Becker's blog

The Joy of Cookbooks

In Her Kitchen

Even if you don't actually like to cook, there is a certain pleasure to be had from just perusing cookbooks. Some have gorgeous photography. Some authors write about food in a way that can get you craving flavors you've never tasted before. Cookbooks allow you to fantasize about dishes that you might make (if you could find all of those rare ingredients and if you actually had all the strange kitchen gadgets required!). They allow you to travel the world through the cuisine of various countries. Some get so specific that they center around a single ingredient.

27th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalists

Beyond Magenta

Recently, the finalists for the 2015 Lambda Literary Awards were announced. Always expanding as the number of LGBT books continues to grow, these awards celebrate the best in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender writing--fiction, nonfiction, genres, and children's and young adult books. Out of more than 800 submissions from over 400 publishers, finalists were chosen in various categories. Here are some of the finalists from our collection:

TV and Comics--A Great Combination

Flash

You've probably noticed that many new and returning television series have their roots in the comic book world. Whether the shows are strictly based on certain titles (most aren't) or inspired by characters and worlds originally created by comics writers and artists, you can enrich your viewing experience by delving into the backstory of your new favorite hero or antihero.

Here's a list of some TV to comics ties and suggestions for reading to get you started:

Eisner Awards--Celebrating Graphic Format Books

Saga

The 26th annual Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards were given out on July 25 At San Diego Comic Con International. Awards were given out in 30 categories to works published in 2013, celebrating the best of the comics world.

October is for (Biography) Lovers

Isabella: The Warrior Queen

What is it about biographies and memoirs? Is it the thrill of finding out intimate information about someone we only know through a public face? The inspiration we get from stories of overcoming obstacles? Learning more about someone when all you really know is that you respect their work? Biographies are perpetually popular at the library, and we are always getting new ones in, but it seems that October is the month that all biography lovers are waiting for.

Book Discovery: Prepub Titles

Do you hate it when your friend says she is reading the latest bestseller from your favorite author, and you didn't even know that the book was coming out? Here at the library, our goal is to have books ordered before you even know that you want them.  With about 300,000 books traditionally published every year in the United States (and that many, or more, self published), and the means to buy only a small fraction of them, how does your library decide what to buy, and, more importantly, how can you get on the list early so you're not waiting months for the latest hot title?

Things Are Heating Up!

Mambo in Chinatown

Here at the library, we're not just thinking about a Summer of Reading for kids and teens--summer is a great time for EVERYONE to read, and we're already looking ahead to the hot books that you'll be craving. Whether you're a mystery buff, want to get lost in the world of science fiction or fantasy, can't get enough of compelling memoirs and biographies, or like a little bit of everything, we've got a summer book on order for you! Get on the holds list for your favorite author's new book today--or try something new!

2013 James Tiptree, Jr. Award

Hild

The 2013 James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award and Honor List were recently announced. The Tiptrees are an "annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender" and are probably my favorite book award.

While this year's winner, Rupetta by N.A. Sulway, currently has limited availability in the United States, check out the British publisher's website for options. We'll be on the lookout for a U.S. edition to get for the library.

Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners

The Night Circus

Every five years, the Young Adult Library Services Association creates a list of Outstanding Books for the College Bound and Lifelong Learners in collaboration with academic librarians.

Whether you are a high school student thinking of heading off to college soon, an adult considering returning to school, or at any stage in your life and wanting some direction in your continuing education, the 2014 list is a diverse group of books, nonfiction and fiction, in various categories, that will expand your thoughts about the world around you. The books are at different reading levels and in different formats, and there's something here that should both interest and challenge nearly anyone interested in feeding their mind.

They Are Legend: Authors We Lost in 2013

The Golden Notebook

As we all get used to writing "2014" as the date, here is a last look back at some of the notable authors we lost in 2013. Their words will long endure.

Chinua Achebe--Nigerian writer who died at age 82. His most famous work is Things Fall Apart (1958).

Iain Banks--Scottish author of both contemporary and science fiction.

Tom Clancy--popular author of espionage and military thrillers. His classic works include The Hunt for Red October and other books starring CIA operative Jack Ryan.

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