Month: April 2020

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Digital Cookbooks

Digital Cookbooks

by Mary Swabb, Learning & Information Services Supervisor

BakeritaFood is something we as humans need to survive, but sometimes preparing our own meals can seem quite daunting. We may be restricted by a limited budget, minimal cooking skills, difficulty getting to the store, or exhaustion after a long day. All of these things can become obstacles to creating a meal at home. Finding a recipe should not be one of these obstacles, as the library has hundreds of digital cookbooks available to help you find the inspiration you need to make your next delicious home-cooked meal. Personally, I’ve been exploring new recipes as a way to pass the time at home, and I find it helps keep things interesting, as I am unable to eat the same meal day-after-day. I’ve also found trying new recipes to be a great way to refine my cooking skills while saving a few dollars. For some food inspiration, check out the following items available on Manhattan Public Library’s digital libraries:

If you’re looking for some delectable gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar -free-desserts, check out Rachel Conners’s, “Bakerita,” available on Hoopla. Conners’ recipes are accessible to beginner bakers and offer options for breakfast treats, pies, tarts, cakes, and cookies. Try Conners’s Lavender-Lemon Raspberry Scones or Chocolate Mousse Pie. For more beginner baker cookbooks, try “Cookie Class” by Jenny Keller, available on Hoopla, which teaches you how to turn a simple cookie-and-buttercream-icing recipe into a variety of tempting, tasty treats that will dazzle. You should also check out Stella Parks’s “BraveTart,” on Sunflower eLibrary, which celebrates classic American desserts like Blueberry Muffins and Glossy Fudge Brownies by showing you how to make and customize them to your preferences.

“Keto: A Woman’s Guide and Cookbook,” by Tasha Metcalf is available on Hoopla and features 35 recipes and in-depth insights into how the female body reacts to the keto diet. Metcalf offers her insight into the keto diet with strategies that you can adapt to achieve your keto dieting goals. Metcalf’s book includes recipes for oatmeal, smoothies, a fantastic coconut curry stew, and many more. If you’re not looking for a female-specific keto book, you can find Jen Fisch’s “Keto in an Instant” cookbook on Hoopla, which offers 80 quick and tasty keto meals that you can create with your pressure cooker. Fisch’s cookbook features enticing recipes like Maple Bacon Pancake Bites, Chicken Parm Meatballs, and Short Rib Ragu. “Clean Paleo Family Cookbook,” by Ashley McCrary is also available on Hoopla and offers keto modifications for your clean paleo diet. It features 100 flavorful paleo-inspired recipes for the whole family. McCrary’s Cinnamon Bun Energy Bites, Basil Pesto Chicken Power Bowls, and Tuna Cakes with Lemon-Dill Aioli sound particularly appetizing.

If none of those strike your fancy, there are still more cookbooks available, covering a wide range of foods. If you’re looking for more alternative food options to dazzle your palate, check out “Real Bento” by Kanae Inoue, available on Hoopla, which features easy and inexpensive bento box lunch recipes that can be assembled in 10 minutes. “The Ultimate Guide to CBD” by Jamie Evans, available on Hoopla, offers ways to incorporate cannabidiol (CBD) into your daily cooking and self-care products. “The High-Protein Vegan Cookbook,” by Ginny Kay McMeans, available on Sunflower eLibrary, offers over 125 hearty plant-based recipes that will introduce readers to the various vegan protein options they can use to achieve a strong and healthy body. Irina Georgescu’s “Carpathia,” on Hoopla, explores Romania’s unique, daring, and enticing food and rich culture. And finally, if you want to add a bit of magic to your plate, try some of the quick and easy recipes from “The Wizard’s Cookbook” by Aurelia Beaupommier. Available on Sunflower eLibrary, this cookbook features recipes inspired by famous magical stories, games, and movies.

These are just a few of the cookbooks available on Manhattan Public Library’s digital libraries. If these cookbooks don’t satisfy your need for culinary adventure, please email the library at We’d be happy to connect you with an item that is of interest to you.

If you live in Manhattan and need food assistance, please reach out to one of our local food assistance resources such as Cat’s Cupboard (785-532-0366), or the Flint Hills Breadbasket (785-537-0730). Also, if you are a low-income household you may qualify for food benefits from The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). To find out if you qualify, visit the Kansas Department for Children and Families Economic & Employment Services Food Assistance webpage at:

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Bestselling Spring Titles for Adults

Bestselling Spring Titles for Adults

by Marcia Allen, Collections Manager

Recorded Books - Home                While physical books are unavailable at the library at least for now, there are still plenty of options for those who love new books.  Recorded Books offers a large collection of downloadable audiobooks available through the state library websiteCloud Library, yet another service available through the state library, provides an extensive library of ebooks.  And Sunflower eLibrary, a constantly growing collection of both ebooks and audiobooks, offers a huge array of titles that can be easily downloaded to any reader’s favorite device from our library website. Recently, library staff has greatly increased spending on Sunflower titles so that our readers can download items sooner than ever before.  If you haven’t checked the new selections lately, here are some promising titles from Sunflower eLibrary you won’t want to miss.


  • The Mirror and the Light by Hillary Mantel is the final volume in the Wolf Hall Trilogy that follows the life of Thomas Cromwell, advisor to Henry VIII. Like the previous two volumes in the fictional series (Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies), readers become immersed in the machinations of the politics, the depth of the characters, and the rich setting of Tudor England.  As this story begins, Cromwell has just witnessed the execution of Anne Boleyn, and he’s already involved in find Henry a new wife to provide the desired son.  Available in both ebook and audiobook downloadable format from the library’s website, you’ll want to learn more about this precarious time in English history.


  • Long Range by C.J. Box is another puzzling entry to the popular Joe Pickett mystery series. Likable Joe is investigating the questionable death of a guide mauled by a grizzly when he is called home to help solve the shooting of a judge’s wife.  While the local sheriff feels he has control of the investigation and is eager to frame a friend of Joe’s, evidence points to an entirely different solution involving a high-powered rifle.  Joe’s discovery of the motive for the crime is quite a surprise.  This captivating book is available in ebook format from the website.


  • Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano is a fictional tale of a twelve-year-old’s difficult role as the only survivor of a horrific plane crash. Having lost his family in the catastrophe, young Edward goes to live with an aunt and uncle who do their best to protect the child.  While struggling to cope with both physical and emotional injuries, Edward makes a new friend who helps him cope with the tragedy.  This complex story of recovery is available in ebook format.


  • The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson (author of The Devil in the White City and Dead Wake) is another riveting look at history. This time, Larson takes a close look at Winston Churchill’s crucial role in World War II.  Newly elected Churchill assumed duties just as the German troops began invading other European countries.  Bolstering the British nation for a long struggle, Churchill struggled to acquire allies in a task he knew his country could not face alone.  This exceptional book can be found in both ebook and audiobook formats from the website.


  • Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson is a fictional work about Malcolm Kershaw, who once created a list of unsolved murders from great detective stories. Suddenly, however, Malcolm is contacted by an FBI agent because of real murders mirroring the fictional crimes.  Who is keeping surveillance on Malcolm?  What is there about his own past that needs further review?  Available in both ebook and audiobook, this clever story will keep you guessing.


While these are trying times for all of us, there is no need to give up time spent on appealing reading.  Please visit the library website to access lots of fine, new titles.  Library staff members hope to see you all at the library soon.

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Bringing Storytime Home for Your Little Ones

Bringing Storytime Home for Your Little Ones

by Jennifer Bergen, Program and Children’s Services Manager

The Children’s Room of the library was eerily quiet the afternoon I went in to gather as many storytime supplies as I could tote out to my car. After I delivered some puppets, books and silly hats to my co-workers, we set about creating a few online storytimes. Our hope is to reconnect in this way with the families we miss seeing at the library, and with new families who are looking for something fun for their young children to do. Our “Storytime Online” sessions will be released on Thursdays in April on the library’s Facebook page, @manhattanpubliclibrary, and you can view the first two on our youtube channel at

If you’ve got young children at home, you may be looking for more ways to keep them interested and happy, as the usual diversions of trips to the zoo or days at daycare are not available. Here are a few of our favorite places to look for early literacy activities for children ages 0-5 to help them get ready for kindergarten. The great news about teaching young children is that it is super fun, and this is what our storytimes are all about.

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, or CLEL (, is a well-organized website that covers everything from tips to reading with your child to early STEM experiences. One spot our librarians like to visit is the “Every Child Ready to Read” section. If you’ve attended a storytime, you might have noticed the storyteller throwing out little tricks to incorporate rhyming into your day, or encouragement to talk and sing to your baby and basically “narrate” all your activities. These tips have been found to increase a child’s vocabulary exponentially, and to prepare them for sounding out words when they learn how to read. This site may provide you with fresh, fun ideas you can add to your regular routines. Here’s a simple one – “Play ‘I Spy’ in the car using descriptive words to give clues.” You could also do this on walks or even around the house. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of remembering the things you used to enjoy doing when you were a kid, and knowing that it is more than just a game: it’s learning while having fun.

Here’s a little secret – most of the storytellers at our library had zero experience doing storytimes when they started their jobs (including me). Anyone can learn how to be a great storyteller with some practice, good advice, and a lack of fear of embarrassment. Storytime Underground ( is one of those spots where you can find expert-level ideas and advice in under 5 minutes if you’re feeling a little humdrum about daily reading time. Why not create your own “storytime” at home? Get goofy – grab a stuffed animal and make it your storytime mascot. Sit in a chair in front of your kids and read a book or make up a story. Overly dramatize the characters’ voices in the story, and then sing a silly song. You can let your child have a turn as the storyteller. Even if they cannot read, they will probably put on a pretty good show.

For those who may be experiencing a heightened level of stress with young children at home 24/7, plus other responsibilities and worries, the Zero to Three webpage offers guidance and support for the emotional aspects of parenting. You can find brief videos, fact sheets and a special section of Coronavirus resources for families. Single parents, parents in the military, and others in unique situations will find helpful information about fostering relationships, self care, and developmental milestones.

 Reading Rockets is a packed website with headings like “teaching reading,” “helping struggling readers,” and a wide range of topics related to early literacy and reading. The section on children’s books and authors includes booklists, award winners, and excellent videos. Check out Kansas author Bill Martin, Jr., reading (actually singing) his most popular book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? during his interview. This is just another way to add reading connections.

The library has several great options for viewing, streaming or downloading kids’ books from BookFLIX, Hoopla, Libby app, TumbleBooks, and more options on the state library’s Digital Book eLending page with TumbleMath and AudioBookCloud. If you need to get a library card so you can access thousands more children’s books online, just visit our webpage to find out how Manhattan residents can now register for an eCard online. Then, try out all our digital book options, and contact if you need assistance.

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Access YA e-Books and Audiobooks Online

Access YA e-Books and Audiobooks Online
By Grace Benedick, Teen Services Librarian

Freading | Kansas State Library, KS - Official WebsiteIf you’re anything like me, staying home sounds like a lovely idea, but after a while…the cabin fever sets in. Audiobooks and walks around the block pair wonderfully! Here are some library resources for downloadable audiobooks you may not have used yet. You can access them all from:


Freading is a digital library provided by the State Library of Kansas. You’ll need a State Library eCard to borrow titles from Freading, but you can browse the collection before logging in. If you don’t have an eCard with the Kansas State Library, you can register for one easily by emailing Manhattan Public Library at or using the chat feature available on our online catalog between 1 and 6 p.m M-F. All titles in Freading can be borrowed simultaneously by multiple users, meaning that there is no need to place holds.

If you enjoy a slow-burn romance, try “This Train Is Being Held” by Ismee Williams about two teens whose chance meetings on the subway eventually lead to something more.

If you want to read about a career-oriented teen, “With the Fire on High” by Elizabeth Acevedo follows a teen mom in 12th grade, who has a passion for cooking and dreams of turning her talent into a career.

For fantasy fiction, try “Shadow of the Fox” by Julie Kagawa, about a half-yokai, half-human girl who must protect a fragment of magical scroll from a pursuing army of demons.

Graphic Novels on Freading

There are several popular graphic novel series published by Boom Studios! available on Freading. If you enjoy sports stories, try “SLAM!” by Pamela Ribon about a roller-derby team or “Avant-Guards” by Carly Usdin, which features a basketball team at an all-girls’ school.

If music is your jam, there’s “Heavy Vinyl” by Carly Usdin, about a group of teen girls who work in a record shop by day and fight crime by night.

b.b. free” by Gabby Rivera is about a teen just quietly running her own radio show until she suddenly develops super powers, then heads out on a road trip with her best friend to save the planet.

John Allison has three series on Freading: “By Night”, about two teens who find a portal to another universe; the popular “Giant Days”, about girls getting through undergrad; and his brand-new series, “Wicked”, about a teen detective suddenly forced to grow up when she’s accused of murder.

The Backstagers” by James Tynion IV follows a backstage crew at an all-boys’ school with storage rooms that are pure magic: you never know where a door will lead you!

RB Digital

RB Digital is a library of online audiobooks. You’ll need to register and create an account to borrow audiobooks from RB Digital, which you can do from the State Library of Kansas’s “Digital Book eLending” page. Like Cloud Library and Sunflower e-Library, there are finite copies of titles, and you’ll need to place holds on popular items.

Although there are some great fantasy titles on RB Digital, there are more recent realistic and historical fiction available without a wait-time:

Butterfly Yellow” by Thanhhà Lai follows a Vietnamese teen reuniting with her long-lost brother after the war and the process of making a new home.

Free Lunch” by Rex Ogle, which won the 2020 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award, relates the author’s experiences in 6th grade.

Hey, Kiddo” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, which won the 2020 YALSA Odyssey Award, given to the best audiobook recording, is a memoir about growing up in a family dealing with addiction.

Loveboat, Taipei” by Abigail Hing Wen is inspired by a real-life summer learning program, where young adults spent 6 weeks in Taiwan, taking immersion language courses and making life-long friends.

Dig” by A.S. King, which won the 2020 YALSA Printz Award, is a multi-generational saga revealing the history of a troubled family.