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Welcome to Winter

“Winter was made for warm blankets and big books"

Winter 2023 Blog by the Bookmobile Lady

Well folks fall certainly came to Bookmobile with a force. If any of you have been

following the saga of our beloved Bus #1, or Bessie as we affectionately call her know

that fall came with struggles. Our bus went in for engine repair at the end of May and we

got her back the second week of October. We used our bus for two school visits when

we noticed something just wasn’t right with her. So off she went back to the garage for

more repair. We have been operating out of our newest vehicle, our Bookmobile Van.

The van is quite a bit smaller and the books have to be arranged strategically in order to

accommodate the Public School system. We can only have 5-7 students on at a time

and the van only has one door to be used for entrance and exit. It has been a challenge

folks but we rose to the occasion.

We want to give a huge thanks to our teachers and all educators for their patience and

continued trust in Bookmobile. You guys really stepped up and together we made it

work this fall. We are so happy our Bus #1 is back and running smoothly.


I find myself getting a little down as the hint of winter approaches. It is however during

these times I find my solace in books. I have read and listened to a few I feel are


The Breakaway by Jennifer Weiner. This book chronicles the lives of many complicated

characters who come together for the same bike ride across New York to Niagra Falls.

In this novel our main character Abby is grappling with some life changing decisions.

She decides to lead a bicycle tour from New York city to Nigara Falls. Abby’s bike has

been her escape all her life. As she leads this group of strangers across the state a

funny thing happens; LIFE…This group comes together in some very unexpected ways.

There are those who are harboring secrets that must come to light. And then there are

those who just need this trip for themselves. This book will touch you on many levels. It

dabbles politically, spiritually and most of all emotionally. I hope you picked it up and

read it this fall. Jennifer is always a keeper and you never leave one of her books

without it touching or sparking you in some way.

Please pick up Reba McEntire’s new autobiography Not That Fancy. In her book she

takes you through her life in Oklahoma. As a little girl on the barrel racing rodeo circuit

to the Nashville Queen of Country star she is today. I think you will find her fascinating

as she doesn’t leave much out about her life and that of her close knit family. She has

accomplished so much and is still one of the most humble people you can ever read

about. In this book she also shares some of the more famous and loved recipes from

her well known restaurant. There isn’t much she hasn’t done or tried but through it all

she keeps her sense of self and is very grounded in her faith and beliefs that guide her.

I read The All-American by Susie Finkbeiner. This book is different from anything I

normally read. It’s about Bertha Harging a girl growing up in 1952 from Detroit Michigan

who above all else wants to play baseball. Against all urging from her mother and other

females in her life with the support of her father she fulfills her dream of becoming a

member of an all –american Baseball League, The Workington Sweet Peas. This book

takes place as other females are planning to be married and start families right after

graduation. It is a time when women fight to be seen. Join Bertha in her fight to play

baseball. You will be cheering for her.

Another biography I read and really enjoyed was Stanley Tucci, Taste My Life Through

Food. What a character? He has a big Italian family who love loud, cook proud and

have fun together. He takes you through his life from boyhood through adulthood. He

tells of how his mother cooked something special every day. He uses the food prepared

to help tell his story. It’s so moving and I enjoyed it until the end. You watch him in

movies like “The Devil wears Prada” or “Julia and Julie” but never know what a deep

thinker and fun person he really is. I recommend this book so much.

A joyful little book I just read called The Twelve Months of Christmas by Sheila Roberts.

Follow the three main characters Sunny, Arianna and Molly as they decide to do a

Christmas do-over every month of the year as they all experienced a less than cozy

Christmas. Read along as they plan and attend a different Christmas party each month.

In Jan they host a New Years Christmas, Feb a Valentine Christmas etc…you get it. But

through this year of planning they each discover what’s been missing in their lives and

find the courage to change it. This book has some great supporting characters as well.

You will be rooting for these ladies and might just want to make some Christmas magic

happen in your life as well.

Just visit our site to see a list of Christmas books you may want to check out this

season. It might make the hustle and bustle of the season a little merrier.

I have been on a Danielle Steel kick lately. I put her aside for a good while but since I

have picked her back up. I am enjoying her latest novels like Second Chance,

Suspects, All that Glitters, and her newest The Ball at Versailles. But what I am most

enjoying is her BCD’s. I’ve listened to Without a Trace, so suspenseful and riveting. The

Palazzo, so detailed I felt like I was there. Happiness, this one was so sweet and

moving. I am now listening to Worthy Opponents. It is quite the cd turner too! But what I

like most is the fact hers are mostly read by men. I know who would have thought? I

can’t tell you what a breath of fresh air it is to listen to her stories come to life by these

gentlemen narrators. Well done Ms. Steel!

If you guys follow this blog you know my affection for Jenny Colgan. Her newest book

and BCD, Midnight at the Christmas Bookshop is one not to be missed. I could have

listened to this one forever. She details her characters and the town of Edinburgh until

you want to walk the crisp snowy streets with our main character Carmen. She runs the

Christmas Bookshop on Victoria Street. It’s so charming and I can’t resist how she

describes the books, the smells, and the wonder of spending all your days in this quaint


So DVD’s: Who has watched Barbie or the new Mission Impossible? Remember if you

see a new movie coming out that you want for movie night just click on to the library’s

website and browse to see which of our branches might carry your request. There is

nothing like curling up to a movie with a little buttered popcorn under a fleece blanket.

Look outside people cause winter’s coming!

The library has an extensive section of Classic movies and a large array of Christmas

movies as well. You can’t go wrong with Bing Crosby or your feel good happy ever after


I want to add a couple of Reba’s recipes she shares in her book with you guys. With the

cold weather rapidly approaching I thought these recipes would hit the spot.

Pinto Beans and Cornbread Reba McEntire

Pinto Beans

1 lb dry pinto beans (about 2 cups)

1tbls kosher salt, plus more to taste

1 (4 ounce) end piece bacon slab, roughly chopped(or 6 slices thick-cut bacon, roughly


1 yellow onion, whole peeled

4 bay leaves

8 cups light chicken stock

1 tbls sherry vinegar


Rinse the beans thoroughly with cold water, then transfer to a large bowl. Fill the bowl

with enough fresh water to cover the beans by a few inches. Stir. Allow the beans to

stand at room temperature for 12 hours.

Drain and rinse the beans, then transfer them to a large pot. Fill the pot with enough

fresh water to cover the beans by a few inches. Add the salt.

Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, remove the

pot from the heat. Drain the beans and rinse gently.

Wipe out the pot and return it to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and

cook until it begins to render fat. Add the onions and carrots. Saute’ until the bacon is

browned and the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the beans and bay leaves to the pot. Pour in the chicken stock, ensuring the beans

are covered by at least 3 inches of liquid.

Bring the mixture to a simmer. Continue cooking until the beans are fully softened,

about 1 ½ hours. Keep an eye on the pot and turn down the heat if the mixture begins to


Add the vinegar and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pot from the heat.

Discard the bay leaves and any large pieces of carrot and onion.

Ladle 1 cup of beans with a bit of liquid from the pot into a blender. Puree on low until

fully smooth, increasing the speed if needed.

Pour the pureed beans back into the pot and stir to combine. Serve immediately with a

side of hot sauce, if desired.

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Cornbread Reba McEntire

1 ½ cups fine cornmeal

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

2 lg eggs

¼ cup honey

½ cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup whole milk whisked with 1 tsp vinegar)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet in the oven while it


In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and


In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, and melted butter until combined.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and begin to whisk. A few lumps are ok!

Remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour the batter into it. Return the skillet to the

middle rack of the oven.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before


If you enjoy working jigsaw puzzles check out the ones at the library. In the reference

department there is always one set up on a table. Feel free to pass your snowy

afternoon trying to fit those pieces just right. Maybe this will inspire you to keep a couple

on hand on those days it’s just too cold to get out.

Please don’t forget to log onto the library’s website at to see what’s

happening this winter. Sign up and come be a part of the activities. This will help us

beat some of the winter blues and you just might make a new friend or spot a book you

haven’t read or a movie you haven’t watched. Our library holds lots of adventures for

kids of all ages!

Stay warm my friends,

The Bookmobile Lady

~The Bookmobile Lady~


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