Monday, July 3, 2017

Eye-catching titles

Browsing the shelves in the library can be like eye candy because one never knows what might catch your eye. Someone has actually written a book about butter!  

Butter:  A Rich History by Elaine Khosrova 641.3 Kh.  Khosrova is a former pastry chef at the Culinary Institute of America and founding editor of Cultural Magazine is now an independent journalist specializing in writing stories about food history and gastronomic culture.  If you enjoy reading about food and trying new recipes this book provides a pleasant journey across three continents deep cultural history of butter.  No one knows exactly when society started to eat butter Khosrova provides a poetic theory about the nomads stored milk in animal skins and as they traveled by horseback the skins jostled enough to churn the milk into butter.  The book is filled with interesting anecdotes, facts and recipes. 

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Ricca,  363.289 Ri.  This title is a true crime tale of an early 20th century lawyer who fought for women and immigrants.  Grace Humiston was a pioneering attorney in the early 20th century who became known as “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes” by the press for her investigative prowess.  Ricca describes her motto as “Justice for those of limited means” which led her to strange cases all across the globe.  The story twists and turns between clues and missing girls, the media, and white slavery.  The author contents the greatest mystery of her life is how one woman could become so famous only to disappear from history completely. 

The Word Detective:  Searching for the Meaning of It All at the Oxford English Dictionary by John Simpson,  423.092 Si.   Simpson, former chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, makes a literary debut with a delightful chronicle of a 40-year career among fellow lexicographers as the dictionary went through the long, painstaking process of updating, revising, and digitizing its gargantuan number of entries.  This Captivating celebration of life among words explore personal experiences and cultural traditions given by the author.  Simpson states, “Each history reflects a patterning in the language over the centuries that mirrors and comments on the emergence of peoples and nations in different areas”.  The author weaves excavations and investigations of individual words and reminding readers mundane words are often the most interesting ones. 

The Card Catalog:  Books, Cards and Literary Treasures by the Library of Congress, 025.313 Ca.
The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures walks the reader through the long history of the catalog, stretching back to the cradle of civilization in Mesopotamia. One tablet found near the ancient Sumerian city of Nippur dates back to around 2,000 B.C. and was clearly identifiable as a card catalog. It lists the titles of 62 literary works, including The Epic of Gilgamesh. The first use of paper cards happened in 1789, when French librarian Barthélemy Mercier de Saint-Léger and a handful of assistants began to catalog the library on the back of playing cards, which were blank on the opposite site.

--Diana Menhennick, Reference Department

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