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Meet me at the Renaissance Faire: Books and More for Ren Faire Fans of all Ages!

25 Sep

Now that summer has come to an end, I am looking forward to the cooler autumn day and one of my favorite outings to do with family and friends-heading to the Renaissance Faire, where jousts are recreated, giant turkey legs are devoured, and many attendees enjoy participating in period garb.  For my fellow faire fans, I hope you enjoy your visits and check out some of the items available to our Hoboken patrons.

For Kids and Teens

All’s Faire in Middle School
by Victoria Jamieson
All's Faire in Middle School
Imogene is a homeschooled eleven year old whose parents work at a Renaissance Faire, who must now make the transition to a public middle school.  This graphic novel of a would-be knight-in-training battling the “dragons” of middle school is a good read for tweens looking to fight for their place in a frequently less than chivalrous world.

Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself
by Kris Bordessa and Shawn Braley

Great Medieval Projects

Image from Hoopladigital.com

My son loves stories of knights and wizards. If your child too is enamored with fantasy or tales from the middle ages than they may enjoy Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself which includes activities geared towards kids ages 9 to 12. Besides the fun hands on activities children are also provided with historically accurate information that will give them an understanding of the period that laid the foundation for the renaissance.

My Faire Lady
by Laura Wettersten
My Faire Lady
In My Faire Lady, Rowena gets a surprising summer job after her boyfriend cheats on her and she wants an excuse to get out of town.  New experiences and new romance blossom for her at the Ren Faire.

For Adults

American Princess

American Princess

Image from Hoopladigital.com

In American Princess, an Upper East Side “Princess” dream wedding is derailed when she catches her husband cheating on her.  In her escape from her wedding venue, she stumbles on a Renaissance Festival whose staff take her in and provide her with a job and a family while her ego and psyche heal.   I missed the show when it premiered at the beginning of the summer so was happy when I saw it available from Hoopla.  I found it delightfully funny.  The creator based it on her own experience working at a Renaissance Faire.  It is rated MA and has bawdy humor on occasion so is recommended only for adult viewers.

Hard Day’s Knight
by Katie MacAlister
Hard Day's Knight
Another fun romance choice available from Hoopla is the audiobook of Katie MacAlister’s Hard Day’s Knight read by Karen White, where Pepper Marsh is looking for her prince at Ontario’s Renaissance Faire.  Walker McPahil rescues her from being trampled, but can she break through the armor around his heart?  This title is also available in print and large print from BCCLS libraries.

Ren Faire Romance Series
by A.J. Marcus
Jouster's Lance
In Ren Faire Romance, a series from Dreamspinner Press (who specializes in LGBTQ fiction),  A.J. Marcus’s characters find the men of their dreams amongst the jousters, falconers, and archers at Renaissance Festivals.  Part one begins with the Jouster’s Lance.

Looking for great music to listen to on your way to a Renaissance Faire?  Check out my previous blog post.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

eBCCLS is so Cheesy!: Check out these ebooks and learn all about enjoying and making cheese!

21 Aug

My family and I are all huge cheese fans. Whether you are already enjoy eating or making cheese or are just curious about trying out new cheeses beyond the plastic wrapped day-glow orange “American” then check out some of these cheesy ebooks.

A Year in Cheese: A Seasonal Cheese Cookbook 
by Alex Guarneri and Leo Guarneri
Year in Cheese
Recently my husband and I were shopping for cheese and noticed his favorite cheese: Red Hawk by Cow Girl Creamery was listed as a seasonal cheese. I often think of fruits and veggies as seasonal, but hadn’t till that moment thought of cheeses as a seasonal food. In A Year in Cheese, Guarneri looks at the optimal times to eat different types of cheeses. Things like the seasonal diet of the animal being milked and optimal maturing times both are components on determining the best times for cheeses. Summer is all about fresh cheeses like ricotta and mozzarella. Soon we will be coming on the peak time for autumn cheeses when they recommended medium-hard cheeses. Included are a variety of delicious seasonal dishes including fig and ricotta tart, cheddar rarebit with cauliflower, and baked camembert with rosemary.

Say Cheese: A Kid’s Guide to Cheese Making
by Ricki Carroll and Sarah Carroll
Say Cheese
My son loves cheeses; his favorites are Midnight Moon and mozzarella. Recently we bought a kit to make our own mozzarella, but felt a bit intimidated since we’ve enjoyed eating cheese, but never tried making it ourselves. Say Cheese makes cheese making look fun and easy. Though cheese making is something best done with some adult assistants for younger children, all ages will enjoy the fun fact the book contains such as that eating cheese helps to neutralize acids that cause cavities and helps create a protective film on teeth. Besides recipes for cheeses like feta and ricotta it also contains kid friendly recipes like quesadillas and mac and cheese.

Homemade Cheese: Recipes for 50 Cheeses from Artisan Cheesmakers
by Janet Hurst
Homemade Cheese
For those ready to move on to more complicated cheese, Janet Hurst’s Homemade Cheese has recipes for everything from Cheddar to Brie and Blue Cheese. She discusses a variety of topics including molds, aging cheeses and rennet- an ingredient used in the cheesemaking process. I also found interesting her descriptions of the cheesmakers she encountered some of whom provided recipes for the book.

Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge
by Gordon Edgar
Cheesemonger
Hurst’s book gives insight into those making cheese, but if you are curious about the life of the cheesemonger who sells you cheese then check out Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge. Gordon Edgar, the cheese buyer for Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco, was not a typically trained culinary expert, but started out as a punk rock activist. The memoir details his quirky experience working in San Francisco as well as his passion for fromage. Although the book is not intended to be a guide book, it does give overviews at the end of chapters of some of the cheeses that Edgar’s discusses.

Composing the Cheese Plate: Recipes, Pairings, & Platings for the Inventive Cheese Course
by Brian Keyser and Leigh Friend
Cheese Plate
One of my favorite things to share for entertaining are cheese plates. We like to bring cheese with us when we go to conventions and we know we might have friends hanging out in our room after panels (a step up from chips and dip). Whether homemade or bought from a store, cheese plates provide a variety of taste to choose from, are elegant without seeming too fussy and allow your guests the fun of trying something new. Brian Keyser and Leigh Friend step readers through the process in Composing the Cheese Plate with information on topics including the different categories of cheeses, recommendations about lactose intolerance and eating cheese during pregnancy, and suggestions for accompaniments, presentation, how to wrap cheeses, and more. Included are all sorts of accompaniments for your cheese plate such as herbes de provence caramel corn, brown sugar fudge, and rosemary pine nuts that can also be used in a variety of dishes.

Other ebooks available from eBCCLS include Vegan Cheese: Simple, Delicious Plant-Based Recipes by Jules Aron, The Book of Cheese: The Essential Guide to Discovering Cheeses You’ll Love by Liz Thorpe, Sheridan’s Guide to Cheese: A Guide to High-Quality Artisan Farmhouse Cheeses by Kevin Sheridan and For the Love of Cheese: Recipes and Wisdom from the Cheese Boutique by Afrim Pristine. You can even read The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy by Neal D Barnard which won’t stop me from enjoying cheese, but is a reminder that all things are best in moderation.

Besides eBCCLS, Hoboken residents can also check out ebooks from eLibraryNJ and Hoopla!  Plus you can borrow magazines from RBdigital including foodie favorites like Bon Appetite, Cook’s Illustrated and Food Network Magazine.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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