Welcome to the Reader's Roundtable edition of CADL Cast
with Jessica Trotter, Mari Garza and Cheryl Lindemann.
Welcome back to the Readers Round Table edition of CADL Cast.
I'm Jessica Trotter and I am joined at the mic by Cheryl Lindemann and Mari Garza.
Hello. Good morning.
We are who?
We've had a fun few weeks of fighting,
sickness and settling into holiday strangeness and programing and stuff.
We've been about town. Yeah.
Holiday season, whether you celebrate or not, is upon us. Yes.
And that's kind of where we were going.
Today we're going to talk about things that we think, you know.
We're looking at books we think might make great gifts.
Whether because it's one of the maybe we think maybe the best of the year
or it's something quirky and interesting that
we think you should know about or just something that we find beautiful.
It's kind of a fair assessment of what we came up with.
Sure. Yep. Absolutely.
I will go ahead and get started.
Go for it.
I've got the first cat in Space eight pizza.
And this is by Mark BURNETT and Sean Harris.
This is a graphic novel.
Maybe I would say grade.
Good readers, grade two to grade six.
Anyone's going to laugh out loud. Love it.
Evil rats from outer space are eating the Earth's moon.
This is kind of a
a very wacky space opera.
And it basically begins with a scientist discovering that
the moon is being eaten by a horde of rats.
And there is one very meanie leader.
It's the rat king.
And these rats must be stopped.
So enter the first cat, an astronaut who clearly loves the canteen.
And the canteen is this place on the on the spaceship that you walk in
and you can find all manner of yummy foods like, you know, oxtail soup,
sushi satay, churros, tacos.
But the thing is that they come in a tube like things like a toothpaste tubes.
So you get all the all the the goodness of your yummy flavors
in a tube of ice cream.
I mean, toothpaste.
Anyway, this is really, really funny book.
There's also a queen who's very,
let's just say, sarcastic
and constantly cutting poor, lovable laws for 4000 off laws.
For them, 4000 is think sort of like a little
I don't know R2-D2 but funnier this little total.
He says I am a toenail clipping robot seeking my purpose in the vast universe
and that he's constantly cut off the poor kid. Oh.
But what I want to say is that this book
is actually based on, like, a home based
video cartoon that the two that Barnett and Harris came up with.
It is so fun.
It's worth it to look that up to.
It's very funny and campy.
I really love this book a lot. Very cool.
Wow, Molly, that's hard to follow.
You would have been good at radio theater.
I think, you know, in the day when you had those radio theater productions.
Well, I have brought bringing a book today that I can't believe I haven't talked
about yet because I have talked about it, maybe some of other book related events.
This was my favorite cookbook of the year.
And as you know from the podcast in the past, I love cookbooks.
Our members love cookbooks.
I think that, you know, for a little while,
I think we were worried that cookbooks might go the way of people looking at
recipes on the Internet, which I believe is a very popular thing to do.
But I still feel that cookbooks are one of our strongest
circulators in the system at all of our locations.
So this was my favorite.
And the reason being is it's just so such a great mix of food and history.
And it's Gullah Geechee home cooking recipes from
the matriarch of a distant island by Emily Midgette.
And Emily Magat is the matriarch of Edisto Island.
She is 90 years old.
She was born and raised on Edisto Island and her ancestors have lived on
and Edisto Island, which is in South Carolina.
And it's one of the sea islands.
And she is a geisha, Gullah Geechee
And this book goes into the history of the Gullah Geechee
people, which was incredibly fascinating, and also the history
of how her family and members, her family were fundamental on securing land
for the galaxy to people on Edisto Island
after after the end of slavery.
It's filled with wonderful recipes that feature, you know, rice.
They're expert rice growers, seafood.
They have all sorts of animals, farm animals.
They were master farmers, essentially.
And all the food in this book represents that rich farming and cooking culture.
There's chicken palu
and a number of vegetable casseroles, Chewy's, which are sort of like pecan.
They're not blondies, they're called Chewy's,
but they're like a blondie made with pecans, Bennett Cookies,
which has a wonderful description of the history of bunny cookies.
So just a fantastic book with great stories, great history
and beautiful recipes.
It's very warm and accessible.
It's something that you could just pick up and make something,
you know, that night for dinner with or feed a crowd, which is something
that Emily Mega is known for in her community.
So Gullah Geechee home cooking.
This is another kind of what Cheryl said.
I kind of surprised I haven't talked about this already,
but this is this was my big surprise of the year.
It's a local very local story.
The book is Blood and Fire The Unbelievable Real Life
Story of Wrestling's Original Chic by Brian R Solomon.
This is so I am not a fan of wrestling.
I have never been a fan of wrestling.
This book was fascinating to me.
It is the story of Eddie Farhat, born in Lansing.
Raised in Lansing.
He is born of born
to Lebanese immigrants that settled here.
He served in the army, came back and started
wrestling while he was in the army and in traditional
Olympic style wrestling, and then
made a career a very good career
out of wrestling in the Midwest
before the World Wrestling Federation.
There were lots more of a set of syndicates,
and he was eventually basically the head of the Midwest,
sort of Michigan, Ohio and then parts of Canada syndicates.
And it's just it's a fascinating look at a very
and very local story
that a lot of people don't know about.
Now, I will say I have a bunch of male cousins and they were into wrestling.
So something must have flooded through.
Because as we
as you get later into the years, into his years, I started recognizing,
you know, the names that anybody
who grew up in the eighties and nineties would recognize.
But it was very it's just a very interesting story
to have not known that he's from Lansing.
When he got married, they settled in.
There's a house that still exists that was essentially kind of built on the,
you know, the money he gained in his professional wrestling career.
the the syndicates are very mafia like.
So if you're interested in sports, if you're interested in
kind of really interesting,
quirky history, local history, this is just a really interesting book.
It's Blood and Fire, the unbelievable real life story of wrestling, originally
by Brian Solomon.
And a piece of quirky trivia.
I believe that Capitol Area District Libraries,
we had a friends of the library.
Yes, luncheon and tea at the house in Williamston a number of years ago.
I was the whole ad at the time,
so it was a while back, but it was it's sort of a slightly
there's slightly modern aspects to this big mansion.
But in. Williamston Yeah.
So yeah, that's kind of what's really cool and I believe is a bed and breakfast
for a while. I don't know if it is right now.
Yeah, I don't know about that either. Yeah. Yeah.
So next on my list is a young adult title
that oh my goodness, you absolutely
need to consider getting this for your teen or reading it yourself.
This is all my rage by Saba to here it is, the National Book Award
winner for this year for a young adult or young people's literature,
this is a really, really moving story
about the immigrant experience, but also the American dream.
It's about a group,
I wouldn't say a full family of Pakistani
persons, but you have this setting of the Mojave Desert
where there is a family who comes from Pakistan to run a motel.
And there's another little girl who comes.
Her parents have died in an earthquake.
Her uncle ends up like rescuing her.
And you keep hearing the refrain, you know, my uncle came.
He dug through the rubble of the earthquake.
He kept looking and finding, even though they told him I was dead.
But he brought me back.
So it's the story of the aunt
of the of the motel or the mom in the motel, Misbah and Nur,
who is a little girl from Pakistan and her very good friend
They're the only two Pakistani families in the town.
And they really experience a lot of racism, a lot of,
I don't know, Islamophobia, you could say.
And they're really trying and this is a book
that affected me so much because it's I mean, once in a while you get these,
like, love stories, but also you just think a lot about,
wow, the American dream is mythical.
It can be really hard and it can be so rewarding.
So it's told from from three different perspectives.
So there is grief and that there is someone who passes away
and there's just a lot of hardship in
what needs to happen in order to fulfill your dream.
I really like this story.
I learned a lot about culture and even Punjabi, the language,
It's really, really a neat story.
Yeah, that sounds excellent.
That's definitely on my list.
I have to reframe it this year.
The next book that I have
that I would recommend as a gift book, we just got this one
at the end of the year and Jessica's nodding
because we I believe she has it on hold as well.
This one is called American Roots Lessons and Inspiration from the Designers
Reimagining Our Home Gardens by Nick McCullough.
Allison McCullough and Teresa Woodard.
And this is one of those lovely books that is a combination of profiles
of different gardeners, and it's arranged by a region in the United States.
And it's it's eye candy,
which is so wonderful for, you know, in the winter and giving as a gift.
I love getting gardening books this time of year.
I think that most gardeners would probably agree
that you start gardening now.
It's like, okay, you put the garden to bed,
whatever that means to you, and then you're ready to launch back.
And I spent time reading in and out.
It's a nice book for our theme
because you can read one of the passages, you can read really in depth,
or you can just look at the pictures if you want.
At each one of the
there is a list of their favorite plants, and that's really fun
because you're going across the country from West, Southern, different gardens.
One of my favorite gardeners is in here, Benjamin Vogt, Lincoln, Nebraska.
He is one of the gardeners that's calling for rewilding,
rewilding in suburbia, even front yard gardens.
He has a very active social media presence and I was really excited
to see him in here.
And we have a number of his books in the library system.
All of the profiles are interesting in their own way
and beautiful, but that one really stood out to me.
It's one of my favorites,
but I loved the story of Jeannette Belle from New Orleans, Louisiana,
and she created gardens that were almost like an incubator kitchen.
But for people who want to have their own small market sales gardens
and there is a something as a mars project
through Louisiana, through in New Orleans,
and just a wonderful, inspiring story
about how she took a kind of useless lot
and turned it into this garden space, which then was an incubator
for other people to be able to grow market flowers and vegetables
and that sort of thing. I absolutely love that story.
There's a garden in Big Sur showing this to my colleagues.
I mean, this is one of those just like dream
because you can see the mountains and but it's a mix of all different
types of gardens and completely
soothing and inspiring.
And I loved this book, American Roots.
I don't just have it on hold. I have it.
You have it. Okay.
So then it is one that I, I am buying for somebody that
I know, somebody that I think might really enjoy this.
I love garden books as a gift because I feel like
it's one of those things where, you know, you look at it and you put it away
and then you look at it again and it really never gets old.
And especially in the winter, it just carries you through.
Something that it can take you in a lot of different directions.
Some of it's
not just the plants but the
design elements that people have used in their gardens.
And it's not in it's ideas of how to go about getting the different plants.
And I mean, there's different parts.
I like the layout of this one. Yeah.
And it's a mix of different perspectives
from formal to an extremely environmentally conscious too.
Yeah. Really cool.
All righty then.
So my next book
is I'm not sure
how many people in our community have read
Station 11, but it was a and I'll make sure go can read it a few years ago
but I want to talk about Emily St John Mandel's
newest book, Sea of Tranquility.
This is it's kind of a hard to describe book.
There's a lot going on in it.
It explores humanity through multiple timelines.
So you've got your introduced to three timelines.
One is a sort of just ahead of World War One.
A younger son of a British family makes an inopportune
comment and embarrasses his family and is basically sent off to Canada.
They were already planning to do it, but he makes the come out and he's pretty much
on his way out the next day.
It's and I didn't know a lot about the remittance
children of Britain you know it's it's
young adults no adults 18 year olds basically sent off to Canada to
you know, they get kind of a monthly check.
But that's that's it.
That's they need to figure out their life from there
and so you get this storyline.
You've got a woman who
livelihood was wrecked by a Ponzi scheme, and she is trying to reconnect.
And basically her best friend's husband was the person who
committed the crime,
but then her husband committed suicide as a result.
So she you know, there's very much animosity between her and her former
best friend, but now she's trying to hunt down
the best friend and kind of get some answers.
And she she hadn't talked to her before and she wants to talk to her.
So you've got this storyline.
You've also got another storyline where a woman in the in
that is taking place basically 2019, right ahead of the end of the year,
right ahead of our current pandemic starting.
And then you have a woman who's doing a tour.
She's based on the moon,
but she is doing a tour of the world
on a pandemic book that she wrote years before that has become
in the news again, because another pandemic
is starting up in on Earth.
And so you've got that background of this the news of this pandemic spreading
and her going around and talking about her pandemic book.
And that one's very if you read
Section 11, that is a pandemic story.
So it's it's very you get things
that are happening around us now that she's dealing with.
And in the story, you've got these three timelines
that you don't really know for the longest time, how they connect
and you've got an added person who seems to be
in each of the timelines popping up.
really, really well constructed.
for all of it being very definitely a science fiction novel.
She the humanity and the characters are really, really important.
And the questions that they're dealing with in their times are very important.
But it also has an element of time travel and something has happened
that all three is spilling into all three timelines
and there is somebody going around to investigate.
So it's just it's hitting a lot of the best of lists.
And it's again, it's just so beautifully constructed and great, great writing.
So that is Sea of Tranquility by Emily Saint John Mondo.
Well, I have a couple of picture books I'd like to recommend for gift purchase.
The first one is A Love in the Library
by Maggie Took Her to Heart, and it's illustrated by yes.
IMAMURA okay, this is really, really nice.
I want you to picture a little librarian in a small library.
She's setting up books, caring for the community and income zone.
This gentleman who is often hanging around because little by little
you learn that he just wants to be there.
And this woman, she's living in a tight little community.
And let me tell you what that community is.
It's actually one of the internment camps
for Japanese Americans
that were sent in the 1940s because of World War Two.
There we have this part of our history.
This is a book really that is based
on a true story,
but a lot the author does say that she has, you know, kind of given it
a lot of source to embellish the story and make it what it is
to be appealing.
But it's just another book.
I think, that really helps us and helps our children to learn about our history.
That there was a time when Americans
were sent away to camps and because they were feared.
And then this would be Japanese and Japanese Americans that were in the
in the US.
Beautiful, beautiful book and quite, quite something to think about.
Book talking, I think, would be a great thing to do for both parents
and teachers with this sort of a title, one of the many that are out there.
The other book I want to mention is Goodnight Little Bookstore.
It's by Amy Cherry.
And that is illustrated by E.B.
And I'll bring up the illustrator first because I really love her work.
I don't know if anyone remembers Windows by Julia Daniels.
That's just gorgeous. Gorgeous.
But this little book is kind of an ode to the community bookstore.
It's really, really sweet
where every you know, every page you know, goodnight to the recycling.
Goodnight to the bookshelf Goodnight to shutting down
the store in general.
I really like just those sorts of
of repetition books for goodnight stories or bedtime stories.
And I really it really appealed to me.
So I hope you'll consider that, too.
Oh, it sounds great.
And we have so many wonderful independent bookstores
that are even opening up as we speak in the Lansing area.
So it's the more the merrier.
So I actually have a picture book, too, as my last gift book for this year.
This one is called Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall.
And Sophie Blackall is a multi award winning Caldecott
Medal award winning artist and illustrator
and her books are beloved and I.
I love them.
She also had an adult nonfiction book this year
about things you know, things to look forward to.
But this is a really unique book, as are all of her books.
I think there's a little piece of history
in all of her award winning books that show the things I love about them.
And this is based on a true story.
So Sophie Blackall bought a property and she intended to do
sort of a writer's retreat, a writer, do writing work there.
And on this property was this decaying, dilapidated farmhouse
and had gotten to the point where nature had taken over squirrels and trees.
But but artifacts from the house were still there.
So while paper was still there, pieces from the family
who lived there, a little little artifacts from their lives were still there.
She was actually able
to track down members of the family still living in the area.
And through looking at the artifacts, talking with the family,
she pieces together this lovely picture book about this large,
loving family with 12 children
and there and kind of pieces together,
a sort of fictionalized story about their lives.
But in the pictures themselves, she has the artifacts
and has pulled them in into the actual artwork.
And so it's a wonderful story about
I love thinking about this, especially with old houses,
you know, you wish they could talk.
And in a way, that's sort of what this book is.
It's sort of the House talking about this this loving,
big family living in this space
and that sort of that magic of telling the stories of everyday lives.
And that really comes through in this book.
Really fun to share with children because it's that collage style art.
So there's all these really cool things
to pick out in the pictures and just the just the whole piece.
It's just an incredibly beautiful book, I think is on a lot of end of year lists
for good reason.
Just just a gorgeous book.
It's a work of art.
I loved the I think there was a little picture of a bear, a baby bear.
Living in the basement.
And to be able to point that out to a child and say, you know,
when things start going back into their natural
state, you will find that.
In when she raised the house
and when she finally took it down, she planted wildflowers in that spot,
which is really a beautiful memorial as well.
So I just love this book, Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall.
It's one of those picture books that children will love, but
adults will love to.
Okay, absolutely right.
In the same vein,
I have another picture book.
This one's called The Lantern House.
It's by Erin Napier and it it's illustrated by Adam Trent.
This is not from a real life story, but it's
if you're not familiar with Erin Napier.
She's the co-host of HGTV's Home Town,
which is a design show set in Laurel, Mississippi.
It's they're rehabbing older homes
and this is a book she's done.
Adam Trust is a childhood friend of hers and a noted Southern artist.
And honestly, the reason I picked up the book, he
his artwork has been featured on the TV show. It's
Where is that?
Sort of a lot of color, but a lot of it.
Maybe like a tree spread out over the whole page,
but hidden in the tree are lots of different
things are at the base of the tree.
You'll see the root system and lots of different things
hidden in the picture as well are not really hidden.
But you know, things pop out to you
and this is a book that is
they put together that is just it's the story of a home taught sort of taught,
told from the home of having a family inside of it,
watching that family grow, of having having a wedding or having
only half of a couple left in the house or having the light not go out.
Go in. Excuse me.
Having the lights not go on one day because it's gone, the family is gone.
And then having another family move in and it's just that it's
as if these walls could talk type story and it's just a beautiful book.
I absolutely love Adam.
It is absolutely up my alley. He has sort of a
some of my favorites are more of a folk tale style but
but he sort of works that into this very
it's it's that idealist stick home idea
but still it's just a beautiful
picture book, too. Yeah.
So and one of those kind of nice gift style, too.
Yeah. I love that one too. Was really good.
And I having also learned from Yeah.
So great book for great books for discussion too with kids.
About what is homey and that sort of thing and thinking about right that, you
know, generations go through living spaces have such an interesting concept that.
Thinking about your little downtowns and your other buildings. Yes.
So much history even of our own Ingham County. But.
Mm hmm. I like discussing that.
Kids, I think this is a great, great, great group of titles.
Thanks for joining us. Yes.
See you next time.
Thank you. Bye.
We recommend upgrading to the latest Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge.
Please check your internet connection and refresh the page. You might also try disabling any ad blockers.
You can visit our support center if you're having problems.