Thursday, December 19, 2013

Off The Shelf: December 18, 2013‏

An e-mail newsletter from the Prince William Public Library System

Some hot topics trending this month:
 
Nelson Mandela – they came to honor him and to remember his life, and while watching the coverage, you may have wondered how to find out more.  The best place to start might be his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom”, available in multiple formats – book, downloadable audiobook, and as an audio CD.   Or try “A Prisoner in the Garden”, containing letters and essays written by Mandela during his years of captivity.  The music of South Africa was influenced by Mandela, too – listen to “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, the CD of the music from the film about Mandela’s life, or try some CD’s by the Soweto Gospel Choir or Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
 
Holiday music – according to Time Magazine, “Silent Night” is the most-recorded Christmas song, followed by contenders “White Christmas” and “Oh, Holy Night”.  How did they figure this out?  Apparently, the researchers at Time crawled through decades of information from the US Copyright Office, to determine which songs were most popular.  The good news for you is that all three songs exist in numerous versions on CD in our collections. 
 
Shopping on amazon.com – while there are customer reviews on amazon.com, did you know that you can look up product reviews in “Consumer Reports” here at the library and know you are getting real reviews from real people who have no fiduciary interest in the product being reviewed?  And did you know that you can shop at amazon on a special link from the library’s webpage, and by doing so, help the library earn a small commission, no matter what you buy, from diapers to a jet ski.
 
Surveillance and spying – the history of intelligence work in the United States is a good place to begin in order to gain some context for the current debate about national security versus privacy.  “George Washington’s Secret Six: the Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution” sheds light on long-ago intelligence gathering.  “The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles and Their Secret World War” is a fascinating look at the Cold War and how these two men influenced spy craft in ways still evident today.
 
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
 
Cooking for a crowd over the holidays?  Thinking of de-stuffing some of those old favorite cream and butter recipes?  Anxious to find a perfect way to impress your relatives?  While a quick google search will take you to a recipe when you know what you want to cook, nothing is better for inspiration than paging through a cookbook to choose a new recipe.  New books available cover every conceivable topic, and here is just a sampling of some of our latest: Family Table: Favorite Staff Meals from Our Restaurants to Your Home is a beautiful book with some amazing ideas for meals;  The Healthy Juicer’s Bible is one where the title says it all – get healthy and enjoy doing so!; Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pans has a lot of appeal to a busy cook;  Off the Eaten Path: Second Helpings is a fascinating tour of Southern recipes by Southern Living Magazine;  Breakfast for Dinner is a time-honored tradition for many a busy cook
 
And these are just a few – check one out and liven up your cooking today.
 
c) 2013 Prince William Public Library System
 
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