Friday, November 26, 2010

From The Guardian: Amanda Marcotte's Entertaining Review of the New Palin Book.

Although I will never buy or read any book by Sarah Palin, I do look at the reviews.  Amanda Marcotte's recent piece in The Guardian on Palin's new book, America by Heart, is interesting and entertaining.  The book's intended audience, notes Marcotte, is angry, white, conservative Americans and:

As expected, the book is a mish-mash of lies, contradictions, empty feelgood rhetoric and, above all, the stoking the feelings of resentment in her target audience against the usual cadre of villains: people of colour, liberals, feminists, cosmopolitan types, even Nasa (as the Palin-watch blog palingates points out, "potentially elitist, many educated people working there")… anyone who has books on their bedside table without the words "chicken soup" in the title.

Check out the full review here.

Yes, you'd have to pay me to read Sarah Palin's book.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pack This Essential Item for Your Holiday Travel: "Worth Dying For" by Lee Child.

You need a good book for Thanksgiving weekend.  If you are flying somewhere, spending several nights with friends or family, hosting weekend guests, or if you are just chilling around home yourself, there will be stretches of time to fill and that's when you will need a good read.

One novel to consider reading this weekend is Worth Dying For.  It's the latest book in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child and the follow-up to 61 Hours.  In Worth Dying For, Reacher is again taking on the forces of evil, this time in Nebraska.  For dedicated readers of this series, no further explanation of the plot is needed.  If you are new to these books, all I can say is that there are a whole lot of people in this story who deserve to get their butt kicked, and Reacher is just the man to do the job.

Worth Dying For is entertaining, surprising, and a perfect escape.  For an enjoyable Thanksgiving weekend, having a book such as this at hand is just as important as having a good turkey on the table.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lonely Planet's List of the World's Top Ten Bookstores.

Lonely Planet, the travel guide people, has released its list of the world's top ten bookstores.  Check it out here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WSJ Gives Positive Review to the New Nook Color E-Reader.

Barnes & Noble will soon start shipping its new $249 Nook Color.  Katherine Boehret reviewed the new Nook for the Wall Street Journal.  Check out the review here.  As described by Boehret, it sounds like a good product.

Kate Moss or Kate Mosse?

Yesterday Vogue named Kate Moss, the supermodel, Best Dressed Woman of the Decade.  And I have to say, how dreary must that be?  Constantly groomed like a French poodle?  Boring.

In any event, this is not about that Kate.

Kate Mosse the author has a new title available called The Winter Ghosts.  The reviews I've seen thus far of the book are mixed.  However, even the critical reviews rave about her first book, Labyrinth.  I haven't read Labyrinth but did get it today at the library.  I'll give it a read first and then consider moving on to the new book.  

Any Kate Mosse or Kate Moss fans out there?  If so, let me know your views.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Blind Descent" by James M. Tabor.

Exploring the deepest caves on Earth is undoubtedly exciting; reading about it in James Tabor's book, not so much. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas: Books for the Cook.

Cookbooks make great gifts.  Check out these recommendations on books for the cook in your life.

1.  The latest book from the guy in orange Crocs, Mario Batali.

2.  Peter Reinhart's book provides the latest in tips and techniques for baking delicious bread at home.

3.  Melissa Clark's book:  We love it!

4.  For the master of the grill on your shopping list:

5.  Top recipes from America's Test Kitchen:

6.  Helpful information for choosing wine:

Up-date: More cookbook recommendations from NPR: 2010's Best Cookbooks.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Excerpt from Keith Richards Autobiography.

Why does this sign make me think of Keith Richards?

The NYT is running an excerpt from Life, Keith Richards' autobiography.  Check it out here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What to Read Next: "Company of Liars" by Karen Maitland.

When I was in 10th grade, kids who were college bound all took a course called something like 'The History of Western Civilization.'  I don't remember all of what that course covered, but I distinctly remember how much I enjoyed studying about the Middle Ages.  Since that class many years ago I continue to be interested in reading books set during that period of history, and this was one of the initial attractions for me to Karen Maitland's novel, Company of Liars.

Company of Liars is set in England in 1348, the late Middle Ages.   Plague is sweeping across the country.  Camelot, a relic seller, is trying to travel north to escape the deadly disease.  Eventually Camelot becomes the leader of a group of nine who join together for the journey.  Each member of the group has a secret which shapes their fate.  Maitland makes it easy to guess some of these secrets, which is all the better for the reader to understand what is going on, but surprises arise nonetheless - all the way to the very end.

The atmosphere in this book is terrific and the story engaging.  Life in 1348 is presented in a manner that feels truthful as well as entertaining (and at times appalling or horrifying).  Company of Liars is recommended reading.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas: Mark Twain Autobiography and More!

It's the time of year when we start thinking about holiday gifts.  For folks who love history and nonfiction, a great gift idea is Mark Twain's newly published autobiography.  Add to it a Ken Burns video on Twain, a book about food Twain loved, a collection of Twain quotations, or a bottle of bourbon, and you will have a fantastic holiday gift!

1.  Twain's Autobiography.

2.   Twain's Feast  - a search for Mark Twain's favorite foods.

3.  Ken Burns looks at Mark Twain's life.

4.  Mark Twain is definitely quotable.  Get all his gems in one collection. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

New CD from Singer Neil Diamond.

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I don't care what the hipsters think, or the scenesters, gangsters, or coolsters: Neil Diamond has a new album coming out this week and I want to hear it.