Friday, January 28, 2011

New Cookbooks with Great Photos and Recipes

Finally cookbook publishers are realizing that readers want to visualize the finished product before making an attempt at a recipe, especially one with a lot of ingredients and steps.  The cookbooks shown below, new to Bernardsville Public Library, will not disappoint in that regard because they are heavily illustrated with beautiful color photographs for almost every recipe. 

Try a young Irish blogger's first cookbook, Good Mood Food, for some delightful dishes.  Donal Skehan's book features simple recipes with wholesome ingredients. For a great introduction to coffee - how to brew it in different manners - as well as delicious cake recipes, why not try (what else?) Coffee and Cake by Rick Rodgers?  While you have the oven on, whip up a wide range of cookies from Crazy About Cookies by Krystina Castella.  Each of the recipes will entice you with its accompanying photo.  Then it's on to breadmaking. Peter Reinhart's book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice,  is a James Beard Foundation Book Award winner as well as The IACP Cookbook Awards winner.  In it you will find many recipes and detailed photographs illustrating the breadmaking techniques required to turn out wonderful breads. Lavash, muffins, ciabatta, limpa, and brioche are just some of the bread recipes included in this lovely book.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Staff Pick: Unbearable Lightness

Library staff member Linda Sexton has written the following review of actress Portia De Rossi's new book, which is available at Bernardsville Public Library.

"I just finished the memoir Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi. I wasn't sure what to expect since she is a celebrity, but the book was written with honesty and courage. The book is about her long battle with anorexia and subsequent binging and purging.  Portia De Rossi also discusses the underlying fear she had that her homosexuality would be exposed to the public.  It is nearly impossible to understand what it is like for someone to struggle with an eating disorder, but she lets us inside her mind and we can see what an unbearable burden it is. Her ultimate goal is to give hope to those who need it and to show that recovery is not easy, but possible. Once again I remember not to judge those whose lives look perfect on the outside."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Reflections on the 50 Book Challenge

The first year of Bernardsville Public Library's 50 Book Challenge has drawn to a close, but a new year means a new challenge!  The kick-off meeting for the next 50 Book Challenge will take place in the library on Saturday, January 22nd at 3:30 p.m., with Karen Vaias once again leading the program.

For those readers who participated in the 2010 Book Challenge, it's  time to reflect on what the challenge has meant to them and how it has affected their reading choices. Several participants shared their insights through the following comments: "I undertook this challenge to actually GET myself reading again, and to think about what I was reading, and to that end, it has been very helpful. What I found myself doing, however, was "cheating" a bit, in terms of engaging with harder, more thought-provoking books."  Another reader notes the same behavior in that she was not as selective in her choices as she used to be.  Perhaps the competitive spirit drove these readers toward books they knew they could finish rather than longer texts.

One reader stated, "I love fiction, but I discovered new books in Spanish and English that I really enjoyed. I had neglected for about 20 years reading books in Spanish, but now I try to read some during the year."  Several challenge participants discovered Young Adult literature to be very appealing, and others enjoyed listening to recorded books (for the narrators as much as for the stories.)  In addition, the simple act of keeping a reading journal proved beneficial to many people. For one participant, reviewing her journal enabled her to see how these reading choices related to her emotional or intellectual needs over the past year. She noted that her books truly reflected a year in her life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What to Read, What to Read...

For those who like to read book reviews online, there are a number of good resources posted on the sidebar of  Book News and More. Scroll down and look to the left for the heading, Book Links. Among the linkable sites listed is the American Library Association's resource, Booklist.  Booklist Online allows you to read a large amount of free content in an organized and comprehensive format.  For instance, from the current home page you can select "Booklist Editors' Choice: Adult Books 2010" to open an expansive, annotated list of the best books in fiction and nonfiction from last year.  The nonfiction titles are grouped by categories such as Arts and Literature, Poetry, Social Science, etc.  Clicking on a title will bring up publication information as well as a review of the book.  For a deeper search experience, you will be required to subscribe, but this is not necessary for general browsing purposes. Give it a try!