Happy New Year! Lunar New Year is an important holiday in China—and February 16 is the first day of the Year of the Dog. Unlike the Western calendar, which is based on the sun’s cycle, the lunar calendar tracks the cycles of the moon, meaning the Chinese New Year falls on a different Western date each year. This time of festivities, rest, and family goes back thousands of years.Read more about Lunar New Year
We are approaching the holidays, and for many of us it is a time when the family gathers together in celebration. Yet in some families secrets, past hurts, jealousies and who knows what else can turn a time of celebration into a time dedicated to tip-toeing around each other while trying to maintain the spirit of the season. The Lion in Winter based on a play by James Goldman, tells of just such a gathering. Set during a family Christmas gathering in 1183 this dark comedy is about the Royal Family of England made up of King Henry II, his wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, their children, Richard, John and Geoffrey, the King’s mistress Alais, and the newly crowned King Philip, who was visiting from France. As you can imagine there is politics, innuendo and backstabbing throughout the visit. Read more about Lion in Winter
The holidays are here and the library's Christmas and holiday films are flying off the shelves. Every year I go on a personal marathon of Christmas film watching. I set aside my Netflix que, put my TV watching on hold, with the exception of the Doctor Who Christmas Specials, and settle back to watch some of my favorite Christmas films. Below are the ones I must see or I feel like my holiday season is incomplete. Read more about My Personal Top Ten + list of "must see" Holiday Films.
Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner and hot days are near. For many people this means firing up the grill. Interested in shaking up your grill routine? The library has loads of cookbooks with many new ideas -- for both meat eaters and vegetarians.
Maybe grilling isn't your thing. Once the weather turns hot, and the fresh fruits start arriving at the Market and the grocery stores all I want to do is make ice cream. I recently checked out the excellent Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts by Peggy Fallon and marked about 20 pages of interesting and often easy recipes to try including Chocolate Chipotle Ice Cream, Black Forest Frozen Yogurt with Chocolate and Cherries, and Quick Caramel-Pecan Light Ice Cream. There are also chapters on sorbets and non-dairy frozen desserts.
The Ultimate Ice Cream Book by Bruce Weinstein delivers over 500 recipes covering many different types of ice creams, sorbets and granitas. He also gives ideas for recipe variations and toppings. Pictures aren't included, but this serves as a fairly straight forward reference and would be great for beginners. Read more about We All Scream for Ice Cream!
Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" is to Christmas what "Meet John Doe" should have been for New Year's Eve. Starring Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck and supported very well by Walter Brennan, Meet John Doe is a story that would fit right in with today's headlines. Stanwyck plays reporter Ann Mitchell who receives her pink slip because her stories no longer have any relevancy. Out of anger she makes up her last story about a man who is so fed up with the political and financial wrongs in society that he decides to jump from the top of a newspaper building on New Year's Eve as a protest statement. Read more about Meet John Doe
It's hard to top a film team of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Although lovers in real life, their films have a chemistry that is almost electrifying. Desk Set is one of their best. Adam's Rib comes in at a very close second place, but to me Desk Set is their perfect film.