Monthly Archives: January 2012

Issue of January 29, 2012

Some parts of the country are still snowed under, and will be for some time to come, but where I live and where Nicki lives, each of us on separate coasts, spring is beginning to peek its head out. Seed catalogs are arriving. Dirt is being fertilized. And the pull of certain books, lighter perhaps than those chosen in winter’s darkness but no less intriguing, is affecting our reading choices. To that end, we have some essays and reviews that should help bring a little bit of spring to your reading lives—even in snow-white surroundings.

Books read in high school, most often involuntarily, involve classics that may or may not later turn into favorites. Exploring why that happens and what caused one to do so for Nicki Leone is something she explores in Why I am Reading Moby-Dick.

Bookmarks of old often have rich looks that are missing today. Among them are extraordinarily beautiful engravings. Laine Farley found three that, though different, had unusual scenes and a similar style. Could she discover their history? Find out in Little Landscapes of Daintiness and Elegance.

Luminous reading is not nearly as common as book blurbs would lead one to believe, but Katherine Hauswirth found, in Look Again, two books that fit that word perfectly by being “cheering reminders that the world . . . is worth our attentive study, ready to repay our efforts with new insights and ever-evolving perspective.”

Guest columnist Mike  Yawn returns with an interview with Jane Leavy to talk about one of her favorite sports people and the subject of her popular biography in 2010 in Sandy Koufax: Dodger Legend.

Can one ever have too many dictionaries? Elizabeth Creith ponders that question not necessarily for herself—since she has more than two dozen—but for those who think a woman’s shoes should outnumber her dictionaries in The Dictionary Queen.

Most of us have seen pictures of books arranged by color. But does anyone really do that? And would it work? Lauren Roberts has. In Coloring Books, she shares why she made the decision to go colorful and how the process seems to be working.

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Issue of January 22, 2012

This week, we have one of the best interviews we have ever run. If you are a sports fan, be sure to check out The Athletic Supporter. Over at Biographology, see how a reviewer handles criticism of his choice of a book to review, and why he thinks it important to his genre. More beloved books? You bet. Head over to Bookish Dreaming for that. And, finally, the weekly editor’s letter offers up a take apparently not yet discussed when libraries and e-books come to the forefront.

In a brilliant and insightful interview that spans a wide range of subjects, Pete Croatto goes head-to-head with John Schulian a former sports columnist (and, later, television writer) who talks about his experiences on newspapers, with other sports writers, editors, and athletes, the changes in the sports reporting industry, how he broke into television, and more in We Write and Take Our Chances: An Interview with John Schulian.

In his last column, Carl Rollyson critically reviewed a new biography of Adolf Hitler that took an unusual approach. Not surprisingly, he received a number of e-mails and comments about it. In Springtime for Hitler Again, he meets those objections head on and explains why he believes as he does and how the genre of biography is enhanced by that author’s approach.

In Beloved Books: Part Three, Gillian Polack had planned to write about her favorite books that are over one hundred years old—until she found she had thrown out, by accident, her notes. But she did find a small note about writing she loved of that age and those four authors are the focus of her column.

The discussion of library book budgets is lively these days. So also is the discussion of e-books. Oddly, though, what hasn’t really been discussed, at least in  public, is the implications of how the impact of buying e-books vs. print books affects libraries’ customers. In Libraries: For Whom, Lauren Roberts wonders: Is their demographic changing, or are some going to be shortchanged?

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Issue of January 15, 2011

In this week’s issue, we have some fabulous reading for you in a wide range of subjects. Check it all out; we believe you are sure to be pleased.

Lev Raphael interviews the editor of an astonishing World War II-era German diary that came to light only recently, dispelling forever the myth that average Germans didn’t and couldn’t know about the atrocities their Nazi government was committing in New Light on Old Crimes.

Nicki Leone may work at home but she travels the world with books. So when a new book on street food—nibbles from around the globe—came her way she took advantage of her time and her kitchen in Street Food in the Kitchen.

An early baseball hero who became more than he ever wanted to be is the subject of guest columnist Mike Yawn’s piece this week as he interviews a documentary filmmaker and a biographer about their work on this unique sports champion in Hank Greenberg: American.

Growing up in the middle of the twentieth century meant for Lauren Roberts a childhood of innocent television shows, barbecues and family baseball games on summer nights. One of her fond memories, of a show and a hero, was “brought home” again with a bookmark in Tales & Trails of Roy & Dale.

What don’t books and e-readers have in common? Elizabeth Creith crunched a few thoughts about why she will continue to prefer the printed book and in the process created a lot of laughs in  How Do You Dog-Ear an E-Reader Again?

Life is change. Sometimes it’s thrilling, other times it is startling or even frightening. But it is inevitable and if we allow it, often insightful. In Sea Changes, Katherine Hauswirth talks about a memoir and a novel that in their own ways “ponder life transformation in response to a specific—and often unexpected—occurrence.”

When Carl Rollyson wrote an extended review of a new Hitler biography, the variety of book covers mentioned so intrigued Lauren Roberts, a cover lover, that she decided to do, in Portraying a Book, a little exploration into them.

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Issue of January 8, 2012

We’re starting off this year with a bang. With what, you ask. Why a birthday celebration, a commanding review of a controversial new book, a biting review of a book that looks at wrongful success, and a look at personal literary loves.

Adolf Hitler is not a subject that most biographers approach with a humanistic touch, which is no surprise. However, a coming biography that does exactly that attracted Carl Rollyson’s attention to such a degree that he is actually writing three pieces on it for three different publications. The longest, most detailed one is here with honest, biting commentary of the book, its author, and its difficult subject in Springtime for Hitler.

Discovering what books other readers love is almost a passion with Gillian Polack, who, in her last column, queried her friends, and this week queried BiblioBuffet’s team. What books older than one hundred years were their favorites? Come find out in Beloved Books: Part Two.

A new book about a basketball player many sports fans—and especially the author—have come to view as not having paid his dues is, while sounding initially like a lengthy rant, actually became a “bitingly honest, soulful book” and, according to Pete Croatto, one well worth reading as he shares in The Wrong Kind of Success Story.

BiblioBuffet is entering its seventh year, and Lauren Roberts shares a bit of her feelings about what has changed and what has remained the same from 1/8/06 to now in Seven Years Old!

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Issue of January 1, 2012

It’s a fresh start—at least on the calendar. Here at BiblioBuffet we have some incredible reading recommendations to start your new year off right. Join us for a reading extravaganza in 2012.

How can a two-thousand-year-old poem seem so modern? Nicki Leone muses on de rerum natura (on the nature of things) in Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Katherine Hauswirth takes a sobering journey through the world of genocide in the World War II era with two books—a children’s novel and a read-long-ago book recently rediscovered memoir—that helped her realize that “there’s a great and profound comfort” to be found even in the worst horrors in Number the Heroes.

“What kind of person has a purge rule in the library?” Not me, thought Elizabeth Creith, who was confronted with this question over the holiday season and who found a kind of accommodation to it in Vat Iss Diss Vord “Purge”?

Bookmarks have, as our readers know, interesting histories but some are more interesting than most. Laine Farley found that to be the case in her exploration of the story behind two bookmarks that advertised an importer of delicate clothing accessories in Crime and Lace.

With the new year comes lots of new things, resolutions being one of them. But when resolutions arise from guilt rather than aspiration our determination can get bogged down in the mire of remorse and blame. Lauren Roberts has found a better way for herself in Riding Into the New Year.

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