A New Year Message from Santa Fe Public Library

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo and the NEA Big Read 2021 at the Main Library.

Public libraries are more than just collections of books; they are the singular place in society that serve all, while connecting us to each other and our community. Libraries inspire. They offer safe harbor with friendly faces. They ensure that the community has access to a wide variety of resources and information that contribute to a healthy, equitable, and connected community. As we continue to navigate challenging times, we are grateful for your ongoing support of the Santa Fe Public Library system and the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library. Your membership, donations, volunteerism, and kind messages of thanks are appreciated, and they ensure that we are able to continue to improve library services for the community.

Looking back on this difficult year, the Santa Fe Public Library has continued to serve the Santa Fe community by finding creative ways to expand services while keeping our community and staff safe. The Santa Fe Public Library staff have worked extremely hard. Despite high staff vacancies and facing all of the challenges of this pandemic, we have managed to continue to improve our libraries and services. Here are just a few of the many examples of the Santa Fe Public Library’s important work over the year:

Children’s Librarian Walter Cook doing a virtual story time at Meow Wolf.

In 2020-2021, Santa Fe Public Library card holders borrowed 596,889 Library items, of which 325,809 were digital materials. The Library provided 271,080 physical books, videos, music, seeds, museum passes, WiFi Hotspots, laptops, and take-and-make craft kits through curbside service. The Library’s website had 414,663 visits and Library staff answered 15,624 reference questions via phone and email. Over 2 million sessions took place on the Library WiFi at the three library locations.

We implemented the Tech Connect program that allows patrons to check out laptops and WiFi hotspots.

A family enjoying a book and art kit provided by one of the library’s community partners, SITE Santa Fe.

The Library increased educational programming by moving to provide digital and outdoor programs. The Library had 9,577 program views and provided 303 in-person or Zoom programs with 11,981 program participants. The Library’s Summer Reading Program had 711 participants with 123,029 minutes read by participants, and the program concluded with a family-friendly magic show at the Southside Library.

Santa Fe community members holding their copy of Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea.

The Library received a $15,000 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read grant. The NEA Big Read books were Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea and youth companion book, Dreamers by Yuyi Morales. The Library partnered with 28 community organizations and provided 44 NEA Big Read programs for all ages. Over 600 Santa Fe students participated in a program with author Yuyi Morales and over 1,000 new books were provided to Santa Fe students. The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library and local sponsors provided an additional $20,000 to support the community-wide reading program.

Vaccination clinic and Chainbreaker Collective event at the Southside branch library.

The Library partnered with the Chainbreaker Collective, EarthCare, City of Santa Fe Emergency Operations Division, and the NM Department of Health to hold three vaccine clinics at the Southside Library with over 800 vaccines administered.

The Santa Fe Public Library partnered with Santa Fe Public Schools to install the Sora app on all SFPS student devices so students can seamlessly access books on their school-issued device without a library card. Over 1,700 SFPS Sora accounts were created with 1,118 hours of reading time recorded on Sora.

Together, the Santa Fe Public Library and the Santa Fe Children’s Museum were one of seven cohorts to be selected to participate in Building a National Network of Museums and Libraries for School Readiness. The program is a cooperative agreement with the Boston Children’s Museum funded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The initiative enables museum and library professionals to better serve young children and families, and aims to address persistent gaps and opportunities in early childhood education by forming coalitions of museums and libraries.

A peek at some of the new furnishings inside La Farge branch library.

The Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library funded a project to refresh furnishings at the La Farge and Southside Library branches.

Heading into a new budget cycle, we are working diligently to ensure that Library services return to pre-pandemic levels and hope to reopen the La Farge Branch in early 2022, as soon as staffing levels allow. The branch will be complete with new furnishings and an updated library space.

Thank you for supporting the important work of the Santa Fe Public Library and we wish you a very happy and healthy New Year.

Librarians representing Santa Fe Public Library at Santa Fe Pride 2021. Your library Loves you!!

Goodreads: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

By Callie Stockman

Goodreads is one of my top 2 favorite social media sites. I use it from everything to setting reading goals, to keeping track of what I’ve read and want to read, to deciding which books to add to my “to read” pile. 

Have you ever used something so consistently and so often that you don’t even consider whether or not it’s helping or hurting you? Recently, I stopped to think if there were any downsides of this website that I think is so integral to my reading life. I’ve made a list of the good, the bad, and the ugly of Goodreads. 

For those who don’t know, Goodreads is a social media site that makes it possible for users to rate and review books, create shelves, recommend books to others, and create reading goals and maintain reading lists. It’s free and contains millions of catalogued books. 

The Good

  1. It’s the easiest way to keep track of the books I read. I regularly read over 100 books a year, so notebooks would just be a mess. Plus scratching out books I didn’t finish and categorizing the lists would be a nightmare. On Goodreads, it’s fairly easy to create and update shelves to your personal taste. 
  2. I like setting my reading goal for the year and seeing if I’m on track to reach my goal. 
  3. I love the year-end summaries! They tell you how much you’ve read, your overall ratings of your books, and other fun things.

The Bad

  1. It’s a pretty well-known fact that Goodreads can be a little clunky. Sometimes books don’t appear like they should or doing simple tasks turns into a nightmare. It seems like Goodreads should be more intuitive than what it is, especially since it’s so large and owned by Amazon. 
  2. Speaking of being owned by Amazon, I’m  on the fence if that is a good thing or not. You can link your amazon account to your Goodreads and when you highlight on your Kindle it automatically appears in your Goodreads account. The problem is that it makes it hard for other book social media sites to compete. That leads to Goodreads not having to upgrade their system (see point one). Also, some people just don’t like Amazon for multiple reasons. 
  3. Sometimes when I spend time on Goodreads, instead of feeling joy at all the possibilities, I feel overwhelmed. There are so many books on my “to-read” list! My friends are reading such great books! I can’t believe he finished that classic! It can be disparaging instead of invigorating. 

The Ugly

  1. I’ve decided not to read books solely because of the Goodreads ranking. I wonder how many great books I may have missed due to “groupthink.” I recently finished Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alan. I had avoided it since it came out because it has a low rating on Goodreads. One of my colleagues recommended it so I decided to give it a try and I really loved it! If I trusted Goodreads only, I would have missed out on a great read.
  2. I feel nervous about my reading goal. Even though I love it most of the time, I get kind of panicky if my books start to fall behind. Sometimes I feel a sense of accomplishment finishing a book because I can’t wait to see my counter go up. I suppose there isn’t anything necessary wrong with that, but I don’t always savor the books like I should.
  3.  Is it really just another media time suck? As satisfying as it is to create shelves for each of my cozy mystery series, couldn’t I be doing something more useful, like actually reading a book?

Looking through all these points, I’ve decided to come to a compromise when it comes to Goodreads next year. I will only use it to mark books I’ve read throughout the year so I don’t forget. I won’t browse except to add my books and I will not set a reading goal. I especially WILL NOT look at ratings. I’ll try this for a year and see if my reading life improves. I’ll check back in 12 months to let you know!


Christina Stephenson

Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah) is a Danish word that defines a quality of coziness, contentment, and wellbeing.  It can also been defined as being able to find comfort and solace in simple and soothing spaces and things.

I was first introduced to the concept of hygge on a trip to Denmark and Scandinavia years ago.   At the time I didn’t know the word, but I felt calmer and more at ease in certain spaces than others.  I mentioned to a Danish friend that there was just something different and that I couldn’t put my finger on it.  It was then that she introduced me to the concept of Hygge. Since then I have tried to create hygge in my living and work spaces, and I am a firm believer in its benefits.

Creating hygge in your surroundings is as individual as you are, but it can be invaluable to your wellbeing.  Life is normally stressful and busy so finding some calm is important and with the busyness of the approaching holiday season, couldn’t we all do with a little hygge in our lives right now? 

Hygge isn’t just about creating the space, but consciously seeking and using the space to unwind and find calm. You can start with a cozy armchair that you can sink into with a lap blanket to snuggle up. You can take some time to read a book while sipping some chamomile tea with honey, or enjoy the view out of the window, or work on a craft like knitting.  The important thing is that it helps you relax and find balance.

For some Hygge inspiration we have some wonderful books at the Library and I can recommend the following:

The book of hygge: the Danish art of contentment, comfort, and connectionby Louisa Thomsen Brits

The little book of hygge: Danish secrets to happy living by Meik Wiking

How to hygge: the Nordic secrets to a happy life by Signe Johansen

Making winter: a hygge-inspired guide for surviving the winter months by Emma Mitchell

Hygge knits: 9 cozy hygge style knitting patterns for sweaters, socks, slippers and more by various authors (this is an e-book only)

Please stop in or call us at reference if you need assistance finding some great books on hygge.  Main Reference 505-955-6781, La Farge Reference 505-955-4862, and Southside Reference 505-955-2820.

The First Annual “Quirky Turkey” Awards

By Callie Stockman

This is a post to honor all of the book characters who are just a little different. They come across from a little odd to downright nutty. Let’s celebrate all of those quirky turkeys who make our reading life more interesting!

Luna Lovegood, The Harry Potter series – Luna has no problems dancing to her own drum. She adds flare, passion, and goodness to the gang and her interactions with Hermione are some of the funniest in the books.

The first Harry Potter book where Luna becomes a part of the story

Vera Stanhope, The Vera series – Vera is a crochety older woman with a drinking problem. Her solid sense of self allows her to see the world as it really is, and makes her a really good detective.

The first in the series

Eleanor Oliphant, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine – Eleanor doesn’t pick up on a lot of social cues, but that doesn’t stop her from setting goals and perusing them tenaciously. We’re all rooting for you, Eleanor!

Willow Chance, Counting by 7s – This middle grade novel has a heroine who just doesn’t seem to fit in at all. She loves diagnosing medical conditions and finds comfort in counting by 7s. When a horrible accident changes her life in ways she could never imagine, she is able to reach out and create a world full of new friends and family.

Chet, Chet and Bernie mystery series – In all honesty, Chet isn’t that quirky. He’s completely normal, for a dog. What makes these books so quirky is that the entire series is told from Chet’s perspective and he always has a…unique opinion….on the cases he works with his owner Bernie.

The first in the series

Let me know you’re favorite quirky turkeys in literature!


The Very Ambitious and Perfect October Reading List


October is my absolute favorite reading month. Normally I’m an “as the spirit moves” type of reader, but when it comes to October, I plan a list months in advance. There’s something so delicious about being buried under the covers reading a bewitching story on a dark October night. I should probably purchase a candelabra just for the ambiance. I love to share my favorite October books every year, and this is my most comprehensive reading list to date. I’m including a few books I haven’t tried yet, but I’m giving a shot this year. I hope you enjoy!  

Dracula by Bram Stoker

This is my absolute favorite October book. It has everything! A castle, romance, lust, vampires, and a cowboy. 

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Apparently this book is told through the voice of the house. Bold strategy. I’m excited to see if it works out. 

Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories by Bram Stoker

I guess I’m just a sucker for Stoker. His stories are frightening and fun and gothic and just lovely. Also, the title story is the retracted first chapter of the novel “Dracula.” 

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

This one pops up as a popular “love it or hate it” type of book. It’s written in such a strange way it’s hard to get a sense of it even from a summary. It looks intimidating, but since it’s about a haunted house (I think) October is the perfect time to give it a shot. 

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

This isn’t a classic horror story of course, but good old fashioned “who dun it” always hits the spot. 

The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb

A few months ago I asked a book group what I should read to “feel like I’m in a Tim Burton movie.” They recommended Wendy Webb, and since this is her highest rated book on goodreads, it’s the one I’m going with. 

Practice to Deceive by Ann Rule

Ann Rule is the queen of true crime and since sometimes life imitates art, October and spooky season are the perfect time to investigate some very real horrors. 

The World of Lore: Dreadful Places by Aaron Mahnke

The cover of this one is beautiful, and that’s what ultimately got me. I have listened to the podcast this book is based on in the past and enjoyed it. It’s a catalogue of haunted places and I like the idea of learning about haunted places all over the world.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

The haunted circus genre began here! I haven’t read this one in a while and I hope it’s still as terrifying as I remember. 

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

I wanted to read this one a while ago because I am extremely intrigued by the Salem witch trials, but it has a surprisingly low rating on goodreads. The main complaint is that it’s too detailed and boring. Maybe though, it’s only overly detailed if you aren’t truly interested in the topic? I’m breaking down and giving this one a go! 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other Stories by Washington Irving

This famous folk story is the first scary story I remember as a child. The headless horseman and Ichabod Crane haunted my dreams. I like to catch up with my nightmares every so often. I’m not sure if I’ve read the rest of these stories but I’m game to find out. 

The Short Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne

I read a collection of his short stories in high school and I remember really enjoying them, although I can’t remember much about them. Hawthorne was an early father of American gothic, and a descendent of one of the judges of the Salem witch trials. His stories touch on the darkness inside all of us.

The Complete Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

What can you possibly say to briefly introduce Edgar Allan Poe? His short stories are dark, creepy, gothic, and stand the test of time.

Shirley Jackson 

Although The Haunting of Hill House is perhaps her most famous work, it’s actually one of my least favorite works by her. For me, it’s a little too subtle, although I appreciate what she’s going for. I like her other novel We Have Always Lived in the Castle and her short stories much more.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

If you want to celebrate October but creepy isn’t your thing, this is the book for you! It’s got a magical circus, bonfires, and plenty of fall treats to salivate over, and absolutely no ghost!

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

After you’ve read Dracula, pick up this one to see what vampires are like in America.

If you’re reading this list later in the year, you are completely allowed to read these in November, December, or even the beach in June!

Saya’s Frybread and Indian Tacos

Recently I had the honor of speaking with Medina and James Kailahi, husband and wife from San Ildefonso Pueblo, who own and operate Saya’s Frybread & Indian Tacos here in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Saya’s is Santa Fe’s first and only Native American Food Truck! I have had the pleasure of enjoying Indian tacos and the amazing frybread from their stunning turquoise truck in front of Artisan’s on Cerrillos road. Let me say, I’m a huge fan of Indian tacos and, truly, sincerely, I’ve never had a better one in my life. So of course I needed to meet and talk with the Kailahi’s and share their story, as well as recommend their food to the community.

Courtesy of Saya’s Frybread & Indian Tacos @sayasfrybreadandindiantacos 

An Interview with Saya’s Frybread and Indian Tacos

Jessica Gulliford (Librarian at Santa Fe Public Library) Please tell us a little about yourselves and how Saya’s Frybread business got its start? Who had the dream of owning and running a food truck?

James Kailahi Hello, good afternoon, my name is James Kailahi. So a little back story, I landed a dishwashing job back in 2014 or so, downtown Santa Fe. About six months in, my chef offered if I wanted to cook. So I ended up cooking there for about six years and moved on to serving tables for about two years. But in my second year of cooking, you know, one of my biggest questions was, amongst all of this food here in Santa Fe, you mean to tell me that there’s not one Native American eating establishment or cuisine? So that was always a question that I really wanted to solve and that kind of birthed the drive to producing and making the food truck that we have today.

JG I’m so glad you did and yeah, pretty remarkable that it has taken this long for Santa Fe to have a Native food truck or Native operated food in general. So thanks for being the first- thanks for starting it for us! 

Where does the name Saya’s originate from?

Medina Kailahi So Saya means Grandmother in Tewa. San Ildefonso is one of six Tewa speaking Pueblos. For many of us who grew up on the reservations, we spend a lot of time with our family and for me it was Grandma. Grandma made pottery, she was a great cook, mentor. So spending a lot of time with her, learning the language and also picked up, you know, cooking- cultural cooking, traditional cooking and that’s where the frybread comes in to play. Originally it is a recipe of my Mother In-Law and so it was a nice ode to the Grandma’s, to honor and carry on what is being taught to the Native community. We are fortunate to carry that on, also teaching our children, that their picking it up and showing interest. 

Courtesy of Saya’s Frybread & Indian Tacos @sayasfrybreadandindiantacos 
Courtesy of Saya’s Frybread & Indian Tacos @sayasfrybreadandindiantacos 

JG For sure, yeah, that is really important. Can you share a little bit about the History about frybread its connection to Native American people?

Medina Kailahi Frybread comes from our Navajo brothers and sisters. It was a recipe shared way back when rations were given. We were given minimal ingredients for survival and to sustain ourselves, so we did what we could with flour, salt and water. The Pueblo style of traditional bread is the horno oven bread and frybread is closely connected. Everyone kind of has a similar frybread. The Canadians have bannock, our Pueblo communities and Navajo neighbors, we have frybread. It is made a lot during the feast times and ceremonies. Bread is always the first sacred item to be placed on the table at a time of eating with family and ceremonies. It’s definitely been made popular these days at a lot of festivals and feast days, and it’s something you just can’t find easily in Santa Fe, so we broke that barrier definitely now.

Courtesy of Saya’s Frybread & Indian Tacos @sayasfrybreadandindiantacos 

JG Yeah, yeah, thank you! What is it like to make the food you love and are so connected to and serve it to the public?

Medina Kailahi It feels great! I mean, a lot of people have shared with us how much they enjoy or how much it brings back memories of them growing up, of comfort food, close connections to their Grandmas and their family recipes. We have students from the IAIA college who come and enjoy our food and feel the close connection of home, wherever they’re from, wherever they’ve come from, if they know what frybread is. It’s nice to see others enjoy, travelers who are having Indian tacos or frybread for the first time really enjoy. And it definitely is something that can be shared, our frybread is big enough to be shared between two people or with family and others.

It really feels great to be with my family doing something that we can carry on and we can help motivate others and we can really just enjoy doing what we love.

James Kailahi You know, for me, a huge thing is being able to bring Native American foods and traditional cuisine to the forefront of the culinary arts here in Santa Fe. Again, amongst all of this food, from all around the world, we are very, very proud and fortunate and blessed to finally bring the Native food from our own backyard here. To join, you know, pull a chair up to the table and join the feast here because, like you said, it has been too long. There’s a lot of joy in that, to be able to represent and bring our foods to the table and also introduce that to the public, and also to the world! Quite frankly, not only has it been absent here but it is pretty absent throughout this whole Nation, as far as just Native foods in general and us having a noise throughout major parts of this Nation. I feel that it’s been quiet for a long time, so hopefully this will spark something not only here but Nationwide. I think that we definitely do need to continue to bring Native foods to the forefront across the Nation.

JG Absolutely. Representation is so long overdue and so important, and to have your food be confined to just a festival once a year is absurd. So thank you guys! It shouldn’t be, but it is groundbreaking, so thank you so much.

James Kailahi That was another, for sure, ingredient to the drive of not only why don’t we have Native foods but also we should have it readily available, all year round, not just once or twice a year at festivals. So yeah, thank you for that.

JG For sure! What was your biggest hurdle to purchasing the food truck?  How did you overcome that obstacle, if there was one?

James Kailahi Yeah, you know, there’s something about a burning desire that somehow things happen. If you just do the next thing and if you do the footwork, somehow, someway it comes through. But specifically in this situation, if I’m honest, I don’t know how we made some things happen, but they did. You know, a lot of prayer, a lot of faith. One of the big things that came about, you know, at a certain point I didn’t know how I was going to fund certain things. So there were two ways, one of the ways is that we did a gofundme and then secondly we had some savings from tax and it really wasn’t much! We were just fortunate enough, just by inches of making everything come together. So that was the biggest hurdle as far as purchasing. 

From there, we were just fortunate to find a lot of deals during this time of COVID. We were able to run into restaurants that were going out of business and were blessed to come in at that time and get good prices on certain things that we needed. Timing was everything on this journey. Again, it was very fortunate to really thrive during this time. 

Courtesy of Saya’s Frybread & Indian Tacos @sayasfrybreadandindiantacos 

JG What type of advice would you give to a young person who would like to start their own business?

James Kailahi Just do it!

Medina Kailahi Yeah, don’t be discouraged. There were a lot of times where we needed to get to MVD to register our vessel and we couldn’t do that, we couldn’t just go and walk in and pull a number. We had to get online and figure out how to schedule an appointment, and it was a lot of different things because of the COVID pandemic, but still we knew there was a way. We sent emails, we waited patiently. We made tons and tons of phone calls. Challenges were there, but we still made a way, we still figured it out. We doubted ourselves, but we still had confidence and faith in what we were doing and in a higher power that will guide us to the next right thing, to a good location, to opportunities. Without the faith in ourselves and each other and the business, I don’t know!

James Kailahi The biggest thing I have, as far as advice is, just do it. This is my first business ever. I’ve had this idea for…

Medina Kailahi A long time.

James Kailahi …over six years now. I have to be honest, I procrastinated a lot. The biggest thing I’ve found in business and getting things done and making things an actual reality is, just do it. No matter what, just do it. Because once you take action, the rest will follow.

JG If you don’t try, if you don’t start somewhere, it’s never going to happen, right? Well, I’m glad you guys did it!  You already mentioned the gofundme, but my next question is if you have had help from the people of your Pueblo when starting your business?  What has your food truck meant and your food to your community?

James Kailahi No, we didn’t get direct help from the Pueblo. There were maybe some people from the community and some relatives that were part of the gofundme, but as far as direct, no. For the community, I think it’s huge. Again, it brings a sense of pride, to be represented finally, in some sort of way. It brings a lot of comfort to most, to be authentic and have the real Native American cuisine. It just doesn’t get better than that and I’m pretty confident that it pays a lot of homage to the community and to the word Sayas, it being a Tewa word. Just overall, warm, warm pride.

JG I can imagine that you guys are really inspiring, whether you know it or not, to the community. What is the best thing about having a food truck business?

James Kailahi Well, right off that bat, to work for yourself, that’s one of the biggest rewards of this journey is to be able to work for yourself, there’s nothing like it. Another thing I do it for is maybe to give hope and inspiration to others. Like the previous question you mentioned, of starting your own business. So yeah, it’s very important. 

Courtesy of Saya’s Frybread & Indian Tacos @sayasfrybreadandindiantacos 

JG You’ve mentioned Grandmothers and the importance of family. Who is someone that you admire and whose influenced your life, has inspired you to do big things, like going for it, doing it, running your own business- being your own boss?

James Kailahi For me, I do have a person at the top, he’s a relative of mine, he does have his own business in L.A. We grew up together and he’s doing big things. He was definitely the top person that really motivated me during this process, because he’s just in a really good position. To see someone coming from the same background and to physically see a person do something, make things happen. There’s some power in that, that is just is second to none, that was fueling me. So I really have to give a lot credit and respect to my cousin.

Also for me, my Father, he’s passed, but definitely in many situations, you know- what would he do, what would he do in this situation? So as far as big motivators, those are definitely be the two for me.

To give that credit to my cousin, his name is Yung LB! I gotta give credit when it’s due.

Medina Kailahi We’ve been fortunate to have had experience in food and beverage, my background comes from fine dining. I’ve worked in some of the best, finest restaurants in Santa Fe and doing so I’ve been able to work with top chefs, sommeliers who have started from when they were really young, and not, who have traveled the world, and not, who have really shared with us their passion, their drive, trained us thoroughly and answered the questions that we have. Chef Clay Bordan, he definitely set a bar for us, still helps us and mentors us when we have questions. You know, we email him and he is just so jazzed and happy for us and our journey, as we’ve been for him, reading his business plans and coming up with our own. There’s a lot, there’s a lot of people and we’ve been fortunate to be exposed to those kind of people, to be able to follow that path also, of being a business owner.

Courtesy of Saya’s Frybread & Indian Tacos @sayasfrybreadandindiantacos 

JG Many believe that food is a universal language. What do people who are unfamiliar with Native food think about your food and the food truck? Have you had anyone where this is their first Indian taco or frybread? How have their reactions been?

Medina Kailahi We have many!

James Kailahi So far, about 95% have absolutely been blow away and kind of been mind-boggled about where has this been their whole life! Some right away, so many out of towners, they taste it and right away are like “man, why don’t we have these in our cities?!”. You know, from Texans to even New Yorkers, all the way from Florida, I mean, you name it. We’ve had, you know, of course Santa Fe tourists. We’ve had quite a few tourists from all over this country and all over the world, in fact, that are just puzzled that we don’t have Native American foods everywhere. So yeah, overall, as far as people that are new to the cuisine, it’s great, great feedback, they love it.

We do have to kind of give a little bit of a comparison or explanation, you know, the frybread, maybe we’ll say it is similar to funnel cake, you know, but it’s not so crunchy. But overall, when the people try it, they love it, they love it.

JG Yeah, no doubt, I’m sure! What plans does Saya’s have for the future of your business?

James Kailahi At the moment we do have quite a few opportunities, but we’re just going to take them as they present themselves and just see what works best for us. We would like to maybe go towards having a few more food trucks, adding one or two. Again, we have had a couple offers on maybe brick and mortars but, you know, at this point and the way businesses have been going, also with everything going on, our overall operation is going quite well, so I don’t want to complicate anything. Again, still, as opportunities come, the right one will just feel best and we’ll make the right decision from there.

JG Awesome. Thank you guys a million for doing this interview with the library and again for your amazing food and representing in our community, you guys are awesome!

Courtesy of Saya’s Frybread & Indian Tacos @sayasfrybreadandindiantacos 

Be sure to follow Saya’s Frybread and Indian Tacos on Facebook and Instagram. They post regular updates for their hours and will post if they’ve run out of food, which certainly happens because… well… they are so good! How could they not sell out fast?!

Saya’s current hours are 11AM – 3PM on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Saya’s truck is located in front of Artisan off of Cerrillos road. You can’t miss their beautiful truck and definitely don’t miss out on their frybread!

– Jessica Gulliford, Santa Fe Public Library

Inspired to start your own food truck business? Check out some of these great titles from Santa Fe Public Library!

Starting & Running a Food Truck Business : Everything You Need to Succeed with Your Kitchen on Wheels by Alan Philips

Food Trucks : Dispatches and Recipes From the Best Kitchens on Wheels by Heather Shouse

The Food Truck Handbook by David Weber

Food Truck Road Trip : A Cookbook: More than 100 Recipes Collected from the Best Street Food Vendors Coast to Coast by Kim Pham

Food Truck Business by Douglas Haworth

Food Truck Business: Guide for Beginners by James David Rockefeller

Around the World in 80 Food Trucks

Running a Food Truck for Dummies by Richard Myrick

An Introduction to Cozy Mysteries

By Callie Stockman

Life is heavy right now. We all feel it. Most of us have put down our Russian philosophers and  been scouring the bookshelves for something lighter, calmer, and happier. As the temperatures drop and the nights get longer, it is a great time to acquaint (or reacquaint) yourself with cozy mysteries, or “cozies.” 

I avoided cozies for most of my life because I had the conception that they were written by inferior authors with stale characters and exasperating dialogue. And boy was I wrong! And also, boy was I right! I had to kiss a lot of frogs before I found my niche in the cozy section of the library, but finding that perfect series warms my heart and makes the world right again, at least until the last page. 

Before I give some advice on finding the perfect cozy for you, let’s talk about what makes a cozy a cozy. Like most genres, there are no hard and fast rules, but generally, a cozy will:

Have a murder that takes place off the stage – no blood and gore 

Involve an amateur detective

Take place in a small town/community with limited suspects

Have a cast of wacky characters

Kill off someone you don’t particularly like anyway

End in a neat and tidy way 

Having a  punny title doesn’t hurt either 

If you’ve decided that a cozy sounds exactly like what you need in your life right now, let me give you some advice. The world of cozies is HUGE. It can be daunting to begin because not only is there a plethora of authors out there, but many authors have not only multiple books in a series, but multiple series. When deciding how to jump in, there are a few things to consider.

  1. Atmosphere/Geography: If you’re obsessed with Scotland, there is a cozy set in Scotland. If you’re interested in New England witches, I can find you a cozy that takes place in a New England town with witches in a few minutes. I personally skip any cozies that take place in the deep South but will jump at almost any cozy set in a small English village. 
  2. Gimmick: Gardening, knitting, cooking, baking, book-collecting, you name it. If you have a hobby or interest, I bet you can find a cozy that centers around it. I personally lean towards the crime-solving animal variety, but that’s just me. I also tend to avoid the food-centric ones simply because I know I will always be hungry when reading them.    
  3. Main character: Usually the main character in these mysteries is widowed, divorced, or fiercely independent in a culture that requires marriage and conformity. It’s fun to watch these characters navigate their world while standing out in their community. Find a protagonist you want to grow with, because usually the series are pretty long. 

I’m hesitant to give examples of cozy mysteries series because the genre is so broad it’s hard to pick out an eclectic sampling. If you need a place to start, here is a very truncated list of examples. 

My personal favorite cozies:

The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun

Mrs. Murphy series by Rita Mae Brown

Sister Jane series by Rita Mae Brown

Mrs. Marple series by Agatha Christie 

Albert Campion by Margery Allingham 

The Gaslight Mystery series by Victoria Thompson (this one is borderline cozy mystery. There are definitely some darker aspects here so avoid it if you’re not sure if it’s cozy enough for you)

Other Examples from the wide world of cozies:

A Deadly Inside Scoop: An Ice cream Parlor Mystery by Abby Collette 

Arsenic and Adobe: A Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery by Mia P. Manansala 

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke 

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M.C. Beaton 

Murder Past Due: A Cat in the Stacks Mystery by Miranda James 

By Book or By Crook: A Lighthouse Library Mystery by Eva Gates 

The Cracked Spine: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton

A Clue for the Puzzle Lady: A Puzzle Lady Mystery by Parnell Hall 

The Garden Plot: A Plotting Shed Mystery By Marty Wingate 

Murder, She Knit: A Knit and Nibble Mystery by Peggy Ehrhart 

As always, if you pick one up and it doesn’t work for you, put it down and find something else. There should be no fear of running out of options when it comes to cozies. 

Cheers to finding your perfect cozy!

Adventure in Cooking

By Christina Stephenson

“Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

I love this quote.  It sums up perfectly my philosophy of life.  Adventure nudges us out of our comfort zones and into the greater world.  The interesting thing about adventure is that sometimes you don’t even have to leave your own home to find it.

When my children were younger I homeschooled them for several years.  At the time I was taking care of my father and wasn’t working, so I had time and we enjoyed a lot of flexibility in our schedules.  I made an effort to get us out of the house and do something new most days, but one day I realized we had the same conversation nearly every afternoon.

Child:  What’s for dinner tonight?

Me:  I don’t know I haven’t really thought about it yet. We can stop at the store and grab some chicken?

Child: Ugh!  Not chicken again!

That same week I read an article about how people tend to rely on the same 5 to 7 meals most of their lives and use a limited group of staples for those meals.  We were definitely stuck in a 5-7 meal rut, with limited protein choices and staples! We relied on what was familiar and easy to make, and I realized that my family was missing out on an opportunity to enrich our lives a bit more.

I thought about it long and hard, and decided that we were going to have a year of new to us meals at least 5 times a week, and not variations on the same old same old.  “I can do this!” I thought, and I would make the children a part of the process.  We were going to incorporate what we were learning in homeschooling into our meals, and we were going to make food from as many countries and regions as possible.

I took a deep breath and decided on a plan of action.  I printed out a calendar for March (the month we began) and marked off my target days for the new recipes.  The next decision had to be WHAT to make each day and how to source any new ingredients that were not typically in our pantry?!  We were just wrapping up our study of Mesopotamia and moving onto the Indus Valley, so we choose Persian and Indian foods for the first two weeks.  I wanted authentic recipes from the areas and not some western celebrities interpretation, so I searched for cookbooks by authors from that region. 

Have I mentioned that cookbooks can be very pricey and take up a lot of room in your house?  Although I did purchase a few amazing cookbooks, the majority that I used that year I found in the library.  I would read the cookbook and show the children the recipes that I thought we might want to try and they helped to choose the ones they found most appealing.  I then photocopied the recipes (because I like to make notes as I cook and do not want the book itself to get dirty – I confess I am a messy cook!) and returned the book to the library.  We have stacks of photocopied recipes now that we often go back to.

Surprisingly, one of the least difficult things was finding some of the more exotic (to me) ingredients.  Many of them I could find either at the international markets in Albuquerque, or I bought online and they came right to my door.   for a few ingredients I had to search for a suitable substitute, but often there were good suggestions online from other cooks.  I did buy a few specialty cooking containers like a tagine and a paella pan, but the truth is I could have managed without them. (Although I am happy I bought them!)

The children and I would often cook the meal together and when we sat down to serve it we would talk about the food, the region, geography, and history of the country.

In that year we not only met the 5 new recipes a week goal, but often exceeded it.  We made food from every continent (except Antarctica for obvious reasons), each region of the United States, and many different countries (I am not sure of an exact count).  We made a roast from Columbia, a vegetarian feast from Ethiopia, stuffed cabbage from Russia, variations of curry from the Caribbean to the Far East, lamb tagine from Morocco, fish stew from Peru, and so many other amazing flavors.  Did we have a few duds?  Yes we did.  Did they deter us?  No they did not.   Although our time is more limited now that I am working full time and the children are teens, we still make an effort to cook together on the weekends.  We have added many new favorite recipes to our meal rotations and we feel that it makes life better.

Now the afternoon question goes more like this:

Child:  What’s for dinner tonight?

Me:  I don’t know I haven’t really thought about it yet.  We can stop at the store and grab some chicken?

Child: Oh!  Can we make that yummy chicken from Brazil?!

I hope to try this food adventure again one day and share it with my Family and Friends.  We often talk about our year of cooking around the world with smiles and as a shared adventure.

If you are interested in trying some new recipes, The Santa Fe Public Library has a cookbook for you!  A few of my recent favorites include:

Salt & Time: Recipes from a Russian Kitchen by Alissa Timoshkina – I want to try the Ukha (Rustic Fish Soup) on pg. 69.  This looks like a lovely soup to serve with crusty buttered bread on a cold winters night.

Tasting Paris: 100 recipes to eat like a local by Clotilde Dusoulier – I am making the Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apple Cider Sauce on pg. 213 this weekend!  Pork isn’t my favorite protein, but this recipe looks delicious.

Moorish: Vibrant recipes from the Mediterranean by Ben Tish – I am always looking for new ways to serve side dishes and the Olive Oil-roasted Potatoes with Green Peppers, Chilli and Green Olives on pg. 110 is a yummy new way to have potatoes.  My family ate every bite!

The Irish Cookbook by JP McMahon – I have a duck in my freezer and I am planning to make the Spiced Duck with Potato and Sage Stuffing and Apple Sauce on pg. 198 with it soon.  You can find Duck at most of the grocery stores in town and it has become one of our favorite proteins.

Ethiopia: Recipes and traditions from the horn of Africa by Yohanis Gebreyesus – I have LOVED Ethiopian food ever since I first had it as a child, but I never attempted to make it myself until our great year of cooking.  Last year I made the Duba Wat: Spicy Pumpkin Stew on pg. 94 and my family ate every bite, so I will be making it again this fall when the pumpkins are for sale and a chill is in the air.

Please stop in or call us at Reference if you need assistance finding some great cookbooks.  Main Reference 505-955-6781, La Farge Reference 505-955-4862, and Southside Reference 505-955-2820.

Here Comes Science – science books for non-science people

By Callie Stockman

I was never a math and science person, but I have always appreciated science. I love the process of discovery and the story of inventions. I might tune out a little when it gets too technical, but the stories of triumph that are inherent in the science field make me want to stand up and cheer.

I’m sharing a list of my favorite science books for non-science people. These books either focus on the stories behind the scientists or they break down the science enough that they’re enjoyable for the layman. You’ll see a lot of them same authors over a variety of subjects. I hope you enjoy!

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

The Bastard Brigade: The True Story of the Renegade Scientists and Spies Who Sabotaged the Nazi Atomic Bomb by Sam Kean

Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart by James R. Doty

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: the History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories Trauma, Madnesss, and Recovery by Sam Keane

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love by Dava Sobel

The Violinist’s Thumb: and Other Lost Stories of Love, War, and Genius as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Keane

The gift, and burden, of STUFF

By Christina Stephenson

When my parents died, they left behind so much stuff that years later my siblings and I are still trying to sort it and make decisions.  It sits in closets, cupboards, drawers, and in trunks piled in the garage waiting for their turn to be sorted.  There are genuine treasures and memories with some of it, which is a gift that gives me a warm feeling of a hug.  There are emotions that come up; both good and bad with some of it.  Sometimes I resent that my life has been taken over by someone else’s choices and detritus and that feeling can be such a burden and feel overwhelming.

My parents were from the generation that saved and valued “useful” things.  My father left behind a garage lined with coffee cans of nails and screws.  My mother loved textiles, and I still have piles of cloth she collected, tins of buttons, and thread.  My life is so busy working, raising my children, taking care of everyday things, that dealing with all of my parents stuff is often postponed for months at a time.  I keep plugging away at it though, little by little, and have decided that I will not leave so much STUFF for my children to deal with.  I don’t want them to be burdened by too many of my things when I die.  I want them to cherish the few things that are meaningful to them.  To that end, I have turned to the library collection for inspiration and advice on how to deal with both mine and my parents STUFF, and the SFPL collection has not disappointed me!

One of my favorites has been “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to free yourself and your family from a lifetime of clutter” by Margareta Magnusson.  In it she affirms with experience and humor how beneficial decluttering your life is for both you and your loved ones before you die and leave it to others.  It is an easy read and, despite the title, is not sad but rather uplifting.

Another favorite is “The Life-Changing Magic of tidying Up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” by Marie Kondo.  This gentle and inspiring book has become the gold-standard recently for organizing your life and there is good reason.  Kondo is direct and clear in her philosophy of being tidy, and it is simple to follow.  It is not fussy and she asks that instead of looking at an entire house, you look at tackle parts at a time.  She provides a system to tackle each part and makes it doable and not overwhelming.

I also found “10 Minute Tidy Home: hundreds of easy tips to straighten and clean every room of your house” by Sara L. Hunter and “10 Minute Declutter: hundreds of tips to organize every room of your house” by Skye Alexander to be helpful.  These tip filled books are less of a cover to cover read and more of an inspirational life-hack guide.  You can look up specific issues and get tips to help using the handy index in the backs of the books.

If, like me, you too have STUFF and you need inspiration on how to deal with it there are plenty of materials in our collection for you, not just the ones I have mentioned.  Please stop in or call us at Reference if you need assistance finding materials.

Main Reference 505-955-6781, La Farge Reference 505-955-4862, and Southside Reference 505-955-2820.

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started