Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Don't keep this book Confidential!

Today’s Book: Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain

The plot: Bourdain, best known for his acerbic wit and adventurous tastebuds on A Cook’s Tour and No Reservations television shows, and regular guest spots on Top Chef, talks about how he got started in the restaurant business. Starting on the lowest rung as a summer-stock prep cook at a tacky fish and chowder restaurant, and working his way up to executive chef/chef-at-large at Brasserie Les Halles in New York, Bourdain tells of adventures in cooking, schooling, traveling, and getting high and getting sober in between.

Why You’ll Love It: Even if you’re not a fan of Bourdain’s spiky wit and public persona, you might be hard-pressed to put this book down. He writes with a style all his own, and tells stories that you just know are true, even if the names have been changed. It’s a quick read, at 352 pages, and each chapter is more engrossing than the next. He also includes a chapter on how you can make food like the famous chefs, and makes it sound easy (the trick: a good knife and squeeze bottles of sauce. No, really!)

Who Will/Should Read It: Foodies, wannabe foodies, fans of Bourdain, and anyone who watches the food network more than ten hours a week (guilty, guilty!)

Bourdain has also written novels (Bone in the Throat, Gone Bamboo, The Bobby Gold Stories), and collected some shorter pieces penned for magazines in The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones.

A few years back, Fox also made a TV series based on the book, starring Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Nicholas Brendan, but it was short-lived. Curious cooks can order the DVD set from MeLCat.

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Outside of a Dog, #19

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

The US Open started on Monday August 25th. For tennis aficionados, this two week tournament is one of the biggest tennis events of the year. If you can’t be there in Flushing, New York to see the action up close and personal, here are reading recommendations we hope you enjoy.

Sampras, Pete
A Champion’s Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis
Written by one of the game's all time greats, Sampras offers readers a unique look at his growing up years, early struggles, major championships wins, and his ultimate decision to retire from the game.
Bio Sampras WCV MCL TPL

Blake, James
Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won my Life Back
Currently ranked as one of the top ten players in the world, James Blake struggled through some particularly difficult years. He suffered from a serious physical illness caused by a fall on the tennis court; his beloved father died during this time period from a long and painful illness. In spite of these challenges, he rallied and re-entered the professional tennis world stronger than ever.

Spadea, Vince
Break Point: The Secret Diary of a Pro Tennis Player
Sort of a silly book but still fun for fans, Spadea, one of the long standing but lower ranked players on the professional tennis circuit offers a behind the scenes look at what really happens on and off the tennis court. You can’t help but get caught up in his irreverent and humorous look at his own experiences, the game in general, and some of the biggest names in the game playing today.
796.342 S SHL TPL

Many local libraries (Warren Civic Center and Arthur Miller included) have Tennis magazine. and instructional Tennis books and videos.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Chick Lit, Volume 2

“I was still me, Betsy, disgusted with my current footwear and ready to give my eyeteeth (or my new fangs) for Colin Farrell’s autograph.

Colin Farrell…now there was someone who’d make a delightful snack.” (From "Undead and Unwed" by Mary Janice Davidson.)

It’s been a long time since we last talked about chick lit here on the blog. This time, as promised, we’ll be discussing Urban Fantasy Chick Lit, which usually are paperbacks when first published, geared towards women, and involve fantasy of some kind: herein there are witches, werewolves, vampires, and all matter of otherworld, preternatural creatures! (Urban Fantasy isn’t always scary, either; usually it’s fun, and sometimes, even romantic.)

Mary Janice Davidson: According to her website, Davidson is credited with creating the ‘Paranormal Chick Lit’ genre. Author of the Queen Betsy series (Undead and…), she’s humorous (where else would you find a girl, newly a vampire, upset by her bad choice of ugly footwear?) and romantic as Queen Betsy tries to navigate her new life and powers.

Kim Harrison: Naming all of her “The Hollows/Rachel Morgan” books after Clint Eastwood movies, Harrison is by turns amusing and engrossing. Starting with “Dead Witch Walking,” and going to the most recent, “The Outlaw Demon Wails,” Harrison has created a world like our own, but also completely different. She also offers to answer questions and sign books for her readers online.

Kelley Armstrong: Most well-known for her “Women of the Otherworld” series (the ninth book, Personal Demon just released in July), Canadian author Armstrong also has two others, “Darkest Powers,” a Young Adult trilogy about a girl who sees ghosts, and the Nadia Stafford books, which is a different turn for the author: there are no supernatural elements.

The Otherworld books are designed so that a reader can pick them up in any order; there are also online short stories, in case you want to get a feel for the series before borrowing or buying the whole series.

Charlaine Harris: Charlaine Harris has been writing mysteries since she began the Aurora “Ro” Teagarden mysteries in the early 90’s. Since then, she’s become a phenomenon with two mystery series: the Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse novels, soon to be a television show on Showtime, starring Anna Paquin as a psychic barmaid, and the Grave/Harper Connelly mysteries, all murder and mayhem and a woman who can read graves. Both are well worth a read, enticing, exciting, and addictive!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Breaking Dawn is hard to do!

Today’s Book: Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer

The plot: The fourth in Meyer’s astoundingly popular YA series, Breaking Dawn brings to a close the stories of Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Jacob Black, three characters in a truly supernatural love triangle.

Beginning with a wedding (fans know which one!) and ending with an encounter with the all-too-frightening Volturi, Breaking Dawn is a massive 756 pages – easy to get through for veterans of the forerunner of YA phenomenons, Harry Potter.

I won’t spoil those still on the 200-plus waiting list, but lots of surprising things happen – things even devoted Meyer fans won’t expect! – and the ending is good and satisfying.

Why You’ll Love It: The Twilight books have become a worldwide marvel with sales that almost rival J.K. Rowling’s successful series. If you’ve just gotten into the series, or if you were a fan from day one, read this to find out how it all ends. Also great for fans of supernatural romance and urban fantasy.

Who Will/Should Read It: Teens who have been caught up in the “You’ve gotta read this!” craze, affectionately calling themselves “Twilighters,” adults who like a good freeform modern fantasy, and any parent who wants to know what the big deal is.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Outside of a Dog, #18

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

We all like to give advice whether we are asked for it or not. Here are several books that do an excellent job of offering advice and even a little inspiration on how to lead a more worthwhile and happy life.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
At the age of 47 Mr. Pausch died of pancreatic cancer this past month but not before leaving us the lecture of a lifetime along with book of insightful observations and advice on how to make our lives more meaningful. The book came from a video on YouTube by the same title. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo

Bio Pausch WCV WDB

Before I Go: Letters to Our Children about What Really Matter by Peter Kreeft
A series of one page essays on a wide variety of topics that give readers a thoughtful look at the value of gratitude, simplicity, kindness, sacrifice, joy, and death.

170.44 Kreeft SHL

A Short Guide to a Happy Life by Anna Quindlen
The Newsweek columnist and novelist offers up her take on what is important in life.

170.44 Quindlen WCV WMB WAM

The Art of Aging: A Doctor’s Prescription for Aging by Sherwin Nuland
Practical observations and suggestions on the aging process.

305.26 Nuland WCV

*Please note: if the library is noted in BLUE, the item is owned by a Warren Library. If it is noted in PINK, it is owned by another library in the cooperative.

You Know You Should Read This Book!

Today's Book: No One You Know by Michelle Richmond

The Plot: Ellen has never resolved or recovered from the brutal murder of her older sister, a brilliant and exceptional mathematics scholar. After the murder Ellen confides in a professor who subsequently betrays her trust and sends Ellen into a spiral of guilt and regret. Twenty years later Ellen comes face to face with the man she assumes murdered her sister.

Why You’ll Love it: Richmond blends the traditional women’s fiction genre with a murder mystery that offers readers a thoughtful and slowly developing plot that never assumes or offers trite conclusions to the unsolved murder of Ellen’s sister.

Who Will/Should Read it: Anyone who has enjoyed books by Jodi Picoult, Chris Bohjalian, or Anna Quindlen will find this novel equally reminiscent in style and tone. Characters are complicated, motivations murky, and the plot moves to an unexpected but satisfying conclusion.

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

FREE! Adult Computer Classes

There will be 9 sessions of computer classes at the two of the four Warren Public Libraries (Civic Center and Maybelle Burnette). Each session consists of 4 meetings, 2 hours long each. The meetings will be Mondays and Wednesdays, from 9.30 am until 11.30 am. Patrons need to attend all four meetings of a session, but not more than one session.
Each session will cover these four topics:
1) Basic Computer Skills
2) Internet
3) E-mail
4) Health information, Job searching, Library Catalog

September 8, 10, 15, 17
- Civic Center Library, Computer Lab
October 6, 8, 13, 15 - Civic Center Library, Computer Lab
November 3, 5, 10,12 - Maybelle Burnette Branch
December 1, 3, 8, 10 - Civic Center Library, Computer Lab

January 5, 7, 12, 14 - Civic Center Library, Computer Lab
Feburary 2, 4, 9, 11 - Maybelle Burnette Branch
March 2, 4, 9, 11 - Civic Center Library, Computer Lab
April 6, 8, 13, 15 - Civic Center Library, Computer Lab
May 4, 6, 11, 13 - Maybelle Burnette Branch

Events and Classes at the Warren Public Library

All Fall Adult Programs are free, but require registration. Patrons can call 586-574-4564 to register during regular library hours.

All programs begin at 7 pm, unless otherwise noted.

September 15 - Composting

September 24 - Preparing for HDTV/ Converter Boxes

October - March - Monthly Health Lecture Series
October 29 - Getting a Good Night's Sleep? (Further Topics to Be Announced)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Don't Forget!

Today is Election Day in Macomb County - stop in to your local precinct to vote on the Detroit Zoo's funding initiative, and to elect your local officials!

Also: if your television is still running on rabbit ears, and you don't have a cable box or converter box, be sure to sign up for a coupon to get one! Local news reported that the local libraries have the coupons; unfortunately, we do not. You must contact the agencies below to get a coupon sent to your home:
Phone: 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009)
Online Form: www.dtv2009.gov
Mail: P.O. Box 2000, Portland, Oregon 97208
Fax: 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632)
Deaf or Hard of Hearing Callers: 1-877-530-2634 (TTY)