Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Help yourself

I tend to avoid mega-bestsellers, the books that everyone is talking about. It takes away from the fun of discovering that secret gem of a book. But lawdy, lawdy, I’m glad I took The Help to the beach. It’s the perfect beach read.

It’s got just enough depth to make it worth your while, but mostly it’s just plain enjoyable. The novel takes place in the homes of the young aristocracy of Jackson, MS during the Civil Rights era of the 1950s. When one of their own reveals the sometimes tender, sometimes vile relationship between Jackson Junior Leaguers and their black help, hilarity ensues.

Pick it up. Just don’t plan on doing anything else till you finish it. You won’t want to put it down.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Clubbers Say...

Book Clubbers came in from the rain on Monday night to discuss The Soloist by Steve Lopez. Though the group had mixed reviews of the book, Lopez's journalistic portrayal of a homeless classical music prodigy provided plenty of fodder for discussion.
"It was a book that raised interesting questions about the dynamics between journalists and their subjects, as well as the issues of poverty and mental health that are so relevant today," said Ann Welsh, a Bookshelf Book Club member.
The movie was not at all true to the story, said other book club members who were glad to have read the book after being disappointed by the movie.
Young readers are invited to the next book club discussion on Oct. 5 at 6:30 . We will be discussing Rick Riordan's Lightning Thief, the first book in Riordan's popular Percy Jackson series. (And a head's up for November: My Antonia by Willa Cather)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oxford University Press Days

Deliveries are always a fun part of bookstore days, but perhaps none so much as deliveries from Oxford University Press. These are the books that I want on my home shelf, just so I can have them when the urge to pursue knowledge strikes.

Losing the News: The Uncertain Future of the News that Feeds Democracy by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Alex Jones describes the dangers of a world without professional fact finders, a world where we rely on unreliable blogs like this one. Despite the current floundering of the traditional news media, Jones offers potential ways to preserve and elevate journalistic standards.

St. Francis of Assisi was a social entrepreneur. As was Florence Nightingale. Apparently Harvard and Yale now have centers for social entrepreneurship so you too can become a social entrepreneur. Or you can just read David Bornstein's book, How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Eating the Inventory

I had one for breakfast. Carrie just had one for a midday snack. These vegan cookies from Alternative Baking Company are fabulous. I'm not sure how they make such a moist delicious cookie with no transfat, no dairy, no gluten, no anything, but they do and we can't stand it. They make all your old favorite-- chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, lemon poppyseed, double chocolate decadence, peanut butter-- without all the old junk. But hurry, we may eat all the inventory.