Sara West's blog

War Animals

Many film studios reserve some of their biggest releases for the last two weeks of the year. One of the movies premiering on Christmas day is called War Horse and is based on a historical fiction book of the same name written by Michael Morpurgo. The film is set during World War I but it is not a war movie, according to director Steven Spielberg....

Keeping It All

Many of us exchange gifts this time of year. But what happens when the receiver keeps both the present and the packaging? What does it mean when a person can't bring themselves to get rid of something most people would throw away? The clinical condition of hoarding has recently been highlighted on reality shows such as A&E's Hoarders. It is estimated that there are about six million people with the condition in the US. 

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Music Education

Ever find yourself stuck trying to come up with good songs to add to your playlist?  These books will lead you to some of the best recordings ever made.  Use these guides to recall your favorites and discover some new tunes along the way:

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Follow the Code

You may be a walking encyclopedia on the official rules of baseball but do you know the unwritten ones? There is far more happening on the field than what most people realize.

Read these insider books where the players discuss the secrets behind the official game. Find out what they deem fair and unfair and what happens when the game's social rules are broken:

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Air Travel in the Jet Age

Last Sunday, ABC premiered a new TV show about the jet age in the '60s based on iconic Pan Am airlines.  What was it really like flying around the world in flashy jet planes just sixty years after Orville and Wilbur first took to the sky?  Is "Pan Am" based in reality or is it more fiction than fact?

These titles will give you glimpse of the history behind the show: 

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Honor and Valor

This week, 23-year-old Dakota Meyer received the Medal of Honor for his military service in Afghanistan. He is one of six who have received the distinction during the war in Afghanistan.  Meyer defied orders to stand down and instead charged into heavy combat five times, saving the lives of 36 Americans and Afghans in the process.  The Medal of Honor is the military's highest decoration and has been awarded since 1861

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Ten Years Ago

Many of us remember where we were ten years ago on September 11th.  The news unfolded before us in real time - on TV, the radio, in the newspapers, and online.  We can recall exactly where we were and what we were doing when we first learned about the attacks.  In that way, we all have a personal account of that day.  

These books retell personal experiences from people who were directly caught up in the attack and its aftermath.  Each one is based on a specific perspective from a specific place, but they all recount the history of that day that changed the nation and the world.

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Repair Pro

Something you own breaks.  You might have a leaky faucet or a clogged sink.  Maybe that key isn't turning in the door as smoothly as it once did.  If you're mechanically inclined, you fix the issue and go on your way.  If you're like a lot of people, you start wondering what it might take to fix it and how much it might cost to get it working again. 

You can hope it will eventually fix itself or you can grab a book and learn some Do-It-Yourself.  These books can start you on the path to becoming a DIY star.  Before long, your friends will be asking you for repair help.

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Brownie Obsession

Ever have a brownie craving you simply can't escape?  Tame it with these delectable recipes:

--201 Brownies and Bars: Chewy, Crumbly, Crunchy Cakes: 201 Delicious Recipes, 201 Tantalizing Pictures by Gregg R. Gillespie

--Fat Witch Brownies: Brownies, Blondies, and Bars from New York's Legendary Fat Witch Bakery by Patricia Helding with Bryna Levin

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Sweet Treats

Yesterday was National Ice Cream Day.  Did you miss it?  Fear not!  All of July is National Ice Cream Month, so you still have plenty of time to celebrate.  Get your share of the frozen treat by creating your own unique flavors at home:

 

 

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