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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Do Celebrities Really Know How to Cook?

            Decide for yourself when you browse through these cookbooks, written by celebrities and selected by librarian Janine.

            It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great is written by Gwyneth Paltrow, the Academy Award-winning actress and bestselling cookbook author. Here she returns with recipes for the foods she eats when she wants to lose weight, look good, and feel more energetic.

            Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood is written by the popular country singer. She has found another way to reach her audience – with this follow-up to her successful Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen. In Home Cooking, Trisha serves up more homey, Southern-inflected fare from her country music kitchen.

            Eva’s Kitchen is authored by actress Eva Longoria. Although she may be most recognized for her role as Desperate Housewives saucy Gabrielle Solis, Eva’s favorite pastime is to be in the kitchen cooking the food she loves for her family and friends. Here are the recipes for her favorite dishes, accompanied by her life story.

            The Chew: What’s for Dinner? captures the show’s trademark wit and practical advice while highlighting ways to make dinner fun. Formatted like 2012’s standout bestseller, The Chew, this all-new book features more than 100 delectable recipes, perfect for each day of the week, from Manic Monday (fast and easy) to Friday Fun day (delicious treats), as well as the weekend.  

            The Tucci Cookbook, written by actor Stanley Tucci, features nearly 200 irresistible recipes, perfectly paired with delicious wines. The book is brimming with robust flavors, beloved Italian traditions, mouth-watering photographs, and engaging, previously untold stories from the family’s kitchen.

            Kate Gosselin’s Love is in the Mix is the work of Kate Gosselin, the well-known mom to eight growing – and hungry – kids. She knows her way around the kitchen, bestowing her passion for cooking onto her brood of budding chefs and sharing the family’s favorite recipes for both entertaining and everyday.

            Double Delicious! Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives is written by Jessica Seinfeld. Here are more of her easy, imaginative recipes that use the power of purees to make everything healthier, from a hearty turkey meatloaf to an irresistible tiramisu. Again, she’s raised the bar nutritionally and eliminated unnecessary sugar and fat, boosted fiber and nutrients, and cut way back on sodium to bring us more healthful food with fantastic flavor.

            Skinny Italian is written by Teresa Giudice, the star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Teresa shows how anyone can master the cornerstones of Italian cuisine. Learn how to make six different tomato sauces from scratch, how to choose and use the right olive oil, and how to prepare over sixty Giudice family recipes straight from Salerno. Discover how easy and economical wholesome, homemade cooking can be.


Thursday, April 16, 2015


            This novel is written by Colum McCann, a critically acclaimed author who was born in Ireland and now resides in New York City. The story includes elements of historical fiction and family saga. The reader travels back and forth through the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries (not in chronological order), and from Ireland, the United States, and Canada, to explore the thoughts and actions of both historical and fictional individuals.

            The historical figures are: Frederick Douglass, the nineteenth century American abolitionist and former slave; John Alcock and Teddy Brown, two British airmen who in 1919 won the contest to be the first to fly from North America to Great Britain or Ireland within 72 hours; and Senator George Mitchell, who was an integral contributor to the peace settlement in Northern Ireland during the late 1990s. These four men are seen to interact with four fictional characters, all women from the same family – great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, and daughter – during five different time periods. By the end of the novel, we are impressed by the inner strength of all of the characters as they cope with their own troubles, as well as with the historical “Troubles” of Northern Ireland.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pride and Prejudice Revisited

            The classic eighteenth-century novel Pride and Prejudice, written by Jane Austen, has inspired many other books; some of which update the storyline and others which continue the adventures of its well-known characters. Here are some of these titles, for Jane Austen aficionados and neophytes alike.
            The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, written by Bernie Su, explores the life of the twenty-four-year-old graduate student who still lives at home with her two sisters and is posting her views on YouTube for her thesis project, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Then she meets the arrogant William Darcy.
            Longbourn: a Novel, is written by Jo Baker. It presents the story of Pride and Prejudice, but as seen through the eyes of the Bennet servants, fleshing out their characters and focusing on their life events.
            The Pursuit of Mary Bennet, written by Pamela Mingle, tells the story of the socially awkward Bennet sister and her chance at love. To escape another one of Lydia’s scandals, sisters Mary and Kitty are bundled off to Jane and Bingley’s house where Mary meets Henry Walsh, an eligible bachelor who seems genuinely interested in her.
           Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: the Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem is written by Seth Grahame-Smith. In this altered tale, Elizabeth Bennet battles zombies who rise up from the plague-stricken dead. Joining forces with Elizabeth, a highly skilled warrior, is the equally talented-in-combat Mr. Darcy.   
            Death Comes to Pemberley is written by P.D. James, a well-known mystery writer. Who should unexpectedly arrive at the Darcy’s ball but Elizabeth’s disgraced sister Lydia, who claims that her husband Wickham has been murdered. Mayhem is the result until the situation is masterfully handled by Mr. Darcy.
          The Darcys Give a Ball: a Gentle Joke, Jane Austen Style is written by Elizabeth Newark. Here the children of the original characters – Elizabeth, Jane, Georgianna Darcy, Charlotte Collins, and others – come into their own as they find romance.
            The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet is written by Colleen McCullough, author of The Thorn Birds. After the death of Mrs. Bennet, Mary sets off to pursue adventure and romance. Meanwhile, the other family members have some brushes with scandal before all is resolved.