Preserving a Taste of Summer

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Harvest time is getting close! By now you probably have more zucchini and green beans than you know what to do with; tomatoes won’t be too far behind. Fresh vegetables taste like summer sunshine, and you’ll be wanting that taste of summer in the long, cold, dreary winter months that are coming whether we like it or not. It’s time to start thinking about preserving your food.

Luckily, there are plenty of people ready to help you out right here in Lane County. The OSU Extension Service is offering Master Food Preservers Workshops on a variety of delicious topics: continue reading >>

Books Just for You(Tube)

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It used to be that you had to be a movie star or a bestselling author to achieve superstardom. Now, fame is just a YouTube video away. Internet Famous is a thing, and YouTube fame comes with its own ships, fandoms, and Tumblr battles.

YouTube fame also comes with its own books. These self-help, style, drinking, and relationship guides from YouTube stars may not come with a guarantee that you too will achieve internet fame, but they will put a smile on your face and remind you that connecting with people doesn’t always require an internet connection (even if fame does). continue reading >>

July Staff Favorites, Part Two: Andy’s (Literary) Trip to Great Britain!

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I wound up reading three British novels for this month, two of which are set during WWII (one pretty much entirely, and the other only partly). How, you may ask, does Andy read three British novels simultaneously and keep them straight? And while you are at it, you may ask why read them together rather than one at a time? So glad that you asked. continue reading >>

July Staff Favorites, Part One!

Group of children (3-12) fishing on jetty (Digital Composite)

A selection of suspenseful, sweet, salutatory, salacious, and serious stories specially selected by our solicitous staff! continue reading >>

A History of Love

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June 2015 slipped right past me. It’s my own fault, but it still surprised me to realize that it is now July, and I’m not quite sure where June went. I apparently completely forgot the blog I was supposed to write, which is the first time I’ve ever done that. I would make up an excuse, but I can’t even figure out what would hold water. It happened like this:

In the fall of 2014, my husband and I decided we wanted to throw a big party for all of our friends and family. It’s an idea we’ve been kicking around for a few years now, but 2015 seemed like the right year. I turned 50 this year, we’ve been together for 27 years, the kids are grown and supporting themselves, we just re-did our patio and porch—all good reasons to have 75 people over for a Summer Solstice BBQ. Plus, it would motivate us to get some of those house and yard projects completed that we’ve been meaning to do.

Wow, throwing a big party is a LOT of work! I mean good work, satisfying work, but those last weeks before the party (i.e.: June) are just a blur of days that began at 5:30 every morning and didn’t end until nearly midnight every night. I had started to read a novel in May, but we were so busy, I didn’t get a chance to touch it again until July.

My memories of those weeks is a black hole from which June 2015 will [...]
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Celestial Guides to Life

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All eyes were on Pluto this week. We learned of soaring, icy mountains and steep cliffs at the far reaches of our solar system. That little used-to-be-a-planet holds a special place in our hearts, minds, and imaginations. And while our eyes were cast to the heavens, we began to wonder just how much impact the stars and planets have on our lives, in addition to our hearts and minds. We are not the first. Humans have been looking to the stars as guides for millennia.

Whether you think astrology is a fun pastime or you plan every minute of your day according to your horoscope, we have found some guides to chart the course of your life. continue reading >>

Your Oregon Shakespeare Festival Reading List

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There are many reasons Oregonians are some of the luckiest people around. Last week, we realized we can sleep with sharks on the Oregon coast. We have volcanoes and deserts and NCAA champions. But perhaps one of the biggest reasons we are lucky Ducks is our proximity to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

There can’t be any better time to attend OSF than summer. The magic of moonlit nights and the charm of warm Ashland days lend a certain je ne sais quoi to Shakespeare (and the other wonderful plays being performed for us this summer). While it’s too late to see Fingersmith (its run ended just last week), there are many other plays to thrill your eyes, please your ears, and warm your heart. To whet your whistle, here’s your OSF reading list: continue reading >>

Chilling Books for a Hot July

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The Northwest has been enduring a seemingly endless heatwave. Temperatures have been five to fifteen degrees above average, which is enough to sap the energy from everyone. (Some of us haven’t even had the energy to read.)  And, while it looks like this unNorthwestlike heat wave may break soon, we still have some heat endurance left ahead of us.

When not even air conditioning is enough to conquer the blistering sun, the only thing left is your imagination. Open up one of these thrillers set in icy climates and feel the goosebumps of true fear cool you off a degree or two. continue reading >>

Books for the Sharkiest Week of the Year

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Oregon is magical place for a variety of reasons, but there’s one reason a little more thrilling than the rest: in Oregon, you can sleep with sharks. At the Oregon Coast Aquarium it is possible for groups to rent out the Passages of the Deep exhibit and have a sleepover in a tunnel where the only thing separating you from sharks and a million gallons of seawater is the glass that allows you to spy on those sharks all night long. Yeah, Oregon is pretty magical and thrilling.

If you can’t spend shark nights on the Oregon coast, there’s always Shark Week, which just so happens to be this week. We love to scare ourselves over sharks, but the truth is they have much more to fear from us than we do from them. Sharks are beautiful creatures so ancient, powerful, and perfectly evolved that they have been swimming the seas since the time of dinosaurs. If you’d like to learn some more about enormous, carnivorous fish, sink your teeth into one of these reads. continue reading >>

Goal! Soccer Books for the Women’s World Cup

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It’s soccer time! We have put together a book list for all of you hardcore footballers. Laugh, cheer, cry, and scream right along with the rest of the world, and when you need to relax from being on the edge of your seat, grab one of these great reads.

Now if you’re not a soccer fan, if you haven’t been on Twitter or in a sports bar or in the living room of a soccer fan, you might not have noticed that it’s time for the Women’s World Cup! No worries if you’ve missed all the excitement so far. There’s still time for you to catch the final. And who is playing in the final? Oh, just the United States! That’s right, the US Women’s National Team will be playing Japan in the World Cup final this Sunday, July 5th. You have some quick reading to do between now and then to get fully immersed in the wonderful world of soccer. It is the most popular sport in the world, after all. Seven billion people can’t be wrong. continue reading >>