Beach Reads

Bookreporter.com continues to feature a sizzling beach read every week through August 19th.

Here is the latest pick: Mary Alice Monroe and her delightful novel Sweetgrass.

Read an excerpt from the novel, an interview with Mary Alice, and find out about her interest in environmental conservation. She currently lives with her family in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Roman Polanski's Life and Films

Legendary film director Roman Polanski is making news headlines, and once again it has nothing to do with any of his films. Or does it? Polanski is one of those filmmakers whose personal life is so interesting that you just have to wonder how it all relates to his films. With a film like The Pianist, the link between Polanski’s personal life and screen is clear since it’s well known that Polanski is a Holocaust survivor. With other films, it’s less obvious. The library collection includes several of Polanski’s best films, including my personal favorite, Death and the Maiden. Here are some others: Knife in the Water, Macbeth, Rosemary’s Baby, and Chinatown.

Eating your words

I love food. I love words. This combination obsession has led me to spend entirely too much time wandering a certain online food dictionary. But now there is something I can finger through from the comfort of my bed, or on the bus, or anywhere: Eating Your Words by William Grimes.

This book includes a full page list of cooking methods and on a sweeter note, a list of cookies (ever hear of a rugelach, or a springerle?). Wondering about muffuletta? Looking for a definition of "variety meats"? This might be the book for you.

Faulkner Factoids

Faulkner

Did you know that:

William Faulkner faked a British accent and forged letters of recommendation in order to get accepted into the Royal Canadian Air Force?

William Faulkner worked at Oxford University as a Postmaster?

William Faulkner got his start as a novelist when his friend Sherwood Anderson encouraged him to abandon poetry for fiction? When Faulkner agreed to this path, Anderson said he’d talk up Soldier’s Pay, Faulkner’s first effort, as long as Faulkner didn’t make him read it.

First Lady of the Press

Appearing on Fresh Air July 21, 2005 · Helen Thomas has been covering the White House for 62 years. She gives us an inside look at the White House Press Room and comments on the recent scandals surrounding the Valerie Plame name leak and the possible involvement of White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove. The library has several books by Helen Thomas.

Baseball's Dark Side

Boston Herald sports columnist Howard Bryant is author of the new book Juicing the Game. Baseball in the 1990s -- with greater profit and more record breakers than ever -- has come to be known as "The Juiced Era."

Your Very Own Cooking School

Every February my friends and I would talk about taking a cooking class in some Tuscan villa where the sun is warm, the basil abundant, the food robust, and the cooking inspiring.

Here we are in July. That conversation is still fresh in our minds but plans are again on hold. But this year, I won't mind staying home to refine my cooking skills with Linda Carucci’s Cooking School Secrets for Real World Cooks as my trusted guide.

At Amazon.com., 10 out of 11 customers gave this title a 5* review.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Yogi Berra's Shows

Tiger Stadium, the real one at Michigan and Trumball, was the home of great baseball players and great baseball moments. Joe Falls of the Detroit News interviews fans, players, and stadium stalwarts for Echoes of Tiger Stadium, a three-hour remembrance even Ty Cobb would enjoy.

And who better to pick the greatest baseball radio shows than Yogi Berra? He didn't get the jokes, he couldn't follow the stories, but Yogi loved them and so will you.

A Paean to Librarians and Libraries in Larry Beinhart's The Librarian

Larry Beinhart The Librarian

A university librarian is recruited to catalog the papers of a right-wing businessman. The presidential election is coming up and a conspiratorial group of politicians, bureaucrats, brutal operatives hidden within Homeland Security, and wealthy donors contribute to some very strange events: the major Democratic candidate has a fatal airplane accident just before the convention, other people die, things blow up. This group believes the librarian may have found out something he should not have and decide he needs to be eliminated. The author wrote American Hero, on which the film Wag the Dog is based.

David Hauser, the Librarian, offered these thoughts when asked what it was like to be a librarian:

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