Showing posts from October, 2010

Happy Cooking and Eating

October is National Bake and Decorate month followed by our national holiday, Thanksgiving in November. Encourage everyone in your family to take part in the creation and enjoyment of preparing food. Children gain life skills from shopping for the ingredients and following recipe directions. Start with a mix or use your own family recipe, and have children decorate cupcakes using a store bought or home-made frosting topped with sprinkles or jimmies. This Thanksgiving why not let the children at your table fix the trimmings for your holiday meal. Great ideas for your holiday meals start with the resources from our library shelves. Simple, quick and fun!

Cheesecake cupcakes and other cake recipes/ Brekka Hervey Larrew.
This book provides fun and unique recipes for cakes including: cheesecake cupcakes, gooey apple dump cake, and cookies and cream cake.

Hello, cupcake! / Alan Richardson.
Written for adults, check out the recipe, Nightmare before Thanksgiving!

Mom and me cookbook : have fun in …

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Take this opportunity to learn more about the most common cancer in women in the United States, aside from skin cancer. Here are just a few of the books the Mercer County Library System has on this topic:

Positive Results: Making the Best Decisions When You’re at High Risk for Breast or Ovarian Cancer
By Joi L. Morris
This unique and important guidebook is a single, comprehensive source of information and advice to help women at high risk for breast and for ovarian cancer because of family history and genetic profile. One part memoir, three parts 'how- to' manual, this book explains in a clear and steady manner the myths and realities of 'the breast cancer genes'. It lays out all the options in easy-to-follow, compassionate language. It will help readers decide if they want to pursue genetic testing, guide them in interpreting their test results, and give them a sound basis for making the life-saving decisions required to manage their risks.

Living Well Beyond Breast Cance…

Notes From Story Time

This Creeping Spider is one of my all time favorite crafts, and while it is great all year round, it makes a perfect Halloween decoration.
It crawls up and down its thread.

You will need:
Black paper
4 pipe cleaners
1 drinking straw
2 feet of string
Light colored pencils or crayons
1. From the black paper cut out this spider body shape:
Click here for the template 2. Decorate one side of the spider with the light colored pencils or crayons.
3. Cut one 2 inch piece from the straw and tape it onto the spider

4. Tape the pipe cleaners over the straw. These are the spider legs
5. Cut two 1 inch pieces from the straw. Thread one end of the string through a straw piece and tie a knot. Tie the other straw to the other end of the string.

6. Thread the middle of the string through the long straw that is attached to the spider. I used a bent paperclip to thread it through.
7. Hang or tape the middle of the string to a door or window. When you pull the ends of the string apart, the spider crawls…

Books to Get You Thinking

On October 6th, the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to acclaimed Peruvian author Mario Vargos Llosa “for his cartography of the structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat.” An icon in Latin American literature, Vargos Llosa is a prolific writer widely admired for his work that reflects the interplay of corruption and power in South America. The novelist joins his contemporary Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Octavio Paz in the foray of Spanish language authors who have claimed the Nobel over the last three decades. Over his lifetime Vargos Llosa has written more than thirty books that cover a wide spectrum of fiction, nonfiction and essays. A large selection of the author’s works can be found right here in the Mercer County Library system. Here is a sampling of titles that are sure to excite and enthrall:

The Feast of the Goat: An enthralling novel that takes a multi faceted look into life in the Dominican Republic under the brut…

Book Clubbing: Nelly, I am Heathcliff

Remember Merle Oberon speaking these lines? She was channeling Catherine Earnshaw, channeling Heathcliff. Catherine is the heroine of the 1939 film adaptation of Emily Brontë‘s novel Wuthering Heights. Laurence Olivier was Heathcliff (the fictional human - not the orange cartoon cat). The wild, dark, mysterious orphan Heathcliff (no last name) and Catherine are star crossed lovers, soul mates since childhood, tragically torn apart when Catherine marries a rich, conventional neighbor. From this, all kinds of mayhem and suffering ensue.

Have you read Wuthering Heights recently? When you were in high school? Never? Well, my neighborhood book club decided to read a classic this year. And what is more classic then Wuthering Heights. We were surprised to find that this 1847 novel, the only novel written by Emily Brontë, set on the wild Yorkshire moors, deals with an array of themes: teenage obsessive love, child abuse, physical violence against women, hysteria, ghosts, class conflict, patria…

SAT Preparation via Your Home Computer

I already see signs that test dates for the PSAT and SAT are just around the corner. Students are participating in practice test workshops, inquiring about SAT study guides, and having conversations amongst themselves in the library.

One of my favorite resources to share with the college-bound is a free resource that I wish I had available to me when I was in the midst of my college prep days! LearningExpress Library is an interactive online learning experience with practice tests and preparation courses, including materials for the SAT and PSAT. Some people shy away from the online learning experience due to the lack of feedback and interactivity. LearningExperss Library, however, provides immediate scoring, complete answer explanations, and an individualized analysis of your results.

Click photo to see a larger image.When you first access LearningExpress Library via MCL’s Electronic Resources page, you’ll want to set up a username and password, so you can access practice tests. By cre…

Just in Time for Thanksgiving!

No, not another turkey recipe but something that will certainly impress and please great Grandma and last longer than a stuffed turkey! Create your family tree chart using SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint just in time for the family get together.
From the Home tab, click on Slide Layout and choose the Title and Content layout for your family tree chart. Then from the Insert tab, click the icon for SmartArt.
From the category list on the left, click on Hierarchy. From the center menu, choose the first hierarchy option – Organization Chart. Click OK and the SmartArt Organization Chart will be inserted in your slide. Click on your chart and the contextual tab with all the SmartArt tools will become available for you to work with.

Now just click in the text boxes and fill in all the names of your family members. Depending on the amount of text you type in any given text box, the font size will automatically adjust in order for all the text to fit in the respective text box.

You can add new mem…

Meet Me In...

...St. Louis? Maybe not. But you can find some neat things to do around your own neighborhood by taking a look at these sites that do a pretty good job of listing area groups and events:

This social networking website has real-life social groups covered from autism to zumba. Users can search the site to find upcoming meetings of area groups that appeal to your interests. So if you want to find a knitting group or flag football league in your area, stop by and take a look. Users can search by zip code, topic or a combination of both. Search by zip code and you get three sets of results - top trending (or popular) groups, new groups, and groups meeting this week. Sign up for an account and keep track of your groups or set alerts for topics that are of interest to you.

Perhaps you want to spend a night out with friends or need to find something fun for the family to do over the weekend, but don't know where to turn. Eventful can steer you in the right direction. The site …

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series

Can’t get enough of the buzz surrounding the books by Stieg Larsson – “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest?” Try these sites for more information: – This website is a great place to learn about everything Stieg Larsson. Larsson was a controversial figure in Sweden prior to his writing the Millennium series of books – this site tells about his life, his relationships and the dispute surrounding his estate.

The Library System’s NoveList database for brief summaries of Larsson’s books as well as read-alikes.

Did you love the books? Hate the books? Both opinions equal great discussions! Find book group questions for all three books at -

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“The Girl Who Played with Fire”
“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”

The trilogy is also on film. The first two books have been adapted (in Swedish with subtitles), with the third on the way. For more information a…