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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Celebrate Family Fun Month With Activities From These Exciting Books!

August is Family Fun Month. From playing games to cooking recipes, the library offers a variety of resources to help you plan fun activities for the whole family.

With school around the corner, most family vacations are coming to an end. However, for the families who still have some road trips on the schedule, this book may come in handy. It has action games, wordplays, quiet games, crafts, and many other kind of games to keep the family entertained on the road.
Recommended for approximately ages 4 to 14+, this book sections off different card games by category, such as rummy games and adding games.


FamilyFun Cookbook (641.5973 COO)
There are 250 delicious recipes for fun family cooking or baking. “The After-School Snacks” chapter looks especially fun for some creative and tasty recipes to enjoy.
Quesadillas, burgers, soups, and even fruity ice cubes are some of the recipes families can make together for meals or snacks.

Crafts, Parties, and Other Activities 

Families can have a fun time building a photo family tree, making a rock garden, designing a homemade memory game, and so much more. 
This book serves as a guide for younger family members who like to throw parties.
So many fun activities are offered in this book, which makes it a great resource for the family night planner. One activity that jumped out at me was “Create-Your-Own Holiday” in which the family creates a made-up holiday and makes up their own traditions, foods, and games, etc. At the end of the book, further resources are listed for more family fun ideas. 

101 Offline Activities You Can Do with Your Child by Steve and Ruth Bennett (790.191 BEN)
The digital world is fun, but the world of old-fashioned games is just as fun! This little book offers offline activities for the family to enjoy either at home, out and about, or on the go. Many of the activities require minimal preparation.


This book fell off the shelf while I was shelving one day and I figured it was meant for me to check out! I found many fun ideas to try with my family. It is definitely worth a look for the families who enjoy the outdoors. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Curious What We Thought of These? Staff Reviews of Recent Reads

Jake's Review:
Grace Kelly was a remarkable woman. You can see that in every single one of her films. She had a grace (no pun intended), dignity, and charm that was all her own. But she was also a private woman who lived a life both full and yet still strangely lacking in many ways. This wonderful book details her remarkable life. From her somewhat unhappy childhood to her surprisingly short film career to her time as Princess of Monaco. This book reveals her to be a woman who was as wonderful off screen as she was on. As a woman who loved to give and who longed to be loved. An absolutely delightful read. 10/10

The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson 
(I admit it – I checked this book out because the dust jacket caught my eye! It turned out to be a very good choice.)

Joyce's Review:

The Bookshop of Yesterdays is a seemingly simple story of Miranda, a young woman who inherits her estranged uncle’s bookstore. The store is in financial peril and needs her time and work to continue but her job and boyfriend are hundreds of miles away. She needs to make decisions not only about the store but the direction her life will take. The characters and settings are well defined so I felt I was with Miranda as she followed her uncle’s last literary scavenger hunt watching her relationships with family and friends unfold. One strength of the book is that all the characters have their stories; Miranda’s story is shaped by them. A very enjoyable book; I hope there is a sequel.

Jake's Review:
I really enjoyed this book. It is a hauntingly beautiful tale of love and loss. It is a novel based on the life of the here of Greek Mythology Achilles and his lover Patroclus. Unlike most modern retellings of the story it does not shy away from the love aspect nor does it shy away from the gruesome realities of war. The Greek Gods are present in the story but they are mostly background characters who influence the story but they are not the center of it. It plays a lot with the themes of free will, fate, and destiny. It asks questions about the nature of ourselves and humanity which have no real answers. The center of the story is the love of Achilles and Patroclus whose love is tested but never falters. A wonderful read and a powerfully moving romance. 10/10

The City Stained Red by Sam Sykes

Jason’s Review:
The City Stained Red is a fantasy novel about a group of misfit adventurers trying to get paid for their last job and retire in the wealthy city of Cier’Djaal. As with most things adventurers get up to, their plans do not go as expected and they find themselves wrapped up in a world just as problematic as the one they were trying to escape. Sykes’ characters may seem archetypal at first, but with just a little bit of time they become fully realized into flawed but lovable heroes. Creatures, ranging from massive Dragonmen to silk-spewing spiders and everything in between make appearances as well. I found myself waiting with anticipation for the next fantastic beast or unusual human faction to show up. The City Stained Red is like reading a session of Dungeons and Dragons; frequently violent, surprisingly funny, and always interesting. The City Stained Red easily earns 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Jake's Review:
This is a fascinating book that covers the history of the Lego company from it's early days as a wooden toy manufacturer to it's modern stance as an iconic toy loved beloved by generations of fans. It goes over every single set that the company has ever released and has many fascinating photos of sets spanning decades. It mentions the various popular and not so popular sets as well as covering the other facets of the company such as the video games and books. If the book has a flaw it is that the writing does feel a bit disjointed because it keeps jumping back and forth between the history of the company at large and the individual themes of different sets. A must read for any Lego enthusiast. 7/10

Saturday, August 4, 2018

First-Look Fiction: British Library Crime Classics

We are happy to provide a wonderful series collection to our library patrons – British Library Crime Classics.  For those fans of Agatha Christie, PD James, and other wonderful British mystery writers, these classics are sure to entertain.

In 2015, U.S. Poisoned Penn Press began releasing trade paperback formats of much celebrated British Library Crime Classics featuring historical mysteries “rediscovered” by the British Library. Focusing on the “Golden Age” of British crime writing, the series includes works by both recognized and lesser-known writers. 

The publisher releases each title featuring cover art chosen by the British Library – “smart, old-fashioned designs befitting these golden age crime tales” — as well as introductions by well-known experts.

Per the publisher, “The British Library Crime Classic series is an outstanding collection of books written at a time when there was no such thing as genre fiction. These works laid the groundwork for today’s popular crime fiction . . . the original masters of crime fiction writing.”