Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fresh Out of the Box

Now available at the Park Central Library; a perfect cookbook for the winter weather blues, and our fiction pick seems tailor-made for curling up with a warm blanket. As always, for the Fresh Out of the Box posts we've chosen two items from our newest delivery of materials.

Ronald Frame's Havisham is a prequel to Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. How did Miss Havisham become an old lady haunting an old house in a wedding dress? Catherine Havisham is a young woman attempting to overcome the limitations of her family's new money status when she meets a charismatic stranger. Shirley Li reviewed the book for Entertainment Weekly, giving it a grade of B+, "Purists may balk, but Frame has brought a clean, modern sensibility to his rendering of the tale. What the novel lacks in ornate prose, it makes up for with a moody, intensely entrancing plot."

Homeroom is a Mac and Cheese restaurant in Oakland, California. Its owners strive to use local artisan cheeses. Their menu also includes sides, salads, pies and even homemade Oreos. In The Mac + Cheese Cookbook the authors discuss the perfect way to get a crispy top and gooey middle, and includes international recipes as well as twists on old favorites. The Truffle Mac on page 63 looks especially tempting, it includes shitake mushrooms and truffle Gouda. Macximus on page 43 is inspired by spanakopita. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Search Terms: How One Man

Last week we posted a Search Terms featuring books with the term 'how one woman' in the title or subject and got quite the varied list of titles. This week we're checking what the other gender has been up to according to the publishing world. Without further ado, here's what searching 'how one man' turns up in our catalog.

Do you have any suggestions for search terms we should feature next? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Search Terms: How One Woman

We've already posted once about the nerdy joy of searching the catalog with vague terms to find a variety of books that somehow have that term in common. Last time, we searched  'a life in pictures'. This time, Mud Season: How one woman's dream of moving to Vermont--raising children, chickens, and sheep & running the old country store--pretty much led to one calamity after another inspired us to search 'how one woman'. Here's our results, the good, the bad, the ugly. We'll leave it you to decide which is which, and check in next week for a companion post, 'how one man'.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Now On Display

Stop by your downtown branch for a display curated by library staff, chosen for relevancy according to current events or by whimsy. The items topping our display tables are in regular rotation, so get them while they're here!

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha! Our current display is all about the seventies, when the Brady Bunch aired for five seasons, musical artists such as Pink Floyd, ABBA and Patti Smith were on the airwaves. Stop in learn all about the different trends and fads of the tumultuous 1970s. The library owns an interesting collection of books that focus on the varied facets of the decade.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Now On Display

Stop by your downtown branch for a display curated by library staff, chosen for relevancy according to current events or by whimsy. The items topping our display tables are in regular rotation, so get them while they're here!

Our current display features reality TV tie-ins, from cookbooks to exercise DVDs. Be sure to stop in at your downtown branch, where you might see some familiar faces looking back at your from our displays. From Duck Dynasty to Dancing with the Stars, from American Idol to Amazing Race, there are plenty of ways to get your fill of your favorite reality programming.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fresh Out of the Box

Just last week we received a delivery with two boxes of brand new books and materials for the Park Central Branch's shelves. Stop by and admire the shiny plasticleer and skip the hold-shelf wait. Here are our two favorites from the bunch, one fiction and one non-fiction.

In our catalog, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simson has thirty-six holds, but we have a copy waiting on our shelves, first come, first served. In Simons' first novel, main character Don Tillman is a genetics professor in search of love. Don chooses to create a questionnaire, but things don't go according to plan.  

After a cat went missing for a few weeks, his owners decided to find out just where his adventures took him. The author and her partner utilized different types of technology, detectives and psychics to determine what their feline friend was up to. Lost Cat by Caroline Paul includes full-color illustrations by Wendy McNaughton. Caroline Paul has also written fiction, including East Wind, Rain

Monday, September 23, 2013

Librarian Test Kitchen: Cook Like a Rockstar

The Library has almost every kind of cookbook one could imagine, and lately the trend has been towards thick books with plenty of full page photographs. Trying new recipes is always fun, but is it really worth the time and effort? Is a familiar television personality on the cover reassurance enough that the recipe will turn out great? We're sharing our cooking adventures here, good and bad, to take some of the guesswork out of the cookbook selection process. With nearly eight thousand cookbooks in the Springfield-Greene County Library system, the possibilities are endless.

In my household, we don't have cable. We've never watched the Food Network, but I kept seeing this book (and chef) popping up all over food blogs on the internet and decided to see if the library owned a copy of Anne Burrell's Cook Like a Rock Star: 125 Recipes, Lessons, and Culinary Secrets. Anne Burrell must be pretty popular, because the library has three copies in the catalog. That means more to go around, my friends, because we tried the Cippolline Tempura with Aioli on page 62 and it was tasty. We'll definitely be making this recipe again, there wasn't a single crumb left.

The recipe was clearly written and well organized. The ingredient list was short and manageable, Ms. Burrell didn't require many hard to find or expensive spices. Rice or Cake flour and sparkling water were required,  two ingredients that might require a trip to the store. We used pearl onions instead of cippoline which we couldn't find in our grocery store. We did discover one mistake in the recipe, when making the aioli the cook is instructed to 'add the rest of the oil' when the ingredient list does not specify any amount of oil, only that oil will be required. 

The batter was light enough, due to the use of sparkling water I learned, not to soak up lots of oil. The tempura were perfect sized bites, and the garlic aioli was delicious. These little bites were perfect substitutes for onion rings, they were much less messy to eat and more portable. They would be perfect game day food for football parties, or as the Cardinals hit the playoffs. 

We plan on trying the recipe on the next page (64), Calamari Noodles with Fingerling Potatoes and Black Olives before returning the book. The recipe is served on a bed of arugula, so it looks like an interesting hybrid of a soup and a salad.