Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Magazines



The Peter White Public Library annually spends $15,000 on print magazines.  The Library recently did a survey of in-house magazine use.  The Library also has records of the number of times each magazine gets checked-out, but interestingly enough, check outs and in-house use statistics are not the same.  Some items receive lots of in-house use, but never get checked out.  Others are checked out on a regular basis, but rarely used in the Library.
Almost 10,000 magazines are checked out during the year.  Magazines are read in the library almost 20,000 during the year.  These statistics are only for print magazines.  They do not include the electronic Zinio titles.
The PWPL is constantly trying to evaluate and improve the magazine collection, so it appeals to more readers.  This means that more popular titles are retained, and little used titles are dropped.  Some of the titles that the PWPL offers on the shelves are “sponsored” by local individuals.  This allows the PWPL to add titles without increasing the magazine budget. 
The PWPL recently added the British Edition of Country Living.  This colorful magazine celebrates life in the British countryside.  It covers interior design, architecture, gardening, cooking, health and fashion trends with a European flare.
Family Tree Magazine is a practical guide to genealogy that is of interest to the novice or experienced family history researcher.  Articles in the May/June 2015 issue include how to find hidden clues to identify old photos, a guide to using old tax records and tips for finding relatives displaced by the Civil War.  Print and electronic resources are both included in the magazine.
Spring brings a return of a variety of birds to the area, and this is an excellent time to observe birds.  Bird Watcher’s Digest is a great resource for anyone who loves birds.  Personal stories, numerous illustrations, question and answer column and identification tips provide bird-related information of value to any bird lover.
Make: magazine is published for the tinkerer.  The purpose of the magazine is to celebrate the ability of the reader to hack, tweak or bend any type of technology to create useful products.  The May 2015 issue includes a pattern for a crocheted mermaid lapghan and do-it-yourself kids furniture.  Nurture the nerd within and check out Make:.
We live in a digital age, and photography is no exception.  Digital Photo magazine is published to educate the hobbyist as well as professional photographer.  Tips on gear, equipment, lighting and composition as well as many photo examples will help to develop skills for just about any photographer.
Cloth, Paper, Scissors is an inspirational craft magazine that that mixes creativity with artistic discovery.  Lavishly illustrated with examples and step-by-step instructions, this magazine guides the artist through projects at every level.  It is a great starting point for any artistic endeavor.
Afar magazine is a travel magazine that encourages the traveler to visit destinations not only for sightseeing, but to immerse himself in the culture of the destination.  Articles explore the natives, cuisine, culture, architecture and sites of interest.  U.S. and international destinations are both included. 
The Poetry Society of Michigan advocates interest in and an appreciation of poetry for adults and children.  They publish Peninsula Poets twice a year.  Featured are Michigan poets and winners of the organization’s annual poetry contest.
Lovers of literature and poetry will also enjoy Passages North published by the Northern Michigan University Department of English.  This journal is published annually and includes materials submitted by a variety of writers.   Poetry and prose are both included in this hefty volume.
Michigan History magazine is published six times per year by the Historical Society of Michigan and provides Michigan enthusiasts with articles about Michigan’s past.  The magazine features interviews, feature stories, news briefs and excellent photographs and illustrations. 
Rodale has long been known for their organic publications.  Rodale’s Organic Life centers on food, home, garden and wellness.  This magazine is filled with content and will take some time to adequately peruse.  The recipes are detailed and accompanied by photos.  The healthy living articles are realistic and inspiring. 
Garden Gate magazine contains a profusion of photos and illustrations.  This magazine is eye candy for anyone who enjoys gardening and landscaping.  Filled with practical advice, featuring a variety of plants and gardening ideas, this magazine will appeal to readers with a wide range of gardening skill and experience.
Mental Floss magazine is published in an effort to get readers using all parts of their brain.  The periodical contains material to challenge the right brain, left brain and scattered brain.  It is a fun and breezy read, but even after putting the magazine down, you will realize how much information actually sunk in.  For those wishing to boost their brain power, this is an excellent place to start.
The PWPL offers almost 300 magazines and periodicals.  The aforementioned are just the tip of the iceberg.  The current issue of each title is for use in the library only.  Back issues can be checked out.  Explore all of your print options on the PWPL shelves or look at the PWPL website for information on how to use Zinio our electronic magazine product that delivers  magazines to your phone, tablet or computer.

By Pam Christensen-- Library Director

Monday, June 15, 2015

Documentaries


Documentaries are a wonderful way to learn something new while enjoying quality film making. PWPL recently added several new non-fiction DVDs to the collection featuring many topics. 

Life Itself
921 EB DVD
“Life Itself” documents the life of world renowned film critic Roger Ebert. Ebert was a Pulitzer Prize winning critic who has had a huge impact on the world of film and popular culture. After a long battle with cancer, which left him physically disfigured, the film explores how Ebert was able to put a new spin on his personal life and continue to be a force in the film world despite his disability. At times funny, painful, and uncomfortable, “Life Itself” has the ability to take the viewer deep into the life of someone who is a professional viewer and what it means to appreciate film.

Jodorowsky’s Dune
791.43 JO DVD
In 1973, Chilean-French director Alejandro Jodorowsky started an epic journey to bring the world of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel “Dune” to the big screen. With dreams of ginormous sets, colorful costumes, and big name stars, Jodorowsky started to assemble the team that could bring his vision to life. Composed of H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, Jean Giraud, Pink Floyd, Moebus, and Salvador Dali, among others, the plans were at their peak. The script, costumes and storyboards were prepared and totaled over 1,000 pages. A predominantly art house film maker, Jodorowsky had big dreams for Dune, but due to his lack of experience with big budget films, studios were unwilling to fund the project. The team disassembled, but the legacy of “Jodorowsky’s Dune” lives on through the work of many other science-fiction franchises. 

Finding Vivian Maier
770.92 FI DVD
Art, for many, is a personal endeavor, something which is never meant to be shared with anyone. This was the case for Vivian Maier, a Chicago nanny who pursued photography in her spare time. Amassing over 150,000 negatives, Maier hardly had any printed. It wasn’t until boxes of negatives were purchased at an auction that the true artistic value of Maier’s creativity was discovered. Shrouded in mystery, “Finding Vivian Maier” discovers who this phenomenal photographer was, the impact her street photography has had on the world of photography, and what it truly means to be an artist.

Bag It
363.7288 BA DVD
Did you know that all the movies we screen for DocuMonday are added to the circulating collection? Recently screened "Bag It" documents what happens when the average Joe gives up using plastic bags at the grocery store and how dramatic of a change something so small can have on his life. Jeb Berrier slowly learns just how many items are made of plastic and how embedded plastic is in the American culture. From politics to recycling, to marine biology and human health, "Bag It" is not only informative about the issues surround plastic usage, but also what changes you can make to reduce single use disposable plastic in your life.

Planet Earth
508 PL DVD
“Planet Earth” is hands down one of the best filmed nature documentaries ever. Originally filmed and released as a BBC series in 2006, this eleven episode series will take you on adventures around the world. Each episode explores a different region of the world, from the highest mountains to the deepest depths of the oceans; and shows there are new world to be discovered. Narrated by the legendary naturalist David Attenborough, “Planet Earth’s” behind-the-scenes documentaries illustrates just how extensive their filming went, including camping in the rainforests for months to film one bird and how polar bears attacked their camp in the arctic circle of Norway.

Grey Gardens
920.02 GR DVD
We recently added, “Grey Gardens” which follows the lives of the eccentric and aging Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, aunt and cousin to the famous Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Originally released in 1975, “Grey Gardens” takes an in-depth look at the lives of failing socialites at their decrepit East Hampton home. Infested with cats and raccoons, this films gives an inside look at the darker sides of high society and what it means to be related to famous relatives.

--Tracy Boehm, Technical Services Librarian

Monday, June 8, 2015

New Cuisine

New Cuisine with Help From Peter White Public Library

Many new cookbooks filter into Peter White Public Library on a regular basis. Cuisine, in the U.S. and around the world, is rapidly changing as people become more knowledgeable about and interested in where their food is coming from. There are more diet restrictions and an increased awareness of how to keep oneself healthier through good nutrition. Across our nation there is a growing push for locally produced or sourced food.

The television show Portlandia has come out with their own cookbook, The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like A Local by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein with Jonathan Krisel. This book is quirky, similar to the show. The majority of the recipes promote local farmers markets and/or locally sourced grocery stores. A favorite recipe I enjoyed was Bird in a Grilled Cheese Nest. I did not have all the fancy cheeses; therefore, I substituted swiss and romano in the recipe and added jalapeno jam with the mayo. An egg inside a grilled cheese sandwich makes my mouth water.

Americans are not the first people to realize that locally sourced food tastes better. The French Market Cookbook by Clotilde Dusoulier is a wonderful example of that. A recipe I had not heard of is Green Pancakes (Pascadous). These are delicious; they are savory pancakes that rely more on eggs then flour. The wine, greens, garlic, and black pepper give off a nice sweet and savory taste. Another good sweet and savory recipe from this book is the Softly Spiced Carrot Almond Soup. I learned this is best eaten a day after it is made and chilled in the fridge. After letting the soup sit a day, it really gave out more flavor and was less chunky and more enjoyable.

Vegetarianism is not the only diet out there these days. There are many diets because everyone is different. There are various lifestyles, too. Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong has over 100 nomtastic recipes to choose from. Considering that there is a Pig Roast today to benefit the library, I tried out a couple recipes from the pork chapter. Maple Sausage Patties are wondrous. When herbs such as thyme and rosemary along with sage and a little chilli powder are incorporated into your patties there may be a party in your mouth. Another great pork dish from this cookbook is the Super-Porktastic Meatloaf, need I say more? If you are looking to get your pork fix today or tonight, please consider The Steinhaus Market located at 1651 South Front St. in Marquette (Union Grill's old location). Which is holding a Pig Roast today to benefit the Peter White Public Library. This event is open to the public, tickets are on sale at the door for $12.00. Ore Dock Brewery is co-sponsoring the event.


I have a little bit of a sweet tooth, and thoroughly enjoy baking when the time is right. Baking Chez Moi by Dorie Greenspan can satisfy almost any sweet tooth. Her Nun's Beignets recipe is amazing. The Fresh Orange Cake was quite nice as well; I drizzled white chocolate and added crushed walnuts for a good crunch. Each recipe has a description as to how Greenspan was encouraged to make that particular dessert. They are informative and I learned something new
reading each one.

It is nice to have a decent drink as a go-to in the summer time. I had not ever made a shrub until I came across Shrubs: An Old-Fashioned Drink For Modern Times by Michael Dietsch. This book gives history of these delicacies, along with recipes as how to concoct them. If Benjamin Franklin, Martha Washington, and Thomas Jefferson used to sip on them, they must be pretty darn good. All of these cookbooks can be found in the library collection. Tickets to the Pig Roast can be purchased at the library, as well as at the Steinhaus Market. The event is held from 11:00am - 8:00pm, Saturday June 6th.
--By Shane G. Sizemore, Maintenance Department

Monday, June 1, 2015

Jouneys


As the weather warms, many of us pine for distant places, or maybe it’s the idea of the journey that draws us onward. Here are a few new items about special journeys available from Peter White Public Library.
Etta and Otto and Russell and James, Emma Hooper’s first novel, is an enchanting story of an 83-year-old woman’s thousand mile walk from rural Saskatchewan to the Atlantic. Etta leaves a brief note on the kitchen table informing Otto that she has gone to see the water. She takes chocolate, their rifle, and a note telling herself who she is and where she lives. While Etta makes her way to the sea, we learn about Otto, her husband who crossed the ocean to WWII France long ago, and their friend Russell, who stayed home and who harbors an almost life-long love for Etta. Without Etta, Otto teaches himself to cook from her recipe cards, creates life-sized papier-mâché animals and writes letters to Etta which he never mails. Russell finally begins his own journey when he decides to track Etta. James, a coyote, becomes Etta’s guide and leads her to the sea. This is a story of young love, dignified aging, compassion, and permission. And a magical coyote.
Emma Gatewood also left home with only meager supplies. Grandma Gatewood’s Walk by journalist Ben Montgomery, tells the true story of Gatewood who told several of her children and grandchildren that she was going for a walk. She left her small Ohio town in May 1955 and became the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone and eventually the first person to walk the whole trail three times. Montgomery writes about Gatewood’s hike and about her early life and difficult marriage. Gatewood’s walks drew national attention to the conditions of hiking trails across the United States, highlighting the need for maintenance and preservation of our national trail system.
Ida is a 2013 film directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. Set in Poland in the 1960s, a young orphaned woman, on the eve of taking vows in the convent, finds out that she has an aunt who survived the war. When Ida visits her aunt at the Mother Superior’s insistence, she finds out that her parents were Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. Ida, now Anna, and her aunt set off on a journey to discover what happened to her parents 20 years earlier. Shot in black and white, this quiet and slow moving film tackles powerful themes with incredible cinematography and acting.

In Louise Penny’s 10th Inspector Gamache novel, The Long Way Home, Armand Gamache, Quebec’s retired former Chief Inspector of Homicide, has settled down in Three Pines, the small hamlet he loves and where he is surrounded by quiet, good food, books and friends. One of these friends, Clara Morrow, convinces him to investigate the disappearance of her husband, Peter, who spent the past year searching the world trying to recapture his artistic muse and fame. Peter failed to return home as promised. Discerning clues in one of Peter’s recent paintings, a Three Pines crew led by Gamache, travels the length of the St. Lawrence River where they encounter poison, murder, and madness alongside the beauty of the region.

There Was and There Was Not is Armenian-American writer Meline Toumani’s energetic and sometimes humorous account of her journey to Turkey where she spent two years hoping to better understand her culture’s traditional enemy and to examine for herself why and how a century-old hatred imprisons people living today. Between 1915 and 1923, almost one million Armenians were massacred and over one million were exiled from the Ottoman Empire. Many in the Armenian diaspora work for world recognition of this genocide while Turkey rejects this terminology. Toumani’s work is really brave; many in her own family didn’t understand her idea that “getting Turks and Armenians to interact as human beings” could be a step toward reconciliation. Toumani’s book speaks to us all as we deal with traumatic histories and current violent events everywhere.

In 2012, Elena Gorokhova, author of that year’s One Book One Community selection, Mountain of Crumbs, enchanted a Marquette audience with tales from her memoir of growing up in the Soviet Union in the 1960s. That book ended with her hasty marriage to an American and subsequent immigration. We all wanted to know what happened after she got here. At last, after a three year wait, Gorokhova’s follow-up book, Russian Tattoo, satisfies our curiosity. We learn about Gorokhova’s first year in America and her unhappy marriage through candid, often humorous, deeply observant and powerful descriptions of her new life. She remarries, bears a daughter and hosts her mother for a 24-year visit. Gorokhova’s command of language stunningly describes all she has to learn to fit into American culture, mourn what she left behind, and come to understand and love both her mother and her daughter.

If you are hungry for a deliciously lovely film with a happy ending, try The Hundred-Foot Journey available in both DVD and Blu-Ray. An Indian family loses their wife/mother in a politically motivated fire at their family restaurant. The remaining family emigrates to the South of France and works hard to turn a run-down building into a new eatery. The problem being that this building is located directly across the road from a classical French restaurant owned by a very severe woman, Madame Mallory, played by Helen Mirren. Mallory exists for her Michelin star and declares her own war on the definitely non-classical restaurant across the street until a near tragic fire begins to melt her heart.

Take the journey to your local library and discover these or any of the more than a hundred thousand other items we hope you browse, borrow and enjoy.

--Cathy Sullivan Seblonka, Collection Development/Reference Librarian

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New Science Books



Fiction is often referred to as writing from one’s imagination.  But then aren’t all good books, generated from a healthy imagination? Without imagination science would never advance.  The following titles are all new books with Dewey decimal call numbers in the 500’s (math and science).

The Jewel House by Deborah Harkness focuses on the array of ordinary men and women in Elizabethan London who shared a keen interest in nature and scientific inquiry.  Throughout the city, lawyers, prisoners, midwives, merchants, and others developed the tools and techniques, as well as the collaborative yet contentious culture, that became the hallmarks of the Scientific Revolution.  A professor of history at the University of Southern California, recently Harkness has become well known for her fantasy series, the All Souls Trilogy.

In order to write What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, author Randall Munroe cheerfully runs computer simulations, digs through declassified military research memos, consults with nuclear reactor operators, times scenes from Star Wars with a stopwatch, calls his mother and Googles some really freaky looking animals.  His responses are comic gems, accurately and entertainingly explaining everything from your odds of meeting your soul mate to the many horrible ways you could die while building a periodic table out of all the actual elements.

A Mind for Numbers, How to Excel at Math and Science (Even if you flanked Algebra) by Barbara Oakley lets us in on the secrets to effectively learning math and science, based on insights from neuroscience and cognitive psychology.  Contrary to popular belief, math requires creative, as well as analytical, thinking.  Many people think there’s only one way to solve a problem, when in fact there are often a number of methods—you just need the creativity to see them.

The author of Most Wanted Particle, The Inside story of the Hunt for the Higgs, the Heart of the Future of Physics, Jon Butterworth is a leading physicist at the Large Hadron Collider.  He was there when proof of the Higgs particle’s existence was discovered.  He gives an inside account of the hunt for the Higgs.  Writing with clarity and humor, he revels as much in the hard science as in the messiness, uncertainty, and the humanness of science—from the media scrutiny and late-night pub debates, to the false starts and intense pressure to generate results.  He explains why physics will never be the same after our first glimpse of the elusive Higgs and where it will go from here.

The Monk in the Garden by Robin Marantz Henig evokes a little-known chapter in science, taking us back to the birth of genetics, a field that continues to challenge the way we think about life itself. Shrouded in mystery, Gregor Mendel's quiet life and discoveries make for fascinating reading. Among Mendel’s pea plants, Henig finds a tale filled with intrigue, jealousy, and a healthy dose of bad timing.


Creatures of the Deep by Erich Hoyt gives readers a glimpse of the amazing variety of creatures found in the deepest parts of the ocean. Weaving together details from the latest scientific research about sharks, giant squid, dragonfish, huge tube worms and clams, and tiny microbes of the deep-sea vents, Hoyt embarks on a magical journey roaming across the abyssal plains and descending into deep-sea trenches more than 20,000 feet down.

Most people agree that math is important, but few would say it's fun. Mathematical Curiosities will show you that the subject you learned to hate in high school can be as entertaining as a witty remark, as engrossing as the mystery novel.  As authors Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann demonstrate, when you realize that doing math can be enjoyable, you open a door into a world of unexpected insights while learning an important skill.  If math has frustrated you over the years, this delightful approach will teach you many things you thought were beyond your reach, while conveying the key message that math can and should be anything but boring.

--Ellen Moore, Webmaster