Fuel for Fitness

When I began working on weight loss, the first step was like a budget makeover: take stock, trim out the excess spending, look for areas to save. I lost fifty pounds, so by the time I started running six months later, I thought I was doing pretty well with my eating habits. However, nutrition around workouts was a weakness. I skimped on food before and after exercise, hoping to save calories, and reluctant to eat what I’d just burned off. 

Years later, I better understand that eating well beforehand gives you more energy to put in a good effort in the first place. Refueling properly during a long workout helps you keep going. Eating properly afterwards helps your body quickly replenish lost fuel, stop muscle breakdown, and start the recovery process. Yes, it might add up to the calories burned during the workout, but the numbers at the end of the day will balance out (especially since you won’t be making food choices while starving hungry!).

So, want to eat healthy, feel better and fuel your workouts? There are many books in our collection on sports and nutrition. Here are some to get you started:

Performance Nutrition for Runners by Matt Fitzgerald

performance nutrition for runnersThis is a great place to start. Fitzgerald covers the basic principles of nutrition and hydration for athletes in layman’s terms. He goes over pre-workout and post workout meals, nutrition around races and long/intense workouts, as well as a daily eating plan. He compares sports drinks side by side and discusses different supplements (the good, the “maybe works” and the useless). The final chapter covers special dietary needs for kids, older adults, diabetics and those seeking weight loss or vegetarian options. One thing to note is that he is largely a traditionalist on sports nutrition, so low-carb and paleo options are not really explored here. While he gives some meal suggestions and lists good foods, this is not a cookbook.

Racing Weight Cookbook by Matt Fitzgerald

racing weightThis is the cookbook companion to the more informational “Racing Weight” and “Racing Weight Quick Start.” There are some basic nutrition principles in the opening of this book, and recipes to follow. I particularly like the categories: “I don’t cook!” ”Athletes with some cooking experience,” and “Athletes who love to cook.” Continue reading

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Fall Camping in Colorado

Best Colorado CampgroundsSummer is coming to an end and the kids are back in school… think it’s too late for camping? Think again! Fall can be one of the most enjoyable times to get out and enjoy the great outdoors in Colorado!   Want to get in a last minute weekend getaway?

First, use some of our great campground guides to pick a place and make a reservation.  Colorado’s busy summer tourism is starting to taper off, and campgrounds that are usually booked through summer have openings again.

Colorado Campgrounds — Maps and information on over 500 Colorado campgrounds

Colorado Campgrounds : the 100 best and all the rest   by Gil Folsom.  Conveniently organized into 9 geographic regions, this guidebook offers a candid yet critical look at Colorado’s campgrounds for discriminating tent and RV-campers alike. Plus, it’s the only guidebook of its kind with alluring color photographs that give you a sneak peek at Colorado’s most beautiful campgrounds before you even leave home!

If you’re a newbie like me, maybe you’ll want some help planning your trip…

Car Camping for Everyone: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Your Outdoor Adventure  by Mary and Bill Burnham.  This is a comprehensive start to finish guide on everything you need to know for car camping, from the most basic supplies to first aid to wildlife precautions.

Camping with KidsThe Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids: How to Plan Memorable Family Adventures & Connect Kids to Nature  by Helen Olsson.  They will survive without Minecraft for a couple days!!!  This book will share how to keep them busy.

For some great ideas on what to pack for dinner, check out these great books.  You can start simple:

100 Easy Camping Recipes by Bonnie Scott — Preparing quick meals on camping trips is easy if you have the right recipes and ingredients. Just wait until you get any of the 100 recipes in this cookbook cooking over an open flame. Camp cooking has never been easier or tastier. Hot dogs and canned foods are by no means the extent of foods discussed.

Get a little more involved in camp cooking with the Ultimate Camp Cooking by Mike Faverman and Pat Mac or downright fancy (two words: Apricot Puffs) with Sunset’s “The Great Outdoors” Cookbook.

For 2015 camping in Colorado, be sure to check reservation websites for information on bear resistant food canister requirements.  Due to a food shortage this year, some areas like White River National Forest require the canisters to prevent problems.  You can find the canisters online or at outdoor sporting goods stores.

– Cheryl B.

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Mystery Monday: Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

Mystery MondaySpeaking in BonesSpeaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs is the 18th book featuring Temperance Brennan.  Though it is helpful to have read previous mysteries featuring this forensic anthropologist, you can definitely read her latest adventure without having read any previous mysteries.  You may not understand the nuances of her relationships with her mother or her current love, Detective Andrew Ryan, but the twists and turns keep the story interesting and you’ll still be able to enjoy a great mystery.

Temperance is approached in this mystery by Hazel “Lucky” Strike, an amateur web sleuth who is investigating the disappearance of an 18 year old girl named Cora Teague.  Cora has not been seen for 3 years yet her strictly religious parents have not reported her missing.  They say that she has run off with a local boy and have no interest in any intervention to find Cora.  But bones start cropping up that seemingly point to Cora’s death.  Strike even shares with Brennan a recording found near the crime scene that seems to suggest Cora was tortured. Continue reading

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Rocket Racoon – Graphic Novel


rocket racoonAs summer winds down, it’s the perfect time to revisit the big summer blockbusters in comic form, and keep the summer fun going. If you loved the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, you’ll love Rocket Raccoon, by Skottie Young (Marvel). It delivers everything: action-packed combat, epic space battles, snark galore, and an unrestrained sense of lighthearted fun that makes it a joy to read. You can’t take it too seriously, but it’s the perfect book to keep you going on a hot summer day.

Rocket Raccoon features cameos from Starlord, Drax, and Zamora, but for the most partguardiansgalaxy it’s Rocket and Groot off on their own adventures. (And really, who doesn’t want that?) Groot fans will get a special treat – the last issue is from Groot’s point of view, with every dialogue bubble and visual text filled with I. Am. Groot. It works surprisingly well, and is the perfect bit of irreverent humor to finish off the volume.

Although it didn’t win, Rocket Raccoon was also a 2015 Eisner nominee for Best New Series & Best Humor Publication at Comic Con International in San Diego.

~ Kimberly C.        Patron Service Technician @ JHL

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It’s Still Summer!

Here are some summertime entertainment tips from a few library staffers at DCL. Request your copies now!

WitchofBourbonStreetIt starts slowly, like morning heat gathering on the bayou in summer, and builds to wild storm by the end. Suzanne Palmieri’s Southern Gothic tale, The Witch of Bourbon Street, follows the summer of Frances Sorrow and her mystic kin as a century-old mystery is unraveled, ghosts are put to rest, and a broken family is mended deep in the heart of Louisiana. Palmieri’s Witch books all have a strong element of family and love. In this one, I was most beguiled by the diametrically opposed strength and fragility found in so many relationships: mother and child, husband and wife, alive people and dead people, past and present, best friends. The Witch of Bourbon Street portrays these relationships with all the natural cruelty, frustration, resignation, and beauty found in families. It felt very real.                                                                                   Erica O.     Catalog Librarian @ PSM

Sycamores provide great shade in the summer time, under which one could read sycamore rowSycamore Row by John Grisham. It’s a stretch, I know, but I did enjoy this historical fiction and the controversial trial involving racial tensions. I also thought it had a good conclusion.               Laurie G.     Patron Service Technician/Mentor @ PA

hisforhawkFor a new summer hobby, how about falconry? H is for Hawk, by British author, Helen Macdonald, is a memoir written about the author’s deep grief over the death of her father and her decision to raise and train a goshawk to help her deal with her loss. She draws on the life and work of T. H. White, author of The Once and Future King, for both inspiration and caution as she embarks on this demanding and exhilarating and ultimately healing endeavor.                                                                                       Sheila K.     Director of Branch Operations @DCL

Enjoy any summer flea markets this year? You could discover something mysterious. desperate fortuneBased on a patron recommendation, I recently tried an adult fiction author I had not read before - Susanna Kearsley. A Desperate Fortune is historical fiction with a mix of espionage, intrigue, and romance. In 1732 Paris, a young woman longing for adventure becomes part of a secret mission to aid the displaced King of France. Due to the secrecy of the mission, she develops a code when writing in her journal. Almost three hundred years later, the journal is found at a flea market and Sara is hired to decipher the code, not realizing how it will change her own life. The author handles the interaction between past and present well so the story is easy to follow and the reader develops an interest in the lives of both women.                                               Robin J.      Patron Service Technician @ PSM

Pizza on the grill? Say what?! Take a walk on the wild side and delight your backyard picnic guests by preparing pizza on your grill! It’s easier than you think, and requires no special pans or other kitchen weaponry. To get you started, check out these titles Continue reading

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One Book, One Boat at James H. LaRue Library

boys in the boatThis fall, Douglas County Libraries is sponsoring a community wide reading program which features The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown’s inspiring true story of the young men – sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers- who went to the 1936 Olympics and dominated Europe’s elite athletes to take the gold. The courage and grit shown by nine college students in a politically charged world arena helped reinvigorate an America that still suffered from the effects of the Great Depression. The Boys in the Boat was one of last summer’s top ten books for reading groups, and named a top adult audio book by ALA.

On Saturday, August 29, join film critic/blogger Walter Chaw for a discussion of German actress and filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl’s incomparable film, Olympia. Considered the greatest Olympic sports film ever made, the film chronicled the 1936 Olympics and was also infamously used by Hitler to promote his political agenda. Sign up here.

olympic affairThe One Book, One Boat events also include an evening with author Terry Frei to talk about his book, Olympic Affair, on September 24.  Frei explores the romance between a 1936 Olympian from Colorado, and Leni Riefenstahl, who also produced Continue reading

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Romantic Colorado






As mentioned last week, one of the trends mentioned at the RWA Editor’s Panel was “Colorado.” Colorado settings are all the rage. The editor’s specifically cited Jill Shalvis and Kristen Ashley, but doing a little digging revealed so much more.

 The way I see it, there are two ways to approach Colorado romance. The first is what Shalvis and Ashley seem to be doing. Contemporary romances of the small town variety set in the beautiful Colorado Rockies. So, if small town romances are your thing, give these a try:

Second Chance Summer (Book One of the Cedar Ridge Series), by Jill Shavis is her newest series and only the first book is availble. Shalvis loves writing small towns and alpha males, so expect both here.

gambleThe Gamble, (Book One of the Colorado Books) by Kristen Ashley. Nina comes to Colorado to think about her awful fiancé. She drives through a horrible blizzard (with a fever!) only to discover that the cabin she booked is already taken . . . by the cabin’s owner. They exchange words, she sets off in a huff, she passes out (due to fever), he is forced to nurse her back to health, and . . . Continue reading

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Mystery Monday: New Historical Mystery Series

DCL_MysteryA Shameful MurderThe setting is Ireland and the year is 1923.  Ireland is in the midst of a civil war.  Finding dead bodies is not unique. “Cork, in its first year of independence, simmered in the heat of a deadly civil war and the resolution of political differences was often murder”.  What’s somewhat unique about this mystery series is that the main sleuth is the Reverend Mother Aquinas.

The Reverend Mother discovers a body at the gate of the convent chapel. The young victim is dressed in expensive clothing, has a lot of cash in her handbag and a dance card to an exclusive Merchant’s ball.  Together with a former pupil of hers, Police Sergeant Patrick Cashman, can the Reverend Mother discover who the girl is and why she was murdered?

Combine a setting fraught with danger and a savvy detective and you’ve got a new mystery series that is sure to be a hit.  Check out A Shameful Murder by Cora Harrison!

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Poldark by Winston Graham

I admit it- I’m a complete Poldark fangirl. Now you know, but let me tell you why.

poldark1Many years ago I found Winston Graham’s wonderful Poldark series, which he began in 1945. I love nothing more than a compelling historical novel, so when I opened the first book, Ross Poldark, I was smitten.  Since it had been around a while, the series already included several novels. I got that giddy feeling that comes when you anticipate a good binge-read.

About that same time in the late 70′s, the BBC’s adaptation of the poldark2first books aired on PBS. This created a huge following for both the books and the program, which starred Robin Ellis as Ross Poldark and Angharad Rees as Demelza. They became cultural rock stars to their legions of fans worldwide. I was over the moon!

When I heard that the BBC was bringing Poldark back and PBS would again deliver it to the USA, I started reading the books again. Just like before I got completely immersed in the lives of these characters and their wild and beautiful setting. Continue reading

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What I Learned From Editors at RWA






I guess you could say I learned a lot, but not much in the way of details (the panel was only an hour, after all). The five editors on the panel offered a fascinating inside look into the publisher side of things. They were asked (by Tessa Dare no less) what’s hot, how they know what works, and what books they are pushing into the hands of everyone who will let them push books.

What trends do editors see? Historicals are back in a big way, so expect lots more of those. The panel seemed less enthused about New Adult romances. The exception to this was Riptide, which publishes LGBT romances. Sarah Frantz Lyons (who was genuinely charming) pointed out that college is when people who are gay or are wondering about their sexuality feel freer to figure out who they are and what they want.


Contemporaries are in, and (I hope) getting more inclusive. It sounds like it this is a very cyclical argument. The publishers claim they can only publish what is submitted and that they would LOVE more minority fiction. On the other hand, many minorities are wondering if they should bypass traditional publishing altogether and self-publish. Continue reading

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