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Friday, January 23, 2015

National Pie Day

Today is National Pie Day.  This is not to be confused with Pi Day, which is held on March 14th.  National Pie Day was first recognized by Charlie Papzaian of Boulder, Colorado when he declared his birthday as National Pie Day.  National Pie Day has now been sponsored by the American Pie Council (APC) for almost 30 years and is held annually on January 23rd. 
In celebration of National Pie Day we have highlighted some great pie books from our collection.

As American as Apple Pie
By Phillip Stephen Schulz
What is more American than apple pie?  Phillip Schulz’s As American as Apple Pie includes some great recipes from across the country and several recipes for homemade apple pie.


Never Say Pie: A Pie Shop Mystery
By Carol Culver
Hanna Denton, a pie maker, is suspected of murdering former food critic, Heath Barr.  Hanna must now find the real killer or she will be left to do all her baking behind bars.  Carol Culver also includes yummy recipes for double chocolate cream pie and butterscotch pecan pie.

The Pie and Pastry Bible
By Rose Levy Beranbaum
Rose Beranbaum’s The Pie and Pastry Bible includes recipes for every pie and pie crust imaginable.  Need a recipe for a flaky cream cheese pie crust?  This book has you covered!

Pie Town
By Lynne Hinton
Pie Town, New Mexico, a real town in New Mexico that you can read about in one of our previous blog post, has two newcomers.  Father George Morris, a new priest, and Trina, a young hitchhiker, will transform this once legendary town giving its citizens a new outlook on life.  Lynne Hinton has not forgotten to include recipes for Francine’s Banana Cream Pie and Pie-O-Near Pecan Oat Pie.

Piggie Pie
By Margie Palatini and illustrated by Howard Fine
Gritch the Witch wakes up with her tummy grumbling and decides to make piggy pie.  All she needs is 1 eye of a fly, 2 shakes of a rattlesnake's rattle, 3 belly hairs of a possum, and 8 plump piggies.  But Gritch doesn’t have 8 plump piggies.  What is a witch to do?  Go to Old MacDonald’s farm of course!

Welcome Back to Pie Town
By Lynne Hinton
Back in Pie Town, New Mexico, life should be sweet.  Trina has finally found a home for her and her daughter.  She has also found love!  Raymond Twinhorse has just come back from serving a tour in Afghanistan; however, Pie Town is a totally different place to Raymond.  When an accident befalls Trina, Raymond is charged with the crime.  The entire community must come together to clear his name.  Several recipes from Welcome Back to Pie Town can be found in the final pages.  

Look for these books and many more at the Mississippi Library Commission.
National Pie Day is Dean Winchester's favorite day!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Magnolia Award: Children's Choice for Mississippi

Have you heard about the Magnolia Award? It is the children's choice award for the state of Mississippi. Each February, students across the state vote on their favorite book of the year. The list of nominations for 2015 is here. I've been reading the nominees and let me tell you--I can't wait until the winners are announced at the Fay B.Kaigler Children's Book Festival in April! You can peruse the previous winners below to see what a great job the kids have done choosing:

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Kate DiCamillo, author
Jon Scieszka, author
43 Cemetery Road:  Dying to Meet You
Kate Klise, author
Sara Klise, illustrator
Hot Rod Hamster
Cynthia Lord, author
Derek Anderson, illustrator
grades K-2, 2013
Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to NOT Reading
Tommy Greenwald, author
grades 3-5, 2013
Deborah Wiles, author
grades 6-8, 2013
Big Mean Mike
Michelle Knudsen, author
Scott Magoon, illustrator
grades K-2, 2014
The Book of Blood:
From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins

H. P. Newquist, author
grades 3-5, 2014
Veronica Roth, author
grades 6-8, 2014
By the way, you can keep up with news about the Magnolia Award on their Facebook page. Happy reading!

Friday, January 9, 2015

MLC Magazines

The Mississippi Library Commission is a great place to study, read, or do research. It's also a great place to enjoy some of our latest magazine additions while on your lunch break! We now have Oprah, Sports Illustrated, The New Yorker, Better Homes and Gardens, and Newsweek.

In addition to these and other professional library magazines in our collection, we also have Southern Living magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, and several Mississippi-specific publications.

Bring your lunch, grab a magazine, and relax in one of our several comfy chairs or out on the screened-in patio. We hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How Will You Welcome 2015?

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations and customs vary across the world. While we in Mississippi are feasting on black-eyed peas and cabbage, take a gander at what festivities others across the world are enjoying:

The German custom of Bleigießen, or lead pouring, is known in English as molybdomancy, "a form of divination by observing the behavior of molten lead" (OED). To participate, a person melts a tiny blob of lead by holding it in a spoon over a candle or other small flame. After pouring the lead into a bowl of water, the shape is "interpreted" with various patterns portending certain events and changes. It reminds me of the time Harry Potter's Divination Class read tea leaves; I believe it has about the same accuracy rate. For instance, a lead blob that comes out looking like an apple signifies that your trust will be broken. Moon shaped blob? You'll be honored soon. Germans can buy Bleigießen sets which include the spoon, lead blobs, and interpretations. You can check out more meanings here.

Bleigießen set

In Spain, there is the tradition of las doce uvas de la suerte, or the twelve lucky grapes. One dozen of a particular variety of Spanish green grape is eaten as the clock strikes, ringing in the New Year. One grape per gong is hurriedly munched, but all twelve grapes must be consumed to guarantee a lucky new year. You can read more about this fun custom here.

12 lucky grapes

Ded Moroz, or Grandfather Frost, is a Russian New Year's figure who came into even greater prominence during the country's Communist years. He visits children and hands out gifts like Santa Claus; he even looks quite a bit like Old Saint Nick.

Grandfather Frost and his helper, Snow Maiden
Ded Moroz even has GLONASS tracking so that children can watch his flight to distribute presents, just like Santa uses NORAD. Check out more about that here.

Craving even more fun New Year's customs? Check out this entry from a few years back. The staff at the Mississippi Library Commission hope that you have a fantastic 2015! Happy New Year!
New year's day (Russia). (2010). In Holidays, festivals, and celebrations of the world dictionary. Retrieved from
New year's eve (Spain). (2010). In Holidays, festivals, and celebrations of the world dictionary. Retrieved from
Silvester. (2007). In Collins german dictionary. Retrieved from

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hobbying it Up in 2015!

New Year's Day is fast approaching and a lot of folks are considering resolutions, goals, or even new hobbies to embrace in the New Year. Are you wanting to flex your artistic muscles, write a book, or publish your first academic article? Maybe you want to try canning, growing your own healthy food, or homesteading with your back yard as your own personal farm. Or perhaps you want to try a new exercise activity. We've got you covered!
Come by the Mississippi Library Commission to check out a few of these highlights from our collection. Who knows? Maybe you'll find a new hobby!

  • Cyclopedia: It's All About the Bike by William Fotheringham
  • The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
  • The Elements of Style: illustrated by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
  • Print Liberation: The Screen Printing Primer by Nick Paparone & Jamie Dillon with Luren Jenison
  • Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword
  • Put 'Em Up!: A Comprehensive Home Preserving Guide for the Creative Cook from Drying and Freezing to Canning and Pickling by Sherri Brooks Vinton

Friday, December 19, 2014

Spiritual Literacy Month

December is Spiritual Literacy Month!  According to Chase's Calendar of Events, Spiritual Literacy "promot[es] respect for and among the world's religions and spiritual traditions."  Here are some great spiritual books to read to put you in the right frame of mind. 

 Essential Chan Buddhism: The Character and Spirit of Chinese Zen
By Chan Master Guo Jun
Chan Master Guo Jun shares his wisdom and insights from the heart and soul of Chan.  Chan is related, to but distinct from, its close relation, Japanese Zen.  Guo Jun gives us glimpses of his own arduous ascetic path and the ways Chan embodies not only Buddhism but Taoism and Confucianism.

Hinduism: World Religions
By Madhu Bazaa Wangu
This book clearly and succinctly presents the customs and beliefs of Hinduism as it is practiced today and deals as well with the mysteries and myths that sustained its growth over the centuries.

Judaism: World Religions
By Martha Morris and Stephen F. Brown
Morris and Brown offer a clear account of the history and ritual observances of Judaism, including its rites of passage, its places of worship, its sacred use of the ancient Hebrew language, and the role of the faith in preserving the Jewish identity and establishing the contemporary nation of Israel.

Lighting the Seventh Fire: The Spiritual Ways, Healing, and Science of the Native American
By F. David Peat
This book describes a stress-free and inspiring way of life so very different from the harsh, complex world in which we live.  Dr. F. David Peat, a theoretical physicist, addresses topics on: healing and disease, science, mathematics, history and myth, language, and time.


My Spiritual Alphabet Book
By Holly Bea
Illustrated by Kim Howard.
Bea's book combines playful rhyming text with warm and joyful illustrations to introduce young children to the world of the spirit.

The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth
By M. Scott Peck, M.D.
Dr. Peck guides his readers through the hard and often painful process of change toward a higher level of self-understanding on the journey to spiritual growth.  Written in a voice that is timeless in its message of understanding, The Road Less Traveled continues to help us explore the very nature of loving relationships and leads us toward a new serenity and fullness of life.

We hope that these books lift your spirits.  Check out more spiritual books at MLC
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