Kelly Strom

Kelly Strom

Kelly Strom | How to bake sweet treats for the holidays

"Cooking and baking is both physical and mental therapy" — Mary Berry

A well-known writer of over 70 cookbooks and a co-host of the "Great British Bake-Off," Mary Berry knows of what she speaks. To me, running your hands through a flour mixture, or kneading dough, is akin to planting a garden.

Kelly Strom | Family dinner parties can get tense

Well, you've made it through another Thanksgiving. Hopefully the food was delicious and the company was enjoyable. I have a co-worker at the library who stated that he was going to try to cook his 25-pound turkey in the crockpot. I can't imagine how that turned out! Besides Thanksgiving, we have family dinner parties for a number of occasions.

Kelly Strom | Books look at varied moods of the holidays

It's the time of year that is filled with the juxtaposition of love and hate. We love all of the holiday food but hate the extra poundage. We love buying gifts for others but hate the commercialism. We love seeing loved ones but hate the stress that comes with it.

I have pulled two books that address some of these things but in different ways.

Kelly Strom | Ease your way into frightening reads

There is only so much that people can tolerate. Are you frightened of the children's "Goosebumps" books, or can you make it up to Edgar Allan Poe? Is Ray Bradbury enough for you, or do you crave the horrors of Dathan Auerbach and Ramsey Campbell? We all have our limits of discomfort.

Kelly Strom | 'Half Moon Bay,' 'Ohio' offer complex tales

Complex stories have always appealed to me. Novels that have several storylines going on at once or that delve a little more deeply into the human psyche are of the most interest to me. Today's novels do just that. The primary story sometimes makes way for a study on an associated topic or complication that takes center stage for a while.

Kelly Strom | Recent Champaign library visitor's works worth exploring

Have you heard? The Champaign Public Library is once again fortunate to have a series of fantastic authors coming to give presentations to the general public.

First up on the docket was the incomparable Colson Whitehead, bestselling author of numerous books, including the recent runaway hit, "The Underground Railroad."

Kelly Strom | Literary suspense in hot locales

Since we are going through a hot spell here in Champaign County, I thought it was only right to read a few books set in similar conditions. When you do something like this, it's easier to commiserate with the characters.

Kelly Strom | 'Bring Me Back' big on suspense

In the much anticipated third novel by B.A. Paris, "Bring Me Back" is filled with enough suspense that it will keep the reader guessing until the end. There were hints sprinkled along the way, and one could make a few guesses as to what was going on, but overall, it was an intriguing novel.

Kelly Strom | It's the time of the year for beach reads

I read a lot of books, and I do look forward to the summertime when I get to indulge in some stereotypical "beach reads." Before going away on vacation last week, I took the opportunity to pick up some books with irresistible titles. Fortunately for me, they turned out to be delightfully sweet and funny.

Kelly Strom | Books offer home-project ideas

It seems I wait all winter for the weather to be nice enough to work outside. Besides the hours I spend gardening, I also enjoy making things and upcycling items for the indoors and out. We have many new books at the library with ideas and instructions to create your own masterpiece.