eBook Friday: Heroes of the Frontier

Heroes of the Frontier, by Dave Eggers

Josie and her children’s father have split up, she’s been sued by a former patient and lost her dental practice, and she’s grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée’s family, Josie makes a run for it, figuring Alaska is about as far as she can get without a passport. Josie and her kids, Paul and Ana, rent a rattling old RV named the Chateau, and at first their trip feels like a vacation: They see bears and bison, they eat hot dogs cooked on a bonfire, and they spend nights parked along icy cold rivers in dark forests. But as they drive, pushed north by the ubiquitous wildfires, Josie is chased by enemies both real and imagined, past mistakes pursuing her tiny family, even to the very edge of civilization.

A tremendous new novel from the best-selling author of The Circle, Heroes of the Frontier is the darkly comic story of a mother and her two young children on a journey through an Alaskan wilderness plagued by wildfires and a uniquely American madness.

 

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Accept No Substitute, and Put It on Your Tab

 

 

beans_2There has to be a lesson in this anecdote in the March 11, 1886 edition of The Chatham Record, but I can’t parse it just yet.

I will say I inexplicably enjoy the phrase “each bean perfect in its form”.

Real New England Beans

Every day or two I see the Massachusetts members wending their way in groups over to the Senate wing of the Capitol about lunch time, writes a Washington correspondent. That queer undertow which keeps the two houses so far separate, though they sit within a stone’s throw of each other, also generally makes the members patronize their own restaurants. On inquiry it turned out that the Massachusetts men went over to the other end to get some baked beans, which Senator Frye’s protégé, Landlord Page, serve in regular New England style. Those over at the House are weak in their color and baked into a mass, while Page has a knack of putting his beans upon the table with the real Yankee red tint and each bean perfect in its form.  This is what catches the New Englanders, who all patronize Page’s bean pot during the week. But he tells me that he has made no money since he came to Washington, and on the contrary has actually lost some. He say the Senate restaurant is not a paying property, unless liquor is allow to be sold over the counter.

eBook Friday: Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived

Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived, by Ralph Helfer

Spanning several decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to circus stardom in 1940s New York City.

Modoc is a captivating true story of loyalty, friendship, and high adventure, to be treasured by animal lovers everywhere.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

A Debate Cooling on the Windowsill of History

 

english_pie_crust

I may have cracked the anti-pie stance of the nineteenth-century Chatham Record.Was it colonial resentment? Stay tuned.

In any case, here’s an article of interest to your humble blogger. I am always after a way to improve my pastry (shut up), and here, displaced one hundred thirteen years, is technique I’ve not tried.

Courtesy the October 8, 1903 issue of the Chatham Record:

 

 

English Pie Crust.

The English cook has a knack of keeping her pie crust crisp and delicate, instead of growing soaked and soggy, as the American crust is apt to be. The crust is prepared in the American style, but instead of lining a pan or dish as we do they cover the bottom and outside of the dish or pan, pricking the crust closely to prevent the formation of blisters. Then a layer-cake pan is covered with a sheet of crust, and both are baked a delicate brown. When finished the pie pan is removed from its cover of crust, and the latter is filled with stewed or sliced and sugared fruit. The piece baked in the layer pan is used as a lid. Meat filling can be used also. – New York Journal

Oh, it’s on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eBook Friday: 1Q84

1Q84, by Haruki Murakami

The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.
A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —”Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.
As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.
A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s—1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  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 Gap of Time

The Gap of Time, by Jeanette Winterson

The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s “late plays.” It tells the story of a king whose jealousy results in the banishment of his baby daughter and the death of his beautiful wife. His daughter is found and brought up by a shepherd on the Bohemian coast, but through a series of extraordinary events, father and daughter, and eventually mother too, are reunited.

In The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson’s cover version of The Winter’s Tale, we move from London, a city reeling after the 2008 financial crisis, to a storm-ravaged American city called New Bohemia. Her story is one of childhood friendship, money, status, technology and the elliptical nature of time. Written with energy and wit, this is a story of the consuming power of jealousy on the one hand, and redemption and the enduring love of a lost child on the other.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Resource of the Month: Literature Resource Center

LRCGaleDid you ever finish reading a challenging work like Heart of Darkness, Light in August or Finnegan’s Wake and wonder what hit you?  (You’re among friends!)  Or maybe you need background information for your book club selection so you can moderate like a pro.

Administered by GALE, The Literature Resource Center includes resources like scholarly articles, literary criticism, biographies, book reviews and more. Their easy-to-use search engine lets you filter the results (by content types, subjects, authors and more), and you can save your results to peruse later.

Whether you’re coming to grips with a classic or looking for a fresh perspective on an old favorite, you’ll find something of interest via the Literature Resource Center.

To access the Literature Resource Center,

  • Point your browser to http://www.nclive.org
  • When you land on NC LIVE, type “Literature Resource Center” in the search field in the upper left corner of the screen
  • Click on the “Literature Resource Center” link under “Best Bets” (you will be asked to sign in with your library card and password)

eBook Friday: The World According to Star Wars

The World According to Star Wars, by Cass R. Sunstein

There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, the Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’s score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite, and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.

In rich detail, Sunstein tells the story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and explores why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines a bright new light on the most beloved story of our time.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

eBook Friday: A Zeal of Zebras

A Zeal of Zebras, by Woop Studios

An embarrassment of pandas, a galaxy of starfish, a shiver of sharks…these are all collective nouns used to describe their groups. Woop Studios, acclaimed for their work on the Harry Potter movies, has illustrated these quirky phrases, creating a series of extraordinarily beautiful art that has been collected here for the first time. The colorful introduction to animals and the alphabet is accessible for young children, while the gorgeous, whimsical art and clever wordplay make it perfect for design-savvy parents and inspired gift givers. Longer than the standard picture book, with high design and production values, this is a volume readers will want on their coffee tables in addition to their child’s bookshelf.

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Every Friday, we highlight a title from our collection at
http://e-inc.lib.overdrive.com
.  Let us know what you think of these selections, and tell us about eBooks you’ve enjoyed – we may feature them here!

Resource of the Month: DigitalLearn.org

DigitalLearnKnow anyone who could benefit from technology coaching?  It could be you, your parent, your child, or a neighbor who needs help building digital literacy skills.  Your library offers books, eBooks, videos, computer classes, a monthly drop-in assistance lab, scheduled appointments with a Reference Librarian, and some stellar online resources which can be accessed from anywhere. Anytime.

Previously, we posted information about the Goodwill Community Foundation’s site (read it here), and patrons have given us excellent feedback.  Now the Public Library Association has put together DigitalLearn.org to support both learners AND trainers in pursuit of better skills. The homepage shares this invitation:

If you are new to computers, haven’t used them for a while, are a little unsure and uncomfortable, or just need a bit of a refresher, we have the tools to help you tackle technology at your own pace and gain the confidence you need to succeed.

There’s an array of courses available, in both English and Spanish, starting with “Why Use a Computer?”, including “Intro to Skype” and “Online Scams”, and ending with “Buying a Plane Ticket”.  Anyone is able to take a course (and print out a certificate at the conclusion if recordkeeping is an issue), and no login is required.  Courses are brief, averaging around 15 minutes, and dispense information in a rich format, including text, video, and audio.  Just click on the title of interest and you’ll be taken to a list of related activities.

If, instead, your need is learning how to help others develop digital skills, click on the “Help Learners” link at the top right of the homepage.  There you will find a listing of resources for handouts and course materials, learn from other trainers’ experiences, and find links for other potentially useful websites and tools such as webinars.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel! You can benefit today from the fact that libraries know how to provide technology instruction!