Ode to Parties I’ll Never Throw

By Kristi S.

Every year around this time, I am seized with the spirit of the season and decide to throw a party. I put all kinds of cookbooks on hold, plan my menu, make a playlist, and Pinterest like crazy. Then, I remember that I hate parties and am not at all social. So, I am left hiding under the blankets of my bed, clutching all of these plans that will never be used.

Fortunately, this year I have a place to live out my party dreams without having to talk to anyone. Thank you, internet. I’ve pulled together a list of all my favorite party resources and I’m ready to set the scene. Picture it:

The Food

There are only two reasons I would attend an actual party, first and foremost being food. Party food has to be both delicious and portable. This is the optimum combination for swooping in on the buffet, filling my plate, and scurrying away to eat in silence. With that practice in mind, I’m turning to these books for small bites with big flavor:


Continue reading »

Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Appetite for Mystery

by Marie B.

Here we are at the tail end of another year. I don’t know about you, but time seems to fly faster and faster as my own odometer ticks upward. Never mind, because this is one of my favorite times of year. I love the frosty mornings, the skeletal remains of the deciduous trees and shrubs, and feeling as though I’m wrapped in the embrace of two snow-capped mountain ranges.

The conditions are perfect for gathering with friends and family for parties and feasts. When I need to recuperate from my food coma, though, I usually opt to hunker down with a hot drink and a good book. What, you, too?

Well, put on your woolly socks, grab a fleece blanket, and get ready to cozy up to a foodie mystery.

Continue reading »

Tagged , | 2 Comments

Suggested by You

by Brian H.

Library staff work hard to “know” the collection and make recommendations to you.  We find books, movies and music that we suggest to you and we hope that some of these suggestions match your interests and meets your expectation of what a public library is all about.  We have collaborators in this endeavor.

Continue reading »

Tagged | Leave a comment

2018 Sno-Isle Staff Favorites

by Kimberly P. 

It’s that time again, folks! The end of the year doth fast approach, and with it, end of the year lists! Last year, we compiled a list of staff favorites for 2017, and we’re continuing the tradition this year with categories in fiction, nonfiction, audiobooks, teen, juvenile, children’s, music, and movies.

Whew! Without further ado, here is what we read, watched, and listened to throughout 2018.  Continue reading »


Wrapping Up Beyond Bestsellers: Magical Realism

by Kristi S.

Well, the magic is gone and life is boring again. That may be a touch dramatic, but it is the end of November, which means it’s time to close the book on Beyond Bestsellers: Magical Realism. I’ve had so much fun reading around the world in this theme. I’ve never focused my reading on the country of origin before, but to prepare the quiz, I made a point of reading at least one book per region.

Starting in Latin America, I read The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea. I was totally taken by the idea of magical realism based on a real person (and relative to the author, no less!) and I was not disappointed. It’s an epic drama of a woman who is rumored to have risen from the dead possessing the powers of healing. Urrea writes in a beautiful, earthy language and Teresita is an inspiring and fierce character. Check out my other picks from Latin American authors in this list:

By pure coincidence, I happened upon The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake barely poking out of a Free Little Library while walking my dog. Deciding this was preordained, I grabbed it and moved my reading on to North America. The next week, my coworker told me this was one of their favorite novels of magical realism. It’s a moving, offbeat, and somewhat pessimistic novel about a girl who discovers on her ninth birthday that she can taste a person’s deep emotions in the food they prepare. Dark family secrets are revealed as she struggles to cope with this gift. For more magical realism from North American authors, browse this list:

In another exciting twist of fate, I messaged my sister to tell her about my book choice from Africa, Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi, and she was reading it too. She lives in Liberia and we do not get to talk too often, so this felt especially magical. “Freshwater” is an unsettling novel, drenched in mysticism, about a woman whose mind is controlled by evil spirits. Both my sister and I loved the lyrical prose and unreliable narration. Magical realism from African authors might be my favorite; here are more of my picks in the genre:

At this point, I was ready for something a little lighter, so I hopped over to Europe and picked up The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw. This is an engaging, fairytale-like story about a girl slowly turning into glass. It weaves elements of romance, mystery, and magical realism in just the right balance to keep me turning pages. European authors offer a wide variety in the realm of magical realism; take a look at more options in this list:

I finished my journey in Asia, after countless recommendations to read Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. It follows a young runaway and an elderly wanderer on separate journeys that eventually unite. This is a truly gorgeous and highly imaginative novel unlike anything I’ve ever read. For more magical realism from Asian authors, give this list a try:

Maybe it’s just my extensive reading in this genre, but this month was full of magical reading coincidences for me. There’s nothing like finding the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Leave a comment letting us know what you read, and check back with us in January for our next Beyond Bestsellers theme.

Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

If You Liked the Night Circus…

By Kaley C.

It took me an embarrassing amount of time to read The Night Circus. A very eager colleague of mine with similar reading tastes was insistent that I’d love it, and they were right! It’s not a straightforwardly fantasy novel, but pretty darn close and would be a great suggestion for those looking to push their boundaries with an imaginative narrative. The creepy circus is only in operation at night, and is actually the stage for magicians to duke it out. I’m a sucker for novels written about magical competitions. The plots for these kinds of books are often fast paced and I never want to put them down. It’s been years since author Erin Morgenstern has written a novel, but with the announcement of her impending book release in 2019, I figured it’s time for a read-alike! It’s not a sequel, but we can still be excited about it. Continue reading »

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New Book Group Kits for December!

Whether you belong to a private club, a Sno-Isle Library book club, or you want to start your own, these kits are a great way to connect with your community and spark discussion about the big questions. This is our last order of the year, and our smallest, so you can rest assured that we were extra picky about what went into it. I’m especially interested in how groups react to The Seventh Function of Language. This Man Booker International Prize-winner might be a non-traditional book group pick, somehow managing to have murder, action, humor, history, famous cameos (can you spot them all?), satire, and sex in an avant garde package. It’s French.

See the new kits below. Descriptions can be found in our Book Kit Reservation System, or click on the cover image to find out more.

Each book kit contains ten paperback copies of a single title and can be checked out for any book group. Currently, there are 385 book kits in this collection. If there’s a book you absolutely love as a book group pick and want to share with others, let us know in the comments!

This Book Discussion Kit collection is funded by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation and individual donations given for this purpose. Book Discussion Kits can be sponsored for a $200 donation to the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation. Contact the Foundation to donate. Thank you to the ELC Book Club for sponsoring Saints for All Occasions in remembrance of friend and fellow book lover, Dixie Schamens.

Tagged | Leave a comment

The Fantastic Tween Comic Scene

by Emily Z.

The holidays are upon us now. For some of us, that means:

  1. Winter Break
  2. Long trips to other peoples’ houses
  3. Even longer periods of waiting for some elaborate meal to be prepared
  4. Holiday parties where everyone is somehow between 5 and 50 years older than you (or at least 5 years younger than you) and they all want to play touch football or watch Frozen for the 900000th time.
  5. You need something to do in that sweet, sweet blanket fort you made
  6. Power outages and all that they entail

Perhaps you or someone you know who is roughly between the ages of 9 and 13 is going to need something to read? Oh, but maybe not something big and heavy because it’s a break and don’t you/they do enough serious reading the rest of the year? They might want some lighter material as a kind of treat. Something adventurous that’s also fun to look at? A faster, more accessible read so that, if they do need to take a break to help set the table (or pick a better hiding reading spot), getting back into the story is relatively easy? What about: graphic novels? Continue reading »

Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

In Pursuit of Happiness

by Kimberly P. 

It was recently brought to my attention that I obsess over death and destruction. I enjoy horror and dark fantasy (including grimdark fantasy which, for the record, sometimes gets a little too gruesome for my tastes), and spent the previous October reading all things serial killer.

To be fair, my coworker was not wrong.

But I can frolic with kittens, puppies, and happy endings, too!

In an effort to restore some semblance of balance to my dark world, I accepted a challenge:

Devote an Entire Month to Happiness.

Happy reading*. Happy movies. Happy music. And with the holidays gearing up, what better way to “celebrate” than watching wholesome Hallmark Movies? Continue reading »

Tagged , | 17 Comments

The Feasting Season

by Michelle C.

It’s November and you know what that means. We are in the season of feasting. My daydreams center around long, banquet-style tables filled with food. I scrounge through cookbooks and online recipes and visualize how much food I will need to make so that I can properly hibernate this winter like the grizzly bear I aspire to be.

The holidays allow me to focus on food without appearing obsessed. What vegetable side dish will I make for Thanksgiving? The traditional green beans? Brussel sprouts (even though my dad will complain)? Cauliflower is going through a popularity spike.

Forget vegetables, what about dessert? In my family this is often a point of contention. My sister hates pumpkin pie. She says it is a texture thing. My dad likes apple pie. My mom prefers chocolate and my brother-in-law is obsessed with coconut. My nephews will eat anything that has sugar in it. I like unique flavor combinations but a chocolate covered coconut, apple pie with a pumpkin garnish is a bit too much for me.

If daydreaming, obsessing, and scourging the internet are not enough, I will also watch movies centered around food. What are some of your favorite food documentaries and movies?

Tagged , | 3 Comments