J. Ryan

J. Ryan Stradal and One Book’s Finale

On Saturday night, Kitchens of the Great Midwest author J. Ryan Stradal entertained a large audience at the conclusion of One Book, One Mesa County. A native Midwesterner, J. Ryan discussed his upbringing, touching on his early love of books and reading, as well as things he ate and enjoyed (or didn’t.) He shared an […]

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One Book’s Finale Week

We have so enjoyed all of the participation from our readers over the past month of One Book, and we’re greatly anticipating J Ryan’s talk at the end of the week. J Ryan will speak at the Avalon Theatre (645 Main St.) on Saturday, March 5th at 7pm. The doors will open at 6 pm, […]

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The Locavores are Coming

Kitchens of the Great Midwest’s Pat Prager lovingly crafts her Peanut Butter Bars to compete at her local fair. After some success, friends convince her to apply for a more elite competition. When she arrives, she is greeted by perhaps the most negative stereotype of the foodie snob and uber locavores. Her competition seems obsessed […]

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“Table of Content” fundraiser on March 4 to benefit Mesa County Libraries Youth Services

Enjoy a unique evening in the library, sampling signature appetizers, desserts, and beverages from Mesa County’s best restaurants, breweries, and wineries Friday, March 4, at the “Table of Content” fundraiser to benefit Youth Services at Mesa County Libraries. Those who attend also can meet J. Ryan Stradal, author of “Kitchens of the Great Midwest,” the […]

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The Adoption Process

Kitchens of the Great Midwest has a very unique heroine. Eva is larger-than-life—physically, for one thing; but also in her capabilities and talents, her confidence and her success, and in her attitude that keeps her down to earth, even at the peak of her culinary stardom. There is no doubt that Eva’s experiences, shared with […]

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The Science of Taste

One of the enjoyable factors to Kitchens of the Great Midwest is the change in perspective and narrator that each chapter brings. In the only chapter that is from Eva’s point of view, she is a young girl, experimenting in the growth of chili peppers and breeding for the hottest possible. In her bedroom closet. […]

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Dontcha know where the Midwest is?

Location, location, location. In some books, the sense of place becomes its own character. The location provides a meaning and impact all its own, contributing to the actions of the characters as well as the readers’ understanding of them. Kitchens of the Great Midwest is one such book. The first giveaway, of course, is the […]

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Kitchens of the Great Midwest selected as One Book 2016

The holiday season is undeniably known for food–its power to bring people together, to make memories, to share traditions, and make mere ingredients into something much more special with a little creativity. In that spirit, we’re happy to announce our One Book, One Mesa County selection for 2016. Kitchens of the Great Midwest, author J. […]

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Our One Book Committee Thanks You!

One Book 2015 wrapped up with our finale, a presentation by author Roz Chast, on Saturday night. Roz addressed nearly 400 audience members, who were certainly treated to an original, comical, and honest presentation. Roz shared with us insights about how she became interested in drawing, how she became involved with The New Yorker at […]