From The Stacks
Just another blogs.bellevuerporter.com weblog
Feeling a bit peckish? Why yes, actually I am, and not because it’s lunchtime and all I’ve had today is a banana, some crispy otap, and a few grapes. Actually, I’m not even hungry; I simply enjoy food—including things that some people question whether or not it is food (I’ll spare you the details.)
These days, my inactivity and my advancing age have steered me toward a food consciousness—if only to reduce my increasing waistline. As part of my recent awareness, I’ve come to a realization of how lucky I was growing up along various coastlines of the US where I could take advantage of what the ocean had to offer. With the movement toward locally sourced food, I can claim that I was doing it before it was a “movement.”
Growing up on the Naval base in Key West, Florida my family and I frequented the docks where we were able to bring in delicious white fleshed red snapper and grouper. Using large round nets gently lowered into the shallows, we pulled up large, succulent shrimp from the sandy flats in Charleston, South Carolina. And oh, the excitement when living in Corpus Christi, Texas where we’d catch feisty blue crabs from metal crab traps tossed off the pier.
In the Pacific Northwest, I’ve been able to continue my harvest of the local waters—and beyond. Since moving here in 2005, I have become a veteran razor clammer, a skilled nettle forager, and a sharp-eyed chanterelle hunter. This weekend I am headed out to catch a low tide in Dosewallips State Park to gather manila clams and pacific oysters. Sliced lemons and hot sauce will accompany me. Funny thing though: clamming was my backup plan. Originally we were going to the Cascades to seek spring porcinis, but opted for the more likely success of clamming than the frustrating hunt for elusive boletes.
If food is something that moves you too, it’s time to visit the cookbook collection here at the Bellevue Library. We have a wide variety of books on different cuisines to entice you, as well as books geared toward the urban forager, hunter/gatherer sort. Find recipes that will inspire you, or ones that help you utilize your foraged catch.
The Hunger Lounge: Choose Your Own Eat-venture, Wednesday, June 19, 7pm
The Bushwick Book Club: Music Inspired by Michael Pollan, Saturday June 22, 1pm
At any age, life is an adventure. At 50 and beyond, your perspective is different and your needs are changing. This guide will help you reach new goals, engage your curiosity, inspire new beginnings and connect to your community. This is a selection of the many programs and resources KCLS offers you to learn something new!
Programs & Events
DNA and Genealogy
Presented by Claudia Breland
Thursday, May 30, 7pm, Redmond Library
Sunday, June 2, 2pm, Bothell Library
Genealogists have been researching using paper records for centuries, and new technology has only made it better. With DNA testing becoming available and affordable, opportunities await for those who are seeking answers to questions about their heritage. Learn the basics of the DNA molecule, how it can help you discover your roots, the best companies to test with, and how to join with others to find a common heritage.
Beyond Ancestry.com: Searching for your Ancestors Online
Presented by Claudia Breland
Saturday, June 1, 2pm, Renton Highlands Library
Saturday, June 8, 2pm, Lake Forest Park Library
Sunday, July 14, 2pm, Bothell Library
Learn about census records, vital records, online newspapers, state archives and libraries, cemetery records, military records and more. Note: those with basic to intermediate computer skills and some online experience will benefit most from this presentation.
Volunteer with Peace Corps at Any Age
Presented by Erin Erickson, Peace Corps Volunteer
Sunday, June 2, 2pm
Held at Vashon Maury Senior Center,
10004 SW Bank Road, Vashon, 98070
Erin will share fascinating stories of her life and work, and talk about the application process to become a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Presented by the Alzheimer’s Association
Saturday, June 8, 11am, Kent Library
The body is a complex machine; what affects one system eventually affects others. There is some evidence to indicate that poor dietary habits, a lack of exercise and a lack of mental and emotional stimulation can all contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. This session discusses these issues and offers simple lifestyle changes that can help in the fight against Alzheimer’s. www.alzwa.org
Reducing Stress Through Meditation
Presented by Ajili Hodari, Esq.
Saturday, June 8, 11am, Newcastle Library
Saturday, June 22, 2pm, Skyway Library
The scientific community has recently been exploring the use of meditation as a healing modality. Learn the effectiveness of meditation in reducing stressrelated responses, improving concentration and enhancing clarity of thought. The presentation will also include a simple yet powerful meditation technique anyone can use to reduce stress.
Stop Being Forgetful Remember Grocery Lists, Names, Dates and Where You Left Your Glasses!
Presented by Charles Kraus
Thursday, July 18, 7pm, Kingsgate Library
Saturday, July 20, 2pm, Valley View Library
Saturday, July 27, 1pm, Federal Way Library
This presentation demonstrates easily learned techniques for improving memory. It is great way to recalibrate skills using methods that can be learned instantly, with a special focus on the day to day issues confronted by mature adults. Tip sheets and a bibliography are provided.
Walk with Your Libraries
Take the KCLS collection with you on your journey into walking or other forms of exercise. We have information about walking and biking, exercise, nutrition, or health and of course, fun and interesting fiction to take on your adventure.
For Fun, For Fitness, For Life. Walk With Your Libraries!
Traveling Library Center (TLC)
We’ll bring great books right to you. We make monthly visits to eligible King County residents who live in retirement homes, nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Click here for a list of retirement communities, nursing homes, and other facilities currently served by TLC.
Words on Wheels
Can’t get to the library? We’ll bring library materials to your home.
Washington Talking Books and Braille Library
This service is available for children and adults who are residents of Washington state and who are legally blind, deaf-blind, visually impaired.
Search the KCLS Catalog for Large Print Books
Print books with large text are available at all KCLS libraries. You can place holds on specific titles.
Over the past months, the Bellevue Library staff has been looking forward to the day they could tell patrons that the end is near. The end of our construction, that is. And I am pleased to say that we are close, folks. Very close.
Please join us for the grand opening of the new Bellevue Library parking garage on Saturday, June 22. Ribbon cutting is at 9:30am, followed by a car show featuring over 35 classics, muscles, exotics, and more. There will be music, refreshments, giveaways, and festivities for all ages! As an added treat, the Bushwick Book Club will be performing their Michael Pollan-inspired concert at 1pm that day. In each of their unique shows, Geoff Larson and members of the Bushwick Book Club Seattle write and play original music inspired by literary works. In this concert, they will interpret the works of Michael Pollan (Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma), not only performing their original music, but also explaining the process they used to write their songs.
It’s sure to be a great day out for the whole family. And you should have no problem finding a space to park. We hope.
I just watched the most recent installment of the Star Trek franchise: “Into Darkness.” It was fan-tas-tic! Yes, I’m a trekkie. No, I don’t dress up and go to conventions, however, I would not completely rule that out in the future. I don’t know what it is about this particular science fiction series that attracted me to it? I guess it would have to be the crew’s sense of adventure, “their continuing mission to go where no man has gone before,” and the technological gadgetry—I long for a transporter beam on heavy traffic days on I-90. And don’t get me started on the replicator, you speak into a computer and instantly dinner appears. Sweet!
Not all franchises were the same, though. While the original Star Trek, conceived by Gene Rodenberry in the early 1960’s, was revolutionary with its introduction of new technology and casting of African-American and Asian characters, the sets were garish and plots were loose at best. It is with Star Trek Generations that I feel the franchise really gained legitimacy and a larger fan base. Star Trek Voyager introduced the first, if not the only, female captain with Captain Kathryn Janeway. However, the franchise started to decline with shows like Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise; a combination of production quality, cable networks and time slot. The latest movie reincarnations have notable television and film director J.J. Abrams at the helm, who has produced such films as Super 8 and Mission Impossible III. Abrams has been credited with reviving the struggling franchise.
Fortunately for KCLS patrons, they don’t have to go very far to get their science fiction fix because we have plenty of titles in our collection. Below are some notable picks and resources to find your next science fiction book:
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Originally published in 1932, Huxley’s teriffying vision of a controlled and emotionless future “Utopian” society is truly startling in its prediction of modern scientific and cultural phenomena, including test-tube babies and rampant drug use.
The Long Earth, by Terry Pratchett
1916: The Western Front. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man’s-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone? 2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive–some say mad, others allege dangerous–scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find a curious gadget: a box containing some rudimentary wiring, a three-way switch, and a potato. It is the prototype of an invention that will change the way humankind views the world forever. The “stepper” enables a person using it to step sideways into another America, another wherever that person happened to be, another Earth. And if the person using it keeps on stepping, they keep on entering even more Earths. This is the Long Earth. And the further away a stepper travels, the stranger — and sometimes more dangerous — the Earths become.
Darth Plagueis, by James Luceno
Darth Plagueis, a Sith Lord who knows the Dark Side so well that he has power over life and death, joins forces with his apprentice, one-day emperor Darth Sidious, to try to dominate the whole galaxy.
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit.
The most complicated part of my day is always getting out of the house. Do I have the kid? Check. Do I have the diaper bag? Check. Do I have my work papers? Check. Lunch? Check. Phone? Check. Wallet? Check. Add to that anything out of the ordinary (sporting equipment, packages to mail, grocery list, library books) and it seems like the world is on my shoulders.
King County Library System has implemented several services which will, hopefully, make your life easier.
- Books checked out from one KCLS branch can be returned to any other branch in the KCLS systems. No need to cross town three times to return all the books.
- If you just can’t get back to a library to return an item, log into your account at www.kcls.org, enter your library card and pin (which is usually the last four digits of your phone number) and click on the “items checked out” tab. From there, you can renew items. Or, just give a library branch a call and staff can help you with it.
- If you oversee many library cards (self, partner, kids, parents), sign up for Library Elf, a free service to KCLS patrons. Library Elf compiles information such as titles checked out, due dates, and holds waiting for pickup into one email.
- And of course, KCLS has a growing library of eBooks available for free. For a busy parent, one of the best features of eBooks are that they don’t have to be returned at all. When the due date arrives, the books return themselves!
While the library can’t help you get out of the house in the morning, we do try awfully hard to make it easier once you’re out and about. Now if anyone has seen my sunglasses, let me know.
Used books make me giddy. Unlike other people who value used books in pristine condition, I actually enjoy the well-used copies—ones that had other people’s handwritten notes in the margins and underlined/highlighted passages. I did the same to my own books, and was always curious to see what other people thought about the same stories. See, I wasn’t the type looking for hard to find first editions or books of such rarity that once sold could grant me a comfortable retirement. I was more interested in titles I already had—as long as it had a different cover. There was something comforting about seeing my shelf with sometimes ten different copies of the same book. I’d collect them along with titles that I thought I should read (in addition to those that I might not read, but wanted others to think I had).
Unfortunately, after years of collecting, many of those books have been removed and destroyed. This damp Pacific Northwest air and my house circa 1940 are ideal for growing mold, not a book collection. And it didn’t help that I’d been forced to keep many of them boxed up because of lack of space. Luckily, many of the books were procured at the reasonable price of 10 to 15 cents, so financially I wasn’t at too much of a loss. Still, talk about heartbreak…
These days with the internet and social networks such as GoodReads and Library Thing, notes and reviews about my favorite books are not so hard to come by. Granted, they are not handwritten, highlighted or asterisked, and I don’t get the comfort of multiple copies on my shelves, or the sensation of turning brittle yellow pages, or the musty smell of the literature section…but I won’t be picky. It’s the digital age. Convenience is king. And the King County Library System has remained in step with the times. Through KCLS you can download ebooks onto your choice of ereader for the low price of—nothing.
Don’t have an ereader, but interested in seeing what all the hype is about? Perhaps you want to compare the different devices? Or maybe you were given one as a gift and you have no idea how to turn it on? Luckily we are here to help. At KCLS we offer ebook demos where you can stop by to get help, ask questions, get suggestions, and try out the different devices. With the latest devices at your fingertips and the staff knowledge to match, how can you go wrong? Ebooks may never take the place of the used book experience, but it can at least take the clutter out of your life (off your shelves). Feel free to enjoy a copy today.
Boston and runners have been much in the news as events have unfolded since the explosions at the Boston Marathon last Monday, April 15th. When things happen elsewhere in the world, my brain most often turns to books. Book to understand, books to cope, and books to help me be in another place with other people. If you’re looking for some book ideas to share Boston and running with the children in your life, here are some of my favorites.
Boston-Based Picture Books to Share
Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey comes to mind right away, thanks to the wonderful statue of Mama duck and her eight ducklings in the Boston Public Garden. The book is the official children’s book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Have a construction fan in your life? Share the story of Boston’s Big Dig with The Big Dig: Reshaping an American City by Peter Vanderwarker.
Sports of more interest? Try F is for Fenway: America’s Oldest Major League Ballpark by Jerry Pallotta, which features an alphabetical introduction to Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox. It includes history, trivia, and more as a 100th anniversary tribute.
Pennies for Elephants by Lita Judge is a heart-warming historical tale based on the true story of Boston children who, in 1914, raised$6,000 to buy three elephants for the Franklin Park Zoo.
Books About the Power of Running
Where can running take you? Find out where it takes Sophy, a determined young girl in Cambodia when a man brings her a pair of running shoes in Running Shoes by Frederick Lipp.
Wilma Rudolph wasn’t expected to see her first birthday, but she did. And when she got polio when she was five, she was never expected to walk again, but she did. And as a runner in the 1960 summer Olympics, she wasn’t supposed to win, but she did. Share Wilma’s story in Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull.
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen. In a school bus accident, Jessica, a 16-year-old runner, loses a leg. She truly believes that her running life is over. When her track teammates don’t give up on her, and when a new friend shares a wish, she starts to come up with an inspiring new goal.
Healing thoughts to all those affected by the events in Boston last week.
I’m an admitted foodie, and my weight scale can attest to it! Personally, if cable television only carried the Food Network and the Cooking Channel, I’d be a happy camper. Make no mistake, though, I do more than just watch cooking shows, I do actually implement a lot of the recipes and techniques. So, you can imagine my excitement when the King County Library System announced “A Place at the Table,” a series of programs based on food, nutrition and preparation techniques.
A Place at the Table is more than a recipe exchange; it’s a confluence of local authors talks, book group discussions, cooking techniques, and food themed programs, like Dining at Downton Abbey, which will focus on food in art. Below is a listing of some of our upcoming programs, but for a complete listing please visit our web page here.
Building Your Own Urban Pantry – Canning 101
Presented by Amy Pennington, gardener and author of Urban Pantry
Plan now, save money and eat like a king all winter long by using the skills learned in this short and informative class where we will preserve savory and sweet preserves for your cupboards and mid-winter gift giving.
Thursday, April 25, 7p, Covington Library
Saturday, April 27, 2p, Renton Highlands Library
Saturday, May 4, 11a, Kent Library
Sponsored by the Friends of the Kent Library
Tuesday, May 7, 7p, Enumclaw Library
Wednesday, May 8, 7p, Shoreline Library
Sunday, May 12, Bothell Library
Food is Love. Food is Pleasure. Food is Everything.
Presented by Matt Freedman and Tiberio Simone.
La Figa: Visions of Food and Form is a book about natural beauty and fresh flavors. Featuring a spectacular collection of photos of models of all shapes and sizes, ages and colors wearing nothing but the edible creations of James Beard award-winning chef Tiberio Simone. The book examines the relationship between food, touch and the ingredients that make life delicious. The book also includes twenty Tiberio’s favorite recipes.
Dining at Downton Abbey: A Trial by Fork
Presented by Tames Alan
Explore a time of forgotten elegance, when one changed in dinner clothes and chose jewelry to reflect candle light; a time where setting the table was an art and serving a meal was a well-choreographed dance. Food historiam Tames Alan will demystify the manner, menu and accoutrements of a formal 12-course dinner as would have been eaten upstairs at Downtown Abbey before the outreak of World War One.
Wednesday, April 10, 7p, Maple Valley Library
Saturday, April 27, 11a, Renton Library
Wednesday, May 1, 7p, Des Moines Library
Saturday, May 4, 1p, Mercer Island Library
Sponsored by the Mercer Island Friends of the Library
Monday, May 14, 7p, Lake Hills Library
For some, the mere mention of “opera” leads them to thoughts of Bugs Bunny in a winged headdress singing a love duet with a viking-helmeted Elmer Fudd. Here at the library, we have someone who is just as entertaining, if not quite as fond of carrots, to bring opera to us. For over 30 years, retired middle school teacher Norm Hollingshead has harnessed his passion for opera to present energetic and fascinating previews of Seattle Opera’s seasonal selections.
Always well-attended, Norm’s lectures showcase his unique and captivating storytelling style as he spins tales of history and scandal; joy and sorrow; triumph and loss. His lectures are illustrated further with excerpts from his enormous collection of rare and unique recordings. Norm’s occasional “bonus” selections can include anything from Pavarotti’s first recorded performance to a tenor high-C smackdown.
In addition to opera previews, Norm also gives lectures on great singers through the ages, as well as on specific composers. One of his newest series is called The Unknown Verdi, and over several seasons gives previews of the 17 Verdi operas that have never appeared on the Seattle Opera stage. Over the course of three lectures each season, Norm uncovers these hidden gems with his trademark panache.
If you’re still unsure about whether you’d enjoy one of Norm’s opera previews, his own refrain should reassure you: “If at any point you have had more opera, or more Norm Hollingsead, than you care for, you just go ahead and leave, and I’ll keep talking until I’m done.” Trust me, you’ll want to stay till he’s done.
See for yourself at Norm’s upcoming preview of Seattle Opera’s double bill, Voix Humaine & Suor Angelica:
Monday, April 29th, 7pm
First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue
717 Bellevue Way, Bellevue
Growing up as the oldest child in a family of four girls had its perks. I never got hand me downs (good for me!) and I was the one the teachers would compare my sisters to (bad for them). Of course, those of you who were also older siblings may also remember that we were the ones who would get in trouble for what the younger kids did.
But I’m not complaining. As a matter of fact, I look fondly back on my youth–sister drama and all. Mostly, I marvel that somehow, with my slacker surrogate parenting, they have all grown into intelligent, sassy and lovely women.
Enough with the reminiscing. I’m sure the rest of you have women in your lives who have influenced who you are as a person today. Since it’s Women’s History month, why not take a moment to celebrate the woman in all her glory. How you ask? The KCLS way, of course. KCLS has many items about women and by women that will inspire, delight and amuse you. Feel like a comedy? Want to be inspired? Feeling creative? There are many books from which to choose. Here are a few suggestions to help satisfy that craving:
Or perhaps you need a little more interaction than just reading to yourself. Consider attending the Bellevue Friends of the Library Book Club where this month they are reading Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. Join them at The Belletini on March 20, 2013 from 10-12pm.
Interested in attending a program? KCLS is presenting A Place At The Table to inspire cooks and nourish communities. Patricia Tanumihardja shares recipes and experiences from her book The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook and Jennie Grant talks about raising City Goats.
It doesn’t matter how you celebrate Women’s History Month. Just don’t forget to thank the significant lady(ies) in your life. (And maybe you can include a librarian or two while you’re at it!)