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Quirk Perks: Get Yum-Yum Bento Box for Only $3.99 All Month!

YUM-YUM BENTO BOX by Crystal Watanabe


Oh, boy-obento! These cute, yummy, healthy lunches are all the rage in Japan, where mothers think of them as an expression of love for their children. Yum-Yum Bento Box is one of the first cookbooks in English devoted to these healthy and adorable meals–they’re fresh, they’re tasty, and they’re almost too cute to eat!
Each step-by-step recipe in Yum-Yum Bento Box is simple and adaptable. Readers will learn how to form their favorite foods into a variety of shapes-from zebras, panda bears, and monkeys to kitties, piggies, and puppy dogs. Chapters include instructions for classic bento boxes and character-driven bentos (called Kyaraben), plus shopping advice, general tips and tricks, and much more. Stop wasting money on prepackaged lunches-and start making beautiful, healthy bentos!

Bookish Events in Philadelphia This Week: August 30th - September 5th

Lots of fun things going on in town the next few days! Movie screenings, book releases, museum exhibits and more! Check out the roundup, below!

This Saturday, August 30th, the Free Library of Philadelphia is screening HAMLET as part of their Shakespeare Film Series. It's the 1993 one, with Mel Gibson. Screening starts at 11AM at the Northeast Regional Library

Sunday, August 31st, is your last chance to catch the amazing Joyce Haunted by Shakespeare exhibit at the Rosenbach Museum. The exhibit explores Joyce's Ulysses and how it was influenced by Shakespeare's plays. 

On Wednesday, September 3rd, the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater is premiering iHamlet. It's part of this year's Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and is a "unique one-person [performance of] Hamlet." 

Also on Wednesday, September 3rd, the crew at Locust Moon Comics in West Philadelphia are celebrating the release of Quarter Moon's fourth anthology, Waters. There's a rumor there will be a kiddie pool in the backyard of the comic book shop. I believe it. 

Okay, one more Wednesday event. On Wednesday, September 3rd, you can catch a book-to-movie screening of Life of Pi at Big Blue Marble books. Afterwards, hangout, and talk about it. 

Come Thursday, September 4th, our good friends over at Head & the Hand Press are celebrating the release of their latest book, Blowin' It. The party will be at Bourbon and Branch, and will feature some seriously tasty brews. Also, a reading! And books for sale! This blogger will see you there. 

Frankenstein Day: A Simple Guide to Celebrate Mary Shelley's Masterpiece

August 30th, 2014 marks Mary Shelley’s 217th birthday and what has become known as Frankenstein Day.
Frankenstein was always one of my favorite books to teach, and it was fun to go crazy with it around Halloween. One year my students were treated to watching a “Grow Your Own Monster” that I picked up for a dollar get pretty scary as it took over a grimy jar of water.

Like Strangers On a Crashing Plane: Six Important Words, One Tattooed Reminder

[Edt. Note: Last week, we spotted Patrick Fedo tweeting about his tattoo. A tattoo that features a line from Ben H. Winters' The Last Policeman. We invited him to blog about it. Thanks for sharing with us, Patrick!]
When I discovered The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters, I was instantly hooked. A noir-style murder mystery set in the pre-apocalypse? Sign me up. A refreshing take on both story and setting. But as I continued to read the series, the question "What's the point in solving a murder when the world is ending?" slowly started to reveal the true allegory at the core of this trilogy.
By the end of the third book, bleak and gray as it is, we finally get to the root message of Detective Henry Palace and his nobleman's journey. Throughout the series, Palace was often chided for his persistence in his goals. But then I realized, we're all Hank Palace. We're doomed the same fate. The world is going to end and we only get one go 'round on this blue marble. And in the short time we have, we're here to give each other strength and love, as Winters writes, "like strangers on a crashing plane."
Those six words are so important. Not only do they sum up the point of the books, those words sum up the point of life. So I had to get them tattooed, as a constant reminder to love and give strength, because we're all on our own crashing plane.

Partying Like Jay Gatsby at the Jazz Age Lawn Party

"The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other's names." -- The Great Gatsby, F.Scott Fitzgerald
Man, nobody throws a party like Jay Gatsby! Oh wait… Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra does! And he’s actually a real person whose Jazz Age Lawn party is open to all! For two weekends every year you can take a ferry back in time to Governor's Island where the 1920’s are alive and roaring. Fans of Downton Abbey, Boardwalk Empire, and Really Good Music can expect a feast for all the senses as they don vintage attire and indulge their love of all things old fashioned.
Even before stepping onto the ferry it’s hard not to notice the ladies and gents converging at the South Ferry subway stop. Even for NY, a city known for its colorful characters and cutting edge fashions, these dapper dans and dames definitely stand out; some with parasols, some with picnic baskets, and all with the same exuberance. A quick (and very cheap) ferry ride later you step onto the green lawns of Governor's Island and are immediately greeted by the sounds of Jazz in the distance. Each decade of the 20th century has had one thing that has defined it above all others and for the 1920’s it is no doubt the music; They didn’t call it the Jazz Age for nothing. 

On the Road Again: Road-tripping With YA

Summer. It's the time for vacations and of course, hitting the open road. Sadly, summer is wrapping up, and you might have missed your time to hit the road. So whether you’re stuck at home dreaming of a getaway, or are lucky enough to have gone on your own summer adventure, we’ve got the road trip stories to keep you entertained.

These five books have it all, from a young rock band traveling for their first road show, to an epic cross-country quest in search of a missing girl. The one thing they have in common is that they all involve an unforgettable road trip!

So sit down, buckle up, and gas up the car. We’re hitting the road!


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