Getting Nostalgic Over N

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The word “nostalgia” should always be written in pink, because it, itself, implies a rose-colored glass-tinged world. Nothing embraces this idea more than the way we talk about and think about the concept of family. There’s an idea–particularly in the U.S.–that there was a time that was a golden age for “true families.” You know, the “Leave it to Beaver” kind.  Well, family’s always been a complicated, multifaceted creature.


The Way We Never Were: American Families And The Nostalgia Trap by Stephanie Coontz. Amazon for $10.85. The Way We Never Were examines two centuries of American family life and shatters a series of myths and half-truths that burden modern families. Placing current family dilemmas in the context of far-reaching economic, political, and demographic changes, Coontz sheds new light on such contemporary concerns as parenting, privacy, love, the division of labor along gender lines, the black family, feminism, and sexual practice.

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Voted Most Talkative? You and Andy Cohen Both!

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If you’ve seen his late night show on Bravo, “Watch What Happens Live,” you know Andy Cohen as bubbly, intelligent and hilarious. He’s also got a very steely resolve under that charming demeanor. No matter who his guests may be, it’s impossible to end the impossibly speedy half-hour without a smile. Now you can have that with no need for a cable connection.


Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture by Andy Cohen. Amazon for $8.89. he man behind the Real Housewives writes about his lifelong love affair with pop culture that brought him from the suburbs of St. Louis to his own television show

From a young age, Andy Cohen knew one thing: He loved television. Not in the way that most kids do, but in an irrepressible, all-consuming, I-want-to-climb-inside-the-tube kind of way. And climb inside he did. Now presiding over Bravo’s reality TV empire, he started out as an overly talkative pop culture obsessive, devoted to Charlie’s Angels and All My Children and to his mother, who received daily letters from Andy at summer camp, usually reminding her to tape the soaps. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe that everyone didn’t know that Andy was gay; still, he remained in the closet until college. Finally out, he embarked on making a career out of his passion for television.

The journey begins with Andy interviewing his all-time idol Susan Lucci for his college newspaper and ends with him in a job where he has a hand in creating today’s celebrity icons. In the witty, no-holds-barred style of his show Watch What Happens Live, Andy tells tales of absurd mishaps during his ten years at CBS News, hilarious encounters with the heroes and heroines of his youth, and the real stories behind The Real Housewives. Dishy, funny, and full of heart, Most Talkative provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of television, from a fan who grew up watching the screen and is now inside it, both making shows and hosting his own.

A Ghostly Non-Fiction Read

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Maybe Monday is creepy enough on its own, but if you feel like a little extra skin-crawling, check out Daniel Hardie’s comprehensive collection of haunted sites around the world. Is that your hair I see standing on end?

Ghosts in Houses & Other Spooky Places by Daniel Hardie. $2.99 from Smashwords.com
Enter a world of the unknown and the paranormal, where strange ghostly and haunting happenings take place all over the world. Ghosts in Houses & Other Spooky places is a book that explores ghostly realms in haunted houses, haunted hotels, historic castles and cursed graveyards. Read this book… if you dare.