Monday, April 14, 2014

Lapham's Quarterly




One of Newport Libraryʼs newest magazines is Laphamʼs Quarterly. Each issue focuses on a particular theme and the amazing editors at Laphams in New York City collect essays, artwork, poetry and short fiction from all over the world and across three thousand years of world history to illuminate and expand on that theme.

The Winter 2014 issue is entitled “Comedy” and features over 220 pages with short, humorous contributions from almost 100 different writers, including Mark Twain, Woody Allen, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Chris Rock and Homer (the Greek one). Thereʼs even a collection of jokes from 15th century Florence! The issue also includes over 200 works of comedic visual art: Japanese wood block prints, sculpture both ancient and modern, photography by Annie Leibovitz and Henri Cartier-Bresson, paintings by Goya, Velazquez, and many, many others.

Laphamʼs Quarterly is an ambitious and thought-provoking new journal of ideas and culture and history. Itʼs quickly become one of my favorite magazines in our collection. You can reserve it here.

And an especial thank-you to the patron who suggested we carry this title!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Hiking and History


Cascade Summer: My Adventure on Oregon’s Pacific Crest Trail by Bob Welch is the Newport Public Library's Community Read for 2014.  Programs for learning more about the Pacific Crest Trail and its history take place this coming weekend.

Local naturalist Linda Brodeur will lead a short and easy family hike through Mike Miller Park on Sunday, April 13, at 1:00 p.m. Meet where the park adjoins the Community College parking lot; the hike ends at the Community Room of Oregon Coast Community College with trail mix, hot cocoa, and cookies.

After refreshments, National Park Service historian Stephen R. Mark presents “John Breckenridge Waldo – Oregon’s Own Thoreau.” Waldo hiked the Cascades in the early 20th century. Pages from his hiking journal are featured in Cascade Summer. That’s at 2:30 p.m. on April 13 in the OCCC Community Room. Newport Reads Cascade Summer! is sponsored by the Sylvia Beach Hotel, the Elizabeth Street Inn, and the Newport Public Library Foundation.

For more information, contact the Newport Public Library at 541-265-2153 or go to www.newportlibrary.org.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mango teaches Spanish, English, Russian, French, and many more!

Buenos dias, salut, and goedendag!  Mango Languages has come to Newport Library, and boy are we excited!

Mango offers introductory courses in fifty-seven languages from Arabic to Yiddish.  It also includes English as a second language.  Mango leads you through memory building and critical thinking exercises to help the new language stick, and interactive audio helps you learn to speak well and understand what you hear. The courses are self-paced, and begin with useful phrases and conversations rather than vocabulary lists and grammar.  Cultural notes are interspersed throughout.

Learning a language is a great way to stimulate your brain and enrich your life.  If you’d like to give it a try, Mango can be accessed online from our website on your home computer.  Have your library card with you and know your PIN number, and you’ll be asked to make a new account using your email or your Facebook.  You can also download Mango for devices like tablets or smartphones from the iTunes store or the AppStore for Android.  Please call us at 541 265 2153 with any questions.

Monday, April 7, 2014

For Whom the Bell Tolls


The Newport Public Library will show the film For Whom the Bell Tolls at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8.

This 1943 film is based on Ernest Hemingway's 1940 novel set during the Spanish Civil War. Hemingway handpicked Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman to play Robert Jordan, an idealistic American teacher who joins the Republicans, and María, a woman abused by Nationalist soldiers.

The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Katina Paxinou won the Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

This movie will be shown at no charge in the McEntee Meeting Room of the library.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Librarian-Approved Reads


Interested in a great source for what's hot in new books? If not, you better find something else to read because that's what this post is about. Fair warning.

A relatively new site called LibraryReads gathers the most librarian-recommended books being published in the current month. (As noted in a previous post, librarians can use their wiles to gain copies of unreleased books.) I've been following the site for a few months and I've been impressed by my colleagues' ability to spot the good ones from a plethora of the not-so-goods.

April's top pick is The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. Go ahead, put a hold on it or another one of April's LibraryReads picks to see if the librarians are right. Happy reading!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Un Très Très Bon Soufflé au Fromage


Both my mom and my grandma told me to read Jacques Pepin’s The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen. I’m glad they did, because I’m not sure I would have picked it up otherwise. Pepin, the famed French chef who has hosted a number of cooking shows and penned approximately one billion cookbooks, writes engagingly of his varied and adventurous life surrounded by glorious food and some of the Western culinary world’s most celebrated figures, including Julia Child, Craig Claiborne, and James Beard. 


One of the many charming stories (and great accompanying recipes) Pepin shares is the first time his mother attempted a cheese soufflé: 
When my mother got married, she was 17 and my father was 22. She did not know how to cook, except for a few simple dishes that she had learned from her mother. Yet she was willing and fearless. My father liked cheese soufflé, so my mother graciously obliged. She had never made a soufflé before, but a friend told her that it consisted of a white sauce (bechamel), grated cheese and eggs — a cinch! To the bechamel, that staple of the French home cook, she added her grated Swiss cheese and then cracked and added one egg after another to the mixture, stirred it well, poured it into a gratin dish, and baked it in the oven. Viola! No one had told her that the eggs should be separated, with the yolks added to the base sauce and the whites whipped to a firm consistency and then gently folded into the mixture. Ignorance is bliss, and in this case it was indeed: The souffle rose to a golden height and become a family favorite. 
I have made this soufflé at least five times! Fabulous. Don’t omit the chives. Serve with a green salad and when you’re done eating, swing by the library for more of Pepin’s great blend of food and story.

Maman's Cheese Soufflé

3/4 stick unsalted butter, plus additional to butter a 6-cup gratin dish 
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
2 cups whole milk 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
5 extra-large eggs 
2 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese, preferably Gruyère (about 6 ounces) 
3 tablespoons minced chives 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 6-cup gratin dish and set it aside. Melt the 3/4 stick of butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and mix it in well with a whisk. Cook for 10 seconds, add the cold milk in one stroke and mix it in with a whisk. Keep stirring with the whisk until the mixture thickens and comes to a strong boil, about 2 minutes. It should be thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the salt and pepper. 
  2. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat well with a fork. After about 10 minutes the white sauce should be cool enough to proceed. Add the eggs, cheese and the chives to the sauce, and mix well to combine. Pour into the buttered gratin dish and cook immediately, or set-aside until ready to cook. If setting aside for a few hours, the soufflé can remain outside at room temperature. If assembling a day ahead, refrigerate and bring back to room temperature before baking.  
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until puffy and well browned on top. Although it will stay inflated for quite a while, it is best served immediately.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Americanah

It will be over far too soon – my love affair with Ifemulu, the young Nigerian woman presented by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie growing up in Africa and coming to America. Those are large terms – America, Africa. Adichie distills them through Ifemulu’s experience into small, daily details we can understand. And she pours honey all over it in her latest book, Americanah.

Ifemulu’s life is enchanted. She is beautiful, intelligent, and witty. When she is with a man, he is the best one around, black or white. When she comes to America, she has an auntie to stay with, one who is studying to be a doctor. Although she initially struggles to find a job, when she does find one, it is ideal.

Ifemulu’s largest discovery in America is that she is Black. A journalist by education, she begins a blog. One of the first entries is titled “Understanding America for the Non-American Black: American Tribalism.” Her voice contains none of the anger and struggle of American Blacks so earnestness isn’t required. Her writing is as disarming as she is and features short, piquant observations of how race figures into American life, black with black, black with white, white with black.

Occasionally Adichie switches to the life of Obintze, the childhood sweetheart Ifemulu left behind in Nigeria. Obintze goes to England and observes not so much the English people as his Nigerian friends in England. Adept at showing depth of experience and feeling in a few intimate events, Adichie follows Obintze’s struggle to find work, struggle to understand why his Nigerian friends consider themselves Brits, and struggle to avoid deportation, one he eventually loses.

Moving easily forward and back in time, continent to continent, Ifemulu to Obintze, Adichie maintains a sound story, providing the security of foreshadowing with enough surprise to delight the reader. I don’t want this book to end and I can’t wait to find another by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

~ Guest review by Wyma Rogers