Issue of December 13, 2009

What’s new on the menu at BiblioBuffet this week? Let’s say we have a nice selection of writings that range from spicy to tender. And we promise that each one of them is delicious.

In Thriller, Thriller, Burning Bright? Lev Raphael examines the kind of model  The Da Vinci Code created for subsequent thriller writers, and evaluates a NYT-besteller with Jewish themes that has clearly been conceived in the shadow of Dan Brown’s audacious megahit.

Pickling has been a part of human culinary existence almost from the beginning. Without refrigeration, spices like salt and processes like pickling were used to preserve many foods. They still are, but today they are used because we have acquired a taste for them rather than because they are needed to keep foods fresh. For most Americans, though, pickling means the pickled cucumber. In Pickling Bookmarks, Lauren Roberts explores the history of this snack and how it came to mean so much for the world of hamburgers and other foods with which it is unquestionably associated.

What is the difference between a professional sportswriter and a fan when talking about sports? After all, professional sportswriters are perceived as having one of the best jobs in the world. How could that not be but perfect for the sports fan? Pete Croatto discovered, through his extensive reading, is that it is actually the worst ways to be involved in sports for the intimate view is like viewing acne close-up. Far better to be the amateur who follows sports for fun, he says, in Keeping the Passion Alive by Keeping Away.

David Mitchell takes a look at a poignant book that reminds him that the holiday season has memories of a different kind for some people. In mid-December 1944, what came to be known as the Battle of the Bulge began. For a battle to take place when none was expected was horrible; for it to become the nightmare it did is something that ought to be remembered and honored. David shares both his feelings and his gratitude for the soldiers who were part of it and through a book that honors their memory in Lest We Forget.

And in The Shopping Continues . . . (part two of three), Lauren Roberts continues her exhaustive hunt through the virtual stores in search of literary gifts. No matter what your budget, you’ll find things that any book lover and reader on your list will enjoy. Toys, clothes, jewelry, bookcases, bookmarks, bookplates, bookends, bookholders, books, stationery, journals, kitchenware, games, and more are listed and linked here.

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