Did someone say August? Can you believe it's the end of our summer reading program? We hope you enjoyed your camping adventure aboard the bookmobile as much as we did!
"August is the Bridge between summer and autumn...between how the year has been and how the year will end." --Source Unknown
The Scent of August
"Bright sunlit skies
Nature's warm colors
The smell of seasons about to change
The hint of new beginnings
Knowing something wonderful is around the bend"
THE SCHOOL YEAR IS UPON US
Let's start looking ahead to the new school year with more excitement aboard the bookmobile as we arrive at your school. We will have more books for you to explore! If your school opts for a classroom collection, no worries...we will just bag you up enough books for the whole class, maybe throw in a coloring sheet or bookmark, then deliver right to your school's door. We will return and pick up after one month. We hope this is enough time to allow classes to enjoy their new reads.
So, back to school, people...time to sharpen those no. 2 pencils, fill the backpacks and lunch boxes, sign up for fall sports and decide which new outfit to wear on the first day of school, all while dealing with multiple meltdowns!
Your bookmobile lady has been pretty busy this month...I have read a lot of books, listened to audios and watched my Hallmark movies, so get ready to hear what I have to say this month.
By Her Own Design, a novel of Anne Lowe by Piper Huguley:
Let's start with By Her Own Design. So, do you ever read and finish a book but can't put into words how it left you feeling? This is that book! I felt anger as a mother, sorrow as a child would, and injustice as an adult. Anne Lowe stirred these and many more feelings in me. Anne had to fight from the very beginning trying to prove herself as a daughter, a seamstress, a wife, a mother, a flower designer, and then dress designer for the elite only. She was given advice from her mother to find a good white woman, so she did when she fled with her son to Tampa Florida where she is taken in by a white woman and her family to make and design social and wedding dresses for the ladies of the house. This led to more elite ladies seeing her one-of-a-kind designs. She actually designed Jackie Kennedy's wedding dresses. You read correctly… dresses, as in, she was engaged twice. Does this sound mysterious? It is! She became the most sought after dress designer to the rich and famous. Who would have thought this little girl who got married at twelve years old, birthed a baby boy could have kept pursuing her dream of owning her own dress shop one day. Well humble beginnings or not this little lady not only owned her shop but turned it into an empire of design. This was one of the most fascinating books I've come across in a while. I couldn’t put it down. I had to keep cheering for Anne. I loved it from the first word until the last. Please read, it may change your perspective on a lot of subjects we now take for granted. Oh and let me not forget it's based on a true story.
The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand *UPDATE*
Remember when I told you to start looking for Elin Hilderbrand's new book The Hotel Nantucket? Well it arrived and I just finished it. Let me give you some background into my fascination with this author. Before I was the bookmobile lady, I was a regular patron here at the library and a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks. Well one day while browsing the shelves for inspiration, Amy Stover, our director here at the library asked if I needed help. What type of book was I looking for? I told her, well, I'm an emotional sort, which explained my Nicholas Sparks obsession. She asked had I ever read any Elin Hilderbrand. She said she writes like Sparks and her books all take place on Nantucket. So I took her advice and 28 books later still can't put hers down. I never want the stories to end. Please check out The Hotel Nantucket and fall in love not only with this author, but with the characters she sews together so seamlessly into her work. As I mentioned before it's about a rundown historical hotel (which there actually is a Hotel Nantucket). A billionaire from London purchases and transforms it into its original splendor, but not without the help from one of our main characters Lizbet Keaton. I don't want to fail to mention the eclectic staff or Grace Hadley, the ghost who resides in the attic. She's the 19 year old chambermaid who perished in a fire there 100 years prior. She enjoys haunting the hotel and the guests with some very surprising results. I don't want to give this treasure away, so please read.
Nora Goes Off Script by Annabel Monaghan:
This is the author's first adult fiction novel; she normally leans toward writing young adult fiction. Once again, I chose by the cover, pretty green and pink with a lady casually drinking a cup of coffee while she looks out into her Tea House. Nora you see is a writer of Hallmark type romance movies. When her husband leaves her to gallivant off to Asia to find himself, the one he loves most, she and her two children are left to their own defenses. She decides to write a script of her own life and marriage, well what was her marriage. And what do you know but after sending it to her agent it is not only picked up by a motion picture film company, but her part and that of her ex-husband are being played by two famous actors. The movie is filmed on location, meaning her house and her property which houses her Tea House. Are you wondering what a tea house is? I was too until I read this book? This book has such memorable characters, you will possibly fall in love with some, maybe hate some just a little, ahem her ex-husband...What makes Nora go off script? I just couldn't put this book down for a minute. I read it in one day. It's a must read for the last of the summer heat!
White Bird, a Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio:
I also just finished White Bird, a Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio, the author of Wonder. This is a Juvenile graphic novel, but after reading I would definitely place with the young adult graphic nonfiction. The main character is Julian, a character from her book Wonder. He is doing a humanities project for school. He decides to interview his Grandme're for his report. Her name is Sara and she tells the haunting story of herself, her family and countless other Jewish families during the Nazi-occupied French village during the Holocaust. This story tells of how she was hidden away by one of her classmate's family in their barn for two years. It's about courage and unending kindness. This book set in graphic detail will move you beyond words. It almost doesn't seem real, but we know it was. I think you will be captivated and touched for a long time, maybe forever by this enduring book.
A quote from the book says,
“What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it from happening again. “ --Anne Frank
Ok, now for my audio picks this month:
The Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer:
This is a very good audio. It takes place on Nantucket. It is full of lively characters whose lives intertwine at every turn. Yes there are secrets, hence the title. Some quite eye opening, and those that stay hidden which would bring devastating life changes to some of the main characters. You will get to know Darcy, the lead character who seems to somehow wind up in everyone's lives. She lives on Nantucket as a permanent resident, after being left her grandmother, Penny's house. I’ve always heard, “If walls could talk!” In this book, it turns out; it’s more like the hedges that separate the yards! So read and see how she befriends the summer people who are just on the island for the season. Also will things work out for Darcy herself and her boyfriend Nash? Or is her new summer neighbor Clive going to give him a run for his money? And let's not forget the big twist, who leases the house next door for the summer? None other than her ex-husband and his new family! It's a super fun audio, it sure will keep you company as you fall in love with these characters and their complex stories.
Beach Wedding by Michael Ledwidge:
I'm always looking for an audio for my car. It's kinda weird but if I don't have one plugged in I feel incomplete. So this is a brand new author for me. Terry and his family go to the Hamptons for his brother's wedding. But the island holds so many secrets, heart breaks and yes ghosts of a different kind for Terry and his large Irish-American family. It takes you back so you can understand the importance of what happened to this family from South Hampton. Who murdered who in this picturesque town? What was their motive? Can it be solved after so many years of lying cold? Can Terry finally put his past to rest? Take a dip into this Irish-American family's story and feel their pain and triumph over their two weeks stay at the Hamptons. Oh, and the narrator, worth the price of admission!
Ok my DVD pick is:
Unleashing Mr. Darcy
If you can't guess, it's a Hallmark. It's a fun spin on Pride and Prejudice...leading male is Donovon Darcy; leading female is Elizabeth Scott; zippy twist... In this story, he's a dog show judge (very obnoxious), she's a just-fired school teacher turned dog handler. You get it, but it is really sweet and easy to watch. You don't have to think much; just imagine yourself in their world for a little while.
How about an "End of Summer Chili Recipe" I adapted from Rachael Ray?
2 tbls olive oil
1lb ground beef (pork or turkey)
1 red onion chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
2 chilies chopped
add salt and pepper
3 ears corn, kernels scraped off
2 tbls chili powder
1 tbls sweet smoked paprika
1 12-ounce beer (optional)
1 28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
2 tbls fresh thyme chopped
1 lime, grated peel and juice of
4 scallions thinly sliced
1 cup gouda (shredded, smoked gouda, pepper jack or smoked cheddar cheese
In a stock pot or Dutch oven add olive oil over medium heat, add chopped garlic, zucchini, red bell pepper, chilies and onion, cook until tender and onions translucent.
Add ground meat and cook until longer pink or until done. Drain excess grease. Set back on burner and add chili powder, smoked paprika, corn, tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper, beer (if using) and lime juice and grated peel. (If not using beer you may want to add water or some kind of liquid stock.)
Bring to boil and let simmer 30 minutes to an hour until flavors blend.
Ladle into bowls and top with scallions, Gouda cheese or any smoked cheese. Top with a wedge of lime.
Pair with The Best Ever Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Recipe to follow)
The Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich
6 tbls butter softened, divided
8 slices sourdough bread
3 tbls mayonnaise
3 tbls finely shredded manchego or parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded gruyere cheese
4 ounces brie cheese, rind removed and sliced
Spread 3 tbls butter on 1 side of bread slices. Toast bread, butter side down, in a large skillet or electric griddle over med-low heat until golden brown, 2-3 minutes; remove. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, manchego cheese, onion powder and remaining 3 tbls butter. In another bowl, combine cheddar, Monterey jack and gruyere.
To assemble sandwiches, top toasted top of 4 slices with sliced brie. Sprinkle cheddar cheese mixture evenly over brie. Top with remaining bread slices, toasted side facing inward. Spread mayonnaise mixture on the outsides of each sandwich. Place in the same skillet and cook until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted, 5-6 minutes on each side.
Serve immediately with your End of Summer Chili!
THINGS TO REMEMBER
School starts August 25, 2022
Please check our Facebook page for Bookmobile schedules and any changes. We update each morning. Or you can always call us at 304-255-0511 ext.3
So as we wind down another summer take a few moments for yourself.
"The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new." --Excerpt from The Hotel Nantucket --Elin Hilderbrand
"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what the sunflowers do" --Helen Keller
We here at Bookmobile would like to thank everyone who participated in our summer reading program Camping Adventure. We hope you had a great summer!
~The Bookmobile Lady~