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Sweet Fairytales from Hoopla: A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking and Fairytale Baking

7 Sep

A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking
by T. Kingfisher

My mother’s favorite children’s story was a Golden Book edition of The Gingerbread Man by Nancy Nolte; she’d often read it to my sister and I and now our children as well.  You probably have heard a version of it about a gingerbread man who runs away and no one can catch.  What isn’t really ever explained is how the gingerbread man came to life in the first place.  Kingfisher’s A Wizard Guide to Defensive Baking might give a hint at how it could take place. 

The hero of A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking, Mona is a fourteen-year-old who despite having some wizarding powers, works in her aunt’s bakery.  That’s because unlike other wizards, her powers work solely on baked goods; her familiar is a sourdough starter and she can create gingerbread man golems.  However, when a body turns up at the bakery, Mona’s life begins to change and she learns that her powers might be just what is needed to save the city from dark forces.  You can borrow it as a digital audiobook from Hoopla; Patricia Santomasso gives a stellar performance which brings the spunky young heroine to life.

If you like spins on classic tales, you might also want to check out Kingfisher’s recent adaptation of Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher, What Moves the Dead, which I previously reviewed.  Several of the over 150 audiobooks that Santomasso has recorded are available from Hoopla including the most recent books in the Lucky O’Toole Vegas Adventure Mystery Series.

Fairytale Baking
by Christin Geweke

Warning, listening to Kingfisher’s work might leave you desiring sugary delights, but Christin Geweke’s Fairytale Baking has plenty of sweet treats if you love to bake to cure your cravings. 

Fairytale Baking recipes are broken into five sections, before each section is a story that provides loose inspiration towards the recipes that follow.  The fairytales included are Snow-White and Rose-red (Classic Beauties); Hansel and Gretel (Sweet and Scrumptious); Mother Holle (Icing Sugar and Chocolate); The Star-Money (Divine Baking) and The Princess and the Pea (Airy Delights).  She also includes some helpful hints at the beginning of the book such as the proper use of gelatin and how to substitute ground nuts for some of the flour in a recipe.

You’re sure to find something you want to try in recipes Geweke describes as the type which, “marries exquisite classics with contemporary ingredients,” Like many classic fairytales from the Brothers Grimm, there are spins on German favorites like Baumkuchen Triangles and an Orange and Pistachio Kugelhopf or like the influential work of Charles Perrault‎, French delicacies such as Spiced Macarons and Crème Brulee Tartlets.  But every country and region have their own classic stories and hence there are also treats like the Austrian Light Sachertorte, Italian Tiramisu Cake and Asian inspired Matcha and Vanilla Cookies.  I’d like to try the Chocolate Hazelnut Swiss Roll and Macadamia Cupcakes now that the summer’s heat is receding and it is perfect time to have the oven on to take away the morning chill.

Do you have a favorite fairytale inspired book or baked treat?  Share it with us in the comments!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

LGBTQ Nonfiction for Hudson Pride Month

24 Aug

Last week in honor of Hudson Pride Month we shared some great fiction titles; this week we are sharing some terrific nonfiction works available from HPL and other BCCLS Libraries!

All the Young Men
by Ruth Coker Burks
In 1986, a young woman visits a friend in the hospital & notices that nurses are ignoring AIDS patients. She enters the quarantined area, comforts the men & creates friendships.

Girls Can Kiss Now
by Jill Gutowitz
A collection of funny, personal essays exploring the intersection of queerness, relationships, pop culture, the internet, and identity. Mainstreaming of lesbian culture is explored.

The Natural Mother of the Child
by Krys Malcom Belc
A memoir of nonbinary parenthood about how a trans woman’s experience raising an adopted son clarifies her gender identity.

Raising the LGBTQ Allies
by Chris Tompkins
A parents guide to changing the messages from the playground by focusing on the prevention of homophobia, transphobia & bullying.

Unprotected
by Billy Porter
A powerful and revealing autobiography from the award-winning actor who overcame a traumatic childhood of bullying and sex abuse to become a popular icon.

Broken Horses
by Brandi Carlile
A moving biography from the popular lesbian singer whose dysfunctional childhood helped to shape her identity and her successful singing career.

Cruising
by Alex Espinoza
An uncensored journey through the underground revealing the timeless art of cruising. Combining historical research & oral history, this radical pastime is examined.

Selected Works of Audre Lorde
A selection of prose & poetry from the self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior and poet” for new readers. Her literature focuses on black, queer women.

Celebrate Pride with HPL
In honor of Hudson County’s Pride Month, the award-winning poet Robert Anthony Gibbons will present a poetry reading from his chapbook Flight, dedicated to his former lover and the year they spent touring favorite U.S. sites. He will also present a staged reading from the Tony Award-winning play “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes” by Tony Kushner. The performance will be held on Sunday, August 28 at 1:00 pm in the Large Programming Room. Click here to RSVP.

Book Recommendations from:
Information and Digital Services Librarian
Ethan Galvin



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