eBook Friday: Delicious!

Delicious! A Novel, by Ruth Reichl:

Ruth Reichl is a born storyteller. Through her restaurant reviews, where she celebrated the pleasures of a well-made meal, and her bestselling memoirs that address our universal feelings of love and loss, Reichl has achieved a special place in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers. Now, with this magical debut novel, she has created a sumptuous, wholly realized world that will enchant you.

Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water–until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard. Lulu’s letters provide Billie with a richer understanding of history, and a feeling of deep connection to the young writer whose courage in the face of hardship inspires Billie to comes to terms with her fears, her big sister and her ability to open her heart to love.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

You Could Probably Get Away With “HEY! HEY!!”


This advertisement from the July 10, 1890 edition of The Chatham Record would be more effective read aloud, but that’s probably illegal.


eBook Friday: The Girls of Atomic City

The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan:

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians—many of them young women from small towns across the South—were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war—when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed.

Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it—women who are now in their eighties and nineties— The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. Combining the grand-scale human drama of The Worst Hard Time with the intimate biography and often troubling science of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Girls of Atomic City is a lasting and important addition to our country’s history.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: Station Eleven

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel:

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.


Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

All Kinds of Everything


This advertisement from the February 10, 1887 issue of The Chatham Record appears to be for a single product, but a closer look shows it hawking around ten different medicines. A further disclaimer runs up the sides of the ad:

ONE kind of medicine will not cure all kinds of diseases. Dr. Kilmer’s preparations are Specifics – a remedy for each disease. They are the result of a successful practice since 1859.

I hope they came in different colored bottles, at least.

Resource of the Month: SIRS Issues Researcher

SIRSDid any of those hot button issues come up over the holidays at gatherings with family and friends? You know, those issues that cause your blood pressure to rise as you hear someone present questionable “facts” from the other side, the one you don’t agree with?  If you’d like to be prepared next time, check out SIRS Issues Researcher on NC LIVE, which you can access with your library card.

SIRS Issues Researcher provides analysis and opinions covering the pros, cons, and everything in between on the most researched and debated social issues. Background and current analysis necessary for the research and understanding of 320+ current and pervasive Leading Issues is available in a very easy to use format. In fact, the resource is set up for middle and high school students to use in school projects; however, the information is also on point for adults to research and discuss current topics.

The Topic Overview covers the basics for understanding each issue. Essential Questions, with answers and viewpoint articles, are provided. All articles, websites, videos, multimedia graphics, charts, maps, statistics, primary sources and government documents are hand-selected from thousands of national and international sources. The opening page displays the current Top 10 issues, which are currently:

  • Animal experimentation
  • Bullying
  • Capital punishment
  • Cellular telephones
  • Genetically modified foods
  • Gun Control
  • Homework
  • Marijuana, law and legislation
  • Same-sex marriage
  • School uniforms

From www.nclive.org, under the By Subject heading on the right, click on Current Issues.  Select SIRS Knowledge Source Package from the list.  On the SIRS page, you can click on one of Your Top 10 Pro vs. Con Leading Issues on the right of your screen, or click on the link for ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher to access all 300 available topics.

eBook Friday: Eating Animals

Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer:

Jonathan Safran Foer spent much of his teenage and college years oscillating between omnivore and vegetarian. But on the brink of fatherhood–facing the prospect of having to make dietary choices on a child’s behalf–his casual questioning took on an urgency. His quest for answers ultimately required him to visit factory farms in the middle of the night, dissect the emotional ingredients of meals from his childhood, and probe some of his most primal instincts about right and wrong. Brilliantly synthesizing philosophy, literature, science, memoir and his own detective work, Eating Animals explores the many fictions we use to justify our eating habits–from folklore to pop culture to family traditions and national myth–and how such tales can lull us into a brutal forgetting. Marked by Foer’s profound moral ferocity and unvarying generosity, as well as the vibrant style and creativity that made his previous books, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, widely loved, Eating Animals is a celebration and a reckoning, a story about the stories we’ve told-and the stories we now need to tell.


Every Friday, we highlight an eBook from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas:

The Count of Monte Cristo is Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale of revenge and adventure. The young sailor Dantes is fallaciously charged with treason and loses his fiancé, his dreams and his life when he is locked up for thirteen years on the island prison of Chateau d’If. Mentored by another prisoner, Dantes finally escapes the prison, reinvents himself as the Count of Monte Cristo and begins to exact his revenge on the people who set him up.


Every Friday, we highlight an eBook from our collection at
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

New NC LIVE Resources for 2015!

NC LIVE, your source for free online databases through your library, is undergoing some major changes in the new year!

Every three years, NC LIVE reviews its resources and selects new digital content for the consortium.  While we usually experience a few minor changes, 2015 will bring some BIG changes to the resource lineup.  Most of these relate to the decision to replace NC LIVE’s large group of EBSCO databases with a group of ProQuest databases.

Some of the exciting new resources include Pronunciator for language learning (see our blog post), Films on Demand video collection, Reference USA (coming soon), and ebrary eBooks.  You can view the complete list of content changes that will take effect on January 1, 2015.

In addition to the new resources, NC LIVE introduced its new Metasearch functionality today, which allows you to find articles, eBooks, videos, journals, databases, and more — all with one search!  Just look for the search box on the left side of the main page.

Questions?  Contact the Reference Desk at Chatham Community Library: 919-545-8086.

Fly Paper


Here’s another ad that grabs your attention with giant type. It got mine, anyway.

You have to hold your head just right to see it, but this advertisement from the July 7, 1892 edition of The Chatham Record is hawking pest control.


Dutcher’s Fly Killer is certain death. Flies are attracted to it and killed at once. They do not live to get away. Use it freely, destroy their eggs and prevent reproduction. Always ask for Dutcher’s and get best results.