Monthly Archives: February 2012

Issue of February 26, 2012

In this week’s issue, we have some fabulous reading for you. And some great book recommendations. Check all of our columns out for some textual fun in the sun.

Guest columnist and fellow bookmark enthusiast Beryl Kenyon de Pascual shares her discoveries of what often stays hidden from collectors within the folds of these tiny pieces of ephemera in Look for the Detail! Some are gorgeous, some  hide secrets, some are even naughty. It’s worth looking.

Do you lay or do you lie? Can you do both? Elizabeth Creith, a passionate defender of the English language, often finds herself wanting to shriek from the rooftops when she’s not gnashing her teeth over the finer (and correct points) of lie and lay in both the proper and improper sense of the words in I Lied—or is That Laid?

“What is it that makes some hang on, while others walk away when the marriage hits a rough patch?” asks Katherine Hauswirth in The Marriage Puzzle. Rhetorical it might be, but the question is one that two recent novels explore in different yet similar situations.

Nicki Leone has been reading Southern literature and growing Southern food ever since she moved to North Carolina twenty years ago. But she still found herself surprised and thrilled when a new-to-her writer showed her, in Not Only the Hills Should Remember that she still had a lot to learn with a collection of short stories in such “achingly beautiful language” that “one can hardly bear to stop reading.”

What’s a book lover to do when a limited budget meets unlimited book passion? Or when books on the floor clash with the dust bunnies hiding around them? In Planned Books, Lauren Roberts moves on from organizing to removing books in order to find a new aesthetic for her life: fewer books, more love.

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Issue of February 19, 2012

It’s a book world, after all—and I hope I have not put that song in your head to endlessly rewind—and we have if not all of them at least some good ones. Everyone is talking, it seems, about books they have on their readers, their desks, their nightstands, their bookshelves. What books? Come see.

Authors often dream of seeing their books turned into plays or films, but Carl Rollyson is one of the few to actually try. From that first experience, he learned, as he details in Biography on Film, that he had to do a lot more than just re-write what he had to bring justice to both filmgoers and to the character.

Most of us, as readers, favor one or more genres but rarely read everything. Those who do, especially as children, gain special insight as Lev Raphael points out in Reading Without Frontiers if they later become writers.

Piles and readers go together much as basil and tomatoes—a literary synergy in which each feeds off and complements the other. Pete Croatto, in My Life in Piles, shares some of what is in his current piles, each area a section of his “book town” that threatens to grow evermore.

Gillian Polack spent a couple months on the road last year and of course the first thing she packed was books. Electronic books, more than enough to make up for waiting times at train stations and airports. But not all of them got read, and in Travel Reading she discloses why she chose them and why they will be there for her next trip.

What a recent re-organization did for Lauren Roberts, besides making her happy about her new bookshelves, was to remind her of books she long owned but hadn’t yet read. In Finding Treasures, she shares two of them that she has finally read—and how one is helping her through a bout of illness despite or (or maybe in support of) its hefty size.

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Issue of February 12, 2012

Books and more books. We have them here so why not dive right in to our columns this week and find some good ones for yourself?

Is society moving too much into the excuses for behavior realm? Katherine Hauswirth used two books that explored, in different ways, how children and adults can be labeled as diagnoses rather than as individuals in Notes from the Spectrum.

As anyone who has read her columns for these past six years knows Nicki Leone loves books. Passionately. In fact, they have been at the basis of how she’s made her living all her adult life. But loving them means reading them without much concern for their packaging. To some readers that is a mortal sin. To Nicki, it is just reading as she explains in No Respect!

Why are some people attracted to collecting bookmarks? Why don’t serious libraries and museums that focus on collecting other aspects American culture bother with bookmarks? In Why Bookmarks? Lauren Roberts wonders why bits of ephemera that may be small but are mighty when it comes to understanding their time and their place don’t get the respect they deserve.

Is it possible to have a blank wall in a book lover’s home? Elizabeth Creith, in The Wide Open Spaces, says yes, and not only can you, you should have one for those times when you find a book that needs to be thrown against it—and your own books don’t deserve to be hit.

The Final Solution may have been the title of one of the saddest Sherlock Holmes stories ever written but it also has a good connotation for Lauren Roberts. This week, in Coloring Books: The Final Solution she finds the right way to organize her library’s books so it makes sense and makes for a happy reader.

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Issue of February 5, 2012

This week, you’ll find a review of a sports book that even most sports fans would probably like, an amusing and forthright journey of an American biographer in London (and the cultural confusions that can arise), a fantasyland of new books, and even more bookcase confusion. We hope you enjoy it.

When a biographer heads off to do research, especially in another country, what can he expect? Carl Rollyson, in London Diary, finds that England offers enormous satisfactions and an equal number of frustrations, probably exactly what his subjects found in their lives there too.

Whose “to be read” stack isn’t tottering? Not Gillian Polack, who decided to take a major whack at her over-the-top pile from just one publisher and found, in A Pile of Pyr, a  “lovely, fantasy journey reading through them.”

Legacies need more than time to find their place in history books; they also need an ally. Pete Croatto discovered a superb book about a basketball team that has found such an ally and the story, written in tribute, shows a time when “passion for the game trumped everything else” in Resurrecting Legends.

More bookcase drama ensued when Lauren Roberts, having lived with her recent reorganization of her books by color (to match her furnishings) for several days, decided that the discomfort of confusion outweighed the need for decorating harmony and revised her book placement decisions in Coloring Books, Part II.

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