Monday, March 30, 2015

Garden planning

Spring is here and it’s early, but who’s complaining? Although there is still snow on the ground and it’s a bit nippy, now is the time to start planning your gardens. Check out the following non-fiction books on the main level.
Want to go organic and biodynamic, then check out Vegetable Gardening for Organic and Biodynamic Growers by Joel Morrow. This book contains over 70 vegetables with detailed accounts of how to grow them, their nutritional and therapeutic potential. Everything is organized alphabetically, and Mr. Morrow gives new perspectives and ways to work with soil and plants. He might have some great information considering he has over 40 years of experience with plants.

Now on to fruit, like blueberries (one of my favorites), peaches, apples and pears for starters. Lee Reich has a new hands-on guide to homegrown fruit, entitled, Grow Fruit Naturally. He is also the author of The Pruning Book. His books contain many tips on harvesting your fruit, how to store it, and how to deal with all the many pests and diseases that you will need to control.

You know that space of weeds, dirt and something that resembles grass between the sidewalk and the curb? It’s waiting for something exciting to happen, really it is. Evelyn J. Hadden’s (award-winning author of four gardening books) Hellstrip Gardening can help you create that hell strip into something that will throw your neighbors into the “keep up with the Joneses” mode. This book is loaded with beautiful color photographs. Also, don’t stop with that lonely little strip out front when you can transform that patch next to the steps, beside the driveway or that bald spot in the back yard.

If you enjoy flipping through recipes to find new things to entice your spouse or family with, then how about taking a look at The Plant Recipe Book by Baylor Chapman? This book contains about 100 living arrangements for any home in any season, even winter. Each plant recipe has a list of ingredients that will teach you step-by-step about how to lace each plant, which kinds of containers you can use and so much more. Treat yourself and bring some of the outdoors inside.

Many of us understand the importance of growing native plants in our gardens to help sustain wildlife but are unsure about how to make a garden that is friendly to both wildlife and humans. If that’s the case, then The Living Landscape, Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy might be the book to check out. This book is overflowing with information about a variety of techniques. They refer a lot to “layers” and how to use and incorporate the various layers found all around you to achieve your goal to design a much more eco-friendly garden/area.

If you like using fresh herbs in the food you eat or just like to enjoy the variety of fragrances that herbs provide, then the book, Your Backyard Herb Garden, by Miranda Smith will help you do just that. It has information about how to grow over 50 herbs and she also has pages of information on how to cook them use them in crafts and much more. She shows you how to grow your favorite herbs using safe, natural and all organic methods. This book has great pictures and is very easy to understand and follow.

Not ready to venture outside just yet? Here’s a book just for you, Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening, by Carol Wall. Get your warm throw and a cup of something hot and cozy up to this wonderful true story of an unlikely teacher and a doubting student, who work together on a neglected patch of ground and bring it back to life. I think my garden needs this book. This book will be very uplifting and make you stop looking outside at the remaining snow and cold, well at least for a few days.

 --Nicki Malave, Network Administrator

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Celebrate Women's History Month

In 1987, the National Women’s History Project helped Congress to pass Pub. L. 100-9 to designate the entire month of March as “Women’s History Month.”  Today, I share with you some great female characters and authors you can check out at PWPL.

Captain Marvel
By Kelly Sue DeConnick, Dexter Soy, Emma Rios
YA Graphic Novels
 Carol Danvers starts her career off in the U.S. Air Force, but after her DNA is infused with Kree genes, she is given super powers. She made her debut as Ms. Marvel in 1977. In 2012, Danvers donned a new costume and became Captain Marvel, the cosmic avenger.  As Danvers comes to grips with her enhanced powers, she explores what comes with the long history of Captain Marvel. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s writing is top notch she truly understands the military aspects of Captain Marvel’s character.

The Galaxy Game
By Karen Lord
Sci-Fi Collection
Karen Lord is a phenomenal science fiction writer from the United Kingdom. Her work has been nominated for several major awards including the World Fantasy Award, John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer, Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, and others. Often compared to Ursula K. Le Guin and China Mieville, if you like space fantasy, you’ll love The Galaxy Game. Rafi, a teenager with psionic powers, attend Lyceum, a school for teens like him. At Lyceum, he meets two friends, Serendipity and Ntenman. Unlike Rafi, they come from communities where psionic powers are highly valued. At the school, students are seen as assets for good or bad, waiting to pick a side. Explore this far out world in The Galaxy Game.

Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness
By Jessie Close
Adult Non-Fiction Collection
 Sister of actress Glenn Close, Jessie Close has struggled with mental health issues her entire life. A childhood spent living in New York, Switzerland, Connecticut, Zaire, and Los Angeles only exacerbated her mental health issues. As an adult, Close’s life is difficult to manage, her mental health issues have led to substance abuse, failed marriage, and suicidal thoughts. With short essays from Glenn, this book provides helpful insight for people who support and live with someone with mental illness.

By Rebecca Rasmussen
Adult Fiction Collection
 Rebecca Rasmussen is a true Midwestern writer, even though she now resides in California. Her first book, The Bird Sisters takes place in in Spring Green, WI and Evergreen is set in the wilderness of Minnesota. A young couple moves into a rundown, wild haven in 1938 with their small child. However, when the husband must leave to care for his sick father, the unthinkable happens. A stranger arrives at the cabin and the mother becomes pregnant. Giving the baby girl up for adoption, years later, the son wishes to reunite the family. However, his sister may be too wild to ever integrate back into her birth family. If you are looking for a family drama about love and hope, Evergreen is a great pick for you.

She-Hulk volume 1: Law and Disorder
By Charles Soule
YA Graphic Novel Collection
 She-Hulk is an amazing, underrated comic book character. Jennifer Walters is a powerful attorney, putting villains away using the law. However, after a near fatal shooting, she must receive a blood transfusion from her cousin, the Hulk, Bruce Banner. Jennifer gets all the side effect of the Hulk, minus the rage, making her an even more powerful hero for justice.  In Charles Soule’s most recent iteration of this iconic superhero, She-Hulk, former member of the Avengers and Fantastic Four, attracts a new client at her own law firm, Kristoff Vernard, son of Victor von Doom! How will She-Hulk balance her skills as a lawyer and superhero to battle von Doom? What is inside the mysterious Blue File? You’ll have to read She-Hulk to find out.

Broken Monsters
By Lauren Beukes
Adult Mystery Collection
 Lauren Beukes is a break out author from South Africa and has written both novels and comic books. Her latest novel Broken Monsters has ties to the state of Michigan. Detroit detective Gabriella Versado is investigating a criminal who creates giant paintings in abandoned Detroit warehouses. The first body is discovered, but it is a gruesome sight, a body and deer fused together. But as Detective Versado becomes more obsessed with the case, we are introduce to her daughter Layla, Jonno a former writer and a homeless man named TK. Their separate narratives eventually come together to make one complete story. Beukes is a talented horror author who also has the ability to integrate humor into her tales. If Broken Monsters sounds appealing to you, check out Zoo City and The Shining Girls.

If you’d like to learn more about Women’s History Month, see Amelia Earhart’s Flight Suit, or would like information to use in a classroom or other education setting, I urge you to visit  

--Tracy Boehm, Technical Services Librarian

Monday, March 16, 2015

Garden Anticipation

Another morning of below zero temperatures plus seed catalogs filling the mailbox, have this gardener longing for spring. Peter White Public Library provides some fascinating reads to enjoy by a cozy fire during the remaining dark days until planting time.
For that no-man’s land between the sidewalk and the road, Hellstrip Gardening by Evelyn J. Hadden gives plenty of inspiration for ways to dress up that typically drab piece of real estate. Hadden provides solutions for dealing with poor dry soil, traffic, community covenants, utilities and other potential pitfalls. Attractive environmentally friendly designs for wildlife, water and labor conservation are well illustrated and suitable for various regions of the country, even our challenging climate. Find this book on the new nonfiction shelf under call number 635.9 HA.
To satisfy the restless green thumb and  help in garden planning, Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds published by Cool Spring Press may be the ticket. It is chock full of do it yourself projects for the yard that will double your growing space. Well-illustrated with clear directions, this book gives anyone handy with tools the inspiration to create an endless variety of garden accessories and aids to extend your growing season. New non-fiction: 681.7631 TR
An added bonus to any garden is the variety of birds, insects and creatures that the plantings attract. The Living Landscape by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy is a comprehensive guide to increasing the biodiversity of your piece of earth. This collaborative work between a landscape consultant and professor of ecology, describes the layers and relationships in any planting and how these interactions can be enhanced for the benefit of humans and wildlife. Full of gorgeous photos and charts of useful plants, this volume will help steer you toward a more sustainable garden philosophy. New non-fiction: 712.2 DA
Working toward a more sustainable planet is the focus of Oil and Honey by Bill McKibben. The book provides a unique blend of storytelling about the author’s work in the global climate fight plus the culture and development of local honey.  Author/activist McKibben shares his journey of civil disobedience in protest against the Keystone XL pipeline while highlighting small scale, local answers. An inspiring read by a man committed to the cause of finding the balance to help sustain our planet. New non-fiction: 363.7 MC
The Wealth of Nature by John Michael Greer provides an interesting new perspective on our economy. The author bases his thinking on the reality of today’s ecology rather than current politics and re-examines the meaning of wealth. Greer poses the concept of centering the study of economics on natural capital- raw materials that sustain human life-to move society toward a more ecologically sound relationship with our planet. Plenty of food for thought on public welfare vs. corporate profits in this age of declining abundance. New non-fiction: 338.0 GR
In the face of climate change, peak oil and looming economic crisis, Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone may be the book to encourage you. Subtitled “How to face the mess we’re in without going crazy,” this book helps readers strengthen their resolve to respond to challenges with resilience and power. A scholar of Buddhism, systems theory and ecology, author Macy joins forces with Johnstone, a physician focused on the psychology of behavior change, to create a collaborative model for communities of all sizes to work together to achieve the positive transformation of our world that we all envision. New non-fiction: 303.4 MA
To understand where we are heading it is important to comprehend where we have been. In Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, Bill Nye (yes, the Science Guy!) takes us on an empowering journey through the study of evolution and the way it has shaped our lives, believe it or not. With his trademark infectious enthusiasm, Nye explains how “evolution is one of the most important ideas in the history of science…and that it is also the most meaningful creation story that humans have ever found.” New non-fiction: 576.82 NY
Read on, keep learning, be inspired and hope for spring!
~Margaret Boyle, Programming Coordinator

Monday, March 9, 2015

DVD's to watch during the next big storm

Thankfully, March came in like a lamb in Marquette.  However, we all know it can turn into a lion with the blink of an eye.  Check out some of the new DVDs and Blu-ray movies available for the entire family at PWPL while you hunker down.
Guardians of the Galaxy (DVD & Blu-ray; PG-13; Chris Pratt; Zoe Saldana; Dave Bautista)This Marvel  film features brash adventurer Peter Quill who finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand-with the galaxy's fate in the balance.
George Gently Series 1-6 (DVD; NR: Martin Shaw)  - Bingewatch this BBC series based on the novels of Alan Hunter.  This crime drama set in the 1960s features Martin Shaw as Inspector George Gently, a by-the-book cop from London.  A theme Mad Men fans will recognize is that of an old school cop trying to come to terms with the changing times and the realization that the lines of cop and criminal can be blurred.
Begin Again (DVD; R; Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine) - British songwriter Gretta is adrift in Manhattan after getting dumped by her philandering rock star boyfriend. While playing at an open mic night at a local bar, she is discovered by struggling music producer Dan. Sensing her songwriting potential, Dan pushes Gretta to sign with him and record an ambitious outdoors album all across the city.
Get on Up:  The James Brown Story – (DVD & Blu-ray; PG-13; Chadwick Boseman, Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer) - Based on the incredible life story of the Godfather of Soul, the film will give a fearless look inside the music, moves and moods of Brown, taking audiences on the journey from his impoverished childhood to his evolution into one of the most influential figures of the 20th century.
The Hundred-Foot Journey – (DVD & Blu-ray; PG; Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon, Amit Shah) - Hassan is a culinary genius with the gastronomic equivalent of perfect pitch. Displaced from their native India, his family settles in a quaint village in the south of France. They plan to open an Indian restaurant, that is, until Madame Mallory, the owner of a classical French restaurant, gets wind of it. Her icy protests against the new Indian restaurant so near her own escalate to all-out war; until Hassan's cooking talent and love for Mme. Mallory's assistant, Marguerite cannot be ignored.
American Girl Isabelle:  Dances Into The Spotlight – (DVD & Blu-ray; NR; Erin Pitt, Grace Davidson, Genneya Walton, Devyn Nekoda) -  The American Girl fan in your home will enjoy this film.  Nine-year-old Isabelle is an inspired dancer with a flair for fashion design. She's thrilled to be studying ballet at a prestigious performing arts school but her classmates are so talented, and she can't help feeling that she's always in the shadow of her 'perfect' older sister Jade. So when her idol, a famous ballerina, encourages her to audition for a professional ballet, Isabelle must find the strength to land the role.
Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy  - (DVD; NR; Animated) – Scooby-Doo and those meddling kids are back in this new movie.  Velma discovers she's inherited her great-great-uncle Dr. Von Dinkenstein's cursed castle in the terrifying town of Transylvania, Pennsylvania. Just when the gang persuades Velma to go claim her inheritance, the ghost of Dinkenstein Castle blows up the Mystery Machine as a warning! Now the crew must spring back into action, but this time it's personal!

--Heather Steltenpohl, Development Director