Issue of November 8, 2009

Nicki Leone, Managing Editor, and one of the best damn writers I have ever seen, shares her thoughts about a new book by William Ferris. The African American myth, music and culture of his native Mississippi Delta country was a way of life that for him became a way to make a living. In her review of his new book Nicki explores the power of the singers and storytellers he brings to life in “My Mouth Fly Open Like the Mockingbird.”

If you haven’t read guest columnist Mark Bastable, you must do so! Brilliant, insightful, wickedly funny, he brings to any book or article a wit rarely found elsewhere. His short story, “The Perpetual Vengeance of Piggledy-Poppet,” is one of literary revenge that turned out oh-so-sweetly.

Beginning writers are often told, “Just enjoy the writing, don’t worry about publishing yet.” Lev Raphael followed that route, but when his first publication earned him big bucks and national attention he lost sight of what really mattered, until leaving New York helped him re-discover his audience and the stories he wanted to tell in “Sweet Poison.”

Lindsay Champion specializes in memoirs. In the current piece, “The Courage to Keep Going,” she takes on two vastly different memoirs by breast cancer survivors and ultimately wonders which way might be the one she’d choose if she ever faced the same disease.

Bookmarks have become a popular collectors’ item recently, and “On Marking Books” celebrates that passion with articles from two writers on their own collections. In this issue Lauren Roberts uses a silk bookmark from Jantzen, the swimsuit manufacturer, to explore the history of swimming costumes and their role in American culture in “Splash!

In his sports books column, Pete Croatto explores the differences between the Internet and reference books in “A Relic of the Modern World.”  “The Internet is all about convenience,” he says, but “reading any reference book requires an openness to explore what’s between the covers.” And often what is there offers far more in terms of serendipitous discovery than any online resource can provide.

David Mitchell of Things Said and Done, looks at two books that surprised him by forging bridges between himself and his parents’ experiences in World War II in “The War My Parents Witnessed.”

And Lauren Baratz-Logsted, a young adult author herself, reviews for books–two new, two from several years ago–that deal with violence in high schools in different ways. And she finds present a disturbing trend in both society and in books reflecting that society in “People are Dying in There.”

Don’t forget to check that six days a week we have new material for you to enjoy on our Literary Amusements page. Literaria du Jour offers a literary factoid; Reading Remarks offers quotes about books and reading. It’s a quick read, but a most enjoyable one.

All of us at BiblioBuffet hope you enjoy this issue. We wish you a wonderful week!

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