Issue of September 30, 2012

Autumn is a transitional season and that often leads to thoughts of memory and nostalgia. This week, we have several columns that touch base with those types of thoughts in various and intriguing ways.

Chocolate has always had a sensual allure but at least one brand has a thrilling story as well. Laine Farley delves into the delights, the scandals, the history, and the people behind the Haas name and discloses a delicious tale in Fine Candies, Earthquakes and Arsenic.

From biography to bark. Carl Rollyson moves his focus away from his normal biography to pay a tribute to a special life, that of Watson, his beloved Scottie, in The Big Bark.

Gillian Polack’s interest in the Medieval era led her to a 30-year-old “terrific” book about weaponry, its craft, its art, and its ultimate use, destruction. Why weaponry? “It helps us understand where we get our views of what we consider a weapon and why,” she explains in The History of Guns.

Serendipity is defined as “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way,” and Lauren Roberts tends to have a lot of those around her books. Curiosity about one book turns up a surprisingly new one, or magazine or newspaper articles that relate to the subject matter of a book long residing on the shelves provide the joy of re-discoveries in Literary Serendipity.

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