About Linda S.

I have been with the library since 1996 and look forward to blogging for many years to come! I enjoy trivia, writing, reading, knitting, crocheting and other crafts. Also TALKING.... and sharing information. My blog has been perfect for me!

All the Missing Girls

Enjoy my review of All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda which will  be published on Tuesday, June 28th.

allthemissinggirlsThis was a suspenseful book, that had me wondering “who dunnit” the whole time. Ends up, it wasn’t anyone I thought it was!

Corrine goes missing after a night with friends at the fair. There is a huge search for her, and much finger pointing, speculation and gossip by the townsfolk. It seems that people both loved her AND hated her, adding another layer to the mystery of what has become of Corrine.

Fast forward 10 years and Nicolette, who was one of Corrine’s closest friends, comes back to town to help her brother get their childhood home ready to sell because her father has Alzheimer’s and is now in an adult care home. Within a few days, Annaleise, who provided an alibi for Nicolette and her friends that night at the fair, goes missing.

An interesting part of this book is that Nicolette gets back to Cooley Ridge and we jump ahead 15 days and tell the story backwards from that point, ending with the day she got back into town. I admit it was a little confusing. I kept thinking: oh wait… that happened the next day, so she doesn’t know about this or that yet… But it was a relief to have all the pieces fall into place as I finished the book and saw how things all played out, and it suddenly all made sense!

Did You Know? (Island Edition)

mythopediaThat the nation of Greece is made up of over 6000 islands? Only 227 are inhabited.

I found this information on page 84 in the book Mythlopedia: Oh My Gods by Megan E. Bryant. This book is full of fun little stories about the Greek gods and their “personality traits.” Poseidon was very greedy. The water wasn’t enough for him… he battled several of the other gods for control of some of the islands. If you would like to visit the Greek Isles yourself, I recommend taking a travel guide. Greece: Athens and the Mainland is just one of the books available at the library.

galapagosThere are about 180,000 islands on earth! Some islands are very well-known for one thing or another. The Galápagos Islands are famous for their animals. Galápagos: Preserving Darwin’s Legacy by Tui De Roy is a fantastic book of pictures and history of the islands. Ellis Island was the heart of immigration for Europeans. Angel Island in San Francisco Bay is where many Asians immigrated into the USA. You can read more about the immigrants in these books by Elaine Landau and Russell Freedman.

imagesofamerica

We have many islands right here in the Pacific Northwest! Whidbey, Orcas, Bainbridge, Lopez and Camano just to name a few. We have a series of books called Images of America that are put together by historical societies and have lots of pictures and anecdotes from a wide variety of Northwest places.

hawaiibigislandThe Hawaiian Islands are probably some of the most visited islands. Mountains, forests, waterfalls, volcanoes, beaches, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, golf courses, hiking, swimming…. The water is safe to drink and no passport is needed. Need I say more? Hawaii Dreamscapes Revealed by Andrew Doughty has gorgeous pictures of places you can visit and Hawaii the Big Island: the Ultimate Guide Book also by Andrew Doughty is the best travel book I have seen. Aloha!

Another ‘island’ is the kind in people’s kitchens. 150 Best New Kitchen Ideas by Manuel Gutiérrez shows picture after picture of beautiful kitchens; some with islands, others with design features such as angular cupboards, open shelving and herb gardens.

treasureislandAnd lastly, islands are the theme in many fiction books and movies. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Shutter Island with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Island by Elin Hilderbrand, Plum Island by Nelson DeMille and Lord of the Flies by William Golding are just the tip of the iceberg… which, by the way, reminds me that Greenland is covered in ice, and is the world’s largest island!

Did You Know? (Cell Phone Edition)

That nomophobia is a new phobia that describes the feeling of severe anxiety that results from being without your cell phone.

scaredstiffI found this information on page 112 in the book Scared Stiff by Sara Latta. Nomo is short for no mobile. Young adults between 18 and 24 are the most likely to suffer from this disorder. There is a check list to help you see if this is a problem for you.

In the book Talk Nerdy to Me by Joe Fullman, it tells us that 2,425 cell phones are lost in a day in the U.K. by accidentally flushing them down the toilet, with  another 160 being chewed by dogs. Imagine all the nomophobia that causes!

isitjustmeWith so many people having and using cell phones, cell phone etiquette is becoming more and more of an issue. Whoopi Goldberg talks about this in her book Is It Just Me? Or Is It Nuts Out There? She comments on people using their phones and having loud conversations “as if they were in their living rooms” at the theater, restaurants, and in their cars. Like many of us, she doesn’t want to hear your conversation… no matter where you are!

jerkcellphoneTexting is now another part of this problem. How many times have you seen people texting and driving or been at a restaurant and seen a family at another table and all of them have their phones out?  Hmmm… is that quality time or what?!!  The Jerk with the Cell Phone by Barbara Pacher and Susan Magee is a survival guide that is even more useful now then when it was first published in 2004. The authors have some good advice on dealing with cell phone ‘jerks’ out in public.

givesuptextingKatie Friedman Gives Up Texting (and Lives to Tell About It) by Tommy Greenwald is a story about Katie and 10 of her friends who give up texting and Facebook for a week to win backstage passes to a concert. The kids are faced with incredible challenges, such as using a phone book to make an actual phone call and writing a letter to communicate. It’s actually a real eye opener to see how much we really rely on our phones.

Zapped by Anita Louise Gittleman discusses some health problems caused by electricity and wireless signals. The problems stem from ‘dirty electricity’ and can cause heart palpitations, tinnitus, chronic fatigue, dizziness, diabetes, attention deficit disorders and a host of other symptoms. You can have an electrical quality expert take measurements to determine the severity of the problem, and there are filters that can be installed to help.

worldsscariestprisonsAnother ‘cell’ is a prison cell. World’s Scariest Prisons by Emma Carlson Berne shows us some of the oldest prisons in the world. You can read about the ‘squirrel cage jail,’ aka Pottawattamie County Jail in Iowa, which was a 3 story rotating jail that is now open for tours. Or read about the Carandiru Station in São Paulo, Brazil that was the largest prison of its time in South America. It was supposed to hold 4,000 prisoners but the population grew to more than 8,000. Life in Prison by Stanley “Tookie” Williams should be read by America’s youth as a scared straight type of story. He tells exactly what it is like to be in prison. His story was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

cellsAnd finally are the ‘cells’ that make up living creatures. Cells by Darlene R Stille is an informative book that shows all kinds of cells (skin, muscle, stem, plant etc.) and explains what they are and do. Just think, without these cells we wouldn’t be here to talk on our ‘cells!’

Did You Know? Gold Edition

trivialoversguideThat the gold on earth came from asteroids?

I found this information on page 184 in the book Trivia Lover’s Guide to Even More of the World by Gary Fuller. There are 150 fun facts that answers things like “What country translates as Black Mountain?” (Montenegro on the Balkan Peninsula) or “What pirate aided the U.S. in the battle of New Orleans?” (Jean Lafitte).

fiftymineralsThe book Fifty Minerals that Changed the Course of History by Eric Chaline also talks about ‘Heavenly Gold’ and some of the brutal history associated with nations acquiring it. Of course, there is the theory that the whole Earth was created from asteroids and meteorites. Comets, Asteroids and Meteorites by Roy A. Gallant is an excellent and informative children’s book that explains what each one of them are, and the differences between them.

gemsandmineralsDr. Kimberly Tait talks about meteorites being one of three kinds: stony, stony iron and iron-nickel in the book Gems and Minerals. While she doesn’t mention gold specifically, she does talk about how meteorites show us what the very first rocks to form in our solar system were like. This book has beautiful pictures and identifies raw and then cut gems and minerals.  The Illustrated guide to Rocks and Minerals by John Farndon is a wealth of information for any rock hound, especially a beginner! It teaches where to look, how to collect, and how to test and identify your samples. Gold occurs in two types of deposits: lode and placer. He explains the difference between them, and shows how panning is done at placer mines.

goldrushMany people trekked west searching for gold. Gold Rush and Riches by Paul Robert Walker is a kids book with tons of information and detailed drawings showing what the west was like during that time and the different ways prospectors looked for gold.

You don’t have to ‘rush’ to California to find gold; there are many spots in Washington where you can look for gold. Gold Mining in Washington State is a geological survey and gives precise locations of mines, with information on who owns it and how much gold it has produced. The book also talks about mining deeds and filing a claim. Fists full of Gold by Chris Ralph tells you what you need to know to (try to) get rich panning for gold. He tells you what kind of equipment to use and some ways to set up panning, dredging or sluicing.

goldilocksLastly fairy tales, along with the rest of the world, are obsessed with gold. Rumpelstiltskin made a deal with a Princess to spin straw into gold. Rump; the True story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff is a kids book that is a bit of a different twist on the story most of us grew up with. King Midas by Demi tells of his “golden touch” and there was also Goldilocks and the Three Bears (retold and illustrated) by Jan Brett. This version has lovely artwork with lots of fun details tucked into the drawings.

The Mad Woman Upstairs

madwomanEnjoy my review of The Mad Woman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell which published today on March 1st.

This book was not something I would normally have read. But the cover said it is a mystery, a love story and a very dark comedy. Since I do normally read mysteries, I thought I’d give it a go. This is Catherine’s first book.

I’m glad I did! It wasn’t the typical ‘who dunnit’ type of mystery. The story is about Samantha Whipple, the last descendant of the Bröntes. All her life her father has read and discussed their novels with her; emphasizing certain passages and family traits, preparing her to find her family’s lost inheritance. She goes off to Old College (Oxford) where her father wanted her to go…. The mystery here is twofold – first, why was it so important for her to go there, and secondly what is the inheritance he wanted her to find? The romance is one-sided (or is it?) between her and her professor.

I admit I haven’t ever read any of the Bröntes’ works, but after reading this book and getting to know them and a little of their history, I feel like I want to read them now!

 

Did You Know? (Eye Edition)

snailsshellfishThat the world’s biggest eyes belong to a mollusk! The giant squid has eyes the size of saucers, enabling it to see the movement of prey in even the faintest light.

I found this information on page 19 in the book Snails, Shellfish & other Mollusks by Daniel Gilpin. I was surprised to find out that squid and octopuses are mollusks. Another thing I hadn’t known was that scallops have dozens of eyes, all around the edges of the shells.

Taking Care of My Eyes by Terri DeGezelle is a good beginning book for very young children about how their eyes work. The Sense of Sight by Ellen Weiss would be excellent for kids a little older… especially if they need to see the optometrist.

bigeyeseyeswideshuteyeswideopen

There are many ways people describe eyes. Titles of movies and books are no exception! A few of the titles I found are Big Eyes a Tim Burton film about Margaret Keane and her husband who sold her paintings of big eyed children as his own. The Stanley Kubrick film Eyes Wide Shut is “a riveting tale of suspense” and Eyes Wide Open by Paul Fleischman; is a book that shows how we see (or DON’T see as the case may be) events behind the environmental headlines.

Whether your eyes are open or closed, you may want to learn to use eye makeup. Style Eyes by Taylor Chang-Babaian and Bobbi Brown Everything Eyes by Bobbi Brown are just a couple of the of the how-to make-up manuals we have.

ayeayeAnd, lastly, if you say it twice you have aye-aye… a small animal from Madagascar that belongs to the lemur family (Daubentoniidae) in the primate group of prosimians. They are nocturnal and eat insects, fruit, and eggs. They also have a special middle finger that they can dip between their food and mouth 3 times a second! Aye-Aye an Evil Omen by Miriam Aronin is a very good book telling you all about them, their habitat and habits and The Primate Family Tree by Ian Redmond tells about the relation of aye-ayes to other primates, especially lemurs.

Did You Know? (Marshmallow Edition)

sweetThat the world’s first marshmallows were made in the year 2000 B.C.? They were made from honey and the root sap of the mallow plant.

I found this information on page 6 in the book Sweet! by Ann Love and Jane Drake. It also tells about some of the different kinds of candy and ingredients used in candy making throughout history and around the world.

marshmallowmadnessMarshmallows by Tim Kinnaird and Marshmallow Madness by Shauna Sever are two really good marshmallow cookbooks. They look a lot easier to make than I had thought, and they have flavor ideas I wouldn’t have ever thought of! I can’t wait to try a few of these recipes myself.

candymakingBut, why stop at making marshmallows? In the DVD Candymaking Sharyn Pak shows you how to make all kinds of different candies: dipped, drizzled, and molded chocolates, peanut brittle and lollipops too! It is an excellent show to see if you plan to make candy because she shows the proper way to heat sugars, use a candy thermometer, dipping the chocolates and much more. All this same information is available in the book The Complete Photo Guide to Candy Making by Autumn Carpenter as well as printed recipes for many yummy goodies.

deathmakesaholidayAccording to the book Death Makes A Holiday by David J. Skal, the history of giving out candy on Halloween began as a way to buy off the kids to prevent them from being tricksters. The first known packaging of Halloween candy was in 1920 for Ze Jumbo Jelly Beans out of Portland Oregon with the prominent message “Stop Halloween Pranksters”.

On page 12 of Sweet it says that Americans spend more than $125 million dollars a year on Marshmallows, and half of all marshmallows sold in the summer are toasted over campfires!

Campout the Ultimate Kids Guide by Lynn Brunelle teaches all that you need to know to begin your camping fun and has the directions for making s’mores so you can start enjoying your toasted marshmallows right away.