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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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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2016 One Book, One Mesa County kicks off celebration of “Kitchens of the Great Midwest”

The 2016 edition of Mesa County Libraries One Book, One Mesa County will present a tasty  lineup of special events in February and March centered on “Kitchens of the Great Midwest,” the debut novel of author J. Ryan Stradal. The novel is a coming-of-age story about an orphaned girl with extraordinary culinary abilities. Mesa County […]

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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 […]

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One Book Movie Series at the Avalon

Our last One Book movie of the series takes place this Sunday, 1:30 pm, at the Avalon Theatre at 7th and Main St. Admission will cost $6.00. Mother, a 1996 film, stars Albert Brooks and Debbie Reynolds. Brooks plays a successful writer in the midst of his second divorce, who determines that in order to […]

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