Posted by admin on 04.28.2010 at 12:12 pm
Malcolm McLaren, founder of The Sex Pistols, died the other day.
I never got into punk. Never quite understood the music, the vulgarity and the anger. Or maybe the fashion sense just wasn’t me – I think at the time, the apogee of style for me was a pale pink polo shirt.
But on reading McLaren’s obits, I’ve started to have a change of mind. Here’s what he says about the ethos of punk:
“I always said punk was an attitude. It was never about having a Mohican haircut or wearing a ripped T-shirt. It was all about destruction, and the creative potential within that … Turn left if you’re supposed to turn right; go through any door that you’re not supposed to enter. It’s the only way to fight your way through to any kind of authentic world in a world beset by fakery.”
Now, I’ve just read research from Right Management that says, in companies employing 50 people or more, fifty percent identify themselves as being completely unengaged in their job. Fifty percent! Perhaps some punk attitude is needed to shake things up.
At this stage I could offer you a range of tips to stop following the rules. But that would be following the “how to write a good blog post” rules.
So instead, I’m going to form a band. Read more…
Have your say » | Tagged Book & Author News
Posted by John on 04.27.2010 at 2:11 pm
We recently had a bark-tastic visit from some very sweet book and kid loving dogs. These particular dogs and their people were representing the Intermountain Therapy Animals’ Reading Assistance Eduction Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program who recently won our Readers’ Choice Literacy Grant.
While Gina, a gorgeous black lab and Abbie, a very friendly golden retriever stole the show, we also had the pleasure of learning more about R.E.A.D. from their people, Melissa Saul and Merilee Kelley.
For instance, R.E.A.D. teams consist of an appropriately tempered dog and their owner (there are 2,500 teams around the world). The dogs and their people go through rigorous screening and training programs before working with children. According to Melissa, the training is more for the people than the dogs. That would certainly be true of me – my English setter/spaniel/who-knows-what-else dog, Carmen, would get it right away while I was still on square one. Read more…
2 Comments » | Tagged Company News, Our Partners
Posted by Dana on 04.22.2010 at 2:18 pm
THE SWEET BY AND BY is one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve put it down. Debut author Todd Johnson has drawn the characters so vividly and with so much love that, for me, they have become woven into the fabric of my own memories. I know when I think of a true caretaker, the person I’ll imagine is Lorraine, and when I am talking about women in their twilight years, I’ll think not only of my own grandmothers, but of Margaret and Bernice.
Now, I’m not usually someone who signs up for books (or movies) that are meant to make me cry, but I think I’ve actually had an epiphany here about the difference between a tear-jerker and a genuinely touching and emotional story. Todd Johnson achieves the latter with THE SWEET BY AND BY because he didn’t set out to jerk your tears, he set out to tell a story about people Read more…
Posted by Dana on 04.22.2010 at 2:13 pm
Being the savvy shopper that you are, I’m sure you already know all about our fabulous Earth Day Sale where you can get 20% off 3 or more used books*. And I’m sure you already have a shopping cart full of fabulous previously loved books ready to go in your cart.
But did you know that tons of once wept over, laughed with, and well loved books don’t get that second chance. It’s true. Sad but true. Check out the facts.
In honor of Earth Day take Dana’s Official Better World Books’ Blog Pledge.
Repeat after me:
“I, State Your Name, will never throw a book away. I will donate it or sell it to Better World Books, give it to a friend or make gosh-jolly-darn sure it gets recycled”.
Good for you. Way to go! Now go outside and enjoy Earth Day and spread the word: No more books in landfills!
*Offer not valid on Marketplace purchases.
1 Comment » | Tagged Dispatches from the Green House, earth day, Sale
Posted by Dana on 04.14.2010 at 10:08 am
Jeffrey Stepakoff has a career that many people would drool over (myself included); great success as a writer and producer in Hollywood, followed by an incredibly well received first novel, FIREWORKS OVER TOCCOA. But that wasn’t the plan when he first started out. When we sat down to talk last week Jeffrey said “he just wanted to be left alone to write”!
Clearly that worked out. In Hollywood, Jeffrey worked on shows like SISTERS, THE WONDER YEARS and DAWSON’S CREEK not too mention several movies. He loved the life, but really wanted more time with his family so decided to transition to writing books. FIREWORKS OVER TOCCOA is Jeffrey’s second book, but first novel and it is quickly becoming a national bestseller.
Posted by Dana on 04.13.2010 at 2:28 pm
Remember how proud you were when you got your very first library card? Remember how cool it was to look at all those books and know that you got to pick one to take home? If you love your library you might be almost as cool as Neil Gaiman. Well maybe not, but he’s pretty cool. And also the Honorary Chair of National Library Week!
If you’ve forgotten how awesome your library is, this is the week to go back! In these tough economic times, your library is there for you. Did you know that libraries provide free access to books and computers, homework help, assistance with resumes and job searches, accurate Read more…
Posted by admin on 04.12.2010 at 2:24 pm
We couldn’t be prouder to announce the first two winners of the $10,000 Better World Books/National Center for Family Literacy Libraries and Families Award!
The winning libraries will each receive $10,000 for their awesome family programming.
Meet the winners:
- The Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library in Shirley, N.Y. (Public/Academic Libraries Category). The library’s Learning English: A Family Affair program offers high quality instruction focused on learning English. Standardized tests show that 75 percent of participants increase their English proficiency by at least one level in less than a year; and
- The Vineland Public Library in Vineland, N.J. (Urban Library Category). The library’s Families and Books workshop instructs adults on the importance of reading to their children daily. The program, which is conducted at local schools, community organizations and in the library, has strong results. Research shows 63 percent of parents who attended the workshops said they read more often to their children, and 88 percent of parents said reading aloud to their children had improved their children’s readings skills.
Posted by admin on 04.09.2010 at 10:15 am
In today’s guest post, Dawn Matthews from the St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, Indiana talks about the excitement and joy of being part of community read, and the reason they chose To Kill a Mockingbird for the first ever One Book, One Michiana program.
I have always thought that books, reading, and libraries connect us in a “pay it forward” kind of way. When you think about it, a good book isn’t half as good if you can’t share it with someone. There is a primal need, in fact, of wanting to challenge and excite someone else with the discovery of a great author or book. That is why, I believe, the whole One Book, One Community idea has taken off across the country. It is an exciting event in which all residents are encouraged to read the same book at the same time and discuss it with friends and family, with a book club or at a program.
For our first title, we have selected To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Set in the South during the Great Depression, this coming-of-age novel is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America. We chose it because it is filled with tenderness, humor, and heart wrenching moments that are thought provoking and discussable. It is also perfectly fitting that this year is the 50th anniversary of this all American classic and Pulitzer prize winning book.
Posted by John on 04.07.2010 at 11:35 am
The founder of Read International, Rob Wilson, has won the Enterprising Young Brit Award 2010 in the Social, Environmental, and Ethical category. Read International is a non-profit literacy partner of Better World Books in the UK.
Congrats, Rob! We’re proud to work with you.
A few words about Rob and Read International from the Enterprising Young Brits website:
“READ International is an innovative social venture that works successfully as a business whilst providing social, ethical and environmental benefits. With a network of 40 student volunteer-led projects, READ International collects disused books from UK schools and distributes them through out Uganda and Tanzania.”
“Inspired by a friends Gap Year teaching in Tanzania, Robert attempted to find a solution for the lack of teaching resources there. With a similar syllabus as in England, the solution seemed obvious to Robert and the idea for READ International was born. The company has not only saved tonnes of teaching resources from UK landfill, it has also supported over 260,000 Tanzanian school children to date.”
You can see all the Enterprising Young Brit award winners here.
Posted by Dana on 04.07.2010 at 11:11 am
Veuve Clicquot champagne is a recognizable symbol of status and luxury with its unmistakable bright yellow label, but the widow (the word veuve is French for widow) for whom it is named has become a shadowy figure in history about whom very little is known.
Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin was widowed at 27 years old in the early 1800s in the Champagne region in France. After her husband’s death Barbe-Nicole took what was a small family wine business and turned it into one of the world’s most well known and successful champagne houses.
If the art of wine making or the intricacies of business or even French history are among your interests, this story of one of the earliest successful businesswomen is not to be missed. In THE WIDOW CLICQUOT, Tilar J. Mazzeo thoroughly examines the period, the business and the wine making and certainly as much of Barbe-Nicole’s personal life as she was able to recover. Read more…
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