What’s Happening at the Library: Add to a wonderful winter reading list

Published 9:03 am Monday, December 24, 2018

By John Maruskin

Clark County Public Library

Happy winter. The Solstice occurred at 5:43 p.m. Friday.

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A little west of winter lies spring. Wait for it by digging into the library’s stacks.

Winter reading is highly recommended.

Here are some reading suggestions meant to spark your own adventures in the stacks. The library is your winter wonderland.

December’s Ripping Yarns yarn shop display reminds me lots of people love to knit during the winter while listening to music or watching movies (you can rent both at the library).

A browse through the knitting section finds wonderful books like, “Hip Knit Hats,” by Cathy Carrron (call No. 746.43 Carr), that will show you how to make caps, buckets, boxes, berets, tams, witty knits and fabulous felted chapeaus.

For more outre’ projects try “Alterknits,” by Lee Radford (call No. 746.43 Radf) with instructions for bustiers, crowns, laptop and cellphone cases, lanterns and screen doors (I kid you not).

Whether you knit or not, you’re going to get hungry and the library is a veritable Larousse Gastronomique on shelves.

One quick stroll through the 641s finds marvelous cookbooks like “The Winter Table: Fireside Feasts for Family and Friends,” by Lisa Lemke (call No. 641.564 Lemk). How can one not like a book with a title and an author that alliterates?

In “The Winter Table” you find scrumptious recipes for ricotta and pesto omelets, creamy carbonara with pork belly and peas (this cookbook alliterates and rhymes — very poetic) and (be still my beating heart) baked apple and cinnamon bun pudding.

The recipes in that cookbook will make you lie on the floor and scream.

Want to start dreaming about your garden or, if you have a winter garden? Do you want to know what you can make with winter blossoms and sprays of greenery? Try “The Garden in Winter,” by Suzy Bales (call No. 635.953 Bale). Learn to make winter container gardens or lanterns from overturned icicles lit with candles.

So what’s wrong with just reading, with no other project in mind? Nuttin’, absolutely nuttin’.

In fact, most people who follow almanacs and observe the agricultural year will tell you between now and Plough Monday, you ought to lay off labor. This year, Plough Monday is Jan. 7, which is Christmas in the Orthodox Church, so hold off until Jan. 8.

Be that as it may, for plain reading pleasure, try a nice mystery collection like “Crimson Snow,” edited by Martin Edwards (call No. Mystery F Crim). This collection of Golden Age mysteries brings together a dozen winter crime stories in which Father Christmases behave oddly, mysterious tracks appear in the snow and unpleasant carolers come calling.

Or immerse yourself in the mystery and romance of cold with the contemporary classic of ice and snow, Barry Lopez’s “Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape” (call No. 508.98 Lope).

Whatta book. Perfect for armchair adventuring, it poetically evokes the landscape, animals, people, history, exploration and visions of the Arctic. Sail an iceberg-choked ocean with Irish Monks in a single mast wooden boat searching for the Isle of the blessed, confront Pisugtooq (eskimo for Polar Bear) the Great Wanderer, let the Northern Lights glow behind your eyes.

Book your trip at the library any day it’s open. Which brings us to classes and events next week.

Well, the library will be closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, for the holidays. There will be no programs until Saturday, Dec. 29, when Outside the Lines adult coloring meets from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

So, if you want to get an early start on your winter reading list, come in this weekend.

Happy holidays from your friends at the Clark County Public Library.

John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.