacts and most likely some bones. These were eventually stored in the library basement. Indian bones were also found when grading was done on Mechanic Street many years ago.

In 1937, the Ohio river flood was nearing the library and all the contents of the lower level were removed for safe keeping, including the collection of Dr. Sutton. This collection, however, was never, never seen again–no one knows what happened to the collection. In 2015, a paranormal group did some investigating after hours at the Library. They detected possible spirit presence, as if trying to contact the investigating group, in the basement area were the artifact collection had been stored many years ago.

Incidentally, Roy mentioned that the door to the Local History Library (The Depot) opens quite often for no apparent reason. Also, when opening the upper level doors to the Aurora Public Library building, one door opens eerily by itself when the other is opened. Coincidence?  Are there spirits living in the Library? Anywhere in Aurora?

If you are interested in paranormal activity, there are several books you may find interesting:

Hoosier Folk Legends, by Ronald L. Blake, gathers Indiana legends about premonitions, death, ghosts, haunted houses, special powers, witches, monsters, famous people, local heroes, outlaws, bottomless lakes, and local place names.

“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, something weird that don’t look good,” who would you call?  Residents of southern Indiana and Kentucky know the answer—SIGH, Southern Indiana Ghost Hunters—that’s who! Inside Southern Indiana Ghost Hunters Chronicles by C.C. Thomasyou can read the weird, the strange, and the downright spooky. This is not your normal ghost story book, though. Each case is approached scientifically and you are given a final analysis of whether or not ghosts actually exist.

Although these tales are not from our own backyard, Seeking Spirits, by TV’s popular Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, reveals all-new, never-before-told stories from their spooky early investigations. They also offer essential tips for budding paranormal investigators — including how to use an electromagnetic field (EMF) meter and an infrared camera, determine if a supernatural phenomenon is good or evil, and deal with spirits. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, these fascinating and frightening true stories will keep you up at night!

 

Additionally, on Thursday, October 26 at 7:00 p.m., AURORA MAIN STREET is hosting the Aurora Ghost Tour, where eerie tales will be told while strolling through the historic downtown, a tour of Hillforest, witches brew and treats. Who knows who (or what) you might run into!! Perhaps, you’ll encounter the Library spirit!

Celebrities-Tell-All

We all wonder how celebrities grew up and what trials they faced, and we especially like them told in their own words.

 

 

 

Director, Actor, Producer and three time Golden Globe winner, Denzel tells about those who inspired him and the lessons he learned growing up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Famous singer, Jewel shares her heart wrenching story of growing up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Infamously famous singer, Johnny Cash shares his life story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Journalist, Anderson Cooper and his mother shares their story of heartache and perseverance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil Rights activist and American poet, Maya Angelou speaks of her mother in this heartwarming quick read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

American heart throb, Robe Lowe shares success and disappointments with his fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brutally honest talk-show host and actress Rosie O’Donnell explains the harsh life of living out of the spotlight after having lived in it for so long, and illuminates what its like for her to be a mother, daughter, and wife.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

America’s favorite child star, Shirley Temple tells what life was like growing up a child star.

 

 

 

 

 

 

American actress and comedian, Tina Fey describes her life growing up dreaming to be a comedian on national television.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Television host and comedian, Whoopi Goldberg shares stories of her life from dealing with situations in her family to her business life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dirty Dancing star, Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi, share their love story and fight with pancreatic cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Sniper, Chris Kyle shares his story of being America’s most lethal sniper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duck Commander, Phil Robertson tells his story of love, life, and the building of an empire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few new autobiographies we’re all waiting for?

 

 

 

From Fiction to Fact

Do you ever stop in the middle of reading a novel to find out more about the subject of your book? These days, it’s very quick to look something up online or on your smart phone. But sometimes a novel will interest you so much that you want to really dig into a topic. I often feel this way after reading a Young Adult novel. YA books are not just fantasy and coming of age stories. They take on all kinds of interesting social issues and historical perspectives. At the same time, teens have the intellect to springboard into most of the non-fiction we have at the library. Here are some book pairings that match a YA novel with a non-fiction book that will provide more information about the novel’s topic. I hope you have fun with these; they are great choices for teens and adults!

Author Sherri Smith paints a grim picture of New Orleans in Orleans, a futuristic look at a viral outbreak caused by climate change. Outbreak outlines some steps that scientists are taking to protect against this type of epidemic.

  

Those of us “of a certain age” have strong memories of the tragic Killing Fields of Cambodia. For teens, Never Fall Down and First They Killed My Father may provide a new awareness of this tragedy.

  

Yes, I realize that I have highlighted Tamar before! It’s just so good, I can’t stop talking about it. It’s also possible that I am obsessed with World War II Resistance movements. We rightly have lots of books about the male soldiers in the war, but Courage & Defiance highlights some of the ways men and women fought behind the scenes.

  

Code Name Verity and Women Heroes of World War II provide another look at World War II, this time through the eyes of women.

  

Walter Dean Myers tackles the U.S. role in a much more recent war in Sunrise Over Fallujah. Follow this excellent book with Heroes Among Us, first hand accounts of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  

The Russian Revolution has fascinated readers for decades. Tsarina approaches the subject from a romantic perspective with a touch of fantasy thrown in. Marcus Sedgwick uses the real life experience of children’s author Arthur Ransome to weave a story of spies and warring Russian factions in Blood Red Snow White. The Family Romanov (currently on the Eliot Rosewater reading list) is a fascinating account of the Romanovs and is also available as an audio book through the Indiana Digital Download Center.

      

Teens who have outgrown the easier environmental chapter books of Carl Hiaason will probably enjoy Anthill by E. O. Wilson. This book, written by an esteemed biologist from Harvard University, pits a teenage naturalist against land developers. To learn more about the need to preserve our forests, check out Forests Forever by John Berger.

  

Love Disguised is a light-hearted look at the beginning of William Shakespeare’s career and will appeal to fans of Shakespeare in Love. The Age of Shakespeare will answer any questions you may have about the culture in which Shakespeare wrote.

  

These are all terrific novels, and remember that enjoying non-fiction doesn’t mean you have to read the entire book. Feel free to browse through these choices and read whatever parts satisfy your curiosity.

Gail Gibbons – Master of Easy Non-Fiction Books

“Gail Gibbons has taught more preschoolers and early readers about the world than any other children’s writer-illustrator.”

–Washington Post

Time after time, when teachers want an informational book about a particular subject, they turn to the work of Gail Gibbons. However, these are not just great for schools. Many children love to read or listen to “real” books. Sharing easy non-fiction with children reinforces their natural curiosity about the world around them. Non-fiction books show children that reading is the way we learn new things, and it introduces children to all kinds of experiences that might not be available in the local area. Gail Gibbons has written and illustrated over 170 children’s books and many of these are available at our branches. You can find lots of information about Gail Gibbons on her home page. Remember that if we don’t have the book you would like, you can submit an Interlibrary Loan request by phone or on our web page.

Here are some of my favorite Gail Gibbons books. These titles show the wide variety of subjects her books cover.

mummies     penguins

sunken-treasure     the-berry-book

farming

There is truly something for everyone! My all-time favorite Gibbons book is Behold . . . the Dragons, an overview of dragon folklore from around the world.

behold-the-dragons

Check out a few of these terrific titles to explore with your children! Once you’re hooked on Gail Gibbons, you might want to watch this video interview.

 

Funny Women, Funny Lives

Need a break from all the holiday hoopla? Then have a laugh with some of the funniest women around.

When you’re stressed and can’t laugh at your own life, spend some time laughing at the lives of the funny women of comedy and turn that frown upside down.


the-girl-with-the-lower-back-tattooThe most in-demand comedian of the moment is Amy Schumer, who started her comedic career in stand-up and earned her first break on the reality show “Last Comic Standing.” She continued that success with a Comedy Central Stand-up special and skit show “Inside Amy Schumer.” In her first foray into non-fiction writing, she chronicles some hilarious, heart-wrenching, and explicit experiences in a collection of essays. From her observations as a child of divorce and love of New York City to working with her siblings to create her first feature-length film, Trainwreck, which won the Hollywood Film Award for “Comedy of the Year” in 2015. Just like her stand-up, Amy’s sarcastic, snarky, uproarious, and ultimately genuine voice is center stage in The Girl with the Lower Back TattooAmy reminds us that we can find the funny in any situation, no matter how awkward, sad, or just plain disgusting. Ultimately, Amy reveals how she received and now feels about that crooked lower back tattoo, and expresses her opinion about what she thinks that tattoo conveys to society. This collection of essays is not just a narcissistic way for Amy to talk more about herself, but a full-fledged attempt at displaying who she really is, how she came to be who she is, and the causes she is passionate about. Also, by the time you finish the audio book of The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo recorded by Amy herself, you will feel like you have spent an evening getting to know Amy at her beautiful New York City apartment: sipping wine, eating pasta, sharing entertaining stories of the past, and discussing current events and social issues.


More Funny Women Found on Our Shelves

yes-pleaseYes Please by Amy Poehler

Bossypants by Tina Feybossypants

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Chelsea Handler

chelsea-handlerAre You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea

chelsea-chelsea-bang-bangChelsea Chelsea Bang Bang

.

.

.

.

.

Uganda Be Kidding Meuganda-be-kidding-me


More Funny Women Found on the

Indiana Digital Download Center

More from Chelsea Handler

my-horizontal-life My Horizontal Life

Audio book

Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me lies-that-chelsea-handler-told-me

Audio book

by Chelsea’s Family,

Friends,

and Other Victims.

is-everyone-hanging-out-without-meBy Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?: And Other Concerns

Audio Book.

Why not me?why-not-me

Audio Book

.

.

.

self-inflicted-woundsSelf-inflicted Wounds:

Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation

by Aisha Tyler

 


More Funny Women Coming Soon

talking-as-fast-as-i-canTalking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything In Between by Lauren Graham

Release Date: November 28, 2016

.

scrappy-little-nobodyScrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Release Date: November 15, 2016

It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too)

its-okay-to-laugh-crying-is-cool-too

If you’re looking for the next book to make you laugh out loud one minute and weep the next, then Nora McInerny Purmort’s memoir It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) is the perfect fit for you. In 271 pages, Purmort offers advice, anecdotes, and glimpses into her past to help those who are grieving the loss of a loved one or for those who have watched someone grieve and might not have known what to say or do. Purmort does not claim to be an expert on grief, but she does offer her own story of losing her husband, father, and baby within weeks of each other and how she’s working on getting through it.

Nora’s boyfriend Aaron is diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer for which there is no cure. In the subsequent weeks and years following his diagnosis, Nora and Aaron decide to get married and have a baby. In the memoir, Nora emphasizes how important it is to live in the moment because we never know what is coming around the corner. She only got three years to be Aaron’s wife but, as she reiterates throughout the memoir, there is nothing she would have changed, not even the petty parts. It is important to remember that we are all imperfect humans who do and say imperfect things, especially in times of great sadness and loss.

Purmort constantly surprises the reader throughout the memoir by cutting through the thick sadness that surrounds the deaths of those she loves with humorous stories and vignettes into her own life. Rather than focusing her memoir on the respective deaths of her father and husband, Purmort instead offers memories and stories of her loved ones as she chooses to remember them in life. She is a gifted storyteller who can make her readers laugh one sentence, cry the next, and then laugh hysterically again in the next paragraph. Purmort manages to make her readers feel like an old friend in the way that she bares her thoughts and feelings, both good and bad.

This memoir is kind of like an unofficial guidebook for dealing with grief or how to approach a situation in which someone else is grieving and not knowing what to say or do. Nora McInerny Purmort is incredibly snarky, sassy, sarcastic, serious, and sad all in one book. Even if you aren’t experiencing the immense grief that comes with the loss of a loved one, It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) is a must-read for the fall.

Gardening for the Birds!

As the weather warms up, many of us are busy planning what we will add in our gardens this year. We have lots of great gardening resources for both vegetable and flower gardens, so stop by and take a look through our shelves. You may want to think about adding some plants that are especially good at attracting birds or butterflies. I love to plant zinnias, because I know they will attract lots of swallowtail butterflies! We have a variety of books to help you make your plant selections with birds and butterflies in mind.

The Indiana Digital Download Center also has a large selection of gardening books available for download, including The Art of Hummingbird Gardening.

attracting 2  attracting

bird by bird  birds in your bb

birdscaping  butterfly gardening

garden birds 2  garden butterflies

hummingbirds  wildlife