Saturday, December 28, 2013

To a Healthier New Year!

It’s that time of year again: News Year’s Resolution time. Many among us will renew our commitment to making changes in our lives.  I already know mine will be cooking more and healthier food (fewer cans of soup and more homemade soup!)—and health is a common resolution theme, especially eating better and shedding a few pounds.  

This year, if you are among the nutrition and weight-loss resolution-ists, ECRL has a few resources that can help you on your way.  While there are countless methods and proposed solutions out there, I hope these resources will get your wheels turning about which one or ones might work for you.  

Here’s to rededicating ourselves to healthy living! 

BOOKS  (Print & Digital)

The 3-1-2-1 diet: eat and cheat your way to weight loss--up to 10 pounds in 21 days (Print) by Dolvett Quince (2013). Quince, a star trainer on NBC's “The Biggest Loser”, proposes a weight loss plan that balances diet and fitness: 3 days of "clean" eating, 1 day to cheat, 2 days of clean eating, and 1 day for reward--plus a fitness plan that incorporates brief but intense workouts. 

Better Each Day: 365 Expert Tips for a Healthier, Happier You (ebook) by Jessica Cassity (2011). Cassity’s 365 tips and tricks for better living incorporate research and wisdom garnered from conversations with wide-ranging health experts, including doctors, nutritionists, yogis, psychologists, trainers, and more.  

Eat to live cookbook: 200 delicious nutrient-rich recipes for fast and sustained weight loss, reversing disease, and lifelong health (Print) by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.  (2013). Fuhrman promotes a nutrient-loaded diet high in plant-based foods and low in animal and processed foods (and calories) for optimum health and longevity. Recipes span breakfast, main meals, snacks, and desserts. Click here for the ebook version.
Eating Mindfully: How to End Mindless Eating and Enjoy a Balanced Relationship with Food (ebook) by Susan Albers (2012). A licensed clinical psychologist and diet and fitness coach, Albers approaches health by exploring the myriad of personal and social meanings around food and eating (and the habits we form) and offering strategies to manage those meanings and habits in your own life.  

The start here diet: three simple steps that helped me transition from fat to slim ... for life by Tosca Reno with Billie Fitzpatrick (2013).  Reno’s three-step weight loss "recipe" (dive inward, uncover your hidden foods, move a little) is packed with tips on shopping, meal planning, recipes, and effective exercises you can do at home. 


Natural Health Magazine. (Digital - ZinioMonthly magazine focusing on natural ingredients to better health, including articles on nutrition, recipes, and overall strategies for wellness.  

Weight Watchers.  (Digital - ZinioA monthly magazine offering recipes and tips for weight loss. 


“Choose My Plate,” Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). The CNPP is an organization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Their website “Choose My” is dedicated to helping citizens developing health living habits, including tips to eat healthy on a budget, tools to estimate calories and physical activity, food plans and recipes. 

“Weight Loss for Life,” Weight-control Information Network (WIN). WIN is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (part of the National Institutes of Health). WIN offers a range of current, research-based health information, including tips on nutrition, weight control and fitness.  

Andrea Hermanson, Branch Librarian, Pine City 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Want to unplug over the holidays?

In the technology-filled world that we live in, it is easy to get swept up in obsessing over the latest gadget or getting glued to the screen, especially during the holiday shopping season.  At the same time, the holidays are a time when families are together unwinding.  As such, they present a good opportunity for the whole family to disconnect from devices and go tech-free for a while!  

Here are some recommended picture books to read with your child that illustrate the joys of unplugging.

A child seeks a way to communicate with parents and a brother who are busy with their electronic devices.

Chloe Bunny lives with her big family of ten older brothers and sisters and ten younger brothers and sisters, but it is only Chloe who is able to compete with the new television set that Dad brings home one evening.

Upset that her family is so focused on the screens on their various electronic devices that they no longer talk, laugh, and play games together, Ella takes all of their chargers and small devices.

When a busy family's activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.

Doug the robot discovers that cities are much more than downloaded facts when he unplugs from the computer feed and explores one first-hand.

A boy and a robot strike up a friendship despite their differences.

Do you have any children’s book recommendations regarding technology you’d like to share?  Post in the comments below!

*Thanks to Kathy Kleckner of Dakota County Libraries for the recommendations at the Minnesota Library Association Conference 2013- "Early Literacy and Screen Time."
Sarah Hawkins, Branch Librarian, Chisago Lakes Area Library

Monday, December 16, 2013

Forthcoming titles - December 2013

Forthcoming titles - click here to search for and place your hold on the ECRL catalog


Title Contributor
Child of Mine Lewis, Beverly
Cop Town: A Novel Slaughter, Karin
Deserves to Die Jackson, Lisa
Girl missing : a novel revised edition Gerritsen, Tess
Invisible Patterson, James
Last bride Lewis, Beverly
A Moment in Time Peterson, Tracie
Mr. Mercedes: A Novel King, Stephen
The Promise Carr, Robyn
Rainy Day Dreams Copeland, Lori
Shadow Spell Roberts, Nora
The Skin Collector Deaver, Jeffery
Terminal City Fairstein, Linda A.
Top Secret Twenty-One: a Stephanie Plum Novel Evanovich, Janet


Title Author
Child of Mine Lewis, Beverly
Do or Die: Reluctant Heroes Brockmann, Suzanne
Invisible Patterson, James
Last bride Lewis, Beverly
A Moment in Time Peterson, Tracie
Shadow Spell Roberts, Nora
The Skin Collector Deaver, Jeffery
Temptation Woods, Sherryl
Top Secret Twenty-One : a Stephanie Plum novel Evanovich, Janet


Title Contributor
The 1st Victim Hoag, Tami
8 Sandpiper Way Macomber, Debbie
The Beekeeper's Ball Wiggs, Susan
Carnal Curiosity Woods, Stuart
Delivering Death Kramer, Julie
FaceOff Baldacci, David
Invisible Patterson, James
Midnight Rainbow Howard, Linda
Mr. Mercedes: A Novel King, Stephen
No Ordinary Man Brockmann, Suzanne
Shadow Spell Roberts, Nora
The Skin Collector Deaver, Jeffery
Summer at Willow Lake Wiggs, Susan
Target Baldacci, David
Top Secret Twenty-One : a Stephanie Plum novel Evanovich, Janet

Marcia Ledin, Technical Services Coordinator

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 BOOK AWARDS - Booker, Nobel, Pulitzer !

The votes are in, and the winners have been announced!  Here are the authors and books that received major literary awards in 2013:



Cited as a “master of the contemporary short story”, Munro is the first Canadian to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.  She is also a three-time winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for Fiction.  Her works include:

Dance of the Happy Shades (1968)             

The Progress of Love (1986)

The Love of a Good Woman (1998)

Dear Life (2012)



Johnson is a South Dakota native and Associate Professor in Creative Writing at Stanford University.  He received the Pulitzer for The Orphan Master’s Son.  His works include:

Emporium (2002)

Parasites Like Us (2003)

The Orphan Master’s Son (2012)



McBride is a writer and musician whose 1996 memoir, The Color of Water, was a huge bestseller.  He received the National Book Award for The Good Lord Bird.  His works include:

 The Color of Water (1996)

 Miracle at St. Anna (2002)

 Song Yet Sung (2008)

 The Good Lord Bird (2012)


 THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE – Eleanor Catton

A native of New Zealand, Catton attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2008.  She received the Booker Prize for The Luminaries and is the youngest recipient (at age 28) of that award.  Her works include:

 The Rehearsal (2008)

 The Luminaries (2013)


Many of these titles and various other award-winners are in the East Central Regional Library collection.  Check Evergreen (our online catalog) or contact your nearest ECRL branch library for assistance!

Bob Gray, Reference and Interlibrary Loan Librarian



Monday, December 2, 2013

Winter Delights

At the Mille Lacs Branch of East Central Regional Library, we slow down at this time of year so I have the time to write a blog posting.  The snowbirds have flown south to their condos and trailers.  The rest of us are left to face winter.  It could be a daunting five months of darkness and cold, but a trip to the nonfiction section of the library can give you some ideas on how to make it through a Minnesota winter.

Since the holidays are just around the corner, it might be nice to bake up some goodies for neighbors, friends or family.  You can warm up the house while doing a good deed.  Here are a few newer holiday baking books you can put a hold on:

Holiday crafting & baking with kids : gifts, sweets, and treats for the whole family by Jessica Strand

Sweet Christmas : homemade peppermints, sugar cake, chocolate-almond toffee, eggnog fudge, and other sweet treats and decoration by Sharon Bowers

Another way to while away those winter hours is to knit or crochet.  You can justify spending hours watching movies or television if you are making something at the same time.  Some easy items to knit that will also keep you or a loved one warm include mittens, hats, stockings, scarves and leg warmers.  You could also crochet a more complicated afghan or sweater.  You’ll find many books on yarn working in the 746 Dewey Decimal areas. ECRL has many hobby books from painting to quilting and woodworking that can give you free patterns and advice.  These books have some ideas for gifts you can make:

Handmade Gifts, 2013

Holiday boutique knitting:  inspired holiday d├ęcor and gifts to knit by Mary jean Daigneault

After the holidays are over, it’s time to put the house back in order.  The library has many books that tell you how to de-clutter, organize or clean your house in the 648 section of nonfiction.  ECRL also has books on Feng Shui which is the Chinese art of optimal home placement to bring you good fortune and happiness.  Here are a few newer books to give you some ideas on how to enhance your living space:

Soulspace:  transform your home, transform you life - creating a home that is free of clutter, full of beauty, and inspired by you by Xorin Balbes
Feng Shui that makes sense:  easy ways to create a home that feels s good as it looks by Cathleen McCandless

Winter can feel long when the cold forces us inside for days at a time.  Help the time pass pleasantly and productively by reading and pursuing hobbies that can bring warming happiness to you and others. Check out an East Central Regional Library book today.

Kathy Morrow
Mille Lacs Lake Community Branch Librarian