Thumbs up for What Pete Ate from A to Z by Maira Kalman. Children’s.
All of the things that Pete the dog eats. If you haven’t seen Maira Kalman’s delightful illustrated stories, go read her “And The Pursuit of Happiness” blog on the New York Times site. Yes, you heard me. The New York Times. Go. It will make you happy.… >> Read more
Thumbs up to Miss Manners’ Guide to Rearing Perfect Children by Judith Martin. Humor/Etiquette.
It is no closely held secret that I do not like children enough to ever have one myself. I do, however, like Miss Manners – very much indeed. She is that special combination of wise and hilarious. Her classic work, Miss Manners’ Guide To Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, is a staple of my bookshelf; and even if I do not live up to it, at least her wit makes me bellylaugh when I am down.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Everyday Life in Ancient Rome by Lionel Casson. History.
It takes real skill to write a work of nonfiction that glides by as rapidly as a good novel; Casson has accomplished that. If you want to get a sense of what it would be like to live in Roman times, this book is a good place to start – easy to read, yet detailed and evocative.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for Dimension of Miracles by Robert Sheckley. Science fiction.
My boyfriend is quite taken with Sheckley right now, and as the bits he read out loud to me seemed highly promising, I was looking forward to trying some out for myself. He recommended this one for a plane ride, and it hit the spot. Smart, quick-paced, and very witty, it reminded me of Douglas Adams and John M.… >> Read more
Thumbs up to Rules for Aging: Resist Normal Impulses, Live Longer, Attain Perfection by Roger Rosenblatt. Humor.
I hesitated whether to categorize this book as “self-help” or “humor.” It’s very funny, but like most humor, it’s funny because it’s true. By all means, read it to laugh, which is what I did; that it’s good advice is just gravy. Such as my favorite, Rule #42, which I always try to live by: “The unexamined life lasts longer”:
“People have been living for over a hundred post-Freudian years with the idea that prolonged and continuous introspection is good for one’s mental health, thus they fail to remember how miserable doing this makes them.
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Thumbs up for Working IX to V: Orgy Planners, Funeral Clowns, and Other Prized Professions of the Ancient World by Vickie Leon. History.
In clearing out a shelf of books-that-have-sat-too-long-with-bookmarkers-almost-to-the-end, I came across this. Why didn’t I finish this before? Perhaps so I’d have the pleasure of reading it now. This is a hilarious, informative and illuminating book, describing ancient Greece and Rome through the ins and outs of the jobs people had.… >> Read more
A week or two ago, I read the delightful The Ungarnished Truth: A Cooking Contest Memoir, by a winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off, and the idea of entering recipe contests got stuck in my head. This wasn’t the first time I’ve thought about it. I’d once before gone far enough to Google “recipe contests”; but that time, none of the contests I found had piqued my interest.… >> Read more
A very big thumbs up for The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester. Science fiction.
Bester wows me. He has more ideas on one page than most authors come up with for an entire book, and he uses them with bravery, surety and power. I wish I could write like him.
“It took thirty minutes to organize a Christmas party in the Four Mile Circus.
… >> Read more