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Anthony Bourdain, 1956-2018

I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of chef Anthony Bourdain on June 8th.  He was one of my favorite food writers and television personalities.  A drug addict early in his cooking career, Bourdain turned his life around and became one of the most successful food personalities in America starting with his memoir Kitchen Confidential published in 2000.  With his success, Bourdain frequently advocated for the underdog.

Catching Up with the Classics: Howards End by E.M. Forster

Most of the classic novels I have read came to me as assigned reading in high school and college, which skewed heavily towards an American author bias.  Which is why, despite loving all the Merchant-Ivory-Jhabvala adaptations of Forster’s work, I hadn’t ever read one of his novels.  However, the recent BBC adaptation of H

New catalog coming on April 17th!

During the week of April 16, Fox River Valley Public Libraries and our 24 partner libraries will be transitioning to a new library catalog. You’ll see a new look as you search for library materials, and will be introduced to new features as we work to improve your library experience.

Our 24 partner libraries 

New Features:

Artists We Love: Jason Isbell

Since Valentine’s Day is coming, I wanted to highlight an artist who has written some of my favorite love songs of late.  Jason Isbell is a singer songwriter with a folky-country bent, think Townes Van Zandt, Ryan Adams, or Patterson Hood (of Isbell’s former band Drive-By-Truckers).  He frequently collaborates with his wife, violinist and fellow singer-songwriter, Amanda Shires, who is the inspiration for many of his most romantic songs.  

Getting into the Holiday Spirits

Next week brings Thanksgiving, which traditionally marks the start of the Holiday season.  Since you’ll probably have more than one occasion to get your party on over the next month and a half, it’s probably a good time to start brushing up on your cocktail basics.  As our blog’s resident cocktail nerd, I’m listing some fine titles to explore to find your signature seasonal cocktail and impress your guests and friends with your bartending skills. Warning, if you get too good at making cocktails, you’ll be in charge of drinks at every party you go to! 

Reformation Reads: 500 Years Later

This October 31st marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the door of the church in Wittenburg to protest of the sale of indulgences.  Though earlier movements for reform within the Church had existed before Luther, such as the Hussites in Bohemia, the posting of his 95 Theses traditionally mark the start of what historians consider the Reformation, lasting from 1517 unti

Recommended Read: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

It’s hard for me not to hate novelist Sally Rooney a little bit out of sheer jealously.  Not only is she super young (she’s a mere 26) AND a published author, but her first novel is excellent and well received.  However, I absolutely adored Conversations with Friends, and the flawed but sympathetic characters inside make Rooney seem like someone who’d be fun to hang out with (even if she’s annoyingly accomplished). 

Back to School Books: Campus Reads

My favorite thing about the start of the school year was always shopping for new school supplies (and, of course, new fall outfits).  My least favorite part was actually having to go back to school; gone were the mornings of sleeping late and days of doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to—why can’t it be summer all year?!  Even though it’s been nearly 10 years since I’ve been a student anywhere, it’s still fun to celebrate the start of the school year (heck, it’s even better when you’re not  a student, because you don’t have to go to school!).  Below are several titles set on school

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