Issue of May 29, 2011

With the last day of the Memorial Day weekend comes the first day of the summer season. At least that’s how most of us tend to think of it. Many newspapers and magazines like to publish a list of “beach reads” they recommend. Here at BiblioBuffet, we prefer to just talk about the books we have read and passionately endorse. And this week is no exception.

Rome did not die on August 2, 216 BC, but one of its most important events—the Battle of Cannae—took place on that day. A new book that makes not the battle “compelling, enlightening, and readable” is due, Nicki Leone says in History Rhymes, to its author’s “rare talent among scholars to bring remote and seemingly academic facts down from their rarified heights and put them, vividly and viscerally, right in front of the reader.”

Mothers (birth and step) inevitably play a very large emotional and physical role in our lives regardless of how long they have been there or what they have done. In her review of a new memoir about the effect that being adopted has had on the author’s adult life, Lindsay Champion finds a woman who finds the gift she sought—in an unexpected place in Seeking a Mother’s Touch.

One of the best things about the Internet is the number of blogs, websites, and forums devoted to books. This is where readers can learn far more about previously unknown books—old and new—they might want to read than ever before. Lauren Roberts, who is known to hang out at several book discussion forums, is always trying to introduce people to them, especially to BookBalloon. This time, it’s your turn in To the Forum!

Laine Farley shares a special bookmark that instead of being created for commercial purposes was instead created to provide a  “ unique experience for lovers of books and art in San Francisco for seventy years.” Learn all about this bookmark and the unique history behind it in Books and Cards Worth Giving.

It’s the holiday/memorial weekend of reading and dining and all is going well. Please indulge Lauren Roberts’s short note in The Weekend—though there are lots of other things to read in the letter!—so she can get back to her reading.

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