Saturday, June 20, 2015

JAWS Turns 40 Today

“What’s the scariest movie that you’ve ever seen?”  

It’s a fair question for any movie geek.  You’ve got your Omens & Exorcists (which are, yes, quite scary) but there was only one film that made me petrified to get into the bathtub and that film is JAWS.  JAWS hit a collective nerve - it still does.  There is something buried deep in our minds that concerns itself with simple survival.  That little voice that reminds us that we are part of the food chain, that there really are things out there that cannot be seen – things that may eat you alive.  JAWS plays perfectly on those fears.  With all due respect to aliens & zombies (both of which, when handled properly, can be quite scary), the food chain is real.  Sharks are real.  Rationally, relying on statistics, I know I will both hit the lottery and be struck by lightning on the same day before a shark takes a bite out of my well-marbled hide.  But I’m talking fear and, yes, “The Shark is Still Working”. 

40 years ago today – JAWS was released.    

I still look twice before getting into the bathtub.  Thanks Mr. Spielberg.  

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Better World Books

I am blessed to be around readers.  People who love books.  We recommend authors to each other and sometimes there is the payoff of discovery – the discovery of something wonderful.  We tell each other what we like and what we believe others may like too.  We are fans of our libraries and funky used book stores and, on occasion we’ll wander through a Barns & Noble, which appears to be the only big brick and mortar book store left these days.  We have accounts on Amazon for our Kindle apps and e-readers.  We have access to e-books from other sources as well.  We read or we listen to stories.  We are fans.

Perhaps you too are such a fan?  If so then lend me your ears…

This week one of my reading friends asked me if I had heard of a website called Better World Books (  She said that it was an online used bookstore where you could find great stuff cheap AND, she went on to tell me, “The best part is that for every book you buy – they donate a book somewhere else in the world.”  This is a great idea.  This is a great concept.  There are books who are looking for readers and there are people out there who don’t usually have access to books who, through this site, now have access to them – worldwide.  It’s easy to take a thing like literacy or being able to pick up a book from a library or bookstore for granted.  There are places and places not necessarily too far away where this is the norm and not the exception.  You can help shrink those barriers.

There are bins all over the place to donate your used books – see here: and if you don’t want to do that you can have labels sent to your domicile to mail them away yourself.  They even accept textbooks. 

So by getting books through Better World Books makes the world a better place.  It’s a win-win.  You get the books you’re looking for (really – it’s an exhaustive selection), promote literacy, and get books into the hands of people who wouldn’t have them otherwise.  That’s a good thing all the way around the horn.

Spread the love.  Let other readers know.  Here’s their Facebook page too:

Thank you, Gentle Reader.  Keep on readin’.