Computing for Seniors in Easy Steps for the Over 50's
by Sue Price
@SPL: 004.16 Pri


Internet for Seniors in Easy Steps for the Over 50's
by Michael and Sue Price
@SPL: 004.6780846 Pri

Readers will know that SPL offers an array of computer classes which become filled as quickly as we advertise them! To fill the gap between courses, here are two books whose titles say they are for seniors, but are really geared toward anyone who wants to brush up on their computer and Internet skills. (The bonus of these particular two is that they are for Windows Vista, that much maligned Microsoft operating system that many in the computing world would swear was designed to be the anti-Mac, that is to say, extremely difficult to use.) The first of these, Computing for Seniors, goes through the basics of all your computer parts, explains some commonly used jargon, and then walks you around what you'll see on your screen in different software applications (word processing etc.), and then helps you discover e-mail, how to play movies and music and view photographs on your computer, how to write, save and find documents - it even goes into creating household budget plans and putting them into an easy-to-read spreadsheet, as well as other domestic projects to help you stay organized. The second book, Internet for Seniors, begins by explaining the equipment you need to connect to the Internet, and has an excellent chapter about searching, following links and adding favourite websites to a list so you can easily find them again. The next few chapters are on the entertainment aspects of the Internet - online games (Sudoku, chess), how to watch television and radio episodes online, crafting websites, geneaology searching and making safe travel arrangements. There is a very important chapter on Internet security (which would have been better to put at the front of the book), and even a chapter on some of the more newfangled areas like blogging and RSS feeds. Both books are colourful, easy to navigate, full of tips and tricks and have well-organized indexes for quick reference. Not just for seniors by any means, these books will benefit anyone who wants or needs to improve their computer skills - the next best thing to one of our computer classes! Click here to find Computing for Seniors and here to find Internet for Seniors in our on-line catalogue.

The Canadian Edible Garden: Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits & Seeds
By Alison Beck

Herb Gardening for Canada
By Laura Peters

The first day of spring is finally here! At this time of year it is difficult for hard-core gardeners to refrain from planting until that all-important May 24th weekend. Luckily there is a plethora of new gardening books to help the planning stage and to sooth that itch – these two from Lone Pine Press are for the micro-farmers in the gardening crowd. In these times of rising costs, a home-grown produce aisle can be a real boon, and just think of the taste of sun-warmed grape tomatoes and basil leaves combined with that locally made mozzarella – a taste of Italy from your own back-yard or balcony! Both books explain which edibles will grow where (Southern Ontario is truly a blessed part of Canada), the best soils and levels of sunlight for each kind, how to grow edibles from seed or seedling, how to handle pests (keeping in mind Ontario’s new pesticide ban), and how and when to prune, harvest and store them. The most interesting part of each is discovering new varieties of edibles: for example, fiddleheads are popular in New Brunswick, but grow well in Ontario, as does perilla, a cinnamon-lemon flavoured herb, also known as shiso, or Japanese basil (it may help keep pests off of your heirloom tomatoes, too). Both books contain plenty of tips for planting and uses (although please use caution when using any herbs for medicinal use!), and while neither book contains many recipes, another new book from Lone Pine Press, the Canadian Harvest Cookbook (by Jennifer Sayer-Bajger) can help you out there. Happy planning!
Click here to find the Canadian Edible Garden in our on-line catalogue, and here to find Herb Gardening for Canada.

The newest novel in Lauren Willig’s series about aristocratic spies of the 18th century picks up where the Seduction of the Crimson Rose leaves off – current historian Eloise Kelly has finally got her man, Colin Selwick, descendant of one of the spies she had been researching, the secretive Purple Gentian. As Eloise has come to find out, however, Colin’s ancestor was just one in a whole bouquet of florally-named spies, and as she delves further into the Selkirk archives, she finds that the oft-overlooked, innocent Lady Charlotte Lansdowne comes to the fore when she accidentally uncovers a plot to subdue and kidnap the King – mad King George III, who may not be as mad as everyone believes. Her discovery coincides with the return from India of her favourite distant cousin, Robert, Duke of Dovedale. Long enamoured of Robert, Charlotte’s romantic notions of her white knight are dashed when Robert takes up with a gang of libertines, the notorious Hellfire Club. But little does Charlotte realize that Robert has returned from India hot on the trail of the man who betrayed his regiment to the enemy and killed his mentor. And little does Robert realize that the plot Charlotte uncovered involves the same killer, the elusive but deadly “Night Jasmine”. In trying to recover the king, their paths merge, but will their hearts? As Eloise discovers their story, she uncovers something quite unexpected about the object of her own affections: that the apple may not fall far from the family tree. Moving back and forth through time and written with quick wit, this latest romantic adventure from Lauren Willig is as thoroughly researched as her past novels, and is as every bit as enjoyable to read. Click here to find The Temptation of the Night Jasmine in our on-line catalogue.

by Elle Newmark

It is the height of the Renaissance and in Rome the Borgia family is in power, but in the Republic of Venice a crafty doge reigns supreme. Although renowned for its intrigues and scandals, the city is abuzz with news of a mysterious book, and no one is more curious about it than Luciano, a lively orphan who has been rescued from the street by the doge’s personal chef. Counting himself very fortunate for his improved circumstances, and anxious to prove himself a worthy culinary student to his Maestro, young Luciano cannot help but retain some of his street wiles, gleaning information about the book and the dangerous inner workings of Venetian politics. Who actually has the book? Luciano witnesses the doge commit murder, and then pours a golden elixir down the corpse’s throat - does the book contain magical spells and a cure for death? The chef’s friends have some strange ideas about the nature of the universe – does the book contain the heretical teachings of Copernicus? Is the book the long-searched-for solution for turning base metals into gold, as the city’s alchemist’s hope? The doge’s cold-blooded rival for power, Landucci, wants to destroy the seat of religious power in Rome – perhaps the book contains lost Gnostic gospels? Then again, the Maestro himself seems to be able to bend the doge’s will with his wondrous food, created from his varied and suspect ingredients (like the ‘poisonous’ tomato), grown in his own mysterious garden – perhaps the book is simply the best cookbook the world has ever known? Whatever the answer, Luciano’s own tale is as furtive as the winding canals of Venice, with as many twists and murky depths that will keep readers entranced. The author impressively evokes the atmosphere of day-to-day life in Renaissance Venice, its festivals, its food and its people, and although this might seem like another ‘artifact mystery’ in the vein of “The Da Vinci Code”, it is has a much richer feel. Click here to find The Book of Unholy Mischief in the SPL Catalogue.

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