Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Outside of a Dog, #52

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx.

While Mother’s Day was last month, and Father’s Day is in a few weeks, we’ve decided to present a couple of selections both about, featuring, and for your Moms and Dads.

The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town That Raised Them – Amy Dickinson

Dickinson tells the audience in this quaint autobiography, that she never meant to become an advice columnist. When she took over for the late Ann Landers, she never expected her column, “Ask Amy,” to take off like it did, and she found herself, years later, revisiting the town and life that led to her success.

Bio Dickinson WCV

BKD Bio Dickinson WCV

Certain Girls – Jennifer Weiner

A continuation of 2001’s “Good in Bed,” “Certain Girls” revisits Candace ‘Cannie’ Shapiro, who, after making the mistake of sleeping with an ex at his father’s funeral, found herself pregnant with a baby girl. In “Certain Girls,” Jewish Candace’s daughter Joy is about to turn 13 and take her bat mitzvah, and there’s certain rebellion brewing between mother and daughter. Read the predecessor before starting this one.

Fic Weiner WCV WDB WAM

Chocolat [DVD]

Based on the book by prolific author Joanne Harris, Chocolat visits a small village in the French countryside in 1960. Mother Vianne and her daughter Anouk travel whenever the wind blows cold, and this time, it’s landed them in Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, France, a very religious town. Vianne creates a stir with her ‘magical’ chocolate shop, which is scandalously open on Sundays, and begins to make positive changes in some of the townspeople. Anouk’s story continues in 2008’s “The Girl With No Shadow.”

DVD Fic Harris (free rental) WCV

Fic Harris ROG RSV SHL

A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce – Alec Baldwin

While few people thought of Alec Baldwin as little more than a decent actor from a troubled celebrity family, a voice mail released to the public in April 2007 changed public perception of him as a father forever. Here, he writes about his custody battles for daughter Ireland, and suggests ways of making divorce proceedings less drawn-out and painful for all parties involved, especially non-custodial parents.


The Given Day – Dennis Lehane

Two families in 1918 Boston, one black, one white, are shown through the filter of post-World-War-I strife. Here there are unions, strikes, illness, and throughout all, family. Lehane’s eighth standalone book is lauded and reviewed as one of his best, most richly illustrated, and epic.

Fic Lehane WCV WDB WMB

The Pursuit of Happyness [DVD]

The true tale of Chris Gardner, a promising scientific researcher who had once wanted to be a doctor, is told here with heartwarming, heartbreaking acting by star Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith. The original book explained that Gardner had accepted an unpaid position on Wall Street in order to move up the ranks and become a good father for his son, early on abandoned by his mother; and the movie does not stray from this. A good read or movie to watch with the family.

DVD P51 WCV ($1 rental)

Bio Gardner WDB

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