Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Celebrate Poem In Your Pocket Day (April 29)

Feeling blue because National Poetry Month is winding down? Never fear; you still have time to celebrate. Tomorrow is Poem In Your Pocket (PIYP) Day! Hurray! Everyone can participate, and it's so easy. All you have to do is select a poem and take it with you. Then sometime during the day, share it with your family, friends, and co-workers.

Some of you might be wondering "What if I don't have a poem?" No problem. You have several options: 1.) Stop by your local library and ask a librarian for help in selecting a poem, 2.) Visit online to find a poem, or 3.) Use your smart phone to access poetry on the go. With a mobile device, you can have poetry in your pocket any time.

So what are you waiting for? Choose your poem today! I've already chosen. This year I'll be carrying
I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman. What's in your pocket?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book Review: Apple Turnover Murder

✰✰✰✰ Amateur sleuth Hannah Swensen is back having solved over a dozen mysteries. This time the town of Lake Eden is pulling together for a big charity gala featuring a talent show. The mayor's wife, Stephanie Bascomb, is counting on The Cookie Jar to provide goodies for the big event. Hannah's business partner, Lisa, comes up with a great plan to donate profits to the charity drive by selling apple turnovers.

Meanwhile, the whole town is buzzing with excitement about the talent show featuring Lake Eden's hottest acts. However, when Hannah's old flame, Professor Bradford Ramsey, turns up dead during intermission with one of Hannah's apple turnovers nearby, things start to heat up. It turns out that Professor Ramsey wasn't the most popular person in town having broken the hearts of many naive co-eds and romanced many married women as well. But who could have been spurned enough to want the professor dead? It's up to Hannah to get to the bottom of it before she herself becomes a victim of the killer running loose in Lake Eden.

The Bottom Line:
If you are looking for a fun mystery to read at the beach this summer, pick up Apple Turnover Murder. Lake Eden's usual cast of characters keeps things cozy. This mystery is a quick read and perhaps a bit predictable. However, the Hanna Swensen mysteries are always good clean fun. As a bonus, there are over 20 recipes, including a unique recipe for Watermelon Cookies which I can't wait to try. Highly enjoyable reading for everyone who enjoys mysteries.

Apple Turnover Murder by Joanne Fluke. Hardcover published by Kensington Books in 2010. 304 p. ISBN: 978-7582-3489-6 NOTE: I received a complimentary copy from Kensington Books in exchange for a review. This was made possible by the Early Reviewers Program at LibraryThing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Book Review: The Ninth Daughter by Barbara Hamilton

✰✰✰ Abigail Adams is a colonial housewife turned amateur sleuth in this charming debut series. While on her way to the market, Mrs. Adams stumbles upon the gruesome murder of a woman at her friend Rebecca's house. For a moment Mrs. Adams fears it is her friend. Discovering that it is someone else, Mrs. Adam's relief quickly turns to panic as she realizes that Rebecca is missing along with a ledger filled with secret ciphers and names important to The Sons of Liberty.

When the Redcoats show up, Abigail is shocked to learn that the evidence points to her husband, John Adams, as being the murderer. Mrs. Adams must reluctantly agree to work with Lt. Coldstone of the British Army if she wants to clear her husband's name and find her friend. After a slow start, the suspense builds as Mrs. Adams follows a trail of murder victims to a colony of religious zealots.

The Bottom Line:
Mystery buffs, who enjoy historical fiction set during the Pre-Revolutionary War period, will enjoy this new series. Barbara Hamilton does a great job of taking the reader back in time to colonial Boston with a mystery that has many twists and turns. Enjoyable reading.

The Ninth Daughter: An Abigail Adams Mystery by Barbara Hamilton. Published by The Berkley Publishing Group in 2009. Paperback with 368 p. ISBN: 978-0-425-23077-0

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cookbook Review: Grilling For All Seasons by Rick Browne

✰✰✰✰✰ Enjoying that great outdoor, grilled taste is not just for summer any more. Rick Browne, the host of PBS's Barbecue America, shares his tips for grilling any time of the year in Grilling For All Seasons.

What I love about this cookbook is that the recipes are divided by the seasons. Each season is then represented by a color which is visible on the side of the book as well. Rick has included two complete menus for each season plus a selection of
À la carte items. There's grilling recipes for beef, poultry, fish, seafood, and veggies. You can even prepare dessert on the grill! How about trying a Grilled Cherry Cobbler? Yum!

A chapter on grilling tips and guidelines is included. The full-color photographs are plentiful, and recipes are easy to read and follow. Additionally, Mr. Browne has thoughtfully indicated that the temperatures for preparing food on the grill are the same temperatures for oven and stove top preparation. Recipes can also be mixed and matched from any season to create a unique menu all your own.

The Bottom Line:
Folks who love to grill, and folks who love to eat will love Rick Browne's cookbook. So get daring and pick up a copy because you too can grill in any season. Highly recommended for outdoor cooks of all levels.

Grilling For All Seasons by Rick Browne. Published by Sellers Publishing, Inc. in 2009. Paperback edition with 160 p. ISBN: 978-1-4162-0782-5

As a bonus, check out Rick Browne's

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Let's Celebrate National Library Week 2010!

It's that time of year again when we celebrate all types of libraries and the librarians who work in them. Whether your favorite library is academic, public, school, or special, stop by and celebrate this year's theme: "Communities Thrive @ Your Library".

Since 1958 libraries across the nation have observed this special week every April. This year National Library Week is being observed April 11 - 17. Visiting your local library helps promote library use and shows your support. Libraries of all types are planning events that you won't want to miss. So stop by today and celebrate with us!

To read more about it, check out ALA's National Library Week
Fact Sheet. Additionally, to find a local public library near you, check out the Library Locator.

P.S. Don't forget to thank your favorite library staff on National Library Workers Day (Tuesday, April 13, 2010).