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On My Coffee Table

Posted on March 25, 2015 at 6:00 am

By Kelsey Hudson

On My Coffee Table

I’ll let you in on a little-known librarian secret—we don’t get to read quite as much as we’d like and we definitely haven’t read or watched everything in the library. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many amazing things to enjoy in our libraries, but more often than not, my “to read” list is much longer than my “finished reading” list.

Between talking with members at the desk or in a program, discussing new titles with coworkers, and reading up on some of the newly published books, I must encounter hundreds of titles a day. And more often than not, I end up checking out a dozen new things a week, despite my growing stack of books at home.

So while my coffee table is usually home to a pile of mail, some half-finished craft project, and a receipt or two (more like ten), it’s also the temporary home for the ever changing stack of books I’ve checked out. If you are looking for something new to try, take a look at some of the things currently gracing my coffee table (and my nightstand, dining room table, desk at work, etc.):

The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen

By Teri Edwards and Serena Thompson

The Farm Chicks in the KitchenSpokane’s own Farm Chicks put together this collection of recipes, craft ideas, and stories. I really couldn’t put this book down; the photos alone make you want to dig out your mixer and jump right into one of the recipes. They also make me wish for scratch and sniff pages, something I think is missing in cookbooks! I’ve only gotten to make one recipe, but if they’re all as good as the Blackberry Crisp, then I know I’m in for a treat. I also appreciated the personal stories the authors included; it provided a very interesting look at the ladies behind the Farm Chicks.

Kitchn Cookbook

By Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan and Faith Durand

Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn is one of my favorite food blogs, so I jumped when I saw this cross the checkout counter. I was surprised to find that it is as much an informational book as it is a cookbook. Almost half of the book is dedicated to topics like how to set up your kitchen, what tools you should purchase, how to grocery shop, and learning basic kitchen skills. From the tricky White Lasagna to the super simple Kale Chips, the second half is full of recipes that people with varying skill levels can appreciate. I enjoyed this book so much, that I’ll probably end up purchasing a copy to own, definitely a good sign in the cookbook world!

Call the Midwife

Call the Midwife

By Jennifer Worth

Having greatly enjoyed the BBC series of the same name, I have really been looking forward to reading the biography that inspired the show. Jennifer Worth has woven amazing detail and absolutely fascinating stories of her life as a mid-wife in training in London’s East End in the 1950s into this book. Her anecdotes speak about what she experienced as she worked and trained with the other nurses, midwives, and nuns at St. Raymund Nonnatus to safely deliver babies and provide healthcare for the poor. Encounters with people like the warm-hearted Chummy, who turned away from her proper upbringing to become a midwife and missionary, and patients like Conchita Warren, who was giving birth to her 24th child, show the rich diversity of Warren’s life.

William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Collection

By Ian Doescher

The more I hear about the new Star Wars films being made, the more I find myself exploring that universe in new ways, which is why I grabbed this title as soon as I could. While I found the first book interesting, I wasn’t sure I’d make it through the series. At a coworker’s suggestion, I tried the audio books instead and that changed everything. These stories are meant to be performed, and the cast of narrators/performers they gathered for this collection brings the narrative to life. I would recommend this for any Star Wars fan – especially those interested in an unexpected monologue from R2-D2 about how his speaking only in beeps and squeaks is all a ruse to help the rebellion succeed by appearing “simple”.


By Neal Shusterman

UnwindThe first in a series of four books in the Unwind Dystology, this story explores what would happen if a war over abortion was settled with an agreement more horrifying than you could possibly imagine. The agreement, known as The Bill of Life, states that human life cannot be touched from conception until age 13. However, between the ages of 13 and 18, a parent can elect to have their child retroactively aborted through a process known as unwinding where they are literally taken apart for their pieces which are “donated” to those in need. Unwind is the story of three teens set to be unwound for different purposes, and their fight to make it to their 18th birthday. This book is as disturbing and terrifying as it is phenomenal; I’ve read it several times, but definitely wouldn’t recommend it for the faint of heart.


By DJ Machale

This was not a title that I had heard of before checking it out. In fact, I only selected it because I was looking at possible titles for an upcoming class visit and the author was familiar to me. Less than 50 pages into it though, I was completely sucked into Machale’s story of Tucker Pierce, a high school football player who watches his teammate mysteriously drop dead. After other deaths occur, a secretive military force known as SYLO arrives, quarantining the small island town from the rest of civilization. As more mysteries appear, Tucker and others decide they have to escape the island, not an easy feat when the sea around the island is constantly being patrolled and no one is sure who they can trust.

My Real Children

By Jo Walton

My Real ChildrenI’ll admit that I haven’t read this title yet, but I’m very much looking forward to reading it soon. I found this book hiding on the “New Book” shelf several months past when we would normally keep it there. As I went to change its status in the computer, I happened to catch this statement on the jacket, “Patricia Cowan forgets things she should know—what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible.” More than just some misremembering, it describes a woman remembering two different histories: one where she married her husband Mark and another where she raised children with Bee instead; a history where a bomb kills President Kennedy in 1963, and another where he lives but chooses not to run again in 1964; and a history where she lived in a hostile marriage and another where she was a successful travel writer. I’m intrigued by this idea of two histories based on the choices we make, and can’t wait to see where Patricia’s life takes her.

These are just a sampling of the titles I’ve got checked out right now, but they’re certainly the ones that made the biggest impression. What do you have checked out right now? Or better yet, what do you think I should check out next?


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