Holiday Gift-giving: Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy

Happy Holiday Shopping Guide! Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, the “bigger on the inside” bookstore at 65 James Street, is happy to present our 2017 recommendations for gifts this year. It’s a bit late to mail this out to anyone this Christmas, but they sure make great stocking stuffers, or small presents for people who live around here!  Or you can mail them out for new year’s gifts (WE ACTUALLY DO MAIL ORDER ON THESE). Oh, did I forget to tell you what I’m talking about? It’s in the title – Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy. No, it’s not exotic taffy from Turkey. And no, it’s not taffy that tastes like Turkey. (Although that may be interesting)!

It’s actually a delicious, Vanilla, light, low calorie (160 per bar), low fat (0.5g) sweet treat that was invented in 1912 by a man named Herman Herer in New York.  He owned his own candy company, and was making some marshmallow candy for M. Schwartz & Sons, in Newark New Jersey when he made a mistake and put too many egg whites in the batch. He then realized that he may be on to something, and Turkish Taffy was born.  If you want to skip the history lesson, you can go straight to the last paragraph, and see what we have here at Annie’s. Otherwise, you can read on. It’s actually very interesting!

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After Turkish Taffy was bought by M. Schwartz and Sons, the Bonomo Family of Coney Island, New York purchased all the rights to Turkish Taffy, and renamed it, Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy. This family was responsible for making Turkish Taffy a household name in most American cities.  When most people thought about Coney Island, they thought about the Cyclone, Hot Dogs, and Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy.

The company changed hands after a long time, and then The Tootsie Roll company bought the rights to Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy in 1972. They changed the formula, and the name, and made Turkish Taffy much chewier,  and then shelved the product in the mid 1980’s, so the product had not been seen on shelves since then.

The passion and demand for the real Turkish Taffy never waned. Fans banded together over the Internet to petition its return. Then, in 2002, Kenny Wiesen of New York, and Jerry Sweeney of Philadelphia acquired the rights to Bonomo’s Turkish Taffy, and took years to perfect it to make sure that the original formula, packaging, etc. were in place. They launched it in 2010, at the largest and most prestigious candy show in the world, The NCA (National Confectionery Association) Sweets and Snack show held in Chicago. It is now made in York, PA, exactly as it was between the 1940’s and 1972.

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LAST PARAGRAPH: We have the Vanilla and Strawberry flavored taffy, but they also come in Chocolate and Banana. Please let us know if you would like the other flavors, and we will order them! There are also other wonderful candies available from the Pennsylvania Dutch Candy Company for special order if there is enough interest. Annie’s  price on the Turkish Taffy is $1.00 per bar, $20.00 for a box of 24 bars.

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Thank you for making Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester your neighborhood bookstore, and we wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

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Holiday Gift-giving: Book Collections and Box Sets

Happy Holiday Shopping Guide! Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, the “bigger on the inside” bookstore at 65 James Street, is happy to present our 2017 recommendations for gifts this year. If you have any children to buy gifts for who are avid readers, or who love to have many stories read to them, it’s often hard to figure out which one book to get for them. So…

…Why not get them a book that has a number of stories in them? We have several new books that contain collections of stories from one author, or several different authors, many of them classics.

The books by one author include Make Way for McCloskey, a Robert McCloskey Treasury. This contains a number of stories by Robert McCloskey, including his famous MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS, BLUEBERRIES FOR SAL, The Doughnuts from HOMER PRICE, BURT DOW, DEEP-WATER MAN, LENTIL, Ever So Much More So from CENTERBURG TALES, TIME OF WONDER, and ONE MORNING IN MAINE.  We also have Mike Mulligan and More, A Virginia Lee Burton Treasury,  containing stories such as, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, The Little House, Katy and the Big Snow and Maybelle the Cable Car.

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If you would prefer some classic picture books all together in one volume, there is the Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics – A Child’s First Collection. It includes such wonderful stories as Goodnight Moon, Harold and the Purple Crayon, A Baby Sister for Frances, Pete’s a Pizza, and many more. More will be coming.

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If your child is a bit older, and likes to read a lot, we also have several boxed sets that they might want to sink their minds into. One series that is loved by most children is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. We have the boxed set, which contains books 1-10.

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Another classic boxed set of books we have available is the Wizard of Oz series. This is a timeless series that can be read over and over, by both parents and children alike. In addition, we have The Dark is Rising Series by Susan Cooper, as well as other boxed sets.

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Thank you for making Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester your neighborhood bookstore, and we wish you all a safe and happy holiday season!

 

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Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas – New British Sci-Fi Audios & Magazines

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Santa made a special stop here today, a few days before his big annual sleigh ride, and brought us new science fiction audio releases and magazine issues!

In his sack were the following:

  • DOCTOR WHO #232 – THE MIDDLE [main monthly audio range], featuring Colin Baker as The Sixth Doctor
  • DOCTOR WHO: THE EARLY ADVENTURES #4.3 – THE MORTON LEGACY, a Second Doctor story featuring Anneke Wills and Frazer Hines
  • #7 in the SURVIVORS boxed set series, featuring the voice talents of Carolyn Seymour, Ian McCulloch, Helen Goldwyn, Louise Jameson, and many more.
  • SCI FI NOW #140
  • DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE #520

All great choices for the speculative fiction fan in your house.

And don’t forget we have gift certificates as well as subscriptions to the magazines and audio series.

Thank you for supporting the little bookstore that’s bigger on the inside!

—-The Staff of Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester

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Author Spotlight: Maureen Boyle and SHALLOW GRAVES

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Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our spotlight on author and investigative journalist Maureen Boyle! Maureen, an award winning journalist, has been a crime reporter in New England for more than 25 years, including at the Standard-Times of New Bedford during one of the grisliest serial murder cases in the country. She holds an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Conn. and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Mass. She is now director of the Journalism Program at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.

Maureen will be at the store on Saturday, January 6, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM, talking about her book, Shallow Graves, that tells the story of the New Bedford serial murders. Drawing on more than one hundred interviews, along with police reports, first-person accounts, and field reporting both during the killings and more recently, Shallow Graves brings the reader behind the scenes of the investigation, onto the streets of the city, and into the homes of the families still hoping for answers.

(Gift-giving note: Do YOU have someone who is fascinated by true crime, local history, and/or serial killers? This would make a great book for them–or reserve them a spot and signed book at the event!)

Thank you very much for joining us, Maureen! For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write?  What can readers expect from Shallow Graves: The Hunt for the New Bedford Highway Serial Killer?

For years, I was a crime reporter for newspapers – covering murders, crashes, bank robberies, shootings, you name it. I’ve always been fascinated with what happens behind the scenes with police and what makes someone commit a crime – particularly a murder. Putting a human face to a story has always been important to me.

 With Shallow Graves: The Hunt for the New Bedford Highway Serial Killer, I wanted readers to see the work investigators put into the case day in and out as well as their frustrations. I also wanted readers to see what the families went through and to view the victims

 

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Of the whole writing and publishing process?  What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?

I love interviewing people and learning

It’s been said before: I love it when I’m done with a project. The writing and publishing process is hard work

 

What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?

Write and read and don’t make excuses. I write fairly quickly after completing research. That’s an offshoot of years of newspaper reporting where there is no time to have “writer’s block.” Writing is work – hard work – and you have to sit yourself down in the chair and just do it.

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What does your writing space look like? What do you need to have around you while writing or editing?

It is controlled madness. I know where things are but anyone who dares to peer into my writing lair would be horrified. There are stacks of notebooks, research records, drafts, scraps of paper, pens and photos. I’ve always written and reported this way. My desk, wherever I go, is always beyond messy. At one newspaper, I was ordered to clean up my desk or risk being fired. The memo was included in my “permanent record.”

 

While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!

It really doesn’t matter to me. Since I worked so many years in newsrooms, I’m pretty good at tuning out noise.

 

What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?

Starting is always tough. So is the editing process. I have a difficult time going over my own work.

 

What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?

You never know what will turn out to be a great story and you never know who you will meet who will help you find that great story. I’ve met so many wonderful people over the years who have shared details of their lives. Very often, it is the person you least expect, the everyday person, who has the best story.

 

How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?

I’m very active on Twitter (@MaureenBoyle1) ,on both my author and book Facebook pages as well as my blog, maureenboylewriter.wordpress.com.

Thank you, again, Maureen for the great interview, and we look forward to hosting you at our store on Saturday, January 6, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM to talk about Shallow Graves and your investigations!

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Holiday Gift-Giving: Kids’ Book Reviews, Part 2

Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester puts a lot of work into curating our children’s and teens’ selections—and our inspiration comes from listening to the ones who read these books!

When the events team hit the New England Independent Bookseller’s Association trade show last fall, we brought home a lot of really cool advance review copies of books to see what our younger readers wanted.  Today, we’re happy to share a few of the reviews we received back!

From Bekah G. and Vincent G., nine and eight years old years old respectively, we received back three reviews!

For Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans by Rusel Ginns, Bekah says, “It was mysteriously cool.  I liked the magtrain best for their transportation. I can’t wait for the next book. Also when Sam tricked the RAIN by using a different umbrella, I thought real umbrella was lost for good!” (There is a great picture of a surprised sun in the margin!) Bekah says someone who likes this book might also like, Cam Janson, A-Z Mysteries, Encyclopedia Brown, and Nancy Drew.

Bekah also read Cooking Class by Deanna F. Cook, and says, “There were a lot of cool tricks, recipes, and ideas I want to try. Me and my mom tried the popcorn balls for a school fundraiser: a lot were sold! They were most definitely delicious for my friends!”

Vincent read The Riot Brothers by Mary Amato, and said, “It has a lot of good advice (that’s funny).” He particularly points out from the book, “Every once in a while, let grown-ups think they’re right.”  Vincent suggests fans of Jedi Academy would like this book.

Thank you so much Bekah and Vincent for your great reviews!

So if you’ve got a growing reader who needs some books this year, we have these featured titles (and the comparable titles) in stock and ready for you to bring home to wrap.

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Holiday Gift-giving: A Treasure Map To Fun and Excitement

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We’ve been trying to get the word out about a special acquisition we’ve just made. On the surface, it’s easy enough to say “It’s just comics…you get those all the time, don’t you?” And, in a busy Holiday season, sometimes it’s just difficult to make the time to investigate everything you want, while making time for family.

But, a lot of you, and a lot of your kids and grandkids, read and collect them. And, this time, we’ve acquired a collection that is several collections in one, and almost all of it 20 to 30 years old. What’s more is much of it hasn’t seen the light of day in over 20 years and was put in a comic bag the day it was released, so while much has been read, much hasn’t, and much is in newsstand condition despite being so old. Like from a time capsule. It varies, but there are some great stretches of so many titles, you’re going to want to see what’s in store.

Right now, we’ve got about 5,000 comics in the store. Over 20 long boxes of comics priced at half of cover price. And, normally, we’d be saying the best part of this would be that comics were priced lower 20 or 30 years ago, so not only would you be finding comics you couldn’t normally find, in great condition to read or collect or give as gifts, but you’d be spending even less than you would on more recent comics. With a deep selection of comics in here at $0.75 or $1.00, among various boxes, half that price is not only frugal but absolutely cheap!

But, with such a large collection, we decided to share the wealth even more. For a limited time, we’ve added two Special Offers to our web site at anniesbooksworcester.com. Two coupons for the bargain hunters to have a further reason to come in and cherry-pick this awesome find, and make it a memorable gift for yourself or someone else.

First, for simply finding ten of these comics, one coupon will enhance your discount to 60% off cover price from 50% off. That’s actually a 20% further discount. There’s something for everyone in this group, and if you are even just curious, it’s pretty much certain you’ll find something interesting at the right price, to read or collect.

But, we want you to consider planning to spend some time here and have an adventure. Find a nephew or niece or cousin and tag-team this collection, and put a full long box of your own together. Your choice. Use the coupon. (Again, at anniesbooksworcester.com, use the Special Offers link.) Make that box a completely full one, or take even more than that, and instead of the normal 50% off cover price, the coupon discount will make it 70% off cover price! (That’s 40% off our normal price!…which is already a great deal at 50% off!) There are thousands of comics here right now you will find priced at $5 or higher elsewhere.

Sure, there may some things that will be for someone else’s tastes. But, this assortment is so broad there should be something for yours, too. There are superhero comics like Batman and Spider-Man and Supergirl and Wonder Woman. Series like Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Animal Man, many X-Men titles, and so many others will appeal to many of you. There are Archie comics and some from Disney Studios. For the collector, we’ve intentionally left some comics in these boxes we see at $15 in the price guides, in new (that’s NM or well above 9.0, for you collectors) condition. And a few worth even more than that. The readers will be thrilled in finding some of the early Valiant Comics runs. This group touches on just about every genre, and where we could go on listing things here, we’re really hoping you’ll simply come in (with the coupons to help you save more than usual) and dive in!

The comics are already here. Come on in and see what you can find, and take advantage of some genuinely special pricing on a great assortment!

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Events Buzz: All the Holidays

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Happy Holidays to everyone celebrating something as the month of December draws to a close.

Are you still procrastinating on getting any gifts? Stop into our “bigger on the inside” bookstore at 65 James Street can help you with that, too. We’ve got gift certificates, signed books, and other unique items sure to please just about everyone on your list. In fact, to help you find the perfect gifts, we’re currently posting gift ideas on our blog every day through December 24.

As a reminder, our store will be CLOSED on Monday, December 25. Our hours on December 24 will be 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.A

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Rainbow Readers LGBTQIA Book Club this past Saturday to discuss Harem Master by Megan Derr. Keep an eye on our blog and Facebook Page for the dates/times for 2018 Rainbow Readers events!

We’re not done for 2017 yet! If you need all of space and time to get you into the Christmas Spirit, join us for this month’s Doctor Who Discussion Night THIS THURSDAY, December 21, starting at 7:00 PM. We’ll be discussing the many Doctor Who Christmas Specials!

And if you’re ready to start planning for 2018, so are we! Here’s a look at some of our upcoming events!

Saturday, January 6, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Maureen Boyle, Shallow Graves, and the New Bedford Serial Killer

Saturday, January 13, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Cullen Murphy presents Cartoon Country.

Saturday, January 20, 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Rainbow Readers Discusses Think of England by KJ Charles.

NEW LINK: Saturday, January 27, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Young Explorers Adventure Guide Authors Share Middle Grade Science Fiction.

NEW LINK: Tuesday, February 6, 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Les Johnson, NASA Engineer and SF Author.

NEW LISTING: Saturday, February 17, 6:00 – 8:00 PM – Rainbow Readers Discusses Peter Darling by Austin Chant.

NEW SNOW DATE: Sunday, April 15, 1:00 – 3:00 PM – Make Way For Nancy – a life of public art with Nancy Schön.

As a reminder, here are our regular events…

Spinning Yarns Craft and Audiobook Social, every Monday 7:00 PM (except for when the Free People’s Artists Workshop meets the fourth Monday of the month). Bring a craft and enjoy an audiobook or audio drama with other crafty booklovers!

The Free People’s Artists Workshop, the fourth Monday of each month from 7:00-9:00 PM. Networking and feedback from other artists and creators of all types. Co-sponsored by the Worcester County Poetry Association. Next meeting TBA based on holidays.

Doctor Who Discussion Nights, the third Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 8:00 PM. Join us for a discussion of our favorite science fiction series. Next meeting is THIS THURSDAY, December 21. “Christmas Specials.”

The Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts is an LGBTQIA book club that will meet once a month, usually on the third Saturdays, from 6:00-8:00 PM. Next meeting January 20.

As always, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

If you had a great time shopping or at any event at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester at our 65 James Street location, you can leave us a review on TripAdvisor or leave us a review on Yelp.

 

May your world be filled with wonderful words!

 

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