Tag Archives: valentine’s day

Who Needs a Box of Chocolates for Valentine’s Day: Sample These Library Books Instead

13 Feb

If you or your loved ones are chocoholics, then we have three sweet recommendations to check out this Valentine’s Day!

The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao with Recipes
by Maricel E. Presilla.
Maricel Presilla has two Latin American Restaurants in Hoboken.  She did a chocolate presentation here at the library when her book on chocolate first came out and it is definitely worth checking out if you have not already.  The New Taste of Chocolate looks at everything from the early chocolate rituals of the Aztecs to the new discoveries and innovations surrounding many people’s favorite treat.  You’ll want to try out of some of the recipes with your sweet this Valentine’s Day.

The Sweet Story of Hot Chocolate!
by Stephen Krensky and illustrated by Rob McClurkan

Of course Valentine’s Day isn’t just for adults.  It is fun to help my son get his Valentine’s ready for his class at school.  I remember how excited I was was each year as a kid to pick out the special card that was meant for all of my BFFs in my class.  My son enjoyed this look at the history of hot chocolate that covers the history of winter’s perfect beverage including facts like chocolate being part of the rations for Revolutionary soldiers. The Sweet Story of Hot Chocolate! is best shared with a cup of warm cocoa with a sprinkling of marshmallows.  On Valentine’s Day the library is holding cookie decorating for kids; click here to learn more.  For healthy foodie fun for kids you also can check out our Cooks & Books Program.

The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg with Ann Krueger Spivack and Susie Heller
If – like me – you have enjoyed Scharffen Berger chocolates, then you will want to check out this cookbook, the first from the duo behind the gourmet treats. The Essence of Chocolate includes sweet desserts like White Velvet Cake with Milk Chocolate Ganache, but also savory dishes like vegetarian chili and a cocoa rub (perfect for a Valentine’s Day dinner). The book has three sections “Intensely Chocolate”, “Essentially Chocolate” and “A Hint of Chocolate”.  You will also learn useful tips and get a behind the scenes look at how chocolate is created.

If you are looking for some chocolatey fiction check out our previous blog post where I discuss a trio of novels where chocolate helps magic and romance happen.  You can also get some Valentine’s Day song recommendations from us!

Have a favorite book about chocolate or one with great Valentine’s Day recipes?  Share it with us in the comments!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

14 Love Songs for Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Today is Valentine’s Day!


If you’re celebrating, I have some music selections for you in the following list. All are available to borrow from the library or through interlibrary loan.

Alternatively, if you’re not feeling lovey-dovey, click here for the anti-love songs list from last week.

1. The Everly Brothers, “All I Have to Do Is Dream”.

Any song that encourages day-dreaming is good with me.

2. The Velvet Underground, “I’m Sticking with You

A quirky yet sweet duet between Lou Reed and Maureen Tucker.

3. “It Only Takes a Moment” from Hello, Dolly!

This classic from Hello, Dolly! found a new audience after Wall-E.

4. Paul McCartney, “Silly Love Songs

Valentine’s Day is the most appropriate time to listen to silly love songs.

5. Johnny Cash, “Rose of My Heart

Borrow Walk the Line to see more about Johnny and June’s epic, enduring relationship.

6. A-Ha, “Take On Me

Boy digs Girl so much that he busts out the comics to be with her. Awww.

7. Mazzy Star, “Fade Into You

Hope Sandoval’s ethereal vocals make this song special.

8. Aaliyah, “One In a Million

Who doesn’t want to be told that they’re “one in a million”?

9. Best Coast, “When I’m With You

An easy, breezy love song, and the video is set in sunny Southern California.

10. Neko Case, “This Tornado Loves You

A song about an unrequited love that is as strong and destructive as a tornado.

11. Meiko, “Stuck On You

This song was featured in a cat food commercial, and it’s too cute to keep off the list.

12. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Home

The banter between Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos is so much fun to listen to.

13. Bastille, “Flaws

The singer says his and his love’s flaws make “a wonderful mess”–the best kind.

14. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, “Let Them Knock

If you’re looking for a song to play for a romantic evening, your search ends here.

Bonus Track

Rihanna, “Umbrella

I believe that Valentine’s Day celebrates all types of love. With that in mind, this is a song for everyone you care about.

What are your favorite love songs?

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

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