Archive for February, 2010

Reading the Roaring Twenties

The Flapper: An Icon of American Culture

For me, the 1920s are the cat’s pyjamas.  Those dapper sheiks and their swank flappers, drinking giggle water and doing the Charleston to hot jazz in some ritzy speakeasy. It almost makes me wish I had grown up in that era, and how!

Did I go too far with the slang? (We do have books to help you out with some of those words, if you’re interested ;). The era just seems so fascinating I go a bit overboard. Regardless, if you’re interested in learning more about the decade that gave us the Scopes Monkey Trial, the Harlem Renaissance, and some of the greatest works of the  Lost Generation, check out one of these items. They’re the bee’s knees! (Okay, I’ll stop.)


1929 by Frederick Turner – A fictional account of the life of jazz great Bix Beiderbecke

7000 Clams by Irby Lee – A bootlegger, a big score, and Babe Ruth

The Bad Behavior of Belle Cantrell by Loraine Depres – A young widow, a rebellious streak, 1920.

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold – Magic, illusion, and a stunt starring President Harding

China Star by Bartle Bull – Intrigue, adventure, and romance from Paris to Shanghai

Fire in Beulah by Rilla Askew – A fictional account of the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921

Gatsby’s Girl by Caroline Preston – Fictional account of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first love

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Money, love and jealousy collide in high society

Hollywood: A Novel of the 1920s by Gore Vidal – Politics, scandal, and the early silver screen

Jazz by Toni Morrison – Love and tragedy set against the rhythm of 1920s Harlem

The Jazz Bird by Craig Holden – Prohibition and murder, based on a real 1927 trial

One Sunday Morning by Amy Ephron – Four women witness a possible society scandal

Sea Glass by Anita Shreve – Marriage, memory and 1929.

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway – The “Lost Generation” in France and Spain after WWI.

The Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller – Miller’s 1920’s life in New York (with lots of sex).

When Washington Was in Vogue: A Love Story (Lost Novel of the Harlem Renaissance) by Edward Christopher Williams – Davy, observant of others but oblivious of himself, finds love



Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age by Kevin Boyle

Anything Goes: A Biography of the Roaring Twenties by Lucy Moore

The Bobbed Haired Bandit: A True Story of Crime and Celebrity in 1920s New York by Stephen Duncombe

The Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino by Emily Wortis Leider

A Flame of Pure Fire: Jack Dempsey and the Roaring ’20s by Roger Kahn

Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern by Joshua Zeitz

The Great Swim by Gavin Mortimer – The stories of four women who swam the English Channel

The Jazz Age: The 20s

Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the Nineteen Twenties by Frederick Lewis Allen

Peaches & Daddy: A Story of the Roaring Twenties, the Birth of Tabloid Media and the Courtship that Captured the Heart and Imagination of the American Public by Michael M. Greenburg

Posing a Threat: Flappers, Chorus Girls, and Other Transgressive Performers of the American 1920s by Angela J. Latham

The Roaring Twenties by Phillip Margulies

Whispering Wires: The Tragic Tale of an American Bootlegger by Philip Metcalfe



NPR – Timeline: Scopes Monkey Trial

John Carroll University – Harlem Renaissance

Ohio State University – Temperance and Prohibition – Film History of the 1920s

Around the World – Botswana

Lately I’ve been enjoying the film version of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (which is excellent, by the way).  So, I thought Botswana would be an excellent destination for our second “Around the World” journey. Welcome!

A Common Sight in Botswana

A few interesting tidbits:

~ The CentralKalahari Game Reserve, which is the second-largest game reserve in the world, is located in Botswana.
~ Botswana gained its independence from Great Britain in 1966 and is oneof Africa’s most stable democracies.
~ Botswana is the world’s largest producer of gem-quality diamonds.



The Africa Diaries: An Illustrated Memoir of Life in the Bush – Dereck and Beverly Joubert

Botswana in Pictures – Alison Behnke

A Carrion Death: Introducing Detective Kubu – Michael Stanley

Cry of the Kalahari – Mark and Delia Owens

Elephant Quest – Ted & Betsy Lewin

Mortals: A Novel – Norman Rush

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander Mccall Smith

The Old Way: A Story of the First People – Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Starlings Laughing: A Memoir of Africa – June Vendall Clark

Twenty Chickens for a Saddle: The Story of an African Childhood – Robyn Scott

Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide – Peter Allison


Botswana Gazette

Botswana Tourism Board

Embassy of the Republic of Botwsana

U.S. Department of State: Background Information

Hey, good lookin’. What ya got slow cookin’?

At some point last month I thought a list of some good slow cooker cookbooks would be a great theme for the blog. Of course, I was picturing the blustery, chilly Februaries of times past. This year it seems that Mother Nature has given us a reprieve, which means that now may be the best time to talk about hot food that will warm your tummy (and now we’ll probably have a huge snowstorm next month just to prove me wrong).

Get your slow cook on with one of these:

The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes – Judith Finlayson

The Best Diabetes Slow Cooker Recipes – Judith Finlayson

Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

Betty Crocker Come Home to Dinner

Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with Your Slow Cooker – Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good

Healthy Crockery Cookery – Mable Hoffman

Italian Slow and Savory: A Cookbook – Joyce Esersky Goldstein

Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook – Beth Hensperger

Pillsbury Doughboy Slow Cooker Recipes: 140 New Ways to Have Dinner Ready and Waiting!

The Simple Little Vegan Slow Cooker – Michelle A. Rivera

Simple One-Pot Stews – Maria Robbins

Slow Cooker Magic: A Seasonal Selection of Family Favorite Recipes – Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway

Slow Cookers for Dummies – Tom Lacalamita and Glenna Vance

Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook

Southwest Slow Cooking – Tammy Biber