Friday, January 20, 2017

Books-a-licious 2017 Adult Winter Reading Club

Title: Made in India
Author: Meera Sodha
Review: Mums Chicken Curry may be the most delicious food (other than ice cream) that I have ever eaten. And its only the beginning.  This book has taught me that you dont need to cook for hours to make exceptionally tasty Indian fare.  The naan is to die for.
Rating: 5

Books-a-licious 2017 Adult Winter Reading Club

Title: The Cuban Table
Author: Ana Pelaez
Review: The recipe for the (best) black beans (ever) is reason alone to read this fantastic cookbook. The tidbits about Cuba and her people only enhance its value.
Rating: 5

Books-a-licious 2017 Adult Winter Reading Club

Title: Organized Simplicity
Author: Tsh Oxenreider
Review: If a person picks up a book with this title, they probably don't need half of it devoted to WHY (you should simplify your life).  Ironically, once you've created and filled out the myriad checklists (& notebook!), you'll be too exhausted to do any actual work. As chapter 5 exhorts, save your money.
Rating: 2

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Books-a-licious 2017 Adult Winter Reading Club

Title: In Other Words
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
Review: A delightful recap with one of my favorite authors as she describes her journey to learn and write in her favorite language, Italian.  I listened to the audio book and had the pleasure to hear Ms. Lahiri speak and read her book in Italian (but I could only understand the English part!) Lyrical and insightful read.
Rating: 4

Books-a-licious 2017 Adult Winter Reading Club

Title: The Inferno, Dante's Immortal Drama...
Author: translated by John Ciardi
Review: As a reading challenge, this was my "intimidating book" to complete. I am glad I tackled it with prologues and footnotes to every level of hell.  Think I would've enjoyed it more if I read it as part of a college English course but can cross it off my bucket list.  
Rating: 3

Books-a-licious 2017 Adult Winter Reading Club

Title: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Review: A fun read about mysterious cults, codes, technology, friendships, adventure and immortality...It's got Google, old knowledge, a memorable cast of characters and romance.  Give it a try!
Rating: 5

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Books-a-licious 2017 Adult Winter Reading Club

All Harborfields Public Library adult cardholders are invited to join the Winter Reading Club. Step into the Reference "Kitchen" and pick up your recipes card to record your books beginning January 9th. For every book you read or listen to, you will receive a raffle ticket for the chance to win one of several culinary-themed baskets.  Learn what your neighbors are reading or write a review by clicking on the link to the right.

"Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably." - C.S. Lewis

Monday, November 21, 2016

Just the Facts: Book Discussion Recap from November 17

Last night, thirteen people took time off from cleaning the house, polishing the silver, cooking and freezing and stockpiling groceries to attend the book discussion. Their presence, as always, was much appreciated.

The book discussed was Dead Wake: the last crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. On May 1, 1916, during the second year of World War I, after a delay of a few hours, the pride of the British commercial fleet, the Lusitania, set sail from New York City for Liverpool. A few days later, in the Irish Sea, she was sunk by the German submarine U-20, at a cost of 1200 lives. This incident, combined with others, led to the United States entry into the First World War on the allied side and the eventual defeat of the central powers. To this day, there are many questions about the sinking. Was the ship carrying munitions? What role did the three hour delay have on her unintended rendezvous with the U-20? Upon entering British waters, why wasn’t she given a destroyer escort? Why wasn’t the Lusitania warned about the submarines in British waters? What did British intelligence know and when did they know it? Did Winston Churchill want the Lusitania sunk with a large number of American casualties in order to draw the United States into the war? Why was President Wilson so adamant about American neutrality when so many American ships were being attacked? These questions and other issues along with the author’s stories of the people on the ship made for a lively and animated discussion in which everyone in the group participated. It was quite an evening.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm. The book to be discussed, The Boys in the Boat: nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown, is available at the Circulation desk. All are welcome.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Just the Facts: Book Discussion Recap from October 20th

It was a damp and threatening night, rain storms imminent. Many thanks to the nine people who braved the elements to attend the book discussion. Their presence, as always, was much appreciated.

The book discussed last was The Good Spy: the life and death of Robert Ames by Kai Bird. Robert Ames was a career officer of the C.I.A. Unlike many C.I.A. officials, he was not a blue blood, but came from a middle class background. Unlike James Bond, he was methodical, frugal, sober, a family man, even dull. He loved all things Arab and was fascinated by the language and culture. Where other agents looked upon postings to Yemen or Oman as a hardship, he sought out such assignments and enjoyed them. In violation of U.S. policy, Ames established discreet contacts with senior officials of the P.L.O. He believed that if he could establish a dialogue, he might help to end the continuous violence and bloodshed in the Middle East. He was killed in the bombing of the U. S. embassy in Beirut in 1983. The author contends that had he lived, Ames might have had a positive effect on the history of the Middle East. As might be expected, our discussion was lively and interesting with everyone participating. While discussing Ames’ life and work, we also covered the Arab-Israeli conflict. We spoke about war crimes, the Sykes-Picot agreement, religious fundamentalists, the issues between Israel and Palestine, the difference between eastern and western culture and much more.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, November 17, 2016. The book to be discussed, Dead Wake: the last crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson, is available at the Circulation Desk. All are welcome.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan Wins 2016 Nobel Prize In Literature

From NPR: Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter....he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

Dylan earned the prize "for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition," according to the citation by the Swedish Academy, the committee that annually decides the recipient of the Nobel Prize. The academy's permanent secretary, Sara Danius, announced the news Thursday.
Read the rest of NPR's story here.