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perfect pie

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Gathering with friends and family and eating delicious foods are two of my very favorite things. For me the best part of Thanksgiving is getting a small slice of all of the different kinds of pie!

When I lived in Virginia, a family I knew from church had a pie party on the morning of Thanksgiving every year. They would invite neighbors and friends to come eat pie before the day’s festivities began. I loved that they had this party and looked forward to it as soon as fall began each year.

As the holidays approach, I thought I’d share a few of the resources we have to help you make the perfect pie. If you need some help getting started, this four part Pie Making Boot Camp series from Mel’s Kitchen Café will guide you on your pastry making journey (each word links to a different part in the series). These blogposts are filled with lots of pictures to guide you step by step. In addition, here are some great pie-based cookbooks we have at the library! 

11.20.17 Handheld PiesHANDHELD PIES 
by Sarah Billingsley

Features free-form, structured, and jar pies as well as a variety of crust and filling recipes. This book includes both sweet and savory pies.



11.20.17 Pie and TartPIE & TART
by Carolyn Weil

A homemade pie or tart is a great way to make any meal special. Baking is easy as pie when following the recipes in this book!



11.20.17 Pie SchoolPIE SCHOOL
by Kate Lebo

Now this is the kind of school I’d like to attend! The author shares 50 recipes and includes the social history of the pie.



11.20.17 Cutie PiesCUTIE PIES
by Dani Cone

This book includes sweet and savory hand, petite, jar, and full-sized pies. Also pie pops. Pie on a stick? Count me in!



11.20.17 Art of the PieART OF THE PIE
by Kate McDermott

Kate McDermott has taught thousands of people across the country how to make pie at her Pie Camps. This book includes more than a dozen crust recipes, half of which are gluten free.




11.20.17 Lion House PiesLION HOUSE PIES
by Brenda Hopkin

In this book you’ll find more than 70 recipes with easy-to-follow directions and a DVD with baking tips and tricks!





11.20.17 Teenys Tour of PieTEENY’S TOUR OF PIE
by Teeny Lamothe

I read this book a few years ago (and reviewed it last November) and I just keep thinking about it! I love that Teeny wanted to be a lady pie baker and made her dream happen. This book is part cookbook and part memoir, one of my favorite kinds of books to read.


And in case someone beat you to the punch checking these ones out, search for the following downloadable eBooks on Overdrive to ensure that you’ll always have access to a great book about pie.

THE MAGIC OF MINI PIES by Abigail Gehring

THE PIE PROJECT by Phoebe Wood

PIE by Ken Haedrich

GLUTEN-FREE & VEGAN PIE by Jennifer Katzinger 

Also, don’t miss our Holiday Cooking display on the 2nd floor for more delicious cooking resources!

Discovery Kit FB

If you didn’t know already – play is a really important part of developing good readers and thinkers. “Pretend play” is especially important to help kids develop their imaginations, reasoning skills, social skills, and pre-reading skills. What better way to foster play than with a Discovery Kit chock full of ideas to inspire little ones? Whether you have a pirate, fairy, or monster-lover we have a kit for you. 

Many of our patrons have already discovered Discovery Kits (one of the best kept secrets of the Children’s Department) and know just how fun they can be. For our patrons who don’t know what a Discovery Kit is, now is a great time to get acquainted. Discovery Kits are a selection of themed books, toys, and activity ideas appropriate for kids ages 3-5, and each one is filled with enough fun to fill days and days. The Discovery Kits check out as a set and you can keep them for three weeks. That means you have three weeks to play with all the toys, read all the books, and do all the things suggested in the included activity binder. When your three weeks are up, just bring the kit back to the Children’s Reference Desk and you can make a reservation for another one. The best part is that you can now make a reservation for a Discovery Kit online on the library website

I recently wrote a blog post about finding fun things to do with my niece who loves Frozen. The process of finding things she might like were similar to the steps the children’s librarians go through when creating new Discovery Kits – but on a much smaller scale. Believe me, we put a lot of thought into helping our little patrons grow and develop into the best people they can be, and Discovery Kits are just one (of many) ways we try to foster that. 

Check out to see which adventure to take your kids on next.

russian revolution


Between March and November of 1917, two key events framed the collapse of the Russian Empire: the forced abdication of Tsar Nicholas on March 15, 1917 and the November 17, 1917 revolt by the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin. Though Russia continued to be convulsed until at least 1923 by civil war against the Bolsheviks and their army, the execution of Tsar Nicholas and his family, and the power struggle between Lenin and Trotsky, November of 1917 is seen as the defining moment that changed the history of the world and laid the foundation for the establishment of the communist government in Russia.

Representing a variety of viewpoints and relying on new historical documents, a number of recent books have been written for the centennial of the Russian Revolution that review, revise and renew our understanding of the momentous events that irrevocably changed Russia and the world.

By China Mievielle’s

In February, 1917, Russia was monarchy; nine short months later it was a socialist nation. Focusing on the months between February and October, 1917, fantasy author Mieville tells the story of the intrigues and calamities, the personalities and peoples that transformed Russia.





By Sean McMeekin

McMeekin’s fast paced narrative focuses on events between 1900 and 1920, tracing the transformation of Russia from a Romanov dynasty to a Bolshevik regime. Often aided by outside nations hoping to benefit from the economic and political chaos in Russia, the Bolsheviks triumphed even though the economy collapsed and more than 20 million Russians died.




By Will Englund

March, 1917: Woodrow Wilson gave his second inaugural address, America entered World War I, and Tsar Nicholas abdicated. Focusing on this key month, Englund uses diaries, newspapers and memoirs to add detail to the story of that key month when the world we know today originated.




By Helen Rappaport

Foreigners living on Nevsky Prospekt, St. Petersburg’s main street, had a firsthand view of the chaos in Russia, as Nicholas abdicated and the Bolsheviks fomented a coup. Rappaport uses their diaries and letters home to show us the action first hand, as they experienced it.




11.14.17 Lenin on the TrainLENIN ON THE TRAIN
By Catherine Merridale

When Tsar Nicholas abdicated, Lenin was exiled in Zurich. Resolving to return immediately to Russia to lead a revolt against the Russian government, he embarked on a journey that would change the world. Using material never before presented, Merridale tells story of his train ride from Switzerland through Germany, bringing to life the intrigue, the desperation and the idealism that made it possible.



By Robert Service

Using the Tsars own diaries and also official testimonies, Service details Tsar Nicholas II's last eighteenth months.




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