Tag Archives: books

Do you know the (book)score?

Here’s a (to my knowledge) unique website for book lovers:  The Bookscore.

It’s a review aggregator site, which is a fancy way to say that they compile a whole bunch of reviews for a book.  They give each book a score (here’s how they do it), but that’s not what I like best about the site.  The useful part, to me, is that a whole group of well-written reviews are gathered in one place for easy perusal.  So if you’re considering reading a particular book, or looking for something good to read, Bookscore is a great place to learn more about it.

At the end of each book’s page, they include links to “Further Reading,” which might be an interview with the author, an excerpt, or other goodies.  They also feature interesting articles and “book news.”   Browse away!

 

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The future of books

The team at winningedits.com has a nifty practice called  In Three Words.  They ask a variety of bookish sorts of people to answer a question in three words.

Here’s a fascinating one: what is the future of books?

And here are a few other “In Three Words:”

What does a good book represent?

How do you tell a great story?

And what do you think is the future of books?  Tell us in the comments… and use as many words as you like.

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Pop-up books for grownups

Let’s celebrate creativity.  Flavorwire.com highlights some outrageous and delightful pop-up books for adults.

Take a look here for one kind, and here for a slide show of other kinds.

And here’s an alphabet book that would be so much fun to share with kids!  Click on the image below to take a look at this short video:

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Gettysburg, Alexandria, foreign lands and more

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Filed under Fiction, New Books

The Art of Browsing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other evening, I was helping an enthusiastic young reader look for a particular book.  To her chagrin, it was checked out.  We put it on hold for her, and I suggested we browse for a different book she might like.  “Browse?” she repeated, as if she were feeling the word in her mouth for the first time.

I’m afraid that browsing is becoming a lost art.  Is cyberspeed changing our brains?  Does no one have the time to meander the shelves without aim, open to surprise, an open space within ready be filled with something of which we know not?

As Pam Kessinger, a librarian at Portland Community College, writes, “’No thanks, I’m just browsing’ is the phrase I love to imagine hearing library users say, as if they were perusing the books like they would the newest fashions, for their cachet and allure of uniqueness. Just looking, the implication would be, idly picking up visual cues and letting their minds wander, taking in ideas and forming juxtapositions.”

Your library: one place in which you can take your time and follow your nose, in public, for free.  And who knows where your nose might take you?  I know of one person who took home a book about Spain.  Her husband saw it and surprised her later that year with a trip to Madrid!

Your mileage may vary.  Come in and browse anyway: it’s good for your brain.

–Mary Beth

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy July

July is…evidently, July is about food.  This is National Eggplant and Lettuce Month, National Ice Cream Month, and National Blueberry Month.  Also the month of horseradish, mango, melon, nectarine, garlic, hot dogs, and grilling in general  (I am not making this up).

This year, I subscribed to my first CSA (community-supported agriculture).  Every other week, I get a box full of local produce just brimming with vim and vigor and vitamins.  It’s like a treasure box!  I have to get on the web to learn how to use wheatberries, or scapes, or green garlic.  I feel so virtuous: I’m eating local, supporting local farming, and eating more vegetables–how much more virtuous can you get in the summer?  (If you’re interested, visit vivafarms.org, it’s a very nifty Skagit organization.)

So in honor of July (and virtue), I thought I’d share with you some of the books here at the library that celebrate good food.

Learn about it
Michael Pollan:  The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and Food Rules
Jonathan S. Foer:  Eating Animals
Steve Ettlinger:  Twinkie, Deconstructed
Alisa Smith: Plenty : eating locally on the 100-mile diet  (in British Columbia) 

Grow it
Barbara Kingsolver:  Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: a year of food life
Susan Browne: Little farm in the foothills   (in Whatcom County)

Ann Lovejoy: The year in bloom : gardening for all seasons in the Pacific Northwest
William Alexander: The $64 Tomato

 

Cook it
Food for all seasons : savory recipes from the Pacific Northwest
The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook
Understanding and managing your child’s food allergies
The Divvies Bakery cookbook : no nuts, no eggs, no dairy, just delicious!

 

Revel in It  (light fiction for reading in the hammock)(with some food)
Aimee Bender:  The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Erica Bauermeister:  The School of Essential Ingredients
Kate Jacobs:  Comfort Food
arah Addison Allen:  The Sugar Queen
Joanne Harris:  Chocolat
Diane Mott Davidson:  any of her mysteries, like The Cereal Murders, or Fatally Flaky

                             —Bon Appetit!  Mary Beth

 

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More on reader’s delights

So you’ve just burned through an entire author’s body work.  “There’s nothing to read!” you wail.  It sounds strangely familiar until you recognize your tone of voice: it’s the same grouchiness your kids voice when they look into the refrigerator and yell, “There’s nothing to eat!!!”

Do not despair.  The Internet once again delivers a resource to your home screen, free, easy to use, and inspirational.

The Literature Map is part of Gnod.com (they also do movies and music).  Just go to http://www.literature-map.com/, type in a favorite author’s name, and watch the magic.  A web of other author’s names will appear.  The closer the name, the more similiar that author is to yours; the further away, the more dissimilar.  What a great and easy way to find new authors to investigate! 

Here’s an example.  I entered “Debbie Macomber” into the search blank, and this is the result.

Of course, this is a database-driven list.  For personalized recommendations delivered with more wit, humor, and warmth, always consult your local librarian!   😉    We love to help.
                   –Mary Beth

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There’s a bustle in the air…

We’re winding up to Saturday night, folks, in the countdown mode now.  The evening of the 21st is the Foundation fundraiser, Books, Bite, and Burgundy.  This is the third year of the event, and promises to be the best yet (of course).

The library is starting to fill up with gift baskets of all kinds of tempting shapes and content.  There will be 50 baskets!  They’ll go in the Silent Auction.   In the staff area, supplies are starting to pile up — everything from special plates that have an indentation to hold your wine glass, to boxes of  crackers and other goodies starting to come in.  Foundation members are starting to dart in and out with news, questions, and supplies.   Maggie was cleaning the refrigerator this morning! 

So everyone is bustling about in preparation.  Now what we need are people to attend the gala!  Saturday, the library gets transformed into an elegant setting.  At 6:30 the doors open, and it becomes filled with life and laughter and all kinds of fun ways to support the library.   Which is, after all, the point.  And a wonderful point it is.

Please come, and get the word out to your friends.  Tickets are $25 at the door; you must be 21 or older to attend.

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Be Kind to Animals

Well, it’s Be Kind to Animals week.  (Get inspired here.)  This is even better than Arbor Day!  I started to make a list of some of my favorite animal-themed books (fiction, non-fiction, children’s…), but when it hit two pages I realized it might be a little overkill for a blog entry.  Still… there are so many great books!

So here are a few new or quite recent books waiting for you on our shelves.  And if you want more titles to consider, you know who to ask.
                                                   –Mary Beth

Ok, I can’t stand it, just one more, don’t miss this series!

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Books to celebrate trees

Surprise!  National Arbor Day is this Friday.   Who knew?    Ok, I admit it, I don’t even know what we’re celebrating.  But hey, I work in a library!  I can find out.

Happily, it turns out Arbor day is something I can really get behind.  Rather than celebrating a garden structure on which plants are supported, it’s more about trees.  There was an enthusiastic gardener and journalist named J. Sterling Morton, who moved to Nebraska in the late 1800s and started a movement for planting trees as windbreaks, to hold the soil, and to provide oxygen, shade, fuel, building materials, and food. (Click here to read a neat interactive history book online.)  The first official Arbor Day was proclaimed inNebraska in 1872 and celebrated with mass tree plantings.

So this Friday, plant some trees, take a hike, send someone a free Arbor Day e-card, and enjoy oxygen.  Meanwhile, here are some of my personal favorite tree books, waiting on a shelf at your local tree-loving library, for your reading pleasure.
           –Mary Beth

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