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The summer reading club for adults is back for a third year.  We’ve actually just completed the first week and held our first random drawing for a cool little prize.  If you haven’t signed up yet, you should!  We want you to read, and then we want you to tell us what you read!  Was there something  you loved or just liked a little?  Was there something you outright hated so much you threw it against the wall in disgust?  We want to know about those books too.

In previous years a very popular aspect of the adult reading club was being able to share the books you read with a brief description or review.  I know that reading entries from other people gave me some great ideas to fill my reading hours and I hope you gain some worthy suggestions too.    Sign up for the reading club now and start telling us what turned your page!

Here are the details:

  • Read a book and submit a review each week to be entered into a weekly drawing for a fun prize
  • Read 5 books and submit reviews for them between June 15 and August 10 to be entered into the Grand Prize drawing which offers a chance to win an iPad (every 5 books read and reviewed earns an entry into the drawing)
  • Everyone who completes the program will receive a tote bag and two free games of bowling at Narrows Plaza Bowl

The Tacoma Public Library Summer Reading Club offers something for all ages, and you can find more information for yourself or the young person in your life here:

Dig Into Reading – for children from birth through entering 5th Grade

Beneath the Surface – for students entering grades 6-12

Groundbreaking Reads – for all adults

Once upon a time there was a girl who swore she would never have a child of her own.  What for?  She already had a perfectly good step-daughter that she was raising as her own.  One kid was enough for her.  Then one day the girl discovered she was pregnant.  She had no idea what pregnancy would have in store.  Sure, she’d been raising her daughter since she was less than a year old, but she’d never been pregnant before.  So the girl decided it was time to hit the books.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am the girl in question.  And this is a true story.  Preparing for the arrival of a baby is no easy task and it’s easy to get lost in a sea of information.  What’s safe?  What isn’t?  What do I need to do right now?  I still have 3 months to go before my little bundle of joy arrives and I thought I’d share my favorite pregnancy books so far.

Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

This has been, by far, my favorite book on pregnancy.  It has a week-by week guide to baby’s progress as well as a month-by-month guide to what mom should expect.  It’s also full of helpful hints and tips: meal planning, exercise, what’s safe and what to avoid.  There’s even a section that answers all those embarrassing questions you don’t want to ask anyone.  The best part of the book though is the charts.  A simple list of symptoms and what to do if they occur at different times during your pregnancy.  I can’t tell you how many times this has saved me from totally freaking out.  There’s a chart for what medications are safe.  How much caffeine is in different drinks.  And what you should be eating to maximize the nutrients you’re getting.  This book was worth every second I spent reading it.  It’s a must have for the expectant mother.  There’s even a section for fathers and partners.  And once your pregnancy is over you can move on to Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year.

Another really great book is The Baby Book.  This book is a great guide to pregnancy, birth, baby, and childcare.  It’s full of great facts and figures as well as all the information you could need, all presented in full illustrations.  I highly recommend it.

If you’re not pregnant yet but you really want to be, I recommend The Impatient Woman’s Guide to Getting Pregnant.  This everything you need to know guide is great for any woman who is thinking about starting a family.  While the other books I’ve talked about have chapters on how to get pregnant, this book takes an in depth look at all the aspects involved: physical and emotional.

Some other books you may want to check out:

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

The Complete Illustrated Pregnancy Companion

You Having a Baby

Do Chocolate Lover’s Have Sweeter Babies?

The Mommy Diet

The 30-Minute Pregnancy Workout Book

Teach Yourself Yoga for Pregnancy and Birth

The Best Birth

Easy Labor

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Slow Cooking

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If you can believe it, it is already March.  As we all run around trying to keep up with our lives and those infamous new year’s resolutions that we have promised ourselves we have not given up on, making a meal can be the furthest thing from our minds.  But I have fallen in love with my slow cooker again.  Having the ability to come home to a meal that is already cooked or being able to do other chores on the weekends while dinner is in the slow cooker is amazing.  My recommitment to my slow cooker has lead me on a path of finding new recipes.  I have found some notable recipes and titles.

The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider explores Mexican dishes from soup to street food.  When I saw the recipe for slow cooker fajitas, I was struck dumb.  Why hadn’t I thought of that before?  It makes so much sense to prepare the meat in the slow cooker and then just cook the peppers and onions quickly in a skillet.  The other recipe that stood out for me is the slow cooker corn bread.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it is on the list.  It helps that there is a great picture that accompanies the recipe that looks divine.  This cookbook is a little lacking in pictures since I want one for each recipe, but the photos that are included make me want to try the recipes photographed.

The French Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone was a wild card for me.  I wasn’t too familiar with French cooking, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But I was pleasantly surprised to find some simple dishes that were filled with flavor.  I highly recommend trying the Normandy pork with apples.  It has a creamy sauce to go over the cooked apples and pork that is amazing.  I was skeptical because of the vinegar and creme fraiche, but  the flavors were amazing making no one single component of the recipe overwhelming.  The next recipe on my to do list is the potato and herb gratin.  I always forget how I can use my slow cooker for other things besides meat, and this particular side dish sounded delicious.  Good cheese, potatoes, and herbs–yes please.

The Mediterranean Slow Cooker Cookbook by Diane Phillips is a book I have yet to tackle.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a list of recipes to try.  My top choices from this book are spinach and feta stuffed chicken breasts in lemon-dill sauce.  I love spinach and feta together so that was a big draw for me, but it is cooked in wine and then served with lemon-dill sauce.  Those flavors scream delicious, and I can’t wait to try it.  For my sweet tooth, I want to make the pears in honey and Muscat. I love pears, so this is right up my alley, and it will be so easy to make.  I’m just trying to find an excuse to make them.

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The availability of food items at local food banks are traditionally at an all-time low after the December holidays, but the Tacoma Public Library is hoping to change that through a new program where library patrons can help feed the hungry while eliminating overdue fines. Beginning on February 19 Tacoma’s libraries will hold a community food drive at all 8 locations. It’s a food drive with a twist, however: for every three non-perishables items a patron donates, the library will reduce their overdue fines by $10, without a limit to the total amount waived. The ‘Food For Fines’ food drive continues through March 2. All food items donated will be delivered to a neighborhood food bank. For more information about the program click here, or telephone the library at 253.292.2001.

 

So, if you have not yet read the incredibly amazing work that is Marissa Meyer’s Cinder you must go read it now. Scarlet

Right now.

I’m so not even kidding.

And while you’re at it read the prequel Glitches and the short story The Queen’s Army.   They are e-books but I think the last I checked you could download them for free on Amazon.  You have until the count of three.

One…

Two…

Three.

OK. So you’ve read it now, right? And you thought it was like, the greatest thing that has ever happened to you, right? And you can’t wait to read the second book, Scarlet, right? Well, your wait over. You can read it right now. I’m here to give you a little taste. Just a little bit of what to expect. And boy are you going to be happy. I have no intention of giving the story away to you, sorry. I’m not that kind of reviewer. At least, not for this.

Scarlet picks up right where Cinder left off, sort of. The second book in Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series starts off with a new character, Scarlet, a delivery girl of sorts who’s grandmother has gone missing from a small town in France. In between the Scarlet storyline we also get a look at what Cinder has been up to since the ball. Being in prison mostly. But with a little help she’s able to escape and she begins a journey to find someone who can tell Cinder about herself. But the journey won’t be easy. Either for Cinder or for Scarlet, with whom she eventually crosses paths with.

I have to say, when I first started reading Scarlet I was a little worried that there was not going to be enough or any Cinder mixed in and it confused me. But that didn’t last long. I was so engrossed with Scarlet’s story that at times I kind of forgot about Cinder. But not in a bad way. In a “holy cow this story is awesome” kind of way. Seriously, it was worth the year long wait. However, I don’t know if I’ll be able to wait another whole year for book 3, Cress, to come out or another year after that for the final installment, Winter. I need them now. I need them to live. And so will you.

But the best part is that the author, Marissa Meyer, is local.  That’s right, she’s from Tacoma!  And you can see her at the Wheelock Library on Saturday, March 16th at 2pm.

Book Talk and Signing: Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder and Scarlet (the Lunar Chronicles series)

Saturday, March 16th @ 2pm

Wheelock Library
3722 N 26th St.
Tacoma, WA 98407
(253) 671-7811

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