21 January 2024
Sometimes, a person can learn from books, even adults can learn from books intended for children. It could be a factoid or lots of cultural information about a place or a time (with the hope that the authors did their research and didn't mangle it in the storytelling) or just a small kernel of truth.
In the case of The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels, I found a writer after my own heart. Someone who delights in etymology, as I do, and the differences between British English and American English. I found author Beth Lincoln's foreword in this American edition of her book to be intriguing, trotting out Samuel Johnson and Noah Webster. When I was young, I never objected to kids' description of my nerdiness by saying I read the dictionary, because it was the truth. Lincoln went on to say that some British phrases had to be changed to be more American, and I want to put the two versions side by side to find out which words. Did they change "skip" into "bin", as in the description of a sister's power smoothie smelling like a bin? I ask because "bin" was jarring to me. I would have at least added the word "garbage."
But, onward to less nerdiness, I also learned about "the most expensive coffee in the world" which currently is Kopi Luwak, generally from Indonesia where civets are native and plentiful (as well as coffee trees). I had never heard of this coffee until this book, in which a coffee bean found at the scene of the crime was identified as such and they went on about the process of getting beans pooped by coffee-cherry-loving civets and even how less acidic the coffee is when compared to coffee made from beans processed in a more usual way. Wow, learn something newly fascinating every day.
Speaking of the price of coffee drinks in Dixon, Illinois (were we?), I am dismayed to discover that there's talk going around that Books on First not only has undervalued coffee (in terms of lack of appreciation for its quality), but also that it is the cheapest! So, undervalued in more than one way! Talk about multiple definitions.
07 June 2023
It's time again to say shopping for Father's Day is a great time to come to Books on First. Bet Dad or Gramps would love one of these!
Want the perfect fit? Get a gift card
And for the little one to share? They're going to love the time together.