By Leigh Newman
"Why people read what they read is a great unknown and personal thing," Sara Nelson once told The New York TImes. Today, O's celebrated book editor -and reader extraordinaire-tells us about her connection to the witty, wonderful jazz-era novel Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles.
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"Rules of Civility is to books what the great classic movie, An Affair to Remember is to film. It's salty and funny and so wise about class, ambition and love in New York. Part of what makes the novel work, in my opinion, is that the city is, itself, a character in the book; the author has clearly done his research (but its seams don't show!) about the provenance of certain buildings and jazz clubs in the late 1930s.
RELATED: Check out an excerpt from Rules of Civility
Most of all, however, I loved the book because I loved Katey Kontent, its protagonist-a tough-talking but tender dame."
RELATED: Your Book Finder
READ MORE: Read a Review of Amor Towles
Blog Posts by Oprah.com
- Oprah.com | Work + Money – Mon, Aug 22, 2011 4:06 PM EDT
By Leigh NewmanRead More »from If You Read Only One Book Before the Summer’s Over...
- Oprah.com | Shine Food – Fri, Aug 19, 2011 8:42 PM EDT
Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani
Pack a Meal That Will Have Everyone on the Plane Saying, "I'll Have What She's Having"
Overcooked pasta and soggy breakfast burritos? No thanks. Bring food you know will taste good. That's what chefs do-and in a recent New York Times article, they shared their secrets. No mushy sandwiches here: Their ideas include freezing your meal (it will defrost by the time you're ready to eat it) and warming up pasta with hot water from the flight attendant.
RELATED: Oprah's Favorite SandwhichTake the Rest Stop Less Traveled
Highway rest-area chains offer sustenance but not much character-which local eateries have in spades. Visit Roadfood.com for restaurants along freeways and back roads across the country. The 12-hour drive from Baltimore to Bar Harbor, Maine, for instance, will be a lot more tolerable if you know to stop off at De Lorenzo Tomato Pies in Trenton, New Jersey, for a sausage and garlic tomato pie. Traveling from Michigan to Yellowstone? You'll want toRead More »from 5 Ways to Make Sure You Have the Tastiest Vacation Ever
Illustration: Marcos ChinBy Martha BeckRead More »from How to Pull the Plug on the Same Old Fight
You're mulling the night's TV options when your significant other grabs the remote and starts clicking away like a sugar-fueled 5-year-old. When you mention this, he asks how your OCD is going. You counterstrike that his mother raised her sons to be boorish louts-eliciting his usual rant about your mom still serving him meatloaf when he's been a vegetarian for years.
RELATED: How (Not) to Make Over Your Husband
It's the same fight you had last week. And the 962 weeks previous. It would almost be funny if the whole routine weren't so hurtful, unproductive, and bafflingly inescapable. But here's the aha: While repetitive arguments stem from misunderstandings and emotional wounds, they also owe a lot to simple pattern formation. As my karate teacher used to say, practice doesn't make perfect-it makes permanent. What we've done before, we tend to do again.
RELATED: Stop Playing the Blame Game
Which means we can disrupt our patterns with a brilliant trick that marriage
Photo: ThinkstockBy Amber KallorRead More »from 5 Ways to Wear Statement Jewelry This Fall
Bewildered by the big, chunky bracelets, earrings, and rings seen everywhere from Forever 21 to J.Crew? We asked the sister duo of Jodie and Danielle Snyder behind cult-favorite jewelry line, DANNIJO, how to pull off bold pieces.
RELATED: 6 Rules for Accessorizing
The DANNIJO guide for pulling off statement jewels:
1. Ease your way in. Start with a wide metal cuff--it makes a statement but isn't overwhelming, says Jodie and Danielle. Plus, it's easy to slip on and goes with everything. If a necklace is more your style, again, look for a neutral, all-metal design. They like versions that feature entangled chains or architectural pieces that are simple but graphic. "You'd be surprised how many 'simple pearls' women we've converted to the dark side!" they say.
2. Don't deck out every limb. "Though it works for some," says the duo, "You can end up looking like a hoarder gypsy." Instead, Jodie and Danielle love to wear different textures and sizes together-friendship
- Oprah.com | Healthy Living – Thu, Aug 18, 2011 8:09 PM EDT
Photo: Levi BrownBy Dr. Mehmet OzRead More »from Warning Signs: What’s Your Body Trying to Tell You?
The body is an excellent communicator, and often the messages are obvious: Red skin means you've had too much sun; a rumbling stomach means you're running out of fuel. But many other distress signals are less well known. Take a few moments to give yourself a quick check for these surprising warning signs.
RELATED: The Ultimate Health Checklist
If you see: Shortened eyebrows
It could mean: Thyroid disorder
Hold a pencil perpendicular to the outer corner of your eye; if your eyebrow falls short of the pencil, it could indicate an underactive thyroid. Thyroid hormones have many functions, and one of them is to regulate how quickly your cells replenish themselves. When your levels of thyroid hormones are out of whack, the effect can be seen in almost every cell in your body, even your hair follicles. (You may also notice that the hair on your head has become thinner and drier.) Some other telltale symptoms include weight gain, fatigue, and constipation.
What to do: Your
Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani
What's worse: using bottled lemon juice or none at all (if you don't have fresh lemon juice)?
None at all.You might think bottled lemon juice is an unacceptable substitute for the real deal, and it is true that once any kind of citrus juice comes in contact with oxygen, it starts losing its flavor and gets more acidic, which means it doesn't taste quite as lemony, limey or orangey as fresh would. And many commercial brands contain controversial additives.
RELATED: 4 Superfood Fruits You Haven't Tried - but Should
Still, using bottled lemon juice is better than none at all-provided you use a high-quality brand. Sabrina Sexton, a chef instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, uses Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lemon Juice or Nellie & Joe's Key West Lemon Juice for cocktails. If you're caught without a good quality bottle of lemon juice, consider adding a splash of orange juice or even vinegar (not for drinks, though), which will add the burst of Read More »from What’s Worse? 3 Surprising Truths About Food
- Oprah.com | Power Your Future – Thu, Aug 18, 2011 6:35 PM EDT
By Suze OrmanRead More »from Be Your Own Boss: Suze Orman’s 4 Must-Haves Before Starting a Business
1. Impeccable Credit
If you have any credit card debt, or your FICO credit score is not at least 720, you're not yet ready to take on this venture. How can you expect to have a successful business when your personal finances aren't in great shape?
RELATED: 10 Steps to a Worry-Free Financial Future
If you're contemplating a total career change, work for someone who's already doing what you hope to do. It doesn't have to be full-time; it can be just a few days a week. The idea is to learn before you leap. Keep a start-up journal: Every day after work, write down what you learned that day, both good and bad. Those lessons are the template for your future success.
RELATED: Skills to Go: 28 Ways to Become a Leader
3. Basic Knowledge of Operations
You must know your way around a P&L statement. Not sure what that is? It's shorthand for profit and loss, and it's a crucial tool. You also need to understand the tax rules of being self-employed. Look for a Small
Photo: ThinkstockBy Jennifer MargulisRead More »from What the Size of Your Smile Says About You
So much more than than a pair of upturned lips, the smile is the most scientifically studied human facial expression. In her new book, Lip Service, Yale psychology professor Marianne LaFrance, PhD, draws on the latest research-in fields from biology to anthropology to computer science-in an effort to shed some light on the happy face. Here, six facts that may make you, well, you know.
People with big grins live longer. In a study published last year, researchers pored over an old issue of the Baseball Register, analyzing photos of 230 players. They found that on average, the guys with bright, bigmouthed beams lived 4.9 years longer than the players with partial smiles, and 7 years longer than the players who showed no grin at all. We can't credit wide smiles for long life spans, of course, but smiles reveal positive feelings, and positive feelings are linked to well-being.
RELATED: How to Develop a Sense of Peace When You're Facing Uncertain Times
- Oprah.com | Parenting – Wed, Aug 17, 2011 6:51 PM EDT
Photo: ThinkstockBy Leigh Newman
Throw an Outdoor Film Festival in Your Backyard
No need for an expensive digital projector (though these are fun if you have a spare $500). Just spread the sleeping bags on the grass, pop some popcorn (Add butter? Why...yes!) and pour it into brown paper bags labeled with each child's name to avoid bickering over portion size. Set up the laptop on the grass after dark and watch under the stars. Sure, you could watch the movie inside, but shifting the screening outdoors instills the kind of nonsensical magic that makes kids squeal over the 100 millionth viewing of Madagascar. When it's time for everybody to go to sleep, reminisce extensively about the few, scruffy old drive-ins of your youth (they'll love that).RELATED: Cat Cora's 4 Tasty Twists on Popcorn
Make Jump Rockets
Altitude, yes. Combustion, no. If your child is under 5 or has yet to develop fine motor skills, the deluxe edition is a necessity (the launch pad is better able to withstand aRead More »from 5 Ways to Have Fun with Your Family (in Less Than 2 Hours)
Photo: ThinkstockBy Lynn Andriani
Renting a Clown Car
Aside from not reserving ahead of time, the most frequent mistake people make booking a car is choosing one that's too small for their needs. As Enterprise spokesperson Meghan Maguire explains, "A lot of people say, 'Let's go for the compact car,' when they have four people, five suitcases and golf clubs." Enterprise tries to match customers with the right model, but with so many people renting vehicles in the summer, it's not always possible. If you're traveling with your family or a group of friends, consider a full-size car, a minivan or an SUV.
RELATED: O's Essential Summer Travel Tips
Watching a Kayak Get Airborne...on the Highway
Who among us has not seen the car cruising down the highway with a mattress, canoe or rocking chair tied to the roof? Robert Sinclair Jr., manager of media relations for AAA New York, knows those items can look funny, in a Beverly Hillbillies-esque way, but he also knows how dangerous they can be. WhenRead More »from 4 Common Vacation Snafus - and How to Avoid Them