Tag Archives: cookbooks

October 2019

october 2019It’s October! Check out our Staff Picks for some good tricks and treats!





Paula – Circulation

bastille doom daysDoom Days, by Bastille, New CD 781.66 Bastille

Bastille is back at it again with their third album Doom Days. The songs on this album continue to have the same haunting yet beautiful sound that the previous albums do, but the album itself is set up in a new way. Doom Days tells a story, and all of the songs are connected to each other. It takes place over the course of one night at a party, the first song starting at 12:15am, and the last song starting at 8:34am. The party takes you through an emotional whirlwind of euphoria, helplessness, hope, madness, and relationships on what seems like a night that the world is ending. One of the best parts of the album is that every song is relatable. They encompass raw human emotions, and remind us that when we feel hopeless in a world full of chaos, we can always manage to find things that give us joy.

Chris – Circulation

vietnamese foodVietnamese Food Any Day : Simple Recipes for True, Fresh Flavors, by Andrea Quynhgiao Nguyen, Nonfiction 641.59597 NGU

Author Andrea Nguyen came from Saigon with her family at a young age. She had to learn to adapt in America, its food in particular, without the same Asian influences. Her mother had to improvise some of her recipes with American ingredients, shopping at several grocery stores to get it right. She tried to keep them true to their culture and taste combining the two. This book is exactly that. I found the flavor and the ease of each recipe to be tasty and simple, finding all the ingredients for an authentic Vietnamese meal. The soups are my favorite and having meals under 60 minutes even better ….yum.

Michelle – Administration

the instituteThe Institute, by Stephen King, New Fiction King

Stephen King’s newest novel follows the story of a boy named Luke who was kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night and taken to the mysterious Institute. There he meets other children with special abilities. Why have they been taken? What does the Institute do with these special children? King unravels this mystery and keeps you turning the pages, eager to find out how all these pieces come together. Stephen King has proven, once again, why he is one of the best writers out there. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with a twist.

Chris – Technical Services

the testaments.jpgThe Testaments, by Margaret Atwood, New Fiction Atwood

Some books you slowly saver, this one I devoured! I could not read it fast enough. It filled in the back-stories of the characters in The Handmaid’s Tale. I would definitely read them in order. Revenge is sweet, but you must have patience.





Melissa – Technical Services

salem's lot‘Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King, eBook on OverDrive

There are a few newcomers in the small town of Jerusalem’s Lot: a writer revisiting his hometown, and two new businessmen who open an antique shop. All three are there for one reason: the Marsden House. It’s an old, abandoned home that once belonged to a mafia hitman, which has stood empty for decades since the owner murdered his wife then turned the shotgun on himself. The writer, Ben Mears, is drawn to it after a terrifying experience in the house during his childhood that won’t subside. The two antique dealers are actually vampires hoping to take up residence in the Marsden house and infect the town. The story begins when two young brothers take a shortcut through the woods, and only one comes out. King’s talent for setting an eerie scene in a small town is perfect for fall.

Hubbell – Circulation

the hot zone.jpgThe Hot Zone, starring Julianna Margulies, Noah Emmerich, and Liam Cunningham, New DVD Hot Zone Season 1

Ebola bad, Julianna Margulies good. She plays Army scientist Nancy Jaax in charge of studying infectious diseases in 1989. The Hot Zone shows what happens when everything goes wrong and an endemic strain of ebola threatens to begin spreading domestically within in the US. Flanked by her army officer husband (the awesome Noah Emmerich), Dr. Jaax realizes before anyone else that a strain of ebola from Africa being tested on chimps is extremely virulent and uncontained. What unfolds is at least one monkey kidnapping, near-disasters in haz-mat suits, and paranoid lab techs infecting themselves. In the end, with the help of her estranged mentor Wade Carter (played by Game of Thrones’ Liam Cunningham), Dr. Jaax confronts the bureaucracy in an effort to expose the country’s vulnerabilities. The six-episode series is loosely based on Richard Preston’s nonfiction work and is anchored by solid performances from the leads.










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junecoverpossibleIt’s June. What could be better than sitting by the pool or at the beach with a good book?



Sue – Circulation

whistlingpastgraveyardWhistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall, New Fiction Crandall

I really enjoyed this coming-of-age story set in the early 1960s of the South and narrated by 9-year-old Starla. Starla’s mother left her and her father to be a star in Nashville when she was a toddler, so she has been raised mostly by her grandmother while her father is away working on an oil rig. Starla and her grandmother do not get along; Starla feels that the grandmother doesn’t love her as she is always punishing her. So Starla decides to run away to Nashville and find her mother. Along the road, Starla is picked up by a black woman named Eula traveling in a truck with a white baby. This is 1963 Mississippi, so that is not a usual site. However, Starla is an innocent child and so doesn’t fully understand the racial hatred of that time and place. Eula takes Starla to her home, where a confrontation with her violent husband sends her out on the road with Starla and the baby on the way to Tennessee. During the journey, Starla and Eula bond as they face experiences that test their courage and make them grow stronger. Starla learns some hard lessons about life both on the journey and when they reach Nashville. The relationship between Starla and Eula is portrayed beautifully and we really feel the love and devotion between the two.

firstimpressionsFirst Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett, New Fiction Lovett

Part historical fiction, part mystery, and part romance, this book alternates between the present day and the 1790s, telling the modern-day story of Sophie, a young woman just graduated from Oxford with a passion for English literature, especially the works of Jane Austen, and a 20-year-old Jane Austen herself in 1796 England. The part of the story involving Jane Austen revolves around her friendship with an elderly clergyman, Richard Mansfield, and the beginnings of her greatest novel, Pride and Prejudice. In the modern day story, Sophie gets a job in an antiquarian bookstore and receives two requests for an obscure book published in the late 1700s by an unknown clergyman. As Sophie investigates the requested book, she finds a link between it and Jane Austen that could rock the literary world, as well as endanger her own life. Being a book lover and book collector myself, I connected with the characters, especially Sophie’s Uncle Bertram, and I enjoyed the gentle relationship between Jane and Mr. Mansfield.

farmhandspiesFarmhand’s Favorite Pies: Recipes, Hints, and How-To’s from the Heartland by Amy and David Butler, 641.86 But

This book is invaluable for those who enjoy baking. I had never made my own pie crust before, but wanted to learn. I’d heard that using lard makes the best and flakiest crust, so I bought some organic lard and followed the recipe in this book for a super flaky crust. The book includes three recipes for crusts – two with butter, one with lard – as well as a crust for tarts and graham cracker and nut crusts. The book also includes tips and tricks for making the best crust and pies. In addition to the crust, I’ve also made the apple pie and it was a hit with my family. Recipes in the book include fruit pies, cream pies, tarts, and cobblers. The recipes come from blue ribbon-winning pies at county fairs throughout the U.S. Give the recipes a try – I’m sure you and your family will be pleased with the tasty results.

Jacob – Circulation

thunderboltkidThe Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson, 921 Bryson

Bill Bryson is an author typically known for his travel and science writing. This book, though, details his childhood in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1950s. Nothing about his upbringing is particularly noteworthy, but what makes the book so entertaining is Bryson’s humorous storytelling ability. He takes mundane events and adds his own personal twist. Bryson also weaves into his lighthearted memoir the latest gadgets and gizmos available to the American family in the atomic age. Overall, the book is an easy read and a glimpse into what it was like growing up middle class in mid-America after WWII.

Mary – Youth Services

annieonmindAnnie on My Mind by Nancy Garden, YA Garden

Originally written in the early 1980’s, and often on the list of banned classics, Annie on My Mind tells the coming of age story of two girls, Eliza Winthrop and Annie Kenyon. They meet in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and since that meeting, they form a friendship, which transforms to a deep love for one another. At times, Annie on My Mind is a portrait of the times it was written in, but by extension, it is also an unfortunate portrait of intolerance still alive in modern society. You can heal or hurt because of your differences, and I think that Annie on My Mind provides a colorful cast of characters that will truly live beyond the time it was written for, as it already has. It is a book well worth checking out, and because of its frequently banned status, it is surely a story worth fighting to keep on library shelves.

1000formsfear1000 Forms of Fear by Sia, CD 781.63 Sia

There are very few songwriters as unique and explosive as Sia in modern music. Because of her distinct singing voice and iconic style of songwriting, the experience of listening to her sing is quite visceral. This album fully reflects the great emotional depth of her writing, and also her steely strength to battle pervasive anxieties, both personal and societal. 1000 Forms of Fear is a monumental achievement for Sia, and it leaves one imagining what she will do to top her latest work, as she always seems to do.

Hubbell – Circulation

poemsfromguanPoems from Guantanamo: The Detainees Speak, edited by Marc Falkoff, 892.7 Poems

Compiled by NIU College of Law professor Marc Falkoff, Poems from Guantánamo is eye-opening, inspiring, and heartbreaking. The collection features poems written by detainees themselves while incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay. The English translations are expertly done, annotated with linguistic details so that the native tone is not lost on the reader. Each poem is also prefaced with a brief summary of the inmate’s background and journey to the prison. One prisoner, detained at age 14, gives a harrowing account of his capture and transport to Cuba. Another, of British and Zambian heritage, wrote rap poetry to communicate with his family and friends back home. The stories portray a bleak existence of incarceration, but one that needs to be heard.

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