Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Big Rewind

Often when I finish a book, though I might enjoy it, I don’t necessarily feel comfortable recommending it to everyone. Nathan Rabin’s The Big Rewind on the other hand, is a book that should be required reading for all citizens eighteen and over.

Okay okay…it is possible that not everyone might enjoy this fantastic memoir, but I’m not sure why anyone wouldn’t. Our protagonist is Nathan Rabin, the head writer of the Onion’s entertainment section, A.V. Club. He ties in the story of his own too-crazy-not-to-be-true upbringing with various works of television, film, music, and literature that were important to him at different stages of his life.

His knowledge of pop culture is encyclopedic, his life story at turns incredibly depressing yet always fascinating, and his tone both extremely sincere and wonderfully sardonic. Rabin is a fantastic writer: often hilarious even when describing times of great confusion and sadness. Ultimately, it’s a downright uplifting story; against all odds, Rabin makes it, overcoming his roots to land the job of his dreams, and a life he didn’t know he attain. That said, there is some use of “foul” language and there are some sexual situations (thus my above age recommendation). But something tells me you can handle all that.

The Big Rewind is always immensely entertaining and when it ends you’ll wish it was only the first volume. I guess you’ll have to just move onto his latest critical work, My Year Of Flops, a reexamination of films that were initially badly received or unsuccessful. Kudos Mr. Rabin! Long may you write…

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Shhhhhh…Someone may be listening

Here in general books at the UConn Co-op, there is no section more despised or coveted than our Human Sexuality section.   Just look at the name of the section itself:  “Human” and “sexuality” both in one place?…humans having sex….oh good god let’s run for the hills! People don’t really do that!  Or at least we can’t talk about it – or worse yet sell books to help people do it better.  Never has there been a more controversial section in our department.  We are told to hide it, not to display it, and heaven forbid we recommend something from it!

Well I say the hell with all that.  Sex is fun: in fact I think human sex is the only good kind – but if you disagree, well, more power to you.  We in General books are proud to offer a selection of books for everyone (or at least everyone over 18) in our Human Sexuality section.  Included are fun books like the one above, and this one for the crafter in you:Who would have thought that household items like candles and greeting cards could have so many interesting uses?

But on a more serious note we also care a large supply of educational titles.  The most famous of those being: So please let’s stop being ashamed of our bodies, our desires and our fantasies.  Let’s just be us, and celebrate our freedoms.

Disclaimer:  We are by no means encouraging wanton behavior in our customers.  Reminder:  having sexual intercourse without protection can lead to pregnancy and the transmittance of sexual diseases.  So please take the proper precautions so that no one is injured in your play.  But we strongly believe that as long as both parties are consenting adults,  it is no one’s business but your own.  So have fun.

-Nikki-

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Seeing Connecticut by Bicycle

You don’t have to be a serious cyclist to enjoy Connecticut by Bicycle, a wonderful book by Frederick John Lamp, Curator of African Art at the Yale University Art Gallery. When Lamp moved to Connecticut a few years ago, one of the first things he did was organize a bike ride with friends. The group gathered at the corner of Chapel and Green, near the entrance to the New Haven Green. To Lamp’s astonishment, there at his feet lay a “plaque commemorating the very first bicycle ride – ever, anywhere.” It was the plaque for Pierre Lallement the French immigrant who invented the bicycle in 1886. To test his invention, Lallement had taken his two- wheeler out for a spin beginning in Ansonia and ending at the New Haven Green.

The book includes maps and advice for the road with a good dose of advocacy and a bit of cyclist’s lament. What most sets it apart from other cycling books however, is that it is a serious appreciation of the Connecticut landscape. Lamp carried a little Coolpix in his back pocket during all his rides, and with this camera and his very talented eye, he took stunning photos of our state. And yes, Northeastern Connecticut, so often ignored in guidebooks, is nicely included.

Lamp brings us past old mills, quaint villages, rusting farm machinery, barns with silos, steepled churches, gravestones, and houses. He shows us forests, fields, rivers and lakes. “The emphasis,” he writes, “is on sightseeing…I recommend looking at things on the way, which means turning your head as your ride and stopping to see some of the wonderful sights.”

You could of course follow his routes in a car. You wouldn’t see as much, but you would get a nice taste. Meanwhile, leaf through this book as I did, and take a mental ride around the state with Lamp as your guide. You will be glad you did. Posted by Suzy

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The Miracle That Is Duct tape

Have a question?  Most likely duct tape is the answer.

Need something to hold that chair together? Patch a hole in your wall? Or keep you car from falling apart? Duct tape is your answer.  This book shows all of the ingenious ways that people have fixed things with everyday household products just like duct tape.

No longer is duct tape just for fixing things. It can also be a fashion statement. The Duck Brand of duct tape holds an annual scholarship contest. Contestants create prom attire out of nothing but duct tape to win a $5000.00 scholarship  Check out his website to get a look at this years creative ideas.

You can also make tons of useful items with nothing but duct tape.  Like this wallet, or a shower curtain, or even a beer can holder.  There is something for everything in this book.

Duct tape is no longer just available in that plain drab silver we are so used to seeing.  It comes in a variety of colors to match your mood and fashion sense.  We here at the store have a large selection of different colors to help make your projects brighter.So the next time you are looking for that perfect dress to wear to that party, come on into the store and pick up some duct tape and make one.

-Nikki-

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