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Interviews | April 8, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Gabrielle Zevin: The Powells.com Interview

Gabrielle ZevinThe American Booksellers Association collects nominations from bookstores all over the country for favorite forthcoming titles. The Storied Life of... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    Gabrielle Zevin 9781616203214


Customer Comments

Bettina Domingue has commented on (5) products.

Making Soaps by Paola Romanelli

Bettina Domingue, July 1, 2012

The chances of me ever sitting down and actually making real soap is probably...well, it's not very likely. So why I picked up this book, I have no idea. It must have been the pretty pictures and the well-bound layout. YET, after reading this in one suddenly absorbed morning, I feel I CAN make soap, and that means this book is a success!

Why? Because the author has made it so easy to follow with exact instructions and photos, I think my cat could make soap. The book is broken up in sections, such as SPICY SOAP and MEDICINAL HERB SOAP, which are just yummy. It really is a gorgeous production. In looking at it one more time, I realize it is, in fact, an Italian book, which accounts for the stylishness of the soapy results. I'm sure if I was trying to manufacture soap while renting a snazzy studio in Milano, the results would be stupendous. Cappuccino soap, made with goat milk? Oh yeah.

Book Season = Year-Round (preferably in a Mediterranean city)
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The Flight of the Monarch and Other Reflections by Michel Braudeau
The Flight of the Monarch and Other Reflections

Bettina Domingue, December 20, 2011

This was a fascinating read, as the author takes the reader through sections focusing on the Monarch Butterfly, the Swift, the Gnu, the Flea, and other forms of life. The book is a quick read, but it scores by taking mucho information and squaring it down so the reader simply wants to read more. For me, it got me so interested in each subject, that as I finished each chapter, I would then reach for the phone so I could then do a Wiki search to get even more details. Thus, I enjoyed the relationship between the beautiful printed book and the resources of electronic media.

I would definitely recommend this book for nature lovers, but also for anyone looking to learn something beyond their own world. It would fit well with the short attention spans of teenagers, perhaps as a book report. Overall, an enjoyable and enlightening read.

Book Season = Spring
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D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths by Ingri Daulaire
D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths

Bettina Domingue, September 26, 2011

This book looks like a simple re-telling of ancient Greek mythology. And yes, it is that. But what makes this such a treasure is the way they put it together. There is a thread, much as the Fates spun theirs for humans. For example, when the chapter on Theseus concludes, the next chapter starts with the tale of Oedipus meeting Theseus. Thus, we learn the tale of Oedipus.

The drawings are simple, but tell the entire story. Instead of focusing on just an illustration of a character, there is a symbol or event happening throughout, so the reader can see Heracles and his various quests.

One can see how a child would want to read this over and over, but it's a great read for adults, too. Why? Because all the various gods and goddesses are shown in a two-page illustrated layout, with the Roman versions shown toward the end of the book. For anyone who ever became confused with Zeus and all of his cronies, this simplifies it all and ties it up with one nice Golden Thread.

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(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Wicked Bugs by Amy Stewart
Wicked Bugs

Bettina Domingue, September 4, 2011

Do not read this book while using public transportation...I missed my train stop because the subject matter kept me completely engrossed.

Needless to say, I will never eat pork again and I am slathering myself in mosquito repellent nightly. I have a whole new respect for these mighty bugs and the mayhem they produce. Certainly the chapter on the Brazilian Wandering Spider brought me to rapid attention when the author explains that a passenger almost boarded an international flight with hundreds of these aggressive creatures in his carry on bags. No more aisle seats for me.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Paddle to the Sea by Holling C Holling
Paddle to the Sea

Bettina Domingue, September 4, 2011

Sometimes a sad ending can lead to later happiness.

I found this book the day before Bay Books, an independent bookseller, closed its doors in Concord, California. Perhaps I should say that the book found me. Why would I buy a children's book? It must have been the local book dragon whispering in my ear, for I am grateful for this great find.

The author takes us on a trip that starts in the great northern wastes of Canada, and we follow the carved toy through the wilderness and down in to the Great Lakes of the States. Along the way, we find out what the inside of a sawmill looked like and how Lake Superior resembles a wolf's head. Yes, a wolf's head.

If the kids want to have more read to them, tell them to go to sleep so you can read the book yourself in peace and quiet. It was sad to see yet another local bookstore leave us, but it brought me great happiness with my last purchase.
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