PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for May, 2012

Cookbook Review – The Book Club Cookbook

Thursday, May 31st, 2012






The Book Club Cookbook by Judy Gelman, Vicki Levy Krupp


Review by Carole (craftnut)

This wonderful book contains chapters on 100 bestselling books, mostly novels, some I have actually read.   The introduction is quite interesting, giving the rationale behind the choice of books to include.  Popularity for discussion with book clubs, and ability to provoke discussion were the main criteria.

Each chapter is devoted to a book and gives a synopsis of the story, a recipe and features on book clubs that read the book.  The recipes were mostly chosen by the novel’s authors, and have notes from the authors telling why a particular recipe was chosen.  Many times the recipe is something mentioned in the book, while others are inspired by the time or the culture. Novel Thoughts and More Food For Thought follows each recipe, which has notes from book clubs around the country containing the club’s thoughts and what they served when discussing the book.  It was fascinating just to read the book club notes!!

The Help is listed with recipes for Demetrie’s Chocolate Pie, and Caramel Cake with Never Fail Caramel Icing.   Novel Thoughts focuses on a book club in Illinois, which did a program on history of aprons as an adjunct to the discussion of The Help, having the members wear the aprons while they discussed the book.  More Food For Thought visited book clubs in Alaska, Connecticut and New York highlighting their thoughts on the book itself and their menus for the meetings.

Life of Pi has a recipe for Tandoori Shrimp.  Room’s recipe is Jack’s Sixth Birthday Cake.  Water For Elephants has the recipe for Oyster Brie Soup.  The Secret Life of Bees has a recipe for Honey Cake.  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is listed with recipes for Swedish Meatballs and Glogg.  Classic novels are included as well with entries for The Great Gatsby, Anna Karenina, Jane Eyre, and To Kill a Mockingbird.  I’d love to tell you about all of the wonderful entries, but there are too many to list all of them.


Even if you don’t cook, this is a book worth having just for reading.  The book club notes and author notes give wonderful insights into the novels.  I recommend this book for everyone, and if you like to cook it is even better!!

Musings on a Rainy Day – I Love Spring

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

By Jerelyn H. (I-F-Letty)







This is the kind of morning I am glad I don’t have to commute. We are in the middle of a 24 hour “Rain Event”. I notice our weatherman likes using that term. I don’t know what it is about storms and rain that comforts me. But I feel cozy and safe watching the bands of rain move through. I like the way the light levels changes, and I like the way the new green world looks, and most of all I like the way it smells, the damp earthiness with the underlying floral scent, I love spring!

I have my windows open wide on the 3 season porches, front and back, as well as the windows in my office, so I can hear the rain pattering. I live on a quiet tree-lined street so the occasional car comes by but with the TV off and the house empty there is nothing that disturbs the peace, save for a distant roll of thunder, which sends my cat under the bed to hide.  The birds don’t seem to mind when the rain is light and they come to the feeders for breakfast, and the robins who have nested on the drain pipe under the eaves, are busy finding worms in the garden, to feed their babies. I saw 3 little heads up there the other day.  The dratted squirrels look miserable, all I can think is, “It serves you right! That’s what you get for digging in my window boxes and knocking out the plants!”.

I don’t even mind the crop of dandelions on the boulevard today, the vivid yellow against the bright green is lovely, I feel a little remorse that tomorrow they will be mowed down and I will go out with my dandelion puller to end their lives.  It puts me in mind of my botany professor assertion that weeds are just flowers growing in the wrong place. Since it is supposed to rain all day I think I may have to nap this afternoon.  But this morning I will enjoy the rain, the quietness that descends on my neighborhood, and hopefully my cat will come out to lie in the window and watch the rain, and dream of what he would do to the squirrels if he were an outdoor cat, instead of a living room lion.



Rain Song by Alice J Wisler


Henderson the Rain King
by Saul Bellow


Prayers for Rain by Dennis Lehane


Spring Rain by Gayle Roper


Hard Rain by Barry Eisler


The Rainmaker by John Grisham




Paranormal Romance Review – A Blood Seduction

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012




A Blood Seduction (Vamp City, Bk 1) by Pamela Palmer


Review by Kelsey O.


Quinn Lennox has no idea why her unusual ability, after being dormant for quite some time, has now become unmanageable. She has started to notice pockets that are forming in the universe and that there is something strange when you look into them. While hunting for her brother’s love interest they stumble thru one of these pockets and Quinn’s life is about to take on a whole new meaning.

Quinn and her brother become separated in Vamp City. Vamp City is an alternate world where vamps rule and humans are just food and slaves. Quinn is lucky enough to land in the hands of the dangerous and sexy Arturo Mazza who the reader will love to hate. Their chemistry can practically be tasted and the reader craves more.

In Quinn’s favor, her unusual talent has landed her in the role of a sorceress who has been foretold to be the savior of Vamp City but first she must survive Arturo’s master’s treacherous games. Knowing she must escape she must find her brother before he is placed in the gladiator games and to do this she must also play Arturo’s games. Oh yes, these vamps do love their games.

Action-packed and steamy this vampire horror will have you longing the next installment. You will be shocked at the devious nature of these vamps because there is no holding back when the world is a demented vampires’ play land. I personally loved that these vampires were bad to the bone yet you know that something is simmering underneath Arturo’s tough facade. Definitely catered for adult readers only.

More about the author: When Pamela Palmer‘s initial career goal of captaining starships didn’t pan out, she turned to engineering, satisfying her desire for adventure with books and daydreams, until finally succumbing to the need to create worlds of her own.

This book is due to be published on May 29, 2012 .

Memorial Day

Monday, May 28th, 2012

By Cynthia M.  (clariail)





Each of us probably have holidays through out the year that we especially look forward to and then there are holidays or observances that we just don’t pay that much attention to, unless maybe we get a day off from work. Even then, we probably are just glad to not have to go to work. I’m afraid that for many Memorial Day is such a day. We just go about our busy day and never think of what the day actually means. I’m sorry to say that I have been guilty of that more times than I care to think about so I thought that it would be interesting to learn more about the history behind Memorial Day.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic declared in General Order No. 11 that:
“The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.”

The date of Decoration Day, as Gen. Logan called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873 and by 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo, New York, the official birthplace of Memorial Day. Waterloo—which had first celebrated the day on May 5, 1866—was chosen because it hosted an annual, community-wide event, during which businesses closed and residents decorated the graves of soldiers with flowers and flags.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

In 1915, Moina Michael was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” to respond with these words:
We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

She then came up with the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.

Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their “Buddy” Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

The minimal assessment (cost of Buddy Poppies) to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation’s veterans. From: http://www.vfw.org/Community/Buddy-Poppy/

Each year for the past 40 years, the 3rd U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) has honored America’s fallen heroes by placing American flags before the gravestones and niches of service members buried at both Arlington National Cemetery and the U.S. Soldier’s and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery just prior to Memorial Day weekend.

This tradition, known as “flags in,” has been conducted annually since The Old Guard was designated as the Army’s official ceremonial unit in 1948. Every available soldier in the 3rd U.S. Infantry participates, placing small American flags one foot in front and centered before each grave marker.

During an approximately three-hour period, the soldiers place flags in front of more than 260,000 gravestones and about 7,300 niches at the cemetery’s columbarium. Another 13,500 flags are placed at the Soldier’s and Airmen’s Cemetery. As part of this yearly memorial activity, Old Guard soldiers remain in the cemetery throughout the weekend, ensuring that a flag remains at each gravestone.

American flags are also placed at the graves of each of the four unknown service men interred at the Tomb of the Unknowns, by the Tomb Sentinels. All flags are removed after Memorial Day before each cemetery is opened to the public.
from: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/Events/Ceremonies/FlagsIn.aspx

In 1951, the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of St. Louis began placing flags on the 150,000 graves at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery as an annual Good Turn. More recently, beginning in 1998, on the Saturday before the observed day for Memorial Day, the Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts place a candle at each of approximately 15,300 grave sites of soldiers buried at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on Marye’s Heights. And in 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in over 60 years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed on Dec 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to ‘Taps’”.

It isn’t important who was the very first to be recognized for their observances. What is important is that Memorial Day was established not to cause division as in the early history but that it is about reconciliation. It is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

As Memorial Day is observed this year on Monday, May 28th, please take a moment to remember the sacrifices of so many, both past and present, and to thank those who are currently serving. That is the least that we can do.

“Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours.” -Wallace Bruce



Freedom Is Not Free
By Kelly Strong

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, Freedom is not Free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant “Amen,”
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, Freedom is not Free.

Copyright 1981
CDR Kelly Strong, USCG Retired

(Usage Permission granted by the author)

Memorial Weekend

Sunday, May 27th, 2012


By Cyn C. (Cyn-Sama)

My Grandfather was a proud and stubborn Welshman.  He immigrated to this country in 1926 from Burryport, in Glamorgan.  His parents hoped to find a better life in the U.S.A.
My grandfather had just turned 18 after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  He quickly went and signed up to be part of the Marines.
18 years old.  Just out of High School, and put into the thick of fighting in the Pacific.  He survived the Battle of Tinian, Peleliu, and Iwo Jima.
After the war, he took his honorary discharge and went home to New York, where the family had eventually settled.  His mother would often comment about the nightmares that would keep her son up all night.  Screaming to see if the rest of his platoon was safe.

Eventually, he met my grandmother, and settled down to raise a family (and some adorably stupid boxers and labs).
He never talked about the war, though he was very proud of his service and his country.  He told my father a few things, but my father passed away before he passed them down to us.

One day, while we were searching through boxes of old photos, we found some pictures that my grandfather had taken during the war.  There were some great shots of him and his Marine buddies palling around, but what shocked us were the pictures of dead Japanese soldiers that he had taken.
I can’t imagine what he went through in the battles, and I don’t think I even want to.
It was just very hard to picture my loving grandfather, who was always ready with a song (and completely off key at that) and a joke, and a hug for his grandchildren, taking pictures of dead bodies.

Now, that I’m a bit older, I can understand the mentality that the Marines drilled into my grandfather.  It was kill or be killed, and you had to depersonalize the enemy.

I think of my grandfather often, but never so much as on Memorial day, when I go to visit his grave, and see the jaunty American flag that veterans group place on the grave every year.
My grandfather fought so his grandchildren would not have to know the horrors that he did.  And, for that, and so many more things, I am forever grateful.

I love you, Boppa.  Thank you for your service.

Free Book Friday on Saturday Winner!

Sunday, May 27th, 2012


The Winner of Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner, ISBN 9780743294270 is:


        Cari (ladycari)



Cari, your new book will be to you soon! Enjoy!


Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!

Each sale helps support the operating costs of the PaperBackSwap club.

Free Book Friday on Saturday!

Saturday, May 26th, 2012






Today’s free book is  Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner, ISBN 9780743294270





We will choose one winner at random from comments we receive here on the Blog from PBS members.

You have until Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 12 noon EDT,  to leave a comment.

Good Luck to everyone!


Note: All the books given away on Free Book Friday are available in the PBS Market. We have thousands of new and new overstock titles available right now, with more added hourly. Some of the prices are amazing – and you can use a PBS credit to make the deal even better!

Each sale helps support the operating costs of the PaperBackSwap club.