Hovercrafts and Home Brews: Science You Can Use

Everybody loves to apply ointment to wounds and toppings to nachos. However, did you know you can also apply science to life? Sure, knowledge is its own reward, but here are some books to get you started if you want a manifestation of your reading:

Book cover for Cooking for GeeksChemistry
Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food” by Jeff Potter – Avoid kitchen disasters by learning exactly what happens when you boil an egg.
True Brews: How to Craft Fermented Cider, Beer, Wine, Sake, Soda, Mead, Kefir, and Kombucha at Home” by Emma Christensen – Brew that perfect fermented drink for your next theme party.
Extreme Brewing: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Brewing Craft Beer at Home” by Sam Caligione – Or just stick to brewing beer.

Neuroscience
Boost your Brain: The New Art and Science Behind Enhanced Brain Performance” by Majid Fotuhi – Hone your concentration so that you can work on that jigsaw puzzle for longer than 10 minutes.
Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best From Your People” by Edward M. Hallowell – Motivate your employees without free pizza.
Continue reading »

Classics for Everyone: True Grit

Book cover for True Grit by Charles PortisAugust is American Adventures month, as established by someone. I forget who. The point is it gives me an excuse to write about one of my favorite novels.

True Grit,” by Charles Portis, is a book that defies genrefication. It’s an American adventure semi-western coming-of-age dramatic comedic fictional memoir. The narrator is Arkansas resident Mattie Ross, speaking as an older woman, recalling the time in the 1870s when she was 14 years old and set out to capture her father’s killer, a man named Tom Chaney.

Much of the entertainment value, the thing that keeps me re-reading certain passages, stems from Mattie’s voice, which Portis has crafted perfectly. Mattie holds firm convictions about how things should be. Her love language is legal representation. She freely offers the assistance of her family attorney to those she respects. Her liberties with the lawyer’s services extend to forging his signature on her own letter of identification. Early on she says “If you want anything done right you will have to see to it yourself every time.” This philosophy compels her to carry her father’s war pistol and accompany Marshall Reuben (Rooster) Cogburn, the man she has hired to track Chaney, on his manhunt in Choctaw territory, where Chaney has fallen in with a group of outlaws.

Rooster Cogburn is described by another character in these words: “a pitiless man, double-tough, and fear don’t enter into his thinking. He loves to pull a cork.” But later events show he is not entirely without pity, especially when it comes to Mattie. And she is not entirely inflexible, making allowances for Rooster’s cursing, drinking and the fact that he himself once fled parole in Kansas. Unlike Mattie, Rooster thinks more in terms of how things are than how they ought to be. His catch phrase is “That is the way of it.” Despite their differences, Rooster and Mattie often bring out the best in each other.
Continue reading »

Reader Review: Code Name Verity

Book cover for Code Name Verity by Elizabeth WeinCode Name Verity” is a fictionalized story of the friendship of two women during World War II. The first part of the book is Julie’s side of their story and then Maddie’s account is the second half. Julie is captured and is forced to write down all of the information she knows in regards to the war (code names, airports, war plans and strategies, etc.). I enjoyed listening to this book on CD. The readers did a great job of portraying their characters. I am going to listen to the book again due to the twist at the end I didn’t see coming.

Three words that describe this book: Friendship, World War II, Prisoner

You might want to pick this book up if: You are looking for a book about friendship, or you want to know what role some women played during World War II and what some people went through when they were captured.

-Sharon

Final Gift Card Winner Announced

TrophyCongratulations to Rachel from Ashland on winning our eighth and final Adult Summer Reading 2014 prize drawing. She is the recipient of a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card.

That wraps up our Adult Summer Reading program for this year. If you didn’t win a prize, we hope you will try again next year. A big thank you to everyone who signed up and submitted book reviews. Make sure to come back to DBRL Next to see what other patrons have recommended. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming One Read program. This year’s selection is “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown.

Who Is Hermes Diaktoros, and What the Heck Is He Doing?

 Book cover for The Messenger of Athens by Anne ZouroudiReview of the Seven Deadly Sins Mystery Series, by Anne Zouroudi

Some mysteries, especially those of the “cozy” persuasion, move at a leisurely, describe-every-parasol-and-moustache pace. This generally does not work for me. Forget the stage-dressing, give me lots of action and witty repartee, and wrap it up with a clever solution in under 300 pages, and I’ll be your fangirl. Otherwise, it’s the nearest book drop for you, Cozy Author.

But it seems I’m becoming a kinder, gentler mystery reader. To my surprise, I just finished the fourth book in the Seven Deadly Sins series – a set of strangely hypnotic mysteries with a pace that can only be described as glacial.

This is largely due to the mellow, tortoise-like demeanor of the central character, Hermes Diaktoros, referred to throughout the series as “the fat man.” We never learn much more about Diaktoros, other than that he’s Greek, meticulous about his appearance (especially about his trademark white sneakers), and mysteriously well-off and well-connected.  It also soon becomes clear that he’s very, very observant and just about fearless.
Continue reading »

Reader Review: Lewis & Clark: The Journey West

Book cover for Lewis and Clark: The Journey WestIn 1803, President Thomas Jefferson appointed his secretary, Meriwether Lewis, to lead an expedition into the land west of the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Lewis asked his friend, William Clark, to partner with him. Starting in 1804, it was a journey that took them and the other men who made up their crew two and a half years, from the onset of their trip until their return. Their original journals went into great detail about the dangers they faced – hunger, bitter winters, torrential rains, sickness, etc. The journals also detailed the joy they shared with each new discovery and their friendship with Native American tribes. From those diaries the Salisburys were able to write a true account of this first journey to the West. I have always been interested in the Lewis & Clark Expedition and lived near a part of the Mississippi River where the explorers traveled and camped. The authors have included over 150 illustrations of the trail they took, describing mountains, plains, the Indian camps and people, wildlife and rivers, as well as maps that are based on the diaries. This book is a well-rounded, accurate story of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

Three words that describe this book: Historical, Adventuresome, Interesting

You might want to pick this book up if: People who are interested in American history and the Lewis & Clark Expedition would enjoy reading this book.

-Linda