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Weird Christmas: A Collection of Curious and Crazy Customs and Coincidences Concerning Christmas
Joey Green
1579124763
April 2006
Paperback
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Book Description
What can you say about a holiday on which we invite a strange old bearded man to break and enter our house—and leave him a snack for his troubles? Imagine an illustrated “urban legends” collection devoted to Christmas and you’ll understand this fact-packed compilation of curiosities, lists, and anecdotes dealing with a worldwide holiday that has become as much an orgy of consumerism as it is a sacred celebration.

Many crimes and catastrophes have taken place around Christmas and this book recounts them all, along with strange customs from many lands (e.g., the African nation that celebrates Christmas by eating fried caterpillars), the many peculiar incarnations of Santa Claus, and some truly hair-raising gifts people have been known to give one another. Weird Christmas is a fresh,...


Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride
Joanne B. Eicher
0792241843
Nov 2005
Hardcover
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Book Description
In a compelling exploration of all things female, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride celebrates the defining connections among women and honors their differences. Each chapter reveals the actions through which a woman connects with herself, with her family, with members of her community, and with other women—from quinceañera parties commemorating a Hispanic girl turning 15, to pre-wedding henna ceremonies in the Middle East, where the hands and feet of the bride and her party are lavishly painted for her special day. Readers also will learn about such American traditions as the debutante ball, as well as the coming of age rituals of Mende girls in Sierra Leone. Gorgeous photographs from the National Geographic archive portray these women and their customs across time and around the...


Walden
Henry David Thoreau
0760750947
March 2004
Hardcover
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Book Description
Henry Thoreau is considered, along with Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman and Nathaniel Hawthorne, as one of the leading figures in early American literature, and Walden is without doubt his most influential book. It recounts the author's experiences living in a small house in the woods around Walden Pond near Concord in Massachusetts. Thoreau constructed the house himself, with the help of a few friends, and one of the reasons why he moved into it was in an attempt to see if he could live independently and away from society. The result is an intriguing work that blends natural history with philosophical insights and includes many illuminating quotations from other authors. Thoreau's wooden shack has won a place for itself in remarkable achievement for a book with such modest and rustic beginnings. ...


Confederates in the Attic
Tony Horwitz
067975833X
Feb 1999
Paperback
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Book Review
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tony Horwitz returned from years of traipsing through war zones as a foreign correspondent only to find that his childhood obsession with the Civil War had caught up with him. Near his house in Virginia, he happened to encounter people who reenact the Civil War--men who dress up in period costumes and live as Johnny Rebs and Billy Yanks. Intrigued, he wound up having some odd adventures with the "hardcores," the fellows who try to immerse themselves in the war, hoping to get what they lovingly term a "period rush." Horwitz spent two years reporting on why Americans are still so obsessed with the war, and the ways in which it resonates today. In the course of his work, he made a sobering side trip to cover a murder that was provoked by the display of the Confederate...


Moveable Feast
Ernest Hemingway
068482499X
May 1996
Paperback
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Book Review
In the preface to A Moveable Feast, Hemingway remarks casually that "if the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction"--and, indeed, fact or fiction, it doesn't matter, for his slim memoir of Paris in the 1920s is as enchanting as anything made up and has become the stuff of legend. Paris in the '20s! Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, lived happily on $5 a day and still had money for drinks at the Closerie des Lilas, skiing in the Alps, and fishing trips to Spain. On every corner and at every café table, there were the most extraordinary people living wonderful lives and telling fantastic stories. Gertrude Stein invited Hemingway to come every afternoon and sip "fragrant, colorless alcohols" and chat admid her great pictures. He taught Ezra Pound how to box, gossiped with James Joyce, caroused with...


Pilgrims
Mary Pope Osborne
037583219X
Sept 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
What was it like to be a passenger on the Mayflower? How many people survived the first harsh winter in the New World? How did Pilgrim children spend their days? Find out the answers to these questions and more in this Magic Tree House Research Guide: Pilgrims. Includes fun facts from Jack and Annie, fantastic photos and illustrations, and a guide to doing further research.

About the Author
Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce are sisters who grew up on army posts all over the world. Mary is the author of over 50 acclaimed books for children. Natalie has worked as a children’s librarian and as a teacher of English and E.S.L. This is their fourth book together. The authors live in Goshen, CT, and West Stockbridge, MA, respectively.

Sal Murdocca has...


The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries
Marilyn Johnson
0060758759
February 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A journalist who's written obituaries of Princess Di and Johnny Cash, Johnson counts herself among the obit obsessed, one who subsists on the "tiny pieces of cultural flotsam to profound illuminations of history" gathered from obits from around the world, which she reads online daily—sometimes for hours. Her quirky, accessible book starts at the Sixth Great Obituary Writers' International Conference, where she meets others like herself. Johnson explores this written form like a scholar, delving into the differences between British and American obits, as well as regional differences within this country; she visits Chuck Strum, the New York Times' obituary editor, but also highlights lesser-known papers that offer top-notch obits; she reaffirms life as much as she talks about death....


Foxfire 12
Foxfire Fund Inc
140003261X
Sept 2004
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
The first new volume in five years for this popular series has the familiar charm and, unfortunately, repetitiveness of the earlier 11. First published in 1966 as a quarterly magazine, Foxfire was a classroom project to pass on to future generations the Appalachian culture of northwest Georgia. Teachers Collins and Creek, with their students, have brought together a mixture of personal stories, folktales, rituals and observations that highlight a way of life that is quickly vanishing. Some of the memories recounted by elderly residents are quite engaging, while others are less so. Fred Huff, who taught school for 46 years and was Teacher of the Year several times, colorfully conveys the joy he took in his chosen profession and makes the modest claim that "I got more awards than I deserved." Eighty-one-year-old...


I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America after Twenty Years Away
Bill Bryson
076790382X
May 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
In the world of contemporary travel writing, Bill Bryson, the bestselling author of A Walk in the Woods, often emerges as a major contender for King of Crankiness. Granted, he complains well and humorously, but between every line of his travel books you can almost hear the tinny echo: "I wanna go home, I miss my wife."

Happily, I'm a Stranger Here Myself unleashes a new Bryson, more contemplative and less likely to toss daggers. After two decades in England, he's relocated to Hanover, New Hampshire. In this collection (drawn from dispatches for London's Night & Day magazine), he's writing from home, in close proximity to wife and family. We find a happy marriage between humor and reflection as he assesses life both in New England and in the contemporary United States. With the telescopic perspective of one who's...



Homes of the West
Bobbie Kalman
0778701069
Dec 1998
Paperback
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Resource Links, Feb. 1999
This series shows the settlers' homes and way of life and the changes they represented to the native population. Good coverage of each topic will make these books useful for research --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

Book Description
It took guts to build and live in a home on the western frontier. Spectacular photos feature houses made of logs, sod, and adobe, as well as native dwellings and impressive Victorian homes to show off a settler's wealth. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

See all Editorial Reviews


Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World
Selby B. Beeler
0618152385
September 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
Eat your heart out, tooth fairy. According to the informal research of the author, the world is full of other, equally fascinating myths and traditions about what happens, or should be done, when those milk choppers part company with childish gums. If you come from Chile or Costa Rica, your parents will have the tooth made into a charm. If you're Venezuelan, you put the tooth under your pillow and hope that a mouse brings you money. (Oddly enough, mice, milk teeth, and money are associated all over the world.) Playful illustrations by G. Brian Karas include a world map, plus lots of fun depictions of the world's dentally challenged junior inhabitants. (Ages 4 to 8) --Richard Farr --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
Children from countries...


Knights and Castles
Will Osborne
0375802975
Aug 2000
Paperback
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Book Description
What was it like to wear armor? What was the food like in castles? This book explores what life was really like in medieval times.

Card catalog description
Jack and Annie look at knights, armor, and life in a castle. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home In Italy
Frances Mayes
0767900383
September 1997
Paperback
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Book Review
In this memoir of her buying, renovating, and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Frances Mayes reveals the sensual pleasure she found living in rural Italy, and the generous spirit she brought with her. She revels in the sunlight and the color, the long view of her valley, the warm homey architecture, the languor of the slow paced days, the vigor of working her garden, and the intimacy of her dealings with the locals. Cooking, gardening, tiling and painting are never chores, but skills to be learned, arts to be practiced, and above all to be enjoyed. At the same time Mayes brings a literary and intellectual mind to bear on the experience, adding depth to this account of her enticing rural idyll. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly
...


A Gracious Plenty
John T. Edge
1557883882
Sept 2002
Paperback
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Book Review
There is a calmness to this book, and it comes from an assured knowledge rising out of the kind of scholarship that sets aside popular mythology in favor of the ways things actually are and have been. No U.S. region suffers more from popular mythology, some of it benign, much of it mocking and cruel, than the South. Author-editor John T. Edge encourages the reader of A Gracious Plenty to taste the South for what it is and has been. The book has the backing of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. In his introduction, Center director Charles Reagan Wilson points to the Southern Thanksgiving of his father-in-law, a native Mississippian who happens to be Lebanese. Both deep-fried turkey and kibbe are served, with stuffed grape and cabbage leaves as well as oyster dressing and...


The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier
Thaddeus Carhart
0375758623
March 2002
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In this engaging memoir, an American writer living in Paris recounts his experiences in a piano shop tucked into an out-of-the way street on the rive gauche. Because the elderly proprietor refuses to admit strangers to the atelier where he repairs, rebuilds and sells used pianos to select customers, Carhart does not at first get in. But with an introduction from another client and the help of the owner's younger assistant and heir apparent, Luc, Carhart is finally welcomed into a magical space crowded with pianos of all makes and vintages. Soon he becomes one of the favored insiders who stop by nearly every day to gossip and talk about pianos with Luc. Luc's love of pianos is so infectious that Carhart's own childhood passion for the instrument is rekindled. He starts to take lessons again and buys a piano for...


Hamburgers and Fries
John T. Edge
0399152741
July 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Despite the recent upwelling of carb-consciousness and fast-food condemnation, seasoned food writer Edge proclaims that America is on the verge of "a burger renaissance." In his latest tribute to American food favorites, Edge (Fried Chicken; Apple Pie) traces the history of the burger from its Mongolian origins to its current status as a symbol of American culture. Edge's book takes him across the nation, from Connecticut to Hawaii, visiting famous burger joints and diners in search of testaments to the dish's iconic status. Along the way, he discovers numerous variations, including the "Jucy Lucy," a Minneapolis burger stuffed with cheese and topped with grilled onions, and the Cuban "fritas" from Miami, which features a paprika-spiced patty topped with crispy potato slivers. Edge's savory descriptions of these...


Finding Fish
Antwone Fisher
0060539860
December 2002
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Description
A New York Times bestseller, Finding Fish is the remarkable story of an African American boy abandoned in an abusive foster home in Cleveland who rises to liberation, manhood, and extraordinary success (in Hollywood). Born in prison to a single mother after his father was shot and killed, Antwone Fisher soon became a ward of Cleveland's foster care system. By the time he was five years old, he had been transferred to several different families. Eventually he came to live with the Picketts, an older couple with grown children of their own. During his stay with the Picketts, which lasted until he was 17 years old, Antwone suffered near-constant verbal and physical abuse at the hands of ‘Mizz Pickett’, and sexual abuse from a neighbour. The damage to his self-esteem was tremendous, yet Antwone managed to...


How Children Lived
Chris Rice
0756618061
Dec 2005
Paperback
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Book Description
Ever wonder about how children lived in the past? This amazing book places sixteen children in different times and places.


Cemeteries of New Orleans
Jan Arrigo
0896586650
Apr 2005
Hardcover
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The Times Picayune, May 1, 2005
"For those who like . . . the architecture and symbolism of cemeteries, it's the perfect companion."

Baton Rouge Advocate, April 3, 2005
"You might think everything that can be said about New Orleans' famous cemeteries has already been written. You'd be wrong."

See all Editorial Reviews


Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House
Sally Bedell Smith
0641686951

Hardcover
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