Sara

  1. Golden Boy

    Golden Boy, by Abigail Tarttelin

    This is an extraordinarily compulsive read that I found serendipitously in our fiction section, having been drawn to the color on the spine and then intrigued by the jacket description.

  2. Weber's Big Book of Burgers

    Weber's Big Book of Burgers

    I love burgers and trying new recipes. While the (rumored) arrival of summer is bound to make most all of us happy, trying nearly all of this title's beef recipes will further sweeten the deal for me. Also included are recipes for bison, lamb, pork, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian burgers, as well as condiments and sides.

  3. Apple Tree Yard

    Apple Tree Yard, by Louise Doughty

    Definitely a compulsive read.  The book opens in a London courtroom where we learn the narrator, Yvonne, is on trial for an as-yet unknown crime.  The story is presented as though Yvonne is writing a letter to her partner in an adulterous relationship. Although she doesn’t intend to mail it, she is using this method to process the events that transpired between them.  This psychological thriller is quite different from what I usually read, but I absolutely loved it and never wanted to put it down.

  4. Books on Fermenting

    Books on Fermentation

     

    Over the last couple years there are several books on fermentation that I have quite enjoyed.

    Wild Fermentation, by Sandor Katz

    The Art of Fermentation: an in-depth exploration of essential concepts and processes from around the world, by Sandor Katz

  5. Great Balls of Cheese

    Great Balls of Cheese, by Michelle Buffardi

    Just in time for the holidays, this short cookbook has new and traditional sweet and savory cheese ball recipes. If you are inclined, take the time to copy the cheese-ball-sculptures; it will definitely amuse your friends and family. While I'm not one to spend much time on presentation (solely due to lack of skill), the recipes themselves are really good on their own.

  6. Gideon Smith & the Mechanical Girl

    Gideon Smith & the Mechanical Girl

    This book was far outside my normal reading, and that novelty may be a large contributing factor towards how much I enjoyed it.  Gideon Smith & the Mechanical Girl is a Steampunk novel, set, of course, in Victorian England – specifically 1890.  The author, David Barnett, presents an alternate history that includes Pulp-Adventurers, Bram Stoker, Elizabeth Bathory, Frog-man M

  7. The Other Typist

    The Other Typist, by Suzanne Rindell

    If you like musing over a book's not-so-clear-cut ending for days afterward, you may love The Other Typist, too.  The entire story is presented from Rose’s first-person perspective.  Rose works as a typist at a New York City police precinct during Prohibition, transcribing criminals’ confessions.  Alone for most of her life, she eventually begins a surprising and close friendship with the appealing and attractive new hire, Odalie.

  8. Gulp

    Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, by Mary Roach

    I had long heard of Mary Roach's titles but never tried one. Gulp fell into my lap when a coworker heard about it and placed it on hold for me, figuring I would like it. I can see why Mary Roach's writing is so popular: she mixes great, science-y information with a fantastic sense of humor that is typically presented in tongue-in-cheek or dry asides as well as side-splitting footnotes.

  9. Popcorn

    Popcorn

    This recipe book is separated into “Savory” and “Sweet” sections, as well as an “And More” section that incorporates popcorn into meals (I have never done anything from that last section).  The very beginning of the book talks a little about popping corn, including how to make your own microwave popcorn in paper lunch bags if you don’t own a popper or don’t like to make it on the stovetop.

     

  10. The Immigrant Advantage

    The Immigrant Advantage

    The Immigrant Advantage recounts 7 separate cultural traditions observed by some members of immigrant groups after coming to America: the Vietnamese Money Club; the Mexican Cuarentena; South Asian Assisted Marriage; Korean and Chinese Afterschools; West Indian Multigenerational Households; Barrio Stoops, Sidewalks, and Shops; and Vietnamese Monthly Rice.

  11. The Mind

    The Mind, edited by John Brockman

    The Mind is very similar in structure to one of my earlier staff picks: Future Science. Editor John Brockman presents contributions from some of the world’s leading scientists on the workings of the brain and aspects of human consciousness, development, memory, and learning.

     

  12. Redirect

    Redirect:  the surprising new science of psychological change (2011)

    This is definitely one of my favorites; it is not, however, a self-help book (if you peruse Amazon reviews, many readers’ expectations were defied and disappointed by that fact – most likely due to a misinterpretation of the sub-title). Rather, Redirect presents the practice of story-editing to effect successful interventions in personal and social issues.

  13. The Flavor Bible

    The Flavor Bible

    One night I was preparing dinner from a recipe and, tasting it, realized it needed something. I added an ingredient to a small portion of it – an ingredient I didn’t particularly like – and found it was the perfect flavor foil. This was a particularly favorable feat because I did not even consult my copy of The Flavor Bible but, instead, mentally retrieved its explanation of balancing flavors and considered how I could emphasize or ‘push’ the existing taste to a brighter level.

  14. Artemis Fowl series

    Artemis Fowl (series)

    This summer the latest and most-likely last (hopefully not!) installment of the Artemis Fowl series, by Eoin Colfer (pronounced Owen), was released. The 8 books follow Artemis’ adventures with the Fairy world: dwarves, trolls, goblins, centaurs, pixies, and more; they all live under the earth’s surface but pop up every now and then. Artemis is a young, criminal mastermind, determined to steal Fairy gold to fund the search for his missing father and to refill the family fortune’s rapidly emptying coffers.

  15. 4 books: Restrictive Eating & Women's Self-Denial

    Unbearable Lightness, by Portia de Rossi
    Going Hungry: writers on desire, self-denial, and overcoming anorexia
    Gaining: the truth about life after eating disorders
    Appetites: why women want

    I frequently read in subject ‘clumps.’ Upon reading an interesting fact or blurb, I typically search for more books and articles in that area until my interest has run its course. In this case, what sparked my inquiry into restrictive eating disorders was, for me, a very unusual source.

  16. American Pie

    American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza (2003)

    Peter Reinhart is a major American authority and writer on bread baking. I came across American Pie several years ago while searching the Library catalog for anything else by Reinhart. Since I regularly made homemade pizza, it immediately appealed to me. A week later I purchased my own copy.

  17. Future Science

    Future Science: Essays from the Cutting Edge (2011)

    Future Science is the first installment in what editor Max Brockman hopes will be an annual collection; it consists of essays by young scientists who, for the first time, are presenting to a general reading audience the scientific hypotheses they are pursuing in their scholarly research. Nearly every essay is accessible (I skipped 2 of the 18 due to lack of interest).

  18. Good Graces

    Good Graces (2011)

    While technically this isn't a favorite read, I long had been looking forward to reading the sequel to the 2010 Fox Cities Reads book selectionWhistling in the Dark, by Lesley Kagen.

  19. Quiet

    Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

    Introverts are often indirectly told that their very way of being is a ‘condition’ or a ‘shell’ out of which they need to emerge. Susan Cain explores the fallacy of this and other beliefs about the introverted temperament in her fascinating book Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking. Introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating; many introverts are even quite sensitive to sights, sounds, smells, pain, and coffee. Extroverts recharge their batteries by socializing, while introverts recharge by being alone.

  20. The Language of Flowers

    The Language of Flowers (2011)

    Victoria is a young woman whose only way of connecting with others is through a language no one knows. When Victoria was 10, Elizabeth, one of her foster mothers, shared with her the near-forgotten language of flowers: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, red roses for love… thistles for hate and distrust of human beings.

  21. The Psychopath Test

    The Psychopath Test : A Journey Through the Madness Industry (2011)

    In The Psychopath Test, journalist and filmmaker Jon Ronson delves into the definition of insanity, eventually coming to question the methods that are currently utilized for diagnosing psychopaths –- methods which, in many cases, require nothing more than a score of 30 or more on a 20-point checklist of characteristics common to psychopaths: things like glib and superficial charm, grandiosity, manipulative behavior, and lack of remorse.

  22. Patrick F. McManus' outdoor humor

    Patrick F. McManus

    If you consider yourself an outdoorsperson or know someone who loves hunting, fishing, camping or outdoor gear, you will likely enjoy the humor of Patrick F. McManus. His life stories and musings are a mix of truth and exaggeration featuring many memorable characters, like mountain-man-old-timer Rancid Crabtree, and Crazy Eddie Muldoon: a great child-inventor who always had a new, 'good idea' of how to 'surprise' his parents. ("And guess what, Pat! You get to test the deep sea diving outfit! Don't that sound fun?!")

  23. The Myth of Sanity

    The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness (2002)

    Explores the prevalence of Dissociative Identity Disorder, popularly known in its most extreme form as multiple personality disorder. Dr. Stout, a psychological trauma specialist, conveys how small things we interpret as distraction, spacing out, or situational fatigue are physiologically and behaviorally not different from an abused individual’s experience of dissociation or hypnotic trance.

  24. The Stolen Child

    The Stolen Child (2006)

    Hobgoblins kidnap Henry Day when he is 7 years old, leaving an imposter in his place. Each Henry tries to adjust to his new life. Living in the forest with other stolen children who are also waiting to switch places, the 'real' Henry struggles to piece together fragmented memories of who he was. Meanwhile, the 'imposter' continually fears discovery and cannot forget that he is living a life that doesn’t belong to him; he eventually seeks out the truth of who he was before he too had been stolen and exiled to live in the forest as a hobgoblin (long before he stole Henry's life).

  25. The Heart and the Fist

    The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SE

    Greitens, a Rhodes Scholar and humanitarian whose work took him to Rwanda, Albania, Mexico, India, Croatia, Bolivia, and Cambodia, recounts his unexpected decision to join the Navy SEALS. “We can certainly donate money and clothing, and we can volunteer in the refugee camps. But in the end these acts of kindness are done after the fact. They are done after people have been killed, their homes burned, their lives destroyed. Yes, the clothing, the bread, the school; they are all good and they are all much appreciated.

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