Some Seriously Serious Books. Learn from Masters.

There are loads of recent books with settings based in World War II: The Zookeepers Wife, The Lilac Girls, The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath the Scarlet Sky, The Book Thief, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, We Were the Lucky Ones and yes, there are others.  So… I have decided to offer some older books that draw insight from this same time period.  Here they are and they are amazing.  They are:

1–The Diary of a Young Girl: Anne Frank (nice paperback classic in terrific condition)

2–Man’s Search for Happiness by Victor E. Frankl (smaller paperback in fairly good condition – has sold over 10 million copies)

3–Night by Elie Wiesel (smaller paperback in good condition, 4.3 on Goodreads)

I’d love to send these to you.  Comment away!







Classic Children Bundle: Alice and Auggie meet

This bundle includes:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – a very good condition hardcover with a dust jacket.  Illustrated by the amazing John Tenniel (the original illustrator of this book)

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – a good condition hardcover with a dust jacket.  It does have an inscription.

What do these books really have in common (besides the word “Wonder”)?  One is about a girl in a place that stretches reality in most peculiar ways.  The other is about a boy with a disfigured face who learns about human nature.

And I’m WONDERing if both of these books are both classics.

I think we can all agree that Alice in Wonderland is timeless. It’s never been out of print since it was published in 1865.  Mathematicians, Freud scholars, literary experts and website builders have studied the book. It has spawned christmas ornaments,  music videos (you need to watch this), rock group names (Alice in Chains), drug slang, and more.

The question is whether Wonder a classic. Time will tell, but I think it’s got a fighting chance.  Here are some random criteria to help figure out whether a book might achieve “classic” status:

  1. Adults must like the book.  C.S. Lewis said,  “I am inclined to set it up as a canon that a children’s story which is only enjoyed by children is a bad children’s story.”   I would give Wonder a resounding “yes”  for appealing to adults.  I enjoyed the story.  My mom enjoyed the story.  My neighbor’s mom enjoyed the story.   But forget conjecture, Wonder has over 400,000 goodread reviews and I don’t think many of those were written by children.
  2. The book has been made into a movie.  And not only a movie – a good one.  The movie adaptation of Wonder actually came out last weekend and has garnered fairly good reviews.  So we’ll wait and see what happens on this front.
  3.  It has an amusement park ride.  Alice in Wonderland has a ride (teacups!) and Harry Potter has spread over an entire section of a park.  While Wonder doesn’t seem to be the kind of book that would generate a ride, a ride designer could get creative.  It might be worthwhile if someone used CGI to create that powerless, overwhelming feeling of being bullied.  Kids might get a better understanding of how damaging their behavior can be.

To win this book bundle, mention in the comments a children’s book that you think is good enough to be a classic (there is no shame in listing Goosebumps, OK, maybe a little:).  Good luck!



Surprise! Cookbook Bundle


Foodies rejoice!  Here’s your chance to win:

Cooks Illustrated Cookbook:  A gorgeous hardcover with dust jacket.  This book is almost 900 pages.

A Collection of the Very Finest Recipes ever Assembled into one Cookbook:  A fair to good condition paperback.

These cookbooks are on opposite ends of the spectrum.  The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook takes its recipes from the Cook’s Illustrated magazine – a magazine so successful that it doesn’t even need advertisements.  This book knows its stuff.  Most recipes have articulate explanations as to why they work.

The other cookbook is floppy and lightly stained (isn’t that a good thing? it means that someone used it).   It claims to be a compilation of the best recipes  from those group cookbooks. You know the ones where a church or group want to make money so all its members submit recipes to be bound together and sold. This cookbook contains concoctions like cantaloupe chiffon pie, lobster desiree,  pheasant – all drunk and spunky, blueberry yum yum, and chopped chicken liver.

So here’s what I’m thinking.  I thought we could start our own group recipe collection right here on Slithy.  Post your favorite recipe or link in the comments to win.  Good luck!