Nonfiction

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If you've been surfing Google recently, you've probably seen Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar hanging out at the top of your screen.  And if you're like me, you've spent this week reminiscing about the fun you had watching Sesame Street as a kid.  I remember trying to eat dessert like Cookie Monster and carrying around my Big Bird doll everywhere I went.  And when the theme song started, I plopped down in front of the TV and didn't move until the show ended.  I still have fond memories of Big Bird, Oscar, Bert, Ernie and the whole bunch.  
 
As a kid, I thought the show was all about fun.  I had no clue I was learning counting, colors,

Not Another Dieting Book

101 Things to Do Before You DietLove the skin you’re in. Beauty is more than skin deep. These truths I hold to be self-evident! And so does fashion journalist Mimi Spencer, the author of a new book called 101 Things to Do Before You Diet. With Spencer’s humor throughout the book, I realized that I had probably lost about a pound just from laughing. Check it out, because as the cover says, “Looking great isn’t just about losing weight.”

 

Recession Fashionista

lady in flapper outfit Now that the cooler weather is arriving, it’s time to freshen up our fall/winter wardrobe collection. Shopping can be a bit tricky if you’re on a tight budget, but books such as The style strategy : a less-is-more approach to staying chic and shopping smart, How to be a budget fashionista: the ultimate guide to looking fabulous for less,  and Style on a shoestring can teach us ways to save money and still look stylish.

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.

Famous TV Chefs

I don't cook much.  My oven still looks like it came off the showroom floor.  And when Hurricane Ike rolled around, nothing much changed for me food-wise.  Peanut butter and crackers?  No problem.  Soup or beans?  I have it covered with my trusty can-opener.

When I have electricity, I'm a microwaving master.  I have amazing button-pushing skills.  But cooking something?  Actually throwing things together?  Measuring, chopping, preheating, baking?  No.  That would be disastrous.

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire

The Definitive Book of Body LanguageHave you seen the TV show Lie to Me?  It’s sort of a crime drama where the mysteries are solved by observing people’s body language to see if they’re telling a lie.  If you’re hooked on the show like I am, you’ll love the book The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan & Barbara Pease.

 

Eating Out is Hard to Do

What to Eat When You're Eating OutFor the waistline-conscious person, eating out is definitely hard to do.  Hidden calories and fat molecules are in the least likely places.  I usually assume that if it tastes good, there’s danger there.  But, now I have a tool I can use to shed light on the subject: What to Eat When You’re Eating Out by Hope S. Warshaw. Her information covers more than 60 popular restaurants giving you the best options for each and then the nitty gritty on the rest.

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.

Tastes Like Chicken: Cooking with Squirrels

Tastes Like Chicken

Another thing to be aware of during Squirrel Awareness Month in October is that squirrels are edible.

Of course, before you can cook them properly you have to kill them. It’s not like cooking lobster or eating oysters on the half shell. So to properly prepare Batter Fried Squirrel, Brunswick Stew, or any other hardy pioneer fare, it’s time to go squirrel hunting. Fortunately October is also squirrel hunting season in Harris County. So get your license, and round up your gear and head for the hunting grounds.

Step 1 Hunt Them Down

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