A colorful palette of Indian spices and herbs

The Mistress of Spices: a Spice Fantasy

Fri., May. 31
The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni DB 87874 transports you immediately with a literary-sensory explosion of color, scent, and touch to an exotic land of spices. This exotic land is Oakland, California, where a powerful immortal named Tilo keeps shop in a nondescript Indian grocery--disguised as an old woman. Tilo takes special care of each customer: learning their hearts desire, their greatest fears,…
A colorful stack of newspapers

Daily Newspapers and more for LBPH Patrons!

Sun., Apr. 28
You may know that the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped offers a handful of audio magazines by mail, but did you know that our patrons are eligible for a service that has over 500 daily newspapers across the country, and 70 magazines? This is through the National Federation of the Blind NEWSLINE service. Patrons can call in to hear their local daily newspapers…
Cover art of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Not the Treasure For Me

Fri., Apr. 5
The Alchemist DB 37602 by Paulo Coelho is a tale of self-determination, discovery, and most importantly, treasure. Wait, maybe I've got those mixed up… Anyways, this short but poignant allegorical story was written by Paulo Coelho in 1988, and although it had the most modest of success at first (dropped by its original publisher as a flop), it was picked back up by an optimist…
Profile portrait of young Michelle Obama in black and white staring off into the distance

Perspectives on "Becoming" from LBPH

Wed., Mar. 6
The LBPH Talking Books Book Club read the new autobiography Becoming by Michelle Obama. The former First Lady details her experience growing up in the South Side of Chicago, her passion for the pursuit of success and education, her experiences at Princeton as a person of color coming from a very different background as many of her classmates, and into her adult life: becoming a professional…
Book character Princess Magnolia from the Princess in Black book series wears a black bandit mask, a cape and black boots with a magnolia and a giant safety pin on her belt.

My favorite books to read (to children)

Tue., Feb. 5
The introduction of "chapter books" is an exciting, if sometimes intimidating experience for children. It's a new format, with more content, and a bigger vocabulary! As a babysitter that relishes reading with kids as the path to early literacy, I've found that there are certain characteristics that are guaranteed to make a kid laugh, even in the foreign territory of chapter books: funny names are…

Garden Noam: Tranquil Space, Turbulent Topic

Thu., Jan. 10
International politics, U.S. imperialism, journalistic corruption, and infringement of democratic rights: what better place to digest these heady and complex concepts than in the garden, while surrounding yourself with peace and nature? While I was traveling across Europe in 2017, I spent a month in France designing and planting a classical French garden, a month in England helping create an organic permaculture garden, and a…
Map from the book Travels with Charlie by John Steinbeck

Travels With Charley: In Search of America (and a good road trip book)

Wed., Dec. 5
“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” - John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley Somehow having managed to skip any Steinbeck in high school, I had always imagined his work to be somber, serious and dry. But on a recent road trip from Pittsburgh to Memphis, friends brought along the audio version of his road story, Travels with…
A hand bearing a lantern emerges from beneath the invisibility cloak- the image is a still from the movie adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

A Smorgasbord of the Supernatural

Mon., Oct. 29
I am a scaredy cat and I enthusiastically avoid gruesome stories, whether in movies or in books. But I do love fantasy and pieces that flirt with the haunting realm of witches, vampires and ghosts. In the spirit of Halloween, things that go bump in the night and send a shiver down our collective spines, I've compiled 3 of my favorites. These couldn't be different…
Cinderella stares longingly out of a window dressed in a raggedy patch-work dress.

Tween Queens: A Tale of Two Ella's

Tue., Sep. 25
We all, I assume, know Disney's iconic version of the fairy tale Cinderella. Friend to small animals, sings while scrubbing floors, love at first sight with Prince Charming, dainty feet, happily ever after. You may also know the Brothers Grimm darker, more vengeful justice-focused version, featuring violence and bodily dismemberment.   But these were not the versions that captured and shaped me. I read two…
A woman stands in front of her four camels

Likability of the Camel Lady

Tue., Aug. 21
Does a likable character equate to a likable book? How does an unsavory character effect ones experience of a book? These questions come to me after reading—actually, devouring—the autobiographical saga Tracks DB 18639 by Robyn "The Camel Lady" Davidson and absolutely loving it, but finding that many other readers are critical of the book because of her strong (read: unlikable) personality. Robyn had reason to be…