"Do You Speak American?" Robert
MacNeil and William Cran, Nan A. Talese, 2005, 228 pages.
Do Americans speak English? Or, ask
authors Robert MacNeil and William Cran, do they speak "American
English"? If they speak an Americanized version of the English
language, is that version and its regional dialects in decline?
These are some of the questions addressed in the new book "Do You
Speak American?" the sequel to their 1986 book, "The Story of
In this new examination of our
national linguistic character, the authors travel throughout the
different regions of the country, regions that traditionally have a
distinct dialect. These regions (such as the Northeast and southern
Appalachia) exhibit the subtle changes influencing their dialect and
their "standard" for American English.
In the course of numerous waves of
immigrants to this country, those arrivals brought new words that
were quickly assimilated into the American language. Today American
English faces changes and adaptations on several fronts -- most
notable are the growing use and popularity of Spanish and the
increase of African-American vernacular English. This book is a
fascinating look at the way Americans speak, the social consequences
of that speech and the "Americanisms" peculiar to our language and
* * *
"Collecting Antique Marbles,"
fourth edition. Paul Baumann, KP Books, 2004, 208 pages.
Everyone loves to collect something,
especially if it's from our past. In his newest edition of
"Collecting Antique Marbles," author and marble collector Paul
Baumann identifies the many different styles, colors and
manufacturers of marbles. The book is beautifully illustrated and
contains over 1,200 color photographs of marbles and the latest
Aside from the remarkable
photography, the book's real strength lies in its explanation of the
history of marbles and its description of the many types of marbles
available for collecting. Among the marbles more desirable to
collectors are the German swirls, the opaque glass, the
hand-gathered marbles and the sulphides (clear glass marbles that
contain a small figure in the center).
The book is perfect for collectors
of all ages or anyone interested in the history of marbles.
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"Keep Your Kids Safe on the
Internet." Simon Johnson, McGraw-Hill/Osborne, 2004, 316 pages.
The Internet is rapidly becoming an
indispensable education and information tool for children of all
ages. Unfortunately it's also a breeding ground for pedophiles,
cyber-stalkers, pornography, viruses and other threats. In his new
book, "Keep Your Kids Safe on the Internet," child Internet safety
expert Simon Johnson identifies these threats, explains their method
of attracting targets and advises parents how to guard against them
while their children surf the Internet.
After explaining what the Internet
is, Johnson exposes the different online dangers facing children. He
then details how to avoid those threats (for example, remove
dangerous software and consider content-filtering software) and
reminds parents of the No. 1 rule in protecting children: Monitor
what your kids do on the Internet! Other software tools
available to parents include junk mail filters, firewalls, antivirus
protection and malicious software detection.
Johnson's book is essential reading
for any adult who has Internet users in their home.
* * *
"How to Say it to Seniors."
David Solie, Prentice Hall Press, 2004, 212 pages.
Senior citizens have a unique and
rich perspective on life. It is sometimes frustrating for younger
people to bridge the communication gap that comes with talking to
someone of another generation. In his new book, "How to Say it to
Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap With our Elders," geriatric
psychology expert David Solie outlines a three-point program that
improves everyone's ability to better communicate with the elderly.
He first explains the unappreciated
agendas of older adults; that is, how different generations have
different missions and their desire for a "legacy," or to be
remembered. Solie next describes the everyday world of older adults
and how that world looks, feels and sounds to a senior citizen. Here
Solie takes on the "myth of diminished capacity," a mistaken belief
that aging automatically brings slow and steady decline to a
person's mental, physical and emotional capacities. Finally he
concludes with a series of new strategies for communicating with
This book is recommended to anyone
who wishes to improve his or her ability to better communicate with
a senior citizen.