Top Picks: Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn's cookbook 'My Irish Table,' 'Frozen' on DVD and Blu-ray, and more

The magazine American Songwriter is instructive and inspiring, the podcast Business Women ROCK has great tips for female entrepreneurs, and more top picks.

Robert Dawson/Princeton/Architectural Press
Scott Suchman/Ten Speed Press

Check it out

For book lovers, library denizens, and fans of architecture or Americana, The Public Library is a delight. Over an 18-year span, photographer Robert Dawson documented hundreds of US public libraries, from majestic early 20th-century tome palaces in Detroit and Los Angeles; to Seattle’s ultramodern, Koolhaas-designed central library; to the backyard shed in Monowi, Neb. (pop. 1), which houses the 5,000-title book collection of the late Rudy Eiler, assembled as a tribute by his widow – town mayor and head librarian Elsie Eiler.

Living on the brink

Maria Shriver is behind a new HBO special, Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert. The documentary is part of her umbrella initiative, “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back From the Brink.” The program spends a year following Ms. Gilbert, a single mother of three and certified nursing assistant working at barely above minimum wage in Chattanooga, Tenn. This stark tale, though not without some joy, sheds light on the plight of 70 million women and children hovering above poverty in the US. It debuts March 17.

Irish cuisine

Despite how St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) is celebrated in the US – with corned beef and green beer – on the Emerald Isle the day passes more piously with families gathering for a typical meal of roast leg of lamb. This is just one of the gems shared by chef Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn in My Irish Table. Armstrong brings an elegant touch to rustic Irish favorites such as shepherd’s pie and Irish soda bread and shares recipes from his upscale Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Va.

Calling all businesswomen

If you are a female entrepreneur you’ll glean some good tips and advice from the new podcast Business Women ROCK. Katie Krimitsos, a business owner and the show’s host, interviews successful businesswomen about the trials and triumphs they experienced as they struck out on their own. Anyone interested in starting a company would gain wisdom from these conversations. For more information and resources, visit The podcast is also available on iTunes.

Queen of the cold

Disney’s Oscar-winning animated film Frozen will keep kids and parents entertained with its beautiful music and lively characters. When Queen Elsa’s ability to create and control ice is discovered by those over whom she rules, the people react in fear and Queen Elsa retreats to the mountains. Only her sister, Anna, has a hope of bringing the queen back. “Frozen” arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on March 18.

Songwriting 101

Any songwriters out there? American Songwriter, which comes out every other month, is a magazine dedicated to the art of the song, featuring interviews with songwriters, bands, educators, and savvy music-business pros to instruct and inspire. The March/April issue tells the story of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run,” reviews several acoustic guitars, and spotlights the winners of the magazine’s latest amateur-songwriting contest. So finish those lyrics and send them in for the next one!

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