All libraries will be closed Thursday, July 4th for Independence Day.


Posted about 6 months ago by Meldon Jenkins-Jones

Hidden Treasures – Part 1: A Taste of Treasure

By Meldon Jenkins-Jones

Browsing through the stacks at Hull Street Branch Library, my fingers stumbled upon some books that I had never seen before. Causing me to tilt my head to read the titles on the spines, they were probably face out when they were new.  I must have missed them when they first came in and went on display. Many of these “hidden” tomes are real treasures. Some were pretty old, and a few were kinda new. The danger is that no one will see them to check them out, and eventually, they will be discarded because of disinterest. So, I’m giving a shout-out to these hidden treasures in this Blog Series, hoping you will find them and check them out!

Looking for books to read during the Holiday Season? I stumbled across twelve titles that you might like to sample during the “12 Days of Richmond Public Library”.

First up are books that celebrate “The Reason for the Season”.

  • Max Lucado’s In the Footsteps of the Savior: Following Jesus through the Holy Land is divided into 3 parts: The Journey; The Ministry; and, The Crossroads and the Cross. With full-color photographs, maps, and Questions for Reflection, this short book should keep you busy for your entire winter vacation. Cover image for In the footsteps of the savior : following Jesus through the Holy Land    Cover image for Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery.
  • Other titles in keeping with the subject of Christmas include the older Finding Jesus by David Gibson and Michael McKinley. Subtitled “Faith. Fact. Forgery. Six Holy Objects That Tell the Remarkable Story of the Gospels”
  • The True Jesus: Uncovering the Divinity of Christ in the Gospels by David Limbaugh Cover image for The true Jesus : uncovering the divinity of Christ in the gospels    Cover image for Jesus: The God Who Knows Your Name
  • Jesus: The God Who Knows Your Name by Max Lucado

The children’s section revealed the greatest number of books about Jesus, including

  • the visually stunning Jesus written and illustrated by Demi “For children of all ages, of God”
  • Cover image for JesusCover image for Asleep in the stable
  • Asleep in the Stable by Will Hillenbrand, is written for children but is enjoyable by all.

For all things Christmassy, including crafts, there are

  • Christmas, An Annual Treasury Volume 65 edited by Robert Klausmeier and Ann L. Rehfeldt
  • Good Housekeeping’s Christmas Cookies: 75 Irresistible Holiday Treats Cover image for Good Housekeeping Christmas cookies : 75 irresistible holiday treats.
  • Christmas Breads chapter of Holiday and Celebration Bred in Five Minutes a Day: Sweet and Decadent Baking for Every Occasion by Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg, MD.
  • Sections on Christmas jewelry, wreaths, and ornaments in Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts: An A-to-Z Guide with Detailed Instructions and Endless Inspiration.

For those interested more in loving one person than loving the whole wide world during the holidays check out

  • Debbie Macomber’s Jingle All the Way Cover image for Jingle All the Way    Cover image for Holiday of love
  • Spicy (but not cinnamon) Holiday of Love by Kayla Perrin.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

For those who’d rather eat more than Christmas cookies in December, there are many other hidden treasures in your local library. Hidden from most of us, borrowed by only a few, the Mahalia Watkins Soul Food cozy culinary mysteries by George Mason grad A. L. Herbert offer a tasty treat to those of us used to blander reading fare. A Who Done It spiced up with real recipes, Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles is the first course in a four-part series about Mahalia’s Sweet Tea Restaurant in nearby Prince George County, Maryland. Launched at Richmond’s Fountain Bookstore, it serves up a lot of down-home dialogue and an evil villain found dead in Halia’s restaurant, but not from any fowl play from African American character Mahalia or her sidekick cousin Wavonne. If you cook up any of the recipes, let me know how they tasted, especially the Fried Chicken Wings with cayenne pepper, Sweet Corn Casserole, and the Banana Pudding with homemade vanilla wafer cake. Cozy Cookin’ Mystery Book Club, anyone?

Cover image for Murder with Fried Chicken and Waffles    Cover image for The Essential Guide to Intermittent Fasting for Women    Cover image for Breast cancer clear and simple : all your questions answered

Food also plays an indispensable role in the 2023 health manual The Essential Guide to Intermittent Fasting for Women by Megan Ramos. The Foreword was written by Dr. Jason Fung, author of several books including The Diabetes Code and a book on intermittent fasting. Ramos divided her Guide into three parts: The Roots of Our Resistance:  Myths and Misunderstandings About Fasting, Fat, and Food; When Hormones Wreak Havoc:  How Intermittent Fasting Can Help Regulate Female Hormones; and, Fasting for Optimal Health: How to, When to, and Tips for Troubleshooting. Bon appetit!

I think that WHEN to eat should also be a subset of “How can I eat right after cancer treatment?” which is one of the questions addressed by Breast Cancer Clear & Simple: All Your Questions Answered. This handy gem by the American Cancer Society addresses the many questions that come to mind from people newly diagnosed. It’s a good jumping-off place from which to aim for more recent works many of which address only single issues of this complicated topic.

Health issues are not the only complicated issues covered by hidden treasures on our library shelves. Advising readers to look to the Bible for wisdom, the publishers of Computers, Internet, and Cellphones MADE EASY for Seniors: Your Step-by-Step Guidebook to Stay Connected, Protect Your Privacy, and Save Money provide 22 chapters of technology-related information on a subject that is intimidating to many people over the age of 55. If you don’t know a rat from a mouse, this is the book for you!

Another 2023 book you might have missed is Why Fathers Cry at Night: A Memoir in Love Poem, Letters, Recipes, and Remembrances by Kwame Alexander. Some poems in this collection brought a smile and “A Letter to My Wife” brought a tear. I’m eager to finish reading this YA author’s words while sampling his recipe for fried chicken washed down with “A Cook Drink of Summer” fruit punch made with apple cider, sparkling white grape juice, orange-mango juice, and orange wedges. Cover image for Why fathers cry at night : a memoir in love poems, letters, recipes, and remembrances

And for those interested, I make my own eggnog from scratch, a favorite at Christmas and New Year’s Eve family gatherings. Maybe I should write a book. Hmmm. Meanwhile, browsing through the Richmond Public Library bookshelves, look for books you haven’t seen before. You may find hidden treasures!

Tune in to Shelf Respect in 2024 for more Hidden Treasures in your Richmond Public Library.

Meldon Jenkins-Jones

Meldon Jenkins-Jones, Hull Street Library/Community Services Manager, had been the Law Librarian of the Richmond Public Law Library from 2013 thru July 2022. She is the first recipient of the Virginia Library Association's Librarian of Color Forum Award in 2021. She is a Graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond, Class of 2022. She received her Master of Science degree in Library and Information Studies from Florida State University. Meldon spends her free time with family and writing inspirational stories and her memoirs.

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