Tag Archives: 29 gifts

Revisiting Books for Groundhog Day…

Even though I live in Pennsylvania where we consider Groundhog Day to be a real holiday complete with loud celebrations, drinking and furry mascots, as this day approaches I find myself thinking more about the theme of that movie with the same name.  I have come to see Groundhog Day as a time to reflect and look back on people, places, and even books that I’d like to revisit.  Here’s my book re-visitation list for this year:

Book Cover for Midnight in the Garden of Good and EvilMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt – I love the descriptions, of the quirky people, of the stately houses, and of the town. This book made me want to live in Savannah. Yes, I know it is also a true crime novel, and that shouldn’t make me want to move there. But honestly, there’s crime everywhere and this one was more interesting than your run-of-the-mill murder-for-drugs sort . . .

Book Cover for And Then There Were NoneAnd Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – If you’ve never read Agatha Christie, here is where you should begin. This is the quintessential whodunit. You will be amazed and enthralled. You will probably not figure out the ending. This is one of the books that even convinced the mystery hating librarian, Will Manley, that not all mysteries are bad.

Book cover for A Prayer for Owen MeanyA Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving – To this day, I still have no idea why this book moved me so much. But it did. And I’m not alone. Everyone I know who has read it has immediately fallen under its spell. First you read it, then you love it, and then you have to talk to others about it. It’s almost addictive and that’s how reading a good book should be.

Book cover for The House at Pooh CornerThe House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne – I love the Pooh books. I didn’t love them as a child. But as a college student I used to read them aloud to the guy I was dating at the time, whose name happened to be Christopher. I still remember laughing out loud with him while reading the last chapter, when Eeyore and the rest of the gang play poohsticks. Ah, college life . . .

Book cover for Joy of CookingJoy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer – I should use this book more than I do when referencing a recipe to cook. Maybe it’s because I have one of the newer editions and I really prefer my mother’s older version from the ’60s. I used to read and re-read the opening chapter on entertaining like it was a novel. Hmmm. Maybe I should see if she’s willing to make a trade . . .

And a movie or two . . .

Movie case for The Princess BrideThe Princess Bride – ”Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” “Aaaaaaaaas Youuuuuuuuu Wiiiiiiiiiiiiish!” “Inconceivable!” “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” “Love IS pain, Highness!” “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife.” “Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.” Do I need to go on? I didn’t think so.

Movie case for My Fair LadyMy Fair Lady – This is one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen. I love the uncovering of the flowers in the opening scene. The sets are very detailed. All of Eliza Doolittle’s outfits are fabulous!  (And everyone else’s too.) I think I’m going to have to watch it on the BIG television this time.  Warning: I will sing along!

What books and movies are on your revisitation list?

–Melissa M.

Leave a comment on today’s post for a chance at today’s prize in the 29 Gifts giveaway.  Daily winners will be contacted by e-mail.

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Gifted: 29 Thank-Yous for Reading Eleventh Stack

Once a year, everybody in Allegheny County is invited to read and think about the same book, courtesy of the One Book, One Community initiative.  This year you’re invited to experience Cami Walker’s 29 Gifts: How A Month of Giving Can Change Your Life.  The official One Book website is filled with information that can enrich your reading experience via book club kits and discussion questions, related readings and resources on the themes of kindness and civility, and other ways to get involved, which will be updated as the official start date approaches.

The Eleventh Stack blog team has decided to participate in this countywide celebration of goodwill and bonhomie by giving away a gift every weekday for the next 29 days, starting tomorrow, February 1, 2o11.  At the end of each blog post, you will be prompted to leave a comment that reflects on that day’s essay.  A random winner will be chosen each day, and if it’s you, you’ll receive an e-mail with details on when/where to stop by and choose your prize.

Yes, I did say choose.  The blog team has assembled a prize closet of cool stuff for you to pick from, which includes:

  • copies of popular books, DVDs, and books on CD
  • $5.00 Crazy Mocha gift cards (good at any CM location)
  • $10.00 pre-paid fine cards (good at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh locations)
  • handmade items crafted by library workers and library supporters
  • fashionable black and gold “Pittsburgh Protect Your Library” tote bags
  • other whimsical surprises as we think of them

We’re even assembling a special prize package for the person who wins on day 29, just in case “the good stuff” is already gone. (It’s all good stuff, but who likes to choose last?  Nobody–that’s who.)

The only things we ask of you in return are:

  • Be an Allegheny County resident.  We love our expatriate readers, but postage is a wee bit dear these days.
  • Include your e-mail address with your blog comment. (Otherwise, how can we tell you you’re a winner?)
  • Add the e-mail address eleventhstack at carnegielibrary dot org to your list of approved senders. (So any mail from us doesn’t end up in your spam folder.)
  • Tell us what’s on your mind when you comment!  Responses like “Awesome, dude” make us feel warm and fuzzy, but don’t really help us become better writers.

On an even warmer, fuzzier note,  February 2011  marks the third full year the Eleventh Stack team has been blogging for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.  When we started the project, we had no idea whether or not this method of communication would be a good way to reach out to our community.   Over 170,000 visits and 9,400 click-throughs to the catalog later–not to mention the lovely, thoughtful comments you’ve made–we can tell that you really, really like us.

 Of course, that makes us want to work even harder to demonstrate–via our sometimes serious, sometimes silly, but always heartfelt, essays–just how much the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has to offer.  Your attention to, and continued support of, CLP is a great gift.  Please stick around and allow us to continue to give back in our quirky, writerly fashion.

Leigh Anne
who would take you all out for milk and cookies, except that it’s been done

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