Are you looking to play a new game, but one that doesn’t center around violence or involve dancing/losing weight? Try looking towards car racing games. If you’re like me and want to play videogames, but don’t necessarily like first person shooter games or getting sweaty and working out, then car racing games are the way to go. These games still allow you to get competitive and sometimes even team up with others to win.
A new car racing game that hit my radar recently is Gran Turismo 5. Gran Turismo 5 is a real driving simulator game for PlayStation 3 that allows players a large variety of personalization options. This game is initially 1-2 players, but gives the option to join the PlayStation Network and play against up to 16 people. New visual effects have been introduced ranging from skid marks, under braking, overturning, ability to flash headlights, and a damage model. The damage model lets players see the realistic damage that happen to their cars when they are in accidents. GT5 lets you pick from a total of 1,083 cars, both “standard” and “premium”. Drivers can pick from up to 31 different scenery locations and 81 different track layouts. If none of those courses work for you, there is also an option to design your own course with the Course Maker. You can also challenge yourself by changing the weather options.
Swerve outside the normal war/first person shooter games and pick up a racing game that you can play with the whole family: Gran Turismo 5.
I, for one, love to eat and my friends know it. Our discussions usually go: “What are you eating?” “Where did you get that? I want one…” “You went WHERE to eat without me?!” The typical food-fest. Imagine my joy when I stumbled upon Food: A Love Story by comedian Jim Gaffigan. I had listened to Gaffigan’s standup before and discovered that he LOVES to eat, comes from a very large family, and was raised in the Midwest. I knew I must read it and was not disappointed.
In this book, Gaffigan draws upon his family history, his deep love of ALMOST anything food, and how sometimes you just have to hide your food from others to completely enjoy it and that there is nothing wrong with doing so. Pictures of Gaffigan, his family, and HIS food break up discussions about vegetarians, how he mistakenly overanalyzed and did not realize the worthiness of steak growing up, “adult” junk food, how he decided to eat healthy, and his description of the perceived differences between hot dogs and sausages(and how you must know the correct way to order them in different cities). Make sure to have food nearby as you devour this book and discover the importance difference between many cheeses and it’s okay not to like seafood or fruit.
If you are looking for more Gaffigan, you’re in luck! Food: A Love Story is a follow-up to Gaffigan’s other book, Dad is Fat, which is also available through the Davenport Public Library.
Crazy Salad & Scribble Scribble: Some Things about Women & Notes on the Media is a combination of two essay collections by Nora Ephron: Crazy Salad and Scribble Scribble.
Throughout her career, Ephron was known by many different titles: producer, director, and writer. She worked on such iconic movies as “Julie & Julia”, “Silkwood,” “Heartburn” (both movie and book), “You’ve Got Mail”, “Sleepless in Seattle”, and “When Harry Met Sally”. Before she shot to fame, Ephron began writing a column about women for Esquire magazine in 1972. Crazy Salad & Scribble Scribble is a selected compilation of her essays all about women and the media that she wrote throughout her tenure at the magazine.
Ephron delights readers with her musings on how she got her first bra and her mom’s rather brash opinion on what she felt her daughter needed. Add in other opinionated, yet funny and witty, descriptions of issues that all women have faced, but not blatantly talked about, from what’s happening with our bodies, dealing with other people’s opinions about how women should live, and of course, the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Ephron ends this essay collection with Scribble Scribble, her various thoughts on multiple different people in the media and the platforms that they choose to show themselves.
Read these essays to gain better insight into just what made Nora Ephron, Nora Ephron.
Let’s talk about the ugly winter truth. Sometimes we’re just too lazy to work out. Putting on workout clothes, bundling up to trudge through the blowing snow and the frigid air, going to the gym to get sweaty with a bunch of people who already have fabulous bodies is just a reminder that I should not have eaten that last plate of holiday cookies.
What if there was a way to avoid having to work out in front of people? Let me introduce you to the wonder of videogames. You can workout in the privacy of your own home without having to worry if you look uncoordinated or comparing your body to anyone else’s. Zumba Fitness: Core is a perfect way to get a workout without actually knowing you are working out. Zumba is an aerobic fitness program that has exploded in popularity recently with dancers doing moves inspired by Latin America to rich Latin American music . This videogame lets you master different classes, dance in different locations within the game, create your own Core class, and set different intensity routines for a wide range of skill levels(and even follow a tutorial if you’re just not sure what’s going on). While dancing around to more than forty different upbeat songs and over thirty different dance styles, you will be sure to get a full and total body workout that, as the tagline says, will “party your abs off”.
Have a different videogame system or platform? No worries. Just search the library catalog with the word you are looking for and follow it with the platform, ie. “workout xbox360” or “workout wii”. Still can’t find the right one? Give us a call at the library and we’ll help you find the one you want.
The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry that built America’s First Subway tells the story of the people who had a hand in designing, funding, trying to stop, and building the first successful subway system in America. Tales of previous subway disasters, elevated train tracks freezing, cable cars derailing, horses dying in the streets, and explosions litter the story of people from all over the world working to make travel safer and faster.
Two of the biggest influencers of the subway system were two brothers: Henry Melville Whitney from Boston and William Collins Whitney from New York. Both Henry and William were very competitive and wealthy industrialists who each had a vested interest in wanting their separate cities to come out on top of this development-heavy race. The author, Doug Most, describes the tension between the brothers, the many immigrants who worked underground for days on end, the political kingpins with a desire to control the money coming from this new endeavor, and the competition between the inventors who wanted their names attached to this historic achievement.
Join Most as he discovers how the rapid influx of immigrants into Boston and New York, combined with the perils of steam railways and economic upheaval, paved the way for contractors to blast their way through busy downtown thoroughfares both above and below ground at all times day and night.
The Ultimate Super Bowl Book: A Complete Reference to the Stats, Stars, and Stories behind Football’s Biggest Game — And Why the Best Team Won is more than a book about the history of the Super Bowl, AKA the throw-down between the two best football teams in the United States. Want to learn some facts and secrets about over 40 years of Super Bowls? Check out this book. The author, Bob McGinn, has won numerous awards and has covered more than twenty Super Bowls as a sportswriters for two different newspapers.
McGinn delves beyond the traditional football statistics to present readers with interviews from over 150 people from coaches to players to scouts. Interested in what happened behind the scenes? Read along as McGinn dissects the game plans, strategies, and game-time decisions that he learned from studying hours upon hours of game day footage. McGinn pairs the statistical and factual right alongside the stories of the big mistakes, big break-throughs, and the match-ups that led to some of the best rivalry Super Bowl games since they began. McGinn has collected a wealth of knowledge from complete statistics to lists of all people involved in each game to break-downs of the decisive plays.
This book is perfect for football beginners who feel like they should know some trivia before the big game, as well as those football lovers who want to expand their knowledge base.
Is winter getting you down? Do you find yourself curling into blankets and wanting to hide from the outside world? I admit winter is not my favorite time of year, so when I stumbled upon The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things, I knew I had found my much needed winter pick-me-up. Pasricha, the author of 1000awesomethings.com, developed this book as a way for him to find the good things that surrounded his boring 9-to-5 job. Follow along as he describes those simple pleasures and little moments that have just enough power to make us happy : sleeping in new sheets, fixing electronics by smacking them, pushing the elevator button and discovering it’s already there, the smell and sounds of a campfire, popping bubblewrap, the day you first realize you can drive, etc. Each good thing brings out warm and funny observations from the author describing just why those pleasures or unexpected moments are AWESOME! Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to relate to Pasricha’s moment of joy when a cashier opens up a new checkout line at the grocery store, when all your socks match up from the dryer perfectly, and when someone offers to throw your dirty laundry in a load with their own, thus saving you from having to leave the couch! Join Pasricha as he finds all the good in the little moments that surround him.
If you are interested in this book or even want to know more, you’re in luck! Pasricha has also published The Book of (Even More) Awesome and The Book of (Holiday) Awesome.
Are you interested in finding out more about Downton Abbey? Do the characters intrigue you? The surroundings? If the answer is yes to any of those questions, check out Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle.
Lady Almina tells the story of Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration for the hit PBS show, Downton Abbey. This book follows the life of Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, who just happens to be the basis for the Lady Cora Crawley on PBS’s Downton Abbey. The author of this book, the current Countess of Carnarvon, intersperses actual pictures and documents from the Highclere archive with the family’s passed down memories to map out the story of the castle and its inhabitants on the brink of World War I. The marriage of Lady Almina and the Earl of Carnarvon was seen by some as a way to keep the castle afloat monetarily, given the scandal surrounding Lady Almina’s birth, her biological father’s vast wealth, and the Earl of Carnarvon’s many expensive trips around the world. Lady Almina’s will to always get her way, the support of her rich industrialist father Alfred de Rothschild(who just never could tell her no), her husband’s desire to never see her upset, combined with her large body of charity work, led her to transform the high society atmosphere of Highclere Castle into a hospital for wounded soldiers during World War I. Take a look into this book to gain a better understanding of life in England during World War I, as well as life of the real people of Downton Abbey.
This book is also available as an eBook and an audiobook through the library catalog.