We asked a few of our librarians what books they’re reading and what warming beverage they are pairing them with.
As lake effect snow falls around the area and the cold weather settles in, it’s a great time of the year to curl up inside with a good book and a warm drink.
What is our staff pairing?
Classic cocoa and a play
“Three Tall Women” by Edward Albee is the play I’m reading right now. It is currently on Broadway starring Allison Pill, Glenda Jackson and Laurie Metcalf. I am pairing this with a peppermint hot chocolate, whipped cream and sprinkles. I have fond memories of going to Broadway shows in the middle of winter with the snow blustering as my friends and I briskly walk to the theatre and then pop into a café after for one of these yummy treats.
-Amy Pfifferling-Irons, reference librarian
Two books is her cup of tea
I’ve got two exciting books going simultaneously: “The Power” by Naomi Alderman and “The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye” by David Lagercrantz. I like to have one book I’m listening to and one I’m reading at all times. I might be getting the plot lines mixed up in my head a little with these two. Strong women characters, traumatic childhoods, hackers, justice and thrills: Check! I think a calming drink is in order. I like to have a mug of hot tea with a cozy blanket and preferably a Christmas tree to sit next to. Earl Grey with honey and cream and Raspberry Zinger are my favorites.
-Vonda Litwiller, reference librarian
Japanese book and drink
Hot sake with Yoko Ogawa’s “The Housekeeper and the Professor.” Unlike her other titles, this is just a sweet, cozy story about a talented math professor who, unfortunately due to an accident, can only remember the past 80 minutes. His sister hires him a housekeeper and every day is new, which definitely presents challenges for all involved. The housekeeper also has a young son, who the professor instantly takes to. They bond over baseball and the professor shows him the beauty of numbers.
This book is great for a snowy day. Every day is new, much like how the snow creates a fresh canvas. The math bits are just this side of complicated; to keep your brain engaged. And the baseball bits make you think of spring. Also, the book is short, so you won’t over indulge on sake.
-Marianne Kruppa, librarian
A hot toddy is the holiday spirit
With the snow, I always think of the hearty Scandanavians who brought us delightful words like Hygge and Kalsarikännit so my first recommendation is to pair either “Norse Mythology” by Neil Gaimen or, for those who like a little more youthful adventure, Rick Riodan’s newer “Magnus Chase” series with a hot cup of Glogg (basically mulled wine) for authenticity’s sake.
That is what I would like to tell you but really, I’ll be reading “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie and, like the title character, be drinking my tisane a la Katrina (tea with a tipple of whiskey aka a hot toddy). Actually, who am I kidding, I’ll keep the hot toddy but be curling up with a Christmas romance. All the bells, music, and rosy cheeks, oh my.
Tis the season for joyous celebration.
That’s right, not just for the holidays, but it’s time for another new Star Wars movie premiere.
EPL can get you all set for the debut of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” with all kinds of “Star Wars” universe titles.
Not only does the library have a great assortment of materials for checkout but we’re also showing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Come out and get excited for “The Last Jedi” premiering on Thursday.
In the meantime, here are some Star Wars related titles in our collection you can check out to get into the galaxy.
The downtown EPL book club has unveiled their title selections for 2018.
The club meets on the third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
According to club organizer Mary Ann Dubash, the books are chosen by the group from a list she gets from Indiana Humanities.
“I give that list to the participants and everyone who comes to the meeting can pick out a title,” said Dubash.
She said titles are chosen to span genres, fiction, non-fiction and even a youth title to give something for everybody.
“I’m excited about all of them,” she said. “But as a group everyone enjoys a variety of titles that they would never have chosen on their own.”
Here are the dates and titles for the 2018 book club:
January 15: “The Tenderness of wolves” by Stef Penney
February 19: “The things they carried” by Tim O’Brien
March 19: “A widow for one year” by John Irving
April 16: “Year of wonders” by Geraldine Brooks
August 20: To be determined
September 17: “Monuments men” by Robert M Edsel
December 17: “Vermeer’s daughter” by Barbara Shoup
According to Dubash, even when attendees don’t enjoy the chosen book, they always appreciate the experience.
“Most of the time they will say that they are glad they read it because it’s an experience,” she said.
New attendees are always welcome, Dubash said and that finishing the book isn’t a requirement.
“We’re very accepting and like new people coming and giving their viewpoint and their input,” she said.
“I really hope that if there’s even one book that they’re interested in and even if they just want to come and listen and observe the first time we’re all right with that.”
Barney the St. Bernard is coming back to be a reading partner for kids this week.
The trained dog, who helps kids gain confidence in their reading, returns for the November Paws to Read session from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 16 at Elkhart Public Library’s downtown location.
Parents can sign up their children for the 15-minute sessions by calling 574-522-2223.
<< Space is limited – call 574-522-2223 to get your child time with Barney >>
“The kids get to interact with something that loves unconditionally. He’s just a good listener – he absorbs every word and he doesn’t interrupt or correct or question them,” handler Renee Langdon says. “I’ve been blessed to be able to work with him and watch the children improve.”
Barney’s journey to become a therapy dog was difficult. Langdon rescued him eight years ago after he was abandoned near Wakarusa. He already was blind and had leg injuries consistent with abuse, she says.
“He had to learn to trust again,” Langdon says. “He couldn’t walk on a leash. You couldn’t put him in a car. The injuries to his front left leg weren’t anything that couldn’t be repaired, but it was a rough start.”
He eventually defeated his fears and became a good companion to Drew, Langdon’s first St. Bernard. Despite his blindness, Barney eventually passed the same exam required for certification as a registered Pet Partners therapy dog.
Pet-assistance therapy goes beyond guide dogs. They provide comfort at hospital entrances, Langdon says, and companionship at nursing homes. They have visited schools and libraries regularly, too.
Langdon has committed her volunteer time for years to working with children, particularly those challenged by autism or disability. She worked with Reins of Life for therapeutic horseback riding until, physically, she couldn’t meet the demands of mucking stalls and hauling hay bales.
She says she adopted a St. Bernard because she always wanted one growing up. During her first three years, Langdon volunteered several hours each week making visits. After Drew passed on and with Barney advancing in years, she’s had to scale back to schedule.
“I think this is best described as giving and receiving love. Barney takes it in and he dishes it out – it’s his job to love,” Langdon says.
As the calendar year winds down and the holidays ramp up, EPL has the activities to get everyone into the spirit of the season.
From carols to cards, there are a number of activities going on at all of the branches.
Here are all of the activities going on in December:
- Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Osolo branch, Resounding Glory handbell choir will be holding their first public performance featuring holiday songs.
- Thursday, Dec. 7 at 3:30 p.m. at Pierre Moran Branch, teens are invited to make Christmas cards.
- Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. at Dunlap Branch, make a Christmas tree out of recycled magazines.
- Thursday, Dec. 14 at 4:30 p.m. at Cleveland Branch, you provide the sweater, we’ll provide the decorations to to make yourself an ugly Christmas sweater.
- Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Dunlap Branch, sing along with Christmas carols and enjoy cocoa and cookies.
- Thursday, Dec. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Osolo Branch, bring the whole family to a special evening storytime with crafts, treats and stories, headlined by “The Polar Express.”
- Monday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. at the downtown library, we’re throwing a Christmas party with games, stories, a craft, treats and a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
All of our activities can be found on our events calendar.