One Plastic Bag is the story of Isatou Ceesay and how she created an industry in Gambia where the women recycled plastic bags into bags and purses. Plastic bags were a huge environmental problem in Gambia and one day Isatou had enough. She cleaned the bags, made them into string and wove bags out of them. The new bags were sold and helped the people of her area. It is an inspiring story about how one person can make a difference.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.

22. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, History, Humor, Informational Book, Tammy

Bed Manners: A Very British Guide to Boudoir Etiquette by Ralph Hopton , 151 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/15/2015

bed manners Ever wonder how to avoid offending your spouse with your evening sleeping habits? Or perhaps wonder what the challenges might be of sleeping with another person if you never have? This could be the guide book for you. Originally published in the 1930s the book addresses bedroom etiquette with a sense of humor. It is amazing how few of the basic problems have changed over the years. Husbands and wives still bicker over whose job it is to investigate noises in the middle of the night, who has to get up to get another blanket or close the window or do we even want the window open.

22. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: History, How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags:

Downton Abbey: Rules for Household Staff by Charles Carson , 117 pages, read by Tammy, on 01/14/2015

downton Some items refer specifically to the household of the television show Downton Abbey, but most information given is historically researched. Even includes recipes and instructions for everything from cleaning silver to properly storing seasonal clothes to protect them from dust and bugs. For fans of the show as well as those looking for traditional cleaning information.

12. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, History, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags: ,

Haunted Air: Anonymous Halloween photographs from c. 1875–1955 by Ossian Brown, David Lynch (Introduction), Geoff Cox (Afterword), 216 pages, read by Angie, on 01/12/2015

So I saw this book on Goodreads and just had to check it out. It looked super creepy and I was not disappointed. There is just something about these old photographs of people in homemade Halloween costumes that ups the creep factor to about 11. I have no idea what most of the costumes are nor do I want to know. The sepia color of the photos makes everything just a little bit more bizarre and demonic. If I saw any of these costumes at my door on Halloween I think I would lock the door and hide in the closet for the rest of the night.

09. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Humor, Informational Book, NonFiction

I Work at a Public Library: A Collection of Crazy Stories from the Stacks by Gina Sheridan, 157 pages, read by Angie, on 01/08/2015

Ahh, the joys of working in a public library. You just never know what kind of crazy, sweet, angry, beautiful people you are going to encounter day to day. Gina Sheridan has collected stories about her experiences working in the library in this little gem of a book. I really enjoyed the fact that she categorized the stories by the Dewey Decimal System. While my experiences are not the same as Sheridan’s I can definitely relate to them. Public libraries are open to the public and that just means anyone and everyone can be there. Some days are a delight when you find the right book for a patron or help them with a sticky problem. Other days are a chore when you get yelled at or sneezed on or have to deal with too many frustrating situations. Each day is different and makes coming to work interesting.

06. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags:

Outsourcing Technology by Robin Hastings, 107 pages, read by Brian, on 01/03/2015

techRobin Hastings, is an acclaimed speaker, writer, blogger and technology person, her books are easy to read and understand and this is no different for, Outsourcing Technology:  A Practical Guide for Librarians.  With this book libraries can learn to be more effective and resourceful.  In return this will save libraries money and make the library a better run organization.  If you are a Library administrator or an IT Manager check this book out.

 

05. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Children's Books, Informational Book, NonFiction

Sniffer Dogs: How Dogs (and Their Noses) Save the World by Nancy F. Castaldo , 160 pages, read by Angie, on 12/23/2014

Sniffer Dogs is a delightful little book about working dogs. Nancy Castaldo does a great job illustrating the different jobs a dog’s nose is perfect for. Dogs can be trained to sniff out bombs, arson, people, dead bodies, and even illness. I really enjoyed the stories about actual working dogs and their partners. This book is kid friendly with lots of pictures and pop-outs of dogs, short chapters and lively text.

05. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, How To's, Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction

Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!) by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin, 291 pages, read by Kira, on 12/31/2014

51u6aQwkMxL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ 9780399166013_IL_3-300x217 CarolsFerals1 3546954 Alinta VickisDiningRoom-Before-lr VickisDiningRoom4-after-lrThis is a how-to-book showing you ways to make your abode more liveable for you and your cats.  This is especially important if you live in a small space – like an apartment – and if your cats cannot go outside.  But it involves a fair amount of construction, including attaching hangers to the walls, so that might be a problem for some apartment renters.  One of the first couple examples depicts the makeover for a man who lived with 2 Savannah cats, one of whom was launching himself on top of the range hood that hung from the middle of the ceiling.

 

I need to figure out some catification to keep my cat off the kitchen counter where he looks for more catfood – maybe I’ll try some perfume .

05. January 2015 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction, Self Help

Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain your Brain by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner., 268 pages, read by Kira, on 12/17/2014

images  Screen-Shot-2014-05-07-at-9.50.30-AM   The Authors of Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics explain how you can apply some of their techniques to your own life.  I liked the example of the young man from Japan who won the Coney Island hot-dog eating contest.  By methodically studying himself, he figured out, how to be able to eat twice as many hot-dogs (plus buns) to beat native American contestants.  After a couple of years, other contestantfreaks watched his methods and eventually beat him, by using the techniques he’d figured out.

Another topic covered is you need to understand what really motivates people, which is often quite different from what people will tell you, even different from what hqdefaultthey believe about themselves.  For example, when a soccer player gets a penalty kick, will they be aiming for the spot most likely to score a point – statistically this would be right at the goalie –  or someplace else, likely to make a point, but if it fails, they won’t look images2like an idiot.  I enjoyed this book.

51Pd1TfIeIL._AA160_Interviews with some of today’s greatest authors–that is what you will find inside these pages.  Ever wonder what authors read?  Now is your chance!  This book not only discusses what they read, but also answers questions about their writing life and guilty pleasures.  They are also asked questions about favorite books from their childhoods and which books are next on their reading lists.  Take some time and learn more about some of your favorite authors or just read the whole book from beginning to end.  You won’t regret the time you spend with By the Book!

 

31. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Becky, Crafts, How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction

Flea market fabulous : designing gorgeous rooms with vintage treasures by Lara Spencer, 182 pages, read by Becky, on 12/05/2014

hw7.plFocusing on nine different rooms (including her own recently purchased Manhattan apartment), Lara Spencer shows readers that all it takes is planning, shopping know-how, and a little imagination to create beautiful and comfortable homes that reflect their personal style. She takes readers through the step-by-step process of overcoming the challenges of the room, offering helpful tips and lessons along the way. She identifies the design dilemma; comes up with a decorating plan; makes a mood board for inspiration; compiles a shopping list; scours flea markets for furniture and accessories that fit the bill; restores, repurposes, and reinvents the pieces she finds, giving them new life; and brings all the elements together in the gorgeous, finished space. With illuminating before, during, and after photographs of her DIY projects and the room installations, Lara demystifies the decorating process and allows readers to envision endless possibilities for what they can do in their own homes

19. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Lisa, NonFiction

Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay, 320 pages, read by Lisa, on 12/11/2014

A collection of essays spanning politics, criticism, and feminism from one of the most-watched young cultural observers of her generation, Roxane Gay.

Pink is my favorite color. I used to say my favorite color was black to becool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. If I have an accessory, it is probably pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way. I once live-tweeted the September issue.”

In these funny and insightful essays, Roxane Gay takes us through the journey of her evolution as a woman (Sweet Valley High) of color (The Help) while also taking readers on a ride through culture of the last few years (Girls, Django in Chains) and commenting on the state of feminism today (abortion, Chris Brown). The portrait that emerges is not only one of an incredibly insightful woman continually growing to understand herself and our society, but also one of our culture.

Bad Feminist is a sharp, funny, and spot-on look at the ways in which the culture we consume becomes who we are, and an inspiring call-to-arms of all the ways we still need to do better. (from Goodreads.com)

17. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: How To's, Informational Book, Marsha, NonFiction, Self Help · Tags:

Catification: designing a happy and stylish home for your cat (and you!) by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin, 291 pages, read by Marsha, on 12/15/2014

catificationThis book by Jackson Galaxy and Kate Benjamin is packed with ideas for making your home more cat friendly.  Cats at war?  Help is in this book!  Have a shy cat who hides a lot?  No problem!  Catification not only has ideas for cat furniture and climbing walls, but it also has information about why cats are the way they are.  For example, I discovered that the reason altercations happen on my staircase is because it is a matter of turf.  By building a superhighway with multiple lanes for traffic, I can eliminate these altercations.  The ideas in here range from $10 cost to $600 or more, so there is something for every budget.  If you wish to make life better for the feline(s) in your life, I highly suggest picking up this book.  It is a delightful, easy and fast read.

15. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Informational Book, Kira, NonFiction, Science

Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody by William Poundstone, 302 pages, read by Kira, on 12/13/2014

rock breaks rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock-stein-schere-papier-eidechse-echse-the-big-bang-theory RANTBLEimages outguessing machine Even when people try to be unpredictable, they usually fall into patterns.  William Poundstone shows readers how to make the best odds for yourself, whether this be a game of rock/paper/scissors, gambling, fixing the books, or investing in the stock market.  Poundstone writes in an engaging and accessible style.

12. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Business, How To's, Informational Book, Inspirational, Marsha, NonFiction, Reviewer, Self Help · Tags: ,

Unthink: rediscover your creative genius by Erik Wahl, 223 pages, read by Marsha, on 12/12/2014

downloadThis innovative book teaches you how to rediscover the delightful curiosity you had as a child.  Wahl walks the reader through how we were when we were younger, how we are now, and how we can find our Picasso.  Picasso is an acronym Wahl uses to describe his methods for rediscovering creative genius.  Wahl gives examples of each step, as well as quotes and inspiration.  Wahl is not some professional psychologist.  He is someone who has walked this path to Picasso himself.  Wahl gives us very poignant questions to ask ourselves as we consider where we are in our current life and who we hope to become in the future.  This book deserves more than one reading in order to glean all of the information you can out of it.  I recommend this for anyone struggling with who they are and where they fit in at home or at work.  Great read!

08. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Brian, Informational Book, NonFiction · Tags:

Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck by Amy Alkon, 304 pages, read by Brian, on 12/13/2014

mannersGood Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck is an informative and funny look on how normal people should handle everyday affairs.  The loud cell phone person in the library or elevator, the neighbor who is loud all night long, Amy gives practical/funny advice on handling those situations.

 

06. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Cats, How To's, Informational Book, NonFiction, Tammy · Tags: ,

Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!) by Jackson Galaxy, 291 pages, read by Tammy, on 12/05/2014

catification Ideas from the “Cat Daddy” for making your home more cat friendly and still looking nice. Has ideas that range from expensive to stuff you can make yourself with little or no tools. Also discussed some tips on understanding your cats behavior. Also, gives examples from his tv show, My Cat from Hell.

Sixty-five of the world’s leading writers open up about the books and authors that have meant the most to them

Every Sunday, readers of The New York Times Book Review turn with anticipation to see which novelist, historian, short story writer, or artist will be the subject of the popular By the Book feature. These wide-ranging interviews are conducted by Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, and here she brings together sixty-five of the most intriguing and fascinating exchanges, featuring personalities as varied as David Sedaris, Hilary Mantel, Michael Chabon, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Lamott, and James Patterson. The questions and answers admit us into the private worlds of these authors, as they reflect on their work habits, reading preferences, inspirations, pet peeves, and recommendations.

By the Book contains the full uncut interviews, offering a range of experiences and observations that deepens readers’ understanding of the literary sensibility and the writing process. It also features dozens of sidebars that reveal the commonalities and conflicts among the participants, underscoring those influences that are truly universal and those that remain matters of individual taste.

For the devoted reader, By the Book is a way to invite sixty-five of the most interesting guests into your world. It’s a book party not to be missed.

05. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Informational Book, Madeline, NonFiction

Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion and Film by Marc Spitz, 352 pages, read by Madeline, on 11/25/2014

New York Times, Spin, and Vanity Fair contributor Marc Spitz explores the first great cultural movement since Hip Hop: an old-fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that’s embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty-somethings and even some Baby Boomers; creating hybrid generation known as Twee. Via exclusive interviews and years of research, Spitz traces Generation Twee’s roots from the Post War 50s to its dominance in popular culture today.

Vampire Weekend, Garden State, Miranda July, Belle and Sebastian, Wes Anderson, Mumblecore, McSweeney’s, Morrissey, beards, artisanal pickles, food trucks, crocheted owls on Etsy, ukuleles, kittens and Zooey Deschanel—all are examples of a cultural aesthetic of calculated precocity known as Twee.

In Twee, journalist and cultural observer Marc Spitz surveys the rising Twee movement in music, art, film, fashion, food and politics and examines the cross-pollinated generation that embodies it—from aging hipsters to nerd girls, indie snobs to idealistic industrialists. Spitz outlines the history of twee—the first strong, diverse, and wildly influential youth movement since Punk in the ’70s and Hip Hop in the ’80s—showing how awkward glamour and fierce independence has become part of the zeitgeist.

Focusing on its origins and hallmarks, he charts the rise of this trend from its forefathers like Disney, Salinger, Plath, Seuss, Sendak, Blume and Jonathan Richman to its underground roots in the post-punk United Kingdom, through the late’80s and early ’90s of K Records, Whit Stillman, Nirvana, Wes Anderson, Pitchfork, This American Life, and Belle and Sebastian, to the current (and sometimes polarizing) appeal of Girls, Arcade Fire, Rookie magazine, and hellogiggles.com.

Revealing a movement defined by passionate fandom, bespoke tastes, a rebellious lack of irony or swagger, the championing of the underdog, and the vanquishing of bullies, Spitz uncovers the secrets of modern youth culture: how Twee became pervasive, why it has so many haters and where, in a post-Portlandia world, can it go from here?

05. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, Informational Book, Madeline, NonFiction

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan, 157 pages, read by Madeline, on 11/15/2014

Straight from the library–the strange and bizarre, ready to be checked out!

From a patron’s missing wetsuit to the scent of crab cakes wafting through the stacks, I Work at a Public Library showcases the oddities that have come across Gina Sheridan’s circulation desk. Throughout these pages, she catalogs her encounters with local eccentrics as well as the questions that plague her, such as, “What is the standard length of eyebrow hairs?” Whether she’s helping someone scan his face onto an online dating site or explaining why the library doesn’t have any dragon autobiographies, Sheridan’s bizarre tales prove that she’s truly seen it all.

Stacked high with hundreds of strange-but-true stories, I Work at a Public Library celebrates librarians and the unforgettable patrons that roam the stacks every day.