Reader’s Lounge

by Rachel Rayburn

The month of July brings the glorious Michigan summer, when outdoor activities abound! From grilling to picnics, read on to find books that will inspire you to celebrate the season.

The Picnic: Recipes and Inspiration from Basket to Blanket 

by Emily Isabella

Summer in Michigan is the perfect time to go on a picnic! For a festive and memorable meal away from the dinner table check out the inspiring recipes in The Picnic, written by three members of the Portland Picnic Society. The five chapters in this book cover Bites, Salads, Plates, Sweets and Sips.

You’ll find both classic and unusual picnic fare with multiple creative variations (Ten Best Baguettes, The Deviled Dozen [eggs], Six Salads on a Stick) and instructions for serving, storing, and transporting the prepared dishes. And lest you think a picnic is all about the food, the authors have also included the rules for scoring a variety of lawn games. How about a game of bocce or cornhole to whet your appetite before the feast?

How to Celebrate Everything: Recipes and Rituals for Birthdays, Holidays, Family Dinners, and Every Day in Between

by Jenny Rosenstrach

When life is hectic and you’d like to step back and create more meaningful connections with friends and family, look no further than How to Celebrate Everything. Author Jenny Rosenstrach is all about celebrating big and small moments and connecting people through rituals – simple or extravagant, daily or once a year, from major milestones to an ordinary dinner at home.

Her recipes are designed to appeal to all ages and the ideas to celebrate special moments have you covered for birthdays, vacations and beyond.

Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling

by Meathead Goldwyn

Part field guide to grilling and barbecuing and part cookbook, national barbecue judge “Meathead” Goldwyn debunks grilling myths to save you time, effort, and money. With co-author Greg Blonder, food scientist at Boston University, Goldwyn delves into
the hows and whys of grilling and barbecuing.

Read how marinades really work, why searing doesn’t seal in juices, the pros and cons of different grill methods (and how to decide which one is best) and much more about the science behind fire and food.

Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy

Fred Bueltmann

Who better to write a book on integrating beer and food than a master brewer? Local author Fred Bueltmann, managing partner at New Holland Brewing Company, is an enthusiastic advocate for seasonal cooking with craft beer and local ingredients. Divided into sections by season, this book provides recipes and tips to guide everyone from novice to pro in their beer and food pairings.

Fred also provides plenty of commentary on entertaining and cooking, complete with “Fred Rants” with titles like “Listen to Your Palate, Your Brain is a Liar” and “My Beer is Not a Number.”


Rachel Rayburn is a librarian at the Kentwood branch of the Kent District Library, where she answers reference questions, conducts technology training, and helps people find the perfect book. She has a weakness for cookbooks and historical fiction.


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