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Delicious Digital Memoirs for you to Download

16 Mar

Hoboken Library Patrons have a banquet of eBook choices to sample thanks to eLibraryNJ, Cloud Library, and Hoopla. Here are three foodie memoirs with recipes I devoured recently. Let us know in the comments what some of your favorite books from the eBook services are.

Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way Through Great Books by Cara Nicoletti

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Voracious is based on Cara Nicoletti’s popular blog Yummy Books. Both feature recipes that corresponded with a variety of books that she loved (or occasionally hated). The memoir is broken into three sections: Childhood, Adolescent and College Years, and Adulthood.  Some entries focus more on her connection to the food and others to the books. She goes from breakfast sausage and Little House in the Big Woods to Wine-Braised Leg of Lamb with Wild Mushrooms in honor of The Secret History. She even has a fava bean dish for Silence of the Lambs. I think it would be interesting to see someday if she were to write a follow up about what her books/recipes would be for the period of Middle Age and Senior Years. Nicoletti currently works as a butcher, following in the footsteps of her grandfather who owned a butcher shop. This informs her picks for dishes which often have a head-to-tail sensibility that embraces the use of lard and other bits we often shy away from today. Her background as a former pastry chef is also seen in scrumptious sounding desserts. Two dishes I’d be most interested in baking myself are her Goat Cheese Pumpkin Pie and Blackberry Hazelnut Coffee Cake. Hoboken and other BCCLS patrons can borrow this book from Cloud Library! BCCLS will be incorporating their eBCCLS service into Cloud Library in upcoming months so now is the ideal time to check it out, if you haven’t before.

Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm by Molly Yeh

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Molly on the Range’s title is slightly misleading in that it does not just cover Yeh’s life on sugar beet farm on the North Dakota/Minnesota border, but also her time studying classical music at Julliard and her childhood in a Chicago suburb. This, however, added rather than subtracted from my enjoyment of the book since it was interesting to see her maturing and the contrast of her rural versus city life. Many of the recipes reflect Molly’s Jewish and Chinese heritage as well as including vegan and gluten free recipes reflecting the dietary preferences of her husband and in-laws. Molly on the Range is available to Hoboken and other BCCLS patrons from Hoopla. Although Hoopla does not have as large a selection of bestsellers as the other two services, it has the great feature of never having to wait for holds and it has a substantial selection of digital audiobooks. I recommend reading it on a device with a larger screen if possible since you will want to enjoy the lovely photographs and fun drawings accompanying the recipes. Yeh also authors the award-winning blog My Name is Yeh.

Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee

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Since I practically have an addiction to kimchi and am also a fan of southern cuisine I was excited to check out Edward Lee’s memoir/cookbook. Edward was raised by Korean immigrants in Brooklyn, but found a home in Louisville, Kentucky, where he took over the culinary destination 610 Magnolia. Edward’s a multiple James Beard Award nominee so as you might imagine his recipes are culinary masterpieces. Though one suggestion he has for aging meat in a second fridge may seem daunting to many home chefs, he frequently gives alternatives to some of the trickier techniques. His multicultural dishes include things like Chicken-Fried Pork Steak with Ramen Crust, Collards and Kimchi, Braised Beef Kalbi with Grits, and Miso-Smothered Chicken. Besides the fascinating dishes, I found his keen wit and insight about his life’s journey highly enjoyable. Smoke and Pickles is available on Hoopla and eLibraryNJ. eLibraryNJ is a great choice for Kindle users since unlike the other two services, users can check out books in Kindle format, as well EPUB which is compatible with most tablets.

Need help with checking out these eBooks? Stop by the Reference Desk, or come to our OpenTech Times on Mondays from 1 PM to 3 PM!

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

Broadway at the Hoboken Public Library, Part 2: Waitress, The Great Comet, and Hello, Dolly!

11 Feb

It’s been awhile since I wrote about my adventures on the Great White Way! (Click here, here, and here for my past posts about Broadway.) I haven’t been to the theater as much as I would like lately (life has been busy, and the Hamilton tickets I bought last year cost beaucoup bucks and wiped out my theater budget) but these are the shows I have seen recently.

Waitress

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“Sugar, butter, flour” are the simple opening lines of this show as well as the basis of many pie recipes. This musical is based on the movie of the same name, written by Adrienne Shelly, about a waitress named Jenna with a talent for baking pies who finds herself pregnant by her deadbeat husband and longs to escape. The musical stays pretty true to the movie, but definitely stands on its own.

The show was created by a team of women, including Sara Bareilles, who wrote the music and lyrics for this show. She released an album (CD and Freegal) performing some of the show’s tunes herself. My favorite tracks from the Original Broadway Cast Recording (on CD and Hoopla) include “Bad Idea,” “I Didn’t Plan It,” and “You Matter to Me.” Ogie has to be the most memorable romantic hero on all of Broadway, who declares his love via a song called “I Love You Like a Table.”

The scent of fresh baked pie wafts through the theater, which will make you hungry. (Don’t worry, the concessions stands sell warm slices of pie for an intermission snack!) What will stick with you long after the show is over is the strong bond between the three female leads, Jenna, Becky, and Dawn. You may also remember a romantic scene that includes some epic Revolutionary War era cosplay.

The Great Comet

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The complete title of this show is Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Certainly a mouthful to say, and a lot to type. I had no idea what this show was about going in, except that Josh Groban stars as Pierre, and I was pleasantly surprised by The Great Comet.

This is the sort of show that winks at the audience–the fourth wall is gone. The action takes place all around the theater, with the actors making use of the all the space and engaging with the audience. It was fun to anticipate where the actors will appear next, perhaps near you. If you’re lucky, the actors, along their travels, will give you a little box that contains a pierogi for a mid-show nosh. I didn’t get one, but that lady sitting next to me did.

You can hear the soundtrack on Hoopla, and borrow the CD. “Letters”, a song about email’s predecessor, includes the knowing lyric “In nineteenth century Russia, we write letters / we put down on paper what is happening in our minds.” Another standout track is “Charming.” I also recommend any track featuring Brittain Ashford, who plays Sonya. Her voice is delicate but full of emotion, particularly on “Sonya Alone.”

Hello, Dolly!

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Ok, I haven’t seen this show yet. It isn’t due to officially open on Broadway until Thursday April 20, 2017. But I am planning to see this revival, which will feature Bette Midler as Dolly Gallagher Levi and David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder. I can’t wait to see this show and these talented actors in the iconic roles.

To me, Hello, Dolly! Is one of the most classic Broadway musicals. Barbra Streisand starred in the 1969 film adaptation, but Carol Channing who originated the role on Broadway in 1964 is the best known Dolly. I love so many songs from this show. “Dancing” makes you feel as though you’re spinning with the actors. “Before the Parade Passes By” is wistful. “Elegance” is fun and upbeat. Of course, “Hello, Dolly!” is a showstopper. But my favorite has always been “It Only Takes a Moment,” which is sung in a courthouse of all places. What can I say, I’m a romantic.

Hoopla has several versions of the Hello, Dolly! soundtrack to stream. Borrow the Original Broadway Cast Recording on CD to hear “So Long Dearie”, which features one of the sickest burns to come from Broadway, when Channing as Dolly sneers to Horace Vandergelder, “snuggle up to your cash register”. Shall we adapt that one to the twenty first century, changing “cash register” to “iPhone”? Thoughts?

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

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