csteward's blog | Mechanics' Institute

You are here

csteward's blog

She Persisted: Women and the Vote

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment passage that guaranteed and protected American women's right to vote. If you are looking for a fun activity to test your knowledge of women's suffrage, check out the 2020 Women's Vote Centennial Initiative. You'll find enjoyable and insightful information about the brave women who fought to secure this vital constitutional right. 

Nearly 100 years ago, women around the country were protesting, picketing and risking imprisonment while fighting for the right to vote. In San Francisco, Mary Simpson Sperry, President of the California Women's Suffrage Association, hosted a large convention at the Golden Gate Hall in 1903, not far from the Mechanics' Institute. By the time the existing Mechanics' Institute building opened in 1910, women's suffrage had moved from a slow simmer to a full rolling boil. 

If you're as fascinated by historical change as the staff at MI, we hope you'll enjoy the following list of books on women's suffrage and feminism. While the fight is far from over, women today owe many thanks to these early females who persisted in the struggle for equality. 

All of these titles can be checked out through MI's To Go Service. You may place a hold in the catalog or call 415-393-0101 for assistance. 

 

Nonfiction

Gilded Suffragists: the New York Suffragists who fought for women's right to vote by Johanna Neuman

Rise Up, Women!: the remarkable lives of the suffragettes by Diane Atkinson. The author challenges the simplistic assumption that the suffragettes were primarily middle class, bringing to life the many working women who fought alongside them, despite greater dangers and societal challenges. 

Sisters: the lives of America's Suffragists by Jean H. Baker - They forever changed America: Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frances Willard, Alice Paul. 

Why They Marched: untold stories of the women who fought for the right to vote by Susan Ware - A more broad and diverse history of the men and women who fought for full citizenship.

The Women's Hour: the great fight to win the vote by Elaine Weiss - this critically acclaimed book has been optioned for the small screen by Steven Speilberg's Amblin Television.

The Women's Suffrage Movement by Sally Roesch Wagner - Insight into the struggles of the women's movement from primary documents and commentary before the passage of the 19th Amendment.

 

Fiction

Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier - As the Victorian era segues into the Edwardian period, an unhappy wife is introduced to the women's movement.

The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester - Set in London, 1912, a Fleet Street journalist is caught up in the women's movement as she chases after a missing interview subject. 

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd - A novel of Sarah Grimke, abolitionist and feminist.

Murder in Midtown by Liz Freeland - As the women's movement gains momentum, New York City secretary Louise Faulk dreams of becoming a police officer, a completely radical idea in 1913. 

Old Baggage by  Lissa Evans - Rifling through an old cupboard, Matilda Simpson finds a memento from her suffragette days, sparking memories of a fiery past.  Available in both print and E-book format.

Seneca Falls Inheritance by Miriam Grace Montfredo - Murder and intrigue at the Women's Rights Convention of 1848. 

A Well-Behaved Woman: a novel of the Vanderbilts by Therese Anne Fowler - Biographical fiction based on Alva Smith, an unconventional woman who became a leader in the women's suffrage movement.

Posted on Jul. 20, 2020 by Celeste Steward

Library To Go Service

Beginning July 13, members can request available items showing an on-shelf status in the library's catalog, or place a hold on checked out items. Beginning July 20, the library’s no-contact service for books, DVDs, etc. pick-ups will be available, by appointment only, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12-4 p.m. in the 2nd Floor lobby. You can return library materials to the lobby book drop anytime between 8 a.m. - 6 .p.m. Monday-Friday.

Previous requests for materials made before the Library's March 13 closure have been extended. However, some holds may have been inadvertently canceled. To check the status of a previous hold, log into your library account or call the Library on or after July 13 at 415-393-0101 for staff assistance.

Returned library materials will be quarantined for several days and will not be checked in immediately upon return. Please keep this in mind when viewing your account details. You will not be charged overdue fees while materials are in quarantine.

If you are out of the area after the To Go Service begins, or otherwise unable to return overdue library materials, please call Celeste Steward or Jenny Huynh at 415-393-0101 or email csteward@milibrary.org or jhuynh@milibrary.org

At this time, the library cannot accept book donations.

Library Service Pickup Step-By-Step

Request Items

  • Find books, DVDs, audiobooks on CD, or music CDs in the Library's catalog and place your hold.

  • At this time, periodicals are not available for reserve or checkout.

  • Members are limited to 10 items for checkout. This can be any combination of media and print materials.

  • If you require assistance placing holds, call 415-393-0101 during phone service hours: Monday through Friday, 12-4.
       

Wait for Notification

  • If the requested materials have an on-shelf status in the catalog, you will receive an email or phone notification within five business days that your materials are ready for pickup.

  • If the items requested are checked out or on hold for another library user, your request will be filled once the items are returned, quarantined for several days and checked in. Please be patient as this step is for safety reasons.

  • Once you receive notification that your items are ready for pickup, call the Circulation Desk at 415-393-0101 to schedule an appointment for pickup. If you cannot reach a live person to schedule an appointment, please leave your name and phone number so we can return your call and confirm your appointment time.

  • If you receive multiple messages that your items are ready for pick up, you do not need to make separate reservations. We will hold all items that are ready for pick up during your scheduled appointment time.

  • If you are only returning materials in the Lobby book drop, no appointment is necessary. Simply return them to the Lobby book drop M-F between 12:00 and 4:00.  
       

After Notification

  • Arrive at your appointed day and time slot.

  • If you need to reschedule, please give us a call at 415-393-0101.

  • You may return books and other materials during your appointment.

  • Fine resolution or member account consultation is not available during To Go Service.

  • Staff will be wearing face masks.

  • Face masks fully covering your nose and mouth are required.

  • To Go Service is for Library materials pickup and return only. Membership, chess, program, account issues/questions should be directed to the following numbers or email.
       

Who to Contact at MI

Chess Inquiries - 415-393-0110 or chess@milibrary.org 

CinemaLit and Events Questions - 415-393-0114 or events@milibrary.org

Fines or other library account issues - circulation@milibrary.org or call 415-393-0101.

Library Events, book clubs, virtual programs,etc.- 415-393-0102 or reference@milibrary.org  

Membership - 415-393-0105 or membership@milibrary.org

Reference and Reader's Advisory Service - 415-393-0102 or reference@milibrary.org

 

Posted on Jul. 9, 2020 by Celeste Steward

Fourth of July 2020 Events

While the 2020 Fourth of July celebration won't be the same as last year, you can still feel patriotic with an assortment of online events and activities. Perhaps you've had to reconsider parties, attend favorite events online, or forgo gatherings entirely. The pandemic may have changed our holiday celebration but there are always new discoveries to be made. Whether you are an intrepid explorer or an introvert, the Mechanics' Institute staff has collected the following July 4th activities, reads, and virtual events for you to enjoy wherever and whenever you choose. 

 

Digital Reading/Listening from the MI Library

Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership by Edward J. Larson

Mayflower Lives: Pilgrims in a New World and the Early American Experience by Martyn Whittock

Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies by David Fisher

Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations by Craig Nelson (eAudiobook)


 

Watch Independence Day Films on Kanopy with your Library Card

1776 Trenton—The Revolution's Darkest Hour

The Libreral Response—1776-1861

The Times That Try Men's Souls

George Washington Takes Command

Independence (Part of the PBS series “Freedom: A History of US”)


 

Tour a National Historic Site Virtually

Mount Vernon - The virtual tour of George Washington's beautiful colonial home in Mt. Vernon, VA is free, including 360-degree views in each room.

Statue Of Liberty - While not quite as awe-inspiring as being there in person, the SOL virtual tour contains captivating facts about the history of this American landmark. 

Smithsonian National Museum of American History - A treasure chest of educational viewings and lectures can be found here, including online exhibitions on transportation, the American presidency, and American industry. 

NASA - Bring outer space into your home with a full menu of activities and events premiering June 26 and continuing through July on NASA TV (instructions are on the website). 

Philadelphia - Visit the City of Brotherly Love virtually! Experience the sights, sounds, and history of one of America's oldest cities, including 360-degree photos, videos, and narration. 


 

Virtual Fireworks and Other Celebrations

Disney's Magical Fireworks Show - If July 4th just isn't the same without the sparkle and magic, you can tune into Disney Parks' new YouTube page and watch the entire show from your couch.

Foster City Parks and Recreation - One of the few cities in California to move nearly all its holiday events online, Foster City's website features a virtual pet contest, curbside pancake breakfast, home decorating contest, and more. 

Posted on Jun. 26, 2020 by Celeste Steward

The Say Hey Kid and Other Baseball Legends

Many years ago I met Willie Mays at a Baseball Hall of Fame media event. When my husband introduced me to Mays, I knew that I was shaking hands with a legend. How I wished I knew more about baseball so I could say something intelligent instead of being completely speechless. As it was, my children were clamoring for Mays' autograph. This gentle man, who has probably been asked that question countless times, very generously obliged.  

If you are a baseball fan or just want to know more about one of baseball's most legendary figures, don't miss Mechanics' Institute's librarian Taryn Edwards' interview with San Francisco Chronicle writer John Shea this Thursday, June 25 from 12:00-1:00 pm. Shea recently published 24: Life Stories and Lessons From the Say Hey Kid. During this live virtual event, Shea will discuss his collaboration with Willie Mays on writing the new memoir. The online program is free but registration is required for members and the general public.

You can find Willie Mays' new memoir in the Library's catalog along with these digital titles on baseball and baseball legends:

For the Good of the Game: The Inside Story of the Surprising and Dramatic Transformation of Major League Baseball by Bud Selig - Baseball Hall of Famer Bud Selig provides an inside assessment of professional baseball, revealing how he worked with players, managers, fellow owners, and fans to bring the game into the modern age.

Dinner With DiMaggio: Memories of an American Hero by Dr. Rock Positano and John Positano - A candid and personal memoir written by a DiMaggio family friend. 




 

Posted on Jun. 23, 2020 by Celeste Steward

June 28, 2020: 50 Years of Pride

June 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Pride Month. This year, Pride celebrations honor diversity, solidarity, and local heroes virtually (a list of helpful links with free activities to follow). Also for your viewing pleasure, we've assembled a list of LGBTQ+ films available for free on the Mechanics’ Institute Kanopy streaming service. All you need is your MI library card. Grab your popcorn and enjoy!

Moonlight - Oscar-winner for Best Picture, Moonlight is a moving and transcendent look at three defining chapters in the life of Chiron, a young man growing up in Miami.

Maurice - Set in pre-World War I England, Maurice is a story of coming to terms with one's sexuality and identity in the face of disapproval and misunderstanding.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post - Based on the novel by Emily Danforth, the Miseducation of Cameron Post follows the titular character (Chloe Grace Moritz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car at prom.

The Watermelon Woman - A fledgling filmmaker becomes obsessed with a character she sees in a 1930s movie. This is the story of the filmmaker’s search to find the actress and what she learns. Winner of the Best Feature Film at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Hearts Beat Loud - Set in Brooklyn's hip Red Hook neighborhood, a single dad and his college-age daughter team up in a live musical act which leads to many discoveries along the way. A Sundance Film Festival Official Selection.

1985 - A closeted New York City advertising executive returns to his Texas hometown during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. There, he reconnects with his family and an estranged childhood friend, forcing him to confront unresolved issues and an uncertain future.

Anchor & Hope - In their mid-30s, a lesbian couple living happily and simply in a London canal boat are pressured by a family member to have children.

Free Virtual Activities During Pride Month:

San Francisco Pride - Look here for information about SF Pride's annual parade online.

GLBT Historical Society - Learn the history of the Pride movement through the GLBT Historical Society's online art exhibitions, and virtual events.

Smithsonian's Project Pride - Free activities including a virtual Pride concert; drag queen story-time; a digital time-capsule celebration of LGBTQ+ Heritage, Culture, and History; and highlights of Smithsonian's special collections.

The Library of Congress - You'll find documentary footage of the first Pride march in New York City on June 28, 1970, as well as many other free LGBTQ+ online resources.

New York City's Pride March - Special broadcast in partnership with ABC 7 on June 28, hosted this year by actor Dan Levy.

Castro District - Take a self-guided online tour of the Castro’s queer street art.

San Francisco City Hall - Schedule of this month's lighting events honoring Pride and diversity.

Commonwealth Club's Lavender Talks - Free panel discussions every other Thursday night.

Posted on Jun. 12, 2020 by Celeste Steward

Moving Forward as a Community

Throughout the history of Mechanics’ Institute Library, intellectual growth and cultural advancement has always been promoted and encouraged. MI is widely known for its distinguished library of recreational, educational, and cultural materials. What began as an organization for vocational instruction and recreation during the Gold Rush era in San Francisco has evolved into a diverse community of literary-minded members in 2020. Improvement through education and information is, and always has been, a hallmark at MI.

In the past few weeks, our country has witnessed appalling acts of racism and violence. Anger is rampant now, not only in those who are perpetrating criminal acts but in peaceful, law-abiding citizens as well. It is disturbing to hear the news updates on racial injustices, looting, and excessive use of police and military force without becoming outraged.

But to give in to the rage is to be lost. It is only through education that we can improve the current situation. Now is an opportune time to consider carefully how our words, actions, and thoughts can help heal rather than divide. In true MI fashion, we turn to books and information to broaden our minds and open our hearts. We invite our members to peruse our digital title list highlighting racial issues and race relations in America.

The following eAudiobook and eBook titles are a small sampling of MI LIbrary’s holdings on race and race relations.

Nonfiction:

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The Heart of a Woman by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Martin Luther King, Jr., on Leadership: Inspiration & Wisdom for Challenging Times by Donald Phillips (eAudiobook)

Mistaken Identity: Race and Class in the Age of Trump by Asad Haider

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (eAudiobook)

On the Shoulders of Giants: How Harlem Became the Center of the Universe by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (eAudiobook)

Pride of Family: Four Generations of American Women of Color by Carole Ione (eAudiobook)

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup, also available as an eAudiobook

We Matter: Athletes and Activism by Etan Thomas (eAudiobook)

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People about Racism by Robin DiAngelo

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

Fiction:

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest Gaines

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

Home by Toni Morrison

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (eAudiobook)

Kindred by Octavia Butler

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Safe From the Neighbors by Steve Yarbrough

Such a Fun Age: A Novel by Kiley Reid

That Kind of Mother: A Novel by Rumaan Alam


The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

Posted on Jun. 9, 2020 by Celeste Steward

Best Comfort Films on Kanopy

Some days are ripe for a mental health break. Mechanics’ Institute’s new Kanopy streaming service is the perfect antidote to take your mind off everything that is happening right outside your front door. Kanopy has hundreds of feature films to comfort and lift your spirits. The best part is that you can binge-watch for free with your MI library card.

We’ve assembled a short list here with one goal in mind: to help you smile, laugh, and be reminded of better days. Please join us in a brief reprieve from these troubling times. To find Kanopy on MI’s website, go to https://www.milibrary.org/ and choose the Books and More tab. From the Books and More dropdown menu, select Articles and Online Resources to locate Kanopy in the alphabetical list. Once you click on Kanopy, you’ll need to create an account with a username and password, and in just a few moments, you’ll have thousands of films at your fingertips.

Here are our top choices for a soothing respite to refresh and cheer you:

Big Night - This is a story about a restaurant where the tables sit empty despite the talents of chef Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and the ambitious efforts of his brother Secondo (Stanley Tucci). A celebrity night at their restaurant promises not only to turn their business around but to change their lives. Winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the Best First Screenplay at the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

My Side of the Mountain - After the family trip is canceled, 14-year old Sam, a devotee of Thoreau, leaves home for the mountains. Based on the classic middle-grade novel of the same name by Jean Craighead George, this film chronicles a boy’s struggle for independence and his battle with the forces of nature.

A Street Cat Named Bob - The last thing a homeless man needs is another mouth to feed. But when James Bowen finds a stray cat in the London streets, he can’t resist nursing the poor creature back to health. Soon, the two are inseparable and sharing adventures in this transformative story of the redemptive power of pets. Based on the international best-selling book of the same name and winner of the Best British Film at the National Film Awards, UK.

Tortilla Soup - Semi-retired Mexican-American chef Martin Naranjo shares a suburban Los Angeles home with his three adult daughters. Although Martin has lost his sense of taste since his wife’s passing, he still cooks elaborate Sunday dinners for family and friends. The sisters humor their father’s old-fashioned ways but each is searching for fulfillment outside the family circle. Directed by Maria Ripoll, this comedy-drama was nominated for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Director in Motion Picture at the ALMA Awards.

Storm Boy - Michael Kingsley (Jeffery Rush), a retired businessman and grandfather, recounts to his granddaughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an orphaned pelican he named Mr. Percival. Based on the 1977 book of the same name by Colin Thiele, this is a timeless story of unusual and unconditional friendship. 
Children of a Lesser God - Marlee Matlin won a Best Actress Oscar for her role as a headstrong deaf girl who falls in love with John Leeds (William Hurt), an idealistic special needs teacher. Set against a New England backdrop, Sarah’s and John’s conflicting ideologies on speech and deafness create tension and discord in their developing relationship. Based on Mark Medoff’s 1979 Tony Award-winning stage play, this moving and intense love story will stay with viewers for a long time.

Posted on Jun. 1, 2020 by Celeste Steward

The Glory of (Virtual) Garden Tours

Few would argue that a gorgeous garden can do wonders for the spirit. A leisurely stroll to explore the magnificence of spring blossoms is a treat for the senses. While we cannot have the full sensory experience right now, we can bring nature into our homes via the internet. Many botanical gardens have created video tours of their greenhouses, flowers, and trees, allowing virtual visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature from the safety of their homes. For your horticultural pleasure, we offer the following sites:

New York Botanical Garden - One can spend hours exploring this giant urban retreat in the Bronx via a large number of excellent videos, ranging from a 20-minute overview to short bursts (a minute or two) of spring walks among the daffodils, lilacs, tulips, peonies, and more. Videos are set to music and include narration by horticulturists and other plant experts.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Nothing says spring like cherry trees. The BBG is famous for its cherry blossoms and you’ll adore the virtual Cherry Esplanade Walk—20 minutes of peaceful breezes and colorful blossoms, minus the crowds, humidity, and mosquitoes—outstanding cinematography!

Longwood Gardens - This sprawling garden in Kennett Square, PA, has more than 1,000 acres of forests, meadows, and greenhouses. You’ll find an engaging set of videos entitled “Our Gardens, Your Home” where online visitors can view native flowers and a tulip display, and create a floral arrangement at home. If you are a hands-on kind of person, you can learn how to create a bonsai here.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden - This 50-acre park in Richmond, VA, has more than a dozen themed gardens, including a rose garden, a native plant area, and a cherry tree walk. Virtual visitors can take a guided tour of some of its large garden areas, and view shorter virtual tours of individual flower sections, many of which are bursting with color, such as the peonies and the azaleas displays.

Chicago Botanic Garden - The CBG is located on 385 acres around nine islands, with six miles of lake shoreline. The garden has a renowned bonsai collection and a virtual tour that features a lovely native plant garden. You’ll also find numerous gardening tips and other information to start your own garden.

California Native Plant Society - For gardens closer to home, check out the CNPS virtual tour site for cultivated native plants. The CNPS docent-led video tours are categorized by chapter and region. CPNS’ site also features its fifteenth annual “Bringing Back the Natives” tour with lots of helpful information on native plant care.

Posted on May. 28, 2020 by Celeste Steward

Health-Care Workers: Frontline Heroes

In the days leading up to Memorial Day weekend, it is fitting to recognize health-care workers and the war on coronavirus. These medical “soldiers” who are staffing the hospitals and caring for the sick while risking their lives on a daily basis deserve our utmost gratitude. For many of us, it would be impossible to walk in their shoes.

It’s difficult to imagine working in a medical capacity during ordinary times, let alone in a pandemic. Thinking about caregivers and all that they are doing now makes me want to salute medical staff in general for their service. If you are fortunate enough to be sheltering comfortably in place, please join me in reading about the extraordinary experiences of health-care providers. You can download all titles from the Mechanics’ Institute Library catalog.

The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins - A much-lauded journalist chronicles a year in the lives of four hospital nurses. Gripping and real, read if you dare.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi - The memoir of Stanford neurosurgeon Kalanithi’s journey after being diagnosed with lung cancer. What happens when the doctor becomes the patient? What makes a life worth living? Nominated as a 2017 Pulitzer Prize finalist and a 2016 Goodreads Choice winner.

These Healing Hills by Ann Gabhart - At the close of World War II, Francine Howard learns that the soldier she planned to marry is in love with someone else. Devastated, Francine heads for the Appalachian Mountains to train as a nurse-midwife for the Frontier Nursing Service.

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese - The story of conjoined twins, orphaned at birth and adopted by two physicians. This coming-of-age novel written by an Ethiopian-born doctor contains detailed descriptions of many medical procedures and interventions. When first published in 2009, the book was on the New York Times Bestseller List and President Barack Obama’s summer reading list.

The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel Wilson - The long-awaited sequel to Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain carries on his literary legacy of big, bold, and top-secret experiments gone awry. Fifty years after the original Andromeda incident, nothing has happened until now. Deep in the Amazon jungle, a group of scientists is investigating a deadly, self-replicating microparticle structure that is growing exponentially.

 

Oil on cardboard of Lillian D. Wald by William Valentine Schevill, 1919. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Posted on May. 19, 2020 by Celeste Steward

Kitchen Aids: Listen While You Cook

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, which makes it a perfect venue for storytelling, especially during meal preparation. In between all that slicing, chopping, and stove watching, food-themed eAudiobooks are sure to spice up any number of mundane culinary tasks. Besides, spending more time in the kitchen accompanied by an engrossing audiobook can take a sizable bite out of your reading wish list.

Whether it’s a murder mystery, memoir, or romance, the publishing world is serving up a growing menu of eAudiobooks involving cooking and other gastronomic delights. The following titles are sure to enrich your kitchen time with many hours of literary enjoyment. All titles are available for download from the Mechanics Institute Library.

Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy - If you’ve never experienced Maeve Binchy’s dry sense of humor and sunny disposition, you’re in for a treat. Two chefs meet in cooking school and share a common dream: to open the best eating establishment Dublin has ever seen. This is the delightful story of Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather and their first year as proprietors of the Scarlet Feather Restaurant.

Penne Dreadful by Catherine Bruns - The first in the Italian Chef Mystery series is about local chef Tessa Esposito, whose husband’s fatal accident has now turned into a murder investigation. A light but satisfying appetizer that gets 4.5 stars in Goodreads.

Kitchen Yarns: Notes on Life, Love, and Food by Ann Hood - A heartwarming collection of essays to help you appreciate the power of a home-cooked meal. Hood is a master at creating community through industry--she is also the bestselling author of The Book That Matters Most and The Knitting Circle.

Queen of the Cookbooks by Ashton Lee - Mystery and comic relief involving a book club, a cooking contest, and a new library. Hearty fare for an intrepid cooking spree.

Death Comes in Through the Kitchen by Theresa Dovelpage - Set in Havana during the Black Spring of 2003, a charming but poison-laced culinary mystery reveals the darker side of the modern Revolution, complete with authentic Cuban recipes. A delicious, rich treat from veteran actress and narrator Cynthia Farrell.

The Second-Worst Restaurant in France by Alexander McCall Smith - A witty, charming sequel to My Italian Bulldozer about food writer Paul Stuart. This time, Stuart is struggling to extricate his finances and separate his reputation from an infamous local eatery. Gentle humor and mouth-watering descriptions of French food will tempt listeners to make travel plans.

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg - Substantial, hearty fare about the author’s Parisian journey and how it led to her highly popular food blog, Orangette.

Sugar and Spice by Angela Britnell - This light romance between workaholic chef Lily Redman and brooding, ex-military guy Kenen Rowse is set against a Cornwall backdrop. Sweet and breezy, perfect for a quick escape.

Posted on May. 12, 2020 by Celeste Steward