Issue of February 6, 2011

From the world of chess to the world of drugs, BiblioBuffet travels the gamut this week to bring you some excellent writing and interesting stories along the way. Join us and find something good for yourself too!

Benjamin Franklin once noted that “life is a kind of Chess, with struggle, competition, good and ill events.” And Nicki Leone says she can’t “shake the feeling that chess is more than ‘just a game.’ ” And while she doesn’t get the chance to play as much as she’d like these days she does keep her passion for it alive with one of her bookish fetishes: fiction about chess—of which there are some excellent ones as she discloses in Chess Stories.

After more than month of reading books that dealt with deep caving, murders both fictional and real, real-life poison, cruelty, and other manner of darkness, Lauren Roberts needed an out. That proved to be a gift of a collection of audio recordings of Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet, dramatist, and writer. She shares how the evocative series that showcases the striking voice and fervent words of a rare talent helped her find bright new ground in Driven by Dylan.

Broadway diva Patti LuPone has a new memoir out. This is a book that Lindsay Champion has been waiting to get her hands on, and she is not disappointed, noting that it is delivered with “blazing intensity and brash attitude.” Not everyone’s cup of tea, she admits, but one that Broadway fans will certainly want to read about in Just a Little Touch of Star Quality.

It certainly wasn’t the “days of wine and roses” back in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—at least as far as medications were concerned. A bookmark advertising a “cough balsam” containing what would prove to be a poison and a disastrously addictive drug sent Lauren Roberts on a search into the world of early medicines that may or may not have cured illnesses but certainly created problems of their own in Medicine of Ills.

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