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Feb 26

Put Your Literature to the Test by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on February 26, 2021 at 2:07 PM by Genesis Gaule

The Bechdel Test is famous for two reasons:

  • Firstly, due to the very simple and minimal standards that a piece of media needs to meet to pass.
  • Secondly, due to the sheer volume of stories that do not meet said standards.

The original test, first mentioned in Alison Bechdel’s comic, asks if in a piece of media there are two (named) women who talk to each other about something that is not a man.

A six panel comic featuring two women talking about their 3 requirements to see a movie.

With the rise in popularity, many have compared these standards to films and constantly updated lists of films. Many other tests have created a checklist for films and books. For example, the Vito Russo Test measures how LGBT characters are portrayed in films (they cannot be used just as a punchline to a joke, and their character must be tied into the plot).

What exactly do these tests indicate? Why do people care? The answer to both is inclusivity. While the Bechdel test shouldn’t be the gold standard for feminist literature, it is a step towards recognizing when women are not fleshed out. Representation and diversity in our stories matter.

If you are interested in reading some female-centric books, here are some available for checkout from our library.

The Devil Wears Prada

by Lauren Weisberger
FICTION CD Audiobook

A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

by Maria Semple
FICTION

After her infamous mother goes missing, Bee must take a trip to the end of the earth to find her.

Little Fires Everywhere

by Celeste Ng
FICTIONebookCD Audiobook

When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that threatens to upend a carefully ordered community.

The Power

by Naomi Alderman 
SCIENCE FICTION

What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power?

The Handmaid’s Tale

by Margaret Atwood
FICTIONebook

Set in the near future, the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans.

Feb 05

Seconds, Please! by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on February 5, 2021 at 12:56 PM by Genesis Gaule

I may not be a foodie, but I’m definitely an eater. In honor of our Winter Cooking Challenge (and because I happen to particularly enjoy a book that features descriptions of mouthwatering food), here are some titles from our collection that will make your stomach rumble.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Tita has a gift for food. Her cooking is divine, so finely prepared that a single bite moves the eater to great emotion. Though Tita has fallen in love, tradition dictates that the youngest daughter, Tita, remain at home to take care of her mother. To add insult to injury, Tita’s mother arranges for Tita’s older sister to marry the man Tita loves AND asks Tita to make the wedding cake. The bitter tears Tita weeps as she whips the cake batter give the wedding guests a remarkable reaction, proving that there’s more to Tita’s gift than meets the eye.

Each chapter is prefaced by one of Tita’s hand created recipes.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

when-you-trap-a-tiger

While Crazy Rich Asians focuses more on the topsy turvy relationship of Rachel Chu and secret billionaire Nicholas Young than cooking, it has some mouth-watering descriptions of food:

“As Rachel tasked the char kuay teow, her eyes widened in delight at the rice noodles flash-fried with seafood, egg, and bean sprouts in a dark soy sauce….Then it was time for the satay. Rachel bit into the succulent grilled chicken, savoring its smoky sweetness carefully.”

YUM.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

Kitchens of the Great Midwest is bursting with food. The opening scene details the preparation of lutefisk, and then moves on to braised pork shoulder, chocolate habaneros, heirloom tomatoes and more. There are recipes peppered throughout the book too – Kraft caramel bars and chile oil being two examples. As this is set mainly in Minnesota, reading it is a nostalgic trip for your tastebuds.

The book follows Eva Thorvald, daughter of a Midwestern chef, blessed with a once-in-a-generation palate, as she becomes the mysterious chef behind the most sought-after dinner reservation in the country.

Rutabaga, the Adventure Chef by Eric Colossal

While Rutabaga is firmly in the genre of fantasy, it doesn’t make its recipes any less appealing.

Rutabaga, having grown bored of the standard food offerings available in his home town, travels the land searching for strange and magical ingredients to add to his cookbook. Rutabaga’s mouth-watering creations include a Perfect Pep Potion, Stuffed Koraknis Spinwheels with Sliced Pyka’s Palm, and a recipe especially created for those of us who don’t have access to magical ingredients: Chocolate-Dipped Dragon Claws. (The claws are bananas, guys).

Jan 29

2021 ALA Youth Media Award Winning Books by Genesis Gaule

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on January 29, 2021 at 2:14 PM by Genesis Gaule

This week, the American Library Association (ALA) announced their 2021 Youth Media Awards for children and young adults. Here are this year's winners and honorees we have in our catalog!

We Are Water Protectors
written by Carole Lindstrom; illustrated by Michaela Goade

we-are-water-protectors

Winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

We Are Water Protectors stresses the urgent need to take care of Earth's water through the story of an Ojibwe girl fighting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Goade is of Tlingit descent, tribally enrolled with the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska. This is the first Caldecott win for a Native illustrator as well as the first win for a BIPOC woman!

Check out past Caldecott winners and honorees in our catalog:


When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

when-you-trap-a-tiger

Winner of the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature.

Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature (APAAL) aims to promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage through literary and artist merit.

This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.

If you'd like to explore more award winning Asian/Pacific literature, check out:


Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

before-the-ever-after

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award. Named for Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King Jr., this award recognizes outstanding books for young adults and children by African Americans authors and illustrators that reflect the African-American experience.

This stirring novel-in-verse explores the cost of professional sports on Black bodies and how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed.

If you'd like to read more award winning African American literature, check out:

See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog
written by David LaRochelle; illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

see-the-cat

Winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. Named for beloved author/illustrator Dr. Suess, this award recognizes the most distinguished books for beginning readers.

What happens when the book gets it wrong? Max is not a cat--Max is a dog! But much to his dismay, this book keeps instructing readers to "see the cat." How can Max get through to the book that he is a dog?

Check out these past Geisel honorees: