Issue of August 7, 2011

In this week’s issue, we have some fabulous reading for you with hot recommendations to match the weather. Check it out, then settle in with a good book from our list, some cold water or iced tea, and a porch chair or blanket under a tree.

Being that Americans are as a culture vastly overweight it’s not surprising that there are a lot of books out there on how to lose the excess. Lindsay Champion, in The Weight of My Words, reviews one that is not a self-help book, as most are, but is instead a memoir of a life remembered with honesty, if not intimacy. Despite that, she says, the book offers “a quarter ton of inspirational wisdom.”

Who, really, is the man called “the father of our country”? Was he more myth than real? Nicki Leone tackles the complex new biography of George Washington  and discovers  a dramatic book that, while it may be the part-time victim of an adoring biographer, still remains a “vivid, captivating, engaging, and enlightening” (and thoroughly researched) read in  The Man Behind the Myth.

Sometimes the best stories are not in a book. Lauren Roberts shares one story—a true one that happened just this past week in Santa Barbara—that combines horror, sadness, courage, strength, and hope for the whole world in A Story to Remember.

Katherine Hauswirth joins BiblioBuffet again with a superb essay  that looks at two books with a common theme: relationships with another person and with nature. You wouldn’t think that two books that came out of some of California’s most beautiful country could infuse and inform our societal relationships, but in fact they can as can be seen in How to Be Together; How to Be Alone.

Hotels often hold a mystique over us, especially if we stayed in them as children. One of the most stylish of hotels—the Hotel Commodore in New York City—gave its guests a special bookmark souvenir that is the focus of Lauren Roberts’s attention in Come Again!

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