Tom Colicchio – Chef Extraordinaire, TV Host, and Author

tomTom Colicchio is a well-known American chef.  He co-founded the Gramercy Tavern in New York City and was the executive chef.  He also is the founder of Crafted Hospitality, which includes Craft, Riverpark, Fowler & Wells, Craftbar, Craftsteak, Beachcraft and Heritage Steak restaurants.  He is the recipient of five James Beard Foundation Awards.   I was introduced to him via the Emmy award winning television show on Bravo, Top Chef.  That I would be watching a cooking show is very funny because I don’t, and I can’t, cook.  I can read a recipe, but executing it becomes an inedible, unsightly disaster no matter how hard I try.  You would think I’d get frustrated or bored watching a cooking show, but Mr. Colicchio is the perfect host for this fast-paced competition among a varied collection of American chefs.

Mr. Colicchio has come out with a new cookbook that will appeal to the hearts of sandwich lovers.  It is listed below, along with a few other cookbooks he has had his hand in.  Also listed, a powerful documentary film he produced on hunger in America.

wichwichcraft: craft a sandwich into a meal…and a meal into a sandwich –  Shares the secrets behind the ‘wichcraft restaurant group’s spin on the sandwich, with recipes for their most popular offerings,essays on stocking the sandwich pantry, and an interview with the owners.

 

eatEat Like A Man: the only cookbook a man will ever need – “So long, dude food. Most men who love food have a roasting pan and a decent spice rack, but they’re still looking for that one book that has all the real food they love to eat and wish they could cook. Esquire food editor Ryan D’Agostino is here to change that with his unapologetically male-centric Eat Like a Man–a choice collection of 75 recipes and food writing for men who like to eat, cook, and read about great food. It’s the Esquire man’s repertoire of perfect recipes, essays on how food figures into the moments that define a man’s life, and all the useful kitchen points every man needs to know. Satisfying, sexy, definitive, and doable, these are recipes for slow Sunday mornings with family, end-of-the-week wind-down dinners with a lady, Saturday night show-off entertaining, poker night feeds, and game-day couch camping. Or, for when a man is just hungry”–

smartSmart Chefs Stay Slim: lessons in eating and living from America’s best chefs – Celebrity chefs including Michelle Bernstein, Eric Ripert, Tom Colicchio, and Giada de Laurentis provide answers to the often-asked question of how they stay so thin and fit when their occupation clearly is based on their love of indulging in food.

 

tecTen: All the foods we love and ten perfect recipes for each – Identifying thirty-two of our favorite foods, from roast chicken and burgers to mashed potatoes and cakes, a innovative cookbook presents ten variations of each food in a collection of more than three hundred recipes, many contributed by such leading chef s as Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Tom Colicchio, Anthony Bourdain, and others.

placeA Place At The Table (DVD) – 50 Million Americans—1 in 4 children—don’t know where their next meal is coming from. A Place at the Table tells the powerful stories of three such Americans, who maintain their dignity even as they struggle just to eat. In a riveting journey that will change forever how you think about the hungry, A Place at the Table shows how the issue could be solved forever, once the American public decides—as they have in the past—that ending hunger is in the best interests of us all.

What is the Next Book in This Series?

whats-nextIt is extremely frustrating to read a book only to discover it is part of a series, and there is no clear list of reading order. While some series are loosely tied together and allow for skipping around and reading out of order, others can only be fully enjoyed when read in order. To help ease your frustration, I am going to share the tools that I use to help determine the correct reading order. There are several routes to find the answer to this question, some are simple and easy, others require a little work.

The first way to find the answer of reading order is to find the author’s website. Many internet savvy authors, or their publishers, maintain websites with series listings in order and, in the case of multiple series, the suggested reading order for everything. Not all authors do this, but some have very helpful lists to help out their readers. Many include printable lists so you can easily keep track of titles you have read and what you should read next.

Some examples of authors that offer comprehensive lists or tools on their websites to find the reading order include Nora Roberts, Gail Carriger, James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Charlaine Harris, and many more. I highly suggest checking with the author’s website first before branching out and trying other avenues, because who better to explain the best reading order than the person that wrote them?

goodrdsIf the author fails you, do not lose heart! My second choice for series order, and further reading suggestions, is Goodreads. If you search for a book title, Goodreads will give you a wonderful amount of information. On the book’s page you can follow links to the author page or a list of book in that series (both published and sometimes books that have not been released yet) in order. The bonus is you get suggestions for books that might appeal to you because some authors list what they are currently reading or their own recommendations. For instance, on the author page for one of my current favorites, Maria V. Snyder, you can see her books listed by series, in order, and what she is currently reading.

There are also a few websites dedicated to helping readers find the next book in a series, or the complete reading order of any given series.  One website that I often use is well titled as: Book Series in Order which you can search by author or character name.  Order of Books is a second site that can help you find the reading order of different authors and series. This site allows you to search by author or main character. If you are looking specifically for children’s series check out Juvenile Series and Sequels, and if you need young adult series listings I would suggest using Series and Sequels. whats-next-in-series1

If  you still are not sure about the series order of the books you are reading or want to read, please stop in and visit our Welcome Desk or give  the library a call. We are here to help.

Why We Need Diverse Books

screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-5-07-57-pmIn your wanderings around the internet, you may have seen references to “diverse books”, maybe even noticed the hashtag #weneeddiversebooks. What, exactly, is this all about, and how did it become a “thing”? In a Twitter exchange in 2014, YA authors Ellen Oh and Malinda Lo discussed their frustration with the lack of diversity in children’s and YA literature. Several other authors, bloggers, and others in the book industry joined the conversation, and a movement was born.
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 This is not a new subject. In Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning American jacket-aspxnovelist Toni Morrisson’s debut novel, The Bluest Eye (published in 1970), the character of Pecola Breedlove prays every day that she will wake up with white skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair, despite the fact that she is an African-American girl. She reads “Dick and Jane” books, plays with white-skinned dolls, etc., and gets the subliminal message that white is normal, better, best. Percola didn’t see herself reflected in the books she read, which lead to her assumption that she was less-than.
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Why has diversity in literature (in particular, children’s lit) become such a cause? It has long been established that the world of fiction is a lot whiter than the real 20141021193246-wndb_infographic_squareworld. Today, so many kids and teens learn about the world through the media they consume: books, movies, magazines, etc.  As our country gets more and more diverse, shouldn’t our reading material follow suit? And it’s not only children of color,  physical challenges, or atypical family situations that benefit from diverse books. It’s a well know fact that fiction reading increases empathy in the reader, and reading about primarily white characters and culture can contribute to “otherness” and preconceived notions that turn into prejudice. How much better to foster empathy and understanding early in all children with diverse books.
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Where to begin? Here are some books recommended by WNDB to get you started. Let’s make 2017 a diverse reading year!
Young  Adult Books:
screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-46-46-pmX : a Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
Middle Grade Books:
screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-55-56-pmBlackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
The Red Pencil  by Andrea Davis Pinkney
The Way Home Looks Now by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Picture Books:
screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-4-56-52-pmBeautiful Moon by Tonya Bolden
The Twins’ Blanket by Hyewon Yum
Tutus Aren’t My Style by by Linda Skeers
Red: a Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Navigating the Mystery of Items Coming From Other Libraries

We hear you!  It can be very frustrating when you have requested an item and it is coming from another library and it’s taking forever!  It is a very complicated process that many folks have a hard time understanding.  We hope this explanation will give you a better understanding about why it takes so long for you to receive your item(s).

The main misconception is that someone here at the Cheshire library gets in their car and drives to another library to get the item.  What actually happens is the Connecticut State Library provides a service called deliverIT CT.  This is run by the State and paid for from the State’s budget.  At this time, libraries do not have to pay for this service.  They have 11 drivers/maintainers currently employed.  They go to 167 libraries daily, make 848 stops per week, serve 1,546,895 patrons, and move 15,000 items daily.

As you can imagine, this is a huge undertaking and coordinating it all is quite challenging for the State.  Here at the library, we cannot tell you what day or time of day we will get our delivery.  The delivery schedule is affected by a variety of factors such as vacations, illness, holidays, the weather, and the like.  Cheshire gets at least one delivery a week (although we have gone more than a week without any delivery on occasion).  When there is no delivery, there is no pick-up of materials going out.  The same is true for other libraries.  If they don’t have a delivery, their out-going items sit in bins waiting to go out.  We can have 15-25 bins waiting to be picked up here on a weekly basis.

When you see the term “in transit” on your account, that doesn’t mean the item is physically moving between libraries or that it will be in our next delivery.  It can sit in a bin at a library for many days (or weeks, in some cases).  Once the items leave a library, they need to be sorted before heading out to the various libraries.  What we have been experiencing here in Cheshire is that the average time to receive requested items is 2-4 weeks.  Some come in sooner, some later.   We’ll contact you when your item has arrived.

The Difference Between “Available” and “Ready for Pickup”
To also clarify, when you see the term “Available” on  your account, that means the item you requested is sitting on a shelf at one of the 30 libraries in our consortium.  If you see it is available in Cheshire, your best bet is to come in to get it or call the library to have staff place a hold on Cheshire’s copy.  If you place the hold from home, the computer software does not automatically select Cheshire.  Your account will say “Ready for pickup” when it is here in Cheshire on our Hold Shelf.

If the item you want is owned by Cheshire but currently checked out, it is quicker to wait for the Cheshire item instead of requesting it from another library.  You can call the library or come in person and we will be happy to place a hold specifically on a Cheshire item since this must be done by a staff member.

The State has instituted various guidelines to help reduce the volume of items being transported between libraries.  All libraries have been urged to comply with the established guidelines. (Please note, many libraries do not ship DVDs, CDs, or audiobooks – including Cheshire). The State has done an excellent job considering their resources and the volume.  Please know that they are doing everything they can to provide equal access to library resources for all Connecticut residents.

Another misconception is that staff can tell you what number you are in line for an  item, especially for a book by one of the most popular authors.  Unfortunately, our computer software does not have any way to determine where you are on the list.

I hope this gives you a better understanding of what it takes for your item to come from another library.  If you need an item for a specific date, you will need to plan ahead.  You always have the option of going to a specific library to pick up the item yourself.  Just call the library ahead of time and they will set the item aside for you.

4abc340cf5d893ff4bf6ebc17b29c221Always remember that if you need help locating an item, any of our staff will be happy to assist you.

Collection Spotlight: Lit Kits

When you were growing up was there a subject that you were obsessed with? Perhaps you are a parent or caregiver and a little one in your life has a similar obsession. Maybe you want to teach your little ones about your favorite subject, or you are a teacher and want to introduce a subject or idea. We have a simple answer for all of this, we call them Lit Kits.

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A Lit Kit is a box that includes a DVD, CD, book of related activities, picture books, and board books on a given topic. The collection of materials circulate in a blue storage box  for the standard 28 day period, the same check out time as out regular books, CD’s, and audiobooks. They are the perfect solution for entertaining and teaching our youngsters. We currently have 40 Lit Kits in our collection, with plans for adding more. You can place holds on the kits if the subject you are looking for is checked out. Our Lit Kits are located on the bottom shelf of the book case that houses our Parenting collection. 20161104_103952Our Lit Kits include: Firefighters, Babies, Birds, Apples, Winter, Shoes, Spring, Food, Sleeping, Chickens,FishFish #2, Transportation, Wheels, Rain, Friends, Monsters, Frogs, Summer, Colors, Dinosaurs, Animals, Families, Nursery Rhymes, Circus, Clothing, Pizza, Teeth, Shapes, Monkeys, Cats, Fall/Autumn, Bears, Dogs, Princesses, Bugs, Farms, Sports, Beach, and All About Me.

We are planning on building more kits, so if you have a suggestion for a subject please share it here.