The Cook’s Herb Garden: Grow, Harvest, Cook

The Cook’s Herb Garden: Grow, Harvest, Cook

Author: Jeff Cox, Marie Pierre Moine
Publisher: DK Publishing

ISBN-10: 0756658691

ISBN-13: 978-0756658694

The Cook’s Herb Garden is a wonderful little book.  It’s jam-packed with full color photos of the herbs with handy diagrams and info.  The book is divided into four sections:  Choose, Grow, Harvest and Store, and Cook.  It comes with a photographic  herb catalog which gives a lot of information about the herb in question like where it grows best, if it’s a perennial, best way to grow, growing conditions and culinary uses.  I particularly liked the Climate section listing hardy, half hardy, and herbs tolerant of wet soil.  There’s a section on growing from seed, another on propagating and even one on weed control.

There’s step-by-step advice on planting, harvesting, making homemade vinegars, flavored herb butters, rubs and marinades.  In the Cook section you’ll find over sixty recipes and there are some delicious ones.  I loved the Black Currant Cordial and the Lemongrass and Chili Salsa just to mention a couple of the yummy recipes in this book.

I loved this book and keep it handy in the kitchen.  Not only is it gorgeous with the wonderful photos, but it’s so useful and any cook would be proud to have it in his/her kitchen.  I loved reading about how to pick plants for certain places in your yard or garden, plant partners and creating beds and borders using herbs.  I’ve long been fascinated by partner or companion plants and how they work together, so the little section on them was especially fun for me.

This is a great book for families as well as the cook.  Kids will love the photos and working with their parents, or other family members in planning out the garden, making the recipes, harvesting and storing the herbs.  Using the book to plan and grow a culinary herb garden will be a long-lasting and fun project that will give them skills and knowledge that will last them all their lives, not to mention some fabulous and fond memories.  Teaching children about where food comes from and the process of seed to plate is a great lesson and in my experience, one they love.  My grandchildren love making the herb ice cubes and experimenting with different herbs and spices.  They get even more fun out of it knowing they helped plan the garden, planted and grew the herbs and took a large part in the harvest and storing of them.

This book is highly recommended for anyone and makes a great gift.

Celebrate 3rd Annual National Bookmobile Day on April 11th


CHICAGO — As many Americans continue to pinch pennies during this difficult economic time, bookmobile use has become more popular than ever. Bookmobiles bring a wealth of resources to users wherever they are, and on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 communities across America will celebrate our nation’s bookmobiles and the vital services they provide during National Bookmobile Day @ your library.

Celebrated during National Library Week (April 8 – 14), National Bookmobile Day is an opportunity for bookmobile fans to make their support known—through thanking bookmobile staff, writing a letter or email to their libraries or voicing their support to community leaders.

Bookmobiles, like libraries, continue to meet the needs of their communities by offering free access to the latest technology and materials to users of all ages. By offering the same quality services available in libraries, patrons can search the Web, take a computer class, participate in resume workshops, listen to preschool story hours or check out books and DVDs.

“In times of economic hardship, Americans turn to – and depend on – their libraries and librarians,” said ALA President Molly Raphael. “Bookmobiles ensure that while communities are in critical need of library services, everyone has access, no matter where they are — rural areas, cities or suburbs.”

Bookmobiles — as extensions of libraries — bring services where libraries can’t go, enabling library systems to reach and serve isolated communities and provide service to children, disabled adults, older adults, people with health issues and those who lack or cannot afford transportation.

Not only do bookmobiles visit neighborhood stops and schools, but they also serve day care centers, elementary and high schools, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons and individual residences for home delivery.

Held on the Wednesday of National Library Week since 2010, National Bookmobile Day (NBD) recognizes and celebrates the role of bookmobiles and direct-delivery outreach services in fulfilling the mission of libraries. An integral and vital part of library service in the United States for over 100 years, bookmobiles provide access to information and technology and supply resources for life-long learning to Americans of all walks of life.

National Bookmobile Day is sponsored by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS), the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services (ABOS), and the Association for Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL).

To learn more about National Bookmobile Day or find out about events at your local library, please visit

Source: American Library Association

BookExpo America to Focus on the Literature and the Publishing Industry of Russia

Global Market Forum 2012 sheds light on principal emerging market in the fast
globalization of the book

Norwalk, CT, March 28, 2012: Russia, rich in literary tradition and known for being one of the most well-read societies, has a robust publishing industry and a growing digital audience. Analysts estimate that the valuable Russian marketplace has consumer sales of $3.3 billion and is home to a diverse group of authors and dynamic publishing programs, offered by large, medium and independent publishing houses. Russian publishers, authors and booksellers are finding new readers, new partnerships and they are creating an international buzz.

BEA’s Global Market Forum Read Russia – a one-day conference on Monday, June 4, 2012 – offers an exciting and broad publishing agenda that will introduce, inform and ignite interest in Russian publishing. Expert speakers, including the CEOs of the largest Russian publishers and distributors, will share their knowledge and insight on everything Russian, with sessions focused on writing and translation, educational and digital publishing, intellectual properties and copyright issues.

Each presentation and discussion will bring together key industry voices from both the Russian and US publishing communities. Sessions will be 50-minutes in length and allow time between for networking opportunities to build new business contacts! Agents, editors, publishers, booksellers and librarians, will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the many sessions, dialog and innovative directions of the Russian book and publishing community.

Continue reading

April is National Poetry Month – Places to Go and Celebrate in Los Angeles

Since 1996, the Academy of American Poets has spearheaded the initiative National Poetry Month to increase appreciation and awareness of poetry as an art form. Here is a sampling of places in the Los Angeles area offering events during April related to poetry:


Local poets from the Los Angeles area will read from  Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass on Sunday, April 1st from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Skylight Books.


Ghassan Zaqtan reads from his work Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me in the Powell Library Rotunda at UCLA Library at 4:30pm.


Peggy Dobreer and Eric Morago read and sign their poetry collections April 10th at 7:30 pm at Skylight Books.


Wislawa Szymborska reads her poetry at the Hammer Museum starting at 7pm.


Free poetry workshop taught by Terry Wolverton at Skylight Books. Advance signup required.

Vroman’s features Red Hen Press presents Ron Carlson and Sandra Gilbert starting at 3:00 pm.


Students from Williard School present a poetry recital and art exhibit at Vroman’s beginning at 6:00 pm.


Shannon Muir Reviews Shadow Moon

Cover for Shadow Moon by Marilee Brothers

Author: Marilee Brothers
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
ISBN: 10: 1611940583
ISBN: 13: 9781611940589

This is the fourth in a series of five books (the last one forthcoming) by Marilee Brothers about a young woman named Allie living with her single mom who receives a magic moonstone pendant from a rich old woman of Gypsy descent in her small Central Washington town. Initially, she wants nothing to do with the pendant or its powers, but over time has come to learn to accept the abilities an ancient prophecy says are meant for her and trying to figure out everything she can do. She also works on finding her previously unknown father and learning hidden secrets abotu her family. In this particular book, Allie searches for a twin sister she never knew she had while being strongly pursued by people who say they are with the government and want her to team up with them for the best interests of the country. Allie also has a group of boyfriends including a half-demon, a Fae prince, and a former Mexican gang member turned telenovela star (a nod to the fact that the series reads like a daytime drama with its twists and turns that happens to be packed with magic which is part of the fun of it). This particular book brings together a lot of dangling threads left from the first book in particular, in a series that must be picked up from the first book forward and read all the way through in order to appreciate. Some parts of the plot quickly became easy to anticipate and others proved surprises; complicated and convoluted at times, brilliantly clear and simple at others, this series reads just like a teen soap opera on the printed page and results in a fun if not deep read.

Even though this review focuses on the most recent book, all titles in the series were read in order to provide a complete review.

A free copy bundle of Books 1 through 4 of this series was furnished by the publisher for review via NetGalley, but providing a copy did not guarantee a review. This information is provided per the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission.

Also part of the UNBIDDEN MAGIC series –

Author: Marilee Brothers
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
ISBN: 10: 0980245346
ISBN: 13: 9780980245349

Author: Marilee Brothers
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
ISBN: 10: 0982175698
ISBN: 13: 978-0982175699
ASIN: B0039M97TQ

Author: Marilee Brothers
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
ISBN: 10: 1935661957
ISBN: 13: 978-1935661955
ASIN: B003XF252K

The complete Harry Potter Series on Amazon and NOOK via Pottermore

Both Amazon and Barnes and Noble announced today that all of the Harry Potter Books are available as ebooks for their Kindle and NOOK devices, respectively. At Amazon, titles must be purchased by creating an account first at Pottermore – the free-to-use “online experience” themed around the world of Harry Potter – and going through their buying processes. For NOOK, the e-books can be found through regular searching but clicking “Buy Now” ultimately redirects you to register through Pottermore and use their buying system.  Pottermore is an environment where the digital world brings lovers of the Harry Potter books and lore together to share their common experiences, as well as gain new insight and information provided directly by author J.K. Rowling.

Los Angeles Times Announces Festival of Books 2012 Program Schedule

March 22, 2012

LOS ANGELES — The 17th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the largest and most prestigious public literary event in the country, today announced its 2012 program schedule. Returning to the beautiful University of Southern California campus on April 21-22, the Festival is an L.A. institution known for its celebration of the written word in all its forms and is expected to draw more than 150,000 attendees.

Beloved American icon Judy Blume will mark the 40th birthday of her cherished “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” with an appearance, alongside such authors and artists as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julie Andrews, Reza Aslan, Michael Ian Black, T.C. Boyle, John Cusack, Ben Fong-Torres, John Green, Florence Henderson, Ricki Lake, Sugar Ray Leonard, Anne Rice, John Scalzi, Molly Shannon, Wil Wheaton, Betty White and Henry Winkler.

Lively panel discussions will be held covering a broad range of thought-provoking and culturally significant topics, from the upcoming presidential election to the anniversary of the Rodney King trials to the future of reading, many involving appearances and moderating by Times writers and editors. The Times’ Hero Complex, the go-to for all things super-heroic, fantasy and sci-fi, will expand to include screenings of genre films at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and Q&As with prominent comic book publishers. Celebrity appearances, live music, cooking demonstrations, book signings and much more will be held on eight outdoor stages surrounded by hundreds of exhibitors and a variety of dining options.

Tickets available today

    • Festival general admission is free / panel discussions and lectures have limited seating capacity, and therefore require tickets
      • Special advance panel passpackages are available before tickets are offered to the general public. These are $30 and include:
        • Reservations for up to eight panel tickets
        • Half-price tickets to the 32nd annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes
          • Friday, April 20 at USC’s Bovard Auditorium
        • Official 2012 Festival of Books’ poster with artwork designed by prominent illustrator Bob Staake
        • Option to purchase valet parking passes for an additional $20
    • Los Angeles Times members have the opportunity to purchase panel passes and Book Prizes tickets at a 50% discount while supplies last
    • Book Prizes tickets are $10

Individual panel tickets available Sunday, April 15

Please check the Festival’s official Facebook page and @latimesfob Twitter stream for programming updates. To join in the Twitter conversation, use the #bookfest hashtag. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC, presenting sponsor Target and major sponsor Chevrolet.

About the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was created in 1996 to promote literacy, celebrate the written word, and bring together those who create books with the people who love to read them. More than 140,000 people attend the event annually. General event information is available online at or by calling 1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 7BOOK. Detailed speaker and event information is available in the official festival program online.

About the Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a readership of 1.9 million Monday through Saturday and 2.9 million on Sunday, more than 17 million unique visitors monthly and a combined print and online local weekly audience of 4.4 million. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Times has been covering Southern California for more than 130 years.

The Los Angeles Times Media Group (LATMG) businesses and affiliates include the Los Angeles Times, The Envelope, Times Community News, LA, Los Angeles Times Magazineand Hoy Los Angeles and reach approximately 5.1 million or 38% of all adults in the Southern California marketplace. LATMG also owns and operates California Community News as well as Tribune Direct‘s west coast division and is part of Tribune Company, one of the country’s leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting.Additional information is available at

About the University of Southern California

Established in 1880, the University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities. The university is the largest private employer in Los Angeles — with more than 22,700 employees, and an annual economic impact of nearly $5 billion. USC enrolls 38,000 students at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels, and hosts more international students than any other U.S. university. With a strong tradition of integrating liberal and professional education, USC fosters a vibrant culture of public service and encourages students to cross academic as well as geographic boundaries in their pursuit of knowledge. There are more than 240,000 living alumni in the Trojan Family. While nearly three-quarters of them live in California, USC alumni can be found in positions of leadership all over the world.


SOURCE: Los Angeles Times Media Group

New National Archives Video Short Peeks Inside Archives State-of-the-Art Preservation Lab

Press Release
March 21, 2012

Washington, DC…The National Archives today is releasing its latest Inside the Vaults video short, Boxing our Treasures, which takes viewers inside the National Archives preservation lab to see how archival treasures are lovingly and carefully housed in custom-made encasements. The three-minute video is part of the ongoing “Inside the Vaults” series and can be viewed on the National Archives YouTube channel:

The film series is free to view and distribute on our YouTube channel at These videos are in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages the free distribution of them.

National Archives senior conservator Gail Harriman explains the importance of such custom-made boxing: “About 60% of the holdings require some level of preservation. A great deal of that can be solved by proper housing.” A custom box, what Harriman calls a “microenvironment,” is a common preservation strategy.

Viewers get special access to the preservation lab at the National Archives where specialists construct custom boxes for items as varied as a Cold War-era pistol and a 1761 Indian treaty. The boxes can be simple affairs, built to house a book – or extremely complex, holding multiple, related items in multi-chambered constructions.

Conservation technician Richard Hnat shows how items are digitally measured and conservation specialist Doug McRae shows how those measurements are translated into custom instructions for the Archives’ automated box-making machine. Harriman explains that the materials used to construct housings meet rigid archival standards: they must be acid free, lignin free, be made of high cotton content, and have both fold and burst endurance.

Background on “Inside the Vaults”

“Inside the Vaults” is part of the ongoing effort by the National Archives to make its collections, stories, and accomplishments more accessible to the public. “Inside the Vaults” gives voice to Archives staff and users, highlights new and exciting finds at the Archives, and reports on complicated and technical subjects in easily understandable presentations. Earlier topics include the conservation of the original Declaration of Independence, and the 1297 Magna Carta, the transfer to the National Archives of the Nuremberg Laws, and the launch of a new National Archives user-friendly search engine. The film series is free to view and distribute on our YouTube channel at

Created by a former broadcast network news producer, the “Inside the Vaults” video shorts series presents “behind the scenes” exclusives and offer surprising glimpses of the National Archives treasures. These videos are in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages the free distribution of them.

Neil Young To Appear At Bookexpo America: Legendary Singer-Songwriter to Speak About Forthcoming Memoir

Norwalk, CT–March 19, 2012:   Officials at BookExpo America (BEA) have today announced that Neil Young will be appearing at the annual book industry trade show where he will discuss his upcoming memoir, Waging Heavy Peace.  The book will be published in North America by Blue Rider Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA), in fall of 2012.  BEA will take place in New York City at the Jacob Javits Center June 4 – 7, 2012 and Mr. Young is scheduled to speak on Wednesday, June 6 at 12 noon in the Special Events Hall.  The program, which will be called “A Conversation with Neil Young”, will follow an interview format and will be free to all convention attendees.  Seating will be provided on a first come, first served basis.  Lunch will not be provided but guests are free to bring their own lunch.   Mr. Young’s interviewer will be named in the near future.Widely regarded as one of the most influential musicians of his generation, Mr. Young is a singular figure in the history of rock and he has profoundly influenced popular culture over the past four decades.  He epitomizes the uncompromising artist.  In his book, Mr. Young will present a kaleidoscopic view of his personal life and musical creativity.  It is the year’s most awaited memoir and rights to the book have been sold around the world to a dozen countries so far including: Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain (and Spanish language in Latin America), Sweden and the United Kingdom.

“I am profoundly grateful to Blue Rider and to Neil Young for making this stellar event possible,” notes Steve Rosato, Show Manager for BookExpo America.  “This appearance will be a highlight of our show and I am sure it will live on as one of our great all time moments in BEA history.   I have no doubt that on Wednesday, June 6 at 12 noon just about everyone in the Javits Center will be packed into the Special Events Hall!”

For more information about BEA, please visit and connect with BEA on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

BookExpo America (BEA) is North America’s largest gathering of book trade professionals attracting an international audience. It is organized with the support of association partners including the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the American Booksellers Association (ABA).  BEA is recognized for the media attention it brings to upcoming books as well as for the notable authors it attracts to the convention itself.Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer. In 2007 Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organized by 39 fully staffed offices.  Reed’s portfolio of over 500 events serves 47 industry sectors.

Shannon Muir Reviews The Woman Who Loved Jesse James

Cover for The Woman Who Loved Jesse James

The Woman Who Loved Jesse James
Author: Cindi Myers
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
ISBN: 10: 1611940826
ISBN: 13: 978-1611940824
ASIN: B0072NM18W

Jesse James is heralded as one of the most notorious outlaws in American history, but much less discussed is the fact he had a wife and children and what life must have been like for them. Cindi Myers as an author puts herself in the shoes of the kind of woman who would fall for a slightly younger man and stick with him no matter the deception and danger, who is his cousin Zee Mimms, and try to depict based on known history what Zee may have been like. What excited me was that the book covered so much more than watching Jesse James from a pair of female eyes. There are periods of the book where Jesse is away for various reasons, and readers are allowed to explore Zee finding her place as a woman even when it didn’t fit the expected societal norms. You see why she’s willing to stand by Jesse James and how it is much more complex than following him like a blind sheep, and yet the very qualities that embody her resilence are also in some ways character flaws. I also appreciated that the book focused on the home life and character of Jesse James, and his exploits only discussed when people noted rumors or read newspapers, so that when the inevitable ending comes you do feel sympathy for both Zee and Jesse. While likely not completely historically accurate and a bit embellished, the result remained an incredible story about character that I struggled to put down because I didn’t want to stop reading.

Please be advised that there are some physical intimacy scenes that are necessary to the plot and written tastefully.

A free copy of this book was furnished by the publisher for review via NetGalley, but providing a copy did not guarantee a review. This information is provided per the regulations of the Federal Trade Commission.

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