One thing I notice when watching some of the edgier television shows released on DVD for home viewing, is the excellent music selections that appear incidentally at the end or in the middle of a show, sort of audio riffs on some programatic theme. Whoever is choosing this music has a great ear for matching mood to sound.
Lately I’ve taken to following up and tracking down some great CD’s by finding a soundtrack compilation CD in the library collection, say music from the excellent HBO Shakespearian gone Western series Deadwood. Going through the list of performers on the CD leads me to these blues/folk/roots recordings in the library collection that I might otherwise have missed:
Press On by June Carter Cash, a Grammy award-winning recording issued late in her career.
1963 Isn’t 1962 by Bukka White, a terrific live recording of the blues great made after his “re-discovery” in 1963.
Animal Folk Songs for Children compliled and performed by Ruth Crawford Seeger, noted American Modernist and music scholar (no relation to Pete Seeger). She originally published this collection in 1948 for use in children’s music education.
Why is our book Home Cheese Making : Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses so popular? Perhaps because it’s authored by home cheesemaking superstar Ricki Carroll. In Seattle, local artisan cheese is readily available at farmer’s markets and grocery stores. A cheese festival takes place each year, even though we are far from Wisconsin. It’s highly likely that some Seattleites have chosen to take their adoration for cheese a step further and make it themselves, with milk from their own goats. If you haven’t already heard, last September the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to allow miniature goats to be kept as pets. They are an urban sustainabilist’s dream: they can mow a lawn or eat a blackberry bush and produce milk without use of fossil fuels. So yes, Seattleites can now make cheese with milk straight from their own backyards!
Where would you stay if you were able to visit ancient Rome, say in 200 AD? What would you have for dinner? Where would you go for entertainment? What tips would help you survive on those mean, mean, streets? Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day by Philip Matyszak purports to be a travel guide for back then, not for use in touring today’s Rome of ruins and broken monuments. Of course, it really does help us understand current Rome’s glorious past and fallen stones by providing context for this era’s readers. Full of travel advice for ancient tourists and loaded with chatty suggestions about local customs, this humorous guide is a fun way to learn about life in the ancient city, and should be an great read for history buffs and for fans of historical mysteries in the Steven Saylor or Lindsey Davis line. Fine illustrations, many in color, show views from that toga-clad world.
Working the same turf but in a much more straightforward and serious way is Rome by James H. S. McGregor. This guide looks at the many historical versions of Rome that are layered on top of each other Continue reading “The Romans are here: are you ready?”
Barbara Kingsolver’s latest book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life is account of her family’s commitment to growing and raising their own food and to purchase only local food. Those who love Kingsolver’s writing will also enjoy learning more about her localvore lifestyle. Her family’s passion for the subject is wonderfully brought forth in this deeply personal chronicle. As the book cycles through the seasons, Kingsolver conveys her appreciation for everything that grows in her garden and barn, from spring’s first asparagus stalk to Thanksgiving’s heirloom turkeys. She emphasizes how in-season foods taste the best and are nutritionally superior when harvested ripe. Daughter Camille and husband Steven make readers aware of political issues surrounding the local food movement and demonstrate how simple seasonal home cooking can be. This book will appeal to anyone concerned about where their food comes from. Even though the book addresses some political issues, readers will love this memoir for the passion Kingsolver brings to every bit of life on her farm.
I love nonfiction that keeps me interested in the topic long after I have finished the book. For me, the lasting effect of this book is a stronger commitment to eating locally. This past Thanksgiving, I made a pledge to eat local and I purchased only food grown in Washington State. I did most of my Thanksgiving grocery shopping at my Seattle neighborhood Farmer’s Market . Yum! Stay tuned for more on the local food movement.
Genealogy is the Internet’s second most popular past-time. At Seattle Public Library we love to work with Genealogists and we’re excited to present a great new electronic resource for our patrons. America’s Genealogy Bank is the perfect complement to our other fabulous genealogy services. From one very easy to use search screen you can review millions of historical newspapers, books, pamphlets, government documents and genealogies as well as a seperate file of obituaries from 1977- the present. AGB offers full-text of many small-town newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, 1886-1922, Eastern Argus (one of the nations earliest newspapers – published in Maine) 1803 -1880 and Dallas Morning News, 1885-1977. Read the ads, the social news, the business and sports pages! Discover what was happening in their communities as your ancestors went about their daily lives. Or search the Federal Government’s publications — Was your ancestor a mail carrier? Did he work as a meat inspector for the FDA? Maybe he’ll show up on the annual list of employees and their salaries published by various goverment agencies. My ancestor did — as a Meat Inspector in Kansas City, Missouri — he made $1,200 a year! A pretty good salary for the times. What can AGB help you discover about your family?