Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I have a wee announcement to make. The Lantana Library now has a reading discussion group. Starting in October, the group shall meet once a month and discuss...books. How novel! No pun intended. Okay, slightly intended. The first meeting is set for 10:00 AM on Thursday Ocotober 28. Our first selection is The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett. This novella is delightful and charming and makes for the perfect first choice. We're gathering together a list of books for future reading that I intend to post on the blog and it will be made available on the libraries website and via flyers. Sid will be ordering in several copies of the book, so make reservations if you are so inclined. We're excited about the discussion group and hope to see you all there.

And here's another song for you all. Radiohead's Fake Plastic Trees. My daughter refers to it as "complaint Rock". She has a point but it's still a gorgeous song. Watch it here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A favorite...

If you haven't noticed by my list of links, I'm a bit of a NPR junkie. One of my all time favorite stories aired last year and resulted in one of my favorite gifts. My wicked awesome portable record player! The NPR story (A Eulogy For the Boombox) can be found here. One of the beauteous aspects of being a child of the 80's. But the reason for mentioning this particular story is to remind people of the fact that NPR is always worth a listen no matter your taste.

Another reason why I'm posting today is to point out a freebie for Florida residents. All you need is your library card. The Florida Electronic Library offers literally thousands of newspaper and magazine articles online free of charge. Your library barcode is your password. Just type it in and away you'll go. You can browse hundreds of publications on just about any topic. I will point out that you will not find any photos of Playboy's centerfold of the month, so don't even bother. But isn't this a great idea? You're sitting in the library reading an article in, say, the New York Times. And it's one that's a keeper or one you wish to share. Sign up for a computer and log onto the Florida Electronic Library and search for the article. Viola! Print it up (for free) and take it with...
My goal is to annotate an article once a week (Perhaps more) using the F.E.L. as a way of "guiding" the patrons and also (hopefully) to expand their horizons.
Until next time faithful reader(s)!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clarifying the Situation

On Tuesday, Sid pointed out to me that perhaps people that are reading my blog aren't aware of the fact that all of the books and authors that I've mentioned are available here at our library. I'll be more diligent in pointing this fact out in the future.
Now, on with my post...
As you've noticed, I have a rather long list of links (It's still growing). Among those links are several excellent food blogs. These are a mere fraction of food blogs that I read and enjoy. If you're a "foodie" and want to find a great source for the best food blogs on the web, give this article posted by London's Sunday Times on February 17, 2009 a perusal. These people take their food very seriously. Their choice of top food blog is also mine. Orangette is absolutely perfect. Even if you don't care for cooking, her blog is just a flat-out wonderful read. Molly Wizenberg could prove to be the M.F.K. Fisher of Generation X. As a result of her blog, Molly now has a monthly column in Bon Appetit magazine . Also, in Spring 2009, Molly's first book was published, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table. Read reviews via goodreads here. Our library doesn't carry this book. However, I've read several terrific food books that our located in our library among the stacks (Actually- among shelves, but I'm keeping with the spirit of the name of my blog).
Former New York Times restaurant critic and editor of the now defunct Gourmet magazine (I'm still grieving over Gourmet's harsh ending), Ruth Reichl has written several books about her life and it's relationship to food. Ruth's complete frankness and humor are what make her books so darn enjoyable. Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table is where Ruth's journey begins. Her mother's cooking is dubious, at best. I have to admit, Ms. Reichl's mother's kitchen philosophy made my mother's cooking look like something that even Betty Crocker wouldn't have winced at. But always, always, love. That seems to be Ruth's true theme throughout her books. How can I resist that?
Another book that I read this year is by writer Bill Buford. I read a book several years ago that Mr. Buford had written about football (Soccer to we Yanks) hooligans entitled Among the Thugs. Our library doesn't carry this book. But it's rather horrific details would put off most of the patrons anyway. I digress! The book I'm actually going to mention here is Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as a Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany. Look's as if the title says it all, right? Not quite. Not only is this book about Mr. Buford's culinary adventures it's also a bit of a biography of celebrity chef Mario Batali. If you didn't like Chef Batali before, chances are, you won't much care for him after reading this book. Buford isn't out to get Batali by any means, it's just that Batali doesn't exactly do anything to endear himself to the reader. My favorite paragragh in the entire book is one in which chef Marco Pierre White describes what Batali was like back in the days when he worked under White. Marco's never been one to whitewash anything and he certainly didn't bother to do it when speaking of Batali. Another part of the book that I got a kick out of is when Buford starts to obsess over when it was decided to add eggs to the recipe for pasta. He made my list obsession seem almost quaint by comparison. You can find the New York Times Book Review for Heat here.
A couple of novels with food as a central focus are both by Marsha Mehran. Pomegranate Soup and Rose Water and Soda Bread both center around three sisters who have moved from post-Revolution Iran to a small Irish village and open a restaurant. If you wish to learn more about Ms. Mehran and her work, her official website can be found here. I may add that these two books make for perfect Summer reading.
So as you can see, I do have a slight food obsession. Can you blame me? But isn't it wonderful when both food and books combine?

And finally, a non-food related item. I've listed Q Music Magazine among my links. It's by far my favorite music magazine. One of my favorite sections is a monthly column entitled "Apocalypse Jukebox". Basically, musicians are told that the end is nigh' and are asked what would be the last 10 or so songs they'd want to hear before the end.They always come up with some interesting choices, not what you'd expect. Music is universal and individual at the same time. Which is why it's somewhat of a religion unto itself. And it's definately the most healing of art forms. I've had an ongoing Apocalypse Jukebox list (Are you surprised?) and I thought. "Why not share songs from my list?". So I'm going at random. My first choice is a recent song by one of my favorite bands, Pearl Jam. So I've chosen Just Breathe. I hope that you enjoy this dear song as much as I have.
Until next time!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A long P.S.

As I mentioned in my very first post, the pont of this blog was to annotate magazine articles. Part of my problem is that I can be a wee slow at learning anything technical. So now I'm finding myself one step closer. An to prove it, I'm doing this test run.
I recently mentioned to our library director Sid that there's a book out this Summer that I'm mighty interested in, and here it is!
Yay! I did it!

J...is for John

In Book Lust, Nancy Pearl (The most awesome librarian ever) has a section entitled "A is for Alice". Nancy points out how there are so many wonderful authors named Alice (Walker, Munro, Elliot, to name a few). Recently I read the biography Cheever: A Life by Blake Bailey and thought of Ms. Pearl's take on the Alice factor and thought how there are so many wonderful authors named John. Granted, John is a common enough name. However, there's an uncommonly high amount of authors named John. Obviously, the gifted yet tormented Mr. Cheever. Also, Updike, Irving, Marquand, and my favorite, Steinbeck are just a handful of John's that deserve a hats off. So when you're unsure of just what to read next, you may want to consider one of these fellows named John.

Mr. Updike, I had a crush on him. It's true!

And if you're interested in Nancy Pearl, go here... http://www.nancypearl.com/

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Amy is List Girl

It's true, for years I've kept "journals" that mainly consist of lists. As much as I read one would think that my journals consisted of pure prose. Alas, that is not the case. I fill the pages with oddball lists, such as "My favorite food blogs" or "German Men That I find Attractive". I can't wait for my grandkids to discover these literary gems. There is one list that I've kept every year for the past decade though. An ongoing list of books that I've read. I hit the 40 mark the other day with 'God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything' by Christopher Hitchens. If you have faith in your faith you'll find this book to be a very interesting read. And if you're like Mr. Hitchens, he merely validates what you've been thinking all along. I choose to stay as neutral as Sweden on the subject, thank you very much.
So I've read 40 books thus far this year. As I perused the list I realized that most of the books have been nonfiction. This is a first. I normally gravitate toward fiction. And in thse times escapism would be granted. As always, I walk the unbeaten path. Getting to the point of this post...here are a few nonfiction books that I've read that I consider to be worth your time:
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
American Nerd: The Story of My People by Benjamin Nugent
Race Matters by Cornel West
Democracy Matters by Cornel West
Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Cvilization by Steven Solomon
Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer

These books are all in the stacks here at the Lantana Public Library, so I encourage you, the townfolk, to stop in and check any of these books out. I think you'll find that they are worth the time.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Amy, an Introduction

And welcome to my blog.

As you can see, this isn't much to start. But that's how these things go. Consider this blog to be much like myself. A work in progress...

Now to introduce myself:

I'm Amy and I'm a volunteer at the Lantana Public Library. That about says it for now. The point of my blog is to share my thought, ruminations, etc. on books and all things biblio. Another reason that I've started this blog is to annotate magazine articles and encourage our library patrons (And any library patrons) to read said articles. I'll get into this a little later.

In the meantime, be patient and enjoy. Oh, and don't be afraid to frequent your local library.

What I'm currently reading...

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and The Brain by Oliver Sacks