What Have You Been Reading? Detective, Detective, Spy Edition

When left to my own devices, I tend to binge-read about subjects or to binge-read authors and/or series. That works well for me, but it’s something I try to avoid inflicting on the readers of this blog because I seriously doubt anyone else is as interested in some of these literary rabbit trails as I am. (You’re welcome.)

Lately, however, I’ve been exploring some mystery and espionage thriller series I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and I did want to share those.

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Book Buzz: Modern-Day David Copperfields, WWII Romances, Vacations, Rivers, and Journeys

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For November, we’re looking at Barbara Kingsolver’s latest acclaimed novel, a Rebecca-esque romance set during WWII, a throwback to summer, the real-life story of a modern mythical figure, and an audiobook set in medieval Ireland.

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Alan Rickman’s Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman (2022)

I imagine most people have an Alan Rickman role that is their default for him. For some, it might be one of his rogue’s gallery of villains (like Hans Gruber in Die Hard) or perhaps one of his rarer romantic roles (Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility or Jamie in Truly, Madly, Deeply) or his cryptic Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

For me, it’s probably a mish mash of Gruber, his hilariously put-upon Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest, and his condescending Obadiah Slope in The Barchester Chronicles (an early role).

Rickman died nearly seven years ago, the terminal cancer that took him a closely guarded secret from the public until his passing. Rickman had been a diligent diarist for years, and there has been mixed information on whether Rickman intended to publish these diaries. Regardless of his intentions, this collection of his diary entries were released last month.

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Cookbook Corner: Where’s the Meat?

In honor of our Books, Spice, and Everything Nice theme (and spice club!), we’ll be doing a monthly round-up of our cookbooks. We have a really nice and extensive collection, but it’s easy to get lost in the sheer number of them. Hopefully these posts help! In honor of November’s spice annatto, we’ll be focusing on cookbooks that cover everything you want to know about cooking and processing meat–and just in time for hunting season.

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Books, Spice, and Everything Nice: Annatto

For 2022, the Berryville Library is hosting its own Books, Spice, and Everything Nice spice club. Stop by the library to get the spice of the month and then stop by the blog on the first Tuesday of the month for recipes and more information on the featured spice. We’ll also be adding monthly posts about cookbooks in our collection. For November, our spice is annatto!

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Movie Review: Umma (2022)

Amanda’s life as an adult is about as far away from her childhood as it could get–and that’s exactly the way she likes it. After escaping her abusive upbringing in Korea at the hands of her mother, she’s built a life for herself on a very rural bee farm in America, where she raises her daughter, tends to her bees and chickens, and has studiously cut herself off from electricity, which she claims she is allergic to, and her Korean heritage.

On the surface, things are pretty idyllic for Amanda, except for the nightmares she regularly endures. But the sudden appearance of her long-lost uncle, with news that her mother has died and her ashes in tow, brings to the forefront a whole slew of issues. Not the least of which is the fact she’s pretty sure her mother’s ghost is now haunting her. . . .

I was curious about this movie because I saw it described as the horror version of Minari. I think that is a pretty apt comparison, though I did find Umma more uneven. That being said, I did enjoy Umma, and if you want to watch something horror-related for Halloween that isn’t particularly scary but is thought-provoking and chilling, this movie would be the perfect fit.

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Book Buzz: Mad Scientists, Dystopian YA, Librarian Spies, the Haitian Revolution, Opposites Attract Romances, Pirates, and Horror on the Range

Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For October, we’re looking at gothic horror inspired by The Island of Dr. Moreau, science fiction by a local author, historical fiction about WWII and the Haitian Revolution, a cute romance between two very different people, a swashbuckling nonfiction tale about Golden Age piracy, and an audiobook of Dean Koontz’s latest.

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We Get By With a Little Help From Our Friends (Of the Berryville Library)

If you’ve been following our blog for any length of time or are a resident of Carroll County, you likely know about our quest to raise money for a new library building. Whenever people ask us what they can do to help, donating to our Berryville Library Building Project fund probably comes to mind first. And, of course, that’s a fantastic way to help. But if you really want to help, we ask that you also join the Friends of the Berryville Library.

This week is National Friends of Libraries Week. Friends groups are indispensable allies for libraries everywhere, but our Friends group is particularly important to us because it has been one of the driving forces in helping us reach our goal of building a new library.

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Cookbook Corner: Taste of Asia

In honor of our Books, Spice, and Everything Nice theme (and spice club!), we’ll be doing a monthly round-up of our cookbooks. We have a really nice and extensive collection, but it’s easy to get lost in the sheer number of them. Hopefully these posts help! In honor of October’s spice cumin, we’ll be focusing on cookbooks that cover the sheer range and variety of Asian cuisines.

Continue reading “Cookbook Corner: Taste of Asia”

Books, Spice, and Everything Nice: Cumin

For 2022, the Berryville Library is hosting its own Books, Spice, and Everything Nice spice club. Stop by the library to get the spice of the month and then stop by the blog on the first Tuesday of the month for recipes and more information on the featured spice. We’ll also be adding monthly posts about cookbooks in our collection. For October, our spice is cumin!

Continue reading “Books, Spice, and Everything Nice: Cumin”