Lilting, ethereal, obscure, these poems are not. It's Bukowski after all! They are about as raw and real as you can get -- some so downright dirty you feel like washing after you read them. That said, there is a beauty to them that is utterly tangible. We find here Bukowski sharing a sandwich with his grown daughter, sneaking a sideways peek at her and catching her smiling, and recalling useless arguments with his wife and thinking how splendid these times actually were. Mind you, his remembrances of love are not all about noticing the little moments. Yet even his drunk, lust-filled carnal encounters offer glimpses of caring, and yes, sometimes even love, in spite of the crudeness. -- Cheryl R.
*** July 2011 Newsletter Pick ***
Not since reading Robinson Crusoe in front of my grandparents' fireplace as a child have I so thoroughly enjoyed a book of this genre. Jamrach's Menagerie is a high-adventure coming-of-age tale so beautifully written, it left me literally gasping and almost moved me to tears. The story begins in a working class, English coastal town at the turn of the last century -- not the most likely of places for a young boy to encounter a tiger loose on the street, let alone find himself being carried around in its mouth. This potentially tragic situation catapults the boy into a world of exotic wonders he had only dreamed about. Birch employs brutal, vivid imagery, yet balances it with insightful, emotional counterpoints. Battling demons, both real and imaginary, forever changes the characters and ultimately impacts their survival. The result is a riveting read from start to finish -- and one that lingers with you long after you have turned the last page.
*** May 2011 Newsletter Pick ***
Hermes scarves are the ultimate iconic accessory. Their bold, intricate designs and vibrant colors are instantly identified as the epitome of style. The radiance of the silk makes you feel as if you are wearing a work of art -- which, in fact, you are. This book is as beautiful as the scarves themselves, with full-page, color illustrations and impeccable detail. Read about the origins of the Hermes company, its lineage, and the inspiration for the designs. Do not tuck it away on your bookshelf: leave it out for all to enjoy.
*** October 2009 Newsletter Pick ***
I'll admit it, I go weak in the knees for a cocktail that looks as fabulous as it tastes, and this book is chock full of them. Over 60 recipes of well-known favorites as well as some contemporary gems including, 'The Vesper' - the original James Bond martini, 'The Bradshaw' - a sunset colored concoction created for the Sex in the City movie, and the beautifully layered 'Pousse Cafe'. Each recipe is described with campy, handwritten text accented with doodles and accompanied with a full page, color photo. The ingredients are easy to find and the drinks a snap to prepare. No fussing with a cocktail that takes longer to make than it does to drink. Happy hour, here I come!
*** July 2009 Newsletter Pick ***
The latest cookbook from renowned health and wellness spa, Canyon Ranch, is a feast for the eyes and the palate. An array of original recipes, including numerous gluten- and dairy-free, are accompanied by full-color photographs that will make your mouth water. From home-style classics like beef short ribs and lasagna to contemporary fare such as chili-rubbed tequila shrimp and Thai french toast with orange ginger syrup, all the ingredients can be readily found and the recipes are uncomplicated to prepare. You absolutely will not believe that these dishes are so wholesome and nutritious.
"Kidnapping children is not a good idea. All the same, sometimes it has to be done." What can I say, I was hooked from the opening lines. Three sisters execute an outlandish plan for the good of all mankind. Written for young readers, but an enjoyable read for all ages.
Devoted parents, Al and Lil, and their family's traveling carnival sideshow, Binewski's Fabulon. The freakshow is comprised of their children, all mutated in utero by home-brewed chemical cocktails. This genetic Russian roulette of siblings exhibit typical interactions exacerbated by their uniqueness and unusual circumstances.
The lifelong bond of a child and an elephant born on the same day. Keep the kleenex close.
A fascinating array of examples of why you should ignore what you think you ought to believe and why you should listen to your instinct instead.
Depression era story of the occupants of Abalone, AZ, whose small town daily routines are set aside when their curiosities are peaked by the arrival of Dr. Lao and his sideshow of mythical beasts. A simply told story with a philosophical underbelly. Don't neglect "The Catalogue (An explanation of the obvious which must be read to be appreciated)" at the end of the book, with its witty and blatant definitions.