Barbara V's blog

On the Shelf: Sons of Anarchy Season One

In his 12/28/09 Houston Chronicle column titled “Top 10 best TV series of 2009,” television writer Tim Goodman named the FX series, Sons of Anarchy, third on his list. “This outlaw-motorcycle-club tale was more than Hamlet-on-a-Harley…” Goodman said. “It’s always been about family.”

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On the Shelf: Cookies for Santa

Christmas is only a week away, and if baking cookies for Santa (or your family/friends/coworkers) is on your to-do list, you’ll want to check out Benjamin Darling’s delightful little book, Cookies for Santa. The “50 plus cookie recipes sure to please Santa” are drawn from an extensive collection of vintage cooking pamphlets, circa 1900-1960, and are interspersed with take-you-back-in-time 1950’s-style illustrations.

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On the Shelf: Incendiary

I enjoy a good movie as much as anyone, but I haven’t been to a movie theater in nearly a year. Instead, I’ve watched every movie (and TV series) on my “must see” list (free of charge, in the comfort of my own home!), compliments of the Harris County Public Library’s vast collection of DVDs. I’ve also happened upon movies (and TV series) that weren’t on my list, most recently the British film, Incendiary.

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On the Shelf: Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Family Favorites

Ready or not, the holiday season is upon us, and I, for one, could use a few more hours in my day. I’ve never been especially good at multi-tasking – I make fewer mistakes focusing on one “to-be-done” at a time. But with the help of my trusty slow cooker and Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Family Favorites by Beth Hensperger, I’ve found that I can go to work, shop for gifts and/or visit with friends and still have a good, healthy meal ready to serve.

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On the Shelf: Guardians of Being

Sometimes we all need a little "nice" in our lives. We need to be inspired. We need to be heartened. Right here, right now, we need to stop, look, listen and reconnect with all that is good, kind, generous and supportive in the world.

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On the Shelf: The Widow's Season

I hadn’t planned on reading The Widow’s Season by Laura Brodie. I wasn’t familiar with the author’s work, and the title wasn’t on the list of “books to be read” I’ve culled from magazine and newspaper reviews. So…what was the draw?

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On the Shelf: The Power of Small

The premise of The Power of Small: Why Little Things Make All the Difference by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval is a simple one. “We have become a nation of skimmers, our attention limited to sound bites, live video clips, and headlines,” they say, adding that, as a result, the small cues, the simple gestures, the random acts of kindness that give life texture and meaning are all too often overlooked or ignored.

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On the Shelf: The Whatchamacallit

In my other life, I’m a writer, and words are my business. You’ll understand, then, why I’ve so enjoyed perusing The Whatchamacallit by Danny Danziger and Mark McCrum, a humorous book offering the elusive names of 100 ordinary items.

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On the Shelf: Have a New Husband by Friday

Ladies, listen up! Whether you’ve been married for decades or, like me, you’re pursuing the possibilities of a new and exciting relationship, you’ll want to read Have a New Husband by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman.

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On the Shelf: Fodor’s Nova Scotia & Atlantic Canada

In a few days, I’ll be leaving on a jet plane (and, yes, I know when I’ll be back again!).

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