MeatEater: Your Link to the Food Chain

Steven Rinella grew up in Twin Lake, Michigan and learned to hunt and fish at an early age. This love of hunting and the outdoors has now become quite a career as an author, television personality, podcaster, and conservationist. He breaks the stereotype we have of the “American hunter” – when he explores a subject, he nerds out so spectacularly that I have come to appreciate his level of intellect and extensive research.

The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine (2006) – The first book in the Steven Rinella canon. Steven sets out to recreate the recipes from master chef Escoffier’s classic 1903 Le Guide Culinaire to get back to where the history of modern food got its start.

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon (2009) – After tripping on a buffalo skull in Montana, Steven stumbles into an obsession that leads him to explore the iconography and history of this magnificent animal. From the story of buffalo nickels to the curious Oxford scholar giving away a free refrigerator with any skeleton you’re willing to take from her, his reportage rings with respect, humor, and hard facts.  I highly recommend the audiobook – read by the author himself!

In 2012, Steven started MeatEater on the Sportsman Channel, which moved to Netflix in 2018. He also wrote a few more books during that time:

MeatEater’s Campfire Stories: Close Calls (2021) – The newest addition is only available as a downloadable audiobook, but truly this is the best way to experience these stories because they are told from the survivors themselves. Download it to your cell phone, and play it round the campfire.

In so many different ways, Steven guides you through this primal world, but not at all uncultured. Enjoy the ride!

My kiddo’s recommendation: Buffalo Music by Tracey E. Fern

~posted by Kara P.

Fall Into Reading: Beyond Halloween

The leaves are crunching beneath our boot heels, the sweaters are coming out of the corners of our closets, and cozying up with a book goes along with this season like a warm fire and fuzzy socks! Fall into the season with these reads celebrating all the various festivities the season has to offer!

The Progress of a Crime: a Fireworks Night Mystery by Julian Symons

After witnessing a murder of a local tavern owner on Guy Fawkes Night (Nov. 5), Hugh Bennet has trouble remembering what took place as he attempts to write the story for the paper. It doesn’t help that the witnesses aren’t very reliable as none can actually recall seeing the stabbing itself. Combining classic sleuthing with a concerned inquiry into troubled society, this 1960 crime classic by the grandmaster Julian Symonds is an excellent commentary of the Autumn of the year, and of the 20th Century. Continue reading “Fall Into Reading: Beyond Halloween”

Witchy Reads

Fiction has been awfully witchy this year, with strong showings across historical fiction, romance, and general fiction. For your reading pleasure, an incomplete list:


Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Rivka Galchen
In 1615 Germany, 74-year-old Katharina Kepler is accused of witchcraft, an accusation she shrugs off until it starts to stick. Told via Katharina’s dictation to a neighbor, court documents and witness testimony, this wry and witty novel is loosely based on a real witch trial (of physicist Johannes Kepler’s mother!).

Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian
In 1660s Boston, headstrong Mary Deerfield petitions for divorce from her husband on grounds of cruelty, only to be ensnared by accusations of witchcraft from jealous neighbors and servants. As Mary tries to find an avenue to the life she envisions, the Puritan panic around her reaches a fever pitch.

The Manningtree Witches by A.K. Blakemore
Manningtree has been largely depleted of men since the beginning of the English Civil Wars. When Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder General, arrives, he starts poking around the margins of town life, looking for covens and general witchcraft. 19-year-old Rebecca West tries to quell the rumors and protect her neighbors, even as accusations land at her door. Continue reading “Witchy Reads”

Not Your Mother’s Gone With the Wind

I just finished reading the horror book When the Reckoning Comes by LaTanya McQueen.  It is a horror novel set in modern times on a plantation that has been refurbished to an amusement park that reenacts Antebellum times through the eyes of white people, but what they don’t know is that it is haunted by the ghosts of the slaves that worked the plantation.  While I was reading this book it made me think of other media that are more honest in their representation of the Antebellum South than Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

If science fiction is more your thing, I highly recommend Octavia Butler’s  Kindred.  It is the story of a black woman who moves into a new place with her white husband.  While they are unpacking she starts to be sent back in time to rescue a white boy from near-death experiences but is thought to be a slave every time she goes back.

For a great TV show, I recommend Underground.  This is exciting series had 2 seasons.  It tells the stories of slaves that have escaped from the plantation and how they survived while they are on the run. Jubilee by Margaret Walker is a classic novel that is hailed as a truer account of the civil war than Gone with the Wind.  It is told from the perspective of the daughter of the plantation owner and his black mistress.  Margaret Walker used her own family research to tell this story.

     ~ posted by Pam H.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly World of Germs

One thing I was not prepared for in this new thing called mom life, was that once you put your kiddo in daycare they will be sick FOREVER! To be fair, I was warned, but I had no idea the endless days of snot, coughing, and laundry would be this intense. As we all battle with sick days for a myriad of reasons, here are some books to help your own kiddos understand how germs, bugs, and viruses get to work.

Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes by Lesa Cline-Ransome – An introduction to the good and bad bacteria in our bodies. (K-Grade 2)

A Germ’s Journey by Thom Rooke M.D. and Anthony Phillip Trimmer, Read by Jared Kaelber – Perfect book for a sick kiddo at home! A read along through Hoopla to explain what’s going in their tiny body. (K-Grade 2)

The Good Germ Hotel: Meet Your Body’s Marvelous Microbes by Sŏng-hwa Kim – A reminder to all of us that it’s not all bad. Get ready to meet your happy gut flora! (Grade 2-5) Continue reading “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly World of Germs”