Christmas by Hand

Source: Nevit Dilmen, Wikimedia Commons

For some people, the best part of the Christmas season is the decorating that goes along with it. If that is true for you, then you will not be disappointed in Treasures for the Christmas Tree.  Something about this book speaks to the true meaning of Christmas. It has simple but beautiful ideas for creating […]

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The Chi of Stir-Frying

Bowl of stir-fried vegetables

Perhaps one of the best ways to celebrate the culture of another country is through its food.   If you are looking for a book that will help give you a window into Chinese culture, the work of Grace Young might be a fun place to start.  I understand now why she has been called the Poet […]

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Fear Not the Bard

Shakespeare figurine

Hark dear reader! No Fear Shakespeare is here! You are not alone in your endeavors to understand The Bard. How happy was I, about a fortnight ago, when I discovered this series of 18 of Bill’s most famous plays in their original text with side-by-side translations in good olde plain English. For example, here's an excerpt […]

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Female Hysteria

women in old-fashioned bathing suits splash in the surf

Call us whatever you like: females, women, girls, ladies, babes. I'm sorry if any of these terms offend you. I'm not trying to make you girls angry. All I really want to do is share the names of some really funny chicks and the books they've written. By funny, I don’t mean that they are […]

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Crime Run Amok in Bankok

 Bangkok 8 by John Burdett In John Burdett’s Sonchai Jitpleecheep mysteries, the aforementioned Sonchai is a: a).  hard boiled police detective b).  son of a former prostitute c).  married to a former prostitute d).  a Buddhist monk in training e).  all of the above Bangkok 8 by John Burdett is the first in a series of […]

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Eureka, Wunderbar, Aha, et al.

Where Good Ideas Come From: The natural history of innovation by Steven Johnson. Picture someone getting a good idea.  In your mind’s eye you might see the image of  a light bulb going off, or someone with their finger pointed in the air shouting Eureka!  You might even picture the heavens opening up to the […]

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Mad About Words

open dictionary

There had to be a reason I kept seeing this book on “best of" lists. After reading the first chapter, I figured out why. The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester is not just the story of how the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) came to be, it is also the story of a very violent crime. […]

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Oh Coco!

Perfume Bottles by Angela Andriot

If you are like me, you rarely let a day go by in which you do not quote Coco Chanel at least once.  Among her famous quotes is my favorite:   "A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future.” In The Secret of Chanel No. 5, author Tilar  J. Mazzeo gives us the interesting tale […]

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