Container Gardens by Eleanore Lewis

Better Homes and Gardens Container Gardens is a perfect book for gardeners who want to garden on a small scale.

The book includes chapters on types of container gardens, types of containers for various outdoor spaces, basics of gardening, and types of plants.  Directions, types of plants, plant hardiness zones, time involved and level of skill are included for different types of gardens.  Gardening suggestions are given for various outdoor spaces.  These are illustrated by colorful photographs.

The chapter on the basics of gardening includes information on soil, tools, planting, watering, fertilizing, how to winterize planters, and other tips.  The last chapter gives the reader lists of various types of plants and valuable information about them.

This book seems to have everything one needs to know about container gardening.  It was fun to look at the beautiful photographs and is easy to follow.

Week 6 Challenges - Cells, Microorganisms and Tiny Creepy Crawlies!

Week 6 is all about the biology of very small things.  Here come the bugs!


Week 6 Challenges

Books on Tap - August 2014

Please join us on August 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm when we will discuss the travel memoir Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman.

"Tales of a Female Nomad is the story of Rita Golden Gelman, an ordinary woman who is living an extraordinary existence. At the age of forty-eight, on the verge of a divorce, Rita left an elegant life in L.A. to follow her dream of connecting with people in cultures all over the world. In 1986 she sold her possessions and became a nomad, living in a Zapotec village in Mexico, sleeping with sea lions on the Galapagos Islands, and residing everywhere from thatched huts to regal palaces. She has observed orangutans in the rain forest of Borneo, visited trance healers and dens of black magic, and cooked with women on fires all over the world. Rita’s example encourages us all to dust off our dreams and rediscover the joy, the exuberance, and the hidden spirit that so many of us bury when we become adults."

Review from Goodreads.

Books on Tap - July Follow Up

Last night saw some new faces as we gathered to discuss Let's Pretend This Never Happened: a Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson. Overall, the group enjoyed the book - there were many reports of laughing to the point of tears. While not every story included in the book was believed to be fully true, there were many points that were relatable. Being that the stories in the book were all over the place, it is only to be expected that the discussion covered a wide range of topics: family relations, social media, etiquette, and social boundaries were just a few of the topics covered. As a wider conversation, we also discussed the rise of the blogging culture and discussed other books that have been published by bloggers. If you would like to continue following Jenny Lawson, you can follow her blog called The Bloggess.

Please join us in August when we will discuss Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman.

Week 5 Challenges - Architecture

Here are the Week 5 Challenges!


Week 5 Challenges

  • Check Out -  Read an item from ELPL's list of hand-picked Architecture titles.  Or find one of your own.
  • Find Out - Name at least one of the architectural styles or motifs on display in Michigan State University's Beaumont Tower.  
  • Try Out - We've pinned lots of Architecture projects on ELPL's Pinterest Week 5 board .  Try one out or design your own activity to explore the wonderful world of architecture.
  • Go Out - Take a look at some of the best of architecture in Michigan, either by looking online or paging through books and magazines.  Then take a walk around your neighborhood.  What types of buildings do you see?  Do you recognize any iconic architectural styles?  Take a trip to downtown East Lansing or Lansing.  What kinds of buildings shape the region's downtowns?    

Hoopla users with Samsung Galaxy S4s - Read this before upgrading to Kit Kat

Hoopla users, if you have a Samsung Galaxy S4 you'll want to read this post before making the jump to Kit Kat.

We just received the following update from Hoopla:

Week 4 Challenges - Meteorology and Weather

We're releasing the Week 4 Challenges for Fizz, Boom, Read! a bit early this week, just in case you are traveling out of town for the holiday.  Also, on Tuesday, July 1 at 2pm, stop by the library to meet WILX-TV's Chief Meteorologist Darrin Rockcole, and fulfill the Week 4 Go Out Challenge.  Bring your weather related questions for fun session of "Ask the meteorologist!".  


Complete one of this week's challenges and win the Week 4 prize for your reading program, as well as the Week 4 Weather badge on your Summer Reading Personal Progress Page.

Complete two or more of this week's challenges and you will also win the Week 4 bonus prize for your reading program, as well as the Week 4 Weather Bonus badge on your Summer Reading  Personal Progress Page.


Week 4 Challenges

Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen

I still remember my first encounter with the Little House series. During a weekly class visit to my elementary school library, I decided that it was time to read more grown up books, and sought out the thickest book I could find in their fiction section. I reached for a displayed copy of Farmer Boy, the third book in the famed Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Counting the number of pages (a whopping 372!), and frankly amused by the title, I checked it out. A few short months later, after my summer vacation had come and gone, I had read the entire series by Laura Ingalls Wilder...more than once. I studied those books, carefully paying attention to their descriptions on churning butter or how to make Johnny cakes, amazed that people lived this way once, creating everything from scratch, surviving through winters on one potato a day, walking miles just to go to school, or enduring the summer heat in layer upon layer of clothing, because that's just the way it was done. Her stories were of survival, as thrilling as any adventure book in my eyes, because unlike the latest Choose Your Own Adventure story (it was the early 90's, after all), they were based on actual experiences.

Many years later, as I was browsing a list of upcoming titles, I came upon a book with a very interesting cover. As my eyes caught hold of the girl wearing a pioneer-era dress, the prairie grasses, and those signature braids, the signs merged in my Little House-centric mind, sending signals that this book must have some tie to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Upon further investigation, I discovered that this book was written by someone with a similar obsession to my own, an obsession that is carried through to the main character of Pioneer Girl as she discovers a link in her family history to none other than the Wilders themselves. As Nguyen's main character, Lee, sets out on the research journey of a lifetime to track down further information on Rose Wilder Lane, the famous writer, reporter and daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and the source of the link in her family's history, the frustrations of genealogy lead her to dead ends, uncertain sources, and events that will ultimately change her life.

To say that I enjoyed this book would be a definite understatement. I practically inhaled the words on the page, greedily postponing my daily obligations to delve straight into this story, to uncover little known facts that, despite my experiences with the books and my further reading, I had yet to discover. Yes, some story arcs are fictional, but others are based on very real events. I will leave the privilege of determining which is which to you.

A highly enjoyable, light summer read for old and young alike. Recommended for anyone interested in family history or for those who share a fondness for all things Little House.

Books & Bagels: Summer Special with Author Stephanie Burgis

East Lansing Public Library - Children's Storytime Room

Join East Lansing native Stephanie Burgis for a special Books & Bagels session. Please read one of the books in the trilogy ahead of time. All ages welcome.

The East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) will host author and East Lansing native Stephanie Burgis on Wednesday, July 30 from 2-3:30 p.m. for a special summer Books & Bagels event. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Burgis, discuss her Kat, Incorrigible trilogy and hear how she decided to become a writer. Although the Kat, Incorrigible trilogy is geared toward readers in the 9- to 13-year-old age range, all ages are welcome to meet Burgis and enjoy bagels donated by the Panera in Frandor.

Burgis grew up in East Lansing, but currently lives in Wales with her husband and their children. Before becoming a full-time writer, she studied music as a Fulbright Scholar in Vienna, Austria and worked as a website editor for a British opera company. “Growing up in East Lansing as a book-crazy kid and wannabe writer, I spent as much time in the public library as I could,” Burgis said. “It was one of the most important and beloved places in my childhood. It’s still a touchstone place for me even now, when I live in a different country, because almost all the books and genres that have most influenced me as a writer were first discovered by browsing the shelves there, with the warm encouragement of the wonderful librarians.”

Project 60/50 Film Series - Race: The Power of an Illusion, The House We Live In

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

Image courtesy of PBSPlease join the East Lansing Public Library and Michigan State University in a joint program to view and discuss the PBS program Race - The Power of an Illusion:  The House We Live In.  MSU PhD graduate Valencia Moses will be facilitating discussion after the movie.

Episode synopsis (from  If race doesn't exist biologically, what is it?  And why should it matter?  Our final episode, "The House We Live In," is the first film about race to focus not on individual attitudes and behavior but on the ways our institutions and policies advantage some groups at the expense of others.  Its subject is the "unmarked" race:  white people.  We see how benefits quietly and often invisibly accrue to white people, not necessarily because of merit or hard work, but because of the racialized nature of our laws, courts, customs, and perhaps most pertinently, housing.

Fizz, Boom, Read! - All About the Weather

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

After our brutal Michigan winter lots of people are wondering what happened to make it so fierce.  Please bring your thoughts and questions and, "Ask the meteorologist!".

Instrument Petting Zoo

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

Instruments - Courtesy of WikipediaWilliam White, of White Brothers Music of Bath, will bring instruments to try out and enjoy!

Guided Tour of the Broad Museum @ MSU

MSU's Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, MSU Campus

Join us for an insider's guide to the architecture and art of MSU's Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.