Friday, July 25, 2014

A+ Book Review

I very rarely pick-up a book based on a review alone. I'm too much of a mood reader for that. This morning, as I was commuting to work, I listened to a review of Tigerman on All Things Considered. It was, hands-down, these best book review I have ever encountered.

Tigerman is not my normal kind of book, but I want to read it based on this review alone.

Please, please, please listen to it. You won't regret it. The first 30-seconds of the review may be one of the best things I've ever heard.

The Friday Find: Personal Library

If you like to lend books to people, you know if can sometimes me a pain to keep track of who has what. Why not turn your collection into a library?

Knock Knock sells this adorable personal library kit. I think it would make a spectacular gift for a kid who wanted to be (or play) a librarian.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Variations on a Theme: Blog to Book

I've been seeing advertisements for the new Helen Mirren film, The Hundred Foot Journey, on TV lately. It looks right up my alley and I plan on, at the very least, adding it to my Netflix queue. The movie is adapted from a book of the same name. This got me thinking about adaptations - specifically, blogs that are now books (of some sort).

This month's Variations on Theme is Blog to Book.

Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
Julie Powell

With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and saved her soul.Julie Powell is 30 years old, living in a tiny apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking secretarial job that's going nowhere. She needs something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged assignment. She will take her mother's worn, dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 recipes -- in the span of one year.At first she thinks it will be easy. But as she moves from the simple Potage Parmentier (potato soup) into the more complicated realm of aspics and crepes, she realizes there's more to Mastering the Art of French Cooking than meets the eye.And somewhere along the line she realizes she has turned her outer-borough kitchen into a miracle of creation and cuisine. She has eclipsed her life's ordinariness through spectacular humor, hysteria, and perseverance

Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half
Beth Moncel

As a college grad during the recent great recession, Beth Moncel found herself, like so many others, broke. Unwilling to sacrifice eating healthy and well—and armed with a degree in nutritional science—Beth began tracking her costs with obsessive precision, and soon cut her grocery bill in half. Eager to share her tips and recipes, she launched her blog, Budget Bytes. Soon the blog received millions of readers clamoring for more.
Beth's eagerly awaited cookbook proves cutting back on cost does not mean cutting back on taste. Budget Bytes has more than 100 simple, healthy, and delicious recipes, including Greek Steak Tacos, Coconut Chicken Curry, Chorizo Sweet Potato Enchilada, and Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Mayonnaise, to name a few. It also contains expert principles for saving in the kitchen—including how to combine inexpensive ingredients with expensive to ensure that you can still have that steak you’re craving, and information to help anyone get acquainted with his or her kitchen and get maximum use out of the freezer. Whether you’re urban or rural, vegan or paleo, Budget Bytes is guaranteed to delight both the palate and the pocketbook. 

Escape From Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur
Pamela Slim

Pamela Slim, a former corporate training manager, left her office job twelve years ago to go solo and has enjoyed every bit of it. In her groundbreaking book, based on her popular blog Escape from Cubicle Nation, Slim explores both the emotional issues of leaving the corporate world and the nuts and bolts of launching a business. Drawing on her own career, as well as stories from her coaching clients and blog readers, Slim will help readers weigh their options, and make a successful escape if they decide to go for it.

Walker Lamond

Rules For My Unborn Son is a collection of traditional, humorous, and urbane fatherly advice for boys. From the sartorial ("If you are tempted to wear a cowboy hat, resist") to the practical ("Keep a copy of your letters. It makes it easier for your biographer") to even a couple of sure-fire hangover cures ("There is no better remedy than a dip in the ocean"), the book of rules and accompanying quotations is quite simply an instruction manual for becoming a Good Man - industrious, thoughtful, charming, and of course, well-dressed. Hip and witty with a decidedly traditionalist flavor, Rules For My Unborn Son is meant to evoke simpler times when Father knew best and a suitable answer to "Why?" was "Because I said so."

Jenny Lawson

When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in. That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father and a morbidly eccentric childhood. It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame-spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.
In the irreverent Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments—the ones we want to pretend never happened—are the very same moments that make us the people we are today. For every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives.

Christian Lander

They love nothing better than sipping free-trade gourmet coffee, leafing through the Sunday New York Times, and listening to David Sedaris on NPR (ideally all at the same time). Apple products, indie music, food co-ops, and vintage T-shirts make them weak in the knees. They believe they’re unique, yet somehow they’re all exactly the same, talking about how they “get” Sarah Silverman’s “subversive” comedy and Wes Anderson’s “droll” films. They’re also down with diversity and up on all the best microbrews, breakfast spots, foreign cinema, and authentic sushi. They’re organic, ironic, and do not own TVs. You know who they are: They’re white people. And they’re here, and you’re gonna have to deal. Fortunately, here’s a book that investigates, explains, and offers advice for finding social success with the Caucasian persuasion. So kick back on your IKEA couch and lose yourself in the ultimate guide to the unbearable whiteness of being.

Other Blogs to Books
The 100 Things Challenge - David Bruno
Forgotten Bookmarks - Michael Popek
Happier at Home - Gretchen Rubin
Humans of New York - Brandon Stanton
Hyperbole and a Half - Allie Brosh
Post Secret - Frank Warren
Shi*t My Dad Says - Justin Halpern

Links and Stuff: July 24, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Why I Love... Heavy Books

I am very much in love with heavy, door-stopper books right now.

Reason 1: I am reading Written in My Own Heart's Blood at the moment; it is both lovely and will get me through this hot summer.

Reason 2: They can help you flatten out the bumps in a new rug.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

What I Read This Week: July 20, 2014

You know what I love? Summer days where the weather is unexpectedly beautiful. DC had a few of those this week. It was lovely. This week made me miss having a patio because it meant I could not read outside. (I forgot about the rooftop deck the apartment has until just now. I shall endeavor to remember!)
  • Magazines
    • The Atlantic, July/August 2014 - This was just an okay issue. I was not all that into all the pieces on creativity. I did enjoy reading the pieces on President Karzai and all the dead moms in kids movies.
    • Food Network, July/August 2014 - This was a pretty scrumptious looking issue. I pulled a recipe for Kielbasa Grilled Cheese. Yum. Our new apartment does not have outdoor grilling space (le sigh), so I could only look longingly at some of the summer grilling recipes.
  • Books
    • I managed to read several chapters of Written in My Own Heart's Blood this week. Now if only I could make to stay awake longer. I might be able to put a bigger dent in it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Friday Find: Perfectly Due

Ah! This tote bag came across my Pinterest feed this week and I absolutely love it. How perfect is this bag for your next library trip?

I would be tempted to use a fabric pen and add my books' due dates every time I visited the library.

You can buy this lovely item from ModCloth.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Links and Stuff: July 17, 2014