Kafka's Soup

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Kafka's Soup: A Complete History of World Literature in 14 Recipes Cover Image
ISBN: 9780151012831
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - November 6th, 2006

This may be the best idea in a stocking stuffer yet! I only wish I had thought of it. The literary foodie in your life will be tickled and delighted by recipes written in the style of some very famous and diverse authors. My personal favorite is "Tarragon Eggs" a la Jane Austen closely followed by "Tiramisu" a la Marcel Proust. ~ Reviewed by Karen Frank

The Know-It-All

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The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743250627
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 10th, 2005

33,000 pages, 44 million words, one man just crazy and driven enough to read them all. From "a-ak" defined as, "see gagaku" to "zywiec", A.J.Jacobs chronicles his quest to read every volume in the encycolpedia Britannica. Driven by a need to be accepted by Mensa and a desire to become the smartest man in the world, Jacobs relentlessly chronicles his journey through the lives, loves, and secrets of people throughout the history of time. All matter of obstacles befall our hero as he battles the perils invlolved in reading the encyclopedia (size and weight for starters). At one point he is prevented from competing on Jeopardy by a mere technicality--an amusing little anecdote really. This book is all around a fun read. Jacobs proves that reading the encycolpedia can be fun and entertaining even to the greatest skeptic ~ Reviewed by Cheryl Cornwell

250 Essential Chinese Characters Volume 1

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250 Essential Chinese Characters Volume 1: Revised Edition (Hsk Level 1) Cover Image
Call or email to see if a used copy is available.
ISBN: 9780804840354
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Tuttle Publishing - September 10th, 2009

This is a fabulous book for beginner Chinese students or seasoned veterans looking to brush up on their characters. Besides listing both traditional and simplified forms of characters, this book also introduces correct stroke order and basic grammar patterns. By presenting characters in terms of radical, character component, and character configuration, you get a complete idea of what makes up a character and the best way to approach learning it. I would recommend purchasing the Oxford Chinese dictionary as a companion to this book. They make a great set. ~ Reviewed by Cheryl Cornwell

Pocket Oxford Chinese Dictionary

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Pocket Oxford Chinese Dictionary: English-Chinese Chinese-English (Oxford Dictionaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780198005940
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - October 1st, 2009

This has been my trusted companion from the first day of Chinese 101. This dictionary has followed me to China and will, in a few months, faithfully follow me to graduate school. With over 220,000 words, phrases, and translations this is a perfect dictionary for beginner and intermediate students alike. What I like about this dictionary is its accessibility and easy-to-follow format. The print is large enough that you don't have to struggle with mistaking a "heng" for a "shu". For anyone looking to study Chinese I would recommend this or the companion oxford beginner's Chinese dictionary. ~ Reviewed by Cheryl Cornwell

True Notebooks

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True Notebooks: A Writer's Year at Juvenile Hall Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375727610
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - August 31st, 2004

This is Salzman's account of a writing course he taught at a juvenile detention facility in Los Angeles in the late 1990's. The teenaged inmates-turned-classmates, many of whom are facing years, if not life, behind bars show great raw talent as writers. Their stories exhibit a great depth and array of feelings. Salzman allows his young students to speak for themselves through dialogue and their writing. The result reveals a heartbreaking reality that few of us will ever observe. It may not change every mind about whether these young offenders' sentences are appropriate but it will almost certainly open eyes to how society's outcasts are redeemable simply as human beings. ~ Reviewed by Stan Hynds


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Booknotes: America's Finest Authors on Reading, Writing, and the Power of Ideas Cover Image
By Brian Lamb (Editor)
ISBN: 9780812930290
Availability: Special Order
Published: Broadway Books - May 19th, 1998

Brian Lamb is the best interviewer in the business. His ability to get writers to talk about themselves and their work is what makes his TV show fascinating. Here he has gathered a selection of pieces in which writers speak of their art without the safety net of rewrites and self-censoring. ~ Reviewed by Bob Gray


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