Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Central Book Club: The Kitchen House

The Kitchen House
by Kathleen Grissom

This April the Central Library Book Club discussed The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. This novel is set around the turn of the 19th century and follows a young irish girl named Lavinia. Lavinia lost both of her parents on the voyage to America and is separated from her brother when she is purchased as an indentured servant by Captain James Pyke. She is raised in the kitchen house of the Captain's plantation and quickly bonds with the slaves who raise and love her, despite their different skin colors and situations. Through many years and tragedies, Lavinia finds her life turned inside out after she marries the son of the Captain, who takes over the plantation when he comes of age. Suddenly cut off from having the freedom to show affection to her childhood family, Lavinia must find the strength to protect her family in the face of ignorance, hatred, and secrets that shape entire lives.

Have you read this book? Tell us what you think! Feel free to comment below, or join us on at the group Central Library Book Club.

Would you like to read this book? Click here to find a copy in our library.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Staff Pick: The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater

I LOVED this book, and if you have a chance to listen to it on audio it’s a real treat! This young adult novel is told from the perspective of its two main characters: Sean, a champion horse racer and horse whisperer and Puck, who becomes the first girl ever to race in the annual Scorpio Races. There’s a twist to what normally would be a traditional horse tale, and it is that these horses are a mythological breed of man-eating water horses called the capaill uisce. A beautiful story with poetically descriptive words & memorable characters….this is one that all ages will enjoy & remember for years to come. And watch for a possible movie – Warner Brothers purchased the film rights for this book!

We have 3 print copies & 1 eAudio.

Reviewed by Clare.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Staff Pick: Home Front

Home Front
By: Kristen Hannah

Marriage, military and mahem. What a mixture! Jolene Zarkades was a loner who joined the military right out of high school. She finally found happiness in marriage and children until she had to fulfill her military duty in Iraq. Her family did not want her to go, but duty calls. She sugar coats Iraq duties for her family until her helicopter goes down and her whole crew is injured. This book makes you realize what life is really like for those who serve and those who give their lives for our country.

Reviewed by Theresa

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Staff Pick: Never Less Than A Lady

Never Less Than A Lady
By Mary Jo Putney

Lady Julia Raines had her reasons for living under an assumed name, Mrs. Bancroft, and acting as the village midwife. It had been years since she had run away, faked her death, and assumed a new identity--enough years that she was feeling quite safe in her village by the sea. Then three men knocked at her door and dragged her away to face the consequences of her past.

Major Alexander Randall was content with his solitary soldier’s life when he found himself in the sticky situation of becoming his much-despised uncle’s heir. On his way to begrudgingly accept his uncle’s mandate, Alex happens upon the lovely Julia in her desperate plight. After rescuing her from her attackers, Alex concludes that to truly protect Julia he must marry her.

Putney’s well-developed characters and use of humor keep this book entertaining and fresh. Alex and Julia must both deal with dark issues from their past and learn how to trust. The villains of the story, Julia’s first husband and Alex’s uncle, are more than just one-dimensional “evil” characters, and Alex himself is more than just an alpha male hero. The love story is sweet and tender and readers will find themselves cheering for Julia and Alex.

*This book is the second in the Lost Lords series, but a reader can enjoy it without having read the first. The first book is Loving a Lost Lord.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pretty Pots & Planters Tutorial

We recently did a "Pretty Pots & Planters" craft program at Central Library where we jazzed up plain terra cotta pots with paint and also decoupaged some with fun fabrics. This tutorial will show you how to add fabric to your pots for a splash of color in your home or garden.

For supplies you will need scissors, a foam brush, a terra cotta pot, Mod Podge, fabric, and a sealant of some sort. I used polyurethane, but I don't have any to show you. Oops! Seal the inside of your pot so that when you water your plant, the moisture won't seep through the clay and ruin your hard work. I used regular Mod Podge because my pot will be for an indoor plant. If you are thinking about using your pot outdoors, you may want to try Outdoor Mod Podge to extend the life of your pretty pot.

Let's get started! Using your pot as a guide, roll it along the length of your fabric to figure out how much you need. You need the fabric to wrap around the pot just once, and make sure to leave extra inches above and below the pot so you can cover the top and bottom completely.

I found it easier to begin adhering the fabric to the pot with the pot in the middle of the fabric, rather than starting at an edge of the fabric. Add a layer of Mod Podge on top of the fabric, smoothing it down to secure it. Work in sections, smoothing it down as you go. Your fingers will get sticky and messy with Mod Podge, so don't do this right after you've had a pretty manicure. I learned that the hard way! I peeled off my pretty fingernail polish along with dried Mod Podge. :(

Once you've worked your way to an edge of the fabric, smooth it down. Cut off any excess fabric from the other side of the fabric, leaving just enough to overlap the smoothed-down edge.

Once you're done covering your the "body" of your pot, snip off any excess fabric from the top. Leave about an inch of fabric.

Snip slits in the fabric, down to just above the collar of the pot. This will prevent the fabric from bunching up when you fold it down into the pot.

Use Mod Podge and glue your fabric down on the rim of the pot. It's ok if it's not uniform and straight--you will put a plant and soil in the pot and no one will know! It'll be our little secret.

Flip your pot over and trim any excess fabric. Mod Podge your fabric down, being sure to tuck it into the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot rather than sealing over it. You want your plant to have proper drainage and not drown! You can still see some Mod Podge on the bottom of my pot that hasn't dried. It will dry clear. Eventually. And ta da! Look at our pretty pots, one big and one small. Also one has a chip in it. But never mind about that. Please leave any questions in the comments and I'll try my best to answer them. Happy crafting, everybody!

*This tutorial was adapted from one found here: