Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's just a popularity contest

As we wind up 2009 (we will be closed on Thursday and Friday, by the way), let us take a brief moment to see what items here at the public library caught your eye the most:
In the Adult Library Section -
Novel: The Shack by Wm. Paul Young
Graphic Novel: Watchmen by Alan Moore
Nonfiction: Spirit!: historic Ketchikan, Alaska by compiled by June Allen
Magazine: People Weekly
CD Audiobook: Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich
Playaway: Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs
Movie: 24, Season Six
CD: Rubber Soul by the Beatles

In the Children's Library Section -
Picture Book: Bunny party by Rosemary Wells
Juvenile Novel: Diary of a wimpy kid: Rodrick rules by by Jeff Kinney
Young Adult Novel: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Graphic Novel: Dragon Ball Z by Akira Toriyama
Nonfiction: Guiness Book of World Records
Audiobook: Harry Potter and the deathly hallows by J.K. Rowling
Movie: Star Wars, the Clone Wars
Young Adult Music: Fearless by Taylor Swift

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A last gasp for the holidays

The Ketchikan Public Library will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas, but before we close our doors to enjoy the holiday with our families, there is still time to come in and stock up on DVDs, music, magazines and books for the long weekend. A couple of our holiday-themed items have just come in:

You Better Not Cry: stories for Christmas by Augusten Burroughs. This autobiographical (really?) collection of short stories is not your holiday typical heart-warming. It's much more along the lines of David Sedaris (Holidays on Ice), and if your humor runs towards the sarcastic and irreverent (as mine does), Burroughs will have you chuckling. By the same token, his memories of Christmas in an alcoholic fog, dealing with a loved one dying of AIDS, and his mentally-unstable mother give the book a bit of an edge.

Knit the Season: a Friday Night Knitting Club novel by Kate Jacobs is available in both book and audio format, and is the third Knitting Club story in our collection. A gentle story about friendship, family and growing up, it will appeal to anyone who likes stories about relationships and personality. And you don't even have to know how to knit!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Scandinavian cooking

I was unable to get to the Lutheran church this year for the fishcakes at the Christmas bazaar, but thanks to one of our latest titles, The Scandanavian Cookbook, by Trina Hahnemann, I can make my own "fishcakes with herb remoulade and dill potatoes". Or perhaps some "Swedish Lucia breads" to celebrate the season.
If you've been particularly successful this hunting season, you might want to try the "Moose tournedos with kale salad and cowberry (cranberry) compote" or the "Venison with anise and pepper, potato-celery root gratin, and Brussels sprouts".
Once the weather turns a little warmer, there's "Rhubarb trifle" and "Baked trout with new potatoes and smoked-cheese cream". If you're looking for something different this Easter, try "Mint, apricot, and celery stuffed lamb with spinach and minted roast potatoes".
Until then, you can fall back on the goodies you have stashed in your freezer: "Salmon burgers", "Jumbo shrimp with herb mayonnaise", "Cod with mustard sauce" and "Gravlax with sweet mustard sauce".
Speaking for myself, however, I found my taste buds were most tantalised by the goodies: Glögg, Medaljer cookies, apple trifle, Kartoffelkage pastries and crisp vanilla Danish butter cookies (just like the ones that come in the blue tins, only better). Top the whole thing off with a steaming mug of hot chocolate, and I'm there!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas novels

As if the constant barrage of holiday shopping ads, Christmas carols, TV specials, Santa photo ops and twinkling light displays weren't enough, we are adding to the Christmas cacophony by putting out a slew of new holiday novels:
Matchless: an illumination of Hans Christian Andersen's classic 'the Little Match Girl' is Gregory Maguire's latest take on a traditional fairy tale. I've always found this to be the most depressing of the fairy tales, but Maguire introduces a new thread into the story and changes it from a tale of sorrow into one of continuity. Maguire's pen-and-ink illustrations are lovely, and he has a beautiful dedication at the beginning of the book. (For another short Christmas story sure to make you cry, try Frank McCourt's Angela and the Baby Jesus).
The Gift, by Cecelia Ahern, is a Christmas redemption story in which a career-driven executive is made to see the treasure he already has - his family - by a homeless man (guardian angel?).
Merry, Merry Ghost is a mystery by Carolyn Hart. A wealthy woman is murdered before she can alter her will in favor of a newly discovered grandson, and it's up to ghostly Bailey Ruth Raeburn (she really is a ghost, I'm not being metaphorical) to discover the identity of the killer.
Winter of secrets, by Vicki Delany, is the third Constable Molly Smith novel. Set at a British Columbia ski resort (I like to think Smithers, but it's probably more like Whistler), this story involves "sexual predators, recreational drugs, privilege and high-living". Ho, ho, ho.
The Body in the Sleigh by Katherine Hall Page is a new entry in her popular Faith Fairchild mystery series. (I'm not sure why the holiday season is so inspiring to mystery writers...are we all more prone to murderous rages at Christmas?)
Of course, we also have plenty of Christmas-time romance, if you prefer books that are less likely to make you cry or lock your doors. So take a break from shopping, baking and wrapping and settle down with a good holiday read and a hot cup of cocoa.