Book Review: Good and Cheap

good and cheap

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Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day is an essential cookbook, not just one for those trying to eat on a budget. So many cookbooks are loaded with complicated recipes with ingredients that nobody can pronounce with a straight face. This book strips cooking down to it’s essentials, and is driven by the idea that simple, fresh ingredients are the key to eating well. It’s also a commentary on the assumption that one has to be rich to eat well these days, and that it’s cheaper to eat fast food or instant processed food. This book shows that with a few basic cooking skills and the knowledge of which ingredients to buy, one can eat for a day on less than what the average “value meal” at McDonald’s costs.

Lately, we have seen many books of this nature. Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan have become celebrities and best selling authors by promoting the “real food” movement. With such lines like, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” the real food movement has been rapidly gaining fans. This book is a perfect addition to those already on the bandwagon, or for those who are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to convert to a simple, nutritious, and delicious diet.

For those interested in the book, it can be borrowed from the library here, or the author has made it available for free via pdf download here.

Costume Exchange

costume exchangeLooking for an awesome new Halloween costume? Check out our costume exchange. We have lots of great costumes for all ages. Just bring in a new or used costume and in exchange you can take home one of ours! They will be set up all throughout October so stop in when you can.

Costume Contest Party

costume partyOctober 22 is the Aitkin Library Costume Contest for kids 5th grade and younger. The party starts at 5:30. Tricks and treats will be provided. We’ll have pumpkins to decorate and take home, and we’ll be showing classic Halloween specials. First, second and third place winners of the costume contest will take home spooky movies to get the whole family in the mood for Halloween! Sign up at the library or here on Facebook.

Book Club

_DSC4194_editWe’re hosting a new permanent event at the library. The last Wednesday of every month at 6:30 will be the book discussion group. We’re going to be reading a wide variety of books, and we’re always looking for new book ideas. The first book we’ll be reading is Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. The book for next month will be Killer Angels by Jeff Shaara. Copies are available at the library for those with library cards.

The Martian

the martian by andy weir

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The Martian by Andy Weir

In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney is abandoned by his crew and left for dead. He shouldn’t have survived the freak accident that appeared to kill him, and when he realizes it didn’t, he knows that his chances for long term survival are bleak. Despite having enough food to last a year, being the only inhabitant of Mars’s red desert presents numerous challenges to the unwilling Earthling immigrant. Nobody knows he’s there, and even if they did, it would take years to get a rescue ship to him.


The story is mostly told through Watney’s space log where we get an appreciation of his ingenuity and self-deprecating humor. The book brilliantly demonstrates humanity’s instinct to persevere in the face of impossible odds. Watney uses his engineering skills to continuously find ways to extend his lifespan, and his observational wit to keep him sane as Mars’s loneliest resident.


The book does a great job of mixing the tension of a sci-fi thriller with a constant stream of one-liners from Watncy. His ability to keep his sense of humor despite leap frogging from one life threatening emergency to the next makes him easy to identify with and pull for.
The Martian is a page turner, and one of the funniest science fiction books ever written. It’s a must read for all sci-fi fans, and also fans of survival stories and thrillers. It’s being made into a movie starring Matt Damon.

Teddy Bear Picnic

teddy bear picnicWe had another great group of kids and parents for our Teddy Bear Picnic, and student aide Shyela Reimel did a great job filling in for Margaret Hetzel doing the reading and helping the kids create some colorful sidewalk art!

Why is Sherlock Holmes Popular?

url-sherlock-holmesOn Tuesday, August 4, renowned Sherlock Holmes expert, Regina Stinson, will be giving a presentation on the enduring popularity of the Baker Street detective. She’ll discuss his origins, his power of observation, and why he’s a timeless figure in popular culture. The library will celebrate this hero of scientific thinking by showing Holmes movies and shows throughout the day and by serving English tea and biscuits (cookies).

*Excerpt from Jeffersonian*

Nearly 130 years after his creation by author Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes remains a popular subject of books, films and television shows. He seems so real that many people actually send letters to his fictional 221B Baker Street Address. Stinson notes, “Holmes still fascinates us.” He sets the standard for all fictional detectives who have followed him, and his methods of observation and deduction are studied by real police forces around the globe. Stinson will tell us why we find him so compelling, and illuminate how he has influenced the art of crime detection.

New Website

site screen shotThe library’s new website is now live!! Please explore it use it, and feel free to ask questions or offer suggestions. It is still a work in progress, but our former website was due for an update. All of the most important functionality such as accessing the catalog, ebooks, and MeLCat are easily accessible.