Beyond Bestsellers: Put Some South in Your Mouth

by Kimberly P.

It often comes as a surprise to folks in the PNW that I’m a Southerner born and raised. I work hard to smooth out my Southern twang accent, but words still trip me up. I just can’t shake my Southernisms. For instance:

It’s skillet, not frying pan.

Buggy, not shopping cart.

Lightnin’ bugs, not fireflies.

And–bless your heart–what is this “stuffing” y’all speak of? That’s an awful strange way to pronounce “dressin’.”

However, we all can agree that Southern food has its own particular charm. When a rough bout of homesickness hits, I browse Sno-Isle’s wonderful collection of Southern cookbooks. Continue reading »

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Beyond Bestsellers: Middle Eastern Cravings

by Denise D. 

Choose one food?

Every once in awhile, my son asks me an impossible question. If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Unlike his other queries (choose a superpower, describe your dream house), this one panics me. Choosing one food is like choosing one book. Impossible. It’s the variety of choice that I live for.

So, I do the only reasonable thing. I define “one food” to be “one type of food.” Then my answer is easy. Middle Eastern. Why Middle Eastern? Let me count the reasons… Continue reading »

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My Childhood in Books

by Lindsey A.

In February, I was fortunate to attend the 15th Annual Western Washington University’s Children’s Literature Conference. I watched presentations from Pam Muñoz Ryan, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Sophie Blackall, and Kevin Henkes. A common theme among these youth authors and illustrators was their personal history of reading; specially, what led them to become readers, and which books captivated them when they were young. Sophie encouraged us to think about the books that shaped us, so I’m dedicating some time to the books I read voraciously as a kid.

It’s remarkable how those early books are so firmly rooted in our memories. I can barely remember what I did yesterday, but I remember that the first book I checked out from the school library in first grade was “Trapper” by Stephen Cosgrove. My mom remembers that the first book she read on her own was “The Man Who Lost His Head” by Claire Huchet Bishop and Robert McCloskey. A few years ago I discovered a reprint of this book, and I think it’s her favorite birthday gift I’ve ever given her. Clearly these books have a direct line to our hearts!

Why not join me on a trip down memory lane?

Continue reading »

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April Showers May Bring Flowers

by Michelle C.

The last few weeks have been an odd mixture of winter and summer. There was one memorable day in which I was outside, jacketless, early in the day and three hours later it was snowing. How are we supposed to plan what to wear or what activities to do? I could be building a snowman or soaking up some sun in a hammock (I’d prefer the latter). But there is one activity that you can do rain, snow, or shine: watch movies.

If the old adage is true and April showers do bring May flowers, then this collection of rainy day movies should help bring on a beautiful spring.

Rain Man: A callous young hustler living in California finds his father has died and left him only rose bushes and a ’49 Buick convertible. Feeling cheated out of what he thinks should be his 3 million dollar inheritance, he kidnaps the autistic brother he never knew he had, and takes him on the ride of his life.

 Even the Rain: Idealistic filmmaker Sebastian and his cynical producer Costa arrive in Bolivia to make a revisionist film about Christopher Columbus’ conquest of the Americas. But as filming commences, the local citizens begin to riot in protest against a multi-national corporation that is taking control of their water supply. With the film shoot in jeopardy, both men find their convictions shaken. Inspired by the real-life Water Wars in Bolivia in the year 2000.

Singin’ in the Rain: Silent movies are giving way to talking pictures, and a hoofer-turned-matinee idol is caught in that bumpy transition, as well as his buddy, prospective ladylove and shrewish co-star.


And maybe after all that rain, we will find ourselves in an…

Enchanted April: Lottie and Rose are two married women who share the misery of empty marriages and decide to rent an Italian castle for the spring to get away. In order to save money, they advertise for two other women to join them. Mrs. Fisher is an elderly widow is struggling with a lonely and regimented existence. She jumps at the chance to join the vacation. Lady Caroline Dester is a gorgeous flapper who has been grabbed one too many times and believes that she is sick of men. They arrive in San Salvatore. The seaside Italian castle is drenched in wisteria and sunshine. The women find themselves in a transformative beauty so enchanting that they experience changes in themselves they never thought possible.

What are some of your favorite movies to watch this time of year?

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A Life of (true) Crime

By Kristi S.

I was raised on true crime. I recognize that this is a weird statement, but it is completely true. I’ve had insomnia all my life, so instead of struggling to sleep I would stay up with my mom watching investigations unfold. We loved Dominick Dunne, 48 Hours Mystery, and Psychic Detectives. To this day, if we are together in the evenings, we inevitably turn on Investigation Discovery and try to solve cold cases as though we are more qualified than the professionals.

Unfortunately, my love of true crime was not particularly useful throughout my schooling. Most kids don’t want to talk forensics on the playground. However, the genre is definitely on the rise now. With podcasts, documentaries, and streaming series coming out all the time, people are hungry for the thrill of in-depth investigations. So, if you are like me and anxiously awaiting the next installment of your favorite podcast, this list is for you! Continue reading »

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Beyond Bestsellers: Cooking

by Jackie P

Whether you’re looking for a recipe, information, or a good story, food-centric books can be found all over the library. This month, for our Beyond Bestsellers reading challenge, we’re looking at books focused on food and cooking.

Title details for The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty - AvailableWe have no-wait access on the ebook version of the acclaimed The Cooking Gene by Michael W. Twitty as well as several digital audio titles:

Continue reading »

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LibraryReads List April 2018

by Lindsey A.

Spring is finally here, and with this rebirth we have a crop of exciting new publications!

At the top of the list is one of the books I voted for, Circe by Madeline Miller. Miller’s debut novel, The Song of Achilles, is one of my favorite books, and she continues in that vein by retelling the story of Circe, the witch from Homer’s The Odyssey.

I also look forward to reading Josh Malerman‘s Unbury Carol, which sounds as spooky as all of his books, and Clemantine Wamariya’s The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After, a memoir of the Rwandan Genocide that sounds incredibly powerful.

I must admit I’m also intrigued by My Lady’s Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel, having read a lot of Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid!

Continue reading »

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Beyond Bestsellers: an End to the Suspense

by Denise D. 

What a roller coaster month it has been! Snow, daffodils, sleet, cherry blossoms, t-shirts, triple layers. The weather definitely twisted us around. Did the suspense?

Did you find some good reads to keep you up late into the night, peeking over your shoulder? I hit the jackpot with recent suspense releases that contained my favorite cocktail of atmospheric settings and intriguing characters.

Continue reading »

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Music History (In a Roundabout Way)

by Brian H.

Whether we realized it or not we’ve all been offered a course in music history through the documentaries created by Ken Burns. The films he creates tell stories from history through images and film footage with narration. They also feature a good deal of music that significantly helps with telling these stories. Continue reading »

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Prose Bowl 2018: Winner!

by Kimberly P.

Many Entered . . . but There Can Only be One. 

Welcome to our final stage of Prose Bowl 2018. You voted, they fought, and in the end, only one remained standing, triumphant amidst the broken spines and ripped pages of its competitors.

To recap, our Finalists were:

Combat was vicious. Grant’s abacus quailed, pushed to the limits of endurance. At several dicey moments, we cowered in horror, tore our hair in sorrow, and I may or may not have fainted from the sheer amount of ruined typeface and ink stains that splattered the field.

When the smoke cleared, this book reclined atop Sno-Isle’s Iron Throne: Continue reading »

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