South Branch Staff Picks

South Branch Staff Picks Blog

Short on time? Check out these short story collections!

The Color Master by Aimee Bender

The Color Master book cover

 

This collection of short stories features weird and wonderful characters and surreal events that draw the reader into the story world. Many reviewers describe these stories as “fairy tales,” but while some are whimsical, they’re also dark and melancholy, like the best fairy tales for adults.

 

 

 

 

 

Suddenly, a Knock on the Door by Etgar Keret

Suddenly a Knock on the Door book cover

 

The stories in this collection by the Israeli short story writer Etgar Keret, combine absurd, humorous, and poignant themes that reveal the fierce humanity of characters in surreal situations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Interpreter of Maladies book cover

 

In nine stories imbued with the sensual details of Indian culture, Lahiri charts the emotional journeys of characters seeking love beyond the barriers of nations and generations. This short fiction collection blends elements of Indian traditions with the complexities of American culture.

 

 

 

 

 

A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin

A Manual for Cleaning Women book cover

 

Taking place in the American Southwest, these stories showcase Lucia Berlin’s trademark blend of humor and melancholy. They find miracles in everyday life and uncover moments of grace in cafeterias, laundromats, homes of the upper class and hotel dining rooms.

 

 

 

 

 

before you suffocate your own fool self by Danielle Evans

Before You Suffocate your Own Fool Self book cover

 

Fearless, funny, and ultimately tender, Danielle Evans’s stories offer a bold new perspective on the experience of being young and African-American or mixed-race in modern-day America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell

Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Other Stories book cover

 

This short story collection by Karen Russell  story blends whimsy and horror in equal measure. Her dry humor and keen eye for relatable emotional experiences will lure readers deeply into these surreal vignettes.

Yes we’re jumping on the Avengers Bandwagon

Did you know there are many really awesome Avengers graphic novels, in addition to the movies! Check out a few of these!!

ultimate avengers 3: blade versus the avengers graphic novel coverWith the vampires’ new king transforming more and more heroes into super-powered bloodsuckers, Blade soon finds himself at odds with the Avengers. Can the hunter and hunted work together to stem the blood-red tide?

 

avengers: no surrender graphic novel cover

All of the Avengers you know and love come together to face threats beyond any they’ve faced before – including the Black Order and the Lethal Legion. These two teams of powerful villains bent on destroying each other have arrived on Earth, and they don’t care who gets caught in the crossfire.

 

avengers xmen: axis graphic novel coverAs the Axis of Evil strikes down the heroes, the all-new Astonishing Avengers battle the Uncanny X-Men! Witness an X-Man’s horrifying fate — and an Avenger’s appalling choice! Who will live or die? Who will remain inverted? The shocking climax will crack the Marvel Universe to its core!

 

Avengers volume 4: Infinity graphic novel coverGalactic empires fall and rise – and as Earth is targeted, the Avengers race back to their own solar system. But will they be in time to stop the Black Order from making their move? Or will Thanos’ mad plans conquer all life?

 

avengers vs xmen graphic novel coverThe Avengers and the X-Men – the two most popular super-hero teams in history – go to war! This landmark pop-culture event brings together Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Magneto and more in the story that changes them forever!

 

avengers: the ultimate character guide book coverThis revised edition of this superb guide to the characters of Earth’s mightiest Super Hero team features updated images and text for many existing characters as well as a further 60 new heroes and villains.

Mouth-wateringly good cookbooks

If you like to try new recipes using cookbooks, you are probably drawn to cookbooks with appealing photos of the finished creations. Nothing gets us more excited about trying to make a new dish than seeing a mouth-watering photo in a cookbook. Here are our suggestions for a few new cookbooks to check out!

Sunny's Kitchen book cover

Although not every single recipe is accompanied by a photo, the majority do have a picture of the finished dish. Additionally, what we love about this cookbook is the variety of cuisines found  in this cookbook, from gouda-stuffed burgers to curry-lime pork kabobs to scorched red snapper with Bahamian hot sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Food Fast book coverWith full color photos of each recipe on every page, this cookbook is bound to make your stomach rumble. And, one of the best features of this cookbook is that each recipe is no more than 5-7 ingredients with either pantry staples or easy to find grocery items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

the big book of cookies book cover

Whether you are looking for an easy enhancement to cookies from a mix or a fresh from scratch recipe, this book is for you. Chocolate lovers can choose from recipes such as Chocolate-Banana Bread Cookies and Chocolate Crinkles or adorable Chocolate Reindeer Cookies that are a snap to decorate. For those looking for something a little different, you can try the Maple-Walnut Shortbread Cookies or Whoopie Pies. There are even brownie recipes in here and for those of us in a hurry, there are several delicious looking bar cookie recipes.

 

 

 

just cook it: 145 built-to-be-easy recipes that are totally delicious book cover

Though not every single recipe in this book is accompanied by a photo, the majority do have a mouth-watering photo showing the finished dish. Although the ingredients are simple and easy to find, this cookbook is full of unusual dishes not found in just any run-of-the-mill cookbook. From Fideos with Lamb Sausage, Chickpeas and Mint to California-Style Fattoush and even desserts such as DIY Chocolate Truffles with just 3 simple ingredients. Plus, with handy tips for cooking basics and easy to follow instructions, even novice cooks will enjoy trying out the new recipes here.

 

 

 

meatless: more than 200 of the very best vegetarian recipes book cover

For anyone looking for alternatives to 50 ways to prepare tofu, this is the book for you! Focusing more on veggie heavy recipes such as Eggplant Parmesan Stacks or Vegetable-Barley Potpies and less on vegetarian staples with soy-based protein (although there are a few tofu-based recipes in here as well), this book is a great way to change things up for the vegetarian cook tired of the same old thing.

Looking to learn something new? Check out these titles!

Crochet for the Absolute Beginner by Pauline Turner

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Fix Anything: Essential Home Repairs Anyone Can Do (or 200 Home Repair Solutions that Anyone Can Do) from Popular Mechanics Press

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Beginnings: Beading: A Step-by-Step Guide for Creating Your Own Custom Jewelry by Suzann Sladcik Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be CentsAble: How to Cut Your Household Budget in Half  by Chrissy Pate and Kristin McKee

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jemma Kidd Make-up Secrets: Solutions to Every Woman’s Beauty Issues and Make-up Dilemmas by Jemma Kidd and Zia Mattocks

 

 

 

 

 

mango languages web resources icon

Want to learn a new language? Check out Mango Languages!!! Register for this free resource using your library card and then use it from any computer or mobile device. Visit the Web Resources page on the Research section of our website. Need more help? Just ask at any desk.

 

Who’s Ready for the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl LIII will be played on Sunday, February 3rd in Atlanta, Georgia. Whether you’re attending a Super Bowl party or just watching at home, wow your friends and family with the info you will get from these books here at MPPL!

When it Was Just a Game: Remembering the First Super Bowl by Harvey Frommer; foreword by Frank Gifford

 

 

 

 

50 Super Bowls: The Greatest Moments of the Biggest Game in Sports by Allan Maki & Dave Naylor

 

 

 

 

 

Super Bowl Gold: 50 Years of the Big Game foreword by Peter King

 

 

 

 

 

50 Years, 50 Moments: The Most Unforgettable Plays in Super Bowl History by Jerry Rice and Randy O. Williams

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Broadway Joe: The Super Bowl Team that Changed Football by Bob Lederer

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, for those of you who are new to the game, grab a copy of Football for Dummies by Howie Long with John Czarnecki so that you can learn the lingo, from a pick six to icing the kicker and just who (and what) a safety is.