Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Staff Picks - Adult Non-Fiction

The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka

The author talks about her journey to eating healthy and creating meals her family likes to eat. She says she wants to love the food she eats and I feel the same way. She talks about how we get “stuck” in the diet trap by buying processed, so-called “weight loss” foods that are nothing more than junk food.

There are 150 recipes in this book that are easy to make. The ones I tried have low-calories and use made-from-fresh ingredients found in a regular super market. I was over joyed at how flavorful the dishes were and how much my family loved them.

I made Kiss My (Shrimp) and Grits recipe. When I tasted this dish, I felt like there was a flavorful party going on in my mouth. I could see my family's faces smiling as they ate. It was happening to them too. When I made the Double Chocolate Chunk Walnut cookies; I never imagined putting avocado into a cookie or that it would taste so amazing. My family enjoyed the cookies and eate every one. I also made the Pumpkin-Obsessed Vanilla-Glazed Scones (yummy), Quinoa Tabbouleh and Acorn Squash, all good.

The author has a key to each recipe that tells the reader if the recipe is V – Vegetarian, GF – Gluten Free, Q – Quick (30 minutes or less) FF = Freezer Friendly – SC – Slow Cooker. Gina helps simplify eating healthy. This is a beautiful hardback book with wonderful pictures inside of food and some of Gina and her family. I can’t wait to try more recipes and learn more from The Skinnytaste Cookbook.

Nora St. Laurent
Collection Support Aide

Friday, March 16, 2018

Two Authors Meet Teens and Families at Cumming Library

Two authors of debut books for teens and children will visit the Cumming Library to meet readers and sign books this month.

First, A.M. Romero will speak at the launch event for her debut novel, The Afterlife Mortals, on Saturday, March 24 at 2:00 p.m.

A long-time member of the Cumming Library’s Teen Writers Club, Romero is expected to speak with other teens about her inspiration, her writing process, and the unexpected lessons she learned about writing and publishing a novel.

Teens who love supernatural characters and adventurous plot lines will enjoy The Afterlife Mortals, a story of two friends, Jo and Axel. After suffering tragic and untimely deaths, Jo and Axel wake to find themselves stuck in an afterlife they only dreamed existed, pursued by a demon through heaven and hell, while one angel tries to help these battered mortals find life again.

“I really was interested in what it takes to publish a book and was able to get more knowledge about how it all works,” Romero says.

The book was printed by Aaron Publishing and paperback copies will be available for purchase at the event and on Amazon.com, or it can be borrowed from the library.

Romero will take questions from the audience and talk aspiring writers through the steps of editing, printing, and marketing a book before she signs copies of The Afterlife Mortals.

Children’s book author Jacqueline Leigh will appear as a guest reader at Twilight Tales on Thursday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m.

Though she now lives in North Carolina, Leigh graduated from Forsyth Central High School and visited her hometown last summer for the launch of her first children’s book, Time for Bed with Ford and Red.

Children and families who attend Twilight Tales will hear Leigh read her story of a young boy and his stuffed bunny as they travel through the exciting world of dreams. The book is intended for toddlers and preschoolers in hopes of reducing bedtime anxiety and promoting healthy and happy sleep, says Leigh.

In addition to enjoying other stories, songs, and crafts at the event, families can meet Leigh and purchase signed copies of Time for Bed with Ford and Red.

Leigh will also share details about her next book, The Spill, publishing this summer.

For more information about these authors or other library programs, please visit www.forsythpl.org.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Lambert String Quintet Tunes Up for Grand Reopening of Sharon Forks Library

Lambert High School’s String Quintet, The Fab Five, will help staff and patrons at the Sharon Forks Library begin a new chapter in the library’s history when they play at the grand reopening celebration on Saturday, March 24 at 10:00 a.m.

The Fab Five, Serena Gao, Rachel Zhou, Joey Jin, Minjae Kim, and Carson Tufts, will be among the first to perform in the newly expanded and renovated library.

“The library has been such a big part of our lives since elementary school – we were honored to be part of such an amazing event for our community,” says violinist Joey Jin.

“We all think it’s awesome that we get to combine two of our favorite things: music and books. It should be a lot of fun!” adds cellist Carson Tufts.

They will perform inside the library until noon, but additional activities for children, teens, and adults are planned throughout the day.

“The wait is almost over for our patrons and we’re looking forward to celebrating our grand reopening with the whole community,” says Sharon Forks Library branch manager Mendy Gunter.

“We’ll start with The Fab Five and a flag raising ceremony led by Cub Scout Pack 205, then self-guided scavenger hunts and staff-led tours will give the public an opportunity to explore the whole library, even behind-the-scenes areas such as the automated book returns and work areas,” explains Gunter.

Much beloved storytime programs return to Sharon Forks with a special visit from book characters Elephant and Piggie at 10:30 a.m. Patrons will hear special readings of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books and take photos with the costumed characters in a meeting room that is nearly twice as large as it was before construction began.

“We’ve missed seeing our youngest patrons in our weekly storytime programs, but we’ve been working on new programming ideas and our patrons are going to love what we’ve planned for the spring and summer,” says youth services supervisor Cleo Joyce.

Portions of the grand reopening festivities will highlight not only the expansion of the building, but also new additions to the library’s collection of materials.

“Sharon Forks serves a diverse community and its collection will now include print materials written in Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu,” explains library director Anna Lyle.

Several cultural demonstrations and performances will help celebrate the launch of this new World Languages collection.

First, Yunjuan He, Qi Cui, Zi Chen, and Xinying Ye from the University of North Georgia will share Chinese culture and traditions and offer tastes of five different teas to patrons in the library’s Hot Spot at 11:00 a.m.

The Hot Spot is a new addition to this branch and, like the Hot Spot at the Post Road Library, is a multipurpose space that works well for adult and teen programs, meetings, study sessions, and workshops.

Next, two Indian dance performances will be given in the Meeting Room by Darshini Natyalaya School of Indian Classical Dance at 1:00 p.m. and Atlanta Nritya Dance Academy at 1:30 p.m. Both groups have performed at the library’s annual Diwali celebrations and are enjoyed by both children and adults.

Then, dancers and martial artists from the Chien Hong School of Kung Fu will perform an interactive Chinese Lion Dance at 2:30 p.m. Instructors are expected to share Chinese culture and explain how lion and dragon dances help communities celebrate important occasions. Members of the audience may also enjoy an opportunity to participate in the dance.

Much to the delight of the younger patrons, Elephant and Piggie will return to the Meeting Room at 4:00 p.m. for a Dance around the World party. Children of all ages are invited to dance to music from around the world with two of their favorite characters!

“We hope that everyone will enjoy coming back to Sharon Forks for programs, for books, and to become an active participant in the library community,” says information services supervisor Meredith Causey.

Patrons can commemorate their participation in the library’s grand reopening by creating a self-portrait that will become part of a community art display. Patrons of all ages may visit the Children’s area and use the provided supplies to create a self-portrait to contribute to the “Faces of Sharon Forks” display.

Patrons who want a break from celebrating are welcome to visit the spacious new Teen Room to play a board game. Or, join a family-friendly, pirate-themed breakout game or an escape room game for teens based on clues from Stranger Things. New games begin every hour between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. in the library’s two new Conference Rooms.

At the end of the celebration, Girl Scout Cadette Troop #15517 will lead a flag lowering ceremony at 5:00 p.m.

“We’re so grateful for our patrons who love the library and have been so patient during the construction process. It will be our pleasure to welcome everyone back to a bigger, more beautiful, and more functional library,” says Gunter.

For more information on the Sharon Forks Library Grand Reopening, please visit www.forsythpl.org or view and share the Event on Facebook.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Curious George to Visit Early Literacy Storytime at Cumming Elementary

Spring is in the air, and local children are invited to celebrate with a special early literacy program hosted by Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL), Georgia Highlands Medical Services (GHMS), Literacy Forsyth, and Forsyth County Schools.

Leap into Literacy will be held in the cafeteria of Cumming Elementary, 540 Dahlonega Street, Cumming, on Wednesday, March 14 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Admission to the event is free and, while the program is designed for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, children of all ages are welcome to attend with a caregiver.

The program will include stories and songs in English and Spanish, as well as a puppet show designed for Pre-K students, and crafts that children of all ages can make.

Children can also meet the beloved book character Curious George at the event. Leap into Literacy participants can also enjoy a spaghetti dinner from Giorgio’s Family Kitchen and a sweet dessert treat from Publix.

The purpose of the event is to help families understand the importance of encouraging early literacy skills starting in infancy.

“One of the most important aspects of early literacy is the amount parents talk to their children, beginning in infancy,” says Tracy Walker, Programming and Outreach Manager at FCPL.

“Parents who simply talk to their child as they go about their day expose them to 1,000-2,000 words an hour. This is so important in helping them become better readers and learners down the road.”

Several simple early literacy practices will be demonstrated for caregivers during the program to show how easy it can be to incorporate reading and language learning into everyday activities at home.

“Simple, everyday activities and tasks can become great early literacy tools,” says Julie Boyd, Youth Services Supervisor at the Cumming Library.

“Naming and talking about the items you see on a trip to the grocery store or while preparing dinner are wonderful ways to build your child’s vocabulary. Spring is the perfect time of year for outdoor walks and activities. From the naming of flowers to the colors of birds, these are terrific times to explore language, as well,” explains Boyd.

“Movement activities that involve language help children learn new words. Simple finger plays and songs help children develop their fine and gross motor skills while learning new vocabulary at the same time. This is especially important for our kinesthetic learners - children who learn best through physical activity,” adds Walker.

It’s the perfect time of year to be active outdoors. Combining simple movement activities with language is just one of the early literacy tips that event organizers will share with parents and caregivers during Leap into Literacy.

“We all have different learning styles,” says Amy Chang, Title I Director of Forsyth County Schools. “Adding simple movements or facial expressions to the stories we tell at home or daily activities provide invaluable context clues when learning vocabulary.”

Following the stories, songs, and puppet show, participants can make special crafts to take home as they wait to meet Curious George and receive a special sweet treat from Publix.

“Cumming Elementary is looking forward to hosting Leap into Literacy for our youngest county residents, their families, and for the whole community. Spring is a time of celebration, and we look forward to welcoming everyone,” says Chang.

For more information about Leap into Literacy or other similar programs, please visit www.forsythpl.org.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Staff Picks: The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister (Adult Fiction)

The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister 

The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macallister is the captivating story of a female magician in the 1800s who is suspected of murder when her husband's mutilated body is discovered among her props. Brought to justice by a small town police officer with issues of his own, the magician weaves an evocative story designed to play on his sympathies. The audiobook, performed by Julia Whelan and Nick Podehl, gives an extra dimension to the dynamics between the characters.

Alicia Cavitt
Information Specialist