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Book World

We all know the troubles about bookstore chains. Borders closed because customers treated it more as place to relax, not shop. Crown had its own problems and closed lots of its stores. Independent bookstores are barely hanging on. Book buying happens mostly online at Amazon.

This past Christmas, I noticed teen girls were asking “Santa” for record players and vinyls for gifts. The yearning for things nostalgic is sweet, but the thought that brick and mortar bookstores could fall into that category is tragic.


The writing community is especially concerned about this trend. New authors cannot get the support they need to market their books online. Now that Barnes and Noble is really the only book chain left, I’ve made the decision to support them and not buy my books at Amazon any longer.


I am not shunning Amazon; there is plenty of other stuff I can buy there, but I don’t want to lose Barnes & Noble. I shelled up the $25 to be part of their “membership club” to further incentivize me to get off my butt and get into the store (or not, and get free shipping for my online purchases). To even things up a little, Amazon now charges sales tax in my state.


Okay, enough ranting about that. But still on the topic of books, my book club has had its share of good and bad books over the past year. Two that I recommend as must reads are:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. This well-written story using unusual techniques is about an agoraphobic mother and her promise to take her daughter Bee on a trip to Antarctica. I have never read anything so original.

The Cat’s Table by Michael Ondaatje (also author of The English Patient). I don’t usually like books about 11 year old boys nor do I like books about traveling on ships. So to say I love this book and the short chapters that burst with fascinating characters is saying a lot.

Just Added

Car Dancing

January is the time of year when many of us want to make positive changes. Most of the changes include exercise. It is certainly something on my list. More exercise wouldn’t be hard to do since my current exercise regimen isn’t much more than dancing in my car. Not quite a cardio workout.

Music is a great motivator, and I thought about the songs from 2013 that made me want to move. Many of them have no other redemptive value. Listed below, in alphabetical order, are ten songs from last year that energized my car time.

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
Cowgirl by Stephen Wesley
Ceiling Can’t Hold us by Macklemore
Gentleman by Psy
I Love it by Icona Pop
Love Me Right by Swag Geeks
My Songs Know What You Did In the Dark (Light Em Up) by Fall Out Boys
Rosana by Wax
Talk a Walk by Passion Pit
Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus

A friend suggested we start walking in the mornings, and a boxing club just opened in the neighborhood. It is time to make 2014 a heart healthy year. Wishing you all success in achieving your positive changes.