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.
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Thumbs up for Made For Each Other by Meg Daley Olmert. Science/nature.
Supposedly about the man-animal bond, at times it reads more like the author’s love affair with oxytocin. No, not the stuff Rush Limbaugh was famously hooked on (that’s OxyContin), but the “feel-good” neurochemical that is activated in social interactions both between people and people, and people and animals. The book could have been trimmed from 244 pages (not including notes) to about 100 without suffering, but it reads quickly enough, and has enough of value, that skimming through the “ra-ra oxytocin is great” repetition is tolerable.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Young adult science fiction.
Invariably, when these books are mentioned in the bookstore where I work, the phrase of the day is “My son/daughter got it, but I picked it up and I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.” I hear a lot of rave reviews about books that are in fact mediocre, but I like young adult books, and since I’d never actually seen one of these in the field, so to speak, when this finally came in, I was curious.… >> Read more
For Christmas my boyfriend received a very thoughtful gift from some friends – a book called The Frugal Foodie, by Alanna Kaufman and Alex Small. Of course, I got my grubby little paws on it as soon as I could. Consider this not so much a review, but thoughts inspired by it.
The “Foodie” part of the title is apparent.… >> Read more
Thumbs up for The Ungarnished Truth: A Cooking Contest Memoir by Ellie Mathews. Food.
This winner of the Pillsbury Bake-Off ain’t your checkered-apron homemaker type. College-educated, Birkenstock-wearing, grease-phobic, logical and practical – the quintessential Northwesterner, in fact – Ellie Matthews describes herself and her experiences with a kind of refreshing humorlessness, never able to take seriously the fact that she won a prize for throwing some stuff in a pan.… >> Read more