Celebrate summer around the world!

Products we recommend for August 2010

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By Julie Rattey

Cool Runnings

Walt Disney Video

$9.49 DVD

Amazon.com and select retailers


In this heartwarming and humorous fictionalized account of Jamaica’s first bobsled team, a motley crew of dreamers convince a former gold medalist (John Candy) to coach them in the hopes of making it to the 1988 Olympics. Rated PG. 1 hr 38 min


Support Haiti Through Music

French Caribbean

Putumayo World Music

$14.98 CD

Putumayo.com and other retailers; 888-PUTUMAYO


Enjoy upbeat island tunes while helping restore Haiti with this re-release, whose proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross for Haitian relief through 2010. Artists from Martinique, Haiti, and Guadalupe offer 10 danceable tunes that create a lively soundtrack for your summer. Visit website for audio clips. English lyrics were not available for editorial review at the time this material was posted.


Looking for more music for your stereo this summer? Check out this CD, also available from Putumayo, also for $14.98:


South Africa 


Fusing traditional and contemporary styles from artists like the Grammy Award-winning Soweto Gospel Choir and music artist-activists such as the late Miriam Makeba and Johannes Kerkorrel, South Africa is a diverse and colorful collection of 12 tracks. English lyrics were not available for editorial review at the time this material was posted.


Pirates: Terror on the High Seas from the Caribbean to the South China Sea

A Worldwide Illustrated History

Consulting Editor David Cordingly

Turner Publishing


Amazon.com and select retailers


With the ongoing releases of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, the invention of talk like Pirate Day (September 19), and summer pirate festivals held across the country, the world’s fascination with pirates is hardly dying out. But what’s fact and what’s fiction? Discover the real story with this extensive book, from the adventures of legendary pirates to the history of how piracy spread (and where) to the perils of modern day piracy. Cordingly has also written the more recent book Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates.


For younger audiences, try the wonderful DK Eyewitness book Pirate (also available from Amazon) by Richard Platt, which features topics from “Pirates of Ancient Greece” to “Life At Sea” to “Women Pirates” and “Pirates in Literature.”


Bathing Suits Fit for a Catholic!

Rey Swimwear

Price varies by item



Catholic actress and model Jessica Rey had a hard time finding a modest but chic swimsuit to wear…so she designed her own! Inspired by the elegance of Audrey Hepburn, these suits hint of vintage glamour and come in a variety of styles. Great gift idea for a teen or young adult daughter or granddaughter. Sizes 0 to 16. Custom sizing is a possibility.


The World of Street Food

By Troth Wells

New Internationalist

$14.96 Paperback

Amazon.com and select retailers


Looking to try some new cuisine this summer? From peanut stew from Africa to pineapple curry from Malaysia to jerk pork from Jamaica, this book of 100 recipes gives you a taste of the exotic offerings of street food cooking around the world. The recipes are mostly vegetarian and are adapted for western kitchens.


The Speaking Butler Alarm Clock

The Ms. Alarm Clock

Hammacher Schlemmer

$99.95 (His: Item #76635, Hers: #77901)

Hammacher.com – 800-321-1484


It’s not always easy to get up in the morning…especially on a summer workday when you’d rather be at the beach. With this clock, your very own personal butler helps you rise and shine. The clock plays 126 different wake-up messages, some with a humorous touch, delivered by actor Stephen Fry as the quintessential butler Jeeves from P.G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster. Available in a “his” or “her” version. Requires 3 AA batteries (we recommend rechargeable ones to avoid waste). 5” H x 5.5” W x 4” D. 14 oz. Visit the website to hear a sampling of the wake-up messages.

Managing Editor Julie Rattey

Julie Rattey is a Boston-based writer and editor. She is the author of If I Grew Up in Nazareth, available from 23rdPublications.com.