Keep Your Doors Locked…

So, the joke goes like this:

Be sure to keep your doors locked this time of year. Not because of a crime wave, but to keep the neighbors from sneaking bags of zucchini and tomatoes into your car/back porch!

It wasn’t that long ago that we were in the depths of icy winter and many of us had forgotten what a real, homegrown tomato tasted like (just that it wasn’t that pale red styrofoam substitute that you found at the grocery store) and now, just a few months later we’re drowning in tomatoes and overwhelmed by zucchini.

The library, of course, is here in your time of need. Here are some titles to help you cope with the Great Tomato Overload (you know, just in case the neighbors are on to you and are keeping their doors locked…)

Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without by Mollie Katzen

Tomatoes and Mozzerella by Hallie Harron

The Tomato Festival Cookbook by Lawrence Davis-Hollander

Perfect Vegetables by Carl Tremblay

The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich

Preserving for All Seasons by Anne Gardon

The Classic Zucchini Cookbook by Nancy Ralston

DVDs for September

September 16

Made of Honor – Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan

Tom and Hannah have been platonic friends for years. He’s a serial dater, while she wants marriage but hasn’t found Mr. Right. Just as Tom is starting to think that he is relationship material after all, Hannah gets engaged. When she asks Tom to be her “maid” of honor, he reluctantly agrees just so he can attempt to stop the wedding and woo her.

Also coming out September 16

Another Cinderella Story

Speed Racer

September 23

The Leatherheads – George Clooney, Rene Zellweger

A romantic comedy set against the backdrop of America’s start-up pro-football league in 1925. Dodge Connolly, a charming, brash football hero, is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star to join his ragtag ranks. Carter Rutherford, a golden-boy war hero who single-handedly forced multiple German soldiers to surrender in WWI, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed on the field. Lexie Littleton is a spitfire newswoman who suspects there are holes in Carter’s war story. As the new game of pro-football becomes less like the freewheeling sport he knew and loved, Dodge must both fight to keep his guys together and to get the girl of his dreams.

Also coming out September 23


Sex and the City

September 30

Iron Man – Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Palthrow

Tony Stark is the complete playboy who also happens to be an engineering genius. While in Afghanistan demonstrating a new missile, he’s captured and wounded. His captors want him to assemble a missile for them but instead he creates an armored suit which uses to escape. Back in the U.S. he announces his company will cease making weapons and he begins work on an updated armored suit only to find that his second in command at Stark Industries has been selling weapons to the insurgents. Tony must use his new suit to return to Afghanistan in an attempt to destroy the arms and to stop Stane from misusing his research.

Also coming out September 30

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Taxi to the Dark Side

Now Out of Print – Booktalking

written by Angela

Oh, how technology changes everything – sometimes for the (much) better!

I started my library career in 1997 at DPL’s Reference Desk. One of the tasks I was assigned was to create a reader’s advisory newsletter. I started Booktalking, a bi-monthly print newsletter which featured reading lists, anecdotes, and book/author information. I still have copies of the newsletter back to 2001 – don’t know where I saved the older archives, probably on a (gasp!) floppy disc, but at least it was the smaller disc, not the record-album-looking one from War Games. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can read back-issues of Booktalking on the Library’s website, but only back to 2006. Probably because I recycled old articles and added a new twist.

Most of my reading tastes are still the same – love chick lit by Marian Keyes; love laughing at Carl Hiaasen. But there is a much better way to get this information to the public in a timely and interactive manner. Blogging! (And when I re-read this entry in 5… scratch that … 2 years, I’ll be like, “Blogging – that’s so archaic. It’s all about the microchips in the brain now, man. Read my mind…”). Sadly, we don’t have that technology in Iowa yet, so we blog. And the Reference Department has created a dandy blog that captures the essence of my original newsletter, Booktalking.

So, Booktalking as a publication is gone, but in its place is something beautiful, magical really – “Info Café.” Read it daily (you’re reading it now, in case you didn’t know). I’d tell you to bookmark it, but that’s sort of last year, too. RSS feed it, baby. Don’t know how? Call the Reference Desk – no, wait, who has time to make phone calls anymore? You can chat with them live on the “inter-galactic web” (internet).

Wake me up when technology stays the same for more than day. Until then, read books. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

100’s 101

Are you trying to figure out what to do with your life, the meaning of life, or making plans for what happens after you stop breathing? Walk to the 100’s range of the Davenport Public Library. The 100’s are the destination for philosophy, psychology, new-age spirituality, and the supernatural. Here are a few brand-new “100’s” you might enjoy:

Thanking the Monkey
By Karen Dawn of the Washington Post is a look at the issues of animal rights, past and present, pulling quotes from celebrities in the use of animals as pets, entertainment, food, and test subjects

Just Who Will You Be
Maria Shriver pens this bestseller, which addresses living a full life when the foundations of one’s self image are taken away. Shriver was forced to resign upon husband Arbold Schwartzenegger’s election as California governor after 25 years as a national news anchor/reporter.

Ghosts Among Us
Van Praagh, the New York Times bestselling author and co-executive producer of the CBS series The Ghost Whisperer, shares his knowledge and life experience about ghosts. Contains true ghost stories and details about their active participation in our lives.

Back to School

It’s August. It’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL time! Perhaps you’ve been busy shopping for new clothes for the kids or trying to cross items off those very specific school supply lists. While you’re out and about, stop by the library and check out some of these titles:

Schools of Fish: Welcome Back to the Reason You Became an Educator by Philip Strand, John Christensen and Andy Halper. This fun, attractively arranged book can help any teacher, new or experienced, approach the school year with enthusiasm.

Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Home Schooling by Brad Miser. Not everyone opts for the traditional school setting. If you’re interested in teaching the kids yourself at home, this book can get you started on the right track.

What Your 1st Grader Needs to Know by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. There is a whole series of these books, known as the Core Knowledge series, covering first through sixth grade. Though written in the 90’s, these books, based upon the cultural literacy concept, have not gone out of style. They make a good, quick review for parents. Who knows, the adults might just learn something new! 372.19 Wha

Freedom Writers. If you prefer watching versus reading, try this inspirational DVD featuring Hilary Swank, based upon a true story of a teacher and her 150 students “who used writing to change themselves and the world around them.”

And don’t forget to check the Davenport Community Schools’ website for information on current events, academic calendars and the latest news about your school.

Simple Chinese Cooking by Kylie Kwong

Love Chinese food but are intimidated by the thought of cooking a cuisine so different from what you grew up with? Looking for some family-satisfying meals that go beyond chicken and hamburgers? Kylie Kwong provides just the help you need with Simple Chinese Cooking.

Starting out with detailed descriptions of equipment and ingredients unique to the Chinese kitchen, Kwong presents recipes by ingredient – beef, pork, chicken, tofu, vegetables, noodles and wontons, etc. Each recipe is accompanied by a beautiful color picture; if more detailed preparation techniques are required, the recipe is accompanied by a series of step-by-step black and white photos. The book finishes with a chapter on “Eating Chinese-Style” (just exactly how do those chopsticks work?) and menu planning.

This lovely, encouraging book will have you enjoying Chinese food right from your own kitchen in no time.

Wild China

One of the great things about watching the Olympics this year is that it gave us a brief glimpse into a country many of us are not familiar with. Still distant, exotic and unknown, the country of China is as diverse as it is vast. You can get an even closer look at the beauty of the land, its wildlife and its people in Wild China, now available at the Davenport Library.

The landscape of China varies dramatically, from the peaks of the Himalayan mountains, to tropical islands, to deserts both hot and cold. Animal and plant life unique to this land – including panda bears – are highlighted as well as the many, long-standing environmental preservation efforts by the country. China is also home to a large number of ethnic peoples and they are also celebrated here – monks at prayer, children in a classroom, fishermen at work.

With stunning photography and expert narration, this BBC production invites you into this beautiful country for more than six hours, time you wish wouldn’t end.

Moving Meditation

There was a lot to be impressed by when watching the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics last week, not the least of which was the sight of 2008 tai chi masters performing in perfect unison.

Practiced by millions of people around the world, tai chi, a traditional Chinese martial art, is reported to have many health benefits including stress management, improving balance, coordination and flexibility, and strengthening the connection between the body’s muscular system, circulation and breath. Classified as a “soft” martial art, its sequence of slow, relaxed movements can be performed by people of all ages on a daily basis.

For an introduction to tai chi, or to improve your practice, check out the following books and DVDs from the Davenport library.

Tai Chi for Every Body: Easy, Low-impact Exercises for Every Age by Eva Koskuba

Tai Chi: a Practical Introduction by Paul Crompton

Tai Chi Walking: a Low-impact Path to Better Health by Robert Chuckrow

Tai Chi for Busy People (videorecording)

Tai Chi Fundamentals (videorecording)

The Wonder Crew by Susan Saint Sing

Led by a salty and unconventional coach, a team from the US Navy dared to go to the 1920 Olympics (held in Antwerp, Belgium) and challenge the privleged and long-dominant British at their own sport of rowing.

Set in the devastating aftermath of World War I, The Wonder Crew by Susan Saint Sing tells the story of Coach Richard Glendon and his ragtag team of Navy midshipmen using innovative training methods and a new style of rowing that revolutionized the sport. One by one they defeated the Ivy League schools, then turned their sights on the gold medal at the Olympic games.

Follow along this exciting journey from the humble beginnings of the crew and coach, through various obstacles overcome, the courage and commitment required and the tests endured, to the final triumph of this All-American team of underdogs.

The Breath of a Wok by Grace Young

The “breath” of a wok is the steam that rises from a sizzling hot finished dish. This charming cookbook takes a slightly different approach to Chinese food by focusing on the wok and its recipes. In addition, there is a history of the wok and it’s importance (central to so much Chinese cooking), the construction and manufacture of woks and advice on buying and seasoning a wok.

While many of the recipes are familiar, there is also a wide range of fresh ideas, gathered from a variety of people including chef Michael Yan, writer Amy Tan and Young’s own family, and range from beginner friendly to master lessons.

Practical, smart and fun, The Breath of a Wok will have you cooking confidently with a wok in no time.