Books, eMedia & More Blog

Recapturing dinner? I'm not talking about the running down the turkey that's just jumped off the table. I'm talking about sitting down to eat with your family, which can be a difficult thing to accomplish in our overscheduled and hectic lives. Even if we do manage to gather together, technology invades in the form of television and smart phones. It's time to reclaim mealtime!

The benefits of eating with those close to you are countless. It slows down our eating, and this aids in digestion and feelings of fullness. Children who eat with their families perform better in school, learn...

Learn About the Presidents

 

Take a break from the partisan monologues and learn more about the presidency with these neat resources.

http://millercenter.org
This is a remarkable site that contains an astounding collection of transcripts, summaries and recordings of the presidents. Of course, the recordings only go back to FDR, but transcripts go all the way back to George Washington. Some of the recordings include phone calls from Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson aboard the plane carrying them and the body of John Kennedy from Dallas....

This time of year Walmart and Target are filled with parents and kids rushing around to get their school supply shopping done. On average, families spent over $600 to outfit their children with all the things they need for back-to-school. Among the Dora backpacks, Angry Bird folders, pencils and paper is something you can get for nothing...a library card.

A card from the St. Louis County Library is your child's personal passport to academic success and a break for your budget. We have...

"Return Man" by V.M. Zito

The story opens after the zombie apocalypse has divided the United States into two distinct sections. The eastern states are the Safe States of America. The western states, where the Resurrection virus began, are now the Evacuated States of America. Walking corpses roam looking for fresh meat. It is here that our hero Dr. Henry Marco makes his living as the Return man. He is a post apocalyptic bounty hunter hired by grieving relatives in the Safe...

Homes come in all shapes and sizes. People have homes and some of our pets have them too. In Phyllis Richardson's, "Nano House: Innovations for Small Dwellings," the author stretches the possibilities of what constitutes a home.

Many of the houses profiled in the book are very small. Most range from 300 square feet to just under 1,000. One is 43 square feet, which looks like a high school locker--the woman in the picture is pulling the house on...

 

Scattered throughout the televised coverage of the Olympic Games are brief, inspiring bios of the athletes set to swelling music. If these sketches leave you wondering about the rest of the story, several new books may provide a more complete picture.

In "Winning Balance: what I've learned so far about love, faith, and living your dreams" gymnast Shawn Johnson writes about coping with fame after winning four medals in the...

"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" by Alan Bradley

 

Travel back in time with me to Great Britain in the summer of 1950 and the once grand mansion of Buckshaw. Here, 10-year-old Flavia de Luce lives with her absentminded father and two otherwise occupied sisters. Flavia, an aspiring chemist with a passion for all that is clever and intriguing, spends most of her time in Buckshaw's tower where she has the privacy and supplies to carry out her chemistry experiments. In the midst of a boring summer, Flavia is suddenly in the middle of a genuine mystery! The morning after a dead bird is found on their doorstep with a postage stamp...

Harriet Lane's debut novel "Alys, Always" has a deceptively simple beginning. A young woman, Frances Thorpe, encounters a one-car traffic accident on a snowy night. After calling an ambulance, she speaks to the injured woman as they wait for help. Frances later learns that the woman, Alys, has died and that her family would like to meet her.

Thus begins a fascinating and slightly creepy page-turner...

For decades now, girls have outperformed boys by a large margin on standardized reading tests. If practice makes perfect, then the answer to this problem is clear: get boys to read more often and they will become better at reading. But anyone who has dealt with a reluctant boy reader can tell you that this is no easy task.  


While the causes and solutions to the problem of the "gender reading gap" are much debated by experts, one contributing factor could be a cultural stereotype that reading is an activity best enjoyed by women. It's easy for boys to get this impression...

Melancholia

 

I saw the movie "Melancholia" on the big screen several months ago. It was filled with astonishingly beautiful images, so I put in a request when it came out on DVD. The movie suffers a little in the smaller format, but not much.

Kirsten Dunst...

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