Monthly Archives: November 2011

Issue of November 27, 2011

With the last of the turkey eaten (or lurking in containers, soups or stews) and the holiday season now in full swing, what could be better than some good reading suggestions? We got ‘em, plus we also have some damn fine critical writing from our columnists.

Carl Rollyson continues his two-part series on reviews of biographies, asking why some books, like the Jobs bio, receive divergent reviews. As a biographer and a biography reviewer, he shares his perspectives and ideas in Rush Jobs.

Though he admits he shrinks from doing round-ups, Pete Croatto decides they have a place—like in his column this week. Giving Thanks is an excellent summary of sports-related books and blogs that have captured not only his interest but his heart.

Franz Kafka’s writings still resonate among readers and writers because, as Gillian Polack notes, he “always took the ordinary and rendered it extraordinary, except where he did things the other way around.” In Search of Today’s Kafka is the review of a new anthology in which writers successfully do the same.

Lauren Roberts is back with the annual Literary Gift Guide, Part 2—holiday gift suggestions for your favorite reader in the price range of $25-$100.

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Issue of November 20, 2011

With the Thanksgiving holiday weekend coming up, we want to wish each one of you a happy, safe time. Take time for yourself and your closest loved ones. Don’t fret, don’t stress. If you don’t eat or like turkey, have anything you do. Don’t cater to others; just enjoy them. And most of all, find time to read or re-read something you love. Holidays are or should be about choices that work for you, that give you pleasure and peace.

The books they share take second place only to the memories of their sharing. Nicki Leone begins her holiday season (and ours) with a warm tribute to the role of her mother in her real and literary life in Mom, the Perfect Reader.

Thanks to our newest contributor, biblio-humorist Elizabeth Creith, I learned a new word. I already knew that “lights out” are anathema to all devoted readers, but I didn’t know there is help for it—if one wants it: Confessions of a Librocubicularist.

Who at some point (or many points) hasn’t dream of a secluded existence where choices are few and obligations simple? Katherine Hauswirth shares, in Cloister Talk, that maybe such ideas are not that simple, and that wise decisions are better based on our own self-determined roles.

Pharmacies play such a large role in our health—from dispensing prescribed medications to carrying simple aspirin—that it is easy to ignore how far they have come as Lauren Roberts describes in Pharm-ing Bookmarks.

The opening of the “holiday shopping season” opens this week, and for those seeking gifts of a literary nature Lauren Roberts has suggestions organized by price—beginning with free in Literary Gift Guide, Part 1.

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Issue of November 13, 2011

It’s cold here this week to my absolute delight. It’s not everyone’s choice, I realize, but I truly do find myself reading more and craving the company of books more when blankets and hot tea are the norm. If you feel the same, check out our issue this week. We have some great reading as well as great reading recommendations for you.

Stricken not long ago with a massive migraine, Lev Raphael chose that time to let his brain relax with a trip back into his favorite childhood books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. “I felt welcomed by the narrative voice which is so very wise and warm—and wry,” he writes of his recent reading journey, There and Back Again.

You’d think Pete Croatto and ESPN would have a lot in common. And they do if the subject is sports. But one particular broadcaster draws attention in a way that fascinated Pete sufficiently that he made a point of picking up the man’s memoir—which in Technical Difficulties he unhappily found a “vanity project disguised as a testimonial.”

A recent review of the new Steve Jobs biography grabbed Carl Rollyson’s attention—but not in a good way. His disagreement lay mainly with the way the reviewer perceived “the truth-value of life writing,” an important theme he believes in and follows in his own biographies and also elucidates in Jobs Jobs Jobs.

“Not all the books we ought to read were published this year or will be published next year,” especially when they involve a book that is “just as interesting now as when it was hot off the press.” For those interested in the “cool history” of medieval travel Gillian Polack has a special book just made for Mind-Travelling.

Former contributor Daniel M. Jaffe returns to BiblioBuffet with a repeat of his profile/interview with Edith Pearlman who has been selected one of twenty finalists for the 2011 National Book Award. We are proud to re-introduce her to you in Edith Pearlman: An Interview.

Sharing good news about the BiblioBuffet family is always a joy, and this week Lauren Roberts talks about the impact that all the writers but in particular Managing Editor Nicki Leone has had on the site that has become BiblioBuffet in Family News.

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Issue of November 6, 2011

Beauty could well be the title of this issue because of the different yet similar approaches to it in each of the new columns. Please join us for a trip into the worlds of beauty as seen in books, bookmarks, and reading.

“For Janisse Ray, the Altamaha River is the background music of her life,” is the start of Nicki Leone’s passionate review of a new book she calls “something between a poem and a prayer, a sermon and a scientific study, a memoir and a field journal” in She Paddles in Beauty.

Bookmarks with Art Deco designs, especially those featuring “windowpane” or cut out designs, have captured Laine Farley’s heart—and a big portion of her bookmark collection. How that style came about and how it translated into bookmarks is what she discovered and now shares in Decorama.

There is no season that is not right for reading, but there’s something about cold weather that is particularly suited to books read while cuddled under a blanket on the sofa with cats draped over shoulders and legs says Lauren Roberts in A Season of Favorites.

Books, says Katherine Hauswirth, “fall into my life in pairs.” That’s what her column is all about, and this week she finds that an unusual duo, one fiction and one nonfiction, about not just what’s “being read” is about but also the layers of meaning that can be found and the choices we make with them.  in What’s in the Cards?

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