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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Music Icons that Baby Boomers Will Remember

    Here is a selection of books about several of yesteryear’s music idols that all self-respecting members of the over-fifty generation can identify. They are all available at our library.

    The Bee Gees: the Biography, written by David N. Meyer, is a comprehensive life story about the four Gibb brothers – Maurice, Robin, Barry and Andy, who sold 250 million records over a forty year-career. It includes detailed information about their poverty-ridden childhoods, their musical successes beginning in the 1960s, their interactions with other music personalities, their battles with one another, and their drug addictions. A small selection of black-and-white photos is included in the book.

    Days that I’ll Remember: Spending Time with John Lennon and Yoko Ono is written by Jonathan Cott, who first got to know John and Yoko when he interviewed them when he was the London correspondent for Rolling Stone magazine. This expanded from a professional relationship to one of friendship. Cott is able to provide personal details about the couple as well as his own recollections of the era’s music, politics and culture. A few black-and-white photos are scattered among the text.

    I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon, is written by Toure, a journalist and television personality. Toure uses interviews with Prince’s band members, former girlfriends and music scholars to describe Prince’s unique brand of music based on his perceptions of God and religion.

    Led Zeppelin: the Oral History of the World’s Greatest Rock Band is written by Barney Hoskyns, a prolific music writer whose interviews with some of rock’s most famous musicians, record company executives and recording engineers provide insight into the band’s twelve-year duration. Several black-and-white photos are interspersed throughout the book, along with a small section of color photos.

    Rocks Off: 50 Tracks that tell the Story of the Rolling Stones, written by Bill Janovitz, who himself is a musician as well as a Rolling Stones aficionado. Janovitz’s technique is to use fifty of the Stones songs to relate aspects of their music and their personal lives, over the course of their fifty-year career.

Monday, September 16, 2013

W is for Wasted

    As she nears the end of the alphabet, author Sue Grafton continues to add layers to the character of Kinsey Millhone, accentuating the depths of her personality. Yet again, Kinsey investigates the untimely deaths of others and resolves the mysteries surrounding them. The two deaths in this book are those of a homeless man, R.T. Dace, who perhaps died of natural causes, and Pete Wolinsky, a private investigator with less than sterling ethics who was thought to have been shot as a victim of a robbery.

    Kinsey discovers that Dace is a cousin from her father’s side of the family; Dace, estranged from his children has left an inheritance to Kinsey instead. Mayhem results when the Dace children discover this. Kinsey also becomes involved with Dace’s three homeless friends.

    Meanwhile, Robert Dietz, Kinsey’s former boyfriend who also is a P.I., shows up in town. He has been bilked out of payment for a job done in Reno for Pete Wolinsky. Dietz and Kinsey investigate and discover that Wolinsky was murdered. Thoughtful examination of the clues, skillful interviewing and a lot of activity result in the discovery of a link between the two deaths and the capture of a murderer. The adventure with Kinsey is as enjoyable as ever.

Friday, September 13, 2013

September is National Coupon Month

     Save lots of money this month and all year long when you read these books and use their advice.

     Extreme Couponing: Learn how to be a Savvy Shopper and Save Money... One Coupon at a Time, is written by Joni Meyer-Crothers, one of the stars of the hit TLC television series by the same name. Couponing is a skill that is useful for those people who are well-off financially as well as those struggling to survive. Techniques such as collecting as many coupons as you can, learning the coupon lingo, using a blog to do price matching, and stockpiling your purchases give the reader a shopper’s edge.

     The Coupon Mom’s Guide to Cutting Your Grocery Bills in Half, is written by Stephanie Nelson, the founder of, Nelson recommends planning menus and shopping lists before going out shopping, studying prices and their trends, and surfing the Internet for deals. She discusses whether it’s always better to shop the super centers and wholesale clubs, saving on non-grocery items, deals at the drugstore, and more. Appendices lead the reader to sites to access coupons.

    Savvy Savings: Couponing Secrets from the Stockpiling Moms, is written by Melissa Jennings and Shelley King, who blog at They also give tips on stockpiling, coupon strategies, and menu planning; the authors recommend living the frugal life.

    Supershop Like the Coupon Queen: How to Save 50% or More Every Time You Shop is written by Susan Samtur. She presents her Five-Step Supershopping System, which uses such techniques as rewards programs, store cards, using coupons and refunds from websites, and more.

    Pick another Checkout Lane, Honey: Save Big Money and Make the Grocery Aisle your Catwalk!, written by Joanie Demer and Heather Wheeler offers all there is to know about coupons and how to use them. Topics include how to obtain them, file them, stockpiling, finding the best time to use them, store policies on their use and learning the lingo.