A Fine Romance by Susan Branch

A Fine RomanceThe Hook
What? A love affair with nature and in a country where gardens rule. Exactly what I like!

Tell Me More
I love art and journaling.  Susan Branch has an exceptional talent with watercolors and expresses everyday things into a joyful cacophony of delight. This book is a day-by-day account of the author’s trip through England aboard the Queen Mary 2.  It is luxuriously written and each chapter covers the must-see places that are close to Susan’s heart: the cottage where Beatrix Potter lived her final years, the Sissinghurst gardens, Jane Austen’s home, and so many other historical gardens thorough-out the English country side.


A Fine Romance !

Inspiration: Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.

Recommended For
Those who would love to travel, love gardens, and, of course, the artist in us all.

Final Say
I have purchased this book due to the details of the walking paths in the Cotswold and other little places along the way. It is a virtual journey one can live and relive without ever getting tired of visiting.

Grab A Fine Romance today!

— Keyla


The Glitter Plan by Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor with Booth Moore

The glitter planThe Hook
I pay attention when I have the opportunity to learn and understand what is considered a trend in fashion as it becomes an overt fashion statement to those who treasure labels.

Tell Me More
I am very motivated by entrepreneurial ventures and the risks taken to become successful.  Juicy Couture, a label for the young-at-heart has intrigued me since their inception.  And led to me  to ask myself: how, why and where?  Then I won this book through a GoodReads contest and the answers to these questions were answered. Juicy Couture is more than just a clothing label.  These two women have a pragmatic passion of combining fashion into useful, everyday objects. Their personal flair, infused by society’s reoccurring need to stand out in a crowd, helped them to make the best-timed judgment call ever made in the fashion industry.


The KFC theory is not just for chicken: do one thing and do it well.

The KFC theory is not just for chicken: do one thing and do it well.

Recommended For
Those of us who have big dreams and have the gumption to try to make creative ideas become a reality.

Final Say
There are so many people in the world that have experiences and dreams who want to do something that they love in order to make ends meet. Often they may not have the education so that they can accomplish their goals. This book is proof in the pudding that a little innovation and a lot of motivation can make a dream come true.

Get The Glitter Plan today!

— Keyla

We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider

First ImpressionsWe Learn Nothing book cover
We Learn Nothing, by Tim Kreider,  hooked me from the first sentence  and held me in its grip all the way through to the last. Honest, irreverent, and hilarious – it’s an examination of  whether or not we have the ability to grow from past experience. Are we doomed to repeat our own personal histories again and again?

Drive-by Summary
This is a collection of highly personal essays based on the life experiences of author and cartoonist Tim Kreider.  It ranges in subject from surviving a throat-stabbing, to nursing an aging parent through severe illness; suffering from extreme love-sickness, to how good anger can feel when it consumes us, and much more. It is a delightful, and at times heart-breaking, blend of humor,  cynicism, and self-awareness. A deeper look into the relationships and experiences one finds oneself enmeshed in and what we gain from them.

My Favorite Character
Tim Kreider has charmed me. I find his perspective and sense of humor deeply refreshing. In  We Learn Nothing, Kreider introduces us to a motley and fascinating cast of characters. By turns they are charming, brave, exasperating, and sometimes deeply flawed. I recognized friends of my own in his friend Skelly, estranged family members in the crowd at the Tea Party rally he infiltrates, and even myself, as I followed him on his journey of hope, disappointment, and truth-seeking.

Words to Live By
“There’s a fine line between the bold romantic gesture and stalking. The tricky crux of the matter is that it depends to a great extent on how that gesture is going to be received – which factor, unfortunately, the impetuous suitor/obsessed stalker has lost all ability to gauge. A friend of mine reports that all the women he’s polled have been enthusiastic advocates of the bold romantic gesture, but this, he suspects, is because they’re all automatically picturing John Cusack making it, not Steve Buscemi or Peter Lorre or the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Often  you don’t know whether you’re the hero of a romantic comedy or the villain on a Lifetime special until the restraining order arrives.”

Recommended For
I would recommend this book for anyone in need of a laugh, and particularly, for those to whom it’s beginning to seem as if life is nothing but a series of repeated mistakes. Fans of Augusten Burroughs’ work will appreciate the wit and humility of the writer, combined with the  odd characters and situations he puts on display.

Final Say
What I learned from We Learn Nothing is that I am a huge fan of Tim Kreider’s work. His stories are a gift, his cartoons are brilliantly drawn (though I recommend a magnifying glass to read the print, as it’s very fine), and this book is not nearly long enough.

You can pick up a copy of We Learn Nothing at the
Bellingham Public Library.

— Jenni

Fire and Ice: Summer Treats

Summer is finally starting to heat up!  These books will help you make the most of your summer months and all the great, fresh food we have in Bellingham.

The Gardener & the Grill book coverThe Gardener and the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill
By Karen Adler





Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home book coverJeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home
By Jeni Bauer







Home Made Summer book coverHome Made Summer
By Yvette van Boven






Ice Pop Joy book coverIce Pop Joy: Organic, Healthy, Fresh, Delicious
By Anni Daulter






The Deen Bros. Get Fired up book coverThe Deen Bros. Get Fired Up: Grilling, Tailgating, Picnicking, and More
By Jamie Deen






Ice Cream Sandwiches book coverIce Cream Sandwiches: 65 Recipes for Incredibly Cool Treats
By Donna Egan






Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction book coverBobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction
By Bobby Flay






Green smoothies and protein drinks book coverGreen Smoothies and Protein Drinks
By Jason Manheim






Make your own soda book coverMake Your Own Soda: Syrup Recipes for All-Natural Pop, Floats, Cocktails and More
By Anton Nocito






The Book of Burger book coverThe Book of Burger
By Rachael Ray






Grilling Vegan Style book coverGrilling Vegan Style: 125 Fired-Up Recipes to Turn Every Bite into a Backyard Barbecue
By John Schlimm





Everything Ice Cream, Gelato, and Frozen Desserts Cookbook book coverEverything Ice Cream, Gelato, and Frozen Desserts Cookbook
By Susan Whetzel





Grill This, Not that! Backyard Survival Guide book coverGrill This, Not that! Backyard Survival Guide
By David Zinczenko






Looking for books? You can always find this list and many others at our online catalog under Staff Picks!

Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbric

First ImpressionsBunker Hill book cover
Military history is a recently new field for me to explore, especially American military history. I was pleased to come across a book titled Bunker Hill by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Drive-by Summary
Bunker Hill is about more than just the battle of Bunker Hill. It includes Lexington and Concord as well as briefly touching on the Tea Party.

Favorite Character
Henry Knox. With no engineering experience except for that which he’d gained from the books he read, he successfully leads an expedition to Fort Ticonderoga to bring back sorely needed artillery for the Continental troops.

Words to Live By
“It is not rank or titles, but character alone which interests posterity.”

Recommended For
Readers of military history, students of American history, and anyone else who is curious about how the out manned, outgunned and under-supplied Continental troops beat the British during the War of Independence.

Final Say
Philbrick once again delivers a superbly researched book. I cannot wait to see what he writes about next.

You can find Bunker Hill at the Bellingham Public Library.

— Claudette

The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker

First Impression Image
I have had The Gift of Fear recommended to me by several people over the years.  They promised that it would change my “perspective” and really shake up my world view about intuition, violence, and survival skills.

I was resistant.  I dislike self-help books—especially ones that capitalize on people’s fears.

Thankfully, this book proved me wrong and I now consider my world sufficiently shook.

Quick Overview
Gavin de Becker is a nationally renowned expert on the subject of predicting and managing violence.  He consults with national law enforcement agencies, companies, and even celebrities to provide protective services, informational and investigative security services, and training in threat assessment.

With The Gift of Fear, de Becker attempts to explain how and why violence occurs.  He is also believes a person’s own natural intuition is their own best defense against predators.  He guides readers through several steps of recognizing, trusting, and acting on personal intuition while being able to accurately predict and avoid violent behavior.

My Favorite Character
ME!  And maybe Gavin de Becker…

The great thing about this book is that is truly empowering to the individual reader.  I now trust my own gut feelings and am more confident in my ability to navigate potentially bad situations as they arise.

Gavin de Becker, for his own part, is intelligent and is able to discuss his theories in an interesting, easy-to-digest way without being condescending.

Favorite Quote
“You have the gift of a brilliant internal guardian that stands ready to warn you of hazards and guide you through risky situations.”

Who I’d Recommend This Book To
Readers everywhere.

This book and its steps to understanding fear and avoiding bad situations can be used in all sorts of circumstances and locations from dealing with disgruntled employees to de-powering stalkers.  These lessons can be used by everyone.

Final Say
This book will shift the way you see the world.  And that is not a bad thing.  I think, as people begin to learn how to trust themselves to assess their situations, that they will be better able to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.  Additionally, by being able to accept the reality of their circumstances, they can rid themselves of denial which can help make our country safer. As de Becker says, “The solution to violence in America is the acceptance of reality.”