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Cookbooks for Summer Reading June 5, 2009

Posted by bookgoddess in Book Floor, Books, Just Browsing, Public libraries, readers, Reading, Reading lists, West Palm Beach Public Library.
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NPR recently released their “Summer Books List,” and this past Sunday’s New York Times featured their Summer Reading selections.  

One similarity between the two is that they both included a selection of cookbooks.  I love cookbooks, and my observations as a bookseller and a librarian are that many people do, whether they like to cook or not. 

And in these trying economic times, it might be a good idea to take an interest in food preparation.  Some financial pundits tell us that we could be wealthy if we didn’t go out to eat so much, though I doubt that applies to restaurant owners.  These are complex issues. 

However, the ability to prepare a good meal for friends, family, or yourself is undoubtedly a useful skill, and can also be an act of generosity, a creative outlet, or a way to take out your aggression by vigorous vegetable chopping. 

We have a wonderful Food and Wine section on the First Floor, and many more food titles in the Grand Reading Room on the Fourth Floor.  I’ve selected some delicious sounding titles from among our new arrivals, and you can link to the list here.  Just keep in mind that there are many more! 

Happy Reading and Cooking, 

The Book Goddess

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Books, Holidays, and Children December 16, 2008

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, Reading.
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I was listening to NPR this morning, and one of the segments was about a family that has a special collection of holiday books.  Many are about Christmas, but others are about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and other winter holidays.  The box that holds these treasures is opened well before the decorations come out. 

What a wonderful idea!  A holiday book is both a celebration and an antidote to the frenzy that our holidays often become.  And what a great opportunity to share an experience with a young friend or relative!  One of the men at my church was reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which he is giving to a grandchild as a Christmas present.  (More on that wonderful title in a forthcoming blog entry.) 

To read about the family featured on NPR, and to see a list of 50 recommended holiday books for young readers, click here

Happy Reading!

The Book Goddess

Pick Three (Books, that is) October 6, 2008

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, Reading.
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Let me start by saying that I am a major NPR junkie.  The top three buttons on my car radio are set for the three regional affiliates – and I rarely use the bottom three. 

NPR also has a wonderful website, which is especially helpful when you become attached to a particular ongoing feature that may not coincide with your drive time.  My new favorite is “Three Books” in which NPR invites writers “to recommend three great reads on a single theme.”  

I love it.  If you’re interested in a topic, three is an excellent number.  Big enough for a little variety, small enough to be manageable.  Recent topics include Smart, Sassy Heroines; Eco-Friendly Books; and I’m with the Band (I Wish).  I would be extremely surprised if you didn’t find something to fascinate you. 

Happy Reading! 

The Book Goddess

Help! I Need A Novel! August 11, 2008

Posted by bookgoddess in Authors, Books, Fiction, Literature, readers, Reading, West Palm Beach Public Library.
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I recently got a question from a patron who wanted to know the best websites for selecting fiction.  This is an excellent question, and one problem is that it will have different answers for different types of readers.  The other problem is that there are endless book-related websites, and we are only going to scratch the surface here. 

First of all, I want to refer you to our Library website, where we have a whole set of pages (and many more links) devoted to helping you find something great to read:  http://librarytogo.org/books_l2go.htm.

Being a librarian makes you very aware of how many books there are out there, and it makes me want to pick out the very best.  So, here are some really good sources of “best” lists:

American Library Association Notable Books:  http://www.ala.org/ala/rusa/protools/notablebooks/thelists/2008list/notablebooks.cfm

New York Times Notable Books:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/02/books/review/notable-books-2007.html

American Booksellers Association http://www.indiebound.org/indie-next-list

Some readers like to find books of a specific genre, setting, or subject matter.  Websites which are very helpful for this include:

What Do I Read Next? – Search fiction by subject, settings, time period, major character:   http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/WDIRN?locID=41100_wpbpl

What Should I Read Next? – Provide a title and find out what others who read that book have read (UK emphasis, so nice for Anglophiles):  http://whatshouldireadnext.com/search

Reading Robot – Focuses on genre fiction; nice because you can choose (or exclude) certain writing styles or types of characters:  http://www.tnrdlib.bc.ca/rr.html

And one last, not to be missed source:  the National Public Radio Books page, which always makes me want to drop everything and start reading one of the wonderful featured titles:  http://www.npr.org/templates/topics/topic.php?topicId=1032

Wow!  I haven’t even said anything about the book-related social networking sites like GoodReads, LibraryThing and Shelfari.  I think I’m going to have to leave them for another post.

Do you have any favorite book-related websites?  Please share!

Happy Reading! 

The Book Goddess