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Posted to Campbell Unclassified on March 17, 2022 at 3:16 PM by Genesis Gaule
Curiosity is probably my strongest characteristic. It shows up most strongly when I meet new people. Sometimes, I meet them in person at the library or when I’m traveling. Even more often, I meet new people in books.
There is never the awkward stumbling through an initial conversation. No wondering if I’m saying something offensive or confusing while reading. The author introduces me to someone new and away I go into finding out all about them.
My curiosity leads me to ask questions, even when reading. “Why would he do that?,” will send me back through the pages to catch what I must have missed. Fictional characters’ actions are often well explained in a book. Then there are the historical books which sometimes give one view of a moment in our past. I especially enjoy histories of groups of people like Warriors in Uniform: the Legacy of American Indian Heroism by Herman Viola. It had personal stories and the history that put their stories into context. I enjoyed a lot of the pictures also.
Memoirs are a real person’s retelling of an event or life experience through an emotional lens. Will I learn about the person? Absolutely. Some personal stories are told through important messages they want to share as in Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley.
How many times have you asked a question like “Is Sam your oldest brother or cousin?” That’s done when in the presence of another person. No matter how many times we visit with that individual, we can’t keep those details straight. A good amount of credit needs to go to people who can remember all the details about a person they meet like Sherlock Holmes does or Detective Vale in The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. Yes, that one’s fiction but I’m connected to all the characters. I also ask why about actions or viewpoints and sometimes get answers from living and breathing people though this can be much easier in a book. When searching for an answer in a book, there is no consequence for rereading a page to find the answer like there might be by asking, “What’s your name again?”.
Another way to get to know people who I can’t find in our community is to read their folklore or stories based on them. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri includes the epics of India as the background. Stories set in a real location in a different time, brings the people of those parts of the world to life. Noor by Nnedi Okorafor is another science fiction novel that uses African culture as a backdrop. In it, I met Fulani herdsman which I knew nothing about before reading this fictional story.
Our Library also has some great children’s biographical picture books. The stories are true but placed in a story format. We even have graphical biographies which are wonderful fun to read.
With so many options, you could make new acquaintances every day at the library. It’s OK if you don’t remember the title or the author or the name of the character. Ask one of us and we’ll help you locate it. We love to be asked, “What is the name of the book that has the colorful cover with eyes looking out at me?” We’ll start asking you questions and very likely find your book. “Is it about a tracker?”
“Yes,” you say and we answer with the title or walk you over to find the book. By the way, that is Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James which gives us a look into African history and mythology through a fictional tale.
Curiosity is great. Keep asking questions and discovering who else is out there.
Tag(s): science fiction, recommendations, reading, nonfiction, memoirs, history, health and wellness, folklore, fiction, culture, Charlotte Helgeson, biography, biographies, autobiography, autobiographies, article
Posted to Campbell Unclassified on September 20, 2021 at 9:47 AM by Genesis Gaule
The changing of the seasons brings cooler weather and paints the landscape in vivid colors. As we get back into the swing of our fall routines and don our sweaters, let’s take time to celebrate Hispanic Heritage! National Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15 and reminds us to celebrate rich culture, history, delicious food, as well as bring awareness to the struggles Hispanic communities face.
As with many other “national” months such as Black history month and Pride month, one of my favorite things to do is to read books written by authors on their experiences. Both nonfiction and fiction are great looks into others experiences or see yourself reflected. The joy I feel when reading children’s picture books that feature Hispanic representation is unmatched, knowing that my younger family members will learn to love their Hispanic heritage. Below are some books from our collection written by and about Hispanic people!
These picture books feature bilingual and/or Hispanic main characters, and they are a great way to learn some Spanish vocabulary!
by Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios
While visiting her abuelo in Cuba, a young girl helps him sell frutas, singing the name of each fruit as they walk, and after she returns to the United States, they exchange letters made of abrazos--hugs. Includes historical and cultural notes.
by Lucky Diaz and Micah Player
Follow along with our narrator as he passes through his busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he finally catches up with him, our narrator's pockets are empty. Oh no! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now!
by Pam Munoz Ryan
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression. // Also available en Español
by Justin A. Reynolds
Miles Morales is a normal kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man. After a disastrous earthquake strikes his mother's birthplace of Puerto Rico, Miles springs into action to help set up a fundraiser for the devastated island. But when a new student's father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles' fundraiser.
by J. Malcolm Garcia
In this book, J. Malcolm Garcia reports from across the country and abroad, profiling veterans who have been deported, as well as the families and friends they have left behind. Without a Country analyzes the political and cultural climate that has led America here and takes a hard look at the toll deportation has taken on veterans and their communities.
by Noé Álvarez
Álvarez writes not only of overcoming hunger, thirst, and fear--dangers included stone-throwing motorists and a mountain lion--but also of asserting Indigenous and working-class humanity in a capitalist society where oil extraction, deforestation, and substance abuse wreck communities. Running through mountains, deserts, and cities, and through the Mexican territory his parents left behind, Álvarez forges a new relationship with the land, and with the act of running, carrying with him the knowledge of his parents' migration, and--against all odds in a society that exploits his body and rejects his spirit--the dream of a liberated future.
by Danny Trejo
For the first time, the full, fascinating, and inspirational true story of Danny Trejo's journey from crime, prison, addiction, and loss to unexpected fame as Hollywood's favorite bad guy with a heart of gold..
Interested in more ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month? Support Hispanic creators by listening to Spanish speaking artists, appreciating art, enjoying authentic food prepared by local restaurants, and buying from small businesses!
Tag(s): veterans, Vanesa Gomez, sports, Spanish, recommendations, nonfiction, national holidays, military history, junior fiction, Hispanic, graphic novels, food, easy fiction, culture, comics, celebrities
Posted to Campbell Unclassified on October 9, 2020 at 5:20 PM by Genesis Gaule
One of my favorite shelves in the library to peruse is the cookbook section (Nonfiction 641.5). There’s just something about flipping through pages of beautifully photographed food and reading the stories behind the recipes--it’s like getting a peek at someone’s else’s family and exploring their culture one dish at a time.
When one catches my eye, I can’t wait to take it home and dive in. Here are three such cookbooks from the library I am exploring now.
Ultimate Bread by Eric Treuille
If you are new to bread-making, Ultimate Bread is a great place to start. With photographed step-by-step techniques, ingredient information, and easy-to-follow instructions, they take the mystery out of bread-making. From naan to grissini to sandwich bread, there’s a wide sampling of various yeast, flat, and quick bread recipes from around the world to choose from. The muffin recipe is easily customizable and the hearty Irish Soda Bread and Victorian Milk Bread are both wonderful with a cup of stew or slathered with butter and jam. If you’re a chocoholic, be sure to give the Chocolate Prune Bread a try!
The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman
No fry bread or Indian tacos here! Oglala Lakota caterer and food educator based out of Minneapolis, Sean Sherman, shares his history, culture, and approach to creating authentic indigenous food specific to our northern Midwest region. Using traditional ingredients and techniques, Sean creates vibrant, healthful dishes that are elegant as well as accessible for the home cook. Through recipes such as Three Sisters Mash, Cedar Braised Bison, and Fried Wild Rice Bowl, he encourages you to explore traditional local flavors such as juniper, sumac, and cedar, but also offers substitutes if those ingredients are hard to find. The book is a great read on its own and a rich introduction to Native ideology and food.
Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family by Priya Krishna
Indian-ish is a loving tribute to Priya’s mom’s self-taught Indian-American cooking that merges the Indian flavors of her childhood with American staples. The results are approachable and packed with flavor. A few I’m eager to try include Dahi Toast (Spiced yogurt sandwiches), Aloo Gobi (Spiced potatoes with cauliflower), and Saag Feta (Feta cooked in spinach sauce). The book is also filled with funny stories, candid photos, and original illustrations that gives you the feeling of pulling up a chair at the Krishna dinner table.
Tag(s): regional authors, recommendations, India, Genesis Gaule, food, First Nations, culture, cooking