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The Hemingway Cookbook
The Hemingway Cookbook
by Craig Boreth
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.17
61 used & new from $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars pentimento, December 26, 2012
This review is from: The Hemingway Cookbook (Paperback)
My mother loved this gift. She is a Hemingway aficionado and collects cookbooks. She got a bit more in this. Something to ruminate over and feel freed from the drudgery of daily life, plus a trip back in time. Wonderfully made.

The Mind's Eye (Vintage)
The Mind's Eye (Vintage)
by Oliver Sacks
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.18
104 used & new from $2.33

5.0 out of 5 stars she has strabismus, December 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this for my daughter, a budding Caltech neuroscientist. She also had one optic nerve fail to develop and strabismus. Her interest and work is in the eye.
This book seemed perfect as I turned to the word stabismus seeing it describes a person regaining use of both eyes-something my daughter will never have and sack's losing vision in one eye. Plus his talking of face blindness-an area of great interest to my daughter. I have yet to read the book but I will tell you that she has been reading this solidly for two days, re-reading, completely enjoying it. So, yes, I think it's well worth getting.That isn't a review really, just a brief note of shopping success.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
by Susan Cain
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.64
173 used & new from $5.24

4.0 out of 5 stars a better way to think of yourself, December 26, 2012
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This book is really a nice read and although I am not finished it certainly is healthier than some of the negative ways I've been taught to consider myself. Quite a useful explanation of introversion. My husband saw her speak at a conference when he was traveling and seemed to gain a few insights into what he has thought of as my pathologies. So I ordered the book to read surprised that he had some different perspectives. I'm afraid introversion is often seen in that deficit light ( I've been told everything from "stop being a victim" to "put your shoulders back" to platitudes about positive thoughts and the importance of "making a new friend a day") and she is quite good at talking about those issues. Just the part on Dale Carnegie made me feel better for I think that way. I detest the strategies imposed upon my teaching in the "Kagan" et al models of how to structure "group work"-clearly as we run around making noises so based in extroversion, which for a certain number of children is nothing more than an awful invasion of personal space-and for me a violation of my being. Now I have a book to put out for others-who would never read it-to consider another perspective. I'd order it for about 50 people if I could. And I think I will send to my father who definitely was disappointed in the person he got, someone who wasn't good at about everything he insisted upon.

London Falling (The Rulefords)
London Falling (The Rulefords)
Price: $2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Simon Said, October 10, 2012
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I'm not going to lie-I enjoyed an afternoon escape into this romance.
I always do.
This one I started and had a lovely time thinking of how I might use the initial plot set up if I were writing a short fiction. Girl loses all$ and luggage in London. Manages to get a housekeeper position.
But I do have to say that a "willing suspension of disbelief" seems a bit Shakespearean for a romance.
At some point the impossibility of her figuring out a way to an American consulate, a police force with no help, the destitute and homeless in a pair of jammies thing seemed unnecessarily improbable. As did the notion that in no way could this guy just give her some cash and help her out.
Fairy cakes is used way too many times as are several other words that are supposed to lend it that British flair.

What I'm saying is that this IS a first book and it has the writing of a fan fiction-it's pleasant, it's kind of nice to take into a bubble bath, but it has a rather formulaic and utterly predictable plot. And that's ok in the genre I'm sure.

i did enjoy it.

Someday women are going to decide that it isn't necessary that the male be rich beyond all belief and they are going to write romances where a girl goes to London, gets a job as a guide in a museum, rooms as a weekend housekeeper, saves up their earnings, opens a small art gallery, begins to market their work, reconnects with a person that wrote them off, and chooses to be single and fulfilled in their artwork and teaching. I am looking forward to that book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 1, 2013 1:39 PM PST

The Green Frogs: A Korean Folktale
The Green Frogs: A Korean Folktale
by Yumi Heo
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.26
75 used & new from $0.24

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And then mother died, October 7, 2012
By far my favorite story to start a school year.
Who would ever figure that my daughter would start tutoring at a Korean academy?
But her Caltech background makes her of high value to families that want that education and status above seemingly all else.
I'm learning a lot, about the language, traditions. Four is unlucky, don't write your name in red, a inherent dislike for the Japanese, school til ten at night. And her witty observation the boys can be awfully behaved. Those particular ones at times are who she gets for math instruction, many who don't see their mom for over 6 months a year. Nannies. The love of boarding the kids, the strange thing where actually being WITH your kids is almost never. Or to bring them a tupperware of kimchee. Lots of things.
Anyway this book is the story of two brother frogs that never do what mother frog wants. She dies.
No econd chances here.
I guess they learn the lesson. In a darling way they get called Green Frogs.
I do this a disservice but I lack being overly articulate. I'll give it away if I haven't.
It is a folktale, beautiful drawn, it holds children's attention 100%.
It's really excellent.
Is it Grim?
No it's eastern.
It's from another cultural perspective.
Does it acknowledge a certain darkness? Yeah.
It's about obedience and freedom, respect, expectations, life and death, mothers and sons.
It is really great and after I read it the children are always intensely fascinated.
If I say "Green Frog" later about a contrary behavior-they laugh.

I think it's a classic personally.

It's very mesmerizing to talk to my daughter about working with Korean immigrant children.
That are in 6 to 8 hours of after school tutoring. Interesting to think about a culture with kids at age 6 sitting in a downtown LA office space. Talking about going to MIT. No one talks about being a writer or artist I can assure you.

No play for you.

Interesting to think about. She's using the book as she takes Korean and works with the families.....and talks with them about this culture and it's heritage.

Price: $4.99
112 used & new from $1.10

5.0 out of 5 stars When all your dime dancing is through...., September 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Aja (Audio CD)
This review is my 204th.
204 is my secret favorite number.
It holds all the magic I ever had.
1st address -number- of a one year old, written inthe cover of an old book I had. An apt in Wisconsin at four, it appeared again. Then a street address on Maple at 6, and on a place in college. A number that cropped up in so many ways that it made me finally understand it to be a part of me. 204. And here it is tonight. As I listen to Aja.
I've told one person that secret.
Where are they?

Steely Dan. I rode on my Kabuki bike to you.
I listened to you holding onto to nothing, walking my way across my life. And finally again for my birthday last year.
Kinda jaded, damaged, beautiful, utterly rehearsed, finessed, and like I felt about California where I ended up.
Just mysteriously unlike anything I ever heard.

It's an album I'll always listen to.
I don't think I can hear it too many times.

204 reviews, this one for an album I love.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 28, 2013 11:47 AM PST

As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto
As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto
Price: $9.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful to savor, September 30, 2012
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When I was young I watched Julia Child and later the Galloping Gourmet cook. Not for a second can I translate this to "kids today." I also spent my time with a 75 year old woman in her pantry, watching her cook, learning, and soaking up times gone by later in the day up in Freda's attic. Looking at her dresses from the 1920's and learning her heart. Finding a set of letters wrapped in a yarn or some embroidery thread makes my life far richer. This is like that. And that so warmed my heart.
Watching Julia Child was seared into my consciousness from TV, so getting to read her letters to her friend Avis is just a pleasure. I read them slowly. One at a time. Waiting between them. Reluctant to speed through them. Because I remember a time we corresponded as a people over TIME. I remember what it once was like. Just their discussion of a good knife taught me a ton. And I've cooked a few new things as I read. This might not be for everyone-but if you value letters, this cook, her life-it'll be a delight.

Elope Inc. Birthday King
Elope Inc. Birthday King
Price: $19.99
11 used & new from $19.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King For a Day, September 19, 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Elope Inc. Birthday King (Toy)
I'm a teacher. For a child's birthday my 3rd graders make a birthday book but a couple years ago I acquired a rather feminine birthday hat from a hospital gift shop while I waited for surgery for my husband. Aside from the surgeon calling me "the mother" and mistaking my daughter for his charming wife and not relinquishing this when told continuing to find me impossible as "his" wife, the hat was a good score. I wanted to be thrilled about it but the day was a solemn one-however since then many children have been thrilled wearing it on their birthdays. I wanted a hat for the boys. This seemed gender neutral actually.
This far exceeded my expectations. It is velvet, plush, fits a head of an 8/9 year old (and mine pretty snug) is adjustable as well.
It's just very plush and can take the day if the child beats it around- without succumbing too soon. I need it to last the five or so years I keep going to retirement. IF we get to retire. (one issue is droopy candles but I think that's designed that way)

It is made well. VERY well. There is a lovely shiny gold fabric as well-it's darling.
I really think it would be a terrific present all in it's own right, and I'm going to remember to send it to the little ones in our lives. I don't think I'd wash it, but I do think I could get it dry cleaned in the summer.
Well worth the price frankly.

Across the Imaginary Divide
Across the Imaginary Divide
Price: $14.17
49 used & new from $11.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the Music We Might Make Together, August 21, 2012
(When I try to review products I attempt to think of a way to convey it in the spirit of my response. Please move on if you need or want a technical review, plus push the buttons on here and sample this)

I think of this CD this way. Imagine I had some reasonable musical talent. In blue grass violin and mandolin. An aesthetic. Then side by side place this guy, who will remain un-named, who has considerable skill say in jazz piano. But we are intrigued with one-having met- though we don't understand one another. We don't even take turns exceptionally well when we are showing off our skills. We just sort of play, taking an idea, ora flight as we respond to another. Sometimes we are so steeped in our own thoughts it's as if two different things were going on at the same time, but often times it's as if we were oddly talking in musical codes. (Maybe ones neither tries to understand.
That is how this work strikes me. An enchanting affair, where neither person fully sees the other, maybe, but invent lovely music together partial because neither feared putting it out there-and the talent factor.

My favorite is Across the Imaginary Divide.

I've been calling it Jazz-grass and I prefer that to any other category- because it pretty much describes the state of being. I'd try it if I were you...but again, hit the sample buttons and see if you are feelin it.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 2, 2012 10:09 PM PDT

Dream Lake (Friday Harbor)
Dream Lake (Friday Harbor)
by Lisa Kleypas
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.71
257 used & new from $0.01

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Last romance of summer, August 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Every once in awhile I run into a romance that hits close to home. It's probably not hard to figure out how to achieve that if you sit and watch who is buying them at the bookstore-I've seen myself there-older, plump, so clearly eating and cooking, could use desperately a week at an art themed bed and breakfast in a sea side island setting, taking care of elderly family members, dealing with those that are emotionally unavailable, ghosts of the past in their heads. Facing a few more years.
For me this was a morning read, a long cry and just a really strange place to put together a lot of my own admittedly far more pathetic current themes. (including saying out loud-"compared to the people he knows and grew up with you were a poor, pathetic, uninteresting rube-as if speaking into my past)
I take care of my mother, I cook, I wish I could renovate a place with a gorgeous carpenter, certainly a love of Victorians, my mother losing daily to TIA's, my feelings of struggles with ghosts of the past-like knowing what her death will be like after sacrificing 5 years from 19 on to help my grandmother pass alone/poor, but to review the book.
This is the story of the third brother (liked all the books) in an alcoholic family where to cope he had no expectations and basically was invisible.Grew up hard. For reasons I don't understand, but accept as the plot, Alex is drinking heavily after a divorce because he married someone he has no feelings for-as a kind of object-but it certainly went poorly because he's lost everything in the divorce. So he's drinking himself into oblivion.He doesn't want to feel. I never understand that-I suppose I don't really understand alcohol. Zoe is so perfectly formed no man can resist seeing her as other than a kitten. I suppose that should offend but I was thinking about her grandmother-the story has a grandmother who is coping with the last days in dementia and Zoe in the story will take on her care. (not like the rest of us with no dollars but like we would if we could with a house Alex restores). Food that Zoe makes is magic and described in a lovely way. She's terrific in a kitchen. Alex is good in the sack. We all have our demons so Alex has a friendly ghost not named Casper. That ghost will unravel his story with Alex's help and eventually the story comes to a very nice conclusion.

In a way it's a very simple story. Not sure why but to me very touching. I felt better about taking care of mom after I read it. Better about drunks, better about ghosts, better about stain glass windows, unwanted pregnancies, miscarriages, dying, existentialism, aprons,the past, car wrecks, the soul, foolish mistakes, muffins and eating cobbler.

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