Leigh's Blog!

Dear Fellow Reader:


December 2015:

There are a couple of author show always make me laugh whether I am reading their work for the first time or a rerun, Sedaris and Bryson being two.

In his “Notes from a Small Island” Bryson writes about confronting one of those modern and pompous menus that describe plates as, “Fillet steak served with a crushed black peppercorn sauce flamed in brandy and finished with cream.”  Bryson goes on, “I was greatly taken with this new way of talking and derived considerable pleasure from speaking it to the waiter.  I asked him for a luster of water freshly drawn from the house tap and presented au nature in a cylinder of glass, and when came around with the bread rolls I entreated him to present me a tonged rondelle of blanched wheat, oven baked, and masked in a poppy seed coating.  I was just getting warmed up to this and about to ask for a fanned lap coverlet, freshly laundered and scented with a delicate hint of Lemon Daz, to replace the one that had slipped from my lap and now lay recumbent on the horizontal walking surface subjacent to my feet….”

Notes from a Small Island, by Bill Bryson.

Also:

A Short History of Nearly Everything

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid

One Summer, 1927

A Walk in the Woods:  Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.


I have long been fascinated with two of the US's most important Presidents, Washington and Lincoln.  Celebrating Presidents' Day in the US, click HERE to read the Wall Street Journal's celebration of Lincoln's incisive and practical understanding of political life.  I think you will enjoy it.

We stock a large number of biographies and non-fiction books (inculding the "Who Was..... " series for kids.  Please stop in.

Leigh


December 18, 2013

Dear Fellow Reader:

I have just received the most startling news.  An anonymous reader (OK, not so anonymous.  It’s Margaret from central Jersey (not the islands)) states she likes this blog.  I like it too – in no small part because there is no “reply” or “comment” or “rebut” button which means I always have the last word!  And that is not the case with the “anonymous” person I mention before because in all other parallel lives SHE has the last word -- generally something like, “You are full of fluff,” or “You are a menace.”  Scurrilous accusations, of course, but for twenty years she has remained undeterred in her defamatory descriptions of your poor, humble, unpretentious, and much-maligned author.

I close by saying, “So THERE, Margaret.  I FINALLY have the last word and there is nothing you can do about it!!” 

(uh-oh.  Having made the challenge, I think this will not end well!)


December 16, 2013

What is it about the Great Depression that fascinates me?  (My current mental state?  Just kidding).  It was so complicated, so unexpected, so intractable -- and caused so much suffering.  Of particular note were those who lived and farmed in the dust bowl, Dalhart TX,  Guymon and Boise City OK, and Liberal KS.  The actual area covered millions of acres, and accounts of those who lived the decade of despair are heart-breaking.  Who would have guessed the advent of modern farm technology remember, this was 1930-1940) was a major cause.

I am so moved by the narratives about this era and locale that I am off to Dalhart and Guymon to stand in the middle of this man-made and avoidable environmental disaster. I read about Howard Finnell, dust bowl agronomist, who single-handedly came up with means of repairing some of the damage.  I hope I will see renewed grasslands as they were before modern farming.

Well, these man-made environmental problems are not new.  In the years 600-900 AD the Teotihuacanos destroyed the lush landscape just northeast of present day Mexico City and caused the end of their own civilization-and the region has never recovered.

So what ELSE am I saying??  There is SO much excellent non-fiction writing out there.  Just pick your topic and the challenge becomes narrowing your choices for great readin.

So liitle time.  So many books.


November 6, 2013

Monday night I went to a lecture by Allen Guelzo, the Henry R. Luce Scholar of The Civil War.  He spoke specifically about the Gettysburg Address, its format, content, and purpose.  Let me start at the end.  He stated, "The soldiers commemorated, consecrated, at the ceremony where The Gettysburg Address was given, are the reason we have our quality of life.  Those men fought for many things, and one of the most important was to preserve democracy in the face of European doubt and American divisions."  The Address does not use the word slavery.  The war was about slavery, states rights, economic interests, etc., but the Gettysburg Address was about democracy, "testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."

Dr. Guelzo informed us that the entire address was 272 words in an era when speeches were expected to make mulitiple references to classical antecedents and go on for hours.  Lincoln's speech lasted two minutes.  Two thirds of its words were single syllable.  There are only four 4 syllable words in the entire speech.  Yet this speech might be the most famous ever given in the English language.

Click HERE for the text. May I also suggest you read Lincoln's Second Inaugural.

Dr. Guelzo is the author of many books on the Civil War, mostly published by Random House.


October 31, 2013

My, my.  It has been a while.  Have you missed me?  Lot's of fun things have happened.  We get great pleasure with putting on several book fairs in October - the largest one at the American School resulting in a donation to the PTA of over $100,000. Pesos.  Yes, we like the sales.  Yes, we need the sales to stay in business.  But we really, REALLY like the kids' faces when they light up while looking at books....  It is a very exciting and rewarding time, and we thank ALL the schools that invite us to put on book fairs.

See you next year!


How books make this world small and comfortable:

Through an unlikely connection, I began corresponding with a delightful lady names Diane Onken Kirkman of Maine.  She lived in Mexico from 1967 to 1971 and shopped at Libros Libros Libros!!  She now writes a very well done blog of book reviews, so take a look at them here:  http://cplreaderscorner.wordpress.com/tag/dianes-reviews/ .

If anyone would like to write reviews for this site, welcome!! Just hit the "Contact Us" link above and let me know.


 

August 15, 2013:  Leigh's Extraordinary Request!

(follow us on Twitter @LLLMexico as to hear about our special sales and events)

The week of August 5, three customers spontaneously told me how much the store means to the community and how much they enjoy browsing. One said it is a regular shopping stop to see new book and magazine arrivals.

It made me think…. We love our customers, and our employees depend on LLL for their living so I thought I would make an extraordinary request to help us ensure a healthy future. Here is what I ask:

 

Continue visiting!! We love to see you.

Recommend us to your friends.

Complain!!! We try hard and we are ALWAYS trying to improve. (If you are happy, tell your friends; if not, tell us. It is the best way for us to improve).

And for those of you with children in school, tell your school about us – for classroom supplies, book fairs, recommended reading, etc. Schools send parents to buy books, but most schools do not tell us in advance what they are recommending. We are always very disappointed not to be able to meet all needs, and I think a little parental pressure would work wonders.

Visit booksbookmexico.com we will be updating magazine and book arrivals frequently.

Those are my most respectful requests, to which I add "THANK YOU" from all of us at Libros Libros Libros. We appreciate your business.

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one."
George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

 


August 7, 2013

OK, I confess.  Your macho, tobacco-chewing, beer-swilling macho writer has actually read AND enjoyed two romantic novels by Julie Klassen:  The Silent Governess, and The Girl in the Gatehouse.  Yes, I really did enjoy them.  Of course there is Lord Lusty of Longmarsh, and the blushing heroine.  Very precictable.  But there is also a bit of mystery and intrigue.  When reading, one is compelled to think ahead about the UNpredictable events and possible outcomes.  Of course Lord Lusty will end up with Gwen the Shy, but there are parallel and interesting themes.  Come to think of it, I will read another!

 


August 4, 2013

Political inrigue?  Huge stakes?  Even huger egos?  Brilliant men convened in total secrecy, but not the NSA?  How about this for a cast of characters:  Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Madison, Adams, Randolph, Mason, Morris....  These are some of the delegates to the second Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia to move the organization of the United States from a unicameral to bicameral and more cenralized government.  It is truly a fascinating story.

Of the thirteen original colonies, which was the only one refusing to send a delegate?

What was one of the major motivating factors for the convention? 

Read about this in "Brilliant Solution," now available at LLL.


July 15, 2013

Who would have guessed the Wall Street Journal would review of two books on humor, click HERE.  The jokes are a scream.  The book will be available shortly at LLL.


July 10, 2013

David McCullough:  I attended two lectures by Mr. McCullough, one in New York and one in New Jersey.  Then I saw him last week on 60 minutes.  The man's passion is teaching history and its crucial role in preparing young people for civic responsibility and perspective.  He has written several books, and my personal favorite is Path Between the Seas, about building the Panama Canal - covering the financial, social, political, medical and engineering aspects.   This is a fascinating read.


 

January 15, 2103

Anna Quindlen on Jane Austen:  “Jane Austen may not be the best writer, but she certainly writes about the best people. And by that I mean people just like me.”
? Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life


I was in New York last week and had the great pleasure of hearing Anna Quindlen speak about writing, her editor (Kate Medina at Random House), and then had my picture taken with her (see the picture on our home page). What a delightful person! She spoke briefly about a favorite author – Jane Austen. Anna said Austen was a wonderful writer, and one of the great things about her is that she was a surprise in her era. She was the first female novelist, hence a very special person beyond just her writing.
That is my recollection of the conversation which I think I have correct.
We have all the Jane Austen novels in stock in the store, so I hope you might pick one up. I will!
Happy reading!!


Welcome to our reading blog.

I thought we would start with quote from Louis LAmour, “Reading without thinking is nothing.  A book is less important for what it says than what it makes you think.”