It’s Fall!

Welcome, Autumn Equinox! As we enter chillier fall days, visit pumpkin patches, and begin to don our cozy sweaters, let’s remember we are also entering spooky season!  

On this day in 1692, the last witches were hanged in the Salem Witch Trials. Seven women and one man were hanged on September 22, 1692, totaling about twenty lives taken. After this set of executions, public opinion began to shift and witch trials subsided. Over 250 years later, Massachusetts formally apologized for the events in the late 1600s. Now Salem has plenty of witchy attractions, to educate and entertain visitors, from the official courthouse documents at the Peabody Essex Museum to the witch wax models at the Salem Wax Museum. 

Embrace your inner witch and get the most out of spooky season with these titles: 

In Defense of Witches: The Legacy of the Witch Hunts and Why Women are Still on Trial by Mona Chollet 

Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill 

The Salem Witch Trials: A Primary Source History of the Witchcraft Trials in Salem, Massachusetts by Jenny MacBain 

The Crucible by Arthur Miller 

A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts by J.W. Ocker 

The Path of the Witch: Rituals & Practices for Discovering Which Witch You Are by Lidia Pradas 

-Linnea

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Today marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which will last until October 15. On September 15, Mexico celebrates their independence from Spain, with most Central American countries celebrating on September 16, and Chile celebrating on September 18. It is a time for the United States to acknowledge and commemorate the contributions and achievements of Hispanic Americans. The influence of Central America is everywhere in the United States, from food to culture to language.  

Interested in cooking? Try these Mexican cookbooks: 

Chicano Eats: Recipes from My Mexican-American Kitchen by Esteban Castillo 

Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in México by Ricky Martínez 

Plant Powered Mexican: Fast, Fresh Recipes from a Mexican-American Kitchen by Kate Ramos  

Planning your next vacation? Explore Central America and beyond: 

Lonely Planet’s Best of Central America 

Fodor’s Essential Chile

Footprint: Belize, Guatemala & Southern Mexico

Love history? There’s plenty to learn: 

Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration by Alfredo Corchado 

Diego Rivera by Pete Hamill 

Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States by Felipe Fernández-Armesto 

El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America by Carrie Gibson

And of course, there are plenty of authors with rich bibliographies to further expand our appreciation: 

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova 

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 

Violeta by Isabel Allende 

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez 

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez 

-Linnea

New Books Tuesday @ RRPL

Take a look at some of the exciting new releases coming to our shelves in this week…

Clive Cussler’s Hellburner : When Juan Cabrillo fails to capture the leader of Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartel and loses an Oregon crew member in the process, he’s determined to get revenge. Little does he know that the explosion he just narrowly escaped was merely the latest flash of violence from a machine of war that has existed for decades, dating from the bloodiest episode in Armenia’s history.

All the Women in My Brain: And Other Concerns : Like Jenny Lawson and Caitlin Moran, Emmy-nominated actress and writer Betty Gilpin delivers a lightning-strike dispatch of hilarious, intimate, and luminous essays on how to navigate this weird and wondrous life.

The Wuhan Cover-Up: How US Health Officials Conspired with the Chinese Military to Hide the Origins of COVID-19

The Wuhan Cover-up : From the New York TimesWall Street JournalUSA TodayPublishers Weekly bestselling author of The Real Anthony Fauci comes an explosive exposé of the cover-up behind the true origins of COVID-19.The Wuhan Cover-up unveils a US/Chinese conspiracy of epic proportion and lethal consequence.

The Ways We Hide : A sweeping World War II tale of an illusionist whose recruitment by British intelligence sets her on a perilous, heartrending path. Inspired by stunning true accounts, The Ways We Hide is a gripping story of love and loss, the wars we fight—on the battlefields and within ourselves—and the courage found in unexpected places.

The American Roommate Experiment : From the author of the Goodreads Choice Award winner The Spanish Love Deception, the eagerly anticipated follow-up featuring Rosie Graham and Lucas Martín, who are forced to share a New York apartment. Rosie Graham has a problem. A few, actually. She just quit her well paid job to focus on her secret career as a romance writer. She hasn’t told her family and now has terrible writer’s block. Then, the ceiling of her New York apartment literally crumbles on her.

On the Rooftop : A stunning novel about a mother whose dream of musical stardom for her three daughters collides with the daughters’ ambitions for their own lives—set against the backdrop of gentrifying 1950s San Francisco.

The Rising Tide : For fifty years a group of friends have been meeting regularly for reunions on Holy Island, celebrating the school trip where they met, and the friend that they lost to the rising causeway tide five years later.

It’s Not Me, It’s You : Two therapists analyze their own relationship to help untangle the common and frustrating barriers many individuals face on the road to a happy, loving, rewarding partnership.

Court of the Vampire Queen : All Mina ever wanted was to escape her father’s control. Half human, half vampire, she lived eternally torn between two worlds, never fully experiencing the pleasures of either—until her father chose her as the pawn in his latest political move, gifting her to the darkly powerful and dangerously seductive Malachi Zion.

~Semanur

Happy National Secondhand Day!  

The interest in buying secondhand, upcycling, and reducing our spending has risen in recent years. There are plenty of reasons to shop at thrift stores and do our own mending. With the constant changing of trends and being surrounded by new all the time, it can be extremely gratifying to find that diamond in the rough and make it one of a kind. No matter your ability level, anyone can find great pieces by shopping secondhand and learn tricks to jazz up thrift store gems, from home décor to clothing. 

Flea Market Fabulous: Designing Gorgeous Rooms with Vintage Treasures by Lara Spencer 

The Whimsical Home: Interior Design with Thrift Store Finds, Flea Market Gems, and Recycled Goods by Sania Hedengren 

The Refashion Handbook: Refit, Redesign, Remake for Every Body by Beth Huntington 

Make Thrift Mend: Stitch, Patch, Darn, Plant-dye & Love Your Wardrobe by Katrina Rodabaugh 

Re-bound: Creating Handmade Books from Recycled and Repurposed Materials by Jeannine Stein (As a librarian, I would be remiss to not include a book about books!) 

Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects into Stuff You Love by Blair Stocker 

The next time you pass a garage sale or find a hole in your favorite socks or want to redecorate, you’ll have plenty of inspiration to create or mend or design while saving money.

-Linnea

Bored? DIY!

One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling restless and bored is to see how I can change up my living space. Sometimes all it takes is finally putting up that picture that’s been sitting on the floor since I got it or rearranging the furniture in my bedroom, but other times I want to tackle a project. I love flipping through interior design books and thinking “one day!”. Fortunately, there are plenty of DIY books with inexpensive ideas to occupy my time for at least a few days. And sometimes all you need are quick ideas for holiday decorations or easy home improvement tips. Here are a few books to hopefully inspire you and maybe you’ll even learn some new tricks! 

If you have an outdoor space, often just mowing the lawn can feel like enough of a project. But if you’re interested in making that space into a focal point of your home, Big Impact Landscaping by Sara Bendrick is worth checking out. Build that privacy wall, the outdoor fireplace, or a stone patio you never thought you could and enjoy your new gathering space! 

Marian Parsons’ Feels Like Home takes us through each room in her home, showing us budget-friendly ways to incorporate our own uniqueness into each space. With tutorials, design ideas, and tips, your home will feel more like an extension of yourself in no time. 

While for most people, all 10,001 solutions won’t be new, almost anyone can learn something from Bruce and Jeanne Lubin’s Who Knew? 10,001 Household Solutions. You’ll learn a myriad of tricks with common household products, like using beer for removing rust or making fluffier pancakes, putting whole cloves in drawers or other spots you see creepy crawlies, and removing scuffs on shoes with lemon or rubbing alcohol.  

I’m sure most of us have spent too much money on pet accessories because how can you resist that cute cat bed?? But if you’re looking to cut down (but never entirely!) on fancy things your pet definitely needs, DIY Projects for Cats and Dogs by Armelle Rau has the inexpensive solution for even a novice DIY-er. From the ever-needed scratching posts to leash racks, this book covers a variety of projects, all in a functional, minimalist style to fit any home décor.  

Enjoy exploring your DIY side and your new handmade projects!

No-Bake Treats for the Dog Days of Summer

Beat the heat and the boredom with these no-bake cookbooks! It can be hard to gather the motivation to cook in these hot summer months but good thing we don’t always have to. There’s plenty of sweet treats to make without turning the oven on. Here are a few cookbooks to try out and remember, when it comes to dessert, sharing is caring! 

No Bake Makery by Cristina Suarez Krumsick has over 80 recipes for small bite treats that you can make without using an oven! Learn how to make key lime pie, peanut brittle, marshmallow pretzel bars, and more, and learn baking techniques such as decorating your treats and tempering chocolate. 

Haven’t you always wanted to eat a cheeseburger made from rice crispies? Look no further than Jessica Siskin’s Treat Yourself!: How to Make 93 Ridiculously Fun No-Bake Crispy Rice Treats. Making food look like other foods or objects is “in” right now and you too can be a part of the action and make rice crispy treats into a camera, sushi, even a menorah. Siskin provides all the tips and tricks, so don’t worry if you’ve only made rice crispy treats shaped like rice crispy treats. Definitely a fun, creative way to fill your day! 

And what is summer without ice cream? But who wants to deal with churning and ice cream makers? Fortunately, No-Churn Ice Cream by Leslie Bilderback has our back and has compiled over 100 recipes without any special equipment. You’ll learn the basics (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry) and tons of variations, so no need to keep buying pints at the store! 

Enjoy all your new-found techniques for these no-bake treats to satisfy your sweet tooth all summer long! 

-Linnea

Listen With Pride

June is both Pride Month and Audiobook Month. Let’s get you listening to some fabulous stories starring LGBTQ characters!

A few of my favorite Fiction Titles-an exciting space opera, a whirlwind romance, a heartwarming fantasy, and a charming tale of family and grief.

Check out these nonfiction titles, a mixed bag of humor and heartbreak.

Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

I love Jason Reynolds. His books are always powerful, beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful, and his newest offering, produced with his best friend, does not disappoint. In fact, it is so stunning that after enjoying a library copy I immediately purchased a copy for my personal collection.

Find a copy here

Reynolds penned three long sentences. Griffin filled 300 pocket-sized moleskin pages of art. Together they capture the feelings of fear and uncertainty most of us felt during 2020. Around the world and in our own communities people were isolate, separated. By Covid. By politics. But also, people took to the streets to protest. All the while, we sat glued to the news. Mostly bad news. It was a long, dark year. But not entirely without hope.

This book is almost 400 pages long and weighs almost 2 pounds, but you can read it in 15 minutes. Or linger over each drawing. Or revisit favorite pages. It’s a treasure.

Dedication page

These are a few pages that stuck out to me and I think they are excellent examples of the wide range of feelings expressed throughout the book. The next time someone says they don’t like poetry, hand them this and see if you win them over!

~Megan

What we’re reading now, spring edition…

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Two soldiers on opposing sides of a war throughout time begin to fall in love via the letters they exchange. While it’s a short read, the book is dense with meaning and subtext, and readers will enjoy the romance and intrigue of this intergalactic Romeo and Juliet story. Shannon

Black Cloud Rising by David Wright Faladé

Tells the story of the African Brigade, a unit of former slaves tasked with rooting out pockets of Confederate guerilla fighters in the Tidewater region of Virginia and in North Carolina’s Outer Banks through the eyes of formerly enslaved Sergeant Richard Etheridge of the African Brigade. Dori

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

It’s 1937 when Mila Pavlichenko a young history student, mother, and sharpshooter joins the Russian army. Her rifle skills are soon apparent and she becomes a sniper. She rises through the ranks and is put in charge of a platoon. Her job is to train others and to kill Nazis. Mila is very successful at her job. Americans are very curious about this lady sniper when she comes to Washington D.C.  as a guest of the White House. Is she for real? Emma

A Night at the Sweet Gum Head by Marty Padgett

A deep look at 1970’s gay Atlanta through the lens of the Drag scene, political activists, and the bars that brought them all together. Deeply researched and well written, this non-fiction gives detailed insight into how a community of people who just wanted to live their lives had to become leaders and inspiration in order to exist. Christine

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

Set in 1920’s Georgia, this vivid horror story asks the question: What if the Klu Klux Klan was led by actual demons? Stray dog eating, multi-eyed, otherworldly demons. Three Black female demon hunters, led by Maryse, who gets her guidance from ethereal Gullah Aunties, must destroy the Klu Kluxes to stop the spread of White Supremacy. A beautiful and gory blend of historic events with a horror twist. Christine

Goodnight, Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

A thriller that does not hide the inspiration it takes from King’s Misery. As a newlywed couple tries to put down roots in a small town, tragedy strikes when the husband comes up missing and his wife has to beg the authorities to care all while it becomes more and more apparent that he has been lying to her this whole time. As he fights for his life through the only way he knows how, his wife has to reconcile the man she loves with the man she has uncovered. Christine

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

A touchingly funny book about a small bookstore in Minnesota run by a group of Native American women during the pandemic, and the community of unusual, crazy, genuine people whose lives are touched by this place and by each other.  It’s one of those books where you truly fall in love with the characters and more than anything, want them to find peace and happiness in their lives.  Sara