Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Film Clip: House of Cards

So thrilled that season 3 of House of Cards is now streaming!  Enjoy!

Happy viewing,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Rosie Effect

After reading The Rosie Project, I couldn't wait for the sequel, The Rosie Effect, to be released in December.  I expected to dive right in and consume that book as quickly as I had the first one.  However, the past few months have been very busy, (hence the relative blog silence) so I just got around to reading it now.   Like the first book, it was hysterical in some parts and poignant in others.  The first book however, had the element of surprise going for it.  It was so unexpected that a protagonist would try to use data analysis to find a wife, that the plot just flew by.
Here is what I wrote about The Rosie Project when I first read it:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Rosie Project

I just finished reading The Rosie Project, by  Graeme Simsion.  This romantic comedy follows the misadventures of a brilliant geneticist in his quest for the perfect wife.  Since social encounters are awkward for this man who, at first,  does not realize that he suffers from Asperger's, he develops a questionnaire to find a suitable life-mate.  Enlisting the assistance of a fellow professor and his wife, he commences "The Wife Project" with the precision of a university study.
Enjoy this funny look at dating rituals and social conventions as your next beach read.

Happy reading,

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mardis Gras Reading and Recipe

This beautiful trivet was a gift that my wonderful friend, Janet gave me after her trip to New Orleans.

Last night, while I was cooking my family's Fat Tuesday dinner and dessert, I thought of this previous post on Mardis Gras food and books.  Enjoy.

February 21, 2012

While planning my New Orleans-themed Fat Tuesday dinner -  pulled-pork Po' Boys, jambalaya, and bananas foster for dessert – I was trying to think of New Orleans-themed books.  I remembered Zeitoun, the true story of a Muslim-American family’s experience after Hurricane Katrina. 
Confession:  I didn’t finish reading this book, as I started reading something juicier.  However, it must be controversial, because my friend, a very quiet, reserved young woman, called me on the way home from book discussion to tell me she almost came to blows with a
70 year-old man over part of the book.  Obviously, now I have to reread the book. 

For your own Mardi Gras celebration, I’ve included a video recipe for king cake:

Happy reading,

Monday, February 16, 2015

Nook vs. Book - Round 12

The Hubs gave me the new Nook Samsung tablet for Valentine's Day.  Did this wonderful gift set my heart aflutter?  I'm still exploring all of the capabilities of this new device.  Below are some of my previous posts on my relationship with e-readers:

 November 30, 2011
On Monday I posted this on e-readers for children.  Now let me clarify, I have a Nook and I love it.  However, before I got it, I wasn’t sure if the Nook and I would hit it off.  The Nook is cool, sleek and modern.  I am old-fashioned.  I like homemade comfort foods like soup, sauce and gravy.  I like opening my gifts on Christmas morning, not Christmas Eve, and I like reading real books.  I like the feel of a book in my hands, the smell of a book, (especially the smell of a library book which can bring me back to childhood) and I like the tactile sensation of turning pages.  How then, could the Nook and I make it work?
And, if I were going over to the dark side of digital reading, what should I wear?  Would I have to give up my sweaters and pearls and wear something edgier, perhaps head to toe black like Darth Vader, cat burglars and intellectuals from SoHo?
And of course there was the bigger dilemma, if I were going leave my tried and true traditional books, what should be the first title I read on the Nook? Should I go with a classic like Pride and Prejudice?  Would a beloved favorite like The Great Gatsby be a digital disappointment?  Finally, since I felt like I was doing something seedy anyway, I settled on an easy beach read called Trouble in Mudbug, in which the protagonist’s manipulative, materialistic mother-in-law finally dies only to come back and haunt her.  And you know what, I kind of liked it.
The Nook and I didn’t really bond though, until a trip to Montauk.  There we spent time on the beach, on the balcony, and curled up on the couch together.  I discovered that the Nook is more than just cool; it is also the perfect travel accessory.  It provides a world of reading in one compact case that easily fits into an overnight bag.  So now I’m asking, why would anyone leave their tried and true traditional Nook for Nook Color?
Happy e-reading or book reading,

Nook vs. Book - Round 3

posted Dec 6, 2011, 4:15 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen   [ updated Mar 31, 2012, 5:23 AM by Ryan Case ]
December 6, 2011
Now your students can check e-readers out of their local library!  The West Babylon Public Library has acquired several Nook Color and Kindle e-readers.   West Babylon cardholders can  borrow the
e-readers for up to 14 days.  Books are pre-loaded, and cardholders can download up to 5 additional titles.  Of course, any Suffolk County library patrons can download titles to their own e-readers for free using Suffolk Wave  Live-brary.
Happy reading,

Nook vs. Book - Round 4

posted Jan 6, 2012, 10:06 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen   [ updated Mar 31, 2012, 5:22 AM by Ryan Case ]
January 6, 2012
Yesterday, the New York Times parenting blog posted an article calledWhy Books Are Better than e-Books for Children  It was very interesting, and makes the current count in this Nook vs. Book series: Nook -  1    Book  - 3.  To be continuued...
To see the earlier rounds, click on round 1round 2, round 3.
Happy book reading or e-reading,

Nook vs. Book - Round 5

posted Jan 9, 2012, 10:01 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen   [ updated Mar 31, 2012, 5:22 AM by Ryan Case ]
January 9, 2012
Yesterday,  Newsday  published this piece on social reading.   Not being on Facebook or Twitter, I'd never heard of this phenomon, but apparently it's big.  Social reading allows book lovers to intereact with each other instantly. 
In it's earliest stage of development, social reading consisted of a feature on Amazon's Kindle which allowed the reader to post comments on Facebook or Twitter.  Now, many reader's tablets have evolved to the point where a reader can highlight text, email it to a friend and share comments.  It is like a book club with instant gratification.  I wondered, will social reading take the place of the face to face communication of a traditional book club? 
Curious, I set out to research.  It seems there are online communities such as and dedicated solely to this.  Who knew?   
From a teacher's perspective however, the best aspect of the new apps available on reader's tablets is that theorectically, a teacher could highlight a certain part of a text, add margin notes or other comments, and email it to all of her students!  How is that for text-based learning?
So, reluctantly, this round has to go to the Nook  with a haymaker, making the current count:  Nook - 2   Book - 3
Happy book reading or e-reading,

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Nook vs. Book - Round 6

posted Mar 26, 2012, 2:54 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen   [ updated Mar 31, 2012, 5:13 AM by Ryan Case ]

3 generations
Three Generations of Nook Readers!
March 26, 2012
My house is being overrun by books.  Books are stacked neatly on shelves.  Books are placed sloppily over the neatly stacked books on shelves.  Books are on end tables and night-stands.  Books are piled on the floor of the alcove in front of my children's  bookshelf.  I am seriously thinking of asking my contractor to build more shelves. 
Naturally, then, I laughed when I read this piece in Newsday, about a former book-lover who is now a book-hater.  Of course, I could never be a book-hater.  As I've written on this blog before, I love books.  I love the look and feel and smell of them.  I just don't love the clutter.  So, since neatness counts,  ... this round goes to the Nook, making the current count:
Nook - 3; Book - 3!  Stay tuned!  See who takes the next round!
To  the earlier rounds, click Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5.
Happy reading,

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Nook vs. Book - Round 7

posted Apr 3, 2012, 4:11 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen   [ updated Apr 3, 2012, 4:11 AM by Ryan Case ]

Three Generations of Nook Readers!
April 3, 2012
Yesterday I posted this about a book signing.  Now, I have one question for you, "Have you ever tried to get your Nook signed by an author?"
Obviously, this round goes to Book with a haymaker, making the current count:  Nook -3; Book - 4.  Keep reading to see who wins the next round!
Click here to see earlier rounds:  Round 1,  Round 2,  Round 3,  Round 4,  Round 5,  Round 6
Happy reading,

Nook vs. Book - Round 8

posted Apr 18, 2012, 9:30 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen   [ updated Apr 18, 2012, 9:30 AM by Ryan Case ]

Three Generations of Nook Readers!
April 18, 2012
Last week, USA Today  reported that Barnes and Noble will be adding GlowLight technology to the Nook Simple Touch.  This way, a person can read in bed without an external light and hopefully, without disturbing their partner.  (Nook Tablet seems to be readable at night already.)Pretty impressive.  Therefore, this round goes to...Nook, making the current count Nook -4  Book -4.  Who will the victor be?  Keep reading to find out!  To see earlier rounds clickRound 1Round 2, Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6, Round 7.
Happy nighttime reading,

Nook vs. Book - Round 9

posted Jun 26, 2012, 6:14 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen   [ updated Jun 28, 2012, 6:42 PM by Ryan Case ]

Three Generations of Nook Readers!
June 26, 2012
Sales of e-books have surpassed sales of hardcovers in some areas!  Read the data tables and full article here
This round goes to..... Nook, making the current count Nook:  5,  Book:  4 .  To see previous rounds click Round 1Round 2Round 3Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7., Round 8.
Happy e-reading or book reading,

Nook vs. Book - Round 10

posted Oct 15, 2012, 2:30 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen

Three Generations of Nook Readers!
October 15, 2012
Confession:  I love Nelson DeMille's John Corey books!  Yes, I recognize that they are testosterone-packed, thrill-rides, filled with Mr. Corey's wry, and sometimes sexist observations, but I love them anyway.  I can't wait until the new book comes out tomorrow, and thanks to my Nook, I don't have to!  I have pre-ordered The Pantherwhich will magically appear on my Nook at midnight.  So, for convenience, suspense, impatience and excitement, this round goes to... Nook, making the current count, Nook - 6,  Book  - 4.  Who will win the heavyweight championship?  Tune in to find out.  To see previous rounds, click  Round 1Round 2Round 3, Round 4Round 5Round 6Round 7,Round 8Round 9.
Happy e-reading or book reading,

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Nook vs. Book - Round 11

posted Oct 28, 2012, 8:36 AM by Christine Brower-Cohen

Three Generations of Nook Readers!
October 28, 2012
As Hurricane Sandy makes her way up the east coast, I am busy with emergency preparations.  Part of these preparations, is making sure all of our electrical devices, cell phones, computer, etc. are fully charged so that we have a way of staying informed when the power  does go out.   Just as I was unplugging a charger, it hit me.  My Nook is going to lose its charge before the power comes back on, probably at a really juicy part of the novel.  Since a book does not have to be charged, this round goes to Book, making the current count
Nook - 6,  Book - 5.  Who will the champ be?  Check back to find out.  To see earlier rounds click Round 1,  Round 2,  Round 3,  Round 4,  Round 5,  Round 6,  Round 7,  Round 8,  
Happy hurricane reading,

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Second-Sight Saturday: Snowy Day Valentine Craft

Happy Valentine's Day!

I originally posted this last February during a snow storm.

Kids stuck indoors?  Try this Valentine's Day activity that my daughter learned.  Make Rice Krispie  Treats using the traditional recipe found here.  Then shape them like Hershey's Kisses, wrap them in foil, and write your own  version of the trademark Hershey flags, with customized Valentine's Day messages.

Happy Valentine's Day,

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Literature for Lincoln's Birthday

If you are looking to change-up your lessons for Lincoln's birthday, why not consider Vinnie and Abraham, by Dawn Fitzgerald?  This charming picture book tells the true story of a young girl who was commissioned to create a statue of President Lincoln.
Image result for vinnie and abraham

You can even go see the statue in Washington D.C.  My husband planned a wonderful family trip to the Capitol building, where we got to see the sculpture for ourselves.

Happy presidential reading,

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I read that today was Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday, I couldn't help but think of all the cozy nights that I spent reading her books to my daughter.  (When my daughter was little and we first started reading chapter books together, she used to cry when I finished a book.  I quickly learned to save the last chapter of one book, for a night that we would have time to start the first chapter of the sequel.)
If you too, have fond memories of the series, either for from the first time you read it as a child, or from sharing it with your own children and students, you might enjoy West From Home.  It is a collection of letters that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote to her husband from her 1915 trip to visit their grown daughter in in San Francisco.  The first time I read it, I couldn't help but wonder at the amazing fact that as a child she traveled across the country in a covered wagon, and then as an adult she traveled by train and saw electric lights.
You might even want to check out The Little House Cookbook:  Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories.

Happy reading,

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird Sequel

Yes!  Yes! Yes!
I wanted to scream with delight when I read that another work of Harper Lee's was going to be published.  To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, and Atticus Finch is arguably the greatest fictional father and lawyer ever written.
As a matter of fact, when I was first married, I bought a copy of the book for my husband and inscribed it to him, "My own Atticus Finch."
Can't wait!

Happy reading,

Monday, February 2, 2015

Super Bowl and Super Positivity

Years ago, one of my closest friends, nicknamed me, "Rosie" making fun of my tendency to see people and things through rose-colored glasses.   True to that moniker, I want to point out that thanks to last week's blizzard, my husband and I didn't have to make or buy extra ice for our beverage coolers for our Super Bowl party.  Thank you, snow!
Also true to my moniker, I'd like to share the most positive commercial of the Super Bowl:

And finally, since I realize the Super Bowl isn't just about friends, food and fun, I guess  I'll ask a football question.  Should Butler have been the MVP, and not Brady?

Happy reading,