Watched the Hallmark Holiday Movie? Now Read the Book!

Tis the season for holiday movies on the Hallmark Channel! Maybe you’ve heard about the movie from a friend or maybe you’ve already watched it, but you want to see how the book differs from the show? Here are some books that inspired Hallmark Channel holiday movies.

ANGEL TREE by Daphne Benedis-Grab (DB 80225)

Every Christmas in the small town of Pine River, a tree appears in the town square and people tie wishes to it; but nobody knows where the tree comes from. This year, four children are determined to solve the mystery of the Angel Tree. For grades 4-7. 2014.

CALL ME MRS. MIRACLE by Debbie Macomber (DB 73685, LB 06530)

While working in the toy department of a New York City store, Mrs. Miracle meets Holly, who is searching for a robot for her nephew. Mrs. Miracle plays matchmaker for Holly and the store owner’s son Jake. Includes recipes. Sequel to MRS. MIRACLE (DB 70101). Commercial audiobook. A Hallmark Channel Original Movie. 2010.

CHRISTMAS EVE AT FRIDAY HARBOR by Lisa Kleypas (DB 72388, DBC 16819)

San Juan Island, Washington. Bachelor Mark Nolan has custody of his late sister’s six-year-old daughter Holly, who hasn’t spoken since her mother’s death. But Holly opens up for toy-store owner Maggie Conroy, a young widow who yearns for companionship, and the three slowly bond. Some descriptions of sex. 2010.

CHRISTMAS TOWN by Donna Vanliere (DB 86731)

Former foster child Lauren Gabriel is not a fan of the Christmas season, but when she witnesses a car accident, she is drawn into the small town of Grandon. She is recruited to help raise money for Glory’s Place—a center for single mothers and families in need. Commercial audiobook. 2016.

CHRISTMAS TRAIN by David Baldacci (DB 55045, BR 14463, LB 10834)

Journalist Tom Langdon takes a cross-country train from the East Coast to Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his girlfriend. On the trip he meets a host of zany characters, including one who happens to be his former lover. Sparks fly until Tom’s girlfriend shows up in Chicago. Bestseller. 2002.

DOG NAMED CHRISTMAS by Gregory D. Kincaid (DBC 01593)

Discovering that a local shelter is looking for temporary homes for their dogs over the Christmas holidays, Todd, a developmentally challenged young man, persuades his reluctant family to take in a special canine named Christmas, who teaches an entire community a lesson in the transforming power of love and goodwill. First book in the Christmas Dogs series. Followed by “Christmas with Tucker.” Unrated. 2008.

MARRY ME AT CHRISTMAS by Susan Mallery (DB 83806)

Bridal boutique owner Madeline Krug agrees to plan the Christmas wedding for a local groom whose bride is out of town. The bride’s brother, movie star Jonny Blaze, steps in to help, with romantic results. Some descriptions of sex. 2015.

MISTLETOE PROMISE by Richard Paul Evans (DB 80430, BR 20624, LB 08564)

Three years after Elise divorced her husband for cheating, another holiday season rolls around, sending her into a funk. Then Nicholas Derr approaches her in the food court where they both eat and offers a contract in which they pretend to be in a relationship. Neither expects the consequences. Bestseller. A Hallmark Original Movie. 2014.

SILVER BELLS: A HOLIDAY TALE by Luanne Rice (DB 59402, BR 15767)

Widowed Canadian farmer Christopher Byrne journeys to New York City every December to sell Christmas trees. Last year his teenaged son stayed on to pursue a photography career. Manhattan librarian Catherine Tierney buys her trees from Chris and looks out for the boy. Love is soon in the air. 2004.

TRADING CHRISTMAS by Debbie Macomber (DB 73827, BT 13340)

Widowed Emily Spring of Leavenworth, Washington, swaps houses with Charles Brewster of Boston for Christmas. Meanwhile, Emily’s friend Faith travels to Leavenworth to visit her and Charles’s brother Ray shows up at the house in Boston. Unexpected romances ensue in both locations. Commercial audiobook. A Hallmark Channel Original Movie. 2011.

Ghouls for Love: Halloween Romance

Looking for romance with a spooky twist? Are you a die-hard romance reader but want to flirt with a little fear? Taste a little terror? Give some of these titles a stab. They run the gamut from historical to contemporary romance and some are sweet while others are a tad racy. All of them are to die for.

DEAD ROMANTICS by Ashley Poston (DB 108912)

“Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead. When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father. For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it. Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is. Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.” Provided by publisher. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2022.

EX HEX by Erin Sterling (DB 105193)

Small-town witch Vivi Jones had her heart broken when she was nineteen, and impulsively cast a curse on her ex, Rhys Penhallow. It wasn’t supposed to work. And it doesn’t—until Rhys comes back to town. The two will have to work together to lift the curse. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

LEAGUE OF GENTLEWOMEN WITCHES: DANGEROUS DAMSELS, BOOK 2 by India Holton (DB 107171)

When the long-lost amulet of Black Beryl is discovered, it is up to Miss Charlotte Pettifer, as future leader of the League of Gentlewomen Witches, to make sure the powerful talisman does not fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, it is most unfortunate when she crosses paths with pirate Alex O’Riley. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2022.

NAKED WEREWOLF. BOOKS 1-3 by Molly Harper (DB 99973)

Three romances, written between 2011 and 2014, about a secret community of werewolves in Grundy, Alaska. Includes How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf, and How to Run with a Naked Werewolf. Some violence, some strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2013.

PAYBACK’S A WITCH by Lana Harper (DB 105199)

Emmy Harlow is a witch. Her power is limited because of her self-imposed exile from her magical hometown after her breakup with Gareth Blackmoore. On her first night home in years, Emmy runs into the intriguing Talia Avramov, who is another, more recent ex of Gareth. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.

SOME GIRLS BITE: CHCAGOLAND VAMPIRES, BOOK 1 by Chloe Neill (DB 104541)

Merit, a graduate student in Chicago, is unexpectedly attacked by vampires. After being turned by a master vampire, she has to learn to fit into the society of vampires. As if understanding her new powers and limitations wasn’t enough of a challenge, Merit also fears that someone is trying to take her out. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2009.

SOULLESS; CHANGELESS; BLAMELESS by Gail Carriger (DB 81166)

First three books in a romantic steampunk series. In Soulless, Alexia Tarabotti accidentally kills a vampire, and Lord Maccon—a werewolf—investigates. In Changeless, Alexia’s new husband disappears in Scotland. In Blameless, a scandal forces Alexia from her home, and vampires want her dead. Descriptions of sex and some violence. 2014.

TROUBLE THE SAINTS by Alaya Dawn Johnson (DB 100117)

In Jazz Age New York, Phyllis, an African American woman passing as white, uses her supernatural knife skills in the service of a Russian mob boss. Phyllis once believed her kills served justice, but that changes when she reconnects with her policeman ex-boyfriend. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.

UNDEAD SERIES. BOOKS 1-5 by Mary Janice Davidson (DB 85448)

First five books, written between 2004 and 2006, in a series about Betsy Taylor, shopping enthusiast and vampire queen. Includes Undead and Unwed, Undead and Unemployed, Undead and Unappreciated, Undead and Unreturnable, and Undead and Unpopular. Strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex. 2006.

August 27: Lyndon Baines Johnson Day

On August 27, 1908, Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) was born in a small stone farmhouse in Stonewall, Texas. He went on to become a Texas State Senator and then later, President of the United States. After his death in 1973, August 27 was designated as a Texas state holiday in his honor.

This year, August 27 falls on a Saturday, so you can spend the entire day celebrating LBJ’s life and accomplishments. The LBJ Presidential Library in Austin offers free admission on the day. But even if you do not live nearby, you can still celebrate by reading one of the books about Lyndon Johnson in our Talking Book Program collection.

For More information

Books about LBJ in our collection:

For the most in-depth look at LBJ’s life, try the four- book series YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON, written by Robert Caro:

PATH TO POWER: THE YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON VOLUME 1
DB 18676,
MEANS OF ASCENT: THE YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON, VOLUME 2
DB 30837
MASTER OF THE SENATE: THE YEARS OF LYNDON
DB 54174
PASSAGE OF POWER: THE YEARS OF LYNDON JOHNSON
DB 74635

If you are looking for a slightly less detailed biography you might like to read the two-volume series by Robert Dallek:

LONE STAR RISING: LYNDON JOHNSON AND HIS TIMES, 1908-1960
DB 34378
FLAWED GIANT: LYNDON JOHNSON AND HIS TIMES, 1961-1973
DB 47275

Perhaps you would like to read a memoir written by someone who knew LBJ personally. Doris Kearns Goodwin was a White House Fellow in 1967, and her book is based on interviews conducted during the last five years of President Johnson’s life.

LYNDON JOHNSON AND THE AMERICAN DREAM
DB 09793

Or you could look at his time in the White House through the eyes of his wife, Lady Bird Johnson.

WHITE HOUSE DIARY
DBC 18116

Or if you are looking for a way for younger readers to learn about LBJ, here’s one you could try:

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: THIRTY-SIXTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
Grades 5-8
DB 30136, BR 08027

June 19: Juneteenth

Juneteenth celebrates African American Emancipation. With the following words, General Granger informed the people of Galveston that all slaves had been liberated on June 19, 1865.

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”

Celebrations following the declaration led to an annual acknowledgement and celebration of freedom to African Americans. Celebrations, today, take place around the United States and throughout the rest of the world.

In honor of Juneteenth, we have listed the books specifically about Juneteenth in our collection for a range of reading levels both in fiction and non-fiction.

For more information on Juneteenth: https://www.juneteenth.com/

Juvenile Fiction

JUNETEENTH FOR MAZIE by Floyd CooperKindergarten – Grade 3
DB 105650
FREEDOM’S GIFTS: A JUNETEENTH STORY by Valerie Wilson Wesley Grade 3 – Grade 6
DBC 04831
OSCEOLA: MEMORIES OF A SHARECROPPER’S DAUGHTER by Osceola Mays
Grade 3 – Grade 6
DB 50524

Juvenile Non-fiction

OPAL LEE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE FREE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE GRANDMOTHER OF JUNETEENTH by Alice Faye Duncan
Kindergarten – Grade 3
DBC 26479
JUNETEENTH by Vaunda Micheaux NelsonGrade 2 – Grade 4
DBC 10089

Adult Fiction

JUNETEENTH by Ralph Ellison
DB 48438; BR 12277

Adult Nonfiction

ON JUNETEENTH by Annette Gordon-Reed
DB 103364
FOUR HUNDRED SOULS: A COMMUNITY HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICA, 1619-2019
DB 102425, BR 23615, LB 13468

New Year, New You

2022 is going to be your year! We will help you keep your New Year’s resolution to become your own best friend and better yourself with this selection of titles on how to improve your perception, habits, and relationships.

RADICAL RESILIENCY by Steve Welker (DBC 05871)
After the authors were severely injured in an auto accident in 1994 they built a new life with their twins, despite blindness and numerous physical challenges. Now a motivational speaker and professional counselor, the Welkers teach how to become “radically resilient” in the face of adversity.

THINK LIKE A MONK by Jay Shetty (DB 102147)
Podcast host presents life lessons he learned while following the path of Vedic monks and then coaching others on the concepts of well-being, living life with a purpose, and mindfulness. Topics covered include overcoming negativity, learning from others, stopping overthinking, and the importance of kindness.

THE HAPPINESS PROJECT by Gretchen Rubin (BR 18710 and DB 70275)
Author shares her personal reflections on a monthly plan to improve her quality of life by the end of one year. Analyzes missteps, challenges, and successes in reaching her goals and shares the often unexpected lessons she learned.

GIFTS OF IMPERFECTION by Brene Brown (DB 76888)
The author of DARING GREATLY (DB 75619), a research professor who has studied shame and fear, emphasizes the importance of loving yourself. Discusses ten guideposts and daily practices for embracing life, releasing stress, and resisting the temptation to overdo. Some strong language.

REINVENTING THE BODY, RESURRECTING THE SOUL by Deepak Chopra (DB 69980)
Alternative-medicine advocate Chopra offers ten steps to connect body, mind, and soul. Uses his patients’ case studies to illustrate lifestyle transformations. Explains ways to achieve deeper awareness, focus on relationships, and transcend obstacles.

ATOMIC HABITS by James Clear (DB 92857)
An expert on habit formation reveals practical strategies for creating good habits, breaking bad ones, and mastering the tiny behavioral changes that lead to positive results. Shares inspiring true stories while drawing on ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Some strong language.

YOU CAN IF YOU THINK YOU CAN by Larry P. Johnson (BR 18602, DBC 04881 and DT 06967)
Motivational speaker and author Larry P. Johnson offers his advice on overcoming adversity. Johnson outlines his step-by-step approach to achieving one’s dream goals.

MINDFULNESS SOLUTION by Ronald D. Siegel (DB 71957)
Psychology professor maintains that practicing mindfulness can help us lead more enjoyable lives, while avoiding uncomfortable situations increases problems and misery. Suggests ways to identify bad habits and provides exercises, meditations, and techniques to benefit the mind and body.

RESILIENT: HOW TO GROW AN UNSHAKABLE CORE OF CALM, STRENGTH, AND HAPPINESS by Rick Hanson (DB 91235)
A psychologist gives advice on how to develop inner strength, based on the concept of neuroplasticity. Discusses how resilience is not simply enduring terrible things, but it’s also coping with everyday challenges like work, raising a family, dealing with stress and health problems, healing old pain, and more.

MINDFUL PATH TO SELF-COMPASSION by Christopher K. Germer (DB 73040)
Clinical psychologist discusses the Buddhist concept of mindfulness meditation–a technique to focus on and accept one’s feelings and thoughts, bring harmony into one’s life, and improve relationships. Uses case studies to illustrate methods of becoming self-compassionate and developing the ability to treat oneself and others with loving-kindness.

Holiday Reads

The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and holiday music is suddenly blaring through every radio station, convenience store, and shopping mall. That’s right, December has arrived. To welcome the season, we’ve gathered some of our favorite titles in a few genres. So, gather your coziest blanket and warmest beverage and get into the holiday mood with these novels.

Festive Favorites:

STORY OF HANUKKAH by Amy Ehrlich (BR 08929 and DB 33242)
Retells the biblical story that is celebrated by Jewish people in the feast of Hanukkah.

SEVEN SPOOLS OF THREAD by Angela Shelf Medearis (BR 13078 and DB 97859)
Tale about seven argumentative Ashanti brothers, who are given the seemingly impossible task of turning spools of silk thread into gold. They join together to solve the problem, thus exhibiting the spirit of Kwanzaa.

LETTERS FROM FATHER CHRISTMAS by J.R.R. Tolkien (DB 63808)
A collection of Christmas letters penned by J.R.R. Tolkien and signed as Father Christmas that were sent to Tolkien’s children from 1920-1943. Each recapped activities of the preceding year at the North Pole, including reindeer running amok and the North Polar Bear breaking the moon into four pieces.

MR. DICKENS AND HIS CAROL by Samantha Silva (LB 09285 and DB 87973)
Depressed about the failure of his most recent book, feeling pressured by his publisher to write a Christmas book, and worried over his family’s financial stability, Charles Dickens seeks refuge in nightly walks. On one, he meets Eleanor Lovejoy, who takes him on a Scrooge-like journey.

Hallmark Holiday:

ROYAL HOLIDAY by Jasmine Guillory (BR 22879 and DB 96768)
When her daughter gets a job styling a member of the British royal family for the holidays, Vivian Forest jumps at the chance to travel with her. She is intrigued by Malcolm Hudson, a private secretary to the Queen, but Vivian is supposed to return home after Christmas. Some strong language and some explicit descriptions of sex.

TWELVE DATES OF CHRISTMAS by Jenny Bayliss (DB 101994)
The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with dating prospects, but thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner’s best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. With twelve dates with twelve different men, she hopes for love by Christmas. Unrated.

WINTER NIGHTS by Francis Ray (DB 52196)
Compilation of three short African American Christmas novels. In “Until Christmas” Samantha becomes a housekeeper for Principal Rawlings and his twins. “Kwanzaa Angel” finds Erin being reintroduced to an old high school crush. In “Round Midnight” radio talk-show host Summer falls in love with her director. Some descriptions of sex.

Family Fiascos:

SEVEN DAYS OF US by Francesca Hornak (DB 89399)
The Birch family are under the same roof at Christmas for the first time in years, including Olivia, a doctor usually off saving the world. When Olivia is told she must stay in quarantine for a week, it means she and her family are stuck together for the duration. Some strong language.

CHRISTMAS STORY by Jean Shepherd (DBC 13520)
This edition of A Christmas Story gathers in one hilarious volume the gems of autobiographical humor that Jean Shepherd drew upon to create this enduring film. The pieces that comprise A Christmas Story coalesce in a magical fashion to become an irresistible piece of Americana, quite the equal of the film in its ability to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.

SKIPPING CHRISTMAS by John Grisham (BR 13636, DB 52929, and LB 04959)
Tax accountant Luther Krank calculates that a Caribbean cruise will cost less than what he and his wife, Nora, spent celebrating the holidays last year. Since daughter Blair is in the Peace Corps, they plan to skip Christmas. Luther, however, doesn’t anticipate the town’s reaction. Some strong language.

Murder, Mystery, and More:

FOOTSTEPS IN THE DARK by Georgette Heyer (DBC 11081 and LB 07187)
Locals claim it is haunted and refuse to put a single toe past the front door, but to siblings Peter, Celia, and Margaret, the Priory is nothing more than a rundown estate inherited from their late uncle and the perfect setting for a much-needed holiday. But when a murder victim is discovered in the Priory halls, the once unconcerned trio begins to fear that the ghostly rumors are true, and they are not alone after all. Some strong language and some violence.

MISTLETOE AND MURDER by Carola Dunn (DB 73122)
England, 1923. Daisy Dalrymple, her husband Alec, and other relatives spend Christmas at Brockdene, Lord Westmoor’s Cornish estate, which Daisy is writing about. They are hosted not by Westmoor but by his poor Indian relations who reside there. Daisy and Alec investigate when a visiting Indian cleric is murdered.

IN A HOLIDAZE by Christina Lauren (DB 101089)
With her life a mess, Maelyn Jones is looking forward to spending one last Christmas at her family’s cabin in Utah. On her way, she is in an accident, and wakes to find herself in a time loop where she relives the same holiday over and over. Descriptions of sex and some strong language.

Nonfiction Noel Narratives:

CHRISTMAS MEMORY by Truman Capote (DB 30913)
A late November morning and the exclamation “Oh my, it’s fruitcake weather,” conjure up for Truman Capote the memory of a beloved cousin, Miss Sook Faulk, and Queenie, a little rat terrier “who has survived distemper and two rattlesnake bites.”  They make fruit- cake on this, their last Christmas together.

MIRACLE ON 10TH STREET AND OTHER CHRISTMAS WRITINGS by Madeleine L’Engle (DB 63705)
Selections from forty years of the award-winning author’s reflections on Christmas themes conveyed in stories, poems, essays, letters, and journal entries. Topics follow the Christmas season: Advent, Incarnation, Epiphany, Glorious Mystery, Redemption, and Celebration. The title piece recalls a past Christmas when L’Engle feared her daughter had leukemia.

Cookbooks to Jazz Up Your Holiday Meals

The holidays, gatherings, and meals are on their way. Whether you are a seasoned pro at making food for groups, or you’re just wanting to try it out, there’s no time like the present to learn a new dish or two. We’ve gathered just a few of our available cookbooks in audio format to help you learn to make new recipes. You’ll find some trendy, modern cookbooks, some for your picky guests, and we’ve even thrown in literary cookbooks. You can find them to download on BARD or contact us to add them to your request list. Cheers to your upcoming feasts!


Popular Cookbooks

The following cookbooks are authored by TV stars, blog award winners, and famous chefs. These are sure to add a modern twist to your holiday meals and keep you on trend!

MAGNOLIA TABLE: A COLLECTION OF RECIPES FOR GATHERING by Joanna Gaines (DB 95673)

Joanna Gaines is the co-host of the TV show “Fixer Upper” and now has her own network. Collection of recipes for gatherings of all sizes. Includes a list of pantry staples, tools, and universal conversion chart. Recipes cover breakfast, lunch, soups and salads, appetizers and starters, side dishes, dinner, and desserts. Instructions include a brief introduction, timing, ingredients, and tips for specific preparation methods. 2018.

MODERN COMFORT FOOD: BAREFOOT CONTESSA COOKBOOK (DB 101418)

Collection of recipes by the author of Cook Like a Pro (DB 93340) that are geared to evoke an emotionally satisfying experience. Suggests ingredients which support the experiential nature of the food. Courses include cocktails, lunch, dinner, vegetables and sides, dessert, and breakfast. Bestseller. 2020.

PIONEER WOMAN COOKS by Ree Drummond (DB 72395) Award-winning blogger (www.ThePioneerWoman.com) relates her transformation from a city girl to a rancher’s wife after meeting and marrying a cowboy she calls Marlboro Man. Provides step-by-step recipes from appetizers to dessert. Includes vignettes of Oklahoma country living. 2009.


Recipes for folks with special diets

Do you have some picky eaters coming over? Have you recently changed your own diet? These cookbooks will help you make the switch while keeping the food delicious.

CONSCIOUS COOK: DELICIOUS MEATLESS RECIPES THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU EAT by Tal Ronnen (DB 70667)

Noted vegan chef shares his own and guest chefs’ recipes and dinner-party menus for vegan cuisine. Includes starters, salads, soups, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts. Ronnen discusses his favorite “super” foods, myths about veganism, tools and tricks for the kitchen and pantry, and using cashew cream to replace dairy. Bestseller. 2009.

GLUTEN-FREE CHRISTMAS COOKIES by Ellen Brown (DBC 01685)

125 Christmas treats which are made without flour. Includes cookies, brownies, meringues, macaroons and candies like fudge, pralines and truffles.


Literary Cookbooks

Spice up your holiday meal with recipes from favorite authors and recipes based on favorite books. Here are just a few examples.

HALLELUJAH! THE WELCOME TABLE: A LIFETIME OF MEMORIES WITH RECIPES by Maya Angelou (DB 59469)

Author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings shares favorite recipes from her southern childhood and penny-pinching days and from her more-recent repertoire of elaborate feasts. Includes anecdotes and stories of dining at home and with her good friends. Bestseller. 2004. Angelou, Maya — Anecdotes.

DEBBIE MACOMBER’S CEDAR COVE COOKBOOK by Debbie Macomber (DB 71541)

Recipes inspired by the author’s fictional Cedar Cove series. Provides suggestions for breakfast, lunch, tea, appetizers, and dinner, including character Olivia Griffin’s honey nut granola, Grace Harding’s paninis, Justine Gunderson’s crab salad, Zach and Rosie Cox’s ginger chicken skewers, and Bob and Peggy Beldon’s lasagna Bolognese for a crowd. 2009.

BEVERLY LEWIS AMISH HERITAGE COOKBOOK by Beverly Lewis (DB 64311)

Author of numerous novels on Amish life offers a collection of dishes unique to their community, including many from her maternal grandmother. Recipes include shoofly pie, friendship bread, snickerdoodles, apple betty, corn relish, and bread and butter pickles. Also includes kitchen hints and tips, Amish lore, and favorite scriptures. 2004.

Get Spooky, the Texas Way!

October is here! Halloween is right around the corner and this time of year we start getting calls from patrons asking for spooky tales, ghost stories, and witchy legends. In case you didn’t know, one great subcategory of these types of books is what we like to call ‘spooky tales of the Loan Star State’ and we have those available to borrow. So how about this year you get in the spooky spirit with one of these books about haunted Texas.

GHOSTS ALONG THE TEXAS COAST  by Docia Schultz Williams   DBC14328

Accounts of strange occurrences and unexplainable presences in the Texas coastal area. Violence.

SPIRITS OF SAN ANTONIO AND SOUTH TEXAS WILLIAMS by Docia Schultz Williams DBC14314

Steeped in history and tradition, San Antonio has numerous buildings and locations that, many claim, are also home to ghosts. Accounts of these haunts are given here.

PHANTOMS OF THE PLAINS: TALES OF WEST TEXAS GHOSTS by Docia Schultz Williams.  DBC14342

Stories of ghostly encounters on the Texas plains, including accounts of early settlers and Indians and reports of ghosts and hauntings connected with the old West Texas forts.

HAUNTED TEXAS: FAMOUS PHANTOMS, SINISTER SITES, AND LINGERING LEGENDS by Scott Allen Williams  DT07757

Texas history buffs and travelers have an eerie need for this book, which offers an unusual twist to seeing the sights in the Lone Star state. Organized by region–Gulf Coast, Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, Central Texas, North Texas, and West Texas–this book is the complete guide for both hardcore ghost hunters and more earthly tourists seeking to add some spirited fun to their travels. 2017. (Book in process. Coming soon)

GHOST STORIES OF OLD TEXAS by Zinita Fowler    DBC12016  

The author, a longtime schoolteacher and librarian, has collected twenty-seven ghost stories for the young reader and the young at heart. Among the stories are “Revenge of the Ghost Buffalo,” “The Ghost Rider of Stampede Mesa,” and “The Mal Ojo” (or Evil Eye). For grades 6-9. 1983.


GHOST STORIES OF OLD TEXAS II  by Zinita Fowler  DBC14332

In 1983 when Zinita Fowler began telling the ghost stories from her first collection, her listeners would often relate tales that she had not previously heard. Those stories formed the core of this second volume of folktales that are genuinely part of the Texas heritage.


GHOST STORIES OF OLD TEXAS III by Zinita Fowler  DBC12058

A collection of eighteen ghostly tales illustrating the cultural heritage of Texas. Includes ‘The phantom light of Old Ford Stockton, ‘Uninvited guests at the Governor’s Mansion, and ‘Haunted bridges’.

Staff Pick—John—ON HALLOWED GROUND: THE HISTORY OF ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, by Robert M. Poole, DB 71779

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer.  Filled with picnics, pool parties, and parades, it’s a time of laughter and leisure.  And yet . . .

Memorial Day is also a time for honoring and remembering those who died while serving in our country’s armed forces.  Perhaps the most compelling Memorial Day observance is held at Arlington National Cemetery.  As Robert M. Poole notes in ON HALLOWED GROUND: THE HISTORY OF ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY, “few images linger in the national imagination as vividly as this hallowed ground.”

The former executive editor of National Geographic, Poole explores the history and “age-old rituals” that make Arlington National Cemetery sacred, tracing its transformation from the plantation of a young U.S. Army Colonel named Robert E. Lee to national shrine. We travel from the Civil War’s “stench of death” and the horrific trenches of “The War to End All Wars,” through the “nastiest little war” in Korea and the shock of 9/11.  Poole shows how and why “no other nation goes to the effort that the United States does to recover and pay respects to its war dead.”

Poole enlivens our walk through Arlington’s haunting landscape with rich kernels of military history.  He relates the origins of the soldier’s lullaby we know as “Taps,” unearths the evolution of “dog tags,” and reveals the role Arlington National Cemetery played in the construction of that oddball shaped, five-sided building next door.

We meet heroic citizen-soldiers like sharecropper’s son Audie Murphy, whose standard issue tombstone is too small to list all of his 28 decorations.  Pennsylvania pig farmer Alton W. Knappenberger, who was “scared the whole time I was over there,” but risked “his life above and beyond the call of duty” at Anzio.  We follow the ill-fated odyssey of Michael Blassie, the Unknown of the Vietnam War.  And we keep vigil with the sentinels who guard the soldiers, “known but to God,” who rest at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

We also revisit that bleak weekend in November 1963 when we mourned President Kennedy.  Poole describes behind-the-scenes preparations for the President’s funeral, including the frantic, last-minute quest for an “eternal flame,” and the antics of Black Jack, the riderless horse who captivated a nation and bedeviled its handler.  President Kennedy’s burial forever changed Arlington National Cemetery.

Remember the reason for the season.  Make Memorial Day more than a three-day weekend!  Pay homage to those who gave their lives while serving our country by visiting ON HALLOWED GROUND: THE HISTORY OF ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY.

Cover of On Hallowed Ground by Robert M. Poole

NLS Annotation: Describes how the former plantation of Robert E. Lee’s family, which was confiscated during the Civil War, evolved into a national cemetery for veterans. Explains day-to-day operations and ceremonies. 2009.

For more about Arlington National Cemetery and “the saddest acre in America,” read Poole’s, SECTION 60: ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY: WHERE WAR COMES HOME, DB 80705.

Meet author Richard M. Poole in this 2009 “Talk of the Nation” interview: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120318330

Happy Thanksgiving

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” Henry David Thoreau

For many, Thanksgiving is a time to relish foods steeped in tradition and to reminisce as well as a time to give thanks. If you find reading about gratitude inspiring, you might enjoy the following titles.

Title: FOCUS ON THE GOOD STUFF: THE POWER OF APPRECIATION
Author: ROBBINS, MIKE, 1974-                             Original Date: 2007
Robbins, a motivational speaker and a former professional baseball player, offers strategies for overcoming negative influences to improve relationships, find success and fulfillment, and experience an overall gratitude for life. Discusses five principles of appreciation, the power of positive thinking, and the importance of acknowledging others. Includes exercises. 2007.
BR   17671    DB   66114   DX   66114

Title: GRATITUDE DIARIES: HOW A YEAR LOOKING ON THE BRIGHT SIDE CAN TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE
Author: KAPLAN, JANICE                                   Original Date: 2015
Kaplan chronicles a year in which she vows to live gratefully. Researching positive thinking, and promising herself to focus on the good things in her life, the author discovers the importance of attitude. She believes gratitude can transform every aspect of your life. Unrated. Commercial audiobook.    2015.
DB   82454

Title: GRATITUDE
Author: SACKS, OLIVER, 1933-2015                         Original Date: 2015
Collection of four essays from the author of On the Move (DB 81374), written after he was given a terminal cancer diagnosis and reflecting on the things and experiences in his life for which he was grateful. Commercial audiobook. Bestseller. 2015.
DB   83149

Title: UNCOMMON GRATITUDE: ALLELUIA FOR ALL THAT IS
Author: CHITTISTER, JOAN                                 Original Date: 2010
Chittister, a Benedictine nun, and Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury, present ways to find gratitude in a variety of circumstances, many of which may cause pain and suffering. Topics addressed are separated into the broad areas of “Discovering What We  Are,” “Becoming Who We Are,” and “Growing into the Unknown.” 2010.
DB   84571

Title: CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS; 101 STORIES OF GRATITUDE, FORTITUDE, AND SILVER LININGS
Author: CANFIELD, JACK                                                Original Date: 2009
Inspirational accounts of overcoming adversity. Includes expressing gratitude, maintaining a positive attitude, and being grateful despite economic hardship, illness, and other misfortunes. Commercial         audiobook. 2009.
DB   75411