Archives for posts with tag: travel

One of the great pleasures of my job is unpacking the new materials that arrive daily at the library. Books, DVDs, CDs – you name it, I get my hands on it fresh out of the box. Because I’m fortunate enough to receive this first look, I come across treasures that otherwise might not appear on my reading radar.

One such treasure is “Fanny in France,” a children’s book – juvenile fiction, to be precise – written by the esteemed chef and restaurateur, Alice Waters, with Bob Carrau. This delightful work is comprised of a series of vignettes about the food, friends and fun that Waters’ daughter experienced in France as a child.

Whether she’s describing a daylong effort making bouillabaisse at a Marseille vineyard, an impromptu picnic when becoming stranded while harvesting wild oysters, or making delicious cheese from the freshest of sheep’s milk, Fanny’s adventures and narrative voice enchant the reader with her honesty and sense of wonder.

Join her in the excitement of Bastille Day in Paris, eat sea urchin pulled from the ocean moments before, and get lost in a bustling outdoor market in Nice. Meet characters like Monsieur Poilane, a traditional baker who offers Fanny a “kid-size bubbling apple tart” straight from the huge brick oven in his basement, or Alice Waters’ artist friend Martine, who scours flea markets for special dinner party accoutrements and feeds a crowd of nine with one roast chicken.

Pick up valuable culinary tips. Learn to select fish by looking at the eyes; “if the fish’s eyes are shiny and clear and they look right back” at you, it’s good to eat. Cook like a chef by putting together a mirepoix, “a special mixture of carefully chopped vegetables and herbs that French people use to start lots of things they cook.” When making pizza dough, handle it tenderly, only stretching it as far as it wants to go; “let the dough guide you,” Fanny instructs.

In addition to anecdotes, “Fanny in France” contains recipes for the dishes mentioned throughout the book. Looking for light meal ideas? You might try the Watercress or Garlic Soup, or even a Salade Nicoise, an omelet or a Croque-Monsieur, also known as a grilled cheese sandwich. Want to wow dinner guests? Consider the Couscous Royal with Chermoula, a spicy North African herb sauce, or the Roasted Herbed Rack of Lamb. Craving something sweet? Throw together an Almond Brown Butter Cake or Chocolate Souffle for a decadent treat.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the glorious, adorable artwork by Ann Arnold. Its colorful detail adds a wealth of richness to “Fanny in France.”

Finally, lest you think you’d need a few years of high school French to read this book, never fear. There is a glossary in the final pages of “Fanny in France,” and the author does a great job of casually translating as she goes along. Nevertheless, I found to my delight that I’d retained enough of my six years of French to understand everything.

You can find “Fanny in France” in the Children’s Department of the Joplin Public Library.  I hope you relish it as much as I did. Happy travels, and bon appetit!

 

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Every four years, when the presidentialout race rolls around, folks say “If (fill in the blank) wins, I’m moving to Canada!” Or maybe Bolivia, or “anywhere but here.” With that in mind, we recently ordered the latest edition of Getting Out: your guide to leaving America. For many reasons, I’m not going anywhere, but I thought it would be interesting to have a look and indeed, it was. After some introductory info about how the book came about and who it’s intended for, the meat and potatoes appear. First a section on different sorts of visas as well as gaining foreign citizenship (which is usually pretty difficult unless you marry a native or have oodles of money). After that, different methods of supporting yourself overseas, including the Peace Corps (if you don’t mind going wherever they send you) and other volunteer organizations, retirement, working for the U.S. government, entrepreneurship, etc.

The next section is the largest and, to me, the most interesting.  Lots and lots of info on different countries, including which ones speak English, which ones are least/most expensive, how corrupt the governments and police are generally, who has good/bad infrastructure including roads and internet, where crime is high or low, etc. Interspersed all along the way are bits of info from expatriates who have relocated to lots of different places. Some of them are really eye-opening, but mostly they boil down to “remember it’s not the U.S. and you’ll be happier.” Some people really like their new homes, whether temporary or permanent, while others put up with various issues simply to live where it’s cheaper or more aligned with their worldview or because their spouse is native and they accompanied them home.

After the general information on statistics and culture, we finally come to the country by country list of places you might consider and a short list of places not to consider (Somalia, Chad, Haiti, Sudan and a few other notable places best avoided). For each of the sixty countries listed, there’s an info box about climate, form of government, population, currency, major languages and religious groups, ethnic groups and a comparative cost of living. That’s followed by a overview of “living there” including a bit more on governance, quality of infrastructure and internet, healthcare cost and quality, how likely it is that you might be able to work there, the tax situation, and a bit about crime, whether or not you can buy real estate, and whether abortion is permitted as well as gun control and marijuana laws. Something I found a bit troubling in spots is the snippet on “Women’s Issues.” While it’s certainly worth knowing if you might be taking yourself (or your wife or daughter) to someplace rife with sexual harassment, I think that stating “Domestic violence is a problem in Aboriginal communities” in Australia seems to imply that the European descended folks are all peaceable and well-behaved.  The section on “Moving There” goes a bit more deeply into who can/can’t take up residence in the country. Sadly, just about anywhere I would consider going won’t take me unless I win a sweepstakes or lottery (and I’d need to anyway in order to afford the cost of living in those places).

By the way, if you’re interested in high-tailing it out of the country to avoid the long arm of the law, there’s a list of countries with no extradition treaty with the U.S. The book concludes with a section on web resources for up-to-date and more in-depth information for those who are more than merely curious about becoming an expat. At any rate, whether merely curious or itching to get overseas, you’ll find plenty to inform yourself with here.

Do you like to get information and discover new things in a concise visually appealing way? You must be (or might want to be if you are not) a magazine reader.

Magazines, first published in the 17th century, were initially only for the rich. New methods of printing in the 1900s changed that and now they are a popular way for everyone to keep abreast of news, current trends and to be informed on just about anything.

Joplin Public Library has over 200 magazines and 20 newspapers available to users whenever the library is open.  Most of the magazines you can check out and take home to read.

The library has also offered users online magazine and newspaper articles for more than 15 years. These articles accessed through Ebscohost are indexed for easy research using keywords and can be used online anywhere with a library card number.  You can get lots of information but you can’t easily browse an issue.

About two years ago we added Flipster which lets you read a full issue of a magazine 24/7 using any internet-enabled device and your library card number. These full-page, full color issues give you access to some of the magazines you once had to visit the library to get and you can browse all you want.

Now we have another way for you to get magazines online using the same website you go to get ebooks, MoLib2Go.org.  Shared by a consortium of Missouri public libraries the site offers ebooks, audiobooks, and video.  Now some of the libraries are contributing to a shared collection of 138 magazines.

Unlike Flipster these magazines have to be checked out and downloaded to be viewed and they download to a Nook or Nook app.  But you find them in the same place you get your ebooks, you get to keep them longer, and the Nook app is easy to get and use.

Some of the titles are the same ones you’ll find in the library and/or on Flipster such as The Atlantic, National Geographic, Bloomberg Businessweek, Prevention, Better Homes and Gardens, and Reader’s Digest.  However many of the titles are new to our collection and cover a variety of interests.

If you like to read about the latest in health and fitness, you’ll find Shape, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, What Doctors Know, Amazing Wellness, and Oxygen.  Publications from associations are also available such AARP the Magazine, Weight Watchers Magazine and Arthritis Today.

I love perusing cookbooks and discovering new recipes and there are plenty of titles on food and cooking. I downloaded Allrecipes and am looking forward to viewing Cook’s Country, EveryDay with Rachel Ray, Taste of Home, Gluten-Free Living, and many others.

For those of you into crafts and hobbies look for Thread, Woodworker’s Journal, Hobby Farms, Bead & Button and Cloth Paper Scissors.  You will also find Do It Yourself, Family Handyman and House & Home among others.

With the election later this year many of us are taking more of an interest in current events and what is happening in the world. Newsweek, National Review, The Week, The Onion and mental_floss will keep you informed.

Lifestyle magazines are popular in our print collection and you will see several of those titles here – Redbook, Brides, O the Oprah Magazine, Country Living, and Reader’s Digest. In MoLib2Go you can also get American Cowboy, Guideposts, and More.

Another popular category is home and garden.  Look for Birds & Blooms, Dwell, HGTV Magazine, Country Gardens, and Elle Décor.  We also have several you can find in both print and online such as Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Midwest Living and Rodale’s Organic Life.

There are a lot more titles than I can list here like TV Guide Magazine, Air and Space Magazine, Guns and Ammo, Budget Travel, First for Women and Family Circle.  Go to MoLib2 Go and browse the titles.  You are sure to find something that interests you.

If you have any trouble with downloading or just want to be walked through the process first, call or come by the Reference Desk. We are happy to help.