Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Paper Solution

The Paper Solution by Lisa Woodruff

Published:  August 4, 2020 – G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Content and Giveaway book provided by the publisher

Description:

From the “Marie Kondo of paper” comes a simple and accessible guide to paper management.

Americans are drowning in paper. We keep stacks of it on the kitchen counter, stash it in drawers, and store file cabinets full of documents that we never even look at. Studies show that fully 85 percent of the paper in our lives can be tossed–but which 85 percent? And how do we organize and manage the 15 percent that remains?

With The Paper Solution, founder of Organize365 Lisa Woodruff delivers a proven, step-by-step guide for what to shred, what to save, and how to sort what’s left behind. With her method, you’ll learn:

  •  What documents you must absolutely hold on to
  •  Which papers you can dispose of today
  •  How to ditch your bulky filing cabinets and make your vital documents accessible and portable

And at the heart of it all is the Sunday Basket: a box that sits on your counter and corrals those stray bills, forms, coupons, and scraps into an easy-to-use paper-management system. The Sunday Basket will become your new weekly habit–one that leads to less paper, less stress, and more time to spend on the things (and people) that matter most.

About the author:

Lisa Woodruff started Organize365 at her kitchen table in 2012, and today it has become the go-to brand for paper organization, offering podcasts, organizational products, professional certifications, and Sunday Basket workshops that attract people from around the U.S. seeking tools to tame the out-of-control paper in their lives. She lives in West Chester, Ohio, with her family.

Praise for The Paper Solution:

“Systems are the engine to create efficiency in the home. The Paper Solution gives practical tips and tools that allows us all to free up our precious time to focus on what truly matters.” —Eve Rodsky, author of Fair Play

“Drowning in paper? With Lisa’s ingenious methods, you can take control, get more organized, and free up incredible amounts of time. You’ll never lose a day to hunting down a permission slip again.”

—Laura Vanderkam, author of Off the Clock and 168 Hours

“Professional Organizer Lisa Woodruff brings a fresh and realistic approach to paper. I loved that she didn’t tell me to get rid of everything. Lisa shares a method for handling paper in a way that eliminates the unnecessary and keeps what’s needed right where you’ll easily find it. A must-read for anyone that has ever struggled with too much paper and wondered if they are keeping and shredding the right documents. Read this and you’ll know what to do with everything that comes your way.” —Becky Rapinchuk, author of Clean Mama’s Guide to a Healthy Home and Simply Clean

The Paper Solution walks you step-by-step to conquering the paper dilemma in your home…Her tips are practical and doable, leaving readers feeling empowered!” —Maria Dismondy, author, speaker, and publisher of Cardinal Rule Press 

“Lisa’s enthusiasm for productivity and organization shines through every chapter of this book. Her easy-to-follow implementation strategy makes quick work of overwhelming paper piles, and the comprehensive detail within each chapter assures all paper clutter questions have an answer. Lisa is the expert on all things “paper clutter” and The Paper Solution is proof! This go-to resource provides the information, structure, tools, and motivation to properly manage your paper clutter and stop it from taking over your home and life.” —Andrea Dekker, professional organizer and blogger at AndreaDekker.com

“Even in our digital age, paper remains one of the biggest sources of clutter both at home and in the workplace…In The Paper Solution, Lisa Woodruff has presented a practical, actionable approach to solving that problem. I found myself tabbing pages and highlighting sections that spell out easy-to-follow steps for clearing our homes and workspaces of paper clutter. I can’t wait to share this encouraging and truly helpful book with my friends, colleagues, and listeners.” —Laura McClellan, lawyer, productivity coach, and host of The Productive Woman podcast

“It’s a miracle! A system of managing papers (and my life) that works in tandem with my ADHD brain (and those of my clients). The Sunday Basket concept is so simple, yet so brilliant. The book takes you through the entire system, step-by-step. Great reference and great program. Highly recommended!” —Linda Roggli, award-winning author and founder of the ADDiva Network

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Our Better Angels by Jonathan Reckford

Our Better Angels by Jonathan Reckford

Published:  October 2019 – St. Martin’s Essentials

Book courtesy of the publisher and Tandem Literary

Description:

Inspiring and insightful, Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your Life and the World celebrates the shared principles that unite and enable us to overcome life’s challenges together.

“When the waters rise, so do our better angels.”—President Jimmy Carter

Jonathan Reckford, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity, has seen time and again the powerful benefits that arise when people from all walks of life work together to help one another. In this uplifting book, he shares true stories of people involved with Habitat as volunteers and future homeowners who embody seven timeless virtues—kindness, community, empowerment, joy, respect, generosity, and service—and shows how we can all practice these to improve the quality of our own lives as well as those around us.

A Vietnam veteran finds peace where he was once engaged in war. An impoverished single mother offers her family’s time and energy to enrich their neighbors’ lives. A Zambian family of nine living in a makeshift tent makes room to shelter even more. A teenager grieving for his mother honors her love and memory by ensuring other people have a place to call home. A former president of the United States leads by example with a determined work ethic that motivates everyone around him to be the best version of themselves.

These stories, and many others, illustrate how virtues become values, how cooperation becomes connection, and how even the smallest act of compassion can encourage actions that transform the world around us. Here are tales that will make readers laugh and cry and embrace with passion the calling of our better angels to change the way we take care of ourselves, our families, our communities, and the world. (publisher)

My take:  The message is simple: kindness, no matter how big or small, will make a positive difference in the world. Time or treasure, no matter how much, will have an effect that is larger than you’d imagine. And its not just felt by the recipient. This compact book is divided into sections: Kindness, Community, Empowerment, Joy, Respect, Generosity, Service. Also included is a helpful resource guide for anyone who wants to get involved in Habitat for Humanity. One could read Our Better Angels all at once but I enjoyed reading a chapter a day.

Put Our Better Angels on your gift list this holiday season – for anyone.


About the author:

Jonathan T.M. Reckford has served as chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International since 2005. Under his leadership, the global housing organization has grown from serving 125,000 individuals per year to more than 7 million people in 2018 alone. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Reckford earned his MBA from Stanford and went on to hold managerial positions at a variety of Fortune 500 companies. Reckford also served as executive pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, Minnesota.


Praise for Our Better Angels:

Our Better Angels brings to light the basic virtues of kindness, generosity, respect, empowerment, community, joy, and service that we all have within us. We are grateful to Jonathan Reckford for sharing such moving stories about transformation, and for showing how easy it is for all of us to choose to help and strengthen others, rather than to hurt and weaken them. This book is for humanity: Read it whether you’re a kid, a grandparent, or anyone in between. It will spark an instant realization of how even the smallest acts of kindness or respect can fundamentally change someone’s path for the better.”

Drew and Jonathan Scott, The Property Brothers

 

“It has been our honor to work with Habitat for Humanity and see these seven virtues in practice. When we look outside of ourselves, we experience a glimpse of who we can be. Jonathan’s book reminds us to love one another. Amazing things happen when we do!”

Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks


 

US Giveaway: The Little Book of Bob by James Bowen

The Little Book of Bob

Life Lessons from a Street-wise Cat

By James Bowen

Published: October 2019 – Thomas Dunne Books

Giveaway book courtesy of the publisher

“An international phenomenon” –Library Journal

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Street Cat Named Bob comes an uplifting book of wisdom and advice from the most street-savvy cat of them all.

In spring of 2007, street busker James Bowen found an injured orange tabby in the hallway of his shelter home in North London. Their friendship changed both of their lives and led to the internationally bestselling book A Street Cat Named Bob.

But fame hasn’t gone to James or Bob’s heads. In Bob, James found a model for friendship, steadfastness, balance, and joy that we can all apply to our own lives. The Little Book of Bob is a heartfelt and wholesome book about how to be kinder to ourselves and kinder to the world around us.

Cats are amazing creatures, as all animal lovers know. Tender and wise, this is a little book with a big heart. (publisher)

About the author:

James Bowen is the New York Times bestselling author of A Street Cat Named Bob. He found Bob in 2007 and the pair have been inseparable ever since. They both live in north London.

Praise for A Street Cat Named Bob

“Thank heavens for Bob, whose steady gaze and cool composure are a welcome tonic to the surrounding sentimentality.” – The New York Times

“Stellar…A beautiful never maudlin story of second chances for both man and beast and a poignant testimony to how much caring for someone – or some feline – can give you renewed direction where you’re down and out. Understandably, this was a best-seller in England.” – Booklist (starred)

“A rich, moving story of the link between a street-wise cat and a man who earns his living on the streets – perfect for cat lovers.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Move over, Marley. A stray cat from north London could be heading for the lap of luxury as the cinema’s next box office pet sensation.” – The Times (UK)

“A simple, sweet and ridiculously heartwarming story.” – The Huffington Post

“A book with the strong ingredients that made Marley and Me and Dewey big successes…A warm and poignant memoir.” – The Guardian (UK)


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What She Ate by Laura Shapiro

  • Title:  What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food that Tells Their Stories
  • Author:  Laura Shapiro
  • Genre:  Nonfiction
  • Pages:  320
  • Published:  July 2017 – Viking
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  Everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of our lives—social and cultural, personal and political. Yet most biographers pay little attention to people’s attitudes toward food, as if the great and notable never bothered to think about what was on the plate in front of them. Once we ask how somebody relates to food, we find a whole world of different and provocative ways to understand her. Food stories can be as intimate and revealing as stories of love, work, or coming-of-age. Each of the six women in this entertaining group portrait was famous in her time, and most are still famous in ours; but until now, nobody has told their lives from the point of view of the kitchen and the table. 

It’s a lively and unpredictable array of women; what they have in common with one another (and us) is a powerful relationship with food. They include Dorothy Wordsworth, whose food story transforms our picture of the life she shared with her famous poet brother; Rosa Lewis, the Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder; Eleanor Roosevelt,  First Lady and rigorous protector of the worst cook in White House history; Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress, who challenges our warm associations of food, family, and table; Barbara Pym, whose witty books upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine; and Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to “having it all” meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin. (publisher)

My take:  What She Ate is an interesting book that, in the end, made me examine (and appreciate) my own food story. Of the six stories, two stood out for me. Shapiro introduced me to author Barbara Pym. Upon finishing her story I placed a couple of her novels on my TBR list. I’m not sure why she wasn’t there before! Equally interesting and more entertaining was Eleanor Roosevelt’s chapter. I’m always intrigued when I hear about people who treat food only as fuel and not a source of enjoyment. I loved learning about the food served at the White House during her husband’s presidency. All in all, I found What She Ate to be a worthwhile read and recommend it to fans of culinary biographies.


Praise for What She Ate:

Recommended Summer Reading
by ELLE, Bon Appétit, and Eater.

 

“A unique and delectable work that sheds new light on the lives of women, food, and men. .”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“…six crisply written, ardently researched, and entertainingly revelatory portraits of very different women with complicated relationships with eating and cooking…. A bounteous and elegant feast for hungry minds.”BookList, Starred Review

“Establishes Laura Shapiro as the founder of a delectable new literary genre: the culinary biography.”—Megan Marshall, Pulitzer-prize winning biographer

 

“The idea that eating habits reveal aspects of character is ever-intriguing, and it’s presented here with charm and insight.”—Mimi Sheraton, former restaurant critic for the New York Times and author of 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die
 
“Laura Shapiro has done it again! She’s given us a fascinating and wonderfully entertaining history of six women of the last two centuries you might never have thought of as foodies, yet here they are, distinguished by how differently they dealt with the overwhelming importance of food in their lives.”—Marion Nestle, author of Soda Politics


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Laura Shapiro has written on every food topic from champagne to Jell-O for The New York TimesThe New YorkerThe AtlanticSlateGourmet, and many other publications. She is the author of three classic books of culinary history. Her awards include a James Beard Journalism Award and one from the National Women’s Political Caucus. She has been a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, where she also co-curated the widely acclaimed exhibition Lunch Hour NYC.


 

Sunday Post and a review: Living Large in Our Little House by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

you will know me (7:26)  the life she wants (9:27)  image001-2  Untitled-1

Last week on Bookfan:

sunshine beach (6:21) Berkley   pound for pound by Shannon Kopp

Reading plan for this week:

the secrets she kept (7:26)

Same as last week. We’re in the middle of a kitchen renovation so reading time has been limited.


  • living large in our little houseTitle:  Living Large in Our Little House
  • Author:  Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell
  • Genre:  Non-fiction
  • Published:  June 2016 – Reader’s Digest
  • Source:  FSB Associates; Publisher

My take:  I’m a fan of the cable shows about finding the perfect tiny house to live in but I’m not sure it would be the right permanent housing choice for me. Maybe for a weekend.

Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell and her husband Dale found it to be the best choice for them. Kerri’s book is a combination memoir and How To guide for anyone thinking of making the leap to living in a little house. She uses her experiences of what to do and what not to do when building a small home. Included are lists of pantry/kitchen necessities, details about financial considerations, a helpful index, and a resource list – just to name a few. Kerri and Dale know what they’re talking about – they went from a three bedroom home in the suburbs to a 480 square feet home in the woods!

Several little house owners are spotlighted in the book. They all have unique experiences. There are many photographs scattered throughout. If you’re a fan of shows about this trend or you’re serious about making the move to a little house I think you’ll enjoy this book.


Author Bio:
Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell is a journalist and author who has written a column on small space living for Parade.com. She’s also written on small space living for Mother Earth News and Realtor.com and has been interviewed extensively on her tiny house expertise. Her work has also appeared in Audubon MagazineEntrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo! News, MSN.com and NBC Digital’s pet channel. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the Society of Environmental Journalists, a past national board member of the Society of Professional Journalists, and a past president of the Kansas City Press Club, Kerri’s other writing specialties includes animals and pets, business, travel, and the environment. She loves boating and fishing, hiking, and spending time with her husband of 30 years and their dogs. Kerri lives an intentional life with an eye toward sustainability in a 480-square-foot cabin in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and five “recycled” (rescue) mutts, which she documents on her blog, Living Large in Our Little House.

For more information visit her website http://livinglargeinourlittlehouse.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

You’re the Best: A Celebration of Friendship by The Satellite Sisters

  • You're the Best (10:27)Title:  You’re the Best: A Celebration of Friendship
  • Authors:  The Satellite Sisters
  • Genre:  Nonfiction
  • Pages:  160
  • Published:  October 2015 – Prospect Park Books
  • Source:  Publicist

Description:  You’re the Best is a thank-you note to our female friends, our Satellite Sisters, the women we call when the best thing in our life happens – or the worst. Incorporating voices from 15 to 60, these essays, letters, lists, and texts illustrate – with plenty of the Satellite Sisters’ trademark humor and empathy – how we rely on our friends to get us up, get us going, get us through, and, most importantly, make us laugh.

The Satellite Sisters are Julie, Liz, Sheila, Monica, and Lian Dolan, five real sisters who first won national acclaim with their radio show, initially weekly on public radio and then daily on ABC Radio. Today, they connect with a  podcast, a blog, books, personal appearances, and social media.  (back of the book)

My take:  I discovered The Satellite Sisters when they were on ABC Radio and became an instant fan. I have six sisters and could relate to these five sisters like no one else. They made me laugh out loud and sometimes tear up as they shared their stories and experiences. Now I listen to their podcasts (via Stitcher) twice each week.

You’re the Best is filled with short essays and shorter (mostly) humorous pieces about friendship that had me nodding in agreement or laughing that laugh that makes people ask “what are you reading?” I thought it a great idea to have the next generation of Satellite Sisters (Dolan nieces, daughters and daughters-in-law) add their two-cents. Themes include Life, Love, Family, Play, and Change.

I enjoyed You’re the Best and think it would make a great gift this holiday season for sisters who are more like friends and friends who are more like sisters. Recommended.


About the Satellite Sisters and the Next Generation:
The Satellite Sisters—Julie, Liz, Sheila, Monica, and Lian Dolan—are five real sisters who believe that a sense of connection is what gives meaning to our lives. The Dolan sisters created the Satellite Sisters first as a radio show and website in 2000 and then became podcast pioneers with a devoted national fan base as well as best-selling authors.  Together they have won 13 Gracie Allen Awards for excellence in women’s media, including Talk Show of the Year and have appeared on CBS Sunday Morning and had a regular column in O Magazine for several years.  You’re the Best is expanded to include The Next Generation of Satellite Sisters – their daughters, daughters-in-laws, and nieces.

Visit the Satellite Sisters: Website :: Podcast :: Twitter :: Facebook


 

Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hotdogs to Haute Cuisine

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Synopsis:

Baseball is a game that is identified with food. We even sing about it at every ballpark during the seventh inning stretch: “….buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack…” The famous song was written by Jack Norworth in 1908. From the early part of the twentieth century until the 1980s, classic baseball fare consisted mostly of hot dogs, ice cream, peanuts, and Cracker Jack. Then ballparks slowly began to sell new items. A proliferation of new food offerings during the 1990s was fueled by the opening of twelve new major league ballparks. Now, teams around the country sell a variety of exotic food. Some stadiums have gone all out to showcase unique, gourmet-style food. Many parks emphasize regional food as well as having offerings from well-known local restaurants. There are also several ballparks where retired ballplayers are shaping new careers as signature food purveyors. “The new food era has brought such a wonderful gustatory experience at the ballparks with chef-prepared masterpieces, vegetarian and kosher delights, as well as amped up riffs on the hot dog and sausage,” says Bennett. The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine begins with the history of the first hot dog at a ball game and concludes with a culinary tour of all 30 major league ballparks.


My take:  If you have an avid baseball fan in your life The Joy of Ballpark Food would be an excellent choice for a Fathers Day or birthday gift. Bennett Jacobstein starts with the arrival of the hotdog in America, its place in baseball history and then moves on to the amazing culinary treats offered at the Major League ballparks. I was pleased to see my hometown Miller Park highlighted where, lately, the concessions are more palatable than the action on the field *sigh*. Any fan will enjoy paging through the book to see what other regions of the US and Canada offer in the way of concessions. Deborah Jacobstein’s photographs of various offerings brighten almost every page. The paperback edition is coffee table size and is sure to spark conversation. Recommended.


Bennett-PhotoAbout the author: Bennett Jacobstein lives in San Jose, CA. He is a retired librarian and publisher of demographic materials. He currently works during the baseball season in the concessions stand at Municipal Stadium, home of minor league baseball’s Class A Advanced San Jose Giants. Every minor leaguer dreams of making it to the big leagues. Bennett had his dream fulfilled when he worked as a concessions stand substitute at three Oakland Athletics games during the 2013 season. He enjoys both baseball and food but considers himself a much better eater than ball player. He had a two-year Little League career in which he went two seasons without getting a hit. HIs only RBI was when he got hit by the pitch with bases loaded. When not batting or sitting on the bench, he would be found in right field praying that the ball didn’t get hit to him. The three greatest days of his life were the day he married his wife Debbie, the day his daughter Aviva was born, and the day he first successfully replaced the nachos cheese bag in the dispenser at the San Jose Giants’ concession stand. Bennett published The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine in January 2015. It is available for sale on Amazon. All of the royalties from the sale of The Joy of Ballpark Food: From Hot Dogs to Haute Cuisine are being donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. To learn more, Go to http://www.ballparkfood.org/


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A Royal Experiment by Janice Hadlow

  • a royal experiment (H.Holt 11:14)Title:  A Royal Experiment: The Private Life of King George III
  • Author:  Janice Hadlow
  • Genre:  Biography
  • Published:  November 2014 – Henry Holt
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  To Americans, King George III has long been doubly famous – as the “tyrant” from whom colonial revolutionaries wrested a nation’s liberty and, owing to his late-life illness, as “the mad king.” In A Royal Experiment, he is also a man with a poignant agenda. He comes to the throne in 1760, at age twenty-two, determined to be a new kind of king, one whose power will be rooted in the affection and approval of his people. He is equally resolute about being a new kind of man, a husband able to escape the extraordinary family dysfunction of his Hanoverian predecessors and maintain a faithful, companionable marriage and domestic harmony.

… His wife, Queen Charlotte, shares his sense of moral purpose, and together they can raise their tribe of thirteen sons and daughters in a climate of loving attention. But in a rapidly more populous and prosperous England, throughout years of revolution in America and in France, the struggle to achieve a new balance between politics and privacy places increasing stress on George and Charlotte as their children grow into adulthood. The story that roils across the long arc of George’s life and reign is high drama – tragic and riveting.  (from the book flap)

My take:  If you’re a fan of books about anything royal you’ll want to read A Royal Experiment. Author Janice Hadlow’s meticulous research of the Hanoverians is obvious and presented in a way that the reader feels she is missing no detail about their lives. You’ll get an insider’s look at the ups and downs of being one of the family. I was dismayed and, at some points, even felt sympathy for all involved.

At 600+ pages this is a big book and the print is not large (think textbook) – so be prepared. For that reason alone it’s one to consider for the eReader. I was glad to see a section that included portraits of all the principals. Also helpful is a family tree.  A Royal Experiment is an interesting work that almost begs for its own cable series. I would definitely tune in!

Giveaway (US) and Spotlight on Dr. Mütter’s Marvels by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

DrMuttersMarvels Jacket Art

A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities

Imagine undergoing an operation without anesthesia performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools—or even wash his hands. This was the world of medicine when Thomas Dent Mütter began his trailblazing career as a plastic surgeon in Philadelphia during the middle of the nineteenth century.

Although he died at just forty-eight, Mütter was an audacious medical innovator who pioneered the use of ether as anesthesia, the sterilization of surgical tools, and a compassion-based vision for helping the severely deformed, which clashed spectacularly with the sentiments of his time.

Brilliant, outspoken, and brazenly handsome, Mütter was flamboyant in every aspect of his life. He wore pink silk suits to perform surgery, added an umlaut to his last name just because he could, and amassed an immense collection of medical oddities that would later form the basis of Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum.

Award-winning writer Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz vividly chronicles how Mütter’s efforts helped establish Philadelphia as a global mecca for medical innovation—despite intense resistance from his numerous rivals. (Foremost among them: Charles D. Meigs, an influential obstetrician who loathed Mütter’s “overly” modern medical opinions.) In the narrative spirit of The Devil in the White City, Dr. Mütter’s Marvels interweaves an eye-opening portrait of nineteenth-century medicine with the riveting biography of a man once described as the “P. T. Barnum of the surgery room.”

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Praise for Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

“In her deftly crafted narrative, the author provides an absorbing account of the charismatic surgeon’s life and career as well as a vivid look at the medical practices and prejudices of his time. Aptowicz draws nicely on Mütter’s speeches and lectures to reveal the depth of his empathetic philosophies and humanist approach.” – Kirkus Starred Review
“If you aren’t familiar with Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, then you are doing a serious disservice to your sensibilities.” – Hothouse Magazine
“Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is a dizzying dervish of a poet, an astounding talent, a deft lyricist whose patented take on this dopey world is dazzling in its originality. Everything she encounters is fair game, and she jolts us into unexpected, delightful recognition.” – Patricia Smith, Blood Dazzle
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About the author:
01.winters_cristin_aptowicz_Skull copy 2
Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz is the author of six books of poetry (including Dear Future Boyfriend, Hot Teen Slut,Working Class Represent, Oh, Terrible Youth and Everything is Everything) as well as the nonfiction book, Words In Your Face: A Guided Tour Through Twenty Years of the New York City Poetry Slam, which Billy Collins wrote “leaves no doubt that the slam poetry scene has achieved legitimacy and taken its rightful place on the map of contemporary literature.” On the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) podcast Art Works, host Josephine Reed introduced Cristin as being “something of a legend in NYC’s slam poetry scene. She is lively, thoughtful, and approachable looking to engage the audience with her work and deeply committed to the community that art (in general) and slam poetry (in particular) can create.” In July 2010, she was named the 2010-2011 ArtsEdge Writer-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, where she spent the year researching and writing a book on Thomas Dent Mütter, founder of the Philadelphia’s (in)famous Mütter Museum. It was during this residency year that she was also awarded a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.
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Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine

Audiobook Brief: Churchill: The Prophetic Statesman by James C. Humes

churchillSynopsis: (Publisher) Churchill: The Prophetic Statesman reveals the astonishingly accurate predictions of Britain’s most famous prime minister and how his critics’ perceptions of them shaped his political career. Who could have foreseen the start of World War I twenty-five years before the assassination of a Serbian archduke plunged Europe into war? Who could have predicted the rise of al-Qaeda nearly eight decades before anyone had heard of Osama bin Laden? Winston Churchill did. Now for the first time, bestselling author James C. Humes reveals these and other shocking predictions made by this legendary figure. Churchill didn’t need a crystal ball to tell the future. Using his skills as a historian, he studied patterns of the past to make his eerily accurate forecasts, including the rise of European fascism, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the exact day of his own death as he entered his final years. In fascinating detail, Humes’ astonishing biography documents the spot-on prophecies Churchill foretold and the political consequences he endured for sharing them.

“The longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward”  Winston Churchill, 1944

My take: If you are a fan of Churchill you’ll want to read or listen to this book. It would also be a great gift! I found it interesting as well as informative – both on a level that forced a “Wow!” out of me from time to time. Although I enjoyed listening to the book I would recommend also reading the print book. I had to stop and ‘rewind’ more than a few times to get the full gist of what had just been said. If I’d been reading the actual book there would have been a lot of highlighting involved.

That said, I thought narrator Matthew Brenher did a wonderful job with James C. Humes’ book. His Churchill voice was  very good and fit perfectly into the narrative of each passage.

I find myself wanting to read more about Churchill and I see that Mr. Humes has written a few more so I’ll add them to my TBR list. Recommended.

Source: I purchased the audiobook.

The Greatest Music Stories Never Told by Rick Beyer

 Title:  The Greatest Music Stories Never Told: 100 tales from Music History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy

Author:  Rick Beyer

Genre:  Nonfiction/Music

About:  (From the uncorrected proof) What does Marie Antoinette have to do with “He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”? Which hugely popular song was written in a fit of anger at actor Robert DeNiro? How was a musical genius of the 1600s literally killed by his own conducting? Why has one country run through eight versions of its national anthem in the last hundred years – three of them written by the same person? How did an idea for a sitcom inspire the Woodstock music festival? And why is a virtual unknown named Ivan Vaughan arguably the most important person in the history of rock ‘n’ roll?

My thoughts:   You’ll have to read the book to find the answers! This book is the latest in The Greatest Stories Never Told book series. It is filled with surprising stories about music and familiar (and not so familiar) historical figures.

Each story is told on two pages and includes pertinent sketches and photos. I learned a lot from The Greatest Music Stories Never Told and think it would be the perfect gift for any music and trivia fan.

Source:  Harper

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Title: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana

Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Genre: History/Biography

About: (Goodreads)  The life Kamila Sidiqi had known changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. After receiving a teaching degree during the civil war—a rare achievement for any Afghan woman—Kamila was subsequently banned from school and confined to her home. When her father and brother were forced to flee the city, Kamila became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings.

My thoughts: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s book is one of the most inspirational I’ve read in quite some time.  She tells the story of Kamila Sediqi – a young woman who rose to the occasion when her father left the family in her care because he,her mother and brother had to flee Kabul after the Taliban invasion in the 1990s.

After some time had passed the need to buy food and other necessities prompted Kamila to find a way to earn money.  She went to her older, married sister who taught her how to sew.  From those lessons grew a cottage industry that employed many girls from her neighborhood. By teaching the girls to cut fabric, sew, bead, etc. she helped them gain confidence and self-esteem as well as a way to earn money to help support their families. Kamila risked her safety anytime she would go to the market where she bought fabric and sold finished garments. She couldn’t go out in public without her younger brother (a Taliban rule) and she had to wear the required chadri (burqa). She had faith that God would take care of her. That faith carried her through some very distressing times.

I was continually impressed by the courage and optimism displayed by all of the young people portrayed in this book. The Dressmaker of Khair Khana is a biography that reads like a novel.  It’s a compelling story of the power of the human spirit during impossible times.

I appreciated that the author included an epilogue and a Where Are They Today chapter.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Recommend? Yes, it’s an uplifting and inspirational story.

Source: HarperCollins

It’s All Greek To Me by Charlotte Higgins

It's All Greek to Me By Charlotte Higgins

From the back of the book: The legendary civilization of ancient Greece shaped nearly every aspect of our lives, from how we organize our societies to how we define the very essence of life. Consider the way we think: about morality, about the nature of beauty and truth, about our place in the universe, about our mortality. All this we have learned from the ancient Greeks. They molded the basic disciplines and genres in which we still organize thought: from poetry to drama, from politics to philosophy, from history to medicine to even ethnography.

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My take: I really liked this “layman’s guide” to many (if not most) things Greek. Charlotte Higgins walks the reader through the Iliad and the Odyssey; the ins and outs of Sparta; Greek architecture (which brought back memories of Mr. Tippery’s History class sophomore year – I had those column styles down pat!); mythology; and the philosophers. And that’s just some of the information that is packed into this gem of a book. There’s also a timeline, a map, and a Who’s Who of Greeks – actual and mythological.

It’s All Greek To Me will remain on my keeper shelf because it is such a handy source of information. Really, if you’d like a Greek reference book that’s easy to read and understand – and also quite interesting, this may be the book for you.

Review book from HarperCollins

Show Me 5 Saturday – McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy

[SHOWME5.jpg]
now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here


1. Book title:
* McCarthy’s Bar: A Journey Of Discovery In The West Of Ireland by Pete McCarthy

2. Words that describe the book:
* Humorous Nonfiction

3. Settings or characters:
* Ireland
* McCarthy’s Bars (there are many)
* Pete McCarthy

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
* It’s funny – I laughed the entire flight home while reading this book
* I’ve travelled the path taken by Pete McCarthy a couple of times (Cork to Donegal along the coast) so I enjoyed reading his experience
* Underneath the hilarity is a deep affection for the Irish
* I liked it so much that it’s on my keeper shelf. I don’t loan it out but I’ve purchased copies for several friends and relatives

5. Stars or less: 4 stars – I thought it was entertaining and very funny. I looked at ratings on Goodreads (click the cover and then click the next cover) and found some reviews agreed with mine and some didn’t.
McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland
Click on cover to enlarge

Goodreads:
Despite the many exotic places Pete McCarthy has visited, he finds that nowhere else can match the particular magic of Ireland, his mother’s homeland. In McCarthy’s Bar, his journey begins in Cork and continues along the west coast to Donegal in the north. Traveling through spectacular landscapes, but at all times obeying the rule, “never pass a bar that has your name on it,” he encounters McCarthy’s bars up and down the land, meeting fascinating people before pleading to be let out at four o’clock in the morning.

Written by someone who is at once an insider and an outside, McCarthy’s Bar is a wonderfully funny and affectionate portrait of a rapidly changing country.


I purchased my copy and read it several years ago

Alice In Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser

Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy by William Irwin: Book Cover

Back of the book:
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has fascinated children and adults alike for generations. Why does Lewis Carroll introduce us to such oddities as blue caterpillars who smoke hookahs, cats whose grins remain after their heads have faded away, and a White Queen who lives backwards and remembers forwards? Is it all just nonsense? Was Carroll under the influence? This book probes the deeper underlying meaning in the Alice books, and reveals a world rich with philosophical life lessons. Tapping into some of the greatest philosophical minds that ever lived – Aristotle, Hume, Hobbes, and Nietzsche – Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy explores lifes ultimate questions through the eyes of perhaps the most endearing heroine in all of literature.

Should the Cheshire Cat’s grin make us reconsider the nature of reality?
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Can Humpty Dumpty make words mean whatever he says they mean?
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Can drugs take us down the rabbit-hole?
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Is Alice a feminist icon?

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My thoughts: I haven’t studied philosophy since my college days so I hardly feel qualified to analyze or debate any of the viewpoints expressed by the various authors. I can say each section of Alice In Wonderland And Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser is interesting, sometimes humorous, and definitely thought-provoking.

I found Scott F. Parker’s “How Deep Does The Rabbit-Hole Go?: Drugs and Dreams, Perception and Reality” interesting. Parker wrote about the possible drug references in the book as well as the hallucinogen experiences of some notable people before and during Lewis Carroll’s time, and also his own experience.

The book is divided into four sections that address various aspects of Alice in Wonderland. Each writer includes notes which are helpful. There is a contributors section that lists a brief bio of each writer. An index is also included. This book would be enjoyed by students of philosophy and popular culture, and of course, Lewis Carroll fans.

Now I have a confession: I’ve never read the original Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland in its entirety nor have I seen the movie(s). I was more of a Nancy Drew reader as a young girl and Alice just seemed kind of silly. It simply didn’t appeal to me. But, fan of Alice in Wonderland or not, I think “Curiouser and Curiouser” is an interesting book.

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Information about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series which includes Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser:

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and a healthy helping of popular culture clears the cobwebs from Kant. Philosophy has had a public relations problem for a few centuries now. This series aims to change that, showing that philosophy is relevant to your life- and not just for answering the big questions like “To be or not to be?” but for answering the little questions: “To watch or not to watch House?” Thinking deeply about TV, movies, and music doesn’t make you a “complete idiot.” In fact it might make you a philosopher, someone who believes the unexamined life is not worth living and the unexamined cartoon is not worth watching.

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About the Editors:
Richard Brian Davis is an associate professor of philosophy at Tyndale University College and the coeditor of 24 and Philosophy.
William Irwin is a professor of philosophy at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He originated the philosophy and popular culture genre of books as coeditor of the bestselling The Simpsons and Philosophy and has overseen recent titles, including Batman and Philosophy, and Watchmen and Philosophy.

For more about The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture series:www.andphilosophy.com



Review copy from FSB Associates

Drinking Problems at the Fountain of Youth by Beth Teitell

Cover Image

From the back of the book: Women today are being told that we can have it all, including the twenty-year-old face and body we didn’t even have when we were twenty.

Beth Teitell (From Here to Maternity) gives a humorous but informative look at the world of looking younger. From fashion tips to surgical procedures, and just about everything in between, Teitell has done the legwork for us. And she actually makes it an enjoyable experience to read about it. In the end, though, it all comes down to how one feels about herself (in my humble opinion, that is). That said, I especially like the “ten tips that work, and won’t break your budget, eat up your time, or make you wonder about your own priorities” at the end of the book.
This is a review of an ARC and is due to be published in October 2008.