A Career In Writing Anthony Bourdain may be best known as the television persona traveling the world and eating exotic cuisines in his hit shows on the Food Network A Cook’s Tour, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, and The Layover, along with CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, but he is also the author of multiple best-selling books. Most of his books, both fiction and non-fiction, center around cooking and food, including his first breakout best-seller Kitchen Confidential, published in 2001. The … Continued
It’s time for All Hallow’s Read again, that magical time of year when we give the gift of fright!
If you haven’t yet heard about it, All Hallow’s Read is a month-long celebration of the horror genre (for the adults) and spooky stories (for the kids). The idea is, whether it’s a beautifully-wrapped Stephen King novel to your spouse, a dog-eared copy of Frankenstein you abandon on a park bench with the inscription “Take Me!” on a Post-It Note, or anything in-between, that we all take the time to give each other scary books. (more…)
I, unlike many self-proclaimed nerdy kids my age, didn’t properly get to meet and make friends with Bilbo, Frodo, and the gang until I was in college. Sure, sure, I’d gone to midnight premiers for the Lord of the Rings movies with gaggles of friends, but I didn’t dress up like Gandalf and I sure as heck didn’t know a single phrase in the Elven tongue. I thought Silmarillion was the type of metal from which Bilbo’s chain-mail shirt was made.
That changed in college, though. I went to a small women’s liberal arts school, where the month-long winter term was usually a way to get some of our required credits out of the way in the most ridiculous manner possible. Loads of my friends were off traveling to Mexico, Tunisia, or London. I would have been bummed about not going abroad, but the week we were to sign up for our January Term courses, a friend told me about two classes that totally out-shadowed all those exotic adventures: a music history course centered on The Beatles and a political science course lovingly named The Politics of Middle-Earth. (more…)
The POP Project finds new homes for used books.
An Asheville, NC-based nonprofit, the POP (Pages Opening People) Project collects secondhand books to redistribute within communities in Western North Carolina and across the Southeast. It’s a mission not only to find new homes for the books, but to make “homes” for people who might otherwise not have access to books.
“Growing up, books were always a part of my home. Even when we may have had to cut back on other things, books were always a necessity, like bread or milk,” said Sarah Giavedoni, POP’s director of donations. “When I learned that there are homes in my community that have no books, or people who for one reason or another cannot get a library card, I knew I had to get involved. I can’t imagine living in a home without books. It just wouldn’t feel like home to me.” (more…)
Authors Lead the Charge for More Diversity in Children’s Literature The 2014 BookExpo America convention was held this past weekend in New York City, and diversity in children and young adult fiction was the hot topic of discussion. The nationwide conversation was jumpstarted by the Twitter hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks, first coined by authors disappointed when BookCon released the names of highlighted speakers at this year’s BookExpo, most of whom were white. The announcement came at a time of increased scrutiny upon … Continued
I Roll my Eyes at The Catcher in the Rye
Unfortunately, the first thing I think about these days when I hear The Catcher in the Rye is the film Chasing Amy, that barely post-adolescent flick, created by barely post-adolescent filmmaker Kevin Smith, with Ben Affleck playing the main character – named Holden, of course. The next thing I think about is a guy I knew in high school who was one of the most socially awkward people I ever met, and carried a small leather bound copy of that book on his person at all times. His obsession with that novel did not appear to improve his social problems. I guess The Catcher in the Rye is just one of those things that mean so much to a certain type of person, at a certain point in their lives, that it’s almost sacred. Like ABBA, or Blossom. Or Pearl Jam. But I’m certainly not here to mock Pearl Jam. I’m here to mock The Catcher in the Rye, and all it’s very satisfying and entertaining discontent, swearing, and overall hatred of everybody who is not a maladjusted child of wealthy parents who provide very little emotionally to their kids. Maybe I just don’t understand because I’m not a boy. If that’s the case, I feel pretty sorry for boys, especially the ones who are so good at recognizing hypocrisy in others that they just can’t contain themselves, and go out and do all the self destructive things they can find to do. (more…)
From the Movies to the Books
I just finished reading Lord of the Rings for the first time last weekend, and I had a few thoughts and random observations to share. I know there are a ton of Tolkien fans out there, and many of them will vehemently disagree with many or most of my assessments. Disagreement is fine, even vehement disagreement, and you should post your thoughts below in the comments!
Before I begin, I want to provide some background. My first taste of Tolkien was the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated television special of The Hobbit. I was about seven or eight when I watched it, and it did not go well. Gollum scared me to tears and was the subject of a fun recurring nightmare that would last a few months. After that, I didn’t go near Tolkien until Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring came out in 2001. But that was it. Done–Game Over. I was a fan for life. I loved the movies and impatiently waited until the next one was released.
So, a decade since the last movie was released, I decided to finally sit down and read the actual book. I didn’t read the appendices and I haven’t read any other work by Tolkien yet. But here are my thoughts: (more…)
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of hearing about all of these special dietary conditions that everyone seemed to spontaneously develop overnight in March 2011. Every other conversation is about how “Oh, I can’t eat that burrito because my gluten intolerance will cause me to sprout hair from my eyeballs” or about how “my color blindness greatly affects my anxiety levels, so I can’t eat that piece of celery, but I would love a couple of purple grapes!”
The next big diet fad is right around the corner, and you can help spearhead it by buying a copy of the next trendy cookbook.
Luckily, we have some fantastic options featured below!
For one week out of each year, the United States celebrates the freedom to read and the freedom to write as you choose. Sponsored by the American Library Association, Banned Books Week and related events seek to bring attention to the challenged materials in libraries and schools.
For more information and ways to participate, visit the official site: Banned Books Week
Keep posted, and more importantly, KEEP READING!
One of my fondest memories of my grandparent’s old mountain house was the 25 foot floor-to-ceiling wall they dedicated to their vast book collection. They had everything from travel catalogs to anthropology textbooks to ancient and obscure mathematics books. They had several rare and antique books, and they loved showing them off to their grandchildren. (more…)