Tag Archives: Donna Andrews

All the Hoopla about the Holidays!

8 Dec

I find Hoopla is my go to for fun holiday reads, movies and more.  I often recommend it to patrons for holidays from Hanukkah to Kwanzaa to Lunar New Year since Hoopla has lots of enjoyable holiday books.  Since my family celebrates Christmas, I thought I’d look at a few of the things I’ve been checking out this holiday season.

The Twelve Jays of Christmas
by Donna Andrews
Donna Andrew’s avian themed mysteries are always a hoot.  This year I’m listening to her latest audio book of The Twelve Jays of Christmas narrated by Bernadette Dunne who brings Meg Langslow, a blacksmith and mom of twins, and her extended family of quirky characters to life.  In this book, Meg must juggle a troublesome wildlife artist, Roderick Castlemayne, and her brother Rob’s surprise elopement plans along with the usual holiday festivities.  Many of Andrews other Meg Langslow mysteries are also available including several holiday themed audiobooks. You can read my blog post about her previous novel, Murder Most Fowl.

Inside Lyndey’s Kitchen:  Celebrating Christmas
If you are always looking for new holiday dishes to wow your friends and family like I am, then you may enjoy Inside Lyndey’s Kitchen: Celebrating Christmas.  They star Australian cooking host, Lyndey Milan. Broken down into three half hour episodes, she looks at classic, contemporary, and “lazy” dishes you can prepare.  On my must try list are her appetizers featuring duck breast with sour cherries and white gazpacho with scallops.  Also beautiful looking and delicious sounding is a raspberry terrine for dessert.  My favorite food, mushrooms, are featured in a Christmas morning mushroom custard.  Several other of Lyndey’s baking and travel series are also available from Hoopla.  As mentioned in a previous post our library patrons also have access to a variety of cooking and crafting videos from Craftsy that feature everything from roasting to bread making.

Midwinter Graces
by Tori Amos

I can remember as a freshman in college having to get up at 4 AM to stand in line for tickets for a Tori Amos concert.  I may not be willing to do that anymore, but she has always remained a favorite.  In Midwinter Graces, Tori puts her own unique spin on classic carols with her versions of Star of Wonder, Coventry Carol, and Emmanuel.  Plus enjoyable are her lush original songs like A Silent Night with You.  You can also borrow Tori’s latest Ocean to Ocean from Hoopla.  Also check out my previous blog post on eclectic holiday albums you can enjoy.

What favorite holiday items have you checked out from Hoopla for the upcoming winter holidays that you celebrate?

And don’t forget you also can check out a variety of holiday related items from our other ebook and streaming media services including Kanopy and Freegal!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services

They’ll Put a Spell on You: The Once and Future Witches and Murder Most Fowl

6 Oct

Here are two of my recent reads that are sure to bewitch you too!

The Once and Future Witches
Three very different estranged sisters reunite to join their powers in Alix E. Harrow’s novel The Once and Future Witches.  I enjoyed the unique interweaving of women’s suffrage in with the idea of women’s magical power being suppressed by men who labelled their magic as a weaker branch of sorcery, just as women were labeled the “weaker” sex.  As the sister’s explore their heritage and create new spells they also discover their path forward in life and find hidden strengths that they will need to overcome the obstacles in their path.  This is Harrow’s second novel after The Ten Thousand Doors of January. It is available in print and as an ebook.

Inspired to make some magic of your own? Check out Basic Witches: How to Summon Success, Banish Drama, and Raise Hell with Your Coven by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman.

Murder Most Fowl
Murder Most Fowl is the latest in one of my favorite mystery series centered on Meg Langslow, a blacksmith and mother of twins.  In this spooky edition perfect for the lead up to Halloween, Meg’s husband is rehearsing a performance of the “Scottish Play.”  Unsettling things keep turning up from oddly shaped mushrooms to a fragment of a creepy spell.  Although the book keeps to Donna Andrews light hearted touch it definitely has a much spookier atmosphere than many of her other works. You can borrow it in print from BCCLS libraries or as an ebook from eLibraryNJ (log in with your Hoboken Library Card for access).

Hunting for more fictional witches? Click on the links for our previous posts on magical historic fiction involving NY and books centered on magical family bonds.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

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