Thursday, April 30, 2015

Three Books That Caught My Attention Crossing My Desk.

The Dwelling by Susie Moloney
The cover of this book is what initially interested me, then I read the synopsis.  It sounded perfectly creepy. 

The house had history. Perhaps too much history.
362 Belisle Street is a homeowner's dream. A nice neighborhood, close to schools, new hardwood floors, unique original detail. So why then, wonders real estate agent Glenn Darnley, won't this charming property stay off the market? Perhaps the clawed feet of the antique bathtub look a little too threatening. Or maybe it's the faint hospital-like smell of the room off the top of the stairs. It's possible that the haunting music that pours out from under the steps keeps the residents awake at night.
In the three parts of Susie Moloney's hair-raising novel The Dwelling, ownership of 362 Belisle changes four times -- with Glenn Darnley brokering each deal. The first occupants are a young couple, Rebecca and Daniel Mason, who have big dreams of wealth and success. It doesn't take long for them to realize that they're not welcome in their new house. After a ghostly seduction and a violent confrontation, the property is once again for sale. Next comes Barbara Parkins, a divorcée, and her unhappy young son, Petey. Lonely and looking for companionship, the two find comfort in some new, playful young friends. When the Parkins family leaves, the house is sold again. Last, ownership goes to Richie Bramley, a drunken writer and lost soul. But like the others, he can't settle down in this house -- which has a mind, and a heart, of its own.
For Glenn, however, the house is a dream, always warm and welcoming. The floors gleam, and sun pours in through the windows. Owners come -- and 362 Belisle makes sure owners go. It's waiting patiently for its beloved to realize how much it loves her. It's waiting for Glenn, the very special person who can finally turn this house into a home. - Amazon Description
Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario
I had recently seen an episode of Vice that covered people riding the tops of trains to try and enter the US so this book stood out to me. I look forward to reading Enrique's Journey.

An astonishing story that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about immigration reform in the United States, now updated with a new Epilogue and Afterword, photos of Enrique and his family, an author interview, and more—the definitive edition of a classic of contemporary America

Based on the Los Angeles Times newspaper series that won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature writing and another for feature photography, this page-turner about the power of family is a popular text in classrooms and a touchstone for communities across the country to engage in meaningful discussions about this essential American subject.
Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops. But he pushes forward, relying on his wit, courage, hope, and the kindness of strangers. As Isabel Allende writes: “This is a twenty-first-century Odyssey. If you are going to read only one nonfiction book this year, it has to be this one.”-Amazon Description
Swindled: The Dark History of Food Fraud, from Poisoned Candy to Counterfeit Coffee
by Bee Wilson
I almost passed this book on, then the title caught my eye. Food Fraud! Poisoned Candy! Counterfeit Coffee! Oh My! Should be an interesting read. 

Bad food has a history. Swindled tells it. Through a fascinating mixture of cultural and scientific history, food politics, and culinary detective work, Bee Wilson uncovers the many ways swindlers have cheapened, falsified, and even poisoned our food throughout history. In the hands of people and corporations who have prized profits above the health of consumers, food and drink have been tampered with in often horrifying ways--padded, diluted, contaminated, substituted, mislabeled, misnamed, or otherwise faked. Swindled gives a panoramic view of this history, from the leaded wine of the ancient Romans to today's food frauds--such as fake organics and the scandal of Chinese babies being fed bogus milk powder.

Wilson pays special attention to nineteenth- and twentieth-century America and England and their roles in developing both industrial-scale food adulteration and the scientific ability to combat it. As Swindled reveals, modern science has both helped and hindered food fraudsters--increasing the sophistication of scams but also the means to detect them. The big breakthrough came in Victorian England when a scientist first put food under the microscope and found that much of what was sold as "genuine coffee" was anything but--and that you couldn't buy pure mustard in all of London.

Arguing that industrialization, laissez-faire politics, and globalization have all hurt the quality of food, but also that food swindlers have always been helped by consumer ignorance, Swindled ultimately calls for both governments and individuals to be more vigilant. In fact, Wilson suggests, one of our best protections is simply to reeducate ourselves about the joys of food and cooking. -Amazon Description

All three books are available to be place on hold on

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Some Neat Book Merchandise

I love to read and I love to shop. Combining the two, I came up with this list of book/literary themed merchandise.

First up, the solution to the crampy thumb from holding open a book for a long time. The Thumb Ring Page Holder. There are several version/styles available from plastic to wood to polymer clay.
The Book Rest Lamp is great for in the bed reading. It gives off enough light to read by and provides a place holding spot to put your book down.
If you read in the tub the Umbra Aquala Bamboo and Chrome Bathtub Caddy looks to be a great way to keep the book outta the water. And it has a wine glass holder.
While hanging in the tub or bed reading let the smell of a new book fill the house with the New Book Scented Candle.
Light the candle with these Banned Book Matches. The reason the books were banned is on the back of the boxes.
The Book Club T Shirt is awesome.
And finally another type of book plates.

I'll end with a reading meme that has more than a grain of truth in it for this reader anyway.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

5 new dvd's for 4/23/15

Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut with Rosewater, a drama based on a memoir by the Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari. As the film opens, Bahari returns to his home country in order to report on the 2009 presidential elections there. When the results lead to large public protests, Bahari (Gael García Bernal) videotapes the civil unrest. This brings him to the attention of authorities, who apprehend him and keep him in solitary confinement in hopes of getting him to confess to crimes against Iran. However, his international celebrity leads to help from powerful and unexpected places. Rosewater screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. –Amazon Editorial Review

Exodus: Gods and Kings
The defiant leader Moses rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 400,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

Song of the Sea
From the writer and director of the Academy Award-nominated The Secret of Kells comes an enchanting fable about loss, magic and the love of family. When Saoirse and Ben's mother mysteriously disappears into the ocean, the two children go on an epic journey to find out the truth about her, and in the process, discover mystical secrets about both their mother and Saoirse herself. Featuring the voices of Brendan Gleeson (Braveheart) and Fionnula Flanagan (The Others), The Song of the Sea is a "delightful piece of magical animation" (Mark Adams, Screen International)! –Amazon Editorial Review

Kill the Messenger
Two-time Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Bourne Legacy”) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic on the nation’s streets…and further alleges that the CIA was aware of major dealers who were smuggling cocaine into the U.S., and using the profits to arm rebels fighting in Nicaragua. –Editorial Amazon Review

Horrible Bosses 2
Nick, Dale and Kurt decide to become their own bosses by launching a business. After a slick investor deceives them, they hatch a misguided plan to get their company back.

Place any of these items on hold here.