Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook

For Southerners, food is a pretty big deal. Let's hope there's never a birthday party in my family without my grandmother's caramel cake, no Thanksgiving without a turkey smoked on the grill by my dad or sweet potato casserole with pecans on top, or Easter dinner without a ham. I love to cook, and when I get a new cookbook I just can't wait to go through it and flag all the recipes I'd like to cook one day. I ordered The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook with a Christmas gift card, and it's just arrived. I can't wait to read it from cover to cover and dream about all the things I want to make!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The King's Speech

I recently rewarded myself after completing several big projects in January by going to see The King's Speech on a weekday afternoon by myself, which was quite a treat. I like any movie with Colin Firth, and this one was no exception. The film has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards, so I can't wait to see how it does at the Oscars on February 27. It was a wonderful story and what made it even more enjoyable for me was that it is a true story. As my obsession with British royalty continues, I'm now looking for suggestions on any reading having to do with King George VI. You can hear one of his famous wartime speeches on YouTube.

Better World Books

I frequent my libraries and I'm pretty frugal when it comes to buying books. I try to buy used and never purchase a brand new hardcover. Since moving to Atlanta, I've yet to find a bookstore that I love as much as Raleigh's Quail Ridge Books (my favorite!), so I've taken to ordering books online rather than purchasing them at a big retailer. Amazon is great, but my very, very favorite is a lesser-known but similar company called Better World Books. They have eco-friendly shipping, fund literacy programs worldwide and are just all-around do-gooders. I love them.

Can you imagine how excited I was to get an email from one of their employees asking me if I'd be willing to participate in market research and usability testing for their website? Until then I didn't even realize they had an office in the Atlanta area. Last week I sat with one of their product usability specialists and we went through their website, talking about the pros and cons, and the ease of finding and ordering books from their site.

I love when someone asks for my opinion on something, because I almost always have one! Then, to sweeten it just that much more, the books I searched for as part of the usability test are in the process of being shipped to my home. And even better, they stayed true to their dedication to literacy by donating to the cause of my choosing, which was my spring 2010 pet project, KIPP Scribes (which has just started for 2011 - more on that in a later post).

A great company is Better World Books. You should order from them. I'll make it easy for you. If you comment on any of my 2011 blog posts before the end of February, I'll send you a discount code to use on your first order.

Happy book shopping!