Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Texts from Jane Eyre

By Mallory Ortberg, illustrated by Madeline Gobbo

A fast funny read featuring tongue-in-cheek "texts" from some of the most well-known authors in history (Plato, Jane Eyre, Rudyard Kipling, just to name a few) as well as fictional characters (Harry Potter, American Girls, and the cast of Gone with the Wind). A few of my favorite texts in this book come from Moby Dick, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Hunger Games cast of characters.

Dozens of literary characters are featured. You can read straight through or choose the characters that interest you from the table of contents.

Author Ortberg has gained fame as a writer for New York magazine, The Atlantic, and as co-editor of "The Toast" website. Visit it for more texts, thoughts on feminism, and book humor.

~ Paula

Monday, December 29, 2014

Buddhaland Brooklyn

by Richard C. Morais

Seido Oda is chosen to be a Buddhist monk at an early age.  He proves to be a very bright student of painting, poetry and English. He dedicates his life to be being a Buddhist scholar at the Japanese temple. When the temple leadership decides to expand to west, the middle-aged Seido makes the journey to Brooklyn, New York to be the priest at the soon to built temple.

Buddhaland Brooklyn follows the tradition of the "fish-out-of-water" tale.   I found this well-written story to be thought provoking, touching and downright funny at times.  Morais is the author of  "The Hundred-foot Journey" which was made into a movie.  If you liked the movie, try this novel.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Snow White Red-Handed

A Fairy Tale Fatal Mystery
by Maia Chance

Joining the trend of Grimm-related entertainment, this story embraces the idea that the fairy tales aren't fiction, but based on real-life histories. It takes place in the Black Forest of Germany in 1867, and we're torn between wanting the murderer to be revealed and finding proof of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The main suspect continuously changes, and there is a touch of romance--but not too much!  The story moves very fast, which can be disappointing at times because you just want to stay in some of the towns a little longer, but it makes for an exciting read.  A great ending, and I can't wait for the next one!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sweet Paul Eat & Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love

by Paul Lowe

Sweet Paul is an adorable book of modern Scandinavian recipes and fun little crafts.  The recipes are delicious and simple enough that anyone can make them.  The crafts often re-purpose items that you have around the house to make sweet little things you can use or give as gifts.

I checked this book out 3 times before I bought a copy for home.  I love Sweet Paul's blog and magazine.   He is a large Finnish chef with the most lovable personality.  If you want to try new recipes and make your gifts yourself, you will love his book, blog or magazine.

P.S. He has lots of holiday craft ideas on his blog.


Friday, December 5, 2014

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

by Gabrielle Zevin

A.J. Fikry’s life is not what he expected it to be.  His wife has died and now his bookstore is experiencing the lowest sales volume since it opened.  Then something happens to totally change his life, a gift of sorts that makes his life worth living.  I truly enjoyed this book; it was very moving and an affirmation of why we read and why we love.  This title is available in all formats.


Thursday, December 4, 2014


By Michael Pollan
Audio book format

Michael Pollan offers a new and unique twist on food with this non-fiction selection, examining the relationship of humans to food and food preparation through the four basic elements of earth, air, fire and water. Combining stories which include everything from nuances of yeast to our territorial claims of recipe origins, Pollan delivers a true learning experience. The history and transformation of some of our most basic and beloved culinary creations are revealed through his insightful observations in these four distinct arenas.

People spend less time than ever in the kitchen, yet we are more obsessed than ever with cooking. With that in mind, this book will cater to all foodies - the head chef and novice alike. As a fan of all things “cuisine”, I found Michael Pollan’s exploration of food a fascinating listen. Bon app├ętit!

~ Beth