Category Archives: Party Banter Friday

Party Banter Friday | January

Party Banter Friday: 

In Which A Librarian Provides You With An Interesting Fact to Make You More Popular During Weekend Socializing

pilgrim

Happy PBF! You know how when it’s bitterly cold out, you hole up in your house and at first it’s kind of cozy and you make snacks and watch an entire series of a TV show on Hoopla (plug for Hoopla which is the awesome new way you can download music, TV, and music with your library card)? But then like a month passes and you don’t feel cozy, just cold, and you’re out of snacks and going out doesn’t seem like an option, but staying in your house one single second longer also doesn’t seem like an option so you just stay in bed and shop online for sun lamps?

We’re at that point here in the great white north. BUT, there’s hope. And it comes in the form of this month’s Party Banter fodder fact. Feel free to share this fact in all your socializing, even if you don’t socialize again until spring:

Annie Dillard lived alone in a valley in Virginia  while she wrote her Pulitzer Prize winning narrative, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and recovered from pneumonia. She transposed entries from her journal “onto thousands of note cards and then, for eight months, wrote the note cards up into a book. Towards the end of the eight months, Dillard was working for up to 16 hours a day. She lived mainly on coffee and Coke, and lost 30 pounds in weight. The plants in her house died.”

(Quotation taken from Robert McFarlane’s article, An Impish Spirit, available here.)

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This is to say: ok, maybe we’re all going a little crazy. But if you’ve got coffee and pop in your pantry and some half-dead houseplants*, you could be on your way to a Pulitzer Prize!

At the very least, you could be on your way to reading a really great book about nature, solitude, faith, and exploration in the vein of Thoreau’s Walden. And if you finish that and like it, I would suggest trying For the Time Being by Dillard as well. If you’re a slow reader, it may be time for the thaw by the time you finish them. If not, we’ll always have more suggestions for you here.

*: and also are sort of a genius and a really lyrical writer

anniedillard

Photo credit: Above photo from brainpickings.org; our featured image for PBF is a picture from our digital history collection. You can view the original image and browse our collection here.

Party Banter Friday | December

Party Banter Friday: 

In Which A Librarian Provides You With An Interesting Fact to Make You More Popular During Weekend SocializingMARIEEDIT

TGIPBF guys! We know the facts. And because we work with the public, we also know that talking to people can be awwwkward. So instead of hanging out by the snacks all night or rehashing that one time you almost met a semi-celebrity, look here Fridays for a compelling and/or amusing fact to wow your bosses’ husband or your Tinder date or your sleeping cat with this weekend.

This week’s fact is from The Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know is Wrong by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson:

According to the Johns, it was not Marie Antoinette who uttered the famous words “let them eat cake” in 1789 in regards to the rioting poor who had no bread to eat. Antoinette’s biographer claims it was “Queen Marie-Therese, wife of Louis XIC, the Sun King” who said it and even then, she wasn’t talking about cake. Rather, she was referring to brioche, a buttery egg-y pastry.

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If you found that fact so engaging that you’d rather stay in and read than socialize with people, we can’t blame you. The book is available here.

If the last three paragraphs were the longest thing you’ve read since your 5th grade book report on Hatchet and you’ve had your fill of the written word, visit our Sight & Sound department for movies and music.

If what you took away from this fact was, “Unh…pastries”, please check out The Art of French Pastry by Jacguy Pfieffer.

Photo credits: ChrisGoldNY via photopin cc; our featured image for PBF is a picture from our digital history collection. You can view the original image and browse our collection here.

Party Banter Friday | November

Party Banter Friday: 

In Which A Librarian Provides You With An Interesting Fact to Make You More Popular During Weekend Socializing

potluck

Happy PBF! As it’s November or “eatin’ season”, many of us are dusting off our cookbooks and our elastic pants in anticipation of the many cocktail parties, potlucks, and nightcaps we will hopefully garner invitations to. For most of these affairs, you’ll have to bring a dish to pass and, because you’re reading this, you’ll also be armed with a foodie fact to share.

This week’s fact comes from the new cookbook 200 Skills Every Cook Must Have: The Step-by-Step Methods That Will Turn a Good Cook Into a Great Cook by Clara Paul and Eric Treuille. It’s full of pictures and easy to follow instructions from salting a fish to poaching fruit in wine.

As well as this little morsel…

The spice saffron is really expensive. 

Ok, you knew that. But did you know why? Saffron comes from the the dried stigma of the saffron crocus and can only be picked BY HAND, making it a very labor-intensive job.

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Save this fact to add faux-casually during post-dinner conversation in the hopes that everyone will assume you are a master chef and not the guest that brought the extra napkins.

Another fact, on the house, if you are the guest that was asked to bring extra napkins, your host distrusts either your cooking or your organizational skills.

We can help:

How to Cook Everything: The Basics

The Starter Cook

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

Time Management for Dummies

Happy bantering!

Photo credit: lars hammar via photopin cc
Our featured image for PBF is a picture from our digital history collection. You can view the original image and browse our collection here.

 

Party Banter Friday | October

Party Banter Friday: 

In Which A Librarian Provides You With An Interesting Fact to Make You More Popular During Weekend Socializing

Boo! Happy Party Banter Friday. The best thing about Halloween being on a weekend this year is that, if you’re socially awkward, you can hit up all those costume parties you were too uncomfortable to RSVP to because you can wear a costume!

“Is that you, Kevin?”

” No, it’s [insert incredibly empowering literary character that you dressed up as, probably Katniss]. And I’ve got some interesting things to say.”

You’re in luck because we’ve got at least one interesting thing for you to say! And here it is:

What do the wildy popular novels Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell have in common?

nanowins

They were all written in 30 days during National Novel Writing Month, a yearly writing project where writers seasoned and new attempt to write a novel during the month of November. And guess what, it starts tomorrow!!

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This is a great segue into making plans to see the person you’re talking to again because the library has NaNoWriMo events aplenty. Check the out here and then spend the rest of the evening brainstorming about your idea for the next great novel. We’ll say we knew you when.

Photo credit: Our featured image for PBF is a picture from our digital history collection. You can view the original image and browse our collection here.