National Hobby Month: Books, Books, Books

Books for Your New Hobby

Tired of being online? Want to cozy up with a book in your hand to learn a new hobby? Or get more info on a favorite pastime you already have? We’ve gathered some book suggestions for you. Whether you enjoy painting, photography, collecting, building, or crafting, the library has books for you!


The Encyclopedia of Jewelry-making Techniques by Jinks McGrath

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Scrapbooking Techniques for Beginners by Rebekah Meier

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Watercolor is for Everyone:  Simple Lessons to Make Your Creative Practice a Daily Habit by Kateri Ewing

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Filmmaking for Dummies by Bryan Stoller

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iPhone Photography by Mark Hemmings

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Digital Photography by Julie Adair King

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Hand Lettering 101:  An Introduction to the Art of Creative Lettering by Chalkfulloflove

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Rosie O’Donnell’s Crafty U:  100 Easy Projects the Whole Family Can Enjoy All Year Long by Rosie O’Donnell

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Generation T:  108 Ways to Transform a T-shirt by Megan Nicolay

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Home Made, Best Made:  Hundreds of Ways to Make All Kinds of Useful Things by Reader’s Digest

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The Complete Guide to Drones:  Build & Choose & Fly & Photograph by Adam Juniper

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Playing with Trains:  a Passion Beyond Scale by Sam Posey

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Guitar All-in-One by Jon Chappell

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How to Bake Everything: Simple Recipes for the Best Baking by Mark Bittman

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Rocks and Minerals by Chris Pellant

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Would you prefer EBooks or Audio books?

The library has Overdrive (also known as Libby) for eBooks and audiobooks, and Hoopla which offers both eBooks and audiobooks, as well as streaming movies and television shows. So there’s always something to choose from wherever there’s internet access or when transporting a physical book is not possible. Look for these logos in your app store.

Oh, You Beautiful Doll!

If you haven’t been to the library in a while, you simply must come in now to see an amazing doll collection (and to check out a few books, audiobooks, eBooks, movies or music while you are here.)

Two local women, Harriet Backenstoe of Emmaus and Dorothy Knauss of Allentown, collected dolls from around the world, most of them made between the 1930s and the 1970s. Both women who are deceased, generously donated their collections to Allentown Public Library and you have a unique opportunity to get an up close look at many of them.

In her lifetime, Knauss was a harpist who performed with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Allentown Band and Allentown Municipal Opera Company. Backenstoe taught art at Hanover Township’s Hanover School, served as an art supervisor at Kutztown University and traveled to many foreign countries. Both collected dolls for years. The library had displayed the dolls annually as part of a holiday tradition, but it has now been a few years since the dolls were last shown publicly.

Combined, the full collection includes about 400 dolls, each a work of art representing a variety of countries from around the world with several from countries that today no longer exist. About 30 of the individual pieces will be displayed throughout the month of December 2021. They provide insight into many cultures with traditional and festive clothing styles, or snippets from the everyday life of the people from the country they represent.

Fascinating and beautiful as they are educational, these dolls are unique and certainly not what you might find as a child’s play toy today.

On display at Allentown Public Library now through December 30, 2021.

Hours: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Check out these links for more information about the dolls and the collectors.

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