Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Diet? What diet?

From the heavy traffic up at the Rec Center, I can see that everybody is trying to lose those extra pounds they gained over the holidays (that's surely the reason I'm up there).  But if you're feeling cavilier about your calorie intake - or you're one of those people who don't gain weight during the holidays - then check out these sweet new books:
Irresistible Macaroons, by Jose Marechal.  I always thought of macaroons as being the simplest of desserts, but Marechal dresses them up by making them into little sandwich cookies with a wide variety of fillings.  Oh, and he also uses food coloring to turn them into eye-popping shades of green, blue, red, purple and black.  I'll be honest, I'm not a macaroon fan....and the liquorice and violet ones look a bit stomach-churning.  But the other selections in this book are quite elegant, and the pineapple and saffron macaroons are very tempting.
The Whoopie Pie Book: 60 irresistible recipes for cake sandwiches classic and new, by Claire Ptak.  Being a native of New England, this book is more up my aisle.  If you've never had a whoopie pie, they are a layer of fluffy filling/frosting sandwiched between two cakey cookies.  Fruit fillings, nuts, caramel sauces and liquors jazz up Ptak's recipes.  I like the classic:  chocolate cake with buttercream filling.  Yum!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New poetry

We have two new collections by American poets.  The Back Chamber is the latest collection from Donald Hall, the former poet laureate and winner of the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America.  Devin Johnston, former editor of the Chicago Review, is a younger poet who looks to Yeats as one of his major influences.  His new collection is called Traveler, and it uses words like musical notes.  These two poets have very different styles, and both books are worth checking out.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Free legal forms

We have a new subscription to Gale Legal Forms, which gives you 24-hour access to forms for subjects such as divorce, landlord/tenant, wills, power of attorney, bills of sale and bankruptcy.  For a quick overview of the service, we've put together a short film  (it's silent....feel free to compose your own incidental music as a soundtrack).  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bear Down, Bear North

We have just received the debut short story collection from Melinda Moustakis, a young writer who was born in Fairbanks to homesteader Alaskans.  Although she moved out of the state when she was young, she returned frequently for visits and grew up hearing family stories of life out in the Bush.  Her stories are grimly realistic, where the violence of nature in Alaska is overshadowed by human violence fueled by alcohol and desperation.  Families hold together out of necessity, but the relationships still have the spark of love buried down deep.
The writing is beautiful, and the stories are very powerful.  Although, between Moustakis and David Vann, it's a miracle anyone wants to move to Alaska.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prepare for the movie....read the book!

A new film starring Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks is scheduled for release next month.  "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" is based on the 2005 novel by Jonathan Safer Foer in which a young Manhattan boy deals with his father's death on 9/11.  The book received mixed reviews at the time, with some critics feeling that Foer was using the backdrop of a national tragedy to sell books.  With the passage of time, reaction to the setting of the book may have died down somewhat.  You might want to bring a box of tissues to the movie theater, though.....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ketchikan Holiday Events

It seems like this time of year there are a million different fun things to do, and it's hard to keep track of the schedule.  So, the staff of the Children's Library have put together a guide of all the holiday activities taking place here in Ketchikan for the rest of the month:

Friday December 2  5-6pm
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Ketchikan Public Library
Visit the library for Suessical Stories, Grinch displays, cider and treats!

Friday December 2  5-8pm
Winter Art Walk

Local galleries and businesses stay open late for
new exhibits, displays, and holiday features

Friday December 2  7pm & Sunday December 4  7pm
Christmas Jazz Cafe
North Tongass Community Club

The First City Players present an evening of jazz, wine and delicious food.  Call 225-4792 for more information. 
Friday December 2  7:30pm & Saturday  December 3  2pm
The Nutcracker
Kayhi Auditorium 
Call Ketchikan Theatre Ballet for tickets 225-9311

Saturday December 3  6:30pm
Enchanted Forest
Ted Ferry Civic Center

The Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce hosts a dinner and decorated Christmas tree auction fundraiser.  Call 225-3184 for tickets.
Saturday December 3  7:30pm  Sunday  December 4   3pm
Ketchikan Community Chorus Holiday Concert: Christmas Gospel
Presbyterian Church, 2711 Second Ave
Kids $2, Adults $15

Tuesday December 6  7pm
Sam Pitcher Memorial Concert
Kayhi Auditorium

"An evening of jazz, rock and blues" is an annual event to raise money for music scholarships for young local musicians.

Thursday December 8  10:30 am
Preschool Storycraft at the Library! 
Ketchikan Public Library
Come for stories and make a “Red-Nosed Rudy Puppet!”

Friday December 10

Singing Christmas Tree
Clover Pass Community Church
Enjoy a choral performance and visual experience. Call 247-2360 for details.

Saturday December 11  3pm
Ketchikan Community Concert Band Holiday Performance  
Kayhi Auditorium
18 & under free, adults $10
Tuesday December 13  9-11am
Breakfast with Santa  
Rec Center
$15/child, parents free. Breakfast, gift bags, and pictures with Santa followed by a Christmas Craft!

Tuesday December 13
Kayhi Holiday Concert
Kayhi Auditorium
Thursday December 15  5:30 - 7pm
Family Night!
Ketchikan Public Library
Create holiday cards and ornament with Faye Hoffman. Free pizza for all and a free book for every child! Pick up your tickets at the library. 225-0370 for more info

Wednesday December 21  3pm
Kids Cook!
Ketchikan Public Library
Learn to make “Puppy Chow” and Chex Mix! All are welcome.

Friday December 16 6:30pm
A Sugar Rush Christmas!
Ketchikan Public Library
Enjoy a candy-filled movie and make some sweet art!
For ages 13-19, presented by the Teen Advisory Group 

Saturday December 17 10am-2pm
Feed Santa’s Reindeer!
Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary 116 Wood Rd
Hot chocolate , cookies, and reindeer! Free to all      

Saturday December 17
Ketchikan Children’s Choir Performance
Main Street Gallery
Call  225-2211 for more info 

Thursday December 22 12-2pm
Holiday Skate
Rec Center
$2.50/person or $7/family

Friday December 23  10:30am
Preschool Christmas Party!
Ketchikan Public Library
Christmas stories and songs, refreshments and a VERY SPECIAL guest!
Bring your camera!

Tuesday December 27-Friday 30
Clarke Cochrane Christmas Classic 
Kayhi Gymnasium
Join 2000+ fans for this annual basketball tournament at Kayhi!

December 31 10:30pm-12:30am
Roller skating New Year’s Eve party  
Rec Center Roll in the New Year! Call  225-9579 for details

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Come read some unwholesome books

It's national Banned Books Week this week (Sept. 24-Oct. 1) and if you come to the public library, you will be able to see a lovely display in our entry featuring the kind of immoral, smutty, dangerous reading material that libraries are notorious for providing:
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  • Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
  • Animal Farm, by George Orwell
  • The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  • Ulysses, by James Joyce
  • The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
  • Native Son, by Richard Wright
This might sound like the required reading list you remember from high school (perhaps not Ulysses... that's a bit of an undertaking for a 17-year-old).  But in fact, each of these titles has been challenged somewhere in the United States by angry parents, taken off library shelves or even - in the case of The Lord of the Rings - been burned. 
Librarians believe that your constitutional right to free speech also includes a right to information, and that the best way to protect that right is to exercise it.  So this week, exercise your right to read!