Monthly Archives: March 2014

A Note about Closed the Cover and Room to Read on Blog

You’ll notice that my blog not only has a new theme but also two buttons added to the right bar. These are for Closed the Cover and Room to Read.

1387684957Back in January, I was contacted by Ashley LaMar, the founder of Closed the Cover. Closed the Cover is described as “a literary media outlet offering book reviews and other services to publishers and self-published authors. Services include: book reviews, author interviews, guest posts, featured articles and virtual (blog) tours. … the company has grown to include a variety of genres, multiple reviewers and other literary services.”

Closed the Cover works with small presses and self-published authors. I would encourage you to take a look at what Closed the Cover is doing, and to support their efforts.

rtr_logo_color_smallRoom to Read is an award-winning non-profit that promotes education through literacy and gender equality. The organization works with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to reach primary-school children. The organization promotes literacy for all while ensuring that girls complete secondary school and learn the skills and knowledge that they will need.

I am not getting paid for these endorsements, or getting any type of enumeration. So please visit both web sites.

Richard Diana, Healthy Joints for Life: an Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again

(2014-02-19 006)Title: Healthy Joints for Life: an Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again [NETGALLERY DOWNLOAD]

Author: Richard Diana

Publication Information: New York: Harlequin, 2013

ISBN: 978-0373892709 (0373892705)

Library of Congress Classification: RC932

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Joints—Diseases—Popular works
Pain—Popular works
Arthritis—Popular works

This book has a lot to offer people with joint pain. I am one of them.

I’ve had bone spurs on both heels of my feet since my 20s, and within the past several years they have begun to ache. My doctor thinks that it is from rheumatoid arthritis, which I have being diagnosed with having. If this were true, my joints should have been aching like this since my 20s, and it is only within the past five years that my heels (and feet) have begun to ache.

On top of this, the orthopedic surgeon I saw told me that my ankles are not very flexible; they flex one way but not the other, and though he didn’t call my ankles abnormal (which I do), he did say that because the ankle flexes only one way, the tendon has been jerked on the one side since I started walking, which is why the bone spurs formed in the first place.

Frankly, I’ve been lost and angry. I read this book and felt better. Richard Diana is an orthopedic surgeon who watched his mother suffer for years from rheumatoid arthritis. Nothing that was given to her would aleviate the pain, and he watched her world get smaller and smaller as she became crippled and not able to do much of anything. He was an NFL player and has a lot of experience with joint pain, which he has been researching for years.

The book gives way too much information on the science on how the joints and the body work, at least for me. I was overwhelmed, but nonetheless struggled through. Diana says that joint pain can be controlled through weight loss, eating the right foods, and taking supplements. The body breaks down food into three groups: fats, proteins and carbohydrates. There are good carbs and bad carbs, just like there’s good fat and bad fat. There are fats and proteins that are joint-healthy, and he provides an eight-week program to get people moving while reducing the pain.

People should consult their doctor before doing any of the things in this book, particularly the supplements. I also plan on consulting a nutritionist to help plan a new dietary program. Weight is a major problem, and it is imperative that I lose weight. I intend to discuss this book with my doctor when I see her.

If you know someone suffering joint pain, you might want to suggest this book. If Dr. Diana were in New York, I would go to him.

Note: The NetGallery pdf was so bad that I had to request the book through Warner Library. The charts and drawings were either missing or garbled.


The web site says “If you’re a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or in the media, get a FREE NetGallery account to request and read digital galleys today.” So I did. NetGallery wants reviews for the book galleys that they are offering.

I had a friend tell me about NetGallery. I downloaded five galleys. I’ve only been a member for a month or so. I finished one book (soon to be reviewed), and I am in the middle of another one. I had a graphic novel from DC Comics on Batman that looked interesting. (I used to collect comic books.) I had to request the file from the publisher. The day I was told that I could download it was the day that I went to the web site only to find that the publisher had already pulled the novel from review. What was the point of even telling me that I could read it?

There were two books that I downloaded but discovered that there was no way that I could read them on my Kindle. So, I emailed NetGallery to find out if I could somehow get the books in a Kindle-friendly form. All the other galleys that I got (pdf files) I could read on the Kindle. I was told that I should use another reader to access these files.

Ah, no.

The pdf files have many typos. In one file, editorial comments were mingled into sentences that I had to stop and try and figure out what was the original sentence. Proper nouns were not capitalized, and in some places it was hard to follow the text. One does have to wonder if it’s even worth trying to read these galleys.

I’ve gone to Book Expo America for several years and have gotten proofs/advance reading copies/whatever you want to call them that have errors but the text is readable. Perhaps there’s a difference between proofs and galleys. The five galleys I was able to download to my Kindle I am obligated to review and I will, but whether or not I use NetGallery again is debatable.

I will mark these reviews with “NetGallery download.”

Look What’s in the Warner Library!

Warner Library serves Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow. There’s a big browsing section of what new books the library bought.

(2014-02-09 001)Title: The Historic Shops & Restaurants of New York

Author: Ellen Williams & Steve Radlauer

Publication Information: New York: The Little Bookroom, 2002

ISBN: 978-781892-145-1-54 (1-892145-15-4)

Library of Congress Classification: TX907.3.N72

Dewey Decimal Classification: 917.471

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Restaurants—New York (State)—New York—Guidebooks
Stores, Retail—New York (State)—New York—Guidebooks

I came across this book when I was weeding the out-of-date books in the travel section in the library. I was intrigued so much that I took it out. The Historic Shops & Restaurants of New York is for those into New York City history, specifically the history of shops and restaurants in Gotham.

The book’s focus is on establishments that are a century or so old. The term “store” has a wide meaning: apothecaries, pharmacies, leather goods, clothiers, sporting goods, home fittings, jewelers, watchmakers, butchers, fishmongers, grocerias (grocery stores), hardware—you name it, it’s probably listed.

There are some interesting entries. Did you know that Bloomingdale’s donated most of the men’s department to recruiting during the 1898 Spanish-American War? The store also granted extended leaves of absence at full pay for those employees who enlisted. During World War I, the store turned a full floor over to the Red Cross and posted signs in the grocery department (!) reminding shoppers of the rationing schedule: no wheat on Mondays and Wednesdays, and Tuesdays were meatless.

Macy’s, in the meantime, had introduced the world to the first store Santa Claus in 1870. The Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924, with the giant balloons joining three years later. Originally the balloons would be released at the finish line; people would then bring them back for a reward. And Macy’s red star logo? It came from founder and ex-seaman Roland Hussey Macy, upon whose hand was a red star tattoo.

A hospital for dolls exists on Lexington Avenue. The Doll Hospital was founded in 1900 originally to restore the tangled hair on dolls but quickly expanded into making all repairs dolls may need. After Teddy bears, introduced in 1902, became popular, the Doll Hospital also serviced them. After World War II, the Doll Hospital began selling dolls imported from Europe. And as customers are reminded, the hospital hasn’t lost a patient yet.

I’m interested in the restaurants and cafés. The Landmark Tavern was built at 11th Avenue in 1868, before landfill extended Manhattan over to 12th Avenue. The tavern initially served immigrants, sailors and longshoremen. Mare Chiaro is better known as the Sinatra Bar, since Frank Sinatra had patronized it since 1941. In 1860, McSorley’s Old Ale House served Abraham Lincoln, who was then an ex-Illinois congressman running for president. Lincoln was speaking at Cooper Union, founded the year before by philanthropist Peter Cooper. One of Cooper’s closest friends was John McSorley.

There’s a lot here. The book is of interest to anyone who wants to poke around the more than a century old stores and restaurants of New York City.

Mark Siegel, Sailor Twain or, the Mermaid in the Hudson

(2014-01-26 001)Title: Sailor Twain: or, the Mermaid in the Hudson

Author: Mark Siegel

Publication Information: 1st ed. New York: First Second, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59643-636-7

Library of Congress Classification: PN6727.S51549

Dewey Classification: 741.5

Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Mermaids—Comic books, strips, etc.
Hudson River (N.Y. and N.J.)—Comic books, strips, etc.

This book was written by someone who lives in Tarrytown and who did his research for the book at the Historical Society of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow.

Sailor Twain takes place in the late 19th century. Twain is the captain of a river vessel that sails up and down the Hudson from New York City to Albany. He works for a Frenchman, Jacques Henri de Lafayette, who is also his friend. Jacques’ brother Dieudonne later joins him in the business. Jacques mysteriously disappears, and Dieudonne takes control, but he is no businessman like his brother. Dieudonne spends much of his time chasing women–single and married–and leaves Twain much to do whatever he likes.

It gets interesting when Twain finds a wounded mermaid. She becomes his muse and he becomes entranced with her. All I can really say is that Siegel crafts the lore surrounding mermaids into the story. Jacques’ disappearance, Dieudonne’s juggling several  misteresses, and Twain’s obsession with the mermaid all come together in the end. Meanwhile, the poor, wheelchair-bound wife of Twain becomes more neglected over time. (I thought that she was suffering from consumption.) The book ends with an interesting twist.

The illustrations are black and white. The art is rather cartoonish, but it works. It’s understandable why this was a New York Times bestseller. It’s quite entertaining. I didn’t like putting it down because I wanted to see how it ended.