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October Hot Reads

 The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman From beloved author Alice Hoffman comes the spellbinding prequel to her bestseller, Practical Magic. Find your magic. For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk. From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy. Thrilling and exquisite, real and fantastical, The Rules of Magic is a story about the power of love reminding us that the only remedy for being human [...]

By |October 12th, 2017|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|0 Comments

From the Head of Lettice: Recipes from Historic Kentucky Cookbooks Part One

When looking back on our favorite family memories and holidays, food is often a highlight. Nothing can be quite so nostalgic as Grandma’s cookies or Mom’s best soup. Here at the library, cookbooks are among our most circulated items. For those of you learning to cook or wanting to add some local flair to your home cooked meal, the Local History & Genealogy department has four shelves of cookbooks that you can check out, bring home, and test out. These range from local restaurants’ favorite recipes, to chefs who focus on modern Kentucky cuisine, to historic cookbooks written as early as the 1800s. In an effort to get to know this section of our collection better, I tried out three recipes from two different books and documented my progress. I decided to focus on dishes with earlier origins. With some of the recipes, or receipts as Lettice Bryan of The Kentucky Housewife (1839) calls them, it took a little creative reimagining in order to modernize the measurements and equipment to something I have in my kitchen. In other words, I opted to bake in a modern oven with set temperatures. I’m also a vegetarian – so, sorry to all you Squirrel Soup lovers, I stuck to finding something I could enjoy! Let’s get started: Baked Potatoes, from The Kentucky Housewife (1839) by Lettice Bryan This recipe is from one of our earliest cookbooks by the thorough Lettice Bryan. The collection contains thousands of recipes along with suggestions of accompanying dishes, for which meal a recipe works best, and other tidbits which give a wonderful glimpse of the time period. I chose this recipe because it is simple, contains few ingredients, but also takes a familiar [...]

31 Days of Local History & Genealogy

What could be better than a pumpkin spice or chai latte every day before Halloween? Thirty-one days of programs during Family History Month brought to you by your local history and genealogy library friends, of course! Starting October 1 we kick off 31 days of programming. That’s right; we are doing at least one program per day ALL MONTH LONG. Grab your rain coat and walking shoes because we couldn’t contain all of the fun to inside the library! We have a host of events that might look familiar, but we’re also hosting events on a whole bunch of fresh, new-to-us topics. We’ll be heading out into our beautiful city to explore and teach you about the iconography of headstones in Historic Linden Grove Cemetery & Arboretum, and have a picnic amongst the cemetery’s residents. If you are sad to see the weekly walking tours of historic Pike Street come to an end, have no fear! We know you like storytelling as much as we do, so we put together a brand new tour filled with spooky, grim, or otherwise unusual stories from the Historic Licking Riverside Neighborhood. Join us on Mondays, October 9 & 30 at 6:00 pm, and Wednesdays, October 4 & 25 at 10:00 am for an hour-long jaunt through the neighborhood with a side of storytelling. As a super special bonus, we’ll be doing another installment of the tour on Saturday, October 21 at 3:30 pm before our annual Evening with the Ancestors event. We’ll also be giving family-friendly tours of Historic Linden Grove Cemetery & Arboretum on Friday, October 13, in case you wanted a little entertainment while waiting for Cinema in the Cemetery to start (presented in partnership with [...]

September Hot Reads

The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Matthews June 1939. Francis Dempsey and his shell-shocked brother Michael are on an ocean liner from Ireland bound for their brother Martin's home in New York City, having stolen a small fortune from the IRA. During the week that follows, the lives of these three brothers collide spectacularly with big-band jazz musicians, a talented but fragile heiress, a Jewish street photographer facing a return to Nazi-occupied Prague, a vengeful mob boss, and the ghosts of their own family's revolutionary past. When Tom Cronin, an erstwhile assassin forced into one last job, tracks the brothers down, their lives begin to fracture. Francis must surrender to blackmail, or have his family suffer fatal consequences. Michael, wandering alone, turns to Lilly Bloch, a heartsick artist, to recover his lost memory. And Martin and his wife, Rosemary, try to salvage their marriage and, ultimately, the lives of the other Dempseys. From the smoky jazz joints of Harlem to the Plaza Hotel, from the garrets of artists in the Bowery to the shadowy warehouses of mobsters in Hell's Kitchen, Brendan Mathews brings prewar New York to vivid, pulsing life, while the sweeping and intricate storytelling of this remarkable debut reveals an America that blithely hoped it could avoid another catastrophic war and focus instead on the promise of the World's Fair: a peaceful, prosperous "World of Tomorrow."     Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller In this novel authorized by the Little House estate, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in this dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, “Ma” in Laura Ingalls [...]

By |October 12th, 2017|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|Tags: |0 Comments

Twelve Myths & Truths about College

It's that time of year again... It's time for 17-year-olds to make one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives. It's time for these kids to decide what they are going to do for the rest of their lives. It's time for seniors in high school to choose a college. My daughter had to make these decisions last year. She began her freshman year of college at Northern Kentucky University last month. I'm going to tell you some of the things you are going to be told your child must do and then I'm going to tell you the truth based on our experience.         Things Other People, Including High School Guidance Counselors, are Going to Tell You and Your Children: You should apply to five to seven schools to make sure you get accepted to one. You should apply to schools you know you can't afford. There are plenty of scholarships out there and you'll be sure to find one. You can wait until after you graduate to make a final decision on which college you will attend. Students with high GPAs and ACT scores will get a full ride. You have to live on campus to get the full college experience. You will find some way to pay for college, even if it's loans. College is really the only way to make something of yourself. Books will cost at least $1,000 a semester. Don't fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if you know your child won't qualify for free grants. Your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is what you should be able to pay toward your child's college. You can't receive new scholarships after you started college. [...]

By |October 12th, 2017|Categories: Featured Post, KCPL|Tags: |0 Comments

Made in Covington: The Aqua-Cycle

The Aquacycle was covered in a 1949 issue of Popular Science. Via: http://goo.gl/X3nseR Twenty-five year old Phyllis Brawley was installed as a living window display at Cincinnati’s Hotel Sinton on the day of Aquacycle’s debut. Clad in a “beach costume,” the blonde model peddled the newly-patented marine invention that allowed users to propel boats and canoes by foot power. Spectators congregated around the window in such numbers that Cincinnati patrolman, Charles Ray, ordered that the live window display to cease--a proclamation that was met with jeers. Ultimately, the authorities demanded that manager of the Aquacycle Company, Earl Metcalfe, either stop the demonstration or be cited for interfering with pedestrian traffic. Metcalfe, a self-employed business consultant and manager of the Aquacycle Company of Covington, stated that he intended to defy police orders to meet public demand for the demonstration continue the next day. Arguably, their interest was likely inspired more by the visible shins and shoulders of Miss Brawley than the newfangled contraption upon which she was perched. Metcalfe, who lived on a farm in Morning View in southern Kenton County, was not the inventor of the Aquacycle, but was assignor to the company when the trademark was registered in 1948. He was involved with the contraption as early as 1947, when the Aquacycle Company of Covington was chartered and valued at an eyebrow-raising $100,000 (over $1,300,000 today). The design for the “pedal or mechanically propelling and steering mechanism for boats” was the work of Dr. Byrel Billman, a physician of physiotherapy and proctology, educated at the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati. Billman created the Aquacycle as a device to propel and steer boats in places where motorized watercraft were either outlawed or impossible operate. Sportsmen [...]

Maker Space Coming to Your Library

If you have visited or driven past the Erlanger Branch Library lately, you might be wondering what is being built. There are two projects. One is an administrative center to house Collection Development, Human Resources, Public Relations, Information Technology and the Business Office. The other is an addition to the current facility that will include a meeting room that can hold 450 people and a 1700 square-foot STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Education, Art and Math) Center, most commonly known as a maker space. Everything is expected to be completed by January, 2018. Administrative Center Construction Meeting Room and Maker Space Construction   The Digicart was a huge success. However, with that success came a demand for a more expansive selection of technology in the Digicart. The Digicart quickly became Digicarts as we expanded our services to include a VHS to DVD conversion service, record to CD conversion service, and a vinyl cutter. While the Digicart was mostly focused on STEM, we still wanted to be sure to include the arts and a love of reading. Thus, the STREAM Center began to take shape. However, while we will soon have a large space to house all of our maker space materials, we still need to be mobile since we visit local schools. The current Digicart has visited over 1,000 students at five area schools. I see this as an important part of what we do here. We make these materials available to local school teachers because we realize their resources are limited. This allows teachers to give their students more thought provoking interactions in the classroom. Visiting schools isn’t the only thing I do as an Emerging Technology Programmer though. I do [...]

Welcome to Brown Town…Decorating out of the Dark

My family and I just moved into a new house. Initially we thought, “hey, this is the first house we’ve lived in where we don’t have to do anything.” What do they say – famous last words?   The house we moved into has good bones. However, despite the large windows, it is so dark inside. The previous owner, though lovely, had a very different decorating style than we do. We are more “beach chic.” By this I mean we like lighter blues, greens, white, with a pop of color here and there. Pictured below is the same living room as above but with a completely different feel. Ditto with the dining room. The house we purchased though is about the furthest thing from beach chic. For one, it’s a Tudor. Now I don’t know about you, but I rarely see Tudors on my beach vacations.  The rooms all had dark paint, dark wood windows and dark brown hardwood floors. Knowing our style, a book that caught my eye is Pale & Interesting: Decorating with Whites, Pastels and Neutrals for a Welcoming Home. If you are a fan of either Shabby Chic or HGTV’s Fixer Upper, this book seems to be a blend of those two styles.   That being said, we will work with what we have. We have only been in the house since last September. The main focus has to been to paint. Out of curiosity, I searched the phrase “paint your home” on the Library’s card catalog. Nearly 40 titles popped up! Some are new and some are older but all can provide some inspiration. As of this writing, nearly every room in the house with exception of the kitchen has [...]