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Sheryn Morris

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  • 1914 : a novel

    by Echenoz, Jean.

    August 19, 2014

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    2014 is the beginning of the First World War Centenary. Many fine novels, short stories and poems have been written about the Great War and Jean Echenoz’s 1914: a novel joins the list.  The novel has a relatively simple plot with five young men leaving their French village to join the war and one young woman left behind. The novel opens with a cinematic description of the lovely countryside as seen, from an elevated area, by young Anthime who has taken a bicycle ride on a sunny, calm August day. Without warning a strong wind whips up out of... Read Full Review

  • French cooking in ten minutes : or, Adapting to the rhythm of modern life (1930)

    by Pomiane, Edouard de, 1875-1964.

    July 1, 2014

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    Call Number: 641.5944 P786-1 1986

    Ten minutes to cook a French meal? Sacre bleu is what some purists might scream, and a few of them did just that in 1930s’ Paris.  Edouard de Pomiane’s little book, with its very practical advice about cooking and eating well with the least amount of fuss, was a big hit, as were his other books and radio programs.  He was not a trained cook or chef, but a scientist at the Louis Pasteur Institute in Paris, with cooking as a hobby and a second-act career.  De Pomiane was born in Paris, a first generation Frenchman with familial and culinary... Read Full Review

  • Stand up straight and sing!

    by Norman, Jessye.

    June 25, 2014

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    Call Number: 789.14 N842

    A true diva is a distinguished female opera singer who strives for the best in her own work and expects the same from everyone with whom she works in order to create a marvelous experience for an audience. Jessye Norman is the full embodiment of a diva on stage and off, always striving for the best in life and art. In the introduction James Levine, operatic and symphonic conductor, verifies that this is not a ghost written autobiography, but is definitely in the author’s own words because no one else could do it better than Jessye Norman.Jessye Norman grew up in a loving, cohesive... Read Full Review

  • Clash of civilizations over an elevator in Piazza Vittorio

    by Lakhous, Amara, 1970-

    April 21, 2014

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    Murder is the obvious problem, but finding out who did it leads to smaller issues with bigger implications--the loves and hates which immigrants from diverse backgrounds have for each other and their adopted city, Rome.                    Who killed Lorenzo Manfredini aka the Gladiator?  Amedeo aka Ahmed Salmi is the key suspect because he has disappeared, which is what perpetrators always do--run away. Don't they?  Not so quick cautions... Read Full Review

  • An unnecessary woman

    by Alameddine, Rabih, author.

    April 14, 2014

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    What is a woman to do? What is this particular woman to do?  For a woman in her time and place (last half of the 20th century in Beirut), Aaliya (meaning the high one and the above), audaciously decided early in her life what to do. When she speaks to us, she is seventy-two-years old, divorced, without a profession or extended education, an avid reader of select books who has taken on the unassigned job of translating some of them, but not from the original language--she is translating from a translation. She lives alone in a family apartment which came to her when she married  A... Read Full Review

  • Shout, sister, shout! : the untold story of rock-and-roll trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe

    by Wald, Gayle, 1965-

    April 1, 2014

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    Call Number: 789.14 T367Wa

    Early on Elvis was mightily inspired by Sister Rosetta Tharpe's singing and guitar style, and Eric Clapton, B. B. King, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash are others who have tipped their guitars her way.  Thanks to local jazz radio station KJAZZ, NPR, PBS' American Masters http://video.pbs.org/video/2337391461/, a quick clip in the French film Amélie, and this recent biography, there should... Read Full Review

  • Under the wire : Marie Colvin's final assignment

    by Conroy, Paul, author.

    February 10, 2014

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    Call Number: 071.092 C727Co

    "Where are all the men?" the editor asked Marie Colvin, who would not abandon hundreds of refugees in war-ravaged East Timor, and answered, "I suppose they just don't make men like they used to." They may not make war journalists, male or female, to match the likes of Marie Colvin who was one of the greats and valued as such by her colleagues. International photographer Paul Conroy recounts the reporting he and Marie Colvin did in 2012 in the Baba Amr section of Homs, Syria which was known for its support of opposition... Read Full Review

  • All in one basket

    by Devonshire, Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish, Duchess of, 1920-

    January 28, 2014

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    Call Number: 942.51 D511-6

    Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford Cavendish, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, is the youngest of the Mitford sisters whose interests and social views were all over the political compass. One sister was a Communist; one sister and her husband were imprisoned during World War II for their fascist views and overtly supporting the Nazis; several other siblings were unofficial supporters of fascist politics; and two others preferred the agrarian life. As a child, the Duchess was tormented and teased by her older sisters who called her Nine because they thought her intellectual development stopped at... Read Full Review

  • Hellraisers : the life and inebriated times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole, and Oliver Reed

    by Sellers, Robert.

    December 16, 2013

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    Call Number: 822.09 S467

    When this book was published in 2009, Peter O'Toole was, as noted in the title of the last chapter, "Last Man Standing," and now all four men are gone.  This is about how four handsome, enormously talented men who caroused away their assets with alcohol, drugs, gambling, scores of women, and behavior so outrageous, even compared with today's tell-and-show-all celebrity antics, that at relatively early ages they were shells of what they had been--robust manly men.  Quite frankly and openly they did not give... Read Full Review

  • Daily rituals : how artists work

    by Currey, Mason.

    September 30, 2013

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    Call Number: 701 C976

    What are the working habits of creative people:  writers, visual artists, musicians, choreographers, filmmakers, composers, scientists, philosophers and others?  What motivates them and how do they approach the blank page--with delight or dread?  How many hours a day do they work and do they prefer day or night?  Do they find it necessary to drink alcohol, take drugs, drink buckets of tea or coffee? Do they work at home or have a studio/office?  If they have relationships/families do these help or hinder the individual?  And a most... Read Full Review

  • On the noodle road : from Beijing to Rome, with love and pasta

    by Lin-Liu, Jen.

    September 3, 2013

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    Call Number: 641.6311 L7355

    When humanity moved past being hunter-gatherers and began to cultivate and harvest crops, one of the basic products of these efforts was bread which became a primary food source.  Noodles and dumplings are several steps up on the culinary register, but are based on a similar food product, dough, basically made of flour and water, and enriched with other ingredients if available.  Add sauces, fillings made from grains, vegetables, bits of meat, poultry or fish, seasonings, and these foods have moved way beyond sustenance to pleasure and are often basic to fine cuisines... Read Full Review

  • Creamy and crunchy : an informal history of peanut butter, the all-American food

    by Krampner, Jon, 1952-

    July 2, 2013

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    Call Number: 641.65659 K89

    Is peanut butter an all-American food? That is one question John Krampner answers in this wonderful history of a food product Americans take for granted. Those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches have frequently been associated with, what was once, the less-than sophisticated American palate. Times and tastes have changed,  but for most of us the love affair with this readily available comfort food has not. The plant and the spread have their origins elsewhere and came here on a boat just like other newcomers. Here is what Krampner says, "But for all the importance of peanuts to... Read Full Review

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