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The Tech Tutor: Tablets and eReaders Explained

My favorite reading spot happens to be my recliner in the family room.  It’s that type of chair you might see in the movies: brown leather, faded, well lived-in.  I strategically positioned the chair in a certain way so that, in order to see the TV, I really need to crane my neck.   Surrounding my reading chair are my trophies.  You may refer to them as books, but for me they’re trophies.  The books are all over the...

The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change by Adam Braun, Scribner, 2014— It is one thing to imagine your dream job, quite another to manifest it into a living. Where do you even know where to start? In The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change (Scribner, 2014) we follow Adam Braun’s non-profit as he builds 200 schools around the world, sharing his interactions, joys and difficulties along the way. While seeming like a memoir at first, it ends up...

Boomer Books That Defy Time

Over the years, there are certain things that stick with us. There’s the first movie we ever saw in a theater, that once-in-a-lifetime sporting event that could never be repeated (Bucky Dent’s home run, Joe Namath making good on his promise, etc.), or an aisle carpeted in red, down which a vision of beauty and devotion walks. For those who love to read, there are books that defined our developmental years.  There are many revolutionary and even awe-inspiring books...

You Love to Read, So Pass it Along

You’ll pass on many things to your children and grandchildren.  You can’t control genetics, unfortunately, but you can – to some extent – control influences and exposure. In a world where digital has become the norm and visual entertainment tends to dominate, the love of reading has started to wane.  Very young children have smartphones and tablets but are they reading often on those video screens?  Probably not.  So, when the day comes for you to spend some time...

John Updike on Art

Always Looking: Essays on Art by John Updike, Alfred A. Knopf 2012— John Updike’s literary coffee-table book, Always Looking: Essays on Art, reminds us that he studied to be a graphic designer at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford and in fact wanted to be a cartoonist before he became a famous fiction writer. Updike begins with his nostalgic love of Mickey Mouse but then moves through an exegesis of American art from John Singleton...

Keith Richards – Gus & Me

By Keith Richards, Little, Brown / Tingley, 2014— When you think of a grandfather, what comes to mind?  Whatever your idea of Grandpa is, chances are good that your first thought would be someone rather different from the reigning champion of rock and roll—Keith Richards. In his debut children’s book, Gus & Me, the rocker and author of the best-selling autobiography Life (2010) proves that he’s not only one of the finest guitarists around, he can tell a helluva bedtime story. The...

Life After Life Book Review

By Jill McCorkle, Shannon Ravenel Books, 2013— In a country that relegates the aging to homes, out of sight and mind, it is refreshing to see a novel such as Jill McCorkle’s Life After Life set in a retirement center in North Carolina called Pine Haven.  Gorgeously linked poetical stories effloresce out of it as the story follows one character’s perspective in one story then shifts to another character’s in the next.  Life After Life spans intergenerational voices from...

Isabel Allende’s Ted Talk on Aging

Chilean author Isabel Allende is 71. Yes, she has a few wrinkles—but she has incredible perspective too. Don’t miss this candid, inspiring TED talk by the author of The House of the Spirits.  Charming and disarmingly honest, Allende talks about her fears as she gets older and shares how she plans to keep on living passionately....

Farms, Factories, and Families

By Anthony V. Riccio,  Excelsior Editions/SUNY Press, 2014— We forget sometimes how physically beautiful a large hardback book can be, yet the orally based Farms, Factories, and Families:  Italian American Woman of Connecticut reminds us that a lovely coffee table book can be richly historical as well—and deeply moving at the same time. With gorgeous black-and-white photography throughout the text, this narrative is not only thoroughly researched and finely written by Anthony V. Riccio, but it is actually quite...

Italian American Voices of the Past

By Rosemary Cass— There is a famous line from Arthur Miller’s immortal play, Death of a Salesman, that perhaps explains Anthony Riccio’s quest to document the Italian American immigrant experience before it’s lost— “Attention must be paid.” An author, historian and photographer, Riccio is the author of “Boston’s North End:  Images and Recollections of an Italian-American Neighborhood” and “The Italian-American Experience in New Haven:  Images and Oral Histories,” and co-author of a cookbook, “Cooking with Chef Silvio:  Stories and...

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