- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
American Gods is one of Neil Gaiman's finest works--and with Gaiman, it's hard to pick because he's positively brilliant. Shadow has recently been released from prison and on his way home meets Mr. Wednesday, a strangely knowledgeable figure who gives Shadow a job. This job involves a trek across the United States, meeting strange, dangerous, and interesting people (if "people" is even the right word). Unknown to Shadow, he has become involved in a conflict much larger than himself, a destiny he himself did not know he had. An exploration of mythology of many origins, the book is both an exploration of the mind and of our larger culture. Gaiman's writing is always intense, and American Gods is no exception. If you are a fantasy fan or a Gaiman fan, this one's for you. The Library has copies in both hard copy book and eBook form (PDF & MOBI).
I heard in the news about the Annual Worlds of Flavor Conference, held by the Culinary Institute of America, November 2-4, 2010. It featured “Japan-Flavors of Culture” this year. Each year since 2003, this Conference “showcases the gold standards of world cuisines that are reshaping American palates and the U. S. foodservice industry.” I searched online and found their website and watch some of the videos from these conferences. For example, the videos of 2009 conference have highlights from a festival of “sauce-slopping, noodle-slurping, chaat-sampling, kabob-nibbling, tamale-savoring, tapas grazing epic tour of the best of world street food and world comfort food.” Go look for yourself!
Among the 2010 presenters of the Conference are several esteemed authors, all authorities in food culture and culinary art, including Ruth Reichl, Harold McGee and Elizabeth Andoh. Below are a few of their attractive and useful titles in the Library for you to consider:
Gourmet Today edited by Ruth Reichl
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
Keys to Good Cooking by Harold McGee
On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee
Kansha by Elizabeth Andoh
Washoku by Elizabeth Andoh
By the way, cooking and cookbooks are two of the largest collections in the Library, you may browse our shelves or look up in the catalog by keywords, such as:
Cooking, (Italian, Japanese, United States, etc.)
Happy cooking and good eating to you!
Cory Doctorow is the most epic author of our time, as well as a proponent for the freedom of digital information and internet users' rights. His book Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town is hard to pin down, but best described as a fantastical story about an exceedingly strange family, its children, and one child (Alan) and his interactions with "the regular world." The plot is enthralling and if you're a fantasy or science fiction fan, this story won't disappoint. If you're an HP Lovecraft fan, the style will seem quite familiar to you. Otherwise, think of it as urban fantasy and magical realism, with a dash of identity crisis. Alan's progress through the world and his flashbacks to his strange upbringing shed some light on our own families, identities, and future.
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick. Every November Americans celebrate Thanksgiving as a national holiday of feasting and school children are taught the story of the Pilgrims who arrived on the ship Mayflower in 1620 and settled New England. In this well-researched historical narrative Nathaniel Philbrick fleshes out the background of this American story and its underlying issues of race, violence and religion which began long before the landing of the Mayflower and continued for decades after the first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims (not all religious separatists) at first kept a tenuous but peaceful relationship with Native Americans. Both groups were decimated by disease, and soon were at war with one another. This is the book to read if you want to know the adult version of the widely publicized, but probably not the first, Thanksgiving.
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
An novel about immigrant teenager's life in New York's Chinatown, based on the writer's experience
Thanksgiving is next week and my mind is on it. We've got some books that can help you prepare for the holiday whether you are cooking, decorating or traveling. We've even got some things on how to deal with your relatives!
I'll mention Paula Deen as someone who's cooking I am trying not to emulate. But if you are interested - we've got Paula Deen Celebrates!. Her cooking tends to use a lot of butter and is delicious but not necessarily healthy!
What I'm thinking more about is the Cooking Light Holiday Cookbook or Hungry Girl Happy Hour: 75 recipes for amazingly fantastic guilt-free cocktails and party foods.
I remember making a pinecone turkey for a Thanksgiving centerpiece as a kid. Kids crafts for Thanksgiving have gone way beyond that! Check out All New Crafts for Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day Crafts. For the grown-ups, check out Martha's Classic Thanksgiving on DVD.
Thanksgiving is based in the history of our country. I have always been moved by the story of Squanto. This is definitely one to share with your children, to give the holiday more perspective. Check out The Story of Squanto: first friend to the pilgrims. And your kids will love Two Bad Pilgrims - the story of John and Francis Billington who were two brothers who arrived on the Mayflower. They caused a lot of trouble back in the day and this book shares some of their hilarious exploits in a comic book format.
Deborah Tannen's I Only Say This Because I Love You may be an inroads to understanding some family relationship issues. Listen to David Sedaris' Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim to gain some perspective, have a lot of belly laughs and feel better about your loved ones.
It may be a little late for major trips, but with a few days off, you might take a day trip with your family or friends. Fun with the Family in Northern California, Best Places in Northern California and Grassroutes Northern California Wine Country are just a few of the many books we have on travel in the area.
Whatever your plans are for next week - here's wishing you alll a Happy Thanksgiving!