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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Librarian's Favorites

            Here are some of the books that librarian Eileen has reviewed for our Adult Summer Reading Club.
            This is M. Sasek: the Extraordinary Life and Travels of the Beloved Children’s Book Illustrator, is written by Martin Salisbury. It is a fascinating biography of the artist, Miroslav Sasek, who is the creator of the bestselling “This is” series of children’s books. Chock full of illustrations, documents and fan letters from children, this oversize book is a wonderful read for those people who enjoy both beautifully illustrated children’s books and world travel!
            Appetites: a Cookbook, is written by Anthony Bourdain. In true Anthony Bourdain fashion, the author entertains with not only a memoir of his globetrotting travels but also his favorite recipes for entertaining. Full color photos enhance the classic recipes, and his irreverent chatter throughout the book serves as a way in which we are able to get to know him on a more personal level. A true “work of art!”          
            Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel, is written by Alon Shaya. Part cookbook and part memoir, Alon Shaya has written a book that interlaces the story of his life with the food memories that helped shape it. His recipes are simple-to-follow and the full-color photographs entice the reader to try them.
            Cuba Then: Rare and Classic Images from the Ramiro Fernandez Collection is a dazzling compilation of rare photographs and observations of “old” Cuba, and is one of the largest collections of images outside of Cuba. This will be of interest to people traveling to Cuba and others interested in Cuban-American culture.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Afternoon Book Discussions

Join us for our Afternoon Book Discussions, held on the second Wednesday of every month from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. We select books from a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, encourage lively discussion, and enjoy delicious refreshments. The reading selections for the second half of 2018 are:
July 11thThe Paris Architect: A Novel, written by Charles Belfoure. A Parisian architect is paid handsomely to devise secret hiding spaces for Jews in his Nazi-occupied country but struggles with risking his life for a cause he is ambivalent towards, until a personal failure brings home their suffering.
August 8thGoldberg Variations, written by Susan Isaacs. A septuagenarian business owner evaluates her grandchildren as possible successors to her multi-million-dollar beauty empire, including New York movie studio editor Daisy, womanizing sports PR representative Matt, and religious Legal Aid lawyer Raquel.
September 12th -- Orphan Train, written by Christina Baker Kline. Close to aging out of the foster care system, Molly Ayer takes a position helping an elderly woman named Vivian and discovers that they are more alike than different as she helps Vivian solve a mystery from her past.
October 10th – Best Boy: A Novel, written by Eli Gottlieb. A middle-aged autistic resident of a therapeutic community where he was sent as a young child rebels against changes in his environment by attempting to return to a family home and younger sibling he only partially remembers.
November 14th – Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948, written by Madeleine Albright. The former Secretary of State witnessed the Nazi invasion of her native Prague, the Holocaust, and the defeat of fascism, the rise of communism, and the onset of the Cold War
December 12th – Marriage of Opposites: A Novel, written by Alice Hoffman. Dreaming of an exotic life in Paris while coming of age in a St. Thomas refugee community, young Rachel is forced to marry a widower before falling scandalously in love and becoming the mother of Impressionist master Camille Pissarro.

Monday, June 11, 2018

New Non-Fiction from Bibliotheca E-Books

             Just in from our subscription to Bibliotheca e-books – some of the latest bestsellers and other new non-fiction.
            The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations, is written by John McCain and Mark Salter. Here, the former Republican presidential nominee chronicles his political career from the election of Barack Obama through the divisive 2016 election, offering his opinions of the current developments in Washington as well as his recommendations for ongoing international challenges.
            Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, is written by David Grann. The book presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.
            Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House is written by Michael Wolff. The columnist  and author presents his impressions of the chaos of Donald Trump's first nine months in office, detailing why Comey was really fired, how to communicate with the president, and who is directing the administration following Bannon's dismissal.
            Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book is written by Dan Harris, the co-anchor of the weekend edition of Good Morning America, and two other authors. This is a a practical guide to meditation that debunks the myths, misconceptions, and self-deceptions that make many people reluctant to try it, and suggests a range of meditation practices.
            Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery is written by retired astronaut Scott Kelly, a veteran of four space flights. This is his illustrated memoir of his experiences, including a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station. He shares candid reminiscences of his voyages, his colorful formative years and the off-planet journeys that shaped his early career.
            These and other e-books can be borrowed. Instructions are available on the library’s website at

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Hot Weather Foods

            Here are some ideas for hot weather meals, bound up in some recently published cookbooks.
            Cool Smoke: The Art of Great Barbecue is written by Tuffy Stone, a World Record-breaking champion pit master who has traveled throughout the world on the competition circuit. He provides tips on how to handle smoke, fuel, and fire during the cooking process, and then continues with recipes for rubs, sauces, brines, mops and sprays and dishes made of pork, beef, poultry, and seafood. Recipes for some sides, salads, and desserts round up the collection. Colorful photos and clear text simplifies meal preparation.
            Great Vegan BBQ without a Grill: Amazing Plant-Based Ribs, Burgers, Steaks, Kabobs, and More Smoky Favorites is written by Linda and Alex Meyer, who are the authors of the food blog Veganosity. Using a grill pan or cast iron skillet instead of an outdoor grill or smoker you can prepare plant-based barbecue, burgers, kabobs and other entrees along with sides and salads, dips, sauces and rubs.
            A la Mode: 120 Recipes in 60 Pairings: Pies, Tarts, Cakes, Crisps, and More Topped with Ice Cream, Gelato, Frozen custard, and More is written by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarborough, popular cookbook writers and QVC favorites. Not just apple pie and vanilla ice cream, this book features more unusual recipes and combinations to please your palate.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Travel Ideas

            In the summertime, or anytime, planning a trip can be almost as much fun as the travel itself. Here are some new books for your enjoyment.
            111 Places in Queens That You Must Not Miss, written by Joe DiStefano, offers the opportunity to sample the many ethnicities of the world in one borough. Whether you are interested in food, the arts, religious edifices, shopping, and more, this concise yet informative guide, accompanied by plenty of color photos, will encourage you to visit our next-door neighbor.
            National Geographic Guide to State Parks of the United States, Fifth Edition offers concise, descriptive reviews of more than 950 parks within the United States, accompanied by full color photos of several of them. Listings are arranged by region of the country and then by state.
            Road Trips: A Guide to Travel, Adventure, and Choosing Your Own Path, is written by Jen CK Jacobs, an editorial photographer who has published work in several books and periodicals. This is a different type of travel book; it describes eight different trips, from solo traveler, to romantic getaway, to those shared by friends and gives tips on packing, snacks, photographing the sights, and more.
            The Solo Travel Handbook: Practical Tips and Inspiration for a Safe, Fun and Fearless Trip, is a Lonely Planet publication designed to answer many of the questions solo travelers have, such as managing your money, meeting people, staying connected, health, safety, and others.
Walking the Americas: 1,800 Miles, Eight Countries, and One Incredible Journey from Mexico to Colombia is written by Levison Wood, a British explorer whose previous books tell of his adventures walking the length of the Nile River and of the Himalayas. Here we follow him and his friend Alberto on a trek that took over four months and 1,800 miles, from Yucatan, Mexico to Colombia..

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Books for and about Older Americans

               Join us in celebrating May as Older Americans month by reading one or all of these recently published books.
            Aging Gracefully: Portraits of People Over100 is compiled by Karsten Thormaehlen. It features photographic portraits of 52 people who have lived beyond 100 years, accompanied by enlightening annotations about their lives.
            Aging with Care: Your Guide to Hiring and Managing Caregivers at Home is written by Amanda Lambert. This guide helps readers in finding superior at-home care for one’s aging parents or other relatives, based upon the level of attention they need. Real-life stories are included.
            Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year among the Oldest Old is written by John Leland, a reporter. Here he recounts his time spent with six of New York's oldest inhabitants, all eighty-five and older, who share their wisdom about aging, life quality, and the art of living.
            Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century is written by Jessica Bruder. The award-winning journalist sets out on the road to explore the new phenomenon of “workampers” who are migrant workers made up of transient older Americans who took to the road after discovering that their social security came up short and their mortgages were underwater.
            The RBG Workout is written by Bryant Johnson, the personal trainer for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The fully illustrated book details her twice-weekly exercise workout, including warm-up, strength training, and cool-down that all of us can follow in our own homes.
            Who Will Take Care of Me When I’m Old?  Plan Now to Safeguard Your Health and Happiness in Old Age is written by Joy Loverde. The book asserts that growing old does not mean a decline into helplessness, and argues that it is essential to have a plan in place in order to maintain a high  quality of life in later years.                                                  

Monday, April 30, 2018

Historical Fiction: World War II

            Although the war ended more than seventy years ago, novels depicting this time are relevant in today’s society.

            The Paris Architect, written by Charles Belfoure, is the story of a Parisian architect who is paid handsomely to devise secret hiding spaces for Jews in his Nazi-occupied country but struggles with risking his life for a cause towards which he is ambivalent. A personal failure brings their suffering home.

            Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, written by Jamie Ford, finds a present-day Henry Lee looking back at his youth in Seattle during World War II, when artifacts from Japanese families sent to internment camps are uncovered, reminding him of the young girl Keiko he met at that time.

            The Nightingale, written by Kristin Hannah, finds two French sisters reunited when the elder’s husband is sent to fight in World War II. Vianne and Isabelle find their bond and their respective beliefs tested by a world that changes in horrific ways.

            Lilac Girls, written by Martha Hall Kelly, tells the story of three women whose lives converge at the Ravensbreuck concentration camp as one resolves to help from her post at the French consulate, one becomes a courier in the Polish resistance, and one takes a German government medical position.

            A Thread of Grace, written by Mary Doria Russell, is about Claudette Blum, a fourteen-year-old, and her father. They are fleeing across the Alps into Italy with thousands of other Jewish refugees seeking safety, only to find an open battleground among the Nazis, the Allied forces, resistance fighters, Jews in hiding, and ordinary Italians struggling to survive the harsh realities of World War II.