If your favorite etiquette book contains instructions on leaving calling cards with a butler, it may be time to check out a few newer books. Classic books on manners may not address unanswered emails, posting unflattering photos on Facebook, or taking cell phone calls during dinner. In "Social Q's: How to Survive the Quirks, Quandaries, and Quagmires of Today" Philip Galanes collects a questions he received for his column in the "New York Times" Sunday Styles section. With an irreverent and witty approach, Galanes offers advice on many facets of modern life including online dating and surviving the holiday season.
Do you have a penchant for desperate men who chain smoke and wear fedoras while they cling to hopeless lives? The library has black and white noir classics full those colorful characters.
"In a Lonely Place" stars Humphrey Bogart as a screenwriter. You may think a Bogie film you haven't heard of is a dud, but this has fine acting and a non-formulaic plot. Bogart's character is plagued by alcohol and uncontrollable rage. The femme fatale is Gloria Grahame, best known for her role as Violet in "It's a Wonderful Life." She's the supportive neighbor who confirms his alibi when he's accused of murder, but that doesn't mean he's innocent.
There were no Oscar nods to this offbeat, funny and touching film yet it in every way "Win Win" should have won won. Struggling attorney and part-time high school wrestling coach, Mike, ( Paul Giamatti) comes up with a strategy to solve his financial woes and benefit all...or does he? A simple story, super sound track and stellar cast make for one good movie night. And family, we learn, is about mutually acceptable compromises. With Paul Giamatti Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor and terrific newcomer and actual wrestling champ, Alex Shaffer.
--Laura S., Sachs Branch
Anne Tyler is known for her novels featuring quirky characters struggling with close relationships. She writes with humor and sympathy about imperfect people making tentative steps towards their goals. Her novels are primarily set in Baltimore and focus on the everyday lives of people experiencing challenges in dealing with friends and family. Tyler won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for "Breathing Lessons." Some of her other popular novels illustrate her talent for great titles: "The Accidental Tourist," "Digging to America," and "Back When We Were Grownups."
Fans of Charles Frazier will be pleased to know his latest novel, Nightwoods, contains many of the features that made his previous bestseller, Cold Mountain, such a hit: epic landscapes, a perilous journey and, of course, a love story.
Our family dog, Sophie, is a yellow lab mix who loves food of all kinds but oddly enough, not dog bones. I decided that if I could buy treats from a store for her instead, why couldn't I make them at home? That way I know exactly what's in them and I can make sure they're both good and good for her. Here are four books that can start you off right down the road of delightful dog food at home.