Archive for February, 2013

The Way Back Machine – Best Sellers 1968

The year 1968 was a turbulent one in the U.S., probably remembered primarily for the assassinations of two great Americans – Martin Luther King, Jr (April 4) and Robert F. Kennedy (June 5).  But, if we look beyond those tragedies, we’ll remember a year when:

  • Laugh-In debuts (January)
  • The Boeing 747 debuts (September)
  • Apollo 8 becomes the first manned space craft to orbit the moon (December)


Step back into the vibe of the times with a good read from the New York Times Best Seller list from the week of February 18, 1968. Groovy!



1. The Confessions of Nat Turner – William Styron

2. Christy – Catherine Marshall

3. Topaz – Leon Uris

4. Vanished – Fletcher Knebel

5. The Gabriel Hounds – Mary Stewart

6. The President’s Plane Is Missing – Robert J. Serling

7. The Instrument – John O’Hara

8. Where Eagles Dare – Alistair MacLean

9. Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin

10. The Chosen – Chaim Potok



1. Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York – Stephen Birmingham

2. Nicholas and Alexandra – Robert K. Massie

3. Between Parent and Child – Haim G. Ginott

4. Tolstoy – Henri Troyat

5. Rickenbacker – Edward V. Rickenbacker

6. The Naked Ape – Desmond Morris

7. Memoirs – George F. Kennan

8. Thomas Wolfe – Andrew Turnbull

9. The Economics of Crisis – Eliot Janeway

10. At Ease: I Tell Stories to Friends – Dwight D. Eisenhower


Take Ten – Famous Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Today, couples around the world will take time to express their (hopefully, loving) feelings with cards, candy, and carnations (or carats, if you’re lucky!). A completely ordinary day to celebrate love; but there are a few famous couples who seem to have transcended time with their declarations of devotion. Below are ten biographies of real couples whose stories have caught the world’s imagination throughout the years.


Couple: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

Book: Magnificent Obsession: Victoria, Albert, and the Death that Changed the British Monarchy – Helen Rappaport

  • Uses Royal Archives sources to examine how the untimely death of Prince Albert plunged both his queen and the nation into a profound state of grief that reshaped the British monarchy.


Couple: John and Abigail Adams

Book: First Family: Abigail and John – Joseph J. Ellis

  • Bringing his talents for narrative writing to the task, Ellis recounts the compelling relationship that included an awkward courtship and a life of sacrifice along with raising a family and constructing a legacy.


Couple: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

Book: Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century – Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger

  • The definitive, larger-than-life account of the greatest Hollywood love story ever — the romance of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.


Couple: Elizabeth Barret and Robert Browning

Book: The Immortal Lovers: Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, A Biography – Frances Winwar

  • Traces the story of the courtship and marriage of the two extraordinary Nineteenth-Century poets.


Couple: Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow

Book: Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend – Paul Schneider

  • Traces the background and criminal careers of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, two of America’s most notorious outlaws and devoted lovers who became partners in a series of violent bank robberies at the height of the Depression.


Couple: George Burns and Gracie Allen

Book: Gracie, A Love Story – George Burns

  • Burns pays tribute to his partner, wife, and love of many decades, contrasting the zany, scatterbrained radio person she presented with her private self–an intelligent, caring, and devoted actress, wife, and mother.


Couple: Antony and Cleopatra

Book: Cleopatra and Antony: Power, Love, and Politics in the Ancient World – Diana Preston

  • Evaluates the relationship between the two leaders of the ancient world against the backdrop of their time, exploring the facts and mythology surrounding their individual lives and famous love affair as they influenced the rise of the Roman Empire.


Couple: Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt

Book: Franklin and Eleanor: An Extraordinary Marriage – Hazel Rowley

  • Describes the remarkable courage and lack of convention–private and public–that kept FDR and Eleanor together. She reveals a partnership that was both supportive and daring–a partnership that they created according to their own ambitions and needs.


Couple: Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson

Book: Wallis and Edward: Letters 1931-1937: The Intimate Correspondence of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor – Duchess of Windsor

  • Describes the historical background for the romance and marriage between Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, and shares the letters they exchanged between their meeting and marriage.


Couple: Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller

Book: The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe – Jeffrey Meyers

  • Presents a look at the marriage of the American playwright and the movie star, discussing their different backgrounds, creative needs, dependency issues, and career conflicts which led to their divorce after five tumultuous years.


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S is for Sweet Tooth

CandyQuite ironic – is it not – that the same month in which we’re encouraged to make heart-healthy choices (National Heart Month) is also the month in which we completely gorge ourselves on sweets, all in the name of love. While it’s hard to make it through to March without being tempted, maybe you should change up your candy consumption. This February, try reading your sweets instead of eating them!


Below are a few good books to give you that sugar rush – just try not to sit down with the book and a bowl of bon-bons…



Candy Apple Dead – Sammi Carter (1st in the Candy Shop Mysteries)

  • When she is stood up by fellow merchant Brandon Mills, Abby Shaw, the owner of the Divinity Candy Shop, is shocked when he is found murdered and discovers a whole new and disturbing side to this man whom she thought she knew when she launches her own investigation.

Candy Cane Murder – Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meyer

  • A collection of three holiday mysteries includes fourteen Christmas recipes.

Better than Chocolate – Sheila Roberts

  • The fate of her family’s chocolate business is in the hands of Samantha’s arch-enemy, the bank manager Blake Preston. Samantha decides to hold a chocolate festival in order to save the company from bankruptcy but events do not go as she expects.

Blame it on Chocolate – Jennifer Greene

  • When chocolatier Lucy Fitzhenry and her sexy boss Nick, a man way out of her league, test out her newest recipe, an experimental strain of chocolate, they succumb to one night of intense–and unexplainable–passion, resulting in an unexpected surprise.

Chocolat – Joanne Harris

  • When the beautiful and mysterious Vianne moves to Lansquenet and opens a chocolate shop across from the church, the inhabitants of the tiny village find themselves torn between the solemn law of religion and the joyful rewards of Vianne’s confections.

Death by Chocolate – McKevett

  • When gourmet cook Lady Eleanor, a.k.a. “The Queen of Chocolate,” is murdered under the watchful eye of P.I. Savannah Reid, Savannah must sift through a vast array of suspects to catch a killer with a sweet tooth.

Eat Cake – Jeanne Ray

  • Ruth draws on her talent for concocting delectable cakes and desserts when her family begins to disintegrate around her–her husband loses his job, her mother moves in, and her long-estranged father shows up at the door with no place to go.

The Only Thing Better than Chocolate – Janet Dailey, Sandra Steffens, and Kylie Adams

  • A delectable combination of love and chocolate is captured in three passionate tales, including “The Devil and Mr. Chocolate,” in which art gallery owner Kitty Hamilton finds herself torn between her wealthy fiance and her ex-husband, “I Know I Love Chocolate,” and “Sex and the Single Chocoholic.”

Sugar Queen – Allen

  • Quiet, awkward Josey Cirrini’s peaceful life–caring for her elderly mother, enjoying romance novels, and indulging in her secret passion for sweets–is turned upside down when Della Lee Baker, a sassy, confident, and bold waitress fleeing an abusive boyfriend, decides to hide out in Josey’s home.

True Confections – Katharine Weber

  • When Alice starts working at Zip’s Candy factory, she gets more than a job–she gets an entire life. The story, told as an affidavit given during a family feud for control of Zip’s Candy, recounts Alice’s marriage into the Ziplinsky family, her efforts to belong, and her devotion to the company.


Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate – Alice Medrich

  • For the last thirty years, Alice Medrich has been learning, teaching, and sharing what she loves and understands about chocolate. Bittersweet is the culmination of her life in chocolate thus far: revolutionary recipes, profound knowledge, and charming tales of a chocolate life (summary from TFPL Catalog).

Brittles, Barks, and Bonbons: Delicious Recipes for Quick and Easy Candy – Charity Ferreira

  • Offers a candy recipe for every occasion and is packed with helpful tips on ingredients and equipment (summary from TFPL ctaalog).

The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America’s Finest Hour – Andrei Cherny

  • Documents the contributions of an unlikely band of second-string soldiers and haggard military leaders in enabling the success of the Berlin Airlift humanitarian relief operation.

Candyfreak – Steve Almond

  • Driven by his obsession, stubborn idealism, and the promise of free candy, self-confessed candyfreak Steve Almond takes off on a quest to discover candy’s origins in America, to explore little companies that continue to get by on pluck and perseverance, and to witness the glorious excess of candy manufacturing.

Chocolate Chocolate: The True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop that Could – Frances Park

  • The sister co-owners of a chocolate shop recount their efforts to open and run the store, an endeavor marked by formidable practical challenges, their Asian-American heritage, and the personal stories of customers from all walks of life.

Chocolate Wars: The 150 Year Rivalry Between the World’s Greatest Chocolate Makers – Deborah Cadbury

  • A descendant of the Cadbury family reveals the history of the chocolate companies’ decades-old competition to make the sweetest indulgence and explores the bittersweet rivalries between the families behind Lindt, Hershey, Mars, Cadbury, and Nestle.

Sweet Invention: A History of Dessert – Michael Krondl

  • From the sweet makers of Persia who gave us the first donuts to the sugar sculptors of Renaissance Italy whose creativity gave rise to the modern-day wedding cake, this authoritative read clears up numerous misconceptions about the origins of various desserts, while elucidating their social, political, religious-and even sexual-uses through the ages.

Sweet Tooth: The Bittersweet History of Candy – Kate Hopkins

  • Presents in-depth research into the history and development of candy, including its political and economic impact.

Sweets – Tim Richardson

  • Documents the history of candy and confectionery from ancient times to the present day, looking at the biology of candy, its role in folklore and myth, and the candy manufacturing process.

The Ultimate Candy Book: More than 700 Quick and Easy, Soft and Chewy, Hard and Crunchy Sweets and Treats – Bruce Weinstein

  • If you have a sweet tooth or know someone who does, The Ultimate Candy Book — filled with hundreds of year-round treats and gift-giving ideas — is ultimately satisfying (summary from the TFPL catalog).


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