Cooking with Kids Around the World

September 13 is National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day! Sometimes it can be hard to let go and let your little ones have free range anywhere, much less the kitchen where there are sharp knives, fire, and other dangerous items. The Aurora Public Library District has plenty of physical and digital copies of books to get your kids cooking with minimal supervision on your part!

Studies have shown that letting your kids help you out in the kitchen will make them more likely to eat what you put in front of them, including vegetables! So, if you do find yourself in the Library, here are some books you can check out for your kids to help make dishes from around the world:

If your family loves eating out but hates the bill afterward, try these cookbooks with your favorite ethnic recipes that you and your little chef can make right at home:

 

If you can’t stop in the library, be sure to check out a kid-friendly cookbook from OverDrive. You can prop your iPad, tablet, or smartphone up and cook straight from there! Let us know what you make!

Happy Eating! And Reading!

9/11 Fiction, Nonfiction, & Movies

To some, it feels like the events of September 11, 2001 happened only moments ago; many of us can still remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we found out that we had been attacked. But all the younger generation knows about the events is what they’ve been taught in school, or read in books, or watched on movies and documentaries. It is important to keep any historical event relevant, especially one of this magnitude. One of the most popular ways to do so is to offer historical fiction.

With the anniversary of 9/11 fast approaching, here are some fiction, nonfiction, and movie titles for teen and young adult readers to help them have a feel for what it was like to be alive from various walks of life during the September 11 terrorist attacks:

Fiction

Falling Man by Don DeLillo

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

Tuesday Morning series by Karen Kingsbury

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

All We Have Left by Wendy Mills

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Zero Day by Mark Russinovich

Nonfiction

9/11 The World Speaks

Let’s Roll by Lisa Beamer

The Day the World Came to Town by Jim DeFede

102 Minutes by Jim Dwyer

Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive by Joel Meyerowitz

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson

Last Man Down by Richard Picciotto

World Trade Center by Peter Skinner

Report from Ground Zero by Dennis Smith

Movies

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Man on Wire

Remember Me

United 93

World Trade Center

Here are some other titles you could ask for through Interlibrary Loan:

Nine, Ten by Nora Raleigh Baskin

The Man with the Red Bandana by Richard Lawson

Eleven by David Llewellyn

The Usual Rules by Joyce Maynard

Eleven by Tom Rogers

Portraits: 9/11/01 by The New York Times

Tower Stories by Damon DiMarco

In the Shadow of No Towers by Art Spiegelman

With Their Eyes by Annie Thomas

Tiger Cruise

Do you have any other recommendations?

Nonfiction: True Crime

Halloween is not the only time to put you in the mood to be scared with terrifying stories and creepy movies. If chilling stories are for you, then an overlooked section of nonfiction would be the true crime section, beginning with the call number 364. Section 364 is the true crime section, where you can read real stories and accounts of actual crimes and people, like unsolved murder mysteries, information on different serial killers, and more. Not only will you be scared witless, you’ll learn a little something along the way as well.

I believe true crime stories like the ones housed throughout the Aurora Public Library District continue to fascinate us because we want to understand the psychology of those who are different, especially those who are accused or convicted of horrendous crimes. We want to see what makes them so different from us “normal” people when we all look “normal” on the outside– at least, that’s why I find them so fascinating. What makes these accounts all the more terrifying is the fact that they actually did happen and could very well happen to anyone today.

A few of the titles you’ll find on the shelves are:

The 10 Worst Serial Killers by Victor McQueen

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi

Cellar of Horror by Ken Englade

Cruel Sacrifice by Aphrodite Jones

The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall

Dead by Sunset: Perfect Husband, Perfect Killer? by Ann Rule

Along with the physical copies of true crime stories housed at the Aurora and Dillsboro branches, we also have several digital copies of various true crime stories available from the Indiana Digital Download Center. Stop by one of the branches to browse the shelves or you can always browse our virtual shelves online.

Happy Reading!

National Great Poetry Reading Day

Saturday, April 28 is National Great Poetry Reading Day!

How can you celebrate?

For starters, you can visit one of the branches of the Aurora Public Library District and check out volumes of poetry by great poets, like John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Rupi Kaur, William Wordsworth, Sylvia Plath, Alfred Tennyson, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein, and Maya Angelou, among many others. If you just want to browse the poetry section to see what you can find, start in section 808.1. You’ll be able to browse titles at your leisure and take ones that speak to you. Or, if you’d rather, you can visit the Indiana Digital Download Center and browse our digital poetry selections, too.

One major way that poetry differs from novels or nonfiction is that poetry begs to be read out loud. The only way to appreciate the cadence of the words on the page is to read them out loud and listen. On National Great Poetry Reading Day, gather some friends and family around and read your favorite poems aloud. Or record yourself reading your favorite poem and upload it to social media with #NationalGreatPoetryReadingDay. By following the hashtag, you’ll be able to see other poetry connoisseurs celebrating the day in their own way as well.

You could try your hand at writing your own poetry, too! If you want to follow the exact rules to write specific types of poetry, like haiku, sonnet, or limerick, we have titles with examples and instructions. But one of the best things about poetry is that, as you’re writing, you can decide how you want your idea to appear on the paper. Free verse is exactly that; free! You can choose to write your poem however you want.

Tell us how you’re going to celebrate National Great Poetry Reading Day! I’m going to see if I can find my old stuff from college from that poetry class I took.

Happy Reading!

Shakespeare Day!

To celebrate, or not to celebrate? That is the question, but the answer is: Of course! April 23 is National Shakespeare Day!

Baptized on April 26, 1564, William Shakespeare is widely considered to be the greatest writer of the English language, having works ranging from plays to poems, as well as being an actor himself. He was born in raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Not much is known about his early life except at the age of eighteen, he married the much-older Anne Hathaway and had three children with her. He traveled to London sometime between 1585 and 1592 and became a successful writer, actor, and part-owner of a playing company, Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later the King’s Men. He retired to Stratford around 1613, around the age of 49, where he died three years later.

Little else is known about Shakespeare, except that he wrote and produced 37 plays during his time in London, ranging from comedies, including Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream, to historical dramas, like Richard III, Henry IV, V, and VI, to tragedies, such as Hamlet, Macbeth, and Titus Andronicus. He also wrote 154 sonnets as well as narrative poetry. Shakespeare set the bar that many other writers would follow, influencing generations of writers still today. If you’re interested in learning more about William Shakespeare, follow this link to books in our collection about his life.

So, how can the Aurora Public Library District help you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? Well, you can check out DVDs based on his plays and life, as well as modern retellings of his classic plays. I think it is important to read Shakespeare, but I think it is even more important to watch Shakespeare to really understand him. There is nothing quite like watching words on the page come to life before your eyes, in period costumes with facial expressions and vocal intonations to help you to really grasp the play.

You can also check out copies of his plays and poems to read for yourself, if you’d like to let the words wash over you and give yourself time to process what takes place in each scene, or what each poem is really trying to say. There are physical copies as well as digital copies through the Indiana Digital Download Center. The Aurora Public Library District has a collection of No Fear Shakespeare titles, which puts the original text side-by-side with modern-day language in order to make it easier to understand. This will definitely come in handy if you want more depth to the play.

I am continually amazed at how relevant the themes of the plays are to today, even though Shakespeare’s time was almost 500 years ago. The language might seem archaic, but if you dig deeper until you find the meaning behind the prose, you’ll be surprised, too. Shakespeare was a genius at capturing humans, from their words to the words they weren’t speaking, but that their body language, facial expressions, and tones would show. If you ever get the chance to see one of Shakespeare’s plays in person, I highly recommend that you take it.

How will you celebrate National Shakespeare Day? I think I’ll reread my favorite play, Hamlet, and then watch The Lion King, which is what the Disney movie is based off of. Pretty cool, huh?

Happy Reading!

National Grammar Day

It’s the most wonderful day of the year — at least, it is if you majored in English in college and love to write! Sunday, March 4 is National Grammar Day.

I know, I know; I’m excited, too.  I can hardly blame you. If you’re like Aunt Josephine and me, and want to correct every grammatical error and typo you come across, then this is the holiday you need to celebrate!

The Aurora Public Library District has just what you need!

Grammar is often defined as a set of rules speakers and writers must follow, but many scholars believe that grammar is used to better understand the language. Even though there are some grammatical rules that are fixated for all eternity, grammar can still change as the language changes.

We have books on how to improve your grammar, so you can perfect that Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram post, so as to make all your followers envious about how smart you are. We have titles on beginning and intermediate grammar lessons for all levels! We also have titles on how to write better while using correct grammar, so your next novel will need next-to-no editing! If you would rather check out digital books through the Indiana Digital Download Center with OverDrive, we’ve got you covered there, too!

So, brush up on your grammar and celebrate #NationalGrammarDay! (Ha! The # is a perfect example of how grammar can change with the changing language!)

Happy Reading!

The Olympics: Books to Read & DVDs to Watch

The 2018 Olympic Games will take place February 9 through 25 in PyeongChang, South Korea. Some popular events include figure skating, skiing, curling, ice hockey, luging, snowboarding, and speed skating. The Aurora Public Library District has plenty to offer to get you as excited as you can about this global tradition.

Nonfiction:

Rome 1960: The Olympics that Changed the World by David Maraniss

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and their Epic Quest for Gold in the 1936 Olympics by Daniel Brown

A Skating Life: My Story by Dorothy Hamill

Relentless Spirit by Missy Franklin

Miracle on Ice by the Staff of the New York Times

The Treasures of the Olympic Winter Games by Martha McIntosh

I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez

Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive by Laura Hillenbrand

Olympic Portraits by Annie Leibovitz

6 Below by Eric LeMarque and Davin Seay

Fiction:

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron

Swift Edge by Laura A.H. DiSilverio

Winners by Danielle Steel

The Games by James Patterson

Gold by Chris Cleave

Garden of Beasts: A Novel of Berlin 1936 by Jeffrey Deaver

DVDs:

Cool Runnings

Eddie the Eagle

Race

Miracle

Be sure to check out the Olympics display featured at the Aurora Public Library on the stairwell between the first and second floors! What’s your favorite event of the Olympics?

Happy Reading!

Home Improvement

If you’ve been following my Cooking with Shelby blogs, you know that I’ve been trying to become a real-life grown-up. Recently, my husband and I have the opportunity to move into our first real house as a married couple. This new house is all open, which means there won’t be much hiding our clutter (read: junk) in a back room that no one ever goes into (Who does that?? Also: I do that.). It’s an older house, too, which means that it could use some modern improvements, like updated floors and appliances. Boring.

What isn’t boring, though, is the fact that I get to paint and decorate the house however I want to. We’ve been perusing home improvement stores and websites, and I wondered if the Aurora Public Library District would have anything I could use.

I was in luck! The library has plenty of volumes about home improvement and home decorating. Where should I start?

We have books on kitchen remodeling, bathroom makeovers, and exterior home repairs. We have books on DIY plumbing, wiring, and other home projects. We also have books on decorating your new space, or sprucing up your old space. We have information on painting, choosing and installing new floors, and, you know, books on how to keep your new house clean once it’s pieced together the way you want it.

Once you’re in your new home, maybe you’ll want to start a garden. I thought about it, but I’m worried I’ll kill the poor plants before they sprout. Luckily, we have plenty of beginning gardening books to get me started!

Sometimes I think about a project I would like to do after the library has closed. Luckily, the Indiana Digital Download Center also has a wide variety of home improvement , design, and decorating information that I can download right to my Kindle from home without ever leaving the house!

I’m so excited to get started renovating my new home! Hopefully you’re excited, too, to start your next big project!

Happy Reading!

Cooking With Shelby

Hi, everyone! I’m back with another recipe from a book we have on the Indiana Digital Download Center! I checked out Chrissy Teigan’s cookbook, Cravings, and immediately spent the next two months trying to decide what to make since all of her recipes looked so tasty! Once I decided, I requested Cravings through the Interlibrary Loan services because it’s easier for me to cook from a book by keeping the page open instead of trying to flip back and forth digitally. I made Chrissy’s Rotochick Chicken Noodle Soup on page forty-four, which was the easiest and tastiest recipe ever!

Here’s what you’ll need:

First, I had to chop all the vegetables to get them ready to cook. I also went ahead and cooked the egg noodles and set them aside.

Then I added the oil and the onions to a large stock pot. Once the onions were tender, I added the carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pot to soften the vegetables up a little more. I found garlic in a tube that was already minced, so that was a nice way to save some time!

Next, I added the chicken stock and the bay leaf. I let the pot come to a boil and then I turned the heat down to let it simmer for forty-five minutes.

After the forty-five minutes were up, I stirred in the shredded chicken and the noodles, letting the pot simmer for another ten minutes.

This soup was so amazingly flavorful, and I couldn’t believe how simple it was! This recipe was perfect for that winter comfort food craving without the guilt. This is one that will go into my repertoire to make again and again!

Bonus: Chrissy recommends eating this soup with buttered saltine crackers. You’ll have to let me know how it tastes! Until next time!

National American Heart Month

Going hand in hand with Valentine’s Day, love, romance, and National Library Lover’s Month, February is also National American Heart Month. The Aurora Public Library District is here for you for all of your heart questions and answers.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, remains the leading cause of global deaths every year, with 17.3 million deaths. And while many cardiovascular issues can be genetic, there are still many preventative steps you can take to protect your heart and your health.

Educate Yourself

Read up on all the information you can find about your heart and heart health. Learn how the cardiovascular system works so you can keep your old ticker in tip-top shape. Learn the signs and symptoms for certain heart diseases so you can be on guard for yourself and your loved ones. Visit the American Heart Association website for more information.

Dietary Changes

I’ll be the first to admit that greasy cheeseburgers and salty french fries are delicious, but we’re harming ourselves by constantly eating convenient junk foods. Check out heart-healthy cookbooks filled with recipes and tips for you to keep your heart safe. Become familiar with what you’re putting into your body and eat smarter by cutting back on portions, lowering your sodium intake, and adding colorful fruits and vegetables to every meal.

Be Active

I know, I know — it’s cold out and we don’t want to do anything but sit on the couch and binge-watch Netflix. Of course it’s perfectly fine for you to relax after a long day, but everything in moderation. Make it a personal goal to get up and move at least once a day. It’s super simple! Just start walking! You can change your life (and your waistband!) by simply walking for a few minutes everyday. And as you get healthier, you will want to walk for longer and farther. While you’re walking, running, or burning calories with an intense cardio workout, listen to an audiobook you can check out from the Indiana Digital Download Center.

Be Mindful

Your heart health journey doesn’t start in your diet or in your walking feet; it starts in your mind! It starts with the conscience decision to better your health for yourself and others. This means getting enough sleep, reducing stress (incorporate yoga and meditation into your routine), and knowing your body’s limits. Take it slow! Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why should a complete lifestyle overhaul take place overnight? It’s okay to make yourself as a priority sometimes by taking a personal day to have a massage or simply unplug your electronic distractions. And of course, don’t skip out on your yearly checkup. If you are feeling concerned about something, don’t put off that doctor visit.

Give your heart a little more love this February by celebrating National American Heart Month. As always, Happy Reading!